Firehand is on my shit list. He's working my side of the street and infringing on my authority as a specialist on old rifles for old buggers. He's shooting a Mini Sharps that looks like more fun than a barrel of monkeys. I've seen these pistol caliber rifles going after gongs out at 200m and making some serious hits too.
Firehand's old school cool complete with a period authentic
Leatherwood 3X scope.
That's serious fun right there. He's having some
minor issues that he'll suss out shortly.
I got the hankering for an old school Black Powder Cartridge Rifle a couple years back and a Uberti repro of the Winchester 1876 Centennial Rifle came up on the Gunnutz site. The pics were gorgeous so I PM'd the owner and asked what kind of shape the gun was in, etc. It all sounded good so I bought it.
Crescent butt plate. Colour case hardened receiver. Octagonal barrel.
.45-75 caliber. Be still my beating heart...
I fluked out and scored about 150 brass cases for it. I'm probably the only guy in Canada with that much brass in this caliber - the stuff is almost impossible to find up here and ya gotta know guys to get it across the border. So I loaded up some rounds, and was just stoked when I got to the range.
The gun wouldn't cycle or fire correctly.
I took it down to Rotten Rod The Gunsmith - and he tells me the previous owner did a botched trigger job and that he could do a temporary fix - but I would need some new parts. Getting them from the wops in Italy might be possible. I just about did it last week but they shipped the wrong ones. The import/repair saga goes on. It shoots for now, so I'll smile and use it. All it needs is a new hammer, and Rod was able to make an old Soule sight work for the tang.
These are really bad pics that don't capture the beauty and soul of this gun.
The problem with these Italian guns is that a lot of the materials are case hardened. Case hardening means their is a hard, outer layer of metal that will stand up to wear and tear. The inner material is soft like butter and won't wear at all. This allows the maker to use cheaper cutting and milling tools in the manufacture of the gun, whereas top notch 'hard' metals require very expensive bits and cutters to machine.
And - because guns frighten liberals and stupid people importing gun-related parts and supplies in Canada is a fuggin' nightmare. In any event, as I head into retirement I do it with some fine vintage rifles that will challenge me and keep me off the streets and doing something constructive, I suppose. Old guns and old buggers go together like bacon n' eggs.
As always, my readers (you two know who you are) will be kept informed.