I’m thinking of a Marlin 1895 “Trapper”, much like this one:
However, I’d like it with a blued barrel and magazine tube, stainless receiver, and walnut stocks. The peep sights from Wild West Guns in Alaska, and a Big Loop.
Hmmm… Perhaps – also – maybe 336 version in .30-30 Win.
I’ve mentioned the issues I’ve seen with rifles from Marlin, say the last 2 years. Sloppy fits, poor assembly, bad fitting parts/stocks, and wood on the butt stock that looked like it came from a different species of tree than the fore end. Just not a gun I’d recommend to anyone.
Well, last couple of months we’ve been getting in new Marlins. And I’m very pleased to say that each one has been better than I’ve ever seen from Marlin before. The quality is there. These are the best guns ever to have the Marlin name. The fit and finish are outstanding.
I am dead set on making another tactical lever action rifle. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am going to use a Winchester 92 type platform and I’ve settled on the Rossi example of the breed. I’m thinking 16 inches on the barrel and a scout mount for a low set red dot.
This Caliber Conundrum has me flummoxed. .44 Mag or .357 Mag. I’ve been leaning to the .357 Magnum… However as of late, I am now leaning to the .44 Magnum. Ammunition for the .44 is more expensive, but handloading for it is easy enough. I think I’m going to do a .44 mag. Out of a 16″ barrel .44 tends to gain all it’s going to get and past that it seems to go down hill.
At SHOT Show took a look at the brand new and shiny Kimber Solo 9mm. At for some reason that I can’t put my finger on… I disliked it. No, let me be clear. I hated it. I wouldn’t have one. Even if it was gifted to me, I’d sell to some unfortunate nitwit who would think it was nifty and then I’d go buy something I liked more and could get more use out of… like blister cream or 8 Track tapes.
And now here it is, six months later. To be honest, it’s grown on me. I no longer hate it. For some reason I can’t put my finger on… I kinda like it, and I wouldn’t mind having it. But I’d still never actually buy it.
It’s… hmm… I’m searching for the right word for it… “Nice”. It’s a nice little gun. And perhaps that’s its problem from the start. You see, a universally accepted good gun like a 1911 Commander .45 is great looking gun… beautiful, in the eyes of fellows like me. At the same time it feels just gorgeous in the hand. It fits. It also looks like what a Weapon should look like… it looks like it’s going to destroy something, it just hasn’t decided who yet. It has a form that’s based on it’s function and that function is to put large bullets through bad guys.
And this is where the Kimber Solo Nine Millimeter fails. Even in the name, just say the name a few times out loud… it even just sounds “Nice”. Like something Julie Andrews might have in her purse… it’s just well mannered and nice. Or like something you might spread on a piece of toast. It’s nice… Pleasant, without being fun or too interesting. Like having a Brunch with your Grandmother… nice… And that’s what put me off of the Solo. It is completely lacking in Sex and Violence.
Now, if Kimber was to scale the Solo up… to say .45… then all the sudden it would become very interesting. Or even something slightly different, like .357 SIG. But just a 9mm? Sure, it works… perfectly serviceable. Certainly better than a .380… it’s nice. But I won’t buy Nice. Not for the price. The thing is retailing for about $630 and for that much salad you have a world of other options that are less “nice” with more Sex and Violence.
Can you imagine the Solo in .357 SIG? Kind of like a young Julie Andrews playing a lead role in a remake of Bound. Proper, but she’s a dirty dirty girl behind closed doors.
Alternatives would be perhaps a Kahr MK9, or if you can find one, a Colt Pocket 9 – which I am still wanting one day. A Springfield EMP9 would also be pretty cool. But the Solo 9? It just leaves me feeling less than satisfied.
I think I just might be the first gun writer that has compared a handgun to the star of Sound of Music… Well, at least not to Captain Von Trapp.
The ride out to SLC was fast and the Honda Magna did very well. Save for one small detail. I had thought that the seat was just fine. Unfortunately on an extended ride, the seat becomes a torture worse than water-boarding. The 100 mile range per tank is more than enough. Because at about 60 miles, you have to get off that seat and get some blood back into the buttocks.
At Crusader HQ, I dropped off my ATI Commander for some slicking up and for a new finish… Cerakote. In Battleship Grey. We got the Grey Cerakote in for our customer, who I still can’t reveal. But the color is awesome. After talking with Joe and twisting his arm, he agreed to come with, on a little adventure. I had a mission.
I often get emails asking about what loads to use in what guns… Handguns and Rifles. There is a lot of considerations for what load to shoot, and often the load selection is even more important than the choice of platform to launch it from.
For handguns, I generally like to go Light for Caliber. Picking the lighter load options rather than the more popular heavy options. Reason being, I like velocity in my handguns, which often provides more hydrodynamic reaction that gives more consistent bullet expansion. Take the lightest options, try them, and only go heavier if accuracy is suffering in the light loads. I’ve found that quite often the light to medium shoot the more accurate than the heavier loads, but every gun is different and yours might be different, so you have to try it all out for yourself.
Now, for Rifles… I like the Medium to Heavy bullets for caliber because the heavier ones tend to offer then higher ballistic coefficient numbers that I want for longer range shots.
This is just the way I roll… it’s what works for me… Your mileage may differ.
This is a common question that I get. What add-on’s does one really need? The simple answer is “none”. A basic, stripped down AR is perfectly serviceable. So you don’t necessarily need anything else. Anything from here on that you might add, should only be based on how it’s going to help you do what you want to do with it.
You guys are of course well aware that I’ve been packing a 1911 a lot lately. Let’s clarify just what a lot lately is. About 3 days a week I’ve been packing my ATI 1911 Commander. I’m pleased with it. But the rest of the time, I’m packing my Glock 23. Still.
Reason being, there is no doubt or question about the Glock. It’s going to be there if I need it, and it’s going to do just what I need it to do. Simple as that. Also, it’s packing as much ammo in one mag as the 1911 packs in 2. That’s a bonus. Pretty much, the Glock 23 remains the perfect carry gun.
To many guys go out to a Big Gun Show, and think they are going to fall on an old under valued classic and flip it for a mint. Guys, just because the gun is old and rusty, doesn’t mean it’s valuable. No, Dillinger did not own that gun.