Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gun magic: Broke S&W .22 transformed into a new M1 Carbine

Now for some gun magic. Watch me while I transform a S&W 317 .22LR 8-shooter that broke when I first shot it -- and was replaced with a brand-new one by Smith & Wesson in a gracious act of customer service...
...into something entirely different. Ready? Abbra caddabbra, shalakazammmmmmmmmmm!
It's an AOM160 Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine "Tactical Folding Stock Model". I figured I could use a home-defense semi-auto carbine more than another .22 pistol, so when the new S&W 317 came into the gun shop from the factory, I traded it for the carbine. (I'm one of the few gun nuts on the planet who don't like ARs or AKs. I shot an AR, "not my style, said Casey." I owned two SKS models, regular and paratroop, shot both and found them to be accurate enough to barely hit a barn door, sold them both.)

I scored three 30-rd. South Korean-military mags from CDNN, stocked up on 200 rds. of .30 Cal. Carbine ammo from the gun shop and was all ready to go shooting today. Then I came down with an attack of old age.

As one of my senior friends said (who has since gone on to his eternal reward) "Old age is not for sissies.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bad questions and bad advice from across the gun shop counter

Marko at Munchkin Wrangler and Caleb at Gun Nuts Media are trading riffs. Marko starts with a list of questions and comments a gun store clerk never wants to hear -- a good list of "Uh oh" starters.

  • “Can I buy, like, just one bullet?”
  • “Say, do you know what time the bank across the street opens?”
  • “You got anything that will go through a bulletproof vest? Like, the kind cops wear?”
  • “Phased plasma rifle in the forty-watt range.”
  • “I’ll take this one…according to prophecy.”
  • “I’ll need a few more magazines for that, too.  Let’s see who gets laid off today, huh?”
  • “The voices say I want that Remington pump-action.”
  • “Uh, you guys need, like, I.D. for buying a gun?”
  • “I need something for…deer. Yeah, a deer.  A cheatin’, no-good slut of a deer.”
  • “Will this pistol show on a metal detector? Say, at an airport?”
  • “I need something with a scope. The anti-psychosis meds make me too loopy for iron sights.”
  • “I need a what to buy a fully automatic weapon? I’m law enforcement! I work the tactical team at Pheasant Lane Mall!”
  • “So, is this rifle easy to convert to full-auto?  Just a bit of file work, right?”
  • “I want some practice targets.  You got any that are shaped like squad cars?”
  • “Can I just rent this thing for a few hours? 
    Then Caleb responds with stuff you don't want to hear from a gunstore clerk.

  • A little lady like you needs a snub nosed revolver
  • The Taurus Judge is a great defensive weapon (for any reason)
  • You don’t want to use buckshot in a house, use birdshot.
  • You don’t want to see Gun Y, you want to see Gun X because I think it’s better.
  • “10mm”
Feel free to add your own favorites/unfavorites for either side of the gun store counter.

My current topper for dumb gun shop customer questions is "Is a .44 bigger than a .45?"

And even though I'm a fan of 10mm pistols, I never recommend one unless the customer asks first. It is a powerful round and probably a bit too powerful and sharp in recoil for novice shooters to handle.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Remember November: The Final Act: The reality show you can play

Have you voted yet? Remember in November is our battle cry!

Remember November: The Final Act from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

New Sig Sauer subcompact 9mm DAO pistol announced

I work in a gun store that's a Sig Sauer dealer and I'd never heard of this one until I saw it online a minute ago.

SIG SAUER® P290™ Sub-Compact 9mm Pistol

Full Size Power in the Ultimate Conceal Carry

10.28.2010– EXETER, NH – SIG SAUER, the leading manufacturer of military, law enforcement, government agency and commercial firearms, introduces the SIG SAUER P290™ Sub-Compact 9mm pistol. The latest addition to SIG SAUER’s innovative conceal carry line-up puts all the power of a full-size 9mm in a lightweight and versatile polymer pistol design in the hands of responsible citizens and law enforcement officers.

The P290, in Double-Action-Only, has a snag-resistant, sleek design for conceal carry or used as a back-up for plains clothes or security personnel. The Stainless slide carries the popular SIG SAUER serrations and is finished in either natural stainless finish or a black Nitron® finish. Unique to the P290 are polymer customized grip plates in aluminum, wood and polymer that can be engraved with your initials for a truly personalized pistol (coming soon.)

SIG SAUER P290™ Specifications:

Caliber: 9mm
Overall Length: 5.5 in.
Overall Height: 3.9 in.
Overall Width: 0.9 (1.1 in. w/ slide catch lever)
Barrel Length: 2.9 in.
Sight Radius: 4.3 in.
Sights: Contrast/SIGLITE® Night Sights
Weight w/Mag 20.05 oz.
Frame: Polymer
Slide: Stainless
Frame Finish: Black
Slide Finish: Nitron® or natural stainless
Mag. Capacity: 6 – 8 rounds
Trigger: DAO
Grips: Customizable – aluminum, wood, polymer
Features: Customizable grips, optional laser
MSRP: P290 Nitron, 9mm, SIGLITE NS, 6-rd. mag. $530.00
P290 Two-Tone, 9mm, SIGLITE NS, 6-rd. mag. $550.00
I love Sig pistols so I guess one more just got added to my want list.

Paradise will be when I can be sedimentary for as long as I want

Pickles 10/28

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let the vote-stealing season begin early in eastern North Carolina

As usual here in North Carolina where Democrats vote early and often, the cheating has begun, reports Gateway Pundit:
Another incident of voting machine irregularities was also reported yesterday in North Carolina. A voter said he pushed the button for a straight-party Republican ticket and the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked. The problem was reported in two different counties.
Eastern NC has long been a bastion of Democrat voters and a little thing like a tidal wave of dissent with the powers that be in Washington, DC, won't change the way things are done in polling stations down east.

Which reminds me, think I'll go downtown and vote early today. Mark me down as hard-core right-wing conservative, somewhere to the right of Jesse Helms and Attila the Hun.

How cats think -- one of the greatest unknown mysteries of life

Our house is kitty paradise. My sweet wife has at least one basket suitably padded with pillows and/or blankets in every room, some rooms have two as we have two cats. So where does Lucy choose to bed down this morning in my office, which has a suitably-outfitted basket in the window? In the middle of a pile of gun rugs in the corner on the floor.
If anybody ever figures out cats, please write a book and I'll buy it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The saddest sight in Dixie is a pool covered up for winter

Is there a sadder sight than the pool covered for winter? Harry the pool dog don't like it and neither do I. C'mon spring!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back from Caswell, 'tanned, rested and ready' to serve the Lord

I'm back from Fort Caswell and as Nixon said in '68, I'm tanned, rested and ready. Here's a sunset at Caswell, looking toward the lighthouse on the Cape Fear River side of Oak Island.
 And here's moonrise just after sunset at the point of Oak Island, looking southwest toward Bald Head Island.
And here's the men from my church, Sweet Haven of Rockingham, NC, and Calvary Baptist of Hamlet, singing the songs of Zion in the kitchen of one of the cottages at Fort Caswell. The bald-headed fellow picking the guitar is my pastor, Rev. Mitchell Roller, a former mill-hill boy and hell-raiser, now serving the Lord.
It was a fun three days, but most of all, it was a genuine retreat to get refreshed in the service of our Lord.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Off to Fort Caswell for three days of porch sittin' and cigar smokin'

I'm outa here for three days for my church annual men's retreat to Fort Caswell on the NC coast, where I plan to do exactly what these old farts are doing on the front porch of a cottage there -- absolutely nuthin'.
Got my cigars, a good book, a couple of changes of clothes and a few guns packed. This trip we might do some shooting if I have time in between sitting on the front porch watching the ocean roll by.

I will probably also find time to take some sunrise and sunset photos as Caswell Beach is one of the few places on the East Coast where you can see the sun rise and set over the ocean. I have yet to get a decent sunrise shot at Caswell, but sunset photos are easy to get. This is one of my recent favorites.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bad news and good news from Smith & Wesson on a used S&W 317

I got some good news and some bad news today. First, the bad news. A nice gentleman from Smith & Wesson customer service called me at the shop to report that the used S&W 317 .22LR revolver I had sent in for repair was "unrepairable." Broke. Can't be fixed.
But even though I am not the original owner and never even registered it for warranty, then came the good news. Smith & Wesson is going to ship me a brand-spanking-new Model 317 as a replacement!

Now that is how a good company does customer service. I've known for years that S&W does a good job of customer service. But now I have a personal example that proves the point beyond all doubt. S&W rocks!

I already own nine S&W handguns, pistols and revolvers, but I am quite sure more are in my future.

Nikon eyeglass lenses produce a miracle: Sharp in-focus front sight!

This is a photo of something I haven't seen in sharp, clear focus in many years. The front sight of my Para P12-45.

But finally, after numerous attempts at getting prescription glasses that will allow my aging eyes to see a pistol sights clearly and in focus, I have got a pair that actually work!

The eye doctor I went to is a shooter who understood exactly what I wanted. And he did it. With safety glasses ground from Nikon lenses, I can now see clearly to shoot a pistol for the first time many years.

I can't wait to try them out at a range. If my plans work out, this weekend will be the first live test. Now I have no more excuses for missing the bullseye. I can see the sights, now all I gotta do is trigger control.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

With a nation of gun owners, why are there only 4,000 NRA coaches?

I read in one of the gun magazines a while back that the NRA has about 5,000 certified instructors nationwide.

That seems a bit low to me, assuming geographic equality that's only 100 per state. Of course, we can't make that assumption as more populous states likely have more than the average number of instructors.

(Of course that also assumes there are 50 states. If President Obama is right, we have 57 states in the union so the average number is even lower.)

But then I saw this just today from the NRA blog:
The NRA's Education & Training Division is pleased to announce its Coach Education Program has reached 4,000 coaches, setting a new record.
The program, which has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years, trains people to becomed NRA Certified Rifle, Shotgun, or Pistol Coaches. NRA's cadre of coaches work with shooters of all skill levels, from recreational shooters to Olympic athletes.   
So the total is only 4,000, which is a new record. There's something seriously wrong with this statistic. If an old fart like me can learn new skills and become an NRA Basic Pistol Instructor, almost anybody could do it.

How on earth are the shooting skills of this nation to grow and spread if we don't have instructors to teach the new shooters, as well as sharpen up the skills of the old shooters, like me? So here's my challenge to my fellow gun nut readers. You wouldn't be reading my blog if you ain't a gun nut, so click on one of those NRA links above and get yourself signed up to become a pistol, rifle or shotgun instructor. Or all three.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Help overturn Obama's Historic Ban of 1 million Garands & Carbines

In case you haven't heard, President Obama has banned the import from South Korea into the U.S. nearly one million U.S. M1 Garand and M1 .30 Cal. Carbine surplus World War II rifles, using the flimsy excuse that they are "dangerous assault weapons." Well, so is any semi-automatic rifle. What good is a rifle if it's not dangerous? The danger here is to Obama and his leftwingnut comrades and their hold onto political power. Watch this video and then sign the petition to overturn this high-handed weapons ban. You can sign the petition here:

M1 Garand and Obama's Historic Rifle Ban

And one more thing. If you aren't registered to vote, get it done today. And then vote early and often. Let's make this a November to remember when all us bitter clingers to God and guns show up at the polls and kick Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and all the other leftwingnuts out of office.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Colt and S&W Gambler's guns going for high-rollers on Gunbroker

I posted a pair of gambler's guns on gunbroker recently and one of them will be sold within 38 hours, so I thought I'd share some of the pretty pitchers while they're still available for viewing.

First is a Colt Python "Snake Eyes" Limited Edition Bright Stainless .357 Magnum snubby with a pair of dice showing snake eyes on the faux ivory grips. It has a bid on it for $2,899.95 with one day and 14 hours to go, so get it while you can.

Then we have a Smith & Wesson Model 36 "Texas Hold 'Em" Chief's Special .38 snubby. It comes in a presentation box with poker chips and cards plus gold engraving and faux ivory grips. It has a buy-now price of a mere $1,250, so it's practically a steal compared to the Snake Eyes Python.

Both are way outa my league, but I never was any good at poker or any form of gambling anyway.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The odd occurrence of Oct. 10, 2010 and why do it matter anyhow?

Somebody at church who is much less math-challenged than moi commented that 10/10/10 won't come around again for another hundred years. And that it won't happen again on Sunday for another thousand years.

Either way, I'm pretty sure I won't be here to see it happen. I'll be somewhere in eternity, but not right here, not in my present worn-out 63-year-old gray-headed, gimpy-footed, creaky-back, achy-breaky body.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fun at the range with (3) .45s, (1) .44, (1) 9mm and (2) .22 revolvers

I was all dressed for work, armed and ready to go when I got a call from one of the gun shop owners, with no gun show this weekend to go to, I could take Friday off. Woo hoo! Range day!

I've got a concealed-carry class at the shop tomorrow, so Friday off was a genuine unexpected pleasure. So I loaded up and went off to DeWitt's range for some fun.

First up were three new 12-rd. magazines for my new Steyr S9-A1 subcompact 9mm. The factory S9 mags have a 10-rd. limited-capacity bottom for some reason nobody at U.S. distributor Steyr Arms can explain. That's how they made them in Steyr, Austria, at Steyr-Mannlicher, so that's how they are.

But one of my buddies at Steyr Club, who wishes to remain unnamed, is a genius with Steyr magazines. I purchased three S40 mags with three 9mm followers from Steyr Arms, had them shipped to him and voila, three S9 12-rd.-capacity mags appeared in the mail to me. Thanks Mr. Anonymous, great job. Here's the results.
And how did they shoot? Perfect. You were expecting something else from the mag master?

Next up I had a trio of .45s that cried their way into going to the range, you shoulda heard all the wailing.
At bottom is my Sig P220 SAO with its new set of Nill grips that needed a baptism of fire. At top is my Para P12-45 compact, just back from Para-USA where she got the PXT power extractor and a new recoil-spring and guide-rod assembly. I've already test-fired the P12, but I figured another mag of hollow-points can't hurt. And at right is my Llama IX-C wide-frame, who is always on car duty and needed some work so Big Bertha came out from under the seat to speak her piece. Now for the targets for the first four up at the range.

All these targets are standing Isosceles at the usual max distance for social exchanges, 7 yards, rapid fire.
At right is the S9A1 with one 10-rd. mag of JHPs and three 12-rd. mags of FMJs. As usual, with a DAO trigger my lefty-trigger-finger tends to pull a bit to the right.

Then the other three, at left the Sig P220, second from left, Para P12, and third from left, the Llama. All three have excellent single-action triggers, which proves what everybody ought to already know. The best double-action trigger in the world still isn't as good as a good single-action trigger. One thing a good single-action trigger does for me is instantly cure my tendency to pull the point-of-impact slightly to the right.

And it also proves once again that I shoot my P220 better than any of my 1911 .45s. It is what it is.

Then the marvelous day at the range took a sudden downturn. Next up were a pair of .22 revolvers, a single-action Ruger Bearcat stainless and a S&W 317 8-shot DA/SA with a 3" barrel, both used guns I purchased at the gun shop where I work. This was my first occasion to shoot either of them since purchase.
After 12 rds. in the Bearcat, I could no longer get a round into any of the chambers. It looked clean so I didn't take it apart and clean it before shooting. I'm sure a thorough cleaning will take care of that problem.

But the S&W 317 was a total disaster. The daddy rabbit in the family-owned gun shop said something didn't seem right about the 317 when we purchased it from the previous owner. But he couldn't find any reason to send it to S&W for repairs, so it went on sale. And I bought it. And the boss was dead right about it.

One cylinder fired double-action, OK, but fairly stiff trigger. One cylinder fired single-action. Perfect, sights right on the money. Third cylinder, two rounds fired double-action and she locked up tighter than Dick's hatband, which according to my daddy was way too tight. I couldn't rotate the cylinder, couldn't pull the trigger or the hammer and could not force the cylinder release in to open the cylinder. To make matters even worse, you cannot send a loaded gun back to S&W for service.

But I know a local gunsmith, so I took it to him. He applied some gunsmith magic in his back shop -- said when he applied "a lot of pressure on the cylinder release" it finally opened. I didn't ask what he used to apply that much pressure. He got it unloaded and it will be headed off to S&W for service and repair on Monday.

Finally back to the fun. Before I left the range, I put some more rounds through my Kel-Tec PF9 subcompact 9mm to check the new Crimson Trace Lasergrip I just installed on it. Here it is with my improvised pocket magazine holder, an eyeglass case cut in half, perfect fit for a pair of spare magazines.

And I have some new grips I just got from S&W for my S&W 29 .44 Magnum and wanted to give them a baptism of fire. Question was, could I fire magnum loads without getting bit on the hand in the process?
The smooth laminate combat finger-groove grips are beautiful, but are they functional under magnum stress? The answer is definitely, just as comfortable and maybe even better than my ugly black rubber Pachmayrs.

Finally, here's the last two targets, the S&W 29 .44 holes in the left and the PF9 9mm holes in the right.
The PF9 still needs some benchrest work to get that laser sight zeroed. Maybe at the indoor range tomorrow after my concealed-carry class I can do that. But I gotta say it's a ton more fun shooting my big .44 than that snappy little PF9 with carry loads. That's why there's more holes in the .44 target than the 9mm target.

I love summer, I like fall and I love spring. Can we just skip winter?

Pickles 10/08
Pickles is one of my every-morning cartoon favorites, but even though I love autumn too, I also feel like singing that old blues tune, "I hate to see that evening sun go down." I do truly love summer and the older I get, the worse I hate to see the leaves turn and the temperatures drop. I'm cold-natured and getting worse with age.
We haven't covered our pool yet for winter, but we will soon and I hate to see that happen. When I'm working from home, as I was yesterday, I can take my breaks and my lunch on the pool deck along with my bestest canine buddy, Harry the pool dog, ever vigilant for any critter that might invade his territory.

Yesterday, I had a can of sardines for lunch and an Atkins-friendly low-carb beer, topped off with a cigar. Now that's a great lunch. And to prove once again that he will eat anything, Harry licked the mustard sauce left in the sardine can until it looked like it was factory new, ready to be refilled.

Soon the sun won't feel so good and the pool will be covered and the pool deck won't be such a pleasant place. And as the famous economist John Maynard Keynes said about the economic future, "In the long term, we're all dead." So enjoy fall while you can, endure winter and look forward to another spring, maybe.
Of course, there are worse things than growing old. There's growing old alone. I have a wonderful wife to share my life with (third time's the charm) and two children, a step-daughter and five grandchildren.

My sweet wife's brother Teddy gave us the above carved stone and my sweet wife put it out in the garden area next to the pool where she labors to diligently. I'm not taking it as a bad omen that it got cracked.

That's her rusty watering pot and the two shiny stones are some of the ones our 2.5-year-old granddaughter in Pittsburgh hand-painted and presented to us this past summer. Life is good and God is great. I'll continue to enjoy life as long as I'm here, and after that, I'm really enjoy the land where we'll never grow old.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ruger SR40 introduced to dealers, coming soon to a gun store near you

For all the .40 caliber fans out there, Ruger announced to dealers today the new SR40 version of the SR9.
We are proud to announce the Ruger® SR40™ pistol, the latest extension of the SR-Series, striker-fired line of pistols. The SR40 now provides a large caliber option in one of the slimmest and most ergonomic full-sized pistol lines on the market today - joining the popular SR9 and award-winning SR9c.
Built on the same high-performance glass-filled nylon frame as its predecessors, the SR40 offers all the great ergonomic features that made the SR9 and SR9c a success: a slim, narrow frame with a short trigger reach, reversible backstrap for an arched or flat configuration, and fully ambidextrous controls. The through-hardened, stainless steel slide on the SR40 is .060" wider than that of the SR9; the added mass of the slide reduces slide velocity during cycling, reducing recoil and improving service life.
The SR40 weighs 27.25 ounces (when empty) and ships with two fifteen-round, flush-fit magazines. A loading tool is also provided, although an anti-friction coating applied to the magazine body greatly reduces the force required to load the magazines to full capacity. It features a 4.1" barrel length, fully adjustable three-dot sights, and an integral accessory rail. It offers modern safety features such as a visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator, striker blocker, trigger safety, magazine disconnect, and a frame-mounted ambidextrous manual safety.
Here's the Ruger specifications sheet on the SR40:
Catalog Number: KSR40 | Model Number: 3470 | Caliber: .40 S&W
Slide Material: Through-Hardened Stainless Steel Slide Finish: Brushed Stainless
Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot
Barrel Length: 4.14" Overall Length: 7.55"
Height: 5.52" Width: 1.27"
Weight: 27.25 oz. Capacity: 15+1
Twist: 1:16" RH Grooves: 6
MA Approved & Certified: No CA Approved: No
Suggested Retail: $525.00
Believe it or not, I'm not a fan of .40S&W. It's the only major self-defense pistol caliber I don't have after briefly owning one. IMHO the ballistics are not enough better than 9mm to put up with the slapping, twisting torque of the recoil. I'm not particularly recoil sensitive, loving to shoot hot 9mm +P, .357 Sig, 10mm, .45 ACP, .38 Special+P, .357 Magnum, .327 Magnum, .44 Special and .44 Magnum. But I just didn't like .40.

So I quickly traded the one and only .40 pistol I ever purchased for a compact 9mm. But if you like .40s, this new Ruger will most likely be a good candidate to add to your arsenal. Have fun.

Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine into layaway safe, S&W 317 gets liberated!

One out of the layaway safe and another one goes back in. The story of the life of an unrepentant gun slut.
This time the one going into the layaway safe is not a handgun, which is a radical change for me. I'm pretty much of a handgun slut, but I made an exception this time for the Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine Tactical Folding Stock Model

The only other long guns I have suitable for castle defense are a pair of 12 gauge shotguns, one SBS double-barrel my daddy left me and an Ithaca 37 pump that I had the barrel shortened to 18.25" as a riot gun; plus a Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum Stainless Lever-Action Carbine. All of those are pretty much for close-up work. The lever-gun is a bit more long range than the shotguns, but after 100 yards those .44 Magnums start dropping like the huge hunk of lead they are. You just can't repeal the law of gravity.

The M-1 Carbine isn't exactly a long-range weapon but it is capable of rapid semi-auto fire out to about 200 yards with some degree of accuracy, which is suitable for my purposes. I don't live in the wide-open spaces, but alas, I'm a town dweller. It should suffice for any threat to home and hearth in my housing subdivision.

And when the brown stuff hits and fan, it's light and easily portable with a folding stock for my bug-out bag.

The .30 Carbine round has a bad rep for "stopping power" but statistics from its battle record show it was more effective in use than the .45 ACP in a round-for-round comparison. It's hardly fair to compare a rifle with its superior accuracy and ease of use to a 1911 pistol, but this is war we're talking about, not fairness.

And that was with full-metal-jacket rounds. With the jacketed-soft-points available in .30 Carbine, it's a much more effective round. 

And one reason I decided to buy an M1 Carbine is Cor-Bon just introduced the very first genuine hollow-point for .30 Carbine.
Loaded with pure copper Barnes Triple-Shock X Bullets, the DPX line offers deep penetration with 100% weight retention. These revolutionary bullets from Barnes are made of 100% copper and contain no lead. When the bullet expands, four razor-sharp cutting petals are created, allowing the bullet to penetrate farther through tough bone and tissue.
They're a little pricey, more than $2 a round, but what's your life worth? I'd say a couple of boxes of those reserved for home-defense is definitely worth the investment in the security of my home and loved ones.

And before I go, what came out of the layaway safe? My new-to-me gently used S&W 317 .22LR revolver.

And also before I go, my apology to one of my readers who commented that the 317 is a J-frame. I argued that it's a K-frame based on its heritage as a lightweight alloy version of the S&W K-17 .22, but I was wrong. Smith & Wesson says on their website it's a J-frame, and how can I argue with the manufacturer? 
And one more correction. I also stated in an earlier post that the S&W 317 is a 9-shot revolver. As you can see from the above photo of my new-to-me 317, there's eight holes in that cylinder, not nine. I've been having a lot of trouble with math since I ran into those multiplication tables in the 3rd grade. And I never got over it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Big Three: Lunch with a beer, a good cigar and Robert B. Parker

The best benefit of working at home a few days a week is lunch breaks. As long as the lovely fall weather holds, I'm still enjoying the pool deck with a low-carb Bud Select 55, a good cigar and today, the next-to-last Spenser novel by Robert B. Parker, which arrived from Amazon yesterday.

IMHO, the late Robert B. has no peers and mighty few authors even in the same ballpark. I just finished the next-to-last Spenser novel, Painted Ladies, and what a stem-winder to close out this great character.

By plot's end, we have six dead bodies littering the terrain in and around Boston, two of which were dispatched by Spenser personally. Robert B. finished this one in the year before he died and it is evidence that his genius for sparkling dialogue and taut action had not dimmed.

There's one more Spenser novel yet to be published in May, Sixkill, which I've also pre-ordered. I'm certainly looking forward to that with great anticipation, but also with much sadness. I hate to see Spenser go.

Maybe in the last one, we will finally find out what Spenser's first name is. Or what Hawk's real name is. But most likely we won't. More likely we'll have to do what Iris Dement sings, "just let the mystery be."

Obama follows up on his victory over ocean waves: To stop CA wildfire

Breaking News from the Onion News Network:

Oh wait, the ocean waves did not start receding after Obama's great proclamation in the campaign. Oh well, maybe his magical hopey-changey powers will work this time. Can anything be impossible for The Obamessiah?

Monday, October 4, 2010

In search of the perfect grips for a Dirty Harry Special .44 Magnum

When I first bought my S&W 29-3 .44 Magnum 4" barrel (at left), I found the factory target grips (at right on a S&W 21 .44 Special that I foolishly traded away) were a bit rough on my soft office-worker hands when firing magnums. So I bought a set of Pachmayr Decelerator grips for the 29 and put the 29 grips on the 21.

The round-butt Rosewood grips that came on the 21 were not to my liking and the 29 square-butt grips made it feel better in my hand. They were fine for shooting .44 Specials, but not magnums. And then I found a dealer who had a Sig P226 .357 Sig he was willing to trade for the S&W 21 and it was gone. That was my first Sig pistol and since I now have four more, I should call that trade a success. But I still miss that Model 21 and will probably get another one some day.

But as good as the Pachmayr grips shoot, they sure ain't pretty, so I continued to seek some nice-looking wood grips for the 29 that would also shoot good. I know that Herrett's makes custom grips for the 29, but they just cost too much for this poor boy. And even though Dirty Harry had some Herrett's grips for his 29, I just couldn't bring myself to spend more than $100 for a set of grips.
Then a customer traded in a S&W 29 with the factory target grips customized for his hand. I tried them out and they fit my hand, too. They've been carved and sanded down into finger-groove grips and whoever did the work did a very nice job. I traded the shop my factory target grips for this custom-carved pair and we were both happy. It's hard to sell a gun with custom anything done to it. The custom work may have been just what the previous owner wanted, but it usually isn't what anybody else really wants.

In this case, the grips felt good to me, but I found that while they're fine for shooting .44 Specials, there just ain't enough wood there to hold onto when shooting .44 Magnums. Back to the drawing board.

Then I finally tried something I shoulda thunk uv to start with, I looked on the S&W website for grips and found these N-frame square-butt Rosewood combat grips with S&W medallions. And only $79!
They look great, they feel great and come Saturday I'll try them out to see if they shoot great. I'm betting they will. Every now and then, even a blind hog finds an acorn. S&W grips from S&W, why didn't I think of that?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Genuine "Gun Pron" with .22 rifles and pistols from German Sport Guns

German Sport Guns, or GSG, gives a whole new meaning to the term "Gun Pron" with this video of their .22LR rifles and pistols being demonstrated by scantily clad females.