Crossfire May 2019



I’ll Take Tubular, Thanks. .

I read with interest the Remington 870 Tactical DM article in the March issue. The 870 is almost seven decades old and a tried-and-true shotgun. Remington has come out with many enhancements to it while keeping the original design. But why you would want a shotgun with a detachable box magazine protruding from the bottom (with the possibility of falling out) unless you just love having that “tactical” look. I currently have an 870 Police Magnum with a 7+1 capacity and no downward-hanging magazine to get in the way when moving through tight spaces. My buddy liked it so much he ordered the extended tube and shorter barrel kit for his field 870. He keeps his configured that way for home protection and it only takes him a couple minutes to revert it back for hunting.
Alexandria, KY

Can’t disagree! — BW

Marlin Memories

John Taffin’s “Marlin Memories” in the March Campfire Tales warmed the cockles of my heart and set off a bunch of memories of my own. In 1967 I was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines where I bought a Model 39A with a Marlin trademarked 4X scope. The 5/8″ tube made the scope a little dark, but it was otherwise very clear. Clark’s rifle range was closed, so I couldn’t shoot it as a rifle, but the skeet range sold .22LR shotshells, and I could shoot unlimited dragonflies — a most demanding aerial target. When I returned to the States I discovered that my new .22 was capable of match rifle accuracy, but was a little particular about which ammunition it liked. It was okay with .22LR HPs, but loved Federal Champion Solids and any .22 Short HPs. This was a period when every good gunwriter insisted that one needed a high velocity centerfire to kill groundhogs, so one day I decided to see just how many .22LRs it took to kill one. Thirty-five shots later, I’d killed 34 (I had to shoot one twice!). Most of my shots were at close range, but several exceeded 125 yards and one was at a memorable 165. Wonderful guns! Thanks, John, for jogging the memories.

Marshall Williams
Burlington, WV

old ad

“Marlin Memories” certainly got my attention. I have my own memory of three high school friends outside of town at a rock quarry filled with deep blue water. We had arrived there in my 1964 Chevy Impala. My two friends had already shot their rifles toward the edge of the water, now it was my turn. I decided to use the roof to lean on. Firing my new Marlin lever action .30-30 with a Weaver scope, I pulled the trigger. Instead of hearing the usual loud crack, I heard a muffled thud. Then I saw my friends rolling on the ground laughing. Seems I had shot the roof. I’d been looking through the scope and neglecting to check the muzzle clearance. The thing I was worried about was telling my father what I’d done.
Dallas Shannon
Via email

We’ve seen that happen before with scoped rifles. The culprit is usually the all-important difference between line-of-sight and line-of-bore. —Payton Miller

Bolt-Carbine Backup

I’ve just read Tank Hoover’s “Special or Magnum” column in the March issue. In addition to several Ruger and S&W .44 Magnum revolvers of mine, I’ve opted for another application. For years I’ve carried an S&W 396 Night Guard .44 Special as a backup for camp defense, usually with a 10mm Glock 20SF as my primary gun. I’ve decided to add a Ruger All-Weather M77/44 in .44 Mag as well. With my handloads — using Hornady’s 265-grain FP bullet for the .444 Marlin — it’s lightweight but powerful package. Those bullets should be effective at some 1,700 fps. Plus, they feed smoothly through the little Ruger bolt-action carbine.
Ron Marks
Via email

Less-Painful Grip

Do you know of anyone making wood grips for the Ruger LCR .38 snubbie? My hands are arthritic and it hurts when I shoot. Thanks.
Jim Carter
Memphis, TN

We’re not aware of any wood grips for the LCR, but you might look at the Hogue slip-on grip. You might try using target wadcutters; they’re soft-shooting but still effective for defense. — Roy Huntington

Great War Krag?

I enjoyed Duke’s February column on the Krag. He credited its use in several wars but missed WWI. The first American troops in Europe carried Krags, but with little enthusiasm. It’s one of another half-dozen substitute standard rifles used in the Great War.
Kevin L. Jamison
Gladstone, MO

Cimarron Replicas

Cimarron Replicas

John Taffin is a great gunwriter. I know this because every gun he writes about flings a craving on me. Since Colt SAA revolvers are as rare as hen’s teeth, I’d like John’s take on the Cimarron clones. Thank you.
Tedd Haas
Willcox, AZ 

Tedd: Thanks for the kind words. Cimarron sixguns are of excellent quality. Mike Harvey of Cimarron worked long and hard for this to happen. Attached find some pictures of Cimarron Single Actions. Good Shootin’ and God Bless. —John Taffin

Backyard Blasting!

I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Dabbs’ March feature on toy guns from the past. Growing up in the ’60s, there was a wealth of choices. Mattel had some of the best in my opinion, many of them in the Shootin’ Shell line — Winchester Model 1892, Snubnose .38, Fanner 50, Colt SAA, Colt Revolving Carbine, Remington Rolling Block and others that were not Shootin’ Shell specimens, but just as authentic like an M3 Grease Gun, Thompson SMG and Winchester Model 97 shotgun. Between my brothers and our friends, we had most of those. The Johnny Eagle sets cost more than our allowances would bear and were harder to find. Of course, there was also the “buckle gun” derringer from Mattel. Remco even made a B-52 Ball Turret Gun that had a glass canopy and twin belt-fed machine guns. I had one. My Dad had built us a clubhouse in the backyard, and we cut a hole in the roof for it. We spent hours playing “Army,” cowboys and Indians or gunfighters. The only rules were to be careful in the streets and be home by the time the streetlights came on. Thanks for bringing back those fond memories!
Eric Van Stralen
Apple Valley, CA

You pretty much described my own childhood too! —BW

Old/New Model 94

The Old/New Model 94

I enjoyed John Barness’s February article on the new Winchester 94 Sporter, as I look foward to all articles about classic firearms. I’ve owned many Model 94s, 55s and 64s and still have several in my collection. But as far as John’s claim about the pin under the lever of the latest model needing to be depressed before the gun can fire, all of mine have this feature, going back to my 1900-issue 94 ( my earliest), so it is not a new thing. Keep up the good work.
Christian Boegle
Lindenhurst, NY

Don’t Pry!

In regards to Pat Covert’s March write-up on the Sandrin TCK folder, I worked 27 years in the refractory industry designing tooling to press refractory shapes for melting steel and glass. Our product was made of Magnesite and Alumina, which are also used in grinding wheels and are extremely abrasive. We normally used tool steel like D-2 and S-7 for our mold liners and these were hardened to 62Rc. We would usually get 20,000 pieces from the tooling before the liners would need to be dressed to remove wear. When we had to make a long run I often used carbide inserts in pockets machined into the high-wear areas of the liners. The problem with carbide was that it’s extremely brittle and if dropped on concrete shatters like glass. I have a feeling the TCK folder will be razor sharp for years, but I’m wondering what happens when you try to pry with it or put any sideways stress on the blade. I myself have broken the blade of a few ceramic kitchen knives by just twisting the blade in a carrot.
Dave Schmidt
Butler, PA

Reader Schmidt’s comments are well taken. The blade on the Sandrin TCK is very thin and I don’t recommend prying with any slender blade. Long blades of soft metal tend to bend while brittle ones break. Ceramic blades are particularly brittle and manufacturers specifically recommend they not be used for prying. The TCK’s blade did a great job of straight slicing but prying is definitely not recommended. —Pat Covert

Low-Key For Me

David Cordrea’s February “Rights Watch” advocates using social media to advance our cause. It would be nice if someone started the campaign for gun rights on social media, but I prefer that it not be me. In my mind doing so would simply put a target on my back. I have a concealed carry permit and I want to keep it that way — concealed. I don’t wear shirts that advertise gun rights, another target. I have a sign with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Spock is saying “Logic dictates, Captain, that if pro-gunners are as violent as anti-gunners say they are, there wouldn’t be any anti-gunners.” That’s what we are — non-violent, unlike the anti-gunners. I would rather they didn’t know what I prefer to keep concealed.
 Gene Branton
Coffeyville, KS

GUNS May 2019

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