Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fireworks: A Gunsite Anthology by Jeff Cooper

I just received a copy of Fireworks: A Gunsite Anthology by Jeff Cooper.  It is a rather interesting read. 

Whether he is writing about tequila production, raising fighting bulls, the difference between "killer" and murderer or about his return to his wife during WWII, the book is entertaining, enlightening and a confirmation about values seemingly lost.

I have long been an admirer of Colonel Cooper.   He was an articulate spokesman for individual rights including gun ownership.  I know that back in 1980 he was the BEST and MOST articulate spokesperson we had.  I saw no other who was as accepted by the media. 

I had a friend who was also an admirer of the Colonel.  He was such an admirer that, after discovering the Colonel had a daughter, wondered at the possibility of somehow marrying her and whether or not she might be ideal wife for him.  Later, though, he acknowledged that he probably wouldn't be able to live up to her image of men.  The Colonel, he thought, was more man than he could ever be even as a Vietnam Special Forces combat veteran...

Perhaps, there was some truth in that.  It would be hard to be as well read, as well spoken, and as knowledgeable in as many things as the Colonel. 

There are other books written by and about Colonel Cooper.  I can't imagine that any of them would be a poor purchase. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Bird "Trouble"

Today at about 8:30 we pulled up to my mother's place and there was a vulture on the peak of the roof. Sadly, we didn't have the camera out to get a photo. It appeared that he was glaring down on us.

We called my dad the "old buzzard" and he had a number of old buzzard gifts over the years. Some were rather nice, others real kitchy. We were just wondering if just maybe he wasn't sending us a message...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

.30-30 loads

The .30 Winchester Centefire (WCF) aka .30-30 has long been a popular cartridge. among its many attributes are moderate recoil, effectiveness, and flexibility. While most factory loads, excepting Remington's sabots, are 150 or 170 gr. bullets at maximum velocities. Once upon a time the ammo companies offered other loads which exploited the flexibility of the cartridge and rifles.

John Kort (whose book on the .30 WCF is eagerly awaited) reports that "Back in the early 1900's, UMC & Savage offered a .30-30 MINIATURE cartridge. It consisted of a 100 gr. full patch bullet @ 1,400 fps. The powder used was "Infallable" in 8 gr, doses. Infallable was very close in burning rate to Unique. 7 gr. of Unique should put you pretty close to 1,400 f.p.s. with the 86 gr. bullet. With 110 gr. .30 Carbine bullets in my .30-30, 8 gr. of Unique chronographed @ 1,430 fps and was very accurate with 50 yard groups in the 1" range. 8 gr. W231 also shot very well."

27 gr. of IMR 3031 was the old "trapper" load we've discussed here. I've also used 8-10 gr. of IMR SR4759. One should use an 85 gr. FMJ bullet which now may be hard to find. The Sierra 85 gr. SP works just about as well but does tear up game more than the FMJ. One has to note that you should consult the law where you hunt. Many jurisdictions prohibit use of FMJ bullets and some prohibit the use of center-fire rifles for hunting small game.

The truth is that most any powder with a burn rate closely approximating IMR 3031 will work with the 150 and 170 gr. bullets. This is good for the reloader in these times when you use what you can get. Likewise, primer type or manufacturer is not critical. In either case, where substitutions are made of powder and/or primer, one need only work up to the standard velocity and continue on. This applies to bullets as well with any cup-and-core bullet from Remington, Winchester, Hornady, Speer or Sierra can be substituted without concern. Don't do this with all copper bullets in those states that may have banned lead in bullets. Use of those bullets with this data may result in excessive pressures.

BulletWeight PowderCharge Weight Velocity Energy
Hornady JFP, Speer JFP or Sierra JFP170IMR 3031
Sierra JRN85IMR 3031
Hornady SP110Unique
Sierra JRN85Unique
Beartooth149IMR SR4759

I don't believe "better" is always more, nor is it always less. "Better" is closer to ideal. I think for some folks on a budget, needing to use their deer rifle for squirrel and home defense the .357 Mag carbine might be closer to ideal or "better". For those in big bear country a hot-loaded .45-70 might be better (I'm sticking to leverguns here, just 'cause). For those who mostly shoot varmints and small game but who are only going to shoot deer in their garden from the outhouse a .32-20 might be "better". Here in the east of the Mississippi, the .30-30 (or a cartridge that performs very much like it does) comes very close to ideal. Here in Virginia we can do just about everything we need doing including killing big black bear or an elk that has strayed across the border from Kentucky's herd.

One thing the .30-30 will now forever be to many is old and maybe boring. It will never be new again. It will never be cutting edge again. Neither will I.

Note that current manuals show a max of 29 gr. of IMR 3031. This load is safe in all my rifles but may not be safe in yours. Work up and follow the manual.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thoughts on Travel

I have traveled. I've been to Korea, Japan, to every state but Idaho & North Dakota, to the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, & Ontario, to England, Scotland and France. I actually LIVED in the Republic of Korea for nearly 5 years. After years of non-use I still speak a smattering of French, Chinese and Korean as well as American-English and a smattering of American Sign Language. I feel I can go many places and get along quite well.

But the truth is that I mostly travel under protest. I don't like travel for travel's sake. Just as I don't shop for groceries I don't need to shop for a place to lay my head. As I age I've become even more recalcitrant about travel. I like new foods less and less. I like searching for "facilities" (and you KNOW what I mean) less and less. I have traveled enough to know that the people will likely be nice and good (mostly), old stone buildings seem to be no more than old stone buildings, and most "things" one sees, or rather are shown, have little value.

You see, many tourist destinations have been marketed as great, unique, and necessary experiences. They are seldom any of these things. Of course, there are exceptions. The Grand Canyon (or the Green River Canyon for that matter) & Cliff Dwellings on Mesa Verde, and the Adirondack lakes seem to live up to the hype. Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, not so much.

What is worth travel is the being with friends, family and accomplishment of constructive tasks. I never minded going to Florida, even driving 13 hours straight without a break, to see the in-laws. I really enjoyed my visits. Yes, I shared some neat experiences with them such as eating at Lambert's Cafe or visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum. That one visit to the National Naval Aviation Museum elicited more family military history than had 10 years of direct questioning of my father-in-law. What a wonderful experience and not just for me.

One of the things we've taken to doing to make travel my dear wife wants more bearable for me is to ride the steam engine (train) excursions in the area to which we've traveled. We've even taken trips with that as the primary (for me) goal. We both enjoy the scenery and Nana enjoys seeing new places and the new foods. Ok, so I lose a little weight. No big deal, right?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day

We celebrate Flag Day on June 14. Today. I hope you're flying YOUR flag. I hope you have a flag.

We are celebrating the adoption of the flag of the United States on 14 June 1777. The Flag Resolution did not specify any particular arrangement, number of points, nor orientation for the stars. This flag shows 13 outwardly-oriented five-pointed stars arranged in a circle, the "Betsy Ross" flag. Although the Betsy Ross legend is not taken seriously by many historians, the design itself is the oldest version of any U.S. flag known to exist; it is not the oldest surviving flag artifact in cloth form, but its likeness appears on older physical relics, namely, the contemporary battlefield paintings by John Trumbull and Charles Willson Peale. They depict the circular star arrangement, and thus provide the first known historical documentation on the flag's appearance. Popular designs at the time were varied and most were individually crafted rather than mass-produced.

This flag is coming to have greater popularity now. It is widely considered to express a certain sentiment appropriate to patriots. It has been officially cited as a symbol of alienated, radical, right-wing extremism.

We can not see with certainty the future of our country. It does seem that there are forces who would destroy it. I hope that you will join me and take this day as one more on which to pray for the United States and its survival as a republic.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

.32 H&R Magnum Single-Six - UPDATE

I've been interested in the .32 HR "Magnum" cartridge for as long as it has been available. It seemed to me that this little cartridge could be very useful, even from a revolver. Indeed I thought it would be a wonderful compliment to a .45 Colt Single-Action such as the New Vaquero.

My revolver, which came to me from Jerry B., is a sweetie for sure. The 5½" barreled Ruger Single-Six is a discontinued model (what a pity!). The same size as the .22 and .17 Single-Six revolvers, it is a handy, light, dependable revolver which has made the basic model hugely successful. Seems that every pistol shooter I know has one or wants one.

I'm still working with the gun to choose a "one-load", THE load to use for all purposes. The .32 HR loads I've tried so far are:

Federal 85 gr. JHP (factory)
Federal 95 gr. Lead (factory)
Hornady 85 gr. XTP-HP over 12 gr. Lil'Gun
Sierra 90 gr. JHC over 11.5 gr. Lil'Gun
Hornady 100 gr. XTP-HP over 11 gr. Lil'Gun

I've also tried S&W Long ammo, mostly with an eye towards smaller, small game such as squirrels. Those loads have included Remington, Winchester, Western and Aguila factory ammo and the Meister 95 gr. cast over 2.3 gr. of Bullseye.

I should note that all handloads use the CCI 500 Small Pistol primer. Magnum primers have shown no benefit, over time, in any of these loads with Lil'Gun and weren't indicated for use with Bullseye. The gun seems to shoot acceptably well with all loads although some are better than others.

Elmer Keith wasn't a fan of the .32 S&W not even thinking it was useful on small game. He might have liked the .32 HR, at least for rabbits. I think it certainly comes up to the performance of the .36 cap'n'ball guns with lighter charges that he used in his younger years.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Friend? or Foe?

I've been having a bit of an odd experience lately. We have a catbird (a Gray Catbird) living somewhere in our backyard (I suspect the nest is in a particular bush near the house). Every morning when I go out he (or she) is sitting on the trellis looking at me. I've taken to saying "good morning" and going about my business. I swear he (she) follows me around the yard but he (she) is doing his (let's just say its a "him" for now) business like getting nesting material, finding food, etc.

Now that's weird enough but I went to work Friday, 6 miles away, and there was another (?) catbird sitting on the gas meter eying me. He didn't hang around for long so far as I know as I had to go inside, but there he'd been. THEN I went to Mom's and guess what, another catbird was there to greet me. Ok... So, I got home and, yes indeed, there was "my" catbird on the trellis.

What is going on here? Is the catbird following me about? Do catbirds have a secret society of Hobie observers? Are catbird populations suddenly on the rise?

One nice thing about catbirds is that they will sit not too far from you on a handy branch (or trellis) and sing. Very nice and it nearly drowns out the traffic noise. I'm getting to the point that I really dislike the traffic noise.

The Gray Catbird (this photo obviously far better than the one of MY friend) is a medium-sized northern American perching bird of the mimid family. It is the only member of New World catbird genus Dumetella.  Adults are dark gray with a slim, black bill and dark eyes. They have a long dark tail, dark legs and a dark cap; they are rust-colored underneath their tail.

Named for its cat-like call but, like many members of the Mimidae family, it also mimics the songs of other birds, as well as tree frogs and even mechanical sounds. Because it has a syrinx like most birds, it is able to make two sounds at the same time. Considered to sound raspier than a mockingbird. 

They build a bulky cup nest in a shrub or tree, close to the ground. Eggs are light blue in color, and clutch size ranges from 1-5, with 2-3 eggs most common. Both parents take turns feeding the young birds. They mainly eat insects and berries and that is what they've been gathering in our yard. Apparently we have lots of bugs!

I'm sure there are myths or old wives tales about these birds as Nana told me the first I'd heard about catbirds. That is, they will peck out your eyes. She didn't know more. Maybe my baby blues is what is attracting one or both of this pair for constant visits!

- Smithsonian Bird of the Month!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

John M. Browning - American Gunmaker

I've just read (and re-read!) "John M. Browning - American Gunmaker" by John Browning and Curt Gentry with postscript by COL W. R. Betz. This is the second edition and has more information in the postscript than the first edition. The book was originally written in 1964 and the post-script 30 years later (1994).

It certainly was informative. I learned a lot about how the great firearms inventor developed as a gun maker/inventor/designer without a lot of chaff. Still, the book was anything but boring and while I would have liked to have seen more illustrations, perhaps of the family members with their personal examples of his inventions, the number of illustrations is entirely adequate and meets the needs of the narrative.

I won't bore you with a recounting of the contents but I will say that of the many things I learned about the man and his family the most striking was that the Brownings are multi-generational inventors and mechanics. That is quite remarkable. They must be quite a family as so many have had that genetic tendency nurtured by each succeeding generation in their respective children. Further, these men have consistently earned the personal respect of their associates.

I would think that any person interested in firearms would be interested in reading about a man who most certainly has invented at least one of the firearms one will use in their lifetime.

Monday, June 08, 2009

'Splain this to me...

I just don't understand such foolishness.  A knife is a tool and is often useful far beyond the preconceived uses.  Lacking one, I've always regretted that lack.  That said, a 3" blade (or slightly smaller) can do some amazing things in the right hands.  That doesn't stop me from thinking this General is an idiot. 

There is something about the date stamp. Why STAMP the date (of which the year is blurred) when you can simply edit it in the word processor? As an old admin guy (as well as lazy infantryman), I'm wondering if they decided to change the date, used whiteout and then stamped over the old date before reproduction and distribution. Then again, why wouldn't they just change the date, in the word processor, and distribute via e-mail or web-site for the unit to print and make copies where necessary. Yes, Virginia, there are electronic signature files...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Favorite Authors - Skeeter Skelton

I don't remember the first Skeeter Skelton article I ever read but I remember where I got the magazine in which I read it. We were staying at Pure Village Inn on U.S. 11 just south of Harrisonburg, VA in 1964. They had Shooting Times and Guns magazines in their magazine racks. I wish I'd found them years before and I would look for any excuse to get Mom or Dad to stop there every month. Alongside George Nonte Skeeter's articles were among the first read and re-read.

I won't attempt to re-write his biography. Suffice it to say that he was hero material having been a US Marine, Border Patrol officer and Sheriff. He wrote about gun stuff that interested me. Fact OR fiction it was a good read and really reeled you in. His stories of the southwest U.S. made me think about moving there, someday. Well, I haven't moved there but I have had an abiding interest in the history of the area since.

Skeeter's published books include Good Friends, Good Guns, Good Whiskey: Selected Works of Skeeter Skelton, Skeeter: Hoglegs, Hipshots and Jalapenos : Selected Works of Skeeter Skelton, Vol. II, Shooting Times Skeeter Skelton on Handguns, and Skeeter Skelton's handgun tales. Better be on alert though, the out of print books are going for a pretty penny, as they should. If you see one, you should pick it up.

Skeeter Skelton left this world Sunday, January 17, 1988, at Sun Towers Hospital in El Paso, Texas. We are fortunate that he left his son, Bart, here to take up the pen but he is missed.

Check out these links for some of Skeeter's work. It is worth every minute of your time...
- handgun articles
- What's the Best Trail Gun for You?
- Skeeter's sixguns - The Sixgunner by John Taffin

Stolen Weapon Alert...

Just to let everyone know to be on the lookout for a stolen 336 in .35, serial number 23094129.

Northman shipped the rifle to my FFL in Barrington,NH (Indian Village Firearms). UPS left it on his porch (his house is right next to the shop) at 6:58PM. The couple that own the shop were gone from 6:30-8:30PM. The box with the rifle disappeared.

The appropriate notifications and filing have been made, just a heads up to everyone.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

D-Day - June 6, 1944

65 years ago today my father's first cousin, PFC Gano H. "Sonny" Jewell stepped off a landing craft and moved ashore somewhere along Omaha beach on the coast of Normandy, France. If he ever had an opportunity to tell anyone in the family of his experiences by letter I will never know of it. Sonny died August 7, 1944 near Vire, France while attending to the wounded in the aid station for 2nd Battalion 116th Infantry.

I do not know the exact dates, but sometime in 1943 Sonny enlisted in the U.S. Army because he felt he was getting a free ride while a pre-med student at Cornell University. He felt he had to do his part. I suppose that he did. He was an only child and his parents felt his loss all the rest of their lives. But, they were not bitter. By the time I knew them I think they had learned to take some small joy from everyday things. And yet, even in those few hours I spent with them, Sonny was mentioned during each meeting. They did not forget.

Even after their passing, my father would mention Sonny. I think he thought of him often. I think, too, that Sonny's death was a big reason that Dad had enlisted just as soon as he was able to do so on VE Day. Dad served 3 years 2 months.

I was once visited by the NCOIC of the Regimental aid station at that time, Winston Morris, who showed me a photo of Sonny taken by Winston the day before Sonny was killed. I never got a copy of the photo, but I will remember him sitting on the edge of a foxhole for the rest of my life. We've since learned that Sonny was wounded the day before he was killed by the same means that later caused his death, that being artillery fire.

In 1994 I was honored to be chosen as a member of one of two honor platoons sent by the 116th Infantry to France for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Referred to, by the French, as the embarkation rather than invasion (one does not invade one's allies and France was our ally) we were feted and honored as were the veterans wherever we went. At one point we were approached by a young woman with her 8-year old son and asked for our autographs. In one city we marched down the street over a mile to the point where a ceremony was to be held. If you could call it a parade it wasn't much of one. There was a single military band, us and some veterans. The streets were lined with applauding crowds. They hung from windows and filled the sidewalks. The people of Normandy remember the sacrifice.

I hope that as you go through this day you will take a moment to remember young men of 65 years ago and their struggle through surf, sand, bullets and fear to destroy one of the most evil tyrants of our time. Mention them in your prayers. Pray too for their grandsons and granddaughters who defend us now.

- Witness to War

Friday, June 05, 2009

They have forgotten that the band is still playing...

A few days ago one PVT Long was gunned down by a Muslim fanatic (and an American citizen). Also shot by a fanatic (Christian or otherwise isn't known yet, I think) was Dr. Tiller. PVT Long was a soldier on recruiting duty. Dr. Tiller was an abortionist at church. Neither should have been shot. Dr. Tiller's is the death which has outraged the President of the United States, the mainstream news media, and others. Imagine, the POTUS couldn't even MENTION the death of this Private at the hands of a terrorist in the continental United States (CONUS).

What it brought to mind for me was some Kipling as below. I submit to you that the band is still playing and the tune is death to America. Sadly, it seems our own President is humming that tune.

by Rudyard Kipling
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

Shotgun Effectiveness

I don't know how long this will remain available but the Shotgun World Forum has a post with photos of the penetration of various loads, birdshot to slugs, in gelatin. Draw your own conclusions.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ignorance is Rampant

Ok, so people are apparently ignorant about economics, you know that. People are also amazingly ignorant about wildlife. You'd think other"Wild Kingdom for ages before that, people simply don't know the difference between cats and dogs and other, ummm, shall we say "unrelated" life forms.

To the left you see a prime example of wildlife ignorance. For those who have yet to see a problem, let me point out that the animal depicted on the flyer is NOT a cat but an OPOSSUM! To my mind, having grown up with cats being in houses I visited, depicted in commercials on TV or in books, etc, an opossum should set off alarm bells! I mean, at best, even if mistaken for a cat, it has to be one SICK cat with a bare tail and relatively thin fur. Add to this the attitude an opossum takes when handled and you should know that something is terribly wrong and this might not be a cat.

But mistaken identity isn't limited to cats. "Dog owners 'fleeced' in poodle scam" was the headline when "thousands" of rather poorly educated Japanese were shorn of their hard earned money by somebody selling sheep as poodles. Well, I suppose the resemblence is a bit more than passing but you'd think that they would know. I suppose that there must not be many sheep in Japan (or poodles) for this scam to have gone so far. But "thousands" of sheep so sold? I mean, Japan is supposed to be a literate nation.

Then, there was this recent add on Craig's List.
These 2 kittens followed my daughter home from school.Will be available for adoption after they recieve shots from our vet.One boy,one girl.Adoption fee will include the vet care with legal paperwork provided.No one under 18 need reply.I will bring them to your home to do a home check and to make sure they are going to a home and you fully understand their care,and the proper nutrition involved.As of now they are still being bottle fed,with baby food and rice.They love banannas and sardines for treats.They dont seem to play with catnip toys and havent grasped concept of litter box yet.Our dog helps with them and they ride her back,,she cleans them also,so they are use to dogs.Our cats dont seem to be interested in them? They are very smart and seem to say a word like maaaummm when they see me coming..Indoor home only because they will stray and could be hurt by a dog since they are not afraid of them,or hit by a car.Cute masks and ringed tails,very exotic looking.Male will be big i think.My daughter puts them in baby buggy and tools them around and baby bottle feeds them.They like baths and come with a pr of swimming trunks each.

email me and and phone call from there

Ok, so this last HAS to be somebody's idea of a joke, right? I mean, come on, they can't be serious, can they? If you don't get it just click on either pic to find out what they REALLY are.

Yes, there's more. Fox Squirrel Mistaken for Monkey is but one. I'll keep my eyes open for links to others. Please don't kill yourself laughing.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Marlin 1894 Sporter

The year was 1973. The place was a sporting goods store on Alvarado Street in Monterey, California. The gun that was the subject of my lust was a Marlin 1894 Sporter. I now know that 1398 of these "mini" versions of the new Model 1895 introduced in 1972 were made. Back then I only knew I didn't have the scratch to get one. I'm afraid I'd wasted my limited funds on the wild life of watching a movie at the post theater and having a beer or two at the club.

I owned the standard carbine in .44 Mag at that time. It was a good enough gun, much better than the Winchester 1894 .44 Mag it had replaced. It was not the sporter. Perhaps, I've been thinking, my memories of lively handling, sleek lines, and that special something that warms your heart were just the cloudy delusions of a mind in decline.

Then I got the 1894CL in .32-20. The CLs have nearly the same layout but not the same curved buttplate as the 1972 era 1895s. My impressions from long ago were confirmed. My lust was renewed. My search was restarted. Then Neal in Alabama had one and had to sell. His misfortune (again, the CL was from him as well) was my gain. Money has changed hands. FFLs are in place. Shipment will occur. All will be well. Well, I thought so! Unfortunately, Neal had stored the gun at a relative's house and the relative misplaced the gun. This isn't a good thing for a lot of reasons but it isn't the end of the world for me. I'll just keep looking and maybe Neal will find his gun again. No, I'm not without a .44 Mag rifle, I still have the 21" barrel for the Contender.

That pretty much short-stopped all my plans for the gun. As I often do, I had ordered a Williams Foolproof receiver sight for the rifle. At least I'll have one on hand for the next rifle!

Also, I've come to the conclusion that my .44 Mag loads should all come as close to duplicating the highly successful (for me anyway) Remington 240 gr. SJHP load, albeit with the Hornady 240 gr. XTP. These loads will work in all my .44 Mags. The 300 gr. XTP loads I have already loaded, if they chamber, will best suit the Redhawk and perhaps will give that gun purpose.