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View Diary: A 45 Caliber Smith & Wesson Revolver (116 comments)

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  •  My Stepfather was a Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff (14+ / 0-)

    He worked for North American Aviation as a night watchman, but somehow because NAA's security force was deputized, he was elevated in status from a night watchman to a deputy sheriff. He was also a drunkard who drank while driving.  A wino.

    My brother and I would frequently get into his bullets and guns and play with them.  Our family also had .22 rifles and a .32 Beretta automatic. My father's service pistol was a .38 or perhaps a .357 Magnum.  I can't clearly remember now.

    My brother and I were hellions.  We lived in a two story house, and we'd shoot the .22 rifle from a window on the second story into the backyard (or sometimes into neighbor's backyards) just at cans or an occasional unsuspecting bird (which we'd never hit).

    I remember stealing bullets from my stepfather's ammo, pulling off the heads with pliers, and amassing what I thought then was gunpowder (not really gunpowder, but smokeless powder).  I made a nice big pipe bomb with the smokeless powder, but it never really exploded, just burned rather brightly out the fuse hole.

    We also took .22 and .38 (or .357 magnum) bullets up street to where there was a hill, and laid bullets on the sidewalk pointed up hill, and whacked them with a hammer.  There wasn't enough guidance in the resulting explosion to send the bullet very far, but I did learn a painful lesson in one of Newton's law of motion.  The shell casing is propelled backward farther and with more force that the bullet goes forward when hit with a hammer.  One day I found myself picking a smashed shell casing out of my bleeding shin.

    Fortunately I never discharged a high power bullet inside the house, and I never hit anything alive.

    As I grew older and left home, my mother divorced my father and left her with the .32 automatic.  I joined the Air Force, and later, when on leave, I asked my mother for the .32 automatic, which she gave me.  I put it under the seat of my 52 Ford V8 flat head station wagon and headed back to my base in Tucson via San Diego.  In San Diego my car stalled on what is currently Interstate 5.  When I tried to restart the car, the spinning part of the starter gear (the pinion gear, I think) hung up on the flywheel of the engine, but I didn't know that. All I knew was that the starter wouldn't turn.  

    This was in the 1960's.  Presently a California Highway Patrolman stopped and attempted to give me a push start.  When he got me up to some good speed, I popped the clutch, and with that jammed flywheel, I took out one of the CHP cruiser's headlights.  All this happened with the .32 automatic still under the front seat of my car.  

    The CHP officer and his prowler pushed my car off the highway a couple of blocks to a garage where they could get in and wiggle the starter pinion loose. The mechanic told me how to leave the car in gear and rock it back and forth to release the pinion if it ever happened again (which it did).

    The CHP officer never asked me about any weapons, or even tried to search me or the car.  I often wonder what would have happened if he had found that Beretta 32 pistol under my seat. It was a different time then--and, I guess, I was semi-sane about guns.

    That's my gun story and I'm sticking to it.

    Now the only gun I have is an antique Crossman CO2 pellet pistol (single shot), like the one used by Chevy Chase on John Candy in Wally World. I'm happy with that.

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