September 24, 2018

Justice For All

Posted on May 31, 2018 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

In lieu of reviewing another great gun this month, which we thought would be in bad taste given the current climate… we decided to talk about JUSTICE here instead. The opinions below are our own and they are not meant to offend anyone, but as long as we still have the right to voice our opinions publicly – we will.

We have created a culture that allows “any type of behavior”. We no longer have standards for common decency in our country because no one wants to offend anyone for fear they will be bullied for their opinion.

Common decency is behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability.

People don’t talk about hell much anymore, but it exists and perhaps that is part of the problem. We don’t talk about the consequences of our choices and actions. We all make choices and all choices have consequences. If you’re going to demand that something be done to protect our children – demand harsher legislation for the people and children who choose to harm our children.

Insane or not, bullied or not, mistreated as a child or not – if you cause harm to yourself or others – you need to be removed from the general population. Everyone matters, everyone has rights and everyone makes choices that affect the lives of other people. Harming innocent people is wrong and should have consequences sufficient enough to deter others from wanting to suffer the same fate. Crime will not stop until the punishment is sufficient enough to deter the copycats, the people too lazy to do honest work for a living and all of the other people who choose not to live by society’s rules.

I’m not saying we should bring back the chain gangs or treat anyone cruelly, but our prison system is NOT working when people are willing to return there 3 or 4 times for the same crimes. We have given more rights and benefits to the convicted criminal than we have to their victims. The laws protect them more so than the innocent people they harm. Everyone matters and everyone deserves to be treated decently, however we cannot fail to punish by means of separation and removal of certain rights from those who commit crimes.

Law means nothing if it is not supported by punishment sufficient to discourage the crime.

This man/child who chose to harm all of the people in Santa Fe Texas deserves to suffer the consequences of his actions. Right now those consequences are not near severe enough to suit the severity of the crime. This is the change that is needed to lessen the frequency of school shootings and all crimes.

Right is right and wrong is still wrong.

When you harm someone there need not be any gray area. It’s wrong. It doesn’t matter whether it’s done by men, women or children by means of guns, DWI or abortion – you have harmed someone and it’s wrong. It doesn’t matter why you did what you did – you can’t justify why your crime is ok. It doesn’t matter if the victim is 30 weeks old, 6 years old, or 41 – you harmed them and it’s wrong. There needs to be consequences. When there are not sufficient consequences – everyone just does whatever they please.

We should be calling for changes in our prison system.

  • Life should mean life without parole.

  • We need to do away with “good time”.

  • Habitual criminals should not be released.

We pay for televisions, wages (if they work at all) and conjugal visits for people who harm innocent people, really? How dumb is that? Our prison system is a multi-million dollar business. Whose dollars do you think they are? We need to stand up for the innocent people who are no longer here to stand up for themselves. And we need to advertise the heck out of it! Harm anyone and you will receive the harshest sentence allowed by law. In the words of Merle Haggard “the joint used to be a bad place to be” and we need to bring that back.

NATIONWIDE prison reform, prayer and people raising decent children are GOOD places to start.

If you would like to do something TODAY – write or call the Governor of your state and ask for stiffer penalties. We have included a SAMPLE letter below that you can use as is, add to or create your own from and you can go to sleep tonight knowing that YOU at least tried to do something to change our society.

___________

Dear Governor,

In light of the latest school shooting, I would like you to consider using your power and connections to encourage the following:

Prison reform.

(Stiffer sentences, eliminating “good time” and parole of habitual offenders.)

And advertisement of the stricter CONSEQUENCES for those who cause harm to others for any reason.

___________

If you’re going to stand up for something – stand up for consequences.

 

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An Adorned Old Warhorse

Posted on March 23, 2018 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

Some people like to change and customize things. Most of the time I don’t fall into this category, but on this one particular pistol, I jumped off the deep end too. I floundered around a little, but not too much because I couldn’t afford to drown, (in debt that is). I’m talking about taking a box stock pistol and adding all of the bells and whistles to make it the crème de la cream of the day. It’s a bit of keeping up with the Jones you might say.

This Colt Combat Commander started life as a box stock Colt .45 acp caliber, four and a half inch barrel, single action bullet launcher perfectly capable of doing its job. When it came into my possession it had suffered some abuse. It had some surface rust and was in need of a good cleaning. Naturally, I took it to the gun shop and spoke with the shop’s gun cleaning guru, the manager named Frank.

While cleaning it up for me he said that it had good bones, but like a teenager on a diet of french fries, the skin was blemished. We talked and finally decided that the old warhorse would be sent off for what was called at the time a satin nickel finish, (now it’s called Colt Guard or matte finish). The older Colt single action semi-auto’s had a habit of skinning the hide off the web of my hand when fired, so I also added an extended beaver tail grip safety too.

As the photograph indicates the chosen grip safety doesn’t have the currently “in fad” speed bump on the lower part. It wasn’t known about or thought of way back then. The sights are fixed and squared off with a wide notch white outlined rear sight and a blaze orange ramp front sight. I had cut my fledgling law enforcement teeth on the N-frame and K-frame Smith and Wesson revolvers and had grown accustomed to this particular sight picture.

I think the brand name for these sights are Millet and they are probably still offered in their current catalog. I bought the finger groove hand filling stocks at the Pasadena Gun show a half decade later and felt that they gave me good control and they felt very natural in my hand. I shot the gun for many years and it would shoot better groups than I could ever muster with any other 1911. At combat distances it would make one ragged hole in the target with a steady hold and quality ammo.

Back in 1990 I was moved into the criminal investigation division and really fell hard for that type of work and the camaraderie of my fellow blood hounds. One thing about it bothered me though; we didn’t have a distinctive badge that identified us as detectives. We all had our regular issue badges that had the word PATROLMAN, emblazoned across the top.

Being somewhat of a trendsetter I went to the Blackington Badge Catalog and ordered what was called a mini-badge in the shape of my current badge with the State of Texas Seal and the department name and my badge number, but I had the title INVESTIGATOR put across the top. I believed this was more befitting a lawman of my stature and assignment.

When it came in I carried it in my wallet for several years. Within a few months after several inter-office memorandums between me and the CID sergeant, we got full size new badges approved for everyone. Many thanks to a great sack dragging detective, (who shall remain nameless) who found a citizen willing to foot the entire bill for the ten new gold tone expensive badges. We got our new shiny DETECTIVE badges that they still wear today because of the kindness of one man, who shall also remain nameless.

After I retired I went to the gun shop with this pistol because the Rampant Colt stock insert had come unglued. I also took the little investigator mini-badge with me to see Frank and asked him if he could carve out the wooden stocks enough to affix the little badge to them. He did it and it turned out to be an attractive addition in my opinion. Now the old warhorse is used as my training gun.

Once shooters that I’m working with get over their fear of recoil, I can train them with the old .45 quicker than anything else I own. They gain confidence quickly due to the higher hit probability and it just feels good in their hand. I hope you like the photograph, and just for your information I could have bought a brand new Colt Lightweight Commander for what it cost me to make these “custom” additions to this pistol. Oh wait, “I recently did just that”. Guess that will be another story.

Till then “shoot back first”, “make sure of your target”, and “may all of your groups be small”. And don’t forget to join the NRA to protect your gun rights.

Junior’s Boy

 

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Colt Anaconda (Snake Hunter)

Posted on February 7, 2018 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

“I hate snakes.” Snakes scare me. I don’t care what kind they are. I don’t care if they poisonous or not, good for rodent control, or even if they are kept as pets. Let’s be very clear on this point. I HATE SNAKES, all except one…

The snakes that are produced by Colt Manufacturing Company are fantastic. Somewhere down the line, some marketing salesperson decided that it would be catchy if they named their double action revolvers after snakes. This is the only kind of snakes I can readily accept, and I’m actually very fond of them. I wear the title of {snake hunter} with pride. My kind of snake hunting is extremely expensive though.

Colt stopped normal production runs of their double action revolvers in 1999. A few “new in box” samples still exist, but a second mortgage on the homestead is normally required to pay the cost for these highly collectable examples of American craftsmanship. The Colt Anaconda is a large framed double action revolver first introduced by the Colt manufacturing company in 1990. It was available in two calibers, .44 magnum and .45 Colt. The .45 Colt calibers were released in lesser numbers and it’s now the most rare and collectable of the two calibers. Manufactured only in stainless steel, Colt broke with standing tradition and never offered the Anaconda in blued or nickeled versions. The Anaconda was built on an entirely new and heavier Colt frame, called the AA frame.

The purpose of this new heavy revolver was to compete with the venerable Smith and Wesson Model #29 .44 magnum (double action revolver), the Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum (double action revolver), the Ruger Blackhawk .44 magnum (single action revolver), as well as several lesser known .44 magnum hand cannons offered by various other manufactures at the time. Handgun hunting as well as long range metallic silhouette shooting was in vogue at the time. The focus market niche for the Anaconda was sports enthusiasts’ shooters and hunters, as the weighty revolver was quite heavy and not something any but the “most hearty” law enforcement officers wanted to wear around their waist all day long.

The Anaconda is in my opinion a very beautiful gun. It resembles a marriage between a Colt King Cobra and the highly regarded and prized Colt Python. The vent rib along the top of the barrel (ala the Colt Python) in my opinion adds so much class to this revolver that it becomes a piece of sculpture. Without it there would no art form to it and it would be just another big heavy .44 magnum.

It was offered in four, six, and eight inch versions, and came in what’s call a matte stainless steel finish and an ultra bright stainless steel finish. The ultra bright is merely a highly hand polished version of the aforementioned, and it’s so bright and expensive not many who paid for that option actually shot the weapon for fear of marring the finish.

colt

Another highly desirable option on this huge snake was the factory Mag-na-ported barrels. This means that near the muzzle of the barrel two cuts were made (generally trapezoids) in the barrel to allow gas from the burnt gunpowder to vent upwards thus holding the front of the barrel down during firing to reduce muzzle flip. (See photo at right.) While this is a highly desirable option on hard kicking hunting or sports oriented handguns, when discharged in a dark environment it could cause temporary loss of night vision to a law enforcement officer in a firefight. So, unless you are willing to practice shooting in the dark a lot, it’s not something I’d recommend as a self defense handgun.

My particular Anaconda is a four inch barrel version, .44 magnum with the factory Mag-na-ported barrel. It has the solid black Elliason fully adjustable rear sight, as well as a double pinned ramped black front sight. The trigger is the smooth combat variety, while the hammer is thoroughly stippled in case one wanted to cock it for a single action shot. It has the rubber Colt finger groove grips to absorb recoil, and the Rampant Colt emblem is on both sides.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve resisted the temptation to shoot my Colts because they say it reduces their value when it comes time to sell, but I just couldn’t resist shooting this Anaconda. One day I had the Boss, the #1 daughter, and her new husband with me and we went to the woods. I brought along a box of .44 magnum hand loads and set up some tin cans about fifteen yards away.

The cans were all lined up on a two by four sitting on a stump and firing single action, I made six in a row fly through the air with the greatest of ease. The recoil and muzzle flip was so manageable that I let my #1 daughter shoot a cylinder full, and she thought it was great. You could tell the revolver was way too heavy for her by the way she held it, but she said the recoil was nothing compared to what she thought it would be.

Then the Boss got involved and instead of being the shooter, I was reduced to being the new target setter. The Boss is a highly trained shooter, but the most powerful handgun she has ever fired was a .45acp Colt Combat Commander. She fired four rounds and hit the target every time. She had two rounds left and I challenged her. I told her if she could shoot one can two times before it stopped moving, she could be called top shot for the day. Naturally she chose the largest tin can to shoot, and sure enough she fired the first shot single action to send the can up in the air and pulled off a double action round to hit it again before it stopped moving.

I never dreamed she could do it with the Anaconda, but I guess the mild hand loads, the Mag-na-ported barrel, and her choosing the largest can made it happen for her. I had to listen to her verbally replay her feat of shooting skill all the way home. It was a long ride.

Until next time, shoot often, practice with an eye towards perfection, focus on the front sight, squeeze the trigger (don’t jerk it), and remember to join the NRA to protect your gun rights.

Junior’s Boy

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The Way Things Were Back Then…

Posted on January 9, 2018 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

In my long and storied past there have been many a handgun come and go, but there is one I deeply regret no longer owning. It’s the fabled Smith and Wesson Model #27 .357 magnum revolver. It was a beautiful bright blue N-framed powerhouse with a five inch barrel. I loved it.

It had a serrated target trigger and the extra wide target hammer, with a white outlined adjustable rear sight and a blaze orange ramped front sight. The bluing was deep and rich and looked as if it was always coated with a fine sheen of oil. On the top of the back strap there was some fine stippling to break up glare along the sighting plane. There were lines machined into the top of the barrel that also served to prevent glare. The stocks were the hand filling deep rich wood variety with the gold colored S & W emblem inset near the center.

At the time, this revolver was the Cadillac of the Smith and Wesson line. I was a big fan of the Dirty Harry movies and considered them to be my training films. In the movies Harry Callahan carried the infamous Model #29, 44 magnum with a 6 1/2 inch barrel. I didn’t feel like I could handle that much gun at that time, so I opted for the shorter barrel, but needless to say that five inch barrel was going to cause me many problems.

No one, I repeat with gusto, NO ONE had a holster that would fit this gun, it was such an odd duck. The model #27 could be ordered with a 3″ – 4″ – 5″ – 6 1/2″ and an 8 3/8″ barrel. There were many N-framed holsters for a four inch barrel around that met my needs, but absolutely none for the five inch version. I finally found a black swivel holster that the big gun would fit in, or so I thought.

This swivel holster attached to your gun-belt in the normal fashion and then reinforced leather went down a ways to a metal swivel. Below the swivel was a holster that had a leather strap that is supposed to hold the gun in the holster. I had seen all the TV shows like Adam-12 and I just knew that the LA police department used this style of a holster and if it worked for them, it would work for me.

So I went to work the next day and immediately realized there was a problem. Wearing a holster that held the handgun below your waist line made your weight press the weapon into your leg. This made for a most uncomfortable ride in the patrol car all day. Not long after I got the holster I was out of my patrol car pushing a stalled car out of the road when my beautiful new gun fell out of it and made a sickening sound as it skidded across the blacktop, scarring it forever.

The next day I called F-15 (a police supply house in Houston) and ordered a high rise, lined holster with a thumb break for the model #27. Although I never fired this particular gun, I carried it on duty at all times. (It’s hard to believe now that we didn’t train with our weapons at all back then.)

I was careful to wipe it down every day to keep it from rusting. Eventually though it started to show signs of rust on the back-strap. Being a neophyte I had failed to remove the stocks and apply gun oil to the frame and grip area, so rust abounded there. I cleaned it up and vowed never to forget that area of cleaning again.

Hoover Info

This Model #27 helped me make my first felony arrest.

It was a hot summer day and I was in my patrol car parked under a large oak tree in the parking lot of the Red Barn. For you local folks you’ll remember that the Red Barn was a large dance hall located in Kemah on Highway 146. The oak tree is still there, but the Red Barn is long gone and has been replaced by a Texas First Bank building. I was about twenty at the time and I had written lots of traffic tickets and made a few misdemeanor arrests, but never a felony.

Anyway, as I was watching traffic a car came south from the Seabrook side and made a quick right turn onto FM 518. Now I had my radar set up on FM 518 and the posted speed limit was 45 miles per hour. I watched the numbers on the digital display rise quickly and when it reached 59, I locked it on the screen. I started the patrol unit, (a Ford LTD II) and activated my overhead lights and siren and began chasing this speeder down.

The overhead lights on this old Ford were of the chain driven cherries type. That means that one side had an electric motor that drove a bicycle chain that rotated the light on the other side of the car. I used the chrome exterior of the spotlight to check and make sure that the lights were rotating, because sometimes only one side rotated. Sure enough the driver’s side wasn’t rotating, so I reached up with my left hand and gave it a sharp whack. Now remember, I was chasing a speeder in a marked patrol car doing about 70 mph and having to reach my hand out of the window and whack the light bar to make it rotate, so the speeder could see it. This was multitasking long before it was popular to do so.

I whacked it several times and it started working, so I focused my attention back on the targeted speeder. He drove down FM 518 towards a curve in the road. On one side there was a paved road and on the other side of the intersection there was a gravel driveway. I was reaching down to grab the microphone to check out on the radio when the Seabrook dispatcher started broadcasting a BOLO.

She described the vehicle and gave the license plate number. Excitedly, I got on the radio and said, “243 Seabrook, I got it, I got it”! I caught my breath and told her that I was in pursuit of the wanted vehicle and that I was headed west on FM 518 headed towards League City. She said that the suspect was a white male that had just stolen a purse containing a lot of money from a parked car on the Seabrook side. All this happened within a few seconds.

My adrenalin was very high at this point to say the least. The suspect vehicle made a hard right turn into the long gravel driveway, trying to elude me. Gravel and dust was flying everywhere and the driveway ended in the front yard of a home about a quarter mile from the paved FM road.

The suspect stopped his car and I slid my patrol unit in behind him in my best Hollywood slide and swung open the driver’s side door. Keeping my feet inside of the car I pulled out the big Model #27 and in a very loud voice explained that if his didn’t stop that I was going to remove his head from his body with the big gun.

Apparently he had seen some Dirty Harry too, because he immediately stopped and laid down on the ground. Before I even got out of the car I grabbed the radio and made sure that Seabrook knew where I was at and requested a back up unit.

I approached the prone suspect and repeated my instructions that he not move. To emphasize my instructions, I thumb cocked the double action behemoth revolver into the single action mode just like I had seen Harry Callahan do so many times. Anyway I got the frightened suspect handcuffed and stuffed into the back seat of my patrol car.

I returned to the suspect vehicle and I saw the purse he had stolen laying there on the back seat. I secured the purse and waited for the Seabrook police to arrive on the scene. Once they arrived I turned the suspect, the stolen purse, and the suspect vehicle over to them. I noted the incident in my patrol log and went out to catch more speeders.

The next day I got called into the Captain’s office. He told me that I should have searched the suspect’s vehicle. Seabrook PD found stolen items from eight home burglaries, over twenty pounds of marijuana, and three stolen guns. He asked me why I didn’t search the car. I told him that it was a Seabrook wanted vehicle and as far as I knew it hadn’t committed any crimes in Kemah.

He knew that I hadn’t yet been to the police academy at that time, so he wrote my actions off to inexperience. Later though, the wise old Chief of Police approached me and he said that what I did was exactly what he would have done in the same situation and that made me feel a little better. (Again, hard to believe you could go out and imitate Dirty Harry without ever having been professionally trained at all.)

As the rust on the grip handle of the Model #27 increased, my desire for something better grew too. Within a few months Smith and Wesson released a Model #66 stainless steel K-framed .357 magnum revolver. The Model #27 along with some hard earned extra job money to boot bought me a new rust resistant sidearm.

In my opinion the Model #27 of that era is on par with the Colt python. That’s another story that I’ll share with you in the future. Till next time, shoot straight, shoot often, and support the NRA to protect your 2nd amendment rights to bear arms.

Junior’s Boy

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gunPhotofor January

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Raccoon Hunting With a Cannon

Posted on May 6, 2016 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

 

 

Known to action moviegoers as the “most powerful handgun in the world” that would take your head right off your shoulders, the Smith and Wesson .44 caliber magnum revolver is indeed a powerful handgun. I’ve only owned one in my career, but when I carried it I felt as though I was the mightiest warrior walking the face of the planet, afraid of neither man nor beast.

The time was the late 1970’s and I was nineteen years old. I was armed with this hand cannon and I had the authority to use it. That my friends is a scary thought, even to me. Now days you must be twenty one, undergo a battery of both mental and physical evaluations and successfully complete an approved police academy of at least 1600 classroom hours. Back when I started you were sworn in, handed a badge and a gun and told to go get the bad guys. Barney Fife was on TV and I had that role model and 80 hours of reserve officer training to work with.

Sometime in the next twelve months I had to complete a basic 240 hour police academy with a passing grade of 70% to get my peace officer license from the great State of Texas. Anyway back to the Model #29. This particular gun came from a very highly respected and wise old Sergeant named Lindsey Carlton of the League City Police department. He was in my opinion a top notch cop and a good friend to me. This was back in the time of the “wonder nine” pistols. These were high capacity auto loading pistols that were becoming very popular in law enforcement circles and I had already bought myself one. It was a 9mm blued version and I think it had a 15 round magazine. As usual I didn’t really think through my purchase and soon found that the back strap of the weapon that has the most contact with your sweaty palm had started to show signs of rust.

Sgt. Carlton was a big fellow and he had an affinity for large bore revolvers, however he also wanted my S & W model #59, so we worked out a trade. For some reason during our phone conversation about the deal he mistakenly believed that my model #59 was the hard chromed version. I am absolutely sure I didn’t lie to the man, because I respected him way too much for that and that wasn’t something that I could have hidden anyway. Well I trekked over to his house, (a palatial mansion for the day on a cops salary I thought), and we went about the dickering process. I un-wrapped the model #59 from the original brown waxed paper that protected it from rust, in the blue and silver trimmed Smith and Wesson box that had accompanied it from the factory of its birth. A normally jovial type person, I was surprised when I saw Lindsey’s face take on a sour look. He said, “I thought you told me that this was a Nickel plated model?” I stammered and stuttered and vehemently denied that I’d said it was nickel plated during our phone conservation, because I honestly think I told him what it was.

We dickered back and forth like an experienced horse trader and a wanna be cowboy there for a while as Lindsey scrutinized the Model #59 and I went over the Model #29. It had a short barrel of about 4″ and was quite heavy. What first caught my attention was the finish on the hand cannon. It wasn’t new by any stretch of the imagination and had been refinished. Now days it would be called a matte chrome finish or Colt fans would call it a Colt Guard finish. The #29 had the standard factory wooden stocks and a white outline rear sight and the blaze ramp style front sight that I’d already decided I liked in my short law enforcement tenure. Well it took a full glass of sweet tea, one blued Smith and Wesson Model #59 still in the original box and 75.00 hard earned extra job dollars (that my new Boss wasn’t aware I had squirreled away), but I had my model #29 and was on my way.

I went home and showed the new prize to the quite pregnant Boss and she wasn’t all that impressed. I don’t really think she had ever seen a “Dirty Harry” movie at that time, so she had no idea of the cool factor I had just achieved. Well when you get a new gun, you have to buy ammo for it so we loaded up in the family car, a 3/4 ton Chevy single cab pick-up truck that I had owned when we married. The Boss was multi-talented and could drive the manual transmission hay hauler with no problems, but as unborn #1 child grew that all changed, but that’s another story. Off to Marburger’s Sporting Goods we went, where I “badged” the clerk and he didn’t check my age. I bought a fifty round box of 240 grain Remington .44 magnum hollow point cannon ammo. Ok, now what’s any self respecting new gun owner with a box of fresh ammo first priority? To go shoot the damn thing and see how it works.

Back then we were newly married and the Boss was game for most anything, so we drove back to one of the most remote areas in Seabrook on Port road. There was nothing out there but pasture, so I wasn’t afraid of damaging anything. We drove out and parked along side of the road and with the Boss waiting in the truck acting as the lookout, I test fired the .44 by shooting into a bar ditch. I warned the Boss to hold her ears because I assumed it would be loud and I wasn’t disappointed. I touched off a round and a blue and yellow flame bellowed out of that weapon for what the Boss assured me was about 18″. Remember I hadn’t had any formal training on handguns at this point, so I didn’t know about sound deadening ear plugs or ear muffs that you’re supposed to wear when you shoot. I was raised in the country, you just went shooting. For the next round I kind of used my shoulder to protect one ear and stuck my left index finger in the other ear and I made the mistake of shooting the mighty Model #29 with one hand.

I was not too long out of high school where my favorite class was recess. During recess all I was required to do was lift weights and get ready for the next football season, so I got away with firing the nard kicking short barrel hand cannon once. I assure you, I never fired it one handed again though. It was for sure a two fisted handgun, especially with magnum loads. Well now that I was armed with what I called “Thor’s Hammer”, I feared no man or critter. Feeling that I had the power of the mighty Greek God “Thor” and the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ at my beck and call, I was good to go. So being the “I gotta have the latest and best kinda of cop” that I am, I set about acquiring all of the latest accruements for my new handgun. Back then we all wore either plain black leather or basketweave designed Sam Browns (gun belt), so this called for a trip to Houston to the F-15 police supply on Washington Avenue.

I bought a high rise lined thumb break plain black leather holster and a loop type ammo holder. (That’s a device that held 12 rounds of ammo on your gun belt and allowed you quick access for reloading.) I was now loaded for bear. I carried this gun for many months until the time came that I had to use it. Don’t panic I didn’t kill anybody; I was forced to shoot a raccoon. By forced, I mean that I had gotten a direct order to shoot this raccoon from the Chief of Police. I was aware of the penetrating power of the .44 magnum round. We were in an urban setting, but a citizen called the Chief and said that he had a problem with raccoons in his attic. So being the night officer I was sent over to shoot this raccoon.

Here’s what happened.

The homeowner and I were standing in the yard on the side of his house in an overgrown field. He pointed up to his attic and said “that’s where they will come out when I use a mop handle to make noise and drive them out”. I explained that I would not shoot towards his house, but if he would scare the raccoons out of the attic I’d take the shot if I got the chance. Well sure enough a big ole boar raccoon came out of the attic and jumped across onto a tree limb out near where I was standing. The homeowner returned and I asked him to hold my flashlight on the raccoon so I could shoot it. Well this wasn’t such a good idea because I realized without the flashlight, I couldn’t see the sights on the big Smith and Wesson. By this time I had watched enough T. J. Hooker episodes on television that I managed to hold the flashlight in my left hand and the revolver in my right, using the opposing force hold to brace my gun. I thumbed cocked the big cannon into the single action mode and took careful aim.

Ka-Boom.

Flames and smoke belched out of the muzzle and I could see that I had hit the big old raccoon in the stomach area because that portion of his body was no longer there. I had heard old men tell me that there was no critter as tough as a old boar raccoon, but I couldn’t believe what I saw next. The ole raccoon simply climbed down out of the tree, sneered at us, calmly walked over and climbed over a six foot chain link fence, then disappeared into the woods. People have asked me why I didn’t shoot again, but remember we were in an urban district and shooting horizontally would almost guarantee hitting someone’s house, so I chose to be careful despite what the Chief had told me. By the way that was the last raccoon call I made there, so apparently the ole boy was mortally wounded.

I kept my pet hand cannon till I moved to a larger department that mandated revolvers no larger than a .357 magnum, but I sure missed “Thor’s Hammer”. It was my first Model 29 and due to my retirement and advanced arthritis, it’s probably my last. Till next time grip it with both hands, aim true, and join the NRA to protect your gun rights. If you like this column you can email me at juniorsboy@santafegoodnews.com because the Boss likes it when I get fan mail.
Juniors Boy

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Para USA Elite Carry

Posted on July 31, 2014 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

A professional grade .45 acp powerhouse for the discerning 1911 aficionado.

A professional grade .45 acp powerhouse for the discerning 1911 aficionado.

I am without reservation a 1911 aficionado and I’ll admit it.  My very first handgun was an old chrome plated Colt Government model 1911 that was as shiny as a new car bumper complete with 14 karat gold accents.  It came to me in a plastic bag completely disassembled.  The days of chrome plating and gold accents are long past, but I sure wish I still had it and had not traded it in a quest for the latest and greatest.

See this review at www.santafegoodnews.com/Issues/14072 starting on page 15.

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The Shooter's Corner

The Shooter’s Corner

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BOND ARMS – Made in Texas by Texans

Posted on April 22, 2014 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

The derringers of Bond Arms are light years ahead in design, construction, power, safety, and reliability from the original derringers of the 19th century. Greg Bond the designer of the Bond Arms derringer wanted a gun design that was robust, user friendly, and would be a quality firearm.

He also wanted his derringers not to be seen as cheap unreliable guns mostly used by criminals, so he designed it to be a quality firearm that has a simple manual of arms and can be opened, reloaded, and closed one handed. He also designed the to hammer spring into a half cock trigger position when the breach is closed so it’s NOT resting against the cartridge primer in order to prevent accidental discharges. The small, but usable sights line up with the bottom barrel enabling you to make accurately aimed shots.

All models of Bond Arms have interchangeable barrels, so you can purchase barrels of different calibers and lengths, and then all it takes is an Allen wrench to change out the barrel assembly to a different caliber. Barrel lengths are 2 ½”, 3″, 3 ½”, and 4 ¼”. As of the writing of this article Bond Arms has eleven different models of the basic pistol. (See the rest of the story on page 23 in the magazine by clicking here – it’s FREE & full of photos.) www.santafegoodnews.com/Issues/TexasIssue.pdf

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Rimfire Ruger 22/45 Lite

Posted on October 25, 2013 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

I was down at the gun shop the other day when I spied a new addition in the display counter. It was the new Ruger 22/45 Lite and I was immediately drawn to it. I’d guess the styling of the pistol is what first attracted my attention, and when I hefted it I could see why they named it the 22/45 Lite. I know last month I reviewed the Ruger 10-22 International rifle, so I guess I’m stuck on the ubiquitous .22 rim fire cartridge for some reason.

It’s certainly NOT because the ammo is as cheap or plentiful as it used to be, I just grew up with a .22 rim fire and I’ve always liked them. I am also a big fan on the 1911 and this Ruger is so similar in feel and has almost the same ergonomics as a 1911. I am drawn to it as a training/practice gun.

Get the full review starting on page 18 at www.santafegoodnews.com/Issues/SouthernComfortIssue.pdf

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New Double Tap Defense Dynamo

Posted on August 26, 2013 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

New Double Tap Defense Dynamo

A lone horseman rides through a beautiful Colorado valley and approaches the outskirts of a 19th century town.  Suddenly a scurrilous looking bandit pops up from behind a junk pile with a rifle and announces to the aging horseman that this a robbery.  He tells the horseman to drop his gun, a visibly holstered Great Western revolver in .45 Colt.

The horseman complies, and then the bandit tells the horseman to throw over his wallet.  The horseman slowly goes into his coat pocket and throws his wallet towards the bandit, and when the armed bandit bends down to retrieve the loot, the horseman produces a Remington .41 rim fire derringer and shoots the bandit in the abdomen.

Yes, folks this is the opening sequence to “The Shootist”, the last movie John “The Duke” Wayne made and it shows the value of a derringer to a well-armed citizen.  It’s not a primary arm, but as a last ditch survival weapon that can save your life, it works well.

(See the rest of the story & photos by clicking here.) www.santafegoodnews.com/issues/farmissue.pdf

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Her Duty Gun

Posted on February 13, 2013 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

Her Duty Gun

Smith and Wesson 6906

 I was off and the kids were at grandma’s for a few days and I finally had a day to myself because the Boss was at work.  She had firearms qualifications that day and  I knew about it because she had me detail strip her Colt Commander and clean it till it looked like new.  The range officer for her department was a hard-ass who did pistol inspections like a like a Nazi SS officer.  He had gotten on to her the previous year for having a miniscule amount of burnt gunpowder under the forcing cone of her Smith & Wesson model 686 revolver.  She brought it home to me to clean and explained that she needed her gun to be re-cleaned because the range officer wouldn’t let her shoot her qualification course till her revolver passed his inspection. So this day she called me in a frantic tone and said that her gun wasn’t working right, and she couldn’t qualify with it.  I asked her what was wrong with it and she couldn’t tell me exactly, just that she couldn’t qualify with it.  I told her that I would be right there.

 

6906Pic#4

Bobbed hammer, ambidextrous safeties.

I went to the range that her department was using and started looking at her gun.  She set me up a target and I fired a magazine through it at the seven (7) yard line and fired a small group.  Then she tells me that the problem was really at farther distances.  I had her move the target back to the 25 yard line and that’s when I had to actually look through the sights and found the problem.  The front sight was bent quite a bit to the left.  It was just enough that it changed the point of aim, but not enough to be easily noticeable by just looking at it.  She explained that she had dropped it several months ago on a set of concrete steps, but she didn’t think anything about it. Now that I told you about this so I can explain how the purchase of the Smith and Wesson 6906 happened.

She said she wanted a new pistol that was lighter and fired a 9mm bullet.  We went to Shooters Corner in Texas City and there happened to be a stainless steel 9mm in the display case.  She picked it up and commented on how light it was.  The 6906 has an alloy frame and a stainless steel slide.  It has a double action/single action trigger, meaning that the first round is fired like a double action revolver and the follow up shots are fired like her Colt Commander.  A deal was struck and the damaged Colt was traded for the new Smith and Wesson 6906. Now the Boss was happy, but that meant that we had to buy her a new duty holster to fit the new pistol and we decided on a Safariland SS-III high security holster.  She was always worried that in a tussle a suspect might gain access to her weapon.  We bought this holster and a new double magazine holder.  I changed everything out and off to the gun range we went so she could shoot it.  The new holster has three locks on it and she had to practice with it for several days before she could draw her pistol in a period of time that I didn’t have to measure with a sun dial.  I think she made about three hundred practice draws before the new holster got broke in and she could get her pistol out fast enough that I felt comfortable enough for her to go out on the streets with it on her hip.

6906Pic#7

Rounded, white dot, fixed rear sight.

 

The Boss really liked the 6906 because it was light and the 9mm recoil was nothing compared to the .45 she had been shooting.  She commented that we should have started off with this pistol instead of the Colt Commander.  Anyway she was a great shot with the pistol and found it easy to transition from the first double action trigger pull to the single action follow up shots. With a fully loaded magazine she had twelve rounds plus one up the spout giving her thirteen 9mm +P rounds from the holster and two magazines loaded with twelve rounds each for a total ammo count 37 rounds.  She went off to shoot her annual qualification course and she shot in the high nineties on a hundred point scoring system. The Boss carried the Smith and Wesson 6906 for the rest of her law enforcement career without any problems.  When she transferred to the warrant division of another agency and wore plain clothes, the small light weight 6906 worked well for her there too.

 

After she decided to leave law enforcement the 6906 came to me and I had a use for it.  Because it was lightweight and stainless steel, I carried it for a backup gun when I was in uniform.  My bullet resistant (NOT Bullet proof) vest had a pocket in the front, and the 6906 fit perfectly in this pocket.  Mind you we were not allowed to carry back up guns at that time, so I had to hide it from my supervisors.  The flat profile never poked through the pocket, and my supervisors never knew about it till …… I was attacked by a suspect that ran up behind me while I was out on a disturbance call, and walloped me on the head with a four foot long barstool leg.  He was at a dead run when he did this, so all I could describe was a very fast youthful black male which is not much of a description.  My fellow officers had him identified and arrested by the next day, and he plea bargained for 27 years in prison.

6906Pic#1

Flat sighting plane, and fixed white dot front sight.

 

After I was hit on the head, naturally I was bleeding like a stuck pig (No Pun Intended), I left the disturbance and drove myself to the emergency room.  My Captain came to check on me just about the time I was taking my uniform shirt and vest off.  This is when it I got caught.  The Captain moved my vest and the 6906 fell out of its pocket and clattered onto a steel cabinet top.  The Captain got angry and told me that I should have warned him that there was a gun in the vest.  The pistol was on safety and nothing happened, he was just scared because he didn’t expect to find a gun unsecured.  Anyway nothing else was said about it and I was happy because I could have been written up for a rules and regulation violation and gotten a suspension.  It ended well I guess, except that walloping I got manifested itself into a disabling injury that caused me to retire early from the profession that I so dearly enjoyed doing.

 

The S&W Model 6906 is a semi-automatic pistol, chambered for the 9mm cartridge. It is a model in Smith and Wesson’s well-regarded 59-series, envisioned as pistols that could be easily concealed, but possessed sufficient firepower to serve as service weapons as well. It has a traditional double-action weapon with a 3.5-inch barrel, equipped with a slide-mounted safety/decocker. The magazine capacity is 12 rounds, however it is also able to accept the 59 series magazines holding 15 rounds. It has a stippled, squared off trigger guard and a smooth combat trigger.  The fixed rear sight has a white outline and rounded edges and it is quite easy to pick up the white dot front sight.  The one piece grip is removable by punching out one pin that runs through the frame.  The 6906 was introduced when Smith and Wesson introduced its “third-generation” series of semiautomatics.  It has an alloy frame with a stainless steel finish.  The slide is stainless steel. It was the same pistol as the Model 6946, which was similar to the 6906 but operated in double action only mode. Although the 69-series of pistol is no longer produced, the polymer-framed Smith & Wesson M&P compact possesses similar dimensions, and the same barrel length and magazine capacity (in 9mm).

 

6906Pic#2

Smooth combat trigger and stippled front trigger guard

In its retirement from active duty this Smith and Wesson 6906 9mm that served the Boss and I so well has been delegated to be her nightstand gun to deal with things that go bump in the night.  Each year she fires all of the loaded magazine rounds and they are replenished with fresh ammo.  Technically I guess it’s still on duty doing what it’s supposed to do.  Thanks Smith and Wesson for making a quality pistol that has protected the Boss and I for so many years. I hope you enjoyed this article and always remember to practice your shooting skills often, get a legal carry permit and above all – always be legal in thought and deed.  Till next time be safe out there and remember to support the NRA to protect your gun rights.

 

Juniors Boy

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