Sunday, April 29, 2012

I am the Good Shepherd

Jesus tells us in today's Gospel that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep, unlike the "hireling" who runs away from the "wolf."

I waxed fiery during the sermon about the apostate hirelings who have either run away from the demonic beast or sided with him in order to lead the foolish sheeple to perdition. Western Anglicanism serves as a handy case study. Under its current gang of heretical pagans pastors The Episcopal Church (TEC) is losing 50,000 annually and its lesser cousin, the diminutive ACoC (Anglican Church of Canada), well, where is it? Mars?

some kind of joke?
After the first Mass we discussed the text a little further over coffee, noting that Christ is both sheep and shepherd, sacrificial victim and eschatological Lord. This prompted the following:

Countryman 1:  "I used to raise sheep, Father."
LSP:                 "Ah hah."
Countryman 1:  "They're dumber than a box of hammers."
Countryman 2: "I was showing a sheep and it ran right off into a  moat. I had to use a lariat to haul it out."
LSP:                  "I see."

Here endeth the Lesson.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Shoot the .22

I love guns and I love to shoot, it's as simple as that. So here's a quote from Bob Owens via pajamasmedia; he's in favor of new shooters entering the fray with a .22. 

"I’m suggesting you’ll learn faster, and often without imparting many bad habits you have to overcome later, if you learn your fundamentals with a .22 handgun. It’s all about the fundamentals. Even advanced courses boil down to learning to use the fundamentals more efficiently to promote accurate shooting. As former Delta Force operator and noted weapons trainer Larry Vickers has noted: “Speed is fine. Accuracy is final.”

If your goal is to learn to use a long-arm for anything other than wingshooting, I’m going to make a similar, and unsurprising, recommendation. Semi-automatic or bolt-action (your preference) .22 LR rifles are a ridiculously inexpensive entry into firearms ownership, with decent quality new rifles retailing for $200 or less, and used rifles for even less than that. Unlike most other rifles, rifles chambered in .22 LR are also welcome on many “pistol only” ranges that don’t have the ability to safely contain centerfire rifles. Again, practice is key. So where do you get the training you need in order to learn the fundamentals?"

I couldn't agree more. The .22 is great value at every level.

Get out there and shoot!


Monday, April 23, 2012

St. George for England

Today is the Feast of St. George, Patron Saint of England. He shares that title with St. Edmund and Edward the Confessor, interestingly, and appears to have been a soldier martyr during the reign of Diocletian. Richard the Lionheart consecrated his crusading army to the saint and his Feast, along with its allegorical symbolism and legend, grew to chivalric proportions in late medieval England. 

gun dog
I celebrated the day by slaying my own dragons -- shooting offhand at a steel plate turkey and a steel plate ram at 100+ yards. A 30-06 drilled right through these wicked adversaries, .223 made a crack thwack against them and the lowly .22 seemed to burst on impact. Fun, and good practice to get on target without relying on a rest of some sort.

All for England and, of course, Texas.

St. George pray for us.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Sporterizing the Lee Enfield - Porch Project Pt. VII

In bits
After a lot of sanding, I managed to finish the old walnut butt stock of the Mk. III. I used the "wet sanding method", in which a fine slurry of thinned oil/lacquer (Minwax Antique Oil in this case) and wood dust is produced by sanding with the grain then wiped gently across the grain. This fills the 'pores' in the wood. The stock is then left to cure for 24 hours or more and... you do it all over again. I found these instructions helpful.

Are we there yet...
There were times when I wondered, apocalyptically, if the grain would ever fill up; a recalcitrant bit of timber. But it did in the end and I polished the thing to 2000 grit, giving it a satin luster. 

That'll do
A lot of work, but I wanted the practice before ordering a new semi-inlet stock set and you never know, it might be good to keep the original military butt. Next step? Bluing the metal; I'm inclined towards a rust blue. More on that later.

Shoot straight,


Thursday, April 19, 2012


SSC Secretary
One of the things I get to do as an LSP is go on retreat with the Society of the Holy Cross (SSC). A good chunk of that involves plinking at targets of opportunity with other gun priests, including the Society Secretary. Good man, the Sec, and not a bad shot either. A creek bed makes for a good range.

Quite different to SSC retreats in the Old Country.

Just sayin'.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Anglican Church of Canada -- Latest News!

ACoC Bishop?
In a remarkable turn of events, there appears to be absolutely no news whatsoever about ACoC, the tiny religious organization known as "Anglican Church of Canada." At least no news on this planet, but on Mars the wires are buzzing with an exciting new discovery.

A crack team of number-crunchers in Southern California have decoded long forgotten data from NASA's 1970s Mars missions and came to a startling conclusion. Microscopic life exists on the Red Planet. "I'm 99 per cent sure there's life there. To paraphrase an old saying, if it looks like a microbe and acts like a microbe - then it probably is a microbe, like ACoC," stated expert biologist, Joseph Miller.

Mars Microbe
Unfortunately, bungling NASA boffins boiled the microscopic ecclesial remnants while analysing soil samples brought back to earth from the Red Planet. However, parts of the near invisible church might still exist, as Martian dirt emits large quantities of methane gas. 

This, according to experts, is a near certain sign that ACoC, or at least its Synod, is still in existence.

Stay tuned.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Piers Morgan, Our Problem

Piers Bans Witch
As I was driving off well before first light to say Mass, my not so smart phone bleeped at me, so I compulsively fired up the email. There was a message from an English reader, taking me to task for suggesting that Piers Morgan be shipped back to the land from whence he came.

This was, he thought, uncharitable of me and possibly unchristian. Piers is our problem, here in the States, suggested the email.

On reflection, I see that my electronic friend was right. Old England has plenty of problems as it is without adding to the burden by sending Piers back. It would be unfair of us to launch the jowly, smug, limo-lib, most hated man in journalism popular media superstar back at Blighty.

We have to deal with the Morgan issue here. In the United States. I was wrong. 

I apologise.

That is all.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lugers and Bass

When I was a child, please don't laugh, I wanted a Luger. I thought they looked cool. But I never got one and never fired one; outside of a museum I've barely even seen one. That's because they're ALL at Dallas' Jackson Armory. They have racks of Lugers. They have Lugers on the wall. They have regular, run 'o the mill Lugers and custom, specialty Lugers. They have a plastic box full of Lugers you can pick up and play with. Jackson Armory is, quite simply, the Luger motherlode. Some are cheap (under $1000) some are pricey, and there they are, for all the world to see, just off of Snider Plaza by SMU. Who knew?

JA also has plenty of Lees, Krags, M1s, M1As, custom ARs, swords, Winchester 99s, and hi-cal big game rifles at reasonable prices. You can walk in, browse and check out the weapons without being condescended to. I can't think of a better gun shop in North Texas, especially if you like older guns and militaria. I love Jackson Armory, but more of that in a separate post.

After the Luger shock and awefest I went fishing and caught four Bass. Rare for me to get out the rod, but I always enjoy it when I do.



Monday, April 9, 2012

A Curious Thing.

Taurus' take on Beretta
Come Easter Monday and, if you're me, it's time for some R&R. So I drove back to the Dallas compound, grilled hamburgers for a few friends and browsed Bachman Pawn and GunBPG is on North West Highway and has a good rep, evidently, with Law Enforcement and shooters generally. More of a handgun  shop than anything else, but there were a few Beretta shotguns on the wall.

After checking out the pistols (I want a "9" and a .22) I cast a beady eye at the shotguns. They weren't cheap, over and unders mostly, coming in at around 3k. But here's the thing -- their "hand rubbed" finish was OK, but only just. You could see a fair bit of open grain on the butt and forends.

I was surprised. At 3k you're not going to get at 10k gun, but still, you'd think the grain on the stock would be filled, at least. 

just fill the grain, LSP
This inspires me with confidence for my own project guns.

More of that later. In the meanwhile, check out BPG if you want a Dallas pistol alternative to Rays. Less comedic gunnishness from the staff (whaddaya mean you don't want an AR? Aren't you a Patriot, dammit?!), which is a minus, but better prices and selection. Just don't go there looking for a big selection of rifles, or, er, properly finished shotguns.

Keep pulling the trigger,


Happy Easter

Exhausted now from the rigours of Holy Week but...

Wishing you all a joyous Easter.

Christ has risen, Alleluia!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Saturday

The Body of Jesus is laid in the Tomb and the Tabernacles are empty of the Presence, even in some of the Anglican variants of the Mystical Body of Christ, militant here on earth.

Bishop Guest, the 16th century author of Article XXVIII on the Lord's Supper, had this to say about the sacrament of the Altar. The communicant does "take Christ's Body in his hand, receive it in his mouth, and that corporally, naturally, really, substantially and carnally..." but does not "see it, feel it, smell it or taste it." As Dom Gregory Dix reminds us, "It would be hard for anyone to be more explicit than that in asserting the Catholic doctrine of the Sacrament." (The Question of Anglican Orders)

Despite this, more than a few Anglicans sit light to sacramental reality, taking their cue from the late medieval skeptics of the Reformation. For them, the Eucharist is at best a reality because we think it so and at worst an empty symbol of self-referencing belief.

smash it up
Perhaps it's no accident that the Northern European write-off of sacramental givenness was followed by a near total subjectivization of all spiritual value.

Lord, forgive us for the many blasphemies committed against your holy Sacrament.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

I wish I could say that Good Friday, and the Triduum in general, somehow become easier as the years go by. But the reverse is true; as our consciences become increasingly alive to the weight of wickedness, so too do we realize our part in the crucifixion. Fortunately Easter is just over the horizon.

As always, Austin Farrer speaks well to this:

EVERYTHING that is true of Christ's body is true of us in some manner. He gives us his body that we may become his body. Christ's body died on the cross, he also rose. The resurrection is ours, but the death also is ours. Many men, at the last challenge, have consented to be martyrs, and set their bodies aside. But Christ's passion was no more than the last expression of what he had done all his life. He had set his body aside whenever its demands conflicted with man's need or God's will, and so he had rehearsed his death continually; not morbidly, but with joy and self-forgetfulness. We have many opportunities so to rehearse our death, and how steadily we reject them! Our bed, our chair retains us when we should get up and pray; fleshly delights of act and imagination, some by no means innocent, hold us from following better inspirations. Our own pleasure comes before our neighbour's, vanity before sympathy. How will it be when rehearsals are over, and we have to act our part, to put our bodies finally off, that we may possess God? If Christ offers us up with his own death in this sacrament, it is that we may die a voluntary and daily death, and merit a daily resurrection.

How will it be when rehearsals are over? 

Pray for mercy.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Maundy Thursday

Tonight we celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper and we watch before the Sacrament as Christ's disciples were asked to watch with Our Lord while he prayed in the garden before His betrayal by Judas. I like this short meditation and prayer by Marianne Dorman.

"On this most holy night, let give me sincere thankfulness for the Blessed Sacrament which fills me with Your life each day, and may I always come to the Altar prepared to receive Love, and take Love out into the world. 

As I watch with You during the silent hours of this night let Your sufferings and grief penetrate to my inner self, so I can share something of what You endured for me and all mankind, what Deitrich Bonhoeffer called ‘costly grace’. I adore You O Christ, and bless You, because by Your cross You have redeemed the world. Amen."

Being a mission priest, I had two Masses this evening, separated by a drive, which meant refueling the truck. By way of conversation I asked the cashier where he was from. "Nepal," he said and I replied, "Gurkha!" 

At which he started running on the spot while making great chopping movements with his right hand, in imitation of his knife wielding countrymen.

We saluted each other smartly and went about our business. It's all going on in the countryside, I tell you.

Every blessing for the Triduum.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sporterizing the Lee Enfield - Porch Project Pt. VI

I've been told, by a notable outdoor blogger, that the recent spate of tornadoes were caused by my "boss" being angry at me for running off to the range instead of focusing on the Lee porch project. Rather than risk the wrath of God and his messenger, I applied grit to metal.

The bolt looked nasty, covered in chipped black paint and generally dinged about, but that was soon fixed by steady application of 150 - 600 grit, followed by burgers on the grill and some company around the rarely used dining table.

clamp 'n vise
Bolt seen to, it was back to the barreled receiver. The barrel had been polished to 400 grit and had to advance to 600 in order to achieve a uniform finish with the receiver and newly shiny bolt. Wouldn't want the thing to appear two-tone, for goodness sake.

So I rigged up a small vise and clamp arrangement on the porch and got to work, which wasn't easy because half the congregation took the opportunity to swing by and visit. But I like that; far better than skulking away in an office pretending to be an "administrator". No danger of that when you're polishing gunmetal -- on the porch. You'd be surprised at how much pastoral work gets done that way instead of gazing numbly at a monitor. You can pray, too.

In a fit of enthusiasm, read the book, I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and polish the whole business to 1000 grit. I thought it looked good, shining like a light saber in the sun. 

Next step? Refinish the trigger guard, attach new front and rear sights (tempted by a 2 leaf express) and blue. In the meanwhile, order some wood and finish the nearly done butt stock.

God bless,


Used Scopes

I like iron sights and, for the most part, that's what I use when I shoot. Still, I'm always on the look out for affordable optics, so I was pleased when a local gun shop gave me a couple of used scopes to try out. A Burris Fullfield II 3x9x40 and an old Universal 4x32; if I liked them and they worked -- $50. If not, return them and no harm done.

I mounted the glassware up on the AR to dial in and test, getting on paper from 25 yards. At first the Universal did well, grouping nice and tight but a few inches to the left of point of aim. No problem, adjust windage right by the relevant amount, get nicely on target then pull back to zero in at 50 yards. Easy, isn't it? Think again.

60 frustrated rounds and a significant amount of tape and Sharpie later, I discovered that this piece of Japanese rubbish wasn't going to work. Off with the "scope", flip up the Magpul back-up and unload a couple magazines at a steel plate turkey. Turkey down, I headed for home.

wrath of God
The next day it was time to test out Reverend Burris. The Fullfield did just fine; on paper quickly and zeroed at 100 yards. Why at 100? Because that's pretty much the maximum length of the range and I was just messing about to see if it worked. I won't trouble you with the ballistics of 5.56 ammo and don't intend to use the scope for that anyway, it'll probably go on one of the Lees to be sighted in again for the venerable .303. The Burris Fullfield's a decent bit of kit, clear and powerful enough for me and it's inexpensive new, even more so second hand.

Moral of the story? Don't scorn used optics but test them first to see if they work, you can save a lot of money. Also, steel plate turkeys are fun to blast down at 75 yards with semi-auto carbines.

Drove home along the edge of a tornado. The wrath of God was waxing strong against the fleshpots of Dallas, but the country just got a well needed drenching of lightning, gale force winds and rain.

God bless,


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dog & Gun

You know what it's like, serious Palm Sunday business, a bit of porch 'smithing, and then? Fire up the grill, cook some burgers and relax.

JEB's happy. He's a bird dog; that's the theory. Somehow a rifle makes its way onto the mahogany and look! There's a No. 4!

Empire Builder

God bless,


Palm Sunday

A tremendous turn out at the Masses this morning. Enfield enthusiam is obviously paying off. B16 tells us that Confession is key to the new evangelism. I must make mine.

Anyway, here's the Collect of the day.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen. 

Have a blessed Holy Week.