Can’t See The Point

On some list of new carry handguns, I see this entry:

Now, I will admit to being Old & Slow-Witted, but as I see it, the only reason to choose the .380 Weenie is to have lotsa boolets to pump into someone — e.g. using a magazine holding 12+ rounds, or at least two 6-round magazines so that he gets the point, so to speak.

Shooting a marginal self-defense cartridge in a slow-to-reload six-shot revolver seems… well, silly.

And I like Charter Arms revolvers, by the way:  I carried a .44 Spec Bulldog (loaded with Winchester Silvertips) for years.  But this makes no sense to me at all.

Slight Disagreement

Over at Shooter’s Log, Bob Campbell has some good things to say about CZ’s little model 527:

One of the neatest and classiest rifles of all time is ignored by many shooters. When I fire the CZ 527, I am not concerned with getting off the X or engaging the target in enfilade fire, but rather in hitting what I am aiming at, and getting a clean kill and meat. Not that the rifle would not serve in many situations, but this European stalker is a purebred stalking rifle with many good features. The rifle is a product of CZ and available from CZ USA. They were once marked BRNO. The CZ 527 is a light, neat looking, and effective rifle that will not strain the back with weight or the shoulder with recoil. The price is right as well.

Then he goes on to give his reasons.

The only quibble I have with the article is the title (“CZ’s Best Rifle”) because it isn’t CZ/Brno’s best rifle, by a long chalk — not when put up against the 550/557 or the peerless “Safari” (Brno 602), anyway.

That said:  I love the 527 carbine, and have said so in the past.  For its purpose, it is horrendously over-engineered (that CZ set trigger ooooh ), surprisingly inexpensive thereby and frankly, about as handy as a rifle could be.

In fact, given that it’s chambered for the 7.62x39mm Commie cartridge (of which I may have a box or two lying around), I see little need to own a lever-action rifle for the “carbine hunting” purpose.  New, it’s quite a bit pricier (at ~$650) than, say, a Marlin 336 .30-30 lever rifle (~$450), but then again, I wouldn’t have to spend (at least) $1,400 more to get the requisite thousand rounds of .30-30 (of which I own not a single cartridge) into Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer.  All I need is a few boxes of serious 7.62×39 hollowpoints (e.g. Hornady SST or Federal Fusion), and I’d be good to go.

I think I need to reinstate the old BANG* Fund on this website… about which I have an idea, but that’s for another post later this week.

*BANG:  “Buy (Kim) A New Gun”



But Don’t Take My Word For It…

As any fule (and Longtime Readers. no overlap) will attest, I am not a fan of either of the NATO cartridges, be it the 9mm Europellet or the 5.56mm poodleshooter.  I have been assailed for such beliefs, e.g. “The military  uses them, dude!” (as if the armed forces of any nation always make the best decisions when it comes to arming their soldiers).  The only good thing about that situation is that it makes the ammo cheaper.

But hey, what do I know?  So as the title suggests, try this guy’s opinion (he’s a former combat medic) instead of mine.  It contains such gems as:

In just about every country I have been in, our host nation counterparts — army and police — used the 9X19 NATO round. Because so much of what I did was house-to-house police searches, I’ve seen a lot of pistol shootings, much more than US police would ever see, and much more than experienced by most medics deploying solely with US personnel. And yet, I have zero, not one single experience, where a single gunshot wound from a 9X19 NATO round killed someone prior to them being able to return fire or flee. This includes people shot in the chest, back, back of the head (one hit behind the left ear) the neck and the face. None.

That’s the Europellet. Now for the poodleshooter:

Unfortunately, the same goes for the 5.56 NATO round. I have yet to witness a single shot quick kill with this round. I even recorded a patient shot from less than three feet away, square in the back of the head, who lived. The round did not exit his body. Yes, he was immediately rendered unconscious and required (might I say exceptional) medical treatment. He was comatose for at least six months after that, but he lived.
But more importantly, in every experience, at ranges from zero (negligent discharges) to 35 yards (my closest, and worst-placed, shot on a person) to 400 yards (our average initial engagement distance in Afghanistan) individuals shot with a single 5.56 NATO round had time to fire, maneuver, or both. Did I see single shots that killed eventually? Yes. Does that matter in combat? Not one damn bit if you are the one they are still shooting at.

I’ve said many times before that I’m not in the market for an AR-15 because poodleshooter.  (I know, “Get an AR-10 in 7.62 NATO, Kim!” — I already have an AK-47, thankee.)

As the man says:

“Shoot the heaviest rifle round…shoot at what (you) can hit, and then shoot it again”

Ditto for my handgun loads.

I acknowledge that of late I’ve been flirting with the idea of carrying my 9mm High Power instead of the .45 ACP 1911 as my primary self-defense handgun.  After reading the above… let’s just say that I’m just going to get more of those .45 ACP 185-grain zingers. And shoot a lot more than I’m currently doing (which means I’m going to have to get that “backup” 1911 soon).

And now, if you’ll excuse me… it’s Range Time.

1911 Criteria

Following yesterday’s post, I knew that people were going to ask me for my criteria in buying a new 1911 (and they did — I got a dozen emails just last night).  Just to remind everyone, here’s my (much-modified) Springfield Mil-Spec (G.I.) model:

My new 1911 will have to look close to this one, except I’d like Novak sights or similar.

To recap then, here are my purchase criteria:

  • between $650* and $900 retail
  • bobbed hammer (no more Colt “hammer-bites” for Kimmy)
  • no serrations on the front of the slide  (chews up my holster, and I don’t need them anyway)
  • no serrations on the front of the grip (chews up my hand in an extended range session)
  • smooth (not that extruded crap) beavertail grip safety (ditto)
  • decent-sized ejection port
  • 5″ barrel
  • fixed Novak-style rear sight
  • I’m pretty agnostic about frame color (blued or stainless steel will work for me, although blue has a 51% chance, all things being equal)

*sorry, but I work my 1911s to death, and I’m unconvinced that Taurus, Iver Johnson, Metro, Rock Island et al. are up to the task.  At some point down the cost curve, too many sacrifices in materials and quality have to be made — and I think that nowadays, $600 represents that point.

So these 5″ models are priced right, but fail on features:

Kimber Custom Two-tone

Remington R1 Stainless (I can live with the small rear sight)

Here’s one (Ruger SR1911) which comes thisclose, but fails because of a single feature

See what I mean?  [sigh] I guess I’ll end up with the Ruger SR1911, but have a gunsmith replace the grip safety with a traditional “flat” one.  And those stupid grips on the blued model will go bye-bye as well.

Watch this space.

What Price History?

From Reader Ranger:

When to restore an old gun versus keeping it with honest wear? For example:  I have several old firearms.

1.) Old heavily worn SMLE, lots of interesting carving on the furniture, but the barrel might as well be a smooth bore. If i remove anymore rust, then fire the rifle I’ll start seeing daylight thought the side of the barrel. Originally I bought this for a song to convert to a modern De Lisle through one of those kits Rhineland Arms sells, by the time I got around to buying the kit (also putting the money together) Rhineland Arms stopped selling the conversion kit.

2.) A between-the-wars commercial 1911A1, which I picked up for a song. It looks like the previous owner had taken a belt sander to it. The rampant Colt is half gone and the serial number is barely visible. Before I dare fire it, I would replace the barrel, grips (broken), and replace all the springs, at a minimum. Of course since I like to shoot, I probably would get a gunsmith to lower and flare the ejection port, fit modern sights, and put some finish on the exterior. This would probably remove the faded Colt, etc. In other words, I’d probably spend the equivalent of buying a new Springfield 1911A1 to turn old steel into new. At the same time, I would be destroying another little piece of history.

The SMLE is easy:  turn it into a “mantlepiece gun” — put it up on the wall somewhere as a decoration, and give the old war weapon a dignified retirement.  There’s no point in “fixing” it, because the history is too important — why lose that piece of history when you could take the same money and get a new gun for about the same price?

As for the 1911,  I say the opposite:  go for it, and fix it up;  turn it into a shooter.  Frankly, from the sound of it, the gun has been all but destroyed, and as such it has little real intrinsic value, especially as it wasn’t a service piece.  By all means replace all the innards (don’t forget the firing pin) and get it running.  Oh, and you may want to talk to a gunsmith about the serial number:  for some reason, the fuzz don’t take too kindly to an anonymous gun, and it may be necessary to redo the stamping (along with a certified notification for future use).  Also check for frame cracks, because from all accounts the poor old thing has been horribly abused.

It’s an interesting conundrum, isn’t it?  And thanks for the letter.

Gun Story

From Reader Dave L.:

Should you run out of stuff for your blog (highly doubtful) here’s nice piece of gun porn. It’s a Uberti Cattleman in .357.  I really like the case hardened frame against the blued cylinder and barrel  (me too — K).

I bought this some years back when the gov did an “economic stimulus” of $400 for veterans.  I decided that the best thing I could do with the check was to piss off Nancy Pelosi and buy a gun so I took a ride up to H&H in Oklahoma City.  I may have paid a bit too much but I fell in love with the look and just had to add it to my collection.
I went with .357 because I have several revolvers and one long gun (Rossi 92) in that caliber.  I have .38 and .357 reloading dies and about 3500 rounds in stock.  The pistol rides in a nice holster that I bought down in Mexico back when it was safe to cross the border.
If our idiot governor had signed off on Constitutional Carry, this was going to be my BBQ gun.  It shoots pretty straight and with a stout hollow point .357 load I don’t think that I’m going to need more than six anyway.

“Hi, my name is Dave, and I’m addicted to pretty guns.”

Everybody say after me…