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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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Monthly Weigh-In 08/30/2018 = unchanged at 205 lbs

The belly of the beast.  
Photo is sort of fuzzy ... I am lousy at taking sexy-selfies.  
All gut and no butt makes it hard to keep belt-guns from sliding past the buns.

This is the time of year is when I usually say, "good enough" and push my body-weight out of my field of existential concerns.  My "seasonal blues" and lethargy starts lifting around Groundhog Day and by the first day of spring I am usually back up to speed ... and again painfully overweight.  My reptilian brain tells me that, at this stage of my life, it is imperative that I get lean and stay there.  I can't let the shorter daylight hours start sending me back to the fridge for comfort ...

So ... I guess not losing any weight during the month of August isn't a negative thing ... after all, I didn't gain any weight, I'm still down 20 lbs since April.  I don't recall a single day of falling off my diet ... I just wasn't as physically active as I should have been ... I've cut back on my walking because older guys strolling around are tempting targets for hooligans ... I need to find safer locations to perambulate ... where I can still legally "go armed" in case the world insists on proving that there is no such thing as a "safe place."

How were things three-years-ago?  Well, I found some old notes ... I was 200 lbs on May 15, 2015, 195 lbs on May 29, 2015, and 190 lbs on July 22, 2015.   I was still bicycling back then ... before it became apparent that motor vehicles and bicyclists are a poor competitive mix around here.  

The goal (now) for the end of September is to weigh in at 200 lbs.  The ultimate target remains to achieve and maintain a cyclic range of 165 lbs - 185 lbs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Finally cleaned the Springfield Armory 1911A1 .45ACP

I mentioned the other day that I had a pistol that I had put away dirty and I needed to put my universe back in order ...

DONE, DONE, DONE!  This pistol was last used three years ago.  Yeah, I feel guilty ...

Do firearms (aside from those burning black-powder) need to be cleaned after every use?  Well, I've seen many shooting-range-rentals that look like they have been heavily used and never cleaned.   I prefer to clean guns after each session ... but every once in a while I let things slide before I get around to the task.  Insofar as the reliability of 1911 pattern pistols, IMHO they are outstanding performers when cleaned and lubed after (or before) each session ... your mileage may vary.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

REVIEW: Smith & Wesson branded J Frame "Boot Grips" sold at the S&W website may not be as speed-loader friendly as the erstwhile Uncle Mike's version

The new S&W branded stocks (grips) sold by Smith & Wesson look good and they handle decent enough, even when firing heavy loads.  For shooting and for concealed carry, they are quite all right.

The problem is (IMHO) with the thumb-rest area; it is a gradual contour that (IMHO) does not go deep enough soon enough.   The scuff marks are from the Safariland loader.

The thumb-rest area on the Uncle Mike's stocks (grips) once sold by Smith & Wesson (IIRC, for over a couple of decades) looks to be thinner, flatter, and more defined.  

The Safariland loader aligned wonderfully with the old Uncle Mike's stocks (grips).

The loader alignment is not so pretty good with the newer stocks (grips)

The Safariland loaders are not totally unusable with the new stocks (grips), but what once was a simple, quick, and sure reload maneuver evolved into a more complex, slower, "wiggle-spin, try stabbing it agin, dammit dammit dammit" kinda thing.  Maybe it all will smooth out with extended use; in the meantime I'll not be switching any more J frames away from the old Uncle Mike's stocks.

ADDENDUM 2/4/2019:  I had many range sessions with these grips and just could NOT force the Safariland Comp I speedloaders to work reliably until I butchered the grips.  IMHO S&W should have considered speedloader use during the design phase.

ADDENDUM 2/11/2019
I suspected that the S&W branded grips (stocks) would be okay for the 940 moon clips due to the short length of the 9mm cartridges.  I swapped the original (still pristine) Uncle Mike's grips from the 940 with the S&W grips that I had put on the 640-0 (.38 special).    Crimson Trace 405 laser grips now adorn the newer of my two Model 442 revolvers; those Uncle Mike's grips replaced the S&W brand grips that I butchered on the 640-1 revolver.  The universe is again in balance.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Yesterday I finally made it back to the shooting range

How did I shoot?  Um, yeah ... we'll talk about that in a later post; for now let's just say that overall it would have been good enough to qualify (or re-qualify) me for an Illinois concealed carry license ... but nothing I threw downrange bordered on being impressive.  Nothing.  I'm glad the range was not crowded ... there were only a few witnesses ...

The last time I was at the range was April 9 of this year; that was over 4 months ago and I was gunning with a Glock 19.  October 24, 2017 (around 10-months ago) was the last time I did range time with a S&W J Frame revolver ... it was an airweight and I did better with it then than I did with a steel J frame on this visit.  Yep, without a doubt, I need more frequent range visits ... especially with J frames ...  talk is cheap cheap cheap ... but range time isn't ... it can add up  ... $28 for this session's targets and range time (I brought my own ammo).  I was done early ... I'll only pay for 1/2 hour next visit and use fewer targets ... that will save a few dollars.  Monday is always senior-citizen discount day but for some reason Mondays haven't had much leisure (or motivation) for me in a good long while.

But, heck, I'm just tickled that I finally made it happen; I got to the range for some positive practice;  I tossed 30-rounds of 130-grain FMJ .38 Special downrange along with 5-rounds of 110-grain .357 magnum semi-jacketed-hollowpoints.  It wasn't an orgasmic good-time but I did have a respectable amount of fun.

More later ...

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Beware of really old dudes carrying really old guns

Heh!  I ran into an old-timer yesterday (defined as a living human at least a dozen years older than I am) whose choice for concealed carry is the above.  Now, this guy owns over a hundred pieces so it is not like he is stuck with some random relic of days gone by; he knows his guns and decided that if it was "good enough back then it is good enough now."  (BTW, he disclosed that, for the sake of propriety, he did use a 1918 vintage Colt Government Model to qualify for his carry license / permit ... indoor ranges usually will not allow black-powder cartridges).

Yep, those are vintage ivory stocks (grips).

Fodder is .44 Russian if I heard correctly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cleaned the Colt .38 Super today

I was going to (finally) go to the range today (I've been only shooting once this year ... as far as I can recall) but decided that I'd be better served to clean a long-dirty pistol (last fired on 1/19/2015 and put away dirty ... something I very rarely do).  Methinks there is at least one other 1911-pattern pistol in the gun-safe that I put away dirty and is in need of some reliability sustaining detailing; once that other pistol is cleaned my conscience will again be pure.    

For the first time ever, I tried wearing nitrile gloves during the cleaning ... but about three-quarters of being finished I noticed that a couple of the fingertips had torn ... so much for the idea of trying to keep the solvents away from my skin.

Do I ever concealed-carry Colt Government models?  Yes, but only for periods long enough to proof-test (proof of concept, if you will) a given holster.  After a few hours the weight of these pistols can be taxing.   I do prefer the modern, lighter designs for everyday carry.

Monday, August 6, 2018

A road-trip with two out-of-date GPS boxes was not a good idea.

I guess that it's time I purchased a newer GPS system (and some newer old-fashioned paper roadmaps).  The old Garmin is on the right and an even older TomTom is on the left.  The last time I checked, neither was readily updatable from around the time when I migrated to Apple from MS-Windows.  Even though there is a new battery and alternator in my vintage 2005 car, that old Garmin draws a lot more juice than I am comfortable with.  The outdated maps in both boxes had me driving in short-circles in select parts of Western Kentucky and Tennessee; that was nerve wracking, especially at night.  On one misadventure the GPS was telling me to drive full-speed-straight-ahead for another 6-miles when a stop-sign suddenly popped up and triggered my caffeine-keen reflexes to keep us from sailing into a cornfield at 70-miles-per-hour.

Unless I travel straight west across the top of Illinois (or the bottom of Wisconsin) for around 30 to 50-miles before I start heading south on any trip I am forced to drive through Chicago one way or another.  To avoid the heaviest potential "shooting zones" of Chicago / Cook County, the Tri-State-Tollway is usually my best bet ... but construction zones, accidents, stalled / disabled vehicles, and good old fashioned heavy vehicle traffic in and out of O'Hare Airport can add about two-hours to the trip.  I'm darned if I do and damned if I don't ... but all is well that ends well.  I took the tollway route both there and back.  We left home around 1:30pm Friday and got to our destination at midnight.  We started back at 1:30pm on Saturday and arrived home at 10:30pm; about 90-minutes quicker than the trip down.  For a Chicago Saturday night, the tollway traffic was surprisingly civilized.


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