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American Handgunner May/June 2011 - Page 30
WINNINGEDGE Dave Anderson SOLID ADVICE TO KEEP YOU AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION The MAUSER HSc/HK4 merican Handgunner readers are tolerant of opinionated writers even when they don’t agree with their opinions. J.T. and Duke had a spirited debate over the merits of the .44 Special cartridge and though there was plenty of controversy not too many subscriptions were canceled! What firearms enthusiasts demand, though, is technical accuracy. I remember long ago watching the original Terminator on TV with my wife Simone. I was full of scorn about the parking garage scene where the Terminator fires multiple shots from a stolen LAPD Ithaca 37 without reloading. “Standard magazine tube, 4-shot capacity, he’s fired at least ten shots and he started with an empty chamber.” I said, “You don’t understand. It’s just not realistic.” “Help me understand.” Simone said, “You’re okay with cyborgs, time travel, and renegade computers starting a nuclear war. But if Arnold doesn’t reload often enough it wrecks the show.” “Hey, you do understand.” Prospective gunwriters had better understand too. If you make a statement it darn well better be accurate, because there are real experts out there, and they love nothing better than catching you in a mistake. I know because I’m the same way. You know it’s true. You’re going online to check: When was the Terminator released? Did LAPD issue the Ithaca 37 at the time? Did Arnold use an Ithaca 37? Did it have a standard magazine tube? (1984, yes, yes and yes. And you’re still going to replay the scene to count the shots. And yes, I know you have the video.) Writers depend on editors to catch errors they might have missed. I got away with one a while ago when I wrote “S&W began assigning model numbers in 1955.” I knew at the time it was actually 1957. It was a stupid mistake. But Roy should have caught it. Thank goodness no one wrote to criticize. Or maybe they did and Roy didn’t forward the message because he knew it was his fault — too. A VS. THE EDITOR Top: The HK4 was the first handgun produced by the prestigious firm of Heckler & Koch. It could be user-converted to accept the .22LR, .25, .32 or .380 ACP cartridges by switching barrel and magazine. This example has the .22LR and .32 ACP assemblies. Bottom: Alex Seidel was part of the design team for both the Mauser HSc (bottom) of 1938 and the HK4 (top) introduced 30 years later. There’s a strong resemblance in appearance and operation. The HSc was made in .32 ACP or .380 ACP. DAVE’S SHOCKED S o you can understand how, dare I say, shocked I was to read (Not sure where, might have been the Jan/Feb 2010 issue, Speak Out, bottom of page 19 continued on page 77. Lucky guess?) an e-mail from Mr. Tom Stembridge saying Roy had advised him his Mauser HSc was available as a 4-barrel kit (.380, .32, .25, .22). You and I know it was the Heckler & Koch HK4 which was offered as a 4-barrel kit. The Mauser HSc, as we all know, was made in either (not interchangeably) .32 ACP or .380 ACP. Even though His Editorship is infallible (as he often reminds his staff), he missed this one. What next? Will I find out J.D. secretly supports PETA? Connor is a Life Member of Greenpeace? Clint carries a .25 automatic? M ind you if you must get pistols mixed up these two are good candidates. When Mauser was working on the HSc in the 1930s one of the engineers on the design team was Alex Seidel. After WWII the Allies took all the machinery from the Mauser factory, leveled the buildings, spit on the rubble and Mauser was no more. In the late 1940s Seidel formed a partnership with couple of friends who had also been engineers with Mauser, Edmund Heckler and Theodor Koch. They must have tried a couple of name variations (Heckler & Seidel? Seidel & Koch? Koch, Seidel, & Heckler?). For whatever reason they settled on the name Heckler & Koch and in just a few years achieved brilliant success with the G3 rifle. Later the firm decided to add handguns to the product line. Seidel was no doubt active in the design of their first handgun, for the HK4 bears a strong resemblance to the Mauser HSc in appearance and opera- Coulda’ Happened tion. Production began in 1967-‘68 and ended in 1973. Both the HSc and HK4 were very well made, as would be expected from such prestigious firms. I’ve never seen much point in a .32 Auto if the same pistol is available in .380 (which isn’t exactly a bearstopper either). A pocket auto in .22LR is a handy device provided it works. The HK4 shown here is one I owned for a while. I tried several .22 brands in it and never found one which would fire a whole magazine without a stoppage. A fault of both is the shape of the backstrap which places the hand well below the line of the bore. As a result recoil can be felt even in .32 ACP, which is quite a feat. Considering the similarities in the two pistols I guess I can forgive Roy for this one-time lapse. And Roy in return has agreed not to fire me for writing this — probably. I asked to get it in writing and he said, “In writing? Are you nuts? I may still fire you!” * 30 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE 2011