Thursday, March 31, 2011


ZACH over at The Next Chapter has a new to him gun with some special sentimental meaning that most can understand, but especially the sons of great men who spent time together afield. I'm flattered that I in any way could make him think about a combo rifle/shotgun, but obviously he has some very deep and sacred ties to this model gun from his family tree. So check out Zach's new very cool Steven's .22/410 right 'chere: Stevens Model .22 .410 combo gun with Tenite forend and stock. Bully for him that he found one needing only a minor part or two, and that they are available from the great and mighty Numrich. Zach already has another cool .22/410 combo, the Springfield M6, and that's on my to get list this year as well. No longer being made, I should have got one a few years ago when they were being made and readily available. I let one go about a year ago that my gun dealer had in like new condition for a reasonable price, opting for another firearm at the time. Which I wasn't satisfied with so I shoulda got the M6. Live and learn and pay a hundred or more bucks now for a like specimen. When I was coming up, and as I guess when Zach was coming up, that was a commonality amongst all of my friends. Although most of us lived in the city, many native Texan families in Houston and elsewhere in the state had small places outside of town or access to the relative's family place somewhere in Texas. Of course, my first two guns were a .22 Marlin bolt action and a H&R .410. Got them both and they both still percolate just fine. The Marlin predates my birth as my dad's .22 and I got the .410 for an 8th birthday from K Mart. So I understand the sentimental attachment that can conjure great memories from a gun. Even a gun that isn't the actual family gun. All of our family guns from my father's people burned in a fire at my uncle's home years ago. So my father, like Zach, obtained one of his old favorites, a double barrel side by side 28" external hammer double trigger shotgun, the same exact make and model gun that he'd hunt with as a kid and teen. It's not THE OLD family shotgun, but it's same-same as the OLD and now it's the NEW family shotgun. Now Zach's got a new family gun.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Image courtesy of the Guardian uk.

As I once again violate my promise to myself to avoid blogging about world events, religion, politics or other such news, I have been captivated since Saturday with the story of Eman al-Obeidi. Her wiki page says her family calls her Imam Atik Salih, and her name has also been widely written about by the media as Iman al-Obeidi.

According to her family, she's a 29 year old lawyer who has been interning with a law firm in Tripoli for two years. She is from the eastern part of Libya, in Benghazi, where her family lives. I, of course, have never met her, and other than our occupations, we probably have little in common in a cultural sense. Both she and I would feel like strangers in a strange land if we were to enter each other's worlds.

But the commonality of the human experience is such that her bravery, her courage and her fearlessness have moved me tremendously, as she has many others worldwide.

Eman has broken conventions in her world, and in some ways in our world, in many different ways. As a sexual assault victim. As a muslim women in a very different society doing something no one has ever done before on this worldwide scale. As a woman in an absolutely crazed man's world. And I submit, as a human being standing up for her rights and saying enough and she's not going to take it anymore and this is the real truth about this life in Libya.

If you don't know her story yet, or if like many of my friends and co-workers you have avoided watching the video of her courageous outcry to the world of her torture and brutal assault. It makes me proud that I am of the same profession as her, and usually that only happens with prosecutors and their deeds. There are many lawyers we are all ashamed of, and it seems these days, so few to be proud of. Eman is a lawyer we can be proud of.

Although even I agree about the sleeziness of many lawyers these days, let us not forget that many lawyers helped found the USA, devising the powerful rights and freedoms we possess to this day. There were many lawyers also involved in the forming of Texas and the same is true around the world. Lawyers can force change through their good deeds if they act with nobility.

I can't imagine the courage and bravery that Eman had to summon up to challenge the gate keepers a person of her education and intelligence would know would be guarding the foreign journalists. Her mother said Eman wanted originally to be a journalist, but became a lawyer instead because journalist in Libya have no freedom and as a lawyer perhaps she could do more for Libya.

That's pretty admirable. She's a rare hero in this world of people of dubious intent and actions, of politics and corruption, of war and peace. A normal person who shows bravery and nationalism and pure heartedness in extraordinairily bad situations that would wilt a person with a normal constitutition.

As we say here in Texas on occasion, that lady is some tough. God bless her and God bring her through this safely, as well as those family and friends around her.

Her final words about if we don't see her again, then we'll know. Those words are haunting, and although many are making efforts to locate her or her sister in Tripoli, Eman has not been seen since Saturday, March 26th, 2011 when she was drug away by the Libyan goon squad.

If you're the praying kind, I ask you to pray for the safe return of this woman and her other family and companions who were allegedly abducted from the roadside checkpoint. Regardless of your faith, your race, your political beliefs, your nationality or anything else, Eman is one of us. A normal person being repeatedly wronged in ways that should offend every good and decent person on God's green earth.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I just recently acquired a new 3rd generation Glock Model 19 in 9mm and have to quote a line from Seinfeld character George Castanza: "I'm king of the idiots". I'm king of the idiots because I waited 20+ years before buying a M19. I totally fell into the whole Glock experience myself in 1992, with the introduction of the Model 21 in .45 ACP. Before that, when first the Model 17 and then 19 in 9mm were debuted as the revolutionary pistol that they still are today, I puffed at the idea of a 9mm and awaited the day that the .45 ACP variety would arrive. I then shot competitively with the Model 21 for a number of years in various combat shooting events, with great success. I've written elsewhere that I bought one of the first Model 21's I could find in Houston in 1992, and pretty much carried it for the next decade until becoming enamored with the "slimline" subcompact Model 36 in .45 ACP. And the Model 36 has been my main carry gun for the past six years or so. So although I've been carrying and shooting Glocks for the past 19 years, not exclusively but certainly the Glocks have been the most carried and probably most shot centerfire guns that I own and/or have shot. It's not like the 9mm has been a mystery round for me. As far back as my police days, I owned and carried a Heckler and Koch PSP (A P7 with butt magazine release lever, which, in my experience, is superior to the button release P7M8 which I also owned, and which used to activate the mag release button in every holster it rode in, bar none.) that I bought used from a narcotics officer. It was a fine shooter and a mighty safe gun to carry with the squeeze cocking system. I've owned a Browning Hi Power, as did my father, and the grip was just a bit big for me. I tried numerous grips, and like always, decided I liked the Pachmayr grips best, and although it's a fine firearm, it's not the one either for regular field carry or defense carry or even home defense. I would, however, love to see one of these companies cranking out 1911 replicas in .22 caliber make a nice hi capacity Browning scaled down version (as Browning did with the 1911 .22 version) for about $350. That would be a cool gun to shoot. As I mentioned, I then owned a NIB Heckler and Koch P7M8 that I got in the 90's from a great Houston gun dealer for a very fair price. For hot days when the Glock 21 was too big to carry as a concealed handgun, the P7 did much better. That version of the squeezecocker had the magazine release in the traditional spot on the grip near the trigger guard, and it liked to accidently activate every now and then, not making the magazine fall out, but just disengage enough to not feed. A great gun but the Glock Model 36 pretty much took it's place when it hit the scene a decade or so ago. So along the way there have been other fine guns, with fine triggers and some even with custom work. Some have been especially excellent firearms, accurate and reliable, and some have not. For some reason, since the introduction of the Glock 19 in the late 80's, I never felt the need to own one. I'd shot several, and of course it was just like the Model 21. As I would later discover, it was just like the Model 36. There was no down time adapting to a new gun. It's pull trigger---goes bang. That is the true Glock advantage, my friends, reliability. Pull Trigger, Goes Bang. Like my other Glock, my Model 19 eats any kind of ammo. Any. Kind. Of. Ammo. And it does it with gusto and verve. No feeding issues. No failure to feed or failure to fire issues. Even with cheap surplus ammo. Even with hot rod Cor Bon ammo. And all kinds of in between ammo. There is no break in time with a Glock. Every Glock I've bought went straight from the store to the range. Several hundred rounds generally get fired and there are no problems. No surprises. The gun is accurate from shot one. I've never even had to adjust the sights on my Glocks. They have been spot on.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It's an unbelieveable 87 degrees at the hacienda right now, and the high today in my hood was 94. Ninety Four. Damn.

41% humidity and I've been sweating like a pig since I got off of work.

I can't wait for summer to get here. Oh boy.

UPDATE: Now 6 am the next morning, it's a comfortable 58 degrees with a slight nip in the air, with a high today forcast in the low eighties, much gentler than yesterday. 100% humidity at this hour, although that should wane as the morning progresses.

The icing on the cake are the various pollens spewing forth from trees and plants and weeds and bushes.

Sometimes I think snow wouldn't be so bad. And I know, be careful what you wish for.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


There are a lot of guns I'd like to own. I could make a list, and probably some of these weapons would be in common with the noted firearms enthusiasts and experts who are the regular readers here. Probably some, like the Henry Repeating Arms .22 Mare's Leg, wouldn't be on many lists. As I patiently await the release of the Henry Mare's Leg in .22, I decided I should hone in on another gun for the time being. I've been doing some spring cleaning, particularly of old no longer used firearms, fishing and musical gear, and doing some ebaying and some forum trading to get some new stuff (Note to kind wife: less stuff though honey, less stuff is the key concept to hone in on here) and to start building a war chest for a gun buy.

Going back to this post about
COMBINATION RIFLE/SHOTGUNS, I've been thinking about that subject a lot and doing some internet readin' on various guns. There's an obvious historical attraction to the Savage line of Combo guns, but I think it's more likely I'll find a Remington International SPR94 in .223/12 gauge in the best or NIB condition for the same money. If worse comes to worse, I can always troll one of the gun auction sites, as I saw a NIB Remington just today for under $500. Of course, an excellent barely used model with a reduced price would be fine as well.

There's more variance in condition of the Savage guns I've looked at on the auction sites. Basically, I've limited myself to the .223/12 gauge, but would buy the right .22/12. I'd keep my mind open for other popular calibers, like say a .243/20, or even a nice .22/.410. But the preference would be to get a .223/12 and get a .22 caliber conversion chingaderra for the .223 barrel.

I read somewhere the opinion that .22 and 12 gauge are the two most popular calibers in America, and thus for a myriad of reasons, this combo makes sense. I can't argue with that, but I'd like to have a bit more beef in my burger on the rifle end of the equation. There are several popular calibers to have, but the beauty of the .223 is the availability and the cheapness right now of that particular ammo.

I can shoot .223 cheaper than .22 magnum, and that's sad.

So with a buttstock shell holder and the right assortment of cartridges, one could have a variety of .223 ammo plus shotshells and buckshot and slugs. I forsee having to make my own shell holder out of leather and elastic since I'd be wanting both rifle and shotgun shell loops on the same holder.

So I'm on the hunt. I'm on the prowl.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I've mused before about packing up your old "kit bag" and heading off into the out of doors for some sporting fun, whatever that fun is for you. Fishing, hunting, hiking, birdwatching, rock climbing and even water sports like sailing, canoeing and kayaking. They all involve exploring in nature. A "kit bag" was the lingo back in my grandfather's day as a young man and young adult in the teens and twenties for the stuff you carried with you. That's the 1910's and 1920's, when he was young and single and no kids and a good job and a little money and a little time to be outdoors.

My grandfather, my mother's father, was an inveterate fisherman. I'm sure I got the fishing gene from him. When he went fishing, he carried one of two guns: either a bolt action J.C. Higgens .22 or a J.C. Higgens bolt action 28" barrel .20 gauge. Those was his snake guns. He carried some slugs and buckshot for the shotgun, and made him up a double gun holder out of some old leather saddle gun sheaths that he stitched together and added a leather cover to.

Back in those days, before, during and after WWI, fellows who were single and seeking a little room to spread their wings in East Texas took off to one of several lakes or rivers, places where they could set up a fishing camp. Rich folks had cabins and private lands and even private clubs they belonged to with stocked lakes and cabins, but working folks like my Grandfather and his friends were doing it on the cheap. Tents and cooking out. They were fishing as much for food to take home as they were for fun and adventure.

Sometimes they'd head to another part of Texas. The Hill Country around San Antonio held mythic call for these East Texas boys, used to plentiful fish in often murky or dark colored rivers and lakes, dyed brownish from pine needles and sand. The mythic call was that of cleaner and clearer water. The country of eleven hundred springs.

Back then, of course, recreational fishing was sort of an emerging sport. Folks had always fished, but not with artificial lures (except the mostly rich fly fishermen) and reels that allowed you to work those artificial lures. My Grandfather was one of those non-rich folks who embraced fly fishing, as well as all other modes of fresh and saltwater fishing. When spinning tackle hit the US shores after WWII, my Grandfather was one of the first to get a couple of the new reels that servicemen friends of his bought over in France and brought back. Once he started spin fishing, my Grandfather never hardly looked back to fly fishing or even bait casting (except for salt water fishing).

So their fishing camps, back 80 years ago give or take were usually highly anticipated get aways where "the boys" could be boys. Sometimes they'd go on public lands and sometimes they'd pay a fee to a landowner to use his land and sometimes they'd know someone who'd let them go on their place. The key, of course, was frontage on a producing small lake or on a large lake or river.

One such lake they used to frequent was a large lake, and the guy they knew had land at the point where the river that formed the lake entered the upper lake area. Of course, that was a great spot to fish and his posse had several boats that they would bring for running trot lines and fixed lines. Tables and cooking stuff also made the trip, for preparing fish to ice down and take home as well as for cooking huge meals while out fishing for a few days.

All of these guys had their kit bags with them. They carried their "kit", their gear, in their kit bags. The equivalent of today's backpack. Sometimes they were knapsack sized, and sometimes they were more akin to a satchel.

Of course, then as now, everyone had at least one pistol and one knife in their bag. Usually more than one knife. Some foodstuffs, like bread and jerky and some other non-perishable items, perhaps some canned meat. A first aid kit and snake bite kit. Maybe some kind of treated cloth to fashion a lean to or tube tent in the wilds, as well as a thin sleeping sack.

I know my grandfather carried lots of ingenious tools that were either lightweight or multi-function. I'll talk some more in a later post about Grandpa's old kit bag.


I'm happy with this gun, and were I to do it over again, I'd still buy this gun over the Sig Sauer P250 subcompact, which was the main competitor in my considerations at the time. That was a close competition that went to the Beretta side after Billy Ray experienced some FTF's with his compact Sig Sauer P250. Billy Ray solved that issue, btw, by using Winchester black label 9mm Nato ammo, as tested by four boxes of that ammo.

I was in the market for a small but high capacity 9mm. I wanted a safety, if possible a decocker and an external hammer. The Beretta PX4 Storm met these requirements. A friend's sister bought one of these last year and my friend, a knowledgeable shooter and law enforcement gun toter, became very interested in this gun and knowing of my safety/decocker/external hammer desires, recommended this gun to me.

I wanted 9mm for several reasons. Although for decades I derided 9mm as a second choice to either .45 ACP (in a pistol) or .357 Magnum (in a revolver) for a defensive round, an increasing amount of shooting the 9mm in the past few years softened my previous hardcore opinion about the 9mm round. Secondly, availability and affordability of good 9mm ammo meant I could shoot 2 or 3 times the amount of rounds in 9mm that I could in other calibers like .45 or .357.

The last high capacity 9mm I owned was a Browning Hi Power Practical. A gorgeous firearm, with a mixed satin nickle and gloss black finish, it was a nice shooter. However, it's a big gun and with the high capacity of the HP, it's much easier to conceal a full size 1911 than the HP. As a shooter, it was certainly nice shooting, but even with the Pachmayr grips it never felt right in my hand. Just a bit big.

I also considered the Springfield XD subcompact, and although I have not shot one of those in 9mm, I have been duly impressed with the .45 ACP big brother that I have shot. There is a nice kit that Springfield sells that has the subcompact 9mm XD along with some extended mags from it's big brother, holster, and extra mags. These guns are very reasonably priced and I look forward to shooting one of them in the near future.

It should be noted that although the main selection was between the Sig Sauer P250 and the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact, they share little in common. The Sig P250 is a hammer/striker fired gun with no safety, a DAO trigger and no decocker. Frankly, I really enjoyed shooting Billy Ray's P250 and out of the box it was punching bullseyes, even though I don't have a lot of experience shooting DAO pistols. Perhaps my long history of DAO revolver shooting comes into play, but I'm more inclined to credit my excellent performance with the P250 from shot one with the trigger mechanism and not the shooter's skills.

So what I wanted was an alternative to the Glock that had some kind of safety feature other than the trigger system used by Glock. As I've said before and I'll be writing soon in a review on the Glock 19, carrying a Glock is like carrying a cocked and locked 1911. Lots of gun specific handling experience and a proper holster are mandated for the Glock. Although I like carrying my Glocks, I wanted an alternative for the family and also for me with something a shade smaller than the Glock 19 and with a safety.

Due to the repeated FTF's with Billy Ray's P250, and lots of internet reports of the same, I chose the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact. Made in America (and there is an Italian made version sold overseas I understand), it's an extremely well made gun. Solid construction. The heavy weight of the slide and barrel, I think, contributes to the good holster balance this gun enjoys. Of course, there is a lot of weight in the handle of this gun with 13 9mm rounds in the magazine, but in a good holster it rides like any other well balanced pistol.

I contrast that with my old HK P-7. Although not a high capacity 9mm, it is a very handle/grip heavy gun, and even with a gunbelt, it never seemed to ride right for me in a belt concealment holster like an Askins Avenger, one of my favorite holsters. It rode better in a belt slide type holster that lowered the carry height on the belt of the gun.

But the Beretta shines in digesting all kinds of ammo, cheap or expensive. I've yet to have a single malfunction with the Beretta using probably 10 different types of ammo, from cheap PMC to a few rounds of Cor Bon. Interestingly enough, I shot the best groups recently using Sellier and Bellot ammo.

My first few times at the range with this gun, using Winchester ammo mostly with some Remington JHP's thrown in, led me to shooting groups that were about 1" left of center and several inches down. Good enough for stopping an attacker if your aim is steady, but not what I want out of a pistol out of the box.

Glock has spoiled me. Three new Glocks that each shot dead on center out of the box, regardless of the ammo. More on Glock later at the conclusion of this review.

I've also had some issues with the decocker lever, when moving from fully cocked to safety, where operating the decocker did not drop the hammer the first time. The second time this operation was tried, the hammer safely dropped. A good cleaning revealed some hardened grease in this area from the factory that must have been inhibiting the decocking action. This issue has not occurred again since the cleaning of the gun.

A small tap to the rear sight blade with a wood dowel (with the slide in a vise removed from an unloaded gun, just to spell it out for newbies) made remarkable changes in the accuracy of this pistol, somehow even correcting the elevation issue. Of course, when I was shooting the gun previously, I felt I might be pulling a bit to the left and down as well, because it's been nearly 20 years since I have shot a gun that had a DA/SA trigger. Again, I've gotten used to the Glock trigger and shoot very well with it.

The last DA/SA gun I carried on any regular basis was the Walther PPK/S in the 90's. In the pre-Glock days of my life, about 20 years ago and more, I generally carried a small list of autoloaders: The Colt Combat Commander, The Browning Hi-Power and the H-K PSP and P7. The only DA/SA pistol I had ever owned before the stainless Walther PPK/S in .380 was another Walther PPK/S, this was imported by Interarms in .22 caliber in the 70's and 80's. My farm/snake plinking gun.

So I'm not an overly familiar shooter with DA/SA semiautomatics. They're different from DA revolvers, of course, and it seems like I'm just settling into a groove with the Beretta.

Last week, El Fisho Jr. and I went to the range and just took two 9mm's with us. The Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact and the newly gifted Glock 19.

We spent a lot of time with both pistols, and El Fisho Jr. and I were both partial to the Glock. I did shoot much better this time with the Beretta, coming in on the first magazine with one bullseye and the rest grouped about an inch left and down from center. I managed to tighten these groups up closer to the center with several subsequent magazines full, but I felt like I was having to put a lot of effort into getting those bullets back toward center.

To digress a moment, after shooting three magazines each from each pistol, El Fisho Jr. and I marveled at the high accuracy of the Glock 19. Look for a review on the Glock 19 soon, as it has taken over the place intended for the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact, even though the G19 is a compact and not a subcompact.

To sum up, the Beretta is not the Glock when it comes to out of the box accurate shooting for me. Actually, I'm impressed with the build quality of the Beretta and the more I shoot it, the more I like it. Felt recoil is lower than many larger hi capacity 9mm's I've shot but again, it's not as low as with the Glock 19. Like the Glock, however, the Beretta has digested whatever I've fed it with no complaints and no problems, no even a burp.

I've been carrying the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact in two holsters: The High Noon IWB Mr. Softy Holster, and the Tagua belt slide. Both work well and pull the gun in to conceal it. It's a bulky gun, no doubt but if you want to carry a hi capacity 9mm you're going to have bulk. It's not a heavy gun, coming in less than most other guns in it's catagory when fully loaded. I'd like to see some more holsters for this gun. Beretta sells a nice Askins Avenger type holster on their website and I've thought about ordering one of those, but thus far the Tagua belt slide has been filling all needs for a belt holster.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Utah is getting slammed in the liberal media for selecting the Browning designed 1911 as the State Handgun of Utah. Meanwhile, more of the same for Arizona with their proposal of the Colt Single Action handgun as their state gun. I have not kept up with the progress of the Arizona legislation, but wish it great success.

Here in Texas, I guess if we were going to have a state gun it would need to be the Walker Colt. Where Sam Colt's guns got their start, got field tested and road tested by Texas Rangers. Of course, the Colt single action cartridge revolver revolutionized Texas and many other western states, but it all began with the huge Walker Colt right here in Texas.

I realize that this type of talk just sends chills up and down the primm and proper spines of those liberal anti-gun folks. I'm sorry, turn the channel.


I've written about it before, but I just think the current market of .22 rifles and pistols is excellent. There are guns I'd like to see in .22, some that have been before, and some ideas about how gun manufacturers can give something back to the American shooting public.

There is a fantastic selection of .22 high capacity military rifles. Most of these are excellent firearms and are selling for the very reasonable price of around $500. American Rifleman did a review last year and they all were nice shooting guns. I like the Sig 522 and the Smith and Wesson CAR version (I'm old school, that's M4 for you trendies or jargonmeisters or kids) and the Colt version.

And just this week, I saw one West Texas Sporting goods chain advertising the Colt CAR version for around $350. What a great price for a Colt .22 AR rifle!

Everyone it seems has come out with a 1911 in .22 caliber, and at least one make claims to share at least 80% of it's parts with it's big brother. The Browning is scaled down in size, and I look forward to seeing one of those, but I'm more partial to the standard sized 1911 because I already have those holsters and mag carriers. I'm still sifting through the various makes and models, trying to balance economy with quality. El Fisho Jr, being the WWII maven he is, is absolutely interested in us getting one of these 1911 .22 pistols. He already has it planned out, and already has the olive green WWII era web belt and matching magazine holder, and all he needs is the black leather flap military holster marked US.

There are lots of brands of guns, both imported and domestic, being made in .22. I like the HK replicas in .22, both the rifle and the pistol. Of all the .22 caliber pistols made right now, I like the HK replica .22 MP-5 because it would be a fun snake gun and it appears to be smaller than most of the other assault pistol .22's on the market.

What I've wanted to know for several decades is why Walther doesn't make a .22 version of the PPK and the PPK/S? Why, why why? I owned one in my youth, the German made variety, and foolishly traded it years ago. But why doesn't Smith and Wesson have Walther make a .22 version of this fine gun? They'd sell a ton of them for both self defense, plinkers and general firearms fans who want a cool gun they can shoot cheaply.

I've often wondered why HK won't make a reissue of their excellent P7 line of handguns. There was also a scaled down version of the squeezecocker that featured interchangeable barrels in .32/.22 and possibly .380. P7's and both their predecessor the PSP and the models that came after the P7 are very popular and fetching great prices. Why not reintroduce this fine weapon, in a single stack 9mm configuration, but pair it with a .22 conversion kit?

Many other makers are doing cool things with .22's and even bringing about reissues of old favorites. I'd surely like to see a Luger in .22, but way better done than the Stoeger Luger of the 70's. I remember seeing those guns at Kmart and Gibson's for like $79.00 back in the day, and every one I ever shot never made it through a whole magazine without jamming at least once.

By that same token, is there no market for the Luger pistol as a self defense weapon, or even just a 9mm plinker? I remember going into the upscale Oshman's Sporting Goods store on South Post Oak in the early 70's with my dad, and at the time he was shopping for a Walther PPK/S in .380. But while there, we both became entranced with a new Interarms imported Luger pistol. I know that there was a company in Houston some years ago making a stainless steel version of the Luger, but I don't know if they are still around.

So .22's are coming out left and right from the design boards, and I'm glad for it. I'll be adding a few of these reasonably priced .22 shooting irons over the next few years, and I'll be smiling every minute I'm shooting them. As an aside, while not my first choice or even second or third for a self defense long rifle, any high capacity .22 can be a formitable home defense weapon.

Even the humble 10/22, when equipped with a nice 30 round magazine and perhaps an inexpensive but effective flashlight and laser combo (and sighted in) will punch quarter size holes with steady shooting. I know many folks who do prefer .22's for home defense, usually .22 pistols, and for these folks one of the .22 AR pistol designs would be just the ticket for effective home defense.

If Sig Sauer would just get their gun design folks to solve the one glaring problem pointed out by American Rifleman with the otherwise outstanding Model 522, that being no side loading spring lever on the magazines, making for tedious magazine loading without a side lever assist. And of course, when you are shooting .22's, I generally do a lot of shooting and A LOT of reloading. A LOT.

I'm hoping that by the time I decide to swoop in and get a Sig 522 that either they solve this problem or a reliable aftermarket magazine option with a side loading spring assist lever on the magazine becomes available. That being said, I'm just waiting for the chance to try out both the Colt and Smith & Wesson versions of their .22 AR's.

One final note to those interested in a .22 "assault" rifle. Many of the guns come without the trademark AR handle and I think these are referred to as a "commando" setup. Some of these guns come without any sights, and a front and rear sight package that mounts on the gun's rails is available from the manufacturers, but for usually about $100. So unless you already have optics to use on these guns, plan on spending more money to get the iron sights you should get with the gun stock for free with the purchase price.

But thats a small solveable problem of these guns. I just hope the trend continues and that more and more .22's designed to resemble classic firearms like the 1911 and the AR continue.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


If there is hell on this earth, I submit that Lahore, Pakistan is as close as you can get. I've never been there, nor have I visited any of the other top contenders of the worst place to be on the planet earth, but those I know who have are in almost uniform agreement that Lahore is no place anyone not from there would choose to be.

I'm ebuillent at this moment, happy for a man I've never met, Mr. Raymond Davis. Mr. Davis is, I submit, an American hero. Mr. Davis was reportedly freed today from his Pakistani prison where he has been held hostage since January 27th when he killed two gunmen in Lahore who made the bad mistake of brandishing their guns at Mr. Davis.

If nothing else, I hope this teaches a lesson to both our friends and foes. It's an old lesson many American street cops and hoods alike know and understand: DON'T POINT A GUN AT AN AMERICAN UNLESS YOU INTEND TO USE IT, BECAUSE THE AMERICAN IS ASSUMING YOU INTEND TO USE IT AND WILL REACT ACCORDINGLY.

You can find a good, brief overview of the entire situation here at The US media ignored the situation, and it later came out with good reason, for the first several weeks of the story, to protect Mr. Davis, but the Pakistani media went absolutely bersko over the story. I'll blog later about the gullibility and foolishness of much of the Pakistani news media, but I'll also say there were a few voices of reason in editorials amongst the torrents of Anti-American BS that came tumbling down the pike of Pakistan's news and internet media and bloggers.




What does Pakistan do for the United States?

Steal our money, threaten and imprison our people, loathe and abuse us. Why can't anyone in Washington ever seem to figure this out?,0,2753669.story

In this case, although media reports have varied (more on why they have varied later in this essay), Mr. Davis apparently used the trusty Glock 9mm pistol to dispatch these would be robbers or assassins to their virginal islamic reward with deft skill and apparently excellent shot placement. I say apparently because Mr. Davis was defending himself while driving a car and shooting at these robbers/assasins on the motorcycle(s). That's some bang up shooting.

A former Special Forces soldier, protecting our country, Mr. Davis was most recently working in some capacity for our CIA, our government. The media reports have labeled him as a contractor, but those with any knowledge at all about US intelligence agencies know that sometimes employees are called contractors and vice versa.

In any event, to me it matters not whether he was a contract employee to the CIA, an actual Federal Government employee or soldier. In Pakistan, he was serving our country. He put his life on the line for all of us.

Those liberal pundits, one of them a good friend of mine, who say Mr. Davis caused more problems than he was solving, fail to consider that Mr. Davis was carrying out orders and keeping himself from being killed while on duty for America. Those liberal pundits have never worked a public safety or military job where it was necessary to carry a gun and possibly use lethal force to protect others. They have no right to criticize that which they will not do themselves to protect this country.

One reason I have gotten so interested is that this could have been me. Between being a police officer and going to law school, I considered several career paths that I didn't take, such as federal law enforcement or perhaps the intelligence community. Certainly, I have friends who went to work for both, and during the past 20 years as a lawyer working in law enforcement, I have met many other folks who have worked in various federal law enforcement and intelligence community jobs. And if it wasn't me, it easily could have been a friend or someone just like them and just like me. Americans.

Secondly, as I said, I have many friends and acquaintences who work or have worked in federal law enforcement and intelligence. They are dedicated. For the most part, the "troops" in these organizations are incorruptable. Honest. Committed to mission. Dedicated. I see Raymond Davis just as I see my friends who work for us, the citizens, to keep us safe from things that are too scary for the liberal pundits to consider.

Let me say at this point that I've been following the Raymond Davis saga on a daily basis since it happened. I'm a world news junkie, and I caught a blurb in a foreign newspaper a few hours after the shooting occurred back on January 27th, nearly 2 months ago. I set up a google alert the next day to follow the news. I've read hundreds of articles since then, mostly in the highly jingoistic Pakastan press and blogosphere, where rumor and innuendo rage like a California wildfire in a drought. What was clear was that at least 90% of the Pakistani press was doing their best to deprive Mr. Davis of any tortured sense of the notion of justice and to inflame the ignorant/poor followers of the radical islamist sect that bubbles like a volcano ready to explode in Pakistan against the far more sensible and rational ruling party.

For two months now, as I've follows the travails of Mr. Davis, I've started post after post. At least 10 of them, and probably closer to 20 that I never published. The wife and many other friends said although my opinion didn't amount to much, nobody involved in the situation would want you blogging your opinions about it while Mr. Davis was in custody. And I had to admit they were right.

First thing that needs to be said is that President Obama and our government did a great job in trying to get Mr. Davis home. From Senator Kerry to Secretary Clinton and undoubtedly tens of thousands of people working on many public and private fronts around the world, I'm proud that our government stood firm and told the Pakistanis how the cow ate the financial aid package. That we had to buy the freedom of Mr. Davis matters not, all that matters is that our man is coming home alive.

If you have not paid attention to this historical event over the past few months, let me recommend you listen to a "leaked" tape recording of the interrogation of Mr. Davis by the so called police in Lahore. He asks for water, they ask him how much money he has. Mr. Davis stands firm in the corrupted and ignorant and American hating police presence, and this is one of many things we can be proud of Mr. Davis for. He didn't beg. He didn't whine or cry. He was a man about it and took their crap, knowing what was coming, and behaved as we would want an American Hero to behave in similar circumstances. He showed no fear and he took no crap. Well done.

In looking at pictures of the crime scene and of the alleged possessions of Mr. Davis, as leaked early on in the Pakistani media, again, to prejudice the highly emotive public against Mr Davis from the outset, I did see a Glock and some Glock magazines. The picture was such that I couldn't tell if it was a 17 or a 19, but either way, I'd like to see Glock make a Raymond Davis Model. Seriously. I'm not kidding. And I'd buy one.

I hope our government gives Mr. Davis some form of compensation above and beyond his normal pay rate for spending so many days in a Lahore jail and then prison. In fact, how about a lump sum tribute payment to a hero and his family to acknowledge that there might be some psychological and physical affects of this time as a hostage upon them. I mean, we pay US prisoners found to have been wrongly imprisoned, how about giving Mr. Davis and his family a large payout, perhaps in an annuity, where he can not worry about working for awhile and can get he and his family together and healing.

I mean, he's already served our country in war for nearly a decade. How much more could we want from the man? What can he give us that he has not already? He's given us valor, service for country in extremely hostile conditions that rival any war zone, honor and most importantly, he had the respect for himself and for our country to stand up to his captors at all times. We'll soon find out if it was true, but the press reports had it that the guns of the prison guards were taken away from them out of fear one of their radical islamist selves would assassinate Mr. Davis. What do we owe the man for that kind of stress? One million? Five Million? I suggest those are good numbers to start with, tax free of course.

I'll have more to say later, but for now the most important thing every American can say is "WELCOME HOME, MR. DAVIS!"

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I proclaimed this album as Album of the day last August, and a few weeks ago I picked up the CD and started it on car rotation and have been listening to it a lot lately. Now El Fisho Jr. is all big up into this excellent example of one of the "Three Kings" (B.B., Albert and Freddie). ALBUM OF THE DAY: BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN: ALBERT KI...

I might have to make this CD/Album/itunes etc. the album of the year. In listening to it lately, I've heard lots of things I had never heard before in this all too short live concert album. Really, it might be a delusive hope, but it'd be very cool if somewhere in someone's tape vault lay some boxes with the master tapes of this disc as well as the rolls of tape that didn't make the cut for the album.

Stranger things have happened, but unfortunately it's just as likely that someone threw the box out for storage space or they got caught up in business dealings or just plain got lost and people died and the knowledge of what happened to those tapes just vanished.

So this time around I've become absolutely enamored with the Lieber and Stoller standard "KANSAS CITY". I never gave that song a fair shake until this recent extended listening session. I used to just fast forward through it.

What a great treatment of this tune. It's a short version and I could stand for it to be twice as long. Maybe that might dull the magic on the track. You've got Albert singing about the pretty girls in Kansas City, with Steve Cropper and Albert playing guitars, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunne, the late drumming virtuoso Al Jackson, Booker T. on keys, and last but not least the legendary Memphis Horns.

I like the pushes in the music when the musicians do a push. All are predictable except the first push when the horns come in, and that first push is a bit early and that really does take some listening and feel for these cats to catch that push just right.

As I said in the previous linked post, you've got Albert King at the top of his game, playing to receptive pop audiences previously out of his reach. He's got what is at the time one of the hottest bands around, and probably the only cats back then who could've have given Booker T. and the M.G.'s a run for their money as Albert's band MIGHT have been the WRECKING CREW from Hollywood or those fellows from Motown. I think the Motown guys could've pulled it off, but I have doubts about the Wrecking Crew. The Wrecking Crew, musicians extraordinaire all, just might not have that same swing that you get with the late Al Jackson on drums and Dunne on bass.

In any event, it's Albert King at his finest.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've always liked bands with horns in them, be they symphonic bands or orchestras or rock or blues or jazz bands. I really was glad to be a teen in the 70's when not only great rock and roll bands like Led Zeppelin roamed the plains but also bands like Tower of Power. What soul. What blues rock. What power!.

I know when I was a wee little kid that I was REALLY INTO Mitch Miller and his band and TV show. Later, as the sixties progressed, while still in elementary school and not yet playing musical instruments, I was strongly influenced by Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66 as well as Herb Alpert and his band. By the time Santana came along a few years later with Soul Sacrifice and other great tunes featuring some horn work, I was totally a believer in latin rock and Sergio Mendes is probably the man to thank for that.

I have some of his albums, old ones I bought used back in the 80's, and even the more obscure LP's have killer songs on them. The big hit of Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66 was Mas Que Nada, which hit all over the world. And that was unusual because the song was sung in Portugese.

As wiki says...Though his early singles with Brasil '66 (most notably "Mas Que Nada") met with some success, Mendes really burst into mainstream prominence when he performed the Oscar-nominated Burt Bacharach and Hal David song "The Look of Love" on the Academy Awards telecast in April 1968.

So the reason I'm thinking and writing about the master blaster Sergio is that this great interview with him is in the LA TIMES today.,0,3358553.story

It's a happy story, for a change of pace this year. A life well lived and still a lot of living to do. He's still friends with the guys like Herb Alpert (who helped sign Sergio to A&M Records) and Lani Hall (singer of Brazil '66 and now married to Mr. Alpert, per the LA TIMES) and Jerry Moss that started with him and helped him get started 45 yearas ago.

It appears Mr. Mendes is that rare LA creature who has a good life. The article says he lives in Woodland Hills, which is a nice address to have. He has a new album out, he's done a film score and it's his 50th year in music. He's also gigging for the next 5 days at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, and I wish I had known about that gig a month or so ago. There is no way I can get there right now, and so I'll just have to go get his new album Celebration.

The interview with Sergio byIrene Lacher is one of the better artist features I've read in years. I've been reading about rock and roll and music and musicians for nearly 40 years, and quite vigorously, I might add, and it's been the rare interview like that by Ms. Lacher that captures the spirit of the artist so well. My only complaint: It needed to be about 5 times longer. I was left hanging. I'd like to have some blanks filled in about Sergio for the last 40 years, and more of his future plans.

So read the interview with Sergio at the link above. Despite it's brevity, and perhaps therein lies it's secret, it's very informative yet lets you see the man for who he is. Joyful. Happy.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This spring break I'm going to try to teach El Fisho Jr. a little about the outdoors. He's at the age I was when I became actively interested in the outdoors and unlocking some of the secrets of nature.

When I was his age, I got to wander. My friends and I thoroughly explored the vast wooded regions that bordered three sides of the subdivision we lived in from the time I was in 6th grade onwards. We were lucky to have more than one pond and lake within walking distance, as well as all kinds of woods to play in. Thick and brushy piney woods. Once cleared land that had sprouted threes 20 or 30 years before but was not brushy and thickly overgrown. Swampy bottom land that was densely wooded and that never dried out. Hog farms. Chicken forms. Former horse farms. Big wide open pastures that had not been used for decades that were filled with tall grasses and wide varieties of birds.

We had all of that, and more, within walking and bicycling distance. Crossing across the highways bordering our subdivision led to more lakes and ponds, which were the primary objective of my fishing friends and I. Our pellet guns and fishing rods were our constant companions on these journeys, and while sitting and fishing we often practiced various kinds of woodcraft gleened from books like the Boy Scout Handbook and books by the likes of Bradforn Angier and magazines like Sports Afield, Outdoor Life and Field and Stream.

Back then, our parents didn't live in mortal fear that child predators, crazies and the just plain mean were wondering the streets actively looking for prey. Bad things happened back then, but not like nowadays.

So I'd like to teach El Fisho Jr. some of the kind of information that is forgotten to many these days. How to start a fire with a flint and tinder, or with a magnifying glass. How to find your way with a compass. How to find deer and animal trails. Setting up a fish trap made of sticks in a slough of a creek or river or in the cove of a lake or pond. How to set up, bait and run a small trot line. How to build a fire. How to build a lean-to shelter.

Along with things like I've mentioned, there is nothing like the smell of outdoor cooking, particularly when well done. There is nothing like the early morning light, when you grab a favorite long gun and go on a wooded walk. The sights, the smells, the morning dew and in this time of year, a bit of a chill in the air most early mornings. I want him to have my old .410 single shot H&R shotgun broken open in his arms, walking quietly through the woods, with me and my dad's .410 singleshot that he bought him when he bought me mine carried the same way.

We're going to go visit one friend in East Texas who has a nice place with a couple of ponds that we can stroll around and fish in. We can do all the kinds of shooting that we want to there at his place. And then we will hit the Hill Country for a day or two of fishing in those parts, either for white bass at Colorado Bend State Park or at another locale for largemouths on a friend's place near Kerrville. Maybe a day of each.

I know we're going to have a lot of fun.