Tag Archives: Rifles

Lever Action Collection

A fellow that shall not be identified has brought in his gun collection for liquidation.  Here are just some of the guns.

Winchester Commemoratives, some in .30-30, others in .38-55. Yes, this photo makes an awesome Wallpaper!

If there are any guns you want – Please come to Basin Sports in Vernal Utah, 511 West Main Street.  You have got to see these for yourself.  If you want to pay for one over the phone to have it shipped to your Dealer – Dude, I wouldn’t recommend it.  Some of these guns have the original boxes and they are DELICATE.

Henry’s US Survival AR-7

The gun shop I work at is now stocking (Well, we got in a few of them) the Henry US Survival AR-7.

Normally, I’d avoid anything having to do with Henry rifles… Not that there is anything wrong with them, I just don’t favor them.  I don’t like Ranch Dressing either.  Nothing wrong with it, I just think it tastes like rotten mayo made for the devil’s own excrement… So it’s just a matter of taste.  Everyone likes different things, and this is why the Gun Industry has such a wide varieties of ways to kill things.

The AR-7 was originally made by Armalite for the US Air Force.  The idea was that this was a part of a Pilot’s survival kit should they be downed in a nice woodland area filled with tasty furry critters so the pilot could have a couple days of hunting before they get picked back up.  (Yes, that was intentionally tongue in cheek) I don’t know how many the Air Force picked up, but they did buy a few.  But not enough for Armalite to hold on to the gun… They sold it to Charter Arms for couple hundred bucks and a bag of roasted walnuts.  Charter made them for a few years and then just stopped.  Henry picked up the old design and is now making a slightly improved version.

Armalite, Charter, and Henry… this is a trifecta of Uncomfortable Dislike for me… As I am not fond of anyone having anything to do with this rifle.   Yet there is something about the little AR-7 that I like.  It’s very light, simple, and it does what its designed to do perfectly.  The gun its self though, is far from perfect… its sights are poor, its action is overly heavy and gritty, and its trigger… well, I have a house full of wall switches that have a better pull… Yet there is something about the collective whole of the little rifle that is most appealing.  It’s not that it is light, because it balances very awkwardly with it’s fat hollow asymmetrical stock.  It’s not that it’s cheap… you could buy a number of other .22 rifles that are more accurate and better built… just better rifles… for the same price as an AR-7.  And it’s not that I am planning on flying over Russian Wilderness on some mission that might get me shot down.  And it’s not that “It Floats”… because I was diving once in a lake and found one of these on the bottom.  (Okay, I had found an older Charter and it was filled with water… Evidently Henry has improved the Floating qualities) I’m not planning on going Kayaking with a rifle.     The AR-7 has an intangible quality to it… something I can’t quantify… but it’s there.  It’s Cool.  The AR-7 rifle is a Cool little rifle.  It’s stripped down and simple, like a rifle version of a Cafe Racer type Motorcycle.  Being Cool, the AR-7 makes no apologies for not having a forearm, good trigger, or decent sights… it doesn’t have to… because it’s Cool.

I’d love one if it had a folding stock instead of the bloated hollow stock.  And I’d love it even more if someone made a version in .22 Magnum.

 

Dear Savage

I really love my Savage 93R17 rifle.  It’s accuracy is staggering. Easily on par with .17 caliber rifles costing twice as much.
Unfortunately you guys have the worst magazines out there. The mag its self is kinda sad, and the way it locks on the rifle is just stupid.  Sharp edges, finicky feeding, and slow to use.
Please do something about that.

Lever Flavors

In one of the comments was the question… What Caliber for a Lever Gun?
This depends on the purpose of the gun. For just having fun, for defense, or for hunting big game? Really it comes down to a Rifle Caliber or a Pistol Caliber.
For a Rifle caliber, you have .30-30, .35 Remington, and .45-70.
For a Pistol caliber, you have .357, .44, .45, or .44-40.
Each option in either category has it’s following. For plinking and defense work, a pistol caliber will do just fine. The .357 is mild and most of those rifles can also run .38 Special. Loaded hot, .357 magnum can be a beast from a rifle barrel… making it just fine for any big game you want to take a bite out of. For defense it’s probably ideal. If you are going to let kids or delicate womenfolk who think they are too sensitive for anything stout shoot your gun, load those .38 Specials and it’s a pussycat.
Stepping up, I really like the .44 option. I’ve killed a lot meat with .44 Magnum out of a 16″ barrel and it’s a bigger push than .357, but very manageable and you can still shoot it fast. With full house loads I’ve made accurate hits out to 400 yards. With Cowboy Action loads, really downloaded lead heads, it’s spot on at 100 yards. I’d have to put an optic on it to really get the accurate out of it that the gun is capable of. But I don’t want to do that. Yet.
I’ve not been impressed with .45 Colt, and .44-40, while a great round, is not one I’ve spent any real time with… only a box or two over the years.
In the rifle options, you can take the biggest game in North America. The .30-30 is the classic and will do most anything you want unless you are Bear Country.
.35 Remington does better on bruin and elk, but has no popularity in the wide open western spaces. A great option for timber country. It shoots much like a .30-30 but does so with a bigger heavier bullet.  It’s a personal favorite as well, but in Utah they are as rare as hen’s teeth.  Hitting with a bigger bullet is always preferred over hitting with a small bullet – when it comes to making loud noises and breaking things.
That leaves .45-70 Government… the authority… the big stick. It can drop anything in North America that has a heart beat, but has some dramatic thump to it… I like the .45-70 a lot… and from recent posts, you guys already knew that.
So for general use and flexibility, I’d probably say a .357 Magnum is the one to go with. This was the original caliber I was looking for in a Rossi Lever with a 16″ barrel.  Waited a year for the .357 before I gave up. But I am glad I did, because I am truly loving the .44 Magnum.  For a tactical, defensive type rifle or a plinker to have fun with… I don’t think the .357 option can be beat.  If you can find one.

My Personal Guide

I had to.  After shooting Evil Jim’s that bloody thing just wouldn’t get out of my head.

I had to join the Guide Gun Club. So I looked at what we had at the gun shop and I picked out this little thumper. It’s nothing fancy at all, just a Marlin 1895GBL in .45-70. It’s going to do just fine for my needs. The Guide Gun has always been a gun I’ve wanted since I’ve had just about all the others. Finally got my own.

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I might have to order some Wild West Guns sights for it… but other than that, I’m keeping it nice and simple and stock.  No rail, no red dot, no “Tactical”.  Just Old School Thumping Power.  Gotta love it.

Ogre’s new Kalash

I put an AK-47 on Layaway today.  I’m going to need it come Spring Time!  I’ve been looking at buying one for some time now, but hadn’t found one that I really liked.    Well, I found one.

The Kalash

This was built by Cugir in Romania, then rebuilt by M&M LLC. It’s been around the block.  Typical WASR10, with some rails and TAPCO stock and trigger, with a Hogue pistol grip.  It actually feels really good.

Crusader is going to be offering an AK Focus course for 2012.  So pretty much I need this, so it’s a justifiable expense.  A required expenditure.   Also, this gun is going to be the test mule for Crusader’s AK work.  What can we do to the AK that gives any actual, tangible benefit… what is going to be worth spending money on, and what’s not.   I don’t want to sell anyone on something that’s not going to help…  If it’s not, we’re not going to offer it.

Now, I have some planned work for it.

BattleComp.  Lightning Bolt.  Ambi-Safety.  Slipstream ST-2 Treatment.  Serious Dehorning.  Cerakote finish.

My last Kalash I got was a Vector Arms under-folder from FBMG back when they were in their salad days.  It was a great AK… very good stuff.  But there were things I didn’t like about it… Sharp edges, thin finish… it wasn’t perfect, but it was very good for an AK.  At the time, it was the best AK I had ever owned, and I have had several.  It’s a shame that Vector Arms went belly up.  If Crusader does get into the Kalash Building Business…  this means Utah is going to get a good in State AK again.

Yesterdays shooting

One thing that I failed to mention… Jim’s .45-70 Marlin was crazy smooth.  The action felt like a Henry Goldenboy, it was so slick.  None of the rough grittyness that is typical of a Marlin, in any caliber. 
My own Marlins never felt half as good.  My Rossi M92 .44 Mag feels really slick and smooth… But not like Jim’s.  He’s been running Slipstream for a long time through that gun, letting it really work in.  Mine will get that way eventually, given some more time.  You feel the new Marlins we have at the store… Slipstream makes a new one feel just plain sad.
Marlin should be using Slipstream at the factory. Just saying.  Because they would then be smoother than a Browning BLR…

Guns I hate.

As much as I love firearms… There are some guns I absolutely hate. No justification… I just hate them. People will of course jump to to defense of these… But I still hate them. The Howa Axiom. The stock is awkward and owners are always futsing with them. The rifles are heavier than they should be. And the stock fore end feels chinsy as hell. The Desert Eagle. “I just want to hold one.” Huge, heavy, ugly, and useless. The Taurus Judge. I hated them since I first saw them. I hate selling them to people who don’t know anything about guns and have the impression that the .410 is some monster slayer. The Henry Golden Boy. I don’t mind selling Golden Boys… I just hate selling them to guys who want to scope them up… No, you can’t drill and tap the soft brass receiver. You have to use a cheesy cantelever mount. The Browning BLR. I cant stand the BLR’s bolt. That gigantic phallus that comes at your eye when you cycle the action… It’s rude. The Remington 700 BDL. Really, who uses the iron sights? Why leave them on? And if you take them off, you leave the screw holes that you have to plug up… So all that nice polished blueing is scared and flawed. Just leave the bloody sights off to start with. Seriously. The Walther G22. The carry handle and rear sight are cheesy as hell, and useless. The gun feels as cheep as something from a box of cracker jacks, and is about as reliable as Joe Biden trying to play it straight. There… I said it. These are the guns I hate.

Remington: Pulling a Boner.

Remington has cancelled production on dang near everything with a Marlin name tag. Specifically the lever action rifles. The Savage knock-off X7 rifles, I believe are still rolling out the door. We’ve had no problem getting those. Just Lever Actions, and the Rep told us that most of the orders we had were cancelled because they not in production. This doesn’t make me very happy. The problem Remington is having is that all the guys that used to know how to build a Marlin Lever Action are all now retired or laid off or working someplace else. This is just the tip of the iceberg that I’m seeing here. They buy Marlin pretty much to get into the lever action business… and then ruin it. Yet Remington is still cranking out the Savage Clones. To me, that makes no sense. If I was Remington, I’d kill the X7 line completely and concentrate on moving Remington’s own Bolt Action rifles. But Remington can do what it wants… that’s fine. But I also don’t get why Remington has moved the Sendero rifle to the Custom Shop, which has a completely different Dealer Program. What was one of the best production guns they made, and one of the most popular out here in my area of operation… they go and hamstring it.
I can’t get the Marlin Lever Actions to sell and now the Senderos are going to be difficult… Great. No, really… You guys concentrate on getting that ACR Contract and ignore the Hunters that have made Remington what it is. That’s a good plan. Worked great for Colt.
Here’s the deal… if you guys can’t sort out production of a gun made since the 1800′s… sell Marlin to someone who can actually build the things. Springfield would be great. Lifetime warranty, aggressive marketing, customer service like Marlin has never had before, and custom shop work that’s top notch. That would give Springfield some serious Hunting chops in the industry. I’d love to see Springfield own Marlin.
I can get worked up about Lever Actions… I love them. I have always loved them. And Marlin has always been a favorite brand. Most of the deer I’ve taken was with a .44 Mag Marlin 336… So it has a solid place in my heart. And we can’t even get any of the Marlin pistol calibers. I could have sold a hundred this summer… instead, I sold none. Can’t sell it if I can’t get it. Come on Remington!

Less than ideal

.300 RUM, Elk, 225 yards, perfect side shot, well placed hit, Hornady GMX. Complete pass through with evidently no expansion.
I would say this is a perfect example of too much gun for the game/range. Well, specifically too much bullet.  Animal was tracked over a mile before it was located laying down… still breathing, still bleeding. The bullet had torn through both lungs and a ventricle of the heart, but not much actual damage. Without expansion, there was very little shock effect… almost no blood-shot tissues internally, and the exit wound looked like maybe a .40 caliber hole.  The hit was observed, clean, and animal was able to run away without so much as a limp.
Take the same situation, same animal, same range, same gun… and load the SST bullet instead of the solid, or a classic Sierra Game King, and I bet that beast would have been dead right there… because that’s what I’ve witnessed before. Bullets that open up faster will deliver more shock, and that is what’s going to put the animal on the ground. Roy Weatherby discovered this many decades ago, and evidently this is a lesson we are still learning.