Sunday, November 20, 2011


It seems like the Smith and Wesson Mountain Gun series was something I should have paid more attention to, because I find several of the models that they made to be interesting guns. Not that I spend a lot of time in the mountains, mind you, but as a revolver fan, I like a good shooting sideiron and particularly something that perhaps is function over form and isn't the "same-same".

Just about any gun could be a mountain gun, I suppose. A Glock in 10mm or .45 ACP is considered a mountain gun by some I know, although I think I'd go with the 10mm loaded hot if those were the only two guns for choosin'.

I know my late 70's four inch Model 29 is remarkably similar to some of the "Mountain Guns" Smith has marketed, in fact, several are the same gun.

Likewise, it would seem, but for the caliber, that my Model 1917 with it's 5 1/2" barrel would fit the bill as well. I say, but for the caliber, because whilst .45 ACP is a great manstopper, it leaves something to be desired velocity wise in the field with larger creatures. Again, it's perfectly adequate for what we've got here in Texas that might surprise me in the woods, but I'd rather have something sort of magnum-ey if big hogs or big cats or wolves are involved. But I even think there has been at least one Mountain Gun in .45 ACP.

So the Mountain Guns I'm wanting to learn about are the ones that differed from the standard models. Tapered barrels and various non-standard barrel  lengths. Different grip sizes. I can't recall if any had unfluted cylinders or not. Interesting sights and grips.

I couldn't find a lot of organized information out there on the Mountain Gun line, since it's kinda been a special niche offering by Smith and Wesson going back "pre-web" I guess to the early 90's.

I'd like to try out some of the offerings with the 4" and 5" barrels that I saw in past gun magazines that came in .41 Magnum and .45 Long Colt. Some where 5 shot and some were 6 shot. There were several ultra lightweight guns made of alloy and aluminum and not scandium, some were at or near the regular weight for the non-Mountain Gun versions  and some were sort of a medium weight, if memory serves.

Of course, there were and are scandium versions of Mountain Guns. The 386 SC Mountain Lite in .357, the 396 SC Mountain Lite in .44 Special and the 329PD in .44 Magnum. Great guns as well.

I need to do some digging through some old gun annuals and some more online searching at the gun forums. Smith and Wesson as a company,  I have found, is famous for tacking on designations to old model numbers for new pistols, with the pistols being somewhat different, all of which leads to confusion.

For example, you have the Model 360PD, which is a scandium framed, titanium cylinder .357 J frame that weighs in at 11.8 oz. Then you have the Talo edition Model 360, a .357 with the Scandium frame and steel cylinder, weighing in at 13.3 oz. Then, if not to confuse matters more, you have the Model 360 M&P, another .357 with scandium frame, steel cylinder and 3" barrel weighing slightly more than the other two, but still a featherweight for a .357.

But I digress. One Mountain Gun I do remember liking that I saw in some article years ago was five shot version in .45 Long Colt, and it might have been built on a K or L frame, a square butt but a k frame sized square butt, a 4" or 5" tapered barrel with some nice sights with inserts.

So any links or information you might have about compendium(s) of information sources on Mountain Guns and their history would be very cool to hear about. I'm not looking to start a collection, but like with a Colt  Peacemaker from the seventies that I never could afford back then and really can't now, I'd like to have one example of that gun one day in the safe or on my belt.


I want another long gun. and, as they say, Santa Claus is coming to town. Not a black rifle, or an assault weapon, but a combination hunting and home defense and/or home varmint/predator rifle, depending on the caliber.

I'm very flexible about what would be a cool gun to have, and thought I'd list some of the choices and see what comments I can get from those who know more about rifles and calibers and such. Now, don't start getting excited about me wanting to use a hunting rifle as a backup home defense weapon but there are times it would come in handy.

Or as one of my favorite bloggers who is on vacation right now, TEXAS GHOSTRIDER, used to say is..."All a handgun is good for is for providing diversionary fire until I can get to my long gun(s).".


For instance, one recent spotting: a .243 BAR, 1968 Grade II Browning. Just gorgeous and in like new condition. With rings. $850. It'd be sold already if it was a .30-06 or .270 or even a 300 magnum or .338 magnum. Of course, the wood and metal are just to die for gorgeous, and the weapon looks to be in excellent condition with little wear visible inside or out.

I'm interested in this caliber as I'm old enough to now be weary of shooting hard kicking guns more than a few times. I don't have a .223 bolt action or hunting type rifle, but the .243 has a bit more ommph I think. It still doesn't have enough ommph though, for the only thing I'm interested in hunting right now, which is hogs.

Yes, it'd be fine for smaller hogs, or for that rare head shot hog that's standing still when I shoot him. Most of the hogs I run across have ADHD...they just can't sit still. I read on hunting forums about guys who are claiming that they do a lot of ear shots on hogs, dropping them instantly.

Their hogs must have a water supply laced or poisoned with some kind of antianxiety drug like valium, cause I usually don't see too many hogs in my stomping grounds that pose for head shots. The hogs I see are always moving, twitching, shaking, moving around, and in general, just not sitting still for a ear shot.

As an aside, Massad Ayoob is on record in an article stating the perfect bear defense gun for the outdoorsman would be a BAR in .338 Magnum, for the virtue of fast followup shots. Down here in Texas, there's not much chance of a bear attack, and for hunting smaller hogs, the .243 would be just dandy. It's a popular caliber in Texas, and you see rows and rows of ammo for it in many stores.


A Marlin 336 from the 70's in .35 Remington. I didn't catch the price. You don't see guns new or used for sale in that caliber down in my neck of the woods very often, yet the ammo is readily available. After reading up on the cartridge, it's worth a look if it's priced right.


I still like the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle, and have had a chance to play with one recently. Ruger announced the releaase of some shorter mags recently, and I can recall they come in 5 and 10 rounders plus something else, maybe a 15. In the internet stuff I saw, they appeared to be made of plastic, while the stock 15 round magazines and the 4 extra magazines I saw recently were all made of metal.

I don't care much for the Scout Scope, although I've used one for the past couple of years on a Mini-14. I prefer my scopes mounted on the receiver, and if I got the Gunsite rifle, it would have it's scope mounted rearward. .308 is a good combination caliber, combining most of the assets and few of the faults of it's neighbors on either side of it. Surplus sealed ammo is available for stockpiling, Serious target ammo is readily available.

I don't much care for the stock laminate material either, but I'm sure some aftermarket stocks will become available. Some of the stocks I've seen on the Gunsite Ruger have been darker than others, and those to me are far less offensive. A nice Walnut or even black synthetic stock like Ruger puts on everything else would be a big improvement over what they are doing now with this laminate thing. My luck is that they'll introduce a hip and happening stock for the new improved next year's model Gunsite that is synthetic (in line with it's state purpose(s) but will have some gidget that won't allow it to fit an old model rifle.

Of course, having a heavy duty, integral, fold-up and hide-away bipod would be in line with the history of other Gunsite models made by other makers like Steyr. C'mon Ruger, even a maker like Kel-Tec is putting a folding bi-pod forend on one of their .223 folding rifles, the name of which escapes right now. But if they can do it, surely you could do it.

Ruger has been busting down the door this past year, releasing some really great guns. They've got too many new guns to mention here, but right offhand I'd like one of the .357 bolt actions, one of the new 1911 tributes (which I've yet to see in person their take on the 1911), The Wiley Clapp GP100 3" and one of the SP101's in .22 caliber.

I've seen lots of good deals on used Rugers lately. I've seen two very nice Security Sixes and two excellent Safety Sixes, all blued, all with 4" barrels and and all priced from $300-$400 and they didn't last but a couple of days at the LGS. People in these here parts know those two guns in .357 are keepers. I know. I have a Security Six in stainless, and it'll be around a long, long time. I'll be having me a six inch one the next time I see a bargain on one.

I don't know that the Ruger Gunsite is any better of a gun than one of their fine bolt actions in the same caliber. My LGS is selling the Gunsite for $745, and he sells the more or less identical Ruger bolt action M77 without the detachable magazine, with a longer barrel and no flash hider/suppressor (and with a believe it or not uglier than the Gunsite laminated stock) camo synthetic stock for like $100 less.

.270 and .308 are the other calibers that have come up in my research, shooting experience and looking around. I've already got a very able rifle chambered in .30-06, so that too moves me a bit closer to the .308. Likewise, I've run into a very nice and reasonably priced Browning BLR lever action in .30-06, as well as a gently used and not so reasonably priced Ruger M77 in .270. If I didn't already have a dandy and accurate .30-06 and if .270 wasn't so dang close to the .30-06 in so many ways, those two guns would be in the running here as well.

And therein lies problem number one. I've always shot rifles, but in very limited caliber ranges:  The .22 family, my .30-30 Marlin, a .308 Winchester bolt action, a .30-06 Remington pump, a Mini-14 and various Ak's and CAR's and AR-15's.  Oh I've shot many other different calibers once or twice, just not enough to get a feel for different guns and different ammo in the same and different calibers.

Although I'm very experienced with a wide range and calibers of handguns and of course, shotguns, I'm woefully stupid about many things *rifle* that I'm learning about at this late age. I've been shooting some different guns during the past couple of years to try to narrow the field down and here's where I am:

a .243 Browning BAR, a vintage Marlin 336 in .35 Remington, or the "sorta new and just out on dealer's shelves" Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle in .308. The BAR would have it hands down if it were in a different caliber, and the Gunsite Scout does handle VERY WELL, and I mean, very well for me.

What's your vote?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Yesterday was not only a very special day personally in our household turned into a gift giving exchange between Billy Ray and I for completely different reasons.

For several months, although Billy Ray lives near the San Marcos river that actually has flowing, albeit slowly, water in it's upper reaches, he hasn't been doing much fishing. And we were discussing what might be good tactics during the heat wave + drought and he commented how he didn't really have a good ultra-light or medium-light spinning rig to fish with.

Something small and preferably a 4 or 5 piece travel rod that didn't cost too much and wouldn't cause a lot of tears if it were stolen from a car, the idea being to have a small fishing kit in your car at all times for those spur of the moment opportunities.

Of course, I have several rigs of that description for myself and El Fisho Jr., and some that Billy Ray uses when we all go out fishing. I had one rig I was thinking about giving him, it's a nice Mitchell outfit, ultralight travel rig but this particular spinning reel has a bad habit of the center drag adjustment knob becoming loose on it's own and just disappearing during fishing. I got several replacement knobs from the maker years ago, and you just have to watch it every minute. So I use the rod and haven't used that reel in years, but it wouldn't last 5 minutes with Billy Ray.

So recently on ebay I found a nice and cheap and NIB Daiwa Executive Travel fly/spin travel rod pack with a new unused ultralight spinning reel. The fly reel was missing from the pack but I also found a NIB Kmart fly reel circa 1972 on ebay for well under the sticker price on the box of $9.97 that is the perfect size for this kit.

I didn't know it, but Billy Ray's dad has one of these rigs, except his is just the spinning travel rod. Billy Ray has been wanting one of these Daiwa Executive kits apparently for some time, so I made a good random pick when I ran across it on ebay. After he left to head back home, I ran across some new Stren 6lb line and some older but virtually unused 6 weight forward Scientific Anglers fly line and some backing he can throw on those reels and be ready to go.

So in return, I got a very cool new Magellen Hydration fishing vest, sort of a far out looking affair with a tiny back/hydration pack on the back and a fishing vest with these modular looking pockets on the front. I've seen these out for sale the past couple of years, and he got it and didn't like it and the sanitary seal hasn't even been broken on the hydration valve yet.

It has some mesh pockets on each of the inside and I think will make a dandy fishing vest. It has enough straps on the outside where some fishing rod cases could be lashed to it for an ultralight fishing kit bag. There are two very strong straps, one on the top of each shoulder, and the Springfield Armory Scout M6 bag could easily be strapped on top of the hydration part via a short 2" wide "Y" strap and some kind of strap on the bottom to keep it from swinging.

So I'll be looking at my new fishing vest tonight figuring out how it will be outfitted.


I'd not had any experience with either of the above-companies until this year. I'm very impressed, and the products I've used were made here in the USA.


The Blackhawk Sportster line of nylon belt holsters, their cheapest holster product, is made here in the USA. It comes in 6 or 7 different sizes, and as you might imagine, there is quite a bit of cross-fitting that can go on between holsters designed for one gun that work great with another. It isn't always the case, and as any holster maker will tell you, it's not recommended, but sometimes you've got a gun that no holster is made for and you're gonna use something.

I like the Sportster line for two related reasons. The plastic belt loop is solid and works against floppiness, even with an ordinary belt. With a real gunbelt, even one on the lower end, it keeps the gun and holster solid. Perhaps it's the material it's made of or the way it's attached to the holster, but it works better than any belt loop configuration on any  nylon holster I've used, whether fabric or plastic belt loop.

The second thing Blackhawk got right is the ride height of the gun vs. holster vs. belt loop. The belt loop and the center mass of the gun are positioned at or near the beltline, where I like it. Less concealable than a high-rise holster I'll admit, but far more stable and comfortable, particularly with large revolvers. The older I get, the more I care about comfort.

So the best part is these holsters are priced under $12.00 at my local wallyland, and sometimes they are in a clearance rack there or at Academy. I got two of my Sportsters priced at less than $7.00.

So I've gotten one of each of most of the Sportster line and am now looking for come cheap used leather or nylon "police duty" belts to throw the holsters on so I can have inexpensive but ready to go rigs for different guns for hunting and fishing adventures.

I set up one old actual clarino leather police duty belt from my past with one of these Sportster holsters for a 6" .357, and it was rock solid on a thick Sam Browne belt. I threw on the old speedloader case, also clarino, that I used to use back in the day, as well as a 12 space cartridge slide that I outfitted with shotshells and some semi-wadcutters. I had a black nylon pouch I attached that holds extra/different glasses, cell phone, sunglasses, personal items and anything else you might want to access quickly in the field.

So the idea is to have a couple of different rigs set up where I don't have to tear them down and put them back together to switch mag/shell holders and holsters on the belt. I don't want to put a lot of money in this and I've got a lot of cartridge slides and mag pouches just waiting to be used, lots of it old surplus stuff that's still in real good shape, so all I need is some good belts.

So it's a universal holster but it's the best I've ever used. They make another line, the name of which escapes me, but that has the extra magazine holder for semi-auto's that are nice as well, and I plan to get a few of those at some point.


For years I've read bad comments on various firearms forums from so called experts talking bad about Pro-Mags, particularly their replacement for the Mini-14. Note that I'm not saying Pro-Mag products are bad but that I never tried them.

Recently, while in Academy, I was overlooking the Pro-mag design on their 20 round AK-47 magazine. It's different than the traditional 20 round magazine in appearance, and if I'm not wrong, is a bit straighter and a bit smaller than the original.

I'm no magazine expert,  but I've owned a lot of different mag fed rifles and pistolas and have seen a few quality mags in my time. I was impressed by the design and quality of materials in the AK 20 rounder by Pro-Mag. It was priced at $20, which is what I can get a very high quality brand new traditional steel 20 rounder for. 

In any event, I bought one, along with a box of twenty Tula shells, and loaded it up. Flawlessly it worked out of an AKSM underfolder. Again and again. With Tula, Monarch and other ammo. No issues. No problems. We ran at least 300 rounds through that sucker, with no complaints. Easy on the fingers to load (some mags are not!) without stripper clips, it was just one flawless episode after another.

All of my companions that day are AK shooters at times, and were impressed with it. In fact, my friend Mikey spied it from across a large picnic table when I first pulled it out, noticing the smaller size and all of sudden got real interested in it. In fact, he snagged onto the package I broke it out of real quick and made sure to note the details and ask questions. Really, I've never seen him get so interested in an ancillary detail on a firearm in the twenty years we've been close friends and certainly talked arcane details of guns to death with each other.

I'll be buying a bunch of these Pro-Mag AK mags soon, and will be trying Pro-Mag magazines for other guns I have as well. Including the Ruger Mini-14. Also made in America, Pro-Mag products impressed me greatly, and I'll be buying some more of them soon.

So Blackhawk and Pro-mag are two American companies I'm happy to do business with, and encourage you to do the same.

By the way, I buy this stuff, none of it comes in the mail for free and there are no ads on this site. There are no paid reviews. I am writing about products I use in an unpaid review, and frankly, it takes a lot to impress me these days. Like my Orvis fly rods, these Blackhawk holsters and Pro-Mag magazines and their other products are in my stable to stay.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Every now and then I post about guns that need to be made, and sometimes, made again because they have previously been in production. Most of these have appeared before, but hey, they still need to be made. New to this list are some suggestions for Marlin to make.


There are a bunch of very cool and indeed, very function rifles and...wait for it...pistols you could be making.

A little Marlin personal history first, echoed by millions across this nation.

I love my Marlin rifles. My 50+ year old bolt action .22 is still going strong, and my Dad bought it shortly before my birth. Thousands and thousands of rounds have been through that rifle, with no issues whatsoever.  As recently as a few weeks ago, still shooting straight.

A few years later came the first deer rifle, a 336 in .30-30. Of course, I still have it as well. It was sighted in shortly after it was purchased, and has been dead on ever since, which has been nearly 40 years.

So I started shooting with Marlin, and still have arguably the best Texas deer rifle ever, even if I don't do much deer hunting as of late. The 336 has been used, however, on multiple occasions to hunt hogs, and it does remarkably well at that task.

I know Marlin is aware of an Alaskan gunsmith who works as Wild West Guns and who makes a nifty take apart carbine based on the Marlin lever action called The Alaskan Co-Pilot.  They bore out a .45-70 to some wildcat magnum caliber that still chambers the .45-70. It's transformed into a takedown rifle and there is lots of other gunsmithing done to it and just every gun writer I've read stories on this gun just thought it was a great gun. It's been used by a big game hunter in Africa but I guess the intended purpose is not only big game hunting but bear defense in the great white north.
The Alaskan Copilot from Wild West Guns

From the Wild West Guns site, this work of art could
take down a grizzly as well as the most dangerous
in Africa and breaks in half. With a 16" barrel,
it's a compact hunting/bear defense machine.
When I get mine, and I will find a deal on one
of these or just break down and order one from
Mr. West, my scope will be on the receiver, despite
the contrary opinion.

Interestingly, a few years ago this same gunsmith, the owner of Wild West Guns, which is located in Alaska,  created a very cool version of the Steve McQueen Mare's Leg (Laig) out of one of these big lever actions. It's a very cool gun, but the threads and posts I read on various forums, a few purporting to be from the Wild West Guns owner himself, said because he's modifying existing rifles to a pistol the NFA rules kick in for short barreled weapons and such and forms and licenses and fees all get thrown into the mix.



Of course, Marlin knows that they can take a receiver that's never been attached to a rifle barrel and make a pistol out of it, just as Henry and Rossi are doing with their versions of the Mare's Legs.

But what's missing is the Mare's Leg in a rifle caliber, as was originally portrayed on the McQueen show. A .45-70 or  .444 Marlin would be a nice chambering, not to forget a scaled down version in .30-30 based on the 336 large loop pistol grip.

Believe it or not, some pundits on internet forums gave the owner of Wild West Guns a lot of grief about The Bushwacker.Why I don't know. I'd sure like to have one, but as a production pistol and not an NFA weapon.

The other product missing from your line is the above-mentioned takedown rifle in several calibers. Being a Texan, I'd like to have one in .30-30 or .35 Remington, just cause we don't have the bear issue here. Our biggest threat in the woods is a large russian boar, perhaps wounded or cornered, in a situation where it will charge you.

Maybe you could work a deal with the Wild West guy and avoid the inevitable litigation if you made either of these guns part of your product line. Seems like he's created many works of art from your original product. How about making him consultant on a line of innovative firearms like these and working together to put out a custom line AND a budget line of the same guns.

Me myself, I'd like a Bushwacker IN A BIG CALIBER and could only hope that the black synthetic appearing stock was actually made of Pachmayr materials. I'd like a takedown 16" trapper or carbine based on the pistol gripped .30-30 and outfitted with some of the options Wild West offers, particularly the replacement sights and the internal gun work Wild West does.

So that's what I say Marlin.


I fail to understand why your company does not make the PPK/S or PPK in .22 caliber. You make it in .380 and .32 ACP. It was, as you know, made for decades in .22 L.R. caliber. It took several decades of S&W making the stainless Walthers to offer the blued version. I think you'd sell a profitable number of guns if you reintroduced the .22 L.R. into your PPK/S lineup.


You need to make and actually market the pistol version of the M6 Scout Rifle. As i recall, the pistol was chambered for .45 Long Colt and .410 in one barrel, and I guess .22 L.R. or .22 WMR or .22 Hornet in the other. Shown at several mid-2000's gun shows as a product that would soon be for sale.

Likewise, how about selling more scopes and mounts for the M6, or making the M6 again/buying it again from CZ. These guns are selling for a lot of cash now. I'd buy the pistol version I've seen RIOT NOW if you had them for sale.

Are you listening, CZ? 


How about some reasonably priced Single Action Army or Peacemaker guns for the loyal customers of your company. I like the recently (re?) introduced New Frontier but it's too expensive for me. How's about getting that priced down to about $700?

Likewise with the 1911's.

And think really seriously about putting the Python, Detective Special and Cobra back into production.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I've assembled all of the parts and pieces and various stuff that I might use except for a scope and scope rings to modify my M6. All my modifications will be temporary and won't affect the permanant nature of the gun, unlike some I've seen. Each to their own.

I got the cordura bag that holds the broken down rifle. SA sells them and calls them a "holster" but really it looks like a small assault rifle bag. It also looks like it would hold a scoped Contender fairly well. Or a couple of them, as without being baggy or too large, it's got a lot of room in it once the rifle is in there. More about this in a moment.

If I were going into a situation where I was going to possibly have to be hunting small and possibly larger game (deer) to survive, I'd be considering adding a Thompson Contender to the bag. A scoped Thompson Contender rifle setup with the Pachmayr stock in a larger caliber would pretty much solve larger game problems.

But the type situation I've been in, and would foresee myself in where I would want a weapon like an M6 is more likely an injury or accident situation. In the Great Kayak Wreck of 1993, I learned all kinds of valuable lessons about survival gear and adversity. I'll intersperse some of those lessons throughout this series.

Also, as a kid, when we would take to the woods, we were taking knowledge gleaned from authors of library books like Bradford Angier and those who wrote for Sports Afield, Field and Stream and Outdoor Life. Through junior high and high school, we had a group that regularly went fishing and/or shooting. First on bikes, then on motorcycles and then in cars with boats. We practiced woodsmanship and outdoor skills whenever we could. The M6 would have been the perfect companion on many of those youthful adventures, and now I aim to make it even more perfect for me.

COMPANION HANDGUN: The flap front pocket on the M6 Cordura holster is big enough to hold a variety of handguns. Two frequent guns that often fall into my kit bag are either a Glock 19/26 or a S&W Model 66 with a 2 1/2" barrel. Another possibility for ultra lightweight carry is the S&W Model 360 in .357 as well.

The pocket is large enough to hold a gun like the Model 66 in a cordura holster with some kind of firm utility belt, extra ammo and a folding knife.

If I'm carrying a rifle with smaller calibers like the M6, I like to have a readily accessible handgun with enough gusto to take out the threats I might encounter in the Texas woods. Big ole' poisonous snakes, feral dogs, mean bobcats, a cornered hog, rabid skunks and armadillos and gators. All of these critters are pretty prevalent in my part of the state. You'd be surprised how many rabid skunks and dillos I've seen over the years, having once been chased by a hissing and very ill with something dillo until I could get enough ahead of him to get my double barrrel shotgun into action.

On two occasions whilst traversing dry ravines, I've encountered hogs in the hundred pound catagory that got trapped or cornered trying to avoid me or something else and were in a bit of a frenzy and I was glad I had substantial firearms with me in both cases. In case one, a .357 Python, and in case two, a Marlin 336 with a shoot through scope mount for when you need those sights.

CARTRIDGE CONVERTER: They sell these in stainless for $28 through one mail order house. I'd get one to convert .22 Hornet to .22 L.R. It's tiny, adds great versatility and greatly expands the use of this gun.

EXTRA FOLDING PINS: I don't know what to properly call them, but it is the pin that holds the two halves of the gun together. I ordered some extras from SA. I plan to put one in one of the cartridge compartments under the stock in lieu of a cartridge and then put a piece of the non-adhesive camo tape over the pin to secure it in the socket, so I have an extra in the field.

I found some pins at the local hardware store that are a bit too long but have nice holes drilled in them. I don't want to use a cotter pin arrangement as others have done to retain this pin in the gun but will use something that won't cut or abraid me if I accidently strike against it like a cotter pin would. I'm kinda thinking a large split ring, smaller than the split ring you'd use on a keychain, but that's the general idea.

SCOPE: The scope rings are on order. I have a see-the-sights rail I found that fits the holes on the receiver. There is already a short rail in place that is big enough for a red dot and works well with it. This new rail is see through and just a wee bit longer so I can mount a larger scope on it.

QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOPES AND MOUNTS FOR THE M6: I have a bunch of questions, but here are the main ones:
1. What is a recommended scope for this outfit? I know SA had one but no longer sells it, so what's a good similar scope both brand and size?
2. I'm using an improvised scope mount. I'd be interested in buying an actual mount made for this gun and even better, a whole setup. If anyone is so inclined or sees any of these scope for sale somewhere, throw an old dog a bone and please comment or email and advise.


I originally planned to wrap both barrels together with paracord, as some have done, to provide some protection from hot barrels. But then I read that this could warp the two barrels and cause problems. But the solution is to wrap each barrel separately, and then warping them is not an issue. So I plan to wrap each barrel separately.

I had the great idea that if I could mount a short rail under the bottom barrel, that one of the "assault rifle pistol grips" could take the place of a foreend. I envisioned using one of the pistol grips that can fold back horizontal against the barrel, as this would also provide an excellent foregrip for the gun and solve all problems in that regard.

El Fisho Jr. even supplied a nifty heavy duty rail mount desert camo pistol grip that not only folds back but has a pop out 6" bipod legs built in, thus making a bipod of about 11". A cool grip that came with one of his airsoft guns a few years ago, I thought the bipod plus the function of the folding grip was just the low profile grip for the M6.

Alas, the problem has been finding a clamp that fits between top and bottom barrels, and there is only enough space for something like a metal hose clamp (I'm afraid it would scratch me or the finish of the gun) or a plastic flex tie. I've seen clamps for some lever actions that had similarly tiny space in between the barrel and the magazine and was just a thin piece of metal on a forum somewhere, and I'll find it again.

So as it is, I'll use the scavanged Rossi carbine fore end that I found laying on the shelf at my lgs. I'll rest it against the bottom paracorded barrel and paracord it to the bottom barrel only. I've had it on in sort of a dry run and it'll work well. The Rossi fore end actually will fit OVER the bottom barrel with careful sliding from the front end of the barrel, but then that requires binding the fore arm to the top barrel, which would create tension possibly between the top and bottom barrels and contribute to warpage. Maybe. So I'm going to avoid that.


I have not found the right shoulder sling for this gun yet, but it will have some sort of ability to carry ammo on it. El Fisho Jr. is pretty intent on putting one of the rubber GRABBER slings on the gun, so I may be adding a Mosin Nagant or SKS sort of ammo pouch(es) onto the bottom of it for holding a knife, lighters and extra booletts.

I'll write some more later about what else I want to include in the gun bag with the M6, like a Zebco travel fishing kit, a first aid kit, something to eat and drink and things like a water purifier, flashlight and other survival type gear.

One thought I've had is that some of the more hardcore survival components of this kit could be "seal'a'mealed'" inside plastic so as to reduce the mass it takes up as well as waterproofing it. I'm gonna keep thinking about that.

One final consideration in a survival situation is water and as much of it as you can take. I've noticed some of the camelback setups that come with elongated and skinny backpacks are large enough to hold the M6 Holster bag and that's got me thinking that might not be a bad way to carry the M6, with a supply of water. I've got an old top fold down dry bag from my kayaking days that's just perfect for the M6 Holster, and it would probably be a good idea to put the M6 holster in a dry bag if toting it with a bag full of water.

So that's some thoughts about my M6 project. Tell me five things that hopefully I haven't mentioned that would be in your survival bag.

Likewise, I want to order one of the padded Allen shoulder stock pads that has a padded cheek pad on one side and a large velcro pocket on the other. It fits on the stock like a regular shell carrier, except it has the pocket instead of shell loops.  And then of course you can always remove it for accessing the shells in the shoulder stock.