Monday 29 June 2015

Shooting Costs - Try TRIDENT Nukes!

I have just spent slightly under NZ$400 on a "Trail Cam" to try remedy a security issue at my place - I get ticked-off by my 'ex' for overspending on my shooting interests,

- Well, it is the same calibre as my Glock17.

 - but this latest spend on a Moultrie M-880i  - a movement activated camera with invisible night-time infra-red flash - should be a worthwhile expenditure .. I'll report back in due course.
M-880i Gen.2

I Doubt It Will Be Seen At Night.
(- It's Close To Centre.)

- But this is a waste of money ...

While "Austerity" seems to be a catch phrase around UK and Europe - how about the British taxpayers forking-out 151 Million pounds for new plumbing in Buckingham Palace - and then 5.7 BILLION Pounds for 're-doing' the Westminster Houses of Parliament?

Barely-Afloat Britain (No "Great" about it any more) - is also debating whether they should spend 25 BILLION POUNDS on updating their Trident missile nuclear submarine fleet (only four subs armed with 65 Trident II D-5 missiles leased from America ) - What a deal, Mrs Thatcher.
- I hear that they have to 'phone America first for permission to fire one!

- The SNP, Scottish National Party, wisely says that the government should show some initiative and go nuclear-free and save the money for more pressing needs. - Their current missiles and submarines are based in Scotland.

- Now I'm not going to bore you with my pacifist wishes (to live 'till I die) - but I see that it's very nearly the 30th anniversary (31 July 1985) of when the BBC finally - after 20 years - allowed their Academy Award Winning Best Documentary Feature .. "THE WAR GAME" to be shown on TV.

Made for the BBC by Peter Watkins in 1965, "The War Game" is a fifty minute 'docu-drama' about what it would be like in 'Nuclear Power UK' if they were attacked by nuclear weapons.

For twenty years the BBC accepted government pressure and prevented people from seeing what modern warfare would be like .. If you watch it you will understand why the UK Government (and the BBC) thought that it was too strong for the inmates (oops- that's 'citizens') to watch.

One of UKs Four Vanguard Ballistic Missile Platforms
 - Based at Clyde West of Glasgow.

You may be able to see the program on the internet - certainly it is still available as a DVD. - Strong stuff.

- What's that adage about "treating people like mushrooms - keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit."

Marty K.

P.S. Here's a thought - If they do decide to re-build 'The Houses Of Parliament' - they should re-locate all the M.Ps and staff up to the SELLAFIELD Nuclear site and make them attend the debating chamber there for at least 40 hours every week. - I bet that they'd then sort-out the waste nuclear materials, critical fuel rods, and leaking storage tanks etc. within days!
Marty K.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Kiwi Character - Barry Crump:

Barry Crump was born in Auckland in 1935 and spent many years working in the New Zealand 'Bush' as a government deer culler - living rough and shooting red-deer as pests.

He came to fame - "World Famous - in New Zealand" after writing his first book "A GOOD KEEN  MAN" in 1960 - a humorous auto-biographical novel telling of his life experiences.

More funny novels followed - twenty-three all up - including 'Hang On A Minute Mate' and 'Bastards I Have Met'. - Both his book characters and his own public face were 'blokey' and he began to appear on television in Toyota adverts. for their rugged 4WD Hi-Lux vehicles

Barry Crump died in 1996.

Marty K.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

"Trick"? Shooting - Skill:

When young Phoebe Ann Mosey met and married Frank Butler in 1876 she might have become Mrs. Butler -but she actually changed her name to Annie Oakley.

Born in 1860 to a Quaker family in Darke County, Ohio -  'Annie' had a hard early life being temporally fostered-out aged ten to a family that treated her harshly. When still at home she began trapping very young and by age eight she was hunting and shooting game - that she sold so successfully that her earnings helped to pay-off the family farm mortgage.

She met her future Irish immigrant husband Frank by outshooting him in a shooting match and they married one year later - the pair performed together for the rest of their lives - splitting playing cards and using a mirror to shoot over her shoulder at glass balls tossed by Frank - joining the Buffalo Bills Wild West  show in 1885.

In 1884 Annie had hit 943 tossed glass balls out of a 1,000 - using a Stevens .22". - in 1901 Oakley was badly injured in a train crash and temporally paralysed - but she recovered and could still hit 25 airborne pennies in a row with a rifle when aged 62.

Annie was once quoted as saying: "I would like to see every woman know how to handle firearms as naturally as they know how to handle babies." - It is claimed that she taught more than 15,000 women how to shoot over her career. - She disliked her skill at arms being called "Trick Shooting" ..

"When a man hits a target they call him a marksman. When I hit a target, they call it a trick. - Never did like that much."

This petit 100 pound five foot girl was sweet tempered and lived, still performing, to be sixty-five.

Aged 62 in 1922.

- Husband of fifty years - Frank was so grieved by Annies death that he stopped eating and died himself 18 days later.


Marty K.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Gun-Powders - Different Colored Chemical Mixes:

Gun-Powder was not called Black-Powder until very late in its history - to delineate it from the new smokeless powders which were sometimes referred-to as 'white-powder' - (poudre blanche). - Before that it was just 'gunpowder'.

 - However both breeds of propellant were in reality coloured a dark grey - and that colouring remains even with Green-Powder  - which refers to a dry blended mix of gun-powder that has not been intimately milled and incorporated while moist.

Brown prismatic powder - also called Cocoa-Powder was developed using much reduced levels of sulphur - and charcoal that was under-charred and made from rye straw - to slow the powder to a more progressive burn - for very large diameter ordnance.

There are other variants of the old gun-powders - still using 'saltpeter' (- potassium nitrate) as an oxygen supply base.

 - One version is also referred to as "White-powder" - being a mix of potassium nitrate and sugar - while another has added ferric oxide ("rust") and is called Red-Powder.

Then there are other black-powder 'substitutes' that are called 'Golden-Powder'. - Again these use potassium nitrate (same as in Black-powder) but here it is blended and mixed with Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) in a 60 / 40 ratio - instead of the dirty charcoal and sulphur.

Golden-Powder is a very clean burning propellant and its use is said to actually clean a muzzle-loaders barrel while still working very efficiently to drive a projectile. - Dry mixed 'G-P' will be white -whereas wet mixed and then incorporated by heat it becomes 'gold' coloured.

Earl 'Skip' Kurtz has made several attempts to commercially market his particular formulation of Golden-Powder starting in the 1980s. He doesn't seem to have enjoyed much luck - and I have read reports of two manufacturing explosions. - I first learned of his work with this variation in a 1989 Gun Digest that I recently bought on-line.

 - For internet information try: Gold Powder Google Groups.

A further variation found is Crimson-Powder that is a Potassium nitrate/ Ascorbic-Acid/ Iron-Oxide mixture.

Crimson Powder (compared with ffg BP)

Moving away from "black-powders" - "Poudre-Brugere" is an ammonium picrate explosive (pink or yellow), - as are 'Dunnite' and 'Explosive D' - all early variants of alternative "black-powder" - that was much used in WW1.

Development of these possibly superior formulations for muzzle-loading was hindered by the fact that the modern synthetic nitrocellulose 'Smokeless Powders' came to fill all the needs of metallic cartridge firearms - while the muzzle-loading fraternity are a small market commercially - and many 'smoke-pole' shooters actually like all the hands-on smoke clouds and greasy grime!

Many of the alternative types of saltpetre based powders appear on-line as do-it-yourself projects - but before you plan to have a go - consider that black-powder burns at 2,138 centigrade - which is a higher temperature than the melting point of both bronze and iron - as used in cannon barrels

 - and that the black-powder combustion products (- 44% gas and 56% solids) - when hot - take-up 3,600 times as much space as the volume of the original powder and can produce a pressure of 20 tons per square inch in a closed container.


There's Nothing New

 ..  In Ferrara in 1523 - an ordnance was passed outlawing muzzle-loading wheel-locks as "an especially dangerous kind of firearms ... with which a homicide can easily be committed."

- I've tried to write about this without giving any formula or instructions - for more information try ..

 "Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics: The History of The Explosive that Changed the World" by Jack Kelly.

"Do it Yourself Gunpowder Cookbook" by Don McLean.

Marty K.

Friday 19 June 2015

Walch 12 Shot Percussion Revolver:

Being again bored by the T.V. - I picked-up my paperback copy of  'Guns of the Old West' by Chapel - and came across the brief entry for the 1859 Walch percussion revolver.

 12 nipples for capping gives the clue that the cylinder is long for a reason.

 - Two hammers and ..
Two Triggers too.
Load each chamber with powder and a .36" bullet - preferably a tight fitted one - then do it again.
- Cap each of the twelve tubes or 'nipples' then when ready - you may cock both of the hammers. A continuous pull causes the front (right-hand) trigger to fire the front charge and ball - then the second (left) trigger squeezed fires the rearward charge/ball in the same chamber.
- Repeat the double cocking five more times to fire all superposed  balls in a controlled aimed sequence - that's twelve shots.
Built in 1859 and 1860 - only some 200 were made by the Union Knife Company(12 shot) & J P Lindsay (10 shot Pocket Model) for John Walch. - The ten shot revolver was in .31" calibre - made in greater numbers - some 2 / 3 thousand perhaps?.
Walch 10 shot Pocket Model has a 'spur' trigger
- that is pressed twice?
These guns were expensive, low powered, liable to multiple discharge, and prone to corrosion due the difficulty of cleaning the drillings properly.
Walch Chamber Detail.
Drawing shows one chamber and the flash-paths. The bullet h details the grease groove that was meant to compress and squeeze-out the grease when rammed - sealing against accidental double discharge.
It didn't always work as planned .. maybe a good wad would be effective in a modern stainless steel copy - how about it  Uberti, - Ruger?
Marty K.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

STEN Sub-Machine Gun Found In UK Home:

The British tabloid DAILY MAIL reported on June 16 that builders working on the home of recently dead 99 year old Eileen Burgoyne found - amid a cache of weapons - "bullets, documents, and a STEN-GUN" - a WW2 9mm submachine gun .

Eileen Burgoyne.

Police Guard Outside the House where She Lived.
Neighbours said that it was thought locally that reclusive linguist Eileen had been a wartime spy and worked for MI 5 when serving between 1945 and 1953.
- What is truly amazing is how England has escaped from a major disaster resulting from this dangerous un-licenced machine-gun being in the community for the last sixty-two years !!
- Just goes to show .. mustn't grumble eh.
Marty K.
P.S. Isn't it a shame that so many of these wartime heroines & heroes have passed without telling us their stories.
Hickok45 plus STEN
.. Watch the 'Close-up' and 'Woods Walk' Clips Too.

The blow-back operated STEN name is an acronym  from the weapons designers Major Reginald V Shepherd and Harold Turpin and EN for Enfield (- Royal Small-Arms Factory Enfield.) - Although STENs were also built in many different plants worldwide - including Europe & overseas, Canada, Australia (Austen), and by Radio Corporation New Zealand.


Tuesday 16 June 2015

Antique Ring-Guns - 'Dyson' and 'Riverboat Special' :

There wasn't much factual information to be found 'on-line' about these novelty pepper-box revolvers .. Manually rotated then cocked by the larger lever and fired by the smaller?:

French made Bague Le Petit Protector ring-guns - be careful what you buy.

- Seemingly made in the nineteenth century for both 2mm and 4mm calibre pin-fire cartridges.

Companion Set - Guns in both calibres.
-'His & Hers'

There may (or may not) also have been a 5mm production called the Dyson LePetit :

Note: See STOP PRESS below !

- I know nothing!

- Some entries describe the Dyson LePetit as a .22" calibre but pictures still show a pin-fire cartridge.

One site mentions that there were various 'Continental' rip-offs made in both Belgium and Germany **.

- A further comment is that these wee guns got hot when fired repeatedly! - personally they don't seem very practical to me even as a "knuckle-duster" - a sure way to break your fingers on a hard object (or burn them) - however that might be better than shooting yourself in a tender part eh.

** Try England !

STOP PRESS: I have traced the "Dyson" guns as modern, current production, - to England !

Peter Dyson & Son Ltd, 3 Cuckoo Lane, Honley, HOLMFIRTH, Yorkshire, HD9 6AS, UK.
Tel: 01484 661062

They make and sell various black-powder supplies and reproduction guns - their web-site currently advertises their reproduction "hand-made nickel-silver ring-gun" for 1,750 pounds.

'antiqued' - Picture From Dysons UK Web Site.

 - An honest copy of a different style - The Riverboat Special - is being made in USA by Francis Lebeda (Lebeda Engineering - Iowa City?). He has posted a blank firing demo on Youtube

- that's all folks,

Marty K.

Monday 15 June 2015

Now The SMALLEST Revolver - XYTHOS:

I enjoyed finding-out about the worlds most powerful and largest revolver(s) - See my blog post 21st April 2015.. 'Worlds Most Powerful Revolver - 600 Nitro-Express'.

- But wait - now we present the worlds smallest (about 1.75 inches long) working revolver - The XYTHOS Miniature 2mm calibre pin-fire revolver. - Made by Andres & Dworsky of Karlstein, Austria who are/were clock makers from 1903 onwards (lots of 'cuckoo-clocks').

 I must have lead a sheltered life until now - or else they just haven't yet arrived down here in NZ.

2mm Pin-fire Blanks

- There's even Youtube footage on these cute little cap guns:

 I'd like to find one !

Uh-Oh - I bet they are a banned import. -  There is some information on-line at

On The Other Hand !
SwissMiniGun C1ST Revolver may well be a far superior gun to claim that it is the worlds smallest - except its nominal calibre is larger at 2.34mm. Their rim-fire cartridges
and their revolvers are superbly made works of art ..
- and it is hard to see just how small it is above - but the next image shows it ..
- Custom -Built to order - the C1ST rim-fire cartridge achieves 400 foot per second and the wee revolver measures 5.5cm long (less than 2.2 inchs).

This double-action miniature revolver is recognised by Guinness World Records as the worlds smallest fully working revolver. - these are BIG money. Modelled on the Colt Python - one of these (basic model) would cost around US$7,000 without any diamonds or gold plating - but note that these are a banned import into USA. (- The Xythos revolvers are built as blank firing guns.)
Going up in scale ! - you'd have to admire the antique Kolibri 2.7mm calibre centre-fire semi-auto pistols that date from a 1910 patent and were released for sale in 1914 by watchmaker Franz Pfannl and his business partner Georg Grabner. - One entry that I read claimed that Grabner designed the Kolibri.
That's a .45"acp round in shot for scale
The Kolibri magazine holds 5 rounds of the centre-fire primer-only cartridges that manage to launch the 3gn bullets at 650 foot per second from its smooth bore barrel.
Kolibri Cartridge between two .22" rounds
- with a 9mm for scale.

These Kolibris were made in a factory in Donau, Austria and sold as real concealable, purse guns at a time when small calibre handguns were in fashion (1900s). 

Marty K.
After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Saturday 13 June 2015

Kiwi Scott Dixon Shoots Two Six-Guns in Texas:

After his Firestone 600 Indy Car win at Fort Worth Texas on June 6 - Good Old Kiwi boy Scott Dixon celebrates 'Texas Style'. - his average speed for the race: 191.90 mph.

Hells Bells - I can remember when he was a kid 'Go-Cart' racing in Gods-own!

- I expect that he was firing blanks ..(with the six shooters eh)

Marty K.

Musical Targets:

In the Olden Days - tabloid newspapers used to suffer an occasional "slow news day" and would run a headline about "man bites dog" or "stripper burns bra".

 - Here is an equally pointless video clip about tuned 'musical' steel plates and a .22" rifle ..

Marty K.

Thursday 11 June 2015

Prince Rupert Of The Rhine - Ballistic Celebrity:

Introducing Prince Rupert (1619-1682), soldier, crack pistol shot, experienced naval commander, Senior Admiral of the Royal Navy, scientist, - and "gun-nut" - a true celebrity.
Rupert - Hero and Villain.
- it was said that his dog had more haircuts than he!

If you want a 'Hero' this is your man .. a quick thinking fighting man - cavalry, Privateer, Admiral of the RN - and a bit of a lad with the ladies. - Founding member of The Royal Society, inventor of "stuff"!

  Rupert Island in Canada is named for his time as the first Governor of The Hudsons Bay Company.

Inventor of an advanced 'cannon' named 'Rupertinoe'  - that was an annealed and lathe turned accurate cannon with only 3% windage clearance between the bore and projectiles. - He cast the guns in his foundry at Windsor Castle and three naval ships ( Royal Oak, Royal James, & Royal Charles) were armed with his expensive Rupertinoes.
HMS Royal Charles

- he also invented  a gun that fired multiple rounds at high speed, a handgun with rotating barrels, - a form of gunpowder said to be ten times more powerful when tested, - 'Princes Metal' also known as 'Bristol Brass' for ordnance manufacture,  a torpedo and a diving engine for wreck salvage work.

Actress Margret Hughes - Ruperts Partner in later life.
Boye - Ruperts Hairy Dog
Boye was given to Prince Rupert to be company when he was imprisoned during the Thirty Years War - You might guess that even his dog has an interesting life story and its own Wikipedia page!
With his Dog and Pistol

A Cannon at Windsor Castle.
 - I can't detail enough about Prince Rupert - but well worth your time to read his Wikipedia entry.
- Look, if you're a "visual learner" you can even Youtube him for a bit of comedy!
Marty K.

P.S. Pity that this 'Celeb.' has little connection with New Zealand eh - but we hadn't been "discovered" yet.(except maybe by the Maoris).

Wednesday 10 June 2015

BOBERG XR9-L - A 'Bullpup' Pistol:

I spent a couple of hours last Sunday morning at the 'Outdoor Market' held weekly at the Riccarton Racecourse.
- An interesting place with live musicians, stalls selling foods, clothing, craft-goods, antiques (junk) and old tools. - It seems to be popular with tourists, "poms" (that's me) - and asians of all sorts .. we enjoy the hunt and bargaining over the prices.

I bought some organic veggies - spinach and carrots complete with attached soil, a take-away Egyptian Kushari meal (yummie) - and a couple of pre-loved books.

One of the books I bought is 'Guns Illustrated 2009'  - cost me all of $6. - well worth it and I spotted the reference to Boberg appearing at the 2008 SHOT Show on page 22. - This set me off on researching these sub-compact semi-autos - and I really liked what I learnt.

- Seems these Bobergs are the brain-child of American Arne Boberg who made his first handgun at the age of fourteen (- and it is a well made piece too).

Different Magazine - Doesn't even need a Spring Follower.
Seven Shot Capacity (7+1)

These production guns are a sort of "bull-pup" semi-auto pistol that uses a backwards magazine feed system whereby the cartridges are loaded nose first and are pulled-out backwards and lifted into line with the rotating barrel and then chambered - see the videos eh.

That "reverse feed system"  from the magazines allows the barrel and chamber to be located about one inch further rearwards than normal - by approx. the length of the cartridge. (- A 9mm ball round measures around 1.17 inches long).

 - So it's another American sub-compact carry gun - and it's not cheap either - so what? - Well the special point for us New Zealanders is that the compact XR9-L is built with a 4.2 inch barrel and remains very short with an overall length below 6 inches.

That full-length 4.2" barrel gives as much as 100 foot per second extra velocity over say a 3 inch jobbie - but the special significance for kiwis is that this design complies with the NZ Police rule that a handgun must have a four inch barrel to be deemed suitable for sporting target shooting ('B-Cat').

Have a  look at Hickok45 trying one of these Bobergs:

This is a "snubbie" - but Hickok45 Hits The Gong
at 80 yards up range (240 foot) !

- There you go - the design function is all clearly understood now eh .. "Right"

These Bobergs are precision made and are very accurate guns. The frames are fully machined from aluminium and the slides are stainless steel. - We are talking 'Custom Gun' quality here - and like most precision tools - they are choosy about their ammunition (tight chambers) .. some ammo. brands are unsuitable for use as the bullets are not crimped into the case tightly enough and when the XR9 action yanks the cartridge back from the magazine to feed-up and chamber it - the bullet may get inertia "pulled" and jam the whole shooting match in a shower of lost bullet & spilled propellant! is well worth a look and there is video on site including a factory look / interview. - Youtube has reviews aplenty too.

- Light recoiling, handles +P ammunition, is easy to rack the slide (- it has a light return spring), is very accurate (non-tilting barrel) and well made ..

- I'm picking that the Boberg XR9-L Two-Tone model would be our best value option for a small precision Rotating Barrel Locked-Breech, target quality pistol - not cheap, - but neither is a flash 'race-gun'.

Marty K.