Saturday, July 31, 2010

Probably A Dumb Question...

Here is a little thing I don't quite understand. The Government Motors Volt will, it is alleged, run on electricity. Now this $41,000.00 car will not make electricity, it has a big battery that needs to be charged. So, instead of pulling up to a gas station it has to be plugged in and charged, right?

Please pardon me for bein' a pore dumb redneck but isn't half the country going through near crisis problems with not enough electricity being generated? Wasn't that a big part of why the last Gov. of California being recalled and poor old Ah-nold being elected?

So, I reckon I'm not quite smart enough for this. You buy a car with the passenger room and performance of a cheap compact, for a luxury/performance car price. Then you won't be able to take a vacation in it, any motel would throw you out if you hooked it up, plus it doesn't have the range to be able to go very far out on the freeways, anyhow.

Seeing as how we taxpayers are on the hook for this thing, shouldn't somebody have thought of this, already?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Hoo-Rah From Breitbart And Jounolist

Before I get into Journolist and Breitbart, it seems that the National Enquirer has found two more women complaining about Algore and his Second Chakra. When I was a kid regular newspapers had news and the supermarket tabloids had fluff. Now it's the opposite. I reckon the Enquirer staff didn't go to Columbia School of Journalism.

The left is still doing it's best to make the Breitbart revelations all about this Sherrod woman, still. Unfortunately some on the right are jumping on that bandwagon. Let me repeat, it's not about Sherrod. I would suspect that Breitbart has some other tapes, with other people speaking at various NAA(L)CP functions. Suppose he has something like the NAA(L)CP wildly applauding Cynthia McKinny in one of her delusional diatribes against the Jooos!!!!111!!!!11 Should we then cry tears the size of horse droppings that she lost her job in Congress?

Anyhow, don't bet against Breirtbart, he's done this before and every time the left thought they'd finished him, up would pop another tape.

Meanwhile we read that the Journalists on Journolist want to shove conservative faces through plate glass windows. Not to be outdone, another wants to throw Michael Ledeen through a plate glass window. Please remember, these are the people fretting that the Tea Party types might get violent. Also remember that these are the people without a single callous on their hands.

This lefty bunch does not seem to really understand violence. They think they can casually wish it on anyone who dares disagree with them, not realizing how really ugly violence can be. Nor, it seems, do they realize that violence goes both ways.

We in the uneducated, NASCAR loving crowd are usually very careful about violence. We know, where the Journolist crowd doesn't seem to, when you open the door to violence you have no right to complain about what walks in.

There seems to be a new Listserve outfit already to replace Journolist. Fine. Have fun. Just remember a few things. First, the papers and TV stations, etc, you work for cannot stay in business insulting more than half the country.

Second, the reason people buy newspapers or watch news shows is to find out what is going on in the world. Once people find out you are hiding the whole story about anything, anything at all, they will have trouble believing you about anything, anything at all.

Third, about that violence you are so quick to throw out. Um, which side has all the guns? Which side sends their sons and daughters into the Armed Services? I would like to ask if you are sure, really sure, you want to ante up in this game?

Update: Speaking of these people on Journolist being flat out dimbulbs, how about that law professor who thinks that networks have licenses? Sorry, law prof, radio and TV stations have broadcast licenses, there is not, nor has there ever been a license to be a network. Idiot.

Breitbart, And Sherrod. Jourolist And The Daily Caller

Andrew Breitbart unloaded another video, this one of someone named Sherrod telling an NAA(L)CP convention how she sent a white farmer to a white lawyer, thinking that he should go to one of his own, this instead of giving him all the help her job with the Ag Dept had available. Not a peep of disapproval from the NAA(L)CP. Sherrod was forced to resign over this.

Now it seems that she later became friends with this farmer and somehow it all ended up okay. Fine, that's not the real story. The real story is how the NAA(L)CP had not one word against the obvious racism shown in the beginning of that story.

I do not know that Sherrod should actually have been forced to resign. I'm of the opinion that about sixty percent of non military government employees should be forced to resign but, that''s just me. It is interesting that the NAA(L)CP and the Democrats in power threw Sherrod over the side, without thinking about it. This, of course, is natural for Democrats. Think of what would have happened to Lewinsky if she hadn't have kept that souvenir blue dress. Or, think of Mary Jo Kopechne. Of all the lefties in the country, how could the left elevate Ted Kennedy to the post of Conscience of the Senate? Answer: The left does not care about hurting individual women. Instead they care about women as a group. If some are used, others killed, that's okay because it's all about groups. Too bad the groups are made of individuals but, as one famous leftist put it, you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.

You know what would be nice? If the rank and file members of these various groups would finally figure out that the left is all about power of the "leaders".

Meanwhile, Breitbart gets to save his hundred thousand for something else as the Daily Caller has managed to get the Journolist materiel. First shot, some bigwig journalist named Ackerman coming up with the idea to just dump the raaaaacist charge on just anyone on the right. Think this is something new? Try back in the 2000 election when they wanted to charge poor George W. Bush with the same thing because he thought, and rightly so, that the three peckerwoods who killed James Byrd so horribly were charged, and convicted of murder. Funny, two death penalties and one life without parole and the NAA(L)CP thought that wasn't enough. Meanwhile, what, persactly, is the NAA(L)CP doing to help the black people in, say, Chicago who are afraid to go outside their homes (and not much safer inside) because of the mostly black criminals in their own neighborhoods. What does the NAA(L)CP do about that? Why they do everything they can to prevent locking up bad guys.

I'm pretty sure this is just the beginning, too. Pop some popcorn, the show is about to get fun. The left is going to cry about that awful internet, just as loudly as they cry about talk radio and Fox News. Which we see they also tried to torpedo. I have not had time to digest this newest information.

Funny, when I was a kid most towns had a liberal newspaper and a conservative newspaper. Still, most reporters got into the game because they were bright kids with a way with words and a healthy dose of curiosity.

This has changed. Today, from the looks of the messages on Journolist, they aren't real bright. They don't have much curiosity and they have no intention of telling us what is going on. Journalism today seems to be the way upper middle class families put the kids who are too stupid to run the family business out of the house. They all went to the good schools, though so they're better than the people who actually do something.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The .260 Remington, Remington Reinvents Sevleral Turn Of The 20th Century Cartridges

Right after The .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO cartridge was developed, wildcatters went crazy with it, just like every other "new" cartridge case. They didn't have quite so much with this one, though, with it's already fairly sharp shoulder and minimal body taper.

What the did discover was that it was the right length for short action bolt guns and certain lever actions such as the Savage 99. The next thing the factories and wildcatters discovered was that with the advances in powder technology, they could get the original ballistics of the .30-06 our of the .308. Naturally, those same advances have brought the .30-06 into what was the .300 H&H territory but, really, those original .30-06, now .308 velocities are good enough for 95% of the hunting in the lower 48. Fact is, with some of the new bullets like the Swift A-Frame I would gladly swat a Moose with a .308. If there were any Moose in Texas. Excuse me while I look out the window. Nope, no Moose.Guess we'll have beef or chicken tonight, but, I digress.

Wildcatters and then, much later, the factories started churning out cartridges based on the .308. among the first were the .243 Winchester and the .358 Winchester. Meanwhile the wildcatters dreamed up things like the .25 Souper.

Meanwhile the rifle makers started making a whole slew of rifles built around two action lengths, one for the 53mm .308 case and one for the 63mm .30-06 case. Meanwhile this left the 57mm case of the Mauser rounds kind of out in the cold. You could barely fit them into the short actions, with lighter bullets, but not the longer, heavier bullets. And the actions built around the 63 mm case of the .30-06 (and the short Magnums like the 7mm, the .338 Winchester Mag and the .300 Winchester Mag) needed to have shims in the magazines to work with those 57mm cases.

The .243 Winchester became a very popular round, it is one of the best all around varmint rounds we can find, especially now that we have the 55 and 60 grain bullets. Now I never wanted to pop anything bigger', a groundchuck I'd be happy with a .222, .223 or even a .220 Swift. With larger varmints like the coyote or the bigger cats (although the Bambiest city folks have decided the cats are nice tame critters and need to be protected. Sure, they live in town where the big cats aren't. So, naturally, they know more than those of us who like in the country. I gotta admit, I am really getting sick of these self styled intellectuals who become experts on things they have never seen up close.)

The .343 is, with it's heaviest bullets, also a deer cartridge. Where it fails, there is that it is often given to young or beginning hunters, figuring that the light recoil will work for them. Well, yes, except that the .243, even with it's heaviest bullets is a professional's rifle, when it comes to light and medium big game. There just isn't the horsepower to take the tricky shots where we need a lot of penetration. And there aren't that many beginning hunters who know how to pass those shots.

This brings me to today's cartridge, the .260 Remington. This shoots a 6.5 mm bullet, just like the famous old 6.5mm Mannlicher. There was also a 6.5mm Mauser, a 6.5 Swede, etc. Back between about the Spanish American War to sometime after the end of the War To End All Wars (how'd that work out?) folks were taking those long 160 grain round nosed bullets and swatting everything up to Elephant with them. Oddly, if one was a very careful and skilled shot, and Elephant or a Cape Buffalo would fall right over. Of course, if one was not a very careful and skilled shot one had a very good chance of becoming part of the landscape. It is usually a good idea to avoid being trampled by those big critters.

WDM "Karamojo" Bell slew lord only knows how many Tuskers as an Ivory hunter using both the 6.5 and the 7mm Mauser. Back then the drill was to get up close and put the pill right where it would put the lights out. The reason most folks like the big guns like the .416 Rigby and .470 Nitro Express is that a bullet from one of those, an inch or two off, will stun Jumbo long enough for the insurance shot. Those smaller rounds, nope. And few folks really understand how fast they can move.

Today there is little need for those long, heavy bullets. Back then, the only way to assure deep penetration was to use a heavy bullet and what we now call a low velocity, somewhere between 2100 fps and 2400 fps. The bullets before John Nosler's Partition had trouble staying together at speeds much faster than that. So, we knew the bullets would lose weight, so, the heavier bullets had more weight they could lose. Today we seldom need anything heavier than the 140 grain premium bullets and, for deer and speed goats, the better 120 grain bullets are fine.

Now the .260 will do everything the bigger cartridges of that same caliber of a hundred years ago will do, it operates at a higher pressure. It's working pressure is over ten thousand pounds higher than the old Swede and nearly 20,000 higher than the Mannlichler. This is in part because of the advances in riflemaking and metallurgy since those old cartridges were new and party because no one knows the abuses some of those old rifles were put through.

If I were hunting with a .260 I would use the 95 and 100 grain bullets to pop the odd varmint and the 120 grain bullets for the smaller deer and Antelope. For the larger Mule Deer and those monster Yankee Whitetails I've read about but never seen, the 140 grain. I would save those 160 grain Hornady round nosed soft points for hunting where there might be a chance of bear or a Wapiti. And the reality is, one of the premium 140 grains will do as well.

There is much to be said for using just one bullet weight for all the big game hunting with a .260. Take the 140 grain. Small Deer and Antelope, use a standard bullet, the Hornady Spire Point, The Speer Hot Core, something along that line. In factory ammunition the Remington Core Loct or Winchester Power Point. The critter gets a little tougher? Try the Nosler AccuBond or Partition. bigger yet? The Swift A-Frame or Banes Triple Shock.

If I were just starting off as a young hunter I'd look long and hard at the the cartridges built around the .308 case. I would start with the .260, I'd look at the 7-08 and the .308. Which of those three I chose would depend on what critters were on the menu. If my hunting were deer and antelope I'd choose the .260 or the 7-08. If Wapiti or Moose were a possibility I'd look toward the .308. More hunters have hampered themselves through too much gun, too much recoil and muzzle blast leading to not enough accuracy. With the .260 this is not a problem.

With the exception of the Grizzly Bear of the Rockies, there is no critter in the lower 48 that will not fall to a .260 bullet suited for the game. Still, when we go above Mule Deer the .260 becomes an expert's weapon. The hunter needs to know the anatomy of the game and be willing to pass up the shots at difficult angles.

There has been a saying about hunting "use enough gun". Too often this has lead to using too much gun.The heaviest cartridge 95 percent of us will ever really need is around the 7mm Magnum or .30-06. Most of that 95 percent can go lower, down to the .260 or 7-08 level. Or the .250 Savage or any of a few dozen rounds between the .250 Savage and the .30-06. Got Grandpa Olav's 6.5 Swede? Great Uncle Heinrich's 7mm Mauser? Assuming they're in good shape, you're good to hunt just about anything but the great bears. and, tell you the truth, I'm not mad at any of the great bears. Of course, I don't live where they do, so there is that. I suspect if I lived up in Alaska in Brown Bear country I'd probably want to scrag enough of them to where they were a little leery about coming up to the door to beg a cup of sugar. We quit doing that with Mountain Lion and now, every once in a while they'll tear up and even kill someone. Oh well, what is a human being compared to making an "intellectual" happy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So, the Tea Party Is Racist?

The National Association for the Advancement of (liberal) Colored People has declared the Tea Parties racist. All of them? Including the Tea Party events that have wildly applauded certain Tea Party types with dark skin?

Meanwhile the NAA(l)CP had decided that Kenneth Gladney isn't black enough for their support. Or something.

So, let me get this straight in my poor old probably racist head. The NAA(l)CP had, as a keynote speaker, a woman whose job, before she became First Lady was to steer poor, uninsured and mostly minority patients away from her hospital. That, according to the left, is promoting minority well being. Yet the NAA(l)CP habitually promotes programs that harm poor Americans, including, perhaps especially black Americans.

I am not as young as many. One of the things I remember is the struggle during the mid to late 1960s of getting black Americans into the building trades. Today you can drive by any construction site, if you can find any, and not see a single black face. Why? Illegal immigrants. The Democrats champion illegal immigrants, so does the NAA(l)CP. They do not say how this helps black Americans. They merely say that to question this is racist.

Look, we know that no one in the Tea Party movement is perfect. We cannot walk on water. The Tea Party movement is not about making the country better for white folks or black or brown, but better for all folks. We cannot walk on water, we merely do not wish to live in the mud.

The Tea Party movement believes that everyone in the country is better off when there are jobs to be had. We believe the country is better off when the laws are the same for everyone, and there aren't so many laws that everyone is a criminal, unaware. We believe that people should be protected from criminals, yet stupid behavior should hurt. We believe that if the management of a company should run it into the ground, bankruptcy should follow, with the normal and lawful creditors having first chance at the pickings. No more of this business with going over the heads of bondholders and giving the carcass to the unions. Many ordinary people held pieces of those bonds in their retirement accounts and who is to say that the unions will suddenly lead Chrysler to solvency?

I happen to believe that the Tea Party movement is better for the health of poor Americans than the NAA(L)CP. I further challenge anyone, black, white, brown or some other odd shade that denotes a human skin, to go to the next Tea Party event. Just go, bring a big bottle of tea or water, they tend to have these events in warm weather. Don't come looking for a fight, come looking for a friend. I promise, no matter the shade of your skin, if you act friendly at all, you will find friends. You will find people who wants you to live better because the people at the Tea Parties want all of us to like better.

Meanwhile, everyone the NAA(L)CP supports wants the poor to live just a little poorer, the middle class to disappear and the rich to grow richer. they may not say this but look at the results of their policies.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Surprise Visit

We got a surprise yesterday, an old friend from my teenage and even preteen years was driving through and called. Mario was a casual friend from grade school, it wasn't until Jr. High (now called Middle School for some odd reason) that we really formed a bond.

We lost track of each other about in our mid twenties and we hadn't seen each other until after my mother died. At any rate he was driving from Vicksburg on his way home to the Sacramento area of California and stopped to visit and make use of our air conditioned couch rather than sleep in his van in the north Texas summer.

The visit was far too short, although just seeing my old pal may have made me feel I was 16 again, we couldn't stay up like we used to. So, I fed us some of the Pioneer Woman's comfort meatballs over garlic-cheddar mashed potatoes and we talked until we retired early at about two AM. The days of driving all day after thirty minutes of sleep seem to be over.

It's kind of strange, I turned out the way I did, Mario is a semi-heavy in Peace Action and gets disturbed when I casually mention that the greatest guarantee of a peaceful world is a strong United States military. Oh well. For a peacenik, my old pal still loves his guns so I sent him away with a hundred and six rounds of .357 ammo. He has a Brazilian Taurus copy of the S&W Model 19.

Then it was daylight and after a few minutes of being in a total daze (instead of my normal semi-daze) I fixed a couple of "cans" of Pillsberry Honey Butter biscuits and then, after a cup of coffee, filling of his road cup, my boyhood friend was gone. For a little bit I was sixteen again.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Tree The Town And Other Old West Myths From Hollywood

I do not know why I can hear and understand old movies and television but not new stuff. I can understand old Gunsmokes but not NCIS. Same with movies. It's something to do with modern sound tracks. Still, I'm seeing a lot of old westerns and western movies.

A few things that annoy me are some of the really silly myths that Hollywood has put out about the old west. One of the recurrent things about Hollywood westerns is a group of baddies taking over the town and working their nefarious way, either in a short robbery or a long term sort of thing. Bear in mind, the time we are discussing is from the end of the Civil War until the end of the Indian Wars, from 1865 to 1900, give or take.

The reality is different. While there were some towns that had a less than sterling reputation for being law abiding, the regular towns in the West were pretty tough places. Face it, after the Civil War the cities and towns were full of veterans. Add the Buffalo hunters, the Indian fighters and the all around tough guys (and women). Very few households were without guns. Those folks were ready to use them, too. Ask the James-Younger Gang. Seems they got the idea to go up to the peaceful farming town of Northfield, Minnesota and rob the bank.

There were the two James brothers, Frank and Jesse, the three Younger brothers, Cole, Bob and Jim, Charlie Pitts, Clell Miller and William Stiles. Stiles and Miller died in the streets of Northfield. Pitts was killed in the gunfight where all three Younger brothers were captured, only Frank and Jesse escaped. Some say there was a ninth member of the gang there, if so, no one ever discovered his name. Given the rather rough forms of questioning prisoners back in 1876, I do not believe there was a ninth gang member there. The town was not treed. It may have been the most fun those farmers and merchants had since the end of the Sioux Wars up there and coming home from The War of Northern Aggression.

Consider another famous bunch of western outlaws, the Dalton Gang. The Dalton brothers started out as lawmen. Frank, a Deputy US Marshall out of Fort Smith, home of Judge Parker, the "hangin' judge", was killed in a gun battle, trying to bring in the Smith-Dixon Gang. The lawing business wasn't for the other brothers, Grat and Bob were Deputy Marshalls, as well as having other law enforcement jobs while Emmett mostly worked as a cowboy.

They eventually went to the other side of the law, unless they were crooked from the beginning. That line of work has an unfortunate history of this. Anyhow, after some time of train robbing and other nefarious deeds, they got the bright idea of going to Coffeeville, Kansas and robbing two banks at once. It was October 5, 1892 when Bob, Grat and Emmett, joined by Bill Power and Dick Broadwell rode into town and tried to rob the two banks that were pretty much accross the street from each other.

Emmett survived his wounds and went to prison, later pardoned, he spent his remaining years in California. The other four? That's their picture at the top. I suspect if more criminals had their dead bodies put on display like that, our society would be a more peaceable place.

There is simply no record of a town being held by outlaws. Well, except modern Chicago and some other places run by Democrats, that is another story, though.

Another myth is the high murder rate in the old west. How many times have we heard "Dodge City" if someone mentioned that it might be a good idea to allow citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights? If only. Dodge City had fifteen homicides between 1876 and 1885. These were almost entirely among the criminal types. Then, as now, stay away from criminals and avoid bars and you have a very good chance of dying of old age.

In the movies we always see everyone carrying big ol' Colt Single Action Armies in the big calibers. Truth is, there were not all that many people going about their business wearing a big revolver. To begin with, such guns are heavy. Before the development of X-Rays and antibiotics, most folks didn't need a big cartridge, anyhow. Face it, back then a .32 or .38 S&W in the boiler room was fatal, it just took time. Then, as now, most defensive use of a firearm involved pulling and pointing, not shooting.

The Army and lawmen liked the old thumb buster. Primarily because if one had to shoot at a horseman one aimed at the biggest target, the horse. Plus, western lawmen did not often carry nightsticks, instead "buffaloing" the bad guy, whopping 'em upside the head with the revolver. At any rate, to cause a horse wreck with a handgun, one needed deep penetration, that the .45 colt and .44-40 had in spades. The civilian? Not so much. One of the more popular guns was the Remington .41 Rimfire, a two shot derringer, note the double "r". The original deringer was a one shot muzzle loading gun, John Wilkes booth used one of those to end the political career of Abe Lincoln.

British Bulldog revolvers were also popular but, really, the most popular arms in the west were rifles and carbines. Almost every home had at least one, often more. Many homes had a Winchester '73, mostly in .44 WCF as well as a single shot "buffler gun". These, mostly in cartridges between the Sharps .44 to the "Big 50" were handy because a good way to commit suicide back than was trying to kill a Bison with a .44 WCF. Right up until the smokeless powder era, cap and ball rifles and handguns stayed fairly popular, too.

The last myth of this post is those short barreled shotguns we see in the movies. Not so, back then. The shotgun guards of the Wells Fargo Stage mostly carried Winchester carbines. Those who carried shotguns mostly carried thirty to thirty-two inch barrels. The eighteen and twenty inch (and shorter) barrels didn't really happen until the smokeless era. There were a very few short barrels. This has much to do with the burning properties of large amounts of black powder. There were no shotguns with the butts cut off to make a handgun, to the best of my knowledge. I shoot black powder in a twenty inch barrel, with a full butt. I have loaded full charge buckshot loads with black. I do not even want to think about trying that with a stockless shotgun.

Oh, one final myth, John Wayne as a cavalryman. The maximum weight allowed for a horse soldier back then was one hundred and forty-five pounds. The Duke wouldn't have qualified for the Cavalry past about when he was twelve years old. He would have been Artillery, big enough to help manhandle those big guns.

Happy Birthday America! I'm a lucky guy who won life's real lottery, born in the United States of America.