TJ's Gun Blog
The Smith and Wesson 6906 9mm
The hair on the back of the officers neck stands up as the radio breaks its normal silence. After the squelch clears the speaker rings out "All units respond to shots fired at the Main Street Bar involving unknown number of suspects." Sometime in 1994 a cop in small town America receives this dispatch. His adrenalin rushes as he picks up the microphone and advises he is en route. As a thousand thoughts run through his head a smile comes to his face when he thinks of his service weapon. Holstered on his duty belt is a New Smith and Wesson 6906 holding twelve rounds of 9mm hollow points. The department just replaced their Smith and Wesson Model 10 38 specials with the new Smith and Wesson 6906 semiautomatic 9mm handgun. The Model 10 is a fine weapon but it and its 38 special round no longer met the needs of law enforcement.
On June 28, 29 GTGS brought the Green Cove Springs gun show to the Clay County Fairgrounds. The summer crowd was a little slow. They did bring some nice guns in to trade though. There was a pretty nice Winchester Model 42 for $1000. It is very hard to find a Winchester 42 that cheap today in any condition. There was a Winchester 9422 and a Winchester 1890 that came and went Saturday morning. The gun that caught my eye was a nice Smith and Wesson 6906. Around ten years ago most of our nation's police departments replaced their Third Generation Smith and Wesson semiautomatic 9 mm handguns with Sigs or Glocks. Their Smiths showed up at gun shows and could be bought fairly cheap. Today they still turn up at gun shows even though they are not as inexpensive as they once were.
The third generation Smith and Wesson semiautomatic handguns were some of the most reliable guns on the market at the time and still are. They are a reasonably priced alternative to the modern plastic guns that control the market. Although I am a Colt 1911 advocate two of my all favorite handguns remain the Smith and Wesson 3913 and the 4516. The 6906 is a double stack 3913.
The Smith and Wesson model 6906 semiautomatic 9mm hand gun was produced by Smith and Wesson from 1989 until 1999. The 6906 is an alloy framed stainless steel slide version of The Smith 6904 (alloy frame with blue slide) which is a compact version of the Model 5904. The compact gun weighed 26 ½ ounces. The 6906 is a double action gun could be had with a 10 round flush fit mag or a 12 round mag with a finger grip extension after 1994. The gun came with fixed sights and a three and ½ inch barrel.
I have owned several Smith and Wesson Model 6906 over the years. All of them were superbly made, super reliable and a pleasure to shoot. I am guessing most of them today are still serving the people I sold them to well. GTGS brings The St Augustine Gun Show to the Historical National Guard Armory in St Augustine this weekend July 19 and 20. I hope to see everybody there. Until then be safe everybody! TJ
The M1 Garand
June 6, 1944 the wind whips though a pill box on the cliffs above Omaha Beach in France. A fierce German shivers as a 30-06 round hits the wall above him showering him with concrete dust. Round number four he counts to himself. As he studies the crouched American GI as he fires another round. Round five he is empty and has to reload the German thinks as he exposes himself to take a shot at the American. Just as he does the cold wet American pulls the trigger again on his M1 rifle. The sixth shot sends a 150 grain slug through the Germans chest.
In January, 1945 General George Patton wrote "In my opinion, the M1 Rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised. I often wonder just how many Germans fell that day due to M1 Garand holding eight shots as opposed to the Springfield 1903 that the Garand had just replaced holding only five. How many more Germans were incapacitated due to the new rifle being semiautomatic or due to the fast loading eight shot clip. The M1 Garand and its performance had just changed the direction of military rifle designs for the foreseeable future.
On June 21 and 22 2014 GTGS brought The Leesburg Gun Show to the Leesburg National Guard Armory. The people came out in good numbers as well as some great guns came through the door. There was an excellent Colt 1911 WW 1 remake. A great Smith and Wesson K22 in the original gold box walked through the door. Doc had a nice seventy's vintage Randall knife for sale on his table. There was four H and R M1 Garand's at the show. We see less and less M1 Garand's these days so I figured four in one show must be a sign.
The M1 Rifle was adopted in 1936 and replaced M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle. John C Garand worked at the Army's Springfield Armory through the 1920's and 1930's. He designed the T1E2 in 1932. The T1E2 was designated the Semi-Automatic Rifle, Caliber .30, M1. The M1 Garand was the standard service rifle until the M14 was officially adopted in 1957. The Garand however was still used into the 1970's by the U.S. Army Reserve, The Coast Guard, National Guard and the U.S. Navy. The M1 was manufactured by Springfield Armory, Winchester, Harrington & Richardson, and International Harvester. There were around 6.25 million built between 1936 and 1957.
The M1 Rifle fired the 30-06 cartridge. The gun was a gas clip operated semiautomatic rotating bolt design. The M1 used an eight round en-bloc clip internal magazine that made a strange "ping" sound when the last round was fired and the clip was ejected from the magazine. The operator then shoved a new loaded clip in from the top of the gun and the gun chambered a round. A well trained GI could fire the gun at 40 -50 rounds per minute. The rifle is not light it weighs 9.5 pounds loaded but this makes it a pleasure to shoot. The M1 Garand has become quite the collector piece these days. Their values have soared in recent years. Even though they are getting harder to find we see them fairly often at Gun Trader Gun Shows.
GTGS brings The Green Cove Springs Gun Show to the Clay County Fairgrounds the weekend. I hope to see everybody out there. Until then be safe everybody. TJ
The H & R INC. MODEL 622
GTGS brought The Titusville Gun Show on May 24 and 25 to the Titusville Elks Club. The show was a little slow. The gun show business usually slows in the summer months. Unless some left wing Politician gets the country stirred up with some new gun control legislation the firearms industry overall will start to slow down. Internet sales are seeing summer bring a slow down as well. There is some good as well as bad that will come with this type of a slowdown. Ammo is starting to be easier to obtain and the law of supply and should drive the prices down some. The collector gun market should remain pretty solid but the new gun market will turn into a buyer's market. I had a discussion with a large gun dealer about the prices dropping on the wholesale level as the distributer shelves start to stack up. I believe the way that politics has grown the firearms industry will propel us to a future where quality firearms can be bought at reasonable prices.
There were some neat firearms brought to the show to be traded or sold. One vendor traded for a nice engraved Colt Mustang. I had the pleasure of appraising a pair of Belgian double barrel pistols. The guns were nickel and were in 32 caliber and were in superb condition. One vendor got a nice Drilling on a trade. The gun I picked to write about this week is not fancy, nor pretty, was never manufactured with walnut stocks but is a superb reason to spend an afternoon at a Gun Trader Gun Show. The H & R (Harrington and Richardson) Model 622 Revolver that came through the show belonged to the brother of the man who brought it to trade. He had inherited it and did not need it. The gun was close to mint condition and was bought for one hundred and seventy five dollars. The old H & R Revolvers were a great buy in their day and remain so today. Deals like the Model 622 cannot be found on Gunbroker Auctions and are rare as hen's teeth at any gun shop. Other than an occasional lucky find at a yard sale the only place I see good deals like this are at a gun show.
Harrington & Richardson, Inc. was originally located in Worcester Ma. They were a manufacturer of utilitarian firearms for 115 plus years. H & R guns were not fancy but were mechanically sound tools that worked when they were called into action. I have fond memories of my grandfather's H & R 922. The 922 always lived under the driver seat of his truck. My grandfather's gun in his hand took a lot of critters to their final resting place including but not limited to raccoons, snakes, gators, rabbits, opossums just to name a few.
The H & R 622 was one of 35 different hand guns H & R produced between 1950 and 1985. The 622 was offered between 1957 and 1985. It is a solid frame six shot revolver in .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle. The 622 was available with a 2 1/2 , 4 or 6 inch barrel.
There are deals like the 622 to be had at every Gun Trader Gun Show! GTGS rolls into Inverness at the Citrus County Fairgrounds this weekend (May 31 & June 1. I hope to see everybody at the show. Till then be safe everybody! TJ
The Glock 30S in .45 ACP
On May 17th and 18th GTGS brought The Ocala Gun Show to the National Guard Armory. The show was a success. The Ocala Gun Show brings out a nice crowd that brings nice guns to trade. This show the gun selection was great. Both new and used guns were on display on the vendor tables as well as nice trading material coming through the door. There was a very nice Winchester Model 92 in about 85 percent condition that walked through the door Saturday morning. I strapped a nickel Colt Diamondback Saturday morning; Diamondbacks are in great demand just like a Colt Python. The two Colt engraved Single Action Armies that we have seen at a couple of shows recently showed up again. The gun that sparked my interest this week was a new model from Glock - the Glock 30S in .45 ACP.
Most of you that know me know how I feel about a Glock and or plastic guns in general. A Glock is as about as well built and reliable gun as you can have for any amount of money today. I just prefer a more traditional feel personally. I like my handgun to be made of steel. I have handled and shot lots of Glocks since they hit market in the US. Just about all of them functioned and performed flawlessly. Most of you agree that if you choose to own or carry a Glock it is a choice that you will not regret. What caught my interest about the Glock 30S is not the machine itself but the story behind it.
A very excited vendor brought his new Glock 30S to show me during the show. He had bought it new from another vendor at the show. At first inspection the pistol looked like just about every other Glock (black and made of plastic). He then explained how the model came about. I have to say I am impressed with Glock and their commitment to bring products to the marketplace that their consumers ask for. He said the Glock 30s is a combination of two of Glock's popular models in .45 ACP. Glock owners for years have been removing the slide off a Glock model 36 and installing it on a Glock 30 frame. This combination kinda gives the shooter the best of both worlds he felt.
According to Glock their model 36 houses 6 rounds of .45 ACP in their SLIMLINE design with a single stack magazine, the guns girth is only 1.13 inches wide and 27 ounces loaded. I have shot and carried this model. It is slim and compact for a 45. It seems that a lot of Glock owners felt that its capacity of six rounds may not be enough when the rubber meets the road. The Glock 30 houses 10 rounds of .45 ACP in their standard design with a double stack magazine, the guns girth is 1.27 inches wide. While this model gives a lot of firepower; Glock owners felt the guns slide was too wide for concealment purposes.
Glock has answered the call with their 30S (Model 30 with a slim slide.). After handling the new gun I have to agree Glock's combination of the two models is a nice package and will be a hit for them. Thank you Glock for doing what so many other companies refuse to do! Listen to their customers.
GTGS brings The Titusville Gun Show to the Titusville Elks Club this weekend (May 24 and 25). I hope to see everyone there. Until then be safe everybody! TJ
The Winchester 1890 Slide Action
On May 10 and 11 2014 GTGS brought The Crystal River Gun Show to the Crystal River National Guard Armory. The show was a success. I would like to thank the National Guard for their hospitality and their service to this country. There were lots of nice guns brought to the show to be traded off. There was a mint Remington 1911 A1 made in 1945 produced during the last production run. There was a stunning Belgium made Browning Superposed made in 1969 in 20 gauge still in its original box. On Saturday I was called by a vendor to appraise a Browning High power in 40 Smith and Wesson caliber. This is quite a rare High Power variation. On Sunday while checking and strapping the guns entering I strapped a second High Power in 40 caliber. This is the only time I have seen two of these at the same show.
I received a phone call on Thursday from a collector who has been buying Winchester pump 22 rifles. He had purchased a model 1890 Slide Action in 22 Long Rifle over the internet and had some concerns about its condition. I advised him to bring it to the show and I would be happy to appraise the old Winchester. He claimed the gun graded at 99 percent. In my mind that threw up a big red flag! The only 1890 I have laid eyes on in that condition lives in the Smithsonian. The conversation reminded me of the last Crystal River Show in which I ruined some poor guy's day showing him the Colt 1911 that was supposedly made in 1912 he had paid $3000 for had been a faked. The guns serial number had been ground off and changed. The 1890 Winchester Slide Action was made from 1890 until 1932. The total production was around 849,000 most of which were produced in 22 short only and were used as Gallery Guns and show heavy use. Still I was hopeful the 1890 Winchester was as good as it was supposed to be.
The Winchester 1890 was produced in a solid frame as well a takedown model that was added in 1892 around serial number 15,000. The 1890 came in 22 short, 22 long, 22 long rifle and 22 WRF. The guns would only function with the caliber they were chambered (For example you could not shoot a 22 short in a 1890 chambered 22 long rifle.). The 1890 came with a 24 inch octagonal barrel, a tubular magazine and a visible hammer. Until 1913 the gun was designated Model 1890 when it was changed to the Model 90. The 1890 was Winchester's first slide action repeating rifle. Starting in 1901 the case hardened frame was discontinued and replaced with blue. The gun's sleek appearance and excellent handling not to mention the quality of a Winchester rifle made at the turn of the century are all reasons why the guns are highly sought after today.
Now that I got the historical data of the 1890 out of the way I will get back to the story of the 1890 Winchester 22 Long Rifle (It is estimated less than 10 percent were chambered in 22 LR.) in 99 percent. When the gun was presented to me for evaluation it was in a 1950 vintage leather rifle case. Old leather rifle cases are exciting to unzip to me. You never know what is inside. As I unzipped the case and exposed the remarkable butt stock of the little 22 you could see the owner's excitement building. The walnut was stunning the bluing of the gun was mirror like.
I try my best to advise my friends and customers when buying rare, expensive firearms to get a second and even a third opinion if possible. Nine out of ten times they do not adhere to this recommendation. I really hated the look on the owners face when I asked him if he could return the gun. The gun in my opinion had been restocked and reblued sometime around 1950.The gun was a very nice 1890 for sure, but not an original specimen. So to finish this story if you have an opportunity to purchase a rare firearm with a high price tag get a second opinion it could save you some money!
GTGS brings The Ocala Gun Show to the Ocala National Guard Armory this weekend (May 17 and 18). I hope to see everybody there until then be safe everybody! TJ
The Winchester Model 63
March 29 and 30 GTGS was in Newberry for The Newberry Gun Show. The show was held at The American Legion and despite the pouring rain for most of Saturday the show turned out well. I always enjoy The Newberry Gun Show. It is nice to have a show that we can call our home show. This Newberry show marks six years that GTGS has been promoting shows in Florida! I would like to thank all of our customers for their support over the last six years.
With the frog choking rain and the parking lot looking like a pond it is not surprising that not as many guns came into the show as normal. Even so sales seemed good at the show. The one gun that caught my eye was a Winchester Model 63 Semiautomatic 22 Caliber Rifle that one of the regular Newberry customers brought to the show. The NRA Recruiter suggested I write about it. Good choice Greg! I have owned a Winchester 03 Rifle (The Winchester 03 is the father of the Winchester 63.) since I was a kid.
The Winchester 63 is by all standards a fine rifle but to understand it we have to take a look at its roots the Winchester 03. It all started in 1891 when Winchester began a program to develop a semiautomatic sporting rifle. Thomas C. Johnson and William Mason who were Winchester engineers at the time examined several operating systems for more than a decade. Johnson came up with the operating system that would become the system that the 03 and later the 63 were built around. The "blowback" operating system was simple in theory except for calculating the amount of force needed to reliably cycle the action. When the gun is fired, the gas must have enough inertia to overcome the bolt counterweight and recoil spring to eject the spent casing. The mechanism also had to keep the bolt closed until it was safe to extract the spent casing.
Johnson's design was introduced as the 1903 Self Loading Rifle. The Winchester 1903 Self Loading Rifle was the first commercially manufactured semi-automatic rifle. The Rifle was chambered in the all new smokeless-powder cartridge called the .22 Winchester Automatic. The 1903 will only chamber the now obsolete .22 Winchester Automatic. The cartridges are prized collectables now and are a must have if you are lucky enough to own a Winchester 1903 Self Loading Rifle.
The Winchester 63 was introduced in 1933 in the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. Like the 03 it was an immediate success. The 63 was the first semi-auto offering by Winchester chambered for the standard .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The 63 has a 10 round tubular magazine that is located in the butt stock. The magazine is fed through a teardrop shaped opening on the right side of the butt stock. The gun is chambered by depressing a knob at the front of the forearm. The gun met its demise like a lot of fine weapons in the post war production period. The last time the 63 appeared in the Winchester catalog was 1958.
In my collection there are several Winchester 63's as well as several Winchester 03's. I would put them up against any 1022 (not that there is anything wrong with a Ruger 1022) at any time. The Winchester Model 63 is a sought after gun these days but if you get a chance to own one I would recommend it.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the next show. Until then be safe everybody! TJ
The Mosin-Nagant 762 x 54R
On March 22 and 23, GTGS was in Titusville for "The Titusville Gun Show". I always enjoy coming to Titusville. The Rock Shrimp are always scrumptious. I enjoyed many Space Shuttle launches over the years there. Thanks to the current administration that program was shut down and now we have to hitch a ride with Russia to the space station. Speaking of Russia the weapon I chose this week comes from Mother Russia. Wandering around the show I spotted a Mosin-Nagant that had been Sporterized. While not a firearm I normally look at, the $100 dollar price tag got me thinking. Are the Mosin's the last of the great surplus bargains to be had? I am still pissed off at old Slick Willy and his Executive Order in 1994 that stopped the importation of the SKS and Chinese Ammo. The current President stopped thousands of M1 Garand's and M1 Carbines from coming back from Korea recently as well.
The Mosin-Nagant was designed in 1891 after the Russians, during the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877-1878, got their tales handed to them by the Turks in the form of heavy casualties. The Russians were armed with single shot Berdan rifles while the Turks had Winchester Repeaters. Maybe Mother Russia should have paid attention to the fate of General Custer! The Mosin-Nagant is a bolt action rifle that fires a 762x54R Cartridge. It was also made in 762x53R, 792x57 Mauser and 8x50 Mannlicher. The Rifle was made in eight different models including three Carbine models and a Sniper version (I recommend renting the movie, "The Enemy at the Gates"). The Rifle is equipped with a non-detachable 5 round box magazine. It comes standard with a hooded fixed front post sight and a rear ladder sight graduated from 100m to 1000m. The standard Rifle (M91/30) sports a 29 inch barrel and the Carbine (M38/44) is equipped with a 20.2 inch barrel. The Mosin started service in 1891 and still is in service today in some countries. That's one hundred twenty three years! It would be hard to dispute that the Mosin-Nagant works.
The Mosin has kind of a straight profile with a steel butt plate. The standard Rifle (M91/30) weighs in at 8.8 pounds. The 762x54R Cartridge leaves the muzzle at 2,838 feet per second so you can imagine shooting the rifle in its stock configuration is not for the faint of heart. The caliber is similar to 3006 and shooting the gun feels about like shooting a stock 1903 Springfield rifle. After the movie, "The Enemy at the Gates", came out I did a long range comparison of the Mosin and the German K98 Mauser. After shooting the comparison there was not any doubt that a properly trained rifleman can make 1000 yard hits with a scoped Mosin-Nagant! Russia built over 37,000,000 between 1891 and 1965. Even so, no one knows when the surplus supply will run out or some hack in our highest office will stroke his pen. The gun is a bargain and the ammo is still reasonable at the moment. I think it would be a great investment to own a couple and a few thousand rounds of ammo. A good example is the $450 dollar SKS Rifle!
This weekend GTGS March 29 through 30 brings you the Newberry Gun Show. I look forward to seeing everybody at the show. Until then be safe everybody! TJ
The Colt Twenty Two Conversion Unit
The weekend of March 8th and 9th GTGS produced The Leesburg Gun Show. We did not have any celebrities at our show signing autographs. Even so the show had a great turn out which shows me GTGS met our goal of bringing good shows to good venues. I would like to thank the Guardsmen at the Leesburg National Guard Armory for hosting us at their great facility and for their service to this great Nation of ours! There were some nice guns at the show. I did an appraisal on a Model 92 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine that was in super shape. I also had the pleasure of viewing a Sharps rifle in almost new condition. A new vendor had an unusual 1911A1 that he had brought back with him from Vietnam. He claimed the GI gun had been issued to him with the commercial slide that is on the gun now. The gun I choose to write about this week is not a gun at all. My choice is a like new in the box Colt Conversion Unit in 22 long rifle.
Being a Colt collector, I may have guessed I already have one of these in my collection. I do of course. I have owned and shot many of these neat 1911 22 conversions. This one is like new in the box. The correct box is a big plus for collectability of a Colt firearm or accessary. The Colt Conversion Unit comes ready to install on any Government Model Colt 1911 frame in 45 ACP or 38 Super.
The 22 Conversion for the 1911 heritage begins with the Colt Service Model Pistol developed by Colt just before WW 2. The Ace was a conventional blowback pistol that outwardly resembled the 1911 Government Model pistol. The pistol was as beautiful as any pre-war Colt but was not always the most reliable. Most chose the less expensive Colt Woodsman of the day which was, and is, a fine 22 pistol by any standards. Even so there was still interest in a 22 caliber gun with the handling characteristics of the beloved 1911. So Colt recognizing this went back to the drawing board. Colt thought maybe there was a way to make the 22 cartridge act as big as the 45 ACP that the 1911 was designed for.
Colt chose a variation of the design developed by David Marshall "Carbine" Williams. Carbine Williams, for those of you who don't know, perfected the short stroke gas piston used in the M1 Carbine Rifle. The design of the rifle earned him his nickname and his place in our history books. The new Colt design incorporated a floating chamber which allowed the recoil energy of the .22 cartridge to be boosted enough to cycle a slightly modified 45 slide. While this worked well most of the time the 22 Conversion Unit was prone to leading up which caused malfunctions.
I had retired all of my conversion units years ago until a friend of mine was in town. My friend is a big 1911 fan but had never shot a 1911 with a 22 conversion unit. I was happy to oblige him with giving him a chance to shoot a 1911 in my collection with a Service Model Ace Conversion that was on it when I bought it. The only ammo I had readily available was several boxes of CCI Stingers. To my amazement the Stingers, (I think because their higher velocity), functioned flawlessly in the pistol. My friend still to this day is trying to buy the pistol from me. Colt manufactured the 1911 22 Conversion Kit in several generations. They are fun to collect and shoot!
This weekend GTGS brings you the Titusville Gun Show at the Titusville Elks Club. I hope to see everybody there. Until then be safe everybody! TJ
The Colt Series 70 Mark IV Government Model
This past weekend GTGS was in Orlando at the National Guard Armory. I would like to thank the Guard for their hospitality and for their service. We survived the trip without any encounters with the giant mouse or the whale that has a taste for blondes. The show was a little slow but the people in attendance spent money. The ATM spit out quite a bit of green stuff. The veal at the local Italian restaurant was superb as usual. I finally made it by my friend's bar Wally's for a beer. The selection was great as well as the hospitality.
On Saturday morning while walking through the show I spotted a nice looking Colt 1911 on a vendors table. Upon inspection of the old Colt I found it to be a very nice blued Series 70 Government Model 1911 in 45 ACP. The blued gun was in great shape and better yet was all original. Series 70 Colt 1911 pistols are like a Volkswagen they are easily and more often than not altered from their factory configuration. I have been a fan of the Series 70 Colt 1911 since I bought my first one. It is a Series 70 Colt Gold Cup National Match. My gun has assisted me in putting many pins and plates as well as soda cans out of their misery. The price of this Colt Government Model was good so I bought it. It will fit in nicely with the others in my collection.
The Colt Mark IV Series 70 Government Model is the first improvement to be made to the Colt 1911 A1 since 1924. In order to improve the long standing complaint of the 1911 not having "Match Accuracy" Colt developed a collet style barrel bushing with four flexible fingers that centered the barrel perfectly in relation to the slide. Why this worked well. Ammunition advances of the time led to the fingers breaking causing Colt warranty problems so Colt reverted back to the standard bushing. The Pistols remained basically the same until Colt caved to the product liability lawyers in 1983. Colt discontinued the Series 70 and brought out the Series 80 1911 with its firing pin safeties. While just as reliable and just as accurate the gun was not seen as an original design 1911. Colt's sales started to suffer.
The Series 70 guns were, in my opinion, the last of the old world style of finishing guns. The bluing on the flats of the gun receives a mirror like finish. The rounded surfaces are sandblasted to create a non- glare finish. The grips are of checkered walnut and are highlighted by Colt Medallions. In addition to blue the Series 70 Colts were available in high polish nickel and for a few years an ugly Electrolysis Nickel. The Guns came in 45 ACP, in 9mm Luger, 38 super and 9mm Steyer (very rare). The Series 70 was also available In the Colt Combat Commander configuration and aluminum framed version called Lightweight Commander. As mentioned earlier the Series 70 also came in the dandy Gold Cup National Match with Colt Eliasion sights.
This week GTGS will be in Leesburg at the National Guard Armory on 400 West Meadow ST. I hope to see everybody there. Until then be safe everybody. TJ
The Remington 788 Bolt Action Rifle
GTGS was in Ocala at the National Guard Armory this past weekend. The show had a superb turnout. The customers came in droves and spent lots of money. I would like to thank everyone that came out to see the show. I would also like to thank the National Guard for their hospitality during the weekend. I also attended Jack Shubert's Antique and collector show in Lakeland. I enjoyed the show and the old guns on display there. The gun I picked this week The Remington 788 is one of my favorite bolt action rifles. I got to view a 788 in one of its rarest calibers 223 Remington.
My first high power rifle was a Remington 788 Carbine in 243 Winchester caliber. The rifle has served me well over the years. Shortly after I bought it I lucked into a German made Kahles scope for a song. The scope is a 3 by 9 power made of steel. The package has helped many critters meet their fate. I once killed a deer why I was drinking my coffee on my grandfather's porch. The deer was 285 yards across a holler on his dairy farm. While not the longest shot I have made with my Remington 788 in the flat shooting 243 Winchester caliber, getting the first deer of the trip before I had finished my morning coffee brings back fond memories.
When I started collecting guns I attempted to obtain a Remington 788 in every caliber. The Remington 788 was made from 1967 to 1983. The total number of guns produced is unknown. One would think a rifle produced for sixteen years would be quite common. This is not the case at all. The Remington 788 was an economy rifle meant to compete with cheap guns of the time like the Savage 110. This it did so well that Remington stopped producing it because its sales had overcome the sales of Remington's flagship rifle the model 700. The 788 with its three shot removable box mag had become a favorite of most lucky enough to own one. The 788 because of its nine rear locking lugs is one of most accurate out of the box bolt action rifles to have ever been produced. After over fifteen years of buying and enjoying Remington the model 788, I was still short two rifles from having a complete collection. Missing from my collection was a rifle in 223 and one in 44 magnum. At this point I caved and sold all of my Remington 788's except my original gun in 243 and a dandy one in 222 Remington.
The Remington model 788 was produced in .222 Remington, .22-250 Remington, .223 Remington, 6mm Remington, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-30 Winchester (very rare), 7mm-08 Remington, and 44 Magnum (super rare). The rifle was available with a 24 inch barrel. There was also a carbine version with an 18 and 1/2 inch barrel (only made in .243, .308 and 7mm-08). The gun came with a plain birch pistol grip stock void of any checkering.
I hope to see everybody at the GTGS show at the National Guard Armory in Orlando on March 1 and 2. Until then be safe everybody. TJ
A NICE EAST GERMAN MAKAROV
GTGS was in Starke last weekend at the Bradford County Fairgrounds. I would like to thank the Fairgrounds staff for having us and all of their hard work to keep the building in tip top shape for us. The weather was crappy all weekend. The crowd did not bring many guns in to trade. Instead they left with new guns to add to their collection. Some dealers had record sales during the show. Living through the Gainesville Student murders in 1990 I all ways remember Danny Rolling's five victims and the day he was put to death for the murders just a few miles from the Fairgrounds at the Florida State Prison in Raiford on October 25, 2006. I usually ponder how different the outcome would have been if just one of those victims was in possession of a firearm at the time of their murder. During the month after the slayings you could not find a handgun in any local gun shop. The buying fury that occurred showed me just how many people do not abide by the Boy Scout Motto and are not prepared!
At the show I spotted a nice East German Makarov. Of all the different countries that made a version of the Russian Makarov the East German guns are the ones I like the best. The Makarov is a simplified design of the famed German Walther PP. Unlike the Walther and its tendency to be ammo sensitive, therefore prone to jamming (at least in my experience) the Makarov seems to work almost flawlessly. I have owned all of the Makarov examples available in this country. I put them all through a torture test. All of them functioned flawlessly except the Russian made double stacked model which had a magazine issue. The Makarov shoots a 9 by 18 round which is also known as 9mm Makarov. A few Makarov's were also imported in 380 auto.
The Makarov was first made in Russia where its designer Nikolai Federovich Makarov is from. They were also made in East Germany, China (is there anything that China has not copied?), Bulgaria and Germany (after the wall came down). There are multiple versions of the Russians guns. There have been imported from Russia surplus guns as well as guns marked "Baikal" and "Ishmech". All of the double stack Makarov's were made in Russia. The East German guns are the finest of all the Makarov pistols made. Most Makarov's are a little crude as far as the fit and finish goes. Not the East German version. They are as smooth as any German gun I have ever handled and the polish job is almost as good as a prewar commercial Colt. The Bulgarian guns have pretty much the same fit and finish of the Russian guns. They shoot as well as the Russian and East German guns. The German guns made after the wall came down don't have quite the finish as the old East German guns but function perfectly. The Chinese guns have the quality of a Norinco firearm. Most of you have experience with Norinco guns and know their great quality.
GTGS will be in Ocala at the National Guard Armory this weekend. I hope to see everybody there. Till then be safe TJ
A NICE HONEST COLT 1851 NAVY
This last weekend we brought GTGS to Dade City at the Pasco County Fairgrounds. Our customers turned out in good numbers to support the show. I am pretty sure the show was more entertaining than the Sunday night big game! There were lots of nice guns that came through the door. One fellow had three Colt Pythons for sale in his bag. On a table I saw an H and K 300 rifle in 22 Magnum. That is a rare gun that went home with a happy customer. There was a very nice Winchester Model 42 on one vendors table. The gun I picked this week to bring my readers some history about is a nice honest 1851 Colt Navy.
The Colt Navy is of course grey with no noticeable traces of bluing remaining. The brass sub-frame and back-strap are in good condition as well are the original grips. The old Colt appears to be un-tampered with (this is very unusual for a gun manufactured in 1857). All three serial numbers match and the gun is in perfect working order. I would not have a problem loading the .36 caliber little gun and taking it to the range for a work out. Most pistols have not survived in the condition that you can load them and safely shoot then 157 years after they were made. If you were to ask me this is quite the testamony for The Colt Firearms Company.
The Model 1851 Navy or Belt Revolver was built by Colt form 1850 until 1873. The Navy was the first medium caliber revolver built by Colt after he had opened his plant in Hartford in 1847. The six shot .36 caliber cap and ball revolver had a 7 1/2 barrel and a hinged type loading lever. The gun gets its name because of the first purchase of their 1000 gun contract on July 27, 1855. Many thousands of Navy revolvers were issued by the United States Government following the Navy contract. Colt continued to make the gun until 1873. Even though the gun was branded "The Navy" if was popular with landlubbers as well. Next to the Model 1849, The 1851 Navy was the most popular colt cap and ball revolver. The gun has been copied an untold number of times by companies making modern replicas. Colt made in an excess of 255,000 1851 Navies including 40,000 manufactured at Colt's London factory. They were made with round trigger guards as well as square backed trigger guards. The Navy had one piece walnut grips. It has been said that the Navy was Samuel Colt's personal favorite. There is a portrait of him holding an 1851 Navy and a draftsman's compass.
Even though I am not a collector of the Colt Percussion revolvers I have shot original as well as replica 1851 Navies. The pistol handles well and is very accurate. The guns long life span is a testament to how effective a tool the Colt Navy was. I bet the stories this example could tell would be some good reading!
GTGS will be in Starke at the Bradford County Fairgrounds this weekend. I look forward to seeing all of our friends at the show. Until then be safe everybody TJ
The Ruger 10 22 Magnum
After not having a show of my own for a couple of weeks I was glad to have to have GTGS back in action last week. The show at the National Guard Armory on Normandy Blvd. was a great success. I would like to thank the guard members there for their hospitality. I would also like to thank them for their service!
There were nine gun shows in the state of Florida including a late addition in Tallahassee the weekend of the Jacksonville Armory. To my knowledge this is the most shows ever produced in Florida in one weekend. The late addition in Tallahassee may have been an attempt to steal vendors from the GTGS show. I would like to personally thank our vendors and attendants for a great show under the unusual circumstances of nine shows in one weekend. I talked to one friend that drove from the Gainesville area to the show in Palatka. That show must not have had much to offer because he was in Jacksonville at the Armory show around Eleven AM buying a very nice Smith and Wesson 66 from one of our vendors. Enough said about that. I will get to something more interesting to most of you The Ruger 10 22 Magnum.
The 10 22 Magnum is not my Holy Grail as far as firearms go. I get asked at least a hundred times a year if I have one for sale. With that said I am willing to bet that it is a Holy Grail for some of you! I owned a 10 22 Magnum In the year 2000 shortly after they hit the market. I bought it at a Walmart on the way to a gun show one Saturday morning. I am pretty sure the sales clerk that sold it to me lost his job that day. As he was doing my call in, the sporting goods manager came out with the shipping invoice of the guns that had been delivered to the store that morning. Seeing the Ruger rifle box lying on the counter he frantically asked the clerk if that was his 10 22 magnum. As it turns out he had to pull some strings with Ruger to get that gun. Turns out this particular Walmart had sold more Ruger 10 22 rifles in 22 Long Rifle caliber than any other Walmart to date. Impressed with those statistics but not his inflamed attitude towards me I grabbed my already paid for 10 22 magnum and left.
Upon arriving at the gun show later that morning I ran into a friend of mine that exclaimed he had been on the list at his local gun shop for almost a year to get a 10 22 magnum. He advised me that if I decided to part with it please put him first in line. Moments later his rabbit foot went into action. As luck would have it for him, into the show walked an old man with an old Colt. The old Colt was a black powder frame Single Action Army made in 1883. Not having quite enough cash I promptly made a deal with my friend and sold him the 10 22 Magnum.
That was almost 14 years ago now. Since then the Ruger 10 22 Magnum has almost been like a mythical creature, I hear about them but seldom ever see one. The 10 22 Magnum was produced from 1999 until 2006 in very low numbers. The gun was very expensive. The one I bought in 2000 was just under $500. At the same time a standard 10 22 in 22 LR could be bought for $139. The 10 22 Magnum had a steel receiver instead of the aluminum one all other 10 22's sport. A year or so ago one of the vendors at a GTGS show had one New in the box. I was unwilling to pay the $1995 he was asking for it. Shortly thereafter he got his $1995 for the Magnum.
During our couple of weeks off lady luck found me and I was given the opportunity to buy a 10 22 Magnum. The price was a lot more than I paid for the one in 2000 but much better than $1995 so I bought it. I put the gun out on the table during the show to see what kind of attention it would draw. I thankfully did not sell it. There was one vendor that returned to admire it five times during the weekend and he was not alone!
This Weekend GTGS will be in Dade City at the Pasco County Fairgrounds. I hope to see everybody at the show. Until then be safe everyone. TJ
The Smith and Wesson .357 Registered Magnum
The crowd at Lakeland this past Sunday seemed slow to me. The report was that Saturday was a good day. I spoke to several friends that had done extremely well on Saturday. I hear several Colt Pythons found new homes this weekend. I kind of enjoyed the slow crowd. It afforded me the opportunity to spend time with all of my customers and friends that were in attendance. Additionally I was able to view some nice guns.
There was two Pigeon Grade Model 42 Winchester shotguns. These shotguns are very rare. I enjoyed bursting the bubble of the owner of one of the Winchesters. While I was trying to get him to accept a reasonable offer for the gun he advised me I would not have a chance to buy another. Funny you should say that I told him. I advised him of the other Winchester that was in the other room. Not long after I walked away he made a beeline for the other room. There were lots of cool guns to write about at the show but, the gun I am picking this week comes from the collection of my dear friend Dick . Dick owned several guns that are considered "Holy Grail's" in the world of gun collecting. I think he will look down and smile as I write about his Smith and Wesson .357 Registered Magnum!
In 1935 Smith and Wesson announced the debut of a powerful new cartridge "The .357 Magnum". The cartridge was based on the very popular 38 special of the time. The new catriidge was an elongated version of 38 special and was three times as powerful. Smith and Wesson did not expect the cartridge to be much of a success and did not intend to add a regular production gun to their catalogue to shoot it. Boy did they miss the boat there! The 357 magnum very rapidly became the revolver cartridge that all other revolver cartridge loads would be judged by. Instead they intended to only make custom order guns that would be called the .357 Magnum the same as the cartridge they were designed for. The cartridge was developed for Smith and Wesson by Elmer Keith and Phillip B. Sharpe.
The Registered Magnum was offered as a custom ordered gun. It could be ordered with any barrel length from 3 1/2 to 8 3/4 inch. The gun came with adjustable sights, checkered walnut grips and was hand fitted. The gun was registered to the buyer by a special number found on the inside of the yoke. This number started with a "REG" prefix. Due to the tremendous demand for the revolver this was discontinued by 1939 with only around 5,500 Registered Magnums produced. The model eventually evolved into the model 27. The Registered Magnun is probably the most collectible revolver Smith has ever made.
I have bought, sold and collected rare firearms for longer than I like to remember. Still to this day the workmanship of a gun like Dick's Registered Magnum astounds me. The gun is fitted with a six and 1/2 inch barrel. The blueing is so deep you can see yourself in it. As most of you know I am a big Colt fan so in my opinion very few Smith and Wesson revolvers have an action that will compete with a Colt Python. The Registered Magnum is every bit as smooth and crisp as a Python. The factory letter that Dick obtained for the revolver confirms that it was shipped from the Smith and Wesson factory to Abercrombie & Fitch Co., New York City, NY on July 14 , 1939. The gun was shipped with a 6.5 inch barrel equipped with Call gold bead front sight, square notch rear sight,blued finish and checkered walnut magna grips. The revolver was sighted in at 25 yards with 357 magnum ammunition using a 6 o'clock hold. The shipment was for 2 units both in the same configuration. While not General Patton's Magnun this is a very cool gun for sure.
GTGS will be in Jacksonville this weekend at The National Guard Armory. I hope to see everybody there. Till then be safe TJ
Nice Randall Don
As you all know we did not have a show this weekend. The weather was bad. There was rain, rain and more rain so fishing was out of the question. So I ended up at at gun show instead. I know no surprise there. A few week back I had talked to my friend Don Damatteis about writing a few articles about cool items that my customers would enjoy reading about. Don is a long time collector like a lot of us. Don promotes the winter show in Crystal River in February.
Sometimes dynamite finds come in small packages! Always on the hunt for collectable firearms, combing a local flea market, I stumbled upon this fine example of a Randall #7 Fisherman's knife. I quickly traded the old double barrel Stevens 20 gauge shotgun I was toting for the neat little knife, even before I knew much about it.
I did know that Bo Randall was the most well know knife maker in America. He started his business in his Orlando, Florida backyard in 1938, after tinkering with knife making as a hobby for a couple of years. His early success was fighting knives for our troops during WWII. After the war, he broadened his line of knives to include models that would appeal to sportsmen.
In the mid 1940's, he designed the #7 Fisherman knife for his own use as a scaled down version of his #3 Hunting knife. Once he realized how handy it was, he quickly added it to the Randall Catalog. The knife has a slender 4 1/2" blade of 3/16" stock, and the stag handle is just right at about 4". The early knives, prior to 1960 like this one, had sheaths made by the HH Heiser Co., Denver saddle and holster maker. Other interesting features of the 1940-50's vintage knives include a sterling silver guard and a brass pin used to secure the stag handle.
While it may be the perfect fishing or general utility carry knife, I am reluctant to take it out in the field for fear of loss or damage, now that I know its worth about $750! So it sits in a display case with my other little treasures, while I carry a small Case XX folder I found years ago, but that's another story. DD
Thank you Don for the story I enjoyed reading about you're new knife. I will see everybody in Lakeland this weekend and I hope to see everybody January 25, 26 in Jacksonville at the National Guard Armory on Normandy Blvd. Till then stay safe everybody! TJ
The Snubby 38 Special
It was great to be back in Newberry for our Home show. The weather was cold. The thermometer registered 27 degrees on my drive to the show on Saturday morning. So much for global warming keeping us warm! Security at the show was glad Ed with the American Legion keeps the old propane heaters in tip top shape. The cold must have kept the patrons from bringing their guns to trade. With the great crowd the vendors were busy selling even though the number of guns coming into the show was down. One gun that caught my eye was a Smith and Wesson snub nose 38 special. At first glance it appeared to be a plain model 36. When I took a closer look to my surprise the Snubby was a flat latch pre 36 in 38 special. The little Smith and Wesson is a rare gun to encounter these days. The little gun got me thinking about a question that I am asked at every show.
David teaches a lot of safety classes for students intending to get a concealed weapons permit. Many of the students ask me. What is the perfect carry gun? Most of them already have answered the question themselves. Most of them get the answer wrong!
With the modern world full of firearms manufactures producing great semi auto carry offerings like Glock, Keltec, Kahr, Smith and Wesson, Colt, Ruger just to name a few. In my opinion a snub-nose in 38 special of a quality manufacture is still the best choice of a concealed carry piece. Let me explain why. A gun is a machine. The simpler the machine the better chance it has of defeating Murphy's Law (Anything that can possibly go wrong, does.) A semiautomatic weapon is a complicated machine. Before it will send a hot piece of lead down its barrel several human actions have to be carried out. First the magazine has to be loaded then the magazine must be inserted into the gun next a round has to be chambered. When the gun is put into action (depending on the weapon the safety has to be disengaged. The double action revolver only requires being loaded then pulling the trigger when placed into action!
The modern Snub-nose revolver is available from most firearms manufactures. They can be bought in every price range. They are made in blued steel, stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, and polymer and maybe in a material that I am not aware of! Most of the offerings I encounter are simple machines that are well made that should last a lifetime. In addition to the modern choices don't discount the offerings of yesteryear like the little Smith and Wesson pre 36, the Smith and Wesson model 60, all of the offerings from Taurus and the Colt Detective Special just to name a few.
I would like to thank all of our customers and friends for coming out to The GTGS Newberry show. GTGS does not have a show until January 25-26 at The National Guard Armory in Jacksonville. I hope to see everyone at the Lakeland Club Show on the 18 and 19. Till then stay safe TJ
The North American Arms Corp. Derringer
This past weekend we brought GTGS to Winter Haven. The show had a great turnout. The vendors had lots of great wares to choose from. The crowd brought lots of great treasures to the show to trade. It was good to see our friend that we only see in our southern shows. This week I could write ten columns. The one I picked is one of my favorites.
A North American Arms Corp. Derringer came through the show this weekend that caught my eye. I know what you are thinking. The little single action derringers are not rare or unusual. This one is however is different. It is the seldom encountered first model that NAA made. The gun is 22 short only and was made in Newberry Park, California. The NAA has a strange external cocking device. When the hammer is cocked, a notch on the hammer operates, and an external transfer bar locks the cylinder in place. While kind of frail, this simple design seems to operate well. The cool little gun appears to be unfired and is in its original custom fitted presentation case. .
I bought my first NAA Derringer in 1994. Mine is 22 short only. The NAA is what I like to refer to as a get off me gun. I hardly ever shoot it; very seldom ever think about it; I use it as I think NAA intended it to be used. The five shot Derringer's all stainless steel construction is ideal for where it has lived since I bought it. Since then I have owned most of the models that NAA has produced. With an overall length of just a hair over three and 3/4 of an inch, the 22 short is still my favorite. After using it a few years I retired my High Standard Derringer to where it still resides in my gun safe. .
The North American Arms, Inc. started life as The Rocky Mountain Arms in 1974 by a man most of us recognize named Dick Casull. In 1976 the name was changed to North American Arms. During this time it became part of the Tally Corp. of Newberry Park, California. Since then the company has had several homes; Salt Lake City, Provo, Spanish Fork and finally landing back in Provo Utah. This is where NAA lives today. .
The NAA Mini revolvers have been manufactured in 22 Short, 22 Long Rifle, 22 Magnum, 17 Mach 2, 17 HMR and in their very own Black Powder caliber. NAA also makes several versions of their Mini Revolvers. The Mini- Master Target and The Mini-Master Black Widow are two examples. NAA also makes a line of semi-auto pocket pistols they call The Guardian.
The Guardian is an all stainless pistol made of the same quality of their Mini Revolvers. NAA also produced a full size single action revolver in .45 Win. Mag or .450 Mag Express cal. This model was discontinued in 1984. In my latest edition of the Blue Press I saw a NAA add for their Mini Revolver with a swing out cylinder. They are calling the new model The Sidewinder. For those of us that occasionally shoot their NAA revolver this might be a welcome change. The current guns are kind of a bear to load!
This weekend GTGS comes Home to Newberry. I hope to see everybody out at the American Legion for the Show. Till then be careful! TJ.
The Remington Model 600
This past weekend we brought GTGS to one of our favorite spots Crystal River. The crowd turned out nicely and did lots of Christmas shopping. Some of our friends from up north found their way down for the winter. They always bring some nice treasures with them that end up for the taking at the Crystal River show. I would like to thank the Soldiers at the National Guard Armory. As always they took great care of us. Their Service is always appreciated. With Christmas Eve not here yet even I still had a few gifts to buy.
My daughter, Chloe has recently decided she may want to start hunting. Chloe, like her father has always enjoyed shooting. She got her first gun, a Winchester 1906 22 pump when she was four years old. She picked it out at the Newberry Gun Show years ago before GTGS was even in business. She is now twelve and this is the first time she has expressed an interest in hunting. Why of course I have lots of rifles zeroed in that Chloe could use on her first hunt. Even so I thought it would be nice to give her one of her own. She is a little short for her age so a youth gun would work. I had a better idea, a Remington Model 600.
The Model 600 is one of my favorite Remington offerings. I own several that have served me well over the years. The 600 comes in excellent calibers for such a short offering. Some of the calibers are quite abusive when you pull the trigger (especially the magnums). Most can overlook this because the 6 -1/2 pound rifle with only an 18-1/2 inch barrel can be carried all day almost effortlessly. I have sold and shipped several out west. They seem to be a favorite of ranch hands.
The Remington 600, 600 Magnum, 600 Mohawk, 660 and 660 Magnum were only made from 1964 till 1979. The bolt action rifles with their plastic parts (trigger guards on all models and the unsightly plastic ventilated rib on the model 600) must not have been popular at the time of production. In contrast today they are highly desirable in any caliber. There were only 239,542 rifles made counting all models. The 600 was made in 222 Remington, 223 Remington (only 315 of these), 6mm Remington, 243 Winchester, 308 Winchester and 35 Remington. The 600 sported a checkered pistol grip stock. The 600 Magnum was made in 6.5mm Remington Magnum and .350 Remington Magnum. The Magnum had a cool looking walnut and beech laminate stock. This model was made from 1965-1968. The 600 Mohawk was a cheapened model 600 it came without the vent rib and was only produced in .222, 6mm, 243 and 308. The Mohawk was produced 1971-1979. The 660 sported a 20 inch barrel, a black pistol grip cap and forend tip. The 660 was not produced in 35 Remington and there were only 227 manufactured in 223. It was made 1968-1971. The 660 Magnum had the same specs and were in the same two magnum calibers as the 600.
I gave Chloe her Mohawk 600 in 243 Remington on Christmas Eve. I had mounted a fixed 4 power Leupold scope on the little gun. I think this simple package will serve her well. We sighted in the old gun the day after Christmas. From the picture of the target I think she is ready.
I hope everybody had a good Christmas! I look forward to seeing everybody in Winterhaven this weekend. TJ
The Winchester Model 12
Once again GTGS pulled off a great show for the Morocco Shrine in their temple in Jacksonville. The crowd was strong and there were lots of great firearms that changed hands during the event. I would like to thank all of our friends who turned out for the show. The proceeds raised will be used wisely by the Shriners for one of their many great causes.
A friend of mine started reading my column this week and had some great suggestions. Thank you for your interest! I would like to extend the opportunity for my readers to drop me an email if you have any suggestions or have a favorite gun you would like to know about.
My pick this week is a neat Winchester Model 12 in twenty gauge. The Winchester was part of a proud Model 12 collection of someone who recently passed away. Seeing the old Winchester brought back memories of the days when almost every table at a gun show held a prized Model 12. In those days the prices kept me from collecting The Winchester Model 12. I remember when $500 might get you a 12 gauge poly choked shooter. The 20 gauge guns were never within my price range, much less, a 28 gauge or a Model 42 in 410 (the Winchester Model 42 is a scaled down Model 12 in 410 gauge).
This particular Winchester Model 12 in 20 gauge is quite unusual. The guns serial number tells me it is a pre-war gun made in 1936. All Winchester firearms made prior to 1964 are sought after. I believe the fit and finish of the pre-war guns to be as good as it gets. This little 20 sported a nickel steel barrel with a factory ventilated rib. The Winchester had been professionally refinished and carried some of the prettiest burl walnut deluxe stocks I have ever seen. This little gun comes to the shoulder almost effortlessly. As it did its last owner it will make its new one proud to own it in his or her collection.
The Winchester Model 12 was produced from 1912 until 1980. The Model 12 is a slide action repeater. It first came in 20 gauge. The 12 and 16 gauge was added in 1914. The 28 gauge was added in 1937. The Model 12 was available in 26, 28, 30 and 32 inch barrels. The barrel could be had in regular steel, nickel steel and for a short period of time stainless. The barrel could be had plain, with a solid rib, ventilated rib and could have a cutts compensator added. The Model 12 could be ordered in field grade, skeet grade, trap grade, super field grade, black diamond trap grade, tournament grade and pigeon grade. From 1959 till 1962 the Model 12 was offered in a featherweight model. The Model 12 was made in a heavy duck gun, a riot gun and a trench gun that served our GI's well. There were over 2,027,500 Winchester Model 12's produced from 1912 until 1980. It will certainly be remembered in history.
I hope to see everybody in Crystal River at the GTGS show this weekend. TJ
IF THIS BROWNING HIGHPOWER COULD TALK
Brooksville was a little slow this weekend. I still enjoyed the weekend seeing old friends and telling stories about life and guns. Not always in that order. A slow show seems to get vendors trading amongst themselves. Mostly out of boredom I think. Even I have been accused of this from time to time. While on one of my leg stretching trips around the room to try and curb the boredom I stopped to talk to a friend of mine. Amongst the collection of firearms on his table was a Browning High Power. The old warhorse was a world war two vintage Browning HP(also known as P35). The gun was mas made during the German occupation of Belgium as was evident by the Nazi eagle proof marks. While very little finish remains on the pistol a quick pull of the slide back showed me the gun to be in great mechanical condition. After some discussion of speculation of the guns service in the German Army my friend told me he bought the gun in hopes of doing some WW 2 reenacting that he never got around to. I certainly did not need another High Power but after haggling I could not resist and laid down the cash.
The "High Power" or P35 was the great John Moses Browning's last pistol design. The guns production started in 1935 and is still being produced today. The High Power was the first pistol to incorporate a double stack magazine. In 1935 as today a gun that you can stuff in a waistband holding fourteen rounds of 9mm (13 in mag 1 in the chamber) is a very useful weapon. In my opinion of all the combat weapons ever produced the Hi Power only falls behind the colt 1911 in effectiveness. The High Power has been produced in fixed sight, adjustable sight and tangent sight models. Up until recently it was and possibly still is the most wildly used military pistol in the world. The High Power was produced in a model that would accept a shoulder stock with the tangent sights adjustable to 600 meters. While not really practical for 600 meter shooting the package was cool for its time. The war time High Power pistols are a highly sought after collector piece.
I once found a cache of South African made magazines for the High Power with a capacity 17 nine mm rounds. To this day my favorite High Power houses one of the mags full of Hornady Critical defense! An old friend of mine did five tours in Vietnam in a unit called MAC V SOG. On his first tour he took a Nazi marked Browning High Power (just like the one this story) from a Vietcong officer he killed. He had countless stories of his High Power and how it served him well in Vietnam. To this day he still carries his High Power. If this High Power could talk what story would it tell? The gun does not have any import marks so it was a most likely a war trophy brought back from Europe by an American soldier. Hard to tell how many lives may have been saved by the capture of this pistol. Did it serve to protect the GI and his family after the war? I could speculate for hours about the possibilities. Instead I think I will sit down at my Dillon 1050 load a few hundred 9mm and go see how this old warhorse performs.
I hope to see everybody this weekend in Jacksonville at the Morocco Shrine. We are happy to help the Shrine do all their good work! TJ
THE REMINGTON NYLON
For the Black shopping weekend GTGS was in The City of Ocala. We had a great show at the National Guard Armory. I would like to thank all of our great customers for coming out to support us. There were multiple examples of great weapons to write about. The gun of choice comes this week from our friend Greg our resident NRA recruiter. He mentioned seeing a nice Remington Nylon 66 and on a vendors table. I of course asked which model nylon it was. He said it was brown and asked how many different models there were.
I replied by telling the story of a friend of mine who once had a dream of owning a whole collection of Remington Nylons. My friend of course had a Nylon 66 Autoloader when he was a kid with the brown zytel plastic stock. When his first born was conceived he set out to find her a Nylon she could grow up with. He remembered his friend having one with a nickel receiver and black stock. After a little research he found out how collectable the Nylons had become. With childhood memories of his Nylon and the many tin cans he murdered growing up he set off to obtain a collection of Nylons.
His first acquisition walked through his pawn shop a few days later. The specimen was a standard Nylon 66 autoloader with the brown zytel plastic stock. The standard Nylon 66 was In 22 long rifle only, sported a 19 5/8 inch barrel, a buttstock tube magazine that held 14 shells, weighed 4 pounds and had a zytel plastic stock that came in black, brown or green. Between 1959 and 1990 Remington made 1,050,336 of these. Having the Nylon in his possession sent him on a five year quest!
Browsing Gun Broker daily and attending every gun show his wife would allow the Nylon became an obsession! Next he acquired the Model 10-C acquired at the Lakeland gun show. The 10-C was semi auto and came with a 10 shot magazine. It was made between 1971 and 1978 with a production of 129,000. Next a Nylon 66 Bicentennial won at auction on Gun Broker. The Bicentennial had an inscription on the receiver, was manufactured 1976 only with a total production of 10,268.
Feeling down leaving a gun show one Saturday afternoon (not having bought a Nylon in almost six months) he decided to stop at a yard sale. At first the sale appeared to consist of only household dishes and worn out clothes (like most yard sales). With a sigh of disappointment he asked the most important yard sale question "do you have any guns for sale" the lady replied "I think I have an old bb gun in a closet". He could hardly contain himself when the woman appeared with the bb gun sporting a chrome receiver and a black plastic stock. He paid the woman the twenty dollars she asked and sped away with an Apache Black Nylon. I refused to come near him for months in fear of a lightning strike! There were 221,000 Apache Black Nylon's with a chrome finish.
After four Years of Nylon hunting my friend had acquired only eight of the sixteen different variants. While a respectable collection by most peoples standards, he was starting to grow frustrated with the length of time his quest was taking. The eight guns left to obtain were being elusive as rare guns tend to be. Almost another year went by before I got the report of number nine of the collection. He could hardly contain the excitement of the Nylon 76 "trail rider" as it arrived by UPS! The 76 is the only lever action repeating rifle manufactured by Remington. The 76 was made from 1962 to 1964. Remington made 25,312 in standard finish (blue with brown stock) and 1,615 with the black chrome finish. Next for the collection was a Nylon Apache 77. The 77 walked into his shop one day. The Apache 77 was similar to the 10-C except with a bright green stock. It was made for Kmart only from 1987 to 1989. Well on the way to a complete collection, this is where the story takes a turn.
I received a call one day asking if I could come to the pawn shop (my friend needed some advice). Always happy to help a friend I was on my way. When I arrived at the shop his lovely employee sent me to his office. My friend had a lead on the Holy Grail of Nylons. On Gunbroker was a Nylon 10-SB. The 10-SB is a Nylon 10 bolt action single shot, except smooth bore. There were only 2,064 of these manufactured. My friend was beside himself! The only problem was the gun was already at $1250 with nine more days left during the auction. He asked what he should do. Having never seen one for sale before my reply was you got to have it and this may be the only chance. This would turn out to be a grave mistake. The auction closed at $1879 with my friend taking the prize.
After not hearing from my Pawn shop broker for several weeks I called the shop. His lovely employee answered the phone. With a chuckle she advised me he was on sort of a forced vacation. As it turns out his obsession for the Remington Nylon 66 was not good for his marriage! She advised she had been told if I called to tell me to pick up the collection for liquidation.
Nylons not covered in the story.
Nylon 77- like the 66, but had a 5 shot box magazine. The 77 was Manufactured in 1970 and 1971 only.
Nylon 76- 1,615 made in Apache Black/Chrome finish.
Nylon 66- standard was manufactured with a black diamond stock production of 56,000.
Nylon 66-standard was manufactured with a Seneca green stock production of 45,000.
Nylon 66-Gallery Special was manufactured in 22 short only unknown number manufactured.
Nylon 11-bolt action repeater 6 or 10 shot mag 22,423 manufactured between 1962 and 1964.
Nylon 12- like Nylon 11 but with a tubular magazine 27,551 manufactured between 1962 and 1964.
Nylon 66 150th year anniversary 3,792 made 1966 only.
I am headed off to the Hernando Sportsman' Club Gun Show this weekend. Hopefully to find something neat for my collection! I am looking forward to seeing everyone at The Morrocan Shrine in Jacksonville on the 14 and 15. TJ
"The Grendel P10"
We brought GTGS back to Leesburg last week. The show was held in the Leesburg National Guard Armory in beautiful downtown Leesburg. I am betting the local liberals love when we come to town! The Leesburg Armory is one of the last armory's left with beautiful wood floors (really nice to stand on all weekend compared to concrete) and glass blocks at the top of the walls that make better lighting conditions than any other show we have. I always enjoy this show because it brings back lots of good memories of great conversations of rare colts with my good friend Dick Davidson. Dick always made time to visit us at this show (even when he needed to get his wonderful wife up to a Gator game). Dick, you are missed and I hope writing about a Grendel does not make you roll over! Lord knows I bet you repaired many of them. I think you will get a laugh out of this Grendel's story, just like I did.
I know everybody is thinking I bumped my head writing about a Grendel P10, however, if you bear with me you might enjoy the story. We had a "no show" this weekend so I was occupying a table with some of my relics. I had just traded into a really neat rifle that was a mystery to me. The weapon was a 1903 Springfield with a Rock Island receiver made in 1904 in standard military configuration in 22 caliber. I have played with 1903 rifles for years and have never seen one in this configuration (stay tuned for a future article on this unusual rifle). I was nose deep in my computer doing research on this rifle.
The vendor on the table behind me had just asked to see the handgun the gentleman walking by his table was holding. Of course this always sparks my interest. The man handed the Grendel to the vendor and said "this was my backup gun my department issued me." Not thinking I asked what kind of department would stake their officer's lives on Grendel? What the retired Detroit Police Officer told us next not only left us shocked but made us burst into laughter! Here is what he said. "Sometime in the late eighties we were issued the Grendel." As we listened in disbelief he continued. "The first year we qualified, the little plastic guns leapt out of the hands of several officers. The Detroit Police Department's fix to the problem was to contact Grendel for a solution. Evidently this is when Grendel developed the bolt on finger grip attachment and installed them on DPD's P10's. From then on the officers were required once a year to load the P10 and fire it. The officers were not required to be proficient with the weapon." We died laughing hearing the story. It is no wonder the City of Detroit is bankrupt!
Most of us are beginning to accept plastic framed handguns. Before Glock made it so the firearms industry could not ignore plastic frame guns. Plastic guns like George Kellgren's Grendel P10 was a tough sell to the American firearms industry. The P10 was Grendel's first offering. It is about as simple as it can get. The P10 is a polymer framed compact 380. It is a double action only, blowback operation and of all things has to load through the top like a Mauser Broomhandle. While a neat offering, the gun is not practical (not to mention it has a reputation of not being reliable). Glad I was not a DPD officer!
Thanks to all of our friends and customers for another great Leesburg show! I want to wish everybody a happy Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday. I look forward to seeing everybody this upcoming weekend in Ocala. TJ
THE ASTRA CUB
This past weekend we brought GTGS to Starke, at the Bradford County Fairgrounds. You know the place full of state prisons on 301 just north of Waldo the speed trap. The show had a good turnout. I would like to thank all of our friends from the Bradford County area for coming out to see us.
After spending hours of checking lots of nice guns on Sunday, at one o'clock in walked a super nice representation of one of my favorite little handguns. The almost mint in the original box Astra cub was born in 1962 according to the date code under the left plastic grip panel. It was in 22 short as were most. The little gun had both its correct nickel plated Firearms Int'l Corp. marked magazines. The Model 2000 Cub's box was correctly serial numbered to the gun. The brown grips were minty and un-shrunk unlike so many of the 60's era plastic grips. The little Spanish gun will make a nice addition to somebody's collection!
The Astra Cub 2000 was made between 1954 and 1968. The gun control act of 1968 stopped the importation of these fine little pistols. Thank you Uncle Sam! The Cub came in 22 short and 25. The mini 1911 as it is sometimes called is single action and blowback operated. The gun was available in blue, chrome and engraved. Most of you know the Colt Junior is an Astra 2000 with the Colt logo stamped on it. The little Colt stamped Astra looked a little more presentable with the checkered American walnut slabs for grips. A friend of mine owns a conversion unit (the only one I have ever seen) to convert the Colt Jr from 25 to 22 short.
As a Colt collector of course I own several Colt juniors in both 22 short and 25 auto. My Astra Cub I bought a few years back at the Lakeland Club Show because I thought it would be a nice sidekick to the Astra Firecat, that has been known to live in my boot from time to time (just in case). My Cub lives in my tackle box. It has been the source of entertainment on many fishing trips when the bass would not cooperate (hence why they call it fishing not catching). I do a lot of fishing on The Santa Fe River where we have the occasion to run across a nasty creature we call the Florida cottonmouth. Quite a few water moccasins have wished my Cub did not reside in my tackle box! I actually prefer the 22 short over the 25 ACP in a pocket gun. While not a self-defense caliber by any stretch up close and personal it can be quite effective. All this talk about fishing I think I am going to throw a box of 22 short's in the tackle box hook the boat to the truck and take my son fishing.
I hope to see everyone next week in Leesburg at the National Guard Armory for GTGS show. Till then be safe. TJ
WHERE DID ALL THE MODEL NINETY FOUR'S GO?
Before I get to the story please allow me to introduce myself. For those of you that don't know me anyway. My name is Terry, my partner Benny and I started GTGS, (Gun trader gun shows), in the fall of 2008. We are enjoying our fifth year of turning our hobby into a business. I have been collecting guns since 1988. I like pretty much anything that will propel a chunk of lead down a tube by way of fire! With that said let me get back to something cool: The Winchester Model 94.
Promoting thirty nine gun shows a year allows me to keep a pulse on trends in the firearms industry. Last weekend we had our first show in Orlando at the National Guard Armory on South Fern Creek Ave. I would like to thank the National Guard as well as all of our fine patrons and superior vendors for another great show! For about the last year I have been noticed the lack of Winchester 94's in circulation or for that matter any rifle in 30/30 caliber. The Model 1894 was made by Winchester from 1894 until 2006. Winchester made over seven million, five hundred thousand of them during this time frame! Where have they all gone?
The Model 94 has been produced in at least ten calibers, (25-35,32-40,38-55,32 Winchester special, 357 magnum, 38 special, 44 magnum, 44 special, 45 colt and of course 30-30). I have heard many times "There have been more deer killed with a 30/30 than any other caliber". This statement perhaps leads me to the answer to my own question. As we all know, we are facing unusual times. Even some of my least skeptical friends are starting to "prep" or "be prepared" as my favorite boy scout motto is expressed! They even have television shows dedicated to what most of us have done for decades. The Model 94's, I believe, are being squirreled away for this purpose. After all, next to 22 long rifle, the 30/30, until now, could be found on the shelf at any gun store, hardware store, sporting goods store and even the ever hated Walmart! Try to find a box now!
With all that said to my delight a fine specimen walked into the show last weekend in Orlando. The Winchester 94 was a pre-64, (for those of you who don't understand that stay tuned - I will broach this topic in a future article). The rifle was one of the most unusual I have ever laid my eyes on! The old Winchester was made in 1957. The Model 94 has been, and always will be, an outdoorsman's tool; therefore seldom is one encountered with any engraving. The gun was in 98 percent condition and the receiver and rear tang were fully engraved. While not factory engraving, the work was excellent! Guns like that are why I work hard to bring GTGS to a town near you! I look forward to seeing everybody in Starke this weekend!