Showing posts with label Loopholing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Loopholing. Show all posts

Sep 30, 2015

Gun show giggles

As World War Two segued into Korea, a hot spot in the Cold War, I was almost old enough for the Boy Scouts and all those camping adventures. I decided to be prepared, so I haunted the war surplus stores. They were jammed with left-over field gear, and even the poorest kids could afford it. A dime would get you a canteen. A quarter would buy an entrenching tool and a buck both halves of a pup tent.

My camping kit was so composed. We argued about which was neater, official Boy Scout stuff or the equipment "our guys" used to wipe out the dirty Krauts and Japs. The latter was infinitely cheaper and hence, in  those days of small incomes, won the argument.

No one ever thought of "collecting" web and leather gear. How could you imagine collecting something as plentiful as dandelions? You bought the stuff and used it, period.

Flash forward a few decades and check the 21st Century prices  for 1940s militaria and note the awe with which some identify the stuff as jen-you-ine World War 2  relics. The louder and more precisely pronounced the "jen-you-ine," the higher the price.

I started noticing the trend early enough to take small advantage of an unsettled and asymmetric market and started picking up the stuff at garage sales and auctions. A buck here, two there,  up to three for decent 1911 holsters. Over the years the stash grew big enough to outfit a fire team (roughly two privates and a PFC or junior corporal), then, most of a squad (roughly three fire teams under a buck sergeant).

And I started taking a liking for and interest in all that canvas, webbing, and leather, so kept it up. If I live long enough and don't run  out of storage space,  I may someday correctly fancy  myself able to supply a platoon.

Especially if I keep going to gun shows in semi-northern Minnesota, home of the clueless.

Five bucks for the .45 holster, two each for the first aid (and compass) pouches. An 11-dollar total for a dandy addition to my pile. The holster especially tickles me because it is much better than the picture shows. It looks warped because someone set heavy stuff atop it, but the lack of inside wear suggests it hardly ever housed a pistol.

A small geekout for serious aficionados:

The holster is undated, made by Gratton and Knight, issued in russet, and blackened later, suggesting manufacture during or after the big war and possible re-issue for Vietnam,  by which time most of them were issued in black.

The top two pouches are pre-war or early war. The color is OD3. The bottom example is later, perhaps 1943 forward, in OD7.  (OD=olive drab). They're almost universally called first-aid pouches and were designed to hold a Carlisle bandage. At some point the Army decided they were fine compass carriers, too.

And that's what I did on my vacationette last weekend. Doing it in company of two fine St. Cloud kids, who are not among the clueless,  just made it all the more pleasant.

Mar 10, 2015

Down at the Quad-Cities Loophole the Other Day

Some days are luckier than other days.

Some Bushes are better than others.

Roll out the barrel

And, just for lagniappe, a little plastic souvenir of where she was.

According to the old man selling out his personal collection, he fired it there in the 60s. It is a Rock Island Arsenal product inspected by Mr. Frank Krack, and perhaps built by him. He was an assistant foreman who, apparently,  sometimes liked to create some of the RIA National Match/Camp Perry products.

Both slide and frame are Colt 1911, manufactured in 1917 according the SN lists.

No, I won't say what I paid, but  I risked finger injury in getting the asking price out of my pocket. The  seller was still setting up; the Colt had just hit the table as I approached. I decided to haggle only  half-heartedly because there was a very anxious dude standing close behind me, breathing heavily, and I didn't think it was my body cologne exciting him.

Feb 14, 2015

Vocabulary Lesson

Optimism: That trait leading a loophole-bound citizen to stuff his wallet with all the  Federal Reserve Cartoons his modest circumstances permit AND root around for the small, light, nylon bag AND reflect that the sack would comfortably hold an Artillery Luger,  an unissued USN-marked 1918 Model 1911 AND a shootable 4" Colt Python. Also, maybe, a signed first edition of No Second Place Winner.

Reality: That mindset based on personal history of coming home  too often from even the best of the big loopholes  with the wallet untouched except for one's share of the post-show beer tab at Adrian, Minnesota where (Edit: formerly) the girl behind the bar is (was) both cute and tolerant of old farts trying to be flirty.

Sioux Falls this weekend, and it's one of the loopies we all recommend, particularly for you guys who like cowboy guns.

I suppose I wrote all this because it suddenly occurred to me that life is pretty good.


Update:  Reality, mostly.


Technical addendum. Blogger's spell check hates "loopies" and offers "loo pies" as a suggested alternative. How gross.

Dec 6, 2014

A Most Organic Loophole

A pretty fair bargain, a classy bullet for the M1 Carbine and zippy little loads for the 94 lever gun.

At 11 cents per, I'd have bought them regardless.  but the deal was instantly sealed when the seller warranted that every grain was certified gluten free. My continued good health is assured.

(Courtesy of a Facebook friend I learn that Whole Foods sells only gluten-free body lotions.)

And then there was a a fin* frittered away on the very rewarding...

No one needed to tell me this would be cage-free history. Benny has proven to me over many volumes that when he lays an egg it won't plop gently on to a padded and computer controlled conveyor belt.  You need to kick through the farm yard to find it. Bennie (All his closest friends call him Hef Benny. ) billed himself as a "social historian."

If that has any meaning at all, I guess he was.  While he frames his histories with fact, he adds all sorts of little pastels about why the characters do what they do. He's pretty good at it, but I suppose that just means I usually agree with him. For instance, while he goes easy on individual Mormons, you should read his nuclear attack on Mormonism.

(It fits logically into his bigger purpose, 1846 as a crucial year. Polk steals huge tracts of northern Mexico because whipping Santa Anna was a lock; Polk chickens out of 54-40 or fight and meekly settles for 49 degrees because he wasn't sure we could whip Britain; The Mormons move slowly and incompetently to Deseret; John C. Fremont again proves himself a Great American Dumbass.   And so forth.)

I recommend DeVoto. Keenly.

Yeah, it came from a home equipped with a large economy size Baldor grinder, but it cost almost nothing. Navy, RH Pal, 36. Mk 1.  I bought it partially to remind me to remind you that the "R-H" stands for "Remington - Hunting" and that it was retained by PAL when it gobbled up  Remington Cutlery.

... also to make sure my advice would be correct as to tightening up the dried-out leather rings which had shrunk enough for a quarter-inch of end play. You boil the handle  for a few minutes, then oil it with SAE 5. This also removes all traces of deadly gluten.


*fin = $5 in old-time hipster talk