Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Well, this past Saturday I received a package of 50 .375", 255 gr. jacketed soft point bullets from Mr. Dave Deering of Saint Petersburg, FL. A hobbyist maker, Mr. Deering is turning out a great product, in so far as I can tell without shooting them! They have been very consistent for weight, diameter, length, and finish. I'm personally hoping that these bullets will replace the Barnes original for my use.


While I don't agree with all that the inheritors of Dr. Martin Luther King have done in his name, I do still have a great respect for this man. Recently, somebody on one of the forums I frequent made some negative comments about Dr. King by way of referring to the recent holiday in his honor as "James Earl Ray Day". It really pains me that some people just don't get why we have this great country and why we make the sacrifices we make (at least some of us make) to protect and preserve her. It also POs me that this fellow, by writing what he did, was working to perpetuate this myth of the gun owner as bigot. Got my goat and I had the following comments:

The Reverend Mr. King was killed by a white trash career criminal who used a Remington pump in .30-06. His birthday last Thursday was celebrated and commemorated by many people as was his holiday, yesterday. It is fitting and suitable that such people, heroes, be celebrated, remembered and honored. This is preferable to the honoring and popular beatification of people known only for drug use, mulitiple marriages/unions, and incidental creation of entertainment such as movies and music. Mr. King did more to preserve the union through his support of nonviolent civil disobedience than most who purport to support the same goals as Mr. King.

I well remember the night he was murdered. It was the night of my confirmation as a part of the body of Christ, the army of God. Our joy was completely ended when we returned home from worship to find that he had been ambushed by agents of evil in Memphis.

I served 27½ years in the military attempting to do my small part in preserving this country AND the ideals this country represents including those promulgated by the Reverend Mr. King. I take your comment, "...James Earl Ray day..." to be a personal insult. No thinking or righteous Christian person could make such a statement.


On that same forum, a fellow was talking about wanting a good snubbie for carry and, as it turns out, to round out his collection. I had the following comments:

Years ago I got an M36, blue, 3". Of course it is .38 Special and I use the FBI Load. For a couple of years it was all I carried until...

I was threatened by some skinheads in my unit and the local PD detective recommended I be "prepared". I then got a Combat Commander in .45 ACP but switched to a M13 in .357 Mag when my wife went nuts seeing the Colt in cocked and locked mode. Sometimes I carry the very similar Ruger Speed Six 4" that was my dad's. All these guns have exposed hammers and I've experienced no problems. I feel very fortunate that my reputation saved me from actually having to use any of these in any but farm related vermin control.

I shot (as opposed to used or carried) the Ruger 101 in .357 and while it is bigger and heavier it (and its grip) handle the full-house .357 ammo better than anything else and this includes the K frames with factory grips (or factory grips and Tyler grip adapter).

I've never fired one of the new "flyweights". However, having seen other people fail to hit at 21 feet with the 2" M36 and 40, I would think that the flyweights would exacerbate control issues for many.

Even with farm use, I probably carry 6 months for every 1½ minutes of actual use. Carry comfort (and security) is extremely important and the holster makes a big, big difference but what works for each person is very dependent on body shape. For many, the rolls and folds make bigger pistols uncomfortable to carry and thus impractical. Weight is really important to some people but seems a bit overrated to me. I think an ankle holster is excellent for somebody who does a lot of driving but isn't so good if you're on foot. How you plan to carry should influence the choice of handgun. If one uses the pistol or revolver as you should, to break contact with the bad guy(s), your 640 or 649 should do for you.


I've recently joined a new forum, AmericanLongrifles.com, which is very interesting. A recent thread titled, "Flints", has really gotten my interest. As a consequence, I'm learning far more than I expected to know about flint and gunflints.

Flint is a silicon based material that forms into nodules that settle in layers within beds of chalk. These layers are frequently disturbed by the forces of nature, such as the ice sheets and meltwaters of past ice ages - resulting in scatters of broken flints in the top soils, even outside of the chalk bed areas. Rivers, streams, and seas cut through the beds, and the broken flints are frequently rolled into the form of pebbles in the water. In Britain, the chalk bed areas are mainly resticted to the lowlands of Southern and Eastern England. Here, flint was frequently abundant. good nodules could be fond on or near to the surface, although in some cases, people would quarry and mine down to deeper layers for flint of a higher value. In areas of North-west Britain, where good flint was scarce (poor quality flint existed in the form of sea pebbles and derived nodules), it was imported, or when possible, replaced in use by igneous stone.

Flint has a slightly elastic nature, so that if it is struck hard, with a narrow point, it does not shatter - but fractures in a controlled manner. Energy dissipates in waves away from the point of impact, forming a cone. One side of this cone can be seen on the face of any flake that has been struck off the side of a prepared core of flint. The cone appears as a bulge on the new face of a flake, called the bulb of percussion or conchoidal bulb. This bulb, radiating away from a point of percussion, on a clearly defined striking platform is evidence that a flake of flint has been created by a sudden impact - usually in the hands of a human being.

The bulb itself is the best evidence of a sharp, sudden impact, but other clues can include: a bulbar scar - a scar frequently forms on the bulb of a flake, where the fracture occurred; ripples - waves of rings can sometimes be seen radiating from the bulb and point of impact. The sharper and harder the impact, the more pronounced the ripples; fissures - small scar lines can sometimes be seen shooting down from the point of percussion, over the bulb; flake scars can frequently be found on the back of the flake (dorsal surface), where flakes had previously been struck off the core; finally, utilisation - if a flake was actually used for a job, it might bear signs of wear along its edges, or even retouch.

French amber flints were an international standard. Apparently there were different knapping styles depending on regional preferences. Look in the upper left hand corner of this photo for an example of French gunflints found in Germantown, Tennessee during the late summer of 2002. Obviously, French gunflints will be found at sites of French occupation and where the natives with whom they traded lived. Another example of this is at the Gilbert, Texas site where gunflints such as these were found. However, there is a view that the English flints we think of as standard, were not. (See Buffalo Springfield's view) I tend to believe this as I've read much the same view elsewhere (and am searching for on-line documentation).

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I haven't been posting here very often. My last post was on November 17 and that is about the last time I did anything shooting or hunting related (other than cruise the web).

There are a lot of things I want to do and accomplish this year and I hope to do them all.

One of the things I want to do is to get in better shape. I think this is critical especially for hunters who still hunt. Still hunting requires a lot of muscle control and uses muscles not often exercised. A very basic program can help tremendously and works for everyone because it is self regulating. That is, you automatically do only as much as you can and will develop/improve no matter at what level you begin.

The program? Push-ups, sit-ups, and leg lifts in sets of 3 (or 4 as you improve). In circuit take one minute timed excerise with a 45 second break between for the first push-ups, sit-ups, and leg lifts (in that order), then repeat but for only 45 seconds with a 30 second break between and again for 30 seconds with a 10-15 second break. Pushups move from close hand (diamond) to wide hand to standard in order to fully exercise all those related muscles. You can also vary the type of sit-up.

Primitive Seasons?

I wrote the following because of a discussion on a shooter/hunter forum. I didn't hit on all the details of the situation but it captures my visceral reaction to those who claim to have taken muzzleloading trophies when they use the in-lines.


I remember when many states had no "primitive weapons" or "muzzleloading" seasons. This was a hot discussion item for many, hunters and biologists alike. Some thought those D@#% bow hunters and antique shooters were going to maim and cripple up all the deer (no one particularly cared about anything else!) so that they wouldn't have a deer to shoot OR they thought that these morons would pay the extra money for tags which would be available to be spent on game management without losing a single additional deer. In between, you did seem to have one or two who thought it was no big deal since their daddies or granddaddies had killed all their deer with a muzzleloader. There were big regional prejudices at work, too. In Kentucky they even had a primitive weapons only hunting AREA. Well, it was only natural, this was the "home" of Daniel Boone! What better place to have an area where you could hunt just like the old frontiersman himself! Well, after a bit the inertia was overcome and the laws written or regulations changed and muzzleloaders were allowed. Exact wording depended on the sophistication, knowledge, prejudices and politics of a whole lot of people. Now throw in the inevitable technological advances that will be made by those responsible for marketing and making money for their companies. What do you have? It sure as heck ain't primitive, it even extends to muzzleloading guns using canister grade smokeless powders! Who'da thunk it?

I can't imagine why anyone is surprised that there are hunters so desirous of extra hunting/field time that they will buy the extra license and equipment just to take advantage of the season.

Here in VA for a time, you only got one deer. Didn't matter what you used. Lots of "modern" gun hunters, a few muzzleloading and bow hunters. After all, who was going to spend that extra money for no extra opportunity, well, only the primitive nuts! Then, VA allowed hunters to harvest more of the herd and bag limits rose to 5 deer per season (even west of the Blue Ridge). Low and behold, hunters started to try bow and muzzleloading hunting. Heck, if they failed they could always get their deer during the 2 week regular season with a sure fire .30-06 (or equivalent). Then, the regular season was really crowded so a lot more hunters would show up for the one-week earlier muzzleloading season and get the jump on their buddies in the competition for those "big" bucks.

That created the market for the product improvements and it has been snowballing ever since. For the last few years the muzzleloading seasons have been more crowded than the "regular" gun season! Why not? Where long shots aren't much more than 100 yards hunters using modern in-lines and conical projectiles are at absolutely no disadvantage compared to .30-06/.30-30 shooters AND they get to start a week early. A concurrent change is in the view of this hunt by game managers who see it as a way to remove more deer from the herd and to better control regional populations.

Another interesting development here in VA is that regs prohibit the use of smoothbores (like my Brown Bess) during muzzleloading season but not during regular gun season (when I could use old Bess OR my 12 double barrel!). No, not due to ballistic inferiority, heck it's primitive... and allowed during the regular season with the pretty equivalent Foster slug loads. But we do allow in-lines (including the smokeless shooters) with any sabot and telescopic sights. So the true primitive hunter doesn't have a season unless that hunter doesn't mind competing with even more .30-30 equivalent guns. That's a big deal to the primitive shooters who originated the movement for muzzleloading seasons and are now outnumbered by the "anything to kill another deer" crowd.

Why is this a hot button for me? Well, even though I've seen this struggle since a formative part of the regulation process and even though my Dad was involved in these early discussions, I'm solidly on the traditionalist side of the fence. I'd like to be able to safely hunt deer during the ML season with my Bess even if that means that I have to get just as close as I do when carrying my stick-bow. I've never hunted to kill but to go to that place (and time) to which I'm transported. A place where a man was a man and not some product of a nagging wife and gang of 5 nutty queers.