Monday, December 27, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

It was a fast paced day all day. 12 background checks, many smaller purchases, many questions answered and a couple of neat guns.

Number 1 neat gun was the sporterized (long time ago) 1884 Trapdoor. The action was original but not the barrel, sights or stock. Came to the shoulder and I was looking down the sights. Absolutely superb condition. Every bit of fit and finish was very well done. A rare gem. Not for sale, just brought in to brag on.

A good friend and her husband came in with their daughter and showed me photos of this year's deer including her 149 green scored 9-point. What a deer and just 2 miles from my family's place. Too bad we have to sell it.

Neat gun number 2 was a Colt Anaconda. 6" barrel, it was in pretty nice condition with box. Seems that a local fellow brought in several Colts to sell as he has nobody to whom it might leave them. I should have been there last week during the week as I missed these. That might have been in my best interest though, you can't own them all...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Swag

It is the day after Christmas 2010 and I'm rolling in swag. My family was entirely too generous to me but I do very much appreciate it. I hope that I remember this in my old age...

I received wool socks and an LL Bean chamois shirt. I got a shop vac, which I almost bought the week before. I also received a Kindle.

Now, I've got to say that I have been ambivalent about the Kindle with 3G service. I'm a fan of the tactile experience of reading a book or magazine and I like to see the color illustrations. Like all children, I like illustrations. After registering, my first book was Jeff Cooper's, "Art of the Rifle". One thing I like is that I am able to but the "book" down (turn it off) and come back right to where I left it. I can search for other such books from this one. I can search by author or title. Still, there is something to turning the page, smelling the ink, etc. Intangible pleasures not available in the digital version. Also, since Nana got one, I've had a bit of a problem working two Amazon accounts off one e-mail address. However, now that her account is functioning, we can let it be as she orders off the Kindle device with one-click payment. One of the biggest selling points of the Kindle for me is the accessibility of free, pre-1923, books. I am particularly interested in Theodore Roosevelt's writings. Heretofore one had to buy a print version or lug it back from the library IF you could find a copy there. This will be infinitely easier. Same for Nessmuk and some others...

In another tact I also got Gun Digest issues on CD! Now these will require my computer to read but should also have the illustrations which I should also be able to magnify to my heart's content. To find these in print and then to store them would have been a hassle so I think the CD version should suit me well.

More swag was in the form of a very neat caned footstool/seat my daughter and son-in-law got for us. We need the emergency seating and were looking for a handy ottoman for the den (which is a rather small room).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas Rifle by Ryan B. Anderson

"Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving...

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible...

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for
Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what...

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on...

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd s pent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern...

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp...

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out...

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak...

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people...

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it...

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes...

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I stil l had mine...

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away...

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children...

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

Notes were a bit delayed by Christmas activity and the installation of a new water heater here at the house.

We sure did move a lot of this and that yesterday. Ammo, accessories, firearms, even a safe. There was somebody there all day except for a very short interval at about 4:00-4:15. There were no great guns there and I only saw one gun come in looking to be purchased (but it wasn't). The most notable thing was the high rate of delays on background checks. Just about 17% actually were instant returns, all others were delayed. Usually it runs about 50/50 but not yesterday. Also, delays were averaging 2-3 hours rather than 30-45 minutes. I'm supposing that the employees who do the backgrounds are further reduced in number by those taking Christmas leave.

Mostly, I'm hoping that we don't get the 6" of snow forecast for Christmas day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alonzo "Lonnie" Crull - Builder of Single-Six Prototypes?

I was at Gary Reeder's board and a poster there mentioned Alonzo Crull and his conversions (rebuilds) of Colt 1877 (Lightning) revolvers to Single-Action configuration as .22 LR revolvers. There was a dim memory floating around in my head and the post excited me to do a quick search on the subject and record all that I could find.  This is a down and dirty record of that info.  I'm still looking!

His guns have the appearance, from a distance, of the Ruger Single-Six. Well, we already know that these about which I'm writing are .22 LR, but don't they have that appearance? Note, too, that the gun is using an SAA's "rubber" stocks. The Single-Six prototype? I wonder if Bill Ruger knew about these, I bet he did.

Lightning such as modified by Alonzo Crull
He had come and gone long before the Internet, and is not well enough remembered for any historical work to have been done. He was rather famous in his day for taking a Colt Lightning, converting it to .22 LR, making the action SAO, and reshaping the birdshead butt into a plowhandle to produce a scale model SAA. The barrels and cylinders were relined from .38 to .22 or just remade and the sight rib and sights made from scratch. The internal action was totally rebuilt to operate like a Single Action Army. The whole shape of the butt of the gun was redone in SAA style, and new grips made. Alonzo was using guns sent by customers or if he was buying them up, converting and selling. Either way, the serial numbers and year made is pretty much at random. 2 Crull SA .22's sold for $475 each to the same buyer. The guy who's collection they came out of was there and said they should have brought $900 each. He is/was a gun dealer out of Wabash selling part of his collection to pay for medical bills. He said he knew Alonzo and had 9 more of his guns in the safe. Two of the guns he still has are single shot. He said that Alonzo "Lonnie" always said that the lightning was the strongest frame ever built but the biggest "POS" gun ever built. As far as Alonzo making a "bunch" of guns, well the guy told me that Alonzo cataloged 319 guns but he believes that there are closer to 400 around. He said that all of the barrels were turned from an old truck or tractor axle that Alonzo turned into a laithe. The guns at the auction seemed to function very smoothly but were somewhat crude to look at. From the side they look good but from the top they don't (IMO) the method that he used to matte the top of the receiver and barrel looks pretty rough. With regard to the matte finish on the receiver and top of the barrel from the previous comment, reportedly Crull did this to reduce glare while looking down the sights at your target. Another note...he had to reposition the screws in the frame due to his modifications. In doing so, he filled in the previous screw holes from the Lightning frame, which are now almost invisible. The guy knew what he was doing. Below is a response I received earlier this year from Hamilton Bowen with regard to Mr. Crull.

Dear Sir:

Thanks for your inquiry.

We do not have any information on Mr. Crull at our website and, unfortunately, I have been unable to lay hands on a file with some information about him, probabyl due to some office cleaning.

What I can tell you is he died probably 20 yrs. ago and lived in Wabash, Indiana. He was a first-rate gunsmith and specialized in building .22 rimfire revolvers, mostly on Colt Lightning frames but some on Colt SAA receivers. He made his own barrels and cylinder and, in the case of the little Colt DA guns, his own hammers and triggers. The barrels were the most distinctive feature. They were heavily tapered to cut weight but had integral ribs, one on top for the front sight and another on the side for the ejector housing so it would still fit well. Very complicated part to make.

I have a couple of his revolvers and am always impressed with their quality and thoughtful design. You are fortunate to have such a treasure. Hope this will help; thanks for your interest.

Sincerely yours,

Hamilton S. Bowen
Bowen Classic Arms Corp.

the excellent display honoring Lonny Crull's work at the Wabash County Historical Museum.

Mr. Crull did most of his conversions in the '30s and '40s. Locally, these guns are highly regarded and fetch considerable sums. I have also seen a few single shot break open target guns he made. He rifled his own barrels,and made his own fixtures and cutters to produce cylinders,triggers,sights etc. Several of these shop made tools and cutters are featured in the display, along with his rifling machine and photos of his shop. It would be well worth the drive to visit the museum, there are several other firearms on exhibit along with other war trophies/memorabilia.

This man was no "Bubba". He was a craftsman who often resurrected junkers into beautiful, useful pieces at a time when the factories had nothing similar to offer.

He scratch built high quality target revolvers. When the law required him to get a manufacturing license, he instead started basing his creations on Colt frames so they would not be new manufacture. When he got done there wasn't much left of the Colt beyond the serial number. Rod had a picture of Krull taken late in his life in his shop, his hands permanently curved by work and arthritis into the position used in holding a file.

i was a small child and my dad owned the gun shop next to lonnies. lonnie got to the point where he could not see good enough to polish and blue some of his revolvers do to bad eyesight. my dad did some of the polishing and bluing for him in those days. i would come home from school and load up six rounds in the revolver rest the gun in the crotch of our cherry tree and ring my neighbors steel fence post 6 out of 6 times. if you have the opportunity to own one never let it go. examples of his craftsmanship can be seen at the wabash couny museum in wabash indiana.

Found a little bit more Crull/Krull info in a short article in the July 1982 issue of "The Gun Report". Article states that "Crull made the hammer, cylinder, gripstraps, barrel, rifled the barrel, and even cut and dried the walnut for the grips as well as doing the bluing and other handy work"..."basically the only parts he preserved (from the Colt DA Lightning) were the frame and loading gate."
He had an apprentice who worked for him for a period of time. This person learned Alonzo's art for gunsmithing. He purportedly then used this knowledge to go home and secretly make his own firearms that he stamped my Great Great grandfather's name on and sold as authentic ones made by Alonzo himself.

A quick genealogy search shows that Alonzo Crull (b. 8 Jan 1874 Huntington, IN, d. 14 Jul 1972 Wabash, IN) was the son of Henry and Mary (Rhoer) Crull. He married Clara Munger in 1897 and they had five children. Eddie E., C. Roy, Lewis, Mary E., and Louise. According to the census, in 1900 he was an "engineer (thrashing)" (which probably means mechanic), in 1910 he was a machinist in a factory, in 1920 he was a machinist working in a foundry, in 1930 a mechanic for the "straw board" (perhaps somebody can tell me what "straw board" means). His 1918 draft card says he's a machinist for the Wabash Foundry and Machine Company and gives his address as 898 Ferry Street, Wabash, IN. Clara died in 1929 and Alonzo apparently never remarried. They are buried side by side in the Falls Memorial Gardens, Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana. They had several grandchildren and there are several descendants still living.

There is apparently some thought that Alonzo Crull was a Native American but I can't find any proof of that. His paternal grandfather came from Germany. It is possible that some maternal grandparent was of Native American descent but it can't be proven at this time.

- Gravesite
- Crull family history
- Crull blog
- Wabash Museum

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

We love the gun shop when it is busy and it was busy today. Christmas must be just around the corner as we sold many gift certificates and did 12 background checks PLUS sold one muzzleloader and took orders for 9 more firearms. A good day all around.

The gun of the day was the KelTec RFB. This was a hit with all the stool sitters who marveled at the engineering and had to ask me where the ejection port was. They were sort of disappointed that Jeff Quinn at had already, many moons ago now, clued me in. What is the RFB? This from Kel Tec...
RFB stands for Rifle, Forward-ejecting Bullpup. Why forward-ejecting? Because it allows the RFB to be the first truly ambidextrous 7.62 NATO Bullpup ever developed. The patented, dual-extractor system maintains control of the case from the moment it leaves the magazine and upon firing, pulls the fired case from the chamber and lifts them to push them into an ejection chute above the barrel, where they exit. The Bullpup configuration and tilting-block mechanism allow the 18" model to be only 26.1" long, or as much as 14" shorter in overall length than its competitors with equal barrel lengths. Furthermore, the stock and mechanism cross-section is similar to a conventional rifle, in stark contrast to existing Bullpup rifles. The RFB is also the safest Bullpup ever developed because the breech is separated from the shooters face by two layers of 1.6 mm steel. In the highly unlikely event of a case rupture, gas expansion is directed downwards through the magazine well to protect the shooters head and face.


Calibers: Target Carbine
Weight unloaded (no magazine): 11.3 lbs 8.1 lbs
Length: 40" 26"
Barrel length: 32" 18"
Magazine: 10 or 20 FAL
Practical range: 1200m 600m

The RFB is a short-stroke gas piston operated semi-automatic rifle in 7.62 mm NATO caliber. It accepts standard metric FAL type magazines which work "drop free" and do not need to be tilted in. One 20 round magazine is included*. Barrels on current models are 18" long, with a chrome lined bore and chamber. The muzzle is threaded 5/8x24 TPI and comes equipped with our A2-style Flash Hider*. Longer barrel lengths of 24", 26" and 32" will be available in the future. All controls are fully ambidextrous; the reciprocating operating handle can be switched to either side. The trigger mechanism is second to no other Bullpup ever built and better than nearly all commercial semi-auto rifles. The safety disconnects the trigger and blocks the hammer action. A Mil-Spec Picatinny rail is attached rigidly to the barrel. No open sights are provided, allowing the user to select from the very best new optics and sight systems available. The RFB comes with a two point sling that can be easily configured to suit the user's preference. Available accessories include a free-floating, four-sided Picatinny forend, bipod mounts, a removable bayonet lug for use with NATO style bayonets including our own Folding Bayonet, and many more.

Description MSRP

RFB $ 1880.00

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rene F. Elisar, Toni Spano, and Dr. and Mrs. Sedgewick

Rene in the Army in Korea(?)
This is Rene F. Elisar in 1953.  Clearly, he's in the Army, maybe Korea, but where I'm not certain.  That's the usual grin. 

I know that he was a forester.  That he attended Syracuse University and the Ranger School at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and that he was in the Army.  I think that he had been posted to a district in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania before he ended up as a District Ranger in Athens, Ohio. He co-authored Portable Cone Storage Racks . He died when he was only 51.

I believe it was Rene who was in a hospital tent in Korea and awoke to find a Chinese soldier killing patients at the other end of the tent, drew his pistol and shot the enemy.  I don't know if Rene was wounded or "merely" sick.  

We visited he and his family, he was collecting old bottles at the time, in Pennsylvania. It seems that he had a daughter about 1 year younger than me and a younger son. I am now certain of the number of sons. They visited us in Bridgewater about 1969 and camped at Todd Lake. I think we all had a good time and even went in the water although it was pretty cool for that time of year (early summer I think). 

(l to r) Mom, Rene, Toni Spano at Dr. Sedgewick's
It bothers me more than a little bit that I can't find anything about him.  He always seemed to be a good person and I'd hate for him to be completely forgotten.  I'm hoping that posting this these photos will find his family.
Rene at Dr. Sedgewick's

In fact I have since heard from his daughter and I was able to put her in touch with Toni Spano. It certainly is nice to have been able to do that. Again, Rene was a nice and interesting man. He should be well remembered.

Interestingly, his daughter informs me that he had competed in shooting competitions in high school.  I believe I remembered that being mentioned but was certain enough to mention it here.  She also told me that although he was an avid hunter for many years, he ultimately gave away his firearms (and I would presume any archery equipment he might have had) and that he was not ever a member of the NRA.  That isn't uncommon for shooters now and NRA membership was actually less common among shooters then so that is unsurprising.  My own father didn't join the NRA until about 1981 even though I had first joined in 1972.

Toni, was Mom's best friend and maid-of-honor at my parent's wedding.  They were good friends and Toni visited my parents just a year or so before my father died in 1999.  Every story from Mom's college days had to include either Toni or Rene or the Sedgewicks.

Dr. Sedgewick and his wife were interesting people as well.  Although he was an academician, both he and his wife were "leg" shooters with Mrs. Sedgewick completing her leg, shot with a 1903 Springfield, first.  I only met them once, sitting outside their camper someplace, perhaps at Lake George, and I remember Mrs. Sedgewick as being a rather slight woman.  But, I also remember their obvious love of life despite the good Dr. being then suffering from Parkinson's disease.  Mom boarded with them for at least a couple of years including the months immediately prior to my birth so I guess you could say that I stayed with them as well.  In fact, Mom took a bus from their house to the hospital to give birth to me.  They were pretty close and Mom was also friends with their daughter and Dad was great friends with her husband.  In fact, we received a first hand account and photos of the 1964 Anchorage earthquake from them soon after the event.  I might still have those photos. 

Went to the gun show today...

Rockingham County Fairgrounds, a C&E show.  Nothing much to float my boat.  Some interesting vendors.  Historical Arms Corporation was there.  Not much to interest me though.  Ran into some friends, Buddy B________, Vic A______, and _______ ________ (the last shall remain nameless).  Nothing much to talk about.  Oh, there were some nice rifles and revolvers, just not for me or at prices beyond reasonable to my mind and wallet.  No sights, magazines, or ammo that I needed.  No component dealers.  Lots of jewelry and not good stuff at that.  Weather is nasty, wet, cold and with the promise of snow later if Nana gets her way.  A flop. I delivered some presents, topped off the tank, picked up some candy makings for Christmas presents and came home.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Nitro Express Forum has a Neat Feature

Nickudu has got a number of books in digital form.  Makes a great reading list as well!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

G'ma Janie's Poetry

Grandmother wrote poetry. She thought she was rather clever. We'll go with that. Herewith is a collection of G'ma Janie's poetry as I find it.

This first was written for her God-daughter, Priscilla Davis...
Accompanying artwork by G'ma Janie
Said Daniel the Spaniel
to Horace the Cat,
"What mouse is that mouse
At whose mousehole you sat?"

Said Horace the Cat
To his friend Daniel Dog,
"That mouse is a louse
Who eats high on the hog.

I've promised my mistress,
And you can help, too,
To chase him right back
To the fields where he grew."

So Daniel the Spaniel
And Horace the Cat
Chased mouse from the house,
Where he'd grow so darn fat.

And Daniel the Spaniel
And Horace the Cat
Lived long and were happy
And grew fatter than that!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Notes from the gun shop...

A busy day in the shop, we saw the Christmas buying season continue to build.  8 background checks (all of which were seemingly quicker than usual) with 9 transfers.  Unfortunately we also saw a number of guns come into the shop looking for buyers.  There were a couple of interesting guns (people needing to pay bills and feed their families), interesting to at least one of us. 

The first of those that was purchased today was a Remington 700 .222 Remington.  This was an older gun and one of the other clerks was hot on it after it was bought.  The rifle has a Canjar trigger and while used isn't abused and, as I said, is one of the early 700s for this cartridge. 

Next up was a Ruger 5½" barreled Single-Six for the .32 H&R magnum.  It is one of the adjustable sight guns and was NIB but the box didn't have the paperwork.  The box was marked "SSM" but the gun wasn't.  IIRC the serials do match.  I did let some friends know about it but the boss' $650 price tag might have given them pause.  It shouldn't as he is open to negotiation.  In this economy, who really knows what a gun will bring unless you put it out there. 

We also got a finish worn Series 80 Colt Officer's model .45 ACP pistol.  I think that the boss will be offering that for about $400.  I couldn't find anything wrong with it mechanically but the finish is well and truly carry worn.  I think it would be a good deal for somebody wanting one of these little .45s. 

Of course the boss man got another opportunity to show his generous side.  We have a husband who's buying a gun, on layaway, and his wife is buying the same model gun also on layaway.  Knowing that only one gun is being sold, to further the deception the boss is leaving both guns on the layaway shelf. 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Some things I will never understand...

Working at the other shop today and a couple comes in, after the short conversation I am supposing mother and son. Son is looking for a drill rifle. Mother doesn't want to spend the money that a purpose built drill rifle costs and WILL NOT HAVE A REAL GUN IN THE HOUSE. Now that is something I don't understand. She said they were dangerous. I asked if she had knives in her kitchen and if she had driven to the store. Rhetorical perhaps as of course she drove and of course she has kitchen knives. She said guns were evil because guns kill. I asked if she was going to throw herself out of the house because she kills. She eats meat, she drives, she walks, she won't let "bugs" in her house, she kills ergo she must be evil. Right? No, it is guns that are evil.

To my mind only people are capable of evil. Only people make choices based on whether they believe they are doing something which is right or wrong. Despite the "evidence" in a wealth of various animated classic movies, the other animals do not reason in this way. If hungry, they eat, if they must kill to eat, they do so. Inanimate objects lack even this basic ability to respond to stimulus. Heck, they can't even move. Hammers, screw drivers, rocks, canes, golf clubs, baseball bats, all share this basic inability to form thought, respond to stimuli or to move independently. I will never understand this "reasoning".

Axtell Rifleman Sights

Despite the sudden disappearance of the web site and sights from the Buffalo Arms catalog, Axtell is still making sights.  The phone number is still 406-842-5814.

I do not know what is happening with Axtell's sights. Sold out to Buffalo Arms and the former owner is now retired.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Firearm Photographer Extraordinaire Puts out a New Calendar

Kirk Durston of Canada is a multi-talented shooter from Ontario. One of his talents is photography and he's come out with a wonderful 2011 calendar of lever action rifles. Makes a great Christmas or other gift and will look great on your wall, too! Nothing better for the dedicated shooter but to have these wonderful photos of wonderful firearms to enjoy while recording the mundane passage of time.