Sunday, May 31, 2009

David from England said...


A comment came in today via
an old blog entry; it warmed my heart.

David from England said...
"Hailing from overseas, your friendly neighbour "Britain.”Put simply, you guys have it good. The need for firearms for home and self defense is a right that should never be taken away simply because of a minority fear. Vigilance is the only defense against the domestic threat you are currently up against, which can be utilised with such unions as the NRA or GOA etc.I wish our country would realise its shortcomings and our inalienable rights. Until then there will be ever increasing regulations and surveillance, a reversal on the old saying “I carry a firearm because a copper is too heavy".


God Bless the constitution."




Thursday, May 28, 2009

Many thanks ...


For the past two days, visits to this site have been over triple the norm since Mr. James R. Rummel of Hell in a Handbasket was kind enough to mention the post on the Browning .22 semi-auto takedown rifle. It has been an awesome response, something this humble blog site sees only on rare occasions. Thank you Mr. Rummel and a thank you to all who have visited.

EDIT 5/31/2009: I would also like to thank Mr. Shelby Murdoc over at GunPundit for covering via this post.

Sincerely,

Zack

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Browning Semi Auto .22 Takedown Rifle








Above is another slice of my contingency equipment, one of the “go bags” ready for tossing into the evacuation vehicle on short notice. Depending on the part of the country we are traveling to, it sometime comes along as an essential piece of vacation luggage.

The fitted rifle case is old, but I don’t believe it is as old as the rifle it houses.
Browning still offers a fitted case for the .22 takedown rifle but it has a different look and I am not certain that the newer cases are made in the USA. My old case has plenty of room for extras, such as the 800 rounds of LR ammo, weatherproof matches, space blanket, light raingear, spare pocketknife, etc. The case that Browning currently offers looks to be just as accommodating. (NOTE: I may lower the spare ammo to 500 rounds; the current weight may be stressing the carrying-handle pins on the case. I also want to mention that the brands of ammo carried have proven to be reliable in this firearm. Different brands, each brand of the same production lot, are carried just in case the rifle suddenly becomes “picky”; switching ammo brands often can “fix” a .22 semi auto rifle or pistol feed problem. This rifle has proven to be superbly reliable; otherwise, it would not be suitable for contingencies. The different ammo brands are “just in case.”)

Production of the
Browning semi auto .22 rifle began in 1914 and continues today, another of the enduring John Moses Browning designs. It once was the premier small caliber rifle for woodland adventures, commonly mentioned by writers in all the outdoor magazines. Weighing in at a nominal 5 pounds, 38’’ overall assembled length, 19’’ barrel, 11 rounds of .22 LR in the tubular butt magazine, it is a well-balanced hunting or hiking companion, accurate, reliable, and durable. Many suggest it as a good choice for a survival firearm. Bring your big-boy or big-girl wallet if you choose one of these; even the grade 1 rifles, new or used, can be pricey.

I bought this rifle used, from an individual, so many years ago that I cannot remember when it was or even if the case came with it. This rifle was made in Belgium in 1959; in 1974 manufacturing of the Browning .22 rifle moved to Miroku, Japan.
The manual that I downloaded from the Browning website says, “You will find the serial number of your rifle stamped at the lower rear of the right side of the receiver.” On rifles as old as this one, these are no serial number at that location. In fact, I cannot find anything on the rifle that looks like a serial number matching any pattern that Browning documents. Information I found at this site is what dates this rifle to 1959.Click here to date your Browning firearm.

Click here to read Xavier’s article on the Browning .22 rifle

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors

Like some politicians, some snakes can be hazardous to your health and should be avoided. Unlike with politicians, you can easily tell which snakes are dangerous if you know what to look for; most snakes are your friends.

Visit
Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors (click here) for some lessons on identifying helpful and harmful snakes. Spend some time reading his archive blog entries. Wild Ed will make you want to become a Texan. On that note, nothing will ever make me want to become a politician.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bullitt


Was the gun Steve McQueen carried in the movie Bullitt a Colt Diamondback or a Python? Click here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blog site problems


Argh! I’ve been having problems with “something” and I don’t know what “something” is. Some of the blog sites I read via the sidebar of this site or via “blog-following” are giving me errors. Some give me frequent “link broken” or 404 errors, others don’t give me the most recent post; some freeze my screen while loading. Some have my browser going berserk and opening multiple screens … dozens of them that I cannot stop …

Some sites are no problem at all.

I scanned my ‘puter for viruses, cleared the cache, made sure all software updates were current, and I moved up to Windows Explorer 8, and some problems still exist.

On some blog sites, by dropping the “follow” or by removing them from my sidebar and re-listing them after a day or so seems to fix it … very bizarre …

Maybe I am pushing the limits of Blogger or IE.

2.5'' Colt Diamondback .38 Special




Pictured above is a 2.5’’ Colt Diamondback .38 Special which left the factory in 1976.

Bill Shumate made the custom gun case that is in the photo. He has done two boxes for me and should I ever need another, Bill will be the man. Great old guns deserve to rest in great cases.

Manufactured between 1966 and 1988, the Diamondback was the premium D-Frame Colt revolver of the line, and was available in .38 Special, .22 LR, and .22 Magnum. Barrel length options were 2.5’’, 4’’, and 6’’. The Diamondback appears to be a smaller version of the popular Python, a great marketing move on Colt’s part. Colt should resurrect this revolver; the future is ready for a return to the past. Concealed carry is in need of some class and I can picture no .38 caliber revolver classier than the Diamondback.

Yes, I do shoot this revolver on occasion, but only with standard pressure 125-grain loads. It can handle +P loads but they do accelerate wear and I want this sweet old piece to last beyond my years. It is not on my “active list” of guns used for home protection, although it is more than adequate for that task.

Click here for a short Chuck Hawks article on the Colt Diamondback.

Click here to read Xavier’s Colt Diamondback range report.

Click here to visit Syd for everything you ever wanted to know about snubnose revolvers.



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Royal Purple Smoke Tree

(Photo is from the web, photographer credit not available)

One of my favorite shrub trees is the
Royal Purple Smoke Tree. It is native to some of the southern states but appears as a specimen shrub in yards all over the USA. There are four large bushes on the east side of my patio and they have suffered bouts of Verticillium wilt disease since I planted them. Just when I think one of the bushes could not be any more beautiful, half or more of it dies away. Today I pruned back one of the trees until it was hideous. They are extraordinarily beautiful when healthy but had I known how susceptible they are to this disease I never would have chosen them; things with native roots in states like Tennessee often do not adjust well to life in northern Illinois. My Dad was like that.




Friday, May 15, 2009

G.A.T. Guns

Excluding the Glaser loads, my inventory of .38 Super ammo now stands at 300 rounds. This ammo isn’t going into a cache; it all will soon be going down the barrel of a Colt.

Today, on a whim, I drove out to
G.A.T. Guns in Dundee, Illinois. They have a good rack of ammo on hand but they limit the amount that you can purchase. I took my allocation of five boxes with plans on returning in the next week or so to buy more and to spend some time at their range. Due to the inconvenience of the driving distance, I have only shot there on four occasions. There are only a few ranges within ready driving distance of my domicile, but I may forsake them for a while and make the longer drive over to the G.A.T. range, at least for the balance of this year. Since they do have ammo in these tough times, a superior facility to anything local, and a darn friendly staff, I am sure the drive will be worthwhile.



Monday, May 11, 2009

Still shopping


Well, I am making very little headway in getting enough .38 Super ammo to
break in the new pistol. There was a stray box of 50 Remington FMJ in my cache, and I was able to score 54 rounds of Glaser Safety Slugs. Another 250 rounds of Remington was on order from CTD but AGAIN it fell through. I’m going to see if I can order a case through one of the local gun stores.

The price of Glaser ammo has always been high, but it has not gone up by much (if any) during the “ammo bubble.” I am skeptical of the “stopping power” claims for the Glaser line, but do feel that the safety slug aspect may have some merit. The loads I bought are all from the same lot so I’ll shoot half of them to see how they function and then keep the other half for contingencies. Glasers can be a bit edgy on pressure so I will be looking at the spent casings for bulges and primer flow.

It is hard to believe that gun owners have cleared ammo shelves all across the USA. It is a shame that we couldn’t get all of those same gun owners to
vote last November. If they had, maybe they would not now feel the need to stockpile ammo. Even if they could not stomach McCain for President, they could have at least voted to dump many of the anti-gunners from Congress. IMHO, the anti-gunners now firmly control Congress because many gun owners stayed home.

I wonder how many gun owners will bother to vote
in November of 2010.



Friday, May 8, 2009

Crisis Intervention





This following is a memo from back in the good old days.

Memo
Oct 4 1990
All Employees

Due to the great number of male employees, we all have taken up the habit of using the sole designated women’s restroom when the sole designated men’s restroom is occupied. It has been brought to my attention that this is developing into a problem, as men tend to leave the women’s restroom in a condition that women generally find unsuitable; gentlemen should raise the seat when they make wee-wee so as not to spray bodily-fluids all over it, and then they should return the seat to the down position. In addition, men tend to have poor aim, which makes the floor around the toilet somewhat slippery.

By law, I believe we are required to provide SEPARATE facilities for each gender.

I do not wish a pissing-contest to develop over this. The women's restroom is hereafter designated officially 'female-only'.

In order to make optimal use of our one men’s restroom, please try to refrain from reading the newspaper whenever making poo-poo and please ask others if they need the room for wee-wee before you tie it up for a shower. When finished with your business, flushing the toilet is mandatory, not optional.

We will augment the men’s restroom facilities as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

James A. Zachary Jr.
Plant Supervisor

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Stay out of Lake County, Illinois



There are much nicer places to live and raise a family. Lake County has once again raised property taxes. They say my modest little three-bedroom home is now worth $330, 000. The politicians and the assessor all are totally freaking nuts; the house currently would sell only for roughly HALF that amount. Unlike banks and other lending institutions, politicians are not required to “mark to market.” I now pay just over $8,000 a year in taxes, 68% of it goes to public schools. Our taxes should have gone DOWN! Maybe the Lake County Board should reconsider that PAY RAISE they recently voted for themselves.

It frustrates me when it comes time to vote because many elected officials are running unopposed. When possible, I vote against incumbents unless they have a pro Second Amendment record and have shown some fiscal restraint. The majority of Lake County residents DO NOT VOTE so don’t ever think that elected officials are accountable.

According to Thirdpower, 90 of the 102 Illinois counties have passed the 2A Resolution. It FAILED to pass in Lake County, Illinois.

Lake County, Illinois sucks.


Friday, May 1, 2009

North American Arms Guardian .32 ACP



.32 ACP
2’’ Barrel
Double Action Only
Blowback
Capacity 6+1
Made in USA

Shown above with DeSantis Nylon Rug. The pistol is one of the early models when Kahr made the frames. The magazines are top quality, by Mec-Gar of Italy.

While being a very good knockabout utility gun, as far as an all around kit gun, the 2’’ barrel
NAA Guardian .32 ACP is nowhere in the same league as a 4’’ barrel .22 caliber revolver. It has belly-gun-distance accuracy, so I sincerely doubt that I could reliably make head shots on raccoons at reasonable distances (I have had raccoons attack when wounded). As far as being a rat-gun, I know of no shot loads available for the .32 ACP. As a kit gun, the NAA Guardian serves me as more of a comfort gun, an affordable, expendable, last ditch chance at survival against two-legged evil. When the rare opportunity presents itself, it is a decent gun to chase cans at short range. Should it be lost, stolen, or confiscated, it would not devastate me emotionally or financially. Now that I am retired, and now that Illinois law enforcement interpretation of gun laws is more confusing than ever, my kit gun needs have changed, I almost have no use for one. I no longer chase rats and raccoons around worksites or barnyards, and there are very few open rural areas left around my turf for chasing tin cans just for fun. Still, on some excursions I’d rather be with a gun than without, so I often toss my unloaded North American Arms Guardian .32 ACP into my kit.

To say that
Ludwig Seecamp’s LWS 32 ACP influenced the design of the NAA Guardian .32 ACP is a charitable understatement. The Seecamp saved the .32 ACP from oblivion, and it was just good business sense for NAA and others to get in on the action. There are a few notable differences between the Seecamp and the NAA. The NAA Guardian can shoot standard ball ammo (some will find this an asset), the LWS .32 ACP does not (NOTE: Winchester truncated ball does work in Seecamps). The NAA Guardian is a bit larger and heavier than the Seecamp (some will find this an asset). The Guardian is a direct blowback while the Seecamp is a retarded blowback. The Guardian has poor sights and the Seecamp has no sights.

The Guardian frame is a matt finish with some machine marks while the Seecamp is highly polished, so putting dings on the Guardian’s factory blemished finish does not cause me any anguish. For a last-ditch, concealed carry self-defense or backup gun, my humble preference would be for the Seecamp. For a knockabout kit gun, my humble preference is to use the Guardian.  The .32 ACP has stopping power limits; it is no better or worse in either brand of pistol.

There are a limited number of Seecamps made each year, so finding a NAA pistol may be easier than finding a Seecamp. I paid the same price for my NAA as I did for my Seecamp; some have paid less for the NAA. A used Seecamp pistol usually commands a higher price than a used NAA pistol.

Do I like the NAA handgun better than a Seecamps? No, I kinda prefer the Seecamp but I do use the NAA and the Seecamp interchangeably.   


So, how does one carry a kit gun in Illinois and comply with the law?
In Illinois, three statutory codes regulate the possession, transfer, and transportation of firearms (CLICK HERE for source (pdf)):
1) The Criminal Code
2) The Wildlife Code
3) The Firearm Owner’s Identification Act.

Under Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) in the Criminal Code, persons who have been issued a valid FOID card may transport a firearm anywhere in their vehicle or on their person as long as the firearm is unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container. Firearms that are not immediately accessible or are broken down in a non-functioning state may also be carried or transported under the Criminal Code. The Wildlife Code, however, is more restrictive. It requires that all firearms transported in or on any vehicle be unloaded and in a case. Because of this, it is recommended that, in order to comply with all statutes, all firearms be transported:

1. Unloaded and,
2. Enclosed in a case, and
3. By persons who have a valid FOID card.

In addition, you may want to have a good lawyer on speed dial, and have a few bucks set aside for bail and legal fees because many cops, prosecutors, and judges read / interpret the law differently than we do. Most cases that I have read about that went to court have turned out favorably for the gun owner.


EDIT: Illinois Concealed Carry went into effect in 2014.  This NAA Guardian is one of the pistols I often carry.

EDIT: I replaced the magazine release on Sept 12, 2014