Thursday, July 31, 2008

Browning Hi Power

Due to some  undue influence from some knowledgeable shooters and my lifelong lust as well as the fortuitous return of such a gun to our fair city, I succumbed to the siren song of a much traveled Belgian pistol and after a short sojourn in lay-awake (just didn't have the gun money in hand so put down $40 in earnest money) it has come home.

This pistol has a more interesting life story than most.  It was stolen from a local market whose owner had been but briefly engaged as a firearms dealer as well as purveyor of bread and lunchmeats. That was 10 years ago. 2 weeks ago, an earnest member of some New York City police department confiscated the gun in connection with another crime and two days ago it was returned to the former owner. He doesn't want it.  Now, I'll be searching for magazines and *sigh* need to buy another holster.

According to the serial number this gun was built in 1987.  The same serial is on slide, barrel and receiver.  It appears to be a Belgian made MK II.  It has a parkerized finish, fixed sights, ambidextrous safety(s), and those funky but fairly comfortable dual thumbrest plastic stocks.   Except for the initials "AH" on the right side of the dustcover (they look like they were penciled onto, NOT engraved or electropenciled) it is in fine shape with a good bore, no rust, etc. Unfortunately, the original magazine is somewhere else so it has a Mecgar in place. I do have one of the Hungarian mags at the house.

Because of the mark, I managed to get it for something less than I would have expected.

This particular photo doesn't do it justice.  Shown here with the current stock of magazines (from left to right) the Mecgar 15-round, 2 factory 13-round, FEG 13-round, and Mecgar 10-round (which came with the gun).

Since getting the gun I've gotten several Mecgar 15-round mags and a couple of the standard factory 13-round mags. All function perfectly with ball (to be expected) and with the Remington 124 gr. load (non plus-p). Given the use this gun sees, a Bianchi 19L holster seems to fit the bill for me.  The neat stocks came from CDNN Investments.  

- Stephen A. Camp's Hi Powers and Handguns
- Disassembly Instructions (NRA)

Return "Doc" O'Meara's stolen Winchester 9422...

Stolen from my table at the Hillsville, VA gun show several years ago. Could be just about anywhere by now. The serial number is F156665. If anyone happens to spot it please call police. It is on the NCIS list of stolen firearms.

I'm sure he'll personally express his thanks...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

USFA Henry Nettleton Joins the Herd

Got a deal I couldn't pass up on a NIB USFA Henry Nettleton SA.  USFA's description and photos can't be beat so here goes...
An Old Armory Original™. A Numbered Series Following the Original U.S. Government Inspector Stamped Revolvers. {Limited to Serial Numbers 47056 through 51083.}

The Henry Nettleton™ Cavalry Revolver is the first in the Government Inspector Series. It is an exact re-creation of the model inspected by Henry Nettleton, U.S. Government inspector of small arms in 1878. The Nettleton features the exact cartouche branding and hand-stamped markings as the original. Available only in historically correct “US Government Cartridge”- 45 Colt, with one-piece walnut grips.

The USFA Henry Nettleton is an exact number for number re-creation of the original, using exact old style hand numbering. These revolvers feature our Old Armory Bone Case™ Hardened Frame, Gate & Hammer. Artillery Model has 5 ½" barrel. A special historically correct Armory Blue™ {Military Polish} will be used on all other parts. This is not our standard Salt Bath Finish - Dome Blue.™ Armory Blue™ is a Genuine pre-1900 finish and is accomplished through the use of sterile parts heated in a forge. Although more costly, Armory Blue™ provides that absolutely correct and durable blue. Also available in Full Nickel Plate with U.S. Government Markings.

Mr. Henry Nettleton {H.N.} was a U.S. Government Inspector of small arms produced for the Springfield Armory founded by George Washington in Mass. Henry Nettleton received his commission as Inspector in Springfield, June 6, 1878. The Nettletons comprise the most sought after examples of U.S. marked guns today. We are proud to offer a replica of these exact serial number guns {47056 - 51083} for the experienced shooter and collector. These specific arms have exact Cartouche branding and all correct Inspector Handstamp markings, beveled cylinders & finishes.

Frames are Black Powder variation with ‘V’ notch and blade front sight as historically correct.

Government Inspectors in this series:

Orville W. Ainsworth Serial No. Range 200-14,343
Henry Nettleton Serial No. Range 47,056-51,083
David F. Clark Serial No. Range 53,006-121,238
Rinaldo A. Carr Serial Range No. 130,438-140,361

Worth every penny!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Winchester Ranger Pump 12 Gauge Shotgun

First came the Winchester 1200 to replace the Model 12 with a more price friendly (i.e. cheap) alternative. Then came the Ranger and 120 models in an attempt to further cut costs and keep the product competitively priced and then the 1300 in an attempt to market the same guns but convince buyers that they were getting quality. Somewhere in all that a friend of mine bought this Ranger with 28-3/4-inch barrel utilizing choke tubes (Winchoke). Then came bankruptcy and he had to sell it. I put $60 into it and had a good toy.

Yep, I've been playing with it over the years. I've bought additional choke tubes, tube tools, stock sets (Pachmayr Vindicator), barrels and even one of those TAC-STAR Sidesaddles. This now resides somewhere close to bedside to reply boarders in the dark of night. With the increasing threat of home invasions, I'm fully prepared to do what must be done to ensure my wife's safety. This shotgun is now part of the plan. To that end the first additional barrel I bought was an 18-1/2-inch "riot" or cylinder bore barrel with bead front sight. I was passing by a table at a gun show and saw it there with a $25 price tag. Of course it had to come home (and the gun is shown here with the barrel and Vindicator forend installed). But, if required, the gun is still a game getting tool.

A while back, somebody asked me why I'd chosen the side-saddle instead of the extended mag. The answer was an easy one. As is, I can simply reinsert the plug to be hunting legal whereas with the extended mag I'd have to do more modification. Conversely, the side-saddle can remain on the gun while hunting.

Hunting is a critical use for such a gun. The original barrel and the interchangeable choke tubes that go with it provide a lot of versatility in the game fields. This is the gun I'd use if I went after waterfowl. Using steel shot in this gun holds no terrors for me. Also, at $60 I hardly have hurt feelings if I put another scratch on wood or metal. Then, today I got another barrel.

I stopped by Nuckols Gun Works and looking into the barrel barrel (just in case) I found a 22-1/4" Winchester 1300 rifled slug barrel. Anyway, I asked Chris the price, was told $55 and it so it has come home, had an experimental ride on the receiver and is now awaiting some good 12-bore "rifle" ammo.
So, "hey," you might say, "are all those parts just plug and play?" Well, yes and no. One of the most noticeable dimensional differences of which one should be aware is the ejector. A flat spring that sits in the left side of the receiver it has a tab that extends into the barrel. Sometime between the 1200 or 120 series, this tab was lengthened. This means that the cut for this tab in the older barrels needs to be deepened slightly (relieved) to avoid excessive wear on or kinking of the ejector. Other than that, all parts have readily interchanged on my gun.

There is one problem with this gun, for me, and that is the over-long length of pull (LOP). It is just a hair too long too shoulder quickly and to operate the forearm. I figured at least an inch would have to come off the stock length to make it work well for me. Today, I found a 1300 beech YOUTH buttstock for sale at AR-7. How much shorter is the youth stock? 1 inch. You can't get any better than that and it comes complete with a recoil pad. I'm sure my wife will appreciate that. The price? $47.95 shipped. Not bad and one has already arrived at the house and been installed. It works and was worth every penny.

One thing this gun lacks is sling swivels. Uncle Mikes makes a mag tube cap set for the 1300 which will fit fine. Installing that mag tube cap (with swivel stud) and a swivel stud in the buttstock can solve that problem and make the gun very usable in the 12-bore rifle mode. This item has arrived, too. However, I haven't had the time to install the stock swivel stud.

Good slug ammo is the next thing to do for this project. There's a lot out there and the July 2008 issue of Guns Magazine has an article on the subject. Apparently, with the new high tech ammo, you can hardly go wrong but there's a lot to choose from.

My former favorite for the smoothbore barrels was the Brenneke. Those cylindrical (mostly) 1 oz slugs with their screwed on wads flew straight and true and struck like Thor's hammer. A quick visit to MidwayUSA shows a wide variety of available ammo. Tim Sundles of Buffalo Bore was also experimenting with deep penetrating loads suitable for use on bears. It has been suggested that I go with the Brenneke Black Magic until the Buffalo Bore loads come out. Sounds good to me! However, I also bought some K.O. slugs (also Brenneke) and some of the Hornady SSTs.
Base gun, issue vent rib barrel, open sighted rifled slug barrel, "riot" barrel (top to bottom).

- Oct 2006 article

Monday, July 07, 2008

Gun Owner (a few sayings from the pro-gun crowd)

An armed man is a Citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

Gun Control is not about guns; it’s about control.

If guns cause crime, then cameras cause pornography.

Free Men should not have to ask permission to bear arms.

If you don’t know your Rights you don’t have any.

Those who trade Liberty for security have neither.

The United States Constitution © 1791. All Rights Reserved.

What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.

Guns only have two enemies: rust and Liberals.

Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.

If you want peace, prepare for war.

Peace through superior firepower.

Call 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

Assault is a type of behavior, not a type of hardware.

Criminals love gun control – it makes their jobs easier and safer.

Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

You only have the Rights you are willing to fight for.

The American Revolution wasn’t about tea and taxes — it was about taking guns!

Gun control is hitting what you aim at.

The pen is mightier than the sword — unless you are in a swordfight!

Those who live by the sword have a fighting chance.

Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don’t.

Blaming a gun for crime is like blaming a fork for Rosie O’Donnell for being FAT!

My Gun? I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Firearm safety - It’s a matter for education, not legislation.

The day they want my guns they’ll have to bring theirs.

An armed society is a polite society.

Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.

How can you praise freedom, and condemn that which gains and preserves it?

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

Shooting. The only sport endorsed by the Founding Fathers.

My wife and my gun: ’til death do us part.

When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!

If you are free to be a liberal – thank a man with a gun!

Ted Kennedy’s car has killed more people than my gun!

Guns are smart enough. We need smarter politicians.

Bolt actions speak louder than words.

Gun control… it’s not a new idea… Just a bad one!

The D.C. Gun Ban works - just ask James Brady.

When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away…

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Paco Kelly's Acu'rzr

As I recently posted, in another post of the same name, Paco Kelly has updated/improved his Acu'rzr and I ordered one.  Paco must have jumped on my order 'cause I've already got the tool and it is a gem.  He also sent me one of the early tools.  Now, I'm all set. 

One of the chambers I got on my new tool is for the Short cartridge.  I'm going to use it on CB caps as well as shorts.  A big wide nose really helps those light loads perform better.

Building a Boat

I had a wonderful Saturday with the godson and his family in Richmond.  One of the things our godson's dad and I talked about was his recent build of a 15' sailboat.  One of the tape and glue plans using plywood (he expressed that there was real difficulty finding AB exterior grade plywood) and a single sheet of clear fiberglass mat (painted after), this dagger-board, lateen rigged boat should be a treat for Yort and Peter.  I think he's got the basics down and am looking forward to a report as soon as they can get the boat to water! 

However, this renewed in my mind my long-standing desire to build a boat.  The problem is that I live far from sailable waters while Yort lives just off Tampa Bay.  Where would I ever sail?  For certain I'm not moving.  So my back-up plan was to build a row boat, like an Adirondack guide boat or Lake George pulling boat, that could be sailed but for which the primary means of propulsion was an ash breeze.  Still, would I ever see the return on my investment?  I think I'm going to have to ponder this a bit...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Dad, Baseball and Cooperstown, New York

My father, Donald F. Parslow, loved baseball.  I don't know when he started playing but I know he played high school ball for Cooperstown's Central High School.  Dad graduated at age 16 from high school.  This was in 1942 and World War II was raging.  Dad couldn't enlist because he was too young at the time AND because he was farm labor, a critical resource at that time.  So, apparently, he played ball for the Cooperstown team.  I think but I'm not sure that this was a semi-pro team.  Maybe somebody can give me some more info. 

Anyway, I know that I once found an Cooperstown Town Crier article that referenced "Parslow" as shortstop for the team in 1943.  Yesterday, going through Dad's family photos I finally found a photo of the team which I think was taken in 1943.  The photographer was Peter L. Hollis of Cooperstown.  Dad is fourth from the left, back row.  No names are noted on the photograph.  If you see anyone you recognize, let me know.  Click on the photo to get the original size and download if you wish. 

Dad loved baseball a lot.  I remember him umpiring Little League games when we lived in Elkins, WV the first time in 1959 or so.  Even though I was 5 it was great fun to run around the park and sometimes go get the foul balls that went back over the box into the field behind home plate.  Dad would listen to games on the car radio and watch them on TV whenever they came on.  When he had to be gone to fight fires or something, I'd watch the games myself so that I could tell him about them.  He tried his best to teach me the game and while I understand it, I just never had the love for it that he had.  When he finally got a satellite dish for TV, he thought the best thing about it was that he could watch the raw feeds without the commentary and only the noise of the park over the actual game.  That was as close as he could get to being there.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

U.S Firearms (USFA) Single Actions Come Home

Today I picked up my two USFA Single-Actions. While my photos can never do justice to these fine guns, here they are, each on their own. The USFA guns are copies, in both every dimension and quality, of the Colt Single-Action revolver.

The first, a 4-3/4" color-case and dome blue .45 Colt with auxiliary .45 ACP cylinder was purchased to take advantage of the USFA "in stock" sale. Of course I came to the sale 2-weeks late (after I'd heard of it) and they were out of stock of the 4-3/4" guns but since it was still advertised, they honored my order and here it is (click on the photo to see some more photos/a slideshow).

I am really impressed with this gun.  From the vivid color-case (and I absolutely love color-case), to the fit and blue finish.  Wow!  For example, the front sight is brazed to the barrel.  The braze line is there but it is perfectly even and finished and the sight is on straight and true.  I've yet to find a flaw in stock-to-metal fit or metal-to-metal fit but that the right side of the hammer slightly, ever so slightly, rubs the frame.  Maybe that was me.  The fit is so good that I had a time getting the base pin out to clean the cylinder and barrel prior to firing. 

When I finally got it out to shoot I only had time for two cylindersful (10 rounds).  I'm glad to report that the 8 gr./250 gr. Keith load is minute of head at 25 yards.  Got some frogs legs for dinner but one guy on the bank just got stunned and blown back into the water by the substantial mud volcano he found himself resting on.  He got away! 

The second gun was unintentional as a friend had one he needed to move for the cash. An involved deal of multiple trades enabled me to give him the cash and get me the gun. Interestingly, these trades had started many months prior to the owner putting the gun on the market and only culminated just in time for the deal.  Fate?  I tend to think so. 

This second gun is a 7-1/2" barreled .45 Colt gun with wood stocks and of course it comes to me used. Fortunately, Mike saved the box and papers so it comes complete just like my new gun.  Fit is as good as the new gun but this is a used gun and there are some wear marks.  That's fine with me.  It is a good honest gun and I'm happy. 

One of the holsters under consideration for this long barreled gun is Ted Blocker's CC1 holster.  Another might be a Keith style (Lawrence 120) Tom Threepersons' angled for and worn crossdraw (or maybe something similar). 

That's all for now but I'll add more as time and experience permit.