Serious Talk

“Only accurate rifles are interesting.”  — attributed to Townsend Whelen.

We need to have a serious discussion, O My Readers, because I’m wrestling with a gun problem.

You will all recall that the original rifle intended for the Boomershoot giveaway was this Savage Apex Predator .308 Win / Vortex 4-12x scope package:


…which necessitated sending it back to Savage under warranty to address the “hard strike” (primer-puncturing) and chamber-binding problems.  So late last week I got it back, and a couple days ago I took it out to the range to check out its performance — and again, not good.  The two problems had been fixed, but now a new one reared its head:  a bolt action so stiff that after almost every shot I was forced to lay the gun on its side and practically hammer the bolt open with the heel of my hand, then slam it closed with a karate chop.

I didn’t check the serial number, but it looks like Savage may have sent me a different rifle — this one with its own issues.  But that’s not the worst of it.

I could not get a consistent grouping out of the thing at 100 yards:  I’d get two shots inside an inch, and the third two inches off — and worse still, the flyer would come with either the first, second or third rounds.

I’m not a great rifle shot, but I’m not that bad, as anyone who has shot with me can attest.  There was a young guy in the next lane over who’d been dumping rounds into pretty much the same hole all morning, so I asked him to take a few shots to see whether this was the gun, or me.  He couldn’t get a decent grouping either.

Cliff Notes:  I hate this fucking gun.

Now here’s where we come to the point of discussion.

My original plan was to get the “repaired” gun, make sure it was fit for purpose and then either sell it at a loss or else make it “second prize” in the drawing — eating most or all of the cost of the gun because this whole story has been an exercise in total frustration, and I just want to get it out of my safe.

Now I can’t do either, because the gun is a total POS — I certainly can’t sell it in good conscience, and frankly, knowing what I do about it, I don’t even want to give it away to someone who spent good money on a ticket.  And I’m not really interested in spending more money with a gunsmith to fix the bolt action, or to go through the cost and rigmarole of sending it back again to Savage, pox be upon them.  (I’d just take an angle grinder to the thing, such is my frustrated rage, but I don’t have an angle grinder.)

So, Readers:  what do YOU think I should do with it?

By the way:  the Savage’s replacement — CZ 550 Varmint .308 Win — (the original of which was stolen, as you may recall) has been ordered, and as soon as it comes in, I’ll be buying it and a decent scope with the insurance money, and holding the draw.

For Sale 2

Back in Ye Olde Dayes, I had a Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen, and as I was loath to add to the already-extensive caliber proliferation in Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer, I found a deal on a Spanish cheapie side-by-side at a gun show (back when one could still find such deals), and laid in a small stock of 16ga ammo.

I want to get back into sporting clays here locally, and birdshooting with Mr. FM, but now I’d rather shoot 20ga than 16ga.  So:

For Sale — Churchill (Kassnar) 16ga SxS, double triggers, 2¾” chamber, 27″ barrels — $150:

As you can see, it’s in NRA Condition “Wretched”:  worn bluing, dings in the stock, etc.


To make up for its pitiful condition, I’ll throw in some cleaning brushes and swabs:

…and also 125 rounds of various ammo types because I won’t need them anymore:

(Frankly, I think the ammo is worth more than the gun, so look on it as ammo + free gun, or gun + free ammo.  Either way, it’s a decent deal.)

Aside:  I actually thought I had more than that, but the rest turned out to be a over two hundred rounds of 20ga — yeah, I have still more ammo for a gun I don’t even own (yet) blah blah blah.

N. Texas residents get it hand-delivered, all others need to add the usual shipping and processing fees.

Emails preferred (kim@) from interested parties.

Update:  $old, very soon after the post went up.

Getting To Know You

So here I sit with my newly-acquired S&W Mod 65:

…and because I’ve not owned a .357 Mag revolver for lo these many years, of course I had to check out the ammo on hand.  (Yeah I know, I had ammo for a gun I didn’t have — like that’s never happened to any of you, don’t get me started.)

Actually not too bad, considering.  About 100 rounds of “self-defense” (i.e. hollowpoint 158gr killer-diller stuff) the shortage of which I shall address when time and wallet allow, but I can get by with that, certainly. As for practice .357 ammo?  About 500 rounds of the Winchester White Box 110gr.  Little light, there.

So off I went to look for said White Box practice ammo via Ammoseek… and holy shit!  Are you kidding me?  $2.40 per round??????  Two dollars and forty cents every time I pull the trigger????  Looks like the lightweight 110gr stuff may become my backup “self-defense” load — and yeah I know, the little 110gr pill doesn’t do well in ballistic gelatin etc. etc. yadda yadda yadda because even though it absolutely screams out of the barrel, there’s not enough mass to penetrate deeply enough to satisfy the Death Brigade Cognoscenti.

Anyway (after I’d got my heart working again), after browsing Ye Olde Internette a little further I found an old friend:

Still spendy, but in the current climate, not excessively so.  [20,000-word rant deleted]

“Okay, Kim:  why the lightweight stuff (125gr) instead of the proven (and cheaper) 158gr?”

Because if I know anything about the K-frame S&W revolvers like the 65, it’s that you can beat them up badly shooting lots of heavy .357 mag ammo through them.  And I plan to shoot lots because I’m out of practice shooting a meaty revolver cartridge.

Yeah, I know:  I can practice with .38 Special (no need to buy more of that, no sir), but I follow the old adage:  practice with what you’ll shoot.  And while the 125gr bullets aren’t the same as 158gr bullets in terms of recoil and such, they still have that little .357 snap!, more so than an ordinary .38 Spec, even the 158gr ones.

Comments in the usual place, please.  I welcome them all, because it’s been a long time since I shot the .357 Mag, out of any gun.

Oh, and for the many (!!) kind people who have written to me with offers of gifts of components, I really have no plans for getting into reloading, but thankee most kindly for the offers all the same.


Ordinarily, I’d be apoplectic about a bunch of foreigners buying a storied American company, especially one such as Colt, makers of fine (and a couple not-so-fine) guns since the nineteenth century.  I mean:






…and I think you get my drift.  A bunch of foreigners taking over this heritage?

Well, I was nearly about to have an RCOB Moment, when I further learned that said foreign company was actually the equally-storied CZ (Česká zbrojovka), whereupon I felt much better.

Nothing wrong with CZ (a.k.a. Brno) guns, either:


…and let’s not forget their rifles;  ooooh, their rifles:


Quite frankly, Colt Industries has got up my nose on many occasions (“Screw the civilian market”, “We’re not going to make the Python anymore… oops, okay, we’ll make them again, just not as well”), whereas CZ has seldom if ever perpetrated the same kind of nonsense.

I am cautiously optimistic about this takeover, but long experience has taught me that the road ahead may often not be what I’d like it to be.

But if CZ decides to move Colt manufacturing out of gun-hating Connecticut to their new facility in Arkansas while promising to keep or improve the quality thereof, I for one will applaud them.