Handled a S&W 69 yesterday and in my view it is a 4" 696 with matte finish and better grips AND, of course, the Magnum chambering. I showed it to a friend who stopped by the shop and he allowed that it would be perfect with .44 Special level loads, which is true. Not to stir the pot but he didn't like the lock or MIM parts (trigger really) nor did he like the matte finish. People commented on the black screw heads with the stainless gun. I think the cash price would be around $775. I don't know if I can get excited about it at that price.
Glock is doing a good job of getting the G42 out to the public. We had another bunch come in and about half have gone out already. More coming. I've been told that Glock has devoted ALL U.S. production capacity to the G42 until the intial spate of buyers are sated.
I went to the new doctor today. Need a physical and will get one from this guy. He had to interview me before taking me on as a new patient. Dang. Is everyone going through this?
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
|K-22 Masterpiece dated to 1948 with box|
Production of the .22 on the M&P frame began in 1930 right at the beginning of the Great Depression.This would seem to be a bad time to introduce a high-quality handgun with a premium price. Christened the K-22 Outdoorsman in 1931, that revolver is now referred to as the K-22 First Model, and knowledgeable shooters and military and police training programs eagerly bought the revolver.
Original specifications were for a six-shot, K-frame revolver with a 6-inch round barrel, Circassian walnut grips and a Smith & Wesson medallion. Single-action trigger pulls were regulated to be 3 to 4 pounds. The 35-ounce revolver was guaranteed to shoot within 1 1/2 inches at 50 yards. The last of 17,117 K-22 First Models left the factory on 28 December 1939.
The new, improved K-22 Masterpiece replaced the First Model. Improvements included a shorter, faster action, a new micrometer-adjustable rear sight and a built-in, anti-backlash trigger. Despite the price of $40, quite a lot of money at that time, the revolver sold well. Unfortunately war was coming and Smith & Wesson had to redirect its resources and production efforts to supplying the British with M&P revolvers chambered in .38/200. Only 1,067 Second Models (collectors’ nomenclature) were produced in 1940 before all production efforts went to support World War II.
After the war, consumer desire for the K-22 made it clear that there was going to be a long-term demand for a quality rimfire revolver. Carl Hellstrom was first hired by the Wesson family in 1939 as shop superintendent then took over as president of Smith & Wesson in 1946 immediately after which he started implementing some cost-saving practices to the production line, as well as design improvements to individual products. Among those changes were the installation of a ribbed barrel on all K-frame target models—which swelled the weight of the new iteration to 38.5 ounces—with a new micrometer-click adjustable sight that did not have to be polished and was even to the frame, and a new anti-backlash trigger that no longer required the tedious and time-consuming fitting of the first Masterpiece series. The Masterpiece nomenclature was retained, partly because it was popular and partly because Smith & Wesson truly believed that it had produced a masterpiece revolver.
In 1949, a 4-inch barrel version, the K-22 Combat Masterpiece was introduced. Later it was to be called the Model 18. It was a great little trail gun, but sales paled compared to the 6-inch barrel version, and it was discontinued in 1985. My first K-22 was a 4-inch which I still have. I really enjoy squirrel hunting with it as well as range time. It is a great companion gun.
|K-22 with Tactical Solutions conversion on Combat Commander frame|
Friday, January 24, 2014
It has been a rough week. We are accustomed to having the day revolve around Bailey's needs to eat, take bathroom breaks outside, etc and since that ended we have moments we are sort of at loose ends. It has also been really cold for Virginia with temperatures as low as -2, we had some snow, we were putting away the Christmas decorations, taking Bailey's stuff either to put in storage for the "next dog" or to the SPCA to donate. Nana is picking up Bailey's cremains today. I did work but it simply was not particularly interesting, in part because I miss the dog.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
'There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.
When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.'
We can only hope. Goodbye Bailey.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
We are very fortunate to have been retired for almost her entire life meaning that she's been able to be with one or both of us most of most every day. She has survived bladder stones, one of which was as large as a golf ball. She has traveled over more than half the country. She has been a good dog all that time. A patient companion, a hardy traveler, a curious tourist, and an enthusiastic devotee of doggy delicacies.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Yes, we've been to the shop. No, there hasn't been much to report. The ammo shortage continues. Sales of what we have continue. Nothing much of special interest is coming in, in fact, NOTHING of special interest is coming in. The gunsmith quit. We will do scope mounting and boresighting while you wait IF we have the mounts. That's probably the biggest news. Apparently there aren't any Weaver type rings for 1" scopes available. Odd, isn't it? I haven't figured that one out. Today I'm at the other shop. Nothing going on there either! Some of this is rooted in the real economy which has 92 million Americans out of work and out of the work force, permanently. The real unemployment rate is over 13%. No money=no sales except for necessities.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
|How they've been stored for 100 years (give or take)...|
Family tradition says these belonged to an ancestor who had revolutionary war service.
These are interesting in that they are actual articulated plates with an embossed American eagle (head towards the olive branch) on a cloth backing with wool padding and a silk (?) lining. The silver bullion fringe is in excellent condition but the lining has deteriorated.
I took the time to take some close-up photos of the plates and the eagle device.
|A side view attempting to show the overlapping plates and other details of construction.|
|A close-up of the eagle device.|
My son, who is in the Va Guard working at the Bureau in DC pointed me to the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair.
It turns out that these are not epaulettes but are more properly called "wings" because of the scales which arch over the shoulder. These are militia rather than regular army and date from 1821 to somewhere in the 1840s.
I'm trying to figure out who, potentially, might have worn them.
Friday, December 20, 2013
This time of year seems to attract bad news for some people. At the least it exacerbates trying circumstances. People will often pray for help or ask for prayers to pull them out of trouble. I've got to tell you kids something, I never pray for the solution to be done, I pray for strength to get through the trial. I don't know what his solution/goal/plan so I might not get the result I expect but I know I'll get the strength to make it through to the other side. He never fails me. Never.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Mowbray Publishing with the least expensive price being at the CMP store although you can get it for $1.04 more but with free shipping at Amazon, this is one book you have to have. Yes, it is being hawked as "for collectors" but what a book for anyone with an M1 or an interest in military arms. Interested in WW II US infantry? Yes, this book has something for you as well. This was, after all, THE infantry rifle of the war, at least in effect if not in quantity.I know that the price is going to scare off some potential buyers but, let's face it, a quality book is going to cost some money. With 872 pages and outstanding photos/illustrations, this book is a bargain even at $95.99!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
My sister and I (and our children) are, like 2-2-1/2 million living Americans, Mayflower descendants. That is, we have ?X great-grandparents who came to this country on the Mayflower. Some of our other ancestors came on the next few ships to arrive in the Plymouth colony. In other words our ancestors were religious and political refugees who risked their lives, lived in great discomfort, labored for years, separated themselves from the remainder of their families on the hope that they and their grandchildren could live with a greater degree of liberty and security than they had in the "old world". They succeeded and despite the normal life struggles our families have long enjoyed greater prosperity and liberty than they would have had or could have had just about any place else in the world. For their foresight, hope and fortitude we are extremely grateful.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
John A______ took me out to the Bowman Spring Farm and we sat on stand for about 3 hours in the freezing rain (literally, freezing rain) and saw no deer. Took the .250-3000 again. Was pretty warm but I picked the wrong book socks and my feet were cold. Used the hot hands to warm myself after about 2½ hours.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Received my copy of the Rock Island Auction catalog and seemed to be immediately drawn to lot 1535. This is an M1 Rifle (Garand) with a unique blast deflector reportedly locally fabricated and used only in Alaska. This is a gas-trap rifle. A photo of the blast deflector is shown below. Bruce Canfield's new book doesn't seem to mention it but it is possible I've overlooked that somehow. Very interesting to me. It would seem that it would have to be removed for operator cleaning. The catalog copy says that only 3 are known to exist. I've never seen or heard of one before. Accordingly, this rifle's estimate is between $30,000 and $50,000!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
|The sole sign of life other than song birds and woodpeckers.|
The first place I went during the muzzleloading season, mostly for nostalgiac reasons, was north of Leading Ridge Road above Todd Lake in the Dry River District of the George Washington National Forest. Dad first took me here not long after it had been clear cut when there was plenty of browse. We always saw deer even if shooting them was impossible. At the time there was only one "doe day" and you were allowed only one deer per season. Now, 40+ years later, it is once again mostly maturing hardwood or pine with little browse. This year there isn't much hard mast (acorns) either. As a result, there aren't many, if any, deer in the area. I didn't see any and I didn't see any fresh scat, tracks or any other sign that there were deer in the area.
The regular gun season is here. I took my Savage 99A .250-3000 (.250 Savage). Easy to carry and accurate, fairly flat shooting and just plain fun.
So the second day (my first day of I moved down Leading Ridge Road a bit. I hadn't planned to park where I did but there were a lot more hunters out (and many more than there have been in the last 5 years or so) so I moved down to the head of an old logging road and parked there. A slow hunt down along this road a mile or so and back through a couple of open former feed plots found no deer sign here either. All that I found along the road was coyote (?) scat just as I had found elsewhere.
Driving slowly out of the area I noticed that there were at least triple the number of camps in the area. But, that still isn't a lot of camps. Last year I counted 4 and this year there were about 12-14. In the many hours I was in the forest I never heard any gunfire. No shots means that no bucks were being seen by hunters. Yes, it is bucks only on the national forest lands, and I think this is probably a good thing. There need to be does to maintain a population. Unfortunately, there also needs to be some food. I'm just not seeing a lot of dining opportunities for the deer.
|Looking down into and up the gorge from Wild Oak Trail.|
Several years ago we had flooding that severely impacted the trail. The USFS has finally made some repairs. I leave it to you to judge whether or not they should have run a small bulldozer all the way up the trail to clear it. Likely this was the least expensive option. A popular horse trail, there was sign that the riders have already been up the trail again. I did find some deer tracks, but they were mostly pretty small, does or yearlings. I didn't see any deer. I did see about a dozen gray squirrels which were missing from the Skidmore Fork area around Leading Ridge Road. The water level in the river is down and crossing dry footed was no problem. It was cold enough that a skim of ice was on some of the pools. All in all it was pretty nice in the gorge. Again, I heard no rifle shots although I could hear road traffic at some points along the trail. Although I didn't see any deer, the concentration of sign dramatically increased about 1 to 1-1/2 hours back. I didn't walk fast, so this is probably about 3 miles or so. That's a long way to walk just to squirrel hunt and it is a long way to drag a deer. I am not that hungry so it would have to a really nice buck for me to shoot one way back there.
|Yes, there was some sign...|
One thing about these old trails is that you get to see some of the old time ways of doing things. Check out the last two pictures. One is of the rock crib constructed to carry the old railway bed and the other is a cistern used to collect spring water for the railway workers and loggers.
|Rock "crib" built to fill a gap in the railroad bed.|
|Cistern built to collect spring water. Somebody has popped the lid. Note the "drinking" basin on the front.|