Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Polling and Waves

If you follow the political blogs and news aggregates during this election season, you'll see lots of concern about political waves and chances of Republicans winning the Senate.  The pundits are lost in their numbers and they're trying to figure out what the voters might do.

I'd remind the assembled believers that there is only one poll that matters and we'll pull those levers the first week of November.  No one knows what will happen until then, so until then we've got to keep our noses to the grindstone and try to get voters.  That's the only poll that matters and we have to wait and see how that comes out.

Until then, don't get cocky.  They call the Republicans, the Stupid Party for a reason.  Don't get cocky.

We The People

We The People are perhaps the strongest words in the American Experiment and the opening words of our Constitution.  It behooves American officials to listen to The People, because that's where the power lies.  From our most powerful national offices to our most humble local offices, the officials there had better listen to The People, or suffer the consequences.

I was privileged last night to be at such a meeting, where The People showed up to voice their opinions, to make demands, and to chastise their elected officials.  In a stunning display of common  sense and civic virtue, those same officials decided that The People were right, and amended their policies to reflect the will of The People.

As I told someone last night, it's best to listen to The People, especially when they show up in mass.  As long as they don't show up with sacks of feathers and buckets of tar, we'll be okay.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

That Old Handi Rifle

I've changed my hunting area this year, getting closer to home, and the simple fact is that I don't need a long-range rifle.  Indeed, my longest shot will be on the near side of 75 yards.  I surely don't need a flat-shooting .25-06, nor a hot loaded .243, nor even my old trustworthy 30-06.  So, I was perusing my battery this year for the deer rifle of choice, and my eyes fell upon my old .45-70 Handi-Rifle.

The .45-70 is an old cartridge, originally adopted by the US Government as a centerfire rifle cartridge in 1873 as the round for the 1873 Springfield rifle.  Originally known as the .45-70-405, it threw a 405 grain lead bullet to about 1400 fps.  The .45-70 is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and handloaders have to be careful when they're loading the old cartridge.  It's one of only a few that are loaded to different power levels, depending on the action type.  A modern Sharps, or Ruger #1 can handle a whole lot more pressure than an original trapdoor Springfield, and handloaders should be careful when loading this cartridge.

Regular readers know my fondness for the Handi Rifle, a single shot rifle built by Harrington and Richardson, it's chambered in a variety of calibers and are very useful game-getters.  I've written about my Handi Rifles before, at my domain site, and if anyone's interested they can click over there and take a gander.

So, I took it out of the cabinet for a closer look.

Very basic rifle, not unlike similar rifles that were used on the frontier long ago.  Some say it's almost a direct descendant of the Frank Wesson rifle, a crack-barrel poor man's rifle.  Mine isn't even scoped, instead I mounted a Williams peep sight on the rear of the barrel.

At 7.5 pounds, it's not a light rifle, but at 37 inches, it's handy.  When you're throwing a bigh honking 405 grain bullet, you don't want a light rifle.  When you're pushing that big lead bullet at almost 1600 fps, it'll rattle your teeth.  The load below is interesting, but I can't recommend that anyone try it, simply because it isn't listed as a viable load these days.

You won't find that load in any of the reloading manuals today, indeed I found it several years ago, and even then, it's below minimum.  However, today IMR 4895 isn't popular in the old government cartridge and you won't find many loads for it.  This load is safe in my rifle, but cautious handloaders will check their manuals before trying a load in their rifles.  Again, the .45-70 is one of those cartridges that can be loaded mild or wild.  If you load a wild cartridge in a mild rifle, it might come apart on you.  Be careful in handloading for this old cartridge.  The usual caveats apply.

I think that the old Handi Rifle might be just the ticket for my new hunting area.  I'm certain that the rifle and the cartridge are capable, they've been taking game for over 100 years.  The question, is am I capable?  We'll see.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Blahs

Slow news day, nothing much happening, Benghazi, ISIS, IRS, terrorists, you've all seen the news.  Republican, Democrat, Midterms.  Bleh.  Obama, Hillary, will we ever be shed of these troublesome people?

Local politics is starting to get fun, though.  We've got several local races going on, and I haven't decided who I"m going to vote for, and who to cull.  Some judges, a DA's race, parish and city elections for things like Alderman, and city council, and school board.  Justice of the Peace, and Constable races abound.  Mayoral races everywhere that has a mayor.  Things should get more interesting as we get closer to election day.

Nothing worth blogging, though.  Y'all check back tomorrow.  The most interesting thing I have going right now is laundry, and that should speak loads.  (Get it, loads?)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Morning Dawg

First cool front of the season, the weather is in the 60s and we're glad to see it.  We're not ready to take the flannel shirts out yet, but the change in the weather is welcome.  It makes the dog frisky, and he wanted to move around when we went outside to check the mail.

Strutting proud, this morning is a lot nicer than yesterday morning.

Oh, look!  There's the mail lady now.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cop Stories

Over at this forum, they were talking about a bar raid gone wrong in Louisville, KY, and I chimed in about the proper way to conduct a raid.  It's actually pretty simple, and goes something like this.
The way you do that is simple. 1) ABC runs the operation. 2) ABC evolves information that illegal activity is going on in the bar. 3) ABC articulates said information on a warrant application and takes it to a friendly judge. 4) After the warrant is signed, ABC teams with local agencies to conduct the raid. Normally, we'd take local police, probation and parole officers, juvenile detectives, Military Police (in case you had to process GIs), the Fire Marshall, and the Health inspector. Maybe a couple of K-9 officers.
 About a half-hour before the raid, everyone meets at a rally point. You send two plainclothes officers (a male and female) in the bar to find a place and get comfortable. Pay the cover, buy a drink. At H-hour, they move to the restrooms to lock them down as the raid team goes through the door. You don't want the patrons flushing contraband, and they'll try, Lord, how they'll try.
The lead ABC officer gives the barkeep a copy of the warrant. The local police control the crowd while the probation officers look for their clientele (who ain't supposed to be there), the health inspector does his thing, the K-9s look for dope, etc, etc. You'll normally find dope hear the bandstand. And, every gal in the place suddenly has an urge to urinate. Amazing.
 After you've checked everything you leave. If the bar is reasonably clean, you remind the barkeep that closing time is 2:00 a.m. If the bar is being run wrongly, the Fire Marshall and ABC in cooperation with the Health Inspector, shut it down.
 And that's the way you do a bar raid. Simple, no? The last one I was on, I was on the entry team, and when we came through the door, we noticed a three-year-old sitting a the bar, drinking Pepsi from a sippy cup and coloring in a coloring book. That was a very interesting raid. We took the dope out of there in a bushel basket, and we wrote over 200 juvenile citations. In a bar raid. Very interesting night.
That's the way you do a bar raid.  Do the paperwork first, do the planning next, then go out and play with the criminals.  You rookies write that down, it will keep you out of trouble later.

Chilly!

Got up this morning, made coffee, and wandered out to the patio, where I noticed a distinct chill in the air.  Not cold, but decidedly more pleasant than the weather has been all week.  Indeed, since April.  For folks acclimated to 80 degree weather before 8 a.m., having it be in the 60s at daylight is a decided change.

A quick look at the surface map shows me that a huge bubble of cool air has fallen across the US this week, and finally made it down to our little wet state.

That's a big ol' front, stretching from Virginia to Washington state, all along the coast. As weather maps go, that is fairly interesting.  For a few days, at least, Louisiana is under moderate temperatures and for that I am grateful.  I guess I should go put on some socks.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Range Time

I got around to shooting that Model 10 this week, and thoroughly enjoyed my limited time.  I slipped off to the indoor range on a lunch break and spent a half hour with a box of Winchester White Box 130 grain ammo and the old revolver.  I readily admit that it's been a long time since I shot a revolver, but the results aren't half bad.  The vast majority of the body shots were at 25 yards, the max range available at the indoor range, and the head shots were at 15 yards.  The target, or course, is a standard B27 target.

All the shots clustered to the left of the target, which tells me that I'm putting too much finger in the trigger guard.  Or, this old revolver might be regulated for standard 158 grain loads.  Either way, it deserves more research.  The revolver seems to be willing, it's just necessary for me to put in the time and find the ammo it likes.

Of course, there are very few skills that erode as quickly as proficiency with a handgun, and I readily admit that I don't spend enough time with my handguns.  It's been 10 years since I even picked up a revolver for any serious target work.  Still, it was fun to get out with the old revolver.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rob Manes Reflects on 9/11

That's what Americans do.  We go to the fight.  We go to the sound of the guns, and we try to help.

This is why I'm voting for Rob Maness for US Senate.




Spider Lillies

Spider lillies, also known as pop-up lillies,or Johnny-Jump-Ups, are members of the Amaryllidaceae and common to these latitudes.  Normally seen inn the bright red variety, a couple of years ago I was lucky enough to find some of the pale pink variety.  I found them yesterday near my redwood fence.

Beautiful, pale pink flowers, we call these "white" in these parts.  Here's a close-up.  Of course, you can click on the picture for a closer look.

I've got some blood-red ones under the white oak tree out front, but they haven't popped-up yet.  If they do, you'll see pictures.