I missed yesterday due to flying home, and there were questions as to what happened in the membership meeting. John has two posts up, HERE and HERE. I signed on to support Tiffany’s letter before I left. I ‘really’ would like to be a little birdie or a fly on the wall in the Monday BOD meeting…

Tam’s coverage is up, HERE.

Ambulance Driver has some posts up on his rambling around the convention, HERE.

TOTW has his posts up HERE.

And although Miggy didn’t make it, he’s been guarding the home fires, so to speak, and tracking what’s been showing up in the MSM over the last few days, HERE.


Another 4 1/2 miles today…

This was ‘typical’ of the crowd scene. But it was VERY polite. It’s a lousy pan shot, but it was BUSY today.

Good to see some old friends, and to meet one of my beta readers, thanks for hunting me down Tom!

Quality is something one pays for. There is a reason that certain folks are well known for their ‘high priced’ guns…

Ed Brown, Doug Turnbull, and Les Baer are three that I saw today. Due to the crowds, I didn’t get any pictures at the Ed Brown or Turnbull booths, due to not being able to get a decent shot. I went by the Baer booth and got this pic of Les’ carry pistol, which is a 1911 in Super 38.

I know Les said this is his every day carry piece, but I didn’t see a scratch on it anywhere! Obviously he’s better at carrying than I am… LOL

And speaking of quality pistols, saw this one at Volquartsen booth. It has a nice little paint scheme on it too!

This young lady is the epitome of ‘Can Do’! McKenna Dahl is a member of Team USA, and was in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. And that medal in front of here is the Bronze she won in the 10M air rifle prone.

A very personable young lady, she suffers from amyoplasia arthrogryposis, is in a wheelchair, and has issues with her left hand. Yet with all that, she’s overcome those obstacles, learned to shoot, competed internationally, and beat some of the best in the world! Anyone who says ‘gurls’ can’t shoot to her, she’d probably laugh in their faces, and give them a running head start, then show them how well SHE can shoot! 🙂

And I’ll close with this one, which was pretty funny…

Grandpa was pushing the boy on his cart, as the boy was tuckered out! He was collecting pins while grandpa, grandma, and mother were shopping for carry pistols.

I was very happy to see the younger folks out, and single females, along with families with children looking at various ‘things’. While not as ‘focused’ as what we saw in Dallas, the folks I saw today were very knowledgeable, had good ideas of what they wanted, and were asking good questions.

I went by the Brownell’s booth and chatted with Roy Hill for a few minutes, sadly Frank Brownell didn’t make it out this year. And for those of you who remember Larry Weeks from Brownell’s, Roy said he’s enjoying retirement, playing with sprint cars, and spending a couple of months a year in Australia.

I won’t be here for Day 3, due to things I have to do Monday, but the other folks will be here and blogging, so check out the usual suspects!

NRA AM day 2…

Another 2 miles this morning… sigh… Getting my exercise for the week…

Some things of interest, first up is SSP eyewear, although I don’t have a pic, they have some interesting ANSI certified lenses. Their website is HERE. They have ‘cheaters’ built in to either the top, the bottom, or one top one bottom in 1.0 to 3.0 corrections. These are really good for us ‘old farts’ that can’t see the front sights too well anymore.

I tried a pair, and all it took was a slight tilt of the head to bring the cheaters into play.

Other interesting things… A lot of folks don’t realize what goes into actually CNC machining of parts. This is from Choate, the blank, the first cut, and the finished product. About 60% of the original billet is ground away.

The finished product is shown below… Replacement action for a Remington 700.

Spent a couple of minutes talking to Jerry Miculek, as he was walking from one appearance to another. He’s doing well and ‘busy’ to put it mildly. 🙂

Vertex has done something interesting, in that none of their bags now display their label.

The rationale to not make the bags as ‘identifiable’ as tactical bags, and more resemble ‘urban’ (read yuppie) bags carried by a lot of the millennials. I do have one that I bought, and I like it, FWIW…

Rumors, rumbles, and more…

First a couple of links…

GFZ has THIS. No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money has THIS. A number of folks that I talked to, not for attribution, are saying this Ack-Mc kerfluffel is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is the real possibility of criminal prosecution and jail time for individuals in various positions with the NRA.

Additionally, there are a number of folks we are used to seeing at the NRAAM that aren’t here. Various ‘reasons’ have been given including ‘work responsibilities’, etc., but others are saying it’s because they are trying to save money. Needless to say, nobody with NRA is commenting. Very little is being said officially by anyone with NRA, but this morning it was announced that Oliver North would NOT be accepting a second term…

On a more positive note, I’ve seen a number of friends, including one guy I flew with in the Navy over 25 years ago! 🙂 Met a couple of my readers for the first time, and had a great dinner last night hosted by Rob Reed! The usual suspects are wandering the show, finding things of interest. I’m headed back to the floor, trying to find stuff that folks had questions about…

Day 1 wrap…

Owie, my dogs are barking… 5 miles on the floor today… Guess I got my exercise!

I’m calling these the drool worthy shots…

New Colt King Cobra. Comes in .357, 3 inch barrel.

John Pearce is still engraving for Colt, and this is his latest work in progress… He estimates this one will take 200 man hours to finish.Here he is, hard at work.And this is the one he had started last year at NRA. He said this one took 160 hours to finish… Absolutely beautiful!!!

Now for old school… REAL old school… Rock Island has the next two guns. 1873 Winchester gold plated, engraved and signed by John Ulrich sometime in the 1870s.

And here’s the other side of the 1873. Estimated sale price, $50-60000

And a Louis Nimschke engraved SAA Colt, also from Rock Island. It’s really interesting in that this one is sitting next to a ‘normal’ factory engraved SAA, and you can really see the difference in the depth of the scroll work and the quality. Price estimate on this one is $30-40000.

And this one was on another table… Sequentially numbered pair of 12 ga Purdy shot guns from 1898. 30 inch barrels, case hardened, etc… Sigh…

And no, I didn’t drool over them… I couldn’t afford to… Sigh…

Tomorrow is back to the newer things and oddities that catch my interests…

NRA Day 1 interim…

Questions were asked on the new Ruger Wrangler, and the Browning BLR…

Here’s the pic… Steel cylinder, every thing else is CNC’ed aluminum. It’s not a bad little trigger, and it’s a tight little pistol. MSRP is $249, so street price is probably around $200. It’s much better quality than Heritage or the others, IMHO.

The other was the Browning BLR. The question was, any plans for a BLR in 350 Legend. Sadly, the ‘current’ answer is no.  However, they do have a new takedown BLR in various calibers that breaks down to about a 2 foot package. Accuracy is ~2MOA, but it is attractive as hell as a truck gun. The top one is the breakdown one.

Here’s the MSRP, I’m seriously looking at the 243 version.

Action is aluminum, and tapped for both a regular scope, and interestingly a scout scope setup…

Here’s the rifle taken down…

And they have a ‘carrying case’ for the takedowns… Hmmmm…

More later, once I recover from this morning’s laps…

NRA Day 1…

0730- It’s nasty, rainy, and the wind is blowing…

The show floor doesn’t open until 0900, and people are already lined up 20 deep getting their badges!

Seeing a lot of older folks, lots of veterans, lots of questions as to where the NRA is heading and what is happening, but no real answers yet.


And… we’re off!!!

Finally got in yesterday afternoon, after an hour waiting to get the bird fixed in ORD. Landing gear up lock micro switch decided to go on the fritz… At least it did it on the ground, NOT after takeoff.

Caught up with Ambulance Driver, TOTW, and Drang for dinner and headed ack to the hotel. Gotta say Indy streets SUCK in the rain. Brick streets with lousy markings make for interesting driving in the dark… Sigh…

By the time you read this, we’ll be waiting to hit the show floor and see what new things are out there this year.  If you have anything you want me to look for, put it in comments.


One of my old COs flew Spads… Including training for their nuclear (one way) mission of loft bombing and running like hell…

Radial Starting (3350 engine on an A-1H)

Be sure you drain both the sumps. (You can fill your Zippo lighter while you do this)
Look out the left side of the oily cockpit canopy and notice a very nervous person holding a huge fire bottle. Nod to this person.
1.  Crack throttle about one-quarter of an inch. 
2.  Battery on 
3.  Mags on 
4.  Fuel boost on 
5.  Hit starter button (The four-bladed 13′ 6′ prop will start a slow turn) 
6.  8 blades later, begin to bounce your finger on top of the primer button. 
a.  This act requires finesse and style. It is much like a ballet performance. The engine must be seduced and caressed into starting.
7.  Act one will begin: Belching, banging, rattling, backfiring, sputtering, flame and black smoke from the exhaust shooting out about three feet. (Fire bottle person is very pale and has the nozzle at the ready position) 
8.  When the engine begins to “catch” on the primer. Move the mixture to full rich. 
The flames from the exhaust will stop and white smoke will come out. (Fire bottle guy relaxes a bit) You will hear a wonderful throaty roar that is like music to the ears.. 
a. Enjoy the macho smell of engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and pilot sweat.
9.  Immediately check the oil pressure and hydraulic gages. 
10. The entire aircraft is now shaking and shuddering from the torque of the engine and RPM of the prop. 
a.  The engine is an 18 cylinder R-3350 that develops 2,700 HP.
11. Close cowl flaps to warm up the engine for taxi. 
12. Once you glance around at about 300 levers, gauges and gadgets, call the tower to taxi to the duty runway.

Take off in the AD-6
1.     Check both magnetos
2.     Exercise the prop pitch
3.     Cowl flaps open.
4.     Check oil temp and pressure.
5.     Crank 1.5 degrees right rudder trim to help your right leg with the torque on takeoff.
6.     Tell the tower you are ready for the duty runway. 
7.     Line the bird up and lock the tail wheel for sure. 
8.     Add power slowly because the plane (with the torque of the monster prop and engine power definitely wants to go left). 
9.      NEVER add full power suddenly! There is not enough rudder in the entire world to hold it straight. 
10.     Add more power and shove in right rudder till your leg begins to tremble. 
11.     Expect banging, belching and an occasional manly fart as you roar down the runway at full power. 
        (I have found that the engine can make similar noises)
12.     Lift the tail and when it “feels right” pull back gently on the stick to get off the ground. 
13.     Gear up 
14.     Adjust the throttle for climb setting 
15.     Ease the prop back to climb RPM 
16.     Close cowl flaps and keep an eye on the cylinder head temp. 
17.     Adjust the power as needed as you climb higher or turn on the supercharger. 

 Flying with the round engine.
1.      Once you reach altitude which isn’t very! high (about 8000 feet) you reduce the throttle and prop to cruise settings. 
2.      The next fun thing is to pull back the mixture control until the engine just about quits. Then ease it forward a bit and this is the best mixture.. 
3.      While cruising the engine sounds like it might blow or quit at any time This keeps you occupied scanning engine gauges for the least hint of trouble. 
4.      Moving various levers around to coax a more consistent sound from the engine concentrates the mind wonderfully. 
5      At night or over water a radial engine makes noises you have never heard before. 
6.      Looking out of the front of the cockpit the clouds are beautiful because they are slightly blurred from the oil on the cockpit canopy. 
7.      Seeing lightning in the clouds ahead increases the pucker factor by about 10. 
a.  You can’t fly high enough to get over them and if you try and get under the clouds—-you will die in turbulence. 
b.  You tie down everything in the cockpit that isn’t already secured, get a good grip on the stick, turn on the deicers, tighten and lock your shoulder straps and hang on. 
c.  You then have a ride to exceed any “terror” ride in any amusement park ever built. You discover the plane can actually fly sidewise while inverted.
8.      Once through the weather, you call ATC and in a calm deep voice advise them that there is slight turbulence on your route. 
9.      You then scan your aircraft to see if all the major parts are still attached. This includes any popped rivets. 
10.     Do the controls still work? Are the gauges and levers still in proper limits? 
11.     These being done you fumble for the relief tube because you desperately need it. (Be careful with your lower flight suit zipper)

The jet engine and aircraft

Start a jet
1. Fuel boost on. 
2.  Hit the start button 
3.  When the JPT starts to move, ease the throttle forward. 
4.  The fire bottle person is standing at the back of the plane and has no idea what is going on. 
5.  The engine lights off—and— 
6. That’s about it.

Take off in the jet
1.  Lower flaps 
2.  Tell the tower you are ready for takeoff. 
3.  Roll on to the duty runway while adding 100% power. 
4.  Tricycle gear—no tail to drag—no torque to contend with. 
5.  At some exact airspeed, you lift off the runway. 
6.  Gear up 
7.  Milk up the flaps and fly. 
8. Leave the power at 100%

Flying the jet
1.  Climb at 100% 
2.  Cruise at 100% 
3.  It is silent in the plane. 
4.  You can’t see clouds because you are so far above them. 
5.  You look down and see lightning in some clouds below and pity some poor fool that may have to fly through that mess. 
6.  The jet plane is air conditioned!! Round engines are definitely not. If you fly in tropical areas, this cannot be stressed enough. 
7.  There is not much to do in a jet, so you eat your flight lunch at your leisure. 
8.  Few gauges to look at and no levers to adjust. This leaves you doodling on your kneeboard. 
9. Some call girlfriends on their cell phones: “Guess where I am etc”

My old CO said the worst problem he ever had in a Spad was the relief tube being blocked on a six hour mission… 😀

NRA Annual Meeting…

Heading for Indy tomorrow for the NRA Annual Meeting and floorshow… 😉

If you have something you want me to look at/report on, leave the specifics in comments and I’ll do my best to locate the item and give you my thoughts on it.


It’s also a chance to catch up with friends, have at least one good meal, and get my exercise for the week… LOL

As far as I know right now, we don’t have any blogger specific get togethers planned, but if something pops up, I’ll post the info when I get it.