Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Over 1000!!!!!

It’s a magical number! There were thousand plane raids in WWII, thousand mile endurance races, and thousand calorie hamburgers. But now we’ve had over 1000 visits to this blog this month, a new high. In fact, every month it’s steadily increasing!! Thanks to all of you and keep looking and please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Zoot Shoot rules are on the street!

Our friends at the American Zoot Shooters Association (AZSA) have released the latest version of the rules. This update is very helpful and especially helpful to new shooters. The founding members have established some excellent rules, such as a 10 foot rule for authenticity and the use of .22 caliber weapons for new shooters. A lot of other procedural rules and target definitions are included also. Make no mistake, this sport is going somewhere. Even the TV show “Top Shot” had a Zoot like match in a prohibition era setting featuring the Colt Official Police Revolver and an elimination challenge with Thompson Model 1928 SMGs. I’m particularly excited about the use of .22 Long rifle weapons for new shooters. There are some great period style .22 caliber rifles such as the recently discontinued Taurus Model 62 series or the Thompson look a like conversion for the Ruger 10/22 (http://www.1022fungun.com/store/pc/home.asp). For handguns the very cool 1911-22 looks like a real winner (http://www.1911-22.com/). Pretty exciting, Zoot shooter is the first action shooting sport to embrace the .22LR. I would be fun to have an all 22 match, I better find that .22 caliber Colt Service Ace in the back of my safe. BTW the complete rules as well as membership info is here: http://www.zootshooters.com/rules

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sons of Confederate Veterans

It’s here, the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Sadly, without any fanfare, the largest event since the founding of our country, seems to be passing without much notice. In the South, attempts to commemorate Confederate Generals have fallen to the cries of the same old race baiting hucksters who cannot appreciate history.

Fortunately there is a great group of genuine American patriots who appreciate history and seek truth and justice on behalf of the Confederate soldier. This is the Sons of Confederate Veterans, of which I’m proud to be a member. Be clear, I don’t speak for the organization, I’m just a member, and a new member at that. I joined to honor my Grandmother’s family, stand up for truth, and help preserve the noble history and honor of the Confederate Soldier . The SCV promotes Confederate soldier grave marking and recognition, historic reenactments, education and other worthwhile causes.

I especially like the SCVs dedication to history. It’s a great place to talk about civil War era weapons. There is also a the Sons of Union Veterans , an organization with similar interests. Depending on your ancestry, either organization is a great place for “Those hear the sound of the guns”.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Corporal Frank W. Buckles

Frank Woodruff Buckles (February 1, 1901 – February 27, 2011) was one of the last three surviving World War I veterans and the last living American veteran of the war. Although not in the military at the time, Buckles spent the majority of World War II as a prisoner of war. After the world wars, Buckles married in San Francisco in 1946 and moved to Gap View Farm in Charles Town, West Virginia. His wife, Audrey, gave birth to their daughter in 1955.

A widower at age 98, he worked on his farm until age 105. In his last years, he was the Honorary Chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation, actively trying to have the District of Columbia War Memorial renamed the National World War I Memorial. Buckles was also a Shriner, a Freemason, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a Church going man.

At the time of his death, Buckles was the oldest verified World War I veteran in the world, the second-oldest male military veteran in the world and the last field veteran of the war (though his role was medical in nature). He was increasingly honored during his last years, and was laid to rest on March 15, 2011 at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Monday, March 14, 2011

If you're in the Kearney, MO area........A great event!!

Jesse James Frontier Revolver Shoot
April 9, 2011
The James Farm
21216 Jesse James Farm Road
Kearney, MO 64060

Cap and Ball Revolvers(replicas O.K.)
Frontier Cartridge Revolvers (replicas O.K.)
Fixed Sights and Dueling Stance (one hand ) only, total of 35 Shots on 5 targets
Participants are encouraged to “dress for the part”

$15 dollar entry fee (includes one year membership in the Friends of the James Farm)
($5 for an additional special target of General Ewing the man who issued Order #11)
Registration Begins at 8 AM
Safety briefing and Shoot begin at 9 AM
Call 816-736-8500 for more info

This is friendly and informal, the shoot usually ends about noon. Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old guns and old sights.

Shooting the old classic guns is a thrill. It transports us back to exciting and adventurous times. Actually using the original guns and original type of ammunition is a unique and rewarding experience. However, there are some complications. One is the sights used on many older guns do not compare favorably with the newer designs that a shooter may be used to. The Model 1911, P08 Luger, and numerous others have smallish sights that can disappear in low light or glare out in bright sunlight. Many older revolvers have a half moon front sight that can really reflect light. This can ruin accuracy and reduce the fun of a shooting session. The problem is worse on guns that have had some finish wear and bare metal is exposed. I recently ran into this problem when firing a Luger and a 1911 on a poorly lit indoor range.

Here are a few options, a good one is to use a sight black spray. This cuts reflection, mitigates finish wear, and helps define the sight to the eye. Of course another is to replace the sights, this can be done on pistols or revolvers, BUT, don’t compromise collectability or originality. For older fixed sight S&W and Colt revolvers, a nifty rear sight replacement is the Wonder sight. Check it out here; http://www.hollowpointmold.com/wondersight/

The wonder sight is adjustable, removable and a great design that dates to the 1930s. While it won’t help the half moon front sight very much, the sight picture by the new rear is great. My Argentine 1927 (M1911A1 clone) I’ve elected to replace the sights. This particular specimen has no collector due to its large import marks, replaced barrel, and importer refinish. Putting correct or retro style sights (just a little larger that the originals) is inexpensive and makes sense. Especially if I decide to use this as a main match gun for Zoot Shooting.

On pistols like the Luger or Mauser C96, I just live with the originals, It’s just part of the fun. For many pistols replacement high visibility sights are just not made. The FN Model 1903 fortunately has decent sights, and this will be my main match gun, for the beginning anyway.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Greatest Generation, the sands of Iwo Jima, and a 1911

These pictures are of a Colt Model 1911 45 ACP pistol made in 1918, and carried during the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. As you can see, it sustained heavy damage after being struck by a Japanese rifle or machinegun bullet. It was probably older than the Marine who carried it. The pistol, as a shield, may have saved his life. The story with this pistol is that the Marine was injured, but spared serious injury when the bullet hit the 1911. The pistol and holster are in the care of the veterans’ family. The brave Marine who carried it passed 3 years ago. Just one more story from a generation were as the saying goes, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue”.