CONTENT ADVISORY: The below is a bunch of rambling about cool guns and stories about guns of the past and present and the friends who own them. And a few of their sage words.
I don't have the desire to own every gun I see, it's just about every third or fourth one that I'd like to have some time in the holster with. I just really love a great 1911 or variant, great revolvers of many types, but particularly J and K frame Smiths and D frame Colts, both snubnose and longer barrels.
I especially like .22 rifles and pistols, for their cheap ammo. Ammo prices these days are no laughing matter, and although I do not want to undertake reloading my own ammo, I think I'd like to have the gear and the training and the supplies to create ammo in certain calibers (9mm, .45 ACP, 30-30, 30-06, .223, shotgun shells, et al) and several of my friends have discussed buying some kind of reloading gear, not for regular use, but for ammo shortage situations.
I've got to see and shoot a bunch of guns lately. The S&W Model 1917 continues to impress and astound, as does my Glock 36. What stalwart firearms both of them are. I shot several very cool 1911's recently as well as some other autoloaders.
I've seen some cool pistols lately that I'd like to have. I saw a nice Taurus .22 revolver with about a 5" barrel, a 9 shot capacity and a smaller grip, and the gun frame was about like a J frame size. It was almost like it was a 3/4 scale gun, and it was perfect for El Fisho Jr.
A friend recently had a 20's Colt 1911 restored and refinished, as the finish was bad. His Smithy put the best inside parts in there, keeping as many stock Colt parts as he could but still being true to the vibe of that model gun. He then handfit the gun before putting a lusterous blue finish on it. My friend put some ivory imitation grips on it, but that pistol is so fine it calls out for some old real ivory grips. My friend says the closer you keep the gun to the way John Browning designed it, the better off you are and the more reliable the gun is. Use it the way it was designed.
That gun my friend wears in his LE work on his hip everyday, and which I see every day, has made me want to get one of the new Remington 1911's. It's old school, except it has the safety feature of a transfer bar between the hammer and firing pin, which some enthusiast's claim prevent trigger work to the extreme, but I plan on taking the trigger as it comes and not modifying it. I would add some Pachmayr Signature grips and that would be that. Maybe a rounded combat hammer with a lanyard hole as they snag much less in concealed carry. I could pimp it up and have get the hammer gold plated, but I think I'd go with a stainless one for a contrast with the blued gun.
I saw a used 90's FEG P9R that absolutely attracted me last week, for a bargain price. I have several friends who have owned these guns back in the 90's, and I recall shooting one of them and being impressed with the da/sa setup and the general accuracy and reliability of the gun. One of the friends who owned one of these sold it, and regrets selling it now. The DA trigger on this one was excellent but the SA springs need some work to lesson the take up, and the shop owners/gunsmiths (very talented, I might add) said they already had this on their list. They found some new springs and firing pin and some factory mags and refurbished the gun. The slide has a lighter, actually just a hint of blue on a polished steel finish which was different than the blue-ish finish on the frame.
The P9R was a creation of the FEG company of Hungary. Looking like a Browning Hi Power, it's innards strongly resemble the S&W Model 59, which was the first (at least mass produced) DA/SA 9mm high capacity pistol. Although the High Power has been in production since 1935, only in the past few decades did Browning make a half-hearted attempt to "double-action-ize" the Hi Power.
So the P9R is a Hi Power on the outside. Almost. The Safety/decocker is on the slide itself, as with a Model 59. There are minor but significant differences in the location (at least of the internals) of parts like the magazine release.
FEG did make a virtual clone Hi Power whose model name escapes me just now but most of the variants of this gun did interchange parts with Hi Powers. I do want one of these. With a Hi Power going in the high hundreds whether new or used, an FEG at a bargain $200-300 is a great opportunity to get the Browning feeling on the McDonalds budget.
I got to grab a couple of the new Glock Gen 4 pistols with different sized backstraps and definately like the smaller backstrap on the Model 19 better than the standard non-adjustable Glock 19 grip size. The Glock keeps getting knocked down the *firearms to get* list through no fault of it's own.
Another gun I'd like to have is one of the 2.5 inch barreled versions of the S&W .45 ACP lightweight revolver. It's big but in winter time it's the gun to carry. It shoots not unlike my Model 1917, meaning very low felt recoil, and with a pair of Crimson Trace grips, it's the ideal defense weapon for the home.
I'd like to put Crimson Trace grips on all of my guns that would take them. The grips themselves are not as comfortable for me as Pachmayrs (imho) but do so much better than wood grips, and in any event, the difference between the Crimson Traces and the Pachmayr is nitpicking by me. The Crimson Trace absorbs mucho shock and do well.
I really liked the discontinued Ladysmith series by Smith and Wesson, particularly the K frame Model 65 .357 with 3" barrel. A nicer stainless version of the blued Model 13. I also liked all of the 39XX derivatives that came out of the Ladysmith series. They are great guns and all are lighter than their non-Ladysmith counterparts. I never bought one before they were discontinued (they kept getting moved down the guns to get list) and like many other guns, I regret it and I'm keeping my eyes open right now for a Model 65 3" barrel.
I'd also take a screaming deal on a Model 13. Another great weapon, the blued version of the Model 65. K frames can easily be concealed even during summer if the barrel is no longer than 3", at least on my body. The 4" barrel is hard to conceal either with a belt holster or an IWB holster. A full size 1911 is easier to conceal than a 4" K frame. So thinks me.
I also began reminiscing about my old MAK-47 from the 1990's. I sold it to a good friend. I saw a really beat one in a gun store with the original thumbhole stock from the dark Clinton Assault ban days. It was so beat that you had to wonder what kind of idiot owned it and literally beat the crap out of it and totally neglected it. You know it wasn't probably cleaned either, for years probably, since they were made in the mid-1990's that way.
I've seen a lot of overpriced AK-47 and variants lately, many of them beat to hell. When the furniture is totally scarred and messed up and gouged and dried out you have to wonder how the weapon was treated. Thrown from a moving tank or banged around in a vehicle or aircraft? Dropped from a low flying helicopter? Drug behind a convoy for a few miles? Take a fall down a rocky mountainside?
The guns I saw, and there were five or six different variants, were all sad and priced in the $400-500 range. I wouldn't pay $100 for the ones I saw. The SKS rifles were in much better shape but were way overpriced as well and sporting fixed magazines and bayonets. I don't need a bayonet on my SKS, if'n I had one.
One gun fancier I know named Big Howard things that it's better to have SKS rifles that take AK magazines spread all over a farm than one or two high end assault rifles. He reasoned that these were still the cheap deals in assault rifles and he had had excellent experiences with his multiple SKS's. His theory was, one, use long guns not pistols (hat tip to TGR) and to have SKS's all over the place with bags of magazines with them, rather than a couple of assault rifles you might not be able to get to in an emergency. And perhaps a few sealed air/water tight "battle packs" of ammo nearby in the main safety area. Howard tends to be a bit OC at times (that's both Out of Control and Obessive Compulsive) but there is wisdom from his words for the rural resident.
Finally, giving a hat tip to the late Chic Gaylord, I'd like to find a nice 40's-50's Colt Official Police/Positive Positive in .38 Special or .38-.40. If they made them in .44-40, that's the one I'd like to have. You can still find some relative deals on these guns, which in the late 50's Gaylord recommended as the top concealment guns for self defense. If I could get a deal on one, the barrel would have to be cut to 3".
In that line of Colt revolvers with short barrels, the heinously overpriced Python in a 2.5 snubnose is a great weapon. There was a small run in the early 80's by Colt called "The California Special" that had a 3" barrel. I know from experience the 4" Python is highly difficult to conceal in warmer weather. With jacket, no problem. But such a butter smooth trigger one day I'll get one of these Python Snubbies.
Finally, many of the lighter .44 Special and .45 LC S&W Mountain guns intrigue me. Another gun I hope to find at a gun show sometime, with trading fodder in hand, because some of these guns really rocked, especially the five shot alloy framed versions. I wish I could find a comprehensive list of the Mountain guns produced, as I'm always running across a new model I didn't know they made for a year or two.
I'd love to have a 70's Mauser Luger as well as a P-38. H-K's like the P7, P13, P9S and other fine rifles from them would be a welcome addition. I'm a sucker for German handguns like old Walthers and H-K's. Belgium FN Brownings.
Enough ramblings. Go Shooting!