The Hobby Gunsmith

Editorial, Continued


   We couldn't wait to get into the shop to start playing with this one and it turns out that it only took about three hours to complete the conversion from start to finish.  We were very impressed with the quality of this conversion kit and look forward to trying this gun on the range later this week.  This is not the only project we worked on this month, however.  We also finished the Traditions Trapper kit.  We had some problems with the trapper retaining spring for the ramrod was too tight and we were unable to remove the loading ram without breaking it.  We solved this problem by machining a new solid brass ramrod.

   We have also chosen to move the 1894 Winchester article from the Mohave Gambler web site and make it a two-part feature beginning in this month's magazine.  This is been driven by a number of requests for more information on how to take apart and reassemble the Winchester 94.  The Winchester is not considered to be a very popular gun for cowboy action shooting, however, we have had good results with the larger caliber versions of the gun.  Although we would not recommend the 38 special or.357 Magnum versions of this lever action rifle, we find the .44 Magnum and 45 Colt versions to be reliable.  Because this gun is not very popular in cowboy action shooting, there is little information on making improvements.  The article presented in this issue has been cited on many occasions for those seeking help in modifying their Winchester 94 rifle.



   We have another conversion project that we are about to begin, but it is being maintained in the strictest of secrecy.  This project will not be unveiled until it is complete and we expect that to be several months from now.  I will tell you that this project is very unusual, very aggressive, and it will result in a very unusual gun.  That's all I can say about it for now, but the wait will be well worth it.

   There are things we've done at the Hobby gunsmith to help in preparing articles.  One of them has been to purchase and begin utilizing voice recognition software.  This is intended to reduce the amount of time spent typing and to reduce the amount of time we spent actually having to write the articles sitting at a word processor.  This May issue of the Hobby Gunsmith is the first edition to be published using this voice recognition software, and I'm writing this editorial by speaking into microphone and watching the words appear on the screen.  We hope this will enable us to spend more time in the shop and less time at the word processor. 

   Another project we are kicking off this month to us to build a practice range right in the shop of The Hobby Gunsmith magazine.  This seems like a strange project to be installing in a residential community and is part of a long-term project of improving shooting skills in support of cowboy action shooting.  We are curious to see whether a mediocre shooter can practice at home and improve his skills to the point where standings rise at the matches.  The idea is to build a 15-foot indoor range that will allow us to use plastic bullets powered only by a primer.

   This idea came to us from reading Bill Jordan's book entitled, "No Second-Place Winner."  Jordan explains how point shooting can be learned using wax bullets so we decided to try using the plastic bullets from Speer.  We've already tested the bullets briefly with this month's 51 Navy conversion and found them to be helpful.  We will be trying both .38 and .45 caliber plastic bullets on our indoor range and will report on any progress we make.  The Mohave Gambler, who usually places in the middle or lower middle range of shooters, will do the testing.  The objective of the practice sessions will be to raise the standings from the lower quarter to the upper quarter in match standings while shooting in gunfighter category.  We will periodically report the progress over the next three to four months.

   Next month we feature a test of the new Smith & Wesson 500 magnum.  Yes we picked up one of these and should have it available for testing before the next edition.  I know it's not a cowboy gun, but it is stirring a lot of interest in the firearms community and we at The Hobby Gunsmith are looking forward to testing it. Projects we hope to start in the next couple of months include an Interstate Arm's external hammer side-by-side shotgun, the secret conversion project, and to finish up some of the extractor housings and assemblies for the conversion is we've been showing.


Best Regards,

 Keith T. Chiles, Editor