My favorite 1911 Configuration.

To me, saying “1911″ is like saying “Pickup Truck”.  There are many Makes and Models out there, all different, all with different purposes. But they are all 1911′s so they are pretty good and should all pretty much run the same way.   But one configuration of 1911 that always makes me drool…
A Lightweight Commander.  Specifically a two tone LW Commander.  As far as pistols go – these are my Redheads.  My Kryponite.  My weakness.

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This one is very nice… Subdued colors.  A big visible dot on the front sight… Very nice indeed.  I’m not a huge fan of the ramped rear sight, but I can deal with that.  On this gun the higher end red wood grips are a little dressy on the flat finished gun.

colt_04860txt_commander_eliteThis one is nice too… Subdued colors again, but with a set of black grip panels.  I like that a bit better due to the fact that it’s more in keeping with the motif.  The first one is like having White Wall tires on a Mustang GT.   I guess that would be fine if that’s your thing… it’s just not my thing.   And if it is your thing… and you like that… Well, “America”.   Bully for you!

kobra4Here’s one that’s very good.  Micarta grips, brushed stainless and a moderate polish on the slide… Not Subdued, but more natural.  I really like that.  I also like the Bobtail… a lot.  But it’s not necessary…  Just really really nice.  Like Navigation or a Back Up Camera, or XM Radio.

Yost_left_rearOh man… Here we go.  This is the higher end.  We have a high polish on that blued slide and burled walnut grips.  This one is so nice that it’s almost too nice.  We call guns like this “BBQ Guns”, but it’s what you wear to a BBQ at your friends place… your nicest gun in a nice leather holster.  Not something I’d EDC, but wear to special occasions.  It would be like having a date with a Super Model… You are not going to take her out on the rounds of your usual haunts, but to some place special.  (Unless she asked to go to the regular haunts mind you)   So for me, that last one there, the more natural one, that’s the one I’d pick.

What do all these Commanders have in common?  Two Tone Finishes, with Dark on top of Light.  The current Vogue due to the advent of stainless slides on polymer frames is to have a light colored slide on a dark frame.  This I don’t care for.  It makes all manner of sense though, sure.  It’s PRACTICAL.  A stainless slide will show less wear than a blued slide.  And frames will typically show less wear than slides… So putting a stainless slide on that black frame makes Reason and Logic smile.  But it doesn’t make me necessarily smile, no, just the opposite is true.  And let me tell you why.

Growing up reading every gun magazine I could get my hands on as a kid, I stared with wide eyes and great wonder at the custom 1911′s made by true master level gunsmiths… and all of them were two tones with stainless frames and high polished blued slides.   That LOOK defined “Custom” for me then and it does so now.  So the stainless slides on black frames just look “off” to me.   So my ultimate has to have a black slide on light frame.   That just visually tastes right to me.

Lawn Mower Rant

North Carolina is blessed with awesome growing weather.   You can grow a lawn on your roof here.  The perfect blend of Rain and Sun and optimal growing temperatures for like 10 months in the year.
This means a lot of lawn mowing.  For some, this is a source of great pride and satisfaction.

For me it’s a bloody curse.  For one, I’m allergic to cut grass.  I’m fine around grass, until it starts getting mowed and whatever the feck it is that comes out of it just about kills me.  Watery, red, puffy eyes, and nose that wont stop running.  So for me, when I start cutting grass, I want it done fast and thorough and none of that bagging crap.  I like a Mower and Mulcher in one.  Know what I mean?   This isn’t much to ask for, is it?  Evidently it is.  Because in the last 5 months I’ve gone through 3 mowers.  This last one, did only half the yard before it just went belly up.  Sure it’s used, but before it started on my lawn we had it serviced.  Cleaned out, fresh oil and filter and a new spark plug.  Tuned up.   Ran like a champ…. In the front yard.  And then the Mower must have looked in the back yard because it just said “Screw this” and shut down.   It will start… and it will run… for about 5 seconds max.  Just like the last two.  Even after getting them professionally serviced.  Even had a new carb on one of them.

All three had one thing in common.   MURRAY.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Murray Lawn Mowers really and truly suck.   They are the Phoenix Arms of Lawn Mowers.   Fine when brand new but a couple boxes of ammo through it and they fall apart.  I will never deal with another one for the rest of my life.   I’ll never deal with another Phoenix – or MURRAY ever again.  Life is TOO SHORT.

 

Ruger’s new LC9s.

Ruger is rolling out a new version of the LC9, the “LC9s”.

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The “S” of course, means “Striker”.  It is said that this has a very good trigger pull.   If that’s the case, and it really does have a good trigger pull… well then.  That changes things in regards to my opinion of the LC9.  The S model would then be a pistol well worth considering.    Let me tell you why.

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Updated: The Mossberg 464 SPX: 6 Reason to buy one.

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I can admit it when I’m wrong.   I can change my opinion when new information comes to light.   And I can change my opinion when something I once thought a disgusting abomination proves to be actually useful.   Well, in this case, that Something is the Mossberg 464 SPX.   When I first saw it in photos I thought it was a joke.  When I first saw it in person at SHOT Show, I was horrified.
But over time, the Mossy 464 series has grown on me.  And the SPX version has even become less offensive to my Lever Sensibilities.
Now I’m at the point that not only to I actually like them… But I actually really WANT ONE.

Here’s what I like about the 464 SPX from O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc.
1. It has good sights and not Buckhorns… No one likes Buckhorns, not even guys who know how to use them. And these work in lower light conditions. 
2. The stock adjusts to fit different sized shooters, or the same shooter through all four seasons.
3. The muzzle end is threaded. This means you can take off the flash hider and put on a muzzle brake, or a suppressor… Or a thread protector and have nothing on it. You have options.
4. It’s a Mossberg… so while it’s not a Japanese made Winchester, or a questionably made Marlin, or Brazilian or Italian made whatever… It’s a solid, hardworking US Made rifle that’s going to get the job done.
5. The safety is actually in a logical place for a Lever Action.
6. These things actually shoot very well.  

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It does look better with a coating on it.

Ugly? Indeed… But it works. And that makes it rather attractive to me.  I think if I had one I’d get the gun Cerakoted for improved corrosion resistance, put a sling on it and cover the rails…  Maybe change the stock to a lighter unit.  But that’s less important.  I’d put a Battlecomp on it first chance I got.  And then I’d call it good.    

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Updated:  Okay, you guys know I am not one to leave well enough alone.  I’ve been looking at the 464 series of rifles and there seems to be some holes in the line that could be filled.
The 16″ barreled SPX loses a round of capacity and a chunk of velocity from the standard 464 rifle with the 20″ barrel.  I think it would be nice to offer a 20″ SPX and let it take advantage of that extra oomph and extra round.  That’s one thing.  The other thing, is the they have a nice weather proof marine finish… but with a not so weather proof wood stock.  How about a Marine Finished SPX?  And how about a Marine Finished 464 with a regular furniture, but in a sturdy synthetic?  I know I’d like that.  I’d also like a Trapper version of the 464.  Traditional, but in 16″.  Okay, we’ve got this ball rolling… Where is a .45-70 gun?  That’s right… I’m looking for a Guide Gun Alternative here.  The 464PH, Professional Hunter, make it like the Marlin’s SBL… top rail, big loop… Do the same config in .30-30 as well.  And while we’re talking calibers… Let’s look at a .44 Mag version of the SPX and Trapper.

Is DC now a Constitution Carry district?

The DC Police Chief sent out instructions to all DC police officers that they will not make arrests for carrying a gun.  Concealed or Open, no distinction was made.  If you are legal to own the gun, you are legal to carry it.  This is also called Vermont Carry by some.

Let this sink in again… if you are legal to own a gun, you can now carry it in Washington D.C.

This is historic stuff.   When was the last time you could do that?  The 60′s?  The 40′s?  I don’t know.  Not within my lifetime I’m sure.    But let’s not organize Open Carry Parties and head to Chipoltes and Starbucks… because I am sure any inch you give them will be leverage they can use to throw you to ground for “Disorderly” or “Trespass”.  The Legal Fight is not even close to being over on this one.  DC will appeal, and the legal status of Reciprocity will be created which could change this status for your State.   Legal Teams are freaking out.  And Washington DC Police are different from the Capitol Police, who patrol places like the Smithsonian and around the White House and Capitol Building and all the Monuments in conjunction with NPS.   So tread lightly people.  Tread very lightly right now.  Because this smells of bear bait.

Longmire on A&E

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THIS.

For some reason, this show just captured my attention.   It’s kind of like a more dramatic Jesse Stone series, set in the West.  The hero of the show is a full sized Ford Bronco… I mean, a Sheriff named Longmire.  He’s not a perfect guy… the classic flawed hero thing.  What’s cool about it, is that it would be too easy to channel John Wayne or Clint Eastwood for the role of a Western Cowboy Sheriff type.   But he’s not doing that.  He’s just a guy that’s holding down his job.  He makes mistakes, but handles his problems the best he can.  He carries a Colt 1911 and a Winchester 94.  He’s a most interesting leading character because of his faults.

Here’s another reason to watch Longmire.
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Katee Sackoff plays a Deputy.  She’s come a long way and really shows her acting talent, especially in the most recent episode.  If you didn’t like her before – you will in this show.   She’s a very good actress.  Surprisingly so.  We remember her from the cocky spaceship pilot in Battlestar Galactica.  Here, she plays a character of far more depth.  She has a list of problems as well, to the point her character should be unlikable… but she is.  Because Katee’s acting makes her believable.   Which is good because not all of the things in the show are believable… because they do throw in a measure of Western Lore Fantasy in there for fun… But overall I think one can relate more to this show than “Justified”… the only other cowboy hat lawman show I know of.

You see a good mix of drama and action… character development and personality conflicts.   Overall, it’s a great show.   I like it a lot.

This Great Nation

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It’s good to be back home.   July was a month spent on the road.  June 30th I pulled out of North Carolina and headed west.  I basically made a loop between here and Utah via I-70 and I-80, up to Rochester New York and then back down to home.   I went through a lot of states and stopped to talk with a lot of good folks along the way.   And I learned a few things.

FACT:  AMERICA is AWESOME.
At none of the border crossings was I stopped and asked for papers or travel permits.  I just got in my car, and drove.  A lot.  Freedom.

FACT:  AMERICA’s Colors are Red White and Blue.
I was pleased to find that even in more “Liberal” areas, people are Patriotic and we love our Nation.  I saw the American flag flying in every State.   I saw it on the backs of trucks and cars.  Proudly over businesses.   And I even saw it inked as a few tattoos.

FACT:   AMERICA has a pathetic Government.
Everywhere I went, Americans have a great love for our Nation, but none for our Government.  Obama is just not popular at all anywhere I travelled…   No where did I hear anything about Skin Color.  It’s all about Policy and no one I talked to had anything good to say about it.

FACT:  AMERICA is BEAUTIFUL.   Even crossing Kansas and Nebraska – two states that normally cause me to flail simply due to the expanse of them… I have to say I found stunning beauty in them on this trip.   Tennessee was breathtaking.   Looking at the expanse of the Great Lakes.  The absolute majesty of the Rocky Mountains.    American is Gorgeous.   PA really surprised me with it’s soft hills and wide fields… beautiful little towns.   Western side of New York is even beautiful.   The Niagara Falls would have been more so if it wasn’t so bloody commercialized.   I’d have loved to have seen it 50 years ago.

Overall, America is one amazing Nation.  And I truly love it.  And I know I am not the only one, who would stand proudly in it’s defense.  I only find it mournful that it’s our Government that we need to defend against.   Bureaucrats with their Policies… CANCER!   And not just on the Federal Level, but on the State and Local.   We need to keep an eye on them.

Spiritual Journey

As you guys know, I’m a Mormon.  I’ve said before that you guys should not look at me as an example of what a Mormon is, as I am not a very good one.   I’m trying to be better.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has always been a part of my life – even when I’ve not been active.  Even when I was far from Active I’ve always had a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I believe in God.  I believe Jesus was the Son of God.  I also believe when Jesus said in The Bible, in John 10:16:

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

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I believe he was talking about the people in the Americas, and that Jesus visited these people.   I believe The Book Of Mormon is a record of these people.

The LDS Church started out in Palmyra, NY.  This is where I am right now as I write this.  When I went out to Utah to visit family there and attend a wedding… we decided we wanted to back-track the Mormon Trail.  We went across Nebraska, and stopped at Winter Quarters.  We went from there to Nauvoo, where my wife and I went through the Temple there.  We took my boys to the blacksmith shop there in Nauvoo where John Browning did Blacksmithing and Gunsmithing.  John Browning was the Father of John Moses Browning, the father of Modern Small Arms.  (I am a descendant of Browning through the Stark line)  I wanted to give the Tour Guide a Tour… his illuminations on Browning was filled with incorrectness… but that’s beside the point.  The point is I and We have connection with Nauvoo that’s tangible.  At the Pageant there was a number of Scottish Bagpipers and drummers.  Listening to them stirred my soul.  My wife and I loved it so much… So did my boys.
From Nauvoo, we came to Palmyra and toured the Joseph Smith farm, the sacred grove, and of course the Hill Cumorah pageant.   The sacred grove is an amazing place.  It feels truly sacred in the same way it feels in the Temple.  It’s like an outdoor temple.   There’s a reverence that one should hold there.  It’s not for rowdy kids and loud voices… normal tourists with normal tourist behavior should not go there.   But if one can be respectful… then it’s worth the trip.  Because you can feel the sacred nature of the place.  It was tangible.   I know a lot of people that would do well to spend some time there.

This Journey was a special thing for me… to really get back in touch with LDS History… With MY history.  Because my History is LDS History.  And I am proud of that.   I’ve never denied that and I have never denied the Church.  Though I have had many issues with people in it.   Which is the main reason for past inactivity.

But then a fellow said something to me.  Travis, my Manager at Basin Sports, said “If someone is between you and God… Who’s closer?”  I dismissed the statement as soon as he finished saying it… but it didn’t go away.  It gnawed at me.  It haunted me.  Because it’s Truth.   With a great many implications that are not easy to deal with.  Statements like that are always easy to say but hard to swallow.    Getting back into the Church as an active member after being inactive for so long is… kinda like quitting smoking.   It sounds easy as if it’s just a choice… but it gnaws on your mind… the habits.  The thoughtless ritual of things that go into Smoking and make it difficult to stop.   Same with being inactive.   But I think this journey has really helped me.

I don’t preach on MadOgre.com.   And I don’t argue religion here either.  I will not Bible Bash on the Internet.  (ThoughI have and will Bible Bash in person, face to face.  I was a Missionary for my Church once.)  I only ask that you Respect my Faith as I Respect yours.  Capital R on Respect for a reason.  Capital F for Faith for the same reason.    Mutual Respect is important for civil conversation.   If you disagree with Mormon Doctrine, that is your choice.  If you want to talk about Mormon Doctrine, that’s fine too.  I will send a couple Missionaries to meet with you to discuss those things with you.   However if you want to pull out your Anti-Mormon biggotry and hate – I’ll just delete it with a simple click of the mouse.  Because I’ve heard it all before.  You will not say anything new or interesting or bring up matters that I’ve not considered before.   So don’t waste your time posting it, only to have me delete it offhand.  The LDS Church has asked us not to engage the protestors that stand outside of our Conference Hall and Temples and here at the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  So I walk by them…  I don’t have to put up with it here.  It’s not that I don’t like those people… I support anyone’s right to Free Speech.   But it’s just that I really really want to punch those guys right in their teeth.  I have to actively keep myself from throwing them a savage beating.  You see, I am still not a good Mormon… my instinct is to wreck them instead of forgive them.   Break them instead of bless them.   I have to Try Hard to not hurt them…  I fear that one day I will not try hard enough and one of those guys will get knocked to the dirt with a broken jaw.   Of course I know that such action is playing into their hand… They are like Palestinians.  Knowing that helps keep me from actually lashing out.    But they do so offend me.  The people in Nauvoo and Palmyra… the Non-Members who drove the Mormons out of their homes and businesses in the past are now profiting from Mormons who come back to visit…. Hotels and Cafes and everything else… They are making fortunes now, because of Mormons.   They once Tarred and Feathered us… Literally brought out the Torches and Pitchforks…   Now they roll out the welcome mats because of all the money that floods into the communities…

Anyways…

This journey has made me want to be a better Mormon.  It’s strengthened me and my faith.   It’s been a good thing.

Putting up with it.

Our nation has a history of completely screwing it’s Soldiers and Sailors and it’s getting worse and worse.   US Military gets shafted in pay and benefits, for the sake of budget cuts.  GI Bill gets cut back.  VA Benefits are cut back.  Even though it makes money, due to budget cuts the .Gov is cuts back on Post Exchanges… During Government Shut Downs, your on base stores – where Soldier’s Families buy groceries – gets shut down.   Vet’s wait until they die for health care.   Soldiers in the field are getting “You’re Fired” letters.   Vets that say “Hey, I’m having some nightmares” are getting gun rights taken away.   The .Gov looks at Vets as potential terrorists.   And now we have a Deserter who may have helped train the Terrorists, traded for 5 Terrorist Leaders, brought back to Active Duty.  Ft. Hood Shooter, anyone?

While all this is going on, our Administration is letting one of our Marines sit in a Mexican Jail, for illegally entering Mexico, while thousands of Mexicans enter the US illegally.

We have a US Marine.  Honorable service in two Tours.  Physically abused and beaten by the Police of a Nation that is supposed to be an Allied Nation… Languishing in a Mexican Prison.   It’s been over 100 days and he’s still in jail.  The Mexicans want to PUNISH him because he took a wrong turn and accidentally entered Mexico.   And our Government has done absolutely nothing to help him.   Disgusting.

The CIA and the US Military should be making plans to forcibly get our man back.  The Commander and Chief should be on the phone with the President of Mexico offering them a chance to return our Marine.  The force of our Nation should shake the Government of Mexico until he’s returned or retrieved.  Yet our nation does nothing.  We wait for the Mexicans to sentence him to even more jail time.

I am ashamed of our Government.   I do not see how our Military is putting up with this.  Insult after insult after insult… our military is being abused.