Monday 30 November 2015

YOUSHOP - But No Guns:

New Zealand Post 'YouShop'  is an excellent mail/parcel forwarding service - but has a list of 'Prohibited Items' that in part states:

 "All of the following firearms, weaponry,  military & tactical equipment items (including parts) and ammunition are prohibited" ..

- Now I thought that this was unfair and discriminatory - so I asked them to state what legitimate reason they might have for refusing carriage of lawful and legally permitted importations of sporting firearms and parts into New Zealand by properly licenced and endorsed sporting shooters.


" We are not permitted to ship firearms and parts from the USA due to ITAR Regulations. Customs in the USA do not permit us to ship the goods out of the USA via You Shop.

Sorry for the inconvenience YouShop is not a service suitable for the shipping of firearms and parts.

Admin, New Zealand Post."

- So I looked-up ITAR:


Wikipedia says that for practical purposes - ITAR regulations dictate that information and material pertaining to defence and military related technologies (items listed in the US Munitions List) may only be shared with US persons unless authorisation from the US Department of State is received or a special exemption is used. etc., etc., ....

 - So I next looked-up US Munitions List (USML):

Wikipedia says The United States Munitions List is a list of articles, services, and related technology designated as "defense and space related" by the United States federal government pursuant to the  Arms Export Control Act sections 38 & 47(7) .. (AECA)

The USML may be found in Part 121 of title 22, Foreign Relations of  The Code of Federal Relations (CFR). - The Directorate of Defence Trade Controls (DDTC) administers the regulations.

Phwww - So, on reflection, I conclude that NZ Post YouShop are using the US concerns to limit the spread of destructive military and space related technology - as an excuse to restrict how sporting shooters in New Zealand are 'permitted' to buy and obtain their equipment and supplies.

I haven't noticed yet how these multiple laws have actually prevented the export and sales of military weapons of mass destruction used in areas of ongoing conflict ..

Advert For CBU 105 Cluster Bomb
 - Don't you love the 'light music' sound track?

Four Million Syrian refugees flooded into Europe indicate that ITAR,  USML,  CFR, AECA, and DDTC all have little or no effect on limiting exports of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - other than on sporting goods for legally licenced target shooters and hunters elsewhere.

Marty K.


Friday 27 November 2015

The Tibbert Revolving Rifle;

While scratching around the net looking for information on the Smith-Percival  24 shot percussion pistol .. I came across these beautiful photos of another real work of art :

Tibbert Revolving Rifle.

This beautifully detailed 12 shot revolving rifle is not what it seems .. well it is a lovely craftsman built antique-style long-arm - but it was built recently - in 2006 by George J Tibbert.

The twelve chambers are in a "modern" (!) round - .38" Special (1898) and the single-action mechanism uses a side-hammer. There is a neat ejector system hidden in the forearm ..

- Lovely - crafted from fancy walnut with scroll carving and brass.

Isn't it great that in this era of cast concrete and injection moulded plastics - there are still occasional rare craftspeople who can make beautiful things for us to enjoy?

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?

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Smith-Percival Repeating Pistol - from Louis L'Amour:

Right after typing that earlier post I started on yet another 'Sacketts' story - this one titled 'Mojave Crossing'.
- Well here you go again, - about 84% of the way through this tale and Louis L'Amour throws-in another reference to a gun that I'd never heard of.

" He dropped his rifle where he stood and outs with those Remingtons ... you never heard such fire. You'd have thought that he had him one of those Smith-Percival magazine pistols that fire forty shots."

Note: The "Remingtons' referred to are earlier identified as "a pair of .36" calibre six-shooters that he spent a good part of his time polishing up."

- So off I go to Google and type in "Smith-Percival repeating pistol"  ..

Smith-Percival Magazine Pistol. (- but not a "forty shot").

Here we are then .. What I have learned from a few limited entries:

On July 9th 1850 Orville B Percival & Asa Smith patented their design for this gun and arranged for it to be manufactured in Norwich Connecticut by Horace Smith.

This was before Horace Smith and Dan Wesson got together (1852 and again in 1857).

1908 Photo of S&W Factory.

The Smith-Percival (or 'Percival-Smith') has the two cylindrical magazines below its chamber. The front magazine contained 24 bullets (Balls?) and the rear cylinder held powder in its main part and primer pellets in a sub-chamber.

First the guns hammer is cocked - then the two magazines are manually rotated (fixed together) to alignment above the chamber where one bullet and the powder charge and the primer pellet all drop into place in the chamber. - the magazines then are rotated back below the action, thus closing the chamber for the shot - squeeze trigger "bang" (with a nice cloud of smoke!) - the shooter then again cocking the hammer and reloading - up to twenty four times.

 .. but a cautious man might be a little bit slow to rotate that powder magazine over the chamber - thinking as I would be, - about glowing charcoal cinders eh.

There seems to have been only a few hundred of this .30" (or .32"?) calibre repeating pistol made - so they'll be as rare as rocking horse shit. I couldn't find anything written in detail about these.

I'd guess that once the gun shot a bit loose there wouldn't be much to stop the lit powder charge & flames finding their way under pressure down to the powder magazine .. handy eh.

- Just another guess - but maybe those drilled holes lined along the brass casing rotating sleeve - may just have been put there to bleed-off and relieve any pressure leakage from the chamber?

- and there is a warning that fakes have been made.

- That's it folks ..

Marty K.

P.S. I did find pictures of the Tibbert revolving rifle - up next.

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?

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Prisoners made "fake gun":

- Further to the US "lady" who hid a revolver inside her person .. here's another effort - reported by The Telegraph 23rd November :

Troy Benner (49 - armed robbery) and Treiston Pierron (32, arson) have been dealt with for attempting to escape from a detention centre in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. They were found in possession of a handcuff key and a "hand-crafted fake gun" when planning an escape attempt.

Not a bad effort maybe - considering that it was made from soap and toilet paper  "and other materials".

 - Not remarkably accurate but it does look sort-of 'glockish' eh. - I guess it's better than a drawing on a bit of paper - and certainly safer than shoving a real loaded firearm up yourself.

- that's all folk,

Marty K.

Monday 23 November 2015

Frontier Firearms Savvy from Louis L'Amour:

When I need something to read and don't have anything special in mind - I go to one of the hundred-odd of excellent 'Frontier Stories' from Louis L'Amour. His stories are mostly tales of good guys overcoming the bad'uns.

  - However, I wasn't aware that he wrote four of the 'Hopalong Cassidy' cowboy stories and films under the name 'Tex Burns' - until I found them among his other books.

A Winchester 1873 Short Rifle.

One recent read was titled "Lando" and in this tale our 'mountain man' central figure carries a Walch twelve shot 'Navy' cap & ball percussion revolver. - He likes and carries it - but I didn't read anything about him actually using it in this book .. which is probably fitting because these 12 shot revolvers with their superposed powder and ball charges are recorded as being low powered (because of the light powder charges used) and were perhaps unreliable - and likely to double-discharge when loaded with the twelve percussion caps placed ready at the back of that long cylinder.

The forward charge of each chamber has to fire first ("Derrrr") - then the rearmost.
- See my earlier post dated 19 June 2015 about the WALCH 12 shot - and there is good information to be found on Google.

My guess would be that a 'refined' modern built stainless steel replica 12 shot might be made to work very well using a tight wad to separate the twin charges - but the development costs would likely not be justified by the potential for sales .. maybe.

Here's a few words of "Sackett" wisdom from another Louis L'Amour book (this one actually called 'Sackett'):

"Pa used to say a gun was a responsibility, not a toy, and if he ever caught any of us playing fancy with a gun he'd have our hide off with a bullwhip.
None of us ever lost any hide."

Mr L'Amour wrote a distinct series of novels ( seventeen books) - about generations of the Sackett Family - historically accurate (as were all his books).
Audio Books Too.
I've got nine pages of these western frontier stories listed on my Kindle - so it may take a while to read them all eh .. but there's plenty of 'bad television nights'.

 Louis L'Amour  knew his frontier lands and his guns .. and boxing / brawling from close experience.

Marty K.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Zombies & Silver Bullets & The Lone Ranger:

You shouldn't ever really be surprised that silver has been used to make bullets - as silver is found present around the world in association with the ores of lead, lead-zinc, copper, copper-nickel, and gold. - If you are making lead you'll likely have some silver to get rid of.

A 'common' ore containing both lead and silver (perhaps 2% silver) is Galena (aka 'Lead Glance') . Mined and smelted since well before the times of Ancient Greece and Rome - many silver coins were minted when money had real value.
 Ancient Athenian Silver Coin.

- and crushed Galena was used in ancient Egypt as "Kohl" a dark cosmetic paint applied around the eyes to reduce glare from the desert sun and to repel flies.

Galena Crystal

Galena is the 'crystal' used in 'Crystal Radio Sets' to detect radio signals with the 'Cats Whisker' - as it is a natural semiconductor.

Silver (Symbol Ag -Atomic number 47) is a precious metal and is harder than lead but lighter (lead is approx. 10% denser than silver).  Silver has the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and reflectivity of all metals.

Silver is produced from lighter elements in 'core collapse' supernova explosions by nucleosynthesis - Oh No! .. (the r-process - as opposed to the s-process .. a form of nuclear fusion .. look it up eh!).

There are two naturally stable isotopes (107Ag and 109Ag) and 28 radioisotopes of various half-lives.

Its melting temperature at 961.8 Centigrade is much higher than Lead 327.5 Centigrade - so when melting down your wife's jewellery to cast bullets - be sure to use a high temperature crucible that will not itself melt. - Silver does not react with sulphuric acid, so this is therefor used for cleaning silver jewellery .. but it readily dissolves in nitric acid - so don't confuse the two.

- Remember to have all silver jewellery (and bullets) removed before bathing in the hot sulphurous pools at Hanmer in the New Zealand South Island Alps - as it will all turn an interesting shade of black sulphide tarnish that will later remind you of that warning stink of rotten eggs ..

Hanmer Springs Hot Pools, South Island New Zealand.

Although harder than lead - Silver will still accept the rifling in a barrel (- like lead and copper).  Theoretically - silver bullets will tend to be slower at distance but penetrate well in ballistic gelatine - being harder - while tending to be slightly less accurate than lead.

Folklore has it that silver bullets are the only effective weapon to use against werewolves, witches, the "un-dead", vampires, zombies and other monsters - thus becoming reputed as being the ultimate 'fix' or cure-all.

-  While 'The Lone Ranger' (much to Tonto's disgust) used to leave silver bullets as symbols of  'Law & Order' - he is said in some cowboy movie episodes to favour their use against "Baddies".

No guarantees but, - Silver is known to be anti-bacterial (as is copper) and can safely remain in the body - although too much silver in your system may cause a disease called 'Argyria' that results in a permanent bluish-grey colouring of the skin - particularly where it is exposed to sunlight. - Whereas Silver bullets may cause a decease.
(Was this guy a recovering 'Werewolf'?)

A Rare Silver Nugget.

Although most useful in many different fields  - silver bullets are not in reality "a silver bullet".

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?

Friday 20 November 2015

Woman Hid Revolver WHERE?

"Only in America"?

Well yes, I'll try to be 'delicate' with my choice of words - but when this now 21 year old American 'lady' was pulled over for driving on a suspended licence - a search by a female officer revealed that she was carrying a stolen North American Arms five shot .22" revolver internally.

This young female then nineteen year old was recently in court charged with bringing contraband into a penal facility at Kingsport, Tennessee.

Dallas Archer - Police Photo.

The NAA revolver is notably a small design - which lessens my horror somewhat - but it was loaded and I'm only guessing but, that this female had inserted it small (muzzle) end first as the least uncomfortable option.

I'm trusting to "common sense" that it would be the compact, smoother model above .. and not the longer, more angular version below:
(The newspaper chose to illustrate their "Gun found in woman's VAGINA" story with a photograph of some semi-auto pistol pointing at the reader).

 - Is this the 'Black-Powder' version?
"Excuse me but I'm just going to powder my nose". 
 Dallas Archer pleaded guilty to various offences and received three years in prison plus other non custodial sentences.

- The revolver had been reported as stolen from a car a year previously.

Marty K.

Ref: Mirror Online Weird News.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

BOBERG Bullpup Moving to BOND ARMS in Texas:

Uhh-Oh, - what's going to happen to the semi-custom Boberg Arms designed XR9-L and XR9-S semi-autos? - This interesting "bull-pup" design pistol that uses a 'backwards' magazine and feed system has been sold 'lock, stock, and barrel' to Bond Arms of Granbury, Texas - who currently build a range of derringer type pistols.

I wrote about Bobergs novel feed system on 10th June 2015 and really liked the concept. - Basically the design that draws-out the cartridges to the rear before feeding them up into the chamber allows the barrel length to be set rearwards by approximately one inch - making for a compact arm even with a full four inch long barrel.

Bond Arms Derringers

Bond Arms say that they have been looking to expand their product range and that the Bobergs will complement and enlarge their line of compact handguns.

Gordon Bond is quoted as intending to have prototypes of a "refined"  Boberg design ready by January 2016.

Maybe the classy hand built "bull-pup" Bobergs will be modernised into "plastic phantastics"  that employ polymer frames and sell at a lower level price .. We'll have to wait and see eh. - But I'm hoping that they will still make the 'L' model with the full four inches as I'd love to see them in New Zealand.

- Compact, accurate, light recoil, full velocity, rotating barrel, easy to operate the slide etc., - sounds good to me.

??  A "BONDBERG" ??
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?

Monday 16 November 2015

The Whole Seven Yards:Sayings from Gun History:

Reading - as I do - lots of stuff (both fact & fiction) about guns through the ages - I am pleased to observe that while there are many millions of law abiding, well intended, decent and even heroic gun users stretching back down time .. there are also a relatively small number of greedy, selfish, misguided or insane, murderous individuals who - like modern-day sociopathic scum rise to the upper layers of our societies and have to be dealt with.

Overall - large numbers of weapons have always been issued to official government forces for use in law enforcement and 'peace-keeping' military engagements. - So there is no surprise that clich├ęd phrases from the shooting world have become common usage in the English language:


- Anyone shooting for gold needs to keep their eye in because a miss is as good as a mile when you need meat in the pot.

- To stay on target  - when you're on the firing line - you'll need to keep your powder dry in case you have a misfire and lose the whole lock stock and barrel.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - but modern antibiotics can be a silver bullet and are no flash in the pan.

- Your mate can be a bit of a loose cannon and a bit quick on the draw. - So you may have to bite the bullet if you don't want to fall short and miss the mark .. but give it the full seven yards and you'll have a fair shot at success.

Don't pull the pin too early in case there was a hang-fire - or you'll risk going off half-cocked.

- Still you might spike his guns or put a shot across his bows - but don't make it a shot in the dark.

Finally don't set your sights too high and you should end up in the black without giving anyone the ammunition to use against you and become a hot-shot.

All seemingly good advise eh .. but I reckon that there is so much of this "gun talk" around that when combined with all the fantasy blood and mayhem movies - the average well meaning city inmate feels familiar with much violence - and thinks that they expertly know how to put an end to it by banning the guns. - They overlook that criminals are already law breakers anyway if they have a firearm.

Marty K.

P.S. - Here's another that I've just (22Nov.) noticed:  'tight wad' .. that's someone or a thing that's hard to get anything out of!

Saturday 14 November 2015

"Duplex" Load - Which Meaning - & Risks?:

I was interested to note recently that the term "duplex load" was used to describe loading the chambers of a black-powder revolver with a small amount - say 5grains - of genuine black powder as a 'starter' - then completing the load with substitute 'replica' powder of say 20gns of Pyrodex  , Triple Se7en. or Goex . - I have never tried this and am not suggesting it.

- This is to fix the problem some folk find with the replica powders being reluctant to light-up with their usual percussion caps.  I have bought some  #11 magnum caps made by CCI meant to give better ignition - but haven't personally had any noticeable difficulty with any powders in a Ruger Old Army.

Please note: All these powders referred to are 'BLACK-POWDER'. - NEVER use modern 'Smokeless' nitro based powders in a black powder only gun .. the result will be disaster:
- There are plenty of gory photographs if you feel the need to look.
- My idea of what is a 'normal' Duplex Load is a metallic cartridge that contains two projectiles
Colt ACR Duplex
Meanwhile, over in UK - a Nottinghamshire Police Officer accidently fired his Heckler & Koch rifle inside the police station while talking to a visiting school party of young kids (11 Nov. BBC report) A seven year old girl received a cut lip when hit by a fired shell case.
 The mother complained that the officer had offered the gun to the child for a photograph before it discharged.
 - The officer "was taken off firearms duties following an incompetency hearing."
Following an investigation - the British IPCC concluded that operational firearms officers must keep their weapons loaded and therefore should not be involved in community events.
What can I say? - Basic firearms safety rules?

Indeed - further on fitness to use firearms,  I have a friend who I trust and respect - but I would seek to keep him far away from any firearm at all times - as he is a bit "full-on" and his energy and strength somewhat exceed his caution, attention to detail, and manual dexterity.

"Horses for courses"
Marty K.

Thursday 12 November 2015

'Beyond The Skippers Road' ;

I bought this book at the Riccarton open-air market for $4.  - Having driven down this tracks length (bravely? - foolishly?) some thirty years ago with my young son - I truly enjoyed reading Terry Macnicols' story about the harsh living found while rearing her kids and living remotely there - with access only via this dirt track that was often closed by land slips, floods, ice and snow.

The Skippers Road
This book relates to their hard back-blocks life in the years (1941 - 1956) around the second world war.

Terry talks of using .22" - .32" - and .303" rifles to shoot feral goats, wild cattle, and deer, in between shearing the sheep.-  Riding horses, driving bulls - herding sheep - and of  "fatting" and skinning thousands of rabbits for the small rewards that the skins would fetch - all the time with her young children at foot (- or rather - sitting in front on the saddle!).

Her tales of rabbiters, gold panners, shearers, and old station hands are delightful in exposing the lonely and eccentric hermits way of life. - Odd folk certainly - but tough and self-sustaining definitely!

She and her husband ran the Mount Aurum Station and the neighbouring Branches Run where freezing winter conditions complicated their lives for sixteen years - until Archies ageing combined with her loosing an eye in a serious head wound (while launching their boat on Lake Wakatipu) led to them selling-up and a move to a farm in milder conditions at Roxburgh.

No doubt the road was improved some when I drove it 30 years ago - compared to how it was in their day 45 years earlier - but it was still thrilling and spectacular even in good summer weather.

I expect that nowadays - helicopters, motorbikes, and 4W.D.s are easing management in the "back of beyond" - but you'd still need to be hard working and tough to thrive in there

.- If you can find a copy of this book .. Grab it.

Marty K.

Monday 9 November 2015

Making Ruger Revolver Stocks or Grips:

I have this slab of white plastic that I've used as a 'bread board' for decades .. well lately I have begun to screw-up my eyes and started to plan saw cuts ..

And then (- too late now eh) I marked-out and drilled holes ..

- and started filing, grinding and sanding away lots of material .. Getting those holes in the right place was a game for sure.

Ahh - don't worry about the mess - there's no females in the house (other than the cat) and a quick shake of the dust over her food bowl will make it all as good as new.

- Coming along nicely so far .. and the cat looks only a little annoyed.

 - I had planned to heat-up a 'dummy' insert and melt-it into the position for the tiki 'medallion' - but it lost heat too quickly even when heated red hot - so I ended-up trying to drill / mill out the cavity to locate the badges - and carelessly cut oversize in places ..

Here we go - nearly finished after lots more sanding, drilling & counter-boring - but I did a really poor "pigs ear" job of fitting the inset Maori tikis into the grips - a fairly rough result that lets the project down.

I made that old knifes bolsters from a piece of stag antler years ago - they are rough-enough too.

- Actually I had fun building the project - as our television here is such rubbish - and the result is OK(ish) for a 'bush carpenters' first effort - and making the grips has saved a bit of hassle applying for an Import Permit and then paying too much to get a set ordered and sent from overseas. - It kept me busy and out of trouble for a while eh.

I've made my 'Ivory' (acrylic plastic) stocks oversize to the originals and they seem to fit my hands better - but I may reduce them with further sanding after shooting on range.

- And I bet you didn't know that the NZ 10 cent copper coins are actually made of steel - Nor did I 'till I started grinding on an emery wheel and saw the dull orange/yellow sparks. (You can test it yourself with a magnet.)

Life is good - and getting better every day ..

Marty K.

Sunday 8 November 2015

Using Matches as Powder and Priming:

This is fascinating .. to see how cleverly a homemade gun can be loaded and fired using match-heads as propellant. - Just goes to show that gun bans are ultimately totally futile eh

- but scraping the Striker surface to mix with the head material is so smart! - I think there is powdered glass in the striker surface that gives the friction heat to light the match heads.

Marty K.

Monday 2 November 2015

Cylinder Bolt, Stop, or Latch?

Inspired by my recent reading of Hamilton Bowens 'The Custom Revolver' I had a wee session at polishing-out a few of the scratches on "Stagalee" - the fixed sight Ruger Old Army  that suffered a bent base-pin - that I then broke and had to get repair welded!

Strange to say but I actually enjoy polishing things - I have a lot of old copper pieces like kettles, jugs, watering cans, 'Thermettes" - so I occasionally take a fit and a tin of 'Brasso' metal polish plus an old pair of cotton shorts or singlet to do the job. - Call it therapy maybe -what? :-)

The gun looks fine in the flesh and OK in this size photo - but any larger detail really shows heaps of small scuffs.

Bowens book detailed for me how Colts Bolt is S&Ws Stop and Ruger call the same piece a Latch.
Numbered 2 in this Picture .. Latch (or Bolt or Stop)
(Photo Illustrates The 3-Way Lock-up on a Ruger GP100.)

By any name - this component is the bit that wears that annoying drag mark around your cylinders! - I've also seen this rounded part of the bolt/latch called the "Ball".

(- And what the first two call the 'Hand' is known as the 'Pawl' by Ruger.)

I was also interested to note that the finger nail shaped cut-out on the leading edge of the cylinder Notches are properly called 'Leedes'

- here's a useful tip - the cylinder rotates as if the leedes are directional arrows .. If  I can keep that in my nut it will 'un-confuse' me on the firing line. - They lead the way.

Marty K.

P.S.  A "Thermette" is a kiwi sort of rapid water boiler fuelled with twigs - that is good for a 'brew-up' in the great outdoors.
That's a 'Magnum' and a 'Special'!