Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Bittersweet

Another year is gone and 2012 was full of highs and lows for me. It started off bad when Dad passed away. I spent most of the earlier part of this year in a depressed haze. Looking back at my posts for 2012 I honestly don't remember making many of those in the first half of the year. It was a long dark tunnel but finally I saw some light about halfway through the summer. Obama's re-election was also a low point. I never was a Romney fan but even he was a preferable alternative to who we have in office. I had no delusions that Romney was going to save this country but I thought that maybe he could slow this train some before it came off the rails. I must admit that the election shook me up quite a bit. I just can't look at my country and its future, or American voters in general, in the same light again.

But 2012 had some bright spots too. My book being my personal one. I never thought my self-published novel would make me a millionaire. My only hope was that it would earn its money back, if it made a little profit that would be a pleasant surprise. To date my book sales has far surpassed all my expectations. I've sold over 5,000 copies to date. It also gave me a hope I didn't dare dream but now looks like it could be possible one day, being able to support myself doing the thing I love, writing. My book also introduced me to a new pastime for writers that I had no idea existed until I published my own, checking my Amazon book sales stats eleven-gazillion times each day!

For 2013 I have another book coming out. If it sells as well as my first book I might fulfill another dream I've had for a while, buying me some acreage out in the country somewhere.

Other than that I see 2013 as a continuation of 2012 for me, saving, paying off bills, and preparing for an unknown future. Just trying to hang on and praying the world does too. For all the readers of wilsonblog, I hope you reach your personal goals next year and have a great 2013!

The guns of 2012 ... and 2013

In 2012 I sold a lot more guns than I bought. In 2011 I continued selling off my collectable guns, the ones that were just taking up space in my gun safe. A few months ago I sold the last of my once mighty Smith & Wesson wheel gun collection. All of my revolvers with model numbers are now gone except for a very few that actually do get used occasionally. I'm keeping my pre model number guns although I did sell two pre-war .357 Magnums this year. The five and four inch guns are gone but don't feel too sorry for me because another 3 ½-inch (this one engraved) somehow found its way to my safe! I'll always have some antiques in my collection, I love them too much, but I can't justify so many guns that sat unused. I have enjoyed collecting antiques for many years but it was time to move on.

I also inherited some guns from Dad early in the year. That was another reason to sell some of the ones I wasn't using. I just didn't have room for everything! His taste in firearms ran more towards classics and among his guns that now reside in my safe include two early post war Winchesters, a Model 70 in .30-06 and a 97 shotgun, as well as a Belgian made Browning Hi Power.

Most of my actual gun purchases this year were for more modern and practical firearms, the SCAR 17S being my largest purchase for 2012. I also bought two complete S&W AR-15 lowers as cheap insurance before the election. Of course all of those were when they could still be found at reasonable prices, or found at all.

As for the coming year I don't have any 'must have' guns. In fact the only big 'gun' purchases I'm planning for 2013 are optics. As to actual guns in '13 I don't have many I'm looking for, a Ruger take down 10/22 and another Mark II pistol are both on the short list. I'll probably build up at least one of the AR lowers I bought when prices come back down. I really wanted a Kel-Tec KSG and have for a long while now. After finally getting to handle one earlier this year I only wanted it more. But I am not willing to pay the asking price let alone play the Kel-Tec waiting game. For the cost of one KSG you could buy two nice Remington 870s and a lot of ammo. I don't see me ever owning one unless the prices drop way under 'suggested' retail.

I didn't go shooting much this year either, no where near as much as I wanted to. I barely kept in practice with my carry guns. I say this every year but I do plan to go shooting a lot more in 2013.

Finally, I expect that ammunition will be my biggest expenditure for 2013, I will continue to stockpile as long as I can afford it. I recommend you do the same, if for no other reason than to keep ahead of inflation.
EDIT: Bonus photo!

Parade of hypocrites (NSFW)

My personal feeding frenzy

I have been shooting most of my life; I've 'officially' been a gun owner for over 25 years. I lived through the 1994 gun ban as well as the 2008 pre-obama buying frenzy. You might think that I wouldn't be caught off guard this time; you might think I learned my lesson already. Well, I wasn't, and I did, for the most part.

For this most recent gun buying apocalypse I was sitting pretty. Long before the last election I had all that I needed (except ammo, can't ever have enough ammo), and then I bought my SCAR 17S. I was smart enough to start buying magazines immediately, and then it began. Prices skyrocketed overnight.

When I finally counted them up I had nine mags for my SCAR but that just didn't seem right to me. So the other day I bought one more to give me an even ten. It cost me exactly double what I paid for the others just a few weeks ago. With that extravagant purchase I don't need another thing (again, except more ammo).

I'm glad I could make my own contribution to this historic event, the most ridiculous display of fear purchasing and fear mongering I have ever witnessed in all my years as a gun owner. Now, can we get back to normalcy, there are some guns I want to buy at the old prices. I certainly don't need them but would like to have them, if you panic buyers and profiteers would just get out of my way.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Not for sale

I've been sitting here looking at my SCAR 17S rifle. It's hard to believe that they are now selling for nearly triple what I paid for mine less than a month ago. The magazines are going for four times what I paid just two weeks ago. I guess timing is everything. All this panic buying and general insanity over an 'Assault Weapon' ban that has almost zero chance of happening.

I guess I can understand it a bit. I got caught off guard during the Clinton era ban and overpaid for some items too. I had only been into guns a few years then and not into 'Black' guns at all. I remember paying $200 for a stripped AR-15 receiver when just before that you could pick them up all day long for $80. There is a big difference though. When I bought that receiver it was because I wanted to build and shoot a gun that I thought I would never have another chance to own. But I'm betting a guy that pays $5000+ for a SCAR has no intention of shooting it, might not want it at all. I bet that deep down he is really hoping that some gun legislation will be passed, so he can resale later at a hefty profit. The scum would gladly give our freedoms away to make a little money.

I won't be selling mine even though I could right now and easily double my money. I made the decision to buy this rifle because it had the features I wanted. It was the best tool for the job. That hasn't changed no matter how much it's worth.

Still here ...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

People with guns collection # 54


"AND ONE MAN, WERMUTH, WAS AN ENTIRE ARMY BY HIMSELF - Capt. Arthur William Wermuth (shown with aide), one of the Battling ----------'s of Bataan, 'absolutely accounted for' at least 116 Japanese with a 45-caliber sub-machine gun. After the Japs overran Corregidor, his wife was informed he was considered missing in action. Yesterday his wife received a telegram from Maj. Gen. James A. Ulio, adjutant general of the army, which said: 'Information received indicated your husband is now a prisoner of war of the Japanese government in the Philippines.' - U.S. Army Signal Corps Photo." Dec 9 1942

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Obligatory 12/12/12 post

I couldn't find any of my news photos with a 12 theme and since we'll never see 13/13/13 how about a 13 one instead!

"JOHNSON CITY, Tenn., April 13 -- BLESSED WITH BROTHERS -- Not many little girls can claim 13 big brothers -- but that's the life of Barbara Anne Harrison. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Emory Harrison, had had 14 boys before Barbara Anne was born. Here the little girl is surrounded by 10 of her brothers -- Johnny, Ray, Bob, Sam, Carmel, Houston, Gordon, Richard, Foy, and David." 4/13/1961

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Joshua News

My book Joshua has reached another milestone! A big THANK YOU to everyone that helped make it happen.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Early Christmas

I gave myself an early present this weekend when I paid off the FN SCAR 17S I've had on layaway for nearly 90 days. I originally looked at the SCAR platform when they first came out. I liked it a lot, but because of the high price and unavailability of magazines at the time I quickly gave up on the idea. Late this summer I took another look mainly because of my M1As. They're great rifles but I wanted to mount optics. If you know anything about the M14/M1A you know that mounting optics is an issue. Especially for what I wanted, that was to be able to go from a scope to red dot type sight quick and easily.

So I decided to give the SCAR another look, with its rail system the optics are so much easier to deal with and by now the prices had come down quite a bit too, by a third. Magazines, while still expensive, were at least possible to find now. It doesn't take a brain trust to figure out where this was going next. It only took me a few days to talk myself into buying one, and another week to find a store with a good price and layaway plan. Now three months later and the proud owner of a new SCAR 17S!