…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.

Fine Wood Part 1

I was browsing through the wares at Hallowell & Co. out of Livingstone MT, sighing deeply and cursing the Gods of Powerball for ignoring my pleas.  (Okay, I do that with pretty much every Merchant of Death’s website, but Hallowell really got to me on this occasion.)

Specifically this time, I was drawn to custom rifles — always a Bad Thing for a man of my gentle disposition and tender sensibilities — when I became aware of the exquisite timber used in almost all of them.

Here are a few examples (and right-click to embiggen).

I have talked betimes about wanting a decent varmint rifle for those long-awaited prairie dog shoots:  something more powerful than a simple .22 LR or .22 Magnum (which I’ve got covered).  Well then, how about this Ruger No.1 from Bowerly & Stratton, in .223 Rem:

Like many a keen rifleman, I am besotted with lovely wood (don’t go there) and good grief, this one’s magnificent.  I am also a huge fan of Bill Ruger’s No.1 rifles — have never owned one, sadly — but this one, at about $10,000 is sadly confined to the Powerball category.  Have mercy.

I have also spoken of an urge towards a rifle chambered for the venerable 9.3x62mm Mauser cartridge, a cartridge that can (and has) taken game of all sizes and ferocity all over the world.  So there’s this Husquvarna Mauser from Ed LaPour:

While this wood is not as spectacular as the Bowerly Ruger’s, it’s most certainly not boxwood either.  However, this LaPour is asking $13,000… [la sigh]

I guess that one could always go “down market” (!) and, in the same 9.3x62mm caliber, look at Dave Norin’s large-ring FN Mauser:

I love that tiger-striping effect on the walnut… and at $4,500 it’s a steal compared to both the above rifles.

Of course, there are many more such fine guns at Hallowell & Co., so I shall leave you alone to lose an hour or two in browsing and sighing, as I did.

Why should I be the only one?

Proper Means

My response to this story should come as no surprise to anyone:

In a horrifying attack, Angeline Mahal, in her 50s, died after she was savaged by her [own] two XL bullies in east London yesterday. It was thought to be the first fatal attack by dogs exempted from the nationwide ban on the breed.

James Hare, a qualified dog trainer who teaches children how to behave around dogs, stresses that any dog has the ability to attack and we’re far more likely to get bitten by smaller breeds. But he adds that it is the size and strength of an XL Bully that gives them a stronger jaw lock and makes them more deadly.

…and then trots out all the usual useless bullshit about distracting it with food, etc. etc., when really all that’s necessary is

“Oh but Kim,”  I hear, “we live in Britishland where, by law, we’re not allowed to own eeeevil guns or dangerous items like pepper spray!  What can we do?” 

Vote for politicians who will overturn those stupid laws.  Otherwise, it looks as though you’ll just have to get used to being Alpo.

What I’ve Shot: S&Ws Of My Acquaintance, Part 1

One of the topics suggested to me by a couple Readers was:  “Talk about some of the guns you’ve shot before;  likes / dislikes etc.”

That’s a BIG topic, because I have shot hundreds of different guns over the course of my gun-loving existence.

And while we’re there, let me remind everyone that I’m not a gun enthusiast or gun expert.  I am a gun lover.  I love shooting guns, with a passion that seems to have remained more or less constant for about sixty years, starting with my first, a Diana air rifle, all the way to whatever gun I blazed away with last week.

Actually, I do remember what I fired last week:  my bedside gun (Smith & Wesson Mod 65), nominally in .357 Magnum, but realistically best shot loaded with .38 Special (or +P for goblin dispatch).  Of all S&W revolvers, this is unquestionably my favorite.

The very first time I held a Mod 65 in my hand, I fell in love with it.  It just points, in the same way that my index finger points, directly at the target.  And even though I don’t shoot it with exemplary accuracy, I still love shooting it, and that’s one of the reasons it’s my primary bedside gun.

Now I’ve owned a couple more  — still own a Mod 637 Airweight, for that matter — but I’ve never been a huge aficionado of S&W wheelguns.  (My late buddy Airboss had, as I recall, over three dozen S&W snubbies.  Now that’s an aficionado.) There’s no reason for my apparent indifference for the brand.  Smith makes excellent guns of all kinds, but I’ve just never owned that many.

Which is why I’m going to kick off this series — and oh yes, a series it will be — with this manufacturer’s handguns:  the ones that I’m least familiar with.  (I must mention at this point that this is not going to be a S&W history lesson, nor even a catalog of their guns.  There are lots of those around, so I’m not even going to try to add yet another of them.)

So other than the above two, which I’ve fired a lot, here are a couple that I’ve fired before, and wouldn’t mind owning.  They are in no special order, and I’ve used linked pics so that if you’re tempted…

Might be the “better” of the 65/66 options, in that it’s in a sturdier “L” frame (the 65/66 have the lighter “K” frame), comes with a 6″ barrel and has an adjustable rear sight.  Certainly, if I was doing any kind of competitive shooting, this would be my choice over the 65.  But only then.  And while I love the 586 / 686 line — it’s as accurate as all hell — I still prefer shooting the Colt Python.  And speaking of blued .357 revolvers (which I prefer over the stainless):

…except I’d swap out the rubber grips for wooden ones, because for this gun, wood is prettier.

S&W’s “kit guns” are well represented by this model.  I’ve shot several, and my only comment about them is that in my hands, anything shorter than a 4″ barrel is simply a waste of ammo.  Never been able to shoot the snubby versions worth a damn.  (And FYI, that’s not true of other snubby brands:  I have no problem hitting what I’m aiming at with shorter barreled Ruger SP101s or Colts, for example.)

Smith & Wesson 500 Revolver .500 S&W

Here’s me shooting the 500:

…and that’s with a muzzle brake.  Pass.

More of the same later.

Requiem: Browning BPS

I read with some melancholy that Browning has decided to discontinue their pump-action BPS.

I always loved the look and feel of the BPS, but as with so many Brownings (of all types), I could never quite get past the “Browning premium” price.

Which, as Phil Bourjailly explains, is largely the reason why it’s been discontinued:

So, what happened to the BPS? Times changed. Semiautos were still called “jam-a-matics” in 1977, and many hunters back then preferred to shoot pumps even if they could afford a semiauto. As semiautos got better, the reliability gap between pumps and autoloaders shrank. Costs rose. The real advantage between pump and semiauto shotguns became price. The pump market adjusted. Remington responded with the Express in the 1990s, a cheaper version of the Wingmaster. Benelli introduced the very affordable Nova around 2000. Mossberg kept cranking out the same humble, durable Model 500 it has always made.

The BPS wasn’t intended to be a cheap pump, and Browning stuck by its gun for a long time. While it’s too bad the BPS was discontinued, honestly, it stayed around a little too long. In the last years of the BPS, it was readily apparent that costs had to be cut to keep the price down, and the gun no longer looked like the glossy 20-gauge that I bought so many years ago.

One wonders what would have happened had Browning followed Remington’s lead (or even preceded them) with a budget version of the BPS, but that’s really not the Browning Way, is it?

So why am I melancholic about the BPS’s demise?  I hate to see ANY gun discontinued, is why.