Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Hey, he's as good looking as Nobama, and he's no snob!


Why gun owners don't want Obama for president

There is no question that Obama has set out to conceal his animosity toward guns as he gets closer to the general election.

But his record, his past statements and his selection of Biden as his running mate all make it abundantly plain that if he's elected to the presidency he will work systematically to dismantle all our gains to date, and to impose onerous new restrictions on gun owners.
I'm going to start posting articles and opinion pieces on here from other sources about Obama that will illustrate exactly why the man is a clear danger to our rights as gun owners, and why an Obama presidency will be hazardous to even the most basic firearms ownership.
Here is an article from National Review online that is succinct and clear about Obama's record. The excerpt is from David Freddoso called "Obama's Aim" -

"Denver — In 2007, Senator Barack Obama stood up for a gun owner. He endorsed Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman in her Democratic primary. Not only was she a gun owner, but she had even pulled a gun on her colleagues during a contentious 1991 ward redistricting hearing, according to eyewitnesses. Tillman, best known for demanding to be served by black (not white) waiters, and for advocating reparations for slavery, narrowly lost her race despite Obama’s support. "

It illustrates that Obama is capable of incredible hypocrisy and duplicity on just about any political issue. The man who represents himself as the candidate of CHANGE! is nothing but a political machine whore who would have made Richard Daley proud. Read it, it's worth it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A tale of perseverance in the face of violence

Xavier Thoughts at his blog, Nurse With a Gun has a stunning piece about a young woman who used a firearm to stop the ex-boyfriend who was attacking her with a knife, and then was dragged through the legal system, charged with murder for her justified act of self-defense -

The Saga of Stephanie Morosi
"In July of 2006, she purchased a pistol for her own protection. In August, she removed two of her boyfriend's handguns from her house because she was scared. He had been in the agonizing grip of depression, with suicidal and homicidal ideation. She began going to classes for victims of criminal domestic violence. Stephanie Morosi had known Jason Truitt for about five years, but had been dating him for only a short time when he decided to move in with her. The relationship quickly became volatile, and she threw the 270 pound six foot Truitt out. She began eviction proceedings."

Read the whole thing. The only good news is that she's vindicated in the end. Actually, that's not right. Another good thing is that the scumbag who was willing to kill her to possess her isn't going to be using up any of our oxygen anymore.

Back in the saddle again

I was informed today by KC3 president Kraig Keller that I had been re-elected to the board of directors of KC3 (the Kentucky Coalition to Carry Concealed) by a unanimous vote of the BOD.
This is extremely gratifying since I was the target of a vendetta by two of the outgoing board members who resented my pointing out during their tenure as the president and vice president that KC3 had languished and become almost a non-entity in Kentucky politics. Before they abruptly resigned this year, leaving KC3 without leaders in place, they pushed through a rule specifically meant to keep me off the board. Basically, if they weren't going to control the organization then they wanted to make sure that their sharpest critic couldn't be involved in fixing what they'd broken.
KC3 was founded by Tony Haubner of northern Kentucky in 1995 to effect the passage of a concealed carry law for the Commonwealth. Since the 19th century it had been illegal to carry concealed deadly weapons about your person, which exposed our citizens to violence without recourse to the best means of self-defense. I was one of the first four or five people who joined with Tony to put together KC3.
Working with Rep. Robert Damron of Jessamine county on HB40, his bill to establish CCDW in our state, KC3 quickly became a force on the political stage. We rewrote the rules of the media game and countered the traditional media powers, the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald Leader newspapers, with an effective grassroots campaign utilizing talk radio and a savvy approach to the media as a whole.
Sadly, after our initial victories in the first several years we fell into internal squabbles and bickering that split the group. As time went by, the organization passed into the hands of some board members who talked a good game but were completely ineffectual. They didn't show up for meetings with the legislature and they pissed away all the clout that we had built up. They made some noise but did essentially NOTHING in the time that they inflicted themselves on the organization. Fed up with their ineffectiveness and tired of fighting with them, I left.
Now they have left KC3 and a new board is holding the reins. I nominated myself for a place on the board at the annual meeting this summer and am happy to know that after today's vote I'll be able to work with the other members to get this outfit fired up again.
Despite our early victories in the legislature we still have much to do to make Kentucky an even better environment for gun owners, and to improve the public's safety. The universities and the public schools have been consistently hostile to personal defense and concealed carry. Our new goal, as outlined by current president Kraig Keller, is to remove obstacles to the possession of firearms by lawful, licensed citizens on school property.
The Israelis have shown the world that the best defense against lunatics who would invade our schools and threaten our children is the armed citizen or teacher. Now it's our task to convince Kentuckians that we should use the same logic here, rather than yield to the paranoia and fear-mongering of the teacher's unions and other hoplophobes.
If you live in Kentucky and care about your right to self-defense, you should seriously consider joining and supporting KC3. We're on the move again and we need your support!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

So far, so good

On post-operative day two I'm still doing okay. No complaints of pain not controlled by medication, no signs of infection, only mild tenderness at my incision sites. I've been able to eat what I wanted and to get around pretty well. Yesterday I took it really easy. Today the 4th Street Irregulars and I are going out to the river to walk around and let them check their pee-mail.
I have to say that this surgery went as well as one
ever could have asked. The people at the hospital, from pre-surgery clinic to the lab to check-in, through the OR to the recovery room - everyone was great, everyone was friendly and polite and helpful and concerned. If the University of Kentucky could give service like that to every patient then they could take over the entire Lexington market!
I have to give a special salutation to the surgeon who spent a lot of time beforehand figuring out what might be wrong, and who has done an excellent job of follow-up since then, Dr. Andrew Bernard. It's always nice when an attending physician is managing your care, but it's even better when they do as great a job as Dr. Bernard has done. It's hard to say just how much I appreciate his work, and that of his entire team at UK, and I say that as a nurse with 26 years of experience, most of those years in the same kind of working environment.
To Dr. Bernard and all his people at UK - residents, nurses, anesthesia, the whole crew - Thank You! Well done!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Maybe too smart for their own good?

Nobama's come out with his VP pick and as I'd hoped, it's Joe Biden.

Amazing. With this selection, Nobama and his crew have shown that they think they can pull the wool over everyone's eyes for the whole race, all the way to the finish line and not just up to the convention.
Nobama's entire campaign has been built around his construct, his shell and public face. He is entirely a manufactured man. It's obvious that he's a fraud whose essential persona is a mystery, whose true beliefs and values are tied to the instruction of his socialist groomers like "Uncle Frank" in Hawaii, the Weathermen in Chicago and now, the George Soros camp. I would love to know at what point in his life the handlers found him. Were they lurking around on campuses like the Soviets who found Philby and his generation, convincing Nobama that he could slide into this role, or did they somehow find each other and agree how to proceed after 'interviewing' each other over time?

With Biden they've apparently decided to attempt the same strategy of deliberate illusion-making. They're setting him up as the guy who's not Nobama, who'll have the experience that he doesn't have, the connections he hasn't made, the whiteness that he's cut out of himself. Biden is their shot at the union guys, the Pennsylvania hunters, the white guys who'll buy the notion that he's just another Joe.

Of course, he's none of these. He's as anti-gun as Algore and as much a DC apparatchik as any man on the hill. He voted for the war and has been all over the ideological map according to which way the polls blew. He's as cynical as any guy who's tried more than once for the presidency.
It's amazing to me that they think that they can hypnotize the entire nation into some amnesiac state where we'll forget that Biden savaged Nobama in the debates for his lack of experience, or that with his three-plus decades in the Senate that he's the very sort of Washington insider that Nobama promises to run out of the town if the mob will deliver him and his engine of "Change!" into the Oval Office.
Are they so arrogant that they truly believe that they can deceive us about the pair of them as they've done with Nobama solo to date? When the construct is starting to show cracks in the facade as hard questions are finally being posed about who he really is?
Nobama would have been a hard sell all by himself, over the time left in this campaign, but with Biden they've acquired another entire set of difficulties. They have to keep him from shooting off at the mouth and shooting the head guy in the foot. They have to convince a nation where the elections have mostly been decided in the South that this cocky jackass from up North is going to offset Nobama just because he's - what? White? Older? Not Nobama?

And who really cares about the VP? Does anyone besides the political professionals really believe that the VP makes a difference? That he affects policy? That his selection is anything but a calculated, obvious political choice like this one is? Do they think that the people who already don't trust or want Nobama are going to look at Biden and say "Oh, okay, well, if Joe's there to keep him straight I guess it's okay to vote Democrat this time 'round"? Where are the millions of votes that a "son of Delaware" will deliver? Delaware?
An IDIOT might believe that. A voter with two functioning neurons knows that Biden ceases to matter the day after the election, or unless Nobama ceases to occupy the office. Very few people looked at the VP as the heir apparent and again, those people are the pros who live for this crap, not you and I.
They've taken two guys who are nothing alike, except for whatever limited socialist leanings Biden has displayed, who were super negative about each other in the primaries and have slapped them together like some weird deli sandwich that they can *SELL* to us if they just work out the advertising, no matter how strange the combination of ingredients.

I'll tell you one group that DOES care about the VP, and that's the radical Left who've chanted "Change!" to take Nobama to the top. And they will NOT be happy about Biden, either. As I've noted, Biden IS the thing that they want to change. He IS the Washington that they want to pull down and tear up. Even if Biden does hate George Bush and has obstructed conservative efforts he's NOT one of them, not one of the raving peaceniks and pseudo-Stalinists that populate the hard Left in this country now. As far as I can see, he's not even close to being a friend of Soros. He's not worked nearly hard enough for the things that Soros loves and hopes to achieve with Nobama.

In addition, as some others have pointed out, with the selection of Biden they've signaled that they don't care about the votes of gun owners. Another VP pick might have lulled the Perazzi-istas into complacency, might have persuaded them that Nobama wasn't really out to throttle them slowly but surely with more and more "sensible" regulations straight out of the Brady Bunch files once he was in office. But Biden is a known enemy of gun ownership who will be a long-overdue slap in the face that ought to wake up those gun owners who've been sitting out this campaign ere now. If it doesn't rouse them then not much else will.

Have the boys in the Nobama back rooms worked out a mathematics of the Electoral College that tells them that gun owners don't matter? Maybe, or maybe they've weighed the responses of gun owners in this cycle and decided that we're so uncertain over McCain that we'll not act resolutely enough to be a force against them this time.
Or, as I believe is the case, have they concluded that the smoke and mirrors that have brought Nobama this far will carry this ticket on to victory? Do they think that they're THAT good?
Lord, I hope so, because that kind of chutzpah will bring them down.
But then McCain, like hundreds of Republicans before him, has shown an amazing capacity to squander political advantages and he may yet give it away as well. A Bloomberg or Tom Ridge for a running mate will do to him what I hope that Biden does to Nobama.
We can only hope that McCain has less faith in his media voodoo boys and shows better judgement in picking a mate somewhere near the political heart of this country. It's still just the VP, it still doesn't really matter, but if he gets it right it won't be the thumb in the eye that Joe Biden is. That might be just enough to carry him over.
A smooth machine, glib slogans and empty rhetoric have been enough to take Nobama this far. Can they make the same magic passes over this bizarre coupling and sell this strange brew to the whole country? Or have they finally over-calculated and over-reached?

I'm home!

After all that apprehension and anticipation, the surgery for my gall bladder went well and I got home yesterday evening in pretty good form. Spent the night in a sound sleep, waking only to top off the analgesic tanks and swill more Gatorade. Am going back to the rack right now.
My belly's a bit sore from the 4 little slits that were made, and the inflation with gas that's required to provide a clear view to the surgeon but otherwise I feel surprisingly well. Oh, and I got dat ole' cottonmouth like a sumbitch, worse than I've ever had it in my life! Wow!
I'm happy, the dogs are happy, all's right with the world. More on this subject later, here at the Chaz news station, your source for Chaz 24 hours a day. We report, you recoil.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Well, this is a fine kettle of fish

No blogging tonight, unless my mood changes and who knows? A Percocet could alter my whole perspective and make me loquacious.
Gonna have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the morning (and I note the the Blogspot spellchecker doesn't recognize either of those words as I write them - huh.) and while I anticipate that all will go well, there's always the chance that it won't.
Being a nurse with long experience in the ICU, I'm confident in my surgeon and the staff at the hospital. Being a realist, I know how fate works.
So, I'll see you on the other side. Watch six.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

For an itty bitty kitty, there's nothing quite like a nap -

- on the big dog's bed while the big dog's away...

Variation on a classical theme

For several years I carried a Springfield Armory stainless Limited Edition lightweight Commander .45 as my primary sidearm. I liked it. It was reasonably accurate and felt comfortable as well as comforting on my hip.
It was also a source of significant frustration to me because I had it customized, which opened a Pandora's box of horrors that were finally resolved when the gun was essentially completely reconstructed by Richard Heinie. It now lives with someone else who could afford to ransom it when the work was done.
The experience can best be summed up by quoting the first line of an email that I received from Mr. Heinie after he had identified some problems with the gun, which led to more problems. That first line was "I wish that I had never seen this gun."
Hardly what one wishes to read about one's pistol from the premier 1911 gunsmith in the world. Yeesh.
Before and since then I've carried a G23 Glock .40, a G22 Glock .40, a P99 Walther .40, a G19 Glock 9mm, a Para-Ordnance P13-45 lightweight .45, a G30 Glock .45 compact and some others that don't spring immediately to mind but were serviceable and acceptable. I grew to be satisfied with the polymer guns because they were easy to shoot, had reduced recoil because of the frame material and they required virtually NOTHING to make them run, out of the box.
Yes, their triggers were not those of a 1911, and Colonel Cooper no doubt would have looked askance at my holster had I presented at the Sconce armed in that heretical fashion. But they worked, with the exception of the Walther that I broke (twice), through thousands of rounds in classes and IDPA matches, and after the long nightmare that was my custom .45 that was a GOOD thing!
I especially came to like the lighter weight of the polymer guns. The XD45 that I've carried for the last two years is kinda chunky, but it boasts 14 rounds of Gold Dots in the ammo locker at less weight than a 9-round steel 1911.
Still, I'm a Gunsite grad, and the 1911 is a mighty fine gun. Knocking down poppers at ridiculous distances by virtue of that special trigger is very satisfying, not to mention the style points a 1911 conveys. The G30 is the most accurate stock .45 I've ever owned, but it's chunky, like me. If I'm gonna be chunky I ought to carry a pistola with panache, neh?
I had a Wilson Combat KZ45 that I tested and wrote up a few years back that seemed to be the ideal compromise - light in weight due to its Kevlar-Zytel frame, an excellent grip shape and size and all done up in the 1911 format. But I let a friend talk me out of it and it resides in his gun safe - for now.
Then Smith & Wesson came out with their line of 1911s, among which were several guns with lightweight frames made of an aluminum and scandium alloy that promised great strength with the requisite stiffness. The other features of the guns, specifically the external extractor and the firing pin safety tied to the grip safety, were debatable virtues but not disqualifying defects.
So this week I bit the bullet and got a 1911PD S&W .45 at Bud's Guns in their "Annual Blowout sale". I'm still figuring out which of the other guns in the safe are going to have to go to pay for this one, but that's a problem for another day. Maybe I'll put the dogs on short rations to eke out the shekels for it. Maybe they'll put ME on short rations because I'm the porkiest guy in the pack. We'll see. Having opposable thumbs and the debit card gives me an edge in this debate.
But back to the gun!
I decided on the 5-inch pistol because I thought that the longer barrel and slide would help sighting with my aging eyes (is that a gun writing cliche or what?) and recoil control with the lighter frame. The Commander-sized 1911PD would have been nice, as would the Gunsite version, but this one somehow had the right feel to it. You know how that works, of course.
It shoots, it hits, it hefts and handles like JMB meant it to and it weighs only 30 ounces dry. Compared to my work horse XD45 it's almost svelte. Curiously, given the number of 1911s I've owned and shot in my life, the trigger took me by surprise on several occasions at the first range session because it was so "right there!" as compared to the long take-up and eventual let-off of the XD. When I pressed it, it WENT! Well of course, moron. Duh.
Still, like visiting with any old friend after long absence, rediscovering its virtues is a joy. Now to work it into the carry rotation without dismaying the XD45 that's been my warhorse these months past, and carried me to a respectable finish in the Gunsite Alumni Shoot in 2006. It doesn't do to scorn one friend just to strike up with another, don't you know?
(Hit shore is a purty gun, though, ain't it?)

The $100 dollar shotgun

When I went over to Bud's Guns a few days ago I was sorting through the shotguns because of a recent discussion on the Gunsite alumni email list about the Browning A5/Remington M11 shotguns, just to see if any potential "project" guns were lurking in the racks.

My eyes lit on one that seemed fairly clean - plain wood, no engraving on the metal, no obvious dings, showing a shiny bore - and when I saw the price tag I about swallowed my teeth. $100!!! Quick, get it out to the car before they realize what they've done!
Then I looked at the markings on it and it turned out to be a Savage, not a Browning or Remington.

Nonetheless, it seemed to be mechanically sound, almost indistinguishable from the A5 I laid beside it for comparison and the wood was all there, so it came home with me.

The Blue Book shows it as the Savage 720, basically a copy of the A5 made from 1930-1949, but doesn't tell me about any historical significance that the gun might have. Collectible value is essentially zip. It was unquestionably worth $100. But would it shoot? With every gun, that's the final question, or at least it is to me.
First I had to spray the gunk out of it and try to get it less sticky inside. I took down the fore end, barrel and springs, then fiddled with the bolt and shell lifter a bit more. The bolt release button is still a bit stiff but we'll see if use and more lube fixes that. It appears to be virtually identical to the Browning pattern in all major respects, although we haven't checked parts interchangeability yet.

Thence out to the range with ye antique smokepole on this gloriously sunny day, where we found - 1) with that long recoil mechanism it kicks just like an A5/M11! - 2) the "improved modified" choke, as measured in the 30 inch 'proof steel' barrel at the gun store, holds the pattern centered and tight with
bird shot. It'd knock down birds out to at least 30 yards as it is - 3) it shoots exactly to point of aim at 15 yards if you put the bead where you want it and press the trigger gently - 4) the Wolf 9-pellet 00 buckshot that shot so poorly in the cylinder choke of the FN SLP in our testing (results still to be posted - I beg your indulgence, gentle readers) does just dandy in this gun. Three rounds of plain-Jane Wolf 00 at 15 yards showed 27 pellets on target, centered and exactly where the brass bead lay with no ruinous holes in the pattern. See the photo for the results. I should think that such a pattern of pellets would at least annoy any hostile night visitors.
With the ancient wooden plug removed, it holds four in the magazine for a total of five 2 3/4 inch shells in the gun. It still has a tendency to hang up on the last round out of the magazine about half the time no matter what your stance or who's shooting it, but never before then. It hammers out the first four rounds with reliable authority, and a flip of the bolt will chamber that last round.
And hence the dilemna - leave it as it is, satisfied to know that it will ALWAYS deliver no fewer than 4 rounds of buck or birdshot on demand, and five if you're lucky, or spend the money to pack it off to Hans Vang for a new recoil pad, shortened stock and barrel chop, and the requisite tinkering in the innards to make it sing?
As it is, it's a $100 shotgun that works purty good.
Am I to be content with that, knowing that I already HAVE a whizbang scattergun in the SLP, or do I try to gild the lilly and see if I can bring it up to the standard of the A5/M11 as a home defense gun? Remembering my Dad's very nice US Army issue Remington M11 I'm tempted to try to replicate that classic since my brother, who has the gun, also has a riot gun barrel that might fit it.
But then the nostalgic in me calls out to leave be, and appreciate it for what it is - a simple classic that would shield your hearth or fill your larder as the case required.

We'll see. Lord knows I have enough projects with which to be concerned without loading another one into the cart.

But what if it COULD be made to hum?...................

"And they call it - puppy love"......

Talk about your hunk o' burnin' love!

That's almost 600 pounds of dog and man on that bed, hanging out and having a nap after a night at work. Fooss, Seamus and Churchill join Bloggo the bleary-eyed for some Zzzzzzs ....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More on the .40 caliber

We haven't gotten out to the range to do a lot more shooting with the XDm yet, even though we've received a few hundred rounds of various types of ammo with different bullet weights for it. But we have gotten some input from some folks in response to asking the question "What bullet weights do you use/carry in the .40 caliber and what do you think of their effectiveness?".
One gentleman writing from out west who works for an outfit that gets into more gunfights and shootings than any other in the country told me that his agency issues and carries the 155gr Winchester Ranger JHPs in their pistols, and that they put down goblins handily.
His quote was "We shoot lots of people with this load and it works."
That's good enough for me!

That nasty ol' shotgun

It occurred to me that I'd made reference to my new shotgun, the FN SLP, on a couple of occasions on this blog, but hadn't posted any actual information about it. I had written a complete test report from my initial range time with it to an email list for Gunsite alums to which I belong, but hadn't posted anything here. Ooops. Not good, especially since I'm using it for the ammo tests that I'm writing about.
Okay. So for years, my primary shotgun has been a Mossberg M500 with the 18.5 inch barrel and factory ghost ring sights, with a sidesaddle and carry sling added to it. It looked pretty much like this when it left the factory.
I don't camouflage paint my shotguns. If I have to use it I WANT the goblin to see that wicked black beast I'm holding so that maybe he'll change his mind about his intentions, or will just plain die of fright.
I've taken a Randy Cain shotgun class with it, along with my daughter, Julia, and it performed just fine. Some years back I shot a three-round, five inch group at 100 yards with it, so it'll do what needs to be done.
(Side note - if you don't know who Randy Cain is, find out! See his web page here. Randy got his start after taking a gaggle of classes with Louie Awerbuck, and he knows his stuff. He's taught at Gunsite and he has a traveling road show. If you want to bring in an instructor who can take you from rank novice to semi-pro, or show you what you're doing wrong if you have bad habits, get in touch with Randy and attend one of his classes. He's GOOD, and he's especially good at teaching women because he doesn't do any silly macho posturing. He just concentrates on teaching and working hard to meet the needs of his clients)
But I wanted a semi-auto and couldn't find what I needed. I took a shotgun class using my brother's Benelli Tactical with ghost rings and 18 inch barrel and liked it, but wanted something with even less recoil IF and only IF I could find one that would hold up to hard use. That ruled out most of the Remington semi-autos, unless they'd been extensively customized or jazzed up (translation - EXPENSIVE!) and even then I wasn't sure how they'd do. The Mossberg never stuttered, so until something better came along I wasn't making the leap.
Then I read on their web page about the Winchester SX2, which was being used in USPSA events and according to that writer was holding up well, as well as being faster than a greased pig on meth. They have a video on their web page that shows their exhibition shooter emptying 12 rounds from an SX3 (later, improved model of this gun) in only 1.44 seconds! Ye gods! That's a cyclic rate of about 457 rounds a minute, kids!
So when I found out that Fabrique Nationale was marketing the SX2 as their Self-Loading Police shotgun with all the right parts and in that wicked black color, I went right out and bought the first one I could find.
Subsequent experience with it has proven that this was a good thing. The gas operation makes it shoot softer while still being able to handle all kinds of loads, from puffball promotion Walmart bulk-pack light field load stuff to those nifty Brenneke magnum slugs without having to change a thing. So far it's been completely reliable, even mixing all those loads in one magazine. I have several times filled it up with #8 light field loads and hammered them out as fast as I could snatch the trigger, which delighted the other folks on the range and, I'm sure, made those living nearby wonder who was running a rattle gun over there.
It has a six-round magazine which doesn't protrude beyond the end of the barrel, which I like. The gun comes apart for cleaning in a very simple basic manner, and swapping the gas collars that regulate it is easy. It has the Invector choke system so that you can change those out as it suits you, which would even allow you to shoot skeet or rabbits with it as you chose.
The ghost ring sights are made by LPA of Italy and are the same as those used on Benelllis and other fine shotguns, as far as I can tell. The front sight has a unique elevation adjustment and the rear is adjustable for both windage AND elevation.
In shooting this gun I've found nothing to criticize. The trigger would be good on a rifle. It's crisp and light enough for good precision, as you'll note from the group that I shot with it in the accompanying post. The gun mounts perfectly to my shoulder, presenting the sights to my eye as if it was made for me and it was this last note that sold me on it when I picked it up. It's balanced well and feels lively in my hands.
Since I bought it I've added a Tacstar side saddle to it so that I have seven rounds of buckshot in the gun with six slugs in reserve. A simple Butler Creek sling provides a means of carrying it when on the range, and from the African carry position, muzzle down on the left shoulder, it swings into action smoothly.
So to summarize its attributes - it's as handy and light as a Benelli with less recoil, has excellent sights for quick and/or precise shooting, perfect ergonomics for my build, excellent reliability to date and fast as all get out!
It'll take a long time to see if it stays as rock-solid reliable as that Benelli I was shooting or my own Mossberg M500, but to date the indications are positive and the gun just FEELS good!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I am Yoshimi

I am the master of ninja invisibility.
You cannot see me, but I am watching you -

Monday, August 4, 2008

Buckshot and Slugs, lotsa lead downrange!

Well, shotgun fans, the report on the results of the buckshot and slug comparisons conducted this week using the fabulous FN SLP shotgun will have to be posted at at a later date this week, since I got caught up in trying to put things together for resuming concealed carry classes here in Frankfort and ran out of time to photograph all the targets that resulted so I could post them here.
So you know what I'm talking about, a couple of days ago I went out and shot and compared TEN buckshot loads and FIVE slug loads at different ranges. Photos were made of all the targets and basic data recorded. More will follow about all this, along with some more extensive testing of the XDm .40 pistol now that more ammo has arrived from Midway USA.
But to tide you over, here's a teaser for you from the slug comparison.
Take a look at this target -

It was shot at 25 yards from the bench with the FN SLP with ghost ring sights. That hole was made by FIVE Brenneke 'Black Magic' 2 3/4 inch, 1 ounce field magnum slugs passing through it at about 1500 fps. It measures about 1 3/4 inch long by 1 1/4 inch wide, IIRC. I didn't know that I could still shoot such a group!
I've also found a new buckshot load to replace the Federal H132 that I've been using in my guns for the last few years, and it's a doozy.
So stay tuned and by this weekend we should have the rest of the test posted for you, with some surprises and some disappointments to report.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More info about camo painting

I forgot to include some info about the paints that we used in doing the carbines for this last posting.
When I couldn't get the Krylon khaki color paint, I tried some flat beige tri-color stuff that Rustoleum makes. It has little particles in it that add flecks of black and brown to the beige paint, and also add a gritty texture to the surface that further refracts the light that falls on it and breaks it up. It's an interesting effect and it fools the eye even more because we're used to seeing smooth surfaces on firearms, so that when you see this texture it doesn't fit into what we think we should see. Interesting and worth exploring at greater length.

Still life with dog and river

Seamus is usually right by my side, just can't stand to be away for too long. But sometimes the allure of something furry and redolent, hiding in the ground, cannot be denied.

Now you see it, now you don't........

In the beginning there was steel and there was wood, and it was good. Deep blue were the steel parts, and oiled was the wood, and it did please the eye and there was harmony in the world.

As in every religion there were exceptions to dogma, of course, and the parkerizing on military guns was acceptable to the church as well - but that was IT. End. 30. Finito.
When High Standard came out with those Sentinel revolvers with the aluminum frames anodized in different colors, including PINK, I thought that my Dad was gonna have a stroke. I can still hear him muttering imprecations and pejoratives under his breath, wondering what flippin' ninny was gonna buy one? A woman might, of course, but what did women know about guns anyway?
I never dreamed in those days that I would ever paint a gun, and over the years as various new and different finishes for guns were added or proposed I remember examining them with varying degrees of skepticism, disbelief or downright derision. Gloss finishes on wood? Why, it'll spook the game! Stainless steel? Who'll want to wear out their tools working the stuff? CAMOUFLAGE? PAINT YOUR GUN? Are you NUTS?
Okay, so I'm weak and have strayed from the true faith. I can only be glad that Daddy's gone on to the great Armory in the sky, to sit at the feet of JMB and bask in the eternal light reflected from row upon row of Browning A5s, so he doesn't have to see this.
As those of you who've been paying attention to those niggling little dust-ups with the hajis going on overseas might have noted, the military have gotten out of the black gun business. Now everything's being painted in subdued colors, the better to sneak up on the little nasties and send them on to their houris and fountains in paradise (yeah, right). Being the freak that I am for military weaponry, like all the little boys who grew up in the '50s and '60s (excepting those who coveted their sister's dresses and talked funny, natch) I like to have my paramilitary firearms match what's being used in the field, and usually not just for the fashion statement but because they work.
That's why a lot of folks have loved military firearms for Oh! so long. They tend to be made for rough service and to hold up to hard use. There have been those exceptions, of course - who could forget the Chauchat or the Reising SMG? - but think about the M1 Garand and the 1911A1 and tell me that they don't make you want to stand at attention and cheer? And if we're going to have military firearms, don't we want them tricked out like the ones being carried by our troops? Thus we come to the subject of this posting, the transformation of our own personal AK and AR, our militia arms of choice.
Yes, the M16 will always be the butt of scorn from some, but the reality is that the little carbine, properly tricked out, is handy, lightweight and adequately lethal. Add a paint job that breaks up its outline and it's like a Fer-de-lance - easy to miss, bad to be bitten by. The AK makes no apologies and needs none, but it's arguably ugly. Okay, it's not ugly if ugly is as ugly does, but we can say that so we have an excuse to doll it up a wee.
I'd been looking at various high-zoot paint jobs such as those offered by Lauer in the Duracoat line, but found that I was put off by the hard lines of most of the stencil paint jobs. Like early woodland camouflage clothing, the hard lines and contrasting colors in most gun camouflages offered online don't really break up the outlines of the guns, they just substitute other lines that draw in the eye and direct it to the object. That's not what we want.
IMO, camouflage should make your eye wander. It should give it nothing on which to focus, but make the eye dart about and then slide off elsewhere, finding nothing to lock in on. That means no black in the color scheme, since that pulls in the eye and defines margins and lines, and flat colors with minimal reflectivity in drab tones. Fortunately, I was told that Krylon camouflage spray paint was what the SEALs and others who go in harm's way are using on their guns, so a trip to Walmart procured the paint and we were ready to get artistic.
Much later, after painstaking preparation, blah-blah-blah, we have what you see here. I won't go into the details, we didn't do anything wild or intricate or exotic except degrease the guns with some brake cleaner. I started with a base coat of khaki, then dusted on green and dark brown in a completely random fashion to try to lighten dark areas, and to darken lighter ones. When I went too far one way or another, I just sprayed over the previous work. I learned to hold the can out away from the gun and let the paint just dust down on it, so that no hard edges or lines were formed. This shot is of the guns in front of my red house, shot for contrast to show their basic colors -

The AK has a fore-end with rails as well as a telescoping buttstock from Command Arms Accessories - nothing fancy, just serviceable and functional, what an AK should be. The sling is also from CAA and is, I believe, an Israeli GPMG sling. It's just a touch too wide, but it was inexpensive and it works. I might add a red dot sight of some sort later on, but am loathe to spend more on the sight than I did on the Romanian AK that's underneath that paint!
The AR is one that was bought from a friend who'd put it together from various parts from different makers. It's very lightweight as it has a pencil-thin lightweight Colt 1:7 twist barrel and a Larue Tactical rail fore-end on a flat-top receiver. Added to that we have an Aimpoint Comp ML3 in a Larue mount with a Larue BUIS at the rear. The Larue parts are top-notch and their customer service is OUTSTANDING, by the way, and I cannot recommend them too highly. We also have one of their "Po Boy" magnifiers to go behind the Aimpoint sight, which consists of a surplus 2.5X Hensholdt weapons sight in a Larue pivoting mount that goes on and off the gun in the place of the BUIS as needed. Quite the achievement at a price under $200 when compared to the Aimpoint and Eotech types at $400 each! The sling is a Blue Force Gear product designed by Larry Vickers. It's a two-point type that puts the gun out of the way if you have to sling or drop it to go to the pistol and is easy to get in or out of, or to adjust quickly for length as needed. The vertical foregrip is a Tango Down (well made but Hell to get off the gun) and the magazine is one of the new MagPul polymer/plastic types and is VERY nice. I'm replacing all my aluminum mags with these.
Now a pic in front of a fence in the shadows under a tree to show how they blend in against normal backgrounds -
No, it doesn't completely conceal the weapons, but it does break up their outlines and when you compare them to a stock black FN SLP shotgun it becomes obvious that the eye just slithers off of them without locking in on them, which was what we were seeking to achieve, both in shadow and in bright light on different backgrounds -

When you put them down in the weeds, the effect is obvious and as distance increases the effect works even better -
If I were going to be operating in a particular environment I would adjust the colors to reflect those surroundings, but for lush, semi-tropical Kentucky this color palette works reasonably well and can be changed just as fast as we can spritz on a new coat of Krylon. I believe that this validates the idea of a diffuse, non-patterned camouflage scheme that doesn't draw the eye's attention as opposed to paint schemes like the Lauer types.
I think that they turned out pretty well, but am throwing them out there for the perusal and comments of others. Hope that the comments are finally working on this damn blog!

Snubbies, old and new

I recently happened on a very nice Colt Cobra .38 special revolver at Mike's Guns and Archery, a local store run by good folks who are just plain down to earth and easy to talk to. This particular gun is a first issue model with the unshrouded ejector rod and original plastic stocks on it. As a bonus it had a like-new Bucheimer "Sheriff" model leather holster that was likely bought at the same time as the gun. I well remember selling this type of holster out of the store front where Gall's Police Equipment was located at 117 South Upper St. in Lexington when my Dad and Sidney Gall co-founded the company in the late 1960s. This would have been the state of the art in "snubbies" for cops at that point in time, and to some, it still is.
However, the Colt revolvers, with their particular style of lockwork and their "feel" have never set me on fire, so I sold it to a friend who loves these guns and used that money to buy the new XDm .40 caliber pistol that I wrote about before. Just wish that I'd thought to include my Airweight M12 S&W .38 six round 2-inch in the photos with them for yet another example of a gun of that general size and type, albeit one at the edge of the envelope in size.
Before I shipped it, I photographed it alongside my current pocket carry gun, the S&W M642 which I carry in this Desantis "Nemesis" synthetic pocket holster. It was a chance to compare the old and the new styles, so to speak and I enjoyed it since I just love the technology and the history of firearms.
The Colt is a six-round gun, which is one reason that some cops preferred them to the S&W J-frames. It was slightly larger as well although not THAT much larger, as you can see. Of course, the grip frame has the classic bow in its shape that fits some folks' hands just right, and for others (such as I) was the reason that the Tyler T-grip sold so well in the 1960s and early 1970s. For some cops, notably detectives, the Cobra would have been their primary and only gun, so the belt holster would have been suitable. For those Hawkeyes who wanted to get the greatest accuracy from it, the external hammer would have allowed single-action shooting.
OTOH, the M642 has five rounds in the cylinder and is smooth all over, with the
internal hammer keeping it sleek and easy to slide in and out of the pocket. With its alloy frame it's as light as the Cobra, and the Uncle Mike's/Craig Spegel stocks help me get a firm grip on the gun without being so sticky that they hang up on clothing too much. The "Nemesis" pocket holster has a tacky outer surface that keeps it from sliding out with the gun on the draw-stroke, with some cushioning that protects the gun while concealing its contours. The M642 is rated by the factory for a steady diet of +P ammunition, which yields better terminal effects from that otherwise marginally adequate caliber. Mine is loaded with the Speer 135 grain +P Gold Dot which was developed for snubbies. That's enough for me. I've shot .357s in lightweight pocket guns before and don't want to again. I'm not convinced that the colossal noise, blast, flash and physical pain of shooting .357s in an itty-bitty gun is worth whatever minimal additional effect it might have on the recipient of the slug. I figure to aim well and put the rounds where they should go, and hope for the best if the plan goes awry!
So there you are - two classics from two different eras. The Colt represents what smart cops in another time always had stuck in their pockets in case things went south, and the S&W represents what cautious gun buffs keep stashed away in their pockets today. I kinda hate to let the Colt go, but the man who bought it will give it the home it deserves!