Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tinkering Tuesday - Thrifty Tacticool

So, I've never been a big fan of the AR-15. That is to say outside of a SHTF carbine and maybe a coyote/hog rig, I never saw the point in having a safe full of them. That is not to say I think they have no place or anything; I was just not personally interested in having a bunch of them.

And then I snapped a lower on an upper. And decided maybe to do one more as a .300 BLK pistol because I think that's a neat round. And then thought I ought to be able to build one for my job. And then thought that maybe building one more just for the hell of it would be okay. And well, yeah. Here we are.

Yeah, this is the cheapest "firearm" I've brought home. 

Yeah, I know poverty pony. This was more of a impulse buy than anything. Plus, it serves as a fun way to demonstrate how asinine our assorted firearms laws are. I had to do a 4473 for the above receiver. Brought said lower home for like $40 bucks. I figure that I'm gonna build a Mk 18 inspired pistol and SBR it one day. The aesthetics of the stubby barrel ending in a flash hider have always appealed to me.

And hell, at this price, every time Nancy Pelosi opens her mouth I can buy one. But that would be irresponsible. Every time she opens her mouth I ought to send a check to the NRA-ILA or the SAF.

That being said, I am gonna buy at least one more. That way, Jackie and I both will have a fighting carbine, a backup carbine, and an AR pistol. PACE and all that.

Oh, and as an aside the chicks at Hooters support the Troops on Tuesday.

 Reports from the front indicate that the continual reminder that the chicks at Hooters support them on Tuesday is good for morale. The DOD should conduct a study to see if increasing the support of Hooters chicks to other work days may increase moral.

Major renovations going on at work. So, look for the Monday and Tuesday posts to continue; but other posting/commenting maybe curtailed.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Military Monday - Motivational Musings

Grandpa Eli was a mean son of a bitch. Rough around the edges. Chewed beechnut. Wore faded Liberty overall. Killed himself a shit ton of bad guys in WWII. Had a bunch of medals hanging in a box over the mantle with his J.C. Higgins side by side. Feared not razor wire and looked on with scorn when five year old me caught his shirt in in while working the farm. Kinda just glared at me until I untangled myself, despite what at the time seem liked massive blood loss.

Grandpa Eli always said that some one already took the easy jobs. And my Old Man would always proclaim that the worst part of any job was dreading it. And by the time I was in the position where I had people following me; be they Soldiers or staff venture crew registered Scouters, I often found myself saying "the only thing left to do is to do it." Not exactly the most inspired bit of catchphrase, but it always served to underscore my point.

I prided myself on never asking my Troopers, be they Army green or Boy Scout khaki to do anything that I wouldn't do. Motivating them to do that how some ever was a bit different. A lot of leadership platitudes often seem to fall upon deaf ears when your audience is in the 15-21 year old age group.

And I'll be damned if I didn't get blindsided the other day when I was talking to one of my former Boy Scout kids who now wears the uniforms called me up.

His unit is headed to the NTC soon. And after that they are going to Afghanistan. And damn it, if this kid; a soft spoken country boy from the middle of Georgia isn't an Engineer, Who does route clearance. Which means he goes and finds IED. Jesus Jake, couldn't you have done something like water purification of finance?

But oh fuck no. My former little dude said he wanted to be an Engineer so when he got he could find a job and the RCP guys needed volunteers. And he went.

I mean damn, you tell a kid a hundred times not to be alone with a female staffer and he never listens. But you mention something off hand about doing the right thing and he drinks that down like an ice cold Budweiser after a long day of hanging up AR-550 steel for a new back stop.

I started each summer camp staff training week with the admonition of camp directors everywhere: "No one dies and no one gets pregnant. One don't offset the other."

But hey, mission first an all that.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tactical Thursday - Big Testicles

One year ago today a fuckhead who couldn't hack it at life decided to headline the CNN scoreboard with his shitty DPMS Oracle. And thus launched the career of a bunch of little punk kids who ain't worth the lube expended to conceive them.

It's been all over the news today. And is disgusting. Cowardice at the official level was the name of the game at Parkland. And kids died because of it.

However, today, I choose not to bitch and moan about a dishonest media, cowardly deputies, inept Sheriffs, political school boards or the like.

I  choose to honor a kid a Trooper who fucking died on the bounce and doing his best.

C/PFC Peter Wang died trying to help his fellow students escape. Unarmed, in a Class B uniform, that fine young man died trying to save others. Army Cadet Command gave him a medal. The Point admitted him posthumously. He was a man among boys.

Other kids in his JROTC BN recall him as smart and funny. Kind of heart and a rising star on the small bore team. That young man represented the very best of America. The very fucking best we had to offer.

Trooper Wang could have been a hundred dozen different kids who put on the uniform and did their best in a shitty situation. I truly hope we was welcomed in Valhalla with open arms.

Colonel Boyington might have caught some flak for giving the kids two beers since he was so small. One for each hand and what not.

Level headed action in the face of impossible circumstances is the hallmark of heroism. Cadet Wang exemplified heroism on that fateful day.

In a Budweiser inspired stroke of creative thinking, I mentioned to Jackie that when I show up to Valhalla I'd like to twirl my Beretta on my finger like a gun fight and give it to Mister Wang. So for the next battle, the final battle between good and evil, he doesn't have to go it unarmed and his Class B.

Godspeed, Cadet Wang. We've got the duty.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Weapons Wednesday - The Weapons of WEB Griffin

News broke today on Facebook that William E. Butterworth III, better known under his pen name of WEB Griffin pasted away. The world is a lesser place with his passing. He was to the U.S. Army what Tom Clancy was to the U.S. Navy.

He wrote an expansive series of novels that concerned the birth of U.S. Army aviation and Special Forces from the remnants of the Army of the United States after the 1946 draw down.

He was a veteran, earning a CIB in Korea. And my favorite books of his centered around the exploits of small teams of American SOF doing things way behind the lines that the dirty Commies wouldn't like very much.

And these guys were generally always armed with -1911A1s, M1A1 Thompsons, and cut down pump guns, generally of the Winchester persuasion. And generally one fellow would have an M-1 Garand, usually one with a National Match barrel.

Further more, it was evident in his writing that He certainly appreciated the shotgun sports. And fine over and unders. Very fine over and unders. One instance sticks out in my mind where a Colonel with a 16 GA Superposed Diana grade and felt like he had the peasant gun of the bunch. And the flip side of that was that several characters, in different series shot Winchester pumps and Remington auto loaders better than anything else.

In a way Mr. Butterworth represented the older version of American gun culture. A hearty love for the weapons they used in the service and a love of fine sporting guns with blued steel and walnut furniture. And also, a desire to bring home a war trophy from a vanquished foe. Lugers, AK-47s., etc. are all mentioned as coming in duffel bags in his books. That gets you a one way ticket to USDB Leavenworth today.

Recently, I got Jackie started on the "Brotherhood of War" series. Having friends that are both Army Aviators and SF guys, it's fun to read about their beginnings. And hell, the patriarch of the series is a long serving Cavalry man whom is just one of many in his family to have worn the uniform. That married an Army brat. I can relate.

If there is a Valhalla, I like to think that Cadet Wang opened the door for Mr. Butterworth and directed him towards the table by the fireplace where Tom Clancy was having a Scotch and looking at his notes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tsundoku Tuesday - "Big Guns Brave Men"

We, as Americans, tend to enjoy firepower. Be it hunting or in the military. In fact, firepower is one reason the American military is so successful. We blow the shit out of anything that looks funny, cost to the taxpayer be damned.

Going back to Fat Henry Knox, the U.S. artillery has always been world class. Hell, we even decided that despite being fine Southern gentlemen, we'd hitch some light pieces up behind a team of horses and dash all about the battlefield.

Warriors fight for the nobility of battle of some such. The American Soldier fights to fucking win so as to go home, marry a stripper, buy a Mustang at Eleventy One Percent APR, and probably get an Article 15. Well, at least mine did. But that is neither here nor there.

But the fact remains, that the American fighting man has generally enjoyed on call, accurate, and continuous fire support for the most part since Cowpens.

And we've always been able to provide that arty on time and on target due some braves guys whom venture forward with the weird guys wearing crossed rifles.

The Artillery FO, or FISTer in modern parlance is a true American hero. He puts the hurting on the bad guys for you.

And the FISTer comes from a long lineage of American badassery.

Big Guns, Brave Men: Mobile Artillery Observers and the Battle For Okinawa is a superb history, both oral and historiographic, of the FOs of the 96th Inf Div during the fight for Okinawa. Written buy R. E. Walton, himself, an Army officer, whom is the son of a FO, the books brings to light a little known junk of the American Army in WWII.

Few people if any think of the Pacific as an Army war, other than the intrepid defense of Bataan. But we were there. From General Krueger Sixth's Army, to the National Guard at the Canal, to the 96th at Okinawa, the U.S. Army executed it's part of war plan orange with skill and valor.

This book is a fun read, well researched, and an all to important collection of oral history from the guys who were there.

It's available from the United States Naval Institute Press at a clear the decks prices; which, generally means it is about to cease publication. Grab it while you can.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday Musings

  • Today is my Friday. I'm off the next two days. I will probably go to Home Depot tomorrow after I have lunch at Hooters with a couple of Rhodesian Gander Mountain ex pats. We will sit and drink stale beer and talk about what new books we've read concerning the Bush War.
  • If you put a Timney trigger in a Mosin that is already in an expensive aftermarket stock you still have an obsolete bolt gun in an antiquated caliber. I probably could have found you a Remington 700 for far cheaper than where you're at now with your janky sniper rifle. And no, it is not just as good.
  • Jesus, AR parts give me a damn headache. Listen Cletus, you ain't fast roping into Mosul. I will do my level best to order what you want. Provided you can pay for it and it is a part, that you know, actually exists.  
  • I somehow found myself on the agenda at the district round table for the Scouts tomorrow night. I thought I hung all my uniforms up. Oh wait. I've had some sort of shirt with shoulder straps and crap over the pockets, be it Army or Boy Scout khaki since I was 10 years old. Oops. 
  • I've decided my "heavy" for Africa will be a Ruger Guide Gun in .375 Ruger Compact Magnum. 
  • Furthermore, I've decided my next big project is going to be a Remington 700 in .300 Win Mag; comfortably nestled in some sort of chassis. Probably something from MagPul. 
  • Speaking of the 700, I really really really like the Pawn Shop Special pre-ADL .243 700 I picked up. Damn. That thing is handy, and it shoots. Like real good. I may have to buy another rifle for Jackie. 
  • Look for a book review tomorrow. 
  • Look for a fun write about my new favorite weapon on Wednesday. 
  • Violating my political rule for a minute: What in the hell is happening in Virginia? I mean damn. I was a stereotypical frat boy. I drank a lot. I went to and threw a lot of raging parties. But we never assualted any women nor did we ever mock people of a different race. We were much too refined as fine Southern gentlemen for any thing like that. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Weapons Wednesday - Winchester's Poor Man's Pump

As previously discussed, I got lucky on a 1963 produced Model 12 last year. Good lucking gun. And as well all know, in 1964 Winchester decided to ruin their brand cut costs on most of their flagship guns.

The '94, the Model 12, and the Model 70 were all redesigned to be more cost effective. Some engineer at Winchester at least made a small principled stand and the cheapened Model 12 was renamed  the Model 1200.

The new Model 1200 was actually kinda cool. It had a rotary locking bolt which it would share with the future 1400 semi auto. The 1400 being a very decent semi auto that was like half the cost of the competing 1100. I traded a friend a really nice Drake hunting jacket for one. But that's a tale for another day.

So, any who, the 1200 was released on the American market and actually met some decent success. They're nice old guns for what they are. The Army bought a bunch of the defender versions for use as riot guns and what not.  Being produced from 1965 until 2006 when the Connecticut plant was shuttered, it stands to reason that more than a few would end up in pawn shops across the country.

And of course, if it ends up in a pawn shop, I may be interested in it. So, actually funny story here, I didn't buy this one. My long suffering wife did as a last minute fill in Christmas present. That poor shotgun set on the rack for about two years, not drawing any interest. It's a bit of an anachronism in the modern shotgun era. Wood furniture, a 2 3/4" chamber, and a fixed modified barrel. We didn't give the fella who sold it to us a lot of money, nor did Jackie spend a lot on it. But I'll be damned if the thing doesn't shoulder better than my Model 12 does. Probably that extra half inch of recoil pad. Also, the 1200 was one of the first guns in later years to come with a WinChoke compatible barrel. Which is on my to do list down the road.

Had I been thinking I would have taken a picture of the lugs 
Its in fair to good condition, showing some signs of being roughly stowed after a hunting trip. But the wood looks good. And it's a nice piece of American firearms history.

Winchester made these until 2006 when they were bought out by FN and the Winchester plant closed. The Winchester brand, as wholly owned by FN, began importing a cheap Turkish made pump as the SXP. And it's garbage. Kind of like the Model 120 Ranger which was an even cheaper version of the 1200 that you could buy at K Mart, Roses, and Wal Mart back in the day. I roll my eyes anytime some one mentions their Winchester pump and then utters "SXP" or "120" as a model. Grrr. But I'm a gun snob.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Long Range Thoughts

I believe I have myself an Africa rifle. Now to afford it. And in doing so, I may have solved another conundrum I'd been facing.

I have a shameful secret. I don't own the first platform in .308 Winchester. Nor 7.62 NATO. My love of the Scout Rifle, the FAL, the G-3, and rifles Bob Lee Swagger would shoot have thus far not prompted me to buy a rifle in said caliber. The closest I've come to a .308 rifle was nearly buying an Ishapore 2A1 from the pawn shop. I didn't.

But, I decided that I would like a Winchester/FN Model 70, with a walnut stock and a heavy barrel in .308 Winchester.

And damn it if that gun isn't cataloged by Winchester/FN.

Now, FN markets a tactical bolt gun under their superb FNH-USA line that is a heavy barreled .308 with the same action as the new production Model 70s, but it looks like something that the HRT would use to shoot a hostage terrorist.

Very befuddled. Back to the drawing board. I may wind with four Remington 700s and only two Model 70s. That offends my sense of symmetry.

But, anywho, that sort of brings me to my next point.

I like innovation in the firearms industry. I really do. Even if fads come and go, they still provide something to the gun culture, even if only to show how well proven cartridges work already.

The .224 Valkryie, the 6.5 PRC, the .300 PRC, the .22 Wildcat, 6mm Creedmoor, 6mm PRC, all seem really effing cool. And hell, I like oddball brass as much as the next guy. And if Julie Golob says the .224 Valkyrie is something special, I'm inclined to believe her.

But, and big but here, marketing hype can lead the average consumer astray. A while back, Jackie and I were at Mister Bo's store down in Butler. He has plenty of 270 WSM and it is well priced.

A gentleman came storming in complaining about the three deer he'd shot and how all three of them didn't go down.

He was shooting a 6.5 Creedmore XPR. A decent rifle. But not what I'd shoot for Georgia whitetail.

And to compound matters, he was shooting 140 grn ELD open tipped match bullets. those things are gonna act like a laser at 40 to 50 yards. And they sure as hell aren't going to expand.

And the fellow was incensed that the new wonder cartridge, the wonderful 6.5 Creedmoor had let him down.

I started to say something and thought better of it. But I did subject my poor wife to an hour long rant on the way home.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Super Sunday Musings

  • At new work, we have a 4" S&W 460 in the case. Two Canadians guys were doing some gun tourism and after shooting a Mk 18 clone, they oogled over it after they paid. One of them asked if it was a Judge. Trying to be polite, I responded that it was what a Judge wanted to be when it grew up. They were less than impressed with it's inability to fire shot shells. Derp is trans national apparently.
  • I just walked up to the den after watching the third Transformers. It's really cool when Colonel Lennox asks for volunteers for a one way trip. And the junior kid says he'll find his own ride back. And all that is lost when Colonel Lennox says with all seriousness "We'll use the squireel suits to get in close." I finished my Mimosa after that one. 
  • Friday I had a gentleman get most irate over the fact that apparently I did use the newest bestest thread grease on his AR upper. Um, sir, I believe that grease you wanted me to use is metallic and conductive. But what do I know about the M-16/M-4/Mk 18/ AR-15 platform? I'm just a dumbass millennial who carried one for ten years and has shot them for near about twenty. 
  • A post over on the book of faces brought up Hognose. He and I first connected in discussing M-4A1 clones. When I work on something from Spikes Tactical or install something from Vendetta precision, I wonder if he is laughing his ass off at the current state of the AR market.

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...