Earlier today, I swung into ACE hardware, with a stated purpose of trying to meet the intent of National Ammo Day(nothing fancy...just two boxes of CCI Mini-Mags.) No trip to ACE would be complete without looking at the guns, especially if I am already that close to them getting ammo.
The gun selection at ACE is impressive for a hardware store, but falls short of what one could find at Ranch and Home. What I enjoy about the guns at ACE(other than being really close to home) is that it usually reflects what people are buying. ACE doesn't carry a lot of things on the shelf long...they carry what is selling.
And apparently what is selling right now is a lot of goofy guns. ACE had no fewer than 8 Taurus Judge's of different barrel/cylinder lengths, as well as 3 different versions of the Rossi Ranch Hand.
I've never made a secret on my opinion of the Taurus Judge. To sum it up, I'm somewhere between 'meh' and 'ick'. Having never really seen the Rossi Ranch Hand in person, I couldn't resist the urge to do some fondling.
I don't know what to think. I LOVE my little lever-action Marlin. But...this Ranch Hand...um. I mean...it's got a 12-inch barrel, but it's being sold as a pistol. I tried holding it one handed, like one would a pistol and...no. I'm sure you can do it with Cowboy level .45 Colt loads...but it just felt awkward...very not user friendly.
As a pistol, I feel it is a bigger failure than the Judge. As a rifle, well...it's illegal as hell. I tried throwing it to my shoulder, to see if it could work as a rifle, and Rossi did a good job of making the grip/stock short enough that it is really uncomfortable, but not impossible. Throw a couple of recoil pads on their though, to get another 3 or 4 inches of stock, and it might work.
How long do you think it will be before an ATF Agent or two sees a guy doing that at the range, and a letter comes out declaring that all Rossi Ranch Hands are no longer pistols, but are now officially Short Barreled Rifles?
What I find curious is that ACE hardware carries an even dozen less than useful guns(in addition to the Rossi's, they also had a Henry's Mare' Leg in Brass. That bad boy was pretty, and weighed about 6-pounds...good luck using that as a pistol). I know...it's just my opinion that these guns are not useful, and what people want to spend their money on is their own business. It just blows my mind that in this time of economic DOOM and GLOOM, that there are that many people willing to throw away $450 on 'Fun Guns'. I will stick to my opinion that there are many better choices out there for ANY purpose than the Judge or the Ranch Hand.
Now, the Rossi Circuit Judge...that's different...I might have to add one of those to my wish list.