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Thursday, 31 December 2015

"Easy Rider":

Well, 'Easy Rider' might well be "C.C. Rider" or even  "See See Rider" - but as some UK inmate might well say .. "Whateva"  eh.


That is an 'Easy Rider' gun rack in the back window of the 'pick-up'.
Ithica M 37 Riot Gun can make you smile eh.

Billys' Easy Rider Harley
'Captain America' Panhead.

- From The movie, that is an "Easy Rider" sickle.

- or you might fancy an "Easy Rider sling" from Butler Creek for your rifle - if you've got bony shoulders ..

Whoo, you should even be able to get easy rider jeans ..

- You see - the thing is - since even before Ma Rainey recorded the first known version of  SEE SEE Rider in 1924 - there's been disagreement about the title, the words, how many verses, how fast to sing it - and indeed - just what the hell the tune is meant to be about - and just which particular meaning of the phrase you are thinking about..(try Wikipedias entry!)

Ma Raineys 1924 last verse:
I'm gonna buy me a pistol just as long as I am tall,
- Lawd, Lawd, Lawd,
Gonna kill my man and catch the cannon ball,
- Catch the cannon ball,
If he don't have me, He wont have no gall at all.
There are more than 150 known versions of this great 12 Bar Blues - and they're all different. - well, let's put it this way - back in the early 1900s you didn't get to be a blues singer by going to college eh - so you spelt it how you heard it (- if you could write or spell at all.)

Even Elvis has done a version.

- And the 150 versions are only the known knowns eh (- who said that?**)

Back then you might remember the tune but not the words - so you'd make-up your own as you went:

Lead Belly - Huddie Ledbetter - 'King of the Twelve String Guitar'
- he served time for Murder and again for "attempted"(& again later)
- and had some 'knife work' while inside.

- An "easy rider" dates from the cowboy era and was a guy who didn't pull his weight and always would choose an easy riding horse - or later, would live off of the hard work of a working girl or woman - a pimp maybe. Also someone who jumps a slow freight train to move around.

Mississippi John Hurt s Version.

If you fancy getting into the Guinness Book of Records - you could collect all the different versions - even write a few variations yourself - and enter them for the record eh.

** The message is that there are known knowns. There are things we know that we know.

There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know.

But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know. 


Donald Rumsfeld US Secretary of Defense.

. . How do these people get into power?

- well it's a slow news day time of year eh,

Marty K.

P.S.  - Hey, I just came across the question 'on-line' - "Is religion a mental illness?"

All correct answers will win invitations to join The Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster - who have applied to be Marriage Celebrants here.


M.K.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Captain Bully Hayes - Pirate of The South Seas:

Well - he really wasn't much of a pirate. He definitely was a murdering, crooked, swindler, bigamist, and 'slaver' notorious around the Pacific islands later in his career for "Blackbirding" - which was taking islanders by force or deception from their homes and delivering them into the pacifics sugar cane plantations as labour - where they were theoretically contracted to work for three years.
Bully Hayes.
American (Ohio) born William Henry Hayes (1827?-1877) operated as a 'Trader' around the islands from the 1850s with various ships under different names and with different wives - some of whom came to terminally bad ends.
One example of his trade is of him leaving New York as a passenger on board the 'Canton' .. but arriving in Singapore as the Captain and then "buying" the boat and renaming it as the 'C.W. Bradley,Jr.'


Based in Australia from 1857 he swindled and robbed his way back and forth across the Pacific to the US until things got too hot for him - so he then skipped to the gold-fields of Otago New Zealand in 1862 - where he cheated his way around Arrowtown and Christchurch marrying further widows a couple of more times while working as a travelling vaudeville artist and hotel keeper before acquiring the Brig 'Rona' in 1866.


He then went off again around the Marshall Islands and Samoa kidnapping and tricking islanders onto 'Blackbirding' ships as prisoners, labour for plantations on Fiji, Tahiti and Samoa.


He had been arrested and imprisoned here and there and got through a succession of brigs and schooners - wrecking and sinking them all over the place until his last vessel ..


- Which was The Lotus where he ended-up dead with a crushed skull and a few bullet holes inflicted by his cook Peter "Dutch Pete" Redick (and the Mate?) who is said to have attacked Hayes after being threatened - chasing him down a ladder as Hayes was trying to get to his revolver and stove-in his head from above and then threw him overboard.


Someone on the Internet thinks Hayes had an 1851 Colt ("Navy").


The Mate Charles Elson sailed The Lotus to Jaluit in the Marshall Islands - where nobody seems to have cared much about this sad demise.


Captain Bully Hayes R.I.P 31 March 1877


P.S. The thought just came to me that today - Hayes would have made a career as a leading politician.




- There is currently a restaurant & bar on Beach Road in the lovely holiday spot harbour of Akaroa (on our Banks Peninsula) called "The Bully Hayes".. great food and cold beer.


AKAROA


Marty K.







Saturday, 26 December 2015

1 3/4" Short Shot shells, Knife Story:

If you're looking for a 'me-gift' to treat yourself - how about finding some 1.75" 12G shot shells from AGUILA  - apparently they come as .38 oz. solids , buckshot loads and other varieties - if you can find them in your local shops.


There's a lot of wasted space in ordinary shot shell cases (- talking about "wastes of space" - like some folk - they are full of hot air) - so these minis don't give away much performance.




These shorties cycle OK through some pump-action guns - but not in 'autos'.

The slugs are quoted at 1,250 ft. per sec. - as are also the buckshot loading.

They'll let you load a lot extra bangs for your buck and recoil much less if you're sensitive or playing games shooting from the hip.-  Should be OK in break-actions too.
That's FIVE shorties to Three 3 inchers.
__________
 


Any of you interested in edged weapons - there is an excellent on-line post about the K-BAR and Fairburn-Sykes iconic blades and their history. - Google 'The KA-BAR and the Fairburn-Sykes' by Roger Norling'  - A very well researched story.

Interesting to note that "double sided blade" knives are a "banned import" here in NZ. (Is that in case they are used to cut two things at once?)

______________


 



Marty K.


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Cloud Cover - THERE We Are:

If you look carefully - That's Me about 3/4 inch Left of Centre 
Photo by NASA.
 
Here's a true story for youse ..  I bought my first Ruger Old Army in an auction over a year back and was very happy with the price I paid. - At the following years auction I postal bid and won - among other lots - a lot described as some empty cardboard pistol boxes, magazines and posters.

When it arrived it was a large 'banana box of "all sorts" - but the jewel of the lot was .. have you guessed? - the original Ruger box for that exact earlier ROA revolver complete with the shipping outer buff cover - both fully marked with the correct serial numbers. Wooo-Hoo!


I guess that the guns value just rose a few dollars eh ..

Merry Christmas.

Marty K.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Good News - 3 Minutes to go:

Bulletin Of the Atomic scientists:

2015

IT IS 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

3 minutes to midnight
"Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.” Despite some modestly positive developments in the climate change arena, current efforts are entirely insufficient to prevent a catastrophic warming of Earth. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia have embarked on massive programs to modernize their nuclear triads—thereby undermining existing nuclear weapons treaties. "The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty—ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization."
____________


- I just thought that I might try to cheer you all up before the New Year eh.








Marty K.




Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Guns Lacking in Our Patrol Cars:

I heard Radio NZ play this report four times this morning.

The Police Assoc. President Greg O'Conner was complaining in an interview that our acclaimed "traditionally unarmed police" are unarmed on occasions when their cars are not fitted with security boxes!
Greg O'Conner - Good Bloke.
 
Apparently there are more cars than there are security cabinets - despite there now being "200 more cabinets" ..
 

Superintendent Chris Scahill from police National Headquarters said in a statement " Not all cars were fitted with gun safes because not all of them were frontline response vehicles and not all officers were trained to use guns."

 
- What?? - Why the hell not?
 
Mr O'Conner spoke very slowly and deliberately on the radio when he commented that "Every police officer who was likely to encounter an armed offender as part of their day to day duties should have sufficient training and access to firearms."
 
Marty K.

Monday, 21 December 2015

.357 MAXIMUM Blackhawk & "Panty Shields":

Ruger seem to have a habit of 'inventing' new oddball cartridges that don't hit the spot and fail to become popular - or at least - Ruger do develop and market some novel cartridges that seem to be destined to history as rarities. Shooters seem to be a conservative lot - look at the popularity of the '1911'  "boat-anchors" in .45ACP.

.357 Maximum with .357 Magnum.
Maximum Case is .300" longer.

The "Maximum" started life as an Elgin Gates "wildcat cartridge" called .357 Supermag before being adopted in 1983 by Remington together with Ruger - who developed a 'Blackhawk' single-action revolver with an extended cylinder and stretched frame built to fit.

Ruger .357 Maximum Blackhawk came with Either 7.5" or 10.5" Barrel.
158 grain Bullet @ 1,825 ft.per.sec. (1,158ft-lbs energy)

- Brilliant idea that should have been a winner for metallic silhouette shooters and serious handgun hunters. The concept was that the .357 Maximum would have much the same power levels and 'knockdown' as a .44 Magnum while being gentler on the shooter - having considerably less perceived recoil, while maintaining strong impact on target with a flatter trajectory (100 yard mid-range trajectory only 1.7 inches with 158gn)

A versatile six gun that would be OK with .357 Magnum and even  .38 Special.. But.

Trouble was that - despite thorough and extensive development shooting of the new revolver before release - when the guns got customer shot with lots of high velocity light-weight bullets - they flame cut the top straps and eroded the barrel forcing cones. One website even states that one example got returned to the factory with its top strap so badly flame-cut that it had eroded a hole completely through and was dangerously spitting back into the shooters face.

Problem seems to be that when this cartridge was loaded with bullets weighing anything less than 158 grains - the peak internal pressure occurred just as the light pill leaves the brass case mouth and opens the path for high pressure explosive gasses to flame cut and erode all metal in its path.
Flame cut by light weight High Velocity.

Remington were selling factory .357 Maximum jacketed hollow point ammunition with a 125 grain bullet.. Problem.

Ruger ended-up stopping production after only two years and replaced any customer returned guns with a different calibre model. Story goes that they may have destroyed thousands of these guns.

Maybe what is needed for a comeback is a line of 200 grain loads with the best speed powder charge to eliminate the flame cutting. - Could be that even S&W might be persuaded to chamber their big 5-shot X-Frame Revolver for the 'Maximum'. - X-frame cylinder length has room to spare and it takes higher internal pressure (60,000psi -( SAAMI 48,000psi for "Max") than would be needed for the .357 Max.

Mind you - I'd make a point of marketing or making my own "panty-shields" out of spring steel and fitting them into the gap between barrel and top strap on any hot loaded revolver I had!
- Nothing like knowing you're protected eh.

Seasons Greetings all,
Marty K.




Wednesday, 16 December 2015

NZDF New Rifle more Info:

Lewis Machine & Tool of USA have announced that they will be showing a new rifle system at the 2016 Shot Show - and that the New Zealand Defence Ministry will be the first purchaser from that family of products.

The NZDF rifle is designated CQB16 (maybe):
Picture thanks to The Firearms Blog.

The LMT comes with all the usual bling extras - plus a "3 o-clock bayonet mount lug', and 40mm grenade launcher  - but the online commentators seem to opine that "it's just another AR15."


- Come down to your friendly local target pistol / shooting range if you want to see one eh ..

Marty K

Monday, 14 December 2015

Volunteers 'culled' endangered Birds :

 Four members of NZ Deerstalkers Assoc. have had their Firearms Licenses suspended for wrongly shooting four Takahe in a sanctuary on Motutapu Island (North Island NZ) on August 21, 2015.

Those shooting were experienced deerstalker members who had volunteered to take part in a cull of the pukeko population that is considered to compete with and possibly endanger the rarer birds.

There may be less than 300 of the 'critically endangered' Takahe left in New Zealand and the different Pukeko birds that were the target of this Department of Conservation cull do have a similar colouring to the rare Takahe.

Pukeko                              Takahe
 
At first glance it does seem that it might be reasonably easy to confuse the common and fairly aggressive "puke" for the endangered Takahe .. but the Takahe is a much larger and heavier bird - and it is flightless.
 
Members of 'The Deerstalkers'  were carefully briefed to only fire at birds on the wing - intending thereby to completely eliminate all the flightless ground birds from danger.
 
The cull is said to have been interrupted by the DOC supervisor being called away and replaced several times - but this is not considered to have in anyway changed the cull instructions.
 
The Dept. of Conservation spokesperson clarified that while they fully supported the licence suspension - because the shooters failed to properly identify their targets before shooting - they would leave any decision regarding prosecution to the police licensing authority.
 
South Island Maori of the Ngai Tahu Iwi Conservation board are said to be angered that the birds they had earlier sent to safe sanctuaries on North Island islands had not been properly protected there.
 
Member of Parliament Rino Tirakatane was quoted by RNZ as saying "It shows complete incompetence on DOC's part to bring in these Barry Crump-type good keen men."
 

The late Barry Crump - Author of 'A Good keen Man'
 
Marty K.
 
 
 


Saturday, 12 December 2015

F.N. F2000 Bullpup Rifle:

Interesting version of a 'Bullpup' this one .. it ejects forward from a forward port thus being user friendly for both R.H & L.H. users - but even more interesting is that it 'saves-up' its brass and ejects the spent cases five at a time (every fifth shot) when on "auto"!

F.N. F2000 - I'm temped to say "ugly looking M.F."
 
I came across this breed of gun in a BBC on-line magazine item "A rifles journey from Belgium to Gaza." where they try to tell the tale of how the Belgian F2000 rifle and AK-103-2 rifles from Russia got to be paraded by the al-Quds Brigade on the streets of  Rafa in southern Gaza.
 
 
Weight: - About 7.5lbs - 8lbs.

The FN F2000 is a selective fire bull-pup gas operated short-stroke-piston operated rifle with a rotating bolt - in 5.56x45mm NATO calibre. It uses standard 30 round NATO box magazines and has that interesting system where it appears to be constipated (selective fire units) until it lets go forward-right, a burst of five empty shell cases once every fifth shot - by holding them in its poo-tube above the barrel until ready.
 
Thus a thirty round magazine is fully ejected in six x five empty shell bursts with this patent protected system.
 
 
These FN weapons also take a clever 9v battery power-pack fire control system for the 40mm 'pump-action' grenade launcher - that estimates range to the identified target, and the required elevation before indicating "ready" when a flashing red light changes to green on an LCD screen.
 
Hmm .. Reading between the lines, the BBC story seems to me to indicate that these weapons have been delivered into terrorist (or 'freedom fighters') hands by a series of changing decisions from Western Government Politicians, 'Experts', and 'military advisors'.
 
 They were approved for sale to Libya when UN and EU arms embargos were variously lifted by political leaders.

There is a Hickok45 review of the s.a only FS2000. - He thinks it's "real purty"(not). Military Arms Channel "Bullpups Part 11" is a good review too.

Marty K.
 
 
 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Custers Guns - 'Galand & Sommerville'?:

At the Battle of  Little Bighorn - June 25/26 1876 - was Custer carrying 'Galand & Sommerville' .450" calibre revolvers (made by Braedlin & Sommerville in England) - or Webley British Bulldog Revolvers - or Webley Royal Irish Constabulary Revolvers?  - And were they .450" Calibre?

This Webley? .44"? calibre Galand & Sommerville was given to Custers' Brother Tom Custer and was sold for $77,000 in 1995.
- Both of them may have been given these by Lord Berkeley Paget in 1869.
(Not .44"? - but likely .450"?)
The Galand Revolver was first made in France 1868.
 
We will likely never know - as his guns were absent from his recovered body.
 
Charles Francoise Galand (1832-1900) was a French gun maker designer - also made the 'Velo-dog'.
 
Webley BBD - British BullDog .450" Revolver (1872)
 
Webley RIC Royal Irish Constabulary Revolver 1868? ,1887?.
 
 Yes - there seems to be conflicting dates that may or may not eliminate some candidate guns. - Some early RICs were built for the  .500" Tranter cartridge (with a .510" diameter 'heeled' bullet).

These revolvers were made in various named differing calibres from .320", .380",  .44" , .450" Adams, .442" British, .455" etc., etc., and they were built in Europe (Belgium) by various copiers - and many revolvers seem to have been called "Bulldogs" that were not named such by their maker, or by Webley.
 
The various 'Top Break' or Self-Extracting Webleys were too late to have been possible Custer guns .. also not being made until 1887 - but did begin production / development in the 1870s - so there may be a chance. - I need to again point-out that I have no expertise in these matters - I just like to pass-on interesting stuff!
 
                                     
 
Webley Mk 1 .455"
 
____________
 
Webleys roots go back to 1790 - so they had a very good run up till the 1920 UK Firearms Act put the brakes on handgun sales and they went-over to air guns in 1924 with their excellent Mk 1 Air pistol (and the Mk 1 Air rifle in 1926.) - Beautifully made and finished.
 
 .. I bought a Webley Mk3 "under-lever' Air rifle way back 1962 (ish) and it would completely shatter its lead pellets on impact with a hard metal surface (an old 'Iron').. It could readily smash  matches at 25 yards - sharp eyes as a teen!
 


Marty K.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Pinkerton Detective Agency:

I reminded myself of this outfit when reading that Allan Pinkerton carried two Tranter revolvers as his personal 'equippe'. Scots born Pinkerton aged 23 emigrated to America in 1842 (fleeing an arrest warrant for his political activities as a 'Chartist') and worked making barrels until he joined the Chicago police in 1847.
The original "Private Eye".

 He opened his first 'Pinkerton Detective Agency' office after just three years with the police, in Chicago in 1850.

- The modern company website refers to its business as "..the birth of a noble profession." - Well I guess in the true capitalist spirit of US culture - that would be entirely correct - in that he followed the money and provided security and 'muscle' to various millionaire Railroad Barons and Mining 'Captains' - and other assorted powerful rogues and enterprising businessmen .. by doing what was required to protect property and life (that is - of the wealthy customer who paid well).
Pinkerton Agents Escort Strike Breakers in 1884

I guess you have to weigh the rights of the minority (captains of industry) against the majority - hungry, poor workers and their families eh.

By the early 1890s, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more 'agents' than there were members of the United States Army. - They specialised in providing 'goon squads' - strike breaking, infiltrating trade unions, and intimidating workers. - and they provided security guards to protect business assets.

William Pinkerton & Railroad Special Agents.(1870s)

In 1871 the US Government paid $50,000 to the Department of Justice who in turn contracted-out their investigation unit to the "Pinks." - However in 1893 the 'Anti-Pinkerton Act' (5USC3108) ** stated that no Pinkerton (or similar organisation) employee may be employed by the US Govt. or the Government of the District of Columbia. - So ended that deal!

Pinkerton agents were hired to track-down many outlaws including Jesse James, The Wild Bunch (inc. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid), the Reno Gang and the Younger Brothers.
Allan Pinkerton 1884.

January 25 1875, Allan Pinkerton led a raid on the James family farm as a personal vendetta. His attacking 'detectives' threw an incendiary device into the house killing James' half brother and blowing an arm off the family mother Zerelda Samuel. - These were violent times.

The coming of The FBI, (Federal Bureau Of Investigation), considerably reduced the market for 'The Pinks' detective work so they changed emphasis into the current 'security' field - and are - since 2003 - now part of Securitas AB.
 
Both compact model M1873 and M1877 Colts have been called 'The Pinkerton Model.
 

  A different direction:-  The 'Pinks' may never have operated in NZ (Securitas does) - but a David Pinkerton sailed with his family from Scotland to New Zealand in 1860 lured by gold and became a prominent figure here supporting workers rights and as a union leader and head of the Otago Trades and Labour Council!

The FBI dates from 1908 /1910.  - In 1882 Theodore Roosevelt boasted to Attorney General Charles Bonapart  that Border Patrol applicants had to pass marksmanship tests - with the best shots getting the jobs .. Bonapart retorted (tongue-in-cheek) - that target shooting was not the way to get the best men but that "Roosevelt should have had the men shoot at each other and given the jobs to the survivors."

**  Was 5USC3108 the "Anti Pinkerton Act" dated March 3 1893 repealed?  - How is it that the US Govt. currently employs the various 'Security Contractors' (Mercenaries, private armies - such as Custer Battles, G4S Risk Management, GK Sierra, MVM Inc., etc.) in Iraq & Afghanistan and elsewhere - which that Act forbids?


I don't know ..

Marty K.




Tuesday, 8 December 2015

NZ Armed Constabulary TRANTER Revolvers:

Way back in 1879 New Zealand ordered 500 1878 Tranter Revolvers in .450" calibre for the NZ Armed Constabulary ..

This fact from history may seem inexplicable and strange - because we are frequently assured by politicians and the Police executive (not Orwells 1984 'Ministry Of Truth') - that the NZ Police have a long history of being an unarmed law enforcement force.

- Perhaps they are just 'mistaken'.


You should be able to make-out the N80Z government marking stamped on the above example.


These six inch octagonal barrel double action, centre-fire Tranter revolvers have a 5 groove R.H. twist bore - and were an advanced design when compared with the classic Colt 1873  SAA Peacemaker - which was single-action and remained the US military arm until 1892.

The Tranter 1878 loaded and ejected through a rear loading gate - and was withdrawn from British service in 1881.


A Display of .450" Cartridges.
Velocity with a 225 grain bullet was 650 ft./sec. black-powder (13grains) to 700 ft./sec. smokeless.

British and European handgun design moved forward rapidly in this era when compared to US.

William Tranter (1816-1890) had by his retirement secured 24 firearms patents and 19 cartridge patents including the early British patent for rim-fire cartridges.
Hone Riiwi* Toia with four Supporters (Hokianga Maori) arrested May 1898 by The Armed Constabulary.
(He was imprisoned for 10 months - having given himself up - on "Conspiracy" charges
 - for opposing a 'dog tax' of 2 shillings & 6 pence').
*Riiwi was grandson of a Jewish trader 'Levy'.
 
As well as these New Zealand Police sales - 1,000 of these .450" revolvers were bought by the English military and used in the 'Zulu Campaign' and were described as "non-interchangeable" - being hand made and assembled.
 

William Tranter was associated variously with other arms makers - notably Hollis Bros., Kerr, Adams, Beaumont, and Braedlin and his factory was finally taken-over by George Kynoch.

 - He was a Founding Director of British Small Arms (BSA) Ltd. He built some Henry Carbines and rifles in his plants.

Known users of Tranters guns are Allan Pinkerton (Pinkerton Detective Agency - known to have carried two.), Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling, the US Civil War Confederate General James Stuart, Australian 'Bushranger' Ben Hall, and the fictional Sherlock Holmes .. and the New Zealand Armed Constabulary.

.. The first official New Zealand Police were New South Wales troopers who accompanied Governor  Hobson (landed 31 January 1840) .. and the first 'local' force formed was Auckland Armed Police established  9 October 1846.

Marty K.

P.S.  - I have mentioned the guns of this maker before, on 13 April 1994 'History: Tranter & Kerr Patent Revolvers'.

Rod says:
 "I purchased a tidy 1878 Tranter (ex NZ armed Constabulary) from a relative of the notorious Stanley Graham way back in 1965 for the sum of 10 Pounds.  It also came with dress and service holsters.  These revolvers were sold to the public when the Police finished with them in the early 1900’s (when they switched over the Colt M1903 .32 autos, one of which was used against Stan Graham!).  The 1878 Tranter was a very robust and well-made revolver, much superior to the Colt SAA and one of the reasons why the Tranters and other English double-action revolvers were quite popular (contrary to US notions) in the ‘old west’.  Even Custer had a pair of English ..450’s, not that they did him much good!"
 
M.K.