A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pawn Shop Circuit: Kel Tec and Wolverine

I walked into Neil's place this morning, half expecting him to be pissed off over the deal I got on the SW1911. He was not. Instead, he was happy he had quickly made money selling it. He made money quickly both ways dealing with that pistol. Neil had also sold the Smith & Wesson Model 29-3 over the weekend. I was not upset. It was not a P&R gun, and .44 Magnum is a caliber I do not shoot. A wheelgun accumulator has to draw his lines somewhere. Neil had also sold the Inox Beretta Centurion. I gave Neil $100 towards my layaway. Neil had added a KelTec P40 to his line-up, and it was tempting at $179. I have several .40S&W guns that hardly ever get shot though, and I worry about an overpressure round in such a gun.

Dave had a Ruger 22/45 in the case with his Colt Army Special. The Ruger was $179. The Colt was still overpriced. Dave had two "Wolverine" type knives in his gun case for $25 each. I commented that they were about the most wasteful use of cold steel I had ever seen. Dave said he hopes a couple of Goth kids will happen in and take them off his hands. He agreed, there is no accounting for taste.

Amber still had her remaining Charter Arms Undercover. She had added a Taurus revolver in 32 long to it, priced at $139.


Robbery Foiled in Miami

Miami-Dade County police say a man shot and killed another man who was trying to rob him at a gas station early this morning. Police said the victim was approached by an armed man at a BP gas station on West Dixie Highway at about 4 a.m. Gas station employees said the robber was a 22-year-old man who went by the street name "S.P." A witness said S.P. came into the parking lot, saw the victim wearing a gold chain, pulled a gun and demanded that he hand over the chain, NBC 6's Jeff Burnside reported. The victim was also carrying a gun. Police said he shot and killed the robber during a confrontation.

Police found evidence that both the robber's and the victim's guns were fired. The gas station owner, Cesar Gaiton, said a cashier counted at least seven shots, some of which hit the food store. "She was screaming. When she called me, I said, 'Hello.' She was screaming, 'Somebody shot somebody in his face,'" Gaiton said.

"From what we gather at this point is that he did have a permit for the firearm. He did utilize the firearm, at this point, from what it seems, in self-defense. But, that's why the interview process and all the information gathering remains the same, like any other case," said Alvaro Zabaleta, of the Miami-Dade County police. The victim was taken to Miami-Dade Police Department for questioning. Detectives believe the robbery attempt was random and the shooting was apparently in self-defense. An investigation continues.

"Somebody shot somebody in his face" Yep. That'll do it. One less thieving scumbag. Good show.

Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. The question of whether the carnival will be held and the city rebuilt is almost over.

Enjoy the revelry while it is in town. Despair will return tomorrow.

Monday, February 27, 2006

First Shots

Notes to Self........

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Oil Changes

I changed my oil this morning. My wife thinks I'm nuts to change my own oil. I have been waiting for a fair weather weekend for over a month to accomplish this task in my own driveway, in comfort. My day finally arrived today.

I've changed my own oil since I began to drive. It's not an economic imperative anymore, but it's a task that I enjoy. On a good day it takes me no more than ten minutes, and I have no mess that Gojo in my hands will not clean up. Once I'm done, a very specific task is taken care of for another 3000 miles. That gives me pleasure. My wife thinks it's a testosterone thing. For me, it's a simple matter of frustration. I can do the job in the time it takes me to drive to Quickie-Lube, and I do not have to listen to a nineteen year old grease monkey tell me twenty points that need his attention on my vehicle. I was once that young grease monkey. I know the deal. It's not a testosterone thing. It's a silverback gorilla thing.

A Custom Gold Cup National Match

I often reference my Gold Cup as a standard in 1911 comparisons, so I felt it would be appropriate to back up a bit and tell about this gun.

I had learned to appreciate the 1911 platform by shooting my son's Colt 1991A1. I quickly purchased a Springfield Mil-Spec, and learned to massage the pistol into something individual and unique, my first Brownell's catalog custom. My Mil-Spec shot well, but it just wasn't lighting my fire anymore. I was wanting a Colt. Like a siren on the sailor's shore, Colt was beckoning me. The prancing pony was my meat. I had a problem though.......At that time I was also admiring the Kimbers, with the beautiful radiused corners, the swoopy sights, beavertails, and beautiful finishes. The Colt Gunsite was still a pistol of the future back then. I was wanting a Colt 1911, but I was also wanting a Colt that Colt did not make. It was a typical 1911 aficionado conundrum.

It was a hot Louisiana day about half a decade ago when I first saw her. I was browsing a gun shop's wares when she beckoned from the used shelf. She was a most unusual Gold Cup National Match. I had been hankering for a Gold Cup National Match, and this one was a custom gun with all the features that I admired on the pistols from Yonkers. As I was admiring the gun, the dealer told me it was a pistol the previous owner had customized at Gunsite. The gun had a plethora of modifications, including an Ed Brown grip safety, an Ed Brown full length guide rod, Ed Brown ambi thumb safety, forward slide serrations, and a Wilson match bushing. It was finished in flawless hard chrome. At that time the pistol wore rubber double diamond grips and had a nylon mainspring housing. It was fitted impeccably. It fit my hand perfectly. The seller was wanting $950 for the pistol, which was a lot for me to put into one gun back then, especially a used gun. I memorized the serial number and handed the pistol back to the dealer.

Once at my car, I wrote down the serial number, and drove to my office. I placed a call to Paulden, Arizona, and learned that the pistol had indeed been through the Smithy.
Still, once tax was assessed , I would be over the 1K mark with this pistol. I looked through my gun safe to see what I might be able to offer in trade. I pulled out a Walther PPK/S that my wife had wanted, and then fallen out of love with. I removed a IMI Baby Eagle in .40S&W that had been a good gun, but which had lost it's allure. I swung by the bank and drew out $400 cash, and drove back to the gun store. The proprietor smiled as I walked back through his door that day.

I asked to see the pistol, and then asked for his best price. He tossed out $900, and I countered with $800. We quickly settled on $850, so I asked him if he would consider trade-in guns. He started to balk, saying the $850 was a cash price, but he relented when I handed the Gold Cup back to him and began to turn away. That's when he said "Well what do you have?"

I went out to the car and retrieved the Walther and the Baby Eagle. I took a bit of a beating on both, as he gave me $300 on the Bond gun, and $250 on the Israeli pistol. That left only $300 to get the pistol I wanted, so I agreed to the deal.

I took my new custom Gold Cup home and ordered a Smith & Alexander Magwell and cocobolo grips for it. Since the S&A order was over $100, they gave me a 10% discount and free shipping. Good folks! These are the only other modifications I have made to this pistol, except one. I often shoot at an indoor range. The pistol ejected spent shells reliably and hard, but sent them screaming straight up. They then ricocheted around the stall as I dodged them. I tried adjusting the extractor, but finally installed a Nowlin extended ejector to solve the problem. I also installed a 18.5 recoil spring.

I love shooting this pistol at the range and having some know-it-all saunter over to see what kind of Kimber I am shooting. The looks on the Kimber Kommando's faces when they realize they have been admiring a Colt from afar makes every dime spent on this pistol worth it. Some people would balk at $850 for a used pistol, but I will not again. If I were to buy a Gold Cup and have it smithed to this level of customization, I would be paying twice that easily. I also have to consider that I would likely never alter a Gold Cup. They are iconic to me. As it is, I now own a pistol that satisfies the urge for a Gold Cup, while eliminating any desire for a Kimber as well. That is money saved.

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Tom Green at Knob Creek

Saturday, February 25, 2006


SW1911 Range Report

I have long been a Colt man when it comes to 1911s. I make no bones about the fact that I prefer my Smith & Wesson guns to have a revolving multi-chamber device right in the middle of a blued frame with walnut grips. Thus, it was an odd feeling when I purchased a Smith & Wesson 1911 and placed another on layaway.

Click to enlargeThe SW1911 I found for a screaming deal came from the factory appointed like my custom Gold Cup. The SW1911 wears a Smith & Wesson branded rear sight that suspiciously resembles like a Bomar. The front sight is fixed in a dovetail. The factory grips are double diamond cocobolo. The pistol has an ambi thumb safety, and a McCormick trigger. It had a nice trigger to begin with, but when I detail stripped the pistol for a good lubrication, I gave it a proper trigger job. I was surprised to find the hammer hooks already at exactly 0.020 and equal. That was pleasantly unusual. The pistol has a McCormick grip safety with a speed bump, and 20lpi checkering on the front strap. It has forward slide serrations, and a full length guide rod. I could take or leave those. The mainspring housing is 20lpi checkered aluminum.

The Smith & Wesson firing pin safety lever design is an elegant variation of the Colt Series 80 system. It is a single lever that pivots on the hammer pin, and is activated by the grip safety. The barrel has a slot in the hood to provide for a loaded chamber indicator, and the extractor is an external type. One Wilson magazine came with the used pistol. The SW1911 does come complete with an idiotic safety message on the left dustcover, and the SW1911 billboard on the slide. The overall fit and finish of the gun is superb.

Click to enlargeThe Smith & Wesson 1911 has a reputation for accuracy, so I broke out my most accurate 1911 to act as a control gun. If the SW1911 shoots as good as my custom Gold Cup National Match, then all I can say is it's a helluva gun. Some may say it's an unfair comparison. I don't think it is. I think that the fact that I chose the Gold Cup to be the control gun speaks volumes for my estimation of the SW1911's potential. I will not be shooting match ammo, and my distances will be around 10 yards with both guns. I took both pistols to the range with 400 rounds of Winchester White Box ammo.

The Smith & Wesson performed flawlessly. It had no failures, and consistently threw the spent brass into a pile to my right. I tried to get the gun to misfeed. I limp wristed it. Click to enlargeI shot it gangster style, and even upside down. I let my thumb ride the slide. The Smith never failed to spit out brass and chamber the next round. There are some things I dislike about the SW1911. The ambi thumb safety is much to wide for my taste. It is like having a diving board on either side of the pistol, An Ed Brown tactical ambi would be much nicer. The McCormick grip safety's "speedbump" compressed the thumb pad of my hand, digging it's corner in to the point of discomfort. My Gold Cup has an Ed Brown grip safety with a "speedbump" and it does not have that same corner. I, in fact, prefer not to have a speedbump on my grip safety at all. The Ed Brown grip safety is a non-issue in this department, however. The McCormick grip safety would have to be changed for a gun that got shot a lot by me. Truth be told, these parts would likely be swapped out anyway. I simply do not like the spotty look of blue small parts on a stainless gun. I always wonder if Stevie Wonder built the damned thing.

But the real question is how did the gun shoot? The SW1911 was accurate. It was damned accurate. It was more accurate than I was. It shot every bit as well as my Gold Cup.Click to enlargeThe sights were sharp, and quick to acquire. The trigger is approximately 3.5 pounds, with no creep, very little take-up and minimal over-travel. Of course, I altered the stock trigger feel with my trigger job, but my point is, I could do the job without buying new parts.

I have a passion for the Smith wheelguns, but when it comes to a 1911, I am an unabashed, diehard Colt man. I will pay more for the prancing pony. I like the heritage and the feel of a Colt. It is an intangible thing. Like those who ride Harley Davidsons, either you understand or not. It is undeniable, however, that the Smith & Wesson 1911 shot just as well for me as my finest Colt. The SW1911 did everything I asked it to do. It was accurate. I could not make it jam. I was not limited by it. It was limited by me. If a man wants an off the shelf 1911 with all the gee gaws, this is the one. It is one helluva gun!

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Goodbye Barney

Don Knotts, the creator of Barney Fife and a host of other self deprecating characters has gone on to a greater reward. As Barney Fife, he was only allowed one bullet, which he kept in his pocket.

In the partially animated 1964 film "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," Knotts played a clerk who turns into a fish after he is rejected by the Navy. When it was announced in 1998 that Jim Carrey would star in a "Limpet" remake, Knotts stated "I'm just flattered that someone of Carrey's caliber is remaking something I did." Knotts did not comment on the low road Carrey's humor frequently takes, although it was no doubt on his mind. As always, Knotts was a class act.

He was 81. Thank you Don, for all of the laughter. May you have a full cylinder, as well as your own set of keys in heaven.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Lubricating Handguns

One of the primary causes of handgun failure, that I see over and again is lack of lubrication. Most people understand that an automobile needs lubricant to function properly, as do other machines that have moving parts. Many people, however, apparently expect firearms to operate with pixie dust in place of petro-chemicals. It's a fool's paradise. A dry gun might carry nicely, and it might look nicer, but it will never shoot as long or as well as a properly lubricated gun. When I examine a gun that has failed in a course, nine times out of ten, the gun is as dry as a bone. I have been accused of running my guns excessively greasy. That may be. My guns do not fail due to binding parts. Ever. Here are my thoughts on lubrication, derived from a lifetime of lubricating everything from F/A-18 fighter jets to chainsaws.

There are two basic types of lubricants, oil and grease. Grease is used on surfaces that slide across one another, where the lubricant is prone to run out or spray out of place. On a handgun these areas include the slide rails, the hammer hooks and sear nose, and the barrel linking surfaces. As far as which grease to use, I prefer Tetra grease. The reason is simple. It works and I can toss a tube in my buggy any time I am in Wal-Mart. Other greases I have used with success in these areas include Brian Enos' Slide Glide, Brownell's Action Magic, and even Slick 50 wheel bearing grease. The Slick 50 has moly in it and it will stain your clothing, but it works in a pinch. Grease has an undeserved reputation for causing failures in firearms. Years ago, many people would attempt to use white lithium grease on guns. Some still do. Lithium grease will harden and fail to function in firearms use. The modern firearms greases are not the same animal at all. If you do not put grease on the rails of your slide guns, they are not functioning with adequate lubrication after 50 rounds of shooting. Inadequate lubrication equals accelerated wear and failure.

I use oils only on parts that pivot, or areas that need a little lube, but where grease would present a problem. These areas include hammer, sear and trigger pins or on a 1911, the trigger stirrup. Mainsprings in their housings and recoil springs get oil. I learned to like Breakfree CLP while I was in the military. It is my staple oil for guns. I also use Ballistol. Ballistol was one of the original CLPs, developed for the German Army in 1905. There are few things as slick as Ballistol. I will use it when lapping finely fitted parts together, as well as for an oil type lube. Ballistol will provide a lubricating surface where other oils cannot penetrate.

One other type of lubricant I use is powdered graphite. Powdered graphite is great for lubricating magazine followers and springs. It works well on rifle bolts. I also use it on enclosed rimfire pistol bolts, such as the bolt in a Ruger MKII. Powdered graphite can be found in any hardware store. I have a three ounce bottle of graphite that has lasted me over 20 years. This stuff goes a long way.

Firearms are machines with moving parts. Some of those parts move quite suddenly under severe pressure to the load bearing surfaces. Few people ask other machines to function under the same stress without lubricant. Gun owners ask their guns to work under the same conditions daily. When the gun fails, it's lack of reliability is blamed on anything but the owner's decision to shoot it dry. If we drain the oil from our crankcase and proceed to drive down the road, we can expect our automobile to fail abruptly. When we do the same with our gun, we should not be surprised at it's failure. Lubricate your guns. They will last longer and shoot better.

Grant Cunningham's thoughts on lubrication


Carnival of Cordite #49

Idiots with Guns #20

I was needing a shot or two for Día de la Bandera. These guys almost did not make the cut, after all, Chico is showing excellent trigger finger discipline. Paco, however is all over that trigger. Still, no guns pointed at anything dangerous, at least not on film........but then........
Chico cannot contain his inner gangsta!
Instant idiot!
Happy Día de la Bandera!

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


Ode to the Carry Wheelgun

"The three-inch K-frame can best be described as the 'everything you need, and nothing you don't' gun. It has the most rugged set of fixed sights ever put on a handgun, so there's nothing to break off or get knocked out of alignment, and they're virtually snag-free, which means they won't poke you in the side or slow your draw."
Marko at The Munchkin Wrangler has established a very convincing argument for the 3 inch K frame as a carry gun. I sense another meme forming.........


An Analysis of the Cheney Incident

At My Science Experiment an interesting analysis of the Cheney hunting incident is available for perusal.
"After stocking up with a wide range of targets, from regulation police silhouettes to half a pig, we enlisted an experienced hunter and marksman, went to an undisclosed location, and began blasting away. We fired at a variety of targets for experimental purposes, using paper silhouette targets to establish the blast pattern consistent with the accident, and homemade ballistics gel and poultry to establish the range at which the shot was fired. We then attempted to re-create the incident more accurately by firing on half a pig carcass, with and without clothing."
The Warren Commission would be proud!


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pawn Shop Circuit: A Different Smith, or Two

I pulled into Dave's parking lot first today, and peered through his counter glass at the Colt Army Special languishing on the shelf. Dave had not added anything to the selection.

I drove on over to Neil's shop, and was amazed to see a bounty of guns on display inside. A man was arguing with Neil that his wife could fill out the 4473 and buy him the Model 29 he wanted. Neil was not having any of it. I was transfixed at the counter. Under the glass were two Smith & Wesson 1911's. Finally the angry man left, and I flagged Neil over.

Click to enlargeNeil pulled out an almost new SW1911 that had cocobolo grips, adjustable sights, and a McCormick trigger. I'm a diehard Colt guy, and I have never really cared for the mismatched look of the stainless Smith & Wesson 1911s, with blued small parts. Still, one just doesn't see 1911s of any type on the used racks often. Neil had this one priced at $489. I wondered if the owner had swapped in the McCormick trigger and wood grips. All the SW1911s I had seen had rubber grips. Still....$489.

Neil had another S&W 1911 under the glass. It had a three hole trigger and NRA laser grips, along with Novak style sights. Both pistols had Wilson magazines. The laser gripped pistol was priced at $659. I asked Neil if I could swap the grips on the two pistols and get a fixed sight gun without the laser grips. Neil said no, as the guns were already on the books described as they were. Fair enough.

I field stripped the first pistol. It looked like it had seen perhaps one range session of 50 rounds. I told Neil to get me a 4473, and he smiled and slid one over. As I was filling it out, I asked to take a look at the other SW1911, and began to think...... Layaway. This does not happen often. At the very least these are enjoyable guns that are priced well below their market value, and would make great trade fodder later. I asked how much money would secure the second pistol on layaway. Neil did a quick calculation and said $75. I pulled out $75 and asked him to lay it away for me. As I finished up the paperwork on the first pistol, Neil moved my second SW1911 back into the safe with my name on it. As Neil called in the NICS, I reassembled the pistol with the adjustable sights, and looked at the other guns in the case.

Neil also had a Inox Beretta Centurion in the case, along with a Taurus .357. When Neil returned from the telephone, he told me that all of these pistols belonged to the same fellow,who hocked them all at once and then never returned to claim them. I will have to bring a friend in to take a look at the Centurion tomorrow. Mark has been wanting a Beretta 92FS, and Neil's was priced right at $389. Neil told me I passed the NICS, so I paid for my new SW1911, and left the shop for home. Once home, I researched this SW1911, and found that the McCormick trigger, Wilson Mag, and cocobolo grips were absolutely stock, and that the pistol had a MSRP of $1,101. Wow! I'm glad I grabbed the other one as well!

Amber had sold one of her Charter Arms revolers. Range report soon.

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House Guns

An interesting meme has circulated the gun blogs of late, a meme on the house gun. Tam has given her thoughts on a thought begun by Uncle. Jeff joined in the discussion, as did Jay. Josh has classified the different schools of thought.

I am a believer in the old adage that a handgun's purpose is to fight your way to a long gun. I recall when I was in the Navy, the Marine detachment aboard ship guarded the "special" weapons. Two Marines would stand guard. One would carry a M-16, the other a 12 gauge shotgun. The benefits of a long gun over a handgun are inarguable, and the power of a shotgun at close ranges when compared to a rifle is indisputable. The handgun's only advantage is portability. In one's home, portability is not a requirement. Thus, my choice has remained the home defense shotgun. Home defense shotguns are inexpensive, extremely effective, and intimidating as hell.

There are many that will disparage the shuck shuck sound of a round being chambered in a 12 gauge, and it's effect when heard by an intruder. That is an eternal debate, because all home invaders do not respond the same. The point is, that shuck shuck is not meant to intimidate, but rather to make the weapon ready to eliminate a threat in one's home. A person should never rely on scary sounds for protection, whether it is a shuck shuck of an empty shotgun, or a tape recording of a German Shepherd barking. The fact is, if Leroy runs away when he hears me preparing to shoot him, all is well. We both win. If he does not run, he will quickly lose.

In my home, I actually have multiple 12 gauge shotguns loaded with low recoil 00 Buck and ready to go. I keep the shotguns with an empty chamber, hammer down, safety off. Stowed like that, they all work the same, whether Winchester or Mossberg to chamber that first round. The shooter needs to grab the gun, rack the forend, aim, and pull the trigger. I can stand anywhere in my home and have a loaded 12 gauge not fifteen feet away, a situation that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. My shotguns are stowed out of sight, and out of reach to children, but readily accessible to those who know their location.

The success of any defensive system is in knowing it's limitations. I take a shotgun or two to the range every month or so, just to maintain proficiency. Classes on combat shotgun tactics and maneuvering are essential. It is often stated that a shotgun is easily taken away from a shooter if the shooter moves around a corner improperly. That can be true. One must learn how to maneuver with the gun if one is going to search their home armed. This applies to both a long gun and a handgun. One thing is certain, if an attacker gets his hands on the barrel of properly held long gun, the attacker does not have the same leverage the defender has. The properly trained defender will retain the weapon with little effort and live. The same cannot be said of the handgun, where the attacker and defender's leverage is equal in trying to control the weapon in a struggle.

At one time, when I built my first home defense shotgun, I went for the black tactical look. I have since reconsidered that path. By it's very nature, a home defense weapon is one that may be used to take a life. Thankfully, in my enlightened state, there is no duty to retreat from a threat within one's home. The chances of criminal charges for defending my or my family within our home is minimal. There are still the risks of civil charges, however. In consideration of the risk of an attorney exploiting the appearance of my shotgun in front of a jury, I made the decision to retain the wood on my subsequent home defense shotguns. I only shorten the barrels to workable lengths, and add a sidesaddle of ammo. Further capacity is addressed with the New York reload.

There are many factors to be considered in a home defense firearm. My decision was heavily influenced by the determination that a threat in my home absolutely, positively needs an incapacitating response. Nothing does that better than a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 Buck.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Paterson?

The gun appeared to be either number one or number seven of a limited model five-shot revolver called the Texas Model #5, a 1839 Paterson Colt. If it was, they held a gun that Samuel Colt himself could have built with his own hands, a most rare and unique gun, the Holy Grail of the gun world that would command any price they dreamed of.

It has been deemed a fake, but, is it?


Rimfire Roundup #3

Rimfire Roundup #3 is up! Thanks Mr. C!


Mitch Landrieu will announce his candidacy for Mayor of New Orleans today at 2:00 pm at the Docksideoutside of Kabby’s Restaurant. Landrieu is currently Lt. Governor of the State of Louisiana. His father, Moon Landrieu was previously the Mayor of New Orleans. Mitch Landrieu served in the state legislature and practiced law. He graduated from Loyola Law School. Landrieu is the brother of U.S. Senator, Mary Landrieu, also of Louisiana.

Mayor Ray Nagin is making plans to give free salt water washed debris to any former voters who can find a means of transportation back to the Cresent City.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Armed Citizen Saves Cop in Baton Rouge

On Friday, Feb. 17, 2005, a CCW holder armed with a .45 caliber handgun saved a policeman's life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Officer Brian Harrision was escorting a funeral procession when he pulled over 24 year old George Temple II, a local businessman, to write him a ticket for breaking into the procession. That's when Temple physically attacked Harrison. During the struggle, which went to the ground, Officer Harrison shot Temple once in the abdomen. Police say Perry Stephens, who was wearing a neck brace and using a cane, was walking out of a store when he heard Officer Harrison yelling for help. Harrison was on his back with Temple on top of him. Stephens went to his car and grabbed his .45 caliber pistol.

Stephens ordered Harrison's attacker to stop the attack and get off the officer. The verbal commands were ignored. The armed citizen fired four shots, all of which struck Temple in the torso. With Temple still on top of the officer, Stephens advanced toward the struggle. He again ordered Temple to stop the attack, and get off the officer. Those commands are ignored. Stephens then fired a fifth and final shot into the head of George Temple, turning his brains into mush, and stopping his deadly attack with justified lethal force.

No charges have been filed.

Update at Paw Paw's Place

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Smith & Wesson Model 15-9 Range Report

In the Spring of 2001, right at the height of the S&W boycott by many gun owners, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center and Lew Horton collaborated to produce a series of revolvers that would elicit memories of days gone by. The revolvers were even shipped in period style boxes, wrapped in wax paper. These guns may have been the right revolver released at the wrong time. They were scorned by the revolver buying public. Their case colors were laughed at. The tiny round butts became the butt of jokes. Eventhough one gun rag named the case color Heritage Model 25 in .45 Colt "Handgun of the Year" other gun magazines gave the series no ink at all. The special run of Heritage wheelguns was virtually ignored by collectors. With Performance Center prices and retro looks, they were destined to become poor sellers. Many Heritage guns were eventually consigned to firearm liquidators at greatly reduced prices. That is how I came upon my Smith & Wesson Model 15-9 from CDNN. In 2004, I paid $599 for it, roughly half the MSRP for a NIB Performance Center .38 special revolver.

It was easy to see why this revolver was either scorned or praised. There were things that I, myself, loved about it, and other things that were a curse. The fact that S&W put in a overtravel screw on a smooth trigger was a huge plus. The upper sideplate screw was a nice retro touch, as was the period tapered barrel. The rear sight had a rounded front, which was very nicely fitted to the topstrap. The teardrop hammer was slick. Thank God this revolver had no zit lock on the side. It was, however, difficult to overlook the nickel plated billboard heralding Ed McGivern's world records that was riveted to the sideplate. Alternatives are not available for that folly. The case colors were done by Doug Turnbull. While beautiful, and fiery, they are alien to the history of the Model 15, and indeed any S&W Hand Ejector. The front sight is a huge affair, derided as a gut hook by many shooters. It has a brass Call bead mounted on it. There is no period pin to secure the barrel in place. The firing pin is frame mounted. Then there were the itty bitty round butt grips. Sure, they are nice figured walnut, but they are not sufficient for this revolver.

It felt odd, I had purchased a new Smith & Wesson, and a PC gun at that.
That was a strange move for a fellow who eschews the new stuff S&W produces. One of the first things I did after initially shooting the Model 15-9 was acquire a Hogue Monogrip for it. I considered a cocobolo Monogrip, but settled on a gun show special rubber Monogrip instead. I was pleased and surprised to discover the Model 15-9 actually looked better in the rubber grip! I suppose with the case colors, the eye needed a rest which the matte rubber provides. Sadly, the rubber does not totally obscure the nickel billboard on the right side. The Monogrip does feel 100% better though.

From day one, this revolver has been a shooter. It is fitted better or at least as well as any revolver I own. I took it to the range today and ran the targets out to ten yards. The revolver showed that it was capable of hitting only the ten ring, if I was up to the challenge. I was not, but I did manage to stay in the black. I shot Winchester White Box ammo from Wal-Mart.

There are a lot of things to like about this revolver, not the least of which is it's inherent accuracy. The "gut hook" sight is a pleasure to use, so much so that I plan to get a Call bead on other guns. It is exceptionally quick to acquire. It actually looks pretty sporty in it's case colors and rubber grip. If I could find one that would totally cover that silly nickel plate on the side, I would be a very satisfied shooter. Until then I will just enjoy this revolver for what it is, a damned accurate six gun.

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Pawn Shop Circuit: Dirty Harry & Diversions

I stopped by Neil's pawn shop this morning. He had finally pulled the big revolver off the peg in the back room and placed it on the for sale shelf. It turned out to be a Dirty Harry Special, the S&W Model 29-3. Neil pulled it out of the case with dollar signs in his eyes. The big N frame was in good shape, with just a little blue gone from the muzzle of it's eight and 3/8 inch barrel. It locked up tight, and wore the correct target grips. Alas, the 29-3 is not a pinned nor a recessed gun, and the .44 Magnum ammo is a costly diet for this beast. Neil was asking $329. He was looking expectantly at me, and was surprised when I handed the big gun back.

Neil still had his Astra Constable. I asked if the crazy woman trying to sell her husband's junk gun had come back. Neil said she had not. I got the feeling Neil was waiting on me to toss out an offer on the Model 29, so I bid him goodbye, and began to drive to Dave's place. On the way, I was diverted to a patient in need. I did not get to see Dave or Amber today.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Colt Woodsman Box on Ebay

An old Colt Woodsman box and papers for a first series Woodsman is up for grabs on ebay!

Current bid: US $256.88
Time left: 6 days 5 hours

Hell, you could buy the damned pistol for that!

Winning bid: US $449.44

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ATF/Gun Show Testimony in Congress

ATF agents working with as many as 400 state, county and city police officers near Richmond, Va., conducted so-called "residency checks" on individuals who purchased firearms from the Showmasters Gun Show Aug. 13 and 14, 2005. Uniformed officers went to the homes of prospective gun buyers, while they waited for their National Instant Check System (NICS) background checks to be completed and questioned family members and neighbors about the gun buyers' firearm purchasing habits. ATF had conducted at least seven similar gun show "sting operations" targeting Richmond-area residents since July of 2004.

Suzanne McComas, a licensed private investigator who has worked with the America's Most Wanted television program, was hired by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to gather information about ATF's Richmond operations. During her investigation, she learned that the agency had been conducting "residency checks" in at least one other U.S. city, but using different and "much more intimidating" tactics.

"At Pittsburgh, the Firearms Task Force there that's also headed by the ATF, instead of doing residency checks immediately, they're collecting the 4473 with the purchaser's address on it, then they go knock at the door about a week later and ask, 'Could we see the gun that you bought?'" McComas explained. "There's absolutely no process involved, there's no reason for them to do it. If you cannot produce the gun, they ask you for the sale paperwork. If you refuse to produce the paperwork they put you under arrest for a 'straw purchase.'"

Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to complete an ATF Form 4473 for each firearm sold through their business, in addition to any forms required by the state, county and/or city where they do business. Private sales between individuals, who are not engaged in the firearms trade as a business, are subject to no such federal recordkeeping requirements. Therefore a gun show purchaser could legally sell or even give the gun they purchased to someone else yet have no paperwork to meet the ATF's demand. McComas questioned not only the legality of the ATF tactics in Pittsburgh, but also the methodology.

"When I asked them what their criteria was for the people that they collected the 4473s on at the Pittsburgh show, the answer I got back was, 'If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's a duck. That's all we need,'" McComas continued. "Translation: Under 30 and black, period. That's all they were looking for. Anyone who meets those criteria, they're doing a follow-up on."

MSM Link
NRA Perspective

Justice is Coming

This man wants clemency and forgiveness. He says he's a born again Christian, his sins washed away by Jesus himself. "My deeds now are simple, for I'm a simple man. But (they're) honest, upright and come from a sincere heart," Morales told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his handwritten clemency appeal. "Does this mean I'm perfect? Not hardly. But I'm definitely not the same foolish misguided person I once was."

Michael Morales is scheduled to be lethally injected at San Quentin Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. He has avoided justice for over 25 years.

On Jan. 8, 1981 Morales strangled 17 year old Terri Winchell with a belt. When the belt snapped, he beat her in the head 23 times with a hammer as she fought to save her life. She struggled so hard patches of hair were torn from her scalp. Morales then dragged the unconscious girl into a nearby vineyard, raped her and stabbed her four times in the chest. Winchell's body was found two days later.

Morales is 46 now, twice the age he was when he arrived at San Quentin. His family and friends claim he is a gifted artist and beloved father who has used his mistakes to keep others out of trouble. Yeah. Right. Who gives a damn? The evil he has done far exceeds any smidgen of good he has attempted to do just to save his stinking skin. Senor Morales, I hope Mr. John Wayne Gacey is waiting to give you a few art lessons when the gates of Hell open to receive your raping murderous carcass in under 24 hours. Go to hell you inhuman waste of flesh.

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Firearm Sales in Louisiana since Katrina

"It's just something that would help me feel a little safer," Jo Petty said as she handled a 9 mm pistol Saturday at the Slidell Gun and Knife Show. "We've always had guns," Dan Petty said. "But the question now is, do we have enough?"

In the three months following Hurricaine Katrina, the population of North Louisiana tripled due to evacuee migration. Those of us who live in North Louisiana saw the shelves of every gun store, every pawn shop empty of shotguns and handguns of any type as evacuees armed themselves to live in refugee camps and eventually return home. New Orleans will never again be the liberal gun grabbing oasis of the South. Unless of course, the residents are grabbing guns to keep.

MSM Link

Smith & Wesson Catalog on Ebay

This very scarce 1897 Smith & Wesson Catalog comes with it's original 1897 dated mailing envelope mailed from the Company Headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts and price list. It measures 3 3/4 x 5 3/8 inches and has 49 pages. The envelope measures 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches and the bi-fold price list 5 x 3 1/2 inches closed and 10 x 7 inches open. Pictured and described with full specifications and ammo used are their full line of revolvers. Models included are their: 32-44 Target, 38 Single Action (1880 & 1891), 38-44 Target, 32 Double Action, 32 Hand Ejector Double Action, 38 Double Action, 32 & 38 Hammerless Safety, 44 Single & Double Action Russian, 44 Double Action Frontier, Single Shot Target, 44 Single Action with Stock and their Central Fire Repeating rifle. There are Component Parts Charts pictured for each model with prices along with a picture of a cased 38 1891 Model. The overall condition of the catalog is very good. The binding is tight with minor fraying only on the bottom one inch where there is cover/ binding separation. There is no paper loss or loose pages. It's original large staples are rust free.The front cover has faint foxing on the top and bottom center edges and is stain free with only a minor tear in the lower left corner. The rear cover has foxing in the left center and the upper right corner. The price list is excellent with only a faint stain on the front center. The mailing envelope is fragile with foxing front and reverse with some paper loss across the bottom. The interior pages are in excellent condition with no rips, tears or paper loss anywhere. One page has a very minor light stain on it's edge.

Winning bid: US $575.00



Sunday, February 19, 2006

Gun Show: K-22 Quest

I had made the decision to buy the Model 17-4 for the asking price if necessary, and I crossed the icy bridge over the river on my return to the gunshow. I did not have to wait outside in the cold this time, as I was not determined to be among the first people through the door. The decision to pay the price for a K-22 Masterpiece was a great relief. Like asking the head cheerleader to the Friday night dance, three quarters of the problem is the decision to cross the bridge towards action. That decision was made this morning, and I intended to buy. $550 was a fair price, but I would offer $500 and see if I could save a bit. I found a parking spot in the slushy parking lot, bought a ticket, accepted a hand stamp, and went inside the warm building.

I avoided the lady selling raffle tickets and the guy selling eyeglass cleaner, and went directly to the West wall, where I had seen the Model 17-4, along with two Model 18s yesterday. The seller's wife was at the table, and she knew nothing about the guns. The .22 caliber revolvers were not there. I asked the lady where her husband might be, and finally found him trying to negotiate a deal on a Winchester lever action rifle from another seller. He had sold all three rimfire Smith & Wesson revolvers. My hopes for a K-22 were melted like the winter sleet turning to water outside.

I decided to stay, have some coffee, and chat with friends. Who knows what might get zip tied at the front door and come trundling through the show, and I still had cash in hand. Sadly, the weather was still frigid, and people in North Louisiana are loathe to venture out in 30 degree weather. The traffic was minimal. I dug through a beater holster box and found several beater holsters for $2 each. At the bottom of the box I found a set of pre-war S&W grips in decent shape. I asked, and the guy selling said fifteen bucks. I countered ten. He said OK. I paid my money and placed everything in a sack.

I spotted a S&W Model 10-5 with a two inch barrel, in about 90% remaining finish. The seller was wanting $225. I might have purchased it, except I found a much nicer one for $200 at the last gun show. Out of curiosity, I located the new metal and plastic M&P, and handled it. It seemed to be very slick feeling, almost like it had a coating of Armorall on it. The new M&P's asking price, in .40S&W was $529. It did not seem to be bad as plastic pistols go, and I guess I'm softening a bit on the M&P name useage. I stopped by the little I frame Smith & Wesson Model of 1903 2nd Change I had fondled the previous day. I offered the seller an even $200 out the door. He declined my offer, so I put the gun down, and moved on. The .32 Long cartridge would be tough to find anyway. It was an interesting little revolver though, kind of like a half-scale M&P. I'll have to keep my eyes open for one that's affordable.

I left this gunshow without buying a gun. I missed out on the K-22 revolver I had eventually decided to buy. I did get a couple of deals though, and and I have gun money to stash away until next time. That's a good thing.

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A Different Look at the M&P

It is no secret that I abhor Smith & Wesson's decision to name their new plastic fantastic the M&P. Tamara has voiced similar feelings. However, she takes another look at this marketing strategy, among others. Read all of Tam's incisive analysis here.
"After a couple of false starts, S&W is picking up market share again with a multi-pronged assault. First, they capitalize on their heritage; recognizing that, like another American icon, Harley Davidson, some folks are going to respond to that. If somebody really wants a revolver, nothing else is going to make them happy, and Smith wants to market themselves as THE revolver company. Second, with products like the new X-frame in The Biggest and The Fastest revolver calibers, they are cultivating an in-your-face image that would make Inspector Callahan proud. The last leg of the triad becomes apparent with the M&P pistol and the M&P-15 rifle. The M&P is targeted directly at Glock, incorporating several features designed to play to perceived weaknesses of the Drastic Plastic: witness how the ad campaign touts things like a modular grip to fit any hand and, more telling, many references to being able to disassemble the gun without having to pull the trigger. (The fact that the LE wires are frequently abuzz with reports of negligent discharges caused by that is no coincidence.) Rumor has it that Smith is basically giving the guns to interested police departments, in exchange for their old guns as trade-ins. Obviously they figure that if it worked once for Smyrna, it'll work again for Springfield. The M&P-15, priced to go head-to-head with Bushmaster and Rock River, gives them another leg up in the LE market, as department armorers and accountants both love one-stop-shopping for pistols and patrol carbines. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out."
Indeed it will Tam, indeed it will!

Gun Show K-22 Turn Around

I awoke this morning with K-22 on the brain. The Smith & Wesson K-22 is one of my holy grail guns. I spotted one, actually a Model 17-4 yesterday at the gun show. Unfortunately, at $550, it was well above my buying range. I have established my top dollar buying price at $350. I am willing to accept a lesser finish to buy the gun at a more affordable price.

After sleeping on it last night, $550 started to sound pretty good. After all, I own quite a few guns that cost that much and even more. Am I just being swayed by the fallacy that an itty bitty caliber should have an itty bitty price? I believe I am. Five hundred for a K-22 is certainly a fair and common price, especially for one in pristine condition. I would not be paying to much for the gun, and if I care for it, the value will hold. I will certainly get more enjoyment out of it than I get from my numerous 9mm and .40S&W handguns that cost the same or more, but cost more to shoot.

I want a K-22. That Model 17-4 is a K-22 Masterpiece. It is in great condition, and $500 is a fair price, both for the seller and the buyer. I will return this morning, and see if I can negotiate the price to $500. That's asking for a 10% discount on the second day. Chances are, the seller padded his selling price by 10%.

I'll go back this morning, do the Jim March Revolver Checkout, pay the price, and never look back. The sting of the price is quickly forgotten in the glow of owning a fine firearm you can shoot the hell out of.

Now where is my bore light?

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