After a comment from Longtime Friend & Reader Mh jogged my memory, I need to ask a favor of everyone.

I’d like to attend next year’s SHOT Show. If anyone can provide me with Press- or retailer accreditation, I would be forever in your debt. 

And if any of the Vegas locals would care to put me up for a couple-three nights, I will bring a bottle or so of single malt in gratitude.

Readers can expect the usual trenchant reports on what I see at the show.

I should point out that Las Vegas is one of my least-favorite cities in the world, so this would be a huge sacrifice I’d be making for the sake of my Readers. I won’t be flying because TSA, so it’ll be a road trip too.

One last point: I’ll just have returned from the last leg of my sabbatical in Britishland, so if personal circumstances (e.g. poverty) cause me to have to cancel, you can’t pout.


Allow me to remind you all that it is precisely one month away:

100 rounds or more of your favorite gun fodder.

A couple suggestions, this one from our friends at CheaperThanDirt:


..and this one from Lucky Gunner:


…and one more for luck, from Sportsman’s Guide:


…but if you want to splurge and get yourself some top-shelf hunting ammo, try this from Graf & Sons:

(That’s $256.45, for the math-challenged.)

Of course, feel free to purchase a little more than 100 rounds, e.g. this offering from Georgia Arms:

…or this branded AR-15 food, from Ammoman:

Of course, you’ll want something to store it in, so from MidwayUSA:


This year, November 19th falls on a Sunday, so get it done. I will be in Britishland on that day, but that’s not gonna stop me from buying ammo, you betcha; and the fact that I can do it from behind enemy lines, so to speak…

I love the Internet.


At some point in the near future, I’m going to be bringing my newest acquisition home from Bitishland. I’m referring of course to this little sweetheart, the Mauser M12:

…lamentably without that fine suppressor, but hey.

My M12 really, really likes a certain brand of 6.5x55mm Swedish ammo, namely the RWS 140-grain HP (as seen here). Well, it turns out that you can’t get RWS centerfire ammo of any kind Over Here — I checked with Anschutz, the importer, and no joy.

Well, I’ll just have to find another brand of 6.5 Swede ammo that Madame enjoys shooting. In Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer I have what my Son&Heir describes as “two lifetimes’ worth” of the above, but the vast majority of it (+/- 2,000 rounds) is Hirtenberg mil-surp; in commercial ammo, I don’t have that much at all. Here’s what it looks like:

What I do have, though, is a decent range of ammo to test, to see which brand works best. (All the ammo is 140gr except for the Hornady, Wolf and Norma stuff.) The unboxed ammo — the Federal Premium — is what my M1896 likes to shoot when not shooting the mil-surp; it’s matched to lot #, even, so I’ll probably test it last, if at all. The ammo in and on the stock sleeve on the right is the same as the Federal in the top left corner (I have no idea why I don’t have it boxed).

Once I find the right match… Let The Buying Begin.

Anyway, it looks like January / February 2018 will be filled with many, many hours at the range while I figure it all out. What a tiresome chore…


In the Comments to an earlier post, Reader JoeInPNG said: “…I’m often surprised and pleased how accurate my Colt 1903 and 1908 are.”

And I was immediately reminded of the time I got to shoot one of the aforementioned, a Colt 1903 in its native chambering of .32 ACP (7.65mm Browning). The owner had had the gun re-blued in Colt’s Royal Blue, and it was so beautiful a gun that I swear I had larcenous / covetous thoughts about a gun for the first time since the Colt Python Episode of 2003. Here’s an un-refinished example, courtesy of Collector’s Firearms in Houston:

…and let me tell you right now, were it not sinfully expensive (well over $1,500), I’d be reporting it as mine.

A parallel thought occurs to me about the .32 ACP –and let me remind everyone, “ACP” stands for “Automatic Colt Pistol” — which by today’s standards is woefully underpowered as a self-defense cartridge.

I don’t care. If I had a 1903, I’d buy as much .32 ACP as I could afford — Visa and Mastercard executives would be booking their Bermuda vacations by now — and I would probably shoot out the 1903’s barrel in about six months. Yes, it’s that much fun to shoot.

The Colt 1908 (.380 ACP) is about the same size as the the 1903, despite being chambered for the larger cartridge:

In its label description the 1903 is called the “Pocket” model, while the 1908 is called the “Vest Pocket” model. Both guns are lovely — can a John Moses Browning design ever be called ugly? — and they would make a fine addition to the collection of anyone who loves craftsmanship and beauty.

The shooting fun, of course, is the joyful bonus.

Almost Right

It’s seldom that I agree with everything that someone may write, and this article by Jonah Goldberg is an example.

In one regard, he’s quite correct: the NRA is not the behemoth of the lobbying world — they should be so lucky — that the screeching moonbats of the Left say they are; that’s just theater, and only the gullible (i.e. the Left’s target market) would believe it.

In fact, to a large proportion of gun owners (myself included), the NRA often compromises far too much with the foul gun controllers, but that’s not what I want to talk about right now.

Goldberg misses the point when he makes the case about politicians (especially red-state politicians) pandering to their constituent voters when it comes to The Gun Thing. Yes they do, of course, because heaven forbid that an elected politician should actually [gasp] represent the wishes of his constituents. But it’s not all about that. Let’s at least give our guys a little credit in that most of them believe and support the Second Amendment themselves — I know, the Left are passing out round about now — and thus there’s no pandering going on at all.

To expand upon another of Goldberg’s points: what the Left fails to understand is that the NRA isn’t the gorilla in the room; in fact, the NRA is the very smallest tip of the iceberg of gun owners in this country who are not only gun owners, but who are also committed to the principle of the Second Amendment — maybe even more than the NRA claims to be. So, as Goldberg says:

This is why gun control is a great issue for Democratic fundraising — but an even better issue for Republican get-out-the-vote efforts.

Here, at least, he’s 100% correct.

And in conclusion, let me suggest that before Hillary Bitch Clinton goes on her next anti-gun tirade, she should dismiss her Secret Service detail altogether. Of course she won’t because this socialist sow knows quite well that it’s guns that protect her from harm — and We The People deserve no less protection. We don’t even need someone else to do it for us.

Not that the rancid cow would ever acknowledge that. She, and all her little acolytes on the Left, want us to be helpless.

Sorry, Madame Commissar: that ain’t gonna happen. Now FOAD, you irrelevant Commie tart.

Range Report: Federal Range & Field .22 LR

As promised, I went to the range (DFW Gun Range, my all-time favorite) to test some “new” .22 ammo, to whit, the new budget Federal Range & Field variants.

So here are the two we’re going to be looking at:

and its hollowpoint brother:

Federal claims that the two are ballistically identical, so that’s what we’re going to test, fired through  my trusty Marlin 880SQ — but on a benchrest, not a bipod:

Added, in response to a comment below: I always run a boresnake through the barrel between testing different brands; then I fire a couple of fouling shots into the backstop, and then continue with the test. It’s not a “cleaning” (in the sense of a full field-strip cleaning), but for me it suffices.

First, a quick test of the zero, using my go-to CCI Mini-Max 36-grain hollowpoints as a benchmark, in a 5-shot string (and point of aim for all rounds was the center of the diamond):

No problem, with a called flier. They shoot a tad high because they’re light 36-grain bullets. So a couple clicks down on the scope, and I was ready to start the test. First came the Federal 40-grain “Range” ammo:

Ahem. That, dear Readers, is a 5-shot group, the very first time I’d ever shot this ammo. I’m pretty sure that someone else could do better than that, but not by much.

Now, the 38-grain “Field” variant:

Honestly, I didn’t do the ammo justice because the guy in the next lane was shooting an AK with a muzzle brake, and the concussion / bright flash was causing me to jerk the trigger as I tried to fit the string in between his shots. Failure. So I waited till he was reloading, and tried the 38-gr rounds again:

Much better, with the called flier on the left. Yes, as I suspected, the lighter 38gr Field hollowpoint bullets do strike a teeny bit higher than the 40-gr Range solids, but not by much, and it’s a good, solid group nevertheless.

I shot both ammo types a dozen or so more times each (without any significant differences from the initial groups), and I can honestly say that I think the Federal Range 40gr lead roundnose ammo is the bee’s knees — and its low price makes it a definite entry into the “plink all day” category. The Field 38gr copper hollowpoints? I’m going to hold off for a while and maybe do a little more testing — maybe compare it to other .22 hollowpoint ammo. It doesn’t seem to offer as tight a group, but as I said, I’m going to give it another session to make sure.

Finally, let me offer the usual caveats: these results came from my rifle, my scope and my level of shooting skill. Your results may differ — and in fact, they probably will, so it’s up to you. Rimfire guns are also notoriously picky as to their “favorite” ammo, and what works beautifully in one rifle will be awful in another. The Marlin 880SQ seems to love the Federal Range 40gr LRN ammo — and as proof I’ll show you another target result, using Winchester Super-X 40gr LRN this time:

I have a jillion rounds of the Super-X stuff because I got a honking deal on it about a decade ago and bought accordingly. I normally use this ammo exclusively in my Taurus pump-action because that’s what I plink with, but the grouping above is typical for this ammo in my guns: quite some variation between cartridges from the same box (which didn’t happen with either of the Range & Field types). A variation doesn’t matter when I’m looking for minute-of-Coke-can, but it does if I’m doing some serious shooting.

Anyway: my conclusion is that this new budget ammo from Federal performs much better than a budget cartridge can be expected to. Give it a shot for yourselves.

Up next: Federal Automatch .22, which should arrive in the next few days. Watch this space.

*Reminder: I get no kickbacks from any ammo manufacturer whatsoever for these tests. I perform them on an ad hoc basis, according to my whim or choice. Mostly, I buy the ammo for myself; but if anyone wants me to test ammo and sends me a couple boxes, I’ll do it gladly with the proviso that I will be impartial and outspoken. If I think the ammo sucks, I’ll say so, using those words; and if it’s excellent, I’ll say that too.