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GUNS Magazine January 2010 - Page 37
and .410 shotgun (the .410 is subject to the National Firearms Act). They sell for between $350 and $600 and yours should be in the upper range because of its large amount of original finish. Q: When I moved to Arizona in 1999, it took me months to get my loading room Primer Storage • Jeff John • set up. Then I lost a few things like the proverbial sock in the dryer. Last week I found a neatly packed ammo can with 3,000 small rifle and a couple hundred BMG primers. All of them are in original packaging and the can was nowhere near any moisture. Will the very high temperatures of being in an Arizona garage have done any damage to the primers? I was told the excessive heat could harm powder but I don’t know if that is true, either. Vince Padia via e-mail Primers can be damaged by extreme heat, cold and humidity, according to Kent Sakamoto of RCBS. “The trouble is,” said Sakamoto, “heat dries out the priming compound making it brittle and subject to disintegration during the seating process, causing a misfire. Further, the primer can still detonate if you try to disassemble misfired rounds and punch out the ‘bad’ primer. That is the reason that de-priming ‘live’ primers is not recommended. High humidity can cause the priming compound to be too wet to detonate properly as well.” Sakamoto also advises against the use of metal ammo cans for powder or primer storage, “If anything sets off those primers or lights off the powder, the metal can just adds shrapnel!” A cool, dry place is the best place for storage of primers and powder. After 10 years, the chances of those primers being damaged by the heat is quite good. Contact your local fire department for directions on proper disposal. Smokeless powder can dry out in high heat as well, changing its burning rate and weight mass characteristics. Said Sakamoto, “The desired powder charge of ‘X’ grains of powder is achieved but the volume of powder is greater with ‘dried’ out powder, creating a potentially unsafe load.” Smokeless powder is best left in a tightly closed factory container, in a cool, dry place and not stored with the primers. If the smokeless powder has lost its chemical smell, or has a rancid smell, it should not be used. A: TheStevensModel35offhandwasavery popular.22LRsingleshotpistolwith43,357 madeduringits19-yearproductionrun. Q: My father-in-law recently died and going through his home we discovered Stevens Offhand a single shot pistol marked J. Stevens Arms Company Chicopee Falls, Mass. U.S.A., serial number 305XX. It appears to be .22 LR caliber. We would appreciate any information you can give us. The caliber is not stamped on the barrel. Dennis Yost Elizabeth, Colorado Your neat little Stevens is one of 43,357 Model 35 Offhand pistols made from 1923 to 1942 according to Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms, 9th Edition by Norm Flayderman (available from Krause Publications, 700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990, 715/445-2214, www.krause.com). They were made in .22 Long Rifle A: Due to the volume of mail received, GUNS cannot offer a personal reply. Please e-mail your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail to: GUNS Q&A, 12345 World Trade Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM 37 QuestionsandAnswers