Friday, May 27, 2016

One Day, A Wake Up...

...and about half a day's flying (and waiting in airports) and we will be in Alaska. I cannot not f'ing wait.

I had best get some sleep, I have a lot to do later today.

Later for you,
GB

Thursday, May 26, 2016

This Getting Ready For Vacation...

...has me deserving a vacation due to it alone. Its not the packing or the little bit of planning I have done because I am done with that; well except for rearranging some stuff to different bags maybe. What is getting to be a real pain in the neck is all the chores that I started today and have to get finished by tomorrow. As I typed that last sentence, my alarm just started going off with a recording of my voice reminding me to move the sprinkler on my lawn. I am watering now because I figured it would have been a waste earlier today when it was much hotter. I have the alarm set every 20 minutes for the next hour and twenty or so.

Then there was calling American Express and getting traveler's insurance for our hotel stays (and that took over half an hour of tedium), mowing the front and back lawns, going to the post office, shopping at the pharmacy for toothbrushes and toothpaste for the trip and at the supermarket for some diner and beers, cleaning my fish tanks, setting aside individual days' worth of fish food so my wife does not overfeed the fishes, cleaning up the backyard some, cleaning the basement some, looking for fishing gear that I cannot find (but hope my son has hidden somewhere and so on. Tomorrow I still have to change all the filter media in my fish tanks, clean the tortoise enclosure, clean the bearded dragon tank, try to get a problem with an FFL worked out so I can ship a gun to him that someone bought from me on GunBroker (I really want to ship before I leave for the north country), sharpen knives, clean guns (the only two things I have not packed besides fishing gear and those toothbrushes and toothpaste are my two pistols for the trip), find that fishing gear, print out our tickets, vacuum the basement, cleaning my car (my wife wants to drive us to the airport in that rat trap instead of her sports nicer car), writing up the details of my critter care so my wife can take care of them and they are still alive when I get home, making sure all of my guns are locked up (actually I think all of them are secure already but I will double and triple check) and whatever else is on my to do list and then some. Of course, I will also wake my son from his drunken slumbers to make sure he packs.

The vacation should be two weeks instead of one.

Crap, I had better move the sprinkler before there is a flood.

All he best,
Glenn B

Little Blogging Because...

...I have been busy with a lot of stuff this week being that our Alaska trip is now less than 48 hours away. Luckily for me, another guy on my job forgot to renew a necessary license. That was not lucky for him because he is now not working, at least not until he gets it renewed and since it is a state license that could take weeks. It was lucky for me because I got to work a day last week and three this week and that way at least I will have some money coming to me after our trip that can be used to help pay for it. I could have also worked today and tomorrow but I have an appointment that I need to keep today and have lots to do today and tomorrow in preparation for the trip.

Anyway, those are the reasons there has been not much from me this week in the blog - work and trip preparation. Along the lines of preparation, I am packed already except for my firearms. I have to clean the 45 and the Redhawk before securing them in the case along with my Remington 870. Once we are in AK, I will try to do at least one daily post with pictures from that northern paradise and bastion of firearm rights and freedom.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Everyman's Evening Eyeful

Nope, I haven't forgotten about Everyman's Evening Eyeful, I was a bit busy this week and did not get time to update. At least I have the time right now to post an impressive eyeful for today. Look under the covers but clicking on the link below.

I May Have To Start A New Club...

...after having read most of this. The this is the GENDER IDENTITY/GENDER EXPRESSION: LEGAL ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE by the NY City Commission on Human Rights . To me it seems little more than a way for liberals and leftists to heavily favor those who choose to self identify as a gender other than their natural one over those of us who think that self identification as anything other than your true self to be preposterous.

It is one of the most ridiculous pieces of legal guidance, and one of the most worthless bits of output by a government commission, that I have ever read in my entire life to date. I am almost totally convinced that someone will form a new club, one that plays off of an old name, something like: The He-Man's Gender Self-Identifier Hater's Club. I mean really folks, this insanity of trying to be someone you are not and then getting the rest of the loons to believe you are that other persona is getting ridiculous.

No matter how you want to think of yourself gender-wise, you have chromosomes and if your chromosomes match XX then you are female and if they are XY then you are male, such is determined at the moment of conception. To date, I have heard of ABSOLUTELY zero scientific data to support any claim that your chromosomes can change and thus your actual sexual identity (aka: your gender) can change.

Sure, you can fantasize to the point of thinking you are of the opposite gender and others can go along with your lunacy even to the point of changing the way you look by way of hormone treatments and surgery but the bottom line is you are, from birth until death, the gender you were at the moment of conception. Science may someday change that but it has not done so yet - all it has given you is a façade to enhance your fantasy if you choose to self-identify as a member of a gender other than your own.

Now, even I will admit, maybe their are some natural anomalies that could result in a chromosomal gender change but that would indeed be so rare as to have not yet been discovered. The rest of you who claim to self identify as a gender other that that which you were born are, in essence, simply confused and totally wrong fantasy role-players. 
 
All the best,
Glenn B  

I Was Going To Call The Alaska Department Of Public Safety...

...to inquire as to the legality of carrying firearms while Brendan and I will be on vacation in that state in the near future. So, I went to their website to get their phone number but while there I saw Alaska's General Questions Firearms FAQ and I took a look at it. Most of the questions and answers they have listed deal with why someone would be restricted from carrying firearms there, for example convicted felons and illicit drug users cannot do so nor can those under the influence of alcohol. One has to scroll down more than halfway through the list of questions before getting to what I think should have been the first question and answer on the page:

"Do I need a permit to carry a firearm concealed in Alaska?

No. In Alaska, anyone who is 21 years of age or older and legally allowed to possess a firearm is permitted to carry the firearm concealed without a permit."

How nice of them to allow for such, what a difference from New York, my home state, wherein it is usually almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit. The FAQ takes a load off of my mind about whether or not my son can carry there.

The very next question in the FAQ was an important one and the answer is one of which anyone visiting Alaska and then intending to carry concealed should know of ahead of time. That one asks if you need to do anything special while carrying and you come into contact with police. The answer - yes, you must immediately notify the officer that you are carrying.

Alaska also has this webpage on their site. It plainly states that: "Alaska does not expand upon Federal firearms laws for ownership or possession of firearms." They have an additional webpage "In Alaska" that outlines when one can and cannot carry in Alaska. 

I may still give them a call to make absolutely sure I can allow my son to carry one of my handguns (in NY that would be considered an illegal firearms transfer even if both of us had pistol licenses). I almost cannot wait to get out of New Yorkistan to visit a state that could be aptly named Freedomland.

All the best,
Glenn B


 

Today's History - The Pot Calls The Kettle Black...

...and as usual the balderdash out of Hollyweird is just that - balderdash. Regardless of whatever reason she called David Letterman an "asshole" (source), on this day in 1983, I think Cher was and remains one of the biggest arsehats on the planet. Why this is actually considered to be historical by some is truly beyond me; I was just looking for some blog space filler.

All the best,
Glenn B

Climate Warming In Oregon Hits 451 Degrees Fahrenheit

The book burners banners are at it in the schools of Oregon where they have banned any books that dispute climate change and ones that say it is not manmade. They claim that the science says otherwise but I certainly seem to remember the climatologists twice being caught with their pants on fire in as much as they had skewed the data to support Global Warming and then when caught changed the name to Climate Change. So much for the science of it, this book ban seems to be nothing more than  political correctness heated up to temps found in a Ray Bradbury sci-fi tale. More here

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, May 20, 2016

For An Old Man I Was Feeling Some Nice Hard Wood...

...just moments before I wrote this. I have to say, I have not seen myself with as nice a piece of wood as this in quite awhile.

Click on the link to see what I mean.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My LEOSA Qualification Target

I shot in March with my semi-auto pistol for my annual Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act (LEOSA) qualification. I got a perfect score which is actually pretty easy. Since I did not have anything but a revolver in 22 LR, I did not also qualify with a revolver. Since then I purchased a Ruger Redhawk in 44 Remington magnum. Yesterday, I qualified with it for LEOSA. To say it was a learning experience is an understatement; you can read my post from yesterday to see what I learned and how I learned it.

Anyway, I figured I would post my target from yesterday and show you how I did with The Beast (my pet name for the Redhawk). I think I shot okay with it but certainly far from very good and further from excellent; although I shot better than most of the other shooters on the line at the same time as me. That is not bragging, that is just fact. Anyway, as I just said it was okay, at least for now and I am petty sure I will get better with it once I have fired a higher number of rounds through it and get used to the recoil. Speaking of the number of rounds fired through it, the total after the LEOSA qualification now is only 116 rounds to date. On our first range trip with it, Brendan fired 36 rounds and I fired 30. I quit shooting when the skin in the web of my hand between thumb and forefinger tore on the 30th shot. Brendan fired six more shots and also called it quits, he had had enough of its thumping recoil.

The LEOSA qualification that I fired yesterday consisted of 50 rounds. That's not many shots at all when shooting 22 LR, 32 ACP, 38 Special, 357 magnum, 9mm Luger, 40 S&W or 45 ACP, all calibers I have shot regularly at one time or another. When shooting the 300 grain semi-jacketed flat point 44 magnum ammo that I was shooting for the LEOSA qual, it was painful. Regardless of the pain, I was determined to complete the qualification despite my hand actually becoming numb for a few seconds and then going right back to painful after shaking off he numbness and regardless of me having to reswet my grip several times during the course of fire. I don't recall how manyshots we fired from each yard line but we started with 6 rounds at 3 yards (or maybe it was 7 yards) and moved out to 25 yards where we finished with 6 rounds. Another 38 rounds were fired at distances in between those two.

At 3 (or 7) yards (and I am pretty sure it was 3 yards), my first shot was just about dead center. My second shot was way off to the right, on paper but off target. In actuality, had it been an adversary at whom I was shooting, the second shot probably would have also been just about dead center but something half expected happened and I fired without regard to it. Immediately after the first shot, the bottom of my target blew up and twisted around some and as I fired the second shot the paper was still up in the air and convoluted; thus the shot off low and to the right like that. The third shot was the lowest shot on the paper but pretty much centered left to right because that time when the target flew up from the muzzle blast it did so evenly instead of twisting around like it did after the first shot. In all, three shots went low due to the bottom of the target blowing up from muzzle blast, I circled them before taking the photo. If you look closely you can see those three holes are somewhat oblong, almost appearing like double hits making one hole but the shape was caused by the paper blowing up in the air and not being perpendicular to the bullet path. I waited for the target to come back down after the first four shots and got closer to the center. I also think the range officer moved my target out a bit as I was firing, it seemed a bit further away all of a sudden. Once there were several holes in it and the target was somewhat ventilated it did not jump around like that again. Anyway, it was soon moved out to the 7 yard line where it only was effected a little bit by the muzzle blast. 

As you can see, a few other shots went low, a few went high, and some went to the left or right of center more than I would have liked but they likely would have put a hurting on a bad guy. One shot went off target but on paper to the right, that was just a lousy shot on my part at 25 yards. One shot went high and to the left a bit and would have been a head or neck shot. That is because I fired it before completely coming back down from the recoil. I knew when I shot that one that there would be a high shot on the target.


The rest of them are all pretty much in there - not in there for competitive sport shooting but in there for bad guy in your face self-defense shooting. Heck, there are some days when I shoot like that with my Glock 26 in 9mm (sort of mediocre days for me with the Glock), so I am none too disappointed in how I did while shooting 300 grain, fairly hot, 44 Magnum rounds. Considering it was only the second time I have fired this revolver and the first time in many years that I have fired a revolver for a qualification, I really okay with the result. The only other revolver I own, and have owned for years, has been my Smith & Wesson Model 17-8 in 22 LR and that is a world apart from the Ruger Redhawk. So, for now, I am satisfied with how I shot the Redhawk. If I have to use it to defend us against a Brown Bear charge when we are in Alaska later this month, at least I know I can put he first shot where I want it to go and one shot is all tat I would be likely to get in a bear attack.

Now if only my hand would stop hurting everything would be just ducky.

All the best,
Glenn B


 

A Essay On Firearms Instruction Terminology

It often amuses me when I hear some of the terminology used by shooters and firearms enthusiasts. Self titled operators today (there is one of the most amusing terms of all), as did the gun gurus of the past, come up with new, or at least differing, firearms and shooting related terms on a fairly regular basis. Some actually think the terms they use to be new and also think that the words they use nowadays are more fitting firearms nomenclature than words used for many years in the past.

One of the most controversial subjects among shooters and those who give instruction in their endeavor to shoot or teach to shoot is how to describe exactly what one does to manipulate a trigger to fire a gun. To some you squeeze the trigger. This term has fallen in and out of grace for as long as I can remember, not so much due to any fault with using it as much as to the fault associated with instructors who were, for whatever reason, able to properly convey to shooters what they meant by it. If explained properly, trigger squeeze would be easily understood, by the vast majority of reasonably intelligent competent shooters if not all of them, as an action taken almost exclusively with their trigger finger on the trigger alone and that said action is not the same as using your while hand to squeeze the juice out of a lemon. Note, I said fairly intelligent shooters and I mean that most sincerely. Then again, in order to convey what exactly is meant by trigger squeeze one would have to be a fairly intelligent and competent instructor. When an instructor fails in that regard, he or she basically winds up not understanding the terminology being used or how it was meant to be used and then often creates (or uses) what he believes to be a more fitting term. Yet, the term now in vogue is being used to describe the same thing that the instructor was trying to teach before. Somehow, merely because a term was changed, some instructors wrongly believe that the concept will be more easily understood by shooters if only because it was more easily understood by the instructor.

Thus, trigger pull became trigger squeeze which became trigger press and even in some small number of cases trigger operation or trigger manipulation. I have heard them all and it makes me chuckle a silent little bit of laughter when I hear Operators, or modern day firearms instructor / shooters telling folks why the term they use is better than the ones previously used or currently used by others. Sooner or later the trend goes full circle and while you may not believe it now, trigger pull and trigger 
squeeze will be popular again with an instructor who currently uses trigger press. The thing is, the term does not matter nearly as much as the detailed description of what is being taught.

The fact of the matter is that when an instructor uses any such term to describe the action applied to a trigger by a person shooting a firearm, the instructor often assumes, because he understands what meaning it conveys for him, that the term is so simple as to be self explanatory. In truth - that usually is not the case. The reality of semantics is that any given word can and virtually does have more than one correct meaning. Additionally, any word can also have other incorrect meanings to those whose mastery of vocabulary might not be the best. Not one person whom I have ever witnessed, in a classroom full of students being taught about shooting, ever pulled out a dictionary or list of firearms nomenclature to look up the term "trigger squeeze" while the instructor was talking about it. In fact, not one student that I have ever instructed, or seen getting instruction, has asked what was meant by the terms: trigger squeeze, trigger pull or trigger press while in the classroom. Some few have asked, while out on the range, when an instructor is getting on their backsides for not getting it right but those have been very few indeed. It takes a good, fairly intelligent and competent instructor to realize when a shooter has not understood what was meant by such term and then to fully explain it to the all of the shooters present without further confusing the issue and to ensure the students have understood it.

While it may help in individual situations with individual shooters, or even with large groups of shooters to use what seems to be better terminology, changing the term to another set of words is not necessarily the answer. Why not? Well because the new words that an instructor uses, to describe the exact same action a shooter takes on the trigger to fire a gun, may also be interpreted or understood differently by different shooters in different settings. The trick to getting the shooter to understand what has to be done is not to be found in the use of different yet tantamount words but is to be found within a proper an comprehendible description of the action. Sure, using a word better understood by more than fewer people will help but the most important things for a firearms instructor to do to make himself understood is to first completely understand the concept he is attempting to teach, then becoming proficient in its application, then being able to describe the process to student shooters in easily understood descriptive language while giving a good practical demonstration of it and finally to guide the shooters through practical exercises until they too become proficient in it. 

Yet some instructors do it otherwise but otherwise is not always good. It is not good practice to stand in the front of a classroom, especially one full of new students, and pontificate on the effectiveness of your chosen terminology while lambasting that of others. Nor is it a good idea for instructors to argue or mock one another, in front of students, about which terms are best especially in a classroom full of new shooters. They very likely already are confused enough without the instructors adding to their confusion. Likewise, for an instructor to pompously boast the term other instructors use is of the age of dinosaurs while the ones he uses are new and cutting edge is pure arrogance and while it does wonders for the instructor's ego it is counterproductive when it comes to the benefits the student should be getting out of the instruction.  

I am not saying that all instructors need to use the same terms to describe the same things. In fact, if one term seems more easily understood by the slowest dolt in a particular class of shooters being taught, then go ahead and use it but make darned certain to describe exactly what you mean by it and to tell them which other terms they may hear that mean the same thing. That way, anyone who has half a brain will understand, the next time they hear another instructor call it something else, that it is the same thing each of you are talking about and thus will not be confused by the change in terminology from instructor to instructor. Whether or not you want to explain why you use one term instead of another is up to you but do it with respect for other instructors and the terms they use. You may already understand that this applies to almost every aspect of being a firearms instructor but if you did not here it is for you in print - instruct not with arrogance as a know-it-all but with the requisite respect and understanding that others do it in other ways just as others understand it in other ways. You will be a much better firearms instructor for if you do so.

As for which term I prefer to describe the action one takes on a trigger to fire a gun, I like trigger pull the best. I often refer to the trigger finger as the booger picker and there is a reason for that more so that just saying it jokingly. You see, when someone, anyone, picks their nose they perform a lot of actions with their booger picker. They insert, then probe, then scrape, maybe even twist and squeeze or press but ultimately what they do is pull the booger out of their nose with that finger. Go ahead, next time in the privacy of wherever you find yourself, try it. Yes, actually pick your nose and pull one out. The curling back or pulling action, that you almost invariably will perform with your booger picker, while picking your nose is virtually identical to what you should be doing when squeezing, pressing, manipulating, operating and or pulling the trigger. Of course, there will be some who see and understand that differently, who actually do it differently when picking their noses. Some will insert their finger and twist and then pull their finger straight out with their prize much as a corkscrew pulls a cork out of the mouth of a wine bottle. Again, the trick to teaching the concept is to use a relative term, then fully describe it and demonstrate what you mean by it. If you do that, while showing respect for any student(s) who may not understand or who interpret your meaning differently than what you were trying to convey, you will be a better instructor and will make your students better shooters.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Remember Ross Perot...

...and don't vote a third party candidate or withhold your vote because if you do then it is almost a sure thing that the Wicked Witch of The White House (remember she has been there before), aka: Mrs. Bullshit, or her Demoncrat rival Mr. Freeshit ,is going to become president. The last time something like this happened, a third party candidate - Ross Perot - got a lot of wasted Republican and Independent votes. Many others decided not to vote at all. The result, the Wicked Witch of Little Rock's (she had not yet been elevated to the White House) husband was elected. Think hard on that before you waste your vote in November.

All the best,
Glenn B

Manly Manhood Achieved

Today, without any doubt (if ever there was any before) I entered the realm of true and utter Manly Men and acquired the state of Manly Manhood. No, I do not mean I had two babes at once been there, done that a few times. (You didn't really think I would admit to that here did you?) While that was (whoops) would have been nice, what I achieved today was painfully difficult to complete.

In my quest to become a truly Manly Man, my right hand's fingers actually were almost totally numbed at one point and I had to shake my hand vigorously to regain sensation. That is because I fired The Beast, my Ruger Redhawk 44 Magnum, for LEOSA qualification this evening. Fifty rounds of shooty goodness accompanied by 50 thumps of grueling agony - qualification achieved - while shooting 300 grain semi-jacketed flat points. I wanted to use the load that I will have in the Redhawk when on vacation in Alaska, in bear country, later this month. I simply refused to lower myself to shooting lighter loads or, what would have been more shameful yet, to use 44 Special ammo. Although I wore a fingerless glove on my right hand, it had little of the desired cushioning and pain preventative effect for which I had hoped. Although, at least my skin was not torn like it was the first time I fired The Beast and it sure made me look tacticool.

As I key this email, my longtime adversary Arthur I. Tiss is with me enjoying every moment of lingering pain and every snap, crackle and pop in each and every joint from my right fingers to my right shoulder and into my neck. What nerve this roguish bastard has had to try to ruin my pride and joy upon my initiation into the realm of manly men, that paradise of utter manliness - Manly Manhood! Not to say that this crippling cad has suceeded but next year I think I will seek to achieve pussified penisless pansy status by attempting to use my 22LR revolver for LEOSA qualification.
One is never to old to learn and tonight even I have learned a lesson. At my age, once is enough to achieve that Manly Manhood crap. Anyway, that should keep Arthur I. Tiss away next time around.

All the best, 
Glenn B

Well Meaning Arsehats Are Arsehats Nonetheless

Some apparently well meaning assholes tourists in Yellowstone National Park picked up a bison calf and put it into the back of their SUV. Then they brought it to a ranger station reportedly because they feared for its welfare. Rangers brought it back to where the well meaning arsehats picked up the young beast but were unable to reunite it with its herd after several attempts to do so. The calf has been euthanized and the arsehats got off with a measly $110 fine (source). I would think they should have been forced to do park service like cleaning bison shit off of the roads for a month while wearing t-shirts with the words Bison Killer on front and back.

Well meaning ain't worth a plugged wooden nickel when you are such an arsehat as to not realize that what you are doing is screwing up more than helping. Wild animals are just that - wild. They do not need your help or want it. For them it truly is eat or be eaten. If you think they truly need help, then call a wildlife expert to take action or tell you what to do. Otherwise, if you are not out legally hunting or fishing, then just take their pictures from a safe distance.

All the best,
Glenn B

Alaska Trip - The One Thing I Am Not Looking Forward To...

...is the anticipated wait we will have at the airport for our departure due both to us traveling on Memorial Day Weekend and to the fact that there reportedly have been delays of up to three hours to get through TSA screening. Just yesterday, I heard on the radio, that the Port Authority in New York has recommended that passengers arrive at New York airports three hours before their scheduled flights! I had already planned to be at the airport with Brendan about 2 1/2 hours early so another half hour will not phase us. What gets me though is that the airline on which we are flying does not open its ticket counter(s) until two hours before the scheduled flight; I just called them a few minutes ago and was given that tidbit of information. Then, when I asked the airline representative if it would make any difference if we arrive only two hours early instead of three as has been recommended. She, after some hesitation and stammering, said no it wouldn't. The airlines are obviously aware of the problems with TSA dragging its butt on screening passengers but seemingly are doing little to help.

It's not like it is the fault of the screeners, it is almost definitely due to two other things. The first is that TSA is down in manpower by about 10% since it's staffing peak in 2013. Combine that with  reports saying air travel in the USA is up by 15% (source) and the math works out to TSA not having enough screeners. The government says it plans to hire about 800 new employees (source) while the union is screaming for them to hire 6,000 screeners (source). Neither likely will help the current problem because they probably will not be in place in time for this year's summer rush. Even if TSA hires almost 800 new screeners in a hurry, remember they are down about 5,000 screeners since 2013 (source). How the bureaucratic wizards of the Obama Administration expect that hiring only about 800 screeners will alleviate the current problem is beyond the scope of my imagination especially since we had long lines, maybe not as long as now but still long, back in 2013 when there were about 5,000 more screeners. Obama is snake-oil seller par excellence though and at least his worshippers will be convinced this additional bit of mesmerizing but worthless chicanery is the cure. 

The second issue causing longer lines reportedly is the fact that most airlines now charge baggage fees for any checked bags. I know that the baggage fees added considerably to our trip's expenses, to the tune of $140 over and above the cost of the airfare and that was for a total of only three checked bags, two for me and one for Brendan and we got a discount for paying ahead of time. People don't want to pay those fees, so what do they do? They stuff as much as they can into their carry-on bags and take one carry-on plus whatever else is allowed as carry-on baggage like a large purse stuffed with undies or an attaché case loaded with socks. How does that affect TSA screening waits? It means that the TSA screeners have more carry-on baggage to screen and more stuff inside of them to wade through when screening them.

I just watched a video over at YouTube, I am not sure which airport it was made but it shows a long, long, long, long line for TSA screening. If our line winds up that long, I would think we maybe will be missing our flight. I sure as heck hope not.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, May 16, 2016

Now This Made Me A Little Sad In A Nostalgic Way

A little while ago, the name of the hospital in which I was born came up in my daily business. Not having thought of the place in awhile, I decided to do a search on the Internet to see if it was still open. I just could not remember if it had closed down or not. First, I found a photo of it, it's a fairly current image judging by the cars pictured in it. So, as it turns out, the hospital building is still standing although the sign over the entranceway says it is something else today than it was when I was born, some sort of residential facility. As I looked the photo over more closely though, there up near the top of the building was the name of the hospital in concrete: Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. I had always thought my sister was born in another nearby hospital but now that I see the photo, this may have been her birthplace too. I remember my old man bringing me to the hospital and my mom holding my sister up by the window for me to see (no pest-like little kids were allowed inside - heavens forbid) and that is pretty much the picture of the hospital that has been in my mind all these years. Of course, the other one was red brick too, so who knows. Too late to ask either my mother or father or older brother. I'll have to check with my sister.

Evangelical Deaconess Hospital, it wasn't big or fancy but it
is where I was born and where they sewed up my head after
I was run over by a bicycle playing on MacDonough Street.
I then did a search for it in Wikipedia. There is a page that shows a list of all (or many) New York City hospitals. The sad thing was that yes indeed the hospital closed its doors but what was sadder still was what the hospital has become. The hospital is currently listed like this:

"Evangelical Deaconess Hospital, 623 Chauncey Street, Brooklyn. Now a homeless shelter."

Man if that don't suck. My first home on the planet, even if only for a few days, has been turned into a homeless shelter. Saint's preserve us since they ain't preserving our hospitals! I have to wonder, since I was raised Catholic, why Evangelical Deaconess Hospital was chosen for my birthplace. My mom was catholic too. Maybe my father was protestant but I think not, I seem to remember him at church when I was very young. I am guessing it was so because the hospital was only about 6 1/2 blocks from our apartment on MacDonough Street and thus probably was the closest one to home. 
The hospital and our apartment were both just about equally close to another address, one of some fame, 328 Chauncey Street. A very funny cast of characters lived there, at least in one of the greatest television shows ever. Yes, that address was the home of: Ralph & Alice Kramden and Ed & Trixi Norton of the Honeymooners. In reality, Jackie Gleason used to live close to there in his youth and also played pool in a pool-hall only blocks from our place; anyway that's what my dad told me when I was a youngster and he still lived at home with us.

My great-grandparents owned our building on MacDonough Street, they owned at least one other maybe two. When I was in either first or second grade they sold the buildings on MacDonough Street because the neighborhood rapidly was becoming a vile and violent shithole (it was a pretty poor working class neighborhood but was becoming a slum) and bought three others in Glendale. My family moved into one of them and my great-grandparents lived down the block from us. That was a blessing for us even though they were rail road flats, to get to one room you walked through one or more of the others, thus had little  to no privacy but that was the best we could afford. We were piss poor and thankfully I did not know it if only because after my father left my mom struggled to hide it from us kids.

Getting back to the hospital, it was a beginning as was our home on Macdonough Street. Our new home in Glendale was a step in the right direction but not much better; although, I spent the remainder of my childhood and my early adult years there, so no matter what - it was home.  

I guess I could go on with lots of nostalgic memories and even give my life history so, I had best quit now before I bore you all to tears.

All the best,
Glenn B
 

A Nest For My Redhawk

Not only has a Redhawk come to roost at my house but now it is also nesting snuggly in a decent if inexpensive looking piece of leather. I decided to cut corners a bit in holster selection for my new Ruger Redhawk and get one of the less expensive holsters I could find for it. That is not something I would normally do when selecting a holster if buying one for a carry gun. The fact is this gun will be a carry gun for our Alaska trip and for hunting trips of the future (I definitely plan to go deer hunting with it later this year) but not an every day self-defense carry piece. I thought about getting a really expensive holster or at least much more expensive than the Guide Gear Holster I that got from The Sportsmansguide but decided not now because I am already stretching my finances to the limit and beyond with our upcoming trip.


As far as picking which holster to purchase, I wanted a leather one, with a thumb-snap and covered trigger/trigger guard. Other than that I was not to particular. It could have been a cross-draw, a shoulder rig, or a strong side hip holster. I opted for the Guide Gear holster mostly because of what I saw available and because of its price. The selection process certainly was not a lengthy one, truth is that there are very few leather holsters out there specifically made for a Ruger Redhawk with a 5.5" barrel and even fewer that would have been affordable for me right now.

After looking over the Guide Gear holster, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the leather. I have purchased much more expensive holsters with leather that was not as nice as is this holster's. I am not saying it is excellent quality but think it at least good if not very good. As for the stitching, it looks okay except maybe a little minimal where the belt loop is attached to the holster body. I am guessing it should hold up okay but if I had to pick a weak point I might target that;  I would have added a wider piece of leather at that point along with a double row of stitching. It does not look shoddy or anything like that, in fact it may well be more than enough to give sufficient strength to the bond between the loop and body, I am just saying what I think of it at first glance. Time and wear will tell. The thumb snap looks to be of decent quality, and I imagine if anything was to fail first on any holster with a thumb-break retention system, it would be the leather at the bend of that part getting fatigued. Again, time will tell but it looks okay to me. The back side of it has a metal band attached for rigidity and to help hold the back snap. That is a good thing.


One design feature of the holster that I truly do not like (but had to accept) is that the trigger is left exposed. I cannot think of the last holster I owned where the trigger and trigger was not at least partially covered to avoid accidental contact with the booger picker finger when drawing. Even more expensive holsters at which I looked were made the same as this holster in that regard. This one by Triple K, which by the way was over 3X more in price than the Guide Gear holster, also has an exposed trigger. Triple K also had this one with a partially covered trigger and trigger guard but the $199.99 price and the fact that it did not have a thumb-break ruled it out. 

The same uncovered trigger design is found in this holster at DeSantis and that one is almost 4 1/2 times as expensive as the one I bought. I do not doubt that DeSantis and Triple K probably are of much better quality but price and availability were considerations. Also, the one from DeSantis is only made to fit a Redhawk with 4" barrel; Ruger told me they would custom make one for me to fit the 5.5" barrel model but it would have added another $50 to their price (that alone is almost double the price I paid for mine).

So, I am stuck with what I could pay for and this one was within my already super-stretched budget at only $26.99 with free shipping - such a deal! I know I cannot expect much at that price; although I do expect it to last through this trip. If it also lasts for
several hunting trips and holds up well, I will be happy with it.  


With the money I saved on a holster, I was able to squeeze one more purchase, out of my dwindling funds, relative to the Redhawk. I ordered a pouch for the speed loaders I had bought when I got the revolver. It cost more than half of the Guide Gear holster at $17.99 but is a wise investment in my opinion (as were the speed loaders). It is an HKS double speed loader pouch made out of some sort of molded wonder plastic that HKS claims will outlast leather. I kind of doubt it would outlast leather of the same thickness in normal to heavy use but me thinks it would take many years longer than I probably have remaining on earth to find out. Regardless, it looks to be heavy duty and should last a good long time.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Remington 870 - It Takes Getting To Know Others To Truly Appreciate It

Or maybe I should have said it takes getting to know a couple of other pump guns before you truly appreciate how well engineered was/is the 870. I've been shooting Remington 870 shotguns for what amounts to my shotgun shooting eternity - to date. (I added that to date so as not to give the Fates even an inkling of an idea that I want to cut my eternity short.) Indeed, a Remington 870 Wingmaster was the first shotgun I ever purchased back in the early 1980s at the Yellow Mart in El Centro, CA. In all that time, I have always liked them and appreciated the fact that they were well made and well designed. I just never realized how well designed, that is until recently after I obtained a couple of other pump action 12 gauge shotguns. The epiphany came upon me as I was doing to two other makes of pump action shotgun what, with the Remington 870, amounts to the simple chore of field stripping it for cleaning and then reassembling it. It turned out not to be so simple with the other two makes of pump guns.

In fact, in order to field strip one of them for cleaning it was so convoluted that I simply declined to do it. It's not that it would have been difficult but more that it would have been an outright pain in the neck to do it at that particular time. Field stripping an 870 would have taken less than a minute, probably even less than half a minute for someone who does it often; yet with the other shotgun, it most likely would have taken a few to several minutes because of the ridiculous amount of extra steps involved due only to the poor design of that particular gun. To have to remove the shoulder-stock (aka: buttstock) in order to be able to remove the trigger group, in order to remove the bolt and forearm, is not only time consuming but I think over complicated in its design.

The real kicker is that the particular shotgun is supposed to be a defensive weapon. It's not a bird gun, not a deer gun, it is designed as a weapon or at least is was redesigned from a hunting gun to a defensive weapon by the addition of a pistol grip and some, in my opinion, other worthless gadgets. If the gun did not have that pistol grip, it would be less complicated to take down, the reason for that being that the pistol grip interferes with removal of the trigger group which must be removed to allow for removal of the forearm and bolt. Not only is it bothersome that the design of the pistol grip interferes with the removal of the trigger group but it is, again in my opinion, a very poorly designed defensive shotgun when one has to remove the trigger group in order to be able to remove the forearm and bolt for field stripping. The day I was working on that specific brand and model of shotgun, I had to get somewhere to do something else so I decided to hold off on giving it a good cleaning until another date. In fact, since I am in the process of selling it, I think it will be the potential new owner who will be stuck with that chore. I did give it a cleaning of its exterior, the bore, the mag tube, and what I could reach inside the receiver with the bolt still in there but that was it. I suppose you want to know the make and model and I also suppose I may as well tell you: The Savage Stevens Model 320 Security (with pistol grip and barrel shroud). Oddly enough, that is not why I am selling it. I probably would have kept it for a plinker or as a backup except for the fact that firing it with the pistol grip always seemed to attract an old adversarial friend of mine - Arthur I. Tiss. You may know him too if you are as old as me.

I did mention that there were two shotguns that contributed to my epiphany so let me go over what I believe are the shortcomings in the design of the second as well. With the second pump gun in question there was no pistol grip to interfere with anything; yet, I think the design was almost as poor as the Stevens 320. Even though this other one - a Mossberg Model 835 Ulti Mag - is intended as a hunting gun, I think it takes way too much time and effort to disassemble it and then reassemble it for field stripping (and field stripping is all the Mossberg manual recommends you do). It is so much more convoluted than field stripping a Remington 870 as to make me think if that had been the only thing in which the Remington was better designed it alone would account for the fact that the Remington 870 is the best selling pump action shotgun, if not the best selling shotgun, in the United States. To take down the Mossberg, for field stripping, one has to again remove the trigger group (trigger housing assembly as the manual calls it) like with the Stevens; however you do not have to remove the stock to accomplish that step. It should be noted here that the Mossberg manual warns that the trigger housing assembly is complex and "...must not be disassembled". Is it really that complex and if it is then why is it in this gun!

The Mossberg manual then cautions that prior to going any further with the disassembly one take time to study how the internal parts of the receiver are arranged. That's good advice with any gun but considering what happened in the next step or two, I fully appreciate them having noted such. The manual also cautions about paying close attention to the bolt, bolt slide and action slide action bar positions. You would think if these were so important that would have given excellent diagrams showing there positions but in my estimation the diagrams they included are lacking in that regard. Those cautions have the effect of making one wonder should I b taking this thing apart or not. I did this gun today and had plenty of time to get it done since I started on it at about 0600. Anyway, after removing the trigger group, you are supposed to remove two internal parts from the receiver. The particular Mossberg 835 on which I was working is a fairly new gun and while fired before it has not been fired a lot. I am guessing less than 50 rounds have gone through it, it is that clean. The part that I had to remove in this step were the cartridge interrupter and cartridge stop; as it turned out I had to do almost nothing because when I tilted the receiver to better be able to see inside, one of them fell off. When I fished it out, the other one also fell off.

The next strep was to align the bolt in a certain manner so that the bolt slide could be lifted out of the receiver. Only then could the bolt be slid forward and removed from the front end of the receiver and after that you could also remove the elevator. The manual cautions that that's it for field disassembly and further disassembly should only be done "...by an Authorized Product Service Center or a qualified gunsmith". Putting it back together was not the reverse of the disassembly again making this more complex than need be. With the Remington 870, if it is not merely doing all the disassembly steps in reverse order, it is darned close to it.  Did I mention the illustrations for disassembly in the Mossberg manual were lacking in my estimation? Let me tell you, the ones for reassembly are much the same as far as I am concerned. Now mind you so you don't get me wrong, the Mossberg was not very difficult to disassemble or reassemble but it was what amounted to a time consuming pain in the neck because of what I believe is piss poor design.

In fact, both the Stevens Model 320 Security and the Mossberg 835 Ulti Mag are overly time consuming pains in the neck to disassemble and reassemble. While I only actually disassembled the Mossberg and then reassembled it too, just looking at he number of steps involved to disassemble and reassemble the Stevens makes it obvious that it too is a time consuming pain in the neck to field strip and reassemble - so much so that I did not do it at the time I had planned to do so. One other note about a vast difference between the 870 and the other two has to do with what amounts to an operational design feature, specifically the superiority of the placement of the slide release. On the 70, it is located so as to be accessible at the outside forward end of the trigger guard and thus easily depressed by the trigger finger. The slide release on both the Stevens and the Mossberg is, to me, in an awkward place at the rear left side of the trigger guard. It is not nearly as easily accessible to operate as is the one on the 870 and that could possibly mean you unnecessarily fumbling with the gun in a combat situation and winding up the loser because of it.

I did mention appreciating the design and construction of the Remington 870. I like it so much that I have owned two, sadly I sold a very nice 870 Wingmaster when I needed money less than a month after getting married. That was especially sad since I was only able to afford an 870 Express Combo when I replaced it about a year and a half later but don't take that wrong - the Express Combo has served me well it's just not as expensive a model as was the Wingmaster. While I have appreciated the 870 for all those years, to say that I now appreciate the Remington 870 even more so, after acquiring these two other pump guns and trying to do basic maintenance on them, would be a gross understatement about how much I prefer and acknowledge the 870's superiority.

The Remington 870 is, in my opinion, so much better designed than the other two as to have convinced me I that it is very unlikely that I will ever use another brand or model of pump action shotgun as my primary defensive and hunting shotgun. Not only can I take down the 870 with fewer steps and much faster but I can do it without that pain in my neck that comes with maintaining the other two. I also can, at least partially, disassemble the trigger group for maintenance, then reassemble it, without much difficulty if any at all. While there are some parts Remington urges the user not remove, such as the extractor saying that is best done by a gunsmith, the Remington 870 is the hands down winner at best design, at least among these three guns. There may be others out there better designed than the Remington 870 when it comes to being user friendly, in the maintenance or use departments, but I would be hard pressed to believe it. Besides that, I have owned my current 870 since about 1987 or so and have to say it has not failed me with literally thousands of rounds fired though it. The Remington 870 is withut a doubt in my mind one of the most excellent weapons and hunting guns ever produced.

All the best,
Glenn B
 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Everyman's Evening Eyeful

 
Look under the blankets.
 

Enhancing Distance In An Armed Encounter

For many years in my LE career, I was taught that if an assailant had an edged weapon, I could draw my sidearm to effectively defend myself if that assailant was 21 feet away. Any closer and I would have to resort to hand to hand combat against a bladed adversary. Any further away, than 21 feet or so, we were told in essence that we did not have cause to shoot an aggressor armed with a blade. Of course, as a LE firearms instructor, I also taught others that same mantra. The thing about it though was that it was utter bullshit, at least the parts about being able to draw your weapon to effectively defend yourself against someone who was 21 feet away and that someone more than 21 feet away, armed with an edged weapon, basically did not pose enough of a threat against which to use deadly force. At the time we believed it because it had come from those who knew or at least claimed they knew.

Years later, I am going to guess it was at least 10 years into my career and at least a few into my having become a firearms instructor (collateral duties - not full time), that mantra changed. The new set of rules for engagement against an armed intruder was that if someone armed with an edged weapon was within 30 feet they posed a threat of serious bodily injury or death to you and you potentially could be justified to use deadly force against that person depending on the circumstances. So why did that change? Well, someone decided to test the 21 foot rule - and it failed miserably. It was not one person either, as I remember there were a few different so called armed encounter experts who taught the new 30 foot rule after debunking the 21 foot rule. Watch this video and you will see why the 21 foot rule was found to be inadequate.



I don't know when that video was made or compiled but am pretty sure I saw the first part of it, where the officers approach the role player suspect in that indoor range, way back and fairly early in my career. It left a lasting impression on me because when our firearms/defensive tactics instructor asked what people in the training class would do (before seeing the video), I said I might fall back to the floor, draw and fire. When you see the video, you will see why it left its mark emblazoned in my memory forever and remember, I made my suggestion before I watched video. I also made another suggestion - keeping something between me and the suspect, using available cover. I was told there wasn't any but that it was a good idea. That also remained in my memory and believe me if cover of any sort has been there when I have approached a potential bad guy, I have used it.

Throughout my career, if I could do it, I liked to keep my distance when approaching subjects. Let's face, to pat down a suspect, or check an ID, or put the cuffs on them, or pull a raging maniac off of another officer or third party - you have to be close. Still though, in a good number of instances it was easy enough to keep your distance and remain behind cover while telling a suspect what to do, such as hands up, hands higher, slowly turn around in a complete rotation, face away, drop to your knees, cross your ankles, interlock your fingers behind your neck, sit down on your crossed legs, all the way down - things like that.

Remember, this was best done from behind cover if available. Only then, after you were in control of the situation would you approach the subject and only after you had scanned and assessed to make sure no others were around. It worked pretty much the same with multiple suspects. Of course, I am talking about compliant ones but then why take chances of doing anything less no matter how compliant they seem. They could be acting compliant so that you let down your guard and just be hoping you will get close enough before you have them in too awkward a situation to get you.

Many criminals though, even very violent ones, will not always take the chance of attacking, especially if it seems to them that the officer knows what he is doing. Calmly controlling a situation from behind cover, more or less as just described, can send that message to the bad guys. If they do not comply that is another can of worms but you should have been calling for back-up as soon as you knew you were going to be dealing with a suspicious person. This also applies when anyone finds himself in a similar situation and needs to control a bad guy (mind you though that the steps I just gave are not all inclusive and you should not even attempt to carry them out unless properly trained to do so -and this is not a training lesson, it is merely something to give you pause for thought and get you headed in the right direction to get that training).

Anyway, I am beginning to digress a bit so let me get back to the distance thing. Distance is your friend when dealing with a potentially violent person (and everyone has that potential). Distance though can be thought of as not merely how far away you are from one another. While an actual distance in yards or feet may be a measured amount, you can enhance distance by the effective use of cover. If an assailant armed with a knife tries to attack you from a distance, of let's say 21 feet, and you are behind a telephone pole for cover, he has to get around or at least reach around the pole to get to you. Keeping the pole between you and him enhances distance and gives you what might be the split second or even several seconds more you need to effectively defend yourself. I'd like to show you a situation in which cover was used to effectively defend from a knife attack giving the attacked person a chance to draw and fire a handgun but I could not find one. I did find one though in which an apparently unarmed man - a lawyer - defends himself from an assailant firing a pistol at him by using a tree for cover.

 

Go ahead, watch it again if you have not already. The quick thinking on the part of the lawyer probably saved his life. Did you catch it when they said he only received minor injuries? I guess minor is a relative term. He reportedly was hit by five of six shots fired (source). Five hit him the his right arm and apparently one of them also lodged in his neck (source). Had he not put the tree between himself and his attacker and then maneuvered to keep it between them, my guess is he would have wound up either dead or at least with extremely serious gunshot wounds. On the other hand, had he been armed with a handgun, he likely would have been able to draw and return fire. I have to wonder, did he arm himself and get some training in self defense tactics after that but after reading this article, it sounds doubtful.

Regardless of what the lawyer did after the shooting, I think you can easily understand how his use of cover effectively enhanced the distance between him and the shooter. Even though they were only a few feet apart at most it was virtually like there were miles between them in some regards, almost certainly it was like miles between get killed and not. Now, I am not saying that cover is always going to keep you from being injured, especially if you are unarmed or for ay reason do not fight back. As can be seen from this video, the lawyer was injured - in fact he was shot - but his effective use of cover almost certainly prevented the shooter from killing him. That probably was in part because the shooter was in a rage and did not think of how to overcome the lawyers use of the tree as a shield. Yet, it was also because the lawyer was at least smart enough to seek and use cover in the first place, then to keep the cover between him and his potential killer.

What I am saying is that if cover is available and you find yourself in a potentially dangerous encounter with a bad guy, you should use cover if there and if you can effectively do so and that goes for an assailant with a knife as well as for one with a gun. Remember though, the difference with an attacker  armed with an edged weapon is he will probably try to come around, under or over your cover more so than did the attacker armed with a gun in this video. After all he has to get close enough to slash or stab. Bear in mind though that the effective use of cover can possibly give you time to draw your own weapon - if you have one and I am a strong proponent of citizens intelligently arming for self defense.

By the way, if you do not know what constitutes cover, especially versus concealment, you need to find out. Motivate yourself and do it, or let the lawyer's words at the end of the video motivate you to do so. Do you remember what he said about the incident? "...it always happens to someone else, you think well this is the thing you see on TV but this time it happened to me...". It could happen to anyone at any time in any setting. I could happen to you. Would you be ready if it did?

A hat tip to Herr Richie M for sending me the 21 foot rule video and getting me going on this one. Although he has been retired as an officer from the NYPD and then from the U.S. Customs Service Office of Investigations as a firearms instructor - he is still keeping me on my toes with stuff like this and is the best firearms instructor I have ever had the honor of knowing.

All the best,
Glenn B

 

Shoot Don't Shoot Scenario - Which Would You Choose

A man returns home a day early from a business trip. It's after midnight. While en-route home, he asks the cabby if he would be a witness. The man suspects his wife is having an affair, and he wants to catch her in the act. For $100, the cabby agrees.

Quietly arriving home, the husband and cabby tiptoe into the bedroom. The husband switches on the lights, yanks the blanket back and there is his wife, naked, with a man!

The husband puts a gun to the naked man's head.

The wife shouts, 'Don't do it! I lied when I told you I inherited money'.

"HE paid for the Porsche I gave you".

"HE paid for your new 25 ft. Ranger Fishing Boat."

"HE paid for your Packer season tickets".

"HE paid for our house at the lake".

"HE paid for your Golf Trip to St Andrews".


"HE paid for your new 4x4".

"HE paid for our country club membership, and HE even pays the monthly dues". 
Shaking his head from side-to-side, the husband lowers the gun. He looks over at the cabby and says: "What would you do"?

The cabby replies, "I'd holster the gun and cover him with that blanket before he catches a cold".


All the best,
Glenn B