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Practically Shooting

BarryinIN

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BarryinIN last won the day on January 2

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About BarryinIN

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    Indiana
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    Making Mac & cheese, changing channel to SpongeBob, etc. Load some ammo and bending Kydex as time allows

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  1. I shot it yesterday. As expected, that experience proved it's a very short range tool. The closest backstop we have at the club is 50 feet. I shot three magazines/21 rounds, and used up a good percentage of that backstop. I'd say they went into around 16". As much as I'd like to blame that on the fact I used a different type of ammo in each magazine, I'd be lying. it's probably a MECHANICALLY accurate gun, but not so much for practical accuracy with the lack of sights, small size, a DA trigger. It has a bark, too. I don't think I'd enjoy shooting the .380 version much. For what it's meant for, it should be fine. It's a last ditch/minimum profile gun. A friend knew I had just got it, and expected I'd bring it. He had been there a while before he asked me about it. I had just dropped it in my shirt pocket on the way, but he hadn't noticed it.
  2. “It has been referred to as the pistol that the late Col Jeff Cooper would be forced to carry if he went to [censored]: a double action pistol with no sights, a magazine safety, and chambered in 32 ACP.” That’s from an Ammoland article on the Seecamp LWS-32 pistol. As a follower of most of the late Col’s teachings, I’ll go along with that. The Seecamp is a combination of what I too consider non-“features”. But I had to have one because it is so... neat. It’s fascinating engineering-wise. Everything about it is meant to make it small. Originally designed around a single ammunition loading, it is incapable of shooting (or even loading in the magazine) FMJ RN ammo because it would have to be a tiny bit larger to handle the slightly greater overall cartridge length. The slide is only as long as needed to cycle and no more. To reduce size, it was designed without slide rails. The grip supports only one of my fingers. Sights? Nope, that would take up too much space. It makes a Kel-Tec P-32 look big. Ruger LCPs dwarf it. Even the Walther TPh .22 is bigger. Most NAA mini-revolvers are longer and wider. Seecamp has a page with actual-size photographs of other guns overlaid on theirs that really makes the point. http://www.seecamp.com/overlays.htm Originally made in .25 ACP, the design was soon made to accept .32 without making it any bigger After several years, they did the same for a .380. Reports on the .380 make me think it could be too much of a good thing. Believe it or not, recoil is said to be “brutal”- something you don’t usually hear about the .380. The trigger guard whacks the outside of the trigger finger under recoil, and the manual even suggests applying a band-aid as a cushion before shooting. Suggested recoil spring replacement time is 200 rounds but some claim even that is optimistic. To get them to function while being on the ragged edge of size, they have to make it well. I keep seeing it called “the Rolex of small guns”, which I think is a stretch, but it IS made very, very well. The metal finishing is close to flawless, inside and out. It isn’t the easiest to operate due to the small size, but functions like cycling the action and pressing the trigger through its arc are smoooooth. In all honesty, though small, I think you are getting a lot of quality for the cost. There aren’t many regular production guns this nicely made. Another, admittedly silly, reason I wanted one was because they were so hard to get for so long. Demand was steady, but production was slow. Because designer Ludwig and son Larry Seecamp would not compromise quality, I understand the factory was never made up of more than four trusted employees. For a long time the wait was 1-2 years. People sold their spots on the list. If you ever saw one for sale, the price was two to three times retail. It used to tickle me that the Blue Book Of Gun Values would show the MSRP at $325, but used, new in box, at $900. I witnessed the owner of my local shop sell his right out of his pocket one day. A customer was badgering him to get one, and when the customer found out he had one of his own, he wouldn’t let up. Bob finally made the outrageous statement that he would take a thousand dollars cash for it. And the guy agreed! So yeah, there is a mystique about something you couldn’t have for so long. The Seecamps sold the rights to make the guns in 2013. Since then, production has increased until it now takes only a few weeks to get one. I found a pre-2013 .32, and although I paid twice what I could probably buy a Kel-Tec for, I felt it was a steal after knowing what they brought for so long. Having to wait only a week for it’s arrival really did make me feel like I stole it. So I have it. Buying a .32 pistol of any kind, let alone a DA with a magazine safety and no sights, is very unlike me. I sometimes feel like I am sinning when carrying a 9mm, and here I am with a .32. Not only that, I’m proud of the thing. How weird. Will I ever carry it? If I do, it will be as a third gun at best. It’s hard to imagine a time I’d carry one as my only gun, but I suppose anything is possible.
  3. A week or so ago, I heard Herrett’s Stocks were no longer accepting orders, as they were closing soon. Then a few days later I heard similar news about Ahrends Grips. Bankruptcy there. We just lost a good good portion of the custom grip business. It’s hard to compete with rubber, dyed laminate, and Taiwan eBay sellers I guess. I only have a few sets of Herretts and no Ahrends, but have a feeling I'll miss both. They filled the gap between the ones I just mentioned and the multi-hundred dollar custom grips.
  4. Since things are pretty slow around here, here’s an update. The Model 12 is still receiving attention from me. It hasn’t slipped away as old news and been forgotten yet. I painted the front sight green and put a BK grip adapter on it, and made no other changes. http://bkgrips.com With the narrower than standard K frame, aftermarket grips for these are scarce and/or require a long wait. Standard ones leave a gap at the top. The grip adapter was a temporary solution, but will remain permanent. Ahrends Grips was a possibility, but they are going bankrupt. The only other change I can foresee is a possible trigger and hammer change. Both are Model 12-specific parts due to the frame width. The trigger is narrow, but grooved, and grooved triggers are not my preference for DA shooting. Rather than permanently modify original parts on an otherwise unmodified 50 year old gun, I looked online for original parts to attack. What I found was some trigger and hammer sets. If I get one of those pairs, I’ll bob the spare hammer. I have gone back and forth on a hammer bob, but if I get a spare I can try it out without fully committing to it. The gun has been carried in a jacket pocket some this winter, and that hammer grabs like a big fishhook. Admittedly, I overlooked these for a long time, but it’s a pretty interesting gun. I’ve read before that they “carry like a J but shoot like a K” and that’s a good way or putting it. Recoil is similar to an Airweight J frame, but it’s much more controllable to make a follow up shot. It’s even made it to a class already. I attend the same Low-light/Night pistol class each year in December. Since I was using my Kimber K6s in the class this year, I took the Model 12 also. I’ll hold details of the challenges of managing revolvers, flashlights, and speedloaders for another time, but both guns were fine. New toys arriving since the M12 have all been S&Ws. A streak. That’s just how it worked out. A new M&P 15-22 rifle came first, then a nice old Model 39-2 9mm and a somewhat tired looking Model 65 3” RB. It was odd picking up the 65 last week in the shop with empty cases and gun racks.
  5. It’s been almost a year since I posted the above. If the rumors are anywhere close to true, it’s a done deal and we’ll be swimming in them soon. I stand by the above comments. After handling the current King Cobras I think Colt could make a new Python with an action that equals the original Pythons I still don’t think that will be good enough for people. Reviews will love it. Owners of originals will slam it. Some people will buy it. Most will malign it as not being good enough to bear the name, whether they’ve ever touch either an original or new.
  6. I thought they did handle the .50 BMG, but not too long ago read the travel is a little short. Oh well, I don’t have the need anyway. I need to measure, but am guessing the travel is about the same as a Rockchucker. On this large press, that amount of movement looks too little, like it should be scaled up to match the press size. It looks funny this way. I found a new, intact, shellholder plate and have it on the way. This will let me keep four of them in place instead of three, which is not a big thing, but it’s nice to make it “right” for $30. I now have one shellholder (.38/.357) to fit it and have two more coming (.308/.30-06 etc, and 9mm).
  7. It’s old-ish. The company was Hollywood Gun Shop, a pretty small company. I’d say they were about the same size company as Star. They made reloading equipment- mostly presses, dies, and powder measures- from roughly the 50s until only a few years ago. I think this model started production in the mid-60s and lasted for 25-30 years Hollywood outlasted small names like Texan, Bair, and the like, but not by much. It might’ve been in the 80s when they slowed way down, but they didn’t have far to go. I thought they had quit some time in the 90s, but evidently the last owner was still making reloading tools until just a few years ago when a fire made it too hard to continue. I only read that after buying mine. I think that fire was 2013. If it helps to find them online, other Hollywood models were the Junior, Senior (made in both single stage and turret), and Automatic- a progressive. This one is a Universal turret. Another company called Dunbar made very similar-looking models. I don’t know if there was any connection, but when I say they look similar, they look very, very similar BTW, an odd thing about this press is that the ram raises on the UPstroke of the handle. Some presses have been made so this action is reversible, but I don’t see how it can be done on this one.
  8. I have wanted one of these for a while, and have to brag. This thing is a big ‘un. That’s a Rockchucker next to it in the picture. The angle of the picture makes the Hollywood look bigger than it is, but not by much. The head has 12 die stations. I plan to use it for dies that I can set and LEAVE set, like crimp dies for revolver cartridges, a .223 seating die adjusted to 55 FMJs, a .308 seating die adjusted to my heavy bullet load, etc. This will save time and should be more consistent than adjusting them again each and every time I change them out. Shellholders are going to be a speed bump. Shellholders are pretty much standardized between brands now, but not when Hollywood started making their stuff. Although a couple of other companies used the same style, the design is different from what is made now, and I’ll have to scrape some originals up or buy an adapter (RCBS makes one, as does others). These presses were made with a rotating casting that holds four of their shellholders. That let you install four different shellholders that you could instantly switch between. A previous owner “experimented” on this piece and hacked up one spot. The guy I got it from is a machinist and eliminated that location so it’s now a three-hole arrangement. These presses were available with either a steel or aluminum frame. I might’ve preferred steel for the strength if I was buying a new one (50 years ago).. Mine is aluminum but I don’t think it’s lacking any strength. Let me say a big press is harder to carry than I thought it would be. I don’t want to overblow it into too big a deal, but like a sleeper sofa, everything wants to move when you pick it up. The added weight of a steel frame would not have helped.
  9. Nikon is done also. What’s out there now is it.
  10. I’ve had it in my hands for maybe a week now and it still seems weird to see “AIRWEIGHT” stamped on a K frame. I’ve carried it in a jacket pocket some and it rides well. My iPhone in the opposite pocket is enough counterweight to make the jacket hang right. I think S&W is missing out by not making these now, but in Scandium. Add some better sights and it would be slick. A 3” barrel option would be a neat variant also.
  11. I don’t know why, but I’ve wanted one of these for a while. The Model 12 is an Airweight K frame .38 Spl. Basically an aluminum alloy framed Model 10. You could get it in any combination of 2” and 4” barrel, round butt or square butt grip frame. I’m getting a 2” round butt. But then again, it’s not just an alloy-framed Model 10. An odd fact is the Model 12’s frame is thinner by .08”. Well, the Model 12. 12-1, 12-2, and 12-3 is. The last ones, the 12-4s, were standard K frame width. Who would want that? Weight: 18oz. For comparison sake, the smaller 5-shot .38 J-frame concealed hammer Airweight 442/642 is 15.8 oz. I even have a couple boxes of standard pressure Federal Nyclad 125 HPs saved up for it. For some reason, I’ve had a thing for Sam Spade, Noir-style gats lately. Gats. Heaters. Roscoes. Torpedoes. Iron. Piece. Steel. Freakin’ Gunbroker. Maybe a Detective Special will be next.
  12. I realized I haven’t posted anything since shooting the Kimber, which I’ve since done. A lot. I like it. It’s comfortable (enough) with Magnum ammo, but I’ve been carrying Speer .38 Spl +P 135 grain Short Barrel Gold Dots in it. Another good choice might be Remington .357 Mag 125 Golden Saber which is a mild Magnum. I’ve been using it as my motorcycle gun*, carried in a highly raked crossdraw from Azula Holsters. More or less a “driving holster”. This was my intended use for this gun. I wanted a revolver for motorcycle carry in case I had a need to shoot without the ability to lock my wrist. I would like to add a lanyard ring for a little extra security. I love the grip shape. They are so smooth as to be slick, but there is a stippled version that should take care of that. The grip on the 3” version is a little longer than the 2” but not by much. It is just long enough to get about 3/4 of my pinky finger on and that’s enough. In a word, the grip is efficient. There is only enough material to receive the hand and no more. It’s pretty interesting, really. When gripped with one hand, the only wood visible is a small wedge between my fingertips and the heel of my hand. That got me thinking more. “Efficient” is a good word to describe the entire gun if I had to choose only one. I just described the grip, and the cylinder is well-known. It is only a couple hundredths of an inch larger than a J-frame cylinder yet holds a sixth round. If you look at the cylinder window of the frame, it is cut close at the front and rear. No wasted space there. Every detail was carefully thought out. I still don’t think the trigger is as good as in some other Kimber revolvers I’ve tried, but it HAS improved with use. *BMW R1100RS and BMW K75S.
  13. BarryinIN

    Kel-Tec KS7

    If I’ve learned anything from shooting this gun, it’s that it thrives on abuse. It requires hard use to function. You cannot go easy on it. I know that’s the rule for a lot of guns- lever actions come to mind- but you hammer this thing and I swear you can hear it laugh.
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