Saturday, November 28, 2020

My big German binoculars have been restored to their former clarity




My WWII E. Leitz 15x60 Campofortit arrived yesterday after being refurbished by Suddarth Optical Repair of Henryetta, Oklahoma and I am astonished at the improvement in clarity and sharpness! They're as optically impressive as the day they were made.

Cory Suddarth learned his craft while in the U.S. Navy and he and his son Eric have been repairing/refurbishing/rescuing binoculars for several years. Eric did the work on my binoculars which were brought back from WWII by my first father-in-law Philip Kroon.

Judging from the serial number, I think they were manufactured in the late 1930s. I am awaiting information from the Ernst Leitz Museum in Germany as to the precise date they were made. The eyepiece cover has a Wehrmacht waffenamt mark, identifying them as being used by the Gerrman military.

My research indicates they were the most powerful binoculars ever produced by Leitz and were in production from 1932 into the 1960s. One source asserts they were the third best binoculars in the world at the time of manufacture, but he didn't bother to identify the first and second-place binos.

In my experience, it takes very steady hands to use binoculars this powerful. Generally, I find 7x50 to be the most practical for hand-held use.


Friday, October 30, 2020

Happy 50th birthday, Steve!


 My son Steve, seen here with his mother Diane in April, 1971, is 50 years old today.

It seems impossible that both of my sons are in their 50s, but me being 75 seems odd too.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

When dad was less than half my age


Going through an old scrapbook the other day, I found this photo of my dad in the 1940s - he would have been in his early 30s - on the Carroll County Courthouse square in Delphi.

Kind of startling to see him downtown without a coat and tie.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Using a bore sighter to adjust my Combat Commander's laser grips


When I bought a set of Crimson Trace Laser Grips for my Colt Combat Commander 1911 a few years ago, I adjusted the laser to align with the iron sights.

It seemed to work okay and I was able to put rounds on target as far as the 50-yard length of my neighborhood shooting range, even shooting from the hip.

Even so, when the Amazon Vine Program offered me a laser bore sighter, I jumped on it.

The device comes with two sets of three batteries. You unscrew the back of the .45 caliber-size bore sighter, insert three batteries and screw it back on. This turns on the laser. Insert it into the chamber of your gun and, voila, you can see precisely where the bullet would impact, distance and wind notwithstanding.

I found the Crimson Trace laser was off by about 3-4 inches at 20 feet - not terrible, but not perfect either.

Then came the hard part - finding the original Crimson Trace box containing the tiny Allen wrenches used to adjust the sight. I hunted high and low for about 20 minutes before I finally located it.

It was a simple matter of dialing in the Crimson Trace laser so it was in synch with the bore sighter's red dot.

Now I am reasonably confident that my laser grip is spot-on. Of course, the proof will be in the shooting, but I'm impressed that my original seat-of-the-pants setting was so close to perfect, considering that the iron sights are ever-so-slightly off.



Monday, October 05, 2020

Isle Royale sunrise



My sons, Sean and Steve, were up with the sun for our first day of hiking and camping at Isle Royale National Park in late June, 1976.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Godspeed, Bill Freeman


I was shocked and saddened when Dave Goyer (on the left) told me our high school band compadre Bill Freeman (center) died earlier this week.

Dave said Bill had been in hospice care with colon cancer. Bill was a year behind us in school, graduating in 1964.

Here we are playing a gig at the Purdue University Club 25 Fraternity in the winter of 1962-63. Trumpet players will recognize the spots on our pants as drainage from spit valves.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A serious closet light


 Our house was built in 1903 and has only four tiny bedroom closets. It was an era when people kept their clothes in free-standing wardrobes.

Naturally, none of the closets have lights, so we've had to improvise. Today, I installed a motion-activated light in our office closet, powered by 4 D-cell batteries. It really lights up the space.