Mousegunner's Archived Observations

NOVEMBER 2010

Firing pin protruding from bolt faceNovember 30, 2010 -- Don't take anything for granted...When you assume things, you can get into trouble. For example, I assumed that my friend would have disassembled and cleaned the SKS, after he took it shooting. I always do that. I assume all other shooters do that, too. But I have another habit, and that is that whenever I get a new gun I take it apart, look for problems, clean and oil. So, when I took the SKS apart I discovered that there was a lot of oily residue mixed with burned powder residue, a gunky mess. And, the firing pin was NOT moving freely in its channel in the bolt carrier. As I mentioned yesterday, a sticky firing pin can lead to "slam fires" and trouble! I'm fresh out of brake cleaner, so I'll pick some up today at WalMart, and clean out that channel and pin. It would probably be good to take apart the bolt carrier and clean the firing pin directly, however I don't have a set of punches, and I believe the brake cleaner will do the job. (If you click on the firing pin photo at the beginning of this paragraph, you will get an enlargement and birds-eye view of the firing pin and bolt carrier.)
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November 29, 2010 -- My First SKS Has Come Home Again...

Three years ago I bought my first SKS. It was a Yugoslavian model, with the grenade launcher on the end of the barrel. It's one of those that was re-furbished by the Yugoslavian government, and then stored away and never used. I bought it from a fellow in Knoxville, TN for $250.00. It still smelled strongly of the preservative cosmoline (and I like that smell)! I took it apart and cleaned the bolt and firing pin channel. NOTE: It is crucial with any SKS that you clean the firing pin channel thoroughly. The pin should be free to rattle back and forth. Sometimes if the channel is gummed up, the firing pin can stick and protrude, and then you can have an SKS that wants to act like a machine gun. All ten rounds may fire off with a single pull of the trigger. This can get you into a lot of trouble! I varnished the stock, too, because the only finish it had was cosmoline. I can't remember why, but I sold this Yugo SKS to a friend of mine. During the next 2.5 years I owned several other Chinese SKSs, and eventually traded or sold those, too. Recently I came into a Taurus PT-92 in LNIB condition, definitely a gorgeous pistol. One thing led to another, and I traded it to my friend with the Yugo SKS, and he threw in 300 rounds of 7.62x39 ammo, as part of the deal. So he's happy, and I'm really glad to get my first SKS back again. My friend tells me he only shot a few rounds through it, so it is still in "like new" condition. It still smells like cosmoline, too! I like this rifle a lot, so it's home to stay.
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Comment from a reader..."I don't know much about the SKS except it reminds me of an M-1 I lived with for a few years once upon a time. But I have a similar lost and found story about an old Colt Army Special .38 that I bought from a high school friend, sold to another friend who sold it to my father, who kept it for 40 years and gave it back go me. But alas I'm too much of a pragmatist to keep a "collectable" revolver and traded it in on a new .38 special that I don't own anymore either..." (from Bob)

Sarah PalinNovember 28, 2010 -- Sarah Palin for President...Well, why not? Her name has been coming up lately on TV "news" with regard to a run for President of the USA. Most people say that she could never win, and that it would be a mistake for her to even try. "Stay home in Alaska!" or "You aren't sophisticated enough to handle the Washington DC political scene! Or whatever. I think this is all bogus. If Obama can do the job, certainly Sarah Palin can do it. I happen to think that I myself would make a wonderful President of the USA (my wife tells me I am wrong). And if I can do it, S.P. can do it a hundred times better than I ever could. The most important thing is this: What does she stand for? More than anything else we need a President who stands for honesty, for truthfulness, for hard-working entrepreneurialship (is that a real word? You know what I mean.) Since her failed run to be McCain's Vice President she has started her own business, employing a bunch of people, taking care of her family, and really doing well. I've been impressed by her TV show. She is a lifetime member of the NRA. She knows how to shoot a moose, skin and gut it, and bring it home for supper on her snowmobile. Her husband is a genuine rugged man, who knows how to work hard and run a business. Sarah Palin is a genuine Christian, too. Would you rather have Hillary or Sarah? What Republican big shot do you know that you would honestly rather have as President over Sarah Palin? Think about them. They are all full of themselves, and have become professional politicians. If Sarah Palin runs for President, I will vote for her. I would like to see an ordinary, good person in the White House, and she is as close as we have seen in my time to an ordinary, good person.
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Comment from a Faithful Reader: "Marshall, I might vote for you for president but I think S.P. has morphed into just another rich celebrity who doesn't really have any answers to the problems in America, such as what to do about the very rich. It seems the Tea Party wants to start a revolution pitting middle class white guys against the poor (entitlements, etc.) when in history all revolutions have always been about the poor against the rich."

This comment is from D.B......"The comment 'all revolutions have always been about the poor against the rich' is true with one very notable exception – The American War for Independence. Look up the history – the Signers of the Declaration and the leaders of the Revolution were among the wealthiest men in the colonies. For example, John Hancock was a shipping magnate and the richest man in Massachusetts; John Adams was the best lawyer there; Washington also had built a large fortune; Ben Franklin was by no means a pauper. None of the leaders of our revolution were poor men, and the British were certainly not the poor either. The French revolution which occurred shortly after ours was a poor against the rich – and it ended much differently, as have all other revolutions. We were blessed with a remarkable group of learned and moral people who set up an entirely new structure of government to protect the liberty of the people in spite of the fallen nature of man. Unfortunately, the growth of federal power since the Great depression has produced a continued encroaching upon our liberty."

Comment from Ross..."Sarah Palin is making a lot of money with her out-of-wed lock daughter. How could she be a good president when that activity would take time away from her shooting moose? She is not intelligent enough to be president but then...neither is Obama. Obama, if it were not for his advisors, would be handing over the U.S. to the Muslims gift wrapped. (Palin) is one of the main reasons why McCain lost. As much as the Muslims hate women, if she became president they would have more incentive to attack the U.S. So Leave Palin in Alaska where she belongs."

Osama Bin LadenNovember 27, 2010 -- Full-Body Airport X-Ray Scans...Everyone has heard about these new machines, which can see through your clothing. There is a lot of discussion about how effective they really are. I have read that they are not really all that good at seeing bombs, and that often they cannot see past underwear. But I have read that the X-Rays CAN increase your susceptibility to melanoma (skin cancer), especially if you have already had it. I only fly two or three times a year at most. But, I have had melanoma, so I guess I will choose the "pat down." I really don't care, from the privacy viewpoint. They can pat me down all they want. I've had so many surgeries, and been naked in front of so many nurses and doctors, with tubes here and there, etc. etc. I lost most of my bodily modesty a long time ago. So, go ahead and pat me down! BUT! I object to the whole idea of the TSA searches and X-Rays because I'm sure it is useless in preventing terrorist attacks. The nation is wasting a lot of money, and we are subjecting ourselves to a regimented government invasion of privacy that I find troubling. Terrorists with any brains at all are no longer targeting airplanes. I look for a big shopping mall or public school attack sometime in the future. Then we will have X-Ray screening machines at all shopping malls and schools. And these measures won't stop terrorists, either. Terrorist acts, by their very nature, cannot be prevented by security measures. They are random, you never know where a terrorist will strike, and you simply cannot protect everything or everyone. It's just impossible. But all these "preventive measures" will go far in taking away the freedom of everyday Americans. Personally, I think the federal government should train and encourage ordinary citizens everywhere to carry concealed firearms. People should be trained in terrorist recognition (profiling). And when you see a terrorist about to do his dirty deed, or having done his dirty deed, shoot him on the spot. Question: When on earth are we going to get a federal government that has any common sense about dealing with terrorism??
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Comment from a reader: "There is a high probability of "Never" to answer your question but I would rephrase it to make it common sense about anything. As long as we have legalized bribery through lobbying and campaign contributions in a society that idolizes self-interest and the rich there will only be "business sense" answers to everything. There are billions and billions in profits being made on this endless war on terrorism and I only see it getting worse."

AK and SKS bookNovember 26, 2010 -- Books for Christmas Presents... Well the great Christmas shopping frenzy is underway. Today is the so-called "Black Friday." Merchants are hoping that so many things will be bought today, that their accounts for the year will turn out profitable, "in the black." Today I will certainly not go near a mall or shopping center. Traffic will be a nightmare. But I (and you) can easily go shopping online. If you can't think of a good present for someone, and you know that he/she likes guns, you could do much worse for a present than a book. There are books about rifles, about revolvers, and about handguns. Books about snipers. Books about cannons. There are books which are about just one particular rifle or handgun. There are books that are heavy in text, and there are books that are big, colorful, and ideal "coffee table" books. Just go to Amazon.com, and you will find any kind of gun book you can think of. Buy this week or the next, and it will arrive at your door before Christmas, ready to be wrapped and placed under the tree.
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Comment from a reader..."I recently read "The Modern Day Gunslinger" which is about, as the title suggests, handgun fighting today and since it can be had for under $10 on Amazon I would recommend it as a stocking stuffer for any concealed carrier."

Plymouth Rock 1620November 25, 2010 -- Thank you, Lord!...Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA, the holiday started by the Pilgrims nearly 400 years ago. Let us pray the proclamation of Plymouth colony Governor William Bradford: “Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at the meeting house, on the hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November the 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to the pastor and render thanksgiving to Almighty God for all His blessings.” Lord, we pray our American history will never be forgotten, for Your blessings are so evident across the span of these four centuries. Thank you for this great nation where religious liberty has become so prevalent it is taken for granted. Thank you for our freedom of speech and freedom to keep and bear arms, and defend ourselves and the weak. Thank You Father God! Glory to Your Name! In Jesus’ precious name we pray, amen.
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Comment from Bob.....
"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chiappa Rhino SnubbieNovember 24, 2010 -- The New Chiappa Rhino Revolver...I will admit right off the bat that I know much less about revolvers than I do about semi-auto pistols. But this new revolver from Chiappa has a look about it that I think will prove interesting. It's made in Italy, and fires the 357 magnum round. It's a complicated and very different short of design, but it has some features that might be seen as true improvements over the traditional revolver: especially the fact that the barrel fits down lower into the gun, which directs the recoil straight back into the shooter's hand. This should make for less muzzle flip. If you would like to read about it, the most thorough description and explanation that I have found has been written by Grant Cunningham on his blog. -AND- CLICK HERE to find his fuller discussion. It's an enjoyable read. Mr. Cunningham obviously knows his stuff.
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Comment from a Reader..."Hats off to Chiappa for revolver innovation and I do love revolvers. Since the Rhino is not a mousegun may be Chiappa will offer a smaller version in the future. What I would like to see in a revolver is one that is smaller than a "J" frame but larger than a NAA mini and chambered in a self-defense round of at least .380, has a trigger guard and is double action. At 24 ozs. and with a lowered center of recoil, the Rhino probably won't even move off target when practicing with .38 wadcutters." (from Bob)

November 23, 2010 -- .22s That Masquerade as AR15s...

I just received the latest issue of American Rifleman in the mail today, and read the lead article, which is a review of a half-dozen "AR15 Style" rifles that actually fire good old .22lr ammo. They call them "tactical .22s" and they come with scope rails, pistol grips, collapsible stocks and even flash hiders. The prices range from $500 to $700. I must confess that this puzzles me. Why spend so much money on a .22 rifle, when you can get a very fine Ruger 10/22 for under $250, and a nice Marlin 60 for $150 or so? They shoot just as straight, and the bullets fly at the same velocity. I suppose it is the "looking cool" factor. My opinion is that "looking cool" will wear off real soon. Why not just save up a few more $100 and get a genuine AR15? Of course you save money by shooting .22lr instead of .223. But you can do that with a cheaper .22. So, again we come down to the "cool factor." Some people say they are good for training, but if you need to train with an AR-15 you had better just train with your AR-15, and hang the ammo cost. You won't find me buying one of these AR15 look alikes. However, I'm also a great believer in "whatever floats your boat." If you like these things, then by all means go get one, and have fun with it!
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Comment from a Reader...."When it comes to military style rifles I have to admit liking the ones with carry handles which always seemed like a good idea to me for any rifle. I read that article several days ago (digital version) and recall there was one model under $300 but still the .22 versions seem to only have appearance values over a standard 10/22. However, I also recall the saying that beauty is only skin deep but sometimes that's deep enough. :)" (Bob)

Hogue GripNovember 22, 2010 -- Get a Grip On It!... I have found that many of my pistols benefit from the installation of a Hogue Handall grip. These are made of some spongy rubber substance, and slide onto the grip of your pistol, and give you much better control of your firearm. They are inexpensive, usually less than $10. The Hogue Handall comes in three sizes (I think!), Handall, Handall Jr., and GLOCK size (with interior grooves to match the GLOCK grip finger grooves). If your gun has a large grip, you may not want to add something like the Hogue Handall, because it will make your grip a little larger. But if you are shooting a smaller gun, I can almost guarantee you will love the Hogue Handall Jr. I've used them on my P-3AT, P-11, JA-22, sw9ve and even on my GLOCK 22. A similar product is made by Pachmayr. The wrap-around Pachmayr grip is especially nice on the Beretta 92, or Taurus PT-92.
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A Comment From "Ronnie"......."Funny you recommend this grip because I just purchased one for my Ruger 22/45 Mark 3. I have a removable wood grip that is nice but I wanted to augment the grip for better control and feel. I like this because it does just that and allows me to still appreciate the lovely grip below."

A comment from a reader: "I have never owned a Hogue grip but I have and do use a 1-2 inch link of old bicycle inner tube to slip over the grips and it seems to work pretty good for stopping slippage. But it sure doesn't look professional like a Hogue and for just ten bucks the Hogue will be on my wish list."

2nd Amendment USA ConstitutionNovember 21, 2010 -- The 2nd Amendment... The patriots who formed the United States of America believed in the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and enshrined this right in the 2nd Amendment. They understood that rights were NOT grants from any government. Rights come from God Himself, therefore they are inalienable. Government does not bestow rights; and government cannot take away rights. There is a God-given right of self-defense, and of coming to the aid of those in trouble; and this right is actually more of a duty to your neighbor, than it is a personal right; though it is both. God has commanded us to "love our neighbors" and to "do unto others as we would have them do unto us." One of the Ten Commandments forbids murder. The flip side of that commandment is that God expects us to defend life. If you see a murder about to happen, it is your God-given duty to prevent it to the best of your ability. In this modern world of firearms, that means that YOU too must be armed, in order to prevent murder. Jesus Himself told His disciples: "If you don't have a sword, sell your coat and get one!" (Luke 22:36) He was sending them out as missionaries, and He wanted them to be able to defend themselves against thieves and murderers. So, let's defend our God-given right and duty to keep and bear arms. (I think I'm preaching to the choir, here!)
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Comment from a reader: "I could not agree more with you about the right to self-defense but as with most things in life what you do is often less important than how you do it. USCCA just sent an email with a link to the Armed Citizen website about a Mr. Hickey who was involved in a self-defense shooting that cost him months in jail and several years of litigation. To anyone who read the story it is obvious that if you live next door to low-life types you either learn to get along or move. One of Murphy's laws states there are more ways to do something wrong than there are ways to do it right. So, Mr. Hickey's course of action could be challenged but not his universal right to self-defense. God gave us the right (or maybe its really a requirement) to self-defense but once you pull the trigger man's law takes over..." (from a "member of the choir")

Pawn Shop SignNovember 20, 2010 -- My Favorite Pawn Shop... The sign of three golden balls is an ancient mark for pawn shops. There's a "Valu Pawn" in Hixson, TN (suburb of Chattanooga), on Hwy 153, just South of the North Park Memorial Hospital. Some people fear buying guns in pawn shops, fearing that they will accidentally buy stolen merchandise. But most ordinary gun stores take trade-ins, so I don't see much difference. As far as I'm concerned, a pawn shop is a gunshop, that just happens to buy and sell other things, too (and they loan money). Pawn shops have FFLs, and do background checks, just like all the other gun stores. I drop in at Valu Pawn about once a month to see what sort of firearms they have for sale. Their assortment is pretty good, both new and old. If you want a cheap gun, they are the place to go around here for Hi-Point and Jimenez. They have a lot of used rifles and shotguns. Yesterday I spied a WASR AK-47, a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in 40SW (GLOCK grip), a "bubba'd" SKS with a screwed in pistol grip where no grip should be, and about 30 other rifles and shotguns. I fondled a well-used Beretta in .380 (looks like a miniature 92 or M9). They also had an assortment of Diamondback .380s, and some Kel-Tecs in .380 and .32. There was a little NAA .22 revolver, and an old beat-up H&R 9 shot revolver with a short barrel. I took a closer look at that one. I have a nice H&R 676, and so have gotten more interested in that manufacturer. It was cheap, only $89. Unfortunately, the cylinder would not lock up at all, and it would have taken more gunsmith talents than I have to fix it up. I have purchased a number of firearms at Valu Pawn, both used and new, with good results. I've gotten to know the owner, and he calls out "Hi Mouse!" when he sees me. Everyone's very friendly. It's a good place to buy firearms, if you are in the Chattanooga area. Here's a photo from Google of what Valu Pawn looks like.
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A comment from a reader...."My economic status screams for me to buy everything used and at greatly reduced prices. But I've had mixed results from buying used guns probably because I'm not knowledgeable enough on older gun models, judging conditions of use or what fair prices should be. There isn't a "Valu Pawn" type shop in my neck of the woods, so I do most of my window shopping on-line but I wish there were." (Bob)

Dollar SignNovember 19, 2010 -- Buying, Selling and Trading Guns... I know some wealthy people who can buy any gun they like, any day of the week. Price is no object. Paying for ammo is no problem. One fellow I know just bought a rifle that fires Lapua .338 ammo, which runs from $4 to $7 per cartridge! But most gun owners are not wealthy, and we are usually short on cash for guns and ammo. So, what do you do when you spot a new gun that catches your fancy? It takes me a year or two to save enough money to actually add to the number of guns I have. So, if I want something new, I often end up trading. (I count myself fortunate to live in the great State of Tennessee, where citizens are not prevented by the State from freely buying, selling and trading guns among themselves.) Or, sometimes I sell one of my guns, and then take the cash and buy a different one. This suits me fine, because I'm more interested in LEARNING about all kinds of firearms, than I am in POSSESSING lots of them. Most of the time I lose a little money on the deals I make, but I don't mind. I've had the fun and use of the gun for the time I had it, so I feel well-enough compensated. By the way, be sure to check out the laws in your State before you start buying, selling and trading. And if your State limits your freedom, I'd encourage you to move to a State that won't trample on your 2nd Amendment rights. Why pay taxes to a State that wants to step on you?
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A Comment from Bob: "Not being a collector or history buff, I manage to keep my wish list in check by making all entries have a practical value or be a replacement. Needless to say, once smitten with a new gun model I can become obsessed with the question of how to own and pay for it and do I have to tell my wife...I'm not sure what the laws are in Indiana on selling guns to individuals but I only deal with FFL's and here's why: the sheriff in my county called awhile back about a gun that had been registered to me which was involved in a shooting. Because I had sold the gun to an FFL months before and had all the paperwork, that was the end of it for me. And of course my wife got the call first and was about to freak-out until I cleared the matter up. So, no gun shows or answering newspaper ads for me but I will sell or trade to any FFL and throw in more cash or credit to make the new purchase. And no, I've never made a dime on any gun transaction either. Only lost money but I've certainly read about lot of gun wheeler-dealers who have."

Beretta 21a, bobcatNovember 18, 2010 -- Thinking about Berettas...My third pistol was a Beretta 21a (Bobcat), which shoots .22 caliber ammo. My first pistol was an H&R nine-shot 22, which got out of kilter, and would fire reliably. I traded it for some .380 ammo at Darr's Gun Shop, in Red Bank, TN. (Unfortunately Darr's closed about three years ago.) My second pistol was a Kel-Tec P-3AT. It had a problem with the take-down pin wanting to walk out after a few shots, so I sent it back to Kel-Tec. (They fixed it quick and good, and I never had another problem with it.) But I needed a pistol to carry in my pocket while my P-3AT was in Florida, so I bought a Beretta 21a (Bobcat) at Darr's. It did well for half a year, and then the barrel started wanting to come unlatched and spring up in the air, after nearly every shot. So, I took it back to Darr's, and traded for my fourth pistol, a Kel-Tec P-11, which I liked very much. That Bobcat was the only genuine Beretta I ever owned, BUT I find that I do like and admire Beretta firearms. Taurus of Brazil imitated the Beretta 21a, and also made two "clone" variations of the Beretta service pistol M9 (or 92). Stoeger (in Turkey) has also made a Beretta clone, the Cougar. I now own a Taurus PT-92, a slick and beautiful 9mm firearm. I once had an almost identical PT-99 (the only difference is the adjustable rear sight). I have owned a 40SW Cougar, too, which was a high-class pistol. They say that the Beretta workmanship and finish is just a little bit finer than that of Taurus and Stoeger. So, someday I want another Beretta. They make nice guns.
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Comment from Bob: "I've mentioned my interest in the Beretta 21a Bobcat before and what hooked me was the guns operation in the Youtube Review Video. It was spectacular in just about every phase of firing. And the ease of chambering a round either with the tip-up barrel or pulling the slide back looked smooth. It is similar to the old Taurus PT 22 that I have but I have experienced failure to fires, failures to eject, chambering jams, and the slide on my Taurus is an absolute bear to pull back requiring all my hand strength and a rubber jar-opening pad to prevent slippage! But the Beretta seemed to work like a charm in the video and the young demo man easily chambered rounds using the slide only....After firing about a box of long rifles in my old Taurus the tip-up barrel gets hung-up and has to be forced up. Just the opposite of the problem you had. I do not know how old the gun is but it does not have the Taurus internal locking system. Not only is cleaning difficult but I had to take a file to that barrel locking lug and lots of oil to get the tip-up barrel working again....My only thought on using the Bobcat for self-defense is should you bet your life on a rimfire cartridge going bang in a very bad situation AND if it doesn't what do you do then? Tap, rack doesn't work on my PT 22."

Comment From Ross..."I would have really liked the Cougar 9mm or .40 if it had a laser light rail like their .45. I don't know why they can put a light rail on their .45 and not on the smaller caliber guns they make. All gun makers I believe make good models and bad models. The Beretta Bobcat is in my opinion unreliable. I have never owned one but heard horror stories from friends who have. CZ-75 is a great pistol because of its accuracy, although a laser rail is a must for my eyes, and the 75 is lacking one; but other CZ models are either too big and bulky like their CZ P-07 duty. The Sig 226 and 229 are very good but their modular model-- most who have shot it say is not as accurate, maybe it's due to the ergonomics of the pistol or the barrel sight, but many have complained to me on their modular pistol. It seems to me that pistols, like cars in similar fashion, come from factories that make top of the line models or economic, cheap but unreliable ones. Ford makes good mustang cars, but some of their other models are not as reliable or comfortable etc. I don't want to trust my life to an unreliable car or more importantly an unreliable gun. The Keltec is really cheap and has good customer service, but you never know when it's going to misfire. Berettas 92, PX 4 Storms and shot guns are good but their small guns not so good."

22lr  (2) with a .45November 17, 2010 -- The little 22lr cartridge... The photo at the left (from Wikipedia) shows two .22lr cartridges with a .45, for comparison. The first gun I ever owned was a beautiful 22 rifle that had belonged to my deceased grandfather. I was about 16 years old at the time my grandmother gave it to me. I am ashamed to say that I had absolutely no understanding of the value of such a gift. My father had no guns at all. He's 84 years old now, and has never owned a gun. We didn't hunt, or hang out with any families that did. So, I didn't value the rifle very much. To make a long story short, there came a day when I needed bus money to get back to college. Instead of asking my parents for some cash, I decided to be "self-sufficient," and I took my grandfather's rifle down to the local sporting goods store, and sold it for $10. How I wish I could go back and undo my actions! But that's life. I "got into" firearms late in life. I wanted something for home defense. I knew nothing about firearms, but in those days the Sears catalog still had rifles for sale, so I ordered a .22 rifle from Sears. It is a Savage-Stevens semi-auto, with a tube magazine under the barrel. It has always gone bang, never had a failure, over the past 30 years. Now I also have a H&R revolver for .22lr or .22WMR; and a Jimenez JA-22 plinker, and a Phoenix Arms HP22A. The lowly .22lr is the most popular cartridge ever, and maybe a billion of them are manufactured every year. For more info, check out the Wikipedia Article.
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Comment from Bob..."For a whole host of reasons, I too got a late start with any serious interest in guns even though hunting and amateur gunsmithing ran in my family. My first .22 was a tube-fed Remington that would take shorts, longs, and long rifle bullets intermixed and I also sold it (regrettably) for no good reason. Currently, I have a derringer that will shoot .22s, an old Taurus PT-22 that lives in my truck, a 4" Taurus 94 that is my range (and basement) gun, and an AR-7 survival rifle that has been stored for years inside its own stock patiently waiting for some survival type work. If I could only have one caliber of gun, it would have to be a .22.

Classified AdsNovember 16, 2010 -- Read the Classified Ads! I live in a little town near Chattanooga, and receive the Times Free Press every morning. It's a great newspaper! One thing I particularly like is the "GUNS" section in the classified ads. Anyone can run an ad for three days free, and quite often there are a dozen or twenty guns for sale. (Tennessee is one of those great states where citizens can buy and sell guns freely amongst themselves, without government interference.) Sometimes you see some really great deals. Other times the asking price is outrageous. And sometimes the ads are just plain funny and puzzling. This morning there was a Kel-Tec pistol advertised as a "PKBB" in .32 caliber, for $250. Of course, Kel-Tec makes no such thing as a PKBB. PKBB sounds a little bit like P3AT, so I'm wondering if the seller gave this ad over the phone as P3AT, and the ad person, probably knowing very little about guns, thought that PKBB was said. But then, it must be the seller knows nothing about pistols either, because the P3AT is not a .32 caliber pistol, but a .380. I'm guessing the gun is a P3AT, and the seller just gave the wrong info, as to the caliber. $250 is a little bit on the high side for a used P3AT, but not too bad. Someone will probably get a nice little gun out of this! And I have fun reading the ads.
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Baby Browning .25 pistolNovember 15, 2010 -- .25 Caliber Pistols... "Macho macho men" like to make fun of little guns. They say things like: "If you try to use one for self defense, I would suggest you shoot yourself in the foot in hopes of making your attacker die laughing." It may help keep things in perspective to recall that the man who created the legendary 1911 .45 USA army pistol, John Moses Browning, was also the man who in 1905 introduced the .25 cartridge along with the Belgian Fabrique Nationale model 1905 pistol. The .25 ACP achieved widespread use after Colt introduced the FN pistol in the USA as the Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket pistol. In "stopping power" the .25 is similar to the ubiquitous .22lr, the bullet weighing about 35 grains, and traveling at about 800 feet per second from a little pistol. If you have a permit to carry a gun, a little .25 makes a dandy pocket pistol, because it is so small and easy to conceal. Am I recommending a .25 as your first choice for self-defense? By no means. But if you must carry a pocket gun because of how you are forced to dress at work, or in the public eye, then the .25 is an option. It's not a range gun. It's not as good a choice as a Kel-Tec P-32 or P-3AT. But if your more powerful pocket gun is "in the shop for repairs," your .25 could be a good temporary substitute. COLLECTING: In my opinion, the attraction of the .25 caliber pistol is not as a self-defense gun, but simply as something that's fun to collect. People collect all kinds of things: bottles, blue glass, china cups, coins, match boxes, you name it. Some people collect .25 pistols. This makes a lot of sense, because there are so many varieties that were made in the early 20th century. Some were finely made and expensive. Others were cheap Saturday Night Specials. Many sell on the used market for $100 or less. Seems like a fun hobby to me!
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Comment: "Was fun reading about the .25's. I have more fun shooting my Mouse guns than any other.


And the BEST is Seecamp, 5- .25's and 4- .32"s....I don't care for the Seecamp .380. It's really not fun to shoot 40 or 50 rounds in a roll. The .22 are the most fun and you can shoot 5 or 600 rounds without going broke. Love your web-site"....John from Springfield, Missouri

Comment:"I enjoyed your comments on .25 caliber handguns on your website, especially the practical aspects of their potential function and their popularity for collectors. I have over a dozen, many of which are over 50 years old and at least two are almost 100 years old. They are all in pristine condition and I enjoy them immensely. I do not shoot them, but I would not want to be shot by one. They have a wonderful history behind them and they represent some of the finest handgun manufacture ever produced. Thank you, for your website and for your interest in these wonderful testimonies to the genius of John M. Browning".....P.W.H.

Comment:"I do not collect guns as every gun I own must have a functioning role in my self-defense strategy. But I do enjoy reading about guns, gunfighters, and gunfights. Regarding the .25 caliber pistol and macho guys, I remember reading the very 1st James Bond novel where he used a .25 caliber automatic as his primary and only carry weapon! That was quickly changed in subsequent novels because of the "macho image" thing but at the time I didn't know anything about guns and thought a .25 caliber was cool".....Bob

GLOCK 22November 14, 2010 -- GLOCK Fever.... Way back decades ago, an Austrian manufacturer by the name of Gaston Glock invented the "plastic" GLOCK pistol (Gaston prefers that we use all capital letters). Nothing was totally "new" about it. But he pulled together the locking system, the trigger mechanism, the blocky slide running on four little nubs, the plastic grip and high quality workmanship and came up with the GLOCK 17, a high capacity 9mm full-size firearm. It was adopted by the Austrian military, marketed to America, and it took off like a rocket in popularity. Now you can buy a GLOCK in just about any pistol caliber. They come in several sizes: full-size, medium and compact. For example, in 9mm: the G17 is full-size, the G19 is a little smaller, and the G26 is the compact model. The smaller guns can accept the magazines from the larger guns of the same caliber, which is handy. It's also possible to buy after market magazines that hold 30 rounds. It makes you gun look kind of funny, and you certainly can't holster a gun with a 30 round magazine, but it is fun at the range, and the ammo makers will love you for it. I like GLOCK firearms. Over the years I have owned a G22 (40SW caliber), several G27s (compact 40SW), and a G19. At present I am "GLOCKless," because I like to trade for this and that. But I'm sure I will someday own another GLOCK. The trigger pull is light, and facilitates accurate shooting. If I were a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) I would want to carry a GLOCK. You simply cannot beat a GLOCK for day-in-day-out reliability. In that respect, the GLOCK is the pistol equivalent of the famous AK-47. It is utter simplicity in construction. It's easy to take apart, clean and put back together. There is no thumb-operated safety switch. Just pick it up, pull the trigger, and it will go BANG! You can buy a brand new GLOCK for under $500. Used for $400.
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Jimenez Arms JA22November 13, 2010 -- Inexpensive guns. You don't have to spend a lot of money on guns to have a handgun for self-defense, or a rifle for hunting or target shooting. In fact, over the long run, you will probably spend more money for ammunition than you will for your guns. The first gun you should get, if you don't have much money, is either a .22 rifle, or a shotgun. It's not hard to find either one on the used market for about $100, if you scratch and look around a little bit. A brand-new Ruger 10/22 will run about $200 at WalMart, if you want to splurge. A Marlin will sell for a little less. Handguns are a little more expensive. Every so often the gun stores run a special on the Smith and Wesson SW9VE, for $299. Plus there is usually a certificate for two extra magazines, or a $50 cash rebate. So, you can end up with a very nice high capacity 9mm handgun for $250, if you keep your eyes open. (The SW9VE is a S&W clone of the GLOCK 19, which will cost about $450 for a new one.) For about $130 you can find a brand new Jimenez JA-22 at gun stores and pawn shops. It is an inexpensive gun made of an alloy called Zamak. I have one. It holds ten rounds of ammo, and functions reliably with CCI mini-mag .22 ammo, and it is small and easy to carry in your pocket, if you so choose. And .22 ammo is still pretty cheap, compared to the other calibers. If you want an inexpensive 9mm pistol, the Hi-Point C9 costs about $140. It's mighty ugly, but it works, and has a life-time warranty. So, don't let a lean pocket book keep you away from being a gun owner. I do leave you with one warning though: sometimes cheap guns are junk. If you are going to buy an inexpensive gun, be sure to get some advice from someone who knows which are OK, and which should be avoided like the plague. Here's a link for more info about affordable guns.
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A Comment From Ross..."Some of these cheap guns you are talking about are not reliable and I would not trust (my) life to them. I met a guy at the range who had a Hi Point he bought for $125 used at (a) pawn shop and he was so happy with it. I was almost going to buy one myself. I didn't however because at an indoor range I saw another young man who was shooting a Hi Point and it misfired; and when he tried to clear the jam the pin dropped on the bullet. It then fired and the shrapnel blew out his chin. I know that he should have been more careful extracting the bullet, however seeing this gun misfire made me think it could happen in a time when a home invasion is occurring in my house or when I need a gun to go bang, so no Hi Point for me."

S&W BodyguardNovember 12, 2010 -- Pocket Guns in .380 ACP These past two years have seen an explosion in the number of .380 ACP pocket guns available at your local gun store. Kel-Tec kicked off this trend ten years ago with its P3AT (P3AT=P380). Ruger came along with its LCP ("Little Copy Pistol"). Now we also see pocket-size .380 pistols from Bersa, NAA, Sphinx, Masterpiece Arms, Kahr, Rohrbaugh, Seecamp, Hellcat, Desert Eagle, Taurus, Diamondback, SIG and Smith and Wesson. The Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 is unique in that it incorporates a built-in laser. As a mousegun lover I naturally want to own all of them! Unfortunately, my budget won't allow that. I have owned several P-3ATs, but these days I carry a Kel-Tec P-32, which is just about the lightest and smallest pocket gun available. The P-32 empty weighs only 8 ounces, and not much more than that when filled with 7 rounds of ammo. It's small enough to slip in and out of a front pants pocket with ease, and it is very concealable. Some of the .380 pistols approach the small size of the P-32, especially the Kel-Tec P-3AT. But the others get heavier, and some weigh over a pound. That may not sound like much, but a small object weighing a pound can really bounce around in your pocket while you are walking about. Some of these new .380 pistols are also having problems with reliability. So, I'll just stick with my P-32 and be happy about it. If you want a .380 pistol, the old tried and true Kel-Tec P-3AT seems to be the best of the lot, and costs half of what the others sell for. .380 ammo is also showing up more on the shelves than it did a year ago, when it became rare and expensive.
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Ralphie and bb gunNovember 11, 2010 -- Safety First! We laugh at Ralphie in "The Christmas Story" movie, and his mother who constantly scolds him not to "shoot your eye out." But it is no laughing matter. This morning's Chattanooga newspaper brought an update on the condition of a 10-year-old little girl who was shot on August 26, 2010, in the eye, with a bb gun. She was shot by her 9-year-old cousin. The bb went through her eye, through her brain, and lodged in the back of her brain. She almost died on the spot. Presently, she is still in pretty bad condition, unable to speak or watch or respond to those around her. It's a very sad story, and my heart goes out to her parents. So listen up everyone! NEVER leave even "just a bb gun" lying around where children can get it, and use it un-supervised. Even bb guns can kill and maim. ALWAYS teach the rules of gun safety to young people who are just beginning the shooting sports. This is a tragedy that could have been prevented. What are the rules?


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WASR 10/63November 10, 2010 -- Buy An AK-47! I have owned three MAK-90s (made in China), and traded or sold them all away. My present AK-47 clone is a Romanian WASR 10/63, the cheapest and most readily available copy of an AK-47 which you can buy in the USA. I say "clone" and "copy," because a genuine AK-47 will be capable of fully-automatic fire, and there are very few full-auto AKs available for purchase. Can you say EXPENSIVE? (The AK-47s which are typically sold and bought now are only capable of semi-auto fire: one cartridge ONLY will be fired with each trigger pull.) You should get an "AK-47" for several reasons: 1) Prices have come down 25% over the past year; 2) Ammo prices have come down ten or twenty percent this past year; 3) They are fun to shoot, and more accurate than most people believe (minute of pie plate at 100 yards); 4) Buy one because YOU CAN. There's nothing quite like an AK-47 for that rainy day that we hope will never come. I like my Romanian WASR very much, and have posted some information and photos HERE.
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November 9, 2010 -- I'm Back! (Most of you probably never knew I was gone!) I had some computer problems last week, so I decided to buy a new computer. BIG MISTAKE! All you can get these days in a PC is "Windows 7" which I found to be a really awful operating system. I even tried Professional Version Windows 7, so I could run XP in a "virtual machine." Not very satisfying, to say the least. So, I got my old computer fixed and updated, and am once again good to go with a great Windows XP machine and operating system. I hope I can make it work for another five years! Click here to send your comment...

p3at triggerNovember 4, 2010 -- Trigger slap or pinch? Every now and then I get email from somebody who has a problem with "trigger slap" or "trigger pinch" from one of the smaller .380 acp guns (Kel-Tec P3AT, Ruger LCP or Taurus TCP). It IS possible that the trigger, after you shoot a round, may rebound and slap your finger a little bit. Or, because of the shape of the trigger, and the nearness of the trigger guard to your finger, you can get your finger pinched between them, or knocked against the trigger guard. There is a very simple solution to these problems: wear a thin leather glove while shooting. Also, don't use your tiny ten-ounce gun as your range gun. It wasn't meant for that. Fire it enough to make sure it is reliable, and then just carry it in your pocket, and don't use it much at the firing range. If you ever need to use it in an emergency, I guarantee that you won't mind a little trigger slap!
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Bob wrote: "I'm buying my gloves today and thanks for the advice on not only the gloves but the real role of the compact pistol."

Steve wrote: "How I dealt with the problem with "trigger slap" or "trigger pinch" from one of the smaller .380 acp, (Kel-Tec P3AT in my case), was to cut a small rubber tube to fit over the trigger. I used an old stethoscope tubing and cut it to the length of the trigger and slid it over the trigger. This gives your finger a wider contact area on the trigger and when the trigger is pulled to the point it releases the firing pin the thicker trigger due to the rubber tube makes contact with the back of the trigger guard stopping any excess rearward motion. Also, I sanded down the small rough ridge of polymer that runs all around the inside of the trigger guard that can pinch your finger. These steps really helped make firing the P3AT a lot more fun...The P3AT has a bit of snap to it for a small gun, so one more thing I did to it was to cut a small piece of bicycle inner tube to pull up over the grip, kinda like a Hogue grip, it takes some of the snappiness away."

Kel-Tec P32November 3, 2010 -- I like Kel-Tec firearms. Kel-Tec is a company that started out very small over a decade ago in Cocoa, Florida; and is now one of the big boys, as far as handguns are concerned. They make a few long guns, but specialize in smaller guns, that are very good for concealed carry. I have owned several P3ATs (.380 acp), several PF9s (9mm) and several P11s (9mm). My carry gun these days is a Kel-Tec P32 (.32 acp). Kel-Tec guns are not fancy. They have rough polymer grips, roughly machined slides, and not the best bluing. But they are light, economical, sturdy and reliable. The Kel-Tec lifetime warranty is excellent. They represent the working man's self-defense gun, and I tip my hat to Kel-Tec.
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Folded Sub2000November 2, 2010 -- These days I have a hankering to get another Kel-Tec Sub2000. I don't care about the caliber or grip configuration. 9mm or 40SW, either would be fine. GLOCK or Beretta grip would be fine, either one. I once owned a Beretta gripped 9mm Sub2000, and liked it quite a lot. But I found someone with a nice GLOCK 22, and we decided to trade. Financially, it came out about even. But I miss my Sub2000. I saw one for sale yesterday at a local pawn shop, but they wanted too much money for it, and refused to bargain. If they had come down $40, I might have put it on "lay away." Click here to send your comment...

A Comment from Kavoom..."I saw my first Sub 2000 at a gun show for under 325 bucks about a month ago and was smitten. I was looking at AR 15's. I have researched and decided to go after a 9 mm Beretta grip AND to sell my Beretta Cheetah 84F (380) purchased in the early 90's and relatively pristine (fewer than 1500 rounds) in order to get a Stoeger Cougar 9mm. These two seem like a good combination of inexpensive but quality weapons, sharing ammo and possibly magazines (not sure of that yet). For the most part the Sub 2000's seem to get good reviews and it's ultimate purpose would hopefully never be realized while its fun potential would. I have loved my 84F because it fits my hand like a glove and I can hit what I aim for consistently with small groups. None of the newer "polymer" weapons fit my hand right. I've tried them all and would love a Glock but it doesn't feel right. The Stoeger Cougar feels very much like the Cheetah (hmmm, wonder why...) has great reviews and is inexpensive while a 92 or a Sig is too big for my hand and too expensive. I never liked 1911's when in the Marines either as it felt like I was trying to hold onto a brick. I preferred to throw it at people as I was more likely to hit them that way. And my 84F (before warnings on the slide) has great resale value. I could potentially get what I want with only around $250 or less out of pocket and I will be able to 1. find ammo at 2. decent prices. That's a pretty good deal these days for increased capability and more fun. This is a combo I think more people should consider as it is a great value. As I noted, I was originally looking at AR 15's but I never liked the original. I was in boot camp in the third quarter of 1973 and was the last unit to fire the M-14 at the rifle range for qaulifications. I shot 248 out of 250 "expert." They gave us M-16 A-1's half way through after quals and the only thing I liked about it was the weight when the DI's tortured us. I found the A-1 to be an excellent hose but a horrible rifle if you wanted to hit anything with single shots. In boot camp they gave us original brush catchers (three point fire suppressors) after the rifle range AND some of them actually did have forstocks "made by Mattel." So, finding a handgun ammo carbine seems like more than enough to go along with a decent 9mm handgun. Others might want to check it out."