Sunday, October 09, 2005

No More Pretending...

...that summer's still hanging on, since it's snowing to beat the band. I put the Boxcar down at the base of the driveway so I wouldn't have to get up at O-Dark-30 and shovel snow. Am going to spend Tuesday with revolver-meister Hamilton Bowen for SHOOTING GALLERY, which will be undeniable fun. He's been working on an S&W M28 .357 conversion ot .38/40 for me. As one of the only people on earth who actuallylikes .38/40, I'd like to say a couple of words in its defense. It's accurate; I never had any problems reloading it, desite it's skinny case mouth and bottlenecked shape, and it was pretty versatile, from popgun to rivaling .41 maggie speeds (don't try that at home, either!

A few interesting data points:

• Kimber is making a premium .45 1911 magazine, the Kim-Pro Tac-Mag. Okay, somebody at Kimber PR and Official Product Naming Office got into the Ritalin — sounds like a publication for Korean restaurants specializing in dog — but the magazine looks pretty good. The kicker is that for $29.95 you get three interchangeable mag bases, including a plain old stainless steel plate, a thin pad for carry and a thicker pad for mag wells and competition. Since I've been playing cowboy, I haven't had a chance to take the sample to the range, but I'll be at Gunsite the end of the month and I can torture it there. Be nice to see something rattle the Wilson Combat Hegemony.

• I got my order from El Paso Saddlery — two Tom Threeperson holsters and one of the shoulder holsters they made to John Wesley Hardin's specs back in the Wild Wild West. It's lucky they didn't give this holster to Mr. Hardin (who perhaps, as Mr. Bob Dylan once opined, never shot an honest man), cause he would have shot their sorry butts on the spot. It looks like one of those holsters you buy at cheesey souvenir shops for plastic guns, except in nondescript leather. Looks flimsy; feels flimsy; cost a lot of money! The Threepersons holsters are serviceable, but without the attention to detail or precise fit that is the primary raison d'etra of custom holster shops, which is how EPS bills itself. This stuff isn't even in the same UNIVERSE as the premiere cowboy leathercrafters like Kirkpatrick, Shelhart, John Bianchi and Mernickle. I now understand why they ding your credit card before you hang up the phone. Oh well, live and learn. Always nice to have loaners available.

• The .44 Vaquero/44 Marlin Cowboy combo worked very well at the cowboy match in Utah — I didn't work all that well, but the guns rocked! The Winchester .44 Cowboys were a bit hotter than most of the other ammo at the match (considering that one hapless .38 Special actually exited the barrel, fell to the ground and rolled toward the targets), but it it fiercely accurate. The Marlin, which was new out of the box, was stiff, but began settling in by the end of the match. Since winter is setting in (an inch now), I'll send it off to Steve Young for a tune-up and a one-piece firing pin. He did a similar job on my Sweetie's Marlin .32 H&R, and it has to be shot to be believed. The man is a genius with lever guns! I'll overhaul Vaquero #2 myself, since it's not that far off. The Coyote Cap Winchester M-97 Chinese clone is a stone workhorse. Unfortunately, it does not have a winking LED to remind me to PUMP THE DAMN ACTION! Operator error is a sad and pathetic'll see it next season on SG! Feel free to laugh, too.

I can only hope that I escape from Bowen Classic Arms with my credit card balance and my voice — which has been badly battered by a seemingly endless head cold — intact! News from the front later...


Anonymous said...


Before you ship any guns to Steve, you may want to give him a call. He took quite a bite from Hurricane Rita, and last I heard, his shop had some damage, and he was living in his motor home with no power.

He did a John Wayne loop-lever '92 in .45 Colt for me a year or so ago that is simply superb! I have a new Marlin Guide Gun that I might send to him to get smoothed up. Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

Regarding EPS, does this mean we won't be seeing them on Cowboys? After all that headache and they send you crap. Thanks for the suggestion on the other holster companies. Kirkpatrick looks like my first choice for now.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Glad I do not work for El Paso.

Anonymous said...

Do a .45 magazine shootout. Try and round up a Cobramag to compare to the Kim-Pro Tac-Mag.

Michael Bane said...

It's not fair to say the Threepersons were crap...but they charge custom shop prices and the rigs weren't up to custom shop standards. The shoulder rig...well, I won't go there. If you say you run with the Big Dogs, you gotta throw down, or something to that effect. Hell, I have a Hunter holster I've had for more than 30 is what it is, and it has spent a lot of hours on my belt. But my Kirkpatrick cowboy rig is an *heirloom.*

I've had both good and bad luck with Cobra mags (the ones I have are in .40 for an STI Trojan, which can be a problem child). The Cobras that worked are flawless; the ones that didn't were beyond repair. On the .40, I'm trying Metalform 10mm mags, which is what the Springfield guys recommend. I really want to shoot the Trojan in the resurrected USPSA Single Stack Division, but unless I can solve this mag problem, it'll be back to one of the .45s.


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