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Field notes from Northeast Texas.

Updated: 2018-02-10T09:45:43.961-08:00


Shiprock and Bluff, Utah, repeat.


  If you are going to stay anywhere in SouthEast Utah, I strongly suggest Recapture Lodge in Bluff.  It was homey, reasonable, close to everything and full of interesting folks.  David Roberts and I were there the same time, though I didn't get to meet him.  Ellen Meloy, (Eating Stone), was a close friend of the owners.  Bluff is a very interesting little town.Looking at a classic building on 287 between Quanah and Vernon.  Chillocothe. I think.Got trucks racing by and it's destined to fall.  But quite a piece of architecture.Out from Santa Rosa among the billboards.I've got a little file of these negatives building up as I come and go through this area.That's what THAT looked like.  Can shoot the Westbound in the morning and the Eastbound in the afternoon.  Wind the biggest problem.At Shiprock just for an afternoon and an overnight.Poking around looking.Previewing on iPhone for a 600mm lens.Wind.Dawn the next morning from parking spot at the start of the South Dike.  Usually not recommended as a campsite, though the climbers use it.  Often, you get poltergeists.Sunrise.  I bet somewhere out in the desert there is a Summer Solstice marker.Turns into this.Turns into this.Turns into this.  I burnt a couple pieces of 5X7.A handsome Gopher Snake gliding by.Then we kissed it goodbye and headed north to Bluff and Comb Ridge.[...]

iPhone wrap-up. Team day, general snapping.


Izzy in the pits.Outlay watching the line.Prepping for 600.Safety brief on NRA Regional morning.Ron Leraas brings the word.[...]

Panola Regional Weekend III



Panola Regional, Team and CMP/EIC Match II


Proving there is no such thing as too many photographs...Madison on her way to good score.Rol Coggins working bolt gun.The head horse thief from Oklahoma, Kent Stonecipher.Kent Shomber.Kyle H in the pits.Buddy Reich.Buggy and Cheryl.Clayton Rogers sunning.TX Junior .Brain trust at 600 yard line.Oklahoma horse thieves checking results for errors.David Wilson counts the money.[...]

Panola County Gun Club NRA Regional Match and CMP/EIC Match, May 5-7, 2017


  Emily Hogg firing.Jerry Illiff at work.Scoring.Madison Butler.Alan Wilson.Jerry Illiff.Rol Coggins running  a bolt Match rifle.Hogg mags for the rapids.Friday was 4-man Team Day, Saturday was the NRA Regional, Sunday was the CMP/EIC Match.  Terrific weather and shooting conditions and a full range.  Four LEGs on Sunday.[...]

The road goes on forever.


  Shooting was curtailed for a couple of years as my beloved Katie worked her way through the process..  First I cut out Camp Perry trips, then I stayed home from multi-day regionals and championships.  Finally I stayed home through monthly matches.  Just couldn't bear to be more than 20 minutes away in case she needed something.  She needed lots, but there wasn't anything to be done.  Just couldn't get that cancer turned.   While I was away there were major changes.  The team has been wildly successful.  Scoped Service Rifle was introduced and took over.  New faces, new rules, the NRA moved it's championship to Camp Atterbury, Indiana.  For one year, they say.  I missed the people and the shooting, though plenty of folks stayed in touch. First weekend in April monthly match at Panola County gun club.  Dan Pate getting set at 300 rapid.  First relay in the pits.  Power Rings available on the line.  600 ammo lined up.  Alan Wilson, another ex-pat, back on the line.  Dan Pate at 600.  [...]

Daily Deercam: December action.


 Little buck and doe in heat.  He's missing a brow tine.  Had to fight during the rut.

2 1/2 year old.

He'll be a decent deer next year, but like last year's deer, we probably won't see him.

Cousin Wallace checks the shotgun stats.


Whilst awaiting my turn @ the barber shoppe I was perusin' a Field & Steam rag and read what I thought was an interesting article.Tx PWD conducted a survey on which was more effective, lead or steel shot for dove hunters.TPWD conducted this survey over 3 years ( I think that's what it said) with one observer going out w/one hunter to count the hits & misses and record the ranges.Neither shooter or observer knew whether they were using steel or lead (shells were "color coded" & otherwise unmarked) 12 gauge.Lead loads were  1 1/8oz  #7 1/2 shot @ 1200fpsSteel loads were  1oz  #7size steel @1300fps (dunno much about steel shot sizes...assuming #7 steel is deemed good for doves?)Both loads had similar recoil so, shooter not supposed to be able to tell difference.Article claims both loads killed about the same w/the steel load achieving 5% more hits ( I think due to shooters error in frequently not leading bird enuff w/slower lead load)As a group, this bunch of shooters (forget how many there were but, quite a few) killed one bird for every 4.4 shells expended  (22.7%)National average was one bird killed for every 7.5 shells ( 13.3% ) according to this article.As a group they missed shots over 30 yards 68% of the time.As a group they missed shots under 30 yards 57% of the time.Average "kill" distance was 29 yards.Now, here's what I found pretty interesting. Shooters used their own shotguns & had their choice as to what choke they used.48.1% used "Modified" choke ......21% kill percentage30.5% used "Imp Cyl" choke.........26% kill percentage21.4% used "Full" choke ..............16% kill percentageNote the 5% increase for each step down in choke constriction.Kinda shows what I've been saying/thinking all these years...."Most guys would do better with a more open choke & also not shoot at birds out of range."Many years ago I read something that's always stuck with me & I believe it to be pretty close to the truth."You can tell a greenhorn wingshooter 'cause he'll always shoot too long a barrel, too tight a choke, too big shot and high brass shotshells."  I've observed this very thing over the years!Typical rookie will say "I want a 30" barrel and full choke! High brass #6's work best! Them little ole #8's won't even kill a hummingbird."Well, somewhere in the middle probably lies a pretty good compromise.Rarely have I ever felt the need for a Full choke and I'd only use #6's if that's all I had....I've had pretty good success killing ducks w/#6's!Another old saying that I've always remembered is "Pattern fails before penetration" ....Checked mourning doves killed @ 40yds & a #8 will go all the way thru sometimes.Yep, a #6 will shore-nuff kill a dove "IF" your pattern doesn't let him fly thru without a hit....see little need for #6 unless looong shots w/full choke & your are able to hit at distance.As for me, I much prefer #7 1/2 as my "do all" shot size with #8's in the smaller gauges and earlier season, especially on the smaller mourning doves.Whitewings are bigger & tuffer so it's # 7 1/2's for them too. ( This goes for the Eurasian Collared doves too).Steel vrs Lead.....gimme the lead every time!!!!  Surely hope the gubmint don't force us to use steel on doves like they did ducks....I'd be bad mad!Everyone has their favorites I'm sure....and, there are always exceptions...shooter skill (or, lack thereof) can certainly change these stats...just found this article very interesting! As always, I'd like to hear everyone's opinions![...]

Daily Deercam: Not much shaking.


It must be over.

One doe

Little buck. 

The rest were rabbits, squirrels and raccoons.

Daily Deercam: Not very fancy.


Can't get the date set on the cam, nor get the feeder working, so there is only corn when the coons or I shake it out a bit.  Still there is a little traffic.

Not legal but he is cute and reliable.  Wonder where last years versions are?

Creatures of the Earth.


Whales still carrying flint harpoon points, 80 year old parrots, 64 year old Albatross.....and a 502 year old clam.

  Flint and slate points in Bowhead Whale.

Daily Deercam: Bad Moultrie.


Little Buck.

Mr. Coon.

Doe and twins.

Big Buck.

Cousin Wallace forwards an account of the Holy Lands.


  Edited to delete the writer, but here is a contemporary account of what its like on the ground in Israel and Jordan:We have now been in Israel / Jordan for 3 days.  My biggest takeaway is the absolute belief that these countries want peace.  They are tired of war and ever-present terrorism.  We have spent hours with the Israeli National Police, Border Police, retired Mossad, military units, and even the GID of Jordan (the equivalent of our CIA), and all have expressed a desire to live in safe communities, raise their children, and coexist.  The holy sites are difficult to appreciate, in my humble opinion, because they are so commercialized and so well attended.  We will hear from the Police Commander tomorrow about the difficulties of policing the Temple Mount, and we will visit it during the daytime.  Israel has less population than New York City, as does Jordan.  They both lament that they live in bad neighborhoods.  Except for Amman, you do not get the sense that these people fear for their safety.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  They go about their business, whether work or recreation, in small and large groups.  I thought I would see police everywhere, but that is only true for the Old City, which is where the holy sites are.  I seldom see officers elsewhere on the streets.  We spent a day in the West Bank (Occupied Territory) visiting a training site for the Israeli Border Police.  The people were fantastic.  We saw them accomplish riot control, bus assaults, and shooting demonstrations.  I left with a BP green beret.  Amman, Jordan, was a different story.  The city has 3.5 million people, and it is in the desert mountains.  Traffic was horrible!  I will never complain about Austin again.  We had armed escorts the entire time, and they weaved us through and almost into traffic repeatedly.  We were inches from colliding, and no one seemed to care.  We met with the King's brother and spent an hour with him and the Director of Military Intelligence.  Following this, we traveled to a Special Forces compound that was largely paid for by you and I.  I'm betting Lt. Watson has trained at this site, which is home to the KASOTC.  Afterwards, it was off to the 1,200 person SWAT unit that serves the city.  They have two operations a week, mostly related to criminal offenses (armed robbery and homicide).  They take tremendous casualties.  They had an active shooter just last week, when one of the local police officers opened fire at a training site, killing several.  This unit is committed to the fight!  I left with their trademark black beret.  Both countries are very troubled by Da'esh...what we call ISIL.  Russia's involvement, they fear, will cause even more foreign fighters to join, thus escalating the violence.  The Jordanian GID (CIA) correctly pointed out that Syria does not have security forces to keep the country afloat should Da'esh be defeated, so they are worried about long-term plans, or the lack thereof.  Everyone agrees that Russia's involvement changed things.  The refugees are overwhelming everyone! By the way, we have now run into two NYPD detectives.  One is assigned to Jerusalem and the other to Amman.  NYPD's chief is with me on this trip. It is now 10 pm in Jerusalem.  I have an early morning run awaiting me! [...]

Daily Deercam....from last December and January.


Pulled the card on a cam I hadn't visited since the first of the season.  These bucks lived through the first of the year....ought to be much better this season.Nice 2 1/2 that was around in late December.Certainly looks fat and healthy.Bobcat blurring by.Bigfoot!Hope he looks a little better now at 1 1/2.Healthy does.[...]

Cousin Wallace talks Texas Open Carry


From Cousin Wallace:Below is a piece I wrote a couple of years ago when I was inspired by a really tough but really good class we went through as part of our firearm instructor school. Now that "open carry" is just around the corner, we have an opportunity to somewhat "rethink" our carry options as opposed to "concealed carry only."  By this I mean that most of us will continue to carry concealed but, we now have the welcomed option of being a little less concerned about accidentally exposing our sidearm. We can now, for example, carry a sidearm in a shoulder or belt holster under a shirt or jacket but, if say the wind blows our shirt up and exposes the weapon on your hip, it's no longer an offense. That's to our advantage as our comfort level as well as our "better armed" level options have increased! Speaking for myself, I won't be nearly as hesitant to put on a belt holster and carry a larger and potentially more effective sidearm instead of trying to conceal my beloved Kahr 9x19mm single-stack pistols.... IF, it's where I can cover them up with a jacket or slouchy shirt. The Kahrs will still be used heavily as I still believe they are very good pistols firing a nasty 127gr +P+ Talon. Now however, I can certainly strap on a classic 1911, my tried and true Sig P220 or one of the three Glock .357's I carry daily @ work. I have immense confidence in any of them as they offer more "shootability," good sights and good punch with the Glocks offering the added advantage of higher capacity and the very good terminal performance of the .357 Sig cartridge.My opinions expressed below haven't changed over the last couple of years. I encourage you to read through the text below and be thinking about what you will choose to carry come 01 Jan 2016. Almost everyone I know will continue to carry "concealed" as will I on most occasions. Please remember merely carrying a sidearm doesn't mean you are prepared. Your mindset requires constant attention and you should practice often with any/all sidearms you will carry....the "Murphy's Law" mentioned below is very real and something a lot of folks never think will happen to them. Evaluate your new options and "reply all" for some discussion on this matter for the benefit of all. Yours in shooting and favor the "X-Ring"Wallace                    ( Previous article from about 2 years ago below)        Most of you receiving this have seen the recent back and forth over what's the most effective handgun calibre which will kind of go along with this little piece. I'll go ahead and say right now, this is just my opinion but, I will try to explain why I have these opinions. Hear me out and keep an open mind and see if you can grasp some of what I'm saying.Last year our department hosted a course titled "Off-duty Violent Encounters."  This day long school was taught by SWAT instructors from Austin, Passadena and Houston. It was geared for off-duty police officers but there was a lot that could be applied to civilians that I want to share. Myself and other adjunct firearms instructors initially took the class then we subsequently taught the rest of our officers during in-service training in the following weeks. It was tough going. These guys drained us of just about every ounce of energy and then required us to shoot under stress. All this to show us an encounter won't be a walk in the park and that our accuracy levels will be affected. We were constantly doing push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, punching bags[...]

Daily Deercam: Nove 2, 2015.


  Balky feeder that I can't keep running and the worst Moultrie ever.  Middle of the summer I found it knocked over full of weevily corn turned white.  Moultrie arely makes an image, in fact hasn't done anything until this last session.  And it's April.  Last week.  Can't figure out how to get the date right.  Coons, Armadillos, possums walking by and blurring.  At least is got some kind of image.

Big wandering male piggy.

A little buck that must be finding out what the rut is all about.

Bucking again.

Also a doe and two fawns.  Looking thinnish, though the range is in great shape.  

More CSS Cannons out of Savanah Harbor.


Old ships from the Civil War.

USS Arizona and USS Missouri big gun barrels moved to Arizona WWII Memorial.


  Large gun from the USS Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and on from the USS Missouri where the Japanese signed their surrender in 1945 set up as war memorial in Phoenix Arizona.

Camp Perry 2015 TSRA Team wins both National Trophies.


  2015 was a remarkable run for the TSRA Service Rifle Team.  The Infantry Trophy group was confronted with flag-popping wind on the 600 yard line to start.  The dope was 4 minutes of right windage -and that turned out to be on the money.  Few of the other teams had the nerve to crank that much on.  They fired an 1191, second place overall behind the AMU at 1270 to win the Leatherneck Trophy and the Civilian National title.

TSRA Infantry Trophy lineup.  Buddy Reich, Randy S, Kyle Hoeschler,  Clay Hefner in back. Keith Stephens, Dave Wilson, Justin Utley, Tony Miller in front.

The National Trophy Team Match was fired the next day and the TSRA led the Soldier of Marathon Trophy race whole way.  Again they were second only to the Army Marksmanship Unit in overall score, firing a 2900 to the AMU 2938.

TSRA Bullseye Team. Back: Buddy Reich, Lee Eldridge, Randy S, Kyle Hoeschler.  Front row: Keith Stephens, Coach Dave Wilson.  Captain Tony Miller, Justin Utley.

Great coaching, teamwork, individual efforts and organization by everyone!

Cousin Wallace walks the Kennedy crime scene.


After spending most of the day last weekend @ Dallas Market Hall gunshow, Danny Henry took Richard Hall & myself down to Dealey Plaza to have a look-see.I had seen it before from the freeway but, had never actually been there to explore.Like everyone else, I had seen a bunch of the news reports & documentaries covering the assignation of Kennedy which had shown the area.By standing there & looking around, in all directions and from all angles, I gained some perspective of the ranges involved, the angles, etc....very interesting to me!First, I was kinda surprised how close Oswald's perch was to the motorcade.Also, how small the "grassy knoll" was....not very large at all. The newz media/documentaries led me to believe the area was much bigger.( Of course, they also make folks think Oswald was a "crack shot" skilled rifleman....hmmmm, not so much...)I've looked @ Oswald's qualification scores (two, using the M1 Garand)...he barely made Sharpshooter the 1st time and failed to make Sharpshooter the 2nd qual...very average and not even in the league of a "skilled rifleman" in my opinion.With the short ranges involved, it didn't take super skill....some skill of course but, any ole country boy used to shooting rabbits or squirrels could have easily hit Kennedy (of course, that's just my opinion).From Oswald's position, I'm thinking I could have done the deed with one of my handguns....a steep angled 15 to 20 yard shot could have been taken if he'd wanted.Now, I don't exactly want to sound like a conspiracy guy but, while there, I asked myself "where would you have gotten if you were going to take the shot?"While Oswald had a fairly good place (elevated & with a rifle rest on the window) I'm not sure that would have been my 1st choice.The road was marked with a couple of "X's"...the 1st where Kennedy is hit in the back w/exit through the throat from 156gr FMJ RN 6.5x52mm Italian Carcano ( my opinion is this was Oswald's 2nd shot & only time he hit Kennedy)...looked about 30 - 35 yard shot from the bldg. Oswald was in. The 2nd "X" was about 20 yards further down the street and closer to the "grassy knoll"...this is where the fatal headshot occurred. Distance & angle was much harder shot (though still doable) for Oswald.I strolled over behind the wooden picket fence (other side of the concrete wall at the top of grassy knoll) & "discovered" this would have been "my choice" of an ambush position! Motorcade coming almost directly at me....very slight angle, almost lined up with me....easily could have tracked the problem at all to hit someone at what I estimated to be between 30 & 35 yards. A few yards across a parking lot behind me & I'm in amongst rail cars & brush....very workable escape route (my opinion).Zupruder film has always made me think Kennedy was hit from the front & with an expanding type bullet....I used to work for a guy named Frank Sheffield.Frank's sister was @ Dealey Plaza & a witness to the assignation.Frank told me she would get extremely upset if anyone told her Oswald was the only shooter as she heard shots coming from 2 different directions and "one was a whole lot louder than the other!"With everyone's attention on the motorcade, and the confusion after the shots, no telling what went on...might be fairly easy to slip out during the confusion....We may never know for sure but, I remain unconvinced Oswald was the one who hit Kennedy in the head....the picket fence was a g[...]

Cousin Wallace runs the match.


Cousin Wallace and the Abilene Pistol Matches.Shooters:It's coming up on two years since we started the local pistol matches @ Abilene Gun Club. Here's a little history of how we got it started.After reading about a "new" type match, developed by CMP called the "M&P" (Military & Police) match, I was inspired and wanted to try this here at home. Since their version restricted certain weapon features and ammo types, I felt like that would hinder local participation. Knowing there are lots of guys & gals who own sidearms, I felt we needed a match that would appeal to those who were not the "hard-core" competition shooters. I liked the course of fire and the generous time limits allowed. Not everyone is a "run and gun" type shooter so, I felt like our version of the M&P match would be geared toward folks who wanted to do some "advanced plinking" and increase their skills with a handgun of "their" choice....why not? Everyone has a favorite and a big percentage of "favorites" wouldn't have fit the criteria required by the CMP. Before trying the first match, I ran this proposal past the service rifle shooters who were 100% in favor! Grady, with AGC was also in favor so, I set about and built target frames, bases and scrounged all the cardboard I could find to paste the B-8 targets to. We held our first few matches on the main firing line but, found the existing shooting benches less than ideal plus, we hindered normal operations of the main firing line. The club obtained several carports for the old cowboy action pits so, the pistol match(s) were moved to that location. This necessitated building dedicated shooting tables but, now that we've done that, things are much better! Keeping the same 40-shot course of fire, we have incorporated rimfire only matches and, a "compact carry" match with the range reduced to 15 yards instead of the usual 25 yards. This puts the smaller pistols and revolvers on a more suitable course as it was hard for them to be competitive at the longer distance. Many shooters shoot both matches. I will continue to consider other types of matches, speak up if anyone has any ideas.  After two years of running these matches and, keeping up with scores, here are a few of my observations:It's fun! Quite a few of you have personally told me how much they enjoy these matches. That "makes my day!" ...I enjoy seeing everyone having fun and at the same time increasing their skills with a handgun.  My personal thanks to everyone who comes out to shoot!25 yards is a long way to shoot with a handgun for most people. I'd be willing to say a large percentage of our shooters had rarely shot a handgun much at this distance. A big percentage of shooters can bounce a can at 10 yards, but, staying within the scoring rings (19.68 inches for the 5-ring) with all 10 shots is another matter. Nearly everyone came away saying "It's harder than I thought."Close to 100% of the shooters expressed dread knowing they would be required to shoot one-handed with their weak hand. Now that they've tried it, they see it's not as bad as they thought. Some shooters frequently shooter better with their weak hands than they do with their strong hands! I've also noticed if you are right-handed, when you transition to your left (weak) hand, your shots will consistently group to the right of point of aim....see this over and over again. Most shooters have learned to "hold off" to the left to compensate. Obviously, one would have never learned this without trying it.Model 1911 p[...]

Panola Regional Match Photos, May 2, 2015.


Lot of effort to throw a party this big from prepping the range on a work day, rebuilding all the targets to calling the line, Match Directing the paper, scorecards, handling the results line by line, handing out awards, sending in results and handling the money.  Match Director Dave Wilson, (and Phylis), David Keys calling the line, Ken Gaby working results and many more helping hands made it look smooth and effortless.  All the competitors had to do was show up and shoot.  Big thanks owed for the efforts of the few on behalf of the many.  Panola in Texas in May is the best place to shoot.....anywhere.Because of the good early sunlight, we started at 600.  Ben Brooks scoring.Mike LarkinRusty Hogg.Tom Ayers.John Jebaby.Big Brother is watching...and keeping score.  Tony Miller at 600.Wayne Nunn in his first visit to Panola on the end of the line.Jim Booker and his hat shoot at 600.Keith Stephens.Dan Pate.Katie Davis waiting on her relay.John Zuback on his way to a Grand Master medal.There's one in every crowd...or should be.  Garand on the line at 600.Seeking adult supervision.  Mark Turner and Ron Leraas hanging out.Mike Larkin with second breakfast.Rol Coggins on target 1.Izzy, Kyle, Jeff Lin.Keith Stephens working offhand.Greg Foster.John Rhynard with the feather of an unlucky crow....for good luck.The swashbucking Randy Scheibel plots a shot.Lee Eldrige making his bones.Utley being Utley.John Ilzheofer.Rol Goggins and his full-length rifle.Firing offhand at 200.Coggins running his bolt gun at 300 prone.Keith Stephens.The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Scheibel, Ilzhoefer, Kyle, Clay, Lin, Stephens, Buddy. Schultz.Buddy 3rd, Utley 2nd, Stephens 1st.[...]

Team Day, Friday, May 1, at Panola County Gun Club.


Dave Wilson directed the Match, Ken Gaby pitched in and David Keys called the line on Team Day.  Not a discouraging word was heard.  At least 10 teams fired.Seapaugh, Holt and Coggins.Buddy coaches Izzy and Emily Hogg.Rol firing his left-handed bolt .260.Buddy watches while Katie Davis poses.Emily Hogg during sitting Rapid.john Rhynard with a feather in his cap.Holt and Hefner.Clay firing offhand.Holt firing.Photobombed while scoring.[...]

Wallace testifies.


Yesterday was kinda a fun day for me @ work.... Instead of analyzin' fingerprints, processing evidence, digging up dead bodies, etc. I got to do "gun stuff"!!! Secretary had a long list of stolen guns she needed help with before entering into computer (brands, models, calibres, all stuff she wasn't confident in)...I came to the rescue...hahaha! Detective had a recovered projectile from a woman's chest he needed info on....right down my alley!!!Also had to look @ recovered live rounds and render my opinion if they were same as bullet dug out of woman (they were. 158gr Federal RN Lead fired from .357 Mag revolver)He wanted me to type up a report of my findings/observations and explain .38 Special can be fired from .357 Mag revolvers....right up my alley even more!!! Finally, DA from courthouse had an urgent request I come post-haste to examine a revolver to see if it was capable of firing. Apparently the defense attorney was claiming the revolver was incapable of firing.During a recess, I examined the H&R "Victor" ( or, Victory) model chambered to .32 S&W. Although it was a hunk-o-junk, it was fully functional. Rotated cylinder into alignment w/barrel, indexed properly, mainspring had plenty of strength to power the hammer forward, hammer mounted firing pin protruded sufficiently to contact primer, etc.Prosecuting attorney instructed me to stand by as I would be put on the stand to explain all this to jury.I did testify as an expert a kick out of being asked "Officer, just how long have you had exposure and working knowledge of firearms?" ...I answered, "Oh, about 50 years!"I was in my element....explained and demonstrated how a revolver works and what makes a self-contained cartridge go bang.Jury was all ears. DA investigator gave me the thumbs up after testimony saying that was exactly what they needed and my testimony was professional but presented in layman's terms for the benefit of the jury. I think it disarmed the defense attorney....his only rebuttal was "so officer, without actually firing the gun, you cant 100% say this gun would fire?" ...I had to answer "that's correct but, mechanically, there's no reason it wouldn't fire a live cartridge"...he passed the witness.  Kinda fun getting to testify on something you are confident on besides it always being fingerprints and/or processing items of evidence. Don't mind that either but, gun related stuff is more fun! Wallace      [...]

Cousin Wallace recounts the Indian Wars in West Texas.


( This was published in a pamplet back in 1926 by an ole feller that experienced this. Next county east of where I grew up. My Dad told me of his grandmother, Granny Barnett of the Jewell community, in Eastland Co between Carbon & Gorman, relating to him about the time her mom & her hid under their table/table cloth when the indians raided their cabin. This happened during the day whilst the men folk were out working in the fields. I can remember Great Granny Barnett, she died in the mid-60's in her late 90's. The cabin is long gone but I know the place it was on. It was on the east side of the dirt road that runs south off of Tx Hwy 6 to the ghost town/community of Jewell,  just north/northeast of the Jewell cemetery. To me, this is HISTORY of the best kind!!! Especially since I actually knew someone who experienced it where I grew up. Way kool stuff!!!  Anyhow, read the story below and imagine if you will, the hardships of folks trying to scratch out a living back when the real west was really wild!  Wallace) WHILE visiting his sister Mrs. Currie in San Angelo, a few years ago , W. N. Nicholas kindly furnished the following partial sketch of his eventful life on the frontiers of Texas:When I was sixteen years old, I went to Stephenville, Erath County, and entered a school taught by a Mr. Allard. I had been in school only two weeks, when a runner brought word that the Indians were in the country and had murdered the Woods family and that of Mr. Brumley, and had burned their houses. Two of the Brumley girls and the two Woods girls had been carried off by the savages. At the time of this occurrence all the available men were out in pursuit of another gang of Indians that had raided another settlement, leaving no man to take, the trail but the teacher, Mr. Allard. In his school there were sixteen boys from 12 to 17 years of age.He explained the situation to us and said: "Boys, I'm going after those Indians, who'll go with me?" Every boy in school, even to the small boys, lined up and told him to lead out and we'd follow him to the jumping off place. He chose sixteen of us and in less than an hour were mounted and off. For the benefit of the youth of this degenerate age, it may not be amiss to state here that the boys and girls on the frontier in those days, were taught to ride and shoot from the time they were large enough to sit on a pony or hold a gun and when a little older, boys as well as men carried their guns everywhere they went, at church, at school, or a frolic. Their horses were always handy and when the word came that Indians were in the country the boys and men were ready to respond to the call for help. That's why the boys of Mr. Allard's school fell in line so quickly; they were minute men and ready.But in this instance some of the boys had no guns. A Mr. Carter, who owned a hardware store in Stephenville, threw open his store and told Mr. Allard to help himself to all the guns and ammunition we might need.About 10 a .m. we started all armed with double-barreled shot-guns and six shooters and after striking the Indians trail we came upon the dead bodies of the Woods girls. We wrapped these bodies in blankets and laid them side by side and stretched between two bushes and over the bodies a white shirt as a fright to keep the buzzards away until they could be removed. This was on the divide between Stephenville and Dublin.Here, I will digr[...]