buy a gun day – john moses browning edition

This year, on account of some mathematical fumbles on my part, we unintentionally gave the federal government one hell of an interest free loan. Coincidentally, there is no penalty to you or the government if you overpay your taxes, but if you underpay your taxes enough, you can bet your ass there will be financial repercussions involved.

That disparity rather says everything about our current taxation / representation situation, does it not?

In any case, most of the money we recovered from the government will be going towards funding a much-needed vacation in the near future, but we also received our first raise in three years recently (one just has to love company-wide pay freezes), and money from that helped pay for my first "correct" Buy A Gun Day purchase… ever.

Oh, and in case you missed the memo, Tax Day is, in fact, Buy a Gun Day – what better day is there to remind our federal government that we, the people, have rights and intend to exercise, and keep, them as we see fit?

Anywise, a good friend of ours is in something of a rough financial situation at the moment, so he is selling off some of his fine collection of firearms, and while I was not really in the market for anything new-to-me at the moment, having shot some of these, I could not let them slip by:


Yup, that is a BAG Day three-fer. And, yes, I do know who designed all of those guns.

From the top, we have a Browning Auto-5 Light-12, built sometime in 1967 in Belgium. The "Light" refers to the gun’s ability to only chamber 2.75" or smaller shells, and the fact that they somehow shaved somewhere around a pound of wood and metal out of the body. However, to make up for that, I am already shopping around for some kind of magazine extension. Because. On the flip side, an SBS’d Auto-5 looks like it would be hilarious, if the long recoil action would be amenable to the concept. Do not worry, though; the original gun and parts will be left intact regardless of what I do.

Next up is a Norinco-produced Winchester Model 1897 12-gauge in "trench gun" configuration, with an action job by Coyote Cap. Do not worry, the bayonet came with it, the seller just has to dig it up. And, again, do not worry, the only thing I plan on doing with this one is equipping it with some shell saddle or another. Personally, I know jack-all about Cowboy Action Shooting or Coyote Cap, but this has to be one of the smoothest shotgun actions I have ever felt… to the point where you hardly notice when it skins your thumb’s knuckle if you grab the stock wrong. Hardly.

Amusingly, this shotgun is a perfect example of the stupidity of modern firearm laws. Given that it was produced sometime probably in the 1960s, it is legally a firearm in every way according to the BATFE. However, if I were able to turn up an original Winchester ’97, actually made in 1897, it would not be legally a firearm (on account of being made before 1898), and thus could be transferred to anyone – including felons – without paperwork or a background check. Both guns would shoot the same ammunition, and could be used to kill clays and people just as dead, but one is regulated and the other is not. Because that makes sense.

Finally, we have third product from the mind of John Moses Browning (PBUH); a Semi-Auto 22, this time from Japan, rather than Belgium. The nomenclature for Browning’s guns was always… functional, but you really have to admire that one. You do not, however, have to admire the internals of that thing; having broken it apart and given it a very thorough cleaning, I can honestly say that Mr. Browning was a genius, but good Lord some of his designs are positively nightmarish. It is like he had brokered a deal with Cthulhu and some mechanisms of the firearms exist in extra dimensions; Larry Correia, I blame you! Whinging about internals aside, the gun has two redeeming features: first, with the flick of one slider and the twist of the barrel, it breaks down into an easily storable package; and, second, it is one of the most-accurate .22 rifles I have shot (plus, it is ambidextrous if that matters to you, with its back-feeding-downward-ejecting design). In fact, once I slip a scope mount and rings onto it, I would be sorely tempted to take it to an Appleseed… if it were not such a pain in the arse to reload (tube-fed, through the stock, with the requirement you have to partially remove the tube/spring before reloading).

Oh, and the best part of these BAG acquisitions? All three were purchased in a parking lot, using cash, with absolutely no paperwork or background checks. We both know each other, we both have handgun carry permits, and we both are fairly sure the other is not a nutcase about to embark on a shooting spree, so why bother paying in excess of $50 to transfer the firearms from one person to another? Or, more importantly, why should I have to beg permission from a nameless, faceless bureaucracy to lawfully exercise my rights to engage in free trade, own private property, sell private property, and/or bear arms?

3 thoughts on “buy a gun day – john moses browning edition”

  1. I look forward to hearing more about the norinco 1897. I was pondering one of these just last week. Then the muffler fell of my truck. 🙁

  2. The Norinco 97 is fairly faithful, but receiver walls are thicker. New, the action is stiff and gritty – an action job will do wonders. Teardown of the 97 is not for the faint of heart. OTOH, the Coyote Cap editions now run north of a grand, so you might want to try it yourself. Of course, there is the “shoot a half doz cases of target rounds” action job, which will do an okay job of it too…
    Replace the left hand factory ejector with a coil spring version.

    Cycle with authority.
    And mind where you put your trigger hand.

  3. Yeah, aside from the whole “cycle with authority” thing, the ’97 is a pretty awesome little gun… as long as you remember where your trigger hand is. You do have to really slam the fore end forward when you are cycling, to get the internal action to do what it is supposed to do in there, but there is actually something of a spring clamped around the forward stop of the handguard to allow you to do just that.

    Aside from a fixed 5-round magazine with no hope of future expansion, it would be a hoot for a 3-gun course.

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