A Day With Mom – Strange But Better Days

Today seemed as bright as yesterday seemed dark. I had a few errands to run and took my mom to lunch in thanks for her help wrapping presents. Afterwards we went to the range and we started teaching her to run an AR using a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. She has a long way to go but for an almost 80 year old woman she did pretty darn well.

These are still strange days when an ex-hippy, ex-pacifist, ex-liberal old lady wants to know how to run an AR. She told me that these are dangerous times and we might all need to take up arms to defend ourselves and those we love so she better get to learning. Not exactly a positive sentiment but after enjoying a day with her, things definitely seem much brighter.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

 

IWI Masada And Red Dots On Handguns

IWI, the Israeli company behind the Tavor and Galil rifles, has released a new 9mm striker fired pistol in the US market; the Masada.

IWI Masada

It has received some very good reviews online but, for the most part, it is another “me too” entry in the 9mm pistol market; polymer frame, striker fired, interchangeable backstraps, and standard three dot sights. Nothing particularly special except that it comes optics ready straight from the factory and has an MSRP of $480.

At least one online gun seller is bundling them with a Vortex red dot sight and selling them for $568.99 (link) which is about what a Glock 19 MOS is running without the optic.

Masada + Vortex Venom

A buddy (who is a bit of an Israeli-phile) noticed the price an immediately ordered one. He was kind enough to let me run a few magazines through it and I thought I would share a few of my thoughts and observations.

The Masada

This is a nice little pistol.

What do you mean little pistol? Isn’t it a duty sized pistol with a 17 round magazine capacity?

Yup. But it doesn’t feel that way.

The shape and contour of the grip makes this feel smaller in the hand. Unlike the similarly sized Glock 17 it does not feel like you are holding a 2×4 in your hand. It compares favorably to Wonderful Wife’s M&P 9c and feels better (and smaller) than my own Glock 19s. My stubby little thumb can reach the magazine release without completely shifting my grip. I don’t know which backstrap was installed but it was extremely comfortable for myself with my stubby little finger and for my buddy and his ape hands. It is an amazing feat of ergonomic engineering.

The trigger is unremarkable. It is there. It works and it doesn’t stand out in either a good or bad way. It is not a crisp as the P320 but seems a bit better than the Glock triggers. So, standard middle of the road striker fired pistol trigger.

The three dot sights are basic and cheap. Better than standard Glock sights but not as good as the X-ray sights on the SIG.

For the price this little pistol is an excellent value. I recommend it highly and if I were not already invested in other platforms it would be high on my “I want” list.

So how about the red dot on a pistol?

Glad you asked.

Red Dot Sight

Like the Masada the Vortex Venom is not a top of the line red dot, but it is an excellent sight for the money. If you will be carrying into battle an Aimpoint will probably be tougher and more durable. For a night stand gun this is a great little optic for the money. I had one previously and loved it until my grandson wanted it and now I don’t have one anymore. I will be getting another (or several).

I have heard good and bad about this type of configuration but this was my first time shooting a pistol with a red dot and I was anxious to see how well they would work for me. First magazine I was able to ring the steel target from around 7-10 yards most of the time. I had no problem picking up the dot when I brought the gun on target (this is a complaint many people have).

Oddly, I was more accurate with the SIG 320 with its excellent sights and I was shooting about the same level of accuracy as I did with my Ruger LCR.

Wait. What?

No, I didn’t see a dramatic increase in accuracy using a red dot in this case which is a common justification for pistols in this configuration.

Why not?

A few reasons:

1. The red dot was not perfectly sighted in. It was shooting several inches low at that distance. I didn’t realize that at first and my accuracy improved as I figured out the “hold under.”

2. I ran a grand total of (maybe) 50 rounds through the Masada with the Venom while I a lot more rounds on the P320 and even more rounds with the same sight setup (they are the same sights as on my P365 and P250. In fact everything about the P320 (except the trigger) is identical to the P250 and I have several thousand rounds through that pistol including dozens of IDPA competitions. The Ruger LCR is another platform that I put thousands of rounds through.

3. We were shooting at a pretty short range and I think that a red dot would start to make a real difference at longer distances.

So are iron sights better at these closer distances?

Not really.

There were two key differences in shooting with the red dot versus the iron sights:

1. I was able to achieve comparable accuracy with the red dot while shooting faster. Even while compensating for the improper zero on the dot I could “ring the gong” with comparable accuracy but about 30% more quickly. This would translate into more hits on target in less time. I think that is a definite plus in a self-defense situation.

2. With my eye issues I have to close my left eye when shooting iron sights. On the other hand, with the red dot, I could hit the target reliably with both eyes open. In fact with the red dot it was easy to focus on the target and what was around it. I didn’t have to concentrate on the dot like I do with standard sights. Not only does this increase my field of view but it dramatically helps in being aware of what it going on around you. I think improved situational awareness would also be a big plus in a self defense situation.

While I was initially interesting in red dots on pistols for myself I think the person who would benefit the most from this set up is Wonderful Wife. I do not practice and train as much as I should but I do practice and train a lot. Wonderful Wife is a little better about practicing and training than the average bear but she doesn’t practice nearly as much as I do. I believe her consistency, accuracy and speed would improve dramatically with this configuration. This still needs to be tested out but it is consistent with what I am hearing from other sources. I also think that if I put in anywhere near the same amount of time with this set up as I do my iron sights my shooting would improve as well.

So, there you have it. My initial experiences with the Masada and a red dot optic on a pistol. I hope to get more time on the Masada soon to further test out the concept. I may even break down and buy something for myself and not mooch off friends.

Take care and God Bless.

Quick Range Report: The Hammer And Lesser Beasts

Range sessions have been few and far between of late and most of those have been dedicated to testing this that or they other and no real time for dedicated practice with my primary weapons of choice. Last week I was able to make it out and do a little of both.

First off, a buddy who went with me brought his .44 Magnum Desert Eagle and let me punch some (really big) holes in paper with it:

This thing is a monster.

It is huge and it is heavy. The recoil is really not that bad its just hard to get a good grip on this beast with pudgy little fingers like mine. I would never buy one but I am very thankful for a chance to shoot it. It was a blast!

Next up was The Hammer.

My own .44 Magnum but in a proper and much smaller, lighter revolver format:

I have an ultralight, titanium framed .357 magnum (Smith & Wesson M&P 340) and most people who shoot it won’t ever choose to do so again. Which is how I picked it up for a good price. Shooting that little monster is kind of like catching a fastball with no glove. It stings a bit. OK, it stings a lot. Compared to The Hammer though, that little 340 is a sweetie. Pulling the trigger on a full bore .44 Magnum round is like catching a hard swung baseball bat with your bare hand; there is some stinging but mostly a lot of hurt. In fact several days later I could still feel pain in the web of my hand, my wrist and my elbow.

(Note: I do not wear a shooting glove of any sort which would help dampen the felt recoil.)

Slip down to lightly loaded Magnums or .44 Specials and The Hammer becomes much more manageable. In fact it is a downright pleasant shooter at that point. The sights are very good and with lighter loads I was punching a single ragged hole in the target at seven to ten yards. Thre trigger is a little rough and a bit “squishy” in single action mode but it will probably get better over time. Most Smith’s seem to.

This is a big gun with a lot of recoil but when faced with an angry or wounded pig or a rampant dinosaur (alligator) I have a feeling I won’t notice the recoil. Shot shells (for snakes) probably wont have much of any recoil at all and will reduce the need for accuracy the next time one decides to violate our mutual avoidance agreement.

I bought (another) Ruger LCR in .38 Special. I like to have a backup of my primary carry gun and although I have other Ruger LCRs and other J-Frame revolvers in .38 Special I did not have a second LCR in .38 Special. I happened to come across a great deal on a lightly used one locally so I picked it up. It is an older model with a plain black sight blade but after a quick trip to shopruger.com the proper replacement is on the way. Other than the hard to see front sight, the little revolver performed flawlessly.

I spent the remainder of the session practicing drills and marksmanship. I am having a hard time adjusting to shooting with bifocals. I have spent the last decade and a half with perfect vision (courtesy of lasik surgery) but now that I have reached “a certain age” I am back in glasses. Did I mention they are bifocals? And as a result I am having to relearn some basic skills in order to accommodate my eye-wear.

For most of my practice time I used my 9mm Ruger LCR. The recoil was very light with 115 grain practice ammo (much appreciated after spending time with The Hammer) and the reloads are quick and easy due to the moon-clips. I have always been warned away from carrying a 9mm revolver due to the fragility of the moon-clips but I have not had an issue related to them yet. The other benefit of practicing with 9mm is the price of ammunition. 9mm, for the most part, runs 30-40% cheaper than .38 Special ammunition.

All in all it was a good trip to the range and I was able to work on some much needed skills.

Take care and God bless.

What Did You Prep This Month?

It has been a busy month and somewhat productive…

Walk With God

Completed two more rounds of praying for our 100 closest neighbors. Church, Sunday School, and Bible Study all attended regularly.

Self Defense/Hunting

We bought 100 rounds of .308 hunting ammunition. I am now just above my minimum inventory levels on all the calibers I maintain. I also bought a box of 50 .357 Magnum soft points for woods carry during our hunting trip and a box of .44 Magnum hunting rounds.

I reloaded 100 rounds of .38 Special and purchased bullets to start reloading .327 Magnum and to load up some .45 ACP.

I traded a .308 hunting rifle I was not using for a Smith & Wesson Model 64 that will definitely be used (has already been to the range). I bought a second Ruger LCR in .38 Special. I always like to have a backup of my primary carry gun. It was on my list and I came across a really good deal on a pre-owned (but likely never shot or if so less than a few dozen rounds) model at a local gun shop.

Supplies/Gear

Still making progress on stocking up our primary pantry and our emergency pantry. The primary pantry is about where I want it to be:

Primary Pantry

I was able to get the emergency pantry just about finished up as well. I have an inventory of what we have and a list of the last few things we need to fill the gaps. I will buy a little at a time over the next few months or as I find things on sale until the emergency pantry is back to where it needs to be.

At some point we need to replace the freezer that was ruined in the flood. I would prefer a stand up freezer this time around. Chest freezers tend to become “shelf space” especially when they are in a utility room or laundry room. Things tend to get buried at the bottom not rotated properly. Chest freezers are more efficient and a good bit cheaper though.

Security

No changes or upgrades here.

Finances

Trying to get some debts paid down including the SBA loan to repair the house and I would really like to get the house paid off as quickly as I can. The mortgage is the only “secured” loan we have and costs the most in interest every month. This has been a long term goal and we are making progress. It just takes a while.

Fitness/Health

Really need to get focused on this…

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

Take care and God Bless

Change Of Plans: No Hammer This Weekend

I purchased the Smith & Wesson Model 69 (The Hammer) the other day to be by sidearm when hunting and engaging in other outdoor activities where I might encounter a serious threat from the wildlife. Unfortunately, life, the universe and poor planning on my part have put me in a position where The Hammer will stay home for my fist hunt of the season.

With my current workload (personal, business and spiritual) I did not have enough time to order the ammo I want to use. Few local gun stores carry .44 Magnum and almost none carry .44 Special. I could get a decent .44 Magnum load but no shot shells locally. So it would have to be an Internet purchase and there is no time left for that. Even worse I haven’t found a good carry holster for this monster locally so that will have to be an internet purchase as well and, again, no time.

Instead of The Hammer, my Smith & Wesson 340 will get the call. I already have shot shells in .38 caliber on hand and .357 Magnum is a bit more common down here so I was able to grab a box of 158 grain soft-points that ought to suffice against all but the biggest and most determined critters. I also carry this revolver regularly and have several holsters that work quite well already.

This weekend’s hunting carry

We are heading out after deer and the area we will be hunting does not have anywhere near the feral hog population that we have down here in Texas. We will not be near any alligator infested waterways either. On the other hand, there is a slightly higher likelihood of encountering black bears in the area and we will be bow hunting so I won’t have a long gun with me. All in all, I have no doubt that the .357 Magnum should be just fine. It is significantly lighter and easier to conceal for travel through populated areas. I was just hoping to be able to bring The Hammer along.

Take care and God bless.

Smith & Wesson Model 69 Combat Magnum: The Hammer

There are times and situations in life that call for skill and finesse. There are also times when the rapid application of as much pure brute force as possible is the best solution. For example, when a big ole momma gator decides that she wants to occupy the same little stretch of sandbar where you are camping and fishing, having a whole lotta brute force available would be a very nice thing. When you realize that the 200 pound boar with a rather impressive set of tusks that your son in law wounded has found his way behind the little scrub oak you are leaning against it is another situation where having a lot of brute force available would be extremely comforting.

While I am a big fan of 9mm and .38 Special those rounds don’t quite deliver on the level of brute force I would like to have had in those situations. There are many who will swear that .45 ACP was god’s gift to John Moses Browning and is the end all be all when it some to stopping two legged predators but against a big, angry boar with six to twelve inch, self-sharpening tusks on either side of his jaws and a couple of inches of soft body armor wrapped around his vitals I’d still prefer more power, more brute force. Something, along the lines of a .44 Magnum…

With hunting season fast approaching (and a little bonus money in my pocket) I decided it was time to make a purchase I have been thinking about for a good long time; a carry revolver for when I am out in the woods and the swamps around of (south) East Texas. A carry revolver that can handle a pissed off “Mr. Pig” or a determined dinosaur.

I did quite a bit of research on this over the years. I looked at the Taurus which definitely has a good price point but does not have a reputation for quality that I want to base my life on. I bet my life on Ruger firearms most every day of the week but was a bit heavier than I would prefer to carry while fighting through the thickets and undergrowth that most piggies like to call home. I really liked the Smith & Wesson 329 which has a super light (relatively speaking) Scandium frame however the N-frame is a bit too large for my short, stubby fingers. Like Goldilocks I eventually found one that was “just right;” the L-Frame based Model 69 Combat Magnum with a 3″ barrel.

Smith & Wesson Model 69 Combat Magnum
Smith & Wesson Model 69 Combat Magnum

At 34 ounces this is no lightweight but with the short 3″ (2.75 actually) barrel I think it will carry pretty well. The sights are a nice setup with a red insert in the blade front sight and an adjustable rear notch. The trigger pull is long and nowhere near as smooth as must of my other Smiths. It is also pretty heavy but like most of my Smith & Wesson’s have it will probably get better with time and use. The rubber, combat style grips fit me pretty perfectly. They don’t do much to absorb recoil though…

So, let’s address the (.44 Magnum) elephant in the room.

I like small revolvers and even enjoy shooting them. Even my Titanium-framed .357 Magnum that only weighs 14 ounces. Nevertheless, truth be told shooting hot .357s thought that gun is a lot like catching a fastball barehanded…five times in a row. It snaps and it stings. The .44 is a bit different. There is more recoil energy. It’s more like catching the bat someone swung at the fastball…barehanded. All in all it is more pleasant to shoot that the .357 but not by much and you I could feel it the next day as my wrist and elbow were both sore. Swap out the full bore .44 magnums for either some lightly loaded magnums or .44 Specials and the monster is tamed. In fact she is quite a pleasant shooter with lighter loads and extremely accurate.

But that is not why I bought this revolver. I bought it to be a roaring, fire breathing beast. I bought it to be a hammer when I need the brute force to stop a charging pig or a creeping gator and I think she will do just fine.

Take care and God Bless.

Yet Another New Toy

Yes, I added another .38 Special revolver to the collection. A very nice Smith & Wesson Model 64:

Smith & Wesson Model 64

She is a really nice stainless steel, six shot revolver with a 4″ heavy barrel.

The great thing is that I didn’t spend a dime on it. I had a .308 bolt action that was not being used and was literally collecting dust in a closet. A buddy of mine told me that he had a hankering for a hunting rifle and this revolver that was collecting dust. Now he has my bolt gun and I have his revolver. I am pretty sure this won’t be collecting dust in my safe. She will see regular range trips.

I have shot this revolver before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The trigger pull is extremely smooth and she is extremely accurate. The front sight (polished stainless steel blade) is difficult for my old eyes to pick up but a little contrasting paint on the blade should fix that right up.

Take care and God bless.

More New Toys (Late Post)

I wrote this post back in July and when I was putting together another post a day or two ago I came across the draft and realized that I never posted it…


I have been a very, very bad boy again this month (note: keep in mind that this was written back in July). At a time when I should be saving money and buying stuff for the house I have been spending it like crazy on toys for myself.

M1 Carbine

I have wanted an M1 Carbine since I was a kid. At one time they were as cheap as dirt but in the last few years they have been getting pretty pricey. GI issue carbines seem to start around $800 and decent shooters go up from them. New manufacture carbines start around $1000. I found a non-GI issue made by Universal for less than half the price of a GI issue. Even though more modern designs are more reliable and harder hitting I dearly love this little rifle. It is a blast to shoot (until it suffers from a feed failure). If it fed more reliably it would make a heck of a self-defense carbine. It is light, has almost no recoil, plenty of capacity the .30 Carbine round is no slouch for civilian purposes.

Marlin 1894 (.357/.38 Special)

I have a mint, pre-Remington Marlin 1894C that I picked up a few years ago for a steal. It is in such mint condition that it has become somewhat of a safe queen. I wanted another to be able to take it out, run it and not worry about losing value should it get scratched or damaged. This is a new manufacture (post-Remington) manufacture and I can definitely tell the difference between it and my older 1894. It runs OK and shoots pretty well even if the action is kinda clunky compared to the pre-Remington version of the same gun.

Winchester 94 Trapper (.44 Special/.44 Magnum)

This was not a rifle that was on my radar in any way, shape or form…but it is great little rifle and so much fun to shoot. It is so short and light I could probably carry it all day without noticing but it still packs enough punch for any game in this part of the country. The sights are dead on and I can hit within a six inch circle at 100 yards which is amazing considering how bad my eyes are getting. I am sure the rifle is capable of far more with the operator being the limiting factor. A nice little red dot like the Vortex Viper would help a lot with that.

I purchased the rifle and then looked for ammo…

Wow! I was shocked at the price of .44 magnum. It’s more expensive than .30-30 at over a dollar per round. Finding .44 Special is just about impossible around here. Needless to say I will be reloading for this caliber.

In all actuality, this is a pretty handy and useful little rifle. With the right ammo and within the right range it could take down a deer or similarly sized hog. Switch ammo and it could be used for smaller down to rabbit without ruining too much meat.

Ruger LCR (.327 Federal Magnum)

What can I say?

It is a six shot LCR. The .327 Federal Magnum packs a pretty decent punch, much more so than a .38 Special (but less than a .357 Magnum). I can shoot .32 Smith & Wesson, .32 ACP, .32 Smith & Wesson Long, .32 H&R Magnum and .327 Federal Magnum from the same revolver making it easy to develop and test loads for these calibers.

Here is a video of the little LCR:

Various .32 Caliber Rounds One Revolver from Armed Christian on Vimeo.

In this video I start with a round of .32 Smith & Wesson, then a couple of .32 S&W Longs, a .32 H&R Magnum and finally a full bore .327 Magnum. With the extra capacity (six vs. five) this could become my primary carry revolver.

Take care and God bless.

Five Magical American Guns

I came across an article on the Field & Stream magazine web site entitled “Five Magical American Guns”  by David E. Petzal. It was an interesting article but it wasn’t really what I was expecting. These were some personal favorites of the author and it is an interesting list:

Colt Python

Weatherby  in .257 Weatherby

Savage 340 in .222

Remington Model 725

Ruger Blackhawk (original three screw) .357

Smith & Wesson Model 29

The Python and the Model 29 I get completely. The Blackhawk…well maybe, but the others…not so much. Which got me to thinking, what five American guns would I consider “magical?”

Well first off, what does “magical” mean?

I don’t think it has to do with the accuracy, reliability or even the impact it had on history (although all of those can contribute). I think it has more to do with the history, lore and mystique of the firearm. I think it also has a lot to do with how it handles, the way it feels in the hand and how it feels when you shoot it. Which means there are some guns that will have to left off the list just because I have never had the chance to shoot one, most notably the Colt Python and M1 Garand. It also means that these choices are by their very nature completely subjective.

Three guns came to mind immediately the rest took a good bit of thought.

1. Winchester Models 73 and 94

Winchester 1894 Trapper

Ok, I am kind of cheating on this one because these are actually two different firearms and each one has been chambered in several calibers over time. The guns are a dream to shoot. They are light and handy whether bustin through the brush or walking the fields. My ’94 is so light and handy I have grabbed it by mistake several times thinking it was a .22 made by by Henry. The lever action means follow up shoots are quick and accurate. Recoil (depending on the caliber) is reasonably light.

This is is an all around gun that can used for just about any task or form of game. It can easily serve to put meat on the table or to defend the home.

As far as history and mystique, few can top this classic cowboy gun. Heroes of Westerns like John Wayne and Matt Dillon (and villains too) carried one on screen. Growing up in Texas I thought every pickup came from the factory with a gun rack a shotgun and a Winchester.

For me, nothing beats running a lever gun.

2. Smith & Wesson Model 36

Smith & Wesson Model 36

Another staple of TV and the movies was the classic Smith & Wesson Model 36 or “Chiefs Special.” Seemingly every police detective from the 1950’s until the 1980’s carried the iconic J-Frame. So did private eyes like Phillip Marlowe. Like the Winchester these snubbies were carried by the villains as well.

Light and easy to carry concealed the classic J-Frame is nearly as much of a staple of Americana as can be. But the older models, the classically made Smiths prior to the introduction of metal injection molded parts are amazingly guns to shoot. The triggers are smooth as butter (although a bit heavy) and the single action trigger are light and crisp. The recoil is easily managed with all but the hottest loads.  There are few things as magical as loading and shooting these classic revolvers.

3. US Army Model 1911

Model 1911

This is the second firearm on the list designed by John Moses Browning and is another iconic American gun. The Model 1911 was the standard US Army sidearm for over 80 years. Over 100 years after its initial adoption modern variants as still in use by some branches of the military.  In addition to its military service, the 1911 was common among police officers, especially the more elite units like the Texas Rangers.

For me, the 1911 points and shoots like a dream. The grip, although a mite big for me, is almost the perfect angle and I have never picked up a 1911 that I couldn’t shoot as well or better than any of my carry guns. This despite the amount of practice I put in with them on a regular basis.

4. Peacemaker (and clones)

I will be honest, the first three guns on the list were easy. “No brainers” that came to mind without even thinking about them. The Colt (and replica) Single Actions; Army, Peacemaker, Model P, etc. are certainly iconically American. No other handgun carries the mystique of these firearms, after all they are the “guns that won the west” and I do enjoy shooting them but…

I don’t really connect with them. They are not quite as enjoyable to shoot as many other guns. In fact, most of the time, a single cylinder full is enough for me. No, it’s not the recoil. It is the weight and size of the gun combined with the super light single action triggers. I have had more unintentional discharges with this gun than all others combined. This despite the fact that I have probably only put around 50 rounds total through the various examples I have had a chance to shoot.

Despite my lack of love for shooting them, I could look at them and handle them (unloaded) all day long. So, they make the cut of “magical.”

5…

Hang on a bit on this one. The number five slot was the toughest to fill.

The AR platform definitely deserved consideration and as much as I like them it is far more of a logical relationship than an emotional one. They make sense. I can (and have) assembled my own AR that was specifically tailored to my wants and needs. It can be configured for anything from plinking to self-defense to hunting all but the largest game on the continent. I am passionate about their use and utility but not the gun itself. They are also about as iconically American as about anything on this list.

I considered the Ruger 10/22 as well. Probably more 10/22s in the hands of American shooters than just about anything else ever made. Light, handy and reliable. I do enjoy shooting them but not with the passion to have them be on the list of top 5.

The Thompson submachine gun is another gun I considered. What could be more American than the “Chicago Typewriter?” It is about as iconic as it gets. Like the 1911 is it a gun that can be identified just by its silhouette. I have had the chance to shoot one and it was a blast. But it is also heavy and hard to control despite the weight.

The Model 29 is a good choice and it is also a lot of fun to shoot but, for me, it’s not “magical” beyond the association with Dirty Harry.

So, what did I pick for number 5?

5. The M1 Carbine

M1 Carbine

What!!!???

OK, yes some say the cartridge to me too anemic for battlefield use. Some say it was unreliable. No great general ever praised it as the “greatest battlefield implement ever devised.” It is nowhere nearly as iconically American as other firearms. However…

How many firearms were designed (or at least perfected) by a convicted murderer service his sentence?

It was the most produced US firearm of WWII with over 6 million produced. This was (arguably) the world’s first PDW (personal defense weapon) decades before the term was even coined. In its select fire variant it was (arguably) America’s first Assault Rifle. It was the first US rifle to be equipped with a “night vision” scope and nearly 30% of the Japanese Casualties (due to rifle fire) during the battle for Okinawa were attributed to the 150 such rifles deployed.

Now, again, this whole “magic” thing is subjective. Regardless of the stats and history of the M1 Carbine. I find it an absolute hoot at the range. I love shooting it and could shoot it all day long if I could scrape up the cash to afford my own. My father in law carried and used it as a deer rifle. Like the Winchester rifles, it is light and handy enough to carry all day and (in his hands) was lethal on Texas whitetail. I never saw one take more than a couple of steps before dropping and most dropped immediately. He was more effective with that thing than I am with a .308 or .30-30.

So, there you have it. That’s my “Top 5 Magical American Guns.”

What’s yours?

Take care and God bless.

Some New Toys

I have to admit that as of late I have not been very good about saving money. I have been very good about buying myself some new toys…

Iver Johnson in .32 Smith & Wesson

I have always been fascinated by the Iver Johnson revolvers. They were so far ahead of their time in so many ways. Drop safe transfer bar firing pin? Yup, about 70 years before Bill Ruger. Trigger safety? About 80 years before Gaston Glock. Wonderful Wife inherited one from her dad that was non-functional. It was, in fact, found while fishing in a roadside pond. The serial numbers had been removed as had the sights. He called it his Bonnie and Clyde gun. I picked up the little brother (.32 vs .38 Smith & Wesson) that is in a lot better condition than his although missing quite the same level of history.

I will be reloading .32 S&W and will have ammo to take it out and give it a try soon.

A pair of Webleys

The barrel on my Grandfather’s Mark II Webley was damaged a while back (link). I found another Mark II on Gunbroker and paid way too much for what will likely become a parts donor. But that old Webley has some serious sentimental value and the parts from this one will make it whole again.

A Pair of 36s

I mentioned already on the blog that I had purchased a Smith & Wesson Model 36 with a 3″ barrel. She has some holster wear but is otherwise in fine shape. I love shooting this little gun and may decide to carry it on occasion (if I can find the right holster).

.44 caliber (replica) 1851 Navy

How could I resist? It was 25% off. It was able to be shipped directly to my door. and it makes a huge cloud of smoke whenever I shoot it.

This is a replica of the 1851 Navy by Pietta and is such a blast to shoot that I couldn’t pass it up. It was such a cool deal that I took care of a couple of birthday presents at the same time I ordered mine!

Other than the Model 36, none of these are guns I would use for self-defense unless I absolutely had to. None have any real investment value. None will put food on the table. They are, essentially, toys (for use at the range) and that is all. I probably shouldn’t have spent the money on them but I really wanted them. All but one were pretty decent deals and there is more to life than what you need. Sometimes it is nice to get something you just want…

Take care and God bless.