Monday, October 22, 2018

You shoulda seen the scratches BEFORE

This is by me.

So... Crazy or Democrat?

I took a break

From building my from-scratch 1911.  It's had seven rounds through it. 

I was hoping for a "Finish Metalworking" class.  That class never came about.  Officially.  But I have been hanging out with the gunsmith in the last few months he will be in business and he has graciously shared his time and demonstrated some techniques.

I have finally gotten close enough in my sprucing up the gun to take out in public.

Good thing, too, as it was a dog's breakfast.

Now it is only a mid afternoon dog's snack.

Another reason I chose stainless steel.  No need for bluing or cerakote or ion-bond.  Two of those someone else would have to do, and it would tale more than a month of sundays to get decent at painting technique.  With stainless it is just blending and finish sanding out of shiny surfaces.

I could do some bead blasting but...  Maybe still will.

The hardest past is the back end of the pistol, where the slide meets the frame and you stare at all day at the range.  The extractor end is back there.  And mine was proud.  And black.   The firing ping stop was black.  And the ejector end is back there, too.  And that one doesn't stick out.  Oh well, can't be helped.

The back of the gun is made of compound curves.  It curves up and down and side to side.  It'd be a globe if it didn't have the reverse S-curve of the beavertail grip safety.  You gotta think about how the grip safety meets the frame where your hand goes.

I am glad I didn't try this myself, as there are some big pitfalls.  Lots of guys ruin their gun with a Dremel back here.  As many as ruin one dremelling the feed ramp.

Anyway, a bit of dremelling in the right places at complex curve angles far beyond my skill set, and then some buffing to see what scratches must be dealt with, then 400 grit wet-dry sandpaper on a dowel.  You do all this with a full assembled gun, minus the hammer and rear sight. 

Oooo, this is important.  Clean the gun VERY well. You put grit on a sensitive area, detail strip the gun and flush out that and the buffing compound really well.  Especially in the extractor and firing pin holes.

Re-assemble, lubricate, safety check, time for 250 round test firing.  I might hold off loctiting the grip screws to the frame to see how it shoots.


Annnnd....  Here is how is shoots.  35 rounds of AE, for a total of 42 without a malf so far.

Not shabby.  I shot well when I got out of my own way.  Safety check clean.

I am cautiously optimistic.  This was Thursday.  Prolly heading to the range this afternoon for 50 or more.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Online ads

Tam said there was a time she was seen riding in a Chrysler product with this kind of license plate on the front:

I googled Direct Connection to remind myself what that was.  Oh yeah. 

Now all the ads I see online are for Vedder holsters, still, but also Year One parts purveyor stuff.  That's it.  Just them two.  Errywhere.

Meh.  It could be worse.

"Adult diapers?  Why does Facebook think I need adult diapers.  I mean, I do.  Well I don't NEED them.  They are just so much more convenient.  But I don't want them in my face 24/7.  So to speak."

Professional Reading

My XO in the late 80s, early 90s was Colonel Tehan.  A no-shit combat veteran.  A man that took a few AK bullets, one that hit the trigger guard of the 1911 he was using, smashing it to his trigger finger.  When he woke up in the hospital after that it was still in his hand.  Or at least the frame was.  They took off as much as they could, and he had other injuries to worry about before they got around to cutting the pistol off his hand.

There was a big push around that time to do professional reading.  Colonel Tehan was already on board what the Commandant was laying down.  He told us a story about how his father only got so much structured schooling, but was constantly reading to better his mind.  This helped make the XO a voracious reader.

The Commandant wanted all his Marines to consume more professional reading.  And he had a reading list. This included Clausewitz and Tsun Tzu and Keegan's Face of Battle.  The Fleet Marine Force Manuals were a new thing at the time and REQUIRED.  But professional reading went beyond that. Not just tracts on strategy and tactics, dry theoreticals, but also stuff like:

The Washing of the Spears, a history of the Zulu when they built to their zenith.
Crane's Red Badge of Courage
C. S. Forester books like the Hornblower series, Rifleman Dodd, and The Good Shepherd.
Nowadays Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Card's Ender's Game is on the list.
I love The Defense of Duffer's Drift
All Quiet on the Western Front
Ready Player One
A Message to Garcia
How to Win Friends and Influence People

All have been on the list at one time or another. 

You can absorb value from many things in your efforts to improve yourself as a leader.  Even things farther afield than stuff directly related to combat or your personal MOS.  And Colonel Tehan wanted us all to absord that lesson.  And I did.  I did whatever he told me.  Because he scared me to death.

I didn't need too much motivation tho.  I already enjoyed reading History stuff.   

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Well, this was a refreshingly different bit from the Gummint Radio Station.  "The 'Young Black Man' Who Reluctantly Became An NRA-Certified Instructor."

"It'll really cheese off them NRA types that a black man is interested in exelling with firearms!"

Uhhhh...  Yeah, I don't think that the NRA types think like that, NPR.

At least the is the vibe I get when a lefty media org puts up one of these.  And I am genuinely interested in reading about his journey to get good, as I too am on a journey to get good.  Solid. And the dude sound like someone I wouldn't mind hanging out with. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Suck it, Cornwallis

Charlie Chan

So I am reading Charlie Chan stories.  Because they are probably less racist than the Sax Rohmer Fu Manchu books.

For those not in the know.... In the 30s a white dude wanted to write a book series where the protagonist was a) Asian, and b) a little less stereotypical.  Remember, before this, Asians were generally the Inscrutable Orientals at best, and the Yellow Scourge at worst.  Charle Chan was a Honolulu police inspector of Chinese descent, and was quite skilled.  Several movies were made, most famously by Sidney Toler, a white actor in 'yellow face.'  In the 40s.  Despite a this little flavor of bigotry... just a whiff, really... Asian movie audiences took to Charlie Chan because he was the hero and that's the first time they had seen Asian heroes on the silver screen.

With modern sensibilities, and plenty of positive role models in Hollywood these days, Charlie Chan is less popular now.  But I enjoy reading these old stories as they are a window to their time, and I go in recognizing there.

But this first story I got is weird.  And it's the fifth of 6 books written about him.  But Charlie doesn't appear in the book except in a reminiscence until 54% of the way through the book! (thanks Kindle for keep track of that)  I found that odd, and slightly intriguing.  Charlie Chan Carries On.  A round the world trip stops in London, a murder happens in the travel party, and the Scotland Yard detective assigned to the care is a buddy of Chan's.  The have no distinct suspects so the police can't hold the party and it travels on.  More murders happen.  Eventually Scotland Yard, Charlie Chan, the Excursion, all end up in Honolulu on the last leg of the trip and Charlie can apply himself to the problem.  But he must solve it before Liner reaches San Francisco and the party scatters to their homes throughout the US.

Standard Drawing Room style police procedural, ala Poirot, Nero Wolfe, Lord Peter Whimsy, or Holmes. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Gun Control is Such a Winning Issue

That Everytown for Gun Safety is spending its money on ads about abortion, healthcare, and my tax cuts.  Not commercials advocating firearms restrictions.

Gun ban laws just aren't that popular, I guess, and they don't help you win elections.   

Governor Hogan bad for 2A

Well not bad.  Not good, though.  Had to sign a buncha anti gun bills I wish he'd have considered at least vetoing one or two

Whatever he is, his challenger Ben Jealous would be much worse.

I held my nose and vote for McCain back in 08.  And all he did right was pick Sarah and snarl charismatically.  I can vote for Larry Hogan.

Range 15 Oct

50 more hydra shoks, 9mm, out of the Hudson.

No malfunctions.

Trial complete.  390 rounds total in the gun, but 293 since last malfunction and corrective measure to solve that malfunction.  (Extractor tension was too fight, caused by a wire edge on the extractor hook.  Just cleaned up that arris with a single pass with a safe edge file)

For new to me guns I like to put 250 through it with no malfunction to sorta ensure it will run.  Increase my confidence in the gun.  Not a perfect system.  Perfect might be 500 or some other number.  But you gotta draw the line somewhere.  So, now I would carry it for CCW.  Am I?  Gonna carry it?  Naw.  Might make it the nightstand gun because it has a light rail and high capacity.

Now I may need to write a letter to Hudson to tell them I am pleased with their product and what I found with the extractor as my only real bother.  There are minor quibbles, but the extractor is the one worth mentioning.

Anyway, the target.   A bit better than before on the initial upper left.

And less favoring the right half.  

Man my stamina is awful. As I get tired it droops.  Gotta work on that too. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


The typical penalty for bringing your CCW up to the security line at Reagan National Airport?

A $3,900 fine.  But it could be up to $13,000.

Reagan National is IN Virginia.  So you can carry around the airport.  I wouldn't CCW inside, even if you don't intend to go through the line into the secure parts of the terminal.  Check your gun at the baggage counter if you are taking it with.  No holster.

One in the Chamber

Do you carry with one in the chamber?   Condition One?  Of course you do.  It's the conventional wisdom!  A well holstered pistol is perfectly fine that way.

But what about your nightstand gun?

Ok, this isn't an issue for folks that keep tomorrow pants by their bed.  Their pants with their holstered firearm there with it, ready to go.  You hear a bump you just grab your the grip of your holstered firearm.  No fuss no muss.  And it is still condition one, obviously.   I'm not talking that.

What if that isn't your habit?  Or like me, you aren't going anywhere in your state with a holstered firearm tomorrow because you live in Maryland or somesuch?

What condition is the nightstand gun?  Or the gun in the lock box on the nightstand because you have kids in the house and there is a chip in your ring that opens that box?  There is a different sort of fumble in the dark for that gun than the more-sure unholstering.

And this is a bump in the dark, not a jump on the street.  It is more common to need condition one when jumped than to find a prowler standing beside your bed looking down on you as you wake.  You generally have time to work the slide on the bedside nightstand gun.  Why NOT Concition 3?

Big plus, easier to make that gun ready for the range bag to go practice with it at the range.  Come home, put a magazine of self defense back ammo, and secure it in the bedside spot.

So, what condition for that kind of bedside gun?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Range 9 OCT

Had some holler points that I thought were Federal HST.  Nope.  Hydra Shok, 124gr.  Dang, why did I buy those?  Oh well, good for testing.

50 of those, 10 of AE 115gr to start.

  1. What?  AGAIN?  Again with the flinchies?
  2. Ok better.
  3. Even better
  4. Meh.
  5. Ok. This one I am trying to relax and be careful.  If I get to careful I over think, but I think I did ok here.  Best yet.  
  6. Not shabby, had to correct myself those two times, but I knew I did them.

Really have slipped a bit.  Revolver for a few sessions put me off my game.   I am confident I will get it all back, tho.

Monday, October 15, 2018


And this applies to more than just shooting or gunsmithing or related ephemera.

This applies to brewing beer, making a chest of drawers, wrangling 1's and 0's for a system administration job, driving a car, flying a plane, writing a book...

Everybody screws up.   Pobody's nerfect.

With some things, you screw up a lot.  Them 1's and 0's are hard to nail down and are unforgiving.  Believe me. 

When you get halfway good at something is when you start noticing and fixing the screwups before someone else notices and tells you to fix your screwups.  You are even better when you are fixing screwups on the fly, as you go.  Even BETTER is when you fix screwups and develop work efficiencies in the process that makes it seem like you went FASTER on a task than if you did it perfect and conventionally.

I've been screwing up at work a bunch, but catching myself and fixing it fast.  To my relief.  My boss has high standards but he also recognizes that people make mistakes.  He's never mad when he comes across someone fixing something, even if they mess it up.

Same with shooting.  One of the satisfactions of training is the training I have gotten to do self-adjustments as I go when I start missing.  Fix myself.  


Do I need to mention that training is a LOT of fun?  I've said that before.  I have been lucky to find a relatively close decent trainer.  But now I am more likely to travel further to get more training.  The only thing bad about training, for some, is you have to put your ego in check.  Same with shooting competitions.  You probably aren't as good as that shooter you think you are in your head.  If you don't get wrapped around the axle on that you can have a lot of fun learning AND getting better.

(Well, I didn't have to put MY ego in check.  I knew I was rubbish going in. )

Try some, training.  It's good.  If it's not good the first time find someone else. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Soup's On

It's fall, and when the air starts turning cold my thoughts turn to soup.

Now when I make soup soup, there are at least 5 portions.  Last year was been and barley.  I still have 2 portions, frozen, from LAST season.  This time, I am thinking split pea.  Which I make with lots of bacon.  For the first pot. 

Other styles I have been known to make:  Senate Bean Soup.  Also with lots of bacon.

Carrots, onions/shallots, and celert seed figures highly in my soup preparations.  Besides the bacon.  Also, some garlic.

For a second pot?  Chicken?  With rice and stars.  And carrots.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


A shotgun to keep bad guys from busting down my front door?  00 buck?  Even a whole handful of bad guys.

Yeah, you can't do much better than that.  And I agree.

But I have a problem.  And this is me.  Not you, necessarily.

Here in the suburbs there is a better chance of finding a place you can shoot a rifle than you can find to shoot a shotgun, sorta.  So I don't even own anything scattery of any halfway decent prowler stopping utility but antique Remingtons.  And none of those are a pump gun.   I can't operate a pump gun. Well, I have barely ever operated a pump gun.  Most of it is easy, yes, but there are little levers and switches and button and such for loading and unloading and locking this or that back...

I'd have to go far afield for familiarization, and further for training.  As my knowledge is woefully inadequate.

Total rounds I've fired in my short shooty lifetime is in the thousands.  But is is like 92% pistols, 7% rifles of all sorts, and 1% shotguns.  A tube of buckshot or a 30 round magazine of 5.56 are both almost certainly a better selection at 3AM for prowlers than a pistol.  Assuming all have a light.  But I should probably go with what I am most familiar with.

Ideally I take it upon myself to get better with a shotgun and get lots of training and practice, but I am getting old and slow. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

I told you Zombies were real

I dislike the Japanese.  First, the KILT MY GRAMPA.

And second they are infested with zombies.

Now  you know why I'll never guy a Toyota.  I don't care if they DO make them in Alabama

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Push out

I was taught a new trick in sim training.

Let's say you are presented with a spree shooter.  And you shoot his pixels and put him down.  Now you want to look behind you, check your six, as you are pretty sure bad guy is down down, but you never know.

You want to look around, but you also want to be able to engage the bad guy if it turns out he has some fight in him.

How do?

One way is to draw the gun back into the Sul position and scan around you.  Here is a cop doing that.

And that's fine.  You can get your gun back up on target pretty quick that way.  It's a good idea if there are still good guys milling about or the bad guy has a sneak partner.

Or... and here is the trick, you can keep holding your pistol on the target strong hand only, bring your support hand into your chest, and look over your shoulder on the support hand side.

Ok, that's not the trick.

When you turn back to look at the target your gun isn't pointing where you were aiming before the head turn.  It will be if you push the gun OUT...  Extend your elbow...  As you look back.  Then when you face forward and bring your hands together on the pistol grip the gun draws back into your regular position, and... shazam!  It's pointing pretty much at the same place.  Same POA

When told, I thought there was NO way that would work.  But it do. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


I'm a VZ Grips guy.  I like em.  So is the gunsmith.  He likes em.  Gonna to continue to be a customer in the future. 

But there are other really good grip makers besides VZ I might occasionally turn to or drool over.  One is Altamont.  Only discovered them recently.  They have some handsome grips.  I mean, LOOK at this Olivewood: