I now have the T/C Contender pistol that will stand in for the M4 Survival Rifle for JFK assassination research live fire acoustics testing in late July. The Contender was a bit more difficult to acquire than I'd expected. I wound up buying the 14 inch .22 Hornet barrel and forend from E.A. Brown, and a gently used earlier style Contender lower / frame assembly from a private seller via Gunbroker (and my local FFL holder, of course). I'm stil testing gear and preparing site plans, but I'm on track with this project.
I've posted some reliability tips for vintage .32 ACP pistols, and some additional information on how to make drop - in / drop - out conversions of Star B magazines to spacered configuration (for improved reliability).
And, you know how you never have a camera handy when you see Big Foot or a bunch of UFOs? Well, unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me a couple of weeks ago when I walked into an antique store on Castle Street here in Wilmington that specializes in "mid century" furnishings and found myself nose to lockplate with a barn find relic condition honest to goodness Charleville model 1766 musket. Somebody had just brought it in from home looking for a bit of cash. With the aid of a long curtain rod, I helped the gal who'd bought it verify that there was no charge in the barrel, and I gave her a few pointers on how to figure out what it should bring and who might buy it. Actually, I made her promise to sell it to someone who knew what it was and how to properly conserve it. I'd lay down a quick five hundred dollar wager that the gun came to America as French military assistance to the colonies during the Revolution. The 1866s (referred to as light model 1863s in colonial records), were a staple of French military aide. In the end, I think I talked the proprietor into making the musket a gift to her father, who is in the SAR. Come to think of it, I could join the SAR based on either side of the family. I bet the majority of Americans could manage this if they dug into their geneologies a bit.
Speaking of old wars and old veterans -- as you may have picked up here, I'm a registered nurse. I work in Long Term Care and Short Term Rehab, mostly. And although there is little I can publicly say about the people I take care of, I would like to take a moment to simply say that I have had the honor and privilege of looking after some of the most courageous and self-sacrificing people ever to have walked the earth -- men and women alike.