Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday morning ruminations.

I have been going around to all my favorite surplus dealer's web pages, looking for anything I might want to pick up.  There was a time in the 1980's when you could find something you wanted at every dealers (by perusing the advertisements in their flyers) and I never had enough disposable income to get everything I wanted to buy.

No more.  Samco Global Arms just went broke.  Navy Arms no longer carries surplus, seems like Italian produced old West guns for the Cowboy Shooting folks is their main interest now.  Southern Ohio Guns has nothing to offer. AIM has some Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30 rifles available at horrific prices. Century International just hawks their own AK-47 rifles, their web page is so boring I almost never go there anymore.  Empire Arms gets in some good merchandise, if you are prepared to give up your first born child in payment for it.

Classic Firearms just got in the "last" shipment of Finnish Mosin Nagants. I own three and I'm happy with that. I bought mine twenty years ago for about $60.00 each (granted, money bought a lot more back then.) If you have been looking for a Finn you can check out what Classic Arms has left at this link.

Classic Arms

I continue to be bemused by the media shrieking about the Russians.  They aren't doing anything with these overflights of U.S. naval vessels they weren't doing back in the early 80's when I was on the Sixth Fleet NATO staff (COMSTRIKFORSOUTH).  Bears and Bisons used to overfly the carrier battle group all the time.  They were usually escorted in by our fighters, and it was all a carefully orchestrated minuet where everybody was on track with what was going on. Same thing with the Russian Bears flying up around Alaska. No big whoop.  But now the news agencies wring their hands and talk about "provocations."

The only thing I can think of about this constant brouhaha over the Russians, is that the current administration is trying to deflect people's attention away from how bad things are getting in this country. It's an old trick that has been around at least since classical Greek times and probably a lot longer.  I doubt it will work though, since almost no one watches the news anymore. The Russians are doing a pretty good job on the Islamic terrorist organizations, while we sit back and let them carry the load. While they are fighting radical Islam, we are satisfied with desultory bombing  and criticizing the Russians for doing what we lack the moral courage to do.  Strange times.  I guess the Old Guard will continue beating the drums against the Russians until the Iranians give some splinter group a nuclear weapon and they set it off in D.C.   It will be a little late then to recognize who our real enemies are, but history has it's own momentum.

I have been trying to stay detached from the machinations of the Republican National Committee. I have watched their representatives on the news, telling us how having toadies and stooges appointed by the cabal at Party Headquarters pick the Republican nominee rather than heeding the popular vote is "good."  Remember 1984 and "new speak?"  Orwell knew what was coming.

 The whole thing has confirmed my earlier decision, made more than a year ago, to scrap my membership in the Party.  I will call myself a Libertarian from now on, and vote for whomever I think will do best. I've always voted for the party candidates in the past, be it local or state or national elections, but no more.

I feel detached from all of it.  Somewhere along the way, I've lost my passion for politics.  I think Drudge is right, there's really no difference between the two parties. They wheel and deal, and they care about themselves and their class.

As for the "Great Unwashed", which means the rest of us. It's a case of Mind over Matter.  They don't mind and we don't matter.

I am going to shoot some today. Just pistols.  I'm not ready yet for the recoil of my bolt guns. I could shoot a .223, but I think I had better hold off on rifles for awhile.  I can manage the 9mm but I don't think trying to blast away with a .45 or .44 would be really smart.  I am not into pain.

My brothers are house boating on Lake Shasta this week.  I didn't make the trip out, it was in the  too hard category.  I wish I could have.  We are all getting on and it would have been nice to see them. Maybe next year.

And that's about it from the top of the mountain this Sunday morning.


  1. Is there that much difference between the Russian and Finnish rifles?

    1. Well, the Finnish rifles were originally produced in Russia, then rebuilt in Finland. You need a book as thick as the bible to keep up with the different Finnish variations. They had a strange organizational chart, and different factions of their military and their para military organizations either built guns , or contracted to have them built, all with different barrels, etc.

      The general consensus is that the Finnish guns are better weapons. I know they have always commanded much higher prices than the garden variety Mosin Nagant model 1891/30 but that was also due to scarcity of the Finnish version and the ready availability of the Russian guns here. I think the answer to your question is yes, overall but maybe somebody who is a Finnish rifle expert can elaborate.

  2. I got the spam from Classic Firearms about the last of the Mosins. But at that price I just can't stomach it. It made sense when they were 90$, and for that price you would take your chances and put up with their short comings, but not at the current prices. At this point I can think of a lot other long guns I'd rather spend 300$ on.

    1. I think they mostly cater to collectors who will pay top dollar for a specific variant. If I didn't already have three, I'd go ahead and buy one but there isn't any point since I don't go to the extremes of wanting a specific manufacturer or specific nuances of the production. The Finns are good shooters, but heavy. Of course, Finnish soldiers were tough as nails and I doubt the weight of a rifle fazed them much. I like the videos Classic Firearms do when they get in a shipment. I keep an eye on them in case they ever get something really unique in.

  3. I agree with the deflection from things at home theory. Obama has hurt this country in so many ways and now he is off trying to force Europe into a very bad trade deal...that our congress passed to my horror. Putin and Russia seem to be the players with leadership strength like a strong president can be. Ahh I weep for America with the next set of presidential candidate!

    1. Things are not going well. If you sit down at the kitchen table with a yellow legal pad, and list the trends that are accelerating and negative, it's a long list.

      The Russians are a tough people, proud and patriotic. They are not cursed with this "multiculturalism" nonsense as we are, and they are smart enough not to worry about political correctness. We seem to be rotten to the core with both maladies.

  4. Good to hear you're getting back in health, Harry

    The same thing has happened with "surplus" radio gear. The stuff from WWII has almost entirely dried up, and when you find some it's at an insane price.

    The later stuff has just about dried up, too, and stuff from the 1980's has been getting "demilled" with sledgehammers!

    Thelast time the guys from the Iowa went up to Bremerton to the mothball fleet, they found PALLETS full of radio/electronics equipment smashed almost beyond recognition.

    NONE of it was "classified" equipment, so we can't figure out why they're smashing it.

    Even things like test non-specific test equipment was getting crushed.

    HEY....*I* paid for that stuff! The least you morons could do is SELL it back to me as "surplus"!

    1. I think the government has a feeling that the hoi poloi are not to be trusted with so much as a bent p-38 can opener. I can remember when a lot of still useful gear was available at surplus stores, or "Army Navy Stores", but no more.

      Same thing with weapons. The government is grinding up perfectly good m1911 pistols, although a certain number of them are supposed to be made available to the CMP for sale to veterans and qualified civilians. Just another example of government stupidity and waste. As you point out, we paid for this stuff from the get go.

  5. Staying on a house boat does sound fun! That's too bad you couldn't make it.

    My sisters wanted me to go to Seattle this summer. That's very far from Nebraska. I said, "Nope!" I'd love to see that part of the US, but with Travis switching jobs so much this year he hasn't built up much vacation time.

    1. It's hard to uproot and go winging off, especially since air travel is so wretched these days. I remember how nice it was in the sixties and seventies, you were treated like royalty. Today air liners are pretty much cattle cars.

      I wanted to live on a house boat part of the time, and here part of the time. Part of the "working out" of the difference of opinion between my wife and myself on that issue was that I gave up the house boat idea and the rv idea, and went along with renting an apartment near our kids when they go to Florida for us to use when we visit. I visit for three days and then I need to get home. My wife can visit for three months....... doesn't bother her and the kids don't seem to mind. She does a lot of the gopher work and house work when she visits and they teasingly call her "mom slave."

  6. I can't even look at the catalogs anymore. Too much money for a limited selection.

    The surplus stores seem to be selling a lot of Chinese knock off stuff that looks X military, but isn't. Been avoiding those of late too.

    I've been getting together with family and friends on a regular basis since I've gotten back. It's nice that so many have moved back to the area. They are coming back to the land of "Live free or die."

    1. I like the catalogs, just got a couple today. Don't buy much out of them as I am pretty well set up by now, but I like to browse.

      Prices are beyond the means of most mortal men these days. I certainly couldn't collect now, if I were just starting out.