I was at the bank today, and I was complimenting the tellers on their costume choices. One was a Star Wars stormtrooper, which wasn’t really done very well…but the other gal dressed up as Link from the Zelda video games and really nailed it. They asked me what my costume was and I told them I was a serial killers since “they look just like one of us”. One of them said she was fascinated by serial killers and I asked her if she had heard of Missoula’s very own serial killer, Wayne Nance. I’d met Doug Welles, the fella that cancelled Nance’s birth certificate, years ago and heard a little about it from him, and a lot from people who knew Welles. So i told them what I knew and it turned into some sort of ghost story scenario, these three bank tellers raptly leaning over the counter listening.

Then I told them the details of cannibal child-killer Nathan Bar Jonah (famous for serving children to his neighbors at potlucks). Turns out the guy who runs the coin shop across the street from me is the retired cop who arrested Bar Jonah. Again, he told me all the inside details and creepy stuff that was found (and suspected) in Bar Jonahs apartment. As I recounted it, the tellers just stood there, eyes wide, hanging on every word.

Interesting that Montana had a couple serial killers within such a short time. To be fair, though, Bar Jonah was an import (or, more accurately, an export) from Massachusetts.

Over in Idaho, the equally despicable child killer Joe Duncan came to light when he hammered a family to death and stole their kids. Unfortunately, he’s still alive because no one did the reasonable thing when his actions became known.

If you’re into the macabre histories and body counts, two extremely notable serial killers are Ed Gein (the inspiration for Norman Bates of ‘Psycho’ fame), Albert Fish, and H.H.Holmes. If you want to read a fictional thriller about chasing down a Victorian era serial killer, ‘The Alienist‘ was an enjoyable book. (And, I hear, on its way to becoming a movie.) And if you want a movie, I highly recommend “Manhunter” (1986), which introduced Hannibal Lecter to the world. (The book, Harris’ “Red Dragon”, was extremely good.)

But..hey..it’s Halloween. Best not to dwell too closely on what a human being can do when he’s got a couple crossed wires.

Human beings are fabulously dangerous critters when they want to be. Sometimes you get one who has a couple wires crossed, or someone who has been so damaged by life that they just aren’t safe to be around decent folks. They’re out there….working in furniture stores, passing you on the street as they walk to work, filling your prescriptions… never can tell.

Which is why we have hollowpoints.


Last couple days to nail down some 10/22 mags. They make great stocking stuffers for the holidays.
Ugh…long day.

I’m still in need of getting out to the range and vetting the last two Rugers I picked up. I need to fire a box of ammo through each to test their function, reliability, and sights. After that, I need to strip ’em down, clean ’em within an inch of their life, and put ’em away for the Deep Sleep.
Speaking of sleep, I’m kinda sorta getting back into The Walking Dead. I pulled the season premiere off the DVR and was…underwhelmed….although I really do enjoy how in eight seasons we’ve gone from mob tactics with pump shotguns and bolt action rifles, to very nice small unit tactics and very advanced weaponry (who knew there were that many MP5’s in Georgia?). Still… for all it’s gore and language, it lacks the grounding that ‘Jericho’ had. I really do think that if they rebooted that show for cable, with the profanity and violence, it would be pretty spectacular.

Which reminds me, I haven’t read any good post-apocalyptic fiction in what seems like forever. I need to jump into Amazon and see if there’s anything worth plunking down some coin over.
And, finally, it feels pretty wintery out there today. Time to definitely get ready to wrap up 2017 and prepare for whatever the hell 2018 brings. Korean nukes? Plague? Impeachment? Xenu? Who knows….but the goal is to be upright and on the bounce when it happens.


LPG adapter for backpacking stoves

You know ’em, you love ’em, you want ’em – 10/22 mags!
I’ve been watching the news from Puerto Rico (PR) with some interest. PR is fascinating because, since it is an island, you can’t just have the Tenessee National Guard roll in with a convoy of MRE’s and fuel tankers. PR is, in many ways, cut off from easily-transportable aid. While places like San Juan get all the press, much of the island (especially the interior) is quite..uhm…Third World-ish…in many ways. Those regions will likely be the last to get the power back on.

Anyway, without electricity and regular propane deliveries your options for cooking start to get pretty thin. Burning some trees is reliable, but not terribly convenient. Maybe you have gasoline, but that would be more useful for the vehicle and generators, kerosene maybe?

If you drew a Venn diagram of ‘gear optimized for backpacking’ and ‘gear of great use to survivalists’, the common crossover point would have this little geegaw.

Years ago I got a Primus Omnifuel stove. This little jewel will burn virtually any flammable liquid you have (gasoline, white gas, jet fuel, kerosene, diesel, white gas) as well as the butane cartridges that are so convenient. But the survivalist in me cried “more!”.

Turns out, there’s an adapter to allow you to hook up the ubiquitous one-pound propane bottles so they can be used with your backpacking stove. Let’s order one up!

Seems like pretty sturdy construction. I’ll probably order another one or two as spares. So, first things first – change the jet orifice in the stove from the one used for kerosene to the one used for butane/propane. That took all of a minute using the supplied tool that came with the stove. Next, I pulled a 20-year-old bottle of propane out of storage and securely screwed the adapter  onto it. After that, I threaded the fuel line from the stove onto the adapter. Made sure the valve on the adapter was open, opened the fuel valve on the stove, lit it, and – voila – flame and heat. Noise-wise, it’s about as noisy as any other pressurized fuel backpacking stove…youre not going to be the stealthiest thing in the woods. The simmer was quite good and quite though and at lower levels of output it was much quieter.

20171027_120622Now, I keep several fuels on hand..propane, kerosene, gasoline, and a small amount of white gas. With this adapter, my Primus stove can run all of those. And, just for the sake of convenience and completeness, I’ll probably pick up a dozen butane cartridges as well just to round things out. Come the time I need to cook something (or boil water) I’ll have no less than five different options for getting the job done.

20171027_121110If you have one of those backpacking stoves (or lanterns) that take the small cartridges, you may want to investigate getting a couple of these adapters. Given the easy storage and versatility of 1# propane bottles, it would be an excellent option to have available.

While I have other stove options, including an ancient Coleman Peak1 that I’ve hauled around for damn near 30 years, the Primus has the advantage of being one stove that covers virtually every fuel choice that i might come across. For the person who doesn’t know where the or what the next fuel source will be, the Optimus is a nice choice and this little adapter makes it even more useful. Win – win.

As an aside, I had no problems with the stove or adapter but I did have trouble with the propane bottle itself. When I unscrewed the adapter from the propane bottle, the bottle did not seal properly and propane would leak out. Fortunately, I just screwed a different device into the bottle to act as a plug, but I need to investigate that sort of thing. In a crisis, I’d simply leave the adapter attached if the bottle wouldn’t seal properly when it was removed.

Ruger 9mm P-series mag identification

A few years ago I came into a Ruger 9mm of some fashion. It was either a P89 or P95…I can’t recall. But the price was right and I thought it would be a good idea to have a cheap, disposable, quality handgun around. I went on GunBroker to see if I could pick up a few spare magazines. I wound up finding an auction for a lot of 11 factory magazines. As it turns out, I won the auction with a ridiculously low bid. So now I had one handgun and a dozen magazines. This is the part where I fall into the rabbit hole.

I figured since I had one handgun and a dozen magazines, it would make sense to get another handgun and allocate the magazines accordingly. Fast forward a few years and a dozen Rugers later…well… you know how that goes.

So, now I have all these Ruger P89/P95 handguns that take the same magazine. Convenient, but a little awkward as well since the Ruger P-series was never much of a barnburner in terms of popularity. Since I avoid non-factory mags whenever possible, I try to buy used Ruger-made mags. Here’s where it gets interesting. All of those double stack 9mm mags pretty much look alike. How do you you tell the Ruger factory mag from some crappo USA Brand or other sheet-metal abortion?

Well, having a stash of mags here for guidance, I’m going to provide you a quick tutorial, as I understand it, on identifying and distinguishing Ruger factory mags from the non-factory mags. For 99% of you, this post is worthless. But, for those who do like the P-series, you might find this useful.


Note that all the Ruger factory magazines have witness holes on the sides of the magazines.

P-series 9mm factory mags came in, basically, four styles:

  • Full-capacity, blued
  • Full-capacity, stainless
  • 10-rd capacity, blued
  • 10-rd capacity stainless

There were some oddball compact variants in the 9mm P-Series (P93, P94) but it appears they shared the same magazine.

All the 9mm P-series utilize an ambi mag release that puts the mag catch on the front of the magazine. If your mag doesn’t have a notch on the front of the magazine, it’s not for a P-series gun.

Ruger-made mags, as opposed to contract-made-for-Ruger mags, have a distinctive caliber marking stamped on them.

The easiest and fastest way to tell a Ruger P-series factory 9mm mag is by the baseplate. Most of them have a thick ‘bumper pad’-type baseplate. Some have the Ruger logo, some do not. Both are factory mags, however.


L – R: Unmarked factory mag baseplate with no disassmbly hole, marked factory mag baseplate with disassembly hole, unmarked flush-fit factory baseplate with disassembly hole

Since most aftermarket mags have a flush-fit unmarked baseplate, other identifying features need to be present to assure that the magazine is factory made.

Ten round magazines had a truncated metal body and then a plastic ‘spacer’ at the bottom of the magazine to give it the overall length of a full-capacity magazine. On some ten-round magazines there is a hole in the baseplate for a punch to allow disassembly of the magazine, other models of ten-round magazine do not allow disassembly and the plastic space is permanently fixed to the mag body by a roll pin going through the mag body and spacer.


Two Factory Ruger 10-rd 9mm P-series magazines. Magazine on left has a roll pin (seen above ‘M’ in ‘9MM’) to prevent removal of plastic magazine extension. Magazine on right can be disassembled (note lack of roll pin.)

It also appears that during the decade of 10-rd magazines, Ruger also made ‘restricted’ magazines for law enforcement and military users.

thumbnailMagazines also usually have a groove running lengthwise down the side of each mag. This groove is absent in factory magazines that have flush-fit baseplates.

20171022_142727From appearances, it looks like Ruger handed off manufacturing of the P-series mags to Mec-Gar. Mec-Gar mags are identical to the Ruger non-basepad factory mags in virtually every regard. The Mec-Gar branded mags differ in finish and placement/number of witness holes. All the Ruger factory magazines I have observed have 3 or 4 witness holes on both sides of the magazine. The Mec-Gar do not. To the best of my knowledge, Ruger never offered any ‘extended capacity’ magazines for the P-series…all those 20-, 32-, and 40-rd magazines are aftermarket and probably of dubious reliability.


Mec-Gar magazine for 9mm P-series


Factory 9mm P-series mag probably made under contract by Mec-Gar.

Factory mags get the highest marks for reliability, and the Mec-Gars are pretty much tied for that with the factory. Other brands such as ProMag have mixed reviews, and no one has anything nice to say about USA brand mags. For best results, I would recommend sticking with the factory mags, factory mags made by Mec-Gar, or Mec-Gar’s own version.


Those 10/22 mags again

Ok, there’s a page up for the magazines. I took delivery on a bunch of them today and a few of you decided to go long and took about 40% of them right off the bat. Makes me wonder if you know something I don’t. Have about 100 of each left, so theyre there if you want ’em. Got ’em sitting in pile here so they go out the door as soon as you pay the invoice. Whatever isn’t sold by Halloween goes into my personal stash.

Oh, and they make great stocking stuffers for Paratus, Festivus, or Chrismahanukwanzaka.

More 10/22 mags?

I might be able to put together another deal on 10/22 mags if anyone is interested. I was going to pick up a few more for my own needs…”just in case”, but figured I’d see if there was any interest. It would be very similar to the last few….they’d be Butler Creek Hot Lips and Steel Lips  25-rd mags, bulk packed (meaning they are loose and not in any type of packaging), and they’d be sold in quantities of 10, 15, or 20 with a small price discount the more you buy. If I can get enough people on board to make it worth ordering, say, a hundred…..then it would work. If interested, email me with “magazines” in the subject line so my spam filters don’t kick it to the curb.Untitled

Link – French Resistance cache unearthed including STENs named ‘Pepette’ and ‘Alice’

Hmm..first it was an StG44 ad now this.

A couple remodeling an old home in north-central France found a cache of ammo, grenades and submachine guns hidden under a granite floor, The Lyonne Republicaine reported.

The find was made in July by the couple in the Quarré-les-Tombes area, about 150 miles away from Paris. Cached under the floor were three STEN guns, over a dozen Britsh Mills bomb type fragmentation grenades, three handguns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammo, and several Bren light machine gun magazines.

I wonder if, a hundred years from now, people in Idaho, Arizona, and Montana will be finding PVC burial tubes full of guns and ammo every time someone digs up an old driveway or tears down an old garage.

Mathematically, there has got to be a lot more of these sorts of things out there. WW2 left millions of guns and related materials spread across Europe. It’s no stretch to think that there were quite a few people who squirreled a bunch of it away.

Here in Montana, the thing found mostly is what we term ‘relics’. Someone plows up an old Sharps that is nothing but a barely recognizable collection of rust, or someone finds an old Colt in the rocks under a bridge somewhere. We all read about that Winchester that got found propped up against a tree after a hundred years, right? I’ve met more than a few folks who have found guns out in the sticks…usually a gun someone lost or forgot, rather than a purposefully left cache. But…..there are those out there too. Once in a a very rare while, one turns up when someone leaves it where they shouldn’t have.

I’m always fascinated by these types of stories because they usually have interesting stories of their own behind them.