Sunday, June 16, 2019

Range time

Finally the range wasn't flooded so I got to try out the newish Remington Model 11. And for a 76-year old shotgun, it performed flawlessly. And it was busting ALL the clays until I started getting sloppy on the second box of shells and let a string of "Away" clays get by me. Just bad cheek weld and head position on my part from trying to rush the shots because they clays were going into a shaded spot and I couldn't follow them for more than a few seconds. But once I started focusing on those exclusively and slowing down, the gun did it's part and the clays all dies valiantly.
Then the cut-down Krag came out to play, fresh back from a visit to the CMP custom shot to have a new front sight base installed. It looked great but once there was a base and blade, it was obvious that the barrel wasn't timed all the way to center as it had a noticeable cant and it was hitting about 5" right at 25M. And that's 20" at 100M and exponentially worse farther out. Pity. because the groups were tight as hell. This rifle probably wasn't shot much after it was re-built and cut down so it's worth seeing if CMP can fix that too.

Also tested out an old Sears and Roebuck Ted Williams .30-30 lever gun that's been on my rack forever. I bought it a couple years ago because Sears and Ted Wiliams but never shot it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had a pretty good 100M zero already but it wasn't extracting well so I suspect it's overdue for a teardown and good cleaning.
Back in the day, baseball star and Marine Corps pilot Williams had a deal with Sears where his name only went on premium gear that he himself evaluated first. These rifles were made for Sears by Winchester and he gave them his personal ok before his name went on them. My only bitch with this one is that someone cut the stock for a rubber buttpad. Very nice job but I'm looking to restore it with an original butt one of these days when I find one.
I put 50 rounds of .45 on steel with my old 1911 next.

I haven't shot it in quite some time so this seemed like a good time to take it back out. I remember when I had the trigger down and had it reduced from 13lbs to 5lbs back in the 80's. I thought it was an awesome trigger then. It's horrible by today's standards and may need to be reworked again.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pretty Girl

"I'm pretty pet me and give me a treat!"

Belle has learned a thing or two from the dancers around here.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

New shotgun

I'm still around--honest. I keep meaning to post but wow--so busy. Not busy enough to keep me from picking up a new gun though, and this after I promised myself I'd quit buying them. (In fact, I've been selling a few to thin the collection a bit.)

This one came along at a stupid low price and since I'm really enjoying shooting clays as of late I could not say no.

Gun is a Remington Model 11, 12 gauge, semi automatic. If it looks like a Browning A5, that's because it is. When John Moses Browning designed that gun in 1898, it was a revolutionary firearm. As was usual back then, Browning took his ideas to American companies like Winchester and Remington and they turned him down. So he took them to Fabrique Nationale in Belgium and that firm made tons of money and produced this gun in particular for ninety-eight years. In 1905 though, Remington also decided that they wanted it so they worked out a deal where Remington made them here in the US from 1905 until 1947 when they replaced it with the 11-48. This particular one, per it's serial number and barrel date code, was made in October of 1943, and some of it's markings attest to the fact that it was made for a special customer.
During World War Two, the US government was buying most anything decent that could shoot and a lot of these were purchased as training guns for anti-aircraft gunners and as recreational tools for officers and airmen. Some with shorter barrels were used for guard duty and a few even made it into combat zones as fighting iron. This one still sports it's 26" barrel though and was probably a trainer or sporter. The history on these is all over the place but the provenance is there in it's markings and date codes, all of which match up.

In face the only flaw in this gun from a collector's point is one gouge on the left side of the stock right where an inspector's stamp would likely be and there's actually the faint remains of an ordnance wheel just ahead of it. I'm willing to bet that if that gouge wasn't there we'd see the initials "FJA" for Frank J. Atwood, military inspector, right there.

Still. Sweet gun, clean, and I had the chance to pick up for just over $300 so I wasn't about to say pass on it.

Now as soon as the range quits being underwater I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

More NAS Pensacola!

Found an F-4 Phantom II at the NAS museum.
Some stuff opened.
Alas, no boarding ladders.
Here's an FJ-2 Fury(top), the Navy attempt at making an F-86 into a capable carrier plane.
Didn't really work due to landing gear and other issues, but it does look nice in blue. And that's an F-11F Tiger below.
Another shot.
The F-11 Tiger is famous for being the first jet aircraft to shoot itself down.During a test-firing of its 20mm cannons the pilot fired the guns while in a dive. Eventually the cannon rounds slowed down but the jet did not and as it crossed their path, it was struck by several and damaged, ultimately crash-landing. The pilot, Tom Attridge, survived, but I wonder if he didn't have to paint his own picture on the side of his plane in the space normally used to denote enemy "kills".

And this is a FJ-3. Not am FJ-2/F-86 at all but a redesigned version that was as capable as any of the F-86 variants.
I would like one of these.

Here's my Corsair again.
And an F6F Hellcat.
By now, Paige was starting to get plane fatigue so I had to let her play in the Blue Angels cockpit for a bit.

Found an Me-262, too.

Can't have a Navy museum without a Douglass Skyraider, right? So here's one.

And a Japanese N1K2 "George" is here too. Great plane, but like the Me-262, came along too late to make a difference.

And here's a Curtis P-40.

I'm thinking Paige is now really getting over-planed...
But there's so many more to come. I really had to make it up to her later, but for now, this is MY trip to Mecca!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

I'm still here--and with more aircraft!!

Sorry for the lack of posts. The trouble I'm having with this PC makes posting less fun than chasing French Quarter gals.

But I caught one last week and took her to Pensacola to see the Naval Air Museum, a place I've always wanted to visit. And I was not disappointed.

It's actually on the base, so get ready for the 100% security check.

Hey look--an F-14!

And just inside (after another security checkpoint), there was this Douglas A-4 Skyhawk!

And here is the only SBU-2 Vindicator left in the world. And this one only survived after being lost overboard during carrier training in Lake Michigan and being recovered and restored 47 years later! (Shown with Paige for scale.)

And here's a T-28 Trojan trainer hanging above a Grumman F9F Panther jet. Yep. I'm happy in here. And Paige is somewhat confused, as before we got here she had no idea that the Navy had airplanes.

And I found a Corsair!

Here's a Vought F7U-3 (not a 3M as marked...tsk!). Not one of the more successful early jets; they were under-powered and problematic and over a quarter of them were destroyed in crashes and they killed 21 Navy pilots and four test pilots before being withdrawn from service.

And here's a few older ones...A Grumman F4F-3 below, and a sweet Beechcraft UC Traveler above.

And here's an F3F-2 biplane. This one was also ditched at sea off San Diego in 1940. Rediscovered by the Navy in 1988, she was raised in 1991 and restored and here she is today.

By this time, Paige was like "Why are there so many?" Poor girl didn't even know yet how much she was about to learn.

More to come. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

In New Orleans, even the dogs parade for Mardi Gras

And for the third year in a row, Murphy and Belle joined thousands of other dogs on a beautiful Sunday afternoon for a stroll through the French Quarter.

And this year, Paige came along and Belle asked to walk her. Paige is one of Belle's favorite humans.

Many people pulled wagons filled with throws and dog treats. Murphy being Murphy, he just walked alongside other people's wagons and helped himself to the treats.

Belle tended to beg a bit more ladylike.

But Murphy...

Give that dog credit--he knows what he wants and he gets it.

They were loved and adored by legions of dog fans.

And the scenery was good.

Once home, there was sleeping to be done. All paraded out.