Good Things Come In Threes

When I arrived home after work Friday, there was a FedEx note hanging on the front door.

“Adult Signature Required”, it said. There was an address where I could get the package tomorrow.

That’s odd, I thought. Neil’s FedEx-land shipment of 1,000 reloads (from NSK Sales) wasn’t due until Saturday and they usually just left the 43 pound package by the door. Oh well, I thought, times change.

After cutting the grass Saturday morning, I drove down to the address on the FedEx label and handed it, along with my driver’s license as identification, across the counter.

She looked it up on her computer and said, “Just a moment, please.” She disappeared into the back of the store.

She returned with my package, carrying it in one hand.

Hmmm, I thought, that’s not the ammo. Who else would be sending me something by FedEx?

The only other possibility was the Smith & Wesson Model 41 I had sent for repair but their letter had said 2-3 weeks and it had only been, what, slightly over a week?

I signed for the package and, sitting in the car, opened it. Yup, sure enough, it was the 41 back from S&W.

“Wow, nice service!” I thought.

I moved the package to the locked trunk of the car for the trip home.

And when I arrived and pulled into the driveway, sitting by the door was the now somewhat rounded box of reloads. Unlocking the front door, I put the 41’s box under one arm and carefully balanced the ammunition in the other, entered and pushed the door shut with my foot before setting both on the table in the music room. (My wife and I both sing and are active in music, jazz and liturgical, in various places around town. This room has the sound system and microphones as well as space for a couple of instrumentalists and a drum kit. It also has a good work table and the big TV.)

Going to the garage, I stacked two columns of ten empty plastic ammo boxes, each of which will hold 50 rounds, in my arms and carefully walked back into the house and added them to the table. I also brought a pair of scissors, the black Sharpie pen and a wooden ruler with metal edge to the work area.

I turned on the television and flipped channels before settling on “Dances With Wolves” which was about three-fourths of the way through – Kevin Costner was a full “human being” by that point, married and I would say, “one with the Sioux.”

Opening the ammunition shipment, I cut open each of the 50-round plastic bags, transferred each to one of the ammo boxes, and marked the base of the rounds with my black “X” to identify my brass on the line.

As the movie ended with the soldiers searching for Kevin Costner, I packed the 50-round ammo boxes in military ammo cans and moved them to safe storage.

I checked over the 41 and read the repair statement from Smith & Wesson looking to see if they had found a cause for the second missing extractor hook. The statement said, “THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTIC(S) HAVE BEEN EXAMINED AND ADJUSTED TO OUR STANDARDS:” and “REPLACE EXTRACTOR”.

Not exactly what I had hoped for but, well, I guess they know their product better than I do. I’ll shoot it and see how it holds up.

From my initial telephone call to repaired gun in hand, it had been 24 days, counting weekends, and eight of those days had been simply waiting for the initial shipping label. (If you’re reading this S&W, that would be the one area to improve that would show the most dramatic improvement.)

The third good thing was the shipment of raw parts for the Ruger Mark II magazines had also arrived and was sitting in the mailbox waiting for me.

I had purchased the parts, unassembled, from Ruger because of the price. New (and assembled), they go for $15-20 each but I paid much less. Here’s the invoice:

QtyPart#DescriptionUnit PriceExtended Price
3A01700Magazine Block Bottom0.501.50
3A02800Magazine Block Retaining Plunger0.501.50
3A02900Magazine Follower0.752.25
3A02512Magazine Follower Button0.501.50
3A04000Magazine Shell6.2518.75
3A03301Magazine Spring0.501.50
Parts Total27.00
Shipping & Handling3.50
AZ Tax2.25

I paid $10.92 per magazine and assembly took only a couple of minutes to figure out looking at the one I already had to see where things go. In the bigger scheme of things, I didn’t save a lot, but what I did save was enough for gas to go to the range a couple of times.

Or then again, maybe I should take what I saved to one of the Indian casinos on the outskirts of Phoenix and put it on “33”?

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