Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Basic Arsenal

 As anyone paying a bit of attention knows, guns and shooting are my hobby (even if I don't get to partake  in my hobby nearly as much as I would like). I tend to spend more time than is healthy reading about guns and shooting, watching YouTube videos on the subject, tweaking my wish list, etc. 

I recently came across a YouTube video by the 3 of 7 Project discussing the five basic firearms that any prepper should own.  He went through his suggestions in some detail including some recommended brands and models. Briefly, his list was as follows:

1) Semi-Automatic .22LR Rifle - His specific recommendation was the Ruger 10/22. 

2) Semi-Automatic, Polymer Framed, 9mm Handgun - He recommended the Glock 19X.

3) Pump Action, 12 gauge Shotgun - I believe the Mossberg 500/590 series was his main preference, but  the Remington 870 was also mentioned.

4) Bolt action rifle in .308 Winchester - The Remington 700 was the specific choice here. 

5) Semi-Automatic, AR-15 Rifle in 5.56mm/.223 Remington

His argument was that those 5 guns could handle the majority of any person's needs from target practice, to home defense, to varmint hunting, wing shooting/bird hunting, big game hunting, concealed carry, etc. His explanation was well reasoned, and I have no particular quibbles with his reasoning or his recommendations. I would be quite content in my ability to handle 99% of shooting tasks with those 5 firearms. 

Being the opinionated gun nut that I am, I would be remiss if I didn't make a list of my own with variations on that theme. 

1) A Bolt Action .22 LR Rifle. There is nothing wrong with a semi-auto .22 or the Ruger 10/22 in particular. I have one, and I enjoy shooting it. It is very accurate and reliable. That said, I feel that the bolt action is more accurate and reliable than even the very best semi-autos money can buy, and there is really no discernable advantage to a semi-auto action on a .22 rifle (except as a cheap bullet hose). 

I have shot various bolt action .22s including the Savage Mk II series, CZ 452, Ruger American Rimfire Precision and others. I got my shooting merit bag in Boy Scouts with a single shot .22 bolt action (probably a Winchester though I have no clear memory of such or anyway to verify it). Since I already have a 10/22, I would most likely lean towards the Ruger American Rimfire series due to the common magazine. If extreme accuracy and excellent triggers are more your speed, the CZ 452 is highly desirable. Also, you can't go too far down the rimfire rabbit hole without someone singing the praises of Anschutz rifles. Whichever route you go, get one with a threaded barrel and you are good to go for quiet plinking, teaching shooting fundamentals, varmint hunting and pest control. 

2) Duty Sized, Polymer Framed Handgun, chambered in .40S&W. Before we get to your obvious question about why I would suggest the .40 S&W chambering over the 9mm, let's talk about what I mean by duty sized. By duty sized, I mean a gun with a frame that you can get a full firing grip with all four fingers of your strong hand and at least 4 inches of barrel. Since Glocks are pretty ubiquitous in the industry and pretty much everyone else builds something to compete with the Glocks, I will use Glock models as a reference point.  In the .40S&W chambering, the two models I consider to be duty sized are the Glock 22 (4.6 inch barrel, full sized, 15 round magazine frames) and Glock 23 (4 inch barrel, "compact" sized, 13 round frames). An argument could be made that the Glock 35 (5.3 inch barrel, full sized, 15 round frame) is also a duty gun. I personally think it crosses over into hunting and gamer gun territory, but you do you. 

So, why .40S&W instead of 9mm? In a word: versatility. With a barrel swap, a .40 can be converted to shoot .357Sig. Another barrel swap and different magazines (and maybe a slide and recoil spring depending...) allows you to shoot 9mm. In a prepper/WROL situation, do you want the ability to feed your self defense handgun from one food source or three? Modern polymer guns such as the Glock or the M&P use the exact same frame for the 9mm/.357Sig/.40S&W calibers. The .40 and .357 even share the exact same mags. So, swapping calibers within the same frame size is quick and easy. 

Given the market share of Glocks in the US (over 50% between civilian and law enforcement last time I saw any stats) and the fact that I shoot them as good or better than everything except a Stacatto C2, I would stick with Glock as the brand for my self defense/concealed carry/combat handgun selection. I would probably lean towards the Glock 23 as it is easier to conceal than the G22 and no less effective.

3) 12 Gauge pump action shotgun. As a poor who cannot afford a Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun, I HAVE to agree with 3 of 7 on this one. I would be perfectly happy with a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500/590, but I really WANT the Beretta. The tang mounted safety of the Mossberg is a nice feature especially for lefties UNLESS you get one with a pistol grip. Then, you will have to get used to shifting your grip to operate the safety. The Remington uses a more traditional trigger guard mounted safety which is great for right handed shooters but not favorable for lefties. I think the Remington enjoys slightly better aftermarket support than the Mossy does. So, the Remington 870 is my choice unless I win the lottery and can get the Beretta. Did I mention I want the Beretta?

4) Bolt Action Rifle in .308. Again, no argument here. I like the Remington 700 AAC-SD Tactical with the threaded barrel. Unless I can find a deal on an older Sendero with a fluted barrel or a 5R barreled version. Arguments could be made for other calibers, but I agree with the choice of .308. America is a .30cal nation and will be for the foreseeable future. The American military has been using .30cal bullets for almost 130 years at this point, and American hunters have been taking game with it just as long. I would not suggest anything smaller than 6.5mm; and, frankly, anything bigger than 7.62mm/.308 is an answer in search of a question in my opinion. 

5) This last section is where I might have a divergent opinion from that of 3 of 7. That's not to say he's wrong because the 5.56mm/.223 Remington AR-15 IS an excellent choice for an intermediate range/caliber rifle. It can do a lot of things really well within its limitations. I would not reject one or hesitate to use one. However, I think compelling arguments can be made for using a pistol caliber carbine or a lever action in this role as well. An equally good argument can be made for an AR in .300 Blackout or a Galil or Tavor or something similar.  Or just skipping this section altogether. It's not like you can't defend a home with a pistol or a shotgun. 

It's an interesting thought exercise (for me at least). I'd really love to find an excuse to put a revolver on the list, but I think it's place is in the "next 5" after the first five are taken care of. What would you pick for your basic five?

Monday, August 29, 2022

New Job

I made a passing reference in a recent post to having lost my job last year literally days after closing on the new to us old house. It was not a happy making experience. The reasons why I lost my job are not terribly relevant to this discussion. Having just bought a house, I really had no desire to be unemployed so shortly after obligating myself to spending an obscene amount of money over the next 30 years of my life. Suffice it to say, my former employer had a much different opinion on my continued value to the company than I did.

While they may or may not have exhibited poor judgment in their decision to send me on my way, I still know and respect most of my former colleagues there. So, I will not start flinging poo out of any sort of misguided effort to seek vengeance. I will state my personal opinion that a company that SAYS they value work/life balance should NOT terminate an employee they KNOW full well is busting their butt to stay on top of work while helping care for elderly in laws one of which had Alzheimer's.  

Call me cynical and jaded, but anyone who believes that a for profit company gives two flying flips about your work life balance needs their head examined. 

It's been over a year. I'm over it. It was painful when it happened. Unemployment sucks. I found temporary contract employment within a few months to get us off Unemployment Compensation Benefits while continuing to search for permanent employment. As a side note, staffing agencies are in business to make money and will gladly lie to your face stretch the truth in order to file a position to get paid their finders fee. I was told positions were "temp to perm" twice only to find out that such was not the case much to my dismay.

That said, as some of you who follow the blog's FaceBook page already know and the title gave away, I now have a new job. I started this morning with a new to me company. The job is nothing special or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I will be doing pretty much what I have been doing for the last several years for a new set of bosses. So, same stuff, different day. The pay is better which is nice. I still get to work from home at least 4 days a week. The one day a week will be to go into the office "for meetings and collaboration". It remains to be seen how things will work out. 

I am cautiously optimistic while reserving judgment. The good news is that we will have full time benefits again. I won't have to sweat missing time for work (as a contractor, you only get paid for the hours you work). That, more than anything, is what's important right now. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Friday Funnies

Years ago when my cousin was dating his now wife, I told her that he was an okay guy as long as she overlooked his midget goat fetish. He didn't find it funny. Fortunately, she had a better since of humor. 

I've never been sure why vacuum cleaner companies don't embrace this as a marketing strategy. It's the only product that is good if it sucks, no good if it doesn't, and the harder it sucks the better it is. 

Exist, snore loudly, snore quitely, stop breathing, go to work, come home from work, belch, fart, scratch,...


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Call It a Weakness

Hi. My name is Daddy Hawk, and I have an addiction. I like guns. Some more than others. I have spoken of my love affair for firearms before and 1911s in particular. Say what you will about a 100+ year old horse pistol, but John Moses Browning made arguably the most enduring handgun design of all time. It's a home run of engineering and mechanical art in my humble opinion. 

That said, I have a confession to make. As much as I love a nice 1911, I would take a 3 inch Smith & Wesson K frame (or L frame for that matter) revolver over a 1911 just about any day of the week and twice on Sunday. 

I'm not going to get into the esoteric weeds of firearms Nerdvana detailing the history and development of the various frame sizes. Suffice it to say, you would be hard pressed to find a better balance of power and portability in a medium framed revolver. Here are a few choice examples of the breed stolen shamelessly from FaceBook and other places. 

Smith Model 10 (.38 Special). Per the creator of this custom masterpiece: it started life with a 4" barrel. A 3" heavy barrel from a Model 13 was put in its place, slab sided and the cylinder flutes slab sided off as well. Trigger and hammer replaced with polished stainless while the frame and barrel were reblued. A normal 4" Model 10 weighs in at around 34 ounces. This one should be about 4 to 6 ounces less. 

The same gunsmith that made the Model 10 above, tweaked this Model 65 (.357 Magnum). It was a police trade in with a 4' barrel. The 'smith swapped out the 4" barrel for a 3" barrel from a "Lady Smith" Model 65, gave it a matte stainless finish and polished the cylinder turn ring. That is just gorgeous in my opinion. 

Last up is a bone stock example of a 3" Model 686+ which is an L frame, 7 shot, .357 Magnum. It's a little heavier than the K frames, but it will handle a steady diet of the heaviest magnum rounds that would wear down K frames over time. The K frames are guns that you mainly shoot .38s out of and carry with magnums for serious purposes.

Modern, polymer, striker fired pistols have NOTHING on these revolvers aesthectically. Tell me those aren't beautiful, well balanced guns. I dare you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Evil Snek

In a comment earlier, I mentioned to Cederq about my mother's property being an apparent singles bar for copperhead snakes looking to mate. They are everywhere. Why is this a problem you ask?

THIS is why. At a quick glance, can you see that sneaky sumb*tch??? It was hiding out in dead leaves under the metal fire pit we were removing that was disintegrating into a crumbling mess of ferrous oxide (aka "rust"). Hell yeah it scared the daylights out of me. They are ill tempered and quick to strike. While not usually fatal to adults, they are dangerous to kids and pets. And it would ruin your day to get bit by one no matter how you slice it. Word has it that they exude a strong sulphur/rotten egg smell which just proves that they are minions of Satan. 

We have a simple rule here at Annabelle Acres regarding copperheads: Nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. 

I've killed two so far this summer alone. The first was the one in the picture above. The second was one that I discovered at the steps to the RV AFTER I had already stepped over it once unawares. I pretty much had a full body shiver both times. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

What A Difference a Day Makes

 As some of you are probably aware unless you live in the artic circle or on a deserted tropical island after a 3 hour tour, Texas weather has been after it this summer with a vengeance. We had over a month of 100+ degree heat. There hasn't been a drop of rain since May, and about the only green in site is a dollar bill being blown by on the wind. 

For example, I offer pictures of the two stock tanks (ponds) on my mother's property taken on August 3RD as the "before" exhibit.

The little pond - bone dry. Not a drop of water or even a mud pie to be seen. 

The big pond. Not quite dry, but well below normal and about 6 feet lower than it's highest level. The green is duck weed which is an invasive algae. 

So, that was just over two weeks ago. Then, the heavens opened up and poured forth a deluge that set records for rainfall. Since midnight, we've gotten 8.4 inches of rain 6.1 of which fell between midnight and 8:00AM. 

The big pond this evening after the rains stopped. I was very surprised by how much duck weed survived.

The small pond around lunch time before the rains stopped. 

An unfortunate casualty of all that rain was a 45 foot tall post oak near mom's house. 

The trunk has a circumference of 6 feet 8 inches. If my math is correct, the diameter is a little over 2 feet (maybe 25 or 26 inches). The canopy was about 40 feet wide. Just the main part of the trunk is roughly 3000 pounds. 

I will be spending quite a bit of time with a chainsaw and safety gear over the next couple of  weeks. Anyone need some firewood?

Friday, August 19, 2022

Friday Funnies


I'm generally a fan of Ford's, but I have to say I think they lost their everlovin' minds calling a 4 door electric sedan a Mustang. 

I am not nearly as enamoured with Texas sweet tea as I used to be. I like to be able to taste the tea which is kinda the point. So, I usually go for half and half at restaurants. 

Herein lies a perfect example of my issues with EVs in general. The shear expense of properly maintaining an EV is mind boggling compared to a comparable gas engined car. I can go out tomorrow and buy a brand new, factory engine for my truck to the tune of $6000. A performance tuned crate motor might be twice that IF I'm feeling froggy and want more horsepower. A new Tesla battery is over $20,000 AND they have to be replaced every so many years because batteries lose their ability to charge over time. I will get 10-20 years out of a gas motor and 2-3 times the miles before I have to even think about a motor swap. Case on point: 2007 Lincoln Navigator sitting in the driveway with 303,000 miles. Still running strong. I know it has cam phaser issues. I know I'm on borrowed time with it. But  that's okay because it's PAID FOR, AND I know how to work on it. 

Have you MET My Sister...The Devil? Let's not get me started on the in-laws.

I should have done more of that, and I am trying to teach M&M to do that now.

I caught two FaceBook bans almost back to back for innocuous stuff. First was a 24 hour ban for using the phrase "Little Book of Hate" which was a direct quote of an OP in a comment. The second was a 48 hour ban for using the word "kidnap". 

Truth be told, they are all kinda crap cars. Of the choices offered, I would probably have to go the James Bond Aston Martin simply because of the toys. Having said that, I would fit better in The General Lee or the Starksy & Hutch Gran Torino. 

My Sister...The Devil is an avid crocheter. Does that make her a crochety old woman?

...AND peeing for distance.

This happens regularly. Sometimes even in the same neighborhood.