Sunday, November 22, 2015

People with guns collection # 89

Los Angeles -- WHO SAID "WEAKER SEX" -- Whenever anyone mentions burglars to Mabel Dee Stevens, she simply laughs with unmitigated delight, and waves her gun. For Mrs. Stevens is the only woman in the Los Angeles Police Department ever to qualify in marksmanship with a .45 caliber pistol. She scored a total of 303 points recently at the Elysian Park range, and as a result will receive $2 a month extra pay. 11/24/33

Monday, November 02, 2015

The Old Republic (In Living Color)

Watching motorcycle races, Gardena Calif. November 1951

I recently purchased a new flatbed scanner that allows me to scan slides, negatives, transparencies etc. I bought it because I have bunches of old color 35mm slides that I wanted to save digitally. A plus side for my readers is that there is now a new photo series for your enjoyment. With this post I begin The Old Republic, photos of America when she shined at her brightest.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

People with guns collection # 88

ARMY TESTS NEW MACHINE GUN CARRIER -- The Army's experimental machine gun carrier, a low-slung automotive vehicle designed to keep machine guns in continuous action during advances and retreats, is shown as it was being tested in maneuvers at Fort Sam Houston, Tex. It was built at Fort Benning, Ga., in the Infantry School, by Captain Robert G. Howie and Sergeant M. C. Wiley, under the supervision of Brig. Gen. Walter C. Short, of Fort Niagara, N.Y. With this carrier, the Army hopes to overcome the chief obstacle of machine gun operation, that of keeping the gun in operation at all times. Machine guns are usually out of operation until they are set up in the lines. Note how the low-slung carrier allows the machine gun operator to spray positions in front of him as the driver of the carrier maneuvers it back and forth. Sergeant Wiley is operating the gun while Corporal B. W. Russell drives. 11/12/37

Sunday, September 06, 2015

People with guns collection # 87

DETROIT PISTOL TEAM -- R - L Bob Taylor - Mitchell Skotarczyk - Frances Hedrick - Frank Gentile (Acting Capt. of Team) - James Hurt -- Police Athletics Field Day. SEPT 2 1960

Sunday, August 16, 2015

People with guns collection # 86

LIGHT BEAM AIDES POLICE OFFICERS - DETROIT, MICH. - G. Howlett Davis of Detroit (Right) demonstrating a device he has invented which when attached to the barrel of a revolver projects a beam of light that illuminates a small area into which bullets fired from the revolver will hit. This device is expected to be of great use to policemen hunting fugitives or armed criminals in dark places, for once the beam of light picks up the target it can be held and the bullets placed in it. Emerson Osborn is acting as target. This light beam is effective up to 50 feet. 8-20-40

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Grand Experiment

One year ago today I began using only double action revolvers when I carried concealed. No doubt long time readers of this blog will know I am a fan of S&W revolvers. I have carried them for many years now, but never exclusively. I thought I would give it a try.

My two main carry choices (top two in photo) have been a Model 342PD (.38 Special) and a "Pre 27" (.357 Magnum) - two guns about as different as you can get and both still be revolvers. The 342PD is a 5-shot Airweight so light you easily forget it's on you; the .357 is ungainly hunk of steel that will fire heavy .357 loads like they're light .38 Specials. Also in the lineup was a M649 and Chiefs Special (both .38) and for a short while even a 686 (.357).

I don't have any grand revelations for you. Carrying these revolvers wasn't much more difficult than the autoloaders I have carried for years. Yes, the big Smith was a bit more cumbersome but nothing that couldn't be done regularly. In no way did I ever feel that I was somehow "undergunned" when carrying revolvers. I never felt I was short changing myself.

I found the main difference was in carrying the reloads. I always like at least one reload with my carry gun and that's where the disparities between autos and revolvers really started showing. Typically I will carry my reloads in a front pants pocket. I've found that even a large capacity magazine in your pocket isn't too difficult to deal with, on the other hand revolver speed loaders, if carried loose, can become quite the chore.

I used both speed strips and speed loaders. The strips are of course much easier to carry on you but slower to use. The speed loaders are much quicker for reloading but more of a hassle to carry. What did I do?

As the year progressed I found myself carrying speed strips more often and speed loaders less and less, especially the N-Frame ones that were the main problem. Eventually I got lazy and just started carrying an extra J-Frame revolver which, although heavier, didn't seem as bothersome as an N-Frame speed loader rolling around in my pocket.

Now that the year has ended I don't know if I will continue the experiment. I have several good carry autos that I would like to start using. The one thing I do know for sure is that if I carry revolver speed loaders again it will have to be with a good holder attached to the belt. Trying to carry them any other way is just too much of a headache.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gone shooting

I went to the range yesterday morning, the temperature was 70, the sky slightly overcast - nearly perfect shooting weather! I had a "new" gun I wanted to try, a Smith & Wesson SW99 (45 ACP) that I recently purchased.

If the gun looks familiar it is because I owned (and blogged) about a similar pistol that I had a while back, the SW990L. The two handguns are nearly identical; the main difference being that the 990L was more like a double action only type trigger while this SW99 has what Walther calls the Anti Stress (AS) trigger. I won't go into a detailed review of the differences today, perhaps at a later time.

It's possible that I might use this gun for concealed carry and self-defense so this time I was more interested in reliability than anything else. I took along several brands and types of ammunition for testing. Typically, when I want to check the reliability of a semi-auto pistol I will randomly load the magazines with various types of ammo and see how it does. Today I took 3 types of hollowpoint ammunition (all 230 gr), some old 230 gr ball and even some 185 gr semi wadcutter match ammo. All the above was loaded in the magazines with an effort to keep changing bullet types at least every few rounds and to top off each mag with something more difficult (like WC or HP) than ball ammo.

I fired 170 rounds in this fashion without a single malfunction. Today I shot at the 25 yard line and firing unsupported kept the groups at 4-5 inches. Next time I take this gun to the range it will be with my chosen self-defense load to see what it is really capable of.

I had a really great morning and hopefully will get back to finish testing real soon!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

People with guns collection # 84

FEMININE INVASION OF ANOTHER MANLY SPORT - Miss Mary Ward (left) and Miss Louise Thompson (right), Illinois girls, were high point winners in the Junior Rifle Corps Matches held in connection with the Natl. Rifle and Pistol Matches held at Camp Perry, Ohio. JUN 2 1930

Friday, May 01, 2015

Gone shooting - Revolver Day

I finally went shooting Wednesday, the first time this year! It's hard to believe that I could go to nearly May without some range time but since I shoot outdoors my shooting schedule is entirely dependent on the weather. This year, so far, the weather has been a mess. Every time I planned to go it was either snow or rain, or snowy rain. There were a few dry days earlier, back in January and Feb., but I've lost my enthusiasm for going shooting when it's 10 degrees out. I must be getting old. We do have one indoor range that's not too far of a drive but I refuse to spend $11 per half-hour just out of principle.

Since I was taking my "new" S&W .357 I decided to also take a couple of my regular carry guns along to make it a all revolver day. I fired mostly cheap Winchester and S&B but also put a box of Buffalo Bore .357 thru the Magnums - GOOD TIMES! This latest .357 functioned perfectly but I was expecting no less. I was shooting it a little higher than normal, probably because I'm more used to the sights on the post war model. Overall, it was a great morning firing some fine guns.

Something else I noticed (and have been noticing more and more over the last year or so) are many new faces at the range. Up until recently I would go there on the weekday when they opened (9AM) and would have the range to myself. There might be 1 or 2 old-timers there at most. Nowadays it's almost guaranteed that there will be 5 or 6 shooters ready when they open the doors. Many appear to be new male shooters (of various ages) and also first time women (often accompanied by boyfriends/husbands) shooting too. The times, they are a changing.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

People with guns collection # 82

FIVE JAPS TO HIS CREDIT - PHILIPPINES -- Probably the youngest and proudest guerilla fighter in the Philippines, Ponciano "Sabu" Arida of Santo Maria, Laguna Province, Luzon, has five dead Japs to his credit. The eleven-year-old patriot, who fought the Japs throughout the three-year enemy occupation of the islands, is now working with a unit of the 43rd Division. -- ARMY RADIO TELEPHOTO 4/19/45

Monday, April 06, 2015

Smith & Wesson Rescue

I had no intentions on buying any collectable guns in 2015. In fact, my only planned purchase was another Ruger 10/22 rifle with the rest of my "gun money" this year being saved for optics that are needed on guns I already own. But when this rare old S&W .357 Magnum came up for sale earlier this year there was no way I could pass on it. I guess my SCAR is going to have to wait a while longer for a scope.

This .357 certainly has an interesting history. Originally it shipped in January of 1939 to a sporting goods store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was ordered with an 8 ¾ inch barrel, the longest available. In October of 1946 the revolver was returned to the factory where the barrel was shortened to 3 ½ inches (the shortest available) and a Baughman ramp sight on King ramp base was added. The red front sight insert is not factory and was probably done in the 1950's. From the modifications and the amount of holster wear I would bet this revolver was owned by someone in law enforcement from 1946 and thru the 50's.

In 1960 the .357 changed hands again and it would spend the next 50+ years as someone's "truck gun." That fellow died in recent years and his friend ended up with it. The friend didn't have much interest in the revolver; he would rather have the money, now I own it.

The previous two owners didn't care much for this Smith & Wesson and it had suffered several decades of neglect. That's one of the main reasons I felt the need to purchase it, this historic old .357 deserved better.

When I got the revolver it was wearing an old pair of 1960's era S&W target stocks that looked like they had been used to hammer nails. The action was stiff and sticky with grime. I believe someone actually tried to pack the insides with axle grease. The trigger was awful, the cylinder release wouldn't return on its own. Red fingernail polish was slopped over the entire front sight.

I had to get a professional gunsmith involved but the small additional investment was worth it. The old girl has been made right again. Now if I can only get the weather to cooperate so I can take this S&W to the range!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

People with guns collection # 81

Oak Park Trust and Savings Bank Revolver Club - Members of the Oak Park Trust and Savings Bank Revolver Club have won three of their last four meets, according to C. D. Seftenberg, Vice President and trust officer, who is in charge of the club. In the photo are: First - L. J. Smith, A. Conklin, G. Oliver, S. Carne and O. Kilgore. Second - Mr. Seftenberg, trust officer, H. Dubbs, M. White and F. Whitcher. Absent, Paul Ware. The team has been organized since 1936 and it now shoots under regulations of the National Rifle and Pistol Association. It is a uniformed team, outfits having been designed in cooperation with Willard W. Cole, Jr., manager of The Hub - Thursday, August 11, 1938

Sunday, January 11, 2015

People with guns collection # 79

Now the police are testing glass that is bullet proof and that will stop the heaviest calibered slugs in use. Here are Detective/Sgt. McGee, with pistol, Chief of Police Dan O'Brien and other San Francisco officers at a trial of the glass. -- SF Bureau -- Jan 10 1927