GunBlast Q&A - Archive Page 1

At the request of readers who have noted that the Ask Jeff page has become very slow to load due to the number of questions on it, we have archived our older Q&A. We thought this a better alternative to deleting them entirely; this way, all the Q&A we have posted will remain on the site and available for reading.

Boge Quinn - Webmaster

What would you recommend for a light weight .44. Mag for backpacking, hiking etc?

Russell

September 21, 2009

 

The S&W 329 is a very good, very light .44 Magnum, but is best for a very experienced shooter. Recoil with heavy loads is pretty stiff. A better compromise would be a S&W Mountain Gun or a Ruger Super Blackhawk with the 4-5/8 inch barrel.

Jeff

Hi Jeff. New to your web site, but really like what I see. I have a reloading question, but will comment as well. First, the reloading question. I'm trying to work up a load for a 7MM Remington Magnum using Nosler's 160 Grain Accubond bullet. As you well know, the powder and bullet manufacturers are so litigation conscious, all of their loading data, at least to me, seems very cautious. Wondering if you have gotten any info from other shooters loading this bullet with Reloader 22 powder.

Now for the comment. In reading the comments of others on your web page about our citizenry being armed, I'd just like to say how much I appreciate those like you, standing up for our freedom to Keep and Bear Arms. I'm a hunter, a shooter, a retired U. S. Army Officer and a police officer. I've owned and used firearms since I was 12 years of age and have never once used one unlawfully. But then, I'm not a criminal. The firearms I own have been obtained perfectly legally. I carry one every day as a police officer, also perfectly legally. It is the criminal element of society in this Nation and in other nations that have driven uninformed politicians and the masses to believe that violent crime can be curbed if guns are eliminated. There are mountains of evidence to the contrary. Wherever private gun ownership has been banned, violent crime has increased. Simple as that. As a police officer, I have no issues whatsoever with legal gun ownership or concealed carry. I have contacted many concealed carry permit holders in possession of firearms at the time of the contact without the slightest threat to me - or anyone else for that matter.

I sent a letter to my elected representative the other day. In it, I asked her if she know why the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was the SECOND amendment, directly following the amendment guaranteeing Freedom of Speech. Here's what I told her. I firmly believe our Forefathers were extremely wise in providing for the exercise of free speech. Because, in exercising that freedom, we have the ability to debate. We may debate with our elected officials and tell them when they are wrong and express exactly what the will of the PEOPLE really is. As long as we are a People free to express ourselves freely through the exercise of peaceful dissent through verbal debate, we will remain a free people. Once we lose the freedom to speak and interact verbally freely with each other and with our government, we will no longer be a free People. Our Forefathers knew that. That is why the Freedom to Keep and Bear Arms comes directly after the guarantee of free speech. Because, our Forefathers, having not had freedom, knew what it was to be enslaved by a government. And, they knew that once OUR government moved to deny us our freedom to speak freely, the only way to regain our freedom would be through the threat of, or the actual use of the force of arms. That's why the Second Amendment is the Second Amendment. It's to remind our government what comes next when it moves to deny us our Freedom of Speech. And, THAT is why SOME in our government - and other governmental bodies (like the United Nations) so want to disarm the American public. Once disarmed, the enslavement of the people of the United States to a government that is NOT Of the People, By the People and, For the People is inevitable. Once the American public is disarmed, denying us any other freedom our government wants to deny us, will be just too easy. We therefore, must stand firm in unwavering support and defense of the Constitution of the United States - and its Amendments - against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Thanks for allowing me the exercise of my First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech.

Dave

September 19, 2009

 

Thanks for that well-written and informative email. Many of the emails that I receive daily exhibit very poor grammar and punctuation, not due to ignorance, but laziness. It is refreshing to read a letter that shows care and intelligence in its form and content. Many of the miscreants in our government, and our society, think that the Second Amendment was placed in our Constitution to guarantee our right to go deer hunting. That is absurd, and intentionally misleading by those who promote such ignorant conclusions. On the handloading question, load data is provided as a guide, but an experienced handloader can exceed those limits by carefully and progressively increasing powder charges. However, this must be done on a gun by gun basis. What works in mine might be excessive in yours, so go slowly, and keep in mind that the game animal hunted will not be able to tell the difference in a few feet-per-second. I like to work near the top of the velocity potential of a given cartridge, but settle on the most accurate load, even if it is not the fastest.

Jeff

Jeff,

For a trail gun in the South, do you recommend the Taurus Judge, and if so which model?

Russell

September 18, 2009

 

Yes I do. I like the UltraLite best as a trail gun, but the smaller Public Defender as a concealed carry piece.

Jeff

Jeff , I recently purchased a .44 mag Ruger super Blackhawk. I am planning on using it for hunting white tail in upstate New York. I have a scope for it but wanted to use a red dot. The gun is already drilled for it but I was told not to put one on it as the recoil is too much. what do you think?

ED

September 18, 2009

 

Depends upon the dot chosen. Many on the market are junk. I really like the Trijicon Reflex above all others. It is rugged, accurate, and always "ON". It never needs batteries.

Jeff

I've noticed in some of your videos that you are a left handed rifle shooter. I am too. What are your favorite AR type rifles for lefties, are some more ambidextrous than others? What are some of your other favorite rifles that work well for you even if they are not designed to be left handed? One of my favorites is my Browning BPS shotgun.

Ryan

August 12, 2009

 

The BPS is probably the best pump shotgun ever built, and the safety is right on top, just as God intended. I like standard ARs. Adding an ambidextrous safety helps, but is not necessary. The Ruger and Winchester single shot rifles work well for lefties.

Jeff

Jeff, 

First time question, have you in the past ever done a review on S&W 442 or a 642 and some of the best +P ammo to use in it?

Also as I am a Lefty like you, do you think the Stag Arms left handed Model 2L is worth the extra money over the Model 2? I shoot and carried a M-16 in the Air Force in Germany back in 1985 and did very well will the right handed M-16.

Thanks for your time,

Tim

August 12, 2009

 

The STAG is a very good weapon, but I can use the RH version just fine, and that I what I prefer. I have reported on the 342PD and the 340. The 642 is an excellent weapon, and a very good buy in today's market.

Jeff

Pourriez-vous nous dire quelles sont les poudres adéquates pour le rechargement des cartouches d'un revolver SMITH & WESSON 500 Magnum,ogive de 350 grains?

Merci d'avance,

Jeannine

15 juillet 2009

 

Essayer 42 grains de Hodgdon, H4227, ou H110. 42 grains de Winchester 296 sont aussi un bon choix. Utiliser un apprêt de magnum avec tous ces chargements.

Jeff

Jeff, I just read your 2005 review on Trail Boss powder and have a few questions. Did you notice a decrease in overall noise from using this powder to propel some bullets well below subsonic levels? If not, do you think that is due to the pistol length barrels? I need to load some ammo for dispatching raccoons in semi-populated areas and want to keep the noise down really low if possible. Most shots are less than 25yds, but the .22lr just hasn't been cutting it. We've had a few too many run off to crawl up somewhere, die and stink the place up. I was considering loading up some 32 H&Rs, 38 specials, .45LC or maybe a few rifle rounds listed on the IMR website. What do you think, have any experience with quieter loads? I would be firing these out of rifles with barrels longer than 16 inches.

Thanks,

Adam

July 6, 2009

 

The long barrel is the right way to go. Carefully experiment, and use as heavy of a bullet as will stabilize, preferably a cast lead bullet. Load down as far as you can go without sticking a bullet in the bore. Trail Boss should do the trick for you, but if it does not, try Titegroup.

Jeff

Jeff, first of all I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your website and the reviews and articals you write. They are to the point and no B. S., thanks.

I was reading your review of the Kel-Tec SU 16C rifle which you said you liked and it had enough accuracy to even varmint hunt with. I believe you said it was shooting close to MOA or less with some ammo at 100 yards. I was also reading a review by "nutnfancy" at the YouTube website, he was using two SU 16C rifles with and without scopes. His average groups were around 3 inches at fifty yards.

I like the rifle and was thinking about buying one if I can find it in my area. My question, is the rifle accurate like the one you were shooting or will I be getting the 3 inch groups at fifty yards like "nutnfancy" ?

Keep up the good work, thanks.

Bill

July 6, 2009

 

It depends upon several factors. Some people spend good money for a rifle, and then cheap out on the scope and ammo. Every component has an effect on the performance of the weapon. If you use a good scope, properly mounted, and quality ammo, your rifle should perform every bit as well as mine. Never put a whole lot of faith into someone named "nutnfancy".

Jeff

Jeff, It is 3:50AM here, & as usual, on a sleepless night, I find myself enjoying your no bullshit website. I picked up a Ruger Blackhawk Flattop .44 Special yesterday. 5.5 inch. Have read your article on these 2-3 times & am looking forward to playing with this long-awaited revolver.

Now to the point of this e-mail: B & C reticles. I just ran across your work-up on this. And of course I am using a caliber that does not fit the list. My load is a 210gr Nosler PART. at 2800fps.(By Chronograph) B. C I have a very nice custom 338-06 AI on a SAKO action + Macmillan stock. 24" Lilja barrel. This gun has long been a favorite of mine & I have taken 6 Bull elk & 2 nice muledeer. But my older eyes & slower brain function makes it harder to calculate the hold anymore. Sooo, I broke the bank & got a Leupold 4.5x14x40mm scope with a B&C reticle, hoping this will help. I do not like to make a practice of shooting critters at long range, but sometimes it just works out that way in Montana. Actually, I would much prefer to sneak up on them & use a handgun. The last Bull elk I shot was 40yds. Took close to 2 hours crawling on my belly to get there. I have a certain Whitetail buck I have been after for 2 years now. Last chance was at 317yds but I could not take the shot as there was a hunter on the ridge just above the buck. How do I calculate?

T.W.

July 2, 2009

 

I would start by using the standard setting, as with a .30-06 or similar. However, try it out in the field or at the range. You might need the magnum setting, but I doubt it.

Jeff

Jeff, how would you compare the Ruger LCP with the Kel Tec P3AT? Which do you prefer and why?

Jim

July 1, 2009

 

They are so close in design, that I have no preference. I gladly carry either in my left front pocket with confidence.

Jeff

Great website!

Are you going to do a comparison of all the pocket .380 autos anytime soon?  Do you have any preference?

Thanks,

Dan

February 19, 2009

 

I will not be doing a comparison. I have done a separate review on each that is available. I report my findings, and let the reader decide for himself/herself which best fits their particular needs. For me to make a comparison and declare one the "best" would be both arrogant and presumptive of me. Much like me trying to pick a man's wife for him. What I find to be "best" might not be for someone else. Therefore, I report the facts, such as the weight and size, reliability, and accuracy. Me choosing the "best" pocket .380 would be fair to neither the reader nor the manufacturers. I could not even make this decision for myself. That is why I own several pocket .380 auto pistols. Of the ones that I have tested, they are all good. You will never see another "comparison" type article on Gunblast, as long as I am the editor.

Jeff

Hi Jeff, 

I have a concern about mass gun confiscations in the United States. Do the NRA, Peterson Publishing, GOAL, FFL dealers and others of the gun related trade, have any plans to destroy their membership lists, subscription lists and sales lists, in the event of a forecasted nationwide effort by the government to raid citizens homes to disarm them? I know there would probably be government punishments for doing so but if they really want to be patriots they should do so anyway. If the government trashes the constitution and assaults American citizens they should all do their duty. Do you agree? If you do, could you mention it or post a poll on your site to get readers opinions? The Revolutionary War's first battle was over the confiscation of guns. The legal authority of the time was the one who was trying to grab the guns. I guess the only real mystery is whether Americans have as much guts as the minutemen of the 1770's colonies. 

Jim from Tennessee

February 15, 2009

 

Jim,

In Tennessee, the state keeps no records. After the background check, the records are destroyed everyday. The gun dealers keep the yellow 4473 forms. However, if BATFE walks into a gun store and demands the forms, every gun dealer would likely turn them over.

Jeff

Jeff, I'm glad and relieved that Boge is back home. I've been talking to him about changing his health habits so we can enjoy him in the future. 

Have you guys considered changing the black background of Gunblast to white or some color easier on the eyes? When I read a column for very long, my eyes have to struggle to see the letters on the black. Just a thought. Thanks, 

Tom

February 3, 2009

 

Tom, you're not the first to make this request. I have begun changing the text on our articles to a bold-face type, hopefully this will get the job done without my having to totally redesign the site. All the articles linked on the main page reflect this change, as will all articles going forward. Let me know how it works for you, and thanks for the prayers and advice!

Boge

I purchased a Browning Gold that was taken apart. It is not feeding correctly now. I need to know if you could help me find a diagram, that shows the correct way to reassemble the gun. Your help would be greatly appreciated. 

Chris

February 1st, 2009

 

Brownell's has a great deal of info on their web site. Click on this link

Jeff

Hi Jeff, I wanted to mention that when I read your comments page I was a bit ashamed at the other Australian who raised the pro gun control issue - so I thought I should contribute to your outstanding website.

As a Australian who lived in the USA for 2 great years I came from a background filled with media rubbish about the USA. Hard line stuff - with the only information available to me being shootings and mass murderings and right to carry issues - which if you believed the hype - meant that every American citizen was a gun carrying nutbag who would shoot you for any reason. (hence your other writers views)

Nothing could have prepared me for what I found in the America - a nation of freedom loving people who were amazingly generous and intelligent - who didn't understand the word "No". The USA is the last place in the world with true freedom who people appreciate personal responsibility for their actions. 

I never felt safer in any other country than I did in America, I have experienced far more crime and antagonist behaviour in Australia then at any time in the USA. And its because you have more respect for each other as a result of being one of the only places in the world where freedoms are a part of your rock solid law.

The other "Australian" who mentioned school shootings and violence forgets the fact that so much world wide attention was given and that a school is one of the last places in America where a mentally sick person can be assured of meeting no armed resistance - which is why they do not attack peoples homes or police stations - because their run for glory will be cut very short.

Best Regards, 

Matt

January 29, 2009

 

You, Sir, are much wiser than most. The only shootings that make the news are the ones in which the criminal comes out the winner. Many crimes are stopped by armed citizens, but it does not further the liberal's agenda to report those, so they are seldom mentioned.

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

Love your site, I'm concerned that Hallie says that Bobbies don't carry guns, this is false, we have armed response units in the UK and armed police in our airports etc, wherever they are needed. Increasingly they are forced to carry anti stab vests as knife crime has soared there, 5 needless deaths a week average. Since hand guns have been banned, gun crime has risen in the UK, they have even had to set up OPERATION TRIDENT to deal with the unusual level of violence from a certain section of our male youth, the only people using hand guns are the criminals, sometimes even better armed than the police. The good news is the majority of the time it is to wipe each other out, but still proof that handgun bans don't work. Our Olympic team has to travel abroad to train, PC gone mad and yet no reduction in crime, just the punishment of law abiding citizens that the government doesn't trust even if they do win medals. Women may not even have mace, a pen knife or a sharpened comb in their handbag as should they kill their attacker and that would mean they (the woman) had premeditated killing someone. I had enough and moved to a European country that allows me to keep firearms at home and in the car if not on my person, but only after a years worth of paperwork, medical approval (yearly) and gun club attendance, my neighbours questioned by the police as to if they have any objections, paperwork controls every 3 months, a limit of 7 central fire handguns/semi autos/ex military calibre bolt actions inclusive submitted for authorisation again every 3 years with the police (a 6 month process). This country has less gun deaths than the UK for an equal population, Criminals here don't buy guns legally, they don't do paperwork, intruders KNOW that there is at least a shotgun under the bed of the vast majority of homes, we have the legal right to shoot them within our house if they are carrying a gun and refuse to leave, we may not shoot someone in the back, fair enough, we may not shoot someone with a knife, but then would he hang around faced with a 12 gauge or a 300 win mag? Shooting someone means sitting in jail until proven innocent and probably banned from having guns thereafter, but importantly still alive. Even if my new government was to go English on us, hunting rifles will never be banned, and we will at least sleep at night knowing that we have the right to protect our own lives, something that has been stolen from the English because the human rights of the aggressor must be guarded and that keeping that first world war bayonet or a kitchen knife next to the bed means that you are just waiting to murder the first innocent burglar/rapist in the course of his work. 

Jesus loves life, the martyrs and He gave their lives for our sins but I would rather ask Him forgiveness for defending mine and my neighbours and winning. 

Keep fighting for your rights, they are quashed only too easily.

B

December 30, 2008

 

Thank you for those comments. You have a perspective that neither I nor most of my readers have, and I appreciate you filling us in. 

Jeff

Hello Jeff,

Thank you for all the great information on your site and for the comprehensive review of the S&W M&P 9mm. I recently acquired this fine pistol and am interested to know your opinion on the best personal defense ammo available in 9mm. I apologize if this information is already posted on your site; if so, please feel free to direct to me to it. I know that you recommend Cor-Bon, is there a specific load? Also, the Barranti Leather link at the end of the review is dead, so I am curious to know if they are still in business? Can you recommend any other concealed carry holsters? I am thin and find that inside the pants options create less of a noticeable bulge than any belt mounted or paddle holsters I have tried.

I appreciate any information you can offer.

Thank you,

Josh Latta

December 30, 2008

 

The M&P is a very good choice. Barranti has changed his web address. It is now www.barrantileather.com. There are lots of good ammo choices today. From Cor-Bon, I really like their DPX in 9mm. Also Buffalo Bore has some good loads using the Speer Gold Dot bullet. For an inside rig, the Cross Breed Supertuck is very comfortable.

Jeff

Sir,

I just purchased a Ruger old model Blackhawk in .357 Mag which is in excellent condition. The gun has a very low serial number. It works great but the barrel seems to have some copper fouling. I probably should just leave it alone but the gun is in such excellent shape I hate for the barrel to look anything but pristine. What is the best method to clear the fouling without harming the gun. I am not looking for a quick fix just something that cleans out the fouling. You can contact me at huainantzu@aol.com.

Also, can I order a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a four and a half inch barrel from the factory with some accuracy work done.

Thanks,

Don

December 29, 2008

 

Ruger does not do accuracy jobs at the factory. Try Barnes CR-10 to get that copper fouling out. I have found nothing better.

Jeff

Why do we need handguns? Why do you feel the need to collect them? There are so many handguns in the world. There is no number high enough to count all of them. They are the easiest way to kill a person. So, why do we need them? I don't know if police need them. Bobbies in England don't carry guns at all. I love this country and all we have, GOD has truly blessed us! And I know the Army needs gun. & I'm not sure about the picture on your home page. Pointing a gun at the viewer. Would you shoot a person? And take their life? Let us ask ourselves, is this something that Jesus would do in modern times. Would he own a gun? I am not prefect by any way. Nor, do I think I am better then any one else. As Paul said "We are all sinners of witch, I am chief" I would like to know your answer to this question? 

Hallie

December 21, 2008

 

If we had no guns; no one, not even the bad guys had guns, would we be better off. There are some communities, in the US, where even the cops do not carry guns. Those communities are what we call prisons. In prison, the people who are allowed to enter and to exit are carefully screened. No one can bring in a weapon of any kind. In prison, there are more law enforcement officers per capita than anywhere in the world. Even with all this security, crime is rampant. The gangs rule the community. You either join up with a gang, or you are the victim of a gang. Guns may not be the perfect answer, but it is the best that we have. Guns prevent more crimes than any other deterrent. Without the individual right to carry a gun, gangs would rule our streets. In the US, the communities that do not allow citizens to carry guns have the highest crime rates. A small woman with a gun can defend herself against the largest man. Without the gun, she is pretty much his victim. Same thing with an elderly couple against a gang of thugs. Criminals in prison have, when interviewed, stated that an armed citizen is their biggest fear, and the greatest deterrent to their committing their crimes. I do not know what Jesus would do, but He has powers that I do not possess. He has thousands of angels at his command. Me, the best that I have to fend off attackers and to protect my family is a gun. I would not shoot to take a human life, but I absolutely will shoot to protect one. If some predator tries to make me or someone whom I am obligated to protect a victim of his evil, I will shoot. If he dies, I would not celebrate his death, but I could live with that a lot better than I could live with watching him harm a loved one and be helpless against his attack. The gun is the best tool that I have. The police have guns, and they are civil servants doing a job that we pay them to do. They are hired to carry the gun for us, and to use it if necessary. However, a policeman is not sitting next to me, so until I need one, call him, and he arrives several minutes later, I have to be my own policeman, and protect myself and those whom depend upon me for protection. I keep a gun within reach at all times. That might not be the perfect answer, but in this imperfect world, it is my answer.

Jeff

My name is Zac and I'm a 21 year old elementary teacher down here in San Antonio, Texas. Many twenty-year-olds are excited about turning twenty-one for legal drinking, but not me! I was actually excited about purchasing my first handgun. I ended up with a Taurus pt-145 pro. It's a really fantastic handgun and it feels great. Now, I've been wandering around the net trying to read up about the changes that are tacked on with our new president that effect our right to own our handguns. I'm confused, Jeff. One blog says "They're gonna collect our guns!" , and other blogs say that we're gonna remain unaffected. I find this hard to believe. I even watched the stuff on the NRA website. I just got my gun. I love it. Will I end up losing it?

Zac

December 21, 2008

 

I do not know. Obama's record is very anti-gun. However, I do not think that he could get Congress to pass a total ban. I do believe, however, that any gun restrictions that Congress passes, he will sign into law, because he has stated that he favors a ban on ALL semi-automatic firearms. I heard him make that statement. We have something like 80 million gun owners in the US, and maybe 5 million NRA members. That tells you that most gun owners do not care enough to support the best defense that we have. The NRA is far from perfect, but they are the most powerful gun-lobby in DC. Make no mistake about it, Obama is an enemy to the freedom of gun ownership in the US. We must be vigilant, and keep a close eye on him and his cronies in the Congress.

Jeff

I got a  S&W460 with a 12in barrel  were can I find load data for it?

Name Withheld

December 21, 2008

 

There is good load data available online at www.hodgdon.com.

Jeff

Jeff, Help. 

I am getting a Savage 93r17Classic and would appreciate some advice on a brand of scopes for it. I have been researching them and there are so many to choose from. I am looking at the following brands: Bushnell, BSA, Nikon, Simmons, Barsa.

I am looking in the 100 to 170 dollar range. I am looking at the Leupolds but they are pretty well out of my price range. I would like at least a 4 x 10 x40. Would bigger be better? Are there any brands to stay away from or are they all good now days?

Sincerely,

Pete

December 21, 2008

 

All those that you listed are imported, and some within each brand is better than others of the same brand. If you can get along fine with a 3 to 9 power, that would be my choice, and the Leupold that Wal Mart or the Leupold Rifleman that www.swfa.com sells is pretty close to your price range. However, Bushnell and Nikon both have some pretty good scopes, but the lower end stuff that Bushnell sells is not as good as their Elite line.

Jeff

Would the Taurus 45/410 pistol "The Judge" be a good defense weapon for a woman? Could a moderately fit, 135 lb woman fire the 410 version and expect to discourage a man sized target at 15 feet?

J. Foster

December 21, 2008

 

Yes it would. For concealed carry, the Judge is a bit large, but for home defense or in a vehicle, it is an excellent choice. If dropping a man dead is considered discouraging, then yes, it would.

Jeff

OK, now I have another question. My Rock River plan fell through, and I am presented with another choice. I have already put down $100 on a new Olympic Plinker Plus with an upgrade to a collapsible stock. The gun should be here by the first few weeks in the new year. The total price will be $761.00 with the new stock. Or... I have found a new DPMS flat-top .308 for just under $1200.00. It is optics ready, but includes no iron sights. I believe it has the dust cover, a collapsible stock, and 2 mags. I know these are 2 separate brands/calibers, but which do you think is the better deal/rifle? I can have my hands on the DPMS, but have no exact date for the Olympic. I'm pretty sure I could get my deposit back for the Olympic, but don't know if that is the best thing to do. Please help! Any thoughts or opinions will be greatly appreciated, especially about the benefits of one brand over the other. Thanks.

Chad

December 21, 2008

 

They are two very different rifles, but if it was my choice, I would grab that DPMS. They are now backordered close to two years on those, and finding one for sale is becoming very hard to do.

Jeff


I'm looking for my first concealed carry weapon.  I recently test shot at a friend’s house and he recommended a Bersa 380.  I prefer revolvers though, and was looking for some suggestions on any alternatives that may suit this application and not be too bulky or uncomfortable to carry around.

Thanks,

Terry

December 21, 2008

 

For a revolver to carry concealed, I like a concealed-hammer lightweight .38 Special, like the S&W 642.

Jeff

I am wanting to purchase a .22 semi-auto pistol.  I am considering the 22A S&W, the 45/22 by Ruger or the Browning Buck Mark Camper.  As far as accuracy, trigger and overall quality, which would you prefer?  I enjoy your website.  

Thanks,

Dave

July 29, 2008

 

They are all good pistols, but the Ruger would be my first choice.

Jeff

Jeff,

I'm contemplating my first Colt SAA in .45 LC. I've been comparing the P1840, and the P2840. I've noted the P2840 has a black powder frame. Not  being familiar with black powder as yet, is it possible to use the P1840  with black powder if necessary? This might be a stupid question, but I'm wondering if the P1840 would be more versatile. Thanks for your help.

Brett

June 10, 2008

 

The reference "black powder frame" has only to do with the type of retention device for the base pin. It is just a styling thing. You can use any type of suitable powder in either gun.

Jeff

Le escribo desde San Jose, Costa Rica, me gustao mucho su sitio, me ayuda con dudas, cuando observe su articulo sobre la M&P45 me ayududo a  decidirme por comprarla, con la cual estoy mu agusto. Gracias.

Paulo

May 8, 2008

 

Estoy contento que usted disfruta de Gunblast.com, y que el artículo M&P fue útil a usted. Es una excelente pistola.

Jeff

Hi Jeff I'm a gun owner and live in Australia. We hear all to often about these shootings in schools in the US, innocents killed many injured both physically and emotionally, good folk scared for life. You know more people are killed with firearms in the US each year than are killed on our roads in Aus plus firearms incidents! What is being done about this appalling loss of life Jeff? I'll tell you...... nothing because the average American ego is so large the average American cant pull their head out of their ass to see the light of day. Kids can buy firearms and ammo! What sort of appalling lack of CIVIL RESPONSIBILITY is this. Is the average American proud of this ability to arm themselves? And for what ? To people outside the US looking in, it seems that Americans are paranoid ! Seriously this is how it appears, so much for "living in the land of the free" I love your web site, but heads need to put together, laws changed and the penalties need to fit the crime, here's a thought Jeff. If the ruling was that if a felon commits a crime and has in their possession a firearm, weather it has been produced or not during the robbery/assault a mandatory 20 years jail sentence with NO CHANCE of parole is imposed PLUS time for the offence, I would think twice! Something has to be done Jeff, its all fun and games playing with "big boys toys" but passing the responsibility of owning firearms off to your Constitution is not any kind of responsibility at all! 

Regards, 

Mike Hodgson

March 7, 2008

 

Firearms have been available here for over 200 years, yet it wasn't until our government created "gun free zones" that these tragedies started taking place. These low-life shooters are going to schools to do their shootings, where they know that no armed citizens will be present. When I was in school, many of us has guns in our pickup truck gun racks on school property, yet we never even thought about opening fire on our classmates. The availability of guns is not the problem, it is the evil that is in the hearts of some people. What you do not hear on the news is how many times lives are saved because someone was armed, and stopped a shooter from doing violence. We arm our police, as you do yours, yet in doing so we are just hiring others to do that which we should be willing to do ourselves. It is every citizen's responsibility to protect our own families, friends, and neighbors from those deranged, evil people who choose to do us harm. Adding a mandatory twenty years to the sentence of someone who has just murdered six people is not a deterrent, and most of these scum take their own lives anyway, after their deeds are done. The police cannot be everywhere at once, and usually they can only show up in time to write a report. If someone tries to do me harm, it is my responsibility, not that of the government, to protect myself. Our society today devalues human life, with the gruesome violence in movies, television, and video games. As a nation, we no longer teach our children the ways and teachings of Jesus, but allow them to do everything that they like, get everything that they want, and suffer no consequences for their actions. That some grow up to be selfish, disrespectful, hate-filled brats should not come as a surprise to any of us.

Jeff

 

Jeff,

I guess I may have overstepped the mark with a couple of comments I made, I'm sorry. What you have written does make sense to me. I guess we are from two very different worlds when it comes to survival and thinking about it, if lived in the States I would probably carry one myself.

I guess I went off half cocked so to speak!

Keep up that great web site.

Regards,

Mike H :}

 

No problem at all. I welcome differing views on any subject. I would prefer than people were nice to each other. It is shameful what some do to their fellow man. I do not think that gun control can ever stop violence. A case in point is our prison system. Access in and out is strictly controlled, and there are more police per capita in a prison than anywhere in the world. Guns are strictly forbidden. There are no guns inside the prison buildings, yet murders, rapes, beatings, and robberies still take place in that controlled environment, everyday. Without an armed populace, gangs rule. Evil people will always do evil things. Your comments are always welcome. It is good to hear other opinions on the topic.

Jeff

Would you please compare several of the modern striker fired, polymer frame sa's and rate them from 1 to 10 for quality, dependability, design, features, etc., and of course, your personal preference. I have in mind the new Ruger, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Taurus, Springfield, FN, plus anything new you saw at the shot show.

Thanks,

Rufus Ward - Westminster SC

March 6, 2008

 

I do not like to do comparisons. Most of the new guns all work perfectly, and comparing them only shows what I prefer. What fits my hand might be different from what works well for others, so I prefer to report on different guns one at a time. Coordinating getting all the guns here at once is also a logistical nightmare, as gunmakers seldom deliver when expected, for reasons involving importation and their production schedules. Also, if I leave out a certain guns, readers will complain that I have slighted their favorite gun. The way that we have done it for years seems to work best.

Jeff

How about a preview of the new SW Nightguard Series -- in particular, Model 396 .44 spl -- saw it at the SHOT Show. Maybe compare it to Charter Arms Bulldog (Pug) which you have already reviewed.

Since SW is a sponsor, I should think the Model could be easily previewed, and know you are a fan (like me) of .44 spl.

Have complete trust and confidence that your review will be honest and candid. Besides, you will scoop Guntests Mag (unless its in their March issue) ... but even still, I would look forward to it.

Also have checked out your sponsors' links often.

Don't care for the mixing of the religious and political content though. But as long as the articles and ads are clearly marked, I don't have to find myself subject to them. Please stick to guns and ammo as I believe your audience is much more diverse than you may think.

However, I do appreciate your site and your willingness to present contrary reader comments and opinions.

Jeff D.
Second Amendment Democrat

February 24, 2008

 

 

I have an order in for one. We always wait for a production gun to review. Hopefully, it will be here soon.

Jeff

Great site.  However, I would like to see you a little more critical of products.  Sometimes I feel like I'm reading the company's brochure. Maybe have a counter point paragraph describing some of the problems which were observed.  Nothing is perfect.  Nevertheless, I look forward to your Shot Show report! 

Thanks again,

Todd

January 17, 2008

 

I always report any problems encountered with a gun. I evaluate the trigger, accuracy, reliability, handling, and overall performance. Perhaps I am biased, as I really do love guns. I report my findings, and I do not waste my time nor that of my readers testing junk. I seek out good products, and report on things that I think are beneficial to shooters. I can't decide upon that which will be the perfect gun for every reader, but try to report the facts, and let the reader decide. Same with scopes and other products. I want to review good stuff. I could go to Wal Mart and buy a junk riflescope, and trash it in a review, but that would serve no purpose. I like shooting, and hate typing on a keyboard, so I would rather do so reviewing a quality product.

Jeff

Your website states: "Vote  for Clinton and say goodbye to your guns" (or something like that). Please elaborate. Do you have one single quote from Clinton in which total disarmament of the American people is a proposed agenda? I said "disarm" and not "control" mind you. Will you please provide any verified quotes from ANY current members of our government in which total disarmament is the objective. Senators, congressmen, House members etc...ANY politician who has made ANY statement encouraging complete disarmament.

I am NOT attempting to start a conflict.

If you can provide me with any verifiable proof of a conspiracy to hijack the 2nd amendment I wish to be enlightened.

Regards,

Craig

December 13, 2007

 

The top politicians would never come out and flatly call for total disarmament. It would be devastating to their careers. They want to nibble them away a little at a time. Let's look at the Clinton gun ban from 1994 as an example. They wanted to ban the so-called "assault rifles", so they made a ban against any rifle that fed from a magazine and had a bayonet lug and flash suppressor. When that happened, the AR-15 makers just eliminated the flash supperssors and bayonet lugs. The Clinton whitehouse cried "foul", stating that the gun makers were "going around the law", when all they were doing was complying with the law. Then they got the magazine capacity ban into law, once again attempting to eliminate the guns. What is the difference between disarm and control? How can they control a gun which I possess? They cannot control it at all when it is in my possession.

Hillary Clinton on Gun Control:

Hillary Rodham Clinton offered her support for a legislative proposal to license hand guns. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, would require anyone who wants to purchase a gun to obtain a state-issued photo gun license. “I stand in support of this common sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun,” Clinton said. “I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry, such as Chuck is proposing.” Source: CNN.com Jun 2, 2000

If you own a gun... make sure it’s locked up and stored without the ammunition. In fact, make it stored where the ammunition is stored separately. We’ve made some progress in the last several years with the Brady Bill and some of the bans on assault weapons, but we have a lot of work to do. Source: ABC’s “Good Morning America” Jun 4, 1999

The 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act banned 19 types of military-style assault weapons whose only purpose is to kill people. Source: It Takes A Village, by Hillary Clinton, p.126 Sep 25, 1996

Barack Obama has called for a total ban on the ownership of semi-automatic weapons of all types.

John Edwards has called for reinstating the 1994 "assault weapons" ban.

Jeff

 

Thanks.

You don't need to refresh my memory to the asinine 1994 "assault/crime" bill. It was as pointless as ineffective. The quotes you sent me were as I suspected--not at all what I asked for. I wanted evidence of disarmament. Something to back up the "elect Hillary, lose your guns" statement you made.

Wow. The only thing you could come up with is a license proposal. Yikes!! Run for the hills!!!! I already have one of those actually. I have a Texas CHL (CCW) that I am very proud of.

The only thing bad you presented was the Obama quote. I don't expect much from him anyway.

So where are we? No evidence whatsoever of an attempt to bypass the 2nd amendment. Just some variable layers of gun control. Do you consider the requirement of a driver's license and auto insurance as "vehicle control" ?

Craig

December 14, 2007

 

How about looking at the examples of every nation that has collected the guns of its citizens. First, every one of them, including Adolph Hitler, called only for registration. After they were registered, then they collected the guns.

Same thing happened just a few years ago in California. They wanted to only "register" the semi-auto rifles. Then, they later collected them, giving the owners a voucher for payment to be made sometime later.

This stuff just ain't right. Infringing upon our gun rights is no different than infringing upon our other God-given rights. Hillary proposed a "one gun per month" limit. How about limits on freedom of speech, or limiting freedom of assembly to one meeting per month. No Sir, I ain't falling for it!

If you want to, vote for Hillary. Go be her personal lap dog if you like. I do not like her. I do not trust her. Your "layers of gun control" IS stepping on the Second Amendment of our Constitution. Driver's license is not at all a good correllation. There is no inalienable right enumerated in our Constitution to drive a car. There is an enumerated right to keep and bear arms, and that means to own and carry guns. It also means that we do not need the permission nor the control of a conniving, corrupt, disrespectful, and hateful woman to freely excercise that right. She is not a nice person, and she wants to control your income, your health care, your retirement, and your guns. She wants to control you, and you Sir, do not seem to mind it at all.

Jeff


My boyfriend has a Ruger 22 single six with a 9 1/2 inch barrel. I have looked everywhere and cannot find a holster for it. He would like a leather shoulder holster to carry it in. Do you know where I would be able to find a holster for it?

Christy

November 10, 2007

 

With a barrel that long, look closely at one of the Grizzly Tuff holsters. They are comfortable, and are perfect for carrying such a revolver afield: https://gunblast.com/GrizzlyTuff.htm.

Jeff

I have decided on a Savage 204, but not whether new or used. I was reading about breaking in new barrel and wanted to know if that makes a big difference in how accurate it may shoot. Buying used to save money a person has no way of knowing how it was broke in. Thanks for your help and your insight. 

John

October 4, 2007

 

Look the rifle over for signs of abuse, and look at the crown to see if it has been damaged by a cleaning rod. Don't worry about the "break in". It is like seasoning an iron skillet. Just give it a good cleaning with Barnes CR-10, and start over.

Jeff

Thanks for your good sense about the .30-30.  You and Chuck Hawks can't both be wrong, and here on the reservation we eat many elk every year, all shot with .30s, that call into question the modern obsession with flat-shooting magnums.  A 6-lb Model 94 is the funnest hunting rifle, and perfectly capable in the hands of a decent hunter.

Van

September 17, 2007

 

After all these years, the old .30 WCF still does a fine job.

Jeff

Jeff, I purchased the XD-45 4 inch.  It seems that every time a it ejects a shell after firing it leaves a shall ding about 3/4 of the way up from the base of the shell.  Any ideas what's causing this?

Ray

September 17, 2007

 

It is hitting the edge of the ejection port, but it will do no harm.

Jeff

Do you think someone can learn shooting a pistol from a .22 caliber versus a 9mm.?  My thoughts include cost and can not think of another (cheaper) way to get as much time on the range for the cost of a .22 Ruger.  I understand I should still practice with my 9mm CCW but do not want to waste my time with a purchase of a handgun for cheaper ammo and handgun for practice if it is not worth it.

David

August 7, 2007

 

Perfect choice. I shoot more .22 than anything else.

Jeff

I just read the article on your website about Ruger Bearcats and it stated:

Thus Ruger introduced its “prefix” numbering system in January 1969. The Ruger Bearcat had the prefix of “90” added to its serial numbers. Known are serial numbers 90-00022 to 90-25622.

I have a Ruger Bearcat with serial number 91-002XX. Is it maybe not authentic? It looks GOOD to me!!

Melinda

August 2, 2007

 

The 91- prefix guns are known as Super Bearcats. The major difference is, the Supers have steel frames instead of aluminum alloy.

Boge Quinn

Hello Jeff,

I hope you don't mind a statement. I read some of the questions and thought I might enter a nut to crack of my own. I was in Nam. I used an M14 with selector switch. I pulled Night duty in the Long Bin ammo depot. I used the selector switch most of the time. You can't hurt the M14 (.308). I and others put the M14 through quite a bit of rough handling, dirt, moisture, etc. You can give me the M14 anytime. Thanks.

John in Oregon

July 10, 2007

 

Thanks for your comments, and mostly for your service. You are correct about the old 14. It was (and still is) a dandy fighting tool.

Jeff


Hi Jeff, I read so much about stopping power. My Question is, does a 380 have enough stopping power? Will a 380 go clean through a body? If so doesn't it depend on where you hit?

Rich

April 10, 2007

 

With most handguns, there is really no such thing as stopping power. Too many factors involved. The .380 does not have enough power. Neither does a 9mm, .45, or .44 magnum. A 12 gauge shotgun up close is much better. However, a handgun is a compromise between size and power. I would be perfectly happy carrying a Bersa .380, hoping to avoid a fight. Same with a .45.  If I am ever in a gunfight, I hope that I have a rifle or shotgun, but a handgun will do in a pinch. A .380 usually does not completely penetrate a human torso. You nailed it with your last sentence. Practice as much as you can, and pray that you never need it.

Jeff

A Smith and Wesson Mod 66-1, what does the (1) stand for?

Ed

March 3, 2007

 

In 1977 the gas ring was changed from the yoke to the cylinder, and the -1 was added to the model number to designate this difference. The -1 was made from 1977 to 1982, when the -2 was introduced, eliminating the counterbore for the caseheads.

Jeff

I think killing squirrels is wrong

Mill

February 25, 2007

 

Okay, but it is no worse than killing chickens or pigs or cattle to eat. Unless you are a vegetarian, you have no grounds to believe that it is wrong. If someone else kills your meat for you, it is no different.

Jeff

What is the scoop on 3'' barrel 45 autos? I have talked to many people who believe .45 ACP was never meant to perform in such a short barrel. What are your thoughts?

Stanford

December 26, 2006

 

If set up properly, they work well. However, the hard part to conceal on a 1911 is the grip section. The barrel and slide are easy to hide, and I see no reason to go any shorter than a 4.25 inch barrel. Any shorter, and you are giving up sight radius and velocity and gaining nothing.

Jeff

Explain something to me please. I just read some stuff in the "Politics" section of this site and am curious. Why are all you conservatives so damned obsessed with the Vietnam war and specifically "who served or not" or whatever? Wasn't Clinton bashed by you guys for being a "dodger" not long ago? I suppose Cheney-Bush were REAL war heroes back then huh? Shouldn't you be BLAMING the Dems (Macnamara-LBJ) for Vietnam? Double standard, eh? Strange things occur when you apply logic while thinking.

Craig

December 22, 2006

 

I don't care who served or who did not. I was too young, as were my brothers. Clinton dodged the draft by going overseas, but even that doesn't bother me. I dislike Clinton for his morals. He is a man who cheats on his wife. Anyone who will do that should not be trusted to run our country. It shows a lack of integrity. Many Republicans also lack moral fiber. I vote for people in both parties, and try to vote for whom I believe to be good people, with good leadership skills, and beliefs that are similar to my own. That is the best that any of us can do. Mr. Bush served in the National Guard, which is an honorable branch of our military. I do not know what Mr. Cheney did. It is really none of my business.

Jeff

Well Hello Jeff,

I must admit that after your review of the Bushmaster .308 it makes me rather sick to think they has decided to totally stop production of that rifle.

I must admit that it also makes me quite suspicious about what is not said.... hints of problems in the mass market quality control department perhaps.

Jeff, since I am a fan of testing the poop out of " battle rifles" doing things such as ripping as many rounds through a rifle as fast as I can to see how it holds up, I would like to know if you ever really "torture test" the hell out of a combat rifle and if so what problems (if any) have you encountered.

I feel strongly that if one is going to purchase a military combat civilian semi auto rifle that it should hold up under extreme rapid fire conditions... just as if you were in a major fire fight. Many "authors" are given a far superior rifle so as to achieve the end result of promoting a particular company and its product. To date the only "perfect rifle" that has not malfunctioned under extreme torture tests is the famous AK 47 .   Many of our troops just as back in the days during Nam are losing there life to the far less potent and still far less reliable and high maintenance M16 .223.  and snapping up the enemy's AK 47.

Never do you hear much , if anything from someone willing to publish an article about reliability under extreme battle conditions.

What can you lend to your many readers about the above information and .... What if any brand or maker of a .308 do you feel could stand up to such durability. I personally have seen many fail under what should reflect real all out battle conditions.

I hope you don't mind publishing this, as I hear much that no one is really going to come clean and tell or test a weapon like it should be.... EXCEPT for the makers who often brag of putting thousands of rounds through there rifles and with little to no problems. "Hype" I say, as I have duplicated some of there claims with countless malfunctions and internal parts coming apart.

I truly hope you don't mind editing some of my grammar and spelling along the way. I am lacking to an extent in that department. I think  public is craving your in depth answers in a non political fashion to all the questions above.

All the best,
Louis

September 9, 2006

 

The Bushmaster was a good weapon, and it used readily available FAL mags. When the magazine ban expired, that was an advantage that no longer mattered, and the Bushmaster was more expensive than its competition. DPMS, ArmaLite, Rock River, and others all make good .308 AR-10s. If I wanted to, I can make any weapon jam. That is not my goal when testing a weapon. Put enough crud into a rifle and it will malfunction, even the AK-47. The latest generation of the M-16 is a very good battle rifle, but it must be kept free of oil in conditions of blowing sand, as the sand will stick to the oil. Even the Israelis like the M-16, and it has replaced the Galil in the hands of many of their units. They are now transitioning to a new bullpup design to replace both the M-16 and the Galil. I test weapons under normal conditions. It would not be realistic or fair for me to abuse a weapon until it failed, as all will eventually. Also, testing weapons for military use is not the purpose of Gunblast. I will leave that to the gentlemen at Fort Benning. I review weapons for target shooters, hunters, plinkers, and for home defense. Therefore, testing under normal conditions that a shooter might encounter seems reasonable to me. I do not think that Donald Rumsfeld has the time to read Gunblast on a regular basis. There is a need to test all military weapons under extreme conditions. I just ain't the guy to it. Pouring a weapon full of sand until it fails is no help to our readers. However, that stuff does interest me, and I do read military type small arms reviews, with a special interest in the findings of the US military proving grounds.

Jeff

Hey Jeff,

I really enjoy reading your articles, and I have to say, I will be soon purchasing a Savage rifle on your recommendations.  I do have a question though.  Each time I read your articles, your groupings are usually extremely tight (1/4" or less).  However, I often read that the norm for out of the box savages are about .75".  I was just wondering if there were any adjustments that you make to the rifle to get such good results?  If so, what are they so that I could do that when my new rifle comes.  Or are you just a really good shooter, or both?

David

September 6, 2006

 

David,

When shooting groups, I try to determine just how well the gun will shoot, with little input from me. I use the best ammo that I can get, a quality scope, and use an absolutely stable benchrest, usually the Target Shooting Inc. Model 1000. I try to eliminate all human error, as much as possible. This gives the reader an idea of how well the rifle will shoot. Of course, under field conditions, I can't shoot nearly that well, but knowing that the gun will do its part if I do mine, gives me confidence in my equipment.

Jeff

Jeff, I read your column often, and read the one on the Ruger Mini 14. Partly on the strength of your review, plus my own list of defined purposes for the rifle, plus a lot of other Internet research, I'm about to buy the "ranch" edition of the Mini 14.

The question I have is about the whole "accuracy" frenzy surrounding the Mini 14, and usually stirred up by AR15 advocates.  Many folks seem to feel like 1.5 to 3.0 MOA @ 100 yds (which is typical for a new Mini 14) isn't adequate, but as you said, the Mini isn't really intended to be a match target rifle. 

1. So my first question is:  If you were to buy a Mini 14 today, do you think it's worth the money to get it "accurized", spending anywhere from $300 to $600 on up, just to squeeze it down to 1 to 1.5 MOA? Or do you think Ruger are doing an adequate job of manufacturing it as-is, and you'd just leave it alone and use it for what it's designed for?  I hear that when you get a rifle accurized, sometimes it makes it less reliable and robust....I'm not a target competition person, so I don't know if accurizing is worth.  But I DO want to be able to hunt varmints, etc., and I want it to  be accurate enough to hit them at say 150 to  200 yards using a scope.

2. And a second question is, for a person who's not really interested in a combat rifle, but can only afford ONE super-tough, super-reliable, all around weapon that you could hunt with in a pinch, plink with, and defend yourself with, is the Ruger is a better starting point?  I've looked at the AR15's, and I'm worried about the complexity of cleaning one in the field, how finicky they can get with certain ammo, etc.  I really like the Ruger's looks, reliability, etc., but don't want to get it if it's truly a "piece of junk" as some of its critics claim.

Thanks in advance for your feedback, and for your online columns.  I love reading them.

Tom

July 18, 2006

 

I really like the Mini-14. It is a dandy rifle. I also like ARs. I find the AR system to be a bit more accurate from the bench. However, in the field, I cannot tell the difference between a 1 minute rifle and a 3 minute rifle. There are too many other factors involved. Out to 200 yards, if I miss an animal with the Mini-14, it is my fault. I would get the Mini, and try a few different brands of ammo to see which it likes the best. The only downside to the Ruger is the availability of good, cheap, high capacity magazines. If you want some 20-round mags, pay extra and get some factory Ruger mags. They can still be found brand new at gun shows. If they aren't stamped with the Ruger bird logo, they are not Ruger mags. After firing the Mini, leave the bolt slightly open. I do this by placing an empty cartridge case in front of the bolt sideways, holding the bolt back about 1/4 inch. If you don't do this, be sure to clean and lube the weapon after each firing session, particularly the gas system. Or, just buy the stainless gun and don't worry about it. It is a very good weapon.

Jeff


I have a Ruger No1 that was purchased in 1976 that has the inscription "Made in the 200th year of American Liberty". Is there a collectible value for this gun? I see the current suggested retail for this rifle is $ 1000.00.

Stan

July 12, 2006

 

The 1976 so-called "Liberty Rugers" are beginning to have collector value, especially if you have the original box.

Jeff

Dear Sir, I mailed a $600.00 deposit to Robinson Armament for one of their new XCR rifles - over one year ago.  I have talked to them on the phone several times and I feel that they have been stalling me.  As a 1967-68, US Marine, with combat experience, I cannot accept any M-16 type rifle design-due to the large number of deaths I personally witnessed after the M16 was hopelessly jammed in the hands of Marines being assaulted.  I saw my fellow troops throw their black rifle at the NVA as a last desperate act. Is it time to cancel my order?  Your opinion will be appreciated!

Roy

July 3, 2006

 

I would certainly ask for a refund. That is too long of a wait. I understand your disgust with the M16. It was sent into battle before it was ready. However, the current AR-15 weapons are superb, and very reliable, but that is your call, not mine. You might want to take a look at the ArmaLite AR-180. It is a different gas system, and Eugene Stoner designed it as an improvement over the M16. One advantage is that the new ones can use the cheap and plentiful M16 magazines. Also, thank so much for your service in the Corps.

Jeff

I grew up in a family with guns, mostly rifles for hunting and I've done a little myself but apart from that I haven't had much reason to have a gun. I have friends who hunt and I visit their hunting lodge  a lot and my girlfriend has a house in the woods. Recently I was in the woods by myself and it struck me that maybe I should have some protection as there are a lot of bears in these woods. What hand gun would you recommend as protection, safety and easy to handle? I thought about a .357 magnum but I'm not sure. Can you advise me? 

Thanks,

Bill

June 26, 2006

 

A good .357 magnum loaded with heavy 180 grain loads would serve you well.

Jeff

Hi Jeff, I need to buy a couple of boxes of 38-40 rounds. And what would you say would be a good  cowboy six gun to start shooting as a beginner? Thanks,

Bob

June 21, 2006

 

I like the USFA Rodeo. It is an excellent firearm.

Jeff

I have been to your site and had a look. I read the articles and still have one question. Has it been tried to produce a longer cylinder on the Taurus Tracker, in order to utilize longer cartridges? Thanks.

Best Regards,

John

May 31, 2006

 

Not to my knowledge.

Jeff

Hello Jeff, I was wondering why you do not have any reviews on Marlin lever rifles. Is it because of the cross-bolt safety that you don't like?

Dave

May 21, 2006

 

I like Marlin rifles, and own a few of them. While just about every manufacturer in the gun industry likes to have us review their products, I can't get anyone at Marlin to even return a telephone call. About twice per year, I call the marketing people at Marlin, explain about Gunblast to an answering machine, and leave my telephone number. The gentleman has never returned a call in five years. I have also spoken with their people at the SHOT Show every year, but get not much more than a blank stare from them. Most manufacturers are aware of the value of an Internet magazine, but the folks at Marlin and H&K just do not want us to review their products. At least the marketing lady at H&K came right out and said so. I have yet to hear from Marlin. That is too bad, as they do make good rifles.

Jeff

I'm a big fan of your online magazine (and a big fan of Savage's rifles too) ! My question is about the 6.5mm Grendel and Savage rifles... Since you know many people at the Savage factory I was wondering if they are planning to offer the Savage Model 12  Long Range Precision Varminter in 6.5mm Grendel (since it's just a wonderful caliber) ?

Have a nice day and thanks for the great job you do !

Guillaume

April 26, 2006

 

At this time, there are no plans to do so. However, I was up there visiting the factory about 11 months ago, and one of the engineers had a box of 6.5mm Grendel cartridges in his desk drawer, so they are considering it.

Jeff

I appreciate your article on the best loads for S&W's Model 19 ("Smith and Wesson Model 19, 357 Magnum - Best Practice Round").  Do you have similar favorites for the S&W 586/686 and Ruger P345?

Thanks in advance,

John

March 27, 2006

 

I like the 125 grain JHP in .357 for social work, and the 180 for deer hunting. In the .45, I like Cor-Bon PowRBall.

Jeff

Have you seen or heard of doing a trigger job on the new Ruger .17 lever action? I know of one that needs a trigger job. It has a lot of creep.

Wendell

March 24, 2006

 

Any good gunsmith can do this for you.

Jeff

Can I shoot 22lr in my 22mag pistol or single shot 22mag contender barrel?

Thanks,

Dr. Walt

March 21, 2006

 

It will work, but is not a good idea, as the cases usually split, and can send hot powder gases back towards the shooter.

Jeff

Jeff,  you seem to be a great fan and a wealth of knowledge on the Freedom Arms sixguns.  I would like to know your thoughts on the inverted crown option offered by them.  Are there advantages to this option other than the appearance?  Thanks for your time and help.

Steve

December 26, 2005

 

It protects the crown from knocks and dings that might hurt the weapon's accuracy.

Jeff

Great site. I have a Ruger Single Six (SN# 4592XX) marked under the grips XR3-RED. I want new grips. I'm confused what I need. From what I understand the XR3-RED suppose to be after 1973. Thanks for any help. 

Robby

December 24, 2005

 

The XR3RED has been used from the early 1960s, and is still in use today. It is the most common grip frame on the Single Six, the original Vaquero,and the Blackhawks. Check out Bill Hamm's article on Ruger SA grip frames for more info.

Jeff

Firstly, thank you for such a great resource. I am looking for a new carry gun while at my place of business, traveling to the bank, home, etc. I now have a Para P12 in .45. After 2 months of carry, I tend to leave it at home now more often than not. I thought it was small and would do the trick when I bought it, but now feel that it is just too big and heavier than I would like it to be. Also, I live in South Florida where outer wear is almost nonexistent. I mostly wear slacks and a shirt, tucked in.

Some first thoughts were a S&W Sigma in 9mm, a Kahr CW9, Kel-Tec P11 or possibly a Glock 26. Of course, price is somewhat of a concern. Would you please shed some light on your experiences with the mentioned firearms and possibly throw in your two cents?

In advance, I really appreciate any help.

Thank you,

Brian

December 20, 2005

 

Those are all good guns, and any would serve you well, but they do require a holster, and you might end up leaving them behind also. For everyday, everywhere, I carry a S&W 342PD loaded with blue Glasers.

Jeff

Hi there again Jeff -

You've been of great help to me over the past couple years that I have asked Gunblast pertinent questions regarding my own personal use of handguns.

This is no exception in terms of importance. I am moving my family back to Idaho, as a familial-based continuity of life just isn't happening nor possible here in L.A. I have an Idaho CCW of which I'll also be renewing, and I am highly considering switching from a conventional double action/single action pistol (a Beretta 96D) to a Springfield 4" Mil-Spec .45 (which I also plan to personalize over time with after-market parts, etc.; I'm just getting into the 1911 milieu - and I'm hooked :-)

Would you ever recommend or concur with carrying a SA pistol concealed W/O a round chambered but w/ safety "Off", so as in the moment of needing to defend oneself, one would actually have to chamber a round and then acquire the target?

I ask only because it seems to me that in order to be fully efficient in such a terrible circumstance for anyone, a significant amount of extra training might be required if carrying a SA gun "cocked & locked".

The thing is, after al these years owning and carrying a multitude of different handguns / calibers, NOTHING compares to the utility and just plain old trust-factor of a 1911 .45

Thanks once again - this site is unparalleled - it's the first one in my "Favorites" box!

Regards,

Robb

December 19, 2005

 

I would not carry it with an empty chamber. If you ever do need it in a crisis situation, you will need it quick, and you might only have one hand free to operate the weapon. Cocked and locked is the only way to go with a 1911.

Jeff

Jeff, I just found this site and have read your articles on the newer model 94 Winchesters with the top tang safety. My question is - have you had any problems with your hand hitting the safety back to safe when gripping it to shoot? Seems like it (the safety) would be in the way. I am thinking of purchasing a Ranger model to accompany my Trapper.

Dan

December 18, 2005

 

I have never had that happen to me. it is not in my way at all.

Jeff

Ok, sir, you rock!  Jeff, I greatly enjoyed your write-up on this rifle:  https://gunblast.com/Winchester-Ranger357.htm.  However, where DO I find a brand new Winchester Model 94 Ranger Compact .357 Magnum?  The Winchester web site does not appear to list this particular piece.  Are they currently offered?  I do not have the cash in hand yet so I have not attempted to contact Winchester directly nor have I asked any local gun dealers.  I looked quickly on the Lipsey's site and did not see any of this model and configuration.  I am saving furiously to be able to buy the fine firearm you so eloquently praised in your article.  Hopefully I won't have to accept a substitute or used gun.  Oh, one last question:  How on Earth do I convince my wife that I NEED one?  :-)

Russell

December 17, 2005

 

Winchester no longer makes the Compact, but the Trapper is pretty much the same gun, but with better quality wood, and it costs a bit more. Tell that sweet little woman that it is for home security, so that you can better protect her.

Jeff

I have a guy that wants to sell me a Thompson 1927 M1 submachine gun. Do you know anywhere I can find a price on it? He gave me it to look at and try to find a price for it. Thanks a lot for your help.

Tony

December 2, 2005

 

If it is an original M1, full auto, it is worth about $4500, if it is legal. If it is illegal, it will get you 5 years in the Federal Pokey minimum.

Jeff

You recently reviewed Savage's 12FVLSS. I was very interested in the firearm and tried to further research it without much luck. I found it online twice but it was only in a left-handed, .223 model. It was also not equipped with the Choate stock. Did Savage stop making it with certain features or am I just lost on something.

Thank you, Kris

November 29, 2005

 

The "L" in the model number is for left-handed. The 12VSS is the right-handed gun with the Choate stock, and the 12FVSS is the right-handed gun with the standard stock. They are still in production.

Jeff

Jeff, I have a Texas Longhorn Arms, Grover's Improved Number 5 pistol, 44 mag. # K257. I purchased it new from Bill Grover approximately 12 years ago. At the time I paid approximately $1000.00 for it.  They are beautifully made and is very accurate.

I understand that Bill Grover passed away in 2004 and the pistol are no longer being made.  I did a search to try to find out about a T.L.A. Collectors Association, but found nothing. I would like to know how many were made and the approximate collectors value.  I will be 60 in December and I want to get my collection in order, should something happen to me. Sincerely,

Doug

November 23, 2005

 

Doug,

Bill Grover was a fellow Shootist (www.shootists.com), but as I am honored to be a relatively new member of this fine organization and Grover was in failing health for a few years, I never had the honor of meeting him. I passed your question on to a couple of good friends, gun writers and fellow Shootists who own TLA sixguns, and the following is what they told me.

Jim Taylor is a contributing writer to Gunblast.com, Chairman of the Shootists, a good friend of Bill Grover's, and proud owner of TLA sixguns. Here's what he said:

"Boge .. the 2005 Standard Catalog of Firearms says the serial numbers run from K1 through K1200 ... though I don't know if that many were made. I have one of the last West Texas Flattop Target Models .. it's in the 700 range. There is a TLA Owner's Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TLA_Collectors/?yguid=99412734. Jim"

John Taffin, dean of today's gun writers and IMO successor to the mantle of past greats like Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, is founder and past President of the Shootists. He was a very close friend of Bill Grover's, owns many TLA sixguns (including several #5s), and was instrumental in bringing Grover's sixguns the recognition they deserve. Here's what he had to say:

"DON'T HAVE A CLUE AS TO HOW MANY WERE MADE BUT WOULD GUESS LESS THAN A THOUSAND. JT"

I hope this helps. Congratulations, you have what is, in my opinion, one of the finest sixguns ever made.

God Bless, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Boge Quinn

Jeff,

I am looking for a small game revolver.  I was thinking about getting a Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine and wanted to hear your take on it.  I really prefer a centerfire so I can reload.

THANKS!

Jim

November 20, 2005

 

I have a Blackhawk .30 carbine, and really love it. It should be just perfect. It can be loaded down with semi-wadcutters for edible game, and loaded hot with jacketed soft point ammo for coyotes and such. Good choice.

 Jeff

Since I only have one eye the purpose of a scout rifle; shooting with both eyes open, is moot.  However, I do like the idea of being able to use my open sights if my scope fails.  Having said that I have a question regarding scope mounts.  What is your opinion of the "see-through" style scope mounts/rings?  One of my more experienced friends counseled that the higher a scope sits the easier it is to knock "off."

Stan

November 7, 2005

 

I despise "see through" mounts. The scope should be mounted low to all ow the check to rest firmly on the stock. I suggest a set of Leupold Quick Detach mounts.

 Jeff

Looking for a good deer rifle for my eleven year old. He is a small frame boy . He needs something without a lot of recoil. His shots will be within 100 yards. Most a lot closer. Looking for something not to expensive.

Ricky

November 6, 2005

 

Have a look at this:

Jeff

Jeff,

Since Hurricane Katrina and other disturbing events, I am in the market for a defensive auto loader pistol. I have read your evaluation of the Taurus PT 145SS and it pretty well made up my mind for me. The others that I have considered, however, are the Kimber UltraCarry II, and the KAHR P45. Of the three, which one offers the best all around value, reliability, and serviceability, in your opinion? Also, does or will Taurus offer the PT145 with a Titanium slide? Size and weight are a concern. They offer the Titanium slide in 9mm, but I am set on a .45 ACP. 

Thank you in advance for your advice.

Larry

November 3, 2005

 

All of those are good weapons, and should serve you well. Try to handle them all to see which fits you the best. Also look closely at the Ruger P345, and the Glock. At this time Taurus has announced no plans to offer a Titanium .45.

 Jeff

First time handgun owner here. Bought a Ruger GP 100 357 w/adjustable sight. My question is, can the trigger pull be lightened up, and perhaps the length of the pull shortened somehow? It's pretty stiff and I notice that by the time I have the trigger squeezed to the point of releasing the hammer (the end of it's travel) it is beginning to pinch my fingertip between the trigger and trigger guard and would be nice if it released the hammer about 1/8" further out. Any of this possible?

Thank You,

Runswith Scissors
Reseda, CA

November 1, 2005

 

You have chosen a fine weapon. Wolff Springs sells a lighter trigger spring for the GP.

 Jeff

I'm a person who likes to shoot but is on a tight budget but i want to be able to go hunting medium-size game. What kind of rifle do you recommend?

Noah

October 30, 2005

 

It would be hard to beat the new Stevens 200 for a new rifle. A good used .30-30 lever action Marlin or Winchester can be purchased fairly cheaply, and would also serve you well.

 Jeff

I am just about to head back from Iraq after a 18 month deployment (oh JOY! not..) anyways, so I'm looking into picking up a good .44mag lever gun and a revolver in the same caliber that I can use to hunt everything from deer, to the hogs and javalina in Texas...what rifles do you suggest? Also, do you think that the 44mag in a lever gun is a bit much for my very small woman (5'3" 114lbs, but she says she's 'sturdy') what sorta things might i do to make this a more pleasant experience for her?

Spc Eric Billings
Bco 2-116th
Kirkuk, Iraq

October 25, 2005

 

I would buy the Winchester Trapper and a Ruger Super Blackhawk. Both can use mild-recoiling .44 Special ammo for practice.

 Jeff

I was recently mugged, and am now extremely cautious about security, especially in my car. Is there a pistol of some sort that would fit in my glove box or under my seat, or even in my handbag?

Meryl

October 25, 2005

 

I suggest a small revolver, such as a Ruger SP101 or a S&W five-shot small frame gun, along with good training.

 Jeff

I'm just wondering what would be the best blaster for dealing with bullet proof vests?

Duncan

October 18, 2005

 

There is no such thing as a bullet proof vest.

 Jeff

I have two(2) questions to ask.

1)I would like to know what you would suggest as the absolute best .45 ACP ammunition for self defense. Recoil is no issue to me. I am currently carrying a Wilson Combat Protector and/or a Wilson Combat Protector.

2)I keep a Remington 870 loaded with full house slugs for backup in my truck say the need arise. The problem is i am looking for a high powered revolver to store instead for trips that i take were space may be limited, what would you suggest.

Mark

October 16, 2005

 

 

 

Jeff

Jeff,

I have got a Ruger Single Six .22LR Revolver,  5 1/2" barrel, with the 3 screw, flat gate, and they have set of Ruger Ivory Grips on them.  Now I can find out what the gun is worth, but I can not find a value on the amount the gun is would the ivory grips on it.  I am trying to find out as much as I can about this gun before listing it for sale in our gun shop.  Any information someone could give me would help much.  Thanks y'all in advance.

Amber

October 16, 2005

 

 

If the grips are original, they would add about $400 to the value.

Jeff

Hi there.

I aim (pardon the pun) to put an XS Ghost Ring sight system on my Marlin Guide Gun and will remove the factory rear sight at the same time. It occurs to me, however, that in removing the original rear sight I would be creating a gap in the gun's "lines".

My question is:  Is there such a thing as a filler piece of some description made by anybody? It'd be nice to remove that sight and retain the integrity of the gun's good looks.

Russ

October 12, 2005

 

 

There is. It is a 3/8 inch dovetail filler, available here:   www.brownells.com

 

I just started reloading primers in used casings and will be adding wax bullets for indoor practice shooting over the winter. I've been using the Lee auto prime system to put in the primers. I am careful to ensure that the primer fits flush to the shell. My problem is this. After firing, the spent primer backs out of the casing just enough to prevent the cylinder from turning. I use a .45 cal. Ruger Vaquero and have to remove the cylinder after each time I fire. Is this because the used casing may be misshapen from prior use? Would I be better off using shells just fired once by myself. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated

David

October 11, 2005

 

 

When shooting wax bullets, you need to set aside some cases just for this, and not use them for regular bullet loads. For your wax bullets, you must drill out the flash hole in the primer pocket to a larger diameter. A one-eighth drill bit works well. With the larger flash hole, your primers will not back out of the case.

 

Hi, I am on a quest. I recently bought one of the new Bushmaster Carbon-15 pistols, type 97S with the full rail. I love the pistol and am desperately trying to find a thigh holster rig for it.  I found a photo of one for an M-4 carbine rifle but was told it was from a Korean website.  I hope you have a suggestion or if you can point me in the direction of someone who can custom make one.  Thanks

Dean

October 10, 2005

 

 

Contact Bob Mernickle, and tell him that I sent you. I am pretty sure that he will make one for you.  www.mernickleholsters.com

 

Hello:  I just finished an older review of the Winchester Ranger 357.  I bought one a couple of years ago and it has become a favorite.  I would like to mount an aperture rear sight instead of a scope on this angle eject model without drilling for a side mount. Do you know what may be available using the factory scope holes?

Thanks,

Terry

October 8, 2005

 

 

Look at these:

They are available from Brownells at:  www.brownells.com

 Jeff

Good Afternoon,

I am looking for your opinion on bore sights. Just wondering what type or brand you prefer?

Thanks.

Gary

October 7, 2005

 

 

I do not use them.

 Jeff

I bought a Ruger  Super Red Hawk 454 Casull with a 7 1/2" barrel from a buddy of mine. What is the maximum range of this gun for shooting a whitetail deer? What range would you recommend for sighting in the scope? 

Thanks,

Tom

October 6, 2005

 

 

I would sight it in for 100 yards, and limit your shots to the distance that you can hit an eight-inch paper plate everytime from an offhand position.

 Jeff

I am involved with Cowboy Action Shooting. I want to reload some 45 LC for my rifle.  I have been told I cannot use round nose lead bullets because they may impact the primer on the round in front of it while in the tube magazine.

QUESTION:  Is there a good way to flatten the end of the round nose bullets before they are put into the case, thus forming a legal "round nose flat point?

Lefty in Utah

October 6, 2005

 

 

There are many RNFP bullets on the market today. Most lead bullets for CAS are made this way.

 Jeff

I have a Taurus 605 2inch barrel and i read your article about Trail Boss powder and was wandering if it would be a good choice for light target loads in 357 and 38spc. New to your website and really enjoy it. Hope to become a member soon.

THANKS,

HENRY

October 5, 2005

 

 

Sir, Trail Boss should be perfect for that.

 

What is the difference if any between a (scout) scope and a handgun scope?

Len

October 3, 2005

 

 

Scout scopes usually have the eye relief set up for mounting about 8 to 12 inches from the shooter's eye. Handgun scopes are built for eye relief out at arms' length.

 Jeff

I am looking for some bullets (Hard Cast or Jacketed) to load in an older Ruger Vaquaro .45 Colt.  I would use them primarily for Brown/Black Bear protection here in Alaska.  I normally shoot Cowboy Action with my reloads that run around 750 - 800 fps or so. What would your recommendation be; as I don't want to buy a .44 Mag and don't like excessive recoil?

Thanks,
Greg

October 2, 2005

 

 

I would load some heavy, like a 300 grain, cast bullet from Cast Performance or Mt. Baldy to about 1000 feet per second. They will do the job well, without excessive recoil.

 

Jeff, can I shot 300 +P+ Ammo  in my new Beretta Stampede 45 LC?  It almost comes up to a 44 Mag. Load in ballistics. I own a Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk 44 Mag. 7.5 in barrel but it is heavier than I want to carry.  What Load could I use in the New Beretta to Deer Hunt without blowing up my gun?  Will it stand the power that a Ruger will? Or should I just stick with the Ruger Blackhawk 44 Mag. for hunting? 

You guys have a great site and I'm especially proud that you are Tennesseans. You certainly have the greatest influence on my gun decisions and purchases.

Hagan

September 30, 2005

 

Not unless you want the cylinder to come apart in your hand. Please do not do this. The Stampede will take any game in North America with a good 250 to 285 grain Keith bullet at 1000 fps. No need to push it. The Stampede is a fine sixgun, but it is not as strong as a Ruger Blackhawk. Cor-Bon has some good whitetail hunting ammo. Any of their personal defense ammo will work fine for deer. Do not shoot their heavy Plus P ammo in the Stampede.

Jeff

Jeff:

I enjoy your site.

I own a Kimber .308 rifle and am thinking of selling. It only holds 3 rounds. I like the accuracy and safety, but to load it is a bit difficult. First load all 3 rounds into magazine. Then close bolt while pushing down on top of internal mag. Then open action, cycle bolt and close action. this leaves you with one in the chamber, two in the mag. Do not try to open action and top off mag, because "claw" extractor will grab the chambered round. (all as per Kimber manual).

With regular Winchester action, its easy to have a full mag w/ loaded chamber because you can load a round directly into the chamber, push down on the full magazine and close action. "Claw" extractor will grab the seated round w/o a problem.

What do you think?

Robert

September 30, 2005

 

You are correct. A push feed design allows that. Also, the Browning is even better. The magazine swings down with the floor plate, allowing the magazine to be topped off without opening the action.

 

Hi,
I read all kinds of things about caliber effectiveness. Most would agree that the 9mm in FMJ is not a truly desirable round. I've also heard stories about .45's not penetrating or stopping the goblin. What is the truth? Would a .45 with a sabot and 9mm JHP give the penetration and velocity to make a truly effective round? I know a Rifle is the only way to go for true effectiveness and just about anything in a close up headshot will work. But for times when a long gun is not feasible what can someone truly trust their life to?

Fred Huff

September 26, 2005

 

Shot placement is the key. I would rather have a .22 magnum with which I was confident in my ability than a .45 with which I could not hit. I usually carry a .38 loaded with Glasers.

 

Dear Jeff,

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the Ruger New Vaquero. Sounds like a SUPERB revolver! I have been looking at the New Vaquero and the Taurus Gaucho, and can't seem to make up my mind. Have you tried the Gaucho? I would be interested to hear any comparisons you may have between the 2 revolvers, as I will be buying one very soon. Thanks in advance for any assistance you may be able to provide in this matter. 

Howard

September 18, 2005

 

I could not decide either. I ended up buying both, and recently added another Vaquero in 7 1/2 inch. Here is the article on the Taurus:
 
https://gunblast.com/Taurus_Gaucho.htm

Jeff

I enjoyed your article on the mini 14 .I had one in the mid 80s ,I loved it. I spent 4 years in the USMC once I got out I felt I needed to get a AR15.I got a Bushmaster. It jammed once a trip to the range. I sold it because it didn't make me feel safe. I recently decided that I was going to purchase a Mini 14 again. After looking at all the negative things so many Web sites say about it I'm not sure. I want it to be able to keep me safe in the event of another Katrina storm. I live in Florida so that's a good possibility .Are the new Minis in stainless with the synthetic stock a good choice? besides the Ramline mag are there any other mags on the market that are good. I think that most of the bad press about this rifle comes from like you say it not being the newest carbon fiber toy.

John

September 9, 2005

 

The stainless/fiber rifle would be an excellent choice. I prefer the genuine Ruger mags to all others. I see them at gun shows selling new for about $30 each. I would trust my life to a Mini-14. They are very reliable.

 Jeff

 Sir,  I just acquired a 32 Colt Police Positive ( pat.1884 July 4 1905 ser.# 109092) with black plastic grips. The pistol is in excellent condition; I don't think it was ever fired. It is fire blue in color in  with a 3.1/2 in. barrel. Could you please tell me the type of ammunition this pistol would use? I read your article and you mentioned a number of different rounds. Is mine a pocket police  model or just a police positive?   32SW , 32 Colt long, 32 Colt short ? ammo  available? Also, Are these pistols ok to shoot after 75 years? Just your opinion.

Thanks for your time,

Joe 

July 24, 2005

 

The best ammo for your gun is .32 S&W long.

Jeff

I have owned guns for most of my adult life – all revolvers. I have become relatively proficient with my Ruger GP-100 and my S&W 60. After shooting several semis, I am now ready to make that purchase. I have narrowed my choices down to these two: the S&W 1911 or the Beretta 92FS 9mm. Any advice, pros & cons, would be greatly appreciated.

 Thanks,

JM

June 2, 2005

 

I prefer the S&W 1911.

 Jeff

I used to reload quite a bit and so loaded hollow point semi jacketed 115 grain bullets for my Taurus PT111, but my son convinced me to buy factory self-defense rounds of 147 grain.  I can't afford to shoot them for practice, and notice el cheapo FMJ rounds fire really low and to the left.

Also, I'd like to get a laser sight for this pistol, and there seems to be nothing around for it!  Would a generic trigger guard mount work for me?  I usually put my left forefinger on that rest for accuracy.

What would you suggest for my PT111?

BTW, I've had no problems (Yet) with the pistol.

Thanks,

Rick

May 30, 2005

 

I do not like trigger guard lasers because of their bulk. They make it really hard to get a holster that fits. I would suggest tritium night sights instead.

 

 

Jeff, I am looking for a very accurate 17 cal.  I have read some of your articles about the 17.  I have 2 Savage rifles and like the AccuTrigger very much.  I would like to shoot small varmints (crows, etc) out to 200 yds.  Is the 17 fairly flat to 200 yds?  Which type of 17 cartridge should I use (17HMR)? What brand and model do you suggest?  What ammunition exhibits the best accuracy?  I have looked at the 17HMR rifles on the Savage website, and they do not mention them having AccuTriggers.  Would another brand be better? I trust and appreciate your opinion.

Joe

April 28, 2005

 

I really like the Savage, but the trigger on the .17 is nothing like the AccuTrigger. It can be greatly improved by a gunsmith, however. I would try every available brand of ammo to see which works best in the rifle that you choose. One guy who can work real magic on a Savage 17 is Michael McLain. He does a real good trigger job for a reasonable (cheap) price. Give him a call at:  931-827-3332. Tell him that I recommended the Savage or the CZ.

Jeff

I have a question concerning my dream rifle. I borrowed a Savage from one of my dad's friends for the day and I must say, it was an experience like no other!  I have agreed with myself and your advice to save for a Savage firearm.  Here's my question to you:  I want to be able to hunt animals from beer to moose with this rifle.  Don't worry, I'm not a bear hunter.  Anyway, I want a rifle caliber that is suitable for all of these animals BUT wont make me flinch too much after 2 or 3 shots.  What would you recommend?

Chase

April 23, 2005

 

The grand old .30-06. With 150 grain bullets, it is perfect for whitetail and antelope. 165 for caribou, 180 for elk and moose, and 200 to 220 for the big bears.

Jeff

Mr. Quinn, In regard to your article on the Ruger NEW Vaquero Colt .45, is there a safe load for it that will stop/kill the brown bear of north central New Mexico ? I have read at 25-30 yds and at 1000fps a 255gr Speer Gold Dot has the same impact trauma as .357magnum  and makes a larger hole. The area that we would would need protection will be such that 30 yds would be as far as you could see due to trees. I don't think my wife can handle a .44 mag.

Thanks for your time,

Steve

April 17, 2005

 

That Gold Dot would probably work, but I would prefer a hard cast Keith or LBT type bullet at about the same speed. It would penetrate deeper.

Jeff

Hi there, first of all I just want to add that you guys run an outstanding website, I have come here often to look up reviews on guns I can't find anywhere else and it's very nice to know that you give the most information as possible so keep up the good work.  Ok so anyways, I have a question for you, I recently bought a S&W 500 and we were using 350 grain loads and at about the 3rd round, the pin did not ignite the primer and there was an indent there, so we tried again and it didn't go, so I just tossed the 3 dollar bullet away.  Then, after 20 rounds, the gun started to lock up or get stuck and I couldn't rotate the cylinder unless I used my other hand to move it.  But then mysteriously, I kept messing with it and now it cycles fine like nothing ever happened.  So I ask you, what happened?  I was going to get it fixed at S&W but I looked at a lot of forums and it seems that many people have gotten there guns in worse condition than what it was before they sent it.  So do you know of anybody that can make the 500 a reliable piece of hardware, like putting better springs in or tinkering with it to function perfectly?  Any custom work, or gunsmiths that can make it 100%, please let me know if you know of anybody and I would really appreciate it.  Thanks a lot and keep up the good work! :)

Evan

April 13, 2005

 

I can only speculate, but it sounds as if you had a burr or metal shaving in the works somewhere that finally worked itself out. Keep shooting it. If it gives you more problems, contact S&W and insist that they fix it.

Jeff

Jeff, I read your July article on the Ruger Ranch Rifle and have been looking to purchase a new rifle. I enjoy shooting ground squirrels in Northern California and have been doing so with my Ruger 10/22. I like the semi-auto guns for this purpose but want to be able to get out a little further. The Mini-14 Ranch seems the perfect answer but my sons are trying to talk me into a bolt action 223 Varmint heavy 26" barrel like the Savage or Remington....

Last year when we went shooting these ground squirrels, I shot close to 3000 rounds through the 10/22. I know that ammo is much less expensive and plan on being more selective about my shots with a 223, but I am not sure if I would be happy with a bolt action..

Just curious what you would buy, given the situation??

Thanks,

Mark

February 6, 2005

 

Mark,

 The Ranch Rifle is a very good weapon, but it is not as accurate as a Savage bolt gun or a varmint class AR-15.

 Jeff

I have a first production Piney Flats TN Thunder Five revolver. I was curious if I could shoot 454 Casull in this gun since it is also offered in 45/70.

Thanks,

Rick

January 29, 2005

 

NO!!! Do not do that. The .454 operates at much higher pressure than does the .45/70.

 Jeff

Based on your article and a couple of others, I just bought a new Ruger Single Six .22 LR "Hunter", and I'm looking forward to using it as soon as the wind chill factor here rises to positive numbers.

I'm a fairly decent shot with a shotgun. This is my first handgun. I have a couple of questions that I am sure you can answer.

First, a friend who shoots handguns a lot told me that it was "common knowledge" that a .22LR rimfire semiauto was inherently more accurate than a wheel gun of approximately the same quality and barrel length. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this would be the case. Perhaps the semi needs less hand movement for a repeat shot, but might there be another reason? It seems to me that a decent wheel gun, such as the Ruger in question, with a 7.5" barrel would be damned accurate.

Second, what would you recommend to clean the gun? Any particular product or combo of products or method?

Third, for good "plinking" accuracy, freedom from misfires, et cetera, got any favorite rounds?

Thanks!

Harry

January 23, 2005

 

Harry,

  Your friend was partly right. It is EASIER to build an accurate semi-auto than to build an accurate revolver. The revolver has six chambers instead of one, and each has to precisely line up with the barrel. However, some of the most accurate handguns in the world are revolvers. Both types of handguns can be much more accurate than I can hold. For ammo, get a variety of suitable ammo to see what your guns shoots best, then practice a lot, and show your friend just how accurate that Ruger is.

 Jeff

I have a stainless Ruger security six manufactured in 1978.

The recoil shield is not dished out and there is no warning label on the barrel. Please explain.

 Thanks,

Doyle

January 10, 2005

 

At that time, that was the way that Ruger built them. It is an excellent revolver.

Jeff

 

Jeff,

Here on Cape Cod in eastern Massachusetts we are overrun with coyotes. At certain times of year  by law we are limited to hunting them with handguns chambered no larger than .38 cal. What would you suggest is the most efficient caliber to use given that limitation. I would like to use a revolver with a scope mounted. Most shots would be in medium dense woods 50 yards or under. Most coyotes here are crossed with red wolves and go 50 to 70 lbs.

Thanks very much,

 George

January 6, 2005

 

George,

 I would use a Ruger Single Six Hunter in .22 Magnum. The Hunter comes with a scope mount integral with the barrel. If you want something larger, a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum with at least a six-inch barrel should seve very well, as they are drilled for a scope mount.

 Jeff

Q:

I have a Pact powder dispenser with the scale. I noticed that Lil'Gun left a lot of residue on the inside of the dispenser. Have you found this with your setup?

 Louie

September 1, 2004

 

A:

Louie,

  Most likely the powder sticking to the measure is due to static electricity. Rub the outside of the powder hopper with a dryer sheet.

Jeff

Q:

Hi Jeff,

I'm interested in getting a large caliber conversion for the AR-15 style rifle.  The two rifles and calibers I'm interested in are the Alexander Arms .50 Beowulf Overwatch (the 24" barreled monster) and the .458 SOCOM by Tromix.  I'm also considering Tromix's .50AE model, as well. 

What are your opinions regarding those rifles?  Ballistics, reliability, quality, etc.  I've read your articles on the standard .50 Beowulf offered by Alexander Arms, as well as the Overwatch version of the rifle, and I admit that I'm leaning more heavily towards the Beowulf, but any information you can provide would be most appreciated.

Also, on a mostly unrelated note, I'm also considering a big-bore handgun.  My two top choices here are the .454 Casull by Ruger and the .50 AE chambering of the Desert Eagle.  I'm leaning towards the Desert Eagle, even though its more expensive and the .454 Casull has slightly better ballistics.  Any thoughts regarding those two handguns?  Another consideration...if I go with the Desert Eagle, would it be worth then more seriously considering the .50AE Tromix rifle?

Thanks, and keep up the great work!

Dean

May 27, 2004

 

A:

Dean,

 I find the Desert Eagle to be rather clumsy in my hands. If it fits you well, however, it is a good handgun.

 I also looked at the SOCOM, .499 Leitner-Wise, and the Beowulf. Yesterday, I purchased the Beowulf with the 16 inch barrel. I like the people at Alexander Arms, and they certainly build a great rifle. Also, brass and ammo is readily available for the Beowulf.

  You might want to consider the .50 Beowulf in a rifle, and one of their revolvers chambered likewise.

 

Q:

Jeff,

I noticed in your article on the Ruger #1 Tropical in .405 Winchester,
that you drove 300gr cast bullets to nearly 2400fps.  This seems quite
fast.

Did you get any leading?  How much?  How many shots could you fire until
accuracy deteriorated?

I just obtained a #1 Tropical in .458.  I am wanting to get 350gr CAST
bullets to 2200fps.  Do you have any recommendations to maximize
accuracy and reduce or eliminate leading?

Thanks for your opinions,

RangerBob

May 24, 2004

 

A:

Bob,

 I used Mt. Baldy gas check lead bullets, and experienced no leading at all. The bullet alloy is very good, and the gas check eliminates flame cutting the lead base.

 Jeff

Q:

I own a rifle chambered for 5.56 and would like to know what the possible side effects of firing .223 in my rifle would be?

Thanks for your help

Morris

May 12, 2004

 

A:

There will be no adverse effects. They are basically the same cartridge, except that 5.56mm is loaded to NATO specs, and .223 is a bit milder, loaded to SAAMI specs.

 

Q:

I have a Model Winchester G9483CCH lever action Crazy Horse commemorative rifle. How do I find out the value of this rifle?  I have the original box, plus an
envelope with two Crazy Horse 13 cent stamps postmarked Crazy Horse, South
Dakota. Thanks for your help!

Tommy

May 1, 2004

 

A:

Tommy,

 For the value on any commemorative Winchester, go to: www.cherrys.com. They keep a complete list. I also have one, serial CCH952. This is a great rifle, and fun to shoot.

 

Q:

Hello. I plan on shooting a bison on a local game farm, for the meat. I am going to use my Taurus Raging bull 454 Casull with 6 inch barrel. I have worked up several loads for the gun and am very impressed with the performance. My question is, would you choose a 325 grain LBT solid cast bullet at 1533 fps, or a 240 grain Hornady XTP magnum bullet at 1838 fps. I do not have any medium to test the bullets performance in. My goal is a 1 shot kill, since the ranch owner is not too keen on the use of pistols on his farm. Any input you might have on this subject, such as loads, performance figures, past experience, or your ideas of how ethical it is to shoot a game farm animal, would be appreciated. Thanks,

David

April 12, 2004

 

A:

David,

 By all means, please use the cast LBT bullet, cast hard. The XTP is perfect for deer, but the LBT should offer better penetration. Game farm hunting really depends upon the farm. It is a very good way to harvest a bison for meat.

Jeff

Q:

How many options are there in a .44 mag semi-auto handgun? I hear there is pistol called a Grizzly - who is it made by, and is it new?  Thanks again...

John

April 10, 2004

 

A:

The Grizzly is one option, but it is kind of off and on in production. The Desert Eagle would be your best bet.

 

Q:

I have acquired a .357 caliber Ruger New Model Blackhawk.  It says on the top of the barrel, "Made in the 200th year of American liberty".  Can you give me any information about this gun? It is at least a 6-inch barrel with wood grips.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Eric

March 21, 2004

 

A:

It is commonly referred to as a "Liberty Model". Ruger placed this marking on all guns produced in 1976, and it is worth about $75 more than a comparable gun without the inscription.

Jeff

Q:

Jeff, I have a1852 Sharps rifle used in the Civil War in pristine condition. I had it appraised and they said it was worth today around $6500; do you think the value will go up and is there a market for this item? I do not know what to do with this gun? Keep it or sell it?  

Thanks, 

Joe

January 18, 2004

 

A:

Joe, the value will most likely increase. It is probably better than money in the bank. At least you can enjoy the Sharps, if you like shooting it. However, you could also sell the rifle and buy something that you would really like to have. Life is short. I would either shoot the Sharps, or use the money to buy other guns. Either way, you can't lose.

Jeff

Q:

I read your review of the Kel-Tec 380. Do you all carry this? And do you think the .380 has enough power for a PRIMARY gun? Thank you!

Name Withheld

January 14, 2004

 

A:

Boge is carrying this gun almost on a daily basis. Like any handgun, it is a compromise between power, weight, and concealability. If you know a fight is coming, a shotgun or rifle is a better weapon. The Kel-Tec has the ability to be with you ALWAYS, and loaded with proper ammunition I would not feel undergunned with one.

Jeff

Q:

Hi Jeff,

I spent the better part of my work day so far absorbing everything I could from your website. The biggest thing I noticed is that you are a lefty. I am interested in purchasing my first 1911-type pistol. I've done a bit of casual handgun shooting over the years in different models and calibers but have yet to own a .45 of any type let alone a 1911. (I have shot a couple Glocks in .45 and found them decent to shoot).

Here is my question: You being a lefty, is there any particular model of 1911 you recommend these days? I'm looking to do some informal target shooting and possibly participating in a league or two or some small competitions. Any thoughts you can provide would be most helpful.

Thanks!

Pete

January 7, 2004

 

A:

Pete,

All you need is one with a left-handed thumb safety, or ambidextrous safety. The other controls (mag release and slide release) can be worked very easily with your trigger finger.

Jeff

Q:

Jeff:
I just bought a Stevens 411 in 12 ga. When I select the left barrel to shoot first, the safety lever moves to the safe position immediately upon firing of the left barrel. Thus I have to again push the safety lever to the fire position in order to fire the right barrel This occurs only if a shell is actually fired. Does not happen when dry fired.

When I select the right barrel to shoot first, I can shoot the right barrel and then I can immediately fire the left barrel with out having to move the safety lever (this would be what I would expect to happen).

Does your sample of the 411 exhibit this behavior? Is it normal for side-by-side shotguns with single triggers (my previous experience is only with double triggers)?

Clint

January 2, 2004

 

A:

Clint,

This is not normal. Call Savage and see what they want you to do. They might have you send it in, or they might have a warranty station close to you. Keep me posted.

Jeff

Q:

I took the 411 to a Savage warranty station and they fixed it while I waited there. They said the detent for the  safety lever was a little shallow and they simply enlarged it a little and all is well. Thanks for your info and advice. I enjoyed reading through your web site.

Clint

January 8, 2004

 

A:

That's great news. I hope that you enjoy you new shotgun, and thanks for reading Gunblast!

Jeff

Q:

I have always wanted to load and shoot the 38-55 and the 32-40 WCF.   At first I could not find the old guns at prices I could afford.  So I got barrels made for the Thompson/Contenders.  Then found the darn things to hard to open, as my hands got weaker with arthritis.  Also was never able to find good mild loads - to me mild is from 1200 to 1600 fps -- now I see I can get the 336 Marlin in 35-55 WCF.  My question is with a cast bullet weighing from 250 to 275 or so can I expect to get good results using Accurate 5744?  From what I read this seems to be a powder acceptable for lead bullets and pressures are on the low side.

Do you have any experience or observation that might be of use to me?  

Thanks,

Sam

December 12, 2003

 

A:

Sam,

  AA5744 is ideal for mild loads in the .38-55. It is a great cartridge.

Jeff

Q:

I have a Colt SAA clone in 44-40.  I'd like to be able to shoot 44 Special with it.  Is any conversion necessary, or can I just drop a 44 Special cylinder in it and fire away?  Thanks!

Don

November 17, 2003

 

A:

Don,

  First check the bore diameter. Many .44-40 revolvers were made to shoot bullets of .427 diameter, while .44 Special bullets are .429 to .430. If the bore diameter is okay, a new cylinder is all you need.

Jeff

Q:

Sirs, I read your review article of the S&W 500 Magnum on your internet site and thought you did a superb job of describing all the attributes, characteristics, and overall performance of this revolver. I particularly welcomed your candid (objective) disclosure that the cylinder tends to rotate freely backward after shooting. You diagnosed a cure for the problem would simply be a stronger cylinder stop spring. I just bought this model pistol a week ago & have not fired it yet and wondered if S&W might be contemplating issuing a recall to 500 owners for this deficiency? Would you have any recommendation on how I should proceed from here for S&W to make the necessary modification? Any help regarding this concern would be appreciated.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Kevin

October 27, 2003

 

A:

Kevin,
  Shoot your gun first to determine if yours has a problem. It might not need anything. If it has a problem, call S&W. They will send you a shipping label to return the gun for repair.

Jeff

Q:

What's a kit gun?  I was looking at the S&W catalog.  The Model 360 is an ultra-lightweight .357 they call a kit gun.  Any idea what that means, and where the name came from?  It looks like S & W has copyrighted the name.

Miles

October 25, 2003

 

A:

The term "Kit Gun" came into general use over 80 years ago, and refers to a fisherman's or outdoorsman's "kit" or tackle box. The idea was for a light, compact gun that could be stowed in the kit.

Jeff

Q:

Hello, I enjoy reading your excellent articles. I am passing along my experience with the .500 S&W Magnum

These guns still have major problems to be worked out.

I have serial # BCE5184 which S&W shipped from their factory on 9/12/03.

 This morning, I tried it out at my local range at the Ansonia Rod & Gun club (CT) with factory COR-BON (Barnes 275 gr HP).

 The gun broke after firing the first shot.

The action cannot be completely cycled now (at least on one chamber) It cycled perfectly when I purchased it, prior to shooting today.

I was able to get exactly three rounds out of the gun. Loading one round into the cylinder at a time. Firing, opening, reloading one chamber and then when thumbing back the hammer, found I could not cock the gun. The problem was not there until the first round was fired.

 I guess this gun might be beefy, but still has little parts that can't take the abuse of this round.

Have I purchased a $1,000 paperweight?

Thanks for your thoughts and keep up the great work!

TRW

October 9, 2003

 

A:

I would take the gun back to the dealer to be sent to S&W. They will fix it under warranty. Keep me posted.

Jeff

Q:

First off, you have a great website!!

I just purchased a Springfield Loaded Operator. I was pleased with the fit and finish, and went to the range. The range was very discouraging. At 25yrds I wasn't hitting the target at all. I moved the target to 10yrds and with bench rest and sand bags tried again. I was getting tight groups, but all were 3.5 inches low at 10yrds. I used 230 FMJ Winchester and 230 JHP Federal Hydra-Shok. Both were 3.5 inches low at 10 yrds.

I call Springfield and they told me there wasn't anything wrong with the gun!! 

I have sent it back to Springfield and asked them to correct the problem. They said it will take 5-7 weeks to get it back to me.

This is the first time I have sent a gun to the manufacturer, is the 5-7 weeks normal? I feel like I got the short end of the deal, what do you suggest I do? Any idea how I can get them to get it back to me faster?

Thanks for your help and time.

John

October 9, 2003

 

A:

John, it should not take that long. All you need is a shorter front sight.

Jeff

Q:

Jeff, in your article about the Freedom Arms .32 caliber revolver there is a photo of you shooting it from a bench with a rest. It appears that the butt is on part of the rest and the barrel is also supported on the front part of the rest. I have read various places that it is best to not have the butt or barrel touching a rest. Apparently you are having good success with your technique. Is the rest pictured available for sale? Would it work for heavy recoiling 45 Colt loads? I am always looking for a better way to shoot accurately. My goal is to work up a load that equals the guns' potential and then practice with that load from positions used in the field. I have tried a variety of techniques at the bench using sandbags but have never felt that I had hit upon the best method for testing the gun/load potential. If your rest is the best way (other than a Ransom rest) I would be interested in possibly trying it. Thanks, Brian

October 5, 2003

 

A:

Brian, here is a link to an article on that rest: https://gunblast.com/Gun_Rest.htm.

Tell them that you saw it on Gunblast.

Jeff

Q:

I need some good honest info and well you guys are number one in that sector.  I have a Savage 99e, production time I've been told anywhere from late 60's to early 80's, it's in 300savage now.  And I wanna do some customizations on it.  The stock is ugly.  Looks like birch with clear nail polish on it.  Squareish and just plain ugly.  The rifle is 99.9 percent, ( I bought it NIB and fired 5 rounds, then my pectorals torn back open (car wreck, long story) put it back in the case,  I'm healed now and almost back to normal).   The first thing i wanna change is the stock,  can I get a high quality synthetic one?  I'm a user and an abuser.  Then run like greased lightning but look like crap. I fall, trip, drop 'em and really like synthetics.   Next I wanna know if I can re-chamber it to .308,  just for a greater selection in ammo, and finally, does anyone do a finish similar to the one on my Glock? 'Cause I like that and it would go along the same lines as the stock.

Thanks, you guys rock!!!

Pauly

October 1, 2003

 

A:

Pauly,
  I know of no one that makes a synthetic stock for that gun. For a durable matte black Teflon finish, contact Robar Corporation at:  www.robarguns.com.
The finish is called Rogard, and is explained of their website.


Jeff

Q:

Jeff, in your article about the Ruger SS Bisley 45 Colt you said, "but the best groups were obtained using the excellent Cast Performance 335 grain wide long-nose bullets. These bullets, loaded with a healthy dose of Hodgdon's Li'l Gun powder". I too am using that bullet and powder in my Ruger Bisley 45 Colt. I am using 22.5 grains for 1230 fps. Is that safe or should I back off? The Hodgdon website lists 20.0 grains as a maximum load with that powder and bullet, giving a velocity of 1206 fps.

 I have another question about bullet selection for lighter, plinking loads. I have been using a 250 grain RNFP with good results (either 6.2 grains of  Titegroup for 850 fps or 10.0 grains of Universal Clays for 1050 fps) but I am considering trying either the Leadhead 270 Keith or the Dry Creek Bullet Works 275 Keith. I have heard that Keith bullets tend to be more accurate than the RNFP type. Is that true? Would I likely see better accuracy from the Leadhead or the Dry Creek (which company has better quality control)?

On another topic, I just bought the Ruger SS Bisley with the 5.5" barrel and adjustable sights. I also have the standard blued Bisley with 7.5" barrel. I called Ruger to ask why they cannot ream the cylinder throats to the proper dimension and told them that there is a big industry developed to fix their poorly dimensioned guns. They were basically clueless and I talked to one of the heads in customer service. Oh well. To get the new one shooting great will still cost much much less than to buy a Freedom Arms revolver.

Brian

September 29, 2003

 

A:

That Lil'Gun load is probably okay in your Ruger. Look for hard extraction problems. If they come out easily, you are all right.

My favorite Keith bullet is made by Mt. Baldy Bullets in Cody, Wyoming. www.mtbaldybullets.com
, phone  307-944-5631. Tell Frank that I say "Hello".

Most Rugers in .45 have too tight throats. Read this article: https://gunblast.com/Brownells_Reamer.htm.

Jeff

Q:

Jeff,

I read your excellent article on the .500 S&W, and in it you mentioned that
the gun jumped time consistently with the 440gr loads until you replaced
the cylinder stop spring. I picked up a 500 S&W and am having the same
problem with heavy loads. Do you know if S&W has made a change to their production revolvers to address this issue, and if so at what serial number did they begin making the change? If not, I'd like details on the stronger cylinder stop spring you installed: where to buy and what is the spring tension weight. Thanks so much for your help and an excellent website.

Regards,

Kurt

September 28, 2003

 

A:

Kurt, as far as I know, S&W service is denying that there is a problem, but I do suggest that you call them first.  I added two coils from a larger spring that I had on hand to the existing spring. If you get too heavy of a spring, the trigger will not return fully forward. Please let me know what S&W says when you call them.

Jeff

Q:

I have a question. I'm wondering which of the following scenarios wears out (weakens the springs) in a magazine faster. I've heard arguments both ways. Some say continual use, i.e. compressing and decompressing the springs, wears it out faster. The same person has said they found loaded, but unused, magazines 20 years later and they were practically brand new. Others say you should never store a magazine loaded because that is what wears them out the fastest. Where do you weigh in on the subject?

 Thanks,

Pat

September 25, 2003

 

A:

I try to rotate my magazines, keeping some loaded and some resting, but I have no proof either way. I can guarantee you that if you wear out your magazines by shooting a lot, you will be a much better marksman and the new magazines will be a welcome expense!

Jeff

Q:

Jeff,

   I agree with your assessment of the Ruger Mini 30, it makes a great deer hunter up here in Michigan.

   I have some questions for you. Have you ever heard any problems with using Wolf 7.62x39 ammo? Or other Chinese made ammo like Norinco? I have used this and heard it was decent ammo but every third shell wouldn't fire but a mark was left on the primer. Guy at the gun shop told me that I was using cheap ammo in an expensive gun and the primer was too recessed. Is this true? Or do I need to send it back to Ruger for repair? The Winchester deer loads seem to work OK.  Yet more questions....Do you recommend a target load for this gun? Most stores only seem to carry hunting loads and foreign made ammo. Shooting hunting loads at a target gets expensive. I'd appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Rich

September 23, 2003

 

A:

Rich, the Wolf ammo has harder primers than American made ammo, and it also leaves a coat of lacquer in the chamber. I know of no inexpensive ammo that is match grade.

Jeff

Q:

Hello, Jeff!

First off, I immensely enjoy your forum; good information all around.  And I'm hoping you can continue the trend of providing good, sound advice.

 

Jonathon

July 11, 2003

 

A:

If it were me, I save the $200. I would have a hard time choosing, even if they were priced the same. They are both great rifles.

Jeff

Q:

I am very, very new to varminting.  With me, it is born of a need.  I have a friend with a ranch.  Ground squirrels and all their cousins are wreaking havoc all over.  You can't drown or get rid of them by any way except shooting them.  Poison is not an option because of all of the other critters. We are going to have to shoot them all (yeah, right!!)  They are very smart.  They must be shot from a distance.  .22 LR and Mag probably will not be sufficient on a target that small from the distance we have to shoot them at due to trajectory. Can't use .223 etc. due to neighbors bad attitude toward being shot. I know absolutely nothing whatsoever about the .22 Hornet.  It looks like this caliber is right on at about 175-200 yards.  Is this caliber an option?  What about ammo cost, availability, etc.? Any help you can be with recommendations, advice for or against anything, opinions in other calibers, the best rifle, or whatever, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Ross

July 6, 2003

 

A:

The Hornet will fill the need that you describe, as will the .218 Bee, and the .17 HMR. Ammo is not cheap, unless you load your own. Get an accurate rifle. In the Hornet, the CZ, Kimber, or Ruger should work very well.

Jeff

Q:

Hi Folks....

I  have been reloading for about 3 years now. Most of my experience has been limited to .45 ACP and .308 Win. Recently I have been working with .223 loads. Yesterday I read (on the Bushmaster website) that .223 and 5.56 are not truly interchangeable. It was stated that the dimensions of the case(s) are not precisely the same and that the 5.56 round is loaded to a higher velocity (thus great pressure than .223). It was also stated that either round can be fired from a weapon designed for 5.56 but that the military round (5.56) should be avoided in any civilian arm chambered for the .223. I must admit that I am confused as I thought that they were one and the same. What precautions must I take when loading .223? What if I am using surplus 5.56 brass? Also, in your opinion (or best guess) can I fire surplus 5.56 ammo through my Ruger Mini-14? Just wondering if you can shed some light for me.....Thank you!

 

Glen

June 29, 2003

 

A:

I use them interchangeably 5.56 is loaded to NATO specs, and can have higher pressure than .223. Either will work perfectly in the Mini-14.

Jeff

 

Q:

After reading your review about the S&W1911 I was confident that I had to handle this gun myself and asked my dealer to contact me as soon as he got one in. When I came in to his shop yesterday he said he didn't trust the gun at all and he had remarks about the Loaded Chamber Indicator, the small hole on top. He said that it would cause a small bump on the fired case and therefore make the case useless for reloading or at least shorten case life. What is your opinion about this?

With kind regards,

Randy

June 24, 2003

 

A:

That is a bunch of BS. The notch is at the rear of the chamber, where the case does not expand. In fact, with any 1911, much more of the case head and rim are unsupported at the bottom of the barrel, just above the feed ramp. If your dealer would take a barrel out of any 1911 and insert a round into the chamber, he would see what I mean.

Jeff

Q:

Hey, great site, just found it a couple of days ago. Glad to say I'm a fellow southerner, I live around Decatur Alabama. Great article on the Trijicon Reflex and ACOG sights. I was skeptical at first about the Reflex because of the lack of batteries, but now I want one. Anyway, I bought a DPMS M4 carbine last week, and I was wondering first, your opinion on this carbine. Next, if properly taken care of, about how many rounds can I expect to be fired through it before it needs replacing? Also, what sort of replacement parts should I buy?

Thanks a lot,

Kyle

June 17, 2003

 

A:

Kyle, the DPMS is a great gun. Stock up on magazines and ammo. You should need no replacement parts for years. These guns are built to last. Be sure to check out our Archives section for many more articles.

Jeff

Q:

I called Savage Firearms this morning to ask when I might expect a .243WSSM with the AccuTrigger.  The lady said they were working on it, BUT, Winchester is having trouble with the ammo and won't let Savage use it, and Savage doesn't want to make the rifle until the problem is worked out.  I know I'm not going to get an honest reply from any of the gun rags, but I'm wondering if you know what is wrong with the ammo?  I really liked the idea of the .243WSSM, and I'm really disappointed.  The local gun stores today told me they are not surprised and suspected something when Browning failed to come out with a rifle in this caliber.  Anything you could say that might inform me more would be much appreciated.

Ross

May 28, 2003

 

A:

The .243 WSSM is a good concept, and should be great once they get everything working properly. One problem is the angle of the shoulder. Once formed, it is fine, but it is hard for a machine to draw the brass with that steep of an angle, and be consistent. I think that it will work out. Of course, the old .243 Winchester is hard to beat, or even the .25-06.

Jeff

Q:

I am currently in the market for a .357 magnum revolver.  The Ruger GP-100 6" adjustable sights, stainless steel seems to call out to me but I have not found any good reviews on this firearm.  Do you have experience with the 6" GP-100 and what is your opinion on this firearm.  I plan to use it for hunting and camping.

 

May 27, 2003

 

A:

Chris, I do have experience with the 6" GP-100. It is an accurate, strong, and reliable sixgun. It will serve you well.

Jeff

 

Q:

Hi Jeff,

 Thanks,

David

May 26, 2003

 

A:

David,  for out to 350 yards, the two guns will both do the job extremely well. At 500 yards, the 25-06 will be much better, and can double as a deer and antelope gun. Be sure that you get the AccuTrigger. It is well worth the extra 40 bucks.

Jeff

Q:

Jeff, I have been searching for gas check lead bullets to load for my .357 mags. The only source that I have found so far is Liberty shooting supplies. The problem with Liberty is that their shipping charges are 2 to 3 times the amount of other companies that I have dealt with. Do you know of any companyies that sell quality gas check bullets at an honest price? Thanks in advance for any help in this matter and keep up the great work on the site.

Steve

May 18, 2003

 

A:

Check with Cast Performance. Theirs are the best bullets available at any price. Tell them that I sent you.

Kelly Broast at Cast Performance Bullets:  307-857-2940

Jeff


Q:

I know you have shot a lot of Rugers. I am going to buy a new Mark II with 5.5" bull barrel in blue steel. I have heard that the MKII is prone to jamming. Some sources also say it has bad accuracy. I tend to believe it has a lot to do with ammo. Have you tried any of the Sellier & Bellot .22LR ammunition in a Ruger MKII? What of other types of inexpensive ammo that shoots well and doesn't jam up?

Thanks in advance,

Robert
North Carolina

May 14, 2003

 

A:

Robert, the most accurate .22 that I have ever fired is a MK II auto, and has always proven to be absolutely reliable for me. I usually use the Federal Wal-Mart special stuff. You get 550 hollowpoints for about 8 bucks.

Jeff

 

Q:

Jeff, per your excellent article, the Freedom Arms 97 in .45 Colt, I purchased one.  (Do the manufactures know how influential the Quinns are on the gun buying public?)

My thinking is this would make a dandy hunting handgun for Whitetail.  What factory loads come to mind for this revolver that would be suitable?  Also, do you have any favorite loads for the .45 colt that would work with this revolver?

Thanks again,

Scott
Memphis

May 5, 2003

 

A:

Thanks Scott.

  The only way that the manufacturers know how influential we are, is if you tell them!

Any good jacketed hollowpoint or heavy lead bullet factory in .45 Colt will cleanly take a whitetail, if you do your part.

For a good handload, I like a 250 to 260 grain lead semi-wadcutter bullet with about 8.6 grains of Alliant Unique powder

Jeff

Q:

HI, MY NAME IS ROBERT AND I WAS WONDERING IF YOU MIGHT KNOW OF ANYONE WHO MAKES OVERSIZED REVOLVER BOLTS FOR ACCURIZING RUGER SINGLE ACTION REVOLVERS? AND WOULD SUCH AN ITEM REALLY WORK FOR TIGHTENING UP A CYLINDER? OR WOULD AN OVER SIZED CYLINDER PIN DO THE JOB?? OR SHOULD BOTH ITEMS BE USED TOGETHER?? THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

ROBERT

April 5, 2003

 

A:

Robert, try a new base pin from Belt Mountain. A new bolt is not necessary.

Jeff

Q:

First off I want to say, I love your page, you write about guns and it's
not all daisies and roses like most of the magazines out there.  Today I was in a gun store and was getting some ammo for my Glock 32 (.357sig),  the counter man started off on a soap box on how it's a "dead round" and I'd be better off with a 40cal barrel for it,  yadda yadda yadda.   Basically he said it sucks. Now I'm not a gun whiz, pro or Dalai Llama of firearms but I do like to shoot and I take fact as fact.  I read the literature and I see a compact semi auto that is equivalent to the revered .357mag. I bought the gun from another store and they seemed to love it.  Did I get burned with a soon to be unavailable round?  Or is this guy just a big bore junkie that loves one round and everything else is crap (no offense to big bore fans, my favorite revolver is my Colt Anaconda).   Thank you, and you're doing a great job!!

Pauly from CT

April 5, 2003

 

A:

Pauly, that guy is full of crap. The .357 SIG is a great round. It is based on the .40 S&W case, and even if the .357 is discontinued in 50 years, you can easily form cases from the .40 S&W. The .40 is more popular, but so what? The .357 SIG is a professional's cartridge. It is a high-performance cartridge. It is a great cartridge, allowing magnum power in a compact handgun. I think that it will be around for a long time. Have fun.

Jeff

Q:

I am an experienced rifle reloader, but new to pistols and pistol reloading.  I would like to use my .357 Blackhawk for whitetail and am looking for some input on loads.  is it better to use a cast bullet or jacketed hollowpoint? What weight?  I was looking at using a Hornady XTP 158gr with 10.5gr Blue Dot, but am not sure if it is the best choice after reading many posts and sites online.  Average deer are up to 175 and shots would be 100yards or less.

Thanks!

Mark

March 30, 2003

 

A:

Mark, the load that you described should be ideal for Whitetail. Place the shot correctly, and it should perform very well.

Jeff

Q:

I was interested in your thoughts on a good varmint scope for your money. I was planning on mounting this scope on a model 12BVSS .22-250 . The Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20x 40mm was recommended to me; is this a reasonable scope for my money or are there better options out there.

Craig

March 23, 2003

 

A:

The Leupold Vari X III is a great scope, but for about $200 less, you can buy a Bushnell Elite 4200. It is just as good, and probably better than the Leo.

Jeff

Q:

Hello.  I have a post ban Colt flattop competition which always fired reliably with low cost commercial and military spec .223 ammo. 

I just had a Jewell trigger installed and it is smooth and adjusted to 2.5 lbs.  The Jewell kit included a new low mass hammer.

Now, every 2nd or 3rd round chambers up but fails to fire when the hammer is released.  The rifle leaves a very small dimple on the primer when I cycle the round out of the chamber.  Reinserting it allows me to fire off the round so it's not dud ammo.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  My gunsmith and I have no clue what is wrong. 

 A friend of mine says the cheaper commercial and the military spec ammo such as the South African ammo has thicker or tougher metal forming the primer face and takes a harder strike than that supplied by the low mass hammer Jewell supplies with the trigger. 

I'm stuck here...................

Thanks.

 

Jim

March 23, 2003

 

A:

Jim, you are onto the problem already. Military ammo usually has harder primers to withstand the rough handling. Try some commercial ammo and see if you have the same problem. I would try to see if the original hammer will work with the Jewell trigger. If you are only going to shoot paper, an occasional misfire is acceptable. For anything more serious, reliability is everything.

Jeff

 

Q:

I recently purchased an 1892 Winchester at a gun show which had been rebarreled and chambered to .357 mag. When I got it home it functioned perfectly. There was a bunch of heavy grease all over everything on the inside (like RIG), so I got a degreaser and let fly. I got a lot of the grease out, but now the carrier will no longer lift up to the chamber as it should. Any ideas as to what the problem is, and how to fix it?

Thanks,

Parham

March 14, 2003

 

A:

It sounds as if the carrier is binding, which could be due to excessive wear or an ill-fitted part. You need a good gunsmith to look at it.

Jeff

 

Q:

I have a S&W 317 3 1/2" 22LR AirLite Kit Gun as pictured in Jeff's article. I would like to know what he has selected as a holster for the gun.


Thanks in Advance

Joe

March 9, 2003

A:

I carry mine in an old Safariland model that is no longer in production. A great holster would be a 1920 El Paso Saddlery (www.epsaddlery.com), but a lighter holster would be an Uncle Mike's nylon.

Jeff



Q:

I just read the comments on the 50 Beowulf.  I have the upper on order
and I intend to put it on a Bushmaster .223 lower.  What modifications
am I going to have to do?  Does the modifications ruin the lower from
working again with the Bushmaster upper?  HELP me, Obi-Wan Kenobi!!!!

Allen

March 7, 2003

 

A:

The upper will in no way hurt your lower, and you can readily change from .223 to .50 and back again. The .50 Beowulf operates at much lower pressure than the .223, and no other modifications will be needed to your lower. You may, however, want to wear a thicker shirt with the .50 Beowulf.

Jeff

Q:

I've just bought a Bushmaster M17 IBUS .223 1-9" twist and I was hoping you could help out on the best type of ammunition to buy. The rifle will be used for target shooting at 100-300 metres. I have tried a batch of Federal 62 grain but wasn't consistent. I will start reloading again soon, My Government confiscated my last one as it was part of the Pistol compensation scheme. All my Lee kit was handed back to the Police who subsequently "landfilled" it with all my other treasured tools and accouchements. Thanks for your help.

Martyn - Land of the oppressed, UK

March 5, 2003

 

A:

Martyn,  I really like the Black Hills Ammunition. They have several different loads available, including some match grade stuff. Keep your chin up, and try to elect some pro-freedom M.P.s.

Jeff

Q:

Jeff, I'm looking into the Single Action Ruger Bisley-Vaquero 45LC with 4-5/8" barrel for cowboy mounted shooting for our kids. Is there any advantage to getting one with a 5-1/2" barrel for this application ?  Thanks for your response.

Lyle

March 4, 2003

 

A:

There is no advantage to the longer barrel for CAS. The 4 5/8" should serve you well.

Jeff

 

Q:

Jeff- I Just bought a SW1911 as my first 1911 and have a thumb safety question- The safety on my gun will partially move up with the hammer down and lock the slide closed.  If I cock the hammer and then pull the trigger with the safety like that the hammer drops.  Is this a problem?

Zenon

March 1, 2003

A:

hat is not really a problem, as many 1911s will do this. Make sure that the safety is working when you cock the gun and fully apply the safety.

Jeff

 

Q:

In the 2003 Bushmaster catalog, there is a little section on you shooting
1/4" groups at a 100 yards with a Varminter. Was that a stock gun, and what
loads (powder, powder grains, bullet type and weight etc)...Thank you,

Jared

February 28, 2003

 

A:

That gun was a stock Varminter, the second one that they built. It is very accurate. I purchased that gun. I have received hundreds of emails from readers who also purchased a Varminter. They all get great accuracy with that rifle. Good accuracy also requires good ammo. My best accuracy was with a Barnes 50 grain VLC bullet loaded into Lake City cases with 26 grains of AA2460 powder and a CCI primer.

Jeff

I am wanting to reload my 7x57 ammo with Barnes bullets; I shoot a  Ruger model 77 so I understand about all the Mauser actions that are floating around that are unsafe.

Do you have any loading data for the 140 grain Barnes X-bullet for the 7x57? Also, what do you recommend for the entire length after loading 140 grain bullets? This is the only gun I hunt deer with, so for me to go out and buy a big reloading book is kinda hard to justify; in other words, my wife would skin my head!

Thank you!

Also, how do you join your group?

Horace

February 28, 2003

 

Horace,

Try 51 grains of IMR 4831, 52 grains of Alliant Reloader 19, or 48 grains of Hodgdon H414. These are all maximum loads, so back off a little and work up to the best load for your gun.

The overall length depends upon your particular rifle. First, the round must fit the magazine. I like to barely seat a bullet in the case, then chamber a round carefully, letting the rifling seat the bullet. Then remove the cartridge, measure the length, and seat the bullets slightly deeper, so that they do not touch the rifling. That will give you the best overall length for your rifle.

To join Gunblast.com, just go to the following page and follow the instructions:

Gunblast.com registration Page

Jeff

Q:

I understand a rifle has to be modified to use the Garrett .44 mag bullet. I would like to do this, and a few other things to my 1894 Marlin. Can you please recommend a good gunsmith?
Thank you,

Ross

February 27, 2003

 

A:

Ross, the Marlin is very finicky about cartridge length. I do not know of a smith that specializes in this work. The Winchester model 94 can handle the Garrett cartridges with ease, as the 94 is set up for long cartridges.

Jeff

Q:

Have learned so much reading the Q&A's.  Thanks.

Just returned a S/W model 29-3 to the gun shop because it was skipping rounds...meaning every 10 rounds or so the cylinder would not rotate when hammer pulled back and the hammer fell on the dead cartridge. I was shooting 240 gr JHP with only 19 grains of Hercules 2400. The Store owner thought maybe my loads were too hot. I don't think so. 

Three questions:

1) Is this a known problem with the model 29?

2) If so is there an easy fix?

3) After returning the modle 29 I bought a 1982 vintage Dan Wesson .44 Mag revolver. Me thinks this gun will handle just about anything I can feed it. This is no carry gun but can you comment on the DW .44 Mag as far as quality and accuracy. Personally I like the ability to adjust headspace and interchange barrels. Your comments please.

Thanks,

Bill

Jan. 22, 2003

 

A:

Bill,

  On the S&W design, the gun will behave as you describe if the trigger is not fully returning to its fully forward position after each shot is fired. Someone could have replaced the trigger return spring with a shorter one, or cut the factory spring. If shooting double action, you must be sure to return the trigger fully forward also, before beginning the pull for the next shot.

   The Dan Wesson is a great revolver, and really dominates the sport of metallic silhouette shooting, for its power, accuracy, and durability.

Jeff

Q:

RE: Model 92/Puma

Good article.  OK Paco, how about this load (my favorite 454 load - developed for AK bears/moose): 31gr W296 or H110, 355gr LBT WFN hard cast, CCI small Magnum Rifle primer. Compressed load.  Double crimped (Roll & Taper). Approx. 1700fps in an FA Casull. IYHO, would the Puma stand up to that kind of beating?

Bryan

Jan. 19, 2003

 

A:

Bryan,

Sounds like a good load. My 32/H100/300JHP runs 55,000 CUP. With a cast bullet of 55 grains more weight, I would suspect around 75,000 CUP +p+. I wouldn't shoot too many of them out of the Puma. Any lever gun that gives any slight sticky feeling on extraction has a load too high in pressure for the gun, if all else is well. If you are getting 1700FPS from a 7-1/2" barrel, the 20" barrel with H110/W296 will give around 300-350FPS more, which should be well over 3000 FPs of muzzle energy. .308 Winchesters in bolt guns have to work hard to get close to 3000 FPs, but again...

Go slowly, test, take care. The FA handgun can take more than lever guns. Less parts, more beef.

God bless,

Paco

Q:

Just wondering if Savage will make available the AccuTrigger as an upgrade for previous model 12 owners.

Greg

Jan. 18, 2003

 

A:

Jeff has checked with Savage on this, and the AccuTrigger cannot be retrofitted to older models.

Boge

Q:

What is your impression of the Ruger Mini-30? Worth spending my money and time? If not, what would be a good alternative?

Thanks in advance,

Paul

Jan. 18, 2003

 

A:

The Mini-30 is a good little carbine. Accuracy is not spectacular, but plenty good for deer hunting. They are rugged and reliable, and a bit more powerful than a .30-30.

Jeff

Q:

Just run into your site trying to compare ammo such as the 22-250, 7.62x39, and the 223 to see what has the better range, accuracy and take down, any suggestions?

Jeff

Jan. 16, 2003

 

A:

That  would depend upon the intended target. The .22-250 shoots the flattest, the 7.62x39 penetrates the most, and the .223 is a good all-around cartridge for vermin and social work.

Jeff

Q:

I have just purchased a Taurus .480 Raging Bull and was wondering if you have tested any of the red dot sights. Do you think they would hold up on this caliber?

Thanks,

Bill

 

A:

Get a good red dot with a warranty. A good one should hold up, but the cheap ones are crap.

 Jeff Quinn

Q:

I have a question about the Old Model three-screw Ruger in 30 cal. Carbine. Is this revolver built on the .357 frame or the .44 frame?

Lynn

 

A:

All .30 Carbine Blackhawks were built on the .44 frame.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Question on the Cor-Bon Pow'R Ball article (see article at Cor-Bon "Pow'R Ball" High Performance Ammunition):

Was the point of impact significantly different from 230 gr. ammo in the guns you shot with?

Eric

 

A:

No significant difference at combat ranges, but impact was lower at 25 yards.

 Jeff Quinn

Q:

I found the article by Jeff Quinn about Bushmaster's New "Varminter" Rifle (see article at Bushmaster's New "Varminter" Rifle) most interesting. I, however, found no information in the article regarding what his handload was, e.g. powder and quantity? How can I find out this information?

Thanks, 

Marv

 

A:

Marv, I used Lake City cases, 26 grains of AA 2460, Barnes 50 grain XLC bullet, CCI small rifle primers. As usual, Gunblast.com assumes no responsibility for your use of this load. Start 10% below on the powder charge and work up gradually, carefully observing for pressure signs.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Dear Sirs,

The Remington 788 that I was using was okay but the stock split so I was thinking about a new rifle. I have been told at a local gun shop that the big chain stores sell inferior quality guns, scopes and ammo. I was told that they were safe and all but the guns were not as accurate and the ammo may not expand properly and so on. They also said Savage was junk and if I wanted that junk to go to Wal-Mart. I don't want to spend a fortune for a new rifle and scope but I don't want one that is so junky that it won't be accurate or the scope will fog up if I got it at Wal-Mart or Kmart or something.

    Could you let me know if such things could be true? The Browning and Weatherby that he said were real guns were nice but very high priced for my situation. If you could give me any advice I would appreciate it.

Thanks,

D.

 

A:

The guns that are sold by the large chains are the same quality as those sold in any gun shop. Wal-Mart does have a deal with Beretta to sell a shotgun made just for them, and Ruger makes a special 10/22 with a longer barrel for Wal-Mart. Savage makes some of the most accurate rifles in existence, not "junk" by any means! All guns are fully covered under under their manufacturer's warranty, regardless of whether they are sold at a gun shop or a major retailer. The ammo sold by chain stores is good, high quality ammo, the same as you will get in a gun shop.

I do believe in supporting the local gun stores, but the people who told you these things are liars. I would find a new gun shop.

Jeff Quinn

 

Q:

I have a Ruger #1 California Highway Patrol limited edition in 357 cal. with the wheel and wings emblem of the CHP engraved on it. Can you tell me how many were made and current value?

Stewart

 

A:

Stewart, the CHP edition was a limited run, only 1,820 total produced. My collector price info only shows them at about $600-650, which is just about the normal price for a #1. I have seen  them listed recently for $800-850 but do not know how well they sell at that price. Depends on the gun's condition and what the market may bear.

Thanks for the question, and Happy Holidays!

Boge Quinn

Q:

I have a Ruger Security-Six, which seems to be a very rare gun. It is an early model 150 serial number prefix. It is Model RDA-84, in .38 special, with adjustable sights. How rare is this gun known to be-and, how valuable might this gun be, in new condition, with the original white shipping box with red RDA-84 marked on the outside?

Mike

 

A:

Mike, the 150 serial number series were the first Ruger double actions, with the "low back " grip frame. The most common was the RDA-34 or the blue Security-Six with adjustable sights, square butt, 4" barrel in .357 Mag. There were several models made (about 16 or so) and some were in very limited quantities. The RDA-84 is like the RDA-34 except in .38 Special. It should have a serial number in the 150-607XX to 150-624XX range, so with the limited s/n range and other models being produced concurrently there were probably not too many of the RDA-84s made. I suspect some of them probably went overseas also. 

In mint condition in its original box with all the papers to a collector looking for one to fill a slot it may be worth $425 to $475. However, there are not that many collectors specializing in these guns, so I would say somewhere between $325 to $350 would probably be a more realistic expectation if one were looking to actually sell the gun -- of course you never know until you try!

Thanks for reading Gunblast.com, and for the interesting question.

Boge Quinn

Q:

Hello, Read your article on the Ruger Stainless Bisley revolver (see Jeff's article at Ruger Stainless Bisley), very nice job. Do you know where I might find one? AccuSport is out, and Ruger said, "Not aware of any more at this time."

Happy Holidays and good shootin'!

Scott

 

A:

Scott, AccuSport was the only place to get one, as the gun was a limited run especially for AccuSport. I suggest that you (and whatever friends you can muster) bug Ruger about putting the gun into regular production. If they see a demand, they'll make the guns!

In the meantime, keep an eye on the gun shows in your area, especially the larger ones. We have seen a couple of the AccuSport Bisleys at recent shows.

Boge Quinn

Q:

Jeff, I read the article on the Tasco true-mildot scope (see Jeff's article at Tasco's Varmint / Tactical Riflescope) because I have one. I've been trying to figure out from the information given to convert to an 18'' target as to how many mildots would be covered at 200 yd. increments from 1000 to 400 yards and haven't been able to come up with it. Can you help?

Dick

 

A:

It is simply a matter of doing the math. We know that 1 mil at 1000 yards is 36", therefore 18" will be 1/2 mil at the same distance. At half the distance, 18" will cover twice the number of mils. 1/2 times 2 equals 1, therefore 18" covers 1 mil at 500 yards, 2 mils at 250 yards, etc. There is a website that sells a neat little slide rule to quickly estimate range with a mil-dot reticle. The device is used by just about all sniper and anti-sniper units. It is called the Mil-Dot Master and can be found at: www.mildot.com. It is inexpensive and will save a lot of time and brain-strain in the field.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Hi Jeff,

First I'd like to tell you that your page is full of good information for everyone who is looking for honest advice.

Now my question: I'd like to buy an AR-15 rifle in .223. But yet I don't know what barrel to choose, 20" or 16". How big is the difference when it comes to accuracy? I'd like to use the rifle for distances up to 330 yards but also for IPSC rifle matches. For this mixed purpose would you recommend a 16" or 20" barrel?

Thanks for your help.

Kind regards from Germany,

Ralf

 

A:

Ralf,

For all around use, I recommend the 20" barrel. You could also buy 1 rifle with 2 different top ends, but if you only own 1, I'd go with the 20" I love my 16" and my 24", but I think that the 20" is the best compromise.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Great article on the Savage ML-10 (see Jeff's article at Savage's New Smokeless Muzzleloader). I have two questions: First, did you have any problems with misfires? I have experimented with different bullet/sabot combinations and have had enough misfires to not want to hunt with this rifle. Second, what were your safe loads for Hodgdon Lil' Gun Powder?

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Mark

 

A:

Mark, we have had no malfunctions of any kind with our ML10, it functioned perfectly in every respect. We also know a bunch of guys who are using the ML10 (it has become quite popular in our neck of the woods), and none of them are having any problems. If you are having misfire problems (and you have verified that you are properly seating the primers), I'd contact Savage for a solution.

As for loads with Lil'Gun, start with 42 grains and work up carefully to a maximum of 46 grains with the 250-grain bullet and 44 grains with the 300-grain bullet. Be advised that Savage still has not recommended Lil'Gun; neither they, Hodgdon nor Gunblast will accept responsibility, etc., etc. Do make sure that powder grains will not infiltrate the nipple tube before using Lil'Gun (or any other small-grained powder), as individual guns may vary.

Boge Quinn

Q:

Hi, great article about the AO Ghost Ring sight (see Jeff's article at AO Ghost Ring).

I have a Winchester Trapper as well in .44 magnum, and have been looking for a better way to pick up my targets. Mainly paper and plinking right now but I may use it for hunting in the next couple of years.

My question is this: does this in any way disqualify this rifle for use in cowboy action shooting? I would think not because they allow other tang mounted sighting systems; I did want to inquire about that though.

Please let me know your thoughts and if there are any other comments or additions you can think of for my sighting systems.

Thanks,

Tom

 

A:

The AO is great for close to moderate range. For finer work, I like the Williams Fire Sight (see Jeff's article at Williams Fire Sight). Also, check out the Marbles Tang sight (see Jeff's article at Marble's Tang Sights).

As for Cowboy Shooting, the SASS handbook states: "Only open iron sights or original style tang mounted peep sights are allowed." I believe this would preclude the use of the Williams Firesight and probably the AO Ghost Ring in Cowboy competition. Although they are "open iron sights" and thus would fall under the letter of the law, these sights are of a more modern design and would probably be seen to at least violate the spirit of the game. Certainly the Williams Fire Sight would not be allowed because of the modern fiber-optic inserts. Sights such as the Marbles Tang Sight should be legal when used with an original-style front sight (brass beads work well with tang sights).

Following is a link to the official rules from SASS's web site:

http://www.sassnet.com/pages/shootershandbook.html

Thanks for reading GunBlast.com!

 Boge Quinn

Q:

I totally agree with your opinion of the Savage 10ML (see Jeff's article at Savage's New Smokeless Muzzleloader). You mentioned Hodgdon's Lil' gun powder; would you send me a starting point using that powder? Anyway, can't wait to go try the gun myself!

Thanks,

Tom

 

A:

Thanks for writing, Tom. I noticed by your return email address that you are currently serving in the U.S. Army, and I want to thank you as well for your service to our Country.

Jeff says a good starting point for Lil' Gun in the ML10 is 42 grains, working up carefully. Pay close attention to be sure that no powder grains flow through the primer insert orifice as discussed below. Neither GunBlast.com, Savage, or Hodgdon assumes any responsibility for the use of Lil' Gun in the ML10.

Boge Quinn

 

Q:

I was trying to find information on a gun that I was given as a gift, it is a Savage Model 99c in .308. It is very nice and older than I had first thought.  I really enjoyed your web page and figured I'd drop you a line and find out if you could tell me where to get more info on the Savage rifles, maybe some place where I could get info on the gun via the serial number. 

Thanks,

John

 

A:

The 99C is a great lever action rifle. The 99s (and preceding 95s) were designs from the late 19th century and remain modern to this day. They were at least 60 years ahead of their time. The 99C differs from most 99s by having a detachable clip magazine. They are great shooters, and are beginning to have some collector appeal.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Actually I have a couple of questions and could really use some advice..

By the way, I really like your site... keep up the good work.. it is great!

First of all, I have a Ruger Vaquero in 44 magnum, 4-5/8" barrel. I really like to use 300 gr. cast in it with light -to- medium loads.. most everything I do in this gun shoots real low at 25 yards.

I have never filed on a sight before, and to be honest I really do not know "how."

I'm not afraid to try, but could use some advise on the "how to," of it.

Next question.. I have a Ruger Black hawk in .45 Colt. it seems no matter what I feed it, no matter what loads or mixtures, it just will not group! It sprays. Ruger won't seem to help me here with this one, only their, "we do not recommend reloads" thing.

They told me the bore diameter was larger than the chamber throat. They will not listen to the fact that many say this makes for a lousy shooter. Could this really be the problem here?? I have sent it to them enough! I am at a loss as what to do with it. For a Blackhawk, (new), it shoots lousy! Do I use larger diameter cast lead anyway and go on, or will that even solve the problem? Any and all help will really be appreciated on these two situations.

Thanks,

Gary

 

A:

Gary,

  The thing to remember when filing down the sight is to go slow. It is much easier to remove material than to put it back. File a little, and then shoot...file some more, shoot some more, until the impact matches point of aim.

  Contact Dave Clements about your undersized chamber throats. He can fix them easily.     www.clementscustomguns.com

   Jeff Quinn

Q:

With the bad reputation that the TEC-9 received during the late 80's and early 90's I was just curious about the real truth of the weapon. I know it showed up in countless crime scenes and that it was given a bad rap because it looked evil but what I want to know is it really a good, reliable, accurate weapon just given a bad name because it was so inexpensive making it easy to obtain and therefore used more often in crimes or is it just a piece of junk not even worth its low price? Any opinion would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

-Aaron

 

A:

Aaron,

The Tec-9 is an OK gun, nothing really special but worth the low price. It is a "fun gun", not reliable enough to stake your life on. It's worth having just because "they" don't want you to!

Boge Quinn

Q.

I really like your web site. After reading your review (see Jeff's article at Bushmaster's New "Varminter" Rifle) I am looking to buy a Bushmaster AR-15, and I just went to the local gun shop to see one. My question is: what is the maximum range on the .223, or the average accurate range?

Mike T.

 

 

A:

The US Military says max. effective range is 800 meters.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff, I finally got a Super Redhawk 480 and love it. I did have one problem, however: I mounted a Leopold 2X with a little Loc-tite and had a problem with the scope shifting. I started over and placed some Loc-tite between the rings and the scope. I hope that works...A little tighter fit this time. Have you got any suggestions? Thanks again for the great articles on the handgun (see Jeff's articles on the .480 Ruger at The .480 Ruger and Loading the .480). The best and most informative ones yet!

Doug

 

 

A:

Doug, thanks for the question. Here's a neat trick for mounting scopes on both rifles and handguns: place a small strip of black electrical tape, about 3/8" X 1", inside the rings, top and bottom. This will grip the scope to prevent shifting. It's cheap and it works. 

Jeff Quinn 

Q:

Hi Jeff Quinn. I posted a question on sixguns.com about temp sensitivity of Lil' Gun and you answered that you had not noticed it being overly sensitive. I then saw your article about the 45 Colt Stainless Ruger Bisley (see Jeff's article at Ruger Stainless Bisley) in which you said the following: "The new Bisley grouped, as expected, in the two and one-half to three inch range at twenty five yards with my standard plinking ammo, but the best groups were obtained using the excellent Cast Performance 335 grain wide long-nose bullets. These bullets, loaded with a healthy dose of Hodgdon's Li'l Gun powder, produced groups of two inches and under. I have not yet worked at developing special loads for this sixgun, which I believe will produce even better accuracy." I am curious what kind of velocity you are getting with the Cast Performance 335 and Lil' Gun. As I said in my post, last March I was getting 1250 fps using 22.0 grains and this weekend I was getting 1420 fps with the same charge. 

Thanks, 

Brian Carlson

 

 

A:


Brian, I have not worked with Li'l Gun enough in this gun to publish any conclusions at this time. I want to work up a good load specifically for this gun. I will know more later on the subject, but I just don't have all the details at this time. Thanks. 

Jeff Quinn 

Q:

Great article on loading for the .480 Ruger (see Jeff's article at Loading the .480),

THANKS and God Bless,

Billy

 


A:

Billy, the case head is indeed different on the two cartridges. I use 
shell plate B for the .480 and G for the .475. 

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Do you have any idea where I could get some info on an old Ruger Bearcat frame? I purchased it a few years ago from a well-known local gunsmith. It is a Bearcat frame and trigger guard, the frame is marked PR-1, and the serial number is J1XX. The frame is anodized or painted black, the trigger guard is unfinished aluminum. The gunsmith told me that he got it directly from Ruger as a sort of "experimental" thing. I am trying to find out if it is worth my locating the other parts to build a shooter, or if it might be worth something to a collector as-is.

Any info would be most appreciated. I have looked for Ruger Collectors on the Internet, and your site is the closest thing I have found so far.

Andy

 

A:

Andy, the Bearcat frame you have is from the early so-called "Alphabet" series of Bearcats. It is not from an experimental gun. The frames were all anodized black. 

When Ruger began making their Bearcat in 1958, they made about 1,000 and then changed their serial numbering technique to confuse their competition regarding how many Bearcats they were making and selling. They began with "A" and went through "Z". Thus, A001 through A999, B001 through B999, etc. all the way through Z999. After this, Ruger began numbering the little guns again around 2,000 and up, but they skipped most of 1,001 through 1,999, again to confuse the competition. Interesting, isn't it?

The frame you have, J1XX, was made in 1959 or early 1960. There is some interest among Ruger collectors in the "Alphabet" frames, with certain collectors trying to get an example of each letter. Since what you are looking for is a shooter, I would suggest you locate a collector who has some interest in Ruger's "Alphabet" frame Bearcats and work out a mutually-equitable trade.

Thanks to our buddy (and resident Ruger collecting expert) Bill Hamm for helping us with the above information.

Boge Quinn

Q:

Do you know of a source for .32 Rimfire ammunition? Thanks,

Robert

 

A:

Check out the Old Western Scrounger at www.ows-ammunition.com. They are a good source for hard to find and obsolete ammunition.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff, You mentioned in a post on the sixgunner.com discussion board  that you'll be heading out west on a road trip. You also said you'd be looking for guns on that trip. I've had the occasion to take a few trips but haven't been able to buy handguns outside of my home state due to federal laws. Since you mentioned bringing home one of your acquisitions on your motorcycle I assume your bought and took possession of the gun while traveling about the country.

Now, how can I do that? Do I need an FFL or whatever?

John

 

A:

It is legal to buy a long gun out of state. Handguns I have shipped to my local dealer. 

Jeff Quinn

Q:

I may be obtaining a Ruger .44 Magnum soon, I am not sure if it is a Redhawk or a Super Redhawk. Not having much knowledge of handguns at all, other than knowing I like being a proud owner of them, what is the difference between the two? Until Monday night, I only know from the present owner that it is a very pretty and BIG gun.

Thanks,

Jeff R.

 

A:

Jeff, thanks for the question. The Ruger Redhawk is a big double-action revolver that Ruger chambers in either .44 Magnum or .45 Colt. It is a fine DA revolver with a unique and strong locking system, and it balances very well considering its size (49 ounces with 5 1/2" barrel). The Redhawk is available in either blued or stainless steel, and is available with Ruger's patented integral scope mounting system, which is the best system ever devised for mounting a scope on a revolver.

The Ruger Super Redhawk is a bit bigger even than the Redhawk (58 ounces with 9 1/2" barrel), and is chambered in .44 Magnum, .454 Casull, and the new .480 Ruger (see Jeff's article on the .480 Super Redhawk at The .480 Ruger). The Super Redhawk has a three-way locking system, and the frame extends over the barrel a couple of inches for added strength at the forcing cone area. The Super Redhawk also comes standard with Ruger's integral scope mounting system, and is available in stainless steel only.

Either revolver is a fine choice for a double-action hunting revolver. Both guns are as strong as the proverbial bank vault and exhibit fine accuracy, but the Super Redhawk is considered to be the stronger of the two, with the added strength coming at the price of an extra half-pound or so of weight. You won't go wrong with either one! Following is a picture of each:

Ruger Redhawk (Model RH-445) in blue.

Ruger Super Redhawk (Model KSRH-7)

Thanks again for the question, and thanks for reading Gunblast.com!

Boge Quinn

Q:

Jeff, I have been experimenting with 480 Ruger loads and I wanted to get some input from you. I have been using the Hornady 325 XTP. I have tried the 10 grains of Unique along with the Hornady recommendation of 26 grains of 296 for a 1400fps load. Is the Unique 10 grain load is sufficient for deer? (1000fps) or do I need to look at higher velocities. If so I would prefer the capability of having sufficient energy out to at least 50yds. Would appreciate any input. I am curious if you have run the Unique load past 10grains to something higher. I use Unique alot in .45ACP so I usually have plenty. Thanks for the help.

RT

 

A:

The 10 grains of Unique is ideal for deer. For more powerful loads, I prefer 296, 110, or Li'l Gun. The purpose of the deer load is to give a powerful but milder load. The 325 at 1000 is perfect. 


Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff, 

I have two questions for you, Please give me your best insight. Regarding the Taurus model 445 .44spl. 5 shot, stainless, DOA. How strong is this gun?? Will it safely handle ammo up in the 1200fps range, mainly low powered .44mag ammo? Just curious???? Second, I have a Marlin 444P Outfitter, How big a bullet will feed through the loading gate, (make the turn into the magazine)? THANK YOU!

GRIZZZ83

 

A:

Thanks for the inquiry. I would stay away from real heavy loads in the Taurus. It is a great gun, but is not a magnum. You can shoot heavy .44 Specials, such as the Cor Bon loads, but it is still basically a nineteenth century design with a removable sideplate. 

In the .444, you can go with heavy cast bullets, such as the Cast Performance 320. Just be sure to watch the over-all length. 

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff,

About ten years ago, Smith & Wesson introduced an N-frame revolver in 10mm, the Model 610. At the time, these revolvers were not listed in their catalog, but were made available to distributors with a total production of about 5,000 units. In about 1998, they re-introduced this model in the "Classic" configuration, with laser engraving, un-fluted cylinder and drilled/tapped. I came across one of the first run 6 1/2" models about four years ago and have enjoyed it to no end. It is the most accurate revolver I have ever owned, with my best handloads going into inch and a half groups consistently at 50 yards with Burris 2X scope. Also, the concept of the full-moon clips is the best method ever devised for recharging a cylinder (thank God there weren't enough 1911's in WWI).

My question is; have you, or are you familiar with anyone, who has done any real performance load development for this gun/cartridge combo? There is plenty of data available for the "Ten", but I have yet to see any specifically for the wheelgun platform. One exception would be an article in a Handloader Cast Bullet Special Edition (ca. 1992 ?). These were mid-range target type loads.

I have done a fair amount of loading and shooting with this gun, (even bought another for iron sight use) and have developed a technique that I feel is well suited to this cartridge in the revolver format. It basically uses a technique which is quite well known to handloaders of rifle cartridges, in that I use a longer overall loaded length than can be used in a semi-auto pistol. SAAMI spec. for the 10mm is (I think) 1.250". In my cylinder, I can use a length of 1.325", without the bullet contacting the throat. As we know, less bullet jump means better accuracy in most rifle applications, so why not in a handgun? My results, as far as velocity, have not met my expectations with the powders I have tried ( Unique, Power Pistol, Blue Dot, 2400, 800-X, W-W 540.........) and with mostly the Hornady 180 gr. XTP-HP. Most are in the 1250 to 1300 fps range, But (of course) I would like to see these bullets get to their destination faster than would be possible (safely) in an auto loader. What are your thoughts on this subject? I feel the combination of the heavy frame revolver with 6 1/2" barrel would be capable of 1400+ fps, without exceeding safe pressure levels, which should be in the 40,000 psi vicinity. The old 10mm "Hot Rod" factory (170 gr.) load from Norma is listed at 44,000 psi max.  Thanks, I know you guys have some answers that aren't available from the newsstand shooting magazines, and that's why I like your site.........

Mark

 

A:

Mark,

It sounds as if you have a real shooter there. The 610 has a very good reputation for accuracy. Seating the bullet further out will indeed add a bit of powder space, which should give more velocity. The one advantage that an auto has over the revolver is that it suffers no loss at the barrel / cylinder gap as does a revolver. Keep your 610 tight to reduce loss at this  gap. You may need to try a slower powder, but not as slow as 2400, to reach the velocity you desire safely. Remember, go slowly, and watch for pressure signs, such as sticky extraction. Also, I would lean heavily toward the accuracy of the load, instead of velocity only. You may not be able to safely exceed the velocity of an autoloader, due to the aforementioned loss of gas at the barrel / cylinder juncture, even with the longer barrel of the Smith. You might try a powder such as Hodgdon Longshot. Proceed slowly. Don't wreck your fine revolver for another 50 feet-per-second.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Paco gave me his opinion on heavy cast 41 Magnum load of a 255-grain WFNGC-LBT bullet over 18.0 grains of 2400 powder with W-W large pistol magnum primers. I tried 250-grain WFNGCGC-LBT bullets over 17.8 grains of 2400 w/ Federal Large pistol magnum primers in my S&W Model 57- I observed that I was getting flattened primers with just the beginning of cratering or cupping on the primer. They are chronographing at 1350-1370FPS in 80 Degree F. I would like to to drop the amount of powder to reduce pressure just enough to stop the primer cupping. I don't want to drop velocity below 1300 FPS if possible. I Intend to use these loads for Boar hunting in Sept. in VT where the temperature can vary substantially. Any suggestions would be Appreciated.

Rich

 

A:

Rich, I would worry less about the primers than about extraction. If the cases are not sticking badly, I wouldn't worry about the load. However, you may find that slightly dropping the powder charge will give you a more accurate load. That bullet at 1200-1250 fps will do anything that you need, and the boar will never know the difference. It seems odd at first, but many times a heavy cast bullet will penetrate better at lower velocity.

Jeff Quinn

Q:


Hi Jeff -

Would you happen to know if Unique meters well from the Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder Measurer? I shoot a Redhawk 45 colt and currently load with W231, 2400 and AA#9 (all of which meter beautifully through the Pro Auto Disk). I'd really like to try Unique but I'm told it can be a bear to meter consistently. God Bless,

Alan

 

 

A:

Alan, Unique is very easy to meter in my experience. It is a small, flat flake powder, and flows through my Lee measures without a problem. Thanks for asking.

Jeff Quinn

[Ed. Note: see Jeff's article on the new Unique powder at Alliant Unique - Boge Quinn]

Q:

I got a hold of an old 3-screw .45 Blackhawk, made in 1971, and would like to experiment with some "heavy" loads using 255-320 grain bullets. Is this frame the same size and strength as the current "New Model" Blackhawks? Thanks!

Tom

 

A:

Yes, Tom, the frame is the same, with the exception of 30 years of advancement in metallurgy. The old model .45 is a fine sixgun, and will accept any loads listed for Rugers.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff, I read your last answer on the Q&A page about the heavy bullets hitting high. What makes the gun recoil before the bullet exits the muzzle?

Sean

 

A:

Sean, the gun begins to recoil the moment of ignition of the powder charge. The same force that pushes the bullet forward, also pushes the gun rearward. As we learned in high school science; for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Because the gun weighs more than the bullet, it moves slower to the rear than the bullet does forward. The axis of the bore being  above the grip, the barrel begins it's upward climb as the bullet begins moving down the barrel. With a heavy, relatively slow moving bullet, the barrel rises more before the bullet leaves the muzzle, resulting in a higher  impact upon the target. Good question.


Jeff Quinn

Q:

I really like the web site, and LOVE the Ruger 44s. I'm on my second Super Blackhawk, and had a Super Redhawk in between! Just had to go back to the SA though. I'm reloading again after several years to help keep costs down, but seem to have a problem. I desired to work up a light load for my 44 Blackhawk, and had selected Hornady 240 gr SWC bullets due to availability. I planned to use 8.5 gr of Unique for about 1000 fps.

When I arrived at my local supplier, I was informed that he was out of Unique, but that he had Herco on hand. He recommended I go with the Herco. I had seen 10.5 grs of Herco with a 240 gr SWC on a reloading chart in the past, so I thought I would give it a shot. 

Having not use this load previously, I started with 9 grs of Herco. The load seemed to work well at first, producing decent groups. However the pistol shoots very high, about 8 in high at 25 yds with the sight set all the way down.

I have since used 8.5grs of Unique with about the same results. What is up here? What do you suggest?

I really like your web site, and plan on using it a lot in the future.

Thank you,

Scott

 

A:

Scott, this all has to do with barrel time and recoil. When shooting a bullet of 180 grains for example, you won't have this problem. With a heavier bullet at lower velocity, the gun will recoil more due to the heavier weight, and  the bullet will spend more time in the barrel, allowing the muzzle to rise more before the bullet has left the gun. If you considerably speed up the bullet, it will leave the bore sooner, the muzzle will not have risen as  much, and the bullet will impact lower on the target. For lighter loads, you can use lighter bullets for better results. The Herco powder is much slower than Unique, and should be reserved for heavier loads. We have an article on the new cleaner-burning Unique at Alliant Unique.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

I am currently looking to purchase a revolver with a bird's head grip. I was pleased to hear that Ruger was going to make a Sheriff's Model with the grip. Will they be offering that grip on the Vaquero? If so, what barrel lengths and what calibers? Also, what is your assessment of the Cimarron/Uberti Thunderer? Any help on this would be appreciated. Thanks! 

Dan

 

A:

Dan, the first birdshead models will be on the Vaquero, in both blued and stainless. The first ones will be .45 with 3.5 or 5.5 inch barrels. I handled them at the SHOT show, and they felt great. I like the imported sixguns fine, but prefer the Rugers for strength and durability. Thanks for reading Gunblast.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

I am going to be deer hunting this coming fall with my Ruger Bisley 45 Colt. What would be the minimum velocity needed for a 300-grain LBT bullet out to 100 yds? Thanks for your help.

Bill

 

A:

Bill, Thanks for the question. As you know, deer are fairly easy to put down if hit correctly with the right bullet. You have the bullet problem solved, as the 300 grain LBT is certainly up to the task. I would strive for anything  over 1000 feet per second that gives good accuracy. With that bullet, and plenty of practice, you should have no problem putting a deer in the freezer.

Jeff Quinn

 

Q:

In Ruger's catalog they list the Super Blackhawk .44 Mag w/ 5 1/2" bbl as weighing 46 oz. And they list the Blackhawk .45 Colt w/ 5 1/2" bbl as 39 oz. What's the difference, is the Super a larger frame or are the frame sizes the same but the steel is heaver in the Super? Both have fluted cylinders and look the same except for the hammer spur.

Noel

 

A:

Noel, Thanks for the question. All Super Blackhawks have steel grip frames, while the Blackhawks have an aluminum grip frame. This, along with the fact that more steel is removed boring the larger chambers and bore in the .45, accounts for the difference in weight.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff: I am considering purchasing a Ruger Bisley-Vaquero 45LC,( 4-5/8" barrel). I would like to also deer hunt with this revolver, but was wondering if these sights are set for light loads. I am presently hunting with a 7 1/2" Bisley 45LC which performs wonderfully, but is harder to pack around. What do you think about this Bisley-Vaquero for deer hunting? Thanks for your help.

Bill

 

A:

Bill, the 4 5/8" Bisley Vaquero is a great sixgun, in fact, I have a matched pair of them. The sight radius of the short barrel is not as much a factor as the sights themselves. The rounded profile of the front sight just is not as conducive to accurate shooting as the sight on the Blackhawk or the regular (non-Vaquero) Bisley. With a front sight that is rounded and shiny, the sunlight can play some tricks on your sight picture. Then we have the problem of not being adjustable. You will have to find a load that you can sight in the revolver to hit your target. I'm not trying to discourage you at all from using the Vaquero, it can be a good hunting sixgun, you just have to work a bit harder to succeed with it than your 7-1/2" Bisley, with the excellent adjustable sight. As a side note, I have a cousin that killed six deer this past season with his 4 5/8" Vaquero. Thanks for the question.


Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff, I've never reloaded for pistol cartridges ( yet ), so I'm not yet familiar with burn rates, etc. Do handgun cartridges generally burn completely before the bullet exits the barrel ( regardless of length ) ?

Vic

 

A:

Vic, ideally, yes, the powder should all burn inside the bore. But in real life, it seldom happens that way. When you fire a gun, the flash from the muzzle, and from the barrel/cylinder gap on revolvers, is powder burning outside the gun barrel. Pistol and revolver cartridges use faster burning powders than most rifles due to the case capacity of the cartridge. The best thing that you can do, before you start loading, is to get yourself at least 3 good reloading manuals and read every word. They contain a wealth of information. And, as always, thanks for the question.


Jeff Quinn

Q:

Jeff, on a Ruger SA, is there any noticeable difference in performance between a 4 5/8" barrel and a 5 1/2" barrel ( especially in accuracy ) ?


Thanks, Vic

 

A:

None. Theoretically, a 1" barrel can be as intrinsically accurate as a 10" barrel. Practically, however, the 10" barrel will be easier for most people to shoot accurately, due to the longer sight radius. The difference of 7/8" between a  4- 5/8" barrel and a 5- 1/2" is negligible as to practical accuracy. I prefer the 4 5/8" barrel for its handling qualities and balance.


Jeff Quinn

Q:

Is Ruger planning to produce a 480 Ruger in a single action frame? I just read an article in the American Rifleman about the 480 Ruger and it appears the caliber is only offered in double action so far. I do love Rugers' Single action revolvers. 

Dennis

 

A:

The official reply is no, they are not planning to offer a single-action .480. However, the unofficial reply is maybe. If you have an interest in such a sixgun, call Ruger and let them know. I don't believe that they would invent the cartridge just for the Super Redhawk. It would also work great in their lever action rifle and autoloading carbine. 

Thanks for the interest in our website. Your input and opinion is valuable to us. That don't mean that I am going to pay you anything for it, but that your thoughts are welcome at  Gunblast. 

Ruger's phone number is: 520-778-6555

Jeff Quinn

Q:

Hi Jeff - 

Came to your sight through sixgunner.com. Great job!

I'm new to handguns (in general...shot lots of .38's and .357's) and I'm looking for a good trail gun for black bear country. I'm leaning towards a 4 5/8" 45 Colt Ruger Blackhawk. Is this a good way to go or is a DA a better choice?

God Bless, Alan

 

A:

Thanks, Alan. In my opinion, you could not make a better choice for your stated purpose than the .45 Blackhawk, especially if you load your own ammo. If you do not load your own, you may want to consider the .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk with the 4 5/8" barrel. Most factory .45 ammo is loaded pretty mild. With a Ruger single action, you are getting a super-strong and rugged gun that will withstand years of hard use and keep on going. - Jeff Quinn

Q:

A question about the Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter you show in the SHOT Show pics: I went through the 2001 Ruger catalog, and it's not in there. Was it released too late to make the catalog, or is it not for sale yet? Any help you could offer would be appreciated. Thanks, Todd


A:

Todd, According to the Ruger rep we spoke to at the show, the Hunters should be available no later than mid-2001, and they are supposed to be available in April. For those readers who don't remember the Hunters, they are stainless Super Blackhawks in .44 Magnum with a low rib on the barrel into which are cut the integral scope mounts for included Ruger scope rings. This is basically the same scope mounting system as found on the Super Redhawk, and it makes for a sleek package for those who prefer a scoped single-action revolver without interfering too much with the lines of the gun. Also, Ruger's scope ring system allows for removing and reinstalling the scope without loss of zero.

On the subject of Ruger's SA revolvers, the birds-head grip frames are set to be available by April as well, and they will be offered in a 3 1/2" Sheriff's Model (by the way, to my hand Ruger's birds-head is much better than Colt's).

There are some other plans that Ruger has for their single-action revolver line in 2001 that we are VERY excited about that Ruger divulged to us in confidence, so we cannot reveal them as yet. Suffice it to say that 2001 will be a very interesting year for those of us who are fans of Ruger's single-actions.

Boge Quinn

Q:

Seems like over kill for shooting the biggest bullet in hunting revolvers these days. Can the 500gr spg. bullet be loaded in the .45 colt backwards to win the award? I Met one fellow who was hunting deer and needed 330 gr bullets, and he asked where I thought a 240 or 250 would probably do the job and shoot flatter than the heavy bullet. Jeff, what's the deal? -Gary

A:

Gary, you are absolutely correct. The heavy bullets in any given caliber have one very real advantage, that being the ability to hold together and penetrate. The heavy bullet, when correctly constructed to stay together, penetrates much better than a lighter bullet that is made to expand. On whitetail deer and other similar animals, a good 200 to 260 grain jacketed  hollowpoint is about ideal. On bigger or tougher animals, more penetration is needed. That is where the long, heavy, hard-cast bullets are needed. Thanks for your comments.

Jeff Quinn

Q:

I recently purchased a RUGER M-77 MRK-II. I would like to know if there are any accuracy tuning tips I can do in the home? - Sparkz

A:

There are two different kinds of rifle accuracy; intrinsic and practical. Both can be addressed, but the first kind usually requires the skills of a talented gunsmith, such as lapping the bolt lugs and pillar bedding. Whether this will help the practical accuracy in a hunting rifle is questionable.

Now for practical accuracy. Some of the things that affect practical accuracy can easily be accomplished by the average shooter. First, you have  already chosen a good quality rifle. You need a quality scope that is clear and mounted solidly. Use a drop of blue loctite on the scope ring threads. You don't want anything moving in the mounting rings.  

One of the most easily changed variables in practical accuracy is the ammo itself. You didn't indicate the caliber for which the rifle is chambered, but experimenting with different ammo can make a lot of difference in the performance of the weapon. After deciding upon the bullet weight and type to fill your needs, try different brands of ammo or, if you load your own, different powders, to find the most accurate load for your gun. The one that works best in your buddy's gun won't necessarily be the best for yours. Do all your testing from a solid rest. 

I think that these two things will get you 90% of the practical accuracy from your rifle. After these, you get into things such as trigger adjustment and bedding, but work with the ammo first. I think that you will be surprised how well that rifle can shoot.

Jeff Quinn

Click on the following link to submit a question:

Gunblast Q&A

 

NOTE: All answers posted on this web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for its use or misuse. 

Any loading data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the potential user of this data.  Always use data from respected loading manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated in the source manual.