Monday, June 30, 2008

Time to toot somebodies Blog Horn...... (get it?).

Brigid has an excellent post up on 'Mausers and Muffins' about the Heller decision and some words of the founding fathers.

The picture she chose is priceless, but the cherry on the sundae is her last paragraph.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Range time with a Mosin 91/30, to celebrate the Heller decision!



To celebrate the Supreme Court Heller decision, I took myself off to the range this morning with an assortment of constitutionally protected personal property, owned by myself for purposes of enjoyment, self defense, and whatever else I please.

This post shows off one of my Mosin 91/30's, a Soviet main battle rifle of the WWII era. Here, I can be seen shooting supersonic armor piercing ammunition with near sniper accuracy.


video

The sharper eyed and more knowledgeable readers will see a marking in this image that does more to explain the good target results than my poor skills.



Yes, this is an Ex-sniper rifle, and certainly lives up to it's lineage.




It should be noted.... although I had with me TWO battle rifles, several semi-automatic handguns, as much ammunition as I could comfortably carry, and other assorted goodies; the following things did not happen:

  • I did not rob any stores
  • I did not threaten anybody while driving
  • My weapons did not leap up and shoot anybody of their own volition
  • Not one criminal stole my weapons to sell on the street
  • I did not commit suicide
  • I did not murder anyone
  • I did not overthrow my government
Yup, nobody is more amazed than I. Not one drop of blood spilled... amazing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

California FFL rule change, 12072(f)(1)


California has some new law regarding FFL holders doing business in their state, and any FFL licensed dealer shipping to California, no matter where they live. This law takes effect in only a few days from now, on July 1st, 2008.



Under Penal Code Section 12072(f)(1) any FFL dealer shipping a firearm to a California FFL dealer must first have a letter of approval from the State of California. The dealer doing the shipping (no matter what state they are in) and the dealer doing business in California must first be registered in a State Department of Justice database of dealers.

This law does not apply to 03 and 06 FFL license holders.

Breaking it down, here are the major points:

Any FFL licensed dealer shipping any firearm either to, or within, California must submit to being registered with the State of California first. The State will decide if a dealer may be included in the database. There does not appear to be any time limit to how long this approval may take, or criteria for granting it.

No firearm may be shipping to or from an FFL dealer in California without a letter of permission from the State Department of Justice being applied for first. There does not appear to be any time limit for how long this permission might take, nor recourse if it is denied.

The California State Department of Justice will effectively have a knife to the throat of all FLL licensed business’s in the state of California.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

California penal code section 12072:


(a) (1) No person, corporation, or firm shall knowingly
supply, deliver, sell, or give possession or control of a firearm to
any person within any of the classes prohibited by Section 12021 or
12021.1.
(2) No person, corporation, or dealer shall sell, supply, deliver,
or give possession or control of a firearm to any person whom he or
she has cause to believe to be within any of the classes prohibited
by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of
the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(3) (A) No person, corporation, or firm shall sell, loan, or
transfer a firearm to a minor, nor sell a handgun to an individual
under 21 years of age.
(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to or affect those
circumstances set forth in subdivision (p) of Section 12078.
(4) No person, corporation, or dealer shall sell, loan, or
transfer a firearm to any person whom he or she knows or has cause to
believe is not the actual purchaser or transferee of the firearm, or
to any person who is not the person actually being loaned the
firearm, if the person, corporation, or dealer has either of the
following:
(A) Knowledge that the firearm is to be subsequently loaned, sold,
or transferred to avoid the provisions of subdivision (c) or (d).
(B) Knowledge that the firearm is to be subsequently loaned, sold,
or transferred to avoid the requirements of any exemption to the
provisions of subdivision (c) or (d).
(5) No person, corporation, or dealer shall acquire a firearm for
the purpose of selling, transferring, or loaning the firearm, if the
person, corporation, or dealer has either of the following:
(A) In the case of a dealer, intent to violate subdivision (b) or
(c).
(B) In any other case, intent to avoid either of the following:
(i) The provisions of subdivision (d).
(ii) The requirements of any exemption to the provisions of
subdivision (d).
(6) The dealer shall comply with the provisions of paragraph (18)
of subdivision (b) of Section 12071.
(7) The dealer shall comply with the provisions of paragraph (19)
of subdivision (b) of Section 12071.
(8) No person shall sell or otherwise transfer his or her
ownership in a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being
concealed upon the person unless the firearm bears either:
(A) The name of the manufacturer, the manufacturer's make or
model, and a manufacturer's serial number assigned to that firearm.
(B) The identification number or mark assigned to the firearm by
the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 12092.
(9) (A) No person shall make an application to purchase more than
one pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed
upon the person within any 30-day period.
(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any of the following:
(i) Any law enforcement agency.
(ii) Any agency duly authorized to perform law enforcement duties.
(iii) Any state or local correctional facility.
(iv) Any private security company licensed to do business in
California.
(v) Any person who is properly identified as a full-time paid
peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section
830) of Title 3 of Part 2, and who is authorized to, and does carry a
firearm during the course and scope of his or her employment as a
peace officer.
(vi) Any motion picture, television, or video production company
or entertainment or theatrical company whose production by its nature
involves the use of a firearm.
(vii) Any person who may, pursuant to Section 12078, claim an
exemption from the waiting period set forth in subdivision (c) of
this section.
(viii) Any transaction conducted through a licensed firearms
dealer pursuant to Section 12082.
(ix) Any person who is licensed as a collector pursuant to Chapter
44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States
Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto and who has a
current certificate of eligibility issued to him or her by the
Department of Justice pursuant to Section 12071.
(x) The exchange of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person where the dealer purchased that
firearm from the person seeking the exchange within the 30-day period
immediately preceding the date of exchange or replacement.
(xi) The replacement of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person when the person's pistol,
revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person
was lost or stolen, and the person reported that firearm lost or
stolen prior to the completion of the application to purchase to any
local law enforcement agency of the city, county, or city and county
in which he or she resides.
(xii) The return of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person to its owner.
(b) No person licensed under Section 12071 shall supply, sell,
deliver, or give possession or control of a pistol, revolver, or
firearm capable of being concealed upon the person to any person
under the age of 21 years or any other firearm to a person under the
age of 18 years.
(c) No dealer, whether or not acting pursuant to Section 12082,
shall deliver a firearm to a person, as follows:
(1) Within 10 days of the application to purchase, or, after
notice by the department pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section
12076, within 10 days of the submission to the department of any
correction to the application, or within 10 days of the submission to
the department of any fee required pursuant to subdivision (e) of
Section 12076, whichever is later.
(2) Unless unloaded and securely wrapped or unloaded and in a
locked container.
(3) Unless the purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned the
firearm presents clear evidence of his or her identity and age, as
defined in Section 12071, to the dealer.
(4) Whenever the dealer is notified by the Department of Justice
that the person is in a prohibited class described in Section 12021
or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code.
(5) (A) Commencing April 1, 1994, and until January 1, 2003, no
pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon
the person shall be delivered unless the purchaser, transferee, or
person being loaned the firearm presents to the dealer a basic
firearms safety certificate.
(B) Commencing January 1, 2003, no handgun shall be delivered
unless the purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned the handgun
presents a handgun safety certificate to the dealer.
(6) No pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being
concealed upon the person shall be delivered whenever the dealer is
notified by the Department of Justice that within the preceding
30-day period the purchaser has made another application to purchase
a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon
the person and that the previous application to purchase involved
none of the entities specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (9)
of subdivision (a).
(d) Where neither party to the transaction holds a dealer's
license issued pursuant to Section 12071, the parties to the
transaction shall complete the sale, loan, or transfer of that
firearm through a licensed firearms dealer pursuant to Section 12082.
(e) No person may commit an act of collusion relating to Article 8
(commencing with Section 12800) of Chapter 6. For purposes of this
section and Section 12071, collusion may be proven by any one of the
following factors:
(1) Answering a test applicant's questions during an objective
test relating to firearms safety.
(2) Knowingly grading the examination falsely.
(3) Providing an advance copy of the test to an applicant.
(4) Taking or allowing another person to take the basic firearms
safety course for one who is the applicant for a basic firearms
safety certificate or a handgun safety certificate.
(5) Allowing another to take the objective test for the applicant,
purchaser, or transferee.
(6) Using or allowing another to use one's identification, proof
of residency, or thumbprint.
(7) Allowing others to give unauthorized assistance during the
examination.
(8) Reference to unauthorized materials during the examination and
cheating by the applicant.
(9) Providing originals or photocopies of the objective test, or
any version thereof, to any person other than as authorized by the
department.
(f) (1) (A) Commencing July 1, 2008, a person who is licensed
pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of
the United States Code may not deliver, sell, or transfer a firearm
to a person in California who is licensed pursuant to Chapter 44
(commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code
unless, prior to delivery, the person intending to deliver, sell, or
transfer the firearm obtains a verification number via the Internet
for the intended delivery, sale, or transfer, from the department. If
Internet service is unavailable to either the department or the
licensee due to a technical or other malfunction, or a federal
firearms licensee who is located outside of California does not
possess a computer or have Internet access, alternate means of
communication, including facsimile or telephone, shall be made
available for a licensee to obtain a verification number in order to
comply with this section. This subdivision shall not apply to the
delivery, sale, or transfer of a short-barreled rifle, or
short-barreled shotgun, as defined in Section 12020, or to a
machinegun as defined in Section 12200, or to an assault weapon as
defined in Sections 12276, 12276.1, and 12276.5.
(B) For every identification number request received pursuant to
this section, the department shall determine whether the intended
recipient is on the centralized list of firearms dealers pursuant to
this section, or the centralized list of exempted federal firearms
licensees pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 12083, or the
centralized list of firearms manufacturers pursuant to subdivision
(f) of Section 12086.
(C) If the department finds that the intended recipient is on one
of these lists, the department shall issue to the inquiring party, a
unique identification number for the intended delivery, sale, or
transfer. In addition to the unique verification number, the
department may provide to the inquiring party information necessary
for determining the eligibility of the intended recipient to receive
the firearm. The person intending to deliver, sell, or transfer the
firearm shall provide the unique verification number to the recipient
along with the firearm upon delivery, in a manner to be determined
by the department.
(D) If the department finds that the intended recipient is not on
one of these lists, the department shall notify the inquiring party
that the intended recipient is ineligible to receive the firearm.
(E) The department shall prescribe the manner in which the
verification numbers may be requested via the Internet, or by
alternate means of communication, such as by facsimile or telephone,
including all required enrollment information and procedures.
(2) (A) On or after January 1, 1998, within 60 days of bringing a
pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon
the person into this state, a personal handgun importer shall do one
of the following:
(i) Forward by prepaid mail or deliver in person to the Department
of Justice, a report prescribed by the department including
information concerning that individual and a description of the
firearm in question.
(ii) Sell or transfer the firearm in accordance with the
provisions of subdivision (d) or in accordance with the provisions of
an exemption from subdivision (d).
(iii) Sell or transfer the firearm to a dealer licensed pursuant
to Section 12071.
(iv) Sell or transfer the firearm to a sheriff or police
department.
(B) If the personal handgun importer sells or transfers the
pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon
the person pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 12072 and the sale
or transfer cannot be completed by the dealer to the purchaser or
transferee, and the firearm can be returned to the personal handgun
importer, the personal handgun importer shall have complied with the
provisions of this paragraph.
(C) The provisions of this paragraph are cumulative and shall not
be construed as restricting the application of any other law.
However, an act or omission punishable in different ways by this
section and different provisions of the Penal Code shall not be
punished under more than one provision.
(D) (i) On and after January 1, 1998, the department shall conduct
a public education and notification program regarding this paragraph
to ensure a high degree of publicity of the provisions of this
paragraph.
(ii) As part of the public education and notification program
described in this subparagraph, the department shall do all of the
following:
(I) Work in conjunction with the Department of Motor Vehicles to
ensure that any person who is subject to this paragraph is advised of
the provisions of this paragraph, and provided with blank copies of
the report described in clause (i) of subparagraph (A) at the time
that person applies for a California driver's license or registers
his or her motor vehicle in accordance with the Vehicle Code.
(II) Make the reports referred to in clause (i) of subparagraph
(A) available to dealers licensed pursuant to Section 12071.
(III) Make the reports referred to in clause (i) of subparagraph
(A) available to law enforcement agencies.
(IV) Make persons subject to the provisions of this paragraph
aware of the fact that reports referred to in clause (i) of
subparagraph (A) may be completed at either the licensed premises of
dealers licensed pursuant to Section 12071 or at law enforcement
agencies, that it is advisable to do so for the sake of accuracy and
completeness of the reports, that prior to transporting a pistol,
revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person
to a law enforcement agency in order to comply with subparagraph
(A), the person should give prior notice to the law enforcement
agency that he or she is doing so, and that in any event, the pistol,
revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the
person should be transported unloaded and in a locked container.
(iii) Any costs incurred by the department to implement this
paragraph shall be absorbed by the department within its existing
budget and the fees in the Dealers' Record of Sale Special Account
allocated for implementation of this subparagraph pursuant to Section
12076.
(3) Where a person who is licensed as a collector pursuant to
Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United
States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto, whose
licensed premises are within this state, acquires a pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person that is
a curio or relic, as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the
Code of Federal Regulations, outside of this state, takes actual
possession of that firearm outside of this state pursuant to the
provisions of subsection (j) of Section 923 of Title 18 of the United
States Code, as amended by Public Law 104-208, and transports that
firearm into this state, within five days of that licensed collector
transporting that firearm into this state, he or she shall report to
the department in a format prescribed by the department his or her
acquisition of that firearm.
(4) (A) It is the intent of the Legislature that a violation of
paragraph (2) or (3) shall not constitute a "continuing offense" and
the statute of limitations for commencing a prosecution for a
violation of paragraph (2) or (3) commences on the date that the
applicable grace period specified in paragraph (2) or (3) expires.
(B) Paragraphs (2) and (3) shall not apply to a person who reports
his or her ownership of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person after the applicable grace period
specified in paragraph (2) or (3) expires if evidence of that
violation arises only as the result of the person submitting the
report described in paragraph (2) or (3).
(g) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), (3), or (5), a
violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
(2) If any of the following circumstances apply, a violation of
this section is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for
two, three, or four years.
(A) If the violation is of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
(B) If the defendant has a prior conviction of violating the
provisions, other than paragraph (9) of subdivision (a), of this
section or former Section 12100 of this code or Section 8101 of the
Welfare and Institutions Code.
(C) If the defendant has a prior conviction of violating any
offense specified in subdivision (b) of Section 12021.1 or of a
violation of Section 12020, 12220, or 12520, or of former Section
12560.
(D) If the defendant is in a prohibited class described in Section
12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare
and Institutions Code.
(E) A violation of this section by a person who actively
participates in a "criminal street gang" as defined in Section
186.22.
(F) A violation of subdivision (b) involving the delivery of any
firearm to a person who the dealer knows, or should know, is a minor.
(3) If any of the following circumstances apply, a violation of
this section shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not
exceeding one year or in the state prison, or by a fine not to exceed
one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and
imprisonment.
(A) A violation of paragraph (2), (4), or (5) of subdivision (a).
(B) A violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) involving the
sale, loan, or transfer of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person to a minor.
(C) A violation of subdivision (b) involving the delivery of a
pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon
the person.
(D) A violation of paragraph (1), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of
subdivision (c) involving a pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person.
(E) A violation of subdivision (d) involving a pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(F) A violation of subdivision (e).
(4) If both of the following circumstances apply, an additional
term of imprisonment in the state prison for one, two, or three years
shall be imposed in addition and consecutive to the sentence
prescribed.
(A) A violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) or subdivision
(b).
(B) The firearm transferred in violation of paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a) or subdivision (b) is used in the subsequent
commission of a felony for which a conviction is obtained and the
prescribed sentence is imposed.
(5) (A) A first violation of paragraph (9) of subdivision (a) is
an infraction punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50).
(B) A second violation of paragraph (9) of subdivision (a) is an
infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).
(C) A third or subsequent violation of paragraph (9) of
subdivision (a) is a misdemeanor.
(D) For purposes of this paragraph each application to purchase a
pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon
the person in violation of paragraph (9) of subdivision (a) shall be
deemed a separate offense.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Liberator pistol, a sad case of historical destruction

Friends, my experience shows it almost always pays to scout around a bit. See what’s out there, keep your eyes open, and investigate your surroundings.

That is what happened this morning. I did an internet search for local gun shops, picked a few that looked interesting, and took a drive to see who was open. Now, for super secret squirrel reasons I won’t go into my location… but if you absolutely must know then E-mail me.

One waypoint on this morning’s journey turned up a neat little small town gun shop, with a knowledgeable and friendly proprietor. Amongst his fairly decent mil-surp inventory, tucked away in a display case used for ‘display’ vs. sales, was this bit of history; A FP-45 Liberator Pistol.





Built by the GM Guidelamp Company during WWII, these pistols have a well know history. The plan was to saturate German occupied territory with many thousands of these cheap little gems, hoping to get at least some into the hands of partisans and resistance fighters. Inaccurate, difficult to load, usable only as a single shot short range pistol, their purpose was simple. The resistance fighter would hide the powerful little pistol in his pocket, walk up to a German soldier, then shoot him and steal his weapons.

It was also part of the plan for the general morale of German troops to drop, knowing sudden death was at hand from any passerby. Disarmed occupied populations were to be given the means to resist, to the detriment of the occupying forces.

The plan, like many of the odder war time ideas, never really came to fruition. Most of the liberators were never delivered to war zones, staying instead packed away in boxes, unused. After the war most were destroyed, leaving only a few examples as war time historical relics, an important part of our nation’s history.

Now, to the story behind this particular piece….

Gentle reader, you may wish to stop now, and spare yourself the agony to follow…..
Somewhere there is a special level in hell designated for whoever ordered this destruction of history.

At some point in the past, several things were discovered at the Guidelamp factory where the liberator pistols were made. Found were a case of M-3 grease guns (fully automatic machine pistols) and a case of unopened Liberator pistols.

The M-3 grease guns went to a local police department, where they mysteriously vanished. The Liberators met a far worse fate. There were ordered destroyed by the ATF, as they had no serial numbers. Also discovered were the original stamping tools to make the pistols, and these were ordered destroyed as well since the company was not licensed to make firearms.





The pristine pieces of US military history were crushed, and then melted down.
This particular liberator pistol was waylaid between crusher and furnace, and found its way to the display case where I discovered it this morning.






Upcoming decison by the Supreme Court

The Supremes are due to make some sort of decision soon...
Very soon.....
Like..... Monday maybe. Maybe even today!

This is their biggest case of the season, effectively deciding what the second amendment means.It's the first time they have addressed it in about 80 years. The last time was the Miller case, and that was a very bad review. Miller died before it came to the court, and representation was lousy.

My thinking..... the court will wiggle out of anything definitive.Just my pessimistic opinion.No matter what they decide, it will open the way to legal challenges on many fronts, and very interesting times for American gun owners. All 100,000,000 of us.

Some more interesting points here.....

In any case, I am watching and waiting with unusual excitement.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fobus holster and the Colt Commander

Purchased today, solely because I forgot to pack a carry holster for my Colt, was a Fobus C-21 paddle holster.

Fabricated from formed plastic with bits of metal here and there, this holster is as unlike my usual
Galco leather goods as can be imagined. In one giant leap, ancient leatherworking craftsmanship gives way to modern mass produced plastic wear.






I have never owned a paddle type holster, so this will be a new adventure on all counts. Normally favoring a Galco JAK slide for any semi-auto I happen to carry, I’ve become accustomed to a holster thats minimal and comfortable, while still having good retention.

Here, I picture the holster on the belt with the paddle outside the pants, giving an idea of its fit and ride angle. A wide, stiff, belt would suit this holster much better.





The Fobus holster seems to get mixed reviews. While most note it’s relatively low price, many reviewers question its fit. It will be some time before I can give a knowledgeable tale regarding the rig; but here are my first impressions…

The holster has no external snap, strap, or latch. It relies on a molded plastic impression snapping into the trigger guard for retention of the weapon. While this may not be a bad way to secure a DA automatic with it’s hammer down, or a 1911 Colt with grip and frame safeties, I would pass on carrying my S+W M+P automatic in this holster. The M+P relies on internal safeties, and a shooter who knows enough not to pull the trigger unless a shot is desired. As such, trigger guard retention may not be the finest plan. I know thousands carry M+P’s, Glocks, and other such striker fired pistols in these holsters, but my comfort level would be threatened.



My Colt Combat Commander rides in the Fobus holster snugly, without annoying slop or rattling. Its carry angle is appropriate for wear just behind the hip, and draw is fairly natural. A stiff yank is required to bring the pistol smoothly from the holster, with a decided forward drag on the pistol. Pulling slowly, or drawing with a rearward cant is just as likely to pull the entire pistol and holster off the belt as a unit. Using a stiff draw motion allows the weapon to snap free reasonably well, but I suspect a fair amount of practice will be required to make the motion second nature.

A downside to this: Quietly drawing the weapon without any fuss is problematic. I can see where that could be an issue one day. Perhaps the holster will wear in a bit with use and range time, allowing a smoother draw.

Any more review will have to wait till the holster has been in use a while. It may end up in the box ‘o holsters most shooters build over the years or it may enter regular use for carrying the Colt. We shall see.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Colt Combat Commander

After WWII, Colt continued making its 1911 model as both a military sidearm and for the civilian market. Some time later, a new model was introduced with a barrel reduced from 5” to 4.25”. This new model also had an aluminum frame, and was christened the ‘Commander’ model. Soon it was offered with a steel frame and became the ‘Combat Commander’. Other than the reduced length, it’s all but interchangeable with a full sized Government model 1911.



This Combat Commander shown here has been in my hands for some time now, and is likely to be willed to one of my sons when I am gone. It was purchased more than a decade ago, from a gun shop display case. Hiding amongst the police trade-ins and ever present Glocks, this colt was a battered and bruised victim. Originally blue, the finish was worn from indifferent storage. Its factory Colt walnut stocks had deep scratches and were missing an emblem.



More serious… a former owner had played at being a gunsmith. The grip safety had been disabled by destruction of its flat spring. The trigger’s release point was variable and sometimes the hammer followed the slide forward. The recoil spring felt weak, and appeared to have been clipped a few coils. Taken together, the flaws resulted in a pistol that rattled and inspired no confidence at all.



Yet… there was a diamond in the dregs… waiting to be recognized. Negotiations with the shop owner took several days, and resulted in the Colt following me home after writing a check for $350. The deal was sealed shortly after I pointed out the pistol was likely unsafe to be fired, and reminded him of a recent lawsuit he had faced from a customer over recoil injuries. I almost felt bad using such a tactic, but it was Colt .45 and it needed rescue.



After detail stripping and cataloging the issues at hand, parts were ordered. A complete spring kit, new barrel bushing, adjustable target trigger, spring guide rod, and spring buffers were placed on order from Brownells. New stocks were acquired from Tucson Grip (now out of business). The stripped pistol components then soaked in a solvent bath for several days to loosen years of ignored sludge and residue.



Reassembled with new springs, some hours were spent hand lapping the new barrel bushing into place, and polishing the fit of the new trigger. The slide to frame fit was tightened up by means of gently peening the slide rails, then lapping and polishing the fit to the frame.



Add in new Wilson magazines, and the old Colt Commander was now range ready. Its first foray proved it a willing shooter, with excellent accuracy and natural pointing attributes. The heavy recoil spring chosen worked well with moderate to heavy carry loads, and no malfunctions were had.



Not carried regularly due to its freakish ability to rust easily, it saw service as a pin shooting gun. Knocking bowling pins from a table might seem easy to those who have never tried it, but such matches can be humbling. A pin laid down endwise by a misplaced shot can be a misery to clear off the table while shooting under a time clock. This Colt Combat Commander held its place as a pin gun very nicely, lacking only decent target sights.

About one year into ownership, a deal was truck with a local full service gunsmith. In exchange for a Marlin .444 lever action rifle, the smith would mill the colt and install new Bo-Mar target sights, a new beavertail grip safety, and refinish the pistol in satin nickel.

Completed, the old Colt became a thing of beauty, never failing to attract attention at the range or in a match. Handed to friends for examination, the most frequent response was a muttering about having to give it back.

The Colt has done time in a CCW carry holster, usually a Galco Miami vice shoulder holster with offside magazine carrier. Carried on the belt, its target sights tend to dig in, causing pain. Lugged in a Maxpedition shoulder bag, it’s heavy but reassuring. Since its pin shooting days have past, some Novak low mount carry sights may be in it’s future, and a return to full time carry duty.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reloading tips

.
This is a listing of the posts titled 'Reloading tips'.
As new posts are added the series, they will be noted here.
Simply clicking on the sidebar link for the 'Reloading Tips' index will bring one back to this updated listing.

Nickel plated cases and cracking. 6/24/09
Do nickel plated cases crack more often?

Avoiding the dreaded double charge. 6/6/09
Double charges, and methods to avoid them.

Beware the powder knocker! 6/4/09
A caution about throwing charges with a bench mounted powder measure.

Getting up close and friendly with your rifle cases. 5/30/09
Looking closely at cases can reveal problems before they become serious.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

RWS .22 rimfire BB Cap


What can turn up when boxes are opened?

Anything, my friends, anything.

In this case, a stash of ancient RWS .22 rimfire BB caps. Tucked away amidst other oddities and conundrums, a few tins of these came to light as I was unpacking some ammunition brought home from storage.


Made by RWS of Nuremberg Germany, this ammunition might date from the 1920's.
It's difficult to tell since it was repackaged for sale by J.L Galef and Sons of New York City.











Driven solely by the priming compound, it has a 19 grain round lead pellet driven at a nominal 750 FPS (an optimistic estimate in my opinion). Used for a gallery round, indoor target shooting, and garden pest control, the BB cap has power about equal to an older .22 air rifle.



Here the RWS BB cap is lined up in comparison with a .22 short and a .22 long rifle. It won't feed through most .22 firearms and must be single fed. For someone with large paws (like me) it's a fiddly round to load.

Look for a future velocity and accuracy comparison, when I get the chronograph unpacked (g).