Friday, December 31, 2010


So I've been reading about the Boberg XR9S on Oleg's site and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. 

Yes yes, the magazines are loaded weird for the very compact pistol's novel operating system.  But it's something else...

Ah-HA!  It's a Noisy Cricket!

The trigger guard on the pistol put me in a mind for the prop.

I kinda like it.  The Boberg 9mm.  Well, I like the Men In Black movie rey-gun, too.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Woot again

SAF case in MD not dismissed.  Small victory.  Case for shall-issue, here, marches on.

Had the State succeeded in getting it dismissed we'd have been back at square one or further back.  5+ years from legal relief.

Speaking of Survival

Stuff like THIS scares the heck out of me. Almost as bad as Zombies

Significant Coronal Mass Ejection or a Nork EMP in the troposphere or what have you.  All BAD-bad.  And blogging would discontinue for some time. 

If it happened today some of you readers would die of exposure this winter.  Others would starve by summer.  Those like me that work with computers for a living won't be anymore.  And we'll run the risk of heart attacks from the increase physical activity when we turn to stoop labor to try to get by.  Frank might be able to plant plenty of crop because farms would get high priority on fuel and seed this Spring, but by the fall will fuel still be there to get his harvesters going?  And if it is will the fuel be there to get the corn and soybeans to me to eat all the way out here on the East Coast?  And does anyone have a recipe for soybeans?  I have no idea how to prepare them for eating.

Survival Meme

You can bring 10 things with you getting dropped into the jungles of Borneo.  What do you bring?

I know, I know, this is weak sauce.  Personally I'd bring a major caliber revolver and 1 bullet and that's it.  I hate the jungle.

You aren't there for any purpose other than you probably want to leave there someday soon.  Keep in mind the political and legal framework of Boreo and your precautions thereby.  Presume you are wearing a flightsuit and helmet, jungle boots, and that parachute.   You have all your shots.

Now what?

Satellite phone and bank account numbers you can transfer to other people is a way to go.  A list of phone numbers of people to call.  So, one phone, one list, and 8 bank accounts.  You call people on your list and beg for help, using the bank accounts one at a time to pay/bribe them for assistance to get you the hell out of there?

No, that goes against the spirit of the thing.  Assume you are walking out and not communicating with the outside world.  And you gotta carry your stuff out of the airplane so you aren't bringing a dirtbike and a recoiless rifle.  Personal items.  10 of them.  Including any additional attire you may desire.  Try to restrict your self to one firearm, if any.  That and 4 reloads for same count as 1 item of the 10 you are restricted to.  If you want more ammo, each reload counts as 1 item.  Not that you'll be shooting your way out of Borneo solo.  Think downed pilot surviving post ejection.  In the hot and steamy jungle.  And we aren't at war with Borneo.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cool Esoteria, Firearms Specific

Oooo, cool website about Forgotten Weapons.  Thanks Hell In A Handbasket for the tipoff.

Luger style action on a rifle?  Of COURSE! 

A Mauser semi-auto 10 years before WWI?  Neat!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Retrospective

The year is winding up, and I am a little low on blog fodder, so I might as well put up a year end retrospective. 

This year I purchased a snub nosed pistol of the S&W 640 variety, and a Ruger 10/22 for the heck of it so I'd be ready for Appleseed training if I work up the gumption for that. 

I bought a lot of ammo and, more importantly USED it.  It had been an unofficial new years resoltion to practice more, and I did.  For a few months I was going to the range every Thursday.  I need to do that some more in the coming year.  Plus non range practice at home.  Dry fire drills and, importantly, holster drills.

I got some more official pistol training this year, and hope to be back again in 2011.   It'd be nice to try to actually go to 3 classes this coming, so let's make THAT the quasi-resolution.

Possible gun purchase for 2011?  I've been toying with that 100 year anniversasy celebration to get a new Combat Commander 1911.  Well, new to me.  It seems I should probably buy an older series 70 model and get it modified to suit my needs.

What else is on the shopping list?  Not much.  I'm not in a hurry to get a lot more.  But opportunities do come along and fall into one's lap.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ok, I did get ONE thing...

One things that was firearms related this Xmas?  The 1975 Shooter's Bible.

So what good is a 35 year old gun guide?  Oh, it's tremendously interesting.  To me.  A couple Christmases ago I got The New official gun book: 1954-55. By Charles R. Jacobs.   So what good is a 55 year old and a 35 year old guide?

It shows the historical progression.  It's what gunnies were into, back then.  Before the internet and gun blogs and websites THESE books were the only way to spread information among enthusiasts.

Plus the Shooter's Bible has prices.  Lessee... Here we are.  An all steel Colt Commander .45 costs the same as a Government Model.  Series 70.  $159.  Yes, I'll take 2.

A box of .45 ammo cost $10 back then.  That's a lot higher than I'd figure and makes it seem that ammo prices have beaten inflation in the intervening 3+ decades.  16 boxes of ammo was worth one gun in 1975.  For a $800 pistol you'd have to have 26 boxes of .45 at $30 a box in 2010.

There are no price lists in the 1955 book.  I probably don't want to know how cheap stuff was back then when my father was in high school.  It'll just make me waste more cycles on getting that time machine up and running.

It'll take some time to pour through this tome.  It's the gift that keeps on giving.  Oh look!  Llama pistols.
If I find intersting bits I'll report back to the blog.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sweetest Ship in the Verse

Gingerbread Serenety, Firefly class.

Sig Product

When I saw this entry I thought it read that Sig was coming out with an 8 shot .50 BMG pistol.

I knew there was a magazine fed Desert Eagle pistol in .50 BMG, but I had no idea Sig was jumping on that band wagon.

I was shocked to learn there was a SINGLE shot .50 BMG pistol.  I knew about the .600 Nitro revolver.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Go spend time with your family. 

Alternatively, if you have the gumption and Santa is a gunnie, post what fun firearms related gift you got in the comments.

Friday, December 24, 2010

First Person Shooter

I guess this is what's coming out NEXT Christmas.

Can I like these short films and still be appalled at the 4 Rules Violations?   Well not appalled.  Uncomfortable.

Zombie Holiday

#4. Give your children guns...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Story

Christmas Gun Buyers Guide

Oh noes!  Why post this so close to Christmas when the lines at the gunstores are out the door and parking is a madhouse!

Ok, ok.  I'm probably not telling most of you gift-recievers anything you don't already know.   And most potential gift BUYERS have learned this lesson, too. 

It's hard to put up a real Buyers Guide.  There are too many factors when selecting a gun.  The personal preferences alone are nigh impossible to nail down when buying for someone else.  It's like putting up a generic car buyer's guide.  "Tell me what car I want..." "Easy... You want a Honda Civic.  Next."

Plus there is the whole issue of buying a gun FOR someone else, even if you know the exact thing they want, and getting into hot water with the FFL and/or the BATF for straw purchasing.

If you are buying Junior his first .22, well I can’t help you in selecting that.  Junior’s mentor is way ahead of me on that. 

Buying Uncle Jimmy, who collects French Army Blurfles, another Blurfle is a possible thought, but if he is really a collector what are the chances you will get him a variant he wants?  He might still appreciate the trade fodder for the next swap meet of Blurfle Collectors.

No, there really isn’t any true Buyer’s Guide I can put up here unless the recipient has been VERY specific on make and model. 

“Well how bout accessories when I don’t really know what my target giftee prefers?” you may be asking.  This angle is a little easier, but not much.  Gunnies like pistol shaped cufflinks the same way YOU enjoy cufflinks related to your job or hobby.  Same with gunnie themed socks, ties, etc.

You could spy a bit for ideas.  Is her range bag too beat up?  Is his hard rifle case over dented?  A new model, even with an upgrade in quality, can be good.  Notice they use plain old ears for hear protection?  Get them the electronic sound dampening kind!  Even if that gift is their SECOND set, they now have a spare for taking n00bs to the range and still be able to hear each other.

Plinking ammo in a caliber they actually own is your best bet.  If someone gave me 10mm or .357 Sig I’d go all gift face, as I don’t own a gun in those calibers.  Nor do I know someone with that flavor heater that I could even TRADE with. 

So, give them a 500 count box of .22.  If they don’t own a .22, well, they SHOULD.  And it could be a lifesaver during the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

[Update:  I had a dream on this very subject, last night.  Someone gave me a gun pricing guide from 1933.  As if they had collector price guides back then.  The prices were sick.  I have no idea how accurate they were, but a funtioning Colt SAA for pennies?  That can't be right.  In the same gift was a collection of news magazines with story titles like "What will the end of Prohibition mean to YOU!" with advice on how to conduct your life.  Don't worry buddy.  I'm sure people muddled through somehow.]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yay, Metrocons

National Review came down on our side in a comment about that idjit in the NY Times.  The one where a so-called college professor attempts to re-argue the settled historical background that lead to the Heller decision.

Ouch.  Good snark.

I love it when staind Country Club GOP outlets show up on the side of the angels. 

Well, Levy isn't a super-NRO-regular, I guess.  When Ponomoru or Lopez comes out for the 2nd we'll have arrived, then.


Our side has fun.  Shooting is fun.  We have conventions where we see wonders and varieties of firearms and accessories, some of which we may be shopping for.

Some think our side is winning because of this positive culture.  A shooting community. 

Anti-gunners can’t go out and have fun with their anti-guns.

So how did they expect to prevail, politically, when they took up their hue and cry?  The same way the anti-saccharine folks prevailed. Or the anti-DDT people.  Or the anti-litter people.  Anti-nuke power.  Anti what have you.  A safety precaution for the sake of defenseless children.

Now there is a constituency of folks that wanted artificially sweetened beverages.  And one that wants electricity.  And on that wished there were fewer bedbugs and mosquitoes.  But there are alternatives to their wants.  Electricty can come from burning coal or hippies, it doesn’t have to come from fission.  Other things kill bugs, and sweeten liquids and if we don’t look too hard we won’t find out they are just as bad what they are replacing.  (Or the exact same thing!  Di-hydryl-flouratene-8,2!  Kills bugs and sweetens tea!)

But the shooting community is different than the ‘insecticide community’.  It is more positive and pervasive.  And our opponents want ALL our stuff gone.  No guns anywhere.  The anti-DDT people were just against DDT, not all insecticides.  (well... ostensibly.)

In fact, the anti-gunners sorta started this way.  They didn’t want to ban all guns, they said.  Just cheap handguns, or just all handguns.  That’s why Brady was originally “Hangun Control Inc” or somesuch. 

But now, they are a bit rudderless, and have been since their high water mark in the mid 1990s.  I don’t think they have a coherent plan at this point.  The most effective anti-gun types like Joyce and Bloomberg are still doing what they can to nibble at the margins.  But even they are waiting and praying and hoping for the political landscape to change back their way. 

It’s our job to try to KEEP the mood from swinging. 

But the point I was making…  The pro-gun side is like a car club and swap meet.  The anti-side is like a group of concerned mothers in a blue ribbon study worried about saccharine and what it will do to THE PRECIOUS CHILDREN!!!  And who could be pro-saccharine?
Starts at about the 3:54 mark...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another M1A stock option

From McMillan, an M1A stock called the M3A.  

Look!  A non wood stock!  I bet I can get McMillan to just sell me the stock…  

But look again.  All that aluminum rail up front.  You’d want and use maybe 15% of that acreage, the rest is dead weight.  But I shant be too hasty…  Let’s see what else McMillan has to offer.

Well hush my puppies, they DO have stocks without extra stuff.  In fact you can customize the extra stuff you DO want.  4 inches of rail here, but not there… that sort of thing.  Oooo, I better not look at the price list and whether or not I’d need to glass bed this sucker…  From their website:

So that’s good, but that also sounds pricey.  Still, nice to have options.
“McMillan's stocks are custom made to your order. Rather than having to settle for a few off-the-shelf configurations, we give you great flexibility in ordering a stock exactly to your personal specifications. Due to the custom, technical nature of our products, we highly recommend that you consult with one of our product representatives during the ordering process. Feel free to call us by phone and discuss your project. We are always happy to spend time with a shooter to make sure you get exactly what you need.”

Monday, December 20, 2010

Commander Conclusions

Looks like my best bet, now, after finding flaws in previous selections, is to go Colt XSE or Les Baer Concept VII or VIII.  Maybe an all stainless Sig.

What I thought was under control got out of control fast.  Still not fully reined in.

The Les Baer already has the tritium sights while the Colt does not.  The Colt is much cheaper, however (and with a LOT of lower quality parts...).  The Sig's problem is no thumb safety on the correct side, but it has the advantage of no bump on the grip safety.  Not known if the Colt has a thumb safety in the correct position.

Might as well go custom.  I've thought about a actual lefty frame from Caspian and go from there.  It would shoot brass off to the left.  But I like the mag release on the regular 1911s.

List of requirements for a Commander sized .45 1911 for 2011:
  • all steel construction
  • GI style guide rod
  • lefty thumb safety
  • shrunken low-profile safety on the right hand thumb safety side
  • no bump on the grip safety
  • tritium sights
  • standard 'other' enhancement that 1911s tend to have these day, like polished feed ramps and flared ejection ports   


Total non sequitir...   Colt Commander in .38 Super...  Forget I even said that.  That line of thought is a big rabbit hole.


Further conclusion... Just bite the proverbial bullet and get the high end gun...   Hmph.  At least that old skool .38 Super was made with forged parts instead of crumble-MIM.


Further, further conclusion...  If you don't buy the high end buy the old gun of some nature.  You ain't getting away with $800 for this purchase.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I got nuthin'.

Was on such a good roll, content wise. I was way ahead on posts and post ideas.

Lessee... I don' have anything on my Xmas list that is really gun related that I might get. Books maybe. No hardware.

I'm trying to think of something that a family member would actually get me.

I wish Santa would bring something to make things like ammo and Sig 229 mags not say "Out Of Stock".

Saturday, December 18, 2010

.44 Special

I like the idea of .44 Special revolvers.  Never having fired one, I assumed that the bullet would be like .45 ACP, big and heavy with similar recoil as a 1911.  I may have assumed wrong, at least on the felt recoil, based on descriptions from those that don’t have to assume.  The case length of a .44 Special is 7mm more than a .45 ACP, and very little effort on these here internets could have put paid to possible flaws in said assumption

So that got me internet researching.   I knew that Elmer Keith would be involved because of his interest in and development of magnum stuff.  But I hadn’t considered how old the .44 Special actually was.  1908.  Then I remembered that Garfield was assassinated with a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special in 1880sumthin… Waitaminnit…  Even my faulty memory about the age of the round is confused.    Yes, Garfield was shot with a .44 Bulldog, but not a Charter, and not a .44 Special.  It was a .442 Webley.
Cool.  No telling where a corrective bit of wiki-surfing can take you.

Back to the present day.   I am convinced of the efficacy of .45 ACP, like I said, so I sorta wouldn’t mind carrying a .44 Special maybe.  This extends from Jeff Cooper’s effective indoctrination.  But thinking on that… Col Cooper never much mentioned .44 revolvers.  .357, yes, but not .44…

However, I had no idea that some factory loadings of .44 Special ammunition are enough to prematurely wear out the lighter framed variants of the pistols.  And if the lighter framed variants are made as tough as possible and don’t structurally wear, there is still the problem of the recoil causing issues with the popping the bullets ‘forward’ out of the cartridge case.  Yikes.  I’m gonna assume that Saucy Trollop’s .44 S&W 629 Hunter with a 10 inch barrel can eat .44 Special all day with nary a notice, and has enough mass to not be popping lead out of brass.  

There is one other slight problem with .44 Special.  The expense and scarcity of the ammo at the purveyors of fine firearms and firearm products. 

So I should probably stick to a model 625 and its .45 ACP if I absolutely HAVE to have a .4x inch revolver someday.

Friday, December 17, 2010

B'lieve, Hon

It's pronounced "Bawlmer, Murlan."  And "hon" has up to five syllables if you listen close enough.

Combat Commander Champion Addendum

Forgot to mention on this gun I am thinking on some day:

What modifications?  I hate that little bump on the back bottom of the grip safety.  I've never had a problem mashing in the smooth kind, so I'll undoubtedly quickly swap that out with my local gunsmith (in case there is some fitting required).

Also, whatcha bet there is a full length guide rod hidden in this photo?  I can swap that out for the standard recoil spring plug easily enough my own self.

And that's it of required changes.  I might as well miniaturize the thumb safety on the side I don't use, too.  So 3 parts.  Nothing else needs to be monkeyed with, as it comes with Tritium sights.  I likes them.

Update:  BULL BARRELS and no GI style barrel bushing?  Crap.  Square one. 

Where are the decent GI style barrel Commanders?  I mean besides stuff like the Officer size Les Baer.  Or the slightly larger Les Baer.  (Note:  Lack of left hand thumb safety on the second link)  Oooo, concept VIII.  LB calles them 'Commanche' size.  One in non-stainless is a Concept VII.

Smiff?  Crap.  Scandium seems to be what they offer for the frame.  Better double check the Les Baers for all steel construction, too, or cross them off the list.  If so, I'm back to pure custom or get lucky with a used or new Colt (O4012XSE).  Maybe investigate what SIG has on offer, too.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What if Obamacare...

Actual quote of the day, Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli:

"Never before in our history has the federal government ordered Americans to buy a product under the guise of regulating commerce. Imagine if this bill were that in order to protect our communities and homeland security, every American had to buy a gun. Can you imagine the reaction across the country to that?"

Referring to the Health Care Act requirement that everyone must buy insurance for the whole 10,000 page healthcare boondoggle to even work.

Hmmm. It would be nice if every American had a rifle. But I wouldn't force it on you. I'd make that my starting position and compromise down to "Every American CAN buy a gun.  And use it for all prudent legal purposes" in a debate with a gun rights restrictionists from the Brady whatchamacallit. I want to meet on the middle ground, after all.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Next?

Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse from Nathaniel Lindsay on Vimeo.

Watch out for Collander-Wearers. Heck they ORIGINATE in Australia


Hey, January is half a month away. That the start of 2011. One hundredth anniversary of the Army adoption of the .45 Colt automatic pistol, designed by John Browning (pbuh).

So, what kind of 1911 are you gonna buy next year to celebrate?

Followers of this blog know I’m kinda sweet on getting a Combat Commander. A shortened 1911, but still all steel. I know, I know, getting anything but a Gov’t size on this anniversary is a bit less traditional, but how many of youse are going PURE original and getting a 1911 in pre-WWI configuration? I didn’t think so.

Now, what KIND of Commander sized 1911 will I get? Well, it will either be a very expensive near full custom job or just off the rack semi-budget Springfield. (It's 'budget' compared to custom...)

If custom, I’d make the safety on the left hand side of the pistol that you right handers use be super small and streamlined and the other side largish. Definitely a melt job, too. Finish? Haven’t decided. There are pluses and minuses to all stainless, but this is going to ostensibly be a carry 1911. And the basic Springfield version of this gun in my configuration is the Loaded Champion in Stainless steel, 4” barrel, part # PX9142LP. A cool grand or so. Yeep.

I’ll get a quality holster with it too. Probably ox-blood in color. I have an all black IWB carry holster, so a different color will make it easier to tell at a glance what I am looking at.

At least I've centered on a specific model number for The List.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Every Kill

Kinda cool.

I hope the second season of Walking Dead has an episode that's like this for the full hour.

Not a good undeath count thus far, considering.

Shottie Zombie

See? Some are taking my advice to heart. Don't rely on a shottie for Zomdefense. Absolutely. I've harped on it time and again here. It's low capacity, slow reload and heavy ammo make it impractical for more than and a handful. Zombies never come in handfuls. If you see one, like roaches, 20 zombies are hidden nearby. Guaran-dang-teed.

And while I dislike AR pattern rifles, they may be the ideal anti-zombie firearm. FN's PS90 might be better if ammo was more pervasively available.

And a bonus link to why a Zombacalypse is not only possible, but probable, in less than 3 years. Money quote: "Do the math people!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Resurgent PSH

The Washington Post is running with the Mexican Gun Canard. At least they aren't claiming that dealers are guying machine guns and hand grenades and Houston's Carter Country Stores.

And Justice Breyer is spouting off saying how he wants to rule on what he thinks the 2nd Amendment SHOULD be rather than what it is.

You can't turn your back on restrictionists. They'll steal a mile if you let them.

M1A Stock

This is just to remind myself how much I WANT this stock. For my M1A.

I need to calm down before my bank account melts down.

First, I need to see reviews about it.

Then I need to actually handle it. To see how heavy it feels in my hands. I don't want to add weight to an already heavy rifle. Most other stocks I've handled are too front heavy.

This one has promise. Usually when you buy aftermarket M1A stocks they are bristling with rails. I prefer to just get a few. Why have 6 feet of rails, 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock when you will use maybe a foot and a half? So that's a nice feature with this stock. You can add on after purchase.

Then there are the options to add. Like a picatinny rail underneath ($59), an adjustable cheek piece($199), sling swivels ($39), titanium instead of aluminum bearing surfaces ($179). So, what? We're up to an additional $500? Total $1100. For a stock.

See what I mean about taking a big breath.


I'm not setting up my M1A for long range sniping type activity. Which makes me think I should save my money and just go for a top rail and keep the walnut.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Too much undead

Wow, that's been a lotta zombie posts for me lately. I'll work on varying it up. Get some more shooty shooty instead of brainsy brainsy. But where else you gonna get this vital zombie information? MSNBC sure isn't covering it. When the Washington Post does it's on page A27. Not even FoxNews does much. Fools. All of them.

I'll hand it to those Metrocons at National Review. They don't wholly ignore the undead menace.

Zombie Links

No thinkery, just linkery.

A new to me website.

And tips for surviving the Zombacalypse.

Here is a Zombie Shelter you can tow with your Mini-Cooper. IF you select a membrane that is teef-proof.

Zombie neurobiology from a Harvard psychiatrist. So now we'll know makes them sad? That's interesting... You know what makes me sad? YOU DO!!! Jack wagon.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Zed Fighting Techniques

No not what YOU do to defeat them, what THEY do to come after you. You should know what your quarry is capable of before you go up against them. What strengths in their ‘tactics’ they have that you need to avoid, what weakness you can exploit.

A lone Zombie is mostly an Opportunistic Ambush Predator. YOU are the prey. They are silent and still and often hidden until you stumble into lunge range. Over short distances they are fast enough. And they don’t have to kill you outright, naturally. Just that quick first bite and you are doomed.

When entering a new area like a room, it’s important to not charge in. The military version of dynamic room entry with quick stack up then pour in, each team member slicing the pie and responsible for their own specific area is less effective. First, the enemy isn’t shooting back, he’s biting back. You don’t have to hurry up to get out of the kill-frame of the door when going up against them. A more cautious approach is called for. Assuming you have no remote cameras or mirrors or fiber optic tentacles to slip under a door you have to do quick peaks, ALL over. The corners and nooks and under things as well.

A little word on that ‘under thing’. Most zombies will bite you near where their mouth level is, obviously. So why not armor your face, arms and torse? Because there are zombie kids at chest height. So armor your waist too. Nope. There are also the draggers. And they get under everything. A quick snatch and then bite right on your Achilles tendon can ruin your day. You’d have to don something bite proof from toes to topknot. It doesn’t have to be a full set of knight’s armor. The right kind of reinforced fabric can do it. But it’s generally impractical. You can’t go to Hecht’s and buy the Zombie-proof jump suit anymore. (Hecht’s closed. Sad day when that happened…) But Hecht’s didn’t sell them even back in the day. No one does.

So a quick peek into a room is called for. Preferable AFTER you knocked a small hole in a door to be sure they aren’t 2 dozen zombie college students in the lecture hall waiting for you to open the door. At any rate, have your fall back and egress routes all planned out ahead of time in these enclosed spaces. Have back up routes in mind. Have hole up places in mind you have already cleared. You gotta stay flexible and avoid the tunnel vision. A level head helps alleviate the imminent peril. Listen to that little voice in your head that says “this might be a bad idea.” Stay alert, don’t be complacent. Just because you cleared a place doesn’t mean one shamblor didn’t sneak in and re-occupy.

Now, aside from being an opportunistic ambush predator, Zombies are also Persistence Hunters. There are theories that pre-historic hunter gatherer homo sapiens were the same. We have no fangs or claws and aren’t that fast, but humans can lope longer and farther than the critters we like to eat. So we can jog down an elk like critter until it is exhausted. As long as we can follow the trail we will eventually eat. Zombies are similar. They are a bit slower, but they don’t need to rest. And they have uncanny tracking abilities at times. To counter this, apart from retiring the zombie, you can trap them in pits and alleys and such. Not putting your guard down is the best preparation, unless you have a fool proof impregnable hole up spot that you can also escape from if surrounded. Or are prepared to remain there for a long long time. If you have enough ammo, or can funnel them into something deadly, you can lead a large group of zeds to your hole up spot and reduce their numbers. In this way you are using their strength against them. MBtGE thought the quarry like situation in Walking Dead would be a perfect way to kill zombies. Figure out a way to attract them to the edge with bait, then have the bait be suspended over the edge of the big drop into the deep hole, then beckon them over. Some sort of cable car would be the way to go, maybe. Or a trap door on a platform. Maybe with a bridge out over the edge so the zombie behind will push over the hesitating zombies in front.

Finally, Zombies have that Feeding Frenzy predation technique. Sheer numbers overwhelm you and your shelter and they seem to get a bit faster when this happens. Your only hope in this circumstance is to effectively flee. Panic is your bigger enemy here. With panic, plus fatigue from running, you get blind to possible escape routes. At least your end will come quick.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Zombie Symbology

George Romero famously used his zombie motifs in film to explore societal critiques of racism and over-materialistic, consumer driven, capitalist culture. You see, Americans are mindless voracious buyers of things. Like zombies are voracious eaters of brains. And that's bad. Or something.

Well TWO can play at that game.

Look at Walking Dead, the "Hit new drama on AMC". Yes, the survivors aren't angels. They are people, with all their flaws, but with redeeming virtues too. The zombies are an unstoppable force that want to take away everything from the survivors. They are mindless, yes. But evil in their own way, as they adhere to no moral code other than feeding their own desires.

The survivors want to just live their lives as best they can, and they want the hungry and powerful majority to leave them alone to do so.

So the living are Burkean libertarian conservatives... heck right of center Americans, that want to be left alone, but are now forced to live off the gains made at a more enlightened previous time where progress and growth and free exchange of value for value without interference was the norm. And the Zombies are the unstoppable government, a hungry Leviathan, and parasitic dependent class that bespoils and destroys all it touches because it has grown out of control. It's such a huge problem that they'd do harm even if benign by nature just from their great numbers. But they aren't benign. They are always malevolent. They feel entitled to feast upon the productive, or those that would be productive if they weren't constantly fleeing to hide from those eaters. And sometimes, they convert the survivors. Make them one of them. Turn them INTO this corruption against their will.

That's sorta how I always saw it.


Who is John Galt? WHO is Zed Shamblor?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Walking Dead Season Finale

Spoilers to Follow.

Chekhov (not the navigator on the NCC1701) said something to the effect: "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there."

Well, Sheriff Grimey Grimes found a grenade in the 1st Act, and in the 6th he finally got to use it.

Ok, that season is in the can. I like it, but sometime the writing is stretching. Magical CAT scans at CDC? Computer controlled and voice activated building? A FANCY building in the center of town, and architectural wonder, but with a mission you don't want folks to know about?

I know gummint buildings. It should be designed in New Soviet Union concrete esthetics. And probably be on a military installation to better protect it.

You got fuel for the fuel air bomb for the self destruct sequence, but not the generator?

Sheesh. A bit forced.

But that doesn't mean I don't like it. I mean, hey, ZOMBIES. I'll certainly catch the second season. I'm just worried it's trying to jump the shark. Explode the fridge.

I'd like to see our merry band of survivors, shrinking all the time, start to show some competence in the second season. Also, some more zombies. I am avoiding seeking out the comic book and graphic novel for this to avoid my own self-spoilers, though I do know they've already deviated from the source material on the TV.

I have a feeling I know what Doc Jenner told Grimes in that whispered convo at the end. "You know that blood test I took? Yeah, your missus is gravid. And the blood is kinda whiney and impulsive so the Deptuty is probably the baby-daddy. Oh, you didn't know she was doing the woodland clearing waltz nekkid with that guy less that 12 hours before you came back and were cutting a slice off that loaf? So yeah, could be either, but I'm thinking it's your best buddy. Well I hope she took a swim in the quarry between the two of you at least..."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Foreign Friends

You know, I have international readers. A little provincial blog like this. Imagine that. I guess people the world over need information on combating the zombie threat.

It’s not like I have a lot to offer international readers. A few cracks at England for its restrictions that even George Orwell saw the danger of. Orwell understood. Or maybe they like the spectacle of some Yank savaging the Mother Tongue. And there are a few cracks at France for being France. But that’s about it. Nothing about Canada or Australia, two nations with a similar genesis and sensibilities as ours, and arguably closer allies than even Britain on the national scene. Australia is the only country that has been our ally in every conflict we’ve engaged in in this century and the last (or we with them). Well, I don’t know about the Spanish American War. I better look that up. They were even singing Waltzing Matilda in Indochina in the unpleasantness there 40 years ago. Good scrappers and loyal friends, those Aussies. I still marvel at what they did to stem the tide at Port Moresby. As important if not moreso than our efforts at Guadalcanal and Midway.

But Brazil? Sweden? Russia? I’m sure there are English speakers there, but I’m amazed they would find me. But they do. Probably through their countries’ Google search engine.

Welcome, at any rate, whomever and wherever you are. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Revolver Like

Frank James pines wistfully for lost popularity of revolvers

I came late to the shooting game. I’m not the youngun type he describes as I have recently passed the 4-0 line. But I came to the shooting hobby late, so there was every chance I’d have youngun sensibilities and eschew revolvers as well. But longtime readers know that I have old fashioned ideas…

As a kid, when my imagination was easily capturable and paradigms were set in my head, revolvers were still what the police carried. And, knowing then, sensibly, that I didn’t know how semis ‘worked,’ revolvers had an appeal. Years and years before I bought a gun I pictured situations where I’d actually deploy one legitimately. I puzzled through in my head that if I needed one, worst case, it would be a stressful situation, and it’d be at 3AM, and I’d have been woken from a sound sleep and not quite mentally in the game yet. A revolver would be handy to have, as I wouldn’t have to consider whether I needed to disengage a safety or rack a slide or all that other mysterious stuff you needed to do with a semi that I didn’t yet know. I figured by this time I’d have learned the operation of any semi-auto I might have bought, but under stress or groggy my chances of forgetting EVERYTHING right at that moment was forefront in my mind. And this is my teenage or preteen brain working this all out.

You know what? It still applies. I’ve taken classes, and I’ve shot thousands of rounds by this point but just a couple weeks ago I flubbed a shot in training with the instructor using the shot clock to introduce some stress. I drew and pulled the trigger on an empty chamber of the Sig P229. Like most gun owners, some of my guns are actually loaded. The big revolver and the snubbie, and the 1911 and the Sig all are ready to go with self defense ammo. But to avoid a discharge with the semis and also to cut back on setback of the top round in the magazine, there is no round chambered. In a stressful situation I’d be pulling the trigger on the 1911 until I figured out the safety was on. Then I’d be pulling the trigger on the 1911 until I figured out there was no round in the pipe. And then it would be too late. And that is why they stay in the safe while the revolvers are accessible in the bedroom.

It will take a bit more training and a bit more familiarity before I deployed a semi auto, or a pump shotgun, for a 3AM gun.

So back to Farmer Frank going wistful for revolvers… Some of us relative younguns still like them. You know what else? I shoot the revolvers ok, too. I won’t win bullseye competitions with my Double Action work, (or Single Action for that matter, but I, naturally, do better with SA. Not that I’d do SA for self-defense) but I do hit the target well enough and fast enough with my wheelguns. Even with the snubbie. I just like the revolver. I am comfortable with it. They are good tools.

Am I, and people like me and Frank and all the other people with a medium sized revolver jones, just retrograde throwbacks, or will, maybe, revolvers make a comeback? It’d be hard to get an enthusiastic comeback among a new generation. Even upgrades to the basic design like polymer frames isn’t snazzy enough to really turn an eye. Hell, titanium wasn’t enough. Rhino type revolvers and .410 shot shooting revolvers, the same applies, I think. Not enough to rekindle the old revolver flame in a new generation and make it a truly big resurgence. And revolvers are more expensive. You can buy 2 glocks for the price of one good six gun. I believe there is a lot more hand work at manufacture that requires expensive skilled workers we just don’t have anymore and also the resultant bottleneck in manufacturing time throttling production. Simple economics.

I personally like the concept S&W came up with in a revolver upgrade. An 8-shot full size .357 with stuff like a light rail and big tritium front sight. It’s expensive, but if it had been around when I bought the 686, and I knew of its existence, I’d have jumped on it. Sometimes I have fanciful notions of dumping my semi-autos and buying XD40’s because I shoot them well, they are simple, and are all I’d ever need. Other times I consider dumping my semi-autos and just getting that 8 shot and maybe a slightly larger than my snubbie 6 gun.


What’s the difference in a snubbies accuracy compared to full size, at least in a self-defense situation? You are shooting both DA in dire circumstance, or you probably should be. The shorter sight radius isn’t that big a factor at social distances. The inherent accuracy out of the shorter barrel isn’t that big a difference… The only thing I can think of is less mass to absorb some of the recoil might make the anticipation worse for a snubbie initially and also for a follow up shot. But if you take the time to get good with a full size double action revolver shot, the snubbie trigger work would be the same of very similar with, say, two Smith and Wesson .38s. Maybe gunstore clerks SHOULD push snubbies for women (and everyone for that matter) with the caveat that they must train and practice with it, a LOT. Hmmm. Well THAT’s opening the well trod internet bugaboo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Google Fails

So I had a theory about the success of the Glock. The theory sounded good. Much of that theory loosened up a bit when it came into contact with past realities and person that remembered the state of the gun industry at that historical moment in time.

But I just can't 'google' something like "What was the state of the police adoption of the Glock pistol in 1989". Well, you CAN, and it returns good info. But it doesn't zero in on my theory.

That's what's nice about people that read my blog. They can quickly answer my ungoogleable questions and poke holes in my theories. Which I welcome very much. Tam's money comment:
"Actually, in the early days of the revolver-to-auto switchover, S&W ruled the roost, with Beretta and SIG duking it out for 2nd Place. Glock didn't really hit its stride until the early '90s. 1st gen Glock mags (aka "non-drop-free" or "non-full-metal-lined") were wretched pieces of crap that would sometimes pop their floorplates off and vomit rounds all over the place when dropped on concrete..."

Back to Glock history. Or what I can remember about it. The major news magazines loved printing anti-gun articles. So did the Washington Post. And I had access to both in my house growing up. My first memories of the Glock were anti-gun folks that were sure they would foil airport metal detectors, so they should never be allowed to land on North American shores. That was the early 80's. By the late 80's is was perfectly fine for them to be issue to police officers. That's how I remembered it. I don't remember a rash of plane hijackings with plastic pistols from the 1980s til now, so perhaps the original metal detector fears were overblown.

I lived in Montgomery County Maryland growing up. I still do. The country touches the District of Columbia on one side and has farm area on the opposite end. And I had a buddy whose dad was a County Cop. He brought home a test target to show his son in the early to mid 80's that I also saw. At the time the county was considered upgrading from .38 revolvers. This test target was shot with 3 different bullet types 3 times. It was a 1 inch thick or so piece of plexiglass. The all lead bullets of a .38 were easy to spot. They penetrated part way and spread out. And I knew what lead looked like. The .357 were easy to pick out because they went ALL the way through the plexiglass. There was a little hole on the back side. The 9mm rounds made the back end bulge, but didn't penetrate. And you could see the copper jackets embedded in the plastic. That target went a long way toward their caliber selection for a new pistol, back then, I was told. You didn't want a bullet going through a bad guy near the DC border, but you did want a little more firepower, was the thinking. So they were slowly convincing themselves that maybe a 9mm round was the way to go.

I have no idea what model Montgomery County Police switched to then to get that 9mm action.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Layers of Bob

Like most people I have a BoB. A Bug Out Bag. Actually, I have several, and they serve different purposes.

One get’s left in the car. It’s just a small school sized backpack with extra socks, gloves, poncho, small tools, TP. If I am stranded in my car somewhere if gives me some gear.

But in the house I have layers of BoBs. Depending on the situation, I can grab the quick one and have something. Or I can grab it and the next size up and add capability, or I can grab both bags and the big camping backpack. Or, if I have more time, I can grab all three and 3 rubbermaid bins to throw in the car. With that I can go and not stop for anything but gas and be able to exist when I got where ever I was going for a little while.

Now If I get separated from everything else and can only salvage one of the 4 sets of items… say just the backpack, or just the small Maxpedition bag… They all DO have some overlap. There is a multitool in each bag, for instance. There is a flashlight in each, too. Sure, duplication adds weight, but I can shed weight if I have to. I can’t conjure a compass out of thin air. Best to have that covered with spares.

So what gear is so needed you must duplicate it and spread it around the BoBs? The stuff you’d figure. Knife/multitool, flashlight, means of making fire, poncho, first aid, water, something to eat, parachute cord, something to keep you warm as simple as a hat if the bag is small but a coat and socks etc. otherwise, bug repellent, toiletries, pencil and paper, compass.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tech Sights

Oh MY removing the front sight is a task!

So the purpose of installing after market sights from Tech-Sights is to approximate the military sights I have on my M1A (or the Garand, or a an M1 Carbine, etc). Instead of a notch and post you get a peep sight near the back of the receiver and a military style protected post up front. The rear is easy enough as it mounts on two of the scope rail mounting screw holes that are already there. But you have to remove the Ruger factory sight from it's press fitted dovetail mount on the barrel.

The instructions say "use a brass punch and tap the factory sight out, left to right, with the barrel well supported."

Uh huh. Tap. Tap tap. Tap tap tap! TAP! TAP TAP! TAP TAP TAP!!!

No movement.


Ruger probably press fits it with a GREAT big machine with lots of force in a ready made jig to hold the barrel.

Brass punch? No. No way. I used steel and tried to be very careful to not mung up the barrel. So there is some stress there, trying to be careful.

The decision is made that that sight isn't going to make it out of there alive. I'll buy a replacement if I want to restore to original condition. And I'm desperate. Time is a factor because at this point it's less than a week from when I might actually need it for a training evolution.

I break out the hack saw and triangle file.

Uh huh. I went there.

No wimpy Dremel for me.

I do NOT recommend this. But it's a $250 .22 rifle. And I'm committed down this path.

Well the sight isn't aluminum. It's surprisingly resistant. But I sliced on down as close to the steel of the barrel as I dared. I figure when it gets that low it will be easy to pinch it together and relieve it from the dovetail. The triangle file was just to start the saw cut, but when the saw relief cut wasn't enough, I got aggressive filing out a v-shaped relief. More tapping. Failure. Dejection. Bedtime.

I thought on it, and came upon an important resource. Archie. My crotchety WWII veteran neighbor. He was an auto-body man back in the day of metal cars. The internet told me acetone of some other solvent might help penetrate and relieve and Loc-Tite that the factory may have used, too, so before Archie I started it on a solvent soak.

Archie's assessment? Solvent won't help. The internet don't know what it's talking about. His solution was: HEAT!

So a little blast from the propane torch for a few seconds and a good wang with that hammer and punch (careful, don't burn the hand holding the punch by touching the now very hot sight...) and... SUCCESS! Only a tiny bit of cosmetic damage from my earlier wailing on it.

Never misunderestimate the resourcefulness of a WWII veteran.

Mounting the new stuff was easy. 10 minutes following the rest of the directions. And I was able to hit the range again the next evening. Here are the targets.

The left target was the first 10 shots, but that was at 25 feet and you can't really zero at that distance. Sure enough, at 50 feet the shots were VERY high and a bit to the right. I worked on the elevation adjustment on that right target at the further range with a supported rest and got it down to what you see there (you can't see the older targets or the holes the pasters cover)

So I'm close to the zero, but not happy yet.

Things I noticed: The hole on the Tech-Sight rear is small considering how far away it is from my eye. I can get closer on a Garand configuration. Also, that dark front post is hard to see in a dim range. The 50 foot line is well lit, so it was actually easier to see the red center spot over the post when twice as far away. It's hard to adjust the windage without a ball point pen to push the detent button. I'll go down one more click and over one click before the next range trip and see where I am. I shot 150 rounds that trip, and only stopped because I was out of ammo.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bought a Gun

Not really on a whim.

There is a possible Appleseed event in Virginia that MBtGE and I may want to try to get to. Tomorrow in fact. Depends on our mood. And how cold we want to be.

So this was short notice. But my gunstore ALSO was having a sale on the 27th. So I got me a Ruger 10/22 just for that. I figured I could sight it in at the regular indoor range, install swivels for a sling, maybe even install a peep sight from Tech-Sight. I have a spare sling to put on it. Happy Day.

On my way out of the gunstore I asked the owner, "Hey do you know if any of the catalog houses make after-market items for this rifle?" He looked at me funny. I guess he knows me well enough. What DON'T them make after-market for 10/22s?

Here is the gun straight from the store after I added slings I also bought there:

I had a spare military style sling with relatively thing leather that worked a treat. It was made for a little more distance between sling points and I may need to punch spare holes or something to shorten in up even more. It's ok, I think, for fully slung up prone, but not perfect for hasty sling work.

And here is the first 50 rounds using the factory sights before the new sights were mounted. Went on Monday:

The left target is 25 feet, the right is 50. This was just a test run to check for functionality, but it looks pretty good, don't it, for standing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Zero for Elevation

Reading old Garand manuals.

I had been confused about elevation, once

I didn't get it when i first saw that, but now I think I do. Your '2' setting on the elevation was indeed for 200 yards. You'd hit a hair high at 100, and a hair low at 300 but still hit that katana wielding chargine Japanese officer somewhere on the breast bone, and that was enough. So when you zero at 200 yards you loosen the windage ring on the left side of your sight and without letting the peep sight move you set the 2 to match to the line.

And, in battle, and you have a target 800 yards out you can twist the windage gauge up to 8 and hit the breast bone of Nazi officer you are aiming out WAYYYYYYYY out there. Or at least that's how I think it's suppose to work.


Question is, how many times in history did some GI with his trusty rifle that he knows inside and out sit there on the battlefield and see the enemy was about 800 yards away and then he went ahead and adjusted his elevation?

Ok, well when did that GI do it in a non-ambush situation? In the movie Band of Brothers elements of Easy Company did open up on an unsuspecting German machine gun nest on a canal dyke in Holland, at night, and they went to great length showing some of the Airborne troopers adjusting their elevation. But the Germans were a mere 200 yards away, it seemed, so I don't know why they'd do that. And it was night, they'd have had to go by clicks count because they couldn't actually SEE the settings.

I can see making the adjustment on a flat range in a shooting competition, yes. And the ordnance developers that specced that sight when the rifle was created probably were going with range practicality, vis battlefield use, in mind.

Studies even found, after action in WWII and Korea, that a GI wouldn't shoot at something more than 500 yards away with iron sights because he wasn't sure he'd be able to reliably hit something, so it was less acceptable to give your position away to gain that meager reward. Those studies went a huge way toward the development of carbines shooting minor cartridges and gave us the M16.

Wars change. Relatively close and static trench warfare in Korea becomes jungle in Indochina becomes featureless desert in Iraq becomes sparsely vegetated mountain in Afghanistan, and longer engagement ranges make a comeback. GIs go from drafted citizen soldiers to more motivated and arguably better trained professional volunteers. Iron sights give way to a plethora of hardy optics being mounted on rifles almost universally, and a good number of THEM are able to pierce the darkness of a moonless night.

Make you wonder if that doesn't add more fuel to the warfighters debate (ignore civilian gunnie preferences!) about the wisdom of adopting the 5.56 cartridge almost 50 years ago. A 6.5ish millimeter might come in handy about now. At least the M16 types are mighty accurate at long range. (Actually, since I am ignorant of the ballistic data, I don't know if the .276 type rounds are as good at longer ranges that the .223 and .308 are. I presume they can be, but maybe they take the weaknesses of both other calibers and demonstrate that in flight. I could be way off.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pop Vote

I had an anonymous commenter go on about the National Popular Vote movement.


Not just no, hell no.

I hate the sentiment. We need MORE federalism in this country, not less. I don't want 51% of the country deciding it's ok to pee the Cheerios of the other 49%. We are not a Democracy, nor do we want to be. We are a Federal Republic. Full stop. We haven't been vigilant enough the past 100 years or so opposing inroads by the Tyranny of the Masses and that has given us problems today without piling on more. Were it to pass, the coasts would call the shots on presidential elections. You want Presidents that New York and California agree on? Well I can see that, because NY and CA are example of prudent gov't that we should all emulate... /sarcasm

If you want to be a Democracy have a Constitutional Convention and tear up the current system and then fight that Civil War after. Have the courage of your convictions. Stop trying to the change the rules of the game just because you are losing and people aren't doing what you think they should be doing. Maybe what they are doing is their bidness and not yours.

Repeal the 17th amendment while you are at it. Both are populist-progressive abominations unto Nuggan. Tyranny of the masses.

Another reason to distrust it? Maryland signed onto the nonsense as an early adopter. I bet Jimmy Carter likes the policy too.

The only reason it's had any traction is because Gore lost in 2010. And some people foolishly wanted to actually win. If Gore had prevailed can you IMAGINE the Mad Max style wasteland this country would be at this point?

A huge favor by the incoming Tea Party state legislatures would be repealing this in purple states that already passed it.

Training with a Kahr

I forgot to mention...

When I took that pistol training class the instructor had a new-to-him Kahr pm9. A little 9mm not much bigger than the plethora of KelTec .380 pocket auto clones that are out there now.

The previous owner didn’t like it and reported it jammed a lot. Craig Collins checked the instructions and noticed the manufacturer recommends a 200 round break in period where you should keep the gun well lubed. This wasn’t done. RTFM. So a good clean and an oil soak was done, and his intention was to put rounds downrange with it with his various students, to give them trigger time with a little gun and perhaps give them some malf drills. Easy break in for the pistol to let it settle, with various grip stregths &c. to see how it goes. It didn’t malf for me at all. It shot ok, too, for a small thing. The trigger is a little mushy, but it isn’t the worst trigger ever.

I didn't fall in love with it. So that puts off the purchase of a slim Kahr .40 for a bit, and lets rational thought back to the foreground rather than the "GOTTA-HAVE-IT!" acquisitional imperative.