Monday, August 31, 2009

Biweekly Gun Shots 17 - Mosin Nagant 91/30 - Again

Yes, I recently wrote about the Mosin Nagant 91/30 here and here. Yes, I am about to talk about the Mosin Nagant 91/30 again but this time there is a difference. This time I am writing about my Mosin Nagant 91/30. I finally got around to disassembling it, cleaning it, and reassembling it tonight. I have to tell you that I had forgotten what a joy it is to work on these rifles. They are of simple design for sure, and therefore are easy to disassemble and reassemble. That makes for ease of a detailed cleaning, and probably also makes for ease of replacing parts if worn or broken. I only have the one other Mosin Nagant rifle, the M44 (both pictured, the 91/30 at bottom). I have not taken the M44 down for a detailed cleaning lately - working on getting the bore cleaned on that one was chore enough as I described in another recent post but that was not the fault of the rifle or its design.

I ordered a 91/30 from R-Guns on August 10. They shipped it on August 10. You do not get quicker service than that these days, heck you did not get it quicker than that not even in the old days. It arrived a few days later. I liked the look of it when I took it out of the box. It seemed to have been wrapped well in bubble wrap and shipped in a single cardboard box (some dealers ship rifles in double boxes). It had some cosmoline like preservative on it but was really pretty clean overall so when i finally cleaned it tonight it only took me about 30 to 45 minutes to do it all; that included reading the instructions for how to do it and do it right. (See this site, SurplusRifle.com for instructions on how to disassemble and reassemble many surplus rifles.) Everything inside the rifle looked okay to me. The only thing that even showed any really noticeable tooling marks was the ejector. It may be a replacement, but if it works - who cares. The only difficulty I had was removing then reinstalling the ejector spring. Man that was a tough nut, but I got it. I'll probably never remove it again, or if I do so it will be years between attempts. Everything else was easy as pie and if you have ever baked an apple pie it sure is easy - almost as easy as eating it. I am guessing that disassembling and reassembling the Mosin Nagant 91/30 will have proved to be almost as easy as shooting it.

All the parts show typical wear for a rifle this old. The bolt looks very good, the magazine had some surface rust barely noticeable until I wiped it down with an oil soaked cloth. There was no hidden rust on metal parts under the wood. The trigger assembly, a very simple one at that, seemed fine to excellent. The rear sight seems to be in great working order. The front sight is another story. Well, I should say the front sight hood is another story. It is dented out of round, but it does not appear that the sight itself was damaged. This was its condition upon coming out of the shipping box. I only noticed it a day or two after first looking at it, but since it did not take any falls once I took it out of the box it had to ship that way. No complaints from me so long as the front sight is right on. If I can find a replacement I will replace it. It not, and if I can get it off of the rifle, and apart from the front sight, I will try to fix it. Otherwise it stays just as I found it. The wood has something to be desired. There are some portions that were scraped when refinished or not finished properly in the first place but that is no big deal. I will probably strip the wood and refinish it with boiled linseed oil or something along those lines. I'd like to get the wood to look like that of my M44 as in the pic.
The bore, of the 91/30, while shiny has somewhat weak looking grooves but that too should be okay as they look to me to be more than good enough for a few thousand rounds more of shooting fun. Shooting a few thousand rounds through this beast will prove no easy task. Yes, I know I just said shooting it should be easier even than cleaning it turned out but I was talking about maybe 20 or 40 rounds per session and I'll probably shoot it about 6 times per year at most. Shooting thousands of rounds through this will take years for me if only because I value what I have left of my shoulders and figure 20 rounds is good enough for one session - then I'll switch to the 22 rifle in my collection or to the SKS. If this proves to be anything like the M44 it will have some good amount of kick. Not terrible mind you, but enough to make me respect it.

Obviously, I have not shot it yet. I am waiting on a shipment of 240 rounds of Silver Bear ammo for it. That should arrive in the next day or two. If I get lucky and it arrives before noon tomorrow - a day before its scheduled arrival time - I may be able to take it to the range with me tomorrow for my first range outing with it. If not tomorrow then maybe I can go to the range with it this weekend. I may as well also bring along the Mosin Nagant M44 since it shoots the same ammo. I'll let you know how it works out.

All the best,
Glenn B

He Is In The Ground Now...

...and all I can say, and all I have thought about him over the past few days, has been good riddance to a despicable man, but that is simply my personal opinion.

All the best,
Glenn B

(This was initially a longer post but I figured that the one sentence said it all for me so I shortened it.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Biweekly Gun Shots 16 - Tornado Bores Down - Wipes Out Almost Everything In Its Path...

...or should I have said a tornado went down the bore of my Mosin Nagant M44 and cleaned out all of the fouling and all of what I had thought was pitting. Yep, I cleaned my Mosin Nagant M44 barrel once again today making for about the 5th or 6th cleaning this week. Each time prior to today's cleaning I used a normal wire bore brush, Hoppes' #9, Break-Free CLP, a good number of cleaning patches and repeated elbow grease. Each time prior to today's cleaning - when I got done the bore still looked as if it had either rust flecks or pitting inside of it. There was a lot of it too through the length of the bore. I had thought for sure that the barrel was ruined due to use of corrosive ammo that had been sold to me as 'non-corrosive'. Well whatever it was - surface rust, fouling, or whatever else it could have been, it is virtually all gone now and the bore once again looks like it has a mirror bright chromed finish with only a small speck or three that could be pitting or freckling.

It wasn't that the barrel sat for a few days with a coating of Break-Free CLP that loosened anything up, I already tried that when using the normal wire brush. That is - after the initial few cleanings that got out most of the crud but still left it looking pretty bad - I cleaned it again, oiled it with Break-Free, left it sit a few days, then cleaned it again for about the 6th time only to have it look almost the same as before I had cleaned it that last time. So what was the difference in my cleaning method today. Today I used a Tornado Brush. I stopped by Gander Mountain in Middletown, NY yesterday on my return home from a deer scouting trip to upstate NY to look for a steel cleaning brush. I figured steel would get off rust and fouling that the regular bronze brush was not removing. They didn't have any - well at least not the regular type brush with bristles. What they had was a brush that more closely resembled a brush made out of a coil spring wound around the stem of the brush than it did one with bristles. Its design is called a looped wire design. I decided to pick one up in .38 caliber. Yes I realize the bore is closer to .30 cailber than it is to .38 caliber but I wanted to make sure the brush would be a tight fit in the bore of the M44.

Tonight I gave the barrel a swabbing down with Hoppes #9 again. Then I put in a coating of Break Free CLP. I let it sit about 2 hours. Then I ran the Tornado Brush through the bore a few times and gave it another swabbing with a patch soaked in Hoppes. When I then took a look down the muzzle with a bore light at the breech what I saw amazed me. Virtually all of the fouling/rust was gone, and there was almost no pitting apparent; and I am none too sure what I still see is pitting it could be freckling and it indeed looks more like that. What I was sure had been pitting must have been surface rust or some sort of really difficult to remove fouling, because while it did not come off before, there virtually is no evidence of it now. The Tornado Brush effectively wiped it off right down to the sparkling bore surface except in a couple or few minute areas and as I said that could be freckling.

When I checked online tonight I saw that these brushes are touted to remove all fouling without harming the bore. A close up inspection of them shows them to look smooth and indeed they are smooth to the touch, no prickly bristle ends to scratch you or the bore. The brush itself is made from stainless steel, which I imagine could take off some steel in a bore, but my guess is that it took off just enough in my case, rusted steel at that. I have used these when cleaning rimfire rifles that shoot .22LR ammo. I don't think I ever realized how good such a brush probably is at removing lead from a .22's bore. I will check next time I clean the .22s. That ammo is notorious for lead fouling and I imagine this brush must get the lead out considering how it got the rust out of the M44 bore.

Above, I have posted two pics of the brushes side by side (click on them for a bigger view of each). Why two pics? Because in one the Tornado Brush is in focus, and in the other the Bronze Brush is in focus. I could not get them both in focus in the same shot. Note the design differences that I already described, the coils of the Tornado brush and the bristles of the bronze Brush. Note also that both of these brushes were used approximately the same amount of strokes through a bore. The Bronze Brush is obviously showing wear and deterioration after only one gun cleaning. Many of the bristles are bent backwards. The Tornado Brush, on the other hand shows no such bending of bristles because it has no bristles. Granted it is a bit compressed as compared to its original state, putting it down the bore once was enough to do that - but then the same thing happens with a bristle brush too. According to Hoppes the design will not damage a bore despite the brush being made from steel.

Sorry there are no pics of the bore but I'll be darned if I can get my Canon Power Shot A590 to focus down the length of the bore. So let me just tell you, you had to see it before, then see it now as both Brendan and I have done. The result is I and he were both impressed (I just showed it to him when he came home for dinner break from his job). That Tornado Brush was worth every penny of the $2.99 I paid for it; heck I saw it today for $4.99 at another store. Now mind you these things have been around for awhile, I have just not used them before except a few times on my 22s. I did not notice any remarkable results then, but I was not really looking for any as those guns had normal bores to begin with. The job this brush did in cleaning the bore of my M44 was definitely remarkable considering how many times I had already tried to clean it with regular bristle brushes. The results received by using the Tornado brush simply were amazing. I plan on keeping the bore coated with a fine layer of Break-Free CLP, and to use only current production non-corrosive ammunition in it from now on.

Hopefully the bore will remain in as good a shape as it is in now. If that holds true then this rifle will last for years to come. If not, oh well - I am out $75 plus gun show entry fees for the rifle, along with about $50 to $75 I spent on the so called 'non-corrosive' ammo that I now know to be corrosive. I would not have worried about this all that much except for the fact that I truly like my flamethrower M44 and they are about impossible to get now in anywhere near as otherwise as good condition as is this one. Right now I am a happy camper, if the rust stays away this camper will be happy for a long time - at least concerning my M44.

All the best,
Glenn B

A few Short Walks In The Woods

...was about all I accomplished yesterday in my first scouting trips of the year for the upcoming deer hunting season. I went to a couple of tracts of state land I have not been to before. or should say I looked for a couple of them but only found one. That one, Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area is in Schuyler and Tompkins Counties. It is the largest WMA (wildlife management area) in NY at over 11 thousand acres. At that size it should be hard to miss but it took me some time to find - no signs of the road that was supposed to be the access road. As a matter of fact, had I not turned off on a dirt road called Connecticut Hill Road - I would never have found it as all the land I could see from the main road was posted.

I kicked about there for awhile, but not really long enough to find any good hunting spots. That was okay because I will go back a few more times before the start of the deer hunting season in November. In October, I'll probably bring along a rifle in .22LR and do some squirrel hunting - I saw enough of them yesterday to assure me they are in good number there. After that I went to Cascade Valley State Forest in Broome County. It is a place where I have hunted before and where I immediately began to find lots of deer sign in an area I plan to hunt again. What they say about hunting deer in a funnel or corridor is right on in this instance. There is a road to the left and a swamp to the right and they funnel into the woods from the other side of the road walking through a narrow corridor at this point. Hopefully they will be funneling through when Brendan and I hunt the area.

Deer sign is not all that I saw while out and about. I kicked up a few smaller critters like turkeys, grouse, other birds, a salamander or two and a few frogs (the frog in the pic is a Wood Frog). In addition there was a lot of color out in the woods. Being it is August one might not expect to find a lot of reds, yellows and oranges out there, at least not until October, but those colors were there blazing away and saying 'hey look at us'. That hey look at us could well have been a warning shout - you see the things wearing nature's warning colors were all mushrooms. As much as I love em sauteed for a steak, I am not about to pick and eat wild ones not even the white or brown ones that I spotted. Still though, they did look pretty and were deserving of me taking the time to stop to admire them and get some photos so I could share them with you. I am sure the woods' salamanders and toads enjoy their beauty. As for their names, I don't know them, I may check on that yet, but you don't need to know exactly what they are to enjoy how they look.

As a matter of fact, one of them sort of looked appetizing in as much as it looked like a pizza pie covered with cheese and sauce. You take a look and tell me what you think - but to me it even almost smelled like pizza. As I said though, I was not about to eat a wild mushroom, and if I remember anything about wild mushrooms that was probably a good idea. You see I seem to recall this particular one as being deadly.

At least one of the interesting things I spotted had no color, it was as white as the driven snow. I am not even sure if it was a mushroom but am pretty sure it was some type of fungus. Very interesting looking - whatever it was. Again though, I was not about to taste it - especially not this one since it just looked to gosh darned alien.

There was one thing I would have gladly eaten, that is had there been enough of them to make them more than a tease to my taste buds. No its not a lobster although it sure looks like one. I found this crayfish under a stone in a stream. I was hoping to find a lot more and later went to the Susquehanna River to do just that. When I got there imagine the delight of the crayfish, and my disappointment, when I discovered that the river was so swollen with waters from a rainy last couple of days that I dared not venture out to look for the little delectable crustaceans.
All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gun Side Notes

I realize that I may seem remiss in not posting anything about my latest rifle acquisition, the Mosin Nagant 91/30 with turned down bolt. Truth be told I have not even cleaned it yet. since acquiring it. I had been planning on cleaning it a couple of nights ago and I grabbed both it and my Hungarian Mosin Nagant M44 and started on the M44. I had shot the M44 about a week before cleaning it, shame on me for not cleaning it the same night I shot it. The bore was virtually sealed with a light orange or light red frosting from one end to the other. After a few nights of intensive barrel cleanings, another couple of trips to the range to shoot clean ammo through it, and more cleanings, it seems apparent the barrel is either flecked or pitted. I am going to get a steel brush and use that for another good cleaning after letting it soak in Breakfree CLP for awhile longer. What a shame that barrel was ruined by ammo sold to me as non-corrosive that turned out to be quite corrosive. It was a spam can of 1970's production 7.62x54R com-bloc ammo. By the time I realized it was corrosive it was too late. Now each time I shoot the Hungarian M44 with clean current production ammo, or just wait a day or two after cleaning it, it gets all rusted/frosted up no matter how much I clean it. I had thought modern ammo would blow out some of the crappy residue from the corrosive ammo and took it to the range a couple of times to try to blow out some of the corrosion but it seems to be an ineffective method.  I also used soap and water, black powder cleaner, Windex, diluted ammonia, alcohol (not mixing any of these mind you) and a good amount of penetrating and cleaning oils. It still looks crappy.

I am pissed because that is a great rifle. I suppose if I try to keep it meticulous, I may be able to fend off further damage, but the damage is already done. I will not be doing that to the 91/30 so I am awaiting a shipment of 240 rounds of current production Brown Bear non-corrosive 7.62x54R ammo from the Sportsmansguide.com. I ordered it yesterday and it shipped today. Should be here in time for a test shoot next weekend. I will be throwing out or giving away (probably giving away) all of the remaining corrosive 7.62x54R ammo that I have on hand. Of course, I will tell whomever I give it to that it is corrosive.

Now if only I could figure a way to remove any of the corrosive salts from the barrel so it does not get that screwed up any more. Seems there must be residue of the stuff since it gets rusted so badly time after time. Anybody have any hints on a good solvent for corrosive ammo fouling?

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Biweekly Gun Shots 15 - The Absolute Worst Gun I Have Ever Owned...

...was a RG semiautomatic pistol in .25 caliber. This by coincidence, or due to lack of any gun smarts at all at the time of purchase, was my very first pistol. I bought it, if memory serves me right, for about $40 from a dealer in Las Vegas, Nevada quite some years back now. I was probably 21 or 22 years old at the time.

What can I say about it except maybe it would have been a better fishing sinker than it was a pistol. I don't remember how many rounds it held but you can figure around 7 or 8 fully loaded. I do recall it seemed cheap to me when I bought it, what with its flimsy plastic grips and just overall cheap look to it. It seemed cheaper yet, when it jammed quite a few times when I first fired it. It seemed cheaper yet, and bear in mind it was cheap at about $40, when I field stripped it for a cleaning and a spring fell out. I got it back in sort of, but the directions that came with it did not mention anything about springs that would fall out when cleaning it. I had to go back to the dealer to have it reinserted and he admonished me heartily for basically being a dork. Oh well - not only my first experience with my own pistol and with a crappy pistol but also with a pompous gun store jerk who just had to make me feel like a fool before fixing my gun.

Back to the pistol. As I recall, I practiced with it a bit and could actually hit something on the target from about 5 yards away. While practicing I learned another two things - .25 caliber ammo was expensive. The second thing I learned was that while it did not have much of a kick it had enough power to sling that slide back with enough oomph to tear open the flesh on my left thumb's forward knuckle when I held it in a two hand grip left thumb over the right one. OUCH - those two cuts through my knuckle (one cut from each side of the underside of the slide) that smarted and bled like a stuck pig. I think I did it twice before I realized why it was happening - as I said my first pistol. I guess I learned a third thing too - never hold a pistol like that.

I bought that pistol for one purpose - as a travel companion for a road trip I was to make by myself. Well not by myself, I had that little pistol and I had a little ball of fuzz (or whatever) with eyes and feet glued to it and an advertising label attached - sort of like the Geico stack of money but instead of cash for a body it was a ball of fuzzy material and it was green - maybe a time and a half as big as a large cherry. It was glued to my dashboard. I called it Zerk; and Zerk and I had quite some one sided conversations as I drove along the many - many - miles of that trip. The RG pistol, that I did not speak to; it was my silent traveling companion - there to speak only if I needed it to give out a loud report. Luckily I did not need it. Just before arriving at my journey's end, I took it apart and disposed of it into a deep bay (salt water) one piece chucked in one direction, a second piece in another direction, and so on until all the parts had vanished beneath the briny deep. Why did I do that to a perfectly good little piece of crap pistol? Well let me just say it would have been next to impossible for me to have obtained a pistol permit for it where I was headed. I should have just bought a shotgun, I would probably still have it but as I said I was pretty inexperienced in the world of guns at the time. Most of my experience until then had been shooting rifles at summer camp years before.

Do I miss that little Rotten Gun RG Pistol? Sure I do sometimes, Nah, not really - not all that much anyhow. It would have been nice if I could have kept it for use as a paperweight or as a fishing sinker. I suppose it was better suited to being a sinker and therefore it winding up below the waves seems a perfectly fitting place for it to have ended up.

All the best,
Glenn B

I Again Ask Myself - Why Am I, Or Anyone, A Law Enforcement Officer?

Sometimes I truly wonder why I, or anyone for that matter, ever gets involved in law enforcement work. Sure it is an honest way to make a living, you have a lot of potential to do good for your community, you get to do some adventurous things, and the pay can be excellent. Then again, when faced with some of the possibilities of a day's, such as the stress you can be put, the lack of respect you encounter, the hatred that is spewn at you, and the danger you can face - well I am right back to wondering why anyone would want such a job. Of course, the thing that makes me wonder the most is probably all of the second guessing like the charges of racism if an officer interrogates, arrests, or shoots someone of a minority group, the commissions and panels formed to determine if the officer acted in good faith within the scope of his duties, the defense lawyers , the civil attornies during lawsuits, the negative media attention and so on. I suppose all the negative stuff truly outweighs the good, or at least it should, in the eyes of a normal person and therefore no normal person would ever take a job as a law enforcement officer. I eam - would you be willing to face this at your job for let's say: $25,000 - $75,000 per year - and then realize that you may very well face the same thing everyday for the rest of your 25 year career?

Watch the video then answer the question again.



Yep, it always amazes me that we have anyone at all willing to take jobs as law enforcement officers. Yet, it amazes me even much more so that people in jobs like school teacher, garbage man, baseball player (yes even the big hitters), librarian, mayor, computer technician, college professor, construction worker, electrician, truck driver all think they are not paid enough for what they do while at the same time believing law enforcement officers are overpaid way too much. These people who complain about police salaries are the same people who complain about police racism, police cronyism, abuse of police power, and on and on and on. Sometimes I truly wonder why I, or anyone for that matter, ever stayed involved in law enforcement work once we were fool enough to hire on in the first place.

All the best,
Glenn B

Video Source: http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/crime_krez_aztec_video_of_2007_shootout_released_200907221356

Stupidity In Crime

A robbery suspect in South Carolina has died after police say he spray painted his face to conceal his identity during the crime, WLTX reported.

This, you can explain to your children, is the reason they want to do well in high school, trade school and or college - so they can avoid finding themselves doing something for a living that requires no degree and no amount of intelligence. Yes I am referring to the idea of having to resort to a life of crime, although I must admit the person who wrote the above sentence could have paid more attention in school. Did the robber die only after police say he spray painted his face, or did he die after, and possibly as a result of the fact, he spray painted his face. Whatever - at least the reporter has a decent job and probably graduated high school as well as college. The robber, on the other hand, probably did not graduate high school (at least not on his own merit) and probably was not a college man. Then again, he probably never watched the James Bond movie Goldfinger either and now he is dead!

All the best,
GB

Monday, August 24, 2009

If In Heaven - Author and Gentleman George Orwell Must Be Showing His Ivory Whites Smiling Over This Black Day For The English Language

Why would George Orwell be grinning with his Ivory Whites? Why not? I mean he did write the book Nineteen Eighty-Four - did he not and it is turning out to be mostly if not all very predictive of what is actually taking place in England - isn't it! You know the story, the one about life under the rule of Big Brother - life where everything is controlled by the government, life where your thoughts can make you a criminal, life where the government knows almost everything about you because they have you under constant surveillance with cameras virtually everywhere, life where your neighbors drop a dime on you as fast as Judas could grab the silver, life where even something as basic as the language of the land was being reduced and rewritten into newspeak (no it was never called doublespeak in the book) and destroying the language while it did so.

So let me tell you why he would be smiling. The Brits have for years tried to control everything by way of government. Yeah they have a parliamentary system and all that, but truth be told it is more of a socialist oligarchy. How did they arrive at such a government? One of the first things they did was to restrict ownership of firearms, then ban such ownership outright. That left the people as little more than puppets of those in power. Next they started to enact a whole load of laws that restricted the liberties and rights of the citizenry. Do you realize that if you state your OPINION in England it can be considered defamatory and you can be sued and jailed. Since they only had the people on strings so to speak, they also decided it would be a good idea to keep tabs on them at all times. There are now cameras in ore places than you could imagine in such cities as London, and I have even heard reports of them being found in the countryside. no these are not just traffic cameras, these are out and out surveillance cameras. They convinced the fools who are British subjects that these were needed to deter crime and terrorism. The fact is they can spy on just about anyone at any time where these cameras are located because they also utilize face recognition software. I recall the case of one man who used to go to a railing overlooking a river (or maybe the sea, or a lake - but it was a body of water). He went frequently. He was also arrested or detained for questioning frequently because the police felt he was about to commit suicide each time they spied him on there cameras at said location. He was there to look at the water folks! Of course Great Britain also encourages its citizens to rat one another out for offenses. Offenses like self defense when a person defends himself against a rapist or mugger. Once they got all that control what did the British government do - they joined the European Union thereby destroying all the rights of British citizens within the country. Pure government control by a government of bureaucrats from many nations leaving the people as little more than serfs once again.

Hmm, that just about completes the list of things I mentioned that took place in George Orwell's world of 1984. Whoops I forgot one. Sure you know I didn't forget, I just saved it for last because it just started to happen. The language in Great Britain, or at least the English language in Europe, is now under attack - read about it here. Certain politically incorrect words and phrases actually are being outlawed. They want to remove such terms as: black sheep of the family, black mark (all because a black person could take offense). They want to eliminate any reference to white to imply goodness such as the phrase whiter than white (again because it may make blacks feel that blackness is bad and whiteness is good. They want to purge use of words and phrases that potentially could be deemed sexist and thereby offensive to one gender or the other such as: gentlemen's agreement, and right hand man.

Are you getting this - do you see the lunacy that is therein such actions. At least one person in the UK apparently got it, see the video. As the song Living On A Thin Line by the Kinks said: "There's No England Now".



It is amazing that more British citizens did not see this all coming and take appropriate actions to prevent it. Now that they seem to be starting to realize it, it may be too late for them to save their country. Why even mention any of this here in the USA - because it is starting here too - just look around you - socialized medicine, government takeover of industry, government take over of the financial world, illegal immigration virtually ignored as Border Patrol Agents are executed, affirmative action runs amok, welfare and socialism are the tools, government control is the goal, racism in our culture abounds against whites but is not seen as such by hate mongers, anything a white says in a controversial situation being seen as racist by hate mongers, political corruption is exploding at all levels of government, arrogant politicians are continually trampling on citizens rights, surveillance cameras going up everywhere in the name of Homeland security, calling certain words by their first letter such as the N-word (newspeak has reached our shores. Are we doomed as England seems to be - not yet folks, but the point of no return maybe closer than any of us would like to think. Write to your elected officials, call them on the phone, demand they put some rational thought back into government and that they secure our borders, defend our Constitution, rid our streets of criminals (as opposed to harassing law abiding gun owners and other law abiding citizens), put an end to corruption, balance the budget, make English our official language, go full force in the war on terrorism and so forth. It is about time we start doing something to keep America American before someone sings a song about there being no America anymore!

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Arthur Frommer - Is He Just A Travel Author or Just Another Rights Bashing, Intolerant and Bigotted Leftist?

Hmm, I would never have thought that a guy like Arthur Frommer, the man behind all those Frommer travel guides, would be an extreme intolerant leftist bent upon denying others their Constitutional and states' rights, but maybe such is exactly the case. You see Mr. Frommer has come out of the closet so to speak in his blog. In his blog post: Do Guns at Political Events Disturb You? Then Consider Skipping Arizona for Now he in essence states that he will avoid traveling into the state of Arizona because extremists are allowed to carry firearms outside of political rallies. He states that this is not due in any manner to the political affiliation of President Obama whose rally was the one in question and says he would do the same if it had been a rally held by Ronald Reagan. In exercising my right to freedom of speech, allow me to address Mr. Frommer further:

Mr. Frommer - shame on you for saying such because truth be told plenty of people have carried firearms outside of political rallies before but you have never opened your mouth or typed away on your keyboard about it before now have you; then again neither has the mud slinging media - has it! As a mater of fact - did you decide to boycott states in which the Black Panther Party is found. I seem to remember, unless I am mistaken, them showing up in force with openly exposed weapons outside of polling places during a recent presidential election where they seemingly (at least it seemed that way to many who reported on it) intimidated potential voters among others. Heck that could potentially threaten free elections couldn't it; but then they did support then Senator Obama in his run for the presidency so I suppose that made it okay in your eyes. As for Ronald Reagan, whom you brought into this debate, he was the first presidential candidate ever endorsed by the NRA. He likely would have welcomed such activity outside of his political events when carried out by law abiding citizens who were merely exercising their right to keep and bear arms, their right to free speech and their right to assembly.

Mr. Frommer - This is the United States of America - we do not live in a totalitarian regime such as that of Cuba, the former Soviet union, the former Taliban controlled Afghanistan, or North Korea. People within the United States of America, including the state of Arizona have rights, are guaranteed those rights by our Constitution, and are at liberty to legally exercise those rights. Have you forgotten that? The people who carried those firearms outside of the rally were simply exercising their rights as a way of making a political statement. They posed no threat to the life of the president. They were not extremists, they were regular citizens sir; yes regular citizens do carry firearms. I have carried a firearm at every political event I have ever attended but have never been a threat to anyone while doing so. Now you may think that a clever statement on my part because I am a federal agent and I have attended many political events in my official capacity but let me assure you I also carry when off duty and have done so at political events in the past.

Of course, you may also think yourself clever in making the blog post that you did in which you apparently implied those legally exercising their rights to be extremists. You seemingly also blatantly stated that others should consider avoiding travel to Arizona, then basically denied doing so:

I mean come on now Mr. Frommer what did it mean in the title of the post when you said:

"Then Consider Skipping Arizona For Now"?


Then in the post you said this:

"For myself, without yet suggesting that others follow me in an open boycott, I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks and as a means of political protest. "

Wasn't that statement in the blog post title a suggestion for others to at least consider boycotting travel to Arizona - or did you mean they should do it covertly at first? Then again, maybe you meant they should hop, skip and jump through the state when you said they should "... consider skipping Arizona..."? It sure seems to me like it was meant to mean they should boycott travel to Arizona but of course you being more liberal minded than me could have a totally different interpretation of that statement - couldn't you?

By the way, you made a broad, and my bet is pretty hollow, statement there when you said:

"I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks...".

So does this mean you will not travel in the great majority of states within the United States, or was that just a rash statement on your part? You see, almost every state within our Union allows citizens to carry firearms while they walk the sidewalks - some with more, some with less, restriction than others but almost all allow some form of open or concealed carry of firearms. In no state is a citizen, legally or otherwise, allowed to carry a firearm into a presidential rally whereby the president could be under threat - such is simply not allowed for by the United States Secret Service. By the way, the Secret Service was not concerned about a threat from these folks were they. Had they believed any of these armed citizens to have been credible threats they would have detained them for questioning - don't you think? It certainly is within their authority to do so, and they do so regularly with even unarmed citizens who are apparent threats to the well being of any of our presidents. So tell me, if these armed citizens were such extremists, if they posed such a terrible threat to the safety of the president, or even to attendees at the rally, then why did the Secret Service or the police not remove them from the scene. The truth be told is that there likely was no real threat and there were only some citizens exercising their rights and liberties - rights and liberties you quite frankly do not seem to like others to exercise.

I think you goofed with that blog post, and with the apparent suggestion that others avoid Arizona and states where citizens can carry firearms in public (as in on the sidewalks). I would be willing to bet on that. While you, and some leftists, avoid travel to the state of Arizona - and to other states wherein others like myself who enjoy our liberties and rights - citizens who exercise their rights and liberties will flock there in order to counteract any damage you may have tried to do. Likewise while your travel guide sales may increase among the leftists, I can assure you that I for one will never knowingly again add one penny to your coffers by purchasing anything you have written, edited, endorsed or published. I would urge others who value their rights and liberties to consider doing likewise, or to protest your views in any legal way, as a form of exercise of their freedom of speech but my guess is I do not need to do so. I figure that they will not require any prompting from me to do so because you have shot yourself in your foot on this one without any help from me.


*********
Folks, if you are about to take a vacation or short getaway trip, I urge you to travel to Arizona. Travel there frequently if you can. Visit the Grand Canyon, see Sedona, fly into Flagstaff, visit the Saguaro National Forest, climb the mountians at the Chiricahua National Monument, go back in history at Tombstone, be amazed by the colors at the Painted Desert, go to the Petrified Forest, see Native American cliff dwellings, visit the Navajo Nation, go to the Buffalo Soldier Museum, enjoy all that Phoenix and Tucson have to offer, drive through the White Mountains - there is a lot to do in this wonderful state. Let the Arizona governor and state legislature know you are doing so despite Mr. Frommer's apparent suggestion to do otherwise. Let them know you travel to and enjoy Arizona because of its stance on the right to keep and bear arms and on its stance regarding freedom of speech. I was just there for 4 months, and would go there again tomorrow if I could. While I was there for work, I must point out that I decided to spend all of my free time there. I could have easily visited other nearby states such as New Mexico, Nevada, or California. While I considered both New Mexico and Nevada, travel by me to California for leisure was simply out of consideration by me due mostly to its extreme leftist stance on almost everything - especially gun rights.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Biweekly Gun Shots 14 - Remington Model 8

I just bought another 60 rounds of this ammo > to fire in my Marlin .336 lever gun. The round is the .35 Remington. The .35 Remington was first developed in 1906 and its development coincided with three other rounds - the .25 Remington, .30 Remington and .32 Remington (all rimless cartridges). Of all these rounds, the only one that remains popular today (and in fact commercially available as far as I can determine) is the .35 Remington. Back in the day though, all 4 of these cartridges were developed due to the introduction of a single rifle.

That rifle was one for which John M. Browning obtained a patent in October 1900, then later sold the patent to Remington. In 1906, Remington began to produce the Remington Model 8, a semi-automatic, 5 shot fixed box-magazine fed, rifle. About 80,600 of them were produced, in 6 grades, from 1906 through 1936 as per Remington (ref.). It was primarily designed for sports hunters, but another type of hunter soon became interested in it and several wound up in the hands of law enforcement officers of the day.

There were at least four features that may have made this rifle particularly appealing to law enforcement officers. One was that it was a takedown rifle which was easily broken down so that the barrel could be removed from the receiver; this made for ease of concealment and portability. The second, and a probably much more important feature, was that this rifle was a semiautomatic. A third and also very important feature was that this rifle had a hold open device. Having a hold open device simply means that the bolt is held in an open position after the last round is fired. This is an invaluable feature of any firearm used as a tactical weapon because it immediately allows the shooter to realize that the weapon is empty and it allows for faster reloading because the shooter does not have to retract the bolt to reload since the bolt is already held open. In essence it facilitates and speeds up reloading while in a do or die situation. The fourth and other very important feature was the caliber offering. The .35 Remington was a large and powerful round and it often found its way into Model 8s utilized by law enforcement of the times when the Model 8 was in production. A fifth factor, though not so much a feature of the rifle, that put this rifle in a good light with law enforcement was the fact that it functioned reliably.

Frank Hamer, one of the more famous lawmen of the years during which this rifle was produced, used one chambered in .35 Remington to end the criminal careers of two of the most notorious criminals of 1930's Depression Era America. Frank Hamer was the lead law enforcement officer in charge of, and the man mainly responsible for setting up, the successful ambush of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. The particular rifle that he used was purported to have been equipped with a 'Police Only' 15 round (or 20 round depending upon your source) magazine, and bore serial number 10045. I imagine that frank Hamer's Model 8 must have looked much like the rifle in the above photo, which I found at http://i98.photobucket.com/download-albums/l246/TonyRumore/Mdl8a.jpg. I freely used it here because the PhotoBucket site at which I found this photo freely provides ways to share and download the photo including ways to embed it in various blogs including Blogger. The photo is credited as that of Tony Rumore.

I have seen a good number of these rifles and probably more of their replacement the Model 81 Woodsmaster (produced 1936-1950) which supposedly had a number of so called improvements over the Model 8. Many of both models that I have seen have been hanging on walls in hunting lodges and peoples homes, and others - probably the majority I have seen - have been at gun shows. Most have been in a state of poor repair. There are probably quite a few of them out there though that are in very good to excellent condition and should I ever run across one of them chambered in .35 Remington and for sale at a good price (in my estimation), you can bet your bottom dollar that if I have or can get the cash - I will be buying it (and I may go into a bit of debt to get one at that like using my credit card to get funds from an ATM - something I rarely do). Now mind you when I say go into debt, that does not mean I am going to pay an unreasonable amount for one of these. I am looking for one at a good or better yet at a very good price. Like one I might find at an estate sale where some little old lady is selling off her husband's hunting rifle collection - something in the $350 to $400 range. I may just keep wishing but sometimes wishes do come true. Of course, if I cannot find one and if I find a Model 81 that is in excellent condition at a good price - well, I just may have to settle for one of those. I am planning on going to the Great Middletown Firearm and Knife Show on September 12 or 13th and one never knows - does one!

For a lot more about the Remington Model 8 (and even about the Model 81) try this spectacular website: http://thegreatmodel8.remingtonsociety.com/.

All the best,
Glenn B

Do We Hate Candadians Enough To Deprive Them Like This?

Yeah I know, some of you think Canadians and Canada suck. Some of you, well not many of my readers, probably think this because you think they are not enough to the political left. Others, more likely my readers, think so because you believe they are really just ever so gosh darned liberal it makes you want to puke. Me - well I figure why bother with them. If they leave me alone, I will leave them alone. If they want to be friendly, I can be friendly back. If they are respectful of me, then me toward them - and of course I will start with respect in virtually every encounter. As for Canadians, I almost always look at them as our kind of friendly, politically nutty, neighbors to the north who are not worth much more than a thought like that at most times. Then again, I am a fairly decent human being - or so I consider myself - and when it comes to helping out a neighbor - well I would do what I can so long as I know the neighbor has done what he can to help himself first. I do not like freeloaders, but nor would I leave a neighbor hanging when the neighbor was deserving of my help. Are Canadians ever deserving of my, or our help. Sure they are. As a matter of fact I think they are beginning to understand that the good old U.S.A. is not a bad as a place as they may have thought it was. Yeah they have often bashed us, heck look at a guy like Neil Young who by way of his songs has, more than once in my opinion, berated those of us in the USA who are more conservative. I have visited Canada quite a few times in my life and each time have gotten a bad reception from at least 15 to 25% of the people I have met on each trip there. Why - simply because I was an American (as in citizen of a country not of a continent). I have never seen any foreigner get treatment that badly here in the USA based on where he came from unless it was someone from an Arabic/Muslim country after 911. Despite the cold should I have received all too often in Canada (and mind you my wife, my children, my friends on these trips received similar unwarranted bad feelings just because we were from the USA), I still would be willing to help out a respectful Canadian neighbor in need. How about you - how do you feel about Canadians.

Watch the embedded video, then answer the question: Do We Hate Canadians Enough To Deprive Them Like This?



Not me brother, I don't hate em that much - heck I love it when they come here to tell their stories that warn us about the peril we are facing with single payer (aka: government run) health care.

All the best,
Glenn B

It's Been A Rough Last Few Days...

...and therefore there has been no blogging on my part since I was pretty much laid up in bed. I went to a friend's retirement party on Wednesday night, and decided to have a good time. No that does not mean I drank to excess, in fact I did not even allow a drop of any alcoholic beverage to pass my lips. Instead I drank club soda and water. I figured I would have a good time without the booze. That may have been my downfall. During the cocktail hour I probably polished off at least 4 club sodas (no ice), I also managed to wolf down just about every item they had as an appetizer - twice. Well it did not take long for me to find out something was rotten in Denmark, or at least with something I had eaten during the cocktail hour. Within about 30 to 45 minutes of its end, I had to run to the throne. After that I figured I'd go out to my car and sit there while getting some fresh air. Well within another 1/2 hour or so it all came out topside. Then over the next several hours I had to run again - several times. On Thursday, during the day, I had to keep up my running several times but was feeling a bit better despite some pretty bad abdominal pains. Then, during the night, it seemed that something inside of me decided I needed to train for the Olympics and I increased the frequency of my running at least two or maybe threefold; and I also felt as if I had been training for a boxing match since my stomach and back ached as if I had been in a prize fight, my head was pretty achy too. Come Friday morning my son took me to the doc, who then sent me to the Gastro Doc, both of who told me that I probably had food poisoning but was getting over it. What rocket science! I finally ate something again last night - the first time in about 46 hours. It did not make me feel any better, but I managed to keep it in me. Woke up this morning feeling a lot better but still on the weak side. Wow - amazing how some little boogers you cannot even see can knock you for a loop like that - isn't it!

Now I wonder a couple of things. Did anyone else at the party get sick? I have not heard that anyone else did get ill, and that is good. Should someone else have gotten sick I think a call to Public Health would be in order so they could inspect the catering hall. Then again, I am pretty certain that the catering hall owners may have friends who are health or restaurant inspectors - so what would it accomplish!

I did say there were a couple of things I was wondering - well here is the second one: Should I have imbibed some alcohol at the party? I am wondering this because maybe - just maybe - had I had a good stiff drink while there it would have killed off or weakened whatever it was that got me sick before it could have gotten me sick. I mean alcohol is used as a disinfectant - isn't it? The Gastro Doc did not agree with my theory, but I cannot recall ever getting a case of food poisoning from a meal that I enjoyed at the same time I also enjoyed some fine spirits.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hunting Costs a Tidy Fortune -- or - How Bureaucrats Are Ruining A Conservationist's Sport

Last year I bought a NY resident Sportsman's License for the reasonable price of $37.00. I purchased it online and did the same with my son's license. The Sportsman's License last year included the fishing, small game hunting, big game hunting and Deer management Permit (anterless deer permit). I also got Turkey hunting permits - one for the Fall and one for the Spring. I thought it was expensive but not all that terrible. Then they did not send me or Brendan the hunting regulations or fishing regulations booklets until I called and complained that the license surely had cost enough that they should have included them. This year they got their revenge on guys like me who thought we were already paying a bit too much.

My license this year, had I gotten exactly what I had last year, would have cost me $67.00. That is about an .81% increase from one year to the next. This year the license was $47, the Deer Management Permit was no longer free for the Sportsman's License category and was $10, and the Turkey Stamp was $10 - highway robbery if you ask me but I am sure some politician somewhere thinks it good money management. Like a jerk, I actually opted for a more expensive license, I think it is called the Super Sportsman. It covers fishing, small game hunting, big game hunting, turkey permit, archery permit, muzzleloader permit. It goes for $88.00. I also opted for a Deer Management Permit for $10. Frigging deer hunting is becoming a rich man's sport - bear in mind those were just license fees!

The thing that kills me is that if they keep upping the costs of fishing and hunting licenses it will be guaranteed to reduce the number of sportsman who legally hunt and fish. The numbers are already thinning. So what they are in effect doing is killing the bird who lays the golden eggs. Why? Well because my friends about 90% if not more of the revenues generated each year for wildlife conservation in the United States of America, each year, comes from the money spent by hunters, trappers and fishermen and a lot of that is spent on state issued licenses. Not only do these good folks pay state license fees, they also pay other fees such as federal imposed fees like the one for a Migratory Game Bird Stamps (commonly called a Duck Hunting Stamp) which goes for around $15.00 at the time that piece was written but maybe higher this year.

Over and above license fees paid by hunters, they pay yet another type of fee - actually a tax, and excise tax to be exact - that the rest of you do not pay. It is known as the Pittman-Robertson Act Tax or The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act Tax. This is an approximate 10% excise tax that is paid by people who buy hunting, trapping and fishing equipment and supplies such as firearms, archery equipment, fishing poles, tackle, ammunition and so forth. It is not charged at the cash register but is already figured into the price of all hunting and fishing gear before it is sold to the end user (which by the way means that when you pay a percentage based sales tax on items covered by this excise tax - you are also being charged sales tax on the amount of excise tax you are being paid not just on the value of the item itself because the excise tax is hidden in the price of the item - tax on tax - it is outrageous). It is slated to go ONLY toward wildlife and habitat conservation in each of the states. It has paid over 3.6 billion dollars to state wildlife agencies for wildlife conservation over the past 60 years. (See
http://fw.ky.gov/pdf/lesson3.pdf page 5.) Of course, politicians like Charles Scummer Schumer, U.S. Senator from New York (and radical liberal) tries to get the distribution of those funds changed every few years so that it will go toward things like welfare or the general fund. Each time he and others try, they are defeated. Good for that because it would mean so much less for wildlife that either your taxes would have to increase to support conservation of Nature's creatures or many, many, animals would suffer miserably in sub par habitat. From what I can see, guys like Schumer do not care so long as their agendas for more political power go through.

Now back to hunters, trappers and fishermen because they are not done paying yet. Yeah, I know, you were beginning to think that maybe I am right hunting is becoming expensive because of increased license and other fees, but even with taxes added on that isn't it yet. You see hunters, trappers and fishermen also pay a large amount every year in the form of money that goes into other parts of the hunting community directly related to these sports. They pay lots for hunting guides, use of private preserves, boat rental fees, and so on. The list of how they help the economy does not end there though. They also pay a nice chunk of change each year for things not directly related to these sports, but that are paid for because they come about in the normal course of enjoying such sports. 'Like what for instance?' you maybe wondering. Like motels, campsites, restaurants, supermarkets, car rental fees, gasoline, road tolls and so on.

Hunting can be downright expensive. Yep - it ain't cheap and when you add it all up a field dressed Whitetail Deer, that an average hunter gets while on a short hunt of maybe five days, can wind up costing a lot. By the way, I use a 5 day example because I try to combine a couple of days of turkey hunting with deer hunting, and while the seasons abut one another they do not overlap in NY. Then again it could just be a 5 day deer hunt - 2 days scouting, 3 days hunting depending on skill and luck as I am not that good a hunter - and maybe some fishing thrown in there if warm enough. Let's see how much a five day trip like that might cost a guy like me - and that is if I go alone. I'll try to add up all the costs I can think of, but I almost am sure to forget and leave out a few things. All prices will be approximately what I pay in NY but rounded off to the nearest dollar:

Licenses - $98.00


Migratory Gamebird Stamp - $15.00

Ammunition (one box of 20 rounds) - $23.00

Practice Ammo (one box like above)- $23.00

Range Fees For Practice - $25.00 (Per trip to the range.)

Gasoline To Get To Range - $12.00 (Per trip, it is 60 miles from my home; this is at the best mileage my car gets.)

Gun Cleaning Supplies - $2.00 (Approximate cost per cleaning.)

Deer Pee Scent - $12.00

Hand Warmers - $5.00 (Yes I am old and frail and can use em.)

Boots - $150.00 (My old ones are shot and too tight - my feet actually grew at my age.)

Other Gear - $0.00 (Hopefully I need none this year.)

Gatorade or Other Drinks - $14.00 (per case)

Sandwich and Other Food Stuff - $35.00 (I'll try to eat two meals a day, and snacks, from this.)

Ice For Cooler - $8.00 (Remember this is for 5 days worth.)

Restaurant Food - $40.00 (I try to get to a restaurant for at least one hot meal per day.)

Tolls - $15.00

Gasoline - $57.00 (For about 600 miles driving at the best I can get mileage and current low end gas price.)

Lodging - $226.00 (This is at Motel 6 folks - I am too old & creaky to camp out in the cold of November.)

Butchering of Deer - $125.00 (This cost has skyrocketed.)

Did I leave anything out. I am sure I must have forgotten something but isn't that all enough expense for one deer. Then again if this was a year where I needed more gear like maybe new gloves, a hat, a hunting coat, rain or snow gear, and so on, it could get lots more expensive. but just how expensive is it, even with just what I figure I may spend this year - let's do some calculating...

Wow only $885.00 for a 5 day deer hunting trip. So if I get a deer that weighs about 120 pounds field dressed, and maybe get 60 pounds of meat out of it - how much would that be per pound. That would be about $14.75 per pound - not bad by comparison to other years I have gone hunting - especially when I got ZERO pounds of meat for the freezer! Add another couple of hundred bucks to the mix and the cost per pound goes up to about $19 per pound.

Now I did not add on fees for taxidermy should I actually stumble across a deer spectacular enough to become trophy material. I guess there is always that outside chance I may fall asleep under a tree and wake up to find an old grizzled, but stately, buck peering at me thinking my snores were the grunts of a rival buck. On the other hand, I suppose I could come across some stately old buck that has survived thanks to its wily ways and only stumbled across me because it was suffering the effects of old age. Those examples probably would be more my in line with my hunting abilities than me actually setting up a great stand and hoodwinking a magnificent buck, in its prime, into shotgun or rifle range - but truth be told I am not that lucky and will have to work for whatever I get even if a forkhorn. If I do somehow wind up with a trophy deer, I am going to guess that sending the head to a taxidermist for a mount will cost around $500 at the least, and maybe as much as $750. That would sure make my venison this year rather expensive - wouldn't it.

Egads - here comes the wife - I had better stop typing. If she sees how much this is all going to cost, and that without my son added in to the mix, well she may just shoot me where I sit and hang my head on the wall. Now really folks, my wife loves it when I go hunting. That's because I am out of her hair for several days to a week, I usually don't bag anything (she does not like venison but then again loved bear but would rather eat beef), and because if she wants to go to Germany over the summer, to visit relatives, I give her my blessing. I had better, otherwise I truly might get my head hung over the fireplace. For now that's it; I have other things to do - like figure which bank to rob to get all the money I'll need for this year's hunting trips. I may have to rob the Federal Reserve itself, or Fort Knox, because I'll probably go on 2 or 3 hunting trips this year. No that is not extravagance, that is just because I am such a lousy hunter. Yep, it sure can add up to a tidy fortune and it can hurt a guy's finances pretty bad.

Did I mention its all because of politicians and bureaucrats raising license fees, and raising taxes, and the cost of inflation and... Folks while some of the above may have been comical the fact is that the best method of wildlife conservation we have available to us is dying fast. It is dying because of skyrocketing license fees, constantly rising taxes and other costs due to inflation. It really is not a laughing matter. Contact your state and federal officials and tell them enough is enough. Explain that you fear the loss of sportsman generated revenue will only result in higher taxes all around for all of us. Tell them you are sick of taxes and taxes disguised as fees and so on that only go to ruin our way of life. Sooner or later they have got to get the message and find ways to cut back on the government machine making it more efficient thereby resulting in a better economy with lower taxes, less fees and - in the case of conservation - more efficient wildlife conservation.


Thank goodness I didn't cover anything about making this a fishing trip too. Those little lures can go for over $10 a pop, then you have the fishing line, and the rods and reels, and...

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Report: Big Al's Gun and Premier Knife Show

This morning at about 0710, Brendan and I set off for Danbury, CT and Big Al's Gun and Premier Knife Show. We got there at about 0830. The show itself was being held in some hotel or another, I did not even notice the name, but if I did I probably would have forgotten it by now. Since we arrived early for the opening of the show we had breakfast at the hotel. It was buffet style and I must admit they had great service for seating, coffee and juice but the buffet itself was lacking a bit. Not terrible, okay I suppose, better because I had good company and ebcause the coffee was good. Then we walked into the show.

Well, we paid first. Brendan paid his own way in using the $1.00 of coupon I had given him. It was $7.00 with the coupon. I paid my way, got my hand stamped and we were in. At first I was in pensive almost shocked mode because what I saw was a room with about 30 tables. The online ad said there would be 200 tables. Lucky for the show promoter that he did have another room with more tables set up adjacent to the first one we entered. Unlucky for us though that this was, in my not so humble opinion, about the worst excuse for a gun show that I have ever attended. If it really had 200 tables, and it may well have had that many, then the percentage of tables that had guns displayed on them was pretty low. There was a total, yes a total, of 25 tables that had a number (above 1) of firearms displayed on them - one with only BB or pellet guns, and another that had a single gun (maybe there were two tables like that). Most of the guns being offered for sale seemed to be used. There were some new guns and many of those appeared to have had seen many a gun show and to have been handled by many a gun show goer. They had nicks, scratches and so forth. Some were pristine but truly not all that many.

Of all the other tables, two were not occupied by anything - they were simply left bare. This is, in my mind, not the sign of a good promoter; I think he should have at least let the adjacent tables' dealer use them for free to make it look better - that would have been better marketing. Another set of at least three maybe four tables was used up to hawk jerky, hot sauce, and flags (all being sold by one dealer). Of the remainder of the tables, I am going to guesstimate that about 50% of them held guns related items like magazines, sights, hunting books, cleaning equipment, bayonets, stocks, holsters and so on. There were about 10 tables at most dedicated mostly to ammunition sales, and the ammo for sale was often way overpriced. The remainder of the tables displayed mostly knives and knife accessories. Actually there may have been more tables dedicated to knives than tables dedicated to a combination of everything else but maybe that is just me overreacting to the paucity of tables displaying firearms. That though is no underestimation - I counted the tables that had more than one firearm displayed on them and the number I came up with after two counts was 25 between both rooms. I asked a few people if there was yet another room but was told that was it.

We milled about, looked here and there, and the only thing that truly caught my eye was a Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge for $160. It was well used and also well worn. Knowing little of the value, and not having my price guide, I decided to hold off on that one. Brendan showed some interest in a Mosin Nagant M44 of Russian manufacture. It had a small crack in the foregrip, but otherwise looked pretty good. They wanted $125 for it but he never even bothered to ask if they would take less. I do not recall what it was but he saw something else wrong with it that made him shy away from it. I thought he should have at least asked if they would take less and told him to start at $75 and maybe go to - well to whatever he was willing to pay - but it turned out he was unwilling to pay anything for it. I guess I don't blame him because the dealer had walked over complaining he had to pay almost what he was selling it for when he bought it. Yeah - right!

Now lest you think I may just be griping too much about how much this show seemed a disappointment to me, let me tell you some specifics that got me feeling that this show was little more than a rip-off:

A box of 525 rounds of CCI Blazer .22LR had an asking price $30. This is one of the cheapest varities of .22LR ammo out there. I did an online search and found it advertised in a few places at less than $20 for the exact same thing. Even if you had to pay shipping it would be cheaper than the asking price at the show - and remember I had to pay almost $10 in tolls, gas money for a 150 plus mile round trip, and an entry fee to the show.

Boxes of Wolf 7.62x39 FMJ ammunition ( the stuff in the black boxes) going for $13 per box of 20 rounds. That would make a case of 1,000 go for $650 if the boxes from a case were sold individually. This dealer tried to explain to me that 500 rounds often passed as a full case nowadays with regard to this specific ammo. I don't know what dark hole he pulled that information out of, but it had to be a smelly one. Sure another dealer had the same exact ammo for sale at much less, I think it was $8.00 per box which may not be too bad selling it by individual box but I still cannot imagine the audacity of one of them asking $13 per box.

A box of CCI Mini Mag .22LR solid point, 100 rounds for $10, the price went up top $12 a few minutes later - and I later heard this particular dealer complaining to another that he was not selling anything. I do not wonder why! I can get these for $7.17 at Sportsmansguide.com without my Buyer's Club Advantage savings.

30 round AK magazines going for $20 apiece. Bear in mind these are not gun stores selling this stuff, this was a gun show vendor who had no business cards for a real storefront business ( I asked him for one and he said he was just a show vendor). I can easily find AK mags in just as excellent condition at online dealers for: $9.95 - see Aim Surplus. Note they had no AKs for sale, apparently they were banned in CT.

New Rifles - if there were more than 40 brand new rifles - as in not used - on display and for sale at this show I would be amazed - and come to think of it I would be surprised if there were more than 30.

Now there was a high point to the show, that was when my friend Pete K. showed up at about 1000. I introduced Brendan to Pete and we all three walked around again and again looking at stuff, and we chewed the fat. It is always nice to see Pete K whenever I have the opportunity. He retired from my job a few years back already, and I can truly say he was one of the better people I have ever met in my 30 year career (well it will be 30 years next month). He is a true gentleman and a patriot as well as a good friend. Sadly Pete dd not have time for a beer and lunch and we parted ways all to soon.

Brendan and I headed home with nothing to show for our time at the gun show, but at least with some good feelings of camaraderie between us and for Pete K. That made the trip to Danbury well worth it in my book, but next time I won't bother to stop at Big Al's Gun and Premier Knife Show - I'll just take the trip to visit my pal. Then again, there is another gun show coming up in September. This one, run by The NortheastGunShows.com and also referred to as the The Great Firearm & Knife Show will be held at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, NY on September 12 and 13, 2009. The show in Middletown has always been fair to good maybe even very good, and I am hopeful that Brendan and I will make that one too. We are both hopeful that Pete K as well as a few other of my friends from work (retired and current)can also make it. If you are thinking of going, here is a link to a $1.00 off coupon.

I anticipate that we will enjoy the Middletown show much better; as I said it has usually been a much better show than was the one we attended today.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Have You Got 20 Minutes & 4 Seconds to Spare?

If you have the time, then sit back, turn on the sound, and watch the video clip of Radar Men From The Moon - Chapter 1. This is the Commando Cody series I so loved as a kid (already repeats when I saw them as they came out in the early 50s and I watched em in the early to mid 60s). I loved em then, and to tell the truth - even though they are quite korny, out of date and pretty low budget with somewhat lousy acting - they still hold a certain fascination for me. Why? Well, not as much nostalgia as you may think but because they hold forth some truths from back then that we should look to in our current political turmoil.

What truths? First of all that the government was secretive even back then when it came to things like national defense and what it told the good citizens of our country and Nancy Pelosi ought to get that by now. More importantly that national defense was the government's job. More importantly yet - the government depended upon private citizens (aka: individuals) - such as Commando Cody - to assist when times were tough even with national defense. Finally that citizens like him were the true security of our great nation and individuals meant a lot to our nation. In other words, when it comes right down to the nitty gritty, the individual not the goobermint is primarily responsible for how things get done in our country and the politicians and government bureaucrats darned well better get to knowing it. Sure the governments plays a great part, but not without the consent of the people and help from the people, especially in light of the fact that the government is selected by the people. It was a way of life back then - but it sure is not today - at least not in the eyes of uber liberals. They want the G to run the whole show. Truth be told, the government would not even be able to wipe its own behind if it had one.

Enough from me, here it is:



If you want to watch more of the episodes then go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=2264082A033148F1&search_query=commando+cody

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, August 13, 2009

That Was Quick...

...or at least I am thinking that was quick. The quick I am referring to has to do with a UPS delivery attempt notice I got today when I arrived home from work. It said UPS tried to deliver a package requiring an adult signature to my home today but no one was around to accept it. When I did some checking on their website I see the package was sent from Illinois. The only thing I have ordered recently from Illinois was a Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifle I ordered from RGuns. I ordered that late afternoon on the 10th. It is now the 13th. Wow, if the place I ordered that from can get a rifle out that fast what is wrong with all these other online gun dealers who all to recently have been claiming they have a two to three week backlog on their orders? I am hoping that when I pick up the box, yes I arranged for it to be held at UPS so I can pick it up at my leisure, it will contain a very good to excellent condition rifle as I ordered. If that is the case, and if it is in good working order, well that will have been the best online order I have ever placed for anything.

I suppose I'll have to pick up some non-corrosive ammo for it this weekend (as in current manufacture) at
Big Al's Gun and Premier Knife Show up in Danbury. I will have to make sure it is non-corrosive because I pretty much ruined the barrel on my Mosin Nagant M44 using that surplus corrosive crap (which when I bought it was assured it was non-corrosive - yeah right).

All the best,
Glenn B