7 replies [Last post]
Offline
Moderator
Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
Dropping the Hammer (feature article)

January 2010 Feature Article:

Dropping the Hammer

If you're a serious gun nut and you haven't noticed the increased interest in shooting, reloading and hunting with old style guns in the last decade you've probably been in a coma. Rifles and shotguns that haven't come out of the closet in eighty years are being brought into the daylight, getting cleaned off and carried out to ranges and hunting fields. This particularly includes classic old lever action and single shot rifles. I haven't been immune from this old-gun bug myself, as an 1894 lever action in .38-55 is one of my current project guns.

The Winchester I'm working on is a great example because it's been in production for well over one hundred years. But that old lever gun and all the other golden oldies hunting again aren't the same guns Winchester and other manufacturers are producing today. Today's guns might look similar but they are built of better materials, to tighter tolerances and have improved safety features. On the 94 in particular, the manufacturer has added a tang safety and a rebounding hammer. And while I often hear knowledgeable gun people bemoaning the addition of a safety as a cosmetic detraction, I never hear anyone complaining it makes the gun less safe. While those same Winchester experts will know every intricacy of the 94's mechanism, including how to use it properly and safely, too many hunters don't. A recent incident I'm familiar with serves as an illustration. Read more...

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

Offline
Location: USA
Joined: 06/04/2006
Posts: 166
Dropping the hammer

I too like the old firearms, and mainly old double rifles, but I have old pistols, revolvers, lever actions, and muzzleloaders.  It is a nostalgia thing with me, because I was around when many of these old rifles were common in the hunting fields, and hung over most front doors of the Hill country ranches that were our neighbors, and our ranch as well.  

  It is true that some of these things were not as safe as most are today, and require some additional attention in their use. Some replicas are made very closely to the originals, and though new, and unsafe if used improperly. One is the older Ruger Blackhawk single action revolver that has not been upgraded with the free parts from RUGER.  

   The unsafe fire arms are not all old, and some are outright invitations to disaster, so no matter the age of a firearm one needs to be

aware of the proper way to use these firearms.  

:thumbsup1:  

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2484
38-55 lever gun

moderator wrote:
I haven't been immune from this old-gun bug myself, as an 1894 lever action in .38-55 is one of my current project guns.

I inherited one of these too.  Great old rifle.  I have yet to fire it but I have already acquired a supply of ammunition, brass, projectiles, an dreloading dies.  This one has taken exactly one deer to date.  I hoep to add at least one more to its credit in the near future!

 

Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
38-55

Mike, as you probably already know the 38-55 is a very close (older) cousin to the .375 Win, which was developed to take advantage of the power there in a rifle made with the most modern steels. I don't know how old your 38-55 is, but if it's in excellent condition you should be able to handload a duplicate to Buffalo Bore's 255gr load which is supposed to be safe in any 38-55 in good condition and made for smokeless powders. The velocity is over 1900 FPS, so a good stout deer/black bear load. It can also be fired in any .375 Win as well (they are that close)

I used my Marlin in .375 last year for the first time and took a very healthy Kentucky buck with it using a 220gr load @ 2000+FPS. I hope you get time to do some load work on that fine rifle, It's a great choice for a woods rifle!!  Thumbs up

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2484
Thanks and congrats!

Tndeerhunter wrote:

Mike, as you probably already know the 38-55 is a very close (older) cousin to the .375 Win, which was developed to take advantage of the power there in a rifle made with the most modern steels. I don't know how old your 38-55 is, but if it's in excellent condition you should be able to handload a duplicate to Buffalo Bore's 255gr load which is supposed to be safe in any 38-55 in good condition and made for smokeless powders. The velocity is over 1900 FPS, so a good stout deer/black bear load. It can also be fired in any .375 Win as well (they are that close)

I used my Marlin in .375 last year for the first time and took a very healthy Kentucky buck with it using a 220gr load @ 2000+FPS. I hope you get time to do some load work on that fine rifle, It's a great choice for a woods rifle!!  Thumbs up

 

Congrats on the buck and thanks for the info.  I'll have to get some photos of the old girl posted to share Yes

hunter25's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
I'm starting to get

I'm starting to get interested in the old rifles also.

My dad took a nice buck last year with a very early and pristine .32 Winchester special model 94 and I took my doe with a model 64 .30WCF that was my grandfathers.

I bought an old  577-450 Martini-Henry I'm anxious to try out but I'm only hunting the does with these because of the shorter range rounds.

At 6 dollars a shot I will probably need to learn to reload to keep shooting the 577

Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
good looking

hunter25 wrote:

I'm starting to get interested in the old rifles also.

My dad took a nice buck last year with a very early and pristine .32 Winchester special model 94 and I took my doe with a model 64 .30WCF that was my grandfathers.

I bought an old  577-450 Martini-Henry I'm anxious to try out but I'm only hunting the does with these because of the shorter range rounds.

At 6 dollars a shot I will probably need to learn to reload to keep shooting the 577

A nicely preserved M64 is a very handsome rifle! I'd have called it pretty, but guns should not be called that, maybe......

hunter25's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
This one is a deluxe model

This one is a deluxe model with long barrell and original leather sling still attached.

Serial number puts it in 1935.

It only comes out on nice weather days now and is very well taken care of.

And I think it's okay to use the word beautiful sparingly.

I took my first deer with it when I was 13 and it had not been hunted with since then, I figured it was time to out her back to work.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
many thanks to hammercaper40110/08/2006 21:15 pm
Would you pull the hammer on this guy?birdman1510/22/2011 17:49 pm
Prayers Needed !!!!thenail805/16/2008 21:37 pm
IN Memorythenail804/22/2011 06:23 am
Remington Versa Max recall on hammergroovy mike304/03/2011 09:01 am