Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Morning Dawg

This blog is called PawPaw's House, and here lately it seems as if I've been in PawPaw mode a lot. As we discussed in this feature last week, when the grandbabys are in the house, the dog feels a need to supervise.

PawPaw got a new phone this week and was playing with it while the dog supervised the young'un on the floor.

The phone cam doesn't catch motion real well, but it sufficed for this shot. I don't know why the dog was grimacing, but his proximity to the diaper might have been one motivator.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

At the Auction

At the auction today I bid on a nice little roll-top desk and got it. I had been keeping my laptop on the dining room table and now I've got a place to store my office stuff and hide the computer when we're entertaining.

Yeah, this is going to be great.

Saturday laziness

I'm tired of watching the kabuki theater that Congress has become. The House has now passed two bills that would increase the debt ceiling, albeit with restrictions that the Democrat Senate finds unconscionable. The Senate hasn't passed anything, so there's nothing to negotiate and our President hasn't put forth a plan either. As unimpressed as I am with Boehner, he got not one, but two plans through his chamber, where Harry Reid hasn't done squat so far.

I'm going to the auction today and practice a little good-old American capitalism. As the auctioneer so plainly says at the start of the sale, it's his job to get the most money possible and it's my job to get the item for the least money possible. It's a lot of fun to go to an auction house. Recall, if you will, that the Wall Street exchanges started out as livestock markets, which are auction houses.

Such new-fangled electronic auctions like eBay have revolutionized the way people buy and sell, but nearly every community has an old-fashioned auction house. You can got to and find live auctions in your area.

It's a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon

Friday, July 29, 2011


I have spent the day playing with grandkids and running errands, listening to the various talk radio hosts discuss the clown-theater that is Congress this week. I swear, they're acting like a bunch of adolescents. Not so much the arguing and bickering, but that they wait till the last minute to get anything done. Like a high school kid with a paper due, they wait till the last damned minute and rush around like the world is on fire.

What's the old saying? That proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance. Yeah, that's it. Oh, and "A failure to plan on your part does not make this an emergency on my part."

I'm disgusted with the whole damned bunch of them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm watching Tropical Storm Don right now, it looks like West Texas might get some rain.

I'm also watching our local weather map and it looks as if we're in line to get some more rain. Much needed rain. At this point of the day, I'm in for the afternoon. I mowed grass this morning, then vacuumed the pool, ran some errands and reloaded some ammunition. I've done everything I intended to do today. This evening, I'm supposed to meet my Mother for dinner.

All 53 Democrats

I understand that all 53 Democrats have signed a letter, telling Speaker John Boehner that his bill won't pass. Well, good for them.

I just wrote my Democratic Senator a letter, telling her that she'd better get her head out of her butt and support the plan that's on the table. The House has passed two plans now, and I don't see anything coming from the Senate or the President.

The House has performed admirably. The Senate is the stalking horse in this process and they have nothing reasonable to add to the debate. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan next week, and the House has given them two good plans.

If I were John Boehner, I'd tell Harry Reid that he's going to have to pass the bill to see what's in it. I'm truly pissed at Mary Landrieu. She's acting like a twit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Health Care

From Billy Beck, who attributed it to Jeffrey Quick:
"If you think you have a right to force me to pay for your health care, then why don't you have a right to force me to pick your cotton?"
That is a very good question, and about as elegantly phrased I can imagine.



I was prepping some .357 brass this afternoon and realized that I'm nearly out of 2400, an Alliant powder that I use for both the .357 magnum and the .44 magnum. Well, damn. I guess I won't be loading any magnums until I pick up another pound or two. 2400 is my go-to powder for the .357 magnum with 158 grain bullets and the .44 magnum with 240 grain bullets.

However, while digging through my supplies, I came upon a new box of Starline .44 Special brass I had forgotten about. I've got plenty of Unique and lots of those big ole 240 grain semi-wadcutters. I guess I'll make a bunch of Skeeter's Load. It is a load proposed by Skeeter Skelton in February 1969. He recommended a good 240-250 grain semi-wadcutter and 7.5 grains of Unique. I first used that recipe in January 2010 and was surprised at how accurate and controllable the load is. It pushes that big ole bullet out of my Ruger Super Blackhawk at 971 fps and is useful for about 95% of anything I want to do with a big bore handgun.

I've still got a couple of boxes of .357 and .44 magnum, but it never hurts to have a bunch of .44 specials around as well. It'll do until I can pick up some 2400.


It's been raining just barely enough that I don't feel bad about not doing yardwork, although I'll have to mow grass soon. We're not out of the drought by any means, but we've had some rain every day for the past three days and the grass is growing again. As soon as it quits raining, the humidity jumps to 100% and going outside is like stepping into a wet blanket.

I see that we've got a tropical depression forming in the Gulf and that might bring Texas some much-needed rainfall.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bud's Bullets

I was at the range the other day doing some pistol work and was approached by a volunteer. We'll call him Bud, and he walked over to where I was shooting and asked about cast bullets. He asked if I ever had any bullets that I culled for any reason. Bullets that just didn't meet my criteria. I told him yes, but also that any culls I might find went back into the pot to be made into good bullets. Culled lead bullets don't last long on PawPaw's bench.

He stood around for another minute, and I could tell that there was something on his mind, and I asked him what was bothering him. He told me that he's sponsoring and coaching a high-school muzzleloading team and they're looking for bullets. He's got a bunch of .50 caliber sabots that hold .45 caliber bullets, and the league rules allow sabots, and he was hoping that I'd have some bullets that I might not use and would donate to the team. The team is on a shoestring budget and he's got to buy powder and caps and...

I told him that hell, yes, I could donate some bullets. He told me that any good .45 caliber bullet would work. At the time, he was holding one of my .45 reloads that use the common round nose lead bullet and he thought those would be just fine.

This morning while it was raining, I took down the lead pot and heated it up. Inside of an hour I had cast about 250 good bullets. No culls here.

That little tub should get them started. If they shoot well from his muzzleloaders, I'll cast him some more. I know what it's like to support a kid's team on a tight budget.

The Base Crumbles

When I see the trouble that our President is having, it brings me no joy. As much as I enjoy bashing the man I take no pleasure from his problems, because his problems are America's problems and I love this country with all my heart. Putting aside the current debt crisis, we turn to two articles that portend another set of problems for the man that is our President. His base is crumbling. He's not pleasing anyone.

While many of us are focused on the debt ceiling debate, the rest of the nation is concerned with jobs. Jobs, simply jobs. This Washington Post article focuses on a recent poll.
The Post-ABC poll found that the number of liberal Democrats who strongly support Obama’s record on jobs plunged 22 points from 53 percent last year to 31 percent. The number of African Americans who believe the president’s actions have helped the economy has dropped from 77 percent in October to just over half of those surveyed.
Those are horrible numbers. When the President's base support among black Americans is slipping, he's got problems.

Then we turn to this LA Times article where the author talks about Bernie Sanders, the crusty New England independent, who is calling for a primary challenge to the President.
But while most of the media focuses on Republican Boehner and the tea party pressures on him to raise the debt limit not one Liberty dime, Sanders' mumblings are a useful reminder that hidden in the shadows of this left-handed presidency are militant progressives like Sanders who don't want to cut one Liberty dime of non-Pentagon spending.
That's pretty harsh. When liberals like Sanders are calling for a primary challenge, and for the record, what Sanders said is: "I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition." then he's losing the far-left base. As much as I disagree with Bernie Sanders, it's instructive to know that he's not happy with the President either.

When you get right down to the nut-cutting, it seems that this President is anti-business. Whether you like it or not, business is what runs this economy. It's local business that builds a local tax base, that pays local taxes, that contributes to our communities. Those taxes allow communities to do such things as provide water, sewer, streets and roads, and other services that citizens need for daily living. Without a tax base you're screwed and without business you don't have a tax base.

I take no pleasure from our President's problems because his problems are America's problems. I would have loved to say that I was wrong about the man, but it's becoming more and more apparent that our voters picked the wrong guy. Yes, it was historic, but in many cases historic events are devastating to the country that experiences them. We don't need any more historic presidencies.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Woman bites Dog

That's not the headline, but it plays on the old newspaper anecdote. It seems that a thug tried to grab a woman's purse and she broke his leg.
That’s when O’Brien says she drew on her 3.5 years of kick-box training, leveling a kick at the suspect’s shin, shattering it in two places.

Officers say they found Matthews, screaming in pain, lying on the street.
Did I mention that she is pregnant? She's been checked at the hospital and she and the baby are fine. I don't care how her assailant is doing. Just really don't care.

Good work, Ms. O'Brien.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Morning Dawg

When the grandkids are around, the dog feels a need to supervise their activities. There's just no telling what those grandkids will get into, especially the younger ones. They're always poking and prodding in places they shouldn't, and without a dog's supervison, they're likely to get into trouble.

It doesn't matter which kid is around, the dog is there somewhere keeping them out of trouble.

Ya gotta keep an eye on them!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Simmons Whitetail

The Simmons Whitetail Classic scope is a Midway USA exclusive scope. I've never seen them offered anywhere else. If you're looking for a huge bargain on a riflescope, then look no farther.

We've got two in our family. One is mounted on my son's 7mm Remington Magnum. The scope has been on that rifle for four years and it is holding up nicely. We were shooting just last week and he was able to hold his shots well under 1/2 MOA all the way out to 300 yards, which is the longest shot we were able to make. I suspect that the rifle, load and scope would hold to longer distances, but we simply haven't had the opportunity.

The other Whitetail Classic is on my .243. I don't really know why the scope is on that rifle, except that I mounted it several years ago doing load development and I never took it off.

Midway puts these things on sale from time to time, and right now, it's on sale for $110.00. That's a hell of a bargain. I've used ours and they're durable, accurate scopes that perform well beyond the normal $250.00 price point. At $110, they're a steal. The mil-dot reticle is only $15.00 more. Heck, at that price, I might buy one myself and save it for a project I've been considering.

Lots of folks turn their noses up at Simmons scopes, and some of the ones sold at Wally-world deserve that treatment. Some of the better Simmons scopes are very nice indeed, and the Whitetail Classic has the PawPaw seal of approval. Even the reviews at Midway USA gives it five stars.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Worse than Gunwalker

Now it looks like the State Department was running guns to Mexico as well.
“From the intel, it appears that a company was set up in Mexico to purchase weapons through the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales Program, and that the company may have had a direct link to the Zetas.”
That's Hillary Clinton's State Department we're talking about.

Just Damn!

The Senate Vote

I understand this morning that the Senate voted on Cut, Cap, and Balance, the House bill that showed broad bipartisan support in ending our budget nightmare. The Senate, predictably voted it down.
The vote Friday was 51-46. The tea party-backed measure had been widely expected to fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
I also understand that 20 Democratic Senators have previously said that they'd support a balanced budget amendment. 47 Repbulican Senators + 20 Democratic Senators = 67 American Senators, easily enough to vote the measure to approval.
In anticipation of this weekend's vote, The Club for Growth has posted a video showing 20 current Democratic Senators saying they support a balanced budget amendment.
So, with 20 Democratic Senators supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment, and the measure failing in the Senate, I'm left to wonder who lied to the American people? The Republicans, or the Democrats? It is really that simple.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Range

I went to the range this morning, trying to decide between two rifles as my primary hunting arm this year. I've got to make a decision and it's getting tougher by the day.

The first rifle up is a Remington 700 ADL, made in 1983. I like this rifle, it's got classic styling and it shoots very well for a hunting rifle. When I'm at the bench, it shoots into about an inch at 100 yards and it has turned in some nice groups for me. The best it's turned in was a tiny 0.58 inches from the bench, giving the rifle every advantage I could give it.

Today I wanted to do something different, so I took lots of time, firing cold-barrel shots. I'd fire one round, then walk down to the pistol line and fire 20 shots with the pistol. I'd walk back to the rifle line and fire one shot, then walk back to the pistol line.

I didn't use a benchrest. I wanted the rifle recoiling from my hands, with the Leupole VX1 set at 6X, center of the power range. Surprisingly, the rifle shot to about the same point of aim as it did from the bench, about 2" high at 100 yards. The group size opened up to a disappointing 2.2 inches.

Did I pull that shot to the right? I don't know, I might have. It was the third shot of the string. We'll never know, but that's not bad hunting accuracy, shot off my hand. Frustrated with the group, I turned my attention to the 300 yard gong and put two shots into it. That gong is a 12X12 piece of armor plate and I rang it with the rifle, shooting off my palm. That rifle and load is certainly capable of taking a whitetail deer at any reasonably yardage.

Next up was the Savage 10, also in .308. The load I use for that rifle is my pet load of 43.0 grains of Reloder 15 and and a 165 Gameking bullet. I repeated the cold bore routine, and this rifle shot differently off the bench than it did from my palm. The first shot on the target went low and to the left, which isn't uncommon for some rifle. From a benchrest they shoot to one position, from a hunting position, they shoot to another. So, I adjusted the scope and walked down to the pistol line to do some 25 yard work. I came back and fired one shot, then walked back down to the pistol line. At the end of the string I looked through the spotting scope and saw a nice little triangle group.

Not too shabby for a rifle I rescued from a pawn shop. That group is well under an inch, so in celebration I moved my aiming point to the 300 yard line and rang that gong again. Now, I've got to make a decision.

Photo ID

I was standing at the gun counter the other day and watched a fellow fill out a 4493. For those of you unfamiliar with the form, it's the one that you have to fill out to buy a gun. The clerk asked him for a photo ID and the guy proffered it immediately. I've done the same thing in the past when I buy a gun. It's part of the routine, and everyone accepts it. The government wants to make sure that I'm eligible to buy a gun.

Some states are toying with the idea of photo ID before you vote. Prove your identity. That makes sense to me. The right to keep and bear arms is a basic right in the United States, just as the right to vote is a basic right. If you've got to show ID for one, then what's the reasoning of those who say that voter ID is a problem? I want to make sure that you're eligible to cast a vote. If you're not eligible then you're stealing my vote.

I don't see the difference between the two activities, and I don't understand the opposition of folks who oppose voter ID, but support gun-buying ID. Would anyone like to explain it to me?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


This morning I finished a long awaited project with the assistance of two grandsons. They were more help than they know, fetching tools, holding wires, helping me with odds and ends in the project.

Several months ago, Milady brought me a lightbar from the collection of an old friend. He said that he was never going to use it, and that it had come from the police car formerly driven by the Chief of Police for Pollock, LA. For these past several months I've been scrounging parts, like the box to hold the wiring and a switch box to control the various lights.

This morning the grandkids and I installed it. It's got the main rotators, takedown lights, front wigwags and rear wigwags. It doesn't have rear white lights or alley lights, but I can live without those features. I think that it is Double Plus Awesome, and the grandkids seem to like it as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Blogging

There's a meme going on that blogs are fading, especially the conservative blogs. It's all about traffic and hits and sharing ideas.
Most bloggers on the right side of the blogosphere haven’t increased their traffic significantly in years. Moreover, the right side of the blogosphere as a whole is definitely shrinking in numbers as bloggers that have had trouble getting traction are quitting and fewer and fewer bloggers are starting up new blogs.
Gloom and doom.

Except that most of us simply don't care. I do this to amuse myself. I'm not trying to make money, and I can't remember the last time I had more than 500 hits in a day. This little hobby blog isn't "monetized", nor does it generate revenue. It simply is; the ramblings of one grandfather in a small town in Central Louisiana.

I enjoy the comments made on some of my postings, and I've never deleted a comment unless it crossed the lines of decency or was obviously spam. I enjoy a good discussion, a divergence of opinion, but if a commenter crosses the line, I'll whack that comment without second-thought or remorse. This is my house and if you can't behave yourself, you'll be ejected.

But for the most part, the gloom and doom about the decline of the right-wing blogs don't bother me one bit. I didn't start these pitiful scribbling for any reason but my own, and it matches my temperament precisely. Am I concerned that my message isn't getting out? Hell, no. I do this to amuse me and to entertain those I love. I mean, c'mon. The most regular feature I have here is something called The Sunday Morning Dawg. Does that sound like serious journalism to you?

Yet I get a small readership, folks making comments, and once in a while someone will walk up to me on the street and ask me if I'm PawPaw. That's cool when it happens, but not something I live for.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1911 Scales

My son Joey has been playing with 1911 scales, learning to build them with a variety of materials. Today, he brought over some of his handiwork. You can click the picture for a bigger version.

The top pistol is his Springfield 1911A1, the GI model. It's parkerized and his new grips are made of poplar. I think that the light wood contrasts nicely with the finish of the frame. The pistol on the bottom is my Kimber Custom. He found a piece of stag for the scales on that pistol.

They look good, don't they?

Hanoi Jane

I understand that Hanoi Jane is upset because we hate her. Why do we hate her? Simply because she gave aid and comfort to an enemy that we were actively engaged with in the field.

There are two schools of thought on this matter. One school of thought is that she was simply caught up in a youthful indiscretion. The second school is that she's a closet communist who propagandized on behalf of an enemy with whom we were in active combat. That she actively assisted an enemy of the United States, that she failed to assist American POWs when she had an opportunity and that she lied about those POWs to further a political agenda.

Personally I am convinced that she adhered to an enemy, giving them Aid and Comfort, all in accordance with Article 3, Section 3 of our Constitution. There is no statute of limitations on Treason and she should be taken into custody, convicted on the testimony of two witnesses and executed. The infamous photograph of her seated at a North Vietmamese aircraft gun should be the first exhibit filed into evidence.

Now she's upset because we hate her. The latest outrage is that QVC cancelled an apperarance. Too bad, Jane. You started it. It may have been fashionable in the '60s to give Aid and Comfort to an enemy, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to pay the price for doing so. At the very least, you've had the rest of your life to atone for your sins. Many of those serivicemen didn't.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Exxon-Mobil as a Meme

Based on calling the President a fool, the meme of Exxon-Mobil came up, and it is only fair that we explore that. The left claims that Exxon doesn't pay taxes on the huge, confiscatory profits they make every year. A billion a week! Actually, it's a little more than that, but we'll go with it for the sake of argument.

Exxon-Mobil is a huge, multinational corporation. They do business all across the globe, and they pay taxes. Lots of taxes. However, the meme is that they don't pay income taxes in the United States. Okay, we'll go with that one too. Lets say for a minute that their evil accountants and tax lawyers have figured out a way to game the entire system and they pay no income taxes on a billion dollars a week. What would be a fair tax rate on $52 billion profit? Half of it? Fine. Lets say, simply for the sake of argument that XOM writes a check to the US government for $26 billion dollars. How will that help?

President Obama submitted his 2010 budget at about 3.7 trillion. Of that, 1.6 trillion is deficit spending. That's money we've got to borrow. Money we don't have. XOM's 26 billion is not even a drop in the bucket. Less than 2% of the deficit. We'd still need to borrow 1.5 trillion this year to pay for the things that our President thinks the United States needs. Hell, the tax bill for XOM wouldn't pay for one program in the Department of Education. The ESEA budget is 26.8 billion. That's just one program in one department.

No, gentle reader, revenue isn't the problem, it's spending. Next week the Republicans in the House are going to introduce Cut, Cap, and Balance legislation that will cut Federal spending, cap it at a percentage of GDP, and offer a balanced budget Amendment to the US Constitution. I support this legislation and think that it's a good first step for getting our spending under control.

Of course, our President doesn't think we need a balanced budget amendment. Of course he doesn't.
President Obama, who would have no role in the amendment process, opposes the idea.
Of course he does. It would require him to make tough choices regarding spending, priortizing our expenditures to match our revenue. It's no wonder the man doesn't like the idea, which is why it's now a perfect time to float it. Let our President explain why he doesn't want to control spending.

And, I'm not convinced that Grandpa in the nursing home is something that our Government should be concerned about. That's a family concern, and a state concern, but the Federal Government should be unconcerned about it.

Synday Morning Dawg

We had a good road trip yesterday, meeting and greeting family and celebrating the birthday of Milady's mother. I did get to meet one interesting dog, a fellow named Pierre, who lives with some of Milady's kinfolks.

Pierre is a fine example of a bijoun, a large friendly dog. Of course, his mistress is lovely as well. I'm always pleased to visit with her.

Of course, my dog was happy to see us when we got home, right at dark. Even meeting and greeting old friends and family, it's nice to be home.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Road Trip

Milady and I are leaving shortly on a day trip. Her mother has attained her 90th birthday and we're gathering with the family near Denham Springs, LA to celebrate. There will be four generations in attendance for this event. Lots of food and family and laughter.

Y'all play nice.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Boehner Balks

And rightfully so. It seems that our President wanted to continue the talks this weekend at Camp David, trying to get some kind of fiscal relief. Boehner balked, and rightfully so.

The President doesn't need to go to Camp David. Trips cost money, and he doesn't have any money. He's got a vacation planned in August and he needs to cancel that trip too. The country is broke, and by default, he's broke. If the Treasury is too broke to write Social Security checks, the country is to broke to send the President on yet another vacation.

I've been looking at the President's budget online, and I could trim a trillion or so in just a couple of hours. He wouldn't like it much, because some of this pet projects like high-speed rail and green energy would find the funding gone. Oh, and both DOE departments. That's Energy and Education. I'd cull them too.

With the Dept of Energy, I can only find one good excuse for them to exist, and that's maintaining our nations nukes. I'd fold that division into DOD, and tell the rest of those guys to take a hike.

The Dept of Education would be two part-timers in OMB. They could write the checks that return revenue to the states. Let's see... 50 checks. Yeah, two guys would be able to handle that in a day, two days tops. I'd call a temp agency for that job.

Moving on to Homeland Security, the BATFE would come in for a large overhaul. Those not indicted over Fast and Furious would be transferred to Bureau of Prisons. That should encourage other govt employees to not play fast-and-loose with the nation's laws.

The First Lady's office? What is that? We don't need it. If we ever elect a bachelor President, are they going to hire a first lady? I don't think so. That office is simply exorbitant, and if we're talking about cutting Social Security, the first thing that should go is exorbitant expenditures. She doesn't need a budget.

You don't want me to get into Health and Human Resources, Commerce, or any of those other lesser agencies.

That's the way you cut a budget, Mr. President.

Blessed Rain

I awoke this morning to a gentle rain. There's a thunderstorm to our north and when I went outside to greet the day, I saw that this is no passing shower. We're getting a good rain and by my calculations the last time we got measurable rain was on June 21st. That's very nearly three weeks.

I guess that means I'll be mowing grass on Monday. That's good. The lawn can use the moisture.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Did you see this? How can we not love Obama? You better drink a shot of whiskey before you read this paragraph, it's a rip-roarer.
Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we're going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph. Whatever happens this fall or next, the summer of 2011 is the summer of Obama.
This has got to be satire, it's too cloying for a rational opinion piece.

How can we not love Obama? Let me count the ways.

9% Unemployment.
Sluggish economy.
Third year of trillion dollar deficits.
Racist Attorney General.
Nanny-state Energy Secretary.
BATFE running guns into Mexico.
TSA excesses in every newspaper.
Gasoline prices through the roof.
Runaway spending.
Threatening to starve Grandma.

The list just goes on and on.

I remember when Esquire was a cool magazine. But this piece, seriously. A painting by Vermeer? You've got to be shitting me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Sky Is Falling

Our President ratcheted up the hype today, telling Americans that he can't be sure that Social Security check will go out on August 3d if Congress doesn't agree to let him borrow more money. Really.
President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.
He's like a kid who can't live within a budget and comes asking for more money after he's squandered his allowance. The argument at this stage isn't about how much he can spend, it's about how much he can borrow. Frankly, I'm tired of him spending money he doesn't have, which means I'm tired of him spending money he has to borrow, which means I'm tired of him spending.

Live within your budget, dumbass. That's what every household in the United States has to do, and what got us in this mess in the first place. People borrowing more money than they could afford to repay. When times get really tough, Americans sell things that they don't really need. I bet that we could abolish the BATFE and save a couple of billion. We could get rid of the Department of Energy and save several hundred billion.

What I'd really like to see is a law that if the US doesn't have a budget by July 1st of every year, no elected official at the Federal Level would be eligible to stand for election for ten years. None of them. Not the President, not the Congress, none of them.

The United States doesn't need to borrow any more money. It needs to live within its means.

Power Pro 2000 MR

A month or so ago, I ordered powder. Haz-mat charges being what they are, I normally order several pounds at one time. The dealer had a new Alliant powder in stock, Power Pro 2000 MR so I decided to order a pound to see if it was any better than what I'm using in the .308 Winchester.

My .308 Winchester load uses Reloder 15 powder. Over the years I've gotten very good accuracy from RL15 and intend to keep using it. Indeed, one of the powders I ordered was a 4 lb jug of RL15. Still, I wanted to try the new powder because the Alliant company made some pretty fantastic claims about this new powder. When the powder order came in, I put the pound of the new powder on the shelf and forgot about it. This past weekend I decided to get it down and look at it. Alliant claims it's a spherical powder, but when I poured a little on a sheet of paper, it didn't look spherical. It looked like spherial powder that had been squished.

It's a shiny black color. I think that those gold-tones in the photo are artifacts from the flash. One of the claims that Alliant made is that new powder would push a 150 grain bullet to 2950 fps. Bullshit, I thought, that's .30-06 terrority. But, I had a box of 150 grain Hornady SST bullets and some match brass, so I prepped 24 cases. I loaded them in 0.3 grain increments from 49.3 to 51.4 grains and seated those 150 grain bullets to the SAAMI length of 2.800".

This morning I went out to the range and set up some 100 yard targets, then put the chronograph on the tripod. I sat down at the bench and started shooting. My Remington 700 has probably the longest lede in modern history. Bullets seated to the SAAMI standard length are no where near the rifling, so it's a pretty good jump to the lands, especially with those short 150 grain bullets. Group size wasn't quite as good as my Reloder 15, 165 grain load, but I noticed that as I increased the powder charges, the speed of the bullet increased quickly into what we normally see for .30-06 loads. I've made a handy-dandy table.

Then, when I got to 51.1 grains, something magical happened. All three shots touched. When I measured it later, the group size was just a tiny 0.58 inches.

Is that a fluke? Did all the stars align? I don't know. The following group, the fastest one I shot, measured a more rational 1.30 inches. You have to remember, this is a hunting rifle, just like it came from the factory. I haven't even floated the barrel.

That last 3-shot group sizzled across the chronograph at a smoking 2971 fps. The group opened to a classic 1.3" triangle. I looked at the primers and found nothing untoward. No flattening, no cratering.

I ran those numbers through my ballistics program. If I use that 51.1 grain load, and sight it 3" high at 100 yards, it will be dead-on at 250 yards and down just 4 inches at 300 yards.

Power Pro 2000 MR powder deserves another look.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

LIght bulb wars

Have y'all been paying attention to this? It seems that in 2007, the Democrats passed a law that's going to effectively ban the incandescent light bulb from sale in the United States. Really. There is a bill currently pending in the House that would repeal this nonsense.

Evidently our Energy Secretary doesn't believe that Americans should have a choice. He came out swinging this week, saying
Mr. Chu said the more-efficient bulbs required would save consumers money over the life of the product, even if the up-front price is higher. "We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money," he said.
Mr. Chu thinks that it's the governments business if people waste their own money. I don't think it's any of the governments business what I do with my money. Actually, I think that employing Mr. Chu, indeed the entire Department of Energy is a waste of money.

As I recall, the Department of Energy was begun under the administration of Jimmuh Carter, who couldn't figure out what to do about high gas prices. If Speaker Boehner wants to cut the budget, he should start by defunding the 26+billion that the DOE sucks out of the economy each year.

Mr. Chu wants to take away my choices. Indeed!

Sunday Morning Dawg

The dog likes his scritching, and sometimes he'll just show up for scratching. I'll be sitting at the computer and suddenly I'll find the dog standing beside me, leaning on my leg. It's hard to get a picture of a dog on my leg, but he came up to Milady the other day when I had a camera nearby.

The dog loves to have his head scratched.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Jumped or Jammed?

Jumped or jammed? That's the question that handloaders often ask, and while there are no steadfast rules, it's a question that every rifle will answer if you let it. The sad truth is that each rifle is different, even two made side-by-side on the assembly line. Each bullet is different, with varying lengths and ogive shapes, so there are no steadfast rules.

SAAMI, the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, realizes this and have published standard specifications for firearms and ammunition. It's a one-size-fits-all approach and guarantees that the ammunition you buy will fit the firearm you have and will be safe when used properly. However, that ammunition is a standard length and your rifle might not be standard length. If you set the bullet out a little bit, you might get better accuracy, but you won't know until you take some measurements and shoot some ammo.

There are all kinds of ways to spend money in this hobby. You can make chamber casts and you can buy comparators, indeed, there are plenty of ways to make the measurements you need. We frugal types only need to know how far it is from the bolt face to the point where the bullet is jammed into the rifling. You've got your rifle, and an empty case or two, and hopefully a box of bullets.

Find a case where the bullet is a tight slip fit and insert a bullet by hand into the cartridge mouth. Then carefully chamber that dummy cartridge. You should feel resistance as the bullet hits the lands of the barrel. Lock the action, then carefully extract the cartridge. Sometimes the bullet will stick in the lands, but most often it will come out along with the cartridge. If the bullet sticks in the lands, tap it our with a cleaning rod from the muzzle. Most often, the bullet will simply be in the end of the casing, and you can then measure it with a caliper. Of course, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.

In my case, I had some 150 grain Bornady bullets and wanted to find the length for my Remington 700 in .308. If you look at the picture above, the dummy cartridge on the left is the jammed cartridge. The dummy cartridge on the right is the SAAMI length cartridge. As it turns out, my Remington must have the longest lede in the history of loose chambers. That cartridge measures 2.966, much longer than the SAAMI spec 2.800.

Indeed, with this particular bullet, there is very little in the case mouth, so little that I plucked it out with my fingers after the photo was taken. If I want the finished cartridge close to the lands, I'm going to have to use a heavier bullet, which is longer than the lighter bullet. Bullets in the 165-180 grain weights might be better for this particular rifle, as I can seat them closer to the rifling with enough bullet in the case mouth for good tension.

Decisions, decision. I've got a couple of boxes of 165 Gamekings on the shelf and my son's .30-06 really likes 150 grain bullets. I might save this box of Hornadys for his rifle.

Jobs Lost

I was a kid back in the early '60s when President Kennedy announced the great challenge and the national mission of going to the moon. I watched with great interest as the astronauts made their way in baby steps all the way to the Sea of Tranquility. I cheered their successes, bemoaned their failures, and watched with horror during their tragedies. I laughed with them, cried with them, and am intensely proud of the fact that the only footprints on the moon are American footprints.

That's over now. Our manned space program is in its final flight. The Obama administration, through lack of foresight and vision, doesn't have another mission for us. Some folks are worried about a brain-drain as the best and brightest leave the agency to pursue other challenges. Others, on a more mundane note, are concerned that as many as 23,000 jobs could be lost in one country in Florida. However, when you start tallying the industries that supported this program, you find workers in Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama that directly support the space program.

My libertarian bent hopes that private industry picks up the slack. There are exciting things going on in private space travel, and maybe it's time for private companies to take a greater interest in the universe. There are worlds out there to explore and fortunes to be made beyond the borders of our home planet.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Range

I took my Winchesters to the range today to sight them for the hunting season, and to get some new chronograph data for the loads I like to use.

My favorite cast bullet load in the .30-30 is the Lyman 311041 bullet over 27.0 grains of IMR 4895. Some days I shoot that load very well, some days I can't hit the side of a barn. Today was okay. I fired thirteen shots at the target, measured every one of them. That 170 grain cast bullet is going an average 1930 fps. I shot seven shots, then adjusted the sight to bring the shots up to the bull. Then shot 6 more shots

That's a 5.3" group, but when you realize that the front sight covers 10 inches at 100 yards, I don't see any shame in that shooting at all. I was using a 6 o'clock hold on that 3" target dot, so that I could see it hovering over the front sight. I'm pleased and we're going to leave that load alone. That shooting isn't going to set any records, but it's shooting well under the width of the front sight and any whitetail that steps out inside 100 yards isn't going to complain.

Another load I like in the .30-30 is the little Speer jacketed 130 grain flat nosed bullet. I push it with Reloder 15 to about 2175 fps from my Synthetic Model 94. I fired two, 3-shot groups, hovering that 3" dot over the front sight. After the first 3 shots, I increased the elevation on the front sight and you can see two distinctive groups on that paper.

I'm satisfied with that one, too, and I've locked the sights on the rifle. Anytime I can shoot into the area covered by the front sight, I feel I'm doing well.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Grandson Zachary (8 years old) came over today to hang out with me. When he got here, I was at my loading bench, making cast bullet loads for my .30-30. I was at the bullet seating stage and tired of pulling the handle on the press, so he got a stool and helped me seat bullets. Then I taught him how to run a Factory Crimp Die, which is indispensable for cast bullets.

Afterwards, he wanted to go swimming, so he put on his swimsuit then complained "PawPaw, you never swim with me."

"Oh, really," I exclaimed. "Stand by." I found a swimming suit and got into the pool with him. We had a hell of a time until lunch, when we changed and headed for McDonalds. After lunch we came back to the house and he played in the back room while I snored in my recliner. I had intended to take those cast-bullet loads to the range today and run a series over the chronograph, but I'll get that done tomorrow.

The one problem is that this tee-shirt feels a little scratchy on my back. I believe PawPaw might have a sunburn on his shoulders. Serves me right for swimming without a tee-shirt. I'll have Milady put some lotion on my shoulders later.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Handgun Wednesday

I had to go to a glass shop today to get a chip repaired on my pickup windshield. The glass shop is just a mile from the Sheriff's office range and I thought that I'd take time to do a little pistol work,

When I got to the range I found a B6 pistol target and posted it on the 25 yard line. I've not yet gotten used to the crunchenticker trigger on the MP45 pistol I carry, and I focused today on trigger control, and finding the reset. I'm getting better with that pistol, but I'm not yet where I want to be. Using a 6 o'clock hold on the bull, I started squeezing the trigger and consciously holding it back, then releasing slowly to find the reset.

After 50 rounds my speed was starting to increase, but I was stringing shots down the paper.

All my shots were staying within the width of the black, but they were stringing down the paper to the five ring. From the target analysis guides I've seen, that means that I'm breaking my wrist down, dropping my head, or relaxing too soon.

I'm getting better with that pistol. I'm using smaller targets and analyzing what I'm doing wrong, not simply standing slack-jawed looking at a target with no bullet holes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Gun Case

If you're like me, you are always looking for quality gear, and you're always looking to save a dollar. I've found a couple of gun cases that might suit your style.

A couple of years ago I needed a case for my AR15 and I ordered one from Midway USA. Midway bills it as a Tactical Rifle Case, and I'm smart enough to know what tactical means. But, they had the case on sale and I ordered one to see how it was made. For the AR15 I ordered the 42 inch case and it fit the rifle really well. What I like about the case is that the four velcro pockets hold magazines perfectly and the two additional pockets are good for oil, rags, a front sight tool and other accouterments. What I really liked about the bag was that over the course of two or three years, that bag did everything I wanted it to do, and never showed wear, never malfunctioned, always a quality piece of gear at a really exceptional price.

Last month, they had the bag on sale for $19.95 and I ordered a 46" length to see if my hunting rifle would fit in the bag. I ordered it in olive drab as a change of pace.

I'm inpressed. The quality is excellent with thick padding for the rifle. The zippers run easily and the velcro seems to be top quality. Best of all, a standard hunting rifle fits in the case.

That's my ugly rifle, a standard Savage 11 FNS with a 22" barrel. It fits, with enough room to zipper it in easily. It could be used in a pinch as a drag bag, with the straps that come attached to the bag. The best part about this bag is the quality, and the low price is a bonus. Midway puts these things on sale fairly regularly, so put one in your wish list and when it goes on sale you'll get an email. You do have an account with Midway, don't you?

I see that Midway has their Pro Series cases on sale. If I needed something like that, now would be the time to buy it.

Monday, July 04, 2011

July 4th

Today is July 4th, probably the most significant date in American history. Lots of notable things happen on July 4th. Some of them recorded in the books, some of them not recorded in the books. This is the day that Americans celebrate independence, go go out and celebrate. Give thanks for those who came before us and give thanks for those who are standing on the line today.

Go to a parade, go to a fireworks display, go to a church, it doesn't matter. Get out and celebrate being an American.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

July 3, 1863

By this time in the afternoon, Pete Longstreet watched Pickett's pale Virginians go in, the high water mark of the Army of Northern Virginia. The war's not over yet by a long shot, and the butcher's bill will continue to be paid. Tomorrow, Lee will begin his retreat from Pennsylvania and rain will begin to fall.

Down south, times are grim for the citizens of Vicksburg and tomorrow the city will surrender to Grant. I have heard that after the siege of Vicksburg, rain began to fall.

For tomorrow I intend to mow my lawn, break from the heat of the day, then go watch a small town fireworks display in Pollock, LA. There is no rain in our immediate forecast, but we're not expending nearly the gunpowder, of Lee, Meade, and Grant.

Sunday Morning Dawg

We hosted a birthday party last Sunday by the pool, and when we broke out the cake and ice cream, the dog wanted his ration. Milady put a scoop of ice cream in a bowl and put it where he could get to it.

There's nothing like a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a hot Summer afternoon.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Independence Day

On July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress declared the colonies to be free and independent states. That July 4th thing? That's the day they adopted the Declaration of Independence. They ordered the document to be printed. Then, on July 19th they ordered that it be engrossed (formally printed for signature), then they waited for the engrossers to do their thing. They signed it on August 2nd.

This is properly the holiday weekend. We current Americans, we who are spoiled to instant communication and WYSWYG printing aren't familiar with the concept that it might take days or weeks to get a document from one place to another. There wasn't any Xerox machine in those days, no faxes, no phones. If you wanted a document, someone had to set the type and print it. If you wanted a document formally engrossed, guys sat down with pens and parchment and wrote it out by hand.

But, today is the day we declared independence by adopting the Lee Resolution.

On this day in 1863, Henry Lee's kinfolks, Bobby, launched attacks against the Union flank at Gettysburg. He sent Ewell to hit the fish hook, with Hill demonstrating against the center. His main thrust was with Longstreet and John Bell Hood against the southern flank. On top of a small hill, the 20th Maine stands wondering what's going to happen next. Before the day is over, Joshua Chamberlain will have won a Medal of Honor.

Friday, July 01, 2011

July 1, 1863

On this day in 1863, in a sleepy little Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg, Harry Heth sent two brigades into town to find shoes. They found, instead, John Buford and his cavalry. Before the next two days were finished, legends had been made and soldiers such as I remember the brave men on both sides of the line.

Friday Range - New Shooter

Jeffery came over today. Jeffery is the 11 year-old son of my son's girlfriend. The ladies wanted to do some shopping, so Jeffery was going to hang out with me. We went to the range.

I wanted to chrony some loads, so we put a couple of carbines and revolvers into the truck and headed out. Jeff has been to the range with me and he knows the drill. In short order we had the chrongraph set up and I ran some loads across it, finding just what I expected to find.

I noticed yesterday that I had one standard load that I didn't have chronograph data for, and I wanted to run it over the screens. It's a pretty standard load for the .357 magnum magnum. 14.0 grains of Alliant 2400 and a 158 semi-wadcutter bullet. I cast my bullets from wheelweights, using the Lee TL358158 mold. The load showed a real steady 1207 fps from my 6" Model 28, and a blistering 1710 fps from my Marlin 1894.

After we got through with the chronograph, I let Jeffery have some .38 special loads and posted a 25 yard bullseye target and let him try out the Marlin carbine. With .38 special loads it's very manageable and in just a few minutes he was keeping his shots in the 8-ring. We took an opportunity to talk about things like sight alignment and trigger squeeze Then I handed him a handful of magnums and asked him if he could hit the 100 yard gong. In just a few shots, he was ringing the gong, making it swing.

It's nice to have a shooting partner for a Friday afternoon session.