Monday, April 25, 2016

And Now, This...

From Newser:
Irate Beaver 'Takes Man Hostage' 
A rogue beaver struck terror into the heart of a man making his way home late at night in the Latvian city of Daugavpils, according to a local newspaper report picked up byLatvian Public Broadcasting. The man, identified only as Sergei, says the beaver ran out of some bushes and suddenly bit him. He fell over as he tried to fight the rodent off and was bitten again as he tried to get up. In what USA Today describes as a "Kafkian nightmare," Sergei phoned police as the beaver "held him hostage" and refused to let him get up, only to have his plea for help allegedly dismissed as a prank call.
Have I not been warning you all of the Beaver Apocalypse for months, ne, years??? Be ready for the sound of slapping tails!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dick Thomas, R.I.P.

From my friend Ken Hackathorn this morning:
Just a note to inform you our good friend Dick Thomas passed away on Sunday, April 17. 
As you know Dick was a founding member of IPSC and IDPA. It was Dick who convinced Jeff Cooper to come to Columbia, MO. to teach a pistol shooting class...which Jeff turned in to an advanced combat pistol class and conference to form such, many of us often called Dick Thomas "IPSC Father." 
While I came up with the idea of a 3-gun match, it was Dick who pitched the idea of hosting the first SOF convention in Columbia, MO so that the Ray Chapman range could be the site of the first SOF 3-Gun match. Also, Dick was the guy that pitched the idea of a grand pistol shooting even to John Bianchi. 
We all have great memories of Dick's adventures and while he enjoyed hunting in Alaska and Africa, I remember one of his favorite South Africa hunting memories was shooting "blue-balled monkeys" from the trees with his favorite P35 Browning. 
You may wish to mention his passing on your blog.
Dick was a friend and a font of knowledge about practical shooting. I think that most of the people shooting the practical disciplines today have no idea where the sports came from, the people who spent hours and hours and not unsubstantial risks to create something new under the sun. They were heady time, exciting times and we felt that we were changing the world. I suppose we did.

And so the time of the giants passes.

Go with God, brother.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

WHEW! Tired, But a Great Day!

Spent the day with my friends at Lipsey's in Baton Rouge. Great folks and friends for many years. and they have some really great guns. That Sig 220 SAO in 10mm calls out to me. And the food!!!!

Mr. Knee is tired, but it did okay today. I think I walked about 100 miles across the Houston Airport.

One of my biggest problems with writing script for GUN STORIES is I get caught up in the gun's story. This is by way of explaining why I'd going to buy a Desert Eagle in .50 AE. I  think I'm going to use it to stalk and slay steam powered locomotives...or perhaps that giant Corporate-Billboard-O-Saurus in the last JURASIC PARK movie. I'm pretty sure it'd be hell on rabbits.

If I think of everything I have to do between now and the end of May, I might go into seizures.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I Can't Believe It's Almost Monday Again!

How do these things happen?

At least yesterday I sucked it up and shot a cowboy match, my first match of any kind in almost 7 months. We chose a 4-stage local cowboy match because I figured I could survive 4 stages without falling down and wailing like a clubbed baby harp seal. Plus, as I mentioned on FB, cowboy has less movement than any of the options.

It was a perfect day for a match! Also a perfect day to see old friends I haven't seen in a year. Picking up the cowboy guns after a long period of ARs, semiauto pistols and shotguns was really really fun…I guess you can call them old friends, too. I did change rifles…when the Mirouku 1873 Winchesters came out a couple of years back, I ordered on immediately, because I wanted 1873 Winchester roll-marked "Winchester," even if it was made in Japan. Nothing against the Ubertis…I've shot the crap out of them over a decade or so, and they are fine rifles. 

When I got the rifle I sent it to Ken Griner at Griner GunWorks, who has done all my long gun work on the cowboy guns for years now. I told Ken not to completely "cowboy competition" it out, which was definitely the right decision. The Griner Winchester is smooth, smooth smooth and was a dream to shoot. Heck, a color-case hardened Winchester Short Rifle may well be in my future. Well, really I'd love to have a Mirouku Winchester 1892 in .44 Magnum after a little slicking up. Well, if it started raining money, I would go for one of my friend Val Forgett's Navy Arms Winchester 1873 factory customs — Turnbull color-case hardened, factory short-stroked, excellent wood, and a flat shotgun-styled buttplate. It is a damn nice rifle!

Anyway, I had a wonderful match, hobbling to 12th place out of 32 shooters. Luckily, one of the stages was "stand and shoot," and it gave me a chance to smoke. I have to mention that my Sweetie, who hasn't touched a cowboy gun in almost a year, finished 5th overall and first woman. And she looked cool doing it!

I am profoundly glad there were only 4 stages. The leg held up, but after a couple of hours it hurt like hell…not a big surprise to me! LOL! Iced it a lot, but last night was kinda a loooooooooooong night, to be sure.  I did a bicycle and stretching workout today, plus upper body, plus a walk with Newt, so it feels okay. Spent some time today researching the PK/PKM machine guns, since it as on the verge of raining all day, then cooked up some honey glazed salmon (heavy on New Mexico Red chii powder, light on honey…add dijon mustard to taste).

And yes, I am watching the beginning of the new season of OUTLANDER tonght, sipping a snifter of The Balvenie Double Wood, aged 12 years. It is the color of liquid gold. BTW, the battle of Culloden Moor was took place on 16 April 1746. Lotta McBane blood in the swamp!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Merle Haggard, R.I.P.

I wish a buck was still silver
It was back when the country was strong
Back before Elvis
Before the Vietnam war came along

Before The Beatles and 'Yesterday'
When a man could still work, still would
The best of the free life behind us now
And are the good times really over for good?

Are we rolling down hill
Like a snowball headed for Hell?
With no kind of chance
For the Flag or the Liberty Bell

Wish a Ford and a Chevy
Could still last ten years, like they should
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?

I wish Coke was still Cola
And a joint was a bad place to be
It was back before Nixon lied to us all on TV

Before microwave ovens
When a girl could still cook and still would
The best of the free life behind us now
Are the good times really over for good?

Are we rolling down hill
Like a snowball headed for Hell?
With no kind of chance
For the Flag or the Liberty Bell

Wish a Ford and a Chevy
Could still last ten years, like they should
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?

Stop rolling down hill
Like a snowball headed for Hell
Stand up for the Flag
And let's all ring the Liberty Bell

Let's make a Ford and a Chevy
Still last ten years like they should
The best of the free life is still yet to come
The good times ain't over for good

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Who Knew? There Actually ARE Limits!

From The People's Cube:

San Francisco Furry Parade denied permit: 'too weird' 
San Francisco, CA - San Francisco is the City of Love for some, but it had little love for the Furries when they asked for a parade permit. Not only did the authorities deny permit, they told the furries that they were demented and should never visit the city again. It came as a surprise to all of us that they would respond with so much hostility to something so progressive. 
Currently, San Francisco city are sued by FENEC Adventures, Anthrocon Inc, and Anthropomorphic Arts and Education, Inc. for civil rights violations.

Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, explained: "We have our limits. It applies to people who think they are animals and engage in bestiality. These people are freaks and should be dealt with accordingly. If I had the power, I would put them in the nuthouse. San Francisco is going through some wild times already; we don't want to make it way too wild. There's plenty of existing diverse groups they can join instead of creating yet another freak show.”
One area resident opined, "We already have weird gay orgies at Folsom Street Fair with people dressed up as animals and acting like animals. How is this any different?”
Of course, it was an April Fool joke, as Furries are an important and respected part of the pantheon of progressives, unless of they're rubbing up against you and they're all icky-sticky like. But who am I to judge? They're certainly not nearly as weird as Chelsea Clinton.

Oddly, I was driving to Boulder one day a few months ago and right in the middle of some ranch land, where I expect to see the resident flock of wild turkeys, a group of Furries were having what appeared to be a tea party. It was very Alice Through the Looking Glass, not something one sees on the fringes of Cowboy World. Of course, Furries may actually be a political party in Boulder, whereas a few miles north in Wyoming they'd be a food source.

I considered stopping, since I am nothing if not the soul of diversity and I figured your average Furry could make a wicked pot of tea. But, upon reflection, I decided to check my privilege and roll on.

I expect more of this sort of thing as American continues circling the Great Drain of History, life being a cabaret, ole chum, and all that. 

Talked to Hamilton Bowen yesterday ("talk" being a euphemism for "email"). He's got one of my 2 1/2 inch .44 Magnum Redhawks he'd been doing a little housecleaning on. One of the hold-ups has been while he searched for a manufacturer for extra-long firing pins for Redhawks. A typical issue with the ingenious single spring system that operates for both the hammer and trigger (unlike the Super Redhawk, which went back to the more traditional mainspring/trigger spring system) which makes tuning the gun problematical. Sometimes reduced power springs work perfectly; sometimes they introduce the occasional light strike, which is not good for a gun designed as back-up for dangerous game…really really needs to go bang when you need it to go bang.

Hamilton's solution  [Ruger Redhawk Ignition Problems] was to install a longer firing pin and, paradoxically, a heavier spring.

For all of its utility, however, the Redhawk has a Achilles heel in the form of weak ignition due to its unique main/trigger spring arrangement, firing pins and the transfer bar safety system. It is not unknown for box-stock, brand new guns to suffer from weak ignition in certain circumstances, even with factory ammunition. For a gun that is often carried afield as not only a primary hunting weapon but a back-up gun, this is a serious shortcoming and must be addressed. 
The dual-action spring system, while ingenious, is often part of the problem since, to reduce felt single-action pull weights, owners have employed reduced-pressure mainsprings instead of tuning the sear surfaces for improved trigger action and weight. Using any sort of reduced mainspring in a standard Redhawk is inviting trouble. The Super Redhawk, on the other hand, has a separate trigger return spring which can be changed for a reduced-pressure part without jeopardizing actual ignition power through the hammer. For this reason, the Super Redhawks are viewed as more dependable and easier to tune. Properly handled, standard Redhawks will still tune very well but one should be mindful of the potential for ignition trouble and be especially careful.

There are several interrelated considerations. The usual industry standard (if there is indeed such a thing) for firing pin protrusion is around .050--.055. Few Redhawks will achieve this unless the transfer bar clearance in the hammer is minimized which will help. Even then, many simply don't have adequate protrusion Long firing pins will usually make up the difference and give guns dependable ignition. In rare instances, even this is not enough, no matter how close to minimum is set cylinder endfloat and headspace or how late the DA cycling drops the hammer. More spring tension is necessary. Bowen Classic Arms produces both 30# and 40# springs to replace the factory 20# part. While these springs rates may seem high, due to the compounding of leverage in the Redhawk action, this is necessary to achieve appreciable increases in hammer velocity. Even with the 40# spring, neither the single nor double-action modes will increase in weight a great deal and will be well within acceptable limits for field use. Some reduction in SA pull weight is possible with simple sear tuning typical of most proper tune-ups.
Eventually, all my Redhawks will be "Bowen-ized," just to be sure.

You guys know that I'm a fan of Redhawks, because all-in-all they're the "blunt trauma" of the revolver world. They lack the grace and the superb trigger pulls of my Smith and Wesson .44s, or the packability of single actions. But they have the singular appeal of a sledge hammer, the tool that works when all others fail. I have more rounds through my 4-inch .44 Magnum Redhawk than the snub, and I've just started shooting the .45 Colt/.45 ACP moon clip version.

I've always thought that if you were traveling in troubled times, there was a 2-handgun solution if you chose not to carry a rifle (I think I wrote about this 4 or 5 years ago). The first gun would be your EDC piece and  EDC holster. Second gun would be something like a .357, .44 Magnum or .45 Colt revolver with a vertical shoulder holster. If you had to kit up, your EDC would be on your strong side and the big boomer under your left shoulder. Make sure you have a backpack for essentials and extra ammo, a heavy duty "tactical" belt and a set of suspenders (Kyle Lamb's are excellent).

I thought abut this for the simple reason that if we have had a loss of civility sufficient for you to carry an rifle openly, the Schumer has seriously hit the fan, and possibly you should have considered driving, maybe a Bearcat loaded with gear and Mike Seeklander. The advantage of the 2 handgun system is that you can stay reasonably "gray," especially if you avoid the "Choice of Operators Everywhere" backpacks. There's plenty of choices these days.

My personal gun choices would be a G19 and a Redhawk .44. The backpack would include spare mags for the Glock (either the factory 33s or the Magpuls) and a box, maybe 2, of .44 Magnums, half 240-gr JHP, half Garrett dinosaur killers. The advantage of the Garretts is they'll penetrate…probably tank armor. Gives me firepower or longer range, more heavily penetrating options.

Thinking out loud…