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S&W M19 with oversize target grips.
Big Butt Blowback
Mas Ayoob’s August column, “The Case For Big Butts,” reminded me of several big butt, short-barreled revolvers I’ve run across over the past few years. Three of mine include a round butt Model 36 Chief Special with the somewhat rare oversize J-Frame target grips , a 2½” Model 19 with S&W oversize target grips, and the most surprising — a Colt Official Police dating from 1954 with rare, factory original 2” barrel and, astonishingly to my weak mind, a set of oversize S&W target grips which are not a good fit at all. My well-founded suspicion is that in each case the oversize grips were intended to ameliorate recoil, but they make the guns much less concealable.
Sounds strange to many, but I shoot better with short barrels. My G26 has a 15-round magazine and I’m guilty of having the S&W M12 Mas mentioned in his August column as well as the G19X. So thanks for the recognition Mas and keep up the good work in GUNS. Oh, I forgot to mention that I’ve seen more S&W M49 snubbies in your magazine since I bought mine in about 1977. I wore a nickel one to my wedding in 1982.
Sgt. Jim Lieto (ret’d)
Jim, you’ve seen a few of them because we like them a lot and have a few sitting around for “modeling” purposes. We’ll try to spread the J-Frame wealth around more, but it’s tough to beat an M49. —Payton Miller
Remington’s classic M760 pump in .35 Remington is still good as gold.
I read Payton Miller’s July article “A .35 Remington Retro Trio” and I loved it. The .35 is one of my favorite cartridges. I had a Marlin 336 in it. I have shot a Remington 600, a Remington 760, and a Thompson Center Contender with a 10” barrel, all in .35 Remington. I would not like to fire that Contender again! There was a lot of flame from the short barrel. I once had a line on a Savage 170 in .35 Remington, but it was sold out from under me. That was over 30 years ago. I’d like to find a good Remington 760 in .35 Remington for shooting, not for looks. Wish me luck! Thank you for a great magazine.
Calumet City, IL
Dr. Will Dabbs’ potato gun article in your April 2018 issue “Bringing a Cannon to School” is excellent. A bold and unique departure — illustrated by 3rd graders — from the usual gun magazine article. I’d like to build one and shoot it with my grandchildren when they visit this summer. I’m not entirely clear about how to charge the combustion chamber with the 60-90ccs of propane, using a syringe and surgical tubing. The gun appears to load entirely through the muzzle. How is the measured propane charge positioned into the chamber?
Max Cooper, MD
Has Spudmeister Will patterned his potato gun after an Axis anti-tank weapon?
Great question. You bevel the muzzle to an angle circumferentially with a sander or rasp such that it will punch a core out of the potato and subsequently form a nice gas seal. Push the potato core down the bore with a broomhandle. Sink a couple screws at the junction between the combustion chamber and the barrel to keep the spud from seating too far back. Drill a small hole through the center of the washout — the threaded plug on the near end of the gun. This hole should be just large enough to accept the snout of your syringe. Fill the syringe with propane using the torch and surgical tubing. Put your thumb over the end of the syringe when full. Slip the nose of the syringe into the hole in the washout quickly to minimize leakage, and gently press the plunger. Keep your finger over the hole whenever the syringe is not inserted. Fill the hole with a screw of some sort when not in use. The gun is now charged and ready to fire. I use a screw eye so it is easy to remove without tools. Experiment until you find the right volume of propane for your combustion chamber. I sink a screw or two through all the glued joints for extra strength. Be careful and happy spud gunning! — Will Dabbs
Switch ’em Out
I’ve really enjoyed your magazine almost from its inception — especially the letters to the editor section. I have a question regarding the frequency of changing the batteries for the laser and red-dot sight-equipped handguns I have. Would you recommend that they be changed on a preventative schedule? And if so, what would that schedule be? How often should they be inspected? You can probably guess that my background includes almost 25 years as an officer in the Army. Thanks for your fine efforts.
Ralph C. Howes
I can’t give you a hard and fast answer. But I’ve got a Leupold Delta Point Pro on my 9mm Springfield XD. It’s been on there for over two years and it goes on when the gun is moved, then the lithium battery “sleeps” between shooting sessions. I know I should probably change it out, but my aim is to leave it in till it dies. Just to find out for myself “how long?” But it’s a fun gun — ’cause I’m starting to have trouble with iron sights for busting dirt clods and soda pop cans. For a serious EDC gun, I wouldn’t goof around and would change the battery out at least once a year and probably every 4-5 months. But any lithium or alkaline battery — sight, light or laser — should be inspected regularly for signs of corrosion and/or leakage. —Payton Miller
Shake Hands With the Devil
Just read Payton Miller’s July article on the S&W 340 PD .357 snubbie. I picked up a “return” a few years ago when I was stationed in Louisiana. I keep it loaded for my wife, as there are no buttons or switches for her to deal with. I also added some extended wraparound grips to tame it down a little. I rarely shoot full power .357s in it. But when I do, I call it “shaking hands with the devil!” Thanks for the article.
When Duty Calls
I’d like to touch on David’s Codrea’s July “Rights Watch” in regard to the Parkland, Florida, school shootings. He commented about the Coral Springs officers who saw their duty to run toward danger. I’m retired from a fire department that made EMS and other such calls — including domestic violence and I say hurrah for the Coral Springs officers. There was about as much need to “stand down” as there was to plan a funeral before they knew who the victims were. Instead of the deep pockets financing these marches, they should have spent the money on getting the inept people of the FBI, the local sheriff’s office, and any others guilty of dereliction of duty terminated with prejudice. They are ultimately responsible for the deaths of those children. Please keep up the good work.
The True Meaning of “Diversity”
The July 2018 edition of GUNS is the first magazine out of all the ones I get, that I read every article in. The pages weren’t covered entirely with black plastic rifles or “GLOCK-alike” pistols.
Thank you. We try to perch on all branches of The Big Tree — from millennial polymer lovers to cranky old wheelgunners, from AR fanatics to bolt-and-lever addicts. —Payton Miller