The 5th of July Follies

Yesterday was the 150th Anniversary of the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle started on July 2nd when elements of the Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia met The Army of the Potomac, under newly appointed commander, George Mead, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The movie, “Gettysburg” released a decade ago, based on Michael Shaara‘s, “The Killer Angels,” provides an accurate accounting of the battle.

Michael and Jeff Shaara‘s historical novels, history written in the form of a novel, provides insight into historical characters and give life to history. One of the purposes of the books, in a statement attributed to Jeff Shaara, was to educate citizens and patriots in history as it really happened, giving life to the thoughts, living conditions of the soldiers and to the philosophies of the times.

Leading up to patriotism, the Gallup Poll conducted a survey earlier last month, June 1-4, 2013, a poll on a subject not often covered: Who is more patriotic, Conservatives, Liberals, Republicans, or Democrats? The poll confirmed long held opinions by Conservatives and Republicans.

Gallup: Republicans more proud to be American than Democrats

By CHARLIE SPIERING | JULY 4, 2013 AT 8:50 AM

The Patriot Poll

The Patriot Poll

In recognition of Independence Day, Gallup has released a poll on whether American citizens are still proud to be American.

Ninety-three percent of Republicans indicate that they are “extremely/very proud” to be American while only 85 percent of Democrats feel the same way.

Eighty-one percent of political Independents indicate they are “extremely/very proud.”

Likewise, 89 percent of poll respondents who identified themselves as conservative are “extremely/very proud,” to be American compared to 76 percent of liberals.

Come on, now, you always knew this, didn’t you?

***

It seems that just about all political pundits have opined, in one form or another, on the George Zimmerman trial. Some pundits attempt to report the facts of the case as they are presented in court. Others, like Al Sharpton, are stirring up controversy to gain more face time on TV.

I’ve not weighed in on this subject other than to note it appears that the Judge and Prosecutor in the case seem to be more interested in convicting Zimmerman than in serving justice. In general, conservatives seem to side with Zimmerman’s version of the events, while liberals side with Al Sharpton and the Prosecutor.

One “conservative” (I’ve put that in quotes because I’m not convinced he is a conservative,) who sides with the prosecution is Michael Savage. On Tuesday of this week, speaking on his radio program, Savage said Zimmerman was guilty of the charges levied against him. Now Savage, like everyone, is free to espouse their opinions on everything or anything. Savage did that and exposed himself as being an ignorant fool.

 

Michael Savage on George Zimmerman: ‘You have to find this man guilty’

Jeff Poor, Media Reporter

On his show on Tuesday night, talk show host Michael Savage said that George Zimmerman, who is currently on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin, should be found guilty of second-degree manslaughter based on two things: 1) The state of his firearm and 2) The language he allegedly used on a 911 call when he was first reporting his suspicions about Martin.

But first Savage explained why his insight should be valued over others in the media covering the trial.

“I’m about to break an analysis that no one yet in the media has done, as you would expect from me — being the senior member of the American media and possibly the most insightful,” Savage said. “And I have to blow my own horn because everyone else tries to break my horn.”

Savage laid out his case, saying that the murder could have been avoided, but based on Zimmerman’s gun having a round in the chamber with the safety off, Zimmerman intended “to find some he could shoot or intimidate.”

“Zimmerman was carrying a Kel Tec semi-automatic 9mm handgun,” Savage said. “So? Big deal. It is a big deal because he had a bullet chambered in the gun and he had the safety off… Had he not chambered a round prior to meeting Trayvon, and had he not taken the safety off, even if Trayvon, during the altercation even if Trayvon had tried to grab the gun away from Zimmerman — had that gun not been chambered with a round and safety off, Trayvon Martin would have had to use two hands. You can’t do it with one hand.”

Anyone with a Concealed Carry permit or one who is familiar with firearms will immediately notice the errors in that statement. The comments below the article point out the fallacy of Savage’s position.

fltactical

As an owner of the Kel-Tec PF9, I can say that Savage (whom I normally generally like) is a fool. There is no safety on this weapon. It has a 2 stage trigger with a long and heavy trigger pull. This acts as a “safety” and is the most common trigger on concealed carry firearms. Also, I don’t know anyone who carries that doesn’t keep a round in the chamber. If you are attacked, you have no time to rack your slide and chamber the round. I am shocked at Dr. Savage’s lack of knowledge on this subject.

Fltactical is more polite than the next commenter in the queue.

seattle61-> fltactical

Agreed.. I was getting ready to post the same thing. Savage is an idiot

Savage has a history of jealousy with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. Those three usually ignore Savage as a whiner. That is until this week. Mark Levin let loose on Savage.

Mark Levin blasts ‘transgendering’ ‘snaggletooth’ ‘troll’ Michael Savage

5:44 PM 05/24/2013

On his radio show Thursday night, conservative talker Mark Levin scorched his former radio competitor Michael Savage for attacking fellow conservative talkers.

Levin took on Savage for attacking two of his colleagues, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.“I’m thinking of doing a one-hour special on the life and times of Michael Weiner,” Levin said. “Little Weiner, Weiner Nation calls himself ‘Savage,’ changes his name but you can’t blame him. He’s named after male genitalia. He is a real cancer on this business. He is a phony, fake conservative. All you have to do is Google his name and Google ‘Allen Ginsburg’ and Google ‘Fiji’ and all kinds of stuff pops up.”“Now he goes on the airwaves and he trashes a couple of my friends — Rush [Limbaugh], Sean [Hannity] claiming they’re not conservative enough, you know, like him,” Levin continued. “I don’t know, I’ve never seen Weiner Nation at a tea party rally. I’ve never seen Weiner Nation helping the conservative movement.”

“Let me tell you something, you little troll, you little nobody,” Levin said. “I kicked your butt in the ratings head-to-head from one end of the nation to the other. That’s why you’re late night, got it? I’d like you to come back at 6 p.m. against, Eastern of course, so I can do it again, snaggletooth. I know all about you. All your little secrets — how you trash other hosts, how you try to position them to the left of you. You’re a puke. I’m going to tell you something else — I’m not finished on this subject. I am not finished.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize to you,” he continued. “But this thigh rash — this thigh rash is a hideous person. Yes, I remember what he said about parent’s with autistic children. I remember all of that. Yeah, I think I might do one-hour special: ‘The Weiner we didn’t know.’ You like that Mr. Producer? No, ‘The little Weiner we didn’t know.’ Actually, ‘The transgendering Weiner,’ or something like that. I’ll figure it out. Head’s up there pal.”

Ah, Levin, he certainly has a way with words. I have listened to Savage from time to time when I was out driving and there wasn’t anything else on. Anyone listening to Savage will quickly note one personal characteristic—he’s a hate-filled man.

I’ve completed my quest

This week is ending on a definite positive note.  I’ve completed a decade-old quest and I’ll meet some blogger friends face-to-face Saturday.

The quest is that I’ve finally acquired a Colt Combat Commander, blued in .45acp.  It has some slight holster wear and a scratch on the slide around the slide release pin.  According to the serial number, it was manufactured in 1977.

I don’t have it in hand at the moment. It’s being transferred from Kansas to my local FFL and I don’t have a photo—yet.  In the mean time, feast your eyes on the image above from the internet. It’s almost exactly like mine.

The second item is that Holly Berry and her hubby, Johnny, AKA JPG, will be in the KC area this weekend and we’re having lunch Saturday.  We’ve never met but I think Mrs Crucis and I have a lot in common with Holly and Johnny.  I’m looking forward to it and we’ll show’em some KC BBQ.

I can hardly wait!                     

100th Anniversary of the M1911

I missed celebrating the 100th anniversary of John Browning’s venerable M1911 pistol. To make up for that oversight, here’s my contribution in the celebration.
Shooting Down a Zero with a M1911

Though never confirmed, many believe Lt. Baggett took down a plane with his M1911A1.

In the hands of American soldiers and marines, the M1911A1 performed admirably throughout World War II. In fact, there are numerous accounts of the 1911 being used in courageous acts earning the bearer the Medal of Honor.

There are also legends about the power, accuracy and reliability of Browning’s masterpiece, which may, or may not, be true, but speak to the magnificence of a pistol design that is more than 100 years old. One of these stories took place March 31, 1943, near Pyinmana, Myanma, and was first reported July 1996 in “Air Force Magazine.”

On that fated day, the 7th BG’s 9th Bomb Squadron was sent on a mission to destroy a railroad bridge, but was attacked before it could reach its target. The bombing group took heavy fire from Japanese fighter planes, wounding the squadron’s commander, Col. Conrad F. Necrason, and disabling numerous B-24 Bombers, including one carrying Lt. Owen J. Baggett.

Though the crew continued to fight, it was obvious that the plane was going to crash, so Baggett’s pilot, Lt. Lloyd Jensen, ordered the men to bail out. Along with the other members of his unit, Baggett jumped from the plane and pulled his parachute.

The Japanese pilots fired on the floating crew killing some and wounding Lt. Baggett in the arm. The story goes that when the pilot who fired upon Baggett came around for a look, the young lieutenant hung limply in his harness as if dead. The ruse worked because the fighter raised his canopy as he flew within feet of the parachute giving Baggett an opportunity. As the plane soared by, Baggett raised his M1911A1 .45 and fired four rounds at the plane, which banked before stalling and crashing into the ground.
After landing on the ground, Lt. Baggett, along with three other crew members, was captured and taken to a POW camp near Singapore. Baggett didn’t really believe that he had taken down a fighter plane with only a handgun, but Col. Harry Melton, commander of the 311th Fighter Group, ended up at the same camp telling a story about a Japanese colonel that had said that the pilot Baggett had fired upon had been thrown clear of the plane and had been found dead of a single bullet to the head.
While there is no direct evidence that Lt. Owen Baggett did in fact take down a Japanese fighter plane with a handgun, many believe it to be true. Regardless, this is a great story of a courageous man involving a legendary pistol.

After the end of World War II, Owen Baggett remained in the military eventually rising to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force, which was his rank when he retired to San Antonio, Texas. In 2006, at 85 years old, Owen Baggett died in Texas, but he will always be remembered as the man who used a .45 to get a Zero.

(H/T to Tailfeathers)

100th Anniversary of the M1911

I missed celebrating the 100th anniversary of John Browning’s venerable M1911 pistol. To make up for that oversight, here’s my contribution in the celebration.
Shooting Down a Zero with a M1911

Though never confirmed, many believe Lt. Baggett took down a plane with his M1911A1.

In the hands of American soldiers and marines, the M1911A1 performed admirably throughout World War II. In fact, there are numerous accounts of the 1911 being used in courageous acts earning the bearer the Medal of Honor.

There are also legends about the power, accuracy and reliability of Browning’s masterpiece, which may, or may not, be true, but speak to the magnificence of a pistol design that is more than 100 years old. One of these stories took place March 31, 1943, near Pyinmana, Myanma, and was first reported July 1996 in “Air Force Magazine.”

On that fated day, the 7th BG’s 9th Bomb Squadron was sent on a mission to destroy a railroad bridge, but was attacked before it could reach its target. The bombing group took heavy fire from Japanese fighter planes, wounding the squadron’s commander, Col. Conrad F. Necrason, and disabling numerous B-24 Bombers, including one carrying Lt. Owen J. Baggett.

Though the crew continued to fight, it was obvious that the plane was going to crash, so Baggett’s pilot, Lt. Lloyd Jensen, ordered the men to bail out. Along with the other members of his unit, Baggett jumped from the plane and pulled his parachute.

The Japanese pilots fired on the floating crew killing some and wounding Lt. Baggett in the arm. The story goes that when the pilot who fired upon Baggett came around for a look, the young lieutenant hung limply in his harness as if dead. The ruse worked because the fighter raised his canopy as he flew within feet of the parachute giving Baggett an opportunity. As the plane soared by, Baggett raised his M1911A1 .45 and fired four rounds at the plane, which banked before stalling and crashing into the ground.
After landing on the ground, Lt. Baggett, along with three other crew members, was captured and taken to a POW camp near Singapore. Baggett didn’t really believe that he had taken down a fighter plane with only a handgun, but Col. Harry Melton, commander of the 311th Fighter Group, ended up at the same camp telling a story about a Japanese colonel that had said that the pilot Baggett had fired upon had been thrown clear of the plane and had been found dead of a single bullet to the head.
While there is no direct evidence that Lt. Owen Baggett did in fact take down a Japanese fighter plane with a handgun, many believe it to be true. Regardless, this is a great story of a courageous man involving a legendary pistol.

After the end of World War II, Owen Baggett remained in the military eventually rising to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force, which was his rank when he retired to San Antonio, Texas. In 2006, at 85 years old, Owen Baggett died in Texas, but he will always be remembered as the man who used a .45 to get a Zero.

(H/T to Tailfeathers)

Keeping up my creds as a gun-blogger

I’ve been reminded that it’s been some time since I last posted something “gunny.”  I must refresh my membership in the ranks of gun bloggers.

Here’s something for all the 1911 fans out there. (H/T to George in LV.)

              

Browning Buckmark .22 Pistol


I may have mentioned in an earlier post that my shooting buddy David wanted to get a CCW permit. He borrowed my Buckmark pistol because in Missouri, training includes both revolver and auto-loaders. David owned a Ruger Security-six and needed an auto-loader, hence he asked to barrow my Buckmark. In Missouri, there is no restriction of caliber for the training, just the mechanism, revolver or auto-loader.

I took my Buckmark along on our last Range trip. I hadn’t fired it in a few years and it was whining to get out of the safe (who says your weapons don’t speak to you?) David loved my Buckmark. He chewed the center out of the target leaving a 3″ ragged hole.

He had not shot many pistols and I wanted him to get a chance to handle as many as possible before he took his CCW training. The notion was that the more he handled, the more familiar he would be with common functions and handling techniques. Then he’d have some basis on which to use when he bought his first auto-loader.

David said he’d drop by and pick up the .22 the day before his training. Since we’d fired it and it had laid collecting dust and lint in the safe, I wanted to clean it before he picked it up.

I’ve fired many different .22s, Rugers, Berettas, Brownings, High-standard, H&R, S&W, autoloaders and revolvers. Of them all, I like the Browning Buckmark best. I’ve had a number of folks try to tell me the Ruger is the best overall .22 on the market. I don’t agree. The Ruger is a well made .22. It is accurate and handles well. You can add a number of options to it. It’s priced reasonably. All that applies to the Buckmark as well. I don’t know if the trigger pull can be adjusted for the Ruger. It can for the Buckmark. Just pull the slide back enough to expose the trigger adjustment screw and tighten or loosen to fit your needs. I have my Buckmark’s trigger set to about 2 1/2lbs.

The single issue for me that raises the Buckmark above the Ruger is the ease of cleaning and disassembly. I’ve not disassembled a Ruger, but I’ve had a number of knowledgeable folks tell me it’s not something to do in a rush. I’ve read similar comments that if you aren’t extremely familiar and practiced disassembling the Ruger, you’ll need a ‘smith to help you put it back together.

Not so with the Buckmark. You do need some tools, two, to take down the Buckmark. An Allen-wrench and a flat-blade screw driver. My Buckmark is the “Field 5.5″ model. I bought it ten years ago when I was shooting Pins and needed a .22 to go along with my .45. The Buckmark Field model has a rail on top–perfect for mounting a scope or optical sight. The rail extends in a single piece from the rear, behind the rear sights to the muzzle. To disassemble, use the Allen-wrench to remove the rear hex screw and star-washer (don’t lose the star washer. I spent an afternoon once looking for it on my carpeted family room.) Next, loosen the 1/4” set-screw just below the barrel. It’s not necessary to completely remove the set-screw. Just loosen it enough to allow the barrel to tilt forward and off the frame. Next carefully remove the recoil rod, spring and buffer and the slide will slip off the frame easily. Voila! It’s disassembled and ready to be cleaned. I use Break-free to clean the exterior and those areas reachable with a rag and swabs. Hoppe’s #9 is used for the bore. Occasionally, I’ll use some Hoppe’s Lead Solvent on the bore but usually #9 works good enough. A light spray and wipe down with Rem-Oil and it’s done. Reassemble and store it away.

You can disassemble further by removing the grips. If you do, take particular care to not loose some small leaf springs and other small components. But, in most cases, further disassembly isn’t needed.

My Buckmark, like my Kimber 1911, just feels right in my hand. The manual of arms is similar. The Buckmark does not have a grip safety, but the thumb safety and slide and mag release are in the same position as on the 1911. Both are large pistols with 5″ barrels. In addition, the grip angle is the same for the Buckmark and the 1911. If you know the manual of arms for a 1911, you know the manual of arms for the Buckmark. That is an additional plus that I like.

One option I did order for my Buckmark was finger-groove grips. I have large hands and can easily pickup round objects 12″ and larger. The finger groove Browning grips were a bit larger and fitted my hand better. That was an option I haven’t seen for the Ruger.

David dropped off the .22 Sunday night. He had a big grin on his face. He’d completed his training, gotten his certificate and would soon have a date with the Sheriff to complete his CCW application. Another CCW holder will soon join our ranks.

Safety Tips


I gave some bad advice to a friend the other day. We had been to the range and he was trying out a revolver a friend had for sale. He wasn’t used to a stiff double-action trigger and I suggested that he use some snapcaps and practice a slow trigger pull. That would serve two purposes. First, it would get him used to the revolver’s trigger and hammer break. Second, it would help smooth out the trigger and sear to make the pull less rough.

I suggested that he use some fired brass as temporary snap caps. That was a BAD IDEA. After he left, I began to consider what I’d said. From a cylinder view, the only difference from live cartridges and fired ones are the dimpled primers. If you are in a hurry (aren’t we all at some time or another) it would be easy to mistake an unfired primer from a fired primer. The next occurance would be a ND. Not cool!

So, I changed my suggestion. If he uses fired cartridges as a snapcap, I told him to color the base—the primer end with a marker. Color it some bright, easily seen color to instantly show that no live ammo is in the cylinder. I used to do that when I was shooting IDPA. It identified my brass from all the others and kept the brass-hogs away. The same technique can be used to identify a fire brass the next time you want to practice and don’t have any snapcaps on hand.

Safety is forethought.