Responsibility afield

As someone that has hunted, fished, hiked and camped for more than 40 years– mostly on public lands– a recent outing to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans struck me. A recent addition to the AoA is the Washed Ashore exhibit which “features larger-than-life aquatic animal sculptures crafted from plastic trash collected from beaches.”

All photos by me (Chris Eger) feel free to reuse…

Sure, I have followed the “leave nothing but footprints” mantra for decades, pass it on when conducting Hunters Ed classes, and pitch in during regular beach cleanups, but what piqued my interests with these big plastic creations was the number of plastic shotgun hulls they contained.

So with that in mind, please pass it on to others hunting on public lands to keep them clean by picking up used shells and flagging at the end of their hunt.

It’s not just unsightly, it’s downright irresponsible.

Beretta shrinks APX

Beretta is ramping up the info dump on their new line of subcompact single-stack 9mm pistols– the APX Carry. The legendary Italian gun maker announced the new 19.8-ounce handgun earlier this week and seems to be Beretta’s answer to the very popular Glock G43, beating that polymer-framed wonder in just about every dimension while sporting either a 6+1 round flush fit or pinky extension magazine or an 8+1 capacity extended mag.

Available in four frame colors, the APX Carry’s serialized chassis can be swapped out by the user.

MSRP is set at $425, which is more than a $100 drop from the standard-sized APX model, which would put over the counter price in the $350-arena, which also poses a challenge to the G43s more common $450~ ish price point.

I will be sure to check these out in Indy next week. Until then, if you want more info, check out my column at

Bon chance!

While the Mississippi Dixiecrat lawmaker John C. Stennis and the founder of the Fifth Republic of France Charles de Gaulle probably wouldn’t have played well together in many cases, their namesake modern nuclear-powered supercarriers seem to do just fine.

A great series of images were released this week from a passing exercise held Monday (15APR), where the John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Strike Group/Carrier Strike Group 3 was able to maneuver and cooperate with the French Marine Nationale’s Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group in the Red Sea. Commanded by Rear Adm. Olivier Lebas (Fr) and Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer (USN), besides the two carriers their escorts included the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) on the U.S. side, and the French air defense destroyer FS Forbin (D 620) along with the attached Royal Danish Navy frigate HDMS Niels Juel (F 363) accompanying De Gaulle. (Below U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joshua L. Leonard and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Skyler Okerman)


Note the spread of U.S. and French E-2 Hawkeyes as bookends, sandwiching F-18Es and Dassault Rafale Ms. Of note, while De Gaulle was in her refit over the past several years, the French worked up on U.S. carriers, so there is a lot of common knowledge between the two forces


Lexington Common, 244th anniversary

Battle of Lexington – William Barnes Wollen National Army Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.”
– The “Concord Hymn” (1836-7) by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The poem was written for the dedication ceremony of the obelisk and is inscribed, in part, on the base of the 1875 Minute Man statue.

The RN’s traveling man

As a frequent visitor to the Chalmette Battlefield, site of the 1815 defeat of British Maj. Gen. Sir Edward Pakenham’s elite regulars and Highlanders by a plucky band of largely irregular Americans under Andrew Jackson, just Southeast of New Orleans, I made sure to head to the Crescent City for The War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration a few years back.

During a Fleet Week style event during the Bicentennial, the Royal Navy Type 23 (Duke-class) frigate HMS Montrose (F236) was on hand as a noted guest of honor. Then the RN’s West Indies Station Ship, the 18-year-old frigate had seen much of the world to include a number of Falkland patrol assignments and lots of duty in the Persian Gulf. As I toured the ship and talked to the Tars aboard, I was struck by their professionalism and their vessel’s highly maintained appearance. Brightwork doesn’t get that way without a continuous effort.

Now, fast forward seven years, and a now 25-year-old Montrose is still a globetrotter– recently sailing the “wrong way” around the world via the Pacific– and she just got assigned to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf for a  three-year three-year stint :

After an epic six-month, 47,000-mile journey from her home in Plymouth, the frigate sailed into the Navy’s new support facility in the Gulf kingdom, the hub of Britain’s naval operations east of Suez.

From there she will conduct regular patrols dealing with drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean – where HMS Dragon scored a record-breaking eight busts over the winter – supporting counter-terrorism and counter-smuggling operations, and work with Middle East and allied navies to ensure the safety and security of this key region.

Instead of returning home to the UK after a six to nine-month deployment, Montrose is being stationed in Bahrain until 2022 to ensure a permanent presence and spare warships the lengthy passage to and from Britain, time which could be spent on patrol in the Middle East.

Somebody’s a new grandpa

Or maybe, Opa.

Seidel’s Bond gun

I have always had a thing for early 20th-century European semi-autos. A weakness if you will–or character flaw, as some would contend. One of the well-liked of these, in Europe, that never caught on over on this side of the pond, is Alex Seidel’s Hahn Selbstspanner modell C (“self-cocking hammer” i.e. double-action, model C) or simply, the HSc.

This thing:

A young man at the time (Seidel was born in 1909), his HSa, HSb, and HSV all tanked but by 1940 the HSc was put into regular production by Mauser to replace the company’s outdated M1914/34 pocket pistol and compete for sales against Walther’s then new and popular PP/PPK series.

HSC broomhandle C96 P-38 Mauser

Mauser’s pistol line from 1896 to 1986, in chronological order: the C96 Broomhandle in 7.63x25mm, the “byf” code P-38, and the HSc

In all, something like 300K HScs were produced through the early 1980s (and the Italians kept making them until the late 1990s) making it a definite commercial success.

In the twilight of the HSc’s production, Virginia-based Interarms imported some of the final batches to the country.

Remember these ads?

So it was a treat when I found one in the warehouse (check out the article on that here) recently.

As for Seidel himself, he later became involved with HK in that company’s early days and helped invent the claw-type scope mount used on the G3/33/53 and MP5. He also was one of the main characters at play in the design of the VP70, the world’s first polymer pistol.

Look familiar to the HSc? Keep in mind that Seidel was in his 60s when the VP70 was put into production. Also, note the rear stock– a feature similar to the Mauser C96. Some habits die hard


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