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Old Gun Stories

My Snake Gun
8 March 2004

I am using a double-action 8 shot, Taurus 4" barrel 22mag.

As with all shotshells...you got to get close to the snake. I won't even bother with those derringer type snake guns. They spray out the lead to such wide pattern as to be worthless.

I hear of dangerous things happening now and then...such as a lady sees a rattler in her yard. Runs, gets husbands 357. Stands about 6 ft.from snake. Shoots full house magnums right into the snake... and hard ground. Damn lucky a flattened bullet didn't go through the lady.

We had this yankee city guy move in for awhile. Wanted to be a "regular" country boy like the rest of us. Got a few guns; never shot 'em. Saw tiny grass snake curled up in water meter. Ran got shotgun...stuck barrel up against snake. Lucky his wife had some brains and stopped him from blowing up an $800 water meter!

buenos dias

Cowboy CO2 Six-Shooters ?
10 March 2004

This new fangled technology, computers that is, was slow getting to me. Until a little while ago mostly every thing I worked with ate oats or hay !

When I finally got to be "online," I come across a web-site A&H Airgunsmithing/collecting based in Oregon. And the "Ol' Injun" collected Western style Hahn & Crosman "six-shooters," which I hadn"t seen the likes except mine in over 40 years.

It was a hot summer in south Texas those many years ago, I was a skinny bored farm boy. I hitch-hiked down the smoking hot hyway to "Adventure," or rather a little town about 12 miles from home.

Browsing in a little hardware store looking over the new pocket knives & guns. The storeman showed me a pistole that at first glance looked like an old Colt Single-action that all the cowboys in the movies packed! It was used and the man said I could pay the price in weekly or monthly payments...he knew my dad well.

My dad bought many a dollars' worth of oil field supplies for his boss' company from him. The price was about $18! I remember hitch hiking back down that hot Texas road with the "six-shooter" in a paper sack hoping the laws didn't think I was up to no good toting a "hawg-leg!" So every time I get out the little "cowboy gun" it reminds me of good ol' days long ago.

Buenos dias


An Old Timer
April 4 2004

This is a Colt 1895 "Argentina" model double-action revolver. Got it in a trade. My brother found it at Bryan Dugat's Gun Shop in Beeville, Texas about 1978. By the lanyard ring on the butt, you could tell it was military or police weaponry. Not a .38 special but a .38 long and hard to buy ammo for, so I traded it for a modern caliber easy to find.

Bet it could tell some wild stories ... it has been around 100 years.

Buenos dias, amigos


After 50 years, still a great seller

April 11 2004

Ruger single-six .22 revolver, along with a pair of crescent fencing pliers were my constant companions on ranch jobs for many years. Both are built out of the finest steel and mighty tough. Made to last a lifetime.

In 1953, TV westerns and movies of the old west were the rage. Every red blooded boy wanted a "cowboy gun." Old Colts were costly collector items and no new ones were being made. Bill Ruger had an instant hit on his hands when he designed and produced this model. And still after 50 years it is a great seller!

Mine has a miniature cowbrand burned into both of the grip panels. It is a 2 and 4 joined together and turned upside down. It was copied from my uncle Sam Bates' brand made in 1917.

Muy Buenos Dias Amigos

J.D. Bedwell

1925 Imperial .38 Caliber

April 18 2004

After my heart surgery, while he was waiting to see if I was gonna get out of the hospital, my brother Mike went by the big gunshow in San Antonio. Picked up several guns, including this old revolver made in Spain. It is a 1925 Imperial, a .38 caliber double action, which means you don't have to cock it to shoot it.

It is very sturdy and has color cased patterns on the frame. There is a big bulls-eye ejector rod like the old Colt single-actions. It is somewhat designed like a Colt D.A. Lightning of 1877 (the gun used by Billy the Kid). Mike gave me the gun to cheer me up after the operation.

The new "Alamo" movie played in Three Rivers while I was resting up at the L.S. McClaugherty Ranch, so I missed it. The weeds are 2 and 3 feet high around the house, but I am not supposed to be mowing. Can't drive the Gator either, so it is just sitting there.

While I was at the ranch, I took the Imperial out and fired a few shots at a wide board. There was no wind to affect the bullet path, but the gun shot very high and a little to the left. I guess I'll keep it though, 'cause it was a gift from my best friend.

Muy Buenos Dias Amigos

Ruger Blackhawk

April 25 2004

Bill Ruger's great success with the single-six rimfire revolver called for a center fire 'Big Caliber' six-shooter made on the basic 'peacemaker' shape but for superior to the old Colt. Coil springs replaced the old flat leaf springs, modern heat treated steels beefed up to take hotter loads. Also, the introduction of an adjustable rear sight and ramp front sight. As with all single-actions of the older type, only carry 5 rounds in the cylinder and hammer down on an empty chamber. In 1972, Ruger changed that with the new transfer bar safety device that allows all six cartridges to be carried safely: the New Model Blackhawk.

As for myself being an old westerner, or that sort, I love the old Ruger "Blackhawk" just as it was. The toughest, best-looking workhorse of a ranch tool you could dream of! Put some stag grips on that babe and you will even want to wear it to church -- but you better not!

Muy buenos dias


Charter Arms Explorer II

May 2 2004

This .22 semi-auto has the appearance of an exotic old "Broomhandle Mauser" or some sort of "James Bond" weapon! Made a short while by Charter Arms Co., it had to more barrels of different lengths which easily screwed on or off. Also the grip would hold an extra ammo magazine! A survival firearm easily taken down for storage!

Mine was found in an East Texas gun shop, all the finish worn off. My brother had it sand-blasted to really good looking effect. I put on a rear sight which had been missing and got an extra clip for the grip. Very large pistal for a .22 but a real fun gun!



H&R Sportsman .22

May 9 2004

My Grandad Bedwell worked for 30 years in one of the largest refineries in the world at the time. The one in Port Arthur, Texas. He spent his last days in a boarding house there on the Gulf Coast, and came in contact with many colorful sailors & characters. Many needing money would pawn him guns & other interesting items. As a small boy I was thrilled to look in a drawer and see old pistols he had come by.

He visited my family in about 1956 or '57 knowing it would be his last time to see us. He gave me the H&R revolver and it was in an old leather holster I had given him when I was about 9 or 10 ten years old! Along with a leather blackjack. No doubt both were carried by some colorful sailor or character.

A fine old gun, has adjustable front and rear sights. Holds 9 .22 long rifles. I killed dozens of rattlesnakes with it!

Muy buenos dias


Remington Model 6 .22 Rifle

May 10 2004

Granny had got it in the 1930's from another grandson older than me. Glennie Crumrine saw she had a Stevens bolt action he liked better, so a trade was made.

The Remington is a simple take down model, single shot with very few parts to wear out. It was made in 1928.

In the mid-60's I bought it from Granny for $10. Grandad came to the house the next day & gave me back $5, saying he thought they overcharged me. I had to use it to 'dispatch' a cancer-eyed cow at a ranch.

Also used it to put down a horse with a broken leg.

Muy buenos dias amigos-----------


To read more about Granny's Gun, visit Mike's Page

The Henry Repeating rifle.

Named after the lever-action rimfire rifles of the Civil War era, these firearms compete in price with the old standbys Marlin & Winchester rifles. The lower price of the Henry may be due to the alloy reciever as opposed to the solid steel recievers of the two above mentioned. However the .22 caliber is rather low pressured cartridge and will never wear out or weaken the alloy in several lifetimes of normal use. The lever action carbine is my favorite type rifle. My great grandad back in frontier times packed an 1873 Winchester 44/40 saddle carbine in his cattle-driving, ranching days amid the mesquite & granjeno thickets along the Frio & Nueces bottoms for so many years the wood was wore down thin from the thorny limbs dragging across.

I have owned this Henry rifle for two or three years. Got it from a wild hog hunter who was low on cash for truck payments. My idea about the trade cause I had been reading about the new Henry in gun magazines.

Don"t remember why I was at his place, Just knocking around I suppose. Mr. Hog Hunter had a half dozen poor half starved loud barking hounds with chewed up ears and deep scars all over their bodies from fights with wild hogs in the brush, that were raising hell to go after more wild ones. It was hard to get in a good conversation for deafing roar of the dogs. I made the offer of trade for the fine Henry rifle. He had to think on it over night and came by my house the next day with the rifle over his shoulder. Saw him comming and I thought "Hot doggies, there's my Henry !" When he came over, he was rather serious about getting rid of it. Didn"t say much, just business.

Gave him a cheaper rifle and some cash. In a few days after that his boss gave him another Henry but in 22 mag. with checkered wrist & forearm. So all is well ! Some ranch owners encourage a fellow who does his jobs extra good by giving em good western clothes, extra cash, pickups etc. One I know of gave a certain guy a new shotgun, rifle and pistol every year..all top dollar quality stuff, sometimes they get all their gasoline & oil etc. paid, knowing full well the guy loves it and will do even more better improving and safeguarding the ranch in different ways. It is a tax write off I guess ( Usually ranchers with OIL wells!)

I love the western styling and silky smooth action. Don"t like guns with gritty actions! Hog hunter hadn"t had it long enough to ding it up but has some minor scratches on the reciever from the truck rack. It has the appearance of an 1894 Winchester . A joy to shoot and own! A perfect rimfire saddle gun ! Haven"t had any encounters with hostile Indians or cattle rustlers with it yet but pack it now & then for snake gun.

Muy buenos dias.


Rossi Gallery Gun

Named after the slide-action (pump) .22 rifles used in carnival and circus shooting galleries of long ago. They were mostly Winchesters model 1890 or 62a chambered for the .22 rim fire usually short. .

Mine is a Rossi, a South American copy of very high quality. SA is famous for duplicates of bygone era Winchester and Smith & Wesson firearms. My great aunt Jensey Bates had a model 1890 (Winchester) chambered for the .22 short . Lots of the youngsters in the family learned to shoot using that old rifle. It was handed down in the family after her death in the 1950s. Jim Bates , my cousin has a place of honor for it in his home.

Got my Rossi, which is similar but more of a model 62a Win. copy by trading about 200 arrowheads on a display board to my brother ! I really like it. Rear sights not as defined as a Winchester but otherwise a very fine rifle!

Muy buenos dias.


Connecticut Valley Arms 1860 percussion revolver

A very close copy of the Colt 1860 Army used in the Civil War era. A very popular streamlined black powder weapon of its day. Has one-peice walnut grips with a longer design from former Colt revolvers before it. An eight inch barrel. Very fine balance and natural pointability of a sturdy single-action.

Shoots powerful .454 caliber conical or round ball bullets. Rear sight in a simple V notch in hammer nose. A wedge pin just forward the cylinder is removed and gun is broken down for easy cleaning .

This was a Christmas gift from my brother many years ago . The locking bolt is broken at this time so haven"t fired it in a while. My nephew as a young boy would shoot off the ripe prickly pear apples for targets. He was very good with it !!

Muy buenos dias.


STAR 9mm Largo Model A

Howdy Inlaws & Outlaws !
Long-unheard-from kinfolks dropped by ! Was happy to see "em !
During the visit, some gun swapping was done. I now have a STAR 9mm Largo model A semiauto pistol! This was the sidearm of the Spanish Air Force and greatly resembles the Colt 1911 U S Army, except there is not the grip safety of the Colt. This has the Spanish military logo stamped on the slide.

A very rugged compact "slabside" weapon ! Shoots faster than a greased pig during rural youth day at the county fair !! Now I"ll see if I can make myself a "belt slide holster" to pack it in and LOOK OUT rattlesnakes , ol" JD has invaded your thorny domains !!!!

Muy buenos dias and Lord bless Los hombres....


The Savage 101 Western-style Pistol

Named after the famed Miller bros. ranch & wild west show, this was a single-shot with a dummy cylinder that pivoted along with the barrel to the side for loading. It was made to compete with the Ruger Single-Six revolver and had the classic frontier appearance. It had an aluminum frame and was produced for a short while, probably 1960-61. It sold for $19.95, which was 1/3 the cost of a new Ruger at the time.

As a much younger fella, I remember seeing ads for the Savage 101 pistol. I thought, "Boy Howdy, I'd sure like to have one." Of course I could nowhere near afford it.

Just a short while ago, my brother Mike got one of the Savage 101s from a gun show. Mike goes all over tarnation trying to make a living tradin', buyin', fixing em up, reselling. Lots of times he gets guns at pawn shops,flea marts, estate sales and sells for friends.

I traded something to Mike for the Savage. Shot at targets, usually I prop up some big fat prickly pear pads on a mound of dirt. They make good targets.

The Savage name in firearms is well respected for their high quality sturdy hunting rifles and shotguns. They produced a number of semi-auto pistols in bygone eras but hunting rifles of both central fire & rim-fire are their mainstay. Guess they decided to enter the Western style pistol craze that was in vogue at the time with a little plinker that looked the part and was cheap to produce.

It would make a nice little compadre for your chaps pocket while riding the range, but I personally like my guns made of steel with walnut wood stocks. I like weight to a gun. Also the idea of a single-shot .22 doesn't go over big with me. You don't want to have to fumble around reloading the thing when seconds really count in certain situations that may arise! Any ol' brush country boy knows what I am talking about. A big rattler getting away...a rabid polecat bearing down on you, to name a couple.

I traded it back in a few weeks because my Ruger suits me better, but I still like the 101 as a part of the good old days gone by.

Muy buenos dias and Lord bless.


Hahn "45" BB Single Action Revolver

Made from 1958 to 1970 by the Crossman Arms Co..

At the time they didn"t want to be known as a BB gun maker, thus the Hahn name. The Hahn looks like a spittin" image of the old Colt Peacemaker of Old West fame. But this little rascal is powered by a CO2 gas cartiridge . You load BBs in the "ejector tube" and they feed into the cylinder as it rotates. The Hahn I own shoots VERY HARD and punches holes in cans ! No mere toy...so be careful ! These "cowboy" guns were used for fast draw practise. They have similar weight & feel as the real six-shooters. The Tandy Leather co. sponsored school demonstrations of fancy fast draw and ballon target busting. Along with sales of leather craft kits to make your own holsters & belts. Boy howdy! Just try to introduce this in schools today....too politically incorrect!!!

A few tips about the Hahn: the old gas seals can be replaced with long lasting teflon seals. Always dab a bit of Fawcett grease on the small end of the CO2 cartridge before inserting it.

These are real fun guns !!

Muy buenos dias amigos


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Ruger Bearcat

Shooting and owning guns have been an integral part of my life for about as long as I can remember. I grew up in the days whenever fast drawing and fancy gun handling was a nationwide craze spawned by reruns of the Hollywood B western movies and melodramatic horse opera serials of early-day television.

Some of my earliest and most fond recollections involve sitting cross-legged on Granny's (Mrs. H.T. Calliham) living room linoleum, watching Have Gun Will Travel and Gunsmoke on Saturday night. My family, which lived just a little piece down the road, didn't have a TV set of our own until a couple of years later.

Since those days I have owned and used many different types of firearms, some for personal defense and protection, some for sport and hunting, and some for just plain fun. One of the handguns I have found practical as well as somewhat nostalgic is the diminutive .22 Long Rifle caliber Ruger Bearcat single action revolver. The one pictured here is just one of probably a dozen similar specimens I've had over the years.

This one's an early example produced in the late 1960s. It features an aluminum frame which makes it very lightweight and barely noticeable to carry in a jeans or coat pocket or, if the occasion calls for clandestine carry, even shoved down into a boot-top.

In my earlier days I spent many pleasant sunny afternoons popping turtles and garfish in the placid waters of the Frio River with such a little six-shooter. Even though the sights are small and sometimes difficult to see, the classic western styling makes the Bearcat point naturally with little effort.

Once or twice, lacking a weapon of larger caliber, I felt pretty well armed with one of these fine little shooters rubbing against my ankle while I was someplace or another that I shouldn't have been in the first place. Suffice it to say Ruger's quality design and workmanship make the Bearcat a gun fit to ride the river with.

Nowadays mine doesn't get much hard use. It lives in an easy-accessible hiding place in my house, loaded with shot cartridges which I use to dispatch moles and discourage unwelcome critters who wander uninvited up my suburban driveway.

It's an old friend I like to have around.

Mike Bedwell

Brown Bess

In 18th and 19th century, the term "Brown Bess" was a slang term for the infantry soldier's weapon, but today, we tend to refer to all muskets of the period 1700-1815 as "Brown Bess." In 1722 the British army decided to standardize the musket and issued the design known as the Long Land Pattern Service Musket. This musket was 62 inches long, heavy and unwieldy. In 1768, the barrel was shortened by 4 inches to save weight and the musket was redesignated the Short Land Musket. Most of the examples of "Brown Bess" that survive today were of the latter design.

The Brown Bess was in use by the British Army until 1815 and hundreds of thousands were produced for the Napoleonic wars. After the fall of Napoleon, tens of thousands of surplus muskets were sold to various national armies around the world, including that of Santa Anna. According to The Lone Star Iconoclast the example pictured above was picked up by Texians on the San Jacinto battlefield and was probably carried by one of two Mexican Regiments that fought at the Alamo earlier that year.

According the The Iconoclast this weapon is the only intact Mexican musket that survives out of 600 that were captured at San Jacinto.

Although I am not a gun collector and have never owned or fired a musket, the "Brown Bess" has a some nostalgia value for me. As a child I was impressed by the movie Rob Roy and the scenes featuring the redcoated ranks with their long barreled muskets. I liked to pretend I was a British soldier, marching into battle with my long bayoneted musket thrust out before me. When Grand-daddy (Harry Calliham's) old home made wheelbarrow fell apart, the two long handles which had composed the frame made excellent toys which in my imagination became two Brown Bess muskets, long and heavy. JD carried one and I carried the other and for a brief moment we were an army of two marching lock step into battle against the Mexicans, the Scots, the Punjab Rebels, or whatever Hollywood enemy was featured at the Rialto that week.


My Favorite Gun is a Daisy

Daisy, Model 1894, B.B. Carbine
By Hugh Bodey

June 12 2005

Here's why:

1. DESIGN. It looks "cowboy," and I've always been such, at heart, full time, when herdin' and driving cattle back in the 40's, and part time in reality for the rest of my life, I reckon. Together they cover a good many years, so there's not any changing it now!

2. EASE OF SHOOTING. Both in finding a place to shoot - back yard, down the hallway inside my house (when the wife is not home!), from my work bench down the length of my 34' camper that serves as my gunshop, at the local shooting range, or right here in my computer room, if necessary, just to check it out! Most anywhere will do, using a little common safety sense. The other reason is, it doesn't make a lot of noise, and certainly doesn't much!!!

3. INEXPENSIVE TO SHOOT. A real premium these days. I can shoot for about $9 per M (that's .009 cents per shot). Try that even with your favorite .22 caliber powder gun!!!

4. FUN - And I reckon that's the biggest reason of all!

Now it's no "tack driver," in the normal sense of the term, but I have a friend down in Texas that puts on shows and teaches a whole bunch of people, including the Texas Rangers and movie stars how to shot "instinctively," with the same Daisy Model 1894! He's known as "The Straight Shooter." Maybe some of you boys have seen him. He goes all over the world putting on exhibitions, some with his Twin Ruger "Cowboy SA Revolvers," and some with his Daisy 1894!!!

Anyhow, what he does is put aspirins on a table, stands back a dozen feet or so, and shoots those little aspirin off the table with no sights on his gun!!! Just points and shoot! You can do that with enough practice. You see, while the Daisy 1894 may not shoot straight, it consistently shoots crooked!!! After a thousand shoots or so, you pretty well know e-x-a-c-t-l-y where that little b.b. is going to at most any distance.

Now there's a whole passel of variations of this little gun. There's the NRA Commemoratives, Texas Ranger Commemoratives, Buffalo Bills, and the Buffalo Bill Scouts -- a beautiful little gun! (I call 'em little, for what ever reason) Actually, there are the full size of the Winchester 1894, which is what they are copied after. In fact, standing side by side, even an expert like JD will have to lok extra close to tell which is which!

There's also the Octagonal Barrel Variation. Looks more like the Winchester 1873 Model. Made mostly for Sears, back in the early 70's -- but Daisy put their name on a few, too! If I had the time, I'd take more pictures and post 'em, but I got guns to get fixed and back out to their owners. Surprising how many of these dudes I get in. Mostly old ones that dad or grandad want to fix up fer their child or grandchild. Can't beat it!

So if'n I've got your curiousity up, and you want to know more about the DAISY 1894 B.B. Carbine, go to my web site: A & H Home Page and you can pick up my address there, if you want. In the mean time, remembering you are a mirror for every kid that sees you shoot, so...

Aim whar yer a Shootin', and Shoot whar yer a Aimin'.

Hugh Bodey, up in Oregon-
aka: Two Silver Fox (Ohio Shawnee Indian Blood)

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