CAVEAT: THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats; 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 long country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and / or whatnots that I review for this blog are purchased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al sticks tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online footprints 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!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Apparently, GTR Sporting Club of Waukegan, Illinois is currently undergoing some sort of reorganization

This occasionally updated old blog post (originally from 6/29/2016) still receives frequent visits.  
A note for first-time viewers:  The most current update is here at the top and the older updates (some pegged with a related addendum) are in reverse order below.  
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Stopped in at the Caliber Gun Range today (9/12/2017) around 3pm for a quickie.  

This was a Senior Citizen Appreciation Day (or something like that ... I honestly did not know until I got there) so I got to shoot for FREE (yay me)!   I keep promising myself to go to this range more often but life often insists on setting my priorities.

The facility is still safe, clean, friendly, well maintained, and professionally staffed.  In fact, every aspect is looking real nice.  I got to say "Hi" to a pair of familiar faces; Frank Orsi and Chick Baruffi happened to be there..  

I only stayed long enough to churn 45-rounds of ammo through my 1993 vintage S&W 442 airweight at 15-feet and 21-feet on the 8-inch targets ... my hand ached like hell later but I sure did have some fun while I was at it!

Check out the Caliber Gun Range website.  

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Well, folks, the shooting range is still in business and into the beginnings of its third year.

Yesterday, 1/3/2017, I had a great time shooting at the Caliber Management Gun Range of the GTR Sporting Club (that is my impression as to what the range's business moniker currently is).  


To my eyes, not much has changed at the range since I was last there on 7/31/2016; it is still an outstanding place to go shooting, although some of the target-control touch-pads may be getting "cranky" because of age and use.  Most (if not all) of the GTR logo window-bling is gone.

Before I could shoot, I had to re-enter my FOID creds into the new Caliber Management computer system;  the FOID creds from the GTR Sporting Club computer system were not merged into the new system;  re-registering is a quick-and-easy one-time thing (until, of course, they again decide to change the darn software).   

As far as staff and magagement, I did not see one familiar face during this visit.  I suppose that, as long as I have a clean, safe, nearby place to go shooting, I don't much care who owns or manages the facility.  The folks staffing the place during my visit seemed to be very caring and competent.   

The modest little GTR - Caliber Management gun store is open and doing business.   

The "fast food" area was not serving during the time that I was at the range; dunno when (or even if) it is ever open.  

I have no interest in the downstairs lounge area; it is alleged to be open for business.  

The old GTR Sporting Club website has long been closed down; the URL for that old site no longer redirects to the newer Caliber Gun Range - GTR Sporting Club website.

The Caliber Cun Range - GTR Sporting Club Facebook Page is still at the old GTR Sporting Club Facebook URL.

As far as I know, Illinois Concealed Carry classes are still offered at the GTR - Caliber Management Gun Range on weekends.

FOREMOST, above all other news, GTR - Caliber Gun Range NOW ALLOWS RIFLE CALIBERS UP TO .308.   Woohoo!  The range used to limited rifles to no more than 5.56 NATO.  Anyhoo, just to be safe, you might want to call and verify before you lug in your great grandpa's battlefield trophy 8mm WWII German Mauser.  

I will speculate that the range still prohibits all steel case, steel jacketed, and steel core ammo.  

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EDIT 7/18/2016:   CLICK HERE for the 19th Judicial Circuit Court of Lake County online system for searching records.  Choose to search by Business and enter GTR for the business name; voila, a couple of pages of what has and is happening in the legal world regarding GTR Holding and GTR Sporting Club.  

I can imagine that it is tough to hold a business together nowadays; winding up in court probably is not too unusual.  Are there any conclusion(s) that we can draw from GTR's legal challenges?  I dunno;  it does look like it all is a tough row to hoe.


Perhaps the following is a sign of GTR attempting to return to a state of normalcy.
BELOW IS A CUT AND PASTE NOTICE FROM THE GTR WEBSITE 7/18/2016 
EDIT:  Nevermind, it was removed from the website a day later.

Police Pistol Combat League07/21/16 to 08/25/16  
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

REQUIRED MATCHES: Minimum of 10 matches. MATCH FEE: $130 for the GTRPPL SPRING COMBAT League. The league will run for (6) weeks and you may shoot up to (3) matches at any scheduled league event. Match sign-up is based on a first come, first serve basis and will be limited to 50 competitors. Please call 847-782-8888 for more Information!


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EDIT JULY 11, 2016:  The above sign is posted inside the GTR Sporting Club.   Time will tell us whether CALIBER MANAGEMENT's performance will turn out to be large caliber, small caliber, or sub-caliber.   Management wise, this initial year-and-a-half of GTR Sporting Club's existence has been akin to some kind of reality TV show (I will not attempt to summarize; only an insider could explain what has transpired).  Frank Orsi, the man that most folks recognize as the founder of GTR Sporting Club, currently appears to be the person in charge.  Charles "Chick" Baruffi, an indomitable 1959 - 1962 era Marine, is still part of GTR's team and (IMHO) appears to be more enthusiastic than ever.   Never bet against any team that has a Marine, unless, of course, the opposing team has two Marines.    

At a glance, GTR may be somewhat of a wounded bird but it is not yet cold and dead in the water.  




Since I did have a receipt, on Sunday GTR cordially validated the remaining unused punch-card that I purchased last December.  Will GTR still honor the card during the days, weeks, or months ahead?  Stay tuned.  When I purchased the cards my plan was to shoot at GTR no less than one-day per month during 2016.   Having a range within minutes of my house has really been nice, but I'll move on if need be.



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***** Below is the original post from 6/29/2016 (along with a some addenda) ***** 

Something has been going on at GTR Sporting Club in Waukegan, Illinois;  I have heard it said that the club is under new management but I can find no such announcement in the media and nothing official is posted at the facility.

A few clues that something is happening:

A) Their Facebook page has not been updated since May 24 of this year.  This is very unusual.   From inception, GTR has always had an active Facebook presence.  EDIT 7/8/2016:  GTR resumed updating their Facebook page.

B) There are no future events listed on their webpage.  Again, this is unusual because they always had something planned.

C) The training calendar on their website has only a couple of items for the near future.  Again, very unusual ... EDIT 7/8/2016: Training classes are again being offered; caveat emptor.

D) Those who are members of the club allegedly cannot use their membership range-time allocation; they have to pay-per-session.  I have not verified this; this is something that I heard and I also read it in reviews at Google+ GTR Sporting Club pageThe following couple of items are via a "copy-and-paste" of those reviews:

EDIT: I removed my "copy and paste" of those comments since one vanished from the G+ page.

E) This afternoon there were lots of official looking people with clipboards (one that I know to be an attorney and one dude sported a badge) busily shuffling through things.

F)  The Gun Store / Pro Shop section is dark and locked tight with a sign stating that it is closed for "Inventory / Audit."

NOTE:  Today I overheard an employee tell a concerned customer that, "Everything will be back to normal sometime around the second week of August."


What I know for certain:

1) Pay-per-session shooting at GTR, for a large part, looks to be business as usual.  I last went shooting there on June 10th and they accepted my prepaid range-time punch-card.

2)  One section of the shooting range (I believe it is referred to as the 8-Lane Combat Range) has been closed off.  I will venture a guess that this MAY simply be just to save some energy costs by not running the very elaborate air-handling system and the lights on that section; there is no reason to keep equipment online when pay-per-session shooters have been scant.

3)  EDIT 7/9/2016:  I stopped in just after noon today to get an Italian beef and I see that there is a sign posted that Frankie's Cafe is temporarily closed.  Ignore everything (below) that I wrote the other day about Frankie's Cafe.

The third (or fourth ... I lost count) reincarnation of Frankie's Cafe has been a bright spot in all of this; it has been under new management for a while now via Bobby, a very personable and notable food pro from the North Shore, and it is open Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday).  Bobby serves up sinfully good Italian beef, Italian sausage, pizza, etc.   Seriously, this cafe is an undiscovered local treasure;  get your grub to go or eat at the "inside bistro."  You say that you are not a gunslinger?  Hell, even if guns are not your passion, GTR Sporting Club is worth a visit just for the chow at Frankie's Cafe.



Disclosure:
I was a member of the club for their first year of existence.  During this second year of operation, I have been a pay-per-session customer (about once per month).

At this blog site I have written prior entries about GTR:
HERE,
HERE,
HERE
and HERE.

EDIT 7/6/2016:
CLICK HERE and scroll down the page for recent comments left at YELP (NOTE: YELP comments come and go) 




Saturday, June 25, 2016

The first Colt civilian version (the semi-auto Model SP1) of the M16 military (select fire full-auto / semi-auto) "assault rifle" sold to the public in 1963


Please get over it, folks.  Evil Black Rifles (EBRs) have been in the hands of civilians in the USA for over a half-century.

CLICK HERE to see the Colt SP1 serial numbers from the year 1963 through the year 1982.  Any questions?


I first saw one in the hands of a civilian around 1966.  Currently there are estimates of between 5-million and 8-million of these modern sporting rifles in the hands of civilians in the USA.  I dare say that the number of this type of rifle in civilian hands would likely be less than a million if it were not for the buying frenzies caused by the cyclic waves of politicians trying to ban them; for many years, relatively few gunnies paid much attention to civilian black rifles.  Politics has provided free marketing for those selling EBRs and now black rifles are on the "must-have list" for the masses; they have become fashionable.   One of our local gun stores (once again) reports being nearly sold out of this type of rifle and all related components.  Oh well ...


Hat tip to: retroblackrifle.com


EDIT:

CLICK HERE for the history of the M16 rifle.

NOTE: Over the years, "AR-15" (AKA AR15) has become the common-usage name of the semi-auto civilian version of the M16.  When Eugene Stoner of ArmaLite created the select-fire full-auto / semi-auto military rifle, he designated it the AR-15.  COLT bought the rights for the original AR-15 from ArmaLite and it was rebranded the M16 by the military. AR stands for ARMALITE; it does not stand for AUTOMATIC RIFLE.  Colloquially, AR has taken on a patriotic connotation as standing for America's Rifle; so be it.

I believe Colt still owns the marketing rights of branding any rifle as an AR-15.







Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Far-out, man! This Italian pot is primo! It came in via Atlanta.


Here, you can see for yourself that the pot is from Italy.




I never woulda thunk that terra cotta pots would be coming in to the USA from Italy.



Honestly, for some reason I found that to be uber cool.

My usual snail's pace of bloggin' will be even snailier 'cause I be busy patio surfin'.

Ciao.






Friday, June 17, 2016

This old pirate stared down "Forty" nigh a quarter century ago.




I was mid forties around 20-years-ago when I had a boat on Lake Michigan; that adventure lasted for a few seasons.  A coworker tagged me with this song and said it was a good fit.   Looking back, so do I.


Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call,
Wanted to sail upon your waters
since I was three feet tall.
You've seen it all, you've seen it all.
Watch the men who rode you,
Switch from sails to steam.
And in your belly you hold the treasure
that few have ever seen, most of them dreams,
Most of them dreams.
Yes, I am a pirate two hundred years too late.
The cannons don't thunder there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late.
I've done a bit of smugglin'
I've run my share of grass.
I made enough money to buy Miami,
But I pissed it away so fast,
Never meant to last, never meant to last.
I have been drunk now for over two weeks,
I passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks,
But I've got to stop wishin',
Got to go fishin', I'm down to rock bottom again.
Just a few friends, just a few friends.
I go for younger women, lived with several awhile
And though I ran away, they'll come back one day.
And still could manage a smile
It just takes awhile, just takes awhile.
Mother, mother ocean, after all these years I've found
My occupational hazard being my occupations
just not around.
I feel like I've drowned,
Gonna head uptown.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Let's see if this 2006 vintage L.W. Seecamp .380 functions or fails after being in my pants pocket for over a year without cleaning or lube


(This natural, rough-side-out, horsehide holster shows the effects of residing in the dark, moist, grungy recesses of my pants pocket for nearly every day of each year since the holster was purchased.)

I last cleaned this LWS .380 on May 9, 2015 and switched the carry ammo to 85-grain Winchester Silvertips (per the LWS recommended ammo list), getting away from my favorite .380 load of all time, Federal's erstwhile 90-grain 380BP.  So, not only did I go for over a year carrying a dry, pocket-grunged pistol, I was carrying ammo that I had never before tried in that pistol.  Will my pistol cycle correctly with this new batch of ammo?  It should, but there are never any guarantees ... ammo manufacturing can vary from batch to batch.  Why didn't I test things out before carrying the Silvertips?  Well, first off, it is on the top of the Larry Seecamp's recommended ammo list.  Second, in over a decade, I never had any problem with the pistol or my choice of ammo.  Short of getting a batch of Silvertips with hard primers, I should get at least one shot before the possibility of a mal-feed rears its ugly head ...

I look at things this way; most any of these last-ditch, itsy bitsy centerfire semi-auto pocket pistols that exist will darn near always go BANG on the first trigger pull;  they have a very high probability of firing at least once.  That is a WIN in my book;  it is equal to nothing less than carrying a single shot derringer of equal size to the little semi-auto; any subsequent BANGs from those little semi-autos are simply a bonus.   I like to think of pistols of this genre as akin to being single-shot derringers that have the POTENTIAL to keep on giving.  The higher quality pistols that receive good maintenance along with quality (recommended) ammo should result in a higher likelihood of getting more than one BANG.   In this here realtime example of a gun-dude with piss-poor-maintenance habits, what is in my favor are the facts that this LWS .380 is a top-notch design made from top-notch materials by top notch artisans; in Ludwig and Larry Seecamp we trust.  Anyhoo, the range will be the final arbiter; let's see how this all shakes out.

SELF-DEFENSE SCENARIO: OMG!  I'm cornered.  A well armed BOOGEYMAN is five-yards away and is going to end me for certain and for sure!  OMG!  OMG!  THERE IS NO CHOICE BUT FOR ME TO DEFEND WITH LETHAL FORCE!   Purty little pistol, please don't fail me now!

(BTW, I love these mini-targets)
Well lookee there.  I pulled the trigger six times and that poor old neglected pistol fired and cycled correctly each time.  I had one round left; why didn't I pull the trigger one last time and fire the seventh and final round?  I'll explain below.



I ejected the final, unfired round from the chamber and this is what it looked like.

I mentioned earlier that I had never tried Silvertips before in this Seecamp.  I wanted to see how this final hollow-point handled the feed cycle;  it looked pretty much as I expected.    I have seen this happen with different ammo brands and calibers and in different pistol brands and models.  Over the years I have seen it happen VERY often with Silvertips.  Hell, sometimes I find them bashed up like that while still in the magazine; recoil causes that.  It does make me wonder if I should switch back to my old time favorite load, 380BP;  I have ~1,200 rounds left on the raft but I also favor them for my Cheetah and my PPK; those cartridges will not last forever and Federal does not seem likely to resurrect that product. 



 Normal .380 Silvertip fresh out of the box.



 Normal Silvertip on the left, the one I ejected from the Seecamp on the right.



Setback can cause high pressure.  I cannot tell for sure if the bullet was set back into the case.  The mouth of the hollow point bullet of the ejected round was mashed at an angle; my guess is that there was at least a little setback.  

If I recall correctly, the Federal .380BP hollowpoint never suffered near this much disfigurement in the LWS .380.  This all calls for some pondering ...

In closing out this episode, my L.W. Seecamp .380 received a thorough cleaning and some quality lubricant.  Six fresh rounds of Silvertips are in the magazine and there is a fresh round in the chamber;  I'm good to go for another year ... maybe two.  Oh hell yeah ... I'll get around to cleaning it again... sooner or later.