From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Precursor to a range report

Pre-reader warning: If some of this seems like sentimental rambling it probably is, and I offer no appologies for it. I get that way with certain firearms, especially when I am preparing to hunt with them.

The weather is looking good for a nice day at the range this Saturday. In anticipation of a Hog Hunt in late March my oldest son, a hunting buddy and I will be target testing the firearms we plan to use. Also Accompanying us on the Oklahoma hunt will be my younger brother from New Mexico and a friend from Kansas. My Brother will be using a Pre-64 Model 94 30-30 and Mike will be using a Ruger 1B in 25-06 that he got for Christmas.

Enter the Glock
My oldest son is adamant about only using his Glock 23, 40 Smith & Wesson Caliber. We have done considerable research on the right load to use for hogs and have settled on the Remington Express 155 grain offering. Ballistically this appears to be a good load. It is also one of only a few loads in that caliber that meet the criteria to hunt Whitetail deer with in Nebraska. (handguns that deliver at least 400 ft. lbs of energy at 50 yards)

I was originally intending to use a Glock 23 as well, and the Remington 155 grain load has been very accurate in both firearms in the past. We are anticipating shooting distances from a few feet to a maximun of 30 yards So this load in the G 23 should by all accounts give good service if the hunter does his part.

My Buddy's guns
My buddy (he is shy and doesn't like his real name or picture on the net) whom I previously wrote about here will be bringing a short barreled Magna-Ported 44 Magnum 629 Smith & Wesson and a Marlin lever action in 45-70. He hasn't clued me in as to the loads he intends to use yet but he is an experienced shooter and hunter so what ever he has will be up to the task.

As for myself I am suffering the bane of all gun owners that own more than one gun. I am torn as to which to use. Since I had made my original decision to use one of my Glock 23's I have recently (in the last six months) aquired two firearms that each came with its own suitcase load of sentimentality.

Grandpa's Old Winchester
The first is a rifle I have written about previously here. It belonged to my Grandfather who passed away in 1977 and never got to see even a picture of his first great-grand son who had been born only days earlier. (My oldest son) This long barreld rifle is a made in 1907 Winchester Model 94 and sports (probably from the factory) a Lyman tang peep sight. It is in Winchester 32 special caliber and is the rifle featured in the picture at the top of this Blog being fired by my oldest son.

I had decided that this was going to be my primary firearm and aquired several boxes of Federal's 170 grain ammunition. I wanted to use this firearm simply because of the history that I have with it, but there is also a certain satisfaction that comes with adding your own history to a family heirloom. Now that we have that settled right??

Now enter the second baggage laden firearm.
A very dear friend that is also a veteran of the South East Asian conflict bestowed upon me a Smith & Wesson Model 629 44 Magnum round butt revolver. This particular non-fluted firearm originally came with a 4 inch barrel. Jerry sent the firearm to the Smith & wesson Custom Shop and had the action worked over and tuned. While it was there he had them install a 3 inch Magna-ported barrel on it. The first time I ever saw this gun replete with its rosewood grips I told jerry that it had to be about one of the most ugly pug-nosed guns I had ever seen and contemplated on the joy or lack there of in shooting such a beast.

This will be the primary firearm I use
Jerry has been insisting that I take the gun and hunt with it for more than a year now. He is also insistant that I use it in bowling pin competitions. I finally relented and accepted the gun over coffee a month or so back and the first pin shoot of the season is next weekend.

Jerry's disabilities preclude him from getting out and hunting like he used to and other than shooting this gun at the range he has never hunted with it. All he has asked from me is that I give him an 8x10 of me, a hog and the gun in the same picture. That readers is my intention.

I will also have the old 32 along in case I opt for the opportunity to harvest a second hog or in the rare event I don't have any within the range of the 44.

Having been a handgun hunter since the early 70's I have amassed considerable experience with (among other calibers) the 44 Magnum. Whitetail deer in the north east, Moose in Alaska, Mule deer in New Mexico and Montana, to name but a few. I have also spent hours casting bullets and reloading for this caliber.

For this hunt however I'm keeping it simple and sticking to factory ammunition. I have no doubt that Winchesters 240 grain Jacketed soft point will do its job if I do mine.

Why I chose the way I did
My Grandfather has been gone for many decades and knew that one day I would inherit the rifle from his son, my uncle Paul. I'm sure he also knew that I would put that firearm out in the field and use it as he had. This is something I can do another time.

My friend Jerry is still alive and even when he can't be in the field, he is with us in spirit. He has asked me to do something that he has not had the opportunity to do with that handgun and Jerry has always been the kind of friend that on the rare occassion he asks a favor I am happy to deliver.

Later this year
I am also planning a Whitetail deer hunt in Ohio this season. If the wife will be able to go it will be after Christmas for the Muzzle loading season. If her schedule won't allow that I will go for the regular firearms season in November for the sole purpose of providing Jerry with a picture of me, the 629 and a good sized Whitetail Buck. Yea Jerry is the kind of friend you go above and beyond for.

Hopefully I will be able to post a full range report complete with a few pictures either Sunday or Monday at the latest.

Monday, February 21, 2005

New Blogroll Addition

As I indicated in a post sometime back I had been reading Head's Bunker Blog for some time and that it needed to be added to the blogroll.

For all the Gun Bloggers out there, Head has a challenge for us. It involves introducing a new shooter to the sport in the form of a competition based on the honor system.

Check it out.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Indoctrination vs. Education

Felon disfranchisement

Could this be the latest buzz word or politically correct expression used to envoke sympathy for the poor convicted "it wasn't their fault they had a rough childhood" criminals?

In this weeks Opinion piece in the Daily Nebraskan, Alex Clark uses that combination of words to state his case for the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons.

Alex a sophomore political science major plays the race card in the very first paragraph, again in the third and the fifteenth. One gets the feeling the only reason Alex or anyone else cares about this is that it has an effect on minorities. If it were only white American males that were "victims of felon disfranchisement" would student Clark be so passionate and out spoken on the issue?

This is what they are learning in college these days?

The purpose of election law is not to make sure good citizens are running the country. The purpose of election law is to gauge the sentiment of the people ruled and translate their attitudes into actions.

That is the most accurate and complete recipe for Sodom and Gommorah I have ever read. That truely illustrates the point many of us have been making for years; That a segment of our society genuinely wants the inmates running the asylum.

In the very next paragraph Alex writes;

If we have a rehabilitative justice system, then how can we justify not trusting those rehabilitated with the most important civic right? In many states, disfranchisement is permanent.

Why stop there Alex lets take it one step farther? You are all for the restoration of rights for those persons that have paid their debt to society, why not make it total and complete. If they have earned the right to our unbiased trust allow me the latitude of re-writing one of your paragraphs in my own words;

I don’t understand the danger in letting ex-offenders voteposess firearms. Are we afraid they would steal their voting booths or accost pollworkers rob a bank or accost a Kwik-Shop employee? I feel the only people that cannot be trusted to vote are the permanently violent who shouldn’t be allowed out of prison anyway. It seems nonsensical and duplicitous to claim we can trust someone with physical liberty but not with voting the ability to protect and defend themselves, something far less dangerous.

Hey Alex, how about it there buddy lets not go about this with any halfway tripe, lets jump right out there and show the world what big hearts we have for the reformed of our society. After all if they have paid their debt, why should they be denied any right?

After all as you put it "we trust them with personal liberty" don't they have the same right to protect that personal liberty as you and I do? You shouldn't have a problem with that since as you so eloquantly state "the permanently violent who shouldn’t be allowed out of prison anyway".

Do I think that felons, that have paid their debt to society, be allowed to vote? Yes I do. I also favor the current system to have their rights restored, in some cases even the right to own firearms, gradually over a period of time as they prove they can become a continuing contributing member of society.

LOB53 is just another handout that panders to a restricted segment of society. A segment that is composed of all races and nationalities of people. It is just another touchy feely way of telling those that prey on the law abiding public that hey no sweat don't worry about having to earn anything.

To all the Cons in Nebraska;

When this bill passes you can just sit around with all your convict buddies remenicing the old days and planning new capers and as long as you don't get caught you can vote for me in two years. And if you vote for me in two years I will continue to make it easier for you to prey upon those I have taken an oath to protect.

Sincerely Yours,
Senators Feelgood and Onthetake

P.S. Remeber to vote once but vote often.

I wonder just how many people this law will benifit anyway. One would think that with the recidisism rate among felons very few would ever make it to the two year mark without being arrested for another equally henious crime.

And if you care to respond Alex, and as a next to final point I just got to ask what Hagel and Bereuters comments about President Bush have to do with the topic of your essay?

Are you trying to imply that if the felons were autonimously allowed the vote that Al Gore or John Kerry would be President now and all would be well with society?

Come on Alex put your keyboard where your heart is. If the "reformed felons" deserve one right restored they deserve all of them restored. Don't be a piker about it Alex let's campaign for all or nothing, if they have the intelligence and the trust to vote they ought to have the intellgince and trut to own firearms for their own self protection.

How about it bud are you in for the end game???????????????

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Shooting Blanks or Paying Homage to the Moron?

The most recent edition of the Nebraska Universities Campus paper The Daily Nebraskan features an article penned by Senior physics and chemestry major Adam Scheer.

In his opinion piece entitled "Shooting Blanks" Student Scheer shamelesly pays homage to Michael Moore, by basing his diatribe entirely on "facts he gleaned from the movie "Bowling for Columbine".

"Facts" that have been credably proven false time after time since the release of Moore's "documentry".

I am not even going to bother to fisque his rant, it is not worth re-writing what has already been written by countless other legal scholars like David Kopel, et al.

Whether Scheer took the easy way out and just sat down with a laptop, a bowl of popcorn and the movie or whether he has had his head stuck so far up a test tube for so long that he didn't know that the entire movie had been seriously debunked is a moot point. The point is that Adam seems to get all of his current events education from the box office.

What's next Adam? Should we appeal to the Jedi High Councel urging them to send Obi-Wan to settle the Iraqi problem? Or maybe the situation is so desparate that Yoda himself must go.

Adam is there anything pressing that we need Jason Bourne for?

The Daily Nebraskan does have a section where readers can submit their comments. After they have been approved by the editorial staff they will be posted under the article in question.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Passing a broke bill

It has been no big secret that I do not like LB454 in its current form. I along with several other hard working and dedicated people have been addressing our concerns for the shortcomings of LB454 with the various members of the judiciary committee. If certain sections of the bill would be amended and/or changed it could provide for a serious working model for future enhancement.

In previous posts I have addressed the most serious of those issues and won't bore you with a re-hash of that.

Mostly what I am hearing from people that support LB454 as it is written, including several of the Senators and the NRA is that "it is essential that we get THIS bill made into law. Once we have the law it will be easier to get it changed."

Excuse me!!!!!!!!!!!

Pardon me while I dissagree.

How in hell would anyone think that? Especially about Nebraska.

If this bill passes this year it will be because nearly every Senator in the Unicameral has been dragged kicking and screaming to the podium to vote for cloture of a Senator Chambers filibuster. And it will have taken the better part of a decade to get that done.

Previously I have written of my conversations with Senator Chambers. He is a very intellegent and well read Senator and citizen of Nebraska. He opposes CCW because he has researched the subject and based on his life experiences has come to the conclusion that it is not necessary. That is one man speaking from his own heart and not the voice of those Senators that hide behind him.

If there is one thing Ernie Chambers is not it is a liar. When Ernie Chambers tells you that there are any number of Senators that supposedly support CCW to their constituency and count on him to successfully filibuster it into oblivion every year because they really do not want the people that vote for them to have the ability to protect themselves YOU CAN TAKE THAT CHECK TO THE BANK.

Most of Nebraskas Senators don't really seem to favor or want it, how are they going to be when we go back to them in two years and tell them we want changes to it that make it easier for law abiding citizens to protect themselves?

It ain't gonna happen folks!!!!!!!!!!!!

If we do not get a good bill out of the gate then we will spend the next 10 years trying to change it all the while whining, crying, pissing and moaning about how restrictive it is and how it is better to take your chances under 28-1202 than to jump through all of the hoops like a good little state trained puppy dog for that permission slip to exercise a right. Waaaa waaaa waaaa

Sure we get a bill and the Unicameral has an out; they delegated all of the authority for its enactment to non-elected, non-accountable bereaucrats.

Dear Citizens,

You wanted a bill, we gave you a bill. A bill that was backed wholey and completely by the NRA, we might add. We delegated the powers in this bill to agencies that are trusted and viewed as responsible. Since that is a separate branch of Government we have no authority over them. Any changes that you deem necessary must be addressed by the supervisors of those individual departments, or take it up with the NRA since we gave that organization the bill that they asked for on your behalf.

Your Unicameral

This bill allows the Senators to have it both ways. The ones that are not truely in favor of it get to pass a CCW law that will surely get some of them re-elected. By leaving the admistration of the law up to departments run by non-elected, and possibly anti-gun bereaucrats, they can disavow any responsibility when the majority of the citizens can not get a permit.

Which you can bet your bottom dollar that most of them want it that way anyway.

To re-cap; If it passes this time it will have taken nearly 10 years for it too happen. What the hell makes anyone think that it will take any less time for any changes however minor to be effected?

Get a grip on reality people; most of your Senators DO NOT WANT YOU TO HAVE THIS. If you insist on it they will pass the most benign bill they can.

If your Senators were genuinely as supportive of this as they claim to be, it would have been law 8 years ago and we would be arguing about the changes that need addressing today not the enactment of the bill itsself.

I know there are is a very intellegent group of law abiding people that are working very hard to make a silk purse out of this sows ear, concerning LB454. I have met them. THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING, but they can't do it all or bring to bear the kind of pressure only large numbers of people can bring.

To the rest of you:

Get off your asses and do something. Start making some phone calls. Write some letters. If you live within 50 miles of Lincoln take some time and visit your Senators office in the unicameral and tell them that you made the trip just to let them know how you feel about LB454 and what you EXPECT them to do about it if they want your vote for re-election. Hell take two or three friends with you.

If you can't make it to Lincoln, find out when your Senator will be home or in your area, put together a meeting and invite that person to attend. If they don't show up tell the media about it, write letters to the editor of your local papers suggesting that your Senator is dodging his/her constituency. You are suppose to tell them what you want, not have them tell you what you are going to get.

One of the biggest reasons a CCW law has not been passed in Nebraska is not Senator Ernie Chambers, it is the apathy of the citizens in the state of Nebraska. If a majority of Nebraskans do not want CCW then that is fine with me, that is the way the system is suppose to work. If there are a large number of Nebraskans that want it but are unwilling to put forth any effort to get it passed then it will never happen, and that is the way the system works too.

The system works and will continue to work whether you are a part of it or not. But if your not a part of it don't expect anything from it. The reason our elected officials get away with so much is because so many of us are not a part of it and they count on that.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Been way to busy

It has been a little over a week since I last posted.

We have had decent enough weather that I needed to get some outside work done, that included pruning and cutting back the dormant fruit bearing trees, rechecking and repairing the protections for water pipes and numorous other asundry chores that pile up when I spend to much time on the internet.

I have also, as time permits been working on several firearms. Chief among them is the restoration of a Waffenfabrik/Styer model 1909 tipup barrel 25. ACP. This is a "relic" of WWI and still shoots quite accurately by the way. It came to me in rether sad shape though. The internals and rifling are in great shape but the exterior is all patina and pitted in places.

One other project I have been working on is the complete refinishing of a Mossberg single shot target rifle. It certainly was not in as bad a shape as the styer when I got it but it too had languished in someone elses closet for years without the proper attention it is due.

Possibly when I get done with them or nearly so I will post pictures of them.

As if I don't have enough to do already, I aquired a two piece monte carlo stock with cheek piece for a 303 enfield that I have had since 1 was thirteen years old. It is in the raw, has never been on another firearm and is a real fine Walnut.

Hopefully I will have more time this week to do some writing, till then thank you all for checking in on a regular basis.