Friday, November 30, 2007

Extend and Clarify my Remarks

I commented yesterday about the 1986 gun control law.

Armed Canadian properly brought to my attention that the 1986 law isn't all bad, except for maybe the Hughes Amendment that pertained to NFA controlled weapons manufactured after 1986.

He's right, in that I should look at the law in toto. It's a lot more complicated than merely creating artificially high prices by banning new machine guns, and large swaths of it are beneficial to gun owners. Like prohibiting the government from making the NICS system into a defacto registration.

So if I were running for president, and some questioner (that WASN'T a plant Democrat operative) asked what gun control law I'd repeal... I'd have to be a weaselly politician at first and say "that depends..."

If allowed to eleborate I'd target provisions of past laws. Like the Hughes Amendment. And suppressors being targetted by the NFA of the 1930s. Or maybe pass NEW laws that reigned in abuses of the BATF that has been running mom and pop FFL dealers out of business by citing benign typos on a tiny percentage of 4473 gun purchase application forms. Or I'd pass new laws extending and funding the Civilian Marksmanship program. With an appeal of the Hughes Act we could make surplus military rifles (set to semi-auto at the armory) available again.


From 12/1/08

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What do we do

Ok, say the 2nd Amendment is indeed resurgent. Say Heller goes through the Supreme Court, and it rules, "Of COURSE it is an individual right, and attempts to disarm the citizenry are dubious at best." Yay, victory! And no new gun laws come out after, for the most part, BUT we pretty much stick with what we have. None are added, but none are taken away. We stand pat.

Then decades go by.

And someone invents a new weapon and it’s issued to the military. A great rifle. Call it a Ray Gun. Something like, a beam weapon with unlimited ‘ammo’ for all intents and purposes and unlimited rate of fire. Something with greater range and easier accuracy than any rifle we now have. Something even more deadly than a hit from a 7.62mm bullet. And all in 9 pound shoulder fired portable rifle-like package.

Unlike NFA controlled machineguns, NONE are in the hands of non-governmental actors legally. And it is obviously manufactured after 1986 so none are coming down the pipe for civilians either. And I already stipulated a certain inertia, legislatively, so there is no chance new laws would make this weapon available to the general public.

So a revolution in technological design has rendered all our smokeless powder-charge propelled metal slugs obsolete. And only the gov’t controls the advanced weapon. As though all our rifles today magically turned into Civil War re-enactor group muzzleloaders.

Conversely, what if the Supreme Court settled all this in 1880, but some 1879 version of the NFA was allowed to stand. In that the people have a right to percussion cap muzzleloading weapons, but none of these more effected brass cartridge breech loaders and any further developments of same into the future.

Sure the weapons possessed by the individuals is a right enumerated in the Constitution, and positively confirmed by the Supreme Court interpretation of same, but they are, at that future date, unable to as effectively oppose a tyrannical gov’t, should one rise to power with the cooperation of our security forces.

I’m wondering if stand pat inertia after a Supreme Court victory is advisable. Are we going to have to roll back to 1968 levels? (ie. Repeal the 1986 gun control laws that restricted the 1934 National Firearms Act even further.) I know many want to, and then keep going to pre-1934 NFA levels, but I’m thinking of the most practical appeal to a lowest common denominator.
Hmmm. Something to think about. And repealing the 1986 law will make current NFA weapon owner, that legally own machine guns and such, very upset. The 1986 law made a false scarcity and subsequent inflation of legal machine gun prices. You repeal the 1986 law and you’ve ruined their ‘investment.’ Of course it’s a false market insulated from true capitalist principles and thus as phantom as tulip bulbs and ponzi schemes. Sorta like Social Security and Carbon Cap and Trade markets. The really angry machine-gun owners will be the ones that ONLY bought the weapon for an investment, rather than the pleasure of shooting it.

I feel the 1968 laws and 1934 laws are less of a burden, as long as safeguards are put in place to keep something like NICS from becoming a defacto registration system, because I don’t trust the gov’t to not convert a registration list into a confiscation list.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

.44 Magnum Derringer!!!

Saw at the gunshow a lot of the little guns, in person, that I had seen around the web. MBtGE got a teeny weeny .380. My brother had a line on a Beretta Tomcat, a teeny weeny gun chambered in .32. But I saw lots of the 2-shot derringer and the North American Arms mini-revolver.

All these guns are much smaller than the smallest gun I have and contemplate ever getting, but…

The teeny weeny guns. Denise likes them and calls them Vest Pocket guns and Mouse Guns.

Small bullets, short barrels, means inaccurate and less deadly. These really are only an option if the alternative is having noting but your teeth to fight with. Unless you cram a full size round in there. Like a .44 Magnum!!!!

The point is to be armed in a situation where a Colt Commander or Glock 22 is just too bulky to have. I wouldn’t want to lug around .45 in t-shirt, shorts, and barefeet weather. Florida in the summer time.

The Kel-Tec .380 is wallet sized. And there is a wallet shaped holster you can buy after-market. And you can shoot with the pistol in the holster on some of them. Probably enough to drive a New York City cop crazy, as they routinely shoot you when you pull a regular wallet.

The Beretta Tomcat is about the same size as the Kel-Tec, but probably better made, if slightly bulkier and less ‘squared’ off. A bit more expensive too. And it’s a slightly smaller cartridge than the above, at .32, and they have options in the same sort of rig for a .25 or .22, too.

And for the ultimate small gun, the true Derringer. Classic styling and design Similar to the design you’d expect Doc Holiday to have playing card in Tombstone Arizona. Can you shoot .44 magnum out of these 2-shot classics? Ouch. Reports of shooting the .357 out of a light-alloy snub-nose revolver tell of discomfort. I can’t imagine the horror of shooting .44 mag out of this. Though they have a certain amount of HEFT. These things look and feel solid in the hand. At least. Nice piece of machining work. The ones I’ve seen. But murder on the hands in any sizeable caliber.

Ok, ok, they don't have a .44 Magnum in their catalog. I made that up. The biggest they have is the classic .45 Colt. A lot less powder charge in that cartridge. But that is a whole lot of bullet for a small gun, too.

Naw. If I am forced to go the mini gun route, to shrink beyond the pocket gun to the VEST pocket gun, a gun the size of a pocket watch, I’d probably go for that revolver from North American Arms, and in .22 magnum. The nifty thing with these is that they can come with a pocket clip, making them look like a pocket knife hanging on the inside of your pants pocket. Kim du Toit recommended the caliber. A little extra oomph and you can get the shot shell in that size. But is this mouse gun, or any of the other lesser contenders on my MASTER list? No, not yet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colt 1903

Well, in celebration of a new better-paying salt mine type situation (I am a janitor at a large institution), I treated myself to a boom stick.

I got that 1903 Pocket Hammerless in .380 caliber, I’ve been drooling after. And I can still afford a plane ticket to visit my Ma in FLA.

I never would have gotten one, or really known about it, except for excellent sales pitch put up by 2 women bloggers, Tam and Denise. Also, both women are in part responsible for me starting this little blawg you are reading. To recap, this blog started after 1) MBtGE let out that there was a rifle range near him, and we went. 2) interest in improving my shooting now that I had a place to go lead to internet searches, finding many things there, including some very good blogs like Tam’s and Denise’s 3) realizing that I had an unique angle, the ability to string 3 words together, often spelling the same words correctly, and plenty of time on account of my lonely existence to share narcissistic gun thoughts to a panoply of eager readers (both of them.)
Anyway… the Colt .

It’s early-ish. 1920’s maybe. And the bluing is in decent shape. Everything Tam and Denise gush on about with regard to the lost art of steel bluing is true. This is a very handsome finish. It is a very pretty gun that way. It is also Browning design, and that was a feature I desired, and first impression from the range is that it is much more accurate than I am. It’s sights are indeed small, but that’s ok by me. It’s just so simple, and fits in a Jeans pocket.

The .380 cartridge is about the same as the ubiquitous 9mm. Wimpy? Yes. But this gun would never be intended as a primary self defense weapon for me, assuming I get a Concealed Carry License someday, somewhere. It would be a back-up or the gun you take when you really need to be discrete while packing. Like a wedding or somesuch. So the gun HAS a role in a self defense scenario, but I really didn’t NEED to splash cash on such a tertiary weapon at this time. I just WANTED to. Again, back to the Women’s saleswomanship. Plus all the cool people were getting one, and I need to jump on THAT bandwagon.

And Patton carried one when he wasn't in a 'dressy' mood and sporting the ivory handled pistols. If it's good enough for Patton, and Olympic-Level Pistol-Shooting competitior in the Pentathlon, then it is good enough for me.

I could have gotten the same caliber and same role gun cheaper and in a smaller package, but this is the weapon for me. History, aesthetics, function. It’s just right. And I had to get it now, as I mentioned, as Engage Armament is getting rid of the more historic guns.

I got a pocket holster to go with it at the gun show.

So, I’ll need to update the Master List now…

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Powder

After another hunt with nothing to show besides a pleasant cold day in the woods, My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast hashed over the day drinking coffee in the sun. We planned for the next outing and hoped for more luck. MBtGE is already talking NEXT season, which is great. He said maybe we'll go out a bit earlier and shoot a muzzle-loading rifle before the modern rifle season starts. Or, he will take a bow and I will take his black powder rifle.

I hadn't considered that. And I was wondering why that didn't occur to me.

Oh, I knew of it, and how the season is earlier on. And that that is good as the deer are less skittish earlier but hideout when the boom-sticks are in high-dudgeon later on. They went over black powder in the Hunter Safety Course I took at the Isaak Walton League clubhouse. I just saw the gun, and dismissed it out of my head as a topic not to concern myself with. That it didn't really apply, or appeal, to me.

Part of it is, I am into shooting, but not to be a hunter, primarily. Notice, there is no black powder rifle on Master List. Not even considered.

I guess the hunting bug has bitten me yet. That might change if I get a deer, yes. If my purpose was to first and foremost GET a deer I'd be all over crossbows and black powder arms to maximize my chances.

Do I WANT to get a deer with the weapons I have? Certainly. But once I get one, if I get it with a shotgun, the next time I try to harvest a deer I'll drag my feet unless I can take the rifle out. I want to get better with the rifle, primarily, not have a freezer full of stew meat. The meat is just a happy consequence of the shooting.

If I don't get a deer this year, I will certainly TRY MBtGE muzzleloader. But I don't think I am ready to have a muzzleloader take up space in the gun cabinet. Of course I have dreams of maybe MAKING large parts of my own flintlock and using that. There are kits out there to help you do just that. A flintlock appeals to the romantic historian in me.

But next season we will try to scare up a rifle spot for hunting. If not, I will borrow the muzzleloader and try it. And we're both getting the hankering to get some land out in the boonies. A 50 acres spread. Maybe two next to each other.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Brass Moves

I knew this, but I didn’t KNOW this. It was only when I started to trod on the shottist’s path that I truly thought about this interesting, to me, topic. It’s a nooby epiphany, if a mild one.

When the firing pin touches off the primer cap on a cartridge, and that, in turn, ignites the propellant, then tremendous pressure build up. At first, the seated bullet holds that pressure in, then bursts free of the tip of the cartridge and then makes its merry way on down the barrel to freedom. Sweet freedom.

Well brass is a softish metal. The walls of the case are relatively thin, too. The brass deforms and expands to fill the space it sits in in the receiver. This space is a close fit (or should be) to the cartridge that goes in it, but it isn’t perfect. If it was perfect it would be hard to get a cartridge to actually go INTO the hole. So there is a bit of wiggle room. A very small bit. And that wiggle room would lead to gases sneaking back around the cartridge and back toward the shooters face, except that the expanding case makes for a tighter seal.

If you compare a cartridge case that has never been fired with one you just fired you should be able to see the difference in shape, and probably with the naked eye.

Because of this phenomena, reloaders have to reform the brass back into place to get the whole thing back into original spec.

Because of this phenomena, reloader have to be careful not to reload too often, lest the reformed metals get thinner and weaker over successive reloads.

Because of this phenomena, many recommend against reloading rounds that are intended for semi-automatic rifles. Or at least to be very choosy about the brass you use. Compared to a bolt action rifle, a semi-auto is VERY hard on the brass, jamming the cartridge home at full spring pressures, and, even MORE violently, ripping a hot fired piece of brass out of battery and ejecting it away at the speed of the gas pistons pushing that bolt back, minus the strength of the spring. Thin brass can fail on this eject and you only pull out the very bottom of the case, or everything below the case neck, but leaving a ring of the neck behind. Then in a blink of an eye the semi-auto tries to jam a fresh round up in there when there is still big bits of brass cartridge in there. This is a bad jam at minimum, and an abject disaster if it slam fires the round. Bad, bad.

Because of all this, if I reload the brass for my Garand, I will be SURE it is quality thick brass, and fired only once. Jeez that can be scary. And it would be my own damn fault if I had a cartridge failure. It a big argument for eye-protection. It makes me think about forehead protection, too.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Went Hunting Again

Or maybe I should call it sitting and shivering.

No luck, again, deer-wise.

As I approached the stand I am pretty sure I heard a group of deer ahead of me. Clearly they heard me long before I heard them. I'm sure they said to each other, "Oh. It's THIS guy again. Well we better be going again. Won't this guy ever learn he's not welcome?"

The moon was full and set about an hour and a half after I got to my spot. It was much colder this time, and I was shivering even with TWICE the layers as last time. One thing about the extra low temps... I tried harder to stay still. The only thing moving was the occasional hand to push my scarf up to my nose, and my toes were wiggling inside the boots a mile a minute.

I hear more before sunrise. I can hear the highway when it is dark. I can't hear it when it is light.

Before sunrise I think I heard a coyote. I definitely heard two owls talking back and forth. There was a bluebird, too. That was odd. Thought they were Spring.

Only one shot was heard, compared to four last weekend. The deer are getting wary and/or the hunters are not coming out as much.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Monopoly on Force

There is a cliché out there, often thrown in the face of 2A advocates, but is used for other arguments as well, that: "The Government should have a monopoly on force" Many people agree with the statement, on the surface. They don't want the bad guys and thugs and crazies using force on THEM, they want to gov't to deter them since they should have all the 'force' and be able to protect their charges. Their charges being us, Mr. And Mrs John Q. Public, and Johnny Junior. Sorta like a big protect parent that we call Uncle Sam.

And this blogger has put paid to that fallacy:
Blogmonicon... with a slide show. Careful. The soundtrack is extra annoying.

Ayn Rand sort of agreed to the concept about the Gov't having a monopoly on force, but not if you look carefully. (be careful with Ayn Rand, too, as she and her followers can be dogmatically annoying as well.)

The thing wrong with the cliché is that it's too over simplified. It's just a bumper sticker slogan. The concept is accepted because it sounds good, not because it is sound, when investigated. First of all, the gov't needs to be the only 'force' game in town to enforce the law and maintain order. It doesn't mean it should constantly exercising force, certainly, but it should have no other competition, If you have 2 authorities using force you have a. war. Between 2 states or a unit breaking off from a bigger state in a civil war situation.

But the bumper sticker phrase has some validity if modified properly

Let's change it a bit shall we?

"An accountable government has a monopoly on the initiation of force."

A gov't is accountable. It represents the people that created it and works their will at their behest. The people will order and rule of law, and the gov't has to be able to enforce that by initiating force or by the threat of force. It acts as a deterrent for those that would defy the people.

This makes 'the people' a higher authority than the gov't and to them is reserved the right to initiate force against that gov't. It's how this nation was formed. It's why the 2A is there. Not for hunting or the target shooting sports.

A gov't has a monopoly on force initiation, the people don't have the right to initiate force, except against said gov't as per the 2A. That doesn't mean the individual can't exercise force. The individual can only respond to the unlawful initiation of force against him in defense, except from representatives of an accountable gov't. And individual can respond with force to a criminal using, or threatening to use, force against his life or property or the lives to those that entrust the individual to protect.

If a gov't loses it's accountability, it loses its monopoly and we have revolution and anarchy.

Now a Democracy (which we, thank Crom, are NOT) is simply a tyranny of the majority. A majority can pass a law that renders the minority outlaw and their lives forfeit. In other words, 51% of the people can vote to allow themselves to pee in the Cheerios of the losing 49%.

We are a Federal Republic, with a Constitution limiting the powers of the gov't, to prevent the powers that be from running roughshod over the inherent rights of the individual citizen.

Basic Civics stuff there. But we don't teach Civics in school anymore. We teach self-esteem and cultural equivalence and manufacture collective rights. Our economy only hums along because there is still a little time after teach all that hooey for some reading ritin and rithematic.

But for a self test, try this. Replace the word gov't in the phrase with the political party that you are not a member of and see if you like it.

"The GOP should have a monopoly on force"

"The Labor Party should have a monopoly on force"

"The Socialists should have a monopoly on force"

"The Judean Peoples Front should have a monopoly on force"

Cuz it comes down to that.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Plane Meme

Ok, Ok, I'm late to this meme. Sue me. But here are my entries to the 5 best planes of all time. I even tried to make em on-topic. I think it all started with NRAhab but the Chief had it too, and Smallest Minority. Sorry Babies.

Wright Flyer. The one that started it all and showed us, "Yes, you, too, can fly like a bird." And it happened SO not that long ago. Only 3 years before my grandfather was born. And he lived to see the moon landings (when I was born) and Stealth Bombers, and the Mars Rover. ONE lifetime. It is a BIG deal that we fly. And fight in the air. With guns.

The DC-3. It is the best airplane, ever. No really. It did so much. Still flies after 80 years, and just a perfect serendipitous conglomeration of form and function. It brought the guns and the men to Normandy and many other places

The P-38 Lightning. I always loved the plane of aces McGuire and Bong (heh! bong...) with .50 Ma Dueces and you the only thing in the center pod. Shot down Yamamoto, this plane did, much to the consternation of that mentally defective reprobate in the Black Robe that happens to be a gov't worker. I'd call him a retard, but that would be an insult of people born with learning disabilities, as that Justice has a fraction of the brain capacity. A better descriptor is "He has O'Conner smarts."

The Grumman F-8F Bearcat. Grumman made some great 'Cats' but this was the best piston fighter the Navy ever had. It's only flaw was coming too late to show it's superiority, and not having a worthy foe to fight at that time even if WW2 had dragged on.

The B-36 Peacemaker. Just look at that monstrosity. I loved that Jimmy Stewart movie, Strategic Air Command, and this Monster with 8 (d'oh, SIX!) turning and 4 burning was practically a character in the flick. My dad sat in the bubble on the side a few times, doing stuff for the USAF. It brought the BIG gun.

The F-8 Crusader. The LAST true dogfighter. Sure, it had a few heat seeking missiles, but it was a GUNS machine. And it was dang sexy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First Gun

...that I still have.

You know, the first gun I bought and kept was the revolver. But why didn't I luck out and get a proper .45? It WAS the first pistol I learned to shoot with, thanks to the USNavy. I could have just gotten one and have been done with it. You can do worse than to have one gun, total, and have that be a .45. It's even better than a .357 revolver, but the revolver isn't shabby, by any stretch.

2 reasons I did what I did:

I wanted a "3 o'clock in the morning gun". A gun I can grab, half asleep after being woken by and intruder breaking a window, and I don't have to THINK about how the gun functions for it to work. Grab, pull trigger, bullets go out. A double action revolver is nothing if not this kind of weapon. Instinctive. It was loaded when you went to bed, there is nothing else to consider. No safety. No slide to rack. It just goes. Sure, with training, a .45 can be just as second nature, but the limited training the Navy provides is not enough to reinforce this. For instance, we didn't learn how to field strip it. Or even how to load a magazine.

AND, the other reason I didn't get the .45, when I went pistol shopping in 90's, the guy in the gun store said, "a .45 like the military used to shoot 10 - 15 years ago before switching to a Beretta? You can't get one of those old fashioned things anymore. Oh you CAN, but it's cost you thousands and it won't work very well."

Uh huh. Were that the internet was available to me then. Well I went to ANOTHER gun store and bought the revolver, but the first guy did influence my decision making process.

It's just as well. Now I know more about what I want.

Ambidextrous safety. A hammer that won't pinch the web between thumb and first finger. Tritium sights. Perhaps NO full length guide rod, but either way is probably fine. 'Parkerized' finish (not stainless this time). And not too expensive, not too cheap. Springfield Armory makes such a gun. If money was no object I might lean Kimber, STI, or Wilson. Even Les Baer. But Springfield is good, too.

Buy Ammo Day part deux

I went to Engage Armament after work. It had been a while, and I want to pick up so pistol ammo to go with the rifle ammo I got in Chantilly's Expo. I also wanted to look around and drool.

Anyway, I got a couple boxes of .38 Special, and one of .357.

Half the guns are leaving! Yes. The older stuff is out the door. Going to be auctioned off somewhere in Pennsylvania. Dang. Mostly the antique stuff. Double dang! Good thing I secured the antique stuff I coveted already...

But they assured me that slowly but surely they will refill the shelves with more and more guns to look at.

I'll miss the old stuff and the vibe it gave off, but it's still my favorite gun store. Mainly because they treat me like a valued customer, rather than an interloper. A little hint, gun stores. I'm a walking wallet with YOUR money in it. Treat me so I want to give the money I've been holding for you, TO you.

While there I noticed something. An item in the 'used' cabinet, for a halfway decent price. Yes it was an impulse buy. They had a .22 conversion kit for a .45. I figured I better get it now if I am going to get a .45 for Buy A Gun Day on April 15th. The conversion kit is a Wilson Combat, which was made by Ceiner. I've discussed this all before, here.

It was there, I would need it eventually, and I wouldn't get that good a price on a Wilson Combat version. So it came home with me. I'll get some more mags for it in the future, but that can wait until I get the gun. Maybe in February. More imporantly, when I get my first .45, I'll also get my first .22 pistol. It's a good idea to pack along on TEOTWAWKI situation, if you have to CARRY everything on you. This with your .45, a brick of .22 ammo with your spare full .45 mags, a rifle and it's bandolier of ammo. It's all almost manageable, weight-wise. Limited, but with that brick you can shoot 500 rabbits and/or groundhogs.

The hard part on Buy a Gun Day will be waiting UNTIL that day. I usually get my tax refund check by mid February. If you keep that much money around the car will smell it and break down and want it all for itself.

Here's a picture of the kit. NICE sights on it. I like.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gun Show

After hunting we went to the gun show.

It was a VERY busy weekend.

Oh MY. It was almost too much. My brain vapor locked a bit, as it is wont to do in gun stores.

In anticipation of this, I brought a hand written list so I could stay focused. Just looking at every table took 3 hours.

Here is a picture of my swag:

I got a bore light so I don't have to peek down the barrel to see if the gun is unloaded. An inexpensive LED flashlight, too. There is a fine tipped set of tweezers, for, um... tweezing stuff. There are two 10 round magazines for the .22 bolt action rifle, and a mag for the 1903 Pocket Hammerless. Also a pocket holster for the pocket hammerless. There is ten clips for the Garand. And, in celebration of Buy Ammo Day, today, I bought 140 rounds of .308. And it's from South Africa, to further honor Mr. du Toit.

Not bad, considering the temptations. I have an actual nibble on more contract money, but haven't landed that fish.

What else tempted me? Well I was saved from big impulse buying on 2 occasions by the convenient fact that many dealers don't take credit cards. I expected that ahead of time, as this show is similar to antique shows and old tools shows, of which I am more familiar. I almost bought a bunch of magazines for a gun I don't have (M1A) and I almost bought Winchester Model 88, which is a .308 caliber lever action with a 5 round box magazine, there is a scope mount on most I've seen, and back-up iron sights. There is even a carbine version. A really good hunting rifle that fits my criteria. That rifle kept calling to me, and I was ready to get it when they told me no credit cards. Phew. Saved me $800. The experience DID put that rifle at the top of the contention for a lefty hunting rifle.

I also considered getting .45 ACP ammo. I don't own a gun that shoots .45 ACP.

I noticed VERY few bolt action rifles that were for lefties. No love.

The next show is in February. And by then I will be expecting a tax refund check, hopefully a month or 2 into a higher paying job, and I will have the walking around money ON me. Uh oh.

What else was fun there? Well I got to fondle a LOT of .45 ACP. The prices there were comparable to what I'd get from my favorite local store, so that made me feel good. It will be a pleasure buying with confidence from my guy when the time comes next Spring. I'm going to be kinda particular on the features, too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Went Hunting

Well, since I drive a Durango, I told MBtGE that there was only room for four carcasses, so we should only shoot trophy bucks.

Got up at 4:30 on Saturday. Dressed in MANY layers. We were at the farm and walking out to our spots by 5. And here is what my deer stand looked like.

It was dark. I sat on that black bucket with my blaze orange hat and my blaze orange vest in the crook of the tree, cradling my shot gun with the muzzle pointed off tom my right. I sat there thinking I'd stay as still and quiet as I could for the next 4 hours.

Within 15 minutes of settling in I thought I heard MBtGE starting to walk back. He was coming from my 1 o'clockNow he intended to do a slow walk from that direction at the end of the day if we hadn't gotten anything and maybe 'push' a deer in my directions. But not at the beginning of the adventure. Hmmm.

I took the safety off on my shotgun.

Whoever it was, he was still walking my direction.


Maybe this IS a deer. It can't be. I'm not this lucky.

See the yellow X on the picture? Not 15 yards from where I was sitting I saw a shadow there. It moved when I heard the steps, it stopped moving when it was quiet. If i had pulled the trigger with the gun sitting in my lap, chances are I would have hit. My heart was racing a mile a minute. I felt tingly all over.

But I couldn't tell for sure what it was. It could have been another hunter trespassing on the property. It could have been a dog. Heck it could have been a raccoon for all I know. So I didn't take the shot. I wanted to do this right. Besides, if I missed in the darkness, I'd not have another chance that day, I bet.

The shadow moseyed along behind me. I heard thumps. I heard the exhales that sounded like a bull snuffing in the bull ring. At this point I knew it was a deer, and I smiled. I kept tracking it by sound and moved along out of range at my 8 o'clock.

MBtGE told me the thumps was stamping and the breath noises was trumpeting. A warning to other deer and a challenge to other bucks.

Yes, bucks. Dang.

I didn't see another deer the rest of the morning. I heard shots all around. I was yelled at by a squirrel. A couple of squirrels practically ran over me later. A hawk showed up high in the trees and screeched for a good half hour. The squirrels left me alone while the hawk was there. All in all, a nice morning in the woods. No venison, though. Maybe next Saturday.

Other things I learned:

Bring an onion. Cut it in half and stamp on one half. Carry the other half in a pocket. It might mask your scent a bit with one that is strong, but natural and non threatening to critters

You think you dressed warm enough, but you didn't. Around 8 AM I started to get cold. My '40 Below' socks didn't even do well at 30 above. Need another set of socks And I could have used one more layer of pants. Had I had that I would have been comfortable. I didn't need, but could add later in the season, if necessary, another coat and long-john shirt to go with the t-shirt, flannel shirt, sweatshirt, and coat I had this day. Probably going to need good coveralls. Maybe warmer boots.

I used long johns instead of Underarmor because long johns cost 10 bucks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gone Hunting

I've gone to attempt to punch structurally superfluous holes in unsuspecting cervids.

After that, the gun show.

Back later.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stand By

Got a serious nibble in the employment-improvement pond. Potential 25% increase in $$$. Good news for want-lists. Shhh, don't scare it off! C'mon, big boy. Take the bait... One... good... yank...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

GonneSmythe of WmBrg

In 9th grade, when we were learning about American History, seriously, for the first time, we had a movie. Now you younger faithful readers (both of you) movies at school came on a big real, 16mm film, and with a Highly Skilled Audio Visual geek specially trained to screen it. Not on some videotape and TV monstrosity.

Anyway, I will be eternally grateful to Mr Rattan for showing this movie one class period.

It it's 59 minutes of Wallace Gusler, in 1969, making a rifle in a 1769 style, in a shop with 18th Century appointments. Every tool except the files and hacksaw blades were made by Gusler. It follows him making a Kentucky Rifle, starting at the forge turning an iron bar into a barrel, to boring/reaming and rifling (on a cool spiral gadget). Every part is filed, and for an hour of forge work, maybe 40 hours of filing follow. He makes the intricate flintlock. He has to cast his own brass fittings for the trigger guard, patch box, buttstock, and other parts, and then THOSE are filed. After that, the stock is made out of a big piece of maple. It's a fancy gun, so fine detail work is evident, including decorative carving on the stock, and engraving on the metal furniture.

One of the neater things? If you apply nitric acid (aka aqua fortis) to maple, then bring a heat source close (like red hot iron) the wood will darken and redden attractively, and look better after linseed oil is applied.

The whole movie impacted SO many later hobbies of mine. The woodworking with old handtools, blacksmithing, historical re-enactments, and now shooting. It took me years to realize its far reaching impact. And of course I've visited Colonial Williamsburg many times, and own a copy of the movie on tape.

If could have any other life, it would not be a bad thing to come back as a 18th Century gunsmith like Mr. Gusler or others that have worked in the Gunsmith Shop.

In the picture you see the spiralling rifling cutting machine:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I'm running out of ideas. Since I started this blawg thingamabob I've always had a handful of topics in the pipeline. 3 at the very least. So, you can comment with ideas for me to explore, or you can mail me cash so I can go purchase firearms and then blog about them.

Let's go with the ideas first. Cash later.

Gun show is coming up, so I'll get material there. Plus hunting season. I still need more, MORE. Part of if is Tam's fault. I am engrossed in reading suggestions she laid down in the David Weber department.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Court takes no action, yet

Patience people. All things come to pass in the order they are supposed to come to pass. Something will happen. In time. Relatively SOON time, too.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Visit w/ Dad, Another Smoke Pole

I went over to my Dad's for dinner. My brother and his family was there too, and there were pork chops. All in all a good weekend all by itself right there.

Dad found the single shot .22 from J Stevens and gave it too me. It has a light coating of rust on it that I am going to attend to today. And I have to figure out how Dad got the firing pin OUT of it so I can put it back in.

Last time he fired it, he noticed that some gasses came back at him from the receiver. THAT can't be good.

The rifle is a "Boy's" rifle. The first gun a 12 year old ever owns, at least from a time, 80 years ago, when you could give a .22 to a kid, warn him not to shoot the neighborhood pets of his sister, and let him go off.

I mean was that really done? Ok, I'll go along with kids having a bit more responsibility, but did they have the judgement? I can see a kid never dreaming of shooting his sister, but I can see him setting up tin can targets to shoot at and not thinking about what was behind the targets. Perhaps it was a little more complicated than the original assumptions. Maybe a responsible father took him out and show him where he can shoot and what to watch out for. Or if he didn't have a responsible father, the OTHER kids in the neighborhood did, and a kid could pick up proper judgement from osmosis. At any rate, what HAPPENED to this country? To the WORLD, even?

Anyway. This rifle was my Great Grandmother's squirrel rifle up in Elmira New York. It would be quite a handy piece for a skinny woman barely 5 feet tall. I'm sure no local rodent was safe from Gramma.

I'll have a gunsmith check it out before I dream of firing it, what with blowback issue.

Dad also found a coulple dozen mixed rounds of 20 gauge shells, birdshot and slug. Some in cardboard, which is neat.

One thing that worries me. My father is more of a hoplophobe than I figured. Doesn't like the scary looking rifles, and worried that they can be easily converted from semi-auto to automatic fire. He doesn't understand why I'd want an M1A, or any .30 caliber rifle with 20 round magazines. And he's sure that this blog has brought FBI attention and subsequent file on me. I explained to him that the BATF people would probably be the ones most interested, IF the gubmint was interested, but it's still an pretty innocuous blog don't you think? There are much more ardent blogs defending the 2nd amendment, there are MANY more individuals with larger arsenals. The truly nefarious don't have blogs.

By the way, ONE of the things I'd use an M1A for is deer hunting. Just to do it. I'd use a Garand this weekend if I was going rifle hunting.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kel Tec RFB

MBtGE sent me a link about the Kel Tec RFB

The design is called 'bullpup'. The mag/receiver is mounted farther back, allowing for a shorter rifle, but still have an accurate full length barrel. The problem with bullpups was for lefties like me where with a conventional receiver, further back spent casing ejections shot hot brass right at the lefty shooter's mouth, adversely impacting second round accuracy until after he spits it out.

Kel Tec solves that problem by sending the cases up a tube or chute above the barrel, where they push out toward the front.

Kel Tec is known for inexpensive weapons that are also... not attractive. This rifle actually looks kinda nice. I don't know where Kel Tec went wrong, but I guess it isn't too late to make it a bit more uggo.

It used standard FN mags, and its in the manly .308 caliber. So this gun has some potential to replace the M1A as THE coveted rifle on my Master List.

Points against it... No iron sights, and while interesting, that novel ejections system is largely untested. If Army Ordinance signed off on it, and the thing went through a decent sized war with good reviews from the riflemen, that would certainly convince me.

Les Jones has a video of it in action.

Kel-Tec RFB High Efficiency Rifle (Rifle, Forward-ejection, Bullpup) and here is a PDF flier about the rifle, but it is a persnickety PDF file, so be careful with it. It likes to crash internet browsers. The rifle is new enough that it is only in the "What's New" on the Kel Tec website

Kel Tec has a lot of neat stuff. Folding rifles, Carbines that take pistol magazines, a cheap .380 pistol. I'm waiting for them to come out with a carbine that takes 1911 style .45 ACP mags.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mini-14 Luv

Ok, I've decided after seeing Sailor Curt's disassembly of the M1 Carbine (eggspecially the linked footage)that I need a certain Carbine. But not like YOU think. I've promoted the Mini-14 on my MASTER list to more of a major covet than it held. In other words, it's now above the cutoff line on the Secondary list.

Why? Well watching Sailor Curt's gunsmithing on the venerable M1 Carbine showed me, from experience watching MBtGE disassemble HIS Mini-14, that the works are very similar. So, again, why get a Mini-14 instead of a venerable military surplus rifle that appeals to my sense of history? The biggest reason is the ammo. Both M1 and Mini-14 fire anemic cartridges. But sometimes you need anemic cartridges for a specific job (zombies, poodles, heavy-duty plinking, so have if you have no other ammo available). The Mini-14 wins this selection because of the ubiquitous availability of the ammo. If the M1, made in 1943, fired the .223 round I'd be all over it. Someday I'm going to get a .223, I realized, and there is no getting out of it.

Secondarily, I bet I can pick up a used Mini-14 pretty cheap. Cheaper than an M1 Carbine. And brand new they aren't that expensive either. And they have been accurizing the new ones a bit, so that is good. The are handy and work like the M1. Yay.

But seeing the guts of the M1 is what pushed me over this edge. IF i get a .223

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's too HARD

It's too hard to drag my butt to the voting booth 2 blocks away. It's too difficult to look into what each candidate stands for. This happens twice a year sometimes! I live in a state that mainly votes straight one party anyway, so why bother? The result is almost as predetermined as the sun rising in the east.

It's too hard to speak out against injustice. March in a demonstration downtown? I'd have to take the subway to do that. What a pain. They never have enough porta potties at those things. What if I have to pee? Or worse... the OTHER thing. Numbah Too. Ick.

Why do I have to obey the law if THOSE guys over there don't have to? It's not like I'm violating IMPORTANT laws, just the little ones. And if I don't get caught, and no one is looking, does it really matter?

And jury duty?!!! You've GOT to be kidding. I'll just lie and fill out the questionnaire saying I'm prejudiced against various races and creeds. That'll get me out of it. I'd rather be at work.

Why do I have to learn how to shoot a rifle? I mean, besides to hunt deer and such. Do you expect me to shoot people? People?!! What could someone do to me that would put me in a place where I would have to go out with a rifle and shoot at them? Do you know how hard it is to get good with a rifle anyway? It takes practice, and practice means ammo, and ammo costs BIG bucks. If some Canadian, or Belgian, or a domestic Flat Earth Cult, or some Nepalese with Jacobin tendencies, wants to be in charge of this country bad enough, maybe we should let 'em. What's the worst that could happen to us? And more importantly, what's the worst that could happen to me? If it get's real bad or something once they are in charge, I'll complain then. They'll have to listen then, right?

I just want the privileges, why do you have to throw in the responsibilities? Just gimme. Give me what I got comin' to me. I'm entitled. And no, I don't wanna pay.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hunting Season Approaches

And me an MBtGE are starting to plan, like it's really going to happen.

One major deficiency I need to correct... I need some form of long johns. I hate long johns. They are either too toose and clumpy or they shrink up and the gusset migrates down to knee level.

I was thinking of trying something more advanced. Like Under Armor. They even make it in woodland camo

Now that's some sexy long johns right there. But why camo it? No one will see it. If it's cold enough I will be wearing them, pant, and sweats over that.

Monday, November 5, 2007


My favorite gunstore DOES have a website. Here I thought they were behind the times. They just aren't called Potomac Trading, Like I thought. Like the sign says. They are called:

Engage Armament

I saw that mentioned on some local forums. And they are as highly regarded by others as they are by me. Good.

MBtGE has never been there, so now he can at least see some interior shop photos and know I'm not lying about the selection.

Sunday, November 4, 2007



Are they really Typos? A typo would be this: "typ9"


You may notice other typos. Not really typos, but... you know what I mean.

It's instead of Its and vicey-versey

I know the difference between It-Is and It-possessive.

But sometimes, in my hast, my fingers type the opposite of what I know. Really. Then I don't catch it. And look like an idiot.

Same with there/their, where/wear, would/wood, that sort of thing.

It's like my fingers hear what I'm thinking, and write what they hear, here.

Not, "Its like my fingers here what I'm thinking and right what they here, hear."

I have no idea why, other than I don't type carefully, or proofread/edit properly.

It doesn't mean I'm some sort of genius. Affect/Effect STILL confuses me, sometimes. If I could wave a magic wand over my scribblings, I'd make it so I felt compelled to proofread them better.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pretty Vs Ugly

I’ve been chatting with MBtGE about Pretty Guns vs Ugly Guns. He realize he had few pretty guns and wanted one.

I argued he DID have pretty guns. His Ruger and S&W revolvers, both stainless, are handsome enough. Sure, you can get nicer esthetic lines in something else, like the Colt Python. THAT’s a pretty gun.

He was thinking more on the lines of FANCIFIED pretty, and he sent me a link to after market lacewood shotgun stocks with glass smooth varnish, bright and smooth, and as shiny as the sun, and some of the severest deep figure in the wood grain I’ve seen anywhere.

But you don’t need to go fancy-wood, floral engraved receivers and mother of pearl inlay to be a pretty gun.

First, what’s ugly? Assuming it’s a gun not beat up with excessive use, as that will uglifiy any weapon, ugly is something like Hi-Point or some of the Kel-Tec. No offense to fans of those lines. They are a good value for the money, and there are people that swear up and down about the function, and I may even get one or two, but aesthetically? No. They look slapped together to me. Proportionality is all off.

The M2 Grease Gun, a sub-machine gun made out of stamped metal at General Motor’s headlamp division is ugly.

Japanese WW2 rifles and pistols are ugly, generally, and got uglier later in the war.

Russian stuff from the same era is ugly, though the later, AK-47, stuff has a certain charm, and good lines. It’s iconographic status may transcend any ugliness.

Now Pretty.

If you compare a Springfield 03 to Garand, in similar condition, the wood and lines of the 03 are more elegant and graceful looking. But both are pretty guns. Maybe it’s because I like walnut wood so much.

I’ll even concede the Glock has some attractiveness in a sparse-Bauhaus-furniture kind of way.

.22 target pistols, with the form fitting big grips are so pretty they are sexy. All from the lines. Add wood grain instead of bright green synthetics and you get even prettier.

My bet is MBtGE will get a nice stocked gun or replace a stock for something he has. Something with a thumbhole - vice a pistol grip. Generally, they are made from a type of plywood laminate. I don’t know if those are pretty or not, but I bet I can be convinced.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

NFA help for Ruger

NFA Stand for: National Firearms Act. It was passed in the 30s as a response to the uptick in crime Prohibition inspired and it regulated Machine Guns, explosives like grenades, and other destructive devices and suppressors.

It would be controversial amounst gunnies to repeal it. For one, there are a lot of machine gun owner that like the artificially high market value of their guns. Repeal the NFA and they lose money on that investment, so that’s not in their interest, nor the rest of the gun-rights world, as they are an important part of the whole political alliance. And repeal of NFA scares the reglar folks, picturing people walking around carrying Tommy guns as their personal defense piece, ala that original Star Trek episode where the whole planet took their cultural cues from one Earth book that only described Chicago style gangsters, circa 1920.

But I’m not talking repealing ALL of NFA. That is step 145, and we are on step 6. But their could be a repeal of a part of it. The part with spund suppressors. Just allow silencers to be legal.

What is the major argument AGAINST silencers? That it makes a murderers job easier to get away with? Really? Are their killers out there that think, “I want to kill this guy, bad, but I don’t want to attract any attention and get caught, and a gun is too loud. If the gun was a bit quieter I’d TOTALLY kill him.”? And if someone is willing to murder, and wanted a silencer on his weapon, would the NFA and it being illegal (like murder already is) keep him from getting one?

Suppressors have other legitimate advantages. You don’t need hearing protection to go shooting. It won’t disturb your neighbors a quarter mile away if you are plinking on your farm. The abatement of noise pollution is reason enough, if you think the argument that suppressed weapons are particularly dangerous already specious.

And it’s not like silencers are illegal now. Law abiding citizens can get them if they want. The NFA just means you have to jump through some more regulatory hoops and pay a tax. To repeal the sound suppressor as destructive device part of the NFA would entail taking some of the cost out of the purchase.

And here is where Ruger could shine, if the NFA was so altered. They already make great .22 pistols and rifles. You can even get them with an integral suppressor, NOW. If they cost no extra I bet they could jump onto that market with their inherent expertise and make some money. But it would require a bit of a philosophical shift for Ruger.