Follow up on 45 Long Colt Marlin 1894 TD rifle

The 45 Long Colt Marlin 1894 lever gun that Green Swamp Tactical converted to a take down rifle a few years back never felt like a completed project to me.

To get ready for next Summer this beautiful conversion needed a method of carrying that was a elegant as the conversion.

I had learned of a saddle maker that produced custom rolls for take down firearms. I contacted John Cusimano of the Tumble Weed Saddle Shop and we chatted about what I wanted and the dimensions necessary.

Like all Good Custom Makers of leather goods, I had a wait in line. Months after  our conversations a package arrived.

It was beautiful, even without a firearm in it.

There were two fleece lined sections for the two halves of the firearm itself and an unlined center portion where several boxes of ammunition could be carried.

Twin leather straps with brass buckles held the roll closed and a generously sized shoulder strap complete with shoulder pad was included to provide a carry option to the top mounted leather handle

I think this put the finishing touch on our 45 Long Colt project

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Death Wish III

One of the Classic Charles Bronson movies.

This third chapter in the Death Wish series introduces us the Bronson’s friend Wildey.

The Wildey talked about in the Move was chambered for the powerfun 475 Wildey Magnum. For those of us that do not have unlimited ammunition budgets the Wildey pistol is offered in somewhat more reasonably available and affordable 45 Winchester Magnum cartridge


The Wildey was one of the first, if not the first gas operated semi-auto pistols to come to market. It was designed in 1980. The design has an adjustable gas system which allows the firearm to be tailored to operate on a very wide range of ammunition power.

Pistols were available with barrel lengths as short as 5″ and as long as 12″ and shipped with rosewood grips

Wildey shown with 8″ Barrel.

Back in 2000, Colt had Wildey produce a run of the pistols bearing the Colt name. Unfortunately the co-venture never went forward past that point

I have had the pleasure to shoot several Wildeys. Most were chambered for the 45 Winchester Magnum, but I have shot the 475 Wildey. Thanks to this pistols large size and the gas operating system I found the firearm to be quite manageable

The pistol used in Death Wish III was a longer barreled version. It is much like this 10″ Wildey that is pictured below

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I realize that most of the xGrip lineup of products is for firearms that are not 45s.

However I have had some recent interaction with the company that deserves a mention.

In this Internet age, we are always fast to complain, yell, and boycott companies when a company turns out a lemon. We need to be just as aggressive when a company goes above and beyond to take care of us.

So here is my tale of these products that came out to fill the gap between the bottom of the firearm and the base of a larger than normal length magazine.

They did this task VERY well. Continuing the contours, shapes and often texture of the firearm they were being interfaced to even though this meant a custom product for each application.


The oldest xGrips that I posses are for the the Heckler and Koch P2000sk pistol. I have no idea when I acquired them but I have had the pistol for 11 years now.

Two weeks ago I pulled this firearm from the safe for a show and tell session that I was getting ready to do.

As I inserted one of the full size, xGrip equipped magazines, the xGrip itself broke into two pieces. Upon examine all of the xGrip equipped magazines that were stored next to this firearm, I found that they were all brittle.

I had a second P2000sk stored in a different location with a few xGrip equipped magazines, they were in the same condition.

I immediately took this up with the manufacturer that admitted there had been a bad batch of material on occasion in the past and the products would be replaced. In about a week, 6 replacements arrived and are back with their firearms.


So Kudos to xGrip for standing behind their product so well.

They are on my list to purchase as I add other small auto loaders to the family


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Halloween is just two weeks away

When thinking about incorporating our love for firearms, especially 45s into a costume, A 20’s gangster is the obvious choice.

A pinstripe suite, Fedora and a 1911 or a Tommy gun and we are good to go.

But carrying a Tommy gun around gets tiring, they weight over 11 pounds with an empty magazine. Not to mention that the prices on even the semi-auto versions has risen over the years

Enter the folks at 1022FunGun.Com

They have dress up kits to make your 10-22 or clone look like those old Chicago Typewriter’s


These kits are available with either the Vertical or Horizontal forend. The magazine I am using in the photo above is a Pro Mag drum for the Ruger 10-22 style firearms. The folks at 1022FunGun.Com do offer a dummy stick magazine adapter that makes your factory original rotatory magazine look like oce of the old factory 45ACP sticks

I guess you guys now know what I am planning for this year’s Halloween. Just remember to dress the kids in bright colors for good visibility

Have Fun

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My Chronographs through the decades search stops at LabRadar

Going back to when I first started hand loading, I always wondered how close was a getting to the performance of Factory Ammunition, how consistent were my hand loads, so back in the early 1980s I bought my first Chronograph. It was a Ohler Model 33. It had a one lien LED display. It cost me a big chunk of my paycheck, but I was going to learn more about my ammunition.

It served be well for many years and then I came upon the CED Chronograph. This one had some memory in it and a serial cable to connect to my computer to dump data. It even spoke out the velocity for everyone to hear. I had a second set of infra red skyscreens for it that would work well at indoor ranges. It was a very cool package

I reviewed the Magneto Speed unit a few years ago. This one used no skyscreens, a magnetic sensor knew when the projectile flew over it.  Unfortunately since it had to be attached to the barrel to get the sensor close enough to work, it was a poor choice for hand guns.


Then we come to the LabRader. This is a Dopler Balistic Radar unit. Thee is no setup required, just set the unit next to you on the shooting bench and you are ready to go. The unit has an SD card slot so it will write thousands of strings of shots to the card for computer transfer. It calculates everything on the display, it creates a file for each shot showing the velocity at each radar reflection, about every 13 microseconds. There is so much data that you can even calculate the ballistic coefficient of the projectiles.

As cool as it was when I got my first Chronograph, these was the next level. Faster setup and take down, works under any lighting condition, provides Much more data and easier to work with.

There was one thing that always caught my attention, the units settings include bluetooth.

Well with the most recent firmware release (about 2 months ago) we can now turn that on and do all the control and parameter settings from a smartphone App. LabRader just upped the game one more notch

iphoneWith this App, they turned the tedious up arrow/down arrow movement for setup to something that is fast, easy and logical.

Plus now we can look at our data while we are eating lunch without having to keep a laptop on the table.

If you are considering an upgrade or replacement to your existing Chronograph you should give serious thought to acquiring a LabRadar.

Yes it cost more then the fold up ones, but this is a seldom in a lifetime investment. It is worthwhile


Posted in Ammunition and Hand Loading, Uncategorized | Leave a comment