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”



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…

Budget Rifles

Over at Gun World, Brad Fitzpatrick talks about the change in gun manufacturing, whereby “budget” (“cheap”) no longer means “can’t hit the inside of a barn”, and gives his take on various offerings from some well-known American gunmakers.  He likes them all.  Here they are, in no specific order:

From what Fitzgerald writes, and as I see it — because I’ve never shot any of them myself — all the above are great value for money, in that they combine a “sensible” price with outstanding accuracy straight out of the box.  (As for long-term reliability, of course, we’ll have to see in a decade or so’s time because they’re all relatively new and haven’t been through the hell that we riflemen subject our guns to, yet.)

All the above companies have taken the lessons learned in their respective experience and applied those when using new (and improved) manufacturing techniques, to what seems to be a great advantage for us gunnies.

Nothing wrong with any of that.

However — and you knew there was going to be a qualifier from me, didn’t you? — I think that this new Kraft Durch Technik  stuff has led to a bunch of guns that all look the same, and are not that great-looking withal.

Once again, let me reiterate:  if I were looking to buy an inexpensive bolt-action rifle in .300 Win Mag to take to the Cairngorms in Scotland for a deer stalk with Mr. Free Market, Doc Russia and Combat Controller, every single one  of these rifles would be on my short list, in the same way that if I were looking for a budget-yet-well-made vehicle to take on a long drive trip across the United States, I’d certainly consider cars from Toyota, Nissan, Honda and so on.

But paraphrasing Jeremy Clarkson’s famous question:  would you get a thrill every time you took it out of the gun safe / saw it in your driveway?

I wouldn’t.  I’m sorry, but as much as I have said, and believe that guns are tools and cars just means to get from A to B, I just cannot reconcile myself with the blandness of modern products, and these budget rifles don’t do it for me.  Something like this one does:

It’s a Mauser M18, and in .300 Win Mag as pictured it retails for about $750 at Euro-Optic (~$300 more than the Winchester XPR above).  Yeah, it’s a “budget” Mauser.  My  kinda budget.

Update:  It appears that I screwed up and used the wrong pic (of a new Mauser 98), as the M18 is only available with a plastic stock.  Ugh.  So much for that thought.  Okay, let’s go with an older “budget” rifle in .300 Win Mag, the Savage 110 XP with the wonderful Accu-Trigger:

This one’s on sale at Bud’s Gun Shop for just under $600, and while it’s no Mauser, it will probably do just fine.

[exit, kicking sand]

Carry Nation

Nah, not the foul old bat who went around smashing up bars in the early 20th century.

I’m talking about my handgun carry options, which are as pictured below.  First, the 1911 and High Power, both in their Don Hume IWB (inside-waistband) holsters:

Each has two spare holsters in re-purposed flip-phone webbing pouches:  the .45 ACP 1911 has Chip McCormick 8-round Powermags (for a total of 24 rounds) and the 9mm High Power has Pro-Mag 12-rounders (36 rounds total).

My backup is of course a .38 Spec S&W 637 Airweight in a Milt Rosen “Clamshell”, with a single 5-round speedloader (not pictured) —  and if I need more than ten rounds in my backup  piece, I’m probably in deeper trouble than I can handle.

Let’s just say I like options in my carry pieces.  Good options.

The last itch I have is for a decent .357 revolver option, so if anyone has an old S&W Model 65 in good working condition… I’d prefer a Python, but I have no money for that.  Does anyone, these days?

Gratuitous Gun Pic — HK P7 (9mm Para)

In my post about 9mm pistols last week, Readers chimed in about the Heckler & Koch P7 thus:

William O. B’Livion: “No love for the H&K P7?”

And Mike M: “I have a love/hate relationship with the P7. The squeeze-cock action is great in theory, but it aggravates carpal tunnel issues tremendously. No idea why. And it heats up FAST.”

Not everyone knows about the P7, of course, even among my self-identified gun nut Readers, so here it is:

As Reader Mike M. reveals, the P7 is cocked not just by working the slide (which you can do as well) or pulling back a hammer (no exposed hammer, duh), but by squeezing the grip.  In addition to his mention of carpal tunnel syndrome, let me say too that the squeezing action — which is severe, as it should be — had the effect of affecting my aiming of the gun;  so hard did I have to squeeze the wretched thing that after a while my hand got the shakes from muscle strain.  (Bear in mind that this happened after several dozen squeezes — I seldom shoot fewer than 50 rounds when testing a handgun.  YMMV.)

My biggest gripe was that the shorty barrel made accurate shooting impossible at any yardage greater than halitosis distance.  I know, I know… the P7 is purely a short-range self-defense pistol, not a long-distance target shooter;  but I found its strange action to be just that, or else the answer to a question never asked.

Anyway, I later had the opportunity to buy one at a very low price ($150 if I recall correctly), but passed.  There are far better guns for the job than this curiosity.

Old Friends Are Not Forgotten

My abbreviated honeymoon last weekend had one additional benefit:  it brought three old friends back into my life.

During the Great Poverty Gun Sell-Off (when I was forced to sell guns to pay medical bills), several kind and generous buddies came to my aid, buying several of my guns from me — with the caveat that should they ever decide to sell them, I would get right of first refusal.  (There was a hidden danger, of course:  that they would fall in love with the damn guns and refuse to sell them back  to me, which actually came close to happening with one.)  Recently I had a small windfall which made their buyback possible, so…

Anyway, here’s one of them, which I managed to persuade Longtime Friend Mark C. to sell back to me.  This is my prized Browning High Power 9mm, which had been on permanent loan to Connie.  Sadly, as her health deteriorated, she was no longer able to operate it and, well, there were doctors which needed paying, so onto the block it went.  But now it’s home again.  This was how it first arrived in the house:

…and this is how it looked when Reader Mark took possession:

I will soon (very soon) be reacquainting myself with this beauty at the range, maybe even this afternoon or tomorrow.  If I love it as much as I remember doing, it may well replace my 1911 as a primary carry piece.  (I know, I know, 9mm Europellet!  Say it ain’t so, Kim!!!  But as Loyal Readers will recall, the 1911’s .45ACP ammo has been beating up my old wrists badly… and anyway, pistol cartridges have come a long  way since 2004.  Right now it’s loaded with this new offering from SIG, which seems to be all the rage with the 9mm Smart Set.)

…and my bulk ammo order from the ammo dealers on my sidebar will follow shortly.  One problem:  I only have one mag for it, the original issue.  But a visit to the next Evil Loophole Gun Show (ELGS™) should provide me with some of those doubleplusungood 13-rounder magazines — you know, the ones which give the gun-controllers fits.  Five or six should do the trick, yes?

Welcome home, old buddy.  Range report to follow.