Thursday, November 30, 2006

1891 Argentine Engineer Carbine & the 7.65x53mm Argentine Cartridge

Wonderful things are these small ring Mauser rifles. Perfect for sporting purposes and not at all as clubby as the large ring Mausers. Even the G33-40 seems to pale in comparison. And boy are they a throwback to the heady days of the late colonial period. (Shown here is a standard Cavalry carbine)

My first 7.65x53mm rifle was an Argentine 1891 rifle somebody had converted to a sporting rifle. I had the barrel recrowned, installed a Foolproof receiver sight and Fajen stock along with some other cosmetic improvements. It went down the road at divorce time and I missed it. Many years later, a close friend knowing of my love/admiration of the 1891 action and 7.65x53mm cartridge initiated a trade which brought an Engineer carbine into my clutches.

The 7.65x53mm Argentine was initially developed for the Belgian version in 1889 and its ballistics are similar to that of the .303 British and .30-40 Krag. The 7.65x53 Mauser cartridge was adopted by the Belgian military around 1889, so the 7.65x53 is commonly known as the 7.65 Belgian Mauser. Shortly thereafter the 7.65x53 was adopted by several South American countries, including Argentina, so it is also known as the 7.65mm Argentine, particularly in North America. The 7.65x53 has a rim diameter of .474" and a case length of 53mm (2.09"). 7.65mm translates to .303 caliber in English usage, and the 7.65x53 uses the same .311-.312" diameter bullets as the .303 British.

What you really have, when loaded with 150-180 gr. bullets, is a hot .300 Savage or low end .308 Winchester. Even the case form is similar. In the light carbines, such as I have and prefer, it has been said to kick "like two mules". I don't think so, at least no more so than such a load from a .308 Winchester in any other 7½ pound rifle. Steel buttplate and all and I don't think it is uncomfortable to shoot. In combat or on game there would have been no problems, you simply would not notice.

Of course the original load was a 215 gr. jacketed bullet which left the muzzle of the 29" barreled rifle at about 2100 fps. I soon found that the 215 gr. Woodleigh JRN will shoot to the sights when so loaded but, of course, it is a bit slower from the carbine, doing about 2000 fps. Interestingly, most loads including commercial Argentine soft-point ammo will shoot usefully close to the sights are reasonable ranges. Range is thus really more limited by one's eyes and the late 19th century sights.

Fortunately brass is readily available. One can buy Norma or Hornady brass (also marketed by Grafs and Sons) or reform any longer cartridge using the .30-06 case head. Be aware that cartridges reformed from the shorter cartridges such as the 8x57 might have incorrect body taper when first formed and not be held properly by the magazine.

Bullets are the same as those used for the .303 Brit and 7.7 Jap (and maybe for the 7.62x54mm Russian) and are .311-.312" in diameter. For the carbines the 215 gr. bullets would be most correct but the 180s and 150s will work. Standard large rifle primers will suffice for any appropriate powders. It is a simple thing to use one's favorite powders for this class cartridge to move 150 gr at 2700 fps, 180 gr. at 2500 fps, or 215 gr. at 2100 fps.


Hogdon Data

No Deer for the Freezer Today, Yet Again

A sign from above, literally, as the incoming cold front and high winds blew down a tree limb that almost got me. That near experience with that almost widowmaker was taken by me that it wasn't my day to be in the woods. Oh, it was warm, over 63 degrees and it was nice to be out but... Now I'm pursuing other interests.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Special Detective Special

I've posted about this gun before today but I'll take the opportunity to sum up my experiences to date.

I bought a 3" Colt Detective Special which serial number places its date of birth in 1972. This means that it has the short post '66 grip frame. Finish is about 80-85% but that is, of course, a subjective thing. It has holster wear on the finish at the muzzle and was clearly placed on one side in a drawer, perhaps a damp drawer, for a long period as there is some missing bluing on one portion of the cylinder. It arrived in my hands with Pachmayr rubber grips that seemed to detract from the beauty of this gun and I immediately went searching for more appropriate grips.

This took me places I'd rather not have gone and I acquired some Herrett's grips more suited to the Police Positive Special, an abortive pair of Ajax grips and was finally given the best of the lot, another pair of Herrett's more moderately bulky than my never installed pair. I like this pair best and it is the pair shown installed.

Acquisition of speed loaders for this revolver was no problem at all and I now have 3 of the HKS speed loaders intended for the Detective Special. However, if you must, the K-frame speed loaders will also work and this was a major attraction of the Detective Special, it being a good, smaller, lighter back-up to the K-frame S&W service revolvers.

I needed leather for the gun as well but wasn't certain that I'd want to carry IWB all the time but realized that this gun would demand an IWB holster a good bit of the time. Rob Leahy of Simply Rugged came through with one of his inside out modifications to the Silver Dollar pancake holster. This works a treat and is comfortable in either carry mode. I've even worn the gun IWB when hunting with comfort! That is the holster shown in the photo and it looks good, too!

But what ammo to use? Well, it is a 1972 gun. I like that it is as light as the S&W M36 but has the extra chamber in the cylinder giving me one more round before reloading. I think that this late a gun can use limited use of the +P loadings, namely the FBI load. Most of the time, I would expect that 4.5 gr. of Unique under a swaged or cast 158 gr. SWC (HP or not) will meet most requirements.

I guess I'm lucky in that this fixed sight gun shoots close enough to point of aim for practical use with these loads to 25 yards (small game) or even 50 yards (anti-personnel). However, I would not likely be shooting at anyone further than about 30-40 feet. It is comforting that I could take any necessary shot at that range.

How does the Detective Special compare to the S&W M36 3". Well, they don't vary in weight by more than a couple of ounces, loaded. Their dimensions aren't that different for length. However, the cylinders are enough different in diameter and the frames enough different in depth (top to bottom) that they can't share a holster. Also, that 6th shot in the Detective Special is comforting. I will say though that the heavier barrel of the 3" M36 "hangs" better than the Detective Special.

One thing that is seldom mentioned, particularly by shops that might be selling the Detective Specials, is that service support for the guns is rapidly going away. Few gunsmiths will work on them, the factory won't/can't supply parts or service. For some that is a deal breaker. I will continue to carry mine, but, I will carefully ration the number of rounds it fires.

Since getting this gun, I've bought a couple of other D-frames and a J-frame Colt.  Information on checking out these guns is important to the buyer of used revolvers, which all are.  So, I thought I'd include the following information (courtesy of Dfariswheel).

To check Colt timing:

Open the cylinder and look at the small "lug" in the bottom of the cylinder window. This is the cylinder locking bolt.

Cock the hammer, and watch as the bolt retracts into the frame and pops back out.

The bolt MUST begin to retract THE INSTANT the hammer begins to move.  There MUST be NO (ZERO) hammer movement possible before the bolt starts to retract.

The bolt should retract smoothly with no hesitation until it's fully retracted, then it MUST pop back out with a clean "snap".
There should be no hesitation, and no amount of "creeping" back out.

Close the cylinder.
Use your left thumb or fore finger to again cock the hammer, closely watching the cylinder bolt as you SLOWLY cock the hammer.

As the hammer comes back, the bolt will retract away from the cylinder.

The bolt MUST retract far enough to unlock the cylinder BEFORE the cylinder begins to rotate.

If the bolt is still slightly engaged with the cylinder lock notch, the cylinder will be attempting to turn while still partially locked.

This produces a "catch" or "hard spot" in the trigger pull and will damage both the bolt and the cylinder lock notches.  This often appears as metal "pulled out" of the lock notches, with rounded off and burred notches.

Continue to cock the hammer, laying your right index finger on the cylinder just enough to prevent "free wheeling".

Watch for the bolt to drop back onto the cylinder. WHERE the bolt drops is CRITICAL.

The bolt MUST drop onto the lead or ramp in front of the actual cylinder notch.
If the bolt drops too soon, (in front of the notch ramp), it will mar the finish of the cylinder.

The bolt SHOULD drop into the MIDDLE 1/3rd section of the ramp.

If the bolt drops late, (farther toward the actual locking notch) the revolver may display "cylinder throw-by".
In this condition, during double action shooting the cylinder may rotate PAST the locking notch, and fire in an unlocked condition.

It's the nature of the Colt action, that a hesitant or jerky trigger pull by the user can induce throw-by in even a properly tuned Colt.
The Colt trigger should be pulled with a smooth, even pull, with no sudden jerks at the beginning.

Continue to pull the hammer back and both watch and listen for the bolt to drop into the cylinder lock notch.

The bolt MUST drop into the actual lock notch BEFORE the hammer reaches full cock.

The most common Colt mis-time situation is the hammer cocks before the bolt drops into the lock notch. (Hammer is cocked, but cylinder isn't locked).

In this condition, with the hammer fully cocked, you can push the cylinder slightly, and you will hear the "CLICK" as the bolt drops into lock.

In my experience, most Colt's leave the factory with the bolt dropping a little late into the lead, but usually wear in to correct timing.

If the bolt drops onto the cylinder early, no real problem, but there will be extra finish wear.

If the bolt drops late (closer to the lock notch) the cylinder may "throw by" or rotate TOO far in double action and this can cause off-center primer hits and firing while unlocked.

Each of these checks should be done on EACH chamber. All of these checks are better done individually. In other words, do the bolt retraction check on all six chambers, then do the bolt drop test, and so on.

A properly tuned Colt will:  Have a smoothly functioning bolt with no sticky or hesitant movement.

Unlock before the cylinder begins to turn.

The bolt will drop onto the middle 1/3rd of the ramp.

The bolt will drop into the lock notch before the hammer reaches full cock.

Have a smooth trigger pull, which does "stack" or get progressively heavier.

- The Classic Colt Detective Special .38 Revolver By Mike Guffey

No Hunting Today

Gone to the doctor with Mom, there was no hunting today.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Charter2000 and the 1876 Winchester SRC Reproductions

I wrote Charter 2000 about the 1876 Winchester SRC reproductions, I'd heard they'd be out in 2 weeks when I sent the inquiry on November 7 and got this reply, on November 20.

Oh yeah, good customer service there as well. Won't likely be counting on their ability to support their product. At least the respondent protected his/herself by not signing the message. Good move!

The Final Chapter of Customer Service and Ajax Grips

Final chapter because I will never beg Ajax Grips to do business with me again. Never, ever, even if I'm hung toes first over a giant metal shredder. That can't be as painful as dealing with this collection of customer averse peckerwoods. Final because the last of the product I had to take to recover my "credit" with them has arrived. The overpriced Wilson .45 Gov magazine will find its way into my son-in-laws Christmas gift box. I hope he loves it.

If I may note the following.

1 - I've yet to receive an answer to any e-mail sent to Ajax Grips.
2 - The person who finally answered the phone seemed put out to: A) take my call instead of one from anyone else and B) didn't like that I didn't like their rather pitiful product.
3 - Their shipping costs are outrageous for what they ship.
4 - Shipping time is outlandishly long.
5 - Their grips are horrible as noted in the photos as posted elsewhere... Naw, let's post those pics again.

The backstrap fit is about the worst, with the grip standing a full 1/8" proud in places...

The fore part of the grip is only proud by 1/16" but is sharp in all places the hand contacts it.

The bottoms fail to meet by a full 1/8"!

On top of all that the grips are so thin as to be nearly unusable. Certainly much thinner than even the factory issue grips. "Custom", not in any way, shape or form. Abominable.

Yet another day of frustration...

Too warm with temps reaching 64-65 degrees (maybe higher) and the deer went to bed early in the day and stayed there. I had no luck finding them and no one to whom to push them or to move them to me.

I've been carrying the Browning 1895 all week. I have to take Mom to the Doctor Tuesday morning but after that, I have Wednesday and Thursday to hunt and will carry another of gun, likely the Rossi/EMF .45 Colt. Lots lighter, the 1895 weighs 8 lbs, but with plenty of power for deer to 150 yards. No, it isn't likely I'll get a 150 yard shot.

Friday, November 24, 2006

More of the Same

As in, still no deer in the freezer. Warmed up a lot today. I could not get in position on the likely bedding areas.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No Deer for the Freezer Today, Again

Front moving in and I thought the deer would be out feeding but, again, no legal deer in sight. Wind about blew me off one ridge top! Finally, it started raining. I had no desire to be cold AND wet. I came home and reloaded some more for the .30-40.

The gun is easy to carry in the woods despite the 24" barrel and long receiver combining for longer than average rifle. I like the gun a lot.

Monday, November 20, 2006

No Deer for the Freezer Today

Hunted, walked, looked, and came home. No deer for the freezer today. Of course this doesn't mean that it was a bad day hunting. If it was me that was shot, that would be a bad day hunting. Otherwise it is all good. Tomorrow I'm going to try someplace with some deer chow on the ground.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Guns I have Sold

This is a sad, sad thing to say but I have actually sold guns and let them out of my hands. What foolishness sometimes possesses us. What and why you ask? Well...

The first is truely heart rending. This was my first centerfire rifle, my first deer was killed with this rifle, and it was a gift from Dad. The latter I did not know until I told him I'd traded it. I thought I'd paid for it out of my savings. Truly heart breaking that.

I'd been wanting a centerfire for a loooong time like every other boy I knew. I'd been putting money in my savings account (but I didn't hold the bank book) for that gun. Now, it was approaching another deer season and I had my safety certificate and could get a license. Dad and I made the rounds of gun shops and found the 336 in the Western Auto just off Court Square in Harrisonburg, VA. Talk about excited! That season I got my first deer, with one shot and it was a buck (it pretty much had to be!). Still excited. But I've always been a gun nut and a couple of years later I was wondering what OTHER guns might be "better". Oh, I truly regret losing this one and can't find the serial number anywhere. The follow-on was this gun...

Marlin 1893 .38-55 rifle. The 26" octagonal barrel had been cut-down to 19 inches and a bit, the magazine likewise shortened and a later 336 ramp front soldered (not silver soldered and not well at that) onto the barrel. The mag spring had to be replaced as it had been cut somewhere in the middle and welded back together to make the spring the correct length. The stock may have been taken from the same 336 donor rifle... You get the picture. But it did have a Lyman #2 tang peep which worked well. I found out later that that sight was correct for the Marlin 1892. Oh it was a mishmash but with a new buttstock and some cleaning of the solder job it was a treat. That rifle was able to hang around until my divorce when it "had" to go to pay the lawyer (or for food for the kids and me, depending on how you look at it). That was a great gun.

Of course, at about the same time, I was enamoured of the .44 Mag cartridge but too young to own a revolver. I found instead a "great deal" on a post-64 M94 Winchester in .44 Mag. I never managed to save up the money to install a Williams Foolproof, I think they were about $25 at the time, quite a bit of money to me in 1973, but that rifle was accurate and I killed crows (on the ground), groundhogs and other vermin. It was quick to the shoulder and while the Remington SWC (a half-jacketed round) didn't feed all that well it was accurate as was the more expensive 240 gr. SJHP. That last round became my ammo of choice until I started reloading. Unfortunately, this gun had one fault. It would, sometimes, feed a second round under the carrier. What a pain to correct that fault. Of course I was too stupid to know how to fix it by repairing the cartridge stop although I had access to all the equipment needed to effect the repair. I kinda wish I had that gun. Unfortunately I traded it for...

A Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag. These were "new" on the market at the time and had a few good write-ups in the gun magazines (yeah, I know, but I was 18). Now, I had the money for the Foolproof for that gun and although it never managed to be in my hands when there was a deer in front of me, it did get a few hogs in the FT Hunter-Liggett hills. I also loaned the gun out to similarly impoverished junior enlisted and they took hogs and goats with the gun. None of them managed to damage it (was I just lucky?) and I was able to bring it back from California just before shipping overseas to Korea for 3 years 9 months. Load of choice? Remington 240 gr. SJHP. Killed everything with a minimum of muss. However, there came a time when the wife decided that another fellow was more to her liking (he's gone now, too) and the gun was one of this group which went to pay the lawyer and feed my kids. I do indeed miss this gun but it could have been better. How?

Well, if it had been the Sporter version or the two band version I'd have liked it even better. It was fully as accurate as the Winchester it replaced and it never fed two but I've never really warmed to the rifle style forearm cap paired with the muzzle barrel band of which Marlin seems so fond. Looks dumb to me.

Sometime in this period I found an 1891 Argentine rifle that had been bubbaized. Still properly chambered in 7.65x53mm Belgian/Argentine, the rifle was the equivalent of the .308 but nowhere near the price. No matter, I supported the gun industry more than adequately in my attempt to feed the gun. I remember buying one box of Norma ammunition for $22 or over $1 a case and this was in 1973! Fortunately a Lee Loader came with the gun or I'd have been impoverished very quickly. Even a box of brass was over $15.

Still in the cut-down military stock and with a cobbled together combo of Weaver bases and cheap, cheap telescopic sight, this gun needed work. I bought a Fajen sporting stock, a Williams Foolproof, and Jon Ritenour installed a Remington 700 ramp and Williams front bead. The bolt had already been altered for scope use. While I was gone to Korea the first tour (12 months) my dad fit the stock to the gun and I was ready to go. I took the gun deer hunting several times but ammo was expensive and it didn't get loaned out for hog hunts. I did carry it to Washington on a visit to a friend at FT Lewis but a hoped for elk hunt didn't materialize. This gun, too, helped to finance the big "D". I'm still looking for it even though I now have a very nice 1891 Argentine Engineer's carbine.

While I was in Korea the second time I started to save quite a bit of money. Living cheaply on the economy and having little to do but play with the kids and read gun magazines/books I started to spend on my passion. After much consideration I bought, through my Dad who actually did the transaction while I was gone, a Ruger Security-Six in stainless steel with 4" barrel. A .357 Magnum, this gun was everything that one would expect. I shot it quite a bit with reloaded .357 Mag ammo and .38 Special wadcutters. I managed to kill a groundhog or two with it as well as a squirrel and wrote up the gun and my choice thereof in "The Sixgunner", the official news of JD Jones' Internationl Handgunners' Association (I was charter member #500).

The Security-Six wasn't just a hunting gun, it also served as the bedside gun and rode along on the seat of the car when I was out and about. At the time, that was the only way for me to carry and size was unimportant. Unfortunately, this fine gun also was sacrificed on the altar of divorce.

There are more but the emotion of the moment prevents continuing this "saga". I'll do so later...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Political Action Request - CHP in National Parks

VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's
scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See:
To unsubscribe or change your email address, please follow the
directions at the end of this message.

Urgent! We need to roll up our sleeves and hit this hard!

Senator George Allen, keeping his word to gun owners, has introduced
S 4057, the National Park Second Amendment Restoration and Personal
Protection Act of 2006, which will allow gun owners to carry in a
National Park as long as the state where the National Park is located allows carry in parks!

Senator Allen needs to get the bill a Floor vote in the Senate and
get it off to the House for passage that must happen before the end
of the current session of Congress.

We need to do the following things ASAP to help Senator Allen MAKE

1. Contact Senator John Warner and ask him to support S. 4057

Phone: 202-224-2023
Fax: 202-224-6295

Email web page:

2. Contact Senator Majority Leader, Bill Frist, and ask him to fast
track S 4057!

Phone: 202-224-3344
Fax: 202-228-1264

Email web page:

3. Spread this email on other gun-related web sites and email lists
so we can get the word out to gun owners across the nation! Send it
to family, friends, and coworkers, especially those outside of
Virginia. We need Senators from other states to support this bill
and quickly!

Here is the web page that lists all Senators and their contact
information for those not in Virginia:

They should contact both of their Senators and Bill Frist (item #2 above).


VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).
VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to
defending the human rights of all Virginians. The membership considers the
Right to Keep and Bear Arms to be an essential human right.

VCDL web page:

I hope that everyone will contact their Senators AND Senator Frist AND publicize this.

More Muzzleloading in the Rain

It was pouring down and I'm standing there, actually stillhunting, and see first one doe and then another and another and, no bucks. Has to be a buck. Never saw a buck. Soaked, I fired my gun clear and came home, cleaned the rifle and took care of the personal property taxes. Now that makes it about a normal day. On the one hand 7 does at about 25 yards or so and on the other hand paying $600+ in taxes.

Of course now it has cleared, mostly, and the sun is shining as strongly as the rain was falling 2 hours ago.

I almost forgot to mention that the FIRST thing I did this morning was try the .30-40 loads using 43 gr. H4350 under the Hornady 220 gr. RN. Success! I don't know why, but I like heavy bullets going relatively slow. I'm excited and will load up the rest of my cases thusly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Muzzleloading and Rain

They don't mix, muzzleloading and rain. Oh, you can do it. But, for me, to go through all that and maybe not have your charge fire, well, it could just be weak and only wound the animal. No good. After a bit, I discharged my load into a soft clay bank and came home to clean the gun. Still, it was a nice day, if short.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hunting - VA Muzzleloader

Got out with the New Englander today. Went up near Todd Lake. Found some sign/tracks but not with deer standing in them, then jumped some grouse. Did jump one doe but doe aren't legal right now. Weather was nice, overcast some with temps about 59-60 degrees Fahrenheit. There is always tomorrow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just a few thoughts...

Once again I'm awaiting the arrival of a service technician to repair/replace some appliance that broke. Hopefully, in about an hour all will be well. Fingers crossed.

I have been doing some things though. Aside from the horrendous torture of being forced by my wife to watch "Borat" at the theater, I've been loading some 220 gr. Hornady RNs for the .30-40 Browning 1895. They feed slick as snot, soon we'll see how well they shoot.

I've also loaded some .25-35 empties. Quite a few, and not all reformed .30-30 brass, had cracked/split necks. I don't know why. I loaded these with the 27 gr. BLC(2) and Hornady 117 gr. RN.

My New Englander and kit is ready to go. Tomorrow I'll be out hunting deer.

Had a Sharp-shinned Hawk in the back yard this morning. I hoped that some hawks would come in and take out some of the rabbits and squirrels. I had 12 squirrels around the bird feeder yesterday. Anyway, there were several crows harassing the hawk.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another Company and Customer Service

Well, well, I've run into another company with a net presence who hasn't figured out how to answer their e-mail. I sent Charter2000 a message asking about the rumored release of the 1876 in saddle-ring carbine form about January of 2007. No response in going on 4 days. Ok, so I'm not a retailer. Guess I'll pop for one from another importer like Cimarron when theirs is released.

Ongoing Saga with Ajax Grips

Well, yesterday I received my order meant to use up my credit at Ajax Grips. I ordered 2 Wilson 7-round mags for my Colt .45 ACP pistols and a HKS speedloader for the 629. One (1) magazine and the HKS speedloader arrived via Fedex yesterday. It was UPS last time. No reason that I can see to switch carriers but it is a big difference at my end as UPS delivers about 1:00 PM and FEDEX delivers somewhere between 4:00 and 6:00 PM with no guarantee as to time. So one (1) magazine is backordered and until it arrives my transaction (how long has this taken?) with Ajax won't be complete. Again, I got to pay an extra $22 and change for the "privilege" of doing business with these folks. And they have yet to answer an e-mail.

Easy Shooting Guns or Marksmanship

I was talking about my new Browning 1895 rifle (.30 US aka .30-40) on a forum and mentioned (as I did here) that it was easy to hit the 4" plates to 150 yards from off-hand. One respondent thought that I must be a grand shot if I could do that. After some reflection, I'm thinking that he either didn't believe me or didn't understand what I was talking about.

First off you have to understand that the 4" plates are either 4" on a side squares, i.e. 16 square inches OR 4" in diameter or about 12.5 square inches area. That's not precision shooting by any means but good enough to bring a deer to bag.

Next, you have to understand that easy doesn't imply that you hit it with the first shot or even every shot only that it is a relatively simple and uncomplicated exercise to accomplish those hits. In this particular situation the Browning's sights are easy to see (at least in the conditions that existed at the time I was shooting) and easy to see against the target (again, in those particular conditions), the rifle was comfortable to hold and fit me well, the trigger wasn't influencing my shooting, the cartridge shot relatively "flat" (in other words it didn't require a lot of hold over out to that range), and the cartridge/rifle combination is balanced in that it doesn't generate excessive/intimidating recoil which might affect the shooter.

I don't think the task of hitting a 4" metal plate at 150 yards is anything any rifle shooter can't accomplish, it is just easier with some rifle/cartridge combinations. This Browning seems to be one such combination.

Friday, November 10, 2006

"Gun" Rights and the "New" Congress

With the Democrats taking control of the Congress what do we have, as gun owners, in our future? First, I submit that gun rights are really human rights. Rights to self-defense, rights to political freedom, the right to defend freedom of speech, the right to defend being born of a particular race...

Anway, I don't think that much will happen due to gridlock. Sometimes gridlock is a good thing. The Dems are not united. They had to put up conservative candidates to beat the Republicans. No liberal won unless they ran unapposed like Pelosi, just look at Lamont who lost to Lieberman. Will these folks really be so beholding to Pelosi and Schumer that they will abandon their values to vote for these things? Maybe, but not with political pressure from home. I think they are smart enough to realize that they used the liberal leadership to give them an "in" in a party that is socialist but that when that older, often aging, leadership goes the new class will be the leadership. Also, these freshman senators and representatives realize that they will not be re-elected if they radically deviate from their campaign persona. The margin is much better than it seems as the RINOs are gone (e.g. Chafee and Dewine) and there are not 60 votes they thought they needed. I think the two houses are still divided, even among the Dems as the Reps have such a short time to their election cycle.

The Dems will also be distracted, continue to be distracted, by their hatred of Bush and his cabinet. They are already working towards trial or hearings on all those poor souls who served the past 6 years. The first lamb up for slaughter will be Rumsfeld.

The Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has served the country most of his 72 years and done a darn fine job the whole time. He was brought in to restructure the Army and was confronted with going on a war footing at the same time after 9/11. His replacement Gates may be different in temperment but not in accomplishment nor in ability and that will not make much difference for the management of the war. After all, it is the circumstances surrounding the war that will effectively make the decisions for the leaders, not the Secretary of Defense. Still, it will distract the Dems. Distracted, we will not be so easy a target.

What concerns me more is that our perceived weaknesses will encourage our enemies to take a greater risk and again attack us here in the homeland. That will be disastrous for the Dems but it can be more disastrous for shooters in that components will become hard to get either due to simple non-availability or to increased cost as a result of rising fuel prices and competition with military requirements. If it is a major attack, it could seriously damage our economy or even require the restructuring of our transportation system. In that case you'd best be prepared to get along with what you have. That includes .22 LR ammo. At least your "excess" can be traded.

Note: I don't like posting "political" posts here but this is close enough to my regular subject matter that I've done so. For my political posts, see One Old Soldier under the Blogs on the right.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Muzzleloading Hunting, the Controversy

The controversy as to the purpose and direction of muzzloading hunting (as opposed to primitive firearms hunting) has apparently reached another milestone...

The infighting on the subject amongst hunters is, has been and will be tremendous. Some of the participants are vicious.

The truth is that in the past it was supposed to be a "primitive" hunt and now it isn't. Some of us take exception to that but many if not most just take deer. To them it is, as here in VA, a chance to take the "best" deer a week earlier than any gun hunter without any handicap compared to a gun hunter.

Muzzleloading Season

Our season WEST of the Blue Ridge starts Saturday (it started Nov 4 east of the Blue Ridge). Unfortunately (perhaps not so much) I'll be working. Next week promises to be cooler and I'll be able to hunt most of it. Monday I have to wait for delivery and installation of a new dishwasher. Since I'm it otherwise it wasn't a stretch to pop for a good unit! Anyway, I'll be able to hunt Tues-Thurs for certain.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Shooting Impression

An impression because it didn't get to the range, ammo wasn't shot over the chrony, etc.

Using Remington factory 180 gr. bulleted ammo the sights were right on. Feeding and function was slick, smooth, and easy without any hitches. Felt recoil was less that my No. 4 MK 1 rifles firing .303 Brit ammo also doing 180 at 2400 fps (note that some say the Remington ammo won't hit 2300 fps). It was easy to hit 4" plates to 150 meters shooting off-hand. I like it.

I was really happy to have this gun to shoot after not seeing any deer this morning.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Good News Comes in Long Packages

Yes indeed, packages about as long as a Browning 1895 Grade I rifle chambered for the .30 US (aka .30-40 cartridge). The monkey is taking quite a ride this year. I just bought this very nice rifle from Terry M. in Michigan and despite some drama that often seems to accompany long distance deals the rifle arrived safely. I've been coonfingering it ever since I got it into the house.

The .30-40 cartridge was adopted by the US Army in 1892 along with the U.S Magazine Rifle, Model 1892 (aka "Krag") rifle and was one of the first three cartridges for which the Winchester 1895 was chambered. Like many military smokeless cartridges of the period it moved a 220 gr. jacketed bullet out the muzzle at about 2000-2100 fps. One could say that it is the US version of the British .303 round. Aside from the ballistics with the 215-220 gr. bullets, both cartridges will push a 174-180 gr. bullet at about 2400 fps or 150 gr. at about 2500 fps and have similar dimensions. One thing about fans of the 220 gr. bullet at 2000 fps is that it is much easier to get such bullets in .308" than in .311" or .312" diameter (and cheaper).

The Browning rifle was also produced in .30-06. I guess I could have looked for one of those. I have lots of brass, dies, etc, but the .30-06 just doesn't float my boat the way the .303 Brit and .30-40 do. I'm looking forward to working with the cartridge. I've already got some brass and more brass, 220 gr. Hornady RNs and dies on order. They should arrive next week and if possible I'll take the gun hunting this year.

I'll be looking for a Lyman 56 or perhaps I'll save up the money and get a Lyman 38 reproduction to install. I like the Williams Foolproof but, let's just face facts, it wouldn't look right on this gun. I'm really leaning towards the 38 as having a much wider range of elevation adjustment.

The gun itself is very handy. Much handier than expected with the 24" barrel and magazine protruding below the receiver. The balance point is just at the front of the magazine and the gun rests well between the hands coming to the shoulder smoothly and aligning the sights to the eye like a good shotgun. I'm sure my very average dimensions have something to do with that. Still, I can see how the gun was pretty popular among a number of people on the cutting edge of technology in 1895 or so. It is a much nicer gun than a bolt action of the period.

I still haven't gotten to take a good photo of the gun or shoot it. I hope to do so this week and will post the results of both endeavors ASAP.

See also:
.30-40 Krag Cartridge Board - by Gil Sengel

More on Customer Service - AJAX Grips

Customer service comes close to being a misnomer for Ajax Grips. They have yet to respond to ANY of my e-mails. I bet that is a big plus for their business...

Anyway, after about 2 weeks I got my credit for the ill-fitting grips (an understatement for these "custom" grips). I've lost $14 in shipping so far and will have to pay another $7.99 in shipping for this "order" to claim my credit. For those of you who can't do math that's about $22 in nothing but shipping and overpriced at that as their packaging sucks and is $2 too much for the items of the weight shipped. Think I'll ever buy anything else from these folks?

So, my order to them goes out this afternoon after work. I'll report back as to what happens.

For those of you reading this and running a business, don't ever try to do this to me. You might, depending on circumstance, get away with it one time but you will never, ever get another dime from me AND your name will be, forever, mud when I mention you to my friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, etc.