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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


One of these is not like the others. See if you can pick it out.

Foreground, 1966 Mustang and background 1971

And here is the 1994. After a stint of windshield antennas we get this on the 2013:

A rubber duckie?!?!? Really FoMoCo? Sheesh. I had to do something. So Scott Drake makes stuff for Mustangs. Really nice repro parts for the old rides and stuff for the new ones. I stuck one of these on.


Much better! I really don't care if it works or not. I have music beamed from space, a USB port for the iThing and CD slot. Looks cooler though!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Retro Sunday! The Zenith 882H

On today's trip to the past, we need a couple of things to help get there. First, one of the best books on the subject in my opinion:

 And if at all possible the schematic for the object in question:

Then to the heart of the matter:

One of the first things in restoring old radios is to "recap" it. The old wax and paper capacitors (called condensers back then) are notorious to fail over time. I chose a functional rather than cosmetic approach. Lets face it no one is going to see this without some effort:

Yeah, everywhere there is a "CXX" up there needs to be replaced.

So after recapping, restringing the dial cord and replacing a resistor or two what do you get?

Why one of these!

The "Chippendale" or the Zenith G882H to the gearheads out there. For $279.95 (American) It's all yours! Zenith made these from 1949 to 1952. This one came from a wonderfully eclectic antique store in Johnson City, TN that sadly is no longer there. I bought it in 1991 and restored it in 2002. It is still running the tubes that came with it.

So after consulting the manual
We turn it on!

Sometime later, I will show you how to run an iPod through it.  And since the Retrotechnologist has clued me in for period correct wiring, I guess I will need to replace the power cord (again)! 

We will get to the strange black thing on top of the radio another Sunday!

I have a long week coming up with 4 12 hour days. Blogging will probably be intermittent at best!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Godspeed George

The man simply defined Country Music. For decades. His songs were of real life as he struggled with his addictions and whatever else he was fighting. Fortunes made, fortunes lost. Whatever happened he stayed true to what he thought was country music. Many came to him to learn as he became an "elder statesman" to the craft. He was quoted as saying that most of the people in Nashville don't even know him in his later years.

So for tonight I spun up this. 

I had to find a 45 adapter to run it on the 1958 Zenith G882H, but it came out fine. I'm sure he would approve. 

Godspeed George.  


From The Bench.

Finally the firing pin showed up for the Springfield XD-SA in .40 Cal S&W. It had more problems too. A broken slide stop lever?!?!

Yeah, the bench gets ugly when backed up! 

Here is all that got replaced. 


Firing pin, buffer spring, firing pin indicator, firing pin indicator guide, and slide stop lever. Go to the range tomorrow and test. 

Another one. A Browning BDA-380 that would not go into battery. This one is important as it is Mr. Curmudgeons FAVORITE .380 pistol. 

A nice pistol, but the sights leave a little to be desired! I test fired after new recoil spring and magazine spring today. Looked like this at 10 yards. 


She still will not feed the Winchester white box blunt nose stuff, but works with round ball! 

Back at it tomorrow! Glad to get some stuff off the bench! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shhh.... Don't tell anybody!

The Mountain of Geese "Firearm Superstore" did a soft open this week in preparation for its Grand Opening soon. And no, I'm not telling when =).

I scored some training food for the Smith M&P .22LR:


Perfect for new shooters! I can reload everything else, but these are hard to come by right now. 

As a plus they also will feed this:


My first pistol. A Colt Match Target Woodsman. If I had known then what this pistol is worth now I might have not carried it in my back pocket then. On the other hand, I am glad to have the memories and cherish the fact that it is still with me. 


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Perfect Birthday Gift!

For my favorite Pistol student. She just turned 70.

Before everyone gets bent on the pink and all of that, I wish I could shoot like a girl!

In the meantime back to it this weekend. New shooter class tomorrow and CCH Sunday


Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Quote From an Old Movie..

A gun, like any other source of power, is a force for either good or evil, being neither in itself, but dependent upon those who possess it. 

Ok, here is another one: "A pistol don't make a man. It's the gent before the gun that counts".

Give up on the movie? Hint to dude with the Saturday Man movie thing.  Mr. Curmudgeon thought of you while it was playing last night on TCM. 

Not technically correct however. The model correctly being demonstrated was the first model .44 Caliber Colt revolving belt pistols made in 1849 and reaching final form by 1850.

Good movie though!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Are you taking care of these?

Magazines. They are the number one cause of failure for a semi-auto handgun in my opinion. Most can be rebuilt. Especially important for hard to find ones. 

I do not use traditional solvents and gun oils on them. The Hornady dry lube I use as it does not attract residue from firing. This is an old Browning BDA-380 mag. Now cleaned and with a new +5 power spring it works like new. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This One Got Away

I'm OK with that. I obtained one of these this weekend. Bought online and shipped to my home FFL range. 

A Smith and Wesson M&P 9c. 

So a basic pistol student last month has been with me every Sunday since. She is VERY logical and methodical in this journey to have a tool to defend herself. She has rented many Handguns and several others loaned by range personnel and myself to finally get to this. The deal was that if she liked it she keeps it, if not it comes home with me. 

I finally caught a glimpse of her drivers license as she rented a lane today. About the same age as my Mother. She decided to keep the Pistol. I had to bring 9mm ammo as the range is out. 

As she was confronted with the paper work on actually buying a handgun she commented that buying a house was a bit easier. She surrendered a Sheriffs office purchase permit and the deal was done. 

I walked her to her car. She asked why. I told her she was carrying a readily visible pistol box. I asked her if she was going to have this for home defense. She said yes if she could find ammo. I gave her 11 rounds of round ball. Told her the magazine holds ten and then load one in the chamber. 

I cannot over think the import of what I teach. It comes with a huge burden but is balanced with the fact that people are figuring out they are responsible for their safety.

I will keep going and I already made space in the safe for it. Guess I need to get one of the new Colt's   


Saturday, April 13, 2013

The 60's Called...

They wanted their patio door back.


I hated the thing. By the time you moved the blinds and removed the two locking bars I forgot WHY I was trying to get to the deck! Never mind the huge security risk.

So today, some new French doors. 

There was a casualty I should have predicted before I started. The magnetic reed switch and 5.6K ohm EOL resistor for the alarm. 


Yeah, they pretty much self destruct after 10 plus years in a door. Right on time the monitoring company called for a trouble alarm. You just can't run out to the shack of radio anymore and get one of these. I ordered one and it will be here Monday. Bypass the zone and keep going. I'm not that worried about losing the door switch there are several other devices providing coverage for that area of humble abode. 

Meantime Spring seems to have arrived. 

I don't know what the purple thing is but the Butterflies love it! 

So wander off for a long overdue haircut. My barber Stylist of over two years asks "the usual?" I tell her she may indulge herself. A evil gleam comes into her eyes and I know I may have made a mistake. I end up with "product" in my hair. I have no idea what that means. 


I might use that for my new profile picture. Or maybe this one. 


In other news, Happy Birthday to Mrs. Curmudgeon! I hope to see her soon. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend. 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Well I DO live in the South!

I love the lady that comes and cleans my house.  Married and Mother of two young children and I hate to say it but one of such exuberance I can only tolerate it in small doses.
She's "perky" to the roof. 

Oh yeah, back to living in the South. If you come into humble abode there is nothing to scream "gunnie" in the common areas most guests of short acquaintance would note.

I have a "no live ammunition" rule for classroom instruction. This creates a problem for me as I am constantly getting ammo out of the range bag or stuffing it back in. So instead of sticking the ammo in a secure area like so:

I end up sticking it on a bedroom dresser of late. I also have to clear my carry handguns as well. 

Yes, that is stuffed "Nipper and Chipper" mascots for the RCA company well, back when they were RCA

Oh yeah, back to my point. When my cleaning lady is confronted with this kind of stuff she simply picks it up and dusts the dresser. I love it! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Springfield Down!

There is no malfunction drill for this. Click, no bang. Tap and rack right? Yes, but behold. 

Broken firing pin on the Springfield SA-XD in .40 S&W. 

So do you carry a back up gun? They are mechanical devices after all. They can fail.

I know you are worried about my Springfield and the fact the firing pin is on back order. In fact almost every gun part I have ordered over the last month is so. You may be worried about my 40-fu. Never fear. 

My favorite .40 S&W. When you care enough to send the very best. A Model 4006 and as a bonus if you run out of ammo it makes for a really heavy blunt instrument

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Birthday!

If you get a chance wander over to Lagniappes Lair and wish Murph a happy birthday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Now With 5% More Retro!

So the 2013 Mustang needed some more retro styling. As if it did not have enough right? Got these in today.

Rear window "classic" louvers. We shall see if the 3M trim adhesive gods smile upon my handy work. Not as cool as these though.


We are not done just yet. FoMoCo put a rubber ducky antenna on the ride? Seriously?  I acquired one of these for terrestrial reception now. 

In other retro news see the bronze bushings up there with the new aluminum antenna for the new ride? Door hinge rebuild kits for the 1971. If the current pins have worn through the bushings then weld the holes up and start over. The reproductions are crap and the doors are really heavy! 

I can't replace the anntenna on the '13 unless I have an antenna removal tool. For some reason its on back order. I have resisted temptation to go at it with a pair of needle nose pliers!  


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Old School on Line!

So after a CCH class today a prior student wants personal instruction tomorrow. She is very logical and methodical in her quest for a Handgun suited for her. I get that. She seems to have found the Smith and Wesson M&P 9C as her choice after she shot several Handguns. Guess what. There are none to be had for love nor money here right now. 

She wants to continue training. I get that. So for tomorrow my full sized M&P VTAC 9 is in the range bag along with one of the new M&P .22s

That presents a problem for me. I will not go on the line without a weapon. The M&P is my carry gun. 

So tomorrow an old friend will be on my hip. A Colt Combat Commander .45ACP in a El Paso Saddlery rig.


I DO love this pistol. Its thirty years old and went to Blackwater while everyone else ran plastic bullet hoses. 

It comes at a cost however. During class today some asked about the hardware I presented. They were sharp. They wanted to know where to get a S&W Model 4006 or Colt Detective Special. I had to tell them that several Handguns presented during class were older than them. Nobody wanted to know where to get the Kel-Tec. 

I returned to the Fortress of Solitude. Congratulations to my students today! 



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hey Comrade!

So Tam throws some first grade snark out there on the North Koreans no less.  

So I went down the rabbit hole and found this: "In the mid-1990s, an automated exchange system based on an E-10A system produced by Alcatel joint-venture factories in China was installed in Pyongyang. North Koreans announced in 1997 that automated switching had replaced manual switching in Pyongyang and 70 other locales.[2] North Korean press reported in 2000 that fiber-optic cable had been extended to the port of Nampho and that North Pyong'an Province had been connected with fiber-optic cable".

I think that the landlines they DO have are in better shape than here. 

Aside from eating sawdust and dirt clods they do have these traffic signals in the Capitol City. 

Hmm... Comrade if I make an illegal turn do I go to the gulag? I mean really. They have cars? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Badges, we don't need no stinking badges!

Well it beats going back to get a S*it load of dimes! 

I have watched the evolution of badges and such on the almost 50 year run of the Mustang. It has been interesting to watch this evolution. First a fender emblem from a 1964 (and a half). 


It sports the correct "C4XX" part number. It belongs to a ride I need to get to soon. Guess what? Clean it up and put new paint on the red white and blue "Tri-Bar" and you will be good to go. 

Then to the 1966 Fastback GT. 


The emblem denotes GT and the letters were a PIA to get right!  

Next the 1971 Fastback.


Decals this time around. Interesting to note if you did not have a Mach 1 you got this script emblem for the fender.

It looks similar to the script in the 1994 GT.



Then we look at the fender of the 1994.


No Tri-Bar but it does say GT.

Then to the "other emblems": FoMoCo capitalized on the long running history and stuck these on cars. Literally.

Ok, the Tri-Bar is back. I will give them that. 


Tri-Bar is gone. 


A horse shoe! Really?!?!

All of these emblems are plastic.

These are not. Serious business back in the day to let everyone know what was under that hood. 

289 V-8 as noted by the "V" under the cubic inch number. By the seventies the "V" disappeared. 



Now? Well I'm somewhat underwhelmed with the fender on the 2013 GT.

Yes I know it is a 302. Glad y'all got away from the 4.6 liter modular engine. I'm thinking I need some Tri-Bar Pony happiness up here. Just so I can run sorta old school.