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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tinkering Tuesday - America's Rifle (half a one)

So, in today's Tinkering Tuesday will take a look at America's Rifle. I'm sure as I type that Garand purists and M-14 fanbois probably tensed a little bit at that one. And to be honest I did too, because, well Jack O'Connor knew what he was talking about. A good Model 70 in .270 Winchester will do you just about anything that you need it to. Oh hey, there we go. That's tomorrow Weapon's Wednesday.

But today we're going to talk about my half finished AR- platform. You see, when Gander Mountain closed, I sold a lot of guns. And a lot of those were Rugers. So Ruger sent me free complete lower.
And I took it out of the box and put it on my vice.

Progress! And Hail Southern!

And well, that's where we're at with it currently. My original plan was to build a .300 BLk carbine. And then Old NFO made fun of me for that caliber choice. And then we took in a 700 AAC SD bolt gun in said caliber. So, probably not going down that route. .224 Valkyrie looks really promising.
But 6.8 SPC II is still near and dear to my heart. But Jackie needs a 5.56mm carbine for her, so as to be prepared for when the Zombies come.

And, well, I got a bunch of magazines and MagPul BUIS for it, and that's it. This tinkering tuesday is going to be slow going. But hey, it looks good on the bench. Feel free to discuss among yourselves what caliber for AR.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Military Monday - Memorial Day

A lot of Americans consider Memorial Day weekend as a three day weekend and not much else.

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day. When war widows and sons and daughters of those who fell in the War Between the States would place flowers and flags upon the graves of the war dead. Both Union and Confederate. Many of whom were interned at General Lee's estate at Arlington. The most holy of American military shrines. But on this Memorial Day I would like to discuss a different type of memorial.

In the Argonne, there was once a P-17 Enfield stuck in the ground with, an Indian Head bedecked helmet sitting atop it. On Bataan there was a -1903 Springfield stuck in the ground much the same way, with a helemt sitting atop it. In Belgium, it would have been the charred remains of a M-4E3 Sherman tank. In Korea, a F-86 that got tangled up with Russian supplied and flown MiG-15s. Vietnam would have been an M-16A1 or maybe a Crusader driver who didn't make it back to his old Essex class fleet carrier after a strike up North. In Desert Storm it would have been a LAV-25 that ran afoul of a Swagger ATGM. And in the GWOT, the memorial would be a M-4 carbine and a set of dog tags.

But there is more to it than that. The guy whose tags hung off that M-4 was a tall, gangly kid from a dried up mill town in west central Georgia. He joined the Guard because his buddies did, there was a war on, and they would pay for him to go to technical school. If he could get his HVAC certification, he could take care of his Mom, pay off the truck, and buy a new boat. Oh, and those raghead bastards used planes as cruise missiles, and well, his Daddy didn't fight in Vietnam for that shit to happen here.

And that kid was my friend. And my turret gunner. And he died doing his job. And the town put a marble marker on the square for him. It's right next to the Vietnam one. Our small town got lucky in Gulf War I. The mill was still operating so those 18 year high school grads had a place to go other than the Army. We won't stay lucky. Kids join the Army because their low ASVAB scores preclude anything else. But it's okay. They understand the risk. And still go. Just like Danny did.

The clitter clatter of the NJROTC Battalion's deactivated M-1 Garands bore him good tribute.He had been the high school BN S-3 when we graduated. The drum major of the high school band played taps. His Mother spoke of her pride. His Scoutmaster spoke of his service. I tried to speak and couldn't find the words.  A star on the small bore team, the new rifle range bears his name. He'd get a kick out of that.

And above all, to him, the apprentice HVAC Tech, Memorial Day was a three day. He'd load up the cooler and head to the lake. Enough beer to lay low an Infantry Platoon and enough bourbon to open a liquor store. And maybe, just maybe, if he played his cards right, talk the bikini bottoms off a chick from the small neighboring community college.

I like to think that he is somewhere in Valhalla working on his flies, or maybe futzing about his Savage 110 in .308, wanting the perfect deer load because we just got that new lease down in Taylor county.

And above all, Danny wouldn't want you to be sad. He would want to ask why you weren't piss drunk and trying to talk your way into that pretty DG's bikini bottoms.

And, to me, anyway that is Memorial Day.

Honor the Fallen. However you chose. That's what they died for.

So today, I'm gonna wake up, have some coffee. Go to work. Hopefully sell some guns.And then probably drink a beer or two. Danny would like that, but first he'd call me a little bitch for not having a three day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Weapons Wednesday - What caliber for Joe's Weapon?

 So, still pulling six days a week at the shop. Which is awesome for the wallet. Not so much for the writing. Nor the wallet in a way because we're picking up a bit, which means cool things coming in.
How many Glocks does one man need? Well, Jackie and I disagree on that. Oh, and I went saw the Braves beat the Marlins. Always a good day.

And some other people came too

So, on to today's musing. But first, a brief history lesson. Six. Six calibers were supplied to the far flung forces of the United States military during WWII. So, one thing that I get irrationally angry about is when chairborne small arm experts proclaim that we'll never issue more than 5.56mm and 7.62 NATO because of logistics. Yeah, no.

Now that is not to say we should.

L to R; 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, .223 Remington 

All three of the above cartridges are great and all three suck at some things. All are available in the AR- platform which is a plus. However, 6.5 CM and .260 Rem don't work in STANAGs. Logisitics raises it's ugly head again. And let's not discount the .300 AAC, 6.5 Grendel, and 6.8 SPC II. And those do fit in a STANAG.

But the question remains, and this is where my inner wookie suiter liberatarian comes into play, do any of the above cartridges offer enough improvement over the 5.56 do to be the new general issue rifle round. However, my inner gun guy also recognizes that one cartridge does not fit the bill in all situations, especially out of a carbine.

A buddy of mine in 3rd Batt is convinced our path to salvation lies in a piston driven mid length chambered in .260 Remington. I admit that the concept makes me all warm and fuzzy.

But do we give that to S-1 Clerk Suzy and S-4 Officer Steve? And what if we're clearing structures ib in down town Tehran? Suddenly that 10.5 inch .300 Whisper seems might fine.

And maybe just maybe, it is time for us to realize our current crop of bad guys do not honor any facet of the Hague Convention and do not have what we would consider traditional logistics in regards to CASEVAC. Freed from that asinine ban, 5.56 seems pretty damn good. Especially once we move away from M855A1. We ain't fighting the Russians currently. Nor was penetration of Soviet helmets at 600 yards ever a realistic standard.

Oh, but we totally need to give everybody Glock 19s. Unless they opt for a M-45A1 rail gun.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Quick Bleg Post

Y'all go stab the Tip Jar button on View From the Porch.. Tam done fell up out her chair and broke her collar bone. As a guy who fell out the attic and dislocated his shoulder, I know that one hurts like a Patriots win the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl.

She beats the shit out of poor 3rd Gen S&Ws for our enjoyment, well some of y'alls, it makes my heart hurt, so we can show our appreciation.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tinkering Tuesday/Thursday - An Interesting Rifle

Savage entered the disposable entry level market in 2010 with the Axis, briefly flirting with the term Edge. The first generation Axis was not the best rifle in the world, even in the disposable synthetic stocked bought at Wal-Mart atopped with a Chinese made weaver. The Axis II, fitted with the AccuTrigger is a quality rifle. I have one in .22-250 that I bought on a whim. Seriously, I had just gotten off a plane coming back from Hawaii, I still had money in my pocket, it seemed like a good idea.

But on my to new interesting rifle. A first generation new in box Savage Axis in .30-06 Springfield.

Parkerized and Synthetic. So pretty. 

Oh yeah, it's awesome. Okay, I can hear the wheels turning now. This rifle, which I got for a steal at $187.25, which believe it or not, actually hit my margins number, will hopefully soon be an interesting rifle as Col Whelen described it. In the cartridge to bare his name.

My plan, taking advantage of the fact that Axis has the same barrel nut as the 10/110 series rifles is to affix a Green Mountain Barrel to it. Ordered a Boyd's stock in something tasteful, maybe with some nekkid ladies on it, and mount a Loopy VX-1 atop it.

I'm not entirely sure what I am going to do with it past that, already having a .30-06 Hawkeye and a 7mm Rem Mag Hawkeye; but, everyone should have a rifle in a classic caliber.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Weapons Wednesday #3 - A fine sporting rifle

Oh, yes I had a posting schedule. Sorry about that. Still short handed at work. And for Mother's Day the old man requested my assistance in a small house hold task. What was that? Oh, yes. Ripping up the entire bathroom floor and replacing it for Mother. My back is still killing me.

Tinkering Tuesday will be Tinkering Thursday this week. And Free Form Friday will be long rambling view on what G.I. Joe should carry in his fight against Cobra, err, Haji, uh, bad guys.

But for today, a weapon's Wednesday like normal.

A couple of weeks ago at work, a gentleman brought in a soft sided rifle case asking if we traded.

"Sure" I responded with more enthusiasm than felt, for generally a trade is something to make me despair. But this turned out okay. The nice guy pulls out a Remington 721. Oh boy.

The Remington 721 was the first commercial rifle Big Green released after WWII. It was also the first rifle to be built from the ground up as a sporting rifle. The 30S a fine rifle released after WWI, but it built up on surplus Enfield recievers.

The 721 was also a fairly low cost rifle, sort of a fore runner to the Ruger American and Savage Axis. But a very well crafted one. Some of the elements of the 721 carried over to the 700, Remington's flagship rifle.

Plain stock, iron sights, shooting the Lord's Own caliber, .30-06 Gov't, I'm sure this rifle provided deer to some serviceman home from WWII. And then passed hands a couple of times. And wound up in my shop as a trade for a GP-100.

It will look good on the wall. And maybe take a white tail this fall.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tactical Thursday #1 - Different cartridges for different cases

So, the astute observers among you shall recall that I'd prefaced this week's Tactical Thursday with a snippet of pocket pistols and flash lights. Well, I'm not one to disappoint, so I will briefly touch on what would have been my original post.

  • Carry a flashlight. Seriously, Streamlight makes a little guy smaller than a cheap Bic pen that has a pocket clip. It's like 18 bucks on Amazon. Buy one if you aren't already carrying something more substantial. 
  • Clean that pocket pistol weekly. If you aren't at least shooting it weekly, at least clean out the pocket lint and dog hair each week. It just wouldn't do to have a Wilson Combat in the safe at home and get done in by some Goblin with a Lorcin because your LCP jammed.
Okay, now that's out of the way, I'm gonna hop on my personal soap box concerning infantry rifles and the perfect caliber therein. But before I go down the rabbit hole of that particular rant, I'd like to take a minute and think everyone who commented and offered support this first week or so of blogging. Thank you all very much. Especially the commentariat from Weaponsman. Nice to hear from some of you guys again. In fact, this rant is inspired in part by something Kurt posted over at ForgottenWeapons. Strangely enough, it did not involve tripods. And an extra special thanks to Tam for the linking. Might have had to breath into a sack for a minute after that one. Anyways, on to your regularly scheduled rant. 

Edit - upon further thought, this will be fleshed out in a more in depth Military Monday posting, but this is sort of a primer.

I like external hammers
As the above post shows, in any given caliber there are going to be several variations of available bullet. And in any given style of firearm, you will have numerous variations as well. And here lays my view of the current debate concerning the lethality of the average weapon system issued to SPC Snuffy and LCpl Louie. 

SOCOM has announced it is looking at new DM and Sniper platfrom weapons. 6.5 Creedmoor is now the new buzz round. Obviously, that's the cartridge that will solve all our issues in the GWOT. But last week it was the .260 Remington. And before that it was the .300 BLK, oh but only for suppressed use. And before that we had the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel. And all of the aforementioned rounds were good, quality rounds from major ammunition manufacturers. But, other than helping the bottom line of Big Green and Academy, how much would they have really done to help the average G.I. Joe fighting Cobra? Errr, the Taliban or ISIS. And how cost effective would it be to Tom and Taylor Taxpayer?

My answer is long and convoluted, and to be honest, kind of rambles into bashing the ROE our forces operate under and out dated conventions trying to make war more humane. And hell, I even bring up the old warhorse M-14/M-21 platform and in some ways slaughter that scared cow. But, I digress. 

On Monday, we'll delve into the murky world of the Hague, the M-16, twist rates, why M855 is effing stupid, how Ronnie Barrett almost saved us all, and why the .260 Remington isn't going to be filling PMags of guys down range any time too. (that was painful to type)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Weapon's Wednesday #2 The Little Sister Gun

It was the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was cold, but not terribly so. Much colder and we wouldn't have been hunting. Kayla was bundled up in my old M-65 field jacket, still proclaiming me to be a Cadet Major of the Eagle Battalion. The sun slowly crested and shown into the river valley. Legal shooting light. A few desultory Coots flew by. Far up river, a goose honked. I didn't have any goose calls. Not that they would have done much good. A pair of wood ducks crossed our line of sight. We each fired twice, one duck falling. I wound up cleaning it, but that was her duck. Her first one. And she bagged it with a hand me down Remington 1100. An old one, 2 3/4 only, modified choke sporting walnut furniture.

The Remington 1100 was the first commercially successful gas operated shotgun that was actually profitable to produce. Introduced in 1963, it is still produced today. My 1100 was produced somewhere in the mid 1970s. Big Green's dating service accuracy has always been a bit questionable. Seriously, they would probably match me with Amy Schumer.

Pops bought this gun in 2000 from the local barber. I can't remember for the life of me what he paid me for it. I wound up with it as a Christmas present sometime in the late '00s. If I recall correctly, I wanted it for a then girlfriend to shoot, but, since Jackie reads this thing; the less said about that the better.
I don't shoot it much these days. The lack of changeable chokes rules it out for hunting. And I am not a barbarian so therefor I won't shoot it at sporting clays, trap, or skeet. Those are games for finely engraved double barrel guns, you see. Yes, I have a tweed jacket. No it does not have patches. But if you find one of those, let me know.

However, that old 1100 is still one of my favorite guns. Kayla has since left for college and doesn't hunt much anymore, her new interests centering around boys and golf. But the gun looks good in the cabinet, resting peaceably next to the Sportsman 58 and a Belgium Browning A-5, a story for another time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tinkering Tuesday #2 A new cartridge for a new meme

So, I have never been one to be on the leading edge of firearms technology. I was about ready to accept that .40 S&W was here to stay and low and behold it looks like that new fangled intermediate round is nearing the end of it's service life. Glock 22s are being traded in for Glock 17s across the country. But I digress.

Ah yes, back to my new fangled intermediate round. I sold a bunch of guns at Gander Mountain. And a bunch of those guns were Ruger. And as a token for what I did for the screaming chicken's bottom line, the fine folks from Prescott sent me a Ruger American Predator. For free. Well, I had to pay a $25 dollar transfer fee to the local pawn and gun, but hey, that got me my current gig. Totally worth it.

Okay, so I have a rifle with a synthetic stock. 
The 6.5 Creedmoor is a long range target round with some awesome sporting applications. It can be used in an AR- platform. It punches above it's class in regards to terminal down range effect of a 140 grn bullet. It is also very pleasant to shoot. I don't see it eclipsing the .243 or 7mm-08 but I think it will be around a long time. It has great support from both firearm and ammunition manufacturers.

L to R; 7mm Rem Mag, .30-06 Gov't, .270 Win, 6.5 CM
 So, being a free rifle, I decided to make something for myself that I would never think about buying. I regret to say that I may have been bitten by the desire to shoot at a 1,00 yards. MagPul is set to release an aftermarket stock for the rifle. Yeah, buying that. Oh, and a bi pod. Buying that too.The VX-1 3x9 currently atop the rifle is there for a place holder until I decide what kind of big boy optic I'm going with. And I'm also thinking that a can for said threaded barrel is in my not so immediate future.

So, moving forward I'm excited to see what this rifle can do and to see how much money I can give Mister Larry. I will close with a meme, because interwebz.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Military Monday #2 - Clay, LeMay, and the American Way

I'm going to start this story with a brief bit of back story. I'm the scion of a family of traditional Southerners. We have worked the land and fought for our land for quite some time. My Great Grand Mother lived Reconstruction. My Grand Mother was raised to be bitter towards the Yankees. My Mother casually remarked that she was glad Big Mama wasn't alive for commissioning. A reference to the Army Service Uniform some dumbass thought would be a good day to day dress uniform. I would not say I'm Unreconstructed, but pretty damn close. That shapes my world view to some extent. And it shaped the world few of one Lucius D. Clay, GEN, USA, hailing from Marietta, GA. General Clay, in my opinion, was the man who won the Cold War. Or at least set up our eventual victory against the Evil Empire.

GEN Clay in the very sharp Pink and Greens
As we all know, the victorious Allied powers divided up Germany among themselves, to include a zone for France. Berlin, deep in the Soviet sector was also divided. General Clay, a man whom grew up in a household where the evils of Reconstruction were a very real thing, was the senior American officer in occupied Germany. A man reared in a household where the scars of a hostile military occupation ran deep, he was determined to prevent it from happening again, even to a vanquished foe. 

GEN LeMay in USAF blue with Army ribbons
GEN LeMay bombed the Japanese back to the stone age. And was ready to do the same to the Russians/East Germans/ChiComms/Norks/anybody else his B-29s and B-36s would reach. But when General Clay held firm in West Berlin, General LeMay's Air Force rose to the occasion. I have postulated that the finest hours of the USAF was when a C-54 touched down at Tempelhof Airport every ten minutes. 
The cargo plane that won the Cold War
General LeMay did what all great leaders do when asked to preform a nigh impossible task. He found a trusted subordinate who was smarter than he was about the matter at hand. General William Tunner had flew the Hump is WWII and was driving a desk at MATS as the Airlift began. But he was the man most responsible for the success of the airlift.
"Tonnage" Tunner in very practical khakis

These men orchestrated the greatest airlift the world has ever seen. General Clay would go on to steer West Germany through the Berlin crisis in 1951. General LeMay stayed on with the Air Force, ensuring that SAC would become a force of global destruction that brought peace. And General Tunner went on to fight for better jet transports for the Air Force. The American Army Air Force had brought Germany to it's knees. The American Army had taken a large portion of it. And when Soviet aggression threatened the rebuilding of a stable, democratic free nation, American Soldiers and Airmen held the line. And did it without firing a shot. A fitting tribute to the man who grew up hating a military government of occupation.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Stories #1 The Valentines Day 700

So, I got laid low with a stomach bug. And then we lost two guys at work. So, that's what happened during my four day hiatus. You didn't miss anything. And now back to our regularly scheduled gun blogging.
Gun blogging ain't all hot chicks and free gun. It's an old computer and dead trees for research

So, the above was my attempt to both work from home on Sunday and watch the Braves. Neither of which did very well. But anyway, on to our story:

Valentine's Day 2016, Gander Mountain #309

It was about the mid point of my shift. I had opened that day, and was pulling a double. Meaning I would leave the store around 1900 or so, give or take. Which had thrown a wrench into my V-Day shopping plans. However, in exchange for a Frosty, the perky cheerleader who worked part time as our cashier said she would take my card and run across to Target for me. Thus allowing to continue selling guns. Gotta chase that dollar.

So, with Anna off spending my money for Jackie, I was left to my own devices. Being Valentines Day, we were kinda slow, mainly couples browsing or boyfriends picking up some .380 as a bag filler. I'm actually playing with our big game ammo day dreaming of charging cape buffalo when I get the ever popular
"Do you work here?" from a well dressed, slightly flustered lady. 

No, I just wear the vest to carry snacks. 

"Yes ma'am, I do. What can I help you with?"
"I want to buy my husband a rifle."
"Great, what kind?"
"A Remington 700."
At which point my heart sank just a tad. At that point, at my best guest Remington, had over 100 different variants of the 700 cataloged. At store #309 we had around thirty variants on the rack, give or take.
"What kind?"

Internally, I wished to be back working for the Boy Scouts, back jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, back in the fraternity house sweating over constitutional law, but no, I was at Gander Mountain wearing a stupid vest, about to hunt for the perfect "black" 700.

As an aside, unless you are parachuting into Pakistan to kill the current Number Two of Al-Queda, buy a rifle with a walnut stock. Or I will mentally call you a peasant.

We finally, find her a rifle that sorta meets her hazy recollection of what her husband wanted, and she asked the question every gun salesman since Colt looked at a ship's helm loves to hear,
"What else do I need with it?"

"Well, ma'am, you bought a nice rifle. A really nice rifle. You're gonna need a Leupold scope, rings, bases, three boxes of Federal Premium with Sierra bullets, a soft case, a sling, oh, and we're running a special on bi-pods."

Okay, so maybe, just maybe, I kitted this guys rifle up like something Chris Kyle would nod approvingly at.

I happily ran her background check, swiped her credit card, and walked her out the store. And then inwardly cringed when Anna got back and gave me debit card and a Target sack. No 700s in my immediate future.

Even though this beauty will be coming home with me in 30 days
Coming up this week, we'll look at General Clay and how we won the Cold War. We'll take a look at the Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor as I decide to embrace a new caliber. The "little sister gun" we'll get a day in the lime light. We'll talk about pocket pistols and flash lights. And we'll see how the Braves are looking on Sunday. Thanks for stopping buy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Weapons Wednesday #1 - The Remington Sportsman 58 "Granddaddy's Gun"

To begin this inaugural weapons Wednesday, I'm going to give you a brief rundown of my maternal grandfather, James, who I did refer to as Granddaddy. My paternal grandfather went by either Pop or Eli and favored Iver Johnson single shots and Ithaca 37 featherweights, but that is a post for another time.

Granddaddy was a farmer whom loved to bird hunt, primarily dove but sometimes quail and pheasant. He served honorably in the Georgia National Guard prior to WWII, was called up during the limited national emergency prior to WWII, fought in New Guinea, and was discharged to return home and tend the family farm. A successful farm producing corn and soybeans apparently being more important than a very under educated Captain of infantry at the time. Sometime in the late 1950s, he won a raffle held by the local mill and thus received a Remington 58, specifically the Sportsman with lots of tasteful engraving on the receiver and deluxe checkering. I've always found that funny because his other guns were all boring, utilitarian Sears and Roebuck or Western Auto specials.

The Sportsman 58 was Big Green's first foray into a gas operated shotgun. It was a very OK design. Had some issues, was finicky about cleanliness, and had a very basic gas regulation system that lended itself to user induced malfunctions occasionally. It was also labor intensive to make and kind of heavy. However, I've found that being a a heavy gas operated gun I can shoot it all day and not be worn out the next day.

In the early 60s, it was discontinued in favor of the 1100. It was one of the first non Browning designed American semi auto guns to have a big following. I bagged my first wood duck with mine, illegally shooting lead #4. Oops.

Granddaddy willed the gun to me when he passed. Dad broke it down, cleaned it, had it re blued, and re did the wood. It stayed in the corner of his bed room until I was nine at which point I started shooting hand thrown clays with it.

Sportsman 58 shown with some vintage shells. I stupidly shot up most the paper hulled shells that I got in the will.

As I grew older, I got into turkey hunting and more serious about duck hunt, necessitating newer guns. I also took up trap and skeet and developed a taste for fine O/Us. That being said, some days, when the birds are flying low over that back pasture at home where Dad threw out some millet, it's nice to take the old gun, a box of ShurShot heavy dove loads, and beat through the grass looking for birds. I like to thank Granddaddy would enjoy that, too. 

Somber Sunday

 So, been wearing a badge for seven months now. I enjoy it. Have had good days, fun days, bad days, and even dare I say it, boring days. Tod...