Monday, December 31, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

We were open ½ day today, i.e. closed at noon.  7 background checks.  Every AR that comes in sells within minutes.  Yes, some folks are looking to sell their guns to make some money and they are making a profit.  Of the so-called assault rifles there is one Hi-Point carbine in the rack.  We had a bunch of Glocks on order and packed for us prior to the latest run on guns and so we have a few.  I sold the last 19 today.  Don't know when we'll get another.  Buyers here have now apparently started on ammo, bullets, primers and powder.  However, as much as the "black" rifles have been in demand, most everything has sold.  People believe that they #1, have no say in their government and #2, there will be a ban of some sort.  While hoping for the best they are preparing for the very worst.  Young or old, male or female, it doesn't matter.  This is not the way to ring in a new year. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Oath of Enlistment - We need to remember...

For those who want to see the oath in a version that is distributable or want to be reminded of their duty...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, our savior, whose sacrifice of his life in this world redeemed all of our sins, I hope that you are telling your friends about him.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

CHRISTMAS PAST Washington's Gift

Our revolution could have ended in despotism, like so many others.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 12:01 a.m.

There is a Christmas story at the birth of this country that very few Americans know. It involves a single act by George Washington--his refusal to take absolute power--that affirms our own deepest beliefs about self-government, and still has profound meaning in today's world. To appreciate its significance, however, we must revisit a dark period at the end of America's eight-year struggle for independence.

The story begins with Gen. Washington's arrival in Annapolis, Md., on Dec. 19, 1783. The country was finally at peace--just a few weeks earlier the last British army on American soil had sailed out of New York harbor. But the previous eight months had been a time of terrible turmoil and anguish for Gen. Washington, outwardly always so composed. His army had been discharged and sent home, unpaid, by a bankrupt Congress--without a victory parade or even a statement of thanks for their years of sacrifices and sufferings.

Instead, not a few congressmen and their allies in the press had waged a vitriolic smear campaign against the soldiers--especially the officers, because they supposedly demanded too much money for back pay and pensions. Washington had done his utmost to persuade Congress to pay them, yet failed, in this failure losing the admiration of many of the younger officers. Some sneeringly called him "The Great Illustrissimo"--a mocking reference to his world-wide fame. When he said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York early in December, he had wept at the sight of anger and resentment on many faces.

Congressman Alexander Hamilton, once Washington's most gifted aide, had told him in a morose letter that there was a "principle of hostility to an army" loose in the country and too many congressmen shared it. Bitterly, Hamilton added that he had "an indifferent opinion of the honesty" of the United States of America.

Soon Hamilton was spreading an even lower opinion of Congress. Its members had fled Philadelphia when a few hundred unpaid soldiers in the city's garrison surrounded the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall), demanding back pay. Congressman Hamilton called the affair "weak and disgusting to the last degree" and soon resigned his seat.

The rest of the country agreed. There were hoots of derision and contempt for Congress in newspapers from Boston to Savannah. The politicians took refuge in the village of Princeton, N.J., where they rejected Washington's advice to fund a small postwar regular army, then wandered to Annapolis.

In Amsterdam, where brokers were trying to sell shares in an American loan negotiated by John Adams, sales plummeted. Even America's best friend in Europe, the Marquis de Lafayette, wondered aloud if the United States was about to collapse. A deeply discouraged Washington admitted he saw "one head turning into thirteen."

Was there anyone who could rescue the situation? Many people thought only George Washington could work this miracle.

Earlier in the year he had been urged to summarily dismiss Congress and rule as an uncrowned king, under the title of president. He emphatically refused to consider the idea. Now many people wondered if he might have changed his mind. At the very least he might appear before Congress and issue a scathing denunciation of their cowardly flight from Philadelphia and their ingratitude to his soldiers. That act would destroy whatever shreds of legitimacy the politicians had left.

At noon on Dec. 23, Washington and two aides walked from their hotel to the Annapolis State House, where Congress was sitting. Barely 20 delegates had bothered to show up.

The general and his aides took designated seats in the assembly chamber. The president of Congress, Thomas Mifflin of Pennsylvania, began the proceedings: "Sir, the United States in Congress assembled are prepared to receive your communications."

Mifflin had been one of the generals who attempted to humiliate Washington into resigning during the grim winter at Valley Forge. He had smeared Washington as a puffed-up egotist, denigrated his military ability, and used his wealth to persuade not a few congressmen to agree with him. A few months later, Mifflin was forced to quit the army after being accused of stealing millions as quartermaster general.

Addressing this scandal-tarred enemy, Washington drew a speech from his coat pocket and unfolded it with trembling hands. "Mr. President," he began in a low, strained voice. "The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place; I now have the honor of offering my sincere congratulations to Congress and of presenting myself before them to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country."

Washington went on to express his gratitude for the support of "my countrymen" and the "army in general." This reference to his soldiers ignited feelings so intense, he had to grip the speech with both hands to keep it steady. He continued: "I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them \[Congress\] to his holy keeping."

For a long moment, Washington could not say another word. Tears streamed down his cheeks. The words touched a vein of religious faith in his inmost soul, born of battlefield experiences that had convinced him of the existence of a caring God who had protected him and his country again and again during the war. Without this faith he might never have been able to endure the frustrations and rage he had experienced in the previous eight months.

Washington then drew from his coat a parchment copy of his appointment as commander in chief. "Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theater of action and bidding farewell to this august body under whom I have long acted, I here offer my commission and take leave of all the employments of public life." Stepping forward, he handed the document to Mifflin.

This was--is--the most important moment in American history.

The man who could have dispersed this feckless Congress and obtained for himself and his soldiers rewards worthy of their courage was renouncing absolute power. By this visible, incontrovertible act, Washington did more to affirm America's government of the people than a thousand declarations by legislatures and treatises by philosophers.

Thomas Jefferson, author of the greatest of these declarations, witnessed this drama as a delegate from Virginia. Intuitively, he understood its historic dimension. "The moderation. . . . of a single character," he later wrote, "probably prevented this revolution from being closed, as most others have been, by a subversion of that liberty it was intended to establish."

In Europe, Washington's resignation restored America's battered prestige. It was reported with awe and amazement in newspapers from London to Vienna. The Connecticut painter John Trumbull, studying in England, wrote that it had earned the "astonishment and admiration of this part of the world."

Washington shook hands with each member of Congress and not a few of the spectators. Meanwhile, his aides were bringing their horses and baggage wagons from their hotel. They had left orders for everything to be packed and ready for an immediate departure.

The next day, after an overnight stop at a tavern, they rode at a steady pace toward Mount Vernon. Finally, as twilight shrouded the winter sky, the house came into view beside the Potomac River. Past bare trees and wintry fields the three horsemen trotted toward the white-pillared porch and the green shuttered windows, aglow with candlelight. Waiting for them at the door was Martha Washington and two grandchildren. It was Christmas eve. Ex-Gen. Washington--and the United States of America--had survived the perils of both war and peace.
Mr. Fleming is the author, most recently, of "The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle for Survival After Yorktown" (Collins, 2007).

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

I had to check with the boss man to see how things were going. Sales this week have been 3-5 times normal for this time of year. That's in dollar amounts. He received 11 AR-15 type rifles of various makes yesterday (ordered Monday) and sold 10. I saw one green stocked Bushmaster on the rack when I left this morning. 3 people were filling out background check forms (4473 and the VA state form). He's putting guns out but the racks and cases are starting to look a bit bare.

The election certainly didn't arouse anyone around here but even the stereotypical little old ladies I talk to believe that gun control of some sort is coming even though they acknowledge it will do no good. Most say that an armed presence of some sort must be in every school. Many think that the principal or vice-principal (where that person doesn't also have a classroom responsibility as many do in our elementary schools) could be that person. Of course, they would have to be trained. Obvious, too, is that this person should carry concealed. Everyone seems to have noticed, even the gun control advocates, that any resistance results in an end, one way or the other, to the attack.

So, the "panic" sales continue apace and will until there is nothing to be bought.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thoughts on Newtown, Connecticut

At about 0930 on Friday, 14 Dec 2012, a man entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and murdered 20 children aged 6-7 and 6 female staff members including the principal.

However, this is not the worst U.S. school murder ever. On 18 May 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan, a man committed 3 bombings and killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, and four other adults; at least 58 people were injured. The perpetrator first killed his wife, and committed suicide with his last explosion. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–14 years of age[1]) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest mass murder in a school in United States history.

Apparently a 20-year old man with some degree of various personality "disorders" killed his mother and stole her legally owned firearms, specifically a Bushmaster AR-15 type rifle, a Glock and a Sig-Sauer pistol, went to the school. Shot his way through the door in some manner, went into the school and then went one room to another shooting children and staff as they appeared until the police response arrived and then shot himself. Among the details not in question is his shooting of individuals multiple times each and the reported expenditure of "hundreds" of rounds. (He could have actually expended about 150 rounds and still shot the victims 5-6 times each.) Whether or not he was aiming at the victims at ranges not exceeding about 35 feet or if he was simply shooting "from the hip" we might not ever know. 4 or 5 weapons were found at the scene, those mentioned and 1 or 2 others with what appears to be a shotgun found in the trunk of his mother's car.

Most of what I now know about the Sandy Hook event comes from various news reports and the reliability of those reports is in doubt. However, many people including, inevitably, the politicians have already reached various conclusions about what should be done based mostly on dogma supported by these "reports". In fact what we are discovering is that nothing the press has reported and not all of what the coroner has said in the news conference was accurate. So pretty much everything can be suspected as inaccurately reported for the moment. Still, the rush to ban guns, despite polls showing this is the LEAST desired course of action, continues.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C. S. Lewis

Notes from the gun shop...

Was at the shop Wednesday morning and the panic buying continues apace. I was there an hour, on my off day, and did 2 sales because the 4 other counter guys (including the boss) were busy. I saw 2 ARs go out the door. I went back at noon bearing pizzas for the crew as a Christmas gift. It was tough for them to find the time to eat a slice or two. VERY busy. The shelves are getting more and more bare. Almost all the Glocks and in-stock ARs were gone but there are more due in, supposedly already in transit. Some of those are already sold though. Ammo is starting to flow out the door more quickly and I sold a couple of bricks of primers to people concerned about future supply.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

It was a busy day today in the shop but not nearly as busy as Friday and Saturday.  While we did 15 background checks today, they did 60 over the previous 2 days the shop was open.  The terrible attack on the elementary school in Newtown, CT has emboldened politicians to call for more gun controls despite Connecticut being the 5th most strictly controlled state according to the gun control activists.  This obviously prepared assault on 2nd amendment rights has frightened a number of people and Christmas shopping was replaced by precautionary purchases of semi-automatic pistols and rifles and high capacity magazines for them.  We know that this is happening elsewhere in the country because all our distributors have, in 4 days, sold out of their stocks of many of these items.  There are no AR-15 magazines to be had.  The same applies to .223 and 7.62x39mm ammunition as it is almost literally flying off the shelves.  We had 4 people working the counter today and it was about all we could do to keep up with the customers.

Unfortunately, I missed 1½ hours of the rush as I had to go to the dentist to deal with a developing abcess and to get the antibiotics to treat it.  I had thought the discomfort was due to congestion from my cold until yesterday afternoon when I noticed that although the congestion was gone, the pain in the gum above one particular tooth was not.  That tooth may require another root canal! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bill of Rights Day

The Bill of Rights, came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791. You should read them you might not get to enjoy them for long.

First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment – Militia (United States), Sovereign state, Right to keep and bear arms.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.[60]

Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment – due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury.

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Darne M1892 Rotating Breech Shotgun...

Had a Mr. Charles D____ bring this in for identification.  I will attempt to post here all I know about it.  It is a Darne manufactured side by side shotgun, apparently chambered for the 12 ga. 2½" shell but I was unable to verify this as I had no tools, not even a proper screwdriver with which to remove the forearm.  It was definitely made before WWII as it was found in the forest by a US GI (Mr. D's father) during the Battle of the Bulge.  I think we can safely say that this is a pretty unique acquisitional circumstance!

I got to shoulder the gun and it fits me to a "T".  I'd love to quail hunt with such a gun.  It is light, well made, comes to the shoulder easily and my eye is correctly aligned right down the rib.  With light 12 or 16 ga loads it would be a delight on upland game.
The action closed as seen from the right

The Butt Plate
Regis Darne is the designer and obviously he had a unique approach to solving engineering problems.  This was his first approach to the problem and in 1881 he produced a hammer gun in which everthing rotated to the right to open the breach.  Of his rotary breach guns, the 1881 has hammers, the 1892 does not and the 1908 has the lever on top in a more (now) conventional position.  This last gun was produced in very limited numbers, some say as few as 1000 guns were made.  Darne probably saw that his own sliding breach shotgun, for which he is much better known here, was a better system and less expensive to produce.
The muzzles showing the "feather" rib and sight bead

The action open as seen from the right side
I don't think that there are very many in the U.S. as this is the first I've seen.  Further, I can't remember reading much about them.  Regis Darne's later sliding breach shotgun is much more well known.

The owner wanted a value on this gun.  I believe it has the shorter chambers and may not be nitro proofed.  But, again, I was unable to check because I didn't have a proper screwdriver or measuring tool.  I estimated that it was worth between $2500 and $3000.  I have now seen values nearing $4500 for this gun.  I suspect that other gauges might be more desirable and perhaps more or less common.  That has to affect value.
The action open as seen from the rear

The rib at the breach showing the matting and barrel marking

In sequence this is the method of operating the action...

- Darne by Jean Michel

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Had to get out of the house...

Had to get out of the house.  Tried the other day but it was pretty foggy and wet and all I got was a good walk out of it.  Actually it was pretty nice.

Typical logging road after 20-40 years...
So, today, after lunch, I was out again.  Wandered about a bit and with nobody parking anywhere nearby engaged in some plinking at pine cones and such with a safe background.  Carried the USFA Rodeo (which I suppose will be approaching cult collector status according to the prices they are asking) I got from Rob L____ and the Remington 12CS I got from David M__.  Sorry Rob, but I wore the Mernickle P6SA.  The plinking was all done with the Remington.  Yes, it is .22 WRF and the ammo is pricier than the .22 LR but I do have 6000 rounds on hand and this is why I got the rifle.   The cartridges were sticking going in and coming out of the chamber so I took a moment to clean it and all was well.  We both lay down for a rest about half-way through.  I took a photo of the Remington reclining. 

Remington Model 12CS, .22 Winchester Rimfire (.22 Remington Special)
It was a pretty good day. 

The bear hunters seem to predominate now.  No birders (but I did jump another 2 grouse) and I think I was the only squirrel "hunter" out today. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Notes from the gun shop...

People are trickling in to get their post-Obama re-election gun but it is nothing like 2008 around here.  What is big are Christmas presents.  However, I get the feeling that some Christmas presents are also post re-election guns.  We did about 6 transfers today.

How do you feel about having to check off whether you are Hispanic or non-Hispanic if you are white?  Interesting, isn't it.  Not really necessary to identifying people as to whether or not they qualify for firearms possession, is it?

Had a long talk with Gary S_____ who just happens to also be a close friend of Walt, Ellie and Hunter L_____ over in West Virginia.  And here we've been talking to one another for over 4 years not knowing this.  I wrote and told Hunter and he knew right off who it was.

We have some neat guns in the shop.  A really nice looking Rifle U.S. M1 .30 caliber (Garand) but I don't know how it gauges.  The barrel appears to be new.  There are 3 Colt revolvers in the case.  A transitional Police Positive, a Police Positive Special and a Single Action from 1971 (the NRA gun) with what appears to be Ajax mother of pearl stocks.  There is still one of the Winchester Model 61s in the rack.  There is also a Nazi marked FN 1922 and a Colt 1908 hammerless pocket (.380). 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

"The 'eathen" by Rudyard Kipling

The 'eathen in 'is blindness bows down to wood an' stone;
'E don't obey no orders unless they is 'is own;
'E keeps 'is side-arms awful: 'e leaves 'em all about,
An' then comes up the Regiment an' pokes the 'eathen out.

All along o' dirtiness, all along o' mess,
All along o' doin' things rather-more-or-less,
All along of abby-nay, kul, an' hazar-ho,
Mind you keep your rifle an' yourself jus' so!

The young recruit is 'aughty -- 'e draf's from Gawd knows where;
They bid 'im show 'is stockin's an' lay 'is mattress square;
'E calls it bloomin' nonsense -- 'e doesn't know, no more --
An' then up comes 'is Company an'kicks'im round the floor!

The young recruit is 'ammered -- 'e takes it very hard;
'E 'angs 'is 'ead an' mutters -- 'e sulks about the yard;
'E talks o' "cruel tyrants" which 'e'll swing for by-an'-by,
An' the others 'ears an' mocks 'im, an' the boy goes orf to cry.

The young recruit is silly -- 'e thinks o' suicide.
'E's lost 'is gutter-devil; 'e 'asn't got 'is pride;
But day by day they kicks 'im, which 'elps 'im on a bit,
Till 'e finds 'isself one mornin' with a full an' proper kit.

Gettin' clear o' dirtiness, gettin' done with mess,
Gettin' shut o' doin' things rather-more-or-less;
Not so fond of abby-nay, kul, nor hazar-ho,
Learns to keep 'is ripe an "isself jus'so!

The young recruit is 'appy -- 'e throws a chest to suit;
You see 'im grow mustaches; you 'ear 'im slap' is boot.
'E learns to drop the "bloodies" from every word 'e slings,
An 'e shows an 'ealthy brisket when 'e strips for bars an' rings.

The cruel-tyrant-sergeants they watch 'im 'arf a year;
They watch 'im with 'is comrades, they watch 'im with 'is beer;
They watch 'im with the women at the regimental dance,
And the cruel-tyrant-sergeants send 'is name along for "Lance."

An' now 'e's 'arf o' nothin', an' all a private yet,
'Is room they up an' rags 'im to see what they will get.
They rags 'im low an' cunnin', each dirty trick they can,
But 'e learns to sweat 'is temper an 'e learns to sweat 'is man.

An', last, a Colour-Sergeant, as such to be obeyed,
'E schools 'is men at cricket, 'e tells 'em on parade,
They sees 'im quick an 'andy, uncommon set an' smart,
An' so 'e talks to orficers which 'ave the Core at 'eart.

'E learns to do 'is watchin' without it showin' plain;
'E learns to save a dummy, an' shove 'im straight again;
'E learns to check a ranker that's buyin' leave to shirk;
An 'e learns to make men like 'im so they'll learn to like their work.

An' when it comes to marchin' he'll see their socks are right,
An' when it comes: to action 'e shows 'em how to sight.
'E knows their ways of thinkin' and just what's in their mind;
'E knows when they are takin' on an' when they've fell be'ind.

'E knows each talkin' corp'ral that leads a squad astray;
'E feels 'is innards 'eavin', 'is bowels givin' way;
'E sees the blue-white faces all tryin 'ard to grin,
An 'e stands an' waits an' suffers till it's time to cap'em in.

An' now the hugly bullets come peckin' through the dust,
An' no one wants to face 'em, but every beggar must;
So, like a man in irons, which isn't glad to go,
They moves 'em off by companies uncommon stiff an' slow.

Of all 'is five years' schoolin' they don't remember much
Excep' the not retreatin', the step an' keepin' touch.
It looks like teachin' wasted when they duck an' spread an 'op --
But if 'e 'adn't learned 'em they'd be all about the shop.

An' now it's "'Oo goes backward?" an' now it's "'Oo comes on?"
And now it's "Get the doolies," an' now the Captain's gone;
An' now it's bloody murder, but all the while they 'ear
'Is voice, the same as barrick-drill, a-shepherdin' the rear.

'E's just as sick as they are, 'is 'eart is like to split,
But 'e works 'em, works 'em, works 'em till he feels them take the bit;
The rest is 'oldin' steady till the watchful bugles play,
An 'e lifts 'em, lifts 'em, lifts 'em through the charge that wins the day!

The 'eathen in 'is blindness bows down to wood an' stone --
'E don't obey no orders unless they is 'is own.
The 'eathen in 'is blindness must end where 'e began
But the backbone of the Army is the Non-commissioned Man!

Keep away from dirtiness -- keep away from mess,
Don't get into doin' things rather-more-or-less!
Let's ha' done with abby-nay, kul, and hazar-ho;
Mind you keep your rifle an' yourself jus' so!