Sunday, September 20, 2009

Visiting the Big Boxes

So I did some hiking/cave exploring near Mt. St. Helens this weekend with my boy scout troop. We had 12 boys in the depths of the Ape Caves and had a hoot. It did rain on us Friday night, but I'd brought a comfy tent, big sleeping bag and thick pad. NormallyI'm an ultralight camper and don't splurge much in that department. As my wife says, I usually go out with a hankie, a small sheet of plastic and a blanket. She's not far off.


On the way down, I grabbed by son from school and we left earlier than the rest of the troop. Two reasons:

a) it was a pretty day, I love hanging out with my son and...
b) Cabelas is on the way.

I stopped at Cabelas last week and bought a black powder rifle and a few other things. Cabelas is in Lacy, which is just before Olympai, making it quite a drive from the homestead. About 1.5 hours or so. It takes along time to get there, so this was my first visit.

I tend to frequent the local gun shops here, mostly because I like supporting small businesses and because I don't wanna drive 3 hours for a box of 9mm ammo.

So, anyhow, the revolver I bought last week was defective, so I wanted to exchange it. Ugh. Exchanging regulated items is such a pain. And the best part was that they gave me a brand new one with the same problem. The little doohickey that secures the ramrod on the front of the barrel comes out of the dovetail. Weird. In fact, all the guns they had did likewise.

So after 2 hours of paperwork, shuffling etc, we ended up taking the new one with the same problem and me planning on doing some home gunsmithing. A tap from a punch and maybe some JB weld and it will save me hours staring at a gun counter.


The other reason I went there was to get powder/caps. I figured I'd get that stuff later around home. Nope. Nobody around here carries it. At least within 30 miles.

So I was chagrinned to find that they were outta caps. Ugh.

So we bought some siliconized socks for a few long guns and headed to the campout.

On our way back, we decided to check out SportCo. I think this is the company that took over/replaced/bought out Sportsman's Warehouse. Didn't know they'd had issues, but regardless.

SportCo is quite a bit closer to home. About 30 minutes. Nice.

They had a nice stock of stuff and I found the caps/powder in stock. Easy peasy.

Now I can go to the range this week and shoot this sucker.

PS. Yes, I carry a gun on all scout outings. I figure, I'm one of the adults in charge and since I carry anyhow, I'm going to be prepared for cougars and anything else that comes our way.

P.S.S I looked at a Taurus Judge while buying powder. It was pretty nice. I'd mostly want it for 45 LC and not .410. Seems to me to be a better backcountry gun than the Kel-Tec .380 I carry now. Bigger, and heavier though.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Heading to St. Helens...

Should be fun enough.

But the best part is that I can swing by Cabelas on the way.

Cabelas used to hold no position in my mind. REI was my sporting goods store.

Well, things change. Now I need primers and Pyrodex and some lube. And I need to look at stocks for my Mossy 500.

REI? They got nothin (and everything they do have there is too heavy for my ultra-lightweight pack anyhow).

So hooray for Cabelas - the only place I can find that will carry Pyrodex. Just gotta figure out how one stores it now....

Took the new Mossberg 500 to the range this week and put some slugs down range. I was surprised at the recoil - I was expecting less and it gave me more. I'd say more than my Mosin-Nagant. Just surprised, thats all...

I managed to hit the target at 50 yards. 3 in the same hole, the rest scattered a bit. Shot standing up too. Need practice.

The other reason I'm going to Cabelas is to exchange the black powder revolver I picked up there last week. The little clip that holds the loading lever fell off when I put the latter thru its intended motion. Plop on the floor, very unceremoniously.

Odd that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bleh. Monday

Having issues with my Mac at home. Stupid snow leopard has got me down.

And, of course, the local range is closed till Wednesday so I can't take either of my two new purchases out for a spin today while I wait for backups to save my skin.

As I mentioned last week, I bought a Mossberg 500 last week to round out my collection. Now I have a nice 20 gauge shotgun with both home and field barrels. Nice, ready to roll. I picked up some buckshot today at the gun store so I now have birdshot, slugs and buck on hand.

I also, in a moment of weakness, bought a black powder Navy revolver from Cabelas this week when I was driving by en route to Portland. $129 bucks for the brass framed Confederate Navy version (i.e. the cheap one) went home with me. Otta be fun for some laughs. Some guy at the range a while back had me shoot some black powder stuff and I knew I'd eventually bite...

I also got a bore-snake and some more hoppes #9 on sale as well. Of course, the sale stuff leaked all over the back of my truck, but its like incense for gunnies anyhow. Mmmm. My truck smells good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In California...

So I'm in California for a few days. Flew in yesterday and leave tomorrow AM.

I used to live here in the Bay Area and I don't miss it. Not at all. Ok, maybe the weather I miss on rainy days in Seattle, but that is about it.

There are too many people, everything is expensive as hell, and the south bay (where the mothership resides) has this awful strip-mall aesthetic.

Since becoming a gun owner, these trips to CA have been an exercise in silliness. I bring a gun always (checked luggage, its easy), but since CA has very restrictive gun laws, I have to make sure I pack only my 10 round magazine for the Glock. I can't carry it on me, so it stays in unloaded in a locked box in the trunk. Which does me little good. Today I went on a 5 mile walk down the Steven's Creek Trail and it was the first time I'd been out without a gun on me in more than 6 months. It felt weird. I resent being disarmed thusly - and while I understand I can technically open carry an unloaded gun in CA, that just does not seem like a good idea.

What kinda backward idiots make conceal carry illegal and provide for open carry? Ugh. I sure don't miss CA.

I hate being targeted by these restrictions when I'm a law abiding citizen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I lived with and believed those misperceptions for most of my adult life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm Baaaaack!

Oh man, what a slacker.

I mean a month!

To be fair, it was a crazy month. I got sick. My kids got sick. We had several out of town trips (soccer, backpacking trip, family reunion) and I really wasn't at home for much of August.

So here I am, back and the kids are finally in school. Time to breathe. Wahoo.

So here are a few things on my mind:

1. Carrying guns at health care rallies. This happened in August and the media went all apoplectic (yes, I love that word, and it fits). Personally, I see two sides: 1) people should see people exercising their rights with guns but 2) you'll look like a whacko to anyone not plugged into gun rights. Deadly weapons are *not* kosher for the unwashed masses. They see them as scary. Dangerous. More scarier. And so parading around with them makes them think we're barking mad. Of course, maybe they'd stop thinking that if they saw more of them. So yes, I get the point and I respect what some are trying to do here. Where do I fall? Not sure.

2. Healthcare debate. Sheesh. I read alot of conservative blogs nowdays - mostly gunny stuff - but I'm really a bit fed up with the blathering on healthcare. I wanna read your blog to learn about shootie stuff, not your weirdo conspiracy theories on how Obamacare will put mom on an ice flow. I lived with Canadian healthcare most of my first 20 years and it rocked. It was awesome. And it still serves my parents wonderfully. The one thing that puzzles me though, is people who say its the US government that can't do it right, even if others can. Huh, that is an odd thought. Not sure if I see this as realistic or a cop out.

3. Van Whatever his name is. More political crapola. You yanks get all tied up over partisan politics and don't realize that your two party system is broken. Its broken big time. You get corrupt republicans on one hand and corrupt democrats on the other. Money makes them all do the same things for the same backroom dealers, regardless of the rhetoric. We lost power decades ago and its now just a game for the big men. Too bad we don't have a parlimentary system that lets alternate voices have an actual say instead of waste time/effort/money and votes. And yes, I'm very familiar with the downsides of such a system, but they are easier to handle than the wreck of a democracy we have now. Sigh.

4. Obama talking to your kids. Sheesh. Seriously? This is tying you up in knots? The outrage I've been seeing over this from people I otherwise respect is just insane. Do you really think Obama is going to sit down and indoctrinate lil' Billy, reading directly from Mao's little Red Book? Seriously? Hell. Back here in RealityLand, he's just going to tell them to work hard and get good grades. And they released the text before hand so you could stop hyperventilating. The way people were freaking was almost like we were headed for a Killing Fields style camp for reeducation instead of an inspiring (ok people, ignore the politics, look at what he's done/overcome - he's our first black president with a dad who hearded goats!) story to help an increasingly lazy and incapable youth. And yes, I *know* the many of them are weak, lazy and ill prepared to handle freedom - I'm a scout leader and I see first hand the results of parents who don't expect anything from their kids, give them everything and let them fiddle with their stupid X-box paddles as their only chore. No expectations. No work ethic. Just soft and lazy pudding people. I wish this wasn't true, but it is.

Ok, so lets turn the tables. I was a major George Bush hater. I really dislike the guy, but I wouldn't have minded him talk about banalities and maybe tell an inspiring story or two to my four kids in school. Shrug. Like he'd make them read Kristol or something. Ok, maybe the "what you can do for your president stuff was a bit silly" though...

5. Politics. Feck! Forget it. I bought another gun today. I finally rounded out my arsenal with a Mossberg 500 20 gauge shotgun. Got the 20 because its a bit easier for kids/the wife to handle. And because Mas said it was a good choice on ProArms awhile back. I got the two barell kit (field, home defense) for $279 at Big 5. I'd gone to the local armory and they only had 12's in stock. So I had to go to the big box store. Ugh. But that isn't a bad deal. Sweet. So now I have a sweet home defense shotgun that I gotta get to know.

6. Took my Mosin Nagant to the range a few times in the last few weeks. Here is the short rundown of my travails: 1) Shot 20 rounds, didn't even hit the target at 100 yards. Scared me. I have a 22 LR that I shoot like a champ, so I was concerned. Went home frustrated. 2) Went back. Finally hit the target at 50 yards. Was all over the place. managed to put a few holes in at 100 yards too, but it looks like crap. I was concerned I had a bad bore (no idea how to tell really, I'm a newbie remember) or the crown was crapped up. I decided to put it back in the original wood stock (had it in an ATI synthetic stock - a moment of weakness in Cabelas in July). Maybe that would help. 3) Went back and after a few poor shots noticed I was flinching when I shot. I then analyzed what I was doing and I was flinching like a madman. I mean, really bad. The rifle has alot more recoil than I've been used to with my 22s or handguns, so I was jumping at it. I forced myself to calm down and voila (yes I speak French) things stared to settle down. The rifle shoots a bit high, but I pulled a 2" group at 50 and an 7" group at 100 yards. Not perfect, but much better. Turns out all my worry about a bad gun/bore/crown blah blah was due to me acting all goofy when I pulled the trigger. Controlling myself changed everything.

I have much to learn...

7. Monster Hunter International - this book oozed fun. I really enjoyed it. I had a really hard time with the first chapter though. Let me get this out - I'm a total literature snob. I read. A lot. And I like appreciate literature. Thus, I hate reading poorly written stuff. Why waste time when there are so many great books out there. And yes, I'd flog Dan Brown if I ever met him. I like Steinbeck. I love Nabokov. Willa Cather. Mark Twain. Joyce. But sometimes they don't write stories about vampires, so I read other stuff (aka slumming it). I loved World War Z (after I made fun of someone for reading it), so when I read about MHI somewhere (Gun Nuts?) I bought it for my iPhone and ended up really liking it. The first chapter really didn't impress me and I almost put it down. But in the end I persevered and the writing got better and the story line sucked me in. My only other complaint was that the shootie stuff was too much. I respect that he knows what he's talking about. I respect that he does not talk about 1911 revolvers and "everything is an Ak", but the shooting parts were overdone. I mean, worse than Mac Boland bad. And the shooting hardly does anything good anyhow. So maybe I'd mellow on the tacticool descriptions a bit.

PS. I also like it because the author is Mormon and I saw some mormon theology in there. I saw it immediately and loved it. I knew what I was reading and confirmed with some google work. You go Larry. I forgive you for that shaky first chapter and the gunny-McGunny focus somtimes.

Go get it.

8. Obama Joker. Its just that - a joke. I see no racist overtones here. Its also very clever. I like clever. Those people on the left who freaked out over this are just goofy. And no, I don't think Obama is a socialist. Or a communist. Not even close. That banter is just to rile up and distract one side. The other side gets riled up and distracted by something else. Maybe chickens in a cage or some sort of non-CFL lightbulb armageddon.

9. Little Black Book of Violence - a great read (part way thru) on avoiding violence and why. Very good when you walk around with a deadly weapon every day and want to avoid trouble. I love his advice on how to let things roll over and thru you. I'm getting older and certainly feel a bit wiser than that dumb 21 year old kid I once was. Pick your battles - and most are not worth fighting...