Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Guns

This year I did a lot of buying and selling of guns, most of it was done in an effort to rid my collection of a lot of non-shooting "collector" handguns that filled my safe. At the beginning of 2010 I had several of them that I hadn't shot in a long time and even a couple that never were shot at all. Those guns are all gone now and the rifles and pistols I replaced them with are working tools, not collector pieces. I can't say that I will never buy another collector gun but I can say I will never own another "Safe Queen." I will never again own a gun too "nice" to shoot. Over a year ago I also began an effort to simplify my gun collection by reducing the numbers of different calibers in my collection, I continued that program in 2010. Eventually I got it down to these eight calibers - .22LR - .38 S&W Special - .357 S&W Magnum - 9x19mm - .45 ACP - 5.56 NATO (.223 Remington) - 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester) and 12 Gauge. I also own a rifle each in .30-06 and .303 British but I already had plenty of surplus and commercial ammo for them. Since I knew that I don't really shoot either very much and didn't need to purchase any more ammo I decided to go ahead and keep both rifles, but I won't be buying more ammo for them. I have only kept what I consider the best combination of affordable, available and "useable" ammunition and the guns chambered for them. Every round that I now own (except the aforementioned) I have at least a couple of guns that use it. Doing this has definitely made my life easier, I have more storage room and have really decreased my headache factor. The official numbers for 2010 are - 9 guns bought (1 Gift) and 9 guns sold. I didn't go shooting this year near as much as I wanted, but then that's true of every year.

Pictured above is what I consider my best purchase this year. A Smith & Wesson pre-war "Non-Registered" .357 Magnum. This smooth old revolver shipped as shown with blue finish, Magna grips and a 5-Inch barrel with a gold Call front sight. According to the historical letter this gun originally shipped to an Inspector in the Virginia ABC in December of 1939, and yes it's one great shooter!

Year end stats!

I know that all by regular blog readers (all eleven of you) are just dying to know about wilsonblog's statistics. Well, thanks to Blogger I can tell you...

Let's start with my top ten most popular blog posts ever!

# 1 From the vault - Smith & Wesson Model 4566

# 2 N Frame Carry

# 3 Double Down!

# 4 Gun product review - RB-17

# 5 Continued light blogging...

# 6 Movie Reviews - End of the World Edition

# 7 Gone shooting - S&W 342PD

# 8 Registered Magnum Reading

# 9 My Black Rifle

# 10 People with guns collection # 19

But what about wilsonblog readers? The vast majority of my readers, as could easily be guessed, are in the United States (92.4%). But did you know what other countries love wilsonblog? Here is the count down of the other five top viewing countries - Russia (1.38%) - United Kingdom (1.32%) - Netherlands (1.31%) - Germany (.84%) - Canada (.81%)

What about browsers? How are all those viewers actually viewing wilsonblog? - Internet Explorer 73% - Firefox 16% - Safari 4% - Chrome 2% - Opera 1% - (Jakarta - Java - Netscape - Iron - Mobile - all less than 1%)

Then there are the operating systems. Windows 91% - Macintosh 5% - Other Unix 2% - (iPhone - Linux - iPad - iPod - Blackberry - SonyEricsson all less than 1%)

And finally, since starting on Blogger last March wilsonblog has had 9572 page views.

Now don't you feel better knowing all of this?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Ghost of (recent) Christmas past

Driving through my neighborhood early this morning I couldn't help but notice one of the last remaining vestiges of Christmas 2010 parked along the curbs up and down the streets of quiet pre-dawn suburbia. Of course I'm talking about the Christmas trash. Wednesday is garbage day in our subdivision and you could clearly see it was the (post) holiday season. Heap after heap of overstuffed trash cans and bags filled with rumpled wrapping paper and those cardboard tubes they come on, the tubes wildly jutting out of the mounds of garbage like porcupine quills, and then there were the boxes. Oh the boxes! Every fulfilled Christmas wish had a box that came with it and every one of those wishes was sitting on the curb ready to be picked up and taken to the landfill this morning. Up one side of the street and down the other you could easily see what Santa brought all of your neighbors. There were only a couple of trees today, the real flood of trees will be next week, the garbage day after New Years. Those remaining trees and Christmas displays will start coming down in a week, maybe two, and when they are all gone that will bring to an end another holiday season. Except for that one guy two streets over that refuses to take down his Christmas lights until Easter…

Too much paranoid, or not enough?

One of my regular website reads is, I try to visit the site at least a couple times a week because there is a lot of good info to be had and I find Mr. Rawles' site (on the most part) entertaining and informative. On my last visit I noticed that he is now posting his actual IP address on the site, and he's not the only one that started doing this. Apparently he (and many others) are concerned that hackers or unnamed government entities will take control of his site. Frankly I am not sure if he and the others doing this are too paranoid or not enough. In general I am in favor of paranoia, it tends to help keep you alive, but I'm wondering if this isn't going too far. Am I just being naive? What do you say readers, do I need to do this too? Is wilsonblog in danger of being taken over by some nebulous "Gubment" agency or some pimply-faced teen hacker?

Monday, December 27, 2010

A gun nut Christmas...

I had a great Christmas this year and got the usual assortment of gifts including clothes and socks, some money, and being a "gun nut" I also received my fair share of gun stuff. The "stuff" I got this year included 3 Check-Mate Industries 25 round M14 magazines, 3 black (no window) 30 round PMAGS (can't ever have enough PMAGS), a small gunsmith screwdriver set and no doubt my best present this year, and maybe ever, a stainless Colt Combat Commander. My Dad was in a gun giving mood this Christmas season and gave me the Colt and my brother a near new Smith & Wesson Model 40 from his massive collection.

The Commander he bought from me a few years back and it's not just a standard, stock Colt. This gun is moderately customized and according to the previous owner the work was done by none other than Ted Yost when he was at Gunsite in the early 1990s. The pistol is not marked by him nor do I have a build sheet to prove that Yost did it but whoever did the work it was certainly done right. The pistol was constructed using "Gunsite Service Pistol" specifications of the time and has the plain Hi Vis sights, a Videki trigger with a 3.75 pull, and other niceties that you might expect to see on a custom 1911 like a contoured and polished feed ramp, precision barrel crown, fitted solid bushing, a tuned Wilson heavy duty extractor, extended thumb safety, fitted Ed Brown grip safety, beveled mag well and a complete external dehorning with a bushed satin finish. The Colt also started life with the Series 80 safety but was at that same time converted to the 70 Series configuration. It's really a super nice pistol and I can't honestly remember why I sold to him in the first place, probably to finance some other gun I "had to have," such is the life of a "gun nut."

I'm really happy to have this Colt back and FREE is always better than paying for it. I am however a little troubled over one of the reasons he gave it back to me, he said it was just "too much" for him now. My Dad is getting along in years and this .45 Auto is probably more than he can handle these days. My Dad has had a .45 automatic as long as I can remember, up till now. I guess you just don't want to think of a parent getting old. Now days one of his favorite carry guns is another Colt, a Government .380 that he also bought from me a few years ago. He really likes that gun. One of my gifts to him this year was a Bianchi 19L holster for the tiny Colt and you could tell he really liked it. 2010 was one great gunnie Christmas for everyone in the Wilson clan, especially me!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monkeyshines at walmart

This morning I needed a few things so I head out for my local walmart. I went early as I was trying to avoid the post Christmas return rush and thankfully the crowds (and parking) were still light when I arrived at just before eight. While there I decided to buy some ammo and made my way to the very back corner of the store where the sporting goods department (or whatever they call it now) is located. After looking through their showcase a short time the only kind that I could see I wanted was some Federal "Target Grade Performance" .22LR in the 325 round bulk pack. I've never tried this particular ammunition and decided to purchase a couple of boxes. I had spent about five minutes in front of their ammo case trying to decide on what I wanted and during that time one of their employees, an old wrinkled and sour faced woman, and apparently the only one working in the department that time of morning, walked by the isle on multiple occasions taking a good look at me. Although she passed by several times she never once asked me if I needed help. On the sixth or seventh pass I stopped her, "Do you work here? I need to get some ammo out of the case." She looked like she just downed a whole bottle of vinegar as she fished for the case's keys in her pocket. Finally she found them and after a couple of tries retrieved the particular ammunition that I wanted and took it back to the register. When we got there she got on the computer/register and asked me, "Is this for a handgun or rifle?" She had me in a playful mood by then and told her "oh it's definitely for a rifle." I've never been asked that question before and even though I didn't know exactly what it was all about being walmart I just assumed that "for a rifle" was better than "for a handgun." She must have not liked that answer, or maybe she just didn't like my face. She just silently stood there giving me the fisheye. As she did I picked up one of the boxes and with my finger pointed out on the front of it "see, 22 Long RIFLE." After that she just continued to give me the stink eye and finally told me "The total is 32.80." I paid her and with that she bagged my ammo and handed it to me and then I put it in my cart and leisurely shuffled away, all the while her still giving me that eye and me trying not to bust out laughing...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The reason for the season

While the gifts, food and getting together with family and friends are all great we shouldn't forget the real reason for this holiday... Jesus. Merry Christmas everyone!

Top Ten Holiday Viewing

Here is my top ten holiday viewing list. I try to watch these every year although I guess it's inevitable that you miss some. What are your favorites?

A Charlie Brown Christmas 1965

The Little Drummer Boy 1968

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1964

A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) 1951

Miracle on 34th Street 1947

A Christmas Story 1983

Scrooged 1988

’Twas the Night Before Christmas 1974

Frosty the Snowman 1969

Sunday, December 19, 2010

People with guns collection # 32

Here's one last PWG for the year and an old favorite too. Nice WWII snapshot of a Navy Officer doing his best tough guy John Wayne impersonation, standing on the beach with a 1911 in each hand and a Ka-Bar in his mouth!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seven Point Six Two - Two

Back in August I began looking for another 7.62 NATO (.308) semi-auto rifle to add to my safe because I felt that my gun collection wouldn't be complete without one. The M1A was the obvious choice because I had owned a couple before and liked them and shot them well. I also still had accessories and magazines for them. This time though I wanted a shorter model instead of the standard length, I thought the Scout or Bush model would be a bit handier in the real world. But there were several different rifles I wanted to check out too and I wasn't in a hurry, so I took my time while considering the other possibilities. I looked over a few different brand AR-10 and FAL rifles and a HK91 copy, I also considered the Kel-Tec RFB and the FN SCAR 17s although I didn't get a chance to handle those two. The RFB seemed an interesting design but the company has yet to work all the bugs out of it. The FN was another possibility but it was over my budget and right now extra magazines are scarce. As for AR-10 models I just didn't like the feel of any of the ones that I tried, they just seemed heavy and clumsy compared to the M1A. Some also have magazine/reliability issues. I really did like the FAL I handled but definitely prefer the sights of the M1A. The HK copy also seemed like a nice rifle but I've read too many bad reviews of them to take a chance, if I was going with this design I would get a real HK, which like the SCAR is also out of my budget. So eventually I decided that the M1A was what I needed to fill the hole in my collection after all and with a couple months searching found the one that I wanted. It's an 18-inch Bush model made in 2000 and hopefully should give me years of reliable service. Now all that I have to do is get to the range to zero it in and check for reliability, if we ever get a break in the winter weather!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Please snow go away...

Please snow go away, won't you come back some other non-shooting day.

I have three rifles that I need to take to the range and had planned to take at least one of them this morning. Unfortunately it is snowing here and has been for over a day now. Jack Frost, that SOB, has conspired to keep me in the house by dumping some of his trademark frozen white crud on the entire world (or at least my part of the world), not too much but enough to ruin my plans. I usually only get the chance to shoot on the weekends or Mondays and the supply of those are getting dangerously short for 2010. I'm not sure I'll get another chance to shoot this month so my rifles might have to wait until next year...

Monday, December 06, 2010


The fifth chapter of my book is now up. This will be the last one for the year. That's five chapters and roughly 8500 words since October. Starting with this chapter I will be posting a new one on the first Monday of the month, maybe more if they're short. When I started writing this last August I really didn't know if I wanted to put this on my site or not. I times I did but then would quickly change my mind again. After much back and forth on my part I finally did post it, I guess it came down to wanting feedback from others. I know I'm not Hemingway but I thought I had an interesting story to tell and I needed to know if I wasn't just fooling myself. I needed to let others read my words and hear what they thought even if it might be something I didn't want to hear. I have heard from many of you with your comments and/or emails and it has been overwhelmingly positive. So I want to thank all of you that have taken your time to tell me what you thought, good or bad. If you liked my novel so far I think in the new year it will get even better for you, and if you didn't like it hang around a couple more chapters, you might like it yet. But either way thank you again for your kind words or even your constructive critique, both have helped...