Monday, June 30, 2008

Mel Tappan

Been Reading some Mel Tappan, survivalist writer from the 70's that died kinda young.



1. Why Prepare?

2. Survival Checklist

3. Retreating

4. Food Storage

5. Weapons

6. Communications

7. Miscellaneous

8. Survival Library

First he'd be SHOCKED we made it as a going concern of a country up til 2008. He was sure, like so many others, that the End Was Nigh in 1979. Set for bankruptcy and economic collapse. If you went back in time and told him gas would be less than $5 a gallon in June 2008 he'd say 2 things. "You STILL aren't on the metric system? I knew Carter was full of it!" and, "LESS than $5?!!!!"

And he was talking out his butt on other things, too.

He is worried about nuclear powerplants 'detonating'. He is worried about attacks from soldiers with flamethrowers, when, by the late 70s, there were no flamethrowers around outside of Hollywood.

But MBtGE has some advice:

Tappen was wrong on many fronts. He had good ideas on some other fronts.
Harvest the goodness...


Well his gun selection criteria is a summary from a previous book and it seems old hat. I knew all that. Right, I KNEW that because everyone since the 70's has cribbed from Tappan. Most articles cite him, and you absorb the 30 year old advice like osmosis. So that is good stuff, just not new. Even if it is the original wellspring. He like .308 military rifles and the .45 auto. He likes revolvers and lighter carbines for general light duty. I'm on that frequency.

He recommends only 10 acres for a survival property, and that that is enough to feed a family. Hmm. I didn't know it could be that small. Now I am interested in checking out Homestead properties, again... I'd love something in West Virginia in the Potomac valley, perhaps.

He recommends a small rural town for the support a community provides. Less than 5000 population as more is hard to manage order internally, and more than 2000 to have a proper density to have a wide variety of skills. I don't know how valid this is today, with the 'shrinking' of the planet, but I'm sure the same sort of place are out there, if fewer in number than 40 or 50 years ago.

He recommends a small working pistol or ranch rifle to carry around while you do daily chores on your property growing food and such, as that's when you animals pop up for the pot. And that "going hunting" when there are chores to do may be a waste of valuable time. I don't know about that. A few days in a blind that bags an elk can feed your family for half a year, perhaps. Still. He has a point. And if you are out hunting, who is driving off coyotes and crows, back home, and chopping wood for fuel?

A library is important. For information and also for entertainment.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

All Hellered Out

Next post will go back to the useless trivia and n00b blather I normally post. As you know (both of you), I try to restrict my 2nd Amendment posts because it starts to anger up the blood and gets my bodily humours out of balance. Politics and bile goes together like peas and carrots. What it should be is more sanguine and phlegmatic, but wish in one hand and poop in another and see which one fills up faster.

What The World Needs Now

Love. Sweet love.

The Heller case was intentionally narrowly defined. Well, Heller WAS a narrow plea. Baby steps. Gura conceded many points, like the constitutionality of licensing, in order to focus on the most important and strongest point, the existence of an individual right If he plead for individual rights and the folly of a licensing system, the case might have been rejected or watered down, or concentrated on tertiary aspects to the main point. We won on this main point, the individual right. The other points will have to be address in various ways over time. Baby steps. Keep moving the ball downfield. Compromise does not mean "come around to their way of thinking on everything" anymore, or compromising from a starting point of their choosing and one that keeps moving in their direction. Maybe we can set the start point from now on and make THEM compromise, now that we have a bit of the initiative.

We need a ruling in the future as to what "dangerous and unusual weapons" are, because those that would ban guns will argue that all guns are dangerous and unusual, and have succeeded in making death by hanging, once a common method of execution, considered unusual under "cruel and unusual"

We need a ruling about what is a legal purpose, exactly, extending from "legitimate legal purpose, such as self-defense." What does "such as" also entail?

We need a ruling on incorporation. Does the Heller ruling apply to all the states under the 14th Amendment, or just DC? We in sympathy with the 2nd know, but the rulings finding will be challenged in this way by the antis I am sure.

We need to put a nail in the coffin on the opinions in the dissent to prevent them from morphing into some new rationale to restrict the people, based on the "we almost got it, there, just a little push." principle.

We need a ruling on what forms of licensing are over-burdensome, because Heller expressly permitted DC to license firearms, and the antis can go nuts applying that everywhere with high bars to qualification and excessive annual fees for renewal and prohibitive and extensive bureaucratic hoops to jump through. Picture New York City or Massachusetts licensing applied everywhere, but twice as onerous.

We need a ruling on what is a "weapon in common use at the time." Semi-automatic pistols are become more common than revolvers. AR-15 are becoming more common than lever action rifles. Wouldn't it be ironic if the gun-grabbers got the revolvers and lever guns put on the verboten list, but had to accept the modern sidearms?

We need to guard against the creation of MORE "sensitive public places" in the same vein of encroaching non-smoking areas being, well, EVERYWHERE, including inside your own home (the recently proven benign second-hand cigarette smoke might leak over to a school 2 miles away!)

We still need to make it a losing proposition for candidates to adopt anti-rights policies and still have a chance of being elected. At least as much as possible. To do this, WE need to keep to our reasonable ways. We can't go all loony and such. The REAL definition of loony. Gun-grabbers think anyone that owns a .22 revolver that they had fun plinking with once 10 years ago a loony.

We still need to ridicule the irrational fantasists on the anti side using the same tactics of reasoned argument and citation of actual facts that most of us already use.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

So, Now That Heller is Ruled

Which Amendment should I support now?

Sadly, I still have to be vigilant about the 2nd. It was only 5-4. If it was 8-1 or 9-0 I could relax and concentrate on the 5th or 10th Amendments or something. If one of the five constitutional judges retires, and is replaced by a fiat-judge, ruling on how they personally prefer the world to be, rather on that novel concept, ruling on the LAW of the land, then Heller could be reversed back inside of 10 years.

Just look at the other recent rulings where the court had no business. The Kennedy child rape law is the most sensational. If the death penalty is Constitutional, then a legislative body could decide ANY felony is a capital crime. It's not unusual. When the Constitution was written a felony conviction meant hanging. I wonder what the ruling would have been if the guilty party was on death row for a white collar crime that had been made a capital offense by a legislature? (Think of the deterrence THAT would make. Steal from the pension fund, and get killed by the gov't.)

And look how the court has messed up other basic rights, admitting that you HAVE property rights, but they don't really matter if someone in government say they don't, as in the Kelo decision.

Not enough Supreme Court cases are ruled 9-0 with a simple brief: "This is/is not supported by the Constitution. Stop monkeying with this." Just a LITTLE judicial restraint...

A commenter on another blog, I forget where I saw, did mention that the ruling WAS sorta 9-0. Even the dissenters conceded that the 2nd Amendment was an individual right. Their remedy for Heller applicability was different than the majority's. Others argue that the 4 ruled collective right only. I need to finish the ruling and read the dissents... The Supreme Court's check is on Constitutionality. The legislature is about will of the people, its how a Federalist Republic should work. You know, the Constitution? The thing all of them and many of us swore an oath to protect and defend? No one that does not take that oath seriously should ever be allowed near any government position. We voters have done a poor job with that. We should try to do better from this point forward.

But we live in an imperfect world. It requires us to be ever vigilant. The Heller ruling is good, but it is the beginning, not the end. It took 100 years to get from the 13th Amendment to Brown vs. Board of Education. I hope it doesn't take 100 years to get from Heller to a place we can relax about 2nd Amendment infringements. Besides, in 100 years I want the T-Bolt legacy to shoot really COOL Gauss Guns and Phasers at the range.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms

Uncle's Meme.

Heller celebration aftermath.

I Likee

I like Anarchangel. He thinks positive.

"A Human Right, A Civil Right: Fundamental, Pre-existing, Strictly Scrutinized, Universal, and Incorporated"

Heller Anal.

it's an abbreviation for a word I can't spell reliably. ^

So... implication for outside DC... self defense is considered lawful activity inteh ruling, AND you can possess so what about open carry in non-open carry states? No telling yet. And Maryland's strict transportation laws? We shall have to see.

Lots of dust needs to settle. Lots of court cases to come that won't have to go to the Supreme Court. ILA will be busy beavers. A few will go to SCOTUS, though, if the Appeals courts dig in their feet.

But, it is an INDIVIDUAL right. So ruled. There is no such thing as a 'collective right'. That's the most important result, and should reach out beyond the 2nd. Plainlly, this right existed before the amendment was written, before the country was formed, and the amendment only says that government shall not infringe upon this right.

Wow, more questions are raised than answered elsewhere. The rules have changed. At least the ACLU will be on the Gunnies side, now. ~snicker~

Another big winner? All the other individual rights. The Constitution meant something in this ruling, and is not something to be ignored, even if a Judge at any level finds it inconvenient to his or her personal way of thinking. It's just one recent ruling like this. But it's something, not nothing.

Oh and today? The sky is bluer, the beer is fresher, the food is more savory, the water sweeter, the women are more beautiful, and the heart is stronger.

Molon Labe.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

STOP!... Heller time!

dooo do do do, do do, do doo. Can't shoot this.

Well, Heller verdict was released.

Excuse me a moment while I go get some beer and go all "Iraqi Wedding" and shoot a few hundred rounds into the air in celebration. Woohoo! In your FACE, Flanders. Ol' paint-canny Ned.

There. Thash feelsh better. Wait. Hold on.


THERE! Sober again. Soberer.

Anyway. Lots of folks have up analysis. Analyses? Analiosis? EXPLANATIONS OF WHAT IT ALL MEANS.


My own to come later...

KBR 2-Step

Kellogg Brown and Root, AKA Haliburton, has a food contract with the military at various FOBs in the war zones. (Oooooooo, mercenaries.). Better to pay a cook you can fire at the cessation of hostilities than to have a bunch of extra cooks sitting around in uniform for 20 years, ante-bellum.

I have buddies and relatives overseas now or recently that report the food gives them the scoots. The Tijuana Two Step. The trots.

The food goes right through them. And they complain. As is their right.

But the trigger pullers on patrol eat Meals Ready to Eat for extended periods. One of the properties of MREs is their ability to bind you right up. Intentional or no, the theory is, if don't have to go, the bad guys don't catch you with your pants down. Literally. [There are rumors that they put Salt Peter in MREs, too, so the war fighters ardor is becalmed, and they spend more time thinking about winning a battle, staying alive, and accomplishing a mission than thinking about screwin'. Might be true, might not. But the 'pants down' thing applies.]

Anyway, so a bound up grunt come back with a rock in his lower Gastro Intestinal tract, and KBR obliges him with food that gives him a bit of a Spring Cleaning. It goes together like peas and carrots. Sweet, blessed, relief. Anything to support/help/relieve the trigger pullers on the tip of the spear is a good thing, even if it does inconvenience the Rear Echelon folks. So I am sure the properties of the various delectables are intentional. One food is red light, one is GREEN LIGHT, OUTTA MY WAY, EMERGENCY, OH PLEASE BE TERLET PAPER IN THE PORTA-POTTY.

"Hey Fred, do you have any TP in your stall?"

"Uh. No."

"Me neither. Do you have 5 $1's for a $5?"

What? It's just a theory.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Movie Review: Shooter

Another movie review, 7 months after its theatrical release. (I rarely get out and have a Netflix account to keep up. So sue me.)

Well, it had some good parts. Lot of shooty, and action, and a decent pace. Espapist fantasy, but people (including me) LIKE escapist Fantasy. Standard shoot em-up where the hero makes few mistakes, treacherous outnumbers scenario after scenario, and no
Murphy's Law interfering with his plans.

But there were flaws.

Ok, so Gunny Swagger (Mark Wahlberg's character) is supposed to be one of the top 5 snipers in the world. Perhaps #1. His first shot of the movie was to the head of a moving target traveling right to left at an oblique angle at 900 yards. Like I said, escapist fantasy. I had trouble suspending disbelief on that, and I think I would BEFORE I ever took up shooting.

Some other blogger noted when the movie first came out that he practiced with his sniper rifle right next to his dog. And while he had ear protection the poor hound did not. And the dog did not react. And it was a big rifle. Might not have been a .50, but it looked like the round were bigger than a .308. They'd have to be to make 2200 yard shots.

Some Canadian pulled off a longer than 2000 yard shot during WOT. But it took a few shots, walking it in, if I'm not mistaken. A lot hold-over. In other words they had to aim at a spot a few feet above the target to account for bullet drop. Presumably they maxed out the elevation adjustment on their scope. It's just very difficult.

But I do like Mark Wahlberg's performance. I won't let the details beyond his control in a movie color my opinion of him.

And the socialist back drop that colored the subtext of everything in the movie was irksome. You see more of it in the deleted scenes in the special features of the DVD. An FBI rookie is being hung out to dry and when he realizes this he dons a Che Guevera t-shirt? Right. The old school Senator played by Ned Beatty thinks the way the world works is a zero-sum game, economically. Oh and Blackwater is the bad guy. Or a cell that acts like Blackwater. In the world of the director, Antoine Fuqua, there are implications that there are several rogue Blackwater style contractors, controlled by some man of power separate from the others. Well, Mr. Fuqua, you can go Fuqua yourself. Everything is a conspiracy, usually by reactionary paleoconservative types, motivated by power and money. Nothing is as it seems. That theme is everywhere in modern entertainment and it is getting kinda old.

Just like Jericho... EVIL DoD contract... I mean MERCENARIES! Booo! Mercenaries! Yeah, yeah. Those people that boo Contractors wouldn't like the alternative much worse, but they never consider that.

Heh, can anyone point to the latest LEFTIST conspiracy movie out there? Seriously. I wanna watch something different. Unusual.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cooper and Glocks

My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast sent me this quote of Jeff Cooper's

"The police establishment is now properly devoted to the Glock, and this seems to be a good choice. The Glock is a difficult piece to shoot well, and its safety problem has been solved by issuing it with a trigger that only a gorilla would love, but it has been generally admitted that the police today cannot be trained to shoot well - not so much because of time and ammunition expenditures, but because of motivation. A man will do well only at things he enjoys doing, and today's police departments are reluctant to hire a recruit who enjoys shooting. Thus the Glock's "shootability" is irrelevant. The piece is relatively cheap, it is usually reliable, and the company's service policies are outstanding."
- Jeff Cooper, Cooper Commentaries, Volume V, Number 11.

I'd read it before, but it doesn't hurt to re-read it. And comment on it, when you need blog fodder...

True, it seems. Glock made a special trigger pull model JUST for the NY police, making it a stronger draw to be more like a Double Action revolver that the police were more used to firing before switching over. A stronger trigger pull means less 'accidental' 'it just went OFF!' scenarios. And it hurts accuracy, too. Unintentional police discharges are bad for all concern, the cop, the civilian with the extra hole, bad-guy or not, the PR people down at the station, AND the confidence of the public toward the police when they learn about it.

And police are notorious for low standards or gun training. Oh sure, there are some cops that keep up with practice on their own in realistic scenarios, and recognize how important it is, both when they need to shoot and only hit what they are shooting, and when they need NOT to shoot. Too many officers only shoot at yearly range re-qualification after they leave the police academy, and then only at paper sillohuettes. The police chief of San Francisco had a minor scandal recently for not even doing THAT for a long long time.

And besides, it's not a Cop's primary job to SHOOT people. If it was, and that was all the cop did, and he could compress all the shootings he'd have to do in a career into the first week and then retire, most Cops would punch in at the time clock and punch out a second later. Few 'careers' would last a week even if they stretched it out. And that is probably a good thing. I am less impressed with the Cops that are trained as soldiers and get to act as soldiers in their police work. The problem being, when there is no 'soldier work' to do, there is too much temptation to MAKE soldier-work happen to stay in practice. Then we get shameful circumstances like the Elian Gonzales incident and unarmed grandmas experiencing what a flash-bang grenade feels like in her living room.

And few want that.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Breda Requests...

If Tam and I are rock stars, she's selling out stadiums and I'm playing at the county fair. I'd like to know why you started shooting, and how recently. -Breda

Don't sell yourself short, Breda. I bet you get more comments per post than Tam does, recently.

Oooooo, I said "short" and you are only 5 foot nuthin! Sorry about that. No offense meant. Remember I thought you wrote taller, assuming you 5'8".

Aw shucks, THAT old story? You don't wanna hear that. I went over that when I started this thing.


Well, then. Gather the chillin' round in a circle, and Uncle T-Bolt will tell a story.

MBtGE made me.

What? More detail? Ok.

I was always kinda interested. BB gun and 20 gauge very rarely as a kid. A 1911 in the military... then a long pause, filled with poverty and a leftist hoplophobic ex. (She's not voting for Obama. Thinks him too conservative.) Finally, a computer geek job with a computer geek buddy. A buddy that grew up in upstate New York on an orchard. And he had guns.

That's My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast.

I had the interest and the income, but a little guidance and push down the slippery slope was all I needed.

Plus Y2K was coming. And I didn't want to have to stock up on can goods. Let my neighbors do that, I'll just stock up on a coupla boxes of ammo.

So MBtGE introduced me to pistol ranges and let me try his handguns so I could pick what I wanted.

Got a .357 revolver as the .44 was a bit unwieldy.

Time passed.

Got a Garand and it sat around.

Then MBtGE let drop he found a rifle range about a year ago. And range visits started happening once a month, minumum

Then this blog started. And many other blogs were read.

It sorta snowballed a bit at that point. Bought a few more. Then slowed the money burn. And now here we are. With only a few guns on the "want list" and really ONE serious one.

And I can go to a gun range all by myself like a big boy, now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Machine Gun Pics

Ah, the MG42. 1200 rounds a minute. Shoot a few hundred belts through it and you can light a cigarette off the barrel. According to wikipedia: "So distinct and terrifying was the weapon, that the United States Army created training films to aid its soldiers in dealing with the psychological trauma of facing the weapon in battle." And I have seen that film. It's less scary hearing it from the end I was on.

Like the hat? It keeps hot brass offa me dome.

And the MP40. It shoots 9mm and the recoil is as gentle as a kitten. If any machine gun were to tempt me to covet it, it would be one like this. Jeff Cooper wrote about a news report where they found an MP40 in a wall in Belgium 50 years after WWII. It was cocked and ready to go with a full magazine. And it worked with that ammo and those compressed spring as well as it did in the 1940s.

I count 3 brass casings in the air...

Limp Wristing It


I'm going to refrain from lubricating the slide in my 1911 to see if I can get this to happen more frequently. If the failure does happen, it's another indicator I may be
Limp Wristing my grip, causing jams.

With semi auto pistols, the slide has to go back, compressing the recoil spring. Once compressed the slide returns to battery, pushing a new cartridge into the chamber. If your grip is loose, or limp then YOU act as a secong 'spring' and the slide doesn't travel as far because you are letting the frame travel back too. Newton's Laws of Action/Reaction don't work as well without a steady platform to act against. A heavier, more massive, frame, like in all-steel guns helps, but grip form is important, too. You have to hold it tight, not too tight, but tight.

I may bad mouth plastic guns, but they are reliable. Jams with them, if they happen, are generally the fault of the limp grip, or the ammo.

But most decent guns available with most ammo types are darn relibable. Period.

The 2 times I had a failure to feed might have been this. It's the only failures I've experienced with the pistol. The cartiidge was partly inserted but wouldn't go all the way. So the gun was jammed half closed. I think if I was vigorous pushing the slide forward. But I was at the range and not drilling quick-recovery, so I cycled that round out and loaded it into another mag later. I didn't note the mag type, either, and I should have. Was it a stock Springfield or a
Chip McCormick?

Or was the fault that the firing pin was still sticking out so the back of the case got wedged into the extractor and pushed against the pin? Doubtful. The pin would have to be gritted up with dirt or gunk, and then I might get slam fires. But that pin has a spring to keep it back. Technically, this is still the break-in period for the new pistol. I've only fired a little under 1000 rounds through it.

But in case the FTF was a limp wrist, the tip new
Breda gave me should help, if I stick to it. Squeeze the support hand a bit more than the trigger hand will make a firmer platform. That tip was to improve my trigger pull and subsequent accuracy, but it would also assist with maintaining an anti-limp-wristing grip.

My worries are undoubtedly unfounded. All this expenditure of brain juice is acadmic. If my 'flaw' was bad enough I'd notice a lot more jams with one or more pistol types. Or notice it when I shoot one-handed. And the only thing that jams regularly on me are most all the .22s. Still, always seek to perfect the skill.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Corky's Milsurp

FINALLY, my influence is beginning to tell.

from Corky:

I have this friend, yeah a friend. We were talking about old rifles and I was telling him to skip them and buy something in the now but he will not listen to me. Well I, he.. is interested in possibly a M1903A4 springfield. What’s your opinion?

That what he gets for watching Saving Private Ryan.

The peep sight is a good improvement on the late 03s. Model A3? I believe that was the major difference between it an earlier models, other than quicker manufacturing technique with stamped parts and stuff. He really cannot go wrong picking this one as his primary bolt action milsurp. It's a very fine piece, and it's made in America.

But the A4 is the sniper version. To get a real, original, one is prolly very pricey. To get a bubbafied 03 is very good shape (other than the holes for a scope mount) and can be cheap because of the loss of collector value compare to an intact 03. Bubbafied ones are surplus iron-sight rifles that some hunter long ago had a gunsmith modify by tapping screw holes for a scope. If you happen to have a pretty pristine version without holes (like I do) you are better off selling it buying a Bubba special, and pocketting the was of cash you have extra, if you insist on an 03 with scope.

Nowadays to get a real regular 03 is kinda pricey, too.

Plus everyone will warn you not to get an early serial number version because of tempering processes in manufacture weren't as refined in older guns, so the receiver can fail in use. A receiver failure is known as 'very big deal; day ruining event.' 'Light and get away.' Plenty of info about that around.

You can get a cheaper Mauser or Mosin milsurp. But thems is Furren Guns. Boo.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Machine Gun Pics

My gunshop guy, Ted, came through and sent a pic of me shooting an M2 on full auto, from this little outing. Hella fun time.

You finally see what I look like, Breda. Well, the back of me.

Look, brass!..^

You can see the barrel of the MG42 in front of me, pointed down.


Bench Memos Blog over at National Review notes that the way the rulings up to this point have come down, it looks most likely that either Scalia or Souter wrote the majority or lead opinion for the District of Columbia v. Heller 2nd Amendment case. So either "Yay!" or "YIKES!"

Probably hear Monday, is the conventional wisdom.


Turk Turon has a short post on spam.

The implication is he has laid a supply in in case Katrina returns or the dead rise to feast upon the living, and he needs to hole up and ride out the emergency.

I like
Spam. Or I would like Spam, if it weren’t for the bones.

I have never had a bit of Spam that didn’t have a bone fragment in it. And a crunchy unyielding bit in an otherwise gummable food is quite disturbing. To me at least. Bone free bits are quite delicious.

I had heard rumors about why the tinned pork shoulder and ham was so popular with
New Guinea tribesmen. Pesky missionaries had discouraged them from practicing a cherished cultural tradition. But the oldtimers really like the Spam. It reminded them of a now forbidden flavor. Long Pig.

Probably an urban legend. But it sounds good.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bandoleer Extra

Heh, what do I put in those 2 extra pouches on the flanks of the bandoleer?

I can think of a first aid kit, and a altoids tin size survival kit. Maybe a gun cleaning kit. Maybe a cellphoe size comunication device.

I think they were meant for grenades, but I'm not going to be carrying those, chances are.

The regular magazine pouches, might fit a pistol magazine in each, giving me 4 of those.

And I loaded the mags open end down, and bullets pointing to my left. Appropriate for a lefty, not a righty. (Thanks for that input, commenter. It's easier to load without shifting your grip on the things.)

Any other ideas for extras?

Bandoleer Get

So I asked the bandoleer question a few days ago because I had a new bandoleer ordered. It holds 8 magazines and an extra 80 rounds of .308 without breaking a sweat, but MAN is that heavy. Loaded.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chuckles' New Stuff

Chuckles wanted a .357 revolver after trying mine a few months ago. He had to get one for himself. And did.

Smith and Wesson. He's glad it came with rubber grips as well as wood, as the wood one punish his hands with magnum loads. The rear sight wiggles. That shouldn't be...

But he's been drooling on the Springfield EMP. I hope he gets one of those, too. He wants something in 1911 design, and likes that little EMP. I'd love it if he got because I could shoot it and decide if I want to get it.

Chuckles has also made up a spreadsheet of various energy ratings or various ammo calibers and self defense rounds. He knows to take the results with a big grain of salt. The data for feet per second is often provide by the manufacturer. There are other variables not taken into consideration as well. He compares that to actual results with water filled milk jugs on the site Box O' Truth, and see that the numbers don't necessarily match up to performance in reality. We all suspect that reality would be further skewed if the targets were flesh and bone and not plastic water jugs. According to the graphs, .38 Special isn't supposed to do that well, but it penetrates more water jugs than you'd figure.

Any, from the energy NUMBERS on his sheet, Speer GoldDot Personal Protection and Federal Hydroshok do pretty well for .45. Middle of the road on energy, not +P, and still on the heavy side. 452 and 413 foot pounds respectively. Corbon did very well in the +P 45s, 165 grains and 575 foot pounds.

Oh and energy equals half the weight in pounds (a grain is 1/7000th of a pound), times velocity in feet per second, squared, times 32.175; and that give you foot pounds of energy, I'm pretty sure.

Based on pure numbers the .357 Sig and Magnum is an awesome cartridge. The Sig is expensive, though. Speer GoldDot .357 Magnum is 583 foot pounds, on his chart. .38s are in the mid 200's.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Neo Hoplophobia

So MBtGE sends me a blog idea. As follows:

I was talking guns today with some of the guys at work and heard the term that describes you perfectly: "Neo Hoplophobia"

"Shooters that don't like any gun designed in the last 50 years." They were talking about Chuck Heston but it might as well be you. They described fear of owning, "Scary black guns" and clinging to old designs even when stats are clearly in favor of modern rigs (rifle, handgun and shotguns). (even K-Bars were mentioned!) I wish you had been there!!

Hoplophobia (fear of firearms) is one of Jeff Cooper's favorite terms. Do you have "Neo Hoplophobia"?

I am offended. How dare they. Is there an implication that I am AFRAID of ARs? I'm not afraid of them. I just hate them. An all-consuming hatred that fires the blackest depths of my soul. It's a monstrosity foisted upon the US by Robert MacNamara, the architect of a FAILED Viet Nam policy, and a man that unmercifully ravished Japanese population centers from the Air, General Curtis LeMay, USAF. Notice, AIR FORCE. He was not a Marine or a Soldier, but a flyboy. I'd trust a recommendation from General Patton or Abrahms, or a proper dog-face like Audey Murphy or demi-god devil-dog like Carlos Hathcock. People that USED rifles and riflemen in the war. If I wanted to know about car manufacturing or strategic bombers I'd ask MacNamara or LeMay.

And Michael Williamson (hat tip, Say Uncle) talks about how useless a rifle the AR-15 is, to back me up. Here is the money quote:

But you have to admit, if the AR-15 was really successful, you'd be able to get it from 40 different manufacturers, in .22, .222, .223, .224, .243, 7.62X39, .308 and .338 Lapua (in variants) 9mm, .40, .45, .50 BMG, several wildcat chamberings, as a pistol, carbine or rifle, clip fed, box fed, drum fed or belt fed, with barrels from 7" to 24", with dozens of sling combinations, fixed or folding stocks in a dozen lengths, with accessories like scopes, HUD sights, grenade launchers, bi pods, rail mounts, alternate bolt and trigger groups. It would win hundreds of competitions, be used by dozens of militaries and elite units, SWAT teams and commando units, be available as cheap as $450, have hundreds of smiths specializing in working on it and be readily available at any gun store.

See? There you go. Wait a minnit...

In all seriousness, I like the older styles for a variety of reasons. Romanticly, I am a lover of history, and the Garand oozes history. I appreciate the fine workmanship in designs that came before the impersonal CNC machine, and each part had more of a human touch to it, and come from an age when we were a country of mechanics. Walnut is my favorite wood of all time for fine furniture, and rifle stocks. The 1911 and Garand has killed more Nazis, Tojos, and Commies than any other US rifle/pistol combination, combined. The M-14 made a bit of a comeback in Iraq because of the utility of the heavier round. In a TEOTWAWKI situation and I have to use a rifle, I will probably not be in an organized, disciplined squad, with modern battle doctrine of fire and manuever. I won't be trying to lay down volumes of fire to pin down the enemy so another fire team can move and turn a flank on the bad guys... I may even be alone, I will have to make every round count, and not shoot to make noise, so I will have to husband my ammo supply. Some people say that .223 sometimes won't put a bad guy down, and that it just wounds. I don't know about that. I do know that NO ONE says that guys that get hit with a .308 tend to have a lot of fight left in them. Yes they are heavy, the rifle and the ammo. But if I went for a lighter weight round, I'd have the problems of smaller bullets.

The M-14 was a short lived service rifle, I think mainly because doctrine demanded more automatic fire, and that gun was no replacement for a more dedicated machine gun. But as a RIFLE it was good. Even great. And doctrine is sorta returning to semi-automatic rifle fire combined with dedicated machine gun fire. A .223 round makes more sense with automatic fire. If I get a machine gun, I'd consider one in that caliber, yes. But for a rifle I want a rifle. Not a carbine. And a carbine that currently poops where it eats.

I know a bolt action rifle like a WWI Springfield is even more Ooozier, history-wise, but I like the semi-auto because of my left handedness. So there is a concession, there.

But it's just what I prefer. Some guys prefer the AR types, for a variety of valid reasons. More power to 'em. I freely admit that there are negatives to my preference, and guys that are honest with themselves and love the AR freely admit its flaws.

I think it is most interesting to note when a "user" soldier has a choice in his preferred weapon what he or she choose. The tirgger pullers that have enough pull to demand a choice, at least. I am less interested in what some procurement General or political committee selects. And enough real users still select the weapons I prefer that I don't have a single second thought about them.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jericho Review Update

In the TV series, "Jericho"...

One thing Corky noted watching Jericho months ago is a detail that slipped by me.He remembers being really bothered by people wielding AR type guns and supporting the carbine by holding onto the magazine. Not the mag well, the magazine. Something Corky says was beaten into him NOT to do back in basic training for the Army.

It was little details like that that bothered him. Plus all the big details that bothered him. He didn't like the show.

I dunno, maybe guys DO wield their M-16s that way. I'm gonna give Corky a big benefit of the doubt. Should I learn from someone that was a soldier, or Hollywood, on how to wield a rifle?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Movie Review: Rambo

The movie that came out last year. Not the one from the 80's.

Ok, they saw Saving Private Ryan and decided they could make a war film with that kind of violence, but not as subtle. And with lesser quality CGI. Gratuitous.

And you've never seen a war movie with that much .50 cal action. I've never seen the results of what happens when .50 hits a person, but I have a feeling it doesn't look like that.

That said, at least there are no explosive tipped arrows with matchbox size charges exploding like C-4, but with more flame and flash like it came out of a 55 gallon drum of gasoline fumes.

The movie seems more believable because I remember how unbelievable and escapist fantasy the last 2 or three Rambo movies were, so that was kind of nice. Stallone was broody, but this wasn't an expose of how well he worked out, like before. In other words, he doesn't go around shirtless. Thanks for that, Sly. Beefcake in movies is not my cut of double shot decaf mocha frappachini with skim milk and Splenda(tm).

I mean coffee. BLACK.

What can I say? I like my coffee like I like my men. Hot, strong, and black.

BACK to the movie.

Here is the new and improved grizzled broody Rambo:

While this is old-school Rambo:

They had to have the bad guys seem like bad guys. When the movie came out the cyclone hadn't hit Burma, and no one in this country knew that a brutal junta had ruled the place for decadez. So they had to establish the enemy for Rambo as REALLY evil. The movie made it seem like they had a list of every legendary atrocity written down and were just systematically going through it like a punch list. "Ok we got rape. We got shooting helpless prisoner. We got wagering on suicidal minefield herding... We need to toss a baby on a bayonet or a fire or something."

The mercenaries that are sent to help Rambo with the kidnapped missionaries (well, Rambo helped them, sorta) had a nice collection of military rifles. I can't rattle off the types on sight, but I'm pretty sure one was a HK G3. I've been seeing a lot of those around these days. Bad guys had the ubiquitous AK-47, the preferred weapon of your enemy. It makes a distinctive sound. (Marine Recon guys I have known HATED that Eastwood movie...) There was a sniper .50 caliber rifle, naturally. Magazine fed, too.

A decent netflix rental, but I'm glad I didn't spend money on it in the theater. Ultra-violent, if that's not your cup of tea. More killing in this one than the other 3 combined. And that was off-putting. Like nude scenes, I like violence to be integral to the plot...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Anvil Firing

I have an interest in Blacksmithing and old handtool Woodworking. Sorta like what Roy Underhill does at the Woodwright’s Shop on PBS.

One thing, sorta gun related, that used to be done when blacksmiths and farriers were popular was
Anvil Firing. What is that? Simple. You select 2 anvils or roughly equal. Many anvils have a slightly dished up bottom. You want 2 anvils whose bases sort of match. You take one anvil and set it Face down on the ground or a stump, you then pour black powder in the concave bottom that is now facing up. Now set the second anvil right side up to sort of seal in the black powder in the cavity between the two 128+ hundredweight pieces of Arn. Sometimes a paper gasket is used to help the seal. Then set a trail of black powder to the charge.

And like all fireworks, "Light, and get away"

Far away.

When the blackpowder goes off the upper anvil jumps up into the air. Sometimes quite far into the air. With a delightful ring and subsequent thud.

A video by some known at ihatejackblack:


Heh, look! Gunblogger
Joe Huffman does it at boomershoot sometimes!

This was an especially popular pastime around Independence Day. Who needs fireworks when every town has a smithy.

Is it safe? HELL no. Sometimes the anvil lands on people that venture too close. And it's not like a Warner Bros. cartoon.

Sometimes cast iron shrapnel cracks off of one of the now-weakened hulks and flys around horizontally at the plane of 'crotch-level.' Lots of things can go wrong

Here is a video by whizkid250 to give you an idea what an anvil 150 feet in the air looks like:

And here is a 'safe' shoot by m4gery:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tax Stamp

Armed Canadian has an image up on his blog that has been making the rounds around the Gun Enthusiast internet.

Someone in Connecticut want to have a rifle with a barrel shorter than 18 inches. Short rifles are pretty cool to play with, but they have a status on the National Firearms Act of 1934, so to make rifle, or own a rifle with a short barrel (or a host of other specialized firearms) you have to apply for approval with the ATF and pay a $200 tax.

The picture AC posted is of the form you fill out, and it has been approved.

The reason stated for making this modification is usually something akin to, "Because I am a firearms collector," and that is a perfectly valid reason for wanting the type or to make a modification to an existing type. It's generally not recommended to put the reason you want, say, a machine gun is, "Because it's HELLA fun to shoot 100 discarded pumpkins on November 1st every year with $1000 of ammo shouting 'take THAT you evil gourds!'" Everything else on the form, besides the tax, is essentially the same thing everyone goes through when buying a gun and the National Instant Background Check is run.

The reason this guy put down, and was accepted, was: "Zombies"

What does this guy know that we don't know? Family members scoffed at my zombie preparation. Well don't come crying to me, Ma, when hordes of undead try to eat your brains. I told you to buy extra cans of soup, ammo, and a serviceable lever action...

I'm kinda worried. Has this guy in Connecticut read some mysterious news clipping recently describing "oddly sick deranged killers" that tried to bite people? Does he work for a gov't agency and has heard intelligence reports describing gray-pallored bitey people that are starting to spread? I need the skinny. I need the gouge.

Crap, I'm not ready.

Reader Request

Got a reader request in the comments (Anvil Firing tomorrow, promise):

Hi - your NYFC loyal reader here.

Soon enough - next 18-24 months - I'll be leaving the land of guns for the Rich and Famous Only, taking my registered-with-the-City long guns and moving to a more reasonable climate for a gun owner.

At that time I'll be making my first handgun purchase, and I intend for it to be a 1911 in .45 ACP. Here's my topic:

What would I get for $2000 that I wouldn't get for $600? I'm coming to the conclusion, from what I read, that a lower end marque will require a substantial amount of after-market add-ons and professional gunsmithing to make it the absolutely reliable weapon it needs to be.

Is this true? What are the mods that a newbie would need to entrust to a pro? Why can't one get a pistol at the low end that does what it's supposed to do (fire reliably and accurately every time you pull the trigger given proper care and maintenance?)

I understand that due to manufacturing variations no ammunition is going to be absolutely 100% (and I have no intention of making myself any poorer and nuttier than I already am by getting into reloading) and that there will be an occasional FTF or FTE, but the literature suggests that out-of-the-box 1911s aren't always what they should be.

Why shouldn't we get what we pay for, even if it's "only" $600?

I read you every day. Keep up the good work!

I am humbled. I might have 3 loyal readers. Let me double check. Be right back, gotta call someone on the teliophone.

Nope, that person doesn't read my stuff anymore. Still only 2 readers.

Anyhoo. I went through a similar selection process, obviously. Came to many conclusions in my research, some educated, some not. Can't remember which is which.

First of all, have you fired a 1911 before and liked it? If so, great. If you haven't tried one, try to go to a range that has rentals and try it.

Now range guns can be iffy. Dozens of people have messed with the pistol, it might not be clean. So don't be put off if it isn't perfect. Don't be put off if the hammer bites the web of your shooting hand, just account for it when picking grip safeties. That sort of thing

You don't have to pay $2000 to get a good 1911. Do you need a fancy pistol that LOOKS great? Do you anticipate getting really good with it really soon so you will be using that pistol to win competitions in the coming year? I'm gonna assume no. If you pay that kind of money it should be perfect and shoot better than I certainly can and you better have lots of hand fitting and such, and features should be what you select when you buy and practically have it made for you I think.

I have fired an RIA, made in the Philippines. It is GI Spec, and has all the features of an issue pistol from the WWII. No bells or whistles. Some guys swear by them, and they work. You can get them for less than $400.

I tried a Llama, even less prevalent than the RIA, and still at about that price range. Worked just fine and the owner never had a problem with it.

Springfield makes a similar GI version, with identical features for less than $600. For about $600 you can get the Springfield Mil-Spec with a few more desirable items. The sort of stuff the Pentagon would ask for after WWII to make the gun a little better. Larger, easier to see, sights, a polished feed ramp, and larger ejection port to help eliminate failure-to-eject issues.

There you go. About $600 for a perfectly fine 1911 that'll do everything you'd want a pistol to do. And with Springfield support mechanism backing it up.

I wanted a few more features for mine. Not least of which was a beavertail grip safety to make hammer-bite nigh impossible, ambidextrous safety, and tritium night sights. You can add a beavertail to the Mil Spec with a gunsmiths services, but night sights are little more complicated, so I went with the Loaded. It had the features I had to have. Still retails for less than $1000, and I got it for less than $800, and it comes with other goodies like a fancy hammer and trigger and such.

If you feel like it, there are lots of drop in parts to customize it that requires no gunsmith skill. New grips is a popular upgrade.

But I don't forsee, even with a gunsmithed new beavertail safety I am contemplating, how cost will ever exceed $1000.

Now $2000 guns are nice, Wilson, Les Baer, other high end brands, but you are right, I think you get into diminishing returns. Especially for a "First Handgun." After I fire 10,000 rounds through the Springfield, and I have a mind to tighten tuna-can size groups (cuz I got really GOOD) at 50 feet to quarter size groups, only then might I consider an upgrade.

So, what do you need feature wise? If you shoot ball ammo round for round out of your $400 RIA, and I shoot out of a custom $2000 version next to each other at a range, and your gun lacks no major functional feature you want, chances are we'll have similar reliability. And who wins then? $1600 buys a lot of ammo for you.

And if the 1911 you buy has the features you want, you should not have to deal with the gunsmith unless it comes out of the box broken, or you wear it out, or mung it up with home gunsmith work. All my modifications were to fine tune features, not function. I took out the full length guide rod and dropped in a standard USGI plane-Jane recoil plug, for instance. Cost? $20.

Trigger is fine out of the box. So is accuracy. On even the cheap ones.

Check out Anarchangels Buyers Guide. I've posted the link before. I read it after I had settled on the make and model for me, but it reinforced all my prejudices. Kim Du Toit and especially former gun-store sales-whiz Tamara helped influence me, too, especially for the Springfield brand, in several of their posts.

Oh, and when you read "This model averages one failure in every 20,500 rounds in military supervised factory testing" as I did with Beretta M9s today... don't be surprised if you get 2 in the first 1000 rounds you shoot. Gun models aren't magic. NONE of them. I've had 2 failures to feed in mine. Probably the shooters fault. Corky had an actual dud round once in a XD, and a couple other failures to feed or eject. Frozen had a BUNCH with his XD, but that was with reloaded ammo before he dialed in the powder charge.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blog Fodder Bleg

I got some suggestions for blog topics. Keep em coming. One was a suggestion to go to the pound and collect animals that have been euthanised, freeze them, and use them as targets at the gun range. It’d be more fun than a pumpkin shoot, and useful for understanding what kind of damage each round type does for hunting purposes. Uh… maybe that’s not a good practice. Once those critters thawed and got splatted all over Hap Baker’s range the smell would be horrendous. And if word gets out that we used Whiskers and Mittens and Fifi and Commander Puddles for target practice, then it might not shine the best sort of publicity onto the shooting sports. Not to mention what PETA would do with it, even though the animals would already be dead.

What I would like to try is milk jugs, filled with water. If you put an inverted soup can over the jug opening you get a little water powered Anvil Firing! Fooommm!

What? Some of you don’t know what an Anvil Firing is? It’s a delicious piece of disappearing Americana, that’s what it is. I’ll explain tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Goin to the Well Too Much

I am running up against more writers block and running down on blog fodder. Part of the problem is I prefer to WRITE something, and restricting the short, “Look at this cool stenciled gunstock” posts to a minimum. Not to say I won’t do that, on occasion, to try to keep up with the nearly one post a day pace.

The fact that I post as a n00bie doesn’t help. I can post plenty of “Lookit what I learned, lookit what I did the first time ever” posts, but the “Lookit what I know” are more limited. Though those with encyclopedic gun knowledge are sometimes hesitant writing about the basics so we all have our own row to hoe.

Maybe I should try to scare up a DC area Gunblog Happy Hour for the locals. There are a bunch: Countertop, Armed Canadian, Progun Progressive, The Ten Ring, Turk Turon Bitter and Snowflakes from Hell, are all kinda local to the area. It would be easier if a gunblog celebrity that everyone wants to hang with came to town, but beggars can’t be choosers. If Tam or Breda announced that they were going to be Rock Bottom Brewing Company at such and such a time and date we’d need to reserve a 25-top banquet table. But those two are rock stars.

So… any blog fodder one of youse loyal readers can send my way? Either of you? I know I asked this last quarter, but I DID get one or two topics out of that bleg. (thanks for that.)

Monday, June 9, 2008


Firearm selection is all a compromise. I’m sure I knew this, but the idea has gelled recently. There is no perfect firearm. Even if you narrow it down to one category, there is no perfect be-all end-all self-defense pistol rig. (Of course the categories put paid to any universal firearm concept. A shotgun can’t do the same thing as a conceal-carry piece and vice versa.)

Kim Du Toit often has ‘time machine’ hypotheticals, but even there he let’s you take at least TWO different types of firearms.

All the What If discussions on what is the minimum a shootist should have on hand usually distill down to 4. A .22, a pistol, a shotgun, and a rifle. Then the discussion elaborates on cost/caliber/works/weight etc. ad infinitum

But let me concentrate on the self-defense handgun. You want reliable. Plenty out there for that. You want accurate. Ditto, and on and on. Then you get into mutually exclusive criteria. You want something as small and as concealable and as ‘handy’ shooting as a Kel-Tec or Bersa Thunder in .380 size, but you also want the hitting power of a big .45 like you get with a 1911 or a Glock 22. And you can’t have that. Your 1911 won’t fit in your summer shorts and be concealed, and your Kel-Tec won’t do the job the .45 can, even with the best self-defense rounds.

The closest that there comes to such a compromise are the Glock sub-compacts or the 1911 minis like the Springfield EMP. And when you do that you get handling issue from increased kick of the big round in the small pistol.

And even if you get a shrunk down version of your favorite big gun, that big gun has flaws, anyway. Even the 1911. They are minor, but they are there. The little piston on the safety and slide released is supposed to be a trouble area, and something Browning would correct if he came back to life. And the capacity is low, even on the biggest model, at around 8 rounds. Then again the Glock is kinda low, too, if your preference is cramming 50 .45 caliber bullets into the magazine. Doable, but not practical.

So say Maryland does get shall-issue conceal-carry. The EMP might be the thing, no? Well, maybe. It has the advantage of working just like a 1911 and can fire a .40 caliber pill, but the thing is bulkier and heavier than other pistols available. Plus I haven’t tried it at the range, and the muzzle flip and accuracy may be less than optimal.

Jeff Cooper even commented on the “smallest possible ideal package” and he didn’t want anything smaller than a 1911 with a 4.5 inch barrel. Still a BIG gun. When the laws of various countries he visited for conducting training restricted his caliber or gun size he went with the largest handgun allowed with the closest functional equivalent of the .45. Like a Pony. Or something in Super .38.

There is no prefect gun, just the best for you. And even that gun might not be that close to the ‘objective’ ideal. Whatever that is.

If you waved a magic wand and I got to carry concealed tomorrow on a 95 degree day, but didn’t let me buy a new gun, I’d carry the 1903 Pocket Hammerless. If you let me buy a gun on a budget it’d be a new .380 like the Ruger, Kel-Tec, or Bursa Thunder. If you bought my gun, or I came into money, and I could pick anything it’d be the EMP in .40. And after I carried it, and shot it at the range for a while, my choice might change.

In the wintertime, I’d carry the 1911.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New-Old Point Shooting

David Codrea linked to an interesting article about a point shooting that went away with the advent of revolvers and was finally sunsetted by the introduction of modern automatics with Browning model 1911

The gist of the technique is, pull the trigger with your second finger, and point at the target with your first finger. Because you naturally point at things with your finger pretty accurately you can get off shots faster when you point and use another finger for the trigger work, as your don’t need to line up sights. And this is very helpful when you are under great stress and/or the threat is at close range. Like times when you are in a gunfight with a pistol.

This works well with single shot dueling pistols, but you run the risk of a serious burn from escaping gases from a revolver, and your finger gets in the way of the cylinder movement on double action shots. And the nail in the coffin was instruction in the original operators manual for the 1911 expressly recommended against it, mainly because the extended forefinger would interfere with the slide’s action, jamming it, maybe injuring the finger.

This warning in 1911 did indicate that some people were still aware of the method despite the absence of appropriate hardware being produced for half a century (not many dueling pistols around once the revolver became widespread more that 50 years prior.)

This goes against everything in Cooper’s Modern Technique, but
Jeff Cooper was pretty adaptable. If pistols were designed to allow for this type of REAL point shooting, he may have ended up being a strong supporter.

Cooper even shared a story of an improvisation he had to adopt in a specialized circumstance in one of his books or writings. In college he was challenged to a wager to ice some varmint in the yard of his frat house (a different thing in the 1930 from what we think of today.) The .22 rifle available was proving too cantankerous at getting the job done for any of the other Brothers. The problem was a bad trigger that needed WAY too much pull to get the job done. I think Cooper estimated it at a 10 pound pull. For a .22. MADNESS. Anyway, the challenge was made and Jeff Cooper was not one to back down from a gauntlet fairly thrown. His solution was the go prone and instead of grasping the stock with his trigger hand, he pinched the trigger between finger and thumb, with that thumb in back of the trigger guard. This did the trick, but he freely admitted such a thing had only limited utility for most guns and situation. But a proper point-shooting system like the modified grip I’m discussing here would have almost universal utility. Then again, Cooper DID study more modern point-shooting, and found them lacking despite their speed. He was more of “get your head screwed on straight before you are anywhere near a gunfight, and deliberately aim and hit the target while the point-shooter under the same stresses misses you a few times, as your chances are better” if I understand him right. I’d even bet the Colonel was aware of the point-and-pull system and tried it out.

Modern point-shooting advocates are very practiced with their weapon and very good at what they do and have the ammo budget to prove it, but the “Point with one, squeeze trigger with the other” is something novices can ostensibly master very quickly.

IF the gun allowed for it.

You’d have to produce a pistol with changed geometry, both to the place where the pointing finger goes so it won’t interfere with any of the workings or get injured, and where the trigger is placed on the frame so that second finger has better access to it. It would probably have to be a single action trigger, too, as that second finger isn’t a very good squeezer on mushy long-travel triggers or strong DA pulls, I’d imagine. And a manufacturer would need quick acceptance in order to make the investment in a new model worth their while, so the technique would have to overcome decades of entrenched conservative preferences in an entrenched conservative customer base, and that doesn’t happen that quickly, even if the new method is seen as clearly superior from the get go.

And they’d have to make it ambidextrous to affect me, and the geometry might not be easily adaptable so that an ENTIRELY different model with left-specialized geometry might be necessary for us southpaws.

The changed frame shape might not allow a shooter to shift between point shooting with a different trigger finger and the ‘conventional’ way, either.

There are
gadgets available, aftermarket, to retrofit regular pistols to accommodate this P&S stuff. So some part of the market is addressing the need, cheaply. They just help the pointing finger, they don’t reposition the trigger.

I’d never try it, since my weapons are all conventional, with the inherent issues already extrapolated on, and to change my technique at this point of the game would be like Tiger Woods radically changing his driver swing. Tiger DID do this to perfect his game, but it took over a year to iron out the bugs and he performed poorly (for him) in the meantime. And I am no Tiger Woods of pistol shooting. Let me get good at Modern Technique before even DREAMING of changing to another horse mid-stream.

Besides, if it was a superior technique
John Moses Browning would have designed the 1911 to shoot that way. He didn’t ergo it is not superior. That’s logic! Ok, maybe not ‘logic.’

It’s an interesting thought experiment, though.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bandoleer Loading

When you place a magazine in your ammo pouch or bandolier pocket, do you put it in open end down as SOP? I believe so, but want to confirm. I've seen those loops either built onto the bottom of a magazine or stapped on like Magpul sells.

And that loop makes it easier to draw a magazine out of a pocket.

So apparently you at least sometimes do. Is it ALL the time though.

[I should ask a Mall Ninja. They would know.]

I can guess some 'whys' on putting them in open end down. It keeps dirt and water out of the magazine. Dust, like you'd find in Iraq, especially.

I can guess why you'd put em in open end up, so you can see which ones are loaded, and so they the cartridges won't rattle out. But if you are putting empty mags back, just turn THOSE the opposite way, and then you'd know at a glance. And how likely is it that one would rattle out of a full mag, really? In that snug pocket, with that strong mag spring?

Friday, June 6, 2008

M1A Scope Mount, et al.

So what are the thoughts among both readers on the scope rail mounts for the M1A? (I don't have it yet. That will be a while. I do have a coupla magazines so I HAVE to get it, someday...)

There are 3 main types I'm looking at. All courtesy of Fulton Armory, which will probably be my purchase source as well.

An inexpensive aluminum version. Sort of an "Overhanging type"

This one is probably a non-starter. Aluminum and all. But no fear...

A better steel version of similar style but with an extra mount point to the rifle, and 3 times as expensive is available.

And even MORE pricey, the ARMS 18 US Gov't Issue. It is more expensive still because you have to get a another bit to mount to the mount.

I want to take the Garand into Fulton Armory for a check-up, but don't want to NOT have a rifle at home so that will happen after I get an M1A. While there I will ask many questions, but you people may have some insight that will get me ahead of the learning curve.

Can you use the iron sight and any or all of these mounts? I believe you have to remove the scope to use iron sights on the ARMS 18. My impression is the Overhang type doesn't obstruct the sights at all, but I may be wrong. I like the Tritium foresight a lot and may have to get one.
Does the Overhang type obstruct extracting shell in action? Does the ARMS 18, for that matter?
While on the subject of M1A accessories there is another question in my mind. This forestock weaver under rail is useful for attaching a bipod, but I was wondering if it wasn't too far forward on the stock to be used for a foregrip? I think so.

I have a feeling if I want a foregrip, ever, I will have to spend the big bucks on a whole new modernized stock system, or mangle the original walnut stock. And if I got the stock that, the scope mount rails will be inappropriate. I have to divine the future and decide what I want before I buy anything to avoid overlap. For modernized stock option, I'll have to live with iron sights until I can afford it, if I drop cash on a good scope rail mount, then I better forgo the stock until I am super rich. (The modern stock IS a scope mount, and its flip down iron sights are designed to witness, for the most part. As always, correct me if I am wrong.)
There are other advantages to the modernized stock. It puts in the butt more in line with the barrel, for less muzzle flip, similar to Eugene Stoner's innovation with the AR-10, and the higher set iron sights are part of the same innovation.

Today, this minute, I may be leaning toward never getting a scope at all. If I want a 10x scope perhaps I should get a bolt-action for deer and zombie sniping. Iron sights are good and robust and fine for the fun I'd have with the gun.
If it naturally shoots very well in THIS amateurs hands, then a scoped M1A will come to the fore again to see what it can truly do.

But in reality, since I am a bit of a n00b, prudence says I should probably leave the rifle well enough alone, as stock as possible, and not get a lot of whiz bang accessories. Stock configuration was good enough for the serious business it was designed for, and who am I to question that? I am disciplined enough to hold off buying the thing for a bit, I should be disciplined enough to get better at shooting with it before hanging anything else off of it besides a Tritium fore sight. That type of fore sight is a boon to peep-sight type guns, I bet.