Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Gun Hipster

I am, by nature, a gun hipster. Over the years I've owned lots of weird guns and treasured them for their weirdness: In a world of Browning-type short-recoil pistols and conventional Smith & Wesson revolvers, the gun hipster will seek out the rotary barrel, the gas-delayed blowback, the upside-down self-cocking Mateba revolver.

How can you spot the gun hipster in a group at the range? They're the one who, instead of shooting, is going on and on and on that the main reason the .41 Action Express didn't catch on was because the shooting public is a bovine herd that wouldn't know a good cartridge if they were shot in the ass with it, plus shenanigans and corporate conspiracy: The firearms chambering equivalent of the 200-mpg carburetor that runs on seawater.

Old Mauser pocket pistols, the HSc and the 1914 and its ilk, didn't have external slide catches. Instead the slide would lock to the rear based on the absence of a cartridge in the feedway and would be released to go forward by the insertion of the magazine. Awesome! It will lock back with or without an empty mag in the gun, and there's no external lever to snag on things and you don't even have to remember an extra step to get the gun back into action after reloading!

You also need to have an empty magazine handy to field strip or reassemble the pistol, plus if you're having difficulties getting the fershlugginer thing back together again you suddenly find yourself pining for an easily operable external slide stop whose operating status is clearly visible to the eye. Maybe those unhip regular external slide stops have something to recommend them after all.

Oh, and see if you can guess how I've been spending my morning... (I am happy to say I got it all figured out and wound up not even having to hit anything with a hammer, although I was sorely tempted to give Oberndorf's finest a few gratuitous whacks anyway by the time all was said and done.)
.

22 comments:

staghounds said...

Mi casa su casa.

And the term hurts. Do we have to get stupid checkered porkpie hats now?

Bob said...

I've always loved the look of the HSc from the first time I saw one on the cover of a Guns & Ammo magazine in the early 1970's. They have an elegance that is lacking in the similar Walther pistols, IMO, and can usually be found at a better price. One day I *will* have one.

Joseph said...

Odd you mention sea water powered engines, perhaps you saw this recently.

http://1.usa.gov/1lPWy81

Murphy's Law said...

Hee. You sound like me after I battle a particular Martini-Henry rifle that resists reassembly unless done with one eye closed while balancing on your left foot and singing "The Hokey Pokey"

Fred said...

I guess I'm a gun hipster at heart... I still end up at the range with an AR and the M&P more often than my weird stuff, but I think that's just because I like to shoot.

Remington needs to get that R51 out on shelves though, especially the AAC version with the threaded barrel.

Scott J said...

I suffer from a little bit of this.

I keep resisting the urge to buy a friend's PX4. Its quirky rotary barrel interests me.

I also sometimes think about trying to build an AR in .44 Mag and naming it Thumper in honor of Col. Cooper.

Lewis said...

Dude the .41 AE was the cat's pyjamas! Murdered by those populist swine at S&W chasing the bottom line with the VASTLY INFERIOR .40 S&W. (No, I can't defend any of that with any evidence, but I believe it in my bones. I'm a goof that way.)

Boat Guy said...

Bill Ruger beat ya to it, Scott. Looks like a 10/22, but it's .44 Mag
Count me as one of the folks wantin an HSc; I just don't want to pay the "collector's premium"

Anonymous said...

.44 mag has a much lower ballistic coefficient than the far superior .401 Herters Powermag. You sheeple need to watch less Dirty Harry and do more thinking for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

does a steyr GB count as a hipster pistol?

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Here is one thing that blogs miss over Facebook. If this were Facebook I would register my approval (since you can't see how you made me grin) by clicking the "like" button. It would have allowed me to send you some acknowledgement, however intangible, of the pleasure I received from reading your description. It would also have allowed me to stay out of the ensuing discussion which, if recent past is anything to go by, will shortly be interrupted by someone telling you that you are wrong, or worse, that you are right but only by accident.

I'd like to avoid all of this while still retaining some method of conveying to you that your description of your fighting with a pistol I've never even heard of was so entertaining that some action on my part was necessary. If I didn't, you might be left to wonder if all your readers were disagreeing jerks, or just didn't care.

Critter said...

I just bought a Remington Model 81 chambered in .32 Remington, but you've probably never heard of it.

Scott J said...

Boat Guy, I know about Ruger's rifle and they go for stupid money on the used market now.

Plus easier to do a high capacity magazine on the AR platform.

Geodkyt said...

First time I handled an HSc (at the nice gunshop where pretty much everything under the glass was at least 30 years old -- he had a FULL DISPLAY CASE of Broomhandles for sale for years), I checked to make sure it was clear, and then sat there looking like a monkey facing an algebra problem trying to figure out how to release the slide.

Unfortunately, the gun clerk on duty at the counter I was on was the owner's college age granddaughter, and she frankly had no clue, either. She ended up having to go in the back office to ask. (She wasn't clueless about guns, merely more of a GP35 and S&W revolver fan. . . ;-) )

Matthew said...

My first firearm purchase at 18 was a Series 70 1911, an Hsc (in 9mm Kurtz), a Ruger New Model Single Six in .22 Mag, and a Mossberg 500.

For $500.

I still have the Mossberg.

I try not to think about that too much.

Tom the Impaler said...

I would LOVE to see someone make Mauser HSc in the modrun world. MIM need not apply of course. And yes. I am the kind of guy who has bought not one but two rifles in safari class calibers. First a ruger #1 in .375 H&H and now a CZ 550 in .416 Rigby. Why? because I can Gozerdammit! and learning to shoot such monsters straight is a real challenge I can tell you. And I wanna run a carbine course with the Rigby just as soon as I can fire 10 rounds in a row without getting all flinchtastic.

rbmcmjr said...

I would LOVE to see someone make Mauser HSc in the modrun world. MIM need not apply of course.

The HK4 was a modern HSc but it probably would violate your second requirement in principal, if not actual practice (MIM not being around when it was made).

Anonymous said...

What Lewis said....

I still have 8 boxes of Uzi and Sampson boxed .41AE brass I can't bring myself to get rid of.

Loved the TZ75 hard cased convertible Bob Bradis special ordered for me... still occasionally kick myself for letting it go back in 1987-1988 but I needed a 1911 in the worst possible way...

.41 caliber 170gr @ 1200fps isn't too shabby even today.

Tom the Impaler said...

Looks nice, don't know if it's really an HSc, but I can't own an HK anyway, because I suck and they hate me.

Robin said...

Had a lot of fun with my French 1935A in 7.65mm MAS (basically the .30 Pederson round). Fun to field strip with the lockwork that came out in one assembly. Pain in the butt to reload and to chase down the handmade brass however.

But you probably never heard of it ...

staghounds said...

Critter, you got the popular caliber.

The real one is 25-35 Rem.

Of course to be truly early semiauto hip, you need a Standard...

And a GB definitely counts.

mikee said...

A casual comment on this blog several years ago, that Colt 1903s were still reasonably priced compared to other Shiny Pony handguns, led to my possession of a pair of them.

So was I a gun hipster before it was cool, or should I retain my grumpy old man persona?