First up was testing the two .38 S&W conversion revolvers, and it was not a great success. Goldie, the brass-framed gun, fired a cylinder-full as nice as you please. It was her first-ever firing so I had no expectations. Despite two key-holed bullets I was pleased enough…
…but on the second cylinder she locked up tight. With no tools on hand there was nothing for it but to retire her for the evening. I have no idea what is happening, but it has something to do with the breech-plate. The other gun was doing fine- but after four shots it launched it’s firing-pin. Totally my fault, too; I apparently did not stake it in adequately. OK then, moving on.
Last time out the Forehand & Wadsworth British Bulldog .38 was spitting lead from the cylinder-gap. Spitting is a nasty habit and naturally I wanted to correct the little guy’s manners. I accomplished this by removing the trigger and taking a bit of the curve out of the hand and twisting it slightly to give is more positive engagement with the ratchet on the back of the cylinder. This seems to have done the trick- the cylinder locks up much better, and test-firing saw no lead exiting the cylinder gap.
Targets were shot at five, seven and ten yards, all double action. No lead exited from anywhere but the muzzle, so the timing is fixed. Again with the key-holing though… I put a full box of .38 S&W reloads through the gun and it’s a fun little critter to shoot.
The load used in all of the .38s tonight was a .361 diameter/150gr. LSWC over 2.5gr. of Unique with a CCI500 Small Pistol Primer. This load does not keyhole out of my S&W top-breaks.
Last but not least was the Abilene .44 Magnum. I’m not pleased to report it, but this gun and I do not get on at all. I love single actions, this gun feels great in the hand, has a good trigger and sights… and I simply cannot wring anything like decent accuracy out of it. I bought this gun specifically for hunting, but if I cannot learn to shoot it well it was money wasted.
The gun is also shooting low even with the elevation cranked as far as it will go- or perhaps I am shooting low. Whatever the case I would be sorry to see this fine revolver go, but go it will if I cannot master it. I’ll keep after it for now.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 25 May 2018