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About ub3rmike

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    Shooting, Running, CrossFit

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  1. The great gun thread

    Snagged another deal!    The Colt Officers Model Target - 38 Special Heavy Barrel.   Built on the Colt E Frame, the Officers Model was Colt's top of the line wheelgun and refined target version of the Colt Official Police.  Although many are more familiar with the older Smith and Wesson K Frame Masterpiece revolvers in .38 Special and .22LR, the Colt Officers Model won virtually all of the bullseye tournaments, both setting, then breaking records. Manufactured from 1930 to 1970, it was considered the king of revolvers until the advent of the Colt Python in the mid 1950s. In fact, The Officers Model received just as much, if not more lockwork and hand fitting than the Colt Python (as the owner of a Colt Python, I can vouch for this claim).    During the 30s and 40s, the Officers Model was produced in the "Target" variation, sporting a checkered trigger and backstrap. A heavy barrel option was offered at an additional cost to those serious about bullseye competition (During the Timed and Rapid courses of fire, a competitor needs to shoot 5 rounds in 20 seconds and 5 rounds in 10 seconds single handed respectively). These "Target" models were just as remarkable aesthetically as they were functionally. The polished bluing on these guns were impeccable and were on par with the Colt "Royal Blue" finish most notably featured on some Colt Pythons. Many Officer Models shipped with checkered walnut grips with gold rampant Colt medallions just like my particular piece.    After WWII had concluded, Colt started manufacturing Officers Models in the "Match" variation. Believing that the amount of work being put into the revolver was too expensive (a sadly common theme in the evolution of both Colt and Smith & Wesson), several cost saving steps were made. The trigger and backstrap were grooved rather than checkered. Although it received an upgraded rear sight, the front sight was now fixed rather than adjustable. A different bluing method was used and the trigger and action received less attention. Overall, these were still outstanding competition revolvers (and arguably still are).    I found this particular revolver in the display case as I was picking up my Colt Python. Other than the Colt logo/rollmark, I didn't know much about this piece other than it was a 6 shot .38 special. I suspect the lead build up in the bore had steered other potential buyers away. Fortunately, the attendant at the gun store happily scrubbed it off with a little bit of solvent and a brush upon my request, revealing a pristine bore. The only visual discrepancies I could find was a small amount of wear at the tip of the barrel and a barely noticeable amount of wear on the checkering on the left grip panel - not bad for a 70-80 year old revolver. For $400, I couldn't pass up this gun. I couldn't commit the SN to memory other than that it was in the low-mid 6XXXXX range, dating it to the late 1930s-early 1940s. After doing a little bit of research, I realized this was definitely a steal. Worn out Officers Models easily go for 500-600 dollars on sites such as GunBroker and retail for $100 more locally. Pristine models have known to be listed in the 800-1400 range. I would venture to say that when the Colt Python crowd and other Colt collectors realize what a gem these revolvers are, they'll skyrocket in value just like the Python has. 
  2. The great gun thread

    Here's just some proof of how accurate the Smith and Wesson Model 41 is (this was an offhand group).   [attachment=984:IMG_0429.JPG]     Here's a specific Model 17 you don't get to see everyday. I acquired it recently from a member of a gun board.    The Model 17-8 is a 6-inch K frame .22lr revolver which sports a few features that sets it apart from other Model 17s. Manufactured from 1996-1999, the 17-8 sports a matte blue finish in the same spirit as the bead blasting finishes rendered on some of S&W's newer guns. It also features a 10 round alloy cylinder. And, just like what makes other older Smiths more desirable to some: no internal locking system!   The seller didn't lie when he advertised this gun in "excellent" condition, there were only three very minute marks that I could identify through extreme nitpicking that can't even be picked up through my mediocre photography.    Perhaps one of the most significant things about this gun is that if I hadn't bought it, I wouldn't have run into the consignment Python I bought last Friday when I went to pick it up.    Even though the stock grips don't do it for me aesthetically, I will concede that they are very comfortable. I ordered a set of Ahrends Smith and Wesson Retro Combat K-Frame grips (Round butt to square conversion) in Tung-oil finished Moradillo wood. Kim Ahrend e-mailed me this week letting me know that it will probably be another 9 weeks until I can expect to see the set of wooden retro combat grips I ordered for this gun.   I obviously need to spend more money on better cameras and professional prop rods rather than more guns.  
  3. The great gun thread

    This month's acquisitions (No pictures of the Walther P38 yet)   Smith and Wesson Model 41 - Polished Blue, 7 Inch Barrel   [attachment=969:231.JPG]   [attachment=974:IMG_0412.JPG]   Smith and Wesson Model 17-8 - Matte Blue K-Frame 6 Inch Barrel   [attachment=970:241.JPG]   Colt Python - Stainless Steel 4 Inch Barrel   [attachment=972:239.JPG]   [attachment=971:238.JPG]   [attachment=973:240.JPG]   The only reason I ran into the Python was because I was picking up the 17-8 and the Colt JUST went into the display case. I knew if I didn't act that gun wouldn't have lasted the day.     
  4. The great gun thread

    I just did a transfer on a 7 inch Smith & Wesson Model 41, and puchased a WWII Era Walther P-38 with Nazi markings intact, going to be meeting with a private party for a Smith and Wesson Model 17 Masterpiece in a few days, pics to follow. 
  5. The great gun thread

    Little update today, I just put an order in for a Smith and Wesson Model 17 Masterpiece. Managed to avoid sales tax by putting it through the PX on base.   Another photo essay: M1 Garand   [attachment=915:P1000765 (Rifle, whole view).JPG]   The M1 Garand was the first semi automatic rifle to be issued to a military on a wide scale. It has seen service in World War II, Korea, and at a lesser extent, Vietnam. Initially developed in 1926, it underwent trials against the T1 Pedersen Rifle and the M1941 Johnson Rifle to succeed the M1903 Springfield and M1917 Enfield bolt action rifles to become the standard issue rifle amongst American GIs. The rifle was fed with an 8 round enbloc clip which would automatically eject upon discharge of the last round. It proved to be a force multiplier on the battlefield, prompting Japan and Germany to scramble to try to develop their own semi automatic rifles.    [attachment=919:P1000773 (Reciver and rear sight).JPG]   Although John Garand originally collaborated with Springfield Armory for the initial run of rifles, Winchester was given a contract to produce 65000 rifles in the middle of World War II. During the Korean War, International Harvester and Harrington and Richardson produced rifles for the war effort. While transitioning to the M14 rifle (essentially a magazine fed version of the M1), the US Navy retrofitted some M1 rifles to take the .308 round. .308 Garands are given as trophy rifles to the top shooter and the high tyro shooter (a tyro is a shooter who has never competed before - derived from the Latin meaning "Novice")  at the 4 Marine Corps Division Matches held every winter. During the rapid fire portion of today's shooting competitions, competitors must fire a string of 2 rounds and perform a reload with a magazine of 8 rounds as a nod to the M1 Garand's round capacity.   [attachment=918:P1000771 (Stock with CMP marking).JPG]   I bought this particular rifle from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The CMP is a government chartered organization that works to promote American marksmanship and sell surplus rifles to citizens. By mailing in an application with proof of military service, I was able to get this M1 shipped directly to my doorstep. Participation in some type of marksmanship activity such as club membership, participation in a shooting competition or military service is the only outstanding requirement to purchase a firearm from the CMP.    [attachment=921:P1000779 (M1 Manual).JPG]   The rifle is of Springfield Armory production. By tracing the serial number, I discovered that this rifle was manufactured in December, 1941 (Right when America entered World War II)  and therefore probably saw action in the European or Pacific Theater. Most likely due to the state of the rifle, it has been fitted with a new production CMP stock (indicated by a cartouche) and barrel. CMP M1 Garands are known through the gun community as the most affordable means of acquiring a Garand; for any interested parties, it would be wise to buy one before the CMP runs out.    [attachment=922:IMG_0132.JPG]   Initial zeroing of the rifle. Elevation was on point but needed a slight windage adjustment to the left. Even though I've qualified and competed with the M16 rifle for over 4 years, I would take the sight system of a M1 or M14 any day.
  6. The great gun thread

    Noticed I had a complete brain fart and referred to the original model revolver as "Model 17" as opposed to Model 27. The Model 17 is a .22 LR revolver on the K-frame which I'm currently on the hunt for. 
  7. The great gun thread

      P6 and SAO P220s. My dad swears by them though. He likes to shoot smiley faces and spell his name so I'm not inclined to bash his brand preference.   Also plan on doing more photo essays on other cherished possessions in this thread when I get the time.
  8. The great gun thread

    Are there any other firearm enthusiasts in ADK? Background on me, I started shooting at the age of 16. My dad told me he would buy me a Russian SKS if I managed to keep my grades up, which was all the motivation I needed. Lead to buying a M9, to a SU-16, to a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911, to a pair of AR-15s, to 3 Sig Sauer pistols, and so on to the point where I have to think long and hard about what firearms I actually do own. Back home I shoot on a weekly basis if not more. Went on to compete at Division Matches in Japan, definitely looking at possibly competing at NRA or CMP matches when I'm out of the Marines. I am currently on the hunt for a S&W Model 41, S&W 686 Service Stock Revolver, and S&W K-22 Masterpiece. As you can tell, I have a thing for Smith and Wesson pistols and revolvers even though most young shooters don't.   A little photojournalism on my favorite revolver in my collection: [attachment=904:IMG_0327.JPG]   The Smith and Wesson 627-5 Performance Center   The S&W 627-5 PC is a modern take on the old S&W Model 17. Although most Smith and Wesson owners are familiar with the ubiquitous S&W 686 in .357 magnum, revolvers patterned off of the Model 17 have been largely absent in modern times. Back in the early 1930s, there was a demand for a handgun round that could defeat ballistic vests and automobile doors. The only round that accomplished such a demand was the .38 Super designed by Colt. Fast forward and Daniel B. Wesson lead S&W in the effort to develop the .357 magnum. The Model 17 was the first firearm designed to take the .357 magnum cartridge back in 1935.    [attachment=903:IMG_0326.JPG]   The Model 17 was a custom ordered revolver with adjustable sights that could come in 3.5" to 8.75" barrel variety. Even in the wake of the Great Depression, the demand for this expensive revolver was so great that S&W constantly had to play the catch up game to fill orders. The Model 17 became increasingly popular with the law enforcement community. In order to cut down on costs, S&W came out with the Model 28 as a production line gun at a more affordable price. The Model 17 has been applauded as one of the best handguns ever made by many enthusiasts and was notably carried by General George Patton.    [attachment=905:IMG_0338.JPG]   Fast forward to the year 2012, and I found this lovely specimen at a local gun shop back on leave. The 627-5 PC was released around the end of 2010/early 2011, reaching back to its custom heritage. Like other Performance Center guns, the gun was hand cut and fitted and equipped with a finely tuned trigger and action. Instead of a traditional stainless steel or blued finish, the revolver is bead blasted to give it a satin silver coat. This particular model came with a 5 inch barrel with a diagonally cut lug to reach a compromise between weight and balance. It comes with an adjustable rear partridge sight and a gold beaded front sight. A synthetic Hogue grip is included, but I feel that the wooden grips are too nice to take off. For practical applications, it has the capacity to load 8 rounds of .38 special or .357 magnum individually, using speedloaders, or moonclips.   [attachment=906:IMG_0339.JPG]   Casual plinking at 25 yards. The smoothest trigger and action I've had the pleasure of experiencing. And before you ask, no, you can't have mine, but Smith and Wesson still produces this particular model.
  9. Ub3rmike coming aboard

    Hey guys and gals,   I'm Mike, but somehow was given the call sign "Lee Chow" by my peers, probably a jab at Leslie Chau from the Hangover. I was born and raised in San Jose, California in 1990.   I'm currently stationed down in Camp Pendleton in the northern county of San Diego, but did a 2 year tour overseas in Okinawa, Japan. Back when I was in a fleet unit, my job was to facilitate close air support requests, deconflict/integrate artillery with aviation assets, and procedurally control aircraft. Now I'm working at an experimental squadron which is involved in systems acquisitions and evaluating new doctrine and training to transform the aviation community in the Marine Corps. On the side, I'm a black belt instructor for the Corps' martial arts program and am in charge of combat conditioning at my unit. As of this post, I've been in the Marine Corps for 4.5 years and will be going on terminal leave in about 3 and a half months. I've had a good run seeing the rank of sergeant before the end of my first (and last) enlistment, but decided the gun club just isn't for me anymore and I am currently awaiting for university admission decisions for Fall 13.    I tend to pass the time doing CrossFit and training for marathons. Shooting is definitely my top hobby though, I own about 13 firearms which range from AR-15s to a M1 Garand to my prized possession, a S&W 627 Performance Center. I used to go shooting every Saturday but lately I've only had time when I've been on leave. I definitely plan on making up for lost time during my upcoming 5 month summer vacation.   I currently play Planetside 2 and try to stick to flying aircraft due to my knowledge of aviation tactics and doctrine and its integration in the ground scheme of maneuver. Look forward to conquering Auraxis with the rest of you.   Bonus pictures of my favorite "kids" at end of the post.
  10. Member Picture Thread

    Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon, did pretty decent considering I did more beer curls than running to prep for this one.   Obligatory bathroom pic back when I used to be a corporal. I think this was from last year...

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