December 2011

Targetsman: Only a Collectible?

Reader Stone quotes Ayoob to assert the Woodsman 22 LR pistols have a design flaw. Reader Butters says “excessively slick” modern lubes like Nanolube can make M1 triggers double.

Targetsman: Only a Collectible?

Reader Stone quotes Ayoob to assert the Woodsman 22 LR pistols have a design flaw. Reader Butters says “excessively slick” modern lubes like Nanolube can make M1 triggers double.

Re “Colt Targetsman Versus Ruger’s 22/45:
Which is the Bargain?” April 2011

In his book Greatest Handguns of the World, Massad Ayoob says about the Colt Woodsman 22 LR series of pistols, “The big weakness I discovered over the years in the Woodsman was that it was capable of unintentionally firing when subjected to violent forward or backward inertia with a live round in the chamber, even if the thumb safety was engaged.”

To me, this startling claim by Ayoob puts the Colt Woodsman in the collectible, not shooter, category.

—Curtis E. Stone
Colville, Washington

Re “Corrosion-Resistant Shotguns:
Mossberg Duels Remington,” October 2011

First, let me say that, as a gunsmith, I have found your assessments to be honest, and they closely mirror my experience with various firearms. You truly do a service to the shooting public.

Your article on stainless shotguns was fair and well presented. As a gunsmith, I would like to add a few comments and personal opinion. For regular duty on a boat or around water, it is a no-brainer — synthetic and stainless is the way to go, but I suggest a paint job to subdue the brightness.

As for Mossberg 500s, I have seen them function properly for years even though they were badly neglected. Likewise, I have seen Remington 870s have problems when neglected for only a few years. I would compare the two as follows: the Mossberg 500 is a battle ax, while the Remington 870 is just an ax.

One other note, you mentioned a pistol grip and a tactical pistol grip stock. While these may feel comfortable and more natural while shooting from the shoulder, the pistol-grip-stocked shotgun fired from the hip is awkward and can be painful to the wrist.

—Tracy D. Schmitt
Andalusia, Alabama

Re “Long-Term Test of NanoLube:
Itty-Bitty Diamonds Slick Guns,” November 2011

As a practicing design engineer and competition highpower shooter of more than 50 years experience, I would caution against the use of lubricants with diamond nanolube inclusions on double-hook sear systems typified by those found in M1 Garand rifles, M1A (M14 derivatives), and others. It is my experience that the use of thin-film

lubricants such as the old Action Friction Block (now I understand renamed and sold by Smith & Wesson), Tetra Gun Lubricant, silicones, and other modern synthetic “dry” thin-film lubricants on M1 and M1A triggers, may induce doubling (or tripling). Such an event not only may create the significant hazard of an unintended discharge but is guaranteed to produce a miss out the top during a sitting or prone rapid-fire string. It would appear that reliable M1-type trigger function depends to some degree on a higher level of friction between sear hooks and hammer hook than is found in an override sear system.

Competition-tuned M1 triggers with their smoother mating surfaces are more likely to display this case of “Irish Automatic,” also known as “gone to Dublin.” The range fix for a doubling match rifle used to involve a trip to the ordnance trailer where the ‘smith would pull a strip of emery cloth crosswise between the sear and hammer hooks to roughen them slightly. In a pinch, the striking strip from a match book will work too. Babying the trigger pull and failing to execute a cleanly decisive trigger depression and release seems to exacerbate the problem. Given the difficulty I have had of removing the “excessively slick” modern lubes from M1 triggers, I can only guess at how hard it might be to clean off embedded diamond nano-lubricants. Acetone and methyl ethyl ketone probably would not work. Gooey and dirt catching as it is, a return to the use of the old GI Lubriplate grease in the M1 trigger stopped the doubling for me and only required that I perform the post-use cleanup and relube recommended in the manual.

Given the ATF’s lack of tolerance for malfunctions involving multiple discharge of a firearm after a single trigger pull, doubling for any reason nowadays may have serious unintended legal consequences. Other firearms with the Garand double-hook-sear scheme include the Beretta A390 and the Mini-14 Ruger. I am informed by members of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild that some fine double guns with minimal sear engagements and critical engagement angles may double when modern thin film synthetics are used instead of conventional lubricants. So while nano lubes may come to play a

significant role in tribology, some caution in their use in specific applications is advised.

—Tom Butters
Center Point, Texas

I am curious to know if you folks did any Nanolube testing in AR-style rifles. Would it be appropriate with chromed parts and some of the more advanced barrel coatings such as nitride carburizing, melonite or ION bonding?    

—John Lofland

Mr. Butters: Thank you for your observations on firearms-applied tribology, the science of sliding surfaces. We had hoped that readers would come forth with added information, experiences, and even cautions about this type of lubrication. There is no stopping science, however, so we hope shooters take great care to read and understand your observations, and take even greater care in trying new products in the field of firearms. Mr. Lofland, we tested only what we reported, which did not include any ARs. We hope our readers can provide insight about some of the other firearms applications for this product, such as effect on velocity, and any problems encountered.

—Ray Ordorica

Re “Shotgun Defense Choices:
We Pick Two Fiocchi Loads,” November 2011

I read with great interest your article on reduced-recoil shotgun loads for self defense, as my life partner would have to put on a few pounds to be considered “diminutive” (people always ask if she’s my daughter, rather than my girlfriend). We have a Winchester 1300 Defender for home defense, and finding 12-gauge loads that she can control has been an issue. I will definitely investigate the two Fiocchi loads you tested. We found a couple of reduced-recoil Remington loads at the local Bass Pro branch, the Tac 8 LE buckshot and Managed-Recoil Slugger rifled-slug rounds. Any ideas how these would stack up against your chosen rounds in the article? Any plans on a repeat with other brand choices, as they appear on the market?

Thanks as usual for all the great data over the years.

—Dave Vick
Central Michigan

I don’t currently have a second round of shotgun shell tests scheduled. We usually rotate types on a two-year basis to get more contestants. But if the customers say they want a thing, then I try to give them that thing.

—Todd Woodard

Re “Smith & Wesson vs. Ruger: 22 LR Wheelguns and Pistols,” August 2011

On page 10 was this comment: “There are no 10-round 22 LR speedloaders currently available....” for the S&W 617.

Dillon Precision Products, (800) 762-3845 or, has a 10-round speedloader for the 617 available as item #J08-12623, $34.95. There’s also a 10-round loading block #J08-12627, $49.95 by California Competition Works.  

—Ed Pluebell, U.S.N
Garland, TX

Thanks for the tips, Ed. The speedloader is machined from 6061 T6 aluminum. The 120-round loading block is CNC-machined from high-density polymer. It comes in a clear plastic box. These items make loading the high-cap 617 wheelgun easier.

—Todd Woodard

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