Crossfire July 2018

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The S&W M66 at top has been bead blasted for a matte finish. It’s duller and less reflective than the earlier M66 below.

Our Blasted Fault!

I’ve read Mr. Taffin’s article in the April issue on the Smith & Wesson .44 Combat Magnum and was puzzled by the following sentence: “It’s a glass-beaded stainless 5-shot DA sixgun.” What’s meant by glass-beaded? And I’d appreciate some clarification on the cylinder capacity. The revolvers I have are 5-shot .38 Specials and I enjoy shooting them immensely. Did I miss something? GUNS is a great publication and all of you are top-notch.
Mrs. Shelly W. Gant
Danvers, IL


Your confusion is entirely justified on two counts. First, the gun is an L-Frame instead of the larger N-Frame, but in order to chamber it in .44 Magnum, it was necessary for S&W engineers to go to a 5-shot cylinder. We’ve been using the term “sixguns” interchangeably for revolvers for so long, we simply forgot to count the holes and adjust our terminology accordingly! The other point you raise concerns a missing word. To achieve a non-glare matte finish on a stainless gun, it’s literally “glass-blasted” to dull the shine. It’s a process using an air-driven blast cabinet and tiny beads of glass particles to put a “soft” finish on the metal. Saying “glass-beaded” was sort of short-hand! — PM

My Lazy G22

Today, I placed my GLOCK 22 pistol on the table right next to my locked front door. I left its magazine beside it, then left it alone and went about my business in the house while I was there by myself. The mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor’s son across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign near the front of my house.

After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was quietly sitting there, right where I had left it. It hadn’t moved itself outside. It hadn’t killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had presented to do that. In fact, it had not even loaded itself. Well you can imagine my surprise, with all the hype by the Left and the media about how dangerous guns are and how “they” kill people. Either the media is wrong, or I’m in possession of the laziest gun in the world.

The United States is 3rd in murders throughout the world. But if you take out just five big blue cities: Chicago, Detroit, biggest variables when it comes to putting five shots in the smallest group possible.

Another thing concerns using a 12X scope at 100 yards. Again, why? Doesn’t anyone own anything above 12X or even 16X when benchrest testing for accuracy? How many times I’ve read “… my results might have been better if I had a more powerful scope ….” Yup — I bet they would, and the results would be meaningful.

Please buy a full-length machine rest for your contributors and ask they use them and encourage them to use a scope with sufficient power to put one hole inside another at 100 yards. The name of the game now is accuracy, more than ever. Maybe Caldwell will give you a group discount. 
Mike Tortorete
via email


Your point on machine rests is well-taken. I guess if I could offer any argument against them, it would be this: Once you take the human element out of shooting, it becomes something else. And that “something else” doesn’t sound like much fun! Not a very scientific rebuttal, granted. However, if we did go the machine-rest route, then your observations on scope magnification would be rendered moot. If bore-sighting wouldn’t be possible, we’d just move the sucker around enough to get on 10- or 20-foot square of butcher paper, punch out 5 fast ones and be done with it! In all seriousness, though, not everyone shoots tighter groups at higher magnifications. Sometimes, the illusion of being steady is almost as good as actually being steady. —PM

Retro Defense Batteries

This is in regard to Mas Ayoob’s March column on the Ruger Vaquero he bought and didn’t know what to do with. The sidearm riding in my IWB holster is a Ruger Vaquero in .45 Colt. I’m fed up with black/brown plastic hi-capacity anything being taken as gospel as the only word in self-defense. I usually pack a single action in the hills or in town. Going modern, for me, is an S&W N-Frame in .45, .44 or .45 ACP.

The only semi-auto I own is a .45 ACP 1911. I can conceal any of them anytime, anywhere, even in the summer. It just takes dedication. I never feel outgunned. Nor outclassed. I’m neither military or LE, just an old-fashioned Westerner with a good sense of awareness, who studies and practices his skills often. Practice enough so you hit what you shoot at (first round preferably). Finally, a big bullet is a great comfort when it does hit the target.
Ronald Kil
via email

Turtle

Watch the fingers, Tank…

Watch the fingers, Tank…

Reptile Rescue!

I just finished Tank Hoover’s “Think Tank” column, “Caution: I Brake for Turtles” — with delight! It’s refreshing to see a journalist demonstrate a protective attitude towards a small creature in its time of need. Seeing turtles while hiking definitely makes any walk more enjoyable. I’ve been a subscriber for years, and this March 2018 edition is terrific! Keep up the writing and the rescuing!
George Patton
via email


With the possible exception of rattlers, most of us here are fond of reptiles and amphibians, although we have cautioned Tank about snapping turtles. He could have a heck of a time hitting his deadlines if he ends up a finger or two short! Of course, we may not notice an increase in typos since we deal with so many as it is from him! — PM

More Single Actions

Last year I got stuck on Taffin’s story at the back about the great shooters from the past. I’ve had guns all my life but they’ve been single-action revolvers or leverguns (I do Cowboy Action shooting).

However, I do have an S&W Model 686 .357, a Model 24-3 .44 Special and a Model 29 Elmer Keith Commemorative .44 Magnum. Last year at a cowboy collectible show I was able to buy Elmer Keith’s Hell, I Was There. You can’t put it down. After I read it, I believe we would have made good friends and partners. Anyway, more stories on the single action. They’re just as good as the semi autos.
R. Gibson
Amarillo, TX

Satisfied Customer

Just chiming in to say I have eight different gun magazine subscriptions and value GUNS at the top of the list. I enjoy all your columns, but John Taffin and Duke are my favorite writers. Keep up the good work. You have a subscriber for life.
Chuck Irwin
via email


Thanks Chuck, and keep your “good” eye peeled over the next few issues. While we’re not making any big changes, we are doing a few things to make things a bit easier to read and find, and we’re casting off the chains on Joe Novolozo our layout artist (go get ’em Joe!), so watch for some fun layout touches. We’ve also challenged the guys — and gals — to come up with even better artwork and photos for their articles, and to fire-up their “wit and charm” to make us laugh with them. All-in-all, we know things are going to get even more fun in GUNS. Let us know what you’d like to see down the road, too. — RH