Monday, January 31, 2011

Computer Bleg

My old computer blew up.  The recent power outages were just too much for it.  That's ok, as it was only doing duty as an email machine.  That can be transferred to the new primary maching with little effort

The old one DID have an ancient copy of Photoshop on board.  It was what I used to crop and condense pictures for this blog.  Now I am sans image editting software and I'm wondering if there are decent alternates to Photoshop.  I did very little layering and cloning before,  I just really need something that converts 3000x5000 550 MB jpgs to decently sized and cropped 700x500 100 KB gifs.

Slim .40

For my 2012 or 2013 pistol...

I'm sorta in the same boat as JayG.  (And so many other gunnies for some reason...) He's trying to cover the supposed gap between a pocket revolver in .38 and a regular size carry pistol like a .45 or .357 with something in between.  He's looking at the new mini-9mm offerings that are starting to eclipse the mini-.380s

I'm in the same boat.  But I don't want a small 9mm because I have no OTHER 9mm and don't want to introduce a new ammo type.  So I want a .40.  I've discussed this before.  A single stack .40.  So Kahr, unless the other gun companies catch up soon.  I wonder how quickly they will catch up to my line of thinking?  They never caught up to .45 carbine ideas.  To the point where I see less utility for a pistol carbine. 

(Sorry for the sparse comment, but internet connectivity has been sparse since the storm.  The storm wasn't abnormal, it's the competency of the various service providers in this country as we slowly slide into 3rd World category when it comes to various utilities.  Seriously.  Spotty utility service, ordered to boil municipal water in nearby jurisdictions, cholera in Massachusetts, malaria making a comeback locally.  This isn't 2011.  It's not even 1911.)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Goin to the well again

Yet another request to ask my readers.  Both of you.

I have a guilty confession to make.  I bought Monster Hunter: Vendetta when it came out, but haven't read it yet.

I know, I KNOW.  I enjoyed the first book, but haven't yet been in the mood for a ripping, fantastic, gun filled, violent adventure.  You can understand when you know I just finished Wodehouse's Code of the Woosters, Allistair Cooke's America, and David Sedaris' latest offering (not sure what I was thinking with this last...)

See what I mean?  I don't think I have it in me to take on Correia's work.  It'd be a shock to the system.

I need encouragement.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


We had Thundersnow this week.  Sounds cool, don't it?

Getting to thinking... few words are NOT made better with the addition of the word "Thunder!"

I'm thunderguessing a lot of you could think of some good examples.

The NY Jets endured a Thunder-beating last weekend.

THUNDERBACON!  (I'd thundereat the thunderhell out of THAT.)

I'm thirsty, but do I want thunderpunch, or pop open a tall cold-filtered bottle of thunderbeer or 9 and get absolutely thunderdrunk.

I think only the word "thigh" is not improved with "thunder."  Maybe if you added volcano to something it would be cooler.  Oooo!  Thundercano!

And with that, thunderbye everyone!  Gonna try to do that thunderbeer thing now as an experiement.

(gun content?  Thunderboomers, of course.)

Also... power went out repeatedly during the last unpleasantness.  Some of the 'lightning' I saw was actually transformer cooking off when tree limbs laden with wet snow fell on them.  Sporadic connectivity may curtail a post or two.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What is Primer Wipe

Glad someone asked that question and got it answered already.  I was beginning to wonder and getting ready to do the whole internet search thing.

Just like I already did for the strain screw on a revolver.

Series 80

NOW I now what a Series 80 is.  Besides something that can break.

Or, Now that I own one, I see what is meant by 'Series 80 1911s.'

There it this little spring loaded button underneath the back of the slide.  And a little bit of metal pop up to engage this button from the frame.  Methinks that this is some sort of firing pin block.  And it looks kinda delicate and easily broken.

The purpose of this modification is keep a sharp blow from making the gun go off.  So, I think that little pinny bit sticks up when the thumb safety is engaged, thus depressing the slide button, thus blocking the firing pin, no?   It might be up at other times, blocking the firing pin, but I haven't figured that out yet.

I don't think there is any other differences, other than the half cock hammer positioning, deep in the lockwork that I can't see.  I'm sure a commenter will correct me if I am off base. 

Well, that little lawsuit alleviator is a bit disappointing.  As something that could go wrong and lock up the whole works and make the gun fail when I kinda want it to work. 

I said 'disappointing' but I don't think it so disappointing that I necessarily need to take any action to removed the fiddly bits.  I don't know how easy it is to remove the stuff anyway and whether or not I should chuck the pin or the button or both and whether I need a gunsmith's help.  Perhaps someone can enlighten me here, too. 

I also need to figure out what else I need to do to detail strip the slide for yearly cleaning and if that Series 80 bit changes that procedure.

I called it a lawsuti alleviator, but this gun may end up being my go-to carry gun in an unsecured IWB holster, someday.  Maybe it's not such a bad thing to have this extra safety meant to help avoid discharges when a pistol falls out of a holster onto a cement mens room floor...   I'd rather read about cops getting NDs in the bathroom than having one of my own.


Whole nother thing... If the Series 80 safety parts fail, how do they fail?  I mean if they fail and all it does is make it possible for the gun to go off if dropped off the roof onto the driveway... just don't drop it off the roof.  But if it can fail and lock up the gun thus rendering it inoperable...  That's a whole different ball of wax. 

Like a car, if the radio fails, I can still drive it.  That failure is unfortunate, but I can still go thousands of miles with that failure.  If the brakes' master cylinder fails instead, or the timing belt, or the fuel pump, or what have you, I can't drive that car 1 mile.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yet Another

Yet another pro-gun article from the ultimate in Metrocon Media Organs.

It's about the horrid and injust performance of the state of New Jerseys.  Good on National Review.

If they keep this up I may have to re-assess the appropriateness of the the semi-perjorative term, 'Metrocon.' 

A song in your heart

Or maybe in your head.

At the range Sunday, Saucy Trollop was shaking the cobwebs off.  She hadn't practiced in a while.  And it showed.   She improved quickly over the session, as usual.

She shared a little secret that helped her improve.  She had an earworm running through her head and surrendered to it while shooting.  The song was Adam Lambert's What Do You Want From Me, but I don't think that's important.  Apparently singing the song in her head alleviated her standard anticipatory flinch. 

I may have to explore this technique.  See if it helps me any.

If you hear the following in the lane next to you, that's probably me:

 I learned the truth at seventeen BLAM!

That love was meant for beauty queens BANG!

And high school girls with clear skinned smiles BANG! POW!... BANG!  (mozambique...)

Who married young and then retired  KABLAM!

The valentines I never knew  POW!

The Friday night charades of youth Click.. Dammit, reload...

{Update:  Try not to pick a song you don't want witnesses explaining to a Jury at your trial after you end up in singing it aloud in an actual self-defense situation, "Yes your Honor, he was definitely singing 'Happy Birthday' as he cut down those muggers."}

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

.44 Light Strikes

So this can't be good...

Saucy Trollop, the ex, and I went to the range Sunday for some fun.  I brought both 1911s, and she brought her XD 40 and her GARGANTUAN .44 Magnum. 

About that .44, it's been getting worse over time.

I noticed when she got it, it would occasionally not go off when fired Single Action.  And since this is her preferred way of shooting that big revolver, she'd notice such behavior.  I try to train her to do the "wait 30 seconds before trying again" thing in case it cooks off late, but the lesson isn't always sticking.  I have nightmares about a round cooking off that isn't behind the barrel's forcing cone.  Especially rounds that big. 

Inspection of these duds shows a lighter than normal dimple on the primer.  Aha!  Light strikes. 

They always worked for me when I reused these and fired the cylinder double action.  Every time.  Except this last time.  We now got a .44 round with a full normal dimple on the back that didn't go off.  Damn. 

These issues have gotten more frequent over time.  Time to sideline the .44 from active service until the problem is addressed.

Solutions?  I recommended she get another ammo type.  She has Remington now.  I think she might get better performance if she had Federal types.  American Eagle and the like.  Federal has a reputation for light primers.

But that's not enough.  I am going to take this puppy to my local gunsmith and get the gun inspected.  Perhaps the firing pin has worn from use or some other adjustment can be made.  Based on how the Double Action trigger feels this used gun is well worn in, methinks.  Is a very nice DA.  And it never fails to attract attention.  One of my favorite range days is for her to accompany me, me with my snubbie S&W 640, her with the hand cannon 10" S&W 629.  Her gun always attracts attention at the range.  Moreso when they learn the little gun is mine, big burly me, and the artillery is little ol hers.

But yeah.  Gunsmith.  Definitely.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Zed Site

MORE glorious zombies.

I was tipped off to that by the World's Most Dangerous Librarian.  Who has a GREAT pic up of a group of Irishman that wouldn't cotton to the undead, no sir. 

Heinous Civil Rights Injustice

FREE John McNeil!

A man wrongly imprisoned on a trumped up charge for defending himself with a gun.

Commander Range Report

First, the trigger is crisper but firmer than my Springfield.

I had 4 failures in the range day.  What do you expect?  1911 suck, I've been told, and jam a lot.

Thing is, the brand new Colt Commander shot 100 rounds without a hitch, but the Ceiner .22 conversion, IT had the failure.  2 FTF, and 2 FTE on the last round failing to extract.  I was using OLD .22 ammo in one of the milk container cartons they sold back when.  Filthy ammo, too.

I figure 100 more .45 in the new gun and it can be considered broken in.  Ooo, and I have to test the hollow point ammo in it too. 

The mags don't fall free as easily as with the Springfield.  Let's see what a little more time does for it.

Hefting the Commander in the hand makes it seem front heavy.  Might be in my head, thinking about that plastic mainspring housing.  I don't notice a balance issue when gripping it to shoot, however.

How did it shoot, accuracy wise?  The same as when I shoot the Gov't size Springfield.  Lousy.  Low and right.  Damn flinch/anticipatory/bad-finger-placemet.  I don't need new guns, I need a new shooter.

Here is the first target:

And I did better after that practice on the second target.  Better is relative:

You can see the last magazine in amoungst the .22 holes on the right.  Meh.

After the shoot, parts arrived.  A new 'Bulletproof' slide lock and a nice chainlink pattern Ed Brown mainspring housing, and the regular length guide rod with matching recoil spring plug.  Easy peasy install.  It's like I know what I'm doing.  I didn't mung up the pins or struggle with the mainspring like I have in the past.

I was pleased enough with my new purchase that I think I'll hit the range again with it.  I mean again again, I went 2 days ago (report to follow) and 5 days ago.  What the heck, I have plenty of .45 practice ammo.  I need to order some more .40, actually.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Well... I done done it

You guys on the internet didn't do a very good job at talking me down off of buying a Colt Commander.

Things that clinched the whole scheme... The grip safety didn't have that little bump and there was no little keyed lock as part of the gun like many manufacturers have these days.  (frex: Springfield has theirs in the Mainspring Housing.)

So I got a new heater.  This goes to my "Buy a Gun Day" purchase for the upcoming April 15th gun holiday.  I doubt another heater could tempt me in the meantime.

So, first things first.  Shoot it to see how it runs.  Then modify it to suit me.  Nothing permanent, of course. Slim grips will be tried.  I'll probably take it in to get the thumb safety ground down on the left side of the gun to more closely look like the classic safety, but not right away.  I don't use that side, and it's just something to catch on things as far as I'm concerned.  I might swap out the Slide Release with a forged one.  Oh, and the guide rod will go toward the classic regular length.  The mainspring housing is, indeed, plastic, so that get's swapped.  Then shoot it again.  See if those few changes screws anything up in performance or feel.

Future items... I'll need another decent holster at the earliest convenience.  In the meantime the Galco IWB or Serpa will have to do if I carry it.

Another future item... A bit honking tritium front sight.  That would be gunsmith work, too.  Might get a white bar rear sight instead of the 2 dots, but we'll see.

So, more money poured into an expensive gun, but none such needed to get it running.  Just preference.  Lots of money.  ~sigh~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lazy Sunday

I'm heading out to the range today.  I gotta try something out...

It takes all sorts of critters

To make a batch of Farmer Francis' Fritters.

You know how we get upset when people think it's a good idea to dispense with inalienable rights?  We get kinda salty about such transgressions, yes?

There are people out there equally passionate about, and just as against, the use of some Fonts.  Chief targets of their ire include Comic Sans, Papyrus, and Copperpot fonts.  And I mean they are violently opposed.  Enraged enough to consider kicking their cat, just because they laid eyes on the offending print.  And, conversely, they love plain old Helvetica.  I don't understand the enthusiasm, but more power to em.

Strange world we live in.  They oughta sell tickets.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


So there are folks down on the 1911.  I don't understand why. 

Their biggest complaint is that "they don't run."  Granted.  I believe people when they say they experienced lots of jams with the pistol.  Generally the cause of this jam is a munged up pistol done in by an amateur home gunsmith, or a cheap 1911 I'd never rely on except as a butterknife, or from hollow point ammo in an older 1911 that wasn't built with a barrel and ramp with hollow points in mind.

If people had been routinely took a Dremel tool to the ramp of their Glock, in some misplaced self confidence, and had been for decades, you'd think Glocks jammed a lot is my guess.

Ok, adjusting and allowing for all that in the experiment... I still believe people when they say their 1911 jammed a bunch.   At least in comparison to the 'plastic' pistols.  Why?

Obviously, I don't know.  I'm still quite the n00b.  But I do have theories.  There is more handwork in the older design compared to modern pistols, and that can lead to variance between pistols.  You rarely hear of a lemon S&W M&P, Springfield XD, or what have you, but I'd think that lemon frequency would be greater in Brownings pistol variants because the design necessitates more 100 year old skilled fabrication work. 

Is that what accounts for the jammin rep? Human error?

Also:  I need to get rich and buy and fire 500 hydra-shok hollow points through my 1911 just to see if I can experience the problems others have claimed.

[Update:  Inspired by the comment...  I wonder what MBtGE would experience if he ran nothing but quality $25 aftermarket magazines through his currently 1 in a 100 jamming $300 RIA Filipino 1911...]

The A Team

So I watched that A-Team movie with Liam Neeson as Colonel Hannibal Smith.  This isn't a full review.  It was enjoyable for a fantasist action movie.

I won't get into the suspension of disbelief needed for the flying tank scene.  This is a gun blog, not an cargo plane and armor drop blog.

But the movie started OUT with a stetch. 

Hannibal is handcuffed to a chair by Mexican narco bad guys.  When they go to execute him with his Para P-14 Limited, it fails to fire.  There is no firing pin.  So they leave him for the guard dogs to eat to death.  But, Aha!  Hannibal has the pin in his hand and uses it pick the handcuff locks.  Ok, that is semi-feasible.  But then, before the dogs get to him, we see him quickly insert the pin into the pistol, presumably restoring it to full function. 

Uhhh... What? 

Perhaps someone with a Para will chime in and say "sure!  It's very easy to install the firing pin that way.  Just pull the hammer back and slide it in til it clicks."  If true, I'll be good and gobsmacked.

It takes me 15 minutes on a good day to put a firing pin into a regular old 1911, assuming it's assembled for some reason, sans pin.  And I have to be careful the sproinged pin doesn't slip and shoot into my eye and an alarmingly high rate of speed.  I'd also need a screwdriver to help push the thing down.  And be lucky and get it right the first time I tried.  That doesn't mean the Para needs that much effort, but, again, I'd be surprised if it took less time to do.

Friday, January 21, 2011

30 round mags

Well, perennial civil rights deniers are putting up a 30 round magazine ban Bill in the House that has zero chance of passing.  Especially now that keeping and bearing has been enshrined as an individual right, which a darn sight more settled compared to the last time a magazine ban came through the Congress.  This one Bill currently contemplated won't grandfather older magazines so if you own one of these magazines after a certain date, you are a felon.  Let's pretend, as a sort of a mind game, what this would mean to me if it DID pass.

I have a couple dozen 20 round magazines for the M1A, so no problem their.  I have a half dozen 12 round magazines for my Sig, so no problem there either.  And the state of Maryland knows only about two, the ones that came with the SIG pistol that the State allowed me to buy.  There is really no other mechanism for them to track anything else, and they might not even consider those.  I have 4 magazines for my .22 converion kit that hold 15 rounds, and 8 magazines that hold 7 or 10 .22 for rifles of mine.  Another half dozen 8 round .45 mags and a bunch of 8 round en bloc clips for the Garand.  But this is a ban of 30 rounders so no skin off my back.  Sure Maryland or the Feds could find out who New Jovian Thunderbolt is with warrants or cheating, I know that.  But this propose law doesn't apply to me so... no worries, right?

Except it's NOT a ban of 30 rounders.  Non-gunnies don't consider that, fixating on the '30' number because that is what that crazy dude in Arizona had, and thus a bad guy had the 30 round magazine so they must be bad things, right?  Except there is no proposed law to ban 30 round magazines as some seem to think.  It's the banning of magazines holding more than 10.  Because if you have more than 10 in your gun you can only use that for murder, the anti-2nd Amendment folks claim.  Of course police are exempt from this law.  I guess they need to murder folks or something... 

Why don't they say that?  It's an 11 round magazine ban.   Any way, I'm in Dutch with the Feds for possessing 40 of those. 

Back to the subject of the mind game...  if the Bill did... is this the line in the sand for gunnies everywhere? Not just the purists with blog screeds even scarier to Democrats than mine, but average ordinary gun owners.

The 'line' is easy when they announce they are going door to door to round up all the firearms, but that isn't likely to happen and both sides know it.  Too many would resist such overt tyranny.  So the anti-civil-rights side uses incremental approaches.  Banning magazines bigger than 10 is one of these incremental approaches.  But is that sort of ban enough to get the relatively few of us gun enthusiasts to say, "No, we won't comply."

Well, I have a little story.  Remember when Obama got elected and there was a run on the gun stores.  People bought AR's and AR clones in record numbers and it was months before they were available again.  It is the most popular gun model for home, sport, and serious target competition already.  There are a lot of lever action hunting rifles extant, but that's not the most popular rifle anymore.  And hunting isn't the most popular reason to own a rifle anymore.  People were toying with the idea that the AR should stand for America's Rifle instead of the original Armalite (AR only stands for Assault Rifle in some Leftist's fever dreams)

Guess what sized magazine is standard with the AR15 rifles?  Right!  30!  There are a bajillion ARs out there and umpty bajillion magazines with them, because folks buy spares just for normal casual plinking use.  You don't have to be a militia survivalist type stamping out you manifesto in a tar paper cabin in Montana to have a handful of 30 round magazines.  Even in Maryland, where purchase of magazines more than 20 rounds is not allowed, but possession is no issue and perfectly legal.

Beyond ARs there are pistols.  6 shot revolvers are the popular shooting iron anymore by the even GREATER multitudes of pistol owner in the country.  And the most popular pistols these days are composite framed semi-autos just like you see on the belt of a police officer.  Most of these hold 12 or 15 or a few more rounds in the magazine, standard.  Most pistols come with 2 in a briefcase sized plastic box with the pistol, nestles in a little cutout in the cushioning egg crate foam.     

If you are reading this at work (and I know you are...) and you don't work in a anti-gun enclave like DC, NYC, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco and you sit in a cubicle and have never discussed guns with any of your co-workers, I can almost guarantee you that you can throw a stapler right now and hit someone with a AR or Glock at home with at least 2 30 round magazines or 2 15 round Glock magazines.  And in DC you have Virginia and Maryland Commuters so you can probably STILL hit someone with a stapler that would be a felon and kinda upset and maybe considering not complying if such a law was passed despite the felony rap penalty.  You can't throw all those otherwise law-abiding people in jail for wanting to exercise a human right in a way of their choosing.
If some bureaucratic trick somehow got this rule/bill/regulation out there with the force of law...  civil disobedience could get interesting.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ask Not

So all the left of center wackadoos are so excited about the 50th anniversary of their Lord and Master, bestest President evah's, inaugural speech.  That's today, in case you don't listen to NPR.

"Ask NOT, what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

A call to service.  The Peace Corps!  Work a campaign for a progressive politician!  BECOME a progressive politician!  Volunteer at a soup kitchen!  A gummint job!  A non-profit!  Oh boy.

They concentrate on "what you can do for your country."  They assume that being an entrepreneur doesn't count.  That's selling out to the Man!  Or being a wage slave if you don't actually employ someone.  But they forget the value in adding to the country's GDP.  Trading value for value and both parties get more in return than what they give.  Be they an oil tycoon, the owner of a computer hardware manufacturer, a computer programmer, a plumber, a waitress, a bank clerk, a sales clerk, a janitor.  They assume they must eschew the miracle of capitalism because it's... icky capitalism.

But that's not the overlooked factor of the line in the speech I am concerned with.  This part is ignored even more.  "Ask NOT what your country can do for you."  Ask not what your country can do for you.  Period.  Full stop.  It's not "please Father Kennedy and all your successors, take care of me from cradle to grave.  Gimme free health care, free education from Head Start thru college and post grad, comfortable retirement I didn't earn, free childcare, free, Free, FREE.  Gimme gimme gimme."  No.  The cost is too high.  In monetary terms, and the regulatory squeezing necessary to achieve it that ends up throttling liberty.  Ask NOT what your country can do for you.  It's a command.  Stop asking.  Listen to Kennedy.  It's the part you pretend not to hear, liberal Democrats and many Republicans, but hear it you must.   Just stop.  Why?  It isn't free.  Your country doesn't just owe you something.  You get a lot for the happenstance of being born here, with relative freedom, you aren't due extra at the expense of the principles that brought you such good fortune.  It's holding us all back, this attitude with some.  Even if you are a net recipient of the 'free' stuff, it holds you back.  Ask not.  It's the smartest thing JFK said, and I don't think even HE heard it right.  But regardless, it's good advice.  Stop expecting the Daddy Government to come and rescue you from your plight and lift you to the lap of luxury.  It's not what they do, it's not what they can do, and it's not what they should do.  It's nice you want to selflessly serve, maybe, but expecting something in return if you serve or not?  Please.


"Why didn't you buy a Kimber, T-Bolt?  Why a Springfield?  Why were you thinking Colt?"

Well, lots of reasons.  None of them nailed down indisputable one, either.

I heard on the the internet that they were bad at service after the sale at Kimber, and had quality control issues or they did when I was buying...

I heard Kimber I's were better but now that they offer II's, that aren't as good, according to the internet...

And I saw that Kimber was selected by California jurisdictions.  Good for them, but they did that in an environment where CA was tightening it's gun control regime, and Barrett was refusing to sell his wares to State entities in protest...

So, some of those reasons are almost unsupported irrationalities.  All I had to go on was the advice of internet forums (yikes!) and, more credit to me, on the word of a selected few bloggers I've come to trust.

Does that mean that Kimbers are bad 1911s?  Oh, I'm sure not.  I'm sure that most are just fine.  I bet most Kimber owners are ecstatic with theirs.  But it was the scuttlebutt that made me eschew the brand. 

Not just that brand.  I am wary of others, too, often for similar reasons learned from similar sources.  I'm human.  It's the nature of the beast.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dick Cheney...


No, no.  Fudd is the proper term. 


So Michael Moore AND Dick Cheney say something stupid about firearms on the same day.  What are the chances?  I think Cheney did it on purpose.  When Moore realizes he and the former VP are on the same page, he'll have a brainlock and keel over dead.  Then Cheney gets his heart in because Mike foolishly left that organ donor box checked on his driver's license.  It's all part of the plan....

Mike's heart is clearly not that healthy, maybe 5 years or so left on it.  That's ok.  Don't worry.  Darth Cheney can get another.

1911 Slim Grips

I have swapped out grips on my 1911 before, before setting on micarta style VZ Grips.  I have never tried the slim grips. 

I have a feeling you'd need to get screws specific to slim grips, but do you need slim grip specific grip screw bushings and grip screws?  Yes, you do.  Glad I discovered that before I bought the grips.  I hate having to wait when a new accessory is sitting around waiting to be installed.

You can get some attractive looking grip screws, with decorations on the screw head itself, too.  Pretty nice looking and an easy customization to personalize your very own gun.  At least I think they are handsome.  The prettifying doesn't overwhelm.  I'm not a big fan of torx or even hex head screws.  Why?  Because I don't carry a torx or hex tool around with me usually, and what if I need to tighten or remove a screw away from home, say at the range?  I DO carry a standard head screw driver around with me, and can improvise a screwdriver, in an emergency, from a knife blade. So, while tempting, I will probably pass on the fancy screws. 

[I have a blog category called 'gunsmithing' but I don't really do gunsmithing.  I'll swap out the easier drop-in parts.  That is hardly smithing and requires very little skill.  I know my limitations and refuse to do something permanent.  That's what real gunsmiths are for.]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back When

Back when I first got the gunnie jones to go beyond one big revolver and a Garand and figured I'd start adding to the battery, I had thoughts of getting perfectly serviceable older items I could get cheap at the consignment counter I figured it would be easy to get good guns 70+ years old at a good price.  I figured it'd be easy to pickup a .22 revolver at way less than $200.

This was not to be.  First off it ain't easy to buy a handgun in Maryland with the 7 day wait.  And there isn't a friendly gun show in this state, really.

Plus good used pistols aren't as common as I'd hoped.  And my dreams at my desired price points were more fantasy.

I'm sure these good sub $200 revolvers are out there, they just aren't jumping out at me.  The few .22s I did see were of questionable quality.  No name German knock off from the 1950s mostly.  You loaded from a swinging gate or cylinder swung out on what seemed like a rickety thin yoke that didn't inspire me with confidence. 

Another model I wanted was something like a small .38 special in the same price range.  I'd even be happy with a top break.  Something like this may have been near perfect.

But it wasn't to be.  Note, that isn't a .38 special shown at the Arms Room.  Tam has a few top break jobs on that site.  I don't think ANY of them are .38 special.  .38 S&W yes.  .32s maybe.   And this is Tam we are talking about.  She lives in gun friendly prefectures as a habit, and she KNOWS gun sellers and FFL personally and at the time she worked the counters of same. She got first dibs on guns that came in and knew their worth.  She haunts gun shows in a way I never could.  She pays closer attention of gun ephemera than I have.  SHE could get that nigh ideal top break gun at the price I was thinking, but I certainly could not without a lot more luck.  And she'd be able to tell a lot better than I if it was even a serviceable blaster.  I was wet behind the ears and couldn't judge if there were 100 rounds left in some artifact or 2000, then.  I can't tell much better now.

So besides not being able to find the pistol I learned quickly that getting the ammo to feed it isn't that simple either.  At the time of my starting I couldn't even order ammo in a catalog to be delivered in my county, legally.  So the simple and cheap solution was becoming less doable the more I learned.

Probably for the best.  Buy a near new model and pay the premium is my lot and life.  And I don't begrudge it, really.  I like my more modern 640 and 617 and am happy with it.  Happier that I would be with a vintage lemon squeezer.

Oh, I paid for that.  Quite a bit more than $200.  I found the cheapest REAL guns I could buy and not regret were around $500.  Add $200 to that for a revolver that I'd have a good chance of not needing to get it serviced in the first year.  I learned quickly enough that I may get lucky with a Charter Arms .22, but that's not the way to bet.  And I'd not have a Hi-Point pistol for free from what I noticed in fit and feel trying other peoples and from the reputation I gathered from 2nd hand sources.  You can get those for under $500, yes, but I didn't want to risk the hassle.

Such is life.  I pay a bit more so as to have less chance of being inconvenienced on many things, not just guns..

Monday, January 17, 2011


It's been long enough since the shooting last Saturday that I want to delve into this a little bit.  I'm trying to be as sensitive as possible

Assuming the shooter in Arizona was crazy, but had not had enough contact with the mental health system and courts to be adjudicated a prohibited person, how would we stop a future tragedy of this sort?

What can a legislature DO that would effectively address this problem. 

The anti-civil-rights instinct is to ban AKs again or give every politician a 1000 foot radius mobile Gun Free Zone around them.  Laughably useless knee jerk reaction on an issue unrelated to this problem.

The problem is not the weapon, we know, it is the mentally unhinged actor.

We COULD go back to a system of institutions that we had before the insane asylums were emptied out.  When erratic people were encountered, law enforcement could take them in for observation, committing them involuntarily to the wards if professional psychiatrists noted the potential for harm and thus sequestering these ill people from the general public for their own good and theirs.

That is something that could be done.  But should it be done?  Do we want to enact such a regime of Reinstitutionalization?

To DO something, the impulse for busybody lawmakers to DO something, is huge.  But perhaps doing nothing but maybe tightening up the system we already have as best we can is the way to go.  Note the 'maybe.'

Ideally, the insane would be taken care of with their basic needs of food and shelter provided for, and treated medically and humanely with as much dignity as possible considering, and hence have a life better than the one they had on the street as a homeless person. 

But we don't live in the ideal world.  We live in the real. 

Those asylums were expensive back in the 50's.  We don't have the money now, either.  Medicare and Medicaid is stretched past the breaking point, and there are other things to spend money on, too, you know.

Locking someone up involuntarily is a significant intrusion on their civil rights, and all for the potential of causing harm.  For every Arizona shooter their are dozens of just as crazy people out there that won't hurt anyone else.  The level of justice, or lack thereof, to the individual is suspect right out of the gate.

Those asylums, some of them, were hell holes of squalor in the 50's.  You'd end up with good ones and bad ones today, too.  The good ones would be a credit, the bad ones would be a stain on all of us to allow them to exist.  But exist they will, even if you threw tremendous funding at them to make sure they were decent.

There is a potential for tremendous abuses if you expand asylums.  People would get committed in larger numbers, not because they were crazy or a danger to themselves or others but to be put away by someone with more power and connections than them.  This certainly happens now, but if you expand the system it will happen much more.  Discharged soldiers, loudmouth political opponents, inconvenient relatives, ALL will get put in the booby hatch for no reason.

So what's the answer?  I don't have one.  Both choices are significantly bad.  This question is incredibly hard, either way.  My conservative side's instinct is not to monkey with what we have now and to try harder in the future.  To make a big change opens up unintended but not unpredictable consequences that are worse than the remedy.  Especially a remedy that expands the power of bureaucrats further.

So what would have stopped the Arizona shooter?  Police contact that he had prior could have led to more intervention and we may have gotten that guy made into a prohibited person for firearms purchase.  But how would that have helped, if the man was determined to cause mayhem, spurred by his delusions?  So he doesn't buy a gun at a gunstore legally, he could get a gun elsewhere illegally, he could buy a can of gasoline and a lighter, he could drive a car into a crowd.  We are discussing him because he killed 6 strangers in a spectacular manner, but I wouldn't want him or someone like him to kill one person that no one ever hears about except for a blurb on a local TV channel.  Putting him on a list so he can't buy guns doesn't solve the issue.  He clearly needed an effective custodian 24/7.  People involved in this sort of thing DO need to be more cautious in future for our current mental health safety net to function, but know that people are fallible and the safety net will fail again even if people resolve to try 110% harder, darnit. 

I just don't know.  I don't think there IS an answer.  So, what, we have to accept incidences like this in the future?  As though it's an acceptable part of life to have a crazed spree killer do something like this and just try to minimize it when he's already gone on a rampage?  Yes, we do have to.  I don't think there is anything effective and new that CAN be done, sadly.  And doing something, trying to thread the needle, is nigh impossible and will almost certainly make stuff worse.  But do something we will, almost assuredly.  It's a bit depressing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Were at that Tuscon Safeway?  One a shooter, one a victim.  This goes a ways toward tomorrows post, already written before today...

Expect more calls for wider state funded institutionalization ala the 1950s.  Well, maybe.

SCAR H update

My most popular post of all time is about the SCAR Heavy.  (thank you Call of Duty video gamers that googled their way there.)  WAAaaaaaayyyy back then I was wondering about this soon to be released rifle and if it would accept my M14 magazines.  Conclusion?  No, it doesn't.  And I should have known that.  The M14 mag has to be rocked into position, catching on the hole in the front and clicking into the catch in the rear.  The SCAR has a magwell, so straight in and out. 

But now there is a guy in Germany developing a lower that will take M14 mags and everything else, as well.  It's kinda neat.  Assuming he is wildly successful and this get's released in year or two...  I'll be buying a SCAR-H... Never.  I think that ship has sailed for me, personally.  I have the rifle I wanted in the M1A.  But you never know.  Stranger things...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Meaningful Discourse

So an anti-gun site is asking for reasonable discourse in its comments about what do at this point forward, post Tuscon.  

So far it's staying relatively actually reasonable.  Here is my post in case they delete comments in job lots for some reason. (Hey, it has happened.)  The question is, summarized, "Well, what can be done now?"

The ATF goes for the easy prosecutions, like paperwork where the I's aren't dotted or the T's crossed. They should be incentized to go after the hard ones, and ones that gunnies agree with and would cooperate with. Frex, criminals that try to buy a gun. These cases are rarely investigated. They're stupid AND should go to jail, and I don't understand why they are reluctant to go after these types.

If the ATF culture saw gunnies as allies instead of future perps in a sort of adversarial relationship it would go a long way toward catching more bad actors. Criminalizing the law abiding just leads to a atmosphere of mutual distrust. You'd start getting FFLs approaching the ATF more with, "I got a funny feeling about this one..." calls if you stop leaning on the good guys for no reason.

Adjudicated criminals and mentally ill that clearly NEED a custodian 24/7 should be obliged with one.

Prosecute felonies. There are people walking around with rap sheets longer than this blog post and comments that probably should not be.

These aren't perfect corrections, but they go a ways toward reducing criminal violence without stepping on the toes of the law abiding and their rights.

Meh.  It's a tough problem. An the instinct that somehow there is a legislative remedy is a strong if faulty one.  A cultural change is what is needed to truly impact in this and other areas, and you can't just change the culture by passing laws.

h/t Snowflakes in Hell  and I'd recommend his advice.  If you feel compelled to comment, it doesn't hurt to be nice.


You know what I hate about Oleg Volk?

He takes beautiful pictures of guns that often aren't readily available to the general public just yet and makes me covet them.  Good and hard.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Swapping Out the MIM

I need to search the web more, but, if you WERE to swap out parts in your MIM laced 1911 and replace them with better forged stuff, which parts specifically do you go for.

Just supposing.

There has to be a list, somewhere that reads like,

"The following 8 items need to go:
  • slide stop
  • sear
  • extractor
  • etc.
  • "
Heck it might stop at that.

[Update:  MIM is Metal Injection Moulding.  Instead of forming parts by heating a bar of steel red hot and then hammering it into shape, or pouring molten metal into a sand mold, a MIM part sorta is like fancy play-doh with special metal filings in it (this is WAY over simplified).  You form your gun part out of this play-doh then put it in a kiln.  When it heats all the metal bits fuse together and out comes a solid metal part.  The worry is that the MIM kiln work won't have done the job and there will be weaknesses in the metal.  With molten metal you worry about bubbles and voids.  Forging is nice because is aligns the metal molecules (man, true metallurgists are banging their heads on their keyboard now...) and the part is rarely overworked or worked too cold in a factory.  But... with all that fettling forging is EXPENSIVE...  Forging was pretty much the only way 100 years ago.]

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Range Report January 2011

    So, It's been a while since I went to the range to shoot pistols.  Over a month.  Needed to shake the rust off of this perichable skill and I brought my 2 'carry' pistols.  The Sig229 and the Snubbie

    Here is the first target, 8 yards, not horrible, not great.  The .38 +P on the right.  Note only 9 holes (one is almost obscured by the pistol near the bottom.)  Where is the 10th hole?  In the backstop somewhere:

    Note also the Sig has black plastic grips.  I bought those to see how they worked.  I need to evaluate more.  They aren't spongey nor too rough but that day at the range they gun didn't find that sweet spot in my grip to line up the barrel with my forearm and elbow.  Something for me to track, see if it goes away.

    Then I just blasted away to get a bigger pattern.  The shots fall to the right and down.  Signs of a flinch and a need to re-evaluate the trigger finger position on the trigger face, according to that shooter flaw diagnosis wheel.  But look at that range up and down?   What is that?  Can't tell if it's .40 or .38, but...

    In this third target I split left .40, right .38 again and you can see it's the .38 that can vary in 'elevation.'  I only put pasters on to aim at for a reason.  I wanted to see how I shot without immediate gratification of where they hit.  About normal for me on the .40, but look at those 6 shots by the .38 circled in orange.  Whoa!  I need to keep that up and get more like that.  

     So, how to fix the finger placement?  I'm guess more dry fire with an eye toward strength training.  I thing I am putting too much finger on there and need to back out, but that makes squeezing harder.  A stronger finger should help.  I hope. 

    Also, the low center shot are from the last mag being aimed at the bull, they aren't ranging that far from the left side aimpoint.  I'm bad but not THAT bad.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    What if?

    If the internet had been like it is now, but back in 1985, would the argment have been "Which is better, the 1911 or the Berretta 9mm?" or "Which is better, the S&W Model 10 revolver, or Model 39 semi?" or "Colt Python or Smith Model 19?"

    I mean instead of  "HK vs Glock vs 1911" like we have today.

    What does a 25 year earlier gun internet argue about.

    I ask because you don't here from the Beretta folks as much anymore.  Or the Colt revolver folks.

    K Williamson

    On the good side of NR...

    Hey that one National Review guy that's been writing pro-gun pieces lately?  He has a nice little libertarian (small L) ditty up today that's kinda nice.

    Oh to have a day when something like the Tea Party movement actually functions and goes to Washington to severely cut out a bunch of regulations, most all of which are hobbling to about 300 million individuals and help little.  Do you want to even out the political tone, make it less rancorous?  Take gummint out of the equation.  People don't complain vociferously and excessively about stuff that doesn't impact them.  You will always have graft-motivated politicians.  If the cookie jar they steal from is smaller, it's less a problem when they take proportionately smaller ill gotten gains.  When the sand box they think they lord over is smaller, their impact on the people in it is proportionately smaller 

    Of course you'd have to re-wire all those busybodies that think it's a good idea to look to the government to provide solutions to daily individual problems.  A light bulb (non twisty) needs to go off over their heads and they need to realize that the 'solution' they've pulled out of their hinder isn't going to solve anything tomorrow, just like the solution they came up with last month didn't solve anything today.  In fact it made things a little worse for someone.  Someone that is now mad about it.  And wants legislative redress...

    Stop the cycle.

    Some old dude said back in the gray wispy mists of time... "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."  Old dude was right.

    The new Congress is supposedly going to attach a justification from the Constitution on where their power comes from in that document to enact a proposed piece of legislation.  Looks like they need an open, unrestricted amendment process in debate so folks can add a part to the bills should render their justification negated because of what the Constitution forbids, too.  That would kibosh Carolyn McCarthy's proposed gun bill (2nd Amendment) and Robert Brady's proposed revival of the Sedition Act (1st Amendment violation), and Peter Kings proposed gun bill and extra protection for his annointed, precious self (2nd and Article 1 Section 9, titles of nobility clause).

    [update:  Kevin Williamson is a Texan.  So that goes some way to explaining how the metro- didn't get into the -con]

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    And then the Metrocons Return

    Way to go Cliff May.  Calling for more gun control in National Review Online, "Thank you for not packing heat..." he even negates his own argument in favor of 1000 foot prohibtion from Conceal Carry near a Congressperson with this line:

    " it goes without saying, lunatics and extremists don’t care what laws are on the books."

    So his law (Or Rep King's, actually (R NY)), easily abused by anti-rights types btw, if passed would ONLY have people like the Arizona shooter less than 1000 feet from politicians?   Non-sensical.  He hasn't even thought it through halfway.  And from a so-called 'ally'.  Stop trying to help, Mr. May.  How embarrassing.

    Update:  And it took 20 minutes for 20 commenters to jump on him.  Good for the advocates of freedom.

    Update II:  Jonah Goldberg and Andrew McCarthy take Cliff May to task about his support of this wrongheaded law in less than an hour.  Good, good.  Good signs in Metroconville.  There is still hope for them.

    Update III:  And a different NRO commentator comes down on the silliness of yet more rights infringement.  More hopeful conduct by the three.

    NPR Confused

    So I'm listening to NPR on the drive home last night, and whoever that lady is, (Terry Gross? WHYY?) she's interviewing whoever that Washington Post writer (name begins with a 'Gr' I think) is that recently did that multi-part anti-gun set of stories about gunstores and gun traces.  I'd link to it, but then I'd be linking to it, plus I don't want to go to the trouble.  They were talking about gun issues revolving around the Tuscon shooting tragedy, particularly so-called lenient Arizona gun laws, and those laws contribution to events.

    Anyway, they're confused.  Or the NPR lady is confused.  The Post guy knows what a semi-auto is, but she fixes on the 'auto' part and thinks the shooter's pistol was a type of a machine gun, a Glock 9mm, that was banned by the now expired Assault Weapons Ban of the Clinton era.  The Post guy seems to prevaricate a bit, talking about what the Assault Weapons Ban actually banned was really confusing and isn't sure if this particular pistol was covered by it and the whole thing is a complicated tapestry of yada yada.   He didn't correct her that it wasn't an auto, but semi-auto, but also doesn't make the mistake of referring to this Glock as some sort of a machine gun.

    Other mistakes, the lady is horrified that people are pushing to allow CCW on campuses, and she assumes that you have to be 18 to buy a gun.  The Post guy either didn't know or avoided the sticky detail that, while yes, a person can buy a rifle at 18, that person is not going to purchase a pistol, and probably can't get a conceal-carry permit, until they are 21.   

    I calmly explained to them through the radio in my car that they were a little mistaken.  They, naturally, could not hear me.  Not about the age issue.  Nor did they hear me mention that the Assault Weapons Ban didn't ban this particular model.  That, in fact, pretty much ANY handgun of this type or of any type that is commonly carried in the belt holster of police all over the country were not restricted by the Ban.  Some very restrictive City and State level gun control regimes might tamp down on a Glock model 19 (e.g.  NYC, DC, Chicago, in Massachusetts you can jump through the hoops and get a similar type from another manufacturer, etc.), yes, but that wasn't the Clinton Ban that they were then discussing. If a cop carries it on their belt, law abiding adults anywhere in this country can buy the same for themselves for the most part.  (Regular people might not be able to buy what the cops carry in the trunk of their cruisers, but that's a whole 'nother thing.)

    I'm wondering if the Post reporter really didn't know this minutiae, or was being purposely obtuse.  You'd think he'd be as up to speed as any gunnie after all the work for his stories, but I guess this information can fall through his mental cracks.

    Anyway, it's more circumstantially exploitative lefty-media claptrap that we've come to expect from NPR and many other venues.  Their assumptions on the issue are based on a set of facts that are objectively wrong.  Some know things that just aren't so, others know things and purposely obfuscate, and both do a disservice to the public they claim to serve.  Boo NPR, boo Washington Post.

    Update:  Oh look.  Confederate Yankee found Salon making a similar 'mistake' about the AWB.  The Tatler noticed it too. 

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Biggest Mistake

    It is said the biggest mistake in politics is when a politician is caught actually telling the truth.

    My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast ran into this flavor of truth telling with a 1911 gunsmith.  He went on a little tirade about the flaws of the 1911 and how it keeps him deep into car payment and bacon money:
    "1911s are the perfect storm. They are expensive and need a lot of gun smithing to sort out their bugs." He continued, "The design is a hundred years old, we learned a lot in that hundred years. The mag design alone is awful. Even Jeff Cooper would bitch about their capacity and reliability now. What the F&%k, it's been a hundred years.  People still love em though. This little guy you have will jam at least once every hundred rounds, I'd bet money."

    Wow.  Shocking in his forthright alacrity.

    Now admittedly, I haven't shot a variety of 1911s, but I have never had a jam that was the gun's fault but maybe once for 1000 rounds.  And I've used those truncated wad cutterish rounds (50, no issue) and maybe 150 hollow points (all hydra-shoks), the rest FMJ.  My initial jams were from my own poor grip, where the first finger of my support hand (right) was pushing out the little button of the slide stop on the right hand side of the gun.  Most of my experience is with my mid range Springfield and the only gunsmithing I've put it through is the of the kitchen table variety where I swapped our various parts to please my own feature preferences as I developed them: guide rod, grips, grip safety, mainspring housing.

    Now MBtGE's 1911 that he's been playing with is a low price point Rock Island job.  I've shot a bunch out of it myself.  I was surprised a $300 gun didn't seem much different than mine at over twice the price, in reliable function, at least.  But MBtGE reports some stoppages, clearly.  I've seen it jam but with other people and I think their problem was limp wristing.  Nothing that can't be corrected by gripping 20% tighter.

    I have had a mechanical failure with mine.  The pin that holds the mainspring housing in place snapped at the range. But that shouldn't count against it, except maybe in the MIM pin department.  If the pins are MIM...

    My on again off again love affair with the 1911 is only from being slightly intimidated carrying in Condition 1 and that it pokes me a bit with the extended thumb safety and that I can't seem to shoot it as well as other single action items.  All these are problems with me, and not the gun.

    So I don't understand the haranguing the pistol gets outside of mere 'other gun, not mine' fanboy ribbing.  Buy a decent modern defensive 1911, don't truly monkey with it by breaking out the peening hammer or dremel stones, don't get a bullseye pistol with slide and bushing tighter than a frog's butt, and clean and lubricate after every other range trip and I don't see why they won't run great right out of the box, so to speak.  Gunnutmegger even has personal data from a larger selection of examples recorded so it's not like he making up observed issues.  Maybe I need 20,000 rounds under my belt to get disillusioned, but Tam has that in spades and it doesn't appear to causing her to rethink her thought processes and gun choice.  In fact, she's been down this road so many times that when someone posits that her 1911s are somehow inappropriate she shrugs and keeps on carrying her 10+ year old Springfield on her hip, unswayed.

    Maybe I am getting more jams and not noticing, just quickly correcting the issue and driving on.  But I can't be that instinctive that I just operate it well.  I'm still too n00b for that kind of competence, methinks.  About the only thing I can remember is when the 1911 is dry sometime it doesn't fully feed and a light tap of the rail puts the round in battery.  That's happened to me.  But had I cleaned the thing recently it never does.  And I can say with confidence I have never had a stovepipe or a double feed or a failure to eject.  The only gun I have that has done that was a NASTY stovepipe in my Sig that cut the brass half way down by the frame.  Once.

    So, back to the subject of MBtGE 1911 gunsmith...  Why so glum about the model?  And the projecting onto Cooper about the 'flaw' of low mag capacity?  I dunno about that.  The spare magazine you carry isn't for shooting the 8th 9th and 10th determined bad guy in a gun fight.

    (note: I link to Tam a lot because she has often already said something I concur with and said it much better that I ever could.  if I could live a parallel lives I'd want to model 20 years of one life toward traveling a similar path, reading and researching to the same extent, working with a quality gun purveyor, taking the same classes, to the same concentration she has)

    Do I think the 1911 design is perfect?  No, not perfect.  But it's damn good, no?  Since it's inception other designs have offered up different feature tradeoffs, been made to be easier to master, and been sent up with an eye toward easier and cheaper manufacture, been formulated to need less routing maintenance and fettling to shoot right out of the box or right out of the nightstand, but nothing in 100 years can be said to be objectively BETTER at sending little lead and copper pills downrange.  There is certainly a place of modern design

    And a gunsmith won't get rich specializing in Glocks.  That gunsmith quoted is lucky in that LOTS of people the past 100 years have done things to their 1911 to actually NEED his corrective services, yes.  And there 100 years of customization thoughts that folks may want his services for, too.  If people were as enthused and faddish about modifying their Glocks as they are with 1911s he might get a decent revenue stream there, too.  "But people don't NEED to modify a Glock," you may argue.  'Need' has nothing to do with it.  You don't need to modify your 1911, either.  People want to, so, thus they want to give money to 1911 smiths.  And you CAN modify a 1911.  Much harder to want to modify a Glock, sorta like modifying a 2010 BMW.  You can't even see the engine on those when you pop the hood.  Tinkering with your 1971 charger or 1938 Ford is much more accessible.  Same with 1911 v. Glock. 

    So maybe that gunsmith shouldn't be denigrating how the gun pays the rent for him, it's the 1911 PEOPLE that bring him the business.  The model doesn't need the tinkering, but the owners want the tinkering or want to fix past tinkering that went all wrong or want to fix the wear and tear done to favorite heater over its long life.  (and Gunnutmegger admits as much long before it occurred to me here, "but I think missing one point in the original post. It’s the slavish adoration that’s the problem, not the gun itself")

    [Update: I should also add that I haven't shot more than 50 rounds out of my Springfield with the factory magazine.  The rest have been all Chip McCormick.  That might have something to do with relative trouble free experiences.]

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Unintentional Heroes

    I figure a little pick me up is appropo.  Zero gun content.  Some "In your FACE, Nazis" content.  Good job Fresno.  Click to embiggen.


    I got word somewhere via the blogs that the Civilian Marksmanship Program was selling a parts kit for M14s.  Everything but the receiver, bolt, and barrel.  Perfect!  Spares, and actual US Gummint Issue, for my M1A.  Then I got to their eStore and...  $600!  Well.  That's more money than I'd thought they'd be.

    I actually have a few spare parts, picked up from Fulton Armory when I got the rifle itself from them.  A bag of springs and pins sights parts.  I try to do that on primary weapons.  Get the spare parts before I need them in case I break something 20 years from now and the parts are too dear to purchase for love or money then.  I keep them in my gunsmithing box.  The parts are kept in a ziplock storage bag that is well marked for each model of boomstick.  I can grab a bag of tiny 1911 springs and pins or a bad of Garand springs and pins, etc. 

    The only thing I really lack is a spare bolt for the M1A, but those are pretty hard to find themselves.  I may have to pass on the $600 in used parts that don't even include a bolt, USGI cachet or no.

    Saturday, January 8, 2011


    click to embiggen

    Shots Fired

    Oh dear.  And Congresswoman Giffords (D-AZ) is among the 12 victims.

    If THIS is the shooters YouTube page, he may be simply bat-shite CUHrazy.

    There are rants there about each of us forming a new currency, weird date numerology, mind control paranoia, hefty-bag plastic MC Hammer pants.  Flag burning.  Yeah.  Well, crap.

    I imagine YouTube will pull that video series soon enough.

    High School friend on Twitter describe him as a pothead, "political radical " and "he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy" back in 2007.  His MySPace page listed reading material as Mein Kampf AND the Communist Manifesto, as well as Ayn Rand and Aldus Huxley.  His youtube stuff (if it is him) shows him as goldbug type with weird Constitutional theories, and the meaner media sources are trying to paint him as a 'Teabagger,' stressing military connections, and blaming Palin for her targeting of Gifford, who was apparently pro-Obamacare AND hardline on immigration, for electoral defeat.  No, painting political actions onto the actions of a clearly insane individual is not appropriate.  Crazy did this, not politics.  It's not the gun, it's not the Right, it's not the Left, it's the man.

    Related, THIS is the best advice from Twitter, from Elizabeth Scalia.



    Advice about gun control from a Red Sox Fan. And his father.

    But watch the whole series of films.  This is the end of Pt 2.  The rest of it is about baseball.

    Up until 2004, MY team had won a World Series sooner than the Sox had.  The original Washington Senators.  One day, there will return home to DC and we'll have a ball team again.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Help Me Internet Kenobi

    You're my only hope...

    So I stopped at a gunstore and saw one of these:

    You all know I talking about a Combat Commander...

    What I need YOU to do is talk me down off the ledge and not go back and buy it after work...

    Or, conversely, goad me into getting it.

    All in comments, but mind you, I need a why.  Why get it or why wait.

    Reasons to:
    1. It's a Colt.  While that cache doesn't hold me as the be all end all, it does have some influence on me.  I'm not impervious.  It's the company with the same letterhead that made the original 1911 100 years ago, after all.  It'd be my one real purchase of 2011. (ha!)
    2. It's THERE.  I've been looking on and off for a while and this is the first one I've seen where I could plop down the money and get it.
    3. It has most all the features I want.  And it really doesn't need any monkeying with, really, to make me happy with what it doesn't have. (night sights, that bump in the grip safety...)  I might swap out the grips and be done.  If I got it.
    Reasons not:
    1. It's got MIM parts in it.  Sure my Springfield Loaded does too, I'm sure.  That didn't stop me then.  And MIM isn't ALL bad.  Probably give me a lifetime of trouble free service.  I can slowly swap out the internals at the gunsmith over time to forging, except the frame.
    2. It's pricey, but that hasn't stopped me, before, you all know.
    3. I'd be better off, maybe, getting the XD40 at half the price of this.  I bet I'd shoot the XD better. 
    4. Other reasons I'm counting on YOU to tell me to wait and get some other Combat Commander at some future date. 
    5. I don't want the enthusiasm of the find make me purchase in haste.

    I may have to go look at it, and handle it, regardless.  And if it has a sold sticker on it already, well...  That's Cthore, God of Thunderboomers, telling me it wasn't to be at this time and I'll accept that philosophically.

    If I did get it, that would end my 1911 desires for years and years.  I'd have my spare.  No more .45 pistols would come to grace my safe or need to.

    You have til 2PM EST to respond...

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Hoplophobe Paw

    I've made complaints in the past that my father is a hoplophobe.  That's not fair to him.  He is not scared, per se.  He is one of those that didn't necessarily ever want a gun in the house.  Even one that was his.  And he had more than one.  Well hidden in a closet. 

    We lived in the suburbs.  My grandfather lived in the country.  My dad didn't think twice about shooting a bb gun there in the middle of the Ek-Veldt.  Or shooting a 20 gauge for fun.  Or had problems with the notion of shooting that same 20 gauge at rabbits in the garden.  So he is more nuanced than a 'mere hoplophobe.'

    He still regrets not buying that Colt Woodsman or holding onto that model 39A type in New Mexico, 1959.  Both .22s that he liked.  He used the lever action 39A to hunt jack rabbits.  Pests near his Air Force base that the father/property-owner of a buddy wanted rid of.

    So he is not a true hoplophobe.  He'd shoot a pest animal if the situation called for it.  Probably a threatening human if the threat was dire and he was armed and there was no alternative.  But isn't that just like the rest of us?  We gunnies would only shoot a human if the threat was dire and we were armed and there was no alternative.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Ah, Good

    I did not know this. 

    The Defense Authorization Bill for fiscal year 2011.  It prevents the military from forcing off-base residing military personnel from registering their firearms with on-base authorities.

    Some base commanders got the idea that if they required registration somehow that would prevent a repeat of what happened with that Nidal guy shooting folks at Ft Hood.  I have no idea how that thought process occurred to them and they thought it would be effective, except as an extension of their instinctive reaction to take charge and command and appear to do something after a catastrophic failure.  High ranking .mil folks are human I guess.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Last Year's

    10 Most Underreported News Stories

    Revolver Wistful

    Sometimes I think life would be easier if John Moses Browning (pbuh)* hadn't invented the auto-pistol.  It'd be less for me to think about.  I'd own 3 or 4 total of various sizes, one .22 and the others .38/.357 and I='d never have to worry about safety catches and manual of arms and malf drills with a tappa and a racka and a banga. 

    I mean, what DO we really get with those auto chuckers?  A few more rounds to shoot?  Fast reloads?  If you need to shoot more than 5 bring a spare revolver.  Or bring friends.

    I say 4 revolvers are needed and I only own 3.  Where is my hole?  Medium length barrel.  I have a 6 inch barrel for the house, a snubbie for the pocket, but I am missing something in a Model 13 or 65 size for a belt holster and CCW that way.  Perfection.  Ease of ammo storage.  A good carbine offering.  No one complains the .357 is not enough cartridge for the job.  I wouldn't be casting about with thoughts about the semi-auto if the caliber was inadequate (i have no idea where i was going with that last sentence).  Revolver shooting is America's martial art, with none of that kicking or chopping or 'heeeeeYAH!' shouting.

    Yeah, life as a gunnie would be simpler.  But if wishes were horse we'd all be eating steak.

    If the whole semi-auto fad had proven to be a flash in the pan that petered out in 1912 or so, Colt would still be making the Python.  You'd be able to get .41 and .44 special ammo at WalMart.  And we'd argue over caliber, still.  I'd still be fine with the .357.

    *(and yes, I was being facetious about JMB inventing the semi-auto form.  He just perfected it.  Probably for all time.)

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Dreams of Fodder

    I had a few great gun related dreams.  Subject matter interesting enough to make blog posts about.  I was quite pleased. 

    I can't for the life of me remember them now...

    A Scout is Back

    I'd get this!  I'd get TWO!!!.  I wonder if it's in a lefty model...  Finally a decent but not too expensive bolt action rifle I can use and love.  I've been intrigued enough with the Scout concept since I learned of its existence, via Jeff Cooper.

    Wait.  No lefty listed.  Phooey.  Ruger is still only into me for the .22.   And I doubt that will change.

    Review for those new to the concept...  Cooper pushed to design a rifle that would be of almost universal utility.  He had 'big' conferences of riflemen to get the details down, but I think his influence was the most telling.  He wanted something that was a short stroke major caliber bolt action gun able to take any game in North America.  The ammo had to be nearly universally available in North America or elsewhere, which is why .308/7.62x51 was selected.  It had to be light, short, handy, and the long eye-relief scope was necessary for better vision, but not geared toward 800 yard shots.  And it would have iron sights for backup.  It had to be magazine fed.  He wanted a Ching Sling to be used with it.  When not hunting it could be used by a smallish cadre of competent riflemen to keep nearly any army or armed band at bay, as though he lived in South Africa during the Boer wars. 

    So this was the perfect rifle for him, on any application he wanted it for in this country.  If he was going to Africa on safari he'd take it for the smaller game and use something in the .4xx for bigger critters.  In an emergency on his Arizona ranch when the narco-gangs or rogue ATF agents he crazily thought would come for him (heh, less outlandish now than in 1995 for those narco-gangs...) he'd use his 1911 to fight his way to where the Scout rifle was, and then run out the back door with it to take to the hills.

    Steyr actually MADE this Scout rifle for him and he loved it.  It was commercially available but a bit pricey and never took off as well as he'd thought it should.  Cooper did also lament that the Steyr never came in a left hand model for the 15% of us that need it.  A big strike against it was the north of $2500 price tag, last I checked.  (I could be wrong.  I also thought they no longer produced it.)  This Ruger is south of a grand, msrp, so, yay.  And it looks like Ruger tried to stick to the specs rather than just offer a complet kluge of a bolty that happens to have scope mount forward of the receiver for a scout scope.

    The influence on me?  Well it made me aware of the scout scope.  It's essentially a pistol scopt on a rifle.  And I love how it works.  Loved it so much I mounted one on a Garand (though I made no permanent changes to that rifle so I can convert it back with no one the wiser).  My thought was I could use the Garand for hunting at that point, but concerns about proper hunting ammo in a Navy Garand makes me hesitate to take it afield.

    If you ever get a chance to try a rifle with a scout scope on it, do so.  Heck, Breda liked mine when she got to try it.  I don't know if she'd want her own because I'd bet Breda prefers playing with stuff that can better reach out to 800 yards.  I know Burruss and Leupold make a scout scope. 

    But I am sold on the scout idea, pretty much.  Certainly for the bolt action hunting application.  Once some maker comes out with a lefty.

    I have no bolt action rifle and have always considered that a hole in my collection.  Oh sure, I have a Springfield '03 and a .22, but both are righties and I don't want to much up the .30-06 by tapping a scope to it.  THAT would be an irreversible alteration and offends my historical artifiact sensibilities.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Miniature Gunsmiths

    No, not little people that happen to make guns...  
    I stumbled across this Craftsmanship Museum online and immediately thought of RobertaX.  I sent her a link to the main site in her comments.  But then figured it was definitely blog worth because of the tiny-guns gunsmithing section.  Neat!

    I figured I'd share.

    Where I Got It

    " The possession of a good rifle and the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the monarch of all he surveys. It realizes the ancient dream of the Jovian Thunderbolt, and as such is the embodiment of personal power."

    -Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle

    Stuff I Miss

    Stuff goes away...

    And that was just this past year.

    I miss a lot of local flavor to the DC area that just aren't here anymore.

    Izzie Cohen's Big G Giant Food and Drug.

    Hechts.  Now Macy's.  My goto department store.  And my mom's.

    Woodworth and Lothrop.  Woodies.  Some turned into a Lord and Taylor.  It was the PRIMO department store you went to to out class Hecht's because you got a big bonus for your work down at Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone.  A part of Ma Bell.

    Peoples Drug.  Despite the commie sounding name, it was much nicer than the replacement:  CVS.  What kind of name is that?  Sounds like a plumbing pipe type or a valve that a part of my air fuel mixture near my carbeurator.

    Folks slightly older than me was whistful for Little Tavern and Hot Shoppes.

    I was a Roy Roger's man.  Their roast beef was so good many an Arby's manager committed suicide upon sampling it.  Before that, Pappy Parker (which became Roy's), and Gino's (bought out by KFC), and for pizza: Shakey's

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    More Metrocons

    All my haranging of National Review being citified conservatives that are squishy on our right to have and use firearms is coming back to bite me.   Which is a good thing.  They keep sending up pro-gun pieces of late.  Here is the latest.

    Sure it's the same 2 or 3 contributors, but that's better than nothing.

    In this latest piece Kevin Williamson goes on about the ATF nominee Travers.  It's all review for gunnies, so nothing new, but it does get the word out to wider audiences.