Mike passed on due to cancer over the weekend. A young man at 57, he dedicated his life to fighting crime and making Houston and Texas a better place. My prayers go out to his wife and kids, friends and family and all of the folks who worked for him in Harris County.
Really, it's my unfortunate duty to report that result. In fact, really, I could say nothing more, and if you're one of the few who'd take me at my word, that one word would be, as I said, disappointed.
But inquiring minds want to know more. First off, let me say I didn't conduct the full exam of the gun that I should have. But, as you'll soon see, what I did see disappointed me so that I didn't feel the need to go on. I won't be buying one.
I'm disappointed because I was really looking forward to getting one of these. Priced at a street price of $423 at my LGS, it was certainly priced right.
I'd be willing to pay lots more for a gun that had better quality.
In my teens, I owned an Interarms imported German made 1976 Walther PPK/s in .22 L.R. I foolishly traded it, although I got a Python for it, some years later. It was a great gun. It had a smooth and reasonable DA trigger pull and an excellent SA pull. It's rich, deep, almost liquid-y blued finish could only be rivaled by Colt and Smith and Wesson on their finer guns. It was as accurate as you could want a .22 pocket pistol to be, and really was quite an accurate gun.
I now own a Smith and Wesson/Walther blue finish American (and recall repaired) Walther PPK/s in .380, and it's construction and it's trigger pull in DA and SA are what I recall those of my old Interarms version to be. I've also owned another and much earlier made American version in stainless, which I sold to a friend years ago.
So I have a frame of reference about the "normal" operation of a PPK/s in the trigger pull department.
How should I describe it? Jerky. Haltingly. Heavy. Uneven. Scratchy. I could sum it up with unpleasant.
As a former cop, longtime prosecutor, and even longer time gun buyer and seller, I've seen lots of guns from crap to great. In my law enforcement work, I've seen a disproportionate share of Hi Points, Loricin, RG and other guns.
I'd take any of those over the Walther I saw anyday of the week. Each has a better trigger pull, whether SA or DA.
When I said "Oh, is that the new PPK/s in .22?", my LSG just rolled his eyes and told me not to get excited. He told me the trigger pull was horrible, and he didn't know how they were going to sell the numerous ones they had in stock. He said he had the one with the best trigger pull on display and that the others were even worse. He had a request into his distributor to have the maker take back these guns as defective, but reportedly the response was that "they just have a heavy trigger pull".
The finish was dull. The gun is lighter than a "real" PPK/s and I suspect it's made of cheap metal. You know how the slides and frames of the mass of .22 versions of 1911's are sorta light and made of perhaps a metal cast itself? I know lots of parts are cast even in high end guns, but this had an especially cheap kind of lightweight characteristic.
Not a good kind of lightweight like my Colt Cobra or the Glock series of pistols but a scary kind of lightweight. Cheap. It felt cheap in the hand. I didn't pay particular attention to the grips, because frankly after I tried DA and SA trigger pulls once each I had no interest in the gun.
The finish was a matte sort of blue, but not a nice matte finish like that I have on some Smiths and Kimbers. Again, it looked cheap.
I didn't check to see if it disassembles like the standard PPK (using the trigger guard) or to see if the safety functioned as a decocker. I did notice that the sights were black and hard to see and that the safety had no red dot on it to indicate firing position.
I'm guessing this is made FOR Walther under license by Umarex. I've seen some of their guns that were not so high quality that had that same feel as did this one. I will say that my son has an Umarex Colt M-16 (really a 70's stocked long barrel AR .22 clone) and we've been quite pleased with it for several years now and it doesn't have that cheapo feel that the PPK/s did. The rifle has had thousands of rounds through it with no issues.
So as I remarked to my LGS, and to which he agreed, for less money the Ruger SR22 is a million times the pistol that the Walther is, plus it wouldn't take a trigger job on the SR22 to actually be able to use it. The stock trigger and sights on the SR22 are excellent.
If you want to spend a little more dollars than the Walther, the Browning 1911-22 is another excellent, excellent gun. Again, my son has this gun, and shoots the heck out of it. Whenever I get the chance, I pry the gun from his hands and from those hands of my friend Billy Ray, and I get to shoot a mag or two out of it before surrendering it again to El Fisho Jr.
As pleased as we are with the SR22, we shoot the Browning a whole lot more because of the fun factor, and because it is an accurate little cuss. As is the SR22.
So buy either of those, or a Mark series Ruger pistol or Smith and Wesson in .22, but trust me on this. The PPK/s is a stinker.
That title, of course, is a blatant theft from Stevie Ray Vaughn, a pretty valued musician around my friends and peers here in Texas, but it is hot. It is not as hot as hell, however, and some parts of the past few days have been downright tolerable. We've had a smidgen of rain and are on watering restrictions and the like, although in my part of Texas it's not so bad but the further west and northwest you go the more the effects of this drought can be seen. It's looking to be a replay of the highly miserable summer of 2011, but knock on wood, we're not steadily up in the triple digits, although we've had more than a few days where we were hitting three digits. Some thirty years ago, Mr. California, a former roommate of mine and his girlfriend and wife to be, had that itch to move to Cal-i-forn-i-yeh and did move to San Diego back in '83 or so. They moved there from all of our native Houston to escape the heat and humidity Houston is known for. For at least two months of the year, Houston is like the planet Creamatoria in Vin Diesel's Chronicles of Riddick movie. It's like a million degrees outside. Oppressively hot and very humid. For the two months on either side of that hellish period, it can be tolerable but is often not. Swamp city, Mr. California used to call it. It's pertinent to note that Mr. California, had been touting the great benefits of California living for years and how we were fools not to come along with him to the West Coast. Mr. California was unbearable on this subject at times. His childhood friend Smitty, also a friend of mine and later a roommate and close friend of mine for all these intervening years now, considered the option and we even made a few exploratory trips to LA and San Diego. We actively sought work, Smitty with the LAPD and me at law firms and seeking transfer to a LA law school. But I digress. So my roommate Mr. California and his gal moved to San Diego and about a week after they got there, they were in the midst of a horrid and long lasting heatwave. I recall his answering machine message that summer, for those of you old enough to know what a pre-voice mail answering machine is, was something to this effect: "Hi. This is Mr. California and his gal. We're not available to come to the phone during the daytime hours. We're hiding in the shadows, where the temperature is lowest, right at about 100 degrees. We wait until darkness falls before leaving the shadows, when the heat goes down, before we can return phone calls". We found this especially funny because Mr. California had rented a condo with no A/C upon landing in San Diego. We'd been hearing him proclaim for years that "...in California you don't need air conditioning." We did feel sorry for his gal. I'm reminded of that message when it gets searingly hot outside. The story has a very happy ending. They lasted a few years in California, then went north to Oregon then Washington state and then ended up in North Carolina. They are still married with two great sons. Mr. California and his wife are both employed in a field of speciality of nursing that pays really large dollars. So they've always done well, and their specialty and service thirty years ago under legendary Houston heart docs like Cooley and DeBakey means they don't have to look real hard for a great job where ever they go.
Knifemakers and gun shop owners will be adding a new profit line come September 1, 2013. The arcane switchblade knife prohibition is now history, or will be soon. Governor Perry reportedly signed it into law on June 14th, 2013. That's yesterday, and although it has not been in the newspaper the various legislative watch websites have said it is so. So now there is another time proven method for the common man and woman to defend themselves as well as the many collector and utilitarian functions a switchblade can serve. If you read that last sentence a couple of times, I believe it makes sense. In any event, a nice stag F.B. a and Microtech Halo, here I come.
As the days go by, I'll let you know when Governor Perry signs the switchblade law into effect. At least I hope he does, and all indications are that he will. First order of business will be to order a Microtech Halo V. Second order of business will be to contact Rob, Amica and Stefi over at Stefi's Blog and get some advice on some traditional stiletto knives like the Frank Bertrame knives they have written about previously. I have been looking at the FB knives as well, and there are some very nice knives there.
All we are waiting on now is the signature of the Governor. It passed the Senate on the 22nd of this month, having previously passed the House with a vote of 141/1. I forget the Senate vote, but it was similar. All it needs to be is signed by the Governor himself. Then it's law as of September 1, 2013. Then all those people who don't own switchblades can begin carrying their switchblades legally. And why not? I've been in law enforcement for right at 30 years and I've seen just a couple of switchblades being carried, both being transported by kids bringing them back from the border. Not ever have I seen a switchblade used in a crime or even carried by a known criminal. They prefer guns these days. I see lots of Glocks and lots of cheap crap handguns in my duties with bad guys. No blades ever. So Plueeeezzzzzzeeeee Governor Perry, sign that bill. Perry is a second amendment kind of guy, and I know he's aware that the fairly respectable knife and collectors lobbies as well as ordinary joes like myself are in favor of this law. My State Rep is a very 2nd Amendment type of guy. Big gun owner. Rancher and has a hog problem like nearly every other rural landowner in Texas. If you had a suppressor, a nightscope and maybe a portable stand, you could nail hogs in the double digits easy on his place. I know he voted for it. He's that type of guy. Great guy. I did write to the Governor, as well as other reps back when it was in committee. It's not likely he saw my letter, although I am known to him as a person who works in his campaigns. He has an uncanny ability to remember names, and a Judge friend of mine who attended Texas A & M with him said he had that ability then. Think of it. The Governor knows how many tens of thousands of people..several tens of thousands, I suspect. He once saw me after seeing me some three or four years before, fleetingly I might add, and called me by name. It was an impromptu encounter, so he couldn't have prepared for it. And in the scheme of things as far as he is concerned, I am a nobody. I command no massive block of votes. I have no money to speak of to give him for his campaigns, although I've given him campaign donations I'm not a big or ever frequent donor. I'm on the low end of his donor list. Way low. And yet the dude remembers my name. It impressed me. Despite liberal media portrayals, he is a genius type fellow and just had a bad time in the debates. If you spoke to him one on one, you would like him and think he was very sincere. And I swear it's not an act. He really needs to be our next president.
Switchblades were outlawed in Texas in the 1950's out of fear of their use by gangs, but we never really had that widespread of a gang culture until the 1980's. Now, it looks like they have a good chance of being legal in Texas. The Austin American Statesman today reports that the measure introduced by State Representative Harold Dutton (D) of Houston. Mr. Dutton says that he introduced the bill to conjure some gun control talk, but instead knife collectors, outdoorspeople, conservative republicans and just the average guy like me who has always wanted to own a switchblade or two but couldn't because they were illegal. When Stefi's Blog was going and a blowing on a regular basis, I'd often read and learn a great deal from Rob, Stefi and the other great folks over there. Rob, Stefi and Amica know a great deal about knives and what makes a good one. From what I learned from them, I'm ready to do some online switchblade buyin' of the Frank Beltrane variety and maybe even a nice microtech. Although the Microtech knives are expensive, if they were legal and could be carried I'd certainly opt for one of those for a backup self-defense weapon to a handgun. I've known folks who've owned high end switchblades but what was the purpose? You can't carry them or use them in any situation. So hopefully that will change. I've seen lots of nice knives from different makers I'd like to have, in addition to the Beltranes and the Microtechs. I'd also like a custom made Buck 110 auto.
I enjoyed Gangster Squad the movie. It's real loosely based on more or less real events. There was a Gangster Squad at LAPD back in those days, and Mickey Cohen was a real mobster that the LAPD did battle with. Of course, the real story is far less dramatic and in real life, the Gangster Squad existed for more than a decade and was not the free running unit it is in the movie. Yet, I thought the screenplay was good, since I like the Dirty Harry variety of policing in my cop movies. It's been panned all over, but as I state below, I really enjoyed it. I watched it two days in a row, and I rarely watch a movie twice these days. The last movie I felt inclined to immediately watch again was the latest Bourne movie, which of course was without Bourne. Nonetheless, the acting is really good. I hate to admit that I like Penn's acting. I liked him in his Jeff Spicoli days but since then his politics have overshadowed any liking I had for him. Still, I find his Cohen role compelling and well performed, because it's not hard to imagine him being a villain worthy of not liking. He actually into some Pacino "Scarface" territory when Cohen utters the phrase "Makes me Giddy". When Cohen says that, it's scary... real scary. Brolin plays a great WWII vet/hero turned cop. A devoted and honorable lawman. I especially like the John Patrick character of Hopalong, who is quick on the draw and shoots like Redford's Sundance Kid with his Colt SAA. The casting, wardrobe and of course the probably digital settings and scenes from days of old in LA were very well done. Certainly in a noir way, but well done. I thought it better than other LA movies dealing with that era, like LA CONFIDENTIAL. A quick perusal of various movie critic sites showed they panned it. I disagree and give it five stars. Yeah, it does some rehashing of past flicks but it is well acted and the battles were well done. And with the great good triumphs against evil, sorta, well it's a time honored recipe for success. There was a very good seven part series on Mickey Cohen and The Gangster Squad in the LA Times beginning in October of 2008. I was out in LA at the time, and read one of the stories in the series in the actual paper then caught the others online. Great writing and very interesting stuff from the history of America and LA. It's a well written story and after I read one of the installments over breakfast one morning, later in the day when I had the chance I got online and read the rest of the seven installments and just thought it was excellent investigative reporting and writing. Well documented facts. In the movie, cops, politicos and a judge are on the take from Cohen. Good does triumph over evil in the show, but it wasn't as clear cut in real life. I'll be buying it soon, when the price drops, because I'll enjoy seeing it a few more times.
Fresh on the magazine rack at the local grocery is the May/June 2003 issue of Backwoods Magazine. I picked it up tonight, and as I was relaxed and reading the magazine I came across a great article by none other than a fellow Texas blogger who actually sorta lives nearby kinda sorta, Mr. Wild Ed himself! He may very well be a frequent writer for them, as I've only been reading this magazine for a couple of years now. I've mentioned this magazine before. I lay no claim to being a backwoodsman, but I do come from a backwoodsman background and had lots of East Texas farm and ranch running around and summers to learn lots of the backwoods ways. I find reading about all that stuff interesting, and as an outdoorsman and fisherman, I do find many useful tips and ads in every issue that more than pays for the cost of the magazine. When I was a little kid, my dad's mom still had an outhouse. A well with cool, fresh and clean spring water right outside the kitchen door. She had running water and an indoor shower and they got electricity about 1940 when my dad was eight. I watched her churn butter, cook (or was it cured) lard, kill-clean-prepare chickens, dress hogs and cows and all kinds of real pioneer woman stuff. As an aside, when my dad graduated from law school and became a prosecutor in Houston, first thing he did was got his mom a bathroom addition with a real toilet and an outside septic system. He loved his mom. Point is, this is my heritage. My family was country living, farm working rural Texans from 1821 until more than 100 years later when my dad joined the Air Force at age 18 in 1950, and they lived the backwoodsman lifestyle. They were not the rich and privileged folk, but the hard working folks. So if you notice Wild Ed in my blogroll to the right on the screen, you'll see I'm already a fan of his. He's given me some good advice about muzzleloaders and I want to follow in his "custom BB gun buildin'" efforts in the near future. He does the kind of fishin' I like to do and I always like what's over on his blog. So even if you don't regularly read Backwoodsman, or read it at all, check out their website and maybe his article will appear there, or catch it at your magazine vendor and read it there on the spot. It's a great tutorial about Wild Ed's Texas style link sausage, how it's made and the different ways it can be prepared. This article will surely be copied for the wife and her collection of recipe and food processing ideas. There's a venison sausage recipe that sets it out in detail how to mix it up. Seeing somebody I've actually spoken with (albeit by email), that has written an article for a magazine makes me proud of him. He's a great writer and it's often difficult to get into any type of media writing at all because competition is fierce. But as I said, he's a great writer and so it's not that big of a surprise really to see an article by him in a cool magazine. Yee haw, Wild Ed!
I know I've been having a tough time finding ammo since mid-December. It's like way back 20 years ago, in the early 1990's, during the Clinton gun ban years. Because of the resultant price increases on ammo, I ain't been buying much at all, compared to my normal purchases. In addition to little or no availability of just plain shootin' ammo in a wide variety of calibers (.22 Long Rifle, .38 special, .357, 9mm, .223, 7.62 x 39, to name a few), you've had to go to multiple stores in a several town area to find small caches of the caliber you want. My friend Max correctly observes that he didn't learn his lesson during the Clinton gun ban years, because there was an ammo shortage then but plenty of .40 caliber available. I agree with this thought. I've noticed tons of .40 caliber ammo (well, maybe not TONS, but compared to the other ammo in short supply it is dang near plentiful). So consequently, I haven't been doing as much shooting this year because of the lack of ammo. One shooting range that I visited a few weeks ago on spring break had a good supply of decent ball ammo in several calibers and at fair prices, but for range use only. One of my co-workers ordered a large amount of .40 caliber from Lucky Gunner, and she was very pleased with the price of the ammo. So that led to me doing some trading of some older H&R .22 revolvers that I had (I kept the best ones) for a used Glock 23. So I'm once again in the .40 caliber orbit. I had a very nice Firestar SA in .40 caliber back in the 90's, but sold it to a friend who had to have it and who still has it and carries it as a primary CHL weapon to this day. So all that aside, I need to go to Lucky Gunner and get me some ammo instead of running all over my town and several nearby ones. Yes, this is a shameless plug but I've been pleased with their service as has my friend. Good folks.
Everything's alright, but it's been a really busy year at work and at home.
El busy, as my friend Roberto used to say.
I've got lots left to say, but just haven't had the time to make it to the keyboard much during
Although I've not been writing lately, for reasons perhaps I'll later explain, I've been doing a lot of shooting practice. That's been very fun and very expensive. Also time consuming when it comes to finding and buying some practice ammo. Ammo has been scarce in my part of Texas, which has some pretty big towns in it.
5.56 and 7.62 x 39 have begun reappearing in the Tula brand at several stores. 9mm and .22 is still scarce, as is .45 acp and .357 Magnum. I have been seeing quite a lot of .308 in more expensive brands and a fair amount of .40 cal ammo. Seems like everywhere has some .44 magnum hanging around. The local wal marts sell out of their several times a week delivery within about 3 hours of delivery. Same with Academy. My LGS has a fair stock lately, but no 9mm or .22 of any kind, except for shotshells and .22 Hornet. Shotgun shells are almost non-existent at Walmart.
I'm going to get a set of custom made (for a more than decent price) Texas Ranger Rig to go with two different holsters and ammo carriers, one for a Python and one for a 1911. The Ranger rig, which is a pants belt with matching gun belt set up, is great for wearing in the field. I plan to get the old style 1911 holster, which is similar to the one Old El Paso makes and other makers call them Wild Bunch holsters.
So that's my big news for now. Hope Y'all are well. Be back soon
It's been a few years, nearly a decade, since you left this earthly life, but I feel you in my life every day and I know you're watching over the rest of the family and especially The Princess and El Fisho Jr. I know it as sure as I knew how loved I was when you were on this earth.
It's always the little things we miss the most. The daily phone calls. The sagely advice, sometimes followed and sometimes not, but you were always right no matter what. I gained so much mileage from your sterling reputation and the way you treated people. I've tried to live up to that standard you set and in my heart I know you're proud of me and our family.
Not a day goes by that your beloved family does not think of you, and I may not be the one who recalls you the most, I certainly seem to recall you many times every day. I quote your pearls of wisdom often, and I think that when I tell stories about you to people who never knew you, they can almost see the effervescent twinkle in your eyes.
There's few men, I've found, that have your character or level of honesty. Honesty is the best policy, Too many men and women that I have held in high esteem, sometimes for decades, fell from grace with some shocking immoral and criminal behavior that beforehand I would have bet real American dollars that it wouldn't have happened.
We'll talk more later, but I know you feel what is in my head and heart already. And like I used to say in our play arguments when I was a little kid, I DO Love you more, Dad.
With the introduction of their CHIAPPA TRIPLE BARREL SHOTGUN, Chiappa is just one or two wee steps away from making a modern day drilling. While I shudder at the thought of spending $1600 MSRP (likely about $400 or $500 less street after awhile), I'd gladly sell stuff and raise cash for a nice drilling for that same price.
From looking at a drilling rifle forum and reading somewhat extensively about these interesting rifles, there has never been a cheap drilling for the working man made in this country. What few drillings have been sold here used are a serious risk because "ain't no parts" available anywhere, unless you would somehow find a donor rifle. Otherwise, you're having your parts made. That equals big money. Large, folding money.
So I'd love to see Chiappa spend a few bucks to make a barrel and action to accommodate a rifle barrel atop the shotguns. Make it a double trigger with one trigger for the rifle and one for the shotguns.
What a great hunting gun. If birds might be afoot, or even snakes, during a hunt for some larger beast more suited to the rifle barrel, then #4 or #8 shotshells might be called for in the shotgun barrels. If hunting for larger dangerous game, or hog hunting, some buckshot in those shotgun barrels would be a good fit for me as a backup to the rifle.
Of course, I'd love to see another entry besides the Baikal in the affordable double rifle category as well. I have not had time to fully peruse Shot Show 2013 coverage, just the highlights for the most part, but haven't seen anything in double rifles with any kind of reasonable price on them.
And if you wanted to get REALLY serious about this triple shotgun thing, you'd make one with 20 gauge instead of 12 gauge to drop a few pounds for the home defense market. Also, two 20's and a rifle would make a for a dandy drilling if a few pounds lighter than a 12 gauge model.
So Chiappa, how 'bout it? What about a Chiappa drilling?
As far as calibers, there are so many acceptable calibers that you'd just have to limit it to a few. .30-06 for sure, as well as .308, and maybe something as stout as a .300 WM.
I, for one, would love to have a Chiappa drilling in a 12 x 12 x 7.62 x 54r configuration.
While much of the nation suffers subzero temperatures and all that goes with them, it's 68 and balmy here at the World HQ of El Fishing Musician.
That couldn't be worse for my ambitions of fishing for the rainbow trout our Texas parks service stocks every year in ponds, lakes and rivers. It's been my experience that when the air temp is above 51 degrees, the fishing is "skinny". The colder the better, and if a little rain or sleet is hitting the top of the water, well then I've found so are the fish. Even though these fish are hatchery raised in Texas, that dna must kick in when it gets chilly because stocked rainbows are far more active when it's sort of uncomfortable for the fisherman.
This year I've had plans come up that pre-empted fishing on the rare couple of weekends when it's been significantly colder than 51 degrees before sunrise.
Unfortunately, the other callings of life like my job, our kids, etc have kept me from sneaking off REALLY early one morning during the workweek when it's been REALLY chilly for my part of Texas, like in the very low thirties. Seems like we hit the really cold temps from Tuesday through Friday, then springtime weather on the weekends.
Seems like as soon as Friday comes, it warms up to springtime weather, except with high humidity. Then it gets back cold again on Tuesday. A vicious cycle, I tell you.
We've done some outside painting in this warmer weather, and have an addition that's almost through and the fellow doing that work gets much more done during warmer temps. Obviously, many in the nation would love to have my problems weather wise, and I can't say I'd want to trade places with any of the folks I was reading about today in Vermont or Maine who are dealing with way sub-zero temps and biting winds.
So I'm not really complaining. We'll go do some shooting perhaps at the gun club, but of course it won't be a real trip to the range because we'll have to ration what we target practice and skeet shoot with. Although I have not observed a run on shotgun shells in my area, that doesn't mean it won't happen. But I did load up on some target fodder last week when I found some rimfire and centerfire ammo at Academy, enough to take us shooting this weekend.
I've also got a couple of boxes of Magtech .44 magnum from Lucky Gunner to shoot and I want to do a box of those at targets sighting in guns for that ammo and then head out to my friend Cowboy's Family ranch of roughly 300 acres and do some hog harvesting with the other box after we're sighted in on this ammo.
I've arranged to borrow a chronograph from my LGS owner, who is a real nice fella. He's got a couple of used ones for sale and I really do want to check out one or both of them since they are both priced under $100. They've been in the store quite a while, and probably would have sold already if his customers were not emptying his shelves of guns and ammo and magazines.
So if I use the chronograph, I can do the Magtech review up right, as my countrified relatives might say, with "pichures and figures".
I've never really tasted the difference between farm hogs and feral hogs of a certain smaller size. A little gamier tasting, perhaps, because no chemicals are added and no plastic packaging or metal/plastic machinery touches the meat. Just the steel knives and butcher paper of the processing plant. I'm afraid to think, most of the time, about how much of our prepared and store bought food is made, so we'll move on.
I like The Firearms Blog, and that's why it's in my blogroll.
Just read this story about an outdoors show getting cancelled because the show decided to ban "modern sporting rifles". Apparently too many exhibitors pulled out after that decision. And now the exhibition company has more problems...less money, more problems.
Kinda like that newspaper that published all the gun owner's locations and then found that what was good for the goose was good for the gander. Or like they say, maybe that newspaper bit off more than it could chew, as did the exhibition company mentioned above.
Double Rifles and Drillings have been the provenance of the Europeans and those on other continents for many years. I'm not sure about whether any drillings have been made in America, but I think some double rifles in the traditional side by side configuration have been made at some point in the past.
I've seen some cheaper over/under double rifles at a Gander Mountain a few years ago and didn't pay enough attention to them. Perhaps a cheap(er) over/under rifle might be the way to go if no American gun maker decides to make a double rifle.
Baikal has been making combo rifles and double rifles in Centerfire for awhile, and I've teetered on the verge but think their double rifles are a wee bit overpriced for the fit and finish. I've been sort of impressed with the double barreled Baikal shotguns I've shot in the past, if by nothing else other than their rugged construction, reliable performance and general accuracy. If their double rifle was priced at less than $500 I'd snap one up, but for about $850 + it's not a bargain. The last new .30-06 double Baikal that was on the net but at a semi-local dealer was priced at $1,000.
Maybe a good used one reflecting some depreciation will come on the market in the near future.
I could think of all kinds of interesting double rifle calibers, but as I've mentioned in the previous post, the ready availability (until the past few weeks) of both 7.62 x 39mm and 7.62 x 54r and their relative cheap price compared to similar cartridges with similar performance. In the case of both, they come close or edge out (depending on who you listen to) their American counterparts, and I personally think the 7.62 x 39mm is superior to the 5.56/.223 round in many ways.
Both these Russian surplus rounds are great hunting rounds and there are not many or any modern sporting rifles in these calibers. But lots of cheap ammo.
Likewise, some traditional calibers like .30-30, .30-06, .45-70, .243 and even some high octane handgun rounds like the .44 Magnum, the .357 Magnum and even something like the 10mm would be great choices to have. It'd be really cool to have a Jr. version in .22 L.R. with a full scale gun cut to a 16" barrel and a shorter stock.
I've started looking around for some kind of rifle shooting the same ammo as the Mosin-Nagant. As you might know, the Mosin Nagant surplus rifles that were going for less than $100 in recent times (i.e. prior to a few weeks ago). I picked up one a few years ago for less than $100, and it's a fine shooting rifle. Later, for less cash than the first one, I got a barely used carbine model with I think an 18" barrel and lots of ammo.
The carbine is a flameshooter, indeed. It's a potent cartridge and I've heard it called "The Russian .30-06". Note that the cartridges ARE NOT interchangeable.
The big attraction is not so much the Mosin Nagant rifle part of the equation, but the fact that ammo is cheap. Way cheap. A few years ago, I almost bought, but to my current regret didn't, a semi-auto AK clone chambered in 7.62 x 54r Russian surplus sniper/battle rifle.
That's the only other kind of long gun I've seen for sale in this caliber.
You can get 440 rounds of corrosive ammo for $82 today at one online dealer, and upgrade for some more bucks to non-corrosive, with larger discounts in larger lots. There has been a ton of this ammo around for the past decade at cheap prices.
So I wish that H&R made a single shot rifle for the 7.62 x 54r caliber, and likewise a barrel for the 7.62 x 39mm. There was talk that someone was coming out with a bolt action for the 54r, but I didn't see anything yet in the SHOT reports I've read.
I've just begun to look around, but have not seen really many sporting rifles at even large dealers that come in either caliber. Which is interesting because in Europe and other places these calibers are apparently popular in some sporting weapons. It's at the cheaper tier of ammo in the U.S., and you get a lot of bang for your buck with the 54r especially.
Maybe someone has made more modern guns in the same caliber as the Mosin Nagant and I'm ignorant of them. I've seen some drillings (all of which are way out of my price range and of any hope of purchase now or in the future) in this caliber, often with 16 gauge shotgun barrel(s).
I do know Mr. Google, but it's not something I've had time to search for really. But I've looked for those calibers in sporting arms with several large volume new and used dealers and have never seen one.
AAC just came out with a rifle in conjunction with H and R, the AAC BLACKOUT HANDI-RIFLE which is in the very new caliber of .300 Blackout. What I need is a barrel each for the 7.62 x 39mm and the 7.62 x 54r on a setup like the AAC rifle. Maybe an 18" barrel, but otherwise the same. I wonder how many rounds of decent cheap ammo you can buy in the Russian calibers vs. the .300 Blackout?
As a friend and I were discussing the recent passage of the New York gun laws and the Presidential executive orders and Congressional gun law requests, I was reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies of all times, THIS IS SPINAL TAP.
In one scene from the movie, where the band, traveling across the US in a failed attempt to regain a career that never really was, stands at the grave of The King, Elvis Presley.
One band member says to another:
"It certainly puts a perspective on things though, doesn't it?"
A few years ago, TAKEN, the first movie starring Liam Neeson was released. I first read about that movie on my good friend A.J. MacReady's now-defunct blog. It was a great blog, and I had just started blogging then. I blogged for awhile, then pulled the plug for a few months, then returned as The Fishing Musician.
As I recall, and I recall this well, A.J. posted about how he had seen his doctor and his doctor had told him to relax. So he went home with kids in school and wife at work and watched and enjoyed Taken.
So I watched it and found it to be a movie that I got very involved emotionally in. I could feel, as a father, the gut-wrenching pain of Neeson's character. Mind you, I've not paid that much attention to the movies Neeson had done prior to Taken, but I've since watched numerous of his films, and I generally enjoy his work.
We were real busy last year when TAKEN 2 was in the theaters so I didn't get to see it or any number of movies that looked halfway interesting. It's like for every 100 or so movies there's one that I like nowadays.
So I watched Taken 2 this evening and once again, found myself a bit angst ridden as I watched it, despite the fact I had read some reviews on it and more or less knew what happened. Nonetheless, I was involved, and that's the point of good cinema. Escape for a few minutes in the drama of it all.
So Taken 2 accomplished it's purpose.
Interestingly, I have not bought Taken in the past few years, despite the fact it's an excellent movie. There have been other great movies that inspired angst in me that I've never bought. And frankly, I haven't had the urge to watch Taken lately, despite seeing it in some cheaper dvd sales racks over the holidays. I found myself almost reaching for it, and then not grabbing it, despite the fact that good triumphs evil somewhat in the first Taken.
But I did want to see the sequel, and I'm glad I did.
Back in the seventies, one guitar I really liked but couldn't afford was the GIBSON MARAUDER guitar.
I can't afford one now, either, which is why I thought I'd suggest that either Gibson or more likely Epiphone make a remake of this cool guitar.
It's a simple Les Paul style single cutaway body with a large humbucker at the neck and a small humbucker at the bridge at sort of a rear Tele pickup angle. To me, it's always been a blend of the Fender sound and the Gibson sound. Not bad company to be mixing with on either account.
I've had the chance to play around on several that different friends had in their collection. I always liked their necks and liked the way they sounded both clean and dirty.
I like the earlier versions, made from 1974 to 1976 says wiki, that use the three way toggle instead of a rotary pickup selector. I favor the maple neck over the rosewood, but most of the ones I see have the rosewood neck.
I kick myself for not buying one in a pawn shop 10 years ago for $450, because they go for lots more than that now, or at least the ones that I've seen. I saw that one then, went and ate lunch and had second thoughts and went back and it was gone.
I wish some enterprising Epiphone contractor in the far east and their R and D department would throw a great repro of the Marauder together. Do like the Squier vintage modified line, however, and put some halfway decent pickups in it.
One thing that was a unique feature of the Marauder was that (I thought) the pickup covers were made of transparent plastic, and it was an interesting look that I liked. Wiki actually says they were specially made Bill Lawrence pickups sealed in epoxy plastic.
Anyway, maybe some far east guitar maker will do a version of this guitar and actually take the time to get the pickups right. Or even Gibson...
About half the time when I get on my political soapbox in a particular post here, I delete my post a day or so after I write it because I decide I sound like an ass on the subject in question.
I don't think I'll delete this post.
As an American and as a Texan, I ask those in Congress to consider the other massive problems this country faces that are more important than gun control.
I realize that "Executive Action" has been threatened by the Vice President on behalf of The Commander in Chief. This is not good for America. Our country was not built on Executive Action being levied upon it's citizens. Our Country is the Rule of Law, not of men. We have Congress and the courts to decide what is and what is not.
My father felt that the closest this country ever came to a military takeover was during the reign of President Nixon. He also felt that we were likewise dangerously close to a dictatorship occurring. Either one would have been more than bad.
Just as bad as an Executive Action that affects a basic Constitutional right.
In my state, Texas, we have no control over vast territory that borders Mexico. In reality, it is a war zone. There have been innocent civilians murdered by drug cartels. One man was killed while riding a jetski on a lake that borders the two countries.
If one doubts my veracity, then all they need do is tune in the weekly TV show called Border Wars, and some of the other shows that feature coverage of what goes on in Texas, Arizona and California as drugs and human cargo come and go nearly as they please. They shoot at our law enforcement with impunity. And sometimes, they have far better weapons than our guys have. And usually lots more folks in their battles on the bad guy side.
For decades, with me growing up in Texas a couple of hundred miles from the Mexican border, I was told we (The U.S. Government) had a lax border security policy because we (The actual people of the USA) were a "pressure valve" for Mexico, providing jobs for them to send money back home to their families. With the illegal immigrants doing the jobs we as Americans no longer wanted to do.
Corruption, of course, has been well established in Mexico since long before I ever walked this earth. There was no fixing the system in Mexico of the days of old, and there is certainly no fixing the problem in current Mexico. It's just gonna get worse. And one day masses of people are going to storm the border seeking to flee the horrid violence of the current Mexico.
So first thing our Congress needs to consider is securing the Mexican border of this country. I don't mean send an extra thousand men down to the border. We need an actual army of thousands down there, with full air, sea and tactical support. We are, literally, at war on the border, and normal law enforcement is outgunned and out manned so much of the time nowadays.
All of that army gear our forces left in Iraq could have been moved to the border to establish base stations and outposts and forts and such to secure our borders. Instead, we basically abandoned what we didn't sell for pennies on the dollar.
I realize Americans shudder when thinking about our armed forces being stationed on American soil. To that I say, talk to someone who lives on the border or owns property or a business there. Ask them if they feel safe. Drug violence has crept into border communities on US soil, and death just follows drug money.
Which leads to the second major problem in this country. We are spending billions, and have probably spent trillions, of dollars in the war on drugs. We long ago lost the war on drugs and it appears we will never win it.
As an aside, do the pro-gun control people think any of their proposed anti-gun laws will be any more effective than the drug laws are in this country?
Which leads to the third problem that needs to be addressed to solve what the anti-gunners think they can solve by their actions. Mental health. We abandoned the mentally ill so long ago. Our prisons, our streets, our hospitals and so many other social service agencies are filled to the brim with the mentally ill.
Although many mentally ill people who commit crimes do actually need to be in prison for our safety, some do not. But there is no place else to put them, at least not in Texas, and the ones who just will not behave have to be sent somewhere after all other rehabilitative efforts have failed. There are many convicts who would be better served by doing their sentence in a lock down custodial care type mental facility.
The public mental health system burst at the seams decades ago. Our public medical health system is likewise long broken and too many ER rooms serve as a primary doctor for far too many folks.
I say it's time to spend the billions we now spend on the war on drugs to care for the substantial portion of the population who are mentally and medically ill.
I've heard it said a thousand times by defendants and their attorneys that their aberrant behavior is caused by their bi-polar/manic depressive disorder. Let's do something about it.
Instead of sending the non-violent offender to prison, send them to mental health camp for an equal amount of time. Let them be legally medicated by doctors if necessary and sober up (since many mentally ill folks self-medicate) and keep them on ice and hopefully help some get their life back on an even keel.
It's not popular in some circles to say that the war on drugs has failed. Clearly, drug use and even much of the criminality and personal and family dysfunction that stem from "the drug problem" are a social problem. A criminal justice solution has not been effective in any way to solve the drug problem.
In fact, with methamphetamine, prescription drug abuse and crack cocaine, our drug problem today is legions worse than it was back in the 1960's and 1970's when heroin was the most feared drug.
We created the cartels and all that surrounds them by the supply and demand to the American people. Now that these cartels are established in other criminal enterprises in Mexico and America, so simply legalizing drugs here in America will not end the days of Cartels and Gangs. Instead, they'll take a big financial hit, probably reorganize and direct their efforts into other criminal endeavors.
And even if all illicit drugs in America were legal, the cartels would still be making and importing drugs, again, due to supply and demand.
I have no idea how to stop the border violence and the drug trade.
I do know that sealing off the border, and I mean actually sealing it with a serious military presence from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, and enforcing our current immigration laws (if found in this country illegally, you go home), would stop much of the problems.
I mean, what other country in the world can you go to and find millions of people illegally residing there? Paying for welfare, health care and social services for folks who are not paying taxes because they are here illegally is offensive. We should be spending that vast amount of money on folks who are legally in this country.
The anti-gun control folks will continue, I predict, to ignore the problems of the Mexican border, the drug problem, the issue of providing real medical and mental health care for Americans and the vast problems associated with illegal immigration.
Dealing with these issues would protect more people right away than all of the gun banning and outlawing that they can do in Washington D.C.
Our state has literally begged and pleaded with the President to do something to stop the border war. Gun control is not going to help our border problem, in fact, if anyone in the nation needs high capacity magazines and assault rifles for protection, it's those folks who live in close proximity to the border. How ironic, and how sad.
I know several of my friends already think I'm a shill for LUCKY GUNNER DOT COM, an outstanding online ammo and shooting accessory sales company, but I'm not. But I'm a highly satisfied customer.
Here's another example of why I recommend Lucky Gunner. A friend of mine is attending a police academy, one of the regional ones in Texas that trains police for smaller jurisdictions who can't afford to have their own academy. One of the requirements is that the students provide 1000 rounds of practice ammo in forty caliber.
Which until a couple of weeks ago was no big deal. Although they don't need it for another month or so, my friend wisely decided to start shopping after discovering that none of the area gun stores or ammo dealers had ANY forty caliber ammo. None. Zip. Zero.
She mentioned it to me the other morning and I suggested Lucky Gunner. I explained that they have a real time inventory system, so you can't order it if it's not in stock. She got online right then an THERE WAS A TON of .40 caliber ammo available. She quickly bought 1000 rounds for a great price. She's very happy and now has one less thing to worry about.
I still have not gotten to test the ammo they kindly sent me. The duties of fatherhood, the family, the holidays, traveling, seriously rainy weather and other complications have thwarted my shooting outings on three separate occasions since Turkey Day.
I'm looking forward to doing some .44 magnum shooting for this test.
Sadly, I had forgotten the plight of Robert Levinson and his friends and family. Indeed, the plight of a nation, I suspect.
I try to stay off my political soapbox. My wise wife advises me to do that on a frequent basis. Nonetheless, here goes my latest rant.0
I've been reading about it for years, ever since it first happened, then it fades from the news and I forget it until the next time it appears in the headlines.
I apologize for that.
If I were in his shoes, I'd want people to remember me.
This article from the Huffington Post does a good job explaining the dynamics and the basics of the story.
I trust our government knows more about this situation. There are a lot of questions to be asked about just how he came to be in Iran in the first place, as I understand it is difficult for Americans to go there.
All that aside for now, he needs to be brought home by our government.
There is a tremendous air of mystery and secrecy around the disappearance and captivity of Mr. Levinson, and again, I hope our government knows more, and a lot more, about this whole situation than the media does.
Several years ago, it was announced by our government that he was being held in Southeast Asia, with the implication being Pakistan or Afghanistan.
In any event, a Presidential response is needed here.
This family needs their loved one back, and the President needs to lead the way.
Make a direct request. If that requires exposing issues of national security, so be it. Do what it takes.
We have an American being held hostage. Maybe it's just me, but if I were abroad lawfully doing my business and got somehow captured or held hostage under similar strange circumstances, I'd want 100's of government folks looking for me. I'd hope they'd be personally obsessed with finding me and bringing me, an innocent just like them, home to my family.
I'd want the alphabet agencies of our government to be looking for me and having their ear to the ground about my locale and captors. In six years, one would think tidbits of chatter or emails or some kind of intelligence would be known about what's going on with Mr. Levinson.
I'm not saying our government has not expended all sorts of resources to find Mr. Levinson. Hopefully, our government has made all sorts of extraordinary efforts to figure out where he is and who is behind this and all the details.
Likewise, I'd assume that numerous private entities including but not limited to the Association of Former FBI Agents, since Mr. Levinson was a retired FBI agent, and I suspect his friends and comrades have done everything they could to find him and those responsible for this.
I know from reading some different articles that the Association has been giving significant financial support to the family of Mr. Levinson, particularly his children. Bravo to that, I say. Bravo. That's putting your money where your mouth is, and it's highly commendable.
This isn't Hollywood. It's not always so easy, I suspect, what with the fragmented nature of crime and religious zealots in the Middle East and South East Asia, to track down these diverse and numerous groups.
We know from the history of all kinds of criminal and terrorist and sometimes a combination group of both criminal and terrorist operate with sometimes diverse goals and that there are groups within groups and all kinds of factions and always those groups going off on tangents.
There's not a lot of fact in the history of the articles about Mr. Levinson to discuss. He was a retired FBI agent, working as a private detective on cigarette smuggling cases and was somehow on the Iranian island of Kish. That's about it for the media report on this case for six years, so there's not much fact but plenty of fodder to speculate on.
I won't repeat what little the articles of today say when talking about the newly released photos of Mr. Levinson, which if I understand correctly they surmise these photos sent to the family via email in 2011 were taken before a video and pictures sent to them in 2010 as the hair was too long to have grown from what it appeared in the 2010 video and pictures.
What ever the situation is, we need to work vocally and actively to extricate Mr. Levinson from captivity.
Obviously, the disappearance and captivity of Mr. Levinson is far different than that of Raymond Davis, who was publicly held by authorities for months in Pakistan until our government finally secured his release. The unlawful detention of Raymond Davis was fairly well covered in the media, and the wildly inaccurate middle east internet "media" had some pretty tall tales about Mr. Davis and who he really was.
I was glad Mr. Davis was able to make it back home to America, and I think we as a country should expect the same effort be put forth to bring Mr. Levinson safely home.
To our public servants who could make this happen, I say, what if it were you in this situation? Wouldn't you want all kinds of resources and personnel devoted to securing your safe return to America? I mean, I'm talking 24/7 and 365 of intelligence efforts devoted to finding this man and freeing him, by force if necessary.
I apologize to the family for forgetting about their horrid plight. I won't forget again. I'll email my Congressional representatives. I'll keep track of the developments, if any, that appear in the media. I'll certainly pray for the return of your loved one.
Well, I was surprised that I didn't pay attention to the dates of the Shot Show. I thought for some reason it was starting yesterday, when instead Media Day will be NEXT Sunday.
It will be interesting to see what happens at the show this year. Given the weird mood of the country and the rush on all shooting related products, and I mean literally a rush, it will be interesting to see what sort of delivery times these folks will be talking at the show.
Gossip and rumor are all over the place about what will be proposed in Congress.
I see that the NRA released (and maybe they've done this before) THE BIG LIST OF WHO HATES GUNS. There is at least one group I have membership in. I don't care much for them spending any portion of my money in their anti-gun efforts.
Perhaps some gun owners who are members of a group like, say, The AARP send a petition request as to their stance on the issue and why they need one based on what they do.
I once saw a cop getting prosecuted for doing an illegal act on the job. The fellow he had accused of a drug crime was innocent of that crime. He had been framed.
The former defendant's attorney was sitting next to me in the audience, and as we were getting up to leave after the guilty and sentence pronouncement, the lawyer said to me and cryptically uttererd "Goose and Gander".
I didn't know what he meant, and said "What?"
"Goose and Gander, counselor. What's good for the goose is good for the gander", making obvious reference to the cop being prosecuted for wrongfully prosecuting a citizen.
I'm reminded of that when I hear the story about the newspaper up north that wanted to "out" the legal and permitted gun owners and carriers to, I suppose, shame them into submission of some sort of agreed gun control.
Instead, me thinks they knowingly provided legions of criminals some great "first strike" addresses to burglarize when the crooks need to steal some guns from law abiding citizens. Apparently, since public safety personnel are among these folks, at least some correctional officers (and I would expect prosecutors, cops, judges, etc to be among gun owners and carriers in this area of the country) outed so now some ex-cons with a grudge can not only hunt down the guards they likely detest but know there is a bounty of weapons perhaps to be had in successful conquest.
So a good friend sent me a link to a blog that OUTED the employees of the newspaper and all of their personal information.
And the big, bad newspaper didn't like it's management and employees and all of their social media links and addresses and phone numbers to be readily accessible in one place for all of the upset gun owners who had been targeted by the paper.
I find it somewhat interesting that the tone of the NY Times article linked above does not share too much sympathy with the plight of the newspaper in this case.
Bravo, I say.
Too bad the gun owners targeted by the paper can't have armed guards gratis of the newspaper or a hotel paid for on the newspaper's dime to escape when their home gets burglarized by someone who used the newspaper's information to try to steal some guns. It's certainly foreseeable and I wonder if under New York laws it would be legally actionable under some tort theory of law?
Crooks have long used newspaper information to commit their crimes. The obit section is fodder for those burglars who are unfraid of an eternity in hell and commit burglaries of homes of wealthy deceased while the family is at the service. Of course, the obit provides all the information as to when the services will be and even in the pre-internet days, when I recall this crime being somewhat frequent, it wasn't hard to find where the wealthy and prominent lived.
Of course, the above funeral burglaries are at no fault of the newspaper, who are mearly a conduit for information in those cases, as opposed to intentionally revealing the information that they did with law abiding gun owners.....
And so I'm reminded...goose and gander.
Or perhaps as James Bond might say, "Done. Well Done".
As much as I like shooting many other handguns, and carrying other guns for self defense, it's hard to deny the reliability and durability I've experienced with Glock. Not everyone is a Glock fanboy or girl, but so many of my friends and the professionals who are issued Glocks by their agencies have similarly wonderful experiences with Glock pistols.
Pull trigger, goes bang. That is the true perfection of the Glock. The reliability.
I've always thought it cool that a group of engineers and designers who were not, as I understand it, firearms industry folks, gathered in the early 1980's and designed what is still the basic Glock pistol.
It's been a long time since Glock introduced a new product. Really, they've made a very few pistol models in several calibers, and the only real difference other than scale and size is the Model 36 single stack .45 ACP introduced 12 or so years ago.
That's a long time.
Most Glock folks thought that perhaps a 9mm single stack might one day appear, perhaps significantly thinner than any Glock that came before it.
Likewise, lots of us have wanted to see a similarly thin .22 LR version (not a conversion from a centerfire pistol) of the Glock.
There's also been talk of Glock carbines, which is not an idea I'm opposed to. I'd hope it would be hip and happening and up to date and function with the same flawless reliability my Glocks have functioned with.
I'd love to see a Glock .22 Carbine with a 50 round staggered stick magazine. Yes, I said a .22 carbine. Everyone but Glock seems to have some kind of .22 on the market.
I'd like a .22 carbine weighing in about 5 pounds or less, and maybe in a quasi-bullpup design since the mag is behind the trigger already if using the Glock pistol firing mechanism.
And the same gun in 9mm and .40 cal with taking Glock 19/17/26 mags.
A Steyr Aug looking Glock bullpup carbine would be a mighty fine thing to see.
Or even, wait for it...some kind of tactical shotgun. Something REALLY cool and innovative and, well, Glock-like.
Instead, over the years, we get unique calibers like .45 GAP, restyled and now somewhat replaceable (but not really significantly reduced) hand grip back straps, different types of compensator's and barrel lengths and such that are modifications rather than new models really.
I was excited in the mid-90's when Glock introduced their sub-compact line, and knew that the thin-line Glocks had to be right around the corner. True, the Model 36 is thinner and smaller than the Model 21, but it's the same size as the Model 19. They fit the same holsters, or at least every holster I've tried them in. So the Model 36 is basically a Model 19 sized .45 auto.
Nothing wrong with that. The Model 36 is one of my favorite pistols, for both carry and outdoors use. Highly concealable in an IWB holster with most clothing. Shoots CCI shotshells like a dream. It's a great snake gun, and if it falls in the water, one, it's easy to take down and clean and two, it'll still fire if the ammo is well made and of good quality.
So I hope to see some cool Glock news during the next week. Something really different.
Ok, I'll be right up front here. I'm not in the firearms industry or media or retail end of things. I'm a consumer and a shooter. I have a CHL and have hunting and defense weapons. I have an interest in all kinds of target and competitive shooting and outdoors shooting and although I've hunted birds and deer in past decades, nowadays not so much.
I look forward to the internet coverage of the Shot Shows, and like many of my friends will be surfing various sites with Day 1, Day 2, etc information regarding new products, companies and the general business of firearms and associated products. So much better than back in the pre-internet days when you'd have to wait months for the gun media to get coverage published of the Shot Show.
I still read the magazine coverage months later, as it seems no one presents a real comprehensive coverage of what's shown there. I realize there are thousands of products but I'm always surprised later in the year when some cool item becomes available for sale and they say "it came out at the Shot Show this year" but I know darn well the several websites I saw coverage on didn't mention it."
Again, let me make this clear. I have no insider, or even current information about the firearms industry. These are just a wish list of mine of things I'd like to see. Past wish lists have included products that ultimately appeared like the Mare's Leg pistols. So obviously lots of people are thinking the same things I am about products they'd like to see.
WALTHER PPK/s in .22 LR
The Walther PPK/s in .22 has lots of folks curious in gun forums. It's a beloved pistol that hasn't been available in .22 LR caliber in America for decades, although Smith and Wesson has been producing or selling it in America for Walther for over 20 years now in .32 ACP and .380 calibers.
Unfortunately, all evidence including the suggested MSRP indicate this might be a "Walther by Umarex". Now, that could be cool or it could be a big let down. I own an Umarex .22 rifle that is a great gun, no problems, thousands of rounds over the years. But I've seen Umarex products that were, well, lacking in some quality metals.
Nonetheless, hope springs eternal for me since I really can't afford a REAL German made Walther PPK/s or PPK in .22 LR, one of the ones imported by Interarms pre-sometime in the 1980's. They go for a grand in just very good condition, easy, and sell so fast when the rare one appears on the used market for a reasonable price like they're giving them away.
So hope springs eternal that if it is an Umarex, that it's a good and solid Umarex and not just a sad replica or worse, a tribute to such a fine handgun. I've shot very nice Umarex guns, both handguns and rifles, and I know they are capable of making a great product. Let's hope this one is.
OTHER REPLICA HANDGUNS
I'm not interested in a Beretta M92 in .22 caliber, and I'm only interested in a few of the .22 1911's out there. I do enjoy the Browning 1911-22 handgun and it's a hard gun to beat. Too bad more of the full size 1911's in .22 are not made to the same quality as the Browning version.
I WOULD, however, PAY REAL U.S. DOLLARS for a quality .22 LR or even 9mm version of the classic Mauser Bolo pistol or...wait for it...a Luger P-08 in .22 LR.
I'm not sure I can proffer any reason I need a Bolo, other than they are a great handgun and a part of history. One in an affordable caliber to shoot like .22 would be very fun indeed.
Stoeger made an attempt to make a great and cheap copy of the Luger. For whatever reason, I shot several that belonged to friends and they were pretty much all jam-o-matic. So I never bought one, although they show up in excellent condition on the used market all the time at fairly reasonable prices.
But I know folks who claim nothing but good luck with the Stoeger Luger .22's, and they're reputable reporters. Seems like with all the new metals and plastics that whatever problems the Stoeger might have had could be remedied with some new design. I don't recall the Stoeger being made of top quality metal to begin with. It'd be cool to see a polymer framed Luger and I wonder if anyone is working on doing anything with any of these old guns in terms of replicas?
The Luger would be a great replica pistol to buy in .22 L.R. and for sure if you had a good weapon you could sell as many as you could make.
I'd like to see a a Umarex made version of the venerable Heckler and Koch P7K3 in .22.
HEY H-K R and D Department:
I think consumers would buy a .22 only version of the P7. For one, it's a fine quality and highly accurate and reliable handgun to shoot. Two, it's one of the safest guns ever made, in the opinion of me and many others. Three, most of us guys who admire and own P7's can't afford the .22 version even if we could find one. Fourth, it's a great self defense weapon and lots of folks do opt for a .22 LR for self defense, whether the gun experts like it or not. Finally, as a gun safety freak, I think there is a market for this gun as a safer home defense and CHL weapon, again for those already choosing a .22 for self defense, and in more than 30 years of carry of various P7's I've always felt more comfortable with the P7 operating safety system than that of any other semi-auto.
Lots of folks more knowledgeable about handguns agree with me on the safety aspect of the P7.
The H-K P7K3 was a very excellent .22 LR gun. It didn't use the same gas system to operate as the 9mm and .40 caliber versions did, instead, it used a blowback action, and I'd assume this was because of the lesser energy provided by the .22 LR. The gun was also unique in that it had a replaceable barrel and mag assembly to allow the gun to be changed to .32 ACP and .380.
I don't need these centerfire cartridge conversions in a replica or remake of the P7K3. I just want a pistol as pictured above that is a squeeze cocker and has a lanyard ring in 22 Caliber L.R.
It would be too cool for a replica/remake to offer a caliber conversion from .22 LR to 5.7 x 28mm, and to have a threaded barrel on each.
The P7K3, either individually or in the kits of multi-caliber, were always more expensive than the regular P7 PSP and M8 versions. Of course, I'd gladly pay the extra hundreds of dollars for a REAL HK German made version of the P7K3 in .22 LR only, it's far more likely someone like Umarex might license it out and make it their way.
COMBINATION GUNS, DRILLINGS AND DOUBLE RIFLES-AFFORDABLE AND VERSATILE
I've been surprised that foreign gun makers like Yildiz, who make a pretty decent Turkish made shotgun through the Academy Sporting Goods chain, are not making some double rifles like the Russian gun maker Baikal.
Baikal has long made cool combination guns in various centerfire and shotgun combos. Some have been marketed by Remington. Likewise, they make a double rifle in either .30-06 or .45-70, and on their Russian language website they offer it in .308 as well.
The Baikal double rifles go for anywhere from $850 to a grand retail in Texas. Their combo guns go for a similar range but a couple of hundred dollars less. The Baikal shotguns I've seen, although a bit on the heavy side, are built like tanks and have good fit and finish. The woodwork is great but finishing lacks.
A few years ago, when the Baikal double and combos were selling either under the EAA or USSG or Remington brand, they were going for much less than they are now. Most other guns, particularly Russian guns, have not had such a steep price hike in the same years.
Apparently, the Turkish maker of the Yildiz shotguns is quite competent. I've watched their quality improve drastically over the past 2 years, to the point where I'd really like to buy one of their 4.4 pound sxs .410 shotguns.
But I'd really like to have a Yildiz double rifle, and in 7.62 x 39mm caliber. That would be a light recoiling and fun and cheap gun to shoot. It'd be just a cool and even cheaper to have one chambered in 7.62 x 54r, and although far more powerful than the 7.62 x 39 round, there is much more recoil as a result. Much like a .30-06 in recoil.
How much would it take to make a double rifle when you are already making SXS shotguns? Make the barrel and receiver a bit beefier, but using roughly the same firing mechanism and such, and it seems like a very feasible task.
Not to mention all the other companies that could be selling a nice double rifle. Ruger. Remington. Mossberg. Marlin. The list goes on and on.
I hope the eons of hog hunting that generations of folks will be doing to try to control the hog population spawn some sort of interest in using cheap doubles as hog guns. Besides, some of the huge feral hogs in Texas could survive and hold their own in deepest, darkest Africa and India where most of the real Most Dangerous Game live. A nice double in the right caliber is good hog medicine.
Or for that matter, a drilling. I'm fascinated with drillings as hog hunting weapons, although I'd probably be more likely to buy and carry a double rifle than a drilling due to the weight of the latter, but I wonder why they are not more popular in America.
I think a drilling in some kind of popular caliber like .223 or .30-30 along with a one shotgun barrel would be a great gun. Likewise, if it sold for a reasonable price, what about a .22/.410 drilling? I'm undecided whether I'd want two rifle barrels or two shotgun barrels in any of the drillings. Good arguments can be made for each arrangement.
Chiappa is one maker that is making some guns I like. They've got a nice looking folding combo .22/.410 (and maybe .22 WMR) rifle, as well as a single shot .22, called the Double and Single Badger respectively, and they're priced right as far as I've heard and look to be nicely made guns, especially the Double Badger.
I hope Chiappa looks into the double rifle business. I think there are hunters and sportsman and target shooters worldwide who will never make it to Africa on safari using a double or who could even afford an "inexpensive" quality double (me on both counts) who would like to have a reasonably priced double. About $500 is reasonable for the fit and finish I'm going to expect on the product.
I know Chiappa is coming out with a "triple threat" 3 barreled shotgun, and I'd be standing in line for one if it were not so overpriced, at least as far as they are saying what it will sell for now.