Blogging to you from the northeastern badlands of Lake County, Illinois USA, WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! ALL FORMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED JOB PRODUCTIVITY, LACK OF SLEEP, SOCIAL ALIENATION, BIRTH DEFECTS, BLINDNESS, SEXUAL IMPOTENCY, AND / OR DEVIANT FUNAMBULISM. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNITION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. (No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some lubricious adventures with your hot looking wife and a future first-round draft pick.) CAVEAT: This blog is not suitable for viewing while at work, while inside a public library, while inside any public or private school, or while inside any public or private restroom. Do not view this blog while driving a motor vehicle or while piloting an aircraft. Viewing this blog may be illegal inside the EU, Chicago, and other parts of the Third World. THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: This blog is a hobby, it is not a livelihood. Even though much of what I blog about relates to firearms collecting and recreational shooting, I am not an expert (by any measure) on any facet of guns, shooting, hunting, or personal defense. Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats or post hunt bourbon-fueled barroom-bluster; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be rugged-country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and miscellany that I review for this blog are purchased / rented / leased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Papal Blessings, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review or blog post. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al stick tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on via one method or another, for one reason or another; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online DNA residue by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Glock 17

Aside from a zombieclipse or other such calamity requiring a handgun with max firepower, the best reason that I can give for my owning a Glock 17 is because it is an affordable, durable, reliable, wickedly fun plinker. 9MM ammo was once dirt-cheap and few things were more fun and inexpensive than an afternoon blasting away with the G17. It is an easy pistol to shoot; most new shooters who I spent time with could readily put all of their first shots near point of aim. A full standard magazine of 17-rounds along with a 33-round extended mag reload holds the contents of a full box of 50-cartridges. New shooters loved emptying the mags but universally hated refilling them.

The Glock 17 is surprisingly light until you tank up the magazine with cartridges. Even with a fully stoked mag, I wouldn’t consider the pistol a burdensome carry. Inside-the-waistband (IWB) carry of Glock pistols does not work for me; I wear blue jeans that are too tight to squeeze in a thick Glock, at least comfortably. IMHO, holsters are essential for all handguns. Something as cheap and simple as the old Brauer Brothers nylon holster in the above photo can keep the pistol from sliding down the leg of your baggy gansta pants when you are out for a night of clubbing with your posse. Tucking an un-holstered pistol into your waistband may be macho and culturally cool but it is fraught with all kinds of unpleasant possibilities including an explosive sex change. NOTE: When holstering any handgun (not just Glocks) care must be used not to catch the trigger on a finger, shirttail, jacket drawstring, or any other items reported to contribute to negligent discharges.

For range blammunition, I will shoot any quality 9MM ball ammo that I can find on sale. A month or so back, CTD had my preferred defense hollowpoint selling for near the price of quality ball ammo of other major brands.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pepper Spray Failure

A security guard first tried pepper spray on a man wielding a knife in the Austin area of Chicago then went to Plan-B and put a bullet in the dude’s leg. Click here to read the Chicago Sun-Times article.

I haven’t been in the Austin area in 18-years and don’t intend on going back soon; it was like visiting the worst of the third world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

89-year-old woman foils home invasion

Don’t go bashing through Granny’s door when she has that gun in her hand. Click here for the AP story.

Seriously, old folks do not need to be easy prey. It is heart warming to hear of them fighting back, and winning.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Frost warning, again.

Argh! I knew global warming would fail me when I needed it most; the temperature is supposed to drop to 32F before morning, same as it did last night. The flowers are once again in peril. Note to self: Never again plant flowers before May 1.

The neighbors will once again wake up to the sight of my front yard flower beds shrouded with sheets of translucent plastic. I hope it is enough to hold in the heat and keep out the cold…

Friday, April 16, 2010

Federal 9BP at Cheaper Than Dirt

Standard pressure (NON +P or +P+) 9MM 115 grain hollowpoint

There are rumors that some police departments still issue this old load which is somewhat surprising, it goes all the way back to the beginnings of law enforcement transitioning from revolvers to semi-auto pistols. The 9BP earned a reputation as a decent stopper that would feed in finicky pistols. Every time I think that this particular load is forever gone, I find a batch for sale by one of the major suppliers. Since selling all of my finicky 9MM pistols, I haven’t had a real need for this load so I usually take a pass when I see it available; I am well stocked with its successor, the +P+ 9BPLE. Recently I had a hankering to return a small batch of it to the ammo raft so I scored 500 rounds from Cheaper Than Dirt a couple of days ago. As of this moment, 9BP is still listed in stock but the supply probably won’t last too much longer. Grab yourself some.

Click here for a classic Stephen A. Camp article about the 9BP and the Browning Hi Power.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Only badass gunslingers plant pink petunias

Today is yet another day when I don’t have anything substantive for this blog. Art has an article posted about using rifles and shotguns for rural home defense and Jason writes of his lustful yearning for the Masterpiece Arms Tactical Carbines. Me? I have petunias (and maybe an unrelated case of the crabs).

Damn, these flowerbeds are huge, I made them far too big; getting them ready is still a work in progress and I have been putting in no less than two hours work on them each dry day since March 16th. There have been some hardware problems; somewhere in this great big world, somebody must be able to produce a garden hoe that I cannot break. That old hickory-handle iron-blade garden hoe my Grandmother used back on the Tennessee farm probably lasted her a lifetime. It was also part of her home-defense system; she would not waste a shotgun-shell on a copperhead or a rattler. Like a master-class hillbilly samurai warrior, she would hack serpents into chicken feed sized pieces with that hoe. All of the made-in-Asia garden hoes that the stores sell today must be for use in rice paddies; they sure cannot hold up in this northern Illinois soil and clay; Grandma would have never trusted using one against a viper.

It is only April 12th so I am definitely risking a killing frost by setting my first few flowers today. I bought two flats, one of petunias and the other of variegated marigolds, and only planted about a half-dozen plants from each flat today; I want to see how they do while I keep an eye on the short and midterm weather forecasts. I’ll set a few flowers each fair weather day until we are clear of potential frost. There is plenty of plastic sheeting on the rack in case I need to cover the new plantings.

As far as getting rid of the crabs, I believe I’ll try an old down-home remedy that involves a straight razor, a lighter, and an ice pick.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I’m no longer available to introduce people to shooting

The total number of folks I introduced to shooting is not great, the average number has only been around 2 – 3 people a year and the majority of them has been since maybe 1990. Some years had more than others did. None of the new shooters was via the internet. Via another blog, I once offered to take a guy from England who expressed an interest in shooting revolvers but his travel plans to Chicago changed.

Usually the new shooters were friends of a friend of a friend. Some were co-workers. Most were very nice people although a couple of them were pains. For my own safety, I would always arrange to meet strangers at a range at a given time; never were they invited to meet at my house. Only a couple of folks made me uncomfortable by insisting that I invite them over to the house; “Hey man, I really want to see all your stuff!” I was frank in explaining that it is unwise for me to invite complete strangers over to case my residence. Over the years, a few of the appointments were no-shows; this was somewhat frustrating for me. NONE of the new shooters expressed any positive reaction to my sales pitch regarding the merits of joining the Illinois State Rifle Association or the NRA. Most of the new shooters admitted to having never registered to vote, usually citing a fear of jury duty. There were self-defense questions that I was unqualified or unwilling to answer; “Can’t I just shoot the bad-guy in the knee? Can you show me how to shoot the gun out of the bad-guy’s hand?” There were a few awkward range-site cancellations; some folks showed up without first obtaining their Illinois FOID card, something that I had advised as being requisite. I don’t approve of the Illinois FOID law but the way that I read it, I cannot legally hand a firearm to anyone unless he or she has a FOID card or a valid out of state driver’s license. On one occasion a FOIDless prospective new shooter was acting so weird that I thought he was setting me up for some sort of police sting operation; not only did he insist that I let him shoot without having a FOID, he made persistent (unsolicited) offers to buy guns and ammo from me. I held firm and told him there was nothing I could do for him until he had his FOID; he never called back.

A person I had at the range recently was all thumbs and did not follow instructions (perhaps I wasn’t clear enough or he misunderstood). He put a negligent .22 round (down range) into the floor about 5-feet in front of him. That rattled my nerves. It is possible that I would have been found responsible if this person had hurt himself or others.

It is my belief that all but one of my new shooters had fun and went home with a positive outlook on guns. However, my naive good intentions possibly were putting me at risk. To my knowledge, the sessions did not generate any new voters or NRA members. It is time for me to call it quits. I’ll still go to the range with experienced shooters wishing to try one or more of my guns but will refer all new shooters to certified instructors.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ohio Judge tells citizens to arm themselves

Judge Alfred Mackey of Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court advised residents to be vigilant and arm themselves because the number of deputies has been cut about in half due to a tight budget. He also urged neighbors to organize anti-crime block watch groups. CLICK HERE for the AP story.

Negligent gun discharge inside an Arizona Wal-Mart

The man just had to keep playing with it in public. Now he is famous. Fortunately, the fool did not kill anyone. CLICK HERE for the AP story.

There are no excuses for this.

Taxes taxes taxes

Yesterday was supposed to be Tax Freedom Day, on average, the day when we have earned enough to pay our annual burden of local, state, and federal taxes. Supposedly, what we earn from then on out is ours to use for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare, and other of life’s essentials. Any money we have left over is discretionary.

In theory, society expects each of us to pay our share to fund the multitude of government services “essential” to this great nation. Oddly, 47% of HOUSEHOLDS IN THE USA LEGALLY PAID NO FEDERAL INCOME TAXES IN 2009. According to an AP story, “In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17…”

Yes, I am a pissed off taxpayer who thinks government has gone too far and that many Americans are nothing but whining sissies expecting (and receiving) far more than they deserve. I was making below minimum wage as an apprentice machinist during the year 1971. There were no “tax credits” for me back then; my take home pay after taxes was around $68 for a 60-hour workweek. Nope, $68 a week was not a “living wage” in those days, I had to make do. There were times during my life when I worked a fulltime job plus two part-time jobs in order to make ends meet. Never did I receive a dime of unemployment pay; when I lost a job, I would find another one even if was at a lower wage. Never did I receive one dime of Worker’s Compensation pay; I had a few serious injuries over the years but was always back to work the next day. When I cut off the tip of my middle finger (I lost a chunk of bone that time) in a machine shop accident, I was back working the same machine the next day, splinted and bandaged. Another industrial accident crushed my right hand and ripped all of the skin from it; I was back to work the next day. I worked while wearing bandages and a cast for the following six-weeks. Back-injuries and broken ribs were no excuse for not working; you taped yourself up and worked while on crutches if needed. I had one stretch when I worked for over 20-years without taking a sick-day; it ended when I took half of a sick day off to pass a kidney stone.

My father’s health insurance plan booted me out the door when I was 18-years-old. Shortly thereafter, I became grievously ill with some strange blood disorder (they speculated it was from the chemicals at work). All of my earnings went to pay my medical bills; when I lost my job and the money ran out, I was on my own to live or die. When my daughter was born I paid the hospital and doctors bills with cash from my pocket; a job change put my wife’s pregnancy as a pre-existing condition for the new health care provider.

I learned many hard lessons at a tender age. I have done well during my lifetime and now live comfortably, everything I have I earned the old-fashioned way; I worked hard, studied hard, and invested in myself and in equities for my future. Please don’t expect me to quietly give up what I have earned so bunches of spineless, unmotivated underachievers won’t have to break a sweat.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wild Ed reviews his Ruger P345

If I were in the market for a good .45 ACP pistol, I would buy the Ruger P345 in a flash; I like it even better than I do my old faithful Ruger P90.

Advice from a Chicago Cop

“… as the CPD manpower continues its downward trend, more citizens are going to have to take responsibility for their own security in their homes.  We offer this advice - regular practice, sight alignment, smooth trigger pull. Results may vary.”

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Open carry march in Portland, Maine

They were demonstrating their right to bare arms and everything in between. About two dozen topless women took a walk down Congress Street Saturday, attracting a large crowd as they tried to preach that partial female nudity is not worthy of attracting a crowd.

I wonder if they stopped at Starbucks.

The diet continues…

Well, I am eating all of the “right” food and I am getting plenty of exercise but I have only dropped a few pounds. All of this flab must be muscle that just looks like… fat.

Strawberry cheesecake is health food, right?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Can you tell me how much my gun is worth?

In all honesty, asking a gun blogger the value of a specific firearm is probably not a good idea because there are far too many variables involved, the condition of the firearm being foremost.

The best thing you can use for estimating a gun’s value isn’t free, it’s S.P. Fjestad’s Blue Book of Gun Values (sorry, but my copy is out of date). If you don’t want to spend money to get an idea on the value of a specific gun, stop in at or to see the settlement prices for similar guns. If your firearm is an antique, a book from may be helpful (sorry, but my copy is out of date).

EDIT 2/5/2012:  CLICK HERE for Gun Values Board

Best wishes,


Precision Small Arms – PSA – Baby Browning update

One of the most popular entries at this site was the one regarding the Baby Browning F&N and PSA .25 ACP.

Last night I received an email that read in part:

“Please let your readers know that they may ring me anytime to discuss current production, availability, repairs, etc. By way of example, we are releasing the "Featherweight" version next month. The first batch of 125 will ship to select collectors and Ellet Brothers, a national distributor. This version (also known as the FN "Lightweight" during the 1960's) should meet with a very strong, positive reception by enthusiasts and collectors.”

Lenn Kristal, President
Precision Small Arms, Inc.
Aspen, Colorado 81611 USA

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Slow blogging because…

The weather has been excruciatingly nice, 80F outside. I set a goal for this year of doing no less than 2-hours of yard-work per day and the weather has inspired me to keep digging in the gardens far longer than intended. Still, I won’t be setting any flowers for at least another couple of weeks. I have extended the flowerbeds; they are now quite bodacious! My credit card bill will likely be a shocker when the total rolls in for all of the supplies that I bought.

I have finally dieted down below the 210 lbs. mark but not by very much. The extra activity outside is helping my conditioning. Last year it was difficult for me to work outside because doing so triggered my cravings for cigars. This year I can work and lounge outside all day without thinking of smoking.

The backyard brick patio and many of the sheltering trees and shrubs are now 7-years-old. It’s my own little slice of paradise. I enjoy it every chance that I get.


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