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Ann's Corner

VOLUME 106-----------APRIL 2011

SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'

WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY

April 7, 2011

Well, our first Hunter Education class of 2011 is history.  We graduated 13 students after a cold, wet field day at Hauser Lake Gun Club on Saturday April 2nd.  For more about the classes, visit our Hunter Education page via the button above left.

Of course the Hunter Education activities are my excuse for being late this month.  That and the fact that Spring is being very stubborn about arriving so we can do some serious shooting and gun testing.  I'm becoming more and more a fair-weather shooter as I get older.

Besides that, without gun stuff to talk about, I tend to spend too much time on the Soapbox anyway.  (Don't get your hopes up - You're in for some more Soapbox this month too)

In early march we did brave the cold and rain long enough to shoot a few target rounds with a huge snow pile as a backstop a few feet outside the basement door.  Christi shot a few magazines through her 9MM Glock, I burned through 20 or 30 rounds of .22 rimfire with my Belgian made Browning Nomad semi-auto, and Jennifer shot her Henry birthday rifle plus a few .243 Winchester rounds.

Jennifer with the .243, preparing to draw down on a discarded stuffed animal we were using for target practice.

There was no accuracy testing here, just some offhand plinking to give us an opportunity to sniff some gunpowder and smell cleaning solvent.  The shooting occurred on March 6th and as I write this I note that several of the bullets shot into the snow pile are now visible.  Most suffered no deformation and penetrated 3 to 4 feet into the snow bank.  There was little, if any difference between the 9MM and .22 slugs as to penetration.

These are a few of the spent bullets I quickly grouped together to get a photo.  These all appear to be either 9MM or .22's

Note the bullet in the lower right of the group.  This one and a few of the other .22 bullets exhibited mushrooming on the end, but most did not.  My speculation is that these came from hyper-velocity CCI cartridges, while the others are regular high velocity Remington hollow-points.

The .243's were light weight, jacketed varmint bullets; 58 grain Hornady V-Max at just over 3200 feet per second.  I was able to find only one jacket peeled back in a jagged mass with only a small amount of lead in the bottom of the cup.  I may find more when the rest of the snow melts, but it could be that those bullets blasted through the snow bank into the dirt hillside beyond.

Another reason I'm anxious to get out and do some shooting is to try out the new toys in the toybox.  I reported on the rifle machine rest in last October's newsletter.  Of course I got that assembled just in time for the snowiest November in recorded history!

The latest is a new chronograph from Oehler.  (pronounced, A-ler)  This is the model 35P, which is the gold standard for many professional gun writers who actually get paid for writing about this stuff.

In the Spring of 2006, I decided that I needed(?) a new chronograph to supplement the old Shooting Crony.  Gotta make sure that we have enough redundancy to ensure accuracy, right?  Heck, something might break!

In the interest of saving $150 I passed on the Oehler and ordered a PACT unit.  For the trials and tribulations of that experience see the June and July 2006 newsletters.  The PACT went back to the factory, and I logged on the Oehler website to order the 35P. (www.oehler-research.com)

I did so only to find that they had quit making the 35P in order to concentrate on their commercial testing equipment marketed to ammo manufacturers and ballistics labs.

A few weeks ago I read that Oehler had decided to gear up for a limited run of the 35P chronograph.  A phone call to the Texas factory soon had one on the UPS truck, headed my way.  Of course the pricing of the new unit put the hurt on my credit card for over $200 above the price of 4 years ago!  (Oh well, we've always said we intend to spend Rick's inheritance while we're still alive!)  Besides that, this new offering even comes complete with a case that packs all the gear into one easy to transport unit!

   

The Oehler 35P Chronograph and Carrying Case

What is unique about the Oehler as compared to other makes and models, it utilizes three 'skyscreens' instead of two, and actually gives you two velocity readings for each shot.  They call the reading between the first and second screen the 'proof' velocity.  The reading between the first and third screen is the velocity of record and is used in the other ballistic calculations the unit can perform.  A major difference between the 'proof' velocity and record velocity reading is supposed be an alert if something has gone astray as in a faulty reading, bullet passing outside the reading window of a screen, or other error.

If we ever get some Spring weather around here I'll be experimenting with these toys and provide more detail about how they perform.  Speaking of Spring; our snow was nearly gone here at the ranch until on April 7th we awakened to 3 new inches of the blasted stuff!

Thought I'd forgotten about the soapbox didn't you?

Last month I talked about some things where "gradually and incrementally" we have become accustomed to, and accepted conditions that would be hard to argue are in our best interest.  Being willing to accept 'less for more' when spending our hard earned dollars for example.

Slowly but surely advancing our causes isn't always bad, of course.  Thanks to pro second amendment and gun rights organizations and individuals, we have managed to "gradually and incrementally" increase our abilities to defend ourselves and our families by being legally armed!

Two major U S Supreme court decisions over the past two years have solidified the proposition that the second amendment does, in fact, affirm an individual right to arm ourselves for the purpose of self defense.  Note that I said 'affirm' not 'give,' adhering to the principle that the Bill of Rights simply prevents our government from abridging rights that already exist!

Over the course of years, state legislatures have moved to provide some method of legal concealed carry in every state but Illinois and Wisconsin.  (Of course, Washington, DC doesn't allow legal concealed carry, but it would be hard to argue that they are part of the 'real world' anyway!)

In just the past few months, at least two additional states have passed legislation that says their non-criminal citizens can legally carry concealed without government permit of any kind.  Others are on the cusp of doing the same thing.

Contrary to the cries and dire predictions of the anti-gun crowd, these moves appear to have contributed to making our streets and homes safer.  At least the crime statistics would indicate so.

Remember those places I mentioned a few lines ago where firearm rights are severely curtailed?  Any thoughts about why Chicago and Washington, DC consistently rank at or near the top in homicide rates?

While I see the gun rights movements helping take the country in the right direction, there are still too many of us promoting or acquiescing to government entities that continue to "gradually and incrementally" take control of more and more aspects of our lives.

Here is a humorous (or maybe not) look at one vision of what the future may hold if government is allowed to continue to try and be all things to all people.  This is another item from the public comment and humor pages of my ISP's website.

Winston, "come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to her husband.. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered. Actually Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington . Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its “unseemly violence” and the “bad example it sets for the rest of the world,” Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn’t nearly as exciting.

Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another TofuTurkey.

Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey. And ever since the government officially changed the name of “Thanksgiving Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020 to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the TofuTurkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats—which were monitored and controlled by the electric company—be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. “The RHC’s resources are limited,” explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines—for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn’t want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added “inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity” in order to stay “one step ahead of the terrorists.” Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for “unequal scrutiny,” even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. “A living Constitution is extremely flexible,” said the Court’s eldest member, Elena Kagan. “ Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example,” she added.

Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether... Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism or any of a number of other calamities were “just around the corner,” but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn’t help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to “spur economic growth.” This time they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential. Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them.

He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2010, when all the real nonsense began. “Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if we’d just said ‘enough is enough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

Makes one think doesn't it?

This month I'm gonna bore you with another piece of my Cowboy Poetry.  This one was written in 1998 for our Chaplain at the Elks Lodge to use in the Lodge Easter Service.  Since Easter Sunday is just a few weeks away, I thought I'd replace the regular hillbilly wisdom piece with it:

THE COWBOY’S BIBLE

Out in a line shack, been here all winter
Settin’ by the fire, diggin’ out a splinter
I’ve X’ed my calendar, ever’ durn night
Today’s Easter Sunday, I’m sure that I’m right

Mom read us the Bible, ‘bout this special day
Jesus ‘rose from the grave, from the tomb where he lay
He ‘rose to save us, from hell and damnation
The most wonderful gift, in all God’s creation

I aint got no Bible, an’ if’n I had
I caint read a lick, didn’t listen to Dad
Dad said to us kids, “Schoolin’s the way”
I didn’t listen, still caint read today

All that I wanted, when I got growed up
Was just be a cowboy, that was enuf
Well, now here I am, in this lonely old shack
Hell, If they begged me, I wouldn’t go back

I know I caint read, the Bible and all
But Spring is upon us, hear them meadowlarks call
My Bible aint wrote, in no leather bound book
It’s right there outside, In that babblin’ brook

It’s them baby foals, out there on the hill
The miracle of birth, is surely God’s will
It’s the new baby calves, their mommas and such
For this “Cowboy’s Bible”, thanks, Lord, Very much!

Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .

'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!

THE OL' HILLBILLY
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