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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Custer & The Webley Royal Irish Constabulary Revolver:

.. Interesting debate about what side-arms George A Custer would have used while in charge of the US 7th Cavalry at The Battle of The Little Bighorn .. Battle of The Greasy Grass .. or "Custer's Last Stand" - that occurred on June 25/26 1876. - I make that 141 years ago almost to the day.

Wikipedia has this to say about Webley production dates:

" As early as 1853 P. Webley and J. Webley began production of their first patented single action cap and ball revolvers. Later under the trade name of P. Webley and Son, manufacturing included their own .44-caliber rim-fire solid frame revolver as well as licensed copies of Smith & Wesson's Tip up break action revolvers. The quintessential hinged frame, centre-fire revolvers for which the Webley name is best known first began production/development in the early 1870s most notably with the Webley-Pryse (1877) and Webley-Kaufman (1881) models. The W.G. or Webley-Government models produced from 1885 through to the early 1900s, (often incorrectly referred to as the Webley-Green) are the most popular of the commercial top break revolvers and many were the private purchase choice of English military officers and target shooters in the period, coming in a .476/.455 calibre. However other short-barrel solid-frame revolvers, including the Webley RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) model and the British Bulldog revolver, designed to be carried in a coat pocket for self-defence were far more commonplace during the period. Today, undoubtedly best-known are the range of military revolvers, which were in service use across two World Wars and numerous colonial conflicts."


Columbus Museum Says:
The Webley R.I.C. No. 1 .455 CF Revolver (Royal Irish Constabulary) was first manufactured in 1872. This blued steel revolver is a double-action only pistol that fired a .455 caliber bullet from a rifled barrel.


Webley No.2 .32" Cal. BULLDOG

Wikipedia further has this to say: 
The British Bull Dog was a popular type of solid-frame pocket revolver introduced by Philip Webley & Son of Birmingham, England in 1872 and subsequently copied by gunmakers in Continental Europe and the United States.

The Bulldog was popular in Britain and America. US Army General George Armstrong Custer was said to have carried a pair at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. British Bull Dog revolvers were issued to employees of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company until 1895.

A Cased Webley Set: RIC Revolver With A No. 2 Bull Dog.

- So did Custer carry one or two Webley RIC Revolvers? .. or did he have Webley 'Bull Dogs' ? - or perhaps he had a 'Galand & Sommerville' .450"/ .44" like the one that is recorded as having been given to his brother Tom Custer?
 - Or maybe he had one of each.😎

Marty K.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

More About Custer's Revolvers:

My recent blog post about double-action PERCUSSION revolvers has prompted fresh e-mails about that era and Custers revolvers..

Hi Marty
The English D/A revolvers, both percussion and cartridge, were considerably more robust and reliable than the various US attempts.  As a consequence they were quite sought after, not only in the US but also in other parts of the World (Canada, Africa, Australia, NZ, etc).  The British revolvers had sturdy mechanisms and also fired large calibres (.44, .45) which gave them good stopping power.  George Custer carried a pair of .450 Webley D/A revolvers (not that they helped him in the end!).  The US D/A revolvers up until the 1890’s were rather fragile but the solid-frame Colt New Service and the S&W New Century changed the playing field.

Cheers
Rod

PS. There is a US Cooper .31 pocket D/A percussion revolver from the 1860’s on TM at present.
________________

Hi Rod, I too have read about Custer carrying a pair of (R.I.C.) Webleys ... but my
research suggests that the Battle where he died was BEFORE that gun was made
by Webley

- Any ideas??
________________________

Hi Marty
The battle of the Little Big Horn was in 1876.  Webley introduced the very
successful .442 RIC revolver in 1867.  A photo exists that shows Custer and
his wife in their home, and hanging on the wall in the background are two
RIC Webleys.

Cheers
Rod
Old Photograph Showing Custers Revolvers
 In A Rack On The Wall.
- Now I have found an excellent Guns & Ammo story about Custers revolvers on line - Link:
http://www.gunsandammo.com/historical/custers-last-gun-webley-ric-revolver/

That G&A story is well worth viewing.

Link to my earlier piece on D/A Percussion Revolvers:

https://flicense.blogspot.co.nz/2017/06/double-action-percussion-revolvers.html


- And I did a speculative story about Custer's guns
 way back on 10th December 2015 - LINK:

https://flicense.blogspot.co.nz/2015/12/custers-guns-galand-sommerville.html

The Battle of The Little Big Horn is a fascinating subject to read about
& I guess that all attempts to sort exactly what Custer may have been carrying will be
 informed "guesses" as they are long gone into history.

Marty K.



Monday, 19 June 2017

Misleading Caliber Statements:

There is an awful lot of Marketing / Sales, P.R. Bullshit around.

Here is one possible explanation for the way some American writers "rubbish" the .32" caliber firearms .. and that is - that perhaps they feel the need to encourage sales of new guns in a bigger caliber rather than the retention and use of the older handguns.

- Here is an example of an "expert's" statement printed in the NRA publication Firearms Assembly 4 .. word-for-word describing the French Model 1935-A Pistol:

"Based on the Browning short recoil system and the designs of French engineer Charles Petter, this pistol was developed and produced by the Societe Alsacienne de Constructions Meccaniques, better known as S.A.C.M.
 It has an 8-round magazine, weighs 26 ozs., and fires a 7.65 mm Long cartridge that is underpowered for military hand-gun use by US. standards."


- A few days ago I told a factual story of this 'French 32" Long' cartridge (7.65x20mm Longue) and how it is the same round as developed & made by the US Military for their semi-auto  Pederson Device. This round was used by the French (& wartime German) military in a sub-machine gun and two auto pistols.

Link:
https://flicense.blogspot.co.nz/2017/06/french-longue-32-pederson-device.html

- So according to this NRA expert writer - this cartridge - that was designed by the US Military for use by the US Military Forces .. "is under powered for military use by US standards."

This is NOT AN UNDER-POWERED CARTRIDGE.

 - Tell me what is under-powered about a 73 or 80 grain bullet leaving the muzzle of a handgun at 1,300 foot per second ? .. Would you volunteer to be shot with one ?

'Alternative Facts' and 'fake news' have obviously been around for a very long time - What is actually 'new' is that many folk now seem unable to distinguish fact from bullshit.

 - Anyone imagining a handgun round that blows the bad-guys off their feet and sends them crashing back through a conveniently positioned plate-glass window - needs to stay quietly in their seat and watch the 'thriller' movie one more time.

Marty K.

P.S. Apparently those Hollywood shots are set-up for filming by a rope around the 'victims' waist to jerk him backwards onto a pile of cardboard boxes through a brittle 'window' made from sugar when the blanks are ignited in time with the sound effects.


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Double-Action Percussion Revolvers:

I'd never really thought about this D/A aspect .. and I definitely don't pretend to know anything much about them .. but there does (or do ?) - seem to have been at least a couple of  DOUBLE-ACTION PERCUSSION Revolvers. The STARR - and the early Adams and Beaumont-Adams.

Starr are said to have produced nearly 25,000  Model 1858 D/A percussion revolvers in .38" and mostly .44" caliber around the US Civil War period (1861-1865) - before changing-over to a single-action model to meet the US Ordnance Departments requirement for a S/A.

But the English first model Adams with a long trigger pull dates from some years earlier in 1851 - and was double-action only. This was then remodeled into the Beaumont-Adams in 1855 which worked both D/A and S/A cocking with a hammer spur.

Model 1851 Adams.
__________


Model 1855 Beaumont-Adams D/A-S/A.
_______________


Starr Model 1858 D/A Percussion Revolver

Starr changed to a percussion single-action iteration in 1863:


It seems that the Military "pundits" of the time were unimpressed by the long trigger pull needed to fire the double-action revolvers.

- This preference to fire even today's modern D/A revolvers in single-action hammer 'cocked mode' is still very apparent on any pistol range.. I guess that a more precise outcome can be achieved eh but personally I'll stick to training double action only.

So there you go,

Marty K.

I get a lot of laughs & satisfaction from shooting my single-action Ruger Old Army percussion revolvers and these .44"s can be surprisingly powerful and accurate .. but to ride or to have been marched into combat relying on those tiny copper caps to work every time when needed must have been nerve racking. - But much better than those even earlier flintlocks.
M.K.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

They've Gone Feral:

I guess that I'm an old bugger with 'old fashioned standards' - so I sometimes have problems when I see the new "politically correct" way of doing stuff .. and the results of using the 'new way' now for tens of years.

I have this new 'guest' young cat in the house - It is a stray animal that I've now been told had been seen for weeks scavenging food scraps around a nearby school.

This young animal, at it's best, is cute .. but is also wild & unsocialized  - being a sly food thief and quick to aggressive use of it's claws and teeth.

DEFINITIONS:
Unsocialized

"not socialized; specifically :  not sufficiently socialized to adjust to societal norms - unsocialized and aggressive delinquents"

I see very similar feral behavior displayed by some of the recent generations of young people.


Feral: "(especially of an animal) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication.  "a feral cat"

synonyms:wilduntamedundomesticateduntrainedunused to humans;"
Many school-age kids and their parents seem not to have been socialised and they display similar 'wild' anti-social' patterns to an abandoned cat.

- No respect for others, no respect for property, and no awareness of the right way to behave when in a mixed group of people. - If anyone tries to stop individual wrong behavior - a typical response is a blank 'dead-eyed' stare and continuation of the anti-social activity - or increased abusive behavior.

- Am I wrong here or is this the direct result of generations of kids being told that they are the most important person and that they 'have rights' and can do what they like ... then being neglected and mistreated?

I know that I'm an "Old Fart" but what happened to discipline, self-control, respect for others, and good manners?

If you get one of these "ferals" in a work-place or on the pistol range wanting to shoot ... Best of luck.

Marty K.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

NZ Police Minister Rules on Illegal Firearms - Plus 3 New Assistant Commissioners:

Police Minister Paula Bennett has announced that she has largely rejected the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on possession of illegal firearms by criminal gangs.

Here is a Link to her findings and statement:

http://sportingshooters.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Government-response-to-firearms-select-committee-report.pdf

It appears that the NZ Police & The Police Federation have had their intended "CLAMP-DOWN" on law abiding firearms-users rejected in favor of some extra rules to be introduced that may strengthen the LAW regarding illegal firearms possession.

A little 'common sense' on show for once.


Maybe LAW ENFORCEMENT even ..

- Let's hope that any actual law changes are in line with the Ministers published statement .. and that a new 2017 Arms Code complies with the law when it is republished in due course.

Note: Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced the appointment of three new Assistant Commissioners.. I wonder if one of them will have a new broom to clean out the National Firearms Office.

Marty K.

Monday, 12 June 2017

CONFUCIUS He Say .. & NZ Police Admin.:

 “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s own ignorance”

Quick - Quick .. You need to read the Dunning-Kruger Effect page on Wikipedia before it is changed on the 17th June.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

- Mind you they may not change it very much - other than to include some politicians as examples of this psychological pattern. 😈

The current 'hold' on editing must be for a reason but ..

I'm sure that most of you will be familiar with this characteristic of being too stupid to realize that they are stupid - from your workplaces eh (I knew several specimens).


It does seem that senior officers in the NZ Police National H.Q. Firearms Office may have caused to be printed and have released, more than 30,000 copies of the 2017 Firearms Code containing factually incorrect statements of LAW.

- News that these expensive booklets have now been "withdrawn" appeared in a news release that itself was inaccurate. - Cost of these Arms Codes has been reported @ $27,864.00 plus GST.

Shooters have been given information that this corrective action was at the direct instructions of the Police Minister Paula Bennett.

The officers involved will be better informed & able to perform their duties if they get copies of the Arms Act and the Firearms Regulations (Amended) and actually read them.

Marty K.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

SNEIDER TWO CYLINDER .22" Rimfire Revolver:

Naah ... this isn't the slightly successful Walch 12 shot percussion Navy revolver that I'm referring to ..

- Well this is the Walch but ..
Walch Navy Revolver.

- I 'did' the twelve shot WALCH Revolver way back in June 2015 .. Link:

https://flicense.blogspot.co.nz/2015/06/walch-12-shot-percussion-revolver.html

.. and I reckon that it's bloody fascinating

- But I've been reading again, - and guess what I found in "FLAYDERMAN'S Guide" .. In 1862 a metallic cartridge revolver that used TWO 7 shot cylinders placed 'back-to-back' - I bet that you can't work that one out eh.

- I'm not joking (as I'm a serious Old Fart eh) - but:

Charles E Sneider had a great idea for a 14 shot metallic cartridge .22 Rim-Fire revolver.

On March 18, 1862, United States patent #34,703 was granted to C. E. Sneider for a revolver, illustration 63, with two 7-shot cylinders chambering small caliber rim-fire cartridges. The two cylinders were alike and were arranged breech to breech on a center pin having both ends alike. The cartridges in the forward cylinder pointed toward the revolver muzzle; those in the other cylinder pointed toward the shooter. A long hammer struck the rims of the cartridges in the forward cylinder. When those cartridges were all discharged, the cylinder pin was turned around so the un-fired cartridges in the other cylinder would come under the hammer. The gun was hinged at the bottom to permit dropping the barrel so the cylinders could be reversed.



So - there were at least TWO of them made  .. (one points to the left .. the other to the right eh.)
I reckon that Mr Sneider deserves a round of applause - don't you?

Marty K.

And that's not the only one like it ! - There was a Gardner - a Philip, - an Orr, - and a 'Linberg & Phillips' .. all Two Cylinder Revolvers


Gardner Two Cylinder Revolver.

I don't pretend to know anything about these .. but you might start looking here:

https://www.bevfitchett.us/firearms-curiosa/twocylinder-revolvers.html

Bev Fitchett calls them "freaks" - that's cheeky!

Have fun..

M.K.

Friday, 9 June 2017

'Moro' Warriors STILL Fighting ( Call them ISIS Now):

We've been talking here recently about the American military use of 45" caliber handguns (versus smaller .38" calibers) against "Moros" in the "Moro Rebellion" dated around 1899 - 1913.

1903 Colt .38".

- But current news reports show that conflict STILL continues.

... And it dates back way before the 20th Century, to when Spain invaded and managed to occupy some of these islands for 333 years - from 1521 until 1898 - then the Spanish-American war was on and the USA took-over and 'annexed' the Philippines islands..

The name "Moro" is simply the Spanish term for "Moors" .. what they called the Muslims when they occupied the Iberian Peninsular (Spain/Portugal) from 711- 1492 !
Island Of Mindanao - Has A Large Muslim Population.

When the Spanish "explorer" Magellan bumped into these islands - the Spanish were upset to find that many of the Southern Filipinos were Islamic - as they'd only just pushed the 'Moors' back from Spain a few years earlier in 1492 .. they were not happy.
US Colt 'Philippine' Model 1878 Double-Action Revolver
.45" Colt With A Longer Trigger.

 They, and the following American Colonial Authorities very much favored the 'Christian Filipino' population with land grants and rights. The US became engaged in a protracted vicious war where atrocities and torture were common - while US troops had orders "to kill all Filipinos over ten years old". I read that THREE commanding US Generals were court-marshaled seperately over their actions there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine%E2%80%93American_War

- Since then something like 120,000 victims have reportedly been killed in the last 40 years of 'revolutionary' activity throughout this area with Communists, Abu Sayyaf, and ISIS groups being active.

There is currently an ongoing State Of Emergency and Martial Law in the Southern Philippines.

President Duterte is known widely for his 'militant' law enforcement tactics.


Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

Marty K.



Thursday, 8 June 2017

NZ MP Wants To BAN Firearms Safety Education:

Some idiot MP has sought publicity by complaining about school kids being shown how to handle guns safely by the NZ Army:

https://flicense.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/nz-army-school-visit.html

Education Minister Nikki Kaye is getting guidelines to make it clear when it's appropriate for firearms to be in schools.


"It was drawn to my attention that there was a situation the other day where the army brought some rifles into schools and that's absolutely allowed under the law.
"I've asked whether there are any guidelines in this area and it's clear there aren't, so I've asked the Ministry of Education and NZSTA (New Zealand School Trustees Association) to work on some guidelines."

I'd like to point-out to this Education Minister that I was taught to shoot with a military rifle when I was at school in UK as part of my education around 1959 - and nobody chose to complain about that training as it was considered an important part of my Grammar School education then.

Personally I might suggest that firearms safety education is both essential & "appropriate" for all children in this day of terrorist attacks throughout our modern world.

- Perhaps this parliamentarian would like to explain her reasons for preferring to neglect such instruction.

Marty K.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Battle of Messines 1917 (Mesen):

100 years ago today 7 June - New Zealand Forces had 3,700 casualties  and more than 700 dead in the Battle of Messines in Belgium - where the NZ tunnelers dug under the ridge to place a massive weight of explosives under the German lines that was detonated at 3.00 am and the men then went 'over the top' and followed a creeping barrage laid-down by 8,000 big guns as they charged the German lines

I listened to sound archives of John A Lee DCM recounting what they did on this day (He lost his arm in this war - but went-on to become a NZ Labour Politician and writer).

Very emotional listening.
________________________________

.. For a bloke who never wanted a cat - I got Lulu when my wife 'divided our stuff equally' when we separated  years ago.. I got the cat because she didn't want it .. and she has now taken-in a house guest - a wildling from beyond the wall - that was hanging about outside in the heavy frost for days ... until braving the laundry door cat-flap.
- Trouble is that "Seefur" (C for Cat) eats about three times it's body weight per day and has no manners and no hesitation to just shove my ancient old lady away from the food bowl.

Whenever I move to get-up from the chair the room shatters as both moggies run for it - Lulu heading for the kitchen food bowl and Seefur just runs anywhere in panic.

I'm going soft in my youth .. but I hope the bloody thing settles-down soon.

Marty K.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

French Longue .32? & The Pederson Device?

The not-very-well-known .32" Longue French auto pistol and it's cartridge pointed me straight to the earlier American Pederson Device from 1918.

When WWI ended before the USA was ready - All the Pederson Devices, magazines, ammunition and rifles were subsequently placed into storage - but were later declared surplus in 1931 - and to prevent them from falling into the public's hands, nearly all of them were destroyed by the Army - except for a few examples kept by the Ordnance Department.

 - Fewer than 100 Pedersen devices escaped this wasteful destruction to become very rare collectors' items. They had a big bonfire.

 The Pedersen Device was a secretly developed attachment for the M1903 Springfield rifle that allowed it to fire a .30 caliber (7.62 mm) pistol type cartridge in semi-automatic.

 The device fitted to modified Springfield infantry rifles - with an ejection slot machined into the left-hand side of the action - converting them into a rather long 'sub-machine gun'.
Forty Round Stick Magazines Used a Powerful .32" Caliber Pistol Type Cartridge.

 The US built 65,000 of them (plus 1.6 million magazines!) only to have WWI end before they could deploy them into the European trenches. - Here is a link to a Forgotten Weapons video explaining the Pederson Device:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znvzXr3cLD4

But ... That wasn't the end of the US Pederson's 30-18 Auto cartridge
 (- not yet anyway 😆)


The US '30-18 Auto' aka .30 Pederson Auto Pistol Became The French 7.65 x 20 mm Longue.

The French military saw this cartridge at the end of WWI - and were again shown it in a carbine by John M Browning in 1920. - They liked the powerful but low-recoiling round & had a sub-machine gun - the MAS 38  and two pistols designed for it:



MAS M1938 SMG.

 The models 1935A and 1935S are two separate pistols - both designed in response to a 1935 French military competition, and were intended to become the standard French military sidearm. Unfortunately, production, which began in 1937 was run-over and disrupted by the start of WWII.



French M1935A 7.65x20mm Pistol.

These Longue caliber pistols continued in use with the Gendarmerie and the military up till 1970.. It was quiet a hot round originally pushing it's 8x 80 grain rounds out of the magazine at 1,300 ft per second but slightly down-loaded Ooh-la-la for the pistols.

The correct 7.65x20mm ammunition for these pistols would currently be hard to find .. although some owners say that ordinary .32" ACP (7.65 x17mm) can work in the guns. - Hand loaders using modified 32" S&W Long cartridges can struggle to crimp the proper slightly smaller .309 inch bullets securely into the cases meant for .312" bullets.

Marty K.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

NZ Lost Glock Pistol Story:

"Outcome of investigation into firearm left at Parliament in June 2016"
An investigation has been concluded into an incident in which a police Glock pistol belonging to a member of Protection Services staff was accidentally left in a bathroom at Parliament.

The incident occurred when the police officer visited the bathroom on the morning of 16 June 2016.

The police officer subsequently discovered the loss while en-route to Wellington Airport as part of his duties.
He immediately asked a colleague travelling with him to return to Parliament to recover the firearm.

This second officer arrived at the bathroom a few moments after the firearm was discovered by a member of the public.
The officer then secured the firearm, which was intact and unused.
This occurred an hour and 25 minutes after the first officer had discovered its loss.

An investigation has been conducted into the actions of both individuals involved, which was particularly focussed on the steps taken to secure the firearm once its loss had been discovered.
In relation to the officer who left the firearm, the investigation accepts there was no intention to leave the firearm in the bathroom, and the investigation explored the options available to recover the firearm at the time.

This matter has been dealt with by way of an employment process with the individual and the second police officer, the details of which remain confidential between them and Police.

Assistant Commissioner Mike Rusbatch says this was a serious incident which has been thoroughly investigated:
“We are in no doubt about the potential risk which arose from this incident.
“Our staff are human and we accept that the firearm being left in the bathroom was a genuine mistake.
“However, the loss should have been dealt with differently once it was discovered to minimise the risk to the public.

“This incident was without precedent and I am confident that lessons have been learned regarding application of our operational risk assessment model, and our expectations of staff,” says Mr Rusbatch.
Both individuals continue to work in Protection Services.
ENDS
Issued by Police Media Centre

A Modern Unarmed Democracy:

Can you spread Democracy by use of military power?

Democracy developed some 2,500 years ago around Athens and this was the first known democracy in the world. Other Greek cities set-up similar systems.
It was a system of Direct Democracy, where citizens voted directly on legislation and executive bills. - To vote you had to be an adult,(male) citizen.
The word DEMOCRACY combines the elements dêmos which means "people", "district" and krátos which means "force" or "power"), and literally means "people power"
Approximately 1100 citizens (including the members of the council of 500) held office each year. They were mostly chosen by lot to be Office Holders.
The use of a lottery to select officeholders was regarded as the most democratic means: Elections would favor those who were rich, noble, eloquent and well-known,(TV personalities)
 - while selection by allotment spread the work of administration throughout the whole population.
No office could be held twice by the same individual thereby avoiding corruption.
- The lack of any official peace-keeping force meant that most democratic Greek citizens carried weapons as a matter of course for self-defense.
Remember ... this was two and a half thousand years ago.

Now does that sound like true democracy to you? - in complete contrast to that "The Mother of Parliaments" in England - where there is a House of Lords😡 with 800 wealthy aristocrats drawing big salaries and making decisions that suit their status as the rich upper-crust - in between stuffing their faces with subsidized booze & lunches.

- It's not currently illegal to tell lies ..

They've persuaded the Brits to leave Europe!
You Can Clearly See Why 'BREXIT' is in Their Best Interest eh!
"Get Out Of Europe"!

It's strange what people support when lied-to.. The Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Father Xmas, representative democracy ..
_______________
'Banana Republics'

 - Contrast 'democracy' with control by 'United Fruit Company'  now called Chiquita Brands International.(Google it).
"The integrity of John Foster Dulles' "anti-Communist" motives have been discredited, since Dulles and his law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell negotiated the land giveaways to the United Fruit Company in Guatemala and Honduras. John Foster Dulles' brother, Allen Dulles, also did legal work for United Fruit and sat on its board of directors. Allen Dulles was the head of the CIA under Eisenhower. In a flagrant conflict of interest, the Dulles brothers and Sullivan & Cromwell were on the United Fruit payroll for thirty-eight years. Recent research has uncovered the names of multiple other government officials who received benefits from United Fruit:
John Foster Dulles, who represented United Fruit while he was a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell – he negotiated that crucial United Fruit deal with Guatemalan officials in the 1930s – was Secretary of State under Eisenhower; his brother Allen, who did legal work for the company and sat on its board of directors, was head of the CIA under Eisenhower; Henry Cabot Lodge, who was America's ambassador to the UN, was a large owner of United Fruit stock; Ed Whitman, the United Fruit PR man, was married to Ann Whitman, Dwight Eisenhower's personal secretary. You could not see these connections until you could – and then you could not stop seeing them."
Marty K.


Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Not a Bulldog - But Maybe a Bargain-Dog:

I bid-on, by mail and won, an auctioned collectible old revolver .. thinking that maybe I'd try it as a shooter (with light loads) as it has a 'New Zealand legal' four inch barrel. - Here is it's Auction description:

Lot 1943.  .32 S&W Calibre Harrington & Richardson Arms Co Top Break 6 Shot Revolver 4" barrel with Harrington & Richardson's name and address. Bore good. Star ejector.  Spurless hammer. Metalwork with approximately 85% finish. Good chequered hard rubber grips with the "H&R" emblem. Overall length 8". S/N 380. G+WO&C. Estimate $100 - $200.

I own it now and it's registered to my target pistol shooting licence. - But I think that I've got more to learn eh.

Two .32" H&R Revolvers - The Blued Example is NZ LEGAL to Shoot ..
 While The Bottom Nickel-Plated Revolver Is Judged NOT Legal to Shoot Here.


Reading a "When Bulldogs Ruled" story in GD 2010. I learned that most 'Bulldogs' had  unlocked cylinders that were free-spinning until the hammer is cocked.. This maybe explains why the larger double-action-only H&R pictured is a free-wheeling spinner that way and perhaps it isn't actually at fault there.

This was a problematic feature for pocket carry guns - as a partially loaded cylinder might rotate in the pocket and put an empty or fired chamber under the hammer at an awkward moment.

 - This one has a horrible & heavy trigger-pull that is not right and seriously needs sorting - plus the automatic ejector isn't and is jamming open.. But the bore is bright and shiny.. so that's something eh.

This latest purchase may properly be known as a 'Police Auto-Ejecting Third Model'? - but I need to do more research (and some work on it).

Ah yes .. that "approximately 85% finish" is cold blue over rust pitting - but it may be fixable!

Marty K.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Over Cautious Pistol Loading Data?

I've just read how one very honest shooter wrote his story about blowing-up his fine bolt-action rifle (in Gun Digest 2010)   .. He carelessly loaded some rifle cartridges with pistol powder and very nearly killed himself in the explosive demolition of an excellent hunting rifle.

- You really have to stay alert and careful when working with firearms .. and when hand-loading ammunition. Check and double-check. 

I found some loaded "dud squib-loads" recently (again) and when I checked the Lee powder charger disc in the press ... it had spider webbing partially blocking the charger feed bore.. I guess that it had been invaded by a wee jumping spider in the weeks since I had previously used the press with this set-up.
______________________

I have an interesting situation with my loads for my 327 Federal Magnum.  I have some .32" S&W "Long" brass that I'm using for lighter target shooting and 'plinking' recreational shooting.

- This is much like using 38 Specials in a 357 Magnum revolver.

I loaded these 32 S&Ws  with 2.6gns of AP70N powder behind Hornady 90gn lead semi-wadcutter pills. The ADI Handloaders Guide lists 2.7gns as a Maximum Load.

- So I used only one tenth of one grain less than the suggested MAXIMUM safe load.

They shoot very nicely and accurately .. no recoil to speak of - BUT ... It's too light a load. The powder charge has enough energy to push the bullet down range and through a paper target - but not enough strength to OBTURATE the Lapua brass cases - and expand the case to seal the chambers against the propellant gasses.
Look at the state of them - This is new brass only fired the one time.

The remedy will be to increase the powder charge by a wee bit - but how much - bearing in mind that I will then be theoretically exceeding the Maximum Load listed there for the .32 S&W Long?

- I'm going to try about half a grain more of the same AP70N powder in a few rounds - going to a charge of say 3.1 grains or even 3.2 grains and I'll have to 'read' the cases and primers for pressure signs such as primer flattening. - There should be no risk of over-stressing the Ruger revolver as it is designed to work with the SAAMI maximum pressure level of 45,000 psi of the 327 Federal Magnum.

I do understand that the US is a very litigious country - and if I was publishing loading data I too would be very careful .. but there is a risk here that the starter loads may be so weak as to cause barrel blockages and possible blow-ups that way.

Commercial ammunition sellers are very cautious with calibers that have been around for hundreds of years (.32"Short" since 1878 - "Long" since 1896!) - as they might be used in unsafe very old guns .. but surely that would be the gun owners problem?

This over-cautious light loading of 'Thirty-Twos' may go a long way to explain their shooting magazine reputation as being 'pip-squeeks'.

Marty K.