Gratuitous Gun Pic: Henry Homesteader (9mm)

As pointed out to me by Mr. Free Market, this new rifle from Henry (SHOT Show video) has me a little twitchy (in its most positive sense):

Most interesting is that they can handle both Henry magazines and Glock ones as well (with a mag converter)   — although like most Henry rifles, it’s going to be kinda spendy (just under a grand MSRP).

I love the concept of “ranch” rifles:  handy short-barreled little things that increase the power of pistol cartridges with a longer barrel, and this one in no exception, especially as it resembles a Winchester 1907, has a wood stock and not that black plastic rubbish.  (I loved the Marlin Camp carbine for all those reasons, but it just wasn’t robust enough — the Henry, though, looks like a different proposition altogether.)

If Henry ever produces one chambered in .45 ACP that accepts 1911 mags, I’ll sell one of my other rifles to get one.  And that’s a promise.

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.


Am I the last man to discover the excellent War Factories series on the Eeeewww Choob?

If you haven’t watched it, kiss your weekend goodbye, as I did last weekend.

You can thank me later.

There’s also the sulky-looking and acerbic Alexandra Churchill to be seen occasionally.  She really, really hates the Nazis from the 1940s — and who can blame her?

Oh, and she’s definitely not related to WSC:


If this is the New Breed of Lady Historians, bring it on.

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.

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.