Gratuitous Gun Pic: Oviedo Mauser (7x57mm)

Time was, the role of “truck” or “trunk” gun could safely be delegated to that old Mosin M44 that you picked up at a garage sale for $30.  Time was.

Nowadays, even the skunkiest Mosins can only be had for $500 or more (!!!).

So then, if these are the times we live in, allow me to offer an alternative to a rifle which needs a mallet to work the bolt.

Such as the very handy and practical 1895 Oviedo Mauser, which has a much smoother bolt, and which shoots the 7mm Mauser cartridge (which will not dislocate your shoulder like the Mosin’s 7.62x54mmR).

I actually owned one of these, once upon a time, and I can’t remember why I got rid of it.  Stupid me.

Anyway, one rumor I do need to dispel about this lovely little carbine is that the metal used is inferior to modern steel, and which therefore makes it “weak”.

It’s completely untrue.  The steel is every bit as fit for purpose than any other, as Chuck Hawks wrote many years ago.

I’d have one of these excellent little carbines in the trunk of my car any day of the week.  It’s just too bad that today’s gun prices have made the whole concept unworkable.

Rifle Conundrum

So having taken care of my carry gun problem, I turn now to the Boomershoot 2023 ULD situation.  Unfortunately, this leads me to another fork in the road.

But first, let me take care of the easy stuff.

Rifle type (bench vs. hunting):  Almost everyone said they had the “hunting” thing taken care of.  What they wanted was a bench-type rifle.  Check.

Caliber:  a vast majority of ticket holders wanted the thing in .308 Win, and almost nobody wanted .30-06 or 6.5 Creedmoor.  Also check.

Readers who recall my experiences with the Howa HCR 1500 from last year may recall that I loved the rifle.  (Cliff Notes:  more accurate than anyone (let alone I) could shoot it, outstanding trigger — just about the perfect rifle at that price point, or indeed at almost any price point.)

So just for the hell of it, I looked at doing the Howa again, and found this situation:

And here’s where the problem comes in.  The two rifles pictures have the same silky bolt action, the same astounding trigger, and the same hammer-forged heavy barrel — in other words, mechanically they are identical.

Where they differ, of course, is in the stock setup — the Hogue is free-floated but not “chassis” based, whereas the Oryx is a true bench rifle.  (As pictured, the Hogue weighs in at about 8lbs, whereas the Oryx weighs just over 10lbs — the latter being irrelevant as it’s being fired from a bench, and heavier weight is actually a positive attribute.)

That $270 price difference, however, sticks in my craw.  (Oh, and the Hogue is available immediately, but the Oryx is on backorder at five different outlets, where I’ve put myself on a notification list, just in case.)

What say you, O My Readers?


Several people wrote to me — close to a dozen, in fact — all offering help in replacing the broken extractor from my battered but much-loved Inland M1 Carbine, and to all those people, please accept my sincerest thanks.

However, Longtime Reader Hank T. not only offered to replace the busted part, but to show me in person how simple a job it is — ha! — provided that one has the proper little G.I. tool which acts as a third hand.  As he lives less than an hour from my apartment, that meant not having to send parts to different parts of the Lower 48.  So yesterday I went over to his place, handed over said broken carbine, and within a half-hour the whole thing had been stripped, cleaned lubed and oh yes had received a new extractor.  It works!

I’m bending the truth a little here in describing the above as a half-hour job, because while the operation itself only  took about half an hour, I spent close to three hours in his workshop because he has all sorts of wonderful bangsticks in his possession.  And you know what that means, right?  I had to hold, and caress, and work the actions of said guns one by one because I’m a gun molester lover and the easiest way to make me purr is to hand me a beautiful gun with an exhortation to “just try that trigger”.

Drooling, lots of drooling, followed.  But clearly my orgasmic cries had disturbed Hank’s darling wife, who came to the workshop to see what all the fuss was about, and that added an hour onto the whole thing because a) she’s a darling and b) she has traveled to many of the places I have, so much experience-swapping took place.

I love to spend time with my Readers on a one-to-one basis, because while you’ve heard many of my stories and adventures on this back porch, I haven’t heard your stories and adventures, and I drink that stuff like I would a fine single malt.

And when I get a renewed gun out of it, as I did here, it’s all the finer.  I am the world’s worst gunsmith because I’m not mechanically-minded (rather the opposite), and I have no patience with inanimate objects — not your best qualities for a gunsmith, I think we can all agree — so I far prefer to hand my problem over to someone who knows what he’s doing and (as in this case) has the proper tools for the job.

So many thanks, Hank, and yes I absolutely want to spend some time at the range with you.  Let me know when you’re free.

Ongoing Struggle

You’re probably all getting sick of my constant whining about the changeover from my Springfield .45 ACP 1911 to the Browning High Power 9mm Europellet, but it’s my website and I get to decide what gets posted here.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that more than a few of you assholes Loyal Readers are getting Schadenboners  from seeing me grappling with adopting a chambering I’ve always decried as puny, inadequate etc. etc.

So one of the suggestions I got was to get a 1911-style gun in 9mm, but to get a quality piece rather than an expensive one.  Okay, let’s look at one such option, the Wilson Combat EDC (such as carried by Bill Wilson his own self):

I have to admit, that’s not a bad-looking little piece, despite that frame color best described as “vintage sputum”.  However, I see that this EDC costs nearly $3,500 second-handquickly now, Prissy, hand me mah smellin’ salts.

Errr no.  For under $2,000 I could get this paragon of second-hand 9mm effectiveness instead:

and it comes with a competition-grade trigger.

But even that’s too much for my near-empty wallet / bank account.

No, I guess I’ll just have to snuffle through the bottom of the barrel like some bad-tempered boar… Read more

Random Thought

…about that guy in Houston who turned Replica Robber into Swiss cheese:  from the sound of the gunshots and the zero recoil, I’m thinking a small-caliber chambering —  9mm Luger at best, more likely a.380 ACP or even .32 ACP.

Which means he had to empty his mag to get the thing done (for the moment, we’ll ignore the coup-de-grâce shot right at the end).

And here’s something we all need to acknowledge:  when shooting a handgun in such a situation, bullet size matters.  Even velocity is not as important, because as all the smart kids know, the difference in velocity between (say) a .38 Special and .357 Mag bullet — when fired from a short-barreled carry revolver — is negligible.  You’re still left with a .36″ projectile to do your dirty work.

As hunters of dangerous game animals also know, you don’t use a .270 Win cartridge to hunt buffalo, even though its velocity is perfectly capable of penetrating a buffalo’s thick hide.  You want impact, and shock — and that comes from a heavier bullet delivered at .270-like velocity.

I’ll explore the personal implications of the above in a later post.

Winter Of My Discontent

I have moaned before about a) relinquishing my beloved 1911 and b) finding the Browning High Power to be a rather inadequate substitute (apart from its Europellet chambering).

Let’s be clear:  this BHP is a lovely gun.

I have yet to experience a single failure to feed, regardless of what magazine I use, and it shoots every single type of Europellet I put through it — hollowpoints, solids, lightweight or heavyweight, it handles them all and says, “Please Sir, may I have another?”  It’s also a lot easier to clean than the 1911, which is A Good Thing.

All is well, in other words, except for the trigger which does not come close to my 1911’s bang switch, perhaps excusably given how much work and shooting has gone into the latter by comparison.

And then there’s the Europellet, which I still think is inadequate as a stopper.

For the first time in my life, I feel undergunned when I walk out the door carrying the High Power, and that feeling is unaccustomed, unsettling and unwelcome — which makes me grateful for the extra seven rounds in the BHP’s mag.

I discussed all the above with the Son&Heir over dinner last week and he, bless his heart, suggested that we swap guns:  my 1911 back to me, and the BHP over to him.  Which all sounded good, until he tried the BHP’s trigger.

Understand that as a one-time TeamUSA competition shooter, he has a far greater degree of skill and control in his trigger finger than I do — and he hated the BHP’s trigger.

So all talk of a swap ended at that point.

Ad then I got these suggestions from the Peanut Gallery  my Loyal Readers, who made suggestions such as “I think it’s the gun, not the ammo”, “The other thing to consider is a new 1911 chambered in 9mm”, “I couldn’t carry a gun I didn’t enjoy shooting”, “Sig 1911 Ultra .45”, “CZ RAMI 75BD”, “CZ 75B… CZ P07… CZ P10C”, “Para Ordnance P-14”, “Turkish-made 1911 in 9mm”… and lots more.

I think you can all see where this is heading:  get a gun which suits you, Kim.

I don’t think that anyone needs to be reminded that I’m quite possibly the world’s most susceptible gun buyer on the planet.  Okay, “gun whore” if you want to be blunt.

Unfortunately, I’m no longer a self-employed consultant paying the I.R.S. over $20,000 dollars per quarter;  I’m a retiree on a (low) fixed income and savings that are nearly 80% lower than a couple years back (FJB).  But what the hell, I can always sell one of the guns that I managed to recover from The Tragic Canoe Accident of 2014 (-15? -12? whatever).

So if I wanted to stay with the 9mm Europellet — a GREAT BIG HUGE “IF” — then all sorts of lovely guns become available — (hammer-fired / full-sized*, of course), e.g.

Now let’s just turn that “IF” (above) into “Ah fuck no“, and decide that it’s time that my damn body started to man up and just deal with the pain of shooting the .45 ACP…

I think we’re all familiar with where I’m going here:

Option C, therefore, is to trade or sell the High Power and buy the Springfield Garrison in .45 ACP for around $780 (sigh). Then I could just swap the “new” 1911 for the “old” 1911, so to speak:

I mean, why should the Son&Heir have to deal with an old, worn gun?

Your thoughts in Comments.

*my hands are large-ish, so I have no problem shooting a full-size 1911, but I do occasionally have a problem with a gun which holds a 15-round mag.  And if I’m going to stick with light (175-185gr) .45 ACP ammo, I’d prefer the Government size over the Commander (which I’ve owned in the past, so I’m familiar with it).