Brought to my attention by a friend…….


“You know why nobody panic buys .30-06?  Because a man with a .30-06 doesn’t panic.”

Truer words were never spoken.

Lest We Forget

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Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s going anyway.




I got accused the other day of not liking AR platform rifles.  It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s that I don’t care.  I’ve shot em for work and for play and I just don’t really care about em anymore, unless I can help someone make an informed choice about getting one that works for them up and running.  Since I got called out I thought I’d bang out my thoughts on the subject.  

It’s been accepted that the AR family of rifles is here to stay.  

I’ve got no issues with them. 

The FN built rifles that I was issued while I was an 11B worked like sewing machines, other than the one I had in Korea which needed a mag shot through it first to run that well.  

I have a problem with all the crap that people hang off of them.  

I’m beginning to think, that like John Browning, Gene Stoner was right to start with and all the bullshit that people add to his design makes it less useful and reliable.

I like 20” barrels.  

I like A1 length buttstocks. 

I like the A1 rear sight better than the A2 if the rifle is going to have a carry handle.  

If the rifle is going to have a rail I like rear sights that do not fold, spindle, or mutilate.  

In fact, I don’t like, nor will I have,  anything adjustable on the rifle. 

Collapsable stocks are not for me.  

Folding front or rear sights are made out of fail regardless of who makes them.  

Stuff that moves has a very nasty habit of moving when you don’t want it too.

I’d zero the rifle about an inch or so high at 100 giving me the ability to shoot to reasonable engagement ranges without having to hold over, under, or off.  

I’d ditch the forward assist.  

I don’t think it helps very much, and it can hurt.  

Besides, slick slides look better anyway.  

I think a white light can be damn handy to have on a rifle.  

I think an optic is an excellent piece of kit. 

I’m not sure about the rails.  

I understand them, but I don’t see any reason to hang 6 pounds of shit off of a 6 pound rifle to make it better.  

If I went with a light I’d put a G2 Surefire in a Weaver scope ring on the right hand side of the handguard.  

The white light, for me, is an on or off thing.  

I don’t need modes or switches or flashing or any of that other crap.  

As for a VFG or an AFG, I think they can both have their place, but I no longer kick doors or carry the rifle for work. 

I’ll likely never engage the enemy on the back forty. I’ll likely never have to assault the building again. 

I’m not sure how much good they would do me.  

Plain old GI magazines with the green followers have yet to fail me. 

I never used anything else while employed by Uncle Sam.  

I’ve also never really seen the need to switch as a civilian.  

Though if pressed I’d go with the 20 round P-Mags, they’d have all the capacity that I need and make it a touch easier to shoot from prone.  

Twist rate isn’t something I’d really worry too much about in a GP rifle.  

Twist it the same as what Uncle Sam runs and shoot about the same weight ammo, making the switch to soft-points.

As for optics I’d have an ACOG if I could get one the TA-51 to be exact. 

If not that the EOtech and Aimpoints I’ve used both work fine.  

I like doughnut of death better as a reticle but I think the Aimpoint is a simpler and more robust design.

Wouldn’t have one chambered in something other than .223/5.56.  The other stuff is boutique at best and actively silly at worst.

The US Military isn’t switching to a new caliber or rifle unless or until they have a new magazine. 

The SCAR, MASADA, ACR XCR and all the rest are neat but not going anywhere.

Neither is piston driven.  

That’s what I think.  It’s worth what you paid for it.  


5 on the 5

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This meme went around a while back.  I should have written this down then.  Well, I kinda did, then I got to thinking about it.  Picking five dream guns was a little harder than I first thought it would be, especially as I work with guns everyday and have off and on for the better part of my working life.   After careful consideration I did come up with five though.  Presented below in no particular order.


FN M1918 BAR Model D

The high point and the most refined design of the Browning Automatic Rifle.  I’d have to have it chambered in the correct .30-06.  It’s big, heavy, and mostly impractical but it’s the closest thing to FA that I’d care to have.  


Remington Arms Company Model 1875

In my opinion the superior arm to the Colt 1973, but it never gained the commercial success as Colt had a two year head start.  I think it’s the best looking revolver ever produced and the grip frame feels far more comfortable to be than the 1873 type.  Colt’s blackpowder pistol’s grip frames were better than the 1873 too.  This one I’d like to have a pair of in .44-40. (They would go nice with a saddle ring in the same caliber.)  


Winchester Repeating Arms Model of 1895 

I’d have to have the musket model that was manufactured for the Russian Army.  That puts it in 7.62x54r.  While I have no issues with that, I’d really like to have one in .30-06 made in that configuration.  Just a gun that I admire the look of.


Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP

This slick little Colt would make a phenomenal carry pistol with properly loaded .32 ammo and a couple of custom touches.  First I’d dovetail in a set of usable sights, I believe that the Novak’s that a made to fit the Kahr models would be the right size, and a fantastic improvement over the stock sights.  A little TIG welding would add a nice little pad on the safety making is slightly easier to use.  I think I’d prefer a Type I or V for this conversion.  It would be even better if these little pistols were put back into production.  


Stevens Walnut Hill Model Rifle

This is another that I think I’d have to have as a custom.  I’d like to set one of these actions up as a .25-20 W.C.F. I have a fondness for the cartridge and the same fondness for single shots.  This could pretty easily be the best of both worlds.  The picture shows a representative sample but the sky would be the limit for how that customization could be done.  I think I’d have at least a 24” barrel maybe 26 and make it a fairly full profile, with a solid hunting type stock on it. The addition of really good peep sights if not tangent sights would complete the rifle, but frankly a .25-20 just like the picture would suit me fine.  

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal. -George Will-


It’s no real secret that I’m a baseball fan.  I’m not shy about advocating for the game or talking about it.  A couple of days ago I was talking with the esteemed gentleman from Massachusetts about it as he’s just started coaching his son’s little league team.   I came to a conclusion that I hand’t reached before during that conversation.  I finally figured out why I like baseball.  

It’s a team sport.  Twenty-Five man roster.  Nine men on field at a time playing defense. One man in the batter’s box offense centers on him though baserunners play a part.

One man has the ball and in that moment only individual skills matter.  When that moment is over and the ball is in flight either between fielders or off the bat the game is back to being about team.   

Ted Williams, the best right handed hitter ever, said, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”  He was totally correct.  Doesn’t matter at all how impressive an individuals stats are, there is far more failure than success in the game of baseball, and the team can’t be successful without a full team effort.

That’s why I like the game so much, a player can be all about individual achievement but cannot neglect his role in the team no matter how he triumphs or falters.  That lesson carries over to relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.  Striving for individual success cannot overshadow the contributions made for the team as those individual successes only serve to improve the whole.  

The game teaches mindset too, but that can be for another post.  


Now there’s three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain.  -Casey Stengel-



As most of you know, I’m in gunsmithing  school.  I’m slightly better than halfway done.  Some of you have even already seen some of the stuff I’ve already done.

This is going to be about what I am going to do.

First things first I have a BSA martini 15 action that I plan to convert from it’s current rimfire state to .22 hornet.  I’ll do all the metal and stock work myself.  Planning on making it a mannlicher.

I’ve to a .22 magnum Chuckster to restock for a friend in Texas, as well as a Colt Delta Elite that needs bobtailed and a total action/trigger job done for another Texan friend.

I’m three quarters of the way through completing my .22o Swift mauser project for a friend in Tennessee.

I’ve got a Savage model 72 that I’m going to make into .22 magnum and take to the American Gunmakers Guild show.

I’m waiting on a CZ to dry before it’s complete.

I’ve got a 1938 german mauser 98 to make into something, I’m either going to make an midsize “stopping” rifle or a .257 Roberts.  I don’t know.

I’ve got a blueprinted Remington 700 in .30-06 that I’m going to see if I can make shoot as well as the .308s.

This doesn’t even cover the projects I’ve got on line for repairs or refinishes.

I’m collaborating with a couple of other smiths on a special project for a fundraiser.

And that’s what I have to finish before I graduate in December.  Doesn’t sound like much does it.

Bereft of my own content, I’m stealing something.


Top 15 in my Ipod.

1.  Very Ape  – Nirvana

2.  36-24-36 – Violent Femmes

3.  It’s a Shame About Ray – Lemonheads

4.  Dirty Life and Times – Warren Zevon

5.  Long in the Tooth –  Les Claypool’s Flying Frog Brigade

6.  Anarchy in the USA –  Sex Pistols

7.  Run – Gnarls Barkley

8.  30 Days in the Hole – Government Mule

9.  Home I’ll Never Be –  Tom Waits

10.  I’ll Be You –  The Replacements

11.  Bowling Green – Neko Case

12.  Color Me Impressed – Uncle Tupelo 

13.  The Weight – Gillian Welch and Old Crow Medicine Show

14.  Nine Bullets – Drive-By Truckers

15.  I Just Can’t Take it Anymore – Gram Parsons


Number 16 is Desolation Row – Bob Dylan


It’s and odd list.



I’m unsure that she was ready to meet her Maker.

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I am very sure that her Maker is not prepared for the ordeal of meeting her.

I didn’t get the chance to know her all that well, but in my very brief time with her  I will say she was a remarkable lady.

And I’m gonna miss her.

Rest in Peace Phyllis. 


III Recap


I was lucky enough to be invited back to blogorado after attending last year.  I had a great time, and it was a much needed micro-vacation.  

I want to thank the FarmFam for putting on an amazing spread of food and making everyone welcome.

My cannon seemed to be a success judging from the goofy grins on the faces of everyone that shot it.  It was over enthusiastically loaded at one point but about 3 minutes on the machine in the shop this morning fixed that as well as made the amount of powder that it used per shot much more manageable.

I have to apologize to Sci-Fi about shutting down the Blue Rock range but when the broken pieces of the clays were windblown over the line, it’s just too damn windy to shoot clays.  Next year, man, next year. We’ll get Mrs. Sci-Fi in on it too.

OldNFO’s rifles are amazing but he and I do not have the same sight picture.  However we did a fair to middling job on the 500 meter target, putting a heart and hostage shot on target so close together there was only one clang.  Thanks for the opportunity to shoot those NFO, and AEPilotJim.

I enjoyed the drive-by that Lawdog and I made, thanks for driving FarmGirl, but frankly we need more practice.  Though we were able to outshoot the Humungous himself, though we were unhampered by attempting to aim out of a colander.

Speaking of the Humungous, It was a pleasure to get to see Stingray and Labrat again. Don’t worry I’ll put the rifle in a corner, there is nothing one can do to them to make them any more awesome than they already are.

Salamander makes an amazing Wez, something I’d never thought I’d say. He was missed on the second day of the festivities.  Hopefully next year you’ll make it the whole time.

MattG can rock kilt and a pith helmet like nobody else. The Webley helps.

It was a great pleasure to talk guns and gear with Tam.  Glad to have met her, and I have to extend my thanks.

Christina is going to be my personal masseuse when I get rich and famous as a gunsmith.  

I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to JPG and Holly which I regret but it’s hard to catch up to everyone at a shindig like that.

Got a work swap working with Evyl Robot and Jennifer, I’m getting a knife sheath and the opportunity to fix up a S&W pre model 10 that needs just a bit of love.  It’s a win for me both ways.

Ambulance Driver, thanks for the work, and you have got to go easy on the ramrods.  And thank you for the work.

And a very happy birthday to both Phlegmmy and MattG.  I have to say I love the goat.

I had a fantastic time, and was glad to see everyone.  Here’s to next year.


5 x 5


First day of second semester started today.  

Got a barrel ordered for my mauser.  

Went with Douglas as Pac-Nor is way behind and not shipping for at least 12 weeks.  

Looking forward to getting a few projects done outside of school time.

Had 4 separate earthquakes today, biggest being 5.5 on the scale.  Not the biggest I’ve been in but close, and always kind of interesting.

Ran the bear out of the trash for the 4th night in a row.  Juvenile male, and not afraid of me.  The t-ball bat is going to need to be replaced with a real weapon if the doesn’t keep running from the rock I heave at him.  Pretty cinnamon phase bear too.

Further bulletins as events warrant, and honestly if there is something you like to see addressed let me know in the comments or email.

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