Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gun Show, BlogMeet, Motor Scooter

I'm just made of happy. (And possibly 25% win and 15% cake, final results are not yet in):

Made it to the gun show and found what I was looking for! --One of the things I was hoping to find, at least; I'd be delighted to find another of the "S" series .32ACP Stars and I wouldn't turn my nose up at an Astra revolver, but neither of these showed up.

However, I missed out on the supercheap Nagant revolvers, last show but one, as I had been unable to source the cylinders that'll let you shoot afforable rounds in these Russian uniquities. I found one, a trace over "supercheap" but within my tiny budget! "Nagant," you say, "what sane person would desire one of those? 'More coal, please, Santa!'"

Umm, gee, it's like this: My boarder's a serious collector of S&W revolvers, so I can't really get into those, plus they cost actual money 'cos they're popular workin' guns. Colts are delightful revolvers, a pleasure to the hand and, when in good shape, the eye as well. But anyone who finds Smiths expensive will faint at the asked-and-received prices a Colt commands. What's that leave? British revolvers (who would not enjoy a nice old MoD top-break?), Spanish revolvers where the options are Astra in .38 and .357 or, as far as I know, "explosion hazards and/or rarities." Or Russian Nagants.

Nagants were carried by everyone from the Soviet equivalent of Barney Fife* to OGPU back-shooters; they made a lot of 'em and most of them worked. With the proper cylinder, you can shoot .32s in 'em for pennies a round (otherwise you about have to take out a loan). Plus, they're just weird enough to be kewl!

So now, I have one. Tam's pretty sure she's got a .32 cylinder stashed away, purchased "just in case." Photos later.


Left the gun show just in time to get to the BlogMeet. This is a little more interesting than it sounds, since I'd taken my scooter to the gun show. (Only to find a bicycle race had rewritten the map at the State Fairgrounds!) Buzzed out onto 38th and up College, encountering a few of the big boys on bigger bikes and getting The Standard Rider Wave on the way.

Sherlock and Mrs. Shomes were in attendance and Old Grouch showed up shortly after my arrival; most of the rest of the Usual Suspects were out of town or otherwise occupied. This was a Bonus Blogmeet, after all. We had a nice time, addressing the various and sundry issues that came to our attention -- the proper role of government, buckets of toads, lousy drains, dog-eating cicadas, er, dogs that eat cicadas and the consistently good quality of the Brew Pub's brew and grub.

Mrs. Shomes was doing a little prep work for an interesting project: taking apart those store-branded (I AM A FOLLOWER OF SAFE-KROGMARSLDI'S THE MIGHTY) cloth-like grocery bags and reassembling them with the logos on the inside, adding a few personal touches in the doing! I like the idea; you feel a bit less like Consuming Unit #nnnn, your grocery bags are personalized, and you're not piling up heaps of annoying plastic bags or the ever-less-sturdy brown paper ones in valuable storage space. "Good for the planet?" Yeah, right, we'll do 'er in with bags from the market; more to the point, the handles on cloth bags don't give way and the bag won't rip at a harsh look. Made of win!
* Who would probably be a bumbling railway guard. Y'know, a strange enough mind could have a lot of fun with an Andreev Griffovitch sitcom. "Whyn't y'come by for dinner, Barn'? Aunt b left us a mess a turnips when they sent her to the labor camp last week." "Oh, I dunnoooou Andeee, the GRU's been watchin' you a whole awful lot these days. I'd sure hate to get in the middle of that...."


Anonymous said...


I have both a Mosin-Nagant pistol (1938) and a Webley and Scott .38 S&W (also known as .38 British Military, NOT .38 Special). I bought them mainly for the kewl factor. Supposedly, there are some parts of the old Soviet Union where the Nagant pistols are still in use where the money is really limited (though if the money is so limited, how do they afford the ammo??) The ammo runs from $37-$50 a box. The Nagant has it's kewl moving cylinder, the Webley has it kewl break top and self-extractor. What's not to like?? Except the Nagant's really horrible trigger pull, but that's part of it's charm.
I really like the Smith and Wessons and Colts as well...but damn, the prices!!

Home on the Range said...

I'm on call this evening, so stayed close to home. Sounds like a find at the Gun show!

Turk Turon said...

Is that the Nagant with the cylinder that moves forward and seals itself against the barrel?

Carteach said...

Roberta.... I know of a somewhat worn Star .22 auto in the case of a gun shop not far away. Priced at $199.

I recall in the deep recesses of my
twisted mind that you own one of these (?). Opinions on them?

I too would like a Nagant, and am quite capable of loading my own ammunition for it to hold costs down.
Just SO MANY wants and SO LITTLE cash.... sigh.

Roberta X said...

I'm told a Nagant will safely shoot .32 S&W and .32 H&R Magnum, but that's just talk 'til a real 'smith tells me it's true. Century Arms International may still be selling the conversion cylinders for .32 ACP.

DA trigger pull is nothing to write home about but mine seems to be better than many. It's just a long and very firm squeeze. Said to vary widely. A big part of the feel is, as Turk points out, the way the cylinder is cammed forward to seal at the barrel. (Fits right in with the book you sent, T, which I am presently readin').

--Joseph, I'm jealous of your Webley! I have passed these up in the past and regretted it since. My ex was unimpressed by them and thought the ammunition would be too hard to find; Tam says he was wrong.

Brigid, I figured you were busy; the "maybe-might-possibles" that didn't show up were all doin' Good Work -- Rummel's off instructing, Red and spouse are makin' the planet a classier place, you were waitin' for the fire bell to ring.

Carteach, the little Star F's are okay plinkers. --Model letter is on the butt of the gun. A straight blowback design, there is little to go wrong as long as the basics are in good condition. I have two; one's a good shooter, the other has had feed issues with cheap .22. Look for evidence of excessive dry-firing, beat-up mags, usual problems. $199 should get you a near-pristine example, with box and accessories; even at that, I'd press them a bit on the price. It's not a rare gun.

There were several versions of these, most of which had their own second-letter designation after the F. --Dealers still tend to mark any Star as a "model S.A.," which they see right on the slide: "Star, S.A." Too bad it's Spanish for "Inc."

In re cash-streching, I picked up the Nagant for $25 less than the asking price. (Still overpaid, a C-note and a half). Unless the sign says "no hagglng," always make a counteroffer. Worst they can say is "No." He took mine quickly enough I realized I should have started lower.

Anonymous said...


Yep, that would be the same Nagant. With the ammo, the bullet is actually inside the casing. A couple of other points of interest: The revolver is a seven shooter, and the spent cartridges have to be hand ejected. Not exactly a quick reload.


The Webley is kinda neat. The ammo is not hard to find, but I think it's a little pricey...I have never seen much in the way of surplus for it. Currently, at CTD, it ranges from 19.03 to 28.72 for new ammo...not too bad for an obsolete cartridge. (The Nagant ammo is 39.89 from the same source)
On the .32 ammo, I have heard the same sure to consult a 'smith though. I am not a fan of shooting ammo out of weapons that the weapon wasn't made for. (However, I have also not heard of any kaboom stories regarding the Nagant/.32 combo.) I have read that not all of the .32 cylinders are created equal, be sure to consult Tam on that one. Did you get the accesories with it? Holster/w cleaning rod and lanyard? Oh, and I am jealous of your Star pistols. (I'd really like a Webley revolver in .455..but kinda out of my price range.)

phlegmfatale said...

Sounds like a fabulous weekend. I want to have one of those!

Jeffro said...

I bought my Nagant and cylinder as a package deal from SOG, well, some time ago. Under $100.

I've only shot the .32ACP thru it, though I did buy a couple boxes of Fiocchi Nagant ammo. Shooting it is definitely kewl, but it sure makes me appreciate Smiths. Actually, it makes me appreciate Rugers, even.

red said...

Bradis (gun store between Indy and Camby) had a ton of Nagants last time I was there. If you haven't been there before, it's worth checking out.

red said...

Wow...caffeine has not hit me yet. Disregard my previous comment. I completely missed the part of your post where you said you bought a Nagant. it Friday yet?

Anonymous said...

Which part is cake? I like cake.

Firehand said...

I like the Webley and Enfield revolvers. Due to amazing luck(for a change) over the last few years have an Enfield .38 and a MkVI Webley in .455.

.455 ammo is almost nosebleed expensive. However, Graf & Sons sells the Hornady brass. Lee makes carbide dies and I found that a .45 acp bullet, used as cast and lubed with Liquid Alox, works quite well. Lyman used to make a mold for a .45 Colt hollow-base wadcutter that looks like it'd duplicate the old Webley Man-Stopper Bullet; but I can't find one of them.

The .38S&W, known in the Brit military as .380/200(for caliber and the original military load, 200-grain round=nose cast bullet)is much the same. Brass can be had, Lee makes dies and as-cast .38 bullets work well. Just for the hell of it, I was able to find a Lyman mold to throw a 200-grain .38 roundnose bullet and tried it; the Enfield shoots to point of aim with it, and I think that'd leave a nasty mark behind.