The Browning Conundrum

We all know that I’m a huge fan of the Browning P-35 High Power pistol (despite its piddly Europellet chambering) because to me, it is the absolute zenith of John Moses Browning’s engineering handgun design (albeit with a huge assist from Dieudonné Saive).   It is one of my favorite guns to shoot, and is much easier to disassemble (and reassemble) when it comes to after-action cleaning.

I also love my Browning 1885 High Wall rifle in .45-70 Govt:

That “bank-vault-closing” feel as you pull the lever back up and close the action after reloading:  not much feels and sounds much better in the firearms world.  And the satisfaction one feels when pulling the trigger to send a giant 405-gr bullet downrange… ah, my friends, if you haven’t experienced it, it would be like trying to explain the beauty of a desert sunset to a blind person.

And everyone knows of my love for Browning Auto-5 shotguns like the Sweet 16 or the Light 20:

And yet those are the only three Browning guns I’ve ever owned.

That’s not by design, by the way.  I’ve fired many Browning rifles and shotguns — all belonging to other people, either at the range or while hunting — but for some inexplicable reason, I’ve never felt compelled to own a Browning long gun or pistol in the way that I am drawn to, say, a Mauser 98 or WinMar lever rifle.

It’s inexplicable, really;  there is no reason for me to turn my nose up at, say a Browning lever rifle (BLR), especially when chambered for a manly cartridge like the .308 Win:

…especially when the BLR’s stacked mag allows for spitzer-tipped bullets while the WinMar’s tube mags do not.  Would I feel in any way disadvantaged with the BLR out in the field?  Hell, no;  and yet for some reason, I’m drawn more to the Henry/Winchester/Marlin offerings than to the BLR.

That also goes for Browning’s bolt-action rifles.

Combat Controller uses one of these, an X-Bolt chambered in -300 Win Mag, for his Scotland hunts with Mr. Free Market, has never had a problem with it, and his deer tally over the years would certainly give one no reason not to use one (especially in those difficult conditions).  Yet I’ve never owned one, nor come close to getting one;  and the same is true for the excellent semi-auto BAR / Safari models:

(For some reason, I’m not a fan of hunting with semi-auto rifles, but that has nothing to do with Browning.)

Needless to say, I would never turn down a Browning double-barreled shotgun, except that they make mostly over/under models — but once again, my preference for side-by-side shotguns has nothing to do with Browning.  Their reputation and success in shotguns is very well earned, and thousands of people use them as religiously as I use Mauser rifles or John Moses Browning’s 1911 Government pistol.

This, by the way, is one of my “lottery” shotguns at Steve Barnett’s:  a rare older “BSS” model in 20ga:

…which has absolutely everything I desire in a SxS:  splinter forearm, double triggers and straight “English” stock.  The only thing that has stopped me from getting it is not the fact that it’s old and second-hand:  it’s the price:  $5,750.  Which, for an old secondhand gun, pushes me away a little.

And here, finally, may lie the the answer as to why I’ve never owned many Browning guns:  cost.

Loyal Readers know that I always go for quality in my guns — and nobody seems to have any arguments against Browning guns in that regard — but at the same time, Brownings always seem to cost just a little bit too much when compared with guns which are functionally their equivalent and whose quality is as good or in some cases better.  Once again, I have no problem with quality costing more than average;  where possible, I always go for quality (in all things) even though I know that it does carry a higher cost.  But Browning always seems to be just a tad over that tolerance, and I walk away.

How say you, O My Readers?  Is this your experience too, or am I missing something here?

Not Too Awful

In yesterday’s post which talked about colors, one color came in for some (much-deserved) mockery, this being avocado green.

Well, I guess it can be a situational thing.  Here’s why I say this:

Now it must be said that the peerless E-type might look better in another color;  but if someone came up to you and said, “Here are the keys and pink slip for that car, it’s yours,” I think it would be safe to assume that you wouldn’t get all offended and say, “Oh noes!  I wouldn’t seen dead in so ugly a color!” and turn it down.

In Kim Terms, this would be like turning down an evening’s bedtime entertainment with Salma Hayek just because she was wearing a strangely-colored dress.  And as this statement is useless wifout pichers, here’s what I’m talking about:

Errr I’ve lost my thread.  What was I talking about, again?

New Moania

From The Divine Sarah at Insty (no link):

She’s quite right.  I’ve always had what my mother referred to as a “weak chest” (whooping cough as a child, winter bronchitis all my life), and when I caught a mild case of pneumonia in the early 1990s, it took about three months and massive doses of antibiotics to recover fully.  It’s the reason I quit driving for Uber when the Chinkvirus hit.

Let’s be careful out there.

Pick One

I filched a pic from Knuckledragger, and here it is:

I’ve added letters to each style, and your task for the day, should you accept it, is:

Assuming you had as much hair as the models above, and had to choose one of the above for yourself today, which one would you pick?

(Bonus points if you actually had that same hairstyle in the 70s).

I’ll start the ball rolling:  K.  I have no problem with the style.  (Actually, during the Bass Guitarist Years my hair looked more like J, but we won’t talk about that now.)

Boring And Gray

I know that colors tend to come and go as fashion statements, and maybe soon it will all change.  But I have to agree with the people complaining about this trend (now referred to as the “Grey Plague”):

‘Tasteless’ homeowners have been slammed over a trend of ruining pretty homes with dreary paint-jobs, supersized fences and Astro-turf lawns, dubbed the ‘Grey Plague’.
A number of examples have been shared online in recent weeks, showing how once picturesque white houses, often dating back centuries, have been transformed into ugly, grey mountains stripped of greenery and often with imposing front features.

Here’s an example:

Yes, that’s the same house.  The picturesque, somewhat eccentric Victorian cottage has been turned into some neo-Bauhaus nightmare, the shrubbery replaced with… concrete, and the family dwelling has come to resemble the offices of a small architectural firm.  To call the change “ugly” is to understate the matter.

I know, I know:  it’s a private property issue, so all you librarians can go back to reading Lysander Spooner or Atlas Shrugged.  Of course you should be able to do what you want with your property — but as it’s in the public domain (being oh-so visible from the street), I likewise have the right to express my opinion that it looks like shit.

The other bitch about a modern trend has to do with this fascination for the color gray / grey (depending on which side of the Atlantic you live;  both are correct).  From the linked article, look upon this foul eyesore, and despair:

For those who’ve never been to Britishland, allow me to mansplain.

Both these pics were taken on a sunny summer’s day — but, as the old joke goes, that’s not the way to bet when it comes to British Weather.  At least 80% of the time, it looks like this:

…cold, damp and dreary.  In a word: gray.

Now use your imagination and add a gray day to the white house in the pic on the left-hand side, and to the gray house on the right.  That’s right:  putting a gray house into a gray day turns “dreary” into “gloomy”.  Kinda like Edinburgh on any day, come to think of it:

(That was taken from my hotel room just after lunch, in October 1999.)

I don’t really mind gray — light gray — as an interior color, although I think it tends to make the room feel a little cold.  In fact, the walls in our current apartment are light gray and while we’d pick a different color (e.g. pale blue or a very light tropical-beach-sand color) if we had our druthers, the gray doesn’t offend.  However, the outside of our apartment complex is a dark gray, similar to the gray Victorian above, and that makes me want to bring the dynamite, especially when (like today) it’s overcast, chilly, drizzly and as New Wife calls it, “positively British”.  Here’s what I’m talking about (taken at about midday yesterday):

Change that to white walls with gray accents, and we’re talking turkey.  As it is… ugh.

Anyway, as I said at the top, maybe the fashion will change and gray will be replaced with some other color.

My luck, it will be avocado green.  Then there will be murders.

As Usual

Following on from yesterday’s news about Chile voting to “change” their constitution — really, overturning the one passed into law by Augusto Pinochet and putting in a new, “progressive” (Marxist) one — the Left in Chile did the usual:

Violence, looting, and disorder erupted in Chile on Sunday evening after an overwhelming majority of people voted in favor of destroying the country’s constitution, replacing it with a new document more favorable to the nation’s left wing.

On the night of the elections, local media reported that police arrested at least 19 people for looting a pharmacy and a supermarket. In the commune of Melipilla outside Santiago, rioters attacked a police station, injuring eight officers, while also installing barricades on a carriageway to prevent the movement of traffic.

No doubt, this was all part of the “wild celebrations” that followed the vote result.

So just to be clear:  if the Left loses, they riot and loot;  and if they win, they riot and loot.

Something we can probably expect in the U.S. when Trump cleans their clock next week.  See the next post for details.

I think I’ll head off to the range as soon as it opens in a couple hours.  Handgun practice this time?  I think so.