Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Holster

A Bianchi M12 Holster. It's ambidextrous! Or is it amphibious? I always get those two words confused. And designed for large automatics. Fits the 1911 just fine, though it was made for the Beretta M9/92 issued in the US Military.

You can add accessories like this shoulder rig I found on US Cavalry:

Or this drop leg version from Specter:

I haven't gotten the accessories, and the holster just attaches to a pistol belt, as is.

The holster even has a little gun-cleaning rod for cleaning and no proper gun cleaning kit is available. Why do I need it? Well it'd only be for open-carry, and the likelihood of me doing that very often would be remote. Maybe for IPDA competition. It'd be good for post-Zombie holocaust, certainly. And I may want to try some sort of shoulder rig in colder weather in the event I am ever able to carry concealed.

Why do I have to justify extra gear to YOU readers? All both of you. It's not like I got a fifth 1911 or something. I can see having a spare pistol, but 4 spares? Not yet.

Friday, May 30, 2008

.22 semi

Are there any more choices for a .22 semi-automatic mag-fed rifle out there BESIDES a Ruger 10/22? Ruger seems to be the default and I was a pondering the alternatives.

Sure Browning and Remington make them. And Marlin did too. But the Ruger has about 458,609,862,345 aftermarket parts, and is probably the cheapest. Convince me I should look at others.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Era of Andy Taylor

My Mom has a very dear friend. Let's call her 'Priscilla.' Mainly because that is her name.

She grew up in a cop family in the 50s and 60s (grandfather and uncle, both in Boston) and when it came time to look for something to do after graduation she figured she'd give law enforcement a try.

The thing is, in the mid 60s that was something women didn't often do. So she was a pioneer. When she got through the Police Academy and started working as a patrol woman in a small Connecticut town she found out she HATED it, but she had to stick it out for a year. Why? She was the first woman and wanted to make it easier on the second. If she quit after a month they'd say she and all women couldn't cut the mustard.

At the Academy they taught her shooting with a straight on 2 handed stance. .38 Special revolver of course.

Priscilla only had cause to fire her service weapon once. She was dispatched to an apartment complex due to a threatening character. Snake. Black Racer. Four feet long. Dispatch told her to grab it, shove it in a bag, and take it somewhere. She was having none of THAT. Following procedure she made sure of her backstop, drew her pistol, shouted "Halt, Police!" and then there was one less snake terrorizing Connecticut.

Now when you fire your pistol in any department there are reams of paperwork you have to fill out, as did Priscilla, answering many questions. Questions like.

"Was the perpetrator armed?"


"Did you identify yourself as a Police Officer before firing?"


"Did the perpetrator die at the scene?"

Sadly, yes.

"Was the family of the perpetrator notified?"

No. No known family located.

Never was she required to dress all in black and throw flashbang grenades into occupied rooms as part of a dynamic entry, shooting any dogs as a matter or policy and backed up with an armored personnel character. I guess she was lucky that way. But everyone in her department was, back then.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Accessory list

I need a master list for ACCESSORIES, I guess. There are so many little bits. Parts for one. But I have most replacement parts covered. A spare recoil spring plug, for one, considering how many times THAT flies across the basement shop when I clean the 1911.

I need more accoutrement, if I may use the Surrender-Monkey language. Pistols belts, holsters, molle gear, chest rig to store magazines, first aid kit, a decent surefire-style flashlight, a pack of some sort. Not JUST to fight zombies and Jacobins, but to go camping again. I haven’t been backpacking since I was in the boy scouts. Real camping, not the car-camping I’ve been doing where I have a pick-up truck worth of stuff within 100 feet of me.

One thing I will NEVER find is good boots. I never have and probably never will. My feet pronate, I have sesamoid bones making me pigeon toed, and a crappy right knee. I’ve never found boots that fit and rarely find decent shoes. Heavy boots exacerbate the knee problems, and ill fitting boots are just painful even after a break-in period.

I am resigned to fight zombies in worn out sneakers.

And if my feet are ok, I can hike for miles and miles.

As for the other gear… get it in all black and look like tacticool mall-ninja? No. I prefer OD Green. You look less silly in that anyway if you are using your gear for dual use, happy-family-hiking AND opposing the undead horde.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Generation?

I'm no hippy! Dang Boomers. Smokin' dope, growing their hair long, listening to Beatles albums and bad-mouthing their country.

And she is kinda cute:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

This is my grandfather, Peter:

He is my height. The only one in the family as tall as me. Before the war he was a horticulturalist.

I love this pic. It's got a bit of a "What're YOU lookin' at?" going for it.

He enlisted in the Marines just a few days after my Mom was born. His service record we obtained via the Freedom of Information Act shows he went to Twenty Nine Palms (I believe... San Diego at least) for basic, then to Guadalcanal at "Camp Cactus," then he shipped out with 1stBn/7th Marine Regiment (First Division) to land on Peleliu, under Herman Hanneken and ultimately under the command of Chesty Puller (who was a good Marine, and a good Marine was he). He was a radioman in the Headquarters company.

He never left the island.

His Silver Star citation reads partly like boiler plate. Typed up by some clerk in Washington to not untowardly alarm his family. Words like "savage burst of hostile machine gun fire" and "died instantly" are listed, but they ring hollow.

I'd love to read what his CO wrote up recommending him for the decoration, but those record may well be lost to history.

What DOESN'T ring hollow in the cite is that he volunteered to repair communication wire breaks under fire to keep contact and coordination with fighting units who were battling "fierce Japanese resistance." This all happened in the Southwest sector of the battle. And he died on 19 September, 1944.

Here he is again:


My other grandfather (not pictured) was too old and too near-sighted to join up, proper. At first. He wanted the Navy, but had to 'settle' with the Army after Pearl Harbor, age 35. Before the war he ran a Five and Dime called Kresge's, and had a college degree, so they made him a Captain and he ran a PX or two in Pennsylvania. My grandmother cried and cried when he got orders to go to Europe, but they were eventually rescinded. He left the Army a Major in 1954 and he lived through to the 21st Century.

I think of both of them, now, on Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Zombie Instructional Films

By the Lone Banana:

Damn Commies

And Bad Idea Films:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Blog Roll

I am streamlining my blog roll. While I enjoy them all, and a few unlisted ones, I want to restrict them to sites that more primarily stick to firearm interests and are prolific. Criteria is pretty loose, even then. As a rule of thumb, if you mentioned boomstick stuff in the last month or so I am keeping you.

Of course, the removed ones probably didn't know I listed them in the first place, so, they won't miss not being there. Yes, I'll still read them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I'll be out of pocket for a few days. Visiting my Momma in Florida. I hate airline flying, but maybe it will be easier this time as there is no connecting flights to deal with and I am not checking my luggage.

Got some entries queued up, tho.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hap Baker Rifle Range

There is a rifle range in Westminster Maryland. It's called Hap Baker and it is the Carrol County public range. It's nestled into the back of the county dump. They call 'dumps' landfills now and there are fewer rats to shoot at night, but the vibe is similar. At the dump. The range is very nice.

Took a brand new shooter. It's my girlfriend. Or she let me call her that after I picked her up down by the waterfront and made certain financial arrangements. Let's call her 'Saucy Trollop' until she fins this blog, yells at me, and make me change it. What are the chances a Baltimore street walker check the internet that often? Anyway, she is a vegetarian and she has never shot before. But based on her performance at the range, if she WANTED to eat meat she could harvest just about anything.

I brought the bolt action .22, the .357 lever gun, and the Garand, and since my buddy Frozen was there she got to try SKS, AR-15, and a Mosin M44 in 7.62x54. I stepped Saucy Trollop up through the calibers, telling her what to expect. She did fine with all of them until the Garand and I double checked with her because of the kick. Like a trooper, she tried it. And loved it. The Garand is her favorite. I was SO proud.

She liked the Garand so much partly because it is semi-auto and there was less to do to fire the next bullet. No bolt or lever to deal with. And my Garand has a Scout scope from Leupold on it, and shooting with a decent glass is a joy.

Anyway, here is her 100 yard target with the Garand:

She shoots better than me. Sorry for the picture quality. Here is her shots at the 25 yard target with the .22 and .357 lever gun:

That hole dead center? Her first shot ever, I believe. I half expected that.

I can make excuses that I was distracted by teaching her, and had to break up my shooting session some to instruct her, but those would be just excuses. She is just pretty durn good. I need to take her pistol shooting. If I find her on her 'corner' again.

Frozen's Mosin kicks like a mule. It was fun just experiencing that. It fell like it was MORE than the .30-06, but it's been a while since I shot that.

Frozen had issues with the iron sights on his DPMS AR-15. It was shooting to the side and with the rear windage sights cranked all the over it didn't get better. It was only after that he realized he was correcting the wrong way, and kicked himself for the mistake. Ooops. That won't help. He'll run up there and try it again real soon I am sure.

Near the end of the session, I relaxed a bit more and tried to boost my confidence shooting at the 25 yard target with the .22 and 1894c. THAT felt good. I was shooting tuna can size groups or smaller. Rabbit or woodchuck head size groups. The .22 makes me hanker for a pump .22 for more plinking goodness. My .22 even did ok at 100 yards. Here is the 25 yard confidence boosters from later in the day:

And a couple 100 yard ones.

Notice the .22 even made it out that far.

I noticed that regular milsurp ammo in the Garand shot better for me than the match grade stuff. Though Frozen's work with the good ammo showed it was probably my fault.

A spotter scope is critical for self critique at 100 yards. Hap Baker provides one at each shooting station, which is nice. I need to do something about rectifying that lack of gear. The one there was a cheap model, but it did the job quite well enough.

And next time I hit the rifle range I am going to have to adopt the same regimen as pistol shooting: Maybe go alone, and only bring one or two rifles.

My usual flaws applied. Go SLOW. Be patient. Squeeze the trigger. I need to work on ALL of that. When I DID settle and methodically breathed and squeezed that shots were much better. I want to have a few 100 yard targets I can be proud of.

Armed Canadian has offered to take me shooting, and he is an NRA instructor. Are you reading my Canadian friend? Any weekend in June would be great except for the weekend of the 21st. And all but the last weekend of June. I need to get more ammo for that session as I blasted through my spares down to the minimum inventory level.

The fun with that .22 at the 25 yard target, hitting rabbit-head sized targets makes me itchy for another .22 rifle. I might have to promote something to the Secondary want list.

So now I have recruited and taught, as best I can, a brand new shooter. Before this, I've rekindled the interests of other shooters than had been away from the hobby, and I got at least one to renew his dues to an organization that directly supports the 2nd Amendment. I've done the minimum requirement for gun enthusiasts. If we all did this, things like Heller would never be in doubt and zombies would be scared to come to this country.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shooting is Fun

You know, prepping for zombie or goblin attacks is one thing, and challenging yourself to improve is another, but dang, this hobby is just plain fun.

I guess I never really forget that fact, but it’s nice to sit back and reflect.

The smell is unique. Both of the cordite propellent AND the cleaning chemicals after. I love the feel of the pressure wave on my face, which is more noticeable when the guy shooting next to you is firing big bore magnums out of his Africa gun. It’s a joy just to make holes in paper, as you are in control of a small bit of measured destruction. Like a sand castle, it’s fun to build it up, it’s fun to knock it down. Well a watermelon is fun to eat and fun to burst into a bajillion fragments with a .30-06.

Plus, shooting is relaxing. Concentrating despite the cacophony and chaos at the range. I’m not the first shooter to note the zen like state you have to achieve to shoot well, steadying so many different factors, breathing, aiming, stance, arm position, hand postion, squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing. It isn’t a wonder that one aspect of Zen meditation that has been used for centuries is archery. Similar discipline over all of your form is required.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Range Report, May

Went to the range to practice with my 1911. The usual flaws. Some mags were better than others, depending on my concentration. The ones where you see halfway decent groups are from where I was more carefully squeeeeeeeeezing the trigger.

Then I played with a silhouette. The first 3 mags were at 25 feet. The first toward the torso with 2 hands. Usual. The next mag left handed, one-handed, aiming at the head was surprisingly good! All in the circle with the left hand. And with one handed right handed, aiming at the head, they were all over the place. The misses were the right hand.

But why am I more accurate with just one hand?! More to think on and try to improve. Obviously I am pulling low with that second hand up there. Well, maybe...

The next mags were center mass points of aim at 50 feet. All hit, it seems. A silhouette target sure helps the self-esteem because you can project, "I'd hate to have holes in ME at ANY of these locations." And you think you are doing better. I won't be shooting zombies in the eyeball of choice yet, though.

Corky found himself more accurate today when firing fast, and not accurate at ALL one-handed. He wasn't over-thinking his shot placement. Which is good because, as I mentioned, he is considering doing IDPA stuff sooner rather than later.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


There is a reason you dial 9-1-1 when you need help. It's because it's the last 3 numbers of Browning's model 1911.

What Hath I Wrought?

Corky just bought a handsome SIG in 9mm. He intends to get a .40 caliber pistol of some kind next. Oh dear. Metal guns, though. So there is a bright side. And the grips on those are very handsome. It's a 226, I think, and he'll correct me if I am wrong:

MBtGE is shopping for ANOTHER plastic gun. The Springfield XD. In .45 ACP, at least. To go with his Glock 21.

Apparently my influence on their model selection is not as prevalent as I'd have hoped. At least they are getting MORE. This is a good thing. But I'd hope they'd select an all metal pistol in the venerable .45 ACP caliber and 100 years of real world testing. Not too many models fit that requirement. In fact, just the one. But they don't listen.

Quote from MBtGE "All I really want is... more."

Corky's big justification is get pistols for future
IDPA use. No 9mm to be had at the local Wal Mart right now, he found. My influence on ammo purveyor selection is limited as well it seems, Wal Mart being more hostile to gun owner lately.

And Frozen may have gotten the same model SIG...

Friday, May 16, 2008

History Bleg

Tam brought up Second Kharkov on her blog. It made me realize a significant hole in my history knowledge. I know very little about conduct of operation on the Eastern Front. Partly because neither side spoke or wrote in English so their histories aren't as disseminated because of that extra layer of complexity translating all the stuff. And partly because the Wehrmacht was lead by Hitler, a very bad guy, and the Red Army was lead by Stalin a very very bad guy, and we are close enough to the actual events to want one of the adversaries in the epic struggle to be good guys rather than 2 of the most evil, evah.

Anyhoo. Can anyone recommend a very good, engaging, history of that front? 1940-45.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A .45 Carbine to Consider

When hedging over a .45 ACP carbine, some sent my another option. This company makes a kit for reproduction DeLisle style Enfields. With or without the suppressed component.

An Enfield is a Britsh made bolt action rifle, and right handed, but the bolt is far enough back on the reciever that it should be less of a problem for me, the whinging left-hander. It saw service as the British main battle rifle in WWI and WWII and was manufactured and still saw service up through the 1960s. It fired the .303 cartridge and held 10 rounds in its magazine, fed by stripper clips. It is famous for the smooth bolt action and was probably the best belt action rifle fielded in battle because of its 10 shot capacity.

Little of this matters if converted to .45.

I've seen some beat up sporterized versions of the Enfield and local gunstores, so I'd have no qualms about converting it to something else. It's already been 'ruined' of any historical value by a previous owner that wanted a deer rifle, ruining it further and making it a .45 won't be an afront to the ancestors. Another plus is "bhubbafied" or "sporterized" milsurp rifles are frequently to be had dirt cheap. Why were so many sporterized? Because it was a very popular deer rifle in the US and Canada, and in it's original robust military form it may be too clunky for stalking cervids afield.

This is my goal:

But it will probably more look like this:

So, $200 for a rifle, $300 for a kit, then whatever the gunsmith charges to put them all together. So, another data point, for when I get the gumption. Promotion on Master List? Meh. Prolly. I'll try to talk myself into it. MBtGE has been ribbing me, deservedly, for taking a step back away from "carbine acquisition mode". It's not that I am unenthusiastic on the concept of a .45 carbine, it's just that none available truly match my requirements adequately at a level of quality -versus- price that I can accept. It's not MY fault, it's the unreasonable gun manufacturing sector... Why aren't they catering to my every whim? Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hard Times, Part Tres

Mmmmmmmmm Hard Times Cafe. And American Chili Parlor.

It's a restaurant chain in the Mid-Atlantic area. Pretty simple menu. Chili. Coupla other items, like fries, hot dogs, corn bread. But Chili is the reason it exists.

They have 4 types. Two types of Texas style (my preference), a Vegetarian style if you are into that sort of thing, and some oddity from Cincinnati. That one is kinda wrong, but I'll eat it. It has tomatoes and cinnamon in it, fer cripes sake. There is room in this world for it, I guess.

There is NOT room in this world for Manhattan style chili. Green Bell Peppers? Pah! Abomination.

[Mandatory Gun Content... They have old timey photos of cowboys decorating the restaurants? Cowboys have guns, right? The food is cheap and filling simple to make so it's for a gun enthusiast on a budget or a survivalist in the bush?]

UPDATE: Breda reminded. I forgot one of the big pluses about Hard Times. The beer. They have Lone Star, usually, for traditionalist. And they have a wonderful House Brand lager, award winning and everything. It's rebranded Old Dominion Lager, a local microbrewery that makes some very good beers. It's the last decent local 'big' microbrewery. You have to go further than 50 miles from DC to find local beer of comparable quality and freshness that isn't a brewpub.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hard Times part Deaux

After thought, if you need a firearm or firearms you really can restrict yourself. In the way of need.

You can restrict yourself to one. A rifle. And beware a man with one gun. Chances are, he knows how to use it.

But if you can have more than one, it might be a good idea. A backup to the rifle for short range defense and something easily portable. A pistol. Congratulations, you are every movie cowboy you ever saw. Or most soldier types.

Ok, great. But you need the versatility of a shotgun, too, as that kind of gun can do everything. Hunt deer, hunt doves and everything in between. And it is effective as a home defense weapon. So that is three.

And you can't forget another kind of versatility and the cheapest ammo. Some kind of .22, pistol or rifle. It's great for inexpensive practice, and good for hunting rabbits. Or if you are really hungry, feral cats. And carrying 1000 rounds of .22 compared to carrying 1000 shotgun shells or 1000 .30-06 rounds... Well you can carry 1000 rounds of .22.

And that's it. If the house burned down, I'd get those 4 pretty quickly after. Like the next morning. All at once.

And surprisingly enough, every survival treatese lists the same 4 types.

If I was starving, I might pare down to just those 4, but dang I wouldn't want to.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hard Time A Comin'

We're at a rough patch in the economy, maybe. It's not too bad. But bad policies could make it worse.

A president can't really grow an economy. All he can do, with the help of Congress, is get out of the way, manage the Treasury soundly and let the economy do it's thing. Like a farmer and an apple tree. The farmer can prune it, water it, and fertilize it, but the apple tree has to grow on its own if the farmer messes with it, or doesn't.

A farmer can ruin an apple tree. He can chop it down. A president, with the help of Congress, can ruin an economy just like a farmer can ruin an apple tree. Look at Carter, or FDR's first 8 years. Horrible policies. Tax increases, socialism, protectionism, bad monetary policy, silly schemes writ large with government largess. Ick.

Elect a Carter clone in 2008 and we can get a bad case of the Malaise. Which is worse than my Rheumatis, or Lumbago, or the Ewe Crupe. Almost as bad as the Grip or the Bloody Flux.

So, in the event of hard time, what do you do if you are a gun enthusiast? You sell off your guns. I've been looking at my guns thinking of which I'd part with in bad times. I don't see much superfluous, except the 1903 Springfield. And it has too much sentimental value. I don't have redundant stuff. The only guns I'd consider extra would the ones on the Tertiary part of the Master List. And I don't have any of them.

If I was a big time gun collector and had a Browning patent collection, or all Smith and Wessons, or milsurp rifles from each major Western-Style Power for 200 years, then I might have stuff I could part out.

So no money there if time get bad. I'll have to rely on my old standbys. Selling plasma and male prostitution. ~sigh~ I promised myself I would go back to The Life...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Carbine Re-Thoughts

I am rethinking, in my usual navel-gazing way, my .45 caliber carbine desire. Oh I still WANT one, but the available choices to me are less than ideal. To review, my requirements are: A carbine or short rifle that shoots the .45 ACP pistol cartridge and uses the same magazine as the 1911 pistol.

In current production is the MechTech kit, where you attach a 1911 lower to a rifle, essentially. It’s a cheap solution, if you already have a spare 1911 lower lying around. I don’t. It’s also a bit UGLY. A dog’s breakfast. Woof.

The best contender is the Marlin Camp Carbine Model 45. Ideally, it is perfect. But the ideal never jibes with the real. It’s only available used and replacement parts for commonly broken components are getting hard to find. And it’s popularity to people that think like I do is making the used gun market prices steadily increase, so it is getting pricey. I have never handled one, but the close-up pictures I have seen give me the impression that it’s a cheaply made gun, and that is upsetting. It would be fine if it only cost $300, but it’s going for twice that. It looks like it’s a $300 gun because it WAS a $300 gun. Cheaply made makes me think of possibilities it might work shabbily, too. Jumping on an available Camps Carbine would not be the impulse buy it would have been 6 months ago, even if I had money burning a hole in my pocket.

The other option is reproduction DeLisle carbines. The original ones were bolt action Enfields, shortened, suppressed and remade to take a .45 ACP with a 1911 mags. Pretty neat! There were only 200 made so original are INSANELY expensive and not something you’d shoot recreationally today. Rhineland Arms used to make a conversion kit so you and your favorite gunsmith could make something that looked like the original. These kits are not available new today, and are almost as rare as the original rifle, for my purposes. Plus, the only way I’d want a bolt action carbine is if the silencer/suppressor was still on it, and I’m not ready for that ATF headache.

There are other option for a .45 carbine, or rumors of manufacturers releasing a version soon. Companies like Hi-Point, Kel-Tec (I get those 2 confused), the KRISS, and the Berretta Storm. They make them for .45 ACP magazines other than the 1911 pistol variety is the problem. The KRISS takes a Glock 21 magazine, I believe, for an example, and you can specify with the Hi-Point (or is it the Kel-Tec) among a plethora of mag types (just not 1911). It’s kind of odd, this whole in the market, considering the obvious demand for carbines of this sort on one side, and the popularity of the 1911 on the other side, yet the twain do no meet. It’s not like there aren’t higher capacity mags for 1911 in case you want your carbine to shoot more than eight before a reload.

So all this thinking has me rethinking the whole model. Why get a .45 carbine in the first place? I have a carbine sized rifle in .357 that goes with a revolver if I ever need a non-scary, handy, SHTF bug out trunk gun. In a TEOWAWKI situation, the .308 rifle with a .45 pistol is dandy. I wouldn’t want a .45 rifle, in that case, nor a 7.62x51mm pistol (!!!!!).

If I keep thinking like that, then I demote a few more items on the Master List from Secondary, to Tertiary. Which is probably good. I’d like to concentrate on Using over Accumulating, and shifting resources from guns to ammo isn’t bad. Might as well demote the Mini-14, too. If I NEEDED a .223 gun, there’d be plenty lying around on the ground that I can pick up for free. Hope THAT doesn’t happen, but who really wants a TEOTWAWKI situation to come to pass. [review: SHTF is when ‘stuff hits the fan’ or temporary societal breakdown, like if terrorists lit off a 10 Kiloton bomb on the DC Mall. TEOTWAWKI is ‘the end of the world as we know it’ or a permanent societal breakdown, like if 500 1 megaton bombs pop off all over the world majors cities over the space of an hour, or if Jimmy Carter gets re-elected with Al Gore as his VP in 2008.]

Friday, May 9, 2008

Zombie Dream

I had a dream last night. (Oh noes, this Jovian T-Bolt blog as turned into an insipid dream journal! That does it! I’m not reading this drivel again.) I know, I know…

Anyway… I had a dream last night. And it’s on topic. Relax.

I was in Indiana. Maybe Cleveland. Somewhere in the Midwest. It felt like I was trying to attend a blog bash out there or something. I didn’t get there because the zombie uprising started. That’ll put a crimp in your vacation plans. Sorry Midwest contingent, it’s not like I don’t WANT to go to a brewpub and tell sea-stories with ya’all. The zombies had different plans for me.

For some reason, my mom and brother were with me. And we were trying to make it to one of the Great Lakes, and taking our time about it too. I guess the idea was to find a boat and some safety that way. We were walking. Strolling, rather. Like we were enjoying the weather and having a nice little excursion. The interiors of some of those Victorian era homes in that part of the country are very nice. Or at least they are in dream world. We were being careful not to mess them up while we sightsee and walk through a few of them. Which was easy because the zombies weren’t that thick. They were so sparse that we were using canvas tents for shelter. Mom was a trooper and doing fine, taking it all in stride and getting her licks in with some sort of .22, so I wasn’t paying any attention to her. My brother was well equipped and all mall-ninjaed up in his military issue tacticool gear, but for some reason, he was deaf. Couldn’t hear a thing. So I had to stick close to him because he couldn’t hear a zombie shuffling up on him from behind. He did well on keeping the front clear, and I was constantly checking our six o’clock. There were few other living humans about. The few that were around were as blasé about the zombies as we were. As if the attidude was, “Was the weatherman said it would 80 degrees today, but it’s not hovering around 72. Ah well.” Except “Well the news said there would be no zombies but now there are. Ah well.”

Word of warning, people: Tents on a lake shore are inadequate shelter during a zombie necropalypse. They may do a swell job against a light drizzle, but they are only undead-impervious in the land of Nod.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Where are the Coaches

Over by the livery in front of the Carriage House. Next to that darling Surrey.

Not those coaches! Foo!

I want to find a shooting coach and get some real training. But how to evaluate the plethora of options?

Let me whittle it down. Proximity and expense have to be a pre-requisite at this point. While I’d love to do something like Gunsite, or Thunder Ranch, those course are very far away, and relatively expensive, and may be beyond the scope of what I am looking for.

Gunsite is a little intimidating, I have to admit. I’d not want to try that one until I was a bit more proficient. Hence wanting a bit more basic training locally. Doing a Gunsite course would be thrilling, someday.

The NRA offers some canned courses which are fine, and I still may take one or two. If I get a conceal-carry permit in Virginia, I’d want to take the NRA conceal-carry course anyway. But that’s not exactly what I am looking for in this particular case, either. Those courses seem to be introductory/basic classes. I want a basic/intermediate/marksmanship class. Maybe I am wrong and someone will correct me, sending me to: “NRA’s Basic blurfle Class” as it may SOUND like something for people that have never fired a gun before, but the actual instruction with Instructor X is just what I want.

Ideally, I want a one-on-one coaching for a few range sessions with an expert marksman, evaluating how I shoot now, correcting immediate problems, and giving me pointers and drills to improve my ownself, going forward, solo, firing 1000s of rounds in practice sessions on my own. The perfect instructor would be a long lost Uncle that used to train competition shooters in the Army and just loves teaching people, particularly long lost nephews, how to shoot. A slightly less skilled non-relative that charges a fee or makes me pony up free ammo for them to shoot would be more than adequate, too.

A rifle AND pistol instructor would be great, but if I have to, I’d take one of each.

There are a few lists of instructors in a 100 mile radius I’ve found online, but knowing of their existence is different that knowing of their quality.

You know what I have to do beside sitting on my backside and trying cursory internet searches? I need to ask people. People at the OnTarget range, Gilbert, the NRA range, my gun shop, etc. And consider this an ‘ask’ as well. Of all my readers. Both of you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mother's Day

My buddy Frozen's bride wants a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 breaching shotgun for her Mother's Day gift request. A short barrel version with a collapsible stock. Yes, he knows how lucky he is.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

No Such Thing

MBtGE sent me a link from the Free Republic: There is No Such Thing as Sensible Gun Laws. By John Longenecker, December 2006. I liked it, but I am trying to cut back on the 2nd Amendment advocacy posts so I post it with little comment. Still, I thought it worth sharing, as it is relatively non-foaming-at-the-mouth and rational. Our arguments are often such until you get to our fringe or more excitable members that post on forums in ALL CAPS, shouting, "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!!!!!!!1!!!1!1!!!!eleven"

The Supreme Court cases he references citing the fact that the police have no duty to protect individual citizens are from cases like Castlerock v. Gonzales and Warren v. District of Columbia. That second case is particularly harrowing.

Dang, I need more blog fodder. Better go to the range or something.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Florida Parking Lot Carry

There is a brouhaha about a law passed in Florida that has everyone up in arms. It allows lawfully possessed firearms, used for lawful purposes, to be kept in that individual’s locked car when parked in an employer’s parking lot.

Arguments for the proponents, the lawful gun-owners: Their car is THEIR private property and it is none of the employer’s business, the employer can’t protect me and I don’t give up my self-defense rights and responsibilities just because I am at work on their property, and while they’d like to carry their concealed pistol at work, they concede that the office IS the empoyer’s property and can forbid it. Still, access to the vehicle’s firearm in the event of a crazed murderer loose, near work, is better than nothing. The employer hasn’t assumed responsibility for each employess protection on site, and they CERTAINLY haven’t assumed responsibility for the unarmed commute an employee will then be forced to endure.

Arguments for the employer: Potentially armed employees are an excessive insurance liability risk, and they can’t afford the increase in premiums. Their lot IS their property, and you wouldn’t want someone bringing their firearms on YOUR property without permission, either. The lot may be semi-public, but so is an employees front stoop, you’d want to shoo away religious evangelists shouting through your front door (semi public area) if you didn’t want to listen to their spiel, despite their free speech rights. There is some grays area in the law on how secure you are in your private possessions when they are inside a vehicle, anyway. Your private residence is a much more clear area when it comes to 4th amendment rights compared to your jacket pocket or car. And the standards on what constitutes a legal search in any of those areas, home, car, person, changes slightly over time. Like what constitutes “probable cause” and how restricted the police are. And it often comes down to your word against theirs. “Subject illegally brandished holstered firearm that is required to remain concealed, so we had probable cause to search him” “I did not!” “Did, too, and three officers will testify as such” “They are not telling the truth!” “The jury will trust their 3 sets of testimony more than they’ll trust just yours because they are officers of the law.” “Well, darn!”

The other problem is there is a lot of heat being generated in the argument back in forth and that heat is being reported in the media. And the media likes the sound bites of hysterics and can come down ‘for’ property rights (employers), not mentioning that the pro-civil rights side has a property rights argument, too. Many people on the pro-civil rights side also think that our NRA resources can be better used elsewhere, like streamlining carry rules on federal lands, etc.

I’m not sure where I come down on this. I’d prefer it get hashed out with level heads and not histrionics. But I’d also prefer a billion dollar bank account and my own private island. Wishing isn’t gonna get me either situation. I recommend our side keep applying rational arguments and refuting erroneous ones, and not to get crazy and shoutty. Offer a waiver here to one side or another might help.

The other line of thinking is our side should be pushing the frontiers back, WAY into enemy territory. Making them defend their anti-rights, anti-self-defense predelictions. The farther we push, the less chance they will have to get back to where they were in 1990s when they reached their peak and before the curtain was drawn back on their manufactured, ginned-up position. A totally understandable strategy, that.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Zombie Forts

During World War 2, the Brits set up sea forts in the Thames estuary. Their purpose was to be a platform for anit-aircraft guns and perhaps to oppose German invasion barges, E-Boats, or mine-layers. They also extended radar coverage to track incoming Luftwaffe attacks.

A gentleman-pirate referred to as Doctor Boogie took some video and pictures and this is one of his:

Ruins now, but they must have been GLORIOUS in their prime.

This is the perfect concept for post-Necropalypse housing preparations. At sea is fine, but the same design can used on land.

And here is a video when one of the fort complexes was active:

I think I'd want some more shading awnings for the summer months.

Here's the plan. You and your survival team purchase 100 acres of remote land, or secure rights to build offshore in something like Pamlico Sound, the Chesapeake, or Delaware Bays, Lake Pontchartrain... that sort of thing. I'd say the Great Lakes, too, but hardening against ice may be too expensive. I'd recommend just on shore in that area, so you can have access to the water relatively easily. Then construct one of these per family unit. 4000 each square feet would be fine. You interconnect them with suspended walkways, but set up so that in an emergency you can temporarily cutoff an infected unit from the others.

Solar panels and windmills could be used for power. With a steel skin they are hardened against light arms fire, and with a good foundation you can survive hurricanes. Sniping undead is a simple manner. The stand pipes could have a hollow cavity for a securable tunnel down to an underground bunker (for nuclear threats in case the zombie threat doesn't pan out), where appropriate, or as your drill access to artesian well water. Rain catches on the roof can help feed cisterns for your green houses. That's shelter, food, water, power, and defense in almost unlimited quantities. (Be sure to have a citrus tree or 2. They fruit even when small and no one wants to see me after I'm ravaged with scurvy.) Food is always a weakness, and I can't think of an easy fuel access. A pipe to underground tanks wouldn't last that long. Coal or wood burning stocks even less so. But that's going to be a problem in any situation. You're just gonna have to risk armed wood collection parties on the ground and maybe plant potatoes on a few surrounding acres.

Initial investment... 3 million dollars, each. Who's with me? I figure 9 of em would be good.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Southpark’s fiction

This is an inspiration. So far, I like his stuff. I don’t know if he is on track for a full novella, or where he is gonna go plot-drama-wise. His characters are competent and prepared, even for a zombie eventuality, for the most part. More so than regular civilians, though not as much as a hard core survivalist is. Pretty close. He alludes that they might not be as ready as they figured.

There are 2 extremes in types of zombie apocalypse fiction. One, where the protagonist is VERY prepared, and has only a few hiccups in defending his ‘castle.’ This is more fantacist escapism fiction. Enjoyable, but there is less chance for the main plot point. There is no struggle, only triumph. It can be enjoyable to read, anyway. And it is a good preparatory on how to do things ‘right.’ Unless you emulate the successful techniques forgetting that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. There is all the stuff you DIDN’T consider, that you get in trouble. But the fiction of this type rarely address that. It is good for what it is. It is not fine literature, zombie hypothetical or not.

There is the second type of zombie fiction, that you see in the movies. The protagonist is totally UNPREPARED and fights to survive. There is plot galore in this route. Nurse wakes up, and husband gets bit, turns into a zombie… FLEE! Cops are opposing the growing zombie horde when it is small and seems manageable. When it becomes apparent that nothing is stopping the horror, he goes from restorer of order to FLEE! Worry about order later! Survive now. Improvise as you go. These characters’ only prep is ad hoc and the life skills they already possess and a will to live. These make for good stories, but are poor for preparation instruction regarding the VERY REAL ZOMBIE THREAT! Other than the improvisational ideas. Better literature.

People are starting to write in the in-between, combining both. SouthParkPundit is leaning Prepare-For, I think, but still has some good plot hook potential. Plus he writes well. If I were to write, with my meager skills, something similar, I’d drift toward the Unprepared-For side. A protagonist that has only partly considered preparations for a Necropalypse.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Galco Holster

I got a holster for my .45. I already had one for my revolver and .380.

It's from Galco. A paddle type called F.E.D. the paddle sticks in the pants, over the belt and there is a snap release to hold the pistol in. Galco has many holsters to choose from for the 1911, and this was my preference. I might have gone with a small of the back holster, and inside the waistband, but since there is no concealed carry in Maryland and the 1911 is so big, I think I'd have to get used to any of the better hidden versions. I like this one because you don't have to thread it through you belt. When you go the bethroom you can take it off and put in the crotch of your pants so you don't leave it in there. I wanted the snap for safety and make it harder for someone ELSE to mess with. That's another disadvantage of Small of the Back. If people see it, they can more easily grab it. The snap adds another level of security for a 1911 carried in Condition One: A round chambered, hammer cocked, safety on.

I already don't like the spare magazine carrier I got with it, and would prefer the horizontal type. This one digs the magazine into my side. Next time, different.