Postcards from Tradocia

Category: guns (Page 1 of 2)


Mrs. Melobi, packin' the M&P, 19 October 2008

Mrs. Melobi, packin' the M&P, 19 October 2008

Mrs. Melobi and I did the Defensive Edge Handgun I class yesterday – an all-day adventure covering the basics of handgunnery, from the draw stroke to trigger control, at distances from 3 to 25 yards.

Melobi thought she should take a class like this for three reasons: one, since there are guns in the house, she figured (rightly) that she should know how to use them. Two, she wanted to do something outside of her personal comfort zone, and shooting a handgun all day certainly falls into that category. Three, she knew that going to the class with me would please her right-wing gun nut husband. And she was right!

She shot the M&P in 9mm (as you can see) and I used the default handgun of planet Earth, the Glock 19 in 9mm. The Glock is certainly easy to use and was boringly reliable, but the fierce checkering on the backstrap made my hand look like I’d been gripping a waffle iron all day.

The class was taught by a pair of local cops, and in many ways their perspective was quite different from that of the instructor I had for my first carry permit class, five years ago. That instructor was a civilian and was one of the only people who was able to get a carry permit under Minnesota’s old law, which basically excluded any civilians (except uniformed security guards) from carrying a handgun.

Most notable was their opinion on what a citizen’s reaction to the police should be following a lethal force incident. My first instructor’s answer was simple: “I do not consent to any search and I want to speak to a lawyer.” His reasoning was that the police, as much as you would like to believe otherwise, are not there to help you, and until the facts of the situation are firmly established, it’s best not to say anything, lest you say something that could be held against you later. On the contrary, these instructors talked about the “asshole” citizens who refused to say anything until speaking to a lawyer, and said such an attitude would put you in jail overnight.

Another bizarre comment came about during a discussion about how to make your vehicle less appealing to criminals. One instructor suggested not leaving any valuables out to attract the attention of thieves (sensible advice, indeed); the other suggested not leaving any gun magazines in your car, because it might lead a criminal to think you have guns in the car as well (which is also reasonable). He then went on to say that having gun magazines in your car could also be probable cause for a vehicle search if pulled over by the police. Say what? So having a stray issue of Guns & Ammo in my back seat could be probable cause for tearing my car apart, looking for contraband? Good luck holding that one up in court, buddy.

The final weird comment came when talking about non-lethal means of self defense; particularly, pepper spray. One instructor said it was great for getting rid of panhandlers and other bums while downtown – just give ’em a spray, and walk away! A student asked if that could get you charged with assault, and both instructors basically dismissed that idea – their stance was that you could more or less pepper spray anyone, as long as you felt they were getting too close to you. It seemed like too much of a police-oriented perspective, because I doubt that any male of normal physical capability could justify to the police why you sprayed some random guy on the street because you didn’t like how he asked you for the time.

But, of course, we didn’t attend the course for the discussion – we went for the shooting, and shoot we did. Between the two of us, we shot about 700 rounds during the day, which made it a bit of an expensive outing, but it was worth it for both of us.

On the left is an FN Five-seveN pistol, chambered in 5.7x28mm. On the right…is a poured wax duplicate of the same.

Who created this absurd device? None other than Pretty Pretty Princess himself, the man who brought you the pop tab scale mail vest. (Of course, that’s not Pretty Pretty in the photo – it’s our friend The Pontiff.)

I don’t know what else to say. Except…thanks to him, we can have images like this one.

my new piece


I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire sixteen shots or only fifteen? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum 9mm Parabellum, the most powerful handgun in the world a reasonbly powerful handgun, and would blow your head clean off and would cause you considerable discomfort, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?

guns in the city

It’s no secret that local rags like the City Pages and the Rake are bastions of leftist thought, providing a mouthpiece for the so-called progressives in the Twin Cities. As such, they’re in general very anti-gun.

The current issue of the Rake, though, has a surprising article about the local gun scene – and casts it in a favorable light. Imagine that!

Go read it, and maybe drop the author a line – I’m sure he’s going to get a pile of hate-mail from “tolerant” leftists on this one.

shooters ready…

Our two-day mission began with a trip to JoKur’s cabin in northwestern Wisconsin – as you can see, he was well-camoflaged for the operation, complete with a Marine Corps-style patrol cap (where Mrs. Melobi came up with that one, I’ll never know).

We hit the local establishment for some burgers ‘n beer; the fries were underdone and the burgers had the stamped uniformity of pre-constructed patties, which was a distinct disappointment given the state’s high cow population. It was also an affront to greasy spoon restaurants everywhere – this place, so nondescript that it didn’t even have a name out front to identify it (Rommel’s? Lurkers? Lunkers? who knows), looked as if it had been constructed with surplus furnishings from a Denny’s franchise. The only real point of interest was the scoped rifle hanging behind the bar – but even that didn’t have much character, being what appeared to be a shiny-new Savage with a synthetic stock.

Then it was back to the cabin for our PMI (preliminary marksmanship instruction – more Army terminology). This was the lineup (of the long guns, anyway). From rear to front: DPMS AR-15 lower with .243 Winchester Super Short Magnum 24″ barrel upper; Savage 12 in .308 Winchester, with 26″ barrel and SWFA Super Sniper 10x scope; Bushmaster Varminter in .223, with 24″ barrel; and DPMS lower + Rock River Arms 16″ upper in 5.56mm with EOTech holosight. JoKur’s cousin and uncle were a little startled by the arsenal we displayed – the inevitable “are they fully automatic” question came up and I was just barely able to suppress the rolling of my eyes.

Can you spot Delobius in this picture? I’m the guy lying in the grass, while JoKur spots for me. Our shooting took place at FOB Braaten; located in an undisclosed location east of Hinckley, Minnesota, it was an ideal venue for our activities. JoKur was super-paranoid about some cops showing up (despite the fact that everything we were doing was perfectly legal), and his fears were validated when a helicopter gave us a pass…

…though they probably couldn’t see me because of my super-cool digital pants. I have to say, I look like a fucking bad-ass here – you’d barely know I was a Signal dork. JoKur looks pretty cool wearing my desert Gore-Tex jacket, too. And really, if you can’t shoot worth a damn, you might as well look good doing it.

Pretty Pretty Princess got in on the shooting action too – here he is behind his AR-15 in .243 WSSM. I didn’t believe him when he said he had an upper in that caliber – what a weird chambering for an AR. I sure believed him when he popped a couple of those fat little cartridges in a regular USGI 30-round magazine and touched one off – it was a literal slap in the face. The muzzle blast and noise were incredible, and it was none too reliable, having a couple of stovepipe jams in just 20 rounds.

We had to improvise our targets, and this was my sight-in target for the new Savage in .308. I guess “minute-of-breast” is acceptable accuracy for my first time out with all unfamiliar equipment. The other fun targets were old beer cans (still full) – we had a little shoot-off where JoKur would call out one of the cans, then Pretty Pretty and I would trade shots trying to bust them. Hot tip: beer cans make great reactive targets! All told, the outing was a blast (no pun intended). Now if we can convince Pretty Pretty’s grandparents to let us make range improvements on their land…

eye of the…


What do you get when you take three crazed Iraq veteran signal soldiers, a trunk-ful of guns, and empty land with no supervision?

That’s right – more shooting than the Army ever intended us pogues to do. The full tale and gallery to come…

(Thanks to JoKur for the radical photo of me – I might make a photographer out of him yet!)

dude, you’re getting a garand!


One of my first posts was about the Garand – also known as “the rifle that goes ping” – and now I have one for real. I traded my Browning Citori for it, and while I haven’t fired it yet, I think it’s going to be great fun.

Yesterday as I was cleaning the stock and trigger group, I imagined some Army private sixty years ago (by the serial number, my rifle was manufactured in January 1945), sitting in the barracks or in a trench or some destroyed building in France, cleaning this very rifle…

I wonder where my M249 will be in sixty years? Probably melted down for scrap, I suppose. *snif*

shiny shotguns

I took my shiny Benelli Super Sport out for the first time yesterday (yes, I got it! muahahaha). First results were disappointing – my first two rounds of trap were 17 and 18, but I could tell it was me and not the gun. I realized I had a death grip on the shotgun – an artifact of shooting my AR-15 carbine and M249 where you have to strangle the rifle to keep it on target during rapid (or fully automatic) fire. Clay shooting takes a lighter touch, though; a shotgun, like a woman, generally responds better to subtle, guiding motions than to brute motive strength.

After realizing the error of my technique, I shot a respectable 23 (out of 25). The gun can shoot! Not only that, but its shininess attracted a lot of attention, even from guys shooting really expensive ($2000+) over-under clays guns. It’s just like Benelli says! I’m one of the “big dogs” now…har har.


So hey, I have a 20-gauge Browning Citori Special Steel for sale. I bought it used last year in Savannah, shot it a few times…but now that I have this Benelli, I won’t be needing the Browning. Pictures here.

There are some definite dings in the stock, and the wood at the bottom of the pistol grip is discolored. There’s some pretty tough fouling on the breech face (especially at the bottom barrel) and in the chamber area. It looks like it would come off with some serious scrubbing, but it shoots just fine so I never bothered.

The top barrel is full choke and the bottom is modified. The bottom barrel has obviously been used a lot more (judging by the fouling on the breech face). The bluing overall is probably 98%, and it functions flawlessly (shot a bit of trap, skeet, and sporting clays with it).

750 bucks.

Anyone interested? Drop me a line at delobius -at- .

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