Friday, February 29, 2008

Got it Home

I picked up my 1911 this week. It's a beauty. But it's still in "kit" form when it got here, so the first day I had it home I spent hours modifying it.

Now, someone that knew what they were doing would take 15 minutes doing to it what I to do, but dis-assembly/assembly is a STEEP learning curve when you are noob, like me.

I wanted to do 3 things. One, replace the full length guide rod for a conventional one. I don't always have an Allen wrench in the field to field strip my pistol, I'm thinking. This procedure is easy. Simply field strip the slid off of the gun and when you put it all back together, swap in a regular recoil spring plug. I had bought that part last week. Two, I wanted standard-head screws holding the grips on, not torex-stroodle (or whatever they are called) screws on there. I don't carry a torex screwdriver with me everywere, but I can sharpen a dime on the sidewalk, if I have to, to get it to fit standard screws and disassemble the pistol far from home. I bought the screws last week, too.

Third. the third step was the hard part. Now that I know how I kick myself over the way it took so long to figure out. Springfield mainspring housings have a little 2-pin screw for locking the hammer. It's like a trigger lock that is part of the gun. Problem is, it is another part that can fail, and lock itself without the special key with all the recoil shaking the gun. I have no kids, I store my guns in a locked cabinet, I have no need for a potentially unreliable part on my 1911. It's not value-added for me. Plus I wanted my mainspring housing slightly arched, so I got THAT replacement part last week.

Now, for those that don't know, there is a STRONG spring in the mainspring housing. This spring is what pushes the hammer forward to hit the firing pin. There is another little hole on the back of the housing that put a little pin in (like on a live grenade) to keep the spring compressed during disassembly so it won't go shooting everywhere. If you take the housing off and pull out this pin, it is also like a live grenade in that the SPRING EXPLODES RIGHT OUT OF THERE, and hides itself under benches and woodchips in your workshop. And there is a third part in the bottom of the housing you will forget about and not put into the replacement part and will also fall on the floor and bounce out of sight for half and hour in a dark basement on the dark dirty floor.

Ok, say you got the parts all rounded up and replacement housing ready.. If you don't FULLY compress that spring and put the 'grenade' pin in right, then all the vises and clamps and strong fingers and CUSSING is not going to be any help trying to drive the pin that holds it all to the gun. Trust me. But once you do get the 'grenade' pin in place correctly, it's all gravy. Can o' corn. But all the messing around with the mainspring housing has the potential of messing up the Sear Spring. So you gotta fix that. And the thumb safety is hard as heck to get off on a brand-new gun with all the stiff springs and such.

It was frustrating. But extensive review of assembly/disassembly video on here and here, and the nice animation here made it a bit easier. I couldn't have done it without them. (I'm indebted to you, sir) I'll try to embed one at the bottom of this entry.

And it looks like I'll be able to hit a range, OnTarget, tomorrow to test this baby out. With luck, Denise from the Ten Ring Blog might even show up while I'm there. And I'll have a range report. Some other buddies are coming so I might be able to test out a Springfield XD and a S&W Military and Police.

Ooo, and a .22 Ciener conversion kit. I tried fitting that on my new 1911 and it goes on like BUTTAH. So, I'll see how that works, too.

Maybe next week I'll finally test the new scope on the Garand at MBtGE's place, Clark Bros.

anyway, this is "korn1536's" disassembly video that taught me so much on youtube, Part 1:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

.17 Caliber MADNESS

Corky and Chuckles bought .45s last week. Springfield XDs, after extensive test runs with various models at a rental range. Good for them.

But I've created monsters. NOW they went out and Chuckles bought a bolt action .17 rifle from Marlin with a thumbhole stock and a fluted bull barrel. This, of course, got Corky all covetous. And this is UhMERica. When we covet something here, instead of taking what we covet, we just go out and earn money to buy one of your own. So Corky got one, too, yesterday with a handsome fiberglass fabric covered stock that looks like carbon fiber. Talking about it got yet ANOTHER guy in the office pricing .17s. I bet he forks over the dough for it within the week. Chuckles' brother also had to have one.

It's like an infection. Instead of catching the flu they caught .17 caliber-itis. Madness!

I tried to sway them toward .22, because of ammo cost differential. They didn't listen. In their minds, they have plenty of time to secure and play with a .22, but a .17 sounds like too much fun NOW!

I've heard good things about .17 caliber rifles. Things like "very accurate, even for a beginner," and "and absolute JOY to shoot," so I figure they didn't do too bad. And the .17 is on my tertiary list for the same reasons.

They are all getting various models of the Marlin bolt action, and they seem a good value.

But they need to be talked down off the ledge. Put the credit card on the deck, and walk away from it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Update: Mr. Heston

Someone told me that Charlton Heston, the actor, has been known to show an interest in firearms. Huh. Whoda thunk it? Next you'll tell me John Wayne had a conservative voting record.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Planetoid of the Monkey People

In my convalesence on the Death Sofa (like a Death Bed, but not so dire) I caught a movie or two. One was the 1968 classic, World of Sentient Simians. And there is a gun or two in the movie that caught my eye. (and I probably shouldn't refer to them as Monkeys, less I incur the wrath of a particular librarian. or even another librarian.)

They are prop guns, naturally. But even before I did some cursory internet information searches I could tell that the rifle was at least based on the M1 Carbine. I could see the bolt and slide, and the well for a magazine is only big enough for Carbine size rounds.

Rifles used in closeups were functioning, had a nice wooden, black, 'after-market' stock. They were painted black and it made them look like they were made out of metal. Rifles that weren't used or in closeups were much cruder looking, relfecting a less refined "Ape" industrial base, perhaps? But you can still see the roots of the M1 there. For such 'primitives' they sure picked a sound design.

Here is the 'functioning' rifle stock, without the Carbine parts, like the barrel and receiver, etc.

Keep yer hands offa my rifle, you damn dirty ape!

I mean, excuse me. Who am I to judge what 2 consenting hominids do in the privacy of their own Motel Room? Carry on. Love is beautiful.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ammo Inventory

I've been buying a box at a time to get the stock up. There is starting to be full ammo cans. There is enough, now, that maybe I shouldn't be discussing specifics. Especially with legislation like THIS coming up at the State House. Apparently, some company came up with a patent on serializing ammo, and to profit from that patent they had to start a lobbying group to push it. The money spent on lobbiest will be more than made up from the profits when government reglation forces the consumer to 'buy' their product. Any percentage of $20 Billion annually has to be pretty good.

Suffice to say, I feel a little more comfortable with my current stocks. But uncomfortable with the idea that the State would have me dispose of my inventory by a certain date.

The ostensible reason for this legislation is for crime solving. Maryland already has a spent case from every pistol sold and with this forensic ballistic data they have solved exactly zero crimes. The fired cases sit at the Maryland State Police headquarters in Jessup and are ignored. But it does make new pistols more expensive.

I don't know how criminals will get around this new ammo serialization law, though. Unless they trade ammo amoungst themselves. Or steal it. Or buy ammo out of state. Or off a black market import that piggybacks on drug trade.

So if it doesn't impact criminals, and thus defies it's own stated purpose, then what is the regulations true purpose? A burden on the law abiding, making them less likely to want to even HAVE a firearm for self defense, or for target shooting, or for some hunting? Hmmmm, maybe.

I did write my representative on the Judiciary Committee. He did send a nice letter back, saying he intends to reserve judgement and he values my input. Good.

Friday, February 22, 2008

still illin'

I'm still sick. Worst February EVER. Got's the walking pneumonia. I'd have better stuff to post but there are no topics in my reserve. Will endeavor to endeavor on.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another data point

MBtGE went hunting with his .44 on an occasion or two. Rainy days where he didn't want to have to clean his rifle down to the screws and pins. A revolver is much easier to clean. Especially a stainless steel one

As JayG mentioned in comments prior, a hollow point .44 may be TOO powerful.

Here is the MBtGE quote:
When you shoot a deer in the head with an FMJ it drills a .44 hole in and a .44 hole out. Hollow points goes in with a .44 and out like a cannon ball. It doesn't just mushroom, they shatter. It is spectacular!

So there might be something in that theory of "too much gun..."

EVIL Dum-Dum shells

So there is a prejudice against hollow-point bullets. Like they are extra evil and stuff. Shoot, Hinckley used some magic-style Black Talon bullets on Reagan and Brady, etc. that were rumored to be designed to explode when a surgeon went in to remove them, and then they'd kill everyone in the operating theater, and probably half the hospital.

Poppycock! They were just hollow points.

My WWII veteran neighbor thinks they are horrible, and designed to cause extra suffering. He calls them Dum Dums. (Extra suffering... sheesh. This guy used to shoot 20mm at Japanese soldiers. I guess you don't suffer long when hit by 20mm.)

Also not so true.

Chuck Hawks goes into great lengths over the advantages and disadvantages of various brands on his website. MBtGE takes issue with Hawks' statements about a .357 hollowpoint being more powerful than similar .45 or .44. I don't know Mr. Hawks data so I can't judge if he is looking at graphs when he makes his statement, or if his preference for a venerable .357 revolver biases his thinkings. Either way, I wouldn't feel undergunned with any of those 3 calibers.

Chuck Hawks does clarify the terms "stopping power" or "knock down power" that you hear bandied about in media, like on Discovery Channel's "Future Weapons" program. If you keep your TV tuned to the same station you will watch a "Mythbusters" episode that shows that a little tiny bullet can't punch you out of your shoes and knock you pysically down. And if if could it would knock down the shooter as well. Knock Down Power doesn't really refer to this. I guess a better description would "Knock The Bad Guy Out of the Fight so He Can't Fight Back or Want to Thus Eliminating Him as a Threat." But that's unwieldy.

Hollow point bullets have this 'ability' more so than ball ammo, or an FMJ (full metal jacket). And we're talking for handguns. Rifles are a whole different beast, with their higher velocity and the role of the rifle being more for offense, than defense.

People aren't as tough as deer, or other animals you hunt. You hurt them enough and they can shut down fast, even with a comparable amount of adrenalin. Hollow point bullets expand when they enter a body and stay put. Full metal jacketed bullets often enter, then exit out the back and go who knows where. FMJ doesn't leave all the energy it has in the bad guy. And when faced with a bad guy you certainly want to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible.

Let me quote directly from Mr. Hawks as he said it better than my fumblings:

One should carry only hollowpoint ammunition in a defensive handgun. Hollowpoint ammunition has much better stopping power than full metal jacket or round-nose lead, and stopping power is what you need when being assaulted.

The point is not to wound or kill the adversary: the point is to stop him in his tracks and make him cease attacking you. "Stopping power" (sometimes called "knock-down power") refers to a particular bullet's ability to incapacitate an attacker - the greater that ability, the less chance that your attacker will be able to continue shooting, stabbing, or beating you after you have shot him.

Handguns are not death-rays; despite what you see in the movies, the vast majority of people shot with handguns survive (over 80%). Handguns are weak compared to rifles and shotguns, and thus you want every edge you can get. Great ammunition is no more expensive than mediocre ammunition, so carry the best. Rifles and shotguns have stopping power to spare; handguns do not. Thus you must select your handgun load very carefully, and the detail of the handgun ammunition section reflects this.

Hollowpoint ammunition is NOT more lethal than ball (full metal jacket) ammunition. You may have seen media hype about "killer dum-dum bullets" but this is nonsense. Hollowpoint bullets usually expand and stop in the human body, and thus the attacker absorbs much more of the bullet's kinetic energy than if the bullet had merely zipped through him and left two small holes. Hollowpoint ammunition is also safer for all parties concerned.

  • You are safer because your attacker is more likely to be incapacitated after
    one or two shots and thus unable to fire back, stab you, or whatever. The
    decreased likelihood of your attacker dying from hollowpoint bullets saves you
    the moral and legal complications and expense you will experience from killing a man.

  • Innocent bystanders are safer because hollowpoint bullets are less likely to
    exit the attacker's body and go on to injure anyone else. The ricochet danger is
    also much lower than that of ball ammunition, and hollowpoint bullets are less
    likely to penetrate walls or doors and strike uninvolved third parties.
    Furthermore, if your foe is incapacitated quickly he won't be spraying wild
    bullets around, endangering uninvolved third parties.

  • Lastly, your attacker is safer because he is far less likely to die from one
    or two hollowpoint bullets than the five or six round-nose slugs you would have
    had to fire to put him down. Most gunshot deaths occur from shock and loss of
    blood, and ball rounds tend to make entry and exit wounds, whereas hollowpoints go in and stay put. An attacker shot twice with ball ammo will probably have four holes in him rather than two, and is thus in far greater danger of death from blood loss. If you can avoid killing your attacker you should, for both moral and legal reasons.

Of course, no bullet is magic. Proper bullet placement will always be key. .44 Magnum hollowpoint with poor placement is not as good as .22 with good placement.

Now, why did hollowpoint ammunition get such a bad reputation? Part of it may be from Geneva Convention prohibitions on such ammunition. But that treaty system was an attempt to make something very horrible and laden with suffering less horrible. And is also applies mainly to rifle ammunition in the days of ubiquitous .30 caliber high velocity rifles, and that kind of rifle didn't need any help in applying bullet energy to targets. But with handguns in defense of self, you want to quickly remove a threat, and NOT have any bullets pass through to maybe hit unintended targets, or ricochet and do the same in a miss.

Hollowpoints don't "explode". They have no explosive inside. And ideally the manufacturer and shooter doesn't want them to fragment. Going from bullet shaped to mushroom shaped is best and the intention.

But for practical matters? When I buy ammo at my gun store I ask one of 2 choices: "What do you recommend for making holes in paper targets at the range" and he gives me FMJ rounds; or, "What do you recommend for self defense" and he offers up a premium jacketed hollow point rounds. And that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It came.

The .45 pistol arrived at my gun dealer, and I just came back from filling out the paperwork. I go back next Wednesday to take possession. It's a pretty complicated regulatory process considering "everybody knows!" you can just order all sorts of guns over the intarweb toobs.

While there, a local TV celebrity came into the store to check on some revolvers he had ordered.

Pictures when I git it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Medusa Revolver

The Medusa model 47 by Phillips & Rodgers

What an interesting revolver. It shoots just about ANY .38 caliber (which is equal to 9mm) ammunition out there, without any modification. Each cylinder has it's own extractor, rather than a star type for all 6, and it is this that holds in recessed rims like on the semi-auto ammo. Little fingers hold the cartridge for the firing pin to hit the primer

What a boon for those on a budget or as a survival gun that'll eat most anything you can scrounge out of a post necropalypse world, when the undead zombie walk the earth and outnumber the living 10,000 to 1.

$900ish retail.

There is a unique 9 (!) lands and grooves in the rifling of the barrel to make it easy to identify by forensics-ballistic types crime lab people. No other gun has that. Otherwise, the police might think, presuming someone used the revolver nefariously, that there were SIX different shooters, and guns belonging to same, to go with six different bullet types. Tricky!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Ug. Sick . Got the Krupe again. Or is it spelled Croop? More later, if I survive.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Yay! Found the gun I wanted one on an online site and won the bid. Now for a lesson in FFL transfers.

Now if you listen to anti civil-rights groups, you may think that people are buying guns on the internet and getting them mailed directly to their house using's super-saver-shipping, free. No. You can spend money on guns, but they HAVE to be shipped to a person with a Federal Firearms License or FFL. A gun dealer, in other words. And the ATF has perview over them, and are quite strict. No shennanigans are brooked from FFL. You can only buy a handgun from a gun dealer in you own state, in order to be compliant with any state laws. Now you CAN buy a handgun out of state, but you can't take possession of it until it is shipped to your gun dealer, HE processes the reams of paperwork I'll have to fill out, and you pass all the background checks and wait out any waiting periods like the 1 week or the 1 gun a month laws. (Mostly baloney stuff, but you still gotta comply. As long as the firearm is forthcoming. I'd hate to see what would happen when the law abiding gun enthusiasts are told they don't have a right bear arms and must turn in their shooting iron. That could be a bad scene all around.) At any rate, this shipping to a local gun dealer when you buy out of state (like I might at a Virginia gun show) or online at an internet auction sight (like I did here) is what an FFL transfer is. It wouldn't be a problem if I was a licensed dealer/collector, but I don't want to have to deal with that hassle. As you can see from my list, there aren't TOO many guns on it and I don't have the disposable income to become a serious collector that would deal with larger quantities.

But the bottom line is, My parkerized Springfield 1911 is on the way. AND. It is my BAG gun. BAG stands for Buy A Gun day. That day is April 15th, officially, so people can buy a gun with their tax refund and remember what the 2nd Amendment is about, but I can't wait that long. I got it now. Which is fine because I get my tax refund this month. I'll post pictures a bit over a week or two from now, when I get it home.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

different model

Maybe i can live with this version instead: PX9512LP

Black Stainless. Springfield. But $300 MORE.

Maybe I should hunker into No Compromis mode and keep looking for my original preference

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Zombie Defense Organization

I linked, in a previous post, to a heretofore unknown to me website.

Finally a site that takes the threat seriously. And their tactical doctrine dovetails perfectly with principles I had arrived at independently. They reinforce those doctrine with tactical drills and extensive real world scenarios to mentally prepare for the fight post-necropalypse.

I was concerned that there was a possibility zombie would sprint. This website put paid to THAT myth. And it is that. Just a myth. If zombies were going to sprinting after their meatsnacks I was seriously considering a quicker personal exit into that good night. Shuffling off this mortal coil on my own terms. I did not want to live on in a world where the dead can run a 5 minute mile. I have no trouble with a world where they shuffle and lurch, naturally.

Their shotgun weapon-review was SPOT on.

And there is even a forum to keep up to date with advances by others preparing for the fewchor Zombie Holocaust Zero Hour.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The model 1911 I want, PX9109LP from Springfield is nowhere to be had. Gonna have to wait a bit. Hunt around some, maybe. And with all this money burning a hole in my pocket.

I almost settled for a Taurus, or a stainless steel version of the Springfield. I still might. Gotta put a think on.

What's probably happened, is my glowing reviews and stated preferences has caused my legions of fans (both) to go out and buy this pistol. So it's my own fault, really.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun Show Report

So I went to the Fun Show Sunday.

I was looking for 2 long guns. Saw a few Winchester 88s. And some at a good price, but I didn't feel the luvin'. Or the desire to sit through the approval issues and paperwork.

The other gun I sort of had a hankering for, and wanted to see in the wild, was the Marlin Camp Carbine. No joy. I didn't see one. There might have been one there, but it didn't jump out at me. Saw something called a Fox Carbine that looked interesting. Had a Thompson Sub Machine Gun look to it. It even seemed to have a luggage lock combination for an extra child-proof safety lock. I don't know what magazine types it takes. And my requirement is for a carbine that accepts 1911 magazines, or do without. Further research seems to indicate it is a rare item.

Speaking of magazine types. That's pretty much all I bought at the show, extra mags. For guns I don't even have yet. That and ammo, of course.

The show seemed subdued compared to the fall. I noticed fewer 1911s on dealer tables, but the M1 Carbines seemed to have exploded in population.

And I saw my gun dealer from Engage Armament as I was walking in. Told him I was gonna have to pay him a visit, real soon.

Because I didn't buy a gun, I left with more cash that I thought I would. That's always good. This show I wasn't so sensory-overloaded. I didn't drool nearly as much as last time. I could focus and concentrate at the task at hand. I stuck to me punch list and didn't go on any spending jags.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Miss Moneypenny

So I have ANOTHER friend at work. (I know, I know, I’m surprised I have more than one, too. Heck, I was surprised when I got ONE.) Even bigger shocker? This friend is of the female girl-type persuasion. AND drop dead gorgeous. As Sean Connery would say, “she ish dead shexay.” I know what you are thinking; a suave bon-vivant bachelor like myself should make a move. We’re not each other’s type. I like a woman that will go to sushi restaurants with me, and she doesn’t like sushi. Plus she isn’t as versed with the works of Heinlein, Rand, Clausewitz, Virgil, and Hayek as I prefer. And she doesn’t like me because I am HIDEOUSLY ugly. So it would never work out. Plus she turned me down, so there’s that. I asked her out to dinner and she said, "I'd LOVE to. But. You see... You make me nauseuous. So..." From now on I’ll try to refer to her as Mish Monaypennay.

Anyway. I come to find out, she went to a shooter’s safety course all on her own initiative. For the second time! If I wasn’t attracted to her before, I certainly am now. Curse these bowel-churning physical features of mine! I’m not an animal, I am a human being!

I got her range report to kvetch about here, for YOU, the educated consumer.

Last time Monaypenney went shooting, she used a borrowed semi-auto pistol. She’s not sure what caliber. This time she wanted to try a revolver and she thinks it was a .38 and it had about a 4 inch barrel. Prolly your standard 1980’s police sidearm type. And she now prefers the revolver. Why? Because it is much easier to ‘field strip’ and clean a revolver. Fair enough, and very practical. She thought the targets were set awful close, but isn’t sure of the exact distances. My guess, for a shooter safety class like the one she took, that the farthest target was 7 yards away. She claims to have hit inside the silhouette each time. I say ‘claim’ because I didn’t see, but I certainly take her at her word. They had her shoot Double Action, which is good training for a beginner. And clearly the course is to reinforce safety rules and just familiarize new users a little bit. It's not a marksmanship course.

Now she is thinking of maybe making a gun purchase in the future. I certainly offered to let her shoot my Smith and Wesson 686 so she can try a heavier frame. She had no problem with the recoil of the .38, but she might like it even better in the larger gun. Or not. The point is to find her preference. And she can try .357 ammunition, just to see. Maybe rent a Ruger 101 for comparison. And I can help her if she wants to swap out a grip, though if she got it into her head she wanted a “softer rubber grip instead of checkered wood” I am sure she’d quickly find appropriate Hogue grips for sale on the internet, and she knows how to use a screwdriver. She isn’t helpless.

So now I have, potentially, THREE shooting buddies for lunchtime range fun during the workday, all in the same office. I am pleased

Friday, February 8, 2008


We, at work, in those brief snatches of time when the machinery pauses and we can grab a quick exchange of non-work related ideas in conversation (we are BUSY after all, earning our $40 a week, as is standard), sometimes ponder aloud over the ideal anti-zombie sidearm.

I'm of a mind to keep it simple. Zombies shamble. You need accuracy but not necessarily power. You just have to get through the skull. .22 LR is good enough for that, and I have lots of ammo for it.

Others at work are taken in by the new, the novel, the latest 'thing'. They turn to gadetry for their salvation. I must admit I am tempted a bit by their reasoning. They like a new round and new gun, called the FN FiveseveN. It's a pistol that fires the same 5.7x28 rounds as the FN P90 sub-machine gun. Essentially a .22 with a bit more OOoomph to it.

It's not so good against bad guys, that round, but it'd be great against zombies, admittedly. So what is the downside? Well, the ammunition isn't commonly available, and a box of 50 will cost you over $30. You can get 1000 rounds of .22 for that, easy. .45 ACP costs as much, round per round, so you might as well use that for the cost factor if you want something bigger than .22. And THEN you might as well get the cheaper 9mm or .40. Here's a pic, left to right - 9mm, 5.7, .45:

So clearly, the 5.7x28 is all about the high velocity accuracy and energy. A stilleto to the .45's warhammer. So I'm not knocking it's zombie effectiveness, but I still dunno about it's bad-guy anit-Jacobin effectiveness.

Ok, ammo cost and availability aside, what does the FN FiveseveN have going for itself in the fight against hordes of undead? Well the magazine holds 20 rounds. That's nice. Especially for the whole MANY zombie pouring toward you like molasses in January. I looked around for picture and found a few reviews, includ Du Toit's. What the...? It DOES look like a toy! Aw, man! If zombies see this thing they will laugh at me. And that's a neat trick since their higher brain functions are pretty much mush and you need those to appreciate aesthtics, or lack there of. I mean, LOOK:

Styling by Fischer Price. Kim Du Toit thinks Mattel. Either way. It's a toy. Or looks it. The P90 looks a little silly too. I'm just gonna go for something like this when the zombies come:

Or even something like this:

Both are .22. Both are plenty accurate. And the revolver, while it only shoots 6, will never jam. The Browning Buckmark (not THAT expensive, even in this fancy configuration) will hold lots on its magazine and reload fast. Guess what? They were both already on The List. My loyal readers (both of them) know that new things for the sake of newness doesn't often sway my opinion and draw me from my Luddite tendendcies. Which is why I enter my blog entries on a manual typewriter. I don't trust new fangled technology. Drat these computers...

Update: Co-worker Corky promises a rebuttal.

Update 2: And he did. To the topic below this one, but it is ABOUT this one. Corky is special. You know, "everyone get's a hug at the end of the race" special.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Other Buddies

Corky and Chuckles are STILL undecided on what .45 to get, but they are going to a range in Timonium Maryland to try a SIG 2xx (sumthin sumthin) and the Springfield XD side by side. I will send them the 1911 Buyer's Primer, just in case, but I think they've made up their minds on the 2 composite choices. Which is good. Whatever they shoot best, like best, and in that caliber is perfect. But I will, AFTER they purchase the ideal pistol for them, tease them forever for not getting a 1911. They like the torture tests results they've been reading

For me, I like a gun choice that has been torture tested in the real world for at LEAST 80 years. As Kim Du Toit pointed out... it's killed more Tojos, Nazis, and Pinkos than any other pistol in the US inventory (the Luger or some OTHER German pistol might have more Pinkos under its belt, but I'm just not getting a Nazi gun.) Heck, I have a Garand, so I HAVE the rifle that qualifies for this criteris.

This will be my Buy A Gun Day gun, even though it is 2 months early. Next week. A trip to the gun store after this weekend's Fun Show in Chantilly Virginia get's a crack on some other monies I squirrelled away. Then I'll post a good picture (of MINE) rather than one I stumbles on on the intarwebz. Hopefully it will look like this when I get mine:

And then we will be 3 work buddies with brand new personal .45s and an inexpensive range 2 miles from work for lunchtime practice. What could be better?

Oh, right... free ammo. Well you can't have everything.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's Spelled...


Not the way I normally spell it: 'leopold'

I am such an idjit. Can't I even read?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Let's do the Twist

I've seen lots of details about the twist of a rifle barrel. 1:7 1:9 1:11 What is that stuff?

Well I knew it was about how much twist the lands and groove in a barrel have. I guessed it was how many inches before one groove spun all the way around the interior diameter. So 1:7 is a tight spiral, spinning the bullet 360 degrees in 7 inches, and 1:20 is more liesurely. And I have known for a long long time that this bullet spin from a rifled barrel is what helps the round 'fly' straighter.

But I saw in some things I read that people care about how much their barrel has, and will change out a barrel to a twist ratio they prefer and they feel is superior. So I had to research to be sure this wasn't yet ANOTHER thing I needed to worry my little brain over.

Chuck Hawks was one of the first sites on the list when I googled 'rifle twist' and quickly told me all I need to know. Wikipedia wasn't shabby at enlightening me, neither.

From Mr. Hawks I learned that the smaller the ration, 1:7 say, and faster the spin, the more pressure builds up and the tougher a bullet jacket has to be. Pointy Spitzer bullets need faster twist. So do heavy bullets. Fast bullets don't need so much. And, most importantly, rifle makers have devoted a lot of Brain Juice to the subject to find the ideal twist rate and have been noodling this subject for longer than I ever will and I need never worry about it. Custom barrels that have deviated widely from the accepted consensus rate are best avoided, generally. Monkeying with it is asking for trouble, or it's for a VERY peculiar/specific-to-some-load someone wanted to fire, and THAT is asking for trouble on a rifle that I want to use.

When I become an Olympic quality rifle match Grand Champion type, THEN I might worry about twist rates for a rifle I need to win the 10,000 yard bullseye shoot. But then again I might not. Until then... Relax.

I should have known not to concern myself in reading Jeff Cooper's writings on details of his big-game hunting rifle Baby, and the development of the Scout rifle.

Chuck Hawks lists the common twist rates of various calibers here.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fictional Gun Meme

~ sigh ~

Another meme.

I'll play.

My favorite fictional gun was the Plager Katsumate Series-D Blaster, Model 2019 Chief's Special. It was carried by Blade Runner units and we know about becuase Rick Deckard carried it (Harrison Ford).

Realistic plastic replicas are made and sold to movie fanboys (I know because another buddy has one. Hi, Maxwell). Non firing. And a few SUPAH fan boys work on making funtioning models. At least for the revolver part. I can't see how you'd make the bolt action part work as it is JUST a receiver. This is one of the plastic replica kits:

This movie prop gun was cobbled together from a Steyr bolt action rifle and a .44 Special, apparently (or maybe, it's all quite convoluted). Double trigger, double barrel. 5 beans in the wheel-gun part for you ordinary dirt bag, and a second single rifle sized shot for the extra SPECIAL dirt bag. Or Replicant. Talk about stopping power. It had LEDs on it. To make it look cool and From The Future.

Heh, that bolt rifle part may have a box magazine for it on the under part. A cartridge would have to swing around the revolver barrel to get into the chamber. And that rifle barrel must be, what, a whole INCH long? Less? In some pictures you can see the breech face almost at the tip of the upper barrel. That can't be good for ballistics. And I am unimpressed with the sights of The FUTURE, but maybe you need to not have it snag on your holster when some super-strong android is trying to kill you. I believe THIS is a pic of the ACTUAL prop gun and all other pics here are various mock-ups:

Look close. The Steyr part still says 'Made In Austria' on the Steyr Mannlicher .222 Model SL receiver. In The FUTURE the Japanese were supposed to have eaten our economic lunch. At least people thought that in the early 80's. Someone, someday will become 'greater' than America, but chances are the expected usual suspects won't be it. China has that proud distinction today, and again (they were the bogeyman in the 60s, the Soviets in the 50s and shared it with the German's in the 30s, the Brits were the big boys before that.) My guess is that one day the mantle of world leadership and economic dominance with pass from American shoulders to... Bolivia? And I welcome our Bolivian-Superman Overlords!

Best part was... Cops in this envisioned future were carrying revolvers. They were cops, not soldiers, and didn't feel the need to lay down suppressing fire.

How bad is it when you long to have the future-distopia-neo-noire world because it was LESS perceptibly tyrannical than some conditions in this, the actual real world future?

Lots of prop guns are like that. Modding an existing firearm. Like Han Solo's blaster from Star Wars. Just a Broomhandle Mauser with a flash hider and couple other bits cobbled on. Second favorite.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

different buddies, different range...

I've talke about 2 work buddies. Been working them. They realize that they need guns.

These are old buddies. Corky and Chuckles. Their interest has peaked. Both are ex army. Both know a bit about shooting want to shoot more.

Chuckles is the one that wants a .17, but he also needs a handgun. Corky does too. And they both went to a close-by range together to try out the rental guns.

Here is Chuckles report:

We went to On Target today. Good times and I learned a lot.

9mm Berretta 92 (mine, the one I already own) – Too early to tell, couldn’t get two rounds to fire consecutively without a jam. I guess next time I’ll have to REMEMBER to OIL it. It’s amazing how much you forget after not handling a firearm for a while but I can tell it will all come back very quickly – kind of like riding a bike I guess. The 9 is still a possibility for me, I like the operating costs better and the recoil is nicer but that is not a major factor.

.40 S&W M&P – Didn’t like the caliber or the gun. Too much damn recoil in a snappy, stingy kinda way – just not pleasant. Not to impressed with S&W either. I realize this particular example has probably been handled more then a 2 dollar prostiture, but damn. Jiggly and loose and I just felt dirty afterwards. For Corky the mag seemed to fall out after every other round. A few feeding problems too. Once or twice I had to cock it more then once but this was a mag loading issue not a gun feeding problem. Surprisingly though it proved to be the most accurate setup of the day for me, the result being pretty much one big hole where the red dot used to be at 25 yds.

.45 Springfield XP45 – Very nice! Recoil was strong but not unpleasant like the 40. Loved the mag capacity! This one is on my short list. I did learn from this gun that I like an external hammer because I missed it while shooting this one. The same was true of the .40 but for some reason not to the same degree. Not a big deal as I know I would get used to this setup pretty quickly. However, all other things being equal I prefer seeing the hammer because you know what condition the gun is in without even thinking about it.

.45 Kimber 1911 Compact – Also very nice although it probably had the worst sights of the group and the 7 shot mag was a major suck point – both items easily correctable. I have a feeling though that there are other examples that equal or exceed the Kimber for less $. The trigger was awesome and the recoil was very controlled, this was a fun gun to shoot but I don’t think I like the SAO as much as the DA/SA types. Still, much respect for the 1911. I can see why so many people like it.

So, I’ve ruled out a .40 which might be a mistake based on just one test but there is a lot to like about the .45 and the 9 so it’s just not worth spending too much time pondering the .40. I’m leaning toward a .45 but the 9 is still in the running. It will take a few more trips to know for sure. I also must shoot the Sig as this is the one that appeals to me most on paper. I need to see it that impression holds true after actually shooting it. As I’ve said before, I’m sure most hardware out there is better then I am. I certainly need to add some upper body strength to my weakling self as it defiantly got harder to maintain a steady hold as time went on. I think a nice 22 revolver might also be something to think about. It would be A LOT cheaper to shoot and probably more pleasant to load lots of rounds through during a range visit vice feeding magazines.

All in all, a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go back.

And here is Corky's report:

9mm- Chuckles better get it oiled and cleaned before shooting it again unless you want to throw the gun at the target to put holes in it.

.40 S&W- YUCK!!!!! Stupid handle was too small for my hand, poor button placement, and the slide was all kind of sloppy. Poor placement of the mag eject button. 2 thumbs down ( and a magazine! Damn thing dropped out).

.45 Springfield XD45- My front runner as of now. I like the fact it can fit 13 (14 my ass unless you have He-man Thumb). Would like to shoot it again this time using my dominate eye instead of my left. No wonder everything was pulling right.

Kimber – Short mag capacity turned me off to that gun. I loved the trigger on that. Very predictable and it broke well had a lighter pull too.

So, I would like to shoot a nice full sized 1911 and the XD again. I still also would like to shoot a glock 21 and the P220 before calling the race. I am also unsure of going 9mm or .45 but I think I am kind of digging the .45. Once you get your berretta worked out, definitely would like to give it another chance.

But, when we go again, I would say definitely police your brass just incase we decide to reload.

So they BOTH think they need more than 7 bullets to get the job done. I guess they plan to get into a lot of trouble or intend to miss a lot. I think Chuckles prefers the workings of a SA/DA crunchenticker. Corky had a more combat-oriented Army career and I am confident he will pick a good un. He strike me as SA, and maybe miltary issue but, no Beretta. His story is, his unit was one of the first to be issue M-4 carbines in the 90's and the first gen models were horrible. Rattled. Too delicate. Shoddy assembly. They were NOT happy with rifle.

I am infuencing them to lean 1911 on pistol selection, but I also stress that if they are comfortable with a Glock, get a Glock, comfy with a 1911 get a 1911, good with an XD, get it. Whichever works for THEM, personally, in model and caliber and to ignore the fan-boys. And they should ignore me if they like something else.

Sound like they had a good time at the range. I gave them old copies of Cheaperthandirt catalogs and NRA magazines. Yup, they are well on their way, but were naturally inclined already.

Now if I get my ex-wife shooting for recreation and paying dues to the NRA, THAT would be something. But you know, she'd love to eat venison... and wouldn't mind killing to get venison... (deer, not people with a full freezer, of COURSE!)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Grip Bipod

If and wehn I get an M1A, AND I opt for the also-expensive Troy industries type after-market stock as pictured here:

Then I'd ALSO want to maybe get a fore grip. But a bipod would be a bit too much in the fore-end for a semi-auto Sport Utility Rifle.

Unless they can combine both concepts... They can?! Wowee!

Yup it looks like it. This is from Grip Pod Grip Pod System, and it is like it says, a fore grip with a a spring loaded bipod. It's available through lots of places, but I saw it on Brownells for $156.

So a $1600 rifle, a $980 stock with flip up iron sights, a grip for $156, optics START at $400 for a decent red-dot scope, but a nice low magnification illuminated reticle will go for $880. If I want a 10x scope appropriate with this rifle, that'll cost as much as the rifle. Even more. But if I want to go that route I'd need to get a trigger tune and bed the stock... of just buy the $2400 Match rifle to start. $3500 - $4500. Sheesh, this is an expensive hobby. This is gonna take longer than I figured

Better just stick with saving for the $1600 rifle and re-evaluate from there. Try to get more skill-centric and resist the American urge to get gear-centric. And that is hard.