Saturday, September 3, 2011


Funny how you can stumble upon very informative web pages, just what you were looking for but not finding in your googling, and BAM! COOL WEB PAGES.



No, it's not like Elmer Keith himself is writing a compendium of history of the .357 Magnum, but the author does a very nice job of concisely covering the history and guns of the .357 Magnum in a very interesting short read. I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to know more about the .357 Magnum, which is much forgotten by many nowadays it seems, and for them I say go read the ballistics testing again.

The site has some great pictures of some great guns, some old and some new. I like the S&W tricked out Performance Center gun with a laser under the barrel and a red dot atop the gun. It would be nice to see the Performance Center do a gun for sale based on the XXX S&W Performance Center gun carried first by Vin Diesel then by Ice Cube in the sequel.

I realize the gun used in the XXX movies was a S&W Model 629 in .44 magnum, but the concept remains the same.

Or how about the simple but cool scoped S&W Model 67 4" barrel revolver from the Escape From New York movie? You could make that now with the very cool S&W Performance Center Model 67 and a holographic scope and update it a few decades. Just for grins. Throw a green laser and small flashlight on it too.

Last year I wrote about this cool gun, the Smith and Wesson Peformance Center Model 67 Carry Comp and it could only be cooler as a replacement for Snake Pliskin if he ever does a follow up to the Escape movies.

The past year has been a .357 Magnum revival for me personally. My slavery to cheap 9mm ammo has overwhelmed much of my shooting time and dollars the past few years, by virtue of finding good and cheap 9mm ammo in bulk. I can shoot 3x's as much right now with the 9mm ammo I have versus what the most reasonable but decent 38 Special ammo is going for. And we can't even talk about .357 ammo prices without shaking our heads in disbelief. It's almost unAmerican how expensive ammo has become, for the guy like me.

Nonetheless, I've been scouting and finding deals on .38 Special and even .357 ammo. Finding a screaming deal on an Australian police trade in Model 66-7 with a 2 1/2" barrel in just great condition. It looks much carried and little shot, and an exam of the innards seems to confirm that theory. 

It's as tight as the day it walked off the assembly line, and on that day S&W disabled the dreaded safety lock that lies next to the cylinder release. It just turns and turns and does not lock up the gun in any way. Web lore says you can get this fact noted in a S&W factory letter, as police guns apparently can have this feature deactivated at the factory.

I thought it was cool in this day and age that a department was still issuing revolvers and that they were the Model 66-7 in .357 and not some bogus .38 Special +P "rated" revolver. I found reference to the practice of governments trading in old service weapons for new and the controversy it can relate about these very pistols. Various social critics in Australia just think these deals enrich the gun companies. And maybe they do.

But what else are you going to do with hundreds or thousands of basically combat level handguns, guns issued to police to keep public order? Who does the agency sell these weapons to once they decide to change or upgrade?

In any event, for the past year or so, these Australian Model 66-7 police trade in's have been making the rounds. I've since seen several 4" and one 6" version of these guns, and although their bores looked a little more used than the 2 1/2" version I bought, the guns were uniformly in excellent condition with really, really nice trigger action.

The Model 66-7 didn't go into production until  sometime into the early 2000's, so I found it cool that ten years ago or so a major Australian police agency STILL went with revolvers, some 10-15 years after pretty much every other police agency IN THE WORLD went with Glocks and Sigs and other brands and 9mm's and then 40's. 

Behind the times, yes, because of course they traded in the Model 66-7's on new S&W M&P semi-autos some twenty years after the rest of the world.

Sounds like my kind of place. I'll write more about the gun and department later. Happy Labor Day, fellow laborers! 

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