Crossfire February 2021

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Sitting Down On The Job

Funny thing about Thrones (“Surviving on the Throne,” Insider Dec ’20 issue), I do more reading in The Throne room than anywhere else. On the outside Throne Room I try to be overly cautious. On the stand up end, say rest stop, I’d say I take an end as a defendable position, protecting my firearm. You know the back to the wall restaurant thing. I must say this gave me a laugh knowing it’s not just me.
Jim Lieto

Your “Surviving on the Throne” in the December 2020 issue was a fine example of original thinking. I don’t recall ever coming across this topic in print before. However, you have overlooked a simple, though currently out-of-fashion solution: the shoulder holster. No matter where one’s trousers are, with a shoulder holster one’s handgun is always in its proper, easily reached place.
Eugene Souberman

Good point on the shoulder holster. As a “cop of a certain age,” I had boxes full of them but they’re not really my cup of tea, however, if you’re sitting for long periods (in the car, at a desk or indeed “on the throne”), they are very handy. —BW

Laughed my head off reading Brent’s comments on “the Technique.” A couple of years ago I was at LAX also sitting on the throne. However, in Los Angeles you do not bring a firearm onto the airport property. As I sat there contemplating the world as we know it, the door to the stall next to me opens, closes and someone starts to sit down.

Suddenly at my feet arrives a lovely semi-automatic. I asked cautiously, “I hope you are a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer)?”

The reply was a very sheepish “Yes.”

I slide the pistol back under the partition, immediately pulled up my pants and left.
Ed

I really enjoyed Brent Wheat’s article on staying safe while using public bathrooms. Having spent my entire life as a girl, and knowing perhaps hundreds of other girls, I need to correct a misapprehension. In his article Mr. Wheat says, “Women are obviously way ahead of men on this point although I’m fairly sure it isn’t for tactical reasons.” No! Girls do go to the bathroom together for tactical reasons. Sometimes we only go together for tactical reasons. This is why:

1. A strange man could follow us into the public restroom.

2. We go to the bathroom together to escape strangers.

3. We go to the bathroom to speak about people we’re interacting with and make sure our friends are comfortable with them.

4. We go to the bathroom together so no one is left waiting alone in a public place.

5. If we’re lost, going to the bathroom gives us a chance to figure out where we are without anyone thinking we’re lost.

6. We also check our makeup and use the toilet.

Anyway, I hope this gives you a female perspective. Thanks again for the fun read.
Emma Morris

Great points, I’m going to include this one in Crossfire! —BW

Thoroughly enjoyed your back page column on “Surviving the Throne.” It was very entertaining and even politically correct. I hope to read more of this type of entertaining and educational material in future issues.
BT Lewis

I’m horrified!!! I wrote a Politically Correct story?!? I need to put on my hair shirt and offer prayers of absolution to Charles Askins and Skeeter Skelton! —BW

Model 58 Wood

Payton Miller — I enjoyed reading your article about the Winchester M58 (“Surplus and Classic,” Dec issue). I don’t have one of those but do have an M67 I had always regarded as rather homely until I learned its action had its parentage from John Browning. Great little rifles! I’m writing because the M67 pictured in your article says it has a walnut stock. The grain on that wood sure doesn’t look like walnut. It looks just like mine before I refinished it. The wood on my M67 was some kind of light hardwood, maple, birch or something. But my Winchester is a Model 67A. Maybe that was some kind of lower-cost production run with less-expensive stocks?
Cordell Roy

Glad you liked the article. I love old Winchester .22s, but to be honest, my old 67A could be either low-grade walnut or “high-grade hardwood.” Mine was a “got at auction” item for about a C-note. At that price, I’ll take all you can find! —PM

All Ages

Mr. Dave Workman — I am writing to you to complete my communications merit badge for my Eagle Scout rank. As a member of the Boy Scouts of America, I am pro 2nd Amendment. I have enjoyed all of the Firearm-related merit badges. I recently read your article “The 2A Acid Test” in the July edition of GUNS Magazine and I found it very interesting on how to deal with the uninformed. Thanks for all the tips and keep up the good work.
James Reid

Not A Colt Fan

I don’t understand the entire gun community fawning all over Colt. Oh look at their new Python. Colt is doing this and Colt is doing that. Am I the only one that remembers not too many years ago Colt, out of fear of law suits, pulled out of the civilian market? They didn’t need us, they had enough Government contracts.

I don’t think Colt is on our side. I don’t think they support the 2nd amendment or the rest of the industry. I feel very betrayed by them and as a result will never own another Colt. The way I see it they betrayed us twice. They already had their second chance.

Please correct me if my recollection is incorrect.
Kerry Domenichelli

I understand the gist of your point but you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

This is a common problem in the industry, most recently illustrated by the bankruptcy and breakup of Remington Arms: venture capital (VC). Many of our favorite and largest gun companies have been or are currently owned by money managers rather than “gun people.” This leads to poor decision making and lukewarm support of the Second Amendment because “the suits” don’t understand firearms in the first place. To them, firearms are a commodity no different than tractor engines or toilet paper. Meanwhile, the people actually running factories and the administrative staff are always hardcore shooters and hunters. Unfortunately, the “money men” from New York, L.A. or Aspen frequently have other concerns aside from making a great product, brand history or the constitution. Not all venture capital or capitalists are bad, but many of the bad things in the industry were the result of venture capital getting involved.

All of this isn’t to absolve Colt (or any other company) of their previous missteps, but the people running the show now are likely different, and if they were in place at the time, probably gritted their teeth in order to remain employed.

One nice thing about the current social stigma against firearms is that VC is rapidly stepping away from the industry, so w’re finally beginning to see serious firearms enthusiasts getting involved on the ownership side. Let’s hope the trend continues. —BW

Unique Browning

I thoroughly enjoyed Greg Moats’ article on the Browning Double Automatic shotgun.

My grandfather, Leslie V. Tracy, was the gun buyer for Marshall Field & Company in Chicago during the 1950s. The Sportsman Show (precursor of today’s SHOT Show) was held in January of 1955 at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago.
Val Browning presented his Double Automatic in many different colors to gauge the attendees’ reaction. My grandfather took photographs of them all on their display racks. Because my grandpa was a top Browning buyer, Val Browning gave him an early prototype in Velvet Grey (with an exposed rivet on its forearm) used at their trade show booth for demonstration.

When I had the gun “lettered” 18 years ago, Browning’s historian, Glen Jensen, called to ask me how I acquired the shotgun. Browning’s records showed they shipped the firearm to themselves at the Morrison Hotel in January of 1955 and he didn’t know why.

I told Mr. Jensen the story and he told me the Browning Museum did not have photographs of those brightly colored Double Automatics. I gladly sent him copies for Browning’s archives. Jensen advised me the Dragon Black Double Automatic at the top of the attached photo was Val Browning’s personal gun and a closer look shows its extra engraving.

Last year I was able to visit the Browning Museum in Utah after a successful elk hunt and I was pleasantly surprised to find Jensen still working there and he even remembered me and my grandfather’s rare photographs!
Steve Tracy

Since you thoughtfully enclosed a photo of the letter from Browning regarding the shotgun Val gave to your grandfather, I hope I’m correct in assuming it is still in your family. — WOW, what a back story. I’m envious.
I’m also envious of your trip to the Browning Museum and interview with Mr. Jensen. My wife and I recently drove to Utah for a visit to the museum only to find its hours severely cut back due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for three days until it reopened and are planning a better-prepared return trip next spring! —Greg Moats

Why Buy?

I will never be able to afford a Wilson or Nighthawk 1911, or attend Thunder Ranch or Gunsite. The truth is, I make 25K a year building cabinets and the firearms I do own I’ve had to save like crazy to purchase. I primarily read your mags on my Kindle, it’s easier to afford monthly for me.

I’m not whining. My life is what it is because of choices I myself made, some good and some poor. Here’s my question. Do many people actually purchase the expensive firearms you reference each month? No one I know can, truthfully.
Keep up the good work. I enjoy your mags and the Guncranks podcast.

My best friend’s dad told us 50 years ago that the veneer of civility is paper thin.
Tom Stuart

Yep, I actually get mail every week from folks who buy the stuff on our pages. Granted, when you’re talking about some of the really expensive guns, they’re probably not flying off the shelves like a typical 9mm pistol gracing our cover but some folks find them intriguing and buy them.

My overall editorial strategy at GUNS is to let shooters see the big, wide world of firearms, not just the hottest black rifle and the smallest black 9mm pistol. We’ve covered $5,000 semi-custom revolvers, $139 single-shot pistols and custom guns worth considerably more. Currently we’re working on a double-rifle feature — I don’t know many folks who could pony up the high six-figure sale prices but it’s fun to “window shop” and dream, regardless. I remember doing the same thing as a kid, thinking “Someday, I’m gonna …” —BW

.22 LR – Don’t Mess With It!

Dr. Dabbs’ article in the December issue of GUNS regarding the lethality of the “lowly” .22 caliber was right on! In the 1960-70s, at the outset of my law enforcement career, I was assigned as a Deputy Sheriff, and later as a Sergeant, to patrol the second most violent crime jurisdiction in the United States.

We had a lot of shootings. I have responded to shooting victim calls in which almost every caliber imaginable was used. The most common? The .22. Dr. Dabbs pointed out the penetration the round is capable of. When I attended autopsies of those murdered with a .22 the coroner would always point out how such a light round could easily bounce off even soft internal organs and continue on the path to almost endless destruction.

I have seen .45s hit dead center in a victim’s forehead and, yet, not penetrate the skull. Massive headache but not much more. I have seen .22s on the other hand enter in the bicep muscle and before its energy was expended traverse the torso ending in the heart — fatally.

Keep up the good work with the magazine.
Jerry Boyd

Will Dabbs: You’re right about the .22 LR being a killer. My father grew up in the piney woods of Arkansas, and they used to use a .22 rifle to kill big hogs for butchering. They would get close and place that little pill in the ear or eye socket. Straight path to a brain-dead hog.

As an ER doctor, you’ll appreciate this. When I was in college in Tucson, Ariz. in 1958-1962, I belonged to the Tucson Gun Club. We had a guy who fancied himself as a latter-day Wyatt Earp and liked to practice fast-draw with a .45 Colt SAA. One day while practicing, using live ammo (!), he cocked the big Colt coming up out of the holster, hung the front sight on the holster hammer loop, and of course the gun fired.

The 250-grain Lubaloy went in his right thigh, missed all the bones and arteries, exited his thigh, entered his calf, continued its merry way downward, and exited the heel of his boot. He managed to drive himself to Tucson Medical Center ER, staggered in, and went face down on the floor. After two pints of blood, some fancy embroidery work by the staff, and three weeks of sleeping on his left side, he was somewhat recovered. We all called him “Chester” after the gimpy guy on Gunsmoke.
Clete Davis

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