Tuesday, August 30, 2005

SIGs, De-Blinged S&Ws and the Return of Detonics!

...since I got that nice SIG 226, I'm thinking of sending my 225 to the SIG Custom Shop for an action job and general overhaul. It's not bad, but I got it used and it does have some miles on it. I'd also like the action smoothed up just a little...it is a primary carry gun, and I don't like to dink them around too much. I also like the idea of having a factory shop do the work on a primary carry gun, although it's not a point of religion with me (like it is with some people).

And, yes, if it was a competition gun, I'd send it to the illustrious Bruce Gray (GrayGuns@aol.com), who is the best unknown gun mechanic in the country. As I've said before, Bruce could probably carve a gun out of a bar of soap and have it work.

I'm off the road for a couple of weeks, getting ready for our annual fall HELLISH ROAD TRIP built around the Steel Challenge in California. We'll be filming six SHOOTING GALLERYS in something like 9 days, which will leave me and the crew reduced to rubble. Really neat stuff, though...cool .22s, featuring a suppressed SIG Mosquito and the whole line of multicolored ultra-accurate .22 Rugers from Tactical Solutions...everything you ever wanted to know about AK-47s with Paul Gomez, who probably has dreams about AKs...a day with Beretta factory shooter David Olhasso...our special one-hour coverage of the Steel Challenge, including The Outdoor Channel/SIGARMS 72 Second Challenge, where we'll give $20,000 to any person who can break 72 seconds overall time (and if more than one speedster does it, fast time wins the bucks!)...also the police 5.11 Challenge finals up in Montana. Then I'll probably pass out!

Hopefully, I've located a cool ancient S&W revolver to be overhauled for the SG episode with Hamilton Bowen. It's a beat-to-crap Outdoorsman, probably 1930s vintage, with a sufficient number of replaced parts to render it worthless as a collector. My plan, if the gun matches its pictures (it should be arriving any day now) is to have it more-or-less converted to a replica .44 Special 2nd Model Hand Ejector, which is, I believe, one of the most beautiful revovlers ever made. A lot depends on what the base gun looks like when it gets here (and how my checkbook is holding out! Hamilton Bowen can pretty much work miracles with revolvers, but really really big miracles tend to be costly!). I'll keep you posted.

Speaking of S&W .44 Especiales Hand Ejectors, there are rumors all over the S&W Forum that the company is now shipping de-Thunder Ranched M-21 4-inch fixed site N-frame .44 Specials. As you may recall, S&W did a run of "Thunder Ranch Specials," 4-inch .44s with WAY TOO MUCH Thunder Ranch bling-bling gold stamping. While all the gold didn't effect the way the gun shot, it did make the owner a candidate for "WIN A DREAM DATE WITH P. DIDDY!" reality show. Beautiful gun when you excise the bling and about $200 bucks off the MSRP. No word on the price of the de-Ranched versions, but I dropped an e-mail to the Powers-That-Be at S&W placing one on order.

If the M-21 is really back in play, I may ask Hamilton to convert the old S&W to .38/40, a cartridge I really like a lot. The very first big bore revolver I ever purchased was a pristine 7 1/2-inch barrel Colt New Service in .38/40. I shot the hell out of it, including some loads that would knock the fillings out of your teeth. Under the influence of El Jefe Cooper, I eventually traded it for some 1911 something or other. NOTE TO WHOMEVER I TRADED THE .38/40 TO: Thank you for taking care of my gun! I'd like it back now, if you don't mind...

Finally, thanks to Mr. Walt Rauch in HANDGUNS, I note that Detonics is back on the scene. Detonics was one of the first manufacturers of itsy-bitsy .45s...the twist was that the Detonics guns actually worked! I had one of the little Combat Masters in the early 1980s, coutesy of a friend of mine who worked at a pawn shop. I carried it constantly and actually shot IPSC matches with the thing. It was a dead-on reliable rocket, and I loved the heck out of it. As it happens, a man showed up at my door with THREE (count 'em) S&W revolvers, including a spanking brand new unfired M-24 .44 Special 3-inch, a M-19 .357 2 1/2-inch and a nice L-frame .357 6-inch which he offered as an even-steven swap for the Detonics. Well, I was younger then...

So the Combat Master is back, which is a Good Thing! They're still expensive, but, hey, now all trick 1911s are expensive!

I also note that Brother Jerry Ahern is at the helm as President. Jerry is the author of roughly a billion books, most notably the Survivalist series, which was far, far better than any men's adventure series had any right to be (perhaps not surprisingly, the protagonist of the series, John Thomas Rourke, carry dual Detonics in a neat double shoulder rig, if I remember correctly). Jerry also designed some excellent holsters (I still use one of his pocket holsters from the Back When), and he and I once shared an agent in LA.

I thinking Mr. Ahern may be an upcoming SHOOTING GALLERY episode!


Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that John Farnam is toting a Detonics. He likes it a lot. I gonna stay with my Glock 36. But, it is good to hear that someone can make a small 1911 that works. Mr. Bane, you are the man. Regards

Anonymous said...

Yes, Smith is offering "leftover" Model 21's without the bling. Saw the spec sheet last week.


Michael Bane said...

In John Farnam we trust!

Hell, I guess I'll have to buy one of those darn S&Ws now!

Maybe I should go sell a magazine article or something...


Anonymous said...

you can still send a check to the "Ranch" if you feel bad about not overpaying for the gun. Put in the memo line "turd sucker". They'll understand.

Michael Bane said...


Only if I can still get the Authentic Stealthy Death Ninja Numero Uno certificate and decoder ring!