A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, October 31, 2005

SCOTUS.......Play Ball Baby!

Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. is now the President's nominee for SCOTUS. He has over 15 years of documented rulings and views. I believe this nomination is going to be the fight that so many conservatives have been salivating for. On gun rights, Alito in 1996 was the only appeals judge to vote against upholding Congress’ authority to control fully automatic weapons. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has sarcastically described “Machine Gun Sammy” as a perfect Halloween pick. Alito had argued for greater state rights in reasoning that Congress had no authority to regulate any private gun possession. Considering that, I think he's pretty damned perfect too!

White House Talking Points on Alito
Responses to Likely Attacks: Judge Samuel A. Alito
1) Attack: Alito upheld a Pennsylvania anti-abortion law that the Supreme Court overturned in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
a) In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Judge Alito agreed with the Third Circuit majority that Pennsylvania’s informed consent, parental consent, and reporting and public disclosure requirements were constitutional. The Supreme Court upheld these holdings.
b) Judge Alito also concluded that the spousal notification requirement was constitutional, based on the “undue burden” standard articulated by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in Supreme Court cases (Webster v. Reproductive Health Services and Hodgson v. Minnesota) that had addressed the abortion issue following Roe v. Wade.
c) Judge Alito did not make up the spousal notification provision. The voters of Pennsylvania enacted it, and it contained four exceptions to the spousal notification requirement: (1) if the woman believed the husband was not the father, (2) if the husband could not be found after diligent effort, (3) the pregnancy was the result of a spousal sexual assault that was reported to authorities, and (4) the woman believed the notification was likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury on her. Judge Alito was merely called upon in his role as a judge to determine if the voters of Pennsylvania had violated the Constitution by enacting such a statute.
d) Judge Alito noted in his opinion in Casey that the Planned Parenthood plaintiffs challenging the Pennsylvania statute had made a facial challenge to the statute: that is, in order to strike it down, one would have to find that there was not a single circumstance in which the statute could be applied consistent with the Constitution. That he noted this in 1991 shows his attention to detail, precedent, and applicable legal standards: this term – 14 years later – the Supreme Court is finally attempting to clarify its own confusing precedents on the applicable standard of review question that Judge Alito identified.
e) Judge Alito has shown that he respects and follows Supreme Court precedent and does not automatically rule for or against abortion laws. Indeed, in Planned Parenthood v. Farmer, Judge Alito voted to strike down New Jersey’s ban on partial birth abortion. The Supreme Court previously had invalidated a similar Nebraska law, and Judge Alito emphasized the “responsibility” of judges “to follow and apply controlling Supreme Court precedent.”

2) Attack: Alito also subscribes to a states’ rights approach that undercuts the ability of federally elected representatives to enact laws that protect civil rights, an approach that leaves women vulnerable.
Response: Judge Alito’s federalism rulings faithfully applied settled Supreme Court precedents.
a) In United States v. Rybar, Judge Alito argued in dissent that Congress could not regulate wholly intrastate possession of machineguns. He simply applied the Supreme Court precedent United States v. Lopez, which struck down a nearly identical ban on possessing guns near schools. Judge Alito said explicitly that states can ban possession of machine guns and that Congress could reenact the law if it found that intrastate possession of machine guns substantially affected interstate commerce.
b) In Chittister v. Dep’t of Community and Econ. Dev., Judge Alito ruled that parts of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act violated states’ Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity. That ruling was unanimous, joined by two Democratic appointees. Scores of other Democratic appointees have agreed that parts of the law were unconstitutional. States and the Federal Government remained free to ensure adequate family leave, and Judge Alito noted that every state in the Third Circuit had already enacted generous family-leave policies.

3) Attack: Alito has a disturbing record in cases involving discrimination based on race, disability and gender. Under his judicial philosophy, victims would face near-impossible burdens to prove their discrimination.
Response: Judge Alito is even-handed and fair to employees and employers.
a) In Robinson v. City of Pittsburgh, Judge Alito reversed a trial judge’s decision to throw out the plaintiff police officer’s sexual-harassment claim. Judge Alito held explicitly that a plaintiff need not suffer monetary loss to show that she suffered an adverse employment action.
b) In Konstantopoulos v. Westvaco Corp., Judge Alito agreed that the plaintiff had not proved sexual harassment. Her only evidence of discrimination was that her co-workers had “squinted their eyes and shook their fists” at her, and that a colleague had once thrown her lunch away.
c) In Sheridan v. E.I. Dupont de Nemours & Co., Judge Alito argued that courts should not be required to rule automatically for employees whenever they show that an employer’s explanation is pretextual, but stressed that in practice employees should almost always win these cases.

4)Attack: Alito is a notorious foe of church-state separation.
Response: Judge Alito’s opinions stress the importance of neutrality, neither specially burdening religion nor granting it special benefits. He has resisted government efforts to impose discriminatory burdens, especially on religious minorities.
a) He struck down a police policy that required Sunni Muslim police officers to shave their beards, because they believed they had a religious duty to grow beards.
b) He struck down a school policy that allowed nonreligious student groups to distribute informational materials but forbade religious student groups to do the same.
c) He struck down a state permit requirement that made no exception for a Native American who wished to keep a wild bear, which his faith regards as sacred.
d) He has also ruled that a city could erect a holiday display that included not only a crèche and a menorah, but also a Christmas tree, Santa Clause, Frosty the Snowman, a sled, and Kwanzaa symbols. In doing so, Judge Alito simply applied the governing Supreme Court precedent, Lynch v. Donnelly.

A quick candid glimpse at Alito.

That's all for now.........I'm hitting the pawn shops!

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

What does a man who swore he would leave America if GWB was re-elected, a kleptomaniac petty thief, Batman and a ficticious US President all have in common? At one time they made a hilariously funny movie named Beetlejuice.

I watched it with my daughter as her Halloween movie, and had forgotten what a rolicking good time it was. Beetlejuice was inspired. Here is proof that liberal moonbats can produce a decent product when they just shut the hell up and act. If only we could hire a Bio-exorcist to deal with these folks in real life.


A Father's Anger

Do not click unless you can tolerate a graphic image Assailants wearing black veils beheaded three Christian schoolgirls and seriously wounded a fourth in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi. The girls were among a group of students from a private Christian high school who were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota subdistrict on their way to class, police Major Riky Naldo said. The heads of three victims were found several kilometres from their bodies. Two were left near a police station and another in front of a newly built Christian church.

On several blogs more eloquent than mine, extreme anger has been expressed at these killings of religious motivation. That's right, not senseless killings, but killings of religious motivation. Get used to it. They are fighting a jihad whether we are willing or not.

I will not speak any of my religious or political anger over this act of barbarism, although it is ample. I will speak as a father. These girls no doubt had fathers and mothers who loved them very much. Parents who worked to afford to send them to school. As a father, my anger is righteous and to the core of my being. It does not matter to me what religion these girls practiced. It does not matter to me where they were traveling, or what the motivations of their killers were. The killers of these girls are savages. They do not qualify even as animals. Do not dismiss these killings as religiously motivated. They were motivated by hate, not a peaceful religion. When the killers are caught, they will no doubt plead religious motivations. If that is accpetable, then a rational man must also accept that the religion involved is one of hate and intolerance. Once that is accepted, reality has arrived.

But beside all that, if my little girl were among these innocents slaughtered and desecrated under the mantle of religous righteousness, I would hunt down the killers myself, and take great pride and great pleasure in sending them to hell. Regardless of the consequences. If these children's fathers do the same, who can blame them?


"I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational," Prince Charles stated, "I will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week." Chuck, you just might want to keep your limey butt at home. Who the hell do you think you are anyway? The King of England?


I Found a Jewel.......and a Turd

Jewel= PawPaw's House. PawPaw is a retired cop from central Louisiana who has been blogging since April 2005. I found him via the Carnival of Cordite, and dadgummit, someday I'm gonna have to shake this fellow's hand! I've been reading through his archives, and he has some of the best posts on New Orleans and the gun grabbing/Eddie Compass saga I have read. Timely, concise, and dead to nuts on the money. Take a look at Pawpaw, you will be glad you did.

Turd= While reading PawPaw's archives, I found this Moonbat extraordinaire. Take a look at Blue Flypaper if you feel the need for some liberal emesis to get your bowels moving. When it comes to barking moonbats, this chick just may be the Chihuahua you want to smack on the nose with a newspaper. Bow wow Blue! What I want to know is how do I get on her black list? Hey Babe.......I put you on the Right! How does it feel? Tell me it's satire..........Please......


Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time. I should be getting an extra hour of sleep. I woke up at 2:35AM, unable to return to slumber. Hell, I have to start seeing patients at 7:00AM. May as well get up and get some coffee.
When I worked on the Cardiac Wards as a nurse, during the night of Daylight Savings Time we worked 13 hours but got paid for 12. Ain't that a bitch? If you wanted to get paid for that extra hour, you had to stick around and work Daylight Savings Time in the Spring. It amazes me how hospital administrations can do this kind of thing with impunity, and how for over a century nurses have refused to unionize. Every time DST rolls around, I think of that extra hour the hospital owes me, and I get mad as hell. Like many nurses, I did not remain in the hospital. I got a couple of years of experience, and then hit an extremely lucrative nursing market outside the sweat shop atmosphere of the hospitals. It is no wonder nursing care suffers in the hospital setting. Experience is not valued by the administration, and a nurse leaves for greener pastures as soon as they can. Why?, a lay person might ask..... Well for me, my pay doubled, my work was cut by 25% and I got to work days instead of nights, all with a simple change of employer. My position on the Cardiac Unit remained vacant until the local nursing school spit out new graduates.
And so it goes.............


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Idiots with Guns #3

Daniel For Halloween we present Daniel. Daniel is showing off his oh so fashionable hairsyle, a nice anarchist T shirt, and atrocious gun handling with two Glocks.

The purpose of Idiots with Guns is not to humiliate, but to educate. Over the years we have seen photos of people who, upon picking up a gun, just cannot resist pointing it at something they should not, with their finger on the trigger. This is usually the camera, another person, or themselves. These photos are often difficult to google up, because of the pages they are shown on. If you have archived any of these photos, feel free to send them in to bayouroversATjamDOTrrDOTcom

The Four Rules
1. All firearms are loaded
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy
3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless your sights are on the target
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it


Friday, October 28, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #36

Step right up! The Carnival of Cordite #36 is open for viewing!

Scooter Libby Indicted

Vice President Dick Cheney's lawyer.
Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff.
Dick Cheney's assistant for national security affairs.
Sometimes called "Dick Cheney's Dick Cheney."
Libby was integral in compiling the White House's allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson decimated disputed the Iraq-Africa connection, saying he personally investigated the claim a year earlier and found no evidence of WMDs that Saddam had not purchased yellowcake. The identity of Wilson's wife as a CIA agent was leaked to journalists shortly afterwards. The journalists did what journalists do, to the point of sleeping in a cell rather than divulge a confidential source. The Justice Department opened a full-blown investigation. The White House denied involvement.

Dick Cheney is arguably the most influential Vice President in U.S. history. Libby was his most influential advisor. Libby apparently has no scruples when it comes to dirty politics.
A wise man once said you are known by the company you keep.


Democrats Scramble for Scattered Votes

A Boat Without a PaddleWith the evacuation of New Orleans to regions all throughout the United States, an unexpected consequence occured in Louisiana. One of the most powerful political forces in the nation was effectively dismantled. New Orleans was a Democratic voting block like few others. The demographics of Louisiana made politics almost a certainty throughout the state. As goes New Orleans, so goes the state. With Hurricane Katrina, that political force was demolished as surely as the levees that contained it.
Now, with the bungling attempts at rebuilding the Big Easy, the political machine it supported has suddenly realized their vulnerability, on a national scale.
Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., and Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., touted a bill Thursday that would allow evacuees of Hurricane Katrina to vote absentee in their home districts through the 2008 elections, regardless of where they move temporarily. They must first sign an affidavit indicating an intent to move back after the area is reconstructed. Counting all the votes in this case is simply not enough," Feingold said. "We must do everything we can to ensure that those votes are cast." Election laws vary from state to state, but in most places, getting a job or buying a home somewhere else is legal proof that a voter has moved and that his registration should too.
Davis said that's fine for people who intend to move permanently, but he believes hundreds of thousands of evacuees intend to return to Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama once they can. In that case, they should have the right to vote for the officials who will preside over the reconstruction, Davis said. Mayor Nagin (D) is up for re-election in 2006, Governor Blanco (D) in 2007.
For over a century, the politics of Louisiana were a given, and often taken for granted. Louisiana politics were laughed at when we were forced to vote for David Duke or Edwin Edwards because of our own ignorance. Louisiana politics were appreciated by the Democratic Party though, because New Orleans could be counted on to get out the vote for the Democrats. That tenuous thread was snapped. Those votes are now scattered to the four corners of the country. The Democrats suddenly realized........'Damn!' and they are struggling to maintain that voting block.
Guess what Dems, even if you pass the bill, you may loose the votes. The people whose votes you need have seen what you helped create in their city. They have seen their Democrat Mayor and Governor try to starve people out of the Superdome rather than give them food and water. They have seen drowned out busses that were not staged to help them evacuate. It may not matter whether you pass this bill or not. You have likely already lost these votes. These people are evacuated, but they are not stupid.

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Why 50 Cent Did Not Make the Cut

I was emailed a picture of a gangsta rapper called 50 Cent to be featured in my Idiots with guns series. In the photo, this young man is pointing a Glock handgun directly at the camera. I decided to not use the photo.
I made the decision when I began the Idiots with Guns series that I would not use celebrities, movie posters or publicity shots. That is too easy, the ignorant gun handling is far too prevalent. In this 50 Cent photo, however, the rapper has his trigger finger outside the trigger guard. He is actually showing some gun handling knowledge. The pistol is not held sideways, ghetto style, as one might expect. Even though the gun was pointed at a camera and one must assume a cameraman, the rapper's handling of the weapon gives credence to the thought that he might have checked the chamber himself prior to posing for the photo. I do not like gangsta rap, or the entire hip hop gangsta destroy your potential lifestyle. I believe it is a pestilence upon our youth, but I will give credit where it is due. It looks to me that this is one celebrity who knows a little about gun handling.

As I was searching though over 100 Googled images trying to find one example of poor gun handling by 50 Cent, I could not. I did, however, find an article on his concert posters being taken down in South-Central LA because they promote gang violence.
Either this is a publicity stunt, or California has finally awakened to realize that the media glorifies violence, and perhaps perpetuates it.
When I see them jerking James Bond posters off the walls I will believe they are serious. By the way, have you ever seen a James Bond poster with a finger outside of a triggerguard?


50 Cent has lashed out at fellow hip-hop star Kayne West for accusing US President George W Bush of racism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Hell, I might actually start liking this guy if it wasn't for the stuff he calls music! Another hat tip to you 50 Cent!

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

More on the NOLA Confiscations

The Ashton O'Dwyer CNN video

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Harriet Miers Withdraws

On the Ranch Harriet Miers withdrew from consideration to be a Supreme Court justice this morning, stating "I am concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interests of the country." President Bush stated he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of steadfast support against vehement criticism of her credentials. The Constitution does not explicitly establish any qualifications for Justices of the Supreme Court. In fact it does not even specify citizenship or age as it does for the executive and legislative branches. However, Presidents normally exercise common sense and nominate individuals who have prior legal experience. Typically, most nominees have judicial experience, either at the federal or state level. Miers had none. Miers was portrayed as a crony of Bush by the left, and through photos such as the one here as a Bush toady by Bush's own camp. Her bid for history was thus doomed from the outset. For her loyalty to President Bush, Miers recieved a nomination to the highest court in the land. Ironically, her loyalty to Bush cost her the same. Sometimes the deck is just stacked against you.
Baatterrrrrrr Up!


Failure as a Watchdog


Today's List

1. Fix light switch in study. I'm tired of those bastards blinking.
2. Change oil in vehicle. I'm tired of that stupid alarm dinging too.
3. Hit the pawn shops. I already scored, but I need to keep the press on.
4. Vaccuum den. Joe has made a mess of it.
5, Tell my wife her hair looks good. I think she cut it or something......Something's wrong.
6. Wash clothes, Dry & Fold.
7. Liver/Onions with mashed potatoes/gravy & corn on the cob for supper.

Off Target.............

Yesterday morning, I typed up a post making the assumption that the price of gasoline would never drop below $2.50 again. Thinking I was safe, I pulled a figure out of my back pocket that I had been paying, at a minimum, all Summer long. Imagine my chagrin when I learned that regular unleaded had already dropped to $2.46 in my area as I filled my tank last night. I could have made some glib remark about hell freezing over, but the fact is, I was off target, and I'm damned glad.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Telephones and the Price of Gas

I had to replace my telephone again today. I drove to the hardware store in a vain quest for a phone with a detachable receiver on a curly cord. The kind that was ubiquitous 30 years ago. Simple, durable, with a dial. The kind of telephone that lasted forever, that worked through storms, provided secure conversations, required no batteries or chargers, and is still in use in the White House. My search failed. All that was available were complicated cordless wonder phones with integrated answering machines and God knows what else. Well guess what? If I'm not home, I'm not listening to your messages when I finally get home. If it's important, you will find me, or you will wait in line.
The American public has bought into the idea that they must stay constantly in touch, and be ever aware of anything happening within their spheres of human influence. Horse hockey! The world will get along just fine without most of us, and we could all use a break from the ever present invasions into our privacy. There are those of us who simply want a static free means of communicating with others. There are people in America who make more calls than they receive. Yet they are forced to buy an electronic monstrosity that does not meet their needs. Sadly, many of these folks have acquiesced, and purchased complex gizmos they do not know how to use, and don't have the time to learn. When I am in my office, and I have to make a telephone call, I have to get one of the ladies to dial the damned phone for me. There is something wrong with that! Yet we, as a society have accepted it, and are willing to pay more money for more whizbang covering up less functionality, all encased in a product that will be broken or worn out in a year.
With the passage of the Congressional Bill protecting gunmakers, there are some who believe the prices of guns will now fall due to less risk of litigation to the manufacturer. It will never happen. We have shown the gun makers we will pay their price.
There are some who believe the price of gasoline will eventually drop below $2.50/gallon. It will never happen. We have shown we will pay the price.
There are some who believe a durable telephone will be made once again. It will never happen. We have shown we will replace them every year if need be.
We have done this to ourselves. Thankfully though, while Googling the internet for a telephone picture, I came upon multiple websites selling restored antique telephones. I ordered one just like the phone I had in 1970. $225. Take that Ma Bell!

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Demonizing Condi

See a problem? Pissed off yet? Click here for more...............

There, I feel better now.............
More from The War on Guns

Katrina's Storm Surge

These photos, taken by Don McClosky near Michoud's Entergy plant on I-510 show Katrina's storm surge coming directly over the levee in New Orleans.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New Orleans Gun Confiscations

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Cookie and Toy Cause Airport Shutdown

A terminal at San Diego International Airport was shut down today after TSA employees mistook a child's toy and a cookie for a bomb. A screening machine at the Commuter Terminal detected what appeared to be bomb in a carry-on bag around 7:45 a.m. A bomb squad was called to the terminal, which serves regional flights, and investigators determined the bag did not contain any improvised explosive devices.

"Essentially what they did find was a child's toy and some organic material in a bag that turned out to be a cookie," Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin said. "Those two items combined on-screen, they very much appeared to be an IED, and it turned out not to be." The terminal was reopened about 9:20 a.m. and passengers were allowed back in, Peppin said. Five commuter flights to Los Angeles and one flight to Salt Lake City were delayed, said Steve Shultz, an airport spokesman.

Those damned Al Quaida are a sneaky bunch. Next thing you know, suicide bombers will be selling exploding Girl Scout cookies door to door.


Plinker Shoot Out...Woodsman vs MKII

The Champion

Ruger MKII This Ruger MKII has long been my favorite plinking gun. Although ugly, in a plinking contest, it is the one to beat. It is stock with the exception of a Volquartsen trigger, and Clark Custom grips. By the serial number, this pistol was made in 1985. I bought it in a pawn shop for $159 a few years ago. It quickly became a favorite of mine, even over other MKII's. It has a barrel length of 6 & 7/8 inches, and a sight radius of 9 & 1/2 inches.

The Challenger

Colt Woodsman I purchased this Colt Woodsman 1st Series at a pawn shop for $250 recently. The Colt Woodsman is the stuff of legend when folks talk plinkers. It's the unavailable measuring stick for other rimfire pistols, often having it's name dropped in a debate in a subtle contest of one up-manship. This particular example has a 6 & 1/2 inch barrel with a 9 & 1/4 inch sight radius. To my knowlege, nothing has been done to this pistol other than shooting it. This particular example was put out by Colt in 1942.

The Ammo

For this shoot out I selected Federal 36 grain copper plated hollow point ammo. It's the kind that comes in the 550 round bulk pack at Wal-Mart. I picked it because it was cheap. That's good enough for me. This is a plinking shoot out, nothing else. If the gun can't shoot plinking ammo, it looses!

Head to Head

Holding these two pistols, the light weight of the Colt immediately struck me. Combined with the smaller grip, it felt like a feather compared to the Ruger. On the other hand, the Ruger felt like a gun compared to the Colt.
The grip angle is the same on both pistols, although the Clark grips subtly alter the Ruger's grip angle to approximate a 1911. The Ruger is 43 years younger than the Colt, and technology moved along during that time. It would not be fair to knock the Colt for the lack of these advances, such as a last shot bolt hold open device. The front sight on the Colt is adjustable for elevation. The rear sight is adjustable for windage. On the Ruger, the front sight is fixed, and the rear provides both adjustments.
The trigger on the Ruger is very nice. It is a Volquartsen unit that has been fitted by myself. It is, however, exposed to the gunk that results from shooting. Ruger rimfire pistols often develop a gritty trigger as a result. I need to install a trigger shield device in this pistol. For this shoot out though it was clean. The Colt trigger mechanism, by contrast, is well protected from accumulating grit and grime. The Colt trigger is crisp and very sweet. The internals of the Woodsman are machined steel, and quite large and easy to work with. There is a beautiful economy to the design. It's an elegant design, by John Moses Browning. Go figure. If the 1911 had a rimfire peer, the Woodsman is it. By contrast, the stamped steel Ruger looks and feels cheap.
The Ruger is notorious for it's reassembly difficulty. In actuality, it's kind of like a secret handshake. Following these instructions will have most people doing it themselves in one try. Last night I disassembled the Colt for a good cleaning. It would not have been fair to run a clean and lubed gun against one that had 60 years of gunk inside. I followed directions from this website and had no problems. I could see where problems could occur if the recoil spring did not remain captured. Still, for maintenance ease and simplicity, I have to give the Colt the edge.

The Shoot Out

Due to time constraints, I shot only 500 rounds through each pistol. Neither pistol had any failures. I had no dud rounds either. I tried to make both guns jam. I shot them sideways and upside down. They were boringly reliable. Both guns shot accurately as far as plinking accuracy goes. The Colt magazine was a bit tricky to load, and it took a little bit to figure out how to get a full 10 rounds in it. After that, it was smooth sailing.
I can understand why Colt went to the "elephant ear" grips on their Match Target Woodsmen. I had, after all, installed essentially the same on my Ruger. I can see, why the Woodsman is a legend. It is a reliable, accurate pistol that shoots an inexpensive cartridge for hours of plinking fun. It is a finely machined and fitted handgun designed by a man of sheer genius, John Moses Browning. I can see why many rimfire afficianados revere the Colt Woodsman.
I can see, as well, how Bill Ruger came along and kicked the Woodsman to the curb with a gun that was just as durable, just as accurate, but costing considerably less. The Ruger does everything the Woodsman does.
Still, I remember those hot summers as a kid, hiding out in the woods doing the things boys did back then. I had a Ruger MKI I had traded a bicycle for. It was a good pistol, but one of my friends' father was a gunsmith. Troy had a Colt Woodsman. When I shot Troy's Woodsman I knew the same people that made his gun also made the guns carried by our boys fighting in Southeast Asia. That meant a lot then. I did not know the same man designed them both. A Colt has a history, and a mystique, even to a boy, and even in a rimfire plinker. Contrast that with Bill Ruger's infamous 10 round magazine statements. Still, Bill Ruger's design for the Ruger rimfire pistol was inspired and revolutionary. It put an affordable handgun in many a young shooter's stocking.

For cool points, the Colt wins, hands down. Heck, even the BATF agrees and listed all Woodsmen prior to 1978 as C&R pistols. For getting the job done on a budget though, the Ruger whoops Colt's ass.

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Rosa Parks Remembered

I awoke today to learn that Mrs. Rosa Parks had passed on to her maker during the night. While some will disagree with Mrs. Park's almost untouchable iconic status in American society, we must remember that her firm resolution on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama was a seminal point in American history.

At that time, Jim Crow laws in place since the post-Civil War Reconstruction separated blacks and whites on buses, in restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South, while in the North, legally sanctioned racial discrimination kept blacks out of many jobs and neighborhoods. In the face of these realities, Mrs. Parks, a seamstress, and an active member of the local chapter of the NAACP, was riding on a city bus on Dec. 1, 1955, when a white man demanded her seat. Mrs. Parks refused, despite laws requiring blacks to give up their seats to whites. Two black Montgomery women had been arrested earlier that year on the same charge, but Mrs. Parks was jailed. She also was also fined $14.

The arrest of Mrs. Parks spurred a 381 day boycott of the public transit system by black people, organized by a young Baptist minister, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. This boycott led to a court ruling desegregating public transportation in Montgomery, but it wasn't until the 1964 Civil Rights Act that all public accommodations nationwide were desegregated. Having recieved death threats and having lost her job, Mrs. Parks relocated from Alabama to Detroit in 1957.

Looking back in 1988, Mrs. Parks said she worried that young black people took legal equality for granted. Older blacks, she said "have tried to shield young people from what we have suffered. And in so doing, we seem to have a more complacent attitude. We must double and redouble our efforts to try to say to our youth, to try to give them an inspiration, an incentive and the will to study our heritage and to know what it means to be black in America today."

At a celebration in her honor that same year, she said: "I am leaving this legacy to all of you ... to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die - the dream of freedom and peace."

In my work as a nurse, I encounter and work with many inspiring and dignified black elders. Elders who answer my questions "Yessuh" or "Nosuh" as second nature. I gently tell them my name was Xavier, not "Suh" and then address them as "Sir" and "Mahm" while tending their wounds. It's a delicate waltz of trust and respect begun by Mrs. Parks, and still being danced today. It is my privilege to have participated in it.

Godspeed Mrs. Rosa.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Idiot Gun Quote of the Week

Daniel Craig has no problem playing the James Bond even though he hates guns. Salaries can do that to a bloke.

"I hate handguns. Handguns are used to shoot people and as long as they are around, people will shoot each other," said Craig, "That's a simple fact. I've seen a bullet wound and it was a mess. It was on a shoot and it scared me. Bullets have a nasty habit of finding their target and that's what's scary about them."

As long as handguns are around people will shoot each other eh? Handguns have a way of changing placid brain waves to homocidal impulses. Just ask anyone who has witnessed the carnage that occurs at any gun show! Every gun should come with a teddy bear to counter those impulses.

I've seen bullet wounds too, stopped the hemmorhage, extracted the projectile, and moved on.

I want some of those bullets that have a habit of finding their targets! That would be a good thing. Target seeking smart bullets. If only it were true. Rob Leatham would have nothin' on old Xavier if he had those kind of bullets!

Get your damned finger off the trigger. Idiot.

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Pawn Shop Circuit: A Colt Woodsman

This morning I started at Neil's store. Neil still had his five black tactical pistols for sale, and no shotguns. I chatted a bit, and tried to catch a glimpse of what was hanging on the pegs in his safe. No dice, and he wasn't telling.

So, I moved on to Dave's pawn shop. Dave had added a Charter Arms Undercover to the rack, with a tag reading $125. Nope, not today. Then I spied a goodie. I asked to see it. Dave smiled. He handed me a Colt Woodsman, 1st Series, with a serial number dating it to 1942. It was in about 90% or better finish, with one magazine and a holster made by Brauer Bros. The grips were the walnut checkered sort, and were in fair shape. Dave had it priced at $250.

Now I've never owned a Woodsman, and I don't know much about them, but I do know I like to shoot .22LR, I like Colts, and I had $250 in my pocket. Having seen the prices attached to Woodsman pistols at gun shows, I figured I could get my money back if I had to. Anyway, Dave gives me a 30 day guarantee. If the gun won't shoot, I can decide whether or not I want to return it. I broke out the wallet and paid the man his price.

I started to head on over to Amber's pawn shop, just to look, but I headed home instead. Perhaps tomorrow I will get a chance to do a head to head range test between my favorite Ruger MKII and my new Colt Woodsman!

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The Best Defense....A Great Read

"The Best Defense: True Stories of Intended Victims Who Defended Themselves With a Firearm" by Robert A. Waters is a fascinating compilation of true stories in which everyday citizens defend themselves and others using deadly force. Filled with factual accounts of normal everyday people who survived deadly encounters through the implementation of deadly force, a more eloquent case can not be made to prove the veracity of the 2nd Amendment, and the futility of relying on law enforcement for protection. This collection of stark, true stories about everyday people who owe their lives to the fact that they had a gun when they needed it most will sway the most vehement anti-gunner. After all, who can say that another person should die for one's own beliefs?

This book will no doubt wake up the bliss ninny in your family, and have them considering firearms ownership as well as concealed carry. It reads very much like a Reader's Digest magazine, providing the reader with one breath taking tale after another, with photos provided to show that the people involved were not Rambo types, but honest, hardworking Americans.

If your significant other wonders why you "need" a gun, buy this book and place it on their nightstand. They will soon ask for assistance in choosing their own gun.

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A Simple Argument

This cartoon may be freely reproduced so long as it is unaltered.
Thank you Scott Bieser.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Idiots with Guns #2

Vote for LauraI suppose Laura can only hope that her other supporters are more intelligent. This young man may soon become even more open minded if he is not more attentive to his muzzle direction and choice of pistol.

The purpose of "Idiots with Guns" is not to glorify those who made incredibly bad decisions on film, but to teach others proper gun safety. Read Jeff Cooper's 4 Rules in my sidebar. There has never been a negligent discharge that harmed anyone while the 4 Rules were being followed. In fact, there have never been any negligent discharges at all while the 4 Rules were being followed. Because of this, wise old gunnies simply follow Jeff Cooper's 4 Rules. They cast them in stone and accept no excuses for their behavior. You never hear on the news that these old gunnies encountered a gun that "just went off".

Over the years we have seen many photos of people who, upon picking up a gun, just cannot resist pointing it at something they should not, with their finger on the trigger. This is usually the camera, another person, or themselves. These photos are often difficult to google up, because of the ways they are listed, in personal albums. If you have archived any of these type photos, feel free to send them in to bayouroversATjamDOTrrDOTcom

Some might say that the gun pictured this week is a 1911 with the hammer down. Granted. C&S makes a nifty little kit to sidetrack that argument if it were installed in this pistol. Besides, it's a matter of acceptable behavior, not conditional behavior. Monkey sees, monkey does. The next monkey might own a Glock. Argue with Cooper's wisdom if you must.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Joe Dog Report Card 10/21/05

Joe has learned to walk on a leash with expert precision. He is studying sit techniques, and takes great pride on letting himself back in the house after doing his business outside.
His favorite chew toys squeak, and he will play with two at a time while thumping his tail on the wooden floor. Thus, his nickname has become Joe the one dog band.


Carnival of Cordite #35

Step right up! The Carnival of Cordite #35 is up and running!
It's a weekly hodgepodge of posts from around the blogosphere dedicated to guns, shooting, hunting, defense, and the law and politics of the Second Amendment. It's also a great way to find new blogs for your reading pleasure.

Pawn Shop Circuit: Two Model 10's from the Past

Sometimes on the pawn shop circuit, nothing much moves, and you have to just wait it out. It's a little like stalking a quarry. You don't give up, and just keep checking back. For the past two weeks nothing of interest has shown up on my circuit. That is OK though, it allows me to replenish the rat hole money I save for used guns. When a desirable gun is found, it pays to already have the cash saved up.

There has been one recurring question about my circuit, and that is "How do you find a good shop that has decent prices?" For me, the answer is simple. Referring back to my tips post, I prefer the franchise pawn shops. This is because the store manager is more likely to make his bottom line off loans. He also has a district manager breathing down his neck to liquidate stock and turn a little more profit. Inventory doesn't show up on the bottom line. Sales do. The corollary is the franchise store manager has less leeway for negotiation. Frequently he is bound by corporate rules, and cannot negotiate at all until X number of weeks have passed. He does set the prices though, and he usually will pull them straight out of the Blue Book.
By contrast, the Mom & Pop pawnbroker considers his inventory to be part of his business investment, and he is loathe to let it go for less than he believes it is worth.

Two Model 10'sHere are two Smith & Wesson Model 10's I bought at different times. I have a passion for the old S&W K frames. It seems as though I cannot leave one on the rack after I spot one in a pawnshop. One of my favorites is the S&W Model 10. These revolvers are seldom priced over $200, and almost always great shooters. They are tough as nails, reliable, accurate, and plentiful enough that the prices are still way below their value as a shooter. The lower Model 10-5, which has an estimated date of 1973, cost me $159. The upper Model 10-5 has an estimated manufacture date of 1964. I paid $179 for it. I have a preference for the pinned tapered barrels, but am in the market for a heavy barrel Model 10 at the right price. Model 10's can be found in an array of barrel configurations and lengths. The two and five inch barrel guns usually command about a $25-50 premium. The S&W Model 10 is essentially the evolutionary result of the Model of 1905 with a Model number assigned to it in 1958. Thus the history of the Model 10 can be tracked right back to the first K frame. These revolvers were parkerized and issued as sidearms during WWII, and some were still seeing use when I served in the US Navy in the late 1980's. They have been used by police forces from Peru to Hong Kong. The S&W Model 10 is easily the most ubiquitous revolver, but also the best choice in a defensive handgun for someone who is "not into guns". It can be loaded, put away, and used years later if needed. It is accurate, durable, and it epitomizes the less is more philosophy, something many gunnies call the KISS principle. In a word, the Model 10 is classic. It's an imminently useful classic though. If you see one for under $200 don't pass it up!

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Remember New Orleans

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has a new rallying cry to spotlight the importance of every American's right to keep and bear arms: "Remember New Orleans." In a speech earlier this week to the New York chapter of the Sportsmen's Association for Firearms Education, LaPierre painted a compelling picture of New Orleans residents left defenseless by Hurricane Katrina - as one-third of the city's police force deserted their posts and abandoned the streets to roving bands of looters and thugs.

Here is a partial transcript of LaPierre's rousing address:

"Picture your beloved hometown, the neighborhood where you live. Hold that image in your head. Now imagine that a massive natural disaster has transformed your beloved neighborhood into a putrid soup of splinters, muck and corpses. A massive natural disaster has pounded and ground your town into an ugly gravy of dead, toxic garbage. There's no power to run a single thing that makes a sound. There's no water to bring in hydration or carry away waste. All life is stagnant around you - and dying. You can't call anyone. No one can call you. Phone lines and cell towers are down. 911 is gone. Police, fire, ambulance - the safety net of normal life - is completely gone. Think about what that would feel like. There's no one but you.

"The shadows of armed looters and thugs begin combing the streets with hard eyes and hungry looks. They take what they want. They rape who they want. They kill at will. Every exit is impassable, so leaving is impossible. But staying is unimaginable. Life has been reduced to merely breathing, devoid of the barest essentials. Your throat throbs for water. Your gut aches for food. And both hungers are eclipsed by the inevitable fight for survival against those who would take your home, your wife and your life.

"It's a hellish nightmare of hopelessness, helpless terror - bigger than your brain can almost imagine . You hear nothing but the buzz of mosquitoes, occasional shouts for help - and gunshots and looting in the dark.

"But you have a firearm.

"At dawn, a few neighbors emerge from their houses. Some of them also have guns. And you get together with them and you agree to take a stand - just as good people have done since civilization was formed. Until civilization returns, you band together to protect those who can't protect themselves. You realize suddenly that you're part of the militia in the truest historic sense of the word. You've got a lot of single mothers with kids on your street. . . . Everyone's doors and windows are wide open - they've been destroyed. So you tell the single mothers: 'If you have any trouble, just scream. We'll hear you. We'll be there.'

"You spray paint sheets of plywood with big red letters - 'We are home. We have guns. We will shoot.' And you know, because even the New York Times carried a picture of it - that's exactly what they did in neighborhood after neighborhood all over the Gulf states. Not in some foreign country - here in the U.S.A. Roving gangs see your sign, they see your guns and what do they do? They stay away. Those guns and nothing else during that time gave the hopeless hope . . . In the midst of all that misery you're struck at that moment by the beauty and the salvation of second amendment freedom in the United States of America . . .

"The armed authorities finally arrive. The blame a broken levee for your predicament. But then, something you couldn't imagine happening, happens. They destroy the one thing that was standing there between you and anarchy - the second amendment.

"They start confiscating firearms from the law abiding. Swat-style teams start swarming block-by-block as if on a war footing. They're tense, they're jumpy and they're trained for urban warfare . Keep in mind, these military folks, these police folks - they were on our side. They didn't want to carry out this order that was given by the police chief of New Orleans.... In fact, they were outraged over what they'd been ordered to do. A reporter asked one of them - 'You mean [you might have to] shoot an American?' And the soldier said 'yes.' But the Americans he was talking about shooting, they weren't criminals. They were brave people who were simply left behind when the hurricane hit in one of the most corrupt cities in the United States of America.

"New Orleans was the first city in American history to disarm peaceable American citizens door-to-door at gunpoint. And I'll tell you this as we sit here today - it must be the last . With your help, the National Rifle Association is going to make sure it never happens again. We're going to go state-by-state and change every state law that has some type of emergency powers statute that allows authorities to regulate or confiscate guns from law abiding citizens when an emergency is declared . The example of New Orleans is going to become to worst fear of those who want to ban guns in the good old U.S.A. Never again can the anti-gunners claim that honest citizens don't need firearms because the police and the government are going to be there to protect you . And we've got a good slogan that you're going to hear from one end of the country to the other. And that slogan is: Remember New Orleans.....

"The next time anyone says to you: 'Are you just afraid or paranoid?' Look them straight in the eye and say: Remember New Orleans.

"If they ask you, 'Why does anyone need to own a gun?': Remember New Orleans.

"If they say to you, "Why does anyone need a high-capacity magazine?" Look them straight in the eye and say: Remember New Orleans.

"What's wrong with a 15 day waiting period? Remember New Orleans.

"What makes you think the government would ever confiscate your gun? Remember New Orleans.

"Is the second amendment relevant in the 21st Century? Remember New Orleans.

"That's our battle cry and let's never, ever let them forget it."


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No Guns No Money

In many states, when a "shall issue" carry law is first passed, there's a certain amount of give-and-take and pushing and shoving, metaphorically, about "posting"—businesses deciding whether to post their state's version of "Law Abiding Permit Holders Keep Out" signs. This nearly always calms down after a few months, with the usual outcome of very few businesses staying posted. So, when you stumble on a business like that, hand them one of our special "No Guns, No Money" cards, which explains the situation to them in polite but firm terms. If you really want to make your point, write your name or email address in the box on the back, and include a recent receipt for a major purchase from a competitor.
Thanks to:no guns no money.com

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot


Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act Passes

Congress voted today to shield gunmakers from lawsuits if their products are used to harm a person. President Bush is expected to sign this bill into law. Under this legislation, about 20 pending lawsuits by local against the gun industry will be dismissed. The US Senate passed the bill in July. The MSM is already bleating that there was a groundswell of public opinion against this legislation. In reality, the recent events in New Orleans made many people painfully aware of the need to own a firearm. "Americans saw a complete collapse of the government's ability to protect them," said Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. "That burnt in, those pictures of people standing there defending their lives and defending their property and their family, where the one source of comfort was a firearm."

The seed for this Congressional Bill was young Brandon Maxfield, and a whole host of lawyers smelling blood and money. Brandon Maxfield was shot in 1994, leaving him a quadriplegic at age 7. A family friend was unloading a Bryco Model 38 semiautomatic pistol when it discharged, firing a round into Brandon's face. He and his family won $51 million in June 2003 after a two-year legal battle against Bryco. Oddly, Maxfield attempted to buy Bryco in 2004. Maxfield's final bid of $505,000 to buy Bryco Arms, one of the nation's leading makers of inexpensive guns for poor people, fell short. He had wanted to acquire the company in order to shut it down. I note that Mr. Maxfield's anti-gun website, Brandons Arms.org is no longer online.

While we are sympathetic to the plight of people like Brandon, we recognize that personal responsibility plays a huge role in adult activities like driving automobiles, handling firearms, and yes, in filing lawsuits. Even a Bryco pistol is a good gun to the man who needs a gun. It is better than nothing. If you want a better gun, buy a better gun. If you want a safer gun, buy a safer gun. If you don't know what is better or safer, educate yourself. That is called personal responsibility. That is called adulthood.

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Truth in an Egg

I was preparing my breakfast this morning, and as I cracked the eggs into the skillet, I thought "Hey, this is nice, small eggs!" I like a breakfast of hashbrowns, bacon or sausage and a couple of eggs over easy, two of them, looking up at you like wistful early morning eyes. The problem, of course, is that I'm an aging man trying to stave off a heart attack. I try to limit my cholesterol and fat, but I still like a man's breakfast instead of a bowl of grain. I'm not a damned rabbit.
Anyway, I was marveling at the two small eggs sizzling in my skillet, and appreciating the lesser effects on my cardiovascular system they would provide, while still providing an asthetically pleasing plate to consume. Then, I looked at the egg carton they came from. It said Large Eggs.
I'm not surprised. In our society, big is better, and jumbo is better still. Years ago, small eggs were called small eggs, and were purchased to use in recipes calling for eggs. It's easier to arrive at a set amount of egg without waste when you have smaller eggs to begin with. Later, as advertising took hold, small eggs were seen as lesser eggs, not more versatile eggs. Small eggs became medium, medium became large, then large became jumbo. The eventual evolution of this process over time produced a system of large, extra large, and jumbo eggs, with medium eggs hard to find, and small eggs extinct as a stegasaurus.
We see this insanity running rampant through American society, from vehicles on our roadways, to breasts on our wives. The fact of the matter is, bigger is NOT always better, more is not always preferable. Americans have been sold a false bill of goods. There is a forgotten value in less. I think it's time for our society to take a hard look at this Texas attitude and make a few adjustments to our thinking. Sometimes smaller is better, and less is more.

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Denial is Futile

For decades there have been rumours of an affair between Marilyn Monroe and a sitting US President. Those rumours have never been dispelled or proven, and were consistently denied by JFK's family, but a recently auctioned historical relic provides yet another glimpse at the probability.
A Rolex watch reportedly given to John F. Kennedy by Marilyn Monroe as a birthday gift has garnered $120,000 at auction. The gold watch is inscribed: "Jack, With love as always from Marilyn May 29th 1962." The watchcase contains a poem, written on a small piece of paper, titled, "A Heartfelt Plea on Your Birthday."
The poem reads:
"Let lovers breathe their sighs
And roses bloom and music sound
Let passion burn on lips and eyes
And pleasures merry world go round
Let golden sunshine flood the sky
And let me love
Or let me die!''
Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" for Kennedy on May 19, 1962, at New York's Madison Square Garden. In a little less than 18 months Monroe would be dead from suspicious circumstances that arouse conjecture and controversy 40 years later.

It is believed that Monroe attempted to give the watch to Kennedy through an aide, but Kennedy refused it when it arrived at his hands, saying "Get rid of it".

Bill Panagopulos of the Alexander Autographs auction house, stated only that the buyer was an East Coast collector. "It's the hardest thing I ever had to estimate," Panagopulos said. "Historic relics, especially when there is a hint of scandal attached, defy any attempt by an auctioneer to estimate their selling price." Original estimates on the watches value ranged from $40,000 to $60,000.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pawn Shop Circuit: A Model 60 Evolution

It's starting to look like a drought on the pawn shop circuit. Neil had five black semi-autos on his shelf priced from $320 to $500. I think they were a Glock, a XD, a Steyr and a Sig. I'm not sure about the fifth one. Who cares? tactical black doesn't do anything for me. I've had my share of 'em. Moving along, Dave sold the Taurus revolver, but was still hoping to get $219 for the Rossi. Good luck. Across the river, Amber had lowered her price on her XD40 to $350 and had sold her little Taurus P22. Shotguns and rifles seem to be the hot commodity right now.
S&W Model 60'sNothing interesting was out of hock this week, so here are a couple of my past scores. Pictured are two Smith & Wesson Model 60s. The Model 60-9, a .357magnum, with the skip checkered grips was purchased from a pawn shop last year for $250. Fortunately it does not have the lock, but it does have the frame mounted firing pin. Cest la vie.
The Model 60 no dash was bought at the same pawn shop this year for $179. It, of course is a .38spl with the unshrouded ejector rod.
Both of these have been flawless little J frames, and I am pleased to have found them both at a fair price.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Idiots with Guns #1

Stupid SoldierI'm going to start a new theme called Idiots with Guns. There seems to be a need for many people to advertise their ignorance of firearms by taking up a handgun, and pointing it at a camera with their finger on the trigger. Once a week, we will post another idiot who imortalized the reason they should not be allowed to touch a firearm.
To start off the festivities, I present one of the US Army's finest. Here is proof that either the Army does not train it's soldiers in handgun use, or they recruit idiots to stupid to retain their training. Buford's cup & saucer grip helps demonstrate his level of competency as well as holding a semi-auto handgun so close to his spectacles. His finger on the trigger is what earned him the title of Idiot with a Gun #1 though. Thank you Buford, you may now take your finger off the trigger, put the pistol down and step away.

The purpose of Idiots with Guns is not to humiliate, but to educate. Over the years we have seen photos of people who, upon picking up a gun, just cannot resist pointing it at something they should not, with their finger on the trigger. This is usually the camera, another person, or themselves. These photos are often difficult to google up, because of the pages they are shown on. If you have archived any of these photos, feel free to send them in to bayouroversATjamDOTrrDOTcom


Carnival of Liberty #16

The Carnival of Liberty is up.

The Carnival of Liberty seeks to promote promote blogging and thinking about liberty and freedom: how to advance the cause, where there are problems, what we can do, who’s saying what, historical trends and ideas, liberty in the news, and more. There are no isms, just a love of human freedom. For more information, go to All About the Carnival of Liberty.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Checking a used 1911 with a purchase in mind

There are many advantages to buying guns used. Not only is the price lower, but the selection is more varied. You can often tell the functional quality of the gun by examining wear patterns on it. It is not uncommon for the seller to allow the buyer to shoot the gun. That is the ultimate test, and no NIB gun seller can match it.

Prelude: Make sure the pistol is unloaded. Lock back the slide and check the chamber. Put a finger on top of the magazine follower and across the chamber. Look again. Make sure the pistol is unloaded. During all of this inspection process, keep the muzzle in a safe direction.

#1 Check Originality.

Know what the pistol should look like. Know what the markings on the frame and slide should be and where they should be located. There are many mix master pistols out there, and some are quite good. Essex is not a secret Colt foundry in Area 51 though. Non-original small parts that can be recified do not necessarily lower the price of a pistol, nor do well installed aftermarket parts that work right if the buyer wants that modification. However, they do show that someone has been monkeying around with the pistol, and other inspections should be carried out more stringently. On a collector's piece, they DO lower the value, and should have replacement cost deducted from the price accordingly. We are talking buying shooting pistols here though, not collector's guns.

#2 Check For Damage

The seller should let you field strip the pistol. If he does not, pass on it. Period. There is no reason to refuse this on a used gun except to conceal damage.

Once inside the gun, bring the frame and slide rails up to eye level and check them for straightness like you would a piece of lumber. A bulge on both sides of an area means this gun has suffered a KaBoom. Likewise, run the barrel between your fingers, checking for bulges. Check the bore. Check the barrel and slide lugs for damage and peening. Check the barrel seat for proper fit and signs of impact. Check the breech face and barrel hood for peening. Check the slide for cracks at the beginning of the recoil plug tunnel. Check the frame for cracks at the beginning of the dustcover and the slide stop hole. Some guns with a hole where the rear of the slide stop enters the frame will be cracked in the frame rail above the hole. This is so common that many newer guns have the rail cut out here. A crack in this area is not a cause for alarm in a shooter, but can be a bargaining chip on the price. It is easily repaired by cutting out the crack. Look for signs of an incompetent person using tools inside the pistol. The finish should show normal wear on the rails, breech face, barrel and slide lugs, and other moving parts. Holster wear is OK. In fact, it is a common sign of a gun that works as advertised. Signs of impact from tools, especially around the right slide stop hole are signs of incompetent monkeys with tools in possession of this pistol. A stripped magazine lock screw is a sign of the same.

#3 Check Functions

The slide should pull back easily, without any change in resistance along the length of it's travel. It should lock back quickly and positively with the magazine inserted. Try this both with and without the magazine checking for smoothness of travel.

A Wilson Combat or genuine Colt magazine should insert and lock positively, and fall free upon release, without resistance. It should not rattle in the gun. You may want to bring your own along for this check, as used guns are often sold with cheapo magazines. If the gun has an extended ejector, the magazine should not touch it when inserted.

Ask if it is OK to release the slide from slide lock. This will not harm a 1911 if not done over and over. If it is OK with the owner, remove the magazine with the pistol at slide lock. Place your left thumb on the slide lock and release the slide. The hammer should not follow the slide. Check this one more time. Then, with the hammer still cocked and your finger off the trigger, try to push it off the sear. If the hammer falls in any of these instances, the gun is not safe to load with live ammo until repaired. If the seller balks at this test, pull a snap cap out of you pocket to perform it with. The test will not be as stringent with a snap cap, but if the gun fails with a snap cap, it will certainly fail without one. If the seller balks at the use of a snap cap for the test, pass on the gun.

The thumb safety should snick on and off without resistance in either direction with the hammer cocked. The hammer should not move when engaging the thumb safety. Once engaged, press on the trigger a couple of times with the grip safety depressed. Then raise the rear of the pistol up to your ear and slowly pull back on the hammer. Listen for a little tink sound. If you hear this sound, the thumb safety is allowing the sear to move on the hammer hooks while engaged. Replacement of the thumb safety or sear will be in order.

The grip safety should not allow the trigger to be moved when not depressed. When depressed, it should offer no resistance to the trigger. Depress the grip safety, pull the trigger back and hold it. Release the grip safety. Then release the trigger. The trigger and grip safety should both pop back out quickly and smoothly.

With the hammer cocked and thumb safety off, use your weak hand to hold the slide about 1/8 inch out of battery while pulling the trigger. The hammer should not fall. If it does, the disconnector is worn or monkeyed with, and you may be holding a full auto 1911.

Ask to dry fire the gun. The trigger should release the hammer at a poundage suitable for your likes or greater. Greater poundage than required can be reduced without parts replacement. Making a light trigger heavier often involves new parts. The trigger should be smooth throughout it's travel, and the sear should break cleanly. Once dry fired, lock the slide back and take a look at the breechface. The firing pin should be retracted.

Insert a Bic-Stick type ball point pen into the barrel, plastic end first. Cock and drop the hammer with the barrel pointed straight up. The pen should fly out of the gun at least two feet. Any less is a sign of a weak mainspring, or a sign of firing pin damage.

#4 Check Fittment

On some pistols, such as a Colt, some lateral movement of the slide in battery is acceptable. Unless it is a match grade top of the line gunsmithed pistol, it is expected. The pistol may rattle a bit if shook vigorously from side to side and still be accurate. Other pistols, such as a Les Baer are expected to lock up tighter than Fort Knox.

The rear of the slide should blend smoothly into the frame. Neither the ejector nor the extractor should be above or below the surface. The trigger should not flop around sloppily in it's track. The magazine release should be flush on the right side with a magazine inserted.

Many people evaluate barrel lock-up by pressing on the barrel hood in battery. Movement is considered to be bad. While a firm lock-up is nice, of greater importance is whether the barrel returns to the same location with each slide cycle. The muzzle end of the barrel should not move within the bushing. The slide should not have wear on the muzzle end that passes into the dustcover on recoil.

#5 Evaluating Modifications

If the pistol has any modifications, they should be well done.Custom Sistema I look at the fit of aftermarket grip safeties, especially the way the lines of the pistol was blended into the line of the grip safety. If the rear of the frame has humps in it where it was blended, the gunsmith did not have an eye for quality. The gap between grip safety and frame should be no greater than the thickness of a piece of paper. The grip safety should not rub on either side of the frame.

If it has an aftermarket bushing, I remove it and check that for fit too. A correctly fit bushing should not require a bushing wrench for removal. It should not require a hammer for installation.

Aftermarket extended thumb safeties should snick on and off without mushiness or resistance. I check the underside of the left side of the slide to see if the thumb safety has been battering it. The apex of the thumb safety should be at least 1mm below the slide at rest.

An aftermarket barrel should have no peening on the hood, or the lugs. The slide of such a gun as well as the frame should be checked as well. A well fitted, quality aftermarket barrel (assuming good rifling) is always a plus for me.

Look at the sights. Quality sights with a professional installation are a big plus for me. Sights that look like Bubba bought them on sale at a gun show and installed them with a rock are not. Adjustable sights that are off center make me wonder why.

A refinished gun is not necessarly an indicator of a worn out gun. Gold Cup National MatchMany pistols are refinished after customization is completed. Some finishes, such as hard chrome enhance the durability of the gun. Others like a home baked Gun Kote job may not last long. One thing to consider is that a refinish (assuming it's not 24 kt. gold) should never add to the cost of the gun, but a bad refinish can subtract from it. A good finish is expected. The same applies to grips. If the price is being jacked up because of them, ask to buy the gun without them, unless they are factory ivory. If you want them, and they are not ivory, they should not add to the price of the gun. Ugly or dinged up grips subtract from the price.

A non-original full length guide rod and an extended slide stop are red flags to me. They tell me the last owner did not understand this pistol very well. Conversely, a pistol that came with a FLGR but now presents with a GI set-up tells me the last owner knew the gun. Known cheapo aftermarket parts (they are easy to spot) tell me the last owner had a ghetto mentality about the gun.

Often I will be told "This gun was done by (insert name of reknowned 'smith")". It pays to be able to recognize quality work, and to know what different people's work often looks like. Suffice to say, a gun that has passed through a reknowned gunsmith's hands should have an appearance and function several degrees above what the factory puts out, regardless of who makes the gun. It should NEVER look worse than a top of the line gun. These men do not put out trash. Many less than stellar gunsmiths do. Which brings us to item #5.

#5b Spotting Incompetent Work

People love to fiddle with a 1911. It's hard not to. It looks so easy. It's not. JE Clark 1911It is easier to screw up a 1911 than to "improve" one.

The first thing that jumps out at me is buggered up grip screws. If a man cannot use a screwdriver, he is not mechanically equipped to open up a 1911. 'nuff said.

Next I look at the feed ramp with the slide locked back. There should be about a 2mm step between the bottom of the barrel and the top of the feed ramp on a Government Model. Incompetent gun hacks love to take a Dremel to the feed ramp of 1911's. If this step is not present, the gun will never feed ammo properly, and it cannot be repaired for less than the cost of a frame replacement.

I look at lowered ejection ports for the straightness of the lines. The scallop behind the ejection port should have smooth edges and be in the right place.

I look at the sights for signs of heavy handed handiwork. Punch marks around the sights and the slide stop hole, as well as stripped mag release screws and pins inserted backwards are red flags.

#6 Shooting the Pistol

One of the advantages of buying used is the ability to test fire the gun without lowering it's value in the marketplace Many sellers will allow you to fire their gun if they percieve you as a serious buyer. It never hurts to ask. 9mm CommanderOffer the owner a "test target" to help him in his sale if you do not buy. Expect to buy the ammo, and no +P ammo. No reloads from your Brother-in-Law Bernie. Only clean factory ammo, and some JHP if it's a defensive weapon. Somewhere between 50 and 100 rounds. Buy the ammo from the seller if he is a dealer. If he will only let you shoot one magazine "out back" make it your preferred JHP and try your darndest to create a jam. Offer to clean the gun when you are done. The combination of a high dollar guaranteed ammo sale, a decent test target, and a clean gun is often to much to resist if the seller trusts you. Heck, invite him along to shoot your prize Python while he waits.

Once at the range, I first load three rounds of JHP and shoot them to see if I get hammer follow or a full auto effect. I do this twice, at different speeds.

Then I load a magazine full of JHP and empty it into a target as fast as I can with a limp wrist. For once, I do not care about groups. I am trying to jam the gun. I note where the empties fly. I pick one or two up and check them for centered primer strikes and dents in the case. Then I load up another magazine with JHP and do the same limp wrist procedure, except this time holding the pistol upside down. I do this often enough that the Range Officer knows I am in a buying mood.

I try to fire the pistol with the thumb safety engaged. I try to fire it with the grip safety released. I allow my thumb to ride the slide to see if I can initiate a malfunction.

If the pistol continues to work as advertised, Combat EliteI load up some target rounds and shoot for accuracy. I am not a bullseye shooter, so I usually shoot from sandbags at 15 yards. As long as the pistol performs better than me, I figure it is accurate enough. I shoot several groups of five rounds, and compare consistency as well as accuracy. I try to eliminate any of my own shortcomings from the equation.

If the pistol has no failures, I clean it, and get to re-examine the interior, but this time with the advantage of fresh soot and cleaning fluid. If the job is done carefully, it can reveal damage that is invisible to the naked eye. Liquified soot will travel right to a crack. A piece of cloth dragged over a part can snag on a burr the finger can not feel.

Finally, let me say that the price of the gun should be agreed on at the counter, before the test fire. You should never use the test fire as a bargaining chip to lower the price. If you do that, the seller will likely never allow you to test fire a gun again, and you might like the next gun even more. The test fire should be seen only as a means to eliminate a potential problem gun before a transfer of ownership. You should only request a test fire if you are prepared to buy right then. If you find a problem that eliminates the gun, explain what you found in good humor. Above all, do not become hostile, but do not waver. If the owner offers a lower price, consider it and take it if you like, but never, never, make him think you are trying to get him to lower the price. At the range, a change in price should always be the seller's option. One more thing, if the seller has gone this far to sell you a gun, he deserves your loyalty. He is an honest seller, the type all gun buyers look for. The ability to buy a gun you have shot first is valuable. It is a valuable consideration when you are haggling at his counter. Don't forget that.

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