Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tuesday Talking Points

Alrighty then, we'll do this BLUF:

My Mother is in the hospital. Pops is also due for a knee replacement.

So as of later, if I haven't been slinging guns across the counter, or sitting at the local regional trauma center, this has been my office view.

Some things never change

So yeah, sorry blogging has been non existent. I've got a cool battle belt article I've been playing with as a compliment to what Pudge wrote but haven't had the motivation to put fingers to keys.

But hey, the Braves are seven games up in the East. And I bought a Mossberg 835 in the hopeful thought that may next spring I'll venture out after the ever elusive gobble squatch.

As previously mentioned, I'm not the most religious fellow; but, for my readers who are strong in their walk, I'd appreciate prayers for my Mother.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tinkering Tuesday - A DIY NAG

So, Pudge is continuing to make me look competent this week. Below you'll find his write up concerning his home built Not A Glock. What makes it funny is Pudge is a bit of a Troglodyte who thinks the Browning Hi Power is still a modern service pistol.

I’m sure some of you reading this are like me and very much dislike Glocks. I am also sure there are an equal number who say that Gaston created perfection. And if by perfection you mean the need to buy the gun, stipple the grip, undercut it and reduce it to get a better angle similar to some guy I know who made a gun that won two world wars, then yes, Gaston nailed it. Now that my rant is over I will be the first person to recommend one of these tupperware pieces to friends of mine getting into the firearms realm as a good, first handgun. I understand the merits of such a piece and since I carry one for Uncle Sam I made sure I can shoot one with quite vigor.

I cut my teeth on a 1911 so I am very biased on triggers and the way a gun should feel in the hand. (I may have mentioned this a few times when I talked about the Hudson H9) But if you are new to firearms why not start with a piece that is easy to learn and let’s be honest, can be neglected more than others. But since this was for me and not for someone else I decided the best way to get into the plastic fantastic game was to make my very own NAG-19 (Not A Glock-19). I started with a compact size polymer 80 lower (known as the PF940C) and proceeded to build the best piece of plastic perfection I could.

As I mentioned I’m not a big fan of polymer frames but I can deal with this one. It comes double undercut from the factory, they threw on a beavertail for men with real hands like myself, straightened the grip and removed that nasty bump on the back and the terribly placed finger grooves on the front and changed out the Glock rail for a standard picatinny offering. After throwing some other aftermarket parts on it to make sure I didn’t use a single factory part from Glock I’d say that I created something a little closer to what a G19 should be in my opinion.

You may ask, if I’m not a fan of tupperware then why did I make one? A few reasons, but mostly because I can. I am a very curious person who loves guns so I like to put my own stuff together whenever I can. I have played armorer myself a few times on the Team because sometimes you don’t always have support where you are and it’s nice to know you can fix your own stuff. I wanted to build something that if needed could utilize all of the common parts and pieces that may be found laying around when SHTF if that is a thing. Lastly, I want to say that if you are patient and find the right deals you can make quite the blaster for less than you can buy perfection that needs to have more cheddar spent to modify it. So if you like tinkering and have an exacto knife and a Dremel and want to flex your rights then go forth and build your own NAG.

Editor note: Moving forward, we will probably be looking a bit more closely at turning a P80 chunk of plastic into a NAG. Because we can and I like to think that it pushes *insert gun grabber here* a little further towards a coronary each time a "ghost gun" is knocked out on a drill press.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Military Monday - The Battle Belt

Today, we're gonna get a little technical. Pudge supplied the below write up concerning the bat belt. Oops, I meant to say battle belt. A belt that one hangs their gear on like Batman. But cool Christian Bale batman.

Battle Belts- So Tacticool
Do I need a battle belt? Maybe. There are many reasons to run a battle/war/shtf/go belt. I’ve been in the Infantry and SF for 8 years now and until my most recent deployment I haven’t worn a special battle belt minus a handful of operations where I needed to carrier some extra surprises. On this last trip I found a great setup for me and just recently decided that I wanted to put one together for the house as a grab and go item fully loaded ready to go if needed. 

Home belt

Work belt 
As you can see, I have a little bit different setup between each belt because they are set up for different jobs. However, you can also see the similarities between the two. Let’s start with my work belt. On it I have a grenade pouch for my compass, a spare m4 mag pouch, a roll-up dump pouch, a tourniquet, an extra accessory pouch, a holster for my primary weapon…a radio antenna, another grenade pouch, and a cow tail to make sure I don’t fall out of air thingies while yanking and banking. So why did I choose each of these? The first grenade pouch is for my army issue compass. I am a freak and unlike most Soldiers my age I still love a good compass. I carry a standard issue one on my belt, I wear a wrist compass that has been my primary since Ranger School, I wear a Garmin 401, and have a program on my sweet pocket computer to make sure I don’t get lost. But no matter what, that compass on my belt has never failed to point me in the right direction. I only carry one spare m4 magazine on my belt in case I need a oh crap reload. The rest go on my body armor and back pack. I carry the dump pouch to make sure I have a place for all my candy bars or if I need to throw something quick in there to be better placed later. The tourniquet is to make sure I keep as much blood in me or one of my buddies as I can. Notice the placement on unused space and can easily be reach from pretty much any position with either hand and is secured by rubber bands so that I can rip it off quickly if needed. The accessory pouch holds a notepad, sharpie, and sat phone. The antenna holster was custom made as an easy way to keep my sat antenna ready to go. And lastly the other grenade pouch has a spare radio battery in case I need to do a speed reload on my radio. Yes, I realize it is upside down as well. I do this because sometimes I carry a frag grenade in there depending on the mission and if you’ve ever tried to get a grenade out in a hurry it doesn’t work well. I flipped the pouch so all I have to do is unbuckle and it slides right into my hand. I do the same with one on my body armor. I chose each of these things based on what was necessary for missions as well as if all I had was my belt I could still get by. 
Now my personal belt is a little different because I’m running alone or with Red if I need to grab it. I don’t have the ability to call in air support so I tailored it for a grab and go belt that has everything needed in case that bump in the night turns into multiple explosions. On this belt I chose to have a double pistol mag pouch, single m4 mag pouch, roll-up dump pouch, tourniquet, knife, and pistol holster. The double pistol mag pouch is because I keep the handgun in the holster so I know worst case I have a minimum of 45 rounds on tap. A single m4 mag pouch because that will be the next gun I grab if time permits and like to have a reload ready just in case. Like my work belt I like to have a place for all my twinkies so the dump pouch is on there. Any time I might get holes poked in me or someone else I like to have a tourniquet. The knife is on there if things get really dicey (pun intended). I moved the knife that would normally be on my body armor at work onto this belt since it is made to stand alone or with more gear if the situation dictates. And then my handgun holster with handgun so no matter what I have something to fight with. 
The similarities you’ll notice are that both belts are 1.5 inches in width, fairly thin but stiff enough to hold up what I’m loading them down with, Velcro to go over an inner belt or if needed just throw around my waist and go, have cobra buckles (I like the adjustment and quick, but secure on and off of these buckles) and a way to thread molle or other clips through so that everything stays put as I do a poor impersonation of John Wick. 
Now these are just two meager examples of what you might have seen and/or want to put on one but that doesn’t mean they are right choices for you. Don’t go watch the newest Navy SEAL video about battle belts and decide you need 87 magazines and a beer holder when in reality a handgun and couple spare mags might suffice. And it doesn’t have to be the newest, fanciest gear. Use what you have and find out what works. If it is 30 years old and still works then it works. Just remember that if you are going to make one of these bat belts, then tailor it to your needs. I definitely see the utility of one in certain situations but you will almost never see me wearing one outside of work because there is something to be said about running low profile. With that said, I have one at home ready to go just in case Red Dawn (the one with the Swayze, obviously) becomes reality.

Editor notes:
  • The remake of Red Dawn introduced me to Rolling Rock so I can't hate it
  • My battle belt for the house has three M-4 mags because I watched "Black Hawk Down" at a very impressionable age 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Stories - Checking In

Oh hey guys. Sorry for the radio silence. I won't bore you with excuses. Life got in the way of writing.

I turned 31 and feel every day of it. Helping out down at Scout camp a couple of days a week has been kicking my ass. And I taught the Golf Merit Badge. And Jesus walking 18 is a effing hike.

And my Mother had her knee replaced.

And a beloved Uncle, who all of my virtual friends would certainly love, has been having some health problems that the Medics just can't lick.

And that really and truly blows. Cart could bust a bronc, birth a calf, slaughter VC with an M-60 and then an M-79, wire a house, hook up a goose neck on the first try, and was the best horseman this side of General Patton. Oof. Yeah, this one is smarting a bit.

That being said, Jackie is dragging my sorry carcass to Greenville for a couple of day. My fraternity big brother and his lovely wife live there. And they have a minor league team. And breweries. And historical markers. Gonna work on my head space and timing.

That being said, look forward to some articles from Pudge this week. Nice to have friends to pick up your slack.

Next week I'm gonna get falling down drunk for the 4th and hopefully do some writing again.

Thank y'all for stopping buy.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Memorial Monday

If you pick up I-16 in Macon and head east, right before you get to the Statesboro exit, you pass the Georgia Veteran's Memorial cemetery. Buried there are a lot of south Georgia's gallant dead. Men who fought against Yankee expansionism, the Kaiser's dreams of Empire, Communism and Islamic Fascists.

More than a few of the grave markers there are guys I know. Starting your career in the Guard means you serve with dudes you went to school with. Guys you were in Boy Scouts with. Guys who had Dads that fought with your Old Man.

I am often somber on Memorial Day, but; I find something to go do. My friends, my fallen comrades, the guys who are remembered by a cheap enamel pin with a gold star on it wouldn't want to be mourned.

Those guys would enjoy their three or four day. Drink a couple of beers. Head to the lake. Take advantage of the sales at Bass Pro.

I have been and will for always be indebted to guys who slapped a mag in an M-4, looked into the abyss, and said "bring it, bitch."

Those are the guys that won the day at Cowpens, Chapultepec, Gettysburg, Santiago, the Marne, Bastonge, Pork Chop Hill, Ia Drang, Beirut, 33 Easting, Fallujah, and the Korengal.

I am honored to have worn the same uniform.

I am further honored to be friends with guys that still wear the uniforms. Some of whom are still flying into the Sandbox or are gearing up to head their in the fall. I feel better about having my relief in place.

In 2016, I saluted the Colonel, took my flag and MSM, and hung up the uniform. I miss it. My knees only kinda work and my back hurts most days; but, that was probably the most meaningful thing I ever did.

The second most meaningful thing I ever done was say "Sure, I''ll hang around this fall" when the Boy Scout Camp director asked if I wanted work some after the summer season was over.

That summer season starts tomorrow in earnest. Cindy somehow found herself in charge of the show after I left. She's a good friend of Jackie's. And me. And is married to Dennis who does most of my reloading.

So, tomorrow, I'm gonna shake off a hangover, drink some coffee, put my chainsaw, tool bag, and RTIC cooler in the back of the truck and go to Camp for a couple of hours.

The kids there are alright. They understand service and sacrifice. If it comes to blows with the Norks, the Chi Comms, or the Iranians, those Joes (and Janes now) will answer the call and do the Nation proud.

And that's why there are rows and rows of simple marble markers down in south Georgia. So this Nation, of the People, by the People, and for the People will not perish from this earth.

I honor their memory and mourn their passing. However, I will sure as hell drink a couple of beers and swig some bourbon after we get home from Camp. But it will be in celebration of old men who held the line and the next generation who will take the watch.

Rest east, guys. We have the watch and relief in place is on line.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Temporal Thursday - Some Musings

So, the last couple of days I have been a blur of day drinking, gun store hopping, and looking at old airplanes.

Sunday, Jackie and I went to the Lockheed plant and took a gander at some of the warbirds they had on display. Not all of which were made by Lockheed. Quite the eclectic bunch of airframes. My personal favorite was the Mohawk.

Screw you Robert Strange

The day before, Jackie and I went on an Atlanta Beer Tour. Which also included a stop at Atlanta's only distillery. I may have quoted "Copperhead Road" a few dozen times.

Barrels of happiness
And the week previously we had been down on the coast living it up with everyone's favorite co-blogger, Pudge. The ladies went shopping and Pudge and I ventured off to gun shop. Oh, and go to Twin Peaks.

There were .45 ACP Uzi carbines! With the original Action Arms case!

There were big bore Winchester lever guns! 

That's a Model 71 on the bottom. Chambered in the shoulder breaking .348 Winchester
The Winchester Model 71 is a gun I've wanted off and on for about ten years after learning that Earl Lee Swagger used one to dispense justice on a bunch of rednecks. A little under 48,00 of them were made from 1937 until the mid 1950s. They demand a premium today and are well built guns. Unfortunately, while fairly priced, the one picture was a tinge out of my budget. But it was cool to place with one for a little bit. I might just have to order one of the new production Miroku guns. Nah, scratch that. 

There were pre-'64 Model 70s!

The proprietor of the above table wasn't as friendly as the fellow with the 71. So I didn't get to play with it as much. Oh well. But I also think he may not have been quite sure what he had. 

I could not find anything regarding a .225 Varmint SP anywhere. Old issues of the Rifleman, the Google, nothing. The proprietor said that it dated to the '30s and was a contemporary of the .220 Swift. If any of you old prairie dog hunters have any insight I'm all ears. 

And speaking of odd cartridges; I found a box of obsolete Austrian rimmed ammo! 
I don't care who you are; that's neat!

And also, speaking of old ammo I actually bought some!

I can't go to a gun show and not buy something other than a hotdog
.375 Winchester is another cool old lever gun cartridge; being a shortened .38-55 case firing a similar bullet. Winchester/Olin introduced it in '78 for the "Big Bore '94s" as an attempt to get the most out of that loading but not risk getting sued when some knuckle head blew up Grandpa's '73 with a modern load. 

Winchester made the '94 XTR, Marlin had a 336 in it, and Ruger made the No. 3 single shot in it as well. And well, it was a bit of a flop. Discontinued in 1994, with only Contender barrels still being chambered in it. And only Buffalo Bore still making commercial ammunition for it. So, a definite obsolete but still cool cartridge. 

I figured the internet likes some old guns and old airplanes, so hope y'all enjoyed today's wandering musings 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Weapons Wednesday - Honoring the Hudson

Today, we bring you fresh content from Pudge. A fitting review of the Hudson from a Hudson High grad. (See what I did there?) - Counter Jockey

Hudson H9 Review (A Short Story, Long)
I have commented a couple of times in regards to Mack’s posts about the Hudson H9 and have read others’ comments as well so I thought I would venture into a quick review. I first heard of the H9 after scrolling through the new firearms of Shot Show 2017. A little unknown company lead by Cy and Lauren Hudson. A dream of something better, something new. I researched everything I could find about this new wonder nine. I grew up shooting steel pieces that John Moses Browning himself would be proud to own. I have never been a fan of plastic or 9mm but with new bullets available and the possibility of shooting more for the same money I became enamored with this hunk of steel that is an ugly duckling yet beautiful at the same time.

I wanted one so badly but they delayed the release and then once finally released they seemed impossible to attain. I say this realizing that I was one of the lucky few to get one almost immediately. I just so happened to be out-processing Ft. Bragg when I thought since I’m here at clothing and sales I might as well peruse the gun counter and there it was like a mythical beast that no one knew how rare it truly was. So I did like anybody who really wants a gun does and called Mack immediately gushing like a little child knowing that he would help talk me into getting it, which wasn’t necessary but it’s always good to have someone in your corner. (Editor note- I told him to buy two; but that often gets lost when he retells the story. –CJ)

Mack has talked about this before but I am going to hit it here. We as a gun culture always ask for something new, something different, but when it shows up we are afraid to take the plunge. What was I getting if I put my hard earned money towards this little unknown, untested pistol and company? I didn’t know but I wanted in. If it was what everyone was raving about then I had one, if it wasn’t and they flopped (which I’m sad to say is somewhat what has happened) then I still had a little piece of firearms history. I wasn’t, and still do not for one moment regret that purchase. Hudson MFG is currently fighting a legal battle over parts and dues owed. It is sad because Cy and Lauren are stand up people who were personally replying and speaking with their customers every chance they got. They pushed the envelope and some say fell short but this pistol does anything but. I know I would be singing a different tune if my pistol was one of those plagued by issues and currently stuck at the factory with no one to contact but for me Hudson has been outstanding.

Now on to the part that everyone is ready for. Why should I buy this pistol if I get the chance? The pistol shoots amazing. I can’t say it any other way. I own an eclectic assortment of firearms and since purchasing my H9 it has replaced all my other handguns. I use it for every day carry, competition, and shoot it almost exclusively at the range. It is very smooth shooting. This is partly due to the all steel construction but also due to the extremely low bore axis and the lowered recoil spring. It is extremely flat shooting. This allows you to get back on target faster and make follow up shots rapidly. The trigger is the best trigger I’ve ever used on a striker fired gun. As I stated before I’ve shot almost every type of 1911 from Auto Ordnance to Kimber to STI race guns and carried an Ed Brown Kobra every day until I purchased my H9 and the trigger rivals some of those 1911s which to me is the epitome of what you want on a semi-automatic handgun. The reverse dingus safety is not noticeable at all. The reset is very short and crisp. Along with the flat shooting and light recoil, the trigger also helps to run the gun so well. The grip feels exactly as it should for a 1911 guy. It points naturally and swings quickly. Even being a double stack it does not feel blocky or too large. They added a beavertail which is a must for me and my meaty hands that has train track like grooves worn into it from shooting some of those plastic fantastics. The magazines eject nicely when in a hurry to reload and throw some more lead down range. They are flush fit and hold 15 rounds of your favorite 9mm flavor.

Since picking mine up Thanksgiving of 2017 I have shot a hair over 5,000 rounds through it and it is running tip top. I know others have had extractor issues but I’m hoping having one of the first guns off the line means tight tolerances and will keep chugging along. It is hard to describe the feeling of shooting this handgun but every range trip since buying it I like to ask strangers at the range if they’ve heard of or shot the H9. Most people haven’t heard of them and until I ask none had ever shot one but wanted to. The reaction has been the same every time. WOW, this thing is smooth shooting and there is so little recoil. I do this to help educate others but a little bit selfishly to continually justify my purchase. I know I’m not the only one who has bought a gun expecting one thing and ended up getting something else in reality. Well, the Hudson has lived up to and surpassed every expectation I had. I’m going to keep shooting mine because I believe in innovation and there has been talks of other entities picking up or at least producing some parts that are known weaknesses.

My only complaint with the handgun itself was how the sights are set up. I love the choice of sights and have actually changed my heavy use pistols to the same setup. It comes with a u notched blacked out rear and orange tritium front. But the issue was that the sights shot low for me and most others. It was not that the gun shot low it was just that the sights were zeroed differently from the factory. I set all my guns up for combat so they shoot point of aim point of impact. I like to cover my target with the front sight. After installing a shorter front sight it corrected it for me and now it shoots right where it should as long as I do my part.

Hudson MFG was a glimmer of something different and I hate that we may never get to see the H9A, an aluminum version, but I am glad that they joined the scene no matter how brief. I truly believe that they have helped push the gun industry in the right direction and hopefully someone will pick up the H9 and continue it. But if not, I’ll still be shooting mine every chance I get because firearms are tools that are meant to be shot and enjoyed. So, after a short story, long, if you are like me and like things that may be a little different, I hope that you at least go out and rent one from your local range and make your own judgement. And if you ever bump into a guy everyone calls Pudge just ask to shoot mine because I’ll be carrying it. -Pudge

Pudge is currently employed by Uncle Sam as a girl scout hat wearer. My handle is Pudge because well, we all know how nicknames always make perfect sense. I grew up in God’s country (the Midwest) where I learned how to hunt and eat anything that moves and some things that don’t, tame horses, build loud cars, and generally be a red blooded American. While attending a school for wayward boys along the Hudson River I was blessed to meet my wife, who we’ll call Red (this nickname does make sense) and she has been putting up with me on my venture to plummet out of airplanes, help others when I can, and constantly trying to find a new part of my body to break. Due to Red and Jackie being best friends I was unfortunate enough to get roped into Mack’s gang of hoodlums and have been doing my best to make him proud since.

Tuesday Talking Points

Alrighty then, we'll do this BLUF: My Mother is in the hospital. Pops is also due for a knee replacement. So as of later, if I haven...