12/31/10

Sleepover

There's a seven, five, and four year old that will be sleeping on my living room floor tonight.  They are currently upstairs running amok.*

This has likely made my first tasting of Buffalo Trace bourbon even better than it otherwise would have been.  I deem it damn fine whiskey.  The snorting buffalo on their website is also good for five minutes of entertainment.


*Word to the wise, when watching someone else's child it is a very good idea to stay on the sober side of the drinking gauge.  Either that or pawn the responsibility off on your wife.

12/26/10

Srsly?

It's been really dry so far this winter.  It's been unseasonably warm, 52 F yesterday.  Does that really mean that it's time to water the lawn?  On the 26th of December, in a city that averages 17 inches of water annually, my neighbor is watering his slightly green lawn.

I suppose though when my kids are out riding their new bikes past his window, it seems like lawn watering makes sense.

12/24/10

Old Words, New Venue

You know it's bad when public officials start using gun banner verbiage.  Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, when discussing the newly created "wild lands" designation designed to slow resource extraction in Utah used a familiar phrase.
Take a guess as to whose "common sense" they will be using.

Is it Christmas yet?

I've been asked five times in the last 30 minutes if it's Christmas yet.

12/21/10

Tactical Tim, Tebow Tim, Timmay, and...

When I see this:





I think of this:



and when I see this:




I think of this:



I don't know.  Maybe it's just me.

12/20/10

I Might Be In A Database

Colorado has a database for their concealed weapons permit holders.  This convoluted story describes the not so surprising state of a State run, voluntary (for the sheriffs, not the permit holders) database that lumps those that have undergone training and a background check with criminals.

The surprising part of the story is that over 70% of law enforcement officers in Colorado trust the information in the database and use it to "feel safer" because they "know" if a suspect is armed.  Assuming that my entry wasn't screwed up like 63% of them apparently are, when I am pulled over because my taillight is out, the Colorado cop coming to my car window is on high alert because he "knows" that I am armed.  How this helps the officer or myself, I am not sure.  How it can escalate what would otherwise be a calm situation, I can easily see.

It was also comforting to know that information that was not given in my application has possibly been added to my file.  It is sounding more and more like this database needs to be deleted.  Time to get to work.

12/18/10

Technology Fail

The dimmer switch has been buzzing lately.  Not thinking the problem through, I went and replaced the existing switch with another dimmer switch that I had laying around.  The new switch emitted the same buzzing.  I looked up at the lights and immediately saw my problem.

Two recently installed CFLs.  That's all I could find last time I was at the store.  Fluorescent  bulbs, even with electronic ballasts operate at a certain frequency.  Modern dimmer switches operate by rapidly turning on and off the power to the bulb.  This happens at a variable frequency that is set by the switch position.  Long story short, the modern CFLs don't like the frequency they are being cycled at.

I'm off to the store to look for some good ole fashioned incandescent bulbs, but at some point I'm going to have to find another solution.  Thanks technology.

12/13/10

Tinfoil Hats

A program on the Discovery Channel is currently teaching me how to make a RFID blocking wallet...with tin foil.

12/7/10

Holiday Ice Cream

If you ever find yourself in Denver, I recommend a trip to Magill's.  I just got done devouring egg nog and pumpkin flavored ice cream, and their rum raisin is to die for.

12/5/10

Need One of Them There Money Trees

The indoor range a stone's throw from my house has been closed for a while now.  It has also been for sale for a while now.  I drive past this range every weekday morning and see the for sale sign.  This has not been good for my long term planning.  Every time I drive past, I see the sign and think that I ought to buy the place and run it right for a change.

The thing about this facility is that, while it is likely the nicest facility in town it has never been the best run place.  Seriously, read the reviews.  My favorite has to be this one from Yelp:
I came with a group of friends, of which, several were not caucasians.

The owner and his staff referred to my friends as "terrorists". I said I did not appreciate that and let it go. We continued small talk and then I asked how much it was going to be. He (the owner) said; "For you, It's double." 
It typically isn't great business strategy to arbitrarily harass your potential customers and then kick them out.  I never had any truly terrible experiences there, but I was never made to feel welcome.  The staff always acted like they were doing you a favor by letting you pay to shoot there.

They did refuse to allow a group of folks shoot (seven of us) because they overheard one of the group mention that it was for our NRA handgun class.  Their stance was that since they taught classes there, no one else could.  I could understand that viewpoint if they were teaching classes weekly or more often, but since they only held classes at most once a month and charged $50 more than the average going rate I didn't get how that could make business sense.

Many new shooters end up shooting again and again at the range they learned to shoot at.  Why turn away seven new, potentially repeat customers?  Most of our group of seven never went back to that range and instead still shoot at the place we ended up doing our shooting for the class at.  After that experience, I stopped taking new shooters there.  We went to the outdoor range with the similar name halfway across town.  You need a State Parks Pass to even get to it, and the RO's are huge sticklers for their numerous rules, but they actually try and make folks feel welcome.  In addition, they try to help out any way they can, especially new shooters.  I've seen the RO's help to site in a rifle, give an AR-15 lesson, and help a father and son both learn to shoot safely.

I think I could run a range like that.  The problem is that I can't figure out where I planted that dang money tree.  Well, that and I don't really know anything about running a range.

Blood On The Gun

I've said before that I view a gun as just another tool.  At times however, I have trouble explaining away the idea of a gun having "juju".

Last year my wife went hunting with a borrowed, but essentially brand new Kimber 84M.  The gun had never killed an animal.  At the end of her hunt the gun still hadn't killed an animal. This year she had the rifle her grandfather had given her.  That gun has seen numerous animals fall in front of it.  On opening day she got her elk close enough to camp that we brought it back whole.

My father-in-law decided to give his trusty Ruger M77 in .30-06 to his son and get himself a shiny new Ruger No. 1 in 7mm Mag.  With his old gun he had been an elk killer, but it took him years of hunting hard in order to "get blood on the gun".  Now that he has, he's back to where he was before the gun change.

I've been grouse hunting a bit in the last couple of years, but it wasn't until I took my grandfather's .22 revolver up to the mountains that I had grouse literally walk up to me and beg to become dinner.

I realize that the attributed juju is likely just the human tendency to search for and assign meaning to random happenings.  We like to find patterns, even where none truly exist.  Even armed with this knowledge, I still have trouble completely explaining away the idea of juju.  Do you have guns with juju, or the more dreaded gun with none?

12/2/10

First Time

The next several days of of hunting involved going into the high places looking for bull elk.  No one had any luck finding a legal bull.  Several of us saw a big 2X2 bull, but he didn't have brow tines and therefore wasn't legal.  On Tuesday the snow started flying.  Against better judgment we all went out hoping that the snow would let up and we could find elk.  I gave up sure that I would be the first one back in camp.  As it turned out I was the last.

On my way back into camp I saw a weasel, completely white in his winter coat carrying his lunch, a small vole.  When he saw me he dropped the vole (already very dead) and ran off.  To this day I
wonder how many other people on the planet have seen something similar.  If someone were to ask me why I enjoy hunting so much, the story would likely involve Mr. Weasel.

The next day broke with clear skies and the possibility of tracking elk in the fresh snow.  I finally got to hunt the West side of the mountain and took my wife with me.  She had hunted hard and not too far up the mountain ran out of steam.  She elected to sit in a good spot, overlooking a decent amount of the mountain.  Not coincidentally, she was sitting where I had killed my first elk on the mountain.


I chose to hike higher up the mountain, following the trail past the archery hunters' blind, higher and higher until I cut elk tracks.  I followed  the tracks until, for some reason, my gut told me to leave them and walk out towards a rock outcropping.  As I reached the outcropping, I heard and then saw the elk that I had been following.  He was 50 yards away, but his head was hidden behind some brush.  He had no idea that I had dropped in below him, and was feeding peacefully.  Unfortunately, due to his feeding and the brush between his head and me I could not tell if he was a legal bull.  After about three minutes of watching him both through my rifle scope and binoculars I finally decided he was legal.

The next 30 seconds were tied up in me figuring out how to make a clean shot.  His shoulders were hidden behind the brush.  I was forced to take a shot further back on the front side that angled towards his back shoulder.  Having selected my shot, I shouldered the rifle, took off the safety, monitored my breathing, and squeezed the trigger.  I almost did not believe what happened next.  I immediately ran the bolt and chambered another round, fully expecting the elk to take off running.  Instead, he took two steps and dropped.

I waited to see if he would get up and move, but after several minutes I couldn't contain myself and started making phone calls.  I called my father-in-law, my uncle, and my wife telling them that I had an elk down.  Finally my heart rate slowed enough that I could approach the elk.  I came up to him with the safety off in case he had not yet expired.  As I neared, it was clear that my first and only shot had done the job.



I quickly gave thanks to the elk and the mountain, then I got to work.  In short order had him gutted.  My wife showed up and then my uncle and father-in-law.  We quartered him and with the help of the snow, had him down the mountain and into camp.  My first bull gave seven families three elk to share.  My freezer is now full and I have to figure out how to mount the antlers of a 4X5 elk.  I have been blessed with elk for the last four years.

11/21/10

Well Then I'm Happy and Sad For You

The new/old gun I mentioned in the last post is a High-Standard R-102.  It had been my grandfather's gun.  My grandmother recently passed away.  It wasn't entirely unexpected.  She had suffered a stroke and then been in and out of the hospital.  While my mom and aunts were cleaning the house and putting things in order they found the gun.  It was up on a shelf, exactly as my grandfather had left it, with nine rounds in the cylinder.  I wouldn't have expected it to be any other way.

My grandfather carried the .22 on his hip often when we were out in the woods together.  He used it on a couple of rabbit hunts we went on.  When I carefully took aim and shot at the grouse, it occurred to me that this was likely something my grandfather had done many years ago with this same revolver.  Unlike my grandfather I sailed the first two shots right over the grouse's head.  On the third shot I aimed slightly lower and hit my mark and the circle was completed.




It isn't a terribly pretty gun.  The grips are plastic.  It isn't worth a lot of money, and the finish is worn and scratched.  What it is is a tangible connection with my past, my mother's past, my grandfather's past.  I wouldn't part with it for anything.

11/20/10

A Bird In the Bush, Now In Hand

Sitting in elk camp on opening day with two elk hung and skinned early left us with some time for goofing off.  We soon had the slingshot out and were putting some serious dents in some cans.  I was sitting at the end of the firing line and kept hearing rustling next to me.  After thinking the squirrels were playing jokes on me for several minutes, I finally saw the source of the rustling.  Not 15 feet away from me were two grouse.

The nice thing about elk season is that it overlaps with grouse season.  I quickly went and got my new/old revolver from the truck.  I walked around so that I had a good backstop, and upon the third .22 round I had ever shot from the gun I had bagged one of the grouse.  It was quickly cleaned skinned and placed in a dutch oven over a bed of veggies.


We covered it and placed coals from the campfire on top, replacing regularly for 45 minutes and dinner was served.

11/11/10

What I Found Walking In the Woods

For the last week I've been walking through the Colorado woods chasing elk.  I have been blessed in the last three years and have brought home a cow elk each year.  This year I did not draw a cow elk tag in the area I usually hunt.  This meant going into the high up places to look for bulls.

I have also been blessed with a wife who has developed a love for hunting.  She did draw a cow elk license, as did my uncle.  My wife and I got to elk camp after a long week of work.  We pulled in long after dark, plopped our sleeping bags in the canvas wall tent we share with my uncle, father-in-law, and cousin.  The morning came early and with it came a plan.  There was construction down in the valley below that was pushing the elk up around 7:00 in the morning.  We downed some coffee and quickly ate a cold breakfast in order to get into place to catch the elk on the move.

I sat with my back against a large aspen tree and watched the ridge above me where the elk might choose to cross.  After sitting for about an hour enjoying watching the squirrels play and chatter, I was jolted by a crack and a boom.  Someone had taken a shot.  I sat tight, hoping that the elk might choose to run past me.  Instead I heard several other shots, all very close.  Soon I could sit no longer and called my uncle.  I was sure that two of the shots were his.  He had a cow down and wanted my help to get in gutted and back to camp.  I found him quickly and started to help.  Several minutes later, my cousin crested the hill and told me that he would help my uncle as long as I went to help my wife with her elk.

I quickly headed over the hill to find my wife with her first elk, a small cow.  Her dad was soon there to help.  As is my wife's way, she insisted on doing most of the work of gutting the elk herself.  She had gotten it close to camp and in short order we had it back and ready to hang.  Fifteen minutes later, my uncle and cousin brought the other elk in, and we had two elk hanging in camp.  It was not yet 2 PM.  An excellent start to the season.

Pictures below the fold.

10/20/10

A Common Theme?

I got done reading Linoge's excellent post on logical fallacies presented as arguments for gun control.  It sounded strangely familiar to another argument I had heard repeated over and over, but had seen little evidence for.  You see scientists and the World agree that global warming is caused by dirty evil humans.

Since everyone knows that global warming is real and kills, we have to do something.  Invariably "do something" means passing laws that make the honest person's life more difficult while rewarding the rich and the criminal.

Maybe that's why so many of the gunnies I know remain unconvinced on the subject of global warming.  We've seen this scheme before, and we weren't fooled the first time.

10/19/10

I Must Be One Of Them There Fudds

I was reading the comments to Sebastian's post on the doomage of hunting (I agree with a lot that he says, but feel that access will have more to do with the decline of hunting than hunters shooting each other in the foot).  At some point the comments moved to Fudd bashing.  The popular sport of making fun of hunters who only own a rifle or shotgun and only use it to take game.

Looking at the stack of mail I brought in, I got concerned.  The top two items were a Cabela's catalog and the November issue of Field & Stream.  Oh crap!  Maybe I'm part Fudd.  After all, I got into shooting through hunting.  I learned to shoot primarily by using prairie dogs as targets for my .22.  From there I graduated to rabbits, and then deer, elk, and turkey.

Where I grew up a gun was truly seen as a simple tool.  No different than a hammer or saw or tape.  A gun's function was varmit removal and dinner collector.  It wasn't until I had a family that the utility of a gun expanded to include protection of loved ones.  It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that I think the derogatory use of the term Fudd is moronic.  Typically, convincing people to join in supporting your chosen cause does not involve demeaning them.

There are plenty of people that own one handgun that they store at their bedside, "just in case."  They don't take it out to the range for practice and only clean it once in a blue moon.  For those people, it is just a tool, like a hammer only to be pulled out of the toolbox when a nail needs beaten down.  There are other people who want to know everything there is to know about their gun.  They want to master its use and typically own different guns for different occasions and some just because they are cool.  These folks are comparable to a master fabricator who owns multiple hammers of multiple weights and materials and uses them for much more than that troublesome nail on the stairs.  Not everyone is passionate about hammers.

Many hunters are the same way.  A rifle or shotgun is no different or more significant to these hunters than a new pack or rangefinder or call. It is just one of the many things needed in the field in order to take game.  The best way to get these hunters to support gun rights for all is education, not name calling.  Hunters have been told for decades that politicians aren't out to take their hunting rifles.  The uneducated ones believed this.  Once a hunter becomes educated on the subject, they often become more involved in supporting the rights of all gun owners.

For all the bitching about these evil good for nothing Fudds, I have yet to actually meet one.  Maybe it has to do with where I live, but virtually every truck that has an elk or duck or deer sticker on the back window has an NRA sticker there too.  Many hunters are shooters and CCW holders.

Maybe next time you see an honest to goodness Fudd out in the wild, instead of directing your scorn their way you can direct them to take a seat behind your evil black rifle.  Chances are good that after squeezing off a few rounds and having a friendly chat the Fudd will have disappeared.

10/6/10

Mr. Major, Meet Mr. Minor

Colorado state law being crafted by politicians what it is.  The Republican party currently stands a good chance of being relegated to minor party status for the next four years.  Conservative minded voters in this state don't want the Western Mayor Against all Illegal Guns Denverite Hickenlooper running the show statewide.  That means either voting for an inexperienced liar or Tom Tancredo.  Increasingly, it looks like Tancredo will be the one of the two who stands a chance of defeating Hick.

I have to admit that I would enjoy seeing the Republican candidate Maes get less than 10% of the vote.  The Republican party in this state truly lives up to the Stupid Party moniker.  The choices they gave primary voters were an experienced guy that no one really supported and an unknown that talked a good game.  It wasn't until after the primary race that more of the info about Maes' unsuitability to lead came to light.  Seeing the party that can't even produce a viable candidate for Governor relegated to minority party status would make me smile.

The problem is that they would not truly be a minority party and as GOP Chairman Dick Wadams has stated, they would simply try to change the law to again force a two party (donkeys and elephants only) system down our throats.  Maybe the Ds would get in the way and the American Constitution Party can replace the stupid party.  More likely it'll make for some entertainment to much popcorn to.

10/5/10

Things That Don't Need Laundered

After yesterday, I have some new things to add to my don't stick in the laundry list. The list already includes cash, receipts, lip balm, crayons, sunscreen, and a cell phone (it got noticed before the water got too high).  My new additions look like this:





The Wilson mag should be fine, but due to paranoia the dollar a round Hornady ammo will be regulated to range use.

10/2/10

Free Market At Work

I've had more than several jobs and more than several insurance companies.  There have been good ones, bad ones, and some that were simply serviceable.  Aetna was one that I really liked.  Unfortunately for Colorado's small businesses, they are no longer an option.

New laws and regulations have made it unattractive for a good company to provide their service in this state.  Colorado officials assume that the free market will work and other companies will step in to fill the void.  They obviously don't understand how the free market works.  Less competition generally leads to higher prices and fewer options.  Hurray for the new regulations and the "free market".

9/25/10

A Friendly Self Defense Reminder

Back in February a local 81 year old man shot at two men who were stealing his trailer.  He hit one of the thieves in the face, but both bad guys ended up surviving the encounter.  The problem is that the bad guys were driving away at the time.

Robert Joseph Wallace, the 81 year old in question, just pleaded guilty to two felonies, attempted reckless manslaughter and illegal discharge of a firearm.

Luckily for him he had a compassionate DA and judge and was only sentenced to probation.  That being said, he still is a convicted felon with all that entails.  He is also much poorer, having likely given his lawyer large sums of money in order to keep him out of prison.  He was originally facing two counts of attempted first degree murder.

Self defense does not mean protection of property.  This isn't like the old days where you can shoot the guy stealing your horse and end up with a pat on the back from the local sheriff.  It is very hard to justify fearing for your life as the bad guys are driving away with your stuff.  Shooting at another person is a last resort action.  It is a kill or be killed (or seriously injured) situation.

A flatbed trailer is not worth prison time or two years of probation and the loss of rights associated with being a felon.  A flatbed trailer is not worth another person's life, no matter how worthless that person is. 

9/14/10

The Vroom Rrrch

Around these parts we have a certain special type of driver.  I call them the Vroom Rrrch.  When traffic is bumper to bumper (read my drive to and from work every day), the Vroom Rrrch driver will first slam on their brakes for no apparent reason.  After all of your stuff has shifted forward in your car the driver will likely proceed to realize that slamming on his brakes has caused him to back off of the bumper of the car in front of him and press the accelerator to the floor.  This is followed by slamming on the brakes once again.

All day yesterday while sitting in traffic I was trying to figure out what could be going through the Vroom Rrcher's mind.  I still haven't figured it out.  About the best I could come up with is that maybe they are ex-manual transmission drivers that haven't figured out how to drive without the aid of a clutch.  Any ideas?

9/11/10

Life Circles Back Around

I've been asked by my company to go and represent us at the career fair of my alma mater.  It got me to thinking about my senior year career fair back in 2001.  I was planning on talking to the company that I likely had a job with and making some other contacts in case things fell through.

The day didn't exactly turn out as I had planned.  My senior year career day was on September 11th.  I spent most of it in a hallway watching a TV that had been wheeled out and plugged into the wall.  There were about 10 of us that watched for most of the day.  I didn't go to class.  I didn't go to work.  I just stood there and watched.

Now I head back to career day and the prospects for many of the upcoming graduates are the same as mine were back then several days after September 11th.  I hope they all are as lucky as I was and find employment that leads them into a successful career.  Nine years removed, it is hard to believe that little has changed.

9/10/10

You Win This Time Tactical Tim

I resisted as long as I could, but in the end due to the amassing of excellent writers like Tam, Marko, and Caleb and the Advisory Board, I ended up renewing my membership.  Although I am still not enamored with Tactical Tim's writing style or especially his marketing style, I do like the selection of people he has chosen to surround himself with.

Here's hoping he convinces me to renew next year as well.

9/9/10

Stupidest Thing I've Seen All Day

I just got done watching the commercial below. At the end of it I literally did a facepalm. Crap like this can't really sell cars, can it?

9/4/10

How I Spent My Friday Night

After the boys went to bed, I got everything set out and ready for a little Friday night fun.  This is the result.


I like the Magpul parts as far as feel and durability go.  However, I was a little disappointed with the rough finish, particularly on the MAID grip.  The LPK and stock kit were from Stag Arms. There were no issues and both the buffer tube and the trigger look to be on the nicer end of the spectrum.

Now I've got a serious problem.  I need to decide exactly what I want to do with the upper.  I know I want it in 6.8 SPC (for a possible antelope gun and general bigger boom).  After that though I am undecided.  Maybe I should just ask the experts and call up Bison Armory.  Maybe I should hem and haw some more.  After all the journey is part of the fun.

9/2/10

Gun Shop Wisdom

After having shot other peoples' AR-15s in various configurations and deriving massive amounts of enjoyment from the Evil Black .22, I decided it was finally time to own an Evil Dark Earth Rifle.  I looked around and didn't see anything really close to what I was after, so I did what any country boy with a smidgen of mechanical aptitude would do.  I went out and bought a stripped lower.

The first gun shop I called had lowers in stock, but I couldn't get over there till the next day.  By then what they had was gone.  I drove across town to another gun shop who when I called to see if they had them replied that they did but, "they are marked pistol".  After being assured that they were indeed mil-spec receivers I headed on over to pick one up.

When I got there another gun shop employee asked what I was after.  When I told him he asked if I was building a rifle or a pistol.  I replied that I was building a rifle thinking he was just making small talk.  That was when he proceeded to tell me that all they had was pistol lowers.

Que my confused face.  After about five minutes of discussion, I finally got him to agree to sell me the "pistol only lower".  It came with a warning to be real careful if I was really going to build a rifle out of it.

LPK is on the way, and the furniture from Magpul is already here.  I guess I'll just have to be real careful...to not lose the pivot pin detent spring when I build my rifle lower.

Fish, Fish Got His Wish

So as details started coming out about the crazy guy that was holding hostages at the Discovery Channel, I had a couple of thoughts.

First, crazy can find you anywhere.  Who at the Discovery Channel woke up today thinking, I bet today is the day the nut with the bombs shows up?  Remain aware of your surroundings and carry your guns.

Second, when I found out that his crusade was against human beings "infesting" the planet and that he wanted to save every animal but the humans, all I could think after SWAT had taken him out was, "Well, one less human in the world."

Seriously, any other whack-jobs that think like this dude, do us all a favor and when you decide to reduce the human population do it quietly in your own home.

8/22/10

My Weekend



What did your weekend look like?
40.419452,-106.74566

8/19/10

Where the Votes Don't Matter & Everything's Made Up

I'm a registered Republican.  I don't always vote GOP, but I like to have my primary vote and have it count for something.  The GOP chair however would rather my vote didn't count for anything.  I voted for Maes.

Yesterday, Tom Tancredo and GOP Chair Dick Wadhams decided that my vote shouldn't count.

They want to force the guy who won the primary to drop out of the race so they can choose someone "more suitable".

ISN'T THAT WHAT A PRIMARY ELECTION IS FOR?

Apparently, a primary is so that registered Republicans can bless those chosen by the party leadership.  I will likely be changing my party affiliation.  Now I've just got to decide between Libertarian and independent.  News flash to GOP leadership, this shit is why you lose elections and no one trusts you rat bastards.

8/16/10

Sanding Rubber

My wife was recently given her grandfather's hunting rifle.  The Remington Model 721 in .270 was purchased new in 1952.  It has been on many a hunting trip.  Her father used it to take his first deer.  When we got it, it was in need of a little TLC.

There was a small crack at the front of the stock and the recoil pad was the original from '52.  We removed the old recoil pad, watching it disintegrate as it came off.  We then plugged the old holes with dowels and glued the crack in the stock.



We applied linseed oil to the stock and got to work on the recoil pad.  I picked up a Limbsaver grind to fit as I had heard that they were fairly easy to install and worked great.  We mounted the pad and traced out the contour of the rifle.  We then removed the pad and got to sanding.  My wife went first and after a half hour came in covered in tiny black rubber particles and oil.  Apparently finishing the recoil pad would be my job.

I started with dry 60 grit paper on a rotary sander and soon applied oil.  I got the general shape roughed out and switched to the fine stuff.  I got it shaped well, but I had gotten too aggressive and melted the rubber in a few spots.  I brought it back in and started to mount it up, but it was still too big.  Somehow we hadn't scribed the shape quite right.  I tried tried again and got it right.


Then my wife took it to the range and got it right, right from the start.  She was shooting 1-1/2", 5 shot groups at 100 yards with little effort and 20 year old ammo.


A flat shooting 58 year old rifle, full of hunting juju, I'm looking forward to November.

Circle Of Life

I haven't been blogging much lately.  There are more than several reasons, but the chief one is this.


We have had a pond in the backyard since we moved in.  It wasn't very big or very deep.  The water didn't circulate well and there was no filter.  In short it was a PITA.  This summer I've been busting hump in order to expand, deepen, and generally improve the pond.  I'll have a post up later with some pond lessons learned.

I was out last night taking some pictures of the pond in order to show off my hard work when this guy showed up.


He stayed atop my fence for a long time.  I thought maybe he was thinking about doing a little fishing in my pond.  After about five minutes of watching him look around my backyard intently, he jumped down to a lower fence, flushed out the mouse, and before I could blink or snap a picture he flew off with his dinner.  The circle of life is everywhere.  It's even in the backyard of a nondescript house in the suburbs.

8/5/10

Cleaning Less Is Fine, Until It Isn't

Caleb has some advice on gun cleaning.  The condensed version is don't do it until it gets real nasty, just lube it up and go.  That advice is fine and dandy, most of the time.  Allow me however to relate a tale of my buddy's 1911 I recently looked over.

My buddy is a relatively new gun owner.  He just bought his first rifle last week.  He has owned a Para 1911 in 9mm for around 8 months or so.  It has had FTE problems since he purchased it, but in the last month it had gotten really bad.  He was convinced that he needed to replace the extractor.  Since this gun is equipped with their Power Extractor, he was all set to send it to a gun smith to have it sleeved and a standard extractor put in, MSRP $100.

I asked if I could take a look, mostly out of curiosity.  I stripped it and the thing was coated in lubricant.  My initial cleaning involved wiping off lubricant with a clean cloth.  I checked the extractor and it appeared to be operating just fine.  Next I got out the trusty flashlight and looked down the barrel.  The chamber was copper colored and filled with schmutz.

A little bit of this magical concoction from Hoppes, some break cleaner on the action and reapplication of a SMALL bit of lubricant, and the gun is off to the races.

The moral of the story is this.  It is fine to minimize cleaning of your guns (as long as you are shooting non-corrosive ammo).  If you practice this however, it may end up biting you in the ass one day.  I like to keep them clean, lube them a little, and inspect them a lot.

It Stinks...Bad

I just got done holding my nose and voting in the Republican primary.  Chances are good that I won't vote for half those guys in the general election.  The local GOP party is just as good here as anywhere else at putting folks in front of voters who have views that don't mesh with the majority of conservative voters in the area.

This year should be a slam dunk for the Republicans, but one just has to look at the state of the primary race for Colorado Governor for proof otherwise.

7/29/10

I Don't Think He Knows What That Means

Saw an interesting article in the Denver Post yesterday.  Apparently the DA was concerned that a Denver police officer used "unauthorized ammunition" in his Smith & Wesson poodle shooter.

Personally I was more concerned that two officers opened fire on bad guy with gun and managed to not only completely miss said bad guy, but also hit innocent bystanders.  If you want to hit what you are aiming at practice, practice, practice.  It sounds to me like these two LEOs should hit the range a bit more often.

ETA:

A bit more info can be found at the Denver DA's website.   Included in the report is a picture of the M&P 15 used to miss the suspect.  One thing that jumps out at me is that he is using iron sights...at 2 A.M.  Maybe the use of a red dot isn't authorized by the department either.

7/28/10

Trick Shooting Good, B.S. Not So Much

I finally got around to watching the most recent episode of Top Shot.  I figured with trick shooting there would be some fun scenes and maybe the drama llama would stay away.  Unfortunately, only one of those figurings were correct.

The B.S. started after the red team lost.  They decided to vote the one guy who made the shot that no one else on either team made into the elimination challenge.  When the two guys who didn't make a shot voted for Kelly, I almost shut off the DVR right then and there.  They both spouted some nonsense about how the guy who had previously gone to two elimination challenges and won was not versatile.

In the end Kelly showed how non-versatile he was by once again out shooting his competition with something other than his weapon of expertise.  After this last show, I'm not sure if I'll watch it again.  That $100,000 has some of the contestants doing some shady stuff, and I don't really find it entertaining.

7/22/10

Tactical Tim

I'm a USCCA member and subscribed to the Concealed Carry Report.  I still haven't decided if I will re-up when my initial year is over.  On the one hand, they have some excellent writers in their magazine.  On the other hand, there's Tactical Tim.

I generally don't pay much attention to Tactical Tim, or anyone proclaiming themselves to be "Tactical".  Recently though, in the Concealed Carry Report there was a link to TT's "No B.S." review of the Springfield XD-45 compact.

I own and enjoy a full size XD-45 and was curious to see what TT thought of the compact.  After watching the video and reading the writeup, I have come to one conclusion.  Tactical Tim's "No B.S." reviews contain more B.S. than an arena right after a Professional Bull Rider three day show.

Just a few of Tactical Tim's misses.
  • While it may feel similar to a Glock trigger, the XD is actually a single action trigger.  It is not as TT states numerous times a DAO handgun.
  • Being a SA gun, the grip safety is less redundant than TT suggests in his review
  • He hoped that the XD would fix all the issues a Glock has.  The XD has a great grip angle, issue solved.
Between the gun B.S. and the renew now B.S. I just don't know if it is time or money well spent.

7/20/10

Reasons Colorado Is Cool

At my favorite sporting clay spot, they recently had their annual ATF shoot (drink Alcohol, smoke Tobacco, & shoot Firearms).  Unfortunately I was unable to attend.  But per this biased review, it looks like the fine folks from the Independence Institute put on a good party.

Barring a zombie outbreak, there's always next year.

Well You Don't Say

Apparently, firing all city employees and replacing them with contractors doesn't result in complete anarchy.  In this case, it means improved services, lower insurance rates, and the ability to fire under-performers.

The money quote is all the way at the bottom of the article.
“Remember the Soviet Union?” said Hector Alvarado, who heads a civic advocacy group. “They had a lot of bureaucracy, and they lost. Maywood was like that. Now people know if they don’t work, they will be laid off. Much better this way.”
Downsizing government can and does work.  Hopefully this is the first of many communities to take this approach.

7/14/10

From The Wayback Machine

I got a rather unique gift from both of my sons for fathers day and have been meaning to share.  Unfortunately, my scanner has not been very cooperative.  Last night I beat the treacherous piece of technology until it agreed to do its job.  The results are below.  First up is the three year old.


 Next is the six year old.


As you can see they've got me pegged.  Hopefully my wife answers the door when child protective services come to ask me a few questions.

7/10/10

Neighbors

This story of some local boys getting liquored up and playing with an "unloaded" handgun has a fairly predictable ending.  The comments however were a bit surprising.  My favorite below:
I know it's trite. I don't own a gun, but I was always told "never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot."
 Even guys that don't own guns know the rules, as it should be.  The guys commenting on this story are the kind of neighbors I would like to have.

7/3/10

Bear Aware

A good few number of folks head out camping around this time of year.  Just remember that there's bears in them thar hills.  You don't have to go deep into the back country to find them either.  Have fun and stay safe.

6/30/10

Requirements for the Job

I was listening to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's reply to an inane question from one of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee this evening that was being replayed on the radio.  Part of her answer caused my to shout at the radio,

IT'S A REPUBLIC!

When a Supreme Court nominee does not know that we live in a constitutional republic and not a constitutional democracy, shouldn't that automatically disqualify the nominee?  Not that she is alone in this particular mistake.  A good portion of Congress thinks the same thing.  Our founding fathers had this to say about democracy.
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.  - John Adams
Perhaps Elena Kagan should go back to school and leave the Supreme Court seat to someone who at least knows which form of government the Constitution of the United States established.

6/29/10

He Don't Get It

If you live in Colorado and need a reason to not vote for Stan Garnett (aside from the fact that he's from Boulder).  Look no further than his comments on the McDonald ruling.  The Denver Post reports the following.
Garnett said he was concerned about the implications of the ruling — and criticized Suthers for injecting Colorado into a local issue in another state.
 Suthers is State Attorney General John Suthers, the current and hopefully future AG.  Mr. Suthers was kind enough to join the amicus brief signed by damn near every state in the West in support of McDonald.  Garnett, the fine gentleman from Boulder, feels that writing in support of incorporation of the Second Amendment is a waste of time and resources.

Somehow, fighting for individual freedoms has become a waste of time to some Americans.  Come November, make sure that enemies of freedom like Stan Garnett have wasted their time running for office.

6/22/10

Hopefully They'll Issue Him a Hunting License

Pakistan is releasing the Greeley Colorado man that was hunting Bin Laden.

Maybe when he goes for his next trip into Pakistan they can issue him a special hunting visa.

But I Saw It In a Video Game!

Some things you can do in my current favorite video game Red Dead Redemption that might not work out so well in real life.
  • Firing warning shots to break up a fist fight
  • Shooting every critter you see
  • Shooting hats off of people's heads
  • Shooting guns out of people's hands
  • Using throwing knives to silently kill enemies
  • Hunting cougars (not that kind) with a knife
  • Roping a bull elk
That being said...I'd really like to see someone try the last one, preferably with slow motion instant replay.

A big coincidental thanks to the Atomic Nerds for posting a picture on the same day I wrote this post. 

6/18/10

Midichlorians In Your Cup

Espresso machine, I am your father.

How to Use the Gun Blogger Glossary

In comments to the Gun Blogger Glossary post, Stingray of Atomic Nerds fame had this to say

This is tactical coffee. That other thing is just some midget spazzing while fumbling for his midget-heater in a tense moment because it wasn't in a gamerfag holster.
I might just have to add midget-heater to the glossary...

6/16/10

Our Last Best Hope

A local man's plan to kill Osama Bin Ladin has been thwarted.  Too bad, he was likely our best shot at getting the guy.

6/10/10

Where I Come From

We don't call them elks.  One, two, four, or a herd of 400, it is still elk.  Not only that, but I have no idea what an Elkette is even though I drove by the sign every day for three months.

While we're on the subject, I will admit to providing false answers to the question of, "What elevation do deer turn into elk?"

I realize how lucky I am to live near these animals, so I try not to bust anyone's balls when someone asks an off the wall question.  There are some questions though, like the one above that demand a creative answer.

Wear It Proudly

The infamous FU bracelet.  I now know what to tell my kids to get me for Father's Day.

6/9/10

Beat To Hell

I just got my shipment of HPR ammo from Scottsdale Ammo.  Frankly, I'm not impressed.  There is "once fired" brass that I would not have reloaded if it were me.  The bullets are beat to hell.  I thought I was being picky so I pulled out every brand of range ammo I own.

I could pour out 500 rounds on the table, drop one round of HPR in the middle, have someone else mix it all up, and pick out the HPR round within 15 seconds.  Even with the initial release discount, I didn't pay any less for these rounds than anything else I have in my ammo closet.  Unless the quality improves, I don't think I'll be buying HPR again, made in the USA or not.

HPR ammo, excellent marketing, poor execution.

Arguing On the Internet

Apparently I've been doing it wrong.

Life In The West

I was in Montana for work the last couple of days.  A couple of notes below.

All over the town I was in were fliers for a raffle.  The raffle was to support the local American Legion baseball team, the Laurel Dodgers.  The raffle is, 30 Guns in 30 Days.  Unfortunately, not being a resident of Montana or one of its contiguous states, I was not eligible to win.

Nine Fingers Mustard is excellent.  It also reminds me of the excellent book series The First Law by Joe Abercrombie.

My rental car was a new Nissan Maxima.  It comes with a keyless remote.  I threw it in my pocket and never touched it again.  With the key in your pocket, you can start the car, lock and unlock the doors from the outside, and open the trunk all with the push of a button.  Pretty cool.

The current trend of training via videos or computer based slide shows with an accompanying quiz sucks in my opinion.  There is little retention and virtually zero opportunity to ask questions.  On the other hand, I haven't gotten myself killed yet.

6/7/10

Red Dead Horse Thief

While I'm writing reviews, I figured I'd go ahead and say a few words about the hit video game Red Dead Redemption.  This might just be the best video game I've ever played.  The story is excellent, the side missions are challenging and varied, and you get to play old west cowboy. There's gunfights, duels, poker, dice, horseshoes, train robbing, horse breaking, and my favorite horse thieving.  Plus when you're done with the single player, you can gather up a posse and go riding.  If you have an extra $60 in your sock drawer, I highly recommend blowing it on this game (which I bought with my own damn sock drawer money, thank you very much).

Top Shot Quarterbacking

So I've read quite a few opinions on the Top Shot premier episode.  A couple of comments on the comments...

  • It's entertainment.  It isn't educational, it isn't fair, it isn't really even competition in the traditional sense.  It's a spectacle that is supposed to be fun to watch.  If it isn't your cup of tea, fine go find some gladiators in loincloths or turn on Michael Bane, whatever floats your boat.  I thought the slow-mo and splody was plenty of fun.
  • Shots with open sighted rifles that aren't your own at 50 and 100 yards can definitely be challenging.
  • In the team challenge Mike missed his first and second shots and got flustered.  Don't believe me?  Watch it again and look at his face.  With the number of shots he fired he should have gotten lucky and hit, if he was relaxed and shooting.  Instead he was reloading and jerking the trigger.  Not terribly conductive to hitting the target.
  • From what was shown, Mr. Mike had little help from his spotter.  That being said, I've used the exact type of rifle Mike was shooting, which is not mine, to ring gongs at 200 yards.  I didn't have a spotter and it took me 5 shots to figure out where I was hitting, make the needed adjustments mentally, and ring the gong regularly
  • I wasn't on national TV when I was shooting.
  • I probably shoot open sighted rifle as or more often than Mike.
  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who wondered about some of the shots on the elimination targets.  Andre and Denny were the only one who dead centered the target.  Mike was only just on paper.
  • Kid can shoot...under pressure.
  • My wife wants to be on season 2 of Top Shot.

5/26/10

Hurray For Reporters

If you have the nerve to protect yourself and your property, prepare to have your name, address, age, marital status, and profession printed up in the local paper.

Also plan on having your nosy neighbor wondering why you didn't shoot the kid in the leg.

Wonder No More

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you sent a big city news paper reporter out west to report on a group's effort to stop scaring the bejesus out of kids with Al Gore's global warming propaganda?  Well wonder no more.

Apparently everyone in favor of teaching the "other side" (her quotes, not mine) of global warming is a Tea Party conservative Republican (redneck hillbilly simpleton).  This continued anthropogenic global warming back and forth is really getting old.  The real truth on global warming is that WE DON'T KNOW.

5/18/10

Dominance Check

Turkey hunting this year ended without a turkey in the bag.  With the move back from New Mexico hunting time and energy were greatly reduced.  That does not mean that turkey hunting was unsuccessful.  I found a matched pair of mule deer sheds.  I also found a new sharpshooter.

After watching my son shoot the M&P 15/22 with iron sights, I decided that an upgrade to a red dot was in order.  He seemed to have difficulty maintaining alignment so I threw on a bipod as well to reduce muscle fatigue.

I mounted the red dot fairly close to the charging handle and had my son check to make sure he could see the dot easily.  At this point he mounted the gun right handed, just like his dad, and proceeded to close his right eye and lean way over the stock in order to use his left eye.  After a brief discussion and some simple tests, we discovered that he is left eye dominant.  He also happens to be ambidextrous (left handed if you ask his grandma).

We switched to a left handed grip and the impressive results are below.


Loading right handed


Shooting left handed


...but the Vanna White pose takes both hands.  In his words, he "destroyed it."

I guess now I need to start shopping for left handed rifles.

5/9/10

Never Thought I'd See The Day

On my drive back to Denver, I was listening to the radio and I hear a radio ad for Green Mountain Guns, one of my favorite local gun shops.  I never thought I would hear them advertise on the radio, but there it was.  Then yesterday I was flipping through the channels on the teevee and there was an ad for Colorado Clays.

Local ads for gun stuff.  It's a good time to be a gun nut.

5/6/10

Where I've Been

Before today I hadn't posted in 8 days or so.  The reason is that right around that time I was informed that the project in New Mexico I was working on was almost out of money and no more was forthcoming.

I was also informed that I was among the 10 guys that were being sent home immediately.  The remaining 10 will be working to finish as much as they can until June or so.  The good news was, I was being sent home because they have enough work for me in Denver.

As you can imagine, I've been busy breaking a lease, returning a rental car and paying short term rates instead of long term ones, packing stuff that I thought I had 5 more months to pack, and generally getting ready to leave the Land of Enchantment for Colorful Colorado.

It's good to be back home.

CSU Students' Rights Will Not Be Trampled

The Colorado State University Board of Governors have apparently been knocked upside the head enough and have rescinded their campus-wide gun ban

All I've got to say is...

WOOHOO!!!

4/28/10

Good Advice

How to stay happily married to a woman who decides to own a gun.  Caleb knows what he's talking about here.

My Problem With The Illegal Immigrant Issue

SayUncle sums up my position on illegal immigration in 9 words.

I've known some really wonderful people who are in the country illegally.  That being said they broke laws when entering the country.  Does that automatically make them bad people?  Not much different than the people going 90 mph in a 30 mph zone.

My problem with the issue is that most folks look at side issues like medical treatment, nonpayment of taxes, taking American jobs, effects on the education system, and other gripes.  The real issue is that immigrating to this country legally is expensive and a huge pain in the arse.  In my opinion, getting into this country legally should be a lot easier.

That comes with more than a few caveats of course, but if they are in the country legally they can start paying taxes on the work they do.  If they are in the country legally, they can face actual consequences for breaking the laws of the land.  If getting in legally isn't a huge issue, the whole family could come live in this country and earnings would not simply be sent home to the family left behind.

Illegals are people too, but they damn sure broke the law to get here.

4/26/10

Purdy

Every once in a while I find myself thinking that New Mexico is a pretty state.  Then I go back to Colorado and remember what amazing scenery is all about.




Not to say that New Mexico isn't pretty, it's just that my preferences run more towards the views on the north side of the border.

4/22/10

Momma Always Said

It takes a special kind of stupid to steal from your employer who happens to be a firearms dealer, take said stolen property, which happens to be a fully automatic weapon, on a joy ride to the local strip joint, and on the way back home at 2 A.M. turn on the lights and sirens you installed on your personal vehicle.

Why would anyone hire this guy???

4/20/10

"Gun Experts"

I'm sick today and stuck watching the teevees.  I saw the program Guns of the World on the history channel and thought it might be interesting.  Unfortunately, only 6 minutes in I'm already yelling at the "gun expert" they have showing off old British flintlock pistols to get his damn booger hook of the damn bang switch.  Not really helping me feel any better.  It's a good thing I don't sit at home bored out of my mind full time, I'd probably have an aneurysm.

4/18/10

The Turkeys Win Again

Both my wife and I had conversations with turkeys this weekend, but neither of us could convince them to come within shotgun range.


I did find this though.


Between that and the other kind of turkeys I found, it was an awesome weekend.

4/16/10

The Gun Ban Loophole

As reported elsewhere, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the dismissal of a suit fighting Colorado University's policy of banning lawful concealed carry on its campuses was in error.  I imagine that this one will go back to district court before the ruling (no matter which way it goes) is appealed.

This ruling definitely helps the fight going on up at CSU.  Colorado State University has even less of a legal leg to stand on at this point and hopefully will be smart enough to see that.  Likely though that mess will also be played out in court.

4/14/10

Marco ... Gobble Gobble Gobble

I spent part of the night today getting ready for Turkey hunting this weekend.  It is quite possibly the best version of Marco Polo I have ever played.  The season opened last weekend, but I decided that the weather was way too nice for hunting.  This weekend is much better with a 50% chance of rain, possible freezing temperatures in the morning, and likely little sunshine and even less warmth.

Here is what I will have with me when I go searching for Tom.


From top center and going clockwise:
  • Camo hat with built in face and neck covering (kinda like a balaclava, but with a bill)
  • Turkey vest to hold all my calls, plus water and other random junk
  • Binoculars used chiefly to spot turkey rocks and turkey stumps
  • Patterned turkey target used in the morning to remind me what my shotgun does at 40 yards to a turkey's head
  • Federal 2-3/4" Magnum #5 turkey shells.  It's what my shotgun likes to eat.
  • Two 00 buckshot loads for any hungry bears or coyotes (just in case)
  • Stoeger 12 GA, over/under shot gun with two turkey chokes
  • Camo shirt, pants, and jacket
  • Various calls (pot & peg, mouth, and box calls)
  • Montana hen decoy, flat and light and still fools turkeys
All the way on the bottom is my ParaUSA GI Expert.  It is a 1911 in .45.  It is there in the event that some outside entity causes turkey hunting to go Tango Uniform.  In a situation like that, two guns are always better than one.

BAG Day Purchase

Pictures below.


As I mentioned before, this is a great trainer that is a lot of fun to shoot.  Now I just need to get my red dot and sling on it and either a VFG or an AFG.

4/12/10

"Accidentally"

When does an accident turn into negligence?
  1. Dad left his loaded handgun on the kitchen table.
  2. 17 or 18 year old sister broke 3 of the 4 rules
  3. Sister had not been taught that if she did not know how to handle a gun she should NOT TOUCH IT.
My boys are 3 and 6.  The 3 year old knows to not touch any firearm, leave the room, and find a responsible adult.  Notice I didn't say any adult.  My 6 year old knows all of that plus the 4 rules.  He can not only tell you what the rules are, he can explain the why's.

Teach your children gun safety.  Even if you don't own a gun, teach them gun safety.  Accidents are so very often the result of poor training.  The more training your children have, the less likely an accident will occur, the more likely you can hug your kids at the end of the day.

Why I Own A Gun #5472

Just down the road from my place in New Mexico, a guy who works closely with two of my coworkers was forced to shoot two men who broke into his house at 5:30 in the morning.  One intruder died at the scene, the other was transported to the hospital and is expected to survive.

The homeowner did not know either of the two men.  The homeowners roommate apparently had brought home the sister/ex-girlfriend and the two drunk men decided to come get her.  They backed the homeowner into his bedroom before he shot.

Remember that crazy drunk is everywhere and can pop up even at 5:30 AM on a Sunday.  Stay sharp and stay safe.

4/11/10

Delicious Alterior Motives

I've been looking for an inexpensive case tumbler.  I can't see spending between $50 and $85 plus shipping and handling to make my brass purdy.  I have heard more than one person say that they use an old ice cream maker with good results.

With that in mind I went to look for a new shiny ice cream maker to replace my old one (soon to be repurposed as a super-duper brass cleaning device).  I found a reconditioned ice cream maker at Best Buy of all places for under $40.

The results were easy and delicious.  For anyone still making ice cream using the old ice and salt method, I would recommend switching to the new fangled prefrozen bucket post haste.  The results look like this:



In case you're wondering my new, not so shiny, brass tumbler is hard at work and doing a great job.

4/7/10

It Can't Be The Scenery

JayG has a post up on the American teacher who ventured into North Korea.  I've just got to wonder what attracts these people to North Korea.


I don't think it's the scenery.


Maybe it's the traffic police.  Not sure that's worth $700,000, 8 years of your life, and a less secure world though.

4/5/10

New Shooters' Smile

I mentioned in the last post that I had two new shooters at the range on Saturday.  One was my six year old son.  He has shot before, but always with me right behind him.  This time he was on his own and did a great job.  He can recite the 4 rules and understands why each is important.  Here he is behind the 15-22.


He did a great job and more importantly had a lot of fun.

The other new shooter was my friend's daughter.  She was fearless and shot everything put in front of her.  She started with the 15-22.


She then moved up to the 30-06 and shot it like a pro.  Once again, she had a lot of fun.

When we moved to the pistol range she was a little more cautious, but with a little encouragement, she picked up the 1911 and knocked down more than a few steel plates.


I've been informed by the lovely lady's father that Saturday was the highlight of her spring break.  To those of you worried about taking your daughter shooting, I would hold up my friend's daughter as shining example, and say to you, What are you waiting for?

As a side note, the adults had a good time too.  Below is visual proof.



4/4/10

New Toy

I had two new shooters to take to the rifle range yesterday (more on that later), but my wife forgot to bring the .22 down from Colorado.  That was the last push I needed to head to the Outdoorsman yesterday and pick up an Evil Black .22.

I picked the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22.  The chief reasons were the size, accessory rail, and collapsible stock.  These three features make it very easy to set up for my 6 year old son to learn on, while still allowing me to configure it easily and quickly into something I can use and enjoy.

The good:  We went through over half a box of bulk Remington (which some people have had issues with in this rifle) without a hitch.  We put a ton of holes through paper.  The sights make sighting in the rifle a snap.  It was very easy to train new shooters with.  Most importantly though, everyone shot it and loved it.

The bad:  Towards the end of the day I changed ammo from bulk Remington to some CCI ammo I bought with the M&P 15-22.  I got failure to feeds and slam fires almost immediately.  I pulled the mag and unloaded the CCI ammo.  Went back to shooting the Remington stuff and everything was fine.

The ugly: The box of .22 I bought with the gun was .22 Long, not .22LR.  This is ugly for two reasons.  I didn't so much pick out the CCI ammo as said, "Throw in a box of 100 of that CCI stuff you have back there."  The folks at the gun store should have caught my mistake.  This is why I hate when they keep ammo behind the counter.  I tend to not double check what they got me like I do when I pick it out myself.  The second reason is that I didn't check.  I always check my ammo.  I check the box and the cartridge before loading up just to make sure that the ammo gremlins haven't been playing tricks again.  I didn't check and just got lucky.  That mistake could have easily led to the rifle going kaboom.

Final verdict:  The M&P 15-22 is a great little gun.  It will provide hours of entertainment and it costs very little to keep it fed.  Just make sure to feed it only .22LR and never feed it after midnight.

4/3/10

At Least Some of Them Are Dressed In Something Other Than Black

Labrat throws out a link to an old post about the Easter weekend goings on around here.  All I can say is that I'm glad I was warned about all the extra foot traffic.  I made sure to have extra coffee and get all the cobwebs out before driving into work this week.  Other people could have used another cup.

4/1/10

Tell Me What I Missed

I've been planning on doing a Gun Blogger Glossary for a while now.  I know that when I first started reading the gun blogs there were more than several commonly used terms that threw me for a while.  Discussing possible first handguns with several of my coworkers reminded me of those confusing times.

Check below and let me know if I missed something or if I am way off base on something.  Wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last.

Gun Blogger Glossary

  • APPLESEED - A program designed to teach shooters to become riflemen, complete with a history lesson.  More info here.
  • AR - Short for ArmaLite, typically referring to the AR-15 pattern rifle, the most popular of the EBRs
  • ARSENAL - Any number of weapons higher than one according to the MSM
  • ASSAULT WEAPON - A weapon that defies definition because there is no such thing.  See also "Shoulder Thing That Goes Up"
  • ATF - See "BATFE"
  • BACON - Meat of the gods
  • BATFE - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • BATFEIEIO - Kenneth Melson had a farm BATFEIEIO.  And on that farm he had some Airsoft rifles BATFEIEIO.
  • BECAUSE YOU SUCK AND WE HATE YOU - Heckler & Koch (HK) worked hard on their marketing slogan.
  • BIANCHI - The NRA's Action Shooting tournament
  • BLOOMBERG - Mayor of New York and an ardent gun rights denier.  He has shown in the past that he is not above having his men break the law in order to deprive others of their Second Amendment rights.
  • BRADY - Most often refers to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
  • CCL - Concealed carry license
  • CCW - Carry concealed weapon
  • CLIP - NOT A MAGAZINE!  This is a clip.

  • COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING - Where grown men and women play dress up and then sling lead at steel targets like Wyatt Earp did to the Clanton's at the O.K. Corral.
  • EBR - Evil Black Rifle.  See: "Tactical", "Shoulder Thing That Goes Up"
  • FORD EARTHFUCKER - Every Gun Nut's dream vehicle...or something
  • GAMER - Someone who participates in shooting competitions to the possible detriment of their self-defense shooting skills
  • GAMERFAG - A "Gamer" who has "turned it up to 11"
  • GUN FREE ZONE - More properly termed a Second Amendment rights denial zone.  Also a good place for car thieves to go gun shopping.
  • GUN PORN - Pictures of guns (almost always zero pretty ladies present in said pictures)
  • HELLER - Most frequently referring to the Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller.  Also Dick Heller the lead plaintiff in the case.
  • HSUS - Humane Society of The US.  They are not humane.  They are also one of the biggest threats to hunting and gun ownership in the country.
  • IDPA - International Defensive Pistol Association, one of the "practical" shooting sports organizations
  • INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING - This is what most politicians do on a daily basis
  • JEWS IN THE ATTIC - A test for potentially corrupt laws invented by Joe Huffman
  • JMB - John Moses Browning, inventor of every cool gun you've ever shot (probably)
  • JMB, PBUH - John Moses Browning, Peace Be Upon Him
  • LOOPHOLE - Something legal that some people feel should not be.  See the Gun Show Loophole for a good example
  • LOST & STOLEN - A requirement in some cities to report within 24 hours that a firearm has been lost or stolen.  See "Instead of Doing Something"
  • MAGAZINE - Anything that isn't a clip.
  • MAIG - Mayors Against Illegal Guns.  Most mayors that are members don't realize that the name should be Mayors Against All Guns Everywhere.
  • MAKE SARAH BRADY CRY - Doing anything that the Brady Campaign would disapprove of.  Such as having fun.
  • MICROSTAMPING - A completely useless technology designed to be used as a backdoor gun ban.
  • NRA - The National Rifle Association
  • NRA-ILA - The lobbying arm of the NRA
  • OC - Open carry.  To carry a firearm in the open for all to see (typically holstered on the hip)
  • ONE QUESTION - Joe Huffman's response to gun banners
  • ONLY ONES - Law enforcement officers who feel that they are the "only ones" qualified to handle firearms.  It comes from a popular video of an officer uttering his famous last words.
  • PIG CANDY - The best bacon you've never had.  I suggest adding the cayenne.
  • PSH - Pants Shitting Hysterics or Pants Shitting Hysteria.  More info on the types of S involved in PSH can be found here.
  • REASONED DISCOURSE - The internet equivalent of taking your ball and going home.  Typically comments are either moderated or shut down completely to avoid having to think about anything that might force them to shift their world view.
  • SHOULDER THING THAT GOES UP - An infamous quote by Carolyn McCarthy that does an excellent job of illustrating how ignorant of guns most gun banners actually are.
  • TACTICAL - Anything black that makes the owner feel more like an "operator"
  • TACTICAL COFFEE - Better than a .25 in some situations
  • TACTICAL PANTS - Pants with pockets in the pockets in the pockets (and comfy too).  A complete guide here.
  • THREE GUN - Competition shooting involving a rifle, pistol, and shotgun
  • THREEPERS - Supposedly the 3% of gun owners that are either crazy brave or just crazy
  • UNPOSSIBLE - After improbable, there's impossible after that comes unpossible.  There's a whole laundry list of unpossible here. 
  • USPSA - The other practical shooting sports association
  • WOOKIE-SUITER - Science fiction reading, small "l" libertarians.  Complete definition here (with picture).
  • ZOOTSHOOTERS - Quite possibly the coolest shooting sport around
*Edited to add PSH and Wookie-suiter and now Unpossible

    3/31/10

    Training Quandry

    I'm planning on buying a M&P15-22, setting it up with a bipod, and putting my 6 year old son behind it to start learning to shoot in earnest.  I am currently waffling on the subject of a sighting system.

    When I learned to shoot rifle, I learned on an old .22 bolt action with open sights.  I think it can be a great way to make the subject of alignment of the shooter, barrel, and target a concrete concept.  On the other hand, putting a red dot on the rifle would make it easier for a new shooter to put holes where they want.  That could ease potential frustrations and make learning to shoot more fun.

    What say you internets?