Friday, September 17, 2004

Hobbies are fickle things indeed. About 1994, I sold my AR-15 and got hooked on Contender carbines. While I still love them and use the, 21 barrels later I'm running out of expansion possibilities. I do have 2 pistol barrels (and grips for them) but I just never could get excited about the Contender pistol. From the time the Contender came out, I'd been thinking of it with a long barrel in fun cartridges. It was everything I'd always thought it would be and it does help one experience cartridges one would otherwise have to order an entire gun (at attendant cost) to shoot. Things went well indeed but when barrels started going over $300-350 and requiring a 6-16 week wait PLUS poor quality control by the makers (giving you not quite what you ordered) I started losing interest in expanding the herd.

Then, I found and their forum. There are lots of wonderful folks over there. They love and know their leverguns and are willing to share info and availability of guns. Truly, they enable the addiction! Now I am truly addicted.

I'm so addicted that I visit and daily. My tendancy, aside from the current guns I own, is to the saddle ring carbines or trappers. These compact, powerful and useful guns probably epitomize the gun that won the west, the saddle rifle of the cowboy, etc. They are full of western "romance" and when I was a kid, THE gun to have. I guess this is why the guns that interest me are so difficult to find at prices I can afford! Still, I plug away.

These are the three guns I currently own, shown together

and they are (from top to bottom): A Marlin 1894C in .357 Magnum, Marlin 336T in .30-30 and Winchester M94 in .30WCF (.30-30). I've no preference of maker but what I do want is an example of certain types. High on my priority list is a Winchester M92, a Winchester 1886 and a Savage 99. I will probably want a Winchester or Browning 71 as well.

I've already written about my desires for a M92 SRC or SRC Trapper. I was thinking of a button-mag (or half-mag) but have thought better of it. Still, I will be going to Steve's Gunz as he will buy the gun, perform the smoothing up and install the tang peep sight and then ship to my dealer. A very smooth transaction (and rifle action) is possible by doing this.

I think it is a little more than coincidental that has had listings for 3 of the Browning 1886 SRCs in .45-70. These are absolutely beautiful firearms and well made by Miroku of Japan (these people are doing Winchester's current 1892 leveractions). With a good aperture receiver sight, I think these would be a great rifle that would do it all for the North American hunter of big game.

The Savage 99 is an action I want that has to conform to my preferences. I want a straight grip, aperture receiver sight, and chambered to either the .250-3000, .260 Remington, or .358 Winchester. Kinda peculiar in today's world. Most people want to scope sight such a gun, particularly in the .250-3000 or .260 Remington chamberings. By the way, if you don't already know, the .260 Remington will be a custom deal. Savage never chambered a 99 for the .260 Remington.

Now, with the Winchester 71, one doesn't have much choice. It will be pistol gripped AND it will come in one chambering, .348 Winchester. However, this is a perfect cartridge for the aperture sight and one can learn to live with the pistol grip and curved lever.

Yes, indeed, hobbies are fickle things.

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