Friday, February 25, 2022

Theme Guns XXXIII

 A prayer to St. Wick, Patron Saint of Firearms and Puppies.....

Most holy Apostle, St Wick, faithful servant to justice and keeper of puppies. Help me to find the bravery within when wickedness and evil come calling.

You inspire us to seek recourse when we have been trespassed upon. Please make our draws swift and our aim accurate so that vengeance may be ours. 

Thank you, St. Wick, for the hope you offer to all who believe in you. Amen.

I'm not sure what they are selling (that is a Ruger Security Six), but this is very creative

His and Hers?



Before Socialism took over Russia in 1917, you could actually visit a gun store like this one

Hey lady, give me that dirtbag, give me your wallet!

Homemade AK 9mm pistol

When I see this picture all I can think is "please keep these surplus guns safe until they can be exported to the U.S."

If you don't know who this is, I am not sure we can be friends

Use the enemy's weakness for the virtue signal against them

A purchase order from The Ruger Corporation (predecessor to Sturm, Ruger & Co.) for the stampings that eventually formed the grip frame of the 1st Ruger pistol.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Featured Gun: Fabrique Nationale Model 1906

Fans of the blog know that I generally only write Featured Gun articles on guns that I actually own or have come into contact with for one reason or another. 

This is another gun that I had the pleasure of working on. A friend asked if I could refinish this mouse gun that he purchased at a gun show. Here is the gun after refinishing:

The gun was this Fabrique Nationale Model 1906. Some also call it the Model 1905 (the year it was patented).

Gun enthusiasts probably recognize this gun as a copy of the Colt vest pocket (model of 1908).

The gun was designed by none other than John Moses Browning, he patented the gun in Belgium in 1905 and later in the U.S. (1910). 

An agreement made in 1897 between JMB, Colt and FN allowed FN to produce the gun and sell it in Europe only (FN could sell in Britain, Ireland and Canada if they paid a royalty fee).  

Concurrent to the work on the pistol design JMB also assisted with the design the .25 ACP cartridge. The design and testing was done by Union Metallic Cartridge Company in Bridgeport, CT.

ACP standing for Automatic Colt Pistol, which is who the pistol and cartridge were originally designed for.

Mr. Browning hoped to mimic the performance of the .22 LR rimfire cartridge in a centerfire semi-rimmed cartridge. This was done to make the ammo more reliable in both ignition and feeding from the pistol magazine.
In Europe the cartridge is called the 6.35 Browning

We cannot talk about the 25 ACP without mentioning its detractors. Many people (myself included) think that pocket guns have their place, but a 25 ACP is more likely to wound than kill and while wounding a goblin may be enough to allow you an escape, it also might not be. 
Jeff Cooper provided his thoughts on the 25 ACP years ago when he penned the following:
"As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it, you may hit somebody and if you hit somebody - and he finds out about it - he may be very angry with you."

Within the 1st year of introduction FN had sold over 100,000 of the pistols. Colt took notice and within a couple of years had their model of 1908 "Vest Pocket" pistol on the market. This is not to say that Colt did not intend to produce the gun, its just that they were taking their sweet time about it.

Side note, the Vest Pocket was given that moniker as Colt introduced another pistol the same year (and given the same name), but it was larger, so the diminutive one was given a nickname

The M1906 was designed with a barrel that was fixed into position by lugs that allow its removal by twisting it out of alignment, similar to the way a bolt action rifle's lugs lock into the receiver.

Three variants were made, the changes mostly in the manual safety 

Caliber: 25 ACP/6.35mm Browning
Action: Blowback
Weight: 12.75 ounces
Length: 4.53"
Barrel Length: 2.12"
Height: 3.13"
Magazine Capacity: 6
Total Production: in excess of 1.3 Million

On April 19th, 1943 the FN M1906 was used in a famous operation that saved the lives of 233 Jewish prisoners bound for the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
The train (known as the 20th Convoy) was leaving Belgium for Auschwitz, it was stopped by members of the Belgian Resistance. It was one of the only attempts to free Jewish Deportees. 

The FN M1906 and lantern below were used in the actual raid.

The M1906 was produced throughout WWI and WWII. When the German army invaded the low countries, they maintained weapons production at Herstal. I am not sure how many M1906 pistols were made during the war, finding an example with NAZI proof marks proved quite difficult. 
By the time WWII had come along there were dozens of 25 ACP pistols being produced in Germany, Italy, Spain, Czechoslovakia and others, so perhaps there wasn't much need for the M1906.
At any rate the gun was in production until 1959.

They are now gaining in popularity with collectors.


Browning Sporting Arms of Distinction 1903-1992 by Matt Eastman.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Interesting Firearm Photos 58


Damn kids!

All these gents did a good job, Daniel Craig (not shown) was the best and most realistic in my opinion

80% anyone?

well at least Bubba used a quality wrench

Pointdexter in the bow tie is none other than Eugene.....Eugene Stoner

Live in the purple folks....much safer there and less stressful

Thursday, February 10, 2022

How to Build a Gun Collection for Cheap

 I get a lot of people asking me how I find guns for cheap. After thinking about it I came to the conclusion that there is more than one answer.

So, I have complied all the ways I can think of along with examples of each.


This first one is not easy to explain, nor easy to make happen. 

I think the easiest way to put it is that once I had shown others what I could do with a rusty gun, they were more inclined to sell or gift me a gun knowing that I was going to restore it back to mechanical working order as well as refinish it to look as good or better than new.

I suppose this also happens with classic cars, I think we would all rather see the car in the hands of someone who will restore rather than in the hands of a "Bubba" who will make a half-baked attempt.

An example would be this Remington 513 Matchmaster that was gifted to me by a member of our local gun forum. I did offer to pay him, but he refused.

The same thing happened with this Meriden model 15, a national forum member asked me to take ownership of the rifle and restore it properly.

Then there was these two guns, a Remington 870 Wingmaster

and this Stevens model 73, both were gifted to me along with some other parts. In this case I gave the previous owner a 1/5 of his favorite whiskey in exchange.

Find a Good Deal, Take a Risk

The second way that I have found good deals on guns is to always be on the lookout and always have money available. Don't be afraid to gamble on a rusty gun that is missing parts.

I read a story once about a guy that built a huge collection of guns $20 at a time. He worked as a cable tv installer and would often have to go into attics or closets to route the co-ax cable. Whenever he spotted a gun in storage, he would inquire about it and offer the owner the $20 in his pocket for it. He always kept a $20 bill on hand for this purpose and more often than not they would accept. Many times, the owner forgot they even had the gun.

Here are some examples of guns purchased for cheap

I bought this JC Higgins model 41 for $20, sure it was missing the most important part (the bolt), but I figured I would find a bolt eventually and I did, I found two of them.

At the same swap meet a couple of years later I bought this Winchester model 47, the seller said the bolts were impossible to find (which is the exact same thing all these previous owners told me). I only paid $15 for this one, because it will need a new stock in addition to the missing bolt. Which I have yet to if you know of one for sale, let me know.

I bought this Ruger 3-screw Blackhawk for $350. You might say that is not a cheap price, but it came with a brass birds head grip frame that was for a New Model Blackhawk. That grip frame is worth $200 by itself.

A member of my local forum, who has helped me with a couple of projects offered this Winchester model 74 to me for just $25. He wasn't able or patient enough to find a bolt for it. The gun is in very restorable condition and will be a mate to my other unrestored model 74 in my collection. BTW I did find a bolt for this gun, I had to pay $150 for it (including tax and shipping) but I will still have less than $200 in it when finished.

I heard about a gun store selling off their inventory of broken and rusty guns, I emailed one of the employees who was a member of our forum and asked him to hold some of the guns for me. I ended up buying several guns that day, three of them were $10 each + tax including the following:

This Savage-Stevens model 325A in 30-30:

This Marlin model 25M in .22 Magnum:

and this JC Higgins model 36 

I paid $50 for this Marlin model 60, it was a coveted piece made when the gun still had the longer barrel and mag tube along with the last shot hold open feature.

I also bought this Ruger Mark II pistol for $125, it was complete, just needed to be refinished

Many times I have bought 12 gauge shotguns for cheap, sometimes due to parts missing. The three following shotguns were all purchased for $40 each:

This Remington model 58 just needed to be refinished

This Western Auto Revelation (Mossberg 500) needed a new trigger assembly, the tabs were broken off

This Sears model 200 (Winchester model 1200) was missing the trigger assembly all together.

Also don't be afraid to buy the brand labeled guns, like the two shotguns above and the JC Higgins rifle, these guns are made by big name gun makers, often with fit and finish that is slightly below the quality of the name brand, but that won't matter much on a gun that needs to be refinished, will it?

Be Ready to Run

When a good deal comes along, you must act fast. Once I had a guy try to sell me a S&W model 629 44 Magnum revolver. I didn't have the $250 he was asking, so I asked my Father if he was interested. He wanted the gun but could not meet up with the guy for a few hours....but the guy couldn't wait, he sold the gun to someone else.

Another time I was checking the ads on my local gun forum and a deal popped up for a Ruger Super Bearcat, this was an original condition, vintage steel frame Bearcat, a gun that my Father had coveted for a very long time. 

The price was only $110, but I had to meet him early on a Sunday morning, so I ran out the door, cash in hand and picked up this beauty:

When an opportunity for a deal like these comes knocking, don't hesitate or you will be sorry.

Buy Collections

Another way to collect guns for cheap is to buy collections. My Father and I have done this several times.

The concept is simple, someone has a lot of guns they need to sell, often these are from an estate and the people who inherited the guns know nothing of their value or how to go about selling them. Nor do they want the hassle of dealing with multiple strangers in a transaction that could attract unsavory people. The result is that they are willing to take less than what the guns might be worth individually in exchange for selling them all at once, kinda like a volume discount.

On one such occasion my Father was called to assist with disposing some guns from an estate. He knew the deceased and had sold him a Ruger Blackhawk 357 some years earlier.

When the man died, he had only one heir, a son who was in prison and could not own firearms. So, the accountant handling the estate (who also did my parents taxes at one time) asked my Father for help. I negotiated a deal for 4 guns including my Father's Blackhawk (that he has sold to the deceased earlier), a Maverick 88 12-gauge pump shotgun, a Hi-Standard Sentinel revolver and a Marlin model 60 22 rifle.

The package deal price was the same as what my Father had sold the Blackhawk for years earlier. For my efforts my Father gave me the Hi-Standard Sentinel. He kept the Blackhawk and the shotgun, and we gave the Marlin away.

He did the same sometime later when he bought a collection of guns, after selling some of them including a Remington Sportsman shotgun, a S&W M&P (pre-model 10) revolver. He was able to keep the prize of the collection, a 1971 special edition Marlin model 39A for free

Remington Sportsman shotgun

S&W M&P 38 

Marlin 39A

Another time my Father's lifelong friend had inherited some guns from his brother, the collection included a Remington M1903A3 (slightly molested), a Westernfield model 4 .22 rifle, A Springfield .22 single shot rifle, a Winchester model 74 and a 20 gauge bolt action rifle. I bought the entire collection for $600 and sold the shotgun for $100. This meant that I got the three .22 rifles for $100 each and the M1903A3 for $200.

Western field model 45

Springfield (Stevens) model 83

Winchester model 74

Remington 1903A3

A similar situation happened more recently. I was contacted by a member of my local civic organization asking if I would help another member sell some guns he had inherited.

The guns had been in storage since 1987. I figured they would be rusty and not worth much, but to my surprise the previous owner took great care in storing them and for the most part they were in excellent condition.

After some negotiation I ended up buying all 25 guns, I kept a few for myself including a Mossberg 22 Magnum rifle (gift for my Father), a Remington model 12 in 22WRF (w/ octagon barrel & crescent butt plate), a Hi-Standard model B (1936 production) and a Winchester model 1892 in 25-20.

The rest of the guns I sold. At the end of the day, I made a few bucks and was able to keep the aforementioned 4 guns for myself for free along with a couple of wall hanger shotguns.

The Winchester 1892

The Remington model 12

The High Standard Model B

Make a Trade

Another way to build a collection is through trading.

There was a story a few years back about a guy that through numerous trades, he traded a red paper clip for a house.

I've done a few trades with firearms that left me with some great guns. 

In one trade I had just purchased a CVA muzzle loading .50 cal rifle and was planning on getting all the accoutrements needed to shoot the gun. I paid $100 for the rifle, it was in need of a good cleaning but was in very good condition.

Then I spotted an ad in our local gun collector periodical that a man was looking to trade for a muzzle loading gun. There was a catch though, you had to go to him, and he lived way out in the sticks and due to an illness, he could not leave the house.

The man had lots of rifles to trade including a Winchester model 94 in 30-30. I had sold my 1974 vintage model 94 and was looking for another one, so I made arrangements to make the trade. What I got was a well-worn, but good condition 1951 vintage model 94 in 30-30. A really good deal for a $100 investment.

Another trade included a Ruger 10-22. I have been building and collecting 10-22s for a long time and a member of the local forum was looking for one and had a Marlin model 39 project rifle that he wanted to trade. So I took a receiver and some parts I had and put together a nice 10-22 with a new take-off barrel and stock and traded it for the model 39. 

Not knowing what I had, I inquired with some experts on a national gun forum, turns out I had a 1st year production gun and a collector was interested in trading this project gun for a very nice condition, 1950 vintage model 39A.

So, I ended up with a nice rifle worth $500+ for an investment of about $100 


That is what I know, there may be some other ways that I hadn't thought of. Feel free to post in the comments.