Gun Appreciation Day


I would like to express my appreciation for the following guns:

A Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver, a Browning High Power pistol, a Model 1911A1 pistol, and an M14 rifle—these saved my life at one time or another while I was serving in Viet Nam.

A Colt Detective Special revolver, a Smith & Wesson 645 pistol, and a Winchester Model 1200 Stainless Police shotgun—these have kept various situations from becoming life-threatening by forcing aggressive people to consider the cost of further aggression.

A Thompson/Center Contender pistol, a Marlin 1895 rifle, and a Browning BPS shotgun—these have put free-range organic meat on our family’s table.

A Day At The Range


Mrs. Hoge and I are back from a day of target shooting. She spent most of her time getting used to her S&W Model 60 .38 Special to which a set of Crimson Trace laser sight grips have been added. Her shooting is much improved by aiming with the red dot on the target. She also did quite well with my Browning High Power 9 mm pistol.

I spent my time working with a couple of .45s. The first is an Colt Lightweight Officers ACP that I repaired this week. The original recoil spring plug on the Officers ACP is weak. When it fails, it and the recoil spring go flying downrange, and the slide stays fully back instead of returning to battery. That happened last weekend. The recoil spring plug actually hit the target that was out at the 25 ft line. I replaced the plug and the spring and the original guide with a Clark reverse plug (much stronger), a Wolff 24 lb spring, and an Evolution Gun Works full length guide. Groups seem a bit tighter.

The other .45 was a new Kimber Stainless Custom II. This is an off-the-shelf gun that would have passed for a high-end tuneup job from a gunsmith 20 years ago. I like it.

The range we have been using of late is a bit of a hike from our house. It’s Horst and McCann over in Bel Air, MD. It’s small—only 7 lanes, but the people are very friendly. If you’re looking for a pleasant indoor range in the Baltimore area, Mrs. Hoge and I strongly recommend Horst and McCann.

UPDATE—An old college friend emails via LinkedIn:

I saw a plaque hanging on the wall in a business in Boulder City, NV where we are moving. It had a small mounted handgun and the words “We don’t call 911.” One of the reasons I like Boulder City.