Crossfire June 2018


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June 2018 Crossfire

J-Frame Eye Candy

In Payton Miller’s article (“Guns Insider,” May 2018), please identify the grips on the Smith Model 49 in upper right of page 34. They certainly “dress” the snubbie nicely.
David Blincow
via email

We really like them too. They’re from Eagle Grips ( and are in the company’s Secret Service pattern. The ones shown are sort of a synthetic mother-of-pearl. Eagle also offers them in a very cool lemon-yellow color as well. —PM

A Hero Remembered

I thoroughly enjoyed the article about Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez (April 2018). I had occasion to serve as his host when he came as guest speaker to our business group. He was a thorough gentleman and a most inspiring speaker. I treasure the time spent with him and also treasure the copy of his book which he autographed for me. Everyone should be familiar with the story of his courage and devotion to duty resulting in his being awarded the Medal of Honor. Thank you for sharing the story of the new book, Tango Mike Mike by his daughter, Yvette Benavidez Garcia.
Kenneth R. Evans
Via emial

Super-Speed Spud Warning

Reading Will Dabb’s article (“Bringing a Cannon to School,” April 2018) reminds me of my son’s spud gun experience in the early ’90s. He was experimenting with interchangeable barrels to accommodate various vegetables. One evening after cementing various PVC parts together he went to bed. Later he got up to go to the bathroom. With a spud in the barrel the explosive cement fumes could not escape. In the process of getting up he “accidentally” touched the igniter. Louize and I awoke to the blast and found our white-faced son in his bedroom and a spud hole in the ceiling. Our son Jay is now a successful mechanical engineer. His spud gun was one educational step to his success.
Carl Thomas Zmuda
via email

Dr. Dabbs’ article on “spud guns” brought back some memories. When I served as the police chief in Coronado, CA in the mid-1980s, we encountered such devices for the first time. They were constructed and used by teenagers, and substantial damage was done to business and car windows. The sheet metal of some vehicles was also substantially damaged when a potato fired from such a device struck it. We were concerned about the potential for injury or death from such a device being misused. Our department even produced a public service video showing the actual damage such a device could inflict. We filmed the video at our range and the video was shown on local television stations.

We took a lot of criticism from some parents who accused us of trying to deprive their young ones of fun. The criticism stopped about the time a youngster in Northern California was struck in the head and killed by a potato fired from a spud gun.

It’s important to note some states make the possession of such a device a crime if possessed by someone under the age of 16. A few other states make possession a felony and classify it as a destructive device if it uses combustion rather than compressed air as a propellant. In any event, as Dr. Dabbs pointed out, these are not toys — they can actually be weapons if mis-used.
Jerry Boyd
Baker City, Oregon

Modest Proposals

Enough of this craziness regarding mass murder at schools, churches, etc. I have three modest proposals:

Condemn the murderer to perpetual anonymity. Laud those killed and injured, but the criminal’s name should never be publicized. That’s what they want so don’t give it to them. Publicize that their names will never appear in the public record if they’re responsible for such heinous crimes. That will help to decrease the incidence of these crimes.

Second, do away with mandatory gun-free zones. If you want a gun-free zone, fine. But don’t make them mandatory. Let people arm themselves, if they wish. Let teachers arm themselves to protect students (again, if they wish).

Third, if our legislators won’t enact the above proposals as legislation, then I propose we make Congress, and all state legislatures, mandatory gun-free zones. I relish the thought of watching the shuck and jive as these overpaid hypocrites try to explain to me why they (and their children in expensive private schools) need armed guards, but me and mine (in public schools) don’t.
via email

We’re in for all of that! Especially the part about the hallowed halls of Congress being “gun-free” — how far would that effort get, eh? —RH
Mystery .44

I thought John Taffin, Duke Venturino (with his love for older firearms) or one of you other guys might find this cartridge case interesting. I certainly did, and would like to learn more about it. This case is definitely a .44 WCF (.44-40) case — with a twist. It’s an old black powder drawn case with a small pistol primer and absolutely no rim. This might have worked in a firearm like a single action Colt providing it had a tight chamber to hold the round in position for the firing pin and had an ejector rod to remove the spent case.
As I said, I’d love to learn more about it.
Dave Bush
Via email

Diamonds in the Rough

Reading Mas’ article (“The Ugly Truth,” April 2018) echoes my own recent experience. Diamonds can be found with some persistence and the willingness to look a little deeper, plus you can find some deals as well. On a recent stop by my local gunshop, I spotted a two-tone .45 Colt Ruger Blackhawk on the bottom shelf. The price tag was already low enough to make me wonder what the catch was. Examination revealed a missing rear sight, two tiny spots of surface rust on the cylinder, a small ding on the recoil shield, a tiny scratch on the barrel, and poorly-fitted replacement laminate stocks. Lock up was tight, the crown was perfect, and an excellent trigger job had been performed that had no creep and no overtravel. To my surprise, it came with a Weaver scope base, which was why the rear sight was missing.

My response was to scramble for my wallet for the $250 and I was out the door with my new gun. An order to Midway had my new sight on the way. A couple hours at the bench will have it clean, the rust removed, the bluing touched up where needed, and the stocks fitted — they are proud all around — and ready for refinishing. I’m always out there looking for my next diamond in the rough. Thanks for the great work you guys do every month.
Wallace Hutchins 
Roxboro, NC

I e-mailed you about two years ago with questions concerning the purchase of a Ruger GP 100 revolver in .357 Magnum. I was extremely impressed you responded the next day with very helpful information. I bought one and I love it. You and the staff at FMG Publications put out some great magazines. When it comes to great information with a huge dose of human heart, soul and humor thrown into the mix, you ladies and gentlemen can’t be beat.

I’ve been looking into purchasing another Ruger. I love the versatility of the Ruger Single Six .22 Long Rifle/.22 WMR and the GP-100 .38 Special/.357Magnum. Now I’m very interested in the Ruger Redhawk Model 5032 in .45 ACP/.45 Colt. The cost is right up there ($1,079, ouch!), so I’m thinking of trading in a S&W K-38 Masterpiece Model 14. This beauty has a 6″ barrel, adjustable rear sight, blued finish and has the original box with original owner’s manual. It’s had less than 400 rounds put through it. It was crafted in 1972 and, according to Mark Rossi at S&W, will handle .38 +P.

I bought this revolver about 44 years ago and don’t have the original sales receipt. Is that something I’d need to show in order to trade this in to purchase the new Ruger? In my younger days I dealt with only one gun shop who gladly took my earlier purchased guns as trade in value when I upgraded to other firearms. All of my more recent purchases in the past five or so years have been with cash, so I’m a bit in the dark now as far as trades go. Please tell your crew thanks.
John Slawski
via email

John, you don’t need the original receipt to sell or trade-in that gun. But if it were me, I’d keep that great old S&W and shoot it more! —RH

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