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Practically Shooting

BarryinIN

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Everything posted by BarryinIN

  1. Scopes help you see better, and red dots give you less to focus on and line up. What you need depends on what you're doing. Truthfully, with your needs, I would look at low power variable scopes like a 1-4X. It should give plenty of magnification at 200, and when set at 1x or slightly higher it can be used a lot like a red dot with both eyes open. I use an Aimpoint for closer stuff and have a Leupold 1-4x for the sort of thing you describe, but if I were buying an optic today for what you are wanting, I would look at a Millet DMS 1-4x scope. They have a lighted "donut" ring in addition to a Duplex crosshair type reticle. You use the donut up close and the crosshairs farther out. You still have the crosshairs if the batteries die or something. They are in the $240 range, which is pretty good for what it is, I think. After that, I'd look at the Nikon MR-223, They make these in different sizes, but I'd look at the low power one, which I think is also 1-4x. The reticle isn't lighted but is fairly bold except for the very center where it gets finer, and the scope has a built-in drop compensating system. I think they are in the price range of the Millet but I'm not sure. I don't own either of those scopes myself, but several people used them in 3-gun matches around here last year. I got to see how they did throughout the year and looked through a few. I was impressed enough that I want to buy one. The Millet has the lighted donut in addition to the regular reticle, but I feel the Nikon has better glass for a more clear view overall. Trade offs. Of course, the Trijicon TR24 with a green chevron reticle is really nice, but costs as much as some AR15s too!
  2. I buy from Graf & Sons, Midsouth Shooters Supply, and Natchez Shooters Supply too, just to give you some alternatives. None of them seem to ever have everything I want, but between them I can usually get it all.
  3. Were those made for them by High Standard? I want to say they were, and it sounds like them (High Standard actions would open under their own weight when held vertically and released). Those were some slick shotguns and I wish I had one or two or three.
  4. If I may nitpick here, the Sig P-210 was take on the French Petter design (sadly), which was a take on the Browning designs and one of the first real twists on them. SIG licensed the "Petter Principle" from the French gov't-owned company SACM. http://larvatus.livejournal.com/33732.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod%C3%A8le_1935_pistol I got a Sig P-210 a couple of years ago (actually a Danish contract M/49), and decided to edumacate myself on them...after buying of course, like I tend to do. It's one of the smoothest, most accurate pistols I've ever handled, with one of the best though hardest to describe triggers, and a fantastic grip shape. It's also quite large for an 8+1 9mm, has a hammer that eats the hand alive, a safety that can't be operated without shifting the gun in the hand, and a secure but slow Euro magazine catch. So while very easy to shoot accurately, shooting it in defensive drills is not the easiest thing at all. My hand after a couple of magazines: There are screw-on and glue-on beavertails out there. I chose to beautify this fine piece of Swiss machinery by cutting a ragged looking cupped beavertail shape out of the base of a 2 liter bottle that is held on by the grips. This should give an idea of how nicely finished it is on the inside: One thing that has amazed me about this gun is how well it feeds everything. It was designed 35 years before much 9mm ammo besides FMJ was available, and it has a feedramp that looks nearly vertical. But it has gobbled up everything I've tried. I have some odd shaped 140 grain cast SWCs with a long snout and wide face, and it eats them up. I also have a bullet mould that casts a 9mm wadcutter (really) and I've shot a few magazines of those without a stutter. I really don't know how it does it, because it shouldn't. So it's a mixed bag of really neat and really annoying, but I never thought I'd own one and it's neat just to study so I doubt I'll part with it anytime soon.
  5. I lived there for seven years. I still can't explain to people here what it was like, and likewise, I never could get people there to see what it was like here. In both cases, it's a case of what a friend said about growing up in Poland: "If you have never known any different, you don't know and can't really understand". I'll tell you what- I cherish how it is here a lot more than I did before. I don't think I took it for granted before, but it was enlightening nonetheless. Sorry about getting into politics. I'll stop.
  6. You're the best. Soooo... When are you going to escape that state? Say, did I ever tell you about my lifetime carry permit? (ouch)
  7. I would bet with 95% certainty it's the bullet fit and not the WW softness. I used to think harder was better but now I know fit is #1. There are numerous threads on the cast bullet forums about this, and it always goes the same way: Gun/bullet has leading; he tries harder and harder alloys; is about to give up then slugs the barrel and sizes bullet to match; leading stops. If the bullet fits right, you should be able to use lead softer than WWs. This is assuming a bore that isn't rusted up or anything, of course. I use regular WW metal in .357 up to at least 1,200 fps, and a little faster in a .357 rifle. In rifles, I use WW metal but drop the bullets from the mould into a bucket of cold water to harden them some. I shoot those to 2,200 fps or a little faster without leading. Going harder will often help, but it's more of a band-aid than a fix. The commercial casters use really hard alloys for that reason. They know few if any buyers of their bullets will slug the bore, so they cast them as hard as the can to squeak by. It usually works unless they try to load them fast, so what the heck. The best way to slug a barrel I know of came from a book Beartooth Bullets puts out. He suggests using oval/egg-shaped fishing sinkers with the hole down the center lengthwise. The tapered ends let you start it into the bore easily, but the hole down the middle is the key. Without the hole, a solid slug will squeeze down as it is pushed down the barrel then spring back when it comes out. This will give a false (too large) reading. With the hole, the lead has a place to go when squeezed down, so it won't spring back when it comes out. What it measures is what it should be, or close enough. They aren't very consistent, but generally: #10 oval sinkers work for .30 caliber. #9 oval sinkers work for .35/.39/.9mm. #8 work for .45 caliber. A little 1/2 ounce bag will hold five to ten sinkers. I put a light coat of a light oil on the bore first. The bore should be good and clean too. I use a brass rod that will won't fit a .30 cal but fits a .35/.38/9mm. I have some wood dowels for larger bore rifles, but would rather have brass or aluminum. After getting the slug started, I go to a fairly heavy hammer so I can give it two or three good hits (pistol barrel) instead of a bunch of taps. I think that works better, but you need to be careful that your last whack doesn't send the rod sailing on through so the hammer hits the muzzle or chamber. Tape wrapped around the upper end of the rod makes a good "brake". Try to catch the slug in something soft. Carpet at least. I dry any oil off the slug with a paper towel and measure it with micrometer calipers. I keep the slug in a ziploc bag that I label with a black marker, telling the size and what gun it was used in. I write the numbers down on paper too, but I lose them and have to refer to the bag. Once I know what the bore slugs, I have a starting point. I usually size .001 over and go from there. I've found it's usually better to err on the large side. I know some people worry about an extra .001 raising pressures, but I haven't seen that it does enough to matter with cast bullets. I size my .44 bullets to .432 , which is pretty big for the caliber (not all moulds will cast that big) because my Ruger 77/44 carbine likes them that way. That makes them a tad bigger than needed for my .44 Special, but it doesn't seem to effect pressures much if at all. A pressure test fixture might say different, but I'm measuring case head expansion and don't see it. BTW, when I have bullets that get used in guns of widely different bore sizes, I size the bullets big using the lubesizer, then when I need smaller ones I run them through a Lee "push-thru" die than comes with the Lee Lube & Size kit. Two or three more things: -Even though your sizing die might say .357 (for example), the sized bullets might measure different. The die might be off, or the bullet might spring back. You just about have to mike the bullet after sizing and go by that. -I found that case mouth crimp was very important with 9mm cast bullets. The 9mm case is hard to eyeball on crimp because of it's slight taper. What looks like a light crimp that just straightens the case mouth might be a pretty aggressive crimp that damages the bullet. Go easy, start with less crimp then you think you need and work up from there. Don't use any more than you need to keep the bullet in place in feeding. -You might have to compromise on size. With some 9mm guns having bores that are larger than we expect, you may end up needing a bullet as big as .358. The problem is that the case will then be so large around the bullet that the rounds won't chamber easy if at all. You may have to drop down in bullet size until the cartridges chamber, even if you give up a little accuracy. And in a similar vein, the expander of most 9mm dies might not open the case up more than about .356, so if seating a larger bullet than that, the bullet might open up the case. That's not good for the bullet and might size it down a little. If you have one, you might need to use the expander from a .38/.357 die. If by chance you gun is closer to the supposed standard of .355, you will probably avoid most of this aggravation. But if it's on the large side, you might. I have had to do some of these things for some guns, and others for different guns, but not all of them for a single gun. Yet.
  8. I love my Dillon 550. I have three presses on the bench and don't use it for everything, but use it a lot. I got mine when I was in Phoenix for some work-related training in 1992. I went to Dillon's place to see about buying some dies. They had the three presses they made at the time (SDB, 550 and 650 which had just come out) setup on a bench to play with. When I left, a 550 was being sent to my house and I had forgot all about the dies. I know everyone has a Dillon story, but here's mine: After a couple of moves, I lost a couple of small parts. I call Dillon up to buy more. As we complete the order, the call goes something like this: Dillon guy: You said you broke these, right? Me: No, I lost them. Dillon guy: You said you broke these, right? Me: No, I lost them. Dillon guy: I said, you said you broke these, right? Me: No, I...Oh, OK. And they were sent for free. About a year ago, the casting on the bottom of the powder measure cracked and broke. No wonder, since it's on and off all the time, and often propped in a corner in the floor out of the way and getting kicked and bumped around. I only needed a small part of it, but that would require stripping some small parts and transferring them over. So they sent the entire assembly even though it cost them about twice as much. Pretty nice.
  9. I've had good luck and OK luck with them. Never anything terrible. I did get mad at them for a while several years back. When I first heard of them in the late 80s, they were super cheap. Even less than the places I had been using (Natchez Shooters Supply, and Spartan Supply, which I think were the same outfit in two different locations). After around a year of cheap prices at Midway, I noticed some things weren't priced as well as they were. Then most things had crept up in price. Interesting. What it looked like to me was they were undercutting the competition to get everybody buying there, then raising the prices back up higher than the competition. Standard sales trickery since the dawn of time, I know, but that didn't make it any better and I still didn't like it. I quit buying from them until maybe five years ago. Now their scheme always seems to be shipping costs. They are one of the worst, if not the worst. They announced a change a while back, but I don't know if they are any better. When ordering things, I start an order at several places and go all the way to almost the end to see what the total will be, then compare that. You sure can't compare until then. I seldom buy one item at a time, and wait until I need a few things. Midway will often be the cheapest on one item, but rarely will they have the lowest total price since they hit you somewhere. Usually when I do pick them to order from, it's because they have everything and the other places are all out of stock on one item or another. They win through process of elimination. And one more thing: Larry annoys me death on TV by rolling his head from one side to the other all the time.
  10. Well, I can see that. Most are to be avoided, IMO. The time could be better spent shooting or at least dry firing. Too bad I have too much time on my hands (Stay home dad with two sick kids right now, and nothing much to do but change TV channels for them).
  11. I know this is an old thread, but I keep thinking about it since reading it when I registered the other day. Whether a 9mm bullet needs sized or not depends. Just like any other caliber or gun, the key with cast bullets is fit. The bullet diameter and gun's bore diameter must be suited to each other. Most people find it best with the bore and bullet the same diameter, or the bullet .001 over (although I often go .002 over for some guns). Then we get into the problem of getting that fit. You have a mould and a bore to deal with. First, the mould. A bullet mould might be advertised as making a .356 bullet, or perhaps it's model number starts with 356 (i.e. 356123) but that doesn't guarantee the bullets will actually be that diameter. Manufacturing tolerances vary, and some makers seem to make a lot of undersized moulds as the cherry (cavity cutter) wears. I have 9mm moulds that make bullets from .355 to .359. I use some .38/.357 moulds for 9mm because they cast a bit small. We can also vary the diameter of the produced bullets ourselves. Changing alloys, casting techniques or temperature can vary the diameter of the bullets produced. The easiest way I know of to get a bigger bullet is to cast hot. If I need a larger bullet, I turn the furnace up a little higher and keep the mould hot. Likewise, dropping the temp and cooling the mould can give you smaller bullets. The other half of the equation is bore size. There seems to be a variation in 9mm bore sizes, but they tend to run large from what I see. While .355 gets tossed around as "standard", only one of my 9mms slugged that size (Sig P-210). The rest are larger, with a couple at .358 (both HiPowers). You pretty much have to slug the bore of every gun you plan to cast for. Before finding my guns' bores were a tad large, my 9mm bulllets were tumbling. I didn't have that happen with any other caliber, including centerfire rifles. and even .223 which can be a challenge. But with the poor match of big bores and standard (or smaller) bullets, the 9mms were frustrating. So with bores varying, and the fact we can produce bullets of various diameters, it's hard to say 9mm cast bullets don't need sized. I suppose that if you were casting for just one gun or guns with the same bore diameter, you could alter your casting technique (or moulds) to cast your bullets just the right diameter. When I try that, I get different results each time, so I just cast to hopefully be a touch larger than the biggest bore and size to where I need them. The Lee Tumble Lube moulds supposedly produce bullets that don't need sizing. Like all other moulds: Maybe they do, maybe they don't. I have two Lee TL moulds. One is a semi-custom .44 caliber, and it is just dandy as-is. But it was custom made to be big enough. The other one is a .45 and it would be too small except that the 1911 I use most has a slightly tight bore. They vary in size like every other mould and Lee can't know what your gun's bore size will be, so Lee shouldn't be saying they don't need sized. But they can't hardly be sized anyway because sizing will wreck their lube bands. I am happy with them in the guns I use them in, but I would not buy a Lee TL mould for any gun with a bore that's anywhere close to the large side of tolerances.
  12. I'll have to look for that. My unbroken string of Gun Digests back to 1971 was finally broken about five years ago.
  13. I think you could kill a buffalo using it as a club.
  14. I shot Trap for a couple of summers when I lived basically around the corner from a Trap club. I wasn't very deep into it, but went through eight or ten guns if that gives you any warning. Some things I found: I had to quit because it was screwing up my other shooting. I was mostly a Highpower (rifle) and defensive pistol shooter before. Both require careful sight alignment, concentration on the front sight, and a careful trigger press. Trap shooting is almost the opposite. The gun is pointed, the focus is on the target, and the trigger is "snapped" for lack of a better term. Many people don't have a problem and can switch back and forth from Trap to other shooting, but I found it hard. I had to make a choice, and Trap was not it. Weight is your friend. Within practical limits, a heavier gun is better than a light gun. Weight absorbs recoil and helps your swing, especially if a lot of weight is in the barrel. I showed up the first time with a Winchester 101 single barrel trap I had traded for. I was pretty proud of it, but as Trap guns go, it was light. Later in the night, another shooter walked by, did a double take at my gun and asked "101?" I said "Yes". He said "Hurts, don't it?". Yes it did. Long barrels are used because they get the weight forward. That keeps your swing going to help you follow through. Stopping the swing at the shot must be the most common mistake, and it's hard to break the habit. Fit is as important as has been said. Your eye is the rear sight. Gun fit is like a sight setting. If it's off, your sights are off. And there is the recoil thing. Sometimes it's not the shoulder that gets pounded, but the cheek. It's all in the fit. With Trap's rising targets, the trick is to have a gun that shoots high. Call it a built-in lead. But, I found I shot better with a field gun. The best score I shot were with a Citori Field and, of all things, a Browning A-5 field gun. You never know. I ended up with a Browning Lightning Sporting Clays, because it gave me a Trap weight gun that "shot flat" as they say. Over/unders are popular because they are simple and reliable. Autoloaders are softer shooting, but more complicated. In the course of a Thursday evening, I'd shoot at least 75 shots, often 100, and sometimes 125. Most of the guys I shot with did that at three clubs: On Thursday night, Friday night, and both Saturday and Sunday. That's a lot of shooting every week, and the guns get a workout. So do you. Even the lightest load an can hurt after 100 rds in two hours. You may not need a full choke. You will start at 16 yards (from the trap house), and while some people get on the bird faster than others, you will break the bird at roughly double that distance give or take a few yards. Modified will do for a lot of people if not most. As you get better, however, you will move back and want a tighter choke. Something to remember is that with the improvement in shotshell wads over the last few decades, plus barrel improvements like backboring and lengthened forcing cones, most gun/shell/choke combinations pattern a lot tighter than they used to. The older guns I started with were choked Mod but would shoot tight full patterns on paper with modern shells. I guess what I'm saying is: Patterns shot with Full chokes 30 years ago are shot with about an Imp Mod or Mod now. From what I saw, most people's guns were choked too tight than too loose and they weren't very forgiving. When clays are either powdered or missed completely with no chips or bounced birds, it looks like the choke is too tight.
  15. Thanks. It's one of those seemingly simple things that once you start looking at it, you see all kinds of details. As I said in the post, most of us have walked past them at shows for years and never gave them more than a glance. That's exactly what I did. Those old Trapdoors deserve a lot more credit and respect than they get.
  16. I have a 99G (takedown) .300 Savage made in 1928. I just got it about two years ago, but it goes on almost every range trip. What a nifty rifle. You are right- Look at it's contemporaries, and while they are all wild west cool and I like them, it's clear the 99 was ahead of it's time. I wanted either a .250 or .300 Savage caliber for nostalgia's sake, but I'd like to have another in 308: A lightweight 22" barreled one in .308 that had a hard life would be about right. I think one could be re-made into a lever action semi-scout rifle.
  17. I saw the auction on Gunbroker with a .45 and the scaled down .22. I wonder who is actually making it for them, since Browning doesn't make many of their own guns (if any?). I would have rather seen it in original form (pre A1 style) but as I won't be buying one, I have little reason to say much about it.
  18. Best ever? Wow, hard to say. I haven't tried them all, but I've had several. The old Browning design Winchester pumps are neat. I've never had one that was in the best condition, and I don't do well with their sights, but they still shot well in spite of it. I have an Anschutz 54 Match that shoots like crazy, but that's different. While they make sporters from the action, I think it's a bit large and complicated. I've never owned one, but I really like the Browning T-Bolt. Another I've never had is the Rem 550, but I always thought it was neat. Same with the Marlin 39. Never had one, but like it. My brother bought a Winchester 9422 Magnum in the early 70s, and it was always slick as could be. It was a lot smoother than my Browning BL-22. That short stroke lever sounds nice, but it makes for a stiff action. Stiff trigger too. I have a Winchester 75 Target that is much lighter than my Anschutz but I can shoot it nearly as well. They are known as the 52's less fortunate little brother, always a little behind, but I like them. The Winchester 52 itself is a fine rifle. I have a 52 Sporter from 1949 (No, I don't have that kind of money- someone drilled it for scope mounts, twice, which brought it into my price range) and it is a dream to shoot. I love that rifle. It goes to the top of my list. Right behind it though, is the old Browning Takedown Auto. I love those.
  19. How's that 1895 working out? I have an 1895 Winchester SRC in .30 US (.30-40 Krag). It's bore is like a sewer pipe so it tumbles bullets except for the long 220 grainers (must have enough length to get a little bite in the rifling). I like it because it has character, but I'd like a Browning for a shooter. I have a Browning 71 that shoots really well. Heck, 1895s are fun just to work the action and watch all that stuff move around!
  20. I wrote this for a now defunct forum, which had a section for article postings. Rather than let it sit saved in my computer, I thought I'd post it here. ************************************************ Trapdoors are one of those rifles that don't get the respect they deserve. There are Trapdoor collectors out there, but few compared to collectors of other US martial arms. Most of us never even glance at one lying on a gun show table. Yet, the Trapdoor had a pretty good service record in some trying times. After some initial trouble with the early brittle copper cartridge cases, it usually worked and did so in some crummy conditions. Of great importance was that due to being cheap and easy to transition to, it allowed the US Army to convert to breechloaders after the Civil War when the country was flat broke. It served in several battles and wars, including two that had a tremendous impact on our country- the Indian Wars and the Spanish-American War. There was a war or conflict going on during almost all of it's career. It is the gun that won the west. But it's history is another story. I'm going to ramble on about the gun itself. People usually call it a "weak action". Well, it isn't as strong as a Ruger #1, but that does not make it faulty. Some seem to think that way. I think we have to compare it to guns from it's period. I wouldn't shoot anything in a 45-70 Sharps or Remington Rolling Block that I wouldn't fire in a Trapdoor. The Trapdoor was made to handle a specific loading, and it DID handle it. I have found nothing saying a Trapdoor failed in service due to not being up to the task. The fact is, it's cartridge was made more powerful during it's service. Originally loaded with a 405 grain bullet over 70 grains of black powder, the bullet was increased to 500 grains over the same charge in 1881. Duplicate of M1881 on left, duplication of original load on right. The fact it cannot contain a load that is pushing .458 Winchester Magnum levels that was dreamed up 90 years later is of little bearing. A hundred years from now the much-loved Remington 700 may not be able to handle a typical load from the time, but that doesn't mean it is a bad action then or now. The Trapdoor has some mechanical details and features I find interesting, and I don't know how many people are familiar with them. By outward appearances, it looks simple as dirt. You might not think there would be anything of interest about it's mechanism, but there are a couple of things that stand out once you know about them. By the way, it was not called the "Trapdoor" back then, at least by the military. It was the Springfield Rifle (or Carbine), Caliber .45. Breech Locking I thought I knew how the breech was locked until I got one and then got a copy of the old Army manual. Then I found out there was more to it than I previously knew. You open it by unlatching and swinging the breechblock up, and you close it by swinging it down where it latches in place. When the breechblock is latched closed, there is a latch (called the "cam latch") that holds it closed by keeping the breechblock from being pushed up and open by the firing pressure. That much was obvious from looking at one, and I thought that was all there was to it. Well, there is and there isn't. It is designed so that when fired, the pressure holds it down and latched tighter. Take a look at this diagram from the manual. Our two main points of interest are marked "E" (Hinge) and "F" (Cam Latch): Item "E", the hinge pin, runs through the hinge pin opening in the breechblock. The hole in the receiver is round. BUT, the hole in the breechblock is slightly out of round. It is elongated fore and aft. Hold that thought. Item "F", the cam latch, is what latches the breechbloclock closed. Notice that the center of it's pivot point is lower than the contact surface of the latch. When the rifle is fired, the elongated hinge pin hole allows the breechblock to push backward just a little. It hardly moves, but it does move. As it comes back, the cam latch rotates slightly since it's contact point is below the centerline of it's pivot point. This rotation cams the breechblock down, holding it closed tighter. Small detail, but one that is simple, clever, and an important one. Rear Sight In 1884, the "buckhorn" rear sight was replaced by a new design called the Buffington sight (named after the Colonel in charge of Springfield Armory at the time). Compared to the previous sight, it is both simpler and more complicated. It offered an easier windage adjustment and a battle sight that blocked less of the target, but its also had five different notches or apertures that can be aimed through and was adjustable from 200 to 2,000 yards. But there was something else. Take a look at one, and see if you notice anything peculiar about it: Can you see that the sliding "ladder" runs in a track that angles to the left as it goes up? Closer look: This is a built in compensation for bullet drift. When a bullet is fired from a rifled barrel, it has a tendency to drift in the direction of it's rotation. A bullet from a RH twist barrel will tend to drift to the right. I think the theory is that the larger and heavier the bullet and perhaps the lower the velocity, the more it will show this effect, but I'm not sure. The new sight compensated for this by sending the aperture and notch to the left as it is raised. According to the manual, SA had the best marksmen test rifles at various ranges using some rifles having RH twist barrels and some with LH twist barrels. At each range, the groups got farther apart laterally due to the rifling twist causing drift. SA then halved that distance between the groups to determine the amount of drift caused by the rifling, and used that info to know how much to make the sight compensate. How much drift could there be? The manual lists the results in 100 yard increments to 1,000 yards. At 100 yards, the bullet has already drifted 1.29 inches. At 300, it's 5.1 inches. At 500, it's 11.5 inches. It's almost 4 feet at 1,000 (which takes 3.29 seconds to arrive at). With the rifle, that is inside the mean accuracy standards, so I suppose it was worth addressing. With the Carbine, I'm not so sure since at all ranges, the Carbine's accuracy acceptance standards exceed the amount of drift. I don't know if the possibility of 5" of drift is worth worrying about when the Carbine is shooting a group of almost 12". I don't know how far they ever shot them in actual combat either. But I still find it all rather interesting. Other Details There are other small details to it if you look for them. The thumbpiece used to unlatch the breechblock has an arm that blocks the hammer from the firing pin if the latch isn't completely closed. The hammer can be cocked and the trigger pulled if the breeckblock is open, but it will fall on this arm. It has an actual ejector, not just an extractor. Regardless of how fast or slow the breechblock is opened, the ejector will "fire" the empty case out of the chamber. A part called the ejector stud in the bottom of the receiver acts as a deflector to send the case flying over the shooter's right shoulder...if right handed. It should just about catch a left hander square in the face. I've read this cartridge ejection was quite impressive to Army officers who examined early samples. Apparently, they thought it was just the neatest thing. I'm not sure why, since there were ejectors on arms before, but I guess that doesn't mean it didn't happen. And it's a simple ejector system. The ejector is basically an extractor with a spring bearing against it. The key is how that spring is located. The ejector pivots around the breechblock hinge pin. Most of the time, the spring is applying pressure just above the centerline of the pin and keeps the ejector retracted. As the breechblock is rotated open, a tab contacts the ejector and rotates it slightly. That is just enough movement to "free" the spring to bear against the ejector on the other side of it's centerline and kick it out. They made use of cams and overcenter principles in this rifle. There were near-constant improvements being tested or applied to the Trapdoor throughout it's service. You have to remember there was almost always a shooting war going on. Even though money was almost nonexistant, they had people counting on these rifles so they never stopped developing them. The breechblock got some strengthening changes, the receiver got widened just a little, the firing pin material changed, the sights changed, the trigger was re-shaped...Literally everything from the buttplate to bayonet got changed at some point. Even the ramrod went through a few changes (yes, they call it a ramrod even though it's really a cleaning rod). So as you can see, it may look simple as a hammer, but there is a lot more to it than first appears.
  21. I guess my favorite is the Winchester M70, but specifically in the form of the later "Classic", which I think is what FN is making now in SC. The 1903 Springfield runs a close second. My favorite bolt action rifle is my Steyr Scout, but that is a different animal. It's designed to save weight, so has a slightly smaller bolt diameter than typical, is fluted, etc. It also locks into a barrel extension (like an AR15) which I like because it allows the use of an alum alloy receiver. It would be my first choice but I don't feel it is as rugged as some other actions. Honorable mention goes to the Enfield. If I just had to go off to war with a bolt action rifle, that would be my choice. There is a saying that in WWI, the Americans had the best target rifle, the Germans had the best hunting rifle, and the British had the best battle rifle. I think that is about right. The M1917/Pattern 14 Enfield isn't bad either. No, I don't love all bolt actions. Not quite all of them anyway.
  22. Here's some more fuel for the fire: Just trying to help. I forget to mention: On the High Standards, they had an "H" serial number prefix. Most AMs have an "A" prefix. Which brings up a potential trap one has to watch for, which is caused by the way the guns were marked. Values vary according to when a gun was made and so marked, but that's easy to fake. The only marking on the frame is the serial number. The barrel extension (upper receiver) got the info important to value, like whether it is a TDE, Auto Mag Corp, High Standard, etc, where it was made, and of course caliber. With the Pasadena AutoMags usually being most valuable, one could easily put a Pasadena upper onto a later, less valuable frame. The barreled upper assemblies were offered as accessory items, so there should be more of them out there than frames. The only way to know if a gun is "right" is to know what serial number range matches what upper receiver markings. I may have a chart somewhere, but don't know. Something else I always thought was neat: When they stopped making them (at least as a production item) in the mid 70s, the last 50 frames were serial numbered "LAST 50" counting down to "LAST 1".
  23. Thanks everybody. CamuMahubah- I don't have a CZ anymore. I used to have a CZ75B in .40 but for a fairly brief time. This was about ten years ago at least, maybe more. I had been curious about CZ75s for a long time, but don't like .40s much. I mostly bought that one for two reasons: It was priced right ($280 I think, used like new, but it might have been even less) and I needed a gun for a match that was coming up. It was the first IPSC 3-gun match anyone had held since I started and I didn't want to miss it, but I was caught with my usual match gun down for repairs, and for some reason I didn't want to use my carry guns (though I don't know why now). For $280, I solved that problem and got a CZ75 to try out. I ended up using something else in the match for some reason, but I was impressed with that CZ. Up to that point, I had tried several .40s (trying to like them) but was not very happy with the accuracy. One Glock out of the five .40 Glocks I had tried shot pretty well, and that was it. But that CZ shot very nicely. At the time, the CZs were still a bit uncommon. Magazines were available for the 9mms, but I had trouble finding mags for the .40 that didn't require waiting on a backorder. I got a few Tanfoglio mags from IPSC guys that had used them. Kind of a pain, but not a tragedy. I'm a Browning HiPower fan, and I soon got a .40 HiPower that shot even better than the CZ. With the Browning being what I was used to, and shooting even better, the CZ didn't stay around much longer. Nothing wrong with it; I just didn't see a need to keep both, and when I saw something else I wanted it got traded. If it had been a 9mm, I might still have it. I would like to have one in 9mm just to have an example of them (the first 9mm Jeff Cooper blessed). I wouldn't hate another .40 like I had after reading more about the history and development of the .40/10mm cartridges. Those 1970s experiments (.40 G&A, The Centimeter, etc) by Whit Collins, Jeff Cooper, Chuck Taylor, etc were centered around getting a .40 in a CZ or HiPower sized gun. Neat that now we can just go out and buy one.
  24. I know it's an old thread, but I just joined and don't see that you have stopped looking. I've been trying to find a good 9mm mould for almost two years now, so I know it can take a while. Some of them didn't do so great, a couple have, and the rest fell somewhere in the middle. The Lyman 356402 (120 grain truncated cone) is about as popular as any, but never did much in my guns. One that surprised me is the Saeco #383, a 140 grain SWC that looks like it wouldn't work at all. It has a wide flat nose, then a long taper to a short full diameter bearing surface. It looks like it wouldn't feed and not hit anything if it did. But it feeds fine and shoots great in everything I've tried (mostly HiPowers, Kahr, Sig P-210). The Saeco #115 is another. It's a 125 grain RN, but the nose is sort of a pointed round nose instead of the more usual rounded shape. I'm staying with one of those two- the Saeco 383 or 115. Probably the 115 because it's a four-cavity. I had high hopes for the Saeco 924, a gas checked 124 grain SWC that sorta resembles the H&G 68 for the .45 ACP. But I haven't got much good from it. An old H&G #275 which is a lot like that one but without a gas check was about the same. I have an old Ohaus 9-124 that is a lot like the Lyman 356402 and current RCBS 9-124-CN. It shoots about like the Lyman too, which is fair at best. Lyman made a mould for .38/.357 that I like some for 9mm. The bad thing is that it is out of production and hard to find in more than a single cavity. That is the 358480, a 133 grain SWC. It's an odd shaped SWC that feeds and shoots well in my guns. I'd use it more if mine wasn't a single cavity. An important thing to note in 9mms is the range of bore sizes. The general thought is they should be .355, but I haven't slugged any yet that was. The smallest was .356 and most run around .357, so I size 'em big. If I don't, they shoot terrible, and even sometimes tumble. The 9mm doesn't have a great reputation with cast bullets and I wonder if that's from people not slugging bores and sizing too small.
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