Wednesday, April 01, 2020

New old gun—labor of love

Some months ago a neighbor mentioned that they had an old rifle fir home defense but that it didn’t work. Helpful person that I am, I offered to take a look at it and get it running again. When I got to her house, she handed me a rusted, pitted old Marlin Glenfield Model 60 .22 rifle. One look at it told me that it was probably a lost cause but I like projects so I told her I’d take a look at it and fix it for the cost of the parts. I asked her how it got to be in that shape and she told me that when she moved into her house five years ago, her roommate found it buried under piles of junk and debris. She also said that they were the first ones back in that house since Hurricane Katrina ten years before that and that the rifle had probably been left behind during the storm. She’d never shot it but she used to take it outside and “scare people away with it.” Hoo boy.

Well I took it home and beat it apart and it was worse than I thought. The magazine tube was split, a corroded and bent live shell was stuck in the lifter (yikes!) and the bolt was all pitted and the extractors were frozen. The screws holding the sideplate assembly in were frozen and the heads were buggered, and when I finally got them off with curses, prayers and pliers the whole assembly fell apart in my hands. Junk.

Still, I shopped some used parts for this vintage 1976 rifle and called her up of course the used parts alone were more than a new used gun could be bought for and she told me to just throw it away.

But I like projects, and a Katrina salvage gun kind of appealed to me. I traded her a bottle of whiskey for the parts and then I began to clean up what was left of it. I spent hours on my porch with it steel-wooling the rust off as best I could and working the extractors loose. I cleaned the barrel up and the inside turned out ok thanks to Marlins micro-groove rifling that wasn’t deep enough to keep me from getting all the junk inside. I cleaned what I could and replaced what I couldn’t and I finished it today. For about $120 in parts and a lot of elbow grease and fitting, I now have a complete rifle that I could have bought in any pawn shop for about a hundred bucks. And of course mine looks like dogshit.

But mine’s got history. Mine is a Katrina survivor. And having rebuilt it piece by piece I’m kind of attached to it now. The wood will get some oil but the metal will stay as-is with all of its putting and corrosion evident and the scratches and scraped left intact. With so much metal damage I could never clean it up 100% (and swapping the barrels on these rifles is a machine shop job according to YouTubers who’ve tried it) so I’m leaving the metal as-is. Besides, that’s part of this gun’s history now. It survived Hurricane Katrina and it earned these “battle scars”. And now it waits for a range day to see if I got it right. It function checks ok and it feeds and ejects cartridges. It just remains to see if it’ll actually fire again after all these years.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My life these days

Louisiana is one of the places in the US that's hardest hit by the virus. This is literally how I feel driving around the French Quarter in the daytime now, only difference being that so many of the French Quarter buildings are now boarded up as protection against looters and vandals. And I don't have a convertible or a Smith and Wesson M-76.

Somehow all of the Usual Suspects have face masks of the sort that out medical providers are begging for. Wish I knew which welfare store was handing them out. And most of these fools just have them hanging around their necks while they sit around on corners in close proximity to other fools. This is how it's spreading despite orders for everyone to stay off the streets and avoid contact with each other. And the ambulance service just put extra trucks on due to the overload as every third asshole with the sniffles seems to be demanding rides to the ER now to "get checked out". The hospitals are close to overload now with all of these non-emergency panic cases.

The gun shops are low on guns and almost out of ammo. One range is refusing to sell any more range practice ammo to anyone who isn't buying a new defensive handgun. They're saving what little they have for new gun buyers.Sure glad I stocked up years ago. Grateful for the new rifles I got this year now too.

As for me and the dogs, we're watching movies like Omega man and loading magazines. And eating ice cream. Because we ain't skeered.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Bourbon Street last night

I needed something last night so I went down to the French Quarter. Everything closed and the only ones there were a few police patrols and enough vagrants to resemble a zombie movie. Three small stores were open unless you count the guy on the bike who followed me half a block trying to sell me crack. I felt like Charlton Heston in The Omega Man.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Not reaping what you didn’t sow

So now all I’m hearing about here locally is all the people who have been working for cash for years and never reporting it suddenly in a panic because the thousand-dollar checks that the President that they hate is sending out are going to be based on everyone’s 2018 tax returns and so many of them haven’t filed a tax return in years (or ever). Now it’s all “Woe is me, someone help me get this money!” But even a month ago many of them called the rest of us “suckers” for paying into the same system that they now fear that they might not get any money from.

You can’t make this crap up.

In personal news, I’m still employed albeit working from home. That’s my day job, and of course all of my after-hours gigs that I also worked for cash are gone. I lost 24 shows between March and April but I still have the day job so I’m grateful. Groceries are stocked in, mags are loaded and all the optics and weapon lights have fresh batteries. This shit is going to get worse and I’m surrounded by a lot of people who are now starting to panic. Glad I’ve got the dogs here to deter those who might feel tempted.

Friday, February 28, 2020

I can stop any time I want to...I just don't want to.

I saw this for sale on an auction site a couple of weeks ago. Just a couple hours to go, and no bids above the very low starting bid. I bid $5 more and I got it. No one was more shocked than I.
It's an American copy of the old G-3 made by a collaboration between Heckler and Koch of Germany and the Spanish arms firm CETME back in the day. It was a darn good rifle, probably falling in there between the US M-14 and the venerable FN-FAL. I still saw quite a few in use in Mexico last year. And for the American civilian market, H&K made a semi-auto version known as the HK-91. I never got one because the first Bush ban caught me by surprise back in the 80's and even though the last gun shop in the area with any so-called "assault rifles" for sale had a nice HK-91, they also had one last Springfield Armory M-1A and I bought (and still have) that. And new HK-91's were never allowed to be imported into the US again so I figured I'd probably never get one. But then a US company called JLD bought the machine tooling and remaining parts from an HK-licensed firm in Portugal and started making a new version of the rifle here in America in 2002.

This version is the PTR-91. It fires the NATO 7.62x51mm cartridge from a 20rd box and sports a 17.7" barrel. Even with the fixed stock (and they do make folders) it is shorter than the M-14/M-1A or FAL, but alas, it's not much lighter.

Initially they made receivers and used surplus parts to build them, just like Century International Arms was doing, but eventually they started making their own parts and improving their processes with more modern tooling and techniques and today these rifles are every bit as well-made as the originals and they are built 100% here in America in a plant in South Carolina.

Every year I'd see these on display at the NRA conventions or other big gun shows, and I'd admired them for their solid feel and excellent finish. Unlike the Century guns, the welds were always clean and straight, the finish was uniform and nice, and they just felt right. And the price wholesale was well under a grand and still hovers around that if you hunt a bit. This one was considerably less as it was "used", but like the Springfield Scout Squad I got last month, this one has no dirt or carbon or even scrape marks from normal metal/metal contact caused by working the bolt or inserting magazines. I don't know where that one has been since leaving the factory but I'm pretty sure that it wasn't on a firing range.
I'm still waiting for my range to open but when it does, this one and the Scout Squad are going out to tear up the steel plates on the rifle line. I have no doubt that both will do just fine. And now I feel better because if the Dems win in 2020 and keep their promises to come for our AR-15's, at least now I have a couple rifles to protect my AR-15's with.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

And another Mardi Gras is in the books

I paraded, I drank, I had King Cake, I went to balls, and on Mardi Gras day I took to the streets like everyone else until I just couldn't revel any more. And now Mardi Gras 2020 is history.

Pictures really don't capture it. You have to be here to understand. The festivities start as early as 0430 (I slept in and didn't hit the streets until 0600 when I went to a champagne breakfast with the neighbors) and it runs until midnight when NOPD clears the streets and pronounces Mardi Gras to be over. I don't stay out that late because by dark all of the locals have gone home and the French Quarter belongs to the drunken tourists and the criminals who come to prey on them. Sure there are still lots of parties going on in the neighborhoods and that's where I go, but of course I also have to work the next day so like the majority of my celebrating neighbors with jobs I wound down early with a few drinks and conversation at someone's house and it was all good.

Now we clean our streets and try to get the tourists to go home...and we start planning for Mardi Gras 2021!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Guest post from Merida

Hi people. Merida here.

I'm blogging today because my human was out waaay too late last night at an adult-themed ball and after a brief nap and change of costume, is now back on the parade route acting a fool and passing out free wine to other fools. Sigh.

Ar least he hasn't gotten run over by a float yet.

And TWO float fatalities here in less than a week? By now even Darwin is slapping his forehead and muttering "WTF?" I mean these things roll every year in about 70 parades across the area and most anyone with the sense that God gives geese knows to not go between two floats that are hitched together and moving. And of course Mayor Latoya "Won't-pay-my-taxes-but-all-about-taxing-you" Cantrell immediately proclaimed that there will be no more tandem or triple floats for the rest of the season now. Why not just ban stupid people who don't understand basic physics? Oh wait--the floats are doing that pretty well this year.

Anyway, ya'll have a great day. I'm just gonna sit here and binge-watch the human's pay-per-view and maybe eat a couple more of his books while he's gone.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Some luck...But M-1A luck!

Aargh! I made this post but for some reason it never went live. So here it is again, only updated a bit.
Back in January when I walked into the local gun shop to pick up my CMP 1911, I happen to glance at the used rifle rack and noted that it contained two rifles--a Ruger Mini-14 with a fair bit of aftermarket crap on it and a Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad.

I like the Scout Squad. I do. I have caressed and salivated over them at every NRA convention I've been to for years. I've long wanted one but not quite badly enough to justify the prices being sought for them.

This one was on consignment. The previous owner had bought it and reportedly never shot it and judging by the total absence of dirt, carbon, brass or rub marks on the metal parts and a box filled with all of the factory paperwork and accessories, I actually believe it.

I handled it. I pondered it. I worked the action and marveled at it's crisp, smooth trigger over and over. I asked the price and made a counter-offer. It was rejected and I left.

Thursday morning I went back in. I pawed it some more. I revised my lowball offer just a bit and this time they came back with another offer that I liked and I walked out with the rifle for $950, stiff new tactical carrying case included.
Seriously, it's deals like this that only people like Old NFO usually score. Only this time it was my turn. I've already got a GI wood stock for an M-14 that I'm going to refinish and put on this one, followed by a Burris 2-7x32 scout scope or similar optic.

I didn't need this "deal" right after buying the 1911. (It's a good thing I like ramen, because that's going to be lunch and dinner for a while...)
I didn't need that extra expense at the beginning of the new year.
But the way certain politicos are acting. I might be needing this rifle for real in a year or two.

It's a nice partner to my first "real" rifle, the standard M-1A that I bought back in 1988 when another group of politicos, that time supported by George Bush Sr. in the White House, passed a so-called "assault weapons" ban. That bill led my to buy the M-1A back then, and the current Dem antics in places like Virginia and threats of draconian gun bans in 2021 if they manage to steal this year's election convinced me to invest in self-defense once again.
7.62x51mm. Turning cover into concealment since the 1950's. Because when I shoot something I want it to stay shot.

Adding to the original post, I was not pleased with the black fiberglass stock. Sure it's "tacticool" I guess, but just not my thing. So I took an old M-14 stock that I had in the attic because I've been too lazy to sell it over the last couple of decades, and I stripped it down and spent a week giving it linseed oil rubs. Then I took an old slotted M-14 handguard that has also been pretty much in the way for as long as the stock, and I cut it with my dremel to fit over the scope base, giving the rifle a more unique look and a better color match with the new wood stock. The finished version now looks like this:

Now all it needs is the right sling and a decent scout optic for the base and I'm all set. Haven't had it out yet because the local range is still flooded, but it does balance and shoulder nice!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Mardi Gras begins...and mom comes.

Ramping up for the last week-end before Mardi Gras day.And Mom comes to visit. And since she always brings them toys, the dogs go wild...even Merida, who has not met her before.

Took Mom to some day parades on Sunday. She quickly went from spectator to insane little old lady chasing floats and screaming "Throw me something!"
And she loved my parade pal Sammy.
Here she is with some of her swag...most of which she left behind for me to re-purpose.

Here Belle explains to my Mom how to be safe at parades.

And yes, we were at the Nyx parade Wednesday night where the woman got waffled trying to walk between two floats that were hitched together. Apparently she tripped over the hitch and the second float ran over her. I mean, how do you even do that? No one else in the history of Mardi Gras parades has ever thought of trying to walk between two halves of a tandem float before. But because of her, they ended the parade at that point, not quite half way through it. Naturally all of my liberal friends here are wailing with grief over her untimely exit and I've been humming the "Dumb Ways to Die" song for the last two days.

I also took Mom out to several good restaurants and bars. Here she is with one of my favorite jazz and blues singers, Romy.

Here Merida explains things to my Mom. And they got on great. My mom now has three "grand-puppies".

Now Mom's gone home and I'm getting ready for the last week-end of insanity, balancing between partying and working at parties for the $$$.

Thursday, January 09, 2020


So Rep. Ilhan Omar, (D)--al Shabaab, now says that any talk of war makes her "stricken with PTSD". Of course that's not how PTSD works, but when called out on it by several real PTSD-sufferers today, she doubled down, explaining that she "grew up in war" in Somalia before our country graciously took her in.
This is probably understandable as I have no doubt that she lost countless relatives and family friends the night they attacked US forces in 1993 during the Battle of Mogadishu.

I'll pay the first hundred bucks for tickets to send her and Rashida "Jihad" Tlaib to Somalia, Iran, Palestine or any other third-world bastion of lawlessness and anti-Americanism (other than California). Catch is, once they go they need to stay there.