Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to guns?

When I started this blog, one of the things I intended to do was blog about guns. Now, I'm no Kim du Toit, but I do know a little about the dang gas pipes.
Tonight, I'm breaking out one of my older pistols. This is a 999. Manufactured by Harrington and Richardson, these pistols had a nice feel, and were reasonably priced. The 999 was a nine shot top break. I acquired mine in the mid 80's.
While I was in the Army, several of us in my unit talked about doing a little target practice, just for fun. Days off were rare, and we didn't get them off together because of our being MPs. One bright sunny Tuesday, we did though, and preparations were made in advance to make the most of the day.
One of the guys in our group was regarded as the unit gun guru. This kid lived in the Barracks, and so had to keep his artillery in the unit arms room. he had four as I recall, a 29 Smith, a S&W Highway patrolman, a Walther PPK, and an old shotgun. Seems though that he had never shot any of them! We each procured a supply of ammo, and early that morning, I was at the barracks to pick them all up. We drove out to Vinton School road to a place the range control had allocated for civilian shooting and went to work setting up targets.
Bruce was itching for a chance with that 44mag! Truth be told, I too wanted to fire it as well. I had a Colt Trooper, a S&W 59, and this H&R, plenty of ammo, and good ear protection. Bruce, being the gun guru, went to the line first. His shots with Dirty harry were all over the place! he nailed a coke bottle with the first shot, but that was the only target I remember him nailing. He did a fast reload, and after twelve, only one target was dead. I extended the 999 to him, fully loaded, and told him to give it a try.
The first round down range produced the mightiest recoil a 22 has ever delivered, and Bruce, red faced as all hell, turned and said, " I guess that 44 has a bit more recoil than I anticipated."
Turned out he wasn't such a gun guru. A great guy, but a wanna be all the same. He had plenty of ammo, two boxes for each gun, but he also f'ed up and got parabellum ammo for that PPK. The PPK, while 9mm, is a kurtz. In other words, a 380 auto. Too bad, I was a James Bond fan, and wanted to try it. We burned a bunch through my 59 though and made a grand day of it.
His 44 was a shorty, a four incher. That's a great length for a 38, or even a 357, but in the days before barrel porting, it was a gun for a big ham handed fella.
Back to the 999. H&R started in 1871. They produced a wide variety of handguns, shotguns, and weapons for the military. They have a solid reputation for reliability, accuracy, and durability. H&R closed shop in 1986, and demolished the factory. In 1991 a new company, H&R 1871 was formed and began production using original designs and patents. H&R 1871 was subsequently bought out by Marlin who was then bought out buy Remington, and is now owned by The Freedom Group.
H&R produced a wide variety of weapons for the American market, but their mainstay was the revolver niche. They had good solid guns at reasonable prices. A yahoo search will give you hits to a lot of forums talking about their guns. Some of the older ones I saw on the PAFOA forum were beauties. Mine lacks some of the detail of the older guns. Quality of workmanship had fallen. Still, people love them to this day. My collection includes three. Maybe some day, I'll feature the other two.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good read. I have a few guns too. My 44 mag is a Ruger Super Blackhawk. It takes a lot of concentration to not flinch when shooting it--even with earplugs in. Fun to reload for too.