Wednesday, October 31, 2007


If you've been reading this blog for a year now then you might remember my little tidbit of information regarding a zombie attack last Halloween. If not then a little check of the archives should bring it up. Suffice it to say that "Sometimes I worry about Zombies"

First you have the George Romero zombies, then you have the Danny Boyle zombies, and lets not forget the Edgar Wright zombies. What's all this mean? Well it means you should be prepared for any eventuality so make sure your zombie survival tools are standing by and happy hunting.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Well I know it’s a little late, but I’ve been very busy lately. A couple of weeks ago at the PVR swap meet I ran into a little deal that was just too good to pass up. I’ve been toying with the idea of picking up some cap and ball revolvers and shooting frontiersman. I love the look of the open top revolvers and found myself leaning towards the 1860 Army model Colts. Checking out prices here and their, I found that they always ran about $189. If I went with a brass frame I could get them cheaper, but I wanted a steel frame in the event I decided to get a cartridge

conversion or some such thing. So I had done my research, but never actually made anything happen.

When I went to the Indiana State Match last
month I hoped to find a good deal on some cap and ball revolvers, but there were almost no vendors at the match so I left dejected. The PVR swap meet was my last hope.

We stopped for breakfast at the Little Schoolhouse as usual and met up with Abu. While talking about what to expect at the swap meet he said he was trying to sell his Pietta’s. After further questioning it came out that he had 4 Pietta 1851 Navies in .44 and wanted only 100 dollars each. Well that was a deal that was just too good to be true.

The 1851 Navy is the gun that really brought Sam Colt his fame. They earned the term “Navy” not due to any specific use by military navies around the world, but to the engraved navel battle scene on the cylinder. The Term “Navy” has universally been used to describe the .36 caliber version of the weapon, and the .44 caliber version was called the “Army” so I guess I really have an 1851 “Army”, but that doesn’t sound as cool.

Anyway 200 dollars later I am the proud owner of a brace of 1851 Navies and someday I plan on shooting Frontiersman if I can ever figure out how the things work.

It looks like I got these just in time since we are going to have a Josey Wales side match at the next TVR main match. More on that later.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Carry Ready Colt

OK, so I decided to make the Colt 1911 I bought recently carry ready. What does that mean? For me it means adding ergonomic features that ensure reliable operation of the firearm. I also had the loose plunger tube to replace, so last week I placed orders with Brownells and MidwayUSA.

First came the plunger tube, it was remarkably easy to replace with the Brownells tool and now I have a solid tube and a new tool. While I had the gun tore down, I replaced the trigger with a solid Ed Brown smooth, extended trigger to accommodate my big hands.

I don't have the heart to start carving on the Colt frame, so I purchased a Wilson Combat drop-in Beavertail grip safety to allow a higher and more consistent grip as well as prevent hammer-bite. The unit went in fairly easily, there was the usual fitting involved and the safety rubbed on the frame in a couple of spots, nothing a little abrasive applied judicously couldn't overcome. To match the new grip safety, I installed a Swenson Commander hammer after thinning it a bit and stoning the hooks down to .020. The trigger feels OK if not outstanding. The original sear was perfect, so I think smoothing up the hooks a bit would help some.

I then fitted the Cylinder and Slide extended thumb safety to the frame which pretty much completed my work, or so I thought. It turns out that the plunger tube I bought was oversized and that coupled with the extended safety meant I had to adjust the grips to allow for clearances, not a problem and easily done, but not expected on my part.

Whilst I had the gun completely tore down, I replaced nearly all the springs with new factory replacement Wolff Springs and adjusted the trigger spring to lighten up trigger pull a bit as well as cleaned out many years of gunk. The previous owner had not taken down the slide in a long time if ever, I think that's fine as far as I'm concerned, I know nothing's been monkeyed with. The oil inside the firing pin channel had actually turned to shellac, so a cleaning was indeed warranted.

I tested the function of the gun to make certain the disconnect does its job and that the safeties work properly and I even made certain that the firing pin would strike a primer by putting a pen down the barrel and "firing" it out of the gun. Everything seems great and I can't wait to get it to the range to function test it and make certain the modifications work and the plunger tube repair will hold. I'm confident in my work, but you don't know until you know.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thunder Valley Government

Had a great day shooting yesterday. Weather was perfect, Posse worked hard, shot well, and got done in plenty of time to enjoy the great company. That's what makes the sport so great, the people you meet.

Thunder Valley is one of the best places to shoot because it is filled with some of the best people. PVR is kinda like an extension of that same family since all of the same people belong to both ranges.

I noticed that the titles for the leadership at Thunder Valley was a little off. You see the leadership of SASS calls itself the "Wild Bunch" and the members of the representative body are called Territorial Governors. This is very cool and in the theme of things so I propose that TVR change it's titles accordingly.

From henceforth the President will be called "Mayor", the Vice President will be "Councilman", the Range Master will be "Sheriff" the Assistant Range Master "Deputy" and the Administrative Director will be "That Damn Newspaperman!"

Mayor Redneck Rebel
Councilman Graver
Sheriff Abu
Deputy Jose Gigante
and That Damn Newspaperman Fighting Eagle!

Friday, October 19, 2007


"He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize." - Oscar Fingal O'Flahaertie Wills Wilde

Many cowboy on the lonesome trail found himself reading all that he could. Stories tell of cowpokes reciting Shakespeare to pass the time. Oscar Wilde was well known in his day for his skills as a writer and his salacious personal life. There is little doubt that he possessed a strong level of confidence.

Confidence is being filled with assurance, it is a peace of mind and a place of strength. Confidence means that fear and doubt do not hinder you. Confidence allows you to make quick decisions. It allows you to try knew things without fear of failure. It allows you to push yourself. To be successful you must have confidence not only in yourself, but in those with whom you surround yourself.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

As Seen On TV

I can't decide if this is an actual product, my BS detector went off while watching the commercial. If its real (and the patent is real), I'll never have to get out of bed to deal with intruders, now all I need is a bedside beer dispenser.

Heh, Ubermensch

Larry Correa of Monster Hunter Nation has a funny rant about HK, the guns, marketing and fanbois. HK. Because you suck. And we hate you. Be sure to read the comments, it gets funny at the end.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Colt Iron

As noted in my previous post, PVR had "Trade Days" at the monthly shoot and I for one thought it went very well and there was plenty to buy. I wish I had more money on hand, I might have walked away with another gun or two. As it was, I sold my Rossi '92 to a fella who's looking to take deer with it and the rifle should make a good deer gun, light, strong and in a cartridge (45 Colt) that should do fine against Indiana deer.

Having that cash in my pocket, I made a deal with the previous owner of a Colt 1911 MKIV Series 80 in stainless. I've been looking to get a Colt at a good price and I couldn't pass this one up for sure. I even got to shoot it after I bought it which is always good (even though I've seen the owner shoot it before and knew it was an excellent shooting gun). First thing I did this morning is to strip it down completely to see what I've got internally, everything is perfect with the exception of the plunger tube that needs to be replaced or restaked (I'll replace it). This is a problem that crops up on old 1911s and is of no surprise or real disappointment to me, just a fact of 1911 life. It isn't a big job, but it takes the right tool, so it looks like my tool selection will increase.

I do so love the stainless look and even though Judge thinks I should start cutting on it immediately to make it a carry gun, I can't bring myself to go hog-wild on it. I do know that Wilson makes drop-in beavertail grip safeties and an extended thumb safety won't change the gun forever. Honestly, I like the sights, the front is a wider ramp type and the rear have a wider notch than mil-spec and I'm not sure I'll do anything, perhaps the King's Hardball replacement or Yost-Bonitz retro sights, but no cutting of the slide for now.

Anyways, I'm VERY happy guy today after shooting wildly in a very fun match and bringing home new iron.

Friday, October 12, 2007

PVR Trade Days

This weekend Pleasant Valley is having a swap meet for cowboys before/after the match, so if you're looking for something or want to get rid of some of your stuff, come on by. I know Judge has some stuff and I'll be bringing a couple of guns, so bring your cash.

1st Annual PVR Trade Days
October 13th and 14th, 2007

Buy, Sell, Trade. Bring anything related to the Old West and
Cowboy Action Shooting. You are welcome to bring your own
table/display or just use what’s available at the range.

••••Cowboy Guns••••
••••Wild Bunch Firearms••••
••••Pocket Pistols and Derringers••••
••••Leather of all kinds
Holsters, Belts, Badge Holders
Loading Strips, etc.••••
••••Old West Clothing for
Cowboys, Cowgirls and Genteel Ladies••••
••••Spurs and Accoutrements••••
••••Reloading Components••••
••••Reloading Tools••••
••••Gun Care and Cleaning Supplies••••

Please price the items you want to sell.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Hey, if you are visiting this site please leave a little comment saying hello. I'm curious if anyone but Jose and I are reading. If you are not visiting and have never been here before then it's not necessary for you to leave a comment.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Code of the West

I ran across this today and thought that with all the whining and complaining we do in modern times (I admit, I do it), its certainly refreshing to look at how persons in the Old West conducted themselves, or were at least expected to conduct themselves. Going down the list, I certainly fall short in some areas, but then, times have changed and you can't really trust people the same way you could then (I believe). Anyway, I think most of the fellas on "The Wire" should take some of these to heart, I might like it there were these principles enforced there.

I took these from Legends of America website, the code was never penned in practice, author Zane Grey chronicled it in his novel The Code of the West.

  • Don't inquire into a person's past. Take the measure of
    a man for what he is today.

  • Never steal another man's horse. A horse thief pays
    with his life.
  • Defend yourself whenever necessary.
  • Look out for your own.
  • Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table.
  • Never order anything weaker than whiskey.
  • Don't make a threat without expecting dire
  • Never pass anyone on the trail without saying
  • When approaching someone from behind, give a loud greeting
    before you get within shooting range.

  • Don't wave at a man on a horse, as it might spook the
    horse. A nod is the proper greeting.

  • After you pass someone on the trail, don't look back at
    him. It implies you don't trust him.

  • Riding another man's horse without his permission is
    nearly as bad as making love to his wife. Never even
    bother another man's horse.
  • Always fill your whiskey glass to the brim.
  • Do not practice ingratitude.
  • A cowboy is pleasant even when out of sorts. Complaining is
    what quitters do, and
    cowboys hate quitters.
  • Always be courageous. Cowards aren't tolerated in any
    outfit worth its salt.
  • A cowboy always helps someone in need, even a stranger or an
  • Never try on another man's hat.
  • Be hospitable to strangers. Anyone who wanders in,
    including an enemy, is welcome at the dinner table. The same was true for
    riders who joined
    cowboys on the range.
  • Give your enemy a fighting chance.
  • Never wake another man by shaking or touching him, as
    he might wake suddenly and shoot you.

  • Real cowboys are modest. A braggert who is "all gurgle
    and no guts" is not tolerated.
  • A cowboy doesn't talk much; he saves his breath for breathing.
  • No matter how weary and hungry you are after a long day
    in the saddle, always tend to your horse's needs before your own, and get
    your horse some feed before you eat.

  • Cuss all you want, but only around men, horses and
  • Complain about the cooking and you become the cook.
  • Always drink your whiskey with your gun hand, to show
    your friendly intentions.
  • Be there for a friend when he needs you.
  • Drinking on duty is grounds for instant dismissal and
  • A cowboy is loyal to his "brand," to his friends, and
    those he rides with.
  • Never shoot an unarmed or unwarned enemy. This was also
    known as "the rattlesnake code": always warn before you strike.
    However, if a man was being stalked, this could be ignored.
  • Never shoot a woman no matter what.
  • Consideration for others is central to the code, such
    as: Don't stir up dust around the chuckwagon, don't wake up the wrong man
    for herd duty, etc.
  • Respect the land and the environment by not smoking in
    hazardous fire areas, disfiguring rocks, trees, or other natural areas.
  • Honesty is absolute - your word is your bond, a
    handshake is more binding than a contract.

  • Live by the Golden Rule.


I copied and uploaded Copper's pictures from the Indiana State Shoot to my flickr account.

Thanks for being the Amigos photographer Copper.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Range Time

Last week I got some much needed range time. You would think that I would get plenty of trigger time being a firearms instructor, but the reality is much different. When instructing I rarely get to shoot at all and I have spent an entire week at the range without ever pulling the trigger myself. This time I got to the range about an hour early and managed to put in some solid work.

I started with the 87. Since I have decided to make the 87 my new main match shotgun I figured I better learn how to shoot it. I managed to get a 4 shoot string starting from the gun placed horizontally in 8.64 seconds. That was my fast time with times usually in the 10 – 12 second range. The drop 2 isn’t very reliable and the gun sometimes doesn’t want to feed properly. It’s still fun to shoot and I’m going to finish the year out with it so I hope to get consistent times around 6 – 7 seconds by next spring.

After going through about 50 rounds of shotgun I moved to my Glock and the 10-8 pistol test. I didn’t have an IDPA/IPSC target so I used an 8” paper plate for the body and an index card for the head. I’m not sold entirely on the test, but I did have fits shooting it in the 5 second par time. After a few practice attempts I did manage to bring the first half of the test in the 4.5 – 4.8 second range with no misses, but then the students showed up and I had to stop.

I will have to find some time to run these drills again. Lord knows I need the practice.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Little things

I had last week off from work and managed to piddle a bunch in the garage doing reloading stuff. I sure wish Grant would have posted his reloading post a week ago... ain't that always the way?

I like the cat food bullet dispenser idea of his as well as the brass storage bins. I'll have to get some of those.

Basically, I spent the week rediscovering what a pita reloading is when you do it in bulk. I like the developing loads and figuring out a better way to skin a cat, but when it comes down to cranking out a couple of thousand rounds at the 550B or processing brass, my stomach for it fails. I keep interested by trying new stuff that I don't really need to do, like new powder measures and decapping dies and tumblers... you get the picture. My favorite thing is to buy something that saves me time, like the new Thumbler's Tumbler I bought, it holds three times the brass and does the job in the same amount of time, I LOVE that.

Reloading costs, as some of you know I'm sure, are going through the roof. My component cost (bullet/primer/powder) has gone up nearly 30% this year, that's insane! Oh well, its kind of like gas, you gotta have it. I've just taken a step to mitigate it somewhat by placing a bulk order for primers and powder via Powder Valley Inc. The thing about ordering those things online is that you have to pay a hazmat fee, so you have to order a bunch to spread the cost of the fee out. I ordered enough to bring it down to around a dollar per brick of primers or 1lb of powder and PVI's prices are good enough to make it worth the while. I just have to find a place to store all that stuff!

Now if I can only find a place that sells bullets cheap, those are the real killers in this equation, going up by $15/1k this year or 31%. Anyone know of a cheap place to buy good bullets? I've got some feelers out and if I find someone, I might place a big order so I don't have to buy for a while.

Other things I did? I put a true commander hammer on my Kimber Eclipse CLE II, not one of those skeletonized jobs, the real deal. I like it. I also bought some new ammo for it, Hornady's TAP 230g hollow-points, 950fps; 461lb/f. That should do the trick.

I bought some of the Blue Wonder gun blueing kit to try and protect my S&W 19-3 from rust. It didn't go well as I got even more rust!!! I must have done something wrong, but as I followed the instructions to a "T", I don't know. I may look into getting the entire gun refinished, there's a local guy with blueing tanks, but the gun really isn't worth it.

That's it, that's how I relax on vacation.