MONTANA MUSINGS

FROM THE MIND OF MIKE "DUKE" VENTURINO
Underrated...

As a shooter, handloader, varmint/big game hunter and competitor, I think several guns and calibers are underrated. It seems media hype often leads less...
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The Original...

To generations of American shooters and hunters, the Winchester Model 1894 rifles and carbines and the .30-30 cartridge are nigh-on synonyms. That said, a...
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Special Guns

For many gun buyers, the lure of getting guns with special stories or pairs with consecutive serial numbers is irresistible. My good friend, Kirk Stovall of...
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Cavalry Carbines

Weight is important to horse soldiers so almost as soon as firearms were invented, efforts were made to lighten them for mounted troops. That said, prior to...
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Springfield...

Over the past 40 years, I’ve encountered many Springfield Armory M1As. In the late 1970s, the first one I fired belonged to a friend — a Vietnam combat...
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Japanese WWII...

Japanese weapons of World War II are generally denigrated as low-quality junk but until late in the war, this charge was far from the truth. Japanese...
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Casting Mil-Surp Bullets

For me, one of the joys of having a large collection of military surplus rifles is shooting cast bullets through them. Loaded to 1,500 to 1,800 fps, cast...
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Three Short-Timers

The U.S. Army has held onto the basic AR platform since adopting the M16 in 1964. Model 1903 Springfields were standard issue for over 30 years and M1...
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A Most-Heinous Offense

A friend, to whom I have bestowed the nickname “Shrapnel” for reasons too involved to cover here, recently accused me of a most heinous offense. This...
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Ransom Pistol Machine Rest

New visitors to my Shooting Shack often point at a permanent fixture and ask, “What’s that for?” It’s my Ransom Pistol Machine Rest and I explain to...
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ma deuce, also known as the M2 .50 Browning Machine Gun
The Legendary Ma Deuce

In my entire career I don’t remember writing about a firearm with which I had only a few moments’ experience. But what an experience!The gun was the...
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Which Guns Actually Won...

Which guns were instrumental in making the west safe for settlers? Mike "Duke" Venturino counts two as co-winners with two others as second-placers.
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Compared: The BAR vs. Nambu

The Nambu LMGs and Browning BARs as used in World War II are alike in some regards and vastly different in others.
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The last rifle

When a young fellow was visiting — a distant relative by marriage — he asked a question that caused me great thought.
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Pawn Shop Sniper Rifle

Most noteworthy is K98k Mausers coded bcd4 were intended from the very start of manufacture to become sniper rifles.
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Case hardening redux

Honest wear doesn’t bother me so long as guns’ bores are bright and mechanical function is correct. Damage from neglect is a different matter. I always...
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Mold addict!

No doubt about it — I’m an addict. But, not for any sort of chemical substance. I’m a bullet mold addict! Here’s some evidence.
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WWII Handguns

In my lifelong study of World War II history, much of the focus has been on handguns used in the immense fracas.
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50 Years of Gun ’Ritin’

Hopefully I’ll be able to slide this column by our esteemed editor Brent without him noticing it’s a bit ego-based.
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THE .32 WCF

Of all the popular Old West cartridges the .32 WCF/.32-20 has lacked popularity with me. I don’t know why exactly.
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Cast Bullets and Old...

As this is written, the United States is perhaps experiencing the worst ammunition and reloading component shortage since World War II.
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S&W Hand Ejector 2nd Model...

Smith & Wesson’s N-Frame double-action revolvers are some of the most respected handguns ever made. This is especially true for the exquisite pre-World...
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Duke’s years as a...

Readers of my work over the decades may be surprised to learn my primary rifle interest in the late 1970s to early 1980s was varmint rifles and many of my...
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Old west big fifties

From the advent of metallic cartridge ammunition unto this day, .50 caliber rifles have won the hearts and minds of American riflemen.
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The .40-82 WCF

Naturally we clearly remember the “firsts” in our lives — first gun, first car, first date, etc.
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The .38 WCF

People sometimes ask, “What’s your favorite gun?” Or sometimes it’s, “What’s your favorite cartridge?” I always reply, “You mean today? I...
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The U.S. .45 SMG in WWII

By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the concept of military submachine guns was well established in Europe if not so much in America.
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Soviet SVT40 7.62X54mm

If readers are as old as I, they probably remember those fantastic ads in the back of American Rifleman in the 1960s. They were from an outfit called “Ye...
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Casting Revolver Bullets

I cast competition-quality BPCR rifle bullets and have more than a few trophies to show for it. If one of my big .40 or .45 caliber bullets drops from its...
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The Quest Never Stops

In my humble opinion a life should contain quests, or in more modern parlance, “bucket list” items. Mine have been rather humble.
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