Bird Time

Because Mr. Free Market is a Foul Evil BastardTM, he decided to send me a few scenic pics from his current sooper-seekrit location in Scottishland.  Here’s the general milieu (note the complete absence of freezing rain, for the first time ever in this event I’m told):

(Note that Mr. FM is not wearing a face condom, despite Scottish law.)

Then it’s off to the “boxes”:


Note the careful arranging of reloads in pairs, ready for the old Load & Slaughter routine in his Beretta O/U (gawd help us, but the man has such terrible taste in shotguns).

The group shot down several hundred grouse and partridge, but here’s a pic of one brace, taken by Mr. FM with a single barrel.

When I say “taken”, I mean “shot”, of course, not clubbed out of the sky with his shotgun (which would be poor form, of course).

I am so jealous I could spit.


Mr. Free Market writes to inform me that he’s off to the North for a spot of bird shooting [jealous], and has laid in an adequate supply of the necessary, to whit:

Off-camera:  the case of Scotch.

Remember:  there’s no danger of Chinkvirus infection at a driven bird shoot, seeing as the shooters are spaced thirty-odd yards apart.

It’s the after-shoot activities that should give cause for concern… just not to me nor, it appears, to Mr. FM and his shooting buddies.

Luxury Deep-Woods Gun (Part 1)

I have often spoken of the need for a decent deep-woods gun — preferably carbine-length barrel, with a hard-hitting cartridge that could take care of any game likely to be found inside a hundred yards.  (From memory, the average distance for game taken in Pennsylvania forests is about a hundred feet.)

Of course, we all know what fits this bill:  the venerable lever-action rifle chambered in something like .30-30 (.30 WCF), which has always done the job with distinction and will no doubt continue to do so for the rest of time as we know it.  Here’s a Marlin 336 as seen at Collectors:

Or if we were to go upscale, so to speak, then there’s always the gorgeous Cimarron 1894 carbine:

Now as all my Loyal Readers know well, I am not one who tinkers lightly with tradition, so as a rule I would just say, “That’s that” and move on to other topics.

Not today.

You see, there’s another kind of deep-woods hunting, this time as practiced by Germans, Austrians and the like for as long as anyone can remember.  And they didn’t use lever rifles, but bolt-action carbines chambered in their equivalent of our .30-30, the 7x57mm Mauser cartridge, which they found quite adequate for hunting in the forests of Western- and Central Europe (which are as dark and deep as any forests to be found in the U.S., as anyone who has seen them will attest).

And as all my Loyal Readers also know, I have a deep, abiding love for the old Kraut cartridge, having taken many, many impala, springbok and even kudu back in the day with its long, thin and deep-penetrating bullet.  (Also one eland, but we can talk about that another time.)  Here’s a comparison between the 7x75mm and the well-known .308 Win:

In my case therefore, were I looking for a deep-woods rifle, I would not be limited to a Marlin, Henry, Uberti or Winchester, oh no not me.  That would be too easy.

I would also be considering a bolt-action carbine in 7x57mm (just to make my life even more complicated than it should be).

So… with all that background, imagine my surprise, as I was meandering along the electronic highways and (mostly) byways of Ye Internettes, when I stumbled into that evil place known as Steve Barnett Fine Guns, and found this:

Have mercy.  A Mannlicher-style full stock encasing an old Mauser?  Be still, my beating wallet.

And beat it would;  for this paragon of musketry costs over six thousand dollars, in that it was built by master gunsmith and stockmaker, the late Dale Goens.

In Part 2 next week, I’ll be talking about this situation in detail.


For reasons known only to our Immigration bureaucrats (don’t ask), I was not able to join Mr. Free Market, Doc Russia and Combat Controller for the annual deer slaughter stalk in the Cairngorms this year (for my experiences two years ago, see here and here).  I was feeling somewhat peeved about it all, until Mr. FM sent me this pic:

I should point out that the temperature for the town nearby is given as 33°F for the daytime high, and about 5 degrees lower tonight.  I should also point out that this is a complete lie, as the temperature up in the hills  — where all the hunting takes place — is probably ten degrees colder than that, and that’s before  the 20mph wind kicks in.  I think the term is “witch’s tit cold”.

Suddenly, I’m not feeling as peeved as I was.  Tonight’s forecast low of 30°F here in Plano seems quite balmy by comparison, especially as I’ll be sitting indoors with a brandy & ginger ale in hand, and not freezing my nuts off in the Angus Glens.

Cheers, guys…

No More Trophies For You, Matey

I usually email Mr. Free Market and / or The Englishman to tease them about the latest BritGov foolishness — it keeps me busy (because of the volume thereof) and I like getting the return emails, contents of which I cannot share because bloodthirsty / seditious / both.  Here’s but one example:

Mr. FM’s response to this idiocy, however, was different:

The government could ban trophy hunting souvenirs after a huge spike in the number of bloodsport mementos being brought back to the UK.
Animal welfare minister Zac Goldsmith said the sport ‘turns my stomach’ as he revealed there will be an urgent consultation over the controversial imports.
It comes after a strong public backlash to trophy hunting after the deaths of animals such as Cecil the lion in 2015, as well as elephants and leopards.

We’ll leave aside the necessity for a government “animal welfare minister” for the moment, and concentrate on Mr. FM’s response:

“Excellent.  Given the cost of taxidermy, not to mention the astronomical shipping costs, this ban will just leave me more money to buy tags to shoot more animals*.”

In other words:

Yeah, that’s going to work really well for the BritGov.  It’s a classic example of what happens when you want to legislate against something but know fuck-all about the subject.

*I should point out that in most parts of Africa, there are few limits as to how much game you want to shoot;  the degree of scarcity drives the price up or down.  If you want to shoot another one, you just pay the additional tag fee — which by the way, are nosebleed (see here for typical per-animal tags).

Sighting In On The DOJ

I can understand why people are getting all bent out of shape about this atrocity:

Own a rifle?  Got a scope to go with it?  The U.S. government might soon know who you are, where you live and how to reach you.
That’s because the government wants Apple and Google to hand over names, phone numbers and other identifying data of at least 10,000 users of a single gun scope app, Forbes has discovered.  It’s an unprecedented move:  Never before has a case been disclosed in which American investigators demanded personal data of users of a single app from Apple and Google.  And never has an order been made public where the feds have asked the Silicon Valley giants for info on so many thousands of people in one go.
According to an application for a court order filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on September 5, investigators want information on users of Obsidian 4, a tool used to control rifle scopes made by night-vision specialist American Technologies Network Corp.  The app allows gun owners to get a live stream, take video and calibrate their gun scope from an Android or iPhone device.  According to the Google Play page for Obsidian 4, it has more than 10,000 downloads.  Apple doesn’t provide download numbers, so it’s unclear how many iPhone owners could be swept up in this latest government data grab.
If the court approves the demand, and Apple and Google decide to hand over the information, it could include data on thousands of people who have nothing to do with the crimes being investigated, privacy activists warned.

What I don’t  understand is why people would want to get this poxy app in the first place, because of all the things you’re going to do with your hunting rifle, zeroing the scope is one of the easiest.  No?  Allow me to explain.

Step 1:  Remove the bolt from your rifle so you can see clear through the barrel.

Step 2:  Wait for nightfall.

Step 3:  Line your barrel up with a light source (street light, neighbor’s porch light etc.) that’s between 50 and 100 yards distant.  (If the latter light source, try not to let your neighbor see you pointing a rifle at his house;  for some reason, people get upset by this.  Sit back from the window.)

Step 4:  Anchor the rifle down so that the rifle is straight upright (i.e. the vertical line of the stock is at right angles to the floor).

Step 5:  Install your scope onto the rifle, making sure that the vertical line in the scope points straight up and down (i.e. that it corresponds to the vertical line of the stock).

Step 6:  Make sure that you can still see the light source through the barrel, and then zero the scope’s cross-hairs onto the same light source.  Re-install the bolt.

Your rifle is now guaranteed to “print onto the paper”, i.e. your shots will all fall within a 6″ square at 25 or 50 yards.

Step 7:  Zero your scope onto the bull, trying to get a 1″ minute-of-angle (MOA) at the distance you will most likely be shooting at (or just use 100 yards, as most do, and make further adjustments in the field as needed).

Now I know that this may seem a lot more tiresome a routine than just holding up your phone to the scope and letting some system do all the work for you, but as we are all fast learning in today’s world, what makes things more convenient is often either part of someone else’s profit margin (e.g. automatic gearboxes) or else malevolent (e.g. self-driving cars and, to whit, this scope zeroing app).

Giving your data to someone else has always been fraught with risk.  With this Obsidian 4 thing, it seems as though Gummint has found a great way to identify a large proportion of gun owners, simply by leaning on a couple of phone companies (who are always at the beck and call of gummint bureaucrats anyway).  What makes things easy for you makes things even easier for Gummint, as it turns out.

Caveat emptor, my friends.

Oh, and fuck the DOJ.