Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Got a crush on a pretty pistol...

OH HULLAH!  I have had an affinity for stocked pistols for a while now.  I can't say why exactly, but they are just too cool.  Especially ones that do not require NFA paperwork (because certain models of C&R pistols are specifically exempt, though many gun owners don't realize this).  I understand that having a stock on a pistol contributes nothing to accurate shooting, but I like weird and unusual pistols.  My obsession for stocked pistols started when I first saw Ocelot's stocked Single Action Army in Metal Gear Solid 3.  Since then I had owned a stocked 1851 Navy and have wanted to add more to my collection since.

I also had a stocked Mauser Broomhandle in 7.63 Mauser for a while, but quickly sold the stock after learning that reproduction stocks now require a tax stamp.  Apparently twenty years ago there was a letter stating reproduction stocks were exempt but recently the ATF decided to reverse their decision for no good reason.  I have yet to find an original stock that is reasonably priced.

Up until a few weeks ago I have been on the search for the next cheaper alternative to a stocked broomhandle - a stocked Canadian Inglis Browning Hi Power.  I originally had my sights set on a complete set from JoeSalter, but someone snatched it up right when I got my funds together.  I guess I'm glad I didn't purchase it because it was $925.  It also had mis-matched serial numbers (normally I don't care since I'm gonna overhaul the thing, but at $925 it better match!).  Not to mention the stock was suspiciously new-looking and had phillips head screws on it that looked like it just screamed 'Made in China' to me.  I'm kind of surprised at the outrageous price for an obvious, mis-matched fake.  After months of searching and coming up with nothing, I finally found one for a semi reasonable price.  It doesn't have a stock, but one day it will.  I'm embarrassed to say exactly how much (but I will tell you it was significantly less than Mr. Salter's).  If you're a clever internet detective you can probably find out in less than three minutes.

Yes, that's my serial number and no, I don't give a damn.

I quickly familiarized myself with the weapon.  The first thing I noticed was how horrible the trigger was.  I've seen triggers suck before, but this was the suckiest trigger that ever sucked.  Just look at that trigger.  There's so much empty space behind that trigger it almost looks like a double action pistol.  I've read that the magazine disconnect is problematic and removing it will improve the trigger and allow magazines to drop free, so I'll probably look into that.

The barrel is pretty fun to look at too.  It was pitted to hell.  It looks like someone went over it with a belt sander and then refinished it.  The extractor groove was also hogged out with dremmel cutting disc.  I found out later that this will be necessary for HiPowers with internal extractors if you want to use a modern barrel my particular Hi Power (I was told that this isn't normal and that my HP is a bubbafied freak of nature!).  The extractor was also bent outward, but I was able to bend it back with a pair of pliers, so we shall see how long that actually lasts.

Apparently these guns aren't supposed to have extractor relief cuts!

I bought a brand new compensated Barsto 9mm barrel on ebay for 190 bucks, and just my luck, the nice seller threw in some rubber 1-piece grips!  The rubber grips feel less disgusting than those rotted wood ones so I guess I'll keep them for now.  Like I said earlier, the barrel required some chopping out with a dremmel tool.  At first, I couldn't figure out why with the slide wouldn't close and it looked like it was getting caught on the bottom of the feed ramp.  So I chopped out a large portion from there and realized that wasn't the problem.  Whoops!  It didn't seem like I did any critical damage so I continued onward with my bubba quest.  I carved out an extractor groove onto the barrel and went a little overboard, but again, nothing critical (in my expert* opinion).  It seems to function fine now.  I better buy a new extractor from Numerich while they're cheap ($30 as of a week ago from this post).
Bubba'd and gussied up all purdy like.
I only blasted away about 50 rounds through both barrels.  I couldn't tell if the Barsto was more accurate than the shot out barrel, mostly because my range time was spent clearing jams and fiddling with the extractor, but I think I finally fixed those problems.  Next time I'll try to improve the trigger by removing the magazine disconnect and then I'll do an actual range report to see if the old barrel is worth keeping as a dedicated cast-lead blaster or sell it to recoup some dollarios.

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