Sunday, April 5, 2020


Some talk of an old gal with a checkered past this early 1964 Winchester Model 94, lever action 30-30. 

I first heard of her from a friend of a friend.

When she was first put in my hands for a look see, she stuck like glue from the years of cosmoline doing its job. My hands peeled on and off at every grab. 

Some rust, some bluing peeling and a wood stock in much need of love. Maybe, just maybe she was a.....had never been shot. 

To me, this was a chunk of gold found at the bottom of a small freshwater stream. How much I asked. "A hundred bucks," he said. 

"Let me shoot it and if all works fine, it is a deal." 

After, as I quickly walked away, to myself I kept saying "a hundred bucks----a hundred bucks!"

Later that day, some oil was applied to smooth the lever action. The inside of the barrel cleaned to shiny. No rust. Lands and grooves appeared as good as the day she left the shelf. If I ever wondered about why gun manufacturers apply cosmoline to new rifles, I will doubt no more. It works in protecting all of the metal parts against the elements while in storage.

My stomach fluttered as I inserted the first 30-30 round into the magazine tube and chambered it into the breach with a lever-down and a lever-up action. Hammer cocking in the action. I held her level at my waist and squeezed the trigger. 

A crisp bark with noticeable recoil. I knew then she will always have to be held close and tight.

The next several rounds were pushed through into the magazine tube, chambered and fired from a sitting bench rest. Thirty yards dead on.   Some seat of the pants elevation adjustments for longer distances. 

Ten rounds in all. My shoulder reported her recoil with some soreness. That notwithstanding, from that moment forward, this old gal would forever be by my side. She was home. And she will still be here when I leave. Then in another good home.

The following week found her on the bench. I watched several you tube videos on tearing her down, cleaning, oiling and putting her back together.

The wood stock was sanded and loved with coats of stain and oil. Each coat a good soak, wiping, sanding and then another coat. 

The newly assembled rifle in my hands felt like I was holding my very own part of American history. This model and this gun that will never ever be built again

She is irreplaceable now. 

If her history, beauty and lines are not enough to warm the heart at ever look and embrace, her performance, in good times and in times of trouble, equally match her beauty.

Carrying mid-gun, the Winchester moves easily though the brush. I worry not of dragging her though the brush nor resting her against a tree. She raises to the shoulder with iron sights easily on target. Resting against a tree helps with the aim small, miss small.

The 30-30 cartridge is a hunting cartridge. 170 grains of powder and an expanding bullet upon contact leaves a wound channel best not described.  The hunting cartridge is designed to bring down an animal in one shot with little to no suffering. A good aim and rightly placed shot, the animal falls where it stood. 

The western movies showing these rounds bounce off of corners of wooden buildings is all Hollywood. I do not ever remember seeing any movie ever showing the real violence of one of these rounds. Never. 

But more than anything to me, she is art. Art in the viewing and art in mechanical action. She is art in the shooting and plinking. She is art in the act of hunting if needed and for self-defense as in the days of old. She carries 5 cartridges, 6 if one is chambered. Whatever the job, she will have to get it done in a first go-around.

By the time I write and you read this, new sets of rules will be in place. Changing daily to hourly now.

One way traffic inside Walmart now. Only 5 people allowed for every 1000 sq feet. There must be math on this. Ummmm, each person get 200 sq feet. Ten foot by 20 foot. Am I required to wear a mask, gloves, wear red and walk in a straight line? (At posting time all of the rules are further expanded)

Our local chain market has shoppers and baskets lined up single-file waiting to get in check-out line with in the 6' safety limit. Lines waiting to get into lines now blocks shopping isles all in the name of a safe distance. The market has sacrificed quick, safe, efficient shopping for jump-through-your-ass rules.

Institute new practices fine, but do not FU what works in the process. The rule makers have little concept of the extra hardships put on families shopping with small children, an alone parent with children or the extra in store travel and standing for the elderly. Not impossible, but the extra time inside a closed environment with lots of people increases the sharing of the Rona.

Upside for us is other mom and pop stores with in 15 minutes. Their businesses will increase this day forward as shoppers who can avoid long lines will and shop at the smaller markets.

One of the reasons peppers prep is to be able to avoid these kinds of rules that slow down commerce and force people to group and wait wait wait. Long lines for basics are here now and may get worse. The other big problem is it is these kind of practices may make people "winky-eyed." 

Do not be surprised by violence. Do not be surprised by long lines everywhere. 

Do not be surprised at long lines for food distribution. 

Do not be surprised that every American will need to be carrying official papers to move outside of the home by month's end.


Now suggested we all wear masks outside when out and about. Folks not doing that may be shunned and probably verbally corrected by those who know better.

Banking now only by drive through. We witnessed a gal several days ago so dumbfounded and discombobulated that she stopped the drive through line for 15 minutes. Getting in and out of her car. Talking with the drive-through attendant. Confused. Did not have what was required and so forth. AND for some reason, no one drove around to the extra drive through lane. We did and were in and out while the lady performed in the lane next to us.


My opinion. My belief. Two weeks now hard at home for us. Why? This is why!!
Read it!!! Act accordingly. 

"Doubling every 3 days and has done so 6 times...."

Ask for help if you need it. Give help if you can. Step back, slow down and be smart in the daily processes of living and loving. 

Thanks as always for the visit.  

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