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Shot the old girls today
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March 20, 2024 - 10:30 pm
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I took all three ‘new’ old rifles to the range, only brought back two! My best friend / brother-from-another-mother expressed serious interest in the rifles I just won so I sold him the more correct M47, as I plan to just make a shooter out of the one that’s already modified. Before we even shot it he said this one’s going home with me! I think the stock on it is cherry, it is gorgeous in the sunlight!

All the rifles functioned perfectly other than a couple FTF’s or duds in his M47. The M47 and M57 I’m keeping performed 100%. I just need to get the sights sorted out with a globe front on one of them to see how my old eyeballs manage. It was a BLAST shooting these old rifles; I don’t know why but it amazes me that 76 and 97 year old rifles could perform flawlessly. He wants the M57 now, he may get lucky if the M75 Target in transit is pretty decent…maybe…

The icing on the cake for vintage gun enthusiasts: his brand new, never-shot Savage B22 would not load rounds from the mags. What a dumb idea to put rotary mags in a bolt action.

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March 20, 2024 - 11:55 pm
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ShawnN said
What a dumb idea to put rotary mags in a bolt action.

Shawn,  you need to get your hands on a Mannlicher-Schoenauer.

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March 21, 2024 - 12:16 am
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clarence said

ShawnN said

What a dumb idea to put rotary mags in a bolt action.

Shawn,  you need to get your hands on a Mannlicher-Schoenauer.

  

This brings up the memory of a rifle I had quite a while back – a Mossberg of all things.  It was the RM-7 model in .30-06.  It was quite a quality well-built rifle.  It had the Swedish Kongsberg rotary magazine.  It fed cartridges just fine.  These are almost never seen for sale.  I think it was available very briefly – 1979/1980 I believe.  

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March 21, 2024 - 12:26 am
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Glad to hear the range trip went well, Shawn. Shooting these old Winchesters is an important part of collecting for many of us.

 

 

Mike

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March 21, 2024 - 7:21 pm
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TXGunNut said
Glad to hear the range trip went well, Shawn. Shooting these old Winchesters is an important part of collecting for many of us.

 

 

Mike

  

Second that. It’s SO much easier to understand history once you’ve handled, loaded, and shot ANY Winchester repeater. Rimfire, centerfire, lever, pump, bolt or automatic – it don’t matter none!

In Oklahoma Territory north of the Red river, the old ad slogan for the “Improved Henry” really resonated: 

“[so armed] A RESOLUTE MAN, PARTICULARLY IF ON HORSEBACK, CANNOT BE CAPTURED!

Firing off a whole magazine from any Winchester 22 repeater can’t help but put you in a box canyon, holding off a war party of the terrible Lords of the Plains. You’re sweating and counting your ammunition, saving one for yourself before you run out. 

A Winchester 22 is a time traveling machine and a stress reliever. And cheaper than a psychiatrist. 

- Bill 

 

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March 22, 2024 - 1:28 am
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Firing off a whole magazine from any Winchester 22 repeater can’t help but put you in a box canyon, holding off a war party of the terrible Lords of the Plains. You’re sweating and counting your ammunition, saving one for yourself before you run out. 

  

Don’t tell my wife but this is why I NEED a 22 lever gun…! And…I am resolute about it…

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March 22, 2024 - 1:36 am
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ShawnN said Don’t tell my wife but this is why I NEED a 22 lever gun…! And…I am resolute about it…

Seriously?  Than there’s only one choice if you want the best:  a Marlin Model 39.

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March 22, 2024 - 1:50 am
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clarence said

ShawnN said Don’t tell my wife but this is why I NEED a 22 lever gun…! And…I am resolute about it…

Seriously?  Than there’s only one choice if you want the best:  a Marlin Model 39.

  

Or, 

 

Winchester-M1873-22-short-2.jpgImage Enlarger

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March 22, 2024 - 2:02 am
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Big Larry said Or, 
 

Winchester-M1873-22-short-2.jpgImage Enlarger 

You’re right about that, Larry.  However, it didn’t occur to me he’d be quite THAT “resolute”! 

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March 22, 2024 - 2:05 am
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Big Larry said

clarence said

ShawnN said Don’t tell my wife but this is why I NEED a 22 lever gun…! And…I am resolute about it…

Seriously?  Than there’s only one choice if you want the best:  a Marlin Model 39.

  

Or, 

 

Winchester-M1873-22-short-2.jpgImage Enlarger

  

THAT would definitely do the trick! But yeah, I’d shoot a 39! Heck I want a new Winchester Ranger when they come out…go ahead, let me have it…

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March 22, 2024 - 2:33 am
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There’s something about those bolt action .22’s. We don’t get to see that level of quality and workmanship in similar guns today. The old sporters shoot nearly as well as the target models and the 47’s and 67’s are hard to beat for introducing young shooters to the sport. Matter of fact, my 67A Junior is hanging out in Houston waiting for my great nephews and niece to show an interest in shooting. I have a couple of very nice 9422’s around here for trade bait but my 1892 in 32WCF costs about the same to shoot as a rimfire these days, 38WCF only a little more. 

 

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March 22, 2024 - 3:47 am
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TXGunNut said
There’s something about those bolt action .22’s. We don’t get to see that level of quality and workmanship in similar guns today. The old sporters shoot nearly as well as the target models and the 47’s and 67’s are hard to beat for introducing young shooters to the sport. Matter of fact, my 67A Junior is hanging out in Houston waiting for my great nephews and niece to show an interest in shooting. I have a couple of very nice 9422’s around here for trade bait but my 1892 in 32WCF costs about the same to shoot as a rimfire these days, 38WCF only a little more. 

 

Mike

  

My very self!  I remember distinctly the day I disassembled a 47A Boy’s rifle and a 9422 so I could get both of them, swaddled in shorts, T-shirts and socks, into an aluminum suitcase for a flight to Seattle.  My two grandsons (11 and 8) and the older one’s girl twin, were the donees.  A Model 59 and a Browning Auto-5/20 had already made the trip.  They’ve already seen the utility of a gun in wild places. Their Dad used the 59 to run off a large Black bear and her yearling cubs who were raiding the henhouse. A warning slug into the nearby embankment was all it took. Fortunately, for son and bear. 

Their family home shares a property line with a state Wildlife Preserve that has a very large and healthy bear population. Yes, you can lawfully kill one of those bears in self defense but you’d best have some bite and claw marks to show the Investigator. 

- Bill 

 

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March 22, 2024 - 3:47 am
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I’d love to have vintage 22 and 32 caliber lever guns. I have a Rossi M92 357, 24″ octagon rifle and a Marlin 1894FG 41 mag. I bought my wife a Ruger SP101 in 327 mag several years back, intending to get a large frame revolver and a lever action. I got all set up to load various 32 calibers, bought gobs of bullets and brass and now, other than a single-six style single action (not a huge fan) it is impossible to find a revolver worthy of shooting (reasonably priced) in that caliber. Not to mention the Henry levers are pretty expensive for a gun that would just be a range toy.

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March 22, 2024 - 1:31 pm
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Zebulon said  Their Dad used the 59 to run off a large Black bear and her yearling cubs who were raiding the henhouse. A warning slug into the nearby embankment was all it took. Fortunately, for son and bear. 

#8 shot far more effective, & used in some national parks to discourage problem bears; no serious harm done to bear if shot fired at 25+ yds, & you’d be damn lucky to get that close before bear runs off at speed of a greyhound.  I’ve done, or tried to do, this many times to black bears that raid my bird-feeders in spring, but big problem is getting out the door & in position to fire before they take off like a rocket. 

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March 22, 2024 - 3:34 pm
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clarence said

Zebulon said  Their Dad used the 59 to run off a large Black bear and her yearling cubs who were raiding the henhouse. A warning slug into the nearby embankment was all it took. Fortunately, for son and bear. 

#8 shot far more effective, & used in some national parks to discourage problem bears; no serious harm done to bear if shot fired at 25+ yds, & you’d be damn lucky to get that close before bear runs off at speed of a greyhound.  I’ve done, or tried to do, this many times to black bears that raid my bird-feeders in spring, but big problem is getting out the door & in position to fire before they take off like a rocket. 

  

Unfortunately, this incident took place at less than 10 yards and mama bear was engaged in ripping the hen into pieces for her chillun.  There are bears of several sizes and in that area they grow large on plentiful food and do not fear humans nearly enough.  This female probably weighed at least 350 and 500 pound males are not uncommon in the Preserve. She had no intention to leave until the 12 gauge muzzle blast convinced her. The slug loads were not intended to just frighten but to spare my man from being mauled. A female Black with cubs is a different, unpredictable animal.

In 2010, a local city councilman went to retrieve his newspaper at the downslope mail drop and lost an eye and the use of an arm because he inadvertently got too close to a cub. 

- Bill 

 

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March 22, 2024 - 3:40 pm
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I saw a ~500lb black bear while driving out of Cades Cove in the Smokey Mtn’s. We had just seen an adolescent up close then a couple miles up the road I came around a curve and there was a big boy standing facing me on the opposite side of the road. He turned and shot back down the hill but I told my wife I would NOT like walking out my back door and seeing that guy standing there!

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March 22, 2024 - 7:18 pm
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ShawnN said
I saw a ~500lb black bear while driving out of Cades Cove in the Smokey Mtn’s. We had just seen an adolescent up close then a couple miles up the road I came around a curve and there was a big boy standing facing me on the opposite side of the road. He turned and shot back down the hill but I told my wife I would NOT like walking out my back door and seeing that guy standing there!

  

I don’t doubt it. We drove through Cade’s Cove in early Spring of 2019 and saw several large Black bears digging for roots and such. The big lone males seemed tolerant of tourists, some of whom got foolishly close to take photos.

My understanding of the Tennessee/Carolina bears is they have grown large on large scale soybean and other nutritious crop farming. The record boar in Pennsylvania was over 800 pounds some years ago now.

The prewar norm was under 200 pounds, I think, and I remember Winchester ads listing the .30 WCF as suitable for “deer and black bear.”  That would still work, I’d guess (I’ve never hunted bears) but I’d be happier with a 30/06! 

- Bill 

 

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March 22, 2024 - 7:32 pm
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I have never craved bear meat nor do I need a rug or wall covering, so the big-boy bears like I saw can keep on “doing their thing” in the woods and I’ll leave them be! But yes, if face to face with one like I saw I’d want plenty of firepower!! And fresh shorts…

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March 23, 2024 - 12:42 am
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When deer hunting in the western slopes of Colorado, I was aware there were bears there. In addition to my 30-30 M1894 SRC or M1892 44-40, I carried a 8 3/8″ M29 S&W loaded with full power loads. One cannot be too careful when bears are involved. All the years hunting there, I never saw one. Just tracks. Father in Law was too paranoid I guess.   Big Larry

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March 23, 2024 - 2:26 pm
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Big Larry said
When deer hunting in the western slopes of Colorado, I was aware there were bears there. In addition to my 30-30 M1894 SRC or M1892 44-40, I carried a 8 3/8″ M29 S&W loaded with full power loads. One cannot be too careful when bears are involved. All the years hunting there, I never saw one. Just tracks. Father in Law was too paranoid I guess.   Big Larry

  

That there is an amazingly pleasant sentence to read.

Carrying a Winchester ’94 or ’92… hunting deer on the western slopes of Colorado… with bear sign about…   

That is living plenty large!  I envy the memories.

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