Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Holland And Holland

There are guns, and then there are Holland and Holland guns. The difference between the two of these is as great as the English Channel. I could spend a few paragraphs waxing poetic about their history, what they make, and all that jazz, but really this is one of those rare times where I don't feel compelled to make pretty words. The guns do a fine enough job of telling their own story.

In a collaboration that seems impossible, H&H is actually majority owned by the French fashion brand Chanel.

Responsible for .357 H&H, .300 H&H, .600 Nitro Express, and the monstrous .700 Nitro Express, they are as innovative as they are timeless.

They are one of the few gun companies to truly thrive and succeed in Britain's gun climate, and the only gun maker to hold a Royal Warrant (A supply to the British Crown).

Suffice it to say the H&H is still a very active gun maker, and still the best of the best.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Old 1911

In late November of 2010, I was at the range with a buddy. We were shooting my Colt Series 80 side by side with his new Kimber Custom 2. I was giving him some razz on buying a Kimber, since I've never really cared for the brand or the guns. I challenged him to shoot 50 rounds with each and decide which he liked, and dont you know it, he started leaning towards the Colt! At this point I felt pretty full of it, and after a couple great groups I was simply lording it over him.

That is until I dipped into my box for a magazine of my reloads for a fresh magazine. "BANG, BANG, pop". I was confused at what I assumed was just an old 3.5gr loading that wasn't able to cycle the slide, so I foolishly cycled the slide and shot again. The slide instantly locked and froze up. I ejected and checked the gun and saw there was only an empty casing in it. At the time I thought it was a double charge that had blown the slide back and smashed up the slide and barrel lugs. Either way, I was pretty scared.

We both were a little shook up by the incident, so we went back into the shop portion and talked it over with some of the staff. A very nice old gentlemen behind the counter actually offered his help, and managed to unfreeze the slide and get it all apart to survey the damage. At that point we found out what happened: a squib in the barrel, followed by a live round. The barrel was ringed and bulged. He was pretty helpful in making me feel better, claiming that he had done this before and so had other shooters, and at the very least I can look forward to getting a match grade barrel fitted.

So I did! I picked up a stainless Ed Brown Match Barrel and Bushing combo for about $140 at Midway, dropped it off with my Smith, and after a whole two months of glacially slow service, I finally was able to pick it up yesterday, the day of the Gun show! I think it looks nice with the stainless bushing. Its pretty stiff engaging at the point, but I'm sure it will loosen after a hundred rounds or so. It just goes to show you that a bad experience can lead to improvement and a learning lesson in the end.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gyrojet Love

Yankee Gun Nuts has a piece up on the Gyrojet. Really neat to see that a basic zinc alloy gun and its ammo could command such a huge price premium in today's market. Also amazing to see how dirt simple this thing was.

Some News

I've taken a contract writing position with Guns.com, so between that and school pressures expect sparse contributions through the spring. I still hope to give you guys some nice gun pictures and articles here and there.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

S&W Governor Pricing

With the S&W Governor priced to move with an MSRP of $599, a question has come up. How is S&W pricing this Scandium Revolver so cheap, especially in comparison to it's other similar offerings, like my much desired 325NG?

My guess is that its just a drastic price cut in order to compete with the Judge. But we can only wait until more word gets out on its lock work and production methods.

The Kel Tec Debate

Kel Tec itself has been around since 1991, with George Kellgren at the helm. Hes done work for Intratec, Grendel, Husqvarna, and Kel Tec has become the 3rd biggest arms maker in America. With the Kel-Tec KSG making such a stir in the market, all the talk of Kel Tec and how they run their business has come back up to the light.

Don't get me wrong here. There is something I want to clear the air with right away: Kel Tec follows designs and inspirations in a way that nobody else does. They actively try and innovate and succeed in a market based on traditional designs. Their guns have had a big impact. The PLR series is a fun, low cost .223 Auto. Their small frame automatics have been a big impact on the carry gun market. The RFB could have been something awesome.

The real thing to analyze here, however, in their design execution. The KSG is an awesome idea, but everyone has reserves about these products. They never seem to have a stellar takedown, reliability, or really any place in the market beyond a gimmick aspect. Their videos also did not inspire confidence: the pump action looked pretty imprecise, gritty, and rough. They intend to be marketing this not just to civilians, but to Cops as well. Do you really expect the average police force to adopt this shotgun over a proven 870,590, or Benelli?

There is always room in the market for design improvement and innovation, and I admire Kel Tec's enthusiasm for this, but when it comes in an unreliable and unappealing package, it gets relegated to the gimmick bin. Lets take the uses in stride here: is it going to be an LEO gun? Probably not. Tactical weapon/Competition? No way, 930's and more conventional, cheaper guns have that market cornered. Hunting shotgun? Nope. Sporting? No as well. Defense gun? Would you want to suddenly have to switch tubes using that clunky switch?

It basically comes down to it being a glorified range toy. I cant object to that use, as that's a perfectly justifiable use for lots of guns. But I won't try and overstep my bounds here or try and create a new use for the gun. This is a tangent, but this same logic applies to the Taurus Judge and the S&W Governor. They are range toys, not defensive guns. A part of me wants to both thank and reprimand Kel Tec at the same time, but at this point I can only see them as the inspired but ineffectual innovators of the gun market.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Joys of 1911s, Pt1

Cant rag on guns all the time. Sometimes you have to celebrate whats good. Yes I included a 1903. I LOVE that Clark Long slide.