Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

Yesterday was kinda of interesting. We did about 8 transfers, had a visit from the ATF to go over the recent audit, and saw some interesting guns.

I noted that transfers include some rather pedestrian/common firearms purchased elsewhere and sent to us to save the buyer about $10-20. I don't get it when the boss man would probably have met the price and ordered the gun for the buyer with less wait and less effort for the buyer but that magic sawbuck must have had too much allure in this economy.

The ATF session, only with the boss, was mostly about reinforcement on law and regulation education. It took quite a while (about 3 hours) but doesn't seem to have been stressful, allowed for plenty of questions and was non-confrontational.

One of the most interesting guns that came to visit was a genuine Henry rifle with a 4 digit serial number in the 3,000 block (i.e. 3xxx). Likely made during the Civil War, the owner's family had had continuous ownership since that time. Sadly, the gun had been made part of a lamp at one time with the stock being cut so the gun would fit in the lamp kit, and was missing the buttplate, magazine spring and follower. It also had a neglected bore and had been varnished (probably during the lamp phase). The current owner wanted to get the parts to return it to shooting condition so that he could pass it on to his grandson. I think this might have been a $40,000 rifle with the provenance (the original family owner was a Confederate Civil War veteran) if it were complete.

An example of the Henry rifle, not the one mentioned...

Then we had a couple in their late 60s who were moving back to the wife's home country of Ireland. They were preparing their firearms (for which they had licenses) for shipment. We had a nice discussion of their efforts and such. I have to admit that I was a bit put off by the dis-assembly and deactivation that was required for a couple of the guns including a fine Remington rolling-block sporting rifle with an 1874 date on the barrel.

We also got new shirts. The boss man has come up with a new (and I think better) logo and this is on the new shirts. There are more new things coming and maybe even some product through our store acting as the national distributor. Should be some interesting things happening in the next year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Speaking of Recalls

It seems that with mass-produced items there will always be recalls. Yesterday's heads up on the Brenneke product made me wonder what else had been recalled.

Safety Warning And Recall Notice



Remington has been notified by its supplier of 17 HMR ammunition that 17 HMR ammunition is not suitable for use in semi-automatic firearms. The use of this ammunition in a semi-automatic firearm could result in property damage or serious personal injury.

If you have a semi-automatic firearm chambered for 17 HMR ammunition, immediately discontinue use of Remington 17 HMR ammunition. If you have any Remington 17 HMR ammunition that you wish to return to Remington contact the Remington Consumer Service number below. Do not return the ammunition to the dealer. Remington will provide you with a $10.00 coupon for each complete box of 50 rounds of Remington branded 17 HMR ammunition you return to Remington. This coupon is for end users only and will be good for the purchase of any Remington ammunition at your local dealer.

In light of the ammunition manufacturer’s notice, it is very important that you immediately stop using your Remington Model 597 17 HMR semi-automatic rifle. If you own a Remington Model 597 17 HMR semi-automatic rifle and wish to return it to Remington please contact the below Remington Consumer Service Number. In return for your Remington Model 597 17 HMR synthetic stock semi-automatic rifle, Remington will provide you a coupon valued at $200.00 good for the purchase of a replacement Remington firearm. If you have a laminate stock Remington Model 597 17 HMR semi-automatic rifle, Remington will provide you a coupon valued at $250.00 good for the purchase of a replacement Remington firearm. This Coupon is for end users only and will be good for the purchase of a Remington firearm at your local dealer. Contact Remington to recieve your free shipping label to return your Model 597 17HMR semi-automatic rifle to Remington..

Please allow up to 6 weeks after Remington receives your Model 597 17 HMR semi-automatic rifle or your Remington branded 17 HMR ammunition for the appropriate coupons to arrive. Instructions for redemption of the coupons will be contained on the coupon.

For any consumer questions or instructions on how to return of your Model 597 17 HMR semi-automatic rifle or your Remington branded 17 HMR ammunition, please contact the Remington Consumer Service Department at 1-800-243-9700, Prompt #3.
This one really struck me as disappointing. Pretty bad when you can't use your own company's ammo in your own company's rifle... So, the use for that rifle is what, a bad boat anchor? To take the place of the Remington 5mm rifle in the far back corner of the gun safe?

Then I discovered that the Gun Guy had a page full of recalls! Imagine that. Saves me a lot of research!

Then I discovered that .22 WMR Dynapoint was recalled.
6/14/2006Olin Corporation, through its Winchester Division, is recalling several lots of Dynapoint® Magnum 22 Win. Mag. 45 grain Dynapoint rimfire ammunition (Symbol Number USA22M).
Lot Numbers (first three characters): 1WN and 1XA
Through extensive evaluation Winchester has determined the above lots of Dynapoint® Magnum 22 Win. Mag. ammunition may contain double powder charges. Double powder charge weight ammunition may cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable, and subject the shooter to a risk of personal injury when fired.
You know that .22LR PowerPoint was recalled, also because some cases were double charged...

So the upshot is that you have to constantly be aware that anything can happen, after all, you can't be aware of every recall or POTENTIAL problem. Wear your safety gear (glasses and hearing protection) and be sure you don't get any squibs.

Friday, September 24, 2010



Brenneke of America, L.P., has announced a recall of certain lots of its Black Magic Magnum 12-gauge 3” (76mm) cartridges. CUSTOMERS SHOULD NOT USE THE CARTRIDGES BECAUSE THEY POSE A RISK OF SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY.  The recall applies only to cartridges from the following lot numbers, which are printed on the inside of the top box flap as shown at the bottom of this page:

If you do not have the box to determine whether your cartridges are from the recalled lots, please call the number below and Brenneke will help make that determination.  The recall does not apply to other lot numbers of this model cartridge or to any other Brenneke ammunition, including the Black Magic Short Magnum 12 gauge 2 ¾” (70mm) cartridge.  Brenneke of America, L.P. has determined that a limited number of the cartridges from these lots may contain low- or no-powder charges that may result in the slug remaining in the barrel. Firing a second shot into the obstructed barrel may cause firearm damage and may subject the shooter and bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury.  Remedy:  Customers SHOULD NOT USE the cartridges and should not keep them where they could be used by others. Customers should immediately contact Brenneke at 1-877-684-0477, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Time, Monday to Friday, to make arrangements for the return and replacement of the cartridges. Customers may also call that number with any other questions about the recall.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

S&W 1905

Smith & Wesson early K-frame models, identified by caliber/serial number
32/20 Hand Ejector First Model (1899), manufactured 1899-1902, serial numbers 1-5,331.
32/20 Hand Ejector Second Model (1902), manufactured 1902-1903, serial numbers 5,332-9,811.
32/20 Hand Ejector Model 1902 1st change, manufactured 1903-1905, serial numbers 9,812-18,125.
32/20 Hand Ejector Model 1905, manufactured 1905-1906, serial numbers 18,126-22,426.
32/20 Hand Ejector Model 1905 1st change, manufactured 1906-190?*, serial numbers 22,427-33,500*.
* factory records to do show exactly when 1905 1st change ended and 2nd change began.
32/20 Hand Ejector Model 1905 2nd change, manufactured 190?*-1909, serial numbers 33,501*-45,200.
32/20 Hand Ejector Model 1905 3rd change, manufactured 1909-1915, serial numbers 45,201-65,700.
32/20 Hand Ejector Model 1905 4th change, manufactured 1915-1940, serial numbers 65,701-144,684.

.38 Hand Ejector First Model (1899), manufactured 1899-1902, serial numbers 1-20,975.
.38 Hand Ejector 2nd Model (1902), manufactured 1903-1905, serial numbers 20,976-33,803.
.38 Hand Ejector Model 1902 1st change, manufactured 1902-1903, serial numbers 33,804-62,449.
.38 Hand Ejector Model 1905, manufactured 1905-1906, serial numbers 62,450-73,250.
.38 Hand Ejector Model 1905 1st change, manufactured 1906-190?*, serial numbers 73,251-.
* factory records do not show exactly when 1905 1st change ended and 2nd change began.
.38 Hand Ejector Model 1905 2nd change, manufactured 190?-1909*, serial numbers -146,899.
.38 Hand Ejector Model 1905 3rd change, manufactured 1909-1915, serial numbers 146,900-241,703.
.38 Hand Ejector Model 1905 4th change, manufactured 1915-1942, serial numbers 241,703-see notes 1905 4th change.
K-22 1st Model Outdoorsman, 19,500 manufactured 1930-1940, between serial numbers 632,132 - 682,419 in the .38 Hand Ejector series.
K-22 2nd Model Masterpiece, 1,067 manufactured 1940-1942, between serial numbers 682,420 - 696,952 in the .38 Hand Ejector series.
K-32 Hand Ejector First Model, 83 manufactured 1936-1941, between serial numbers 653,388-682,207 in the .38 Hand Ejector series.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Accurate Rifle by Warren Page

"The Accurate Rifle" by Warren Kempton "Lefty" Page, gun editor of Field and Stream magazine 1947 to 1972 and a winning competitor from almost the start.  He describes rifle function in detail and gives the low-down on what is needed to make the best possible rifle. 

One of the first things that strikes me about the book is all the now historical information contained therein.  However, aside from that, the data here is usable by all shooters to understand accuracy in all of the rifle shooting sports.

- What We Can Learn From Lefty by David E. Petzal

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Druckenmillers

I was doing some genealogical research and ran across my cousin's family's new website. The Druckenmillers are Tom, Betty (my first cousin) and son Nathan Druckenmiller. I like their music and buy their CDs. Just thought I'd share...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Why I Carry a Gun" by Anonymous

People also ask why..?
Why Carry a Gun..??

I don't carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don't carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I'm evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry.
I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don't carry a gun because I'm a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don't carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

Police protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves. Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take an butt whoopin'

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bug out or bug in, guns and other "stuff"

Whether one should be bugging out or hunkering down in response to disaster are big topics lately.  It seems that, just as in the 1950s when backyard nuke shelters were all the rage, uncertain times now have people looking to plan for the very worst they can imagine.  There are, given certain circumstances of natural or man-made disasters, advocates for either course of action.

Staying in place means that you have all your assets such as stored food, cash, water, ammo, clothing, furniture, etc.  All can help you survive. Even if you don't use it yourself any property can be traded for other things you might really need.  People never think of it but some sandbags and a shovel might be a useful adjunct to whatever firearm you have. Another benefit is the friends and family you might have in your established location.  Neighbors who know and trust you aren't bad either. 

As to firearms, something to carry always to get you to the heavy artillery which can reach out but deal with multiples and reload rapidly. For a lot of people that will be a 5.56/.223 autoloader though some will be better served with a .30-something autoloader.

Again, a good defensive position is a force multiplier.  It was an old saw in the military that the defender could resist a force at least 3 times their number. 

As Rob Leahy puts it:
Unless you make your move BEFORE disaster strikes, you might be stuck. many western metro areas can be crippled with a couple car wrecks at the big stack style interchanges. Phoenix officials revealed their big emergency preparedness plan- walk away. HAH! Smack dab in the middle of the Sonoran desert. That will be ugly.

South Central Alaska is worse off; 80 percent of the homes built in the last 20 years are solely dependent on natural gas for heat (Thank you 5 Star energy ratings). If a Quake breaks a gas line a BUNCH of folks are gonna freeze.
We can interpret that to mean a good defensive position includes heat, food and water. This has always been true. However static defenses are subject to siege. You must either outlast the siege or you must destroy that enemy. Likely, you can't do either without help of some kind. In the past nature has helped those besieged by subjecting the besieger to disease and horrible weather. Sometimes, friends/allies have attack the siege forces from behind and destroyed their ability to feed or water themselves.

Bugging out, i.e. being mobile, is supposed to help you avoid those problems but it comes with problems of its own. First and foremost you are exposed to attack because you have no defensive positions but those you happen to be on when attacked.  When you "bug out" you leave your home and you leave your friends, family, contacts and "stuff".  You have limited supplies because you can't carry but so much.  Also, you are likely to be moving through an area where you have no ties to the local population (who might help).  Family and friends (real friends, not nodding acquaintances) can mean the difference between survival and becoming plant food. Remember also, that in leaving you are abandoning the largest part of assets you've accumulated over your lifetime.  The idea really is that you will re-establish yourself in an unpopulated area. There are those who support the concept.  I well remember Bradford Angier's book, "How to Build Your Home in the Woods".

Wherever you are you must have, as said before, food, water, heat (in cold weather), shelter (including shelter from attack i.e. defensive positions), and sanitation facilities (i.e. toilets).  Firearms might be necessary to keep these things for yourself not to mention to keep you alive.  Any injury is to be avoided and is potentially life threatening.  Merely having medical supplies isn't enough, you have to have the skill to use them correctly and without waste. 

Many ridicule such considerations as a waste of time.  Is it?  Ask those who have lived through hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods and riots.  Did reasoned preparations help them?  Of course they did.

The first thing you need is water. Without water all other choices lose their "optional" status. Stores of water, means of purification and an idea where you might get more if you need to are things you should have ready and on hand.

You need flexibility. You may have decided to hunker down and ride it out but if something happens to destroy that you need the option to move. Having a plan to bug out and fuel in a vehicle capable of going makes it a more reasonable option if worst comes to worst and you have to move.

Of course flexibility also means you have to have the means to stay and ride it out.

I think the #2 thing you need (after water) is sanitation. If the water system fails, if the sewers back up or simply don't flow, you still need to rid yourself of waste. I suggest a shovel for a hole in the back yard. If you only have a few days, you can deal with it. If it lasts longer than that, so can the neighbors. I'd put some lime in a nice safe dry place to spread on "it" to keep the disease carrying vectors (flies) off "it".

Then you need food. You'll probably want to cook it as well, particularly if you do the smart thing and start on the refrigerated and frozen stuff if you've lost all power. If you put back canned foods, for extended needs, you will need to rotate it. This pretty much mandates that you actually eat what you store not just buy some food because it is edible and in a can. This is particularly true for those with dietary concerns or picky and stubborn children (or mentally challenged adults).

Which brings us to medical supplies. You must be able to treat cuts and puncture wounds. You absolutely can't have infection and you must be able to stop the bleeding. It is probably a good idea to have meds for those with chronic conditions. Aspirin is always handy. Remember that you won't be able to depend on access to a doctor and/or hospital.

You also need shelter. Shelter isn't just a roof over your head. It must get you out of the heat to conserve water and it must keep you out of the cold. People can survive what we consider extreme temperatures but you must be prepared for the weather in your area. Particularly in cold climates you must be prepared to depend on your clothing to keep you warm. Don't be like the fashion conscious teenagers I see who are wearing no coats in winter because they are counting on a quick transition from building to transportation to keep them warm.

Firearms? You need a handgun to have with you all the time. It will get you to the heavy artillery. In town? Get a shotgun. In the country? Maybe a shotgun AND a rifle. There should be enough arms to arm every person in your group who can shoot and adhere to the "rules of engagement", i.e. the law.

If you can do all this, you just need enough on hand to continue without outside assistance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ruger and His Guns

We went to the Book Fair this past weekend and I got a copy of Ruger and His Guns by R. L. Wilson (yes, that R. L. Wilson) for substantially less than the cover price. It has proven to be worth the money if only for the photos and the background on the various stages of the company. It is a big heavy book, in a landscape format, with gorgeous photography and excellent editing. It isn't often that you can go through a book and find that they have never confused "there" and "their" or "sight" and "site" or some such. Spell-check is wonderful but limited still and can't use the correct word in context. This editor appears to have gotten it right and that makes for a much more enjoyable reading experience.

Content, yes, there is content galore.  Bits and pieces of personal remembrances from family, friends and co-workers/employees.  Interesting stuff I don't think you'll find elsewhere.  I had always wanted to meet Mr. Ruger but now I feel as I've gotten about as close to him as I ever would have.  But there are also asides that give information on the various people who have influenced the products and sales (through their illustrations) and there is information on the financial workings of the company.  Not a whole lot of detail but enough to explain why the company has cash in the bank today.  That bodes well for American shooters because, unlike other firearms companies, Ruger is in a position to weather the storm of the current recession.

I should point out that the book isn't up to date in that it cuts off sometime before 2010.  That shouldn't matter to the aficionado of Ruger firearms.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

The last few work days have been slow. The boss got in a bunch of neat guns but half of them were out the door before I got the word.

The neatest gun of the day was a Smith and Wesson Victory model. Unfortunately it was one of the .38 S&Ws that had been rechambered to .38 Special and at some time had had the barrel cut to about 2" and the front sight remounted. Professionally done lots of finish wear. Boss man wouldn't buy it. I don't need another .38 of ANY kind.

Lewis, our gunsmith, is on vacation so I got to mount a couple of scopes and fix a couple of things. In doing this I discovered that the Uncle Mike's hammer extensions for the Marlin 336s (the early ones) don't necessarily fit the early hammers.

All in all a pretty slow time of it lately. Squirrel and dove are in season but people aren't getting wound up for deer season yet.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Charter Arms History

Doug McClenehan was a gun designer with several prominent American gun companies. Using his strong engineering and inventive background he decided to go out on his own and in 1964 founded Charter Arms. McClenehan and David Ecker were lifelong friends and in 1967 Ecker became a 50/50 partner in Charter Arms.
•1972: David Ecker made a buy out offer to Doug and Ecker became the sole owner of Charter Arms.
•1984: Nick Ecker, David Ecker's son and the present owner of Charter Arms, joined the company and ultimately ran the manufacturing/production arm of the company.
•1988: Through a complicated set of circumstances dealing with a somewhat related real estate deal, Jeff Williams, VP of finance for Charter Arms came into ownership of 100% of the stock of the firearm manufacturing and sales operation and renamed the company Charco. This stock transfer allowed David Ecker to work on the real estate deal. In order to ensure that the firearm portion of the company continued, Jeff Williams offered 20% of company stock to Nick Ecker to continue running production and Nick accepted
•1996: There was a dispute between Nick and Jeff and Nick left the company. Ultimately the production failed due to this loss of expertise and the company closed its doors for a short period in 1998.
•1998: Learning of the closing Nick Ecker brought on two partners and bought the company from Jeff Williams.
•2000: Nick Ecker's two new partners had the name changed to Charter 2000 to coincide with the change of the millennium. Charter 2000 marked firearms were produced between 1999 and mid-2007.
•2002: Due to excellent sales, Nick Ecker was able to buy out his two partners and changed the name back to Charter Arms. In mid-2007 Charter Arms was again stamped on the firearms and this mark continues to be stamped on Charter Arms revolvers to this day. Nick Ecker is now the sole proprietor of Charter Arms.
•October 2004 Founder, Doug McClenehan passed away and in March of 2005 David Ecker passed away.
•2005 MKS Supply became exclusive marketer of Charter Firearms expanding distribution and giving Nick Ecker more time to design innovative new products.

The new company is in the hands of the original owners family and the original quality and guarantee is being upheld.

Monday, September 13, 2010

2LT Caitlyn LeClerc

Newly commissioned 2LT LeClerc with her parents
On September 6th she was a passenger in a GMC driven by another LT with another young man in the back seat. The driver lost control of the SUV and rolled into a rock wall. She and the boy in back were not wearing seat belts and were both ejected from the vehicle. The coroner said she was killed instantly.

Not mentioned is that this family has served this country extensively including military service.  Also, this family is obviously grieving this loss.  Please pray for the family and if you would like to, please leave your message of condolence here.  
Leavenworth, Kan. —

Catilyn LeClerc
21, Leavenworth
2nd Lt. Caitlyn Victoria LeClerc, 21, died Monday, Sept. 6, 2010, from injuries suffered in an automobile accident when she was returning to school from a Labor Day vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks.

She was born Jan. 7, 1989, weighing only two pounds but proved she was a fighter from the beginning and became so strong that although she was only five feet two inches tall and weighted 110 pounds she could do 88 pushups in two minutes. She always made her own rules and brightened the lives of all she met.
Caitlyn was a 2007 graduate of Leavenworth High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society, the ROTC Drill Team Commander and Prom Queen. She was a 2010 graduate of Wentworth Military Academy where she excelled in both academic and military leadership skills. She was awarded the Outstanding Company Commander award for individual leadership and service. She commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the United States Army at her graduation in May. She was also a member of the Missouri National Guard 35th Combat Aviation Brigade.

Caitlyn had just begun classes at the University of Missouri to complete her degree in International Studies.

Caitlyn is survived by her father and mother, Dr. Byron and Teresa LeClerc; and her brothers, Alex age 23, Thomas age 11 and her little sister, Grace age 11
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. The rosary will be prayed at 5:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 10, 2010, at Immaculate Conception Catholic church with Rev. David McEvoy, O.Carm., as celebrant. Inurnment will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Columbia woman dies in car crash

Published September 7, 2010 at 11:11 a.m.
Updated September 7, 2010 at 1:36 p.m.

A one-vehicle accident early yesterday in southwest Missouri claimed the life of a Columbia woman and left the driver facing charges of vehicular manslaughter and assault.

Caitlyn V. LeClerc, 21, died in the incident that happened shortly after 8 a.m. yesterday when a 2003 GMC driven by John S. Dulaney, 21, of Columbia, ran off Highway 39 south of Viola in Stone County, according to a report by Trooper Terry Bible of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The car overturned, and LeClerc was pronounced dead at the scene by Stone County Coroner Jim Fohn.

Dulaney and a second passenger, Robert A. Carter of Columbia, suffered serious injuries and were taken by helicopter to Springfield for treatment, Bible said.

After Dulaney was tested for alcohol, he was arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter by intoxication, felony assault and careless and imprudent driving resulting in an accident. He was released to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for care, Bible said. No formal charges had been filed as of early today.
Please, reinforce to your children that they should wear their seatbelts, not drive after drinking or be driven by those that have been drinking and be a true friend to others by enforcing those standards.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

40 Reasons to Ban Guns

  1. Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, Detroit & Chicago cops need guns.
  2. Washington DC’s low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, and Indianapolis’s high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.
  3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are “just statistics.”
  4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates,which have been declining since 1991.
  5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.
  6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.
  7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.
  8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.
  9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should “put up no defense – give them what they want, or run” (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman Pete Shields, Guns Don’t Die – People Do, 1981, p. 125).
  10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.
  11. One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seat belts, a civil engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for internal medicine, a computer programmer for hard drive problems, and Sarah Brady for firearms expertise.
  12. The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, refers to the National Guard, which was created 130 years later, in 1917.
  13. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, using federally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a “state” militia.
  14. These phrases: “right of the people peaceably to assemble,” “right of the people to be secure in their homes,” “enumerations herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people,” and “The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people” all refer to individuals, but “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” refers to the state.
  15. “The Constitution is strong and will never change.” But we should ban and seize all guns thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to that Constitution.
  16. Rifles and handguns aren’t necessary to national defense! Of course, the army has hundreds of thousands of them.
  17. Private citizens shouldn’t have handguns, because they aren’t “military weapons”, but private citizens shouldn’t have “assault rifles”, because they are military weapons.
  18. In spite of waiting periods, background checks, fingerprinting,government forms, etc., guns today are too readily available, which is responsible for recent school shootings. In the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s,anyone could buy guns at hardware stores, army surplus stores, gas stations,variety stores, Sears mail order, no waiting, no background check, no fingerprints, no government forms and there were no school shootings.
  19. The NRA’s attempt to run a “don’t touch” campaign about kids handling guns is propaganda, but the anti-gun lobby’s attempt to run a “don’t touch” campaign is responsible social activity.
  20. Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use them properly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.
  21. A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.
  22. Women are just as intelligent and capable as men but a woman with a gun is “an accident waiting to happen” and gun makers’ advertisements aimed at women are “preying on their fears.”
  23. Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchers but revert to normal when the weapon is removed.
  24. Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun shows.
  25. A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority of the population supported owning slaves.
  26. Any self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a “weapon of mass destruction” or an “assault weapon.”
  27. Most people can’t be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by because they can be trusted.
  28. The right of Internet pornographers to exist cannot be questioned because it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the use of handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.
  29. Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self- defense only justifies bare hands.
  30. The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the Constitution.
  31. Charlton Heston, a movie actor as president of the NRA was a cheap lunatic who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas, a movie actor as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.
  32. Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need larger capacity pistol magazines than do “civilians” who must face criminals alone and therefore need less ammunition.
  33. We should ban “Saturday Night Specials” and other inexpensive guns because it’s not fair that poor people have access to guns too.
  34. Police officers have some special Jedi-like mastery over handguns that private citizens can never hope to obtain.
  35. Private citizens don’t need a gun for self-protection because the police are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says the police are not responsible for their protection.
  36. Citizens don’t need to carry a gun for personal protection but police chiefs, who are desk-bound administrators who work in a building filled with cops, need a gun.
  37. “Assault weapons” have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people. The police need assault weapons. You do not.
  38. When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferential promotion, that’s bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities to buy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that’s good.
  39. Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun for defensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their duty weapon.
  40. Handgun Control, Inc., says they want to “keep guns out of the wrong hands.” Guess what? You have the wrong hands.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Portable Log Cabin

The ultimate accessory, a gun house or hunting cabin, and I had to post. This one is for sale in Wyoming by the builder.

As you know, I've been looking at small houses for either a full-time residence, outlying building or 2nd/vacation home. I hadn't thought about a small log home until my trip to Alaska and not about a portable, truck to the site, type place until I saw this one. It is a bit far to suit for Virginia (and I don't have a site at the moment) but it otherwise suits.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Colt Police Positive Target - .22 LR

This past weekend (the 29th) I managed to slip away to the gun show before heading out to Ella Ann's 2nd birthday party.  Of course, the show, for me, wasn't so much my interests except for a couple of tables.  I met a couple of friends and acquaintances there and stopped at Randy Clark's tables because he always has something that catches my eye.  I think he has a particularly good eye for the neat old handguns.  This time didn't disappoint.
One thing he had was a 1964 Marlin 39A Mountie in very good condition.  It would have done, as is, for the rest of anyone's life.  I considered buying it but held out for something really special and moved on to the handgun cases.  I wasn't disappointed.  In the case I spied this Colt Police Positive Target in .22 LR.  It looked pretty pristine in the case but had no box.  Randy asked if I wanted a closer look and I did.

The revolver isn't perfect.  There's a bit of freckling on it but the finish, considering it has survived since 1938, is darn nice.  The metal work has no scratches or dings.  The stocks have no faults.  It locks up tight without any discernible endshake.  It is in such good condition that one has to wonder why the box didn't survive with it.  I asked Randy and he said that he'd gotten from a regular customer who constantly trades guns in and out and finds stuff that he shoots for a while and trades.  One of those always trying something new.  He didn't know where the gun had been before that.  The Colt Police Positive Targets were first cataloged in 1911.  This gun was produced in 1938 and is the later, heavier frame weighing 26 ounces and has the standard 6" barrel. 

When I took the gun out for a quick shooting session with Winchester Dynapoints that had been modified in my Hanned Line SGB tool it didn't fail at 20 yards proving to be "duelist" capable of half a minute of soda can and at 85+ yards it managed to consistently wack my 12" cinder-block face.  Firing Aguila Super-Colibri ammo produced surprising energy on a metal swinging disk target.  That ammo would be great fun in the back yard, where legal. 

My initial impression of the gun is that it is superior to the Smith & Wesson Model 34 although it is about the same size, being just slightly larger.  One of the reasons is that fouling doesn't need to be cleaned out so often in order to permit functioning yet it seems to fully as accurate.  Because the grips are the size of the Police Positive service guns, there is more to hold on to (although the compactness of the S&W 34s is one of their main selling points).  I really need to take this gun squirrel hunting.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Browning Auto-5

Just the other day my friend John H_____ and I were talking and he mentioned his cut down Browning Auto-5 (something like the one in the photo). You might have seen R. Lee Ermey shoot one on his show, "Locked and Loaded", in an episode about shotguns. These guns are pretty neat, but some have given them a reputation as relatively hard "kickers". The main reasons that these guns might have heavier than normal recoil is due to the recoil spring being "tired", i.e. in need of replacement or because the friction ring isn't set up correctly. The manual shows you how to do this.

I remember we had a man, last name of Shifflett, with whom we used to shoot skeet. He had a Belgian Browning Auto-5 and would shoot the targets from the hip with his gun. Amazing to me at the time, as after some 10,000 rounds I hadn't achieved that level of skill. However, those many Saturdays or Sundays of observing his shooting and getting a little trigger time on his gun (with my ammo) did instill some fondness for the gun. I don't think a properly set up gun is a particularly hard kicker but most of my shooting with one has been with skeet loads. Those aren't particularly punishing from any gun!  Note:  Brownells sells spring and friction ring kits for those old guns which is necessary to restore proper operation. 

Recently, a customer at Nuckol's bought a plain barrel Auto-5 and didn't even take it home before having the barrel cut down. It was then that I discovered that not everyone sees this as a good thing. Oh, how loud were the cries about ruining a Belgian Browning! A real collectible done away with! Of course, so far as I know all the Japanese Brownings have vent ribs and aren't quite so suitable for this operation. I have to admit I'd looked at the same gun and contemplated the same action!

These guns are a long-recoil operated, 5-shot (3-shot with plug for migratory birds),  and semi-automatic.  The safety can be, with the skills of a gunsmith (the official word), reversed for left-handed shooters.  The same gun was produced here in the US, after initiation of punitive tariffs on the Belgian guns, by Remington Arms as the Model 11 and later 11-48 (which differs from the Model 11 in the shape of its machined steel receiver and the use of cheaper stamped steel internal parts). 

From Browning's site we have this information on the guns.
The production of the Auto-5 began in 1902. Produced by F.N., John M. Browning ordered 10,000 of these shotguns in his first order. In 1999 Browning issued the "Final Tribute" version featuring engraved scenes of John M. Browning, the F.N. Factory and the Browning Brothers first store. Only 1,000 of these were produced in a high-grade wood. Production of the famous "A-5" ceased after this final tribute.

To find your serial number, you will need to refer to your owner's manual. We have most owner's manuals online. You can go to those by clicking here.

Date Historic Information Serial Number Info
1903-1939 First 10,000 shipped to U.S. Marked with "BROWNING AUTOMATIC ARMS CO. OGDEN UTAH-U.S.A." Very few serial number records remain. Beginning with Serial Number 1 to approximately 228,000. Exact production figures are not available. Year of manufacture on Pre-World War II production is strictly a guess.
1940-1946 From 1940 to 1946 production of the Auto-5 was turned over to Remington. Serial number is on the side of receiver. "ABC" for American made Version. (A=16 gauge, B-12 gauge, C=20 gauge) 1946+229,000-237,000
1947 237001-249000
1948 249001-270000
1949 270001-285000
1950 285001-315000
1951 315001-346000
1952 F.N. took over production of the Auto-5. 346001-387000
1953 387000-438000
1954-55 Serial Numbering System changed. H=Standard Weight. L=Light Weight. H1-H83000
1956 Serial Number designation for the Light Weight changed to G. H83001-H99000
1957 Serial Numbering System changed again. M=Standard Weight. G=Light Weight. M22000-M85000
1958-67 From 1958 serial numbers were preceded by the date of manufacture. 8M=standard weight for 1958. 8G=light weight for 1958.
Example: 8M1000 = A 1958 Auto-5 standard weight shotgun with serial number 1000
M=standard weight
G=light weight
1968-76 In 1969 Browning started using two digits for the date of manufacture which was followed by a four digit code that identified the type of Auto-5:
M=standard weight
G=light weight
This was then followed by the serial number beginning with 1000.
Example: 69G1000 = A 1969 Auto-5 Lightweight 12 ga.. shotgun with a serial number of 1000.
M-standard weight
G=light weight
1976-1997 In 1976 Browning standardized its serial number identification which it followed until 1998.
1. Auto-5 Type 151=Magnum 12 gauge
161=Magnum 20 gauge
211=Light 12 gauge
221=Sweet 16
231=Light 20 gauge
2. Date of Manufacture
is a two digit code
3. Serial Number
beginning with 01001
at the start of each year.

Number Example: 01001RT151
This would be an Auto-5 Magnum 12 ga.,manufactured in 1976 with the serial number 01001.
1999 The Auto-5 will be discontinued for 2000. To commemorate this historic event for the Auto-5, Browning released the "Final Tribute" version in 1999.
1. Serial Number
beginning with 1001
at the start of each year.

2. Date of Manufacture
is a two digit code
2000 (distribution began in 1999)
3. Auto-5 Type FT="Final Tribute" 12 ga.

Number Example: 2000FT1001
This would be a Auto-5 "Final Tribute" 12 ga., manufactured in 1999 with the serial number 1001.
The gun isn't too complicated as can be seen in the accompanying schematic. It is yet another example of Jonathan Browning's inventive ability.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Aunt Deanna goes shooting...

No details but here's photos of your aunt's shooting fun.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Winchester 94 Under Carrier Jam

Many of us have had under the carrier jams with our Winchester 94s. This seems to be much more prevalent with the later Post-64 versions and the .357 Mag versions made towards the end of Winchesters production.

Here is a couple of cut away drawings showing what the insides of a Winchester 94 looks like in both open and closed positions.

Figure A
In figure A you see the action closed. In the circle is the cartridge stop. When the action is closed the cartridge stop lays flat, out of the way in the notch machined for it. The cartridges in the magazine slide right over the top of it onto the carrier.

The forward end of most of the Win 94 cartridge carriers are notched to sit low in the receiver around the cartridge stop. This notch varies from deep as in the pre-64 carrier shown in the picture above, to shallow in some of the post-64 carriers. The .357 carriers found in the later USRAC guns are much shorter than the other carriers and have no notch.

Figure B
In Figure: B you see the action open with the cartridge stop in the up position blocking the next cartridge in line. As you can see by this pic, it's not the height of the stop but its length that's critical.

Study the pic and you can easily see what happens to cause an under the carrier jam. When the cartridge stop breaks off, wears down or tolerances stack up wrong, the cartridge will slip over it and end up between the open link and raised carrier. At this point clearing the jam usually requires at least partial disassembly of the rifle.

The problem can be cured in a number of ways:
A: Replace the link
B: Cold swage the cartridge stop to a longer length and then reshape it with a file. This only works if the problem is minor wear or a tolerance problem.
C: Weld up the stop and reshape it.
Winchester Carrier
D: See Steve Young's comments below.

I hope this helps explain the "Under The Carrier Jam" Winchester 94s are occasionally beset with.

-Joe Miller-

There is one other fix I've had some success using with the 357's. Part of the problem with the late 94's is Win tried to make the parts, one-size-fits-all. In other words they left things kind of loose to eliminate as much hand fitting as possible. There where the link is pinned into the receiver is a good example. When someone sent a 357 that was feeding under the carrier I would order a new link and the install it using a custom made oversize link pin. Then drill both the receiver and the link for a tight pin fit. By removing the slack there at the pin this made the cart stop come back to the same place each time.

-Steve Young-

And this from a contributor known only as "retmech"...

Normal and Repaired Link
My 94 AE started passing shells under the carrier so I ordered a new link because the top edge of the cartridge stop was worn and rounded. The new link lasted about 100 rds and it started screwing up. The part is a soft sintered metal part and it started rounding. I had a friend weld the stop and I reshaped it. Now over a thousand rounds later no problem, with the link. I'm on my third ejector now so it looks like I have to make one of those too! Here is a picture of my link. I made it a little wider than original and it's holding up great, looks just like when I first put it in with no wear on it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

.30-30 (.30 WCF) Premium Bullet Tests (part 2) by Josef A. Riekers

First - let me describe the second part of the test. The Buffalo Bore advertising mentions that it could shoot through several deer, and there's no reason to doubt that. On the internet you can find speculation regarding how each of these cartridges would do on moose or elk or bear. I put out one shoulder of the cow, propped up with the hoof in the air, against the back half of the body. This would represent the approximate thickness of meat needed to get ot the vitals on elk or moose as well as the shoulder bone. I backed off to 75 yards and fired a Buffalo Bore 190 gr load and a Speer 170 gr load. Both exited completely and burried themselves in the rumen. I couldn't dig the bullets out but I could see how far they went. A rough measurement of penetration is Buffalo Bore - 28"-30" and Speer 26"-28". Clearly either would make it into an elk or moose's vitals with at least one full lung and embedment in the other on a broadside shot.

Now the WOUND CHANNELS - The first 10.5" is head (skull).

The Hornady LE 160 gr-
The wound channel starts immediately with a significant "V" from the entry hole to where the bullet came to rest. The area along the bullet path that was destroyed was about 4 times the bullets biggest diameter at rest. The jacket and core completely seperated and the core was 1.5" in front of the jacket.

The Grizzly Hawk 170 gr-
The wound channel starts around 3" and instantly creates a square about 4 times bigger than the final biggest diameter (which is 2/3 bigger than the Hornady so keep that in perspective when figuring out how big the path was). The jacket and core seperated and the core was 2.5" ahead of and to the right of the jacket.

The Speer 170 gr Hot Core FP-
The wound channel starts around 5" into the skull, and it exits the skull a little smaller than it's final size. From the hole it looks like in 10 inches it expanded a little more than half of what it was going to. Don't forget it went another 10" in meat. The wound channel is a narrow hole for 5 inches, an oval for another 10 inches and the remaining 5 inches or so is a triangle about 1 inch in diameter.

The Buffalo Bore Hawk 190 gr -
The wound channel starts pretty quick. It shows expansion after just 3.5", and has to be the lead nose flattening out and becoming a larger metplat when it hit the initial skull on entry. The channel remains tubular and about 2" in diameter for most of the length of penetration. The last few inches increase to just over 3" in diameter.


It is interesting that each of these bullets does something outside the picture painted by their respective maker/promoter. Andy at Hawk thought the 170 gr used by Grizzly would expand quick and penetrate little to moderate with exit wounds unlikely. This was a tough test for this bullet, much tougher than an average whitetail deer - which the bullet was intended for. I think it would exit on a whitetail as much as it would stay in. In regards to the 190 gr used by Buffalo Bore their was a notion that it wouldn't expand much at all and would penetrate enormously. It did expand and penetrated more than enough to get to the vitals of any animal around here. Speer kind of down-played their bullet as an average performer for "deer sized game". It ends up that even at a modest velocity it hold together well and penetrates unbelievably. In fact, this I will now only take shoulder shots on deer with this bullet because I just can't figure how it would get any expansion with a behind the leg shot in all soft tissue. Hornady never came out and said where/what class of animals there bullet was for. However, in their advertising, internet and in magazine article and TV shows they sponsor the LE 30-30 has been used on bears, big mule deer and elk. Frankly, the amount of penetration I've seen in actual hunting use and in this test and other bullet performance factors set the setting for a good deer bullet that would get the job done on shoulder shots. I personally would not have confidence to use it on an elk or moose at any range and the bears would have to be smallish and close for me to have faith.

If you reload Speer Hot Core FP 170 gr's at around 2100 fps I think you'd be able to win a confrontation with a grizzly and you should have confidence on a fairly large animal at close range.

If you knew you'd be in bear country and wanted some extra insurance when moving around hiking, horseback riding or four-wheeling the Buffalo Bore do have an edge. If you take a head shot or double shoulder shot at close range it looks like you will get expansion and penetration. The expansion was a little more than the Speer and the wound channels damaged more area than the Speer overall. The 2 inches less penetration with the Buffalo Bore compared to the Speer is probably less of a contributing factor to quick incapacitation than the effect of the larger wound channel the Buffalo Bore makes. At over $59.76 per box of 20 it is cheap insurance if you have a real potential to need every edge you can get. I'd determine the point of impact with a 5 shot group and hang on to the remaining 15 for loading up in bear country or to use on a moose or elk at close range. NOTE - They grouped into the same spot as Hornady LE ammo from our rifle - and they were less than 3" from the sight-in ammo of Speer and Grizzly.

If you prefer a behind the leg double lung shot on deer and can shoot them accurately to 175 yds the Grizzly Cartridge load would benefit you. The penetration and expansion resulted in a wound channel that would literally shred both lungs on a medium sized deer and very likely put it down on the spot. If you did hit a bone I believe you'd still have enough penetration to take both lungs even if the bullet doesn't exit.
For $52.95 a box of 20 I'd use them if you were taking your 30-30 on an outfitted deer hunt where you could take a good trophy for some fee. If it is accurate enough in your rifle, it could mean the differenc between getting your buck in the truck now and waiting until morning to look for him.

The Speer bullets are $26.99 per 100. Unfortunately they are not going to make this one anymore - switching to their "Deep Curl" 170 gr bullet. You can load a box of ammo with new brass for $16.46. If you already have brass it could be as little as $8.76 for 20. This load will do on medium bears and elk at close range. It is a little hard for soft tissue shots on deer. I'd use them on deer at 100 yds or so with a center of shoulder hold and expect an exit wound, and hopefully an obvious blood trail. I have mixed feelings about these on deer because they are pretty tough. They would be ideal for hogs, especially bigger ones of 200 lbs or more.

Hornady LE ammo continues to underwhelm me. In this study it's not the best in penetration, expansion, accuracy, wound channel or price. The price is very reasonable though at $23.95 per box of 20. It can't hurt to try it and some folks get great accuracy. If your gun shoots it tight and you are hunting deer, or antelope or coyotes, any critter 200 pounds for less it is a viable option that should be explored.

If you want to know what I think is the best for whitetail deer, I'll go with the Winchester Silver Tip Supreme 150 grain (the black bullet with the white plastic tip). This bullet penetrates, expands and caused a lot of damage while being very accurate in factory cartridges and reloads. It can handle a shoulder shot but excels at lung shots. For black bears I would use the 170 grain Rem Core-Lokt or Nosler Partition based on their track record in my extensive client data.

-Josef A. Riekers-

Sunday, September 05, 2010

.30-30 (.30 WCF) Premium Bullet Tests (part 1) by Josef A. Riekers

It is done and the first thing I said upon completion was Holy S$@#! Even the bullet makers predictions were wrong about what these would do! First, the subjects. I used Buffalo Bore's Heavy 30-30 190 grain, Grizzly Cartridge Company's "Whitetail Whacker" 30-30 170 grain, Hornady's "LeverEvolution" 160 grain and a handload featuring the Speer "Hot Core" 170 grain FP bullet. Here's what the bullet makers said about the bullets -

Andy Hill (Hawk Bullets) -(Recited to me from a 3rd party).

The 190 grain made for Tim Sundles features a hard cast lead core, a .035 heavy- non annealed jacket, about 20 grains of exposed lead tip, a .196 meplat and the usual hole in the base of the bullet. I don't expect it to expand. If anything, I think it will lose the 20 grain lead tip and act something like a full metal jacket. If it encountered a lot of resistance I wouldn't be surprised if it broke. I am not sure about it being effective in stopping game or putting game down quickly because of the real potential for a small diameter bullet hole. I did not try these bullet on game but Tim tested them and they are what he ultimately wanted. We did try 195 and 200 grain but they wouldn't stabilize and accuracy was poor.

The 170 grain bullet Mike Rintoul loads has a pure lead core, a .025 annealed soft jacket, about 10 grains of exposed lead tip, a .196 meplat and the hole in the base of the bullet. It is meant to be soft and expand rapidly and easily. It will probably exit on broadside shot on deer but may not if it encounters hard bone. Mike's idea was to run this bullet relatively fast without an increase in pressure and have a large permanent wound channel for game up to 300 pounds.

Chris at ATK/Speer -
The 170 grain FP has been in the line up for years. It is a little different than the bullets that were loaded in Federal ammo and they are a little softer than the "Fusion" bullet used in that product line. It should hold together well and retain 75% or more weight with good penetration and expansion.

Hornady E-Mail response to question "what kind of game are your 30-30 LeverEvolution bullets good for, are they for deer or does it increase the cartridge capabilities for bigger game"?
The new LeverEvolution bullets feature a tip that helps initiate expansion at a wide velocity range. The bullet will expand reliably while penetrating deeply. The components make it possible to maximize velocity and accuracy and in the 30-30 the aero-dynamic bullet are safe for tubular magazines.

Here's the real deal on accuracy and velocity first - all shots fired from a 1952 Winchester Model 94 standard. Accuracy testing was done at a little more than 50 yards with the fore-end resting on a soft support. 3 shot groups. The Speer bullet is over Federal brass, 30.5 gr of H4895 and a CCI 250M primer, Lee factory crimped in crimp groove.

Buffalo Bore - 1.75"
Grizzly Cartridge - 2.25"
Hornady - 2.25"
Speer - 1.25"

VELOCITY - Averaged
Buffalo Bore - 2081.5 fps
Grizzly Cartridge - 2298.5 fps
Hornady LE - 2239.5 fps
Speer - 2134.5 fps



Ricky Helping Chrono -
Chrono and accuracy notes -


Testing penetration required some thought on how to mimic the most extreme uses for the ammo as advertised. Buffalo Bore actually mentions defensive use on bears - that's pretty extreme. With that in mind, an interior Grizzly or a coastal Brown Bear is going to weigh 1000 pounds give or take. A defensive shot is likely to be a frontal shot as an animal comes at you. That means a head shot or one that hits somewhere under the chin. At the right angel, that would put the neck area of spine behind the head too. Personally, I'd let a charging animal get close, probably 15 feet or less but I figured most people would feel the intentional forward motion of a threat at 25 yards would be encroaching on their personal space and the trigger pulling would begin. Here's the best representation of that I could come up with - cow weighing near 1000 pounds. The animals were positioned on the belly with the legs tucked in. The chin was positioned on the ground with the head tilted downward and forward. This brought the flat part of the forehead in line with the rest of the body. It also put the neck bone behind the head. Shots were fired from a prone position so they were straight on and would have to go into the whole body. The shots were at 22 yards. The first four, one of each cartridge were aimed right at the flat square of the head. We then cut the head off, peeled back the hide and began cutting 1" thick layers of meat with an electric saw until we saw a wound channel or bullet. The distance from the entry hole was measured and recorded and the wound channel was photographed. First - the PENETRATION.

Hornady 160 gr LE - 12.5"
Grizzly 170 gr - 14.0"
Buffalo Bore 190 gr - 18.25"
Speer 170 gr - 20.25"

"WHAT"? You proclaim. Yes, the Speer load with 2134 fps average MV penetrated a little more than the buffalo bore. All these bullet penetrated the front and back skull and several inches of meat.

I didn't believe it either, so I blew another $150 and set up another cow the same way. This time I fired the Speer first aiming at the inside corner of the left eye. This was followed by the Buffalo Bore aimed at the inside corner of the right eye. Upon examination, each bullet stayed in it's respective half and encountered the same things. The results were consistent with the first try:

Buffalo Bore - 18.5"
Speer - 20"

What about the expansion? Well here it is all measured at the widest point:
Hornady - .542
Grizzly - .807
Buffalo Bore - .495
Buffalo Bore - .650
Speer - .318
Speer - .496

How about the weight?

Hornady - 125.3 gr both pieces combined Total jacket/core seperation
Grizzly - 159.1 gr both pieces combined Total jacket/core seperation
Buffalo Bore - 184.8 gr long shank and good mushroom bent to one side
Buffalo Bore - 180.5 gr long shank and good mushroom bent to one side
Speer - 159.4 gr - short shank and round mushroom
Speer - 164.6 - long shank and very little frontal expansion


-Josef A. Riekers-

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Obama Administration "Banned" Reimportation of M1 Garand Rifles and M1 Carbines

The Obama administration, via the State department, has reneged on a deal with South Korea and banned the re-importation of WWII/Korean War era M1 Rifles and Carbines. About 800,000 and 700,000 of each type were supposedly set for resale here in the U.S. (they are legal for civilian ownership here). As noted in the Washington Times
"The U.S. insisted that imports of the aging rifles could cause problems such as firearm accidents," a South Korean Ministry of National Defense official told the Korea Times last month.

It's hard to see how these M1 rifles could be considered risky when they already are offered for sale by the U.S. government through the Civilian Marksmanship Program. In fact, the federally sponsored CMP puts on summer camps that teach boys and girls how to handle the Garand properly and safely. In the past seven years, there hasn't been a single accident. Many of the participants go on to serve their country or take part in shooting sports at the collegiate and Olympic level.

It's more likely that the administration is seeking to win the admiration of gun grabbers. Mr. Obama has a history of supporting gun control as a state senator and U.S. senator, but he's been limited in his ability to implement this anti-gun agenda as president.
As if these rifles are the big thing with gangs or likely to be effective against Predator drones...

Winchester Awarded Department of Homeland Security Contract

I thought I'd start a series of posts concerning shooting industry news of interest.

Winchester Awarded Department of Homeland Security Contract
Winchester® Ammunition was recently awarded a contract by the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security

Winchester® Ammunition was recently awarded a contract by the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security to supply a maximum of 200 million, 40 cal. rounds over the next five years.

“Winchester has a proud tradition of providing high quality ammunition to our nation’s law enforcement agencies,” said Dick Hammett, president, Winchester Ammunition. “No matter if they’re protecting our block, our city or our borders, each special agent is an invaluable resource and we are committed to giving them the best products available.”

The load selected for this contract is a 135-grain, hollow point designed for the office of Field Operations of Customs and Border Protection. It will fall under the Winchester® Ranger® line of products.
There's some buzz about this being an over-the-top quantity. It works out to about 40,000,000 rounds a year. Since most agencies train with cheaper FMJ ammo and use JHPs only "on the street" this might seem a bit excessive. That's about 1 round per citizen over the age of 13. Not that I'm reading anything into this.

"My Highland Home" - Robert W. Service

My Highland Home

My mother spun the household wool,
And all our kiddy clothes would make;
I used to go barefoot to school,
While bannock took the place of cake.
One shirt a week was all I had,
Our home was just a but-and-ben;
But oh I was the proudful lad,
And life was rich with promise then.

Although I supped on milk and brose,
And went to bed by candle-light,
I pored on books of noble prose,
And longed like Bobbie Burns to write.
Now in this age of the machine
I look back three-score years and ten:
With life so simple, sane and clean,
Oh were we not more happy then?

We deemed not of electric light,
Nor ever thought that we would fly;
Our sons were not called up to fight,
And in a foreign field to die.
So now when threats of war appall,
And millions cower to monster men,
Friends, don't you think that, after all,
We were a heap more happy then?

Robert William Service

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Mad Trapper of Rat River or Death Hunt

Albert Johnson in death
Many years ago I saw a movie called "Death Hunt". As is usual for Hollywood it has little to do with the real hunt for the real Albert Johnson. However, the incident does have some interesting points for the rest of us. First, Dick North believes he has discovered the true identity of Albert Johnson even after all these years. Second, the participants used some neat guns most notably, for me, Albert Johnson's .30-30 chambered Savage Model 99. Third, Albert Johnson was apparently a consummate outdoors-man, excellent shot and extremely fit.

While on my recent sojourn in Alaska and the Yukon I came across Dick North's book, The Mad Trapper of Rat River and read it cover to cover. In it he covers the Albert Johnson story as known and then describes his search for the identity of the Mad Trapper. He makes a compelling case for Albert's true identity as Johnny Conrad Johnson. In 2009 a televised exhumation of Johnson's corpse was aired in which the DNA comparisons were made to confirm Johnson's identity. On August 11, 2007, a forensic team sponsored by the Discovery Channel exhumed Johnson's body and conducted forensic tests on his remains before re-interring it in an attempt to confirm his true identity conclusively. All candidates tested for were eventually excluded with 100 percent certainty. It was reported that, by analyzing isotopes in Johnson's teeth, it was determined that Johnson was not Canadian but grew up in America or Scandinavia. It was also reported that he was aged in his 30s when he died. So the mystery has yet to be solved!

Mr. North followed up with The Man Who Didn't Fit In. Reading his first book, I can easily understand why the case became endlessly fascinating to him. After all, of all the books I could have bought, I bought his.

Bronson as Johnson in the movie Death Hunt
- Dick North talks about his interest in the case (video)
- Survival Topics Forum
- Northwest Territories Archives

The Men Who Don't Fit In

Robert W. Service

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

Investigation Discovery Channel (ID) broadcast a show about the Mad Trapper last night at 10PM EDST. DNA has apparently excluded all previously possible candidates including Johnnie Johnson BUT isotopic tests verified that he grew up in the upper mid-west USA. It may be that some day a genealogist will wonder where a certain male family member born around 1900 disappeared to and with DNA being more and more popular among genealogists we'll finally have an answer.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Widener's Storage Building Suffered an Explosion 9-1-2010

Widener's Reloading and Shooting Supply suffered an explosion at a storage building. It is unclear as to how this will affect filling of current or future orders or the future of the business. Ammunition storage facility explodes near Johnson City/Jonesborough line
By Becky Campbell
Press Staff Writer

An ammunition storage facility explosion rocked a small neighborhood off Indian Ridge Road and sent a plume of smoke skyward that could be seen miles away.

It happened just after 10 a.m. at the dead end of Locust Lane, a short neighborhood road off Indian Ridge near West Market Street.

No one was injured in the blast, according to Johnson City Interim Fire Chief Mark Finucane.

The building, owned by Stan Widener, housed materials he used in his business, Widener Reloading and Shooting Supply Inc.

Officials said no one was at the building at the time, but Widener was near enough to hear the blast and met emergency responders to take them to the site.

The gravel driveway leading to the building is at the end of Locust Lane. Because of the condition of the driveway, the only fire vehicle able to get to the location was a brush truck. Those vehicles are designed for off-road and rough terrain.

“The owner escorted our personnel back to assess what we had. What we found was a 30-by-30 metal frame building that suffered heavy damage from what appeared to be an explosion,” Finucane said.

“We determined that inside the building was ammunition casings and fireworks. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Law enforcement is on the scene and they are looking at the scene as a criminal investigation until further notice.”

Finucane said that the fire would burn itself out. The location was remote enough to not present a danger to residents or structures, he said.

Because the jurisdiction was initially in question, the blast brought out investigators from several agencies — Johnson City police, Johnson City Fire Department, Jonesborough Fire Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.Eventually, the jurisdiction was determined to belong to Jonesborough. But after an initial report by the sheriff’s office, the state fire marshal’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will handle the investigation.

According to the business web site, Widener’s Reloading has been operating for 31 years. It is mainly a mail-order ammunition supply company, with only a P.O. box listed as the address.

Aside from the storage building, Widener owns another building on West Market Street where orders are packed and shipped.

Officials at the scene said they were aware of the facility prior to the blast.

“We knew the buildings were here, contents we don’t know just like any other,” house or business, said Nes Leovtch, director of the Washington County Emergency Management Agency.

He said there is an emergency plan for an explosion that calls for evacuating residents and businesses if necessary. Wednesday’s incident didn’t call for that plan to be implemented, he said.

In fact, some residents along Locust Lane stood outside their homes and watched the activity.

James Branscomb, who lives at the end of Locust Lane, was home having his morning coffee when he heard the blast.

“I heard the initial pop and crack. Then it was a concussion,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Branscomb knew there was a storage building in the field, but had never been concerned about its contents.

Branscomb said he came out of his house to see what had happened and saw the plume of smoke rising from the scene.

Another person in the neighborhood, Troy Arnold, was painting at a friend’s house. He said he heard one big explosion, but “you could tell it was a continual, like it was fusing itself. There was some good size explosions, then the firecrackers started going off.

“You could tell it was either ammo or fireworks or something that was very volatile.”

As the initial commotion died down, Arnold went about his business and began painting again.

Responders cleared the scene about as quickly as they arrived, leaving behind only two ATF agents and one state fire marshal.

Both agencies will be involved in the investigation, but work at the scene won’t begin until the area has cooled down and is safe, one agent said.

Part of that investigation will be a review of Widener’s licensing as an ammunition, reloading and weapons dealer.

Widener is no stranger to the area. He worked for many years as an assistant district attorney in the First Judicial District, but now works part-time for the Public Defender’s Office.

Widener is also the Johnson City municipal judge.

© 2001-2010 Johnson City Press and The Assoc
I had no idea that Widener was a lawyer and judge as well as running this business.

Grumman F3F-2, the "Flying Barrel"

When younger I was fascinated by aviation.  In keeping with my eccentric devotion to the archaic, I was particularly attracted to pre-WWII planes even though or perhaps because I had so little understanding of just how primitive these things were. I always thought the Grumman F3s were cool planes. I liked that they were biplanes AND had retractable landing gear. I built a couple of models of them which are now lost.

In 1935 the U.S. Navy placed an order with the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, then of Farmingdale, for the design and construction of a new fighter, the F3F. Based on earlier Grumman biplane designs, the F3F was faster and more maneuverable than any Navy fighter to date. By 1937, due to the slow development of the early monoplane fighters, the Navy ordered more F3Fs, this time an improved model, the F3F-2. The F3F-2 was strong, fast, maneuverable, and was considered a wonderful aircraft to fly. Its pilots considered it the ultimate biplane fighter; in fact it was the last biplane fighter produced in the United States. With its silver fuselage, yellow wings, and red, white, and blue markings, it was among the most colorful military aircraft ever built, but it heralded the end of an era.

By 1939 all U.S. Navy and Marine fighter squadrons flew Grumman biplane fighters exclusively. Of the 164 F3Fs built, 140 were still in service, as trainers in United States, at the time of the U.S. entry into World War II in December, 1941. Today the F3F is an extremely rare aircraft, with but two original surviving examples.

General characteristics
Crew: 1 pilot
Length: 23 ft 2 in (7.06 m)
Wingspan: 32 ft 0 in (9.75 m)
Height: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Wing area: 260 ft² (24.15 m²)
Empty weight: 3,285 lb (1,490 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 4,795 lb (2,175 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Wright R-1820-22 "Cyclone" 9-cylinder radial engine, 950 hp (710 kW)
Maximum speed: 229 knots, 264 mph (425 km/h) at 15,250 ft (4,658 m)
Cruise speed: 150 mph (130 knots, 240 km/h)
Range: 980 mi (850 nm, 1,600 km)
Service ceiling: 33,200 ft (10,120 m)
Rate of climb: 2,800 ft/min (14 m/s) at sea level
1× 0.30 in (7.62 mm) M2 machine gun, 500 rounds (left)
1× 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun, 200 rounds (right)
Bombs: 2× 116 lb (52.6 kg) Mk IV bombs, one under each wing

I never learned to fly but Dad did. However, his flying career was ended on his first solo flight when a nasty cross-wind flipped the plane onto its back just before he touched down to complete the flight. He walked away and swore he was through with flying. He was flying at the trap and skeet range near Cooperstown, New York. I think this was at the Hartwick Gun Club but I'm not certain.