Author

theoldgreybeard

Browsing

When a lot of people see me and my biker brothers rumbling down the road they often times think we are a bunch of thugs. And while there are inevitably biker thugs, there are plenty of thug lawyers (Duh, Captain Obvious), business executives, salespeople and politicians (another BIG Duh!). What these apprehensive non-bikers don’t realize is that most REAL bikers are family men (and women) that have great friends, hold down real jobs and are very active in their communities.

We are also very generous with charities we believe in. One of our local groups is Bikers Who Care. This great organization hosts a summer camp for children battling illness and injuries called Camp Rainbow. They also run the BWC Toy Run – which every September collects thousands of toys for needy families in the area. There are plenty of great charities supported by the biker community – another of which is one of my favorites: Bikers Against Child Abuse. But, by far, my favorite charities support our armed forces. Every Memorial Day Weekend your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker rides to the mountains to take part in Smoky Mountain Thunder – a charitable organization which for the past 20 years has worked to raise awareness for POWs, PTSD and other veteran causes. But here I am rambling on when what I really want to do is tell you about another great charitable organization which helps veterans – Code of Vets.

Code of Vets

Living near Fort Campbell, I have many brothers and sisters in either the 101st Airborne Division, 5th Group Special Forces or 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). We ride together, break bread together and once in a while throw back an adult beverage with a nice cigar (okay, sometimes it’s more than one adult beverage). Our veterans and active duty military service members are great people and very genuine. But often, they are away from home on deployment for long period of time – leaving family behind. Some suffer from the long term effects of injuries and PTSD. And worst, some never make it home – leaving a family behind. Additionally, there are financial struggles, family issues and many other difficulties they face on a daily basis.

I first heard about Code of Vets on Twitter. If you were to type in #CodeofVets in the Twitter search box, you will find thousands of Patriots who support this 501(c)(3) organization. Most of us know of several national veteran organizations such as Wounded Warrior Project, the USO, Homes for Our Troops and Tunnel to Towers. These organizations are all well known for their work, but larger organizations also have lots of expenses and staff salaries. This reduces the amount of support they can provide our veterans and families. What makes Code of Vets so unique is that it’s a grassroots organization. Your donation to them is not slashed by the heavy expenses incurred by the large charitable veteran organizations.

About Code of Vets

One of the strengths of Code of Vets is their ability to use social media to reach out to veterans in need. As its founder, Gretchen Smith, has stated, the organization’s output is literally “virtual boots on the ground.” They are able to connect veterans in crisis with other veterans who have experienced similar challenges. Code of Vets, and its partners, can assist veterans trying to navigate the bureaucracy which is the VA, get professional help for their medical and emotional needs and even help with their financial needs. Their staff is comprised of volunteers dedicated to helping veterans. Gretchen has told me that 99% of donations go to support veterans with the only real costs being credit card processing fees and accounting services.

But, there is no one who can tell you about Code of Vets any better than Gretchen:

Gretchen Smith explains what the Code of Vets does

Our veterans need our help. Your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker encourages you to donate to the charities of your choice. But for veteran causes, you cannot find a better organization to donate to than Code of Vets. To learn more about them, or to donate, click HERE. You can be assured that almost your entire donation will go to support our veterans – which is why we donate in the first place. Please feel free to reach out to me via email with any questions. I will forward these directly to Code of Vets for response.

Until next time, keep the shiny side up!

Ride to Live! Live to Ride!
Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

SIG Sauer is one of the finest pistol manufacturers in the world. Your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker owns many P-series pistols and several of their 1911s. The P365 was released on January 8, 2018 to very positive reviews. It was a unique pistol for the legendary manufacturer of semi-automatic pistols and rifles, in that, unlike their other compact 9mm, the P938, this pistol in its stock form comes with a double-stack magazine which boasts 10 rounds. If you carry with one in the chamber, which everyone should do, this compact pistol has 11 rounds of 9mm firepower in a gun smaller than my hand.

Introducing the SAS version of the P365

The P365 SAS comes with a hard plastic case, pistol and both a flush mount and extended 10 round magazines

SIG Sauer has manufactured the SAS version of their popular P-series pistols for years. SAS stands for SIG Anti Snag, which provides snag free draws by smoothing out the slide and the side controls. And while the P365 is the best-selling pistol in the United States, the SAS model was not released until October 2, 2019. As you will learn, this may be one of the very best, non-Legion, SIG pistols made today.

When I was looking at P365 pistols, I looked at the stand P365, the P365 SAS and their new P365 XL. My plan was to buy the standard model, because the XL was larger than I wanted for a compact carry. But when I looked down the slide of the SAS, and saw there were no standard tritium sights, I was taken aback. The P365 SAS has a unique flush mounted tritium sight which brings the sight axis down nearly to the barrel. This inevitably makes the pistol more accurate – which I confirmed on the range. It is essentially foolproof. You have the pistol lined up properly when the tritium dot appears. Granted, in a serious self-defense situation, which is more often than not at very close range, you will not be lining up the sights – you will be pointing and shooting!

Disassembly

The P938 SAS fully disassembled for cleaning

Taking down a P365 is like every other P-series – a proverbial piece of cake. Remove the magazine and cycle the slide to eject the cartridge from the chamber (double-check by cycling the slide again – you can never be too careful). Remember, a pistol without a round in the chamber is nothing more than a damn paperweight in a self-defense situation. The next step is to lock the slide back – and the P365 SAS is different here – you use either a medium size flat screwdriver – or my preferred tool, a nickel – to turn the takedown screw clockwise a half turn. There is no takedown lever on the SAS version of the P365. Release the slide and turn it upside down. Depress the stainless-steel guide rod and spring to remove it. Lift the chamber side of the barrel up and slide it backwards out of the muzzle – removing the barrel. The gun is torn down and can be cleaned.

The takedown screw is visible directly above the trigger

To reassemble the pistol, reverse these steps. The SAS takedown screw rotates automatically to the lock position when you release the slide so you can put your nickel away once you remove the slide. Cool beans!

The P365 SAS slide and stainless-steel guide rod – notice the rounded edges on the slide

Shooting the P365 SAS

My overall impressions were very positive with this newest offering of the P-series SAS pistol line. Sight acquisition is superb, which was a pleasant surprise. I was a bit concerned about the flush mounted sight, but it may be better than standard combat sights. Time will tell for me as I carry this pistol over a longer period of time.

The tritium flush mounted sight is terrific – when you see the illuminating you are lined up
Top view of the flush mounted tritium sight

I have larger hands. Other compact 9mm and .380 ACP pistols I have tried are uncomfortable for me to shoot. My hand tends to swallow these up and the muzzle lift during rapid fire often proved to cause inaccuracy for follow up shots. This was true for my last compact carry 9mm – the SIG P938. This gun was a beautiful example of what a compact concealed carry firearm should be. But it was a bit small for my hands and the muzzle lift was noticeable. The double stack magazine allows for more comfort with my gargantuan mitts and the muzzle life was much less noticeable due to the fact that SIG ported the barrel and slide on the SAS model – an ingenious idea which is long overdue for smaller caliber compact pistols or larger caliber models like my 10mm P220 SIG. Based on my search of SIG Sauer’s website, the P365 SAS is the only vented model pistol they make.

Fully assembled SIG Sauer P365 SAS with the 12 round magazine installed

The P365 SAS proved to be both accurate and easy to shoot. Unlike most compact striker-fired pistols, this model has a very crisp trigger and operates single action only (SAO). The trigger pull weight is not listed on their website, but I would judge it to be in the 5.5-6 pound range – with 6 pounds being what other reviewers have measured. With the vented barrel, follow up shots were quite accurate.

Summary

If you are looking for a compact concealed carry pistol, I would highly recommend the SIG Sauer P365 SAS. The retail price on this model is $580, compared to the P365 standard at $500 and the XL at $590. For the extra $80, I would highly recommend the SAS because of the sights and the vented barrel. You will have to compare the size of the XL to the other P365 models to see which you like better. I also purchased the extended 12 round magazine as it fits my hands better and provides 13 rounds of 9mm power.

Until next time, ride often and keep the shiny side down!

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Yes, I said it. I am embarrassed. The world watches the United States. And I might say they watch what goes on here closely. Today, our country is more partisan than I ever recall it being – and that is saying a lot. Like many of you, I watched a most amazing State of the Union Address earlier this week. President Trump rightfully highlighted all of his major accomplishments. He was sincere. He offered to reach across the aisle to help with a school choice and an infrastructure bill. But everything fell on deaf ears on the Left.

We Learned our Lesson

The Republican Party has turned into the new party of inclusion. We learned our lesson when we rushed to impeach Bill Clinton – and Clinton actually broke the law. Not surprisingly, he was not convicted by the senate. We paid for rushing into a partisan impeachment during the next general election.

Then, starting in 2009, we managed to survive eight years of an Obama administration which had plenty of scandals of its own. Just in case you have forgotten them, here is a partial list of them:

  1. Operation Fast & Furious for which Attorney General Eric Holder refused to comply with House subpoenas
  2. Hillary Clinton email scandal
  3. IRS targeting of conservative organizations (Lois Lerner)
  4. Benghazi
  5. The hacking of the Office of Personnel Management which exposed personnel files of Federal employees
  6. Solyndra
  7. Paying the terrorist supporting regime of Iran for the release of American hostages
  8. Biden’s quid pro quo with Ukraine to fire a government prosecutor investigating his son – something which was largely unknown during Obama’s tenure but is well known now

There was plenty a Republican controlled House of Representatives could have used for impeachment – but we never yelled to impeach him. Republican freshmen representatives never screamed they were going to “impeach the mother fucker” on their first day in office – as Rashida Tlaib did. Conservative celebrities never threatened to move out of the United States. Conservatives were not pictured holding the severed head of Obama. There was no wide spread call for impeachment. Period.

Fast Forward to 2016

Even before Donald Trump was formally nominated by the Republican Party, there was noise of impeachment. Obama oversaw a FBI which illegally obtained FISA warrants to spy on Carter Page – an American citizen. Representatives such as Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff and others were screaming for impeachment while Trump was president-elect. It has not stopped since. When the Russian Collusion narrative failed, they jumped on an alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine as enough to impeach Trump.

After wasting their entire first year in the majority, the house Democrats impeached Trump over nothing. They have done absolutely nothing for their constituents for nearly 13 months. It is absolutely beyond despicable.

This is an embarrassment

This has been a week which has provided more evidence of an economy humming along in hyperdrive, falling illegal border crossings and a president willing to reach across the aisle to get things done for the people. Additionally, we got to hear the closing arguments of house managers and the president’s counsel. We knew going into last weekend that the Senate majority leadership had defeated the Left’s attempt to retry their impeachment case by inserting new witnesses. Throughout last weekend, and early this week, we heard nearly every Democrat say how unfair this was. They said, “How there could not be a trial without witnesses.” Blah, blah, blah! Cry me a damn river.

Courtesy of the awesome https://www.grrrgraphics.com/

My embarrassment increased exponentially with the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night – and it had nothing to do with the speech. President Trump had ever reason to be proud of the accomplishments of his administration. But it did not matter how good the news was for ALL Americans – the Leftist crybabies would not cheer for the good which is happening right in front of their damn eyeballs. The things which are positively impacting their constituents. The only exception was Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) who stood up and applauded very regularly while sitting next to two of the biggest sour apples of the bunch: Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Kamala Harris (D-CA). Even things which should have received bi-partisan support did not: an original Tuskegee Airman who was promoted to brigadier general, a young black girl who was given a scholarship to attend a school of her choice and most glaringly, a family reunited when the husband, who had been serving overseas, appeared in the stands to surprise his wife and two children.

But what really sealed the entire embarrassment deal for me was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). We had to sit through the entire SOTU while watching her make faces, roll her eyes or shake her head. And then at the conclusion of the address, while the house chamber was shaking with applause, she proved just how partisan of a damn witch she is by tearing up the official speech in front of all of America – and the world. Maybe it’s true that when an aging senior citizen starts going downhill they actually start acting like a little child again. Because that was exactly the way she acted. Like a damn child.

Wednesday Healed All Wounds

The Liberal rag, WAPO, proclaims, “Trump acquitted!”

While it was no secret that Donald Trump was not going to be convicted by the Senate, it was quite a relief when it really happened – made better by Chief Justice John Roberts proclamation that DJT was acquitted of all charges. The voting went fully along partisan lines, with the one exception of Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) voting to convict Trump of abuse of power. It goes to show just what a damn RINO he is – and in my humble opinion it will cause his constituency to fire him during his next election. I had hoped that Sinema would stray from her Leftist partisan hacks and vote against conviction, but after applauding during the SOTU address, I am sure she was dressed down by her party’s leadership.

Looking Forward to 2020

I wish I believed this was the end of the partisan witch hunt. But old Jerry Nadler has said he may subpoena John Bolton to testify in front of his house committee. I am fairly certain we will see no mellowing of feelings on the left and nothing substantive will be accomplished by the House of Representatives before the 2020 General Election – an election I am hoping will sweep a Republican majority into the House of Representatives, increase our majority in the U.S. Senate and sweep Donald J. Trump into a landslide victory. Because the Democrats need to pay for acting like little children.

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

This week has been incredibly entertaining if you are a politics junkie like your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker. With the Senate impeachment trial in a full court press, there have been plenty of great quotes generating new memes. But, without a doubt, the assknozzles-of-the-week are definitely Shifty Shiff and Jerry Nadler. Watching them make their case for impeachment in front of the U.S. Senate was priceless.

But we must not forget the whole slate of Leftist demoncrats vying for the Democrat presidential nomination. With this group, the hits just keep coming. For the life of me, I cannot find one thing redeeming with any single one of them. They are all YUGE losers. Whichever one of them is nominated will get stomped out by our great president, Donald J. Trump. Let’s look at each of the top contenders’ policy priorities.

Scary Uncle Joe Biden

Scary Uncle Joe Biden

Our favorite do nothing, Joe Biden, says more stupid stuff than any of the other Democrat candidates for president. And he obviously loves to suck his wife’s fingers and smell the hair of strangers. But he has told us what he wants to do if he is elected president.

Second Amendment:

  1. Hold gun manufacturers accountable by repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
  2. Ban the manufacture of assault weapons and high capacity magazines
  3. Regulate the possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act
  4. Buy back assault rifles and high capacity magazines
  5. Reduce the number of firearms an individual can own

Immigration:

  1. Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies which separate parents from their children (I guess he forgot that it was his boss (nObama) who started this practice)
  2. Restore asylum laws so that they can protect immigrants fleeing persecution
  3. End the use of Department of Defense funds being used to build the wall
  4. End so called Muslim Bans
  5. Ensure ICE and CBP personnel abide by professional standards

Climate

  1. Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions by 2050
  2. Rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change
  3. Stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who disproportionally harm communities of color

Health Care

  1. Give Americans a new choice – public health insurance option like Medicare
  2. Stand up to the abuse of power by prescription drug manufacturers
  3. Ensure health care is a right for all
  4. Defend health care protections for all regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation

Bernie Sanders the Russian Bot

I’m Bernie Sanders – and I am not a Russian Bot

You have to give Bernie “The Burn” Sanders credit. The guy does not give up. And if he were to be elected, you better take all of your assets off shore because he will be coming for them.

Second Amendment

  1. Take on the National Rifle Association
  2. Expand background checks and end the gun show loophole
  3. Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons and high capacity magazines
  4. Regulate assault weapons like we regulate machine guns
  5. Implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets

Immigration

  1. Institute a moratorium on deportations
  2. Reinstate and expand DACA
  3. Break up ICE and CBP
  4. Dismantle detention centers

Climate

  1. Provide $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund
  2. End the greed of the fossil fuel industry

Health Care

  1. Create Medicare for All – a single payer national health care system
  2. Expand medicare to include dental, hearing and vision coverage
  3. No networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no copays

Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren

1/1024 Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren

What will we all do when Elizabeth Warren is no longer being dishonest on the national stage? This woman is a walking lie. Everything she says is sensationalized beyond belief. Fortunately, she will never be elected, for if she was, there is not enough wealth in the world to pay for everything she wants to give away.

Second Amendment

  1. Take executive action to hold gun dealers and manufacturers accountable
  2. Break the NRA’s stranglehold on Congress
  3. Report on multiple gun purchases
  4. Create a Federal licensing system
  5. Pass a Federal assault weapons ban

Immigration

  1. End unnecessary detention
  2. Eliminate private detention facilities
  3. Eliminate expedited removal and provide due process
  4. Raise the refugee cap
  5. Make naturalization easier

Climate

  1. By 2028 – 100% zero-carbon pollution
  2. By 2030 – 100% zero-emission vehicles, medium duty trucks and buses
  3. By 2035 – 100% renewable and zero-emission electricity generation
  4. Full support for the Green New Deal
  5. 100% Clean buildings

Health Care

  1. Provide Medicare for all without increasing costs for the middle class
  2. Use the Department of Justice to crack down on anti-competitive behavior
  3. Compulsory licensing and public manufacturing of drugs to reduce costs

Pete “Alfred E. Neuman” Buttigieg

Pete Alfred E Neuman Buttigieg

Mayor Alfred E. Neuman Buttigieg is perhaps the only candidate who does not want to give away everything. He only wants to take away your guns. His ambition is YUGE beyond belief.

Second Amendment

  1. Institute Universal Background Checks
  2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
  3. Hold the gun industry accountable
  4. Establish a national gun licensing system
  5. Enact Red Flag laws

Immigration

  1. Modernize our immigration laws to reflect today’s humanitarian and economic needs
  2. End the family separation crisis and evaluate ICE and CBP procedures
  3. Reinstate enforcement priorities and prevent arbitrary targeting of immigrant communities

Climate

  1. Quadruple Federal clean energy research and development
  2. Establish a Clean Energy Standard to reach 100% clean electricity by 2035
  3. Immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement
  4. Deploy at least 1 gigaton of annual CO2 removal capacity by 2040

Health Care

  1. Medicare for All
  2. Improve mental health and combat addiction
  3. Affordable Medicine for All
  4. Create affordable long-term care

Little Mikey Bloomberg

I’m Little Mikey Bloomberg and I am running for president!

Don’t be afraid America! Little Mikey Bloomberg is here to save you from yourself! There will be no more plastic straws, large fountain drinks or guns! Let me tell you everything I’ve done for New York City and I am sure to be your next president! Ugh! This guy makes me want to vomit!

Second Amendment

  1. Require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase
  2. Pass a Federal Red Flag law
  3. Reinstate the Federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
  4. Require secure storage of firearms
  5. Require a 48-hour waiting period on all gun purchases

Immigration

  1. Little Mikey has no real proposals for immigration on his website

Climate

  1. Full decarbonization of America before 2050 (WTF does this mean? – We are carbon lifeforms!)
  2. Reduce greenhouse gases by requiring Clean Buildings
  3. Zero emission public transit

Health Care

  1. Medicare-like public option
  2. Build on the Affordable Care Act
  3. Cap health care prices
  4. Lower drug costs

Grey Beard Biker’s Assessment

Second Amendment

The entire slate of contenders for the DNC presidential nomination are completely against the Second Amendment. Most of them want to tear the National Rifle Association apart. One consistent theme is banning assault rifles (those scary black guns) and high-capacity magazines. Confiscation of such arms are not being promoted by any of these dorks, but most of them are all-in for buybacks. Their idea to require Federal licensing of guns is never going to happen. It would require a gun owner registry tied to a listing of guns they own. There is nothing new in any of their proposed plans. It’s the same old talking points they have blabbered for years.

Immigration

Immigration is important to our country’s long-term health. We are a country of immigrants. Legal immigration is something no conservative is interested in changing. But today, because of a longstanding willingness to kick-the-ball-down-the-road, we have a true crisis. All of these candidates want to throw our borders wide open with little or no regulation. Most of these idiots would like to dismantle ICE and CBP – leaving our citizens unprotected from potential terrorists, drug dealers and gang members. With the influx of illegal aliens coming across our southern border, we cannot get rid of detention facilities.

Climate

The only somewhat hinged candidate on the climate hoax is Little Mikey – probably because he knows the Green New Deal will bankrupt the United States. But he is still willing to push full decarbonization! – whatever the FUCK that means. Hell, we are carbon lifeforms! Does he want to get rid of human life? Laugh my big fat #BikerAss off! Everyone besides Little Mikey is pretty much embracing most parts of AOC’s Green New Deal – a plan that will bankrupt us.

Health Care

This one is simple. Every single candidate is pushing some form of Medicare for All. This is a non-starter. Hell, Pocahontas’ bold lie that the middle class would not have to pay additional taxes to have universal health care has not changed anything. They all want to provide free health care to everyone. But let’s not stop there! Everyone also has the right to free dental, vision and long-term care. Anyone with even the slightest understanding of economics knows this will bankrupt our country. But these assknozzles don’t care.

Closing

Yes, it’s true! As my post title states, “Democrats Are Assknozzles,” – every damn last one of them! They offer nothing new. Their plans are to disarm law abiding citizens, throw our borders wide open and give away everything. It’s an absolute race to see who can give away the most free shit! This includes free post-secondary education and forgiveness of student loan debt! I only highlighted the top five candidates, but the rest of the remaining field is no different. They are all a bunch of losers with a capital L!

Your Ever Lovable,

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Special thanks to @GrrrGraphics for the use of the Elizabeth Warren caricature! Make sure to follow GrrrGraphics on THE TWATTER!

Virginia is on a roll. Today, the Virginia Citizens Defense League held its annual lobby day in Richmond. VCDL has been very active over the years with all things Second Amendment related in the commonwealth. With the new Democrat majorities in the Virginia house and senate, Governor Ralphie “Blackface” Northam is salivating over the opportunity to impose punitive new gun regulations on the citizens of his state. Today’s lobby day was expected to be a showdown between far left protesters and the gun owners of the state – with a guest appearance by Antifa. Fortunately, according to Cam Edwards, of Bearing Arms, it was mainly a productive day with no serious protests.

But not able to contain himself, and not willing to miss an opportunity to bash his opponents, Ralphie Tweeted:

Wait, what? This is absolutely absurd. According to Virginia’s Capitol Police, nearly 25,000 Second Amendment supporters showed up today. With all of these gun toters running around there had to be violence, right? (Said tongue in cheek!) No, Ralphie there was no violence because these were law abiding gun owners wanting to protect their God given rights. The only arrest was a young woman who refused to remove her mask. And the Grey Beard Biker would bet that she was not there supporting the Second Amendment!

Sheriffs say they will not confiscate guns and they stand for the #2A

Besides all of the proposed restrictions on the Second Amendment, the senate just announced SB399, know as the “National Popular Vote Compact.” This bill would require that all of the state’s electoral votes be awarded to whichever candidate wins the nation’s popular vote – instead of each elector voting based on the majority of the voters they represent. Your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker can only assume the Liberal Wack Jobs (LWJ) in Virginia believe that only Republicans can win the Electoral College – and not the popular vote. How stupid can they be? (This is a rhetorical question. We all know they are retarded assknozzles.)

A Microcosm of the United States

The Electoral College Protects Against The Two Coasts electing the president

Over my 55 years, I have seen a lot of changes in the political landscape of the United States. I have also seen the Democrat party slide further and further to the left. Democrat presidents like John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton would seem quite conservative compared to the new batch of lawmakers and presidential hopefuls fighting for the DNC nomination.

But what we are seeing right now is a microcosm of what we see on the national level. Nationally, we see three states controlling huge amounts of votes: California, New York and Illinois. The majority of voters in these states are very liberal – mostly progressive. When combined with other states such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon, the combined votes are becoming more difficult to overcome allowing a few geographic areas to control the majority of the country.

This is exactly what has happened in Virginia. The densely populated areas of Northern Virginia, Richmond and Virginia Beach are decisively controlling the rest of the state. This has culminated in a perfect storm slamming into the rest of the largely rural state – threatening to take away Second Amendment rights. Additionally, besides trying to control how the commonwealth’s electoral votes are given, they want to expand abortion rights, make voting easier (Liberal speak for no restrictions such as Voter ID) and fight climate change. With their legislative majorities and control of the executive branch there is little standing in the Democrats’ way of achieving their utopian dreams.

This is a very sad commentary on a state which had voted Republican in every presidential election since Eisenhower was elected in 1952 – with the lone exception being Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. But everything changed in 2008 with the arrival of Obama. Now, it is hard to see a path where a Republican presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in this now Blue state.

Lessons Learned

The rest of the country is beginning to recognize what I wrote about recently – the Left winning the long game. For years they have focused on indoctrinating our children – making sure the education they received strongly supported progressive views. They have introduced hatred and race baiting into political discourse – which has set race relations back several decades. They are moving to red states in droves – turning states like Florida, North Carolina and coming soon – Texas – from Red to Purple. I guess even the liberals in places like Illinois, New York, California and New Jersey cannot stand to live in states controlled by progressives!

We must remain on guard. It’s not just guns they want to take away. They want to take away our freedom of speech, our freedom to assemble and use race to drive a wedge between us. Not to mention providing Federal funding for abortions until the very moment of birth. There is no easy solution short of building walls around Red states to keep leftist progressives out!

Praying for a return to sanity,

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Greetings fellow patriots, bikers and other fans of the Second Amendment. It’s hard to believe it’s 2020. It seems like just yesterday that we were worried about the Y2K bug. Holy cow, it’s been 20 years since then. We have been very fortunate the past month to have some excellent, mild weather here in Tennessee. The only snow we have had in the middle part of the state was a dusting before Thanksgiving. Hopefully you have been getting some riding in.

Over the past couple of blog posts, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker has written about the cost of equipment and components you need to reload your own ammunition. If you have decided to move on with reloading, this article deals with the actual process of loading with a progressive loading press.

If you missed the previous posts on reloading, you can find them here:

Reloading – Part 1 – Basics

Reloading – Part 2 – Brass, Primers & Powder

Setting Up Your Press

Dies and Shell Plate with case installed at Station 1

The first thing you will need to do is set up the press. You will get to be an old hand at this if you reload multiple calibers. First, install the cartridge dies in the top of the tower. Nearly every caliber takes different dies. Follow the die instructions to set up each of the dies before you start reloading. Install the correct shell holder and retention spring in the rotating base of the turret. Depending on what caliber you are using, you will need to load either small or large primers (standard or magnum depending again on caliber) in the primer feed tube. This process is much easier with a primer tray as it will flip all of the primers to the correct side to grab them in the filler tube. Once this is done, cycle the arm on the press and make sure a primer loads into the press.

Setting Up Your Scale

Hornady electronic powder dispenser

Most progressive presses come with a case-activated powder drop, which resides in the third station of the press. The powder drop does work sufficiently well for most handgun powders, but some powders are flakey, or rod shaped and do not work well with this system. This is why I use an electronic scale, which accurately dispenses the correct amount of powder for your recipe. If you decide to use the powder drop, make sure you verify the weight of the powder charge at least ever 10 drops. It will change – and if you are loading fairly stout loads it can be very dangerous – especially with faster powders.

Once I power up my electronic powder dispenser, I let it warm up a couple of minutes and then calibrate it. Next, I use either a recipe I have loaded in the past or refer to my reloading manual for the correct powder charge – entering it in the scale. Remember, this varies significantly based on the weight and type of bullet you are using. If you are using a new recipe, I highly recommend loading towards the lower weight of the recipe. You can always work up from there on future reloads. Once the scale is setup, you’re ready to start loading.

Case Prep

Clean and polished brass is critical to successful hand-loads

As mentioned in my previous articles, I am very picky about my brass, as damaged brass causes most malfunctions with reloads. I tumble it in stainless steel media and throw out any which are not perfect. I find that I can reuse my brass for at least ten loads before I throw them out.

Dial caliper and case prep tools

As my powder load measures out, I use a Lyman case prep tool set to clean the primer pocket and the bullet opening. This removes burrs and cleans everything up, so the cases run through the press smoothly. This step also allows you to examine the case for any flaws – especially cracking and expansion of the primer pocket. If you are reloading rifle ammo, you will need to use lube on the bullet opening since the cases are tapered.

Loading the Cartridges

Prepped case in station 1

Once the case has been examined, I load it in the shell holder at station one. Pull the arm down and run the case through the sizing die. This takes the case to stage two where the primer is installed. Here, instead of pulling the arm, you push it forward to seat the primer in the pocket. You will feel the primer seat. If it doesn’t feel like it pressed all the way in, take the case out and examine it. If it looks like it is installing straight, put it back in the second stage and push forward again on the arm. If this still doesn’t work, throw it out and start over with a different prepped case.

If the primer installed correctly, pull the handle back and run it through the expansion die (if your caliber uses one). This puts a very slight bell in the bullet opening to allow the bullet to seat far enough in, so it doesn’t move when it rotates to the seating stage.

Bullet sitting in slightly expanded case – Station 3

At this point, I pull the case out and make one final inspection of it and pour the powder in the bullet opening – making sure it all pours in. Once the powder is in, I gently place the case back in the shell holder, at station three, and set the bullet in the opening. MAKE SURE IT’S STRAIGHT! Pull the handle back to seat the bullet with the seating die – the fourth station. Lastly, pull the handle back and run it through the crimping die (if used on your caliber). This snugs the case to the bullet – the fifth station. When you release the handle at this stage, the finished bullet kicks out into the cartridge bin.

Bullet seated after station 4 and ready to be run through crimping – station 5

The last step is to measure the overall cartridge length (OCL) to verify the bullet is fully seated. The cartridge should easily slide through your dial caliper, which you have set up based on the recipe and the bullet you are using. This may well be the most important step. If you seat it too deep, the case pressures will increase rapidly, which can cause severe damage to your handgun or possible injury!

Measuring Overall Cartridge Length (OCL) with dial caliper

Wrap Up

Reloading your ammunition is not something you should take lightly. You have to follow these steps and be very precise in all you do. Taking short cuts or not paying attention can be disastrous. But with patience and practice, your hand-rolled ammo will be more consistent than factory ammunition. And if you are like me, you will find it an enjoyable way to spend some time.

For more information, check out my video on reloading on YouTube:

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ,
Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

It is officially 2020, fellow biker brothers and sisters! It is the time of year where your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker likes to reflect on the year’s rides, destinations and other events which have moved him over the past 12 months. 2019 was a spectacular year, but was a little light with regards to long trips on the scoot. An average year of riding for me is usually between 18 and 20K miles. This year’s total? – 15,588 miles. So strap on your six-shooter and take a ride with the Grey Beard Biker!

January 2019

While Grey Beard Biker did do some riding in January, he was recovering from having surgery on both hands in December 2018. That said, being that January is an ugly, dreary month, I have nothing worthy of sharing.

February 2019

Bikers Who Care Polar Bear Ride – It’s not GBB! Steven is sure lucky!

While some riding was done in January, the first real event of the year was the Bikers Who Care Polar Bear Ride on February 2. While not a long ride, the day always starts early at BWC’s club house with some bloody Mary’s and a fantastic breakfast. It was a great time to catch up with awesome friends and do some riding through the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee!

Group ride to the Junkyard Dog Steakhouse – Hohenwald, TN

Never one to miss an opportunity to ride, any month of the year, 20+ of Grey Beard’s friends rode to the Junkyard Dog Steakhouse in Hohenwald, Tennessee on February 3. It was a great way to put some miles on the bikes on the same weekend as Bikers Who Care Polar Bear Ride – not to mention having a great steak!

Saint Valentine’s Day 2019 – We rode to Edward’s Steakhouse for dinner!

The mild weather continued in February and allowed GBB and Tracy to ride to dinner at Edward’s Steakhouse – one of our favorite places to eat.

April 2019

The Big Shiny Beast (BSB) was all serviced and ready to roll on April 1

Our epic journey in 2019 was a ride to the Texas Hill Country to ride the Twisted Sisters (a/k/a The Three Sisters). We had planned this ride for six months and decided to do it early to make sure the blue bonnets and Indian Paint Brush flowers were in full bloom. We left Middle Tennessee on April 5 and rode as far as Texarkana, Texas – where we stayed the night. We pushed through to our forward operating base – Kerrville, Texas – on April 6. It was almost exactly 1,000 miles from home to the FOB.

Grey Beard Biker’s brother – Bulldog – with some fine Texas Whiskey at the FOB

Arriving in Kerrville, we met up with our buddy from Dallas, Bulldog. Having met him the previous year in Milwaukee, we had the pleasure of riding with him through Texas.

The Hill Country of Texas has so many great places – one of which was Camp Verde in Center Point, TX. Their gift shop had so many cool items and since they rode camels here (I know, right?), there is a metal statue of a camel to pose with.

Grey Beard Biker at Camp Verde
Grey Beard Biker & Miss Tracy at Camp Verde

No trip to Texas Hill Country is complete without stopping at some awesome hole-in-the-wall dive bars along the route. On our way to make our first pass of The Twisted Sisters, we stopped at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar in Bandera, Texas. This place is a real hoot if you like dive bars.

Women who leave their bra get a free shirt and drink at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar
GBB did manage to pass the two tooth requirement so he had a beer at the Cowboy Bar

Lone Star Motorcycle Museum – Vanderpool, Texas

If you are a biker, no trip to the San Antonio area is complete without stopping at the famous Lone Star Motorcycle Museum in Vanderpool, TX. For being in the middle of nowhere, they have a tremendous amount of historic motorcycles.

Tracy with a pre-WW II Knucklehead – Lone Star Motorcycle Museum
A gorgeous example of a Harley-Davidson Knucklehead – Lone Star Motorcycle Museum
A stunning Duo Glide Panhead Harley-Davidson at the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum

Riding the Twisted Sisters

After leaving the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, we made our first loop of The Twisted Sisters. Mind you, old Grey Beard rides in the mountains of East Tennessee very regularly on some of the highest rated motorcycle roads in the United States. While different than riding in the Smoky Mountains, riding The Three Sisters is very technical with stunning views. This is a very highly rated ride and it is comprised of three Ranch Roads which essentially make a triangle: RR335, RR336 and RR337. Check out some of my GoPro video from the Twisted Sisters:

After several hours of riding The Twisted Sisters, there is no better place too cool off with an ice cold beer than the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop. Obviously this place knows how to cater to bikers. The atmosphere is great with plenty of other bikers to swap stories of the road with.

Stopping for a pint at the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop
Willie Nelson lives nearby Frio Canyon – Obviously he is well liked!
The Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop is very biker friendly!

Historic Fredericksburg, Texas

One of Grey Beard’s favorite spots in the Texas Hill Country is the historic German town of Fredericksburg. This town has fantastic German cuisine and was the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Nimitz’s leadership helped win the war in the Pacific against Japan during WW II. Now Fredericksburg is also home to The National Museum of the Pacific War. For military history enthusiasts like me, this museum is a must see and to do it justice requires at least four hours. There are full sized naval planes and a Japanese mini-submarine which took part in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The original county courthouse in Fredericksburg, Texas
The National Museum of the Pacific War
WW II era Radar Display – National Museum of the Pacific War

Luckenbach, Texas

Made popular by Waylon Jennings, Luckenbach, Texas does actually exist. It stays busy every day during the spring, summer and fall with pickers playing music outside the original post office – which is now a bar. This is a cash only establishment, but they do have an ATM machine.

Luckenbach, Texas
The Bar at Luckenbach
Getting ready to do some picking at Luckenbach
What a motley crew – Luckenbach, Texas

Willow City Loop

While visiting Luckenbach, your old Grey Beard was told about the Willow City Loop. I was told that people drove from all corners of the country to see the blue bonnets blooming along this 11 mile stretch of road. We immediately decided to ride it. This is NOT a highway! In many areas there are cattle walking along the road and creek beds to traverse. But it is worth the time to ride as the blue bonnets are gorgeous and the vistas vast.

The Hill Country of Texas as seen on the Willow City Loop
Seas of blue bonnets along the Willow City Loop
Brothers and sisters out for a ride

May 2019

The Mountains of East Tennessee

The mountains of East Tennessee are always calling the GBB. 2019 was no different. We rode to the Gatlinburg area once in May and trailered the bikes down one other time. Needless to say, May was a spectacular month!

Near Maggie Valley with our Kiwi friends – the Messengers
Grey Beard Biker on the Blue Ridge Parkway – May 18, 2019
Hanging out at the cabin after a long day of riding the mountains!
New Found Gap Highway – Tennessee
The Grey Beard Biker never tires of the Smoky Mountains!
The New Section of Foothills Parkway – GBB’s GoPro Video

Smoky Mountain Thunder – Memorial Day Weekend

Every Memorial Day Weekend, the Grey Beard Biker heads for the Gatlinburg area for Smoky Mountain Thunder. Put on by Ron and Sandy Giddis, this event is dedicated to bringing back POWs and other veteran causes – such as PTSD. After attending Rolling Thunder, in Washington D.C., in 1998, and again in 2000, they decided to start their own “Thunder Ride.” Smoky Mountain Thunder started in 2001 with around 75 bikers. It has grown ever since. In 2019, we met at Sevier County Courthouse around 0830. Several thousand bikers, from around the country, listened to patriotic songs, sung by local artists, speeches about PTSD and other veteran causes and at 1100 left for a 65 mile ride, under police escort, to Veteran’s Overlook on Clinch Mountain. There the closing ceremony is given. It is a solemn experience, and after attending several times, we will continue to ride every Memorial Day Weekend! Make sure to join us on May 24, 2020 for the 20th annual Smoky Mountain Thunder!

Getting Ready for Smoky Mountain Thunder (Memorial Day Weekend)
Getting ready for the opening ceremony – Smoky Mountain Thunder 2019
Denise, Tracy and Pam with the Harley Troll – Smoky Mountain Thunder 2019
Arriving on Clinch Mountain for the closing ceremony
Veteran’s Overlook – Smoky Mountain Thunder 2019
After Smoky Mountain Thunder we head to the Giddis Ranch
The Grey Beard Biker finished off May by dragging floorboards on the Tail of the Dragon

June 2019

Besides being the month of Grey Beard Biker’s 55th birthday, June also brings the beginning of summer – and warm weather. June 2019 saw another trip to the mountains – and a tribute ride for fellow biker brother Benny Humphrey. Rest in peace, brother!

Chilling at the Bent Wrench Roadhouse for Taco Tuesday!
Too Tall’s Whiskey Wednesday with U.S. Army Captain Jose Julia!
Back to the Mountains of East Tennessee for a wet weekend!
Grey Beard Biker took this great bunch of friends to the Secret Road
Biker chicks are the best! – Hanging out at Bobarosa Saloon – Del Rio, Tennessee
Having some late night fun with Captain Joe & Sandy – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Hanging out with my brother’s Old Sarge, Rob and Poj – somewhere in Tennessee
Throwing axes at Old Sarge’s House – Grey Beard got a bullseye!
Grey Beard Biker’s daughter, Jamie and grand daughter, Julie
Hanging out at Fredericksburg National Battlefield with my grandson, Justin
Doing the Grey Beard Biker thingy – Fredericksburg, Virginia
Celebrating my son-in-law, Jason’s, graduation from DEA Training
Jason’s graduation (Justin, Jason, Jamie & Julie – Quantico, VA

The Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride – June 29, 2019

On June 29, a bunch of us biker’s rode the backroads of Middle Tennessee for Benny Humphrey. Benny was taken from us far too young, in a motorcycle accident, on June 30, 2017. He left behind his loving wife, Sandy and daughter Simone. Rest in peace, brother!

Gathering for kickstands up – Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride
Riding the Cumberland City Ferry – Benny J, Humphrey Memorial Ride
Rob Leuenberger sharing a beer with Benny at Benny’s Grave
RIP, Benny – Benny’s headstone
Sandy and Simone – Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride
RIP Benny!! – Benny J. Humphrey Memorial Ride – June 29, 2019

July 2019

July was a month that the Grey Beard Biker stayed close to home. But there was still plenty of riding, cigar smoking and bourbon drinking with brothers and sisters!

Hanging out at Clucker’s – Bowling Green, Kentucky
Chilling with friends at Dale Hollow Lake

August 2019

August was another month at home in Middle Tennessee. But there is still plenty of riding to be done! We also had the honor of leading the biker loving funeral ride for Mike Robinson on August 15, 2019. Mike was an excellent musician and played at many biker events. RIP, Mike! Lastly, on August 31, the Shiny Beast was involved in a minor accident and was officially retired from service!

Hanging out at Breaker’s Marina – Kentucky Lake
Little Lexi never misses an opportunity to ride!
Whiskey Wednesday at Too Tall’s Man Cave
Jailhouse Pizza Ride – Brandenburg, Kentucky
Leading Mike Robinson’s Funeral Ride – August 16, 2019 – RIP, brother!
Willett Distillery – Bardstown, Kentucky
Willett Distillery – Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Have I said that biker chicks are the best! – My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
David, Diana, Terry & Lori – My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
The Grey Beard Biker & Miss Tracy – My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
Slumming it out like Grey Beard at the pool!
After a minor accident on August 31 – the Big Shiny Beast was retired!
She was a faithful old lady for over 35,000 miles!

September 2019

September was a memorable month. The Grey Beard Biker officially adopted the Grey Ghost during the first week of the month, attended the Vette City Motorcycle Rally in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Wrenchfest St. Louis!

During the first week of September – the Grey Ghose was officially adopted!
The Grey Ghost sure is pretty!
With 117 cubic inches Screaming Eagle power the Grey Ghost is no slouch!
Miss Tracy loves the Grey Ghost too!

Vette City Motorcycle Rally – Bowling Green, Kentucy – September 14-15

We were guests of Thunder Roads TN/KY at Vette City – thanks, Scott & Denise
Grey Beard Biker loves Road Glides – Vette City Motorcycle Rally
Vette City Motorcycle Rally – Bowling Green, Kentucky
Head East playing at Vette City Motorcycle Rally – Bowling Green, Kentucky

Wrenchfest – St. Louis – September 27-29 – Saint Louis, Missouri

Fast Eddie’s Bon Air with our Tennessee friends Carlos Peters and Steven Tyler
Got to visit with our brother Marc Grant (Q Ball) at Fast Eddie’s
Shady Jack’s Saloon – home of Wrenchfest – St. Louis
The entrance to Shady Jack’s Saloon
Shady Jack’s Saloon
Our beautiful Stars & Stripes – Shady Jack’s Saloon
The beautiful Miss Tracy
Shady Jack with Tracy, Pete and Steve
Tracy and Steve with an old rat rod
Grey Beard Biker’s type of rat rod!
Tracy and her favorite rat rod truck!
Grey Beard Biker’s show favorite! Total badassery!
Big block Chevy badassery!
Bad ass badassery! Over 600 cubic inches of go-go power!
Grey Beard Biker loves this old 1956 Chevy Belair – especially the jacked up front end!
Serious go-go power in this Bow Tie Chevy!
The whole motley crew: John, Steve, Tracy, Grey Beard & Pete

After Wrenchfest – St. Louis we rode to Grafton, Illinois

Pete and Miss Tracy – Grafton, Illinois
A trip to Grafton requires a stop at the Hawg Pit – biker bar
Ice cold brewskis are quite enjoyable at The Hawg Pit
Last night in St. Louis – dinner at Rigazzi’s on the Hill – Saint Louis, Missouri

October 2019

Normally old Grey Beard Biker heads to both Panama City Beach, Florida and back to the Smoky Mountains for the beautiful fall splendor of the trees. But this year he only made it to Panama City. It would be the Grey Ghost’s first long distance trip, and she performed flawlessly. There was also plenty of riding to do at home.

Grey Beard Biker, Dan, Amy, Tracy, Lori & Terry – last day of the season at Fat Daddy’s

Panama City Beach, Florida – October 12-18

This has become an annual pilgrimage for Grey Beard Biker, Tracy, David and Diana. We ride down to our condominium in Panama City Beach and we pretty much park the bikes. It’s the week before their Biketoberfest so things are quiet and we can enjoy our last days of summer like weather – before the cool fall rains hit at home. With Schooner’s right next door, there really is no reason to leave!

Grey Beard Biker loves the view from the condo
One of these days, I am gonna have to jump into the pool from the balcony….
The Grey Beard Biker fell in love with White Claw Hard Seltzer this year!
Beach drinks and beer – it’s 100% Grey Beard Biker Approved!
The Emerald Coast is amazing – especially at sunset!
The sunsets cigars and bourbon are made for!
Arriving back home from Florida – the Grey Ghost turned over exactly 3,000 miles!
Another Whiskey Wednesday at Too Tall’s man cave!
A late October storm brought down a 70 foot sycamore damaging GBB’s deck!

November 2019

November is a quiet month for Grey Beard Biker. We did some local riding, traveled to Kansas for Thanksgiving and took it easy. In hindsight, we should have gone to the Smoky Mountains early in November as the leaves were changing and the weather was still fairly mild.

A fall ride to Pinewood Kitchen
Pinewood Kitchen – a gem in Middle Tennessee
Pinewood Kitchen serves up home cooked southern meals!
Terry & Lori Arrington, Miss Tracy and the Grey Beard Biker – Pinewood Kitchen
Getting ready to help Old Sarge, Rob Judd, with a tire job!
Hanging out with my brothers at Leatherwood Distillery
Throwing back a couple, with an awesome cigar, at Old Sarge’s homestead!

December 2019

As the Grey Beard says, to anyone who will listen, we can ride 50+ weeks a year in Tennessee. 2019 proved this. I believe I actually rode every week of the year – except the first week of January – as I was still recovering from surgery on both hands in December 2018!

An early December ride to Puckett’s Grocery in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee
Sundays in December mean watching football at the Bent Wrench Roadhouse!
I guess everyone else forgot it was game day! The Grey Ghost was lonely!
After a long year of adventures, the Grey Ghost got a nice bath on December 30!

Happy 2020! – next year’s adventures

2019 was a great year. I had recovered from my December 2018 hand surgeries enough to ride 51 weeks! I had originally planned to do one extra trip to the mountains and a ride to Wildwood, New Jersey for the Race of Gentlemen. But there is always 2020, right? So here are some of the highlights of Grey Beard Biker’s early plans for 2020:

  • The big monster trip will either be in June or August. It depends on whether we go to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or not. If we do go to Sturgis, August will be the monster trip. If not, it will be a June ride to Colorado to ride in the Rocky Mountains
  • There will be at least three trips to the Smoky Mountains – one of which will be for Smoky Mountain Thunder
  • There may be a fall ride to Wildwood, New Jersey for the Race of Gentlemen
  • October, Grey Beard, Tracy and the Culvers will definitely be riding to Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Indianapolis in June for the Riley Children’s Hospital Miracle Ride
  • There will definitely be at least one ride to Savannah, Georgia – dates to be determined

Happy New Year, brothers & sisters!

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Good evening fellow Patriots and bikers! This past week, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker went “over the hills and through the woods” to visit his family. It is a six hour drive, on a good day, and provides plenty of time to catch up on podcasts. While most of them were repeats, GBB caught up on some episodes of Mark Walter’s Armed American Radio and Bearing ArmsCam & Company. Both of these podcasts are highly recommended by Grey and cover all things Second Amendment. Listening to Cam Edward’s final episodes from before Christmas break, I was stunned at the state of affairs in the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

Based on what I have read, and what Cam has reported, the Second Amendment is under direct assault in Virginia. Virginia has continued its creep, more quickly over the past several years, to being a full fledged BLUE state. It is really quite sad. But thanks to groups like Virginia Citizens Defense League, Second Amendment supporters are coming together to try to protect their God given rights. VCDL has worked tirelessly lately and counties and cities in Virginia are passing Second Amendment Sanctuary ordinances which ban the use of municipal funds to enforce any laws passed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Black Face Promises New Gun Laws

Living in the Free State of Tennessee it is easy to forget how great we have things. The Second Amendment has not been threatened here since the state enacted concealed carry. In fact, as of January 1, 2020, the state is streamlining their permitting process for Handgun Carry Permits (HCP).

But things are not so rosy in the adjacent state of Virginia. There, Governor Ralph “Black Face” Northam was elected (primarily by the Democrats of Northern Virginia) on a far Leftist agenda which included restrictions on Virginians’ rights to keep and bear arms. Unfortunately, after revealing yearbook photographs of Northam wearing a “black face” costume his liberal crony friends protected him and did not push for any punishment or sanctions. Just imagine if a Republican governor were caught doing something similar? There would inevitably be a push by the mainstream media (MSM) to recall them!

The timing of events, especially the Virginia Beach shooting on May 31, 2019, created the “Perfect Storm” for Northam to achieve his grand plan to disarm law abiding Virginians – leaving them helpless against criminals who do not give a damn about any laws Northam gets enacted. As reported by the Washington Examiner, on November 16, 2019, Northam’s legislative goals regarding the Second Amendment are: Universal Background checks on all purchases and transfers, bans on assault weapons, ammunition restrictions, bans on noise suppressors (called silencers by the Leftists) and bump stocks, limiting handgun purchases to one per month and enacting red flag laws. This is definitely the dream of every liberal politician in the United States! I am sure Black Face is quite excited!

Helping pave the way for Northam are the results of the November 2019 election in Virginia which gave the Democrats a ten seat majority in the House of Delegates and a two seat majority in the commonwealth’s senate. This may prove to be a significant challenge for Virginia gun owners.

The Climate in Virginia Today

As mentioned earlier in this blog post, the patriots of Virginia are not going to go down without a fight. According to Fox News, as of December 20, 85 of Virginia’s 95 counties, and 17 municipalities have passed sanctuary measures (and I believe Cam Edwards said more counties have adopted these laws since).

Not to be left out, Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA 4th District) stated on December 12, “I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law. That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.” What a damn assknozzle! First off, the governor cannot nationalize the National Guard. That would be the president. And while McEachin is obviously willing to fan the flames, this writer highly doubts that even “Black Face” Northam would ever agree to send the National Guard into communities to confiscate law abiding citizens’ firearms. But this demonstrates just how dangerous Leftist politicians can be when it comes to the Second Amendment.

This kind of behavior is not even remotely congruent to what the Democratic politicians in Virginia said when they were campaigning last year. What was heard most often was, “Relax. We are not coming for your guns.” What a damn can of hooey!

But today’s state of affairs in Virginia do provide a perfect example of how a purple state functions. The majority of the people of Virginia live in the areas known as Northern Virginia (Washington D.C. suburbs), Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Chesapeake and Richmond. These voters control the legislature, with the more conservative voters (Patriots) in rural areas being held over a barrel.

What Can Virginians Do?

I feel for the Patriots of Virginia. The situation there is perilous and does go to prove that elections do have consequences. All of us, no matter where we live, have to stand up for our Second Amendment rights. One election can change the political landscape overnight and threaten our freedoms. Fortunately, with shows like Cam & Company and Armed American Radio, we do not live in a vacuum. Even though I am not in Virginia, I can keep tabs on what is going on with my neighbors.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League is working diligently for Virginians. They are having their VCDL Lobby Day on Monday, January 20, 2020. They are requesting all Virginia Second Amendment advocates show up at the capitol in Richmond to meet with state legislators. They are chartering buses from major metro areas of Virginia for transportation. The cost is $35. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure your voices are heard. They ask that participants refrain from open-carrying long arms. While legal in Virginia, it would provide the mainstream media plenty of fodder for their leftist news stories. For more information check out their website: VCDL Lobby Day Info.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ,
Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukah to all of my friends and followers! I hope you all have the merriest of holidays. I also hope some of you were good enough this past year to find a new pistol under the tree – or in your Christmas stocking! Having shot competitively, your ever lovable Grey Beard Biker knows a few things about maintaining his pistols. Today I will share some things everyone who carries a handgun should know – and do.

After years of being a range safety officer (RSO), it has always amazed me to see how little care and maintenance the average shooter puts into their pistols – a tool they may need to use to protect themselves, their family or their friends. When someone on the range was having difficulties with failures to eject – or failures to chamber – I could generally run a snake through the barrel, and lube things up a bit, and their problems would often go away. But that type of maintenance is little more than a Band-Aid. While I may be a bit obsessive about cleaning and lubricating my pistols, I know I can count on them to go “BANG!” every time I pull the trigger. I clean and lubricate my pistols after every range session. Others do it every three or four times they go to the range. There may be a happy medium somewhere in between.

Cleaning Your Pistol

A Clean Gun is a Happy Gun

Before I leave the range, I will disassemble my pistol and run a cleaning snake through the barrel. This helps remove excess carbon and powder – potentially making the gun more reliable when driving back to my shop. Once back in my shop, I remove the magazine and cycle the slide twice to verify there is not a cartridge loaded in the pipe – DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS – not once, but twice. There have been many accidental discharges because this step was not followed – with far too many deaths and injuries to count. Next, I completely disassemble the pistol and thoroughly clean the slide, the external parts of the barrel, the frame, the recoil spring and guide rod. If I have shot the pistol a lot, I will disassemble the magazines and thoroughly clean all the parts – with special attention given to the follower – which pushes the cartridge up into the slide – which in turn chambers the cartridge in the barrel as the pistol goes into battery. Once all parts are clean, I move to the barrel. I prefer the Otis cleaning kit, as the cleaning cloths and wire brushes are pulled through in the same direction the bullet travels the barrel. I alternate between a cleaning cloth lightly dipped in Hoppe’s 9 solvent and the wire cleaning brush. I continue to alternate between the two until the cloth comes out clean.

Lubricate Your Slide

Lubricating Your Pistol With Quality Slide Grease Is Important

At this point, many shooters reassemble the pistol, load it up and are done. I do a bit more to make my pistol more reliable and protect its moving parts. I use Brian Eno’s Slide Glide Lite, in colder weather, or Shooter’s Choice slide grease, when warmer, to lubricate the parts of the frame where the slide moves during firing cycles. Without proper lubrication, your slide/frame will wear. Remember – a little grease goes a long way – applying too much will make a mess of things when the pistol cycles. Don’t forget that there are spots on the top of the frame where the slide makes contact. Apply a little slide lubricant there too. Next, I apply a very light amount of Hoppe’s gun oil to the ramp in the frame and the ramp on the bottom of the barrel. Lastly, I will run a cleaning patch through the barrel, with a very small amount of oil on it. This will protect the barrel. Reassemble your pistol, and cycle the slide several times to make sure there is no binding.

Grease All Areas Where the Slide and Frame Move
Do Not Forget To Lubricate the Friction Points on the Top of the Frame

In Closing

Taking proper care of your pistol will protect your investment and will allow it to operate trouble free when you need it most. One final thought: make sure you have shot plenty of your personal protection ammo through your pistol at the range, before you rely on that brand in the real world. Some pistols may not like certain brands of ammunition.

All The Best This Holiday Season!

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twitter

Good afternoon fellow riders and Second Amendment aficionados. As I write this article, it is nearing the winter solstice. The days are very short, the mornings are cold, and your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker is a bit grumpier. I really am not a fan of it being dark at 16:45 in the afternoon. I prefer the warm sun at my back in the evening, while blasting along a backroad. But I guess we should look at things from a positive standpoint. After December 21, the days will start getting longer and it will be a downhill slide to spring. Right?

This is the second installment on the basics of reloading. The first article dealt mainly with the costs of the basic equipment you will need to reload your own ammunition. Summarizing my first article, unless you only planning to reload rifle ammunition, you will need to purchase the following items to reload: progressive reloading press, shell plates, reloading dies, powder scale (recommended even if you are using a shell activated powder drop), brass sonic cleaner (or tumbler), reloading manual and a dial caliper. This is in addition to your powder and primers.

Brass

If you brass doesn’t look new – it’s not good enough!

Most people that have considered reloading their own ammunition have been a bit of a junkyard dog at the range, picking up as much spent brass as they can find. I did this before I started reloading, nearly a decade ago. I would gladly go around and sweep up everyone’s spent brass, knowing at some point I would resurrect this byproduct of shooting and make superb ammunition from it. But this is the easiest part.

If you are serious about the quality of your reloads, you have to sort it by caliber, de-cap it (run it through your press to remove the spent primers) and properly clean it. This is a rather tedious process. After I have sorted and de-capped the spent brass, I run it through a tumbler with cleaning solution and stainless-steel media. My tumbler is made by Frankford Arsenal. It is essential that you clean your brass with calibers of the same size projectiles. For example, I tumble .357 SIG and 9 mm brass at the same time. They take the same diameter bullet. If you tumble 9 mm with .40 auto or .45 ACP brass, the smaller brass will end up inside the the larger brass and none will be properly cleaned. I am a stickler for perfection, so after I have cleaned the brass, and used my magnet to remove the stainless-steel media, I stand up all the brass on a cookie sheet and dry it in the oven, at 275 degrees, for about 45 minutes. If you do not do this, your brass will be quite spotted – and the old Grey Beard Biker doesn’t like water spots!

Powder

The Grey Beard Biker uses lots of different powders!

Powder is the building block for your ammunition. I have several dozen different powders which I use for reloading. They are all unique and have very different burn characteristics. For example, if I am reloading .357 SIG, I may use Alliant Power Pistol, Accurate No. 9 or Hodgden CFE Pistol. Each of these powders have different burn rates. I reload my .357 SIG target ammo with CFE Pistol. It’s a great powder, but the velocities are a bit slower than the other two powders. For my personal protection ammunition I use 125-grain Speer Gold Dot bullets over 8.1 grains of Power Pistol. This provides velocities north of 1,400 FPS with the only downside being a fairly significant muzzle blast – but I will accept this trade off because the stopping power is superior. For .45 ACP I use any number of powders including IMR 800X, Hodgden Longshot, Alliant BE-86 or Power Pistol. These, along with many others, work great for plinking at the range. But for my personal defense ammunition, I use 6.8 grains of Longshot powder with a 230-grain Gold Dot bullet. This produces a velocity of 900 FPS, which is plenty sufficient with a .45-inch bullet weighing 230 grains.

Your most important consideration when loading handgun ammunition is the burn-rate of the powder. It is especially critical when reloading smaller calibers, such as .380 auto or 9 mm. I use a lot of Accurate No. 2 powder for these smaller calibers. But because No. 2 is a very fast burning powder, the case pressures ramp up extremely quickly. For example, with a 124-grain bullet, the recipe for No. 2 is 3.6 – 4.2 grains of powder. Because this powder burns so rapidly, if you exceed the 4.2 grains your case pressures increase exponentially. At just a few tenths of a grain over the maximum charge you risk a catastrophic case failure which can self-destruct your gun, in the best case, or seriously injure you. This is why it is very important to follow your reloading manual. When I am loading these smaller caliber cartridges, I use a digital powder scale so I can load them hot – but safely.

Rifle powder is even more temperamental. When you shoot long range, like I do, it is even more tricky to work with. This will be covered in a separate article.

Primers

Primers are definitely not all the same. They do act differently, based on what you are rolling. I like Winchester primers in my larger caliber pistols, Federal in my .380, 9 mm and .40 pistol and Remington in my magnum rifles. The most important thing to remember, when it comes to primers, is to follow the recipes in your reloading manuals. Magnum primers burn much hotter and faster than a standard primer. Incorrectly using these over a very fast burning powder, you will definitely risk exceeding the recommended maximum case pressures on your brass.

If you follow your manuals, use the correct primers and load towards the middle range of the powder recipes – you will have consistent usable ammunition.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ,
Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
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