Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quote for the Week

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.

Dennis Wholey

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quote for the Week

Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

General Colin L. Powell

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quote for the Week

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Declaration of Independence

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wrong Reasons

And dangerous ones. Jennifer, from In Jennifer's Head, has an excellent post on having the wrong mindset with a firearm.

I Just Want to Hurt Him.

Fuel Crisis

I'm running on fumes.

I need a vacation. If you see one laying around, let me know.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Range Report

I finally went to the range to test out the shotgun. Since I was, as usual, pressed for time, I only took 50 shells with me. After much research and comparing of loads, I chose #8 birdshot to test the shotgun. Actually, no. I picked it because that’s all Wal-Mart had on hand, so I got two boxes.

Since I was a bit short on time, Murphy’s law dictated that the range be full. I had to wait about 20 minutes, but I finally got a lane. I loaded up, aimed at the target, worked the safety, and pulled the trigger.

I have fired rifles in .22 and .223 calibers and handguns in .22, .380, .38, 9mm, .40, and .45 calibers. Up to now, that was my experience with recoil. Ummm … shotgun recoil is not the same. It’s a little more, how do I put this, attention-getting. That’s a note for me to remember for the next time. Other than that, the shotgun functioned flawlessly. It cycled smoothly, ejected normally, and had a sufficient primer strike to get the fun started.

After I ran out of time and shells, I called it a day.

A functioning shotgun for $150 because the previous owner failed to loosen a threaded rod ½ turn. I'm happy.

Monday, September 7, 2009


This past weekend, I went to a local gun show with some friends. My daughters had spent the night at a friend’s house, and my wife was getting her hair done, so I had the afternoon to myself. I was hoping to stock up on some ammo, so I had saved up some money for that purpose. I was also looking for any deals that would help take some guns off my wish list.

We walked around for a bit, looking at what was on display. We noticed a Mossberg 500A on a table that looked like it had lived a long life. With a 12 gauge on my wife’s wish list, it got my attention. Because of its well used condition, it looked like I might get a good deal. It was a 12 gauge, with a synthetic, pistol grip stock and synthetic forearm, as well as a metal heat shield. I asked the vendor about the gun. He said that the shotgun did not feed cartridges from the magazine. He thought the cartridge stop needed to be replaced, but that he just did not have the time to do so. This seemed a bit fishy to me, since replacing the cartridge stop is not rocket science.

I worked the action several times, looked the gun over, and decided I might be interested. We talked and agreed on $150. I knew it had some issues, so I was aware I was taking a gamble.

I took the gun home, and started taking it apart. I wanted to strip the gun down as much as possible to take inventory of its condition. The barrel and magazine easily came off. The bore was in great condition. The trigger housing assembly was another matter. For some reason, it was stuck. Moreover, the trigger itself was stuck all the way back, and would not reset. I moved the safety back and forth, but it was gritty, and hard to move. Hmmm…so that explains the whole “did not have time” issue. Well, I did know I was taking a gamble.

I turned my attention to the rear end of the gun. The pistol grip stock was easy to remove, although it appeared to me that the threaded rod might have been a bit too short. I began unscrewing the threaded rod from the receiver. As I unscrewed it, the trigger assembly fell loose.

Not much interested in the threaded rod anymore, I picked up the trigger assembly and tested it, carefully guarding the hammer. Everything seemed to work well. I looked inside the receiver. I’m not sure when the gun had last been cleaned, but judging from the way it looked in there, it had been a long time. I put everything back together, and loaded the magazine with four snap caps. I worked the trigger and pump action, reloaded, repeated, etc… Now all that was missing was the lather, rinse, repeat. But, by this time, it was time to go to bed so I wouldn’t sleep through the church service the next day.

After church, I cleaned all the parts and lubricated them. I put them all back in (and had none left over!). I function-tested the shotgun to make sure I had put all the parts in the right place. Everything worked. The safety was now smooth and had a positive click when going from SAFE to FIRE. The action worked smoothly, loading and ejecting the snap caps without a hiccup.

Looks like whoever installed the stock over-tightened the threaded rod, jamming the trigger assembly and safety in the receiver, and preventing the parts from doing what they were supposed to.

Now, the only step remaining is to take this gun to the range and let it do what it was meant to do.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quote for the Week

There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

Noah Webster

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Working Out

I could feel my legs burning. I could barely keep my breath at a steady cadence. My arm and chest muscles were at their limit. I didn’t think I could make it another step.

But I forced myself to push off.

It was hard work, but I finally got off the couch and dragged myself to the elliptical.

Now, I just have to work out.