Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I've had the Fishing For History: The History of Fishing and Fishing Tackle on my blogroll for sometime now, and the above link is to a recent post about ultralight fly fishing. Excellent post and pictures. That is exactly what I need is a nice 5' two weight fly rod with a nice cork seat. One day soon I'll find a nice one like that.

Dr. Todd Larson is the author, and I haven't read his bio so I can't tell you much about him, other than I share some of his arcane interest in old fishing tackle and the history of it and the companies who made and sold it. Why, it's the story of fishing in America itself!

I'm particularly interested in efforts like this, however. This rod and reel is a nice little find for the good doctor.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


under my Christmas tree!

Mrs. El Fisho replaced our keyboard and this one has some sort of wildcard key on either side bottom row that basically BLANKS OUT everything you've typed into explorer even if saved. Bummer. This is the third time I've attempted this post.

From http://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l602/GED011/S22LRexprt.jpg


I bought mine in the 70's, and foolishly sold it in the 80's. I think I paid about $276 for mine new, now used they go for about $900-$1500. I recently saw one for a grand and it was gone in minutes.

I don't know why Smith and Wesson/Walther don't offer this model. They make the PPK/S in .32 and .380, why not .22? I mean, all the design and heavy lifting has been done, and I guess there would be some firing system parts to be changed for rimfire and the barrel and magazine but basically you're slightly modifying an existing product.

And given the quality of the PPK/S and the raging popularity of "replica" guns in .22, I this the PPK/S in .22 L.R. would sell, sell, sell!

   from http://www.americanrifleman.org/Webcontent/gallery/104/2021ColtSeries70.jpg

  from  http://cdn.armslist.com/images/posts/634244718332335143mbz00sob.jpg

from http://www.collectablearmsllc.com/products/Colt%20Python/images/2Colt%20Python%20357%20-%206%20inch%20Barrel%20Blue%20-%2098%20percent%20Very%20Nice%20-%20pix02.jpg


I can't afford to pay what is quickly becoming the  low end pricing for all the older Colts I want, i.e. about $1,200. I'd like to have a 3rd generation Single Action Colt. A 1970's series Government and/or Lightweight blued Commander. A 6" Python.

You can find deals on all the above guns, although I'm sure feeling ready for some more deal-stumblin'-into as it's been awhile. I see 4" and 6" Pythons (as well as .22 caliber Diamondbacks, another fine gun) in Very Good to Excellent condition on auction sites going for less than $1200 at times, and see the 1970's series 1911 guns going for $700-$900 in excellent condition. The Peacemaker or it's variants are always the pricey guns. I don't have a real Colt single action, and I'd like one.

What I'd really like to see in a Colt under my tree would be a very good condition Government 1911 that's at least 50 or 60 years old. It can have patina. It can be holster worn. Well cared for but with some use. It could be in .45 ACP or even .38 Super.

If you're wanting a Colt but can't afford the guns mentioned above, I'll note that I've seen a few Detective Specials 3rd generation lately in excellent condition going for from $500 to $700. IMHO, these are amongst the finests snubnose 38's available. I'd like to have a 2nd generation Cobra or Detective Special as well, because they are fine firearms.

from http://www.proguns.com/images/browning-blr-lightweight-w-takedown-pistol-grip.jpg

An ingenous design that makes for a compact and handy rifle. Available in numerous chamberings and corresponding barrel lengths, it's a classy, quality weapon. I've hefted one recently in 30.06 Sprgfld, and what a nice gun. Beautiful wood. Serious metal. Flawless action and trigger.

Although the Southern Man in me feels the need to have a 30-06 in this gun, the experienced shooter in me says a lightweight gun is not the forte for the 30-06 for me. I'd have to go for the .308 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I find it much more pleasureable to shoot.

I'd personally opt for using the receiver scope mounts, but it can also be set up like a scout rifle if one prefers. A very versatile weapon.

from http://www.ruger.com/products/gunsiteScoutRifle/images/6803.jpg


I got to handle one of these, including some dry firing on snap caps, a few months ago. Saw it at a Cabela's and at one other small local gun shop. Since then, nada. Have not seen one and the dealers say they're like the other new, in-demand guns that they can't keep or sometimes get in stock right now.

I was surprised by the weight. I knew the weight of the gun before I picked it up, but was still surprised that it was lighter than it looked. I didn't care for the appearance of the laminated stock, to me it is just not attractive. I'd rather have a rubber Pachmayr composite stock or some good old American Walnut. Anything but the depressing gray laminate.

The gun itself, other than the stock, was an attractively built weapon. It felt solid and the bolt felt like almost any other Ruger M77 I've shot. I don't know if the Gunsite Scout bolt is a M77 but it felt as solid to me as the M77 does.

Ruger makes a good gun. No doubt about it. I'm hoping they tweek this design a bit. Take a few cues from the Steyr Scout. Composite stock with a built in disappearing bipod. Space in the stock for an extra magazine. An adjustable cheek piece. These mods wouldn't cost too much and would make the rifle actually worth it's current MSRP of a grand. Cabela's was selling them for something like $750.

You can read some of the late Jeff Cooper's thoughts on his Scout rifle design here at Eric Ching's Scout Rifle Archive. You'll note that the Ruger does not meet some of Mr. Cooper's criteria, for example, Mr. Cooper lists things like having a stainless barrel that's about 19" long. I have no doubt that the Steyr Scout rifle, which costs about twice what the Ruger does, is a better, more accurate approach to the rifle Mr. Cooper envisioned.

The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle has been both hailed and cursed by the gun press and online critics. On the one hand, it's a handy length ranch rifle, by a gunmaker known for reliability, durability and product support. Critics attack the magazine as unnecessary, but I like the feature of a detachable mag.

This rifle should not sell for more than $600 street. It is overpriced and it sorely needs some different stock options. I'll have one ultimately, but I'll be waiting for a used one and then putting a different stock on it.

from http://gunsforsale.com/ghg/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/kel-tec_pmr30_01.jpg

Yes, everyone wants this low priced, 30 shot .22 magnum pistol that weighs 13.8 oz. unloaded and less than 20 oz. fully loaded with 31 rounds (one in chamber) of .22 magnum. According to Gunblast, it fits perfectly into holsters for the Glock 9mm's like the 17 and 19, so those with Glock holsters are ready to go.

Some folks call it a poor man's 5-7. The .22 magnum hardly holds a candle ballistically to what the Herstal 5.7 round can do. Indeed, as we've discussed here in a previous thread about the FN Five-seveN pistol, it's combat ability was fully proven by the traitorous Army officer in Killeen.

The Herstal 5.7 round behaves far differently than the .22 magnum once they enter into ballistic testing materials, with the theory that in practice the effect would be similar on a live target. I need to look up some more data on this subject but from the limited amount I've read the PMR-30 may be a poor man's 5-7 in terms of capacity and low recoil, we are talking the difference between low end Ford and perhaps a Benz/Beemer here in terms of design and performance.

In any event, the ammo cost for the PMR-30 is less, of course, and the cost for admission is 2 and a half times less. I look forword to shooting, or even seeing, one of these guns in the near future. They're scarce right now, with one large Houston gun dealer telling me he hopes to have them in stock by the Christmas holidays!

from http://gunnuts.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/ruger-sr-1911.jpg

from   http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_deerfield.gif


We've talked about it before. American Made. Street price at one of the higher priced gun stores is $750, but they don't have it in stock yet. There have been a few here and there, but like the PMR-30, there's waiting lists everywhere for them.

Made in America. Slide milled from solid steel. Selling for the price, give or take a couple hundred bucks, of far lesser quality foreign made clones of so many brands. Even the brands who have high end 1911's import their low end entry level models.

Ruger has never made a 1911. That's ok, I figure the design is sound enough that Ruger's crack team figured it out. It's a full size, full weight 1911 with nice aftermarket features, and I can say before even seeing it that it will have that Ruger build quality.

I personally have 40 years of off and on shooting experience with a small variety of Ruger firearms. Blackhawks. Super Blackhawks. Single Sixes. Bearcats. Mark I-III. 10-22's. Mini-14's. Security Six. Model 22/45. I've either owned, still own or my family at one time owned these various models. And there remains a list of Ruger guns I'd like to have. 

I'd like a Ruger 99/44 carbine, or it's predecessor model. But the more recent model that uses a 4 shot rotary magazine would be more my liking. A .44 magnum rifle and a great companion for when I'm toting a .44 Magnum handgun. Of course, this is another example of a rifle I could have picked up "back in the day" before it was discontinued for a reasonable price. Now they are selling for a big old high price, and I'm not likely to spend that kind of money on that gun. But if I find one a little less than pristine in finish but mechanically sound for a decent price, I'd buy it in a minute.



Searching high and low I've been for a variety of acceptable caliber combinations in several brands. I'd be happy as I could be with a late model Savage 24 30-30 over a 20, which is built on a lighter frame than the 30-30 over a 12 gauge. However, either would be fine. But nary a one at a reasonable price have I been able to find. In fact, I found one on a gun auction site a few weeks ago and it disappeared a day into the 10 day auction.

The few .357 over 20's that I've seen, Savages, have been going and going strong on auction and ending up in the $1,300-$1,500 range. That would be a nice combo to have, as I bought into the whole .357 thing as a young police officer studying ballistics and police shootings. I think it's a magnificent round, and in the right gun it's a sheer joy to shoot.

I have several of the "right guns", both hand and long, with which to shoot the .357, and now El Fisho Jr. has caught on to the long distance accuracy (for a pistol anyway) and knock down metal plate shooting power that this round has. El Fisho Jr. has found that his dear old dad was right about heavier guns having less felt recoil and the miracle of Pachmayr Presentation grips on a K frame (or any gun, really) sized .357. 

So I'm totally discounting the .357/20 due to the out of control pricing on this particular combination gun unless someone starts making them in a newer, cheaper combo rifle.

Frankly, it would seem that if Savage, for who so long was THE GUN to have in a combination gun in this great country (along with Stevens and a few others), would see the writing on the wall and say hey, people are paying into the mid-$1,000's for these guns, maybe we should make them and sell them for like $700. With a Walnut stock. Scope ready. Nice blue and case finish.

This is a favorite gun for one of my favorite things in the world to do, which is take a walk in the woods. My next post will be about that, so I'll pick this combination gun thread up there.

I'm also interested in the Baikal IZH94, which has been in and out of importation the past decade, and like the SKS, I never got one on the cheap just 7 or so years ago when you could get one for 3 bills. These Baikal combo guns are supposedly now being imported by EAA and are on their website, coming in either .308 or .30-06 over 12. I'd prefer the .308 but would pretty much jump on the other as well at a reasonable price.

Remington also sold these Baikal guns a few years ago under their brand, I forget the model number, but likewise I'd take one of those as well. Certainly, I'd also consider the 7.62 x 39 over 20 that Baikal once made, as well as a .223. There are several Savage 24-V's, .222 over 20's for sale that I've seen, but again I really would like a .308 or 30-06. Besides, I want something if possible that shoots cheap, or cheaper ammo, as in mil surplus. Also, I'd like a popular caliber, not because I want to be popular, but because I'd like to be able to get ammo for it. Calibers like .223, .556, 7.62 x 39, .308, 30-06 are mostly reasonably priced and good bulk deals can be found. Calibers like .222, very popular in Europe due to the fact they can't use calibers like the ones I listed above because they are military calibers, are a wee bit expensive here. 30-30 is a bit more pricey but deals on good quality ammo can be found, and that's when you stockpile.

And although I have a few guns in calibers that are somewhat expensive for ammo, it's just a couple. And every purchase into a new ammo area, particularly one where cheap ammo is not now available nor expected to be available in the foreseeable future, is a carefully considered prospect.

In any event, help a brother out. If you see a combo gun such as I've mentioned in your LGS or elsewhere, send me an email and a link. I'd be mighty grateful.

FROM http://forum.saiga-12.com/style_images/1/Saiga.gif



Yeah, I know. But I've shot one, and I LIKED IT! A LOT! I've also shot the .410, and the problem with that one, which was an older one from years ago during their first run, and it would only function with metal cased .410 shells, which are el expense.

The 12 gauge, owned by the same fellow, digested everything. All plastic. Cheap shells. Expensive slugs and buckshot. Cheap buckshot. Medium and expensive priced shells. Like a Glock, it'll eat anything.

In fact, he had numerous 20 round drums loaded with everything from the cheapest of the cheap on sale mil surplus 00 buckshot to expensive 12 gauge rounds and slugs and sat up all night at the deer feeder at a friend's ranch that is plagued with big ole' hairy and toothy East Texas Hogs, with night vision goggles on awaiting the evening feeding crew. They came en masse,  about 50-75 of them large and small, he saw, he conquered. Massively. With the shotgun forearm resting on a heavy duty bipod and a laser sight going, it was like a .50 caliber plowing through the herd of nasty beasts. 

Of course, it would be a poor choice indeed to invade this man's home if one were of the home invasion criminal persuasion as guess what gun is this man's home defense weapon. You guessed it. A folding stock Saiga with drum magazine, flashlight and laser. BAM! 

He and his crew were cleaning small hogs until the early morning light and then off to the processing plant to get it all butchered up. They began hauling it after he was halfway threw his first drum, but they were so clustered to begin with that it was shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel (which, by the way, Outdoor humorist Ed Zern once wrote a hilarious article about how shooting fish in a barrel is actually not that easy of a task). Literally, many small, medium and large hogs fell from the first drum of the shotgun alone, and several of his companions were using rifles with the cheaper, spotlight fed infared scopes to pick off some of the larger, more destructive hogs.

So the Saiga was proven in battle action to me from those exploits, and it seems like a dandy home defense weapon. A Saiga could very well end up under my tree this year. Besides, relatively cheap to shoot, a proven and simple basic AK design, and it works with all kinds of ammo. And if for some reason I don't like it, one of my friends will and they'll have something cool to trade. What's not to like?

I blew about 10 boxes of pretty cheap #7 shot shells through the Saiga 12 a couple of years ago on the visit to the friends place when other Houston friends did the great hog hunt. It had no failures to feed or eject. It worked like it should. It was a hoot to shoot, and it shot well point shooting from the hip.




I'm waiting to see the Browning version. It would be nice if someone would make a reasonably priced Gold Cup version WITH NO RAIL and if it didn't feel janky when you handled it. I've been almost ready to buy one of several different makes of these guns when on extreme sale recently, only to decide to keep on waiting after handling them. 

The Sig version is the same as one of the other imports, and looking at all the guns has left me unexcited. Critics of the Browning cite their 7/8th size scale to the real 1911 but that doesn't bother me. Although I have medium hands, the 1911 itself fits me just perfect, as if it were made for me. 

But in the same breath I'll say that one of the  more fun .22's I've ever shot was the mini-1911 Llama .22 (also sold in .32 and .380, I think) back in the 70's. It was bigger than the little Sig .380 single action 1911 clone, but not by much and smaller than the 3" mini-45's being sold by so 1911 makers. Wish I'd have bought two of them at the bargain sub-$100 prices back then.

So the idea of a not exactly exact clone in size doesn't bother me. I'm more interested in the feel of the gun and how well made it is. Again, some of these guns have been through some of the larger gun shops I've traded with, but they go right away, like in less than a day, and it'll be some while before gun shops have these just lazily laying around awaiting a willing purchaser.

That being said, with all the guns mentioned above, you never know when you'll walk in a gun store at the right time to find a new and in demand gun being traded in that someone just bought but didn't like or perhaps a new shipment of a new gun that isn't spoken for. It happens, but it's all contingent upon being in the right place at the right time.


After seeing my cousin Jimmy's extra fine handmade gun (see my previous post), I've been eyeing and spying the Super Blackhawk with the non-fluted cylinder in blue with the 4 7/8's (or something like that) barrel, realizing that even if Jimmy kicked up production today, it'd be a long while until I could get one.

That being said, as I've mentioned ad nauseum, my dad and I shot Blackhawks and Super Blackhawks pretty extensively at one time. They are easy to find on the used market, along with the regular Blackhawk, for reasonable prices. Like all Ruger products I've owned (the ones made from metal), they're a gun you can rest assured given a reasonable amount of care that your great-great grandchildren could still be enjoying a Blackhawk, and lamenting your memory for having such fine taste in guns.

In terms of "if you could only have one handgun", if some kind of dangerous game or long distance hunting was involved, it'd be hard to beat the Ruger Blackhawk in .41 or the Super in .44. Neither of these guns would be at the top of the list (sorry, Glock beats out the Blackhawk as does the venerable Ruger Security Six, but the Blackhawks are in the top five).

But I have not been seeing any Super Blackhawks with the short barrel in blue with the non-fluted cylinder. I DO keep seeing a plethora of very tempting Ruger .357/9mm Blackhawks in both new and used. Some months ago, I saw a pristine version of the .357/9mm with no cylinder line and really, it looked unfired. $325. I didn't have the cash that day and it was gone two days later.
But even new, which lately the prices I've seen have been right around $450, it's a deal.

Lots of internet critics bemoan the lesser accuracy of this type of setup of combo cylinders, stating the .357 bore is larger and thus doesn't allow the 9mm to get enough stability to be as accurate as it could be. That may be true, and I'd make the analogy to those folks who claim to have "dog's ears" that can hear the difference between sounds that I would suspect could only be differentiated digitally.

I spent a very enjoyable afternoon many years ago at a friend's cattle ranch near Crockett, Texas. His several cattle tanks (small usually shallow ponds) and two large lakes (what I call a lake, which is a pond over 1 acre) were low on water due to a drought. Nutria had somehow multiplied like the members of the rat family they are and were everywhere.

My friends tanks and lakes were dependent upon several springfed creeks that originated on his property, and his ancestors had spent much time and effort, as had succeeding generations, in keeping these springs unplugged and in arranging the watercourses so they fed the lakes and tanks with clean water.

The nutria, and an astounding number of cottonmouths had basically located themselves around the spring head that spawned one of the larger creeks. The nutria kept building dams at the wrong places and diverting the water flow to other natural creases, bypassing the lakes and ponds.

My friend who owned the place recruited me and another of our friends for a day of nutria and snake cleansing. He got about 1,000 rounds of 7.62 x 39 ammo and another 1,000 of 9mm. We were going to do some shooting.

We made the trip from Houston, and long story short, I ended using the Ruger Blackhawk with the 9mm cylinder for most of the day. I found it to be an accurate gun, or at least accurate enough to take out big thick 4'-6' snakes and lots of nutria with head shots. So call me skeptical when folks on the internets are saying thay can't even hit the inner torso of an FBI target at 25 yards with the 9mm equipped Blackhawk. Like the late, great Houstonian Issac Peyton Sweatt's most famous song "The Cotton Eyed Joe" proclaims repeatedly, I call B.S.

I'm getting interested in doing some more shooting with my Contender. My LGS has a ton of extra barrels he took in trade, and I do plan to get a couple of those before too long. They've been under his counter for several years now, and I think the time is getting close to making a deal on a few to expand my library. 

The Contender has many uses. First, it's a fun gun to shoot. For over 30 years, my .45LC/.410 has been one of my go to snake guns. LARGE Copperhead or Cottonmouth in my yard? Contender. Snakes when fishing? Contender.

I always meant to expand my barrel selection, but then I quit the police department and went to law school and the funding for barrels dried up, more or less. Back then, my good friend Mike the Mercedes Mechanic, who more or less re-built my first engine, a 351 Cleveland out of a Mach 1 Mustang back when we were in high school. Truth be known, he basically rebuilt the entire vehicle.

In any event, post high school Mike, dubbed by his friends THE RAVEN, who was probably voted least likely to succeed by our high school hypocrits, actually became far more successful than the doctors and lawyers spawned by our class. And lots happier than the professional crowd as well. I've always been so proud of The Raven.

Anyway, about the time of our fifth year reunion, The Raven was doing exceptionally well with his own shop after leaving Mercedes (he still is doing fabulously, by the way, 30 years on) and had accumulated through trades and good buys an incredible collection of Contenders and barrels and accessories. So I got to do lots of shooting and experimentation with various calibers and setups.

I want to get a stock and some rifle barrels, as well as a few pistol barrels. Double up on some of the calibers I have in other handguns that work well in the Contender. There's also custom barrels available, and I'd like to have a 10" or 12" barrel in 7.62 x39 done custom.

The coolest thing about the Contender, which by the way can be found in the Harrington and Richardson Handi-Rifle, is that a man or woman of very limited means can acquire a nice variety of caliber options with a few interchangeable barrels and one receiver. The H&R version even sports full length shotgun barrels in addition to some large caliber centerfire choices.

No, the trigger, feel and overall stoutness of the H&R is not what the T/C features, but again, on a budget the H&R comes in much cheaper for rifle alternatives. A trigger job and a good scope goes a long way on the H&R rifles.

The H&R's are not in my future, but expanding the Contender barrel collection is certainly a long term goal.

That, of course, is the artist formerly known as EL FISHO's recreation of twenty rounds of 12 gauge being fired very quickly from a Saiga 12 with a 20 round drum.