Sunday, January 29, 2012

4H Shooting Sports: Learning by Doing

We just had our 2012 planning meeting at our home this past weekend for the advisors and certified instructors in our 4H Shooting Sports club.  Our club continues to grow and with the current list of potential new members that have expressed interest so far, we're looking at a hundred kids this year.  We even have two of our former 4H kids who have gone on to college and have now been certified as instructors... giving back of their time as volunteers educating the next generation.

There are plenty of rewards and fun for the kids, but as instructors, the wife and I can say that the hard work and time really pays off when you see what the shooting sports can do for our youth.  With our local disciplines of Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Muzzle-loading, Archery, and Cowboy Action... there are plenty of opportunities.

We've seen young gals build confidence and self-esteem while we've seen young fellas develop and understand responsibility... and a little humility when they get out-shot by a gal.  Young folks ages eight to eighteen build understanding and skills in safety and the handling of firearms and bows... all through the simple motto of "Learning by Doing".

If you enjoy shooting and exercising your Second Amendment rights as much as we do, you may want to consider if you might have some time and energy to give back in the form of helping others.  You don't have to be a Marine Scout Sniper or nationally ranked competitive shooter... you just need to have the interest and time to help and educate others... young and old alike.

Whether it would be as an NRA instructor, helping at a local gun club, assisting with the Boy Scouts, working with an Appleseed event in your area, or whatever opportunities you might have... consider taking the next step, maybe even with your local 4H clubs and help the youth in 4H Shooting Sports: Learning by Doing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

F.A.T. Wrench by Wheeler Engineering

Seems like folks who shoot don't have to shoot very long before they probably need to at least check or  tighten a screw or two on their firearm.  Even if you don't need to do that, you'll like need to loosen and tighten a few screws on your firearms for cleaning and maintenance.  If you're like me, you want those screws to be tight when you done and not loosen up, but often, as small as they are, you're hesitant to tighten them too much for fear of stripping out the threads, breaking them off, or chewin' up the slots.


Whether you're just doing basic disassembly, cleaning, and maintenance on your guns or if you want to do some real gunsmithing, you really need a good set of screwdrivers or at least a good interchangeable bit screw driver with a good selection of bits so you can make sure the thickness and width of the bit match your screw so you don't tear it all up.

Now you have to remember, you're not torquing down the head bolts on a Cummin diesel or a small block Chevy when you're working on guns.  So how do you keep them tight without twisting them off?  I recommend you consider a F.A.T. Wrench by Wheeler Engineering and some thread-locker.

The Firearm Accurizing Torque (F.A.T.) Wrench allows you to set the torque limit in inch-pounds and then the handle "breaks free" starts rotating without turning the bit when you've reached a particular torque setting so you can't over tighten a screw.  The wrench is easy to adjust and comes with several bits in a nice plastic case.

The F.A.T. Wrench comes with instructions that also provide recommended torque settings for some screw sizes you'll likely encounter on your guns.  It also works with 1/4" drive sockets and most common hexagonal bits.  So with the set of bits I already had, the ones the F.A.T. Wrench comes with, and some thread-locker... we don't have to worry much about over-tightened, broken, stripped, or loosening screws.

Another thing this nice little tool does is it helps you to not over-tighten screws holding rubber, wood, or plastic grips, grip-panels, stocks, or other gun furniture... 'cause the last thin you want is to split those nice wood grips in two on your 1911.

So, if you want some precision for tightening your gun screws, consider picking up one of these handy tools or asking your better half, if you've got a birthday coming up.  Just make sure that you country folks enuciate clearly... "Honey, I DID NOT say I wanted a fat wench!"  Ask her/him for a F.A.T. Wrench by Wheeler Engineering.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gun Benches and Gun Rooms...

Our barn is a terrific place for us to work and stay out of the weather.  We've acquired a fair bit of various wood, metal, and mechanic shop equipment and tools over the years, but unfortunately at this point in time... the ol' barn isn't heated which makes year 'round use, especially when it's below freezing, not very practical.

The house we're blessed with is a nice Cape Cod style home with an attached garage, but no basement.  When we purchased it from the previous owners, it had two bedrooms and two full bathrooms down stairs along with two bedrooms, a "bonus" room, and an unfinished bathroom upstairs.  With just the three of us, the gals and I decided we didn't need to finish the third bathroom upstairs... hmmm, what to do with that eight by nine foot room?  Why that could be our gun room.

On the right side, we put in a Gorilla Rack workbench we had found on sale which provided a fairly solid four-foot wide by two-foot deep work surface for cleaning, maintenance, and gunsmith-type work.  We put in some shelving to keep all the NRA course and 4H Shooting Sports materials, records, and information organized.  In the back, we installed some large, wall-to-wall shelves to hold larger items such as gun cases and that keeps us from banging our brains on the hip-roof.  We keep the guns in our gun safes.

Rounding up the usual suspects found on many gun benches... a good supply of various oils, solvents, greases, thread-lockers, stains, cold-blues, tools, and other necessities are stored above and below the workbench.  Any heavy vise, drill press, grinding, or cutting work still requires a trip to the barn.

We installed a large section of peg board on the left side to use hooks and shelves to hold all kinds of accessories, holsters, books, DVDs, and other odds-n-ends.  Our mobile reloading bench and with accessories and some ammunition storage are parked over there too.

The mobile reloading bench allows us to roll it out in our smaller space and we can work by ourselves or more than one of us can sit on various sides to complete different tasks.   There are two Lee presses on one side, a powder drop on one side, and the RCBS Chargemaster for precision reloading.  Over the years, we've reloaded thousands of rifle and pistol cartridges, but haven't moved to a progressive press yet... maybe a Dillon is in our future.  We're always looking for new and better ways to keep our shooting, reloading, and firearm work more efficient and better organized.  I recently noticed a nice bench setup over at When The Balloon Goes Up.

We've come along way since my near-death experience quite a few years back when I spilled some Hoppe's Number 9 on the dining room table while cleaning a gun.  I'm sure plenty of you have some terrific places, benches, rooms, and ideas to keep your boom-sticks in working order... so help a guy who is always looking to improve...

Show us your Gun Benches and Gun Rooms...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness...

In my humble opinion, this country is really at a crossroads and I truly believe that when you peel all the labels off the people living here, there are primarily just two kind of folks... those who want to take care of themselves and those who want someone to take care of them.  You might say those who want to take responsibility for themselves and those who want someone to be responsible for them.

The gals and I are of the former mindset.  That doesn't mean that we don't want to be part of a civilized society and community or see the benefits of those things, we just want the freedom to take care of ourselves without infringing on anyone else -or- having others infringe on us.  We don't believe anybody "owes" us anything we haven't earned or achieved for ourselves and we don't hold anything against anybody who has earned or achieved more or less than us.

The acid test for our "gold" is when my wife and I can look each other in the eye and say, "If we had to walk out the door right now with just each other and the clothes on our backs (although, we'd probably take the Bug Out Bags) and start from scratch again, could we do it?"  As long as the answer to that question is "yes", then we know we're in good shape.  It's a matter of priorities and preferences.

A friend from the gun club is miserable in his day job and complains about everything and everyone there.  He says nothing ever changes or gets better.  Lately, I've been feeling somewhat the same way, but ultimately it is his choice to stay there, like it is my choice if I continue my with my employer.  A career change is a big deal and it could significantly affect my family or his, but we've always lived conservatively and well within our means and don't find our self-worth in our material possessions... well, except maybe for that 1942 government issued Colt 1911A1... so if we have to walk out the door and leave it all behind... we'll make do.

When you work for someone, you owe them an honest day's work for an honest day's pay and when either party isn't getting that, then it's time to go your separate ways.  Now I know there are truly unfair and even criminal situations that occur, but that aside... it's ultimately our individual choice as to who or what we let control or take care of us.  I think many older generations took care of themselves rather than relying on someone to take care of them. 

We've been blessed with so much these days that many folks think they're owed something.  The right to a college education, the right to a house, the right to a car, the right to healthcare...  Like our forefathers, I believe that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights and that doesn't include a free house and free healthcare, but the freedom and liberty to exercise those unalienable rights without infringement.  An example in our case is using a gun for self-defense in case someone wants to infringe upon our right to life.

There may not be a strong coherence to this post, but I've had a lot on my mind this week and as a father of a daughter who is a junior in high school and looking at career choices to help her make her way in this world as she will be enrolled full-time in college during her senior year of high school.  I'm just considering the country we live in, where it's headed, and what my daughter's life may be like in the future as she doesn't expect to be given life, liberty, and happiness, but instead exercises her unalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Three days of grub...

The first winter advisory went out last week and the checkout lines at the local wally world and grocery stores were backed up and you'd likely burn through half a tank of gas waiting in line to get some more at the pumps.  Seems like every time we have a winter advisory or storm warning around here, folks stock up like we've reached the end of the Mayan calendar.

Runnin' out of grub at the wrong time can be an inconvenience at the least, and deadly in the worst case situation.  The gals and I are of the sheepdog and prepping mindset, so over the years we've made many preparations in various areas of our life.  Sometimes, folks just don't know where to start and that is an area where I have a simple suggestion... three days of grub.

The USDA recommends consumption of between 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day for men and between 1,800 and 2,300 calories a day for women to maintain proper health.  The U.S. Army Survival Manual FM 21-76 indicates that the minimal calorie intake to survive is between 600 and 1,000 per day.  I'm currently following a balanced 1,200 calories per day plan to take off some weight and considering that many Americans consume upwards of 3,000 calories each day, I have to say... my stomach thinks my throat was slit.  You need to plan for your own requirements.

Now some will say, "My freezer and refrigerator are full, what's the problem?"  Well, some will have generators and some won't to preserve their food in the event of a power failure.  Some folks have bottled water stocked up, but many don't in case the water system breaks down or becomes contaminated.  Maybe you figure you'll just run to the store... but so has everyone else.  Last week wally world was cleared out of bottled water and it was a simple winter advisory, not a three day blizzard.

"The prudent see danger and take refuge,
   but the simple keep going and pay the penalty."
~Proverbs 27:12 

Even if your not worried about prepping for a disaster, it would be advisable for everyone to keep some basics on hand and if your not sure where to start... begin with three days of grub.  That includes food, water, and don't forget medications.  Think about what you would need for you and your family to survive three days without being able to access any other immediate food or water sources.  Most folks don't realize that, depending on heat and other conditions, three days without water can leave most folks well on their way to death.

So what kind of grub should you pack away or keep on hand for three days?  Well, that depends on you and your family.  Some folks may just want to put some boxes or tubs of food and bottled water away.  You may not be able to cook, so you should consider having food that can be eaten hot or cold.  You may not have the ability to keep food or beverages (or your insulin as I have a friend who is diabetic) cold, so again... you should think about that along with the storage life or expiration dates of the food and beverages you store away.  Oh, and don't forget the pets and livestock, if you have any, 'cause even our four-legged friends like to eat and drink too.

We have a food rotation system set up in our house that usually means we have thirty days of canned and dry goods that we use daily.  We have a significant stock of bottled water that we rotate through on a regular basis.  When it comes to water, don't forget you can drain the 40-plus gallons in your hot-water tank if needed and you can use a device like he Water Bob to fill and store water in you bathtub.  You may also want to consider having something on hand to purify the water for consumption as boiling may not be a possibility.

Additionally, you may want to have a Bug Out Bag (BOB) ready to go for each of your family members, but that is a topic for another day.  If you have a vehicle or place at work, you might even consider storing some food and water there too just in case you're stranded.  Make sure you include your whole family in on the plan and preparation.  I personally know some men who have extensive preparations in place and their wives haven't been included.  Get the entire family on board.

The bottom line is... if you haven't made any specific preparations for troubles that are almost sure to come at some point, I would encourage you to think about it and take the first step with... three days of grub.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

After you draw your gun?

Over the last twenty-plus years, as more and more states have allowed good, honest folks the ability to legally exercise their second amendment rights... a lot of men and women have taken the steps necessary to exercise their God-given right to protect themselves.  If you've made the decision to keep or carry a firearm, whether it be concealed or out in the open... at some point you may be faced with having to draw the gun to protect you or your loved ones.

Now there will likely be a lot of other opinions and contrary views, but I've been thinking, reading, askin' questions, and studying on these matters for a couple of decades and while I don't have all the answers, there are some things the gals and I have determined that we, and you, should consider and implement after you draw your gun, but be advised... I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY.  Back in my days working in law enforcement, I was in a much different situation drawing my gun when the need arose... as opposed to being a citizen drawing my gun... I don't like that there's a difference, but there is.

Seems like when I teach the NRA Basic Pistol course and we get to the non-NRA part about Ohio Concealed Carry and Self-Defense law, we look at the State of Ohio's thoughts on legal use of a gun for self-defense, castle-doctrine, and I'd bet that a barrel of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors couldn't come to a consensus on almost any part of it at any given time - PRIOR - to someone drawing their gun.

Now you'll notice that I've talked about drawing your gun and not shooting your gun.  Deciding to draw your gun is the first step.  From what I've read, seen, and heard... if you've done all you can and avoided trouble, yet still find yourself in a position where your life or the lives of your loved ones are in danger... often, drawing the gun can eliminate the problem without actually pulling the trigger.

Sometimes I've met folks who want a gun or want to get their license to carry a concealed handgun (as Ohio calls it) just so they can scare someone who threatens them.  A self-defense gun isn't for scaring someone and it's not for wounding someone... a self-defense gun is for killing someone (and in Ohio it is defined as deadly force)... or in politically corrected terms, for stopping them... we don't shoot to kill, we shoot to stop... police don't shoot to kill, they shoot to stop.  HOGWASH!

We don't practice shooting arms, legs, or the bad guy's gun hand.  You only draw your gun if someone is threatening you with serious bodily harm or death and you shoot to kill!  I believe that if you don't have the mindset or beliefs and you're not willing to take a life in defense of yours or your loved ones... then DON'T CARRY A GUN!

Now at some point if you're using a firearm for self-defense, you may have the unfortunate situation that requires you to draw your gun.  Now we're not going to spend much time on discussing training and preparation in this post, but you should be training and preparing yourself.  If you have to draw your gun, one of two things occurs next... either you pull the trigger or your don't.  Either way, you need to contact law enforcement and as I always tell my concealed carry classes... we are in a day and age that if you carry a gun, you should carry a cell phone 'cause Superman can't find any phone booths to change in these days.

Here's the basic plan the gals and I intend to follow after you draw your gun:

1. Call law enforcement and ask for EMS if needed.

2. Identify yourself when they arrive and state:
"That man (woman, they, etc.) attempted (threatened) to kill me, 
I acted in self-defense and I want him (her, they, etc.) arrested."

3. "I don't want to say anything further 
until I've spoken with my attorney."

4. Don't answer anymore questions, 
but comply with all other law enforcement requests.

1. Call law enforcement and ask for EMS if needed.

Typically, the first person to call is the "victim" until determined otherwise.  Let's say you pick up some carry-out dinner and you're walking back to you car around the corner of a building and a man approaches you holding a knife and demands your wallet.  Let's assume you have no other choice so your toss your food at him and draw your gun and seeing the gun causes the mugger to tuck tail and run off.

Call law enforcement, because if the jerk runs over a street and dials 911... "Yeah, some guy in a green coat just pulled a gun on me in the parking lot at...", then the police arrive, see you in the green coat... ask you if you have a gun... and now that they confirmed the mugger's story... you're in handcuffs for the ride downtown trying to tell police the mugger had a knife (which he tossed after running off from seeing you with your gun so the police find no knife on him) and that the mugger is the real criminal - real story.

2. Identify yourself when they arrive and state: "That man (woman, they, etc.) attempted (threatened) to kill me, I acted in self-defense, and I want him (her, they, etc.) arrested."

If you draw your gun and pull the trigger, then call and ask for the police and EMS (ambulance).  Keep it simple... "I need the police and EMS at 123 Elm Street, a man tried to kill me and I shot him in self-defense, please hurry!"  Repeat it if necessary, but I wouldn't answer too many more questions on a recorded 911 call as the 911 dispatcher is going to begin a game of twenty questions... they're trained to.

Why do we prefer to say he attempted to kill us?  We could say we were in "fear for our lives" and may say that instead, but it's just not what most folks say in these parts.  Folks around here don't say, "a car crossed the center-line and I was in fear for my life."  Here 'bouts they say, "a car crossed the center-line and nearly killed me."  If you don't sound sincere or if you sound like you're giving a memorized or made-up line... the police will sense that.  By the way... don't ever lie of fudge the facts, they can usually figure that out pretty quickly from the evidence.

You can stay on the line and give the dispatcher updates, "The guy who tried to kill me just crawled behind the blue car...", but be careful what you say because if you're angry and say, "that jerk just tried to kill us, I hope he bleeds out and dies slow."  Guess what, "I hope he bleeds out and dies slow" is going to be played about ten times at your trial by the prosecutor.

If you've holstered your gun by the time police arrive, keep your hands up and in plain sight.  Personally, I don't recommend holding the criminal at gunpoint unless the criminal still presents an immediate danger to you or others.  It there is no immediate danger and the criminal wants to run, crawl, or hobble away... let them... the police can track them down.  If the criminal is down either due to submission to your requests or because you shot the idiot... DO NOT approach him... he may be armed with an additional weapon or try to take yours.

When the police ask you what happened, respond and say, "That man threatened to kill me with a knife, I acted in self-defense, and I want him arrested."  This makes your mindset clear... you thought he was going to kill you... your were in fear for your life... not in fear that he might hurt you or mess up your hair or clothes, but kill you.

3. "I don't want to say anything further until I've spoken with my attorney."

There's an old attorney saying that they've never had to defend anyone against something that wasn't said.  When the police start to question you further about what happened, just simply say, "I don't want to say anything further until I've spoken with my attorney."  Now if there is something immediately pertinent, let them know such as, "the one that was shot is right there, but the other two ran that way... they were wearing..."

This is not the time to begin thumbing through the yellow pages looking for the firm of  Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe.  If you are carrying a gun for self-defense and do not have an established relationship with a good attorney that knows or practices criminal defense - yes, criminal defense - and knows self-defense related law, then that should be on your list of things to do this week.

4. Don't answer anymore questions, but comply with all other law enforcement requests.

At that point, cooperate with law enforcement or they can make your life pretty miserable.  "Where's the gun?" let them have it if they ask - and they will... "Please wait over here" you should... "Do you have any identification on you?" give it to them... "What was the mugger wearing when he ran off?" tell them.  These are the folks who will be writing the initial and possibly additional reports.  Of course, they may not like that you won't answer more specific questions about the actual incident, but it's your right not to... and if you're otherwise cooperative with them, they'll remember that.

Now I know that some advise you to identify witnesses, but in the first few minutes after a shooting you may have other concerns on your mind.  Also remember, you might identify a witness who you think saw everything and their statement reads, "I heard a shot, looked up and that guy in the green jacket (you) was shooting the dude that's dead."  Wait, he didn't see the knife that was first pulled by the mugger?

There are a lot of books and even DVDs on this subject and I own pretty much all of them.  I agree with some, pull advice from others and disregard some.  Massad Ayoob is one of my favorite authors on the subject, but you'll notice our four steps don't completely align with his.  Ayoob says you should tell the officer "you'll sign the complaint", but most folks around here just want the perpetrator "arrested".  One book I read last year indicated that you should call your attorney first and have your attorney call 911.  If you do that and end up in front of a jury on a man-slaughter or murder charge, you better enjoy windows with bars... 'cause the jury will think you're the most callous jerk they've seen... IMHO.

I have not had to shoot anyone in my lifetime.  There are numerous times I've had to draw my gun during my law enforcement days and a couple of times it was pretty close, but currently as a citizen I may have to as I'm armed most of the time and everyone who has made the decision to arm themselves or carry for self-defense needs to consider these matters so you'll know what to do.  We're still re-thinking this all the time... so what are you going to do... after you draw your gun?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Paying it forward and lessons learned...

One hot summer back in junior high, our neighbor across the road, Mr. Inskeep, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack.  Mrs. Inskeep must have been in her sixties back then and asked if she could hire me to mow her lawn and take care of her yard work for her.  Now the opportunity to earn some cash so close to home was pretty appealing to me because aside from baling hay and straw, I also mowed some lawns in town to maintain cash flow for necessary expenses typical of any young man in his early teens such as a new bicycle, .22 cartridges, tools, watchin' Star Wars in the movie theater, and a brand new Buck 110 folding hunter knife.

When mom and dad heard of my new lawn-mowing customer, they were pretty quick to squash that source of income.  I was young and still learning that takin' care of neighbors, respect for elders, and all that noble stuff actually meant that you take care of mowing Mrs. Inskeep's yard and you don't accept any money from her.

For the next couple of years my brother and I mowed and cared for our yard and the one across the road.  In the winter we shoveled our walks and plowed off our driveway and those across the road.  At first, we might have been reminded to take care of the house across the road, but pretty soon we just did it out of habit and because Mrs. Inskeep baked some of the best cookies and pies around, I mean cookies and an occasional piece of pie wasn't exactly like gettin' paid cash... right?

One summer in high school, a "for sale" sign went up and shortly thereafter the house across the road sold.  Mrs. Inskeep moved away to be closer to family.  As they movers and folks were packing things up and loading the truck, we were asked over... and she insisted on giving us her husband's workbench and tools.  She wouldn't except "no" for an answer.  She was endlessly appreciative of all we had done for her.

The workbench was a masterful piece of craftsmanship and weighed a ton with a five-foot wide hardwood top that was two-feet deep and four inches thick!  There were all kinds of tools from years of man cave collecting... Craftsman and Mac wrenches and socket sets, saws, chisels, screwdrivers, hammers, and many others.

There were even some old Ford wrenches among the odds and ends which included bins of assorted bolts, screws, nuts, washers, and nails.  It makes you wonder if those folks who made those old Ford wrenches knew they'd still be around in someone's toolbox today.  These are some of the kinds of things that last forever... some the kinds of things I still have in my barn and garage today. 

We were taught early on about the values of the intangibles in life... and taking care of the neighbor's yard without compensation would have still been just fine if in the end all we received was a thank you and a wave goodbye.  My folks set an example for us, and we're trying to set an example for our daughter and the next generation.

The Golden Rule:
"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, 
do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
~Matthew 7:12

We're getting old enough to see some of it pay off, but also realize not all of it will.  This year we have a couple of former 4H Shooting Sports kids who have gone on to college, have also taken the courses to get 4H certified... and will be volunteering to help with the 4H Shooting Sports club this coming year... just another example of paying it forward and lessons learned...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Failure to communicate.

"What we've got here is... failure to communicate."  That classic line from the movie Cool Hand Luke has been quoted and misquoted for decades, but it still rings true... even in marital relationships.  I see young couples struggle with communication, especially when the honeymoon period is coming to an end.  After a quarter of a century with the best gal this side of heaven, we still seem to occasionally have failures to communicate.

"Who left all the tracks on the kitchen floor!?!?"  I think she meant that as a rhetorical question, but being the diligent kind of man I am, maybe she could use some assistance in identifying them...

Ahh, but "who" is not the actual question... "why" is the question.  Well, let's see here: DOGS + SOGGY/WET YARD = MUD TRACKS IN KITCHEN... simple math!  Nope, still not the answer... OK, how about you said, "let the dogs in" so I did just as you asked... um, still not the correct answer to the question that was implied.   Hmmm, how about I let the dogs in, but I was talking on the cell phone and didn't wipe their paws, therefore they left muddy tracks across your clean kitchen floor... that you just finished scrubbing spotless an hour ago... Hey, now I'm on the right track, but... something isn't quite... oh yeah... that I'm going to wipe up again... right now.

I know, sometimes getting the message for me is about as slow as walking to the road to get the mail.   Truthfully, we really do compliment each other pretty well, but that means my strengths are her weakness and vice-versa.  It's kind of like a John Deere livin' with a Farmall... we're both interested in getting the field plowed, but we sometimes both think we have the best way to do it.  Now we could just always go with the right way... er, I mean my way... but that could result in me sleeping in the dog house... or barn... and it's cold out there these days.

I think the key is learning to trust and accept that your other half's ideas aren't necessarily wrong, just different.  She might like the shotguns on the left side of the gun safe and the rifles on the right side, but I like the most used guns up front and the least used guns towards the back.  Even though my way is... well, let's just say we'll put the least used shotguns in the back on the left and the most used shotguns up front and... you get the picture.  Sometimes you may have to compromise, but often you just have to listen and and treat her like a gentleman should.

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, 
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
~Proverbs 16:24

So to some of the guys out there who haven't yet learned the art of communication with a gal, here's a simple test:  You might be single if you've ever said...

"Well, you're wrong."
"I'll take the .45, you use the .22"
"Because, my way is better."
"That's stupid."
"You're just like your mother."
"Will you look at the _______ on her!"
"I've had better."
"Have you got on the scale lately."
"I got you a pink gun 'cause you're a girl."
"Whatever your cookin' is stinkin' up the house."
"When are you gonna learn how to drive?"
"I love being with you Jen... I mean Lisa."

Ladies, feel free post a comment and lend a hand to the men out there who are still having trouble understanding... so we don't have a failure to communicate.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

On behalf of the .22 rimfire...

On behalf of the .22 rimfire, I'd like to say a few words as we enter a new year filled with change and uncertainty.  While the .22 may have started out on the short side in 1857 courtesy of Smith and Wesson, it has persevered for over 155 years and a lot of life-long shooters began their journey with the little cartridge.

Well, the little guy is feeling a bit neglected these days with all the cowboys and cowgirls shooting .38s and .45 Long Colts and the tactical mall-ninjas still endlessly arguing the merits of 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP.  You hardly ever see a CCI on C.S.I. and you never get to watch how he can dispatch sinister, bushy-tailed critters in the woods on the Outdoor Channel.  

Seems that when the family gathers together, he gets stuck at the "kiddie" table... or someone dresses him up in a pink outfit and sends him on a double-date with a gal that isn't interested...  like Rodney Dangerfield, he just don't get no respect... no respect at all, I tell ya.

Well, I'd like to offer a bit of advice about the .22 rimfire... you need him, and he needs you.  This little guy is cheap and fun to shoot with.  You can spend the entire evening shooting for less than twenty bucks.  Talk about inexpensive practice and time to work on the fundamentals.

If you want to challenge yourself, line up on the hundred-yard range with the little guy and watch him drop out of sight as you learn about ballistics and bullet trajectories.  Can you keep that one-inch group at a hundred yards in a light crosswind with a .22 rimfire?

There's been a lot of posts lately out there in the gun blogoshere about introducing folks to shooting and a few about guys trying to get their gals on board with the whole gun thing... well men, maybe it's time to trade in your old 45 for a new 22... at least for a day... hey, I'm talking guns, not gals... and if your gal likes to shoot or is new to shooting, spend a day with her and your .22s.  You'll have fun and save enough to take her out to dinner and a chick-flick... then again, you might just get lucky... and she'll go for an action-flick.

Before you know it, you won't be trying to decide which gun to get next, but who gets the next gun.  My gal always wanted one of those Henry Golden Boys in .22 rimfire... and a couple of years ago for Christmas, she found one under the tree with her name on it.  Now men, isn't that a better way to go than a new vacuum cleaner?

I'll leave a final thought for those of you who might be wanting to start out that youngster on a .22 this year... every parent has to decide what age and maturity is appropriate, but I would encourage you to consider starting them out with a youth-sized, bolt-action .22 and "iron" sights.

There's nothing wrong with a semi-automatic .22 rifle with a scope... that's exactly what I was given as my first gun, but I have found that the bolt-action with traditional sights builds better basic skills by requiring kids to slow down while handling and operating the firearm and think about each shot rather than just sending lead down range as fast as they can pull the trigger (not that we all don't enjoy that once in a while).

Try some larger targets at closer distances for initial success to build the fundamental skills and safe gun handling that will apply down the road for hunting, competition, personal protection, or whatever they might pursue.  Just some thoughts to get you to reconsider your little old friend...

...on behalf of the .22 rimfire.