Saturday, September 23, 2017

Choo Choos

I am kinda sad I was born so late and missed the railroads.  If not the peak of passenger lines, at least to see the tail end.  And a few more steam locomotive.

In the 80s I saw a steal train pass here.

It was the last steam locomotive I would ever see person, unless I seek one out.  It was also one of the first I ever saw.  Funny how that works.

I would have liked to have seen the B&O and C&O in in better times.  And when there was more cabooses about.  Another thing that disappeared before I could say goodbye.   Saw more of them than steam locomotives, sure.


Do yourself a favor and don't follow the Beaver River from Youngstown to the Ohio River and then up the Ohio to Pittsburgh.  The train tracks follow the River and it is dead steel plant after dead steel plant.  Or the sites of plants.  Most of the building have been scrubbed away.

What could have magically happened in the 70s to keep those plants in place?  We still make steel in this country.  LOTS of it.  A little over half the volume we made 50 years ago, admittedly, but that's still LOTS of steel.  China is ten times bigger than us.  But before China, back then, it was other foreign sources.

Well even with gov't protections, production would not have lasted.  Even with huge union concession, the mills still couldn't have stayed open.  The plants needed to be magically modernized.  And that costs.  And with modernizations comes efficiencies, so you get the massive personnel layoffs regardless.  You end up only firing 95,000 in the Beaver/Ohio River valleys instead of 100,000.  The towns would still have hollowed out.

Follow the train and the river from Youngstown to Pittburg.

Gun content:  Steel is in guns, and bad guys robbed trains with guns, and Pinkertons were armed with lever action rifles when they broke up labor strikes.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Seen on Ace

Coincidentally, I've been reading a lotta Mike Hammer, lately.  The first six novels.

"I killed more people tonight than I have fingers on my hand. I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it. I pumped slugs in the nastiest bunch of bastards you ever saw and here I am calmer than I've ever been, and happy too. They were Communists, Lee. They were red sons of bitches who should have died long ago."
-Mike Hammer

I haven't gotten to that part, in the books I've put away to date.  I'll tell you when I do.  I dunno what I think of Detective Hammer so far.  He's a tough guy that knows how to use his fist.  But he named his 1911.  "Betsy".  Even though he lost it and had to replace Betsy in the second book.  It's a gun, not a girl. 

Mr.  Hammer feels fine because:

In 1967, Polish mercenary Rafal Ganowicz was asked what it felt like to take human life, “I wouldn’t know, I’ve only ever killed communists.” 


Thursday, September 21, 2017


That time again


When I first saw this, it was just stills, as I was at work and not looking at the video.  But here is the video if you are one of the 4 people that haven't seen the S&W .500 blow up yet.

From the stills, my guess was a timing issue, but he shot it single action.  Less chance for a misalign there.  After seeing the video... Maybe a squib? 

Then I watch it a few more time.  Looks like some of the top strap banananas on the far side maybe?  Now my guess is over charged reload.  Shoulda prolly been my first guess.  If anyone sees the 'why' later, I'd appreciate a point out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Good News and Bad News

Ok the NRA is trying to do their job and get stuff voted on in Congress.

Good News:  CCW Reciprocity may actually get a vote in the House and will probably pass

Bad News:  It doesn't apply to us folks in May Issue states.  Despite having CCW permits from two other states I will not be able to carry in any additional locales.

A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.

So, thanks for nuthin, NRA.

Hey, get them to pass "You Virginia non resident CCW permit means you can not carry in Maryland, T-Bolt, no matter what your home state thinks" and then get the Senate to pass it, and then get Trump to sign it, and you get a GREAT big donation from me the next day.  When you offer to send me a leather jacket for becoming a Patron or Benefactor member, I'll tell you to keep it.  Put that jacket money to better use elsewhere than just handing me swag.  I got swag.  A valid in Maryland toter's permit.  If you come through. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sim Training

Got to do some holster training.  First time.

All this time training and we finally get to holsters and draw training.

The manual of arms is pretty much exactly the same as when I did it for my CCW training 10 year ago.  I've practiced that, but with someone watching, now I know where I've been reinforcing bad habits.

People set the draw to numbers.  Just like military drill. Add two more if you have a cover garment.  Add two more on top of that if you have two cover garments like a button down shirt AND an unbuttoned jacket.

Things I learned:

When you go back to the draw from the 'hands up, surrender' position, tickle the kitty.  I'd never done that before.  What is that, for those like me that had a quizzical look on their face?  When your hand goes to get your gun, brush your finger tips on it as you sweep past.  Now you know where it all IS.  You feel the back strap, the grip.... for the next step is to get that grip, firm and right the first time, no shifty-shifty.  'Tickling the kitty' makes the problem of getting the right grip much simpler.  It sounds stupid, but it works. So...

Other thing I learned...  I am relatively disciplined with my support hand, but not enough, and less so with a little stress added on.  I am getting it on the grip too early, too, when the pistol is still too close in to my body.  I need to meet it when pushing out?  Still got to drill this better.  This is the third most common time you will shoot your self.  One and two are when you are drawing and reholstering, or vice versa.  Three is muzzling your own damn hand trying to support hand into place on grip and fumble-bumming.  (Ok, I am guessing at the ranking, but smart money says I am right.)

Monday, September 18, 2017



[OOPS!  I mean Harry Dean Stanton.  I had John Carradine, aka The Velvet Fog, on the brain.  Mea Cuppa.] 

[Actually I was just checking to see if you were awake...]

As many of you know, John Carradine died, aged 91.

The only man that could make Patrick Swayze AND Charlie Sheen cry.

Well, I saw this picture of him and Kurt Russell from Escape From New York.

That sub gun impressed me back then.  Less so now.  Attaching the scope TO the supressor of a Mac-10?  How is that working out for you?

On of the nice things about the Mac-10 was you could attach a suppressor with some insulation so your support hand could grab it and steady it as you hip fire it.  I don't think even without the rifle scope, which doesn't look long eye-relief, you could grap that one, but I could be wrong.

Sorry bout that

I feel like my blog posts are less inspired recently.  Last week or two.  Sorry about that.  I guess that can happen, and it can come in waves.  I will endeavor to shake off the funk and be more interesting, seeking new angles to look at gun issues and share, like I do, and learn stuff and try to pass that on as well. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Yes you will

"We won't be intimidated or defeated."

Well, yeah, you kind of are.  So are we.

I don't like that.

And I especially don't like the people in positions of responsibility accept that so readily.  Rolling over.

Stop acting like this is noting.  Stop placidly walking up the gangplank into the proverbial cattle cars. Stop pretending you can just absorb this and drive on.  Start acting like your way of life is under siege, because it is.  And under siege by an inferior force.  Stopping it is easy, all it take is will.  But lacking that the inferior force that is patient and persistent prevails.

If you don't want to fight back... well.... it was a good civilization while it lasted.  And I got no kids, so, if you don't care what happens to your kids I don't either.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Jay Nordlinger is old school, like Bill Kristol or George Will or David Brooks before they went around the bend.  Very urban-centric and whatnot.  Almost a perfect example of a metrocon.

So it is nice to see him with a positive take on firearms in his Impromptu column.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Saw a Bogart movie

In a Lonely Place 


Bogie plays Dixon Steele.  With a name like that, I figured there HAD to be gun play.  Not.  He's just a violent domestic abuser from back in the day when you can certainly punch a fella, and often get away with punching a dame.  No guns tho.  There is a murder, but that was by strangulation.

Not even the cops have guns.

Well, dang.

Acceptable levels of public interpersonal violence have changed in 65 years.  At least in Hollywood, but I think in society as a whole as well.  Sock someone now and you much more likely to be tattled on if you don't make yourself scarce.  Provided no one knows who you are.

Bogart is a relatively famous screen writer in this movie, but it's be a while since his last hit picture.  So he's wrestling with that, looking for love instead of mere lust (which he seems accustomed to satisfying at will) and you get a lot of stress on a volcanic character.  Stress leads to outbursts.  But apart from the outburst Bogie plays what could have been a awful person as a very sympathetic protagonist.  They guy had acting chops, fo' sho. 

Oh, and Violet, the harlot from It's a Wonderful Life, is his love interest in this movie.  


I can't wait until the GOP is in the majority and can pass some of their agenda items and help the country.

What good are you peeps? 

Thursday, September 14, 2017


That's a lotta households with guns, 120,000,000 adults with a gun in the house out of 250,000,000 total adults.  And done by the WSJ/NBC.  Not exactly a super left or super right effort there.  

I wonder if people tell the pollster that they have a gun when they don't?  Cuz if my work or my doctor or some pollster on the phone asks me I lie and say no.  If they do follow up like "I thought you talked about shooting at the range that one time."  I lie some more about a borrowed gun from a buddy or "Oh I got rid of that a few years back."