Colt Frontier Scout .22cal.

No history lessons here.  If you want to learn more about the Frontier Scout there are plenty of good places to go on the web.  I’m just going to be talking about this one single-action Colt.

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Colt Frontier Scout

Often I’ll refer to those ‘ugly black guns’.  I’m usually talking about Glocks and ARs.  This is one of those rare times when black plastic actually looks good on a hand gun.

I bought this little Colt because I was able to see the potential others had missed.  It sat on the shelf at the gun store being looked over by nearly every one.  It was well used and looking like it had been neglected for quite some time.  The action felt gritty when cocked and the cylinder barely turned.  The previous owner must not have cleaned it in years.  Frankly, I haven’t seen too many guns dirtier.  The guy who was selling it told me, “most of that will clean up.”  He was right.

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The flutes are nearly full of carbon

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Residue left from years of firing

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Recoil shield covered with fouling

The poor little Colt certainly needed a good cleaning.  Every little crease and corner was a hiding place for some form of dirt.  By the serial number, I was able to find the revolver was built some time during 1964.  It looked like it may have not been cleaned since then.

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Disassembled for a thorough cleaning

I disassembled the Scout.  Wanting to leave the screw heads sharp and crisp, I selected different screw drivers to fit each of the screws.  The key to a good take-down is leaving no trace that the gun was ever disassembled.  The neglected little Colt was so dirty, .22 dummy rounds would not chamber and the cylinder pin had to be pried out with pliers.  I padded the jaws to leave no trace on the bluing.  Once apart, the gun cleaned up with liberal amounts of Hoppe’s solvent, mineral spirits and elbow grease.

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Detail of the ejector rod

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Base of the grip frame

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Rampant colt on the frame

With Colts, its all about the little things.  The finish and details are what set Colts apart from the Colt clones.  Minor touches like the scroll work on the grip frame and the Rampant Colt on the frame really add class to a little .22.  Whoever came up with the idea of putting the ‘Serpent C’ logo on the ejector rod hopefully got a big bonus.

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Black plastic never looked so good.

Once cleaned, oiled and greased the Colt was put back together.  The screws were all snugged.  As I cocked the hammer and listened to the revolver spell out C-O-L-T, I was amazed how smooth the action was.  On half-cock the cylinder spins freely.  Makes me feel kind of proud how this little single-action can now be displayed to friends and taken out of its case at the range without apologizing for its looks.  Its no longer one of those ugly black guns.

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I found a keeper in the Feg P9R

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Feg P9R 9mm

Feg P9R

What if Browning and Smith & Wesson had a baby?  It might look something like the Feg P9R.  FEGARMY Arms in Hungary has combined the Browning designed cam locked barrel with the Smith & Wesson double action trigger.

The Feg P9R is a short recoil operated, locked breech pistol.  The double action pistol has an external hammer and a slide mounted safety that acts as a decocker when the safety is engaged.  The double stack 9mm holds a 14 round magazine.

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Feg P9R with slide open

Like most pistols, the P9R is set up for right handed shooters.  The slide release, safety and magazine release button are all on the left side.

This particular Feg possesses a nice blue finish with wood grips.  Synthetic grip panels can also be found.  The sights are low with the front sight being permanently mounted and the rear sight dovetailed into the slide.

The author has fired approximately 500 rounds through this pistol with no jams or misfires.  The action feeds and cycles both hollow point and full metal jacketed ammo with ease.  The accuracy of the pistol has been good to very good with shot grouping consistent with similar firearms.

Though I’m personally not a huge fan of the 9mm round, I’ve decided to keep the Feg.  Its fun to shoot and has proven itself to be reliable and accurate.  The 14 round capacity is also comforting should the need for high volume of fire ever be needed.

Appearance wise, I prefer wood and blued steel over plastic on any gun.  With its wood grip panels, the Feg retains the look of a classic Browning High Power.

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Black sheep of the Colt family

Colt SAA New Frontier

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Colt SAA New Frontier in .357 magnum

In 1961 Colt introduced a ‘modern’ version of their famous Single Action Army.  The Colt New Frontier had a squared off frame and came with adjustable sights.  While the rest of the gun remained identical, it lost the look of the traditional Peacemaker.

Colt produced what is known as the 2nd Generation SAA starting in 1956.  The 2nd Generation New Frontiers were made from 1961 until the production of all SAA revolvers stopped in 1974.  During those years only about 4,000 New Frontiers were made.  In his book, Colt’s Single Action Revolver, ‘Doc’ O’Meara states that any New Frontier in a caliber other than .45 Colt should be considered rare.  However, on sixguns.com John Taffin claims the .357 magnum (like the one pictured here) was the most commonly produced caliber.  Either way, New Frontier models make up only a small portion of SAA revolvers produced.  Even with scarcity on their side, New Frontier Colts just don’t seem to be highly sought after.

While most people would agree that adjustable sights are an improvement in a lot of ways over fixed sights, the New Frontier has just never seemed to catch on with shooters or collectors.  It just doesn’t look like the same gun as the cowboys used.

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Colt Logo

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.357 mag barrel

As both the frame and barrel indicate, the Colt New Frontier is 100% a ‘real’ Colt.

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Colt New Frontier adjustable sights

The rear adjustable sight and the high ramped front sight changed the profile of the revolver.  Even with the traditional walnut grips, case colored frame and dark blued barrel and cylinder, it no longer looks like the old cowboy six shooter.

When Colt began production of the 3rd Generation of SAA revolvers in 1976, they continued making the New Frontier model.  Though traditional SAA revolvers continued to be produced, Colt stopped production of the New Frontier in 1982.  2nd Generation Colt SAA New Frontier revolvers can be found in .38 Special, .44 Special, .357 Magnum and .45 Colt.  3rd Generation New Frontiers and can had in the same calibers as well as .44-40.

In 2011, Colt announced the re-introduction of the New Frontier.  If you like the looks of an adjustable sighted traditional single action revolver you can once again buy a brand new Colt New Frontier.

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Another good choice for SHTF handgun.

Ruger New Model Blackhawk Covertible

Let’s start by me saying: This is not my only gun.  It is not my first choice for a defensive handgun.  It is however a good gun to have on you if you need one.  Its also a fun gun to shoot.  Ruger Blackhaws are very durable and reliable.  They almost never break down and if they ever do, they are easy to work on.  Cowboy action shooters put thousands of rounds through theirs with very little maintenance.

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Ruger Blackhawk with 9mm cylinder

The Ruger Blackhawk Covertible comes with an additional cylinder so multiple calibers can be fired through the same gun. In this example, the revolver is primarily a .357 magnum, but with a quick change of cylinders, it can fire 9mm pistol rounds.  Because .38 Special and .357 magnum fire a bullet .357″ in diameter and the 9mm bullet is .355″ no barrel changes need to be made.  The adjustable sights on the Blackhawk allow you to adjust the sights for one cartridge or the other so you can always have a 6 o’clock hold or dead on hold.

What makes this revolver great is its versatility.  As you probably already know any .357 magnum can fire .38 Special rounds with no problems.  In a pinch you can also shoot .38 S&W and .38 Super Auto.  The .38 super Auto is semi-rimmed and will work in a .357.  Don’t tell me it won’t, I’ve done it.  With the addition of the second cylinder chambered for 9mm, the gun becomes quite valuable when ammo is scarce and hard to come by.

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9mm cylinder for Ruger Blackhawk

As you can see in this photo, the second cylinder has a step where the rim of the 9mm round stops.  This little step basically head spaces the round.

Besides holding just six rounds, the only real down side of the Ruger Balckhawk is that it is a single action revolver.  Single action means the trigger only fires the gun.  It must be cocked manually.  On a double action revolver, the trigger both cocks and fires the weapon.

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Ruger Blackhawk with a Bisley hammer

On this particular revolver I fitted a Bisley hammer.  The new hammer is much lower than the original making it easier to cock with one hand.

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White outlined rear sight and low Bisley hammer

Single action revolvers are loaded and unloaded through the loading gate.  Unloading and feeding one round at a time through the loading gate makes single action revolvers slower to reload than a double action revolver with a speed loader and much slower to reload than an auto loading pistol with multiple loaded magazines.

If you are looking for a reliable handgun with the capability to fire the most common handgun ammunition in the world, here it is.  If you want big bore capability, Ruger also makes single action revolvers that can convert from firing .45 Colt to .45 ACP.  I chose the .357/9mm because I thought those rounds were more common.  When the SHTF I want the ability to shoot what’s available.

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M1 Garand for SHTF?

Folks laughed at me when I told them a good choice for SHTF guns were older guns like the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine.  Everyone said ‘get and AR.’  The M1 Garand was first adopted by the U.S. military in 1936.  People thought I was crazy for even suggesting such an old weapon.  Well, there seems to be a shortage of ammo these days.  Very few people are finding ammo for their ARs.  All the .223 and 5.56mm seem to have disappeared.  Maybe I wasn’t so crazy.

I stocked up on surplus .30-06 and .30 carbine a while back, but today I can go to Cabela’s and buy both calibers.  In fact, they have more ammo there than I can afford.  However, they have no .223 at all (no 9mm either).  Go into almost any store that sells ammunition and you can almost always find a box or two of .30-06.

Ammunition availability aside, the Garand would still be a great choice for a long gun.  First of all, the Garand rifle doesn’t look threatening.  Its just wood and steel.  Its not one of those ‘ugly’ black guns so many people fear and are trying to ban.

Second, it only holds 8 rounds.  If high capacity magazines are an issue, the Garand should be immune to any magazine bans.

Third, the .30-06 round has tremendous power and can be found in AP (armor piercing), match, ball and tracer.  The M1 Garand with its .30-06 rounds can turn cover into concealment unless your target is in a tank.

Forth, the reliability of the M1 can not be denied.  It fought in WWII and Korea and was still in use right up until the Vietnam War.  The rifle proved itself in combat in the desert, jungle and snow.

Fifth, the en-bloc clip.  When you’ve fired your 8 rounds, you don’t have to fumble with removing an empty magazine.  The clip ejects all by itself and the action locks open ready for a fresh clip to be inserted.  Speedy reloads.

Lastly, if you need to knock a door in or butt stroke a bad guy, there’s that nice solid hard walnut stock and a steel butt plate.  Try busting a door down with a plastic rifle.

I’m not saying the M1 Garand is better than an AR, I’m just saying when the SHTF you’ll be doing pretty well if you have that big heavy rifle close by.

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M1 Garand with en-bloc clips and pouches

With a good supply of loaded en-bloc clips, the M1 Garand stands ready.

A couple of ALICE ammo pouches will carry almost twice as many rounds as soldiers carried into battle in WWII.  Instead of three M-16 magazines I carry 8 loaded clips in each pouch.  Add a pistol belt and suspenders and you can comfortably carry all that ammo.

The M1 Carbine can also be a great choice for a gun to add to your collection.  I’ll save the M1 Carbine for another post.

If you are a prepper, you might want to have a gun like the M1 Garand in your arsenal.  Just maybe there is some validity in having a gun you can find ammo for.

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