Saturday, October 15, 2016

Escape to America

I do love New Orleans--I really do. But sometimes I just have to take a break and escape back to real America for a few hours.

Time to go shoot things.

I started out with some more trap shooting...and decided that I need much more practice, so this is going to be a regular part of my range trips from now on.

Then it was rifle time.

I broke out a Finnish M39 Mosin Nagant that I acquired a few years ago but haven't done much with.
Apparently it still loves me though, because the first round fired rang the 8" steel gong at 100 yards, and 36 of the next 39 rounds fired did the same. (And the three misses were entirely my fault.) Nothing makes for a nice day like lying on your shooting mat, establishing natural point of aim, and just working over a piece of steel a football field's length away. This rifle was originally built in Russia in 1896, but the Finns acquired it and rebuilt it in 1941 to it's present state--a shooting work of art. This rifle has the chops for a foreign rifle match at the CMP Games or use in the coming civil war that Hillary Clinton can be expected to kick off after she and her media lapdogs steal this coming election.

But enough about that.

It was a great day out. Getting back out to America is always nice.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New project underway

Woodworking time in the back yard. Pulled an old stock out of storage, sanded it down, and am in the process of giving it a dozen or so coats of boiled linseed oil.
I knew there was a reason that I kept all these nasty old stocks from a decade or so ago when they weren't worth twenty bucks each. They're scarce now, and worth a lot more. Sometimes it pays to be a hoarder.
Most of the metal that will grace this wood is on the way. The rest is already here in my spares bins. Gonna be nice when it's all together in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Canine Devotion

When you're holding a beignet, you'll always be loved.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Damned dog + gravity = bitches.

Yesterday, Belle was kind enough to let me know that there were some cobwebs on the kitchen ceiling.

How did she do this, you ask? It's simple. Belle is a freaking clutz. Belle cannot seem to avoid stumbling over her water bowl in the kitchen and spilling it all over the floor. She has always done this, in both houses while Murphy, moving through the same kitchens, has never, as far as I know, stepped in or tripped over the water dish. Belle does it all the time though--all the freaking time.

Yesterday morning she did it again. I watched her do it in her rush to get to her food dish, which I'd just filled. I got a towel and wiped up the water but I did not see some more a bit farther down the hallway and when I put a food down on it...WHAM!

It happened so fast that I didn't even have time to comprehend it much less try to break my fall. I went from walking to flat on my back in like 0.0002 seconds. and that's when I noticed the cobwebs. And a tan German Shepherd staring down at me with a puzzled look on her face as if to say "What did you just do?"

If I could have moved just a bit faster, I'd have choked her...and the black one farther down the kitchen, if only because I'm pretty sure that I heard him snickering.

Sunday morning, lying on the kitchen floor, looking up at the ceiling and remembering how I used to do martial arts and jump out of airplanes. I was better than this once.


Friday, October 07, 2016


Out running this morning. Four miles down at 0700. Stopped at a bar to get a glass of water. Some old guy ordered a Macallan single malt, 18 years old. $47.00 a shot. I overheard and expressed surprise that any drink could be $47 for one shot.

Just like that HE BOUGHT ME ONE so I could see what it was like.

I confess, it's a lot smoother than my usual Bushmills. Damned tasty, in fact.

And any day that starts out with a $47 glass of scotch CANNOT go bad.

I love this city.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Water dogs

Just back from a walk down Frenchmen Street for dinner and music.

The dogs had pizza crusts and lots of petting from passers-by. Now we're home and they're thirsty.
Getting that water.

Usually there is a pecking order. Belle drinks first, and when she's had her fill, Murphy drinks. But this time both were so thirsty that the rules apparently got waived.
It's good that they're friends.

Monday, October 03, 2016

DOH!!! Estate guns appraisal and trouble

So the other night, I'm over at the house of a friend. His grandfather left him several old guns and he wanted me to take a look at them as he knows absolutely nothing about guns.

So we start to uncase them, and the first one feels kind of funny in the case. we open it up and a rather short Iver Johnson Champion single-shot slides out.

"Oh, Damn," I say.

"What is that one?" he asks.

"A ten year felony," I reply.

Long story short, his grandfather used to be a Sheriff's Deputy back in the old days in Southern Louisiana. This was one of his guns from those days. Nickel-plated action and the barrel measures out at around 13", give or take. I immediately took the barrel off of the gun and removed it from his house so that he now only possesses a Champion action, which is perfectly legal.

We discuss what to do about this gun, because he wants to keep it because it's a family heirloom. We look for some other Iver Johnson Champion barrels on line and there are a few out there but they're junk. It's actually a common enough gun, and I knew that I'd seen one before but couldn't recall where. We talk some more, and I tell him that there's a way to preserve this gun as-is, only it'll cost $200 to manufacture it and register it properly as a Short-Barreled Shotgun on a Form 1. Now the best complete IJ Champions out there are about $125, and this one is far from that even if it had a barrel, which it no longer does. I'd value this one at $30-$40. But he's game to spend the $200 to make this receiver that he has into a legal SBS, and while he's doing that I intend to do one of my own--a Remington 870 that I plan to send to Wilson Combat for their SBS rebuild.

Meanwhile though, I go back to my place with the old barrel, which he'll never see until his Form 1 is approved, and I go to set it in my shotgun cabinet...only to see another Iver Johnson Champion looking back at me. DAMN IT! I HAVE ONE!! And now I have an NFA-length barrel for it in the same house!! AAAHHH!!!

Then I realize that the gun I have is a 16 gauge, not a 12, and the barrel won't fit. (And yes, I actually checked to be sure.) But for a moment, I thought I'd tried to do someone a good turn by getting an NFA nightmare out of his house only to bring it into mine.

I'll post more about this old treasure as the paperwork goes through, and maybe about the other guns he got from that Grandfather, too. All are decent guns, but most have been refinished and the serial numbers seem to have been polished off of about half of them during the refinishing process. No idea if the Grandfather did this or if it was done before he came into them, but I'm not seeing any real bad intent there because Grandfather also had his full name engraved into the side of each of them an a rather large and well-done cursive script (even the Iver Johnson) so it's not like he was trying to conceal his ownership of them. It was also likely done back before the 1968 Gun Control Act which made serial numbers mandatory on all firearms. So I'm also going to be talking to BATFE about getting new serial numbers assigned to these guns and having them re-stamped, because they are nice guns--Brownings and Winchesters--and he wants to be able to use them and pass them down to his own kids.

And before people start blasting me about NFA violations--there truly was no knowledge or intent to possess one on the part of my friend and that gun and that barrel are now permanently separated by twenty miles and will never come together again until BATFE approves the union. We're not trying to game the system or get around it here, we're working to get my friend and his firearms into legal compliance through established means. It can be done and we're working on it. But if any of you have constructive suggestions or thoughts, I'd love to hear 'em.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

My Father's Gun

Four years. Has it only been four years since he left? It seems like forever. So much has happened in my life that he wasn't here to see. So many things that we never got to.

Well yesterday I took some time to take this old Ithaca Model 37 out to the range for some trap shooting.
It was the one that I bought him so long ago back when we had plans to go out hunting together.

It was an old Sheriff's Dept. trade-in that I found, and I put a 28" field barrel on it for him. But the trips never really happened. We were both busy back then, and moving in different directions, and the hunting trips never happened like we'd planned. We'd gone trap shooting a few times, but that was about it.

Four years ago today, this old gun became mine again. I wish it hadn't, but...

Yesterday, in his memory, I took it out to the range and busted some clays with it.

I didn't get 'em all, because I'm out of practice and I was never that good to begin with, but I got enough that I think he'd have been impressed. Maybe even proud.

Miss ya, Pop. Wish you were here.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

A great shoot day

So range day today were these two gems.

The top rifle is the Winchester Model of 1917 that I picked up about a year ago, literally in pieces, after someone fired an 8mm Mauser round through it and blew it to bits. I rebuilt the bolt and replaced the magazine floorplate and ejector, all of which had been damaged in the "Ka-boom" that resulted, and then I cleaned up the stock. She looked good but didn't shoot all that well until I noticed that the rear sight assembly was bent slightly out of alignment too. I finally fixed this the other night with some carefully applied heat and pliers and got it all lined up again like it should be.

The second one is the Rock Island-produced Springfield Model of 1903 that was literally delivered as we were loading the truck to move me from West Virginia to here back in March. It came off the UPS truck, got passed around by my volunteer helpers, then went right into the gun trailer. Today was it's first time out.

At one hundred yards from the prone, the 1917 was ringing the 8" steel about two shots out of three once I got it zeroed. I could definitely have done better had I put a sling on it but even using the peep sight I had to hold under just a bit to nail the steel as the peep is supposed to be 200yrds+. Still, she gave a good acounting of herself when I did my part and come the zombie apocalypse/post-Clinton revolution, I'd put this one on the line.

Next up was the Springfield.On this one, the ladder sight gave me a bit more negative elevation and I was able to set it up for 100 yards perfectly. It also has a much smaller peep and a finer front post and it put every shot on the steel unless I doofed the round, which I did a couple of times. THIS rifle I would not only fight with, I'd take it to Camp Perry.

And as side fun, I was shooting next to a young couple with an AR, and the poor guy was doing his best to hit the steel but couldn't quite pull it off even though he had it on a rest on the bench. The he started smack-talking his rifle, telling his wife/girlfriend that ARs really aren't made for that kind of accuracy. (???) Naturally I made it a point to call out to the RSO and ask rather loudly if they didn't have anything smaller for me to shoot at. "Those huge steel plates down there are making it too easy, even with these old antiques!"

I think the wife/girlfriend was digging me after that.

Neat side-note history-wise on these two. At the beginning of World War One, the main US infantry rifle was the 1903 Springfield. They were made at the two government arsenals at Springfield, Massachusetts and Rock Island Illinois. Production was so low however, that when we finally decided to get into the war in 1917, we didn't have enough of these and could not make enough. However, Remington and Winchester had just finished a contract to make Pattern 1914 rifles for the British and they were still tooled up at their plants and at the Eddystone, PA plant owned by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and leased by Remington for rifle production. A few changed were made to change the Pattern 1914 over from the British .303 cartridge to the American .30 round, and enough rifles were churned out to equip the US Army for the duration as the main WW1 rifle, with the 1903s being kept stateside for training or issued to the Marine Corps, who loved them.

After the war, there were still many more Model 1917s in inventory than there were 1903 Springfields, and a Ordnance Board convened to decide which one to keep as the US standard. And they chose the 1903, because the 1917, while a damned good rifle, was still thought of as "that British rifle" and "not invented here". So the 1917s went into reserve storage and stayed there until World war Two came along, at which time they were brought out for lend-lease and home guard use. Ironically, the 1903s had just been replaced again in Army hands by the new M1 Garand and the Marines were still fielding the '03s. (Mine likely is a Marine Corps gun, based on it's finish and Hatcher holes drilled in the receiver.) But both rifle types served honorably in both world wars, and I'm happy to have a couple of each in my humble collection.

And they wonder why I never take them anyplace.

Loading up fr the range this morning. Dogs are all excited like they're going too. They're not.

Before the day is even underway, Murphy bolts out the front door to chase cats and I have to pursue him down the block. He goes into the back yard of a vacant house, and since the local drug users have left the back door open, he goes INSIDE and now I have to clear a freaking crack house by myself to get my dog back. Good thing I already had my S&W M&P 45 in my holster and my flashlight in my pocket. Damned dog.

I get him home and inside, and as I'm finishing my load-out of gun stuff, I hear a "CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK of paws on a window. I turn around and Belle is up on her hind legs going to town on the inside of my front window. And then she snags the blinds and shreds them right in front of me. My last damned one, too. Now I got to stop at Home Depot and buy three or four more.

Just screw both of these asshole dogs this morning. And they wonder why they don't get to go anywhere nice.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Still standing

So the "Protest" and attempt to remove the Andrew Jackson Statue in the name of Black Lives Matter because "racist or something" kinda fizzled out. And General Jackson is still there.

I did not get arrested. But four or five losers did, including this one who called on everyone to follow him over the police line, and then, after jumping it, was surprised to find himself alone...well alone except for these nice officers.

There were police on foot and on horses.
And they were arrayed against a few hundred white kids, most of whom are NOT New Orleans residents if the sample I talked to is representative of the whole.
Whitest BLM protest I ever saw. Guess the black folks in this city didn't care enough to come out. But then these statues were never an issue until Mayor Mitch Landrieu decided that he needed an issue to build a base on so that he could get a job on Hillary's team when/if she gets to Washington. And most of the agitators are either college kid temporary transplants with no ties to the city and probably no intent to stay, or else they came from somewhere else.

I hung around with them for a while at their rally point in Congo Square, taking all their pictures, but finally they started noticing me and taking MY picture, so I figured that was a good time to just go back to the statue and wait on them.

Oh--and David Duke was there too.
I'd loved to have seen someone run up and hit him with a pie or something. Because I hate Illinois Nazis, and he's like the closest thing we've got to one here.

The toads get repulsed when they tried to rush the statue. NOPD got in there FAST with the horses and closed the gap, and they only tried once. (See pic of arrested guy above.) Then they marched off down Decatur Street, a few throwing small balloons filled with paint at police and EMS vehicles from the safety of the middle of their crowd. By then I'd had enough so I went to get beer and came home. Nap time now, because Saturday night starts in a few hours.

This should be fun.

In an hour or so, buncha poverty pimps and liberal Social Justice Warriors, most all of whom are from out of town or recent hipster transplants to the area, are going to be acting the fool at Jackson Square and threatening to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson because it hurts their feeling or some such.

On the other side: people opposed, some decent folk and some white supremacist types coming to show their ass.

In the middle, tons of southern cops ready to kick ass and take names.

I'm on the way down now. Wouldn't miss this for the world.

Back later with pics. If I don't post an update by dark, send a lawyers, guns and money.