Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1950 Studebaker Commercial

Good Deeds, Punishmment, etc

A couple of years ago, one of my brothers in law was lamenting the cost of 7mm Remington Magnum ammunition.  He was shooting 150 grain Ballistic Silvertips in factory ammo and it was over sixty bucks a box at Gooseburg.  It shot very well so he wanted to stick with it but the thought of having to buy more just plain hurt.

I told him that I could get those bullets and load them in his cases but we'd probably have to tweak the load a few times before we got it to shoot as well as what he was using.

He brought me his empty brass and one of his unfired cartridges.  I measured the unfired one with my hexagon bullet comparator thingy and loaded up twenty rounds with H-1000.  Its always been good to me in the 7mm Rem. Mag. so it seemed like a good place to start.   I didn't hear from him again until one week ago.  That's two years later.

Last week, out of nowhere, he called me raving about that ammo.  He hadn't used it until a week before when he and a buddy decided to have a shooting contest.  They were shooting on his buddy's farm at a measured 600 yards.  He ran out of factory ammo and started using the stuff I had loaded for him.  He tells me that he shot a 6 shot group at 600 yards and all the holes were touching.

Uh-huh.  Sure he did.  A single monkey just sat down at a single typewriter and produced a perfect copy of War and Peace by randomly hitting the keys on his very first try too.

Where are my waders?

I kept listening while he raved about the ammo, my reloading skills and what great friends we are.  Pretty soon, the smoke cleared and the call started to make sense.

It seems that his friend was so impressed with the ammo (evidently it did shoot a good group.  I just don't believe it was 6 touching at 600 yards) that he wants me to load some for his 300 Win. Mag.   That friend  told another friend and that other friend wants me to load for him too.  By coincidence, brother in law just happened to have their brass ready for me to load.

Who could have seen that coming?

I reminded brother in law that I had to measure his factory ammo before I loaded anything.

"Do you have any of their live ammo for me to measure?"  

"Well, no, actually.  They shot all their ammo up. "

"Aw shucks.  Not much I can do without knowing where to start."  

"OK.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Bye."

As predictable as sunrise in the East.

Had No Idea...

...Obama Was On Dancing With The Stars

Monday, November 24, 2014

The S be fixin' ta HTF

According to a woman was recently denied the purchase of a firearm because the St. Louis Police told the gun shop to remove all of the firearms and ammunition from the store.

The whole story including a link that works is here:

Interesting Little Canon

Found it on Defending the Heritage's Facebook Page.

The write up next to the flag calls it an automatic canon but with a  15-20 round per minute rate of fire, I suspect it was an advanced breech loading single shot.  Still a pretty advanced little gun for its time.

More info at:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Florida Hunting Back in the Day

Sporting Classics Magazine does a daily, on-line edition and today's had a photo essay on hunting in Florida way back in 1896.  Several good pictures there.   Except for the clothes and the fact that we can't kill game anymore without a short uber-magnum or something "tactical,"  I don't see much difference between these photos and hunting today besides the the bag limits. Of course, wherever these were taken is probably a high rise building now.

That's just one of a whole pile of good pictures.    Check out the whole essay.   Sporting Classics Magazine is always worth a look-see.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Early Post for Veterans Day

I know its not the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month yet but I'm gonna be busy right about then and I happened to spot this while coming home from church this morning:

Not too many things that could be.   It wasn't alone either.   This fellow was parked a few yards away.

A little friend showed up just after we got there.

I took the tour a few years ago but It was worth going again.  

Seemed like it was a mite easier squeezin' through the bomb bay the first time.  Maybe I'd better go back and read that Treadclimber post again.

These old planes have always fascinated me.  I work my way through them thinking about all the men that flew in them and the kinds of things they went through.

Gregory Freeman's "The Forgotten 500" isn't really about fighting in the old planes.  Its about the rescue of several hundred of our airmen from Yugoslavia during the war but they got there by being shot down so it does have a few accounts of what that could be like.     Fun stuff like flying along with gasoline sloshing around the floor from shot up fuel tanks or flying straight into a mountain on an overcast day.    I think about that when I hear some actor or sports figure say that his job is more stressful or more dangerous or more anything than being in the military.

 You couldn't get me to slide into a ball turret and dangle down there under the plane waiting for somebody in a Messerschmitt  to shoot at us.  (Seriously,  I'm too fat and I don't bend so good anymore.  I don't think I'd fit).   We sent a whole lot of men up there and they did just that.  A lot of them just kids.

I've known a few of those kids over the years.  One fellow was in The Great Escape (the actual escape, not the movie) and another volunteered for B 29s after flying B 17s in Europe.   Met a new one today.  Leo did 24 missions in B 24s.   He stood on the runway and looked at the planes but didn't go inside.   I kind of suspect that a fellow's best memories of one of these would be climbing out of them so I didn't ask.  I just thanked him for serving and took a picture for him of him and his son in front of the B 24.

You hear "Wright Cyclone" and you don't usually think "Studebaker" but they built their share of them too along with the trucks that kept Stalin's Armies rolling and the Weasels that did everything but climb trees and fly.  Odds are good that the Merlin in that P 51 was built by Packard.  Ford built a whole bunch of the B 24s.  Everybody that could build something built something to help win that war.

All in all a nice little surprise to show up right before Veteran's Day.


Friday, November 7, 2014

A Dog Story With a Happy Ending

Really neat story at Neanderpundit:

Is the little dog gonna be OK, Uncle Lair?

So last weekend, my dear old friend and confidant Mlle Jenny is on her way to Road Atlanta, where she is a timekeeper, does all the tough work of making sure everyone’s every second is counted.
And on the way her co-worker, who is driving, says “Oh! I think I hit a dog!” they hear a thump but it’s too dark and too late to do much about it, and Jenny doesn’t see anything, they drive on.

The whole story is here

Hoss on Multi-Tasking

He had big hands and that looked like a pretty good fit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Little Sanity Prevails in Flori-duh

Well, the corruptrightwingextremistteabagginghomophobicislamophobicgaiaphobicpuppydrowning and just downright evil Republican (redundancy alert) Rick Scott beat the altruistic, pro-middle class, tender-hearted reincarnation of Mother Theresa, Honest Charlie Crist,  (this week's party affiliation not yet announced and who is now probably off campaigning for his next elected office) despite there being a 3rd party candidate in the race who was talking about limiting government.

Florida's Amendment 2 failed to pass.  It had 58% of the votes in its favor but, since its a Constitutional Amendment, it required 60% to pass.

Amendment 2 would have legalized medical marijuana - sort of.  My big problem with that, despite having just that many more impaired drivers on the roads, is that medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since the 1990s.   There are legal growers called "care givers" who are issued a State card that shows that they are growing legally and they grow the supply needed for a specific patient or patients.  I know people in this business.  It has been legal here since the 1990s. 

As it has been explained to me by people legally in the business, Amendment 2 would have revamped how its done so that existing care givers would be grandfathered in and all the marijuana for the surge of new patients would be grown by a small number of companies more or less chartered by the State to grow it.  (I suspect that there would have been a little loosening of the threshold for establishing a legitimate medical need for the stuff too but I haven't actually been told that).    I bet you can't guess who (so I have been told) has ties  to all of those proposed new companies.  I'm not going to post that person's name because newspaper articles, web postings and videos that have mentioned the connection have disappeared within a few minutes to a few hours of being posted.  So go ahead.  Take a guess for yourself.  Take a guess for the people.

On the other hand, Alan Grayson got re-elected.

I did say " A Little."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014


If that isn't a real Tiger I, its the most convincing model I've ever seen.  I do believe that its real.  It might be that full sized replica that somebody built a few years ago.    Its definitely not one of the T 34s made up to look like Tiger Is from Kellys Heroes and Private Ryan.

My dad was a teacher with the Army Reserve and he did two "summer camps" teaching some kind of fancy rocket science at Aberdeen Proving Ground back in the early 1970s.   He took me and my brother along both times and we had nothing to do on base except hang out at the museum.   We crawled all over every tank in the museum.  We'd have probably crawled all over the V2 if they hadn't had it fenced off where we couldn't get to it.   It got so bad that the MPs were kind enough to explain their reluctance to let us continue doing that one afternoon the second year.  

They had an old fellow working in the museum's gift shop and he used to talk about the Tiger Is in Kellys Heroes.   He had worked on captured equipment during the war and had driven most of the stuff in the museum back when we were figuring out what we had to beat.  He is the one that told me what the Kelly's Heroes Tigers were.  I knew they weren't real because they were so small and the wheels and tracks weren't right but I was so used to seeing American tanks standing in for German tanks, I kept trying to figure out which American tank they were made from.  He said that he kept thinking they looked too small and then he realized that they were T 34s and it all made sense.  They filmed Kelly's Heroes in Yugoslavia.   T 34s were abundant in Yugoslavia.  D-oh!

I always wondered why no movie studio ever got a real German tank and used it.    I mean, France used Panthers into the 1950s until they got their own industry back in shape and various Arab nations used Mk IVs into the 1960s.  Its not like there weren't any German tanks to be had.

Then along came Private Ryan and all the commercials and write ups had to mention that they used a "real German Panzer."   Since the climactic battle is with the Tiger tanks, one naturally inferred that they used a real Tiger tank.   Such was not the case.  The real "German Panzer" in Private Ryan was the little Marder that shot the top out of the bell tower.  The Tigers were the Kelly's Heroes Tigers.    Better than using M 47s but still a disappointment after they had harped so much on the "real German Panzer" in the movie.

(Found my Picture)

I've read some reviews of Fury that pick on some tactical details and I spotted a few myself ( I believe that the Germans generally shot at the enemy tank with the longest barrel first since it was the one that could hurt them ) but it would have been a short movie if they hadn't made those mistakes.

Some reviews say that the Germans couldn't have moved a battalion down a road in the daylight that late in the war without attracting fighter-bombers.  I think that those reviewers might think otherwise if they had read Steven Harding's "The Last Battle."  The end of Fury bears some tiny  resemblance to what happened there.   In this case, I do think that's a hole in the story because, in Fury, the Germans were spotted by a reconnaissance plane.  Instead of sending fighters, we sent four Shermans.   Still, things happen in war and you go with what you have.

The Shermans in the movie are a mix from the old M4A1 with the rounded, cast hull to the late model M4A3E8.   People rag on the Sherman all the time because it wasn't a match for the Panther or Tiger but it wasn't ever supposed to be.  It was supposed to beat the tanks the Germans used in Poland and France;  Mk IIIs with 37mm and short 50mm guns and Mk IVs with short 75 mm howitzers.  It did that when it got to Africa but by the time we got to Europe, we were facing stuff the Germans had  developed to fight outnumbered against the Russian T 34.   We couldn't just say "hold the war while we catch up."  We went with what we had and improved it every way we could while developing the M 26 Pershing.  So yes, our Shermans were badly outclassed by the best German tanks but it wasn't because they were particularly crappy.  They were doing a job they were never intended to do.  Fury will show you what that meant to the guys that had to fight in them.   It ain't pretty.

I've never been in a war.  Never even been in the Military.  (But I have been in a Pzkpfw Mk IV - heh!).  I have an appreciation for Military people and Military things because of my dad's time in the Service and  the time I got to spend at various places where the Army sent him to teach every summer.  I've studied history and have a fancy degree in it.  In high school, I knew a lot more about history than any of my history "teachers."   (I had one in 11th grade who thought Eisenhower was a British Field Marshal.  She was a teenager when Eisenhower was President but she thought he was a British Field Marshal. Ugh!).  Anyway, I have no first hand experience in what being in a war is like but I have that book-learnin.'  I have talked to combat veterans from WW2 and have a friend or two who saw more than their share of combat in Iraq.  The combat scenes in Fury ring true with what I have read, what I've been told and the pictures that I have seen that were taken in Iraq after firefights.  (I'm not talkin' pictures that you'd see on the news).  So, if you want to take the word of someone that's never seen combat of any kind, its the most realistic war movie I've ever seen. 

Definitely go see it.  Then go thank a Vet.