Sunday, January 31, 2010
Bane got the very last interview with Col. Cooper before he moved on to the big shooting range in the sky and if you've got a few minutes, they would be well spent watching the videos. From the linked page, click on "Select A Video Category", scroll down and choose "Jeff Cooper Uncut."
The first interview is "Meet the Colonel" with an overview of his long prolific life, the second features the Bren Ten, Leather Slaps and the Weaver stance, the third the 1911 .45 ACP pistol and the fourth Cooper's concept brought to life for the Steyr Scout rifle.
I've been working there for a year and only last week did I finally convince the family owners to let me put this rare bird on gunbroker for sale.
As the daddy rabbit of the family gun shop business often says, they just ain't tired of looking at it yet. But if somebody is willing to pony up a mere $3,500, plus shipping, plus credit card fee, now they can have it to look at.
What is it? We get asked that a lot in the gun shop when folks see it in the fancy revolving glass case where it resides. No, it's not a Springfield M1A SOCOM, no it's not an M1 Garand tanker, no it's not a shorty tanker version of the M14. But yes, it's all of the above and yet none of them.
It's the Italian Garand, which was made by Beretta for military issue for the Italian Army after World War II.
The Firearm Blog has a post about it.
The Italian army adopted the Beretta BM59, basically an M1 Garand chambered for 7.62×51mm NATO capable of select fire. It was about as successful as all the other select fire battle rifles adopted around the world (not very). From Wikipedia:
Our Italian Garand isn't a BM59, it's a BM62, which is the civilian version Beretta made which is only semi-automatic, not selective fire semi- or fully auto like the military BM59.
After World War II, Italy adopted the US-designed M1 Garand rifle in .30-06 (7.62×63mm) and also manufactured it under license. This semi-automatic rifle proved itself well during WWII, but in the late 1950s it was considered outdated and obsolete. The Italian military wanted a new rifle chambered for the NATO-standard 7.62×51mm.
Beretta designed the BM59, which was essentially a rechambered M1 fitted with a removable 20-round magazine, folding bipod and flash suppressor/grenade launcher. The BM59 is capable of selective fire.
Here's what BlueBook says about the Italian Garand:
BlueBook don't say how many BM62s were imported, probably very few we're guessing. One of the commenters on The Firearm Blog said the only one he'd ever heard of was owned by Jeff Cooper, the gunner's guru who started Gunsite firearms training academy and was a leading expert on all things related to modern firearms.
BlueBook on BERETTA : RIFLES: SEMI-AUTO, RECENT MFG.
BM-59 M-1 GARAND
- with original Beretta M1 receiver, only 200 imported into the U.S.
- similar to BM-59, except has flash suppressor and is Italian marked.
Saying Jeff Cooper owned one is sorta like saying God owns one. God probably has the only armory that's bigger than the late Marine Col. Jeff Cooper's firearms collection.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Daddy also had a little .32 ACP lemon-squeezer revolver I shot when I was a little fella, but that's another story.
Anyway, I started buying pistols pretty late in life in 2001 with my first being a Smith & Wesson Model 1076, a full-size 10mm that was the FBI's duty handgun from 1990-95.
Credit reading Jeff Cooper about 10mm pistols for that purchase.
Then in 2006 when I applied for my concealed-carry permit, I started looking for carry pistols and have acquired a few since then.
I had no revolvers until March 2008 when I decided to go shopping for a .38 snubby for a backup. But on the way to a .38, I ended up buying a .44 Special. Long story, read it all here.
I tried out a S&W 396 AirLite Scandium Mountain Lite .44 Special which is indeed light, but you can't avoid physics. What goes out one end of a handgun comes back the other way in recoil. I found out why one writer called it the "Mountain Bite." Ouch. So instead I came home with a S&W Model 21-4 .44 Special, a 4" barrel N-frame steel revolver.
And then shortly thereafter I discovered a "Dirty Harry" .44 Magnum S&W 29 in a pawn shop when I was just browsing. The price was so low I just had to buy it.
I love that 4" barrel of the two S&Ws 21 and 29. It's just the right size for handy carry and shooting, or as John Taffin would say, the perfect packin' pistol. Perfect if you don't mind packin' 3+ lbs. of iron.
But like a fool I decided I didn't need two .44 Smiths, so I traded the 21 and kept the 29. But I still kept thinking about a .38 snubby.
And then the gun shop where I work got in the new Charter Arms Patriot .327 Magnum 6-shot stainless revolver model last year. I studied up on .327 Magnum and decided that ballistics nearly matching .357 Magnum with the recoil of .38 Special +P is a pretty good deal, not to mention 6 shots vs. 5 in a typical .38 Snubby. So I got the Charter .327.
Then along came a S&W 14-3 K-38 Target Masterpiece at the shop. It became my first .38 Special, but with a 6" barrel, BoMar Sight Rib and target grips, it's hardly a snubby.
I said it had the best trigger I'd ever pulled, which is why I bought it. And then along came a S&W 65-3 .357 Magnum stainless with a 3" barrel and a trigger job from the S&W Performance Center. It was even slicker than the S&W 14-3 so I just had to buy it. It's sorta kinda a .38 snubby, but not really as an all-stainless K-frame 6-shot. It's most definitely not an Airweight J-frame Smith snubby.
And then along came my second Charter, a stainless Bulldog .44 Special. How could I resist when a .44 is mucho better than a .38? And then I went shopping for a compact S&W 9mm, found a S&W 469 and bought it, but before I could get out of the shop, I bought a Dan Wesson Model 22-6 6" barrel .22LR revolver. That Dan Wesson trigger is just too slick to resist.
So now I got six revolvers and another one in the layaway safe at the shop. (Shhh! Don't tell my wife.) I told her just the other day I probably had enough pistols now. Big mistake.
I have decided to follow the wisdom of Bob Lee Swagger, one of my favorite fictional characters, who told a nice lady, "Pardon me ma'am, but there ain't no such thing as enough guns."
And I realized something sorta shocking about myself today when I headed off to work at the gun shop wearing two revolvers and no pistol. I'm turning into a revolver guy.
Friday, January 29, 2010
What hath God wrought? Could it be our first Muslim president was put into place by the Almighty to allow America to be humbled by the Arab terrorists?
Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times considers the implications for our nation's security the "soft on terror" reputation Obama is busily building with every day in office.
Sir Charles Krauthammer cuts to the bone, as usual, with his analysis of Obama's terror policy.
Mr. Obama now turns to jobs, jobs, jobs, and promises to do for job creation what he did for health care reform and what he's doing to protect us from terror catastrophe. Which may not be enough, but he's doing a bang-up job of protecting the rights of terrorists.
The president displayed an unusual array of friends and enemies. He lectured the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, six of whom were seated as a group on the front row, for their decision to uphold the First Amendment as it applies to corporations (which are comprised of individual citizens). No one can remember when a president ever breached manners and protocol in such a breathtaking way. When the president inaccurately asserted that the court had "reversed a century of law," Associate Justice Samuel Alito was captured on camera mouthing the words "not true," which is apparently the judicial way of saying "you lie!" But Mr. Obama is a onetime law professor and it's possible that his lecture was kindly intended to fill in the gaps of the legal knowledge of the learned justices seated before him. Professors are always eager to display what they know, even if what they know isn't so. We should give the president the benefit of the doubt, even if the stoic justices clearly did not.
Eric Holder, his attorney general also seated among house seats, appeared to be having a high old time, laughing and smiling and basking in the synthetic admiration that high government officials are accustomed to. Mr. Holder is the author of the remarkable decision to grant Miranda rights to the man who tried to celebrate Christmas by blowing up an airliner over Detroit. (Who says radical Muslims have no respect for the holidays of other people's religions?)
President Obama boasted of how much better he is at fighting terrorism than George W. was: "In the last year, hundreds of al Qaeda's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed, far more than in 2008." Since neither the Bush nor the Obama administration has published body counts (that's so Vietnam War), it's a claim that even the Associated Press concedes is impossible to verify.
What is easy to verify is how soft the Obama administration continues to be on terrorists. No waterboarding (not even when a grubby bewhiskered terrorist clearly needs a bath), no harsh questioning. No fair treating such a soldier of Allah like FDR was willing to treat a soldier of the Nazis or a Shinto warrior during World War II.
It's not fashionable in certain circles to notice this, but we can be sure the Obama treatment of terrorists is taken into account in other places. British intelligence officials say that over the past week an "unusually high number" of prospective evil-doers on the airlines' no-fly list have tried to board airliners bound for the United States. As a consequence, the London government has raised the assessment of the terror threat from "severe," which means an attack is reckoned "highly likely," to "critical," which means an attack is "imminent."
The London Daily Mirror quotes British security sources that an Egyptian man tried to board an American Airlines flight last weekend in London bound for Miami. The next day a Saudi man tried to board a United Airlines flight from London to Chicago. They were sent home.
All this is enough to give Americans nightmares, particularly when it's not at all clear that the high officials of the government are taking the threat as seriously as we expect them to. When Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, told Congress that it was a mistake that FBI field agents, and not specially trained interrogators (but not waterboarders), had questioned the Detroit bomber, he retreated later in the day to say his remarks were "misconstrued." Since so much Washington talk is electronically recorded now, government officials who blurt out inconvenient truths no longer have the luxury of saying they were "misquoted." Bureaucracy has become a dangerous game.
WASHINGTON -- The real scandal surrounding the failed Christmas Day airline bombing was not the fact that a terrorist got on a plane -- that can happen to any administration, as it surely did to the Bush administration -- but what happened afterward when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was captured and came under the full control of the U.S. government.
After 50 minutes of questioning him, the Obama administration chose, reflexively and mindlessly, to give the chatty terrorist the right to remain silent. Which he immediately did, undoubtedly denying us crucial information about al-Qaeda in Yemen, which had trained, armed and dispatched him.
We have since learned that the decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab had been made without the knowledge of or consultation with (1) the secretary of defense, (2) the secretary of homeland security, (3) the director of the FBI, (4) the director of the National Counterterrorism Center or (5) the director of national intelligence (DNI).
The Justice Department acted not just unilaterally but unaccountably. Obama's own DNI said that Abdulmutallab should have been interrogated by the HIG, the administration's new High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.
Perhaps you hadn't heard the term. Well, in the very first week of his presidency, Obama abolished by executive order the Bush-Cheney interrogation procedures and pledged to study a substitute mechanism. In August, the administration announced the establishment of the HIG, housed in the FBI but overseen by the National Security Council.
Where was it during the Abdulmutallab case? Not available, admitted National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, because it had only been conceived for use abroad. Had not one person in this vast administration of highly nuanced sophisticates considered the possibility of a terror attack on American soil?
It gets worse. Blair later had to explain that the HIG was not deployed because it does not yet exist After a year! I suppose this administration was so busy deploying scores of the country's best lawyerly minds on finding the most rapid way to release Gitmo miscreants that it could not be bothered to establish a single operational HIG team to interrogate at-large miscreants with actionable intelligence that might save American lives.
Now, don't you feel better about our security since Obama's policies are clearly explained by the eminent pair of Pruden and Krauthammer? Me neither. But it sure brings clarity to the mind, somewhat like Samuel Johnson said the prospect of a hanging in the morning will do.
And it's our nation that's hanging in the balance. Come on 2012, we may not survive until then.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I've got two full-size 1911 .45s, both wide-frame 15-shot models, one a Para-Ordnance P14-45 heavily customized and the other a customized Llama IX-C.
Plus I've got a compact 1911 Para-Ord P12-45, also customized, which is a 12-shot model.
So I need a single-stack 7-shot 1911, as I said, like I need more holes in my head. I've always believed more is better, particularly when it comes to pistol capacity and 12 or 15 rounds beats seven or eight rounds all day.
But if I had unlimited funds, a 1911A1 I shot photos of and listed on gunbroker would have never made it to the counter at the gun shop where I work.
It's a match customized Ithaca M1911A1 and it is just plain beautiful.
This Ithaca M1911A1 U.S. Army .45 ACP has been refinished a deep, dark blue and customized for match shooting with new front and rear target sights, adjustable trigger and National Match barrel bushing. The bluing has one tiny nick on the front-right slide, two small nicks on the left slide and slight wear at the front of the slide. The bore is unblemished, bright and shiny.
If in original condition this Ithaca M1911A1 would be worth considerably more than we've priced it, but it's a beautiful pistol to be proud of and should be a great match shooter, too.
And if you don't think this Ithaca .45 is beautiful, from its deep blue finish to the pearl grips, you have my sympathy 'cause you just ain't got no soul.
"The Rhino - Chiappa reinvents the revolver. Shooting from its bottom chamber, it features a lower barrel virtually eliminating muzzle flip. Comes in both full size and snub-nose concealable models."What's promised is a 6-shot .357 Magnum snubnose or 6" vent-rib barrel revolver with the recoil of .38 Wadcutters. It shoots from the bottom chamber of the wheel, which Chiappa says eliminates muzzle flip and felt recoil. Sounds good to me. If this is true, they're gonna sell a lot of Rhinos.
Q: What do you call an Irish communist?
If you think that's funny, or if you think it isn't and you're offended, then Mike Adams has the plan for how to do something about either reaction.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What catches my attention is this is to be Smith's first ambi-friendly J-frame .38, with a cylinder release on top of the frame. Us lefty shooters have only one left-handed .38 snubby available to date, the Charter Arms model. But this is the very first ambi revolver, to my knowledge.
And the other Bodyguard model is a .380 ACP pocket pistol. I've yet to get bit by the .380 bug but it's very popular, perhaps the most popular pistol caliber at the moment. And both these new Bodyguard Smiths have built-in lasers, which makes shooting small pistols lots easier.
Smith and Wesson Bodyguard Handguns
AmericanRifleman.org - .327 Federal Magnum
I've seen a few posts speculating about the features of the latest Glock pistol, which is the Generation 4 model, but we got our first one in the gun shop last week, so here's the straight skinny, with photos, that show what new features are in it.
This new Generation 4 Glock has several new features, rough-texture grips that have larger dots that are further apart than either RTF or RTF2, the first two versions of rough-texture Glocks, interchangeable backstraps in small, medium and large sizes, and an enlarged magazine release button that is reversible for either right or left-hand shooters. And the new captive dual recoil spring system is said to reduce felt recoil and enable faster follow-up shots. The G22 Gen4 also comes with three 15-rd. magazines.
I've got a couple of Glocks, both 10mm, a subcompact G29 that has been heavily customized, and an almost-stock full-size G20, but I gotta admit Glock is not one of my favorite pistols and I really have no plans to buy anymore. But I've learned to never say never when it comes to guns. Somebody could trade in a subcompact Glock in .357 Sig and that would change.
Anyway, the photos show the features, the wide shot in photo one.
Photo two shows the interchangeable grip backstraps and a closeup of the newest version of RTF, maybe RTF3 on Gen4?
And the third photo shows the new captive dual recoil spring assembly on the guide rod. The guide rod is still plastic, so it's still not up to the standard of my Sta-Tite stainless-black captured-spring guide-rod assembly custom-made for my G20 by Big Taco.
Here's Stein rattling off a pocketful of truth like this one: "The extent of his love of self is absolutely spectacular." Watch the full segment:
And if you don't believe Stein's assertion about Obama's self-love, here is proof from the horse's mouth (or is it from the other end of the horse?) where Obama says "This is not about me" and then proceeds to refer to himself a mere 132 times in a single speech. But it's not about him.
Am I going to watch his State of the Disunion speech tonight? I'd rather take a poke in the eye with a sharp stick than listen to a single second of Obama's self-serving blather. Shaddup! Please!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
As the King James Version says, that sucketh.
Trijicon Drops Bible Lines From Scope
Rifle scopes bearing references to the New Testament no longer will be issued to American troops, and scopes already in service will have the references removed.
Military optics manufacturer Trijicon Inc., of Wixom, Mich., apparently concerned that a Pentagon review of the situation could lead to a loss or interruption of its multi-million dollar contract for the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, said it is ending the practice begun by the company’s founder more than 20 years ago.
Trijicon “has offered to voluntarily stop putting references to scripture on all products manufactured for the U.S. military – and will provide, free of charge, 100 modification kits to the Pentagon to enable the removal of the references that are already on products that are currently deployed,” the company said in a statement obtained by Military.com.
“In response to concerns raised by the Department of Defense, Trijicon Inc. initiated this action to ensure the war-time production needs of the troops are met as quickly as possible,” the statement added.
The scopes are being used by American Soldiers and Marines and allies in Afghanistan and Iraq, including by Iraqis and Afghans. The scopes came under criticism from religious, civil liberties and watchdog groups -- and even from senior military leadership -- after they were featured in an ABC News “Nightline” segment on Jan. 18.
Friday, January 22, 2010
My sincere prayer is that this "obamanation" heathcare "reform" bill is indeed dead, but I'm gonna keep praying because as Yogi said, it ain't over until it's over, or until the fat lady sings.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
this isn't just a shot across the bow to Obama, Pelosi and Reid, this is Krakatoa!
Or if I may mangle a line from Winston Churchill, this is the beginning of the end of power for the leftwingnuts in charge of the Congress, the Senate and the White House.
Come 2010 and 2012, there is going to be a massive "throw out the bums" vote in America.
I just pray that somehow there will be enough of our Republic and our freedoms still standing when we, the people, get our chance in November to start throwing the bums out.
Newt Gingrich's American Solutions calls it right with this video, The People Are Coming!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I've long had a weakness for .22 Magnums or to be more technically specific, .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire.
Many years ago I had the good sense to buy a Winchester Model 94 .22 Magnum lever-action rifle which is now long out of production. Then I had the stupidity to trade it for a shotgun which I needed for hunting. I quit hunting long ago and converted the Ithaca Model 37 12 Ga. pump I got for the Winchester 94 into a home-defense gun by shortening the barrel to 18.25". But like the few other guns I've sold or traded, with few exceptions I wish I had held onto them.
One of those few exceptions was an AMT AutoMag II .22WMR semi-auto pistol, a rare model with 4" barrel. I found out the hard way why the AMTs have a reputation as a "jam-a-matic."
I tried every .22WMR load I could find and none of them would feed at all in that AMT so I took it back to the dealer and traded it in on something else. So far as I know to this point, no manufacturer has built a .22WMR semi-auto pistol that will reliably work, which is to most of us gun nutz sort of a basic requirement for a pistol. If it won't shoot reliably, it ain't worth squat.
But now Kel-Tec, a Florida manufacturer of small semi-auto pistols from .32 ACP to 9mm, has announced they have solved the engineering problems and will soon offer a .22 WMR pistol that will reliably work with a wide variety of different velocity ammo.
I've got a Kel-Tec PF-9 which is quite reliable and I carry it often as a pocket pistol and even occasionally as a backup pistol. If the new Kel-Tec PMR-30 proves to be what they promise, then I shall certainly get one when it becomes available.
It sounds like a great pistol, fiber-optic sights front and rear for these aging eyes, 30 rounds of .22WMR in the magazine, what's not to like? If it works, I'm going to be all over.
But it came too late to the field to help turn the war because of one man, Adolf Hitler. The all-knowing idiot whose military experience was limited to bolt-action Mauser rifles in World War I vetoed the project early in its development. Only after the developers defied Hitler's order and finished the project did it finally make its way to troops. Too little, too late.
Here's a video from The Military Channel on "Sturmgewehr MP-44 - The story of the MP-43/44, German assault rifle of World War II." The English translation of Sturmgewehr is assault rifle.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
But even if you aren't here's a good reason to buy Trijicon products, such as night sights and scopes: Because the company is driving the media leftwingnuts ballistic by including Bible verses in their serial numbers!
ABC News has reported this "scoop" on the military contractor that supplies the ACOG scopes used by our troops on the M4 carbines and other long guns in the field.
ABC calls it "Secret Jesus Messages On U.S. Military Weapons" as if that is somehow alarming.
Meredith Jessup at Townhall.com reports on this sinister plot by the Jesus freaks at Trijicon.
A Michigan-based company that sells rifle scopes to the U.S. military is being investigated by ABC News and recieving of backlash from "religious freedom" activists after admitting it has added small biblical references to its products.I may just order some Trijicon night sights just because. I need some for some of my pistols anyway.
Trijicon of Wixom, Michigan, confirmed to ABCNews.com that it has always added biblical codes to sights and scopes it has sold the U.S. military. The company says the practice began under the company founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.
These coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ include examples like 2COR4:6. Though this combination of letters and numbers tends to blend in with regular serial numbers, this code is an apparent references to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the Bible's New Testament, which reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
And I got another "scoop" for ABC News, most if not the overwhelming majority of our troops in the field are either Christians or at the least have a great respect for the Bible. The old saying that there are no atheists in foxholes is quite true. When the hot lead is flying around your head, it sorta comes natural to have a chorus of "Nearer My God To Thee" come to mind.
Been there, done that, heard the music in my head, 1968-69 U.S. Navy WestPac Cruise to lovely Vietnam, lived to come home in one piece.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Sometimes a guy falls into the outhouse and come out smelling like a rose.
One of my co-workers at the gun shop told me Carolina Pawn Shop in Charlotte was selling all their used guns to make room for new ones and had some nice Smiths and Colts they had sold at the Hickory gun show.
So I googled the directions, headed off to Charlotte and found the shop. "Guns? We don't sell guns," the pretty little lady at the pawn and jewelry store said. And since there was only one Carolina Pawn Shop in Charlotte, what else could I do but head back home? Shoulda called first. Two hours drive for nada.
I drove up and down the street a couple of miles thinking lightning might strike in the form of a gun shop. No lightning. So I headed home.
Saw a sign for Dick's Sporting Goods in Matthews, so I stopped. Dick don't sell no handguns, the man sez. I bought a couple of boxes of ammo at about the same price as I can get at the shop, but you gotta buy something on the trip.
Then as I'm ready to go home, guy in the parking lot who came out of Dick's when I did asked me if I was looking for handguns? Yep. He pointed me to a small pawn shop just up the road a mile or less.
I found Beltway Pawn Shop right on U.S. 74 and lo and behold, right there in the counter is a nifty blue S&W 469 (first two photos), twin to the S&W 669 stainless (3rd photo) I had and sold to my everlasting regret.
Once upon a time, I got it in my head to upsize from small, carry pistols to large, tactical pistols. The S&W 669 was sold despite the fact that I shot it better than any of my other pistols.
Anyway, here was its replacement at a great price, even less than I paid for the 669 two or three years ago. Then before I could get out the door, this Dan Wesson .22LR revolver just leaped right out of the counter into my hand. Amazing!
It had a nick of two in its deep blue finish but it locks up tight as a tick. Then I pulled the trigger. That was a big mistake. So smooth my pants almost fell down. Again. (See Smith & Wesson 14-3 and 65-4 revolvers with extra-slick triggers in my earlier musings.)
And then the gun shop guy gives me a great price on it, too. What could I do?
So here I sit with the compact Smith I've been wanting, which just happens to fit perfectly in the small-of-back Galco holster I wear at work for a backup gun.
And I've been needing a good .22 revolver to practice my wheel gun shooting with and this Dan Wesson is way yonder more than double-action revolver than I figured I could afford.
Ain't it amazing how the Good Lord looks out for fools and drunks?
P.S. I didn't realize why I had such a hard time trying to find another S&W 669 or the above 469 until I looked it up in BlueBook:
MODEL 469 "MINI"- 9mm Para. cal., double action, alloy frame, 12 shot finger extension mag., short frame, bobbed hammer, 3 1/2 in. barrel, sandblast blue or satin nickel finish, ambidextrous safety standard (1986), molded Delrin black Grips, 26 oz. Disc. 1988.Jeez, they only made this great pistol design for two years? What was Smith thinking when they discontinued it? Perhaps the same thing Colt was thinking when they discontinued all their great double-action revolvers.
MODEL 669 STAINLESS- 9mm Para. cal., smaller version of Model 659 with 12 shot finger extension mag., 3 1/2 in. barrel, fixed sights, molded Delrin grips, ambidextrous safety standard, 26 oz. Mfg. 1986-88 only.
Friday, January 15, 2010
So I am absolutely delighted to add another to that small list, Stephen Hunter. I just finished his latest novel, I, Sniper, about the adventures of a former Vietnam War Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger. Now I'll go back and read Hunter's earlier novels and nonfiction works with pleasure.
And this morning in an email announcing the latest issue of American Rifleman, lo and behold there's an article about my newly found author with a "pigs fly" note: he's a retired journalist from The Washington Post! Lordy, I didn't think anybody who ever worked there knew which end of the gun the bullets came out of.
Mark Keefe, editor-in-chief of American Rifleman, had the same reaction when he first stumbled across Hunter's writing.
I've already checked out one of the early Bob Lee Swagger novels and plan to read all I can find.
The world didn’t end, and there was no immediate evidence of porcine aviation. But my morning’s coffee spewed on the pages of Jan. 26, 2006, Washington Post was enough to demonstrate that the world was somehow out of balance. Appearing in that liberal, anti-gun journalistic bastion was one of the finest articles on firearms I’d ever read. When the U.S. Repeating Arms Co. factory closed, a film critic for the Washington Post wrote a heartfelt piece, “Out With A Bang,” for the paper about the legacy of Winchester—in particular the Model 94. In my opinion, it was the finest tribute written on that legendary firearm.It should have come as no surprise, though, as that writer was Stephen Hunter—a veteran journalist and film critic with The Baltimore Sun and then The Washington Post who earned a Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1998 and a Pulitzer Prize For Criticism in 2003. Hunter is also a New York Times bestselling novelist and one of the finest writers in America. Best of all for shooters his novels are well-known for presenting firearms in a technically correct fashion and giving them prominence in his plotlines. He has written 14 novels and introduced the character of Bob Lee Swagger in “Point of Impact” (1993). That novel was adapted by Hollywood into the feature film “Shooter,” starring Mark Wahlberg, in 2007. Hunter is also the author of three non-fiction works, and, in my opinion, “American Gunfight: The Plot To Kill Harry Truman And The Shoot-Out That Stopped It” has one of the finest descriptions of a an actual gunfight ever written.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I have solid evidence the frenzy is over. One of the hottest if not the hottest guns during the frenzy touched off by Obama's election is the Springfield M1A .308/7.62 NATO semi-auto rifle, in either the standard M1A or the SOCOM shorty configuration.
As soon as we got one in stock at the gun shop where I work, zoom it was gone before you could say Shazzam! And if an M1A survived a few days in the shop, it went to the next gun show where it was almost always the first to sell.
Well no longer. My shop has as of today (ain't saying they'll all be there tomorrow) a plethora of Springfield M1As. How many is a phethora? At least seven. Here's the lineup at this hour:
Springfield AA9628 M1A SOCOM II Urban Camo/4-Rails
Springfield AA9126 M1A Scout Squad Blk Fiberglass
Springfield MA9106 M1A Standard Blk Fiberglass Stk
Springfield MA9222 M1A Loaded NM 22" Bl Walnut Stk
Springfield MA9226 M1A Loaded NM 22" Bl. Black Stk
Springfield MA9229 M1A Loaded NM 22" Bl. Green Stk
Springfield NA9102 M1A National Match Walnut Stock
My personal favorite is the SOCOM II Urban Camo Quad-Rail. Snazzy but outa my budget.
Monday, January 11, 2010
If anyone remains unclear about why it's such a dangerous conceit for the President to allow foreign terrorists to be charged as civilians and tried in US civilian courts, a report from today's London Telegraph spells it out.Send him to Gitmo and warm up the waterboard.
Apparently, the 23-year-old Nigerian who tried to blow up a Northwest flight on Christmas day was "singing like a canary" until he was provided with a lawyer, in accordance with Miranda requirements that attach to civilian trials in the United States. He was about to disclose information about other such plots being hatched by Al Qaeda in Yemen, using other young Muslim terrorists like himself.
Then the terrorist was provided with a lawyer. And he stopped talking.
Seems to me that when it comes to the war on terror, there's been plenty of "hope and change" between the Bush and Obama administrations . . . for would-be terrorists, that is. Feel safer yet?
Jetting off in a trail of hydrocarbon exhaust to the Bahamas for the winter?
We sure could use a good wave of "global warming" here in the so-called Sunny South.
It was cold and snowy in Pittsburgh where the sweet wife and I went for Christmas, but that's to be expected.
But we ain't supposed to be having week after week after week of teen temperatures and even single-digit days here in the Sunny South.
I am so ready for a little global warming.
Anybody seen the Goracle?
Paging Al Gore!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I started out part-time during the Christmas holiday 2008 and went full-time in late January 2009 the next day after I got laid off from an industry job as a technical writer/photographer.
Since then, I've added on average about 25 guns per week to the shop's gunbroker auction listings, both new and used. Of course when a used gun is sold, that auction ends. But when a new gun is sold, we relist that auction if we have anymore samples of that same model and make.
So even though 25 time 52 adds up to 1300 auctions, our total on gunbroker at any one time is way less. The shop had about a dozen when I started and finally on Friday, we went above 500. It stands at 501 right now and will probably go below 500 before I can list some more next week.
But until then, I'm celebrating a milestone of more than 500 guns on gunbroker listed for Village Pawn & Gun Shop of Wadesboro, NC.
Number 500 was a Winchester 94 Theodore Roosevelt Commemoriative Rifle in .30-30 Win. from 1969, unfired and as new in the box.
And since it's my blog and I can show off if I wanta, here's another semi-interesting firearm, a Llama Chrome-Plated Engraved Micro-Max .380 ACP Semi-Auto Pistol.
When a WWII combat correspondent mistakenly described Gen. George S. Patton's Colt Single-Action-Army .45 Colt Revolver with ivory grips as a "pearl-handled pistol," ol' Blood & Guts supposedly sniffed "Only a pimp would carry a pearl-handled pistol."
Believe it or else, here's two firearms I really have no interest in owning because both are too pretty to shoot.
Finally, here's a third from the batch I just listed that's pretty, but not too pretty to shoot. It's a genuine buffalo rifle, a modern replica of the famous 1874 Sharps .45/70 Gov. Cal. Rifle, almost identical to the one Tom Selleck made famous in Quigley Down Under.
It is pretty, but it's also very deadly. A big old hunk of .45/70 lead will blow a hole in about anything that's alive on the planet today.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
The videos are from The Band's final live performance in 1977, recorded for the movie The Last Waltz which I've written about before. The Band never sounded any better, particularly on The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down with a Dixieland horn section from New Orleans, arranged by Allen Toussaint, playing backup. Levon Helm sings the lead vocals on both these songs, but listen for Rick Danko and Richard Manuel to join in the choruses. The Band had three of the best rock vocalists EVAH!.
Robbie Robertson Rick Danko Levon Helm Richard Manuel Garth Hudson The Band The Last Waltz
And then here's Up On Cripple Creek from that same concert.
Rock 'n' roll don't get no better than this, more than 30 years later. Rest in peace Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, the two Band members who have gone on before us.
Finally here's Levon Helm, still rockin' in 2008 with his own band doing Ophelia, my personal favorite of all The Band's songs.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It's a Para Ordnance P14-45, one of a pair of Para .45s sold to the gun shop by a retired U.S. Navy Chief Corpsman. (Most of the below is a repost from when I first shot the P14-45, but it's my blog and I can repost if I want to.)
I've been carrying and shooting the P12-45 compact .45 ACP the chief sold us for some time and it's a great piece, customized by the famous Cylinder & Slide Custom Shop with ambi safeties, a great trigger job and a host of other features.
But the chief went all out with the P14-45 full-size pistol and had Cylinder & Slide do one of their custom packages, plus a few extras not even listed in the package.
Cylinder & Slide, as the name says, specializes in cylinder guns (revolvers) and slide guns (semi-auto pistols).
The P12-45 has been heavily customized by C&S with their CST-1 package. It says so right on the right side of the slide along with the famous C&S mustache logo.
The C&S website says that package includes the following features:
Cylinder & Slide CST-I Custom Features:
# C&S Tactical Match trigger pull set 5 piece
# C&S Long Aluminum Trigger with Overtravel Stop
# Deburr breech face, radius & polish center rail
# Throat barrel and frame for reliable feeding
# Hand lapped slide to frame
# Round all external corners and edges
# Bullet nose relief on front ejection port
# Trigger Job 4.5 lbs.
# Radius and Tension Extractor
# C&S Tactical High Grip Ambidextrous Thumb Safety
# Brown High Grip Beavertail Grip Safe with Memory Groove
# C&S One Piece Recoil Spring Guide Rod
# Wolff Extra Power Recoil Spring
# C&S front sight
# Matte Reblue Pistol.
As you can see from the photos, the retired chief also had C&S install a huge magwell on the grip, which I've heard called a "flowerpot magwell."
It's certainly big enough to plant daisies in and more than big enough to facilitate fast mag changes with the handful of 15-rd. mags with big slam pads that the former owner supplied along with the pistol.
And how, you might ask, does it shoot? I've "borrowed" it several times from the layaway safe already to test-fire it. I believe as President Reagan said in "trust, but verify." When I buy a used pistol, I want to shoot it first to verify it works good.
And in the case of the P14-45, I had to verify that fact several times.
My only complaint is it shoots up those 15-rd. mags way too fast. Just when you're starting to really get in a rhythm punching .45 holes in a small group, the slide locks back. Was that 15 already? This pistol is gonna blow my ammo-hoarding plans right out the window. It's probably gonna take at least 100 rds. a week just to keep it fed and happy.
Its C&S Custom trigger feels and looks virtually identical to the P12 and with either of these great 1911 .45s the trigger is so good it overcomes my tendency as a lefty to pull my shots down and to the right a bit. With either, I punch holes right where I'm looking, dead on the money.
And the P14 has one other feature not on the CST-1 list, a BoMar adjustable rear sight, so I could adjust the sights to zero it with something other than 230-grain loads if I wanted to. But with the P12 and P14 both shooting dead-on with 230-grain loads, why mess with perfection?
Now I gotta get me a left-handed holster for my new 1911 so I can carry it on "Big Gun Day."
And the one feature the chief didn't have C&S change is the grips. I bought a set of Hogue fancy hardwood checkered grips for it, but I gotta find me a gunsmith who can customize wood grips. With the ambi safeties and the magwell, the Hogue stock P12 grips need trimming on both ends.
The M16 mighta been OK for close-quarters jungle warfare in Vietnam when it was first introduced but it has long outlived its usefulness. I read that British troops are saying most of the firefights they get involved in with the Taliban in Afghanistan begin at 300 yards or further and their .223 bullpup rifles just ain't getting the job done at those ranges.
Maybe sanity will prevail with the paper pushers that buy the firearms for our military and they will get a new battle rifle to replace the 5.56mm, but I doubt it.
Anyway, I said all that to say I've found an AR I might just buy, the .458 SOCOM AR upper.
The real cleverness in the design of the .458 SOCOM is that nothing but the upper need be changed — same magazine as the .223, same buffer spring in the buttstock, same everything. Just get a .458 upper available from Rock River Arms, Teppo Justsu, or other custom builders, get loaded ammo from SBR Ammunition, Corbon, or Reeds and go. Now, your .223 AR has morphed from a varmint getter to a full-fledged deer-, bear- and elk-stopper by simply changing the upper — no new FFL transfer required.
In The Field
Much of the research on the capabilities of big-bore AR-15 rounds like the .458 SOCOM concentrate in the area of subsonic (1,050 fps and lower velocities) and suppressed loads. That's the where and why of the super-heavy 450-, 500- and 600-grain bullets. I would imagine folks hiking, fishing or living in big bear country might also opt for the heavy weights. The Coast Guard uses them to put big holes in bad boats, but for hunters, bullets in the 250 to 350-grain range will be the most useful.
A 300-grain, well-constructed bullet moving at about 2,000 fps is 150- to 200-yard bad medicine for just about anything, including bear and moose. It's certainly big enough for elk, and there's not a deer alive that will walk away from a solid hit. The energy of such a combination is 2,400 foot-pounds at the muzzle and, within 100 yards, it doesn't weaken much. That puts it squarely in the territory of the modern .45-70 or .450 Marlin, and it will do anything those rounds will do. The mighty .458 Winchester Magnum only bumps 2,100 fps with the 300-grainers.
Now there's an AR round that will knock a Taliban/Iranian/Syrian/Arab/Terrorist on his butt. Or some idiot stupid enough to think he can rob my house or stick up the gun store where I work.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Mike Adams, who does an excellent job of both of the above, reminded me of that Christian duty.
Jesus arouses in the non-believer an unmatched dissonance because He spent his life pushing people’s buttons and questioning the status quo. He did not suffer fools lightly and had nothing resembling tolerance for Pharisaic hypocrisy. Were He walking the Earth today, He would likely reserve his harshest judgment for the hypocritical university liberal.
Jesus did not die on a cross in order to for us to live a life a comfort. His death obligates us to push people’s buttons as He would do were He walking the Earth today. We are not to do so despite the fact that it makes people feel uncomfortable. We are to do so because it makes them feel uncomfortable.
We must never miss an opportunity to cause discomfort among those who wish to ban the Name entirely. What better way to lead them down the road towards Damascus?
Go forth and do likewise, fellow Christian. And when you do so and the comfortable get afflicted and holler "Foul!" also remember one of my daddy's favorite sayings. "The hit dog hollers."
If a dog fight is going on and you fling a rock into the pack to break it up, you can know exactly which dog you hit. It'll be the one who hollers. So go forth and start flinging rocks for Jesus.
BEST COMEBACK RESPONSE OF THE YEAR
An e-mail from John Hornby
If you ever testify in court, you might wish you could have been as sharp as this policeman. He was being cross examined by a defense attorney during a felony trial. The lawyer was trying to undermine the police officer's credibility...
Q: "Officer - did you see my client fleeing the scene?"
Q: "Officer - who provided this description?"
Q: "A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?"
Q: "With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?"
Q: "And do you have a locker in the room?"
Q: "And do you have a lock on your locker?"
Q: "Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?"
A: "You see, sir -- we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room."
The courtroom EXPLODED with laughter, and a prompt recess was called. The officer on the stand has been nominated for this year's "Best Comeback" line -- and we think he'll win.
Monday, January 4, 2010
The target itself is a man silhouette which comes in several different colors, blue being the one my sweet wife (er, I mean Santa) got for me, which she didn't intentionally choose, that color was the one that came with the target system.
I say ironically because I've been using blue-man silhouette paper targets for the past couple of years that come from Anthony Arms Range in Pittsburgh.
But unlike paper, the Mako target is some type of plastic that is supposed to be "self-healing." Judge for yourself from the photo, which I just took two+ days after shooting holes in it. All but two of the holes put in it with .32 Long, .38 Special and .45 ACP have healed up. The two exceptions, those gaping holes at the top, were from .38 Wadcutters a friend of mine shot it with.
Note to self: Do not use .38 Wadcutters on the Mako target!
For whatever reason, the wadcutters cut two huge holes that are most definitely not healing up.
The blue-man target is mounted on a plastic pole, which mounts into a swivel on an iron base. It's supposed to be adjustable so it falls down either with just one shot or requiring multiple shots. I was shooting at 10 yards and it never failed to fall with the first shot. More testing is needed but I hope if I put it out further, I'll be able to get it to take multiple shots before falling.
Maybe next weekend I'll get a chance to do some further testing. Below is a video that shows what the Mako Reactive Target is supposed to do.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Our rookie President is learning he's playing a game with the big boys now when he unwisely decided to point the finger of blame at the CIA for letting the underwear bomber onto a jet bound for the heartland of the U.S. of A.
Lo and behold, somehow Newsweek reports some actual news for a change instead of another verse of their usual "Obama Is So Great and Wonderful!" chorus. Wonder who leaked the news to Newsweek that Obama was briefed about a planned terrorist attack on America three days BEFORE Christmas?
President Barack Obama received a high-level briefing only three days before Christmas about possible holiday-period terrorist threats against the US, Newsweek has learned. The briefing was centered on a written report, produced by US intelligence agencies, entitled "Key Homeland Threats", a senior US official said.As usual, Sir Charles Krauthammer sums up this absurd drama far better than I can.
WASHINGTON -- Janet Napolitano -- former Arizona governor, now overmatched secretary of homeland security -- will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: "The system worked." The attacker's concerned father had warned U.S. authorities about his son's jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight. He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers.
Heck of a job, Brownie.
The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration's response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism "man-caused disasters." Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York -- a trifecta of political correctness and image management.
As Hannibal Smith used to say, I love it when a plan comes together. Or to paraphrase that, give a fool enough rope and eventually he will hang himself. The buck no longer stops at the White House because there's a rookie sitting in the hot seat who has not a clue what to do next.
Friday, January 1, 2010
True confession time. I read Doonesbury daily. Or at least I did. Probably won't tomorrow.
Gary Trudeau is an excellent case of why Canadians should be kept north of the border. I've been reading him off and on for years but he ticked me off so bad during the 2008 election with his blatantly pro-Obama/anti-McCain-Palin propaganda that I swore off for most of that year.
But when the dust settled in '09, I started reading him again. Now he's gone and done it again. Sarah Palin is so much more qualified to be the leader of our nation than Obama that any sane person wouldn't argue the point. Governor of Alaska, negotiated a treaty with Russia, took on the major oil companies and negotiated an oil deal that got Alaskans a major share of their oil wealth, and that's the short list. Her list of real accomplishments is praise-worthy for any politician, not to mention being a good looking woman who just happens to be pro-life, pro-gun and pro-freedom, four of my personal favorite "pros" as a Christian conservative gun instructor who appreciates any fine-looking woman unless she's dumber than a bag of rocks or swings from the left side. Sarah is all of the former and none of the latter. The lefties can go right on thinking she's stupid but just wait until 2012 and we'll see who gets the last laugh.
On the other hand we have Obama who's never run nothing but his mouth, to quote his jealous "friend" Jesse Jackson and even his own Secretary of State, Hillary "Bruno" Clinton. He is without any doubt the least qualified man ever to run for President, much less to serve as one. He's like the rube who shows up in the operating room with stolen scrubs on and a knife in his hand ready to start surgery and says, "Well, I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night."
And Trudeau also takes a swipe at George W. Bush, another good President who served as governor of the great state of Texas and even ran a major league baseball club, either of which blows away Obama's claim to fame as a "community organizer" fresh out of college, the only real job the man ever held. Being a lawyer for scam artists like ACORN is such a scam itself that you notice Obama doesn't even claim that on his almost nonexistent resume of working experience.
And quite frankly the more I see of the man, I'm not even impressed with his so-called brilliance. He ain't showed me nothing yet and here we are a full year in office, still waiting for his first original thought to surface. It's beginning to show that there ain't no there there with Obama.