Wednesday, January 31, 2007

WV now has a West Virginia Citzens Defense League

Good news from Jim Snyder of the VCDL...

The West Virginia Citizens Defense League held its first
organizational meeting on Saturday, January 27, 2007, near Morgantown,
West Virginia. Details are available online at

Jim Mullins, President of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League,

I wanted to inform you of this meeting because, like the VCDL, the WVCDL intends to be a state-level Second Amendment advocacy organization that will seek to protect and, where necessary, restore the rights of law-abiding West Virginia gun owners. I admire the work of VCDL and hope that we will be able to work together on issues of mutual concern when they arise.

Although anti-gun legislation rarely, if ever, makes progress in our Legislature (one notable exception was the passage of a State Capitol carry ban in 2002, whose repeal we intend to seek), there are many areas where West Virginia laws need to be improved.

In addition to crafting pro-gun legislation, WVCDL will seek to generate the necessary public pressure on individual legislators and the legislative leadership to force committee action on pro-gun bills. In preparation for forming WVCDL, I met individually with about one-third of the members of our state Senate and the Speaker, majority leader, and minority leader of our House of Delegates to introduce myself and the WVCDL.

Our real work now lies ahead in spreading the word of our existence and building the membership base necessary to promote our legislative efforts. We would appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide. We wish you the best of luck with your efforts and we are willing to assist you when and where we can.


Jim Mullins, President
West Virginia Citizens Defense League

If you have any friends or family members in WV, let them know about WVCDL and how to contact them.

We certainly hope WVCDL succeeds in improving WV's gun laws.

I would like to add that WVCDL might be just as important to those of us living in western Virginia who visit the Mountain State regularly to see family, for business, or for recreation. I think I'll make a donation to them ASAP.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fathers, Sons, Hunting, Shooting and Memories

I was out and about hunting (VA's late muzzleloading season goes through Jan 6, 2007) and as I went to where I was going I passed many places full of memories of my father. That's always a good time, I had a great dad.

Dad was a forester who worked for the US Forest Service from 1955 until his retirement about 1984. He worked on the Monongahela, Daniel Boone and George Washington National Forests, for Job Corps, fought forest fires as far away as New Mexico and before that had served his country in the US Army (1945-47 and 1951-52) and worked 6 months for the Soil Conservation Corps. Raised on a dairy farm near Cooperstown, NY during the depression, Dad knew about hard work and treasured everything he had. He also made a lot of sacrifices for his children.

Of course he liked being outdoors and most of my fondest memories have something to do with the outdoors. However, I wasn't of hunting age until we were living here in VA and so it was here that I got to go out with him and have the grand adventures with gun in hand that boys and young men so treasure. Very nearly everywhere I go in this area that I have already visited at least once with my dad I will be reminded of a wonderful adventure. I'm sure that Dad didn't think that many of these excursions were memorable. Many times we would be so busy looking that we wouldn't shoot. We just liked being there! I do remember though.

Dad told me about his shooting experiences. I have the shotgun with which he killed his first squirrel. It is an old Western-Field bolt action .410 chambered for the 2½" shell and sans serial number. His dad couldn't always get 2½" shells and so would sometimes just shoot 3" shells in it. The worst thing was that the 3" shells wouldn't work through the magazine! I, being a bit more careful than Grandpa, have a supply of 2½" ammunition for the gun but I've never taken the gun hunting. I suppose I ought to remedy that next year...

When Dad came back from his military service (May 1945 - May 1947) he bought a used Stevens (Tru-Test branded) 16 ga. SxS shotgun and used it for all his hunting and skeet shooting. Interestingly, the skeet and trap range at which he shot was adjacent to a small private airfield at which he took flying lessons. We went there once and some of the fellows with whom he had shot skeet were there, shooting skeet. Gotta love that!

The first shooting I ever did with Dad was Grandpa's Winchester 62A. Dad would stop at the hardware store in Fly Creek and pick up a box of .22 shorts. He'd set up a can on a stick and try to teach me to shoot. The stock was too long and I'd have trouble getting my head in the correct position so would try to "sight" down the side of the barrel. Of course this didn't work. Great fun though! And yes, there was no hearing protection. We did that every summer when we visited Grandpa until I finally caught on and satisfied Dad that I had safety understood.

With all that done I was allowed to go groundhog hunting on my own. I killed a few. I'd been with Dad and Grandpa when they killed a few, too. More fun. I was also allowed/encouraged to kill the starlings in Grandpa's yard and to shoot crows. Yet more fun. But it would be a couple of years before I got a shotgun (courtesy of my Aunt Ginny) and went dove and quail hunting.

(to be continued)

Linebaugh Seminars - UPDATED

From the Sixgunner forums comes this info on the Linebaugh Seminars.

Jackson MS is 11-12-13 May 2007 and the host of that seminar is Rob Millette.
Rob can be reached at 1-601-845-2351 or e-mail to

Carthage IL is 18-19-20 May 2007 and the host is Todd Corder ph 309-458-6464 e-mail is

Cody WY is June 13, 14, 15 & 16; Contact John himself at 307-645-3332 or 899-0574

Eustace TX (near Dallas) is April 27, 28 & 29

One other seminars is pending but not confirmed yet.
$200 for all three days.

I would love to attend one... Perhaps I'll see you there!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Where and How to Buy Guns?

Disclaimer: I fully expect that everyone will conduct all purchases of firearms in full compliance with Federal, State and local laws, ordinances and regulations. This post has nothing to do with avoiding such compliance but only with locating reasonably priced firearms for purchase.

I've bought at shops, from individuals, from folks on forums (3X without problems, thank you VERY much) and from Gunbroker and GunsAmerica. I have agonized over some deals, not because they weren't fair but because I didn't have enough money set aside but I made it happen. I've paid fair market value mostly but sometimes just a bit more and sometimes a bit less. Once or twice I got VERY good deals because the seller was in extremis and I could do no more.

I did buy a gun at a gun show. That was 22 years ago! Why? Because the guns I'm interested in ARE priced higher at the show than I can pay elsewhere EVEN with transfer fees in some cases. Yes, I do see the same guns show after show. I've asked a couple of fellows and their answer was I've got to get what I've got in it. "Well, how much is that?", I ask. Well darn, the guy bought it new 15 years ago but his cost was TODAY's NIB price. Hmmmmm. I don't think so. I always let him talk to some other folks. We used to see guns at shows that you never saw elsewhere. That is no longer so.

Nowadays there are really four good options.

1 - Buy from your local dealer. Hopefully he'll have gotten what you want for stock or, failing that (most likely), will be able to order what you want. He'll probably charge full MSRP or...
2 - You can go on-line to or Davidson's, find exactly what you want and have it shipped and transferred through your local dealer (provided they aren't going to rip you off).
3 - You can go to an on-line or national auction house and bid on the item. This happens to me a lot as I like odd stuff. Then it must still be transferred through the local.
4 - You can haunt the various gun forums for-sales and find, maybe, the odd-ball stuff that you just can't live without and, again/always, have it transferred through the local guy.

The thing is that some local guys aren't in touch with reality. They think they are still competing with the other store owners within a 50-mile radius of their shop (not of your home) and are ignoring the fact that lots of shops are thoroughly hooked on the internet and dealing all across the country. They think they are losing business by doing a transfer but ignore the business they lose by not doing the transfer. And, of course, we can't help but mention the arrogant, self-righteous, idiots that populate every sector of the small-business world. How some of these folks make enough to keep the lights on is impossible to fathom. Still, one can find a FFL holder to do the transfer for a reasonable price by looking at the Shotgun News, Auction Arms or GunBroker lists of such dealers. That person will likely treat you well, or at least, well enough.

No matter whether you are buying from an on-line auction, forum or retailer, from a correspondent or distant friend some things need to be said. Let me approach this as an ethical seller on auction sites. First, this applies to any collectible/high dollar item.

#1 photos of the object from all sides
#2 photo(s) of fault(s)
#3 photo(s) of all additional items if applicable.

These things document what EXACTLY is being sold. This is important because

#1 Not all sellers are familiar with all the correct jargon for a particular item
#2 Not all buyers are familiar with all the correct jargon for a particular item
#3 Everybody sometimes mis-speaks.

A complete description is important to the buyer (and thus for the seller) because it provides clues as to the true nature of the item. The complete description is important to the seller because every word (or combination of words)adds a search term or phrase for the buyer. Correct spelling is critical to sellers in order to ensure the maximum number of views of the item and to the buyer to ensure that the seller has at exercised at least some care in correctly describing the item. While one can fine jewels in mis-spelled descriptions and titles most often it shows that the seller is sloppy. Sloppy/poor spelling many times translates into sloppy description and perhaps sloppy ethics. Knowledgeable sellers watch their spelling for that reason.

However, verbosity is not good. It obscures the details and often is the basis for post-sale conflict.

E.g. ".38 Colt Police Pos, good condition." is an inadequate description. Sans good photos you haven't a clue what is really being sold. ".38 Special, Colt Police Positive Special, 4 inch barrel, blue finish, NRA Good condition, SN: D9001xx. Blue wear on muzzle and cylinder from holster/carry, stock checkering worn on right panel, no visible rust, no end-shake, locks up tight, bore clean, scratch on backstrap (see photo). Comes with box (see photo), holster, 2 HKS speedloaders, 4 Bianchi speed-strips." Which description would you prefer?

People who go on and on about their use of the item, unimportant history of the item ("my grandpa shoot a buncha squirrels wid it"), and such things are often trying to obscure the description either because they are ignorant or because they are hiding something.

Buyers need to ask questions BEFORE bidding. Non-communicative sellers might be a warning sign. Certainly an individual seller (as opposed to a dealer) is problematic. Sellers who can't support a sale shouldn't post an auction and individuals would seem to be more anxiously watching the in-box because they need the sale. Shops might only check the mail 3X a day IF they don't have a customer at the counter. Still, they should directly answer the questions.

Those questions should be pointed and saved with the answers until/if the transaction is completed (a benefit of e-mail vs phone conversations). E.g. "How deep is the scratch? Can your thumbnail catch on it?" with an answer such as, "my thumbnail can feel it but it doesn't really catch on it. Maybe .001" or less," or "no, thumbnail doesn't catch but you can feel the irregularity. Looks like a key was pushed against the backstrap at some point. Here's another photo from a slightly different angle..." You certainly don't want no response or something like, "the photo shows the scratch, what more do you want?"

If you want to correct a seller in his description such as with the cartridge or model cite the reference. This will let the seller KNOW you know. I've seen auctions taken down after a message but also left up and become a blocked bidder for that seller...

One could go on and on but in my experience these seem to be the major points. I know they should also be self-evident, but... how many times have you read a post such as "I just got this XXXXXX from gunbroker. How much is it worth?"

That last can be avoided by means of thorough research. You do have books, don't you? Otherwise you might be dependent on internet experts which may or may not be a good thing. You must know what you are getting and be able to properly assess the condition. Condition can be everything.

At any time that either buyer or seller detect something "wrong" they should back out. Politely is better but don't go through with a questionable transaction. Period. It costs far more to both parties to rectify a poorly handled transaction than is reasonable. As always, attention to detail is important. Take care of all the little things and the big things will take care of themselves is most often true.

Q&A - .38-55 Reloading

I found this question in my mailbox this morning:
I have a stupid question for you about reloading the 38-55. I live here in Mississippi and they have made it legal to muzzloader hunt with this caliber. Bullets are extreemly hard to find so I'm fixing to start reloading my own. Problem is that I don't know which die set to purchase. A friend of a friend is reloading his own 38-55 bullets and has a problem with the .377 bullets. Seems his dies are sizing the cases to .375 or .376 and is causing major problems with the .377 bullets. What dies do you suggest or what sollution did you come up with for this problem?

My answer:
Bullets are available from a number of different sources. Lube is important if using cast bullets, are you shooting black powder or smokeless? If smokeless you don't need to worry about lube. Try Cast Performance, Beartooth, Barnes, Montana Bullet Works, and Mt. Baldy Bullets. All have a net presence. You can also go to Buffalo Arms ( for components and ammo.

As to the bullet seating problem. The .38-55 is a relatively straight case and dies are always sold in three die sets. The first resizes and decaps, the second die bells or flares the case to seat the bullet and the third seats the bullets and crimps. The sizing die SHOULD reduce the inside diameter of the case to about .375" to ensure that a good grip on the bullet. Not so important in a single-shot except for consistency of bullet release, this can be critical in some leveractions. The belling or flaring operation is critical to proper seating of bullets, particularly cast bullets, in the case. It should be just enough to start the bullet in the case without being so much as to excessively work the case mouth. RCBS dies simply bell the case mouth but others, notably Lyman, expand the case mouth in cylindrical form so that the bullet can actually seat a bit to start. Properly starting the bullet is important because the bullet base can't have any imperfections. Imperfections, such as a dented edge on one side, will cause inaccuracy. Some people prefer the M die from Lyman because it expands the case mouth concentrically without depending on the bullets to do that as seated (as the RCBS dies do). Properly adjusted, I've never had a problem with the RCBS dies but it really is a personal preference. I would also say that it is a must to properly trim cases to a uniform length AND to chamfer the cases AFTER the belling operation.

As to which dies to get, I've always used RCBS without problems. Redding and Lyman also have good dies. Some folks are enthusiastic about Lee dies for both price and the Lee Factory Crimp Die (FCD). Every once in a while a reloader has a problem because his rifle's chamber is at one end or the other of the tolerances and the dies are at the opposite end. E.g. dies at the max and a chamber at the min can cause big problems. In my experience this seldom happens regardless of manufacturer.

What is this new length and when was the change in the dies? What is the correct length - of what?

My answer:
Let's see, this can be confusing. .38-55 original length 2.129", current 2.075". .375 Win 2.010". The reformed/fireformed .30-30 I have goes 2.005" after trimming enough to square up the case mouth.

I don't know when the dies were changed. My dies, I got about 1975 (IIRC) and then when I got some new brass with my new .38-55 and went to load it discovered the cases were shorter than my CIL brass. RCBS told me only that the case dimension had changed "many years ago". HOWEVER, it seems that the chambers are still all cut to the original length. I think the current length is just to use the same cup as the .375 Winchester. The .375 Winchester being shorter has the brass in the case wall. The photo, courtesy of Norm Johnson, shows that there really is a diffence in case wall thickness.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Daisy Model 40 "Defender"

This is just too cool. First, a member of leverguns posted about a BB gun Joe Salter has for sale. To sum up, here's his write-up...
This all metal lever action air gun has an overall plum brown patina with some minor pitting and original blue in protected areas. The full length wood stock is fair to good with minor marks and blemishes. The original cloth sling is still attached and in tact and the gun comes complete with the adjustable front sight blade as well as the socket bayonet. According to Neal Punchard in his work daisy air rifles and BB guns the slings are very difficult to find and the bayonets are rare and worth as much as or more than the rifle. See page 16 of the aforesaid work. This piece is working and with some TLC could be improved by the careful removal of the surface petina. The bayonets are very rare due ot the fact that they were often taken away from children and lost or thrown away. A scarce and seldom found BB rifle.
So, I'm poking around looking for articles on kids and guns or photos of kids with guns and I find this!  A boy all dressed up in what might be his dad's WWI uniform with his Daisy Model 40 Defender sans bayonet (I guess his parents didn't quite trust him either!) and standing proudly at right shoulder arms. What serendipity!

The source of the photo of the boy is this short biography of Major Bradley Van Deusen. I would like to thank the author, Mary P. Van Deusen for her marvelous site. All this came from a search and a comment about a BB gun...

WWI rallied Americans and businesses alike.  Daisy was no exception and quick to produce a military look-alike rifle designed by Charles Frederic Lefever, the Model 40 Defender, and marketed it to the "Future Defenders of America". They followed suit with their own model during WWII with the Model 140 Defender with the same type advertising campaign.  It was first produced in 1916 shortly before the United States officially became involved in the war.  The Model 40 Defender was a 50-shot lever-cocking model with a nearly full-length wooden stock.  This rifle also included a canvas sling and a rubber-tipped, metal bayonet.  Today, the slings are difficult to find.  The bayonets are also rare and worth as much - sometimes more - than the rifle itself.  Measuring 37-inches in length, the Model 40 Defender had a blued-metal finish.
The magazine has to be removed from the gun for loading. It holds 50 BBs under spring tension, so there is never a dry fire as there can sometimes be with gravity-feed. All the guns from 1913 to about 1930 had lead BB magazines for 0.175-diameter air rifle shot. When Daisy switched to steel BBs, the size was reduced to 0.171 to 0.173, and a new type of shot holder had to be installed in the magazine.

I believe the 40 used the same magazine system as the 140 so to load...
Place the gun in your left hand, grasping the barrel up by the muzzle; with your right hand, place your thumb and forefinger around the knurled rim of the shot tube and twist it counter-clockwise until it comes competely loose, extract the shot tube from the barrel shroud. Place the gun down carefully; grasp the shot tube , turning it around until you see a tab like device attached to a spring. Pull the tab down, and near the end of the shot tube you will see an opening opposite of the tab; load the tube with up to 50 BB's, reinsert into the muzzle and carefully turn the shot tube clockwise until it is firmly seated; sometimes you have to 'play' with it for awhile until it is firmly seated on the air tube cylinder that is at the bottom of the barrel. Now you are ready to cock the lever and away you go. As a safety precaution, make sure the gun is not cocked prior to attemping the removal of the shot tube; getting shot with a BB at close range is not exactly a pleasant experience.
- Daisy Air Rifles & BB Guns The First 100 Years by Neal Punchard

Friday, January 26, 2007

Some Thoughts on Kids and Guns

When I was a kid, there were guns in school. They were brought in for gun safety classes, hunter safety classes (the whole school having an assembly for the instruction) and in high school they were brought in for history reports in class and such things. Heck, a friend of mine and I were asked by the school principal to bring our guns to school and kill groundhogs who were digging dens next to the building foundation. We got them all. We also carried our guns to school in our cars so we could go hunting directly after school. Nary a problem I could see after attending schools in 3 different states. Of course we boys all carried knives as well... Nowadays we see guns differently.

"Ninth-Grader Arrested, Accused Of Having Gun In School", "Police: 5-Year-Old Brings Gun To School", and "Teen Accused Of Having Gun At School"All these incidents are of course viewed with at least some degree of dread. High school kids obviously want to slaughter fellow students (not perhaps defend themselves from bullies or "gangsta" elements in their schools) and who can see any good in a 5 year old having access to a gun (and what sort of disciplinary action would be effective in this instance?). We are never shown photos such as the young lady with the big bear I posted earlier or kids participating in marksmanship competition or kids happily and safely shooting with their parents. Oh, we've come quite a way since this young man proudly posed for the photo. That photo could have been of me or any of my friends albeit about 50 years later. Of course this is a uniquely, it seems, American point of view. Overseas, things are different.

Children are posed with guns as propaganda for a point of view which idolizes death. Perhaps you notice a common characteristic or two in this photo. Images like this have become almost iconic representations of children with firearms. That most folks associate such images with the idea of children and guns (unless they are rural Americans) says a lot for the pervasive power of the press. No doubt these images influence other firearms regulatory decisions. Based more on emotion than logic, I often wonder just how much influence these impressions exert.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ray Guns

Military Shows Off New Ray Gun is the title from this news report.
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Georgia - The military's new weapon is a ray gun that shoots a beam that makes people feel as if they will catch fire.

The technology is supposed to be harmless - a non-lethal way to get enemies to drop their weapons.

Military officials say it could save the lives of innocent civilians and service members in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The weapon is not expected to go into production until at least 2010, but all branches of the military have expressed interest in it, officials said.

During the first media demonstration of the weapon Wednesday, Airmen fired beams from a large dish antenna mounted atop a Humvee at people pretending to be rioters and acting out other scenarios U.S. troops might encounter.

The crew fired beams from more than 500 yards (450 meters) away, nearly 17 times the range of existing non-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullets.

While the sudden, 130-degree Fahrenheit (54-degree Celsius) heat was not painful, it was intense enough to make participants think their clothes were about to ignite.

"This is one of the key technologies for the future," said Marine Col. Kirk Hymes, director of the non-lethal weapons program which helped develop the new weapon. "Non-lethal weapons are important for the escalation of force, especially in the environments our forces are operating in."

The system uses millimeter waves, which can penetrate only 1/64th of an inch of skin, just enough to cause discomfort. By comparison, common kitchen microwaves penetrate several inches of skin.

The millimeter waves cannot go through walls, but they can penetrate most clothing, officials said. They refused to comment on whether the waves can go through glass.

Two Airmen and 10 reporters volunteered to be shot with the beams, which easily penetrated various layers of winter clothing.

The system was developed by the military, but the two devices currently being evaluated were built by defense contractor Raytheon.

Airman Blaine Pernell, 22, said he could have used the system during his four tours in Iraq, where he manned watchtowers around a base near Kirkuk. He said Iraqis constantly pulled up and faked car problems so they could scout out U.S. forces.

"All we could do is watch them," he said. But if they had the ray gun, troops "could have dispersed them."

Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Active Denial System (ADS) is Pretty cool but as shown in the photo is pretty bulky. So, when will civilians get a handheld, "Star Trek", version? Long time coming I think. Frankly, I don't want microwaved deer and I think cooked burglar smell will ruin a home's resale value quicker than bloody burglar stains. Maybe we'll get Heinlein's handheld laser guns (but I'll still be using a .45 M1911...).

Dem/S Move to Slaughter Elk and Mule Deer

The 2007 Defense Authorization Act included a provision to save hundreds of elk and mule deer on California's Santa Rosa Island from court ordered extermination to begin in 2008. Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein are moving to repeal that and force the slaughter of these animals.

Currently quarantined from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), these stocks could provided healthy breeding animals to recover depleted herds and save the species.

I wonder how PETA views this travesty by Senators whose elections they have supported? Why would anyone want to needlessly kill hundreds of animals who could be the best hope of survival for their species?

Will Knives Hurt You?

Well, yes. This is why people can shoot a knife wielder in self defense. The distance at which you must engage a guy/gal with a knife is about 21 feet. However, you might think a bit further is better after you look at these photos. How long does it take for somebody to cut you like this? Just a couple of seconds. How does your body react? You go into shock and if you don't go into shock you might be physically unable to defend yourself even with a gun. In other words you might be unable to even pull the trigger much less aim the gun.

These photos come from Blog Idaho. Also shown there are these photos: Additional Photo 1, Additional Photo 2 and Additional Photo 3. If these photos don't convince you that you need to stop anybody who comes after you with a knife, I don't know what will.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Smith & Wesson Buys Thompson Center Arms

Smith & Wesson (S&W) Buys Thompson Center Arms (TCA) might be old news (the link takes you to S&W's press release) but the real question for me is, "is it good news?" I don't know.

Usually, when one company takes over another management takes the first hit with a "housecleaning" done to bring known people on board and pave the way for other changes. Every manager knows that people are resistant to change and they get rid of those who would likely stand in the way of change. Then, there is a period of evaluation and finally, the new company initiates changes. Usually those changes are more to do with maximizing profit than improving quality. Why? Because the money spent on the acquisition has to be returned to the stockholders as quickly as possible.

TCA has not had the best quality control in one regard, barrels. Their manfacturing methods are not likely to produce the very highest quality and might, at least on occasion, produce product substantially below customer expectation. There are some who expect S&W to take over barrel production but, because TCA's product line uses a very brand specific barrel, I wonder if this will ever happen. I do expect some restructuring of S&W and TCA to streamline production, I guess my fingers are crossed.

Meanwhile, and I don't know how much this will affect the changes in TCA products, S&W is producing new product variations including the first color case finish M36 revolvers. Unfortunately the lock is still there. I'd read/heard that the M40 would also be brought back, color cased but sans lock, but I don't see it on the web site. If I see one like that I'm buying it! These guns are part of the S&W Classic Series. I'd consider them more "classic" sans lock.

What will TCA be doing? Well, they've introduced a new bolt-action rifle! The Icon has the style of TCA's Classic Rimfire rifle but I see nothing otherwise outstanding about it. My lack of enthusiasm might be due to my lack of enthusiasm about bolt action rifles generally! It is modular permitting owner/operator modifications and it has a three lug bolt (not new) permitting a short bolt lift.

Will these new product introductions continue, I think so. So, what will happen to the old products? I think the Encore is fairly secure, the G2 perhaps a bit less so. The black powder/muzzleloading line is undergoing constant review. Maybe, if the primitive weapons resurgence continues we'll see more sidelock cap-lock and flint-lock guns from TCA. Maybe.

What do you think will happen?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Ken Waters' Notebook - Best Wishes for Good Shooting"

From Wolfe Publishing is "Ken Waters' Notebook - Best Wishes for Good Shooting". It is basically a collection of correspondence, mostly from Ken but also from others with questions to give some flavor I think. In as much as Ken is very knowledgeable the book is useful, perhaps, but it is repetitive without illustrations. It does point out how much time Mr. Waters spent answering mail. Many of the letters are detailed, lengthy and required research to cite sources.

But I have a gripe and I think that if I had known about this I would not have bought the book.

The problem is that, being only half way through the book, I've found several instances where letters are repeated. I'm not talking about a misbound book with repeated pages (irritating enough) but different pages (as numbered) with the same letters. In at least one case a couple of letters are out of sequence. Hard to follow a train of thought unless you chose to read the book from back to front at that particular point! That is POOR editing. It makes me wonder what jewel of knowledge I have not gotten that was supposed to be there.

Yep, I'm writing Wolfe. Just thought I'd warn some of you who'd be interested so that you could wait for the second, corrected, edition.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Wildlife Habitat, Species Re-Introduction and Family "Pets"

My mother owns 16 acres more or less in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She and Dad bought this property in 1975 and built a house into which they moved in 1976. They have lived there since that time. Part of their land is the local Doe Hollow (doesn't everyone have a "Doe Hollow"?) and local hunters would do a drive every year with some success in Doe Hollow. Not so much anymore. However, the neighbors clearcut some of their property creating more browse and edge for the deer and they are coming back. I've taken a couple of deer here and seen many more. I've put out a mineral lick (legal times only) and this has helped the deer it seems. There isn't the hunting pressure there once was either. I'm very hopeful as I'm seeing more deer and more often.

Once upon a time there were a number of quail in the area. Dad liked hearing them call and he never hunted them seriously but did work his setter on the birds. In the spring of 1978 there was a severe ice storm while the quail were sitting their nests and both adult birds and all the eggs were destroyed/killed. So, since 1978 there have been no quail in the area. I've been thinking that I could pop for a few quail to release and bring quail back to the area. Mom is willing to spend some money on this as well.

Since my parents bought this place the neighbors have gone through changes as well. One adjoining property owner has sold part of her land to her daughter and been sent to "the home". She was a bit potty and had accumulated over 120 cats. Her daughter, living next door, had more cats. It is my understanding that the family went into the house which was stinking of cat urine, etc, and killed some 80-100 cats. They had to as the cats were feral inside the house. Approximately 20-40 cats were driven outside the open doors and have been hanging around, unfed, for weeks now. Rabbits which were on a high cycle generally in this area are non-existent as the cats have had their way. One often sees cats when out and about.

My problem is that if I'm going to reintroduce the quail I can't have the cats out and about. It has been suggested that I trap them and take them to the SPCA. I have a Havahart trap out but this hasn't been successful.

Now, this brings to mind a question have always had about some folks. Why would you have a pet, especially one you rescued from certain death after it was dropped by another uncaring fool, and not take care of it? Why, knowing that cats kill all sorts of wild game and song birds, would you let your cats run loose. Is such a person a hypocrite about animals?

So now I'm stuck with dealing with the cats. Oh, what to do?

Concerning Pen-Raised Quail
Bobwhite Facts and Fantasies - a PDF file

Colt Detective Special Grips

I was cruising through my copy of the Sportsman's Guide catalog before I threw it out (as I usually do) and saw that they had Colt DS/PPS stocks for the post-66 frame. At least that is how it was written up and I took a chance. Fingers crossed, I got the stocks only about 9 days after ordering! Double dose of shock, they were as advertised, used (VERY) and for the post 66 frame. They even FIT. Only trouble is they didn't come with a grip screw and seem to be threaded differently than the two sets of Herretts I have. The checkering is nearly worn smooth and it appears that either side came from a different set, ie this is a mismatched set.

So, who could re-cut the checkering (I don't know if I want to try it but might) and would this cost more than it is worth (likely)? I think I can get the bottoms to match. What would be the correct finish? Well, maybe I should just sand them smooth as was recommended several times. I could also finish with Tru-oil, also recommended.

I love the gun, about the size and weight of the J frame S&W with one extra shot/chamber. However, I'm grip picky and would like the standard grips with a Tyler-T grip adapter. First, I need the standard grips, hence the purchase of these. This would give me a set-up even more like my S&W M36 as shown here. Whether or not the new set up would actually be more concealable is unknown but unlikely, I think I'll just think it less likely to "print".

"Pet Loads" by Ken Waters

Title: Pet Loads (8th Ed.)
Author(s): Ken Waters
ISBN: 1879356562

"Pet Loads" is a collection of Mr. Water's series of articles on loading various cartridges formerly published in "Handloader" magazine. There are also two supplements to this edition with articles published since the edition's release.

Mr. Waters has detailed reloading information and anecdotes about more than a hundred cartridges in this soft bound/paperback book. Not so obvious to the casual browser is that there is also a lot of information on various firearms associated with the cartridges covered and used to test the loads and many reloading techniques here as Mr. Waters records many decades of reloading experiences.

Because the articles were written over those decades of accumulating experience, some very popular cartridges have updates where Ken brings them up-to-date with new bullets and powders. One just can't the wealth of reloading experience with this number of cartridges, bullets, powders and primers not to mention reloading tools from any other book. A big plus is that Mr. Waters' writing style is easy to absorb and far from boring. Also, there is blank space provided for reader notes on their loading of the cartridge.

The only bad thing is that the photos are not well reproduced and in black and white. Some of this is because it appears that the articles were copied from the magazine and the magazine was around long before everything was done on a computer. Still there's sufficient detail for those hungry for knowledge.

Currently on sale at MidwayUSA for $30, the normal price is $48 and it is well worth the expense. I bought a first edition and passed it on when I got this one. The new owner did the same. Once you've read this book, most any reloader will agree, this is one must have book.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I'm Such a Wuss....

Yep it is all about me. I'm such a wuss. I wouldn't want to shoot a .375 H&H from the prone position!

"9 Yr Old Girl Takes Record Book Brown Bear" Gary Gustafson, Bear Hunting Magazine 01/14/2007
An urban legend about a young lady and a world-record brown bear has been circulating on the internet. Here is one version:

"This 9 year old girl from the Yukon killed the new world record brown
bear on the Alaskan Peninsula in October, 2006. Skull size 33 1/16", 11'
9" nose-to-tail. Estimated weight of 1,800 Lbs. No, this bear had not
killed anyone. It was the girls first-ever bear hunt!"

No, she was not from the Yukon and no, it was not a world record, but the true story is just as fascinating:

From "Biggest Bears Of 2006" in the March/April 2007 issue of Bear Hunting Magazine, due on newsstands late February 2007:

If the "biggest bear" is determined as a ratio of the size of the bear to the size of the hunter, Fern Spaulding-Rivers is probably setting records that will never be broken. The 10 year-old from Talkeetna, Alaska has already harvested great trophies of most of Alaska's major game species, and she is a handloading fanatic as well. Fern's larger caliber rifles have a muzzle brake and a recoil pad and she also wears a custom-made padded shooting vest from McCoy Shooting Armor to help her withstand big bore recoil. Fern was carrying her Remington 700 Stainless chambered in .375 H&H while brown bear hunting on the Alaskan Peninsula with her father and mother on May 10th, 2006 (when she was 9 years old). As the day progressed she and her father saw 11 bears. At one point, they were charged by a pack of wolves, and they had to dispatch some with the nearest at only 8 paces! Later, they spotted a big bruin in a gully at 32 yards. With all the excitement of the day beginning to show, Fern asked Larry to hold her legs steady while she shot because her knees were shaking. Fern rolled the bear with her first shot, but the bruin regained it's footing and tore off across the tundra. Shooting again from a prone position, Fern dropped the behemoth for good with a second 275 grain Barnes Triple-shock at 112 yards. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service measured the bear's hide at 11'4" from nose to tail. The skull has been officially scored at 29 1/16" Boone and Crockett. What does Fern think of bear hunting? "Do you know how big an 11' bear looks at 30 yds? It's kinda scary! They are about the size of a Volkswagen bus and when they swing their head to look your way they remind you of a T-Rex in Jurassic Park!" Her trophy brown bear now puts her in an elite class. Fern is a tremendous example to young hunters everywhere, and she is a great hunter regardless of her age.
That's Fern Spaulding-Rivers with her trophy in the photo...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Shooting Challenge

Posted on Leverguns Forum by ScottT:
Now, this is not a contest, nobody will see your scores unless you show them to somebody. But it is an experiment that I would like to see us conduct this year, just to see what can be done.

The challenge is only as expensive as you want to make it. There will be some ammo cost, but it will directly work in your favor.

Here is the challenge:

I challenge you to take ONE rifle and fire 1000 rounds through it this next year. It is preferable if the rifle is a lever gun, but not necessary. It can be a centerfire or a rimfire (saved you a heck of a lot of ammo money there!) but it should be a rifle with iron sights.

I know, I know......a number of you do not believe you can still shoot iron sight and some of you have never given it a serious try. Here is your opportunity to see what can be done. The irons can be anything that is not a scope. No glass.

These 1000rounds should be from field positions only. No bench rest here. If you want to shoot bench, that's fine, but do it with other rounds or rifles.

The target? A plain old cheap paper plate. Buy them at a discount house and the targets cost you very little.

The distance? You choose it depending upon your access to range facilities and your skill level. I'll shoot mine at 100yds. If you shoot well at 100yds, you might want to move it back to 150 or 200yds. If you have trouble with irons, you might want to move it up to 50yds. It doesn't matter, as long as you pick a distance and stick with it.

The position? Any field position you want to use. I'll do mine sitting since I take 90% of my shots at game from the sitting position.

Now this is some less than 100rds a month. But the rifle should be shot monthly. All 1000 rounds should be fired at the same sized plate, with the same load, with the same rifle, and at the same distance. Each shot should be carefully squeezed off. Call your shots as this will be a learning experience.

Shoot all you want outside of this experiment, but do not go plinking with this particular rifle. Shoot at deliberate targets and not tin cans or rocks. The paper will not lie to you.

It may be humbling at first, it probably will be if you have been shooting a lot from the bench. But I am willing to bet that if you keep up with the paper plates and put dates on them, you will see a definite improvement over the course of the year. Play with your rifle between sessions, get used to handling it and bringing it to bear on targets in your home. (unloaded of course!)

Get a good zero and stick with that one rifle.....I think you will learn something about yourself that you might not have suspected. Slow, disciplined rifle fire. I am very interested in the results.

I'm going to use my Shiloh. No point in anything else. I might shoot a lot more in working out zeroes at longer ranges, but I am looking forward to trying this out.

I like shooting steel too. But there is something about the paper that makes a difference. You can take it with you and you can know the size of your groups and you can compare over time. You cannot do that with steel.

Keep in mind that there is no real reference point on a paper plate. You hold center and squeeze.

Yes, a .22 will do as well as anything. Even a big rifle is no handicap and it will do me good to do this too.

I figure it this way. 100rds=1 lb of powder in Big Nose Kate. One box of primers and I have to cast the bullets. Seems like a small investment for a month's worth of shooting.

Peeps are fine, just no glass. Remember, this is really not a competition, but something to see what can be done with careful practice.

However many rounds per plate that you want. Just be consistant.

Post them if you want. This is not really a competition, I would rather see (1) if anybody actually does it and (2) if they see any improvement in their shooting.

I predict that there may be some improvement that is measureable on paper, but there may be a huge boost in confidence and comfort. There may be no gain at all for some people.

I'm going to do this and have decided on my Marlin 1894C but I won't be able to start until next week. I'm going to date all my plates too so that I can see what if any improvement I make.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Have a Gun for Self-Defense?

If you have a gun for self-defense it is implicit that you have decided that killing somebody who attacks you or your family is better than being killed or allowing a family member to be killed or injured. You need to read this article from PBS. Will it prepare you for a fatal shooting? I don't think so.

Now, I'm no expert on this. Yes, I was in the Army for over 27 years. Yes, I was an infantryman. Yes, I have had my CHP for nearly 15 years. But, I've never killed anyone. I've never been seriously shot at.

My Army training makes me think that I can align the sights on a human being and pull the trigger. I really don't want to do that but I have decided that my life is worth more than just about anyone else who would threaten to take it.

Lawdog says to be prepared for the aftermath. Have a lawyer, know to keep your trap shut and call 911 first, not later. But none of these things address something you will absolutely have to live with your whole life afterwards, yourself.

There's a lot to think about, a lot more than which whiz-bang gun or cartridge to carry/use. Do it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Doug Turnbull Restoration

I've been considering the "restoration" of a couple of OT guns (a Parker Bros VHE and a Ithaca double) and have been looking around well aware that I'm going to need some $$$$ to do this right. Anyway, I ordered Doug Turnbull's Catalog and price list. If you think the net photos are something, wow! The internet can only show you 72 pixels per inch but these photos are something. Makes your mouth water and hands shake.

These two shotguns were passed down to me and owned by my maternal grandfather. He wasn't one to use a gun but as a tool and his wife was strongly opposed to having them in the house. When they no longer were needed to produce rabbits and keep the rabbits from the garden as they had been used when they were a young couple she insisted that they go to the attic. I heard a comment about them and their exile and asked if I could have them, buy them, clean them, etc. No was the only answer I got and I didn't get them until Grandma was moved to the home (Grandpa died in 1978). The 1906 Winchester and a Mossberg #4 were also in the attic and all had at least some rust on them. The Ithaca is the worst. I've no photos now but I suppose I should create some.

Oh, but the prices are something else. I'm glad the wood doesn't need to be replaced!

Clipping Articles and the Rediscovered Treasures

I have a system by which I keep no more than 4 years of most issues of magazines to which I subscribe. However, I no longer simply pass the magazines on or throw them out. As I get each new issue I pull the issue for that month from 4 years ago (I keep them in magazine binders such as the one pictured), review (i.e. re-read), and clip the interesting or useful articles. It is amazing how little is worth the effort in some magazines.

This month is a goody. I get the February 2007 issue of "Handloader" with articles on the .32 Winchester Special and .32-40, then, I get to pull the February 2003 issue with many other interesting articles.

The first of these articles is "Real Cowboy Loads for the .45 Colt" by Brian Pearce. While Mr. Pearce talks about Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) it is to put the original loading of the .45 Colt and smokeless replacements in the proper context. He has actually chronographed the original loading of 40 gr. blackpowder (BP) for the 255 gr. lead bullet at 1000 fps. This shows that the original load was indeed more powerful than the smokeless powder replacement which pushed the same bullet at 850-870 fps.

I thought this article would be of interest to levergun shooters of the cartridge. My experience is that the modern load equals the old BP load but only when fired from a carbine.

The next article is by one of my favorite authors, Ross Seyfried. "Holland & Holland Paradox, a Reloading Miracle" is a wonderful tale of Mr. Seyfried's work with a Paradox gun. Oh what a wonderful gun and Mr. Seyfried has been persistent in learning to load for this gun.

I've always wanted one, and not insensitive to the cost of such a glorious gun, I clipped this article "just in case". I haven't gone much into detail on this one. My attempt would be a poor imitation indeed of Mr. Seyfried's writing. You can still get this issue and article for yourself.

The last article I thought clip-worthy was "Loading to the Aiming Point" by John Barsness. In this article Barsness addresses a personal interest of mine, loading reduced loads for rifles. In this article he illustrates the method through loading for the 9.3x74R, 6.5x54mm Mauser, .257 Ackley Improved, and .416 Rigby with others mentioned. he also mentions Townsend Whelen and his use and loading of reduced loads. I liked this article enough to consider it clip-worthy despite lack of loading data on cartridges I am loading.

Of course you could buy the back issues of "Handloader". They now have three ways to do so. The entire boxed set (#1 through #238) for $120 or one year for $19.95 or a single issue on DVD for $5.95. Digital form should provide quick searches and printing of only the pertinent information.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hogdon Annual Manual 2007

I found it at the bookstore today and bought a copy. I will say that you shouldn't throw out your earlier issues. Some data has disappeared (such as for the .30-40) but the "magazine" is much thicker. Included are articles on the .30-30 and .45-70 by Layne Simpson and on the .38-40, .44-40 and .45 Colt by Jim Wilson. Also, due to Hogdon's purchase of IMR, there's some IMR data notably for Trail Boss in rifles and an article on that. Worth $8? I think so, but again, I'm not getting rid of my old issues which have data not included in this one.


I keep finding data that was removed from this issue which could have been left in as it was HOGDON powder data. .32 S&W, .30-40, and more. Gone. What they did with the IMR data was list a separate entry for that like they cut and pasted the data from the IMR site. Also, the articles include Winchester data. There may be clues as to which powders (IMR and Winchester) will be dropped in favor of Hogdon brand OR the other way around. Some are duplicates like H110/W296, HP-38/W231 or near duplicats like IMR4227/H4227 (H4227 discontinuance already announced).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

1876 SRC Repros are Out!

It looks like they're here. See for updates.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ukranian Lyman Type 38 Sight Received

Today I received my sight from HikerLT. I saw over on that he had one he'd bought from Buffalo Arms. Made by Parts Unknown, Inc. of 206 Oxford St., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3M 3J6 (Phone & FAX: 204-487-7185), these sights are the affordable option to an original climbin' Lyman even at $225 US.


I thought I'd add some observations for those with questions.

Markings? My sight's only markings (other than windage and elevation "ticks") are a faint eletric pencil "148" on the long leg near the forward mounting screw. Is it a serial number? I don't know.

Apertures? This has the same type of flip change aperture as on the Lyman #1 sights. I like it. Very practical for a hunting rifle.

The windage adjustment is adjusted by means of the wheel to the right of the aperture. There is no mechanism to lock it in place. However, once adjusted a bit of loctite on the screw on either side of the aperture should hold it against inadvertent adjustment or those who just have to twirl knobs (if you allow such to pick up your gun).

Quality? I think the sight is of good quality. The technology is typical of the time and although the sight body appears to be a thick sheet of steel folded to have two portions at right angles to each other, there are numerous small and well fit parts to make the sight.

The list on these is $225 but an original sight is at least double that even for the Lyman 21 with is drift adjustable for windage rather than the more expensive 38 (screw adjustable windage).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas

Title: Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson
Author(s): Jim Supica and Richard Nahas
ISBN: 089689293X

Even if you have only a passing interest in Smith & Wesson firearms this is a must have book. Misters Supica and Nahas have done themselves proud on this 3rd edition with detailed explanations of terms and definitions including excellent illustrative photos. This is a BIG book too being oversize and 432 pages but not a one is wasted.

Now, I'm not knowledgeable enough to tell you that every model is described and pictured, that is why I got the book, but it certainly seems that way. Rifle, pistol and revolver, over 770 models as the cover notes. Also, variations and engineering & production changes are described listed chronologically with dates. Even belt buckles and such are listed. Of course there are serial number ranges by year. The book also provides prices by condition. While prices are always going to be subject to change, this provides at least a starting point for both buyers and sellers.

How well is this book organized? This book format should be duplicated for all manufacturers but I think Colts need the first. I've yet to find some bit of knowledge I need about the S&Ws that isn't given in this book. But organization isn't the only strong suit, it is well written and avoids being dull as most such catalogs tend to be.

The cost is $26.99 and free shipping from Amazon or you can buy it direct from the author and it is worth every penny.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Murder of Crows Outside the Neighbor's House

I don't know what they are doing but it sounds as if they've cornered the neighborhood hawk in a cedar tree. Cacophonous is what it is. Crows, corvids in general, are interesting birds. A friend of the family had one as a pet. I was about 8-10 (can't remember) and they had raised the bird from a hatchling. He could "speak" and would follow the older son (my friend) around. We could run all over Elkins, WV and the crow would be there.

Now, as to why a group of crows is a murder I don't know. A similar group of rooks is a parliament. I think I've some reading to do.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The TC New Englander

The New Englander seems to have been Thompson Center's response to the demand for a lower price point, high quality, single-trigger gun for deer hunters and came out at a time when the in-line had yet to make the big splash and wasn't even legal in some states. These guns came in .50, .54 and 12 gauge. I had thought they made a .45 but I can't find a reference supporting that. Individual barrels were available so that one could switch it up for different game. Of course the 12 ga. was a dandy and cost effective shotgun. The stock is plain walnut with a good straight grain and the fittings are plain cast steel as TCA does most all parts. Rifling is shallow compared to some muzzleloaders but has presented few problems. Twist rate is 1-48", an ideal compromise for round ball and conical in this caliber but totally unsuitable to the sabots commonly used today. The issue ramrod was an impregnated wood which I replaced with a special TC made rod. The replacement rod is stiffer AND more durable.

I got my New Englander from MidSouth Shooters' Supply for a whopping $154! In .54 caliber the gun is well balanced for carry, the balance point is at the barrel wedge. Same for shooting as it has just the right amount of "hang" to hold steady in off-hand after panting up a hill. The add-on TCA Hunter's Peep really helps improve sighting accuracy. The matching front sight is great but I painted the face of the "bead" in white for better visibility. This makes the sight combo usable in bright sun or dark forest.

Accouterments are necessary for every muzzleloader but the minimum can be used for this big bore rifle. I use the following accouterments:
  • Speed Loaders - I use both the Dixie type and the TC Quickshot. The Dixie type is merely a plastic tube with an internal diameter suitable to the caliber of ball/patched ball for which used with a cap that fits the other end of the tube to hold the powder twixt bullet/ball and cap. Works well but requires the capper. The TC Quickshot has an integral cap with provision for holding a cap or priming charge as well. The powder capacity of both speedloaders is approximately the same.
  • Capper - Made by Ted Cash, my straight line capper has come to be the prefered capper for this rifle.
  • Short Starter - This is a TC product but any other suitable for the caliber would work. It certainly helps to get the tight fitting conicals started in the bore as it gives something substantial to push against (the ball) to get the concicals going.
  • Nipple Wrench/Wedge Puller combo tool - This is a TC product made for all their traditional sidelock style muzzleloaders. Works a treat.
  • Shooting Bag - From October Country, this bag is for the belt and I only carry speedloaders, capper and short starter in it.

Does the .54 work, well, yeah! Even the antiquated round ball over the Virginia minimum charge of 60 grains of blackpowder or substitute will kill deer dead. The 12 ga. could be used with single ball just like a musket or trade gun for deer hunting and can also use shot.

I once tried to use a musket nipple to use musket caps to improve ignition. Not that anything was wrong, but I wanted "better". The musket nipple was a no go and the supposedly hotter musket caps actually provided hang fires. I've gone back to #11 caps and have perfect satisfaction. I heard that the musket nipples were brought out because some folks were having ignition problems with their #11 nipples. I have to say that I think they simply had a bad nipple. One that is too short will allow the primer flame to dwell too long at the bottom of the drum and not be hot enough to ignite a blackpowder substitute.

Over the past couple of decades we've had a trend away from traditional muzzleloaders to the point that manufacturers such as Thompson Center have discontinued the majority of traditional side-locks and might have several designs of in-lines. Still, the New Englander is a reliable companion in the field.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Toby Bridges Working Against Traditional Muzzleloaders

Much has been made lately of Toby Bridges and The North American Muzzleloading Hunting Association (NAMHA) and their stand to REQUIRE scope sights and ban traditional muzzleloaders in muzzleloading seasons. Trying to find out the truth of the matter my on-line research has come up with the following.

Apparently, Pedersoli puts stock in the reports despite Mr. Bridges denial:
"In the past we allowed Mr. Bridges to test our traditional ML rifles as well as our in-line ML rifles and he had our cooperation and limited sponsorship. Due to the new path Mr. Bridges has taken , in which traditional muzzle loading rifles would no longer have their current exclusive hunting period and in which in-line rifles would hunt at the same time as the traditional rifles, we have withdrawn our former support and sponsorship of Toby Bridges.

The Davide Pedersoli company has advised Mr. Toby Bridges to remove our company name from any list of sponsors who support his lobbying efforts because even though we manufacture in-line muzzle loading rifles, we strongly support the use of traditional types of flintlock and percussion lock rifles during hunting periods assigned to muzzle loading rifles.

We always believed that the hunting with muzzleloading guns, both traditional and modern black powder in-line rifles, could co-exist, even if two different muzzleloading hunting seasons would be more required. Certainly we never thought they could get into conflict with each other.
We regret Toby Bridge's decision which surprised us, considering that in the past he took important positions, which we could share, but absolutely not his last one.

The use of traditional muzzleloading rifles for hunting has all the historical, political and rational reasons to continue and to expand and cannot be forced to die, as Toby Bridges warns and predicts (and is trying to make happen) nor can be the enthusiasm and will of people who are dedicated to this traditional sector be disregarded. On the contrary, the traditional muzzle loading guns contributed surely much more than the modern in-line muzzleloading guns have to the muzzle loading hunting being accepted in our states. Rather than trying to promote the in-line rifles and push aside the exclusive hunting season for traditional percussion or flintlock rifles we should all be working to strengthen the separation of hunting seasons for archers, traditional muzzle loading rifles, the powerful in-line rifles and of course the modern cartridge rifles.

The in-line rifles are closer to the modern high power cartridge rifles and we hope that all government officials involved with making or changing hunting rules will recognize the big difference in power and range which in-line rifles (which use conical bullets) have over the traditional antique or replica rifles which use round ball bullets. Both archery hunters and traditional muzzle loading rifle hunters accept the great challenge and limitation of their hunting weapons, the need to stalk the game and get very close in order to make a clean killing shot. For the in-line rifle and modern cartridge rifle hunters a much different challenge is presented and the mixing of traditional and in-line rifles in the field at the same time would be unacceptable to the vast majority of traditional muzzle loading rifle users.

I read the letter Toby Bridges published in his web site in which he explained he has been misunderstood. I acknowledge his effort, however this letter gives me the opportunity to contradict Toby about the in-line rifles being the natural modern evolution of the muzzleloading guns.

The real modern aspect was when many years ago some of the American states opened the hunting season to the muzzleloading guns. This was a modernity sign! What happened later with the introduction of the in-line rifles and the continuous improvements to reach high performances, such as the use of pelletized substitute powder, waterproof ignition systems or sabot bullets, etc. made the modern muzzloading guns get closer to the modern cartridge gun performance. I am convinced that most of the hunters using in-line rifles are only taking advantage of this enhanced performance in a dedicated muzzleloading hunting season. I am also convinced that if the muzzleloading hunting season becomes an "open hunting season", several of the users of the in-line rifles will drop their rifles to hunt only with the modern ones.
I have to say that I am fond of the hunt in all its aspects, I am a hunter with modern guns, with cartridge guns, with muzzleloading traditional guns and with in-line rifles.

Davide Pedersoli is not against the modern in-line rifle hunting, which we consider as an alternative and different activity from the one with traditional guns . Without doubt, hunting with traditional guns must be protected and sustained in the spirit of the rules approved in many of the American states because it gives the American sportsman a hunting challenge and emotional satisfaction which no other type of gun can give."

Pierangelo Pedersoli, President

Davide Pedersoli & C.
Via Artigiani 57
I-25063 Gardone Valtrompia (Brescia) Italy
ph.030 8915000 fax 030 8911019

There are several topics on several forums:

Historical Trekking
Goex Powder Forum
The Hunting Net
The High Road
Traditional Muzzleloaders Forum

And an article or two:

Crusading for muzzleloaders with scopes
Let's just eliminate Primitive Firearms Seasons altogether Part 1
Let's just eliminate Primitive Firearms Seasons altogether Part 2
Let's just eliminate Primitive Firearms Seasons altogether Part 3

The North American Muzzleloading Hunting Association has filed a civil
rights complaint alleging discrimination against the fish and game
departments of fifteen states that do not permit the use of "sight
correcting magnification" (riflescopes) during their special
muzzleloader hunting seasons.

According to the complaint, big game hunters in the United States are
becoming older as a group. With that maturation, NAMHA holds, there is a
natural deterioration of vision. Due to that accepted fact, it should be
only reasonable that older hunters be provided the equipment to see more

In fifteen jurisdictions across the United States, however,
muzzleloading hunters are prohibited from using optical sights, despite
the fact that center-fire rifles, handguns and slug-loaded shotguns
permit optical sights. This, NAMHA holds, is discrimination against
muzzleloading hunters - discrimination that is due to age and sight
deterioration- items covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act

In a July 16 letter of complaint to Secretary of the Interior Dirk
Kempthorne NAMHA founder Toby Bridges pointed out, "If modern firearms
hunters in these states are given the right to hunt with a magnifying
telescopic rifle sight (scope), then the muzzleloading hunter has the
right to use the same sighting aid during a season established for
muzzle-loaded guns. For these states to deny that right is a clear cut
case of discrimination - due to age, due to sight disability and due to

The July 27th reply from the Department of the Interior says: "We have
accepted your complaint for investigation under the authority of section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and Title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Section 504 prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities
receiving Federal financial assistance. Title II of the ADA prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities
conducted by public entities whether or not they receive Federal
financial assistance. Each of the 15 Wildlife Agencies is subject to the
nondiscrimination requirements of both of these Federal laws. Under
separate cover, we have asked the FWS (Fish & Wildlife Service) to
investigate your complaint."

Since filing the complaint, the NAMHA says it has been contacted by
several of the named departments. Their reasoning for the no-scope
regulations are characterized by NAMHA as "the same old rhetoric and
reasoning that has been shot down and proven wrong in other states, "
from a potential over-harvest of game to the temptation to take longer
shots. In response, the Association says that precise shot placement is
key to a quick, clean and humane harvest, not a ban on optics.

Further, the NAMHA says game departments "haven't a clue" as to how much
game is lost to poor shot placement due to their open sights only

The game agencies listed in the complaint are the Alaska Department of
Fish and Game; California Department of Fish and Game; Colorado Division
of Wildlife; Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Idaho Department
of Fish and Game; Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks; Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission;
Nevada Department of Wildlife; North Dakota Department of Game and Fish;
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; South Dakota Department of Game,
Fish and Parks; Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife; and the Wisconsin Department of Natural

Monday, January 01, 2007

Getting In Shape

Ok, New Year's resolution or not, I need to get back into decent shape. I can't run over 1½ miles, I weigh 206 pounds, my girth is overly noticeable.

First thing I'll cut back on the carbs and eat more protein. I'll exercise more and build more muscle mass. I'll walk more (it will probably help the dog, too!). I'll bike more and get the canoe out. I'll work more days on Mom's place.

This will help my shooting and ability to handle recoil. It will lengthen my shooting career. It will maybe help me be around to watch my grandkids shoot. That alone makes it worth the effort.