Thursday, July 31, 2008

So Tired

It's 4:10 in the afteroon and these dang zombies are STILL coming.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Other than 2nd Amendment issues, I try not to get too specific on political issues. This is a gunblog, not a political blog. Of course if the candidates light upon issue relevant to here, I may well respond.

For example, McCain may endorse a so-called Assault Weapons Ban. Or maybe Obama might come out in favor of Zombie protection/preservation. You can bet your sweet ghoul-head-smashing crowbar I’m going to respond to pro-zombie rumblings coming down from the national level. We don’t need that. Pro-zombie stuff belongs at the state level.

I mean…! No! No zombies! Not federal, not state, not LOCAL! Never.

See? Politics gets me all flustered and such. Discombobulated.

So vote for who you want to. I recommend against voting for any pro-zombie candidates.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Safety Tip

Safety Tip from a pilot instructor to a student pilot on 2-seater, high-performance, ejection capable, trainer aircraft.

"Now there are 2 emergency ways to get out of an airplane. One is to Egress, one is to Eject. Both 'E' words that can sound alike in a stressful situation like, say, an EMERGENCY. Egress is to jump out and run away. Eject is much more immediate and you know what that is. In order to know which one to do without getting yerself killt, I want you to follow my instructions carefully. If I want you to Egress you'll know because I will yell 'EGRESS!!!' over my shoulder as I am running away from the aircraft. You'll know when I want you to Eject because you will hear a Bang and a loud whooshing sound behind you, and I'll be gone."

Good advice.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Zombie Harmony

So our favorite Librarian tipped me off to this horror:

I found a date through zombie harmony - one of the best free dating sites for zombies

Check it out.

I'm thinking of signing up. Chat up some nice ghoul over a few emails. Get to know each other. Maybe she likes to eat Scrapple (there are brains in it...) and I know I do. Maybe she likes the fact I am a cat person, like her. I mean there is nothing wrong with dogs, I just prefer cats. Easier to clean up after. After the usual back and forth I'll suggest a date. Just coffee, and during the day. On neutral ground. Someplace public. Keep it casual for the first face to face.

Then I'll wait on the roof across from the Starbucks and put a round right in her skull!

Rinse and repeat with the next girl zombie from the dating site.

What?! They are ZOMBIES! You can shoot them in the head without moral quandry. She was gonna consume my flesh in that coffee shop, along with everyone else in there! The more of them I can get to fall into that trap, the better. I'd even pretend to be a girl on the internet to get the boy-zombies to the coffee shop.

[Confidential to a certain Librarian; I still SEE that Saucy Trollop from the Baltimore Docks. No need to try to help set me up with the walking dead. Sheesh. I know I was desperate, but not THAT desperate. And ST is quite nice.]

Range Report, end of July

Went to the range again. Testing myself and the new grip safety.

CRAP! No better. That does it, Ima gonna shoot a bunch of stuff other than the 1911. I keep shooting low and right. I hope its me and a SA trigger. I need REAL instruction to get rid of this flaw. I just can't concentrate it away.

A few VERY rare shots are sublime. Those are the ones in the bullseye.

About all I do well is this:

Some of those around the head and neck are 1 handed and one in the groin and another mixed in at the 9 ring are at 50 feet, but the majority in the 'chest' area are all 2 handed at a half size target at 21 feet. And they are all at this speed, "BANGandBANGandBANGandBANGandBANGandBANGand"
So I am hitting "minute of bad guy" accuracy at 7 yards almost as fast as you can pull the trigger. A few flyers.

Is that worth something?

There is reason to be discouraged, as it is same ol same ol. Whatever I try is not noticeably improving anything.

There is reason to be encouraged, too. I do HIT. When at the machine gun shoot I hit the bowling pins set up pretty regularly with a pistol. I can hit the half size silhoette center mass. The misses are all 1 hand, above. And I'm pretty fast. But, as of now, I am not going to be Mr. Shot Placement. No aiming for the tear duct and expecting results for me. Fine for generic goblins, but not good enough for Mozambique necessarily, I think. Not good enough for the critical Zombie forehead shot. I want to fix that.

Searching for dry fire drills now. And there is THIS guy and a specific training course he offers called Problem Solver...

I think I’d do a much better (and confidence-building) job with reactive steel targets. Lets say I get big into pin shooting and IDPA comptetition. Mainly because my shooting flaw isn’t as ciritical and I can be successful with those event and safely ignore my bad shooting habits. Reinforcing bad habits is not what I want. I’ve reinforced too many already.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quality is Job 1

Thoughts on gun quality have bandied about the blogosphere of late. Being a n00b, I have to extrapolate a bit from stuff I've studied longer to get my head around where they are coming from. (I agree with Tam. Partly because I am afraid of her, yes. So?)

And here is what I came up with. It's ok if I don't know what I'm talking about, its for my own false edification.

I know about handplanes, antique and otherwise. You know, the metal things that smooth wood boards by taking off a paper thin shaving at a time.

There are modern imports from India, like Anant. Cheaply made, the bottom are flattened by riding a belt sander, and you need a flat bottom to better flatten a board by shaving curls of wood off of it. A belt sander is not the best way but it is the fastest and cheapest. These plane types need major tuning to even function minimally, and then it might not function at all.

Fulton was cheap knockoff from 70 years ago, and they made Montgomery Wards or Sears brands. Minimal machining done to get by for hobbiest grade tools. Decent enough, though. Works fine. Especially for an occasional flattener of boards. Cheaper in price than the higher ups but not as cheap as the modern imports. Only available used, naturally.

Stanley Bailey, is the standard. Again, old ones. New ones are just Anants. A prewar one is better than you deserve to own, quality wise. The handle is Brazilian rosewood and feels like it is sculpted to fit your hand. The bottom of the casting is machined flat after being allowed to season for weeks after casting, the molten iron cooled to be sure there are no stresses left. It was a professional tool made for professionals, and cost as much then, relatively, as pro-quality tools cost today. You can buy an electric drill today for $35. Or one for $185. There is a difference, and if you use that $35 one 8 hours a day you will soon see it.

Stanley Bedrock the Cadillac of planes. It is essentially the same as the Bailey but with more refinements, more machining, more bearing surfaces to seat the blade to to make it steadier and perform better. You have to be very good at planing boards flat to notice much difference between the Bailey and the Bedrock.

If the Bedrock is a Cadillac, British Infills from a company like Norris, are the Rolls Royce's. Truly finely made tools that are works of art. Art designed to be used in the most extreme circumstances on the gnarliest wood grain on the hardest of woods, and performing wonderfully. Super-expensive, even when still made for the trades, and a joy to use. It’s probably a better tool than I deserve to own. And I have a couple.

None of these planes are any good if you don’t know how to use them and you don’t do the initial tuning and, when needed, sharpen the blade. It's not hard, but you have to do it. The more you do it the better you are.

Guns appear to be the same way. You can get the import knock-off guns like a Philippine 1911 and it may do the job like an Anant jackplane because you are lucky (if it does work adequately, congratulations, but you are missing out on some refinements even an amateur will notice.) Similarly, you can get the cheap service gun (like the composites?), and it will work fine like a Fulton. You can get a classic MilSpec from Colt and Springfield like you can get a classic Stanley Bailey, or go for a Loaded 1911 version of same and pay a bit more ala the better Bedrock. Or you damn all costs and get a super-custom gun, just like a Norris Infill. It might take a lot of practice for a new shooter to notice the difference between the 'Fulton' and the 'Norris,' but if you are really good you will accept no substitute to the Norris for special occasions. Same is true for the rifles, I suspect.

Did any of you follow that?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Swiss

While buying American is a good instinct, it means less and less in a global economy. I still try to do it. Yet, I am enticed by Swiss quality and have been looking into offerings by SIG.

And it can be converted to a bolt on the lefty side. .308, .300 Win Mag, or .338 Lapua, and the USER can switch to a different barrel and caliber on the same rifle.

I have finally found the bolt rifle to covet. 5 year plan.

And their pistols are nothing to sneeze at. If the Springfields I covet are the Buicks of firearms, SIGs appear to be Cadillacs. Chuckles and Corky have been buying Sig products for smaller quality pistols, of late, and are loving them.
I'm just opening my mind to new ideas... Only zombies and Jacobins are fixated on a single thought.
Wait, Sig IS Swiss, right? Swiss? German? Cripes.

Friday, July 25, 2008


A commenter inquired.

Why is Jimmy Carter History's Greatest Monter?

Whenever I open the newspaper to find an article about Jimmy Carter (or see him on TV) I scream, "Jimmy Carter?! He's history's greatest monster!" Alas, it's not my joke; it comes from an episode of "The Simpsons." Marge fails to make marshmallow treats for the town bake sale, which results in Springfield being unable to afford a statue of Abraham Lincoln. They settle for a bronze President Carter instead. When it's unveiled, someone shouts, "Jimmy Carter!? He's history's greatest monster!" and the town riots. " ~ Jonah Goldberg

Zombies are People, too?

What if the Ghouls were people?

Would they then be a protected minority or an endangered species? Would you be in trouble with the PC police for denigrating them as a mere species? Would you get reprimanded for a hate crime if you shoot them in the head? Could you get in trouble with the EPA if you hunt down and brain tap the filthy beasts?

Are the Zombies simply misunderstood? They're not hideous undead ghouls, but metabolically challenged voters. (And aren't obese people 'metabolically challenged.' Are brains high in calories? how effective is 'rotting' for slimming down your figure? Is brains an accepted ingredient for Atkins?)

Would they still be an oppressed minority when there are 6 billion of them stalking the planet, preying on the living?

As an aside: Where, in the shopping mall, do you put the Thunderdome when you start a mini-civilization inside after blockading modern America's cathedral to consumer excess?

Gotta mete out justice somehow. Even after the apocalypse.

Update: Are Mike Vanderboegh and Sebastian from Snowflakes in Hell gonna have face each other in the Thunderdome? Can't we all just get along?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


LDA? Wozzat den?

So a bunch of dudes and dudettes in gunblogland won an all expense paid trip to a Blackwater and Para training session in Virginia. Cool! I hope they post the crap out of what they learn.

But they are already starting to tease each other about firearm selection. Men are using .45, and the women are using 9mm. Para models, it seems. Makes sense. They want you to shoot Para, maybe convince you and your audience to consider buying Para. In the backs and forths Tam, knowledgeable about firearms as she is, is dubious about Para function, but is willing to give it a go. She let drop the term LDA.

LDA? Never heard of it. So I donned the magic emerald-green ring I keep in a green painted lamp on my desk and used its vast power to check the intarwebs.

Light Double Action? Ok. On a 1911 style pistol. Wot?! Blasphemy. John Moses Browning is spinning in his grave faster than the AN/GAU-8 Avenger sniffing out surplus Russian armor.

Some are trying the LDA stuff at the training, some the regular Single Action stuff.

But all that Light Double Action stuff got me thinking, anyway. And we all know how dangerous that can be.

Why do gun manufacturers monkey around with the trigger style? Do they sit around a big boardroom table smoking cigars lit with $100 bills saying, "how can we ruin the trigger on the NEXT product we release, gentlemen?" No. They have some reason. That reason may be dubious, as Jeff Cooper would say, "an answer to a question nobody asked," but there is still a method to the madness. Or there HAS to be...

Stick with me, we're deep in conjecture territory. Watch out for hostile ideas trying to ambush us, and keep a weather eye on the horizon of wisdom. I often lose sight of that horizon...

If you set out to make a pistol you approach the design of someone that wants to USE the pistol. You intend to get good shooting and use it regularly, shooting Imperial Japanese soldiers daily all over Mindanao, or suburban Washington DC shooting the walking dead in the brainpan as they gobble their way out from the population center. You want reliable, effective, and accurate for your expert hand. And you do you part, getting expert at shooting.

But what if you designed a gun for someone that doesn't want to USE that pistol? Like a cop or a sleepy homeowner. Pulling the trigger on someone is the last thing they want to do, but in the event they must, it has to work reliably, but their hand might not be so expert. You want a bit more safety because they won't be using it so often, you don't want it to go off when they don't want it to.

For the first type, you design something like a 1911 Single Action trigger. For the second type, you design something with some type of Double Action. But in keeping with an unpracticed user, you try to make that Double Action smooth throughout the length of the trigger pull. Maybe the firm pull of a Double Action revolver is too strong, so you lighten that a little. And when you pull the DA revolver trigger you can feel when the seer is about to trip. On this Light Double Action trigger you are designing you use your extreme engineering skills to make that trigger pull constant. With a modicum of squeezing, not jerking, the trigger, journeyman trigger puller gets the nice surprise break and he is more accurate than he would be with another trigger type. Voila, you have the design philosophies of the Glock, XDs, LDA Para's, S&W M&P's, etc. They all approach the problem with different technical solutions, but they are trying to get to the same place.

1911s vs. Plastic Guns has many points of contention, but the biggest one, really, is that trigger difference. (Hmmm, now I'm thinking about a 1911 style pistol, made out of the same plastic as a glock as much as possible. Would 1911 shooters buy a gun like that? It'd be lighter...)

The sad thing is, I may shoot better with those smooth DA triggers because I am still inexpert. But that is the goal of the engineers of DA triggers. The user doesn't HAVE to expend the practice time to use it effectively. The engineers have attempted to work around the user's ability. The shooter doesn't have to do as much of their part. I am dubious of the ultimate wisdom of this design philosophy. It feels like the same attitude that fighter plane designers took, removing the guns from jets assuming that all they'd need would be the guided missiles. That philosophy had to be adjusted in real world conditions.

Lessons were learned and applied with regards to handgun design 100 years ago, reinforced by participation in large scale conflicts (WWI and II, Korea, yada yada). Small scale conflicts in the interim may have seen amnesia grow over the hard lesson's learned. I mean really. Just because NATO allies like the 9mm stuff doesn't mean WE have to. If France jumped off a bridge would you? C'mon Uncle Sam, use yer head.

I'm just guessing here, naturally. What do I know what those guys think? Just an observation, and I could be as wrongheaded as I assume they are.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


From Tam

Gunblog Rifle Match

Snowflakes in Hell is starting a gunblogger postal rifle competitionI signed up.

I don't know if I can participate, with the lack of anything but bench-sets on rifle ranges nearby, but I will certainly follow along closely. If I only shoot the targets in my mind then I score a perfect 400 every time.

The way it works, apparently, is: You buy standard targets, Shoot 40 rounds at 100 yards, in 10 minute or 60 second second sessions, standing, sitting, prone, etc. The honor system keeps you from cheating. If you can't trust someone with a gun, who can you trust? If I actually shoot the targets, not just in my mind then I bet I score a less than perfect 122, most every time. If I'm lucky.

Anyone know of a place I can shoot 100 yards and do all the positions? Has to be near Silver Spring, MD. I'd be happy to come in dead last if I can just participate properly.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guns Mag, July 1958

Guns Magazine puts up 50 year old issue in PDF format every month. I've mentioned this before. I love that they do that.

July 1958 is a particularly good issue.

Ads for Enfields, including the "first time ever offered, the Jungle Carbine..." Heh! It looks like a sporterized Enfield. I wonder how many of them were faked...

There is a great article on modern (1950s) cowboy guns. What real cowboys preferred to carry. Everything from the traditional single action and .30-30 levergun to a M1 Carbine, to one guy that preferred a furren gun that was an over under shotgun/rifle that he used to get ducks for the pot one winter day and later the same outing a fleeing coyote. Found it handy, he did.

There is an article on the importance of marksmanship training for police officers.

A neat article about Switzerland and how it is a nation of riflemen.

1950s Bullpup rifles, included converted Winchester bolt actions and even a bullpup BAR.

And, most importantly, a review of the brand new army rifle... the M-14. Ha! How convenient, since that may well be my next purchase. To get a product review from 50 years ago seems nice. The author's buddy was well trained with automatic fire and quickly figured out how to hold the rifle while shooting full auto. It was a different grip and stance than semi-auto fire. The Author didn't have as much luck with accurate fire.

They mentioned that some Commands were contemplating setting the rifles to semi-auto only, or full auto and 3 round burst, or semi and full auto, but easily converted back out if desired. They weren't sure, even then, of the effectiveness of full auto fire but figured the individual soldier would quickly figure out how to make the change themselves is full auto spray and pray was denied them in possible gunfight situation. Plus they noticed that even wave tactics by the communists in Korea tended to burn through their sub machine gun ammo fast, and the Garand's semi-auto methodical pick-offs after the enemy mag-dumped were actually an advantage. He also suspected the DCM Civilian Marksmanship Program would need to issue M14s to civilians like me and it would need to be a non machine-gun rifle to comply with the 1934 National Firearms Act. Such a shame this vision wasn't realized.

I like the semi-auto doctrine. You can fire and maneuver with half a squad laying down volume semi-auto rifle fire out of 20 round box magazines. A squad can also have 2 belt fed actual MACHINE GUNS for the purpose machine guns have. The machine guns can even be quite effective with the light .223 round, the better to carry lots. But a rifle is not a machine gun. A carbine is not a rifle. (A carbine is not a pistol, either, and a carbine has less of a role when you have a rifle about.) But what do I know?

The author admired the Garand, and was pleased the M14 was similar, sure anyone trained to fire a Garand would be able to be as good with an M14 with 5 minutes familiarization training, but the M14 was a pound lighter and centered the weight back a bit toward the shooter and between the hands. A marked improvement over the Garand. He was also pretty confident that the next war "will see an actual invasion of the Continental USA" and we'd need to issue lots of M14s to the civilian militias who got their training in the past 20 years on the Garand so the learning curve adopting the new rifle would be shallow.

People thought like this once. Just assumed that that sort of duty was in the offing and of course the government would find it desirable to quickly issue battle rifles to ordinary civilians and of course we'd need to train young men and teenager before they entered the service how to shoot in order to make thier basic training more productive when they do go into the Army. It was a different time, indeed.

One other thing I learned. In the assumption that the civilian militia issued these new rifles to fend off the invading pinko Jacobin hordes, he said that ammo would be widely available through sporting sources. I was not aware that the .308 was wide available as a hunting round at this time. I thought it was developed as a cut down .30-06 round, and new with the M-14, so it would likely to be not widely available. Like the 6.8mm Grendel round is contemplated for military use but isn't too widely available at places like Wal Mart just yet. Interesting historical point. .308 Winchester was only around since 1954, 4 years prior to this article. And yet the author insinuates wide distribution of it, commercially.

He liked the flash suppressor except for fact it has a lot hanging off it and started to wobble loose even during their test. Good thing for me to consider... There are aftermarket flash suppressors that may or may not address this, and if not, something to check on with routine maintenance to be sure I don't get surprised with an equipment failure.

Check out this extensive online documentation on the M14.

BOOM de yada 2

I like Southpark's version of this:

I love a shooting bench, under a clear blue sky.
I love full range bags, I love when clay birds fly.
I love the shooting world, and all its sights and sounds.

Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de Yada.

I love ballistics, I love explosive things.
I love reloading, I love full magazines.
I love the shooting world, and its technicalities.
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada.

I love to quick draw, I love controlled pairs.
I love tiny groups, and triggers light as hairs.
I love the shooting world, it's such a brilliant place.
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada.

I love good holsters, I love velocity.
I love big bullets, and muzzle energy.
I love the shooting world, and all the people here.
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada...

I salute you, sir.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Firearm's blogiversary

Firearm blog had a birthday on the 20th. We started at about the same time, and when he is prolific he is a very very good read. He is even MORE focused than most on gun topics. Just guns, not gun politics so much. It’s a wonderful resource. Such a narrow purview can make his posting frequency more difficult, as specialization is feast and famine. Some days he posts 5 entries. Some weeks, he posts 1. It all depends on fresh firearm-specific news. They are all good post no matter the rate they come out. Go wish him well. We wouldn’t want him to get frustrated and think maybe his efforts are not appreciated.

The Revolution

I have read comments from different sources where some leftist Jacobin is complaining that gunnies are all talk and no action. They state that, "as long as 'rednecks' like us keep our 2nd Amendment rights they'll surrender all the other rights."

What these hippies want is for the gun enthusiasts to start the Revolution. For them. So they don't have to. And they gave up their guns as unfashionable in their social circles decades ago, so the lack means. Lazy bastages. Or maybe they are scared. Or maybe they think if gunnies started it, they could hang back while both belligerants weakend themselves, so the could sweep in, conquer, and be in charge of the mess that that creates.

I dunno, silly Hippies. Maybe the gun enthusiasts haven't started your armed insurrection for you because they actually know a little history that goes back farther than 1960. And they know that things can be, and were once, much worse. Like during the Wilson administration. Or the first FDR administration (1932-40). Or even under that super-tyrant Carter. Maybe gun enthusiasts are just smarter than youse, and understand madness when it is contemplated. "O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; No more of that." (love that King Lear quote, but forget where I saw it today...)

Maybe they just like thwarting your desires, and don't want to do diddly squat for you.

I don't think the Long-Hairs know what a revolution is, really. For one thing, if a real revolution started, it wouldn't focus on breaking the windows of Starbucks and MacDonalds. Or HUGE puppet shows. (big puppets, not big shows) A revolution is not an exercise program, or a half-hour TV show where the loose ends get tied up in 24 minutes, nor is it a T-Shirt fashion accessory. There is nothing in the scope of the Palmer Raids today, there is no American Protective League, and the concentration camps are nigh empty. We, as a nation, weathered those abuses the quiet way, the rational way, we'll weather the current abuses. Unless you Hippies get your way on some stuff and try to make the Palmer Raids look like a kindergarten play. But I don't think you have that in you.

That was a compliment, of sorts.

With luck, the Jacobins WON'T start their Revolution until after they goad us into it. That means we are in control of the country's destiny, and the future will remain quiet, propserous, and revolution-free. Remember Fred Thompson campaign slogan: "Win the war, cut the taxes, secure the borders, punch the hippies."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bob Hope

Boxer, comedian, actor, dancer, singer, raconteur and...

ZOMBIE hunter.

A septuple threat.

Thanks to Brigid. Golly she writes gud.

Just Got Back from the Gunsmith

I didn't like the style of beavertail grip safety on my Springfield 1911, because of the little bump at the bottom. I noticed it too much when shooting.

I wanted to swap out the bulgy part for one more like this:

You have to be careful to get the right part that goes with your 1911 type. And I did. When trying to swap it out myself it wasn't going back together as well as I'd like and I didn't want to mess something up by forcing it, so I figured a gunsmith for any fitting would be appropo.
Here's some humble pie for me...

So I swapped out the main spring housing on my 1911 some time ago. I failed to notice in this big exploded diagram that there is a tiny little pin (#32 in that diagram, mainspring cap pin) that you need to use if you aren't using the one that comes with a Springfield. The gun functions without it, but an unsuspecting friendly neighborhood gunsmith working on another part of the pistol might not know, and when he goes to disassemble has the workings spring out at him, AIMING RIGHT FOR HIS EYE! He was wearing eye protection. Which leads me to an important point. When doing home gunsmithing, WEAR EYE PROTECTION. Goodness gracious EVERY gun I've taken apart has a spring in it that is strong enough to cause damage to your tenderer bits. There's at least 3 on the Garand.

But I was embarrassed I hadn't attended to that pin myself.

All's well that ends well. The new grip safety and new cap pin are in place, and it all works. It's stiff and needs a bit of breaking in, but I love the new feel in my hand. I will take it to the range next week.

The seer spring looked funny to my gunsmith at Engage Armament, but I can replace that myself. I ordered a new spring to see, and a 1911 specific gunsmithing reference.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sub 100

Tam brings up a good point:

I think a red dot is darn near mandatory for sub-hundred yard work on fast moving targets that don't want to git shot. Slinging up and playing DCM marksman is a necessary skill, and great on stationary targets. But suppose the zombies are the fast kind?
Sub 100 yard zombie shots. What do I have for that? A pistol isn't for that kind of work. The shotgun is a perhaps good enough, though, but... A full size rifle like the M1A will do the job well if you have quick acquistion holographic sights like the mentioned red dot. You better have batteries, too. I demoted the Camp Carbine .45 on my list, but it'd be a gun I'd immediately fit a red-dot type scope to, if I got one. Maybe I need to promote something like a Mini-14 on the list and get it the EOTech specialL:

For those that don't know (and I didn't, 10 years ago, maybe less.) a red dot sighting system Give you a little window to look through, in lieu of iron sights. When on a little glowing crosshair or dot is visible to you. When zeroed, that dot is where the bullets will hit. At 100 yards that dot seems kind of big, compared to the target, but it's small enough to get the job done on center mass shots. Remember the movies in the 80s and 90s when someone had a laser mounted on their gun? It looked cool and the laser got smaller and smaller over time from the one on the Terminator's .45 long slide as BIG as the slide, to pen-cap size today. Well, the military doesn't use visible lights like that, but the red-dot LOOKS like that little red laser dot from the movies to just the shooter looking through the window. If the red-dot optic is turned off, it's just a little window, and often the idea is you can see and use your iron sights if you have to with the scope mounted. There are other scope types out that illuminate the reticle or cross hairs as well. Ain't technology grand? Our grandfathers in WWII, sniping with long and narrow telescopes with 6x power would either laugh at us or say "gee whiz! lookit that!" Probably both.

The sub-100 yard role is well addressed by Kim Du Toit's preparations for Grab N Go SHTF situations. He is an even MORE a crotchety conservative than me, and it looks like he is sticking to iron sights. Come to think of it, I've never seen Kim talk about these new fangled sights at all. And I know Jeff Cooper jokingly talked about needing battery bearers as much as ammo bearers and water bearers in today's modern operationgs.

But... I'm a gonna have to lean toward's Tam's way of thinking. Tam is no slouch when it comes to conservative firearm preferences and philosophies, but the advantages the red-dot stuff offers is not something to ignore. (I've shot MBtGE rifles with those scope types. And, you should all know, I play a lot of video games and that is exactly same thing as real world practice. What? What?)

There are some options if you are worried you are gonna run out of battery juice. Take the sight off when it is dead, and use iron sights instead, duh. There are some scopes like Trijicon ACOG that let in ambient light through fiber optic receivers and perhaps on board Tritium (gonna have to confirm how that to works... ) to light the reticle, or the Leupold CQ/T scope has a reticle you can see when no power is on. But those scopes offer magnification to go with their little light. And magnification can slow down acquisition, even with a long eye-relief Scout rig. And those scopes, while intriguing for me, cost only a bit shy $1000. The Red-Dot style from EOTech is $400 or so. Here is an ACOG:

And for comparison, the Leupold CQ/T:

And since some of the Red-Dot scopes have a 10,000+ hour battery life, I don't know what I am worrying about considering the above 2. I'm fine for 2+ years if I have a spare set of batteries. I don't think I have 2 years worth of ammo yet, and 2 years worth of ammo is much heavier than 2 years worth of red-dot batteries.

So where does this leave me? Nowhere. Maybe I need to rethink carbine priority again, but I haven't changed my mind that way yet. Too poor to go off all willy nilly. More considering to do. I know its going to cost me money when all is said and done. Snap shots with iron sights or the Garand and it's Scout scope, for me, now.

Ooo, I forgot anothe style of red-dot scope. EOTech is sort of the ultimate for 'little window' style 0x magnification red-dot optics, but there big competing style is Aimpoint, which look like 'shot tube' 0x magnification (generally) red-dot optics:
My only experience with ACOG stuff is those video games. And they are/were HATED, pretty much, by me and my buddies. Perhaps because there are gimped so as not TOO powerful in game. Goodness knows, I want to base all my major real world purchases by what I experienced in a video game 2 years ago...

What I need is input. Who has tried them all? And what did you think of each? (after that I need to try them all my own dang self.)

Friday, July 18, 2008


This blog is 1 year old, today.

I never thought I'd keep up posting nearly daily for this long. 356 entries. And I might hit 25,000 visits on this day.

Of course Breda gets almost that many a month. Tam gets twice that. RobertaX get's double what I get.

I knew I should have blogged as an attractive woman. I'd have a much bigger reader base. Maybe 5.

It matters not. Uncle has the attitude I share, so I quote him: "Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you."

But it has been fun. Hopefully it will continue to be. Thanks to my loyal readers. Both of you.

(and I HAVE to stop being such a fanboi to the lady gun bloggers. it's unseemly.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Outquisition

There is an entry on Boing Boing about the Outquisition

Basicly, there is plenty of conjecture and fiction out there about how survivalist will hunker down and resist, railing against the dying of the light, there is little out there about folks that might go around post apocalypse trying to fix things for everybody. Remind us that we once walked on the moon and we can do it again.

They call this the Outquistion. The opposite of the Inquistion. (Huh? Ok, I can sorta see that. Instead of inquiring, disseminating.) Sort of a techno-Peace-Corps. Young idealist venturing out to help the stricken get back on their feet using only the resources they carry in their brain.

I dunno. What if they disseminate the wrong stuff? Like what if they are boosters for collectivism? Or if they were member of the Ayn Rand cult? (I love Objectivists, but MAN they can anoying, too.) If Milton Friedman and Gorver Nordquist clones were a big part of this sorta thing I might be for it. But I bet there are plenty out there that would prefer Charlie Manson to Grover.

Maybe they should forget the Outquistion and just keep up the whole "Leave Me the Hell Alone" attitude. That's the best part of the Apocalypse. You'll finally get left alone when you are the last man on earth.

So, I think the best policy for Outquisition Peace Corps types, post-Comet-Impact is: "You damn kids keep the hell offa my lawn!"

Best quote from the comments on that website:

RA Wilson recounts a conversation about paranoia with PK Dick. What if, they wondered, the universe were out to help you? They coined the word metanoia (despite it already being a word with a completely different meaning) for "the irrational belief that the universe is out to help you."

Paranoid future - Mad Max gangs
Metanoid future - The Outquisition


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Western Bad-Ass

I took this months ago but lost the link. My Posse found it again.

What Kind of a Western Bad-Ass are You?
created with
You scored as Clint Eastwood

Names aren't important as you dish out steaming bowls of piping hot brutality to your enemies. You also enjoy a good spaghetti dinner once in a while.

Clint Eastwood


John Wayne


Charles Bronson


Lee Van Cleef


Lee Marvin


July Range Report

Just went solo at lunch time. For fewer distractions. No improvement. Still not happy with the anticipatory jerk and/or trigger squeeze. Still shooting low and right. Rushing. Not enough, "slow is smooth, smooth is fast," action. Embarassing and no progress. But I am a slow learner.

I tried a few at longer ranges. Phew boy. I could hit a man-size target, mostly reliably at 25 yards or so, but only that. Aiming for the head might get me a hit in the thigh, and vice versa.

I think I'm gonna pop for an NRA course. It might be review, but it almost certainly be an 'in' to other training oppurtunities to fix my specific problems.

For not, and next time, after work range-time. Take my time. Do it right. Hopefully.

And I'm gonna choke up on my offhand grip a bit.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Built Like a Brick Shed House

I need a shack to type my neo-Luddite manifesto. Naturally. All us gun-nuts do. It's practically a requirement to be let into the club. Not the Gun part of the club, the NUT part of the club. Eventually all of us hunker into our unabomber-style shack with a bottle of bourbon, a broken down manual typewriter, and a bunch of crazy ideas in our head that we have to tell the world.

Most of us won't resort to
Ted Kaczinski's murderous ways for attention and to compel publication. Murdering people is such a cop out. Gun nuts are much more sly. And Ted was not a gun nut. But how would gunnies compel people?

I picture someone like
Tamara getting in contact with Art Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times, and surreptitiously informing him that she was in possession of certain photos involving him, Ann Coulter, tubs of Crisco, and an odd trapeze contraption. (His circle of friends and confidants will have no issue with the other stuff, but playing Slap N' Tickle with Ann Coulter is unfogiveable and would lead to permanent ostracization. He'd never get another dinner reservation.) Now, he can have these embarrassing pictures, just as soon as he publishes Tam's treatise on how snark will free the oppressed workers from their shackles of oppressed oppression... and whatnot.

Roberta X would get published by the Washington Post by spreading rumors that executive officers there have lawns infested with
cinch bugs and crab grass. The damage from such vile slander would be made worse because of her extensive experience with Ham Radios. People all over the world will know about the horrible DC area lawn hygiene of the Media Masters thanks to RX's perfidy. From Eugene, Oregon to Guinea Bissau. From Palau, Micronesia to Toulon, France. "Mon Dieu! Ze Cinch Bugs? Ze Post eez now, how you say? Gauche? Yes, gauche. I should ave known zat, eet eez a French word."

Jay G would compel P. Steven Ainsley, the publisher of The Boston Globe to publish his screed by threatening parking junker cars on roundabouts throughout the greater Boston area, abandoning them in place, and hopelessly snarling traffic. Even if they do publish his works he still might park hundred's of cars on roundabouts to snarl traffic. You see, traffic makes him angry. Snarling it hopelessly is vengeance upon those that cause previous traffic idiocies in Jay's vicinity. His manifesto will touch on idiot drivers, I am sure.

Breda would be more subtle. Her access to the inner workings of a library allows her to stick little tracts in every checked out book. An unsuspecting reader cracks open a spine and out pops a little slip of paper Breda wrote about how to make the world a better place and why other people's pets and children are so damn ugly.

I am at a loss on how I would sneak something into publication. I am concentrating on the Shack part.

Check out the tiny houses here! They call small shacks 'sheds' in Jolly Olde England. They talk SO funny over there. But lookit how cute some of the houses are on those websites:

And if you are not ready to write your manifesto you can use your tiny house, shed, cabin or what have you as a base for hunting, or a place to just get away. Or, if it is well situated, sanctuary from the zombie horde.

But you'd be honored to hole up in any of those and bang out your thoughts on the keyboard.

Had I the money, I'd have built a brick shed house in my own back yard. I like brick. It matches the house. And I wanted to be able to say it was built like a brick shed house.

A shed, for me, in the country would also be of stone or masonry. Just the one room. Maybe a loft for a bed. Cast iron wood stove for heat. That sort of thing. Nothing much bigger than this one for a Katrina Cottage:

The porch is important. Yes it is.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Have a Posse

They generate blog fodder for me, and they are good. One of the members of my posse is a Superhero. She has a secret identity I cannot divulge, but she is know as "The Librarian." Don't try to discover her true identity. She is a better shot than me.

The Librarian sent me a cool link to more survival kit stuff, as a follow up to the Altoid Kit post. Neato!

A coupla the ones there are 'good to have' commercially available kits, but the ones I like are the knife handle one, and Doug Ritters':

I KNEW it!

Apprently I was right all along. Zombies are Communists! Commies are Zombies!


And apparently Gorbachov was some kind of Viking killing machine with super-nationalistic tendencies and inspirations that then realized some sort of capitalist/consumerist utopian contruct something something something.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

M1A accessories

I went ahead and bought a Tritium Fore Sight for an M1A.

I don't own an M1A.

I must be pretty serious about actually getting one. I have a spare military sling set aside for it, I have a few magazines for it, now the sight and a cleaning kit.

But buying stuff for a gun I don't own... Kinda obscessive.

Apparently it is common.

A tritium fore sight for the rifle is a poor man's night vision. It's an expensive rifle, and I will one day have optice for it, but those optics will cost as much as the rifle. And the iron sights won't break like optics can. I have a scope on the M1 Garand, so that will be the glass rifle. And even that is only 2.5x magnification, or so.

I'm not ready to hit bad guys in the left eye at 2000 yards. Might as well try getting good with iron sights.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Book Review: Commando

Commando by Deneys Reitz

Written about the second Boer war by a young solider that joined up at 17, this book, published 25 years or so ante bellum, describes in great detail the methods of what is now known as modern mobile guerrilla warfare. Instead of AK-47, trucks, and RPGs, though, they had bolt-action Mauser rifles, horses, and howitzers. Yet the principle is the same and an applicable lesson today.

But this is a memoir, with few tactical example to draw upon, as either attacker or defender.

What little lessons there are:

~Travel light, move fast and far, surround and fix the enemy in place, then apply superior firepower as soon as possible. Skedaddle. (Very Nathan Bedford Forrest-esque. "Get thar fustest with the mostest." Forrest, portrayed as despicable in other areas of his life, is always begrudgingly respected for his exceptional guerrilla fight skills. Even by his most vocal detractors. In Forrest's time, guerrillas were called bushwhackers.)

~Oh, and don't give up a good horse to a man just because he outranks you.

~Static warfare, like sieges, when your advantage over your enemy is greater mobility is folly, especially when the enemy has greater logistical strengths.

They traveled great distances fighting the English, sometimes with a baggage train and foraged food, but when going light food consisted of mealie and biltong. Or cornmeal and vinegar-dried meat. Considering you can make johnnycakes with water and a bit of salt and some sort of grease to fry it on on a shovel blade, it's a quick little meal. A bit of soda might help improve them.

The first half of the war journal and the exploits described reads like a Confederate soldier's memoir. Lots of conventional battles with cannon and rifle and horse, but lots of losing battles and falling back. By the Spring on 1900 (September) halfway through the book, the new commander, General Botha, changed tactics because they Boers were outnumbered and outclassed. He adopted guerrila action. Living off the land and captured supplies. Partly out of necessity. The professional British Army had given a thrashing to the conventional forces, who were under financed volunteers to begin with. When the country didn't capitulate, the Brits got kinda mean. Going all scorched earth and inventing the Concentration Camp for non-combatants to beat down the populace. Boo.

Best advice of the book? "I also selected a strong riding-mule in preference to another horse, for my experience during the past fortnight had taught me that a good mule for long marches and a light nimble pony for use in action were the ideal combination."


Should read "post bellum" not "ante bellum." I'm an idiot. Shoulda known better. I mostly see bellum used with status quo ante bellum, which means to go back to where we were before all the fussin' started. Thanks to the commenter.

If you could write a memoir for a war that hasn't happened yet, you might have an impressive talent...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

meme, A to Z

Saw this meme a few places. The last was Breda's place, and I need blog fodder.

Accent: Wakes up the flavor in food
Breakfast or no breakfast: Coffee, 3 Egg Cheese Omelet, Rye Toast buttered, Side of Scrapple, Orange juice, pulpless. Silence.

Dog or Cat: Cat if forced to choose a critter that doesn't know how to operate a flush terlet.
Essential Electronics: I have a fully functional 1:87 scale
ENIAC in my basement.
Favorite Cologne: My scent is the reek of camels and aqua velva and my own personal manly musk. Occasionally a whiff of methane. You'll find no Frenchified perfumes in my terlet area.
Gold or Silver: I'd say silver but that's a little fancy-shmancy, poop don't stink, idn't it? We're more pewter people, we are.
Handbag I carry most often: ???!!!
Insomnia: Never.
Job Title: I'm a Cleaner. I solve problems.
Kids: The goat kind?
Living Arrangements: Alone, in a perfect brick home 1 mile from the first house I ever lived in.
Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: It's ok to kill a sleeping hobo with a hammer, right? I mean, it's not like they are real people or anything.
Overnight hospital stays: Many. Wait. OVERnight? Just the one as a kid for the tonsils.
Phobias: Mauled by bears
Quote: "Everything in moderation except Love and Justice." --JB Miller
Siblings: Brother
Unusual Talent or Skill: I can, at will, stand on one leg and get the other one almost behind my head. People are shocked that a guy like me, as big and dumpy as me, can just casually DO that.
Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Beets. Check that. ALL vegetables. Vegetables are what FOOD eats. Red, juicy meat is not bad for you. (Now, green, fuzzy meat... THAT's bad for you.)
Worst Habit: Procrastinating.
X-rays: Broken sesamoid bone in my foot, multiple chest xrays, radius and ulna hairline, the attempt to sever my thumb with a 100 year old handsaw. (unsuccessful)

Yummy Stuff: Fresh hoppy refreshing golden citrusy IPAs
Zoo Animal I Like Most: When I was a kid it was the Siberian Tigers at the National Zoo. Nowadays? Dunno. No monkey.

UPDATE, forgot some:

Chore I don’t care for: Yard work of any type

Most Admirable Trait: My incredible, awe-inspiring modesty

Reason to smile: Because your hide will make a fine poncho

Time I wake up: 5:30, 5:39, 5:48, and 5:57.

And READ Finest comic by a guy that looks like me, but isn't me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Breda Google bomb.

Poor Breda. She is only 3rd hit when you google her name. She needs a lot more links to beat put a wikipedia entry. I don't know how much google-fu I can give her compared to Snowflakes, but I'll do my part.

Breda the Sexy Librarian.

Now she'll get 'Breda', AND 'Sexy Librarian', with any luck. Icky, unwanted attention...

I dated a Librarian once, a while ago. It's true what they say, you know. About librarians. All of it.

Book Review: Lucifer's Hammer

I forgot to review this book when I finished it, and Armed Canadian needed disaster ideas to a fiction project he is working on. Premise of his stuff: faster than light travel is developed just before a disaster wipes out 99% of life on earth. 1 million people escape, but 7 billion are left behind. Most of them die, but enough live to start over at a mush lower technological level

Now really, my Canadian friend… do you know who would be among the 1 million? The equivalent of east and west coast elites we have now. Sure they’d be a bit more international, but they’d definitely leave behind people from flyover country, ‘icky’ poor people from their own midst, and religious extremists that go to church twice a year (Easter and Christmas.) They’d probably omit people with ONLY a bachelor’s degree except they’d figure someone would have to run the sewage treatment plant.

Anyway, AC needed a disaster that would ALMOST wipe out all human life on the planet. The scenario in Lucifer’s Hammer was brought up by another commentor.

Lucifer’s Hammer, written in the mid-70s, is a book about a comet impact. The first half of the book is a story of “It’s not gonna hit, well maybe, nawwww, well don’t panic at any rate. Uh oh…” The comet is bad enough that the few astronauts orbitting in SkyLab can SEE the hot magma at the bottom of impact craters. Ocean impacts cause massive coastal flooding and days of salty rain. A few islands of civilization and technology on higher ground try to hold out against barbarism.

Speaking of the barbarism, the gun content… Criminals with army training and some discipline go a pillaging, Mongol horde style. Just without the horses. Since they loot and recruit, cult-like, they have a decent amount of weapons, some expertise in using them, and numbers to overwhelm most any resistance. Their tactics are simple, but effective. The former soldiers in the band of brigands run what heavy weapons there are, while the column quickly spreads out to both sides. Eventually they will reach the edges to the force opposing them and turn that flank. Very effective.

This is a book written in the 70’s. There is a lot of techno-worship AND technophobia. The savior for the good guys is their technology. There is even ONE guy. A single scientist, that can be pointed to as the messiah. All because of what he has in his head. And he only has a short time to spread that information. Because, without him, no one would think of mustard gas as a force equalizer against the horde-cult-brigands. A likely story. Sheesh.

There are intriguing survivalist storylines intertwined in the book. One main character, tipped off that the comet may impact, goes out and buys LOTS of multi-vitamins, pounds peppercorns, cases of booze, and spends all night cutting beef roasts into strips and drying the meat. Why the pepper and booze? Barter material!

When everything goes pear-shaped, another character is a postman that stops by a hippy commune. They are feeling smug because they think they are ready, planning to smoke dope and eat dandelion greens for the next 60 years. The postman puts a HUGE bummer on them by reminding them that rolling papers will soon be unavailable. Duuuuuuuude.. harshing their buzz! Of course, neither hippy nor postman (nor authors Niven or Pournelle) think about pipes. I’ve seen a stoner make a road apple into a smoking pipe, they are that resourceful when it comes to their doobage.

The typical socialism/fascism descends on the good-guys side, as it tends to in these fictional survival books when a community of good guys bands together. Everyone has to bend to the will of the dictator in charge of the place in order to have a hope of pulling together and through. Property is appropriated at will, folks are universally conscripted to work long hours for the good of the community, one charismatic leader is needed to bind everyone together. All to secure the blessing of Liberty and the Republic and all that. And don’t worry it won’t go bad and be tyrannical, later. Why do dire emergencies always have to lay the ground work for soul crushing totalitarianism? We need to get some fiction that runs counter to that tendency, just to be different. The Jericho series being a notable and refreshing exception to the “Fascism Right Now!” model. At least the first half of the first season.

All in all, that so many people survived the comet is the most unrealistic part of the book. They are successfully planting crops after the ground was inundated with salt water. It just seemed too soon after for the ground to be ready to grow plants again. And all that rain in California didn’t produce as many mudslides in the mountain valleys where the survivors huddled. The lowlands were underwater, and remained underwater after thing improved.

And things did improve, and quickly, which is odd. I would think the whole place would be like the Indonesian Tsunami times 10, but with more dead plants and MUD a week after the initial wave. Even superhuman effort couldn't bounce back from that without help and decades, and they had had neither after 1 year.

I don’t know if the scenario presented in the book will be enough for Armed Canadian. He needs a slightly less rosy picture, but not TOO bleak. He needs a tiny cadre of humans to come back from the brink of extinction and not be able to take up where society left off, technologically. Maybe regress 4000 years.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Surplus Stores

I love surplus stores. Just browsing is fun. The Guatamalen Chicken Shack next to my local surplus store burned down, damaging Ranger Surplus. So they closed that location. Shame. It was a good surplus store and a good chicken shack. El Pollo Rico Guapo Magnifico. It might have been Peruvian...

Next best thing, the plethora of websites. The latest one I discovered is Ranger Joes.

A friend at work is enamored with those One-Strap backpacks or quasi bike messenger bags. That's how we found Ranger Joes, looking for those kind of bags, like ones from Maxpedition. (Man, I wish I got paid for plugging products. Sadly, that reference will come to you people payola free. Even shineola free.)

Yeah, they have to make them look cool and tactical. And it's good to use it as a holster. Otherwise you run the risk of being pointed at by the unwashed masses and hearing the whispers of, "Look at the purse THAT guy is carrying..."

Blackhawk is another tactical style surplusey webjoint. It was there that I first discovered that those tactical vests I see for $30 at gun shows are cheap knock-off of the real thing that costs 3 times as much. But perfect for mall-ninjas that want to be AUTHENTIC in their mall-ninja activities, rather than 'on a budget'. Not available for left-handers. ~sigh~

It might be too ninja for me anyway.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Altoids Survival Kit

There is a unique survival kit that intrigues me. Sure, you have your bug-out bag with a quart of water, some energy bars, socks, knife, and other things. But that is backpack size. How about a survival kit that fits in a shirt pocket?

Well folks are way ahead of me and jammed a survival kit into an Altoids Box. You know? Those gorcery aisle mints in a tin that a curiously strong?

Why an Altoids tin? It's small enough, yet crush proof. The can itself is a tool as a small tray you can heat over a small fire for cooking, and the refective interior can be used as a signalling device.

You make it yourself, and I am assembling a couple for myself. The point of it is to make it and seal it and only open it when you need it. You can throw it IN your BoB if you want. The strength is its small size and diverse quantty of handy items that can keep you alive. There is a commercial version or two, like the SAS COMBAT SURVIVAL TIN, that may predate the Altoids tins that you customize yourself. Look at the contents of the SAS tin:

Water resistant tin
Vinyl tape
Button compass
Purification tablets
Snare wire
Flint & striker
Hacksaw blade
Fishing kit
Sewing kit
Safety pins
Wire saw (finger loops)
That's a good start. has a homemade one with a modification so you can mount a small jigsaw blade on the box itself.

Field and Stream have a jam packed kit with 19 slides on the contents of it and other kits, like this:

And if you click through all the slides there is a BoB bag that is quite a bit nicer and bigger-than-an-altoid tin kit near the end.

As you can see so far, this survival kit if for Wilderness Survival. It's something you want on you when you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. Like when you have to eject from a stricken airplane. Same principle, but a civilian won't have a helicopter crew deployed immediately to come get him, so the military band radio is superfluous. Better have a good cellphone and plenty of connectivity. And the flares we had that shot froma ballpoint pen size launcher might be a bit much for an altoid tin. The military kit is in the flight vest, with some extra stuff in the ejection seat that you may or may not be separated from in a punch-out.

Someone made a video of his assembly of a true altoids tin kit here, which is kind of cool.

Here is another sample of a homemade kit:

And a commercial version that isn't in a tin: