Headline Of The Day

Oh boy, this is priceless:

Beto Goes to Kent State, Argues Only the Government Can Be Trusted With Guns

I know the little Texas twerp is clueless;  but how clueless is that?

These socialist turds haven’t yet figured out that in America, threatening to ban a type of gun doesn’t cause us to stop buying it — on the contrary, it makes us run out and buy more  of them, in greater number and variety.  Even the ladies join in the fun:

And such is the ignorance among college students nowadays, I bet ol’ Beta-boy’s speech was rapturously applauded.  Morons.

Dept. Of Righteous Shootings

It’s not often that we get to applaud a self-administered  Righteous Shooting, but this one deserves special mention as it happened in Britishland.  Try not to burst out with raucous and joyful laughter as you follow the link, lest you frighten the other people at the office.  Here’s a brief synopsis:

Choirboy wants to do a little impromptu (or maybe planned, see below) property redistribution by breaking into a parked car.  Holding a shotgun, he smashes the butt thereof into the car window.

Thus far, all is happening as per usual in these cases.  Here’s where it gets (wonderfully) different.

Perhaps being unaware of the maxim, “Keep the booger-hook off the bang-switch”, said choirboy has finger on the trigger, and when the shotgun’s butt hits the window, he pulls the trigger, blasting a full load of buckshot(?) into his own fool chest, and dying on the spot.

[pause to allow the laughter and cheering to subside]

But it gets better.

There is surveillance video (see the link) which shows the other  members of the choir seeing what happened, holding him, trying to revive him, and generally wailing with shock and horror before running away.

Now  you can howl with laughter, with my permission.  And if this tragic tale doesn’t help you start the week with a smile on your face, you need help.

Monday Funnies

Monday, bloody Monday:

And yeah, maybe that’s in some other part of the world;  here in Texas it’s early fall, which means you still wake up to the sound of lizards frying gently on the sidewalk, as evidenced by my car’s dashboard display early on Saturday morning:

So on with the show…

Truthfully, I think I’ve been like that all my life.  Anyway, I’ve said some stupid shit in my time, but nothing this  stupid:


And for our Monday pick-me-up:





That’s it;  I got no more for ya.

Too Smart

We’re all familiar with the assholes who work behind the counter at gun shops — you know the ones I mean, those who want to show off how much more they know about guns and shooting than the Idiot Customer who simply wants to know whether a revolver or pistol would best suit his purpose, and who gets for an answer a supercilious blizzard of inside jokes and buzzwords which makes him or her feel like, well, an idiot.

This post is not quite about that.

As Longtime Readers know, I stand firmly opposed to the use of jargon and acronyms (although there are times when I fall into the trap myself).  In the past, I’ve written about Mystics at length so I’m not going to expound on it further, but I did notice its manifestation in an article on self-defense drills linked by Insty.

As a rule, I enjoy Ed Head’s articles, but this one falls into Trap #1:  obscure, unexplained terms and descriptions, and it falls during the very first paragraph of instruction, to whit:

The El Pres[idente] has become a competitive shooting standard, a drill practiced incessantly by top competitors. From the standpoint of an armed citizen, its best used sparingly as a test of your skill level, carry pistol and gear. To set it up, you’ll need three Option targets set 1 yard apart.

And for those people who don’t spend hours at the range, or weekends at competitions, “Option targets” are…?  these things:

One picture, and it all becomes crystal clear to someone unfamiliar with the arcana of shooting geekery.  Then Head spends a couple dozen words trying to describe the El Presidente drill, when all he needed was one of these:

And again, this time with explaining “Dot Torture*”:

Requiring 50 rounds and fired at a seemingly easy 3 yards with no time limit, Dot Torture requires total concentration, perfect sight alignment and a perfect trigger press for every one of the 50 shots. The targets are printed on a single 8.5×11-inch piece of paper and consist of circles measuring a little less than 2 inches.

And all becomes clear with:

(Actually, I prefer this one, but nemmind…)

Back to the main topic:  instruction should always — always — be delivered in a manner designed to impart the content with a maximum degree of clarity and a minimum amount of explanation.  (By “minimum”, I mean not wordy or obscure.  If a picture imparts the knowledge better than fifty words, and more quickly withal, use a damn picture.)

Shooting Times (or rather, their editors) should know better.  Ed is a very knowledgeable shooter and I agree with just about everything he says about shooting.  But he’s not well served by sloppy editing.  As this pic shows:

*As an aside, I absolutely love the dot torture drill, but I usually save it for .22 practice, whether with a handgun at 25 feet, a non-scoped rifle at 50 feet, and a scoped rifle at 75 feet.  And always, regardless of type of gun, a maximum of two seconds per shot allowed.  In a future post, I’ll show a modified version from my last trip to the range.

Gratuitous Gun Pic — Browning Buck Mark (.22 LR)

I think the Buck Mark .22 pistol is one of the best modern rimfire semi-autos to be had.  It’s certainly one of the prettiest.  Here’s a Buck Mark Plus from Collectors Firearms, for example:

…and no serious shooter is going to argue with me that much.  Perhaps you can get a more accurate .22 pistol than the Buck Mark, but you’d have to spend a whole lot more money, because it’s more accurate than almost anyone who shoots it — and other than the high-end competition .22 guns like Pardini and so on, I certainly don’t think you can get a pistol with a better trigger  than the Buck Mark’s.

Best of all, Browning makes a dizzying number of variants to suit absolutely everyone.  I’ve either owned or at least fired most of the major types — typically, the Campers have a lightweight carbon bull barrel, and the Standards have a slab-sided heavy steel barrel, viz.:

My favorite, though, is the Plus Stainless:

I don’t have one of these brilliant little plinkers anymore — not after handing off various models to friends, my children etc.  But it’s on my shortlist, simply because I miss shooting it so much.

All that said:  field-stripping the Buck Mark should never be done in the field, as such, because unless you love scrabbling on hands and knees looking for the recoil spring and / or recoil buffer, you need to be really familiar with the Buck Mark’s innards.  Ask me how I know this.  Actually, your first attempts at cleaning it should preferably be done in a clean white room with a smooth cement floor just to make retrieval of said parts a little easier.  A Ruger MkIV it ain’t, folks.  (Here’s the back story on all the above.)

Still, I miss shooting the Buck Mark — one of the reasons I traded my MkIV for a Single Six revolver was that the MkIV wasn’t as much fun to shoot as the Browning.  (And oh baby… do I love shooting the revolver.)

And on and on it goes… if I didn’t love shooting guns so much, I’d have beaten myself to death long ago over all the stupid decisions I’ve made in the selling of them.  I need a Buck Mark, badly.

Friday Night Music: The Hogwash Interlude

As I may have mentioned before, the vast preponderance of my Army time was spent as a draftee in the South African Defence Force, as a musician in the Entertainment Group, actually a small unit of some sixty personnel in the Permanent Force (PF), but augmented by the addition of a few draftee National Servicemen (NSMs) usually, like myself, having been professional musicians before being drafted — Trevor Rabin of Yes  was an alum, a couple years before I arrived.

There was a Big Band, managed by the unit’s Commanding Officer Maj. George Hayden and staffed almost exclusively by PF musicians, and was of astonishing virtuosity and quality — mostly older men, many of them recording stars of an earlier era, they performed Glenn Miller-type material and played concerts all over the country.  Sometimes the concerts would feature solo artists, singers, violinists and classical guitarists, most of these being NSMs who’d been sent there after completing their basic training (boot camp).

Then there also were a few dance bands which played mostly popular music of all kinds, whether Top Ten hits, country music or Afrikaans Boeremusiek, “sakkie-sakkie”  as we irreverently called it (here’s an example).

And then there was Hogwash.

(yes, that’s Yer Humble Narrator on the left, age 24)

We were thrown together one Friday night because some Army unit was having a dance and all the Entertainment Group steady bands were already booked — I mean, we found out at 3pm that we would be playing at 8pm, and a two-hour drive to the venue lay between.  A frantic scramble followed, to get some band equipment together  — only I had brought my own gear into camp, so everyone else had to content themselves with equipment that none of the other bands wanted.  At least it all functioned, more or less.

We were saved by the fact that we were all good musicians — the others, to be frank, quite a lot better than I — and fortunately, our keyboard player Boze knew the lyrics and music to a jillion popular songs, so the rest of us just followed him along.  I knew a bunch more, of the Creedence Clearwater- and early rock ‘n roll genres, so we busked our way through five hours of music — and enjoyed the experience so much that we decided to make the band a permanent one (or at least for the remaining time of our draft).  We found an empty practice room, and set about putting together a repertoire that was astonishing in its variety (as you will see below).  And because our whole job was to play music, we played all day and every day, five days a week — sometimes taking two or more days to master a complex song.  We played gigs at military bases all over South Africa and, to our great joy, at forward combat bases in the “Operational Area” of South West Africa (later Namibia).  And we rocked.  We were better than a lot of professional club house bands, all but the drummer could sing, and harmonies became our stock-in-trade:  nobody  could sing with us, not even the pros.  As we already had a good list of oldies and party songs, we could concentrate on playing stuff that we wanted to play, and which made us all better musicians.

Hogwash was together for just under eighteen months, but it was quite honestly one of the happiest times of my life.  We had no responsibilities and nothing else to do but play, and play, and play — and when we weren’t playing music, it was like being in Monty Python, with wicked humor, outrageous behavior and general mischief in abundance.  (We discovered, for example, that “gronsk” was not a word, but a letter  — the first letter of a magic word.)

Here’s some of the music.

The Fez (Steely Dan) — played note-perfect, as we did a couple other Dan songs

Who Loves You (4 Seasons) — ooooh those harmonies

Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (Alan Parsons Project) — we played several Alan Parsons songs, and loved them all

Lazy (Deep Purple) — we played this version, not the indulgent live one

Breezin’ (George Benson) — smooth jazz, baby

Fantasy (Earth Wind & Fire) — funky (well, the way we played it, anyway)

China Grove (Doobie Brothers) — and a whole bunch of other Doobies

One Chain (Santana) — and a couple others by Carlos

I Wish (Stevie Wonder) — tough bass part and complicated backup vocals… I sweated bricks playing this one;  thanks a bunch, Stevie

Jive Talkin’ (Bee Gees) — and all their other disco songs;  hey, it was 1978

I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Foghat) — hair band music, even though we had no hair

…and the song which we played in our very first impromptu gig, and never stopped playing thereafter because we loved it, and because Boze sang it better than Garfunkel:

I only Have Eyes For You (Art Garfunkel) — best version of this song ever recorded

Here we are playing at some dismal Army camp or other:

Sadly, although we’d planned on staying together and playing professionally after the Army service was complete, Boze decided that he didn’t want to play pro.  Without him, the whole thing fell apart.  “Grundelstein” the vocalist quit music altogether and went into the hotel management business.  I rejoined Atlantic Showband (believe me, it was no hardship) and played with them from 1979 until I emigrated in 1986.  “Bee” the guitarist and Franco the drummer went on to play for two of the most well-known club bands in South Africa (Circus and Ballyhoo, respectively, for those who might know what I’m talking about).

Not playing pro with these guys is one of my greatest disappointments in my musical career.  I miss them all still.