Sunday, October 30, 2011

People with guns collection # 41

"Oakland, Calif., Dec. 16 -- THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT --
Saundra Brown, 28, the first black woman on the Oakland police force gets instructions on how to shoot a shotgun by police rangemaster Adolph Bischofberger. Saundra graduates Friday near the top of her class after 15 weeks of criminal law, report writing, first aid, firearms training and defensive tactics. 'I really feel very confident now,' she said, 'but before I was totally afraid. I didn't want to be around a gun.'
" Dec 17 1970

Besides being taught how to fire a shotgun from the hip while in heels let us hope that Saundra got some more practical instruction, like what that little brass bead on the end of the barrel was for...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seven Point Six Two - Times Two

Last December I purchased the Springfield Armory Inc. M1A rifle in 7.62 NATO (.308) shown at the top of the photo. I can't believe it has been 10 months already and I still haven't shot it. I had owned two others over the years but got rid of them in fits of stupidity. Last year, after a long search of all the .308 semi-auto rifles (with the features I wanted) I concluded that the best one for me was the one I had all along, the M1A.

So after buying one last year I thought of buying another in 2011 (Two is One). I was thinking of another Bush model or perhaps a Scout, maybe even a standard. Then I saw the Socom 16 used at a nice price at the local fun store, it needed a good home and now I have two I have yet to shoot.

It came with the standard ugly black plastic stock that I quickly swapped out for a nice walnut GI that was just sitting in my closet. Pretty ain't it? If you've got a sharp eye you probably also noticed its magazine is longer than the normal 20 round government issue. Last Christmas I asked Santa to bring me some 25 round mags and sure enough I found a few stuffed in my stocking. I haven't tried them out either but being from Check-mate Industries I don't believe there will be any issues. I won't buy anymore though as their usefulness is very limited. They make the rifle heavier and more awkward, and shooting from a bench (or prone) is almost impossible. But if I ever need to use a M1A as a bullet hose, firing from the hip and screaming at the top of my lungs like Rambo these should do fine. Until then I'll probably get very little use from them. Now I know why 20 round mags were good enough for the Army!

Yes I do hope to shoot both this year if the fall weather cooperates. I've shot a Scout before so basically I know what to expect from the Bush model. But I don't know about the little Socom, I suspect it has quite the bark!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Queue

Above is my current lineup of books to be read, or re-read. I'm not a fast reader and have a lot going on right now. This small stack should keep me busy until at least Thanksgiving. From left to right…

On Writing - Stephen King - I just recently finished this but decided to read it again before beginning the final edit on my own book in November.

Survivors - James Wesley, Rawles - Was so looking forward to this one I sent it to the front of the line (except for the one I already started).

The Great New Orleans Gun Grab - Gordon Hutchinson and Todd Masson - Revealing look at the chaos after Katrina, particularly concerning an out of control law enforcement and government. I read this when it first came out but picked it up again just so I wouldn't forget. Required reading for every freedom loving American.

Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein - Just because it's been a long time since I've read Heinlein, too long.

So what are you reading right now?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tiny Tree Frog

I recently found these photos in the memory of my camera. I took them a while back when I first bought it (Nikon CoolPix) and thought this little fella would be a good opportunity to check out its capabilities. If I know my Kentucky toads and frogs this is the cricket frog, Acris crepitans. Well, honestly I know very little about toads or frogs but like every other joker I do have internet access. I found this guy trying to traverse the enormous span of a patio table top. It took him a while but he finally made it! To give you an idea of scale those spaces he's crawling over are about ¾ inch on the long side. Tiny!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Gone Shooting - 22 day

The weather was nice so I went shooting again earlier today. This time I only took .22s. There was the Ruger Government model from last time. I wanted to put a few more rounds through it and I also needed to adjust the sights. I took another .22 too, my Budischowsky TP-70. Ammunition used today was Federal "AutoMatch" and cheap Winchester both with 40gr bullets. As usual targets were 5-inch Shoot-N-C brand.

The Ruger was first up. All firing was from 50ft using an improvised rest (the roof of my car and a rolled up towel). No surprises in the accuracy department as it performed just like it did on the last outing. It was shooting high but didn't take long to make it right. But mostly what I was interested in this time was reliability. Because of the weather I only got to fire 100 rounds through it last session and I wanted to continue the test. Today the Ruger effortlessly ate up everything offered it, another 200 rounds without malfunction. So far so good.

Next up was my Budischowsky TP-70. All shooting was done at 15ft using my strong hand only. The Budischowsky was a high end pocket pistol from the 1970s. It had many features not common to guns that size. Features like real sights, a separate extractor, slide stop and a decocker. They only made them a few years with the large majority in .25 Auto. The .22 version was only produced one year and they're a little tough to come by.

This pistol is basically a range toy. I only keep it for two reasons, because it's so cute and so cheap to feed. I would never rely on it for personal protection. First is the caliber, while this was a very innovative "mouse gun" 30+ years ago time has passed it by. Now you can get pocket guns almost identical in size and actually lighter in .32 or .380. The "micro" 9mm pistols aren't far behind. But even if I wanted to rely on a .22LR for self defense I still wouldn't use this gun, it's just too persnickety.

The magazines are one problem. It will hold seven rounds but you'll quickly find that to be the easiest way to get this pistol to malfunction. You better count them out when loading. Six rounds, no more, ever. Another issue is the double action trigger pull. IT IS AWFUL! Even at 5 yards you can see I was pulling shots to the right. Firing in single action you can actually make reasonable sized groups but it's not safe to carry it that way. But the Budischowsky's biggest problem is being a very finicky eater. I have never found ammunition that it would feed reliably 100% of the time. Until today. I put 150 rounds down range with the Federal brand without a hiccup. Next time I have it out I'll try the Federal again. If it repeats today's performance I guess I've finally found the ammo it likes. Yes this little pistol has plenty of problems, but it's so cute!

Had some fun today and didn't even have to go through a lot of expensive ammo to do it. As a bonus I might have finally found just the right formula for my problem child.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Tuesday afternoon I ordered the newest from James Wesley, Rawles and this morning it was waiting for me in my mailbox. Not quite the instant gratification of a Kindle but to have a real paper copy in my hands in 68 hours, well that's not too shabby either.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Tomorrow is book bomb day

James Wesley, Rawles author and owner of the very informative SurvivalBlog has a new novel that will be released Tuesday the 4th. It's called Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse and is a (kind of) sequel to his post apocalypse novel Patriots. If you're a fan of this type of fiction I urge you to order it tomorrow. Lets get his sales numbers up. He deserves it!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Lesson from the bird guy

During my brief time as an unarmed security officer I met quite a few interesting characters. The one I remember most I called "the bird guy."

One of my semi regular posts was at a local galleria type mall down town and I would usually pull a shift there two or maybe three times a month. Typically as a last minute replacement if one of the regular guys called in sick or needed a vacation day. At the time the mall was undergoing a heavy remodeling and not open to the public. Our main job was to keep people out of the construction areas and that mostly meant the local homeless population that would frequently try to set up house in some faraway nook out of public view. They especially liked the two lower sublevels for some reason. Probably because there was no power there at the time and they could easily find some dark corner to hide in.

Adjacent to the mall was a Catholic church. Midday, every weekday, they would give out food to indigents, usually sandwiches of some kind. The bird guy was always there.

The bird guy was in his early thirties, average height and a little thin. He had blonde hair that he kept cut short and neat. His clothes were casual, a knit shirt and khaki pants. They looked like they hadn't been laundered for a while but he still made an effort to look presentable. Kept his shirt buttoned up and tucked in. They might have been the best clothes he had, maybe the only ones. He always had with him a small backpack too and I suspect that it carried everything he owned.

The bird guy might have been mentally ill or disabled. I never once heard him speak to anyone and he often appeared to be in his own little world. Like everyone else he would wait in the long line for his sandwich. But it was after that you could see he wasn't like any of the others that were standing there.

The rest would take their food and go. They might hang out with friends for a short while but not very long. They got their free lunch and then quickly went their separate ways again. The bird guy had other priorities. Between the mall and church was an area that somehow had managed not to get paved over. A long narrow strip of grass and a few trees, not that common in that part of town.

The bird guy would go sit down, usually right on the ground. He would then open his sandwich and eat the insides. Afterwards he would carefully shred the bread into very tiny pieces that he would toss out in front of him. Then he would wait. It wouldn't be long before the birds would show up, all sizes and kinds. They would eat the crumbs only inches from him. More than once I saw him feeding them right out of his hands.

That was the real reason the bird guy came and you could see it there in his smile and in his eyes. No matter what other problems he had for a short while everyday at lunchtime they were forgotten.

That's the lesson that I learned from the bird guy and I try to remember it every day.

You should take your happiness wherever you can find it.