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Cinema Of The Gun THE WILD BUNCH

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I love a good shoot out movie. I have always loved them and very few are as iconic and legendary as The Wild Bunch. It was, at one time the most graphic and intense shoot out on screen.  It  was controversial at the time and a lot of people complained about it as being ultra violent.  It is certainly  violent but it has a lot more going on than just a great gun fight at the end.  It is one of my all time favorite gunfight/western movies and not just because of the guns.

If you have not seen it, i will be talking about a few plot points and spoiling the ending here so be warned on that.  Anyone who has not seen it needs to do so as fast as possible because you have been missing out,

The Wild Bunch is mainly about a gang of aging  outlaws and gunfighters after the turn of the century. The movies starts with them robbing a bank to get enough money for possible retirement but it turns out to be an ambush where almost all of them are killed. They then take refuge into Mexico where they realize their days of living like they had been, are about over and they are a dying breed.  They get mixed in with some Mexican revolution Hi-jinks while a former partner now working for the rail road who they stole from in the past  is trying to hunt them down,  they steal 1903 rifles from the US Army for the Mexicans to use, in return for gold payment from the Mexican general ravaging the countryside.

After they steal the guns they do  let one of their gang members keep a case of the rifles for his poor villager friends and family to defend against same Mex general.  He is found out, and is taken by the Mexican army and tortured while the rest of the gang goes on with the gold since there is nothing they can do.

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After building guilt for abandoning their friend, they decided to go take him back from the Mexican General and his men, though they really know it is going to be their end in a blaze of glory. And that is exactly what happens after their pal is killed by the Mexican army after they demand his return and  the leader guns down the General. They do kill about 1/4 the population of Mexico before being killed themselves.

The ending shoot out is intense and hyper violent with  very graphic for the time, blood splattering from the gun shot wounds.  it is a really great pay off, but there is some great stuff in the middle.

The movie has always really resonated with me in a few ways with some powerful themes and moments.

THE WILD BUNCH, from left: Ernest Borgnine, William Holden, 1969
THE WILD BUNCH, from left: Ernest Borgnine, William Holden, 1969

One of the things that appealed to me is the friendship between the gang members, Especially the leader and his right hand man.  They stick by each other and defend each other from the other members of the gang during tense arguments. His friend never questions his leadership and is loyal to the end. Indeed even his last word is the name of his friend Pike’s name as he dies. Still concerned about his friend even at the end.

At one point in the middle of the film, the leader, Pike, tells his pal why he limps. He was shot in the leg by the jealous husband of the only woman he ever loved. He was caught by the husband with her and was hit in the leg and the woman killed. Pike was not able to kill the man, and it has haunted him ever since.

The outlaws relationship with women in the film is interesting as well. As above, PIke is shown to be very tender toward his dead lover. At another point, they have arrived at the home town of the mexican member of their gang to find out his sweet heart has ran off with the corrupt Mexican General. Later when they meet the General he confronts his one time love and sees her laughing at him in the General’s lap.  In a rage he stands and screams “Puuuuttttaaa” and shoots her in the chest with his 1911 killing her.    At the end of the film, in the final climactic battle Pike turns his back to a Mexican prostitute and is shot in the back by her. He turn to her and exclaims “bitch”! and guns her down.   This comes after minutes earlier, he paid a poor young beautiful mexican prostitute with a young child more money than she expected after being with her. Then deciding to go out in a blaze of glory.

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After the final fight, the village square is full of the dead ad wounded. PIke still has his hand wrapped around the Machine gun he had been mowing down Mexican bandits with even in death.  His old partner who had been reluctantly  hunting him for the rail road to avoid spending his like in jail comes across his old friend.   He looks down and sees his old friends Colt 45 revolver still in its holster unfired.

pike's gun

Throughout the movie, Pike and the rest of the gang had been using the new, at the time, Colt 1911 Automatic pistol, caliber 45 ACP.  The revolver was the sidearm Pike had spent the most time with. No doubt it was his baby and well loved it was from a time before his 1911 came along and with it more modern guns obviously signifying the end of their era. Pike had still carried his older Colt because he loved it and was not willing to forget it or the memories of his prime it no doubt reminded him of.  Pike and the boys all used 1911s for the entire movie. But PIke still always had his Colt Peacemaker on his hip.  This is where it  was when the outlaws who had outlived their age came to their end.  Never even fired.

The times had moved on and changed without the outlaws changing with it.  They refused to adapt into a new world they did not like. Pike still held onto his old shooter and died with it on.

His old best friend and partner comes across his body and removes the Colt and takes it with him.  He stays in Mexico with the last survivor of the old gang and goes to fight in the revolution trying to preserve or hold onto the old days the best he can while he can, with Pike’s relic from a past age.

The Wild Bunch is a great movie but it is not just a great gun fight with great old actors. William Holden plays the outlaw leader, Pike and does it so well, you really see the pain and regret in his eye and the seriousness and resolve as he leads his last friends and gang to their last suicidal glory filled fire fight.

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Don't Purchase Bates Footwear

Pictured are single examples from two pairs of Bates footwear I have.  A Leather Durashock Oxford on the left and a 5″ Tactical Sport Boot on the right.

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As you can see both have had serious issues with their soles.  The soles on both of the Oxfords have begun to disintegrate and crack, leaving chunks behind if walked in.  On the other hand, while the Sport Boot sole is intact, it decided to completely separate itself from the rest of the boot.  The sole on its left foot twin is still, barely, holding on, but has some serious gaping and is not likely to stay on much longer.

While it would be one thing if both pairs of footwear had miles and miles of wear on them, that is not the case.  The Oxfords have been worn only sparingly, probably less than 25 times since I’ve owned them, and strictly to formal occasions.  Now the Sport Boots have seen more outdoor use, but as you can see by the lack of treadwear on the now independent sole and the lack of wear on the boot leather, they’ve not seen that much use.  Certainly not enough time to justify the sole falling completely off.

In short, I do not recommend Bates footwear.

We here at Loose Rounds have had good luck with Merrell, Danner, and Salomon brand footwear.  I would go that direction for your boot/shoe needs.

-An addendum from Howard:

I’ve owned many Bates shoes and boots.  Bates were what I was issued in the USMC and the soles would quickly wear out and stitching would come undone.  Prior to going to Iraq I bought a pair of Bates Lites to use for Iraq, they came unstitched and were unusable after two weeks.  Bates boots are the most comfortable boots I have ever used, but they don’t hold up at all.

1911 Squib Round with Cheap Ammunition

This happen recently at a gun range that I use frequently. The range officer gave me permission to share the photos.  This happened with a new shooter and his new, very expensive custom 1911. The shooter was using Parabellum Research (PBR) ammunition when he had a squib round and fired the next round into the squib. Luckily the frame and slide held up well and did not appear to be damaged. Only the barrel had been damaged. The manufacturer of the ammunition is taking care of the firearm owner. The range advised it has been having problems with this particular ammunition manufacturer.

It is important as a shooter to quickly identify when you have had a squib round, to avoid firing then next round into it and blowing your barrel and firearm up. If you have the money to buy a custom built very expensive firearm, (no matter what it is), don’t shoot low quality / cheap ammunition through it to save a few cents. You had the money to buy the firearm so don’t get cheap on the ammo. While this can happen with any ammunition, if you buy known quality factory or premium factor ammunition, this will lessen the chances of having a squib or catastrophic failure.

Duncan.

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A Modest Proposal

Suggested and compiled by Max Boom  on Facebook

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A SENSIBLE GUN CONTROL PROPOSAL
In 1865 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln,
President of the United States.
In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield,
President of the United States who later died from the wound.
In 1963 a radical left wing Democrat socialist shot and killed John F.
Kennedy, President of the United States.
In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.
In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.
In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and
killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.
In 1986 Patrick Sherrill,a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.
In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10
people at a GMAC office.
In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, TX.
In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory.
In 1999 Larry Ashbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service.
In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the US.
In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.
In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung-Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.
In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.
In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.
In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.
In 2013 a registered Democrat named Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people in a school in Newtown, CT.
As recently as Sept 2013, an angry Democrat named Aaron Alexis shot 12 at the Washington Navy Shipyard in Washington, D.C.

Not one NRA member, Tea Party member, or Republican conservative was involved in any of these shootings and murders.

Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns.

SOLUTION :
IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR DEMOCRATS TO OWN GUNS.

May your first day in hell last 10,000 years, and let it be the shortest.

I think it is possible that there are people in the world you can hate so much that it is impossible to find a word for the intensity of that hate.  It is like the heat of a million exploding suns.  No stranger to hating people myself, I can not think of anyone I hate more than my ex wife  or osama bin laden ., except for this thing.   Certainly, if you read this website, you are the kind of person already familiar with it.    obama better watch out, he has a strong competitor easing up on his position.

 

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If you have a twitter account, I would suggest twitting your thoughts to this twit.