Guns I Wanted

It is funny to notice how things change.  When I was an early teenager, I wanted a rifle that I could strap onto my backpack and cart around in the woods, should I encounter a rabid dog, black bear, or invading communist Red-Dawn style.  I spent many a summer nights in the backyard tent in Westminster, MD, and in the woods of Jersey, VA, setting up tents, tearing them down, and hiking about, mostly carrying a pellet rifle.

The two rifles of most interest were the M1 Carbine and the Marlin Camp Carbine series.  I was drawn to pistol calibers for their likelihood of being stopped by trees, should I have to fire in a tense situation.

I first saw the M1 Carbine in an issue of Shotgun News for the whopping dealer price of $225.  I figured for $300, I could get one with a sling, several spare magazines, and enough ammunition to practice and stay locked and loaded (in 1993ish prices).

The Camp Carbines were found only in The Shooter’s Bible, and I never saw one in person.  I wanted the .45 ACP version, as it used the same magazines as the 1911, and I figured that would be my first handgun, if I could find one.  The Shooter’s Bible had a high retail price, probably $600-700, but they always do.

Years later, I fired my first M1 Carbine at my very first Civilian Marksmanship Program shoot.  Not only was the short sight radius troublesome, but it was quite underpowered, as I found out with bullet drop at longer ranges.  It is a neat piece of history, and I wouldn’t mind getting one, but it is certainly not the “Go-To” gun I had thought it would be.  Plus, the price has skyrocketed on them, as they aren’t being imported from allied countries (for sale at the CMP Store) very quickly.

I never did get or fire a Camp Carbine 45.  I did, however, get a Camp Carbine 9.  One appeared, as a friend of mine was moving out of the country, and couldn’t take it with him.  I bought it right away.   As it turns out, it is not quite as utilitarian as I had hoped, either.  The first problem I had was that recoil buffer failed, and it would not feed.  I had that rebuilt, and my gunsmith said that the .45 version chews up buffers, and there is nothing that can be done about it.  The 9mm version is a little easier on the buffer, and he machined one from a different material that should last much longer.  Also, I was surprised at how much recoil there was with “only” a 9mm.  I did also buy a Smith and Wesson 5906, which uses the same magazines.

Overall, everything these rifles do, my AR-15 does better.  I do love my Camp Carbine, mostly as a childhood wish come true, but my AR is much more utilitarian.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Commentary, Firearms, Guns | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Button Quail

A few weeks ago, we visited the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, IL, to visit a friend of ours that works there.  She gave us a nice tour of the facility, and showed us how she stuffed different birds that are on display, as she is a taxidermist there.

One of the highlights was the bird and butterfly room.  I will someday post photos of the other animals there, but my favorite of all were the button quail.  I had never seen such a creature.  It was a bird that looked more like a walking potato.

According to Petco, you can have them as pets, though I could never meet the “below 80 degree F” requirement, as I do not have central air conditioning in my New Mexico house.

Even so, they are a fascinating creature.  I will try to clean up some photos and post them on this blog at a later date.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Geocaching in Southeastern Kansas

This past week, I have been on the road.  I drove to Decatur, IL, for a chemical safety training, and did not have much time outdoors.

Having said that, we did make a few stops along the way.  We stopped in Moline, KS, just because we took the scenic route through town.  While we were there, we stopped and saw the oldest swinging bridge in Kansas.

While looking at this awesome bridge, it dawned on me that someone had likely placed a geocache nearby, as this bridge was a local landmark.

We found one the bridge! It was a magnetic cache, and had a logbook to sign, so N3MRA and Mknowbuddy are now signed in.

Then, still thinking about geocaching, we found another one a little ways south near the county line.  This one was on a church sign. This one was a homemade magnetic holder as well, with a logbook. We signed that one, too.

I will post more of these in the future, as it was fun looking for them.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Geocaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Rifleman: July 2017

I finally finished reading the July 2017 issue of American Rifleman, and I liked several of the articles.

First, let me say that I always enjoy the column titled, I Have This Old Gun…  I love history, and I love historic artifacts, so I appreciated this piece by Garry James about the M30 Luftwaffe Drilling. (1)

My other favorite article from this issue was, Relevant Innovation:  The 22 Nosler by Aaron Carter.  I’m a sucker for new cartridges, and reading more on this development makes me want to pick up an AR for the purpose of making a .22 Nosler AR. (2)  It looks like a flatter shooting .223.  However, my wallet and my gun safe say, “Not today!”

In fact, probably the last thing I need to do is pick up another gun, for yet another cartridge.  As it is, it’s hard getting .32-20, .32 S&W Short, and .32 ACP (that will feed in my Llama 1911 scale-down).

Overall, it was a good read.

Thank you for reading my post.

Sources:

1. James, Garry.  I Have This Old Gun…M30 Luftwaffe Drilling.  American Rifleman, July, 2017, pp 96.

2.  Carter, Aaron.  Relevant Innovation:  The 22 Nosler. American Rifleman, July, 2017, pp 49-52.

Posted in Firearms, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Backyard Wildlife

In addition to my scorpion hunting, I have been paying attention the wildlife we have in our yard.  Of the most interest in recent days has been the family of quail that I see running around the yard. I suspect them of eating the new leaves on my garden plants, but I haven’t confirmed it yet.  Anyway, I found this guy hiding under a pickup truck seat that rests under my porch.

babyquail

Also, we found this nest in my front yard:

hummingbirdnest

We have had a few hummingbirds now for several years in a row, and this year, they got lazy and built the next six feet from the hummingbird feeder.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Reloading Shack

I have neglected to keep my reloading shack clean.  Therefore, I spent the first four hours of the day working in there to clean things up.

Probably my biggest problem is cleaning up brass.  I have tons of brass, of all different makes and calibers, all mixed together.  What happens is that I sort some of it out, and then lose interest for a bit.  Then, I end up knocking things over, or I end up with a mix of primed brass and unprimed brass, or some combination of things like that.

Today was spent mostly sorting out that brass.  I still have a long ways to go on it, but hopefully, I’ll get it straightened out.

I also cleared some of the “junk” that was laying around as well.  That makes it more fun to reload, as there is more space to deal with these sorts of issues.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Reloading | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Old Target

I visited my parents a few weeks ago, and my mom found an old target in her stuff.  The target was mine, from when I was a teenager, and is dated 2/25/96.  I likely shot this with my Ruger 10-22.

 

20170626_180132.jpg

I was testing out different cartridges in that rifle, likely from a bench, at 25 yards.  The winners were the PMC Zapper and the Eley Standard.  The PMC were much cheaper to shoot than the Eley, so I shot a number of them through this rifle  I don’t know, looking back, how much I knew about marksmanship at the time, and whether this was a fair test, or whether I just fired away.  I have a hard time believing some of these were so bad, and I am sure that was me, not the rifle or the ammunition.

Thank you for reading my post.

Posted in Firearms, Guns | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment