Local Color, Local Heroes

Fall is in the air and last week we had a bit of local event-stuff at our Neighbor’s ranch. Out by the pond there’s a Bunkhouse and a Saloon built by Ed from local-cut timber, and we were invited for a Veteran’s Celebration pot-luck, which was a nice way to meet folks since we’re the newbies.
There were a variety of dishes including ground-elk cabbage rolls and our coleslaw.
Before dinner we had a Pledge of Allegiance, and after dinner Ed had a brief talk about his friend Buck who was a firearms instructor, and much-much more – who had passed away recently. As a half-Cherokee they held a ceremony for Buck atop a mountain overlooking the back-country of Lake Tahoe where his ashes were spread. There were a couple remembrances and stories told about him.
Basically the whole night was given over to veterans telling stories of their experiences, and it started with this: Ed’s first story revolved around the deceased’s participation as a US adviser training troops in a southern nation to the south in the mid-1980’s. Apparently a group of advisers he was leading on a bus was stopped by a group of “banditos”… Apparently they set up an ambush and flanked each side of the bus. Big mistake. After an attempt to communicate and resolve the issue (whatever it was) failed, the order was given and the guys inside the bus rolled out each side and took out the ambush. None of the “banditos” survived.
A petite female vet who must have been in her late 60’s (remember, never ask a woman’s age) recounted her time in Germany after Desert Storm when she had re-upped, where she met a German Chaplain with a German Shepard who went on marathon runs together with her unit, and who she ran into again in Georgia on runs when she was stationed there.
She also knew Ed and Buck from attending the one-room schoolhouse down in Pleasant Valley, while he went to the fancy there-room one further up the road, and her school beating them in Baseball. She was part Native American too and Buck used-to call her, “His Little Comanche.” Annie Oakley would have gotten a run for her money from her!
A third guy talked a bunch about being a Tunnel-Rat in Vietnam, the various equipment they used and later things…
Another Vietnam Vet brought his 94-year old father-in-law who had been a Marine artilleryman in the Pacific WWII, fighting from Peleliu to Iwo Jima – and who watched the flag(s) go up on Mount Suribachi, on Iwo Jima. He didn’t want to talk about that much and said he only survived because he was in the artillery. I got the distinct feeling he still was frustrated at the conditions and difficulties of supporting his forward Marines, against the Japanese redoubts and coral caves, but he was as fit and spry today as any 70-yr old – and more than most 60+yr old corporate-cubicle rats. Amazing.
I’m sorry I didn’t get to talk to the crew-member from the USS Pueblo and congratulate him on his survival and sacrifice, but I hope I will get-to at another event. People these days just don’t seem to understand that Service IS Sacrifice, and how far it goes.

Thanks Rendezvousers-X!

Reno Guns and Range has grown considerably since last year when we went to try-out the simulation exercises, and has moved to a huge and spacious building near the Harley dealership. The range walls are .50BMG capable and there is superior ventilation, so much so that being indoors at their location was preferable to being outdoors, especially when the fire-smoke hung in the air and occluded visibility. Rangemaster Kevin Crawford also had some very pertinent advice re: carry – “If you carry one of these (pointing to belt), you should carry one off these (pointing to tourniquet).” While I arrived in Reno there was a big, state-funeral being held for Officer Carl Howell who had been killed a week ago in Carson City, responding to a domestic – the first time a Carson City sheriff’s deputy has been shot and killed on duty since 1963. The suspect emerged shooting and they exchanged gunfire, and while the Officer reportedly killed the suspect, before medical attention could arrive he bled-out from an aortal leg wound and died. So now I am looking for a SOF® Wide Tactical Tourniquet (SOFTT-W) and some Z-Pak, and I’m all for a class offering instruction on the use of these too. So maybe next year we’ll get some hands-on training? If not, I will before then.

I suppose I had the benefit of a fat wallet since this is my main charitable event each year, so I was disposed to paying full-retail on the Raffle, and with the extra tickets was able to score a number of fine items including the one AR receiver that was available, and so in that sense I Won the Gun. Also a couple very nice Sig ball-caps, some Blackhawk! Aviator Flight Ops Gloves that fit well and will be a splendid accoutrement to the Gentleman’s Express this summer as we coast over the high-mountain passes, an AP Custom 3×3 shot-shell belt holder for Three-gun, and a pair of MOA Beast collapsible target stands from Mitch Gerlinger, the owner and designer of MOA Targets.

More later…

Birghid was Right

When she’s right, she’s right: The eight ball says… buy!   It’s not a Colt but a Model 19-3 Smith. My copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson indicates the SN# dates to/from 1970, when the first owner entered the Police Academy. It’s got a 6″ barrel with some holster-wear (from a clam-shell holster, look it up) and it’s a recoil soak with the right loads. I like N-frames for that reason. .357 Mag in a K-frame is like playing first-base bare-handed. No thanks.
Interesting article in a recent Gunzmag about heavy-for-caliber but slow bullets doing the job on bear-skulls better than out-and-out high-velocity. Proposed theory being that the speed robs the bullet of its strength, so it tends to shatter on impact instead of driving through. So we’ll try some heavy and slow bullets in this for home-defense use. Now I need a holster and some speed-loaders.

Hot and Muggy

Yesterday a thin layer of moisture-laden haze hung everywhere and amplified the suns rays like a lens, making moving the gun-room a bigger chore – plus the AT&T guy had to search high and low for two undamaged wires that could connect to the handset and provide a dial-tone. Great guy with a lot of local knowledge since he’s from HERE and not Bangalore – or Massachusetts, or Florida – same as the Cable Guy who happens to be married to the cousin of our realtor’s husband. And the Fort Knox guy is just down the street.
IMGP2227x1000Apparently we live next to the old drive-in movie – which is where my neighbors pasture themselves. We also have wild turkeys who peck through the tall grass.
Do I really need a sweeper attachment for the mower, or should the cut grass (and weeds and other unidentifiable plant-a-zoidal fluffy crap) lay organically fallow? Is fallow the right word?

Gunbloggers Win II!

Uncle alerts us, and David Hardy says: We all know it’s going to appeal, but the government wanted to proceed in its usual way (pondering everything, with meetings and exchange of memos and alerting 10,000 people before officially reaching the only obvious conclusion, hey, I used to be a GS-14 and know the ropes). The judge said, no way, you’ll meet the deadline imposed on every other case.
And John Richardson adds depth to the CCRKBA release with, The Justice Department had requested a 60-day stay in Mance v. Holder. They had requested the stay while they decided whether or not to appeal the case.

This is the case that overturned that part of the Gun Control Act of 1968 that banned the purchase and immediate transfer of handguns by FFLs to out of state purchasers. Today, Judge Reed O’Connor denied the government’s request for a stay.
Mance v. Holder – Government Requested Stay Denied

From CCRKBA’s release:


Monday, March 2nd, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA – A federal court in Texas has denied a government motion for a 60-day stay in a case involving interstate handgun transfers in which the judge applied strict scrutiny to determine whether a ban on such transfers meets constitutional muster.

The case, known as Mance v. Holder, was filed by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and is financially supported by the Second Amendment Foundation. It involves plaintiffs residing in Texas and the District of Columbia, and the ruling last month by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, found that “the federal interstate handgun transfer ban is unconstitutional on its face.”

The government had asked for a 60-day stay in order to decide whether to file an appeal. But Judge O’Connor ruled today that a stay is not warranted because the government could offer no other reasons for its request other than the court’s “inherent authority to manage its docket.”

“We’re delighted that Judge O’Connor is not going to simply allow the government to stall this ruling,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “This case could have significant ramifications nationwide, and allowing a two-month stay while the government essentially claims it will be thinking about whether to appeal obviously was not warranted.”

CCRKBA and the individual plaintiffs are represented by Virginia attorney Alan Gura and Texas attorney William B. “Bill” Mateja of Fish & Richardson in Dallas.

No Empty Holster

It’s not like I need to fill this with another Colt or Colt-clone – unless I go Cowboy. Would it be asking too much for Colt to re-introduce the New Service series – or just better if someone more reliable did it, like Ruger?
Hunter Holster
Colt M1909 New Service
UPDATE: Meanwhile we meet an old guy who had logged many hours in a B-29 over Korea, and then became early-involved as an electronics tech in the Space Program, and knew the first seven astronauts. He had to move to Houston, then Florida, and then back to SoCal.
You know the type in the old black-and-white TeeVee reels: smoking nervously while wearing a white, short-sleeved dress shirt and necktie, with a buzz-cut and steel-glasses. During launch he had to monitor the instruments he’d installed, the accelerometers and vibration measurement… Now he carries an oxygen accumulator and fights for breath, and his small retirement winery with 16-acres of 20-year old grapes needs more caretaker than he could provide – so his ex-Air Force son was coming up from Vegas in HIS retirement to help. But the view is from the Sierra to the Coast. Amazing.

Sling Swivel

The GG&G forward quick-detach sling-swivel mounted up pretty easy on the 590, and it’s non-rotating. The rear swivel is coming via Brownells in a few days. I guess I’ll get a Viking Tactics sling so it matches the one on the M4gery – after I swap it back and forth a few times to see how well that works, and on which side to install it…
There are a few guys who run a shotgun course around here so I have that, but I’m sad that I can’t take Louis’ class, very sad indeed – but I can get his book, or the video.
UPDATE: What else? I’m leaning towards the Magpul stock because it’s seems to accommodate the Mossberg thumb safety location, and looks like a good compromise between a “real” stock and a pistol-grip stock: With an especial plus this from the Esteemed Tam (and I’m still pissed-off at the steaming scum-sucking jerkwad sh*tbrain who caused her to flatten the blog to a thin, narrow reminder of what it once was.)

Love the Magpul stock, and I say that as someone who, when she first saw the Magpul shotgun furniture, thought “Okay, the guys at Magpul have jumped the shark now, because that looks flimsy and ghey.” Despite my treatment of the 870 which, like most of my guns intended as range toys and sporting goods rather than collectibles, varies between neglect and mild abuse, nothing on the stock has broken or fallen off yet.
One of the advantages of a pistol grip on a shotgun is that it allows people without superhuman forearm strength to hold the gauge comfortable shouldered with one hand. Unfortunately, the downsides are that it pokes out awkwardly when the weapon is slung, makes operating the 870 safety a pain, and some don’t like what it does to the handling of the gun. The Magpul stock gives the advantage of the pistol grip, in that even my wimpy wrist can keep the shotgun shouldered with just my strong hand, and hasn’t any of the disadvantages. (Well, maybe it wouldn’t handle as well as an English stock if I took this thing hunting for upland birds…)