Saturday, October 26, 2013

Firearms Guide 4'th Edition

                                                 Firearms Guide 4’TH Edition

                                                (Book Review)

I recently had an opportunity to review the 4 ‘TH  edition of the Firearms Guide.  If you want info on guns and ammo this guide is for you. There are a lot of listing for gun makers and models. You can go in and in various ways look up a gun and caliber, models, finishes and other pertinent info regarding that gun. It shows pictures and prices where available. The gun section is broken down to types such as drillings or bolt actions and further broken down to each maker. You can go into a specific maker and see what they offer. One feature I love is they are getting into antique and military guns going back to the Civil War. There are some machine and Gatling guns listed as well  I would buy the guide just for that.  In fact, they are soliciting pictures of old guns that are not there in order to have more info for future issues. I am going through my collection to see if I have something, they need in order to make it more complete. Like all good publications they are looking for various ways to make a real good book even better.  There are no articles on guns or ammo but that would be out of the scope of this book. The best way to look at this publication is it is a super list of the things described in this piece.
Swiss Vetterli schematic?    You bet!

Ammo is broken down to caliber and further to manufacturer. You can pick a specific caliber and see who is making it and what loads are offered. Pictures are also given along with prices and ballistics where available. Bullet weights and some illustrations are also shown.  Every ammo maker is listed worldwide as well as the US.  There are calibers that most folks never heard of that is listed so if you need something odd there is a chance that you can find it here.
All brands of ammo are included

 There are well over 4,000 schematics from about 360 makers from every country that makes firearms. The pictures have good definition but those from other countries are in that language. It is a big help if you have a gun with missing parts or need something for a particular part. In some instances, you can see what the part looks like and possibly have one made for you. Air guns are included as well. For those of us who like offbeat guns such as drillings they have a nice list of them.

 Looking for a gunshop in your area? With this guide, you are in luck. They have a complete listing in every area and show all types of sales.  They list paws shops and class 3 dealers as well. In other words it is a complete list. I tried it in my area and found shops that I didn’t know existed. Addresses and phone numbers are included.
All types of shotguns are listed

 Another neat feature is they have printable targets of all kinds which will save you money from buying targets. Like every other aspect of this book the target selection is extensive. Since I am a writer I have an idea as to what effort is utilized in producing such a book. I am here to tell you that an enormous amount of work went into this product.

 It is very evident that a lot of work went into producing this book. Once you learn how to navigate around it is easy to find what you are looking for. There are various ways to find the desired info and they have a help section for non-technical folks  like me. It shows us how to find info easily. It is avialable for windows and mac systems. Also the 3 Rd  edition is available for $29.95  in case you want it. The list price is $39.95 and I am here to tell you that it is worth every penny you pay for it. Thumbs Up!





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

He Can Make Anything


                                         He Can Make Anything

 On  our way to the 2012  POMA conference I wanted to stop in Seymour Texas to see a shop that makes all kinds of reloading components and ammo for the obsolete calibers. I have been doing business with Bob Hayley for some years and was anxious to see how  he makes some of the stuff that he makes. I called about a week ahead of time to make the arrangements and everything was set. 
One of his many shelves of goodies

 We called when we left the hotel and he wanted to meet us along the road before we got into town. That turned out to be a good move as his place would be difficult to find otherwise. From the outside his place shown no indication of the business inside. There are no signs of any kind showing where he is located. Bob is from the old school, he has no computer if you want to talk to him, picking up the phone is the only way to get to him. Everything is kept simple. He is however an encyclopedia on ammo for old guns. His knowledge of the old guns and their history is vast. He is also a trained geologist and a preacher.  The town itself is a small sleepy town in North East Texas.  Bob is old school and doesn’t have a website so you can call him at 940-888-3352. Chances are he will have what you need. 

 Going in the shop there are only two rooms neither very large but full of goodies and various types of machinery used to manufacture his products. You see various types of presses and molds. He makes cast bullets that are not available elsewhere from custom molds obtained through the years.  Many of his molds are special order which makes them costly and usually requires a lengthy wait.
Dies that are necessary

 If you want pinfire ammo you are in luck. He can make any caliber in existence that you may want. Since it is a handmade product prices are not cheap but if you want to shoot that old gun he can help you. Since there are pinfires out there his knowledge  and products are appreciated. I have shot his pinfire ammo and it works.  
Various pinfire rounds are available

 He has figured out a way to make ammo for the obsolete rimfire calibers. One way he does it is to drill a hole on the side of the rim and use a 22 starter pistol blank as the ignition source. One major advantage to that is the case can be reloaded. Smaller cases need a small primer to obtain the same results.
Various shotgun shells can be made that are found no where else

 When making obsolete ammo it is frequently necessary to make the cases out of other cases that can be found. Some of the operations require trimming, swaging and cutting down the rim. As can be imagined special tooling is frequently in order. Bob has all of the necessary equipment to perform these and other operations as necessary. Many of his tools he has modified himself in order to perform the necessary tasks. That is a job in itself because everything has to be so specialized for a specific case. When I was there he had a lathe set up to make 351 cases out of 357 maxies. It is necessary to cut off the rim and put an extractor groove in the case. Needless to say the dimensions have to be precise in order to make a quality product. If the rim is not the correct size feeding problems will ensue. The extractor groove has to be deep enough but if it is too deep the case will separate causing a safety issue. Then it is trimmed and sized to be a finished product. Another example is a machine that swages the case bodies. That has to set it precisely to get the proper body dimensions. At the time of my visit he was making 43 Spanish cases out of 348’s . I form a lot of my stuff but Bob has a lot more equipment so I get some of my brass from him. Also I get most of my odd cast bullets there also as I don’t like to cast much and his bullet prices are reasonable. He makes cast bullets from tiny 22’s to giant slugs. I use a lot of his various 11 mm bullets and they always shoot ok. If you want an 8.15 X 46 bullet with a central driving band then you are in luck. A 6 sided Medford or a 310 cadet slug? Yes and many other bullets that most people haven’t heard of.  
These will make it possible to shoot your rimfire

 Some loaded ammo is available upon request as not everyone reloads their own. Also it takes knowledge to load those obsolete rounds. There are times when odd ball ammo is more difficult to load then your modern fodder.  I have purchased Berdan primers from him for some of the cases I load. He is one of the very few sources for these items. He also stocks reloading some reloading tools and dies and you can call to get details. Keep in mind it is a one man operation so be patient as he is extremely busy at this time.

Bob hayley     Looks like a college professor not a maker of odd ammo components