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Education / Training How NOT to treat your guns!

How NOT to treat your guns!

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I begin today’s report, here’s an interesting tidbit of news. The Georgia senate has passed legislation (SB 301) that will allow residents to use legal silencers while hunting game. This curious legislation is the first positive thing on silencers that I’ve seen. Does it mean that we are about the see a change in the public attitude toward silencers in general?

Today’s report
You’re on the couch, watching a typical “shootemupski” flick and the gang-banger bad guys in their wife-beater undershirts and black doo-rags are all shooting their Glocks with limp wrists and the guns rotated 90 degrees to the left, so the shells eject out the top instead of the side. You suppress a quiet snicker, knowing that this is inherently wrong, but you chalk it up to Hollywood.

What else do you know about the mistreatment of guns? That’s any gun — air-powered or firearm.

What about the guy who opens his revolver to check that it’s loaded, then closes the cylinder with a quick flick of the wrist? Back in the 1950s, the gun magazines were all loaded with warnings not to do this because of what it does to the crane. The crane is the arm that swings out of the revolver and holds the axle on which the cylinder turns. How many times have I watched a vintage black-and-white murder mystery in which the bad guy did just that to his revolver? It works in the movies because they can shut the camera off and switch guns after they bend the crane. In real life, it’s so damaging that the fit of the crane is the first thing you check whenever evaluating a used double-action revolver.

This Ruger revolver’s crane is made from steel. It’s the part that allows the cylinder to swing out to the side of the gun for loading and unloading. If it can’t take being flipped shut without bending, imagine what will happen to a softer metal airsoft revolver crane!

Mark your territory!
Here’s one all the Bubbas do to their guns. They mark them with their Social Security account numbers etched into the steel with an electric engraving pen. Bubbas recently had to learn How to get replacement social security card, after losing his. When asked why they do it, they always answer, “It’s mine for as long as I own it, and after I’m gone I don’t care what happens to it.” The sad thing is, when Bubba dies, he stays dead for a long time! So, that beautiful Winchester Model 1873 rifle he inherited from his grandfather in 1954 now sits in some gun store in Ft. Worth marked at $1,875 instead of $3,500, because his SS# is engraved on the frame!

Think this makes it a bargain? Think again. Anyone who buys a gun marked this way just bought it for the rest of his life, because no one else will touch it. If you want to buy a real nice Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle that has someone’s SS# engraved on it, just contact me and I’ll give you the details. It’s been in the same place for at least the past seven years.

Will someone please take the engraving pen from Bubba? This pristine Remington 03A3 rifle from World War II lost a third of its value because he marked the receiver this way.

Custom woodwork
I was once stupid enough to go “all the way” for you here in this blog and “inlet” the stock of an Air Venturi Bronco for the slide of a peep sight. I put quotes around the word inlet, because it really isn’t the right term. “Splinter-out” would be more exact, I suppose. My woodwork was approximately the same level of quality that you’d get from a rabid beaver. Pole-climbers leave smoother wood behind them.

Look, Edith, I made this for you at summer camp! Some people should not be allowed to use tools, and I’m one of them.

Soldering with the starz
I’ll never forget back in the late 1990s when big bore airguns were just starting to be the rage, and the Farco Air Shotgun from the Philippines was the current rage. One “boutique” customizer hopped up his Farco up by switching from CO2 at 853 psi to air at 3,000 psi. But the steel screw that was the safety lug on the gosh-darn bolt kept digging a channel back through the brass receiver when the gun fired. Our “hero” built-up that area with a mound of lead solder. I am not kidding — there was a lump of solder there that was an inch deep!

Think it kept him safe? Well, it’s just about the same as sealing the leaks in your car’s engine block with candle wax. All I remember was that his gun was incredibly loud when it fired and nobody would stand within 20 feet of him when he shot it.

“Sometimes, things break off”
When I was in high school, a friend’s father had a double-barreled shotgun with Damascus-twist barrels. I was reading Guns & Ammo magazine at the time and about every third article had a warning about shooting smokeless ammunition in guns with Damascus-twist barrels. So, when his dad pulled out the shotgun to shoot it one day, I cringed and ducked behind a car. His dad said, “Aw, it’s okay. Sometimes things break off, but I still shoot it.” Sure enough, he shot it once, yelled, “Oww!” and stopped shooting. I heard the metal bounce off the car body, after it sliced through his cheek.

Drop-free magazines?
Sometimes the product name, alone, is enough to cause problems. The so-called “drop-free” magazines that some airsoft guns have is one example. The term drop-free was created to describe the type of magazine that is released from a semiautomatic pistol like the Colt M1911A1 when the magazine release catch is pressed. That’s opposed to the type of mag release that’s found on a Makarov or a Ruger Mark II that’s located at the bottom of the mag floorplate and doesn’t allow the mag to clear the gun even after it’s pushed. With that kind of release, you have to actually pull the magazine out of the frame of the gun.

A drop-free magazine will actually drop free of the gun when it’s released, but nobody would actually do that unless they had the base of the magazine protected by a rubber bumper to soften the shock of landing on the ground. IPSC shooters use them on their magazines because they have to reload as fast as possible.

But airsoft shooters who pay $129 for their entire gun do not have the optional rubber bumper on the bottom of each magazine unless they buy them and install them! The fact that the gun they buy has a drop-free magazine design does not mean that they can drop the magazine on the ground. It just means that it follows the drop-free magazine design that the auto pistols have.

Getting the lead out!
How many stories have I heard about airgun repair stations that have removed dozens of pellets from an airgun barrel during a repair job? And AirForce told me they once got a rifle back with jammed pellets and burst firecrackers in the barrel!

Pellets are not croquet balls and airguns are not croquet mallets. You can’t move one out of the barrel by smacking it with another one.

If you think it’s bad for airguns, just try it with firearms sometime! Better yet — don’t! Back when I was a lot younger and less patient, I was fast-firing a .45-caliber Generation II Colt Single Action Army when I had a squibb round. That’s a round without powder where the primer alone drives the bullet up the barrel partway. Without thinking, I thumbed off the next round that did have powder, driving both the first and second bullets out the barrel. It also split the barrel along nearly the entire 7-1/2″ length, with a swelling at the point where the first bullet was stuck.

This is what happens when your trigger finger works faster than your mind. This Colt Gen II SAA barrel is split from the muzzle to the threads. The other bullet did come out, though.

I knew something had gone wrong because the gun recoiled about three times as hard as normal, and my shooting partner caught the ejector housing in his stomach. No real injuries other than pride and wallet, but it was a life lesson whose tuition has just been paid.

I could go on with stories of people who felt the need to refinish a collectible airgun and destroyed its value. Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt — especially if the gun is painted like so many vintage Crosman guns were. But just don’t buff off the blue of a Falke 90 and expect anyone to appreciate your work. Some things are better left as is, unless you are a most careful worker.

This was supposed to be a Friday blog, but my schedule changed at the last minute and bumped it to today. Please feel free to talk about it all weekend anyway.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

71 thoughts on “How NOT to treat your guns!”

  1. okay, bb, got a question for someone with years of experience over me with airguns.
    I recently purchased a Crosman Nitro Venom .177 cal, and I noticed one thing very peculiar.
    pellets lighter than about 8.0gr will shoot about an inch left, while pellets from 8 to 10+gr are right on. I am shooting at a distance of about 20yd. the strange thing is the groups are just as good, about nickel sized. I am befuddled, because I would understand a lighter pellet shooting higher, but the horizontal shift is just bizarre. I have about 1000 pellets through it since I purchased it new, so is this maybe just part of the rifle breaking in? My best guess is that the light pellets don’t allow the piston seal to seat squarely as the heavy ones when it’s fired.

    • Scotty…

      Adding to what Bruce said…

      If they both shoot the same size groups, you can make some choices. If you want to shoot farther than that, see which one shoots best at longer distances. If they are still both equal, you might want to shoot the heavier pellet if you shoot in the wind. You can also test to see which pellet holds the best group in the wind.
      Then there is price…..if they both are equal in performance, then shoot the cheaper ones.

      There is a good thing about having more than one pellet that shoots well at the distance that you plan to use it. It gives you something to fall back on if you have trouble getting the pellets that you want.

      Pick the one you decide on, and zero for it.


    • Scotty,
      You should expect some shift between pellets of different weight. Sure there may be two different pellets that seem to shoot the same, but that’s just the luck of the draw, even if they weight the same. What’s important here is that this doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong. Pick a pellet for this gun that you like the best, for whatever reason (twotalon gave some good things to consider).

    • Scotty,

      Your rifle is exhibiting harmonics. Both pellets leave the muzzle at times when the muzzle is oriented to throw them to where they are grouping. I will agree that a horizontal spread is odd, but that’s what happens.


  2. scotty,

    Let me take a shot at explaining what is going on there. The lighter pellet is leaving the barrel at a different point in the barrel’s vibration cycle. The consistency between the groups is a good sign. You’ve got an interesting gun–enjoy.


  3. BB, I have to admit, when you did the blog on the Bronco and whittled out the stock to fit the peep sight, I did cringe a bit. Heck, when I took the Dremel to the grips on my IZH 46m, I was cringing the whole time! BTW, Pyramyd is now selling the Bronco with a peep that actually fits without modification; got the email on it last night. I think in the next month, a Bronco will find it’s way into my family of airguns.

    Just before I retired from the police department where I worked for 22 years, they made me convert from a K-frame S&W revolver to a Model 19 Glock. The first conversion classes, they were using the officer’s issued magazines for practice on the range. The firearms instructors soon found problems with the mags, in that they weren’t feeding the bullets after a period of time. Close examination of the mags found the little lip/flanges on the end of the mags were being bent inward after being allowed to freely drop on the cement fire lanes, preventing the bullets from feeding into the chamber. They quickly invested in practice mags so that the officers wouldn’t destroy their issued mags and perhaps encounter problems in a real life situation.

    Our instructors also had a variety of firearms that they would pass around to us. Firearms where someone had perhaps inadvertently fired another round behind a “piffer” or a round that hadn’t cleared the barrel. It put the fear of God in all of us seeing those bulged, cracked and exploded barrels and top straps , to be aware of the sound of a piffer and to not fire another round after one.

    • The sad thing is that I’m convinced that the zombies are already here, after a few decades of the dumbing down of America (and the world, really). I’ve seen people behave in ways that absolutely shocks me. So many reality TV shows are showing where the people of Jerry Springer shows actually come from. Amazing! That level of mentality seems to becoming more common. They are crude, rude, and unfortunately, very violent.

      My sons best friend was recently put in the trauma ward by a large group of zombies that attacked all members of a birthday party at a public place. They were not provoked, but instead set out to hurt people for no reason at all, including women. Truly unbelievable! Fortunately, because of my sons extensive training in Karate, boxing, and MMA, he was able to secure the safety of most of the women by locking then a safe room. More importantly, because of his medical training was able to save his best friend life. He said that when he realized what was happening, that he deliberately put his mind in a state of complete calm and focus so that he didn’t overreact, including engaging the enemy in the wrong way, causing him to lose his ability to make the right decisions in terms of where he needed to put his energy. Had he not, he wouldn’t have seen his best friend go down like he did. And even if he had, he may not have realized the severity of his condition. No one else there would have even called 911.

            • J-F,
              Thanks! He really is smart. I’m often times pleased (impressed, amazed, very proud) at how rational and logical he is. The details of what happened are truly amazing, and disturbing, but I didn’t hear them from him for a long time after. Instead, I heard them from his friends. In truth, it was a traumatic situation that made him cry when he first tried to talk to my wife about it. His wife took it even harder because she saw what he was dealing with and felt helpless. But, for sure, this is what training gets you. This is why allowing your kids to study martial arts, and take the blows, will help them when they need it. The experience will teach them that they aren’t as fragile as their fear would have them believe, and it really helps to know that you’ve got some skills at hand.

              The same goes for use of firearm for self-protection. Practice, practice, practice. Shoot from different positions, and using both hands. I’m far from being an expert at this sort of thing, but I do know that the worse thing you can do is NOT practice and allow yourself to panic, or be too startled when it counts.

      • Reality TV….
        A show my kids like to watch is ‘Dumbest Stuff on Wheels’. I cringe when I watch this…just to think that (unfortunately mostly young) people do some of the stupid things they do.
        I guess to some degree I can understand them…they want their moment of fame on TV…but what amazes me is some of the incredibly dangerous things they do with absolutely no safety equipment…the idiotic skateboard ‘stunts’ without even a helmet. You just know that some of these people are sustaining lifelong/lifethreating injuries.

        • Cowboystar dad,
          Tell me about it. I can’t watch some of those stunts. You see kids who think that they could use a wall like a ramp, and then try their stunt within ANY protection! They have absolutely no common sense! I mean, they are completely devoid of ANY understand of the physics involved, and then they do these things! Yes, a lot of these injuries will be lifelong, unfortunately. Because of no fault of my own, I know a few things about that.

          • I think they’re all too aware of the physics involved, they’ve been doing this for years, the lack of safety equipment is part of the trill. I have ZERO compassion for those guys. They’re like cheaper, smaller, modern versions of Evel Knievel.


        • Oh, one last thing about this. I’ve had one particular great doctor for 25 years who tells me that skateboards have ruined many a child’s life. This is a doctor of very few words, and who has otherwise shares very few opinions. I know it’s not the skateboards fault, but you understand I’m sure.

      • Wow, this is a nightmare. Your son reminds me of the doctor on Beverly Hills 90210 who is a real doctor. On a flight, an older fellow went berserk and tried to get into the cockpit. The doctor said that his Tae Kwon Do black belt training kicked into gear. He restrained the guy, then gave him medical attention. Now that is classy and treatment you could hardly buy.

        Great job by your son. MMA has introduced some very interesting ideas and advanced martial arts technically, but what if the zombies have MMA training too? The methods are widely disseminated and the ethic is very different from traditional martial arts. I was watching a YouTube clip on this the other night. The normal practice seems to be to hammer the opponent in the face even after he is down and unconscious until physically thrown off by the ref, then jump about in extravagant celebration. This seems pretty close to pure evil. On an impulse, I might have written a comment about how these people should be shot on sight. On reflection I would say that this sport could stand either an outright ban or some other significant modification. So, what is to be done for one’s protection? Start training in MMA yourself? Or carry a gun or some other weapon.

        I was actually corresponding with a ninth degree black belt recently, and he told me that he has quite a few handguns. Heh heh. That reminds me of an article I read where a guy asked the owner of a Karate school how he dealt with people walking into the school and challenging him. His response was to pull out the shotgun from under a counter. I’ve heard of another woman master in the same situation who pulled a sword off her wall. If you’re in a fair fight your tactics suck. 🙂

        By the way, very nice job of your son to exercise restraint in such a complex situation. The Russian Systema practitioners talk about the same thing. Very important not to provoke your opponents to worse. That’s high level stuff.


        • Matt61,

          When Jackie Chan was asked if he would fight a gang of thugs, he said that was just for the movies. When faced with that situation in real life, he said he’d run the other way.

          Guns vs. martial arts? To paraphrase an old saying: Never bring martial arts to a gun fight.


        • Matt61,
          It was a complex situation. And he did use restraint. Much later, when he was comfortable talking about it, he gave us some insights as to what his thought process were. This gang of about 16 attacked the whole group at once, so my sons strategy was to intimidate them, one at a time, and yet not commit himself to fighting any one of them, because he knew that this would result in a 1-to-many situation. Instead, he varied his approach from situation to situation. When he wanted to rescue someone that was under (often literally) attack, he would remove them with one very forceful move, slamming them against something. When it was a head on confrontation, he made sure he hurt them quickly after disarming them with a grappling move. He deliberately kept moving around, never becoming a singled out target. The only really challenging situation was when he had to stop a group of about 3 or 4 from trying to break the door down, where his wife, other women, and his closest friends were. His best friend walked into the situation, not knowing what had transpired, and that’s when this Bubba, crooked cap wearing, jerk sucker punched him. This jerk really fit B.B.’s description to a T.

          As for MMA, etiquette, and sportsmanship. Yes I would agree that the behavior that you described IS evil. I have always taught my kids about showing class and grace. They understand.

  4. BB,
    Way too hard on yourself. The only thing “wrong” with notching the Bronco’s stock was the subsequent removal of the peep sight.

    Probably not many here have butchered more guns than I have under the guise of “improvement”. But it felt oh-so-right at the time. “insert maniacal laugh track here”

    Hey, at least it’s entertaining.

  5. One of Robert’s ( as in Me) tactics for aquistion of firearms that are beyond the household budget is to look for guns with Bubba carvings and things like that social security number etched onto a barrel. If you just want to shoot and carry a particular gun afield like the Winchester that BB describes above, but can’t pony -up the cash for a pristine one, Bubba is your savior. I have aquired a couple of very fine firearms that had such issues but were perfect otherwise. BTW, Bubba has woke up. He’s on reality TV these days,which begs the question : has the apocolypse started ahead of time?

  6. I bought a Slavia 620 the guy had carved something looking like a treble key on the stock, at first I tought I wouldn’t mind but I can’t stand it anymore and the rifle sits in the basement gun cabinet where the unwanted rifles go.
    Anyone want a cheap Slavia 620? It could probably be sanded and refinished, the carving isn’t deep but I don’t have the talent to do it.


  7. The worst thing I have personally seen was someone who had problems with a one-piece scope mount not staying put on a springer. The fix: Gorilla glue. No sale for me!

    Paul in Liberty County

  8. This is an interesting topic. B.B. is obviously approaching this from the standpoint of a collector, or someone who believes that the only “correct” way for something to be is as it left the factory. He’s buying guns as an investment and maybe hoping to sell them to another person with the same fixation. Another example of that is the price of “matching numbers” muscle cars being greatly inflated over an equivalent example. In general they don’t perform any better with the original engine vs a swap, but “collectors” wouldn’t touch such a thing.

    I tend to fall into a different camp where these things are tools, or at least devices meant to be used. If notching the stock on a Bronco let you put a peep on it which in turn let you be more accurate, so be it. Would you rather have a pristine rifle that won’t group at 10 yards or one that is painted lime green with a cracked stock and some scratches on the barrel that will make one hole at 50 yards?

    • JeffT,

      If you ever have to sell your guns, you’ll get very little for them. Generally speaking, HAVING to sell your guns also means you need the money.

      If you have a lot of guns and you die, your survivors may need the money…and those altered guns will be very little financial help.

      For the guy who’s got just a few modern guns that will never be collectible, it won’t make any difference what they do to them, as the guns will never have great value and probably won’t be of significant help to his surviving heirs.

      Just thinking ahead….


      • Edith,

        I do see your points, but I think it’s a different perspective. Right now I’m a user, not a collector. I’m not expecting to get investment grade prices for my guns, but neither am I spending investment grade money on them. I’m also not saying that I would take a hacksaw to a double barrel Damascus shotgun just because I needed a coach gun either. I’ll take care of the things I have, and only modify in ways that make them perform better, but IMO scratches and dings are inevitable for anything that actually gets used. Being structurally sound is something you can’t skimp on, but absolutely pristine condition is overblown unless you are actually planning to resell it or just hang it on a wall and look at it. Luckily there’s enough stuff out there for all of us to buy. 🙂

        • Scratches and bumps and modding your gun for looks or function is one thing, scratching your social security number is another.

          Allow me to use your car reference here: Take a classic muscle car, change a few things, wheels, engine, transmission, new paint, you still have a classic IF done in taste.
          Put a rear wing similar to those that were used on the 69 charger daytona cars on pretty much any other car… it will make it butt ugly, how about those huge 26 inch wheels? Put them on a 69 Camaro and you just turn a nice piece of american classic into a ugly fad car.
          It has to be done properly, if you need to pull a trailer, buy something to pull a trailer don’t have a hitch installed on Porsche 911 to pull your camper or boat! Oh it will work, but how dumb would it look?

          Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it has to be done or it’s a good idea to do it. You want to bedliner or camo paint your entire QB78, go ahead but PLEASE don’t do it to a TX200 with the beautifull walnut stock with the fishscale checkering.


      • Howdy Ms. Edith,
        Exactly! A rookie here, but a life long gear head. Just let my ’72 small block, numbers match, Corvette coupe go, that’d I’d had for 25 years & almost completed a ground up resto on. It was about 95%. Only need ta replace the headers & air filter canister. A previous owner (Bubba?) had it way over carb’d (Bubba sez: bigger is better, right?) & had punched holes all the way around it. Got alomost double what I paid for it in ’86 & a few grand over the cost of the resto. “Greatly inflated”? Nope, it’s called holding it’s value or appreciation. Thanx for all you & Mr. B.B. do.

      • Very true. If you have to sell them you won’t have time to get a good price. I am still in the process of helping a local widow sell her husband’s guns (The ones she didn’t keep, good for her!). It’s been four months and it’s gone well. There’s only a few left. The last two were sold based on a notice place on a Internet forum. BTW, one of the remaining guns is a Colt Commander .45. I would buy that one myself except I don’t need two!


      • Edith,
        I think you hit the nail there, thinking ahead. I will have to say who knew??. As one who has done his share to make things rare ,to increase their value for collectors , I feel under appreciated 🙂
        I told a fellow at an auction, who had just paid $25.00 for a mason jar full of marbles ” if I had known they were going to be worth that much I wouldn’t have used all mine for slingshot ammunition”
        As for the targets I hope you don’t collect old mason jars or old records 🙂 🙂
        I think too about all those old WW2 rifles that got chopped up and modified because they were not hardly worth anything .

  9. Man, the numbers etched in got me. A couple of weeks back I picked up a really nice Ruger Single Six (old model, three screw that has not had the Ruger safety upgrade performed on it). The price was sweet and it came with both cylinders. Right on the bottom of the grip frame, I see that a previous owner scrawled in some number with a nail. Oh well, it shoots great and is on the bottom where I hardly see it.

    If you ever have the time and want a good laugh, there’s a gun story called “Bustamonte- I hate you”. I think it’s on Shooting Times site. Would go very well with this story.


  10. BB and JF,

    plastic wood filler can do marvelous things in filling in cuts, scratches and carvings. It comes in various colors so you can get close to the color of the surrounding stock and then with some stain or oil, you can re-rub the entire stock down and your filler will be almost invisible to the casual glance.

    As for a Bubba gun with a SS # on it, I hope to be in the market for an M-1 Garand later this year and am planning on going through the Civilian Marksmanship Program. However, if you know of a Bubba at a bargain price, please let me know.

    Fred DPRoNJ (Democratik Peoples Republik of NJ)

    • Fred,

      I have seen Garands that were Bubba’d. Don’t know where any are now. The Winchester ’73 is a real gun that I have had my eye on for many years — just to see what happens.

      The O3A3 shown above is mine, and I knew it was disfigured when I got it. What I didn’t know was what a tackdriver it was. As several have said, sometimes that can trump Bubba. But I also know if I ever sell it the value is gone.


  11. Ahh, we all have at least one story, don’t we.
    Mine is from when I was a young teen.
    My first air-rifle, bought when I was 8 or 9 years old. Pretty sure it was an early Slavia (about 1964?).
    Anyhoo, a couple of years later I thought it could use some dressing up so it would look more like dads firearms.
    Checkering would be nice.
    So I grabbed my X-Acto knife ( I was into modelling as well)…which I’m sure was pretty dull and decided to carve some checkering into it.
    Oh my god, did I make a nice rifle look butt-ugly.
    And to boot my parents had to take me to the hospital to get a couple of stitches in my thumb where I tried to ‘checker’ that as well ;-(

    • CSD,

      I carved my initials on the stock of a .22 I had as a teenager. Looked great to me, but when it came time to part ways I found that others didn’t care for it as much.

      It’s funny, but I actually have a soft spot for old BB guns with initials on their stocks. Sellers have offered to whittle them on the spot, but I like mine to have some patina.


      • When I was about 12 I converted an X-Acto knife to a wood burning tool powered by an old slot car transformer. Burned my initials into the stock of my Slavia 619. Can’t imagine I’ll ever part with it…

  12. Another thing for the ‘etchers’ to consider.
    I get this at least once a year in the photographic industry, and I’m sure the outcome would apply to firearms/airguns as well.
    Joe Schmoe come in and buys a nice new camera and one of the first things he does is engrave his name or SIN number on it.
    A week or two later it craps out…most definitely a warranty issue.
    Now most retailers (I’m sure Pyramyd would be like this), if the guns is defective within a week or two will just replace it…as we do with cameras.
    But Mr. Schmoe shows up with his etched camera…no way we’re replacing it because the camera manufacturer won’t accept it back.
    So instead of walking out with a new camera he’s going to wait 6-8 weeks for a warranty repair.

  13. It’s been over 40 years since I took my hunter safety course. I still remember the damascus barrel shotgun the instructor held up in front of the class. The barrel was peeled back like a banana. Made a lasting impression on me.

    I used to do a lot of upland bird hunting. Hunted with guys that had side by sides and over and unders that they would close with a flick of the wrist violently snapping them closed. Always made me cringe. Like slamming the door on a mercedes. Just isn’t necessary and is harmful.


  14. I have a near perfect Winchester Model 63 .22 auto that has the previous owner’s driver’s license number on it in not one but two places! But, on the plus side it shoots very very well and the price was right. Without the driver’s license numbers it would have cost way more money than I would have payed.


  15. I’m curious how the crane could be bent on the revolver by slamming it close. The crane strikes a space that is molded to its exact shape, and while there is a big impact, there is no force to distort or bend it. On the subject of revolvers, I’ve heard that fanning revolvers as Bob Munden likes to do is very abusive for the mechanism.

    Regarding the abuse of guns, I have wondered what the position of “Trail arms” is for from the Manual of Arms. But lo and behold, in a YouTube video of WWII, there are Russian soldiers running along and dragging their Mosins along the ground in the Trail Arms position. That is one tough gun.


  16. Thanks, BB; great blog; I needed a good dose of humor to round out my day, so I especially enjoyed the “Bubba” portion of your post. =)

    btw, after all you posted about the old Dianas, I picked up a model 23 (my nephew loves it), and I just bought a model 25 for myself. It’s a fixer-upper for sure; but would you even have bought this thing:


    Also, any idea where I should look for a rear sight?
    Thank you, and keep up the great writing!

  17. Speaking of ruining a revolver, the boring Uberti Hombre (say that three times fast) that Kevin and BG Farmer warned me about removing the factory finish on too quickly is ready for action.

    Rather than stripping her naked with naval jelly or vinegar, I used one of the wipes they sell to take the black off of stainless steel guns. I wore about half the finish off and then polished it with Flitz. On the high spots on the cylinder you can even see a little metal. Sort of like holster wear. Looks better to my eye, could not stomach that parkerized look on a SA.

    Getting ready to head to the range to see how she does. The trigger is lighter than my Ruger .357 SA so I have high hopes for this $250 investment.

      • BG Farmer,

        It’s still nowhere near being a work of art, so not worth putting up pictures.
        Good news is it shoots to point of aim and I think I do better with it at a medium distance than the Ruger .357 with the fancy sights and longer barrel. I love of the feel of a SA.

        Low point of the trip was I also shot the Ruger LCP .380 I have Crimson trace laser sight on and I did about 25% as well. My hands are not that large but I just could not get a good grip and the long double action pull was a nightmare after shooting the Uberti. I finally gave up on the .380 and bought another box of .38 Special for the 1873 copy.

        The other good news is nice brass case stuff was only $17.00 for 50 rounds with tax. Better stock up before November again.

        • Volvo,
          I think it sounds better than original. I agree about the Parkerized finish on an SA revolver, although I like it on my 870 Express where ugly is appropriate :)! Seems likely that you are going to like it, and it makes a good companion to the lever action — you going to go cowboy action shooter on us? As far as the worn or aged finish, I can probably show you several contemporary rifles going for $10,000 or so (my guess) that look a bit like they were stored in a damp basement. It is kind of a trend in long rifles, as it takes the edge off the jarring dissonance between an obviously old design and new work. You are cutting edge and thinking like the pros!

          I looked at LCP not long ago as safe choice reasonable carry piece, esp. as it might be shootable by the wife, but I just couldn’t get excited by it.

        • Volvo,

          I think B.B. has one of those Ruger LCP 380’s. He shot pretty good groups with it too. Maybe he’ll share the secret to a hold. Glad to hear you’re getting along with the Hombre.


          • Kevin,

            I have never been a great handgun shooter, but I do okay with a SA or a DA revolver shot single action. I just cant hold through a long double action pull. My Smith and Wesson I can stage the trigger on, but their is just not enough to hold onto with the Ruger LCP.

            The laser sight really shows this, I am right on the bull and as I squeeze the mile long trigger pull I see red dot dance all over the target.

            I think I will look for a small SA only auto in .380, I have too much ammo to not replace it with something. Unless I only use it a knife distances. : )

          • Kevin,

            No, I looked at the LCP, but since it is striker-fired, it only works once before you have to rack the slide.

            I have a Micro Desert Eagle — a true DAO pistol.

            The secret it to hold stead and not mind the stinging recoil. If you can do that, they are all pretty accurate. I’m talking 5-inch groups at 10 yards.


  18. Sometimes reworking a gun might be a good thing. I have an older gamo whisper. I had a nitro piston installed and replaced the stock with a silent cat stock. It has the power, is quieter, more rugged, and looks a bit newer than it’s age. But then, I have no intention of selling any of my ” children”. Also working with an airforce condor. First hing gone was the stock foregrip and replaced with a nice ergonomic combat grip. Really changed the look and handling, made it much steadier for my arthritic hands.

    I do get gist of the article though. I’d never dream of carving up a fine old gun.

    • /Dave,
      Yeah, and I’ve been known to turn my cap off to the side 40 degrees, or so. Of course, that’s cause the Sun was off to that side while shooting. I think it might even cause the IQ to drop a few points. Maybe it also causes me to cant my guns as well. Oh, man! I got a watch that! lol

  19. I would not knowingly buy a collector gun and then modify it and I find it hard to believe anyone would, but then, it’s a big world. I might be ignorant enough to come into possession of a gun not knowing it was a collector item and doing something stupid to it. Chances are I’d have sold it for $35. I would not have a problem buying a new gun and carving identifying marks on it, however, I realize this is a form of paranoia, and if one kept a record of the serial number on the gun, any other marking is redundant. If I would have been allowed to have my own bb gun as a child I would have carved my initials in it if for no other reason than to annoy my siblings, assuming they didn’t get a better one, in which case I probably would have carved my initials in theirs, which maybe explains why I never got one to begin with. So, if you buy a gun with initials in it make sure the seller can verify the initials are really his or else his brother is going to be really, really mad at you.

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