Friday, February 14, 2020

Free Form Friday - Valentine's Day Reruns

Hello all. Hope you are enjoying a special day with your significant other. Or shredding their picture at Hooters for free wings. Whatevs. We are a judgement free zone here at Counter Jockey Chronicles.

Today I'm reposting a previous Sunday Story that is especially applicable today. Enjoy!

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.

As an update, I have purchased a couple of 700 platforms since then. EXCEPT ONE IN .35 WHELEN!

Anna is engaged to a local deputy and Jackie and I are about to celebrate two years of marriage.

This weekend I'm manning the store both days. But look to have some cool stuff up for Military Monday. Everyone enjoy your weekend and discounted sweets tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping buy.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Tsundoku Thursday - A Not So Polite War

The Battle of the Atlantic is one of those subjects in military history that gets a lot ink spilled and electrons wasted.

That being said, I don't know if it is one that anybody, other than the most ardent student of WWII history, ever really gets.

Your average thumbnail goes something like:

"U-Boats bad, convoys good. Air coverage more better. Yay escort carriers. Oh, look, we took France. Battle over."

Oh, and that Alright Alright Alright fella from Texas captured a German typewriter and won the war.

As an aside; in 7th grade I realized I may have been a bit of a nerd when I told a very pretty girl whose's name escapes me at the moment that I really didn't want to go see U-571 with her again because it was terribly inaccurate.

And did you know most of the heavy lifting of convoy operations was done by the Royal Canadian Navy?

A case could be made that the RCN did better than both the RN and USN in ASW during WWII.

The Brits concentrated soley on getting ships through. We only wanted to sink U-Boats. The Canadians decided to politely disagree and do both.

Marc Milner writes an excellent one volume overview of the war against the U-Boat.

"Battle of the Atlantic" while not imaginatively titled tome is a great read. I mean, he legit starts with very first U-boat kill of the war and goes all the way to the German capitulation.

Very much like the Confederate raider Shenandoah, there were U-Boats at sea and hunting write up until Adolf put PPK in his mouth.

Give it a read. I can't recommend it enough.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Training Tuesday - Teaching Tactically

Today we have another post by everyone's favorite co-blogger Pudge.  And he's gonna talk about how to be a better trainer. I figure this important because I have a hunch most of my readership does some form of firearm instruction.

Square Pegs in Round Holes-

Some people think that with a big enough hammer you can make this happen. Sure, you can, but then
you are altering that peg forever, and not in a good way. I was recently chatting with Mack about what
to write about and he mentioned something that it is near and dear to my heart- Teaching and training

The point that he wanted me to make and something I’ve seen both good and bad, is how a
good instructor can change his teaching style based upon the abilities/knowledge of those he is

The other day Mack said he saw an instructor who was very skilled struggle to teach a new shooter the
basics. I’ve seen this same thing countless times. An instructor who can teach you how to run and gun
like John Wick but can’t explain, or gets beyond frustrated, how to employ basic principles to a novice
shooter. Why is this? Someone who is used to teaching at a certain level has to realize that not everyone
is at that point. This takes self-assessing and some think they are too good for that. Forgetting to
remember that they too were once someone with no idea of what they were doing. The hard part is
recognizing this and thinking hey, I need to adjust my style because this person isn’t getting it. You also
may need to alter your expectations and define what a “win” is. If the person has never shot a gun
before, a “win” may be as simple as teaching them how to safely and properly hit their target. You don’t
need to make everyone a competitive 3-gun shooter on their first outing. But you do need to make them
safe and enjoy the experience. This will ensure that they continue training and maybe one day reach or
even surpass your skill level.

This is why I see it as our duty to do what we can to teach others on their
terms so that it is an enjoyable hobby and makes them want to bring others into the shooting sports.
Being employed by Uncle Sam to make others do what needs to be done so I don’t have to has garnered
me lots of experience with teaching at all levels. The biggest takeaway I have is; be prepared to start
from the very basics, but also have a plan to progress past where you think they might achieve. An
example of this is when we plan to train another force for 4 weeks, we will actually create a 6-8 week
training plan. This gives us the flexibility to tone down or ramp up the training based on how our
partners are doing. I’ve shown up and those we were supposed to train didn’t even know how to
properly load a magazine. On the contrary, I’ve also shown up where they could shoot just as well as all
of us and if we hadn’t prepared for further progression both units would have lost training value. Yes, it
may seem like a lot of work, but we owe it to those receiving the training to give them the best product

Just like an instructor owes it to every single person he teaches to give him the best
information possible. I’m not saying that everyone is training to conceal carry a gun and needs to be
ready for a fight, but just like those who may entrust their lives with our training one day, we need to be
ready to teach the good ol’ boy proper techniques so that he can teach his son or daughter the correct
way while being safe. This ensures not just the good name of gun owners but also our freedoms of this
great country.

So, with all that rambling, I please ask of anyone who may work with others in the use of firearms,
please prepare in whatever way you need to take care of them the best way possible. Listed below are
the 11 rules I live by whenever I am instructing others. Please feel free to steal them and make them
your own.

Rules for Instruction
1. Never close a student’s mind
2. Leave your ego at the door
3. Prepare for each class
4. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”
5. If you don’t know, ASK
6. Fix 2 items every class; make each class better
7. Explain, train, rehearse, evaluate, critique, rehearse
8. DON’T SAY “This is the only way to do things:
9. Believe in the tactics + techniques you use…otherwise don’t use them
10. Keep yourself ready for the fight

Monday, February 10, 2020

Military Monday - 110 Years of Scouting

During one of the Boer Wars, the British occupational forces weren't doing so hot. Things got so bad at the siege of Mafeking; that British Army General Lord Baden Powell was forced to rely on young boys to carry out essential military functions. Messaging, dispatch riding, and indeed foward scouting were all done by boys as young as 12.

And then Mr. Boyce, whom was an American business got lost in the fog in London. And rescued by an English Boy Scout.

He came back Stateside, and through a bunch of legal stuff involving the YMCA, the Army, Congress, and a bunch of really good men, the Boy Scouts of America was formed. James E West serving as first Chief Scout Executive.

And the Boy Scouts of America have served the nation well ever since.

Medal of Honor winners, Astronauts, Presidents, Test Pilots, Doctors, Pioneers of Industry have all raised three fingers and swore an Oath to do their best for God and Country.

I was proud to wear the khaki uniform as a kid. I was proud of the green venture shirt I wore as a teenage summer camp staffer.

Not soon after, I was in Iraq

And when I came home, I went to college. And still worked summers, ten weeks to semi detox and not spend money chasing sorority girls was good for the liver and the wallet. And one summer, after being gone for a spell in the A-Stan, the Council Exec asked if I could hang around for a while. Which worked out pretty well. I traded in uniform shirts for faded Columbia shirts and work dungarees.

I'd say working for the BSA worked out OK
Running a year round Boy Scout camp might have been the most meaningful thing I ever did. One summer camp season I carried 128 kids on the roll. That's an infantry company with reinforcements. And to every kid I was "Mister Mack"; and well, I'm still pretty proud of that.

One of my summer camp kids got a lifesaving medal after showing up to a car wreck. Really proud of that.

Several of them are currently serving in the Sandbox. Proud of that too.

The Boy Scouts now lets young women sign on. And I'm A-OK with that. The Girl Scouts of America being a bastion of liberal femi-nazi brainwashing.

My Scout Troop recently celebrated 100 years of service. It's a pretty big deal. Troop 25 has mustered for floods, tornado relief, and Scouting for Food every year since 1920.

I still wear the old green ball cap with a yellow fleur de li on it.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Somber Sunday

A bit of a change of pace for today. We'll resume normal posting tomorrow. For now, a brief word from everyone's favorite co-blogger:

I had some other things in mind when I started writing today but instead changed pace when I saw the news. All I can say is thank you to those who have fought in the past and those still fighting today. Two more 7th Special Forces Group Soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on 8 February 2020.

Not many people still think about the ongoing wars; but, every day there are still families and friends that have to go another day without a loved one. My deepest sympathy goes out to those families that have been affected.

But I also want to say thank you and try not to mourn at their passing but celebrate the lives that they lead. Continue to talk about their deeds and their person to carry on their legacy. “A man can never die so long as someone speaks his name.”


When Pudge emailed me the above, he said feel free to round it out with anything I felt like I could add.

You wear the uniform long enough and you have to deal with this. The Forever War making it a bit harder on our relatively small military; doubly so in combat arms.

That being said, you know it's part of the job when you raise your right hand and swear in.

Still sucks though.

But tonight, Imma drink a beer and pop in The Green Berets.

And tomorrow I'm gonna sort brass and day drink. Cause this America and we're the greatest Nation on Earth. And that is definitely something worth dying for.

Catch you at Fiddler's Green, Compadres.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Weapons Wednesday - A Light Dragoon

So, in the U.S. military, a dragoon was a mounted infantryman. For whom the horse was simply a method to get into combat quickly. A cavalry man being a mounted soldier whom used his horse for scouting and mobility.

Colonel Cooper pioneered the term and concept of a scout rifle. A lightweight rifle suitable for both hunting and some combat. A rifle to be chambered in .308 Win or 7mm-08 in those locals prohibiting military cartridges.

He also championed a lightweight, heavier weapon. Which he wished to be called the Dragoon. He was a fan of the stillborn .376 Steyr. This heavy rifle was to be called Dragoon. And shoot a 225 grn bullet. Which would be suitable for just about anything in Africa. Minus the heffalumps.

Well, you see, I've never bought one hundred percent into the scout rifle concept. But the Dragoon always appealed to me.

I just suck at math.

Because 178 grns is a bit less than 225 grns.

But, hey, my impulse gun show purchase at least had irons sights.

So, for no other reason than I had cash in hand, this beauty came home with me.

Above is a Ruger Hawkeye Alaskan in .300 Ruger Compact Magnum, or RCM.

It's a thumper. Not quite enough for the dangerous game in Africa but good for everything in North America. We want discuss my previous rant on the .35 Whelen.

I'm rather pleased with myself. Got it for a steal. An oddball platform in an oddball caliber. But hey, I can order ammo at wholesale.

.300 RCM is designed to mimic the performance of the .300 Win Mag is a shorter, handier rifle.

I haven't actually shot the thing yet, but I have high hopes. Hogs will fear me.

Integral Ruger scope rings of course and iron sights. Probably gonna put a Loopy 1x4 of some sort on it, simply because it has a 22 inch barrel.

I still don't know. Total impulse buy. But damn it looks good on the bench.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Thinking Tuesday

We've rarely discussed politics here. Other than the fact that I think FDR was a crippled socialist. And that the Hughes Amendment ought to result in an assortment of congress critters lined in front of a wall and offered one last cigarette.

That being said, I'm an unabashed Patriot. Right or wrong; my country. Hell, once or twice, I could be heard going on record as to saying I was proud President Obama was my Commander in Chief.

I've generally never felt especially represented by my assorted elected officials. I've either felt like I was being used, being patronized, being lied to, or a combination of any of the above.

For ten years I wore the uniform and did my level best to be a-political.

Hell, I skew democrat on a lot of things. I grew up in a mill town. It comes with the territory.

But hot damn.

The Cheetoh in Chief had Kayla Mueller's parents at the SOTU.

I mean damn. I have no words.

We tried to find her. We really did. We did our level best. The Jordanians did too. And we failed.

But the scumbag who orchestrated her capture and eventual death is dead.

And hell, CAG gave all the credit to the doggo who was a very good girl.

We lost guys in Iraq because the goat fuckers had weapons that could defeat anything short of an Abrams.

I knew some of those guys. They were my friends. Side effect of being in a Guard unit.

And the fucker who was responsible for that got blown away via a Hellfire strike from a drone. That was probably flown by a 23 year old USAF E-4. Who was probably hyped up on Mountain Dew.

That's America's new warrior. And the Space Force will continue that. And I'm glad for it.

I don't know if President Trump is the one; but I certainly know America is great.

And part of that is recognizing wrongs.

A guy who went to Berlin and back 70 times, never lost a bomber, tangled with MiGs over the Yalu, and flew CAS in 'Nam rightfully ought to have retired as like the Vice Commander of TAC.

Or maybe have been one of the Mercury Astronauts.

But due to his skin color, he left the service as an O-6.

And that travesty was righted tonight.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Sorrowful Saturday

So, believe it or not, there is generally a method to my gun buying madness. I have a list of around forty or so guns I want; that which when combined with my current armory will give me the ability to do just about anything needed ballistically.

And give me some cool shit too. Because America. That's why.

One such rifle on my list is/was the Remington 700 CDL SF in .35 Whelen. For all the game in North America to include the dangerous bears.

And I'll be damned if stupid *&$%@#^! Remington didn't discontinue that rifle. Like yesterday.

I mean Big Green straight up disappeared that rifle like it was a pro liberty student in Argentina.

I whored myself out for Big Green at Gander. I sold 783s, 770s, RP9s, and the abomination that was the R51. I even sold an R-15 in 7mm-08!

I bought new, NEW I bought it, a 700 AAC-SD SPS in .300 BLK when they were fighting off bankrupty!

And you know what, screw AAC too. The cartridge should go by it's birth name of .300 JDJ or maybe .300 Whisper. I'm never listing it as .300 AAC again. (Yes, Virginia,  Big Green owns AAC)

And this is the thanks I get. The damn 700 CDL SF was on the cover of Field & Stream back in August 2017.

How do they that to a cover story rifle?

Now yes, I said I was gonna rebarrel a Savage Axis to .35 Whelen. But hell, I trade that Axis off for a piece of Leupold glass and one hundred pieces of Lake City brass.

And yes, I could get a Hart barrell, find a synthetic stocked 30-06 700 at a pawn shop and do it for cheap.

But that's not a CDL!

I have a .243 ADL, a .30-06 BDL, and now will never have a .35 Whelen CDL.

This is your fault Remington. All you.

I hope every police force in the country decides that the Mossberg M590 is a more suitable riot gun.

'Cause it is.

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...