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Faith, Family, Friends and Firearms

Thoughts on Celebrating the Nativity of The Christ

It’s that time of year, again. When the world gets rushed and busy and people run from place to place looking for the best price on the perfect gift to make their credit stretch further and allow them to get deeper in debt with the greatest amount of material benefit in exchange therefore. Or at least that’s what it looks like from here. Yesterday we went to town to take care of some needed business, and the parking lots were overflowing and traffic backed up for blocks, reminding us why we hate to go to town this time of year. But it’s still “my favorite time of the year.”

“Why?” you might ask. Well, because it’s the time of the year in which those of us who remember “the reason for the season” celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. It’s a time in which we are brought to contemplate the majesty of a Creator Who cared enough for His creation to enter into that very same creation in the body of a helpless infant. This event is so momentous that it has split history in twain – a fact acknowledged even by those who attempt to replace “Ano Domini” and “Before Christ” with “Common Era” (CE) and “Before Common Era” (BCE). While shying away from “the religious implications” of the prior dating to avoid recognizing the importance of the event that spawned this division of history – they still use an abbreviation that can be used to restore the initial import of the division of time. After all, B.C.E. and C.E. can be used to represent “Before the Christian Era” and “Christian Era”. 😉 😀

There are many who claim to be followers of Jesus the Christ who decry the celebration of His birth. The common arguments include “No one KNOWS what day He was born on! The Bible certainly doesn’t tell us!” and “Christmas is a PAGAN holiday!” Well, let’s take a look at these two arguments in particular.

First, it is true that the Bible does not tell us what day of the year Jesus Who would come to be known as The Nazarene and The Messiah (the Christ, the Anointed One) was born – but it tells us clearly that He WAS born. Not only was He born, His birth was celebrated in ways unknown before or since. We see a multitude of angels singing in celebration. We see the magi trekking from the East, following a star to where it came to rest over the place where the Child was. This was a birth foretold by prophets hundreds of years prior to the event. And it was a birth that brought to us One Who would impact history like no one before or since. Even those who do not believe in His deity must acknowledge His impact on the world and culture if they are honest analysts of history. Only the most ardent adherents to ignorance claim that He never was a real person or that He taught in such a way as to “turn the world on end”.

Since we know that He WAS born, even though we may not know EXACTLY WHEN He was born, why not celebrate the event? If not on the now traditional date, what date would you propose? On a personal level, this is something of which our family has experience. My wife was a foundling, raised by an unknown woman for the first days/weeks of her life. She was then taken to an orphanage and adopted by those who eventually became my inlaws. A judge arbitrarily decreed that her birth date would be celebrated on a certain day of the year. The fact of the matter is – we have NO idea what day she was born. But we have irrefutable evidence that she WAS born. And this blessing is worth celebrating, so we do. Each year on the day decreed by the judge we celebrate the fact that the tiny child who would become my wife and the mother of our children was born. Why not celebrate the birth of our Redeemer as well? After all, He has blessed many millions more than it would ever be possible for my wife to bless.

My friend, Kirk Durston, wrote an article on the second argument – that Christmas is actually a pagan celebration. I encourage you to read his well thought out and presented article. Here I just want to point out that the date of the Nativity was settled among the followers of Jesus of Nazareth well before the pagan celebration that it was supposedly copied from was established. The traditional Day of Creation was long recognized as what today is the 25th of March. Rabbinic tradition had all the Patriarchs born on the same day, and thus conceived as well on the same day. March 25 plus 9 months gestation gives us December 25 as the date of the birth of the Messiah. Some early Christians held that January 6 was the day of the Nativity, a date still celebrated by the Orthodox Catholic church and recognized by the Roman Catholic church as the day on which the magi arrived.

For yours truly, it all comes back to – let us celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. Whether you follow Him or not you must till recognize that He taught as none other has done. If people would follow His teaching (rather than the dogmas that have split so many societies) then the world would be a far better place, a fact admitted even by some avowed atheists.

Diana Model 25

There is not much information on the internet about the Diana Model 25 air rifle. It is a youth model, low powered and the originals were made prior to and perhaps during the initial years of World War II. I’m documenting the attempted resurrection of one of these rifles. Perhaps this information will be of use to someone out there.

The rifle came to me with a bent barrel. It’s not the typical upward bend resulting from the barrel being allowed to snap close under the power of the main spring. It is bent heavily to the right, to the point where the owner tells me that a pellet would get stuck in the barrel.

Barrel against the wall, showing decided bend to the right.
Other side of the barrel against the wall, showing the bend.

From the breech end of the barrel, you can see how crooked it is inside.
The breech seal is the old leather type, it appears to be in fairly good shape. We’ll have to hydrate it with silicone oil and see if it leaks when fired after reassembly.
Here are the major components of the rifle. The only thing left to disassemble would be to remove the sights and the piston seal. The sear will be left in the trigger assembly. There was quite a bit of precompression in the spring. The full length of the trigger block was under compression. The spring is 0.110 wire with 30 coils and 0.500 inside diameter. But it appears to be in great condition, no need to replace it at this point.
Left side of the receiver. This picture and the following ones detail the effects of long term neglect in a humid climate. There’s a lot of rust and someone took some coarse sand paper to it some time back. “Rode hard and put away wet” is the way some folks describe this condition.
One can barely make out “Made in Germany” on the left of the receiver.
A lot of corrosion, you can see the scratches from the coarse sand paper. Diana is there, but not easy to make out. The writing is more legible in the pic than it was in person.
It was difficult to remove the piston seal. The screw was held in place by a drift pin. It took nearly 40 inch pounds of force to get it loose – there appears to be a flat on the side of the screw threads that was either filed or merely deformed by the force of seating the pin. Don’t know if I’ll be able to find a replacement or if we’ll appeal to thread locker upon reinstalling. The piston seal is in excellent shape, now soaking in silicone oil to rehydrate and prepare it for reassembly.

A Few Days Later

The compression tube/receiver after being polished to remove most of the rust. There’s still some light pitting and discoloration from the years of neglect. I rubbed it down with some Brownell’s Oxphobluing (I THINK that’s what it’s called) and the resulting finish is splotchy (as expected) but not too horrid – much better than the rust and such.
You can see the “Made In Germany” stamp fairly clearly now.
The piston reassembled. The leather seal sat in silicone oil for a few days to rehydrate after years of being stored. It all went together smoothly.
One thing that “popped out at me” almost literally – the pin that locked the screw in place from the factory got cammed out a bit when I forced the screw loose. Of course, the piston would NOT slide into the tube that way. Used a tool to set the pin back against the screw, it should be good to go now.
The trigger after being sanded to remove the rust.
It blued up nicely.

After a bit of proper lubing of the spring and other parts, the rifle was reassembled. I’d had some doubts about the process, but over on the Gateway To Airguns forum Jon “eeler1” posted a link to a video about a similar rifle. This one is a Winchester 422, and looks like a dead ringer for the Model 25. It’s actually a Diana Model 22, but I don’t know what the differences are between the two models. I’d not checked out the NorthWest Airgun channel in a while. He’s got some other good stuff over there. Worth taking a look if you’re interested in airguns. Anyway, he did three videos on his grandson’s rifle – and that was a big help as when he reassembled he showed me how to do the trigger. I’d been over thinking it and was planning to make a slave pin for the trigger. That would NOT have worked. When I saw him put it together things clicked in my brain and sure enough, it’s not as hard as I thought it was. There was some kind of hangup, but eventually I got it together properly and voilá! The rifle shoots!

I took the first five shots from a free standing position. The light little rifle is easy to cock and shoulder and the trigger isn’t too horrible either. But the sights. Oh, brother! The sights are not very compatible with a tan background, low light and my aging eyes (that were never that good to start with). Still, it seemed like the rifle was shooting to the right still. The center hit on the “bullseye” was a called flier. Pellets are some old RWS pistol wadcutters.
So I ran another 10 shots for a total of 15 and sure enough, it was hitting to the right fairly consistently, and a bit low as well. So out came the precision sight adjuster (tack hammer and brass rod) and the front sight was moved right and the rear sight was moved left and at 7 meters (give or take) the following target resulted.
Five shots at around 7 meters. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Considering that this rifle wouldn’t even let a pellet through the barrel, I’m pretty tickled with results so far.
Aim small, miss small. I broke out a small black bullseye printed target and proceeded to shoot from 10 meters. Not very good. Hmmm. Moved back to 7 meters and the point of impact raised a bit, but it’s still not a target rifle. Still, I’m tickled to have it shooting.
The Diana Model 25
And the other side.

Two Roads

Two roads diverge in a world perturbed.
One is narrow, the other is broad.
One’s full of promise of immediate “pleasure”.
The other leads to eternal treasure.

Jailbait for sure

The hoplophobes on duty at the book of face continue on their path of idiocy. Singling out those who disagree with their world view, they don’t even give an option to contest their arbitrary affirmation that their”community standards” have been violated. I’ve read their drivel and this image and the caption it contains does NOT violate their stated standards.  Their only true apparent “standards” are to harass God-fearing men of european descent. The only result of such persecution is disdain, ridicule and defiance. They can block me from their site, but their idiocy and hypocrisy are evident to all who care to think things through…

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Facebook Jail

Well, it was my turn, 24 hour detention in “Facebook Jail”. It should be no surprise to anyone that Facebook and Twitter and many other related “Social Media” sights have a definite twist from what used to be called “normal”, “good” and “right”.  Their fomenting of an agenda that goes against heterosexual, Christian, Anglo Saxon men is nothing new, it’s been going on for a while.  So it was not too much of a surprise when I clicked on an announcement that someone had responded to something I’d posted – only to receive the photo below along with the included message.

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Waffenschmieden – Weapons Forge – Why “Gun Control” will never work

This video came up on my radar recently.  An image of a Colt Model P – also known as the Single Action Army, SAA, Peacemaker or M1873 – but labeled “1880 single action Revolver built from scratch (part 1)” caught my eye.  Upon skimming through the video I saw someone making the first parts of the well known “cowboy gun”.  A quick search in Google Translate gave the meaning of the channel’s name (hint – it’s in the title of this piece) and skimming through the series showed a functional sixgun coming out of bits and pieces of steel.  Everything – EVERYTHING – in the build was made from scratch.  Frame, barrel, action parts, springs, grips, screws – EVERYTHING.  At first I wasn’t sure, but the builder is a lady, a very talented lady.  And she’s not a “gunsmith”, just an enthusiastic firearms enthusiast who is also a talented metal working craftswoman. 

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When Guns Are Outlawed – from the archives

Here’s a post from my blog, posted originally nearly 11 years ago (19 April, 2007) that was recovered from the Way Back Machine.

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Guns are not completely outlawed here. But they are VERY expensive to obtain legally. They are also available on the black market, but most folks can’t afford them even then. So what to do when you can’t get a gun? What if you want to continue your life of robbing and terrorizing? What if you merely want a means to defend yourself against criminals? What if you want more of a chance against and aggressor than fingernails, teeth and a bad attitude will provide? Then there’s still older technology around. The common knife in various forms. Below are some pictures I took recently of a display the police had put up. The sign at the bottom proclaims “5220 injured people have been prevented this year” . Looking at some of the closeups below make me believe that this is an exaggeration. They have not been prevented, merely postponed. So. What happens when guns are outlawed? Outlaws and others find other means of continuing “business as usual” . Violence, after all, comes not from the availability of weapons but rather from the desire of the aggressor to commit violence.

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Thoughts on the current hoplophobia frenzy

Here’s a blast from the past that was drug up in response to a question from a friend about this (or another) post made on the book of face yea these many years ago. The original response was to the following comment, posted in the comments section of one of my photo albums:

This seems more like glorifying weaponry and violence than promoting self-defense. I’m all for gun rights, but the focus here is beyond that of protecting home and family, which is what Jesus was talking about.

This post here features a modified version of the original response.

Glorifying – depends on perspective. Firearms have been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. There is a current cultural push to try and marginalize those of us who enjoy the shooting sports and are responsible people who own guns. The cultural push is to try and focus on the object and vilify those who possess them rather than to focus on the mentality of the people who misuse them.

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Calibers I’d love to try

In the post just prior to this one, I wrote up a list of calibers I’ve fired over the course of my life so far.  It’s a rather eclectic collection, containing from the mundane to some of the more esoteric calibers.  This is due to the variety of friends with unconventional tastes who by their generosity have allowed me to fire their guns and ammo.  This list is a bit different, it’s one that shows some of the gaping holes in my shooting experience, holes that I hope someday to fill. Note that these are just some that come to mind. When visiting friends and family and the chance comes up to “burn powder”, usually I’ll give just about anything a try – once.

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A variety of calibers

Over the years it has been my pleasure to shoot just about anything that comes along, my motto being “Almost anything once” when it comes to the delightful sport of shooting.  Something sparked my memory and I put up a partial list of calibers I’ve fired over the years.  Well, that lead to more cogitation and so here’s a list of calibers I’ve fired at one time or another.  When comparing this list to “Cartridges Of The World” (ANY edition thereof) it’s a very  small and puny list.  But compared to the fact that most folks can’t name more than a half dozen calibers, it ain’t too shabby – especially considering that most of my life has been spent where the shooting sports are not exactly encouraged.  The generosity of friends and family during our brief times of sojourning up North has allowed me to rack up an interesting (to ME anyway)  list. It’s organized as follows – Calibers fired in pistols/handguns, Calibers fired in rifles, Shotgun gauges fired, Muzzle Loaders/cap and ball revolvers. If memory coughs up something more I’ll update the list. Note that the caliber designation does not necessarily indicate the type of firearm from which it was fired. A good example is the 50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) which was actually fired from a Barrett semi-automatic rifle that belonged to a friend.

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