Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ancient Bullets

Last September I was surfing The Firing Line forum, and Mike in Texas offered to send me some bullets that he had no use for. They were 87 grain Sierra bullets, .257 caliber, probably made for the .250-3000. I'm a sucker for quarter-bores, so I told him I'd take them, and before many days, they were dropped at my house. I blogged them here and determined that they were made sometimes in the early '50s and early '60s. I had a .25-06 on layaway and thought that it would be fun to play with some ancient bullets.

Before I knew it, hunting season was upon me, then the holidays and those bullets lay neglected. I got the rifle off layaway after Christmas, and finally got around to loading and shooting some of them.

The Nosler manual tells me that Reloder 19 is the most accurate powder they tested with this combination, and I keep it on my bench, so I loaded some for the rifle's maiden voyage to the range. After boresighting the scope, and sending some 117 grain Hornady's downrange, I loaded some 87 grain cartridges.

That is four shots into 1.111 inches. Not bad for fifty year old bullets, and as this is the initial firing, lots of load development left to do. No chrony work yet, as I save that for later in the process, but the Nosler manual tells me that these bullets should be whistling along at better than 3300 fps.

Fifty years ago, a one inch group was something to crow about. Nowadays, most rifles will shoot into an inch or better, right out of the box. These fifty-year-old bullets did just fine, with the powders that Nosler recommended. If those bullets were in fact designed for the .250-3000, they are designed to run over 3000 fps. I wonder how they'd do if they smacked into something meaty?

Thanks, Mike, for the bullets.

Sunday Morning Dawg

When I got my camera out this morning, I saw the dog through a new light. It's about to be springtime in Louisiana and the dog is rather hirsute.

It's about time for a haircut. We might attend to that next week. Maybe he won't freeze to death when he loses his winter coat.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

First Shots

This morning I went out to the local range to shoot my Ruger Model 77. I bought it off a pawn shop rack in December, and haven't had a chance to shoot it. I had bought some new brass while the rifle was on layaway and had loaded some ammo, but circumstances prevented me from going to the range. This morning was open, so I loaded up and headed out.

I've come to depend on the Nosler manual for a good starting place with reload recipes. Looking in that manual, it told me that 46.0 grains of Reloader 19 and a 117 grain bullet was a good place to start (most accurate load tested), so I loaded some of that as a starting load. I really had no other information, as this rifle is an unknown factor, but guys who like the .25-06 tell me that it is generally an accurate, easy to shoot cartridge. I haven't even floated the barrel on this rifle. I thought I'd shoot it before I start modifying it.

So, with the recommendation from the Nosler manual, I loaded some ammo and set out to learn about this new (to me) rifle. After boresighting the scope and getting the rifle on paper at 50 yards, I moved the target frame out to the 100 yard line and let fly.

I only had four of those particular cartridges available for group shooting, but the rifle put all four of them into 0.798, which ain't bad for a first time out with a new rifle. The Nosler manual tells me that the little bullet is humming along at about 2800 fps, which isn't bad for a midrange load

Several years ago I was playing with the caliber and found a load of 50.0 grains of Reloader 22 under that same bullet which shoots really well in my son's Model 77. I might load some of those too and see which my rifle prefers. As I recall, the Reloder 22 load was cruising somewhere closer to 3000 fps, and accuracy was under MOA.

Now that hunting season is officially over, and the springtime is upon us, it's time to start shooting again.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I am Reminded

I am reminded, on this day in 1836, Sam Colt was granted a patent for a revolving firearm. That revolver is known as the Patterson.

It is fitting and proper that we remember these things.

As Milady and I have proclaimed Happy Hour at PawPaw's House, I raise a toast to Samuel Colt.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On the Culture

I've been in a contemplative mood tonight, and reading about our culture. A couple of links come to mind and while each of them bears a full read, we can grab the gist of them in blockquote. The first, from Whizbang:
Murray understands that the debilitating shifts of poorer people away from marriage and religion are culturally induced and that the prescriptions to reverse them must be cultural as well. Among those fixes, as he said in a recent article in the paper of record.
The second, from Bill Quick:
Our society chooses to pay for bastards and wonders why the number of bastards increases. Our society refuses to support poor families with married fathers in residence, and wonders why the number of single mothers increases. Our society pays for single motherhood, and wonders why we get it. Our society gives stipends to unemployed and/or homeless males, and wonders why we get more and more of them.
The thrid, from the Huffington Post:
Two new studies cited by The Wall Street Journal find that when jobless Americans exhaust their unemployment benefits, they turn to Social Security disability benefits to survive.
It's been my experience, if you want something, subsidize it. Looking at our entitlement economy, it's probably a good idea if we cut a bunch of those bastards off at the knees, cut out a bunch of stuff and reduce our entitlement budget by about half or better.

How about this? Have the government tell people that if you're not military disabled and you're not 65 years old, your check will be cut off in 90 days. No more checks, no more food stamps, no more anything. Root, hog, or die. It's not the government's fault if you can't take care of your bastard children.

That's PawPaw's plan for government solvency.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Modest Suggestion

It seems that while I was out dancing, drinking, and celebrating life, some poor soul in Afghanistan burned a bag of garbage. Inside that bag happened to be some religious tracts that were no longer suitable for use. They burned a Koran (or Qu'ran... whatever).
( – Despite a series of abject apologies from the U.S. military and the Obama administration, fresh and growing protests were reported in at least two Afghan cities on Wednesday morning over the apparently unintentional burning of copies of the Qur’an at a U.S. military base.

Turns out the Afghans are outraged. Of course they are, they're always outraged. Their outrage bored me.

So, I have a modest suggestion. Remind them that we were not invited and have "stood-up" their little shithole country, expelled the Taliban, and tried to make life easier for them, dragging them kicking and screaming out of the stone age and into the ... well... at least the last century. Remind them that their esteemed prophet was a murderer and a pedophile and that their backwards religion is the price they pay for living in the Dark Ages, without power, light, running water, or education.

I mean, c'mon, Islam is a backwards religion. Truly, heart-achingly backwards.

Then leave the country, but first, destroy everything we've brought with us. Power stations, water projects, everything. Tell anyone who wants to leave that they're welcome to come to the United States, but they must first sign affidavits stating that they disavow Islam and are willing to emigrate to the US where they will be educated, trained for menial tasks, and allowed to live their lives in peace and relative comfort. Let them pick peaches, oranges, and other tasks until they can stand up small businesses.

Afghanistan will cease to exist in ten years. All the women will be over here. The kids will be educated, the oranges will be picked, and we'll be a stronger country for the new blood.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eunice and Mamou

PawPaw and Milady took some of the kids with us to the Mardi Gras celebration. We started in Eunice, LA, to listen to music, drink a beer, and eat some jambalaya.

After we had worn out Eunice, we went to Mamou, where we drank whiskey and danced in the street. Below, PawPaw is dancing with Milady under the only red light in town.

Then, later, PawPaw is dancing with his lovely daughter-in-law.

We stopped in Pine Prairie and picked up some boudin for supper. We're fed now and getting ready for work tomorrow. Mardi Gras is over and Lent has begun. It's forty days till Easter.

Fat Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, a celebration worldwide but especially in South Louisiana. Much of Louisiana is partying today and in another hour or so I'll be heading south, to the small town of Eunice, LA, where I'll listen to music and enjoy Cajun cooking. Then we'll head north to Mamou, LA where we'll again listen to music and enjoy Cajun cooking. Sometime this afternoon there will be a parade and PawPaw will drink red whiskey and dance in the street.

I may have pictures, and I may not.


This is interesting.
The United States' rapidly declining crude oil supply has made a stunning about-face, shredding federal oil projections and putting energy independence in sight of some analyst forecasts.
If the administration would let us tap it, we might be on our way to energy independence. With gasoline prices shooting up, energy is on the minds of every American and we've got all that energy laying in the ground. Our President's decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline has cost America energy and jobs and that should be his epitaph.

I agree that there is a place for green energy. We should proceed with experimentation with solar power, wind power, coal power, nuclear power, every form of energy production, but we've got lots of hydrocarbon energy under our feet and we're foolish not to use it. Our President is foolish for holding us back.

Louisiana knows about oil booms and busts, and we also know how energy production gives good jobs and excellent paychecks to lots of people. The rest of the nation is discovering what we've known for a long time. It makes no sense not to use the resources we have at hand.

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Spectacles

PawPaw got some new spectacles today. Sometime last week I got tired of re-installing the left lens in my glasses and decided to go get an eye exam. It's been three years, and I figured it was time. So, I went to an optician and got checked, my prescription isn't much different than the last one, but it's changed a little. After I was fitted, and found some frames I liked, I looked at my watch and asked the nice lady when the glasses would be ready. "Ha," she snorted "You're watch won't help you there. They'll be ready in about a week."

Well, hell, all the one-hour glasses places in the world and I picked the one that takes a week. They called this afternoon and I went to pick up my new eyeballs. I'm nearsighted, don't need glasses for reading or using the computer, but I need them for distance vision. Sometimes I'll lay them down and have trouble finding them later. When I get out of arms-reach, the glasses just disappear in my fuzzy vision.

That reminds me of a story from years back. I had laid my spectacles down somewhere in the house and was looking for them. I enlisted the help of my (then) young daughter to help me locate them. Her mother asked her what she was doing and she replied, "I'm helping Daddy look for his testicles."

Kids say the darndest things.

Drones, Privacy, Curtilage, Airspace

Everyone read the news last week of a group of pigeon hunters shooting down a small drone flown my an animal right group. That act followed closely on the heels of new legislation that allows private commercial interests to use drone aircraft. The FAA has 90 days to put the regulations into practice. So, to my mind, the question becomes how this legislation falls against my privacy concerns, and what property rights do I have to the airspace above my property?

It's generally accepted that general aviation can fly above my property. We also generally accept that satellites can take pictures of our property. Google Maps is a huger commercial success because of such photographs. So, my airspace doesn't extend to infinity, but I have a reasonable expectation of privacy in my backyard behind my privacy fence. The concept of curtilage is well established in American jurisprudence. I"m pretty sure that if someone flew an aircraft mere inches across my property, I might have a reason for action. If I can control the airspace inches above my grass, but not miles above my grass, then at what flight level do I have an expectation of privacy?

This article in the New York Times has some good background on the questions, as does this posting at Volokh. There are lots of questions to be answered with the proliferation of drones, but few good answers. The pigeon shooters in North Carolina may well have the best answer of the bunch.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not Perfect Yet

I see that the Brady folks have released their yearly rankings of state gun laws. Out of a perfect score of 100 points, Louisiana scored only a two. You have to realize that under the Brady system, a perfect score of 100 would be the result of draconian gun laws, a system of relentless regulation, legislation, and court-ification that would strangle one of our most treasured rights. So, to my mind, the Brady system of scoring states is ass-backwards. Louisiana scores a two because we don't force colleges to allow guns on campus. In every other category, Brady scores us a perfect zero. We're tied with Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, with only three states granted a perfect -0-, Alaska, Arizona, and Utah.

We can do better, Louisiana. We can do much better. We are the state that hosts a TV show routinely celebrating our firearms heritage, where "CHOOT-EM" is a password. Where guys and gals with rifles and pistols take on alligators for fun and profit. Louisiana is a great state for gun owners, hunters, fishermen and sport shooters.

Based on my reading of Louisiana laws, I believe that the Brady scorecard is wrong, as is so much of what Brady does. In Louisiana, a personal vehicle is considered an extension of your home. So, if you drive a vehicle on to a state college and leave the gun in the vehicle, the college is forced to allow that activity. It is only if the gun comes out of the vehicle that the regulations of the college begin to apply. If Brady had researched the law they would have given Louisiana a perfect zero score and we'd be tied with the top three states.

CHOOT-EM, Louisiana.

Hat tip to Jeff, at Alphecca, for the list.

Sunday Morning Dawg

Milady's father always said, "If you hear thunder in February, you'll feel frost in April."

Well, it's February and we've been hearing a lot of thunder this week. The dog is absolutely opposed to thunder, or lightning, or any heavy weather. Normally he hides under Milady's computer armoire.

If Milady's dad was right, we're going to freeze to death in April.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


The family has taken to meeting every-other Friday night for supper. By family, at PawPaw's house, we're talking extended family. All my kids, their kids, and assorted in-laws and outlaws. We rotate the venue, meeting variously at one or the other of our homes. Last night we met at our place and as part of the festivities, we hosted a birthday party for little Miss Jaida, who is turning six years old.

There's Miss Jaida, above. This picture doesn't do her justice as she's normally full of piss-and-vinegar, but tonight she knew that there were presents and birthday cake. Speaking of cake, her mother found a hamburger themed cake and presented it to her for her pleasure. I'm not sure where the idea originated, but I've never seen one.

Another birthday that we recognized was the recent 18th birthday of my lovely niece, Sarah. Sarah is a lovely young lady, with a grade point average sufficient that major universities are competing to throw dollars at her. One of the ladies brought some Amaretto covered cherries to the party and we told Miss Sarah that in recognition of her 18th birthday, she was now authorized to sample the "adults-only" treats and beverages.

That's Sarah, above, with her trademark '20s style hat. Beautiful, smart, funny, she's got the world by the tail.

By ten o'clock, all the guests had departed and PawPaw retired to his room for a well-deserved nap.


From South Carolina, we have this perfect little vignette about an animal hugging group trying to disrupt a live pigeon shoot by using a camera drone to record the festivities. It didn't work out for them quite like they planned. Guys who shoot live pigeons are excellent shotgunners.
"Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter."
Bwahahaha. Just exactly what did they think would happen when they flew a camera drone over a shotgun range? I'm no aviator, but I've been told that the FAA prescribes a minimum safe altitude over firing ranges. I'm betting these bozos were well below that altitude.

I'll be chuckling about this all day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Religion of Peace

It seems that some lunatic was planning a suicide attack on the US Capitol.
Authorities have arrested a Virginia man allegedly on his way to the U.S. Capitol for what he thought would be a suicide attack on one of the nation's most symbolic landmarks, Fox News has learned.
A Virginia man? Those wacky Southerners are at it again. Maybe we can learn more further down in the article.
The man, a Moroccan citizen who has lived in the United States for a dozen years, was identified as Amine El Khalifi,
Moroccan, eh? Named El Khalifi. That doesn't sound Virginian, but before I jump to any conclusions that are not supported in the article, lets read a little further. He might have been from the Southern Baptist El Khalifis. I've never heard of any, but we never know what to expect from those wacky evangelical Baptists. Lets keep reading, shall we?
A short time earlier, he had been praying at a mosque in the Washington area.
A mosque, eh? Well, I guess we can rule out the Baptists, along with the Catholic, Hindu, Jews, Methodist and Lutherans. I don't know but one brand of whacked-out religion that prays in mosques? Can you say Muslim? I thought you could.

SO, what we know is that a Muslim from Morocco, who had been living in Virginia, decided to stage a suicide attack on the US Capitol. Wasn't that easier? Of course it was a Muslim. He is a follower of the pedophile prophet, a worshipper of the stone, a backwards, ignorant Muslim. Those guys haven't contributed anything to the civilized world in several centuries.

I wish that the media would start getting it right in the opening paragraph.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mardi Gras

The Mardi Gras season is upon us, and while almost everyone if focused on New Orleans, there are lots of little celebrations happening all over the state, culminating in the traditional Cajun Mardi Gras, Les Courirs de Mardi Gras. In the traditional Mardi Gras, the townsfolk dress up in costume and go door to door in the little communities, begging chickens, foodstuffs, sausage and rice for a gumbo. Often on horseback, many times in wagons and pickup trucks, they scour the countryside, then head to town to cook the gumbo, often at the VFW hall or the Knights of Columbus hall.

En Francais:
Les Mardi Gras s'en vient de tout partout,
Tout alentour le tour du moyeu,
Ça passe une fois par an, demandé la charité,
Quand-même ça c'est une patate, une patate ou des gratons

Les Mardi Gras sont dessus un grand voyage,
Tout alentour le tour du moyeu,
Ça passe une fois par an, demandé la charité,
Quand-même ça c'est un poule maigre, ou trois ou quatre coton maïs.

Capitaine, capitaine, voyage ton flag,
Allons chez un autre voisin,
Demandé la charité pour les autres qui viennent nous rejoindre,
Les autres qui viennent nous rejoindre,
Ouais, au gombo ce soir!

It loses a little something in translation, but the basic gist of the song is:
The Mardi Gras come from all around all around the center of town They come by once per year asking for charity Sometimes its a sweet potato or pork rinds

The Mardi Gras are on a great journey all around the center of town They come by once per year asking for charity Sometimes its a skinny chicken or 3 or 4 corn cob

Captain captain wave your flag lets go to another neighbors Asking for charity for everyone who'll come join us later Everyone who'll come join us later at the gumbo tonite.
Y'all can have the big city Mardi Gras parades. I'll take the little small-town celebrations every time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has ordered... hell, I'll just let you read it.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he will order flags flown at half-staff at state government buildings Saturday in memory of Whitney Houston.
Has he lost his damned mind? She had a pretty good set of pipes, granted, but she weren't no hero. She was a singer. And a drug addict. But mainly a singer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day, that date on the calendar when we celebrate the death and burial of St. Valentine, for reasons we don't particularly understand. As in all popular culture, the meaning is lost to time and we've adopted today as a day to celebrate romantic love. I'm sure that one of the fourteen St. Valentines would be pleased.

Still, today is the day we celebrate romantic love, so I'll propose a cartoon from the inestimable John Cox.

Milady has been properly cared for, with chocolate, flowers and a promise for supper this evening. As I left for work today I told her to pick her restaurant, any restaurant and I'd take her there this evening. "You don't even have to dress, sweetheart. You can pick any drive-through in the parish. My treat."

Am I a hell-of-a-guy, or what?

Hat tip to Mostly Cajun for the Cox cartoon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Holster Review - Louisville Leather

In January, Ryan Kuhl of Louisville Leather emailed me with an interesting proposal. He'd send me a holster if I'd give him an honest review. We emailed back and forth and he sent me a left-hand, OWB holster for a Glock 19. In a few days I got the holster. It looks like this one.

The holster itself is a good looking piece of leather, and I like leather holsters. I also like pancake holsters and we'll get into that in a moment. The leather is sturdy, the stitching is uniform and well executed. The holster is molded to the gun, holding it securely. This particular example I let my son wear for a couple of weeks and he wore it to PawPaw's House today for Sunday lunch. He's a cop in a plainclothes assignment and spends a lot of time with concealment holsters.

Let's talk about pancake holsters for a minute. The reason I like a pancake holster is based on the design. A good pancake holds the firearm close to the body, with a little forward tilt and conforms to the circumference of the body. In short, it's tight when worn with a good gunbelt.

A gun that's tight to your body is harder to snatch, and a gun that's tight to your body is easy to conceal. A holster that "flows" with the circumference of the body won't create any "bumps" that a disinterested observer might notice. If you want to go concealed, a good pancake holster is a great choice and this Louisville Leather holster is a great one.

For plainclothes police work, or for individual carry, a good pancake holster. Let's look at two that I've used over the years and really like. Both of these are commercial, factory holsters and representative of the style.

Oh top, we've got an old (ancient) Don Hume model H950 for the J frame Smith and Wesson pistol. I've had this holster since the mid '80s and strapped it on for many years. It's considered a level two holster because it has a thumb break and the user has to draw the pistol forward before he can clear leather. It's very fast and very resistant to a snatch from behind. The pistol must come forward to clear leather. I like this holster a lot, and I wish that Don Hume still made it, or more particularly, that I could find any more. In my mind, it is the best pancake ever made for the J frame Smith revolver.

The lower holster is a DeSantis 1CL85, for the 1911 pistol. It's got a thumbreak and fits the weapon very closely. It's also easy to conceal, for all the same reasons that any good pancake is easy to conceal. It holds the firearm tight against the body and matches the contours of the torso.

But, back to the Louisville Leather OWB. It's a great holster made of good leather and has that cool little stiffener sewn on to the top. I like the holster and my son likes the holster. If we have any criticism of the holster at all, it is that it is not available with a thumbsnap. Thumbsnaps are critical in police work. Often, they're the difference between a holster being approved for carry and a holster not being approved. In fact, my son told me, "Pop, if it came with a thumbreak, I'd spend green dollars getting one for duty carry."

As it is, the Louisville Leather OWB is a fine example of a concealed carry holster. Prices start at $65.00, which is fair (even low) for a custom holster of this quality. They get exotic leathers occasionally and special products can be ordered as desired. If you're looking for something a little bit different, custom made at a good price point, I'd give Louisville Leather a chance to get my order. Give Ryan a call at 502.403.8002, or email him at this link if you have any questions. Louisville Leather has the PawPaw seal of approval.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's been a busy week at PawPaw's House and while the dog hasn't suffered for attention, he's certainly had to get in line. Lots of work for Milady and PawPaw and the weather has been cold and rainy. Not the best combination for a dog. He likes to lay before the fireplace even if there's not a fire and can often be found there.

We've got another busy day planned today, with lots of grandkids over for lunch. The dog won't suffer from attention today. Indeed, he might be hiding before this day is over.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Ruger System

If you're into rifles, you've probably invested a goodly amount of money in bases, rings and assorted paraphernalia for mounting scopes. Rings cost money, bases cost money, and sometimes the combination of both add a goodly amount to the base price of the rifle. And, there are different systems for mounting a scope to a rifle. There is the Weaver system which uses a rail, and I include Picatinny rails as a subset of the Weaver system. Then there's the Redfield system, which uses turn-in bases and rings. Both Weaver and Redfield are solid systems, both have their adherents, and I use both systems, depending on my particular purpose.

In 1968, Bill Ruger began production of a standard sporting bolt action rifle. The Model 77. Early models were round-top recievers, but soon thereafter he began milling the scope base directly into the top of the rifle. If you wanted to mount a scope, all you needed was the rings, and Ruger often shipped the rings with the rifle. However, guys who swap scopes from one rifle to another soon found that the rings on a Ruger rifle aren't the same size. Oh, no. The front portion of the rifle is higher than the rear portion, so for the scope to align with the bore, you'll need two different ring sizes.

So, the system evolved to use basically four ring sizes. You could call these short, medium, tall, and extra tall, but nowadays they are simply called #3, 4, 5, and 6. With those four rings, you can mount almost any size scope to your Ruger 77.

Left to right, #3, 4, 5, and 6. The smaller ring goes in front, the larger ring to the rear. Most common 3X9X40 hunting scopes use a #3 front and a #4 rear. On my Ruger 77 I wanted to mount a scope with a larger objective bell, a Swift 6X18X44, and that necessitated taller rings, a #4 in front and a #5 at the rear. The other rings are in my kit, and available if I ever want to change scopes.

Some folks don't particularly like the Ruger system, but I find that it serves me just very well. It's served hundreds of thousands of riflemen just fine over the years. I can buy rings at my local gun store for about $35.00 apiece, with tax, out the door, and if I need one ring, I can buy one ring. Not a bad option for mounting a scope.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Welfare Abuse

It seems that some folks are taking notice that there's welfare abuse happening in the Gret Stet:
Take Wednesday, Sept. 7 of last year -- what were you doing just after midnight? At 12:04 in the morning, records show one person in the state's welfare system took $40 cash out of an ATM inside Little Darlings on Bourbon Street -- that's a strip club.

20 minutes later, the same person needed more cash and withdrew 20 additional dollars -- public dollars -- at a Bourbon Street strip club. It’s not the only example of someone removing cash at an adult nightclub.

“It would be very difficult for someone to sit there and argue why they needed to be able to go to a strip club with a welfare card,” says state Rep. Cameron Henry, representing parts of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
I agree, there is no reasonable reason for a welfare debit card to be used on Bourbon Street. My question would be, why is that person still drawing welfare? Take it away. As easy as it is to put the money in the account, any abuse should immediately drain the account. Indeed, any perception of abuse should drain the account. I don't mind helping someone down on their luck, but if you're in a strip club, or a casino, or in a cathouse, you damn sure shouldn't be getting welfare and any abuse should end it immediately.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Cat Attack

Did y'all hear about this kid being snatched from his parents by a mountain lion?
Taking all the recommended precautions wasn't enough to keep a mountain lion from snatching a 6-year-old Leander boy from his mother's hand and clamping its jaws on his face at Big Bend National Park on Sunday night.
The parents did everything right. They had be boy with them, holding his hand. They weren't in the woods hiking, just walking along a paved walkway.
"This attack did not happen on a trail. We were not hiking," Harris said. "We were on a paved walkway in between a restaurant and a hotel, and this cat grabbed my child from me."
The parents were able to recover the kid by attacking the cat and stabbing it with a khife, but I wonder if it would have been any easier if one or the other of the parents would have been armed. A simple pocket pistol might have shortened the fight. Evidently, this cat has decided to include humans in its protein intake.
Harris and her husband, Jason Hobbs, had heard about a mountain lion that tried to attack a family on a park trail earlier in the day before it was scared off when a backpack was thrown at it.
I bet something is wrong with that lion, either aged, injured, or diseased. It'll be interesting to see what the autopsy shows when the cat is finally killed.

At the Gun Store

I went into the gun store today to order a rifle. A Savage Axis, left-hand, in .308 Winchester. I had printed a page from Savage's website and took it with me, so there would be no confusion. The counter guys started looking in catalogs, surfing their computers, and making phone calls trying to find one. No joy. One distributor told them that they haven't seen any and wonders if Savage is making them yet? Good question, but it's a catalog item.

I told the guy I wanted to special order it, to find me one, and put it on layaway. I wrote him a check for a deposit. I don't need it tomorrow, but I would like to get it in the next couple of months. It is on layaway, after all. Still, you'd think that the distributors would know when they'd be available.

I recall a problem I had several years ago finding a couple of rifles. I wanted a Handi-rifle in .30-30 and had to wait 6 months for it. It took nearly a year to find a Marlin 1894C in .357 magnum.

Monday, February 06, 2012

What's fer Supper?

What's fer Supper, PawPaw?

Just down the road from the house, there's a meat market, an old-fashioned cajun meat market, with things like good steaks and stuffed porkchops. This afternoon, Milady stopped and picked up a couple of boneless chicken breasts, stuffed with a crawfish/cornbread dressing. We looked in the larder and found a box of au gratin potatoes.

An hour in the oven and we had a magnificent repast. It sure beats starving.

The meat market is called Guillory's and it's on Highway 28 in Pineville, next to the new Fred's store. The only problem is their parking lot because the place is always so busy it is hard sometimes to find a place to park.


Lagniappe is a cajun-french word that is used in south Louisiana. It means an unexpected treat, a little something extra that you didn't expect, like when the baker puts 13 donuts in a box of a dozen. Or, something you've forgotten and turns up unexpectedly.

After yesterday's exploration of the .30-30s in my locker, I began considering the caliber while making my rounds today. I have a mold for that caliber, a big ole honking 6-hole mold that makes the 311041, a bullet by Lyman that was designed for the .30-30. I like the bullet, but frankly, I'm not crazy about the mold. Six-banger molds are handy if you're cranking out a big pile of bullets, but if you get distracted during a casting session and let the mold cool off, you're in danger of breaking the sprue lever, which is exactly what I've done with that mold.

However, I was digging around in my pile of molds and came upon a mold block that I had forgotten I had bought. It's a 2-hole mold, a Lee C309-170-F, which is a gas-checked, 309 caliber 170 grain flat point mold, almost exactly like the 311041. I think that it will be a dandy mold, and if I ever get around to buying another sprue lever I'll put that mold back in service.

In the next couple of weeks, I'll heat up the pot and cast a small pile of bullets and give them a whirl in the Model 94. It will soon be springtime and it's time to get ready for the spring shooting season.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Sunday with the Grandkids

We hosted a bunch of kids and grandkids for lunch today, as we do every Sunday. After lunch, the menfolk gathered in the garage around the work bench and we talked guns, shooting, upcoming projects, the week ahead, all the things that families talk about. Some of the grandkids had gathered and I took out a Winchester 94, made some dummy cartridges and we started talking about how the lever action rifle works.

The dummy cartridge, a simple piece of brass with a bullet seated, no powder or primer, is invaluable in teaching how particular rifles operate. As the boys loaded the dummy through the loading gate and worked the lever, they could see the cartridge move through the mechanics of the action and understand how things work together to move the ammunition from the magazine to the barrel.

My grandsons understand the common bolt-action hunting rifle and are learning how to shoot them. The lever gun is one of my true loves and I had somehow forgotten to include that type in the grandkids education. Today I began to remedy that lapse. As we go shooting in the future, I'll have to remember to bring a lever action rifle along. They're great fun and very educational. In my mind, they're very capable rifles, certainly adequate for 99% of the hunting tasks that we might find in our piney-woods.


I understand that there will be a football game later today. Yawn! Every time I see a football field, I see a perfect waste of a good handgun range.

Sunday Morning Dawg

It's been lightning and thundering for two days, along with massive amounts of rain. The dog has been terrified for the whole time, rushing about, trying to find shelter and safe harbor. The fact that he's in a perfectly dry, middle class American home doesn't seem to have sunk in. All he knows is that heavy weather terrifies him and he's had enough to last a lifetime.

He'll be really glad when the sun comes out.

Saturday, February 04, 2012


Mostly) Cajun reminds us that this is the date in history when our first President, George Washington (PBUH) was elected.
1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
We don't elect our Presidents through direct democratic elections. We elect electors to go to Washington and elect the President.

I was taught (although unable to find a single reference on Google this morning) that the early presidential candidates didn't actually run for office. Americans considered naked political ambition to be a limiting factor, and if an early American truly wanted to be president, the last thing he could do was actually say the words. His supporters would run the campaign and he was expected to stay aloof, above the fray, Presidential.

Wouldn't it be great, if today, our candidates disavowed any yearning to be President and merely let themselves be drafted to an office with high responsibility and authority? Can you imagine our current president disclaiming any ambition? Or his opponents? Can you imagine Mitt Romney saying, "No, I really don't want to be President, but if the party nominates me and the College elects me, I'll do my duty and go to Washington".

I kid myself. Naked political ambition is now considered to be a requisite, and we're a poorer nation for it.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Our Song

This is probably the first song that Milady and I danced to.

It's our song and I listen to it after a long day.

Long Day

I'm so damned tired I don't know what I need to do. First, I'm pouring a drink, then I'm warming a pork chop in the microwave. Then I'm taking my sorry butt to bed. It's been a busy day, and no, I don't want to talk about it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Cool Song

About the time Milady and I started dating, this song came out and we played it at our wedding. A friend was asking today about songs for their wedding and I recommended this one. It combines the talents of two artists that I never thought I'd see together in on a stage, and I still think it's a very cool video. Barbra is having fun; it's easy to tell.

It's one of our favorite songs, and has become a motto for our relationship.

Powder Charges and Bullet Weight

Wendy asks, in comments:
So, to drop down a bullet weight without getting into pressure problems, how much is a bullet weight? If my load for a K-31 uses a 174 grain bullet, is one weight down 168 or 150?

That's a good question and we can find the answer in Lee's Modern Reloading, Second Edition, (chapter 7, page 105), where Richard Lee tells us that:
Starting loads reduce wear on the gun and lengthen case life by a greater amount than the 10% reduction in charge. Never, never use a heavier bullet that that which is specified. Feel free to substitute a slightly lighter bullet. The velocity will remain about the same and the pressure will be lower. These conditions apply to full loads with normal working pressures. Reduced charges will be explained elsewhere.

My standard load for the .308 Winchester is a 168 grain Sierra Matchking and 43.0 grains of Reloder 15. We've found that load to be a good load in several rifles and we feel that it is one that almost duplicates the storied Federal Gold Metal Match load, at handloader prices. Lots of folks like Hodgdon's Varget in that cartridge as well, and if you look at most burn rate tables, you'll see RL15 and H-Varget next to one another. They are very similar powders.

If you look at almost any good reloading manual, we find that Reloder 15 is also a good powder for 150 grain bullets, albeit at differing charges, but that same 43.0 grain load falls into the acceptable range. It's also useful with 125 grain bullets, although the burning rate of the powder might not be optimal. However, it can be used.

Generally, the rule is that if you've got a good recipe for a particular bullet/powder combination, you can reduce the weight of the bullet and not get into pressure problems. In my case, I was looking for a lighter bullet for grandkid use in that caliber. The fact that one charge shoots well with 125, 150, and 165 grain bullets simplifies my record keeping. It's not optimum, but it works. I'll take some time later and chronograph all three loads and we'll be able to see the difference that bullet weight makes on velocity.

Ignerance, Pure ignerance

So, if you're a teenaged girl and someone has been calling you stuff on Facebook, and you decide to get into an old-fashioned hair-pulling, would you believe that the best place to do that would be in the front lobby of the school house, right in front of the principal's office? Screaming and slapping and hair-pulling, right in front the principal's office?

I wouldn't have picked that spot either.

Some folks are just unbelievably ignerant. No, I'm not misspelling ignorant. I know how to spell the word. Ignorance isn't a bad thing. We can educate ignorance. When you're ignerant, there's not much hope for you. Those two were just plain-ole ignerant.