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  2. A word of advice: If you ever get away from a specialized area of the shooting sports, keep that stuff together. Don’t go robbing things and fail to put them back. If you haven’t shot black powder for a while… just for example… and borrow your powder measure to play around with a BP cannon, put it back when you’re done. Same thing if you use your capper elsewhere (and have no idea why you would’ve done that); put it back. Same with the .454 round balls you know you have. I got lucky with caps. Percussion caps have been a hard to find item for a while. I had some, but donated them to 4-H. When i picked up the Old Army, I jokingly asked the owner if he had any. He found that funny. Later, as I’m about to leave, the owner’s son asked if I needed anything else. Again, I joked “just caps”, but he surprised me by saying he would look. To my shock, he came back with a can. He had noticed it when scratching around in the back recently. That may be the first can of caps sold in a while.
  3. Since I got the Ruger LCR 9mm around the same time as this Bulldog, I’ve generally taken both to the range if I’ve taken either. Therefore, I’ve had a fair amount of side by side comparison whether they are similar enough to compare or not. If you had asked me beforehand which one I’d shoot better, I’d say the Ruger 9mm without hesitation. And I would’ve been wrong. The Bulldog makes smaller groups. I’ve got several loads already that would work well in the Bulldog, but I’m still searching for something better than “OK” in the LCR. Recoil is “friendlier” with the Bulldog. I’ve figured out bullet weights/velocities with the ‘Dog so point of impact is centered but I’m still struggling with the LCR in that area. The only practical difference in being able to shoot them is the LCR has an enclosed hammer so it’s DA only, but it stages easy so I can get a letoff that is SA-like. A .44 Spl that’s only around three ounces more than a 9mm is the easier to shoot of the two. Go figure.
  4. I’ve goofed around some with black powder guns, including revolvers, but it’s been a while. I guess I’m about to get a refresher. I’ve never had an Old Army before. The interest was there, but I never took the leap. A friend and I got to talking about them a couple of years ago, which planted the seed this time around. And this time around, I never let it go. If I watch Gunbroker for something long enough, I’ll find one I can’t refuse. And here we go. Another itch scratched. A stainless steel, 7-1/2” barrel, adjustable sight model should be here soon. I wish I still had some of that black powder stuff I’ve given away over the years. There is the lesson: Never let anything go. Some people may not know these guns exist, since it’s been 15 years since Ruger dropped them. If you don’t know, read on. If you do know, don’t bother. It’s a black powder (cap and ball) revolver made on a modified Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk frame. It’s the only BP revolver I know of that isn’t a replica of an 1800s gun. Bill Ruger, Sr liked black powder revolvers, but wished they could be made with some modern improvements. He owned a gun factory or two, so he made the gun he wanted. It was strong, had adjustable sights, used modern coil springs, and was well made unlike some replicas of the time. The result resembled the 1858 Remington and/or the Whitney and Spiller & Burr. At first, they were called .44 caliber. Later the boxes were marked .45 caliber. The ball recommended for all was the same .457” diameter. Almost all other .44 revolvers use a .454” ball, and most Old Army owners who have tried them say the .454” works and shaves lead like it should when seated. I haven’t read any serious accuracy test comparisons, but I am curious. After a couple of years, Ruger made the gun in stainless steel. That’s where things got interesting to me. Reviews from the time talked about ease of cleaning, and many would clean it by removing the grips and running it through the dishwasher. Thus the appeal to me. A black powder gun for the lazy man.
  5. I took the Bulldog out today. The 240 grain loads all shot high. I had loaded slow ones, fast ones, and in-between ones. All shot from 3” to 4.5” above point of aim at 50 feet. I got 200 and 230s to hit POA. I even got a couple of nice groups. Really, most of the groups were better than I expected. One bullet tumbled. One shot. I’ve read of older Bulldogs doing that, but I thought it was odd that only ONE shot did, and I had mostly decent groups. FWIW, it was a cast Lyman 429421 250 grain SWC. I shot a few other groups using the same bullet and didn’t see it. Recoil? Nothing I shot was all that hot, nor would I want to use such in the Bulldog for safety reasons. Felt recoil wasn’t as bad as I remember. I think it was easier on the hand than the 9mm Ruger LCR I got recently. The LCR probably didn’t recoil any more, it’s just snappier.
  6. Ruger has had the swappable magwell since the PC9 came out SIX YEARS AGO. Ruger, however, is still selling the same three magwells they started with instead of making a variety of them like people have asked since the beginning. But so far S&W has only promised a selection. I have to wonder why S&W didn’t add this feature to the folding FPC they gave us just over six months ago.
  7. Did I just feel the earth move? I can't get too excited about the announcement.
  8. New today is the S&W Response, a 9mm carbine with interchangeable magazine wells. It comes with two magwells, one for S&W M&P magazines (and two 23-rd mags) and one for Glock 9mm magazines. The trigger group is AR. The buttstock is AR (Magpul MOE). The grip looks M&P, including the backstrap system. M-lock forend. It looks like no sights are included. How much, when do we see it, etc? Beats me. https://www.smith-wesson.com/product/response
  9. Watching and waiting on those new grips. Eleven minutes into the announcement, and it’s all industry partner pitches so far. Maybe it will be rubber grips in different color options. Aaaaaand… It’s a 9mm carbine. Modular. Different magazine wells, can use AR trigger groups. The S&W Response.
  10. Every time I get excited over something like this I get disappointed. I have prepared myself to expect nothing.
  11. Recoil in my Blackhawk .44 Special is pleasant. Recoil in my S&W 696 is not bad at all. Recoil in the last Bulldog I fired stung a bit as I recall. I hope to shoot this one Thursday. We will see if my memory is accurate. All the .44 Special ammo I had loaded was a little stiffer than the Bulldog should probably see, so I loaded some more. I have fifty rounds ready, using seven different bullets. I’m mostly trying to see what bullet weight/velocity range is going to let it shoot to point of aim, then I can work from there. When I picked up the lil’ doggie, I had a 2” S&W model 12 in my jacket pocket. That’s a K-frame, so none too big. The Bulldog is almost identical in size except for having a 3” barrel. That’s not a lot of metal for shooting a .44 of any kind! FWIW, It has an early serial number so I emailed charter asking when it was manufactured. The Bulldog came out at the beginning of 1973. The answer came back that mine was made in late ‘72. I knew it was made in the early years because of the company address on the barrel, but I didn’t know it would be that early.
  12. You absolutely need one and you should have one! https://charterfirearms.com/collections/bulldog How is the recoil with the 44 Special?
  13. That's funny! I've been seeing the teasers as well. I hope it's something cool, but probably not.
  14. S&W has been sending out teasers. Lots of them. The bigger the fuss, it usually means the more disappointment to be had, so it’s probably a new rubber grip option. I’ll still keep my eyes peeled.
  15. I have one on the way, an early original from the first three years of production. I know they have a reputation for questionable quality, but they have always intrigued me. I well remember when they were a fairly hot item due to them being the sole object of their type. A .44 caliber belly gun still isn’t exactly commonplace. I am a .44 Special fan, so feel an appreciation for the Bulldog for helping bring the cartridge back from near obscurity. I have been reloading it for some time so I’m set there. The speedloaders I have for my S&W 696 and 69 work in the ‘dog. Somehow or another, I have a set of factory wood grips for the Bulldog. When you put it all together, there is no reason I shouldn’t have one.
  16. Apparently they had trouble adapting the AUG gas system to work satisfactorily with both supersonic and subsonic ammo. The AUG taps the gas from a pretty short point on the barrel, and I guess that was the bind. The 300BO barrel has a different gas block. Much larger in diameter. Still, 6.5 years… And that’s from the time they teased us. They might’ve been playing with it before then.
  17. What in the world took 6.5 years to get this gun imported?
  18. It’s only been six and a half years, but it looks like this is going to happen. https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2023/10/04/the-300-blackout-steyr-aug-is-finally-coming-to-the-usa/ Along with it, we are getting a new NATO stock (uses AR mags) that now has a standard external bolt release
  19. I realized I put my own question out there. Why buy an LCR when an SP-101 is only a (relatively) little bit more money? Good question, self. Weight and trigger. The SP-101 is a tank and built accordingly. That would be a plus if this gun was only to be used at the range, but mine will not be. The triggers are no comparison. I admit it hurt to choose the ugly, nasty LCR over the beast of an SP-101, but practicality made it no contest.
  20. Or, Forgive Me S&W, For I Have Sinned. That same sad story: A friend has one. I shot it. I liked it. I went to Gunbroker. It took a few weeks, but I made the right deal. The obvious question many people would have is “Why?” You could ask that about a few points in this case. Why a 9mm revolver? That’s kind of a two part question. Why a revolver, and why a 9mm revolver? For the first, I always have a revolver for pocket/ankle/etc carry. They deal with the crud and lint better that these locations always force into guns. But why one in 9mm? There are a few reasons, but MY best reason is because I always have 9mm ammo with me at the range. At the very least, I keep some reloaded cast bullet 9mm all the time. If I’m shooting anything at all, I can take a few practice shots with my carry gun. With a 9mm revolver, I can do the same. The only time I have .38 Spl or any other revolver ammo with me is when I am making a planned effort to shoot revolvers. Regular practice is a requirement with any gun, but it’s imperative with snubbies. Now, I can practice with the LCR anytime. At least, that’s the plan. Why an LCR? I’ve always been an S&W-first guy for revolvers. I don’t have any tattoos, but if I got one, the first would be the S&W logo. I probably have more of the little J-frames than any other size S&W. Over the years, I’ve had more J-Frames than I can think of right now. Even though I’m primarily an auto shooter I always have a J-frame on me if I have a gun at all. But I’ve never liked two things about them- the trigger pull and the sights. Just like everyone else. The LCR has a very nice trigger. Yes, it’s heavier than most people would like, but it’s about 3/4 the weight of J-frames. Even better, the pull is a lot smoother. The sights still aren’t great, but they are better. The Downsides. The biggest negative is that LCRs are expensive, and I can’t explain it. MSRP is a whopping $859. Real-world prices are still right at $700. Comparing prices while staying with Ruger, the all-steel, relatively premium, SP-101 is only $60 more than an LCR at $919. MSRP on S&W J-Frames starts at $539. No comparison there. Granted, S&W currently doesn’t offer their 9mm model 940. If you can find one, they tend to top $1000 pretty easy. Commonly named as a 9mm revolver disadvantage is the need and expense of moon clips. Big deal, I’d be buying magazines for autos and speedloaders for revolvers anyway. A real negative is recoil. One might expect a 9mm revolver, even a small one, to be on the mild side of recoil levels. If so, one would then be surprised. It’s not near the brutality of .357 Mag in a Scandium 340, but it does give you a smack. More than .38 or .38 +P. Rationally, this is to be expected since 9mm revolver performance falls somewhere between .38 Spl and .357 Magnum. Even mild 9mm factory “practice” ammo was a bit stiff. To the plus side, it seems to me that 9mm LCR muzzle flash and blast is less than even .38 Spl. I am guessing some of that is from 9mm ammo getting more attention from ammo companies in the way of low-flash powders than revolver rounds get these days. I’ve read a lot about bullets in 9mm jumping the taper crimp in revolvers but didn’t see any of it when shooting my buddy’s LCR-9. I was checking, too, shooting four then opening the cylinder to inspect the remaining round. I also shot some of my 140 grain lead bullet reloads just to test this since I use a very light taper crimp (a key to accuracy with cast in the 9mm, I have found) and saw none of it. So there I am. I will give it a fair shake and see what I have. Perhaps my attention span will last long enough. Also… The local gun shop has not one, but two, used .22 LCRs in the case. Just sayin’.
  21. I have ran it through a class now. It was only a one-day class where I used 148 rounds, but still a class. There were only three students in the class, including me, so it may not mean a lot that it was the only shotgun to get through the day without a malfunction. The fact they were sharing Buffalo brand (?) shells didn’t help them any. I wasn’t planning on using it because I didn’t have a stock yet that fit me. I was going to use my Benelli M1 Super 90, then maybe switch to the M4 late in the day to see how much different it felt. But I guess the “new gun” factor was too much to resist. Naturally, my new stock arrived the following afternoon. Nothing exciting to report about the gun. Keep shells in it and shoot. This instructor was a proponent of reloading the gun with what you shot ASAP (Shoot one, load one; shoot two, load two, etc) so I got a lot of practice stuffing the tube full. The magazine spring and the shell latch spring are stronger than my M1 or any other shotgun I have, so it was my LEFT arm that was feeling it from shoving shells in all day. So far, I recommend it.
  22. I’ve now had it a few days, but haven’t shot it yet. Oddly, I had never handled an M4 before buying one. I kept reading how much heavier they were than their competition, including Benelli’s own M1, M2, and M3, but it feels close to my Benelli M1. Part of that could be the old Surefire forend light on the M1, which isn’t heavy but probably has enough weight to effect the feel. Just looking it over, and IMO, the M4 is a tiny step down in quality from my old M1. The M4 is also 20 years newer (2001 vs 2021) which may have something to do with it. Two parts caught my attention right off. One part that always impressed me on the M1 is the “rat tail” of the bolt- the link pinned on the back of the bolt that runs to the recoil spring in the stock. It’s much beefier than on most semiauto shotguns I’ve seen. It’s a different part on the M4. It’s made of flat stampings stacked and riveted together. It’s probably fine, but it doesn’t look as impressive as the M1. The M4 also has a plastic trigger guard/trigger group housing while the M1’s is aluminum. That may save a minute amount of weight, but not much. I’m not opposed to some trigger guards being plastic, but for guns like this, the housing supports several pivoting and spring-loaded parts. Most of these parts get banged around pretty well in cycling and are on pins supported by this housing. I’ve never heard or read of a problem here, but I’d sure feel better with metal. They are available on the aftermarket. I might splurge. Then again, Marines have been using the M4 (as the M1014) for over 20 years now. They don’t seem to be destroying them, so there’s that. One thing I really like on the M4 is the pin that retains the trigger group. The trigger assembly is attached similar to most other pump or semiauto shotguns; with a pin through the receiver. Only THIS one is captive. It pushes through from right to left, stops when the assembly is freed, and stays there. I always seem to put these pins where I can easily find them later, then forget where that place is. I will know where this one is. Small thing maybe, but to me it’s worth a lot in actual use.
  23. Because I didn’t have one, I guess. I wanted one of the current heavy hitters; the M4, Beretta 1301, or the new Beretta M300 Ultra Patrol. Maybe a Benelli M2. Actually I started out shopping for Mossberg 590s, but they are running in the upper $500s up to well into the $600 range. I thought I might as well go ahead and buy Italian. It turns out none of my wants are any too abundant right now, and when found they bring every penny they can get. I went back and forth between all of them as my favorite, but when I cleaned up my Benelli M1 it was decided. I was reminded how simple Benellis are, how beefy some parts are, and how clean they stay. I was tempted to get a Benelli M2 because they are so close to the M1 Super 90 I have and like. Then I threw a lowball bid at a used M4 on Gunbroker and won. It should be here tomorrow. Since I already have a Benelli M1, why another shotgun so similar? For one reason, I want a spare. I don’t have a similar backup for any shotgun. In classes, shotguns tend to fail a lot. They simply don’t withstand the heat and constant use as well as other types of guns. Switching to a spare gun is a very common necessity, and all of my shotguns are different from the rest. That kind of change can screw up the learning curve. Shotgun classes are held less often than others. I’ll make a greater effort to get to one, so it sucks even more if and when I can’t use the intended gun throughout the entire class. Another reason is I’ve expanded my shotgun use, for lack of a better description. I never used to keep a shotgun handy for defensive use except in the home. Then during the “Summer of Love” with all the riots two years ago, I started taking my Benelli M1 in the SUV whenever I went very far from home. Moving it out of its comfy house bedding spot to the SUV with all the casing up, stashing it in its spot in the SUV, and little things like unscrewing the light lens a little so it can’t be switched on in transport running the batts down, carrying a bag of ammo back and forth, etc, etc- then reversing the process when I got home- was enough of a nuisance that I probably left it home sometimes when I shouldn’t have. So I will now have two guns that operate the same, with similar controls, and the same sights, so one can get comfortable in the SUV and one can stay home. I can use them in classes without worry of having to switch to something completely different if one goes down. I can even switch back and forth, which might make it easier on the guns. That’s it! It’s a money saving purchase!
  24. From the blog NRA in Danger https://nraindanger.wordpress.com/2023/06/08/ny-lawsuit-court-ruling/ “Here is today’s main ruling. The court strikes 13 of NRAs affirmative defenses, plus several by the individual defendants. In separate rulings, the court denied Josh Powell and Woody Phillips’ motions to dismiss. Looking at NRA’s Answer, the defenses that the court struck included: All claims relating to the First Amendment and the NY Attorney General’s bias, selective enforcement of the law, and an attack on appointment of a financial monitor. The ruling ends with, “ORDERED that, as soon as reasonably possible, the parties submit a joint letter proposing a trial plan and schedule so that the Court can reserve the necessary dates.” To make a long story short, it was a disastrous day in court for NRA and its former officials. Again.”
  25. No, not everything, but they have more than they had maybe a month ago. If you've been waiting for something, you might take a look. www.starlinebrass.com/pistol-
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