"The Only Easy Day was Yesterday"




































Rio,   When I was in college I had one of those VW's with everything I needed to hole up on their range for a month shooting and reloading.

From: Fred Miller
to:  Doc Riojas
Sub:  can you name this rifle    Aug 2016

  This is a 1866 Winchester, it was produced at the end of the civil war and came after the Henry Rifle, it was a 44 rim fire copper case cartridge, This Rifle was the first rifle to be sold with the Winchester name and logo on it.

  This rifle indicates it belong to a Indian, having well worn wood and brass tacks for decorations, Indians carried their rifles and other weapons everywhere the went, sometimes the for nd under the barrel would be worn out up to the magazines where it was carried over a saddle horn, many would have a burned or charred area on the wood stocks where they would lay it too close to a camp fire. 

The 1866 Winchester rifle was knows as the "Yellow Boy" because of the yellow brass frame, the brass frame was updated in 1873 model Winchester rifle, knows as "the gun that won the west" which in the beginning with the first model was a 44-40 center fire brass cartridge case, in 1883 colt came out with the calibers 32-20, 38-40 and 44-40 WCF for the frontier six shooters like Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke, then in 1883 Winchester produced the 1873 in those calibers so a Cowboy could have a rifle and pistol that would work with the same cartridges. 

The 1873 was also produced i 22 short and 22 long and long rifle calibers which very few were made. today most are not complete because of the complicated tube magazine insert have been lost. I make these inserts and sell for about $500.00 because they are identical to a missing original. just before the end of the Civil war in 1865 The Henry rifle was offered and many civil war soldiers personally purchased them and carried them in the war. It held 16 cartridges and was know by the southern soldiers as "the gun you could load on sunday and shoot all week long" the war model Henry are few and only about a thousand were made before the 1866 was offered for sale.

  WCF= Winchester Center Fire WRF= Winchester Center Fire 

Fred Miller fmilcusguns 




to:Erasmo "Doc" Riojas  ... 
From:  Fred Miller  fmilcusguns @
Date:  2013/01/17 
Subj: Booze and Guns, He must be a Texan

 It had a 50.000 round capability do .45 and 38 wadcutter. I could sleep in their top or rear.  It had a  Refrigerator Generator, a TV cook stove and a 100 gal fresh water tank. Toilet shower. A shade tent. All I ever wanted.

I used it every year for 6 weeks in their Rockies seeing them sights. Also had 16 foot canoe on top. Loaded only 60 mph. Used it for six years and took my two cats with everywhere.

A shirttailed friend begged to borrow it and crashed it total on their first day out 30 miles away from home. Called someone to pick him up leaving it totaled on side of them road . At least he call in week telling me where it was. When I got to it no wheels no engine no transmission seats completely stripped out.

He did say he did not go too do it. Cost me 300 to have it picked up to go to scrap yard. They gave me $30 dollars but I got a letter from department of motor vehicles with a 150 dollar fine for a abandon vehicle removal that they didn't even do. I did not pay and did not show in court and was arrested taken to jail and bail was a grand. Attorney fee was $1500 . In a month I had a court date and when I showed up and then judge he dismissed all charged but court cost $250 . 125 for re court date and 125 for their one I went too

. I have never fully recovered from all this and I have often prayed that my shirt tail friend wakes up with crabs everyday for their rest of his life. I never saw him again even though he was around.

I am thankful god never allowed me to see him. I would have not had to pay rent for a long time. This really happened but the probability of something such as this happening is once in a million and just proves shit does happen when least expected when one is a student and needs least a event that is life changing.

 I never knew if the guy woke up with crabs. I did learn later he was a attorney practicing law in Des Moines Iowa .

At the time that happen , if turkey was selling for 5 cents a pound I couldn't have kissed a Jay birds ass. I worked three jobs and studied and got through school. School alone was excruciating going to a pinko liberal school on the bill and being ultra consecutive I was always in he'll and that little deal just contributed to the ordeal. I used about all I had saved paying for it and ate powerhouse candy bars for two months because I got a good deal on a case of them that were out dated and hard as a rock. I remember thinking what a feast I could have if I only had saved some "C's"





Doc Riojas, Fred Miller & Bill Langley at Ft. Pierce




         Miller Manufactured Custom Rifles

If you have never seen the work I do with my rifles there is one listed on Gunbroker.com  that I made several years ago for a person  who never completely paid for it--- just thought you may like to see what I do---

There is nothing unique about my guns except that when you hold one of my rifles, everything you are holding is made by me in my shops--- I make the barrels from scratch, Starting with a bar of barrel steel. I drill and ream ( smooth out) then I cut the rifling in the bore, then turn and thread it to fit the frame.

My rifles can be converted to other calibers by unscrewing the barrels and screwing in another caliber barrel and changing the extractors. These rifles are called Schubert Rifles. Schuetzen rifle shooting was brought to the US by German Austrian Swiss immigrants before and after the War of Aggression against the South. This style of target shooting was very popular with the various enclaves of Germans Swiss, Austrians and they made a formal affair of it on Sunday after church they all wore suits and a derby hat and made it fun for the whole family-- the serious matches were held all over the US and it was not uncommon for shooters to travel from the east coast to the west coast. the prise money was big and sometimes was $50.000 for the winner $40.000 for second and on down to a $50.00 prise

When the Anti German sentiment grew before and after WW 1 this type of shooting died out but came back and WWII killed it again--- then in the 1970's and 80's it started to become very popular and that is when I got into making parts for the old rifles then decided to make a complete rifle. I stay about 30 rifles behind all the time and never seem to ever catch up-- every time I get someone taught to do what I need done they bail out on me and go to work for the Army at Rock Island Arsenal which is near by. google  this

and type in this number in the search block 107250126 



           Fred's email:   fmilcusguns [at] aol  DOT com








Fred Miller ST-2, was W.I.A. Vietnam and almost lost one leg and was medically retired.  He rehabilitated himself and enlisted in the U.S. Army and retired as a Lt. Col.  He is a gunsmith and has his plant in Iowa but lives in Ill.  Fred, Bob Thomas, and Doc Riojas were the TOP GUNs (NRA small arms instructors) in ST2 during prior to 'nam war games.  Fred is presently owner of  http://midamericarecreation.com/, he is a professional gunsmith and a humanitarian.


From: fmilcusguns [at] aol DOTcom
To: Doc Riojas  docrio45 [at] gmail DOT com
Subj: What I remember when I was hit in 'nam

I remember him using his belt around my leg and then some fence wire to tie around me. when I got hit Moose tried a John Wayne and carry me out my leg was hanging and flopping around.  He had me in a fireman's carry. and kept slipping down, several times not getting more that twenty yards, we passed Pete Girard and I asked him to help this guy.

 Pete attempted to help and Moose started hollering " I got em, I got em"  I said to Moose " the hell you have."  He slipped again and my face came down and I was looking at the bottom of my boot,  then I asked Jack Schultz  to put my ankles together and tie them to keep my leg from hanging and flopping around. Anyway Pete and Jack and Moose took me to the river. The wire they use to tie my ankles came loose and while I was being held up in the water behind a old snag my leg started floating in the current and I could feel the bones crunching around and see the blood in the water.

Someone was shooting at us from out of the bush and Jack was trying to talk on the radio.  I remember looking at my hip while being carried to the river and it looked to me that I had about three or four pounds of Hamburger meat hanging out where the bullet came out. In just a few minutes our STAB came in and the guys pulled me up on the bow. The black kid named Percy was driving and he pushed the throttle forward all the way and about bounced me off.  I would holler at him to slow down and when he did the bullets would start hitting the boat again and he would push it forward and the Bow would start bouncing and I actually slipped toward the side.

 We got out into the middle of the river and a Air force Helicopter flew in and hovered over us. they lowered a stretcher basket, and the boat crew rolled me into it and strapped me in. The Hilo was taking rounds and took off with me hanging. I got cranked into the back of the aircraft and tied into the port  side of the aircraft, There was a Air force crewman who had a M16 and kept pointing it out the back and toward the area where we just pulled out of on the ground. He was determined to shoot off his gun at something irregardless of who was down there. While he was pionting his gun I could see something spilling out the back of the aircraft and it was my blood. the complete floor was red with it. It took some convincing to get this guy to quit what he was doing.

The next thing I remember is waking up laying along side a red dirt road and a little blond army nurse was cutting off my pants and I had IV's sticking in me. She started cutting my boots that I just got broke in and I asked her not to cut them, she kept on cutting saying" your not going to need them for a long time" and I didn't either for almost a full year.

 While I was laying there another nurse came by and told me I was before some other boys that had head wounds and would it be alright with me if they went for surgery first, I replied sure, I had raised up and was looking down that road and on each side there were wounded boys as far as I could see laying on each side of that road. That was it and the next thing I remember is waking up in a freezing room in a spika cast from my neck to my toes on the left side and to my knees on the right. Then the screw-ups started.

I got a commission in the U.S. Army by being a assistant TA teaching ROTC students at the university of Iowa. I only made it to Captain 03 before they gave me a medical retirement for bad knees. I wished I had made it to Lt. Col.




Fred & Linda Miller


       Fred Miller, Linda Watson, Jim "Patches" Watson              


                                                           Bob Thomas  behind him is  Chuck Fellers


                       Lt-Rt:Durwood H.White, Erasmo Riojas, Fred Miller ST- 2  1967 
                                                                  prior to us deploying to Vietnam


             Fred Miller's Sea Story about Bobby Stamey at USNH Portsmouth

From: fmilcusguns [at] aol.com
To: docrio45 [at] gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2009 4:03 PM
Subject: Re: Davey Sutherland, Bob Stamey and Rick Trani 


When I was I the Portsmouth Hospital Bobby Stamey had the bunk on my left for a while, he was recuperating from a gunshot wound in his left cheek.

  Bobby was perpetually pissed off about everything and complained about everything and was not a model patient. pulling rank or trying to on the corpsman trying to help him. One interesting story while we were there. 

When the guys were coming up to visit us they would stand around the bunks between me and Bobby and couldn't see Bobby's left cheek. I guess Bobby had his mouth open when a bullet zipped right into it blowing out his cheek but not bothering his teeth. he had big unhealed hole and you could see his teeth and tongue working while he was trying to talk. 

The space between our bunks became crowded and some of the guys moved around and to the left side of Bobbys bunk. Then they saw the hole in Bobby's mouth and one of them said in a loud voice " Dam Bobby I bet you have a hard time drinking beer" If anyone could have had a heart attack from being pissed it could easily have been Bobby.

  His face got red as a beet and he started accusing everyone of making fun of a injured Man. Then he got quiet and wouldn't talk at all and someone said well fuck you  if you can't take a joke! shortly Bobby was put in the quiet room, at his request, so no one could bother him. I never saw him again.

  Bobby and I were in the same platoon in Vietnam and when we were in the hospital together I bet he never said ten words to me. I never knew anyone like Bobby Gene Stamey while I was in the teams or ever since. 

All of the Corpsman referred to Bobby as O.W. Stamey "one way Stamey" because they never did a thing right according to Bobby Gene.

Your Amigo Fred



Established in 1979, Mid-America Recreation Inc. specializes in the reproduction of Schuetzen Rifles; originally built by Stevens Arms & Tool Co., Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts (1903-1916). Located in Moline, Illinois, Mid-America Recreation Inc. houses two indoor machine shops, a woodworking area, and an engraving station where authentic style Stevens engraving is performed. In house, Mid-America Recreation Inc. produces all components which are interchangeable with the original as manufactured by the Stevens Company.



(For Military and Law Enforcement Use Only)

AA12 Automatic Shotgun

The AA12 Automatic Shotgun is a remarkable firearm. For use by Military Personal and Law Enforcement only, the AA12 is an Automatic Shotgun able to fire 360 rounds per minute.




Due to exciting changes with MAR our website is under construction!

For immediate assistance please contact:  Fred R. Miller

We look forward to hearing from you!

For information on Steven's Rifles, or the AA12 Shotgun, please write or call:

1328 5th Ave. • Moline IL 61265 • (309) 764-5089

or E-mail: Mid America Recreation Inc.

Wednesday July 29th, 2009





Email:  From:  Fmilcusguns  [at]  aol DOT com
To: Doc Riojas

                                      A Seastory about Liberty in Great Lakes Ill.

I have often wondered how many sailors and other service members get all messed up because of over zealious cops; a bunch I bet .

I went to Captains mast Monday morning. The base commander never asked me a thing or said anything. He gave me six months of extra duty and letter in my file that I was unfit for foreign duty.

I was 17  years old and actually had not really done much to get into trouble except drink a couple of beers in a hotel room. What all this did to me was tell me not to ever ever give anyone a excuse to get on my back for anything.  I never took another drink all the time I was in the Navy and never did until I was 35 years old.  What a bunch of shit that I went through over two beers that I didn't even want to drink in the first place.

The first drunk tank they put me in was full of full blown criminals which were  of all kinds. That is another story altogether. The jailers had put a safety razor on a ledge and that was for about fifty prisoners to shave before going to court.  One jerk took out the blade and was threatening everyone with it. He started picking on me because I guess I looked easy. He came over to me and shoved the blade in my face. Every other prisoner was watching. 

I hacked up and hit the wall behind me and he took a step toward me with his arm out with the blade in his hand. I saw how he was holding it and grabbed his hand with both my hands and squeezed as hard as I could and it almost cut off two fingers, he started screaming and squealing like he was dying. I took his razor blade and acted as if I was going to cut his throat with it. Then a couple of guys jumped me saying don't kill him so I backed off and acted as if nothing ever happened. 

The guy with the cut fingers tied them up and continued to scream until a guard came and took him away. shortly I was taken to another jail. This one was not as bad as the first but there were really a bunch of thugs in there and I just laid low.  I did not know I was going on another trip within a couple of hours. This was the longest three days of my life and I should have kept a note and wrote a story about it

I never was mean. I grew up around some rough ole people. You do not know what rough is unless you know about the Scottish people.  In the year 1955 about 85 % of the Arkansas population were Scot descent. They were born fighting.  I had to learn  to get along which means taking up for myself. I started boxing in the fifth grade through high school. I avoided getting into it but wouldn't back out either.  sometime I should have backed out. There are too many people today that have never had the crap kicked out of them when they needed it. One learns manners that way.

Where I went to school there were always fights almost every Friday and Saturday night somewhere. Everyone knew the best punchers. They also knew who would punch back  and no one ever bothered them either.

Doc Riojas NOTE:
I was the opposite of Fred Miller. I could not fight my way out of a paper bag.  Robert "Eagle" Gallagher taught me how to "sucker punch."  Most of the time it works if one does it properly.






Fred Miller and Linda Miller





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