Friday, December 15, 2017

A Reckoning


I was just discussing with Sam how the Weaver has fallen out of fashion.

So, Jeff Cooper dies, and people, except for a few holdouts, stop talking about, and mostly stop doing, the Weaver stance.  The two handed grip that brought pistol shooting out of the one-handed point shoot and bullseye dark ages.  Bladed-ish body stance, push-me pull-you grip, with a hunched over head like you were cheek welded to an invisible rifle stock.

Now folks are all square face to the target, mostly square on stance, isosceles hold, and most people do the thumbs forward crush grip with locked wrists.  More range of motion left to right that way.  More natural means faster.  And it's always been about the shooting competitions.  Though the competitions is the crucible that makes its way into training for social purposes, of course.  Both law enforcement and self-defense.  Even old Colonel Cooper would freely admit that.  Competitors innovate, then the trainers disseminate.

"Are they really ALL Isosceles, T-Bolt?"

Well not ALL.  Gunsite will still train you up with the Weaver.  But Isosceles is the new hotness.  Everything evolves.  For example, locking the elbows in Iso?  Heck even I have seen people cut back on that.  It can be exhausting to keep them locked.

"What is the Universal Shooting Stance, T-Bolt?"

Huh.  That's a new one by me.  Lemme look... Hey, Shooting Illustrated did this blog post a year and half ago.  Good thing I don't do this for a living.  Nothing on Universal there though.

It might be made up?  Good reason there is no wiki article for it.  


Just speaking on the grips.  Thumbs forward, wrap around support hand, gun aligned with your elbow...  That seems universal.  There are other grips but the Tea Cup and Wrist Grab are sub-optimal two handed grip styles.   Has anyone even heard of a another type of two handed grip that isn't point shooting.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Can't stop the signal

Ready to blog, in the era without net neutrality.


Accidentally double posted. 

The second post will come out tomorrow.  Again.  Cuz I don't have anything else for tomorrow.

The Best 1911.

This is practically a meme on what is left of the gunblogosphere.

And now I can pretend to be an expert and make a fool of myself spouting opinions, 10% from personal experience, 20% from learning for a gunsmith, and 70% osmosis from his experience.  So... add that all up and my opinion is worth...  6.77%?

Anyway.  New guns

Colt: 80% Crap.  Maybe the steel is better than some others, but they've been coasting on that metallurgical reputation for sometime.  The more you pay the more disappointed you will be.  Only Wilson owners in the basic armorers course were more disappointed.

Springfield:  50/50 chance it is crap.  Maybe 55/45?  Flip a coin on your lucky day.

Wilson:  Worst gun and most expensive gun in the survey class.  Every time.  Often arrive unsafe.  As in it fails the safety checks.  Their parts are either crap or the best, but no way to predict what you'll get.  Like an extractor I bought was rounded over junk, but the fancy ambi thumb safety was a piece of art. 

S&W:  50/50.  If the extractor works.  If you have extractor troubles trade it in.  Those with extraction trouble are 100% crap.  It will never be right.

Taurus:  No

Kimber:  A more expensive-than-Taurus 'No'.  For similar reasons.  It's reasons just don't have a Portuguese accent.

Para:  Dunno, really.  Never seen one in the Basic Armorer class.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  I know of a sketchy reputation, but other than that I can say nothing one way or another.

RIA/Armscor:  Not half bad actually.  72/25 or better?  You have a better chance that BOTH hammer hooks engage the sear with this than any of the other choices above.  Out of the box.  The metallurgy is a little softer, but so?  And if you ruin it you are only out $500.  So very good gun to take to a rebuild class.  If I ever buy a 1911 again it will be $500 for an Armscor slag 1911 or $3500 for a custom.

That analysis was free and worth every penny.  Why are you listening to a 'New' Jovian Thunderbolt?  Look for the Wise Jovian Thunderbolt or the Half-Competent Jovian Thunderbolt.  Not-a-Fool Thunderbolt.

1911 factories don't have the skilled work force that is cheap enough to turn out a new 1911 for less than a kilobuck or two.  I worry that the $2000 1911 guns come in two qualities.  Dreck for people that don't know the difference but undoubtedly filled with some higher end parts, and Decent enough if the guy that knows what he is doing lucked out or had time to make Decent.

Also, today's parts... you have to get cost savings to compete on price.  So labor AND materials.  Lots of exciting and innovative news ways to make gun parts.   But maybe apply those to new models.

Little story.  The first 1911 I bought was a Springfield Loaded.  9 years ago.  I didn't know any better then, despite my research, or I might have caught this.  The barrel hood where it contact the breach face was an angle.  Like a blunt chisel.  It's peened an indentation into the breach face now.  So the barrel and slide are junk.  I use that frame as the base for a .22 conversion kit.  The second Springfield I got was a Stainless GI.  Or was it Range Officer?  No matter.  It was ok.  Enough meat to the slide rails it became my rebuild gun.  The ejector didn't come with a hole to a pin the ejector in.  Boo.  But it bears out.  50/50 with Springfields! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Maryland Gun Laws...

...Are one of the last remnants of Jim Crow laws. 

Gun Crow laws. 

I've said this before, and sometimes people dismiss me out of hand.  Not everyone in Maryland minimizes this view, however.

Gun rights are civil rights.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Here is another target from the live fire session mentioned yesterday.  Concentrating on two things, shooting decent, and the magazine tests and recording.  So my attention is somewhat divided. 

But look.

Drat, I am favoring right a bit still.  Some high ones with that 9mm, occaisionally.  So finger placement and flinchy still.  But...

"10 years ago when you started this journey did you think you'd be this good, T-Bolt?"

Yeah, sorta.  I just didn't know how I would get here.  Practice and diligence initially, then regular, decent training.  I have sort of achieved my goals from back then.  I just wanted to get more rounds in an imaginary 3X5 card on the bullseye.  About there. 

"So, you achieved your goal.  What now?  Quit?"

Hell no.  Now I need new goals.  This, but faster.  This with double taps.  This, from 15 yards instead of 7.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Live Fire

So, was testing the double stack Hardcore 9mm, with Sam.  Well, it's magazines.  But might as well work on accuracy too.

"That looks like .45 holes in the center"

Good eyes!  Sam also brought one of his custom guns he just finished, and he let this noob shoot it.  To get a different pair of hands on it, see if it was as reliable.  9mm lower right.

Both these guns.  I find myself shooting through holes I just shot.  That feels weird.

Anyway.  Separate problems.   The follower is getting too high so the gun locks back even thought there is one round in the magazine.  Easy tune, just take a hair off the one part of the follower that touches the slide lock.  Also:  Feed lips spreading.  Let's try making a mandrel.  Back to the shop for HOURS of shaping a hunk of tool steel into something that can fit up a magazine and get hammered on.  Hope to have picture of that for you soon.

My first double stack gun and the magazines for the gun are for doodly squat.  Drat.  I will fix this gun, and have it run like a top.  Dunno if I will still love it because of that one flaw.  The rest of it is EXCELLENT.  But part of me wants a single stack custom 9mm 1911.  I bet Sam would do a trade-in...

When the magazine says 21 round capacity, maybe only load 10 or 12 or 15.  Unless you have a Glock.  A later style. Them double stacks seem to have it dialed in.  And considerably cheaper.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

AH ahah Ah Ah

NEW Master List.

I have an old one I started 10 year ago.  It's still somewhat valid.  Things like ".22 revolver" used to be on there.  And ".357 lever action rifle."  They aren't anymore because I got those.  And there isn't really a priority anymore.  Everything now is 'just because it'd be neat.'

  1. .22TCM/9mm single stack Armscor 1911.
  2. CMP vintage Colt 1911.
  3. S&W Model 19.  No lock.  Earlier model?  Like a dash 3?  Or the Stainless version 66-3.  Condition is important, naturally.  Full length extractor rod with the shorted barrel do-able.  So, 2 and half inches, I guess.  I'd have to hammer down the details.
  4. Custom single stack Commander length 9mm 1911.   Just cuz.
  5. DeLisle style new made bolt action rifle, left handed.
  6. S&W M&P 2.0 or Sig P320.  Full size.  With a light rail obviously.  House pistol.  9mm prolly.
Or bag it all and just get the .22 TCM full size with a light rail and the custom Commander with no light rail.  Then call it a day, forever!  Depends on the mood.

Huh.  Pistol heavy.  I must be getting old.  I wonder what I'd be like if I lived next door to a nice rifle range...

I may get any one of those on the list soon or never. 

Friday, December 8, 2017


You wanna live forever?

The '57 Bel Air is unsafe?  Say it ain't so. 

You don't want to get hurt don't run it into stuff.  I'm a very good driver.

"That may be so T-Bolt but there are lots of idiots out there and they might run into you."

Shut up!

Speaking of Bel Air, I hope the Fresh Prince got out of his neighborhood before the fires got there.  Wonder where he will move to next?

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Rep Thomas Massie of Kentucky warns us.

Don't vote for Reciprocity, as Schumer has thrown a NICS expansion amendment in the Bill that will expand prohibited people.  A Poison Pill.

Massie is right.  That would be bad.  And I already don't trust Schumer.  But who is Massie of Kentucky?  I don't know him.  And HIS constituents already have Shall Issue CCW.  Why should I listen to him?  Maybe he is crying wolf.  Maybe he is just in the Establishment and doesn't care about my civil rights?  Or maybe he cares too much.  A 2nd Amendment proponent so ardent, that insists on permitless machinegun carry and votes no if the law isn't that expansive.

The devil, as they say, is in the details.

Is breitbart blowing smoke up my skirt, and this isn't really what Massie is on about?

Maybe Massie just a tool.  I dunno him.

The NRA has always had the position of accepting NICS and using it to keep prohibeted persons from purchasing.  And a fix that alerts the system about felons or adjudicated crazies that were slipping through the cracks is just fine by me.  But if it is adding, at the whim of some bureaucrat, folks to the NICS list for cashing their first Social Security check or getting a check up at the VA hospital, then that is unacceeptible.

So adjust the amendment to take out the judgement of the bureaucrat, Massie.

"[It] encourages administrative agencies, not the courts, to submit more names to a national database that will determine whether you can or can’t obtain a firearm. "
That's fine if the bureaucrat is going "hey, this felon we just dispensed with should be on the NICS list.  I wasn't alerting anyone before, but maybe I should have been.  And heck now the laws says I must" because we know the bureaucrats were letting things slide up til now anyway.  Fix NICS can be done properly.

If this law was passed in 2007, how would the Obama administration have abused it?  That's the test before the vote.  Hold the tack-ons proverbial feet to the fire, legislatively.

Let's see the language.  The final language is only final at the vote, and I don't trust Schumer not to insert a clause in the last 5 minutes that turns the whole thing against us.  But lets see the likely final language.

"What final language T-Bolt?"  Correct, fair reader.  Schumer is in the Senate and the bill hasn't left the originating house to go to the other wing of the Capitol yet.  Pelosi can't add any amendments from her perch, the Harpy.  No merging with another bill has happened yet.

And I would be supportive of a proper fix to NICS merged with the reciprocity bill in order to get 60 votes in the Senate.   If we could give someone like Senator Tester of Montana an excuse to go against Schumer in an election year and get us cloture that way, that'd be great.

[Addendum after scheduling:  Oh look, I'm not the only one seeing shennanigans. Even ostensible allies wanna queer the deal, for some reason. Wrote this on the 6th.  Probably OBE when it publishes on the 8th, but such is blogging ahead of time.]

{Update again.  HR 38 passes 231-198. 225 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted yea, 14 Republicans and 184 Dems voted no.}


I normally put something up relevant to Pearl Harbor Day on the blog, but not feeling it so much this year.

"Are you melancholy, T-Bolt?"

No that ain't it so much.  Maybe I don't feel the urgency to reinforce the memory of an imminent ongoing threat from history to support current focus on imminent ongoing threats.

Wait, is this Trump's fault?


Maybe it is Secretary Mattis' fault.  That guy... I don't think he ever takes his eye off the ball.  And say what you will about Trump's methods he does lean on his SecDef and give him his head.  So far that is working out.

I worry about the Navy's recent woes, lack of funding, leadership, and deadly fender benders in the 7th Fleet is disconcerting.  I shouldn't feel like 30 year old watchstanding and seamanship skills are better than a currently serving Officer of the Deck.  All this is only tertiarily concerned with this anniversary, however.

I've had millennials come up to me this month and tell me, "T-Bolt!  Did you know there is/was a conspiracy theory about Pearl Harbor?  That the gov't knew the attack was coming and let it happen to galvanize public support to enter the war."

Yes, young man.  I did know about that theory.  I probably first heard of it in the 70s.  But the 1970s were a great time to disseminate conspiracy theories into the wider culture.   It might have been Spock that told me, too, but I am not sure.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

GI Joe

All my G.I. Joes had the fuzzy head that grew bald over time.  Figure he was exposed to radioactive fallout.  The one with the Kung Fu grip.  Like this:

Other kids in the neighborhood had M1919 machine guns.  Not me.  No BAR that I remember either.  Looking back I had 03 Springfields, Garands, M-16, and scoped sniper rifles. Not even a flamethrower.

I also had the jeep with the recoil-less rifle. It was after Nam so Joe was leaning toward outdoorsy adventure instead of war. Hence the out of regs beard.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CMP 1911

I am debating whether or not I want one.

I love the history, and that is why I'd get one.  I can afford it, and I can fix one up without detracting from it's historical value.  Maybe.  If frame and slide fitment is crap (it will be), if the barrel lockup is loose (it will be) there still might be a way to fix the sear hammer engagement without ditching the hammer and only getting a new sear.

But that's not the point.

I hesitate because I don't have a big case of the WANTS, and another safe queen 1911 is less practical for me where I am right now.  It's cool, I guess, just not practical.

I am more likely to buy a $4000 custom 1911 than a $999 piece of history. 

What a weird place to be at this point of my Shottist career, just 10 years in.