...today's fun and games was taking Bishop, our humongous greenwing macaw, to the vet to get her wings clipped and microchipped. All in all, she took it in good grace — as good a grace as an irritated macaw ever gets. Normally, I let her stay fully flighted until she gets too irritating for words...for example, there's not a pen to be found downstairs. That's because she flies around the house, spies them and snatches them all up. Then she reduces them to tiny plastic chips and ink stains on the carpet. It's her hobby, which makes more sense to me than electric trains. And don't send me any hostile email about crippling the poor animal...she can still fly just fine, just not as far and as fast. Also, it's harder for her to carry stuff, so there's a chance for whatever remaining writing implements we can dig up.
Just like visiting Busch Gardens on mescaline!
Meanwhile, back in Gun World, I got my long-anticipated package from revolver god Hamilton Bowen, which included my ancient 3-screw Ruger Blackhawk now converted from .357 to .44 Special and refinished and my "knockaround Blackhawk" in .30 Carbine.
Words escape me!
The .44 Special is everything a single action revolver might aspire to be, and it is indeed beautiful. The frame, gate and hammer were color case-hardened by Doug Turnbull, the cylincder redone with a black powder chamfer (which looks cool) and the rest of the gun was redone in a deep blue/black (the previous finish appeared to have been created by Zip-Strip and salt water). Obviously, it's now a .44 Special...the most perfect revolver cartridge in the world, by the way...with all the appropriate remarkings. The aluminum grip frame was replaced with a perfectly fitted steel grip frame; the sights were replaced with sights of Bowen's own design; the action was tuned to perfection. It was also fitted with a new base pin of Bowen's design to stop the endless Ruger base pin creep, which seizes up the gun.
And yes, kiddies, I wrote a big check for this one! Worth every penny, too.
My knockaround gun doesn't look so knockaround anymore. The barrel has been recrowned, which it badly needed; cylinder and headspace issues have been dealt with and the gun has been given his "standard issue" tune-up. It's a really nice Blackhawk now!
Does this mean I need to get another beater to abuse?
As I've said before, I think the .30 Carbine cartridge has gotten a bum rap. In the now 4/34 inch Blackhawk, it's LOUD LOUD LOUD, but a sweetheart...with .357 ballistics. It can be loaded down to approximate a .32/20 ballistics and still retain pin-point accuracy. Plus, it'll be a perfect match for that Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine that is definitely in my future, especially after spending the day at the Auto-Ordnance manufacturing facility. I know quality manufacturing when I see it!