Hello! My first blog post ever! (Ernie Shipman - Founder/Retired)

Hello! My first blog post ever! (Ernie Shipman - Founder/Retired)

September 17, 2018

What to write? How to begin? What could I have to say that anyone would want to hear?

So… since this is a blog from RenArms, let’s start at the beginning of how I, Ernie Shipman, the owner, became interested in firearms and shooting in the first place:

This may a rambling journey back in time a bit; a time before computers, word processing, smart phones or the net….

Yes, I am a baby boomer. Pushing 60, so I have to look back a ways longer than most and the mists of time sometimes make one remember things a bit differently.

I was raised in the suburbs of Atlanta. Working class folk. Church on Sunday, little league, Gunsmoke, Daniel Boone, Laugh In, Leave it to Beaver, and the Boy Scouts.

When I was 12 I joined the BSA and for me, it was a life changing experience. Maybe eye opening would be more precise. A chance to get out of the city and explore and learn about the great outdoors. Our Scoutmaster, Mr. Ketchum (who, at 85, has been one of my best friends for over 47 years), was a man who has dedicated his life in service to others. Father of two girls, Scoutmaster, little league football coach, aquatics director, Bob has worked with hundreds of kids. As a youth, being raised by a single mom (his dad died when Bob was two), Bob’s family had been befriended by a man named Jack Connell. Jack was a wildlife biologist employed by the University of Georgia. His specialties were in deer management and quail management with an emphasis on disease studies (Jack often referred to himself as a “fecalogist). Jack lived on a 40-acre property about 20 miles outside of Athens, GA. So remote, you literally had to go towards town to go hunting. Bob would often take the troop up to Jack’s property to camp and explore the woods around his farm.

It was through Bob & Jack that I first became exposed to shooting and hunting. It was in 1975 or 1976 I started shooting. I think the Marlin Model 60 22 semi was the first rifle I ever shot. Many a tin can was made easier to recycle with that gun. First shotgun was an H&R single shot 20 & I believe the first handgun I ever shot was an H&R 22 revolver.

When I graduated high school in 1977 Bob gave me my first gun: a H&R single shot 20. From here – it was off to the races! First rifle was a Marlin Model 60 and first handgun was a Bernadelli 22 auto.

Now, many years and hundreds of guns later, I recall with fond memory the afternoons spent shooting up all the tin cans after we had eaten lunch; or learning to break clays with a hand thrower. On very special days, we would chase upland birds or rabbits in the thickets and swamps on his property. I can still smell the Hoppe’s when cleaning the guns, sitting by the woodstove on a cool fall evening. Listening to stories of hunts from their youth and reading back issues of American Rifleman, Outdoor Life and Field & Stream. Watching the steam rise off the wet dogs drying by the fire…

I do so miss those days, the memory of them is often overgrown as with moss. But, as the great gun writer Elmer Keith would have said: “Hell, I was there!”

A Primer on Primers

Behold the primer—like Rodney Dangerfield, the simple primer does not get the respect it deserves, but the primer is the most critical component of metallic cartridges or shotshells, for it is the primer that ignites the powder charge that sends the bullet or pellets toward their targets.

Women and Firearms - The More the Better

There are myriad reasons why more and more American women are demonstrating increased interest in firearms, with perhaps the most urgent reason being the dramatic increase in civil unrest, prolonged urban rioting and general lawlessness. Increasingly, women are participating in greater numbers in the shooting sports, particularly the shotgun sports.

223 vs 5.56

The answer to the above question is a resounding NO, though far too many shooters are confused over the difference. The parent cartridge of the.223 Remington is the .222 Remington introduced in 1950 as a completely new rimless center-fire cartridge in .22 caliber.


Lead is a heavy, malleable, durable elemental metal with a low melting point actively used by humans for thousands of years: It is both boon and bane to humankind. Like other metallic elements, lead has properties that, in excess, can cause physiological and neurological damage (plumbism) to humans and other mammals. There is scientific evidence that ancient Romans suffered neurological injury by drinking water and wine containing lead solutions leached out of pipes and vessels.

The Origins of the Second Amendment

Ponder the meaning and origin of these words: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Though it has been criticized for poor syntax, this straightforward statement has generated millions of words in defense of, ridicule of, and opposition to the premise that people of a free State have the right to own firearms. We shall examine this statement closely.

Blog is back up! So lets start... at the beginning!

Jean Samuel Pauly Was an innovator in the early decades of the 19thCentury whose seminal contributions to firearms and ammunition developments are largely unknown and unheralded. But in truth, we salute Pauly every time we fire a cartridge, and had another of his innovations come to earlier fruition, we might today be using a vastly different ammunition ignition system.