Doddering old fools may not be tactical, but there are other reasons for gun projects. Here are mine for cartridge conversions.
by Paul Mazan
As a young man, I worked on the guns I had to or needed to. Now that I am retired, I get to work on the guns and projects I want to. In my case today, that means old single shot black powder cartridge guns. I have changed the mix of guns several times as my interests changed and now my interest is with strange old beasts with exotic old names like Martini-Henry, Snider, Gras, and Rolling Block on the military side along with Model 95 Winchester, Model 8 Remington, and Polish-made Mauser rifles. The handguns have followed the same path but it is the rifles that really interest me.
The guns themselves are fun and interesting and my passion has become to buy old relics and refurbish them into shooters. I’m just enough of a romantic to like the idea that guns that were once inches from the scrap heap will still be bringing pleasure to some guy long after I am gone. One aspect of the process that makes it so much fun is putting together ammunition to shoot in these old warhorses. Most are chambered in what today are considered oddball calibers. You simply won’t be able to walk down to your local superstore and pick up a couple of boxes of .577-450 Martini-Henry, .43 Mauser, .41 Swiss, or even .25 Remington, to mention just a few. However, the availability has improved over the past several years and I have found brass for some of these old codgers available from companies like Graf & Sons and Buffalo Arms.
While the increased availability is nice, the prices are…
Read more in the May 2020 issue.
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