Outstanding Comparison

I just watched Paul Harrell’s video comparison of the .357 Mag cartridge vs. the .44 Mag, and it’s the best yet.  Basically, he compares identical bullet weight and barrel length (to make it “fair”) in an empirical study, then compares “common” gun choices and bullet weights for a realistic evaluation.

But what impressed me was that he doesn’t bother with any of that ballistic gelatin nonsense.  Nope;  he builds a realistic effectiveness measurement target using pork ribs, pork chops, oranges (to simulate vitals tissue) and back ribs.  This is what I’d do if I wanted to get into what he does, on a full-time basis.

Watch the video for the full flavor.  It’s long — as they all are — because he’s serious about the topic.

As for his bona fides, he lists them all at the beginning of this video, and let’s just say that his skills, knowledge and expertise are more than adequate for the task.

He’s done many more such shows, so wave good-bye to your weekend if you dive into the Harrell Matrix.  That’s where I’ll be, if anyone asks.


Reader & Friend JohnC sent me this pic of a Smith Model 629, which had all sorts of electronic drool stains on it:

I have to say, the artwork is well done, and extremely tasteful.

And yet, I have a love/hate relationship with engraving.  On the one hand, I regard the gun as a tool, and adding embellishment like the above often seems to me to be like engraving patterns onto a screwdriver or a chainsaw.

On  the other hand, I will never love any garage tool as much or in the same way as I love my 1911 — or pretty much any of my guns, really.  Guns may be tools, in other words, but not quite so much.

My problem with adding engraving onto a gun is that it makes it pretty, and that means you start treating it differently, either in its actual handling or else in frequency of use.  Turning a range gun into a safe queen… well, I think you all know where I stand on that issue.

Over at the Daily Timewaster, C.W. often has pics of fancy guns, like these two:

…and once again, I’m somewhat conflicted.  While nobody can complain about the craftsmanship in either case, I just can’t get excited about it other than that:  appreciation of the artistry.

Even with fine shotguns, I’m of a more conservative bent.  Here are two examples, from Steve Barnett’s House Of Horrors, of otherwise identical Venere-model shotguns from Abbiatico & Salvinelli:

I love the first, but kinda “meh” about the second.  And of course it’s not just the Italians.  Here are three from J. Purdey, the ultimate stiff-upper-lip Brit company:

Love the first, “meh” about the second, and the last is revolting.

And all that said, I think completely untouched shotguns look like shop tools.  Here are a pair of Winchester Model 21s:

The first is foul, the second is sensational:  understated elegance, defined.

What say you, O My Readers?

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Henry Long Ranger (.308 Win)

A little while ago we were talking here about deep-woods lever rifles, and somebody expressed a wish for a lever rifle that could be loaded with a pointed boolet (i.e. magazine-fed as opposed to the traditional tube).

How about Henry’s Long Ranger in .308 Win?

For me, this one ticks all the boxes except that it doesn’t appear to be drilled and tapped for scope mounts — not that this is a deal-breaker in a setting which seldom requires a shot further than 200 yards (and usualy, much less).

Also, it looks weird without the tube under the barrel, but that’s just a cosmetic and personal thing — if you’ve got a magazine, no tube necessary, of course.

Collectors has one on sale for just under a grand, so if you’re interested… go there and look at the other pics.  And don’t come crying to me if in your perusal, you get sidetracked into the Collectors Matrix.

I have to tell you all:  that is a sweet little rifle.  I’ve had good experience with Henry rifles in the past;  their quality is excellent (hence the premium price), their triggers require no gunsmithing, and their lever actions are a lot smoother than new WinMar rifles.


Add Limp Wrists

I see that the USAF is replacing the steel M9 Beretta pistols with the Mattel SIG M18.

M9s are larger, heavier, all-metal pistols; whereas M18s are lighter polymer pistols with a more consistent trigger pull and adjustable grips for large and small hands.

Well, isn’t that special.  They’re catering to the metrosexuals, even.

It must be a better pistol:  18 is twice as good as 9, right?

I’m just surprised that the Zoomies kept that mega-macho 9mm Parabellum cartridge, instead of going for the lighter-still, gentle-recoil .22 LR option.  I mean, with the difference in weight, you can carry 500 rounds of .22 LR compared to just one hundred of the 9mm.


Talking About Gear 2

So I tried on my “neighborhood defense” gear yesterday, and OMG it was heavy.  I took a brief walk over to our apartment complex’s mailbox center (without the AK because I don’t want to frighten the rest of Little Mumbai), and I was puffing and panting when I came back — as much for the weight as for the ambient temperature (Texas Early Summer, i.e. +/- 93F).

Gawdnose what it would be like with a webbing mag carrier etc., as shown in yesterday’s post, and a loaded AK.

I need to rethink this.  Maybe I’ll forgo the AK and use the old M1 Carbine instead:  lighter, the ammo is lighter too, AND it would be slightly more concealable under a dust coat than the AK.

Hey, if it was good enough for our fathers’ generation in WWII Europe against actual Nazis…

My only problem is that I don’t have as much .30 Carbine ammo (hardly any compared to the AK), for starters.  However:

I need to think about this whole thing a little more.

As If We Needed Reminding

When I first saw the headline to this article, my immediate reaction was:  “Seriously?

7 Great Lever-Action Rifles
Lever-action rifles have been with us since the 19th century, and despite this age of AR-15s and precision-bolt rifles, the lever-action rifle still has its place.

…and in other news, the Marines have stormed Belleau Wood.

But let’s not get all judgey here, thinks I;  maybe there’s something new to see.

That’s the Uberti 1886 Hunter Lite, in .45-70 Govt.  And I swear, the sight of it makes my dangly rather less dangly, if you get my drift.  What’s next?

Great Davy Crockett’s bleeding hemorroids, that’s uglier than Hillary Clinton after a 3-night tequila bender.  Ugh.  Let’s get away from the Mossberg Anorexia  464  SPX in .30-30, and look at something else.

Okay, this Marlin 1894 CSBL in .357 Mag is much easier on the eye, even with the Picatinny rail slapped on top of it like an elongated carbuncle.  (I know, I know;  all the cool kids love a rail mount these days because then they can put red-dot geegaws and such on the rifle — and the length of the rail means you can also go all Jeff Cooper and turn it into a “Scout”-type rifle if you’re of that persuasion.)  What’s #4?

This is, as the article suggests, Winchester’s reward to you for having bought “standard” lever rifles your whole life.  It’s the Model 94 Deluxe in .30-30, and it’s so pretty I want to take it out on a date.  In the deep woods.  With a deer somewhere in the neighborhood.

I’ve always liked the .22 LR Browning BL-22, and this “Midas Micro” model is just lovely to look at.  Give me a moment to write this one down on my Santa list, and then we can move on.

This Rossi R92 shoots the very manly .454 Casull monster cartridge, and this means that if you’re a devotee of the cartridge — and many are — you’ve got a decent companion piece for your Freedom Arms revolver.  And finally:

What is it with this trend towards the fake-brass look of Cerakote, as practiced by the Pedersoli 86/71 Boarbuster Mark II in either .444 Marlin (a hotter .44 Rem Mag) or .45-70 Govt?  The blurb states that it’s based on the old Winchester Mod 71.  Okay.  And of course, this rifle sports an adjustable plastic stock and the Picaninnytinny rail, making it very trendy.  All fine and good;  I’m just not in the target market.

I guess that some of these rifles are an attempt to chase after the “youth” (i.e. well under my vintage) market, which is fine, I suppose, because the next generation has different tastes from me and mine.  But what that also means is that older models, long beloved by shooters, are going to be “phased out” because they can’t afford to make both kinds of guns.  We’ve already seen this with the demise of the excellent Winchester 9422 rimfire lever rifle, and you heard it here first:  the “standard” Model 94 and its ilk will likewise disappear in the near future — only the above-mentioned “Deluxe” (i.e. more expensive) models will remain on the production line.

All the above rifles, good, bad and fugly, are too damn expensive, as you will see when you follow the link.  I don’t mean too expensive for a rifle;  I mean too expensive for a lever-action rifle.  The old warhorses are not thoroughbreds, they’re pit ponies and cart horses;  and if these seven rifles are anything to go by, I for one don’t like what I’m seeing here.  Only the Rossi still looks like and costs about the same as a traditional lever rifle should — and it’s made in Brazil.

Take from that what you will.