Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

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Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby adam01364 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:25 pm

Neal Pritchett's website http://www.notpurfect.com/main/raven.html

The first 5 paragraphs are copied here, the website has photos and addtional information.
EDIT: Comments (in blue) are by JTJersey, a licensed Gunsmith and foremost expert in Raven repairs. His comments are included in this text so that corrections will not be overlooked by others reading this piece. -adam01364

'Please, don't give me any grief about this. Yes, I do own a Raven, one of the classic Saturday Night Specials. Actually, this is THE Saturday Night Special. At the peak of their popularity, during the seventies and eighties, these guns were selling for $50-$75 each. I remember wholesale deals where I, as a dealer, was offered three or even four of the little beasts for $100. This kind of thing greatly disturbs some people, particularly our friends the liberals, because it makes guns available to every one, even the poor, of whom liberals claim to be such a friend. Easy availability of any thing which promotes freedom and independence (guns, automobiles, money, certain computer and radio equipment) greatly disturbs liberals, because it weakens the hold of the centralization of power and resources, of which they have grown so fond. Interestingly, liberals are quite strong supporters of the easy availability of anything which will tend to weaken or destroy people as individuals, or allow them to shirk personal responsibility (drugs, pornography, abortion, government handouts, goofy social programs, brainwashing disguised as "social education" or "cultural diversity").

'Don't misinterpret what I am saying here. I do not consider this to be a fine gun or a great social tool, and I certainly do not consider the men who design, manufacture, and market these dreadful little guns to be great altruists, selflessly toiling to bring the freedom of the Second Amendment to the masses. What they have done is exploit a market niche. There are people who do not have a lot of money to spend, and who have decided they need to take advantage of the Second Amendment right to own a firearm. Those who wish to ban cheap little guns like these are in essence saying that these people have no right under the Second Amendment to own a gun. These guns are not unsafe, they are not especially deadly. The main objection that their detractors have against them is their cheapness. Apparently only the wealthy, and the government should be able to own guns.

'Well enough of the soap box; after going on about what a symbol of freedom these cheap little chunks of metal are, I must admit that I do not care for this whole class of firearms. The raven is a blocky, clunky little gun with no sophistication, little accuracy, and little power. It is made of a zinc alloy, and will not rust. It is also, as much as I hate to admit it, very reliable. I have yet to see this gun misfire a single time. Much of this is due to the choice of caliber, the .25 auto, and the loose manufacturing tolerances. I do not care for this caliber because of it's low power and relatively high cost. Most of the cheap little autos out there, which are collectively known as Saturday Night Specials, use this round rather than the better .22 rimfire, because the .25, with it's extraction groove, and central primer, is much more forgiving of design and manufacturing problems than is the .22. A cheaply made gun in .22 would be much more likely to jam, or misfire than the same weapon chambered in the .25. Other factors which add to the dependability of this gun are the simple design, and loose tolerances used. It is striker fired and has the recoil spring wrapped around the barrel in the manner of the Walther. (EDIT: This is incorrect statement as the Recoil Spring of the Raven is beneath the barrel, NOT "wrapped around the barrel in the manner of the Walther." ) Take down, and cleaning are very simple. The gun is not tight and is not very accurate, though with the small sights and short sighting radius, it is not likely that accurate shooting would be possible even if the gun was tightened up.

'If these guns are so dependable, then why do they have such a horrible reputation for jamming? I believe that part of this stems from a prejudiced, even elitist view by some gun enthusiasts. These are people (much like myself) who spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on individual guns, and then lavish enough care on them to make wives and girlfriends jealous. These same individuals are not likely to go into a shop and pick up a Raven for $75, because they "know" that the gun is unsafe and unreliable. Having no personal experience with the piece, this "knowledge" is never challenged, and is spread to other gun enthusiasts. The other side to this is that the average purchaser of one of these guns, not being a gun person, will not maintain it properly. My Raven, even though I am not crazy about it, receives the same care and maintenance as my Gold Cup, or any of my other guns. It is regularly cleaned and lubricated, and properly stored. I have heard stories from police, and other dealers, about people who load up their little guns, and then stick them in a holster, or a drawer, or find some hiding place, and then never touch it again for weeks, months, even years. The guns get dirty, the lubricant gets hard, the ammo turns green and sticky, and then one day, the worst happens and the householder is called upon to defend himself against intruders. He digs the gun out from wherever he put it all that time ago, points it at the intruder, and pulls the trigger. CLICK, CLICK! If he survives the encounter, he will no doubt vilify the "cheap little piece of junk" to his friends, the police, and anyone else who will listen.

'As a small aside, on my own personal gun, the retainer (part 105), broke, during disassembly and cleaning. This was not a catastrophic failure, did not occur during firing, and did not put my life in danger; but it was quite irritating. A new retainer costs about $10. A look at the broken retainer revealed no surprises. It broke due to crystallization, and brittleness of the cheap alloy from which the gun is constructed. (EDIT: JTJersey -a licensed Gunsmith and foremost expert in Raven repairs has NEVER seen "crystalilization" of the retainer; in fact the retainer is quite strong.) In speaking to other gun owners, and in research on the web, I discovered that failure of the retainer is a VERY common occurrence on these guns. It is too bad, really. The basic design of the gun is not bad, - simple, inexpensive, and potentially accurate and dependable. Unfortunately, the execution is terrible. Were Cobra, or whatever these people are calling themselves these days, willing to put just a bit more care into the production of these pieces, they could have themselves a very nice little gun, with little cost increase over what they are producing now. (EDIT: Phoenix Arms, not Cobra, picked up Raven production) Oh well. As of this writing, I can not really recommend purchase of a Raven, except for curio or collector purposes (the guns do have a significant, though not necessarily honorable, place in gun history). Getting a good Raven is possible, but is a matter of pure luck. What happened to mine was a failure of quality control. There are other other Ravens out there with retainers which, by sheer good luck, will last forever.
Last edited by adam01364 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby rick p » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:43 pm

I took my Raven to a range recently, and let a friend of mine fire it. Now he's looking for one of his own. I guess there's a certain flair to these little guns that can make you want one. Incidentally, he was firing his Gold Cup before the Raven. :D
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Re: Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby Kiln » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:24 pm

The Raven only caught a bad rap because before all the anti's were after "high capacity banana clips" and "black rifles with armor piercing teflon coated cop killer bullets" they were after our beloved cheap guns.
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Re: Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby JTJersey » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:46 pm

Couple of things about this article, and I've seen this article in the past. As I'm sure you all know the Recoil Spring of the Raven is underneath the barrel, NOT "wrapped around the barrel in the manner of the Walther." When I see a glaring error like this it makes me pause. For instance, I've never seen a Slide Retainer crystallize and break as he describes. The Retainer is very strong and unless you beat on it with a hammer it will last quite a long time. Every time I've ever sold a Retainer it was because the original took off like a rocket and was lost in the tall grass during disassembly, not because it broke. One other note, Cobra makes some really nice pistols, but it was Phoenix Arms that made the last production run of the Ravens, not Cobra. Informative article, interesting web page and I agree with some of his conclusions, but he's way off base about "Getting a good Raven is possible, but is a matter of pure luck." I think they're all good :)
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Re: Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby Kiln » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:24 pm

I agree with JTJersey, Ravens normally work and when they don't it is often as simple as making small adjustments to the magazines.
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Re: Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby farmkid » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:59 pm

+1 on JTJersey. Lots of facts wrong. Probably some right, in regards to the genealogy of the RoFs, but -- yeah -- fail.

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Re: Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:46 am

Kiln wrote:I agree with JTJersey, Ravens normally work and when they don't it is often as simple as making small adjustments to the magazines.

That pretty much sums it up IMO.
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Re: Another interesting website with a Raven commentary

Postby adam01364 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:05 am

I've edited the original 'copy & past' post with comments/corrrections as provided by JTJersey os blue font.
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