Thursday, June 21, 2018

Tactical Thursday - 2,000 Round Edition


So, a couple of years ago Tam started shooting the bejeesus out of pistols. 2,00 rounds at a time between cleanings. And documenting it. And Kevin is doing the same. With a somewhat different tact. He's shooting the humble Ruger LCP II. Now, I think if you got together ten LCP owners, you'd be hard pressed to get a 2,000 round count from the group. But still. Shooting. For science!

A couple of weeks ago, CDR Zero posted about his love affair with the Ruger P- series and magazines. A man after my own heart. And Tam decided to shoot the heck out of a P-89. And well, I want to do what all the cool kids are doing.

In the 7th grade, my Old Man aquired two Ruger P-95DC pistols in a parking lot deal. I seem to recall being the first guy in my class to have his "own" centerfire pistol. And man, was that thing a byproduct of the 90s market. No rail, terrible tiny sights, and two factory ten rounders. But I loved it. Still do.

In the mid 00s, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I discover both Mec-Gar and Ruger magazines with a non reduced capacity. Yeah, I bought a bunch of those.

I've opined that the P- series are a wonderfully serviceable pistol. We have a P-95 with a rail at the shop from the last year of production that is just begging to come home and be a part of the Rowdy Ruger Roughnecks. (That was a terrible joke; no need to laugh)

So, moving forward, my tactical thursday will hopefully concern how the P-95 does through 2000 rounds with no cleaning.

I broke the gun down and oiled it real good Sunday afternoon. We'll see what happens.

Jackie says I shouldn't have used this picture because she hadn't dusted


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Weapons Wednesday - What LMG should the AEF have used?


In 1919, the American Expeditionary Force pushed deep into Germany, smashing the Hindenburg Line. Dough-boys poured into Germany proper, placing the Kaiser's empire under harsh occupation. The German Army was destroyed en masse. The Kraiser's Navy scuttled itself in port, fearful of the Royal navy bearing down upon them from the North Sea. Germany was utterly crushed. This victory was largely achieved by tank supported American infantry, armed with Pedersen device equipped '03 Springfields, BARs, -1917 Watercooled guns, Trench Guns, and -1911s.

And obviously the above never happened. Maybe had it; World War II would not have occurred. The value of a harsh military occupation is subject to debate. But, the above is a fun prelude, especially for those of us with an interest in small arms.

The American Army, or rather the National Army that was raised following the 1916 Defense Act was woefully under equipped. And yet they had access to some some of the premier small arms of their time.

The -1917 Water cooled machine gun, the M-1918 BAR, the M-1911 .45 pistol, and the M-1897 trench gun were if not world standard, then certainly on par with anything else the armies of the world could must.

I may be a bit heretical in my thinking, but the Springfield pattern -1903 rifle may have been outclassed by the SMLE. The '03 is a fine target rifle. Also, it is a passable sniper rifle. However, I don't know if it was the best battle rifle of the western front, circa 1917. Furthermore, the M-1917 .30 caliber rifle is a damn fine rifle. If I were my Great Grandfather, when mustered into National Service, after they took away my Krag and M-1909, I'd want a P-17 and a M-1917 revolver, because real men do it in six.

However, the AEF arrived in France half ass armed but well led. Even though, I sometimes make the case that General Wood would have led the AEF had anyone other than that bastard Wilson been President. But General Pershing was damn good, too. As an aside, I was always kinda pissed that the Army named a missile system after him that was traded away to the Soviets. He should have had a MBT or APC.

Every gun guy can tell you that the French made Chauchat was a bad gun. Even Sam Damon couldn't make the thing run. And in some regards, they ain't wrong.

But the thing is, in 8mm Lebel, as designed, the Chauchat ran. Go watch Ian shoot the heck out of some. French soldiers with 8mm Chauchats killed a bunch of Boche.

But the Ordnance Dept, the damnable Ordnance Dept, insisted it be re chambered in .30 Gov't for issue to the AEF. And I get that. Professionals and their logistics and what not. But jeebus, that was a terrible call. And that was the same Ordnance Dept that told the Marine Brigade to leave their Lewis Guns at home.

And that's some bullshit. I really wish I knew the back story on the below photo, but damn it looks good. Thanks Tam. Sidenote, that was the genesis of this rant.



We may have won the war sooner with better LMGs in WWI. Or maybe won a more definite peace. I don't know. And that's the thing. I can, and do, bad mouth the Ordnance Dept all day. But rarely do small arms influence big events. The Little Big Horn comes to mind, some of the actions of the Boer War, Rorkes Drift, and the 164th and their M-1s at Guadalcanal and that's about it. Also, because I'm a nerd, the Army helped defend another Marine airfield at Khe Shan, but the M-42 ain't exactly a small arm. Even though I mention it because that was the ADA's shining moment until Gulf War I.

History has shown that while Crozier was a dumbass; it is very hard to pinpoint how much of a difference it would have made. In summation, as much as I love John Browning, even if the AEF had been armed with BARs, we still would have had the Treaty of Versailles. And therefore WWII.

But speaking of WWII and small arms, a Coastie did pretty damn good for himself with a Lewis gun in WWII. And saved a lot of Marines. I like to think that would have brought a smile to Colonel :Lewis.

Petty Officer 1st Class D.A. Munro



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tinkering Tuesday - Birthday Edition

So, Monday I turned 30. I was less than excited for this development. My good friend Cindy made me a cake. Her husband Dennis decorated it. Much humor was had.

Clever fellow that Dennis. 

Also, in the vain of tinkering Tuesday, my good friend Robby, gave me a set of punches and chisels. For true old timey gun-smithing.

 I can be like Mac now.

And last, but not least, my Mother gave me a Bug Assualt. So I can kill bugs. Very fitting with the President wanting a new branch.


Sorry, for the picture spam. I'm kinda giddy. Also, on the gun front, I brought home a Remington 700 in .300 BLK, with a 16.5 threaded barrel. Over the Fourth, I'll be shooting with a buddy with an assortment of cans. I'll keep you posted. And furthermore, I purchases a PSA PA-15 pistol lower. Gonna be working on that too. My free form Friday will probably talk about the absurdity of the '34 NFA and SBRs.

Also, Weapons Wednesday tomorrow should be fun, I'll talk about the Lewis Gun and the Chauchat.

Sorry for skipping Military Monday, Sunday involved me playing carpenter for the Boy Scouts and then going to mow pastures at the old homestead. And we're still short handed at work so Monday was hectic.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Free Form Firday - Some Musings

My Uncle Gaylon passed away last week. He was a good man. Hard working. Good father. Air Force veteran. Lineman for 20 years. Good father. Pop took it kinda hard. Me too. Uncle Gaylon took me and my cousin Daniel to our first Brave's game. I will always be thankful for that. Due to Him, I can say I've seen the Braves play at Fulton County, Turner Field, and SunTrust Park.

He had a simple funeral ceremony. The ushers from the funeral home folded the flag. Jackie remarked to me afterwards that she hadn't known he was in the Air Force. I remarked that he was a Culverhouse. It's what we do.

Uncle Gaylon enjoyed an ice cold Miller Lite. I drank too much of that as a kid. But Friday morning I said fuck it and had a beer with breakfast.



Firday I went to the hardware store. The kindly old proprietor and I got to talking ammunition. I left with a box of 7mm Weatherby Magnum. I don't own a 7mm WTHBY Mag, but it looks good sitting on top of my box of 9.3x62 Mauser.

Shop local

Bought some cool guns for the shop. Bought one or two for me, too. We'll discuss those next week. Speaking of next week, Monday I turn 30. Not looking forward to that. But my good buddy Gray sent me a pretty nifty book.

Glock and Leatherman not included


Can't recommend it enough. Y'all have a nice weekend. Watch a ball game. Drink a beer. Call your family.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Military Monday - Blue Moon Rising

So, I'll begin today's post with a brief anecdote. I enjoy both beer and Credence Clearwater Revival. This afternoon, I was driving home from Boy Scout camp after delivering fly rods, when I finally caught up with Mr Garabaldi on the phone. After discussing the Boy Scouts and M-1 Garands, I mentioned that I needed a beer. He asked if I was near a Class VI. I replied that my garage refrigerator would probably qualify as a Class VI on smaller installations. And that gave me an idea for today's military monday.

Military Operations other Than War have long held interest for me. Probably because that was the name of the game whilst I was in uniform. But it is not a new concept. The Berlin Airlift being a prime example. Speaking of, Operation Prime Chance is another great example. And another was Blue Moon, the Navy and Marine Corps low altitude high speed photographic recon of Cuban in October of 1962.

"Fightin' Photo" of VFP-62 flew RF8U-1P aircraft. Which in pre-MacNamara speak is the RF-8A. And man, could the RF-8A move. The RF-8A, of course being a photorecon version of the vaunted F-8 Crusader, the last of the gunfighters and one of my all time favorite airplanes. As an aside, Jackie and I considered the USS Yorktown as a wedding venue until I casually mentioned how that meant an F-8 could play into the wedding ceremony.

But anyway, so yes, the Air Force had lost a U-2 over Cuba, and it's pilot, Maj R. Anderson, proving that the SA-2 was indeed a threat to the high flying U-2. The Kennedy administration demanded more and better intel, for both their own piece of mind and to sway world opinion. And thus "Fightin' Photo" 62 came to the picture. Staged out of NAS Key West, two ship flights would make the run to Cuba and back. A harrowing flight with no SEAD nor fighter cover. Their job was to take pictures, oh, and try not to cause an international incident doing it. And if there was ever a moment of perfect plane for perfect tasking, aside from SBDs off Midway on 4 June 1942, it was Fightin Photo over Cuba.

The F-8, in all her incarnations, has always captivated me. "Sea Wings" had an episode dedicated to it when I was a kid. The thought of true fighter pilots flying a cannon armed fighter off of the WWII vintage Essex classes had an air of romanticism I can't shake.

And, as with most things, delving into the history of it shows that the Crusader, and the men who flew and crewed her, won their most glory in 90 minutes flights to Cuba and back, with time to hit the clubs for a couple of pre dinner drinks afterwards.

I can't recommend "Blue Moon over Cuba" enough. Written by CAPT Ecker and PH2 Jack, who flew and crewed the Recce Crusaders, it is a fascinating read. Also, it serves as a good primer for the use of military force as an instrument of state outside of war.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Freestyle Friday - Glock, the FG-42, and Fan Boys


The Braves are, as of this writing, first place in the East. So not much to rant about there.

So, for this week's free style Friday rant. I'm going to bash on fan boys. All of them.

What's funny, is the genesis for this rant started yesterday, we received a transfer for a regular customer. A Winchester Model 1911 in 12 gauge. A nifty, if dangerous old shot gun.

A hanger, not a banger

So, after Jackie saw the video of me demonstrating how to cock the thing, I found myself explaining to her over Japanese how John Browning made oodles of money off of his patents. And those oodles of money allowed him to sell certain things to the military for a pittance. Including the BAR. Now, I mentioned the BAR, and got the look of befuddlement from her. She was picturing the BAR Safari grade that the adopted little brother let me play with for a month.

The internet likes dog pictures

So, that led me down the rabbit hole of explaining walking fire, the LMG, the SAW, and all sorts of stuff. Which some how got me started on the FG-42. Objectively, the FG-42 preforms better than the BAR. As does the BREN. And maybe even the Nambu. But, here's the thing, small arms don't win wars. Regardless of what side they're on. But, go to any section of the internet, and you'll see a guy singing the praises of the FG-42 as the end be all gun. And running down the BAR. And the mind boggles. It must be something with guns from Austria and Germany that inspire such legions of howler monkey fans. Tam links to an article concerning a supposed tortue test of a Glock.

Yeah, calling bullshit on that. I don't have a jersey nor do I shoot all that much, but, I've had to replace the springs in my Glock 21 after one three gun season. Yeah, no.

But in the gun culture, for whatever reason, develops disciples of certain brands. Glock being pretty bad. HK being pretty bad, too.

But geez, in the cancer that is the comment section of that article you see guys defending that utter garbage as if their Mother had been accused of making a sex tape with Drake. I mean, damn.

Your gun preference doesn't define your personality. If someone doesn't like your gun, you're still a good person. If someone doesn't want to carry a Glock 19, they aren't going out with a death wish.

The mind boggles, for me anyway. A Glock is just about the most utilitarian hand gun I can think of. And affordable, to boot. But owning one doesn't make you an ultimate super secret commando shootist. Now this might hurt a bunch of tactical timmy feelings, but you're never gonna need to run your Glock 20,000 rounds after pulling it out of the Ocean. Which is good, because it would probably break a spring or suffer a magazine failure first.

Hey guy, you a bought a Glock 19 from Academy. I don't think Delta is going to be calling you up to offer your opinion on what they should buy next. Sorry dude.

And saving this back for a further rant, that guy is a reason the major gun rags are having issues. But that's a different rant for a different day.



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Weapons Wednesday - The Rifleman's Rifle


In the fall of 2015, Jackie and I moved into together. A small little rambling turn of the century house on the edge of a small town. It was one of those I woke up one morning, thinking about what kinda of flooring I would re do the kitchen with and suddenly realized: "Oh, I have a house. That isn't owned by the Fraternity, Army, or Boy Scouts." I'm an adult. I love this woman. And the woman I loved put forth an ultimatum. No more guns until I proposed. So I furiously started saving money. I had a .50 caliber ammo can labeled turkey loads. I put all my turkey loads in a cooler and hid money in said ammo can. Genius plan. We'll circle back to that.

Sometime around the fall of 1923, the fine folks at Winchester began experimenting with 6.8mm bullet in a necked down .30 Government Model of 1906 casing. The .270 Winchester was unveiled in 1925. And Jack O'Connor, the dean of the American gun writers, became a huge proponent. Jack O'Connor favored the Model 70, praising it as the Rifleman's Rifle. And the .270 went on to become one the nation's most popular sporting cartridges.

So, flash forward to April of 2016. Having secured enough funds in the turkey ammo can, I ventured up to Atlanta. First stopping to have lunch with MrGarabaldi and OldNFO. If I recall correctly, OldNFO took pity on me and sprang for lunch. I met up with one of Jackie's friends (Thanks Jess!) and purchased the ring, using the stone out of Mother's engagement ring. And that evening she said yes,

And that brings us to how the Rifleman's Rifle became my engagement gun.

Walnut and blued, of course

Jackie bought me a FN made Winchester Model 70 Sporter in Mr. Jack's beloved .270 Winchester. Topped with a Leupold 3x9x40, it is an exquisite rifle.



.270 loads are generally 130 or 150 grn, in several different bullet loads. And Sierra is now producing a MatchKing bullet for it as well. The 130 grn load is good for most anything in North America, with the 150 grn being acceptable for moose.

Winchester is now a brand wholly owned by FN, with guns produced in Belgium, Portugal, and Japan. My Model 70 is made in Portugal and assembled in the South Carolina FN plant. A very close copy of the vaunted Pre-64 Winchester.



The gun looks good and shoots great. While only a light weight sporter, it shoots far better than it's pencil thin barrel would lead you to believe. And it looks really good in the case next to the 7mm Rem Mag Hawkeye, a hold over from my days when I though bigger was better.

The two don't quite know what to think of one another


And as a plus, my now wife bought it for me. The Rifleman's Rifle is a great gun. From a great lady.







Tactical Thursday - 2,000 Round Edition

So, a couple of years ago Tam started shooting the bejeesus out of pistols. 2,00 rounds at a time between cleanings. And documenting it. An...