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Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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Everything posted by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

  1. Howdy Again Just for the fun of it I took my 1897 Winchester to the Trap field today. I only hit 19 targets, but seeing as the fit is radically different from my usual Model 12, I was not too unhappy about such a low score.
  2. Howdy HK As you probably know, I could not care less about matched pistols. This is the only pair of matched pistols I own. A pair of original S&W New Model Number Threes. The blue one shipped in 1896, the nickel plated one shipped in 1882 and was refinished in the factory in 1965. Both are chambered for 44 Russian, and of course I only shoot them with Black Powder. This is my 'everyday' pair of 2nd Gen Colts. Both are chambered for 45 Colt, the 7 1/2" one shipped in 1973, the 4 3/4" one shipped in 1968. Black Powder only, of course. Another non-matched pair. The nickle plated NM#3 and a 44-40 Merwin Hulbert Pocket Army. Like I said, I couldn't care less about my pistols being matched.
  3. I made a mistake quoting the barrel length of my old Stevens SXS. The barrels are 24", not 20". Cut down at some point from 28" or 30".
  4. Howdy Short barrels are not required in CAS. Coach guns are named that because they were often carried by guards on a stage coach. But if a farmer wanted to shoot a pheasant for dinner, he would be better served with a shotgun with a longer barrel. The thing is, unlike a rifle which is usually fired at a stationary target, if you want to hit a moving target like a flying bird, a shotgun with a longer barrel will tend to swing more smoothly and allow the shooter to hit the target. I bought this original 12 gauge Winchester Model 1897 when I first got into CAS. It has a 30 inch full choked barrel. I decided to go with Side by Side shotguns later, but I have won a few Cowboy Trap matches with this old '97. I bring it to the trap field at my club about once a year, and with its 30 inch full choked barrel it does fairly well. I have been shooting this old Stevens hammered double in CAS for many years. At some point before I owned it the barrels were cut down to 24 inches, probably originally 28 or 30 inches long. In doing so, the chokes were sawed off, so it has now open chokes or cylinder bore. Not that it matters for CAS, but when I took it to the trap range at my club a bunch of years ago I had trouble hitting anything with it. Once the shot leaves the barrel of a shotgun, the natural tendency is for the shot to spread out. The more open the choke, the wider the pattern will be. Trap is usually shot with a full choke or a improved modified choke (slightly more open than a full choke). This prevents the pattern from spreading out too much. If the pattern spreads out too much, the target can slip through a 'hole' in the pattern without being hit. I don't shoot skeet or sporting clays much, but the last time I did I was using an Over/Under shotgun with Skeet chokes in it. Skeet chokes are more open and better suited to close in targets. These days when I shoot Trap I usually use this 12 gauge Winchester Model 12 with 30 full choked barrel. I also have a 12 gauge Remington Model 1100 semi-auto shotgun with a full choke, but I don't shoot it much. If you want a coach gun, that is fine, we seldom have to worry about the distance to the target in CAS. If you want a shotgun that you can use in both CAS and the modern clay sports you will be limited to a SXS or a pump. Semi-Autos and Over/Unders are not legal in CAS. I would look for a SXS with interchangeable chokes and barrels at least 24 inches long.
  5. Howdy News to me: Apparently CZ purchased Colt at some point, but the SAA has always been made in Hartford CT. Last time I checked they were still being made there, but in very limited numbers. I have no idea what the brouhaha is about 3rd Gen Colts not being 'real Colts'. For a while, the 3rd Gen was being made without a removable cylinder bushing, but that changed back to cylinders having the traditional removable cylinder bushing a number of years ago. There are those who think that the 3rd Gens with the removable cylinder bushing constitute a 4th Gen, but they are wrong. Colt is still making the 3rd Gen. (P.S. the removable cylinder bushing is really not an issue. The cylinder bushing is rusted in place on my favorite Colt, I tried removing it years ago and gave up. Not a problem) A note on Colt generations. The 1st Gen was made from the inception of the gun in 1873 until 1940. After WWII Colt had no intention of manufacturing the old design again until Ruger showed that there was great demand for single action revolvers in 1954. Colt began making the SAA again in 1956 with the 2nd Gen up until 1975. After that, all production has been 3rd Gen. If you are impatient you will probably wind up paying more than if you have some patience. I NEVER buy a firearm that I cannot personally inspect, so that lets out all the online vendors, including Gun Broker. Finding a Colt for me has always been a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I came across this one probably close to 20 years ago now. Despite its appearance, it is a 2nd Gen made in 1968. Least expensive Colt I ever got, $680 out the door, because some clown had tried to antique it and not all the parts were original. This is my favorite Colt, and I only shoot Black Powder 45 Colt loads through it. Clearly, I have no problem with a Colt that is not pristine, as long as it functions properly. This is the one with the cylinder bushing frozen in place in the cylinder. I scored this pristine 45 Colt 2nd Gen at a local auction a few years ago. Made in 1963, this one is almost like new in the box. I was amazed I was able to walk out the door with it for $1600. Almost no blue or case colors left on this 38-40 1st Gen Bisley Model that shipped in 1909. Still locks up tight. $1700 at a local auction a few years ago. As I said before, I have no problem with Colts that are not in pristine condition as long as they function well, or can easily be made to. Yes, the extractor rod handle is bent, I have no intention of trying to straighten it. Another pristine 45 Colt 2nd Gen that shipped in 1973. This one even came with the original box and instruction manual, although that probably did not affect the price. $2200 a few years ago. Like I said, being in the right place at the right time has always worked for me with Colts, and Smith and Wesson revolvers too.
  6. Howdy I have been loading all my CAS shotgun loads with Black Powder for many years, but I started out loading with Smokeless a bazillion years ago. Yes, wad choice is very important. Get yourself a reloading manual from one of the powder manufacturers. I started out many years ago with a manual from Alliant. This particular manual is only going to feature powders made by Alliant, such as Red Dot, Blue Dot, Unique, and American Select to name a few. https://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/default.aspx The first thing you MUST do is decide what hull you are going to use. Everything else in the recipe flows from the hull you choose, particularly the wad. Some wads are simply wrong for some hulls and can cause a problem. Go to the guide, and select the hull you are going to use. You are going to want 12 gauge, 2 3/4" hulls. I recommend Remington STS hulls, they are the best there are. Winchester AA hulls are pretty good too, but they are no longer a one piece hull. Once you have decided on a hull, choose the weight of shot you want to shoot. A lot of guys like very light loads, such as 3/4 ounce or 7/8 ounce because they will recoil less. If you up your shot charge to 1 ounce or even 1 1/8 ounces you will have more choices for recipes. Click on the weight of shot you want and the hull you are going to use and a bazillion choices will appear. Choose the recipe with a the wad you can find. When I was loading Smokeless shotgun shells for Trap I used Remington STS hulls and Remington Figure 8 wads or the Claybuster equivalent. I started out with Red Dot, but Red Dot burns kind of dirty and was fouling the semi-auto shotgun I was using at the time. I solved the dirty powder problem with Clays, which is not made by Alliant, but Alliant makes a powder called Clay Dot which is just as clean as Clays. American Select burns nice and clean too. But for CAS, how clean the powder burns should not be an issue as we are not shooting semi-auto shotguns that may malfunction with dirty loads. A pump or SXS will work fine with any powder. Choose your recipe based on what you can find. Be sure to check out Claybuster wads, who make knockoffs of all the popular wads. http://www.claybusterwads.com/ As for a press, I started loading for Trap on my trusty old MEC Jr. The MEC Jr is a single stage press, meaning you move one shell at a time from station to station. I could only turn out about 4 boxes an hour with my MEC Jr. As you can see, I still use it for my black powder shotgun shells. P.S. Good luck fining components these days. Years ago we could find once fired STS or AA shells, often at a Trap club. Those days are long gone. I am still using about 1,000 once fired STS hulls that I bought years ago. The green ones in this photo. Shot size does not matter for CAS, 7 1/2, 8, or 9 are fine for what we do.
  7. Howdy Its spelled Merwin Hulbert, without the dash. Personally, I would like to shoot a match with a Winchester Model 1873 and two Colt Bisleys, all chambered for 38-40.
  8. If you go to a dealer to buy a firearm, what the FTC says or the Customs Service says has nothing to do with it. The BATF rules are what dealers must go by. Pre-1899 defines an antique firearm, period.
  9. H.K is correct. 100 years old is not the definition the BATF uses to determine what is an antique firearm. Pre 1899 is the definition the BATF uses. Unlike Curio and Relic regulations which say 50 years old. So the 50 year goalpost is moves every year, the pre-1899 goalpost is fixed.
  10. Howdy Usually once a year I will bring this pair of Smith and Wesson New Model Number Threes to a match. The blued one shipped in 1896, the nickel plated one shipped in 1882 but was refinished at the factory in 1965. Both are chambered for 44 Russian, I only shoot them with Black Powder, they are a little bit sooty in this photo. Sometimes I change things up and bring this 44-40 Merwin Hulbert Pocket Army instead of one of the Smiths. This Stevens hammered double comes to all the matches with me. It is pretty new, it is pretty new, it probably shipped somewhere around 1906 or so. One of these days I should bring this 38-40 Winchester Model 1873 which left the factory in 1887. I should bring the 38-40 Bisley Colt with it which left the factory in 1909. I should probably bring this 38-40 Bisley that shipped in 1907 when I bring the other Bisley.
  11. I use the cloth bags that lead shot comes in. Now that components are difficult to come by, it may be difficult to find shot, but I have been using empty shot bags for years.
  12. As I said in the earlier post, I shoot the Henry most often in CAS, so it probably qualifies as my favorite. Seeing as original antique Henry rifles usually go for upwards of $30,000, and the 44 Henry Rimfire cartridge is no longer manufactured, I cannot compare shooting my Henry to an original. I did have a little bit of work done to it, it was slicked up by an expert Cowboy Gunsmith, so it is probably a bit easier to shoot than an original. The Marlin has been slicked up slightly too, so it is probably a bit easier to shoot than it was originally. The 44-40 Winchester Model 1892 with the tang sight was my main match rifle for a few years in CAS. It has not been slicked up, so the springs are a little bit stiff. Not pictured is a 44-40 Uberti replica of the Winchester Model 1873. I bought it a number of years ago when I decided to start loading my cartridges with Black Powder. It has been slicked up a bit and is very smooth. The rest of the antique rifles still have their original springs in them and have not been slicked up at all, so they are all a bit stiffer than a slicked up rifle to shoot.
  13. Howdy Shooting Lever Guns of the Old West by Mike Venturino. Published back in 1999 but I just checked and it is presently available on Amazon. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it was my primer on all the different models of lever guns that were commonly shot in the Old West. This book will take you through each of the old lever guns, Henry, Winchester 1866, 1873, 1876, 1886, and 1894, both originals and modern replicas. Marlin Models 1888, 1889, 1894, and 1895. There are no replicas of Marlins, only originals. There is also loading data for all the cartridges commonly chambered in each of these rifles, both Smokeless and Black Powder. As you can see, my copy is quite well worn. Just to tease you a bit, here is the first rifle I took to my first CAS match a bazillion years ago, a Marlin Model 1894 that left the factory in 1895, chambered for 44-40. 38-40 Winchester Model 1873 that left the factory in 1886. 44-40 Winchester Model 1892 that shipped in 1897. 32-20 Winchester Model 1892 that shipped in 1911. Not SASS legal but here is a 45-70 Winchester Model 1886 that shipped in 1886. Yes it has been refinished. The rifle I shoot most often in SASS, 44-40 Uberti replica of the 1860 "Iron Frame" Henry
  14. Howdy Here are the hammers on my old Stevens Hammered Double. Because of the placement of the hammers and the unlocking lever (or what ever its called) I cannot cock the hammers with the action open. I have to shut the action to cock the hammers. I am never in a hurry, I cock each hammer separately with my thumb.
  15. Howdy Longshot Logan was a character. Sometimes he would bring his banjo to matches and entertain us while waiting to shoot. He posted a very good series of articles about refinishing guns. Logan passed away quite suddenly a number of years ago. Does anybody remember exactly when he passed? Thanks.
  16. Howdy I learned to load shotgun shells on my old Mec Jr about 20 years ago. I have a very fancy progressive press made by RCBS, but I never use it. I only load Black Powder shells for CAS on my Mec Jr these days. I do not pour Black Powder into a plastic bottle, I dip the powder by hand out of a mug. I do not use modern plastic wads with BP, I use separate card wads, which can be seen here. I can only load 3 or 4 boxes an hour, but that is enough for CAS.
  17. Nope. I left it in the photo for scale.
  18. Howdy My Lyman Black Powder measure sits most of the time on my Hornady Lock and Load AP progressive press. Mounted this way I drop powder directly into my 45 Colt, 45 Schofield, 44-40, 44 Russian, and 38-40 cases. I keep spare rotors on hand that I have cannibalized from old Lyman #55 powder measures. Each rotor is set for the specific powder charge I use in a specific cartridge. When setting up to load cartridges I pop the appropriate rotor into the powder measure. I don't know if you can read it in this photo, but the rotor all the way on the right is set to deliver 70 grains of Schuetzen FFg for my 45-70 loads. This is a two Lyman two piece 24" long drop tube. I only use it for 45-70. I made the wooden stand myself. The ID of the drop tube is about .575. There is a constriction at the bottom of the lower piece of the drop tube. The diameter of the constriction is about .375. At the very bottom of the drop tube, the hole tapers open to about .520. When loading 45-70 I pour my powder out of the Lyman Powder measure mounted on the Hornady machine into the pan of a three beam powder scale, then trickle it into the RCBS funnel taped to the top of the drop tube. As you should be able to see in this photo, a 45-70 case sits nicely snugged up into the tapered hole at the bottom of the tube. No need for any gaskets, I hold the 45-70 case to steady it, and pour the powder down the drop tube. A little bit kludgy transferring the powder from the bottom of the powder measure to the funnel at the top of the drop tube, but it works for me. No spilled powder, it all goes directly into the case.
  19. It is pretty well documented that Tutt was killed by one 36 caliber ball to the heart from Hickok's 1851 (not 1861) Colt Navy.
  20. Howdy HK Seeing as the Colt Single Action Army was never produced with an octagonal barrel, or a brass trigger guard, I say go ahead and do what ever you want to that incorrect revolver.
  21. Howdy There is a spring loaded plunger at the rear of the cylinder base pin. When you cock the hammer, the transfer bar rises. The job of the spring loaded plunger is to push the transfer bar back as it rises. If the cylinder pin is not securely locked all the way to the rear, the plunger cannot do its job, and the transfer bar can get caught under the frame mounted firing pin, preventing the hammer from being cocked. This photo shows the position of the transfer bar with the hammer at full cock. Notice the transfer bar has cleared the firing pin. If the cylinder pin is not pushed all the way back, the transfer bar can get caught under the firing pin.
  22. Howdy My reloading notebook says I load 1.3CC of Schuetzen FFg under a Big Lube 200 grain Mav-Dutchman bullet in Starline 44 Russian brass. 1.3CC of Schuetzen FFg turns out to be about 19.5 grains. There is no need for Magnum primers, Black Powder is easier to ignite than Smokeless, I have been using standard primers in all my Black Powder cartridges for years. I shoot my Black Powder 44 Russian ammo in a pair of original Smith and Wesson New Model Number Three revolvers.
  23. Howdy That is incorrect. There is no need to expand the base of a heeled bullet to engage the rifling, the outer diameter of the bullet engaged the rifling. Just like with modern 22 Rimfire ammo, which uses a heeled bullet that is not hollow based. The original 44 Henry Rimfire cartridge had a pointed bullet weighing 216 grains, over a charge of 26 grains of Black Powder. Later a flat nosed bullet weighing 200 grains was used over the same charge of 26 grains of powder. The cartridges on the left in the following two photos have the 216 grain pointed bullet. The cartridges on the right have the 200 grain flat nosed bullet. This cartridge is what became known as the 44 Henry Flat, and was the most common ammunition for the 1860 Henry Rifle.
  24. Reloading shotgun shells was never cheaper than buying factory. At least not in my experience. For some reason, the cost savings of reloading shotgun ammo just were not there like it has always been with reloading metallic ammo. In the past, the only valid reason for reloading shotgun ammo was to tailor your loads to something not available from a factory.
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