Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Annual Ammunition Inventory

I decided to get a bit busy today with straightening out the man cave basement. I just got done, after a couple of hours that accomplished only a little of straightening up but a lot of counting. I have a lot of straightening left to do tomorrow. Ah tomorrow.

For today though, that counting stuff I did was my annual ammunition inventory. Let me just say  have enough ammunition to shoot for quite awhile. I had a few surprises when doing the inventory. I no longer have any .30 carbine, nor do I have any more .357 Magnum. I guess I gave or traded or sold those calibers right out of stock. I do not make it a habit to sell ammo since I am not a business but sometimes sell a couple of boxes of something for which I have no to very little need. That was pretty much the case with those two calibers. I wish I still had some .30 carbine, that could make for some good future bartering deals but that is just a dream now.

Another surprise I had was the amount of .38 Special ammo that I have in store. I have about 3 to 4 times what I thought I had in the ammo locker. That is a good thing. For some reason I had thought I had reduced my supply much more than that so this really was a nice surprise. Yet another surprise was how much 22 Magnum I have at hand. Let me just say, that even though it is a goodly number of rounds, it will not last long once my son and I hit the range this spring and summer with the Marlin 25MN. There were two other surprises, these not the last. I had more 40S&W than I had thought and I have less .45 Auto than I would like. As for the .45 Auto, I guess I just gave or traded away too much of the little I had in supply. I guess I still have enough for a fun hour or two at the range or for a couple decent trades.  I also was surprised by how much .22LR I have around. It is a substantial amount. Finally, I was absolutely joyful at how many rounds of 9mm I have in my supply. It will make for shooting fun for awhile.

I am not going to give the exact amounts of anything, enough said above already. I used to post my inventory totals but decided against continuing that practice a few years back. Let me just say that if my ammo cache is ever raided by LE, it will be reported on by the media as being an ammo depot or an arsenal's worth of ammo. Then again, if I had a couple of bricks of .22LR and a half case of 9mm, with one box of each of everything else - they would report it the same way. I will admit though, I have a bit more than that.

All the best,
Glenn B

What Caliber Ammo Do You Shoot - What Caliber Ammo Do You Store

I have a fair supply of ammunition. Most of it is in calibers that I shoot regularly, for instance an awful lot of my ammo is in .22LR. Let's face it, it is pretty inexpensive and does not take up all that much space for a lots of rounds. But I also have a decent amount of other ammo on hand and as I said, most of it (by volume) is in calibers that I regularly shoot. The calibers that I shoot on a regular basis are:

.22LR
.223 Remington (grain weight in the 60's)
7.62x39mm
7.62x59R
8mm Mauser
.35 Remington
12 Gauge
.32 Auto
9mm Parabellum (Factoid: Parabellum - from Latin - translates to 'for war')

Then, I also have ammo stored up that I hardly ever, or simply do not, shoot:

.25 ACP
.380 Auto
.38 Special
.357 Magnum
.223 Remington (grain weight in the 50's)
.30 carbine
16 Gauge

I don't have all that much of the stuff that I don't shoot. I used to have a good deal more of it but wound up just giving most of it away, selling it, or trading it. My bad, I kind of wish I had kept it. Same old story, just like with guns - you have one that you decide to sell and you later are filled with regret because you got rid of it. Why on earth though would it be the same story with ammo, why would anyone regret selling, trading or gifting ammo?

For me, the answer to the above question is fairly straightforward, in fact it is simple. I regret selling it because now that I do not have as much I feel less prepared. Less prepared - for what? That last question is not as easy to answer but it is not too hard either. I like to consider myself somewhat prepared for just about anything. A fun day at the range with someone who is going to let me shoot a carbine in .45ACP would be just the thing to perk me up. How do you show your appreciation to a guy who lets you shoot his really neat carbine? You throw him some ammo and use some more during the shoot. The thing is, using my ammo to have a fun day like that is probably one of the lowest priorities on the list of reasons as to why I have the ammo in the first place. There are more important reasons to have ammo on hand, much more important reasons.

I imagine the number one reason I have a good amount of ammunition on hand is for defense of family, self and home. That may sound paranoid to some but when you think about it it is not far fetched at all. Recent events around the world and here on our own soil have shown us the reality of violent protests by radical protesters who simply want to redistribute what you have so they can get it (sound familiar, it should, it was the underlying tenet of communism/socialism and is seemingly the rallying cry of President Obama, Hilary Clinton, Maxine Waters and groups like Occupy and Acorn). It would not surprise me if in the next 2 or 3 years we are faced with an insurgency. There are also radical Islamists who are currently preparing to attack the United States from within and who knows where or when that may happen. Several plots have been discovered and diffused, with the past couple of years, in NY City alone. That is just too close to home for me to be completely unprepared to defend my family and our home. Islamic terrorists and the Islam in general are, in my opinion, one of the worst threats that we face. I think you had better wake up to the fact that the threat is more than real, it is being carried out on a daily basis. Racial tensions are stoked on a regular basis by groups like the Black Panthers and Black Muslims who espouse violence. Some all white militia groups are run by out and out kooks who also espouse racial violence and essentially advocate the use of violence against anyone who disagrees with them. Many Hispanics are calling for the return of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to the country of Mexico and are supportive of violent means to accomplish it. Then we have politicians, even the President of these United States making fanning the flames of racism by interfering with local police investigations by making barely veiled racist statements. Then there are the looters and the rogue law enforcement officers that pop up just about every time there is a major natural disaster of large enough scale. Don't know what I mean, then look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Police shot down unarmed citizens, removed people from their homes at gunpoint, looted while in uniform - yes there are bad apples among the bunch. Of course, there are just plain citizen and illegal alien looters too. Then we have the threat of war, war that next time around may wind up being fought where most of us least expect to be fighting it. To quote Sir Winston Churchill: "...we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills..." we may wind up fighting within our own borders. It is not all that far fetched - there are many nations around the world that have no love and a lot of hate for the good old U.S. of A. Finally, there is always he threat of guns and ammunition becoming impossible to obtain. We have people in our own government who repeatedly make every effort they can think up to violate our right to keep and bear arms. Those like Charles Senator Schumer, Hillary Clinton, president Obama to name just a few. Schumer wanted to implement something like a 1,000 percent tax on ammunition. Taxes, did I just mention taxes. We have them too and they keep going up along with government imposed fees, fines,mandated expenses (like heath care costs) and that may all fan the flames of an out and out revolution sooner or latter and as each day goes by and axes keep going up, you can probably safely bet it is going to be sooner than later. Do I need go on, I could name at least a few more things.

I guess the above pretty well can explain why I have ammo on hand that I need for the guns I currently own (meaning the ammo I shoot regularly). What about the ammo I have, the stuff I never or rarely shoot because I do not own a gun in the correct caliber to shoot it through. Well if the SHTF big time, if we are actually faced with TEOTWAWKI, that ammo may come in handy. A neighbor may have the gun that shoots it but only a box or so of ammo. I can give him some in return for say a case of water that he may have in store. I won't necessarily have to make a trade like that, heck I may just be happy that he has that gun if it is SHTF time on my block and he heads over to my place looking for bullets. That would me he is in the fight with me. Still though, ammo in various calibers could be a great bartering item. Ammo in calibers that match the calibers of firearms I own is not something that I am about to trade to anyone else except maybe to obtain medical supplies or food and water to alleviate an immediate life threatening emergency. Even then, I would be hesitant to give up my ammo if the overall situation was TEOTWAWKI. It would be much more appealing to me to have ammo on hand that I did not need but that someone else did need because it would be so much easier for me to part with that ammo than with ammo I could use in my guns.

As I think I already mentioned, there are more benign reasons to have ammo on hand that you do not shoot through your own guns, that you keep for other reasons. It is a great gift to give to others. It is a great way to get to shoot your buddies gun in that caliber. It makes for a fun day at the range with your buddy. It also makes for great trade goods to trade to other shooters who may have something you like. Who knows when your buddy, who is a .45 man, winds up wanting to sell that old Savage .22 rifle his uncle left to him in his will. You could maybe trade a few boxes of .45ACP for the rifle. Running out and buying that ammo today to trade for the rifle would be foolish, it would be worse than paying cash for the rifle. You would have to pay for transport o get to the store, pay for the ammo and pay the tax on it at today's rates. But, if you had bought and then properly had stored some .45ACP, say about 5 or 6 years ago, the overall price of it was lower back than than it is now and if properly stored the ammo is as good today as it was when it came out of the factory. Thus, it would have a trade value today at close to the current market price. Heck, maybe you even picked up some ammo for free. Don't tell me you turned it down because you did not own a gun to shoot it through. If you must tell me that, then at least don't tell me that you did not think of me and send the guy my way with the free ammo. I have had offers of free ammo before that I turned down but not in recent years. If it is free, in the box, and in decent condition, I don't care what caliber or gauge or mm size it is, I will take it.

I don't know about you but as for me, I am going to keep on procuring and storing ammo in any caliber I can get when the price is right - such as in free is deeply discounted. If you don't understand why by now, I am afraid you never will understand.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, March 30, 2012

The New "High Quality" (sarcasm alert) Wolf Military Classic Ammunition

I recently ordered 500 rounds of Wolf Military Classic, 7.62x39mm, HP ammunition from Sportsmansguide.com. The order arrived yesterday. When I opened it up, I was surprised to see what was either new packaging for Wolf Performance Ammunition brand ammo or counterfeit merchandise. Nowhere on the ammo boxes was the Wolf name in evidence, instead it was marked WPA. The printing job on the boxes looked inferior to that of the older Wolf ammo packaging, some of the printing was smeared. I opened one box and took a look at the rounds. The case heads were not stamped with the WOLF logo as has been the case in the past. While the case was indeed stamped with the round size designation is was almost illegible. There was also another unfamiliar, to me, marking on the case head and that too was basically illegible. It seemed that the stamping was done very weakly and that quality control must have faltered or maybe it was counterfeit product.  All the alarms went off and I shot an email out to Sportsmansguide last night. They responded today saying they were certain this was legitimate Wolf ammunition and they cannot account for changes to packaging or changes to how ammunition is manufactured by Wolf. They reminded me they do not accept returns on ammunition unless defective. Oh did I forget to mention the defect - there was no red sealant between the primer and the casing, I did not forget to mention that in my email to Sportsmansguide. That to me is a glaring defect in any currently manufactured military ammunition. 

I also contacted Wolf ammunition with an email through their 'contact us' link. They too got back to me earlier today telling me: "This is a troubling issue that he would like to speak to you about on the phone." So, I gave them a call. The representative I spoke to at Wolf assured me that the packaging is their new look. He also told me that they no longer place sealant around the primer. When I asked 'why not', he said this was due to a decision at the new factory that Wolf is using to produce the ammo. He gave me the name, someplace beginning with a B, maybe Baikal, in Russia I think since it says made in Russia on the boxes. I asked why they would do that and at first he said he did not know, then he said probably because they have received complaints from customers who claim the sealant makes their rifles jam. Probably the same customers who fire a several hundred rounds through their rifle without cleaning it properly, then expect it to work well on their next range trip a month or two later. When I also asked about the lack of the Wolf logo on the shell casings, the rep said the new mark is that of the new factory but that will change to the Wolf logo sooner or later. He said they were using this factory to increase ammo production because this ammunition was so hard to get. As for me I had not known of a recent shortage, did you?

When I addressed the very poor quality of the stampings on the shell casings, he sort of side stepped the question just saying that the logo that was on the shell casing is that of the new factory they are using. My guess is that by new factory he does not mean a newly built manufacturing plant but does mean Wolf's new affiliation with said factory. After me expressing my concerns about quality control or the apparent lack of it and my concerns over whether or not this ammo will be suitable for long term storage without primer sealant and my concerns about whether or not it will be safe to shoot - he assured me this ammunition is good for long term storage and is safe to shoot as it is 'high quality Military Classic Wolf Performance Ammunition'.

Furthermore, he said if I shoot it and have any problems, I can return it to Wolf because they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If I have any problems when I shoot it, heck that might be too late if one of the casings ruptures! Babbling Businessmen Batman, I had been on the phone with him expressing my dissatisfaction with this ammunition for about 10 minutes already - how did he miss that. Anyway, as it turned out, I told him I would give it a shot. After I hung up, I gave some more thought to the conversation I just had with him and about what seems to me to be strong signs of reduced quality of Wolf Military Classic ammunition and I rethought whether or not I should shoot this stuff. I then sent off another email to Wolf, this time with the following scanned image:




Now remember, this is a scan of the shell casings. They are both directly on the glass of my scanner. I know this is not as good as a crisp photo taken with a great camera but I do not have a great camera and I am pretty sure I could not focus my now falling apart older camera well enough to get close in like that. Still you get a good comparison of an older Wolf Military Classic casing with a new one. Note, the scanner should have focused equally on each since both are right next to each other and directly on the glass so any fuzziness on one is equal on the other. The poor stamping quality thus is evident on the newer round.

Those casings are only about the width of a shell casing apart. The older Wolf Military Classic ammunition, the stuff I think had higher quality is the one on your left. It clearly shows the WOLF logo stamped into the casing and also clearly shows the cartridge size. The one on your right is the new Wolf ammunition that I received from Sportsmansguide yesterday. It is typical of all the other rounds in the box in which it had been packed. I do not know about you but I think that the stamping quality sucks. I cannot even read the number 7 in 7.62 and the rest is difficult to read at best. In addition, you can clearly see that the sealant is absent. They may call this ammunition Military Classic but there seems nothing military or classic about it to me. Military ammo is known for having sealant around the primers. Along with the picture, I sent my reiterated concerns and I also asked Wolf a question. I requested that, after objectively looking at the scan, they answer this one question for me:

Is what you see, in the shell casing without the sealant and with the poor stamping, really high quality Wolf Military Classic ammunition?

I am awaiting their reply but somehow I get the feeling that, even if they wind up exchanging this for something of higher quality, my future purchases of Wolf ammunition may be curtailed until it is apparent that quality control has returned to the level at which it had been with Wolf ammo in the past.

Lest anyone think that the single shell casing above was a fluke, I decided to scan all 20 rounds that came in one box of this ammunition. Here is that picture:

Again, I cannot speak for anyone else, but to me it looks as if Wolf quality control, at least at the new factory with regard to this lot of ammo, has been flushed down the toilet. Once I hear back from them, in reply to my last email, I will give you an update. I truly am hopeful that they will up the quality of this stuff and that they will go back to placing the sealant around the primers again. Wolf Performance Ammunition, Military Classic or otherwise, had always been a really good buy, in my opinion, because it was a pretty high quality product. I'd love to find out the manufacture of this lot was just a temporary aberration and see Wolf keep up the quality for which it was known to me before I got this particular ammo.

All the best,
Glenn B

People Can Be Idiots - Just Too Funny Not To Share





Man some of them were truly idiots, others maybe just had bad luck.

All the best,
GB

Blogger New Look

I just checked out the new look for the Blogger interface. it sucks but that is what you get when you use a free service and Googlephiles ruin it.

Luckily I was able to get back to the older format. They say it is coming in April, hopefully it will not be forced on us. But if so, oh well...

All the best,
GB

Thursday, March 29, 2012

LEOSA Card

I got my LEOSA cad today. Next step is for me to go qualify to make carry under LEOSA effective and legal for me. I have scheduled a trip to the Rockland County Sheriff's Office range to do just that on April 18. If I find something closer to home and sooner, I may change my plans.

All the best,
Glenn  B

Another Passed On Into The Sunset

It is with a saddened heart that I tell you I just found out that Newbius of the Newbius Papers passed away suddenly on Tuesday. I got sad news over at MArooned.

I never met the man, but read his blog fairly often. It was one with good commentary and with the cartoon Day By Day inset on a regular basis. Newbius' final post there was on March 13. It seems the blog content cannot be accessed from the main right now page but you can look at older posts by clicking on the link to his last post then working you way back using the 'older post' link at the bottom of each post.

 My thoughts, prayers and well wishes go out to his family and loved ones.

All the best,
Glenn B

Too Late For The Sleeping English. When Will The Non-Muslims of America Wake Up?

For quite the while now, my guess has been that it is virtually too late for the non-Muslims of Great Britain. I think that their country is assured that short of a major uprising by non-Muslims, the chances of which I see as very remote, Great Britain, at least England, will be ruled by Islamists within a few to ten years at most.  I mean absolutely ruled as in England becoming a Muslim nation with little to no tolerance for non-Muslims. I think the next major country seen as a target for conquest by Islam is the United States of America or Canada. In the USA, such a takeover could occur within 20 years.

If you don't think my thoughts are spot on, then watch this video.



Apparently made by a young woman, probably in her twenties, it is a video about the neighborhood in which she used to live. The video shows a Muslim mob parading through the streets chanting for death to British police among other things. The area used to be English, it is not any more no matter the official 'citizenship' of the marchers because they obviously do not consider themselves to be British or to be under British law. Yet, the Muslim man talking to the English young lady, while saying he does not respect British law, says he is protesting under Britain's so called freedom of speech(I say so called because if white or brown or black people in England held a rally like that they likely would be arrested for making racist statements, which is a criminal offense in England)., who were not Muslims,

Take a good look at the English lady, how old do you think is she? My guess would be mid twenties to young thirties at the very oldest when the video was made. She already worked at the airport there, so was an adult, before she moved away. Then she went back to check claims it had become overrun by Muslim extremists (really regular Muslims as I see them). How long could it have been since she had lived there, maybe 10 years. So, it was probably less than 10 years for her neighborhood to become infested with the hatred espoused by radical Islam. Do you really think it would take much longer in America? Just look to Dearborn, MI. It is time to wake up and defend ourselves from this threat. It is not a religion as I see it, I see it as a form of tyrannical government masquerading as a religion. We need, I think, to deal with it as such and end the threat that is already simmering within our own borders.

By the way, if you did not catch it, go back and watch the video again and listen carefully to the last spoken sentence. It is, in my view, the all telling one about what Muslims believe about conquering the world.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Farewell To North

Well, it seems we are losing one of the good blogs or at least any further posting on it. North has decided, not to delete his blog, but to stop blogging. One has to hope it is temporary. I only recently became acquainted with his blog but it is an interesting one for sure. I am hopeful he will reconsider by staying with it and maybe just posting less frequently. One can hope.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, March 26, 2012

At Long Last - A Trip To The Range With Some Pistols

It had been way too long since I had been to the range to shoot my pistols. Being that I retired in November and they were locked up at my old office until I got my pistol permit, I did not have the chance to shoot them from November through March 15th, the day the license was issued. I finally went to the local indoor range yesterday afternoon.

I only wanted to bring 2 or 3 and limited myself to that out of my 8 handguns. So with 8 to choose from - 3 of which are Beretta 92 series pistols, I gave it a bit of thought and decided on a Beretta 92FS, the Glock 26 and my Ruger Mark II. I don't think I could have made a better selection. I wanted to bring the Glock because it will probably wind up as my regular carry piece. As for the Beretta 92FS, the Glock has to be sent in for a replacement of the sights so I am going to need an alternate carry piece while the Glock is absent. I currently have Tritium night sights on the Glock 26 but the front sight has lost its mojo. All of a sudden at the NRA training class I was at last spring, the front sight got very dim. Glock said to send it in for repair but then I got hit with the big C and forgot all about it. I'll contact Glock, probably this afternoon, about making arrangements to send it to them for repair. I think, I'll have regular sights put on as replacements for the night sights. As for the third gun I brought along, I figured something in .22LR would be nice in the event the 9mm gave me to much of a jarring from the recoil.

It turned out I was pretty much right on thinking I should bring a  pistol in .22LR with me. After shooting about 120 rounds of 9mm through the Glock and then about 150 rounds through the Beretta, I needed a break from the NATO pea shooter round because the recoil did pain me some.  Please don't laugh, I know it sounds funny, saying that NATO Pea Shooter 9mm round had that much recoil but after 7 weeks of cancer treatments, followed by about another 3 1/2 months of doing virtually no exercise at all combined with arthritis/bursitis and all I can say is I took a pounding from that measly round.   So I switched to firing the Ruger. I shot around 50 rounds out of the Ruger, then another 50 rounds out of it while alternating between the Ruger and the Beretta out of which I fired another 6 full magazines in with about another 90 rounds. In all, I shot up about 470 rounds of ammo, 370 of that being 9mm and 100 being .22LR. It was a fun hour.

As for my shooting, I did fairly well  but need some practice with an eye toward improvement. It wasn't really bad but not really good either but I haven't shot since October and had all that shit in between so I am still satisfied with how I shot. I used the blank side of an NRA 50', slowfire, pistol target.  At 7 yards I did okay with about a group that was spread 5 3/4" vertically and 3 1/2" horizontally, at 10 yards my widest spread was 6 3/8",  at 15 yards it was 7 1/2", and at 25 yards it was 9 3/4. Yep, I sure can use some improvement but at least I had them all on a chest sized piece of paper and I am quite happy with that for my first pistol shoot after way too long of feeling way too crappy to shoot.

I don't know if it made a difference but I was shooting 2 or 3 different brands of 9mm ammo. I suppose that could have caused my groups to open up a bit more than if it had all been one type of ammo. I truly don't think it made that much of a difference and as I said, I think more practice is needed with an eye toward improving group sizes and toward just having fun. I will point out, if I had shot like that for a qualification course when I was still a LEO, I at least would have shot 245 out of 250 and maybe just would have been in there enough to have scored a perfect score of 250. It certainly would have been more than good enough for qualification by far, it is just I would like it to be better.

Speaking about law enforcement, I met another retired federal worked, Bill, at the range while shooting. He was on the point next to mine. He used to work for the USPS. Seemed like a nice gentleman. We talked just a bit and it wound up getting to politics. After talking to him, I think there is hope that November will bring change.

All the best,
Glenn B

More Information on the Trayvon Martin Case

An interesting read about Trayvon Martin and the incident leading up to his death.

http://dumbolddad.blogspot.com/2012/03/since-our-entire-country-is-about-to.html

I figured there might be some additional information coming out soon and it is at the above link. If it is all true then it appears to be a very different story than portrayed by the media and by Mr. Martin's supporters. The 911 tape sounds pretty real to me, and if unaltered, I owe an apology to Mr. Zimmerman for saying I thought he was an asshole. On the tape it becomes quite obvious that he stopped following Mr. Martin almost immediately after the 911 operator told him that they did not need him to follow Mr. Martin. There is other info at the link besides a link to the 911 tape, such as photos of the guy who has been made out to have been an 'angel'. He seems far from that.

It seems this may be another Tawana Brawley case or another Duke University case (remember the Lacrosse team). It comes as no real surprise if so, not with how the media handles such cases nor with how the African-American community seems to invariably demonize the European-American community when such things happen. It does appear that Mr. Zimmerman may indeed have been in fear of threat of imminent serious bodily harm to himself or that he was about to lose his life.

Hat tip to the Feral Irishman for making me aware of the above link.

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TEOTWAWKI Guns & Ammo or Food & Water

One of my readers, Eric, asked a really good question, in the comments section of my recent post about buying ammo in which I mentioned preparing for TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). The question, one that always has provoked a lot of activity among my little gray cells, is one that is not always so easy to answer because the answer to it depends in great part upon what form TEOTWAWKI takes. Does it catch us prepared or unprepared. Does it come quickly or does it develop somewhat slowly over time. Is it a natural disaster that brings it about or is it a man made catastrophe such as a world war that would likely last longer than a natural cataclysm. There can be an awful lot of answers depending not only on the different types of situation we may face. The answer to his question also may depend upon our preparation for TEOTWAWKI, and upon our own make-up - our will to survive and that can be different for each person. When it comes down to it, the right answer may depend fully upon the final outcome of any given person's attempt to overcome any set of circumstances relative to the situation in which he finds himself.

Me? I do have an answer it will just take a bit getting to it, just as it has taken me time to get to the actual question. Without further delay, let me tell you the very basic and seemingly simple question that Eric asked me but that has provoked the frantic activity of my little gray cells, even in the nether regions of my brain, and that has resulted in my very long answer:

 "... what do you think is more important in a End of The World situation?.... ammo and weapons, or food and water?.... just curious..."

My Answer (this has been  edited by me over the hour or two since I first published this, although the answer is essentially the same):

As far as prepping ahead of time goes, for something like a natural disaster, I would say it is sort of a toss up. If you are well prepared, say for a natural disaster like the aftermath of a Hurricane Katrina or for the massive earthquake they keep saying will hit California sooner or later, then you would have both guns and ammo AND food and water. Chances are that neither of these will bring total collapse of the government or of the infrastructure there to help us. Even if it does do so, it would likely not be long lasting in as much as help arriving would go. You might need to make it a week or two or maybe a month without help and without being able to gather supplies from outside your shelter. In a case like that, you want to have enough food and water on hand to last and enough firepower to protect yourself from vandals and looters.

The same thing sort of goes for a totally man made TEOTWAWKI situation such as a war on our own soil, or a major civil disturbance such as a revolution but that would likely be much longer lasting than the great majority of states of emergency caused by natural forces. It is great if you have them all, guns, ammo, food, water and so on and you are secure with them in your home or another shelter of some sort. Food and water are necessary for survival, you cannot survive long without water and not all too much longer without food. The difference is, if  there is a total breakdown of life as we know it, and yes it can happen, such as a major war or insurrection on our soil, other people may be the primary threat you face as to deprivation of your life sustaining supplies. Not only would they be a threat similar to looters, after a natural disaster, but they may also see you as their enemy and be bent upon your destruction instead of merely stealing your supplies. They may also be well armed and well organized, something that vandals and looters are often not.



So which is more important in my view. I kind of think they are equally important for overall survival considerations when preparing for a really bad situation like an immediate SHTF or TEOTWAWKI due to natural calamity. It is that really bad situation for which I am preparing. I think we may face either a revolution or world war - on our soil - sometime within the remainder of my lifetime. I am preparing with stores of food, water, arms and other things. Not just for that but for a natural disaster or even an economic depression too. I also think other things are important to survival such as the know how needed to get food and water, in the event you do not have enough, and I must admit I could use a lot more knowledge there and have been getting it bit by bit. I try to do all that I can do to prepare. I think each aspect important. Then again, there are times when one may be  more important, in fact the most important to survival.

What could be more important than food or water for our survival? Even more important are the will and the ability to fight to survive. If you have the will to survive then you had best arm yourself. If you look at situations like the American Revolution, or the Civil War both on our soil and both of which truly were TEOTWAWKI for those involved - if not for guns and ammo the outcomes of each would have been much different for those being oppressed or who were the targets of aggression. There are also other more recent examples around the world.

The example I am about to give may seem to be one that has been used and used again and again to the point where it seems over used. Yet, it has a lot to teach us about survival by looking at they who did not survive and they who did and at those who survived better than others. I make the comparison I am about to make with all due respect. I am not judging anyone over their convictions but I am going to give the rationale of why I believe some survived while others did not and why some, even if they perished in the fight, had better chance at surviving than others. Look at the Jewish people of pre-WWII Europe, who for the most part had few weapons and did not broadly prepare for survival. Yes, they prepared for hard times somewhat. They worked hard, they reaped the fruits of their labors. They saved money. They had some stores of food and some had stored wealth.  They prepared spiritually. Yet, most did not have firearms. Most did not have the will to use violence to survive. most never thought something the likes of what was about to happen could happen even when it had already commenced most kept their heads buried in the sand. For the most part, the European Jews did not fight against the Nazis and Germany. Their supplies of food and water went to feed and quench the thirsts of their enemies. Their wealth went into the coffers of their oppressors and was used to help fund the very same war efforts that were used against.

Compare those people to some who did prepare to fight back even though overwhelmed and oppressed - those few in the French Resistance. No matter how much folks like to joke about the French, they do have a history rich in instances of them being ready and willing to fight. The Jewish people, we know what happened to most of the Jews of Europe. They were mostly unarmed, without the will to fight, rounded up into ghettos, then imprisoned, then outright killed or forced into labor. Those who lived to labor were deprived of food and water. Sadly the outcome was that so many, if not actually most of their population, lost their lives. There were tens of millions of Jews in Europe before the war and 12 or 13 million less after the war due solely to  the dreams of a deranged master race that wanted to wipe them off the face of the earth and that does not count the ones who were lucky enough to have fled the persecution. Who would have believed it could have happened before the war and before the roundups started. Not many except for a handful of madmen whose dream it was to do it. 

Ask yourself now, how could the outcome for them have been different in WWII had they been better prepared for TEOTWAWKI. Again, I am not judging them but I am giving a very hard look at what they did not do and otherwise could have done to avoid the outcome that so many of them met. I am learning from history. The one thing I have learned, that I truly believe that would have made the difference would have been had they been armed and willing to fight for their survival. Sure there are many other things that came into play but again, the most important aspect of their lives that led to their downfall under the Nazis was that they were not prepared to risk survival by arming themselves and fighting to survive. Think of how that could have been different had they been armed and willing to fight. We know it worked out better for the French in great part because of the resistance, because they were at least somewhat ready and somewhat willing and they were armed.

I think, in a situation like that, guns and ammo and whatever other weapons you can muster are one of the most important keys to survival. With them, you can not only protect what you have but you can go out and obtain, from others, what you do not have. I am not saying we should go out and pillage and plunder at every opportunity, I am talking about a TEOTWAWKI situation, such as a war, that could arise in our lifetimes. Think that is far fetched? We need to remember that the Axis Powers took over almost all of Europe in almost no time and then commenced killing of not only 12-13 million or so Jewish people but also of at least another 10 million, all too often forgotten about, non-Jews. They dies in the gas chambers, ovens and concentration camps and few died fighting for their lives. We also need to bear in mind that it happened as recently as within the last 3/4 of a century. It was in modern times and the government, on which so many had depended, was not there to help. The fact was that the government was the oppressor and other nations were already busy fighting the war and were incapable of helping while the war raged on. So who was there to help if not they themselves and they were, for the vast majority of them, unarmed and not willing to fight.

Think that a rare occurrence? Think again. There have been similar catastrophes since. There was Joesph Stalin killing millions of his own people and others that he oppressed; the estimates range from a few million to over 15 million and are seemingly incalculable. Then look east to Cambodia and Pol Pot. It is estimated that he killed off 800,000 to 3 million of his own people in Cambodia in the mid to late 1970's. That was only about 35 years ago.  Look also to Africa. We hear, repeatedly, in the news about tyrants in African nations who are destroying populations of one ethnic group or another. It is ongoing. Look also toward Iran and their repeated calls for the utter destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Look at the so called Muslim 'extremists' who are bent on ruling the world and who kill in the name of their god on a daily basis. Then look back to the example of WWII. When you think about it, there were some before WWII who cried out in alarm. They were looked at by most as being paranoid. Few saw it coming, fewer prepared for it, most just ignored it and lived on blissfully until the world as they knew it ended and a new world began, a terrible world. The same thing is happening today and if the world does become a terrible place again, I want to be prepared to help make it well again.

So what could have made the difference in WWII or any of TEOTWAWKI situations mentioned. Well, mostly being prepared for bad times. having food, having water, having shelter and having the means and will by which to protect them. The will is within the psyche, the means are within your own private store of guns and ammunition. Yep, I think guns and ammo are very important in any situation like that as are food and water, in fact equally important as are food and water and shelter. There are also times though, in TEOTWAWKI situations, (mind you not SHTF situations like you are lost in the woods, or your plane crashes in the middle of the desert) when guns and ammo are more important. As I said it depends and what it depends upon is the situation you are facing.  You cannot know for sure what situation you will in the upcoming year, nor the next month, not even tomorrow or later today. Yet, you can prepare for almost any of them.

In preparation you should stock up  everything you might need. I was about to key in "enough of everything" but there is no way to know what will be enough either. How much would be enough is probably a topic best reserved for another post but I will address it very briefly here. Enough food and water would be an amount to last at least 3 months, better yet a year with enough for each of your family members. Having that much water on hand is almost impossible for the average person. I sure do not have the means nor the room to store it. A lot of food is easier to store but again there is difficult getting it, long lasting survival foods are expensive. Of course you can buy as I have started to do, a bit at a time and build up your stores. As for guns and ammo, I buy them not only for survival but because I enjoy shooting and enjoy it a lot. I like to have extra ammo on hand for several reasons. The first being so I always have a supply to shoot for fun. The second being for survival in the event of TEOTWAWKI. The next reason goes toward both of the first two, I am concerned that the government will be successful at implementing laws that will make it almost impossible or actually impossible to purchase firearms or ammunition in the near future. So I want to have enough on hand to last a long time. In that regard, I ought to start buying some firearms parts too. I am lacking in that regard for sure.

Let's face it, the government putting an end to the right to keep and bear arms, or severely restricting firearms ownership, has happened before in many countries, when it has happened tyranny was sure to follow. If and when tyranny rears its ugly head here, well that is when TEOTWAWKI will have arrived and we will need to do something drastic to assure we are left with shelter and enough food and water to survive. The only way we will be able to do that is if we arm ourselves in the here and now and prepare to fight to survive. So, I guess when it comes right down to it - in the event of TEOTWAWKI coming in the form of breakdown of our government and disregard for our Constitution and implementation of tyranny or in the event of invasion or insurrection - I believe that the most important survival items I could have, so long as I maintain the will to fight for the survival of my family and myself, are weapons like guns and ammo.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gas Prices Up - Will Commodity Prices - Like Ammo Prices - Follow?

I am betting that prices of all goods transported by any vehicle that uses gasoline or diesel will soon be going up again, what with the price of a barrel of oil recently and with the current price at the pumps and with summertime prices coming soon. If prices go up much more than they have, it is going to start getting really difficult to buy things that I think will be necessary if the SHTF or if we wind up in the middle of TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World As We Know It). I would like to be ready for the end of the world and all that comes with it, it might be an adventure, but I am not ready for it right now. To that end, the end of being ready for TEOTWAWKI, or even being ready for TCOTWAWKI (The Continuation of the World As We Know It - as in another 4 years of the Obamessiah which could certainly hasten TEOTWAWKI) I just bought another 500 rounds of Wolf, polymer coated, 7.62x39mm HP ammunition. I would like to have bought a thousand rounds but being on a limited budget, I have to take it easy. This order cost me: $113.71. Not a bad price by what it goes for nowadays but wow, it sure has gotten expensive over the past 5 or 6 years. Then again, it is less expensive now than it was in 2009. Wonder if the prices then had anything to do with who it was that took over as president that year?

One thing I have going for me with this order is that I just returned a pair of shoes and a pair of boots that I bought from Sportsman's Guide. That return will put a refund on my Amex card of about $130 or so. I used Amex to buy the ammo, so I'll actually be ahead of the game a little bit, and there was nothing spent out of pocket since the shoes were already paid for. The only down side is no new shoes for me.

All the best,
Glenn

What if Trayvon Had Been White, and the Shooter Black?

What if Trayvon Had Been White, and the Shooter Black?
An excellent read with a lot of truth to it. If we want to end racism then we had best start treating everyone equally and race baiters had best be made to keep their mouths shut. That can either mean that each time someone believed to be white shoots a black person, blacks can continue to rant, rave and rage against so called racism while being racist themselves but it also means that whites should do likewise each time a white person is shot by a black person. Could you imagine that. If whites did it too, well there would be an awful lot more of protest marches as per the statistics just quoted in the linked piece. Or it could mean, we all start acting sensibly and doing things peacefully and respectfully without race baiting. Sadly, neither the first or second option is likely to happen and the race baiters will just keep being as racist as they can possibly be and they will keep getting the support of the media while doing so because it makes for 'good' press. Sooner or later though, if that keeps up, things will explode one day and it won't be the people who are marching now that set off the powder kegs. We really would be better off without all the race baiting and racism but it almost seems a race war is almost destined to come our way soon if stuff like this keeps up much longer.

Hat tips to Wirecutter and the Feral Irishman, I found the link on both of their sites.


All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Ballseye Job Hunt

I have applied for about 18 jobs since March 10, one day less than 2 weeks.  I said about 18 jobs because while I sent out at least 18 applications, I may have sent a couple or few more that I did not include on my job applications list and because at least one of the 18 job offers was bogus.  got an email from Careerbuilder.com telling me not to answer any correspondence relative to one job I applied to after finding on their website. They claim the offer was fraudulent. Great, now some dirtbags probably have every bit of my information from that application, including every bit of my resume! Time to get some identity theft insurance, I'll have to look into it.

Well, anyway, I have at least sent in what still appear to be 17 valid applications for employment. I have applied for jobs ranging from Campus Director of Security with CUNY, to Internal Investigator with NY State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities, to safety and security officer with the same as the last outfit mentioned, to insurance company investigator jobs, to a collections job with a cable company, to sales associate at a sporting goods store in the firearms department, to a part time and temporary field interviewer spot, to a cleaner of medical equipment job. (That was the bogus offer, maybe I should have known since the starting pay was listed as about $17.00 per hour.)

So far, I have heard back from exactly one of them, the Office of  People With Developmental Disabilities relative to the Internal Investigator position. The lady to whom I addressed my cover letter and resume was nice enough to inform me she had received it, as I had requested. It took a week to receive the acknowledgement but that was fine by me, I was happy someone looked at my application. I am hopeful I will get that job, it is probably the best of all for which I have applied, close to home, pays well, and is a job in which I can really do something to help people with developmental disabilities. it has great benefits too, but I would hope they would be willing to let me do without many of those benefits in trade for more vacation time. I already have health insurance, life insurance and such. So, vacation time is a premium benefit for me. Of course, I would take it regardless of them allowing for such.

I have not heard from one other potential employer except for automated response saying they received my application. The reply from the lady at OPWDD was not an automated one, she actually wrote me a note saying she had received the application.

I think, I am done looking for work for this week. It is a true pain in the arse going through anywhere from 700 to 1,000 plus brief job titles and some descriptions too if a job title seems of interest, just about every day. There are jobs out there, being qualified for them is another thing. I am not qualified for most, am over qualified for many and not interested in some. I will point out, I am willing to take almost any kind of job and may start to look in local supermarkets and other local businesses next week. I am guessing I will stop at the few local gun shops even though I am pretty sure they are not short handed right now. Although, I guess it cannot hurt to inquire.

As far as salary goes,  am hoping to get something at around $20 to $25 per hour, or up, but I will settle for something lower, say $10 per hour to start, if I can not find something in the desired range. If nothing else, I may even apply for jobs at Wendy's and McDonald's. Heck, even minimum wage, sounds great when not working and needing to supplement my annuity, especially since my retirement checks currently are only being paid at about 55 to 58% the amount I should get when paid fully. That may take months yet; I have been receiving a partial retirement check for 4 months already. It's a bit difficult to make the adjustment to so much less than what I had been making while still paying the same or more for everything. In the long run, if the government does not go bust, we will still do okay and eventually the Office of Personnel Management will figure out my full pension and pay me what they owe in back pay. Mind you, no complaints from me on this, just pointing out what is going on with my pension.

If the government goes broke and says "No Pension" then maybe it will be time to do things I would never have considered before. I sure do have the tools for a very different line of work than I am used too. Funny those tools are the same as those I needed in law enforcement! (LOL as I typed that one.) 

For now, the job hunt goes on. I am looking for work not only to supplement my annuity but to keep me busy. I cannot imagine myself doing little to nothing for the rest of my retirement. Can you imagine, I am retired and I still have a work ethic - no unemployment for me unless it is the legal option of last resort. As for my work ethic, it certainly is not the type that makes me want to do chores around the house. I'd like to get those chores done too but I have only some very little know how to do home repairs and less confidence about doing them to actually get those jobs done reliably. So, I need to earn enough dough to pay the carpenter, the roofer, the plumber, the electrician and anyone else I need (painting I can do).

All the best,
Glenn B

Trayvon Martin Killing - Trying To Uncover The Facts Behind This Case

Was the shooter, of Trayvon Martin, white? I have heard that out of the mouths of black activists and reportedly the police department lists him as such but that is not what I have heard on the news coming from the shooter's family. Mr. Zimmerman, despite his name, is reported in the media as being not of Caucasian origins but as being Hispanic as per statements made by his family. It was fairly typical though how the black community and many in the mud slinging media had at first immediately assumed he was white and thus as a racist. Of course, anyone of any race can be a racist but according to Zimmerman's family that is about as far from the truth as possible in his case and they reportedly base that upon his past interactions with other races. Then again, as I said, anyone can be a racist and labelling him as the evil white man sure sounds like it might be verging on racism. It certainly has caused an outcry in the black community with people comparing this shooting to years of lynchings of blacks by whites. Is it really a case of racism though?

Myself, I think Zimmerman was an overzealous asshole if even half of what has been said about the incident by witnesses is true. He seemingly went overboard in his reported pursuit of this kid. That he pursued him at all is not, as I understand, part of the stand your ground law in question. The 911 operator even told him, in essence, that they did not need Zimmerman following the kid once Zimmerman called him in. As far as I am aware, he did not see the Martin commit any crimes, he just thought him suspicious. Yet, none of that makes him a racist and, and this is very important: None of that necessarily makes him a murderer either. He still could have shot Mr. Martin in self defense as he claims . Even if he instigated the situation, if  Martin over reacted to what Mr. Zimmerman was doing and then attacked Zimmerman as he himself claims, well it could have been self defense n Zimmerman's part. I am not defending Zimmerman, mind you, I am just saying it could have been self defense. It could have been manslaughter or murder too. What I am saying is we need to find out the facts before we damn anyone.

For example, we know someone was crying out or pleading as heard on the 911 tape. If in fact, it winds up being proven that it was the child's voice crying,  I think Zimmerman winds up not only being arrested but going to jail. If it was Zimmerman crying, as he himself claims, well then maybe he will wind up being committed to an asylum or maybe found not guilty of any crime. I think though, that in the long run, Zimmerman is going to lose in this one. I think so mostly because of emotional outbursts on almost all fronts except for some reason from the police department, they may be his ace in the hole for all of this because they apparently have not gone overboard with emotions. They seem to be convinced that Zimmerman fired in self defense and thus they did not arrest him. They say there is evidence, or so it has been reported, to support Zimmerman's claim of self defense.

Still though, right now, this shooting does not sound like a good one to me and I am most certainly not being emotional. Of course, I do not know all the facts, only what the mud slinging media has allowed us to hear but those facts seem almost damning but isn't it often the case that the media releases what facts seemingly suit them. The media, in many cases, seemingly builds it up as racist whether it is so or not. It is also a fact that black activists also almost immediately march in protest in similar cases just as they have done in this one. That such is done without knowing all of the facts is jumping to conclusions at best and racist at worst. Still though, in  this case, I can see both sides. I understand why, after hearing at least 2 witnesses say the kid was crying and then they heard shots, people are outraged. I understand why some people are confused as to why Zimmerman was not arrested, when reportedly, no weapon was found (no weapon used by Martin). I understand how they are in disbelief and very angry that after Zimmerman was, in essence, told by the 911 operator not to follow Martin, he kept doing so and it led to the shooting.  No it does not look good for Zimmerman.

Please bear in mind, I am not judging him, I am a real believer in everyone getting their day in court, I am just pondering this whole thing and giving my thoughts based on what little I know of the case. Regardless of me thinking it does not look good for Zimmerman, there is the fact that the police, who probably know much more facts than were released, did not arrest or even charge him. For all we know, there are several witnesses who saw the Martin attack Zimmerman as Zimmerman claims, or there are defensive type wounds found on Zimmerman and Martin's DNA found in those wounds or Zimmerman's DA found under Martins fingernails. I am not saying it is so, I am saying the police probably have more evidence and I am hypothesizing, based upon the police saying there was evidence to support his claim of self defense, that then yes there is other evidence of some sort. Still though, I find that a bit unsettling that such evidence has not been released for public review.  I would think such information would have been released by the police to at least calm the crowds but then again there could be legal reasons for not doing so.

I have to point out though, the whole claim, as Zimmerman reportedly made it, that he was attacked by Martin as Zimmerman returned to his vehicle, seems far fetched on the face of it. If that happened, there probably has got to be more to it that we have not yet heard about. It would seem likely that the Martin would have kept going, once Zimmerman stopped his pursuit to return to his vehicle but what is likely does not always happen. Zimmerman, according to the Christian Science Monitor, is making that claim. He reportedly said that he was returning to his vehicle and Martin attacked him - "Zimmerman told police Martin attacked him after he had given up on chasing the teenager and was returning to his sport utility vehicle." (See: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0323/Trayvon-Martin-case-More-protests-Friday-in-Florida/(page)/2). According to the same article, police have reportedly said that Zimmerman's story has been supported as to the self defense claim - "Lee has said evidence supported Zimmerman's assertion that the shooting was in self-defense".

As usual there is more here than meets the eye and community leaders ought to be trying to calm their communities. They should be demanding that the evidence be released as opposed to threatening retaliation if Zimmerman is not arrested, or as opposed to calling for the resignation of local authorities. Since he has not been arrested, I think the police are at liberty to divulge whatever information they have and I think that they should do so, that is unless they are awaiting presentation of the case to a grand jury. If there is no such evidence, well then that would be another story altogether but I think that info should be divulged also. The thing is, we need to know the facts before we know what happened and before we call for any one's head. Those facts should be, need to be, released as soon as possible.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shotgun Shells - What Better Use For a Rebate Card

Got a $50 rebate card a few days ago and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Then I saw this article over at Fox.com http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/22/gun-sales-off-to-bang-for-election-year/. So, I figured I had best put the $50 toward shotgun shells. Only got 9 boxes, plus shipping, for just under the full amount of the card but that is better than nothing. Reduced recoil slugs, wimp that I have become.

On a side note, you have got to hand it to President Obama, he is one of the best guns and ammo salesmen ever.

All the best,
Glenn B

The French Get Their Man - Terrorist Leaps To His Death - Guns Blazing

It looks as if the French got their man or maybe I should say he ended it for them after they forced his hand. I have to hand it to the French, I really did not think they had it in them to assault this guy again, they had sworn they would 'take him alive' but it seems once he expressed wanting to die 'gun in hand' they had little choice and they stormed his place. Two officers were reported wounded in the operation, I am not sure if that is in addition to others already wounded. The suspect is dead. Now if they pour pig offal all over his corpse, that would seem a fitting end for this heinous killer.


From the mud slinging media, at MSNBC, comes this gem:

FoxNews.com had the story here: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/03/22/french-riot-police-set-off-explosions-as-standoff-between-authorities-and/ The FOX News story, both in print and video, is much more detailed than is the MSNBC clip but I could not figure out how to embed their video here. According to the Fox story it was 2 additional policemen who were injured today. The print story also reported that the terrorist was shot in the head as he jumped out of the window: "He apparently was shot in the head as he jumped out of a window."

I hope that turns out to be true because I think it is better for the world if the French killed him instead of him killing himself as a martyr for Islam. If true, I think the French police should award the police officer who took the shot with their highest honor.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Some Folks Are Questioning ATK's Motive For Contracting To Sell DHS Up To 450 Million Rounds of Ammo

I think, with all due respect, they are questioning the wrong thing. I think they are not focused on the right target.

Specifically, I have seen the question: "Would ATK rather arm the government than the people?" at
Armed And Safe and at Examiner.com under the: St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. I think the question misses the mark but I will answer it and then will explain why I think our sights best be on a target other than ATK (aka: Alliant Techsystems).

No, I do not think
ATK (the parent company of Federal Cartridge Company necessarily would rather arm the government than the people. Yet, I will point out that ATK is a major manufacturer and supplier of aero-space technology, missile systems, military armaments and of sporting/law enforcement ammunition and yes that means they have a lot of government contracts. What I do believe about them is they enjoy the fruits of capitalism in the free market. I believe that they would rather make the most money they can from whomever they can get it legally. Thus, they advertise accordingly toward whichever clientele to whom they are trying to sell products at any given moment. They sell to both the government and to private citizens with ads that are attractive to both, or to one or the other, all depending on to whom they are selling. In essence, that is capitalism and marketing at its best.

When it comes to small arms ammunition, the obvious truth is that they sell by way of military and law enforcement contracts but they also sell a very large amount of ammo on the free market to non-law enforcement, non-military, private citizen customers. I personally can attest to it because I see Federal ammunition for sale at guns stores, shooting ranges, over the Internet, at places like Wal-Mart and at gun shows all of the time. As a matter of fact, I have a decent supply of federal ammo on hand right now. All this questioning, and implied criticism, of them for contracting with the government, trying to make it look as if they would prefer to sell only to the government, seems so much ado about nothing when you look at their sales to private citizens as mentioned above, doesn't it?

Now, it was pointed out, in the fine op-ed piece at the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, that Federal Cartridge annotates the packaging of some ammunition as having been manufactured and distributed for sale to "Law Enforcement Only". When you think about it, the 'law enforcement only' thing is very effective advertising. This is because it not only attracts law enforcement sales by making them feel special since it is marked LE Sales only but it also attracts non-LE folks who buy that type of ammunition. Why? Because people think they are tacticool when they have 'law enforcement only' items or because they think that because it is marked 'law enforcement only' it is better than ammo that is not so marked. Let's face facts, tactical stuff, especially ammunition, marked "law enforcement only", when not required to be marked as such by law, is a big seller on the open market and it often sells at a higher profit margin than ammo marked as sporting ammunition. It sells at a higher profit margin because people believe it special, they believe it special because, among other things, it is marked and advertised to make it seem such whether it really is special or not.

To believe it is actual company policy only to manufacture and sell that ammo to law enforcement as marked, as opposed to it being effective advertising to mark the product in that manner, either shows some naivety on the part of the person saying it, or probably means one of the following: that law enforcment agencies have bought it then redistributed it to dealers in violation of manufacturer policy, or that every dealer who is selling to the public is doing it in violation of the manufacturer's policy, or that the manufacturer has the policy but does not enforce it thus making it non-policy (and which in essence gets us back to the naivety of anyone who truly believes it company policy). If it were the case, that it truly was company policy, then they would no longer be selling to those departments or dealers who violated the policy. It is, I believe, mostly an advertising gimmick to mark their ammunition as 'law enforcement only' ut maybe that is just the cynic in me.

Winchester Ammunition, unless I am sadly mistaken, has been doing basically the same thing, for years, with its Ranger line of ammunition. That is marking it as for 'law enforcemen only'. I don't hear anyone complaining about them. So that makes me think, it is merely the fact that ATK has contracted with the government, especially with the extremely unpopular DHS (parent department of even less popular agencies such as ICE and TSA) that has gotten some people riled up. Because the contract is with a government department, one that is often seen as a floundering behemoth, cloaked in secrecy and wrapped up controversy, it has set up anyone who does big business with them as a target of criticism. Or, at least has some people questioning motives by asking if ATK prefers doing business with the government instead of non-government entities. This despite the fact that in all probability, ATK is just a capitalist organization, making money in the free market, by selling to all comers.

I think the more important thing we need to focus our sights on is the fact that DHS has contracted for up to 450 millions rounds, of .40 caliber, ammunition over a 1 year contract, a contract that can only be extended 4 years beyond the initial year for 5 years total. I think questioning this government department as to why it needs an astronomical amount of .40 caliber ammunition is what needs be addressed. What is the motive behind DHS contracting for up to 450 million rounds of a single caliber of ammo over 5 short years?

Think of it this way: If DHS has 15 thousand armed personnel (I am just throwing out a number, it may or may not be that high, probably is higher when you consider the Coast Guard is part of DHS but do Coast Guard personnel carry pistols in .40 caluber) and each one shoots 250 rounds, of .40 caliber ammunition, per quarterly qualification - training session (a reasonable amount), then they would use 15 million rounds per year or 75 million rounds in 5 years. Multiply 75 million rounds of ammunition by 6 and you would then have them shooting up 450 million rounds over the five year contract but that would mean each armed person in DHS (if indeed they have 15,000 armed personnel) shooting 1,500 rounds each quarter. That is just a preposterous notion. Now you also could multiply 5 years by 6 and then wind up using the 450 million rounds over 30 years but the government, at least DHS, is not that far reaching in its thought processes from what I can tell. There also is no way that you would multiply the amount of my estimate of armed DHS officials by 6. The amount of armed officials at DHS is nowhere nearly as big as that - at least not yet - is it! DHS, in all likelihood, will never realistically need that much ammunition.

So the question is this: Why has DHS contracted for up to that much ammo? Does the government anticipate a major threat about which the public is unaware, one that could possibly require such a huge stockpile of ammunition? Is the DHS preparing for the end of the world with the end of the Mayan calendar later this year? (Things more absurd have taken place in our government.) Is there something I am missing as to how much ammo the personnel at DHS could possibly use in 5 years time? Is the government planning something nefarious by way of its armed civilian workforce? (Bear in mind, while running for the presidency, Senator Obama called for a civilian force as strong as our military but never said why he wanted it.) Or could it be government corruption, smoke filled room deal making, lobbying and stuffed pocket politics as usual? Maybe there is even a simpler explanation, was the contract merely the work product of skilled ATK salesmen and inept government bureaucrats? These questions are, in my estimation, much more important than asking "Would ATK rather arm the government than the people?" but that is just my two cents.

All the best,
Glenn B

Shooting With The Weak Hand Supported - Be Careful When Making The Transition

Throughout the training I have received in handgun shooting, I have been taught, time and time again, to shoot with both hands and not necessarily at the same time. This training has included shooting strong handed with a two hand hold, weak handed with a two hand hold, and one handed with either hand. I think it is a good idea to train in all those ways.

Before I go any further, allow me to say something about the terms strong hand and weak hand and why I use them. When I write or speak about your strong hand, I mean the hand that you use most frequently to get things done, the hand on which side you are 'handed'. Thus, if you are right handed, your right hand is the strong hand or strong side and the left is the weak hand or side. If you are left handed then your left hand is the strong hand or strong side and the right side is the weak hand or side. Over the years, that I have received firearms training, instructors have gotten away from using the terms strong and weak to describe your shooting hands. It became the politically and psychology incorrect thing to continue using those terms. Why? They said it was because the term weak hand implied a weakness of your off shooting hand and that could make you unconsciously believe that it could not get the job done as well as the strong hand could do it. So, they began to call it your "non-shooting" hand or your "off" hand. It was at that time that you started to hear range commands like: "On the command, draw with your non-shooting hand and fire 6 rounds center of mass on the target". Talk about being ridiculous was all I could think when that became a popular range command. If a hand was a non-shooting hand or even an off-hand, how is it that I would suddenly be shooting with it. I see absolutely nothing wrong with calling your weak hand exactly what it is and that is weak when compared to your dominant or strong hand. There are very few people I know who have the same amount of strength in both hands or who can use their weak hand as adeptly as they can their strong hand. Yet, you can learn to shoot with it proficiently, enough so as to be able to save your life if need be, so you should learn to shoot with both hands and with either hand being the shooting hand (essentially the hand which firmly grips he pistol and a finger of which operates the trigger).

The reasoning behind shooting with either hand should be obvious but if not, I will spell it out for you. You should learn to shoot one handed using both the strong and weak hands so in the event your hand one of your hands or arms is ever incapacitated you can reliable depend upon the other to get the job done. The incapacitation I am talking about can be because of a wound, and in most events would likely be due to injury, but there are other things that can incapacitate a hand such as you being caught up in a awkward position and not being able to bring hat hand into play.

The reasoning behind learning how to shoot strong handed, using a two hand hold, should be just as obvious if not more so than why you would train to shoot one handed with either hand. You shoot strong handed because that is the hand that you use to accomplish most things you do with your hands. it is your dominant, go to hand and that is a natural thing. You use the weak hand to support the strong hand, thus using two hands to shoot because the weak hand lends steadying support to the strong hand and support is a good thing when you can do it relative to shooting. When using two hands to shoot, things like accuracy, and shooting speed usually increase markedly. When I say shooting speed increases, I do not mean getting off the first sot gets faster but do mean that getting off subsequent shots is usually faster.

You may wonder though, why on earth you would ever want to train to shoot with your weak hand supported by your strong hand. After all, didn't I just write that it is more natural to shoot strong handed supported by the weak hand? In answer, let me just say, there can be some positions in which you find yourself when it would be best to utilize your weak hand as the shooting hand and your strong hand for support. These situations usually arise due to the surroundings in which you find yourself at a time when you must shoot to defend yourself. For example, the only cover you can find may be the corner of a building that you have to shoot around and it may be that you have to shoot around it from your weak side because of how it is situated. Yes, you can shoot around it from your weak side while firing the pistol with your strong hand and supporting it with your weak hand but chances are you will be exposing more of yourself that way than if you switched the gun to your weak hand to fire it while supporting it with your strong hand. Another reason you may decide to shoot with your weak hand supported by your strong hand is that your strong hand may have been injured to the point where you can no longer reliable use it to fire the gun but it still can be used for support.For instance you have had a couple of fingers shot off. Think that is far fetched, just wait until you are in a life or death struggle and it happens but you have not trained to shoot with your weak hand. You will wish you had.

If you do decide to train while shooting with your weak hand supported by your strong hand, there is something you have to be very aware about. It is only relevant when shooting semi-automatic pistols as opposed to revolvers. That is, you should not cross your thumbs over the backstrap of the pistol. If you are a long experienced shooter, there is a good chance you have done this once before, while shooting strong hand supported by weak hand, and then never did it again because of the pain that resulted. For those of you who have never enjoyed this pleasure been raked by a slide across your thumb, allow me to explain what I mean.

If you grip the pistol in a two hand hold and cross your thumbs over the backstrap then one thumb, the one on top, becomes more elevated than the other and thus closer to the bottom of the slide. When the gun fires and recoils, the slide travels backward and the upper of your crossed thumbs may then be raked by the slide. In other words the slide comes into contact with your thumb during the slide's reward movement and then maybe again during its forward movement as the gun goes into battery. Not only is this painful, it can cause a serious laceration that can require stitches and I have seen shooters stop shooting when it has happened and even have seen two or three actually drop their pistols when it happened. That is not something you need to do if you are fighting for your life and dependent upon your hands to be fully functional and your pistol to be in your hands. As I said though, you may have done this once before and then made sure to never do it again, that is if shooting with strong hand supported by weak hand.

Chances are though, if you draw strong handed and then transition to the weak hand for a two handed hold, weak hand supported by strong hand, your thumbs may be found to be crossed, one over the top of the other across the backstrap. If you don't believe it, then next time you are at the range try it. Don't try it on yourself because you will be thinking about it and will know what to avoid. Try it on someone who has not ever transitioned like that before. Have the shooter draw with the strong hand, then safely transition from strong hand to weak hand as if to fire from around cover (cover can be simulated if need be). Do this with an unloaded gun since you do not want the shooter harming him or herself. Try it with more than one shooter. Sure enough, if you have 4 or 5 shooters in front of you, at least one, maybe two of them, will have the thumbs in the crossed and potentially unsafe position.

Why does this happen? I do not know but my guess is because a crossed thumb grip is a more natural manner of gripping something like a pistol. We are taught not to do it, or should have been taught so when shooting with our strong hand supported. Thus, we learn to avoid it and it becomes second nature when we shoot with our strong hands. When we transition to the weak hand for a two hand hold, if we are not used to doing so, we often revert to what seems natural as opposed to what has become second nature and we cross our thumbs. I have been caught doing it myself as recently as within the past several months when I was at a training class, and I attribute my having done so to the fact that I did not train and practice enough in that strong hand supported to weak hand supported transition for it to become second nature when shooting with my weak hand as it did when shooting with my srong hand. If you want to avoid it, you need to train and practice your training on a regular basis in order to avoid the problem.

video
By the way, with a revolver there is no such concern. In fact, many old time revolver shooters prefer a crossed thumbs on the backstrap grip. Since there is no slide to bite you, going with that grip on a revolver is okay for many. Me, I prefer to avoid he grip altogether because I believe that under stress, I might revert to it when shooting a semi-auto if allowed myself to shoot a revolver that way. It is best for me to avoid it altogether. That way my thumbs may develop that so called muscle memory that will help keep them out of the way of the slide. if you shoot both revolvers and pistols you may also want to adapt a pistol grip for use when gripping a revolver but that is something you have to decide for yourself. 

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ballseye Is Packin' Heat Again

I am giving official notice - to muggers, robbers, gang members, terrorists, father rapers, and any dirtbag who cares to threaten me or my family with loss of life or serious bodily harm, that as of yesterday - I am again packin' heat. I will not hesitate to use it within my rights of self protection or in protection of my family or other innocent parties. You have been warned.

Most sincerely,
Ballseye
PS: If you do plan to do me or my family harm, read up on why I have the Ballseye moniker and bear in mind that over the years my training and my shooting have both improved. In addition, my attitude remains the same with regard to those who would attempt to kill or seriously harm me or my family or other innocent parties.

Further Reminiscences - And Then There Were The Long Guns

Since I recently reminisced about the handguns that I have shot, I figured I may as well also think about the long guns I fun with over the years. Like with the handguns, when it comes to rifles and shotguns I have owned some, was issued others throughout my career, and had other folks let me use theirs' now and again. I am pretty sure, as with the handguns, that I will not remember each and every one of them but I am going to do my best to recall ND list the ones I have shot, with some regularity, in this post.

Summer camp, I got sent away to camp each year for 5 years from when I was about 8 or 9 through 13 or 14 years of age. Although I screamed and yelled and fought like a cornered catamount each July 5th, not wanting to be sent away from home, I have to say that once I started shooting (and fishing and archery and catching frogs and turtles and snakes and camping out and all that good stuff) I liked it. It was at Taconic Lodge near Cold Spring, NY, where I first learned to fire a gun. That was a BB Rifle and I have no idea which brand or model. Once I had mastered the BB rifle, to the satisfaction of the range officers, all Marist Brothers as it was asleep away camp run by the  Catholic Church, I was allowed to move on to the real guns. While I do remember the brands of those rifles, I am not too sure about the models. There is something I will never forget though - the feel of them or the thrill of shooting them. Nor will I forget the bite of Brother Richard Lewis' or Brother John's lanyards across my thighs if I did something considered not safe while shooting. I will never ever forget that they instilled the rules of firearms safety into me and there were a lot more than just 4 rules back then! let me give a little info, as I remember it, about the guns with which I learned to shoot, my summer camp guns.

Summer Camp Long Guns:

Rifles:
The guns of summer camp were Remington and Winchester bolt action repeating rifles. I am not too sure of the models but the Remingtons were very similar to my Remington Matchmaster 513T. There is a good possibility they were in fact that model otherwise were very similar to it. I distinctly recall the very heavy weight of the Remingtons and that they seemed huge. That was in marked contrast to the Winchesters which were quite the bit lighter. Back then I preferred the lighter Winchesters, that was until I realized I actually shot better with the heavier Remingtons. I am guessing that was after a year or two of shooting them and of me growing and putting on a bit of strength. The Remingtons definitely had peep sights with a globe type front sight. I do not remember, with certainty, the type of insert that was used in the front sight but think it may have been a post. As for the Winchesters, I have no idea as to the model. Funny how I have an idea as to the Remingtons but not to the Winchesters. They too had peep sights if I recall correctly. Both brands of rifle fired from a box magazine. Of course, at first, we were only allowed to load one shot at a time. We had to hit the marksman level, in an NRA course of fire, before we were promoted to loading five rounds in the magazines. I think my 513T mag holds 6, but at camp, 5 is all they let us load. I got decent to good at shooting and was awarded some patches for my marksmanship. I never forgot about, learning to shoot and all the fun that went with it. It was a good thing.

After summer camp, it was pretty much a long dry spell for me relative to shooting opportunities. Over the years, I got to shoot a few rifles belonging to friends when we went upstate during the summer or hunting season. I was forbidden from owning a gun by my mom. Go figure, she sent me to summer camp where I learned to shoot and she would not have a gun in the house. The few long guns I remember shooting in my later teens and then in my young twenties were:

Wayward Youth (Almost) Guns:

Rifles:
Japanese Arisaka Type 38: I remember it had a flower stamped into the metal atop the receiver, seemed a strange place to stamp a flower. My buddy Mike owned it, his dad had brought it back from WWII. It was in really great condition. I am certain it was a carbine and pretty sure it was a Type 38. One day, Mike asked if any of us wanted to fire it and I said sure. I was the only guy out of 4 of us in total who was willing to shoot it. I took a look at it, then loaded it up then fired it. Mike said he had expected it to blow up because he thought the barrel was bent. It just went bang as it should have gone and that was it. Fired it a few times I think, always on trips upstate. It had one heck of a kick.

Unknown Make & Model 22: My friend Gerhardt had a 22 caliber rifle. I don't remember the brand or make. We shot that quite a few times when we visited a bungalow owned by his parents near Newburg

I did not buy my first firearm, probably until I was about 21 or 22 years old. That was a pistol, an RG-25 semi-auto. I did not get my own long gun until at least a couple or few years later, that was just after I started my federal LEO career as a Border Patrol Agent. I am guessing I got it in 1980 or 81. Before that though, I had been familiarized with some other long guns. That was at the Border Patrol Academy, at FLETC in Glynco, GA, from October 1979 though February 1980. Since I shot them before the rifle I wound up buying for myself, I'll list em first.

BP Academy Long Arms:

Shotgun:
Remington 870: The shotgun of choice as far as I am concerned. My experience with this shotgun at the academy impressed me with the power of the 12 gauge and the versatility of a pump gun. Throughout my career of 32 years, the Remington 870 was usually my weapon of choice if going out on a potentially dangerous operation. That was while I was in the Border Patrol and then in the Customs Service all the way through the Department of Homeland Security in ICE and HSI. There was a short time in there, when I was in the Customs Service years later, that I sometimes chose an MP-5 over the shotgun. I had both issued to me at the same time but I eventually gave up the MP-5 and stayed with the shotgun for most of the remainder my career.

Rifle:
Remington Model 760 Pump Action Rifle in .308 - Now here was a fun gun, one heck of a nice rifle. We did not get to shoot them much but did get to have some fun with them. More fun with these was in store for me later on.

My Long Arm Purchases Circa My Border Patrol Days:

I did not buy many guns, at least not many rifles and shotguns while I was a Border Patrol Agent but I did buy a couple of them. Lest I keep you in suspense, here they are:

Rifle:
Ruger 10/22: I bought a standard version with a birch stock. I an pretty sure I bought mine in early or mid 1980 although the buy could have been made in 1981. Whenever it was that I got it, I have to say that when work moved the decimal point on my paycheck over by 2 spaces, I was happy to have this rifle and a box of shells for it. You see, my paycheck, paid every two weeks, was something like $526.00. One payday, they paid me on time as usual but what was unusual was that they moved the decimal point and it was moved to the left - 2 spaces. Yep, they paid me a whopping $5.26 and I was otherwise pretty broke. I got to borrow a little money from a friend or two but I sure had to be frugal. So I went out and shot myself a fat cottontail while I waited the next few days before work got my pay issue straightened out. Along with a head of broccoli that somehow followed me home and some carrots that materialized in my tricky bag, I ate pretty good for a few days and finally got paid the right amount. That very same 10/22 is still sitting in my gun locker today. It holds a place of honor as a good provider. Over the years it has taken a good number of small game and shot the heck out of a lot of paper and steel targets and good bunch of tin cans too. That even though the front sight dot broke off of it years ago, maybe when I as still in the BP out in CA or maybe back here in NY, I cannot remember. Never got it replaced, there is more than enough front sight left to shoot well with it the way it sits.

Shotgun:
Remington 870 Wingmaster: I also bought myself a really nice Remington 870 Wingmaster in 12 gauge while I was in the Border Patrol. I saved for quite the while to get that one. It was a beautiful gun and I got a good amount of rabbits, dove and quail with it in the couple or few years I had had it out west. A few years after I moved back home to NY, I wound up selling it to a coworker. When he asked me why I was selling it, I told him, "Because I am getting married and I need the money". What a peckerwood was I to have sold that gun, it truly was a beauty. That was in about 1986. I wound up replacing it with another 870 not all that later on but not one with anywhere nearly as nice a metal and wood finish and wood checkering as had that Wingmaster. Wish I still had it is all I can say.

That was it for the long guns that I owned while I was in the Border Patrol. Of course, I was issued some long arms, well not really issued to me long term but rather on a day by day basis depending on where I would be working. If working in town, it was unlikely I would take out a rifle and somewhat more likely I may take a shotgun. If working certain areas that were bad spots, I would often take a shotgun and if working out in the desert, I would sometimes take a rifle. I also got to dabble with a submachine gun while I was a BPA.

Border Patrol Issue Long Arms:

Shotgun & Rifle:
Just as at the academy, we had Remington 870 shotguns and 760 rifles. I am not sure how many of each that we had, but am pretty sure it was at least 6 to 10 shotguns and about the same amount of rifles. No reason to list more about them here, they were pretty standard versions, of course the 870 had a smooth bore with rifle sights on the barrel. The rifles also used steel sights, no glass for us. I will say that I had some fun shooting these guns at the range and out in the desert. Never had to defend myself with one but know if I had to have done so, they would have gotten the job done well. We had one supervisor who used to hold shoots with the rifles out in the desert, our range for the 760s, since the local ranges would not allow them. He held a few shoots with them but often, it seemed, the shoots were cancelled instead of being held. Seemed more often than not. The thing was, he always took the ammo for those shoots, and I heard he always reported that we (as the agents who had been scheduled attending those phantom shoots) always shot it all up. When he retired, he reportedly drove out of town hauling a small open bed trailer that held about 10 or more full cases of .308 ammo - go figure, as far as I know they did not arrest him.

Submachine Gun:
Heckler & Koch MP5 - I am certain it was an H&K and pretty sure it was an MP-5. We got a few of these, for emergency situations, after the Cuban Refugee program had been running full force and there had been a few riots at the INS El Centro detention facility. They were never issued as far as I am aware but a cadre of agents was qualified with them in case they ever had to be issued. I was among the agents so qualified although the first time I fired this gun on full auto I left some to be desired. The MP-5s that we had, required a key to get them into full auto. Once set to full auto, a brief squeeze of the trigger would fire the gun in a 3 round burst, If, instead, you held the trigger fully rearward and kept it there, it would fire full auto. This was explained to me and they told me to go ahead and fire it in 3 round bursts. I think the first shot was 2 rounds, the remaining were all 3 round bursts, The firearms instructor was duly impressed as somehow I had overcome my klutziness and gotten it done better than anyone else. I liked that gun immediately! He came over, had me reload with a fresh mag, and told me to shoot at balloons set up across about 5 targets downrange. What he wanted me to do was to hold the trigger back all the way and keep it there, thus firing in full auto. Okay, I did what he told me to do but had no experience firing anything like this except for what I had just fired in burst mode moments before. The gun started to blaze and I started pivoting a bit from left to right and as I did so I did not realize the gun was rising until it was pointed up at about a 45 degree angle or more. Just the, the engine of a small plane flying overhead started to cough and sputter. They were sure I had hit the plane and we all expected it to crash but after a few seconds, the engine started to whirr as it should have been doing. That engine running right again was music to my ears and I can say without a doubt those few moments between it sputtering and whirring seemed an eternity. I shot that gun several more times but as I said, they never issued, them, except for range familiarization and qualifications, as far as I am aware, at least not while I was still working for that agency.

Four years in the Border Patrol was more than enough for me, well maybe I should say 4 years in Calexico, CA. The Mexicans called it El Hoyo, the hole, and those are my feelings about it too. It was culture shock to say the least. As far as the BP went, it was a great place to work, the people working their were truly outstanding and the job, well while everyone did burnout doing it, it was an adventure nonetheless, the real wild west. Still though, Calexico and the whole Imperial Valley and most of California were not for me.

So I decided o try to get back to New York, and I finally landed a job with U.S. Customs Tactical Enforcement Division as a Patrol Officer at JFK Airport. A few years later, I got the much better job, still with Customs, as a Special Agent. Customs was a great place to work, the people there were wonderful and the work was excellent. I got a lot of firearms experience while with Customs and it was while with them when I first became a firearms instructor as part of my collateral duties. They had me attend an NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor class, for pistol, revolver, shotgun and rifle, and it all blossomed from there. Some years later I also attended similar training classes within the agency, when it was time to recertify. I became familiar and adept with a bunch of different firearms and was skilled enough to then take a Heckler & Koch MP-5 training class offered by my agency and I was certified to carry one of them. It seemed natural that I would also later become an MP-5 instructor.  Those were fun times. Without further adieu, here is the list of long arms that I was issued at one time or another while with Customs:

Customs issued Long Arms:

Shotgun:
Remington 870 (at least 3)

Rifle:
Ruger Mini 14
CAR-15
AR-15

Submachine Gun:
Heckler & Koch MP5 (2)

The list of issued long arms at Customs was not all that long but they were what would have been needed to get the job done. I went on an awful lot of operations armed with the shotgun or MP-5. Thankfully I never needed to fire them for defense.

After 9/11, well the job changed. The Immigration & Naturalization Service was done away with by an Act of Congress. The investigative functions of the U.S. Customs Service and the old I&NS were then merged with some other agencies into Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the newly formed department of Homeland Security. The job went downhill after that. Sure there were good people with which to work but truth be told the agency was pretty much rudderless under mostly inept management. one of the biggest problems was the concept of management versus leadership. We did not have leaders, we had managers who did not know how to lead the charge but who would tell this person or that person to do the job because the managers did not know anything about it. I said for the most part, some of our supervisors and mid level managers had come up from the ranks and knew how to get it done, just not most, not by long shot. As a matter of fact, the third or fourth survey regarding moral in federal agencies has just been reported on and ICE came in about 222 out of 240 agencies, the higher the number, the lower the moral. Again, it is mostly because those steering the sinking ship don't have a clue where they are headed - especially under the current administration. But I digress, let me stick to my guns and list those issued to me in ICE, later called Homeland Security Investigations (because they thought a name change might warm up our moral).


ICE Issued Long Guns:

Shotgun
Remington 870

Submachine Gun:
H&K MP-5

Nope, I was never issued a rifle under ICE or HSI.

While with still Customs, after I had sold of some of my firearms when I got married, I came to the realization that I missed those guns. I also realized the folly of having sold them like that and I started to acquire more of them. I bought hunting arms, target guns, and all round plinkers. That trend has continued right up through today. Of course, I still sell some now and then but not because I am want money as much as because I want to buy something else or just get rid of a clunker. The list of long arms that I have gotten for myself, over the years, is a bit longer than the list of issued gun at the BP, Customs, and ICE (HSI) combined.


Long Guns I Purchased Since About 1987:

Shotgun
Remington 870 Express Combo with 28 and 20 inch barrels. The 28" barrel has a vented rib with bead front sight and the 20" (or is it 22") barrel has rifle sights. It has been a great deer gun and has also taken rabbits, squirrels and upland gamebirds. I have it ready for home defense too. I can tell you one thing about it, I am as comfortable handling that gun as I ever have been with any. It is a solid work horse if a firearm and I would bet my life on it in a do or die situation. It is the only shotgun I own although there is at least one other shotgun in the household, owned by my son, hat one a Mossberg.

As for the rifles, I do not think I am going to have any bit of difficulty listing them. I have sold a few but that is it. The rest of them, I still have. It is not a very extensive number of them but certainly enough for any practical uses I have for them - such as hunting, target shooting, or self defense. Plus, there is enough variety to have fun plinking.

Rimfire Rifles:
Savage MKIIG - in .22LR. I bought this at a gun show in upstate NY. I got to have a lot of fun with it but later sold it to get some cash for a gun more fitting he size of my son at the time. I do not think mine had the accu-trigger but it may have had it. 
Armscorp 14Y - in .22LR; sold the above Savage to purchase this one for my son. It was more the right size for him than the full sized Savage.
Henry U.S. Survival Rifle in .22LR
JC Higgins Model 43 - .22LR, basically a Marlin Model 81.
Henry U.S. Survival Rifle - .22LR caliber. My wife actually gave me a gift certificate at a local gun shop and this is what I picked out. Was made in Brooklyn, NY - gotta love that wit Bloomberg as mayor. Sadly they have since moved to NJ.
Marlin Model 56Marlin lever action called the Levermatic, .22LR
Marlin 25MN - in .22 Magnum
Polish WZ-48 - Nagant Trainer, a single shot in .22LR
Mossberg M44 - Government trainer, in .22LR (a tack driver)Remington Model 241 Speedmaster - in .22LR
Remington Model 513T Matchmaster - in .22 LR
Ruger 10/22 All Weather - .22LR (a gift to my son from me). Of course, I also still have my original Ruger 10/22 that was a gift from me to me.

Centerfire Rifles:
Browning BLR Lightweight - .358 Winchester caliber, lever action rifle with straight grip. This one was made in Japan. I got it at a good price but wound up selling it, at a better price for me, because ammo was sky igh for it. What a jerk, I never should have sold it, one of my biggest regrets as far as selling a gun goes. I could have taken any game animal in the USA with that rifle in that caliber.
Marlin 336C -  in .35 Remington. Sadly I sold his one.
Marlin 336CS - in .35 Remington. I realized I had sold a good thing in the above rifle and this was the replacement. Brendan got his bear with this one, a one shot kill.
Marlin Camp 9 - 9mm carbine. Bought it for home defense, then familiarized myself with it. I soon saw it only as a piece of junk and decided to sell it. This was one of the few firearms I do not regret selling.
Mosin Nagant M44 Hungarian - 7.62x54R.
Mosin Nagant M44 Russian - 7.62x54R. I got this one at a low ball price but later sold it to a friend who wanted it.
Mosin Nagant 91/30 - 7.62x54R. This one has a bent bolt, maybe used to be a sniper rifle.
Mosin Nagant 91/30 Russian - 7.62x54R. A run of the mill model.
Romanian AK-47 WASR 10 - 7.62x39mm
Ruger Mini-14 - .223 caliber. I think it was a ranch Rifle but don't remember for sure. I had some difficulty with this one, just kept getting terrible groups. I sold it and the guy who bought it loved it. I may have been shooting the wrong grain weight bullets out of it. I did not realize, back then, the difference they could have made.
Yugoslavian SKS (3) - 7.62x39mm. I bought 3 of these on my C&R so I could pick out and keep the best of them. I sold the other 2.
Mauser 24/47 - Yugoslavian 8mm Mauser.

Not a big list but it keeps evolving. My son has a Mossberg 500 pump shotgun but because of the pistol grip stock (no butt stock, just a pistol grip) we have not found a range where they will allow us to shoot it.

I think that about covers them all. I have to update my inventory and make sure I have gotten it right but that is a chore for another day.

All the best,
Glenn B