Monday, July 31, 2017

Southern Exceptionalism

Surfing around, I find an article posted in Politico magazine.  It's helpful to read these things sometimes to know what the unwashed intellectuals are thinking, but it turns out this idiot isn't thinking at all.
We are a special nation, uniquely founded on high ideals like freedom and equality. In practice, however, much of what sets the United States apart from other countries today is actually Southern exceptionalism. The United States would be much less exceptional in general, and in particular more like other English-speaking democracies such as Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were it not for the effects on U.S. politics and culture of the American South.
I don’t mean this in a good way. A lot of the traits that make the United States exceptional these days are undesirable, like higher violence and less social mobility. Many of these differences can be attributed largely to the South.
Attributed largely to the South?  I guess that Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit are Southern cities?

I could go on, but I won't.  As it turns out, Chad Prather has done a memorable rebuttal in video form.  Click to watch it.

Well said, Chad, well said.

New Uniforms

The uniform store called today and said that my new uniforms were ready, so while I was running errands, I went to pick them up.  Thinking back this may the the first new issue I've had in six years.  I know it is the first new jacket I've had in ten years.  But, here in Louisiana we don't wear a jacket much, what with the glowball warmening and such.

Still, sorting them out, I noticed how "veteran" my old uniforms looked.    Tattered, faded,  and worn.  This new issue came with a vest carrier.  I bought my own three years ago, and love it.  But, holding the two side-by-side, I see that the first one is also faded and "veteran looking".   I've set it up with a spare badge and nameplate and I'll keep it as a spare, in case the new one gets soiled.  And, eventually, it will.

Our department uses the Blauer vest carrier, which holds the vest outside the shirt, and believe me, this is a much more comfortable way of wearing a vest than the old way of wearing it inside the uniform shirt.  And, the officer can retreat to a  safe space occasionally and take it off, cool off, and gather his wits.  The vest carrier also makes a bathroom emergency a whole lot more manageable.

The shirt that is worn underneath is a breathable mesh that is really nice.    Yet, all those parts that "poke out", like sleeves and collar, look just like a Class A shirt.  If you are a uniformed cop, and have to wear a vest every day, this is the most comfortable way I've found yet.

I go back to work next week, ad maybe I won't look so much like a homeless person impersonating a cop.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Roll Yer Own

I guess it's time that we talked abut this.  Belle and I are rolling our own cigarettes.  Yeah, yeah, I know, we really should quit.  Don't go there.

Belle went to a wedding in June, and when she came back, she was all about the money people were waving by rolling their own cigarettes.  Locally, a carton of smokes is over $50.00 thank to our Democratic governor.  We have culled that expense and spend about a half-hour a day rolling our won.    Normally, we'll sit for about a half-hour, roll 40 to 50 smokes, and talk while we enjoy an after-work cocktail.

We use pipe tobacco, sold in bulk at the local smoke shop for our pleasure.  We haven't yet firmly decided on a brand, but the one we like best right now is Ohm Blue, and a one-pound bag costs about $14.00 locally.  For cigarette tubes, we use Zenn Blue filter tubes, which Belle buys from Amazon.

The injector machine is a Laramie, also found on Amazon.  Here is a look at our set-up, and some lessons learned.

First of all, put the machine in some sort of tray with a shallow lip.  A cookie sheet works good, although any tray that will catch the overflow works fine.  Belle and I use a small metal tray she found a t the Dollar Store.  It is what it is.

Second, there is a shallow learning curve with this thing.  But, after a few minutes it is entirely possible to produce cigarettes that look just like the factory-rolled alternative.Third, the cost is much less than buying factory smokes.  Belle estimates that we're spending just a bit more than a dollar a pack.  Pipe tobacco isn't taxed as heavily as cigarette tobacco.  After amortizing the machine, I estimate that we're spending about $2.50 a pack for cigarettes, which is a hell of a lot less than the over $5.00 per pack that we were spending before.

We're smoking better tobacco.  Really, we are.  As long as we intend to smoke anyway, it makes a lot of sense to save a penny here and a penny there.

If you smoke cigarettes, I recommend that you look into rolling yer own.  It saves you money in your pocketbook immediately, and it sticks it to the sin-taxing Democrats, which is just an added bonue.

Old Smith and Wesson

Not the revolver, but almost as cool.  My daughter presented me with an old (probably repo) advertising sign from Smith and Wesson.  I think that it's cooler than hell.

These are some huge .jpg files, so you can probably enlarge them for more detail, but some of the details are just cooler than hell.

And, when I saw the caliber selection, I was stumped.

I admit that I had never heard of the 38-100, but a little Googling around, and I learned that it is a rimfire cartridge..  Oh, I bet that the .38-100 was a real man-stopper.

Still, it's a great old sign and it is going to go up in my shop.  Thanks, Squirrel!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Practice Today

After this week of funerals and etcetera, Belle and I needed a little normalcy, so we headed out to Thorn Valley for Fast Draw practice.  Six shooters today plus two new youth and we spent a couple of hours flinging wax bullets toward steel targets.

It was fun to get together with friends and talk about guns, shooting, and anything but last week.  While all the big dogs are out shooting in Colorado (there is a very major match this weekend), all us small dogs were having fun at home.

Screeching Harpy Exoneration

Kathy Griffin (hack, spit) says that she has been exonerated in the investigation of her photo where she held the replica of a severed Donald Trump head.
Comedian Kathy Griffin says she has been "completely exonerated" in the federal investigation into a late May photoshoot in which she's holding a fake bloodied head depicting President Trump.
Well, good for her.  I never understood why there was a federal investigation in the first place.  She is obviously no threat to the president . It appears that no federal laws were broken.  Good for her.

But the fact remains that her photo shoot was tasteless, crude,  and looking only for the shock value.  Griffin herself is a screeching harpy of the progressive mold.  She's neither funny nor relevant and I don't know why anyone wants to listen to what she presumes to say about today's American culture.

What Griffin (and most progressives) fail to realize is that there is a difference between violating the law, and simply being wrong.  What she did was utterly despicable, and she deserves the approbation of every thinking adult.  With any luck, her career is in tatters and she'll be relegated to working the drive-through at a local fast-food eatery.  At least there, she'll be providing a necessary service to the American public.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Three Generations

Today, after the funeral, I took those that could, to a local restaurant to get a late lunch.  After lunch, my daughter-in-law, wanted a picture of the three of us.  Of course, we complied.

Three Generations of Dezendorf  men
The guy on the left is my son, the Displaced Louisiana Guy.  We talked about everything from Glocks, to Marlins, to the Ruger Security Six (remember those) and the difference between the cylinder measurements between the K-Frame and the N-Frame.  (Measure them sometimes, the difference in length will surprise you.) We talked about leather, and red dot sights and the state of police work in Louisiana.  It was a great visit.

The kid on the right is grandson Elyas.  He's probably the smartest individual I know. During lunch, while he devoured two California Rolls (with chopsticks, no less), we discussed  his education, the upcoming solar eclipse, and the state of the coral reefs off the US Virgin Islands, which he recently visited.

The old man in the middle is PawPaw hisself.  By this point today, we had culled the neckties.

It was a hard day, with a lot of sadness at the death of our friend, but it was tempered with a good visit from family.  PawPaw, of course, picked up the tab from lunch, but it was joy to watch the kid go through two California rolls like a Hoover vacuum cleaner.

Patricia Ann Scott

I'm burying a friend today.  Patricia Ann Roshto Scott has been my friend since I met my lady.  She and Belle had been friends for many years before I came into the picture, and Ms. Pat, with her husband Jerome were staunch friends.

She and her husband, along with Belle, went to Europe for the millennium, a whirlwind tour of Europe that took them across the continent.  She and Belle liked to josh each other about "the last time we were in Paris."

Ms. Pat was a true Southern lady.  She loved her family, stood by her friends, was active in small town events and supported her community.  I can't say enough about her, except that she was a lady, a true lady in every sense of the word.

She died young, at age 58.  Basically, she had a heart attack.  Passed quickly, so quickly that those of us who loved her are still in shock.    She was moving around, laughing one day and gone the next.  We bury her this morning, and I'm about to put on a coat and tie and start toward the funeral home.

Rest in Peace, Ms. Pat.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

I've broken four sweats this morning.  More accurately, I broke a sweat about 7:00 this morning and was still sweating at 1:00.  So, with the chores done, I decided to come in, cool off, and see what's happening int he larger world.

It seems that General Mattis wants to do away with senseless training.    That is, training that doesn't enhance our warfighting capabilities.
One official with knowledge of the discussions surrounding the memo told Fox News, “servicemembers spending too much time on senseless training that is really a waste of time.”  One U.S. military officer said there is “too much sexual harassment training” and not enough time spent at places like the shooting range, for example.
 I concur.  During the latter years of my service, we spend a lot of time on such things as "Equal Opportunity Training", or "Sensitivity Training".  That sort of training is generally useless  The soldiers considered it a waste of time.

Secretary Mattis is right to cull this sort of nonsense.

Meanwhile, the heat index outside has exceeded triple digits (113F).  I think I'll stay in the rest of the afternoon and eat a popsicle or two.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Jury Duty

A jury, pulled from the general population, is a palladium of our liberty, enshrined in our Constitution, and the citizen's best view of the judicial system.  The law, after all, and the Constitution, is vested in The People, the source of all power in our country.

All that sounds good on paper, but the simple fact of the matter is that most people don't give a flying fritter about the judicial system, preferring to avoid it at all costs.    And, the few times I've been called for jury duty, my perception is that the judiciary holds the citizenry in barely concealed contempt, treating a jury venire not unlike cattle in sale barn, shuffled from one pen to another, sorted, graded and goaded until the entire crowd is frustrated, aggravated, and discombobulated.

I was originally called for a criminal case, but the defendant, who we learned later was a bltiple offender, accused  of a violent, senseless string of acts, chose to plead guilty ranter than risk a jury trial.  He was sent away for a long time, and shouldn't be a threat to anyone for a good while.

The jury pool was forced to stand out in the hall while justice ground on the violent accused, and then we were told we wouldn't be needed for the criminal trial.  But, just down the hall, the judge there was trying a civil matter and shout  half of her jury pool had not shown up.  so we were trotted down the hall to help her.  We waited and waited and waited, and at about 2:30, a goodly number of us where sent away with instructions to call later to see if we'd be needed tomorrow.

I, like about 40 or 50 other citizens, will call the Courthouse tonight to see if our day will be ruined tomorrow.  My duty is not yet complete, it is only held in abeyance.

I stand with Mark Twain on the jury system.
We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.- 4th of July speech 1873

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jury Duty

I just called the Court house.  I've got jury duty tomorrow.  I got the notice several weeks ago, and they told me to call today to see if I'd be needed.  Yep, I have to report at 9:00.

I don't mind doing my civic duty, but I've been a cop for over 5 years.  The notice is for a criminal jury.  There is not a chance in hell that a criminal defense attorney will let me sit on a criminal jury.  My only hope is to be called early and released early.

Just damn.

Shooting with the Bushwackers

We spent yesterday driving to Silsbee, T to shoot with the Bigh Thicket Bushwackers, a club that is near and dear to our hearts.  Some of them had already departed toward Colorado, where a big match is coming up, but the remainder hosted us yesterday for a little practice shooting and  conversation on a Sunday afternoon.

Cajun Greg and Parttime sharing a conversation.
Cajun Greg and Texas Diamond sharing the line for practice
Blue Eyed Bandit and Mudcat hanging out.
Parttime and Delta Whiskey on the line.
Major D and Blue Eyed Belle
That photo above is me and my gal shooting on the line together.  We don't often get an opportunity to shoot together, side-by-side on the line.

What is a Sunday afternoon without a pit going strong?
We shot, we ate, we laughed and caught up with each other.    It was a great day, but we had to climb back into the van and return to the workaday world.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Two Days of Notnstop sShooting

We shot yesterday with the two Louisiana clubs, the Thorn Valley Shootinst Society and the Cross Branded Peacemakers.  Both Belle and Zach hit a personal best yesterday at Thorn Valley.  Zach hit a 0.431.For the uninitiated, he drew a single-action Ruger new Vaquero, cocked the revolver and hit a target 21 feet away 0.431 of a second from the time the light came on in the target. For those wondering, it takes a quarter of a second 0.250_ to blink your eye.

Belle was a bit slower.  She started her string at 0.797, which was a personal best, then hit a 0.793, and finished the string with a 0.761.    I was a proud sonofagun.  y gal is flirting with three-quarters of a second.  She got applause on each of her personal best times.

Then, we went over to the Cross Branded Peacemakers, the club we've formed.  We set up the range and prepped to accommodate new shooters.  Seventeen (17) people signed the sheet, which is the most we've ever had as a club practice.

This morning, we're heading to Silsbee, TX, to shoot with the Big Thicket Bushwackers, a fine club in east Texas.  Five of us from the Peacemakers will travel over and shot with them, because it's fun, because we love the sport and the people, and because, what the hell.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Blast from the Past

Surfing around the Book of Face this morning, we come to this little graphic that explains the M18 Claymore Mine.

Of course, you can click it to embiggen it.  The M18 Claymore  mine entered the inventory in the late 1950s and has been in use ever since.    It is a command-detonated anti personnel mine that can be used in a variety of ways to keep the enemy at a distance, to break up attacks, and to deny terrain to the bad guys.   It can be employed single, or daisy-chained together.   With a unit cost of $119 (1993 dollars) it is inexpensive, lightweight, and easily understood.

As a matter of fact, that graphic tells you just about everything you need to know.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Trunp's New Comms Cheif

Evidently, President Trump appointed a new guy as his communications director.  Anthony Scaramucci.  Never heard of him.  But, evidently, he's already stepped on his tallywacker. with this tweet.  (and yeah, I googled around and checked it.  It looks legit.)

This Tweet from August 2012.

Hey, Anthony!  We don't give a crap what you think.  Evidently, you have no idea what common sense is.   First of all, your numbers are suspect.  Second, you really should keep your opinions to yourself.  The internet has a long memory.

I'll be surprised if this asshole has a job on Monday.

Good Move, China

It seems that China has banned poop icon Justin Beiber.  Yeah, really.
(NEWSER) – China wants to keep its arts culture pure and its crowds demure, which is why the country has banned the naughty influences of … Justin Bieber. The Guardian reports the 23-year-old pop star isn't permitted to perform in China during his Purpose World Tour stopover in Asia
I admit that I can't name a single Bieber song.  Don't care to.  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

At the Cowboy Church

We were at church Monday night, when Brother Fred  asked if I'd be willing to demonstrate Cowboy Fast Draw to a bunch of visiting children from Korea.

"Korea?" I asked?

"Yeah,", he said.  "One of the local churches hosts a group of Korean children every year as part of its ministry.  They want to show the kids America, and as part of their introduction, they bring the kids here on Thursday night, during our rodeo practice.  We let the kids get on a horse, lead them around the arena, and feed them barbecue.  We thought that it would be cool to put on a demonstration of Fast Draw."

"Well, yeah" I replied.  "I'd be happy to do that. "  I pondered for a minute.  "We're not going to let then shoot, are we?"

"No" Fred replied.  "It would take too long to do that safely.  Just a demonstration."

"Do they speak English?" I asked.

"Not a word," Fred replied.  "They have interpreters who help with the language barrier,  But I can assure you that every one of them has a smart phone, and they'll be snapping pictures like crazy."

So, PawPaw will meet the brethren at the church today about 3:00 to set up a range, help make pulled pork sandwiches and do whatever is necessary to prepare for a group of about 50 Korean kids who want to learn about America.    We'll demonstrate Cowboy Fast Draw, let then ride a horse, and generally try to make their stay in the US exciting and memorable.

It sounds like  lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Straight Up!

Seen on the Book of Face.  That's some straight up white trash right there.

Back in the day, I worked places like that.  I could tell y'all stories about trailer park police wor, but you wouldn't believe them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

El Patron

The Uberti El Patron is a variant of the 1873 Cattleman revolver.  It is found in .38/357 magnum, or in .45 Long Colt.    It's an upgrade from the standard Cattleman revolver, with nicer grips and more fit and finish.  The MSRP, at $649, reflects the upgrades.

As nice as it is, I have no use for one.  I have my revolvers.  But, earlier today I was in Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs, LA and saw on in the glass counter, so I asked to look at it.  It was in .38/357 magnum, and it had the 4.75" barrel.  I was intrigued.

Our holster maker is a big fan of the .357 magnum, a caliber for which I have a lot of affection.
Our holster maker has been making a few CFDA holsters and has been borrowing one of my revolvers so that he can properly fit the holster to the revolver.  We appreciate his efforts.
Our holster maker had a birthday last week.
Our holster maker lives in Baton Rouge, LA, just a few miles from the Bass Pro in Denham Springs.

I admit a certain affection for the .38/.357 revolver.  I have several, and spent a few years leanring the intricacy of loading for it.  It is very versatile.  I also happen to know that our holster maker has a very nice Marlin 1894C, which is an almost perfect companion piece for a single action revolver.

So, there I was, in the Bass Pro Shops, just a few miles from my holster maker's home, with a nice single action revolver in my hand, in a caliber he likes, dimensionally identical to my Cattleman that he has borrowed.    There was only one thing to do.

"Give me a 4473." I told the counter guy.

An hour later, we were at his house, where I swapped the El Patron for my Cattleman.  It was a win-win for both of us.  I got my Cattleman back, he got a revolver that he can use for holster making.

Here is a nice video about the El Patron.  I didn't realize that it comes factory standard with Wolff springs.

Happy Birthday, son.


At 7:30 this morning, the temp is 75F with 100% humidity.  Summertime in Louisiana.    the weather-weenies tell me that there is a good chance of rain today, as there has been for the past two weeks.

Belle and I are heading to Baton Rouge for a funeral.  Lightweight slacks, a white short-sleeved shirt, and a bolo tie seem to be the clothing that the weather dictates.  The funeral is at 2:00 pm, and I hope that I don't get anything on my shirt during lunch.

After the funeral, we'll be just a few minutes from Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs.   With any luck, I see a side-trip after the funeral.

Wax Bullet Velocity Test

Many of us in the CFDA are interested in wax bullets, because they are the ammo we use in competition.  There are currently five bullets approved for use in CFDA competition, and we refer to them by color.

Bandit Bullets makes blue wax
Spitfire Bullets makes red wax
Royal Wax Bullets makes purple wax
C&R Was makes yellow wax
CFDA makes orange wax

The bullets have differing attributes.  Some shatter on the target, some stay solid on impact.  The various manufacturers all have their formulas, and CFDA shooters are always looking for the perfect bullet.  Consistency is important, as it is in all shooting.  Low ES and SD are critical to our game.   But, in the final analysis, the reasons for choosing one bullet over another are as varied as the individual shooter.  What one shooter might consider a "bug" that causes them to reject a bullet, might be considered by another shooter to be a "feature" that causes them to choose that bullet.

My buddy in Kentucky, a shooter we call Counselor, is the host and author of the Firearm Patriot Channel on YouTube.  He has undertaken to provide us with velocity testing of the various wax bullets and put his video up on YouTube yesterday.

I admit that watching someone test ammo (whether centerfire, rimfire, or CFDA was) is about as interesting as watching grass grow, but this is data that every CFDA shooter can use.  Kudos to the Counselor for this work.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Women's March

The leading hypocrites in the Women's movement held a march this weekend to protest... something.  One of their targets was the NRA, the leading gun-rights organization in the US.  And, of course, they have the right to protest.  I support anyone's right to protest, just as I have a right to point out their hypocrisy.

Their message was consistent.
-Real men don't need guns
-No one is safe unless everyone is safe (whatever that means)
-Loaded guns under beds are bad
-The NRA doesn't respect women's rights
-The NRA is full of bigots
Google if you must, but the organizers of this march are known for blatant hypocrisy, racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism. They're truly a hateful bunch.

Their basic hypocrisy was exposed during the march, when the organizers hired armed guards to surround them as security,   Consider that for a minute.  Armed security, because they don't like guns.  They don't like guns, unless those guns are in the holsters of men, paid to protect them from... what?

The Women's movement has become a clown show, rife with sexism, homophobia and hypocrisy.

I am the NRA, and I am freedom's safest place.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Until the mid '90s I had no idea what a tomatillo was.

One day I was working in southern Natchithces Parish along Highway 1, which runs north and south though the parish.  A Missouri Pacific crew was also working in that area, replacing cross ties.  The cross tie crews at that time were not as automated as they are now, and were comprised mostly of Mexicans.  As I watched, they broke for lunch alongside the tracks and several of the fellow, after lunch, got Wal-Mart bags and started picking a green fruit from the low vines that grew along the rocky railroad embankment.

I had seen these same vines along the tracks, they grew as a weed, and I had noticed the during the early October hunts when we would turn the beagles loose along the tracks.  looking for rabbits in the briars and tangles that grow along the edge of the railroad embankment.  I considered the little plants to be a foot-tangle and tried to avoid them, because I didn't want to be tripped while carrying a loaded shotgun.  But, I had never considered the little fruits to be edible.  Yet, here those Mexicans were picking them and putting them in Wal-Mart bags.

Eventually, my curiosity overcame my laziness, and I got out of cruiser and asked what they were picking.

"Tomatillo, senor." he replied.

"Are they any good?" I asked?

"Oh, senor, they are very good."  He extracted a pocket knife, peeled the husk, and cut a slice, extending it on the edge o the knife.

I took the slice.  "That tastes like a tomato!"

"Oh, yes, senor".  He replied.  "We use them in salsa verde and any dish that needs a tomato flavor.  And, they grow along this railroad very well.  They are a taste of Mexico."

And, that's how I became introduced to the tomatillo.  So, if you're ever walking along a railroad track, keep your eyes peeled for a small vine that looks like a tomato vine.  If you see small fruits like this, pick a few and peel them.

They are very good peeled, washed, and sautee'd with onions and bell pepper.

Welfare Bears

Seen on the Book of Face.

Heh!  Yeah, I've often wondered about that.

Tooled Leather

My son sends me a picture of tooled leather.  You may not know that the tooling must be done on a holster before it is formed.    He's making a one-piece Mexican Loop holster and the pattern is interesting.

That's nice work, and I'm interested to see it when it's done. That looks like very nice work.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


We are heading to New Roads, LA, to celebrate the 96th birthday of Belle's mother.

We do these celebrations on a rotating basis, and this time, Bell's brother gets the honor of hosting us.

We'll be gone all day.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cigarette Cases

Belle and I were talking about cigarette cases yesterday.  After I had a pack come completely apart through a combination of sweat and getting caught in a rain shower, I was bemoaning the sorry state of a common cigarette box.  (Yeah, yeah, I know all about the dangers of tobacco use.  Don't go there.)

I reminisced about the cigarette cases we used to buy in the PX, back when I was a young shavetail, and how they kept the cigarettes dry and crush-free.  In tanks, it's a by-God, absolute specification to have something that is crush-free.  She told me to go look at the tobacco shop and see what was available, so this morning, while running errands, I stopped at the tobacconist.

As it turns out, there are a selection of nice, hard plastic everyday cigarette cases available.  So, I bought three as a sampling.  The one on the left is bedazzled, and I can't see myself using it.  The one in the middle is a flip-top, with a brand name on it.  The one on the right is remarkably like the ones I used in the Army, although it cost a bit more than the 50 cents we'd pay for them at the PX.

It's amazing what you can find when you go out looking for it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waiting on FedEx

I have some primers ordered and FedEx gave me a delivery date for yesterday.  Haz-Mat deliveries, of course, require a signature, so I sat home yesterday until I got an email telling me that there was a deliver "exception" and it would be delayed until today.

So, I"m sitting my butt at home, waiting for FedEx to get their act together.  The time isn't a total waster.  I've mowed the lawn, cleaned out the truck, re-arranged some stuff int he garage, and generally tried to keep busy while I wait on the FedEx guy (or gal)

I do have a couple of errands I'd like to run, but I'm tied down until FedEx arrives.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Optical Sights on Duty Pistols

I've noticed over the past several years that I have trouble picking up the front sight on a duty pistol.  I ascribed it to aging eyes, but last year I was diagnosed with a mild case of macular degeneration, which a dimming of the central part of the retina.  The central part of the retina is where the center of your vision lies, and that part that we use to pick up fine detail, like the front sight on a pistol.

This past June, I noticed that my pistol scores had diminished. I still managed to qualify, but my score dropped several points.  I was immediately concerned.  So, I asked my younger son to give me some advise, concerning old eyes and police firearms.  He came through like gang-busters.

As it turns out, there is a metric butt-ton of information available online.  One article that he sent me distilled the arguments here.
Most people around the age of 40 start to experience an age-related vision problem called presbyopia that makes it more difficult to see things close up. This is why most older people use reading glasses or bifocals, and it's also why you'll sometimes see older shooters push their handguns out as far as possible in an attempt to see good sight alignment.
Reflex optics on handguns can make it easier for these officers to shoot well. Brown says one state agency he works with has numerous older officers and has been very receptive to the Glock MOS models. "Before we launched the MOS models, they were sending their guns out to have the slides milled for mounting optics," he adds.

Glock makes pistols with slides milled for optics.  They call it the MOS system. 
Safariland makes duty holsters that accommodate red dot sights.

I probably need to go talk to my firearms instructor and see just exactly what our policy says about red dot sights.

Insulation and Air Conditioning

My daddy always told me that he never wasted any money on insulation.

Back in June, I was having problems with my central air unit keeping the house cool, so I consulted an A/C firm that I really have grown to like, The HVAC Group, at 318-229-7542.  One the first trip, they added some Freon, then checked the unit.   On the second trip a month later, they checked the unit again, spent about an hour here, and pronounced everything fine from their level of expertise.  The house still wan't cool, and they recommended that I add insulation.

And this is what I like about The HVAC Group.  I was willing to pay whatever toll was necessary to get my house cool, but they recommended something else.  Insulation.  If the A/C unit is not keeping up with the heat, and the A/C unit is operating to full specs, maybe I need insulation.  Well, okay then.

So, I started casting about for an insulation installer, and a friend recommended Guerringer Builders, who the friend said had done a great job for him.  I called Mr. Guerringer (318-447-3616) yesterday, and he quoted me a price over the phone and said he'd be out this morning to do the job.

Here's a before-pic of the insulation in the attic.

It's about what you'd expect to see in a house that is 17 years old.  The insulation is starting to pack down, and some areas are almost bare.  But, Mr. Guerringer showed up on time this morning, and in just a few minutes, he and his helper were ready to get to work.

They blew in eight (8) inches of good fiberglass insulation, just as recommended.

Funny thing, as he sprayed the insulation, I could already feel the house cooling off.  It's holding the cool, which is obviously wasn't doing before.  The house will be more comfortable now, the A/C unit won't work as hard keeping the place cool, and I'll probably save money on my electrical bill, both winter and summer.

I've never wasted any money on insulation.  If anyone in the Alexandria/Pineville area needs an A/C guy, or an insulation guy, use the numbers earlier in the post.  Both of them have the PawPaw Seal of Approval.

More Pics from Saturday

One of the shooters, Cookie, handed me some pictures from Saturday, during church last night.

Major D, opening remarks
Major D is, of course, your host here. PawPaw hisself.  In the CFDA, I'm known worldwide as Major D.

Hey, Mudcat
That's Mudcat, one of the shooters from the Big Thicket Bushwackers.  I don't know Mudcat's given name.  We use a lot of aliases in this organization.

L-R: Red Rock, Whiplash, and Delta Whiskey
Again, all aliases.

A view of the line.
We were running four lanes Saturday, but only had enough backdrop fro two lanes.  We conferred about it, and determined it was safe.  Wax bullets only travel about 30 yards and no one was downrange.  If you've never shot at a range without a backdrop, it's a challenge, because you can't judge misses.  You either hit the target or you don't.

Cousins, believe it or not.
These two are cousins.  The tall guy on the left is my first cousin, Gentleman George, one of the Regulators in the CFDA.  The short fellow is my grandson.   That makes them...3rd cousins?  Anyway, grandson said that he wanted to shoot, so George took him off to the side for a safety instruction and some dry-fire practice.

Expert instruction
Eyes and ears in place, dry-fire instruction complete, it is time to step up to the line and see if you can hit the target.  And, that's the way we do it in the CFDA.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Those Kind Of People

After we finished shooting at the Peacemakers yesterday, we drove to Thorn Valley to shoot with them.  Belle and I started out with Thorn Valley, and that clubhouse still feels like home..  Of course, the Bushwackers from Silsbee, TX, who had come to help us with the Peacemakers, also came to Thorn Valley.  It was on the way home, and they weren't out of ammo yet.

At one point on the line, we had Belle on lane 1 and Parttime on lane 2.  Parttime is a shooter out of Vidor, TX.  Very fast, he shoots in the low 3s, and was hitting very consistently yesterday.   If you want to get faster, get on the line with the fast shooters.  So, there they were, Parttime shooting 3s, and Belle struggling along at her usual 9 flat.  Big Mark was running the timers and at one point, called out "I've got an 8-flat on lane 1, and a .335 on lane 2."

I mentioned that the 8 flat was a personal best for Belle and the whole bunch erupted in applause.

Belle, ever the lady, responded "Parttime was pushing me."

That's the kind of people the CFDA attracts.  Folks who are competitive, who love the game, but are excited to celebrate a personal best, to take a minute and applaud someone else's success, even if it is at a little practice session.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Shooters, on the line

We had a great day of shooting at both clubs today.  We started out this morning at the Cross Branded Peacemakers.  The Big Thicket Bushwackers of Silsbee, TX came over to provide help and expertise.

Lots of shooting, lots of camaraderie, lots of instruction.

We ran a four-lane range today, and tried to make sure that everyone got a chance to shoot above their experience level.

A photo of Major D and Blue Eyed Belle, calling the line.

After lunch, and breaking down the range, we all went over to Thorn Valley to shoot with   The Bushwackers came with us, and we started drag-racing with revolvers.  Grandson, Akarate Zach, hit a 0.432, a personal best, and Blue Eyed Belle also hit a personal best, a 0.800.

We're home now, enjoying Happy Hour, and basking in the glow of a day of shooting.

Friday, July 07, 2017


The guy who made this sign has a sense of humor.

Drugs Are Bad, Okay?

A street scene from Long Beach, CA.

I think the cop did good.  Nobody hurt,   I don't know that I'd have let it go on that long, but he did okay.  Now, to write the report.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Thursday Random

The grandkids are still in bed at 7:30.  They're probably as tired as I am.  I'm going to let them sleep.

Bradley says in comments on the Pet Loads post:
no 41mag or 38super love. I just dont know any more man..
No experience with either caliber.  There are a many more calibers I don't know, than the ones I do.  And, there are calibers I know than the ones I talked about.  Like the .45-70 on one end, and the .223 Rem on the other.  Great calibers, both, but I didn't talk about them i that post.

Surfing the Book of Face, I see those annoying posts about sharing Jesus on my wall.  I keep Jesus in my heart, not on my Facebook wall.   Same with my respect for veterans.

I use Facebook to keep up with friends and family, but mostly to keep up with the goings-on in the gunfighter community.  Every club has a Facebook page.  And, there are a few community pages out there where we trade information.

Ran into an aggravation yesterday with an order I placed for primers.  This is a good outfit that I've used a lot (and I won't name), but it seems that somehow between my computer and theirs, the shipping info always gets screwed up.  Every order, I have to call and talk to them about the correct shipping address.  It's an aggravation, and they carry the brand I like for fast draw shooting, and their prices are very competitive, so I put up with the aggravation.

Speaking of fast draw shooting, it amazes me the amount of shooting I get to do with that bunch.   In researching my back orders with that company, Belle and I have gone through 15K primers in the past year.   That's a lot of primers.  The current order is for 10K, which we'll sell at the club.  I'll recoup my investment and give the *tiny) profit t the club.

People have asked if shooting wax bullets down a bore "waxes it up".  Yeah, but so does shooting lead bullets "leads the bore" and shooting jacketed "coppers" the bore.  It's actually no different than any other shooting sport.  A dirty gun is a dirty gun.  The solvent is different, but the process is the same.  I use bug-and-tar remover that I buy at the auto parts store.  Squirt it down the bore, wait a minute, then brush as usual.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Pet Loads

All this talk about reduced loads, and my readers will start to think that I'm some sort of wild-eyed lunatic.  The fact is that I make a lot of standard loads and over the years, I've come to rely on them.  I'm also happy to share them.  For example.

.38 Special.  4.3 grains of Unique under a 158 grain semiwadcutter or round nose bullet.
,38 Special .  2.7 grains of Bulseye under a 148 wadcutter.
.357 Magnum. 14.5 grains of 2400 under a 158 semiwadcutter.  You might want a gas check
.44 Special.  7.5 grains of Unique under a 240 SWC.  This is Skeeter's Load.
.44 Magnum.  19.0 grains of 2400 under a 240 SSWC.
.243 Win.   45.5 grains of Reloder 22 under a 100 grain Hornady.  This gives me 3100 fps.
.25-06 Rem.  50.0 grains of Reloder 22 under anyone's 117.  Accurate in every rifle I've shot it in.
.308 Win.  43.0 grains of Reloder 15 under anyone's 165/168.  Very accurate load.
.30-06.  47.0 grains of IMR 4895 under a 150 grain bullet.  This is almost the Garand load
.30-06  61.0 grains of Reloder 19 under a 150 Nosler Ballistic Tip.  This load is getting hot, better than 2900 fps.  Approach with caution.  Kills deer like crazy.
.30-06.  60 grains of Reloder 22 under anyone's 165/168.  This is actually a fairly mild load, showing only 2700 fps across the screens, but it gets the job done in true .30-06 fashion.
and, finally.
.30-30 Win.  29.0 grains of IMR 3031 and anyone's 170 RN bullet.  The go-to load for .30-30 used to be 30 grains of 3031, but at the turn of the century, 3031 changed and everyone backed off a grin.

UPDATE:  How could I forget .45 ACP?  My standard load is 4.5 grains of Bullseye under either a cast or jacketed 230 grain roundnose bullet.    That's the only load I've ever used for that caliber.

Again, all the standard cautions apply, but I think anyone who uses these loads  will be on firm ground.  They've served me for two decades.  As far as I know, they're all published loads, although I have to admit I haven't double-checked this year, but I haven't loaded any centerfire this year.

Again, as in all things, use this data at your own risk.  They work in my guns.  Your guns may be different.

Very Light Loads

Jerry the Greek cautions in comments:
Reference the reloading pages of M.D. Smith, specifically warnings that light powder loads in large capacity cases may cause ... problems.
Well, yeah. I'm not advocating that anyone use any reloading component in any way that is not a published load.  But some of us are experimenters and go down rabbit holes that are not in the published data.  Some of it is very satisfying, and some of it is not.  There is a lot of trial and error, and for every load I've found that works, I've found ten that, for one reason or another, didn't.

There is a difference between the reduced loads I referenced earlier, and very light loads I've experimented with.  For example, the .30-30 load I published that uses H4895 is safe, effective, and comes right off the Hodgdon reloading pages.

Very light loads are entirely different.  I don't publish my very light loads because I can't control what someone else might do.  Many handloaders don't want to go there.  For good reason.  Many of us do go there.  I don't recommend it, but it is smoothing that some of us do.

Handloading ammunition is a safe and effective way to reduce your ammo costs, have good quality ammo, and enjoy the craftsmanship that goes with producing quality ammo.  Use loads from well respected sources and pay attention to detail.  

All the standard disclaimers apply.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Doing Science

We got out the chronograph this morning to obtain data.  The data is weirdly inconsistent, but it's data nonetheless.  It's time to re-set and make some changes.

The brass is tumbling right now.  If we get time, we'll try again later this week.

Watching Grandkids

We have two grandkids in the house, both boys, one 6, one 9.

PawPaw's going to be a bit busy this week.

I'll try to post when the bedlam get down to a manageable roar.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Reduced .30-30 Loads.

 waepnedmann asked in comments:
I am interested in your reduced loads for the .30-30 WCF.
Would post them or email me with standard disclaimers accepted.
The standard disclaimer always applies, if you do something stupid, you're liable to hurt yourself.

But, reduced loadings for most calibers are easily researched by a simple Google search.  I've talked about it a lot over the past decade, and let me give you some links.

But, my standard cast bullet load in that caliber is 27.0 grains of H4895 under a Lymna 311041 bullet.  That yields about 1750 fps depending on your rifle and barrel.  It's an accurate load in my rifles, but you're running up against the rotational velocity with some alloys and barrel twist rates.  I have had cast bullets come completely apart when pushed too hard.  With high RPM and bad alloy, you won't get the results you're looking for.

Hodgdon's introduction to low-recoil loads is here.  Lots of good information.

Ed Harris's work on cast bullet loads in military rifles is seminal.    He's done a lot of work with reduced loadings for cast bullet shooting, and he is the originator of The Load, his recipe for many .30 caliber cartridges.  Ed is also the inventor of Ed's Red, a gun cleaning product that he originated.  Whatever Ed Harris says about cast bullet shooting, you can take to the bank.

This blog post from 2016 also has lots of good links.  One very reduced cast bullet load I found for the .30-30 features a 115 grain hard-cast bullet (for the .32-20).  I'll excerpt the pertinent part here.
The other load I like in the .30-30 is something I stumbled on when looking at very light loads for plinking, training youngsters and general fun.  I happened to show it to a buddy who used it quite successfully to quell a possum problem he was having.  Hence, we call it the possum load.  It features a hard-cast 115 grain bullet and Blue Dot powder.  It runs out the bore at about 600 fps, very low recoil and low noise.  More of a !pop! than a bang.  No, I'm not going to tell you how many grains of Blue Dot.  You'll have to do your own research.
When you get into very reduced loads in rifle calibers, you're walking on un-tread ground.  Be careful.   Oh, and my research is based on lots of trail and error.   Sometimes, it's like going down a rabbit-hole, not knowing where you'll come out.  Trust the data and learn from the guys who have already gone down that hole.

Reduced loads in the .30-30 are a lot of fun, and some of them are quite practical (my possum load, for example).  Be careful, have fun, and don't do anything that will hurt yourself.

Sunday Song

A beautiful song from Reba McEntire.

Y'all have a great Sunday.  Mine is shaping up just fine.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

This is just wrong, on so many levels.

what is the fashion world doing these days?