Comparing Old Warhorses

I am often mocked because of my fondness (if not favoritism) of things of yore over their modern counterparts.  This is especially true of gun stuff, and cartridges especially.  (Executive summary:  not many cartridges developed since 1955 are that much better than their predecessors.)

One of my all-time favorites is the venerable .300 Holland & Holland Magnum, which was essentially put out of business by the .300 Winchester Magnum.  Why am I so enamored of this old warhorse (launched 1925)?

I once hunted with a borrowed rifle thus chambered many, many years ago in South Africa (I think it was either a Sako or a Sauer, can’t remember which) and in a single day’s shooting accounted for two or three impala, all of which were absolutely flattened by the heavy 180gr solid bullet.  I found the recoil far less punishing than other magnums (both the .300 WinMag and the monster .458 WinMag), and the effect on small- to medium-sized game was little different from either of the two others.

It’s not as hard-hitting as the other two, of course, when one looks at the raw numbers;  rather, the .300 H&H should be compared to the .30-06 Springfield.  Here’s a side-by-side of the Nosler offerings for each cartridge with the same bullet weight:

The Holland’s longer case holds more powder, I think, hence the slight velocity/energy difference.  Likewise, the rifle’s action needs to be a little longer than that of the .30-06 (which is already longer than, say the short-action .308 Win).

Of course, because so few rifles are made in the .300 H&H chambering nowadays, the ammo is filthy-expensive — usually over $50 / box for the cheap stuff, and it climbs into the stratosphere faster than the bullet it shoots.  By way of comparison, a box of the .300 H&H Noslers in the pic above costs just over $83/box, while the .300 Win Mag tops out at ~$70 (and the .30-06 pictured is $50).  Granted, these are all premium offerings from Nosler — but while one can find “cheap” .300 Win Mag and even cheaper .30-06, there is no cheap .300 H&H ammo.

And finally, here’s the .300 Win Mag which replaced the .300 H&H (sigh):

It’s not quite a like-for-like comparison because of the greater bullet weight, but where the difference becomes apparent is at ranges long than 200 yards (.300 H&H 2,490 vs the .300 Win Mag 2,520, and the differential widens at longer distances).

That said:  if I had to shoot twenty rounds rapid of each, I’d be okay after the .300 H&H, but would require some kind of medical attention with the .300 Win Mag.

And I’d sell a non-essential body part to be able to shoot them through one of these.  (“P.O.A.” stands for “piss off, arsehole” i.e. “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it, peasant”.)

Carry Revolver Followup

Following my meandering post last weekend about carrying a revolver rather than a 1911, I was wandering about the Internets when I saw this little beauty:

I know, I know… “beauty” and “Ruger” are not often sentence-mates, but I think that this particular GP100 model qualifies.  And as for Ruger’s ruggedness and reliability… we’re all on the same page there, I think.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve actually owned a GP100 before, and I loved the gun, except for the trigger.  Oh man, that trigger was awful:  sticky, stiff (it felt like a 50-lb break), and it only sorta-smoothed out after over a thousand dry-fires.  (Don’t laugh;  in those days I was a lot more serious about testing guns, so I kept a fairly close count.)  In the end, I got sick of the finger-cramp, decided it wasn’t worth the hassle, and traded it for a Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine (a story for another time).

However, in reading the various comments from people who’ve recently bought this model, only a very few complained about the trigger.  So maybe Ruger has fixed that problem.  What I do know is that before I would actually drop the $900-odd on the gun, I’d bring along some dummy .357 snap caps, test it right there in the store, and let its trigger make the final purchase decision.

I do know, however, that I would have absolutely no qualms about strapping this puppy onto my hip every time I left the house.

ULD Reminder

The deadline for entries to the ULD rifle draw is this Saturday (Feb 29).  Details are back here, for those who’ve been living on the planet Manhattan till now.

All entries postmarked after this date will be returned, so get things rolling if you still want to participate.

If anyone would like to contribute further to my Boomershoot expedition this year (ammo, travel costs, shooting shelter, etc.), feel free to do so.  Just send your check with “BS Fund” on the Memo line, and I will accept your contribution with thanks.

Letters, I Get Letters

People who have trouble logging in through WordPress’s byzantine process, or people who just couldn’t be bothered with that, or people who don’t want to post publicly:  all these send me letters.  What follows is a reply to some of them, grouped more or less  by topic.

1) “Oh Kim, why do you post pictures of insanely-expensive guns, when you know that none of us could ever afford them / no gun is worth that much anyway?” 
— for the same reason I post pictures of, say, Salma Hayek.  Both objects of desire are way too expensive for ordinary men, would cost far too much to maintain, and are ripe targets for thieves.  Nevertheless, we have Ms. Hayek and a matched pair of Holland shotguns below — the guns, in this case, are likely far cheaper than Salma would be.  (Both pics may be right-clicked to embiggen.)

2)  “Have you considered the 6.5mm Creedmoor / 6.5mm PRC for the ULD rifle project?”
    — if I wanted to shoot a 6.5mm bullet at Boomershoot, I’d use my Mauser in 6.5x55mm Swede.  However, I’ve seen what a strong wind does to the 6.5 boolet, which is why I wanted something just a little heavier (like the .3x offerings), especially as Joe Huffman says they tend to work better than the lighter ones up there.  Also, I’m starting to get the feeling that the 6.5 Creed is going to end up like other exotica such as the .300 Win Short Mag and others:  a historical curiosity which may prompt future gunnies to ask, “What the hell were they thinking?”  (And yes, I know the .dotmil are looking at the cartridge, but let’s be honest:  historically, the military have not been renowned for their cartridge choices anyway — especially when after WWII they didn’t adopt the eminently sensible .276 / 7mm caliber, as the Brits suggested we do.  So we ended up eventually ditching the manly .30-06 and choosing the 5.56 poodleshooter, when a middle course — such as, now, the 6.5 Creedmoor — would have been a better choice at the time anyway.)

3)  “Can we get access to your earlier articles in the Nation of Riflemen / Other Side Of Kim websites?”
— sadly, no.  As it happens, even I can’t get hold of the posts — the link thereto seems to have disappeared — and other than the ones I’ve already reprinted, consider them gone.  (Frankly, most of that old content — even that of the Gratuitous Gun Pics — is very much dated by now, so it’s not as great a loss as you might think.)

4)  “Why do you link to the horrible Daily Mail so often?”
   —  mostly, it’s my guilty pleasure (I love reading trash), and also because it’s free (unlike most U.S. newspapers, who have decided that their content is more valuable than I think it is and want me to pay to read it).  I mean, where else could one find priceless headlines such as these, literally right next to each other?

Finally, the DM  offers me Train Smash Women on at least a weekly basis, and I am completely helpless in that regard.

Keep on writing, folks.

Oh, and one last thing:  if you wrote and haven’t yet got a reply from me, please resend your letter.  I get close to a hundred Reader emails per day, and in many cases, I put them aside for “I need to research that more before replying” or “I need to think about that a little before replying” reasons.  And of course, some fall through the cracks, for which I apologize profusely.  It’s not rudeness or even carelessness;  it’s just being a little too busy to keep them all in the air, so to speak.

Old Gunnies’ Tales

Sheriff Jim talks about the myths of self-defense carry, and a couple of times I found myself nodding in agreement along with him.  Here’s one of them.

On long trips I carry a backup S&W 637, but it’s not all that easy to get to (certainly not as easy as my 1911), but I always had that nagging feeling about that “Two is one, one is none” trope — specifically, if you’re carrying a second gun in case your primary gun fails, then perhaps you need to have more faith in your choice of primary in the first place, and get a better gun.

That said:  even my faithful Springfield 1911 has failed, twice, and fortunately, both times at the range.  The first time (at around the 25,000-round mark) was when the slide stop broke (snapped halfway through), but the remnant of the pin still held the gun together through the rest of the shot string when the mag was empty.  So in a self-defense situation, that might not have been so bad.

The second failure was more substantial:  at the 35,000-round point the safety catch broke, almost literally disintegrated in the gun, and the gun became inoperable.  (Fun fact:  when that happens, the grip safety also becomes inoperable, so the 1911 is not safe to carry with a round in the chamber.)  It didn’t matter about the rarity of this event — not only had I never heard of it happening, but the gunsmith hadn’t, either;  nevertheless, it did happen, and I have to admit that it left me quite shaken.

So maybe, just maybe, Old Faithful isn’t that faithful after all — which makes an argument in favor of carrying a backup.


Maybe a revolver makes a better choice for a primary carry gun — I know, six, seven or even eight rounds aren’t the same as the fifteen-round mag in yer Glock — but revolvers are inherently more reliable than semi-autos, so…

Here’s the big “but” (and it’s bigger than Kim Kardashian’s):  would (say) a S&W 686 have been as reliable as my 1911 after 25,000 full-power loads, or is that an apples-oranges comparison?  What about a S&W 625 (which is chambered in .45 ACP like the 1911)?  Would that have lasted longer without a breakage (at, say, 25,000 rounds) than the 1911?

I have to tell you, after the 1911’s safety broke, I first started thinking about carrying a revolver instead of a semi-auto, and it’s something that weighs on me to this day.  I am very much tempted by the 8-shot Mod 627:

Eight rounds is what I carry in my 1911 anyway, and while a revolver loads a little slower with a speedloader than a mag-fed semi-auto, it’s not that  much slower (after considerable practice, which I’ve had).

This is what happens when you start looking at the carry myths (thanks, Sheriff Jim) — you start to rethink all sorts of long-held habits and beliefs.

“The one thing that I got from the professional hunters is that they don’t plan for when everything works right—they plan for when everything goes wrong.  And, just like the smart defensive shooter, it effects their choice of guns, gear and tactics.  And that, I submit, is a good way to stay alive.”

There you have it.

News Roundup

Short takes on Da Nooz:

1) Presidential hopeful Pete Buttplug indicated he is open to the idea of raising the legal age for firearm purchases  —  Cool.  As long as he also supports raising the voting age by the same number.

2) Venezuelan dictator Maduro announced late Monday that he would order “surprise” war games to plan for attacks against the United States on a “permanent” basisso basically, he’s copying California and D.C., except they’re not playing.

3) Portland Police Bureau are seeking the public’s help in identifying four Antifa members who took part in a recent protest in the city where police officers and civilians were attacked  —  and a prediction:  one day these little fascist fucks are going to threaten or beat the wrong guy, and get shot in the faceOn that day, I will publish a report of the incident under “Righteous Shootings”.

4) Paki Rape Gang Sentenced To Jail Terms  —  instead of being taken out behind the courthouse and shot in the back of the neck, unfortunately.

5) EU Wants To Keep Plundering Britain’s Fishing Waters  —  OR, the Brits can just send out their new aircraft carrier for “practice war games” and sink every EU ship it comes across.  It’s not like the Euros could do anything about it, not one of them having a deepwater navy.

6) Noted Homophobe Trump Appoints Homo As DNI  —  so much for that little Lefty talking point(Of course, he’s the wrong kind of homo, being conservative, hence the howls of protest from the Hair On Fire Party.)

7) CanuckiPM Girlyman Has No Clue —  no surprises there, especially as he secretly supports their protests.

and finally:

8) Eating a big breakfast could help you burn double the amount of calories than if you eat a larger meal at dinner  —  y’all know what to do now, don’tcha?

By the way, if that were true, I’d weigh about 100lbs.