Total Agreement

This guy has produced a Top 20 Best Guns Ever Made video (delivered in a no-frills, dry-as-dust format), and it’s probably one of the first such made that I have absolutely no disagreement with, at least for the first dozen.

Basically, he’s included “popularity” as one of his criteria (hence the inclusion of the Glock), and that’s fine;  when you end up making millions and millions of a particular gun, it’s hard to argue with his reasoning.

Hell, I don’t even argue much with his ranking — if indeed it is a ranking and not just a list — and my only quibble is that he’s included both the Winchester 94 and Marlin 336 lever rifles, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s really just a double entry of pretty much the same gun.

And yes, he’s only talking about cartridge-firing guns, and repeaters (e.g. no single-shot ones like Sharps rifles).

But those are just minor quibbles.  I found myself nodding along all the way through.  And I agree with leaving the Colt Python off the list.

You may all pick your jaws up off the floor.

Inescapable Comparison

“Oh good grief, here’s Kim grinding on about old stuff again.”

Yeah, guilty as charged.

Watch Jay Leno’s glorious love affair with his 1940 Lagonda 4.5-liter V12.  His is a direct, faithful copy of the cars which were taken straight off the street and raced at Le Mans in 1939 — and placed 3rd and 4th, the very first time they were entered.

After watching that, tell me you don’t want to smack him over the head and take his car.  And if you feel a little intimidated by the size and manual strength needed to drive the thing, you need to take some double-strength manly pills.  Me, I’d do it all in a flash.

Now watch Henry Chan shooting what is, to me, the firearm’s equivalent of that Lagonda:  the Mauser K98 bolt-action rifle.  (For background, here’s Ian McCollum.)

Same idea, same technique, same principle for both:  outstanding performance, infallible reliability and guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you take it out for a spin.

Like the one on Jay’s face.

I need to get back out to TDSA and shoot my K98, because I want to get that same smile.  (And I use a rubber recoil pad, just like old hickok45 does.)

I don’t have a Lagonda, though.  Bummer.

Fiddling Before Firing

Here’s something I’ve noticed recently during my ahem occasional visits to the range.

A guy will come in with a gun bag containing an AR-15, take the gun out and then spend a few minutes fiddling with the thing — adjusting the scope (most commonly), tightening screws and so on, all before getting down to business.  I’m not talking about loading up, although it’s beyond me why someone would arrive at the range with unloaded mags and then spend a few precious (and expensive) minutes pushing cartridges into the mag when he should be shooting.

I don’t know if I’ve ever taken more than a minute, tops, between arrival at the bay and the first shot sent on its way.

I’m also not talking about guys who have arrived specifically to zero in a scope, or test something, by the way.  I know the difference between that and a shooting session.

But one of the things I want to practice most is how long (or little time) it takes me to get going.  And if I’m practicing with my carry gun, that first round is on its way in seconds, not minutes.

A couple of weeks ago, a guy showed up with a pistol bag.  He sent his target out to 10 yards, opened the bag, took out his gun (Glock) and started shooting.  No buggering around at all.  He fired off four mags, checked his (very acceptable) grouping, put his gun away and left.  Total time taken:  about 20 minutes.  Perfect.

My sessions take a tad longer, but that’s only because I typically shoot off more than sixty rounds, and have to change mags more often.

One other thing I’ve become aware of is how often people’s guns seem to be breaking down — once again, I’m not talking about a simple failure-to-feed, but something that requires getting the screwdriver out.  (Nobody is immune to a breakdown, of course;  I documented my own experience with my S&W Mod 65 a little while ago.)  But other than that occasion, I would have to really search my memory to remember when last something like that happened to me at the range.

Nowadays?  Guys let three or four rounds go, then down goes the gun and out come the tools.

This is one of the reasons why I like my guns simple:  they have to work without any fuss or tinkering, right out of the bag or holster.  Anything less, and I lose confidence in the thing and start thinking about a replacement.

So I’m seeing people coming to the range, but very little actual shooting practice seems to be taking place.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Combination Guns

Double-chambered rifle/shotgun combination guns were popular during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, and while I can see the desire for such a type of long gun, I’m really not so sure of its actual utility.  Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, from Merchant Of Death Steve Barnett, a Borovnik 20ga/7×57 Mauser:

Look, it’s a beautiful old piece, and it happens to encompass two of my favorite cartridges in one handy package.

But it’s only one round per barrel, and if I know anything about hunting, it’s that a rapid followup shot is often necessary.

But a shotgun (even a slug) round, followed by a rifle bullet?  Or vice-versa?  (One can elect which barrel shoots first, simply by using the applicable trigger.)  I’m trying to think of the situation which would fit the purpose.

I can see a double rifle in 7x57mm and, of course, a double-barrel shotgun in 20ga;  but mixing up the two seems to be one of those situations where the gun does one or the other functions well, but is somewhat wanting when it comes to both uses.

This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to own a combo like the above, of course:  it’s a work of art, and very desirable.  I just can’t see taking it into the field.

Or am I missing something?

Fine Wood Part 2

Following on from last week’s sighing and longing comes yet another man’s work, one Norbert Fashingbauer.  (His details  can be found below the fold.)

At Steve Barnett’s Emporium of Death, Fashingbauer’s FN Mauser in 7x57mm:

Wait… a full-stocked FN Mauser in 7x57mm ? Ah, man… [wondering which of my children would sell for $7,000]

Okay, back to Hallowell & Co., this one a left-handed Savage 110, also in 7x57mm:

Good grief, that’s just gorgeous — and finally, an “affordable” option for the kack-handers amongst us, who always have to pay more for their Satanic Persuasion [/nuns], only $2,500.

Still at Hallowell, and sadly already sold, an Oberndorf Mauser in .270 Win:

I don;t know how many hours it took Fashinger to create this stunning masterpiece, but that’s why his guns fetch the big bucks.

From another Fine Purveyor of Exotic Death Devices, M.W. Reynolds of Denver, is a Fashinger Winchester Mod 52B in .22 LR:

Okay, as beautiful as this rendering is, I will concede that $8,000 may be a tad on the spendy side for a .22 rifle.  But then, so is the $400,000 currently being asked for a 50-year-old rebuilt Dino Ferrari, and people seem to have no problem coughing up that amount.

More Norbert:  this Oberndorf Mauser sold at auction, so I can’t give the price… but phew.

I have to say, I like the man’s work.  Now, about those lottery tickets…

Read more


…idea from our friends at Palmetto State Armory:

Now I have no idea how good a deal this is, or whether the make is reliable and/or rugged, but at that price…

As any fule kno, I’m not really in the market for one of these things, nor does my financial situation permit me to be so in any case.  But for those of you who qualify on both counts…

All I can say is that PSA has continued to show The Right Stuff, so this may be worth a look.

Brits, Californians, Canuckis, New Yorkers and similar unfortunates living outside the United States can only look on and be envious.