Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Semi-Old Warhorse Casts It's Spell On Me............

Back in the dawn of recorded history when I was a young pup, I spent most of my time running around, keeping the world safe for women, children and little animals by enforcing laws and and keeping order. I even had a off-duty gun that I was particularly proud of. It was "gasp" a 9mm. I had put a great deal of thought into it's selection. It was a Smith & Wesson model 39. The same weapon that the Indiana State Police carried. Eight shots in the magazine, one up the spout, that beautiful Smith blue job on the slide, the hard black on the aluminum frame, the slight reddish tint on the highly varnished grip panels, man it was gorgeous. It was easy to carry, it fit my Bianchi X-15 shoulder holster, it shot any type of bullet without a bobble, it was everything a person could want. I am talking stone cold sexy.

Only one problem, I couldn't hit a barn with it even if I was standing inside the barn. No matter what I did, no matter what ammunition I used, no matter how I shot, I just couldn't hit a bull in the tit with a tin cup with that pistol. I eventually traded that weapon off because as someone once said, "Only accurate weapons are interesting" Seeing the need to keep a 9mm in my stable, I picked up a Chinese Tokarev with a 9mm conversion barrel. However I could not shoot it any better than the Smith & Wesson. Again, it was traded off.

So that's where the collection stood (well other than a beat up Broomhandle Mauser which is worthy of a post all it's own) until a few weeks ago. I was struck by a itch to do some trading and was talking to a buddy of mine and we came up with a trade for a Browning High Power in 9mm. Now it wasn't a "true" Browning High Power. It was a Argentinian pistol made on F.N. Machinery but it was well put together and it seemed to be solid. My friend told me that he was having some failure to extract issues with the weapon. Now they had Browning H.P.s in my day (Frank Serpico carried one) but they were what you might call, your higher priced spread. Brownings traditionally were the most expensive weapons out there, even beating Colts. They just didn't fit into the average cop's budget. I figured that I would never be able to afford one but here was my chance to come damned close. We made the trade and I took the old girl home.

The first chance I had, I ran a box of Winchester WB through the weapon. As my buddy said, there were a few failure to extracts, so I sat down with my punch set and took out the extractor to look it over. The operating spring for the extractor was very compressed and a big wad of cosmoline also came out of the slot. I cleaned the slot and spring and gently used the blade of a screwdriver to open up the loops of the spring. I then reassembled the weapon and bless Moses, that pistol shot like a house afire. (For my non-southern readers, that means GOOD) Even better, I found that I hit just about everything that I set the sights on. Man I was impressed!!!!!! I have ordered a new spring that I will put in and test before trusting it to carry, but once that is done, I wouldn't have any concern about packing it.  This is a 9mm that I am going to keep for a very long time and you can take that to the bank (Unless I get the overwhelming urge to do some swapping again. )  

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

LOL, yep those old Brownings (regardless of where assembled), tend to be GOOD shooters! Enjoy the pistol Sir, and thanks for keeping us safe all those years!