To The hobbyist, though, the chap who isn't in it for a living but likes nothing more than tinkering with guns, refinishing 'em, restocking 'em, or whatever, the Brownell catalog is the wish book. From abrasives to Zebra wood, virtually Every tool, gizzy, accessory or fitting needed to repair, rework or built a gun from scratch is there between the covers. In addition to some 15,000 different items, there is also an extensive library of books covering such varied subjects as the '98 Mauser, Hawken rifles, stockmaking, hardening and tempering, engraving, woodcarving and more.
One book of unusual interest is Brownell's new Gunsmith Kinks II, a revised and updated version of the original volume which has been in print for 15 years now. Like the original, "Son of Kinks" is loaded with illustrations, exploded views and detailed specs for making, repairing, rebuilding, altering or fixing guns. What it is, actually, is a compilation of helpful tips and suggestions submitted by over 700 professional gunsmiths in the spirit of mutual help. Everything is indexed and cross-referenced. Related topics are divided into chapters such as "Action, Receiver & Barrels," "Scopes & Sightings," "Metal Polishing," etc. The first 57-page chapter alone, "The Gunstock," is worth the $14.95 price of the book. Hints on swivel screw mountings, glass bedding procedures, split stock repair, pad installation, and so on are all written by "guys who've been there" as it were. "Kniks" is an apt name because each contributing author offers unique tips on how to make a specific job easier or better; the kind of savvy you just can't glean from typical instructions.
The catalog itself is something no gun crank worthy of the name should be without. Non-FFL holders can secure one by sending $3.25 to Brownells, Inc., Box One, Montezuma, IA 50171. The cost of the catalog is refunded on the first subsequent order over $25. MORE .284 WINCHESTER
My mentioning how much I liked the .284 Winchester cartridge back in January's "Gun-E-Sack" certainly struck a responsive chord with readers sharing those sentiments. Out of about 20 letters that showed up on my desk I was surprised to find not a single reader disagreeing with me. Not that it was a matter of being right or wrong; it's just that whenever a specific rifle or cartridge is praised in print, it usually prompts a good number of "you're all wet" letters too. But not this time. Judging from the correspondence, the average .284 owner is rather pleased with his rifle, be it a Winchester 88 or 100, a Savage 99, a Ruger 77 (some were made), or a custom bolt action.
One of those letters, however, did bring up a point I failed to mention in January's column. Before the .284 became an orphan it was often criticized for having too short a neck. When compared to rounds like the .270, .280, 7x57 mm and .30-06, the .284 does indeed have a short neck. But compared to the more recent .223, .243, 7 mm-08, 7 Mag or .300 Winchester Magnum, the .284's neck is longer than average. Indeed, considering bullet diameter and mass, a neck length of one caliber is generally considered to be more than enough, i.e., a 7 mm should have a neck length of .284. And the .284 does. So does the 7 mm-08. The .300 Winchester Magnum, on the other hand, with its .265-inch neck length, has to be considered as being over .040 inch short of adequate.
Actually, no matter what the theory boys say about long necks providing better bullet alignment, hence better accuracy, if your die and seater are properly aligned and concerntric, so too will be the cartridge itself.
That one caliber rule-of-thumb really becomes meaningful once you get up into heavier recoiling calibers, say, the .300 Magnums on up. That stubby neck on the .300 Winchester can, in certain instances, provide insufficient friction to prevent rounds in the magazine from being hammered back into the case under recoil. But again, that particular case is shy some .040 inch of what it should be, neck-wise. The .284's is not only long enough, but there's a lot less recoil involved.
Actually, the only problem with a short neck is when you have your chamber throated fairly long, as are my .284s, to allow seating a flat-based bullet out to where its base is flush with the neck/shoulder juncture, then deciding later you want to try boattails. As much as I think Speer's 145-Grain BT slug is ideal for a case the size of the .284, it can't be seated to the same overall length (or more correctly, the same ogive/land relationship), and still maintain adequate bullet tension. Ideally, any short-necked cartridge should be throated for a specific BT bullet.
The only comprimise I must make with my . 284s, then, is that I stay with flat-base bullets. In the practical hunting context, that's no compromise at all. BROWING/WINCHESTER
For my money the most interesting new rifle to debut at this year's SHOT show was Browning's replica edition of, believe it or not, the Winchester Model 1895.
Qualifying as one of the ugliest rifles ever hatched, the 1895 was nonetheless a landmark design for several reasons. The action was strong enough and long enough to handle the most potent smokeless cartridges of the day, most notably the .30-06, which was added to the '95's list of chamberings in 1908. It was also the first successful box magazine lever-action, hence its ability to handle the '06 once the spitzer-bulleted version appeared. Originally through, when first introduced in 1896, it was chambered for the then U.S. martial cartridge, the .30-40 Krag, along with two Winchester proprietary cartridges, which were .38-72 and .40-72 calibers. Later it was also chambered in .303 British, .35 Winchester and .30-03 Gov't.
Referred to as his "Big medicine" gun, Teddy Roosevelt took three '95s to Africa in 1908, two chambered in .405 Winchester and one in .30 caliber. The ex-president did much to popularize the Model 1895 but the gun's unique capabilities, for a lever action, were enough to make it popular in its own right as an all-around rifle for our larger game species. It was discontinued in 1931 after about 425,000 were produced.
Browning's replica edition of the '95 is being offered in two grades, Grade I and High-Grade, in the .30-06 chambering only. Both have the same Schnabel-tipped forearm and straight grip buttstock of the original but will differ. of course, in wood grade and embellishment. Suggested retail for the Grade I is $495; $750 for the High Grade model. I predict that these guns will be in far greater demand than Browning has anticipated.
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|Title Annotation:||Brownells Inc., Winchester rifles and cartridges|
|Publication:||Guns & Ammo|
|Date:||May 1, 1984|
|Next Article:||An ex-cop looks at gun control.|