Category Archives: Firearms and their use

Discussions of various specific firearms, evaluations of their functionality and appropriate use and employment in every day life. Also discussions of ammunition in the same light. Thirdly, brief discussions of the legal side of firearms ownership and use – Second Amendment considerations and those who seek to destroy personal liberty.

Went to a Gun Show last weekend

That ‘last weekend’ being 07-08 October, A. D. 2017.

No one was injured due to gunfire, with intent or without.  (We do a pretty good job of keeping saboteurs out.)  There was a dispute between a vendor and a customer; it was resolved without bloodshed or even fisticuffs.  Not every was happy about it, but life is like that.

I did not find any illegal (fully automatic, short barreled arms, suppressed arms or suppressors, all without proper documents or licenses) weapons for sale.

I didn’t see any ‘bump fire’ type stocks for sale.  I wasn’t looking, actually.  They don’t work worth a hoot on bolt action rifles.

I heard no discussions planning illegal activities.

There were no demonstrations for the anti-freedom faction.  Probably not enough press coverage.  (I didn’t ‘miss’ it.)

Didn’t find any super-bargains on anything.  One of my friends did find and purchase a Mannlicher-Schonauer (bolt action) rifle in 8x60mm.  He let me hold it.  It was sensuous in the same manner as shifting gears on a well made sports car or sleeping on silken sheets.  It was less than $600.00 Yankee dollars, rather a bargain.  (Presuming one appreciates that sort of thing.)  Then he and I discussed making reloadable cases for it.

Saw a bunch of old friends.  One of whom was not only still moving, he is getting better.  He had been ill with ‘something’ for far too long and the doctors finally figured out the problem.  It can be fixed with minor therapy and diet.  Nothing requiring him to be disassembled and reassembled.  (Thank you, Lord!)

I had dinner and pleasant fellowship and conversation – not all about guns and very little about politics – with some friends.

I found another history book on the First World War for $25.00.

Downside:  I worked ‘security’ on the midnight to morning watch.  Not a lot of sleep and I was really dragging when the show was over.  I’m nearly back to normal today (end of Monday following).

I LEARNED SOMETHING from each of several people.

 

From my point of view, I had a great time.

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One of the Obsolete Revolvers and Why It’s Better Than Popularly Thought

Cylinder open view

I have a nice old revolver.  It is a full sized belt gun.  It can be concealed with proper clothing – a jacket of some sort – but it was intended as an exposed holster gun.  The revolver is a Second Model Hand Ejector, and was made from about 1915 to 1940.  The caliber is .44 Special, one of the finest fighting and general purpose handgun cartridges ever designed.

 

Left side of revolver. If the photo density allows, some flaking of the finish can be seen.

The sample living with me is NOT a pristine collector item.  It has been refinished; possibly in someone’s basement.  The finish is nickel (I think).  It could be chrome.  Whoever did it did know to disassemble the arm before plating it.  The finish is peeling in places.

The barrel has been shortened to just over 4.5 inches, the muzzle more or less squared off and more or less crowned.  The front sight was remounted.  I think I can make out the solder lumps.

The muzzle treatment is somewhat eccentric. The revolver shoots well in spite

Front sight; solder joint visible at base. Also note ‘vintage’ appearance.

Genuine Faux Ivory grips. The shining bit on the left of the grips is the Tyler T-Grip adapter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The capper were Mother of Pearl grips backed with sheet metal (due to cracks) and an attempt to carve a long-horned steer on this.  (I could not bring myself to dig those grips out of hiding and photograph them.)  Those grips made the rest of the revolver look good. The good news was the grip straps were intact and the grips were replaced with some faux ivory magna type grips and a Tyler T-grip.  More good news is the revolver is mechanically sound and reasonably accurate.

The sights are the fixed variety.  I mean solidly fixed.  The front sight is machined from the stock forming the barrel.  (In my sample, it was cut off when the barrel was shortened and remounted by either soft or silver soldering.  It doesn’t move.  The rear sight is a groove milled in the rear of the receiver.  Oddly enough, the sights register the shots close enough not to bother.  Go ahead and hate me for that; I’ll survive.

Rear Sight from above. Note larger groove forward and smaller square groove aft.

Rear Sight almost from shooter’s position. A square groove in the top of the receiver

Front sight from above, solder may be evident in this view also. This is original sight.

 

 

View of the exquisite engraving mentioned. It does have a certain ‘character’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is decorated with – as described by the honest collector who sold it to me – “genuine Texas pawn shop engraving”.  Which appears to me to be ‘wriggle’ engraving presenting a basic set of lines and a four leaf clover.

Trigger pull is a bunch.  That is, the double action trigger pull pegs my rather inexpensive trigger pull gauge (eight pounds).  However, typical of Smith & Wesson revolvers (the older ones, at least) the pull is smooth and uniform beginning to end, so it’s pretty useful.

This is the revolver (series) with which the late Elmer Keith developed his ‘heavy’ load for the .44 Special.  Information based on several of the current loading manuals and articles posit those loads are not recommended for even ‘casual’ use in these revolvers.  However, I have found some information on loading ‘heavier’ loads than the ‘standard’ factory loads.  (The older factory standard loads were kept to the same pressure and velocity as the previous .44 Russian cartridge.  This predicated on the possibility .44 Special rounds could be loaded into the older .44 Russian revolvers.)

Turns out, Alliant Power Pistol will safely propel a 250 grain bullet at about 800 fps.  (By my chronograph, a five round string showed 824 FPS.)  That’s a .45 ACP hardball equivalent, except this revolver is shooting a flat meplat bullet much like that of a wadcutter.  The pressure level is suitable for this series of revolver.  For practice and friendly games, I load the same combination, except the bullet is a lead round nose.

Started a version of the old revolver vs. semi-auto argument.  Decided not to follow it.  I do carry both, all the autos are some variation of the Colt Government Model; all the revolvers are S&W (pinned barrels, recessed cylinders as appropriate).  I feel quite protected with both.

 

And I’m an old guy.  I like revolvers.

Right side. Note speedloader with flat fronted bullets

 

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Rifle; caliber .22 short, long and long rifle; Winchester Model 67

Full view from right side

A rifle made for training.  From information of characteristics, it was made in November/December 1937.  No serial numbers were applied at manufacture (prior to 1968).

Action style:  Bolt action, single shot, striker manually cocked after loading and closing bolt.  Design was intentional to reduce possibility of inappropriate discharge for inexperienced shooters.

Barrel length:  27 1/8 inches.  Conventionally rifled, twist rate of one revolution in 16.25 inches.

Weight:  Five pounds, two ounces.  (Unloaded, of course.)

Sights are traditional rifle sights of the era.

Rear sight blade, U notch

Rear sight, entire view

Rear sight is a leaf sight with slide, adjustable for elevation by moving the slide to elevate or lower the rear sight.  The rear sight blade with sighting notch is flat topped with half-round notch measuring three-sixteenths inch in diameter.  The assembly is mounted to the barrel by a dove tail arrangement at the front of the assembly.  This allows for drifting the entire assembly (using a brass or other non-marring drift and small hammer) either left or right to adjust windage, or to remove the original sight and replace it with some more appealing to the owner.  Since this rifle hasn’t been manufactured since the 1960s, casual replacement of parts is not advised to preserve the collector appeal and value.

Front sight bead and base, slightly fuzzy

Front is a single post with a one-eighth inch bead.  The front sight is also mounted on a dove tail base.  Therefore, it also is drift adjustable for windage or replacement of different front sight entirely.

 

 

Actual sighting is addressed following.

Rifle is not equipped to casually mount a telescopic sight; no ‘grooves’ or drilled and tapped mounting sites.

Testing:

Rifle fired on morning of 30 June 2017 at Four Rivers Sportsman’s Club (Hastings, Nebraska).  Sky was overcast but bright, temperature in the upper 60s to lower 70s, no discernible breeze.  All shots fired from a basic bench rest mechanism.  Shots and velocities timed on a C. E. D. chronograph.

Ammunition types used were CCI Standard Velocity (1070 fps advertised) and Norma USA match-22 (1100 fps advertised).  Due to the era of manufacture, I thought ‘standard velocity’ ammunition was more in keeping with the design of the rifle than any of the newer, ‘high velocity’ ammunition.  I also felt the sights where more suited to standard velocity ammunition.  I doubt modern loadings will harm the action or barrel, but no doubt someone will object to such practice.

Ten round velocity findings:

CCI Standard Velocity:  Average of ten shots, 1053 fps; spread of fastest to slowest shots, 105 fps.

Norma match-22:  Average of ten shots, 1033 fps; spread of fastest to slowest shots, 32 fps.

Both types of ammunition showed a more or less even spread across the range of velocities.   A better test would be one hundred rounds of each ammunition.  Expense and time tend to discourage me in this.

Accuracy testing:

Groups fired at fifty yards to provide adequate idea of accuracy.

Winchester 67: Five shots at 20 yards.

Winchester 67: Five shots at 50 yards.

Since I used five of the CCI shots to insure registration on target at twenty yards, the fifty yard group is only five shots and measures 2 inches high and 1.5 inches wide.  I held ‘center’ on the target and the group registered 4 inches high and 1 inch right of aiming point.  I point out the rear sight was moved to the lowest setting and registration was still some four inches high at fifty yards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winchester 67: Eleven shots at 50 yards (benchrest)

 

 

 

 

 

As the rifle showed itself to be reasonably regulated, I fired the Norma group from fifty yards.  I fired eleven rounds of the Norma ammunition on the fifty yard target as one shot did not register on the chronograph.  Using a six o’clock hold, eight of the rounds grouped 1.25 inches high and 1.625 inches wide, roughly .5 inches below aiming point.  The other three shots were outside that cluster, expanding the total group to 2.25 x 3.25 inches, still about .5 inches below point of aim.

I hasten to add some of the ‘looseness’ of the groups are no doubt the result of my aged eyes and the rather imprecise nature of the open sights.

Both groups would be suitable for small game of squirrel or rabbit size at fifty yards and possible further with better eyes.

Sight picture is questionable.  Aligning the front bead centered in the semi-circular rear notch is intuitive; but positioning the front sight is debatable.  I achieved best results with the front (round) bead at the bottom of the target.  (Usually referred to as the “six o’clock hold”.)  A possibly more intuitive hold is to cover the target (a bullseye in this case), this is referred to as a “center hold”.  With the rear sight in the lowest position, a center hold results in shot holes roughly four inches above point of aim at 50 yards.

The arm functioned well.  The only ‘difficulty’ I found – and it’s so minor I hesitate to call it a ‘difficulty’ – is the extractor is somewhat in the way when inserting a new cartridge into the breech.  Merely pushing on the bolt causes the extractor to move (lower) out of the way and the cartridge chambers properly.

EDITED:  The final paragraph is amended.  In a late-breaking and chagrinning development, I was instructed correctly about removing the bolt from the action.

Clear and make safe.

Close the bolt.

De-cock the striker.

With the bolt closed, pull the trigger and keep it back.

Open and remove bolt.

Pull trigger and keep back to replace bolt (line up root of bolt handle with split in receiver.

NOTE:  Pulling trigger with bolt open will not allow removal of bolt.

 

All in all a useful rifle for the purpose intended.

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I Now Have Another Gripe…

The title reminds me of an old mock up cartoon drawing of Daffy Duck in a foul mood (as if he had alternatives) saying, “Daily I am forced (forthed) to add to the every growing list (litht) of people who can just kiss (kith) my … [- uh – tailfeathers]!”

I like Brownell’s company for firearms parts and tools. I’ve used them. I have an account with them. They’re good people. But the advertising…

The ‘catch my attention’ line in the email is “Don’t settle for the same old gun!” So I’m already a bit chaffed. I’ve carried this old Colt (lightweight) Commander in .45 Awfulmatic for a number of years and had it longer. I like it. I like what it does. I have no intention – and regardless of ‘deal’ – to change it for something – Lord help me! – new.

Then I opened the advertisement. It shows a pistol – looks like a Glock – with ‘enhanced’ sights, a holographic sight along with the sights, an extended barrel with a boss or lug on the end, a flashlight or laser beam attached under the slide/barrel, fancy decorative milling on the slide and and oversized base to the magazine. I cannot see it, of course, but I would imagine a beveled magazine well.

I carry my Commander as a concealed weapon. It is already big enough to hide. I do not need all that foo-foo crap to hide as well.

I do have high visibility fixed sights and some work on the trigger. That does not add any weight or size to the pistol. The pistol is sighted in with the load I carry and I am confident of hitting a human silhouette from the muzzle to in excess of fifty yards (depends on how the eyes focus that day; I’m getting old.) Head shots only to twenty-five to thirty yards.

No, I’m not ‘settling’. No, I do not require a ‘new gun’!

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Another interesting factoid I found

Collecting World War One rifles.

Those early rifles are long!

I have a few rifles – the long rifles, not carbines – are too long for the common rifle case sold currently. The 1892 Krag-Jorgensen rifle is 49 inches long. The 1891 Argentine Mauser rifle is 51 inches long (actually it’s probably in millimeters; I haven’t measured or figured it in millimeters yet). The 1911 Swiss straight pull in 7.5×55 mm is close to 52 inches.

It wasn’t until the Second World War military rifles shortened a bit to what most of think of as normal. In fact, the K-98 Mauser has the “K” prefix which means ‘Kurz’, ‘short’ in English. The original 98 Mauser rifle was just over 49 inches with a barrel nearly 30 inches long. The 98K – a later variation and common in WW2 – was shortened to about 43 inches over all and a 23 inch barrel. However, with smokeless power the velocity and kinetic power levels were more than adequate.

All that aside, I have several rifles for which I just don’t have carrying cases! I can wrap them up in old blankets for taking to the range and such, but this development is ‘curious’. I’ll have to think of something. I hope I don’t have to make some from plywood or such!

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A Decent Human Being with a Gun

24 January 2017. Thomas Yoxall, age 43, tattooed and pierced, was driving West on Interstate 10 near Tonopah, Arizona. He saw a man (later identified as Leonard Penneles-Escobar) ‘savagely’ beating an Arizona State Trooper (Edward Andersson). Mr. Yoxall could not ignore the situation and stopped.

He called to the man beating the trooper, presumably to stop beating the trooper. The man kept beating the trooper and Mr. Yoxall fired his personally owned sidearm at the attacker, stopping the attack. While tending the trooper, Mr. Penneles resumed the attack on Trooper Andersson; Mr. Yoxall fired one more round, incapacitating Mr. Penneles permanently; Penneles died later from his wounds.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/thomas-yoxall-citizen-who-killed-man-assaulting-trooper-edward-andersson-i-was-put-there-by-god/

Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys; Mr. Thomas Yoxall is the sort of man to be admired and encouraged. Seeing a serious problem, he acted swiftly and surely. Victorious in the conflict, he declines the title ‘hero’ and says the aftermath of killing another human is difficult mentally and emotionally.

A telling comment, Mr. Yoxall says he was “…put there by God.” A good man clinging to his guns and his God.

Not much else to say.

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The Order of Saint Ballistica

I have started the Order of Saint Ballistica. It is a religious order. More or less.

Anyone is welcome to join, provided one can fulfill the requirements, as listed following:

One: Know and observe all the requirements of basic, mainstream, Christianity. (Orthodox or not, but observing a sense of mutual Christian respect and love and consideration for the details of others observance.)

Two: In addition, an adherent of the Order of Saint Ballistica must observe three additional sacrements:

* Firearms ownership. One must of one’s own volition own and approve of firearms and firearms ownership. If prevented by law or circumstance, one must be in favor of firearms ownership.

* Firearms possession. One must be in possession of a firearm, loaded and adequately maintained for use. Again, if prevented by law or circumstance, one must be in favor of such activity and state of being.

* Coffee.

Details.

Dues:

None

Gender:

Yes. One must have a gender.

Application process and membership bestowal:

In good faith, an applicant will acknowledge the above and post a placard showing affiliation in a reasonably visible place.

Excommunication process:

Should a member be found in blatant violation of the above requirements, a quorum of four other members will gather in view of the violator, point at the violator and say, “Neener, neener, neener!” followed by evidencing the raspberry.

Then go for coffee and exchange lies about one’s shooting ability.

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