Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Good Friend's Rifle Is Back On The Line

Eric Ching's "Chingring" scout is back in service...

Before I knew I'd be leaving Minnesota I had one of the rifles bequeathed to me by our late and much lamented friend Eric Ching sent to me here.  This Remington Seven (blue synthetic) is chambered for the 260 Remington cartridge and wears a Burris 2.75x scout scope. What makes it especially Eric's rifle is that it's fitted with his Chingring - a sleeve attached to a cylindrical section of the barrel just ahead of the receiver.  Cut away most of the bottom of the sleeve and affix a Weaver rail and your rifle is ready for a forward mounted optic.  Back in the day of hopelessly expensive pedestal barrels this innovation allowed a fella to inexpensively install a scout scope on a skinny barrel.  This idea was borrowed, improved upon, and commercialized by Ashley Emerson and currently offered as the XS/Clifton Scout Mount by XS Sight Systems 

The neat little rifle arrived with some of Eric's mild deer loads (125 grain Nosler Partitions at ~2700 fps) and several boxes of factory 140s.  I took it to the range the other day to double check the zero, just because.  I will not chase whitetails this year; too many balls in the air, what with the new job, moving to Arizona, and all.  This very sensible scout rifle shot only one pair wider than an inch in 30 rounds and is now zero'd three inches high at 100.  We are going to be very good friends.  

As I shot through a partial box of Eric's handloads marked "2006" I remembered that I watched Eric drop a North Dakota whitetail at last light with ammo from this very carton on his last hunt the year before he died of brain cancer in 2007.  I miss our friend, but I will be honored to return his deer gun to the field - whether in Arizona, North Dakota, or Minnesota - at the very earliest opportunity.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hey...Something New At The Deer Rifle Sight-in

Not at all a deer gun, but cool...

Make that mighty, awesomely, wickedly cool.  When the day's activities were completed at the gun club's annual public deer rifle sight-in this past Sunday a fellow club member brought out his Shrike "uppered" AR15.  A belt-fed 223; what's not to like?

Otherwise, success and failure came in most of the same flavors as past years.


Ruger American bolt action.  Easily the finest looking entry-level bolt-action rifle I've ever seen.  Shoots fine to.  Très Elegant, Très Chic!
Most any scope that cost more than $125...especially Redfield, Burris, Leupold, Zeiss, and Trijicon.


Any scope that cost less than $99...especially Simmons or TascoAack! Thpt!
Scopes on shotguns...especially when attached to pump guns using saddle mounts
Doodz! When the iron sights work better than your cheap scopes or their flimsy extruded alloy mounts that's called a clue!

This was my last hurrah at the gun club, seeing as I'm moving from Minnesota to Arizona for a new job.  Hanging out with other civic-minded shooters at our annual deer rifle sight in has made for for some shining times.  Fare thee well!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another Guest Post At The Eclectic Breakfast

My father, Larry Brady, aged 79 years, is very fond of telling stories...

My grandfather Owen Brady and my aunt Patricia one cold North Dakota day the 1930s

For Christmas of 2012 he made a gift to the family of these memories from his early life in North Dakota.

One of the thoughts that has been floating through my head as snow arrived in Minnesota was the way children were taken to school in those days.  I was too young to go to school but I do remember riding with our dad in a kind of shed on skis, with a little stove to keep everyone warm.  I really don't remember going to school as much as the ride home.  I think I remember him talking about next year when I would be in school.

Another memory that keeps coming back is about a time Mom and Dad left my sisters on the farm to take care of my younger brother Jimmy while I got to go to Devils Lake with them.  We didn't leave Devils Lake until after dark.  I got to sit on front with them.  Our mom was unhappy about something and Dad was trying to cheer her up - he was very happy about something else.  When we got home Dad had to go out to the barn to milk the cows and do the chores.  They had bought me a pair of white farmers gloves in town.  Mom let me wear them as I went out to the barn to help with chores.  Being it was dark I ran into the barbwire fence and got blood on my new gloves.  I can remember crying a lot, not because of the scratches but because I got blood all over my new "farmers gloves."

The last memory on the farm was when Dad was so sick he couldn't get out of bed.  There was a snowstorm but Mom thought she should call someone to come to the farm to get Dad to a doctor.  Dad said not to that.  Harvey Rice, the mailman, would be along any minute and eh would get the help that was needed.  Dad was taken by sleigh to the closest train station to be transported to the Veterans Hospital in Fargo.  I was told they had to put my Mom and Dad in the mail car.  It was heated. But he could not be in the regular part of the train because they didn't know why he was so sick.  That all happened during the winter of 1939-40, which started a whole new life for all of us in the little town of Crary.

Jimmy and I loved Crary; our sisters didn't feel the same way.  I didn't mean for this to end on such a dark note...but that's the way memories go.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Days of War, Nights of Love

I feel their pain but I cannot commit to joining them where they are...

This very special and challenging book was a gift from my dear friend David, whose life much more closely adheres to the philosophy championed in this earnest volume.  Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethink For Beginners by CrimethInc is like reading about a different species; an uncannily familiar species we might admire despite its awkward alien-ness.  Its angry anarchic, rejectionist, contrarian prose exhorts us to an garbage-grubbing interstitial life at the margins subsisting on the leftovers and leavings of modern, capitalist, industrial society.  Were we all able to return to the egalitarian, communitarian, small group societies the authors aspire to we would find ourselves in a hunter-gatherer economy with no technology more sophisticated than "stone knives and bear skins."  Call me bourgeois, but I kinda like the internet, iron, penicillin, and beverages extracted from coffee beans grown on other continents. Still, we should endeavor to understand and learn from the authors' pain, ennui, and weirdly compelling aspirations.  They're not wrong...exactly...they're just 10,000 years too late to put up or shut up.  Damn you, agriculture, Bronze Age, and civilization!