Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dog Gun Cash

I enjoyed Sunday's shoot so much that I had to do it all over again on Monday. Slight change of firearms -- .45 ACP got into the mix and we spent a little time dialing in GWB's scope to x ring standard. I like that Featherweight. Jeb had fun too.
Get rid of the recoil pad - GWB.
But I couldn't help but notice that the Market has surged, perhaps due to the trillions of dollars liquidity pumped into the beast lately.
no-one gets out of here alive
ZeroHedge guest Tim Price had this to say:

"The modern, debt-based economy requires constant economic expansion if only to service all that debt. So what happens when the modern economy goes ex-growth and stops expanding? Iceland already found out. Greece is in the process of discovering. But we will all get a chance to participate in this lesson. Runaway fiscal and monetary stimulus throughout the western economies is in the process of destroying the concept of creditworthiness at the centre of the modern monetary system."

Cash your paychecks, chaps.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Just Get Out And Shoot Something

Seeing as 2012 is the Year of the Gun, I thought I'd better go out to a parishioner's range and shoot after Mass on Sunday. I like it there -- just you, the guns and, in this case, my linguistic philosopher friend GWB and his dog Jeb. he's training Jeb for a bird dog.

I was pleased with the new Lee and shot moderately well with it, far easier to handle than my friend's Winchester Featherweight. Beautiful gun with a crisp and clear Burris scope but full of sound and fury, which took a little getting used to.

The AR performed like a right little heater; neat to see the muzzle flash in the twilight, though my "walk and shoot" performance against metal plates and a silhouette was fairly dismal. Practice, LSP! Practice.

Then it was back to HQ for curry.


Shoot straight,


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Obamacare versus the Catholic Church

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops was surely blindsided by the HSS requirement that Catholic institutions such as hospitals and schools provide contraception, sterilization and abortifacients to employees.

For goodness sake, the Church has supported a program of universal health care and regards it as a basic human "right"; so what's with the knife in the face? Why is the hierarchy in the US Church being attacked, blatantly, by their leftist friends in the current administration?

Because, surely, team Obama really believes that providing contraception and abortion is good and that religious beliefs, whatever they may be, should be no obstacle in the path of something that is fundamentally right. 

And there we have it, it's all about rights. The Church, with doubtless the best of intentions, has for decades adopted the language of its secular counterparts; for example, Pacem in Terris (John XXIII's oddly Kantian pacifist encyclical) enumerates some 53 basic human rights, from employment to health.

the government loves you
But who is going to enforce these rights? In the absence of temporal power it's not going to be the Church, which leaves the State. 

Unfortunately for the Church and for Christians everywhere in this country, the State's conception of right and wrong is by no means synonymous with the values of Christendom. The Catholic bishops and prominent Evangelicals appear to have woken up to this fact and we'll see how Obamacare versus The Church plays out in the Supreme Court next month.

In the meanwhile, the time for naive trust in the beneficence of the Secular Power should be, for catholic Christians at least, at an end.

We'll have to see how many stand up and are counted.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Good Horse!

I love Texas
After an exhausting round of back to back pancake suppers and Ash Wednesday Masses with Imposition of Ashes, I figured it was high time to get out in the field and ride JB.

She was looking a little skinny, which is odd because she's being fed well enough. I wondered if she was being run off her food by another horse, or possibly her teeth needed floating. Then again, some think that the soil in her pasture is mineral deficient. Maybe all these aspects are conspiring together to produce a potentially bad result. Maybe, and a process of elimination will bring us to the truth, Viz. Move pasture, change diet, get teeth checked. The first and second of these things should/will be sorted out next week, after a small ten acre fencing project. But more of that anon.

In the meanwhile, I was impressed with JB's performance -- she's beginning to get the hang of neck reining and managed decent bursts of walk, trot, canter, with fairly well controlled gaits and cadence.

There was a time when those simple things would have been major breakthroughs. Now they're pretty much expected. A testament to the horse's temper and learning ability (she put up with me) and more than a few miles in the saddle.

Well done, horse.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ash Wednesday - And so it Begins

Lent has begun and with it our Holy Mother the Church's call to penance, prayer, fasting and self-denial, leading to ever greater union with Our Lord's Passion. There are several ways to go about this.

The wrong way.

And the right way.

But while we're reflecting on that, here's some verse from Amma Jo, who is "the barefoot rev. Wandering barefoot and amazed through the stuff of mystery and wonder that is real theology." 

Here we go now:

"This is Lent. Smearing our faces with ashes that puff and run and smear and will wash away and stick to our fingers and refuse to stay put. This is Lent, the gentle reminder that to be but a breathe, a puff, a thing here one moment and gone the next is not fearsome but freeing."

Well now we know.

I wish you all a holy Lent.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shrove Tuesday

As we're on the eve Lent it makes sense, perhaps, to leave the bracing air of Valentine's Day bears and Lee Enfield projects behind, if only for a time.

Here's some Farrer to get the penitential spirit moving -- from The Crown of the Year.

"CHRIST broke his mysterious body and gave it to his disciples at the Supper without explaining at that time what the breaking and giving would mean. There was no need, the facts would presently make it clear. What, then, was done to this body? It was stripped, scourged, and nailed to a cross: stripped of all dignity and all possession, scourged with the stroke of penal justice, and nailed up like a dead thing while it was still alive. The body you receive in this sacrament accomplished its purpose by nailing to a tree. You are to become this body, you are to be nailed: nailed to Christ’s sacrificial will. The nails that hold you are God’s commandments, your rules of life, prayers, confessions, communions regularly observed. Let us honour the nails for Christ’s sake, and pray that by the virtue of his passion they may hold fast."

Serious business. 


Friday, February 17, 2012

Deadly Force

shoot it
The other week a helpful person decorated the parish hall of one of the missions by putting Valentine's Day bears in red tin buckets on all the tables in the church hall. They sit there, as centerpieces.

After Wednesday's Mass I sat there, grimly staring at the bears.

"I should like to shoot that bear," I announced to no one in particular.

"I just shot my sheep," replied one of the faithful. "Why'd you do that?" I questioned. "Because he was a maniac," came the response.

And that, my friends, is just the way it is.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chaplain General

Everyone knows that priests aren't supposed to go around shooting people, except in World War II when the French clergy were given a dispensation by the Pope, allowing them to join the military as combatants. Perhaps the most remarkable of these recruits was a Dominican priest, Fr. Bruckberger.

Bruckberger served in the French Commandos at the start of the war, was seriously wounded, captured, escaped and served with the Resistance, over which he was appointed Chaplain. A fierce patriot and cineast(!), he welcomed De Gualle into Notre Dame de Paris as sniper fire rang out within the Cathedral.

After the war his superiors transferred him to the Sahara, where he became Chaplain General of the French Foreign Legion. Bruckberger later went on to America and wrote a series of reflections, One Sky to Share.

Here's an excerpt, on the Land in America.

"Here, the land has not yet entered into communion with man, and man has not penetrated the mystery of the immense natural forces that shelter him. This land is terribly in need of blessing. The land is perhaps the promised bride of man, but she is not yet his. Most often she refuses to give herself or submits against her will. The land and man do not know each other in the flesh and in the spirit."

I love that.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Mods and Rockers

some kind of sad nonsense
When you hold your Lee Enfield up admiringly and wonder why the stock rattles about like a mob of ill disciplined youth, you focus sensibly on the King Screw. This is the pivotal point of the stock's bedding, holding the forestock to the action.
thanks, milsurp, for the diagram
But sometimes the Lee's wood shrinks and the King Screw no longer holds the forestock snugly in place. I had this problem. So what do you do to fix it?

You can soak the stock in Raw Linseed Oil and hope it expands.

You can re-bed the rifle.

I chose the latter option and there's several ways to go about it (see the helpful forums at milsurp). As a first step, you can file down the bushing that comes with King Screw. With a bit of luck that should bring the stock tight, but I didn't want to do that because I'll be restocking the rifle and don't want the hassle of ordering/duplicating a bushing to fit an unshrunken stock.

collar shim
So I shimmed the top of the trigger lugs by 1/32", taking the measurement as a touch over one turn of the King Screw, which was the gap between metal and wood. A piece of plastic clerical collar cut to size fit the bill and the stock tightened up to the receiver nicely. The metal now rests on the stock's bearing areas and the dangerous movement is gone.

bed time
A cheap fix, I know, but bear in mind that it's temporary. When the new stock is finished I'll center bed it to the action as per the excellent, clear and useful instructions in Riflechair's Lounge.

In the meanwhile I'll take the beast out for a shoot and see how it performs.

Shoot straight,


King Screw

As a first step towards realizing my goal of turning an old WWII bring-back sporterized Lee Enfield into a new school of old school (thanks SBW) sporting rifle, I did the sensible thing; I took it apart. Not a difficult job.

First you unscrew the front sight protector. Then you look down the forestock and see a largish screw that attaches the trigger guard to the action. This is the King Screw, or "screw, front, trigger guard." You unscrew that and notice that a washer and a small metal cylinder, the bushing or "collar", come out with it. Don't throw these two seemingly insignificant items away in a fit of carelessness. Keep them. That done, you notice that there's a small screw attaching the rear of the trigger guard to the receiver socket. Unscrew that and gently ease the forestock off the action, starting from the receiver socket first. This last bit is important. Do not try and brute force the forestock off from the muzzle end; it will damage the bearing areas around the Draws and cause all kinds of trouble. After that you can remove the buttstock by unscrewing it from its socket.

Just take it all apart
Well done. You've taken the stock-set off your Lee.

When you put it back together again, the forestock should fit snugly into the action, held tightly in place by the King Screw, which is the pivotal point, or fulcrum, in the stock's bedding. If, through some inherent wickedness on the part of the rifle, the Screw, the stock, or the Lee enthusiast, the King Screw isn't clamping the forestock tightly to the receiver, you've got trouble. Why?

King Screw
Because the forestock will rock and rattle and when you shoot and the recoil force can act to drive the stock backwards, causing it to split and splinter into your face.

My stock rattled. The King Screw wasn't right.

So how do you fix it?

Stay tuned.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

More Guns Please

New School of Old School?
It's no easy task to brave I 35 for several hours but it was worth it to see Tom and collect a sporterized No.4 Mk.1. The next step is get the barrel crowned, trimmed and refinished/blued; express sights would be neat too. Restocking is another matter again. 

WW2 Bringback
Maybe get something from Boyd's and rework it to shape? It'd be an interesting project and not too expensive.

Rumours of an old British battle rifle being test fired in the early hours are completely without foundation. Thanks, Tom, for the hospitality and the rifle.

Shoot straight,


Monday, February 6, 2012

Buy The Cider!

My old boss, MCP, poacher turned gamekeeper turned poacher again, left the high pressure lifestyle of corporate IT and guerrilla marketing for "Big Blue" to set up as a mole catcher. I promised to support his new campaign, so I am. You will notice the words "free," "offer" and "perfect." They are emblematic.

Here's an excerpt from the Moler's website:

"Until recently the traditional mole catcher had nearly disappeared. However, due to a trend to milder winters and the withdrawal of strychnine, the mole population has exploded. Trapping them is back in vogue. Old methods -- using modern traps -- has seen the return of the mole catcher once more stalking the land."

Son of the Soil
Help this man. Please. Buy the Cider.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Episcopal Church Genius!

A curious new ad for The Episcopal Church (TEC) has been making the rounds. It says that TEC is against "fundamentalism."

Make of this marketing genius what you will, but I'd say TEC was fundamentally wrong. So here's a picture of an ape, to put things in perspective.

God bless,


Friday, February 3, 2012

Circle Y - Neck Reining

Circle Y
Had to reschedule picking up the Lee and a go on .375(!) pistolry, so I consoled myself with a stroll to the Gold Nugget Pawn and Gun, where I said a prayer over the owner, Miss Jane, and sprinkled some Holy Water about. Keeps the demons at bay.

Then I bought an old Circle Y saddle. It fits JB pretty well, though she needs a cut away pad because of her high withers. 

I like riding Western after a couple of years of English and find it gives a little more control, but maybe my horsemanship has improved... Regardless, we practiced neck reining and I was pleased to see her picking it up pretty quickly. 

The method, as I understand it, is pretty simple. Cue the turn with seat and legs, touch the animal's neck with the outside rein and show the creature the movement with the inside rein. After a while the horse starts to get what you're asking for and turns with a light touch to the neck and relevant cues from leg and seat.

On a cold gray misty morning
Some people think neck reining means yanking the horse's head around with a great left or right tug of the reins. 

I'd say that was wrong, not that I'm an expert.

I read somewhere that it takes around a 1000 rides to train a good horse. JB's a little over half way there; patience, I remind myself, is key.

Stay on the horse.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Anglican Church of Canada Attacks China!

Readers may not remember ACoC (Anglican Church of Canada), the dismally small Anglican denomination that left earth for the icy void of deep space. 

But gone isn't necessarily forgotten, as large chunks of the little church rain down from space on unsuspecting Chinese villagers in Jiangxi Province.

"We thought it was an earthquake but it was just a broken old bit of the Anglican Church of Canada," said one visibly relieved villager.

Fortunately the ACoC debris fell harmlessly onto farmland, causing no injuries or damage to property. Next time the world may not be so lucky.

We have been warned,