Monday, October 29, 2012

Perhaps I am not a proper prepper.

Thought I should document this.  Another Facebook stream.

It started with the following post, from a pretty reliably thoughtful friend:

I just voted. I've never walked out of an election facility feeling so unhappy. Regardless of who wins, on January 21, 2013, I will still be doing my art and be committed to my causes. The country WON'T go to Hell in a hand basket, and life will go on.

The relevant comment stream follows.  (Note that this is not the complete comment stream;  a few other comments stood outside the following exchange, and I left them out.)

[D]:  Despite your hopeful vote, the country is in a runaway hand-basket headed straight to Hell.

[Me]:  Although it will sound flip for me to say it, I'm actually quite serious: why do it if it only makes you unhappy? Maybe that inner voice of yours is telling you something you should listen to.

Why not consider full-scale heresy? You can offend everyone equally, and at least stop contributing to legitimizing the problem. (That latter is really what most helps me sleep at night.)

[K]:  The two I like have no chance. I dislike the two of whom one will win. I vote because it is my duty as a citizen.

I was very upset when I signed something stating among many things that I have never been convicted of a felony-- why do they lose their chance to vote even after they serve their time?

[D]:  Kevin: Like your post. It IS way past time to whine..get busy! Dig the most sustainable, comfortable hole you can and crawl in.

[Me][D], just to be clear: I've no intention of holing up. I see the answer as engaging with people, not retracting. That can be done quite effectively without supporting the state, and I do it everywhere I can.

[D]:   Kevin: Check back with me on that when the currency collapses and the supermarket shelves are empty, if you've prepared for that.

[Me][D]: respectfully, I think your rejoinder makes my case for me. While it seems prudent enough to maintain an emergency stockpile of certain things, a simple reliance on stockpiled hermitage seems a short-term plan at best. When (fiat) currency does crash and common supplies do dry up (which seems likely, although none of us knows when), stored supplies will only get you so far, and in a really disastrous scenario, those will have to be defended against looters, who (believe it!) will quickly figure out who has what. Not a good time to be isolated and alone.

Stockpiling is easy, but in and of itself it's as much an absolution fantasy as the political system most people are stockpiling against in the first place. And it's so...maudlin. I'd rather not dwell on building a world that I'd consider a hell to live in; instead, I like to focus on building the world I actually want.

So, I'm spending my efforts now cultivating personal, symbiotic relationships with my neighbors, so that we know how to support each other in simple trade for basic necessities: skills, supplies, resources. I know who to go to for (sustainable) food, for basic building resources and skills, for networking and for communication. These people in turn are learning what I can provide them as well. (It's society as most of us think it should be, direct, rather than society as proxied out to abstract "others".) I consider expanding this network, at every possible turn, to be a much more sustainable strategy against long-term economic or social collapse, than trying to go it all alone.

Is it likely that such "voluntaryists" may have to defend against looters, either of the freelance or badged variety? Sure, I've got no illusions about that--including the illusion that I'd be able to significantly better my chances by going it alone and trying to vanish. If I can help build a voluntary society instead, I'll have help if the need comes to defend it--and even better, I'll--we'll--have the available card of offering a sustainable alternative to those who would otherwise resort to simple force. It seems pretty clear that not everyone would take the deal, but hell, if TS really does hit TF, nobody's going to be able to escape the necessity of repelling some boarders. (In that regard, I stand ready to do what I must.)

The other thing I like about this strategy is this: it works now, too. Truly voluntary society may be unwelcome within political systems (ALL political systems), which invariably attempt to control or destroy it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't or can't work, either above or below the table. I'm learning more and more how to back away, peacefully, and shift my reliance onto people and skills that not only may survive a catastrophic scenario, but may even thrive in its aftermath. And if the scenario is less than catastrophic, or if I'm completely wrong and we can vibe along indefinitely as we are--well, I'm still happy to be living this way, as directly and free of politics as I can manage. It works--I've never been more connected with my neighbors as I am now, and it's always improving.

If the point of all this "life" stuff is to live free, after all, I want to make the most of it, starting now. Being ready for the worst doesn't have to mean paranoia, privation and isolation.  :-)

[Me]:  For anyone who is interested in the "preparation" topic, there's a pretty good sequence going on right now over at Claire's place. (For anyone who doesn't know Claire: please remedy that. She is one of the more important voices of our time.)

The most recent installment as of this writing is here.

[Me]:  Aand, I found my old "Welcome back Claire" article on Examiner, for those who might need it.

I found [K]s initial posting and later comment about not being a 'felon' (which is of course increasingly absurd as a measure of decency, with the average among us committing three felonies a day without even being aware of it) to be most interesting.  In those observations there are available seeds for further awareness, and the phrasing and tone indicate that the observations may have already passed that point at which they can be willed back into ignorance. 

A simple matter of time, then.  Here's hoping that happens, enough.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Arthur Silber: man on fire.

After another health-driven hiatus, Arthur Silber is on another of his "write-like-a-madman" binges, and there are some humdingers in there.  I'd like to say a few more specific things about them, but may not get the time to do so.

Still...this just went into the Facebook stream:

"If you vote for Obama or Romney, that is certainly your right -- although you will forever forfeit the right to speak of "rights" at all. If a human being can be murdered for any reason, or for no reason at all, merely on the arbitrary order of someone who claims the power to issue such orders, she has no rights at all. You thus sanction the destruction of all rights, of all human beings -- including yours. The victim may be Mrs. Hamilton, or Joanna -- or you.

If you vote for Obama or Romney, do so proudly. I want you to say: "I vote for Obama/Romney proudly. I am proud to be a knowing accomplice to their murders, including the murders of innocent human beings." Say that, and those of us who refuse to surrender our souls will know where you stand.

This is not a complicated issue. It is stunningly straightforward. Those who seek to complicate and confuse it do so because they will not identify the meaning of their support, either to themselves or to anyone else. When they wish still to be regarded as "civilized," murderers and their accomplices will engage in endless irrelevant arguments and invent complexities where none exist. Don't let them get away with it. They are knowing accomplices to murder. Make them say it."


Arthur Silber is once again a man on fire. This is just one of a recent flurry of posts that should not just be read, but really grappled with, before befouling oneself with the stank of a voting booth.

I've wrestled with how to arrive at the "Don't let them get away with it...Make them say it" observation, and have never been happy with where I've wound up.  Silber, unsurprisingly, nails it here.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pellets on steel, through snow.

Snuck another opportunity to have not-quite-four-year-old Sabre call snapshot targets for me out on the porch this weekend.  The snow and cold arrived here with a wham! and suddenly there was a good 8" on the ground;  the little chicken spinner I've been using got covered with snow and fell-over grass until you could barely see the frame it hangs from.  So, I had a unique opportunity to try and hit a small target through foliage--not a bad thing to test yourself on from time to time.

The extra bonus was that she wanted to learn more, and in addition to calling, she actually loaded for me.  She figured out all by herself which way the pellet goes into the breech, and did a fine job.  For grins, I also tried the old instructor's trigger trick, but backwards:  after watching me a few times, I'd have her wait for me to settle into a position and then press the trigger for me.  She delighted in pressing, feeling the gun recoil (yes, spring-piston air rifles do have perceptible recoil--it's from the piston, not the pellet), and then hearing the ping! sound of her hit.  She'd quickly bore of this if we did it a lot, but the novelty value was there and she enjoyed it, so I'll call it a win.

Also brought out the Scout, just to do some dry fire on the same targets.  Sabre asked "are you going to load that one too, Daddy?" and I had some fun with the response.  I put a 7.5 grain .177" pellet on the railing, and said "you know what this sounds like, and it's not loud at all."  Then I popped a round out of the Scout's spare magazine,  and put it next to the tiny pellet.  "That, however, is really loud...way too loud for the neighborhood, and way too loud for our ears without earmuffs."  Her eyes got suitably big, and she nodded.  We agreed I'd just do dry-fire with "the gray one".

And that was interesting in and of itself.  Even without the feedback of the hits pinging on the spinners, she seemed quite fascinated just watching me mount, press, and snap the bolt on the "real" rifle.  She'd call her preferred target ("Chicken!" or "Sheep!") and I'd dry-hit that one, snap the bolt, hit the second one, run the bolt again, and then on-safe and go to Standard Ready.  Great practice for me, especially right after running the pellet gun...and just priceless to be doing "serious" work with my little girl.

I may have to take her up to the counter the next time we're in Soldotna (don't get me started about gunshops in Homer;  I'll do business with people that obviously want my business, thanks) and see just how far she has to go to fit the Chipmunk / Crickett stock honorably...

And now I can't wait to try out an Airsoft 1911.    :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Greenwald on the puppet show.

The hardest part about quoting Glenn Greenwald is picking the money quote:  at some point, you actually have to decide on just one.

Best to just RTWT, but here you go anyway.  I'll just use the cheap expedient of his closing statement, which is like a big old tonic triad ending a song:

"To understand the US political process, one can just look to how these sham debates are organized and how they function. This is the same process that repeats itself endlessly in virtually every other political realm."

Indeed--and I'm not sure anyone could demonstrate that more authoritatively, to a larger audience, than Greenwald.  To anyone who thinks they got value out of last night's puppet show:  please, read this and check it out for yourself.

The joke is on you.  It's always on you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"It's just time to learn how."

A brilliant observation by commenter LarryA, over at Claire's place. 

Money quote:

This year new-women-shooter classes are sold out, I haven’t had a CHL or Hunter Education class less than 50% female, and the most common reason has been, “I don’t know. It’s just time to learn how.”

He goes on to offer "[t]he NON-threatening explanation" that maybe gunnie things have just become acceptable enough to drive that sort of rationale.

LarryA is being more polite than I am.  I'm a strong believer in sixth senses, and although Leviathan has done its level best to breed, train and condition it out of us, I say betting money's on these gals just recognizing a skill they may well need, in a near-enough term future to demand preparing now.  The tone and context of that phrasing reminds me of several similar things I've seen in pregnant women, where, at a level that simply must be instinctual, the woman suddenly (and inexplicably) takes up a new skill that she then puts to excellent use some time after the child is born (or sometimes even during the delivery), as though she got a psychic message telling her exactly what she would need to do at some unspecified later time.  The sheer prescience is eerie to watch, when it happens.  (I also happen to think it's one of the most amazing and beautiful things I've ever seen.)

There's another aspect to the observation, as well.  In a recent conversation with Cathy's mother (of whom I am dearly fond), she offered the following observation about a variety of political initiatives (I'm phrasing from memory here):

Sometimes, even though so many people say so many things about something, you just know--you know--it's wrong, but don't know how to say how it is you know that.  And so I'd rather say nothing.

Amen.  The answer that these women give to LarryA is almost certainly more reliable and openly honest than that which they'd give on a government questionnaire asking demanding to know why they want to learn how to shoot. But...we'd be foolish to presume that was their entire story, too.  (I presume LarryA would agree with me on that, just to be clear.  :-)

And that's okay.  I'm happy to leave people to their own reasons.  Whatever those reasons may be, their clearing the biggest hurdle, the one that keeps them from being there, is past them, and the door is open both to competency and to the mental transformations that accompany it.

Much good can come from that.

Not posted on Facebook.

It must be election season again.  The onanistic frenzy of the "do your part" brigade is ratcheting up a notch, infesting otherwise intelligent young people with the provably ridiculous fiction that the only way to get results is to (engage nasal whine) work within the system.  This, of course, serves the Establishment the incalculably useful purpose of invigorating the pre-indentured noobs to perpetuate their own position of servitude, not only by merely re-legitimizing the system which enslaves them, but actually causing them to go out and pimp for it.  (Damn, it's hard to believe I ever fell for it myself, now, but of course I did, and apparently the same shit still sells.)

And so, on Facebook, I was recently treated to the following:

Hey all you young Americans:  I will no longer listen to you complain about this countries government unless you tell the government what you want and vote.

Gag.  My first thought, sarcastically, was, "well, at least I'm not 'young' anymore, so perhaps I get a pass."

The following is what I did not post on Facebook, in response.  In the end, I just didn't feel like picking on a person who I know to be bright enough to figure this out independently, given enough time and a little attention.

Apologies in advance, [E].  I seem to have a thing with sacred cows.

You said:
   "...unless you tell the government what you want and vote."
And what, precisely, has this ever accomplished?  Seems to me "we" have been "throwing the bums out" since approximately 1796.  The problem is not now, and has never been, who occupies the offices, nor has it been the technical configuration of the dipswitches of regulation.  If there was any chance whatever of that strategy working, it would have worked generations ago, and we'd be reaping the benefits now.

The problem has always been that "we" have gradually conferred ("ceded" is really the better word) absolute power into the state--meaning that no atrocity that we can now observe can possibly come as a surprise--and in what must be the mother of all absolution fantasies, "we" continue to this day not only to expect redress from the very source that produces the problem (!), but also to hold up as heretics any who would intentionally suggest that the answer may lie in (gasp) removing the enforced monopolies that allow the protection racket to "perform"...just exactly as all protection rackets do.

No, see, that's insane.  The right answer is just to make sure the One Ring winds up in the hands of the "real" Frodo.*  (So were we all taught in school, and so are we all reminded whenever the Establishment deigns to address its lessers.)  To borrow from Pynchon, that quite effectively gets people talking about the wrong questions, so that difficult answers can remain safely--at the risk of serially mixing metaphors now--"behind the curtain".

That is:  as long as we all keep bickering about seat assignments, team colors and the implementation minutiae of who should be controlled in what way, and continue to come vote it all into legitimacy for yet another term, the Establishment will remain healthy and undisturbed.  (Once monopoly has been established, only legitimacy is necessary to maintain it, and voting is the basic unit of legitimacy.)

The morning of this year's election, I'll re-post what I finally got around to writing in 2010.  (I suppose I could wait for the election results to come in, but hell, it won't matter.)

(Yeah, I'm a real killjoy on election day.  I share the late George Carlin's attitude that it should probably be called National Public Masturbation Day.  It's not that I like being a 'mudge and alienating otherwise pleasant people, but I'd prefer that, than try to further rationalize a system which, as Lysander Spooner observed over a hundred and fifty years ago during Reconstruction, either is wholly incapable of preventing the horrible things that we tolerate, or is in fact precisely the reason that those horrible things exist.)

I'll be staying home, thanks.  And no matter what "official sources" may tell you, it ain't due to some dismissive fifty-cent term like "apathy".  After more than twenty years of defending all the sophistries just like I was trained to do, I simply ran out of excuses, and realized that politics is not the solution to the problem.  Politics IS the problem.

Disagree at your pleasure, of course.  Most "enlightened" folks do, and perhaps the saving grace of my kind of heresy is that principled non-participation mathematically inflates the value of those who do vote.  That is:  I should be much easier to write off than those who simply want "the other guy", or "no" instead of "yes", etc.  (And a special thanks in advance to anyone who reads this and thinks, "man, what a dumbass...doesn't want to participate and yet will still have to submit to the system's laws..."  Doing so demonstrates once again how the system really works, and validates for me just precisely the reason I avoid politics wherever I possibly can.)

For what it's worth, my goal here is not converts.  (It would be pretty ironic, if not outright hypocritical, of me to offer the above thoughts, to anyone for whom they may be new thoughts, and expect you to "take my word for it"--would it not?)  In fact I wouldn't trust anyone who simply nodded along, without any independent investigation, anyway.  I would simply propose a thought experiment for anyone who feels they must continue to vote, for whatever reason.  It's a simple experiment, one question only:
   What if the joke is really on you?
Think about that, non-trivially, for one to two weeks.  Observe the world with this in mind.  And then do with your own answer what you will.

* And we might do well to remember that even Frodo failed at the moment of truth--it was the sheer luck of Gollum's clumsy greed that finally did the job that needed doing.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The three-year-old match director.

Today after lunch, to give Cathy a few minutes before handing the girls over and going back to work, I went out on the porch with the new Bronco air rifle*, figuring that it might amuse Dee and that Sabre (whose initial reaction last week was that it was somehow loud and therefore scary) would go around to the other side of the house to play on her own.

Not at all.

Dee amused herself with sidewalk chalk, and Sabre took a keen interest in what Daddy was doing.  (I suspect that today, she actually listened and figured out that it's not loud at all.)   The clanks and pings of the pellets against the little steel swingers made her grin, and ditto when I pointed out that she could watch the little orange chicken and ram move when they were hit.   Shortly it even became a game:   I'd break the action, load a pellet, close the action, rest the buttstock on my belt in the ready position, and look over at Sabre, who would then call out "chicken!" or "sheep!" on her preference when she was ready.  I'd acquire the selected target visually, mount (hitting the safety on the way), and fire the snapshot. She learned the difference in sound between a miss (a thwap into the mud) and a hit, and learned that I sometimes have to slow down to make sure I get the hit.

Among "happy Dad" moments, this one is right up there with the bestest. Having her call the target like that is actually quite fantastic practice for me, but the making-it-fun-for-her part is priceless. I cannot reasonably expect that she'll take the interest I have, and will do my best never to push beyond simple, safe competency...

...but I'm savoring this. :-)

* Another point of praise for a gun I like more with every shot:  I cannot imagine a better piece to have had in hand when this opportunity arose.  It is perfect for this role:  both in its attributes (great trigger, excellent sights, ergonomic safety, fully ambidextrous, and easy to run), and also in its concept.  I was able to focus wholly and completely not on running the gun, but on engaging my audience and adapting as necessary.  For anyone who is a teacher at heart, this is gold!  A deep tip of the hat to Tom Gaylord (amusingly aka "B.B. Pelletier" on his really excellent blog), who designed and brought it from idea to reality--and also who educated me on so much background before I even went to purchase.  Anyone who knows me personally can tell you that design is deeply meaningful to me, and this is a designed rifle.  I'd recommend it to anyone, and everyone.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mounting: Bronco v. Marlin

Just to document:  Yesterday, I brought the Marlin (45/70) out on the porch along with the new Bronco, just to see how it compared when mounting at speed.  You may recall that on a right-hand mount, the Bronco seems to have a noticeably high comb, causing me to have to crush my cheek down or hold my head much farther back toward the buttplate.  (Oddly, no such problem seems to attend a left-hand mount, which gives a perfect sight picture with no effort at all.)  I was curious to see if I'd have the same problem on the Marlin, which I haven't worked with in a while.

Nope.  The levergun's ghost-ring sights land just where I remembered, with a very comfortable cheek weld whether I go perfectly erect or take a more aggressive mount for managing recoil.  Of interest, it was also obvious that the length of pull on the Bronco is longer than the shortened Marlin stock;  I do like my LOPs at between 12 and 12.5", despite conventional wisdom, and I've had cause to be happy about that when in the field, shooting prone, with a thick jacket on.  :-)    I just have to think more consciously about mounting the Bronco, with the right hand at least.  I'm certainly getting better at that, but it struck me as odd.  I'll not rule out some stock work to shorten the LOP and maybe increase the drop at the comb just a little bit. We'll see.

And boy, I do love my Marlin.  Dry snaps reminded me of just how...unbelievably magnificent the trigger is on this piece.  Part of it was just the lucky coincidence of a really good M1895 trigger to begin with, part of it was the ministrations of the 'smith at Gunsmoke in Denver, and part of it was the truly amazing NP3 finish from Robar, but still...daaang.  Lever guns simply do not have triggers like this, but there it is anyway.

Anyway:  duly noted on the sight alignment during mounts.

I should get the chrony out before long and see how consistent the Bronco is.  Wee!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

'Wish I'd said that' just doesn't cover it.

Brilliance over at Joel's place, where he relates a message from a friend.  It's not enough just to say "I wish I'd said that".  I've been trying to figure out how to articulate the thought behind this for a good while now, but have never managed it.

Here's how you say it:

For every American killed in the 9/11 attacks, over 1,000 Muslims have been maimed, driven from their homes, and/or driven from their land, their jobs, and their families. The infrastructure of a modern secular society was systematically destroyed, creating a vacuum that was all too easily filled by people skilled in exploiting and harnessing the powers of hatred and righteous anger.

The notion that a crude put-up job like the video could cause violence while decades of murder, rape, and mayhem would not is beyond stupid, beyond pathetic. It is evil. It reflects acceptance of “them” as sub-human, incapable of responding as any and every one of us would respond in similar circumstances. It is the mindset of a slave owner.

When democracies succeed in de-humanizing their enemies, ghastly atrocities always follow. Every time. I will not countenance this evil mindset any longer, and I am rapidly approaching the stage where I will refuse to associate with anyone who indulges in this animalistic barbarism.

This is important.  I lived way too many years of my life without really understanding this, getting caught up in all the right carefully-solicited rage-fests.

I should have seen it sooner.  Had I not for years recognized the demonization of gunnies around the world, in every possible venue and using every possible tool of misdirection?  Or noted the frequency of false-flag operations of "hate groups" which would have vanished naturally long ago except for official infiltration to prop them up?  Had I not long wondered why I never seemed to run into the hateful, dangerous archetypes that were so carefully paraded in front of me on the news as though they were lurking around every corner in the country?  Had I not noted the total absurdity of criminalizing something on one end and subsidizing it on the other, like tobacco for just one example?  Had I not long noticed that the very business of prosecuting the War on (Some) Drugs seemed to serve as a better raison d'etre for that war than any of the marketed goals that it so spectacularly fails to achieve?

Michael Crichton famously called this the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, and I was victim to it for far too long.

The principle is the same no matter what.

More on 'why airguns?'

(Thanks to MamaLiberty, for inspiring these comments in the last post.  After writing them, it seemed appropriate that they be in a separate main post.)

Sometimes necessity really is the source of invention. I think I may have waited so long with airguns simply because finding the time to shoot the "real" ones was never a problem before now (kids, different environment, etc.) really was a classic epiphany moment when I first thought, "why not?"

Cost is certainly a plus point for airguns.  As of this writing, a tin of 500 (.177) pellets--and quality ones, at that--goes for well under $10; where I'm at even .22 rimfire brick ammo is at least $20 per 500; if you want good stuff it approaches $10 per 100. Centerfires, of course, start almost an order of magnitude above even that, and continue.

Noise is another selling point. Not everyone lives in a place where it's realistic to take two steps out your front door and start hitting steel with a firearm, but airguns give me lots of options.

And I'm intending to try out Airsoft as a "serious" training aid, as well. This breakbarrel springer pellet rifle will be excellent for marksmanship fundamentals, and some basic gunhandling skills (this type of action is so much handier than the tedious multi-pump varieties), but if I'm understanding things correctly, Airsoft can get you authentically there, if you're careful when shopping.

If you can keep your gorge down when watching*, consider this video review of a 1911-clone Airsoft gun. For the whole review, look here:

To go directly to the shooting part where you can see the piece in action, either scroll to about 4:26 or click here to watch it on YouTube. Note that the magazine and pistol should fit any standard leather, and between the low relative cost of Airsoft BBs and the several different gas-charging options available, this may well become a great "everyday" solution between dry-fire and live-fire exercises. I could get up and running with a piece that is functionally identical to the one I carry most of the time, with two or three magazines, gas and a supply of pellets, for under $300...and feeding it thereafter should be cheap. Some (but not all) of the Airsoft guns do appear to be just like the real thing, with the gas not only powering the pellet, but also cycling the action.

And the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that there is an important middle ground between dry-fire and live-fire, that this idea should cover well. For example: training in your own house with live fire is certainly going to be messy, and dry-fire is limiting because you can't realistically engage multiple targets. But the Airsoft option would allow you to do that, either without or even with the plastic BBs, if you have suitable backstops. Others will point out the actual force-on-force options that Airsoft makes possible as well, to train in tactics beyond the square range. It's intriguing.

Thus far, I believe I've found such an Airsoft trainer for both the 1911 pistol and the M14 rifle (other possibles like boltguns, leverguns, revolvers and the Kahr auto haven't been as fully vetted yet), and when I get around to each I'll be sure to post findings here.

* Explanation for that carefully considered statement is at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Now that's how you do lunch.

That's what a lunch should be like.  A quick bite, followed by probably 50 pellets off the porch, at paper and a small steel spinner.  (Range is probably a little over the airgun-standard 10m.)

Today's lessons:  this rifle is completely ambidextrous, and I'm fascinated that I don't have to work on my cheek weld for the left-side at all, even while I continue to fight the right side.  Left-hand mounts are consistent and natural, and the hits follow..."weak-side" me woulda beat the snot out of "strong-side" me today, in a formal competition.  Groups were tighter and more on point of aim--in fact the only thing limiting me on the left side is the need to close the non-dominant eye.

On the right side, IF my mount is good, I can keep both eyes completely open and hit quickly, but I have a strong tendency to crawl the comb and have to fine-tune the mount when I do, slowing things down considerably.  As I work with this a little more I'll do some dry-fire with the Marlin in parallel (which also employs ghost-ring sights) and maybe something will suggest itself.

The Bronco's trigger is excellent.  It is so good it is clear to me that I need to raise my game in order to better appreciate it.  Very well then, will do!  And the operation of the "auto-engaging safety" is clean and positive too.  These are two items that are very important to a training and practice regimen, and those are some of the reasons I went with the Bronco in the first place.  Gratifying!

With a dedicated airgun spinner of a little higher visual contrast, this "off-the-porch" thing is going to be really, really nice for daily practice throughout the year.  The porch provides both rain protection and vertical post options for practicing the tree rest.

I've started thinking about an effective way to carry this piece on walks (breakbarrels are challenging on traditional slings and are probably even worse for Ching Slings), and am intrigued at the back-scabbard option here:

Beyond that, I'm envisioning a few accoutrements like the "pellet pen" which may prove its weight in gold on really cold days, and figuring out what the right backpack or fannypack combination might be.

We'll see.  For the nonce, I'll start with lunch tomorrow.  :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The airgun adventure begins.

I am now the simply giddy owner of a spankin' new Air Venturi Bronco air rifle.

This came about as the end choice of a couple of months of self-study, much of that at the simply splendid Pyramyd Air website.  (Pyramyd Air was not the first airgun resource I came across, but it so quickly overtook everything else that there was no question of where my business would go.  These are folks I am happy to go back to for all things airgun.

The package came early, and the boy in me was absolutely powerless to resist trying it out right away. After just the first ten pellets, I am so happy I made the choice I did. This rifle is pretty clearly going to be everything that its designer and promoter says it is.

I have much to learn about airgun-fu, and intend to, but within a simple ten-shot string I have now learned how to compensate for the high comb in mounting, figured out how to manage the trigger and safety designs, and in general have now seen first-hand how to run a breakbarrel springer.  Squee!

At the fourth or fifth round I dispensed with the rear-sight aperture insert, creating a true ghost-ring arrangement, and will be much happier with that. I may yet experiment with it some more, but my eyes like a sight picture that does not obscure the target. The first three pellets (offhand, at about 10m, onto a shoe box with no fixed aiming point), which had felt cleaning wads in front of them, went into about an inch, which tickled me greatly. The next seven grouped a little higher and tighter, and it will be interesting to see how things improve with a little familiarity and some attention to a deliberate bull. (I make no claim to outstanding marksmanship;  this piece should be capable of far greater things than my skills can reveal.) And with this rifle, the safety is ergonomic enough that snapshot work will be excellent practice for "real" rifles.

Next up:  more getting to know this trigger and sights, position shooting, learning the "artillery hold" that all the serious airgunners talk about, and some time with both a bull and a chronograph.

Since I can only learn it the first time once, I intend to enjoy it with complete abandon. This rifle is going to make that really, really fun.

Here goes!