Labor Day A. D. 2018

I moved into this house and set up bachelor housekeeping in 2010.  I moved in Labor Day weekend, as it happens.

 

I have now lived here in Hastings, Nebraska for eight years.  I moved here from Long Beach, California, now known as the People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of California.  I am so happy in Hastings.  This large town, small city has most everything I want.  Probably the main lack is the absence of mid level restaurants.  There are several fast food and drive in places, and several ‘nice’ places to eat, including a couple of rather fancy places.  No diners.  Still, I’m happy here.

 

The people are friendly.  Even the grumpy people are decent.  There are bad drivers.  But they don’t make it a career, like in the Los Angeles area.

 

There are gun shows regularly and gun shops fairly frequently.  One does not have to procure government approval to sell or buy a gun from another resident.  There is a shooting club, with range, within fifteen minutes of my house.  (I belong to the club, naturally.)

 

Summers can be hot and winters can be cold.  But it’s general livable.

 

Looking back, eight years I decided I didn’t want to live in PDSR Cal anymore.  I moved.  Thank you, God!!!

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The Austro-Hungarian Empire (Mannlicher designed) M1895


On 24 September, A. D. 2016 I found an M95 ‘stutzen’ rifle (explained later) with Budapest marking at a gun show and bought it. (I also found and bought another French MAB modele D, but that’s another story.) One week later, 01 October, A. D. 2016, I found – at another gun show – an M95 rifle and bought it as well. Then on 14 October A. D. 2016 a gun shop employee (we’ll call him “Bob”) who knows me and my weaknesses, handed me another M95 stutzen, this one made in Steyr, Austria.

So I have to file a report.

The arm itself:  Left side of arm.

 

There are three major ‘types’ of the M1895. The rifle, the carbine and the stutzen. There are commonalities to all three:

First and most obvious is the action. It is a manually operated rifle, and classifies as a ‘bolt action’ in that the operator moves the ‘bolt’ back and forth.

Designed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher and adopted for use by the Austrian Army in 1895. (Mannlicher was famous for – among other things – the ‘all the way to the muzzle forend’ stock and a number of sporting rifles.) The M1895 which in three versions – rifle, stutzen and carbine – was a rather well developed specie of rifle. It employed a straight-pull action. It looks like a conventional bolt action rifle, but the bolt handle doesn’t ‘turn’ or lift in the normal manner, it simply pulls to the rear. This motion causes the bolt to turn and unlock and then open. Someone described it as a gas operated semi-automatic rifle with no gas operation or return spring. Once one gets the hang of it, it is really quite fast.

This action cocks on closing and features a checkered thumb ‘flap’ or cocking piece. I find it quite convenient to lower or cock the striker with the thumb of the right hand.

The manual safety is on the left side, rear of the bolt. The safety is ‘off’ when it protrudes from the left side of the bolt. The safety is ‘on’ when pushed into the bolt. On my sample one must push hard (it’s simpler to slightly pull the striker to the rear while pressing on the safety). The safety functions to block the striker in place and locks the bolt shut in place. It does not seem to affect the trigger at all.

Trigger pull is two stage, normal for military arms. There is a ‘take up’ first stage, then the ‘sear movement stage which one can discern. Trigger pulls vary from ‘nearly manageable’ to ‘horrible’. The pull gets progressively heavier and finally breaks around eight pounds or so. (I tried the trigger pull gauge several times, it varied ‘around eight pounds’.) The trigger has a bit of creep. (Just like the Dalai Lama is ‘a bit Buddhist’.) I rather imagine this was done due to manufacturing procedures AND as a ‘safety’ feature to prevent soldiers from prematurely firing their weapon. By no stretch is this a modern target trigger, but it was not intended to be such.

Loading the rifle is pretty simple. Ammunition was issued in groups of five rounds pre-assembled into an ‘en block loading device’. (Similar to the later U. S. Garand rifle.) The ‘clip’ resembles a stripper clip, but continues forward of the rim and head area, somewhat like the British ‘Enfield’ rifle. However, the device is NOT a stripper type and actually becomes part of the magazine and feed mechanism.

One opens the bolt, pushes the entire assembly of rounds and clip device down into the magazine section until the clip device ‘clicks’ into place, preventing the assembly from rising out of the magazine. As the rounds are rimmed, the loading device will only operate one way, there is an up and down; handling the assembled ammunition and ‘clip’, it is fairly apparent.
One notices a ‘bump’ in the forward edge of the trigger guard. It is the lower end of the ammunition container. When pressed forward – with the bolt open – all remaining cartridges and the ‘clip’ are forced from the top of the receiver by the follower.

The follower is built into the rifle and pushes up on the lowest cartridge; this of course passes the force to all the cartridges above AND to the clip device. Once the last round is pushed by the bolt out of the clip device, the follower touches nothing to hold the clip device in place and the clip simply falls out of the rifle – usually. (Some sources refer to this as ‘ejecting’ the clip, but there is no spring forcing the clip, it merely falls. Shooting the rifle upside down could be awkward. Of course, I find shooting any rifle while dangling upside down a bit awkward.)

The bolt does NOT lock open with the magazine empty. However, being manually operated the bolt doesn’t spring shut, either.

Sights:
Sights are typical of the era. Primarily these sights were designed as ‘combat’ sights. There were intended to be used against human targets at unknown ranges. These were not target sights, intended to hit a relatively smaller mark – like a bullseye – at specific ranges, known to the shooter. More about this later.

Shooter's view of front sight. This photo is much bigger than appears at the end of the barrel

Shooter’s view of front sight. This photo is much bigger than appears at the end of the barrel

Front sight is a long, tapered shape which is wide at the base and comes to a somewhat rounded point. It is however, much taller in proportion than many sights of the same period. It is NOT close to an isosceles triangle shape; the tip is much more defined than some others. Not quite as useful or precise as a squared off post, but relatively better than the shorter triangle. Unfortunately the front sight tip is so thin as to be difficult to determine when shooting on the range. When shooting it, I kept losing track of the actual ‘tip of the front sight blade’. I can’t imagine how difficult this would be in actual combat.

Top view of front sight. Sight Blade mounted on lateral dovetail fitting. No idea what the “4” means.  Possible height measurement.

Front sight is mounted in a horizontal dovetail slot, presumably for installation and removal at need AND to adjust windage. Adjustment performed by either a screw and base type device similar to modern types used to adjust ‘fixed’ sights on pistols, or the traditional brass drift and hammer. (Calibrated in metric, of course.)

The base (with the dovetail) is mounted on the front of the barrel; the front of the base is roughly five-eights to three-quarters of an inch from the muzzle. The front sight base appears to be a band pressed onto the barrel (About where one would expect.)

The bayonet lug is under the barrel, part of the front barrel band. It is a rather ordinary “T” shaped in cross section and is where the base of the bayonet handle ‘snaps’ on. The forward part is a circular bit of the bayonet ‘hand guard’ (or would be on a knife) which slides over the barrel.

Also mounted on the front barrel band with the bayonet mount and front sight is a forward projecting doodad looking like a very short and non-whippy ‘whip antenna”. That is the stacking swivel, which allowed three soldiers to hook their arms together for quick use without laying arms flat on the ground. (Look it up, pictures are easier than words in this instance.)

Rear sight showing calibration marks. All numerals x 100, and all numerals represent 'paces', not yards.

Rear sight showing calibration marks. All numerals x 100, and all numerals represent ‘paces’, not yards.

Rear sight notch. Sight picture rather vague for my taste.

Rear sight notch. Sight picture rather vague for my taste.

The rifle’s rear sight is mounted on the barrel and is an ‘open’ sight, like the Springfield 1903 (not the ‘03A3 sight) or the Mauser 98. Like other European sights of the era, it has a “V” notch rear and inverted V or “^” front sight. (I find them hideous, personally, but nearly everyone and everyone’s dog in European military rifles had them for a long time. Even when my eyes were much younger, elevation hold was rather vague. It’s worse with older eyes.) The sight is an ladder type sight and flips up for ‘other than battle sight zero’ conditions. For battle sight zero use, the sight is left flat on the rifle barrel.

Your humble correspondent politely suggests the reader also read the prior article herein about ‘Battle Sight Zero’.

The ‘battle sight’ on both the rifle and short rifle is marked with the numeral “5”; examining the rest of the sight, one concludes that mean ‘500’. The sight graduations or markings are in ‘paces’. In German – the language of Austria when the M95 was adopted – the term used is “schritte” translated as ‘steps’. It was a formalized definition, actually, roughly twenty-eight inches. In dog years, 500 schritte is just shy of 390 yards where the projectile crosses the line of sight again, downrange. The bullet drop lower than line of sight gets to about twenty inches at 450 yards. So, by using the battle sight, the shooter can – presuming he or she can ‘hold and squeeze’ properly, score a hit on a enemy soldier out to 450 yards without changing the sights at all. (If the operator cannot shoot worth a hoot, the best sights in the world isn’t going to help.)

Tangential ‘facts’: The Russians – Czarist era – calibrated their rifle sights in arshini, the plural form of arshin, which is the same thing, a pace or step and is also roughly twenty-eight inches. After the Communists took over, reinventing itself as the Soviet Union, the ‘official’ measurement were all in metric, beginning in 1924.

However, when one considers the average person’s ability to measure distance, a “yard” in English measure, a “meter” in metric, or a “pace” (either version) all come out to be just about the same underlying idea. How far a human being can normally step. I do not know of any other language’s words on the subject, but I would not be surprised to find most all cultures have some form of distance based on a man’s ‘pace’ or stride. Probably most have updated to the meter for international trade, but the archaic forms exist somewhere. (See, you learned more than you expected!)

How to Use the Sights:

A word of explanation about sights from the First World War era. Line ‘em up and pull the trigger, right? Sort of. The sights on this rifle – and most of the era, including the 1903 Springfield – were made with a ‘battle sight” setting.

These rifles were NOT intended as target shooting rifles in the sense currently understood. They were intended as combat weapons. So the ‘battle sight’ setting was intended to cause the fired projectile to intersect with a human torso – presumably the enemy – as far as possible, considering the trajectory of the projectile of the rifle involved – WITHOUT changing the sight setting. Normally, the soldier aimed belt level out to a certain distance – varying with the cartridge trajectory – resulting in a hit anywhere on the silhouette from belt level to shoulder level. Past that ‘certain distance’, the soldier aimed shoulder level and the bullet trajectory would be ‘falling’, the projectile would strike from the shoulder level down to belt level at the maximum distance.

In other words, the battle sight ‘target’ is a rectangle roughly twelve to fifteen inches wide and twenty to twenty-five inches high. Therefore, a bullet strike five inches high at 100 yards is actually a ‘hit’. To properly evaluate a battle sight for accuracy, one should employ a silhouette target rather than a small bullseye type target.

To utilize the battle sights as intended, the shooter aims at the waistline of the target out to where the shots are striking the target at or near the waist level, then hold at shoulder level beyond. I do not know exactly the ‘change over’ distance for this cartridge and rifle, but some calculation indicates probably around 225 yards.

So, what about the long distances shown on the rear sight?

No. No one expected a regular soldier to estimate range, move the sights and pick off a single enemy soldier at upwards of 1000 paces, yards, meters or anything of the sort. Maybe a few with really sharp eyes could ding a belligerent over 1,000 etceteras, but not most of us mere mortals.

Go down to a busy street (do not take your rifle, you’ll get too much attention). Do some measuring or calculation and figure out how far away is 1,000 yards. Pick a place you can see people moving about or crossing the street. First off, see how many people you can recognize. Probably not many. Then hold a half-sharpened pencil out at arm’s length with the sort of blunt tip ‘up’ like a front sight. See how well you can line up the pencil point with anyone crossing the street. Likely, the pencil point will cover the person completely. Consider how to hold the (imaginary) sights to correct for that vagary in the aiming process. Unless you’re a supremely visioned person or someone with incredible self-deception abilities, you’ll quickly realize that sort of thing just isn’t done.

But there is a purpose. The ladder markings are designed for ‘area’ fire conducted by groups, not individuals. Something on the order of a squad or company would all fire – under direction of a supervisor of some level – at extended range concentrating on a particular ‘area’. This was essentially duplicating the effects of machinegun fire and the idea was to attack groups, either in motion or stationary.

Go back to that imaginary scenario of watching people at 1,000 yards. One rifleman probably cannot score a hit on a single target; however, with ten to fifteen other riflemen, one could probably keep pedestrians from crossing the street. THAT is the function.

There is at least two historic records of this happening, probably others not so celebrated.

The tactic isn’t used so much since WWI; most armies have enough artillery, mortar, aircraft and missile or drone support not to bother. The practice can use up a lot of rifle ammunition in short order as well.

Variations of the M95

M95 Rifle
The rifle is the longest version to probably no one’s surprise. The additional length is all in the barrel; from the butt to around the 18” mark of the barrel (which is not ‘marked” per se) they are the same. Barrel length of the rifle is (from the Wiki article) 765mm or 30.1 inches. I measured mine right here with my own cleaning rod and tape measure; it comes out to 30.75 inches or 781.5mm, breach face to muzzle with the action closed. Take your pick.

Total length of the rifle (mine at least) is fifty and one-half inches. Weight – according to my non-commercial kitchen scale – is about eight and one-half pounds. (Wiki says it’s 8.3 pounds.)

The rifle has not – seemingly – been converted to the later and more powerful 8x56R Mannlicher round. It lacks the “S” stamp on the top of the chamber to signify the change. The rifle is still in caliber 8x50R Mannlicher (not to be confused with 8×50 Lebel). As mentioned, ammunition for this caliber is even more difficult to find than the later ammunition, which is not common in itself. I may have to reload to find out how it shoots; a tale for another time as I don’t have reloading dies for it, yet.

A somewhat curious complication is the 8x50R Mannlicher rounds I found – collectable cartridges and NOT for plinking – will NOT chamber. I suspect a bit of broken case ‘stuck’ in the chamber and plan to do a chamber cast shortly. (Which means when I can’t think of an excuse to do something else instead.)

I had planned to compare velocities between the two barrel lengths. I suppose I still can, but since they are different calibers, it means far less.

The full length rifle has sling mounts fore and aft on the underside of the stock, as most rifles.

The rifle barrel and the sight radius is longer than the short guns. Sight radius is 26 3/16 inches or 59 centimeters. The folding leaf sight, similar to the Stutzen Model Barrel length is roughly two and seven-eighths inches or nearly 7.3 centimeters.

Carbine and Stutzen

The Carbine and the Stutzen both have 480mm long barrels. Mine measures nineteen and one half inches. Both Carbine and Stutzen are fitted with an abbreviated rear sight about an inch shorter than the rifle rear sight.

For the short versions, sight radius (from rear sight to rear edge of front sight) is just a touch over fifteen and three-quarter inches, or forty centimeters. The sight is the ladder type arrangement with a ‘battle sight’ notch when folded down. When raised, the ladder is calibrated from 300 to 2400 ‘paces’.

Originally, the Carbine was intended for cavalry troops. The Carbine did not have a bayonet mount. (I suppose the Austro-Hungarian Empire didn’t see a need for cavalry troops armed with bayonet equipped rifles.) The age of smokeless powder and consequent machine guns minimized the need or utility of (horse) cavalry, so all (officially) the Carbines were retro-fitted with bayonet mounts. One of the major indications a particular weapon was a carbine converted to stutzen is the forward part of the stock, forward of the second barrel band. The stutzen is forward exposed wood is seven inches long; the carbine exposed portion is only five inches long.

To add to the confusion, many of the rifles (long barreled) were converted to the stutzen configuration. The most obvious clue is the one time rifle still has the longer rifle rear sight. This and the length of exposed wood forward are mainly of interest to collectors.

The stutzen rifle is short like a carbine but has marked differences. It was issued to special troops (Austrian storm troops) during the First World War. ‘Stutzen’ is the German word for ‘clip’. I am presuming the stutzen is a ‘clipped’ rifle.

The stutzen rifle weighs 7.25 pounds according to my scale. Wiki says it’s supposed to be 7.1 or 7.2, depending on the exact model. Over all length is just shy of 40 inches. That’s nearly a foot shorter than the rifle version and probably more convenient – at least psychologically – to move around.

I do not have a carbine or rifle converted to stutzen, but from the photos on line, they seem to be the same length and weight as the stutzen. Weights given vary a bit, but that may reflect variations in the stock.

Sling mounts on the short rifles are mounted on the left side, not the bottom of the rifle stock. The rear swivel is mounted at the wrist of the stock and I find in the way of a shooting grip. Actually in shooting the carbine offhand the swivel is a nuisance. Obviously, no one in the Austrian or Hungarian Army was left handed. (Ahem.)

Ammunition:
The original round for the M95 in all variations was “8x50R Mannlicher”. It fired – according to Cartridges of the World #14 – a 244 grain bullet (15.81 grams) at 2,030 fps (618.7 meters per second). After the First World War, the round was found lacking; probably considered too slow; the trajectory is reminiscent of a black powder cartridge. So in the 1930s they were all (offically) converted to fire a slightly longer and more powerful round, the 8x56R.

M1895 Mannlicher (AHE) en bloc loading device and 8x56Rmm cartridges. Note the cartridges loaded are PPU manufactured and are soft pointed.

The 8x56R (sometimes identified as “Hungarian”) round – also found in Cartridges of the World, fires a 208 grain bullet at 2,420 fps. The size of the case, and the level of performance is very close to the better known and slightly less powerful .303 British round (firing a 175 grain bullet at about the same velocity). The 8x56R is a full powered rifle round. Not currently used by any army – nor likely with the rim and all – it strikes me as a suitable hunting round for less dangerous game up to the size of the North American moose or so. It would probably kill a lion in the right circumstances – sneak up and shoot it while it’s not looking – but isn’t what I think of as ‘suitable’ for dangerous game that might attack. (Right out for larger bears, for that matter.)

An ‘odd’ quality of the round is the bore size. Although identified and named as “8mm”, the bore size measures .329 inches. The Mauser 8mm has a bore size of .323 inches and the earlier version of the 8mm Mauser measured .318 inches. The French 8mm Lebel is .323 inches. The 8mm Siamese round is .323 inches. As far as I can ascertain, no other rifle cartridge in the known Universe uses the same bore diameter. As a military cartridge, this might be thought desirable as no one else can use the rifle. It also means the nation has to make it’s own bullets. (Happily for reloaders currently, there are a couple of manufacturers who produce projectiles for reloading; however, they are limited.)

As an infantry cartridge, it is quite suitable. Except for possibly one little detail, noted in several places: it recoils abusively.

The M95 Carbine weights just under seven pounds, four ounces – according to my non officially calibrated nor laboratory quality scale. By all accounts, that 200 grain bullet kicks like a mule. Did I mention in true military fashion, the butt plate is steel?

By comparison, the British SMLE used from around 1895 to 1957 (in the military, also as a sporting round, still currently) fired a similar round as I mentioned, but the bullet weight (after a bit of changing bullets and settling on what seemed best) was 175 grains. The rifle weighs just shy of nine pounds. There’s a difference in recoil.

It is possible reducing the bullet to close to 150 grains in weight might have eased this problem. It never happened. Why? I have no idea. The sights would need replacing, I suppose. The shorter bullet length should easily stabilize in the twist for the larger bullet.

There are several sources of ammunition for this rifle in 8x56R. There is still surplus German (NAZI) produced ammunition – most marked 1938, oddly enough – available; sort of. I checked some of the online outlets for ‘surplus’ ammunition and there isn’t any cheap left over stuff left over. All that remains is going over over one dollar a round at the cheapest. Surplus ammunition is NOT a viable shooting alternative. At least not right now.

NAZI made ammunition (M30) has a 208 grain boat-tail bullet and a powder charge of 48.9 grains of unidentified small, flake powder; demonstrated in a YouTube video by Penny Pincher Firearms by disassembling a dud round.

Hornady manufactures soft point hunting ammunition (not widely distributed, mostly on line). It is a 206 grain soft point for hunting purposes. All the advertisements on the web show a price of $31.00 or over for a box of twenty rounds (over $1.50 a shot). Its better than no ammunition at all, Hornady makes quality hunting ammo and the cases are reloadable, but plinking ammo it isn’t. I didn’t buy or shoot any.

Privi Partizan Unize (PPU) makes both FMJ and soft point ammunition in limited quantities. One does not find this ammunition commonly. It is available on line for about a buck a shot, but it’s the best offer going. Additionally, PPU makes both FMJ and Soft Point ammo in the proper diameter (.329/.330 inch) for not outrageous prices. At last count, Graf and Sons has them. I did buy PPU ammo via SGAammo, which figure in this report. FMJ Bullets from Graf and Sons are on the way; which will hopefully become duplicates of the original military loading.

Other than some collector’s items, there is NO surplus 8x50R – the earlier chambering – ammunition extant. One or two custom type ammunition loaders make it up, mostly from 7.62x54R (.30 Russian) cases. Once can also resize and trim new 8x56R cases to function.

One can also trim and reform 8x56R cases to make 8x50R Mannlicher.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!  (Let the good times roll! or, shooting.)

Just for the record, the firing was done on two different days, about three days apart. Between daylight to shoot, putting the chronograph together, moving downrange to set up targets and other shooters, the process was a bit extended.

Shooting the rifle was fairly easy. After watching several videos, I was under the impression this is a hard recoiling rifle. It recoils about as much as any other full sized rifle round – .30-06, .303 British, .308 Winchester – in a like sized and weighted rifle. However, the rifle is fairly light, just over seven pounds. It most certainly has recoil, but not extreme by any stretch. Perhaps strong compared to ‘modern’ military rounds. I suppose I should admit here I was wearing a ‘recoil shield’ device over my shoulder. But a jacket would probably be adequate.

I mentioned the rear sling swivel earlier. Recoil does NOT make the placement of the swivel – on the left side of where one grips the stock and operates the trigger – any more convenient. Were this a ‘using’ rifle I would remove the swivel and remount it in a ‘friendlier’ place.

The straight pull action works fairly easily. I was expecting a bit more resistance in initial extraction of the fired round, but with the arm clean and not over heated – I didn’t fire a lot in a short period of time – the action was reasonably normal in operation. Oh, I didn’t throw any sand or dirt in the action, either.

I found the ejector is a fixed bar which contacts the fired case when the bolt is fully withdrawn. Which means, for best results, one should open the bolt with firm decision and alacrity. It is not required to abuse the bolt against the bolt stop, but briskly open the bolt all the way. When one opens and withdraws the bolt slowly, the fired case is not ejected smartly.

Getting the rifles on target was somewhat frustrating. From rifle “81” (identification of individual rifle based on serial number) rifle, I fired a total of ten rounds, all chronographed. All shooting was done assisted by a standing rest. This consisted of a camera tripod with a ‘bed’ of wood attached instead of a camera. The idea of a standing rest is to give greater accuracy AND allow the rifle to move in recoil much as it would ordinarily. The idea is to test the rifle, not the shooter.

Ammunition results are almost boring. They are just what they ought to be.

All velocities according to a Competitive Edge Dynamics (C. E. D.) chronograph. According to the advertising, it’s the absolute berries in home chronographs. I must say it works well for your humble correspondent.

The primary chronographing was performed using NAZI marked ammunition in original packaging and ‘en block’ loaders made in 1938. All ammunition fired on the first try, no hang-fires, no duds and no surprises. A couple of the en bloc devices didn’t fall freely as they should, but nothing’s perfect. Thirty seconds on a belt sander and all is well with the world.

According to internet lore, this ammunition (M30 ball) is a 208 grain jacketed bullet with a muzzle velocity – from the rifle version I gather – at 2440 fps. (Rifle barrel is 30.75 inches, stutzen is 17.875 inches. So the rifle barrel is nearly a foot longer.) (Except in millimeters.)

Very much in the .303 British ammunition category, except a heavier bullet.

Shooting was recorded at 33 yards or 42.5 schritte (our range did some ‘work’ and covered what should be the 25 yard line), 100 yards (129 schritte) and 200 yards (258 schritte). The sights are calibrated in schritte, but I simply refuse to set up targets accordingly.

Toradh (results):

“81” clocked ten (10) of the 1938 NAZI rounds at an average of 2340 fps. About 100 fps below the full length rifle barrel length. Stutzen “09” clocked the same at an average of 2317, just a bit slower. The two rifles average out to 2329 fps. Not bad consistency from two rifles made between 1895 and 1920, using ammunition made in 1938.

Stutzen “81” with PPU ammunition show a thirty round average of 2011, while “09” clocks 2019. Average of both rifles is 2015 fps. About 300 fps slower than the military surplus.

All shots from both stutzen rifles were on target at 33 yards. They were low, near the line of sight through the sights. (Look at the picture.) Both rifles register to the left of center.

Rifle “81” gave mixed results. The first five rounds of M30 surplus ammunition was fired at 33 yards – and the five shots held together in a two-inch group about 6.25 inches high and 1.5 inches left of the aiming point. Fairly encouraging.

Extending that to 100 yards, the group would be roughly six inches in diameter, striking about twenty inches high and four to five inches left of the aiming point. According to the rules.

The five shots at 100 yards – using a standing rest – resulted in no holes in the target. Not a one. More than likely, I was shooting over and somewhat to the left of the target. Which is just a bit embarrassing, as I was using a B27 (full sized silhouette) target and thought I could at least see my misses. I couldn’t.

In retrospect, my mistake was in not following what I already knew to be true. The rifle sights are intended to be used as ‘battle sights’. That is, the strike of the bullets will be well over the line of sight from somewhere in the seventy yard range out to 200 yards or so. All the rounds were going high, as I was aiming at the center of the target. This was corrected in subsequent shooting sessions. Nor did I – as was obvious – move the front sight to the left to correct the windage problem. (Such adjustments require a brass drift and a suitable hammer.) So at 100 yards the rifle was no doubt shooting considerably to the left.

At 100 yards both rifles still hit a bit to the left. Rifle “09” raised the strike of the bullets about five inches high and moved about three inches left from 33 yard. I didn’t fire any surplus ammunition at 200 yards.

At 33 yards with rifle “09” and PPU factory ammunition, the group was seven inches lower than the surplus ammunition (no doubt resulting from the lower velocity), but close to the center line; just a bit to the left. At 100 and 200 hundred yards, there were no hits on the target at all. I am presuming they are all off to the left. It could be me as well.

In summation of the initial shooting evidence, one should shoot at either a B27 or an IPSC/USPCA torso target for testing. Also, one should use the bottom edge – what would be the waist line of an adversary – as the aiming point.

(We will not discuss my shooting ability or my aging eyes any further, thank you very much!)

Examining the fired cases, I have good news. No signs of high pressure. All primers are flat, non-extruded, and show no cratering. No indication of case stretching. Measuring five unfired samples of each type of ammunition, and five samples of each type fired from each rifle, the largest expansion of the head area is .004”; which is indicative of full power, but not excessive pressure in this type of round.

This leads me to believe I can develop a safe load to duplicate the M30 round and ballistics. Speaking of reloading, the package from Graf & Sons just arrived. I have 300 bullets duplicating the original 208 grain FMJ. I’ll have to post a follow-up article.

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Dr. Eistein was a racist!

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/06/13/einsteins-diaries-contain-shocking-details-his-racism.html

 

According to the above website, some of Dr. Einstein’s diaries from the 1920s contain some comments less than praiseful of Chinese people.  He also made some comments about the people of Sri Lanka living in “great filth”.

Later in his life, he was considered – due to his actions on the subject – quite anti-racist.  So which was real?

The diaries cited were written in the 1920s.  Having been born in 1879, he would have been forty-one years of age in 1920.  At that time, he was living in Germany.  At that time, the entire world was rather isolated from other nationalities and pretty much everyone was ‘superior’ to everyone else.  Historical most nations, including the Asian and African nations, have believed they were the most civilized and advanced on Earth.

European nations were not different.  The British thought they were the reason for mankind’s existence.  The French thought the Germans were barbarians.  The Germans thought God loved them especially.  The Swiss were above all those mundane people.  And so on and so on.  The biggest reason – it seems – is that other nations or cultures didn’t do things the way “we” did those things.  And “our” way is obviously superior.

Albert Einstein was no doubt affected by his culture.  Dr. Einstein was in his forties, had a Nobel prize and was on top of the world in a number of ways.  He was quite possibly full of – ah – ‘urine and vinegar’.

In 1933, he accepted a position with the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey in the United States.  Rather simultaneously, the NAZI party took power in Germany.  Dr. Einstein was Jewish, but non-religious.  The NAZIs didn’t care and took pains to make sure Dr. Einstein was not welcome back to his homeland.  He stayed and became a naturalized United States citizen.  One considers this was more than likely a life changing event in his life.  This rejection by his own nation could easily awaken the realization of ethnic hatred.

By 1949, Dr. Einstein was actively speaking out against unfairness to other ethnicities to include race, religion and place of origin.  One might say he ‘grew up’ in this regard.  He is noted for being open to those of other ‘groups’ the rest of his life.

So which is the ‘real’ Dr. Einstein?  Probably both.  In the 1920 diaries, he spoke slightingly of the Chinese, Sri Lankans and Japanese to some extent.  These were statements based on living conditions and customs such as eating and sleeping and such.  I know of no statements regarding any race of dishonesty or lack of honor.  It was all based on ‘not my way of doing things’.  Ten or more years later, he understood  those customs were not so important.

Like I haven’t changed my position about some things since I was in my forties.   Or fifties, for that matter.

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Filed under Civilization, philosophy, Racism

Why Do Humans Believe – Anything?

This is not a defense of “believing in gravity” or “believing in love” or “believing in balancing one’s checkbook”.  The discussion is what is needed in order to believe anything.

The simplest reason for believing anything is the acceptance of the evidence for that particular facet of reality.

For most of us, belief in gravity is from personal observation and experience.  One notes when an object is dropped from the hand or pushed off a table, such object always falls to the ground.  Technically, such object moves toward the source of gravity, the most predominant source nearby being the center of the Earth; as a child, this detail may be lacking.  One notes one’s body also falls toward the ground when unsupported.  One determines an innate concept of ‘up’ and ‘down’.

One notes this is not dependent on outside instruction.  One’s parents do not have to teach the bare fact of the ‘attraction’.  Often, parents or other more experience people will supply the words and labels for the forces and concepts – ‘gravity’, ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘concussion’ and so on, but the idea is self-evident.

Then one day, one notices a helium balloon falls ‘up’ when released – intentionally or unintentionally.  This is strange as objects fall down.

The answer is helium is lighter than air.  The total answer is helium has lesser weight per volume than air – visibly when the helium is contained – and the heavier air settles underneath the object, displacing the lighter object upward.  (This is also why wood and even ships of metal float on water.)  This explanation is not observable in the same manner as ‘things fall down’ and needs be explained.  For the explanation to be believed, one must accept the concepts given.  The ‘authority’ – the one giving the explanation – can be a parent or instructor or other person trusted.  One must accept the authority as trustworthy in such matters.

Obviously, a physics teacher should be more worth of trust – on this subject – than an English teacher.  This distinction may be lost on a grade school aged child; a teacher is a teacher.  Should one have serious lack of trust in a parent, one might not accept the (or any) explanation from the parent.

As life goes on one finds all sorts of phenomenon to be sorted, then believed or denied as appropriate.  At the same time, one finds different categories of ‘belief’.

Many are similar to the above example of factual information.

One has an inborn desire to believe the protestations of love and fidelity from friends and sweethearts.  One learns this is not always reliable.

One learns salesmen (sales persons?) are not always reliable or trustworthy.  Especially car salesmen.  Especially used car salesmen.  Especially used car salesmen who call themselves “Honest somebody”.

Then the issue of trust is complicated in that some friends and some sweethearts are trustworthy and some are variably trustworthy.  Some salesmen are open and honest.  There is no foolproof, prior manner of determining.  So one falls back on deciding who to trust based on those one trusts already.

 

What about ‘science’?  There are those who believe, rather enthusiastically, anything presented in the name of ‘science’.  Conversely, there are those who flatly deny anything of scientific origin.

It is good to differentiate ‘science’ from ‘science’.  Science is a manner of finding out composition, structure and function.  The study of genetics is as much science as the interplay of numbers as the structure of the Universe.  However, they are not interchangeable.  A geneticist is not one with whom to discuss the latest findings in ‘black holes’.  A mathematician probably doesn’t know much about which species of cow gives the best milk.

One also notes the scientific method has limits.  For instance, the scientific method cannot be falsified.  That is, there is no way to demonstrate this is the only way to determine reality.  It does work as far as can be seen, except it cannot reconcile “Quantum Mechanics” and “Relativity”.  Nor can it deal with anything that cannot be physically (including calculated, based on prior knowledge) measured or analyzed.  For instance, ‘love’ cannot be fully identified or described.

Lastly, the scientific method cannot  ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the existence of God.  The only possible answer it has is ‘insufficient data’.

 

Possibly the best way to learn is to experience the subject on one’s own.  I doubt if this is really possible, the Universe is too vast and complicated.  Therefore, in some matters, one must trust the experience of others.

 

Which brings up the question “What is trustworthy?”

The source of evidence presented.  This is the raw facts of what we accept as reality.  What I intend in this is to provide background to give reason to double check raw facts in some cases and conclusions in nearly all cases.

News Media:  Any item of ‘news’ goes through essentially the same processing.

  1.  The initial report of the matter is verbally transferred to the initial reporter.  This can be a matter of scientific fact, a criminal or disaster matter reported by a police officer or authorized spokesman, a civic or commercial matter and so on.  The originator of the information provides a statement of explanation  and answers some questions by the interviewer.  The originator may or may not use terms and phrases of ‘jargon’ with specific meanings suited to the subject at hand, which the interviewer may or may not grasp.  Therefore, the interviewer must make sense of the jargon in order to transfer the information.  The originator may or may not give the full context of the statement.  The originator may or may not withhold some bit of information (for instance, the police will not reveal information in the expectation of not alerting suspects).
  2. The reporter – either by written word or electronic means – then must assemble the report in words and terms understood by the reporter, and presumably to the audience.  Should the reporter not fully comprehend the initial report, some confusion of terms can occur at this juncture.  In all fairness, I trust the reporter to be as accurate as circumstances allow.  But confusion can manifest.  For instance, in ‘quark theory’ some quarks are identified as ‘sour’ quarks.  This is simply a term applied to differentiate a ‘sour’ quark from a ‘sweet’ quark and has no further meaning.  But I trust the reader can see the potential confusion.  The reporter – in good faith – may not understand how statement A connects to statement C, and therefore invents statement B to do so.  Statement B is inferred logically – according to the reporter – and may or may not belong in the sequence.
  3. The report is then delivered to an editor who evaluates the report and wording for (what strikes the editor as) clarity and sizes the report to fit in the space available.  Depending on the values and predilections of the parent reporting organization, and the type of information in the report, the editor may introduce a bias, intended or not, into the descriptions in the report.  Somewhere in the editorial process, conclusions may be inserted, either overtly or covertly which may or may not follow from the initial report given by the source.

From this process, I suggest all ‘news’ be carefully scrutinized for the following conditions.  Can the information be corroborated from other sources?  Read other reports of the same ‘event’.  Compare the information given.  (Watch for simple repetitions of the same account.)

See if the information agrees with prior reports of the same type.  For instance, a ground based speed vehicle might move at the speed of sound, but that would be a serious leap from extant abilities.  Not impossible, but subject to confirmation.  Also subject to checking if the decimal point is in the correct place.

Check for bias.  Look at who funded and generated the information.  One expects certain leanings from different organizations with different goals.  Determining the source of the information may cast light on the presentation of ‘facts’.

 

Statements of Authority Figures:  An authority figure – in this sense – applies to anyone in a position of being considered reliable and truthful in general.  It is a wide and vague label.

Parent or Guardian:  As children, parents are supposed to know all the necessary information.  “Label goes in back”, “Other shoe”, “Don’t touch that!  You’ll get burned!”  For most of us, that early trust is a conditioning which lasts our entire lives.  Quite often, it bears out.  “Never draw to an inside straight” is pretty good advice.  However, parents have limits.  Parental knowledge does NOT extend infinitely.  My late father had been a hunter in earlier years.  He solemnly told me no handgun could hit a mark further than about twenty yards.  He was partially correct.  HE couldn’t hit anything further than about twenty yards with a handgun.  I can.

Parents have certain skills pertaining to their careers.  However, those skill sets may have faded in time and the information derived may have been changed by technology.  And, parents may have biases of which they are unaware.  Both my parents were what could be called protestants and had little good to say about the Catholic Church.  To be fair, they were quite congenial and outgoing to individuals of any stripe.

 

Teachers or Instructors:  Normally, one expects this sort of person to be quite knowledgable.  However, educational training has limits.  Grade School teachers typically are well educated and well rounded.  But their level of ‘complexity’ only extends to Grade School levels.  One does not expect a seventh grade math teacher to handle tensors.  Some might, and quite well, but tensors is not within the normal scope of seventh grade mathematics.  High School and College level instructors tend to be more specialized in their field.  Somewhat less scope of knowledge, but greater detail and depth.

Teachers of any level are subject to biases unaware.  Some biases are assumed to be universal and all pervasive.  Much is mentioned regarding Colleges and Universities leaning to the left, politically.  I have met and dealt with instructors who assumed they were more intelligent and more competent in all fields than any student.  When I was getting a basic college degree (AA) I was working as a Patrol Agent of the U. S. Border Patrol.  One instructor assumed he was smarter than I was as I carried a gun and performed physical actions.  He was horribly shocked when I bested him in debate and he resorted to threats of scholastic revenge.

 

Pastors and Biblical Scholars.  One expects anyone to have a  good grasp of one’s field.  However, Bible students are extremely influenced by their doctrinal background.  One notes some graduates seem to be indoctrinated in the opinion of their instructors only.  One of the problems is the Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic (a Semitic language similar to Hebrew) and Greek.  All translations, in English or other language, is a translation from the original.  The original word meanings do not always match the English (or Russian, or French or Swahili) words on a word-for-word basis.  This has been overlooked in the past and seems to be slighted currently.  Bible teachers are human.  They are subject to the same biases – unaware – as other humans.

 

Friends also give advice on various matters and provide insight into events and subjects.  This can range from very useful to dead wrong.  The most dangerous views are those which are ‘nearly right’.  I once had a friend in the Marine Corps tell me all women cheated on men if they had the chance.  I was saddened to realize that was probably true in his experience and setting.  He could not stretch his mind to recognize his experience was not universal.  He did, however have a lot of practical knowledge about the Marine Corps and various sub-sets of skills therein.

 

All of this is to point out two facts:  All human knowledge is limited and all humans are biased in some way.

 

So why does a human being believe anything?  Ideally, one believes ‘something’ due to an overwhelming amount of evidence regarding the ‘something’.

Most everyone ‘believes’ in gravity due to personal experience.  Which is not to say everyone understands all the nuances or limitations of gravity.  Not many recognize the limitations of “Newtonian” gravity compared to “Einsteinian” gravity.  Still, nearly everyone ‘knows’ things fall down.  One should note a sentient creature who lives in space, removed from gravity sources probably understand gravity in a different form.

I know my parents loved me.  Again, this is a matter of experience and personal involvement.  No one else has much question about this, as it applies almost exclusively to me and doesn’t really affect anyone else.  Some parents are remarkably lacking in love for their offspring, but usually they do.

 

A chemist believes acid and base liquids interact to form water and specific salts.  Chemists know this from two sources:  Demonstrations or experiments of the combination and from the various theories of chemical interaction.  This can be demonstrated repeatedly to anyone willing to observe.  Unlike stage magic, the witness can participate and observe from any angle.  No special setting is required.  Other scientific understandings, beliefs or theories are similar.

 

In many instances, the evidence is not quite so obvious.  The reaction of acid and base liquids may be observed, right ‘here’.  The concept of ‘dark matter’ is less obvious.  “Dark matter” is a mysterious effect or condition of galaxies to explain why the galaxy in question weighs more than it ‘should’.  Let me attempt a brief explanation.

Astronomers have made estimates of the total weight of galaxies.  These weights are based on what is observed and measured of those astronomical bodies ‘we’ can observe relatively closely and determine for instance the average weight of ‘our’ sun.   By determining the general weight of a square meter of Earth, ‘we’ can calculate (allowing for rocks and magma) the total weight of the Earth.  By calculating the gravitational attraction between the Earth and the sun, ‘we’ can calculate the weight of the sun.  By observing what we can of ‘our’ galaxy, ‘we’ can estimate the number of stars and planets in our galaxy.  ‘Our’ understanding of the Universe is that the laws and make up of the Universe is ‘universal’ and ‘that’ galaxy has the same average density as ‘this’ galaxy.  Just as ‘we’ expect mixing acids and bases on a planet ‘way over there’ would react just like it does on Earth.  So, ‘we’ can estimate the weight of other galaxies.

Separate calculation:  Dr. Einstein’s theory of General Relativity predicts that gravity ‘bends’ light.  This has been verified in physical experiments on numerous occasions.  The higher the gravity, the greater the light ‘bends’.  ‘We’ can see other galaxies further away by using this effect called ‘gravitational lensing’ caused by closer galaxies.  It works.

But the ‘lensing’ effect is greater than expected.  Therefore, the weight of said galaxy must be more than the estimate based on the average density of stars and planets (and moons, and asteroids and stuff).  The difference is not a matter of ten to thirty percent error, but of two or three times the estimated weight of said galaxy.  So, ‘we’ have done the calculations several more times in an attempt to find an error.  So far, no error has been found.  So, it is theorized there is more matter in Universes than what can be directly detected.  This ‘more matter’ is called ‘Dark Matter’ for convenience and it sounds mysterious and sexy.  And it’s more convenient than “X matter” (which sound like something from a rather puerile science opera).

There is no question Dark Matter exists, but no one can show anyone else a pound of it in a jar.  Astronomers ‘believe’ it exists, because it has to exist.  Even if they cannot fully describe it or determine the chemical structure of the stuff.

So I, personally am confident it exists on the basis of the observations of Astronomy.  I rather think it will be further defined in the future and will probably be something rather ordinary.

No doubt there are some who refuse to believe anything of the sort, claiming it’s all made up or ‘they don’t know what they’re talking about!’  I point out that is exactly the reason many atheists and agnostics deny the authenticity of the Bible.  Curious how similar the thinking.

 

I believe in God.  That is, I believe God exists AND He has an interest in humans in general and me in particular.  Mostly from personal experience – I deal with Him, or He deals with me is probably more correct – every day.  God is more real to me than – say – Richard Dawkins – whom I have never met or seen in person.  I’m pretty sure Mr. Dawkins is a real human being, but out of my personal experience.  Since God has a particular interest in me, and I’m not particularly special (save in my own estimation), it is reasonable to believe God is interested in all humans particularly.

There are other reasons I believe in God.  The formation of the Universe seems to require an intelligence outside the Universe to create or ‘start off’ the Universe in some manner.  Yes, “M-theory” postulates a ‘beginning’ but requires a back ground Universe – the Bulk – which has existed forever, will exist forever and is therefore immune to entropy.   Which is so similar to God I find it remarkable.  Except the Bulk doesn’t issue a moral code.  Far more convenient.

Life has no meaning without God.  If all living things are merely the result of natural laws or occurrences, what is the point of being alive?

Self gratification, according to some.  That isn’t a God or Bulk appointed reason, but it is self determined as no other reason can be found.  Yet one notes many people have an innate drive to be better than they are.  Some by service to others, some by making more money, some by collecting more what evers.  However, being here to serve, glorify and be Sons of God seem to fit the ‘drive’.

So.  What you you believe and why?

 

 

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God Said it.  I Believe it.  That Settles It.

I think most everyone has seen the bumper sticker expressing this sentiment.  I agree with it – as I comprehend the meaning.  I am not sure my view is exactly the same as everyone else’s view.  Which should not be a surprise to anyone who deals with me on a regular basis.

There are several unspoken assumptions in the wording which should be verified and understood.  This essay, gentle reader is to manifest those assumptions and clarify them.  

The Bible.  Typically, the Bible is also referred to as “God’s Word” or “The Word of God’.  I have no dispute with this thinking.  It is, the only direct communication from God to His creation (all of the Universe and all sentient beings therein.)  

As a matter of clarification, the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament for ‘word’ is davar [pronounced duh-VARR] and means, depending on context: speech (as in talking, not an oration), saying or uttering [speaking to another], word or words [ink stain on paper] or business, occupation, acts [one’s actions], matter, case, something, manner.  In context, the phrase “Word of God” in contemporary English is closer to “Message of God”.  It does not apply exclusively to exact, literal words in the sense of individual units of language or an ink stain on paper.  

  1. God Said It.

I am quite happy to proclaim I am a Christian.  As such, I believe in – and just believe – the ‘Word’ of God.  There are two concepts inherent in clarifying this brief statement.

The simple concept is “Did God really say it?”  Yes, I know that sounds much like the serpent in the Garden of Eden to Eve, but that isn’t exactly what I mean.  I am not attempting to cast doubt on the validity of anything God did say, but want to clarify all commonly cited items are not directly expressed in the Bible.  

One of the most obvious is “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.  This does NOT appear in the Bible, anywhere.  I quickly add, not in any translation, either. 

Allow me to say I am a firm believer in cleanliness, even if I am a bit casual in my personal hygiene at times, sweeping up the house and picking up clutter.  I favor cleanliness, but am a bit ‘slothful’ (lazy), which is a failing according to the Bible.  However, that phrase does not appear in the Bible.  Nor should anyone think being physically clean makes them more acceptable to God.  

Another is “God helps those who help themselves”.  That phrase is not in the Bible as stated.  Not in any translation.  Common practice does lend some credence to it, as I do not get clean (see above) without getting into the bath or shower (preferably without clothing) and running water and soap of some type over my manly carcass.  So I have to ‘help myself’ in this regard.  God, by His prior installed laws of the Universe (in this case ‘chemistry’) causes the soap and water to dissolve the grease on my body holding the impurities in place and cleaning me.  So God does indeed help or implement the process.  

However, God does not encourage theft or deceit or dishonorable ways of doing things.  Taking advantage of another’s credulity is covered under this.

Moving on to more pressing matters, St. Paul’s initial letter to the church (congregation) at Corinth, Greece makes a statement which is true, but somewhat misunderstood.  This is usually referred to as First Corinthians.  

The statement is found in 1st Corinthians 6:9 – 11.  

King James Version (KJV) 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom  of God?  Be not deceived:  neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor  abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were  some of you; but: ye are washed, but, ye are sanctified, but, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by   the Spirit of our God.

American Standard Version (ASV) 9 Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. 

Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible (RHE)  9 Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers: 10 Nor the effeminate nor liers with mankind nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor railers nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God. 11 And such some of you were. But you are washed: but you are sanctified: but you are justified: in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God. 

New English Translation (NET) 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 6:11 Some of you once lived this way.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

This text is commonly – and erroneously – used to deny homosexuals the offer of salvation.  A single act of sin bars the participant from Christianity.  

However, reading the passage in context reveals sinners other than homosexuals are included.  “Sexually immoral” refers to any act of sexual immorality.  Sex without marriage, sex with someone other than one’s marriage partner, sex with someone else’s sexual partner and so son.  

“Thieves, the greedy drunkards…swindlers…” any possible confusion there?  

“… the verbally abusive…” or “…railers…” or “…revilers…” includes any oral communication to abuse or slander another person.  In modern English, this includes gossips, tale bearers and back biters.  

So all those groups or types of people are lumped together in this denunciation.  All are deemed unsuited for enjoying the Kingdom of God.  Gossips are just as evil as homosexuals.

Note the LAST verse in the section.  “Some of you once lived this way.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  

In other words, there is a way out of this condemnation.  One who engages in any of these practices can be forgiven.  One who engages in ANY of the practices can be forgiven.  

So not everything taught by some or believed by some are actually what “God said”.  

Another problem with “God Said It” is the fairly common practice of thinking each ‘word’ (ink stain on paper or unit of language) means – in the original text – what it means or connotes in modern English.  

Probably the best known of this sort of problem is the word “knew”.  Specifically in the book of Genesis (4:1) where the text speaks of … Adam knew Eve his wife…”  (KJV).  This is understood to mean having sexual relations, or ‘marital relations’ in the NET version.  It has never meant Adam was formally introduced to Eve and they shook hands.

The word “word”, as “The word of God” in the Hebrew (Old Testament) language means unit of language, as commonly used in English, but also implies speech, speaking or thing.  That is to say, the concept or message indicated.  So, “Word of God” is probably more correctly rendered “Message of God”.  We use this meaning in English when speaking of “Pass the word” or “What’s the (good) word?”  

Many adherents of the KJV will object to this, as the revelation here pretty much destroys the arguments for the KJV as being the ‘best’ translation.  I clarify here; I am not a fan of the KJV translation, as if that’s a surprise.  It also irritates the “verbal plenary” (of the KJV translation) interpretation advocates.  It does not bother the “verbal plenary” interpretation of the original manuscripts.

In the New Testament Greek language, ‘word’ (Greek logos [pronounced lah-gaas] means much the same as the Hebrew word, and St. John in his gospel uses the same word, ‘word’ to mean the essence and central nature of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ.  

So,“God Said It” applies to what is actually meant in the Bible, not to what someone thinks or what someone was told by their parents, a former (revered) pastor or Dr. Blauhardt at the Bible school.

“God Said It” involves the assumption one understands what the Bible actually says.

“God Said It” also involves the one declaring such an understanding agreeing the Bible is indeed inspired by God.  I doubt Richard Dawkins and others would be overwhelmed by such a statement.  Mr. Dawkins would agree a particular sentence or statement is in the Bible, but would likely NOT agree the sentence or statement is inspired by God.  

I also suggest “God said it” applies to humanity’s study of natural events and ‘laws’.  If – as Christians believe (understand, rely on) God created the heavens and the Earth (entire Universe), then it must follow God also ordained and included all the rules and laws of physical behavior of ‘things’.  That is, the laws of physics.  

Gravity, for instance.  Light for another and electro-magnetism.    These are also God’s revelation to ‘us’.  This is not to say all these things are part and parcel of forming a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, but it does tell us more about God designing and building the Universe. 

2.  I Believe It.

“Belief” is another rather nebulous term.  It is used in modern English to express acceptance of opinion – I believe Purple is better for this purpose – to matters of absolute certainty – I believe the moon is full tonight.  Matters of expectant and hopeful choice – I believe Mrs. Such and such will be elected President – to matters of minor choice – I believe I’ll have another beer.

The New Testament word ‘believe’ [the Greek word pisteuo, pronounced pes-two-oh] indicates both acceptance of fact and confidence and trust in what is believed.  More a matter of “I believe that rope will hold my weight” (just prior to descending from a third story window, using the rope) than “I believe that’s a Cadillac” (look across the street at a parked car).  

Belief in the Bible means accepting the entirety of the message, not just the convenient parts.  

3.  That Settles It!

The unspoken and unmentioned assumption is the question of God’s existence is resolved.  Or the question of God’s intentions and actions is ended, answered or resolved past all doubt or discussion.   

Perhaps to the speaker.  Not to others.  Please do not ever think one’s beliefs or assumptions or hopes are incumbent on another.  

An underlying (unspoken, perhaps not conscious) assumption is ‘my belief controls your opinion’ or ‘my belief controls reality’.  Such an assumption is self-contradictory and just isn’t so.  

On the other hand, it probably indicates the owner’s mind is resolved in the matter.  When dealing with God, that can be a good thing.  Of course, if the owner is mistaken about God, that is a bad thing.

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Confession!

In the spirit of transparency and honesty I must submit another confession.

I am jealous.  Actually, envious.  In my own defense, I’m envious in a good way.  I seek to merit such a position by my own hard work and application.  Not that I want to cheat someone else out of theirs.

I envy Amos Van Hoesen in the cartoon strip “9 Chickweed Lane” by Brooke McEldowney.  If you do not understand this, you don’t read the strip.  Or you lack a soul.  Whatever.

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Gun Show: Personal Report

The weekend of  17th & 18th March 2018 featured the Hastings (Nebraska) Spring Gun Show.  It is produced by the Four Rivers Sportsmen Club – of which I am a member – and is the largest gun show in the state of Nebraska.

Your correspondent rented a table for selling and trading various items of interest to the shooting fraternity, including grips and holsters for handguns and a few firearms.

The show seemed to be a success.  The vendors attending – and paying for tables – seemed to be at least satisfied (some were jubilant), the attending people purchased a goodly number of various firearms and accessories.   We (the club, as show producers) don’t keep track of sales of ‘stuff’ or purchasers.  No one seemed down or sad about the conduct or substance of the show, save that – as always – there were folks whose desires exceeded their budget.  Your humble servant included.

Your humble servant had a good show. Rid one’s self of most the ‘stuff’ desired to move.  Not sales so much, but – in my eyes – very good trades for things I wanted.

Of note, I acquired three rifles.  These were all sporting rifles of classic design.  All three were non-commercial assembled rifles based on the 1903 Springfield action.  This action was based on the 1898 Mauser action, considered the wellspring of bolt action design.  All three were restocked nicely with real wood and classic designs.  Two of the three had been rebarreled, the third probably so.  The metal parts were all three nicely finished and reblued.

One rifle is in caliber .30-06 Springfield, of course.

One rifle is in caliber .45-70 Springfield.

One is in caliber .458 Winchester Magnum.

So far, I haven’t done any reloading work or shooting.  Range time is still ‘iffy’ due to weather.  For that matter, I don’t have loading dies for either .45 caliber, but they are on order.  The .30-06 rifle lacks an appropriate rear sight.  All mere details, you understand.  Progress and results to follow, of course.

 

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