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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Keeping it simple

Thanks to James Rummel who writes the Blog Hell in a Handbasket for the heads up on this one.

Xavier, who penns the Blog Xavier Thoughts recently wrote a post on home defense shotguns. His thoughts mirror mine as I have often expressed them, if not neccessarily on this site but to those that have sought to learn from me.

To lift a couple of quotes from Xavier;

I'm going to dispense with the crap and keep things simple.

What a person needs is a manuverable gun with a reasonable capacity, and some replenishment ammo. All else is superflurous. The olive drab coated picatinny railed bright light laser guided Walter Mitty guns are fine, but a person should not confuse function with glitz.

This has been my K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) principal for most of my adult life. It is not that I disdain all of the doodads that the modern day Yuppie Warriors seeks to add to their armament, it is just that I find most of them are unneccesary for the task at hand and only get in the way.

From Xavier;

Finally, as in handgunnery, you cannot substitute plastic high-tech add-ons for technique.

For some reason people feel the need to add all kinds of accessories to their firearms. Flashlights, heat shields, laser beams and who knows what else. There are a multitude of reasons for this; The Military does it. It was written about in the gun rags. It looks cool.

The single most effective accessory that one can add to an out of the box firearm is experience. Learn how to use it properly (technique) in the form it arrived, then and only then can a person begin to understand which if any of the aftermarket "Walter Mitty devices" will be of any benefit. Chances are honest inner reflection will negate the addittion of many of those items.

Bear in mind gun rag writers have to say nice things about the products that are sent to them for evaluation. If they were to tell the truth in plain english about some of those products then their source of income would dry up and they would have to find real employment. When reading these articles learn to read between the lines.

In talking to some of these Yuppie Warriors about all the the lights, lasers, bells and whistles that they have added to their favorite firearm, I have been amazed at the pitifully few that have actually spent any time at all in the dark in an attempt to master the use these attachments. These people are only deluding themselves when they screw the lastest and greatest doodads on their gun and expect it to function with out field testing it under the proper conditions for themselves.

Flashlights? They take batteries. I would rather not depend on batteries to save my life. I long ago determined that there is enough ambient light in my house on any given night, especially if we leave a strategically placed night light burning that I do not need a 200 dollar flashlight bolted to my handgun. I suspect that is true of most other homes as well.

Laser sights? A laser is a pointer and in the dim of night it is a pointer in both directions. And as with flashlights I am not going to trust my families safety to a battery.

Heat shields? How much ammo does one expect to expend against a burglar that would require the need for a heat shield.

Also remember all of that stuff you bolt onto that firearm will be in the custody of the local Gendarmes for a very long time should you ever find the need to deploy that tactical monstrosity you call a home defense gun. If you build one you better build two.

Another thought from Xavier;

Of a concern as well is how that gun will appear when held up by a prosecuting attorney in front of a jury if must be used. A gun that looks like a duck gun rather than an evil black rifle will always influence a gun ignorant jury less.

When it comes to handguns I have a pretty rigid set of rules that I apply to myself as well. The handguns that I have chosen to depend on for personal protection are right out of the box.

I occassionally compete with a handgun. I generally see a wide variety of handguns with an even wider array of attachments, doodads and modifications at these competitions. Do they work? Sure they do for the people that have taken the time to be proficeint with them. For many competition is a hobby that they wish to excell at and I whole heartedly think they should add any attachment or make any modification they think is neccesary to help them win. That is why they are in the game. A game that is not life and death.

I compete to maintain a certain edge with the equipment that I choose to have for personal protection. The stress of a match will never duplicate the stress of a life threatening encounter but it is stress none the less. I compete with equipment that is right out of the box the manufacterer sent it in.

I firmly believe that one should compete with what they carry, especially if you are competing to hone your skills, should they ever be needed to save your life. For those that compete just to compete either for a hobby or income, add or modify what ever you need to to win, that is why your doing it.

Do I win against these guys that shoot these high dollar custom guns with all the doodads money can buy that shoot several hundred rounds a week in persuit of their hobby? Some times. But I will admit that I usually place just behind them and ahead of most everyone else in scoring. ( I seriously doubt that the thug that breaks into my house will be one of the current combat pistol competition masters) Although I can generally count on being in the top one third I have not fired more than a few hundred rounds outside of competition in the last year.

Time has just not let me get out and do the kind of practicing I need to do to win a competition. But hey I can grab an out of the box pistol off the night stand show up at a match and give a good showing of myself just about any day of the week.

Why? Becuase I keep my equipment simple, I am uniquely familiar with it AND I compete with what I carry. To me that is what competition is all about.

Xavier is right on when he advices to keep things simple. The bottom line is; Learning to use the equipment properly in the first place will negate the addittion of crutches to prop up faulty technique.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rock your Glock wraps up Saturday the 24th

Several years ago Chris Zeeb did not even own a firearm. After a couple of unpleasant events, Chris came to the conclusion that for the safety and security of his family owning a handgun, or several for that matter, might not be a bad idea.

Chris Zeeb
From that point Chris has been on a quest that included becoming a certified Glock armorer and has thus far cumulated in putting together the "Rock your Glock" that many of us have competed in this past summer.

I have not been able to attend all of the "Rock your Glock" shoots this summer, but I most certainly will be there tomorrow, between 0800 and 1130 hours for the grand finale. (warning- Sean Hannity quote dead ahead) Let not your hearts be troubled Chris and company are already in the planning stages for a series of "Rock your Glock" Matches next year.

Held at the Lincoln Izaak Walton League Shooting Range there are a few things that make these local matches unique. The first is that Chris sought Glock sponsorship from the very begining. Glock declined for a variety of reasons. The second thing that makes these shoots unique is that, since Glock is not a corporate participant Chris has opened the competition up to all makes of firearms. Addittionally you do not need to be a member of the "Ikes" to compete in the rock You Glock matches.

Your a Sig fan? Bring it out. You like your CZ? Bring it on. Your a Browning HP afficeinado? Your all welcome. The match is open to any brand of center-fire semi-automatic pistols.

In fact a shooter may enter more than one gun if they choose to. Entry fees are quite affordable; Cost is $10 for the first gun/entry and $7.50 for each gun/entry thereafter. Youth under 18 shoot for $5 per gun/entry.

Ideally you will need a Center-fire handgun capable of holding at least 10 rounds, 3 magazines and at least one hundred rounds of ammunition. The 3 magazine suggestion is only that a suggestion. Even though you fire each course 3 times, the exception being the steel plates which is shot four times, you have the opportunity to reload a magazine between each stage of fire.

Please do not forget your hearing and eye protection. Not only is it common sense it is required by match rules.

There are 3 different scenarios that are shot. "The M", the "5 to 25" and "The Plates". Shooters can shoot the scenarios in order that they wish.

The M
The M consists of 4 paper targets (2 at 7 yards, two at 15 yards) and three steel targets (11 yards). In the first stage the shooter engages all four paper targets with 2 shots each and engages ONE of the steel targets. For the second stage the shooter again engages the paper with two shots each and takes down a second steel target. The third stage is a repeat of 1 and two with the 3rd steel target engaged. (if a shooter need to recharge a magazine between stages they will be able to do so) The targets are then scored and after the shooters sheet is annotated he/she moves on to the next scenario.

The 5 to 25
The 5 to 25 consists of 5 paper targets set at 5 yard intervals from (as the name implies) 5 to 25 yards. The shooter loads one magazine and at the tone engages each target in any order the shooter chooses with 2 rounds each. The 2nd and 3rd stages mirrors the first. When the targets are scored and the shooters sheet is annotated he/she moves on to the next scenario.

The Plates
The Plates consist of 6 steel plates that are placed 33 feet from the firing line. At the signal the shooter engages the plates knocking them down with the fewest rounds in the quickest time possible. This scenario is fired four times and magazines can be recharged between stages if the shooter does not have four magazines. After the shooters sheet is annotated it is turned into to the officials.

Scores are tabulated after the match is over and the results are posted on the "Rock your Glock" web site as soon as possible.

This has been a fun successful event that hopefully will be even bigger and better next year. Much thanks needs to go not only to Chris for this but especially to all of the people that have volunteered to help him make this the event it is becoming. I apologize for not knowing all of their names but the volunteer list includes great people like Roger Terrell, Guy Griffith and both Chris and Guys sons.

The "Ikes" shooting range is located on 134th street just south of Highway 2 on the East side of Lincoln. (More detailed directions can be found on the Rock your Glock web site.

Thank you Chris and all of the volunteers that made this happen.

SomeBody give Cindy a Tinfoil hat

I have stayed away from this simply because I think the lady is mentally deranged and Morally bankrupt. I wasn't going to give her even a minute slice of her fifteen minutes of fame, but now she really has not only gone over the edge she is in a flat spin free fall.

Ma'am Sheehan is now demanding that the U.S. Military be removed from New Orleans.

In a dispatch on leftist filmmaker Michael Moore's website, Sheehan said she was troubled by the "level of the military presence" in the Gulf Coast state.

"George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power," she said.

It seems that I remember reading that The President could not lawfully send troops into New Orleans, that in fact it was the duty of the Governor of that state and that the military precence is in fact the State National Guard doing duties that their organization was formed to do.

I sympathize with the loss of her son, but soon to be divorced for her dumbass crap Ms. Sheehan is in serious need of Mental help. She has shown herself to be such a crackpot that even Hitlary Senator Clinton refuses to meet with her.

The longer she persists in her assinine crusade the more marginalized she is becoming. There are even rumors that the main reason her son went into the Military in the first place was to escape the clutches of a domineering and over bearing Mother. (That would be Cindy Sheehan for those of you in Moonbatville.)

A son. A Husband. A family. It seems that this crackpot's goal in life is to systematically alienate everyone around her. Now she has gone nuclear, in that she is seeking the same from a very very large majority of the country.

I wish she would just hurry up and implode, I am getting tired of litening to her.

But since she is hooked up with the King of Docucrap (Michael MORON) I would expect a docu-lie to come out of all of this. Do you think that the Main Moron could get Susan Siranwrap (Sarandon) to portray Ms. Sheehan?????

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bow Season opened last week and I am still so not ready

Archery season opened on the 15th of September and it came and went with little fanfare at Casa de Gunscribe.

I have hardly shot my bow this year at all. Oh I have been out on a few occassions to try out a new doodad or two that I thought I just couldn't live without, but there has been no serious attempt to get in hunting form.

At the 20 yard range
It could be that I am just getting lazy in my older age or that the weather has had something to do with it. Seriously several people I know that are much more serious archers than I have not made any plans to go afield as yet either. With all of this warm weather the deer just don't seem to be moving around much ..yet.

I really like to keep things to a minimum and only seek to use those items that really work. For those that are interested I will note some of the changes I have made to the original setup.

First my bow is a 10 year old Bear Whitetail II. Yes I am familiar with all of the new and improved yuppie bows that are out there and I could have one if I wanted too, but my wife bought this one for my birthday back in 1995 and it still works absolutely fine thank you.

It still sports the original sights the bow came with, but over the years I have made a few changes or additions to the basic setup.

Not pretty but they work
I would guess that in the last 10 years I have had at least 8 different arrow rests mounted on this bow. None of them seemed to be just quite what I wanted. A few weeks ago I broke down and bought Carolina Archery Products lastest model of the Whisker Biscuit.

Whisker Biscuit
This rest is a shoot through type and it does what I want a rest to do; hold the arrow in place. I have been out to the range with it 3 times now and I think this will most likely be the last rest that this bow will ever have mounted on it.

Tru Fire Release aid
I shoot with the aid of a Tru-Fire release, an act that can cause untimely wear on a bow string. In that regard I recently installed an ultranok on the bow string. This allows the release to attach to it rather than wearing on the string.

I chose this one rather than the string type as I have seen the string type nok fail for other archers; eith it breaks or comes untied at a most unopportune moment.

Another concession I made, this year, to modern technology is switching to carbon arrows. And I am glad I did.

When you care to send the very best send Carbon Express
When I first started shooting a bow (pre-Kindergarten and my Mom still has pics to prove it) all that was available for shaft material was cedar. Many archers still use wood and if I were to take up the long bow or recurve again I would too.

I was about 14 years old when I made my first investment in a dozen fiberglass shaft arrows. They were superior to cedar in many ways but tended to shatter or split fairly easily whaen something hard was struck.

I don't remember when I switched to Aluminum shafts, but I am thinking it was around 1980 while I was in Alaska. I have always been extremely happy with aluminum even though I have bent more than my share.

In the few sessions I have had with the Heritage 350's from Carbon Express I have been suitably impressed with the increased speed and and penetration these shafts have over aluminum. I have not made any changes to the pound weight of my bow since switching from the metal arrows and I can visably see that they fly faster to and go deeper in the target.

20 yard target (if only the Block was edible)
Well there you have it, what the Gun shoots for Archery gear. Old, simple and accurate. ( I guess that describes me and my gear)

Old, Simple and Accurate

Two Blogs in Two Days

In the previous post I waxed eloquent told you about Husker Mike's Blog and behold the comments section contains a response from another local Blog that I was unaware of.

After spending some time reading The Lincolnite I have decided that this Blog deserves a place on my Blogroll as well.

In the past I have not written about a lot of the local shenanigans that take place in the Capitol City only those that irritate me enough to pen thoughts on.

Enter Mr Wilson another local citizen that has his blog on the pulse of the community. It is a pleasure to note that Mr Wilson and I seem to be like minded on so many issues, especially the ones I have written about in the past.

If you really want the continuous low down on what is really happening in Lincoln, Nebraska make the Lincolnite a daily read.

P.S. As to your search for a Camera Mr Wilson I am so far happy with the Kodak that I recently acquired and commented on a few posts down the page.

Update: I didn't realize it at the time I wrote this that there are several others that are blogging under the Lincolnite banner. Be sure to check out the posts by Mr T's Den, 625 Elm street, d.m.b. sports report, and sports star as well. There is lot's of very goog local information from these guys.

Blasphemy??? I say not

I am slowly becoming aware of other Nebraska based Blogs. The latest is Titled Husker Mike's Blasphemy.

I do not hold much interest in the team sports. I have nothing against them, it is just not something I devote any time to.

Having said that I do root for the home team, Yea Go Big Red, simply because they are the home team. I have even been to one Husker's game in the 11 years we have lived in the area. It was some years back when after losing the week before the Huskers trounced one of the Kansas teams 40 something to nothing.

We went because I know a former Husker player (who shall remain nameless but whose younger brother still plays for a pro team) was going to be out of town that weekend and did not need the four season tickets that his family maintains. And yes I would go again.

In fact the closet thing to Husker red I have ever worn on game day is hunter orange, and then only when a game co-insides with one of the deer seasons.

I do plead guilty to watching the Big Red Machine play their bowl games though, I can get into that.

Anyway after reading some of Mike's blasphemy I find that we are very like minded in what we observe to be the current state of affairs at UNL. When I do pay attention to such things anyway.

I think that he has Pederson and the rest of the staff pegged to a "T" and respectfully add him to my Blogroll.

In other words just because I am from Nebraska it doesn't mean you'll see much UNL sports talk here. If you want Big Red info that is spot on read Mike's musings. I will be.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The gun show sucked but I am cured

As noted in a previous post I had been suffering from Buyagunitchitis and there was an upcoming gunshow.

To be quite honest I did not think much of the show itsself but I did settle on a new in the box CVA synthetic stock Bobcat muzzle loader in 50 caliber for $54.00.

I got this primarily for the wife who has recently expressed a desire to shoot blackpowder. As soon as we can we will take it out to the range and wring it out.

Starting out we will be loading it with a patched round ball ahead of a 30 grain equivelant of Pyrodex. This is not a real potent load for hunting, but it is a good target load to start a new shooter at.

Shooting 30 grains reduces the noise and felt recoil allowing the novice to concentrate on the basics of a new sport. As her experience increases we will increase the amount of powder and eventually shoot the Powerbelt bullet for hunting.

The Powerbelt bullet has proved to be very accurate in both of my sons CVA Bobcats and a buddy of mine took a deer with one a few years ago. He was using an in-line 50 caliber from Cabela's and 150 grain blackpowder equivelant load of pyrodex.

First the Comedian, Now the Commentator

Shortly after completing his ESPN coverage of Nebraska's rather ugly defeat of Pittsburghs college football team Brent Musberger gets jacked up by the local Gendarmes.

In a move remenicent of the recent Ron White fiasco Lincoln police Officers cited Musburber for consuming alcohol in public and having an open container in a motor vehicle.

Mind Musburger was not driving the vehicle in question, he was only a passenger and it appears he was the only one cited for these agregious violations.

Has there ever been a celebrity come to Lincoln that hasn't been jacked up by the local cops?

What the Journal Star had to say

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Katrina: My thoughts

To this point I have not posted anything on Katrina. There has been so much that has been written already from all sides of the spectrum that there was nothing new I felt I could add.

Now that time has past and there seems to be some semblance of operation pervailing I still do not have anything new to offer, only my thoughts in hindsight. These are my thoughts on things that I have heard on the MSM and read around the Blogdom. In that regard I won't clog this missive up with links. We have all heard the things I write about and if we haven't those item can be found on the Internet.

My heart does go out to these people in there time of grief, they do need to examine the actions of the leaders that they elected and take appropriate action at the ballot box to ensure that things work better the next time this happens.

It will happen again; 1)The Gulf Coast is noted for it's hurricanes 2) New Orleans Buloxi and Gulfport are on the coast 3) a large portion of that area is at or below Sea Level.

It seems that the President did in fact suggest that the area be evacuated at least 5 days prior to landfall. In addition he made millions of dollars available to the Governor by pre-emptively declaring New Orleans a disaster area.

That the Governor chose not to avail herself of this suggestion until two days before landfall is squarely on her shoulders. None of the natural disaster funds appear to be used to evacte the residents of the area.

That 500 and some busses were allowed to be destroyed by flooding when the Mayor and local leaders had 5 days notice is deplorable. Many are protesting that with; Where would they go anyway?

Well how about anywhere out of the area, after all the President had already freed up millions of dollars for use by the State and Local authorities.

It has been credibly reported that orders had been issued, contrary to local, state and federal law, to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens, leaving them defenseless. It has also been reported that this order was thankfully short lived.

Prior to the storm the Red Cross had staged semi-trailers loaded with neccessities. When the Red Cross approached Local leaders about disbursing these supplies to individuals in the shelters they were turned away.

Why? The explanation goes as such, We want these people moved out as soon as possible, if these things are provided they will want to stay in the shelters and many more will come.

A disaster of this magnatude has been in the making for more than 50 years; plenty of time for the local agencies to have developed a plan for such a storm. There are rumors that a plan was in place but either it was not followed or it was inadaquate.

As I see it there has been a lot warnings that something like this would eventually happen and an awfull lot of money has been previously spent on the subject. That the State and Local leaders took that money and failed to heed the warnings is an atrocity that needs to be addressed by the voting residents of those areas.

I find it abhorant that the Governor, the Mayor and the New Orleans Chief of Police put themselves whining and crying in the MSM demading the Federal Government (read President Bush) to do something they should have been responsible for and prepared to do for themselves.

It is not the job of those in service to the people at the Federal level to maintain a 24/7 watch on what could or might happen in New Orleans, or any other place for that matter. Those people did in fact warn at least 5 days prior that the state and local leaders needed to get on the ball and do something.

First and foremost it is the job of the local leaders, including the Mayor and Police Chief to anticipate and plan for things of this nature.

Above that it is the oversight of the State level personel that are in service to the people to assist the local authorities in the implimentation of the local disaster plan.

When it elevates to more than the State and local authorities can handle or have planned for, then aid and assistance from the Federal level becomes neccessary.

It is incumbant for the local leaders to have a plan and be prepared for a disaster that both the state and federal leaders can augement.

That the Local leaders in New Orleans Government either; did not have a plan, it was inadaquate, or it was not implimented is without question.

That the State Government either; did not have a plan, it was inadaquate, or it was not implimented is without question.

It is without question and painfully obvious that the Federal Government and the Red Cross clearly stood ready to assist days prior to the disaster.

Their warnings were not heeded, the money was not spent and in the immediate aftermath the supplies were REFUSED by the state and local authorities.

At some point it became clear that in order for something to get done Federal employees essentially with nothing to build on had to take over from scratch.

When you represent the Federal Government and have been given nothing to build on, had all of your previous attempts to help rebuffed, it takes time to get things back on track.

For decades Local and State Leaders in that area knew that someday Katrina (or some other named hurricane) would be a reality. It is painfully obvious that they never seriously planned for an event of this magnatude or availed themselves of the mantra that the Federal Government WOULD BAIL THEM OUT.

That last statement can be validated in that in the days following Katrina the Chief of Police was on the MSM screaming and hollering about where is the federal government and why aren't they doing anything.

Chief they were doing something. They at least had the right to expect a plan to build on rather than start from scratch. That you were on television crying for the federal government to "Come do it for me, oh woe is us, Come do it for us" is painfully obvious that you have risen above your level of competancy and are deserving of being tossed out on your ass.

As a side note there was alot going on, but the MSM, as they are doing in Iraq, were only focussing on the rebel rousers and not the dedicated hard working representitives of the people that were in fact doing things.

Am I the only one that thinks that Geraldo Rivera was diliberately trying to incite something in his coverage of Katrina from outside the Superdome?

What ever is going around

I really have wanted to posted some items of interest these passed few days, but I have been plagued with what ever it is that is going around. I just haven't had the ambition to do much more than cough and sweat.

Today was better than yesterday so I truely hope to have something up by the weekend.