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).