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WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! SOCIAL MEDIA IS ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED PRODUCTIVITY, LACK OF SLEEP, SOCIAL ALIENATION, BIRTH DEFECTS, BLINDNESS, AND SEXUAL IMPOTENCY. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNITION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some erotic 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!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

My daily jumpstart

4mg of Nicotine, 324mg of Aspirin, and 400mg of extra Caffeine with the morning coffee.

Yeah, it helps get me going but it isn't something that triggers a miraculous physical and mental transformation from "achy geriatric somnambulist" to "crack-baby squirrel stoked on meth."

(What works for me might be harmful or fatal to others so don't go taking any of this as medical advice.)

What a reasonably informed person sticks, sips, guzzles, eats, shoves, inhales, sucks, or snorts into their body isn't any of my business just as long as they fully understand the possibilities.  I am of the opinion that only a small number of us are under-informed.  Don't blame me for your bad choices and I won't blame you for mine.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Mossberg Model 402 Palomino .22 Caliber Carbine

A local shooting range has a recurring gallery-gun fun-shoot event that is tempting me.  Most any of my .22 semi-autos would suffice but this old early-1960's-era lever action small-game gun also has merit.  The likelihood that I'll ever again go hunting with it is only marginally above zero.  It would be nice to put some more mileage on it before I decide to put it up for sale on consignment (via FFL LGS of course, in utter and complete compliance with all current and future interstellar, universal, international, federal, state, and local firearm laws, no matter how bureaucratically complex, idiotic, ill conceived, and functionally flaccid those laws may be).

Gun Designer Ludwig Seecamp was with O.F. Mossberg during the time period corresponding to the development and marketing of this rifle.  Is there a solid Seecamp connection?  Maybe so, maybe no; it was so many years ago that I doubt Mossberg has records that would say one way or the other.  The only reason that I brought this up is because this model has (IMHO) somewhat of a European flavor to it; there is no external hammer and the firing pin is more of a striker type.  It has a unique stylish flair that is quite unlike the looks (and mechanics) of the competing Marlin lever .22 rifles (and others) of the era.  I did find a lever action patent filed by Ludwig Seecamp that did show a tantalizing hint of a connection.  Speculation is harmless fun (usually).

This same Mossberg made rifle was sold by Montgomery Wards under the WesternField brand.

Parts are still available (some new, some used) from Numrich and from Havlin.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Monthly Weigh-in 09/28/2019 = UNCHANGED at 175-lbs

This entry is just a continuation of the monthly reminders to myself to "stay at it."  This weight loss thing is not a true obsession with me (I'm too damn lazy to be chained to any obsession); it is more of a state of mind thing akin to once a month looking at a post-it-note stuck on the bathroom mirror.  Blogging about it helps keep it in tune.  Boring as it is for you kind folks to read, this journal is a mild catharsis for this old geezer.  Dieting is a head-game (at least it is for me).

From here on out until around April my challenge isn't going to be to lose weight, it will be to just stay on track and not gain any weight over the winter (as was my pattern for quite some time).  The melancholy fall and winter months can be taxing on each of our respective souls.  Peace and love to all y'all.  Hang in there.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Happy First Day of Autumn 2019

 The squirrel food is ready.

 The last of the back-patio flowers

The pile of trimmings is growing.  Damn, over the 20-years that I lived here I sure planted a bunch of trees on this quarter-acre.

Spring and summer certainly breezed by in a hurry.  Life is akin to a roll of toilet paper, the closer you are to the end the faster what remains spins away.

Be it near or far, if there was something that I didn't want to be forced to look at for the rest of my life I always planted a tree between it and me.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Dude deliberately drives car into Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois

CLICK HERE for the story.

Hell, I'm old enough to remember when that mall first opened; I was a year or two outta high school.

No bollards to deter shit like this from happening?  That's bogus, man.  Very lame.  All of these years since the Blues Brothers movie and nobody dreamed that some asshole could do this?  This is not encouraging.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Smith & Wesson Model 15-3 range session at 5-Star Firearms in Zion, Illinois 09/09/2019

This was range session #12 for 2019 and it is probably my last for the year. There are many competing priorities that I need to attend to before the new year rings in so I need to limit distractions. 779-rounds total were expended this year and it all was more fun than I deserved to have.  I hope to spend even more time at the range next year.  We'll see how things work out ...
65-rounds of Federal 130-grain FMJ (AE38K) plus 6-rounds of Federal 125-grain Nyclad hollow point (P38M) equals 71-rounds total for this session (all were NON+P loads which are very friendly to the frame of this old revolver and to the achy hands of this kludgy old shooter). It has been many years since I last fired the old S&W Model 15-3 shown in the photo above.  I decided to get away from practicing with the light-and-easy to carry pocket sized blasters for a while so I dug this Combat Masterpiece out of secure storage. I even used it for concealed carry for a few days with a Jackass shoulder rig as proof of concept; it's unlikely to become a regular carry --- but it is probably best to never say never nowadays.


The sheet (above) was used at varying distances

First off, I engaged the center target:
12-rounds @ 30-feet (10-yards)
I did my best Elmer Fudd modified Weaver stance and fired the revolver double action, very slow and very deliberately but I avoided staging the trigger.  The Nyclads were the first 6-rounds fired; I highlighted in yellow where they hit.

Next I blasted away at the pair of lower targets:
12-rounds on each @ 21-feet (7-yards)
Again with the modified Weaver stance, I fired double action as fast as I could sight and squeeze.  Even at this closer distance I expected that the faster pace of shooting would cause me to open up my groupings more than I did.  This revolver has always been very kind and patient with my lack of natural talent.  It is no wonder (to me, at least) that many cops were reluctant to transition away from this model.

Then it came down to just me facing off against the top pair of targets:
12-rounds on each @ 45-feet (15-yards)
Kneeling, using the range-booth countertop as a brace, I fired SINGLE ACTION, as fast as I could thumb-cock the hammer, sight, and squeeze the trigger.  At this distance my eyes started to lose focus of the front sight against the target.


I had 11-rounds left to burn so I rolled a fresh sheet out to 60-feet (20-yards) which I (correctly) guessed to be the inner edge of my zone of suckiness with this revolver.  Again I bastardized some sort of a modified Weaver stance and fired double action as fast as I could sight and squeeze.  Of the 11-rounds fired, there was 1-on-paper-miss (highlighted in yellow, lower righthand corner). 10-rounds did hit inside the scoring rings with 5-rounds landing inside the 9-ring and 5-rounds scattered around inside the other numbers. Some famous movie dude once said something about a man needing to know his limitations.  

It is more enjoyable for me to shoot with a 4'' .38 special K-frame than it is for me to shoot with a snub .38 special J-frame.  It always has been and always will be.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The storm winds went suddenly still, my ears popped from the change in pressure and the tornado warning sirens from near and far all began wailing.

Apparently the NWS saw something with rotation on radar so the warnings went out.  No tornado ever came out of this storm but it was scary for a while; I shot these photos sometime around 7:30pm;  there were some similarities to the eerie precursors of the tornado that I witnessed in 1967.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

An old Jackass Rig for the S&W K Frame

I found this used holster rig (sans revolver, of course) locally a while back.  I'll venture a guess that it is from the early to mid 1970s.  Legal concealed carry was not a civilian thing back then so it is fairly safe to assume it was previously owned by someone in law enforcement or by a favored politician (or other person of means and influence).

CLICK HERE for the history of the famous Jackass Leather Company.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Monthly Weigh-in 08/29/2019 = UNCHANGED at 175-lbs

The photo above shows one of my countless weight gain demons.  I gotta tell ya, I love those things.  Vanilla Wafers were one of the many "rewards" that I kept shoveling down my throat on the road to sustained obesity.  I'd buy a pack while shopping and eat ALL OF THEM while driving back home.   

I didn't expect to drop much of anything over the past month; most of the "easy" weight is already gone.  Each pound that I have yet to lose will be earned.  A month with no weight gain is always a win.

Friday, August 23, 2019

08/19/2019 S&W 442-0 Range Session with 110-grain Winchester Silvertip .38 Special JHP at 5-Star Firearms in Zion, Illinois

50-rounds of .38 special 110-grain Silvertips are in an assortment of loaders.  Everything is ready for the range and I'm mentally focused for the trip.  I unload the carry gun, case it up and put it inside the range bag with the loaders; the 5-rounds of Nyclads that I took from the revolver I drop loose into my shirt pocket because they too are destined to serve. I've watched plenty of the "how to" videos showing different techniques on how to be quick and slick with speed loaders and strips.  I've also made available the time needed to practice with loaders using dummy rounds (in my basement cold-range).  My skills have glacially improved --- but only a smidgeon.  It's been maybe over a year or so since I started using loaders at the shooting range but that decision was made for more of a personal reason than a tactical one; LOADING A REVOLVER ONE ROUND AT A TIME IS SLOW, BORING, AND A WASTE OF MY PRECIOUS RANGE TIME!   Having said that, let me offer that I have read and do respect the advice of experts to also practice loading single rounds from the pocket in case the loader suffers a premature ejaculation during the heat of the moment.


A number of years back (>= 12-years) I purchased 500-rounds (i.e., a case of 10 x 50-round boxes) of these.  I found them to be a decent practice-load for the lightweight alloy J-frame / D-frame revolvers and they had a reputation for being suitable for personal protection.  Earlier this year I was chagrined to discover that I was down to a single box of 50 left on the rack so I ordered another 500-rounds (which should last me until the end of time). 

Insofar as comparing the non+P Winchester 110-grain Silvertip to Federal's erstwhile 125-grain non+P Nyclad, the scuttlebutt scorecard of yesteryear arguably gave the "stopping power" edge to the Nyclad. Anecdotally, I find the Silvertips to have a bit of a snappier recoil in the airweight revolvers than do the Nyclads but the overall "feel" is close enough for me to use the Silvertips as a range surrogate (I gotta make my remaining inventory of Nyclads last as long as possible).  I do find that the spent (plated) Nyclad cases are easier to extract than are the spent (unplated) Silvertip cases.

Winchester is good about re-engineering loads to enhance performance.  The serrations on the nose of the bullets aid in expansion.


Target#1 was set at 30-feet (10-yards)
A total of 30-rounds were fired.  
My stance was a modified Weaver with both hands managing the revolver as best as the pains of my age allowed. First I fired the 5-rounds of Nyclads and then chased them with 25 rounds of the Silvertips.  The first 25-rounds of the total were slow and deliberate and the final 5-rounds were fired as fast as I could manage.  The bulk of the rounds landed inside the 9-ring. While there were no off-paper misses, there were 2-rounds that landed outside the scoring rings (not shown in the photo), one in the pink and the other not.


Target#2 was set at 45-feet (15-yards)
A total of 25-rounds were fired (all Silvertips).
I was kneeling and using the range-booth countertop as a support for my arms and hands (scenario: hunkered down, returning fire from behind a protective barricade).  Of the 25-rounds that were fired at this target, 20-rounds were slow and deliberate and the final 5-rounds were fired as fast as I could manage.  23-rounds hit inside the scoring rings but I managed to score only 13-rounds inside of the 9-ring. I own the 2-rounds that were off-paper misses.   It is obvious that 45-feet is my extreme outer limit with a double action only .38 airweight snub.  Does single action use of a double action steel .38 J-frame have merit for me at this distance?  I dunno ... that's something I have yet to try.


During this range session a total of 55-rounds were expended, consisting of:
50 Silvertips 
5 Nyclads 

I had a great time and it all was a bucket of fun but, even with these moderate loads, the airweight 442 revolver beat up my arthritic right hand and it still throbs 4-days afterwards.  Even if I had the time and money to go shooting every week there is no physical way that I could do it solely with airweight revolvers --- they are a light-and-easy carry but somewhat punishing to shoot.

(It is generally (widely?) recommended that we all should practice with what we routinely carry --- at least once in a while; opinions vary on how often.  I do my thing and I offer no opinion on how others should do theirs.)

This was my 11th range session for year 2019 --- a total of 708-rounds fired thus far.  Maybe I'll get a couple of more sessions in before the end of the year but I doubt that I'll reach the 1,000-round mark.  

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Zen of the STEN Submachine Gun

Fire one up if you ever get the chance.

91-days after being submitted, my renewed Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL) was in the mailbox

Yes, I did have prints on file from my original application which is why it was processed in +- 90-days instead of +- 120-days.

It is nice to cross yet another "personal administrative detail" off of my long list of things to do.

CLICK HERE for the Illinois Carry website for a wealth of information about the process.


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Colt Combat Commander .45 ACP Federal Hydra-Shok Range Session 08/05/2019 at 5 Star Firearms in Zion, Illinois

This was my 4th range session with this secondhand pistol.

The photo above shows 7 top-quality magazines, each loaded to capacity with 7-rounds of 230-grain Federal Hydra-Shok hollow points.  This range session was expensive; Hydra-Shoks are spendy compared to target ammo; for .45 ACP defense loads figure roughly $1 per round, sometimes higher and sometimes lower depending on market conditions ... versus 30-35 cents per round for .45 ACP target fodder.

A total of 57-rounds of ammo were fired during this session, consisting of:
50-rounds of Federal Hydra-Shok 230-grain self defense loads
7-rounds of Federal 230-grain FMJ range loads


For this session I used a single target set at a distance of 30-feet (10-yards).

There were 2 failures using the Hydra-Shok ammo.  The 6th round from the 1st magazine failed to chamber, as did the 3rd round from the 7th magazine. I was disappointed but not surprised; many 1911 pattern pistols can be yeomanly reliable with ball ammo but downright sketchy with hollow point loads.  A couple of misfeeds out of the 50-rounds fired during this session (and the 67-rounds of Hydra-Shok fired overall since I purchased the pistol) might not sound like much of a concern to some folks but it is a bit too much for my tastes.  If ever I am pressed to carry this pistol for self defense (possible but unlikely because of better options) it may have a Hydra-Shok cartridge in the chamber but the magazine(s) will be full of FMJ ball.  

Overall I am happy with this pistol.  Since coming into my possession this dear old gun has fired 235-rounds total; 168-rounds of FMJ ball ammo went downrange without fail along with 65 of the 67 Hydra-Shoks that were fired.   HOWEVER, I did notice one thing during this session that was never before an issue; I was occasionally getting whapped in the forehead with the ejected brass.  That is often an indicator that the extractor is weak and / or damaged and / or dirty or a combination thereof.  During the routine post-range-session pistol cleaning I opted to also yank the extractor from the slide, cleaned and inspected it, adjusted the tension with a Weigand EAT (I'm not a fan of the trial and error method of manually bending 1911 extractors), put everything back together, and tested the extractor function.  

I do hereby proclaim that this pistol is as good as it is ever gonna get via my limited talent and resources.   


I've heard that calling for a timeout to clear a jammed pistol is not conducive to a continued existence when facing heavily armed homicidal space cadets.  

Monday, August 5, 2019

Today was my tenth visit to a shooting range this year ...

Monday is always senior citizen discount day at this range;  I take advantage of this benevolence whenever I can ... which is never as often as I wish to.  A total of 653-rounds fired so far this year, mostly from semi-auto pistols chambered either for 9mm Parabellum or .45 ACP.  Sometime later on I'll do a blog entry with the details of today's session.

The range seemed somewhat busier than usual today.  Small wonder.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Monthly Weigh-in 07/31/2019 = 175-lbs; Official weight-loss for 2019 = 15-lbs; Total weight-loss for this project = 50-lbs;

Dear Diet Diary,

I finally got down another 5-lbs.  With the summer heat I had trouble gauging actual weight loss against dehydration but it's confirmed; 175-pounds is here and it has been away for too long.   Thinking, "Okay, this is good enough" is my latest demon and it's getting difficult to fight against the urge to indulge.

This diet that I am on is not from any book or video; it is nothing fancy, just trying to do what every one of us knows ... don't overeat.   Most of my weight loss is just from watching what I eat; very little of it came from increased physical activity.   As boring as it is, it has worked so far ... I gotta stick to the plan ...

170-pounds is the next target ...  staying at 175 isn't good enough ... staying at 175 isn't good enough ... staying at 175 isn't good enough ...

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Federal Syntech .45 ACP Colt Defender Range Session at 5 Star Firearms in Zion, Illinois 07/18/2019

This range session was my first use of Federal's Syntech ammo.  It was a fun little shake down.

This session sent the following downrange:
42-rounds of 230-grain .45 ACP Syntech red ball
20-rounds of 205-grain .45 ACP Syntech hollowpoint
62-rounds total


The first sheet was set at a distance of 21-feet (7-yards)

IIRC the 6 target sections of the sheet are 7-inches across.
Separate preloaded 6-round magazines were used on each target section.
36-rounds of Syntech 230-grain red ball were used on this phase.


There were no off-paper misses but I did manage to drop one round intended for the top-left target into the middle-left target; the problem was with the shooter (that be me), it was not the fault of the pistol or the ammo.  There was one feed jam during this phase; the details are covered farther down this page.


The second sheet was set at a distance of 30-feet (10-yards)

The 26-rounds fired at this distance consisted of
1 x 6-round magazine of the 230-grain red ball Syntech
3 x 6-round mags plus 2 odd rounds of 205-grain Syntech blue hollowpoint (i.e. a box of 20)

I gotta say that I regret only bringing one box of the 205-grain hollowpoints to this range session; the little pistol really felt natural in my hand when firing this load and I managed some fast strings.  This load peaked my interest and optimism; I may fire up the remaining 80-rounds of it during my next outing with the Defender to determine if it is true love or just a passing fancy.  No jams during this phase.


Above are a couple of (very poor; sorry about that) photos of the sole jam that occurred during this session.

The failure may have been shooter induced, i.e. maybe my grip was momentarily too soft (I don't believe so but it is a possibility).

I cannot find anything wrong with the extractor (I do keep a brand new extractor onhand just in case this one goes bad).

The mags are all new and top quality.

It may simply be that this pistol is not yet fully broken in and / or shit happens.  My total round count with this pistol now sits at 125-rounds and I've logged 3 feed jams overall; that ratio is too high for my sensibilities.  Since it is an old pistol that I purchased second hand I have no way to know if it was ever fired enough to properly wear things in.  Until I get my round count with this pistol to around 400 I can't rule it out.  Gosh, I guess I had better do more shooting with it ... darn ... (grin) ...  (humming the tune "Home on the Range").


45 Auto
Bullet Weight
Bullet Style
Syntech Jacket RN
Muzzle Velocity
Test Barrel Length In
Package Quantity
Target Shooting


45 Auto
Bullet Weight
Bullet Style
Segmented Hollow Point
Muzzle Velocity
Test Barrel Length In
Package Quantity
Personal Defense

Friday, July 26, 2019