Another Television Show I Should Not Watch

The regular season of television is over. All my favorite and accustomed shows are reruns or not showing at all. It is Monday the 25th of May, Memorial Day. I am watching ‘Scorpion’.

The premise of the show is a group of four geneii who solve problems. In this episode a political and attempted murder problem.

Why should I not watch it? It is full of very accurate depictions of bureaucratic middle managers. Nitwits promoted for their ability to kiss up to elected nitwits. Incompetents promoted only due to their genetic accident of birth – to include gender. Incompetent people – I use the term ‘people’ loosely – who simply out waited other incompetents to be promoted simply because they didn’t do anything wrong. They usually didn’t do anything at all.

THEY REMIND ME OF WORK! My blood pressure is probably twenty points higher than it should be. I’m feeling homicidal.

Please Lord, don’t let me slip and become a serial killer now.

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Filed under General Idiocy, Idiot Politicians, Political Correctness, Television

Why is Yahoo Trying Not to Deal with Customers?

I got a threatening note from Yahoo, telling me I will lose their service if I don’t pay up in a certain length of time. However, they give me no manner of paying.

I’ve looked all over their website, trying to find where to update credit card information, send them money or just talk to someone. No way to do that. All potential avenues are dead ends.

So I finally found a location to ‘verify’ my phone number. The site says they’re going to send me a telephone message giving me a ‘code’. They don’t.

So far, this is miserable customer service. This really, really stinks.

I attemped another form of communication – send them an email request with the particulars of the problem. The website won’t allow that, either. Among other things, I have to type in “… the code you (meaning I) see below”. I do, carefully following the text, spacing, and capitalization exactly as shown. The website rejects it automatically. Several times.

This is really a pain. If they want to get rid of me as a customer, why not just tell me so?

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An Early Semi-automatic Pistol for Your Edification

Gentle Readers, one of John Moses Browning’s earliest semi-automatic pistol designs. In fact, the only earlier pistol design (actually manufactured) was this pistol’s older prototype, so to speak. That design was manufactured a mere year earlier, in 1899. Due to consumer and buyer feedback, this is the updated version; rather unimaginatively called the model 1900. It is in caliber 7.65mm (Browning) or .32 ACP, if one is from west of the Atlantic Ocean.

The pistol was made by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium. It is only the second pistol in history chambered in .32 ACP; the first pistol being the 1899 version. As the 1900 is more of a refinement of the 1899, one can argue this is – sort of – the first .32 ACP pistol. (One can also argue against it, but as I will probably NOT ever find a 1899 I can afford, I will argue for it.) (That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!)

This pistol was designed as a service sidearm. It was purchased by some European governments for army issue; the Belgian Army is listed as one of those purchasers. As I have mentioned before, the 7.65 mm or .32 ACP cartridge was considered a ‘serious’ caliber in Europe until the Second World War. Historically, the New York City Police Department was issued revolvers in .32 S&W Long at the behest of Teddy Roosevelt in 1896. Times change.

FN1900 pistol, right side

FN1900 pistol, right side


It is an ‘odd’ looking pistol. Not just by current standards and norms, but even at the time. Observe the pictures. It has the side rail guide thingies. No, the effect is not that of of incorrect perspective; the barrel is in fact beneath the recoil spring.
FN 1900, left side with slide open

FN 1900, left side with slide open


There is no slide hold open; neither on last shot fired or manually. If the reader carefully examines the photos, there is a coin (a U. S. penny) carefully place in the ejection port to hold the slide open.

I found this at a local gun show. One finds all sorts of things at gun shows if one looks. The same can be said of pawn shops and garage sales. I do far more looking and seeking than I do finding and buying.

Some of the features are rather expected. The sights are fixed and somewhat hideous. The front sight is what I’ve come to understand as the ‘razor blade’ style; the rear sight is the “V” shape so popular in Europe for far too long. Front sight blade; typical 'razor blade' style.FN 1900 rear sight (pistol cocked).  Front sight out of focus.

Upon intense scrutiny, I note the front sight is ‘bent’ (at the base, not in the middle) to the right a bit. This will addressed later.

The rear sight incorporates a cocking indicator. When the pistol is NOT cocked, a metal bar protruded up in the rear sight fixture and blocks the shooter’s field of vision. It is not a loaded chamber indicator as such. One can cock the firing mechanism without a round in the chamber and the device shows cocked. I have read this device was intended as an indicator of the gun being fired empty. However, the rather disappointing ‘click’ would – to me – be a fairly reliable indicator.

Trigger pull is between 9.5 and 10.5 pounds. Typical of the time. I don’t feel much creep, and as far as I can tell, the trigger breaks cleanly. On the other hand, were the weight something more manageable, I might notice more more detail. It works and does make the gun go bang when desired.

FN 1900 safety in 'safe' position.

FN 1900 safety in ‘safe’ position.

FN 1900 safety in 'fire' position.

FN 1900 safety in ‘fire’ position.


The FN 1900 has a manual safety. It is located on the left side, aft, and is suitable for thumb operation. It operates in the ‘normal’ (meaning what I’ve been taught and shown all my life) manner, up being ‘safe’ and down being ‘fire’. There is an internal spring which keeps the lever in place (where one left it last). It is marked in French; “FEU” meaning ‘fire’ and “SUR” which means ‘on'; possibly an abbreviation for ‘surete’ meaning ‘safety’.

The pistol is blued. (Stainless steel pistols didn’t become routinely offered until 1965; the S&W Model 60.) It is all steel except for the grips. The grips are either some early form of plastic or quite possibly gutta percha.

The grip angle is fairly shallow. It is not as extreme as the Luger pistol of some eight years later. In my opinion, it is even less than the Government Model – designed also by John Browning and adopted for use some eleven years later. The grip angle is radically less than common revolvers of the day. Part of this may be related to the magazine in the grip.

Some things are not functions or features of this pistol one has come to expect.

There is no slide lock. Neither an ‘automatic’ hold open of the slide when the last round is fired or a manual ‘lock open’ feature to clean, inspect or otherwise fiddle with the pistol. (Readers will note a penny inserted in the ejection port to keep the slide open.)

There is no magazine safety. I suppose this isn’t so surprising after all. The magazine safety wasn’t popular until the French Army decided such a device was required as their troops were not smart enough to operate a pistol without one. The Luger (of 1908 or so), the U. S. M1911, most of the early Beretta designs (until 1935 or so), and many other of the commercial pistols of the era did not have such a device.

The FN 1900 does NOT have a grip safety. I’m not a big grip safety fan, but the grip safety was rather widespread in the era in question. The 1908 Luger – and most variants – had a grip safety. The M1911 pistol had – still has – a grip safety. Not every pistol had such a device, but grip safeties were not rare in the time period. The FN 1900 does not.

An aside: As a philosophical exercise, does anyone have any information that would tend to justify or negate the existence of either magazine safety or grip safety? In other words, is there any real world reason to include such features, or are they the product of paranoia on the part of ‘administrators’ who have no clue about the realities involved but in no way actually trust rank and file soldiers, officers, operatives or whatever?

End of aside. Back to the pistol in question.

Already mentioned, the 1900 has the barrel installed UNDER the recoil spring. For most of us, that’s backwards – or reversed, if preferred. The principle reason for this was to lower the centerline of the barrel, reducing the tendency to raise the muzzle in recoil. The pistol has little in the way of recoil, being chambered in .32 ACP and steel framed. The lowered barrel cannot hurt the recoil signature.

I do not know of any other pistols built this way until 1970, when Smith & Wesson introduced the Model 61 “Escort”. The Escort was a .22 long rifle pistol, designed as a pocket defense pistol. Which rather nicely designed in the main, it was poorly thought out in terms of how to actually use it. It was discontinued in 1973. Smith & Wesson later introduced the concept again with the 422 (blue)/622 (stainless) .22 long rifle pistols. The 422 ran from 1987 to 1996 more or less and was intended to compete with the Ruger .22 Automatic in whatever variation existed at the time. Other incarnations of this design also by Smith & Wesson include the model 2206 and models 2213/2214.

I only list these so the reader understands the design was not new or ground breaking. The idea dates from 1899.

For disassembly instructions, see the You Tube video by Midway USA on the pistol.

Shooting the pistol.

It shoots rather easily. Recoil is light. It’s enough to disturb sight alignment and sight picture, but not enough to hurt or intimidate the shooter. It is as loud as any pistol, therefore distracting and requires hearing protection.

I fired five (whole) rounds at fifty feet on a standard 25 yard center. Remember I mentioned the bent front sight earlier? The pistol grouped fairly nicely, but at fifty feet registered about six inches to the left (or 9 o’clock); centered in the 8 ring. I have a suspicion the bent front sight might be the problem. The grouping is roughly three inches from side to side and just over two inches top to bottom. Not a bad group, but just far enough off center to give misses. One of the shots is just off the edge of the center and not visible in the picture. You’ll have to take my word for it.
FN 1900 test target

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Difficult to believe.

I sit here listening to the NPR radio station – it has classical music; now the news is on.

Then a ‘news program’ comes on. The Leftist News Reader is interviewing two Leftist ‘experts’ about the problem of ISIS – DASH in Arabic – and the subject is introduced about how to best blame President Bush for the current mess.

President Obama (PBUH) claims ‘we’ are winning against DASH. Despite the fact DASH has gained territory about half the size of Syria, our President claims our (his) strategy is solid. Most observers – like you and I – have reason to doubt this.

The question of the current DASH and other Islamic Terrorists arise. Is President Bush responsible, since he ‘started’ the war? Or is President Obama (PBUH) responsible for pulling all our troops out and essentially allowing Islamic Terrorists to run wild for the past six years?

The Leftist talking heads all agree, we would not have this problem at all if President Bush hadn’t interfered with Islamic Terrorism campaigns all those years ago. President Obama (PBUH) is completely innocent of any responsibility for allowing Islamic Terrorists free reign in the area – and world, for that matter.

They say this with a straight face. I cannot believe it.

One of the Leftists claim then President Bush announced his then strategies were winning in Iraq. That was when we had beat Saddam’s army and located Saddam himself hiding in a hastily dug hole. That was when the United States was actually fighting a war against Islamic Terror instead of making excuses for Islamic Terror.

The Leftists on the program all agree the past statements of President Bush and the current nonsense of President Obama (PBUH) are equivalent.

How can anyone believe that sort of claim? How does anyone with a functioning brain spout drivel like that with a straight face?

Then the question of “What is the likelihood of ‘another’ Iraq war?”

The Leftist talking heads all speak in terms of ‘support’, and ignore the danger of allowing DASH and other Islamic Terrorists to do as they please as the basis for military action. Since the Progressive elements in the U. S. don’t want to commit troops to counter the obvious military threat to world peace and freedom, there isn’t any point in proposing U. S. military counter action.

The idea of Islamic Terrorists renewing their attacks on the U. S. totally slip their attention. The connection between Islamic Terrorists in the mid East and attacks on the United States simply holds no consequence to this band of nit-wits.

Unbelievable!

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Filed under Civilization, Idiot Politicians, Islam, journalists

Interesting Statement, this…

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/05/20/john-glenn-evolution-should-be-taught-in-schools/?intcmp=trending

At first glance, this seems obvious as to meaning and will be sneered at by many in the ‘religion’ business. However, all people – Christian believers or not – should read the small print and determine what Senator Glenn really thinks on the matter.

Among other statements of Sen Glenn, he said “to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible” (‘this kind of creation’ is space in this context). However, he also thinks science and discoveries should be taught, including ‘evolution’.

Yes, there are those in the religion business – not to be confused with God’s believers known as Christians – who will lose income if their message is removed. That sole message being the evil of evolution, evolutionists and science in general. That sole message being ignorance and willful denial of reality is key to pleasing God. Too bad if they lose income. God directs no one to lie or cater to prejudice in order to get rich.

The ‘good news’ – the Greek word translated ‘gospel’ – is Almighty God through the sacrifice of God (Jesus Christ) has provided a way to forgive humans for sin and rebellion. The ‘good news’ is this forgiveness is available to any and all who will ask God for it. The ‘good news’ is Almighty God loves without stinting and renews life to those who seek it.

The ‘good news’ is that Christians do not have to be ignorant or stupid in order to please God. A Christian pleases God by listening to God and following His will. Not by obeying a list of ‘shall’ and ‘shall not’ items invented by some ‘religious person’. No one has to please the Pope, or the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, or the Dali Lama, or Billy Graham or Billy Sunday or me or anyone, in order to obey God. (Some of us probably get some of the concepts right from time to time, but the key is to obey God.)

Do anti-God and anti-Christian people use some aspects of science (in the large and vague sense) to attempt to discredit God? Most certainly. One notes anti-God and anti-Christian people use some aspects of politics, social concern and religion attempting to discredit God as well. So what?

It is the duty of all Christian people to be well informed about all of God’s nature and all of God’s creation. In doing so, we can better serve God in whatever manner He sees fit. We can also separate the wheat from chaff in other fields – like science (in the large and vague sense) and politics and social concerns. Ignorance is NOT a strength.

Except for dictators. See the quote about ignorance and strength in the novel 1984, by George Orwell. That is NOT what God commands.

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The Sinner’s Prayer

I was listening to the radio this morning and heard a disturbing sermon or exposition. The radio station and speaker will remain nameless – to protect the guilty, innocent or as yet undetermined. The main thrust of the message was the gospel being preached and taught in many churches was wrong. That what is commonly taught about salvation is inadequate and sometimes misleading.

That did pique my interest and I listened for the entire program. I am concerned enough to write this exposition.

I must confess, I’m not sure if the speaker is ill-advised, flat wrong or simply meandering in his thinking. Some points he made were valid and reasonable, others sounded fallacious and indefensible. However, I shall reserve my final judgement.

Yes. I do have judgement. I do get to judge teachings and doctrines of others. I am commanded by the Lord God of Armies to ‘judge’ spirits in 1st John 4:1. The word used in the text is translated ‘test’, but it means to “to make a critical examination of someth[ing,] to determine genuineness, put to the test, examine.” If that doesn’t mean ‘judge’, I’ll be switched.

The text in Matthew 7 (verses 1 to 7) reads
7:1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.1  7:2 For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. 2  7:3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 7:4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 7:5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 7:6 Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces.

Jesus in this passage is warning about criteria of judgement. Further He is talking about judging people, not issues, doctrine, logic or purported ‘facts’. So, when Jesus says in verse 2 the standard ‘we’ use to judge others will be the standard by which we are judged. Consider that Christians are judged in the light of mercy and forgiveness; should we judge other people without mercy?

On the other hand, First John 4:1-3 commands us – Christians – to ‘test the spirits’. In short, John, inspired by God to write this, is saying to double check anything that sounds contrary to Biblical teaching. This is why Christians do not put much stock in ‘reincarnation’ or ‘good luck charms’ or such. The teaching is contrary to the Bible message and discredits the power of God.

I don’t think it is out of line to read it as saying we are to analyze various sorts of claims – including sales pitches. I used two dabs of Brylcream for years and women NEVER chased me. (Which is not to say it didn’t work for keeping hair in place within reason.)

However, ‘judgement’ in terms of theology, doctrine and Christian dealings is not only allowed, but commanded.

“Gospel” is an interesting word. As most readers probably know, it comes from the Greek word “euaggelion” (pronounced ‘you-an-ghel-ee-on’ with a soft ‘g’ in the middle syllable; not like ‘hair gel’) and literally means ‘good news’. In the Greek, this could mean any good news, like “You got the raise” or “Our team won the playoff” or “Mother and child are doing well” and so forth.

In Christianity, the New Testament, it refers usually to the ‘good news’ of Salvation. Rather than me re-type it all, please go to BlueLetterBible.org; find the Strong’s Lexicon and check entry G2098.

What the speaker was attacking in the guise of poor gospel was specifically the evangelical concept of ‘The Sinner’s Prayer’. I have to admit, the attack has some merit; but it can be misleading.

The Sinner’s Prayer usually takes on some variation of the following:

“Lord, I admit I am a sinner. I know I cannot save myself from the eternal penalty for my sin and poor conduct. I know you sent your Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for my sins. I accept the atonement of Jesus on my behalf and accept Your forgiveness. I will live according to your commandments to the best of my abilities and allow You to control my life.”

As mentioned, this is one variation, but it hits the high points. Some variations are shorter and some are longer and more detailed.

This usage has been attacked in the past few years as inadequate. Again, there is some merit to the attack. Yet the usage is not completely without effect or merit, either.

Here’s the explanation:

The Sinner’s Prayer is not, nor ever has been, promulgated as a “Magic Spell” which binds God to our will, or ‘forces’ God to save anyone from sin. Secondly, this approach seems to end the matter of the Christian life with salvation, only.

However, it does seem to be advertised that way at times. The impression one gets is that if anyone merely repeats these words, God is forced to act and all is well. Not ever spoken, but somewhat inferred is reciting this ‘spell’ is all that is required and one can go back to normal life – whatever that may be – and has a total and unrestricted ‘get out of jail – or hell – card’ for the remainder of one’s life. And, this is the goal and end of the matter.

This concept is simply not so.

The Sinner’s Prayer is also attacked in that it is not specifically recorded in the New Testament (or anywhere else in the Bible, for that matter.) This is correct, as far as it goes. No where is Jesus – or any of the other writers of the New Testament – recorded uttering these words. Nor do any of them suggest reciting a particular order of words (in any language) to secure forgiveness of sins. Of course, the composite ideas are espoused and with some repetition.

Just for the record, the term ‘Trinity’ does not appear, either. All Christian fellowships, denominations, groups, sects, sub-divisions and so forth concur on the triune nature of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The composite ideas are espoused and with some repetition.

So how does the Sinner’s Prayer work? It is the outline of an oral contract. Some object to the word ‘contract’. Too bad.

Presumably, the reader has heard the terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament” on occasion? Further presuming, the reader has heard the terms Old and New Covenant as well?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary (look on line, it’s easy to find) lists ‘testament’ as having an archaic (for example, A. D. 1611) meaning of “…a covenant between God and the human race”. Testament and Covenant both in this context mean “…a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement”. A compact. A contract.

Even though in the modern world we think of contracts as documents to be signed, current U. S. law – and the world in general – recognize oral contracts where both parties agree on a specific agreement.

The Sinner’s Prayer can – should – be used to outline a specific and binding agreement between an individual human being and Almighty God.

The individual human being – called the ‘sinner’ for brevity – agrees to depend upon God for life, both temporal and eternal. Further the sinner agrees to follow God’s will, commands and directions for the rest of his life.

God agrees to remove the guilt and penalty of sin from the sinner. God further agrees to remake the sinner into the ‘reflection’ (image) of God in this life and for eternity. God also promises not to impose a ‘breach of contract’ penalty upon the sinner.

So why the Sinner’s Prayer for this?

A quick review of the elements of the Sinner’s Prayer, as presented here.

“Lord, I admit I am a sinner.”
The simplest verse to justify this statement is Romans 3:23; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” However, this is merely a snippet and if anything, is rather understated. A couple verses prior, (verse 20 of the same passage) reads “For no one is declared righteous before him   by the works of the law…”
Romans 10:9-10 reads, “…because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10:10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.”
So, some declaration of the matter is recommended in the matter.

“I know I cannot save myself from the eternal penalty for my sin and poor conduct.”
See the above paragraphs. Note the passage in Romans 3 again. There is no declaration of righteousness other than by the Grace of God.

“I know you sent your Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for my sins.”
One of the keystones of Christianity.
Romans 5:6 and following (entire paragraph): “5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.)  5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood,* we will be saved through him from God’s wrath.  5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 5:11 Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.”
* “blood” is used here as a euphemism for death.

“I accept the atonement of Jesus on my behalf and accept Your forgiveness.”
This is the meaning of the word ‘believe’ in the New Testament. To rely upon and depend on the subject for what is needed. More than mere assent of existence, ‘belief’ includes acceptance and full dependence upon the subject of ‘belief’.

“I will live according to your commandments to the best of my abilities and allow You to control my life.”
First Corinthians 5:11-21 speaks of the ‘change’ concurrent with the transformation from non-believer to Christian. Christians are a ‘new creation’, yet there is a progression of the individual involved.

So, there is nothing in the Sinner’s Prayer which contradicts Jesus’ teaching or the doctrine of the New Testament.

The only potentially misleading concepts are two. One, it can be misinterpreted as a ‘magic spell’ which binds God to grant the speaker forgiveness. It is not. Second, it should never be presented in such a way to suggest this transaction – even as a binding, oral contract – is the end of the matter. This is the beginning of the Christian life and a transition to recreation in the image of God.

************************
The following is a bit of further explanation of some the issues involved herein. It is a bit random in organization, but are important in a general knowledge of the Bible fashion.

In the NET Bible website search function, I find twenty-eight pages of Bible references using the word ‘saved’. I counted a random page and found twenty verses using the word ‘saved’. That is 560 verses (more or less). In the words of a famous television commercial from a number of years ago, “I think I’m going to need a bigger box.”

The verses range from Genesis to Revelation. Some verses refer to physical salvation – as in “…saved us from the Philistines…”. Many refer to spiritual salvation and quite a few have double meanings – both physical and spiritual. Obviously I didn’t use all of them in this essay. Hopefully I’ve hit the main points.

The NET.Bible website also shows this definition:
Webster’s
SA’VED, pp. Preserved from evil; injury or destruction; kept frugally; prevented; spared; taken in time.

A favorite text of those who seek to impose greater restrictions on Christians is in Matthew 7, verses 21 to 23.

“21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’

These are the words of Jesus indeed. However, they aren’t as vague as some suggest. Look at the actual wording; those denied are all claiming to have done things in their own power. “…didn’t WE …” do this or that. Nor do any of those herein denied come to the Lord and say, “I gave You my allegiance and obedience. I trusted Your death and resurrection for my forgiveness.” This seems to be the key to the unspoken lesson of the passage.

None of this is to say prophesy and demon casting are NOT important. However, the only important work in Christianity is that work which is individually directed and empowered by God.

Another aside.
The words ‘belief’ (noun) or ‘believe’ (verb) and the word ‘faith’ (noun or verb depending on usage) are rather weak words in the modern English language. They were stronger words in Greek usage of Jesus’ day.

All to often, the term ‘believe’ is equated with ‘casual opinion’. Something like “I believe Jingles will win the third race at Hialeah today.” A closer meaning is “I believe I’ll have another beer”. The latter suggests a certainty of and intent of action which is a bit stronger than mere opinion or whim.

Strong’s Lexicon shows the Greek word to be G4100 pisteuo, (pes-too-oh). Strong’s reports as meaning:

To think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in [a ‘thing’ either physical or intellectual] in general life.
When used in a moral or religious reference:
* used in the New Testament of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith.
This last alternative is used as a comparison to the ‘belief’ which is steadfast.

Likewise the word ‘faith’ does not in the Greek signify ‘wishful thinking’. There are two words in Greek translated ‘faith’ in the KJV and can be misleading.

The stronger word is G4102 pistis (pis-tis). It is linguistically connected to G4100 (above) and is similar in meaning. “Conviction of the truth…”
The weaker Greek word is G3640 oligopistos (ah-lee-gawp-ess-toss) and refers to ‘little faith’ or something akin to wishful thinking or a neutral acceptance, not amounting to full support.

One should also note that both ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ are much like strength and ability. They all come in degrees or levels. All of these concepts grow over time and use. The more pushups one does, the stronger one’s arms and shoulders become. The more one knows and relies on God, the stronger belief grows.

End of aside regarding faith and belief.

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A New – Old – Colt Government Model!

Saturday, 2nd May I attended a local gun show in Grand Island, Nebraska. And I had money in my pocket. Always a dangerous proposition. Gun shows are harder on me than redheads or Jewish girls. (I shudder to think about meeting a redheaded Jewish woman! I’m stupid enough naturally.)

I found, and purchased, two firearms that simply called to me. One is the subject of this essay, a Colt Government Model. Calibre? .45 ACP, of course. For the record, I am aware the Government Model has been commercially available from Colt also in calibres Super .38 and 9mm Luger (Parabellum, 9mm NATO, 9×19 and simply Nine. It is properly chambered in .45 ACP. Super .38 is a needed addition as the cartridge was too powerful for the earlier .38 Automatic rendering. The 9mm Luger version is simply blasphemy catering to what was deemed popular opinion. Tsk.

The other pistol I purchased is another of my ancient .32 ACP – 7.65mm Browning – collection. I shall report it in a future essay.

I must say I like the Colt Government Model. The normal grips fit me properly. I can shoot them one handed and feel like I actually control it. They just sort of feel ‘alive’ in a good sort of way. (That’s opposed to the Stephen King sort of way.)

Colt Government Model, Series 70, Mk IV,  45 ACP

Colt Government Model, Series 70, Mk IV,
45 ACP


I saw it in a display case, saw what was a rather low price for it and had to look. Not bad, actually. It is a genuine Colt pistol, frame and all. According to the serial number, it is in the “70L…” serial number range. According to my handy Colt serial number book, it was made in A. D. 1972. A fine year for Colt automatics, as it happens.

Rear sight, higher than standard, two dot style.  Yes, I canted the pistol for the photo; I do not do so normally

Rear sight, higher than standard, two dot style. Yes, I canted the pistol in the photo; I do not normally do so.

The first change I noted were the sights. They were aftermarket; high rise, high visibility. Then I noted the rear sight is from a three dot set up, but the front sight has a white fill or wide line vertical in the center. If they offend me enough, I can paint them black.

Aftermarket front sight with white center stripe.

Aftermarket front sight with white center stripe.

The trigger is not original, either. It is slightly longer and the front is not as ’rounded’ on the sides. Which indicates someone did some trigger work, probably. Hmmm.

Aftermarket Long Trigger

Aftermarket Long Trigger

Locking the slide to the rear in order to insure the weapon was not loaded and inspect the chamber and bore, I noted the barrel has the faint ‘bell’ at the muzzle to position the barrel properly. By design, the bushing (mechanical link between barrel and slide) had ‘fingers’, actually three flat springs to grip and automatically center the barrel in place. Those ‘fingers’ had the reputation (somewhat deserved) of breaking. So most of them are long gone, replaced with a solid bushing fitted to the diameter of the ‘bell’. This seems to be the case with this pistol.

The grips are Colt grips, but feature ‘diamonds’ around the grip screws, imitating the original grips from 1911 or so. However, they are obviously ‘new’ (more or less) and have gold colored Colt ‘prancing pony’ medallions implanted. Which means someone probably put aftermarket grips on the item at one time, then couldn’t find the originals when he (she? it?) decided to sell the pistol.

Like they don’t work and like I don’t have – uh – several sets of Government Model grips in my treasure trove. Including a set of Jean St. Henri ‘coffin lid’ grips. Hmpf.

Oh, yes. There’s a blemish where someone dropped the pistol and put a ding in the port side cocking serrations. Not overwhelming. It doesn’t affect the function of the pistol in any manner. (Sort of like the idiot scratch from installing the slide stop – which it also sports, but very finely.) I think the pistol was dropped as the ding does not look like a random hammer blow. It is a bit too ‘ragged’ for a hammer face or peen.

Damage to cocking serrations, probably dropped; idiot mark

Damage to cocking serrations, probably dropped; idiot mark

So I bought it. The price was right and I like the vintage.

Got it home. Trigger pull, according to my spring type gauge was five and one half pounds. According to my finger, it was between nine and seventeen. It seemed to change weight, depending on mood. I knew it had been ‘worked’ due to the aftermarket trigger. And the factory installed hammer was bright metal on the sides (all over, in fact.) The hammer when purchased was blued all over. I pulled it apart and looked. Nothing obvious, but it didn’t work right. I also noted the hammer would fall to the half-cock when the slide was closed without the disconnector activated. Not horribly unsafe, but not as should be. I sprang for a Cylinder and Slide sear, disconnector, hammer and leaf spring kit. The trigger now runs about 4.5 pounds all the time.

Off to the range I go. I took a small portion of ‘hardball’ equivalent loads. For those just tuning in, in the context of .45 ACP rounds, ‘hardball’ is the short term for the U. S. Military standard cartridge loading known officially as “Cartridge, Caliber .45, ball, M1911″. It is described as a 230 grain full metal jacketed (FMJ) bullet with a muzzle velocity of 855 feet per second (FPS), plus or minus 25 FPS. It is what is normally considered to be the ‘standard’ .45 ACP load.

Posting a target at the twenty-five yard mark, I proceed to fire fifteen shots, more or less slow fire. Reverting back to bullseye days, I shot one handed, focusing on the front sight. The results were quite impressive. The first two strings of five shots each, I scored a 94 (out of 100). For me, that would have been a really good slow fire score (at fifty yards) and a pretty fair timed or rapid fire score) at twenty-five yards. I didn’t really fire in the time limits of timed (twenty seconds per five shots) or rapid (ten seconds per five shots) fire, but still…

First group after installing new trigger set

First group after installing new trigger set

The Government Model, as adapted by the U. S. Armed Services in A. D. 1911, was intended for use against a human adversary. It was intended to be used from either afoot or mounted on a horse. (Yes, a four-legged, hay eating, horse. The ‘cavalry’ was really cavalry in those days.) Ideally, the handgun was officially adjudged as being ‘effective’ for a range of fifty yards. That is to say, a trained soldier could hit a human silhouette out to fifty yards, presuming good light and visibility. The group I shot and recorded in this entry is markedly smaller.

If I can shoot it that well, the pistol can no doubt do better.

I think this new, old pistol is a keeper. One cannot have too many.

As Colombo would say, “One more thing…”

This pistol takes exception to the shape of my manly hands. Specifically the right one. When I grip the pistol normally, the grip safety doesn’t always depress. I can manipulate my hand so the grip safety does depress, but it’s a pain in the – uh – hand. So I have effected the 1940 field expedient. There is now a rather large rubber band around the grip and grip safety. Problem solved. At least for the moment.

Update.
I had the opportunity to shoot this pistol in the monthly bowling pin match at my gun club. I now have a rather impressive hammer bite on the web of my shooting (starboard, as it happens) hand; proving the pistol is a genuine Government Model. I am happy to report the pistol hit everything at which I aimed the device.

I am not so happy to report the ammunition and magazine did not serve as well. The ammunition was my reloads, hardball equivalent – except the bullets were cast lead rather than full metal jacket type. For some reason, not all the cases properly ejected. It seemed like the loads were a bit shy of full charge, except the primers were showing signs of being flattened. Recoil and blast seemed normal.

Also, the single magazine I took (yes, I know better) seems to be deficient. The follower seemed to be extended through the lips of the magazine. And it seems just a bit ‘wide’ at the top.

So. I will do a complete disassembly, inspection, cleaning and lubrication. Then I’ll try it again with FMJ full change ammunition AND a few better magazines. More to come…

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