Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I have been this way before

What you are looking at is a Colt 1911 Combat Commander in .38 Super caliber, along with a couple of boxes of ammunition, resting atop a black, leather motorcycle jacket. Neat, hah? This is my most recent acquisition (last week) in the realm of firearms. As for the music, October is over, and it is safe to play Vixen and to remember Jan Kuehnemund, who died on October 10, 2013, at the age of 51. She created Vixen in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1980, while still a high school student.

Maybe, 38 is the perfect number

I managed to go four months without buying another firearm.  Yes, that sentence means I did buy another. Which reminds me, why are people who are affected (or should that be infected ?? afflicted ??) by computers called "nerds" or "geeks," but people who have the same attachment to firearms called "gun nuts?" On second thought, I guess I prefer the term "nut."

Anyway, while I do utilize the personal computer and have done so since before the days of the internet, I still love "things" from the past more than I do those from the present. Would you believe the pistol I just purchased is built to fire a cartridge introduced in 1929? And, that this is the first handgun I, a self-admitted gun nut, have owned which will fire this cartridge? The pistol itself, incidentally, is a Series 70 Colt Model 1911 Combat Commander. As the model number implies, it has been around since 1911 and this particular one dates to 1976.

A thirty-eight caliber in a thirty-eight-year-old pistol .... neat ....

The .38 Super cartridge was a "hot" round in terms of velocity and energy, and state of the art in 1929. Technology has passed it by, as it has so many things. But, as I said, that which is old appeals to me. I carry a portable Royal typewriter, for instance -- 1950 date of manufacture and still like new, that I bought in an antique shop in Knoxville, Tennessee -- on road trips in case power is not available and the battery for my laptop takes its own vacation.

Back to the .38 Super. In the 1930s, the cartridge in a 1911 Colt pistol became a favorite among FBI agents like Melvin "Little Mel" Purvis, as well as many notorious criminals of the era like Lester Gillis, better known as Baby Face Nelson. It was one of the guns carried by lawmen when Bonnie and Clyde "bit the dust," and it was the pistol used by an FBI agent to shoot down John Dillinger.

The cartridge faded away over time, but resurfaced in the 1970s among competition shooters for practical reasons which I will not elaborate upon today. It now has evolved into sort of a "cult round." I do not mean this in a negative sense, but only that, like a number of cartridges, the .38 Super has found itself the favorite of a significant, but relatively small, number of shooters. The .41 magnum is another such example among revolver aficionados.

The .38 Super also is popular in Mexico and some other Latin countries, where pistoleros are not permitted to own handguns which fire military designated rounds like the 9 mm and the .45 ACP caliber.
So, you might ask, why am I writing this piece? Simple, because I want to, and I like to do what I want .... and, because it helps me to escape from thoughts of snow and frigid temperatures .... and, because even gun posts sometimes lead to new people, places and ideas .... and, because I become absorbed in the historic role of many people, places and things, and what is more intrinsic to the history of the United States than the firearm? 
And, I suppose, because it is one ingredient in my never-ending (so it seems) search for the "perfect handgun." Remember? My interpretation of the quest for the holy grail .... the perfect rifle, the perfect pistol, the perfect car and/or truck, the perfect house on a hill, the perfect companion .... and, yes, I suppose, the perfect god .... or, at least, as Lew Wallace wrote, "The Fair God" ....

Now, you might ask yourself why you are reading this ....


Anita said...

Dont know much about guns Fram..But love the leather jacket!Good music too :)

Fram Actual said...

Your comment brought to mind the lyrics of an old song, almost as old as your "Tonight ...." by Patience and Prudence.

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about the French I took

Those lyrics are from "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke.

As for the jacket, to borrow from an old cliché: If only it could tell the story of the places it has been, the things it has seen and the experiences it has been a part of ....

As for the music, Vixen and Jan Kuehnemund had even a bit more than fifteen minutes of fame and a few neat songs. Life is what it is and found in the cards we are dealt ....

Thank you, once again, Anita, for traveling from your world to my world.

Smareis said...

A imagem é bonita!
Jaqueta de couro sempre deixa com ar de elegância principalmente as pretas. Parece-me bem bonita essa jaqueta.
O preto é uma de minhas cores preferida.
Eu nada sei de arma de fogo, realmente não entendo mesmo Fram.

Creio de você é um grande colecionador de armas, e quem coleciona gosta mesmo de estar sempre comprando uma para a coleção.
A temperatura deve estar bem baixa ai, e muito frio ai na tua cidade. Realmente a gente escreve o que gosta de falar. Concordo contigo.
A música é boa Fram!

Ainda não fiz atualização no meu blog, devo fazer no fim de semana.

Ótima semana pra você!

Fram Actual said...

The photograph is fine and symbolic for those who appreciate these things, but the pistol was dirty from having fired a few boxes of cartridges. It also is old and shows cosmetic wear, but it would not have looked its age so much had I cleaned it and polished it a bit.

Actually, the jacket is rather old and shows cosmetic wear, too, so it seemed to fit well with the appearance of the pistol. I had a new lining put in the jacket two or three years ago. The original one was in tatters. It would take several thousand dollars for me to even consider parting with this jacket.

Most people who grow up in rural areas where hunting and fishing are part of everyday life, as I did, learn to use firearms and to appreciate them at an early age, Smareis. I do collect them in a minor way. I have some I bought specifically because they have historic significance and some I bought because "famous characters" in literature used such a weapon. Like many shooters, though, I buy the ones which "fit me best," just the same as when I buy a leather jacket.

Most of the snow is around the Great Lakes and the northeastern U.S., but the cold is mostly here with me. I am tired of winters; not just this winter, early as it is, but with all winters.

Most people do not think of Minnesota as a place where many notable people come from, but it has been the home to many well known politicians, musicians, actors and writers. I think the band Vixen is among those numbers.

Yes, I hope you will post again this weekend. I have another one I will be putting up on Saturday.

Thank you, for your visit and your words, Smareis. I very much enjoy your company.

Something special ....