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Duke sold this 2nd Generation Colt SAA .357 Magnum to Jim Schumaker
in 1977 and bought it back from him in 1996.


Back in the 1970s, during the years I lived in and around Yellowstone National Park, I became friends with a Mississippian named Jim Shumaker. For several years we lived in that area having lots of good times as single men in their 20s are apt to do. Jim was the sort of friend who stepped up when I busted my knee in 1976. Until I got back on my feet, he stopped by my place every afternoon after work to see to it my dog and I were cared for.


I Want That

Not long into our friendship, we discovered a shared interest in single action revolvers. His was a Ruger Blackhawk (Old Model) .357 Magnum. Mine were Colt SAAs (2nd Generation) in calibers .357 Magnum and .45 Colt. As soon as he laid eyes on my Colts, he became covetous. Many times he said, “Sell me one of your Colts: either one.” Of course, my answer was always, “Nope, ain’t gonna happen.”

One fine spring day while I was still on crutches he came by and said, “Put on your boots. You need to get out in the sunlight. And get both your Colts out too.” He had permission to shoot “gophers” (actually ground squirrels) on a nearby ranch. The place was truly infested with the little varmints, and we shot away lots of my .357 and .45 handloads that afternoon. Jim intermittently pleaded, “Sell me one of these.” And I always said, “Never.” In those years between the end of 2nd Generation production and beginning of 3 rd Generation production, you couldn’t just walk into a gun store and buy a Colt SAA off the shelf.

One Saturday in 1976 Jim and I drove to Bozeman, Montana, and as usual perused gun stores. In the Powder Horn on Bozeman’s main street, we were looking over the used gun racks for anything of interest. A fellow walked past us and I, ever being observant, noticed the grip of a Colt SAA sticking out of the fellow’s front trouser pocket. So, I sort of followed him and eavesdropped as he spoke to the store owner behind the new handgun counter. He wanted to trade his Colt SAA .45 for a S&W .357 Magnum. The store owner said he wasn’t interested.


Jim Schumaker’s 1914 vintage Colt SAA .45 — a happenstance find in 1976.

Art Of The Deal


At that point I intruded and asked the gent if we could look at the Colt. It about made me speechless — a condition my friends think is nigh impossible. It was an early 1900s 1st Generation .45 with 4¾” barrel in very nice condition. I asked, “How much?” He said, “That .357 S&W I want is about $250. I’ll take that much.” Now this is where the question about me being generous or stupid arises. I turned to Jim and said, “Well there’s your Colt, right there.” The deal was consummated, and we walked out of the store with what turned out to be a 1914 vintage SAA. The .45’s seller was happy to get his .357 Magnum, and the store owner was happy to make a sale.

Walking down Bozeman’s main street we both were enveloped in the pleasant aura of a job well done when suddenly the thought hit me, “I could have sold Jim one of my Colts and bought that .45 for myself.” Almost simultaneously, Jim turned to me and said, “Why didn’t you buy this one for yourself?” The question remains unanswered to this day. Was it generosity or stupidity? I’ll let you readers decide for yourselves.

Jim got set up to reload .45 Colts and we did lots of SAA shooting. In fact, we both bought 3rd Generation SAAs after they came out. His was a 7½” barreled .44 Special and mine was the same barrel length .45. Ironically, Jim did end up with my .357 SAA, after I became involved in varmint shooting and needed some bucks for a new scope. Nineteen years later Jim visited, and I bought it back from him and still have it.

As always, time changes things. We both got married and began careers. Jim was hired by a nationwide hotelier and managed establishments from coast to coast. And of course, I became a gun’riter and stayed in Montana. We kept in touch over the years and Yvonne and I were pleased he and his wonderful wife Karen decided to return to this area upon retirement. He still has that Colt .45 and once in a while we get together and I get to shoot it again. Always we reminisce about those great old bygone days.

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A nice looking .32 Special: Marlin Model 36 vs concrete


Gibbs Rifle Company and their Enfield conversions


The Gibbs Rifle Company is known in the past for their Lee Enfield recreations and modifications.  They focus on ’03 Springfields now, but up until 2004 they had an interesting line of Lee Enfields.   Val Forgett and his father, Val III, started Gibbs Rifle Company in 1991, and having just bought the Parker Hale concern in England were uniquely situated to produce a modified Lee Enfield line of rifles.  They started with surplus rifles and made some cool guns,  sadly they build them no more.


Gibbs built their version of the No. 5 Jungle Carbine from a No. 4 barrelled action.  A new stock and flash hider with bayonet lug were added to the trimmed down barrel, still in .303.  By using the No. 4 receiver they cured the “wandering zero”  problem of the original No. 5, which finally was traced to lightening the action a little too much.  Their No. 7 Carbine starts with an Enfield 2A barrelled action and is in .308.


They also built 2 Sport Specialty rifles.  The first, the Quest II Extreme Carbine, was built on an Enfield 2A action in .308 and had a nickel finish throughout.  A flash hider/compensator helped to tame the recoil and included a see through scope mount.  A new hardwood stock and a survival kit in the butt made this a weatherproof all around carbine.  The last Lee Enfield rifle they turned out is my favorite.  Starting out as a No.4, The Summit Carbine is chambered in 45/70, and the blued action is bedded in a new hardwood stock.  The mag holds 3 and is perfect for anything on 4 legs in North America.  They also had a Frontier Carbine which was similar, but based on a No. 1 Mk. III action.  These rifles are an interesting take on the Lee Enfield.

Lots of folks like their Gibb’s rifles.  Ron Card discusses the strength of the Enfield 45/70 conversion, which he thinks is ample, and is even entertaining the possibility of converting his 45/70 to 45/90!  It looks like they’ll even fit in the mag.  Another happy owner, Jamie Mangrum, likens his Summit Frontier carbine to shooting an accurate cannon.  Throwing 400 grain bullets  brings back the heyday of the British Empire, and let’s not forget the early Lee guns were chambered for 45/70 in the early 1880’s.    About the only faults he noted was the trigger could have used some work, and he had some feeding problems with the 3rd round in the mag.

Pin on Ammo, Reloading and Gun Smithing.

45/70 and the .303

Well I thought it was funny!

Well I thought it was funny!

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The 7.65 Argentine Mauser by A Tale of Two Thirties (Somebody really knows this subject)

This Mauser brothers issue has an action that first appeared in the Mauser Model 1889, a landmark in Mauser development because it was the first “small” caliber Mauser for smokeless powder and it introduced a bolt with dual, opposed locking lugs that became standard practice and is still with us today.
The bolt took its cartridges from a single stack, vertical magazine that could be charged from a stripper clip.  A few changes were made when Argentina placed a large order for military rifles.  The gun they got was the Mauser

Model 1891, often called the “7.65 Argentine” because it fired the 7.65 x 53 Mauser cartridge.  What it looks like is shown in the picture.  It is a typical military configuration for the time, a long stock with two bands, a ladder sight, and a straight bolt handle.  The long magazine is an identifying feature.
An Argentine Sporter
Good bolt action sporting rifles were often made by converting surplus military rifles. I have always liked the looks of sporters based on the Model 1891.  They are compact, have good lines, and look handy and effective.  Some folks may not like the long magazine, but I do.
It blends with the trigger guard and is an identifying feature, not to mention that it holds five rounds of powerful 7.65 ammo.  Then, when you see one up close, the level of craftsmanship is really impressive.

Sporter based on Model 1891 Mauser, the Argentine Mauser

The largest number of Argentines did not hit the shores of the USA until the waves of surplus militaries showed up in the 1950s and 1960s.
These waves included other Mauser models, including the Model 1898 German and the Model 1909 Argentine.  These were the most advanced Mausers and the ones considered to be safest and best for conversion to a hunting rifle.

Receiver of 1891 Mauser

Nonetheless, the 1891 was popular for sporterization because it was an easy conversion. No rebarreling was necessary because the 7.65 x 53 cartridge was an excellent hunting cartridge that got the job done.  Surplus military and factory rounds were both available.
The action was not strong enough for conversion to .30-06 or .270.  Just cut and recrown the barrel, install a new front sight, shorten and reshape the stock and you were good to go after deer, bear, elk, whatever.  A talented gun tinkerer could do the job (working patiently and carefully, of course).  Gunsmith services for a scope base and trigger work would up the ante.
But none of this was really necessary in the heyday of surplus Argentines.  Folks like Sears and Roebuck did the work and sold the product at a low price.  I believe other merchandisers, say J. C. Penney and Woolworth’s did also.  The gun in this article had that kind of origin.
My 1891 Argentine Sporter
OK, so you are not yet convinced. Stay with the program a while longer and take another

Front sight ramp

look at the sporter in the pic above.  The barrel, keeping its chambering for the 7.62 x 53, has been shortened to 24 inches.  The rear ladder sight was retained while a new front sight ramp was installed.
The original, military stock has been shortened appropriately and carries the military butt plate.  The bolt has been bent down a bit.  Receiver marking says it was made by Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabriken (DWM) in Berlin.  The Argentine crest has been ground off the receiver ring and a tiny inscription “7.65 X 53” has been stamped on the top.

Receiver text. Note handshake icon on receiver ring and Phrygian cap icon on bolt release

The excellent condition makes me wonder whether the rifle was ever issued. Except for a few splotches of corrosion due to storage, the metal finish is very good.  The wood, except for a few handling scratches, seems new.
The hand guard finish does not match the stock and is the only component that is not original to the rifle.  A number of icons stamped in the wood, including a serial number, never saw a piece of sandpaper.  The action shows no sign of any wear.  Function is quite smooth.

Serial numbers of all parts, including the stock, are matching. They indicate manufacture in the year 1900.  Earlier examples of the Argentine Mauser were made by Ludwig Loewe of Berlin.
Loewe was merged with an ammo company in 1896 and the combo became known as Deutsch Waffen und Munitions Fabrik.  Argentines made after that time are marked with this ID,   but some examples of the later 1909 Argy were manufactured in Argentina and are so marked.
When your piece says Loewe or DWM, you know you have the German quality.  That applies to all 1891s.
There are several small icons that are stamped in the wood and metal of an Argentine Mauser. One is an image of hands clasped in a handshake.  This is a symbol of unity and represents the unification of the provinces of Argentina.
Another small icon is best described as looking like the hat that the Smurfs wore.  Remember them?  It is called a Phrygian cap and its use goes back to antiquity.
During the French Revolution the wearing of a red Phygian cap was a sign of the quest for liberty. Argentina cherished its freedom as it was sometimes threatened by Chile and Brazil.  I think these icons give the Argentine a sense of national identity.
Points of Interest in Design
The picture of the action removed from the stock illustrates functional simplicity, with some features that will still be found on sporting rifles. One such is a recoil lug made as part of the action frame beneath the receiver ring.
This lug has a threaded collar that engages the front receiver screw after it has passed through the front of the trigger guard.  The receiver ring and bridge are relatively short and the rails are thick, giving an action that is stiff and

strong.  The rear receiver screw passes through the rear of the trigger guard and threads into the tang behind the receiver bridge.  The magazine construction is quite robust.
The magazine can be removed but is not meant to be removed in operation.  Cartridges are pushed through the spring steel lips of the mag from the top.  This works very well.  The receiver bridge has a slot behind the mag to guide a stripper clip for battle use.
The one piece bolt features dual l locking lugs and a short hook extractor. Overall, the bolt resembles some much more modern bolts. The face is recessed for the cartridge rim and there is a slot for ejector travel in the left locking lug.
There is a cutout at the bottom of the face but it is not large enough to admit the case head.  The action therefore operates as a push feed.  At the end there is a bolt shroud with a three-position safety wing.  The main spring of the striker is very strong, but there is a long travel and subsequent long lock time.

Argentine Mauser bolt

If you haven’t thought much of old military rifles you should find a nice Mauser and look inside the tree. Well, you don’t have to do that because I will give you a good look in the next picture.

Inletting of the walnut stock

The inletting of the wood and the fit of action to the wood is superb. Every feature of the action is supported.  Note that there is a small metal wedge in the wood at the front of the recoil lug.  This bears on the action screw socket and keeps the recoil lug snug against the wood at its rear face.
Other features are revealed by comparing the action photo with the inlet photo.  Note that there is metal-to-metal contact between the recoil lug and the front screw guide of the bottom metal when the front screw is drawn tight to secure the metal to the stock .
Note also that there is a metal tube that guides the rear action screw and gives positive spacing between the rear tang and the bottom metal.  The effect of these features is that the Argentine Mauser is pillar bedded as it comes to you.
Seeing this, I know that, despite being an addicted bedding freak, I will not touch the wood to metal arrangement until after I have done a lot of shooting with the piece. It should shoot quite well as is..
Ammo for the 7.65 x 53

Cartridge comparison, L to R: .300 Savage; .308 Winchester; 7.65 Argentine; >30-06 Springfirld

There are four factory loads available. Two are made by Prvi Partizan Uzice (PPU) in Serbia.  They have a full metal jacket, 174-grain load and a 180-grain soft point that would be suitable for hunting.
Both are available in the USA and are the least expensive factory loads for the Argentine.  Norma loads a 174-grain soft point and it is expensive.
Most interesting to me is a 150-grain load sold by Graf & Sons and boxed under their name.  The box says that the ammo is made under contract with Hornady.  The brass has a PPU headstamp but I suppose the bullet is a Hornady number.  This is the only 150-grain load available.

7.65 ammo from Graf & Sons (Hornady) and PPU

The 7.65 Argentine Sporter with Factory Ammo
To make the rifle a bit friendlier for my old eyes I enlarged the V-notch of the rear sight with a triangular file. This makes it a little easier to float the front bead in the rear notch and to center the bead in the circular target that I like to use.
It also helped to use an aperture on my glasses to increase depth of field in the axis of sight alignment.  I fired three-shot groups at fifty yards.  Feeding, extraction, and ejection were perfect.
Velocities given by the three factory loads I tried were PPU 174 gr,  2462 fps;  PPU 180 gr,  2413 fps;  Graf/Hornady 150 gr, 2723 fps.  The thing to note here is the zippiness of the Hornady 150-gr load.
I feel that Hornady must be using a Hodgdon Superformance powder to get that kind of velocity at 7.65 Mauser pressure.  No question that this load is in the same league as a .308 and would knock a deer into next week.
Group size was uniform and fell in the range of 1.0 – 1.5 inches. One group of 0.6 in  was obtained with the Graf 150 gr load.  That brought a smile to my face and a motivation to continue working with this gun.
Bench testing worked OK but the steel butt plate gives the shoulder a real thump – painful if the butt is not well placed.
Measurement with a Stony Point headspace gauge showed that firing moved the case shoulder forward a distance of 0.006 inch, so headspace seems OK.
Possibilities for Handloading the 7.65 x 53
Loading dies for the 7.65 x 53 are available from the usual makers of loading equipment. I bought a set from Lyman and the dies have worked fine.  Loading technique is the same as would be used for any other rimless, shouldered cartridge.
No special tricks or tips required, but you must remember that bullets must be 0.312” in diameter.  Since that is what the .303 British takes, there is a good choice of bullets available.
Several of the modern loading handbooks, Hornady’s, for instance, include loads for the 7.65 Argentine. The Model 1891 is not weak, but I think it best to stay with modest to moderate loads.
Such loads are easier on the shoulder and have the best chance of exhibiting fine accuracy.  For hunting, the Argentine is safe with heavier loads, as the results with the aforementioned Graf/Hornady show.
For general shooting pleasure, I think I will seek a load that performs at the .30-30 level. The Hornady Manual says that 36 gr. of IMR 3031 will kick out a 150-gr. Bullet at about 2400 fps.  Thinking ball powder, W748 should work well.
Collecting, Anyone?
I have had my eye on ads for used guns and their prices for many years. The days of low-priced, surplus military rifles of quality are long over.  There are many of these bangers, however, and they do turn over as collectors get interested in something else or go to their reward.
If you stay vigilant and knowledgeable a good buy can come your way.  That said, the cost of historically important military rifles has increased significantly in the last few years.  That would include examples of the Krag/Jorgensen, the 1903 Springfield, the M1 Garand, and of course, the Mauser.
Mausers were never used by the American Military (although the 1903 Springfield is a really good copy of the 1898 Mauser).
However the role played by Mausers in the technical development of bolt action, military arms should make them attractive to all arms enthusiasts.  These developments would be well illustrated by perhaps a half dozen rifles from the late 19th century.
And the cost would be way, way less than a similar assemblage of Colt revolvers or Winchester rifles.  Cost, of course, is affected by the condition of the individual arms, pristine examples bringing many times the price of rough examples or rifles that have been modified in some way.
So, “serious” collectors would scoff at my barrel bobbed ’91 Argentine Mauser.   I will only say that it has matching numbers, is in excellent condition, functions as it should, shoots very well, and fully illustrates Mauser design of its time.
It is a part of American sporting history as well as of the history of military arms design.  I enjoy owning it and shooting it, and that is not likely to change.


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Just Awesome!


Well one Teacher can kiss their Teaching Career good bye!! (What a Bunch of Pussies in Philly!)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS Philly) — The Philadelphia School District is investigating after a parent says a teacher let his child make a gun-shaped wooden toy. That shop class project now has a teacher in the hot seat and a father demanding both answers and accountability.

“He was coloring it in getting ready to put all the shapes on it. All the patterns on here. And there’s a little clip on the bottom,” Chariez Scott said, showing KYW-TV in Philly the wooden gun.

wooden gun philadelphia school district

READ MORE:2 Street Vendors Killed After Car Went Off Roadway Into North Highlands Parking LotScott said his 14-year-old son was horsing around with his brother, playing with this wooden replica of a handgun. The problem? Scott doesn’t let his boys play with these types of toys. “If he had colored this in like he wanted to, you would’ve never knew what it was. You would’ve said he had a pistol in his hand,” Scott said. “And this is what he made in shop in class.”

The Philadelphia School District acknowledges a complaint was made on Oct. 4 against a carpentry teacher at Austin Meehan Middle School who allegedly allowed a student to produce a wooden weapon in class. Per the district’s policy, “any weapons, including simulated, replica, toy or look-alikes are prohibited from all school property.”

Scott said of the teacher, “He’s an adult, he has a strong responsibility over those children. Do the same thing for him. Hold him accountable for what he did.”

READ MORE:Father, Stepmother Of Roman Lopez Now Facing Murder Charges In Boy’s DeathOther parents weighed in, and many are concerned after this week’s lockdown following a second shooting near a school.  The latest one was just blocks away outside Lincoln High School.

“A teacher let him do it in school. It’s not right, it’s not right, it’s not right,” one parent told Eyewitness News.

“That’s definitely bad,” another parent said. “Why would a teacher help make a gun? It’s stupid.”

MORE NEWS:Sacramento Bride ‘Can’t Believe That Happened’ After Wedding Photos Were StolenWhen asked what his biggest fear would be if his son’s wooden gun was colored in or painted, Scott said, “That he would’ve been killed.” The district says they are investigating and will not comment any further.

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Minute of Mae: Werndl 1867/77

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A Browning Safari with a Leupold Variable Scope in caliber .243 Win.

Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 2
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 3
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 4
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 5
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 6
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 7
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 8
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 9
Browning Safari .243 Leupold Variable Scope .243 Win. - Picture 10


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