Friday, September 30, 2011

The Obsolete Rifle Match That Wasn't

As noted in an earlier post, I recently participated in what was billed as a military "obsolete wooden stock rifle" match. Now, seeing that title, without any other description, suggests to me that the focus of the match is probably bolt guns like the one above, or possible semi-autos of the '40s or not set up for quick magazine changes.

What it turned out to be was three guys (to include your curmudgeonly author) with three different generations of rifles: a competition grade AR, a competition grade M1A, and........

A rather old but serviceable Egyptian Hakim in 7.9 x 57 mm Mauser. At this point, I'd argue that only one of us was serious about using an obsolete rifle.

After checking the gas settings for the 154 grain surplus Romanian rounds I was using, we had two sighting rounds, and moved to standing slow fire. There were a couple pleasant surprises here. First, my rifle was actually accurate. Second, the significant weight and length led to more stability in the standing position. Third, I had high score for this portion, which was more of a shock than anything else given the rifles present.

Next was seated rapid fire, with one mandatory reload. With a stovepiped round on the second shot, and the Hakim's ability to smash a digit exceeding a Garand, this didn't go quite so well. Dumping six rounds into a target at 200 yards in less than the ten remaining seconds isn't an accuracy enhancer.

The next two stages, including prone slow fire, showed that shooting against competition grade rifles, shooting coats, slings, and and gloves with an standard-issue slingless military rifle, no gloves or dedicated coat, and surplus ammunition isn't going to generally go well. Something like going to the country club skeet match with your grandpa's Browning Auto-5: it'll shoot, but people will look at you like you're crazy and you'll get your butt kicked competitively. Or they'll say something like "Isn't it amazing how people used these crude primitive rifles", leading to choking back comments on the amazing lack of knowledge of what went into rifles of this era. Flint and firelocks are primitive and crude, my friend; that's a whole different concept form "obsolete".

At least my '70s era ammo didn't do this:

If the price of the primed "once-fired" 5.55 mm brass that guy is selling is too good to be true.........

Still, it's good to get an old rifle out and see what it can do. Especially when you're pleasantly surprised that the old rifle is accurate if you do your part.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ugly Gun Sunday

I want to see the holster that goes with this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


It occurred to me, while I was thinking about yesterday's post, that something was wrong there. As a matter of fact, when I was a younger man, I had an inordinate interest in certain gingers:

As to Lucille Ball: in her younger days, she could rival any of the young ladies in the previous images, and maintained an elegant appearance even when her youth was past.

It appears to me that although there are many very attractive ginger women, it doesn't seem to work for men. Considering the models one sees for television and print advertising, I can't recall seeing ginger males, whereas ginger females frequently show up when there's an implication of something sultry and/or exotic about the product.

As the article more or less stated that it was women selecting donor type, I'm wondering if it's a case of a good percentage of men being attracted to ginger women, but relatively few women being attracted to ginger men?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Old Rifles

With an "obsolete wooden stock rifle match" (we'll get into the concept of "obsolete" down the road) coming up this past Saturday, I thought I'd get into the spirit of the match (as I perceived it) and get old school. As in a Czech 98/22 formerly in Turkish service. This particular model is chambered in 7.9 x 57 mm Mauser. For its age, and who was using it, it's in reasonably good condition. The bore is darker than I'd like, but with strong rifling and what appears to be a muzzle in good condition. Unfortunately, using 154 grain Romanian military surplus ammunition off of a bench rest, I was getting "groups" of around two feet. No keyholing, just really, really bad accuracy. I've a feeling the muzzle is more worn than I'd thought. I'll probably end up running some Yugoslavian 198 grain rounds through it to see what happens, but when groups are that big, I think it's more than simply ammo preferences.


After seeing that, can you blame them?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ugly Gun Sunday

Apparently this is an Hopkins & Allen vest pocket model of some sort in .32 centerfire. And one of the shortest barrels I've seen in a long time, at 1 and 1/8th inches.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lord Of The Fleas

Spent a weekend recently with a bunch of other vets who are bikers. Sometimes that means lots of hours in the saddle, sometimes lots of hours sitting around a fire drinking beer. This time it was the latter, which is fine, but: the older I get, the more I've realized I can sit around drinking beer far more often than I can get out in nice weather in a new location and ride. Drinking beer is pretty consistent from place to place; new places often have new things to see. So in attempting to balance both, I drank beer late into the night, slept late, and rode in the afternoon. As the weather was marginal that day, The Wife and I stopped in at a large flea market by Lake Park, IA. And there were many interesting things to see.........

Fine metal working:

Really ugly children:
State of the art shooting accessories:

Folk art (I couldn't fit these on the bike):Interesting motorcycles:
And the people (I think) who ride them:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Does It Come With Special Sauce?

Courtesy of Cap'n Ken's, Lake Park, Iowa. Nothing like this on the menu first thing in the morning after staying up with a bunch of bikers swilling cheap beer 'til 0200. Me, I stuck with the biscuits and gravy that morning. I like my morning grease intake in a traditional form.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where does this pattern actually blend in?


As someone who's spent two years in Iraq and Afghanistan, and another year peacekeeping in Egypt because the Regular Army doesn't have the bodies for our international make-nice-with-each-other missions (note: three deployments aren't much compared to many of the RA troops I've served with), everything I would want to say about September 11th was said here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Camping, Non-Military Style

Recently spent some time with The Wife out in the woods to get away from the house for a bit. We headed to Ledges State Park, taking the main bike along with the Cracker Camper on the back of the chase truck. Ledges has some beautiful views, proving that Iowa is not flat in the same sense as Kansas or North Dakota:

It's also a great area for those interested in butterflies; one has to dodge them when the sun is out. Of course, there are other critters wandering about also:

That critter tried to land on the wife; at around two inches long, she wasn't having any of that. Then there are these:

These were running about four inches long, and moved pretty quick. Creeps the hell out me; never much cared for critters with lots of legs.

But there's always something pleasant to do when camping, like playing with the cast iron:

Pan-fried soft shell with refried beans, then piles of other goodies. You can eat that sucker like a pizza, and it tastes damn fine with a beer.