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Saturday, February 25, 2012

But Ma, it followed me home!

I have some reservations about this one. It may be because I see many new shooters with it. They uniformly do not have fun shooting it. It is NOT a good Revolver to learn with, and I see many walk away after shooting it once:


This is a Smith and Wesson Model 638 Airweight chambered in .38 special. Five shot DA revolver. 

It will do what is required of it. For the novice however I would stay away from it to learn the fundamentals of Handgun operation. I shot it today and it is not fun, but it IS functional. 

Or maybe I am still old school.


I do love my Colt Detective Special!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Colt 32-20!

Thanks to all that stopped by today. Many have wanted a bit more about the little Colt. Ok. (Click to enlarge pics!)

.32-20 WCF (Winchester Center Fire)

Brigid speaks of weapons of beauty and character. There are safe queens here. Never shot, pristine, "NIB". They have a place of course. I will speak more about this later, and not only about guns.  

Here is one:


Here is the Colt Historian Letter for the Police Positive:

So I have been at the gun thing for a time, the Blog is new to me. The thing that gets me about the weapons of character vs. safe queens is this. How did this Revolver get here? Was it ever fired in anger? Put small game on the table? What stories does it have? Sadly it cannot talk. 

Thanks again for all that stopped by today! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

UPDATE! Blogaversary!

That did not take long! The Revolver is a Colt .32/20 Police Positive. Shipped 5/15/1911 from the factory.  
This little Blog just turned two today!

What a wonderful trip so far! To those I have met in person to those that have e-mailed and called, thank you! I hope to meet more of you as time goes on. 

To those that have simply read and/or commented, thanks! 

I cannot say enough about how this medium has opened many avenues to someone sitting in a small rural town. I feel the cold and beauty of Alaska, the precision of North's photos and his words. 

I feel the talent of Brigid in both words and pictures. I also count her as a Blogmother. She kept me going here. 

The queen of snark also was a quick arrival here. To Tam I  must also say thanks to keeping me going here. 

To my friend over at Lagniappeslair have no fear (or ok maybe some) I will be back for you to school me on the M-1 Carbine.

For my favorite lurker, Thanks! You know what I mean.    

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bersa Thunder Help?

The Bersa Thunder .380 has become a weak low pressure front. Why? The disconnect/drawbar spring broke. Get a new one all day long for a buck fifty. That is not the problem. The spring is staked into the pistol. The broken remains look like this:

You can see where it was staked into the pistol.
So how to I remove the remnants of the old one and get the new one to keep from wandering around? 

New one looks like this. 


See that hook on the right side? That goes into the lower preventing me from trying to simply pull whats left out. 


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I'm Back!

Just barely though. Both Basic Pistol and CCH classes were at capacity this weekend.

Oh yeah this:

The infamous Ruger MkIII. I took care of it but now I have a Bersa Thunder .380 on the bench that appears to have a magazine disconnect safety problem. 


 I will return!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Well It Looks Like CMP Likes Me!

Guess they don't know me well enough! 

"We have received and verified your recent order. Your order will now advance to our sales area and from there to our shipping area.  Please note, that unless otherwise listed, our order to ship time is at least 30 to 60 days. You will receive other emails as the order progresses.

Thank you for your order and support of our program.
CMP Customer Service"

One service grade Springfield M-1 on the way!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Story of My Life... and A Idea!

Well without the gunplay, or girl, but you get the idea!

While looking at this guy's channel I noted a tutorial on how he does the effects. It's right here:

So guess what? How can I introduce the concept of slide action and some recoil to new shooters without going live fire? Ta DA! Airsoft gas blowback 1911 is on the way for this weekend! As it shoots 6mm plastic pellets, I might be able to get one of these in the muzzle and practice rapid fire with the laser target!

Oh, I taught basic video software stuff at the Community College. I know this software somewhat! I will worry about that stuff later.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Its Sorta Like a Heli-coil?

But its for the head! The sad thing is this should not have happened. My parents and I have spent a great deal of money and I considerable time to try to keep all my teeth in my head. I am sure I paid for at least two semesters of college tuition for my old Dentist's children. 

I coughed up a crown this weekend. No big deal, but yeah it was this time. It appears there is very little left to attach a new crown to. 


Options? Root canal and hope there is enough tooth to attach a new crown to. To me dicey at best and if it fails you have sunk 1K plus into the effort and THEN do this:

I'm going for the latter but this is ADA tooth number 2. Upper right rear molar. This might impede my efforts at Appleseed coming up in a month or so. 

So it appears that I am going to get my head drilled and tapped! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My home town is giving me the sads.

Back in the day you could go to Whitaker Park and get a tour of a cigarette manufacturing plant. You could at the end of the tour get a free pack of smokes, bumper sticker, and a pen.

In fact, if you were a newbie employee, RJR handed you one of these maps to get around (click to enlarge).

That WAS downtown Winston-Salem. 

Then if you were really hard up, you could go to the south end of town, get a tour of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company plant and grab a beer in the "brown bottle" room at the end of the tour.  

Now? Is this what has become of my home town? All you can do about an indoor range is to complain about the billboards? Really? It is a nice range and I am a member only because the backstop can handle rifle calibers. My home range cannot. 

They do good work there. Sad that the message of safe gun handling and training was summarily ignored for this made up controversy. 

Sigh.... Perhaps you can't go home again.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

From The Bench...

I wandered to the range today and I was happy to see many former students there shooting! One former CCH student was there with her retired LEO husband. They were very proud to show off the new Bersa and her M&P. Yeah! 

So the husband gives me this and tells that this was his backup/off duty gun back in the day. 

He reports that it is not firing all the time, light primer strikes. 

This is a Smith and Wesson Model 36-1: The Chiefs Special. Chambered for .38 Special with a 3" barrel. This one was made in 1981. 

Working the action revealed that #1 it sounded like a gravel truck and #2 the reset was "crap". So off with the side plate and discover nothing is readily observed to be amiss except for a large amount of sludge laying about. I take the thing apart and clean and lube. The hammer block appears to have been the problem. She is sounding and feeling much better now and I will test tomorrow! 

The 36 has a storied history. Serial # 337 went to J. Edgar Hoover engraved with his name. Serial # 38185 was attributed to actor Jack Webb with a nickel cylinder and rosewood grips on 6/4/1954. It sold at auction in 2000 for 6K! 

Here she is ready for testing tomorrow:

I am old school and would prefer the checkered wood grips, but ok! I will let you know how it goes! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Note from the USPS

No really. An actual note:

My carrier is a contract Rural Carrier, so perhaps she takes it more seriously than the uniformed "real" USPS people. She will even text me to let me know she has a 47 pound box of bullets for me so I can meet her at lunch to get them out of her car. 

For the envelope contents, rattle is OK!

Not the distinctive "PING" these clips usually make but close enough to make me smile on the way back to work today.

I think my mail carrier is keeping an eye on me. This week in addition to the Midway master catalog, I got a letter from the S&W Historian and this just today:

Gun parts catalog, SAF letter, and some lingerie catalog it seems. 

As for the clips? I have some studying to do. I could always make the pilgrimage up to Lagniappe's Lair and get up to speed I am certain, but for now this will do for starters:

One is hopefully on the way!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Humble .22

NFO started it today with a post concerning training guns. I observed the comment thread and thought about it. Here are my thoughts on his post. I may be kicking over a hornets nest, but hey, it's my blog, your mileage may vary.

You know the drill, click to enbiggen the pics.

On any given month I teach at least 30 new shooters. I mean NEW. Never touched one, never shot one. So what do you think I am going to hand them after four hours in the classroom, this?

Uh, no. It will more likely be this:

Or maybe even this: 

The S&W Model 34-1 Kit Gun revolver in .22LR or the Colt 1911 in the same. I also use a Ruger MKIII. 

Why? Less recoil to be sure and minimal muzzle flash as well. 

NFO showed his first rifle and I have to say that for many of us, the .22 caliber firearm was a right of passage to adulthood. Here is my first rifle:

Winchester Model 290 in .22 S, L, LR. Mine, like NFO's is about wore out. It still has a place in the safe though. 

My first pistol? Guess what. A .22LR.

A Colt Woodsman. 

So now you may be thinking "OK old dude, you have old stuff, you know them and you shoot them. Big deal." 

Well it is a big deal. Some comment on "train with what you carry." I agree to a point. Believe it or not, some that take the Concealed Carry class can't throw 400 rounds down range every month in a defensive caliber. The humble .22 brings home the same lessons I consider paramount and is cheaper to do as well. I would rather have a newly minted CCH holder at the range with a .22 at least once a month instead of them qualifying for the certificate and never firing ANYTHING again. Believe it or not some do.

Sight picture, sight alignment, and most importantly to me trigger control are the keys to getting that first accurate shot off. For those that lament the lack of recoil in a "non defensive caliber" for fast multiple shots, I disagree. The .22 will force you to reacquire the sights and reassess the threat before taking the next shot, just like the .44 Magnum. If you have any weakness in your grip, it will become obvious as well. 

As to defensive justified use of deadly force incidents, stance, breath control, and other factors for being a good target shooter go out the window. I don't worry about them so much. I am really worried about safe presentation from concealment and time to first (ACCURATE) hit with all due speed. Remember rule 4, be sure of your target. In a self defense incident I throw a corollary out of this rule. "What is the penalty for a miss?" I would rather have complete mastery of presentation and first shot placement with any Firearm before I go any further in my training. Hey, a .35 diameter hole in the right place may make the whole second shot thing go away. It might not, but why not try to make that first one really count before doing the Ted Nugent "Double Tap"? 

All of this can be practiced with a .22 caliber of your carry Handgun or rifle.

Here is a M-4 in .22 caliber:

Guess what? Every thing works the same on this .22 as it does on the other one. 

Let's face it. I have read many words here on the Interwebz about almost every Firearm related topic you could think of. Some pearls of wisdom, much background noise.

I tell my students there is a 99.9 percent chance they will never have to present from concealment. If however they fall into the .1 percent, mistakes made then are usually severe and permanent. Placed in that context I believe the training guns have a prominent place. 

Ok, I will get off the soap box now!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Over at "By Other Means", the proprietor saw fit to award me with this:

Odysseus runs a great Blog that is eclectic and entertaining.

These are the rules, as copied from his site.

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award
3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.

So here they are. I will keep it to five, but anything on my Blogroll gets my attention. 

Anna's Clue Tank- A wonderful blog and Anna is a keeper! Her topics include "art, politics, war, technology and whatever else strikes her fancy".  

Barrel Smoke- A everyday read! Guns! 

Bells A Ringing- Mostly Guns and shooting but some random entertaining stuff too!  

Way Up North- The Rev. Paul comments on life in the great white north and offers up some occasional spiritual guidance. I call him Shepard and the flock he has here must be keeping him busy!   

We the People- A one stop shop for just about everything! 

Thanks again, and I have noted that some in my Blogroll have apparently drifted off into the sunset. I will try to update!  

Monday, February 6, 2012

A public service announcement..

Much has been said about this ad from last night. 

Here is the rough translation of what the young lady said:

What are you looking at? Uh!?
What are you looking at?! (slap)
Are you undressing me with your eyes?
Poor guy…you can’t help it?
Is your heart beating? Is your head spinning?
Do you feel lost thinking that I could be yours forever?

Aside from the fact that this company now owns Chrysler I can say that I fully approve of taxpayer dollars to get a glimpse of Catrinel Menghia   

I also must point out that she is Romanian, not Italian.  If you ever run across any Italian machinery, I suggest running it full out as soon as you can and see what breaks. I have a LOT of experience on Italian machinery. Not so much with Italian women or those to pretend to be. 

How Much?!?!?

So today during lunch I amble off to the mall. I go to the department store that was founded here to get some cologne. First problem, they doubled the size of it and I am now making laps trying to find "men's fragrances". I found it and grabbed what I was looking for. 

So here comes the stylishly dressed "sales associate" to help. I told her I found what I needed and we went to a register. 55 BUCKS? AMERICAN? Really? What the hell is this 1.7 ounces of stuff made out of? Unicorn sweat? I know its hard nowadays to capture one with the whole virgin thing needed to do so but really? 

I better really smell great with this stuff on, velvet ropes should part and champagne fall from the sky when I break this out! 

My sales associate however brightened up and exclaimed: "There is a gift with purchase!" Whoo Hooo! My lucky day as she was pretty enough.... Oh no wait. My bad. Here is the gift:


Oh yippee! A crap canvas bag (might be useful for the small stuff at the range), and some other stuff. 

Considering I normally smell like this stuff, perhaps I should stay out of the department stores?


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dryfire Tools!

Over at Tango Juliet (he just won a Blog award too), he talks about  Dryfire and its role as a training tool. I agree with his statements. He mentions the Laserlyte gismo as a tool to enhance the experience. I have used them for some time during training. I have used the muzzle loaded devices in the past:

They are OK for what they are, but they have some issues. If you get this one, it uses an expanding rubber insert to attach to the barrel. The extension of the overall length of the handgun may make your holster inoperative. 

The other really big thing is the fact that if it has batteries in it, the unit is "on". All the time. You must remove the batteries when you are done.

Another important consideration is the fact that you could inadvertently load a live round in the chamber with this device. 

Remember the 4 rules and examine your surroundings. 

This looks ok for what it is:

Take a look on the other side of this door however:

I'm sure my neighbor would not want a hole in his house or him anymore than I want one in mine! NO LIVE AMMO ANYWHERE NEAR THE AREA! 
As TJ says there are many mats or other bullet stopping devices cheap enough and readily available.

Another way to train with a laser is to use a pistol equipped with a targeting laser.

Here is a 1911 with a Crimson Trace Laser on it. 

Yeah, too much coffee today, but you can see many of the more common errors with trigger control with a handgun so equipped. That was a three inch target at 22 feet. I was not able to practice my presentation from holster as the camera tripod was in the way. 

The more common mistakes I see with lasers and dryfire are these:

Not maintaining a proper sight picture: Most people will lower the handgun to make sure they see the laser at distance. OK, but remember that the laser is a device that can fail.  To me doing the same thing every time is paramount to running a handgun successfully. If you can't see the red dot, you are now more behind the curve as you must raise the gun to gain proper sight alignment.

Chasing the laser: Many will chase the red dot on target to get it "just so". You don't have that time.

Not practicing in context: Practice proper presentation from concealment. Got external safeties? Manipulate them!  BOTH ways! Deactivate to get the shot and reactivate to holster!

This is also a great time for the malfunction drill. Click, no bang after the shot. Do your drill! I leave it to you to decide on the tap rack or variations of that. I have been taught several different ones for semi autos. If you decide to do the malfunction drill, simply take the follower and spring out of a magazine to prevent the pistol going to slide lock. 
So here is the new caliber specific device for dryfire:
Here is what it looks like:

I like it as I can leave the batteries in it and it is machined to prevent extraction and more importantly prevents loading a live round if it is in the chamber. 

On the back of the unit it receives the firing pin impact to activate. Then you get momentary laser "firing" for feedback. 

The last thing? Coupled with the matching target you get this:

So when you get done, you can see where you were hitting: 

Hitting the "display" target on the left will show you where you were hitting. The "reset" on the right will clear your string of fire and both targets add a degree of marksmanship to running one of these. 

The only thing I would ask for? A remote timer to give me a beep and then tell me time to first hit. 

FTC stuff: I payed for everything here!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Random thoughts.. Brought to you by Kindle

So the Kindle is a blessing and a curse. I am jumping between books, something I rarely did with dead tree media. One is from a former president of the company I worked for, one is the history of the Glock, another is a classic by Jeff Cooper, and one is by Mas Ayoob. 

"You are no more armed because you are wearing a pistol than you are a musician because you own a guitar." - Jeff Cooper. How true. So many think they can sit through the class, take the written test, shoot 40 rounds and call it a done deal. Sorry, it does not work like that. A pistol on one's person is not a talisman that wards off evil in and of itself.

Situational awareness DOES have a plus: " ...when you're actively looking for thorns in the bush, you can't help but smell the roses". -Mas Ayoob

I'm not ADD, but this Kindle thing might make me qualify! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Update! From The Bench...

From Russia, Germany, uh, Alexandria VA with love? 

So I go to the range today to make sure the Walther works. Guess what? It does! It does take some getting used to. According to ZZ Top, every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man. Does the Walther help?

Oh, the dinner jacket and tie are not props. I can rock it if needed!

Lets set the mood shall we?

Ok, that's out of the way. Here is a Walther PPK/s in 9mm Kurz (.380 Automatic for those of us on the other side of the pond). 

This is a Interarms made in the US pistol. I would rate it at 97% condition. I was asked to clean and assess. Here is where Jedi mind tricks start. 

I cleaned after a minor field stripping. Then tested with dummy rounds. The rounds would extract from the chamber but not eject from the pistol. Here is where I made my mistake. I was not familiar enough with the tool to understand that according to many that is normal. So I do this:


Everything gets a bath! I ordered a new extractor and all of the stuff that comes with that. It will not be here before I need to get this back to the owner. I will test tomorrow with original parts. 

Handguns all work on the same basic principal, but the minor details in the execution still bedevil me. I will have the springs and parts in stock now as I think this Pistol will run fine tomorrow. 

Another lesson learned!