Okay…last post before my one year/100 post warranty expires. I need the help of my loyal readers and followers. You see, I am on the horns of a dilemma. As some of you will recall from my midlife crisis wish list post, there are several firearms that I am drooling/lusting after which, sooner or later, I will add to the Castle Erickson armory. I have since refined and tweaked that list just a little. So, please allow me to recap the updated list for a moment. Here, in no particular order, is the old but improved (since something really can’t be “new AND improved”…it has to be one or the other), list:
1) Ruger 10/22 Sporter .22LR semi-automatic rifle. I had originally listed the target version of the same rifle, but then I got to thinking about the 10/22 as a zombie gun. The target version would be nice, but the added weight would be a bear to lug around all the time. I decided the Sporter was a good compromise between the target model and the carbine model (which I find aesthetically unpleasing). Besides, the Sporter is about $100 cheaper up front, and I can always get a target weight barrel and stock to swap into the Sporter action anytime I want.2) Ruger MkIII Hunter .22LR semi-automatic pistol. This is a carryover from the original list. I still really like the way it looks; however, I am also considering the 22/45 version of this pistol as well. I’d take either one to be perfectly honest. Perhaps even both.3) Taurus PT1911 .45ACP semi-automatic pistol. I landed on the Taurus as my first choice for an entry level 1911 style pistol for 2 reasons: a) I’ve owned Taurus’ before with no problems whatsoever, and b) it’s got a ton of features for the price. As many an article pointed out, it’d make a good base gun for a custom 1911.4) Ruger SR-556. This is a gas piston version of the AR-15.5) Remington Model 700 Sendero bolt action in .308. I changed my mind on the bolt action rifle from the Browning to the Remington mainly on the strength of the fact that I’ve shot the Sendero and liked it a lot. I went to the gun store recently and compared the Remington to a comparable Savage, and the Remington just felt better all the way around. I’ve held the Browning and liked it but not enough to pay more than the Remington.6) Glock 9mm. This is a direct nod to the zombie gun post. I haven’t decided on the full size versus medium frame yet, but I’ll probably go with the full size since I don’t plan on conceal carrying it, and I may use it to get into production class shooting sports.7) Smith & Wesson Model 686, 386 XL Hunter or 627 V-Comp .357 Revolver. This is sort of a carryover from the first list…with options. I want another .357 revolver, and you can’t argue about the quality of the Smith & Wesson revolvers.8) Springfield M1A Super Match .308 semi-automatic rifle. Another carryover. See the zombie gun post for more reasons why I like it.9) Marlin 1894 lever action rifle in either .44 or .357. I have the Smith & Wesson Model 29 in .44, and I want the 686 in .357. I think a classic lever gun in a matching caliber would make a great field/hunting combination.
In the “it’d be nice to have, but I can live without it category” are the following:
a) Savage Mark II BVT .22 LR bolt action rifleb) Paraordinance 1911 .45ACP semi-automatic pistolc) Colt 1911 .45ACP semi-automatic pistold) Browning or Beretta 12 gauge over/under shotgune) Browning or Benelli 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgunf) DPMS or Rock River DGI AR-15 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle
So, anyway, here is the dilemma…I inherited/liberated a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Mag revolver from my grandfather (the senile, 89 year old coot of a “father” to my mother who is in an assisted living home now). Even though I have the original presentation grade wood case, etc., this gun is a shooter. The bluing is worn and pitted in several places because my grandfather thought the perfect place to keep a quality firearm was under the front seat of his pickup amongst the cigar ash and empty beer cans. The gun is not hideous by any means, but it’s not going to win any awards anytime soon. Here is a picture of what it looked like up until last March:
After March, I changed out the original square butt wood grips for a nice Hogue contoured wood grip. It now looks like this:
See the difference?
The new grips make it more comfortable to shoot. However, I’m still not satisfied with its overall performance. To me, a revolver should have a six inch, fully underlugged, heavy barrel. The standard 4 inch barrel on the Model 29 isn’t bad, and it gives acceptable accuracy. However, I think it is capable of much more.
So, here is what I am thinking and the question I’d like to pose to you, my dear readers: I’m toying with the idea of having the pistol reblued, rebarreled (like a six inch ported/compensated target barrel), and maybe a little extra custom work (like modifying it to use moon clips or adding a Hiviz front sight). Does anybody think I’m crazy or that this would be a bad idea? Does anyone think I should leave it as is and spend money on getting a gun set up the way I want straight out of the box?