Saturday, April 24, 2004

Browning BLR in .358 Win.

That's what their talking about over at Gunblast. Just the thing for someone looking for a lever that shoots flatter than a 45/70 and hits harder than a 30-30.
Bersa .380 Thunder

Hell in a Handbasket tried one out on range and gives us a report.

If money is tight and you are looking for a very compact pistol, it is a value that is hard to beat.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

What I Saw at the NRA Convention

Four acres of booths is a lot of stuff to see. Most of the booths were packed with neat things to see and add to the wish list. There were even celebrities-- Gen. Craig Boddington, Tom Knapp, Ted Nugent, and Col. Jeff Cooper.

The four-inch S&W .500 Mag is a beast. I can't imagine packing it on my hip or shooting it, but then, I don't share the trails with big bears.

The Navy Arms Schofield is a cool revolver, but is not nearly as handy as a Ruger Vaquero. Maybe the triumph of the Colt SAA was an early victory for ergonomics.

The S&W 625 Mountain Gun in 45 Long Colt is a pure delight in the hand. I could easily imagine packing it all day long in the field.

S&W's new 22 Mag snubby is a gem.

Henry is bringing out their Big Boy in 45 Colt. The Big Boy is one slick little leveraction and the brass receiver is eye-catching. (Hmm, a Big Boy in the gun rack and a 625 on the hip, I could be the very model of a PA cowboy for the 21st century....)

EAA and Stoeger shotguns are nicely balanced and are a steal-- O/U and S/S shotguns for well under $500. Remington is also bringing out a value priced line of shotguns. (I think they are called Spartan Arms by Remington.)

Remington was also promoting a new line of ammunition-- Managed Recoil Loads. They claim they can make a .270 Win. kick like a .243. Essentially, they are dropping the bullet weight and velocity. Nice idea for people who don't handload.

The Secret Service by Eagle Grips are the best grips i've seen/handled for a J-frame snubby.

I checked out every .380 i could find. Not one-- not even the Walther PPK/S or the Sig 232-- made me want to switch from the J-frame.

As per usual, there was nothing new for us .41 Mag fans.

Colt was there with a full array of handguns-- Pythons, SAAs, and 1911s. Glad to see that they are back in the civilian market.

Colt, Kimber, and Firestorm all had 1911s in 38 Super.

The business end of a 4-bore elephant gun looks like it belongs on a field piece the Brits would have taken on a punitive expedition against a wayward colony. I can't imagine shooting it from the shoulder.

Judging by the number of models on display, we will soon reach a time when everyone will offer a version of the 1911.

This is the first NRA convention/exhibit that i've been to. It was well worth driving a couple hours to get to.

I do most of my blogging here. Right now I am in the middle of a series of posts on the pre-9-11 intelligence failures.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Speaking of James

A friend of his could use your help. (Hey, just an email, no money required.) Stop over and get the whole story here.

Thursday, April 08, 2004


James Rummel talks about his experience teaching a CCW class this weekend. I was struck by the fact that all of the students (many of them new shooters) felt that the S&W 10 was the easiest to shoot.

It is always good to get real world evidence on these things. One of my first posts here was on the wheelgun as personal protection option. James's students illustrate the point again. Starting out, revolvers are easier to come up to speed with.

Also, the Model 19 i rave about below is really just a Model 10 adapted to handle the .357 Mag. The 10/19 series from Smith and Wesson represent a highpoint in gun design.

But make sure you check out the rest of James's blog. He always writes on interesting things. And his shooting posts are always level-headed.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Snubby Ammo

The June Combat Handguns has a test of a new .38 Special load designed especially for snubbies. It is a 135 grain Gold Dot from Speer.

In their tests, it generated 870 fps from a 2" barrel. It showed expansion to more than .57" in gelatin while still delivering good penetration and did so even when fired through denim.

This looks like a winner. Feeding a snub-nosed pistol presents requires careful ammo selection. The short barrel can cut velocity drastically which in turn reduces the effectiveness of many hollowpoint loadings. It looks as if the guys at Speer have come up with a HP that expands reliably at moderate velocities and a powder that can deliver the necessary speed from even a short barrel.

Definitely something i plan to check out.