Shooting Times Magazine

June 1979



Who's Who in Gun Land?

Q  I ordered a copy of No Second Place Winner from Bill Jordan and asked if he had recovered from Jug Johnson's visit.


On the frontispiece of the book he wrote, "I am sure you are aware that both Jug Johnson and Skeeter Skelton are fictitious characters. Dobe Grant writes all of those Stories".



A  Well, it looks like you've been taken in, like so many others.


"Bill Jordan" is the pen name of Belle Jordan, a wizened little old lady in Shreveport, La. That long, tall, homely yahoo you see around the gun conventions is a guy she hired away from a carnival sideshow to make personal appearances for her.



Is Load Too Hot for S&W 1950?

Q  I own an S&W 1950 Model .44 Special.


Would 14.5 grains of H110 powder using a 240-grain SWC bullet put too much strain on my gun?


Also, how scarce are parts for this revolver?

A  Your load sounds reasonable to me, although I haven't tried it. According to the loading manuals, it should give you just over 1000 fps velocity.

Parts for the 1950 are identical to those of several currently produced Smith & Wesson revolvers and are available from the factory.



Correcting High Primers

Q  When using my Lee priming tool or my Pacific press, the primers seat high on one side of .357 and .44 Magnum hulls. This occurs with various types of cases even though primer pockets are cleaned./

What can I do to correct this problem?

A First, make sure you are inserting the case rim as far as it will go into the shellholder.

If the problem persists try revolving the case 180 degrees after the initial seating of the primer and pressing the primer again with the primer seating punch. This should level primer face satisfactorily.



Improve That .38 Super

Q I have a Colt Super .38 Semi-auto pistol that my father bought new in the 1930's. Except for the blue finish which shows some holster wear, it is in excellent shooting condition. Its serial number is in the 16,000 range.

I am not a collector and wanted some facelifting and a tuning job done to it. Some fellows I shoot with, however, thought I shouldn't touch the gun as it may have some special value to Colt collectors.

Would you tell me something about this pistol and its possible value at the present time?

A  The Colt .38 Super pistol was introduced in 1929. It is an adaptation of the Model 1911 .45 auto pistol to a more powerful version of the Model 1902 .38 auto cartridge. Your specimen was manufactured in 1934.

As far as I know, the .38 Super is not now bringing any particular premium price from collectors, even in the case of an early pistol such as yours. I doubt that your gun would fetch as high a price as a new one, and I see nothing wrong with improving it unless it holds some personal sentimental value.


Stainless M39 Frame Needed

Q  Several months ago there was an article in Shooting Times about fitting a stainless-steel frame to a Model 39 Smith & Wesson.

Who would be able to do this? What would be the approximate price?

A Unfortunately, the California company that produced the stainless-steel M39 and M59 frames you mention no longer makes them. Your best bet now is to wait a few months for the all-steel, then later the stainless-steel, M39s and M59s which Smith & Wesson plans to introduce.



What Caliber for Deer?

Q  This fall I plan to hunt deer with a handgun in my home state of Pennsylvania.

I don't want to use the big .41 or .44 Magnums so I have limited my choice of calibers to the .357 Magnum, .44 Special, and the .45 Colt in a Ruger or Colt single action.

What caliber and gun do you recommend? I also reload, and my present handgun is a Ruger Single-Six.

A  Although lots of deer have been bagged with it, the .357 is a bit light for this work and I don't usually recommend it except for an experienced pistol shot.

The .44 Special and the .45 Colt (the latter in a Ruger) can be handloaded into excellent deer guns, but when this is done they recoil almost as much as the .41 and .44 Magnums. Since you are using a Ruger, perhaps a good compromise would be the Ruger .45.


What Load for Boar

Q  I plan on going boar hunting in Tennessee this fall. I am going to use a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum. Since I've never hunted anything this big before, I need some advice on what type of bullet to use.

What would you suggest? A 240-grain JHP, a 240-grain JSP, or a 240- to 250-grain hard-cast bullet? I handload all three.

A  I have no experience in wild boar hunting and don't know what weight animal you are discussing nor how much fat he will be carrying when you find him. If you will be hunting with dogs, a quick kill is necessary to protect them.

It appears to me that a combination of deep penetration and expansion would be called for, and I believe I would choose the JHP for a boar up to 250 pounds, and the JSP for anything heavier.


Reader Questions Some Conversions

Q  I have been reading your comumn regularly and find it extremely informative.

Commenting on the question directed to you, I'd say they're for the most part logical and well thought out. However, some of those rechambering and conversion questions are just plain stupid.

P.S. - I own a .45 Colt MK IV and I'm thinking of converting it to a Ford Bronco or Chevy half-ton pickup. What would you recommend?

A  While I agree that some of the inquiries I receive on conversions are pretty far out, I am obliged to reply to them and hopefully guide a shooter away from wrecking a good gun.

Questions are selected for this column on the basis of general interest, and if my mail is any indication, interest in conversions is high.


Good JHP Load Wanted

Q  I have recently purchased an S&W Model 67 stainless Combat Masterpiece.

From past readings in you "Hipshots" column and articles, I recall that you once used a Combat Masterpiece extensively. I have enjoyed your loading of 13.5 grains of 2400 with the Lyman No. 358156 bullet in my .357 Magnum handguns for the past few years. However, this load is naturally a bit too hot for the K-frame .38.

Do you agree? Any load suggestions using 128- and 140-grain JHP bullets would be appreciated.

A  I only carried the Combat Masterpiece for about a year while I was in the Border Patrol, but it is as strong or weak as any of Smith's K-frame .38s.

I'd back off to 11.0 grains of 2400 powder and the cast No. 358156 bullet in the Model 67. This is an 1100 fps load. The Number Eight Speer Manual lists 14.5 grains of 2400 with the 125-grain JHP for 1308 fps, and 12.5 grains with the 140-grain JHP for 1121 fps.


Getting the Dan Wesson in Shape

Q  I am scheduled to join a township police department. They will provide either Colt or Smith & Wesson revolvers, or we can supply our own. I have fired on officer's Dan Wesson with both factory ammo and handloads and like it very much.

The one I shot had a six-inch barrel, but I think I would prefer a four inch. Do you recommend the standard or heavy barrel for patrol use? Also what color sight insert is best?

A  The Dan Wesson is an accurate, rugged gun and should serve you well if you have tuned up a little. I like a muzzle-heavy gun, so my choice would be the heavier weight barrel.

Selecting the right color front sight is pretty much a matter of individual taste. Since replacements cost only about 85 you can afford to experiment. I would probably choose red.



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