Thursday, February 26, 2009
Puma 92 First Impressions
I took possession of my Puma 92 carbine on the 24th of February, and have spent the past few days getting it ready for a good breaking in. First of all, I ordered from Bud's Gun Shop on the 16th of the month. My rifle is chambered in .45 Colt ("Long Colt") with a 16" round barrel (the new ones all have octagon barrels), standard lever loop, and 8 round tube magazine. It ran me $425 shipped with insurance. The transfer cost me another $25, so in total $450. I had my heart set on a comparable Marlin 92, but the cheapest one of the "cowboy" line costs $675. After looking for reviews online, I found out that the Puma 92 has less fit and finish, but for $225 less, I'll take it.
This thing came COVERED in what appeared to be cosmoline--I mean real, soviet bloc cosmoline. I was able to remove it with a rag and some CLP, and it left the signature rust-brown residue on the rag and a number of paper towels. Upon inspection, the action appears to have lots of tool marks all over it. It actually works pretty smooth since I loaded the action with lithium grease. The wood on the gun looks like walnut, it might not be, but it looks like it and feels very solid. The bluing on the outside of the reciever and barrel is very deep and looks fantastic. The Puma 92 has a thumb safety on top of the bolt near the locking lugs. It simply blocks the free floating firing pin from moving. The jury is still out on whether or not this is a useful feature since the hammer still has a safety notch that has been a proven mechanism for 117 years. And while I'm on the mechanical function, the trigger is nice. It has no creep or over travel and breaks at what my finger says is 4 or 5 pounds.
The most impressive feature of this carbine is its size. This thing is about the size of a Red Rider BB gun. It is positively tiny. It shoulders very well and is lightweight (6lbs) and balanced very well--which makes it seem even lighter. The listed over-all length is 34 3/8", which is just shorter than an M4 with the stock fully extended. This thing could be a very handy truck gun.
It still hasn't been to the range yet, so keep your eyes peeled for a review next week. I promise I'll put pictures in the review, not just a video of Clint Eastwood.