Thanks for the welcome guys. I enlisted in 1974, and went into the MPs, then Investigations. After ETS from active duty (did Army Reserve 1977-79 and USAF/ANG reserve 1079-1981 as an SP), I went to work on a Nor-Cal SO, then pursued my career in Washington state for 9 years, then back down to CA until 2000. Went back to school and got my degree and teaching credential and taught High School for 7 years.. Absolutely hated what has happened to education (45 kids in a class, teaching to the test, lowering standards so more pass, Common Core, etc) and gave it up in 2011.
1981 to 1988, I was an Armorer and weapons instructor on the PD, and did LOTS of firearms evaluations: shot one of the first Glock 17s in the country, and loved it, and even shot a toolroom sample of the 469 S&W. Our department almost went to H&K P7 "squeeze cocker" for all personnel (our detectives carried it), but I nixed it based on some safety incidents an ADs with shooters turning my testing period. Evaluated lots of other guns.
I am a life member of SASS, joining in 1994. I was a staff writer for them from 1996 to 2012, writing monthly articles under my alias "Tuolumne Lawman" (that's where I got my writing practice). I evaluated guns from Uberti, EMF, Pietta, Marlin, Colt, Winchester, Armi San Marco, Pedretti, Taylor's, Pedersoli, and a host of originals for my articles (that was a really FUN job). I had an original 56-56 Spencer converted to center fire I shot at the end, which I also used in Civil War reenacting until 2011. I gave up an SASS, as they lost their core values of "spirit of the game" and keeping the old West alive. Now it's IPSC in cowboy boots. I shot black powder cartridge, and the gamers complained because I was too slow with my Spencer and made too much smoke... They used to have a rule book that was a 4x5 pamphlet, and use the John Wayne test to see if it was SASS kosher, Now there are literally binders full of rules, and they don't even know who John Wayne is. (they never refer to the Joh Wayne test anymore).