Crossfire January 2020


Copper Clapper Caper?

Okay, I know many of your writers there go wayyyy back with some of the shooting greats. I readily recognize the names they drop, such as Colonel Jeff Cooper. I would have never guessed that you have developed a method to preserve Mr. Cooper in the form of collectable semi-precious metal ingots, but the proof is right there on page 62 of my November 2019 edition. The knife is resting on ingots of “Fine Cooper,” at three-nines purity. You guys are simply amazing. Will any other firearms greats be offered any time soon? I cringe to think of what a bar of John Moses Browning will go for, but I’m still interested none the less!
Brad Hancock

Hmmm, Brad is right! One of our editorial staff saw the misspelled stamping on the ingots as Brad pointed out, but thought it was a brand name. Depending on the angle, it might also read “Coorer.” Apparently, nobody else saw it, including story author and photographer Pat Covert. We all had a good laugh! Meanwhile, keep an eye out for some of our new GUNS tribute products: Martini-Henry bar Olives and Sam Colt horse halters. —BW

Where’s Clint And John?

I’d been away from GUNS for a time when I received an opportunity to get in on a 5-year deal, so I pulled the trigger. The first thing I noticed was no Clint Smith and no John Connor. I know you can’t run out and get Clint and Connor back just because I enjoyed reading them. My subscription goes till I’m past 80 and I still want to be reading Taffin at that time. Hang in there John, I’m with you.
Chuck Padrick

I had a nice talk with Clint last week at his house in Oregon! He’s really too busy to write but has graciously taken the offer under consideration. Meanwhile, John Connor is coming back in “Terminator: Dark Fate”… wait, it’s a different John Connor. John’s officially “retired” from, as he says, “Bein‘ blowed up too many times. Gotta‘ rest now.” —BW

Morning Has Broken

It’s morning here in Missouri farm country. This old guy sat down to enjoy coffee with a bunch of likeminded friends.

Mas (Ayoob), who says so much of great value in so few words, spoke first. John with his fine discourse on the lever gun loads followed. Dave speaking about the ever-popular mouse guns, which most of us have and never tire of shooting — especially with younger family members.

Holt seems to find the most interesting guns to talk about, we never get tired of hearing from him. Of course, any get-together would never be complete without Duke and Yvonne. His words of wisdom on restorations touched a chord with me because that is what I have done in my shop for over 25 years. Mark was telling about his turkey hunt here with the crossbow; it makes me think maybe I might like to try one. Dr. Will comes up with the most interesting guns and related stuff. Wish most doctors were like him.

I am really looking forward to our next get-together, but I need to get out to the shop and start work on that old Stevens Crackshot. See you guys later!
Joel Monteith

Sensual Nighthawk

I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Dabbs’ article entitled “The Nighthawk, Custom Agent 2.” This could be the most sensual gun article I have ever read. Upon completion I considered a cold shower and an apology to my wife. Appropriately, it was the centerfold.

After reading the article, I slipped into a dream state where I was teleported to Monte Carlo. I dabbed (pun intended) a bit of Hoppes on my face, slipped into my rented powder blue tuxedo, and drove my Jeep to the casino for a moonshine martini. One needs fortitude for counter-alien insurgency operations. Upon entering I was embraced by a striking Bond Arms girl. She whispered in my ear “My, that is a big gun in your trousers. Is that a Nighthawk Custom Agent 2”? Keep up the good work! I enjoy all of your magazines.
M.C. McClintock

Will and I both enjoyed your commentary, but Will is concerned I might hire you to replace him! —BW

Legendary Performance

I just read the November issue of GUNS Magazine and as usual, I really liked it. I read Brent T. Wheat’s article “350 Legend Ranch Rifle” and I enjoyed it, but there wasn’t a lot of information on the cartridge. I really like the looks of the rifle but how much different is the .350 Legend from the .35 Remington?
Myron Winchester

Thanks for the kind words about the story. It was fun to live and fun to write. The 350 Legend is somewhat similar to the 35 Remington, along with the .357 Max and a couple of others. I didn’t add too much of this compare/contrast because there are many ballistically comparable cartridges and I couldn’t decide what to choose, so I just said to heck with it. I’ve had a couple of reader emails similar to yours, but they’re all asking about different cartridges! —BW

Plinkin’ With Primers

After military and college, I lived in NW Kansas and took up reloading. The winters there were cold and windy; snow flew sideways so indoor shooting was a way to practice and teach youngsters proper gun handling. I ordered some Speer plastic bullets and cases to shoot (with large pistol primers only) in my .357 Ruger Blackhawk. In our spacious basement, we shot at cardboard boxes with homemade targets on them. I thought of those times while reading David’s article on Rubber Bullet Plinking. I just went out to my shed where I reload and found those cases and bullets. Will start practicing again when I can’t go to the range. Thanks for the reminder.
Gary Owens

Glad to hear it jogged your memory! Whenever there are (friendly) bullets in the air, there is joy in the heart! —BW

Help A Brother Out

I recently purchased a Colt MKIV Series 70 chambered in .38 Super caliber. The gun was allegedly featured in GUNS Magazine, possibly ’70s or ’80s. I am attempting to confirm if the pistol was featured or not and also learn more about the history of the pistol. I’ve attached two photographs of the pistol, which show the engraving to the slide which are erotica themed. Any assistance would be appreciated.
Mike Gordon

Cool gun! Unfortunately, I went through our database but didn’t find anything. If we can narrow it down a little, it might help. Honestly, I can’t believe it would have appeared in print without retouching due to the provocative scenes on the slide. In the meantime, maybe it’ll strike a chord with one of our readers? And yes, I blurred out a few of the more “interesting” engravings! —BW


Long time, no write — long sad story of bad lungs and being on oxygen. Being me, there must be a bit of humor everywhere so my new introduction is, “Hi, I’m Mike, the guy who sucks all the oxygen out of the room!” But I can still squeeze a trigger, when the humidity is low, and do horrible damage to paper and political sign backers so life is still really good if not perfect.

I can offer a suggestion which could save us geezers some time. The Bullpup, Nighthawk, and Saint .308 articles in GUNS, while great as usual, do not include an MSRP. I, of course, have to put down the magazine, grab my tablet, search the internet for prices, discover that if I dip into my ( never to be revealed to wifey ) money, I could actually afford one.
Mike Quill 

The MSRP question is interesting. I have intentionally been leaving them off stories lately for several reasons but ultimately, it boils down to this: Should we expend precious “real estate” on things like MSRP (a mostly-fictional number) and non-story-related specifications when the info is easily found online? I will tally your vote and wait to hear from others. Meanwhile, take care of yourself and keep on shooting! The world needs more trigger-pullers! —BW

We Hear You!

I am 76 years old and reading my October issue of GUNS; a great, great issue by the way!!! Owning several “Dirty Harry” .44 magnums, your article’s timing was excellent. I plan on heading to the range soon with my daughter who is a crackshot with her 9mm. There is also an article on the Pyramex Amp BT hearing protectors. I’d like to see an article in choosing hearing protection because ratings are all over the place as far as dB ratings. I have been told “the higher the dB rating the better the product” yet there are 27 dB units for $20 or so and 24 dB units for several hundred dollars, which blows that logic. What am I missing?
Gary Eaton

The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is a system measuring the effectiveness of hearing protection. The NRR isn’t as straightforward as it would seem. Protection follows the formula: Decibel reduction = (NRR–7)/2, so wearing a 31 NRR muff doesn’t lower a 100 dB sound to (logically) 69 dB, it actually lowers it to around 88 dB. The highest possible number for ear muffs is 31 dB, while for ear plugs it’s 33 dB. Yet, if you combine them, the noise reduction is only 36 dB. It only gets more complicated from there. Gunfire is around 140 dB so any protection is worthwhile, but the higher NRR the better. From there electronic muffs vary in sound and build quality plus features. For example, stereo muffs allow you to determine the direction of sound, a more-expensive but critical feature when instructing! The sky is the limit from there. Hope that tells you more than you wanted to know! —BW

Ted Talk

Picked up a Ted Williams (made for Sears) .30-30 lever action 3 years ago. It’s in excellent condition, paid $327 for it, think that is about what it was/is worth. This is reportedly made by Winchester but also, reportedly, not completely interchangeable with a Model 94, possibly some plastic parts to keep costs down and ease manufacturing. So, was I more or less in the ballpark as far as value of my rifle, and what was the period when these were made for Sears? I thank you for your time and a truly great periodical.
Jeff Schaffer

As a matter of policy we don’t discuss valuation of used firearms; too many potential pitfalls for us there. The sources I checked agree there is little collector value on Ted Williams guns. The rifle is likely a “post-’64” Winchester Model 94 made in 1964–early 1970s but I can’t advise on parts interchangeability. On a related note, manufacturers sold carloads of “Hardware store” rebranded guns (I’ve owned several) so perhaps it’s time we do a story!! —BW

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