And About Time

From Reader Brad Of Illinois comes this very welcome news:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. is proud to announce the (re-)release of the Marlin Model 336 Classic.

“The legendary Model 336 helped to build Marlin Firearms into the iconic American brand that it is today,” said Ruger President and CEO, Chris Killoy. “We have worked for many months on every detail to ensure that Ruger‘s reintroduction of this iconic rifle lives up to its stellar reputation.”

Chambered in .30-30 Win., the Model 336 Classic sports a beautifully finished American black walnut stock and forend. Crisp, clean checkering on both the stock and forend improve the appearance and grip of the rifle. The stock’s black pistol grip cap is inset with a Marlin Horse and Rider medallion, and the forend is attached using a barrel band.

The alloy steel rifle is richly blued, features a standard-sized finger lever, and has a six-round magazine capacity. The 20.25” barrel is cold hammer-forged, which improves longevity and yields ultra-precise rifling for exceptional accuracy. Like the classic 336, this rifle features the gold-colored trigger.

Even better:

Additional models in different calibers and configurations will be released throughout the coming year.

The only reason I’m not going to get one is that I already have a Winchester 94 in .30-30 — but I have long been eyeing a companion rifle to my .357 revolvers, and when Ruger gets round to re-issuing those

Gratuitous Gun Pic: H&H SxS 12ga Pair

Longtime Readers will know that when it comes to shotgun calibers, I am of the 20-gauge persuasion simply because I’m leery of getting my shoulder separated etc.  (I know, I know:  your 5’1″ 110lb wife can handle a 12ga all day blah blah blah whatever.)

THAT SAID:  I could be tempted into this matched pair of Hollands because reasons.  (All pics can be enlarged via the usual methods.)

You may say they’re not worth the money, but all I can think of is that choir of angels singing hallelujah every time I open the safe door.

Now where did I leave that winning lottery ticket…?

In Memoriam

I see that John Linebaugh — founder of the “Never Mind The Recoil, See The Dead Elephant Over There” school of large-bore handgun cartridges — has fired off his last round and gone to join JM Browning and Paul Mauser at Vulcan’s knee.

And what better way to commemorate the man than by showing what he was all about, with this Magnum Research monster in .500 Linebaugh?

Just looking at that bad boy BFR makes my wrist ache… but I gotta tell you, unless you’re hunting blue whales or Tiger tanks, you are not going to be undergunned.

R.I.P. John, gone too soon.

Getting Re-Acquainted

From Reader Scott O. comes this request:

My wife is interested in getting back into shooting. She grew up around guns and shooting but with the demands of child-raising her skills atrophied. She wants to remedy that situation and also to have a handgun of her own. Her ultimate goal is to have a home defense handgun that she can shoot proficiently which is also pleasant to shoot recreationally.

Our initial plan was to go to the local gun shop/range and rent a few to find one she liked. We did that a couple of times but it became apparent that she needs a lot of practice to regain her skills. We’re thinking now that we get her a .22 first and another handgun later. That would allow her to redevelop her skills at a lower cost and then when it comes time to get the larger caliber she can focus on choosing one that suits her without being distracted by poor marksmanship.

She much prefers revolvers, which is a bit of a problem since most of what’s on the market are semi-auto. Would you give your opinion on our plan and some advice on choosing a .22 revolver?

So far, you’re batting 1.000 in that you’ve done the logical first steps towards choosing the proper gun — renting different models, figuring out her preferred type, realizing that this would be the training piece prior to getting a home- / self-defense gun, and so on.  All good stuff, and well done.

Here are my thoughts.

  • Pick a .22 revolver which holds more than six rounds.  In the past, this was problematic, because few did;  nowadays, however, there’s a plethora of models available.  The reason I suggest this is that my own experience shows that just when you’re starting to get the hang of the shooting, there’s a “click” and you have to break your grip and stance to reload.  Also, more is almost always a good idea.
  • You didn’t say whether your wife is comfortable shooting a heavier gun like, say, the S&W 617 (which is a bit of a beast, relatively speaking).  If she isn’t, then you may want to disregard my recommendation above, and settle for a decent six-shooter instead.  However, if she’s going to shoot a heavier (self-defense) piece later, let’s assume that this is not a problem.
  • I myself prefer to shoot a single-action .22 revolver, but that’s because I like to take my time shooting rimfires.  Almost everyone else — and certainly beginners — prefer the double-action type, so I’m not going to argue the point.  Get a double-action revolver, then, but let me at least mention what I think is an excellent choice for a single-action 10-shot revolver:

Ruger Single-Ten (in short- or long barrel, blued or stainless)

…but as a longtime owner of the Single-Six version, allow me to mention that the old-fashioned reloading process is a PITA.  There are also cheaper options available (e.g. the Heritage Rough Rider or the Traditions model), but the Ruger has an adjustable rear sight and anyway, I’m assuming that you care for your beloved wife and want her to have the very best. [/wiseass]

Now for the double-action choices.  Here’s the aforementiond S&W model:

S&W Model 617 (with barrel-length options, stainless only)

…and just as nobody ever got fired for recommending IBM, nobody will ever sneer at your S&W revolver.  Good, reliable guns, albeit a tad spendy.

But here’s what I think is the best choice:

Ruger GP100 Standard


  • It’s a Ruger;  it ain’t gonna break.
  • The double-action trigger is a little heavy (because it’s a Ruger), but your local gun wizard can take care of that for you, as likely would a few bricks of practice ammo.  (And some .22 snap caps are your friend, for dry-firing practice:  true for whatever gun you finally decide on, of course.)
  • Ruger makes a .22 speedloader for the GP100, thus making the whole reloading thing a lot easier.  They are spendy ($35!) but if you think about it, that’s about what you pay for a semi-auto magazine.  I’d get two, minimum, so you can be reloading one while the Missus is shooting the other.  (By the way, you can also get a speedloader for the S&W 617, should you decide to go there.)

But to my mind, here’s the clincher for the GP100:

  • When your wife decides to go to a home-defense piece, the identically-framed GP 100 in .38 Special / .357 Magnum would be an excellent choice — less so as a carry piece, perhaps, but that’s all part of the compromise.  However, out of the box the new gun would feel familiar in hold, weight and trigger pull, which would be a compelling reason to get the .22 model first.

I’m a huge fan of the revolver as a bedside gun (I myself have a S&W Model 65 in .38 Special / .357 Magnum, for just that reason), so take that for what it’s worth.  Had I not happened upon a (long-since discontinued) Mod 65, however, the GP100 would undoubtedly have been my #1 choice.

And now I have to stop, because that 10-shot .22 GP100 bad boy is looking more and more desirable, and I am so weak…


Reader Roger S. sends me this little conundrum he’s faced with:

I recently acquired (through an estate) this 1953 Smith & Wesson K22. A 5-screw, pinned & recessed 6″ K frame .22 rimfire beauty. AKA the holy grail of rimfire revolvers.

I believe that it has been fired very little as it appears to be new all over with just a beginning tiny turn line on the cylinder. No scratches, dings, dents, no worn blue or chipped grips. Like New.

Now the problem I face is what to do with it. Shoot the hell out of it, enjoying as it was intended? Save it as a true heirloom & protect it from fools, idiots and other non believers while NOT shooting it? Sell it to someone that will appreciate it and use the $$$ to buy something to bang away with without feeling guilty?

What to do, what to do?

I know what I’d do, but that’s not the issue.  What would you do, O My Loyal Readers, in a similar situation?

(I’ll post my thoughts in Comments, after y’all have had your say,)

Gratuitous Gun Pic: CETME 58 Model C (.308 Win)

I’ve only ever owned a few semi-auto “battle” rifles, but I have to say that since the Unfortunate Canoeing Accident on the Brazos River several years ago, I’ve felt the CETME’s loss rather keenly;  and this one from Collectors has not helped at all:

The design went on to be the basis for the HK G3 (unsurprising, as the engineers were post-WWII Germans), but for some reason I’ve always found the CETME more pleasant to shoot.  Purely on aesthetic grounds, of course, the wooden grips are better than the plastic ones by a country mile.  And I really like the quirky upper-mounted bayonet. for a bonus.

Mechanically, mine fed everything flawlessly — .308 Win and 7.62 NATO both — and it was as accurate as any of its FN-based counterparts.

The history of the CETME is here, and once you’ve overcome the shock of paying over a grand for any Century Arms offering, I have to say that this would be a lovely (and cheaper) alternative to the other 7.62 NATO rifles out there.

To paraphrase Othias, I’d take this CETME to war in a heartbeat.