Monday, July 27, 2009

Sinking to the lowest common denominator

What bothers me about all this business with the black Harvard professor, and about the race situation in the US in general, is that many of what SHOULD be the better, more educated elements of the black community have decided that their 'identity' is defined by adopting the habits and demeanor of the lowest elements of black society.
I recall the elegance and grace of men like Duke Ellington, and compare that with Al Sharpton. There is no comparison.
While most whites of my acquaintance would be intensely embarrassed to be represented by the redneck jerks in our racial demographic, and most of them wouldn't adopt their mannerisms other than to growl 'git-r-done' or some other comic slogan, the black community has decided in their leap to the left that the worst of them have to be embraced in toto, as a statement of solidarity against "the man".
So while black America was once represented in the public mind by some amazing people, people with style and manners and quality, now they're content to let Ice Cube or Snoop Dog be their public face. I grant you that standards have slipped a lot across the board, and whites are too content to let Britney Spears be the face of white America, but not to the degree that black America seems to have fallen.
For a college professor to sink to a phrase like "yo mama" in dealing with a police officer, aping the style and words of a ghetto thug, is proof that they really do need to 're-calibrate' their thinking. He could have and should have tried to impress the officer with erudite phrasing and quality of behavior, but he was conditioned to act like a moron by his own doctrine of resentment.
I was raised to be embarrassed by such conduct. There was a time when black America was as well, but it's slipping away with the rise of the race pimps and the entitlement generation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where's Bloggo?

When even the bloodhounds can't find him, you know it's serious!

So what's going on? Well, I'm working a lot in the hospital and staying busy with that. I've been corresponding on the Gunsite alumni email list with the amazingly well-informed folks in that group, and have been spending a lot of time with the dog pack at home. I've even been putting in some time for the Kentucky Coalition to Carry Concealed, the personal rights group I helped to found back in 1995, the outfit that got concealed carry passed into law here in Kentucky in 1996.
This is also the season that I make a kind of attempt at doing a little gardening, and with the usual maintenance chores that go into keeping up a house that dates back to about 1850 it's enough to keep me busy.
But I also have been spending a lot of time just watching things happen. I keep up with the news and try to spend a good bit of time online, running down current events.
With the Obamanation working overtime to run this nation into the ground and impoverish us while reducing us all to the same level of misery in the time-tested socialist fashion, there's a lot for me to follow.
I didn't start this blog to spew out my own take on every damn thing that happens in the world, and I'm not compelled to write each and every day. For those of you who enjoy the work of really good writers, see the links at the left of the page to Frank James blog "Corn, Beans, Spent Brass, etc.", and to Brigid's "Home on the Range". Both of them can write. Both of them LIKE to write!
I write when I see something I really want to talk about, even if it's only a blurb, or to point to a photo that I like. Unlike some who inhabit the blogosphere, I'm not compelled to natter on about every minor item that crosses my mind. For one thing, I'm still a pretty private person. There are things that routinely end up on some blogs that you will NEVER see on this page. I might share some thoughts and opinions with close friends, but this blog is not a confessional.
I spend a lot of time just thinking about things, and absorbing information. I read voraciously about subjects that interest me, just for the joy of reading and learning and seeing what's out there. I have no illusions that I'm some kind of genius who will lead you to the light about every damn topic that crops up. Ain't gonna happen, and I'll be the first to tell you that.
I started this blog to be part of the 2nd Amendment Bloggers Bash at the NRA convention in Louisville in 2008, and to have fun with writing about guns and dogs and people. I did NOT start it to make a living at it. I don't have ads on here. While I'd like to test more gear and get more notice for that, it doesn't compel me. I'm taking my own sweet time on the Para LTC test, but it will be a GOOD and complete test when it's done, not something whizzed out for a deadline. I also have a lot of political news to keep up with, and things to do in support of KC3 which occupy my time. There are some here in Kentucky who still haven't gotten the word about our rights and our freedoms, and we have to keep reminding them, keep them off our backs and out of our way.
With all the new Tea Party groups and more being done to take back our rights at the personal and state level, there's always something more and something new to take up my time, things that can't be ignored and that require diligence on the part of every citizen.
I used to draw a lot when I was younger, and a lot of people encouraged me to become a commercial artist. I never gave it serious consideration. One, I knew that I didn't have that special spark that I see in the best work of the best artists, and didn't want to turn out mediocre work.
Two, I was doing if for myself. It was to help me get through a long string of difficult years while I was growing up and I did it for expression and for an outlet for my emotions and my growing pains. I refused to put myself on a deadline, and to have to work to the demands of a third party to do something that I loved and needed to do.
This blog is like that. When it starts to feel like work, when I have to sit down and force myself to post items to it, I balk and withdraw. I read for days, and scan news online, and spend time with the dogs. I will not do this blog as a chore any more than I would sell my art work, or my photographs.
I will continue to post here, and hope to have several items to put up this weekend. Sorry if I've disappointed anyone, and hope that you keep checking back and that you'll find something here that piques your interest and stirs your soul.
Yr obdnt srvnt - Bloggo.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why do Mini-14s get such a bad rap?

This question was asked on an email list to which I belong -

"Why is it that Ruger Mini-14s that typically group 3 to 5 MOA for the older model and 2 to 4 for the new & improved model are such bad rifles, yet AKs that typically group 3 to 6 MOA, have bad triggers and funky safety levers are good?"

To which I replied -

My own take on it is that we expect that any gun chambered in .223 has to match the benchmark for semi-auto accuracy in that caliber, which is the AR platform.

The AK gets a pass on accuracy because of its reliability and the effectiveness of the 7.62x39mm round both in wounding and in shooting through things. Not a lot of people bother with AKs in .223, and the 5.45x39 AK hasn't been as popular as the .30 version. Even the Russians are switching back to the 7.62x39 in some cases. I'm of the opinion, which I think the majority of gun buyers share, that if I'm going to have to put up with the deficiencies of the AK as a platform then I'm going to choose it in the caliber I prefer for fighting at the distances that I envision using it for fighting, not just plinking.

People assume that you can reach out further with the .223 than you can with the 7.62x39, which is generally true. For longer ranges, the AR is a better platform and the .223 a better round than the AK and its cartridge. Not necessarily more effective when it hits you 'way out past Fort Mudge, mind you, but easier to use to make the hit. It's a varmint shooter mentality, really.

Will most of us ever employ the intrinsic accuracy of the AR and the .223 at really long ranges? No. We keep carbines for engagements under 200 yards, pretty much. But if we are going to shoot a .223 it damn well better be capable of those long shots or we spurn it.

Ergo, if you're going to settle for a .223 it has to be in a gun that has enough inherent accuracy to justify that selection. The Mini-14 doesn't make the grade in that respect. It's not as accurate as the AR, so not as many shooters want it.

That, and Americans have always leaned toward choosing the same guns that the military uses. Shooters idolize M1 Garands and M1As, from whence sprang the Mini-14, so it isn't that they don't like the type or the mechanism. But until the Marines or the Army adopt the Mini-14 it will lack style points, no matter that George Peppard and the A-Team thought it was hot stuff.

Then, of course, there's all that crap about the magazine ban and Bill Ruger, may he rot in hell, etc. but that's another subject and not part of my own decision-making.

What would be wonderful is a gun that has the ergonomics of the AR combined with the reliability of the AK that shoots a bullet that lands with a solid whack. I believe that the FN SCAR Heavy is that rifle, but only time will tell.

And that's what I think about it. But what do I know? I'm just a white boy lost in the blues.

Guns go to church

No one gets shot.
God does not strike them with lightning.
Amazing (but only to a hoplophobe).

200 citizens showed up at the New Bethel church in Louisville, Ky. to celebrate our traditions and history wearing firearms openly on their sides. More info and a photo here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blowing holes in the sky

A view from space of a volcano blowing a hole in the clouds as it erupts.
Amazing clarity. See it here.

Pit bull on an innocent cyclist's back

A guy can't even ride his bike without a pit bull jumping on him!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Last night there was a sudden scurry and flurry through the middle of the room that sent the dogs scrambling to their feet in alarm, and then it went under my feet and sent me out of my chair.

It was white and flapping like a sheet in a windstorm and it spooked all of us before running out of the room. I shouted at the dogs because I thought they were chasing a cat or something, and they were looking at me because they knew that they weren't doing it and it had to be some trick that I was pulling!
Then it came roaring back through the room and I could see that it was a plastic grocery bag, sailing along over the floor, crackling like a spinnaker in a hard blow.
I figured it was one of the younger cats playing with it, pushing it ahead of them. But BOY, was it moving! I'd never seen one get going at that speed!
It went back and forth through the downstairs on and off for another couple of hours, and I thought boy, that cat's having a good time with that thing.
Then it came by my feet again and I could see that it was NOT having a good time.
It was Nikita, running like the Devil had her by the tail. She'd gotten her head through the handle of the bag, and it was around her waist and when she ran, it was chasing her, flapping like a drag chute behind a jet and spooking her. The harder she ran, the more it rattled and flapped and the harder she ran, under the bed, through the living room and under the couch and over the dogs, who were leaping up to get away from whatever it was that was trying to eat Nikita.
Then she'd stop, worn out, and just lie there and it was okay - until she started to walk and that bag started trying to eat her again and ZOW! she was off, making the rounds like a steeplechase and the whole joint was in an uproar once more.

Everything settled down later and I figured she'd gotten it off of her. The dogs weren't really amused but they got over it. The other cats just went to high ground and stayed there. I was snickering all night when I thought about it and I could see in my mind that bag running through the room. It was funny to me, anyway.

But Nikita has been looking daggers at me all morning, and she won't even go into the kitchen where the grocery bags are lying on the floor.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a complete and total IDIOT!!!

I have rarely seen anything as stupid as the photographer is in this video.

He's squatting down, DOWNRANGE, next to a group of targets being fired on by a shooting class. Live fire, live ammo, amateur students - what a recipe for disaster.
I'm a graduate of the Gunsite training center and other firearms training, and I would NEVER countenance this on any range where I was training or conducting training. The potential for disaster is too great.
The person who is teaching this class fancies himself to be a high-speed, low-drag kind of guy. In my trained and experienced opinion, he is a dangerous idiot who does a disservice to his students and to the shooting community at large with this insanity.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We should be ashamed

Last night, while watching the news I couldn't help but notice the contrast between what's happening here in the United States and what's happening in Iran.

In Iran, which is almost a police state and a theocracy, the people are furiously marching in the streets in protest against the recent elections, which they perceive as corrupt. In a nation that barely has a tradition of democratically elected leaders, they're defying the government to speak out. They're risking imprisonment and death to demand that their votes be counted fairly and honestly, and the scoundrels be turned out of office.

By contrast, in the USA, which has for two centuries enjoyed the fruits of a republican form of government, the Obamanation is busily destroying our economy and transforming our political system into something that the Founders would never recognize - and we sit on our collective butts and let him do it. We should be out in the streets every day, just like the Iranians, but doing that might mean that we'd miss the latest editions of our favorite soaps or reality shows.

Sure, many of us are holding Tea Parties, and more people are starting to wake up and speak out and contact their representatives, but if we had half the spirit that the Iranians are showing, we'd already have been camping out in the offices of all of our elected officials, sleeping on their doorsteps and banging on their doors and windows, never letting them rest until they took action to STOP this madness!

The sad part is that, only a few decades ago, we did have that kind of spirit in the USA, and people in other lands looked to this country for inspiration while they took those first baby steps toward a representative form of government.

It's time to stop pissing and moaning about how bad it all is, how someone needs to do something about it. It's time to reach down deep inside and find the spirit that once energized this nation, that made it a beacon to the world and the arsenal of democracy, and to get out into the streets, onto the internet, into the mails and faxes and EVERYWHERE and end this slow awful careening slide into corruption and destruction.

And we, my friends, are the only ones who can do it. It's OUR COUNTRY and we're the ones who must do it. The ghosts of the Founders are hovering about us, waiting for us to rise up and speak out and demand that our elected officials do their proper jobs. Their hands are on our shoulders, urging us to be the men and women who deserve to inherit this great nation, and not some namby-pambys who stand by while it's stolen from us by a pack of unprincipled thieves.

When we see what's happening in the streets of Iran and then turn our eyes to events in Wall Street and Washington, DC we should be ashamed.

Gun store recon

Went to
Bud's Gun Shop in Paris, Ky. yesterday to drop off some KC3 newsletters and took a couple of hours to look at everything in the place to see what was available.

I spent some time handling and manipulating one of the Sig 556 Commando carbines. I like the gas-piston system that's in it, but the pistol grip angle is too steep (almost like the original FAL grip), the safety lever is hard to reach if you're gripping the gun, the trigger is very spongy and the overall feel is very clunky, just for starters. I have yet to examine any version of the Sig carbine that felt handy in my hands. Despite my belief that the gas-piston system is the way to go in modern carbines, the Stoner direct-gas-impingement system AR in its present form has evolved into a very user-friendly modular platform and the Sig just doesn't measure up to its ergonomics. I understand that it's reliable as all get out, but it sure is a brick to hold and those itty bitty flip-up backup sights are a bad joke!

Speaking of ARs, I handled one of the new S&W M&P15 MOE types with the Magpul furniture and BUPS on it. The rear sight is really sleek and is made almost entirely of a resin of some sort. It folds down readily but has to be unlocked to be raised. I guess that's good so that if you bash it really hard it'll just flop down rather than break. The sight is well designed and has a small profile. The question now is will it hold up to hard use, being made as it is? The other furniture is very good stuff, being Magpul, natch, and the shape of the Magpul fore end is excellent. It fits my hands very naturally, and it should retrofit to any carbine with the slip ring. You can add Picatinny rails to it if you must have lights and such, but if you DON'T need or want those things you won't have the rails in the way, messing up the gripping surface. Good idea. S&W has a very nice carbine in this one, IMO. It feels good in the hands, a marked contrast to the Sig!!!

ARs are cropping up everywhere in stores and gun shows these days as the supply lines start to fill up and the initial panic buying is subsiding, and ammo is starting to come back into the system. I bought some of the 200gr solid copper Corbon DPX .45 defensive ammo to try out in the XD45, and some basic 9mm Remington JHP stuff to shoot in the long term testing Para LTC. The 9mm is part of the effort to see what will work in this gun since JHPs aren't uniformly feeding well in it, with either the factory mags or the Wilsons on loan. Found the Winchester generic white box 9mm 115gr ball, 100 rounds, $27. All the ammo I saw was at pretty much normal pre-panic prices, no huge markups in the pistol stuff that was available.

They even had primers! Wow. Remember what primers looked like?

Lastly, I handled one of the Mossberg M930 SPX semi-auto 'tactical' shotguns (scroll through the versions on the web page to find the 8-shot with the standard stock). It's very much like my FN SLP, fitted with the LPA iron sights and a fiber optic front inside the protective wings, but the buttstock is very slightly too long and the very soft rubber butt pad snags on clothing. I'd like to have one here to shoot for T&E, but to date the people at Mossberg haven't shown the common courtesy to respond to my emails or phone calls to discuss it. Nonetheless, it looks and feels good.

And that's all for today - Respectfully, Yr obdnt srvnt - Charles "recon wanna-be" Riggs

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A quiet moment observing nature

Early one calm morning I found this group of very delicate new mushrooms growing out of a patch of dead grass from where the field had been recently mown.

(click on photos to enlarge)

You can see the fragile structures that.....wait.
What's that noise?
What's that rumbling and crashing?


There goes Tokyo.
So much for the delicate mushrooms.
(and he slobbered on my camera lens, too.)
Oh well.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Put a little smile in your day!

Got the link to this video from a friend. Too sweet!

Click on the link
here to see it, then you can go to their home page after that to see what the group is all about. Pit bull lovers especially will be interested in their efforts to stamp out animal cruelty and support Best Friends, among others.
I'm sure they probably have some softheaded stuff in some of the things that they support in there somewhere, but I'm still grinning from watching the video so I don't care!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prvi Partizan ammo test

I'm not a bad marksman, but my riflery skills are kinda corroded.

So when I wanted to know what kind of accuracy could be expected from the Prvi Partizan and Fiocchi .308 ammunition that I had bought, I enlisted the assistance of fellow Raven Eric Eisiminger. He's been to a couple of long range shooting classes at Thunder Ranch as well as a passel of other courses out there, and has a really nice box-stock Remington light tactical rifle topped with a Leupold scope that is just the thing for this sort of shooting. We fired two loads in his precision .308, a 168 grain open tip hollow point match load by PP and a 150 grain soft point hunting load from Fiocchi. The results were very surprising.

(click pictures to enlarge)

While it's true that the two initial groups fired with the 168gr load were the first of the day when Eric was just warming up and getting into his groove, nothing prepared us for the accuracy of the 150gr loading in the third and fourth groups.
After seeing the results, he decided to try again and bear down with that load, and came very close to putting 5 rounds into 0.5 inch in the next group. I was spotting for him and I said
nothing to jinx him and tip him to how well this group was going, right up until the flyer with the last round!


Still, a very nice group. Note that three rounds went into that one large ragged hole!
Properly motivated by then, Eric loaded up with the 168gr cartridges again and gave it one more try, getting this group in his last attempt -

At slightly over one inch, it wasn't nearly as amazing as the groups from the 150gr load but would be adequate for general purposes and for training use. Precision marksmen (okay, snipers) generally demand accuracy of under one inch with their duty loads and in some rifles this round might do that, but not in Eric's Remington and not on this day.
I didn't have either my .308 Remington 600 or Savage Scout with me, having brought the FAL in order to test some other basic milspec ball that I'd bought at the same time as the two other loads, but given that my Savage is a very accurate rifle I would expect it also to do well with any of these.
In the FAL with iron sights the accuracy of the 150gr PP ball ammo was typical and it functioned without any stoppages, so we can add that to the data base. We'll have to conduct accuracy testing on it another time.

And what may we conclude from this abbreviated exercise?

The Prvi Partizan and Fiocchi ammo I've examined to date in all calibers appears to be of very high quality and is at least the equal of commercial ammo currently being made in the USA.  Fiocchi is now producing a lot of their ammunition in the United States in a bid for more of this market, and they appear to be quite serious about this effort.
The cases in all of the three types were annealed and clean, the bullets were free of visible defects and the accuracy ranged from adequate to amazing! There were no failures to fire and no problems noted with any of the ammunition.

The PP 150gr ball ammo would do very well for general tactical requirements in a semi-auto such as the FAL.
The PP 168gr would suffice for training for precision shooters and possibly actual duty use in some rifles.
The Fiocchi 150gr load would do for just about anything you'd like in a .308!

I'm gonna get more of all three of these, and the Fiocchi ammo in particular, if and when I can ever find any of it!

Sinuous sleeper

The pack on our porch

I've never had anyone try to steal my yard signs when these guys were out on the front porch, watching the passing parade.
Wonder why?

Top to bottom - Churchill, Sunny, Fooss, Seamus and Bodi
(click on picture to enLARGE it)

Fuzz filter, feline, foto, Mk 1, mod 0

(klik pic, make big)

Kings of the hill

"Harken, Sir Churchill, dost thou hear the rumble of troops massing to lay siege to our hilly bastion?"

"Naw, it's just Bodi barkin' in the front yard."

"Oh. Well, you coulda fooled me."

Truth in packaging

Peach(es) segments, in box, no syrup.

Lord, how I miss that dog

Seeing a post on another blog today made me think about Vanya, the Fox.

Vanya was running around loose in a neighborhood in Louisville where she'd been dumped, literally. A guy in a pickup truck slowed down and threw her out. She was about six months old.
I got a call from a co-worker who knew that I loved Huskies, asking if I could catch her. She wouldn't let anyone touch her in the two weeks that she'd been running around in her mom's neighborhood. I used a Golden Retriever to decoy her in close and grabbed her by the legs and brought her home with me.
Vanya was SMART. We guessed that she was a Golden and Husky mix. To me, she was 'dog' personified, exemplifying all the things that make up those complex and wonderful creatures. She was really sweet and affectionate, very much in tune with what you were doing and how you felt. She was very gentle with people and small creatures. She didn't pick fights with other dogs, preferring to observe and make decisions about what would best benefit her, but she would NOT back down from a challenge.
She would trick other dogs into abandoning a toy so that she could get it by making a big fuss over another toy or bone and then when the unsuspecting pooch came over to see what was going on she'd swoop in on the one she wanted and scamper off to her den with it.

We called her kennel 'the Vanya cave' for all the things she cached in it and the fact that it was where she hung out all the time. She even carried her food bowl into it at feeding time so she could eat in peace.
She loved stuffed toys, and whenever we were at a yard sale we'd bring home a stuffed toy for her to adopt as her 'baby'. I would have loved to see her mother a litter, but she was already spayed when we got her.

She was my daughter Julia's favorite dog from the very start.

But for all her gentle nature, when she hunted she was a stone killer. And she NEVER stopped hunting, from the moment she first came to our house. Whenever she was awake, she was listening and watching and scenting - especially scenting. She found things that the other dogs never knew were there by following her nose. No mole was safe from her if the air and ground were the least bit warm so that she could follow their scent. If we got near the woods and I wasn't watching her like a hawk to call her back, she'd get her nose down on something, bolt off on the track and there was nothing I could do but wait for her to come strolling back in, tail wagging and that big grin on her face about the deer she'd just run to exhaustion, or the raccoon she'd treed.
She had no vices. I expected her to live forever, because in my heart I could never think about what I'd do when she died. But she did, after collapsing one day in a field like she'd been struck a blow. She was diagnosed with hemongiosarcoma at the age of ten years during an exploratory laparotomy done to see what was wrong with her. We let her go and she never woke up.
I still grieve for that sweet lady. After almost two years, her kennel still stands empty with her toys in it. I can't stand to let another dog sleep in it. Maybe someday, but not yet. Not yet.
I have a tuft of her hair that I found a few weeks after she died in the grass in the field where I take the pack to run, left there from when I was 'plucking feathers' from her undercoat poking through her outer coat.
It sits on the desk, a sad little 'Vanya ghost', next to Julia's picture.

I do miss her so.

Think those Para mag springs have marinated long enough?

Chef Bloggo does.

So at the end of the week we'll try to get out to the range to see how the long-term test LTC and all the mags are going to handle JHPs now, after a couple of weeks of compressing the springs by leaving them fully loaded per the suggestion of John May at Wilson Combat. It would help a TON if ammo prices weren't still through the roof and if I could actully FIND any 9mm JHPs, but that's how it goes. We might have to content ourselve with shooting ball just to get some rounds through el pistole, and defer the JHP testing bis spater.

Ain't it the truth?

Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day.

As they walk, they come across a sign: "Contest to find the most beautiful woman in the world."
"I'm entering!" said Snow White.
After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, "Well, how'd you do?"
"First Place!" said Snow White.

They continue walking and they see a sign: "Contest for the strongest man in the world."

"I'm entering," says Superman.
After half an hour, he returns and they ask him, "How'd you make out?"
"First Place!" answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"

They continue walking when they see a sign: "Contest to crown the greatest liar in the world!"
"I'm entering," says Pinocchio.
After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.
"What happened?" they asked.

"Who the hell is Nancy Pelosi?" asked Pinocchio.

One good thing leads to another

Got a comment on a post that led to all kinds of good things this morning.

"Come on Bob, don't die on me now!"

I'm still just barely posting here at the ol' blogstead because of a new job that keeps me away from home, and not having a laptop I can't post from out on the road. Bummer.
But this morning I got a comment on the photo of the Rottie puppy doing CPR and that led to the photo above from Smartdogs' blog, which led to another couple of dog blogs and now they're posted on the 'blogs we like' link on the left of the page. If you love dogs, give 'em a gander.
'Blogs we like' is a reference to an album called "Things we like" that Jack Bruce, best known for his work with Cream, did in 1970. The album cover is pictured below. You can imagine why Bloggo likes it.

I always liked Jack Bruce's work, most especially his voice.
So check out these blogs. Some really amazing things on them about dogs and dog training and pit bulls and other breeds, and in the case of the LASSIE, GET HELP blog a very beautiful design and format.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In memory of our fallen warriors

I served several years in combat arms in the Army and then as a nurse in the Kentucky National Guard, but I was fortunate in that I was never called to war.

I came close to being killed in a couple of training mishaps while on active duty, but I never had to serve under fire. That can be counted as a mixed blessing, though most who've spent time under fire will tell you that they'd just as soon have skipped the experience.
But on Memorial Day, we remember those who not only served, but who paid the ultimate price and made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
God bless those who have given their lives so that our freedoms endure.
May God always bless those who serve our nation now in their struggle against the savages who would destroy our way of life.

God give victory to our fighting forces and bring them safely home.
God save our Republic!

When riches are gone and friends have fled....

Your dog will still be with you.

(homeless man on the street in Toronto with his dog)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not just working on our tan 'round here.

Okay, so the weather has been really nice lately, even with all the rain that's blown through, and it's been a great time to be a bit lazy.

Truth is, I just started a new travel assignment and had to go to orientation all one week, then work a bunch of night shifts in the last two weeks. All that driving, working both days and nights and keeping up with all the stuff that goes with a new gig with a new company has tied up my time. When I get home, I just want to collapse.
All kinds of stuff going on - the NRA annual meeting just concluded and the Second Amendment Bash Bloggers were in full view this year, even had an article posted about them in the MSM.
Woulda been nice to be there, but things didn't work out.
Gotta go! Catcha later!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dogs now being trained for CPR

A new generation of specialized companion dogs are actually being taught how to perform CPR on their owners if they have a cardiac arrest.

They have to start them in training as young puppies in order to be able to accomplish this.

"Don't you die on me, damn you!"

Beeee Happy

"It's wonderful to be alive,
To be a bee in this beehive.
It's tough as nails, it's smooth as silk.
It's milk and honey - without milk."
(Loudon Wainwright - "B-side")

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not just another pretty gun

I was able to get out to the range with the Belleau Wood 1911 despite the intermittent rain that came and went all day.

I set up one of the Riposte-1 targets, designed by our friend and Gunsite alumnus Jim Higginbotham for use by the Kentucky National Guard, at seven yards. I figured that was about the range that most soldiers would have used a gun like this in the trenches of WW1.
I loaded the plain Jane Colt factory magazine with seven rounds of S&B 230gr ball, chambered a round and topped off the magazine. I took up a basic one-handed offhand bulls-eye stance of the sort that they likely would have taught to doughboys in 1917, took aim with the front sight obscuring the 'A' on the target and pressed the trigger. This is how the target looked after the first 8 rounds - (click on picture to enlarge)

It seemed to be hitting just a bit high and to the right, even at seven yards, but eight rounds of hardball in a group that size would likely have sufficed to unsettle even the most determined German shock troop, I venture.
Loading up again, I fired another 17 rounds, for a total of 25 fired at 7 yards. Here's how it looked then -

Okay, so I got a little sloppy and let two shots drift high and right. I was shooting at a fairly brisk pace, about the cadence of rapid fire in bulls-eye competition, and the front sight was picking up some glint even in the diffuse light of this overcast day. Still, while Higginbotham will never forgive me for such sloppy shooting, I suspicion that even those high hits would have inconvenienced or at least annoyed our imaginary German infantryman.
Moving the target out to 25 yards, I fired the remaining 25 rounds using a two-handed grip and a slightly more deliberate cadence, though still not as slowly as slow fire in bulls-eye. I began to notice a problem -

When I wasn't seeing the hits in center mass like I wanted them to be after I'd fired about five rounds, I deliberately held low and aimed at the center of the bottom line of the 'B' zone where the 'X' is marked on the target.
It became apparent that the pistol was printing about 5-6 inches high and 3-4 inches right at 25 yards. Some of the error might have been the light on the front sight, but I would attribute most of it to the short front sight, of the type that some refer to a the classic 'thumbnail'. Still, once I'd found where it was hitting, it wasn't that hard to bring the rounds down where they should have been and get hits that would have done for most combat situations.
A doughboy issued this pistol wouldn't have won any formal pistol matches with it, perhaps, but if he'd taken the time to find out where the sights were regulated he'd have been able to get adequate hits at what would have been considered any reasonable range for a pistol in that era. And at close range, belly-to-belly and nose-to-nose in the slop and slime of the trenches he would have had no trouble hammering down an enemy with it.
Other observations from today:
The trigger was crisp and predictable.
While I sometimes have problems tripping the standard grip safety on a 1911, this one worked for me in the limited and controlled firing done today.
The tang on the safety chewed a nice blister on the web of my hand the same way that every stock 1911 I've ever shot more than seven rounds through has done.

The fall of the hammer is magically musical on this gun. It must be the combination of solid carbon steel that's blued, not parkerized, and the harmonic convergence of the parts of Browning's genius.
With a little practice and a little tuning, I could have used this gun to win the pistol matches that my Dad and brother and I used to shoot in with the KPOA (Kentucky Peace Officers Association) long ago.
And right now, today, I have no doubt that I could pick it up, charge it with hardball and go out into the dark to win a fight with it.
It has the feel, it has the accuracy, it has the power. It's a 1911!

Belleau Wood 1911 pistol

In the late 1960s Colt's Mfg. company released a 50th Anniversary commemorative set of 1911 pistols, comprising four pistols for four battles - Belleau Wood, Chateau Thierry, Meuse Argonne and the 2nd Battle of the Marne.

My father ordered a full set, but somehow by the time I inherited them in 2006 one of them, the Meuse Argonne, had gone missing. I vaguely remembered a story about how the other one got away, but since it won't be coming back it doesn't matter. What does matter is the three that remain.
Over the last few months I often thought about selling them in order to raise funds for more modern gear as a hedge against the anticipated Holder-Dark Lord axis. I'm not much for fancy guns and commemoratives as a whole never set me on fire. I started researching the prices being offered for them on the web and was surprised to learn that they were only going for about $1000 per gun, even if you had the entire set of four. Mine were still in their cardboard shipping boxes and brand new, but how would I settle for getting only $1000 each when a current production Colt 1911 pistol, which is nowhere near as nice as these guns, is going to fetch about that much anyway?
Then I got them out, looked at them and handled them - and changed my mind. Let go of three 1911s of this type, made the way that Colt used to make them, for that little money?
No way.
These pistols have a beautiful deep almost-black bluing. The surfaces are polished almost mirror-bright. The metal is solid and the hammer falls onto the firing pin with a ringing musical sound like no other 1911 I own. Where would I ever replace them for that money?
Straight out of the box, they'd do to fight with.
They're staying here.
The pistol shown here today is the Belleau Wood version - a classic 1911 with a solid long trigger, lanyard ring, straight mainspring housing and small but usable sights. There's no checkering on the grip frame anywhere, and the stocks are smooth dark wood of an unknown species.
Later on today I hope to take it to the range.
If I'm gonna keep 'em, you better bet that I'm gonna shoot at least ONE of them if not ALL of them, friends!

After opening the carton and unfolding multiple layers of cardboard, like a Russian doll, you come to this very plain and unadorned paper box.
Nothing in it hints at the treasure hidden inside.

(click on pictures to enlarge them)

Lifting off the lid, you see a brochure that could have been printed many decades ago, with drawings and text which would have been consistent with those enclosed with the first 1911s.

And here it is, the Belleau Wood Colt Model of 1911 Caliber .45 pistol -

The gun is gorgeous, pure and simple. When lighting conditions permit I'll have better photos of all three of them here on the blog. The overcast on this day just doesn't do justice to the polish and lustre of this pistol.
These guns commemorate the actions of the American Expeditionary Force that went to the aid of the Allied powers in 1917. Their vigor and determination turned the tide of the war. They were more than the German army, exhausted but still dangerous after years of trench combat, was able to handle, and they earned the name "Teufel Hunden (Devil Dogs)" from the Germans who fought against them. The Marines in particular were regarded as fierce, savage fighters.
Retired Colonel of Marines Jeff Cooper is said to have owned and carried one of these Belleau Wood commemoratives at some point in his life.
I like to think it's true.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Neues accessories fur den Obama Jugend

All those who will be part of the Dark Lord's Youth Legions in future will be required to have snappy uniforms, I bet.

And what's snappier than your very own Obama Jugend dagger?

(photo courtesy of Mr. Fixit)

Somali souvenir

Stand up, speak out, fight back!

It's hard for me to decide which is more chilling - the blatant attempts by the Obama administration to transform the character of this nation, the arrogance and shamelessness of their maneuverings or the apparent total lack of concern on the part of the Congress and the majority of the American public.

In a story at the Investor's Business Daily (here) they lay out what has already been done by the Obamas, both the Dark Lord and Michelle, to lay the groundwork for the new 'voluntary' youth indoctrination program that's sailing through the Congress even as you read this.  From long before his ascendance to the throne, these two have been working to twist the minds of young men and women, teaching them to hate their own country.
There's more about it here on the National Review blog.
As bad as the plain implications of this program are, what is worse is that no-one seems to give a damn about it!
How hard would it be for someone in the House or Senate to stand up in front of the TV cameras and spell out, one by one, the individual elements of this systematized brainwashing so that people could see it and know how dangerous and insidious it is?  Surely to God some brave souls in the Congress can muster up enough reporters at a press conference to denounce this, or at the least start releasing a blizzard of press releases and going onto the talk shows!
Yet this dark hulk of a death ship glided through through vote after vote in Washington, like a ghost in the night, under a fog of willful indifference on the part of our so-called representatives.
We know already about the corruption and rank illegality of the actions of ACORN in the last several years, yet here's a program that will do exactly what ACORN has done, and more, and all of it funded by the taxes we pay.  We are buying the chains that will enslave the minds of our children and in the end reduce this nation to a holding of vassals to socialism.  And it's all happening right in front of our faces while we gaze on, chewing our cud, content as cows mindlessly awaiting the hammer blow to the head that begins our trip to the slaughterhouse!
Some days I'm in awe of the sheer audacity of what Obama and his allies are methodically doing to this country, but that awe is rapidly transformed into fury. We are standing by with our hands in our pockets while a coterie of anti-capitalism maniacs is dismantling our system and using our money to pay for their wrecking crew.
Read the article and ask yourself how, in the name of all that's holy, can we be duped into paying for a system that will teach our children, is already teaching our young men and women, that the ills of this nation can all be laid at the feet of white men and capitalism, and that the government is the balm for all our ills?
We sit like frogs in a pot of slowly warming water, being cooked in increments, contemplating where to put our favorite lily pad while these radicals in nice suits slowly turn up the heat beneath us.  We are acquiescing in our own destruction and unless all of us wake up and begin to resist this rolling wave of legislation and regulation with all of our being then when we do finally open our eyes, we won't recognize the country in which we find ourselves.
It will be too bleak and hostile and drear to bear.
Read it.  Get mad.  Get ACTIVE!