Saturday, December 31, 2016

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Gone Shooting - Pre Election Edition

I went shooting early yesterday. The weather was nice and I haven't been in a while. Apparently quite a few other people had the same idea. I got there just minutes after they opened and the lanes were nearly full already. By the time I was there twenty minutes there wasn't a single table left.

I took my AR-15s to check the zero on the red dot sights. No matter how this election turns out I might need them. About two thirds of the shooters down there were doing the same, practicing with some type of "Black" rifle, isn't that interesting. Happy election day - and good luck everybody!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

My (sort of) new book

I have released a new revised version of my first novel Joshua. If you own it on Kindle you should be able to update your copy for free. I have also released a second version which has an alternate ending and short story that I wrote at the time but have never been seen until now.


Friday, August 26, 2016

People with guns collection # 99

Joseph Parrachina, 13 years old and mascot for a group of F.F.I. Partisans in Carpentras, is responsible for killing 13 Germans and wounding several others. This boy has been in battle against a German tank, armed only with machine rifle and grenades. The F.F.I. men, after fight, knocked out the tank and eliminated the remaining Germans. Seventh Army, Carpentras, France. 8/26/44

Monday, July 11, 2016

Me and the USP

If you are a regular reader no doubt you already know about my long standing admiration for Smith & Wesson revolvers. I carry them in public on a daily basis. Let's just say that I like 'em a lot and leave it at that. But my other gun, the one that also gets used every day but not talked about nearly as much is my Heckler and Koch (HK) USP (Universelle Selbstladepistole) chambered in .45 Auto. The USP is my "house" gun and is right next to my bed when I sleep. If something goes "bump in the night" it will be the HK in my hand when I get up to investigate. Truth be told, if I had to head for the hills and could only grab one handgun on my way out the door - it would be the USP.

But there are a lot of great handguns around, what makes the USP for me?

Reliability - An unreliable gun is not only no fun it's useless for self-defense. The USP has no problem in this regard. I've owned mine since 2009 and have put almost 5000 rounds through it including 750 rounds in one range session (boy do I wish ammo was still that cheap). I have used very expensive hollowpoints to low quality practice ammo, and everything in between, including questionable reloads and even some truly ugly, corroded WWII era ammunition. To date - not one malfunction.

Accuracy - The USP is just an inherently accurate pistol. When I take it to the range it makes me look good. I hit what I aim at - hitting is always better than missing.

Magazine release - I know there are many that don't like the HK paddle style mag release but I'm not one of them. I believe it's one of the best features of the gun. I can use my trigger finger to release the pistol's magazine - just like my AR-15 and SCAR17. Not only that but the USP is the only pistol I own that I can drop the mag without having to either use both hands or shift my grip on the gun.

Soft shooting - The HK USP is a big honking pistol! It is also the lightest recoiling 45 Auto I own - those facts might be related.

Capacity - The USP is one of the higher capacity 45 Autos you can buy - 12 round magazines. Yes there are a few pistols that will hold more but the HK is the one that fits my hand best.

You can put a light on it - I know this is 2016 and almost every full size pistol made has a rail but the USP originally came out over twenty years ago when rails weren't that common. I'm glad HK was ahead of their time. Seriously, if your home defense gun doesn't have the ability to attach a light you are doing yourself a disservice.

But the USP is by no means perfect and has its own issues, including:

Size - The USP is a big honking pistol! What makes the USP easier to shoot also makes it harder to carry. Except for short trips when I carry concealed I prefer IWB. That's pretty hard with the USP especially if you spend much time sitting. Please note that I said size not weight. I carried a Colt Government Model for years and the USP with 13 rounds weighs about the same as the Colt with 9 rounds.

The rail - Heckler and Koch, being Heckler and Koch, just had to do things their way, including their own proprietary rail system that won't work with anything that is not specifically designed for it. There is an adapter for using accessories made for the standardized rails on the HK. It is a pain though.

The price - HK don't make nothing inexpensive.

But even with those minor problems the USP is for me. I trust my life with it every day of the week. That says everything.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Gone Shooting

I finally got to the gun range the other morning (sorry, no pics - dead battery) after over two months. Every New Year I make the same resolution, to go shooting at least once every month. I haven't made it yet, maybe I will, some year.

I needed to finish sighting in my Ruger pistol from my last visit but didn't take it this time. Since maintaining my self-defense shooting skills is more important I took my two main carry guns instead, my S&W 627 and 342PD. The weather was cooler than normal and I had a great time. I need to get out there more often.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

"I love you dad..." A teary-eyed Gabriel Vanderwalker, 12, tells his dad, John, after arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from the Soviet Union, where the children's Seattle Peace Theater group was supposed to perform before the military coup changed their plans.

The group, consisting of 15 young performers aged 9-13 along with 5 adult guardians, were in Moscow on August 18 during the attempted overthrow of President Mikhail Gorbachev by high-ranking members of the military and Communist Party.

Immediate arrangements were made by the U.S. Embassy to evacuate the children and return them to the United States. Although the coup d'etat appeared to be unsuccessful embassy officials were still concerned about the possibility of violence by hardline Communist elements within the Soviet Armed Forces and government. - 8/28/91

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gone Shooting

I went shooting again yesterday morning. This time I took my Ruger Charger pistol. If you're unaware the Charger is basically their well-known .22LR 10/22 rifle with the stock removed, bipod and a shorter barrel. Mine is one of the old style, newer models have a pistol grip like an AR-15.

I bought this used in late 2014. Yes, I've owned it for nearly 18 months and just now got it to the range. That's how far behind I am.

When I bought this it had a cheap red dot sight attached but I wanted something with more accuracy potential. I had a nice fixed 4X Bushnell scope and some Leupold rings that weren't being used. A much more accurate set-up and didn't cost me an extra dime either.

I got to the range when they opened and spent most of the morning sighting in the pistol. At 50 yards it was completely off the paper (to the left) when I started but after many rounds I had it very close. I ran out of ammo before I could finish but it won't take much to complete the job next time. Reliability wasn't an issue at all.

Bulk Federal match (320 rd box) was the only ammunition that I used and the Ruger liked it very much. I had several 3-shot groups you could cover with you thumb nail. My best for the day was a single one hole group that measured 3/8 inch.

I also brought along my 627-3 from the last shooting session. Since I intend to carry this I wanted to run some more rounds thru it to double check reliability. Yesterday I only fired some "cheap" Remington full power 158gr loads and they're pretty stout from that 2.6 inch barrel. The guy one table over thought I was shooting .44 Magnums! Like the Ruger I did my shooting at the 50 yard line. With the short barrel and sight radius I wasn't expecting much although I managed to hit the target 75% of the time!

By then the morning was nearly through and the temperature was starting to rise. I called it a day, a good one.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

People with guns collection # 95

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED PRIOR TO SUNDAY, APRIL 16 1944 - MARINE DEVIL DOGS - Once again dogs are proving to be man's best friend. They are taking part in the war in the Southwest Pacific and have proven themselves to be heroes under all circumstances. The dog platoon at Bougainville was the first full platoon of dogs to be used in combat by any of our armed forces during this war. These canines are enlisted in the Marine Corps in the Marine Devil Dogs and are given several months of grueling training under simulated battle conditions. This schooling, they put to good use when in actual combat. They live, as Marines do, in foxholes, in jungles and on limited rations, and like all true Marines, fall to their task with great eagerness. Several of the dogs have been commended by the Marine Corps Commandant for their outstanding work in combat.

NIPPED BY A NIP ---- Jack, a three year old Belgian Shepherd, was donated for war service to the Marine Corps by his owner Joseph Verhseghe, Floral Park, New York, and has been commended by the Commandant of the Marine Corps for "outstanding performance against the enemy" while on Bougainville. Jack was in the line of duty carrying a message back from the company on a road block, and was wounded in the back by a Jap sniper. Even though wounded he carried the message through. He is pictured here with one of his handlers, Private First Class Finley, Elmira, New York. ---- Photographer PFC P. Scheer

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Gone Shooting!

I finally went to the range yesterday - I hadn't been shooting this year! I have several guns I need to shoot and have for a while now, zeroing sights, test firing, etc., and it never seems to get done (I'm starting to sound like a broken record). Well, I got at least one done anyway.

Yesterday I took a S&W Model 627-3 that I bought last fall. It's an early 8-Shooter pre lock revolver that are becoming harder to find every day.

I got a good deal on the 627 because it was damaged and needed to be returned to the factory for service. Originally it was a Jerry Miculek V-Comp model that had a 5-Inch barrel with a detachable compensator on it, a nice gun but in that configuration basically just a range toy. I wanted something that might be more practical for using in the real world.

Since the 627 was back at S&W for repairs anyway I had them give me an estimate for the installation of a Performance Center 2.6 inch barrel. The price wasn't too bad so I had them do it, while it was there had the gun refinished too.

All shooting today was done from the bench at 50 feet.

I brought along two loads for testing in the 627, the Remington 158gr soft point, and the Buffalo Bore 125gr low flash round. The Buffalo Bore 125gr (19H) is my preferred round for any .357 Magnum revolver I carry. It's specially designed to produce lower flash and recoil in small, short barreled Magnums and in my N Frame .357 revolvers it's even more of a pussycat. As expected the 158gr loads were much more stout than the Buffalo Bore but still manageable. Accuracy with the 125gr rounds seemed slightly better or it could have just been wishful thinking on my part since I have to mentally justify the BB ammunition costing double what the Remington does. I fired 70 rounds through the gun, 50 rounds (158gr) and 20 (125gr) and there were zero issues with reliability.

I had a great time yesterday and will have to try it again sometime. This 627 is a revolver that I intend to carry, but I'll have to bring it to the range for at least one more test session before I do.