Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thank You and Welcome

It always nice to log onto my blog each morning and find new followers. I'd like to say welcome and thank you to Kathin, Graybeard, CaptnAmerica and Black isis01 for joining my humble effort.

Your comments are always welcome. I promise to reply to each comment, individually. It might take me a few hours, or days in rare cases, but believe me I will leave a reply. So don't be shy and check back for commentary.

If you have a blog and have hit my follower button, I shall return the favor. If you link me and I don't immediately link you - please, shoot me an email and I will link you in kind.

This blog is wide open. I don't only write of guns; I post like I live. You will find articles on books, food, survival arts, family, firearms, and any other topic that hits my aged mind.

Again, thank you.

Here, we eat Unicorn Meat.


M6 Scout Survival Rifle, And the .22 Cartridge

I'd like to throw out a challenge to all my blogger friends; write and post one article this week, hopefully today or tomorrow, based on the .22 caliber rifle or handgun. The tone or theme doesn't matter. Write about a favorite rifle you owned as a child, or an heirloom inherited from a family member. Perhaps you have certain reasons for or against its consideration as the best cartridge (it is in my humble opinion) for survival situations. Doesn't matter, join the fun. Duke at Down Range Report,, got the ball rolling yesterday. Thanks.

Today I'd like to present to you what I believe is one of the best, again in my opinion, survival rifles, the M6 Scout Survival Rifle by Springfield Arms. The rifle was discontinued in 1985. It was designed by the military for combat pilots.

Oleg recently did a photo spread on the M6, nice picture, but the young man said he 'didn't get it,' as to why the rifle was considered the best survival rifle at the time it was issued. My answer; the M6 was designed for utilization under extreme conditions, and pilots have a bad habit of putting the nose of the plane into the ground, after all. Frequently behind enemy lines.

Here is a snippet found at

The Springfield Armory M6 Scout is an interesting superposed rifle / shotgun survival arm. The rifle barrel on mine is chambered for the .22 Long Rifle instead of the .22 Hornet. The lower barrel is the standard .410 bore shotgun. The M6 Scout has been out of production since March of 2008.

Based on the
M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon, the Springfield Armory version has longer barrels (18.5’’) to make it legal for civilians. There is a flip-top cover on the gunstock where both .22 and .410 cartridges are stored.
The optional lockable plastic carrying case is designed to carry the disassembled M6 along with some ammunition. I have crammed a few extra items in; a cleaning kit, spray oil, and storm-proof matches. It conveniently stows in the trunk of a car or cuddy of a boat. The case IS NOT waterproof. A disassembled M6 Scout readily fits into a camper’s bedroll or a hiker's backpack.
End snippet.

The M6, as you read above, is chambered for .22 and .410. It's the twenty two that makes the rifle.

The .22 cartridge is light which gives you the ability to hump thousands of rounds. Try packing a thousand rounds of centerfire ammunition. It has the power, with the correct shot placement, to drop man or animal. Another credit in its favor are the endless variety of weapon configurations from which to choose, like the Ruger 10/22, or my personal favorite, the classic Marlin Golden model 39.

As I've said over and over the lowly .22 should never be underestimated. As a young man living in the wilds of Washington State I'd cruise the logging roads (I was a notorious poacher) with an old beat to hell Savage .22 and remember taking at least four Blacktail deer. Hey, venison is the meat of kings. Each of those now long dead critters dropped in their tracks as if hit by lightning. But then again so would a democritter if the shot were placed between his eyes.

By the way, if you know of an M6 Scout Survival rifle for sale, email me. I want one, badly. Remember, I'm poor, too.

My friends, work awaits. Again with the challenge, let's make this .22 week. Give me your take, good or bad, on the best friend this country has ever had, a meat getter and survival rifle ammunition of the highest order, the .22 cartridge.



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BackWoods Home

I've been reading Backwoods Home for years and years. If you haven't you're missing a great magazine. Do yourself a favor and check it out. I receive no funds for my endorsement, I simply like the magazine.

Here's a link to their website,, enjoy.


Cool Dreaming and Firewood

I'm ready for cooler weather and the warmth of a wood fire. We're lucky, Sweet Wife and I, as we have two fireplaces in our home. Working fireplaces, not those cheap metal inserts made more for looks than function, but quality brick and mortal 'kick your butt with roasting heat' fireplaces. 

One is located in our formal living room and the other in our family room. The family room fireplace is primary. When cool weather hits our area its usually in late October.  I have standing orders, from Sweet Wife and Little Bit, when she is in residence, to have a fire laid and ready to light when she arrives home from work. I always follow orders. We burn a lot of wood. Firewood here in North Florida isn't cheap. A good truck load (less the a standard cord) can cost me a couple hundred dollars. Ouch. I'm cheap, well, perhaps frugal is a better description of my spending habits.

So this weekend when I spotted a nicely stacked pile of freshly cut Live Oak on the side of the road, I jumped.  I had beat the city yard waste truck, and it was free for the taking.

The wood was the result of a trim job, probably as a safety measure for hurricane Irene.  Live Oaks are big. The limb had been cut in rounds, and trust me, they were heavy. Each piece weighed between 60 and 90 pounds, a rough estimate for sure, but close enough. I tried to limit my selections to pieces measuring less the 21 inches, the limit for my Troy Built.

Free firewood is money in my pocket. Times are 'tuff all over, this is evident from my daily blog reads. Seems everyday I read where more and more people are losing their homes and jobs, or know of a neighbor in the same predicament. It's depressing. Many of these bloggers have become my friends. I read their posts and feel helpless. One jumps to mind and I shall not mention his name, he's a proud man, and to ask for help is beyond him. I've veered of course....sorry.

Anyway, back to the firewood. I loaded six or seven rounds (doctor's visit imminent) took it home and prepped for splitting the wood down to usable sections. Guess what...darn things were so heavy and green my log splitter wasn't up to the task. It'll season and I'll try again. Did get one to pop, Little Bit cheered.

Take what you can folks. There are terrible times ahead. Swallow your pride, too. Friends help friends. 

Do you hear me, my friend.  


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Great Salvation Army Raid

I was party to a fascinating sight yesterday.

My morning began with a trip to my son's home where Sweet Wife and me helped our son and daughter-in-law with a few minor home repairs. No big deal. I spent much of that time outside in temperatures which were well above 100 degrees....I was nothing less than a sweat rag.

On our return trip Sweet Wife and Little Bit (she came along for the afternoon) ordered me to stop at the local Diary Queen. I said no, I'm wet and want to go home. While sitting in the Dairy Queen parking lot, which is located in front of a Salvation Army store, I noticed a car drive by several times, park as the engine idled, then peel out and come to a quick stop at the donation trailer. The driver then quick like a fox jumped from his car, snatched a garbage bag bundle, threw it into his car and drive away. Weird, said I.

Until I noticed another truck do much the same. My camera came out. In the span of less than ten minutes I counted no less than twenty cars and truck jokey for position at the donation pile. This pile was huge. The thieves whittled that sucker down to nothing while I waited on my milkshake. One man, in a green stripped shirt, made six runs on the loot. Some cars would wait six to ten yards away while another man or woman had their turn at the donations.

Only two cars, as I waited, actually dropped off donations; one at the curb, the other at the pile stacked at the foot of the trailer. The thieves had the loot in their vehicles before the donors even had a chance to drive away.  Folks, it was fascinating to watch.

Above, democritter drives away with his loot as another takes his place at the pile. The flea market awaits.

Green shirt man's second or third trip to the booty pile. This is a Sunday, the store is closed.

The truck parked next the door of the building is a donor. Seconds after I snapped this picture, the smaller white truck moved in and grabbed the pile. My wife later said she thought perhaps these poor people were taking items for their family. I argued the selections of the criminals, the speed of the snatch, indiscriminate and blindly loaded objects, was nothing more than looting for the purpose of resell.

Granted, we all suffer from this mini-depression. I should not pass judgement. Perhaps these donations, even though placed after hours before the donation trailer, should be considered discards and labeled public domain, free for the taking. Yet, these people used stealth and were quickly in and out, which indicates to me they were guilty of their actions. You tell me.

Still, I laughed, and I've learned a valuable lesson. Always donate when the store is open for business.

Footnote: this morning I passed this same establishment and all, all, of the pile has disappeared. The store had yet to open.


Thank You and Welcome

Thank you and welcome to my new followers, Jatico, Duke, Lamb and 45er. Nice to have you on board.

As always when I welcome new followers to my humble little blog I promise to always reply individually to all comments. It might take a few hours or in some rare cases, days, but I shall respond.

Again, thanks and welcome.


As Arnold Said, I'll Be Back

My friends, I will be back. Life has me on the run. Please be patient. Visit some of the excellent writers listed under my blogroll, they're good people.

Hopefully later today I will have a chance to blog.

Until then, Little Bit says, "Hello."


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Foxfire, The Series

Many years ago while in the service I had a few days of earned leave and decided to hit the airport and spend some time with my father. On my rare visits to my dad's home I knew I could always kick back with a few good reads; my dad is a book junkie.

He's a good 'ole country boy, once wore a badge, retired to a farm where he took up the easy life of cattle and horses and various other farm critters. After he purchased his acreage he took two old double-wide mobile homes, had them attached, and converted the suckers into one huge gun and reloading factory. Much of the interior was devoted to book shelves. I think he still has a picture in the shop of me and my younger brother standing proud as he received his black belt in judo. When the photo was snapped I was skinny and tall, my grandfather called me a beanpole, but I was cute too.....

Anyway, it was one of those rare visits where I walked into his home to find a new book he'd just purchased titled, Foxfire.  Shook my father's hand, went to a room and finished the book overnight.  This was in the late 1960's or perhaps early 1970. Can't remember. The first three of the set of ten or so volumes birthed my survivalist library, a collection that exceeds my ability to catalog, much less count.

I haven't the time this morning (yes, I'm at work) to describe and praise the glory of these fine folklore volumes. So Google 'em, please. (Mudbug, notice my usage of the word, please) If you are a survivalist (or, for pete's sake, a prepper) you should own them.

A couple of days ago my friend John found this set at a garage sale for a buck. A boxed set of the first three volumes...darn good deal.  Cannot understand why he refused my offer of a dollar and ten cents, greedy old coot.

 My friends, have a safe weekend. Keep your powder dry.


Friday, August 26, 2011

My Friend Duke

My friends I'd like to introduce all of you to my friend, Duke. He's a personal friend of mine, lives in my city, we shoot together, and is an all around nice guy. He's veteran, like many of us, and I'm sure has many stories to share.

Please, drop by and say hello and tell him Stephen sent you. Another gunny is always nice to have on our sidebars. Please, give him a boost and click his 'follower' button.

Thank you., again, thanks.


It's Time To Cook

Just called my favorite Seafood Market. They have crayfish tails in stock. Frozen, but beggars can't be too picky.

In a couple of hours I'll run by and get my Little Bit for the weekend. We'll hit the market, the produce stand for the trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery) then its home to quick thaw some shrimp stock. Before long the house should smell awful good. Wish you could join us.

I give you Deep South Dish's Crawfish (or Crayfish, depending on where you're located) Etouffee.

Have a great weekend.


Our Morning Weather and Little Bit

Hurricane Irene sits just off shore this morning and she is making liars out of our weather forecasters; as if that's a new story.

Here is a shot from my truck as I was taking Little Bit to school. If you look closely at the horizon you will see the deep dark clouds. Those clouds are over the Atlantic and are just a few miles away.

Below is another view from Little Bit's school. Mere seconds after this picture was taken a series of wind gust exceeding 40 mph accompanied by waves of rain hit us.

Just before the principle of Little Bit's school opened my truck door she asked, "Papa, do I get to stay in my new school all year?"

"Yes, Honey, why?"

"Because I just love it, Papa."

I drove away with a smile on my face. Her attitude makes all our financial sacrifice seem puny in comparison.

Yes, I know her hair was a mess when this picture was taken. Her mom needs a good butt kicking.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Old Man and The Colt

He walked into my shop holding the small brown paper bag with his fingertips, like it held the remains of a morning's dog walk. The old man was in his late eighties and had a slight frown on his face. He was retired Navy, a meteorologist, an interesting man with which to hold a conversation. Loved his years in the Philippines, and had once served a stretch in the Antarctic; said it was cold at times.

He'd barely cleared the door when he yelled, "Stephen...hey, Stephen."

I was still in my office, yelled back, "What?"

"Get your sorry ass out here."  He could be an extremely subtle gentleman.

I eased into my waiting area and noticed how he held the bag, like I said, fingertips. He extended his arms and thrust the paper sack in my direction. Him, "Here, take this thing and make it safe."

I took the bag and before I could glance inside he said, "No, take it in your office and wait until I leave, you can have the damn thing."

Puzzled look on my face, "What's in it Earl?"

He begins his story. It belonged to his wife. They'd been married forty-five years. She was a widow when they married, and her former husband had died in the early fifties. The item in the bag had belonged to him and had since remained hidden in a drawer of her dresser. He hated guns. No explanation.

He turned to leave, took a step, looked back and said, again, "Just keep the damn thing, don't know if its loaded."

I yelled, "Thanks."

Back in my office I opened the bag and inside I found a Colt Hammerless Vest Pocket 1908, nickel finish in .25 ACP. It would grade at 95%. It took me a few seconds to the remove the magazine. It held some very old and tarnished rounds, green, the lead flecked with white powder and all the rounds slightly greasy.

It was a few hours before I had a chance to field strip the weapon and discovered the firing pin missing. It didn't surprise me, he'd probably removed it years ago. I hit the internet and ordered a replacement from Brownells and about three weeks later used my garage sand bucket to test fire it. The little baby functioned flawlessly.

On his next visit I explained what he had and asked (hey, I'm honest, so sue me) if he'd like to sell it. Told him I'd replaced the firing pin and had tested fired the little girl and she'd make a great Sunday morning church carry piece. She'd cleaned up well.

Him, "Stephen, you're a good man (or words to that effect) I like you, but sometimes you're as dense as a chunk of wood."

He has a way with words, and I took his compliment with grace and dignity.

"Bubba," I said, "She's worth a few dollars."

"Don't care, it's yours. Keep it."

I offered to sell it for him. He said no.

You know how some people are, you give them a book and they just eat the covers.

Before he left we man hugged. He's a nice old fella. I wear this sweet little beauty to church. She shines.



Thanks and welcome to my new blog followers; Amy Jenista, Chandler, b, Anne, and James W, Swartz, Jr. If I've missed anyone, leave a comment please and I will make amends.

As I've said in the past, if you leave comments, which I'd really like, I shall reply. My promise to you.

If you have questions, either leave a comment or send an email. My address is located on the sidebar.

Again, thank you very much, and welcome to my humble, very young, blog.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Too Much Junk

You know when you have too much junk when you decide to clean and tidy your office and while crushing and stacking Amazon boxes you discovery; a full set of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series in paperback, two plastic bags and one large coffee can filled with fired brass in different calibers, and a hammer I lost six years ago.

Sad part is I've just begun to plunder the depths of my office.

Have a great evening.


Survival Buckets and The Great Three Year Experiment, part 3

Shall we continue.

On our first failed attempt to find our buckets we had taken two metal probes. Unknown to us we had at one point been standing atop our stash. We only discovered this small but important fact the day we actually found our buckets and had opened them for the first time in three years. One was damaged, slightly. The bucket belonged to Senior Chief.
When he opened his bucket he found water. After careful examination he found three small puncture holes in the lid of his bucket where someone had indeed probed his bucket and had not felt the probe puncture the plastic lid. The probe cut a hole in one of Senior Chief's plastic water bottles. It dripped water for a month. The only damage was to one previously vacuum sealed package of AR15 magazines, a small tear from the probe, that allowed a bit of water to enter the package.

Above, Senior Chief's water soaked magazines which were fine when dried. Notice his ammo packs.

Above, again from Senior Chief's bucket; bug repellent, energy bars and clothing, I think.

ShooterSteve even included a wrap of tools in his bucket...note, no damage.

We all agree our three year experiment was a success. These buckets were buried on a high sandy slope that had excellent drainage. We selected this site with the full knowledge it would not be disturbed for at least twenty (20) years. Why? It was a fairly young tree farm located miles from the nearest city. Act accordingly if you decide to preposition supplies for your situation.

In part one I mentioned we as a group had a retreat under construction. The day of our road trip we returned to our retreat location to continue our work. Our building, a combination bunk house, kitchen, storage building has been under monthly construction for over a year. We're presently adding small finishing touches to the building. Our plumbing, (we have a well) most of the electrical (generator powered) other than the 12 volt system is finished. We will be adding solar panels down the road when expenses allow. Cash is king in our world.
Last Saturday ShooterSteve, a master electrician, had plans to continue wiring. Duke, Rebel, Senior Chief, Austin and yours truly would drill, paint, and screen ventilation holes in the eves of our metal roof. Sounds easy doesn't it. Took hours. Let's have show and tell.

Pictured above is our retreat building. It has a kitchen, wood cook/heating stove, and a sleeping area. This is the rear of the building. We constructed the building under a grove of trees.  We used construction methods to limit as little damage to the trees as possible, not for environmental reasons, we  just wanted the canopy as thick as possible.

Above, our kitchen cabinets. We've yet to hang the upper portion.

Above is Iraqi Freedom War vet, Duke, at work on the vent screens.

See that sink, we found it in a tangle of brush. It is enameled cast iron. On the back is a metal tag dated September 1929. It took three grown men, a Cub Scot troop, and six donkeys to carry and lift it in place. We hung it just off the edge of our deck and plumbed it with a hose bib. Notice our work station for outdoor cookouts attached to its side. It drains onto the soil underneath.

Above we have Senior Chief and Rebel. Rebel is our resident former hippy. He was once upon a time a long-haired, van driving, weed chomping gnome. We changed him. His intellect is spooky. We're lucky to have him as a member. One of our counsel members, Pirate, is on an extended leave of absence for business reasons. Pirate is our medic. We miss him.
Lunch. My knee, and from left to right, Duke, Rebel, ShooterSteve, Austin, Senior Chief (aka Joey) - all are my best friends.

Above we have ShooterSteve on smoke break. He's standing on our front deck. Notice the elevation...we built the 'Boar's Nest' on pilings. Old telephone poles...our location is prone to the occasional one hundred year flood.

My good friends I must leave you now, work awaits. I hope you've enjoyed this little look into my life.

Have a great day.


Survival Buckets and The Great Three Year Experiment, part 2

The day of our road trip the weather was just short of awful. Hot, mid-eighties at dawn with humidity so thick it was like walking into a water fall; our shirts and pants dripped water. I mention this because our weather today is rather pleasant, a welcome change indeed. With this hurricane side-slipping its way up our coast, for reasons I do not understand, our humidity levels have dropped well within the comfort range. Back to the regularly schedule program.

As I said yesterday, after the dig we drove to a crossroads town and had breakfast at a small cafe where they served us bad muddy coffee but excellent grits, eggs, and bacon. From there we took another long drive to our retreat and placed the buckets on our tailgates and popped the tops.
Each man designed and stocked his bucket to his needs, so you will find each a bit different and perhaps you'll find ideas and items to consider for yours if this task is undertaken. Please see part one before reading this post, it is listed on my sidebar. Thanks.

Below is the next item taken from my bucket, seems to be tobacco and matches.

Emergency food bar, has a lemon flavor and used by our Coast Guard.

Here we have a hand powered flash light, which worked quite well, and a pipe and its accessories.

In the picture above also note the red item to the right of the pipe, a first aid kit.

Above, paracord and knife. The knife I smuggled across the Mexican border circa 1971.

Let's move on to Duke's's his bucket firearm, a .39 revolver. Again, it came out of the bucket in fine shape.
Duke with his ammunition. Please note he has twelve rounds. Remember how many I placed in my bucket? Two hundred, very good. Give him credit, .38 packs a punch, but I'd rather have those 200 rounds in an emergency. Zombies require head shots.

An MRE package from Duke's bucket, beneath, clothing articles.

Here is a shot I forgot to add from my bucket...from left to right, bug repellent, a small fishing kit, and a bag of medical supplies. The yellow item is three emergency candles.

This is ShooterSteve's bucket just before he removed its contents...again with candles, water (notice its crystal clear) toilet paper (you reckon its placement was well thought out).

Above, I believe this is ShooterSteve's son Austin's bucket. Austin, since his father is a counsel member has full membership status (other than a vote) and has become a valued member of our group. I've adopted him as my grandson and am extremely proud of the young man. He can place shot groups on targets the size of a quarter at 200 yards...picture me with a big grin on my face.

Above, this is ShooterSteve's items presented on his tailgate...notice the packages of dried beans and rice.

ShooterSteve asked me to show you his can foam thing....he has size issues. Just saying....

Standby for part 3.