Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guns, Or more acurately, Firearms.

Since I was a small child, guns were a part of my life. Guns were a very normall part of my life, and I grew up with no fear of guns, but a great respect for them. I know that I feel quite differently about guns than some people. There is such a wide variety of opinions when it comes to guns. So, I want to warn people not to make comments on this blog that might create problems for you, for instance, do not brag that you might have the first 44 Colt that was ever made, and it is still in the original carton, and it has never been fired, and it is worth four million dollars. Somebody might decide that they want it more than you, and you might have to shoot the guy with the first bullet out of your 44 Colt and ruin it's value.

Try to talk about guns in generic terms, and not brag about your 1000 firearm collection. Unless of course that you want to. I will say that I'm a gun owner, I won't say where, or what state of readiness that I keep them. Well okay, one of the lever action guns that I own, won't action smoothly because I haven't cleaned it in thirty years, but it's a gun to fondle, hold, and talk about anyway. But, I might have a sweet little, well oiled and polished,  pearl handled, nickle, 32 cal auto. I'd have to show it to you before you could see it. So, think about what you say and whether you really want my millions of readers to know about your guns.

When a person is raised with guns on a ranch, or farm, like I was, there is always talk about gun safety. I remember one phrase, "gunpowder and alcohol don't mix". I would imagine My dad hand loading ammunition and try to mix some alcohol in the gunpowder. Finally I just had to say, "that doesn't make any sense, why would anybody say that, I don't understand." My grandmother told me "when you get old enough to drink, you will understand". Sure enough she was right, I now understand that drinking and mixing firearms are not a good idea.

When I was a kid my dad had a Winchester bolt action 22 cal. rifle with a five shot clip that I thought of as mine. It had a four power scope that I had sighted in at 100 feet, which is where I did most of my shooting. the gun was completely accurate. I remember that I would take it most places that I went. I took it to my dads logging show when I was about ten years old. The Guys on the landing were taking turns shooting it. We  had set up a "Lucky Lager" beer carton about 80 feet away. They make a perfect target. I was lucky enough to find a Lucky Lager beer can on the net to show you why they made such great targets. The "T" in "dated" was the target sweet spot. I was 16 years old before I saw a round target with the "X" ring in the middle. Anyway, when it was my turn, I took the "T" out and put four more bullets in the same whole. I was so proud of myself that I almost smiled.....  but, nobody on the crew would believe that I did put all five bullets in the "T". But... But... Reallllllyyyyy! I was crestfallen that nobody believed that I had done that. My dad told me later that they were just being asshole loggers. I still don't know if he was just being nice, or if they really knew that I had "Teed" the target.

When Kids grew up in the South Fork Eel Canyon, they got to start shooting when they were about 8 years old. I remember killing squirrels and jack rabbits, with my dads supervision, at about eight years old. Kids usually got their first 22 caliber rifle at about twelve years old. They got their first "Real gun" when they were about 16. Most of the people that I know that got their very first "real gun" at sixteen, treasured the rifle the rest of their life, and they would not part with it for love nor money. Literally! Most of you that got their first real gun will bear me out. It is their one priceless treasure.

My dad when he was about sixteen went to a turkey shoot in Laytonville with his dad Grampa Roy. There was a guy at the turkey shoot that had a gun like dad wanted. It was a 250-3000 Savage lever action. They had just produced the gun, and one of it's big features was that it would shoot a bullet over 3000 feet per second. He thought that was about the finest gun he had ever seen. The man with the gun could not hit the target. My grandfather said "why don't you let my kid sight it in for you?" "No", the man said that, "it wouldn't do no damn good to sight it in". He went on to cuss the gun some more, and he made the statement: "if the kid can even hit the target with it, I'll give the God-damn thing to him."



So, there were two rites of passage for a Eel canyon kid, his first 22 cal and his first real gun. My dad went on to win many turkey shoots with the 250. All of my family were very good shots. My Dad Everett, my uncle Ben, and my uncle Edwin were a good shots. back in the '50s there was a turkey shoot somewhere just about every weekend. So, when my dad and uncles could squeeze in a turkey shoot, they would. It got real humorous, because when my dad and uncles would show up, nobody would shoot against them. The turkey shoot directors would offer them a turkey to leave. They did that for a while, but they decided that was no fun, so they started a "Branscomb shoot". Where the Branscomb were not allowed into the regular shoot, but they made them shoot against each other.  People would come for miles around to watch them shoot. So the turkey shoots got popular again. I would be remiss if I didn't add that a fellow by the name of Shine Sherburn was a famous gun affectionado that did quite well with the turkeys himself. It seems like some of us were raised on deer meat, salmon, and turkeys.

Never draw down on somebody unless you intend to shoot them.
Never fire a warning shot
Every gun is loaded
Never point a gun, not even a toy gun at anybody.

56 comments:

Ross Sherburn said...

People kill People.............

Hogleg Two Crows said...

Ernie, unlike your state. My state allows loaded open carry. Even the Walmart let's you wear your gun shopping for food. The Albert sons asks you to check your rig at the customer counter. Hell the county I live in doesn't have a building permit system. You put up what you want! This is the old west with Sat Phones LOL.

Anonymous said...

I now live with my son who owns a first year Ruger 10/22 that Ernie gave to me I think. I offered to buy it and never paid for,, I think.
Anyway, it has the fluted forend and white and black pistol grip cap that was only on the the rifles sold the first year.

Oregon

Dave Stancliff said...

A funny aside on calling your rifle a "gun"...

In Army basic training they have this saying for someone follish enough to call his rifle a gun (you may have heard it)

Pvt.holding rifle out and shouting
"this is my rifle"

Pvt. grabbing his crotch and shouting
"this is my gun"

Pvt. holding rifle out and shouting
'this is for killing"

and Pvt. grabbing crotch shouting
'this is for fun!"

At ease...smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Ross Sherburn said...

Let me get a few beers down,then I'll tell some stories!!!

I saw Harry Slagle about thirty years later after moving away from Garberville. He and his Boys were logging up Thomes Creek canyon,East Of Paskenta. Harry asked me if I still had My Dads Winchester 220 Swift. I said,I sure do,and I still have it!!!
You Guys Remember Harry Slagle,He had one of the few swimming pools in Garberville,back in the"day".

Ernie Branscomb said...

This is hilarious! In the "administrator mode" you can make all kinds of draft posts, then when you are happy with then, you can go ahead and publish them. I have four or five "Drafts" waiting in the wings until I'm happy with them, then I publish. This was a "draft" that accidently got published, but I'm going to let it stay and you can start your comments if you want. But this is simply a "Scatch pad" of notes, far from finished. So, don't hesitate to re-read this post above... It's going to get much bigger and more refined.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Oregon
Any of my guns that you have, you can stop feeling guilty, I'm glad that somebody like you has them. I probably have more of your stuff than you have of mine, and I stopped feeling guilty a long time ago. Ha ha I win!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Dave
How's your run for president going? At this point I'm seriously thinking of voting for you.

There are a whole lot of reasons that I'm glad I never made it into the military. With all due respect for you, and I have a lot. I would have sooner shoved a gun up a Sergent's ass than followed any demeaning order like that. I'm sorry for all the things that they did to you, and I am completely grateful for all the things that you did for our country. Sincerely. And, I'm sure that many would agree with me!

As a side note, I call ships "boats" just for the joy of knowing that nobody can make me do any different. I know that I'm different than most people, but that's what I like about myself the most. Thanks again buddy!

Joel Mielke said...

I trust Ernie with a gun. It's all those other people I worry about.

Anonymous said...

Guns,Guts&Gypos!!!

spyrock said...

funny you should post about this because you know that i'm on a patrick henry trip.
i think a thousand guns might be a bit too much, but whose counting. the chinese just hacked into all our computers. neat little trick, my asian brother. but if you want to collect guns. whose counting?
i collect baseball cards and football cards. i don't want a law passed that i can have so many rookie cards of joe montana. so what do i care if someone wants a ak47 rookie gun. no problema.
if they have a legal card why not buy the limit. i think guns are cool. especially for homeowners. i think every homeowner should have up to 1000 of them as long as they pass the urine test which seems to be the criteria these days.,

Ross Sherburn said...

A gun in every Swiss household.....

Kym said...

I won my husband's heart by buying him a rifle. It is still one of his most prized possessions.

Anne on a Mouse said...

I would have sooner shoved a gun up a Sergent's ass than followed any demeaning order like that.

That's the great Spirit speaking.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I just lost about five pages of this post by not following my own damn rule of always working in a word processor. I'm mad, and I'm going to bed... But i promise i will re write it only bettrrr===== dan=m it.

Dave Stancliff said...

Hi Ernie,
Hope things are going better for you this morning.

You asked about my presidential campaign:
It's going great. I've tripled traffic on my campaign blog and am getting emails from people around the country actually asking me how serious I am!!

Seems like Mickey Mouse could run and be popular compared to the choices that are already out there.

I still have to register as a candidiate, but I have plenty of time. I did my research on that.

I'm dedicating my efforts to Pat Paulson (one of my favorite comedians and who once actually ran for the presidency).

Vote Dave!

spyrock said...

i grew up around guns so i never really thought much about it being right or wrong. my dad didn't have anything to do with guns. but he didn't smoke or drink alcohol either. of course, on the spyrock side it was a different story. a lot of the old pictures i have is of my grandfather, uncle guy or uncle delbert posing by some animal they killed. i recently gave my cousins a picture of their dad proudly standing next to maybe the first deer he ever killed at about 10 years of age. deer hunting was a tradition in my family and we had a great barbeque afterwards throwing horse shoes. the first gun i ever had was a davy crockett toy rifle with a coonskin hat. that was about the only toy my parents ever bought me when i was a kid. and going to the father son firemans picnic, i got to shoot a real shotgun at skeet and a few birds on the way home every year. i actully used to reload shotgun shells for uncle delbert. so i never have understood what the big debate was about or why it's a political issue.

spyrock said...

i know aunt ruth told me that uncle guy wasn't all that great a hunter besides saying please don't tell anyone we are indian. but that barn up at spyrock had the mother lode of deer antlers all over it. i've never seen that many before or since. then i have these old letters saying uncle guy got another one. so i guess we are lousy hunters and in no way are we indian.

Jon said...

That old 99 takes me back to when I was a kid in North Central Washington and a gunsmith in Oroville by the name of Wally.

Back in '60 about once a month I would have the chance to spend a hour or two in his shop on Saturday mornings. Wally always made sure the first thing I did was sweep the floor then the sidewalk even if some other kid had just done it 5 minuets before. Can't really remember when there was not another kid helping Wally in the store just like me.

Wally kept an inventory of about 300 Rifles and Shotguns on the wall and in order to keep them in good shape he would supervise his sweepers on cleaning them. Wally would start you out on an old Winchester single shot when you were new, and for about the next two or three times you cleaned that old Winchester. When Wally figured out how to work with you he would start building your knowledge of responsibility with other types of firearms.

Well one spring morning a guy walks in to trade his old shot out rusty Savage 99 (303 Savage) that he bought new back before the war. Wally gives him Ten Bucks in trade towards a Sporterized Mauser with a Scope. Wally hands me the 99 and says "STRIP IT' so I can get to fixing it. A month later that 99 looked new and was as tight as the day it left the factory.

Then on the morning of August 29th he and his wife showed up at the ranch for the 5am breakfast. Seemed strange to me cause it was a Monday and they would usually come to have breakfast with the folks on Sunday. I was just excited to Wally cause it usually meant we would go target shooting after breakfast. Dumb 10 year old kid forgot it was his birthday in the excitement of seeing Wally. Well, Wally and his wife didn't. Thats the kind of folks they were. So anyway about halfway through breakfast Wally asks me if I had any Chore money saved up. That I did and nearly had a hundred and seventy dollars saved up. Wally then instructed me to go dig up 14 dollars and give it to him, NOW. When I came down from my room with the money there on the table was the 99 and a box of cartridges, new saddle scabbard and a birthday Cake.

Over the years I took a lot of game and varmints with that Rifle, then, back in '98 I met a young US Forrest Ranger that is the kind of young man you would want for a neighbor and asked him if he had 14 dollars. He was honest and said his wife would kill him, she confirmed that she would. So I gave the old 99 to her on the condition that it was always to be given away. Last year she gave it to their daughter, and the young lady sent me 14 dollars of her chore money cause "WALLY would have wanted her to do it."

Ernie, what is the world coming to if a 13 year old young lady in this day and age knows the value of respect and heritage?

Ross Sherburn said...

Jon,These are the kind of stories I like to hear. Hopefully that gun will be passed down for a long time!

I bought Savage 99 in the early seventies for $35, I sold the gun a short time later.
Today that gun is worth about $400-$500 bucks!

Anonymous said...

Okay Ross, I know why I would sell a 99 or even an 88 for $35 as I am a bolt kind of guy so I might have given the rifle away:-)

Oregon

Ross Sherburn said...

Ore"gun", I'm a bolt action guy also. I bought the gun to help a fellow out. Nothing I wanted,so I resold it!!

Anonymous said...

A belated thank-you to olmanriver for providing the history of the town of Wheeler that I'd requested. Very informative. I'll look for the book.
G V H

Anonymous said...

Ross, I do still have a 94 that Bill Bushnell gave to me. It is a sweet shooting 30-30. Just so you know I'm not totally against the lever guns.

Oregon

Jon said...

Russ & Oregon, I have to admit that the BOLT rules, easy to clean and simple to shoot. But when it comes to a saddle gun it stinks, which is why one of the guys on the ranch bought a Savage 110 Leftie in .308 when it first came out. Although he was right handed, he knew that packing a Bolt in a scabbard was hard on the horse and hard on him. But with the left hand bolt he could carry the Rifle upside down and have the bolt facing out. So if you ever come across an old 110 with a double ramp silver bead front sight in .308 you just might be looking at the Rifle Charlie bought from Wally so he could retire his old 95 Winchester Carbine. Truth is Charlie was getting old and his hands were worn out (Arthritis), less pain with the Bolt.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Sorry, I been busy. I was going to say that I had bigger fish to fry, but the fish that I've trying to fry are so big that they may fry me!

Oregon
You really got me going about the "heat Index" thing. You sound just like me. I don't give a damn what the heat index is, because a refrigeration condencer coil only pays attention to SENSIBLE heat. Or that which can be sensed, or REAL heat.

Heat indexes are for bubble-headed bleach blondes, bringing you the "dirty laundry".(news)

Maybe the heat index is for beauty queens that need to know how hot they are.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Back to guns..
I really did loose a whole bunch of good gun stories that I will just have to put in a different post.

Did any of you see the scoped sniper rifle/AK-47 that they made on tv??? The rifle is 100% perfectly legal! (If you are a gun manufacturer) I wonder if any of us could get a Gun Manufacturers license? I could totally build one. Do you think that a 60 cal would be overkill? I would call it... oh heck, I don't know.

Do you think that we are all on ATF watch list now?

Ross Sherburn said...

Oregun,I'm not against any gun either,unless its against me!!!

I see Bushnell Grandkids names in the Red Bluff Daily News,all the time now!

There was even a Swithenbank living in Red Bluff awhile back.

spyrock said...

that was a great story jon. i have two real good friends who love guns. randy and my daughters partners grandpa. they have different politics than i, in fact i was the one who got randy hooked on rush years ago. so i know the feeling you are talking about. both of these men would do something like your wally did.

Anonymous said...

A used name brand gun(fair condition) that was worth $50-$75 in the late fifties-early sixties,is now worth $300-$500 bucks!!!

Anonymous said...

ANON 7:23
$50 back in the late 50's was probably worth more than $500 today.
Just sayin'.
My Uncle Everett bought me a Model 70 .243 Win. in 1958 and I still have it. Wonder if it is worth $500. I believe he paid $125 for it, brand new in the box. If so, I might sell it for $10,000. Maybe!

Oregon

Anonymous said...

Oregon,Pre-64 Winchesters are good "shit"!!!!

I'm still looking for an Allis-Chalmers HD 14,Circa 1942!

Anonymous said...

ANON 8:01
I ran a A-C 16 back in 68' on Grizzly Mountain. I lived in Zenia at the time. It was the first bulldozer I ran that had a hydraulic blade and a torque converter. AH, the good ol' days.
It was fast to boot!

Oregon

Anonymous said...

A-C HD-16*

Anonymous said...

I know of an H-D 15,it was a log loader. Used on some of Coombs property?

Anonymous said...

Grizzly Mountain?? Were you working for Larry Brown/Fred Bolman??

Anonymous said...

No, I don't remember the guys name but he lived in Alderpoint.

Oregon

Anonymous said...

Bob Munson and crew moved out before 1968!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Either Oregon or me is getting senile. I don't think AC came out as a full hydraulic until 1971.

I remember as a kid when dad was logging Benbow timber. Benbow had two sides going. One side was dad’s. He used Cat dozers, and the other side was bob Mathews. He used AC’s. What I remember about the AC’s is that they were unbelievably quick. The other thing that I remember is that they were always breaking things and fixing them. At the end of the month we all had about the same logs.

The other thing that I remember is that they all had “Screamin’ Jimmy” Detroit Diesel Engines. When they pulled onto the landing, they sounded like frickin’ Greyhound buses pulling into the station.

I ran an AC “Around the block” once just to see what it was like. I remember some weird-ass steering system with a differential release. And two track brakes to steer with. When you turned it on a Dime It would turn so fast that it would flip you off your seat if you weren’t holding on.

P.S.
This is still on the subject of guns. Guns and loggers were inseparable. When a logger was rich, they bought guns. When they were broke, they sold guns. While the rest of the world was on the Gold Standard, loggers were on the Gun Standard.

Ernie Branscomb said...

When a logger was broke, they would sell all their guns except that one "first real gun", that they would never sell.

Ross Sherburn said...

6-71 two cycles

Ernie Branscomb said...

The sound of a Detroit six-seventy-one can still bring a tear to an old truck drivers eye.

Anonymous said...

Well Ern, I don't know what to say about the AC's not being all hyd. until 71. I ran a 14-A with a hydraulic blade. That was a nightmare for an ol' cable blade guy.

Oregon
P.S. I'm still talkin' guns:-)

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well, Oregon. I didn't say you were wrong, I accepted that it MIGHT be me. But, there are a heck of a lot of people out there that don't even remember 1968!

Ross Sherburn said...

Ernie,could you tell me a little about Bob Mathews? I know the name well,My dad had dealings with him.
Did he go on to bigger&better things,like concrete etc. ?


Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Dang Ernie, you are right. That A-C did have a cable blade. But the 14-a was a conversion.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

"Dang Ernie, you are right."

Yeah, I know, I was just trying to humble. I should have known better...

Ross Sherburn said...

I miss those "turkey shoots".
I went to them in Garberville,Laytonville,Harris,Covelo and maybe a couple of other places I'd forgotton??

Ross Sherburn said...

Was just looking in the Willits news. Betty Shuster died.Now that was/still a big name around the area. Shuster logging trucks were passing by me on my way to school back in the fifties. They are still passing me by on I-5 now!!!

Anonymous said...

Ross, you need to drive a faster truck..

Oregon

Ross Sherburn said...

Oregon,you what I mean!!! My scooter chair won't go that fast!!

Ross Sherburn said...

IIRC??? My dad said Charlie Shusters equipment payments were about $1500 a month back in the early 60s. My dad would just shake his head,saying he had his neck stretced out too far!

Anonymous said...

But did Shuster have any guns?

Oregon

Ross Sherburn said...

Don't know about guns??? But he did very well for himself!
Axel Erickson is another "name" that comes to mind,doing "well" in the timber industry!!

Anonymous said...

Chuck Dugan did well, also. He had a mill in Harris and Ruidoso, NM.

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