Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More notes from the gun shop...

Ron White says you can't fix stupid...

We get them in the shop. I have favorites...

Customer says, "Hi, I want the best _____ (fill in the blank) you've got." I show it to him (almost inevitably). "Jeesus! I've only got $150 to spend." I show him the CHEAPEST ________ we've got. The script has options after this starting with "Ok, I'll take it" or "Do you have layaway?" and even the silent turn and exit out the door.

Had a fella who bought one of those fancy, gilded up Garands, to shoot. Couldn't open the action. Handed it to me. I opened it up to see what might be wrong. He was astonished. His son was with him. I suggested that he NOT give the old man any ammunition.

We get the wannabe (I'm hoping) "gangsta" types too. Had a fella come in the other day and ask to see a Glock. I pulled one out but this guy is on top of his game and corrects me pointing to the Hi Point he wanted. "No, THAT Glock." Ooooookay...

Gotta love the little old ladies (like my mom but still with most of their faculties) who come in to get a handgun for self-defense (concealed carry even). They talk with us, get the business cards for people providing the CHP training, and try several guns. Many if not most lack the strength to pull back a slide or pull a DA trigger (even on the Smith and Wessons) but some even haven't got enough strength to cock a revolver to use the SA trigger.

Worse yet? I had a 30-something without the strength or apparent coordination to operate ANY firearm I had. Of course she drove there and had plenty of time (as I apparently also did) to answer her cell phone 5 times during the time she was there. I guess she must have an automatic transmission and power steering as well as the light little cell phone.

There's a new one every time I go in...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bear at Mom's

For some, seeing bears is no big thing. At my mother's place it used to be more than unusual despite the location near national forest. However, there are now more and more bears and less and less food in the mountains and the bears have moved down on the farms (just like the deer) to find some chow.

Yesterday I was relieving some stress by plinking, i.e. shooting down the hill from Mom's house into her pond, and suddenly saw a black form in the pond. I was surprised that there were any "cows" in the field until it turned its head and came out of the water a bit more. BEAR! It was apparently frolicking in the water, swimming back and forth across the pond. After about 3 minutes it decided to take off. Came out of the water up over the dam and headed away down the ridgeline.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Notes from the gun shop...

#1 for Monday was the guy who brought in his Arsenal AK-47 semi-auto that wasn't "feeding properly". The magazines used are some plastic/synthetic thing by Pro-mag and the ammo was Wolf. Our Mr. Gunwrench had a go at it and came out with a pronouncement that I could barely hear but sounded something like my "break it in and change magazines". The owner, a regular, hasn't been back. FWIW, that Arsenal AK is as pretty an AK as I've seen.

We also had a fellow bring in his SOCOM 16 by Springfield Armory. What was his problem? He wanted a good scope for the rifle. We looked at a bunch of IER and EER scopes. Took about 1 hour for him to make up his mind. He finally decided to buy a Smith and Wesson branded EER 2X scope with some extra heavy duplex crosshair reticule that even I could easily see when mounted on the rifle.

For whatever it is worth, I really liked the SOCOM 16 feel compared to the SOCOM II.

Also sold a .327 Federal Taurus revolver for a woman who is currently using a .32 SW Long revolver and wanted to move up in power. The husband (with military experience) was looking at GI pattern 1911 type pistols. The big seller on the .327 Federal? They could use their current stock of ammo AND use the .32 HR as a step up as she learns the gun.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

An interesting question

Was on the Ruger forum the other day and in a discussion of the Security Six it was mentioned that the Six-series had similar cylinder dimensions to the Colt Official Police (a ".41 caliber" frame). I just had to check it out...

ModelCylinder LengthCylinder Diameter
Smith and Wesson M19
Ruger Security Six
Colt Official Police

So the fattest cylinder is the Colt Official Police and the longest is Smith and Wesson Model 19. The Security Six cylinder is longer but smaller in diameter than the Colt OP. Does this mean anything? I don't think so. Materials and heat treating count for something as well. I don't think I'm going to change how I think of these guns in loading for them. In other words, I don't think I'm going to be putting .38-44 equivalent loads in the Official Police.

Friday, September 18, 2009

CCF RaceFrames, LLC

The Glock semi-auto pistol has 5-million+ guns in the market. They have a wonderful reputation for reliability and are used by something like 48% of all police departments. Even though it has become something of a cultural phenomenon in only 20 years nothing is perfect for everyone. I don't know about you, but many folks simply accept the Glock grip "frame" format until they try something different like the Smith and Wesson or Springfield in their hand. I'm one of those who doesn't find the Glock shape to be comfortable in the hand. I don't like the angle and I don't much like the "hump" and the bottom of the "backstrap".

Incorporated in Virginia, CCF RaceFrames produces alloy frames for Glocks which can duplicate the M1911 grip frame angle with a special backstrap. This makes the Glock system almost attractive to me. I do believe that they strongly "suggest" (maybe closer to require) that one use Glock parts in their frames.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has used one of these frames.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quantico and Caesar Guerini shotguns, it isn't good news...

From Rob Leahy comes notice of this USMC report about a catastrophic failure of a Caesar Guerini shotgun. If you have one you should read the report.

I don't know that I've seen one of these shotguns. While some folks around here have good quality shotguns, most order them and they aren't stocked in the local shops. Well, that said and darn if Dominion Outdoors in Stuarts Draft isn't listed as a dealer. Don't know if they stock them though...

If you follow the link to the maker's site you'll eventually find that the shotgun in question has an MSRP of about $3200. That's a lot for a shotgun that has the number of catastrophic failures documented in the well researched and written USMC report.

I have to say, I've never seen a shotgun disintergrate at the chamber end. All the failures I've of which I've seen the aftermath were at the muzzle end and all but one were certainly due to a barrel obstruction while the one other was due to severe pitting weakening the barrel.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ruger Speed Six 4 Inch

This was Dad's first personally owned handgun. He'd shot M1911A1s in service (and maybe others) but he'd never thought there was utility to one until I irritated the crap out of him with ideas he'd never come up with. You see, I'd go over to hang out at Jon Ridenour's Homestead Gun Shop in Harrisonburg, VA and he had the gun in the display cabinet. Of course I told Dad all about it.

The "Six Series" guns were Ruger's competition for the Colt and S&W .38 Special/.357 Magnum police revolvers. Yep, once upon a time the police most often carried revolvers. Ruger was able to bring these onto the market for substantially less than even an S&W. This sort of excited me and in early 1973 Dad bought one and we shot it when I got home from basic training. Duke Denny had us over to his mother's place and those of us there shot the .38s and my Lyman .44 cap'n'ball. Had a great time.

Now Dad didn't shoot this gun much and I'm not sure what he used it for but he had a Hunter holster for it and he saved the box. He also shot a couple of hundred of reloads somebody (Duke?) made up for him. He let me carry it a couple of times but I had a Stainless Security Six and didn't really need to.

I've used this gun mostly for home defense duties. Nana understands how to operate it and it is of the correct size to suit her. This makes it a winner for that purpose. Speed loaders are the standard size for the S&W model 10s and such. Bianchi speed strips work a treat. I've got an Uncle Mike's paddle holster for those times it accompanies me to the field in memory of Dad. A good gun that makes me wish I hadn't sold my stainless Security Six 4" .357 Mag with the big stocks (I have a new one now).

I have also replaced the Pachmayr rubber with the factory grips and a Tyler-T grip adapter. This gives one enough to hold on to so that you can handle the .357 Magnum loads but minimizes the grip for concealed carry. The truth is that I use either Remington's 125 gr. Golden Saber .357 Mag load (a reduced velocity round) or the 158 gr. .38 Special "FBI" load. The full-effort 125 gr. .357 Magnum loads are simply too loud for me, particularly indoors. Nana absolutely hates them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Colt Cobra 1972

While I have a 1968 made Colt Cobra it is really too nice to carry. I hate to say it but it is a safe queen. However, the obvious benefits were too much and I traded into this 1968, slightly finish worn, Cobra just to carry.

This gun came with the smooth grips shown which are just fine for shooting but a little large for carry, particularly pocket carry (in a Simply Rugged pocket holster). To fix that I installed a set of Sile Agent stocks on the gun.  This was possible because this is a post-1966 gun and the frames for these and all D-frames of the period are pretty much the same.

What a perfect compliment the Agent stocks are to the gun.  They make it a truly compact revolver and truly concealable.  But, and how can I say this politely, they are a pain to shoot.  I don't care for the checkering pattern, not because of the appearance but because of the comfort. You see, Sile made sure that you'd have a grip on these and the edges are very, sharp!  I fixed that, I put a set of original Colt Agent grips on the gun.  With the Tyler T grip adapter, the gun is controllable and shootable and works out to the limit of self-defense ranges without problems. 

I like this gun so much that it has been my everyday gun all summer long.  I've loaded it with Buffalo Bore's item 20C, the 158 gr. LHP non+P load.  I've got a lot of confidence in this combination. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gun Digest Book of the AK and SKS by Patrick Sweeney

I get the urge to consider/reconsider the AK-47 every now and then but until now never had enough of an urge to actually learn more than what was in a U.S. military manual.  When I did I picked up this book, The Gun Digest Book Of The AK & SKS: A Complete Guide to Guns, Gear and Ammunition by Patrick Sweeney.

It was a good book providing adequate detail without mind numbing trivia and that would be all too easy to do. E.g. I've heard of people building AKs like some build ARs but wasn't quite sure what they had to go through to do so. Now I know. I fully understand how the AK is put together and what the really important differences are such as the rear trunnion affecting which type stock one could use.

If I have a criticism about the book it is that the editor must have taken a day or week off. Particularly towards the beginning there are a number of typographical errors, several of which could have been avoided with proper use of MS-Word spell check. If you can decipher the content despite these errors, and you SHOULD be able to, then it isn't all that big a deal. However, I have to take a moment to say that I think this basic editorial task is all too often ignored in modern day publishing houses as I see far too many such errors.

All in all a good book and a worthy introduction to the AK and SKS weapons systems.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Smith and Wesson Models 13 and 65

I think I really got excited about the Smith and Wesson Model 13 3" when I saw Efrem Zimbalist Jr., as an FBI Agent, use a single shot to take out a fleeing felon with his gun at about 50 yards, shooting one-handed. NOTE: I believe the show was shot on location at Fort Delaware, Wilmington, DE Although I thought at that first viewing that he was using a J-frame Smith and Wesson and then a M13, I didn't doubt that it could be done. Life certainly has changed me over the years but never knowing which revolver was actually used didn't dim my enthusiasm. Somehow the fire had been lit and I wanted a 3" M13. Along about 1987 I got one.

The M13 can be thought of as a Model 10(K-frame) .357 Magnum, with fixed-sights and blue steel finish. NOTE: Add adjustable sights and you have the Model 19. There was a comparable stainless gun, the Model 65 but more about that later. The M13 was manufactured from 1974 to 1999. It was the issue revolver for the FBI for several years. Both the square-butt 4" barreled and round-butt 3" barreled versions were produced.

The M65 is the stainless version of the M13 (as previously noted) and was produced from 1972 to 2004. I find it hard to believe that the stainless version came first. One hardly ever sees these for sale in shops. I found out that working in a gun shop is the way to score one of these fine guns. Our shop has had two in the last 9 months and I got one of them.

I think these guns offer a good combination of usability and portability and have the added benefit of being able to utilize a wide range of factory ammunition. From .38 Special wadcutters to the 125 gr. .357 Magnum barn-burners, these guns will handle them all (even if your ears won't!). Those .357 Magnums can hurt your hearing, wear protection.

These guns have a following and are appreciating in price better than any stock market investment (at least for the time being). An astute buyer with ready cash for investment can still sometimes find these guns for about $250-300 but more often they will be asking $350+. I think they are a bargain still because they are still less expensive than current factory production using MIM parts and suffering from the abomination of the internal lock.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Colt 1991A1

The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.   It was designed by John M. Browning, and was the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985, and is still carried by some U.S. forces. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Its formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911 for the original Model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911A1 for the M1911A1, adopted in 1924. The designation changed to Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1 in the Vietnam era. Sold as the Government Model it was changed in 1980 to include the hammer block and designated as a Series 80. Later, cosmetic and manufacturing changes intended to reduce cost resulted in the 1991A1. Mine is the latter.

I like the gun because it is plain as all get out. The only modifications I've found "necessary" was the switch to the Smith and Alexander flat main spring housing with lanyard ring, installation of a short trigger and replacement of the plastic "issue" stocks with wood. The result is a GI like gun at less cost to me. Suits me to a "T".

With the addition of a Bianchi contract swivel lid military holster on a GI pistol belt we've got a useful rig. I really like it because the gun in holster doesn't slap my thigh when I move around but the pistol is an easy draw. With a properly deployed lanyard, loss is unlikely.

I think the .45 ACP cartridge is the perfect balance of performance and ease of use. Terminally it works and an experienced shooter can make it "hot" for an opponent out to a considerable distance.

These guns were designed by Jonathan Browning. He was a real firearms designing genius. As you can see they come apart easily...

and go back together easily without an undue number of parts.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Where do dogs come from?

Why, from China of course! Not because of China's current manufacturing hegemony (they love that word), 霸權 in Chinese) but because that's where people apparently first tamed the wolf.
It was previously known that the birthplace of the dog was eastern Asia but historians were not able to be more precise than that.

However, now researchers have made a number of new discoveries about the history of man's best friend - including that the dog appeared about 16,000 years ago south of the Yangtze river in China.

It has also been discovered that even though the dog has a single geographical origin it descends from a "large number of animals - at least several hundred tamed wolves, probable even more"...

Peter Savolainen, a biology researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm and who led the study with a team of Chinese researches, said: "For the first time in world history it is possible to provide a detailed picture of the dog, with its birthplace, point in time, and how many wolves were tamed.

"This is a considerably more specific date and birthplace than had previously been put forward.

"Our earlier findings from 2002 have not been fully accepted, but with our new data there will be greater acceptance.

"The picture provides much more detail."

One has to wonder at the circumstances that resulted in the conversion of one pack of wolves to domestic dogs.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Mic McPherson Explains the Primer Shortage

Gun Economics: Ammo Supply 101 - Ammo Supply 101, Supply and Demand by M. L. McPherson. Most telling statement,
When will this panic driven shortage end? Not until panicked people run out of money.

Old Commercials...

Roy Rogers' Quick Shooter Hat!