Gun School.

I want to go to Gun School like the cool kids do. But I don’t want to go to the wrong gun school, and I sure as hell don’t want to go to a gun school where I’m that guy. You know, the guy who is hopelessly lost and causes the entire class to have to slow down so he can catch up- if he does at all.
I have heard things about schools, and some of them are fairly intimidating. I tend to lump schools into , lets say, five different categories, and here they are, grossly oversimplified.

1: Basic NRA class. My amigo Mr B teaches these, and they constitute safe firearms handling and basic shooting. I have not attended one though I have witnessed enough of them to understand that’s where everyone ought to begin.
2: Basic marksmanship. Still very simplistic but emphasizing grip, and sight picture and target acquisition, and what sort of habits not to develop and what sort of habits to break. This, I think, is what I need the very most right now.
3: Gun use and the law style classes, which go into detail as to what you should be doing in a live fire situation, how to do it, how to survive it, and what to avoid. This, I get the impression, is the Massad Ayoob specialty. I want very much to take one of these classes, but not until I have mastered #2.
4: Advanced training in simulated situations by actual professionals who have lived the life and are willing to pass on their experience. I know I am nowhere near able to do any of this, at least in part due to some physical limitations but also because of my total lack of #2 and #3.
5: Tactiderp. In this category I include most out of state concealed carry classes. The Utah cc class I went to, the instructor taught everyone to teacup and told us the weaver stance was so we could easily weave back and forth out of the way of incoming fire. Ok, Neo. Also in this category are any gunstores who sponsor classes to show the “Little Ladies” how to handle mean old guns and put things like 38 special Plus P loads in pink gripped Smith scandium frame revolvers and hand them to 90 lb elderly aunts. Finally in this category is the expensive tactical school where you will learn what will and won’t get you killed on the street from some mall ninja.

I know this is a really gross oversimplification, but I’m hoping someone I know will take this subject and do it right, and put together a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly, and the people who teach them and what they are like, and what sort of skill levels you need to get into them, etc. and what the most useful ones are for all skill levels.

It’s the ammo, stupid.

Many years back I acquired a 93 Mauser, or at least several component parts therof. The previous owner had put his hands on an octagonal muzzleloader barrel of 45 caliber and had intended to use it to make a 45-70 bolt action. Thankfully, he passed on before he could perpetrate this grenade on anyone.

As it was, the receiver is not particularly pretty, and the turned down bolt handle I have for it is not pretty either, but a little garnet blast will, I’m sure, make it good enough for my purposes.

Knowing the inherent strengths (Or, well, weaknesses) of the 93 mau, I originally thought about a quarter incher, but you can even find hot factory loads in 257 Roberts, so I cast about for a cartridge. Turns out that the 7.62 x 39 is a common rebarrel for these, the max loads well under the safety factor for the action, and Numrich had a kit!

So I saved my nickles and dimes and bought one. Pitiably, they are no longer available, because it was a nice kit. You got a new magazine spring and follower, and a magazine spacer. The spacer is a tight fit in the magazine, the follower fits in like the original, and the barrel is short chambered.

Thus was the Commie Cannon project born. A couple months ago I took it to my friend’s shop where he had collets that would hold that barrel snug, and I reamed the chamber to match the receiver. Headspace is dead on commercial spec. I wrung the receiver in place on the barrel while it was still in the lathe, and put it together. We shot a handful of rounds through it to make sure it wasn’t going to explode, and then I drilled it and tapped it for scope rings. I put a cheap scope on it, loaned to me, and a tinmey trigger, and took it out and shot it.

And then hid it in the garage for a couple months. I knew the barrel could shoot better than I was shooting, and I just naturally assumed it was me. I have been quite busy but finally last weekend I put a better scope on it (A Bushnell Buckmaster, the scope that has been on my meat gun for many years) and went back to the range.

I sighted down the barrel to get the shots on paper, and I refuse to show you what I shot with the Tulammo at 100 yards, I will not do it. I have deleted the picture from my phone, so there. Then I shot the Wolf ammo, and it seemed to get some better, but I thought I should still be able to do much better than that at 100 yards, I know these barrels are well made.


Those squares are an inch. At 100 yards, this is pathetic. I could probably throw stones. And I throw like a girl.

I checked and rechecked everything, and shot five more rounds, and they were just as disappointing. But hell, I thought, it is probably me, I’ve probably totally lost it. “Try some of this Remington” Werner says, and I load five rounds, and do this:


That group is just a tad under an inch center to center, of the widest shots. And I shot three more that looked just like it. Back to the Wolf, and it sprayed lead everywhere.

So now I’m gonna find a stock a little nicer than the bubbaed 93 original, and blue it, and make it all come together. it may end up being my new meat gun now that the law has changed. I felt a lot better knowing the ammo was the problem, and it was a solvable problem.

On the road

several days of running and now settled down for a couple days, before going back to the grind again. On the road you see guys like yourself, armed covered with the battle scars of having reached into a thousand machines, some bent from years of rough service, some just beginning the journey. All are the same, in one respect: We are the proto morlocks. We make things happen, we make the world work. All the guys who get up in the morning and toil away so the eloi can have the new car, or the high end motorcycle, or the big TV. We fix the machines that make everything. We have all gotten so used to the noise of industry, so much so that we no longer notice it.

Were the Eloi food, or breeding stock, or what? What will the brave new world bring us, when the speciation is complete, and those of us who make things are once and for all separated from those who consume them? Will that happen, can it? Maybe not. Nobody likes a factory so much that they want to vacation there.

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