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Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Gun In The Case - Historic NZ Book:

Written by G G Kelly about his firearms life through the 1900 -1970 era as 'An Expert Witness' and his employment by the NZ Police. At the early age of nine he had decided that he was going to get his own revolver - and did (He paid five shillings for a small nickel-plated piece with a broken main spring - but soon discovered that it could fire BB caps by hitting the un-cocked hammer with an old gate bolt).
Maybe Nine y.o. Kelly had Seen This Advert.

 Hunting, fishing & shooting filled his life - while firearms technology became his work.
Maybe An Old Tip-up No.1 Colt?

- This story written around 1916:

I had always been puzzled that the British Army had never adopted the auto-loading pistol. They preferred the revolver and would not have the automatic at any price. Was this simply being conservative, I thought? I asked the area officer and was told that it was because the Small Arms Committee had found that the automatic pistol was not reliable under service conditions. It was difficult to understand this point of view.  I decided to make tests myself. My favourite pistol at that time was the Colt .32 with an eight shot magazine. It had eight shots to a revolvers six, was easier to shoot with, easier to aim, light on the trigger pull, much easier to carry on the person: all these points were in its favour; yet the British Army would have none of it.
Early .32 Colt Model 1903

With this Colt I had already killed wild pigs and goats in New Zealand; snakes, hares, a fox and two wallabies on an Australian holiday. Alfred P Lane had won the world championship with the Colt .32.

I determined to shoot the pistol without cleaning it. I shot hundreds of shots in succession, until my arms ached (I shot both right and left handed) and did not have the slightest trouble. I gave up, quite satisfied that the British Army was simply old-fashioned in its ideas.

However, one very cold frosty morning I called in to the pit to test the theory that severe chill affects a man's accuracy in shooting. I had ridden a motor cycle seven miles without a coat and felt cold enough for the test. I soon forgot my intended experiment when the first cartridge I pulled on misfired. The second and third failed, the fourth fifth and sixth fired. I put down the pistol to hunt for the unfired ejected cartridges and when I picked up the pistol again the seventh and eighth also misfired. Misfires were and still are very rare with me and, I imagine, with most men who use good quality material. I blamed the mainspring for the trouble and rode on to work wondering how long it would take to procure another.

These rounds fired fine later in the day - and it turned out that the trouble was caused by the frost stiffening the heavy vaseline in the mechanism & slowing down the hammer.

  "One fact stood out: it does not take very much to put an automatic pistol out of commission. A revolver would never have failed under these conditions." "I have tried the experiment several times since."

G G Kelly writes TWO later chapters (17 & 18) about the infamous 1941 Graham Shootings on the West Coast - He tells a very detailed set of facts as an expert witness involved in the case - different to the story that I have read previously.
Stanley Graham.

- A bloody good book that I regret having to return to its owner eh.

Marty K.

P.S. - Here's a link to an interesting blog site showing collectible & antique pistols etc:

LOTS of reading here - just click on ' OLDER POSTS' at the bottom of each page to keep going!