The Real Wonder-Nines

Way too much fluff has been written about the silly 9mm Europellet (a.k.a. 9mm Luger), the most egregious being its appellation as the “Wonder-Nine” [eyecross] , the only “wonder” being how people can believe all that crap.

So today I’m going to look at the two real wonder-nine cartridges that came out of Europe, i.e. the 9.3x74R and the 9.3x62mm, both well over a hundred years old and both the only serious contenders to the equally-venerable .375 H&H Magnum (blessings be upon it).

 

Both cartridges have a bullet diameter of .366″ with a typical weight of 285/286gr, and despite the different casing lengths, they are to all intents and purposes ballistically identical.  The 9.3x74R is, as the nomenclature suggests, a rimmed cartridge intended for use in double rifles such as the Beretta 689:

…while the rimless 9.3x62mm (sometimes called the 9.3x62mm Mauser) is available for both the Mauser Model 12 and 98:

…the Sako 85 Bavarian:

…the CZ 550 line:

…and SIG Sauer’s Model 100 XT plastic rifle is also available in this caliber:

No prizes for guessing which rifle I’d pick, but let’s just say that full-length stocks make me twitch in all sorts of places, while plastic stocks… never mind.

The 9.3x62mm is expensive to shoot, not so much because of the ammo cost (inexpensive Prvi Partizan sells for around $26 per box, while premium hunting ammo runs around $90 — in other words, pretty much the same as .300 Win Mag) but because the rifles thus chambered are generally super-spendy (with the exception of the Sauer 100 XT rifle, for around $700-$800;  the wood-stocked “Classic” is about $200 more).  CZ-USA doesn’t even issue the Mod 557 in 9.3mm, which is a pity.  (American hunters are already well served with other cartridge choices, which is no doubt the reason CZ didn’t extend the offering.)

As to why the smaller 9.3x62mm is often preferred over the .375 H&H, here’s a decent look at its ballistics.  Also, because the 9.3x62mm can be fired from a “standard” length bolt-action rifle, it’s still cheaper than  the longer “magnum” or “Safari” rifles — and, as the linked article suggests, its sectional density / penetration is pretty much the equal of the .375H&H, for considerably less recoil.

It’s even worse for the rimmed 9.3x74R cartridge (see here for an example), although I note that you can find the excellent Ruger #1 Medium Sporter chambered thusly, for about the same price as a regular quality bolt-action rifle.

 

I don’t think that anyone reading this is going to rush out and buy a rifle in either chambering anytime soon, but should you come across one for a decent price in a garage- or estate sale sometime, know that you won’t be making a bad buy, or buying something shooting an inadequate cartridge.

Never Mind Hunting

Mr. Free Market sends me to an article headlined thus:

America’s Greatest Cartridge

…and to the surprise of precisely nobody in my zip code, he’s not talking about the .30-06 Springfield or the .30-30 WCF, but my favorite cartridge, the venerable (and venerated) .22 Long Rifle.

So much do I love the .22 LR that I think that it should be regarded not as a cartridge, but as a household commodity like salt.  Ditto the guns that shoot it should be regarded as household appliances like steam irons or vacuum cleaners — every home should have one:  at least one, and if in no other case, more is better.  I have several, whether in the role of target rifles, plinkers or whatever, and even though the kids bought me a perfectly-adequate semi-auto Savage 94F for my birthday:

…I still hunger after a CZ 512 because… well, because.

In fact, just for the hell of it, I think I’ll list the .22 rifles I lust after, in no particular order:

Sako Mod 85 Quad Pro Varmint

It is horrendously expensive (don’t ask) but I truly believe that once you have one of these, you would never need another .22 bolt-action rifle, ever.  (You can buy more expensive .22 bolties, but you are walking so far up the quality curve that it becomes somewhat pointless.)  It is especially true because the Quad series have swappable actions/barrels between .22 LR and .22 Mag.

CZ 452 ZKM

or its more modern replacement, the CZ 457 Lux:

Nobody I know who owns a CZ 452 or 457 has anything bad to say about it, and to a man they say that the rifle is far more accurate than they can shoot it.  It’s certainly true in my case, although I’ve never actually owned one.

Now as Longtime Readers will know, I already have two perfectly good .22 bolties, the Marlin 880 SQ / 882 SSV in .22 LR and .22 Mag respectively:

…and they are quite adequate for my needs and skill.  But:  they have plastic stocks, the triggers are just “good” as opposed to excellent, and the barrels can’t be threaded for a suppressor.

I seek beauty as well as function at this stage of my life, so I’m considering selling them both and replacing them with “better” (i.e. better-looking) guns.  If any of you have young sons or grandsons and want to spoil them, drop me a note and we can talk turkey.  Anyone who has ever shot these with me will attest to their function.  I can sell them as a “matched” pair or individually, and they’d come with spare mags (of course).

I already own the world’s most fun gun to shoot, the pump-action Taurus Mod 62C:

As I’ve said before, when I take people plinking with this gun, I always have to ensure that there’s one more brick of ammo than I think I’ll need, or else they start pouting when the ammo can runs dry.

That said, I wouldn’t mind the longer-barreled Henry version of this gun… just because, and in .22 Mag rather than the LR.

…and the octagonal barrel gives me the Warm & Fuzzies, too.

There are a couple more out there that I like, but they’re a little less desirable than the above.  Feel free to recommend others to me, in Comments.

Dept. Of Righteous Shootings

And just in time for Christmas, from the great state of Texas comes this excellent news:

The caller told 911 dispatch that her ex-boyfriend was breaking into her home, Officer Haley Morrow said. Then she fired a gun and hit the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.
Jefferson County Precinct One Justice of the Peace Ben Collins, Sr. said the man had a gunshot wound to the chest and was from Georgia. He said the homeowner fired one shot which struck the man in the chest and he has ordered an autopsy.

A one-shot kill?  Let’s hear it for the lady:

Wish we could be told the details, i.e. what gun, what caliber, what kind of boolet, etc.  But let’s not quibble too much.

Textbook Steps

Let’s open with a little received wisdom:

“There’s no way to rule innocent men.  The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.  Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them.  One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” — Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

That first sentence says it all.  As long as you keep on the right side of the law, you have nothing to fear from authority.

Now’s when it gets tricky, because politicians cannot resist making laws, and as the number of laws grows, so does the chance that you will fall afoul of one of them, no matter how hard you try.  As one FBI agent once put it:  “This is America.  Nobody can go a day without breaking some law or other.”  And that was said in 1998.  The fact that this could be said with pride — or resignation — makes me want to reach for the tar and feathers, but that’s only my reaction to the first step.  There are more.

The next step is to make transgressors into “Enemies Of The People” or (in the case of the Chinkvirus) a “Menace To Society”.  In sociological terms, this is called “scapegoating” or in extreme cases, demonization.  We’ve seen this in the past, of course, such as when the disgusting Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) publishes their various “hate lists” which set out to demonize as “hate groups” first the easy targets such as the KKK, and eventually the most innocuous organizations (e.g. campus-based Republican organizations).  From that. it’s easy to apply the perjorative term du jour  (“racist”, “Nazi”, “fascist” etc.) to whomever doesn’t agree with your position on anything.

Beyond labeling, of course, lies social shaming, “doxxing”, and the “cancel culture.”  After that, the force of law.  (We already have such laws on the books;  murdering someone in cold blood:  bad.  Murdering someone and calling them a dirty nigger at the same time:  somehow worse.)  At some point, it will become an actual crime to say the word niggerniggernigger anywhere, even inside your own home, First Amendment be damned.  And why not? seeing as racism has become punishable by law, any number of asterisks can be attached to the freedom of speech, of course.

“But the Supreme Court will intervene!”  Don’t make me laugh.  As an entity, the fucking Supreme Court has shown itself to be as useful as a paper-towel birdscreen on an airliner’s jet engine when it comes to protecting our rights.

Which leads us to the next Amendment, of course.

Now the Second has some issues for our wannabe-tyrants, of course, because gun owners are, well, armed (always a decent albeit drastic check on government excess).  And disarmament is likely to prove difficult if not impossible, simply because even if only 1% of gun owners turn violent, that’s still a greater number than the number of law enforcement officers who would be tasked with doing the job.

There is another way to disarm gun owners, and it’s quite legal:  pass a law or regulation that requires gun owners to pay a tax on some or all of their firearms, and when they refuse… ta-dah!  Not only can the government use the I.R.S. to harass and prosecute, but because the refuseniks are de facto  lawbreakers (refusal to pay federal taxes is a federal crime), they can be prohibited from owning firearms altogether once convicted of said crime.  (Remember, trying to win a case against the I.R.S. in their own court system is 99.99% impossible, as to win, all they have to do is show that they acted properly in terms of their own regulations.)

Which is why the Socialists’ plan to tax “assault rifles” is such a pernicious act.  If it ever becomes law (or a regulation under an Executive Order), we gun owners are fucked, pure and simple.

We can expect no help from the judiciary, as I noted above.  We can likewise expect no help from local law enforcement refusing to enforce these un-Constitutional acts either, because the Biden Administration will just deploy federal agents (I.R.S., FBI, Fish & Wildlife, Postal inspectors — anyone they can bring to bear) and bypass your friendly sheriff’s deputies altogether.

And don’t think that there will be some kind of passive resistance from local law enforcement, either.  If little Ector County in Texas (!!!) can deploy Meal Team Six just to shut down a fucking bar which stayed open defying a stupid Chinkvirus lockdown order passed by some local asshole mayor, believe me, you’re not going to be safe in your little suburban or rural bunker no matter how angry you are and how many rounds of 5.56mm ammo you have on hand.

I’m not often a doomsayer, but this is one of those occasions.

I’m also not given to issuing threats or warnings, so don’t expect some kind of challenge to come from me either.  Let’s just see what happens, shall we?

Good Riddance

Apparently, the .40 S&W cartridge is in a death spiral:

[S]ub-compact .40 S&W pistols are not very comfortable to shoot. They can generate as much as 30 percent more recoil than a 9 mm pistol, without offering that same level of increase in terminal performance. Not only are .40 S&W pistols less comfortable to shoot, they do not hold as much ammunition as a comparably sized 9 mm. The .40 S&W, which was not all that long ago the darling of law enforcement, is now falling from grace. One could argue that its time in the spotlight is over.
A substantial contribution to the .40 S&W’s decline in popularity was the announcement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that they were returning to the 9 mm. This was shocking to folks who have followed and trusted the FBI’s work with regard to the terminal performance of handgun ammunition, especially considering that the FBI is the reason we have the .40 S&W. In case you didn’t know, after the 1986 FBI shootout in Miami, the Bureau began a search for the ultimate bullet and defensive handgun cartridge. The .40 S&W and the popular FBI guidelines for defensive handgun ammunition performance was the result of these efforts.

This is what happens when you let a government agency decide anything:  you get a compromise between two options which is somehow worse than either.  9mm Europellet:  marginal effectiveness but easy to shoot and lotsa boolets, as opposed to the .40 S&W:  not as easy to shoot, more effective than the 9mm but fewer boolets to spray around and injure/kill innocent bystanders.  (The exact same could be said for the .45 ACP, but don’t get me started.)

Simply stated:  there is no magic, do-it all cartridge because of Isaac Newton and the laws of physics, and the variety of tasks the cartridge is required to fill.  This is especially true of handgun cartridges because of the portability / concealability of the guns involved.

Also note that the rush to replace the 9mm Europellet was a result of a single incident — the 1986 Miami Shootout — and the knee-jerk panic that ensued among the Fibby top brass when faced with a pair of well-armed and -motivated mopes.  (See also the North Hollywood Bank Shootout a decade later, where law enforcement was similarly under-armed and essentially outfought for nearly an hour by another pair of choirboys.)  The Miami thing was notable for the fact that the Fibbies were using mostly handguns against rifles — never an optimal situation from a handgunner’s perspective — but instead of equipping all FBI cars with trunk guns (even M16s would have been okay), the idiots decided instead to change the handgun cartridge to a more powerful — and at the time, nonexistent — cartridge.  (Couldn’t go back to the .45 ACP or .357 Mag because that would have been tantamount to admitting that they fucked up in the first place by going to the wussy Europellet so as to make their handguns more palatable to the Bureau’s Dickless Traceys a.k.a. female agents.)

Speaking personally, I can’t say I’m too sad about the .40 S&W situation because I never could shoot the stupid thing worth a damn.  (At the time, I considered getting a Browning High Power in .40 S&W, but when I discovered that no matter what gun I used — Beretta 92F, Glock or Kahr — I couldn’t get all the boolets into the good part of a silhouette, I changed my mind.)  I found the hard snap  of the .40’s recoil less manageable than the push  of the .45 ACP (the 9mm barely recoils at all by comparison).

A couple of days ago I visited a new Scheels store just down the road from the range, and out of curiosity browsed in the Ammo section.  Amongst all the bare shelves, the most heavily-stocked items in the handgun section were .460 S&W (another dud) and the .40 S&W, which is I guess the only upside for you if you have a gun thus chambered.

(I also saw a gently-used Winchester 94 in .32 Win Special, and if I’d had a spare grand in my pocket, it would have come home with me.  But let’s not go there.)

My suggestion to the Fibbies would be to let agents carry either .45 ACP, .357 Mag or 9mm guns, with a “minimum ammo carry” of, say, thirty rounds. I know:  what if there’s another Miami shootout?  Two words: trunk rifles.

Anyway, the chicks and girlymen would probably end up with 9mm pieces and two 15-round mags, while the 1911 guys would have four mags and the revolver guys five speedloaders.  I doubt that the goblins would know the difference.

But that would make way too much sense for a Gummint agency which insists on caliber uniformity, for no good reason.  Idiots.