Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Stories - Minority Rights

Gander Mountain #309

It was late on Friday evening. About an hour or so before close. I was bored. And not day dreaming about hunting in Africa or slaughtering doves in Argentina bored, but the kind of bored only retail workers and military folks understand. The mind numbing, every make work task has been done twice, email and Facebook checked, oh dear, the clock hasn't moved in the last three hours kind of bored.

Might be a reason why the mountain of geese went out of business; but, that's neither here nor there.

An older gentleman walked in. Well dressed and highly agitated. A younger woman was with him. A faint family resemblance. The young woman was scared.

The kind of scared you recognize when you work with kids. The scared of someone who gets beat up on by someone bigger and stronger than them. the kind of scared where they measure their words before speaking so as not to get hit again.

And let me restate my point again, the older gentleman with her was mad. I mean livid.

He wanted his daughter to have a pistol yesterday. A good one, with a big mag, and good sights.

And he had an Alabama driver's license. So I got to feel with wraith a little bit, too.

Thankfully his daughter's NICS check was actually instant.

And she left with a then new Glock 19 Gen 4. A couple boxes of cheap ammo, her Father not caring about the terminal effect of hollow points despite my earnest pleads.

But that being said, she left somewhat armed, at least with the tools. I did my due diligence and tried to recommend a couple of local training classes. And this was after a solid twenty minute across the counter lecture on the bullet points of self defense. Front sight. Front sight. Front sight.

I was deeply unsettled by that transaction. I made a point to follow the news for the next couple of days.

Nothing ever popped up nor did she ever come back.

But in that instant, the old cliche of "God made man; Colonel Colt made them equal" played true. Well, Gaston in this case, but you get the point.

The smallest minority is the individual. And an individual that can protect themselves from a larger, stronger predator has a voice. And a vote.

My politics are all over the place. I'm a Libertarian Dixiecrat Nationalist. Who is hawkish on National Defense.

But the I am a 2nd Amendment absolutist. The right to own arms is the right to be free.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tactical Tuesday - A Battle Remembered

25 years ago tomorrow, the United States military fought a battle that was small in scope, but vicious in it's intensity. The worst small unit infantry boots on the ground door kicking fight we had faced since Vietnam. And would be the worst we saw until the Marines went back into Fallujah in 2004.

A mission of relief had suffered  from mission creep and became another failed attempt at nation building.

The thing about it, while 18 American and one UN Trooper died, the mission was a tactical success. A nasty warlord lost several of his top lieutenants. We killed anywhere from 200 to 2,000 hostiles. Hostiles that were in a small part trained by Al-Queda.

Courage reigned supreme that day. Two Delta guys made the ultimate sacrifice to save a downed pilot. A feat of military arms that, in my belief, propelled a generation of kids to try and emulate once they donned the uniform.

Speaking of uniforms, there is a little 2.99 tab that you pick up at the PX. You wear it above most tabs and below a couple of others. In some ways it's required if you're an Infantry guy. In other ways, it's a holdover of the Army's frontier past. Rangers Lead the Way. Be it againt the Indians, going up some well defended cliffs, liberating a group of POWs, or going way deep into indian country to gather intel, they all wore the same tab. Well, for the most part. It was a diamond in WWII.

In my foot locker, under some field gear and dirty ACUs that no longer fit, there is a dirty, ragged, dog eared pamphlet. A small hand book that talks of things such as how to set up a patrol base and battle drills. But the first couple of pages are the most important. One is a simple creed to live by. And the other is almost a warning to all whom would dear follow in the steps of Rogers, Darby, Lomell, Puckett, Othic, and Tillman:
"Not for the week or faint hearted"

Tomorrow, I'll probably drink a beer (or eight) and watch "Black Hawk Down".

A group of America's best went up against some of the world's worst and did so only to help feed the hungry.

And in the process held a fucking city with a a short rifle company and light air cover for a day and half against overwhelming odds until the objective was completed and all casualties that could be recovered were.

And Clinton turned chicken not long after. Because of course he did.

And a while later, that bastard warlord was murdered in his apartment. MG Garrison retired the next day.

Sua Sponte.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saturday Musings

  • The Braves clinched the NL East today. That's something to make everyone feel a little better.
  • I was looking for something in the attic and realized I have a bunch of cardboard boxes from assorted. firearms manufactures. A collection of fine rifles is something to make everyone feel a little better.
  • My wife is pretty smoking hot when she pulls a pork tenderloin out of the crock pot right after work.
  • I have job where no one shoots at me nor yells at me on a daily basis. 
  • Army took the Sooners to overtime and lost by a touchdown. The Black Knights are back. 
  • The Falcons play the Saints Sunday. I'll be at the Braves game with friends from the days when I wore Boy Scout khaki. 
  • I've got a good buddy who will be real excited to reload 270 WSM for me.
  • Solo A Star Wars Story was actually really good.
  • Seeing Han and Chewie fly together for the first time was as cool as Red Leader and Yellow Leader reporting in during Rogue One
  • America is still the best country in the world. We may not have a Corvette in the drive way but out Camry is paid for and the lawn is cut

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Weapons Wednesday - Worrisome Replacement

I'm not a fan of the M-17/M-18 pistols. And that's not say that Sig made a bad gun. The concept is flawed, the program un Godly expensive for what it is, and frankly, we've got better things to worry about than a fancy new hand gun.

That being said, I'm gonna talk about the last new general issue handgun the military had. I say general issuee because a buncha buncha SOF dudes carry Glocks, M-11A1s, and a few holdout still rocking an updated version of J.M. Browning's Government Model of 1911. The Colt M-45A1 probably being my favorite pistol on the above list; followed by the M-11A1.

But, in 1985, which much scorn and fan fare, the U.S.military formally adopted the M-9 Beretta. Sorta. Lots of guys still carried M-1911A1s. And a lot of dudes in the USAF still carried S&W K-frame .38s, like my Dad who thinks DA/SA is stupid.

The Beretta has served admirably for three decades. Including several conflicts and military operations other than war. Originally, I had planned to post this last week, as a fitting Military Monday before 9/11, but then we had evacuees.

However, for me, where as I like the -1911 and Glocks, the M-9 will always be the first hand gun I was issued.

I sometimes wonder with the adoption of a polymer DAO stryker fired hand gun as the new approved service weapon, how many guys twenty years from now will be sitting at the VFW saying

"You know, when I was fighting the GWOT wars, we carried a real pistol, made of steel with a hammer."

A now old gun with old ammo
I gave into nostalgia and bought a Beretta not long ago. It's well made. It shoots good. And for a certain era of veterans, it will be the gun we watched Hollywood Heroes fight bad guys with and then the gun we fought bad guys with.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tinkering Tuesday - A bastard Magnum

The Winchester Model 70 should be offered in classic calibers. 270 Win, 30-06 Gov't, 375 H&H, 264 Win Mag, and the like. And it should also be stocked in dense walnut. And in no way shape form or fashion should it be offered in a niche, nearly wildcat, flash in the pan cartridge. Like those short magnums that have no real purpose.

So pretty much the exact opposite of this.

Yeah, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with it either. But it's a Hartford produced Model 70, with CRF, a target crown, free floated barrel, and nicely bedded. For the employee price my manager made me on it, I couldn't let it sit on the rack.

Disregard the cheap Chinese Wal Mart special scope atop it; the older Loopy VX-III was sold to another employee.

The Short Magnums are interesting from a ballistic stand point, and I love all things Model 70. Even though I felt Jack O'Connor's scorn as I did my 4473.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Military Monday -

On December 7th, the IJN destroyed the U.S. Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Which in some ways, was a good thing. With all the battle wagons out of commission, Fletcher, Halsey, and Spruance were allowed to fight their carriers. And that is obviously good. The Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons, and Santa Cruz bear that out.

But, once the Japanese onslaught was blunted, we had to slog our way back across the Pacific. And where as the fast Iowas, North Carolinas, and South Dakotas could certainly keep pace with the CVBGs, those were in short supply. The Marines needed gun fire support. And the merchant ships would need close in protection.

Enter the Ghosts of Pearl Harbor. Of the eight battleships sank at Pearl, the Navy raised and returned to service six of them. The Arizona and Oklahoma being total losses.

And the Tennessee, Maryland, and Pennsylvania found themselves under the command of at the time VADM J.B. Oldendorf.

Now, for the duration of the war in the Pacific, battleships were pulled in and withdrawn from service with the shore bombardment forces. But, generally they were all old pre war ships.

And on the night of 25 October 1944, the old battlewagons exacted a measure of revenge for theirs sisters lost at Pearl.

The Southern Force, as commanded by Admiral Nishimura moved down the Surigao Strait in an attempt to crush the U.S. invasion force at Leyte Gulf.

After intrepid attacks by the American PT boat screen, the Japanese battleships made contact with the &th Fleet Support Force. In one of those defining moments in history, Oldendorf was able to "cross the T" of the Japanese fleet. The Allied victory was decisive. And was the last time battleships fought other battleships on the high seas.

As a kid, for whatever reason, the resurrections of the battleships from Pearl fascinated me. To this day I will angrily rant that the USS Nevada, as the only battleship to get under way on 7Dec41, should have led the fleet into Tokyo Bay.

And whereas the capitulation of the Japanese empire was formally held on the deck of an Iowa class ship named after the President's home state, one could make a case that post paid was put to the account of the IJN on 25Oct44, when old slow battleships commander by Admiral Oldendorf defeated them in a night surface action.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Stories - Pop's Mags

As Florence dies down and the Coasties get there day in the sun, I have reclaimed my den. Our refugees have headed back to Norfolk.

Watching football today, I somehow got on the subject of M-14s. And that brought up a memory guranteed to get a chuckle out of everyone whom has worked a gun counter or been down range.

So, when I was assigned to an infantry platoon, in preperation for heading to the Sandbox, we were issued M-21s as Squad and Platoom DM rifles. Cool. Good use for the old platform. Except the Army did not issue anything in the way of ancillary equipment. To include magazines, cleaning kits, magazines, mag pouches, magazines, slings, oh, did I mention magazines?

Now for the most part, all of the above could be taken care of at Ranger Joes and Bass Pro, both of which had convenient Hinesville/Savannah locations. Except magazines. Damn, we could not find those anywhere we looked. Probably because the average M1A owner doesn't buy all that many. And the whole Brigade was in the same boat, so every local gun store had been canvased.

Enter my Old Man.

Now Pops, isn't exactly a fan of the M-14, having lugged one around Lackland during Basic. He doesn't much like the M-4 either, but that's a different story. Sorry Pop, we can't all go to war with an M-3 Grease Gun and a cut down riot gun.

But, anywho, one day I called home. And talked to the Old Man before I talked to my Mother. And in passing I mentioned something along the lines of:

"The Damn Army gave us damn M-21s but didn't give us any magazines."

Pop responds: "What's an M-21?"

"An updated M-14 with a scope on it. Each squad should have one to give them a little more punch."

"Oh. Gotcha. Here's your Mom. Bye."

Fast forward a little bit, I get a package slip in my Q. And its a big plain cardboard box. With 100 CheckMate M-14/M1A magazines. Return address was the old family farm. No note, packed with the local small town newspaper.

Now, my Dad never made much mention of said magazines. But I finally got the story out of my Mom.

In a small down in central Georgia, there is a NAPA Auto with an attached gun store. A really really big attached gun store. Run by an old Southern Gentleman named Bo. Now Mister Bo sells a whole bunch of guns. And accessories. And has very fair pricing. To the point where you don't much haggle with Mister Bo. Maybe, if you got cash, you might ask for that old Ithaca for $350 out the door but that's about it.

But, according to my Mother, Pop shook Mister Bo's hand, and asked if he hand any M-14 magazines. And Mr. Bo said he did. And Dad said he needed a whole bunch. Mr. Bo asked why and my Dad replied, very evenly without any fuss or dramatics:

"My boy needs them for his Platoon. They are shipping out soon."

And Mister Bo sold my Old Man 100 CheckMate M1A/M-14 mags at cost.

Now, I don't know what that cost in 2008, but I know today it would be a whole heap of money.

I made sure all my dudes who had M-21s were liberally equipped and then traded those mags for stuff here and there. NODS, better Commo, etc. Sgt Peterson of "The Green Berets" would have been proud.

And when the Bde who relieved us showed up, I handed them over to the guy who got my sector.

I sometimes wonder if those same mags are still getting passed around.

This week we're gonna talk about Admiral Jesse Oldenorf, the M-9 Beretta, and some bastard magnums.

Y'all have a good week.

Sunday Stories - Minority Rights

Gander Mountain #309 It was late on Friday evening. About an hour or so before close. I was bored. And not day dreaming about hunting in A...