Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Moultrie cam.

New cam has a MUCH less wild-angle view.  Every other cam I have owned, (and that's getting to be a pile now...), hasn't had this narrow angle.  Always something new.

  Feeder was vomiting corn all over.  I turned the time and intensity down.  Battery probably dead now and I don't have a charger yet.

  Haven't checked it in a week.  This is kind of a lost deer season as other events over-ride hunting.  I noticed how many dead does were along the highway last Tuesday when I drove to Longview for a photoshoot.  That was probably the heart of the rut.  Tapering off now.  

  Going to have to move this cam back.  It does point North for good lighting.  Have to find another tree.  Most of the files were blank plus a couple IR frames.  I obviously don't understand it yet.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Texas State Rifle Association Garand/1903 Springfield/M1 Carbine/Vintage Military/Modern Military State Championship.

  I guess that would be the TSRAGSCVMM, or something like that.  Seasonal weather cut the comfort factor but folks seemed to shoot along briskly in spite of it.  Two days of shooting under the organizational skills of TSRA Match Director Karl Schultz with assistance from John Jebaby, Dave Wilson, Roy Plumlee running a Service Pistol Match and Ron Leraas on the Carbine line.  Thanks to all those guys for putting on a solid weekend of shooting.

  As usual, the old wooden rifles came out of the safes and closets and acquitted themselves with normal accuracy.  Karl Schultz issued 30-06 ammo for the Garand and Springfield match and we shot through quite a bit of CMP HXP.

  Here's some photos from Saturday and just a few minutes of the action.  Four relays shot each day with 16 shooters for the CMP Bulls-eye Service Pistol LEG match on Sunday.

The Shooting McDaniels Clan burning HXP.  

The Swashbuckling John Ilzhofer preps an AR carbine for the Modern Military Match.

John Jebaby on the line.

Target scored at the new 200 yard berm.

David Keys fires his 1903A3 Springfield.

The McDaniels getting their shooting faces on.

Mitchell Hogg anchored the line on the high end with his dad's 1903A3.

The line firing under slightly misty conditions.

Competitors headed downrange to score targets.

Many Swiss K31s now find themselves in Texas.

Jebaby firing Garand.

Part of the line from above.

A Swiss K31 almost too pretty to shoot!

Eric McDaniel on his way to medaling with a gun three times as old as he is.

A gorgeous Garand between strings.

Les Baer only comes out for LEG it was happy.

Firing center line.

This is kind of how it went, for me.

Bill Aten firing a Swede.

Keith Stephens watches Will Willhite shoot M1 Garand.

  Thanks to the Terrell Rifle and Pistol Club for hosting us again.  That's a great facility.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cousin Wallace: Colt and S&W Target Revolvers.


                                               Colt vrs Smith & Wesson Target Revolvers

Most folks who know me realize my love of shooting many types of firearms and my sometimes insatiable desire to do side by side testing to determine, at least in my own mind, what works best in a variety of categories. Function/reliability, accuracy, practicality, value for the money, appearance, pride of ownership and "shootability" are usually a few of the things I form opinions on during my evaluations. Of course, these are "my" opinions and like Ford vrs Chevy, others will obviously have a favorite.

I am fortunate to have a friend with a great collection of firearms who is more than happy to loan me anything in his collection in order to do these "unofficial" personal evaluations. I enjoy getting to experience all these different firearms and sharing with others what I find through these reports. I'm not a professional writer but I hope these reports are informative and serve to entertain. I try to "tell it like it is"...sometimes with my favorites not coming out on top in all categories. Oh well, that's part of the fun!

This eval deals with a decades old debate about old classic target revolvers. The Colt Officer's Model Target in both .22 rimfire and .38 Special vrs the Smith & Wesson model 17-4 "K-22 Masterpiece" and model 14-4 "K-38 Masterpiece."  All four of these revolvers had 6" barrels and were in excellent shape. All were very handsome with beautiful blued finishes. In these days of polymer framed hi-cap autos, it was nice to handle these great wheelguns made of steel and wood. I enjoy revolvers every bit as much as autoloaders, especially quality brands such as these.

I gathered several types of ammo and headed for a private range. Range time is hard to come by so I had to shoot on a day with gusty southwest winds. I really wanted to shoot "freehanded" but the wind was so high nothing would have been relevant. Therefore all accuracy testing was from sandbags at 25 yards on the B-8 target. Even from the bench, the pesky winds made it difficult to wring the most accuracy out of these revolvers and I'm afraid my tests have an amount of error in them. I tried to hold steady but, it was really tough. I would have loved to have been able to evaluate some double-action shooting too. Since learning to shoot DA, it's really pretty effective with a properly tuned action. Briefly trying the DA mode on these four revolvers quickly revealed only the K-22's action was smooth enough to render accurate DA shooting.  

I started the testing from the bench with the .22 revolvers. I noted both had cylinders with recessed chambers. Cylinder diameter on the Colt was 1.552" and 1.445" on the S&W. Weights were 42 ounces on the Colt and 43 oz on the S&W. The Colt's barrel was plain and had a more pronounced taper measuring .574" dia at the muzzle. The S&W had a less obvious taper and a solid rib on top, ending with a muzzle dia of .593". Although their weights were almost the same, The Colt's weight was mostly toward the rear. The S&W's was more muzzle heavy, leading to a steadier hold. Again, this is my opinion and I believe this would be a factor If firing without support. The Colt's front sight is about 1/10" wide and used for elevation changes by changing sight blades of various heights. The S&W's front sight is fixed and wider, being about 1/8" wide. Both have just about the right amount of gap on each side when aligned with the rear notch. The Colt's rear sight is adjustable for just windage and the S&W's has both windage and elevation adjustments. I was happy with either sight picture. Kinda nice not having to deal with those horrible but popular 3-dot sights!

Now to the shooting. I grabbed what was handy on the shelf and took four different types. Remington .22 standard velocity 40gr solid ( CMP surplus, 1984 vintage), CCI Blazer .22LR High Vel 40gr solid, Winchester Hi-vel 37gr hollow-point and Remington 36gr Hi-vel HP I shot two 5-shot groups with each type from sandbags and averaged the group sizes. I've had better days to shoot and feel like both revolvers have the potential factor to deliver better performance in calmer conditions. The Colt's trigger was a bit harder than the sweet trigger of the K-22. The Colt's overall average was 2.40" and the S&W averaged 2.37" overall with the four ammo types....a dead heat. If the Colt's trigger had been smoother, it might have edged out the S&W in accuracy from the bench. I feel the S&W would hold an advantage if shot unsupported due to it's muzzle heavy feel....wonder if some folks would refer to this as better "balanced" old term I've heard all my life that, in my opinion, equates to "how good it feels in their hand." I could warm up to either revolver and probably shoot either to good effect but gotta give the nod to the sweet K-22....due to "better balance."

Next came the .38 calibres. Again, the Colt had a plain barrel with an elegant taper to a muzzle dia of .568" and the S&W again had a solid rib barrel, less tapered with a muzzle dia of .640". Cylinder dia on the Colt was 1.552" and 1.452 on the S&W. Neither cylinder was counterbored. The cylinder on the Colt was a tighter fit for one of my handloads using cast bullets sized to .358". They had to be seated in the cylinder with a firm push. Obviously the Colt's chambers were tighter. An old retired Officer with my department had mentioned his Colt Trooper had this same issue when he carried it on duty while the issued S&W's did not. The tight chambers could be an advantage in the accuracy department but for a combat gun it would worry me if I had to perform a quick reload from a speedloader. The Colt weighed 38 oz. The S&W had a red dot optic sight mounted and weighed 49 oz with the addition of that gizmo in place of the rear sight. This time the Colt had the sweeter trigger although I didn't care at all for the trigger shoe that was in place. The S&W's trigger felt really heavy & gritty, like a brand new, not broken in trigger. Very unlike most S&W triggers. It surely could benefit greatly from a trigger job! Even from the bench, the S&W trigger was difficult to deal with and not "pull" shots. The optic sight worked OK, not sure one could say this was a fair test since the Colt had standard iron sights. 

I chose five types of ammo, again firing from sandbags on the B-8 target @ 25 yards. My home cast Lee 148gr wadcutter over 3.0grs of Bullseye, the Remington 148gr HBWC over 3.0grs of Bullseye, another load using the Rem 148gr HBWC over 3.2grs of W231, the old standard .38 Special 158gr RNL (Remington factory load) and another Remington factory load, the 130gr FMC military loading. The most accurate load in both revolvers was the 148gr HBWC over the 3.0grs of Bullseye with the best 5-shot group of 1" recorded by the S&W K-38 when I was able to get five consistent trigger pulls. Overall though, the Colt averaged 2.094" and the S&W came in at 2.434"....advantage Colt, from the bench. With equal triggers I think the S&W would make up the difference if shot offhand due to more weight toward the muzzle. The Colt is a fine revolver and a hoot to shoot though. I liked both of them!

Final impressions: Both brands had their advantages. Both are obviously high quality and beautiful revolvers. I'll readily admit I'm a big S&W fan but the Colts may well edge them out in mechanical accuracy with all having equal sighting systems and smooth triggers. I've read Colt uses a different twist rate in their barrels and the old timers believed they held an accuracy advantage over the S&W...very well may be true! The Colt .38's barrel had 6 narrow lands & grooves with a LH twist. The S&W .38's barrel was a 5-groove RH twist with much wider lands. Can't say which holds an advantage, both worked.  I've also read the Colt's required a lot of tuning by someone who really understood them to arrive at a great trigger pull. I've shot an 8" Python in the past that had a fine trigger pull so, I know the Colt triggers can be improved. Neither of these two examples were particularly bad but both could have been better. The .38 Colt's trigger was much better than the .22 version. The K-22 S&W was just a sweetheart to shoot with an excellent trigger. Sadly, the K-38's trigger put it at a big disadvantage but, this can easily be fixed. I did try a few offhand shots in the wind to try to gain a feel for how all four of these revolvers would perform without a sandbag rest. All were fun but it is my belief and opinion, the S&W's hold the advantage here with their muzzle heavy feel compared to the light/whippy barrels of the Colts. Others may have a different opinion....Ford and Chevy thing, again.
As always, I welcome everyone's opinions and comments.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Daily Deercam, November 1, 2014. Opening day.

Mom and the twins.

She's a smart and experienced doe.  Got these twins alive and up.  

She doesn't like that cam much.


Just like the movie: Bambi!

Nice enough buck in the light. 

He's working a scrape.  Not a trophy, but nice sized.

Baby bucks.  Spike has lost a whole horn down to the socket on one side. 

Corn-fed coons.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cousin Wallace Trains them up.

All this week I've been @ APD Firing Range assisting/instructing our current class of Cadets in firearms.
We've cussed and discussed just about every conceivable aspect of shooting and launched a lot of lead at paper, falling plates, reactive paper targets and steel silhoettes (sp).
Shooting stance. Orientation of body armor to threat. Proper grip. Proper sight alignment. Proper trigger control.  Drawing from level three security holsters. Focusing on front sight. Weak hand/strong hand drills. Transition from handgun to carbine drills. Immediate action drills. Remedial action drills. One-handed malfunction clearing drills of handguns (Not once in thousands of rounds have I seen an actual malfunction of their Glocks in both 9x19mm or .40 S&W...we purposefully load 2 or 3 dummy rounds in their mags so they never know when their weapon will FTF). Tactical reloads. Slide lock reloads. Turn left/right/180 degrees toward threat & shoot drills. Shooting from sitting. Shooting supine. Shooting from side laying on non-weapon side/weapon side. Shooting prone flat/left side/right side. Shooting moving forward/laterally/backing up. Shooting w/weapon mounted lights. One-hand hand-held flashlight techniques. Two-handed flashlight techniques. Shooting with backlight. Shooting with no light. shooting with take-down/overhead flashing and/or strobe lights. Shooting with ambient light. Shooting after being blinded by light. Shooting with and without night sights. Being aware of muzzle flash. Getting off the "X" after delivering fire or during reloads.  Shooting drills with shotgun/birdshot. Shooting and what to expect from different types of buckshot (regular 00 Buck vrs Federal Tactical 00 Buck). Shooting shotgun slugs. Shooting practicals with less lethal (bean bag rounds). Shooting from cover vrs concealment. Shooting from under vehicles. Bounding overwatch drills. Providing cover fire. Communication during critical incidents. Shooting targets and being aware of the 3-D aspect. The 21 foot edged weapon rule, demonstrated. Timed hit from holster drills. Timed hit from sewell drills. .... I'm sure I've forgotten some of the other stuff we've done all week.
Training has come a long way in the last few years. I'm proud I'm able to help teach these new troops some of this. Also glad we have top-notch instructors! We really put these guys through the ringer! Our ultimate goal is to teach them enough to survive if they are unfortunate enough to get into more & more frequent deadly encounters. Our officer involved shootings have really been on the increase over the last few years...not good.
I'm also glad/fortunate to see what really works & don't work with different types of weapons. Like em or not, the Glock is one heck of a tool for law enforcement work. When you are charged w/training these FNG's, some of which have never fired a handgun, this is an important consideration. We have the data and experience to show the modern striker-fired sidearms have many advantages over DA/SA or SA autos....not trying to ruffle feathers as I like a lot of those types too....but have to admit SA XD's, Glocks & other striker-fired pistols are just superior in many categories.
Also got to admit I'm not as hard-headed on caliber choice as I used to be. With our wonderful Winchester "Talon" bullets, even the 9x19mm is a damned fine performer! Never been a big proponent of the .40 S&W but got to admit it's really performed nicely in actual shootings we've had. The .357 SIG and .45ACP ought to be icing on the cake! With that being said, some of these guys have no bizzness trying to shoot anything bigger than a 9x19....some were not performing up to par with the .40S&W were switched to a 9x19 and they are doing very well....guess that's what Tx DPS was thinking when they were going to switch from .357 SIG since it's quite a bit more frisky to shoot. I'm sticking to my .357 SIG as long as they allow it but, if forced to switch, as long as I could shoot +P+ Win Talons in a 9x19, I wouldn't feel nearly as bad as I would have 20 years ago without Talons. ( Can you tell I'm a fan of W-W Talons???? hahaha! ).
Anyhow, we've had some very practical/valuable training this week....probably would have cost a person $3K @ places like Thunder Ranch!  Good stuff!  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daily Deercam, Oct 28, 2014.

Just a few day to deer season.
Little buck.  Not the same as the little buck below.

Doe and two fawns on the scrape and having a little corn.

Suspiscious doe.  

She's seen that cam somewhere before.....

The flash goes off.

Both little bucks were on cam for the first shot, then two blank shots.  The flash scared them off.  Usually not the case.

Daily Deercam, Oct 24, 2014

Moved a cam.  My house cam isn't giving me any files on the cards.  Typical cam-death.

New cam placement on the 24th.  She's in a little scrape.


Looks like buck passing.

One of the little ones.

Passing the buck.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

You never hear this story these days...

They came as slaves: human cargo transported on British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.
Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. Some were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.
We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? We know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade.
But are we talking about African slavery? King James VI and Charles I also led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbour.
The Irish slave trade began when James VI sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.
By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade.
Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia.
Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.
Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.
As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.
African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (£50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than £5 Sterling). If a planter whipped, branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.
The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce.
Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish mothers, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their children and would remain in servitude.
In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls (many as young as 12) with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.
This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.
England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.
There is little question the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more, in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is also little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry.
In 1839, Britain finally decided on it’s own to end its participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded this chapter of Irish misery.
But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong. Irish slavery is a subject worth remembering, not erasing from our memories.
But, why is it so seldom discussed? Do the memories of hundreds of thousands of Irish victims not merit more than a mention from an unknown writer?
Or is their story to be the one that their English masters intended: To completely disappear as if it never happened.
None of the Irish victims ever made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These are the lost slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Daily Deercam, Tuesday, Sept 30.

Disappearing doe.

Little buck being awfully watchful.

Dang coons.

Kind of gotten the feeling that one of the fawns may be missing.

Fawn and young buck.

No telling.  It's not the whiskey bottle.