Many of you are familiar with Ed Harris, firearms engineer and ballistic experimenter. One of Ed’s passions is the hunting of small game – squirrels, rabbits, etc. – and the guns that facilitate that activity.
(Before we go any further, it seems that a lot of folks today don’t have any experience with serious small game hunting. There are an awful lot of people who consider it somehow inferior to the taking of large game, but they are sorely mistaken. In virtually every respect, hunting wily little creatures is just as demanding of one’s hunting skills as taking a trophy elk. Fieldcraft and marksmanship are just as difficult, but since you get more than one chance per trip you can hone your skills over a larger number of animals. Because of the increased experience, a good small game hunter is almost invariably a good big game hunter, but the reverse – at least in my experience – is rarely true.)
Ed has made up a number of dedicated long guns for the task, but has recently been experimenting with purpose-built handguns to go along with them. What he and John Taylor have come up with is a modified Beretta Model 70 in .32ACP, which Ed calls “the Third Level of Bunny Gun Nirvana”.
Now I’ve never thought much of the .32ACP cartridge except for use as a deep concealment backup gun, but Ed had other ideas. He started by fitting his Beretta with 7- and 13-inch barrels, then developed a subsonic heavy bullet loading:
The barrels are supplied with a very interesting scope mount:
Ed talks about the performance of the combination:
Using 94-gr. Meiser LFN .312 cast bullet and 1.7 grs. of Bullseye velocity just shy of 900 f.p.s. Very low noise, from 13 inch barrel slightly louder than H-D military with can (suppressor), no muzzle flash, the 7 inch barrel sounds like .22 match pistol with standard velocity. Indoor range groups were shot at 25 yards. Not the best range light and targets oscillate a bit, so like it’s trying to head-shoot the pirate from pitching deck of a destroyer, but shows potential.
It looks to be a formidable little game-getter!
-=[ Grant ]=-
- Posted by Grant Cunningham
- On June 29, 2009