Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guns don't kill people...

There have been a lot of good folks stop by since this little ol' blog began about four months ago.  I've become friends with some and even met a few of you... and it's nice to be in good company and know that there are still a lot of God fearin' and patriotic Americans out there.  I had joked with my main gal that if I hit 5,000 views before the end of the year, I'd make some t-shirts... well 5,000 views and a couple of dozen t-shirts went by faster than a moly-coated .300 Winchester Magnum.

The fall is now upon us, deer season is here for bows with gun season just around the corner, and I'm still enjoying blogging more than ever.  My gals get a chuckle out of me as I work at putting posts together.  I decided that there were a lot of great blogs doing original work, quick posts, and re-blogging of other stuff already... I wanted to write about what I enjoy... and that's what I do. 

So with that being said... and now that our local football season is over and the homecoming dance is done, I just thought I would provide a little safety reminder for those who might run across some father's gals... 

Guns don't kill people...

Fathers of teenage daughters kill people...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just like the good ol' days...

Sometimes amidst all the pundits, political nonsense, and 'round the clock news that ain't news coverage... I see reality slowly turning back the clock.  The anti-freedom and anti-gun folks on the east and west coasts, in New York, Chicago, California, and inside the beltway around Washington D. C. seem to have forgotten or maybe selectively edited out the rest of the country.

In the last twenty-five years we've seen the onset and sunset of the assault weapons ban, and we've seen our country go from just a couple of states with concealed carry to forty-nine with some type of concealed carry... with the state of Chicago... er... I mean Illinois... being the only one left without gun rights for the average citizen to protect themselves... but things seem to be changing.

The first gun that was actually mine was a gift from my Pappy at age eleven.  I still have the box with a $59.97 K-Mart price sticker on it.  I remember buying .22s at the local hardware store and looking at guns at Sears.  Most younger folks probably don't even remember the Sears catalog coming in the mail with with all the guns, hunting, and shooting supplies sporting Ted Williams' signature.  I even ordered a scope once from the Montgomery Ward catalog.

While more income then I care to admit still ends up at Cabela's and I purchase a lot of accessories and ammunition online these days, in addition to a couple of gun dealers in the county... our local chain-store retailers around here seem to be hanging onto the good ol' days.

Now I've met a lot of folks that seem to have political or social issues with Wally World, but unless I'm driving almost an hour or so, the only major retailers around here are Walmart and a Lowe's Home Improvement store.

Our local Walmart has a pretty good stock of ammunition on hand in a large variety of calibers, even if the range of brands is somewhat limited.  You can't by a brick of .22s for $5 any more, but fifty rounds of 9mm for less than $12 or .45ACP for under $19 is about as good as you'll find anywhere.

You can even pick up some 100 and 250 round value packs of your favorite rifle or pistol cartridges for those zombie encounters in the cornfields.

While I thought it was my imagination, I even saw an AR15 in the case not too long ago and if you hurry... you can pick up toilet paper, milk, a new flat-screen TV, and this standard Ruger Mini-14.

Our local Ace Hardware store has a lot of friendly, home-town folks working there that can help you pick out some new paint for the bedroom, some rubber washers for the leaky faucet, or nice shotgun for fall hunting.  They've been very supportive of our 4H Shooting Sports club and host the gun our club raffles off each year to buy supplies and ammunition.

Ace always seems to have a well-stocked display of long guns, ammunition, and accessories, but unlike Walmart... they also carry...

Nothing like a good selection of handguns to keep nose prints on the glass.  Maybe you're in a hurry so you grab a few light bulbs, a rake for those leaves in the yard, and an M&P40.  Need a little more kick, you might want to check out that Springfield Armory 1911.  Too much in your cart already and you need to keep it light, maybe grab that Ruger LCR or Smith & Wesson Body Guard on the top shelf.

Those who love freedom and the second amendment need to be diligent in taking the fight to the those who don't, but one thing I've been noticing... there are signs of things around here that make me think it's going back to just like the good ol' days.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Musings... Contemplating range changes.

We've been fortunate to have a place to shoot right here at home for quite a few years now... but due to a variety of reasons, the gals and I have been contemplating some changes for the shooting range.

Seems that with the majority of shooting we do at home being more pistols and .22s with occasional shotguns and rifles... we've thought about reconfiguring our 50-yard range to a 25-yard range.  A little Photoshop magic allowed me to simulate a 25-yard shooting berm with "wings" cupped towards the line of fire.  This might be better suited for defensive, concealed carry, cowboy-action, and steel target shooting.

We still have the local gun club just a short ten-minute drive away with rifle and pistol ranges from 25 to 200 yards along with skeet, trap, and five-stand ranges.  The change would probably wait until dry weather late next summer, with fall planting of cover foliage and grasses to reduce erosion.  That's a long way off, but it gives us time to contemplate changes to the range.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

ResQMe Keychain Rescue Tool

The gals and I try to be prepared for the curve balls life throws our way.  Sometimes life throws you an inside pitch that about takes your head off while driving your car or truck.  I've been in several accidents while driving over the last thirty or so years and it doesn't matter how careful I was... as none were my fault.

Sometimes the unexpected happens and tragedy strikes... like it did for three college students our neighbor knew while attending Dickinson State in North Dakota back in 2009.  I once managed to sink an Allis-Chalmers tractor and loader while moving rocks around the edge of a stone quarry when I was fifteen years old... a stone quarry that had long ago filled about twenty-five feet deep with water.  Almost drowning with a tractor that wasn't even green, to say the least, was a life-altering experience.

The point is, no matter how careful you are or how prepared you try to be... good ol' Murphy and his law will sneak up on you when you least expect it and a ResQMe Keychain Tool would have been nice to have in the cold water of the quarry that fall day long ago.

We have ResQMe Keychain Rescue Tools zip-tied to the sun-visor post by the a-pillar in each of our vehicles.  We also have some to carry on our keychains, man-bags, and purses.  Until you've been upside-down in an overturned vehicle and can't get the seatbelt released, trapped when the doors of your wrecked vehicle won't open, or worse yet... under water only to find your electric windows and locks are no longer working... you'll never know who valuable these inexpensive tools are.

The ResQMe tool unsnaps from its keychain holder with a firm pull.  It has ridges that make it easy to hold and you can get them in a variety of colors.

The razor-sharp blade will slice through the seat-belt... I even tried them on an old seat-belt a couple of years ago.

A spring-loaded punch breaks tempered and laminated glass when pressed against a window.  ResQMe recommends protecting your eyes and punching glass windows in each corner instead of the center.

There are a lot of seat-belt-cutting-window-breaking tools on the market, but considering the size, quality and fact that you can purchase a pair for under $20 online or for a single unit for $15 at Ace Hardware, you should pick some up for you and your gals or family too... maybe even your mother-in-law.

It's hard to pass up the peace of mind you'll get knowing you have an escape plan in place for your vehicle with easy access to a ResQMe Keychain Rescue Tool.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GunVault Handgun Safes

I grew up around farms and rural areas with mostly small town folks where you could expect a gun to be found at just about any house or barn around.  Gun control on the farm meant red marks on your backside from a switch for touching the loaded shotgun kept ready-at-hand by the door.  I'm not too sure that gun control of that nature isn't still the best kind considering the failure of most other gun control measures put in place by the gubermint.

There are many considerations when deciding to keep a handgun, or any gun for that matter, ready for use in a defensive situation or keeping that same gun away from those who have no business touching it.  If you live alone or in a situation where responsible adults are the only folks around, you may choose to keep a loaded handgun ready for use without locking it up, possibly even in a holster on you.

On the other hand, if you have children or grandchildren who frequent your home or other idiots around, you now have to decide how to secure your firearms and what compromises you are willing to make in accessibility to your guns to keep those "unauthorized" folks or little ones away from your guns, especially your loaded guns.

Back when my little gal was just a toddler, we purchased a GunVault Handgun Safe.  Aside from a gun holstered on us, we felt it was a good compromise to keep a loaded gun ready for use while keeping it secure from a child.  The No-Eyes keypad is easy to operate in the dark or without looking and the brief delay to get the firearm in hand is worth the security of keeping it out of hands it shouldn't be in.  Our little gal is now sixteen and has access to firearms for self-protection in our home, a point which will probably be discussed in further depth as part of a future post.

The GunVault Multi-Deluxe is a sturdily built, steel handgun safe with a spring-loaded front door and battery operated locking mechanism that can be opened with the keypad or a barrel-type back-up key provided with the safe.  We have had ours for over ten years and it operates without fail, although we do change the AA batteries every six months when we change the batteries in the smoke alarms.

The Deluxe model also features an interior light, a motion alarm in case someone tries to move it, and low battery indicator.  Ours is also bolted in place.  If someone tries to randomly enter access codes, it automatically deactivates the keypad-operated lock for a specified amount of time.

A couple of years ago, we bought a GunVault MicroVault.  This is a portable little handgun vault that operates the same way as our other one, but is much more portable.  It comes with a cable to secure it to a piece of furniture or in your vehicle... just don't pull a Barney Fife and secure it around a table leg that can be easily lifted up and off... now which pocket did I put my bullet in?

It uses the same No-Eyes keypad as the other GunVaults, yet it is sized to easily fit in a brief case, under the bed, under the car seat, or even in a drawer.  When you enter the code, the lid doesn't "spring" open like the other GunVaults, but there are two spring-loaded prongs that push the lid up a bit to make opening it easier.

The MicroVault has no problem holding a full-size handgun and extra magazines or some cash.  The foam-lined interior protects your guns and keeps things from rattling around.  We've taken ours on vacation and while visiting friends and family.  It operates on AA batteries too.

Now let's be honest and provide some perspective here.  These GunVault handgun safes will keep a child, and most adults, from quickly getting access to your gun and while they are steel, they could still be broken into.  I haven't tried it, but I'm sure if I took one of these little safes out to the barn and went after it with a sledge-hammer, chisel, and a pry-bar... I could have it busted open in a few minutes.  Your three-year-old won't.  Your teenage grandson won't... unless given unlimited access to it and by the way... don't think kids don't know where the guns are kept and likely where the key is or what the combinations are... OPSEC folks!

GunVault has several models available, including some with biometric access.  If you want a good product that provides the level of security it was intended to provide and if it fits within your needs or compliments your larger, slower access gun safe...

We've had a lot of years of experience with this company's products and for us and our needs... you can't go wrong with GunVault Handgun Vaults.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NRA/Ohio CCW Course: a busy, but fun weekend...

Just finished up instructing twelve hours of NRA Basic Pistol Course and Ohio License to Carry a Concealed Handgun training.  I always enjoy teaching the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to safely own and use a pistol.

We even dug out the combat Tupperware...

This was the first time through the course with the newest edition of the Ohio Attorney General's booklet on Ohio's License to Carry a Concealed Handgun law which changed again on September 30, 2011.  Our law isn't perfect, but it seems to get a little better with each revision.

There's nothing better than getting back to fundamentals.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Five Bucks: The Rod Burger

There is fast food, fancy food, and then there is good ol' American food.  Over the years, my gals and I have traveled many back roads and two-lane by-ways across this great country on the motorcycles, and even in the motorhome for a few years that it took up space in the barn.  We love to find those out-of-the-way, mom-n-pop shops, businesses, and burger joints.

Good food in a good place at a good price is just what I like.  I'm not the biggest fan of the "Mc-Chain" restaurants, whether they be fast or fancy food.  I've never found any food yet worth my standing around and waiting an hour for as my wife will attest.  Hour wait... I'm out the door.  Fortunately, there are a lot of good out-of-the-way places that to some may not look like a five-star restaurant on the outside, or even the inside, but they serve up good ol' American food.

Fortunately for us, we don't live too far from such a place.  The Capricorn Inn is a great little mom-n-pop restaurant and if you ask directions to it from local folks they probably have never heard of it.  Most around here refer to it as Rod's after the former owner and cook who also had a reputation for singing loudly to whatever was blaring on the radio while firing up some hot food at the grill.

Rod recently retired and sold the place to Ron and Angie Hubbard, some good folks who have returned to southern Ohio after some time in Colorado.  They've done a nice job putting a little polish and shine on the place to freshen it up, and they were smart enough to keep the name and most of the offerings on the short menu... including the Rod Burger.

The Rod Burger is pretty much a meal by itself.  It's a good ol' American burger loaded up with fresh fixin's that will make your mouth water.  They have several other selections on the menu, but the Rod Burger is what they're known for... and judging from the number of pick-up trucks and American iron usually sitting in the gravel parking lot... if you're bringing any yuppie, metro-sexual types to Rod's, I can assure you they'll be disappointed with the lack of vegan offerings.

So if you're ever in the area, don't hesitate to stop in and have a terrific burger at Rod's, just remember to bring cash... 'cause MasterCard might be priceless, but it's worthless at Rod's.

Go ahead and try it... and if you don't like it, you're out... like... five-bucks.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Musings... the No Whining Zone

We try to keep a No Whining Zone around here.  There's even a rustic sign above my daughter's bedroom door that says "No Whining", although she would point out that it faces our bedroom.  We try not to whine around here, but that doesn't mean we'll hold back on a legitimate gripe or two.

We're pretty blessed, but I'd also say we're from families that have worked hard all their lives for what they have.  We continue that tradition, and try to instill it in our daughter.  Now the gals and I don't have to look far to see folks much worse off then us and other folks much better off than we are.  There have been tight and tough times, but we take our lumps and move forward... we take care of our own.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."
~1 Timothy 6:6

Now I know the Bible has a lot to say about contentment, but sometimes I just ain't too content, or Godly.  I keep looking at some fancy over-under shotguns, even been thinking that I need one... well, then again I've been thinking that for a long time.  

The main over-under shotgun I currently use is my $7,800 Ruger Red Label in 12 gauge.  It's been a workhorse of a shotgun... doing it's share of hunting and clay bustin' without a complaint, but I still keep looking at some of those fancy shotguns and thinking... hmmm, but really... no fancy gun can really replace my pricey Ruger.

I know what you're thinking, he got suckered if he paid $7,800 for a Ruger Red Label shotgun, but the truth of the matter is I paid for it over and over.  I started setting aside a few dollars here and there, then when I just about had $1,300 saved up for that Ruger, the washing machine died.  

Saved up some more and was just about to get that beautiful, American-made shotgun when the transmission in the pick-up truck started grinding away.  Put a few more bucks away, then some tires and brakes needed replaced about the same time the computer died.  You kind of get the picture... so by the time I finally bought that Ruger Red Label, I had saved up and spent just a little over $7,800.

Yeah, I could have just slapped down the credit card and bought the gun, but we try to "Dave Ramsey" things around here 'cause like the Rolling Stones... you can't always get what you want.  So... unlike the government... we try to pay cash.  We pay as we go and sometimes we gripe and sometimes we're not content, but one thing is for certain... when you come around here you are entering the No Whining Zone.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Changing seasons in southern Ohio

We're having a late blast of summer weather around here.  The sun is out, the breeze is blowing, and the temperature is in the low 80s.  I think a Sunday afternoon motorcycle ride may be on the to do list tomorrow after church.  While there are better climates than what we have here in southern Ohio, the gals and I do enjoy the changing seasons each year.

The leaves are turning colors and the deer are on the move.  Bow season has begun, but it almost seems too warm to hunt whitetail this week... not that it stops us.  The farmers are getting anxious to get in the fields and begin the harvest.

The pumpkin trees are ripe for picking which is perfect timing with Halloween just around the corner.  Even Birchwood Casey is joining the scary season this year with their Darkotic Zombie targets... click the link... did you jump?

A local farmer has plenty of pumpkins for sale just waiting to be carved up or meet their demise at the business end of a 12 gauge shotgun.

Even the fall colors of football can be seen around the county as high school games light up Friday nights and even hopeful fans of the Bungles... er... uh... I mean Bengals... are showing their colors around these parts.

And of course some folks have even taken to creating their own ways of changing seasons in southern Ohio.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Does this make my butt look big?

This is one of those no-win questions a guy never really wants to answer.  If the gal has just put on a terrific dress and inquires... he might get away with something like, "You look beautiful in that dress."  The poor fella is hoping for an answer along the lines of "thanks, honey" and hoping it leads to some hot lovin' later on, but often he gets one of the following responses:

 A. "Well, you didn't say anything about it when I wore it two weeks ago."
 B. "You didn't answer my question."
 C. "Honey... honey? where did he go..."

You see, Eric Clapton can get away with, "You look wonderful tonight." without the standard response of, "Oh, so I didn't look wonderful last night?"  The rest of us usually aren't so lucky.  That is why when discussing butts, I would prefer that we were talkin' bout guns.

I was fortunate enough to recently pick up a Ruger SR1911.  It's a handsome looking gun, and the gals think so too (although I have to admit up front a bias towards anything Ruger).  I don't like giving opinions or reviewing something I haven't had significant experience and time with, but the initial impressions are very good.  I've put a little over 400 rounds through it, mostly 230gr FMJs of Winchester White Box and Federal along with 60 rounds Winchester PDX1.

The Ruger feels about the same as other 1911s I've shot as far as weight and recoil.  I took it right out of the box, visually checked the empty chamber and bore, then started shooting it... so far it has not had one problem.  The trigger release is crisp, but I will adjust the take-up a bit and the sights are by Novak.  I'm also thinking the butt is too big... as the grips are a bit thick/wide for my taste, so I've been thinking about swapping out the grip panels.

The UPS man just left a package yesterday from with a couple of additional stainless, eight-round magazines and a set of black Ruger grips by Hogue with the Ruger insignia on each grip.  They're not that much thinner than the beautiful wood grips that came with the SR1911, but I like the feel better and the wood grips look so good, I hate to scratch'em up.

The 1911 has worn a lot of different grips over the years and I've tried many, but for me, a good set of rubber, checkered grips (molded over nylon cores in the case of the Hogue grip panels) seem to work well and I don't mind roughing them up a bit since I shoot in all kinds of weather conditions.

I think I'll go put those new grips on the SR1911 and see what the wife thinks when I ask her, "Does this make my butt look big?"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musings... What have you been reading?

There is enough reading, viewing, and information gathering and evaluation related to my day job of teaching that I usually like my reading at home to be a little more oriented to my personal interests.  As much as I like to spend time surfing the web for information, there's still a certain relaxation and enjoyment I get out of a good ol' paper publication.  Books are still enjoyed, but a fair bit of my reading involves magazines and other items arriving in the mailbox.

Sometimes I keep up on my reading and other times it just tends to stack up until a rainy day or some down time comes along.  A lot of subscription renewal notices seem to have gone directly into the garbage can lately as I've settled in on certain publications and writers I enjoy and trust.  Plus, it seems that in the world of print, everybody reviews the same stuff at the same time and I don't always need six reviews of the latest whatever each month as I've already read a dozen reviews on the web by the time the magazine arrives in the mail.

Now the web has cut into the printed world pretty significantly, but until you can fold up your iPad, stick it in your back pocket, then take it out to peruse while you're contemplating and concentrating in the throne room... I think paper won't get completely replaced by plastic just yet.

I still like to read some Bible scripture every day.  Even if you're not of my Christian beliefs and upbringing, there is still a lot of useful common-sense in those pages.  Some would be surprised how many common sayings can be traced back to the Good Book and guns over the years.

In this day and age of watching the socialization of our country... I know Christians are to be compassionate and care for others, but many forget the Bible also balances things with verses like 2 Thessalonians 3:10 which says, "... that if any would not work, neither should he eat." ...but, before I digress... I have just one question for you...

What have you been reading?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Good friends and good guns

The weather is feeling more like December 1st instead of October 1st today.  Fortunately, the cold, overcast day is less gloomy when a friend stops by to do some shooting out back on the range.  My long-time friend Matt, who I've known since before he was Jerking the Trigger, came over to do some evaluating and tweaking and brought along some shootin' fun.

Now he knows a lot more about ARs and AKs and what makes them run than most folks I know... so it was nice to get a little education, talk guns, compare notes, catch up on how our gals are getting along, and put some rounds down range.

I introduced my old friend to a couple of new Rugers, one .45 and the other furry and four-legged.  I may do a post on the recently acquired Ruger SR1911 down the road, but I really don't like to review something I haven't spent significant time with which is at least a year or two in my view.

One thing is for sure, those Hoosier Bloggers can definitely shoot, even on a cold, wet Ohio day... but regardless of the weather, you can't beat a day spent with good friends and good guns.