All-American Goodness

Reader Brad_In_IL suggests a theme for a shooty weekend:

“Seeing that this is Memorial Day Weekend, I’ve decided to only shoot pieces which are uniquely and distinctly American. Therefore…

“Saturday will be my Browning / Stoner 2023 Memorial Day Commemorative Shoot, and I’ll be shooting the 1911 and the AR-15… and maybe some .22 pistol (also Browning). No 9mm this weekend… Georg Luger (Austrian) will have to take a rest.” 

An excellent thought:  bringing a little background to the typical “Oh what should I shoot today?”  question that plagues us all.  And going All-American on both gun and cartridge makes it a little more fun, especially as it relegates the 9mm Europellet and the 7.62x39mm Commie to the “Later, Furrin Bastards!” category.

To make life even more interesting, let’s set an arbitrary criterion of “guns and cartridges from before 1900“.

Not so easy now, is it?

Here’s what I would take:

Winchester 1894 (.30-30/.30 WCF or .45 Colt/.45 Long Colt or .44-40)
…and of course Marlin’s and Henry’s versions would be welcome, too.

Browning 1885 High Wall (.45-70 Gov)

Colt Single Action Army (.45 Colt/.45 Long Colt or .44-40)

And of course, there’s some plinking to be done:

Marlin Model 39A (.22 LR)

Winchester Mod 61 (and clones)
(clones allowed because Winchester stopped making them because they’re idiots)

Now, I’m not saying I actually own any of the above (because of that Tragic Canoeing Accident on the Brazos a few years ago), but you have to admit, there’s a whole lotta shooty Murkin goodness on that list.

Your suggestions for the festivities in Comments, as always.

Bill Wilson Cleans His 1911

I love watching a pro go about his business, and let’s be honest that when it comes to the 1911 pistol, few if any are Bill’s equal.

Which is why a couple of things he says in this video made me go:  “Huh?  I did not know that*.”

And I’ve fired well over 50,000 rounds through various 1911 models.  Watch, and learn as I did.

*the life of a typical recoil spring was one of them.  I change mine a lot less frequently than he does, but that’s going to change, you betcha.

About Face

I see that following their woke cock-up (is there any other kind?) last week (my commentary here), Heckler & Koch have reversed course faster than Clint Eastwood finding out his date is a trannie:

The next day, Heckler & Koch revealed a colossal corporate change of heart. It deleted the tweets and seemed to suggest someone may have been fired.

Didn’t help, judging from the responses:

  • I’d expect nothing less from the brand that will never compromise.
  • Finally, a company that understands the toxicity of engaging in identity politics.”
  • A fully-armed and bikini-clad apology would smooth things.”
  • Someone got fired!”
  • No, not good enough. Send me a free gun.”
  • I’m so sick of the PC crap… Folks have enough to deal with without having to worry about offending some thin-skin’s sensibilities.”
  • This almost does it. Need an ad with a good-looking woman in a bikini…with guns, and a beer…”
  • Nope, I’m still upset! I will be requiring a VP9 and an HK45 as reparations before my feelings are unhurt.”

Companies need to keep tighter control on their employees’ social media, methinks — and especially if said employees have access to the corporation’s social media.

Beyond that, HK got reminded of something like a gun-safety lesson: Don’t point your tweet at anything — including your marketshare — that you aren’t willing to destroy.


In the meantime, here’s a gun bunny to make us all happy again:

I know, she’s not carrying one of H&K’s overpriced guns, but that just shows her good sense (which is more than they have).


I may be stirring up a hornet’s nest here, but I assure you that this is not my intention.  Over on YooChoob, some guy named Bear Independent has a go at the gun industry, claiming that they are “lying” to us gunnies.  (It’s nearly half an hour long, so get some coffee and settle in.)

Basically, the executive summary is that he has come to realize that his gun hobby has cost him a lot of money, and he’s spent WAY more than he should have on all the different kinds of guns available.  I know nothing about the man, but from what he says on the video I gather that he’s a prepper extraordinaire, and he has an awful lot of guns:  guns of different types, of different calibers, and of different utility.  (You can see them carefully racked on the wall behind him in the video.)

All those guns have essentially sprung from his need to be self-sufficient, in gun terms.  Need to take a 1,000-yard shot?  Got a gun for that.  Clear a house of bad guys?  Got one of those too.  Close-range work?  Check.  Trench warfare?  Yup… and so on and so on.

All his guns are meticulously camo’d up and worn in all the right places, denoting hours and hours and thousands of rounds of usage.

And after all that he’s come to realize that when the S finally does Hit The F, he really only needs one rifle — what he calls a “GPR” (general-purpose rifle) — which is essentially an AR-15 with a scope and night light.  It’s very much “operatized”, to be sure, but it’s no different from any black rifle of that genus.  Here’s what I’m talking about, more or less:

(One thing Bear says that I agree with is the need to own two identical guns — as he puts it, the best source of spares is a gun like the first.)

Now I had to laugh when he talks about how the gun industry “lies” to gun owners about all the guns it has to offer — basically, of course, it’s really catering to gun owners, or rather to their tastes and perceived needs.  And the best way to do all this, from the manufacturers’ perspective, is by marketing the product(s), which means both primary advertising (in magazines etc.) and through third parties:  originally, with gun writers like Petzal and Seyfried in Guns & Ammo, and now by YouTubers like GarandThumb and their ilk.  There’s nothing new about this, it’s been going on ever since the gun industry started and there’s nothing wrong with it.  (He himself sells Bear merchandise through his website, publicized, of course, through his channel, and there’s nothing wrong with any of that.)

Here’s the point.  Nobody forces you to go down the rabbit-hole of your hobby — any hobby — your own fascination does.  Are you a long-distance shooter?  We have just the gun(s) and assorted gear for you.  Are you a varminter?  Say hello to Cooper Arms.  Are you a hunter?  Ho, do we have the right gun for you, says Winchester, Browning, Remington and the rest.  Need a carry piece?  Say hello to S&W, Ruger, Springfield Armory, SIG, and the rest of the alphabet soup.

Are you a… wannabe operator?  Oh boy, say all the AR-15 makers and purveyors of allied products like slings (2-point or you’re nobody), scoped sights (red-dot? IR? we got you covered), telescoping stocks and on and on and on.

So on and on (and on) you go until one day you suddenly realize that you’ve just spent thousands and thousands of dollars on gun stuff, when all you need to combat the Zombie Apocalypse is a single rifle that you’re very familiar with — and just like that, you become a one-gun man, philosophically at least.  You’re no different from the old Fudd living in the Pennsylvania hills who owns but one Marlin .30-30 lever gun because that’s all he needs to fill his annual deer tag.

(Look on the bright side:  instead of being a chastened wannabe-operator who has twenty guns he doesn’t really need, at least he didn’t decide to be a dedicated bird shooter — because in that world you could drop well over a quarter-million bucks on just five guns, none of which can take a 30-round magazine or a red-dot scope.  By design.)

The same, of course, is true of hunting:  plains rifles, deep-woods rifles, bighorn sheep rifles, African dangerous game rifles… you get my drift.  Unless you’re like Mr. Free Market, who has done (and plans to do still more of) all those kinds of hunting — and has the necessary wallet to do so — you’re not going to get one of each kind, UNLESS:  there’s a faint chance that one day someone will invite you to go hunting with them, and you don’t have the proper equipment to do so.  (Don’t even get me started on the different calibers…)

Which is precisely the situation our self-sufficient prepper finds himself in.

Me?  I’m not an operator, never been one except when I had to be, and now I’m at the age when all that is behind me.  I carry one handgun, a 1911 (okay, and occasionally a .38 S&W snubbie as backup);  for “social work” I have one very reliable semi-auto rifle of Communist origin, and if I feel like plinking there’s a sufficient number of rifles and handguns in Ye Old Musket Sayfe.  I’m unlikely ever to go hunting again — I’m too old for the exertion and frankly, I’ve killed enough animals to satisfy me — so other than the odd .30-30 Winchester lever gun and single-shot .45-70 Browning 1885, I don’t have a “proper” hunting rifle anymore.  (When my lovely scoped CZ 550 6.5x55mm disappeared in the Great Gun Theft Of 2021, I never replaced it.)

My gun hobby is, as any Loyal Reader knows well, a weakness for old military bolt-action rifles, which take up the rest of the safe — but I’m unlikely ever to add to them because, well, over the years I’ve owned enough and fired them all — and moreover, my old eyes are too crap to use their iron sights anymore.  One day I’ll just go to the local pawn shop and offload them all, the ones that the Son&Heir doesn’t want, anyway.

But after all that swimming in the pool of gunny goodness, none of it is the fault of the gun industry.  I did it all by myself.

And oh yeah, I still get the urge to buy a new gun, even after all that.  It may be a good thing I can’t afford to satisfy that urge, or else… there’s this one.

After sixty-odd years, they still call to me. [sigh]

But it’s not Mauser’s fault.  Damn them.

Ritual Humiliation

Last week I went to the range with the Son&Heir so that he could put rounds through his new Springfield 1911 Ronin:

…and mirabile dictu, he pronounced himself satisfied with its trigger.  Of course, he made me look stupid by putting all 8 rounds into a palm-print at 30 feet, one-handed, while I could only manage a side-plate-sized group at the same distance, two-handed.

Damn kids.

However:  when we stepped up the firing speed (all 8 fired inside 5 seconds, two-handed), I was pleased to see his group opening up considerably — about the same side-plate size as mine.

Of course, I shoot my well-worn and familiar 1911 every week, whereas he last fired a 1911 about three years ago, let alone a NIB gun with stiff trigger etc.

Anyway, I was able to satisfy myself in one very important aspect:  compared to the usual 230gr .45 ACP, my adopted 185gr practice ammo is far more accurate (and much less punishing).  I had found some inexpensive Defender 185gr FMJ reloads and (even better) some of Norma’s excellent MHP 175gr loads for a good price at Palmetto State Armory.  The latter really zips out the barrel (~300fps faster than ordinary 230gr FMJ), and from what I’ve read, the expansion in ballistic gel is impressive.

Neither of us experienced a single ejection- or chambering failure in either gun, for any brand of ammo (S&H was shooting Winchester White Box 230gr FMJ, and Hornady XTP 200gr JHP).

We’re doing it again next week, because I’m a masochist.