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The Hobbit Hole XXXVIII - There and Back Again!

Posted on 09/23/2009 6:19:16 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog

Welcome to The Hobbit Hole!



TOPICS: The Hobbit Hole
KEYWORDS: corinnumber1; firstkeyword; jrgotanewjob; secondprecious
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To: Squantos; g'nad; Ramius; osagebowman; JenB; ExGeeEye; TalonDJ
Okay, I'm a sucker for .22 snubbies. This is the twin brother to my S&W 43C, but in .22lr (8 shots), instead if .22WMR (seven shots). Matching (I hope) Ahrend's exotic wood grips are already on order. Just too cute to pass up, even in these more serious times. :)


4,001 posted on 03/11/2013 1:59:24 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

I’m a big fan of the snub .22 as a ankle rig for backup EDC to a primary sidearm as well as when hunting or wheeling. I have a uncle mikes nylon ankle holster that a parachute rigger modified for me to hold either 3 spare bianchi speed strips for a 38 snub or one of the old MTM plastic 50 round .22 boxes of spare ammo. My .22 is one of the SW 317’s and my other snubs are a SW 37 and a performance center 640 that ride in that ankle holster .....

SW 317 with 58 rounds as a backup or survival gun was my choice. It’s both minute of torso and or minute of bunny in a pinch.

I use CCI stingers that I run thru one of Paco Kelly’s accurizer tools ( available from Brownell’s or midway).... Makes a great rig.

Those are sweet looking matched pair.......

Stay safe !


4,002 posted on 03/12/2013 2:03:11 AM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: Squantos; g'nad; Ramius; osagebowman
Those are sweet looking matched pair.......

The newgun looks even better now that the factory grips are off, and the new Ahrend's cocobolo, like the first has, are on it.

I swear by the Paco Kelly stuff, if someone has the time and patience to do real research. I didn't know Brownells or Midway handled those items. Must go back and look again. Just segregating rounds by rim thickness can do a lot to improve accuracy, much less finding the favorite bullet diameter.

Oh, and this week is already starting with more weapons weirdness. The shop sent in one of their Kahr rental guns because the front light launched out into the great beyond. It's been back, and in use, for a few weeks now, with no comments from customers. One wanted to brag about how well it shot, and showed the target to the guy behind the counter.

All shots grouped well, but they were tumbling all over, hitting the target side-on. The oval holes were about 3x longer than the bullet, indicating they were tumbling wildly, and not just a gentle precession.

The gunsmith came out to look, and upon disassembly noticed there was no rifling in the barrel! While replace the sight, someone, for some ungodly reason, figured that an unrifled barrel was just what the doctor ordered. And people had been shooting it for a couple of weeks, without any comment.

Of course, I immediately jumped in the the class IT gag line, "that's not a bug, it's an undocumented feature". I cannot imagine why someone would keep unrifled barrels around, much less put it in a gun that just needed a front sight. However, they mentioned a brand-new, from-the-factory S&W 629 from a few years ago came in with an unrifled barrel. But these are not tiny errors. :)

4,003 posted on 03/12/2013 3:52:13 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: Squantos; osagebowman; g'nad; Ramius; ExGeeEye; JenB; TalonDJ
Well, I have a set of Ahrend's cocobolo grips on the new22. Luck of the draw, they're still better than the factory rubber ones. I would have liked them in a bit lighter shade, but that's the luck of the draw.

OTOH, the original rubber grips did not go quietly. For the simple loosening of a screw, it put up a hugh fight.The screw was loaded with Loctite Red, and torqued down with an impact wrench. I rounded the edges on three new Allen wrenches before the screw head itself was rounded.

I tried wrenches one-size-up, metric, and even a closely-matching Torqx wrench (all valid, but desperate measures). Nothing moved, except for me putting in a couple twists in the shaft of one hex wrench.

Now I was miffed, so I decided to use a pilot drill to cut through the screw head so I could separate the two halves. It looked like I was making progress, but had a long ways to go. With a nicely-centered pilot hold, I went with a regular drill that should have been enough to cut through the head. Got a bigger, more lop-sided hole, with half the head still intact.

I ratcheted-up the destruction another level, trying to see what I was up against. I don't know what Uncle Mike's (the OEM vendor of the grips) uses for rubber, but it was like trying to skin a rhino with a TSA-approved Swiss-army knife. Finally, I hacked enough away to see what I was up against, and then cut away enough material to grab the remaining part of the screw head (which I now saw as my salvation), and started to removed the screw a fraction of a turn at a time with needle-nose pliers. Here's the fruits of my victory over some $2 grips:

It was now 6AM, and after spending a minute putting the new grips on, I decided to declare victory, and go to bed. I have disassembled, tuned, Nano-lubed, and reassembled whole weapons with less time and effort than that. A pox on whoever decided to use that much red Loctite on those crappy grips. But at least I'll cherish even more the long and loving relationship with my new baby S&W. :)

4,004 posted on 03/14/2013 2:09:20 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Morning Win Mag - now that’s a stubborn screw..I wonder what the former owner was thinking..red lock-tite on a grip screw?. Kudos for your stick-to-itness on the project.

Found more brass,.processing commencing..guess I’ve grabbed up more brass from the range floor than I thought..Ah well, can’t have too much brass.


4,005 posted on 03/14/2013 9:37:06 AM PDT by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman; g'nad; Ramius; Squantos; TalonDJ; JenB
Morning Win Mag - now that’s a stubborn screw..I wonder what the former owner was thinking..red lock-tite on a grip screw?

That was done at the factory. It was definite overkill, but I had no problems with the grips on the first one. Maybe this was an extra-strong batch.

Although, I'm using blue Loctite on threads more often, and red, too. I've had grip screws starting to loosen after only a few hundred rounds fired.

Getting back to working with my newer handguns, here are the first-fire results from the Steyr M9, and the FNX-40.

The performance of the M9 with the Remington "disruptor" ammo (I know it's a Klingon term, but that's what keeps coming into my head) caused me a series rethinking of the defensive role of the right ammo with the right handgun. The Steyr, to me, is a nicer-handling, nicer-shooting version of a Glock. I'm trying to buy a new Steyr CxA in both 9mm and 40S&W.

The FNX-40 shows the results of the first magazine of standard 155gr .40S&W ball, although I'm looking for more "disruptor" in that caliber, too. My other .40s just struck me as meh, but with this handgun, they turned themselves into an easy-shooting, and fairly accurate combination. I admire the dual safety/decocker function, and what I suspect is a vey short trigger reset. I had no idea I could do so well with any .40S&W handgun. I might buy an FNX-9 just to round out the collection, if I ever see one. Magazine prices on FNs have doubled to about $45 in the last couple of months, but I managed to get a good supply of .40s already. The FNX-45 is new on the market, and I can't find any spare mags yet. The only reason I scored the .45 was because it was a special order, and the guy who ordered it backed out of the deal, so I bought it before it was put in the display case.

Now if I could just get some quality trigger time on the range, but that's in short supply on most days, with time limited to only 30 minutes, and that's after taking a number and waiting an hour. A lot of those new gun owners are on the range now, and are suddenly realizing that the box of ammo they bought with their new weapon just went downrange, and they need to think about buying a practical amount for the next time.

And I'm waiting for UPS to deliver my SiG P220 short-reset trigger kit. The SiG already gives near-instinctive double-taps already. Just a little twitch of the trigger finger as the round goes off, and you get another one. :)

4,006 posted on 03/15/2013 2:00:22 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Ordered a SRT kit for my P-226 Combat.... Wasn’t aware they had such... Thanks !


4,007 posted on 03/15/2013 7:46:43 AM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: Squantos; g'nad; osagebowman; Ramius; JenB; TalonDJ
More snippets of intel from the gun store. The biggest being two Glock 17 Gen4s arriving in today's shipment. Nothing out of the ordinary in one, but the other was marked "USA" rather than "Austria". Nobody there had ever heard a hint that Glock was now producing whole handguns (or at least the key components) in the US until they saw it. Domestic production saves them, and us, from any arbitrary and capricious BS from Customs or other government agencies.

Glock probably has enough assembly lines that they could afford to ship one here for domestic production, but I still applaud them for thinking ahead.

One thing still imported from Germany, which I was also unaware of until today, is the Walther PPS/K .22lr in stainless steel. It goes on my list of "must-haves" as part of my homage to great handguns, and great little .22s.

So it was a good day for recon, even if I didn't spend a cent.

4,008 posted on 03/16/2013 2:14:06 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
Just some more quick notes gathered on recent scouting trips.

One thing I'm noticing is that people who were lucky enough to buy the long-neglected EBR are starting to think more seriously about a proper system of defensive weapons. A carbine will be most useful under end-of-the-world conditions, but odds are a handgun will be needed more often before that ever happens. So now new gun owners are coming back to look at handguns.

Despite differences in prices, and quality, an AR15 is a pretty simple choice, and hard to go wrong. Handguns come in infinitely more varieties and prices ranges. A perfect choice for one person may be a poor one for another. It's an embarrassment of riches, best solved by having a friend, or gun dealer, that you trust.

After the sticker shock of buying an AR15, comes the even bigger shock that some handguns cost even more, with some people not even blinking when it comes to price. Others are looking at saving as much money as possible, while still being adequately armed. And lots of other reasons in between.

The important thing to remember is there is crap out there in all price ranges, as well as gems in all price ranges. A gem is a handgun that you have complete confidence in, is accurate and foolproof, and comfortable enough to encourage you to get plenty of trigger time without getting discouraged at your first attempts.

I'd like to mention a brand-new model that was announced at the 2013 SHOT Show in January, and just arrived at my favorite store. It's the Walther PPX, and offers Walther quality (and bragging rights) at an entry-level price of under $500.

It's an economy version of the Walther PPQ, and available in 9mm, .40S&W, stainless slide, and threaded-barrel options. The economy comes from extensive use of Pressed Powdered Metal parts, including barrel and slide. Plastic is plastic.

This new(er) technology allows exotic alloys to be pressed under high temperatures and a controlled atmosphere to produce near-net parts that may require no further machining.

I can't say any more about it, because handling one has been my closest contact. If you don't know what you're looking for, you may never notice it. And it's big enough, and ugly enough, to say it means business, especially if someone is on the wrong end of it.

I may own something like this some day, but if I was in for something that can get some vey series business done, it's one I'd look hard at before looking at Walthers, or other prestige brands, at twice the price.

4,009 posted on 03/17/2013 3:01:09 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: Squantos
Ordered a SRT kit for my P-226 Combat.... Wasn’t aware they had such... Thanks !

Did some more investigating. It turns out the P220 SRT kit is the same thing that comes from the factory on the "P220 Elite", which is what I already have. The only thing I changed on my Elite was the new "short trigger" that is more deeply curved, and sets further back in the trigger guard.

Another couple of months, and I'll have my Bar-Sto threaded barrel for the P220. Then all I'll need is a FFL trust, and a big pile of money for a can.

4,010 posted on 03/19/2013 3:25:50 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

I kinda like that little Walther. Would not mind adding one of those to my toy box. hmmm... Thanks for the update!


4,011 posted on 03/20/2013 3:55:17 PM PDT by Wneighbor (I don't know about the rest of y'all but we're celebrating Independence Day in Texas!)
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To: Wneighbor; osagebowman; Squantos; g'nad
I kinda like that little Walther. Would not mind adding one of those to my toy box. hmmm... Thanks for the update!

The guys at the gun store ordered two dozen (half for themselves), but expect them to trickle in a few at a time. Of course, they have first dibs for themselves. One of them said the workmanship (and probably the price) was equal to the "golden age" between the wars.

Meanwhile, here are the results of my first quick test of my S&W 43c in .22lr. It needs more break-in, and I can always use more practice. Still, for what I want it to do, it's already good to go.


4,012 posted on 03/21/2013 2:06:22 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag; g'nad

Now that PPS/K is on my short list too. Sure didn’t know that one was still out there. I know Bersa sold a bunch at my local LGS just for reason it LOOKED like one. I’d rather have the real deal any day.

I was visiting with owner of a nice LGS in the town north of theshire, he said that he takes anything that the wholesaler will send, same thing with ammo. He runs a CCW course at his mini-range, all the qualification is with .22 rimfire; when he gets a case of CCI SV he runs a class. Strange times indeed.


4,013 posted on 03/22/2013 7:18:08 AM PDT by osagebowman
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To: osagebowman
Now that PPS/K is on my short list too. Sure didn’t know that one was still out there.

I think the bright-polished stainless steel PPK/S is a brand-new product, especially in .22lr. There was a PPK/S (can't get the genuine PPK imported for mere citizens) in brush-finished stainless in .380 for a long time.

I can't claim any political prescience in my policy of buying in bulk if and only if I can achieve significant savings. It was just plain economics, as used to be taught even in high school. And I started before the regime worked down its list to hope-and-change-ify firearms.

Nobody should stand for demonization (or snitching) because you desire a case of ammo to go with your AR15 and Glock. A government that won't explain the purchase orders for 1.6 Billion rounds of police-type ammunition over and above their justifiable purchases for "the usual" agencies should just STFU when it comes to classifying its subjects as "stockpilers, hoarders, mongers, preppers, survivalists, militia, and religious extremists".

4,014 posted on 03/22/2013 6:19:09 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: Ramius; g'nad; osagebowman; Lost Dutchman; Squantos; Corin Stormhands; JenB; TalonDJ; ExGeeEye; ...
Today is a special April Fool's edition of Saturday Night Gun Pron, which in much of the country means a new blast of arctic air for another two weeks. Around here, we had sunny skies, and temperatures reaching almost 50 for Saturday and Sunday. As usual, the first home game for the Tigers will probably be called on account of glaciation.

My daily visits to the gun shop produced a few surprises. One, someone traded in a new-NIB FN FiveseveN with eight boxes of blue-tip ammo, asking $1450 for the whole package. It sold online in less than 12 hours. The surprising thing is that someone bought the handgun with the likely assumption that those 400 rounds will be the only ammo he will ever see for his new purchase.

Otherwise, nobody knows where the 5.7x28 ammo went, unless this is DiFi's secret revenge she was promised. Also bread-and-butter FMJ ammo in any caliber is almost impossible to find, as is rimfire ammo. You can find high-performance defense ammo in reasonable quantities, although at what is now considered unreasonable prices. $20-a-box FMJ seemed expensive, until it disappeared altogether.

Second, interesting items continue to trickle in. This came into my possession the second they slapped their inventory bar code on the box, and before they even made up the sales tag.

I'm starting to develop a fondness for .22WMR, and definitely for the 30-round un-PC magazine this Kel-Tec PMR-30 uses. I just have to be patient (as opposed to panicky) in searching for ammo and magazines.

As the sales guy said while doing all the federal and state paperwork, "as a defensive weapon, it has some unique benefits. If you miss, the bad guy is still deaf and on fire."

4,015 posted on 04/01/2013 12:41:49 AM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag

Evening Win-Mag, nicely done, although I haven’t shot the Kel-Tec .22 Mag, I’ve been on the range when one has been shot in the next booth. It is loud and zips out a pretty good flash, not excessive but certainly respectable for “just a .22”.

Those are far and few between at gunshows round these parts. Until recently the .22 Mag was reasonably available at the local shops but, alas, it has gone the way of .22 LR and 9mm.


4,016 posted on 04/01/2013 3:53:04 PM PDT by osagebowman
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To: 300winmag
If you miss, the bad guy is still deaf and on fire."

Had me LOL'ing on the floor... :-)

4,017 posted on 04/01/2013 6:18:37 PM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?)
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To: osagebowman
Until recently the .22 Mag was reasonably available at the local shops but, alas, it has gone the way of .22 LR and 9mm.

Such is the way of almost all ammo, and most guns. Despite branches of state security purchasing several years worth of high-performance defensive ammo, nobody, including casual plinkers, can find common FMJ. If you look hard enough, and pay enough, you can buy reasonable amounts of premium ammo at premium prices. Even state security apparently no longer buys FMJ for practice, but plans on using "the expensive stuff".

Now while money is no problem for the government, where did all the FMJ go? Where did all the rimfire ammo (built with different tooling on different assembly lines) go?

With the firearms/ammo industry running at full capacity, and increased profitability, since 2009, the 0bama-shocks of late 2012-2013 could not have added enough new gun owners to have emptied out the stores so completely so quickly. Or there is much more to the story than millions of people, including existing gun owners, must have an AR15 that otherwise was not a priority item, until everyone sensed the item would be banned, if possible.

4,018 posted on 04/01/2013 6:48:11 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: osagebowman
Oh, and while walking through the regional equivalent of Wally World, I passed through their "outdoor" department. Since the store is close to Detroit, Meijers, along with Wally World, sell only a token amount of ammo, and no firearms.

Their ammo inventory consisted of NO rimfire, NO handgun ammo, and NO rifle ammo, except for a dozen boxes of .270 Winchester. Shotshells were in better supply, with 20-30 boxes of all gauges and shot weights.

I have more than that on a shelf in my ammo closet.

4,019 posted on 04/01/2013 7:00:22 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: Ramius; osagebowman; g'nad; Squantos; TalonDJ
Maybe I should include these reports under a new title: Ammo Trek. Things are starting to stabilize at the "little bit of this, little bit of that" level, much like shopping for food, clothes, or toilet paper in the USSR.

I had a bit of extra time, so I visited the semi-local Gander Mountain, which I consider a fourth-tier supplier of my needs. My expectations were vey low, just hoping for some MTM ammo boxes, and maybe some .22WMR ammo. NO expectation of any firearms worthy of even a first glance.

As with the 0bama regime, low expectations were too optimistic. No rimfire ammo, No centerfire rifle ammo except a few boxes in the classic-old -time hunting calibers of .270, 30-30, etc. No ammo for Modern Sporting Rifles. No centerfire handgun ammo except for everyday classics like .460S&W, .500S&W, etc. However, the shrunken gun department had tons of shotgun shells in every imaginable load (except assorted brands of buckshot).

I also noticed that they no longer have a section titled "Tactical Firearms", known here now as MSRs (Modern Sporting Rifles). Except for a CZ-xx and Mossberg high-power sporting rifles with price tags of $2600 and $7500 respectively. The Mossberg bolt action sporting rifle included a gigantic, and justifiably expensive, Leupold scope on it.

They were obviously having time selling those last two TFs. I was tempted to make them a cash offer, just so they don't have to carry the cost of non-selling inventory, but I don't think anybody in the store had the authority to refer me to someone further up the corporate chain, much less comprehend what I was offering.

Still, it wasn't a totally dud day. I stopped by at my usual spending grounds to try out the PMR-30 the first time. Since my total "stockpile" of .22WMR is about 200 rounds ("nobody needs that much, even with four handguns in that caliber"), I decided to load both 30-round magazines, one with pricey Winchester Defender, the other with ancient CCI .22WMR. The good news is that the weapon shoots like a dream, with almost no recoil (as opposed to a bit of muzzle rise in my S&W lightweight snubbie), and considering my handgun skills, phenomenally accurate from the first magazine.

As usual, the first time out, I spend all my effort trying to "read" what the weapon wants or needs for better performance. The muzzle blast from the Winchesters filled up my entire field of view, while the CCI had a bit heavier recoil (still almost negligible), and a fireball only about three feet across.

The not-so-great part is I had tons of FTFs with both magazines, and both ammo. This would be an easy issue to fix with extra-power magazine springs, except they don't exist. So I can also try different brands and weights of ammo, if I can ever find any. And more analysis and use of Nano-lube to reduce friction even more. I also expect the very consistent 3.5lb trigger pull to level out at about three pounds.

Maybe I need that PMR-30 threaded barrel (NOT intended for suppressors), just to put a high-performance flash hider so I don't blind myself at night. :)

4,020 posted on 04/04/2013 8:16:06 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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