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.

Gratuitous Gun Pic — M1 Carbine (.30 Carbine)

I have often touched on the topic of the WWII / Korean War-era M1 Carbine before, but never really done it justice.  For those people who have a busy day ahead of them and have to get on with it, here’s the Executive Summary:

I love this rifle.


I love it more than just about any other rifle I own, because it satisfies several of my “needs” at one go:

  • it’s handy — lightweight, easy to carry, easy to shoot / low-no recoil, not huge and cumbersome
  • shoots a decent cartridge (a topic to be covered at some length further down the page)
  • it’s a piece of history, and killed lots of Evil Bastards (Commies, Nazis and Imperial Japs) in two major conflicts
  • plentiful ammo (under normal circumstances, don’t get me started)
  • less importantly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy shooting it.

“But Kim,”  you may ask plaintively, “what about all the geeky stuff?”

Glad you asked.  Because it’s the weekend, I’ve taken the trouble to collect a few videos from EwwChoob and put them all in one post.

Firstly, there’s Gun Jesus (Ian McCollum) giving you the background history and technical aspects (in his usual masterful manner).

Next comes Chris Baker from Lucky Gunner, giving not one but four videos (you can skip the first one as it covers more or less the same ground as McCollum does):

  • Part 1(history and overview)
  • Part 2 (.30 Carbine ammo test)
  • Part 3 (self defense with the Carbine)
  • Part 4 (reliability, and modifying the Carbine).

Finally, there’s a great conversation about the M1 Carbine between Ian McCollum and the peppery Ken Hackathorn.

Whenever I watch gunny videos, my trigger-finger starts to itch, but with gunny videos about the M1 Carbine, it starts to itch really badly.  So if you own one already (and you should, it belongs in every household almost to the  degree that a .22 rifle does) and you end up going out to the range with your M1 Carbine this afternoon instead of tackling the “Honey-Do” list, tell her it’s my fault.

Taken To Task

You know, when I talk about a gun that has taken my fancy (e.g. the gorgeous S&W Model 25 of last Friday), that doesn’t mean I think it’s the only good gun, nor even the best gun;  it just caught my eye and I felt like talking about it.

So when I drooled over the Model 25 (and 625), that didn’t mean I was ignoring others of the ilk, nor even saying ugly things about them.

Such is not the case among my Readers, yea even unto the Comments.  Saith Reader MPW250:

“Sorry, but being raised by one of the few (at the time) Colt New Service collectors, I have to disagree and go with a New Service in plain or Flat Top Target configuration.”

I know all about the New Service line — hell, back in the old Racist Republic, I used to carry a modified 1917 (shortened barrel, adapted to use moonclipped .45 ACP):

…because .45 Colt ammo was nowhere to be found in South Africa at the time, but .45 ACP was plentiful.

So don’t think I’m being dismissive of the Colt DA revolvers just because I was talking about Smiths.

And then there are the legions of Ruger devotees, such as Reader MikeL, who sent this to my email addy:

I have to disagree slightly on your choice of 45 revolver.
The model 25 is nice. Don’t get me wrong. However in addition to me being a much bigger fan of Ruger over Smith & Wesson – there is another factor.
The Ruger Redhawk 45. With the Redhawk you can not only chamber 45 ACP (using moon clips of course) but also 45 Long Colt.
This gives you a versatile tool.
Also with Ruger, according to Buffalo Bore Ammo, Ruger RedHawks can handle stout ammo. The Plus P 45 long colt approaches entry level 44 Mag level power.
And for those days when softer recoil is needed – 45 ACP or regular 45 Long Colt ammo types will do just fine.

Again:  I have nothing repeat nothing bad to say about the Redhawk — as with the 1917 above, I’ve actually owned one (albeit in the .45 LC-only version):

…and I loved the thing.

But (and I cannot stress this too strongly) on the day during which my gaze fell upon the S&W Mod 25 at Collectors, I didn’t see whether there were any Colt New Service revolvers, nor Ruger Redhawks either:  because I wasn’t looking for them.

So please:  when I drool over a gun, don’t think I’m making a comparison — unless I actually make a comparison (as I did between the two rifles chambered in 7.62x39mm last Saturday).  I know there are always different options, but let me rave on in peace.

Bolt-Action Choices: 7.62x39mm Rifles

As part of my desire to pull back from longer-distance shooting — perhaps “desire” is the wrong word;  “forced by crap eyesight” is longer, but more accurate — comes the need to look at a rifle which would suit my purpose better than those I already have.  Here’s one such example of a gun currently sitting in Ye Olde Gunne Sayfe, a CZ 550 (6.5x55mm Swede), topped with a Meopta 6-24x56mm scope:

As any fule Longtime Reader kno, I love me my 6.5×55 Swede cartridge, and I love equally the gorgeous CZ 550 Mauser rifle with its sweeeeet single set trigger.   To replace this beauty would require ripping out a piece of my heart;  but, at the same time, it has become too much rifle and honestly, would better suit someone who could actually use it to its full potential.  I’m not that person, anymore.

But if I were going to replace this paragon of excellence, the new bolt-action rifle would need to fill several criteria:  reliable, accurate, and chambered for a cartridge which would not require me to spend almost as much on new ammo as on the rifle and scope.  Something like the 7.62x39mm Russian (of which I have a ummm  modest supply already in Ye Olde Ammoe Locquer).

There aren’t too many of these extant, but here are a couple, with their comparative features side by side:

Given my long and affectionate relationship with CZ rifles, one would think that the 527 would have the inside track;  but I have to tell you, that stubby little bull barrel of the Ruger looks very tempting. I’m not too concerned about the difference in barrel length, because as it is, the 7.62x39mm works just fine in an AK’s 16.5″ barrel, and the shorter barrel would make the Ruger less unwieldy.

And I know that the Ruger’s standard trigger isn’t as good as the 527’s set trigger, but given the price disparity between them, a drop-in Timney (about $150) would still bring the Ranch Rifle’s price in below that of the CZ 527, and if I set it to a sensible 2.5lb pull, that would be more than adequate.

I hate the Ruger’s plastic stock material — or is it a painted laminate? either way, it’s awful — and of course the CZ’s walnut is exquisite by comparison, albeit somewhat heavier.

As for glass:  the 24x Meopta is much more than I need when my likely (and preferred) shooting distance would be somewhat around (and probably less than) 200 yards.  Something smaller (and lighter, as a bonus) would work just as well on either rifle, and I’d be looking at something like a Leupold 3-9x40mm 3HD, a Leupold 2-10x42mm VX-5HD, or else the Minox 2-10×50 ZX5i (all with illuminated reticles, to help my pathetic eyesight):

I have a long and satisfying association with both Leupold and Minox scopes too, so this would not be short-changing myself at all.

One more thing:  I’m not a huge fan of rail scope mounts such as on the Ruger, because they do raise the scope high off the action.  Low scope bases (lower even than on the CZ 500 pictured) would definitely work better for me.

As I said earlier, all the above is certainly food for thought, and I will be considering the whole thing carefully for a while before I drop the hammer, so to speak.  I hate selling guns, but if I’m replacing one that I can’t shoot properly for one that I can, it does make the process easier.

Gratuitous Gun Pic: S&W Mod 25-2 (.45 ACP)

As I was meandering through the Gun Dork Forest (as I do occasionally), my eye was caught by a couple of rather fine-looking older guns from Messrs. Smith & Wesson.  Here’s the first, the lovely Model 25-2:

Now for those who are unfamiliar with this creature, or those who are perhaps new to this corner of The Gun Thing, you might ask:

“But Kim:  how can you chamber a rimless cartridge into a revolver cylinder?  Don’t the boolets just fall through and out onto the floor?”

Indeed you might think so, Grasshopper, but there are these things called “half-moon” or “full-moon” clips:

I’m not quite sure what brand those cartridges are, but let’s go with “G.I.” (Gay Issue).  (I know I know, it’s really inert ammo shuddup.)

Back in the day when I owned one of these wondrous guns, I always preferred the full-moon clips because I found them easier to load, less likely to bend than the half-moons, and of course it’s a one-step reload.  (Another benefit:  when you slam the ejector rod on a full-moon clip, you don’t have to spend the next five minutes scrabbling around on the floor picking up expended cartridge cases.)

My particular model wasn’t the Mod 25, but the stainless 625 Version:

And if that doesn’t make your trigger-finger itch, I don’t want to talk to you anymore.

Anyway, there are several good reasons to own a Mod 25/625 in .45 ACP, chief among them being that if you already own a 1911 pistol thus chambered (and you should), it means that you won’t suffer from Caliber Proliferation Syndrome in your ammo locker by having to buy .38 Special and / or .357 Magnum ammo.

Finally, of course, there’s nothing wrong with using .45 ACP in your revolver (especially if it has a 5″ barrel), because duh it’s John Moses Browning’s .45 ACP.

Gotta say, though, that blued Mod 25 above sure is pretty, because this is Kim speaking — and blued steel over wooden grips always looks better than bling steel over rubber.

It’s at Collectors, of course.

Next week, I’ll be talking about the other lovely guns I saw there.