Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Albert's First Gun

Some of you may recall that I have a brother, Shotgun Bob, who is married to The Girl.  They now have a son, Albert.  You may read a very brief biography of each in the official cast of characters, or not as it amuses you to do so.

All that being the case, Albert was officially adopted by Shotgun Bob and The Girl in May of 2013, so Shotgun Bob thought it would be nice to give Albert a little 'welcome to the family' party.  I decided to give Albert a .22 rifle - cue the Moonbats!  Let me hear that wailing and gnashing of teeth!  Don't worry, The Ayatollah ObamaCare will cover your dental bill! - as I was saying, a .22 rifle as a sort of welcome gift.  Keep reading to learn about the rifle and the history behind it.

On Christmas morning in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Sixty and One (1961 for you geniuses) little Mad Jack opened the largest box under the tree and discovered that Santy Claus had left behind a brand new single shot .22 rifle.  I also found six boxes of .22 long rifle ammunition in my Christmas stocking.  I was overjoyed.  I had a rifle and a lifetime supply of ammo.  What more could I want?

The rifle in question is an Ithaca model 49 in single shot.  Two models were manufactured; one was a repeater and the other was a single shot.  Both were lever action rifles with the open hammer.

Ithaca M-49 Saddle Gun
The is the perfect rifle for a child to learn to shoot with.  It's a single shot, so the adult can stand behind the youth and hand him the ammunition one cartridge at a time.  When the rifle is loaded and the action is closed, the hammer must be cocked manually.  It's a separate action and gives the shooter time to think.  Then, when the shooter is all lined up and ready to go if he decides he doesn't want to shoot all he needs to do is open the action.  The unspent cartridge is ejected and the rifle is empty.

Opening the action serves a second purpose.  It's an easy movement, and so teaches that every time the rifle is picked up, the action should be opened.  If there is anything in the chamber, it's ejected, and you can look down and see that the rifle is unloaded.  Nice, huh?

Ithaca M-49
I gave Albert a card with an insert listing the four rules of gun safety by Col. Jeff Cooper.  Since his grandmother and great aunt had instructed him that he was to open the cards first and read them, and since both ladies were watching, the rules were duly read out loud.  Then Albert got around to tearing the paper off the package.  I loaned him my knife to help him get through the cardboard box, and he was finally able to start working the rifle out.  Naturally Albert's great aunt, an anti-gunner, was the first to ask the obvious question.

"Is the gun loaded?"

I assured her the rifle was loaded.  I was met with disbelief.

"No, it isn't loaded.  It couldn't be."

To which Albert replied, "Yes, it is.  The gun is always loaded."

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?  Ain't that just some red hot damn on a Saturday night?

So Albert finally got the gun out and pointed the muzzle at the floor while he figured out how to open the action.  After that he wanted to point it up in the air, and while I was watching Albert carefully found a safe path for the muzzle to cover and pointed his new rifle at the ceiling.  I took a few photos, naturally.

Big Mike was thoughtful enough to get Albert a brick of .22 ammo so he could actually have fun shooting the rifle.  It's my hope that the price of .22 ammunition drops back to a sane level before too much longer - what fun is having a rifle you can't afford to shoot?

It wasn't much longer before we all went next door to Crazy Jerry's house to see Albert shoot his new rifle, and we took a few cans along with us.  Let me tell you, there just isn't anything to equal the energy of an excited ten year old.  We set the cans up at about 50 feet.  Albert would load up and bust a cap, and if one of the cans moved we'd all have to run down and check out the damage.  I went along with this about three or four times, then I told Albert I was tired of walking downrange.  Okay, that's not a problem Uncle Jack.  So Albert runs downrange and brings the cans back to show me the damage.

All the men dutifully admire the newly punctured cans, and Albert runs back downrange to set the cans back up again.

Albert ran 50 shots through the rifle, and he can really shoot.  I'm proud of him, but the thing that made me proudest was when he informed his great aunt that the rifle was loaded - because the gun is always loaded.

Take that and suck on it Feinstein, you commie bitch.

Albert's grandmother, my own dear mother (Mom) is exactly the opposite of the great aunt.  Mom keeps a .38 revolver in her nightstand, and she's the one who actually taught me to shoot was I was a child.  She taught me to read and write as well, with a little help from her mother, Grandma Schoolteacher.  Nice, huh?

So now we, the Gun Owners of the United States, have a new member.

I am happy.


Old NFO said...

OUtfrikkinstanding!!! :-) And a nice piece of history too! Mine was an old hand me down breach block single shot Stevens in .22 short! Wore that sucker flat out...

Covnitkepr1 said...

Great story...I've already passed all but one of my weapons down to my son because of poor eyesight. But I still have my "home defence" weapon.

I write a blog which I have entitled “Accordingtothebook” and I’d like to invite you to follow it. I’m your newest follower.

Mad Jack said...

Thanks guys. There's nothing like a nice .22 and a supply of cans or rats to make for a happy afternoon.