Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stainless Revolvers

Well, Trollop has a lot of legal wrangling to do to affect her decampment to Bora Bora. As such, she was in town. When she wasn't spending her millions she opted to go on a shooting jag with me. On Saturday the 27th, March. (2 days after that last one...)

And ALL stainless steel Smith and Wesson revolver shooting day!

629, 686, 617, 640. Sorry about the pic. Cellphone camera. The barrel of the .44 is as long as the snubbie. That barrel, alone, might weigh as much as all of the 640.

[I screwed up. I MEANT to line them up, with an example of their ammo next to them. But if you look closely you can see the .22 617 is actually the second pistol. And the 686 .357 is below that. See it? Look at the cylinders.]

It had been a while for the Saucy Trollop. Her skills weren't as sharp as normal from lack of practice. I, as you know, have been to the range twice in the past 2 weeks.

Her shots are on the right 2 panels, mine on the left. All shots are 7 yards, give or take.

Here is the first. My first shots were on the top there, no splatter sticker. Lousy. Then below, and not much better. Trollop is shooting the lovely stuff single action on here side when she can. She doesn't like double action at all. And her first shot and last shot out of the .44 are always the best. Like she has to overcome the recoil shock and settle in. Then she does great.

Comparing the .357 magnum out of the snubbie 640, and the .44 magnum out of the big bruiser 629... I must say, the felt recoil is comparable. It might even be MORE painful with the snubbie. I can't imagine how hard it must hit in those super lightweight J-Frames. Snubbie from Hell indeed on the lightweights.

See those 2 holes below the splatter target near the bottom? Yeah, I'm sure those are lousy DA shots by me.

Ok, after warming up and not concentrating much on the first targets I shot the left of this...

Much better. The top left is all my single action with my 686. The bottom left is all double action with the 640. THAT's a bit more like it. Not too shabby at all. I chalk my improvement up to the the warmup and the previous and recent range sessions getting me into game shape.

Trollop is on the right, also getting better, but her arms were very tired at this point.

Hmmm... I wonder how well I'd do if I went twice a week for a good while? With just ONE gun to practice with each time...

And when I go to a training class I must remember to cram the days before so as not to embarrass myself as much in front of the class.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FMJ or...?

Another blog (referring to some forum discussion) brought up the choice of carrying some sort of jacketed hollow point (JHP) in your self defense conceal-carry semi-auto handgun, or selecting the feeding reliability of full metal jacketed rounds (FMJ).

Here is a picture to compare the two:

I shoot mostly FMJ rounds because they are cheaper. But sometimes the blasting ammo available is some form of jacketed hollow points and is as cheap as 'ball' ammo. They aren't price-premium variety like Federal Hydro-Shok, but they are hollow points. So I've shot hundreds of JHP rounds and thousands of FMJ rounds.

I've never had a feed problem with JHP that wasn't definitely attributed to the shooter. I did have one freakish eject stoppage malf that somehow jammed the spent casing in halfway out of the breech. That was with the .40, with FMJ.

I've never had the JHP rounds jam in feeding the Colt Pockethammerless, the Sig P229, or the 1911, because it was a hollow point round. One old gun, one modern gun, one old style but revamped modern feed ramp that differs from the old design. (I've even shot a wierd kind of truncated cone round in the 1911... no problems)

Perhaps 500 rounds or so is not a sufficiently large data set to get a good statistic.

Note I am not testing hollow points from the 70's or before. Every Jacketed Hollow Point round I've fired has been new factory manufacture. I understand that finding a box of older hollow point ammo might be a totally different, and perhaps frustrating, experience.

How often are your practice JHP rounds failing to feed in YOUR carry semi-auto?

Presuming identical failure rates ans eight between JHP and FMJ, is there any reason to carry FMJ for civilian CCW self-defense?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Test Drove the Snubbie

I took the new revolver to the range on the 25th.

Me likee.

Is good.

I was shooting off some bargain basement old mixed ammo. Pretty tarnished. Probably shouldn't have bought em, but this was a year ago. I was panicky over ammo. Three of them were duds, in fact. So I had to so that whole 'wait 30 seconds...' thing with the gun pointed downrange in case it went off late.

People say it's hard to shoot a .38 snubbie accurately. People are right. No harder than any other DA trigger.

Here are my first 15 shots, cold, with .38 special. 25 feet or so. Not bad. The miss over the shoulder was aiming for the head. I don't shoot that high when I miss unless I am aiming kinda high. You can see the 15th shot on the edge at the bottom. Almost....

Except where I was aiming for the head, this yellow man got all center mass hits. Not GOOD center mass hits, but not ones he'd ignore. My shot placement is bad but not woeful. I'm not going to win any contests, but I am not accidentally shooting the crystal chandelier above.

I then shot with +p and .357 and got all to the lower right in the second target. The .357 is circled and the +p triangled.

WOW that is a significant oomph with the magnum. Not as bad as I feared. It helps that this gun is steel, and that is why I chose steel. It will be hard to wear this gun out...

I shot better as I got warmed up. Usually, my accuracy drops off as I get tired or rushed late in the session. All those misses were earlier cylinders. The close in stuff was late. The shoot n see in the top left was added for a final 6 bullets, all +p or .357 to see if my accuracy wasn't just limited .38 or my misses related to a flinch. Not great, but better.

The speed strip worked ok. Much better than the .22 speed strip. The short ejector does indeed not eject spent casings. I often had to pluck them out of the cylinders. I expected that behavior, and it is good to see it in action. Fast reloads may be problematic, even with a proper speed loader.

Like I said, some of the rounds were ANCIENT, so when I got home I did the Windex trick in case they were so old they were made with corrosive primers. Extra Breakfree after that. Cleaned up purty.

Besides being a good pocket CCW gun, I am using this as my awake house gun. It'll stay with me while at home or answering the door. I need to figure out a stash hole for it for when I go to work. When I get home I can grab and as soon as I am in the door a ways. Suggestions?

Also, this Uncle Mikes pocket holster doesn't grip the pistol. All it does is sit in the pocket sorta breaking up the outline of the pistol. That's all it's supposed to do, right?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Hahahahahahahahahahaha. HAHAHAHAhahahahahaha.

What Gun For... Zed

Oooo, just saw a link to this over at the Dessert Defender. I gotta read him more often. He posts a lot. And doesn't use light colored text on a dark background, purposely designed to strain the readers eyes.

And article in a hunting magazine on which gun/caliber for zombie. In the comments section is the usual folderol of people thinking they'd prefer a shotgun. Silly corpse-snacks.

I LIKE the arrow gun. And the large cap mags. But the other? Not so much. They do recommend a Para .45, which, because it is .45 in roughly 1911 configuration, I have a sentimental attachment to. A 9mm is fine for zombie.

Here is the one area where Jeff Cooper was wrong. The 5.56 NATO is a nigh ideal round to retire shambling zombies, and the AR15 rifle is the ideal platform. Better than 7.62 NATO (which is accurate enough, but too much, and too heavy, gun). Better than 7.62x39 Warsaw Pact stuff (which is a good runner up to 5.56, but the platform is often not as accurate).

And what do I have? Foolish me, just the 7.62 NATO in the form of a Garand and an M1A. ~sigh~

But, like many gun selection exercises, the MOST important criteria is what YOU, personally, shoot best. Even .22LR is just FINE for Zed. And you can easily carry HUNDREDS of rounds for it in your pocket.

(Yay! Trinity as a 50's mom. The movie is really a gem.)

[update: I said 5.56 is nigh ideal for this specific task. It is not my preference but I like more utility out of my rifle. See comments]

Mortuos libera viventes

This guy thinks too hard. Probable burn out a bearing up there if he keeps it up.

WAY too hard.

Hope he is kept somewhere where he can't hurt himself or others. Or vote.

Here is one of his overwrought sentences:

The zombie is a polyvalent revenant, a bloating signifier that has given shape, alternately, to repressed memories of slavery’s horrors; white alienation from the darker Other; Cold War nightmares of mushroom clouds and megadeaths; the post-traumatic fallout of the AIDS pandemic; and free-floating anxieties about viral plagues and bioengineered outbreaks (as in 28 Days Later and Left 4 Dead, troubled dreams for an age of Avian flu and H1N1, when viruses leap the species barrier and spread, via jet travel, into global pandemics seemingly overnight. Which may be why the Infected, as they’re called in both the film and the game, move at terrifying, jump-cut speed, unlike their lumbering, stuporous predecessors.)
Polyvalent? Dude. Get a new hobby. That paragraph was ONE sentence.

But there is a nugget or two in there. But you have discard a lot of toxic tailings to get to it.

At least he admits he's talking out of his ass in the comments section. If he was serious, I'd worry.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Smart Apartment

You'll definitely have the tactical advantage in your domicile if you adopt some of the features agent 86 has put in. JayG reminded me of the possibilities you get for situational surprise on your home turf. Without these, a patient home invader/prowler might wait in a shadowy part of your living room to get the drop on you, so maybe discretion is the better part of valor to let hole up near your bedroom area than to go house clearing. Beside, the cops you called via 911 LOVE to do that house clearing and you don't want to take that fun away from them. Be sure they know not to shoot you.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Look at me! I'm famous.

I wanna live forever
I gonna learn how to fly, HIGH.

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry, FAME

I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame, FAME

I'm gonna live forever
Baby remember my name... remember remember remember, FAME

Well. Sorta. Ok, it's like getting your picture in the Penny-Saver, the part devoted to here. Sebastian and Caleb, THEY are famous.

National Review

The folks at my favorite Metrocon publication, National Review, are defending their old friend and colleague David Frum. And some not. (I wrote this before the "some nots" showed up...)

Frum took a turn toward concilliation in the last presidential election. Extolling the virtues of the moderate, and that the GOP needs to be more like the Democrats to win more elections. He still does. He thinks opposing the Health Care monstrosity was a disaster for the GOP. Calling it 'Waterloo.'

I think of it as standing by conservative principles, or forcing the wobblies to stand by actual principles for once.

I have loved some of Frum's writings in the past. His concise little treatise on what money does is nigh ideal for the economic laymen, distilling the issue right on down to column length what takes a few chapter in college Economic texts. And it clarifies the implications of a change that the Gold Bug types don't acknowledge. RTWT.

Frum was a speech writer for W. Leading-light conservative intellectual.

But I have a prediction. Frum will be writing speeches for a Liberal Democrat presidential candidate in 2016. I've seen this before. Chrysalis. He'll just keep shifting left. Many of his friends will be disappointed. Leftists will cackle with glee.

But it won't mean anything for gun rights, vis a vis Frum.

Range Report

I mentioned I was itchy to get to the range last Friday. I shouldn't have bothered.

I still have the same 'ol problems I always have. Thinking back, though, I think I feel better about more individual shots now than I did at the beginning. And I know when I am doing everything right as the shot goes off and know that that shot I just sent downrange will be placed well enough.

Anyway, like I mentioned, I just brought the .40 Sig 229 SAS DAK and shot at 21-25 feet with Georgia Arms reloaded ammo. (I'll have the new Smith on the next report...)

ALL my handguns make my trigger finger sore. Right at the corner of the fingernail, the corner closest to the ground. It's the recoil, I am almost positive. The frame of the trigger guard is touching it.

I tried to see if my finger wanted to slide across the face of the trigger, ala 'rowing the boat' but didn't notice it even wanting to do that. I did pay attention to my natural finger tip placement. It wants to be on the tip side of that last distal joint.

Why do my hands always seem to grow weak walking into a gun range? It's like I can NOT grip any tighter. A tight grip helps dampen the squeeze effect my shooting hand's no trigger fingers on the grip, and other things, and makes me more accurate. It also helps maintain the grip after explosive recoil so you don't have to re-adjust after every shot. Yet my support hand's 'thumbs forward' thumb always seems to fall out of place at each shot. Dangit!

(Is all this self-criticism minutiae too much Inside-Baseball? It's sort of why I started this blog, as a N00b. Paying attention and trying to self diagnose my numerous flaws. I certainly don't have natural talent, nor enough time money and discipline to turn myself into a world class shooter of any stripe. But I do want to get better. So I hash it out as best I can, here, on the screen. When I started blogging I asked myself "Do you have anything to write about that will last more than a month or two?" and I answered, "Sure! I can write about how dumb and clueless I am. I have 100 years of material for THAT." It's my niche...)

Here's the first target of the session. Counterclockwise starting with the upper right:

Here's the second:
The bad stuff? I don't even know what is going on with the bad shots, at this point. The good stuff is inspired. For me. I just need to make those more frequent.

I developed a NEW flaw. I hope to have quashed it in the crib before it grew up and was able to take me. I was raising the pistol up into position on the target and pressing the trigger. But I hadn't fully arrested the upward movement when the shot went off. The holes are the high ones. DON'T do that. See, it's right there upper right target, upper right corner:

Lots of weird flyers. Too rush rush, me. As usual. Luckily I am less embarrassed by a bullseye in a lower target while aiming at the upper. Mistakes that bad get hidden in the clutter. One not lost in the clutter is that bottom right target. Decent shot. But I wasn't aiming anywhere NEAR that.

And I say mistakes... Even the bad shots, if I was shooting at a bad guy, the worst shot hit's his appendix or liver instead of the middle of his sternum. Not ideal, but better than nothing.

I did NOT visualize that the target was a zombie shuffling toward me. I will have to try that again next time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You've Got Mail

My County, Montgomery, and the neighboring metropolis known as the District of Columbia, forbid the subjects that reside in their fiefdoms from ordering ammunition from going catalog supply concerns.

I can’t order 50 rounds of .38 for home delivery.

The vast majority of the rest of the nation has no such restriction. Including all the people allowed to order ammo in the rest of my state. (Except maybe Baltimore… but I’m not sure…)

And I live kinda close to DC, so I have to travel the furthest, maybe, to get a house that can accept a package that has bullets in it.

Needless to say, this is inconvenient for me.

And it appears nefarious!

Here I am, looking like I am trying to skirt the law, setting up mail drops at friends and acquaintence’s houses, and having surreptitious packages delivered to remote-to-me jusridictions that I then have to pay the homeowner for, in cash. (I can’t use my credit card online to have something shipped to an address not the same as my billing address without jumping through MORE hoops. I tried that with computer equipment and it was a hassle, even.) All this dark enterprise is missing is passwords and countersigns.

And its not even black market. Not really even light gray.

It’s not illegal. Just inconvenient.

And that’s the purpose of the law. Oh sure, the county powers that instituted it CLAIMED it was for safety. All that ‘explosive’ intermingling with mail like enterprises… Ignoring the millions of rounds delivered with no mishap. No the real purpose of the law is to inconvenience folk. To make people less capable to be interested in shooting because of the hassle involved. The same with LOTS of anti-firearms legislation. It’s all of a kind.

Those powers that be in my county are of the lefty persuasion, universally. And leftists are well known for their anti-civil-rights stance when it comes to ordinary people desiring to defend themselves from thugs or bullies.

It was a little law they were allowed to do without stepping on the State’s toes. The State Legislature isn’t AS lefty, politically, as my County, and reserve the right to be in charge of the state’s gun policies. The County argues this is a front stoop neighborhood safety policy. Or that is the word on the street.

All these restriction on ammo delivery are especially noticed now, where brick and mortar purveyors are still pretty sparse in their inventories, I have no recourse to get something simple like .38 Special. Except the aforementioned willingness to seek legal alternatives and home delivery, but just not MY home delivery.

I haven't checked, but I bet delivery of powder and primers are verboten, too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


What are YOU buying for Buy a Gun Day on April 15th?

Found One

FOUND a Smith and Wesson model 640-1 without a trigger lock. Thank you gunbroker! Finally. Well, it wasn't THAT long a wait. It just seemed like it.

Here is a pic from the auction, and it is even nicer in real life:

See that rust on the edge of the frame there? That's dark oil/grease.

This counts as my Buy A Gun Day, gun (that website is goin a little overboard... more than it needs to). And is one more that I wanted to buy in a year, but... why not.

Nothing pressing on the Master List now. Watch, now a Chiappa Rhino will fall into my lap and will have a PERFECT feeling trigger...

And we'll see if this gun is too heavy for me. Golly, I hope not. I'd really rather not go down the Elsie Pee route.

I might get a stripped AR lower receiver, just to have for later. It's easy to store. The things are practically a fungible commodity. I've talked about this too much recently.

Oooo, I maybe want to think about replacement grips.

And some Gold Dot ammo, or similar, designed for snubbies. Traditional is SWCHP lead.

Best part is, I have a CCW pistol that is small, and summer appropriate. It's not the ideal round with only +p .38 (it can take .357, but I doubt I will use that) but it's certainly no slouch. The alternative gun in theis class for me is a .380, and .38 is better than that. I can carry this around the homestead, for when the doorbell rings at 2AM or what have you.

And it came is much better condition than I deserve. I've been lucky with the quality/condition of my used guns.

It came with a high quality holster. For right handers. But the gunstore owner admired it, and is right handed, AND has his own j-frame... so I traded the holster in for store credit.

Oh, and I read in the latest American Rifleman, that the Chiappa Rhino I was so interested in has an aluminum frame. One of my requirements was all steel, so it's probably best I didn't wait around for a Rhino.

it in my loosest pants pocket. It is noticeable, weight wise, but not as bad as I feared. My trousers ain't pulled down. I got it in an Uncle Mikes pocket holster, as that was what RobertaX recommended, and it was cheap. I have 6 spare cartridges on Bianchi speed strip in the other pocket because that is what JayG recommended. As you can see it has that sticky-ish black rubber grip, and I can see why people will go to smaller grips as it peeks out of that pocket a bit in these pants. You can tell I have something in my pocket, but not that it's a gun. "Is that a pistol in your pocket or.... " "NEVERMIND!"

I'm pleased. And had no buyers remorse with this one.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Variable Lethality

I don't like "non-lethal" "less than lethal" or now "variable lethal" firearms.

Now from the people that brought you Tick-Me-Elmo!:

The Lund Variable Velocity Weapons System by Lund Technologies. And Spiegel! Chicago, 60609.

It's got an on-boad range finder and will lessen projectile velocity, already slowish, at closer, more dangerous to the recipient, ranges. Compressed air propellant. Development stages, not ready for deployment yet.

First, only cops would use them. While most cops never abuse stuff/people, some cops will and do, and they have enough things to abuse the citizenry with NOW. I don't want to give them MORE tools to violate folks with. AND, I bet they'd not trust me with such a weapon, so again, why should I trust them? (not that's I'd have much use for such a thing. I'm not in the law and order bidness, so the only purpose I'd have for such a monstrosity is to torture someone with it. And I don't want to do that.) There is nothing a cop should get that the people they police don't also have. They are cops upholding the law, and they have to play fair, not soldiers fighting for victory, where cheating for advantage is a virtue. A cop IS a civilian, despite the attitude of some. If they insist on acting like soldiers they should be under posse comitatus, I say.

Second, no matter your intentions on lethality, no matter how clever you are with your technology, it will fail to be non-lethal. And someone will die. Killed by someone that didn't intend to kill. By people more likely to deploy such a weapon. And with the perfect alibi if they had original nefarious intentions, and avoid standing by their mistake if un-nefarious, "Don't fire me Sarge! I didn't MEAN to kill 'em!"

All this applies to tazers, tazer-shotguns (!!!! Imagine the mistake to pull the trigger on the wrong shotgun !!!!), microwave cookers, sonic guns, and other new cop toys. I am not pleased about the concept.

[Note: I said nothing about the Healthcare Hoo-Haw. Reason? I couldn't work in the gun content. I'm trying to stay on topic with at least one of the day's posts, and I had nuthin'.]

Monday, March 22, 2010

.--. -.. -...

.--. -.. -...

Here's How They've Wounded Us

Tam would freely admit she is a collector of guns. She can go to a gunshow and pickup something cool, agree on the price, wait for 15 minutes as the paperwork gets hashed out, and then leave with piece in her pocket. A handgun. She is in Indiana (or, previously, Tennessee, and I think she bought guns in Georgia too.)

My Buddy The Gun Enthusiast can do that too. He's a different sort of accumulator from Tam, but he's still collector in his own right. He has a CCW permit in Virginia. Which means he can do that more than one time a month unlike the rest of the people in the state. (this is changing, now)

I cannot do this in Maryland. You have to wait 7 days before you can take possession while the state police sit on your application. So big gunshows don't happen in Maryland because this is too much a hassle for out of state sellers. The hassle can be overcome by motivated sorts that want a transaction to go through, but in reality it is too inconvenient.

End result... Why be a gun collector while living in Maryland. Or New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhode Island, &c. The gun culture in these places is gimped.

Of course the laws related to waiting periods makes no sense to its stated purpose. It's to ensure a criminal the Feds didn't notice don't get through the State cordon, to allow angry folks to calm down and repent their murderous intentions. But the State authorities already have me in the system, so they know instantly I have a pistol or three already. Shoot, my state knows the model and serial number of my pistols. If I intended mayhem why would I need the new pistol? Just let me walk home with it.

Yes. The gun culture in these places is gimped. And that was their intention from the start. Busybodies.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And Speaking of...

And speaking of headphone cans. Try not to shoot yourself in the cans.

Headphone Cans

Someone suggested in my comments I get hearing protection cans/muffs that are electronic.

I'm way ahead of you. I own this model.

They take 2 AAA batteries. And I like it very much.

What they do is amplify quiet sounds, like voices in whisper, but also loud talking a little. And they damped very loud sounds. Like a shot. This is an obvious on the range, as you can hear your shooting partner talk, but I also made great use of them hunting. The helped keep my ears warm and amplified the footsteps of wildlife. And of course, that one blast of the shotgun was muffled and didn't bother my hearing.

MBtGE has a pair with IED lights. GREAT for finding your deer stand at o'dark thirty. I only have so many hands for carrying stuff. I'd rather hold the long gun with 2 hands than try to carry it, a flashlight, AND a folding chair.

What I don't have, and a commenter suggested, is a pair of them. One for me, one for teaching a n00bie. Much easier to instruct when you can both hear each other.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Mob Guns

Purty! They have a buncha models but... for me...


Only a coupla grand if you see it on GunBroker. And they set the reserve lower than the retail price of two and a half, large.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Never Initiate Force.


Silly goose.

(And you don't have to be violent to be forcing someone, but you certainly can be.)

Hope... n' stuff

Some liberal yuppie wrote a blog entry in my comments.

And he is right.

We do need more prominent liberals to come to our side. When both side of the aisle uncontroversially adopt pro 2nd Amendment polices it cements their legitimization. President Eisenhower accepting FDR New Deal stuff is what legitimized that crap sandwich (sadly). Obama doubling down on Afghanistan and taking credit for the Iraq surge is what will legitimize the wars. (See Krauthammer.)

But those issues of contention are beyond the scope of this blog.

We are looking for a Great Left Hope to legitimize the 2nd Amendment among the Liberal section of Politicus Americanus. That person may be Obama, too.

How?!!! How could that be! Obama is Joyce Foundation! Most anti-gun president EVAH! All true. But so far, he won’t touch anti-gun stuff with a 10 foot pole. Well… 9 foot, at least. If, and this is a big if, he ends out his presidency with not one anti-gun measure given any serious contention, or, in fact, strangled in it’s cradle by the administration, AND, he signs a few more pieces of legislation that happen to have a pro-gun owner/user rights amendment buried in it… He doesn’t even have to acknowledge the amendment… IF he ends his term without touching guns, then who can follow him with an anti-gun platform? Future Dem Pres (or other office) candidate to a staff member: “If Obama never touched firearms restrictions, the MOST anti gun president EVER, then what chance do I have to pick up that hot potatoe? No, not touching it. It’s a loser issue for us and we should try to angle off the GOP by not agitating the pro-civil-rights 2A folks.”

It’s not a positive step. But the implication is huge. Then, in the relatively near future, left and right candidates will fight over who is MORE pro-gun user right, and by what degree. Then it won’t even be noticed, as everyone will be pro firearms rights.

Then left and right can argue over taxes, defense spending, no-knock warrants/intrusions, and immigration from then on, and I’ll join in. Never guns. And that will be a good day. And it could be close.

It would be fun to just talk gun-guns on this blog and not have to worry about the security of the Second Amendment. I’m certainly not shifting to arguing immigration here.


Now Tam HATES a part of this. The whole Krauthammer bit I linked to above, where a new party comes in and accepts a big portion of what they railed against to get into their new Power digs, complete with gavel. And you know what? I'm right there with her. She's 100% correct. I'd rather the system not work this way. I'd rather not keep rolling toward a cliff by a financially untenable, and freedom quashing, system first put in place by Bismark in the 1860s. I do whatever I can, within that system, to change that system. But it's sweeping against the tide at times. But Krauthammer's insight DOES reflect reality. And if firearm related civil rights advocacy, by all parties, ends up being a new political 3rd rail because of that flawed system, well... that small part of it is a good thing. And useful for other things, after.

Take guns off the table first (sic) then we can concentrate on the other crap-sammich liberty infringements. And, like the Tattooed Yuppie implies, we'll find allies on lots of stuff all across the political spectrum. Hopefully enough.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm itchy and excited. I think I'll hit the range after work tomorrow. One gun. The SIG.

Must remember, Shootin' THEN Drinkin'. Not tother way round.

I'm gonna try THIS, in practice. The 'rowing the boat' technique for Double Action triggers. Article by Grant Cunningham:

"The key is to let the trigger finger slide across the trigger face. Now that sounds simple enough, but it’s tough to do—at first. It gets easier after just a little dry-fire work.

As the trigger moves backward in compression, pay attention to the way the finger wants to slide. It will want to slide down the trigger face. Let it. It will want to slide sideways, across the trigger face. Again, let it do so.

You may feel as though your finger is going to slide right off the trigger, but it won’t! Compress the trigger, letting the finger slide down and across the trigger face. Pay attention to how it feels, and replicate that feeling with each repetition."

Though the Sig's DA is lightish compared to my revolvers. Sorta. Let's just say my fingers doesn't want to slide in dry firing.

So if rowing the boat is a bust I'll just try focusing on the front sight, gripping 20% tighter, and bending my knees.

.223 Conclusions

Stuff I learned, here and offline about my thinkins on maybes acquirins (but maybe not)...

VAST generalizations. Correct me if I am way off base on these.

Stag Arms makes a lefty upper, and are decent middling price/quality on left or right. I don't think I'll need a lefty AR. It'd only be a problem if the extractor threw brass toward my face. Adjustments would have to be made...

Word on the street...

Daniel Defense is spendy but good

DPMS is cheaper in price.

Rock River, Smith &Wesson, and Olympic Arms are middle of the road price and quality.

A1 and A2 is post type sights, with differences in how you adjust the rear. A4 is flat top.

I'll probably want a 16 inch barrel with maybe a 1:8 twist for middling bullet weight or compromise, 1:9 for heavy 72gr bullets, 1:7 is mil standard w/ 55gr milsurp ammo. Prolly easiest to find 1:7 barrel twist and just live with that. I won't be reloading 80gr bolt action target bullets. [update: see comments]

I'll also need to TRY a bunch a buttstocks to get one I can cheek weld best. Ah well. I like the idea of one (VLTOR? ya.) that has tubes laterally for battery storage. I like the adjustable cheek-piece kind too.

Not that I'm getting one. I just want to be prepared so that some day, maybe... If the mood is right...

Well, no harm in looking at stripped lower receivers and such. Those things are practically commodities. Probably won't get any cheaper. Just a lower... I can stop at any time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

He got fired? AND HE HAS GUNS?!

This over-reaction could have happened to you. To me. To anyone. The only reason it happened to this guy is that the government noticed him.

Like the Eye of Sauron. It looked at him. The government paid attention to one innocent man, and visited force upon him.

He was proned out because he owned guns. If he had been laid off and had no firearms we'd have never heard about him and he never would have been manhandled by the cops.

And what happened after the government forces proactively sprung into action was the BEST possible response. Worst would have been the police being a little over-zealous and busting down the door on a sleeping man who might have reacted to what looked like a dire threat to his life and safety and responded accordingly. Then innocent people of civil servants may have been hurt.

He was very lucky force didn't cross over to violence.

And why? Because he wanted to defend himself in the event he needed to and chose a particular tool to do that task. He did nothing else.

The forces of tyranny expose themselves in their over-zealousness.


People everywhere talk about how intimidating the sound of a pump shotgun racking is. Even gun types. And police types. There must be some validity in it. Why, do you think?

Certainly, humans have imaginations. And the sound of a gun's action working is almost universally known thanks to the Talkies at your local Cineplex Odeon. And your TeeVee stories. The imagination can invoke a result that would be worse than reality, thus having a bigger impact than actual action.

It's like a rattlesnake rattle. It warns the bad guy of imminent danger but also hopefully warns off. Fear doing better work than any actual damage might.

But it is useless unless you are prepared to follow up. There are snakes that can simulate the sound of a rattle, but are not venomous themselves. Sometimes this bluff works out. But is it really a good idea to rely on the sound of an unloaded Remington 870 getting pumped scaring off the badguys? Or a loaded 870 that you'd never in a million years drop the hammer on another human? I think our answer in the gun community is 'no.' But I think that's as far as a lot of people have thought the use of a shotgun through, for any dire personal defense situation. If you are one of those short sighted people, don't be. Get past that thought process. Chances are you'll never need to put it in action but don't let it be your handicap in that unlikely event.

But you hear variations of that "racking the slide will scare a bad guy into incontinence" EVERYWHERE! Have you noticed?

At least with zombies, no one things a shotgun racking will intimidate them. Now if I can just convince folks not to go against zombies with a scatter guns if they don't have to...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Posted only for RobertaX's benefit. No one else look at this. It's of no interest to anyone else.

Well, ok, Marko might like it too. But that's IT!

Range Report March

Did some carrying in Virginia with the 1911. Man...

First, I am still not comfortable carrying a 1911 in an unsecured IWB holster with the pistol cocked and locked. So it was in Condition Three. Full magazine, nothing chambered. Not the fastest way to react to a threat, but sorta ok if I am not the center of the threat's attention. In the future I'll stick to the Sig. Until I work through this concern.

I came to the conclusion that what everyone needs is liberal CCW AND Open Carry. It solves all sorts of problems. You carry with a good holster and if you HAVE to conceal, wear a coat. In the summer time you'd end up OCing all the time cuz who wants to wear more than a t-shirt? Why this policy? Comfort and convenience. (Also note: This is just the Galco summer IWB holster thingy. I don't have a Milt Sparks for the 1911, yet.) With this new system T-Bolt has enacted nationwide we'd not need pocket guns as everyone would be cool with sporting the full size single-action sidearms.

Now that I've solved that global conundrum I can turn my attention to fixing the designated hitter rule in baseball.


Realistically, I just need more practice carrying and growing accustomed to the extra stuff hanging on me. Until I feel better about the whole 1911 cocked and locked thing, again, I can carry DA stuff.

And yes, personally, if the climate allows, I'd prefer to carry concealed for the 'surprise' tactical advantage. I'd not OC carry unless I was in a large group that was OC carrying. Just my preference. It's not a judgment against people that do prefer to OC over CCW.

Speaking of DA stuff. I got the opportunity to shoot MBtGE new PX4. He got it to go with his CX4. The PX4 of his is in .40, and it's a 'Crunchenticker'. In other words you carry it with the hammer down but after the first Double Action shot the subsequent ones have the hammer back and fire Single Action. I didn't try the DA part, but it was a pretty smooth single action, uh, action. My shot all landed a few inched high of the bull and were in a horizontal line from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock. I'd fired the CX4 carbine before, but tried it again. It shoots very nicely and my only quibble with it is it's a little rough on the cheek. It's is a bit of a smacker. My M1A doesn't slap me that hard.

One guy a few lanes over was shooting his Garand. That rifle sounds much different indoors. Love it.

The glass partition between me and MBtGE had a tell tale blemish. Someone had an accident and shot to their upper right hand side at some time in the past. Prolly 90 degrees to their stance. This is the NRA range! The partitions are glass, and double pane. Bulletproof glass. The bullet didn't penetrate even one layer. So that filled me with some safety confidence. Looks like a biggish windshield ding. Somebody didn't pay attention. I wonder if they pulled his card?

Anyway, on to the targets. This is the first one, cold pistols. You can see the 1911's big holes in their usual places for my shooting. Low and Right. The little holes are .22 from my newish S&W617. Single action. All the .22s I've shot shoot differently than my full power pistols. Odd, that. Not horrible shooting performance after a month of no practice, but certainly not good. 21 yards [update: FEET not yards...]:

Here is the second set. I'm still not shooting well, but it's better

The .45 is the low and right. The BIG splotches. The stuff above the bullseyes is my shots with the Beretta PX4.

And the final target that got 5 times the holes punched in it than the first 2, thanks to Shoot N See stickers and pasters I re-used the same paper:
Mostly .22 that you can see there, and the flash didn't go off for some reason. On this target I am getting tired. Over 100 full size loads and easy the same in .22. But I did have a bit of an epiphany or two...

I shoot better when I bend my knees.

Not just flexed. BENT. Not silly bent, but noticeable. Why? Dunno. I have a theory though. When I bend at the knees a bit it forces the head/chin up and I lean forward at the waist some, leaning INTO the shot, and that also helps my arms to present better. Even when tired.

The other epiphany... I was getting those good headshots because of mindset, I think. I am better when visualizing that the target is a zombie. As in "that blue paper head out there is an undead poor schlub and he wants to bite and eat me, so I better make this shot count" I Did MUCH better that way for some reason. All those hits were from one cylinder. Amazing.

Here's the back of that last target. Low and right on this is low and left from the front and are probably MBtGE's shots or his Boy's.

I'm still not scaring that red spot in the center much. I'm gonna have to do a weekly practice run for a couple months someday soon to get some serious practice and see if I can finally Out Out That Damn Red Spot. Lady MacBeth style.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Go Read Joe Huffman's post.

Worth your time.

If you don't want people to be angry, stop trying to piss them off.

Zombieland review

Finally saw it. On DVD, naturally. It was good. Not 'Best EVAH!!!1!!11!eleven'. It was like a US version of Shaun of the Dead.

Yeah yeah, I came to it late. But I am alone right now and don't like going to movies solo. I would have gone with Saucy Trollop, but she hit the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, dumped my big behind, took up with a pair of 23 year old skydiving instructors with only 5% body fat between em, and now the three of them live very happily in French Polynesia. No hard feelings, though. She still emails occasionally.

Zombieland is good in that it's the first Woody Harrelson film in a long time that didn't annoy me.

Problems with it? The use of shotguns and lever guns. All slow loading. How did that geek from Juno survive that long with just a double barrel shotgun?

I was shocked about the secret/surprise to the whole movie. No one let on anywhere. No reviews I read. Even friends that saw the movie didn't spoil it. Wanna know? Then rent the dang thing. It was a treat.

Gun content? Plenty. Of course. It's a zombie movie. Do you know of a zombie movie outside the UK without lots of guns?

The zombies are sprinters. They aren't risen from the recently deceased, they are diseased. Mad-Cow morphs into Zombie-Man disease. So a gas station burger started the Zombocalypse (Of course it was beef. Bacon would NEVER do anything to hurt us...) Sprinting Zombies is bad, but humans driven violent, crazed, adrenalin-driven, and cannibalistic... at least you don't have to go for headshots. Center mass works. The movie has a good safety tip. The adrenalin fueled infected might need to get more than one round in them to be sure they lie still... Double tap.

The only problem with Zombieland? No black guy. If this was a George Romero movie there would always have been at least one main character that is an African-American male. If you find yourself up against shambling zombies that are actually the undead (like Romero zombies), and only headshots retire them... AND you find yourself in a little group of 10 with 3 people vying for leadership, a Caucasian woman, an East Asia man, and a Black man... AND the woman wants to do A, and the Asian wants to do B, and the black guy wants to do C. Do C. Trust me. The black male leader of your survival party will be the closest thing to salvation. If you stick with the black guy you'll survive the longest. You might not live forever, but you'll do a darn sight better than with those other 2 idiots.

But there is no African American character in Zombieland. I wouldn't know if hanging with the bodacious Woody Harrelson character was a good idea or suicide. It'd be nice to have a choice...

Worth the DVD rental, I say. Not too scary. It's more adventure than horror/thriller. Comedy, too. Nothing to wet your pants over. Unless you have Coulrophobia.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Just shined my shoes. I love that smell. Kiwi Black. It reminds me of my military days. Add some Brasso to the smell bouquet and it'd be perfect.

You Just Made the List, Buddy

Lighten up, Francis.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Gun related...

Calculus and Zombies

Borepatch sent me THIS link.

Interesting... How to use Calculus to defeat Zombies. In BOOK form. Or 'Appendix 2' form.

Ahhhh, Calc-useless. If it weren't for you and the unintelligible TAs that taught it I'd be a REAL Engineer now. Instead of a Sciencetician. Making Engineer money. Living in a nice Engineer house. Drinking Engineer adult-beverages... Instead of this refrigerator box I live in now. (It's not so bad. It's a Maytag box. Not one of those crappy Amanas. But it's hard to keep convincing the ladies I am a Billionaire Astronaut when I take them home to the Box for the evening.)

But still. I'm intrigued. I will have to keep a weather eye out for this tome.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Maybe the most expensive handgun in the world. Luger #2, .45, auction coming...

We shall see.

Not the gun, but still cool:


THIS is amazing. (h/t Firearm Blog) What a wonderfully detailed chronicle of how the .223 / 5.56x45 round came about. Bravo Zulu on this guy for accumulating it in one place and letting me read it. I love these kinds of details.

It includes a lot of related scholarly articles related to infantry tactics as well as stuff of a ballistic nature, the works of political skullduggery behind the scenes by some of the major players, and parallel research into things like infantry fired flechette/darts instead of traditional bullets.

With all this development effort, in an adversarial environment, by all these people. All this head sweat expended. You'd think they'd have to have gotten it right. That there's be something to it. The .223 HAS to be an improvement over things that came before. So I should drop my instinctive unscientific objections and get on board the high velocity flat trajectory lightweight projectile bus and go to town.

Well, not necessarily. A lot of head sweat and scholarly articles went into Marxism and how great THAT was, and we all know how THAT turned out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mag Doctor

I know, I know. Rifle magazines are "supposed to be disposable". And I had some lemons. My chances of fixing them, according to conventional wisdom, was exceedingly remote.

More background. Before I took my M1A home I bought a few batches of magazines for it when and where I found them for sale. Some are honest to goodness USGI surplus, some are quality mil-spec jobs, some were cheap and inexpensive Taiwanese knock offs. I bought in small batches as my budget allowed and to test for effectiveness. If a group of magazines were reliable, I'd get some more from the same source. They all worked well except for the obvious Taiwanese jobs. There was no marking on these so it was easy to keep track of them. The good ones had a code stamped on the spine. I bought more of these. But I had these few bum ones...

I should have deep-sixed the bad ones. Their problem? They didn't push the next round up to be stripped off when the semi-auto action cycled. Weak spring. Now, I just happened to have noticed on a website somewhere that someone was selling replacement springs. I remember this website being from a serious and reputable dealer, but, sorry, I bought the springs so long ago that I can't find the link. I search on M1A magazine springs or somesuch. Like this, maybe. But it probably wasn't that one. Or who knows? Could be. They look reputable, don't they?

I finally got up the gumption this week to go ahead and try to swap out the springs.

Getting the baseplate off the mag was easy enough. And easier than I thought it would be. It just took a punch levering up the end of the plate and sliding it off the mag body. Easy peasy! The spring didn't even shoot out at me in a comical fashion like I half expected.

Here you can see the replacement spring and the cheap weak spring the magazine came with. Can you guess which one is which?

If you said the one on the left was the quality aftermarket spring, ding ding ding ding! What did they win, Johnny? "They won a beYOOtiful new sewing machine, from Singer! It comes with a button holer and an assortment of thread-spools and bobbins! From Spiegel! Chicago, 60609."

Careful attention was paid to the direction and configuration of the spring and crammed in there. Baseplate was slid back in place and the mags marked so I can track their performance.

So I am hopeful that maybe these mags are now salvaged. I will have to test them out, naturally.

If this doesn't fix em, I won't go to any other lengths to salvage these. If they do work, I'll have around 30 functioning magazines. More than I'd want to carry, loaded... It's a start. Anyone know a good source for more quality ones?


Also, here is a picture of my front walk and my suburban anti-zombie vehicle (SAV) in the morning after that second big snow here in the DC area a few weeks back. I had done a lick with the shovel the night before to get a head start. The wind was fierce overnight as you can see from the drift formations. Pretty, ain't it?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Beastie BSG

I Can't Stand It, I Know You Planned It
I'ma Set It Straight, This Watergate
I Can't Stand Rockin' When I'm In Here
'Cause Your Crystal Ball Ain't So Crystal Clear
So, While You Sit Back And Wonder Why
I Got This Fuggin' Thorn In My Side
Oh My God, It's A Mirage
I'm Tellin' Y'all It's Sabotage

So,So,So, So Listen Up 'Cause You Can't Say Nothin'
You Shut Me Down With A Push Of Your Button
But yo, I'm Out And I'm Gone
I'll Tell You Now I Keep It On And On dam!

'Cause What You See You Might Not Get
And We Can Bet, So Don't You Get Souped Yet
Scheming On A Thing That's A Mirage
I'm Tryin' To Tell You Now It's Sabotage

Why; Our Backs Are Now Against The Wall
Listen All Of Y'all This Is Sabotage
Listen All Of Y'all This Is Sabotage
Listen All Of Y'all This Is Sabotage
Listen All of Y'all This Is Sabotage

I Can't Stand It, I Know You Planned It
I'ma Set It Straight This Watergate
I Can't Stand Rockin' When I'm In This Place
Because I Feel Disgrace Because You're All In My Face
But Make No Mistakes And Switch Up My Channel
I'm Buddy Rich When I Fly Off The Handle
What Could It Be, It's all a Mirage
You're Scheming On A Thing That's Sabotage


and the side by side:

McDonald Case and Metrocons

It’s been a week, and there was only two mentions of McDonald on National Review online. And that was in the Court Watcher blog section, and one done by a guest blogger connected with the Heller case (Clark Neily).

I can understand Metrocons being a little reticent about gun issues. They are city boys and girls. But the McDonald case had far reaching implications that go beyond guns and right into Conservative Constitutional questions. I figured that would at least spark SOME interest in the main section. Still, half a loaf… National Review is friendly enough to the firearms rights, if they may ignore it a bit too much, at times, and I'd certainly never expect them to turn into "ALL 2nd Amendment ALL the time!" rah rah folks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I don't feel like playing. The 3 gun meme


JayG asks " I'm assuming that this is a "forever" type question, as in there's been a law passed that we are only able to own one of the three types for defense. "

For selecting carry handguns. Lots of folks likes them some variety, and I'm not the best shot, of all the pistols I've tried, with my 1911, and a 1911 is certainly not the smallest, and the whole cocked and locked thing is a personal worry I need to overcome, and there are rough bits that can dig into you when you do carry it, and it's kinda heavy... But. If restricted to just one handgun, I'd select the 1911 and get used to my problems with it and never look back. Why? It covers everything I'd want a handgun for and it's strengths overcome the minor weaknesses. When used by me.

Ok, I'll play, you convinced me. I'd choose my rifle, my shotgun, and my pistol. There! You happy? Fulton M1A, Remington Model 11 12g, Springfield Loaded 1911.

If just one, I'd choose my rifle. If just 2 and I was mobile, rifle and pistol. If just 2 and hunkered down, rifle and shotgun.

More Old Books

I'm on a bit of a 80's nostalgia ride... Red Storm Rising. 1986. Tom Clancy's second book. To be OBE by 1989.

This book is another great example of what we in the US thought in the mid 1980s. It's a snapshot of the culture, just like Slapshot, the movie, is a perfect snap shot of the mid 1970s. Boy does it take me back to the Reagan years. Reagan isn't mentioned in the book, but the mood... [Reagan gave a huge boost to Clancy when it was revealed the Hunt for Red October was on his nightstand. That book was just a silly Naval Institute Proceedings Press run. Without a boost it would have sold a few thousand copies to mil-geeks, tops. A presidential endorsement lead to a best seller and the birth of a genre, the Military Techno-Thriller.]

To wit: the Soviet were big and rich and militarily capable. Their Air Forces were practically a match for ours, for instance, and had similar readiness. The T-72 tank was a match for the M1 Abrams in a straight fight. Their economic system was deeply flawed (true, here!) And jihadist terrorists can easily spark a world wide conflagration that draws many countries into an expensive war (also true, and a bit more prescient than the assumed continued long-term existence of the USSR.)

But read it, you youngsters, if you want to know what the military worried about back then. And one way WWIII could have gone down. But without all those damn geiger counters.

To sum up the plot, terrists blow up a big Soviet oil refinery by cascading sabatoage. REALLY big refinery. So big the USSR will be beggared by it in the time it takes to come back on line in a few years. They conclude the only way out is to take a big chunk of the Middle East. But to do that and get away with it they have to steamroll NATO first. There is some cloak and dagger while the forces train up and position, then invasion. NATO starts up REFORGER. A lot of the book action revolves around the ensuing battle of the North Atlantic and around Iceland, as well as the German land campaign. Clancy is a Navy-interested guy, you'd expect it to be slightly Navy-heavy. The good guys win.

Gun content? Precious little. Unless you count Standard Missiles and Mk48 torpedoes and artillery. Sure there is mention of some small stuff. AK-47s. M-16s. The sidearm pistols are M1911As. And the mention of a rifle on a Navy ship is an M-14, because the Navy wasn't trigger pullers and second line obsolete stuff was fine for them. Plus M-14s had other utilities not listed by Clancy but nonetheless helped justify their shipboard use, M-14s were good for shooting shot lines to other ships. Also, they were better for shooting at floating mines.



Monday, March 8, 2010

DA Trigger Drill

Saw a link for some instructions on how to improve your DA trigger work.

The article goes on to talk about how Double Action can be the most difficult trigger type to master because of the force used and the long travel time that can pull your sights off target.

His suggestion, practice letting your knuckle and finger position slide on the trigger face.

Intriguing! I'll have to try that, dry fire. Be right back.


h/t Uncle


Ooo, and another good DA drill is one I remember Tam talking about not too long ago. I forget when. The idea is to build up your finger strength to make your control better. So, in your dry fire condition, (oh for GAWD's sake, be sure your revolver is unloaded...) with the double action hog leg you own with the strongest trigger spring, pull that trigger as quickly as you can for 50 repetitions, daily. It goes easy at first, but you fade near the end. This breaks in the trigger spring a bit, I'd imagine, and makes that finger and wrist pretty damn strong. I recommend it. Ooo, you may want to aim down the sights to see where that front sight bobs to, too. Try to hold your point of aim steady. I figure that can't hurt your shooting either.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Old Books

Well, not THAT old.

You all know I was a bit of military geek as a kid. I imagine lots of us were. My interest was fighter aircraft, mostly, both modern and WWII. I thought I'd end up in the Air Force. Then my thoughts turned more toward the Navy, so I became interested in Naval Combat, modern and throughout history.

I wanted to design and engineer the next fighter airplane (like the F-22) but wanted to serve and fight in a P-3 Orion. Where I could command the aircraft and hunt down and kill Soviet subs filled with 100+ commie sailors with the ability to kill 10's of millions of Americans. I figured the P-3 was had the most impact of any airplane, when successful. Plus I could sleep in a dry bed on dry land when I wasn't actually flying.

Well, I haunted the Crown Books and B Dalton booksellers. In the 1980's LOTS of coffee table books related to military stuff came out. And I snatched up quite a few while I had spending money but few financial obligations. If a book got to the remaindered table it was as good as mine.

Well, I sold them off when I became an adult and had bills and less space. Used bookstores LOVED big military picture books. Sold all but a handful of best ones. And in them I have a snapshot of military thought and equipment from the mid-80s. Lovely.

At some point, I must have noticed I had too much stuff about aircraft and ship and bought a book about Army toys. So I'd know the difference between a T-72 tank and a BMP, like I already knew a Flanker from a Flogger, Badger and Bear (Su-27, Mig-23, jet engine bomber, turbo prop bomber). Luckily, I saved this book as well.

The snapshot of history shows the end of the 1911 and the start up of the Beretta 92, as well as hint of .50 sniper rifles, though not the Barrett just yet. Plus all the other personal arms of armies around the world. So I come at this book with fresh eyes, now that I have this newfound small arms interest. They look all antique-y! Some were legitimate antiques in the 80s. They're talking about the SKS and Bren machine guns as if folks still used them in battle. The thing is, they WERE. Kinda cool, that.

Update: Commenter gently suggested I proffer up some titles of these Pop-Mil books I've dusted off. Good idea.

Warplanes of the Future

Modern Naval Combat
Modern Fighter Combat or actually this: Modern Air Combat
Encyclopedia of World Military Weapons
US War Machine is around here somewhere.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Buck Rogers in Sepia

With BONUS Gil Gerard and Erin Grey as Buck's parents. Pre-WWI.


I keep telling folks...

The shotgun is a horrible zombie weapon if you have more than 5 zombies to deal with. If you can guarantee me only 5 or less, then yes, it's great, but zombies come by the gross.

Probably not a good idea to let the dog chew on that, either.

Oh, and the boots are good, but you might consider long sleeves and pants.

Looks like you also might be worried about a vampire problem...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Me and a .223

If I DO ever go about getting my own AR, I have very little idea about HOW to go about it.

Oh sure, you can always just go to the gunstore, point at an AR like a kid pointing at a jar of candy at a drugstore 100 years ago and saying, “Mister? Can I buy that please?”

After some bureaucratic stuff you walk out of there with you ‘penny candy’ in hand. Ain’t this a great country?

But I have no idea if I’d paid too much, got the quality of components I desired, or got the features I wanted. Heck I don’t even know WHAT features I want.

Here’s what I do know. Or think I know. I can probably assemble my rifle myself. There is plenty of resources on the internet to help me. Even a nice set of videos on Brownells website.

If I do assemble from components, I know that there are really on 3 or so companies making lowers, though other companies slap their logos on these.

I could go piston action but should probably just choose the simple route and use the classic direct gas impingement. The only downside for me is extra cleaning. I shouldn’t run into fouling jams as I will never shoot it ‘rock n roll’ even in the worst case Zombocalypse scenario.

Features I (think I) want, a flat top for optics AND flip-up iron sights. A vertical grip, probably with an integral flashlight. A new style adjustable buttstock.

What I really need, probably, is some know-it-all AR owner that says, “hmmm… what you need is a Thunderblurfle 15 from Boomtastic Aero Arms and Industries. Quality rifle, decent price, and it has all the stuff you think you want. Check them out and ask your gunstore. It’ll save you a lot of time looking or building.”

Not that I'm in a hurry. All I need is another set of mags and another pile of different ammunition to track. And I'm still THIS close to pitching the idea of a .223 and going with .30 carbine for a light rifle. The .30 carbine round could come back as a NATO round... Well? It COULD!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Retro Sci Fi

Check out the retro Soviet Sci Fi art!


I just heard a radio interview of Kelly Kennedy. She was embedded with an army unit in Iraq.

Something about the tale she related struck me an grossly inauthentic. I can't put my finger on why. I don't know what triggered instinctive suspicion. It's like her war stories were too perfect.

Same thing with an interview of Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and her embed in Afghanistan.

And it's not just one detail, it's like she made up the whole story.

It's probably just me.

But if it isn't just me, and some scandalous journalistic scandal (scandal twice? Now THRICE?!!!) out (and it will if they were fabricating stuff), well, I am in record and can point to this and go "See? I thought there was something fishy goin on!" And I'll look prescient and junk.

Instead of like now. Where I look like an overly suspicious, untrusting, jerk, with no faith in my fellow Man. What a mood...

Hey! Answer Man!

Hey, T-Bolt! What the difference between open bolt and closed bolt. I'll tell you! But in another upcoming post.

Ok, how the heck should I know THAT? What do I look like? Tam? You have Google. Look it up your own self. You might have noticed that whole 'New' part of New Jovian Thunderbolt. I'm still learning.

Let me take a stab at it for you. But remember, I could be totally wrong headed about this and embarrass myself.

A firearm that operates with a closed bolt is working like a bolt action rifle. The bolt is closed (duh) or pushed all the way forward, with a cartridge in the chamber. All it's waiting is for the trigger to trip the sear releasing the hammer to smack the firing pin (like in a Garand) or release a spring-loaded firing pin like in the Springfield 1903. The firing pin then strikes the primer and we are off to the races.

And open bolt, the bolt is held to the rear and no round is in the chamber. If you pull the trigger you release the bolt, it slides forward stripping off a cartridge from the magazine and shoves it into the chamber, kinda quicklike. Once all the way forward bolt is seated and the firing in is immediately sent forward, bang, then the bolt resets to the rear by the recoil or blowback.

The advantage of the closed bolt? More accuracy, as less stuff is moving around jiggling your aim. Advantage of the open bolt? Some of the heat from firing can escape so you can have a better machine gun that way. (Though, apparently, with the Stoner63, this heavy-ish 5.56 rifle was kinda smooth on full auto. So very good for close range stuff. I'd hate to aim at something 400 yards away even with the smooth Stoner...)

Don't ask about Blowback operating systems versus Long or Short Recoil. All I know is the the barrel moves back on the first and the barrel doesn't move back so far on the second. Sorta. Maybe. (I am pretty sure the Auto 5 shotgun and many machine guns are blowback, while the 1911 and stuff like the Glock are short recoil. Again, take all this ignorance I am spouting with a grain of salt. Wait, maybe I am wrong and it's Long Recoil, that Auto 5.)

Links to explanatory websites, other than Wiki, that bottom line all the firearm operating system types is always appreciated.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


SWAT raids in my state.

Your state should keep track of these.

Money Spending.

So there is not much on The List. Just the springtime purchase of a snubbie revolver. I got the money for it, this time. No consumer credit no more.

I have other pennies saved up in the gun budget, but no guns to spend it on. I just about have one of each and a spare. Sure, there is interesting stuff out there I might get some time, but nothing urgent.

So what to do with the budgeted money? Spend it on new linens? A lawn fertilizer service? Naw…

Some is for pistol training. Help improve my limited skills

But I think the next gun related durable good is going to be for the rifle. It needs that holographic optic. Before that it needs a rail to put the optic on. And those items are expensive. Like new-gun expensive. Time window for completion... Before next winter?

So there you have it.

What else? I am looking for good magazines for the M14, too, I guess. I have a bunch, but there might be some empty spots on the bandolier/bandoleer. And I want decent ones. Magpul makes little rubber band thingies for .308 sized magazines now. I might try them out.

Always can spend money on ammo, right? Well yes, you replace what you shoot, but I am halfway decent on stored ammo and target ammo and training ammo, actually. Just as long as I keep on top of replacing what gets used up.

But as for money… I’m looking to improving what I got without going overboard. So that’s what I’m gonna concentrate on. I’m trying to think of a big ticket item I haven’t considered for the queue…

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


A commenter from the Stoner post shared this and I couldn't help featuring it here.


(thx Advocate)

SCOTUS observer money quote

Josh Blackman adds: “The Court was not at all receptive to arguments on Privileges or Immunities but incorporation on Due Process is a slam dunk. More commentary soon.”

From Volokh

And Gura was shot down HARD on that Privileges bit. Too bad.

More NPR Shenanigans

Ok, so Chile had a big earthquake. But the death toll wasn’t nearly as high as Haiti? Why? I think it’s because Chile is a 2nd or 1st World country.

Well NPR has a reporter on the ground in Concepcion Chile. There were reports of widespread food looting, but then they said “well… not really” and never explained what that meant, totally. Was there looting or wasn’t there? Was it only 3 people stealing food? Or was it thousands but they were all throwing wads of cash into a buck and leaving said bucket of cash outside the managers office? Or what?

Anyway, this poor reporter on the scene has really drunk the Kool Aid. First she seemed kinda shocked that curfew in the city proper applied to journalists like her. To THINK! It must be really bad if they didn’t let her special butt out to see. And she kept repeating in her report about the absence of gov’t forces and how HORRID that was. She described how order was pretty much maintained even without cops to tell people what to do, and folks were forming their own bucket brigades for transportation of fresh water where it was needed. In other words, without gov’t forces present everything was going fine, considering a huge earthquake had done a lot of property damage and killed hundreds. And she seemed gobsmacked. That things were horribly wrong because there wasn’t government types around to solve the peoples problems.

Lady! The absence of The Man, when there is no loss of law and order and decency, is a feature, not a bug.

You WANT gummint men with guns to tell you what to do when things go bad? You NEED that? And by the report it sounded like people were obeying the requested curfew without being forced to by men with guns, and people were going out during the day to do bucket brigades for water, and the reports of looting were unconfirmed from what the reporter could hear.

Sound to me Chile and Chile's people are working exactly how they are supposed to, considering the bad circumstances of a natural disaster. Good on them. Shame on NPR journo.

Of course the NPR journo might not have been properly reporting civic unrest, murder and mayhem. Or agitation was occurring beneath the surface and a paralyzed deaf and blind man could tell it was coming. If there was such riotous behavior, then yes, law and order might need to be restored and gov't representatives might, in many cases, be good for that. She wasn't reporting that. She was reporting quiet, and she was reporting absence of saviors coming down from on high from their homes in Official Bureacratic Buildings to be seen, 'helping'. As I said, both of those 2 conditions are good things.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I have a vague recollection from my ROTC days. There were some guys that wanted to be SEALs. Only one, that I know of, actually got to BUDS training. And he was a bit of an ass. Don't know what happened to him after. He could of washed out or he could be, right now, under Osama bin Laden's bed waiting for the guy to fall asleep, and then...

Anyway, these fellows 20 years ago were studying any material about SEALs that they could get their hands on. They came to the same conclusion that the literature and everyone else did. The “M-16 sucked!” More importantly, the secretive SEALs used a BETTER rifle… A rifle that HAD to be better because the SEALs used it. (you see where this is going?) Why the rest of the US military didn’t use this weapon was a mystery to us, but the DoD can be stupid, we all figured. The thing is, the weapon designer for this wonder weapon was the same guy that designed the M-16. Eugene Stoner.

And now, since time has passed and Al Gore invented this wonderful intarwebz thingy and research is easy and something triggered a dusty memory in my head and I need blog fodder…

The ultimate, coolest, yet mysterious, fighting rifle (according to us college idiots ca 1988) The Stoner 63.

Now let me sum up what the internet thinks of it today, and what I’ve learned past the 20 year old notion of “it’s just COOL!”

It works like the SAW is supposed to. As a mag fed or belt fed light machine gun. But it’s ALSO modular, so you can switch to a carbine version or whatnot. It’s .223. When it came out I don’t know of any other belt fed .223 guns there were extant, so that was a good thing for the time, and I can understand why small SEAL teams would want a to do a lot of shooting.

It looks to be piston operated, instead of direct gas. No spring in the buttstock, so you can make it a folder back there for mucho compactness.

It fires from an open bolt. That can't be ideal for long range accuracy, and there is no single-shots possible, unless you are very good with the trigger. But for automatic fire... yeah you may want that open bolt.

For the time it was kinda novel. So that's good. I guess, in a parallel universe, where this gun is adapted instead of the M16, we wouldn't be complaining about the lack of gas piston today. But we'd still be complaining about .223, the open bolt, and who knows what the Stoner 63 weakness in mass use would have proven to be.

It's weight is comparable to a M16 when used like an M16 and to a M249 when used like a M249 (or M240).

Ok, that all makes sense. So far.

Looks like drawbacks were: 1) the Army Ordinance folks had it in for Stoner, just like they did for the AR, and gimped the development process. 2) the system sounds kinda maintenance intensive, from what I can read about it. Certainly compared to the M16. 3) the open-bolt thing.

And the design was overcome (made superfluous) by events, with the adoption of the SAW and the relative modularity of the M16 now. A short production run of Stoners just eventually got replaced by newer guns that did the same things as the older rifles wore out.

So they were kinda good, and were kinda cool. Not hugely revolutionary then, and not even too unique, today. It looks normal. But no, it is not a magic wand of bad-guy-killing some may have assumed in their useful exuberances.


Hey, T-Bolt! What the difference between open bolt and closed bolt. I'll tell you! But in another upcoming post.


UPDATE. OOOOooo! Look at that picture. The short fluted carbine barrel is on the rifle, but beneath it was the easily swappable heavy barrel and rifle barrel, to give you a comparison.