07 February 2021

Airgun Wars

Ammo prices have gone to infinity and beyond! That is, IF you can find it. Even a lot of the not-so-popular calibers are becoming virtually non-existent. A great many shooters are also concerned about an uncertain future and are sitting on their ammo and saving it for self-defense purposes. Recreational shooting and training have gone WAY down. Most of us simply cannot afford it. So what do we do?

We have limited options available in order to address this problem. 1. We can give up shooting completely, saving what little ammo we have for important stuff like hunting and civil wars.
2. We can cut WAY back, only shooting a few rounds out of a few of our guns to try and keep tuned up and have a little fun.
3. Do more dry-practice, maybe in conjunction with the above options.
4. Shoot more rimfire... oops, scratch that too.
5. Get a good quality airgun while you still can, lots of accessories and ammo for it and then go have a ball for just pennies!

Let's take a deeper look at #5. Many people still look at airguns as toys, insufficient to keep our egos stoked. I can assure that they are not. Aside from the obvious safety concerns that must be addressed when using ANY type of tool that expels projectiles at a high rate of speed out of the business end, modern airguns are accurate, powerful, affordable, easy to maintain and cheap to feed. For the purposes of this article, let's talk specifically about air rifles. Starting at the very, very bottom, you can get a decent plinker for 30 or 40 bucks. Depending on what kind of performance you're looking for and what kind of money you want to spend, you can go all the way up to several thousand dollars and everything in between.

You can get airguns that look like your favorite AK or AR-15 and a number of other models. You can also get them in several calibers. The most popular for the recreational shooter are .177 and .22 and, to a lesser degree, .20 caliber but did you know that air rifles are also available in big-kid calibers? Yep, .257, . 30, .357,  .44 and even .50 caliber! These are pricey but some of them are even capable of cleanly taking big game. Did you know that Lewis and Clark had an air rifle on their famous expedition? Yes sir, a .46 caliber Girandoni. Girandoni air rifles go all the way back to the late 1500's.

So let's speed up the clock and get back to the 21st century... 
I'm not going to list every model and action type out there but I will mention a few of the most common to give you some things to think about should you decide to jump onboard the airgun band wagon.

* Some of you are familiar with the cheapest ones. We called them Red Ryders when we were kids. Remember? They had the cocking lever that is part of the trigger guard and vaguely resembles a real, lever-action Winchester rifle. Those are spring operated and pretty anemic but great for having fun with the kids and teaching them gun safety and they're very inexpensive. They shoot .177 caliber BB's only, as far as I know.

* The next is the pump-up style with a lever under the barrel for adding compressed air. That's what I grew up on. It was a .22 caliber Benjamin although I don't remember the model number. This type can be pumped to variable pressures depending on how many times you pump it. Usually 3 times is the minimum to help ensure that a pellet doesn't get stuck in the bore and 10 pumps was usually considered maximum. I was raised on a ranch in NM and my dad used to pay me a bounty for certain pesky critters so I was out hunting all the time. I contribute much of my marksmanship and woodscraft skills to that old Benjamin and my early bounty hunting days.

*  You can also get those that derive their power from little CO2 cartridges. I don't care for those at all so I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about them. There are also a few others that I'm not going to talk about simply because they're not as popular.

* And then there's the break-barrel actions. Yeah, these are my favorite nowadays!  To add air for the next shot, simply hold the stock in one hand and reach up and grab the barrel towards the muzzle and try to break the gun in half. The barrel hinges right at the chamber and bends down to the shape of an inverted "V". When it snaps into position and there's no longer any tension on it, put a pellet or BB into the chamber and close the barrel. The one I have, automatically engages the safety when you load it. 

The remainder of the article will be about break-barrel guns. There are literally hundreds of different models of break-barrel guns. Some are quite affordable, others will require refinancing your house. Crosman, Benjamin, Beeman, RWS and Gamo are some of the oldest names in airguns. SIG Sauer, Ruger and a few others have more recently entered the airgun arena. Ruger makes a damned fine example of a break-barrel air rifle. Most of these guns are quite accurate, some of them stunningly so. Velocities can range anywhere from maybe 700 fps to well over 1200 fps, depending on caliber and the type of projectile being used. These guns are more than capable of humanely taking small varmints and game animals. They have airgun competitions and you will be amazed at how remarkably accurate some of these guns are! Practical range of the air rifle, again, depends on the gun and the type and style of ammo being used. 10 yards is mentioned a lot in ads and videos and whatnot so I assume that's kind of a standard in the industry but 20 yards seems much more realistic to me. Its not even too awfully hard to hit a pop can pretty regularly out to 50 yards or more with many of these guns.  

Now then, I want to talk about one gun in particular. It is the Beeman Silver Kodiak X2, Model 10774.There are other guns similar to this one but this one is mine and I like it a lot. I bought it primarily for a SHTF small game gun. This little jewel comes with a scope and two barrels, a .22 caliber barrel and a .177 barrel and it only takes maybe a minute to change them out. With BB's and alloy pellets of the .177 persuasion, you can expect at least 1200 fps. Alloy .22 pellets are more like 950. Lead pellets run about a grand in .177 and 830 fps with the .22. The receiver is satin nickel plated and the stock is synthetic which makes it fairly weather resistant. It has no open sights but the 4x32 Beeman scope does a great job. Depending on where you get it, it will probably run you between $125 and $150.

 It's not a stone cold, long-range killer but it's more than accurate and powerful enough to take bunnies, grouse, squirrels, etc., out to at least 20 yards. In fact, this one is plenty accurate enough to make reliable head shots at that range. Beeman says that accuracy will improve substantially after a few hundred rounds and I doubt if I have much more than a hundred through mine.
 
I haven't spent much time on the range with this one yet but I have done some preliminary testing with it. Here's what I found out...

On paper, it did pretty well considering it has not had the requisite number of break-in shots run through it. Using the .22 barrel and Gamo Match lead pellets from a fairly steady rest, it put 7 out of 8 shots in 1.5 inches. The first shot out of a clean barrel was dead center and 2" high, out of the group. 3 of the last 4 shots were in less than .75". What I gathered from this is that it might be prudent to put 4 or 5 rounds through a clean barrel before expecting your gun's best accuracy. I supplied a picture of the target below and 2 of the fired pellets compared to an unfired one. The target was stapled to an old plastic trash can because its what I had handy at the time. The pellets you see passed through both sides of the trash can and then into a plywood wall. The dents in the plywood were between 1/8 and 3/16" deep.

The next thing I did was shoot a full can of root beer, also at 20 yards. The pellet easily went through both sides and hit the wall. Interestingly, the can split from top to to bottom on ENTRY side, only making a small hole on the exit side. Picture supplied below.

The final event was to see if I could hit a quart bottle filled with colored water at 50 yards. There was just a little bit of dry grass out there so I sat an old oil filter on the ground and then put the quart bottle on top of that to get above the grass. I didn't realize that the round dropped that much so it took me a couple shots to get it on the target. It was roughly 6" below point of aim. I heard the first 2 shots hit something but the bottle didnt fall over and it wasn't leaking so I walked out there to see what was going on. What I found was that I had hit the oil filter twice, less than .75" apart (picture supplied) which further led me to believe that a clean barrel is not my friend. The next shot was on the bottle but surprisingly, only put a dent in it but did not penetrate. The heavy plastic and the pressure of the water inside was a little more than the pellet could overcome.

So, there you have it! As far as I'm concerned, this gun or one like it, is a winner, not only for survival/preparedness purposes but for cheap recreational shooting and hunting as well.

What did all of this have to do with Airgun Wars? Well, nothing really but hopefully I piqued your interest enough to get you to read it!

03 February 2021

Ruger PC-9 Review

So... the Ruger PC-9. I promised a review of it so here it is.

Let me just start by saying again that I absolutely adore this little gun! It's well balanced, accurate, reliable, the controls are handy and the breakdown feature is solid and simple. It breaks down in the blink of an eye and fits easily in a large briefcase, range bag, gym bag or small suitcase. Reassemble in 5 seconds and you're ready to rock and roll. It comes with 2 magazine wells, one for Ruger mags and one for Glock mags. I love the fact that it shares magazines and ammo with my 9mm Glocks and there's just something very sexy about pistol-caliber carbines!
 
So why did I get it to begin with? Well, I wanted a handy, short reasonably accurate long gun as a constant companion for my EDC. It's basically an urban fighting rifle. If I go to the woods or the civil war breaks out, I'll probably grab something with a little more horsepower but a 115 grain bullet at over 1600 fps is nothing to sneeze at.

It's just a tad heavier than you might expect for a little 9mm carbine but that's because its built like a fricking tank. VERY rugged little gun! No comparison to something like the Kel-Tec Sub 2000 which is kind of a pathetic excuse for a real gun. I suppose they're OK for recreational use but they are definitely not fighting carbines. When you pick up the Kel-Tec, it kinda makes you wonder why the muzzle is not painted orange.

How does the PC-9 shoot? Well... well, very well. I haven't really put it through its paces yet but I've shot it enough to know that it is going to be one of my forever guns. The trigger could stand a little attention but it's really not bad for a Ruger. I wasn't looking for a match-grade trigger on a 9mm self-defense carbine anyway.

Preliminary accuracy tests are impressive and I plan to do more with it when I get time. I had probably put maybe 200 rounds through it and had the iron sights (rugged, easy to see aperture sights) dialed in pretty well when I decided that I wanted to put some glass on it. I had an extra 3x Nikon compact scope laying around so I stuck it on top of the little Ruger. My first trip out to the woods with it was enlightening, to say the least! 

My bench was a rickety little plastic table and the ammo was Remington 115 grain FMJ so I didn't really expect to set the world on fire but I was actually more than impressed with the results! After goofing around with it a little, I decided to see if I could make something that resembled a group with it at 50 yards. After a few sight-in shots, I shot a 3-shot group that strung vertically a little more than I like but was still only about 1⅛". So when I saw that it might actually be a shooter, I put a little more effort into it and the second group measured just ⅝"! Granted, that was only at 50 yards but that indicated that it had the potential of shooting about and inch and quarter out at 100 yards. I don't know about you but I can live with that kind of accuracy out of this type of a weapon!

Downsides? Well, not many really besides what I already mentioned. I guess the biggest thing is the spring on magazine catch needed to be a little stiffer. Even though the button is marginally protected, it's not at all hard to bump it and have a speed-unload. I remedied that most rikky-tik by finding a similar sized, slightly heavier spring, thinning it down slightly on one end and replacing the original. It takes a just little more effort to release the mag now.

These little darlin's are difficult to impossible to find now and I have no idea what they would cost if you found one but they were quite reasonable when I got mine.

They also make this gun in .40S&W and I desperately want one!

31 January 2021

Nearing the End...

One of my final posts before I left FB. 

This was posted yesterday, 30 January 2021, by the daughter of some friends of ours. I know these good people. I can literally see their house out my kitchen  window. Since I can see lots of houses out my kitchen window and I know most of the people in them, I won't be identifying these people when I say that. I don't know that they would want their names all over FB. 

This means that I probably know some of the people that turned this man away. Luckily, angels were watching over and guiding this man. I am appalled and disgusted that any of my neighbors would do that! Until now, I was pretty sure that I could trust everyone around here and depend on them during hard times. Now, I'm not so sure. Could these people not have at least made a phone call for him or called 911? Could they not provide him with a blanket and a granola bar as they turned him away? I am way more than disgusted at these people. I'm going to post this far and wide and I hope it gets back to these bad Samaritans!
*********************

Nearing The Beginning Of The End!

It’s bitter cold in Vernon Arizona. Last night it was about 20 degrees at 10 pm. There’s almost a foot of snow on the ground near my parents home, and their home was quiet, silenced in a dark spread out wilderness, a typical night. A few homes scattered within the miles of the area had dim lights shining at that hour.

My mother was sitting on her bed when she just happened to look up and seen a man in the window pass by. Shocked she hollered for my Father and said “Xxxxx, there’s a man outside the door”. My father stepped out into the cold where an older man nearing his seventies was standing in their carport. My father asked “Can I help you?” The man said “Where Am I?” My father said you’re in Vernon Arizona, what's going on? The man was half frozen, shivering, with frost all over his face and looking for a place to just lay down.

He was very tired and delirious with no bearing of his location. My father asked him what happened, are you lost, where’s your home, where’s your family? The man asked if my father had a phone charger and my father handed him his cell phone and said no, but you can use my phone. The man was extremely Humble, and thankful and thanked him as he stood in the freezing cold trying to remember numbers. The man told how he had been up on the mountain looking for wood and had gotten stuck and had spent hours trying to dig out, when he decided to walk out for help. While using his phone for GPS and directions his phone went dead after walking a great distance. He told how he knocked on a few Doors, Our Neighbor’s Doors and was told to leave, that he was not welcome and to leave their property. 

It was very clear that he was in desperate need of warmth and help, completely at the point of laying down somewhere, which is a normal human reaction after being so cold and tired after so many hours. 

Miracles happen everyday. Had my Mother not seen him, they could have found him dead the next morning. I cannot express the seriousness of the situation. He had knocked on several doors! His footprints were spread through acres of land.

Thank goodness, My father gathered him up and told him he was taking Him home. He started the truck, loaded him inside, and headed to Concho Valley several miles away with the man all the time thanking him and it was a humbling moment for all involved.  When they arrived at his Home in Concho Valley his wife was in the front yard overwhelmed with worry and once reunited they both thanked my Father over and Over. My father, the humble man that he is,  turned to him and said “No Sir... Thank you!”

It was clearly my fathers honor to assist this man.

Do you know who your neighbors are?
Is it Nearing the Beginning of the End?

The end of human Compassion? Of Decency and Good Will?

I cannot image the overwhelming feeling of vacancy that must have been felt as time and time again this freezing older man was told “No, we won’t help you”...

Leaving him to literally fight the elements that without a single door knock left could have ended His life. But he didn't knock, he had given up at that point and was headed for any kind of shelter to lay down very diluted and let down. 

Are we such bitter souls that making a call to the Sheriff or providing any kind of compassion has become unreasonable? I am stricken with amazement at the footprints found leading him to my family’s Home in Vernon. To think that a human being was left to die in the cold for no reason by so many. It opens your eyes!

To This I say... WE ARE NEARING THE BEGINNING OF THE END!

I am eternally thankful for the way us kids were raised! That we were taught to love one another and to stretch out our hands to those in need. I'm thankful for the lessons that are still being taught to us by actions and not just words.
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04 January 2021

Our Upside-down World..

One of my friends posted this in response to an article and comment I made earlier this morning and you talk about nailing it! I don't if she copied it from somewhere else or not and I don't care. It is the God's honest truth and I had to share it with you!

"Today I woke up and as I had my morning coffee, I realized that everything is about to change.
No matter how I vote, no matter what I say, something evil has invaded our nation, and our lives are never going to be the same.
I have been confused by the hostility of family and friends.
I look at people I have known all my life--so hate-filled that they agree with opinions they would never express as their own. I think that I may well have entered the Twilight Zone.
You can't justify this insanity. We have become a nation that has lost its collective mind!

If a dude pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him.

Somehow it’s un-American for the census to count how many Americans are in America.

Russians influencing our elections are bad, but illegals voting in our elections are good.

It was cool for Joe Biden to "blackmail" the President of Ukraine, but it’s an impeachable offense if Donald Trump inquires about it.

People who have never owned slaves should pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves.

People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for their degrees.

Immigrants with tuberculosis and polio are welcome, but you’d better be able to prove your dog is vaccinated.

Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate to the US must go through a rigorous vetting process, but any illiterate
gang-bangers who jump the southern fence are welcome.

$5 billion for border security is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care is not.

If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you go to college for free.

People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President.

We see other countries going Socialist and collapsing, but it seems like a great plan to us.

Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and other people are not held responsible for what they are doing right now.

Criminals are caught-and-released to hurt more people, but stopping them is bad because it's a violation of THEIR rights.

And pointing out all this hypocrisy somehow makes us "racists"?!

Nothing makes sense anymore, no values, no morals, no civility and people are dying of a Chinese virus, but it is racist to refer to it as Chinese, even though it began in China.

We are clearly living in an upside down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, where moral is immoral and immoral is moral, where good is evil and evil is good, where killing murderers is wrong, but killing innocent babies is right.

Wake up America, the great unsinkable ship, Titanic America, has hit an iceberg, is taking on water and is sinking fast. The choice is yours to make. What will it be? Time is short, make your choice wisely!

This has so much truth to it that seeing it all pulled together is frightening"