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Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 last won the day on October 18 2017

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About Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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    When he talks, people listen.

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    Anyplace that is foolish enough to let me shoot.

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    Land of the Pilgrims
  • Interests
    CAS, Black Powder, SW DA Revolvers, Trap, Woodworking, Model Trains, History, Reloading.

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  1. Howdy Somebody 'antiqued' the 4 3/4" SAA at the bottom of these two photos before I bought it. It was made in 1968. All the blue had been removed. Just a trace of case colors left on the frame on one side, no colors left on the other side. If you look real close you can see where a smidge of metal was added to the top of the front sight. After about 20 years of shooting nothing but Black Powder through it the barrel and ejector rod housing are starting to take on a pleasing bit of patina. This was my first Colt SAA, and because somebody had 'antiqued' it I got it for a terrific price, $680. It is my favorite revolver in the whole world. The 7 1/2" SAA at the top of the photo left the factory in 1973. I actually lettered this one. It left the factory with a 12" barrel, but within a year it had been returned to the factory and the 7 1/2" barrel installed. When it came back from the factory it came with an extra 'long flute' cylinder that I never use.
  2. Howdy Uberti 'iron frame' Henry, 44-40 caliber. It has been my usual main match rifle for about 10 years now. Making smoke. Making more smoke. I replaced the stock rear sight with this one from Track of the Wolf. Stick Loading ammo on my Hornady Lock and Load. Starline brass, Federal Large Pistol primers, 2.2CC (about 33.3 grains) Schuetzen FFg, Big Lube Mav-Dutchman 200 grain bullets sized to .428. Yup, the brass is stained. Shiny brass does not shoot any better, it is just easier to find in the grass.
  3. Howdy I too use fibre wads from Circle Fly. I prefer to use the Remington STS hulls because the plastic is the most slippery and they eject the best from my SXS. I occasionally use Remington AA hulls, but I prefer the Remington STS. Winchester 209 primer 4.3 CC (the largest dipper in the Lee dipper set) approx 65 grains of Schuetzen FFg. 1/8" over powder card 1/2" cushion wad 1 1/8 ounces of #8 shot .030 over shot card No lube is necessary. Lube is for bullets so the rifling does not fill up with fouling, ruining accuracy. The card wads scrape out most of the fouling left behind by the previous shot, and there is no rifling to fill up with fouling. I load them on my MEC Jr. The size of the shot really does not matter, I have #8 because that is what I used to use when I loaded for Trap. The reason for the over shot card is that this load does not quite fill up the hull and the crimp would be a tiny bit concave, leaving a small hole in the center that a couple of pieces of shot can escape through. The over shot card levels the crimp and seals the hole. I could increase the powder charge a bit, but then I would run the risk of blowing a hole in the pattern. This winds up being about a 2 1/2 dram load. Plenty of punch yet the recoil is not too bad in my 24" barreled Stevens hammer gun.
  4. Howdy For what it's worth, I have been shooting 44-40 in my rifles and 45 Colt in my pistols for close to twenty years. The reason is I started with an original antique Winchester Model 1892 and it was chambered for 44-40. Rifles were never chambered for 45 Colt until about the 1980s. Another topic for another discussion. Excellent point. In fact, attend a few matches just to see what they are all about. Preferably, attend a few matches before you buy any more guns.
  5. Howdy I load 45 Schofield with a set of Hornady dies that say 45 Long Colt on the label. Yeah, we know there is no such thing as 45 Long Colt, but that is what the box says. I load 45 Colt with an old RCBS die set. I did not have to alter the Hornady set to load 45 Schofield with it, I was able to screw them into my press far enough to crimp on my Hornady Lock and Load AP. I do keep the '45 Colt' and '45 Schofield' sets set up so I don't have to change the settings on either. I always load the same bullets, so I don't have to change anything. I use a shell plate specific to 45 Schofield on my press when loading that cartridge. I load 44 Russian with an RCBS 44 Mag/44 Special die set. I did have to grind the dickens out of the bottom of the crimp die in that set in order to be able to crimp the brass. The 44 Sp/44 Mag die set is set for 44 Specials. I do not load 44 Mag.
  6. Howdy Sorry, I have never loaded 44 Russian with Smokeless powder. Only Black Powder. I use Starline brass, Mav-Dutchman 200 grain Big Lube bullets sized to .428, about 19.5 grains of Schuetzen FFg, and a Federal Large Pistol Primer. This is the load I use in my almost matched pair of S&W New Model Number Three revolvers.
  7. "Blackpowder category contestants are expected to understand they will contend with smoke obscured targets." Howdy that is the first sentence in the description of the Black Powder categories. I wrote that back about 10 years ago or so when the idea of the Black Powder standard was first being proposed. That is not the exact wording I originally wrote, the wording has changed some over the years. But the TGs thought enough of my sentence to include it in the Black Powder Standard. When I wrote that I was thinking of what President Kennedy said in his 1962 speech about the space race. "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.' (yes, I remember President Kennedy giving that speech and I was very impressed with it) That is part of what we must put up with when we choose to use Black Powder (or a sub) as our propellant. Anybody can shoot Smokeless. It takes more determination to shoot Black Powder, because of smoke obscured targets, and also because it is generally more complicated loading Black Powder into our cartridges than Smokeless. The stages all face east at one of the clubs I shoot at. On a sunny, windless day the BP shooter's targets are always obscured in the haze. My usual technique is to plant one foot, then hop around on the other foot ducking and weaving trying to get a clear picture of the targets. The other thing to bear in mind is, if you choose to shoot Black Powder, sometimes you just have to slow down so the smoke will settle a bit. No two ways around it, if you choose to shoot the smokey stuff, you will probably have to slow down from how fast you shoot a Smokeless stage. We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
  8. Howdy Again Shooting with cartridges loaded with real Black Powder will do the same thing. I don't know why, but there is never any carbon deposited on the cylinder faces of a revolver that has been fired with Black Powder. No leading either. I suspect it may have to do with the higher temperature BP burns at, but I have no proof of that. Except for the fact that there is never any leading or carbon rings on my revolvers shot with Black Powder cartridges.
  9. Howdy If I know a shooter is very fast, I will stand down and not spot for him. I just can't keep up with some of these guys. I always try to stand where I can see the targets clearly. Sometimes difficult with my fellow Black Powder shooters. And if I don't see it miss, or am not sure, I will stand my ground and call it a hit. A lot of guys say I am too lenient and give credit where it is not deserved, but if my poor old eyes are not sure it was a hit, I will call it a hit.
  10. I have started moving my photos from the Unreliable Photbucket to Image Shack. This is the first time I have heard they cannot be seen.
  11. Thanks for the warning. I was aware of that. Now reread were I said I fired 10 rounds in maybe 15 or 20 seconds. Everybody in these parts knows how slow I shoot. I seldom break one minute for an average stage. Just don't care about shooting fast. That was not exactly the first thing I thought of HK.
  12. Howdy I really should know better than to walk into a Cabelas. A couple of weeks ago I went to the local Cabelas to get some winter socks. Really. Then I made the mistake of wandering into the Gun Library. Lots of stuff that did not interest me. Then I saw an old Marlin lever rifle. It was marked as a 38-40 Model 1894, but a quick glance told me it was not a Model 1894. The lever on a Model 1894 is pretty distinctive, and this was definitely not a Model 1894. I was not sure exactly which model it was, but I did not have my copy of Brophy's book on Marlins handy. So I asked to see the rifle. While I was examining it I saw they had a copy of Brophy's book. Turns out it was a model 1889. This was the first Marlin to feature side ejection, just like every Marlin lever gun has ever since. In fact, this was a big selling point with Marlin, because all the Winchesters always ejected through the top. A quick search of Marlin Serial numbers revealed this one had been made in 1891. Yes, it is chambered for 38-40. This puppy seemed to have a problem with the trigger. Side note: according to Cabelas' new policy, I was not allowed to take the trigger lock off. How am I supposed to determine if the trigger is OK I asked? I could work the lever, but with a trigger lock on it I could not pull the trigger to let the hammer down. We finally compromised by the sales guy removing the trigger lock and placing the muzzle into a bullet trap. He insisted he had to keep one hand on the barrel to make sure it stayed in the bullet trap. I could then pull the trigger (letting the hammer down gently of course) to my hearts content. That is Cabelas' policy, I don't want to get into a big discussion about it here. Problems with the gun: the stock had been broken in two at some point, and glued back together. Not a bad job, but it was obvious where the break had been. And the lever latch, which is unique to this model was missing. So we did a lot of horse trading where I pointed out the deficiencies, and I walked home with the rifle. Another side note: the sales guy was actually very helpful. He was clearly knowledgeable about a lot of guns, just not Marlins. And so I could legally take it home he put a lever lock on it, gave me the key, and then wrapped it up really well with bubble wrap and pulled out a rifle length box from under a table to box it up for me. I really cannot complain about the service, just not crazy about Cabelas' policy on trigger locks. Two rifles in this photo. A Marlin Model 1894 made in 1895, at the top, the Model 1889 at the bottom. Notice the different configuration of the lever in the area of the trigger. That was the dead giveaway that told me it was not a model 1894. If you look carefully you can probably see the repaired break in the stock near the rear of the wrist. The first step was to see if everything worked. I stuffed some dummy 38-40 cartridges in the magazine and worked the action. Everything worked fine. The lever was very stiff to work because this model pushes the hammer way past full cock as the bolt moves back. But everything worked fine. Next step was to pop some primers. I primed a few pieces of 38-40 brass, and they all fired fine. No live ammo yet. The next strep was for me to tear it completely apart. Three purposes to this exercise. One is to be able to see all the parts and how badly worn they might be. Second was to clean all the parts. Third was to prepare the rifle for my Black Powder cartridges. In this photo I have not removed the cartridge carrier, the screw seemed really stuck. Later I was able to free the screw so I could remove the carrier for a thorough cleaning. It turns out there was hardly any wear on the parts at all. Lots of 120 year old carbon and gunk, but hardly any wear. Peering down the bore the rifling looked really good. Old, and a fair amount of pitting, but the rifling was strong and I suspected this old girl would make a good shooter. Once all the parts were clean I gave everything, including the inside of the frame, a good coating of Balistol. This is my standard treatment of any gun I am going to shoot with Black Powder. The top of the receiver and the caliber marking. The rear sight. An interesting folding leaf marked '50'. Not really sure what the 50 stands for, yards or feet, but there it is. The front sight features an ivoroid bead. The metal has been chewed away a bit on one side. Maybe this happened when the stock broke. Here is the old rifle all together again. Notice the lever is not snug against the lower frame. The missing lever latch would snug up the lever. This model had a lever safety device much like the Winchester Model 1873. A spring loaded piece projected down through the lower frame. You can see it in this photo. While in this position it blocked the trigger from being pulled. When the lever was snugged up, it retracted the trigger block, allowing the rifle to be fired. If I can find a lever latch for this model, that will keep the lever snugged up when the lever is closed. Until then I have to remember to snug up the lever myself for every shot. This photo is just for fun. The rifle with some of my 38-40 rounds. I took the old Marlin to the range on Saturday. It was a really warm day here. The left target and middle target were both fired from a rest at normal SASS distances, about 25 feet. Considering my very bad eyesight which cannot focus very well on rifle sights I was pretty pleased. The first target I was aiming at the center of the bullseye. When I looked closely at the front sight I realized it was leaning slightly to one side. Probably happened when the rifle was mistreated. I drifted the rear sigh to the right a bit and was able to get the windage pretty good. I was aiming at six O'clock this time. Not concerned about it shooting low, CAS targets are nice and big and I can compensate. I was pleased with the group with my old eyes and iron sights. The last target was ten rounds standing at the same distance. 'Rapid Fire' if you can read the target. Not really CAS rapid fire, which would dump 10 shots in less than 5 seconds. Just rapid fire for me with an old rifle. Maybe 15 or 20 seconds. Quite pleased with the old Marlin. I may buy a new stock for it to replace the broken one, or I may just leave well enough alone. And I will be keeping an eye out for a lever latch.
  13. Howdy I never try to remove the carbon rings blasted onto the front of the cylinder of a revolver. They are there on a blued cylinder, but more noticeable on a stainless cylinder. I stopped trying to clean them off long ago. No matter what you do, they will just return the next time you shoot the revolver. I always say that once you have enough revolvers you will stop worrying about the carbon rings on the face of the cylinder.
  14. Howdy The initials for the Colt Single Action Army are SAA, not SSA. A common mistake. Yes, you can probably buy 2 replica SAAs for the price of one Schofield,, or any of the other #3 Top Breaks. The grip shape of most of the #3 Top Breaks was very different than the grip shape of a SAA. I find that in one handed shooting I have to reach a bit further with my thumb to cock the hammer of a #3 Top Break than I do with a SAA. I have merged a photo of a Colt SAA and a S&W Schofield in this photo to show how much farther of a reach it is to cock the Schofield one handed. The internal mechanism of the S&W #3 Top Breaks was very different than the mechanism of a Colt. The bolt in a Colt frees the cylinder to rotate when the hammer is pulled back, the trigger has nothing to do with it. So if the trigger finger is contacting the trigger of a Colt, the gun can be cocked and fired with no problem. With the S&W Top Breaks, the bolt withdrawl was controlled by the trigger. If the trigger is prevented from popping forward when the revolver is cocked, the hammer cannot be cocked. Even slight finger pressure on the trigger will cause this to happen. This can be tricky sometimes, particularly if one is trying to shoot a #3 fast. There were five separate models of Top Break revolvers that S&W built on the large #3 frame. The American Model, the Russian Model, the Schofield, the New Model Number Three, and the 44 Double Acton. Although they were all similar in size, there were significant differences between them. I will only be mentioning the three variations of the S&W #3 Top Breaks that are commercially available as replicas, the Russian Model, the Schofield, and the New Model Number Three. The Russian Model was the second style of large frame Top Break revolver that S&W made, after the American Model. Easily recognized by the large hump on the back of the grip and by the spur on the trigger guard. S&W made over 150,000 of these, mostly for contracts with foreign governments, most of them went to Russia. Some did wind up on the American market. Most were chambered for the 44 Russian cartridge. This is a 2nd Model Russian, it left the factory in 1875. Uberti makes a replica of the 3rd Model Russian, the main difference is there is a large knurled thumbwheel on top of the top strap for easy removal of the cylinder. The Uberti replica is chambered for 45 Colt and 44 Russian. I do not recommend this revolver as a shooter, the large hump on the rear of the grip makes it awkward to shoot. I find that to reach the hammer spur with my thumb I have to regrip and put the palm of my hand against that sharp hump. Then I have to regrip again to get my hand below the hump. If I don't and fire the revolver with the hump in contact with my palm, it hurts, even with a relatively mild recoiling cartridge such as the 44 Russian. This is a 1st Model Schofield. Distinctive by the gently sweeping grip shape, but more specifically for the serpentine shaped barrel latch. This is the only #3 Top Break that had the barrel latch mounted to the frame, all the others had the latch mounted to the top strap. There were only a little more than 9,000 Schofields manufactured between 1875 and 1878. The Army bought most of them, but eventually surplussed them out because of ammunition supply issues. Of course some showed up in the Old West, but not in numbers anywhere near the numbers for the Colt. This model is much more pleasant to shoot than the Russian Model, but I do have to regrip slightly to reach the hammer spur with my thumb. The originals were all chambered for the 45 Schofield cartridge, a bit shorter than the 45 Colt cartridge, with a bit less powder in them. Uberti makes replicas of the Schofield chambered for 45 Colt, 44-40 and 38 Special. A view of the Schofield with the cylinder open. It actually opens further than this, this photo shows what the latch looks like from the rear. The deep groove in the latch is the rear sight. An interesting aside about the Schofield model. Roy Jinks, the official S&W historian has been quoted as saying that when the Clint Eastwood move The Unforgiven came out, with one of the characters shooting a Schofield, he got as lot of inquiries about Schofield revolvers. There were only about 9,000 made. It turned out a lot of people who thought they had Schofields, did not. All Schofields are #3 revolvers. All #3 revolvers are not Schofields. In my opinion, the best of the S&W #3 Top Break revolvers was the New Model Number Three. Cataloged from 1878 until 1908, but all frames were made before 1899, so they are all classified as antiques by the BATF. I will have to look it up, but I seem to recall the NM#3 was chambered for 13 different cartridges, but 44 Russian was the most common. This one left the factory in 1896 and it was part of a large shipment to Japan. It is chambered for the 44 Russian cartridge. Notice the gentle hump at the rear of the grip, not much different than the shape of most modern K frame S&W Double Action revolvers. I do have to regrip slightly with this revolver to cock the hammer, but it is easy to get my hand back under the hump before I pull the trigger. The target versions of this revolver, with a windage adjustable rear sight and a taller front sight were the premier target revolvers of their day. Uberti makes (or did make) a replica of the New Model Number Three called the Laramie. Made by Uberti but marketed by Beretta. Not sure if they are still in production or not. The Laramie had a windage adjustable rear sight, but a front sight like on a standard model. The Laramie was available chambered for 45 Colt and 38 Special. Very pleasant to shoot, a pity they did not make more. Of course all the S&W #3 top Break revolvers broke open for emptying and reloading and the spent cartridges were automatically ejected, usually. Not really much of a concern in CAS, I cannot remember the last time I had to do a reload on the clock. Shooting a nickel plated New Model Number Three with Black Powder. Yes, the originals handled Black Powder soot just fine, not so much with the modern replicas. Like I said, if I am shooting a NM#3 in a match, I usually have to remind myself at least once to keep my trigger finger off the trigger when cocking the hammer. It will usually let me know if I don't
  15. Howdy The idea is, if it is acceptable as a Main Match pistol, it is not acceptable as a Pocket Pistol. And Vice Versa. As far as I know, there are no modern made revolvers that would be acceptable as a Pocket Pistol. You will have to buy an antique. Like this Top Break Smith and Wesson 32 Safety Hammerless AKA a Lemonsqueezer. Or this 38 Safety Hammerless. Note, these revolvers were not chambered for 38 Special, they were chambered for 38 S&W, an older round that is not interchangeable with 38 Special. These revolvers came with hammers too, like this 38 Double Action. There were single action Top Break revolvers too, but nobody who wants to win will probably shoot one of them. This is a S&W 32 Single Action. There were other brands too. This Iver Johnson 38 Safety Hammerless only cost me about $100, but that was a long time ago.
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