Not Bisley

Apparently, Royal Bisley is mostly populated by People Who Treat Shooting Seriously — i.e., not my kind of people at all, because I prefer having fun at the shooting range. So instead, Mr. FM booked us time at a private range, where we could do just that. Here’s a view downrange at 100 meters (ugh, metric is everywhere Over Here).

…and I played with several rifles: the aforementioned Blaser 93 in 6.5x55mm Swede, Combat Controller’s Browning .300 WinMag (which has completely recovered from its earlier Scottish mishap, and is capable of shooting minute-of-angle — MOA — at 100 meters, just not by me — I could only manage 2″ groups because eyes), and finally, a Mauser M12 “Impact” in .308 Win.

As Longtime Readers know, I have either a soft spot or a hard-on for Mauser rifles, depending on whether I’m talking about them or I’ve just shot one. Good grief. Thus equipped, I can honestly say that the M12 is in the top three rifles I have ever fired — and let me tell you, that encompasses an awful lot of rifles. With this rifle, minute-of-angle wasn’t just easy, it was a breeze. If you look in the center of the pic above and see the boar-shaped steel target, and squint to see the 4″ heart/lung target area “flipper” plate, I was hitting that flipper dead center with every single shot.

Let me go further: if I was told I could only ever own one medium rifle, you’d have to talk me out of choosing the M12. (I’d get the “regular” model with wood stock, of course, because Kim; but I think you catch my drift.)

 

And by the way: if anyone knows a way we can get Our Rulers in D.C. to pass the Hearing Protection Act (which will finally take moderators off the NFA list), feel free to apply that particular cattle prod to their backsides.

 

 

Saturday Morning

So Mr. Free Market, The Englishman, Longtime Reader John M. and I went down to the local pub last night for a quiet pint. Here’s an approximate rendering:

Right: time for coffee and a Full English, then off to the range. A full report on both last night’s festivities and the range visit will follow.

It’s a tough life Over Here, but someone has to do it.

Downsides

Now I don’t want you folks to think that staying at Free Market Towers is all Wadworth 6X, Full English Breakfasts and flogging of servants. Oh no. There are several downsides to all of this which burden the soul of your Humble Narrator. Here’s one.

Lying carelessly scattered upon a coffee table is the John Rigby gun catalogue, which features many a fine piece of weaponry. Now Rigby & Co. are not known for shoddy workmanship and never have been, and their prices reflect this. Here’s one such product that made my trigger-finger itch, and a low moan escaped my mouth. It’s the Rigby Rising Bite Double Rifle, chambered in the famous .416 Rigby caliber, and the Nitro Express (magnum) .450/400, .470, .500, .577, and .600:

…and here’s a close-up of the breech:

That was the cause of the itch.

Now here’s the cause of the moan: the reason there’s the word “Bite” in the description is because of what the purchase thereof will do to your wallet. You see, this gorgeous piece will set you back around $110,000.

Worse yet, there’s a three-year waiting list.

And next to the Rigby catalogue is the one from James Purdey & Sons, which I have not yet had the strength to open.

I don’t know if I can endure such hardship.

Not Since 1971

Last night was the cricket match between the local team (for which Mr. FM’s Son&Heir plays) and a team from one of the neighboring villages.

The previous night had seen the rain bucketing down and more was forecast for the evening, so I quite expected the match to be called off. Not so; these lads from Hardy Country are, well, hardy, and the match started promptly at 6:15pm — shortened because the light was terrible (low, ominous black clouds), and they only expected to get a couple of hours’ play in, even without any rain.

I expected to find a dodgy little field with bumps and lumps all over the place; instead was a pitch I’d have happily played on myself, on the outskirts of the town — and in fact, it had won a prize for “Best in County”. Here’s the clubhouse (complete with advertising hoardings, alas, but someone has to pay the bills, I suppose):

The visitors took the field, clad in traditional white

…and the game began:

I’m not going to go into a ball-by-ball account of the game, because it will be largely incomprehensible to the majority of my Loyal Readers and in any event, I need to get that second cup of coffee into me. One incident, however, had me in stitches of laughter.

One of our lads, a strapping fellow named Stan, hit a towering six (home run equivalent) clear over the road and over one of the neighboring houses, as marked:

Someone among the spectators wasn’t watching, and when the cry of “Six! Six!” went up, he asked, “Where did it go?”

“Over the house where the Angry People live!” came the response, and I fell over laughing, because I knew exactly what they were referring to.

You see, the people living in said house were among those tools who move into a place where some activity is going on, and then proceed to complain about said activity (e.g. people who move into a house in an airport’s flight landing path, and then complain about the jet noise). And thus it was with this bunch. They’d bought a house next to a cricket pitch, and then were somehow surprised when cricket balls began raining into their front lawn during a cricket match. (To be honest, it’s a hell of a distance — the pic has foreshortened the distance between pitch and house — so it’s never actually raining cricket balls, but over the years, I guess it does add up.)

The irate home owners had once even called the police to complain. (The rozzers showed up, looked at the pitch and the cricketers, said, “Nice shot,” and left, no doubt after telling the Angry People to stop being dickheads, very politely of course.)

Anyway, our lads won in a nail-biter — the match was decided on the very last ball — and so the inevitable celebration followed at the local pub (both visitors and home team drinking their pints together in utterly convivial fashion). Here was my contribution, one of several:

Mr. Free Market himself was unable to attend — some capitalist stuff about making money and grinding the working classes underfoot — but I kept him abreast of the match via text. So I sent him the final score (along with his Son&Heir’s contribution, a doughty 27 not out — i.e. he was still batting when play was called), and then after telling him that our lads had won, I sent an afterthought:

Actually, cricket won.”

Complete sportsmanship, applause for good play regardless of which team performed them, and only one fielding error in nearly three hours’ cricket.

As the somewhat cryptic title of this post states, I hadn’t watched a live cricket match since 1971 — a Test match between South Africa and Australia — but I’ll be at the next village match on Wednesday evening, and two days later I’ll be at Lord’s to watch South Africa play England.

“Happiness” does not begin to describe how I feel.

Living Conditions

A couple of people have written to me, asking under what conditions I am being forced to live, here at Free Market Towers. While Mr. FM of course insists on a reasonable degree of privacy, Mrs. FM did okay these shots of their “little place in the country” [sic]. Here’s the front aspect:

Over on the left of the picture is the Annex, in which are tucked my mean quarters:

Pure hell, I tell you. This morning I had to wait for at least fifteen minutes after ringing down for coffee. I’d speak to Mrs. FM about it, but I think there have been enough staff floggings of late. We’ll see how they do tomorrow. Here’s the Guest Library, which lies just underneath my bedroom:

Absolute squalor; but I’m only a guest from the Colonies, so I can’t complain too much.

In the meantime, I’m off to lunch, pie and sausage roll again, washed down with 6X, lovely stuff. Tonight, if the rain holds off (a dubious prospect; it’s pissing down as I write this), I’m going to watch Mr. FM’s Son&Heir play cricket for the village team — it gets dark here at about ten p.m., so there’s lots of time. Afterwards will be spent in the local pub either celebrating their victory or consoling them in defeat. Or if play is washed out, we’ll just go to the pub anyway. Whatever happens, there will be 6X involved.

Thank goodness for the time difference, which enables me to sleep off my hangovers before posting.

 

 

Don’t Think So

The Free Markets get the Daily Telegraph (Dead Tree version) delivered each day, so I comb it for items of general (i.e. not just for Brits) interest.

Apparently some Labour dickhead politician [some overlap] said that the Grenfell Tower fire was a direct action of the Tory Government, which should be held responsible for the “murder” of the unfortunate people who were turned into kebabs. Lest we forget (and he apparently did so): council housing was a Labour invention and institution, and the local council responsible for  said tower block is controlled by the Labour Party.

I have no comment to make about that statement, because we all know that the Left is a bunch of evil bastards who never fail to lower all standards of decency in their pursuit for power and control over people’s lives.

Apparently, this lack of decency has come as a complete surprise to one of the Telegraph’s writers, who asks plaintively, “Has The Left Lost All Decency?” followed by 500 words of justification for said question when, as any fule kno, the Left never had any decency to start off with.

Of course, when the Labour/Communist leader Jeremy Corbyn [spit] has already said in public that he wishes the IRA had won their struggle against Great Britain and that he pretty much sympathizes with their modern-day counterparts, radical Muslim splodeys, one would imagine that the latest Labour pronouncements should come as no surprise. However, it appears that the Conservatives meed to have their heads beaten with the Clue Bat on an hourly basis as to the Left’s inherent indecency, much as is required for the gentry Republicans of the GOPe persuasion.

Feel free to add your own suggestions as to who should occupy the Hanging Tree first, Leftists or squishy conservatives.