Friday, April 30, 2010


I told you all about Archie, the WWII vet neighbor? The crotchety one?

Well, he used to be an auto body man. And he still has the garage set up for that. One thing I remember seeing somewhere was someone cleaning a firearm with the blower attachment off a big honkin' air compressor. And Archie has one of those.

Where did I see someone cleaning a gun with no brushes and such, just a blast of air? Oh yeah! The original AR-10 promotional. Check out the 6:18 mark:

(I love the music. It's so futuristic/progressy)

Well, it worked and it didn't. It blew off a lot of carbon, but I still needed a patch and brush to get it all. Perhaps if I let the solvent sit on the surfaces longer. Importantly, it blew carbon out of areas I can't reach with a brush. So this is the cleanest the 1911's ever been. Mainly because I am too chicken to detail strip it.

I was warned that this can be messy, so I did all the blowing inside a cardboard box. That was a good idea.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Open Carry

I am all for open carry. I would do it myself in the situation warranted it. It’s not for ME, generally, but I’m not gonna say YOU can’t do it.

But why do you open carry? If you answer is “for self-defense” that is good. If it is “because I am a law enforcement officer” that’s ok, too, I guess. An answer if "none of your business, it's my right" is fine. If your answer is “to make a political statement” or “to scare libtards!” that reason is less good. Note, I didn’t say ‘bad.’ Open carrying will, eventually, enure scaredy-cats to the sight of firearms, make them less hoplophobic by such exposure, normalize firearms existence, and fetishize them less. All good things.

But this guy is right, sometimes open carry advocates are a bit tone deaf to the possible response to their political actions, in some cases.

Brown Truck

Oooo, came home last Friday to a package from the magical big brown truck of wonder.
What did he bring? Grips from Eagle for my snubbie, cleaning brushes in a novel configuration I wanted to try out, and new modern sling for my rifle.

It felt like Christmas.

First, the grips. It's the Secret Service brand of Eagle grips for my J-Frame.

What I had was the standard full size rubber grips the gun came with. They are nice, as they cover the metal back strap and give a place for every finger and a relatively cushiony. These new grips are cocobolo, don't support the pinky, and may HURT when firing .357. So why get them? It makes the pistol more compact and fit in my pocket better. I SO wanted the smooth ebony grips, but I was worried they'd be too slippy. Even the Saucy Trollop swapped out her new smooth birch-laminate-that-look-like-cocobolo grips for something with some texture for better grippage.

I think I'd prefer walnut grips. Air dried of course, and not steamed at all. (Steaming is done, so I'm told, to walnut to get some of the darker heartwood in the center to spread it's color out to the sapwood a bit. It make even the heartwood look a little washed out, but you get more boardfeet per log that way.) I'd also like the more subdued old style checkering. If you've seen a decently preserved pre-war revolver you know what I'm talking about. Of course the 70 years of patina adds a bit to the effect... But I couldn't find any walnut grips out there that I liked. Cocobolo with modern checkering isn't exactly a BAD aesthetic, by any means.

The proof will be in the pudding, as I will test out this new grips this coming range session with quite a few full power .357. Just to see how much it hurts. If at all.

Now on to the brushes:
I've been curious about these tornado brushes and wanted to test them out. And I just happened to think about them when making the sling purchase at Brownells, so I figured what the heck. They weren't too expensive. I think all gunnies are also looking for better ways to clean their boomsticks. I am certainly one. Because the edge of the brush bristles isn't ends but loops, maybe there do a different type of job. Might not gather as much patch lint either. Again, proof=pudding.

And finally, the Magpul MS2 sling:

I've been working on a rifle sling blog post for 2 years now. I'm old fashioned and know how to use the M1917 mil sling on the Garand and M1A. Appleseed would be proud of me. But it's hard to carry a rifle, except at sling arms, with the old style. Shoot, the Garand and M1A is not set up to be carried with a modern sling, either.

As you can see from the picture, it is set up for single point sling work. If you release the rifle and go to a pistol the rifle will flop around pointing straight down. But their is that one clip near the end that can be detached to make it a 2 point sling. And I was hoping that loop at the top of the picture was a way to properly attach it to your support arm while shooting. It isn't. It's just there for quick adjustment in sling length. Ah well. It's still fine for 'hasty sling'. (At 19:15 of this) but a hair different going from sling-ready to shoulder. I got a lot more study to do to make the newfangled as natural as the old style.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


If the Tea Party was black.

So whines a quarter wit leftist. He thinks that people that attend Tea Parties would frown if the racial make up of the protesters alters in particular ways

I think it would just as good as if it were any other gathering of Americans:

Silly Leftists. It's not always about YOU.

Dangerous Assault Weapons


Packed with an explosive dangerous chemical! Moving around at deadly kinetic energies!

Ok, maybe not. Read all of this. Pretty sharp. Sharper than small, smooth glass spheres, certainly.

To think, guns are safer AND more prevalent. At least in reality. In a fantasy world, maybe not.

Yet Another April Range

I think this is my 4th Thursday in a row. Went on the 22nd.

And I am pleased.

I shook it up some and took the 1911 with me this time. And proper trigger squeeze felt so much easier. It was almost an epiphany. I don't know if it was just the frequency of practice or doing weeks of DA shooting and for some reason my finger works a bit better.

Here is the cold magazine. First 7 of the day. No shoot-n-see to tell me I am doing it right. Presuming a bad guy is hopped up on adrenalin I might not see results in the first seven in a deadly confrontation. I have to be confident and trust my ability to be effective in the moment.

7 Yard range, of course. I'm still burning through those Georgia Arms can o' ammo for my practice rounds.

Ok, I found out these shoot n' see targets AREN'T the sticker kind. I had to staple them on. And the paper of the target is a bit spongy. So it is hard to roll up the whole shebang for the trip home. Anyway, here is the second target:

On mag at the lower right, one at the upper left, and a few at the middle. Notice my usual low and right fault pattern. But it's getting less right. I could live with low shots if they were predictably low and on the centerline. And I'm creeping up on that ability.

Finally, the third:

Again, none too shabby. A flier or two in there. All in all a sign of progress. Here is a range report from two years ago. You can see looser groups back then.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another Friendly Column

At the generally Metro-Con National Review.

Good on ya, Jay Nordlinger.

I'm starting to collect these. Incidedences where Metro Conservatives highlight firearm related civil rights instead of ignoring them with benign neglect. (or, more rarely, being hostile to these rights)


I was listening to NPR Morning Edition, again, on the commute to work. Someone was expressing deep consternation about Americans self segregating with 'their own kind' and not interacting with Americans different from themselves.

But there's a conundrum buried in this and other recent surveys, says Scott Keeter of the Pew Research Center. Although a huge majority of respondents say they are fed up with partisanship -- 78 percent say lawmakers are unwilling to compromise -- Americans themselves are extremely divided, Keeter says.

"If a very polarized electorate is making nonnegotiable demands on their members as to how they're going to have to behave when making legislation, then it's going to be very difficult for the members if they want to get re-elected to have the latitude to compromise," he says.

In other words, you get what you vote for. Ornstein also sees the broader divisions in society.

"We're moving into communities with like-minded people," he says. "We're watching and listening to the media that reinforce the messages we already believe."

This assertion assumes two things. 1: That it is indeed an actual trend, and people are sorting themselves in like minded and like looking enclaves, and 2: That this is a bad thing.

I have no idea about #2. But we can grab some anecdotal evidence among bloggers for #1....

Well, maybe they have a point. Tam and Roberta live in the yankee hippy haven of Broadripple Indiana. And we all know both of them are huge liberal Democrat vegetarians that abhor violence, even in self defense, and spend their days smoking dope and playing hackey sack and saying 'gooooooovy' a lot.

Breda lives near Cleveland with her own kind. Unwashed hobos. Breda concentrates her political efforts to expanding hobo rights in the voting booth as well as expanding their access to public restrooms.

And based on my neighborhood, I am either an 80+ year old WWII veteran, or a relatively recent Guatemalan or El Salvadorian immigrant. I say relatively recent, as the immigrants in my 1950's brick bungalow neighborhood, meant for federal gummint commuters, came to the US in the 1980s, for the most part. Fleeing the Commies. They tend to be business and home owners with kids about to go into college and aren't too sure about the recent mass influx of fresh immigrants. 'Too fast! They need to speak English, first!' Just a bit of a tongue-click worry, not too severe. (You're doing fine Jose. Shaping up into a typical American.) I just appreciate the Pollo Campero style chicken shacks, charcoal broiled with a combination of spices I have never had before...

Marko is in that famous German-American enclave of rural New Hampshire. Nothing but schnitzel eaters in a 50 mile radius.

So I guess NPR's guy is right. We are all keeping to our own kind.

Ok, none of that is true. The assumption that would be made would be that Breda, Tam, Roberta, Marko, and myself, all being Alpha-Type Gun Nuts, would move to a militia compound with all the other snake-handling cousin humping rednecks in gun friendly flyover country. And we aren't quite that either.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Is it Enough

People are occasionally complimenting me on my target work with the snubbie revolver.

But is it enough?

(The accuracy, not the compliments. There is NEVER enough compliments.)

Sure, I can cover the pattern with an 8x10 sheet of paper (I'd prefer it was a 3x5 card...) at 7 yards, and at least that would account for more holes IN a bad guy's center mass rather than missing entirely...

But that can't be adequate shot placement. Or is it?

Is that adequate enough?

Assuming I keep the shooting at that high a level in the incredibly stressful circumstance where I place in a position to draw and fire at someone threatening my very life. Circumstances like that have been know to rattle fellas better than me.

After all, it's only .38+P. One of the bottom rung absolute minimum (considered by 'experts') cartridge size for relatively serious self-defense. And out of a 2 inch barrel, barely enough to get the velocity up to 900 fps.

It in these situations where conventional wisdom says shot placement is critical. And my shot pattern is 8x10 inches. And I only have 5 shots to do that.

Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. Every self-defense instructor stresses it. And I don't think I have it. Second is speed. I know I don't have that.

Oh, I'm not down on the snubbie for self-defense carry. There are smaller things that are no more easy to carry than this. That's the joy of it. But the reality matched up against my skill and having a smallish pistol... It's sobering.

It makes me want to sling the M1A and carry THAT everywhere.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Dark Day

30 years ago today.

Hard to find a more useless human being.

History's Greatest Monster, indeed.

75 Years

I've said before how I usually prefer to own firearms that have at least 75 years of field testing behind them. Like the 1911, or Garand, or Winchester 1894.

But that isn't necessarily true.

If John Moses Browning rose from the dead and started designing new models I'd probably buy from the first run.

Mmmmm, Zombie Browning guns...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

That Reagan guy can be a decent chap, but

That Damn Proto Hippy! Yuck. And what a whinger. The whole time I'm watching this I'm just waiting for the Gipper to slap the crap out of that punk.

And RR's character knows a thing about guns. Sonny boy don't. Figures. And it's a good example on why you should carry and not be in Condition White inside your own home.

Friday, April 23, 2010


The comments on the KRISS KARD pistol got me thinking…

One mentioned that you can see the 'Glock Styling,' and that got me thinking further.
Guns DO have a styling. Sure, there is a lot of utilitarian function associated with a gun. Not a lot of place to tack something decorative on. Yet they do. That top vented rib of a Colt revolver isn’t really NEEDED. But it looks good. The taper and flare of a S&W barrel from back in the day.

I see the Lugar styling as an extension of the Mauser 96 which is an extension of the Borchardt-C-93. And led to the Colt Woodsman and the Ruger MkIII today. I could be way off of course. It wouldn’t be the first time. But they do have a ‘look’ that I think they lent to each other. Heck, that wiki article sorta bears out my theory.

People thrown on ivory or pearl or ebony or micarta grips on bunches of pistols.

There is definitely a different between the appearances of a Beretta 92, a Smith & Wesson 5946, and a Glock, just by looking at them. The function is essentially the same: throw 9mm’s down range, but they couldn’t look more different.

Well what about the painfully utilitarian plastic guns? Do they have style? Of course. Spareness is a look in itself. And there are differences between the major polymer brands. Plenty of room for variance in the shaping of the blocky slide by making it more blocky or slightly less blocky. You can change the stipling in the plastic. And Glock has between generations, even. And lots more than glock can change the shape of the gripping grooves in the slide. Most every 1911 clone has a different groove configuration, company to company.

Why change the look of your utilitarian tool? I HOPE manufacturers think they are making the best of what they make at that price. And they want their product to stand out a little bit, without being ostentatious or gaudy or adding to manufacturing costs too much. And humans NEED styling and design, I think. Something that’s only purpose is to please the senses and catch the eye. We aren’t emotionless automatons after all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Planting Season

It’s planting season over at Corn Beans and Spent Brass.

I don’t know why but I find this fascinating. More drama that the best the TeeVee can produce (well, since Firefly). I’m just a suburban boy. The closest I get to farming is mowing an eighth of an acre of lawn. And Frank James has a couple hundred acres to tend to.

Last year there were lots of rains at planting time, and that played hell with getting seed in the ground. I had no idea those big wheeled tractors could get in trouble in the mud. And I mean up to the AXLE trouble. And there was a wet harvest last year as well. The year before was one of the best harvests ever. EVERY year has major mechanical failures on the megabuck worth of equipment a farmer needs these days. Some of those tracto thingies have a nasty habit of lighting up like a Zippo in some circumstances, leading to some interesting reports.

This year is nigh perfect for corn planting, but it may be a bit early or dry for beans.

Weather is EVERYTHING. And, obviously, totally out of the farmer’s control.

What is it about farming that is so darn riveting? Is it the lost connection with everyone’s agrarian roots (and they are there, if you go back far enough… go back a bit further and it’s our hunter-gatherer roots (and that reference to hunting is the closest I may get to gun content in this post))? It can’t really be tacked into our DNA. Humans have only been farming for 10,000 years or less. We were hunter-gatherers for 100,000+ years before that.

And my ancestors a few generations ago were pastoral herdsmen and cheesemakers, not planters. And the dichotomy there is whole ‘nother can of worms.

But I take great pleasure reading Frank James’ posts on everyday farm activities. Part of it is the fascination with the process, and, I’m sure, part of it is the quality of Frank’s writing. Can you imagine if he had faithfully kept a farm journal, long hand, with THAT quality writing and detail, plus all the data from operation, from the beginning of his farming career until now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Looking forward to the Ruger Mini-14's...


More conjecture out of the sordid recesses of my little mind.

There are about 300 million Americans in this great land of ours.

There are about 300 million guns.

So, every man, woman, and infant has one gun? No. Some see a gun as merely a utilitarian tools AND take no enjoyment from shooting it. These types of people have but one, maybe 2 firearms. Shoot, my father, who wasn't into guns, had 3 until he gave them to me.

Quite a few of us gun nut types own a few. Or many many more than a few.


A theory of mine bubbled up recently. When you like shooting you want to TRY every different gun you can. Remember the Saucy Trollop? She isn't THAT big a gun nut. She only has 2. And we don't see each other anymore, what with her moving to French Polynesia. But when she learned that I had bought a couple revolvers recently she made it a point to meet up at the range. She wanted to TRY them. To see what they were like.

For some, the only way they can try a firearm is to buy a copy for themselves, as they have no friend or associate with the same. So they buy a bunch, over time, that way.

I want to TRY a .50 someday. Fortunately I can resist the temptation to lay down $3000 for something I can shoot maybe 10 shots out of, lifetime based on local ranges and costs. But I also want to try a Krag, and those are cheap enough to maybe follow me home with little effort. Must. Resist. Temptation...

Sure sure, this is just one type of multiple-firearms owners. Plenty are artifact collectors that may not shoot them much at all. But the urge to experience novelty, at will, can go a long way to explaining the semi-casual, yet nutty, gun nut.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wayne Wheeler

Does anyone know where this guy is buried?

Because there is a grave I need to piddle on. Drunk, of course. Bastard. Sumbitz.

He died of exhaustion and kidney disease in Michigan somewhere.

Oh, I see...

You're just going to the range so you'll have blog fodder, ain't'cha, T-Bolt?!

No! Honest!

Well, I DO need more fodder. Getting thin on the ground out here. Something will come up.

I said it before, I'm trying to get some near-weekly practices in because I saw decent results that way. I want to try to reinforce that.

Plus, the new snubbie is new and novel, and I want to play with it. And snubbies have a reputation of being hard to shoot well. Though I seem to be better with double action revolvers than single action 1911s for some reason. (Freak!)

Here is the first target, cold:

There are 5 separate aim points that I shot a cylinder at. The center and the 4 pasters. Meh. Not bad for cold. SOME of these are .357. The rest are very filthy American Eagle brand .38. By the end of the range session it looked like I had dipped my hand in the shaving of a dozen full pencil shapeners.

Here is target 2, with 3 aim points:

Better. Note the whole in the very center. That tickles me. I am so rarely there.

And the final target, shooting multiple cylinders at the 3 aim points:

Closing up the groups. You can see it. Much better than my performance 2 or 3 years ago. But that's a big reason I do this. To keep track of my performance and to try and better it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Air Travel

I went to visit my Mom last weekend. I didn't tell you about it ahead of time so you wouldn't break into my house and use my terlet while I was gone. HATE that.

Mom lives in West Palm Beach. So, I gotta fly down there. A drive would take too long.

I hate flying for the same reason you all do. Hassle.

To minimize the hassle I use a certain strategy. I fly in the offish season when I can. I only take direct flights so I don't have the delay and inconvenience of a layover. I only fly out of Reagan National Airport. That way I can get a cab or a neighbor to take me to the Metro train about a mile away. I use hard sided luggage and only in the form of the one carry-on bag. I upgrade to First Class whenever I can at the ticket counter for $100. I always bring a book, but this time I was able to kill time getting my Doc's shined at the shoe shine alcove. The book was The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester, a Destroyer captain's 3 days in the North Atlantic in WWII vs. Donitz's Unterseegeboaten. It's good. It'll teach you about duty, efficiency, life and death decisions, and spatial awareness.

This method I use does minimize the hassle. The flight was nice, and thanks to Google Earth I could probably navigate to Floride with dead reckon using VFR rule: "Oh look the Pentagon, a turn, look Andrew's AFB. The President's hangar sure is hardened. There is the Patuxent. And Pax River NAS. There is Pt Lookout. The Delmarva Peninsula is there. Hey, Calvert Cliffs Nucular plant. And... That is Norfolk. 2 carriers in today..." and so on.

The disadvantage? No checked luggage means no firearms transport, means no CCW in Florida. (I don't have to tell you that you can fly with a gun locked in your checked/locked luggage after filling out a form, right?) Getting the pistol TO the airport is problematic as I can't CCW in Maryland and I can't even imagine a gun in my head in the District of Columbia without getting arrested. Plus, Mom wouldn't let me in the house if I had a gun. Dad might be slightly hoplophobic, but he is Jeff Cooper compared to Mom. I wish she'd at least get a shotgun. She is ready for a hurricane with generators, hardened doors and windows and roof, spare gas... But she is not ready if someone wants to take what is hers in the aftermath. She doesn't need to get ammo to keep in the house, even, I figure. A neighbor or a friend can have it, and she can fetch ammo if the hurricane is bearing down. Better to have it and not need it than... But I don't have to tell you all this.

Ah well.

But the flight was ok. I didn't have to get scanned by that new thing for looking through my clothes at my junk. They probably wouldn't be impressed anyway (or so the hoplophobes are sure of, what with the whole guns=compensation thing they've convinced themselves of). I didn't notice the scanner in Palm Beach, but they definitely had one in Reagan National. Only saw them scanning one person. An attractive young woman. Pervs.

I still don't like flying in the back.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


What Would Cooper Shoot?

If he was born 50 years later. 1970. He'd be about my age (and JayG's, and Tam's etc...). Still in the Marine Corps if his career track was similar to his original life, so he'd be seeing plenty of 'elephant' in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of WWII and South Africa.

Just think of pistols. It'll take all week to conjecture which rifle he'd prefer.

There would be a good chance he'd still favor the 1911. Being a Marine and all, and the resurgence of the popularity for the JMB (pbuh) masterpiece. But Cooper is a big reason the 1911 is popular today, and if he hadn't existed 50 years before...

Cooper liked FMJ ball ammo. But since 1986 and the FBI spurring better hollow point ammunition (as Borepatch referenced Kim DuToit mentioning) maybe Cooper would be all about proper JHP in his paw-gatt of choice. Or not.

What say you?

Saturday, April 17, 2010


What I learned from Jeff Cooper: Get a major caliber semi-auto to carry. Failing that, a major caliber revolver, failing that a minor caliber semi, failing that a minor caliber revolver.

So what is my preference for carry, what am I MOST likely to have on me when carrying? A minor caliber revolver.

Cooper would be so disappointed. Well, he’d be pleased that I carried SOMETHING. The whole, “when in a gun fight, HAVE a gun” thing. But I spend most of my time in a state where I can’t even do that…


Well, the snubbie CAN essentially become a major caliber revolver by loading it with .357. I just don’t. May have to think on that.

When Cooper came up with his recommendations there were a lot more major caliber revolvers to look at. I’m guessing he came up with that 25 + years ago. Back then my gunshop would HAVE a .41 or a shorter .44. I don’t think I’ve seen either type in any of my gunstores. There is that one .45 revolver by Taurus. But I’m not gonna carry a Judge, concealed.

So, what to do? What is my course forward? Nothing. Probable just doing what I’m doing. The situation does not call for a corrective. It’s all a compromise of one way or another. And I am comprmising on the easier portability. The snub is the largest caliber concealable pistol I can carry in minimalist summer clothing. I'd rather carry a 1911 or SIG P229, but I can't always. The snubbie can go everywhere. The SIG is actually a preferred companion to the snubbie, vis the 1911, in a way, as they are both Double Action types with no safety. When I go to full time 1911 carry I'll need to train hard and sorta 'put away' the DA pistols so I won't vapor lock in an emergency and keep pulling a trigger without disengaging the safety.

Shoot, a PISTOL is a compromise. Using a rifle or shotgun at that one rare time when you actually NEED to shoot some threat is the preferred way to go, but you carry the pistol because you can’t arrange for that emergency situation ahead of time.

Friday, April 16, 2010


If you want to take an NRA Basic Pistol course, or an NRA First Steps class... Well any given weekend there is one within 10 miles.

The class I want to take is a bit more advance. Looks like the next available is in June. I'm all committed on going.

It's with the same guy I took the CCW class with, but this is a Defensive Pistol class with a much higher round count anticipate. I am setting aside 400 rounds for it. I'll probably bring the SIG as the primary, but will pack the 1911 in case of failure.

I'm kinda stoked. It's a way to broaden my shooting horizons. Next thing I need is an Appleseed shoot, just to see what that's about. It'll have to come closer than Wyoming though.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Member? I got the 640. Picked it up less than a month ago.

Maybe the new grips are on my doorstep right now....


Now you've done it. All that twitting on Tweeter. The Library of Congress is preserving every single one. So all those times you posted, "I'm pooping now! That's a load off. Literally." will be preserved in perpetuity. Archived forever.




[I weep for civilization.]

.45 Carbine

Well LOOK what Caleb found. Another carbine for me to consider. And not too pricy for what you get.

And you all know about my unreasonable carbine obsession...

Caleb saw it on Michael Bane. But the caliber is a good selling point for me. And Mr. Bane had no problem when he got to play with it.

A Carbine based on the MAC-10 clone.

Ok, let's assume it's as reliable as they company says (and folks are dubious based on what MAC-10s that aren't open bolt submachine guns have acted like in the past) I have another issue... I doubt the state of Maryland will let these be sold. And I doubt they'd consider it a long gun I could just purchase in any state and take home. If it was sold in MD it would need a shorter magazine. We only allow 20-rounders sold in these cheer' perts. So I'd have to go to Virginia to buy mags (owning mags that hold more than 20 is fine, just not selling or mail ordering or otherwise buying)

I'll put it on the mental pile for consideration. I must remember... it's heavy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So my brother wanted me to offer up a recommendation for a co-worker. A work buddy's wife wanted a gun. So what did I recommend for her? A Smith and Wesson J-Frame revolver.


Now hear me out.

Sure sure, the biggest mistake a gun shop does when a woman wants to buy a gun is to recommend the double action only J-Frame Ladysmith .38 revolver. With pink grips. It's a hard gun to shoot well because of the double action and not a pistol that will instill confidence in your ability if it's your first one ever. There are much better guns to offer to first time gun purchasers, and that applies if you are male or female, large or small.


That said.

My brother's caveat was this woman grew up shooting, and her dad had quite a few guns at home. So with that assumption, a J-Frame revolver might be perfect for her.

Other caveats given: She is sorta leaning toward a 9mm as her husband's XD40 is a bit too big.

I mentioned that XDs can have a reputation for a stiff slide spring to operate, if she has weakish arms and/or hands. Not something that is hard to overcome with practice, but it may impact a decision. But an XD9 might be just fine, as are the other plastic guns like Glock or M&P or even something by Kahr, But all have thickish grips if her hands are small.

SIGs have even thicker grips. So if the XD40 is too big maybe NONE of those double stack 9mm's are for her.

I then mentioned the 1911 has a bigger bullet (but you can GET 9mm...) but thinner grip, or she might consider a Browning Hi-Power. That's if their all-metal weight isn't a problem.

The other options is to step down to .380s and get either the small Walther PPK or Bersa Thunder. Or, go even SMALLER and get the KelTec or RugerLCP .380s. I'm waiting to hear back if she needs the list narrowed down better.

But you see how a J-Frame might actually be hunky dory is this one case, right?

This all assumes she is a good shot already and will practice a bunch with the new revolver at first then practice at least monthly thereafter. With only 5 beans in the barrel, and smallish beans at that, and reload times being slow, shot placement sharpened by regular practice is important. It's something I worry about for my own self and limited talents with marksmanship.

Hmmm, probably the BEST way to recommend a pistol for her is to ask "which of your dad's smallish concealable handguns did you shoot best?" Get something similar to that answer.

And if I hear NOTHING back, not her preferences not her true skill level, not her hand or body size, and had to decide on a top recommendation right now? Get a Bersa Thunder. Especially if you said "A REVOLVER?" when I suggested a J Frame. I saw a Bersa side by side with the Walther at my gunshop today. I like the Bersa better. I kinda want one myself a little bit. It's a good size. Breda likes hers.

Get a good holster with it. But that's a whole nother can o' nemotodes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April Range

I went to the range on the 2nd of April. Slow on the write up, ain't I?

Anyway, I took two revolvers. The new ones. The .22 617 and the .38/.357 640. It makes it easy to tell the holes apart.

I did a few one handed shots with the 617, but always SA. Next to no DA at all with the .22. All the 640 was DA by necessity.

It's hard to tell the difference between the .38 and the .22! Mostly, the .22 is the top 2 targets of the 4. I was able to shoot through all my .22 shorts. Not a caliber I want to keep on hand as they pretty much only work in the revolver. Nothing else.

Double action .22 left hand only in the upper left, right hand in the upper right. Double action .38 in the lower two, and with both hands, and some single action .22 with 2 hands, in the bottom 2 targets. 21 feetish:

See that? Shooting some of the .38 right on, but some are low. A little wrist breaking anticipation. 2 years ago there would be a LOT more of that break. I'm climbing that mountain, it just takes me a while.

So, warm up is over. This is .22 top Single Action and .38 Double Action bottom.

Also interesting. Easier to shoot better with the .22, obviously, and those shots tend an inch or two high. See how I am still wrist breaking the .38 on the left bottom, but I buckle down a lot more on the final target on the bottom right. Good. And the flaw in that gun is to the right, of course. All my centerfire pistols go to the right, all rimfire go a bit high.

So I am pleased, but not ecstatic with my performance. When my .45 or .40 groups are as tight to the center as my .22, THEN I will be ecstatic. Then the challenge will be speed, and from the leather.

Now I have to arrange a trip THIS week. Last week I was out of town for a bit of. Archie was watching my house. Even without an M3 Greasegun he is a formidable watchdog. I wouldn't tangle with him...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Two and Two

Putting two and two together. I’ve lamented a lack of an XD. I’ve pined for a spare weapon in my so-called orphan calibers of .380, .45, and maybe .40… Why not combine the two problems together to an elegant solution?!

You’ve got chocolate in my peanut butter! No, you’ve got peanut butter on my chocolate! Two great tastes that taste great together.

Fine. I’ll update the list.

But wait…. I really do want another 1911 someday, Combat Commander configuration (who knows which brand...). Fine, maybe a plastic .45, maybe not. So .380 or .40. I’d like to see how small the XD sub-compact in .40 feels in my hand. But it would be a good back-up IWB type pistol. And the .380 version would be nice if I never find another Pocket Hammerless to CCW in my… uh… pocket. (oh, wait.... XDm 38 doesn't refer to a .380. It's an XDm with a 3.8 inch barrel... Silly me.)

Running out of enthusiasm here.

But it would be helpful for introducing n00bs to shooting. Having a plastic gun, but also one I like for myself, and a spare to some other primary pistol.

Ok, so I won’t put them very high on the priority list. It may be sufficiently comforting to know that an XD is just there. On the list. And I won’t need one in the gunsafe at all.

I got other things to spend my shooting money on. Like practice and training.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pistols and Dunderheads

This is the sorta thing I would blog about, but Helena Handbasket did the job much more thoroughly that I could.

He does the research. Looks like it all started to get munged up during the Carter Administration. Figures. Is there NOTHING that monster can't corrupt and defile?

Yeah, it's hard enough keeping up with the language specific to the Shooting Culture. Clip versus magazine, bullet vs. cartridge vs. case vs. shell vs. round. I STILL mess these up, Though if I think about it I don't mix terms.

Anyway, RTWT.

Saturday, April 10, 2010



Ham Radio!

I wish I knew some resource that could point me to the link I want. There is plenty of radio resources on the web. That's the problem. Separating the wheat from the chaff. Someone that could point me down the right path. Someone that could steer a fella that was thinking, "ya know, I have always been kinda interested in Ham Radio, and I'd like to dabble, but I don't know where to check for a decent starter kinda setup instructions. Not super cheap, but also not too expensive until I become addicted. Heck a receiver now, and a line on where to get a transmitter later or whatever. I don't know. It's why I'm asking."

Anyone know anyone like that?

Maybe I just need a line on a $200 scanner that picks up everything.

Next Gun Purchase

I don't think I have a 'next' gun purchase. There is no gun that I really want to follow me home.

How I know this? Easy. When I go to GunBroker there is nothing I automatically type into the search box.

Good. Spend my money on ammo and practice and training.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Yet Another

Another work buddy just gave me “The Call.”

What is that? It’s the, “The missus has bent on the blanket prohibition of firearms in the house. Now I can get one. What do I do?” We’ll call this one, The Viking.

Luckily, there is a local range that rents guns for him to try. And I might arrange the usual introductory range session with my own inventory. But it occurred to me… The guns I have aren’t cheap. I have no plastic gun. SIG, 1911, and S&W revolvers… they aren’t cheap. I’m talking Cheap n’ Good. Plastic guns like Glock, XD, and M&Ps, all seem to have a better price point than a 686.

So I have nothing like that to give newbies a test drive.

Again, luckily, the range has a rental rack. He can get a few brands of 9mm of plastic gun and shoot 50 rounds total. That on top of trying the different other calibers that I have can cover the gamut of shooting experience for him. Enough for him to get a feel for what he may prefer and select a handgun for purchase. You know me. I’d suggest and XD in .40 or .45 or a 4”-6” revolver in .357. Unless you just want one for plinking, and then it’s a .22.

But that’s not the first thing I told him to do. The first thing I told him to do is buy a pistol safe. He has a son. I told him never to underestimate the safe-cracking or lock-picking or key-finding skills of a 5 year old.

What next? Well, he brought up himself the possibility of attending an NRA class. A sentiment to encourage. I’m going to recommend he definitely stay on top of practice. I’m sure there are hundreds of folks that buy a gun, put 1000 rounds through it, then don’t go to the range for years after they lose interest. And more folks that put 100 rounds through it and put it away.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

MD Laws

I don’t talk much about Maryland gun friendly legislation working it’s way through the statehouse much. Why? Cuz’ I always assume it’s gonna get quashed. And normally I am right.

The only recent good development since a bit before I started this blog was the more regular quashing of ANTI-gun bills. They haven’t been the automatic pass in this Leftist stronghold of a state for a bit of time.

But 2 positive developments are happening.

One is the passing of the civil immunity reform out of the State Senate. Prospects in the house are more than decent. If the Gov signs it, it will make it harder for a robber that you shot in your home, (ya know, ROBBING you,) to sue you for injuries he sustained while you were defending your home and property. It’s no Texas Castle Doctrine, but it goes a long way. The Governor is the young guy from The Wire and will hate signing this thing but has to, or get eaten alive in the next election.

The other is HB52. It is stuck in committee but only needs 5 more signatures to spring if from that anti-civil rights chairman. So there is a chance it could advance a bit. A slim chance. HB52 would recognize and reciprocate the conceal carry permits of neighboring states. Even non-resident permits. I’d have to get a Virginia permit to go with my Utah permit, but that is doable. And it is moving the ball down the field.

And that’s pretty much it. We beat back the anti-gun stuff, and we watch all the other pro-civil-rights stuff languish in the desks of bigoted, phobic chairmen.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I realized that I have sparked firearm interest in many people.

Oh, sure, most of them were already kinda interested. But I was sort of the camel that broke the straw's back. They talk to me a bit, then go out an purchase a Roscoe.

And they invariably select an XD as their first purchase.

Ok, the Beard and the Contrarian got .22s, so they didn't get an XD. Maybe when they go full size.

But, Chuckles, Corky, Frozen, Tollop, Network-Guy, and one other that has slipped my mind... all got one right out of the gate.

Springfield should send me a commission check. Or heck, just send me an XD. I'd prefer the sub compact .40 with night sights, thank you.

{Oooo! But now this exists...}

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


h/t to gunbot.

Saw a link to this and it reminded me I still need to find boots that fit.

Rather than go the catalog route I went the old fashioned way and hit up Bass Pro's shoe department to try on as many boots as I could get away with.

I ended up with this, on spec:
But they certainly can be HAD by catalog.

It had enough room in the toe for me. Merrell Chameleon 3. But the proof will be in the wearing. I'll report back if they don't work out for me.

Importantly, they are light weight and have gore-tex. Hopefully that will keep my feet dryer. Next hunting season I will probably wear these AND over shoes. I suffer in the deer stand just sitting there in the cold, and my feet are invariably soaked from treking through the dewy grass. Rubber over shoes will guarantee dryness, and will be wind proof, and add an extra layer for warmth... And the rubber over shoes arrived after the snow stopped this past February.

But this boot type is not an all-season boot.

[other boots that might fit me... Keen or Vasque, cuz they run wide. Ish]

What Moves the Industry

Everyone is talking about how hunting no longer is driving the firearm industry and firearm interest. It’s shifting to target shooting and CCW and such.

I agree.

And the comments galore on Tam’s post on the subject are a good read.

And now I am just bandwagonning

The only reason I was able to include hunting in my firearms exploration journey is because all the stars were aligned.

A small bug was buzzing around when I casually mentioned to My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast that I had no place to shoot a rifle, and he mentioned he knew a close-by place. It just snowballed from there.

Before that, it was a once every other year trip to the range to shoot a revolver. After that it was at LEAST once a month trips. And this blog. Then training and more practice and CCW, &c. &c.

But as to hunting…

Again, if MBtGE wasn’t a hunter I might be shooting more right now, but I certainly wouldn’t have hunted. And not because I didn’t have the desire.

MBtGE himself didn’t hunt much at all in his youth. He didn’t start deer hunting until he was 30, 10 years before I met him. He grew up with guns on a farm, so it was easier for him to take up the hobby than it would be for me. Plus he had many people he knew locally with land they’d let him hunt.

THAT is a big critical factor, and it was for me. A place we/I could hunt by knowing someone with the land.

Without the mentor (MBtGE) to show me how, and the place (through MBtGE), then I’d have never bothered taking the Hunter Safety class.

You want hunting to come back to its former glory among shooters? ALL current, experienced Hunters need to mentor a person and they all need to have a 50 acre farm/woodlot somewhere close by. Once that apprentice has bagged a couple and cleaned a couple, THEN find another apprentice to introduce. In a few years I may be able to teach someone. I need to find some land to buy, though.

[update: Ya know... if interest in the target shooting continues to increase we may come full circle, with regular folks wanting to get back into hunting. I mean hunting virgins. It may take 20-30 years, and the n00bies may all hunt with AR heavy rigs, and all the old hunters that could teach folk how may be scarce on the ground due to die-off, but it could come back...]

Monday, April 5, 2010

Shooting Gloves... I needz them

I mentioned how my finger tip hurts at shooting sessions before. If I ever went to a decent training class and shot more than 200 rounds I'll have wished I wore gloves to protect that finger and any other spot on my hands that would make itself known on high round count days.

I already have nomex flight gloves. And like them. Heck, I had to swim a mile wearing those gloves. And boots. And flight suit. And helmet.

But are flight gloves little more than a stop gap? There are gloves specific to shooting, but if I'm not competing, just training and hitting the range, do I need to for that much specialty?

The specialty gloves look like they provide some padding for the palm and some specific finger reinforcement on selected fingers. The really fancy gloves will be different, with a separate configuration for the shooting hand and the support hand. Neat!

But do I need them? Them fancier gloves? Do they give me anything else that regular flight gloves can't? If I take a course with a round count about 500 or 1000 should I reconsider and get the fancies? (I normally go barehanded with the 200 round count range sessions.)

[update: flight gloves are probably fine, but get spares cuz they wear out in the field.]

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ammo Types

I've discussed before how I like to keep ammo inventory simple. I don't want a lot of different calibers to keep track of and on hand. For instance, to have a .32, 32 Magnum, .25, .38, .41, .44, .45ACP, .45LC... while FUN, is a bit much. For me.

(I apply this ease of use simplicity to other things in my life. I have 2 sock drawers. One black, one white. And I only buy one brand of socks of each color. Makes it easy to just grab 2 socks from one drawer in the dark and having it all work out fine in the light of day. Never send me brown or blue socks!)

So, I have:

Four things that shoot .22 LR. 2 pistols 2 rifles

Two things that shoot .308.

Three things that shoot .38/.357. 2 pistols 1 rifle.

But, I need more things that shoot the OTHER calibers. The Orphans.

I only have the one that shoots .45ACP. I need to correct this one day. I sorta want a .45 Camp Carbine. Commonality of caliber AND commonality of magazine. What I'll probably end up getting is another 1911. Officer size, or Commander.

I only have the one Sig that shoots .40. Chances are this will remain that way. If that gun breaks I'd switch to the .45. This is an orphan caliber that will stay that way by design. It's only for full size CCW carry with nothing to hang on clothes. One day I may eschew it's Double Action and graduate to a proper 1911 for full time carry. And maybe even get rid of the .40.

Another 12 gauge would be nice. That will be a relatively inexpensive, and butt simple, 12 gauge, someday.

The .380 is another orphan caliber. I only have the one Pocket Hammerless to shoot it. I'd like to get second Colt, some time. I've even bid on them in auctions. No luck just yet. This is the one I am closest to finding a buddy for, removing it from the orphan list. Again... no big hurry.

I have the orphan .30-06 Springfield 03. There is only 20 or so rounds around for it. That's ok. And I'm not actively seeking another .30-06. No room in the safe if I found one.

So, it'd be nice to get spares of both the .380, and the .45, maybe a .45 carbine, and another 12 gauge. Fine. Something to consider for the List.

And just forget about all that other stuff... Like ARs.

But I'm done buying guns. For the most part. Really. For a while. I might miss next year's buy-a-gun day. Just sayin.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ammo Engine

Comparative mail order ammo shopping.

How's this look?


Don't stare at it too hard or for too long. You'll go blind.

{update... ANDDDDDDDDDD, back.}

Paper Waste

I've saved most every target I've ever shot at.

I wanted a record of my flaws and successes while shooting.

But storage is becoming a problem. I don't want to just throw 'em out, either. The garbage/recycling man will know I have guns and may mark me for further attention later.

Gonna have to go on a clandestine mission. I won't go into detail. The less you know the safer it is for you. Let's just say, I know people. People that can solve problems. People like me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Black Background

Xavier has a great blog. But I can only read 2 paragraphs at a time before I have to switch to some other website.

Michael Bane is the same way. Great content, but I can't get to it.

They aren't the only ones.

Black background, white text. SUPER eye strain. Black background with with text is saying to me "I hate you, stop reading my blog, I hope your eyes pop in their sockets like forgotten Easter Eggs that a near sighted grandpa steps on in his sandals and black socks as he putters around the yard."

And people that read at work can't look at these kinds of websites easily either.

For GOD's sake people. Black background on a web design hasn't been cool since 1998. I want to read you, but I can't. No one else will say it because they like you. They are worried you will change it and blame THEM if they complain. Blame me. I don't care. Use me as your excuse. Curse my name and call a plague of locusts down on my house. All your fans will still read you after you invert the colors, but so will I. And DOZENS of others that are silent now. Silent and blind.

But change it.

Try Blue on Red. Or Red on Blue.


This is a little more advanced than an article in Highlights magazine, and may be review for all you veteran Shamblor retirererers out there, but it's still good stuff.

Hmmm.... Highlights...

Goofus baits the flesh craving zombie driving them into a frenzy so severe they break down the barrier his father so painstakingly erected to protect the family. Oh no!

Gallant sits quietly in an internal closet, out of sight and sound of any undead eyes and ears...

Goofus shoves his little sister to the floor, hoping here helpless struggling would save his own hide by drawing off Zed's attention. But there are too many and Goofus has nowhere to run.

Gallant is glad he went to the range every week. His head count is up to 353. And there is no way he'll run out of .22. There are 5 gallon buckets full of it in the bunker.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

1 April

Yes it was an April Fools post.

But he IS interested in M3's because of the war. And I am arranging a little surprise for him. My local gunstore has a machine gun shoot coming up and he can get a Greasegun for it. I want to take the old guy up there to let him turn my money into noise.

But he didn't bring back much in the way of booming souvenirs. Except for the 30mm shell. Not kidding about that. He dug out all the propellent with a spoon and the whole thing immersed in a bucket of water. He said it was like dried play-doe. He then electrified it and made it look like a light house tower.

So, to confirm, he owns no Greasegun. That I know of. And if he did and was gonna give it to me, I probably wouldn't tell you.

Archie the Neighbor

I have mentioned the crotchety old WWII veteran.

His ‘thing’ back in the day was target archery, field archey. I wish I shot as well with a pistol as he shot with a bow. Then again he shot maybe a million arrows. Once shot a 506 out of 560. Not bad for an amatuer.

He took zero interest in firearms. Except for one. The M3 Greasegun.

You see, he was in the Navy in the Pacific (my other neighbor was in Destroyers in the Atlantic, and another was in Viet Nam doing something with Riverine Patrol. Big Navy area. Everyone else on this street speaks Spanish.) And his jobs was Electrician Mate, especially on the Higgins boats that sent their Marines to the beach at Kwajellein, &c. My neighbor (let’s call him Archie) was fascinated with the Marine’s M3 Greaseguns. He just thought they were neat. The Marines would let him hold one just to hold it. You know how that is.
Besides being an archer, Archie is a tinker. He likes how things work. And he was an auto-body man and marine motor mechanic. So the process to MAKE a Greasegun fascinated him, being made by a headlight factory of General Motors and all.

He never talked about any other kind of firearms. Ever.

Then I found out why.

He has one.

Oh my!

And he showed it to me this past weekend.

Wait wait wait… Before you get excited… Archie is a smart cookie. He actually got the tax stamp for the thing in the early 60s. So it is legit. He hasn’t fired it since the 50s. But, while not a gun guy, he is a mechanical guy. He appears to have kept it very clean back then. I have new guns with bores less shiny. It doesn’t look like he’s done it any harm. And he only has the one magazine. It, for some reason, does look to be in sorry shape.

So why is he showing it to me, now? After keeping it a secret for years despite knowing my interest? Well, like all WWII vets he is getting on in years. And he has been seeing his estate planner recently. When talking about his assets his lawyer actually realized the implications involved with a machine gun and all, trust wise. So he got that all squared away a few months ago. Archie just has daughters and grandsons too young to appreciate. The daughters are a bit hoplophobic too. So Archie had no one to bequeath the sub machine gun to in his will/trust…

Except for this youngish neighbor that helps him out with tech support for his computer and shoots the shite with him over beers on his back deck. A neighbor that like WWII history and was also in the Navy. A neighbor that is gobsmacked by his generosity.

Well that's ONE way to get a free machine gun, I guess. At least it's a good caliber.