Friday, July 30, 2010

To answer a question about interstate sales via on-line auctions or forums...

I am not a lawyer nor am I resident of any but the state of Virginia. I do not purport to have knowledge of all circumstances, laws and regulations that might apply to any given transaction.

In general:

#1 - you must own the firearm you're selling

#2 - the buyer must be qualified/legal to purchase in THEIR state of residence

#3 - you must ship to an FFL for the transfer. THE FFL does the background check. The buyer will tell you to whom and MUST provide a copy of that FFL. Some FFLs, by personal preference or local law will only accept from another FFL. The sending FFL, in that instance, is YOUR responsibility (but you can have the buyer pay for it). The sending FFL gets the buyer's FFL copy.

#4 - it is YOUR responsibility to be certain that the buyer appears to be legit before you send the firearm and to ensure that you are paid. In other words, due diligence.

NOTE: EVERY state has slightly different laws that may affect a transfer. Pay particular attention to CA, IL, NY, NJ, and MA. You may ship via Fed Express or UPS. You may ship a long gun via USPS. You may NOT ship a handgun via USPS. An FFL may use any carrier that will accept the item for shipment.

That's it in a nutshell. Again, I am not a lawyer, not qualified to give legal advice. The seller and buyer are personally responsible for adhering to all federal, state and local laws regarding the sale or transfer of firearms.

Let's go back to #3 above. There are lots of questions as to the law and I want to take a moment to address those. Again, I am not a lawyer, my comments here are not legal advice and there are differences depending on the buyer's and seller's state(s) of residence...

From the BATFE FAQ:
Q: May an unlicensed person obtain a firearm from an out-of-State source if the person arranges to obtain the firearm through a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s own State?

A person not licensed under the GCA and not prohibited from acquiring firearms may purchase a firearm from an out-of-State source and obtain the firearm if an arrangement is made with a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s State of residence for the purchaser to obtain the firearm from the dealer.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and 922(b)(3)]

Q: What record-keeping procedures should be followed when two private individuals want to engage in a firearms transaction?

When a transaction takes place between private (unlicensed) persons who reside in the same State, the Gun Control Act (GCA) does not require any record keeping. A private person may sell a firearm to another private individual in his or her State of residence and, similarly, a private individual may buy a firearm from another private person who resides in the same State. It is not necessary under Federal law for a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) to assist in the sale or transfer when the buyer and seller are “same-State” residents. Of course, the transferor/seller may not knowingly transfer a firearm to someone who falls within any of the categories of prohibited persons contained in the GCA. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and (n). However, as stated above, there are no GCA-required records to be completed by either party to the transfer.

There may be State or local laws or regulations that govern this type of transaction. Contact State Police units or the office of your State Attorney General for information on any such requirements.

Please note that if a private person wants to obtain a firearm from a private person who resides in another State, the firearm will have to be shipped to an FFL in the buyer’s State. The FFL will be responsible for record keeping. See also Question B3.

Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier?

A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.

[18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]
Further, there are scammers in every field. To verify if the FFL is for real click here; plug in the numbers then check the premises address. The scammers use the name and # but change the shipping address to illegally receive the gun. You must ship to the licensed premises.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pistolet Makarova by Bulgaria - UPDATED

I was once asked about the Bulgarian Makarov. I like the pistol and said so. I thought I'd post a few of my observations about my pistol here.

First, it is accurate, reliable and relatively inexpensive. Mine cost $159 but I think you'll pay at least $250 today. The best ammo, cheaper than reloading, came from Dan's Sporting Goods at $60 per 500, shipped. You couldn't beat that and I tried. I've got dies, 250 Starline cases (excellent brass) and Hornady XTP. Still, reloading was more expensive than the Barnaul 95 gr. hollow-points from Dan's and you have to hunt down those valuable brass cases. The Barnaul is steel cased and Berdan primed, hardly a practical reloading proposition. Now, with the change in the Euro/Dollar exchange rate and diversion of the ammo to various hot spots, you might re-look reloading.

With carbide dies, reloading is really a snap. I'm sure you could set up a progressive press to load vast quantities of this cartridge. I used the Hornady XTP bullets over 4.1 gr. of Unique using a CCI small pistol primer for 927 fps 181 fpe. In contrast the Barnaul 95 gr. load produces 1025 fps and 222 fpe. Federal ball produced 965 fps and 195 fpe. Silver Bear ammo using the 120 gr. bullet produced 932 fps 232 fpe. Obviously one can do better ballistically than with my handloads, but they are accurate.

For accessories like my Fobus paddle holster we used to have, another well run business. The fellow who ran this knows his products and provided fast service together with good product. Unfortunately, they are no longer in business.

The pistol has possibilities I didn't consider when I first saw it while in the military. It is relatively light for a field pistol. It fits my hand well with the Pearce grips. The Fobus paddle holster is light and comfortable AND it secures and protects the pistol properly. It is accurate. I got groups, two-handed standing, of 2 inches at 25 yards and I have killed a groundhog at a measured 80 yards with a single shot in the chest (a little to the right of center). There was some luck involved (no doubt!) but it wasn't all luck. I believe the cartridge is at least as effective as the .38 Special and that is enough gun for most people, particularly in the east. It isn't particularly loud. It doesn't kick too much which is good for new shooters and those who are recoil sensitive. It is safe, having a double action and de-cocking safety that seems very sturdy. I think that this makes it a good bedside gun, at least during the summer when an intruder is less likely to be wearing a bulky winter coat. Fixed sights mean they probably won't go out of adjustment.

The down side is that, while the grip fits me and my average size hand, it could easily be too big for those with smaller hands. The Pearce grips are actually a bit bulkier than issue but they are also much more comfortable.

The sights that it comes with are very basic. Non-adjustable except by drifting in the dovetail, the rear sight has sharp edges that might not be compatible with some clothing. I ever so slightly "broke" the corners and edges on my pistol's sights. The rear blade has a nice square notch but these are black on black sights. Some people prefer the dots, etc. The good news is that after market adjustable and night sights are available but they can cost nearly as much as the pistol. My eyesight isn't such that I really benefit from such sights.

The second photo showing the pistol with magazines has one each of the East German and Bulgarian magazines. I've found no real operational difference and have no real preference.

Bulgarian Makarovs were made at the state military factory in Kazanlak, aka factory number 10. That is why the Bulgarian pistols are marked with a 10 inside a double circle on the left of the frame. Production began in 1970, continued under direct Russian oversight in 1975 and in 2000 the date codes were eliminated and replaced with numerical dates immediately following the serial number.

Man At Arms Magazine reported the following information about the serial numbers that owners will find interesting:
Bulgarian Makarovs have unusual serial numbers composed of three groups of characters: two capital letters, two numbers, and then an additional sequence of numbers. The two numbers in the center indicate the year of manufacture, but in a slightly confusing way. You add those two numbers to the year 1960 to ascertain the year of manufacture. For instance, a center number "31" would indicate a manufacture year of 1991 because 31+60=91. By the way, the final group of numbers is the actual serial number, while the two letters are a code indicating the production batch that the serial number belongs to.

All in all, I think it is a good buy and I'll be keeping mine!

Parts List
1) Slide
2) Ejector
3) Main spring
4) Trigger
5) Trigger transfer bar
6) Magazine
7) Hammer spring
8) Sear
9) Disconnector
10) Hammer

Field Stripping - After removing the magazine and emptying the chamber, pull the trigger guard down in the front and move it to the right (as seen with the bore pointed away from you). Pull the slide all the way back and lift the rear of the slide. The slide will now come forward and off. Now remove the return spring off of the barrel. Reassemble in reverse order.

original post 3/7/07

This is a video showing the gun as used by a Chinese policewoman. It is "graphic" although less so than a Sam Peckinpah movie. However, to view you might need to sign in to YouTube and verify your age...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thank you John Wright in St. Louis!

From Edward Young comes this message of thanks to John Wright an FFL in St. Louis, MO.
Sorry for the long post, but wanted to share a story that should have ended badly and thank John Wright for his assistance.

About 6 weeks ago, I agreed to buy a gun that was posted for sale by BigO on the 'For Sale' forum at I sent a Postal money order that he acknowledged receipt of on 7/23. For whatever reasons, he still hadn't sent the gun a month later. Last week I contacted the dealer I had FAXed the FFL to(John Wright 10732 Booth Ave St Louis, MO 63114, 314-426-1846), hoping he knew BigO personally and could contact him to find out what was going on - since BigO wasn't taking my calls or PM's or emails any more. He did not know him, and he was pretty annoyed that BigO had sort-of involved him in this deal by telling me he was his FFL. He asked me to send him my and BigO's information, and he would try to see what he could do about contacting BigO and getting him to bring the gun to him. I didn't expect a happy ending, but emailed him the information - and my appreciation for his offer to help. He called me and told me that BigO had his cell-phone company to block incoming calls to his phone. He said he hated to give up, but there wasn't much to be done, short of showing up at his house - which he said he might do. I had pretty-much given up and had started telling my friends the story of how BigO stole $455 from me, as a warning not to be as trusting as I always was. Unbelievably, John Wright called me this morning and told me that he had my gun in his possession. He had actually gone by BigO's house yesterday after church. He showed him the copy of my email and asked for the gun. Surprisingly, BigO went inside and came back with the gun - even the 4 extra magazines he had said he'd send with the gun. Anyway, the purpose of this post is to publicly thank John Wright for his way-above-and-beyond help and to encourage anyone in the St Louis area who might need an FFL for any reason to contact John. Tell him Edward Young sent you. I fully expect that he will provide excellent service. He is definitely an honorable man who can be trusted and relied upon. Thanks again, John.
I think ANYONE who does this deserves thanks but especially so for somebody to go out of his way after church, with his family, etc...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lubrication of the M1 "Garand" Rifle, caliber .30

I also got this info on lubricating the Garand, M1 Rifle on the CMP site.
How We Reassemble The Feed / Action Assembly The M1 Garand
One of the most important things to remember about the M1 Garand's operation is that the old rifles really like to be properly lubricated. When originally manufactured M1s were made in such a way that they could be fired dry, (and this was done a lot in the Korean war thanks to the very frigid temperatures being incompatible with the grease), with 50 years worth of wear on most M1s our opinion is that it is a good idea to lubricate fairly meticulously.
We have been lucky in that our local surplus store has been stocking a grease known as Plastilube. This is one of the two lubricants (the other being Lubriplate) that we hav seen recommended for use with the M1 most often.
In the photos below you will see what is probably too much grease being illustrated. We did this for photographic clarity as smaller amounts did not show up well because of the fill-flash.
Begin by lubricating the receiver, specifically the area where the operating rod will slide. then grease the inside area of the receiver where the bolt will be moved back and forth as well as the areas where the bolt lugs lock down.
Next lubricate the bolt. Grease the bottom lightly and then the sides as well as the lugs. Basically any portion of the metal that will come into moving contact with other metal parts gets a little bit of lubrication.
When you have lubed these areas of the rifle sufficiently, replace the bolt.

How We Reassemble The Feed / Action Assembly The M1 Garand

  When we have the bolt and the rear part of the receiver properly lubricated we turn our attention to putting the bolt back in place.
To do so simply angle the bolt about 5 degrees counter clockwise, tilt it upwards about 10 or so degrees and then starting with the rear of the bolt I gently jiggle it into place.
When the rear of the bolt slips into the receiver you can then drop the front down. Slide the entire bolt assembly back and forth to assure that it moves freely and to confirm that the orientation is right. The bolt should slide easily in the greased wells and it should rotate into the locked position when moved forward.
If the bolt is in place correctly begin the process of installing the Operating Rod.
How We Re-Assemble The Feed / Action Assembly The M1 Garand

  The Operating rod goes in next. Before placing it on the rifle however - lubricate the area where the bolt lug will ride and underneath the 'flat' area just behind where the spring is inserted. This is the area that comes in contact with the bottom of the barrel.
Now gently insert the Operating Rod carefully into the Gas Cylinder. Hold the Oprod at the most shallow angle you possibly can in order to make insertion easier and to avoid any chance of bending it.
When the Operating Rod is in the correct general position turn the rifle right-side-up and hook the handle end of the rod to the bolt and into the receiver.
To do this simply slide the bolt to the rear so that the lug of the bolt is just barely under the forward edge of the rear sight cover spring. I then gently rotate the operating Rod up and into position.
To fasten the Operating Rod in - thread the bolt lug into the side of the Operating Rod and with a firm right, inward, and down pressure push the Operating Rod into the notch below the windage knob.
Then tilt the weapon forward and backward. If the Bolt and Operating Rod do not slide easily as a unit (using the force of gravity alone) then something is out of place.
Once the operating Rod is in position assemble the smaller parts of the mechanism.
Now that the lubricant wont be in the way, grease the 'swollen' part of the barrel where the Operating Rod will ride.
Having completed most of the assembly, all that is left to finish up is to put the Operating Rod Spring and the Follower Rod in.
Take a few minutes to very lightly oil the spring to help keep corrosion down. Also oil the Follower Rod Except for the 'fork' end.
When the parts are lubricated insert the spring into the Operating Rod. The end of the spring without the Follower Rod goes in first of course.

Field Stripping the M1 "Garand" Rifle, caliber .30

I needed to provide a friend with instructions and found this at the CMP site.
Field Stripping The M1 Garand
Few things in life are easier than field stripping an M1 Garand Rifle. Just as people were impressed many years ago with how easy it is to tear down a Model 1911 Colt pistol, they are smitten with the elegant simplicity of the M1 Garand. 
Unload, empty, clear, check, or by whatever word you use make sure weapon is EMPTY - photo (C) 2000
Check to make sure the rifle is unloaded! Note the W.W.II era blood drive poster. You don't need a transfusion from doing something stupid.

The first thing to do when preparing any work on any firearm, and indeed any time you so much as pick up a firearm is to 'clear' it. This simply means checking it fully and completely to make sure that it is not loaded and that no rounds, or shell casings remain in the magazine or chamber.

Even after clearing the weapon still make damn sure that the muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction. Never handle weapons when exhausted or under the influence of anything stronger than Pepsi-Cola.

If you ever run across any firearm that you are not 100 percent sure exactly how to check it to make sure it is unloaded, DON'T touch it. Get help from someone who knows what they are doing.
When the weapon is totally safe start field stripping by removing the trigger group...

Removing The Trigger Group
First, release the bolt and let it slide forward in a controlled manner.
Pull up and back on the trigger guard - photo (C) 2000
Rotating the trigger guard up and forward (toward the muzzle).

Next invert the weapon and firmly pull back (toward the buttstock) on the rear portion of the trigger guard. On milled triggers some people place a dowel through the hole in the rear portion of the guard in order to obtain a little more leverage.

Pull up and forward (toward the muzzle) on the trigger on the trigger guard. Since we have previously cleared the weapon, we do not have to cock it. However had the weapon foolishly not been cleared, performing this action would have cocked the hammer and locked it into the down position.

Lifting the trigger group out of the rifle

Next pull straight up on the trigger guard. This will free the trigger group from the buttstock of the rifle. It does not take a lot of pulling to do this. If anything sticks at this point there may be a problem.

Now set the trigger group aside in a safe place and then prepare to go to the next step:

Removing the buttstock from the rifle...

Removing The Stock From The Rifle
After setting the trigger group aside grab the forward handgrip with one hand in order to hold the barrel and receiver in position. Grab the buttstock somewhere around the comb and carefully rotate the buttstock up and off of the receiver legs.

Note how the stock is rotated off of the receiver
Note the relationship of the ferrule to the front handgrip on the receiver.

We now have three distinct groups of parts. The barrel and receiver group, the buttstock, and the trigger group.

If you want to disassemble the rifle further you need to detail strip it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lego of my Lego Sniper Rifle...

I don't know if there are plans out there or this young person just came up with this or what but it is darn ingenious and clever and I think this fellow can do just about anything he wants to.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Smith and Wesson Model 1905, 4th Change

Wayne __________ put me on to this rather inexpensive Smith and Wesson Model 1905, 4th Change. That is what The Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson calls it. It is a 4", blued steel, 6-shot revolver chambered for the .32 Winchester Center Fire (aka .32-20). This one was made about 1916 before heat treatment of the cylinders began.

This one is particularly "finish challenged". The original blue is missing from most surfaces and it has been replaced with a hopeful mix of bare steel and oil/steelwool removed patches of former rust. What little original blue remains is only a tease to tempt you to think what might have been nearly 100 years ago. The grips, mostly intact but for one split toe, are worn mostly smooth from use. The barrel is loose/can be turned by hand but held mostly in the correct position by the pin.  To look at it it is a real dog of a revolver.

The good part is that nothing is broken, indeed the gun locks up tightly and timing is good. The bore is decent enough even if it is a bit challenged at the throat and the interiors of the chambers are better than just ok. Nobody ever got around to buffing the markings (or, as I once saw, the sights!) off the gun. The single-action trigger pull is crisp by my standards. The sights are fine indeed and hard to see but all there. The self-cocking trigger pull is long and heavy but manageable with practice. 

Last night's rather speedy foray at Mom's shooting facility (her pasture) gave me 3 hits in a row on a 6" square cinderblock face at about 75 yards, manually cocked off-hand. It had me fooled at first, I shot over the target! This thing shoots flat.

The ammunition used was a bonus. Several months ago, I bought several hundred rounds of .32 WCF from Jim ______ when he was moving from Missouri to Mozambique. Among those were a quantity of handloads using pistol primers. I intended to use the ammo in my 1894CL but discovered that the Marlin's firing pin was a hair short to ignite the pistol primers used in these loads. I have no such problem with this gun, and likely all that ammo will be shot up in this revolver.

Recoil is extremely mild as is the report. I bet this is one reason why the .32 WCF was so popular in both pistols and rifles "back in the day". Certainly it was worth what I have in it. I'm well pleased with this "ugly duckling".

Of course, Tam's is much nicer!


Jim's load was 3.0 gr. Bullseye under the Lyman 3118 bullet. It is a mild load that still has oomph enough to deform the cast bullets when fired into a soft dirt bank at 60 yards or so. It is also accurate enough to take on Mr. Groundhog should he come out to play. I was plinking with it some at Mom's today. Not too hard to hit stuff the rather fine sights notwithstanding. The light does have to be right though. Recoil is inconsequential with this load. I've got lots more to shoot!

I then found out that Xavier had a 1905 4th change .32 WCF with some interesting marks.  As you can see my gun does NOT have the "Made in U.S.A." mark and I suppose it should not be expected to.  It certainly isn't worth $400 either!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chinese soldiers shooting.

Hat tip to the Firearm Blog. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough for other Chinese military shooting video.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Savage 99A .250 Savage (.250-3000)

I had to get a mate to my Savage 99A .308 from 1973. I finally found one and here it is. I think this one is a 1972. 

Many people prefer the pre-tang safety guns and compare those to the pre-64 Winchesters. They think the later 99s just aren't up to snuff. Are the post 1972 guns as good? Well, no. Are they better than guns you can buy today? I think so. I like them. I like the tang safety. I like the straight grip. I like the location of the receiver sight (after-market from Williams in my case). About the only difference from my other gun is the chambering. .250 Savage aka .250-3000.  The cartridge has a storied history and has become a favorite of many since its inception.

Designed by Charles Newton, the 250 Savage was introduced in 1915 by the Savage Arms Company for the Model 99 lever action rifle. The original load used an 87 grain bullet loaded to 3000 fps muzzle velocity, and Savage named it the 250-3000. The 87 grain bullet was chosen because it could be safely driven at 3000 fps with the available powders.  About 1932, the 100 grain bullet load was marketed by Peters Cartridge Company and later the velocity of the 87 grain bullet was slightly increased. Now simply called the 250 Savage. 

When I was about 17-years old, I thought that this cartridge would be the one to get.  Only lack of availability and money prevented purchase then.  I think it is a better cartridge than the .243 Winchester although rifling twist rates (1:12 in early guns, 1:10 later) in most Savage rifles prevent use of heavier bullets than with the .243 Winchester. I wanted to mount a Williams FP-99S receiver sight and have one on order for this gun.  That will make it look like the .308 gun and so care must be taken to have the correct ammunition when shooting or hunting.  

These guns do look a bit ungainly in the receiver area when laid side by side with a Marlin or Winchester lever action, but when carried the round receiver bottom is right at the balance point and comfortable.  When snapped to the shoulder I find the sights aligned and the gun points more like a shotgun.  There seems to be a happy coincidence of factory stock dimensions and my God-given body shape.  

Interestingly, even though these are the same model and manufacturing period, the barrels are different lengths being 20" for the .250 and 22" for the .308, the forearms are different in length by 1/8" and the .308 has a 1/4" longer length of pull.  Overall the .308 Winchester gun, a later gun, is bigger.  I tried to align the two guns so that you could see this. 

Of course, I will reload for this cartridge.  Dies were available (same shell holder as the .30-06) and delivered quickly but brass is, at the moment, a bit difficult to find.  There are several suitable bullets available and powders and primers on hand that should work a treat in this rifle.  The shop had 2 boxes of Winchester 100 gr. PowerPoint ammunition with SilverTip appearing bullets and this will do until I've got the reloading up and running.  

87 GR. Speer SP  Hodgdon  Varget  .257"  2.450"  35.0  2947  40,200 CUP  37.0  3074  43,200 CUP 
90 GR. Sierra HPBT  Hodgdon  H4895  .257"  2.425"  33.0  2901  39,000 CUP  35.5  3060  43,900 CUP 
100 GR. Hornady SP  Winchester  748  .257"  2.500"  35.5  2820  43,500 CUP 

This morning I picked up the rifle and immediately mounted a Williams FP-99S. I "zeroed" it by aligning the new rear sight with the issue folding open sight. I then folded the sight down. This evening I went to Mom's and fired two shots off-hand both of which struck a 6" square at 90 yards distance. I will refine the zero but I think this rifle will serve me well!

To get an personally autographed copy of Murray’s book, send a check or money order for $30 (U.S.) together with a note asking him to send you a copy of his book, “The Ninety-Nine”, to:

Doug Murray
20 Polo Lane
Westbury, N.Y. 11590

Delivery, via U.S. Postal Service, will take about 3 weeks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dick Proenneke

Dick Proenneke is another of those who has journeyed to the back country and tried it on his own.
On May 21, 1968, Proenneke arrived at his new place of retirement at Twin Lakes. Before arriving at the lakes, he made arrangements to use a cabin on the upper lake of Twin Lakes owned by a retired Navy captain, Spike Carrithers, and his wife Hope from Kodiak, (in whose care he had left his camper). This cabin was well situated on the lake and close to the site which Proenneke chose for the construction of his own cabin. Proenneke's bush pilot friend, Babe Alsworth, returned occasionally to bring food and orders that Proenneke placed through him to Sears.

Proenneke remained at Twin Lakes for the next 16 months, when he left to go home for a spell to visit relatives and secure more supplies. He returned to the lakes in the following spring and remained there for most of the next 30 years, coming to the lower 48 only occasionally to be with his family.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Heimo and Edna Korth

In 1980, Jimmy Carter established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the Alaskan Interior, cutting off 19 million acres of prime boreal wilderness from the mitts of fur trappers, oil tycoons, and would-be lodge owners alike. Only six families of white settlers were grandfathered in and allowed to keep cabins in the refuge—of them, only one still stays there year-round living off the land. His name is Heimo Korth, and he is basically the Omega Man of America’s Final Frontier.

Raised in suburban Wisconsin, Heimo set off in his teens to the Alaskan Bush to pursue the Davy Crockett lifestyle in more or less the only place it was still possible. Amid numerous setbacks and misadventures, Heimo gradually learned how to master his terrain, provide for his Eskimo wife, and rear children in one of the most inhospitable environments in North America.

In this premiere edition of Far Out, we take a bush plane to the middle of nowhere, Alaska, to catch up with Heimo and his wife, Edna—now reaching their golden years. Over the course of our ten-day stay, the Korths show us everything you need to know about fur-trapping, caribou-hunting, caribou-eating, river-crossing, boredom-staving, bear-avoidance, and bear-defense to live happily over 100 miles from the nearest neighbors. Vegans, you have been warned. Heimo’s epic journey and adventures have been documented in the critically acclaimed book, THE FINAL FRONTIERSMAN, written by Heimo’s cousin, James Campbell.
Read more about the book here

Friday, July 09, 2010

For Sale - Winchester Model 1894

My friend is selling a Winchester Model 1894 SRC, serial 611xxx, .30 WCF for $300 + shipping. Negatives are that it is missing the ring (stud is there), has been re-blued, and there is some pitting/rust damage on the left of the receiver. The nickel steel barrel has a good bore and crown. The correct carbine sight does have damage in that the second leaf's left side is broken off. Yes, the reblue did soften the roll-marks. Otherwise this is a good functional Winchester 94 for a good price.

E-mail if you want photos.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

Oh, where to start...

First up is an old gun brought in by friend John T_________ that had been in the family for quite a long time. I just knew I should have taken the camera this morning but didn't. That's how it goes sometimes. Back to the rifle.

The rifle was a percussion, single trigger, long rifle with engraved patchbox, American eagle motif cheekpiece brass inlay and small brass thumbpiece. It appeared to currently be about 48-49 caliber, the straight octagonal barrel was about 41" long, 7/8" across the flats and the stock appeared to have been a straight grain maple. The gun is 56-1/2" long, overall.  The thimbles were octagon formed brass. The barrel was stamped "J MARKER" on the top flat. In doing a bit of research I found that there was a family of gunsmiths with the last name of Marker and a James Marker (1808-8 May 1883).
James Marker was born in 1808, the third child of Daniel, Sr. (1778-1 Jan 1854), and Anna Christina (Beckenbaugh) Marker (8 Apr 1778-10 Apr 1835). On 11 April 1832 he married Amelia Naeff (Naff or Neff,10 Aug 1810-17 Oct 1881). To this union were born eight children. In 1833 he purchased lot number 160 in Sharpsburg, Maryland, from his uncle, Paul Marker. He also took over the gunsmith business there when his uncle departed for Ohio. James eldest son Jacob followed him in the trade and took over his shop in 1855.
WHICH J. Marker might be a valid question but the gun that friend John has looks very, very much like a gun by James' father Daniel Sr. as shown on page 142 of "West Virginia Gunsmiths" by Lambert and Whisker. It has many attributes of a rifle by Paul Marker (mentioned as the uncle, Daniel Sr.'s brother) as shown on 127 of "Gunsmiths of Virginia" by Whisker.

Research of his "line" shows that he was still working as a gunsmith in Sharpsburg, MD on 4 September 1860 (US Census). James is also shown as working as a gunsmith on the 1850 census. While his wife died in 1881, there is conflicting information on his date of death as he is shown in the 1870 and 1880 censuses but variously reported as deceased in 1863. James' son Jacob (1832-1892), to whom one MIGHT be able to attribute the rifle, was of the right age to have produced the rifle but was likely working in his father's shop at the time the rifle was built (as shown on the 1850 census). James was buried in the Sharpsburg German Reformed Church Cemetery near his wife and his mother.

How this rifle came to the upper Shenandoah Valley would be an interesting story indeed.  Was it "captured" when Confederate forces moved through the Sharpsburg, MD area?  Was it purchased and brought south before the war? In all an interesting past indeed.

Sadly, I think, John might be induced to sell this rifle as he has no heirs to whom to leave it and thinks the rifle would best be served in moving to an owner that values it and preserves it. Photos are now available for viewing here...

The second big thing today was a lady who came in saying "I want to kill a groundhog." In the process of our review of available options I discovered that she was a vegetarian who had given up on chants and "chakras" to remove the groundhog(s) who were rapidly destroying her garden on which she depended for her own subsistence. She had shot rifles before, had had some success, but didn't have any interest in killing anything until SHE was threatened. Because of how she felt she had left the .22 rifle she already owned in Florida. It was a natural and open look into the reality of gun ownership. For those interested she walked out the door with a new Ruger 10/22 (blue/wood stock) and a box of 100 .22 LR CCI Mini-Mag HPs. I have a feeling that this determined lady will end the dining days for Woodpile Groundhog and Lakefront Groundhog.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Peters .30-30 "Trapper" load by John Kort

An interesting .30-30 cartridge used back in the 1930’s-1940’s by Trappers in the north country


Legend has it that these special .30-30 cartridges were loaded by the PETERS Cartridge Company for the Hudson Bay Trading Co. located in the Yukon and possibly the T. Eaton Company in Alberta, Canada.

It was loaded with a full patch 85 gr. bullet that was used in the .30 Mauser pistol cartridge. One trapper, recounting his adventures of long ago, said that he had used the .30-30 cartridges with the little nickel jacketed bullet and found that they were great for dispatching Wolverines and Wolves in traps and for shooting wolves on the ice in the winter and beavers in the spring.

The question then was, what velocity did PETERS load this cartridge to? John had one example of this cartridge in his collection and donated the powder charge from it to me for testing purposes.

Several years ago Hornady made a run of 86 Gr. full patched .30 Mauser bullets for The Old Western Scrounger. I purchased a box to run some tests. I loaded one of these bullets over the powder charge that John had sent to me and it clocked just over 2,000 f.p.s.

I then loaded 10 rounds using the Hornady 86 gr. bullet with 27.0 grs. of 3031, which appeared to be the same type powder. (The powder sample could well have been DuPont 17 1/2 the predicessor to 3031.) When tested, they produced pretty much the same velocity.

Accuracy at 50 yards was very good with groups of around 3/4" if I did my part. Further testing indicated that 170 gr bullets loaded over 30/3031 impacted within 1 1/2" of the 86 gr. bullet.

Hunters/trappers could use both cartridges without having to change their sights. PETERS knew what they were doing when they offered a .30-30 catridge with a bullet that was ½ the weight of the standard 170 gr. and loaded it to the same velocity.....60+ years ago.

John Kort

In developing this special cartridge, PETERS intent was to produce a .30-30 round which could be used for the purpose described above and that could be used interchangeably with the standard .30-30 170 gr. for big game when it was encountered. In addition, it would produce almost no recoil.

This historic, special, PETERS 85 gr. cartridge added a new dimension of usefulness to the .30-30, making it an even more versatile tool in the hands of the outdoorsman.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Just finished our Independence Day Parade

These were three of the best units...

Woodrow Wilson's Auto

Hessian Hollow Farm's 3-Horse Hitch
Westwood Animal Hospital's John Deer
Of course there were the units for the various patriotic and political groups, the "beauty" queens, but only one marching band (pipe and drum).  The crowds are very much diminished from the days when the Statler Brothers' Happy Birthday USA put 90,000 people in and around the park.  I will actually be able to drive to work in a few minutes.

Of course the really important part of the day is the remembrance and  celebration of our Declaration of Independence

We also take time to remember ancestors who have made the sacrifice of service in defense of this country.

PVTJohn BalchAmerican Revolution
Johan Joost BeckerAmerican Revolution
CPTJonathan BixbyConnecticut ContinentalsAmerican Revolution
CPTOrrin Lawrence BrodieWWI, WWII
Archibald CampbellAmerican Revolution
John Elton DavisUSS PrincetonWWII
PVTErasmus Dortch21st Alabama Infantry RegimentCivil War
CPLDaniel Ford6th Connecticut RegimentAmerican Revolution
PVTCharles Henry FlintH/194th New York InfantryCivil War
Jacob HeensAmerican Revolution
LTNathaniel HerrickFrye's RegimentAmerican Revolution
PVTHiram Kimball10th Hvy Arty/69th InfantryCivil War
1LTBarney Alonzo ParslowD/134th New York InfantryCivil War
SGTDonald Fancher Parslow16th IN 1st IDWWII, Korea
PVT/DrummerHenry Parslow1st and 3rd Regts, COLs Snyder,PawlingAmerican Revolution
PVTHenry Parslow1812
PVTHenry Parslow2nd NY Hvy ArtilleryCivil War
GENFreegift PatchinConnecticut & New York MilitiasAmerican Revolution
CPTGeorge Richtmeyer3rd Co. 15th Regt. Albany Cty MilitiaAmerican Revolution
PVTJacob Schaeffer15th Regt Albany Cty MilitiaAmerican Revolution
MatrossKoert Van SchaickCPT Barnes ArtilleryAmerican Revolution
Adam SwartAmerican Revolution
LTAdam ThayerMassachusetts MilitiaAmerican Revolution
1LTWilliam Hathaway Van Cott102nd Regt US VolunteersCivil War
Jacob Van DykeAmerican Revolution
PVTJohan Joost WarnerAmerican Revolution

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Another day of yard work for "Mom"...

No more obstructed views, no more down, pine bark beetled trees, no more "islands" of weeds...  In the distance you can see the "brush pile" a 30x40x6 foot (that's 7200 cubic feet) pile of brush from the last 2 years of yard work.  THAT seems to be awaiting Churchville Fire Department's training burn in a week or two (fingers crossed). 

Many, many thanks to Steve H_____ for his 12 hours of work in helping to whip this problem. 

Along the way we found this little fellow in the mess beneath one pine bark beetle victim.  A little box turtle, he's now safely moved to a portion of the woods we've no intention of walking about.  He was a bit shy after I picked him up and moved him...