Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

We might depart from the usual format a bit.  Did an ok business today despite the nasty weather and sometimes slick roads.  It doesn't help that it is well after Christmas now and well before most folks get their money refunded from the government tax escrow account.  Not a lot of really interesting guns but the boss did put out our first Ruger SR-22.  I do like it better than the Walther P22 it copies that inspired it.

The big thing today was that the Boss Man had to show me his new acquisition.  A Winchester 1894, .30 WCF saddle-ring carbine in really good condition made in 1923 (polishing room records) or 1925 (Madis).  An honest 85-90%.  He got the gun for a reasonable price for such a treasure AND he got an honest-to-goodness King Ranch saddle scabbard.  He also got a story.

The gun is from about 1925 (give or take).  Hal Franklin Perrenot Sr. was an engineer for the Saint Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railroad on the San Antonio to Brownsville, Texas run.  By the way, this railroad was, prior to 1926, operated by the San Antonio Uvalde Railway Company.  He apparently felt a bit threatened and so he bought the Winchester  to carry on the train "to shoot Mexicans with."  Friend Charles G____ in Texas said this about those times.
This was shortly after the Bandit Wars down here. The railroad passed through hundreds of miles of desolate country where it was attacked several times. Everyone on the train was robbed and most often the Gringos on board were killed. The most notable incident was the Norias raid in 1915. The Army stationed Cavalry detachments at several places along the route. Folks went no place in this country back in the day unless they were armed.The smart ones still do. The South Texas brush country has always been a wild and wooly place. I would think it very prudent and wise for a Conductor to arm himself against the bandits and low life people that infested the brush. They were 100 percent Mexican, so his comment was spot on for the time.

However, if so, he didn't have the gun long because he died 12 Nov 1925 at age 48.  His son, Hal Franklin "Frank" Perrenot Jr served a career in the U.S. Navy retiring to Virginia Beach, Virginia where he passed 22 Feb 1995.  A distinguished family.

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