Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Family Shoot

We're lucky, my clan, we always manage to find a place to shoot.  My son lives out in the country and has a little place where it's safe, so we met there today to work the handguns.

Just a sampling of what was available.  From .380 to .44 magnum.
Last month, Widener's told me about some new powder that Alliant has out, especially for handgun loads.  I told them I'd like to try it, and they sent me a pound of powder, with some bullets to try.

It's called BE-86.  I had never used it, but Alliant claims that it's good for handgun use.  I asked my son to load some 9mm with it and the bullets that Widener's sent.

The family uses Hodgdon HS-6, and Alliant Unique for handgun rounds.  Neither of those powders need any introduction to handgunners.  They're both proven performers, indeed, two of my favorites.   So, I was happy to try out a new (to me) powder.  Widener's also sent some bullets in the package, the very familiar Gold Dot that everyone knows.

 
So, with targets installed, pistols out, lots of ammo available, we all made sure that we had hearing protection and eye protection, and got to shooting.



Shooting is a great way for family to bond.  It teaches self-reliance, it creates memories, and if your family is like ours, there is a good deal of light banter about each other's skill and competence.

And, of course, when you've got a selection of handguns available, everyone tries out the newest acquisitions.

Plus, of course, the old favorites.  Any day is a great day to shoot, and when we get a change to shoot with family, we take it.


Some one even dragged out a 9mm carbine, so we gould pretend that we were first-tier operators.  LOL!

One think that I noticed about the BE-86 is that it is a very clean powder.  We  normally shoot a lot of Unique in several calibers, and it seemed that the BE-86 was much cleaner.  Lots less smoke, less residue in the barrel.  Nothing will replace Unique in on my reloading bench, but BE-86 is certainly a powder I'll consider in the future.

Thanks, Widener's, for the tip and the opputunity to try a new (to me) powder.  If any of my readers need reloading supplies, give Widener's a chance.

Target, and Bathrooms, and Such

Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

About the time I was prepping for the Fort Worth Shoot, the bathroom brouhaha erupted, but I really didn't pay much attention to it.  You see, at my house, we have three unisex bathrooms.  You go in, lock the door, and do your business.  Or, don't lock the door, your choice.  I've got straight family, gay family, grandkids who need help, it's a bathroom.  Use it.  Don't make an issue out of it.

Evidently, Target didn't realize the crap-storm they were starting by letting anyone use any bathroom in the store.  It's causing problems, according to Peter in the link above.  Go read if you must, but it looks like predators are taking advantage of Target's good nature.  This may bode ill for them in the short term.

I have one piece of advise for Target.  Police the bathrooms yourself, just like I police the gender-neutral bathrooms at my house.  If a predator comes in, it won't bode well for him in the short term, and he may not have  a long term to be concerned about.

I note that some folks are boycotting Target.  That's okay.  I suppose I've been boycotting Target too.  I haven't been in their store in a year or two, simply because it's a not a place that's convenient for me to shop.

This isn't hard, peole.  If everyone would use a little common sense, common decency, and crack down hard on predators (which is also common sense), this thing would work out fine.

Stolen from Angel

I stole this picture from Angel.  It reminds me of a conversation I had several years ago.

I was standing on a corner, in uniform, watching some crowd disperse after an event.  Some dude approached me and asked if I supported LGBT.

"Sure do," I told him.  "Best damn sandwich I ever had."

He looked at me funny, so I continued.  "First ate one in Vah Horn, TX.  It was a sandwich with lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato.  I still remember how good that sandwich was."

He wandered off, muttering to himself.  I still think it's a great sandwich.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels did an NRA commercial.



Go ahead, Charlie.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Aircraft In The Range Fan

It was a beautiful spring morning in 1977, I recall, on the range at Fort Knox, KY.  I had eight tanks lined up on the St. Vith range.  M60A1 Main Battle Tanks, the fabled M1 was still five or six years in the future. (I didn't see my first M1 until 1984) I was the platoon leader of 2nd platoon, Co C, 4/37th Armor.  The tanks were loaded with 40 rounds of main gun ammunition, mainly training HEAT-T and sabot TPT (APFSDS-T).  I was the range safety officer, sitting in a M151 Truck, Utility 1/4 ton.  (A jeep, okay?).

St Vith range was a beautiful tank range in the hills of Kentucky.  On both sides of the range, tall ridge lines dominated, because the range was situated in the valley, a perfect spot to conduct live-fire training, because the ride lines helped in keeping the tank rounds in the range fan.  The diesels engines were idling, awaiting a bus-load of brand-new lieutenants from the Armor School.  Our company had been tasked with shepherding them through the first of the main gun tables

In the tower, the range officer was conducting coms checks with the tanks while being overseen by our ancient company commander.  He was a mustang, with Vietnam service and was probably in his early 30s.  We called him The Blade, because he cut young lieutenants deep, wide and continuously.  He hated us on a rotating basis and this morning he was screwing with someone else.  I was okay with that.

The bus arrived with the students, and I watched them gather in the bleachers behind the range tower.  I got out of the jeep, sloshed the dregs of my coffee out of the Thermos cup, and walked over to the bleachers, where I gave my Standard Safety Briefing.  I was followed by the 1st platoon leader, who gave his standard Firing Briefing, and we broke the students down into crews for the exercise.

The students climbed up on the tanks, settled in, and we had just began the first engangement, a borsight exercise at 1200 yards, where they fired at boresight panels and adjusted the sights for zero.  I was back in my jeep, about fifty yards behind the line on a small knoll where I could watch the frivolity, when I suddenly noticed four small spots in the sky, directly downrange, about 200 feet AGL, getting bigger by the second.

I picked up the radio handset "Cease Fire, Cease Fire.  High performance aircraft in the range fan. All Tanks unload guns and display a green flag."

I heard The Blade key his mic.  "2-1,(my radio call sign) what the hell are you talking about?"

Just about that time, the flight of what I had now identified as F4 Phantoms screamed past the range tower on full burner.  I looked up at the tower, and saw The Blade step out on the balcony.  He looked like he was about to have a hematoma.  He grabbed the telephone to range control, and I couldn't hear what he was saying, but I bet it was both profane, derogatory, and impressive.
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The F4s made a wide turn, went back downrange till they were little dots in the sky, just over the trees, then turned and came around again.  Burning right down the middle of my range fan.  They screamed past us again, broke left, then came around for another pass.  On the third pass, they waved at us.  By this time, I thought The Blade was going to have a stroke.  They waggled their wings, lifted up over the ridge line, and were gone.

It was a surreal moment.  Everything was quiet, too quiet, then I heard the range officer key up his mic and start giving firing commands.  The tanks displayed red flags, and the training resumed.

The Blade came down about fifteen minutes later to tall me I had done good.  He had talked with Range Control.  The flight of Phantoms was from the Ohio Air Guard and were practicing tank-killing.  They had another range set up about three miles away with some derelict tanks for dry runs, had gotten lost and came down on our range.  They were sorry.

For me, it was just another day on the range.  I managed to get an "Attaboy" from The Blade, but you know what they say about "Attaboy".  One "Aw Shit" wipes out a thousand "Attaboys".  With The Blade, it was my Karma to get another "Aw Shit".  But, as I sipped a hot cup of coffee from my thermos, I basked in the fleeting feeling of an Attaboy.

Gunfighting

I was reminded this morning this morning in the pre-dawn darkness that I let an anniversary pass with no fanfare.  In April of 1981, I first put on a badge and strapped on a duty belt as a police officer.  Thirty five years as a peace officer.  I'm now in the autumn of my career, and it's been a good one.

What reminded me of the anniversary was a comment thread on The Book of Face talking about gun fights.  The guy posting said that they are generally short, fast, and lethal.  For years, gun fights fell into what we call the 3-3-3 rule, which meant that the majority of real-world gun fights happen in 3 seconds, with 3 shots, inside of 3 yards.  They're very fast, close and personal. You can google it yourself, and while some of the gun fights that make the news fall outside of those parameters, we compile data and we compare averages, and those hold up fairly well.

I've been in two real-world gunfights in my 35 years.  Neither one of them met the standard. In one, no shots were fired, in the other, only one side did any shooting.  Weird, but I consider them my closest to being in a gunfight.

The first, my partner and I were serving an arrest warrant at a home on the edge of town.  The house was a stick structure, an off-the-ground frame house.  We knocked on the door, we heard moving feet, a woman answered the door and, visibly distraught, told us that our perp had just run out the back door.  And that he had a gun.

I was first in the door, and saw the screen door on the back of the home, swing shut.  My partner bolted around the house and I went through the back door.   The only thing in the back yard was a clothesline and a small storage building, so I drew my revolver, saw my partner come around the side of the house and we closed on the storage building.

My partner gestured to me to look behind the building, so I started "cutting the pie" around the back of the building and saw my perp, looking toward where my partner was approaching.  I took a good sight picture on his spine between his shoulder blades and calmly told him that I was about to shoot him down if he didn't surrender.  I don't remember my exact words.  The perp surrendered.  We cuffed him and stuffed him, and I consider that my first gunfight.  I had cleared leather, identified a target, and he surrendered before I had to shoot him.  Everyone went home safe.  Except for the perp, who went to jail safe.  I still remember his name, and I'm pretty sure that he's through serving his sentence.

The second gunfight is more problematic. I didn't even realize I was in a gunfight until it was over.

I had stopped to help a fellow officer with some task (honestly, I don't recall, probably a traffic accident).  Several of us were standing nearby, when we heard a Pop, Pop, Pop. I heard a bullet whistle past, and we ducked.  Some jazzbo had decided to do a drive-by on the Po-Po. Another officer who was responding took him down about 100 yards away without incident.  I consider that my second shooting-related incident.  No one was hurt, and I don't even remember that guy's name.

In the intervening years, I've shot IPSC, USPSA, the standard police training. I've been on two SWAT teams.  Now I'm shooting Cowboy Fast Draw. It's a heck of a lot of fun, but don't confuse it with a real-world gunfight.  What you see in the movies, or on TV, isn't anything like the real world.

As far as I know, the 3-3-3 rule still applies.  Training is good, training is great, training keeps your skill-set sharp, but don't confuse it with the real world either.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One More

Just one more picture from the Texas State/Southern Territorials shoot.


Me and my gal.  Ain't she pretty?

So, I'm Wondering

It looks to me like Donald Trump has a good chance of winning the Republican nomination, after his sweep of five primaries on Tuesday.

We'll see if Cruz stays in the race.

So, I'm wondering if we've ever elected a president who has stepped into the Oval Office without ever having held elective office, and the answer is Yes.

Zachary Taylor, for example, was a career military officer, rose to the rank of Major General, and comanded US forces in the Mexican conflict.

We can't forget US Grant.  Also a career military officer who commanded US forces during our Civil War.

Then there is William Howard Taft, who was Secretary of War, Solicitor General of the United States, and Governor-General of the Philippines.

Then there is Herbert Hoover, who was Secretary of Commerce.

And last, but not least, Dwight D Eisenhower, another career military officer who was instrumental in winning World War II.

So, yeah, we've elected presidents who have never before held elective office.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Best Dressed

When we're cowboy shooting, yu want to look the part.  We're re-enactors, after all, and the CFDA has loose guidelines for participating.  We can, of course, dress in what I call modern working cowboy, which is boots, jeans, long sleeved shirt, and hat.  Those are the basic guidelines for the men.  Or, you can go whole-hog, with period correct from your hat down to your boots.

I haven't yet run into what I call a "stitch Nazi", and you can mix eras if you like.  Texas Rose, one of our Regulators, calls this "mostly period correct".  I, for example, have shown up at a shoot in normal modern boots, blue jeans, and an 1880s shirt.  My hat is a blend of two eras.  It's okay, we have fun with it, and we if you're sitting around, jawing with other members, you can learn a lot about what constitutes "period correct".  I recently learned that there were two styles of boots from that era, the 2-piece and the 3-piece.  I haven't shorted it all out in my mind, yet, but it's a lot of fun, and it lends color and style to the atmosphere of an event.

We normally have a banquet at the sanctioned shoots, and some folks go all-out on the dress.  The ladies like to sparkle and the men... even ZZ Top reminds us that every lady's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.  So, it's fun to dress for the banquet and this year, Zachary decided to play.  Milady helped him put together an outfit and when the judging was complete, Zach had snapped up Best Dressed Young Man.

They took a group picture, and the winners look great.


Good looking bunch, don't you think?  Of course, that's Zach at 3:00, who took fifth place in the Southern Territorials, and various other honors and recognition.

At 12:00, we have Skagway Sam, a shooter out of the North Texas club.  Skagway took 5th place overall in the Southern Territorials.  He's one of my gurus when it comes to re-enacting and has answered many questions about period dress.  Skagway is a friend, a gentleman, and a sharp competitor.

At 9:00, that lovely lady in the stunning hat, we call Slow Poke.  She's not walking heeled in this photo, but don't mistake her for someone to trifle with.  She's out of Virginia and is the Virginia State Champion, the reigning Four Corners Territorial Champion, and came to Texas with the express intention of competing for and winning the Southern Territorials.  She took home the trophy, the belt buckle and the concho.  Slow Poke is a gracious lady, a fierce competitor, and I'm proud to call her a friend.  I just hope I don't come up against her on the line.

I'm embarrassed that I can't remember the little gal's name who is standing down front, but I watched her shoot and her alias simply escapes me at the moment.   I know I saw her take a trophy during the awards.  She's got at least two; one for best dressed and one for gunfighting.

Gunfighting is a lot of fun, but there's no reason that we can't look nice while we compete.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meanwhile, in Maine

Surfing around, I come to Wirecutter's place and find this picture.  I'd love to know the story behind it.


A car on fire, and a moose bathing the twins in a kiddie pool.  I'd love to know the story behind that photo.  I lol'd, I did.

**Edit** Snopes says it's a composite.

Zach's Excellent Weekend

Texas State and the Southern Territorials are now in the record books.  PawPaw and Milady are home.  The competition was stiff, the people were friendly, the men were gentlemen and the ladies were gracious.  It was altogether a fabulous event.

A recap:  Milady took third place in her bracket at Texas State.  She has another trophy to put on the mantle.

PawPaw got certified as a rangemaster.  He didn't bring home any trophies, but he learned a lot and got a certification completed.

Akarate Zach did a little better.  He had a magnificent weekend.

For Texas State, he was the 1st place shooter in the Billy the Kid, One-handed shooter bracket.
Fourth Place Billy the Kid overall, Texas State.
Best Dressed Young Man, at the Saturday night banquet.

But, on Sunday, he was seeded to shoot in the championship shoot-off for the Southern Territorials.  The Southern Territory comprises the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  After the smoke had settled and the dust had cleared, we found that Zach was the Fifth Place shooter in the Billy the Kid (Youth, male) division.

I didn't write down his fastest time in the finals, but it was in the neighborhood of .0.580, which is just a few milliseconds longer than it takes to blink your eye.  He missed a few shots, so we need to work on accuracy, but overall, Zach had a very good weekend. A most excellent weekend.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The California Holster

We've talked about the California holster (or, the Slim Jim if you prefer.)  This holster is designed for the 7.5" Colt Clone, or the Ruger of the same length.  This is a long gun holster, and the CFDA has specs for the holster, which we talked about here.


While here at Texas State/Southern Territorials, I was able to take some pictures of a couple of nice holsters.  The first one is worn by a gal who shoots the long gun very competently.  She was gracious enough to let me take a picture of her holster.  I haven't reduced the size of these pictures, so my son should be able to enlarge them as big as our equipment will allow.  Click on it for a larger image.


The second series is a gentleman's holster, worn by a gentleman who decided today to shoot his long gun.  He was also very gracious (as every member of the CFDA is).  I asked about the lack of a tie-down and he told me that a tie-down on a long gun holster is all wrong.  You want the holster to rotate on the draw, otherwise the muzzle of the gun will catch the lip of the holster, causing the shooter to lose control of the gun.  



Edit to Add:  I learned later that this particular shooter is a Regulator named Wild Shot, out of the state of Idaho.  Regulators do lots of things for the organization, taking a lot of the administration load for the organization.  They act as organizers, experts, and arbitrators.  They can give classes, interpret rules, and certify certain aspects of training.  The Regulators do just as their name implies, they regulate the sport.  Thanks for your help, Wild Shot!!

He told me that this particular holster was used to make the CFDA design specs for a California holster.  Neither a toe plug nor a bullet deflector is mandatory; they are both optional.


The Shootist Category that they're shooting today is interesting.  It's not a separate match, you simply sign up and shoot the long gun during the main match.  The computer knows that you're a shootist and assigns values based on your fastest time and your accuracy and gives those competitors a ranking after the match is over.

On a personal note, I did better today than I've ever done at a major competition.  I was alive after the fifth round, but got killed during the sixth round by a Junior shooter who normally shoots in the 4s and 5s.  He's a great kid, of the Big Thicket Bushwackers from Silsbee, TX.  I've known him for a year or so, and goes by the alias Willie Hit It.  He'll be fifteen years old soon, and is already a seasoned competitor.  When we stepped up to the line, he shook my hand.

"Major D", Williie said, "How are you today?"

"I'm okay, son.  You shoot your game, and I'll shoot mine." I replied.  I did not have a good feeling about this match.  Willie is fast, and accurate.  

We got the set command, and I drew and fired.  My light blinked and I knew that Willie had missed.  I had him 1-0.

The second shot, I missed, and his light flashed.  We were tied up, 1-1.

The third shot, My light went out, but his was blinking.  We were now 1-2.  Willie had outdrawn me.  We had both hit the target, but he had hit his some three-tenths faster than I had. 

The third SET came, and we waited for the light.  I drew, fired, and noticed that my light wasn't flashing.  He had done it again, but this time, about four-teths of a second faster than me.

We both had three good hits (out of four shots) on the target, but Willie had beat me, fair and square.  He simply out-ran the old man. He shook my hand, like a gentleman and thanked me for the challenge.

In truth, there is no way I challenged this kid.  He was being nice to an old man, which I appreciate.

But, I made it to the sixth round of the Southern Territorials, which is better than I've ever done in a major sanctioned match.  Tomorrow is another day, and we've got bracket matches tomorrow.

Friday, April 22, 2016

TX State - Day III

Day three of the Texas State match, and we finished up the Texas State Championships.  A few nice surprises.

Milady won 3rd place in her bracket.  Blue Eyed Belle is the 3rd Place Women's Shooter in the Deputies bracket, Texas State Championships.


Grandson Zach had a good day.  He won Fourth Place overall in the Billy The Kid category  and was the First Place Billy the Kid, one-hand shooter.  Very good work, Akarate Zach.

Tomorrow morning, we push the reset button and begin the Southern Territorials.Congratulations to Milady and my grandson, I'm very proud of them both.

I'm going to have a stiff drink and pile up in the bed.  The alarm will go off at 5:00, and we've got to attend a gunfight.

Cowboy Fast Draw In The News

Cowboy Fast Draw Competition: Cowboys and Cowgirls go at it in the fast draw competition

The local news station came out yesterday and did a little filming.  We had a lot of tourists walking around the competition.  I personally spoke to one couple from the UK who were touring around, trying to get a little Old West culture.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Texas - Day II

The first day of the Texas State match, and I'm out.  Four Xs  by 1:00, and I'm gone for the day.  However, lots of folks to visit with, lots of fun to be had, so I enjoyed myself.  Milady X'd out shortly after  did, but grandson Zach is still alive.

Milady putting wax on a target.

Zach is still alive and well, ready for the shoot-offs tomorrow

We'll shoot bracket matches tomorrow morning, then finish Texas State.  On Saturday, we begin the second major match, the Southern Territorials.

We're having fun,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Texas Shoot

We've arrived in Fort Worth.  Checked in to the hotel and found the venue.


We found a bunch of old friends.  In the photo above, Blue Eyed Belle, is catching up with Skagway Sam.  We did a little shooting today, we're relaxing in the hotel right now, and in a few minutes, we're going to Billy Bob's for a Meet-And-Greet.  Tomorrow starts the main Texas State Championship match.

More later.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Death and Taxes

 Ben Domenech makes the argument over at The Federalist that I've been making for ten or fifteen years.  For true tax reform, end withholding of federal taxes.
The overwhelming majority of Americans pay their taxes by having them extracted from their paychecks before they ever see the money. Operating under the fiction that the government is giving you money as opposed to returning what it has already taken is damaging to the psyche of the nation’s taxpayers. The primary argument against such a move – that millions of irresponsible Americans in the income tax-paying classes won’t save up enough to write a giant check to the government come April 15th – encourages a viewpoint of the role of government as an entity that must constantly protect us from ourselves.
Mandatory withholding protects us from ourselves.  We don't have to  write a check to the government once a month.  It's really quite painless.  Entirely too painless.

If the overwhelming majority of taxpayers had to send in quarterly payments (like businesses do), the tax revolt would be immediate and overwhelming.  As it is now, we've got no skin in the game.  Ending withholding would put every taxpayer firmly in the game.

What are the chances?

Lexington and Concord

I am reminded that on this day in 1775, the opening shots of the Revolutionary War were fired at the villages of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts.
Some witnesses among the regulars reported the first shot was fired by a colonial onlooker from behind a hedge or around the corner of a tavern. Some observers reported a mounted British officer firing first. Both sides generally agreed that the initial shot did not come from the men on the ground immediately facing each other.[54] Speculation arose later in Lexington that a man named Solomon Brown fired the first shot from inside the tavern or from behind a wall, but this has been discredited.[55] Some witnesses (on each side) claimed that someone on the other side fired first; however, many more witnesses claimed to not know. Yet another theory is that the first shot was one fired by the British, that killed Asahel Porter, their prisoner who was running away (he had been told to walk away and he would be let go, though he panicked and began to run). Historian David Hackett Fischer has proposed that there may actually have been multiple near-simultaneous shots.[56] Historian Mark Urban claims the British surged forward with bayonets ready in an undisciplined way, provoking a few scattered shots from the militia. In response the British troops, without orders, fired a devastating volley. This lack of discipline among the British troops had a key role in the escalation of violence.
 Thus began the shooting war.  It would drag on for many long years before we won our independence.

Here's an interesting little tidbit that I had never read.  From the link above:
After Percy had left the city, Gage directed two ammunition wagons guarded by one officer and thirteen men to follow. This convoy was intercepted by a small party of older, veteran militiamen still on the "alarm list," who could not join their militia companies because they were well over 60 years of age. These men rose up in ambush and demanded the surrender of the wagons, but the regulars ignored them and drove their horses on. The old men opened fire, shot the lead horses, killed two sergeants, and wounded the officer. The British survivors ran, and six of them threw their weapons into a pond before they surrendered.[104]
Ignore old men with rifles at your peril.  We've learned a thing or two, and we don't have long to fight.

Let Freedom Ring.

Hot Sauce

Evidently, hot sauce is a black thing.  Who knew?  I thought it was a deep South thing.  But, serial panderer Hillary is catching flak because she claimed to keep hot sauce in her bag. (A phrase that has roots, apparently, in popular rap culture).
During an appearance on “The Breakfast Club,” a morning radio show on Urban/Hip Hop radio station Power 105.1 in New York, Hillary Clinton (D-NY)said she always carries hot sauce with her wherever she goes.
The radio hosts immediately responded with giggles and snorts of recognition. You see, the suggestion that she carries hot sauce in her purse was immediately recognized as the lowest form of pandering to the radio program’s African-American audience.
Maybe hot sauce is a black thing in New York, but around here, it's an indispensable condiment.  I've probably got a half-dozen bottles of varying flavor and heat in the cabinet.  The proper hot sauce is a matter of taste and discrimination.

 Of course, the fact that Hillary is pandering for black votes in New York should come as no surprise.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Burying a Rifle

We've all thought about it.  This guy did it.  For fifteen years.  Then he dug it up.
With the cap removed it was immediately obvious that no moisture had gotten into the pipe. I carefully slid the contents out on to a table for examination. After unwrapping the duct tape and removing the outer bag, it was obvious that all was OK. All of the individual packages were unwrapped to reveal the contents were as good as the day they were packaged.
That is all.

35W

There's this highway in Texas, 35W.  A portion of I-35, it stretches from  Laredo to Gainesville, all the way across the state.  At the DFW metro area it splits into two parts, east and west.  Last year when we went to the stockyards, 35W was "under construction".  This year, 35W is "under construction".

I know road work takes time, but when Texas Monthly is writing unflattering articles about the project, maybe it's time to let the traffic flow.  And, judging from Fort Worth's own Star-Telegram, it looks like work on 35W there has reached the disaster stage.
I-35W madness: Road work wreaks havoc on north Fort Worth
That's just the headline.  The story is much worse.  I'm sure that somewhere in the Texas DOT offices, there is one sadistic traffic planner  laughing gleefully.

There simply must be a way to do road work without affecting the safety, sanity, and traffic flow of millions of people.  Texas DOT hasn't figured it out.  Judging from the articles I've been seeing, they're not interested in figuring it out.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Finishing Touches

We're getting ready for the Texas trip next week, and Milady has been putting some finishing touches on her outfits.  She's put together an outfit that we think is authentic from the 1880s.  She'll wear it Saturday night when the association meets for supper.


I think it looks great.   (We're stoked abut this trip.)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Slim Jim Holster

At the club today, I talked with my buddy, Big Mark Markley, and he happened to have a Slim Jim holster in his truck, from one of the premier holster makers in the US.    My buddy Dusty Damrel, aslso known as Part Time, makes all manner of leather goods and sells them through his business, Crease N Corral.  Part Time makes holsters for Milady, and if you want to see good leatherwork, give his site a visit.

This is one of Part Time's holsters, his interpretation of a Slim Jim or California style holster.
Side view of the holster.  It's border-stamped.  I tried to keep the image size as large as I could.  You can click it to make it bigger.


Front view.  This is a left-handed holster and in this view you can see the attachment of the hammer thong.


Back view of the holster.

And, finally, an inside view of the holster, showing the belt attachment.


This particular holster has a toe plug, but I don't think it's required.  But, it is  good safety feature.

Very nice leather work from a very good craftsman.

Shows Cancelled

Okay, I've got to wonder about this.

Bruce Springsteen has cancelled a show in North Carolina over their new bathroom law.

Ringo Starr has cancelled a show in North Carolina over the new bathroom law.

I understand a host of other folks are cancelling shows over the bathroom law. Google it yourself.

Call me simple, call me stupid, but I don't think it's much of a stretch to know which bathroom you're supposed to use.  If you have a penis, for example, use the men's room.  It's really pretty simple.  We've been using this procedure for lots of years and it's fine.  Really it is.  Many places have unisex facilites, normally what we used to call a one-holer.  A small room with a single toilet and wash basin.  That works great too.  Go in, lock the door, they all work the same way.

The LGBT crowd is all up in outrage because they feel that the law discriminates, but I fail to see the discrimination.  I can't use the ladies room, because I'm not a female.  It's that penis thing again.  The law applies equally.

I understand that Mississippi is also working on a law, that if passed, will take the state "back to the stone age".  Not my words, their words.  Bryan Adams has cancelled a show at one of the Tunica casinos and I'm sure that both of his fans are disappointed.  The casino involved will probably not suffer a loss on the show, because now they don't have to comp any tickets.  The slot machines will not be affected.

For the record, I am not anti-LGBT.  Quite the contrary.  I'm also not easily outraged.  These laws seem to be balanced on the face, not discriminatory, and actually fairly reasonable.  If you have a penis, use the men's room.

Am I missing something here?

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Lie Detector

I was reading Murphy's post at his blog, and in the same hour, I got a notice from a buddy of mine that he was publishing a new book.  My buddy, if you click on the link, is a fellow named Darrel Poole,   Darrel got his PhD studying police ethics, and he still works as a beat cop.

At any rate, Darrel studies police ethics, and Murphy was talking about police ethics, so it's time to tell a story about a lie detector.

You'll notice that I didn't say anything about a polygraph.  There are no polygraphs in this story.  What we'll use is a good old-fashioned police lie detector.  Our story starts at a small city police office in north Louisiana.  About 40 sworn officers.  The protagonist in our story is a fellow we'll call Jerry.  Jerry was a detective in this small agency, one of a half-dozen plainclothes officers.

The detectives shared one room in the police building.  One large room with six desks where the detectives did their business.  Next to Jerry's desk was the office copy machine.  It sat on a table and when someone wanted a copy, they came over to the copier by Jerry's desk.

One day, at the small hospital in town, Jerry noticed an EKG electrode laying on a table and asked about it.  It was broken, he was told and they were throwing it away.  Jerry asked, and took it.  Jerry went back to his office later, and taped the end of that electrode to the back of the copy machine.  Jerry made a sign that said HE's LYING in big letters and put it in a desk drawer.

The scenario went like this:  When Jerry needed to interview a suspect that he thought was lying, he'd surreptitiously  slip that sign into the copy machine, then he'd ask the subject if he would agree to take a lie detector test.  If the subject agreed, Jerry would, with great ceremony, retrieve the suction-cup end of the EKG device, coat it with a tube of vaseline, and stick it on the forehead of the subject.

So, there the suspect sits, a small wire trailing down his nose, going to the back of the "Lie Detector".  Every so often, Jerry would stop the interview, punch the button on the machine to get a "report" and retrieve a copy that said, HE's LYING".

Jerry made more than a few cases with his Lie Detector.  Occasionally, he'd be asked about it in court.  The conversation would normally go like this:

Attorney: "Detective, my client tells me that you subjected him to a polygraph exam.  Do you have the results of that polygraph?"

Jerry: "No, sir.  Our department doesn't have a polygraph."

Attorney: "So, it's your testimony that you never subjected my client to a polygraph examination."

Jerry: "That's right, sir.  The nearest polygraph that I'm aware of is in Shreveport, and we very seldom use it.  I certainly never took your client to Shreveport."

It's a true story.  As they used to say in the old series Dragnet, "This story is true, but all the names have been changed to protect the ignorant."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Shootist

Some of you may remember that I found a revolver at Christmas-time that I simply couldn't pass up.


You may recall that it's a Ruger (old) Vaquero in .45 Colt, and it has that nice, lovely 7.5 inch barrel.  After I got it home, I realized that it is a Turnbull restoration, which certainly adds to the allure of the revolver.

The CFDA has something they call the Shootist Category.  Here's how they define it.
The Shootist category is for competitors that use Slim Jim Holsters and revolvers with a minimum barrel length of 7-1/2”. There shall also be a Men’s & Lady’s Division of this category, but the category will not be further divided into aged based sub-categories. Note: We have found factory tolerances in barrel lengths on some models actually measure less than 7-1/2”, this is acceptable as long as it is a true factory tolerance. A 7” S&W Schofield Revolver or reproductions are also allowed in this category, with same factory tolerances as mentioned above.
My Vaquero absolutely qualifies.  Many of the guns I've seen on the long-gun line are Vaqueros.  But I haven't done anything about a holster.  Before I got much farther, I scrolled down through the specs in the Gunslinger's Guidelines to find the specs on a Shootist Category holster.  The current definition is below.

SHOOTIST CATEGORY SLIM-JIM/CALIFORNIA PATTERN HOLSTERS SPECIFICATIONS
1. The gun must fit the holster, no oversized holster boots or pouches allowed.
2. There will be no more than a 20-degree (front or back) holster cant while the shooter is in a normal standing position.
3.The holster pouch side-cut will cover all of the cylinder when viewed from the side.
4.The front holster pouch cut (top of the gun frame) will not be lower than 2” below the top of gun belt.
5.The gun belt must be of straight-cut design. Note: It is a natural occurrence for a belt to develop a contour by conforming to the shooter’s body during continuous use. It is also acceptable for manufacturers to simulate natural contours.
6. The gun belt may be notched to keep the holster in place (not to exceed ¼”).
7. The trigger guard of the gun must have a resting point within the rear of the holster pouch to constitute the legal start position.
8. The top and bottom of the belt loop must be sewn on the back of the holster, no part of the loop may extend above the holster pouch.
9. No tie downs may be used.
10. If there are specific questions in regards to what is and what is not a Slim Jim/California Pattern holster, we invite you to reference the book Packing Iron by Richard C. Rattenbury. Specifically Pages 74-95, with the exception of the bottom of page 94.
No tie downs?  Whatthehell are they talking about, no tie downs?

So, then I went over to El Paso Saddlery to get a visual idea of what the holster should look like.


 And, sure enough, I don't see a tie-down on any of those holsters.  That's very interesting, and certainly more research is in order.  I'll be at Texas State next week, where I can take pictures of what the guys and gals are using in that category.

When I get back fro Texas State, I'll get with my son and commission a holster.  Perhaps then, I'll have a better idea of what I need to compete in that category.

This might get interesting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ammo

I see an article over on Business Wire that says that the market for ammunition is forecast to grow over the next five years.
The increase in defense expenditure for military modernization programs in developing economies, high rate of participation in hunting &sport activities, growing number of female shooters and rise in demand from private end-users for home/personal security, are some of the key factors driving the global small caliber ammunition market. Heightened civil conflicts and rise in terrorist activities across the world are expected to further increase the business prospects for the ammunition industry.
The global small caliber ammunition industry is expected to see civilian (self-defense) market to gain momentum mainly on account of personal safety/security concerns amid rising civil conflicts. Hunting, shooting & sports market followed by military/armed forces sector is anticipated to be key business domains that will drive towards a high market share (by value) for ammo manufacturers over the forecasted period (2016-2022).
I've been corresponding with Alan Davis, over at Widener's.  For those of you who don't recognize the name, Wideners is an outfit that sells lots of stuff, including reloading components.  We've both lived through ammo shortages and we know how hard it can be to enjoy our sport when we don't have the ammo to expend.  There are only three or four large ammo manufacturers in the US (ATK, Remington and Winchester come to mind), and a host of smaller outfits.  Some you've never heard of because they produce niche ammo for the military markets. And, of course, we import a lot of ammo.

The simple fact is that there are only two ways to get ammo.  Buy it assembled, ready to go.  Or, you can build it yourself.  I've talked a lot about ammo and handloading in these pages.  While I'm not an expert, I am certainly a practitioner.

You can accuse Warren Buffet of a lot of things, but one of the things that he does very well is keep his finger on the pulse of the economy.  If he says ammunition is going to be a hot commodity over the next several years, it behooves us all to pay attention.  Go read the link above.  Buffet believes that ammo is going to be hot, that governments are going to be buying a lot of it.  Production capacity is finite and wars are greedy, and supplies might be limited.

Now might be a good time to stock up on components.  I'm not calling for a general scare or a fools rush on the local ammo store, but it might be a good time to check your stocks and build a reliable supply.  If you haven't taken up handloading yet, now might be a good time to consider it.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Death and Taxes

Someone once said that the only two things that are inevitable are death and taxes.  And the IRS is making death by taxes look more and more like a possibility.  Milady and I aren't rich by any means.  She's a nurse and I'm a cop.  I retired from the state, and now I work as a parish deputy.  She retired from a state hospital and now works in private practice.  So, we've got four piddling incomes, the kids are grown and gone, and we're feeling pretty good about ourselves.  We're not rich by any means.  We're the middle class.  Working stiffs who pay our bills, live within our means, and try to have a little fun now that we've made it into our 60s.  We don't even itemize.  Turbo-tax makes me take the standard deduction.  We're doing okay, feeling good about ourselves, and enjoying life.

Until tax time.  My God, they take a big wet, juicy bite out of my butt this time every year.  Yeah, we have withholding, the same as last year, but my "write the check" tax bite just goes up and up. The check is large enough that (without providing too many details), that I'm going to see a banker today.  No big deal, but it requires a trip to the bank.

Just to give you an idea of our total tax liability, my last full year on active duty was 1979.  We had two kids and had a car note.  I was an O-2 with three years of service.  I didn't make as much money that year as I'm paying in taxes this year.  I'm amazed, the US Government is getting back every cent.

Milady and I were discussing it last night.  We're supporting a family of four that we don't even know.

It's utter bullshit.  It's confiscation on a huge scale.  There are a lot of folks who don't pay taxes, or (in che case of the unEarned Income Credit), you may actually get more back as a refund than you actually paid in.  That's right, some folks have a net-negative tax bill.

Politicians are big about talk.  That's their stock-in-trade.  They talk about the One Percent, they talk about rebuilding the middle class.  They talk about fairness.  It's not fair at all.  If 20 cents out of every dollar I make goes to the IRS, tell me how that's fair, when some folks don't pay taxes at all.

We need a reset in this country and we'll explore the options later.  Right now, I have to go see a banker.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Gunslinger Video

Mary Ellen Russel put up a little video of the invitational shoot yesterday.  It's a little over four minutes, but it shows a lot of what goes on at a Cowboy Fast Draw shoot.



Cive it a look.

Booster Pump

Son Barrett and I just finished installing a new booster pump for the swimming pool cleaner.  We use a side-pressure cleaner, which reqires a booster pump and after eight years the original pump bit the dist.

Not a bad job when you have a pump guy doing the work.  It sent together just like it was supposd to, and the cleaner is working in the pool right now.  Good stuff.


For my records, it's a Polaris PB4-60 booster pump and I got it from Amazon.com.

The BTB Invitational

We traveled to Silsbee TX yesterday to shoot with our friends, The Big Thicket Bushwackers.

Major D and Blue Eyed Belle.
Akarate Zach popping a primer.
The future of the sport.  These four fellows are safe, fast, and accurate.  Staunch competitors and a joy to be around.
Our host, Gentleman George.
PawPaw has to go fire up the barbecue pit in a few minutes.  We're cooking hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch and the crew will be over in another hour or so.

Then, who knows, we might set up the range and do a little shooting.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Finally Friday

It's finally Friday, and thank God for it.  This has been One Of Those Weeks, and PawPaw is tired. Nothing major, just lots of hours.  Hopefully the day will go well and I'll start my weekend at 3:00.

I'll make a couple of quick stops o the way home, then start preparing for Saturday.  We'll get up pre-dawn tomorrow and head for Silsbee, TX for an invitational shoot, a tune-up before the big match in Fort Worth.  Drive home after dark, fall into bed and get ready for Sunday.

We'll do our normal Sunday thing.  I think I'm going to cook burgers on the charcoal pit.  I haven't done that in a while, then my son and I will install a booster pump on the swimming pool.  The booster pump went out last season, and I haven't gotten around to changing it.  This week I acquired the pump, all the fittings, and supplies we'll need.  It should be a fairly straightforward job, and he works around pumps for a living.  Much larger pumps than I use for a small pool, but the techniques should be the same.

It's going to be a busy weekend, but an enjoyable one.  I'll try to take plenty of pictures at the shoot on Saturday.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Dilbert

I've been following Dilbert for years, but this series had me snorting Coca-cola through my nose at work today.  If necessary, click on the cartoons to make them larger.

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:


I snorted Diet Coke halfway across the lobby.  Like the rest of us, you'll have to click the link tomorrow to see what happens next.

Facepalm

Drinking coffee in the pre-dawn, I was surfing around over at Wirecutter's place and found this little gem about students at Indiana University mistaking a clergyman for a KKK member.  Yeah, really.
Residential hall advisor Ethan Gill quickly wrote an email to his students, warning them of the “threat” on campus: “There has been a person reported walking around campus in a KKK outfit holding a whip. Because the person is protected under first amendment rights, IUPD cannot remove this person from campus unless an act of violence is committed. Please PLEASE PLEASE be careful out there tonight, always be with someone and if you have no dire reason to be out of the building, I would recommend staying indoors if you’re alone.”
It turns out that the "threat" was a clergyman in white robes.  The "whip" was the cord tied around his waist.  Of course, the warning goes viral, it spreads all over campus, but then Gill learns that the whole thing is an error of identification.
 “Then my residents, terrified, come running to me, saying yeah the report must be true, they saw him and couldn‘t believe there was a klansmember [sic] with a whip,” he explained. “And I see this picture. It’s a priest. With a rosary.”
Two problems here.  First is the mis-identification.  It would seem to me that it's easy enough to tell the difference between the robe of a KKK member and the clerical clothing worn by priests. This speaks to the general level of education at Indiana University.  Even if you're not a member of the Roman faith, one should at least be familiar enough with the clergy to know the special garb that is often worn by religious persons.

The second problem is the level of hyper-sensitivity that this story displays?  Was the guy doing anything dangerous?  Was he causing problems?  Even if it was a Klansman with a whip, was he doing anything illegal, or hurting anyone?  If not, why the general alarm?  Yeah, I know that the Klan is a scary bunch, but that is no reason to be afraid.  They certainly anger me, but they don't scare me.

There is so much wrong in this story that I'm tempted just to laugh it off.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Showdown in Cowtown

I've talked about this before, but later this month, Major D, Blue Eyed Bell, and Akarate Zach are headed to Fort Worth Texas for a combined event; The Texas State Championship and the Southern Territorials of Cowboy Fast Draw.  April 20-24, we'll be shooting at the historic Stockyards.


Of course, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.  Lots of info on that little poster.

Last year, it was two separate events, but this year three clubs have combined to do one large event with two sanctioned matches.  Again, last year, each separate event drew over 100 participants and they're hoping that this year they can top it.

The historic stockyards has an events page linked to their calendar that has more information.

We're stoked.  There will be plenty to do, plenty to watch, lots of good food and shopping opportunities.  It'll be a nice mini-vacation for both Milady and me.  They've got lots of things planned for us when we're not shooting.  Or, you can just slip off and do your own thing.

I'm really looking forward to this.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Hats

I've been talking a lot about cowboy stuff lately, so let's talk about hats.

Probably the most iconic hat, when we think about Cowboy hats, is Stetson.  Stetson is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year and they have a line of hats out to celebrate that milestone.  Starting in 1865, John Sttson made a hat that he called "The Boss of the Plains".  It became an iconic hat, synonymous with the cowboy hat.  It's still a popular model and you can buy one today.

I have a Stetson, that Milady bough for me a couple of Christmases ago.  Part of the Gun Club collection, mine is a gray, 5X beaver hat.  It's a little bit more dressy than the standard cowboy hat, and very well made, as we expect from a Stetson.

The hat that is symbolic of the Cavalry, PawPaw's favorite branch, is also called the Cavalry Stetson, although many of the hats worn by today's troopers aren't made by Stetson.    Mine in particular, is made by the New York Hat Company.  They call it the Gambler and it works well as a Cav hat. The simple fact of the matter is that Stetson didn't even start making hats until after the Civil War, so if you ever have someone try to sell you a Civil War era Cav Stetson, do your research.  It ain't a Stetson.



Of course, you can't really talk about western hats without talking about Resistol Hats.  Lots of these hats are worn by country music stars, rodeo cowboys, working ranchers and run-of-the-mill folks.  PawPaw himself has worn Resistol hats although I don't have any in my collection right now.  I used to like Resistol straw hats for summer wear.  I am told that both Resistol and Stetson are now owned by Hatco, Inc of Garland, TX.  They are just brands now, like so many other things in our economy.

There are some craft hat makers around.  Folks who make custom hats for fun and profit.  There is one in particular I've been watching.  Penman hats out of Hillboro, Oregon.  I've been following him on Facebook and he seems to have some very nice hats indeed.  Presumably, you can order just about anything you like from him.  There are contacts at the link if you'd like to contact him.

I like hats and you'll seldom see me wandering about without a hat on my head.  Every company I've linked to above has the PawPaw seal of approval.

Monday, April 04, 2016

The Wild Rag

There's this thing that you've all seen in the westerns, but you've probably never thought much about.  The Wild Rag.  A kerchief,, basically, that a cowboy could use for a variety of things.  To keep the dust out of his face, if necessary, and to hide his face if necessary, and to wipe sweat, and to use as a sling if he broke his arm.  It can also be stylish, to add color and texture to an outfit.

A Wild Rag may not be necessary to a cowboy's outfit, but they certainly provide a finishing touch.  Here's a picture of my buddy, Part-Time, sporting a stylish wild rag.


Just as a counterpoint, here's another friend, Little Kazzy, with a similar wild rag.


A wild rag adds a certain je ne sais quais to a cowboy's outfit.

I was telling my mother about wild rags, and I sent her to a website, Smith and Edwards, to try to explain to her what I was thinking about.  I had made a couple, but was explaining what they were all about.

Today, I get home and look in the mailbox, and Momma has closed the loop on wild rags.  There is a huge supply, of many colors and styles.


I am blown away.  Lots of colors, styles, prints and solids.  That's probably a lifetime supply of wild rags.  Fourteen by my count, plus the couple I made by myself.

Thanks, Momma.  That was a very generous gesture.  Very generous indeed.

**Note** There is nothing new under the sun.  These day, wild rags are used by many warriors.  I used then when I was in the Army, a tactical bandage, or a piece of cotton cloth, and we called them Tactical Bandanas, or Hoo-Rags.  What worked in the 1870s also worked in the 1970s and beyond.  I'm sure that warriors today are still wearing some form of the Wild Rag.  Mine are a lot prettier.

Of course, the Boy Scouts have been using them for years.  On my Honor, I will do my best.....

A Nation of Laws

Victor Davis Hanson posts an article over at PJ Media, where he talks about America and the perception that we are a nation of laws - sort of.

As evidence, he posits that over 300 US cities have claimed themselves to be "santuary" cities and have decided that US laws on immigration simply don't exist in their jurisdictions.  President Obama has himself voided much of the immigration law for Spanish-speaking immigrants, refusing to enforce the laws on the books.

Free speech, per se, no longer exists on many campuses.  And, while we're talking about academia, it's tough to be a white male on many campuses because of the lack of due process over sexual assault violations.  What was once considered perfectly normal human sexuality is now perceived as an assault.  No doesn't mean no, and yes certainly cannot be construed as consent.  It's bewildering.  When you add "safe zones" and "trigger warnings" it is remarkable that any rationally intelligent person would go to a university these days.

But when we consider that the presumptive Democratic nominee is under an active FBI investigation with a reported 140+ FBI agents working her case, the mind simply boggles.  In case no one has heard, Hillary Clinton is under investigation for charges that might include damaging the nations security, failure to protect classified information, conspiracy, and evasion of public transparency laws.
Any fair reading of State Department and general federal government laws regarding the use of classified information by federal employees makes it is clear that Hillary Clinton violated the law—both by improperly setting up her own private server, and then by sending information through it that was classified. And it is evident that Clinton went to such extraordinary lengths in order to mask her communications and shield them from the sort of Freedom of Information Act suits that now are plaguing her—and that she arbitrarily decided which of her private server emails were public and which private, and then simply destroyed thousands of them without audit.
If we are still a nation of laws, Hillary will go to jail.  If we are still a nation of laws, city officials who refuse to enforce immigration law will go to jail.  If we are still a nation of laws, predatory females who falsely accuse men of sexual violence will go to jail.

Professor Hanson finishes strongly, as he always does.
 The end of constitutional America comes not loudly and suddenly with jackboots and brown-shirt thugs, but more insidiously with soft-spoken totalitarians and their “noble” appeals to advancing fairness, diversity, and equality—while identifying as enemies of the people any who commit thought crimes and thus as obstructionists deserve exactly what they get.

Indeed.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Busy Day

I've been living life today and just sat down at the computer to check email, before I toddle off to bed.

We had a big portion of the family over today.  Milady cooked her pork chops and rice, with purple hull peas and cornbread.  Everybody ate, then we set up the range in the backyard to do a little Sunday Family Shoot.  I didn't take any pictures, I was too busy running the line, coaching grandkids, keeping a keen eye out for safety.  Talking guns in general, exploring the mysteries of the single-action revolver.  Good times, good times.

After we finished shooting, I cleaned all the guns, all the while talking to kids and grandkids, showing them how things work.  Then everyone went home and I realized that my brass was filthy-dirty and needed cleaning.

Greg picked the Uberti, after shooting both it and the Ruger, and trying to make the best decision for himself.  I think he made a good choice.  My Ruger is back in the range bag now.

We've got a mini-match with the club in Silsbee, TX next week, and this week is shaping up to be hectic, so after the brass tumbled for an hour or so, I poured a drink and stuffed wax in all those clean casings.  Sorted the range bags, and cleaned the kitchen while Milady sorted out a problem with a client.

It's been a very good day, and PawPaw has to go back to work tomorrow, so I'll shut down this intertube box and wander off to bed.  Back to the world tomorrow.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Ruger or Uberti

Top, Uberti 873 Cattleman.  Almost an exact clone of the old Colt 1873.  The Uberti has the case-hardened receiver.  The mainspring has been lightened, the bolt spring is brand-new.
Bottom, Ruger New Vaquero.  Gunfighter grips. 14 lb mainspring, it fires both shotgun primers and large pistol primers with authority.  The Vaquero, of course, is stainless steel.
Both in .45 Colt, both perfectly legitimate CFDA revolvers.


The choice from yesterday has been made.  Now, someone else has a choice to make.  If I had to chose, I admit I'd be hard-pressed to so so.  They're both fine cowboy revolvers.  Honestly, I don't know, and I don't care.  They each have their pluses and their minuses.

Let me explain to readers what is happening:  Yesterday's post  about two Vaqueros was the first choice.  I have several family members who shoot CFDA, and when I come across a suitable revolver, I am lucky enough to be able to snap it up.

Grandson Zach had been shooting my stainless Vaquero, but I came into an opportunity to get a blue steel Vaquero, so I snapped it up.  I put a 15 pound mainspring in it, and told him that he had an opportunity to swap pistols.  That was yesterday's choice.  Zach decided this afternoon to go with the blued Vaquero.

Son-in-law Greg is shooting with the club, and I told him that I'd give him a revolver.  He gets to choose now, between the stainless Vaquero and my spare 1873 Uberti.  They're both set up for fast draw, they've both proven themselves in competitions.  Whichever he chooses is fine with me.  The one that's left will be my spare competition gun.

Choices, choices.  I was (just a few minutes ago), handling both guns, and frankly, he's got a heck of a choice to make.  I'm not sure which one I'd grab.  They're both great revolvers.

If you had to chose between the Ruger and the Uberti, which would be your choice?

Electric Cars

Electric cars are a great idea for some folks.   The idea isn't new, electric vehicles have been around since man first started playing with batteries and electric motors.  Many folks experimented with them during the late 19th and early 20th century.

We saw a resurgence in the late 20th century, with some commercial success.  The Toyota Prius comes immediately to mind, a hybrid vehicle that uses a small engine to charge batteries on the fly.  One example that I point to as a stark evolution point is the dominance of the diesel-electric locomotive.  Huge, hulking machines that use diesel engines to charge batteries that run electric motors that pull our trains all over the US.

I tell you all this to provide a background.  It seems that Elon Musk has come out with what he thinks is the third generation of his electric car.  The Tesla Model 3.
Standing before a collection of new Model 3s, Musk reminded the audience that the car represented the culmination of a long-held dream to bring affordable, zero-pollution vehicles to the world's highways. 
Zero pollution?  What charges the batteries?  How is the electricity produced?

 It seem sthat if we combine coal and gas, those two fuel sources still account for over 60% of US electric production.  In the past, I called those cars "coal-powered" because that's where the energy comes from.  Now, I'll have to come up with another name to reflect the base energy source.

There is no free ride, not even electric vehicles.  We've made huge strides but we're not there yet.  I'm just sayin'.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Two Vaqueros

Two Vaqueros.


Somebody has to make a choice.  I'm just sayin'.

Cosmopolitans Gun-Talk

It seems that Cosmopolitan magazine has put out a video, with couples talking about guns.   I'll embed it below, but it's just as headache inducing as you might imagine.  I had to watch it several times to put this post together, and I picked up on a few things, even though it is only several minutes long.

First, it's a "gotcha" film that presents several young couples talking about guns.  What struck me was the amount of time they'd been dating, and presumably never had this conversation.  George and Maggie, for example, had been dating 1.5 years.  Even so, he has to assure her that everything he's doing is legal.  Really?  Maggie  would date a guy for over a year and needs to be re-assured that he's following the law?

Then we go to Ben and Crystal.  They've been dating for four months.  Ben owns two guns and Crystal is concerned about what happens if he comes home drunk.  Ben assures her that the guns are under lock and key.

Then we move on to Alan and Jane, who've been dating for a year-and-a-half.  I'm not sure what the discussion is about.  Something about escalating arguments.

Finally there is Robert and Jody.  They've been dating five months.  Jody is an immigrant and has trouble with the American gun culture.

Watch if you must, it's a view into the liberal mindset on guns. All four of these gals need serious re-education about American rights and privileges, about general safety, about the Constitution, and human relationships.  It's a sad commentary.  Education takes time and effort and these gals can be saved, the question is whether George, Ben, Alan, and Robert want to take the time to do what the gal's fathers failed so miserably at doing.

My advise to these four guys?  Walk away.  Dump 'em now.  You certainly don't need the grief.




I need an Advil.

Grips

Grips are important on a handgun, as any gunner will tell you.  Especially on a gun that's used hard and fast.  When you're snatching and shooting, you don't have time to worry about your grip.  Either you have it, or you don't, and the fit and feel of the grip is much more important than what they look like.

Of course, if they look good, that's a plus, but it's not critical as the fit of the grip.  Earlier this month, I bought Milady a backup to her competition revolver.  She shoots a Traditions Liberty Edition as her primary competition revolver, and I bought her one of the Rawhide series as a backup.  They're exactly the same gun.  The Liberty is dressed up, the Rawhide is more utilitarian.  However, Milady really likes the grips on her Liberty.  Indeed, she bought the revolver because it fit her hand.

Liberty revolver on top, Rawhide on bottom, they're both made by Pietta and marketed by Traditions.


They both use one-piece grips, just like the old Colts, but for some reason, the grips on the Rawhide simply didn't fit her hand.  It didn't feel right coming out of the holster, and  she asked me if the Ruger grips might fit the Rawhide.    I had a spare pair of Ruger redwood grips laying around.

The New Vaquero uses what Ruger calls the XR3-Red grip frame.  It's different from the old Blackhawk and the old Vaquero frames.   Frankly, I was curious to know if a new, modern grip panel for an XR3-Red frame would fit on the Pietta frame.

So, this afternoon, I got out my screwdrivers and took the Pietta apart, removed the one-piece grip and installed the Ruger redwoods.

It's not a perfect fit, but it certainly fits.  More importantly, Milady with her small hands likes it a lot.  She says that the redwoods mimic the feel of the Liberty.  It feels good in her hand, and the rosewood certainly looks good on the Rawhide.  The grip frame stands a little proud of the grips, but it falls within the rules of the CFDA, it fits her hand just fine, and she likes it.  Both the way it fits and the way it looks, suits her to a T.

With our wax-bullet load, recoil isn't an issue.  If recoil were an issue, this narrow grip might hurt, but this revolver will never fire a full-house .45 Colt load.  Not in Milady's lifetime.

In the final analysis, she likes it, which is all I need to know.  But, I've learned that the grips that fit a Ruger XR3-Red grip frame will also fit a Pietta grip frame.  She plans to shoot it Saturday at our club practice shoot and see how it does on the line, but I suspect I've lost my spare set of Ruger rosewoods.  Oh, well, they sell them at Midway and Brownells.