By Ken Simmers
November 11 has been designated Veterans Day since 1954, although it was designated Armistice Day in 1918. Of course, it is to recognize all members of our services who have served to protect America.
Following World War I, the “Great War”, Woodrow Wilson saw it necessary to observe a day of remembrance and, hopefully, to help establish a just and lasting peace. The day has been set aside to honor all those who served, not just those who fought in wars.
This year it occurs on Saturday, and the observance is set for Monday, according to government policy. It follows, by a day, the Marine Corps’ birthday.
A heartfelt thanks to all who served; may we honor you every year and all the days in between.
Locally, we have the 29th Division, members from Md., Va., Ky., N.C., and W.Va., who are all part of the Blue and the Grey. They were formed in 1917 as part of the American Expeditionary Force. Now, here is a piece of his- tory I bet you didn’t know: the famed M1, originally made in Springfield, Pa., was first issued to the 29th Division. 1,500 rifles were given to the Blue and the Grey for field testing, and became part of Operation Overlord. They saw duty on Omaha Beach and just about everywhere else battles were fought in WWII, and were an important weapon in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and many police departments.
The M1 was dubbed the “finest battle rifle ever devised” by General MacArthur. Today I still see many of them in NRA shoots in front of men and women who still believe in their efficiency.
With the first part of muzzleloader behind us and bow season back in, we look forward to this Sunday, since it is one of the few Sundays open to Cecil Countians. The Junior Hunt is up next on Veterans Day, as will Duck Season, which will run until Nov. 24.
Black powder sabots are an integral part of the muzzleloader system. It surrounds a bullet, which is seated atop a charge of powder. Sabots come in a variety of colors, which represent the thickness of the sabot itself.
Black seems to be the most common and is one of the thickest. It is also the hardest to seat. You only get two or three shots then you must remove the breech plug and clean the bore. With the yellow sabot you get a couple more shots, but cleaning is a must with black powder, or the bullet will not seat without considerable force.
Once fired the sabot travels about 20 feet then flows out into a petal and drops off the bullet, leaving the bullet to travel to the target. It certainly helps with accuracy, but I hope someone develops a cleaner way to shoot.
The second part of muzzleloader season comes in Dec. 16 and runs until Dec. 30.