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.


  1. Hey Mack

    That is a good story and I know that gun store, that is where my dad went and bought that Hi-point carbine in 9mm at. Very reasonable prices on firearms.

    1. I reckon I've probably help braces on his Grandkids by this point.

  2. Us old farts ARE good for something... You just have to ask... LOL


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