Harvey Lembo was tired of being burglarized and his medications stolen- five times in six years. The A 67-year-old wheelchair-bound former Maine lobsterman described himself as a “walking drugstore.” So Mr. Lembo purchased what the reporter described as a “vintage gun.” Harvey said “I bought a gun. Best thing I ever did.” A couple of weeks ago, a suspect broke in . . .
He was awakened – he’s not sure by what – and noticed that the clock read 12:04 a.m. He saw a shadow pass from the kitchen toward his living room. At first he thought it was his cat, Mittens, but the shadow was too big.
“I pulled my gun out from under the pillow, got in the wheelchair, rolled out here and he was standing here at my pills,” Lembo said during an interview in his living room Tuesday. The room was lit Monday night by the light he leaves on all the time.
Lembo said Wildhaber told him “I’m here to rob you like everybody else.”
Lembo described the burglar as clean-cut, wearing khaki shorts and a white T-shirt. He ordered the man to sit on the coffee table against a wall while he called police.
“I told them, ‘I got him under a gun. If he makes a move, I’m going to shoot him.’ ”
When Wildhaber bolted toward the kitchen and the apartment’s front door, Lembo turned and fired, putting a slug in the fleeing man’s shoulder.
“I got a little scream out of him,” he said.
thepressherald.com report says the gun was a 7mm, stashed under Mr. Lembo’s pillow. I only know of one moderately common 7mm pistol: the Japanese Nambu. Cartridges for it are collector’s items. 7mm pinfires are even rarer. Maybe it was a 7.62 caliber. 7.62 or 7.65 pistols and ammunition are common. Another story says that the pistol was a 7mm Russian revolver. From the bangordailynews:
He said he purchased a 7 mm Russian-made revolver Monday but declined to say where he acquired it. He said he bought it because he was concerned he would continue to be the target of criminals looking to steal his prescribed medications.
Now all becomes clear. The revolver is almost certainly a Russian Nagant. I have a few. They are an interesting mechanical device, and large numbers were imported and sold for low prices. They work, but are a little slow to reload, and the ammo is pricey. If all you need it for is shooting the occasional burglar, it appears to be enough.
Some of my Russians [above] were converted to 7.65 x 17, and a small number to 7.62 x 25. But most of the Russian revolvers still shoot the original cartridge, the Nagant 7.62 x 38R. The Fiocci ammunition is likely the best for self defense.
Most of the Nagants imported to the United States were made before and during WWII. The Russians refurbished them at Soviet arsenals; the ones I have seen were in good condition. A few were made before WWI. They all are likely to remain useful and reliable for another hundred years.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.