Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Henry Side Gate Lever Action Rifle Review

BY Herschel Smith
3 days ago

At Ammoland.

For now, available only in .35 Remington, .38-55 Winchester, and .30-30 Winchester.

I saw a comment from Matt Bracken a few days ago with which I agreed.  There is a good argument for having a wheel gun and a lever gun in the same caliber (and I don’t have to point out that it has to do with ammunition compatibility, with the rifle round having a somewhat higher muzzle velocity than the revolver).

But for me to become interested, they’re going to have to expand the line to include other calibers, e.g., .44 magnum.

Bullpup Rifle Competing To Replace The M4s And M249s

BY Herschel Smith
3 days ago

From The Drive.

Great idea.  Put the explosion closer to the shooter’s ear and cause even more hearing damage.

In the mean time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the M4 or M249.

Rare, High-Priced Guns

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 23 hours ago


The famous command given to Revolutionary War soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill – “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” – resulted in forever identifying the musket credited with the first shot fired against British troops on that fateful day in June of 1775. John Simpson, a Private in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment, was court martialed for disobeying orders, successfully documenting the gun that fired the first shot in the historic battle. However, Simpson was lightly punished and went on to serve in the rest of the war with distinction.

The gun that fired the first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill is heading for sale Morphy Auctions in Denver later this month.

The Revolutionary War musket belonged to John Simpson, a Private in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment who fought during the historic battle in Charlestown, Massachusetts on June 17, 1775.

As the British troops advanced, Simpson fired his weapon prematurely – disobeying the famous order given to American soldiers not to fire “until you see the white of their eyes”.

Having been passed down by Simpson’s descendents for almost 250 years, the historic weapon will now be offered for sale for the first time, and is expected to sell for up to $300,000.

“We have the privilege of auctioning a firearm that symbolizes one of the most important battles leading to American independence,” said Dan Morphy, President of Morphy Auctions.

“It will be exciting to see whether the Simpson musket ends up in a private or institutional collection.”

In the comments one person says that “The father of the soldier testified for its authenticity.” I do wonder about authenticity and traceability.

I think I would rather have a rifle used by one of Francis Marion’s men. On another front and probably easier to prove authenticity, I had forgotten that Singer made 1911s.

As for the 500 Singer 1911s, those handguns went to arming Army Air Force aircrews, and today are among the most desirable guns in the world of arms and armor collecting. The small number produced, their high quality, and the even smaller number of guns that survived the war make them extremely rare. In December 2017, a Singer 1911 sold at auction for an eye-popping $414,000, one of the highest prices ever paid at auction for a handgun.

Yep.  I’ll take a couple with sequential serial numbers, please.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

Performance Of .45 ACP In A Modified 1911 With A Spring Intended For 450 SMC

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

As readers know, I modified a S&W E-Series Performance Center 1911 by installing a 22# spring purchased from Wolff Gunsprings in lieu of the 18# spring that came with the gun.

Since then, it has performed flawlessly with 450 SMC, albeit a little stiff on the recoil.    Recall that the 450 SMC round comes with a rifle primer rather than a pistol primer, leaving more room for powder.  With stippled wooden grips I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to shoot more than three or four dozen rounds before getting some hand sting.  I would need to install different grips if I intended to shoot 450 SMC all day at the range.

But the question came up about this round whether the higher spring constant affected the gun’s ability to properly cycle .45 ACP (i.e., does the weaker ammunition incompletely cycle the slide and cause a FTF/FTE)?

I can confidently say after having shot several brands of .45 ACP with the stiffer 22# spring that I’ve had no malfunctions at all.  To me this is good news since I won’t have to change the spring for my choice of ammunition.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

Weapon Of War And It’s Contemporary Relevance

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

David Codrea.

“They all started out as ‘weapons war,’ you lying dumb@$$!” I’d love to hear somebody within microphone range yell back. Having “every other terrible implement of the soldier” is what the Founders intended “the people” to keep and bear. Even the rigged Miller opinion admitted the plan was for their arms to have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia [or] that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

I’ve pointed out before ” …the next time some loud mouth tells you that “civilians” should not have “weapons of war designed only to kill others,” inform them that every soldier or Marine is first and foremost a civilian (in that he came from our ranks and will return to our ranks), and that every weapon that has ever been designed, or improvised, by an insurgency or uniformed army, is a weapon of war.  There are no exceptions, from sticks to rocks, from shotguns to rifles, from revolvers to pistols, from bolt action long guns to machine guns.”

Literally.  The Marine Corps used shotguns to clear rooms in Now Zad, Afghanistan.  Carlos Hathcock used a Winchester model 70, as did the Marine Corps in Desert Storm.  Revolvers were in use in WWI, perhaps during parts of WWII (I truly wish I could find a picture of use of revolvers in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan – that would make my day, and I and readers could celebrate an astounding victory!).  The Marine Corps infantry officer course in Quantico still teaches the use of improvised weapons in the bush, including rocks and sticks in hand-to-hand fights.  I have a 9mm pistol, but John Moses Browning’s 1911 is still my favorite gun to shoot, as it is with Clint Smith.

Grizzly Bear Attack In Montana Stopped With 9mm Pistols

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Recall that there were multiple bear attacks briefly discussed in this earlier report.  Bear spray was deployed, but there was another attack not fully discussed, where pistols were used.

In addition to their archery equipment, both men had 9 mm pistols. Chris Gregersen had a Glock 43. Donivan Campbell had a Sig Sauer P320. Both guns were loaded with full metal jacketed (FMJ) cartridges.

I like Dean’s detail – I always want to know what weapon was used and what caliber it was.

He took a snap sight picture and fired at the bear’s rear. It was probably 16 seconds into the attack.  The point of aim was the bear’s hind quarters. There was no other choice.  The bear and Donivan were up slope with brush on either side. There was no time to flank the bear, on a steep hill side, with considerable brush, when fractions of a second could make the difference between life and death.   Chris had a clear shot. He has considerable experience shooting under stress while hunting. He says he has “shot a lot.”  He had a brief worry about hitting his friend, so he had to do it right.

[ … ]

Chris emphasized bear spray would not have been sufficient. The spray would have been directed at the bear’s backside. If the spray had reached the bear’s head, it would have disabled Donivan as well. When the bear charged again, the bear spray would have been unlikely to reach the bear through the heavy cover.

There were multiple charges, each time repelled by yelling and gunfire.  The injuries were bad, and Dean has some good pictures of the area as well.

This further confirms that bear spray is simply not an effective deterrent against a determined, large predator.  But a gun is – I guess I would have chosen a larger bore handgun.  There is also this observation.

A warden suggested more power, and a large magazine capacity gave a better chance of hitting the central nervous system. He recommended the Glock 20 in 10mm

I have a better solution: A 1911 shooting 450 SMC, with higher muzzle velocity and a heavier bullet.  I’m accurate with it, I just can’t shoot 50 rounds without ceasing to have fun.  It’s not a plinker.

S&W 460 XVR Performance Center Review

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

As readers know, I like wheel guns.  I want one of these.  I can’t have one, so says my bank account.

Which Rifle Barrels Last The Longest?

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Via Kenny, question asked and answered.

Another misgiven “fact” I see running rampant is associated with comparing stainless steel to chromemoly steel barrels for longevity. Stainless steel barrels will, yes, shoot their best for more rounds, but, chromemoly will shoot better for an overall longer time. Lemmeesplain: the difference is in the nature of the flame cutting effect on these two steels. Stainless tends to form cracks, looking like a dried up lakebed, while chromemoly tends to just get rough, like sandpaper. The cracks provide a little smoother surface for the bullet to run on (until they turn into something tantamount to a cheese grater). The thing is that when stainless stops shooting well it stops just like that. So, stainless will go another 10 to 15 percent more x-ring rounds, but chromemoly is liable to stay in the 10-ring at least that much longer than stainless steel.

Good information to know.

Rifle Red Dot Sight Bleg

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Readers, weigh in for a friend please.

I was asked a question about red dot sights for MSRs, and I really don’t know that much about them.  I have an EOTech for an AR pistol, but as best as I’m aware, EOTech pretty much has a lock on the holographic side of things.  I don’t think anyone else makes a holographic sight.  I could be wrong.

As for standard red dots, there’s Trijicon, Burris, Holosun, and a whole host of others.

Which red dot sights do readers like, and why?  List them by price point if you can.

Is Long Range Precision Shooting Destroying Hunting As We Know It?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

Field & Stream.

It’s called hunting, and it’s fun. Of course, you ultimately need to put a bullet through a squirrel’s quarter-size brain, and your gun is the tool for tying the process together. But if you’re going squirrel hunting mainly to show off your custom rimfire, the redneck who’s using iron sights and knows how to identify and creep up on the sound of pignut husks peppering the ground can probably teach you a thing or two.

That squirrel hunting has become overlooked is a hell of a statement about modern hunting culture. “You hunt squirrels?” people say to me. “That’s cool. My grandpa used to hunt those.” Instead of woodsmanship, today’s hunters seem to value and obsess over gear, especially guns and cartridges and optics. We pore over information about bullets and twist rates and custom turrets so that we’re ready for that 400-plus-yard shot we’re sure we’re going to get—but we forget to pick our feet up and whisper on the way there. We buy choke tubes and reflex sights and pattern shotguns with $10 shells so we can kill a turkey from 70 yards—but in the process, we fail to learn what a drumming turkey sounds like because we have never listened to one that’s been completely fooled at 15 steps.

When you see a bunch of outdoorsmen gathered around a phone these days to look at pictures of a buck or bull, the question you’re almost bound to hear is: How far was the shot? If it was a close shot, the ­hunter’s reply is usually sheepish: “Oh, he walked by at 40 steps. Kind of hard to miss that.”

I’m sorry, but there’s something wrong with that. Getting close enough to count coup ought to be the mark of a good hunter—not something to defend ­because it makes the shot too easy. If that’s not obvious to you, then I think you need to try the most overlooked hunt in North America. And when your buddies break out their phones to compare critters, make sure you show off a photo of a limit of squirrels and brag about sneaking in to 20 yards for six clean headshots with your .22 and 4X Walmart scope.

Funny.  My youngest son was saying that same thing to me just this morning.  Oh, he knows a thing or two about long range precision shooting.  He was a DM and he went through Scout Sniper training.

But he would still rather shoot at 20-40 yards than 250 or further.  Because that’s hunting.

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