Aug 23, 2013

The Bastard King of Handguns*

It was time for a chore, pawing through the parts inventory of a deceased friend. Little on the planet will humiliate a man more. You amble through life thinking you're a pretty savvy firearms enthusiast. Then you start examining box after box and find you can confidently identify perhaps one part in 100. Toward the end you babble about whether this gizmo is for a Daisy Red Ryder or a Holland and Holland .577 Nitro Express.

I did okay on the .45 ACP stuff and actually carried away two projects. One is simple enough, a small tray of  parts which I'll try to sell for the family. The other may constitute a career.

It appeared to be about three-fourths of an AMT-frame-based  Colt Commander clone. I brought it home half-minded to try to sell it with the other parts, half-inclined to finish it up and buy it myself. That's still the unsettled state of my ambition, but the build is looking iffier and iffier.

The new aluminum frame is cut for a 4 1/4-inch barrel. The slide is a butchered reblue of  an unmarked something for a 4 and 1/4 inch barrel. Among other issues, the slide safety cut is 1/8-inch to far aft, meaning the safety can be engaged only with the gun out of battery that much. Not to mention the the barrel is .38 Super and the slide .45.

If I decide to take on the project, I'll report the geekery with photos -- not in hopes of  acquiring your admiration, merely to illustrate that there are still men who like to audition for the role of Sisyphus.


Advertisement:   If any blog buddies are interested, the parts box holds a few GI:

triggers ... recoil spring plugs ... thumb safeties ... grip safeties ... and new  Coltish checkered walnut grip panels.  Also that barrel marked "Colt  .38 Super Match" looking lightly used.

Pricing: Check Brownell's. Knock off 40 per cent. Add about $5 for the USPS. Pay by  personal check made out to the family member, not me. Email me at  --   alongfordmick aht yahoo daught kahm.


*Referring only to the Commanderish project, not the sainted JMB's concept and execution of the world's only really necessary center-fire handgun.

Aug 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Crazy Horse

I have decided that Crazy Horse, of the Oglala Lakota people, was born in 1843.  The historians' best guesses place the year as early as 1838, as late as 1846, with the general drift in the middle of that range.  So I choose 1843 because that makes this year one of those newspaper fillers announcing a birthday ending in the "iconic" zero, in this case his 140th.

Furthermore, I have designated the precise day to be my own birth anniversary. It isn't too much of a stretch. Things got dreary in the buffalo hide lodges out in Powder River country in the Moon of the Deep Cold. After you heard the same coup-counting tales for the third time since autumn raid on the Crows, there wasn't much to do other than crook a finger at one of your wives and settle in under the sleeping robes. Nine  months later, in the Moon of the Yellowing Cottonwood, Sioux camps reverberated with papoose squalls.

I have no physical gift to offer to Curly (later Crazy Horse, also called Strange Man). Murdered at age of 34, he's beyond need of powder and lead and three-point blankets, so probably something symbolic will be appropriate.

Something honoring his memory as a three per center of his people, just as  some of us try to be among ours. Something noting that he fully accepted  and fought for the traditional libertarian life of the Teton nations. Something lamenting that it got him killed by timid and traitorous friends, even though the instrument was a blue-coat bayonet at the door of the Iron House at Fort Robinson.

Maybe I'll publish it; maybe I won't. If I do I'll title it "The Man Who Was Not a Savage."

Alert; Old Fart with Gun

Now that's cool and might start a trend . Cap the home-invading bastard and then call 911. "No hurry guys. He's bleeding out on the linoleum.We'll have a snack  for ya' when ya" get here."


Life is fairly  forgiving. You can make some whopping mistakes without becoming dead on a nice old lady's kitchen floor. Rodney Long managed it though.

He was in trouble, of course, for breaking jail, shooting a deputy sheriff, stealing the patrol car, crashing it, and leading Iowa  cops on a merry chase through the woods and fields . Had his misjudgements ended there, he might have survived to metabolize at citizen expense for decades to come.

His deanimating mistake was waking Mr. and Mrs. Mauderly in their rural home last evening and waving his pistol around for a few hours. First reports say  71-winter Jerome did the shooting. Then Carolyn, 66, made the phone call, and, if she plays true to our hospitable form,  some nice cookies for the nice young officers who had been traipsing around the section for about four days.

Today's debate resolution: Resolved: That a private citizen should never take the law into his or her own hands.

I will defend the negative.


(Lots of details still unreported.)

Aug 16, 2013

Tattoo a warning on the little bastards?

An Iowan who is quite likely to be an eligible voter went to the doctor requesting a tapeworm removal. He (she?) bought it online and popped it down, hoping to get skinny. Perfect logic. The worm would eat the excess calories from the daily triple bacon burger with extra cheese, fries, and a large chocolate shake, for breakfast.

The healer called the official state doctor who tsk-tsked to the press that eating tapeworms is a sub-optimal idea and suggested that stricter regulation may be necessary.

“I’ve heard that say 150 years ago, the proverbial snake oil medicine people would go around and, indeed, sell tapeworms as a weight loss remedy back then,” she says. “Those were the days before there was any government regulation on these things.”

Couple of things:

--The doc misses the larger problem which could, and should, henceforth be known as

--A supremely apt Internet gag hit my inbox a day or two ago: "I don't say we should kill all the stupid people. Just take all the warnings off all the labels and let the problem sort itself out."