Saturday, January 20, 2018

New Rifle? Again?

"Army Chief Says Next Rifle Will Have Much More Range, Be More Accurate, Than M4"


General Milley is counting on the folks he is talking to not having insightful follow-ups to that jargon.   Sounds good, right?

First of all, the Army has not covered itself in glory in rifle procurement the last 100  years.  Let the Marines do this.  They will get it done in a 10th the time and under budget.  The Army can then adopt this slightly-better-than-M4 weapon.  Like the Air Force adopted the Navy's F4 Phantom. 

All the big gains in rifle performance have been gotten, absent some kinda amazing breakthrough.  Improvement only come in small doses at the margins.

And everything is a tradeoff.

The AR platform is already plenty accurate.  Make it more accurate by tighter tolerances?  That makes the weapon more finicky and possibly less reliabel and more expnsive to build and maintain.  You can go this route, but it's a tradeoff

Give the rifle more range?  So change the barrel length and maybe a slightly bigger bullet with more propellant behind it?  Ok, fine.  AR10s are a thing already.  Or some  intermediate cartridge between 5.56 and 7.62.  But then you tradeoff the advantage you loved about the 5.56 when you go to a bigger cartridge.  You lose the advantage the carbine length gave you when you go for a longer barrel. 

Or you thing you are going to get gains an order of magnitude better by playing with the 5.56?  Make the length of the barrel so, change the rifling twist to some new ratio, two more grains of propellant and 3 more grains of projectile weight and.... what?  A miracle happens?

Are all Army rifle toters routinely engaging dudes 400+ yards away?  Do you need EVERY trigger puller to be able to hit things out at 600 meters or more? 

I don't see what the Army gets out of this compared the resources expended.  Other than keeping a hand in so they don't need to reinvent the procurement wheel in the event a novel rifle breakthrough does happen.

Yes there is some room for even better optics.  THAT's where the gains can be had.

10 times better?  Maybe 0.1 times better.

I'd be pleased to be proven wrongheaded on this.  Cuz that would be neat.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Did you see that?

One bupkis day of no fodder led to a seed for the next day's fodder, led to another seed for yesterday...

So, what about today?  Some more randoms.

My company gives away freebie swag every now and then.  Coffee mug with the logo.  Polo shirt with the logo.  Knock-off Moleskin 5x7 notebook with the logo.

I was using this knockoff notebook for shooting log.  Keeping track of round counts and failures and magazine issues and whatnot for all my 'user' pistols.

Well, pages started dropping out of thing, dammit.  Upgraded to the real thing 5x8.25".  If pages drop out of an expensive Moleskin, I will be disappointed.

So I transferred data to that guy.  Just the last entry.  Little failure date to transfer.  Other than "constant magazine failure with this one" and "one failure back in the 540s for this one so I cleaned it" and "it's a .22 with a thousand rounds through it and still work pretty good with few failures so no need to notate heavily."

The grid pattern means I have to write smaller, so that is good too.  Entries look like:

Hardcore9 .......................................................................       300
19 JAN 2018 .....45 rounds of American Eagle 124gr.....
............................twice failed to lock back on last round      345 total


The totals and sub totals are rounds I shot since I got the gun. If there is more data points I should routinely add that YOU can think of, I'd be grateful if you can share it.  I add other notes sometimes, like: "Very relaxed this session, after warmup shot very well with only two flinches.  Relax, front site, stack-break."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

S&W compact

When you search Smith and Wesson's website and are filtering for semi-auto pistols and you want a SUB-Compact gun with full size bullets, smaller than a Compact, there is only one model.  This.  Officer size 9mm 1911.

Interesting.  I guess the sub-compact market isn't the bees knees it used to be.  People have caught on sub-compacts are less fun.  And there is a plethora of .380s out there to choose from.

The .380 has fully taken over the niche. 

Which is probably a good thing.  At least at Smiff.

Glock still has plenty of full power minis you can't get all your fingers on. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Is the Shield the new J-Frame?

The pistol regular Joe's (and Josephina's) get when they need a pistol?

"Well, I don't need to shoot 18 rounds, I'm not a cop.  30 years ago I'd get a small revolvers.  But now...  Everyone is semi-auto, and they are about as easy to operate as revolvers... Hey, this one is thinner and all and hold just 7.  They call it a Shield.  I'll get that.  Smith and Wesson is also 'Merikin.  Austria?  Weren't that Hitler fella from there?"

Or are gunstore clerks finally shamed by us bloogers to stop default steering n00bs to the J-Frames and the Shield is now the go-to?

Confession:  I missed the debut of the Shield when it happened.  I had no idea what it was.  I knew what a modern M&P was, but what is an M&P Shield?  And I didn't bother to fix my ignorance for some time because I wasn't in the market for any new pistols, especially plastic pistols, at the time.

I got better.

But I am still a NEW Jovian Thunderbolt.  I don't know all the tiny details despite all my exposure. 

Hey, Shield are kosher in Maryland!  In that, they don't need their magazine nerfed to sell.  I have no idea if it is on the 'accepted' list, but Maryland's allowable pistols are pretty generous compared to other states with similar restrictions. 

M&P 1.0 sales...  That might be a reason for uptick in volumes, partly.  Some folks want the deal, while other want to lay their hands on new-hotness 2.0, so rising tide and all that.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Bupkis Monday.

I am almost always severely lacking for fodder on Mondays that fall on Tuesdays.  Or maybe I just notice them.  The exception was Christmas and New Years just past.

Interesting guns I have seen?  Some AMT longslides on consignment.  A Cooper .243 that needed sling swivels was pretty sweet.  Goin on a Texas hog hunt, that rifle. Pretty sure it was .243...

There is a lonely Colt Gold Cup on consignment no one has bought.  Desert Tan ish accents?  Not the light desert tan, the darker.

"Why is it not selling T-Bolt?"

Well, I think the price is fair.  Like a kilo-buck.  But it is 10mm.  And a gunsmith shop isn't really a gun store, so little foot traffic.  It'll go one day.  The refurbished and customized Model 10s also don't fly off the shelf.  Like 10mm fans, you have to get a certain kind of customer for that, and those are few and far between.

He does lots of FFL transfers at the shop, and doesn't mind.  Some gunstores whinge about that. Not Sam.  It's 5 minutes of work for $25.  Nothing to sneeze at.

He see lots of S&W Shields lately.  And the usual quantity of Hi-Points.  But there must be a sale on Shields.  Maybe non-2.0 versions?  That would explain a sale.  Or, Americans like 'American' made brands and slim grips when doing their standard casual Virginia CCW stuff.

Monday, January 15, 2018



Trump is awful

But I'm glad he won.  I can ignore his stylistic issues that grate on me.  I don't care about his dignity.  He will be gone in 7 years.  How the NEXT president acts is what impacts the country's dignity.  Yes, he's shattered some norms.  So?  He's not permanent.  Or is he?...

One of the few good things about his is the conniptions he makes people go through.  But he's never turned his attention toward me and mine. 

I had low expectations for him.  So far he has exceed those expectations.  Let's list some:

  1. He is 100% not Hillary, who will never be president
  2. Gorsuch
  3. Other judges appointed that weren't appointed by Hillary
  4. His national security team and what he has them do.  Mattis. 
  5. Regulatory federal rules rollbacks
  6. Tax bill passed
  7. EPA rollbacks specifically
  8. FCC rollbacks specifically
  9. GDP growth we should have seen in 2010 
  10. He get's annoying people to follow the laser pointer dot, barking their heads off, as if they can catch it.

If he signs Reciprocity, gets one or more leftist SCOTUS judge replacements with picks from his List, and manages to get sensible, securing, immigration laws passed...  Well I don't care if he decides he is the first 24/7 nudist president until 2025.

A year ago the only thing it would take to please me is:

"Coupla quarters of +3% GDP growth, some decent SCOTUS picks, and a pro-gun law are about all it would take to exceed my expectations.  Addressing immigration and Obamacare is gravy by my lights, but also possible."

So, one more SCOTUS pick and Reciprocity and 2016 T-Bolt is walking in high cotton with this President.

He does 7 more years similarly... decent conservative policy gains, but acts like a lying jerk egotist that tweets too much?  Hell, I'll take that every day and twice on Sundays.

Right now, I don't what he could do to make me vote against him.  Pull a Reciprocity miracle out of his hat and I don't know what anyone could do to keep me from voting for him.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I regret nothing

Teacher's Aid

Next Saturday Sam is doing the Basic 1911 Armorers course.   So, no simulator training.

But he no longer has an assistant gunsmith to help out during a class, so coach is calling me in off the bench. 


Well, it is for me.

Only four dudes, so lots of personal attention for the new folks learning how to detail strip their gatt, AND get it back together, and learn what is good about their gun and what the factory could have done better. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's too expenimsival

So this guy in Houston whines that all the cookwear you need to make food is so gosh darn expensive that poor people have a point going out for KFC instead of buying cooking ingredients.  Especially because the braised chicken recipe needs a solid copper roasting pan, a Thermomix, and an industrial mixer to pull off.

But then I remembered this guy in Boston whinging that no one is taking the heirlooms of the older generation.

Even before grandma kicks it, there is often a wealth of goodies to be had when you young fledglings move out of the basement and get a place of your own.  I got married, and got an Imperial shite-tonne of goodies.  Stuff accumulates.  People want to get rid of stuff and help the younger generation out, so you end up with hand me downs.  Like, say, spare kitchen knives.

I left college and got married, a load of hand me downs.  10 years later I moved out, and a whole new set of hand me downs.  Now I am looking for youngsters to dump the second string pots and pans and flatware on.  Without trying 7 cast iron pots and pans have followed me home over the years.  I paid exactly zero dollars for them.  I only need to use three of them. 

"But you started with Middle Class privilege, T-Bolt.  What about poor people?!"

Admittedly, the spares are sparser in that case.  But it's still there.

You also don't have to spend full Blood-Bath & Beyond prices for stuff, either.  Buy used.  A place setting can be less than a buck.  Someone else's soup spoon won't kill you.  It's where I got all my stainless flatware.  Measuring cups and mixing bowls and a colander...  Use your head, poor young Millennials.  Yeah, I was young once and used my head only to think up excuses.  It's a Trap!

Oh, and the braised chicken really needs one of them free cast iron pans,a coupla bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, and 4 chicken thighs.  More spices is nice.  Carrots and potatoe and garlic, too.  A $1 knife and a optional cutting board.  Cheap.  Delicious.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Range then and now.

Ugh!  LOOK at my target from 10 years ago!

I did luck out and get one in the center circle.  Well there is one touching, too.

I have come SO far.  With a little practice and a little training.

So far more to go.  I'll never be Jerry Miculek or Max Michel, but I want to be better.  And less embarrassing. 

There.  Not perfect, but much better.  A few flinchies.  But I knew they were gonna be before I even looked up off the front sight to the target.  And the 'good' ones, all happen much faster and much easier.  Stack... BREAK.  Faster than you can say that.  And they surprise me and they are the ones in the paint.  

63 rounds of American Eagle 230 grain at 25 feet, for a total of 613 since I rebuilt this gun.  No failures this session, only one failure in the 613 (#543, failure to lockback on empty... I cleaned the gun after that, sorry.)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

McCormick Mags

You know how Chip McCormick magazines supposedly hold 8 rounds of .45 instead of 7?  Giving you, theoretically, 8+1 in the chamber.

I say theoretically because if you load that 8th round it doesn't always work so good, does it?  The follower gets smooshed a bit, and the last round might not present itself right when it is its turn, and you may get a malf.

But the darn things run 7 all day, twice on Sunday, and for years on end.  No hiccups.

So is that the same deal with 10 round McCormick 9mm mags? It says 10, but you should load just the nine for reliability?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

That's a lotta guns, nut...

Been noticing the want list.

"If you got all the 1911s on the list, how many would that be, T-Bolt?"


The Ciener, the Springfield rebuild, the T-bolt 001, 002, the Hardcore, the TCM, the CMP, the Custom...  8?


"How many revolvers?" 

Two 640s, a 617, a 686...  4?

Any other pistols?

Well, of course.


Bout as many as revolvers.  Oh, you mean .22s, too?


Bout as many as revolvers?

"So, a score or coupla dozen firearms?"

Sure!  Let's say that.

"You are a gun nut, now, aren't you?"

Not really?...

Maybe I should sell some.  In my defense, I don't HAVE some of those.  Tbolt 002 is just a frame!  The TCM is just a notion.  One shottie is a parts gun.  But.  I didn't count any of the guns I have buried in special containers on land near Bedford listed in tax records as belonging to a Mr. Josephus Donnerbolzen.  Or inside gunsafes in the elaborate bunker system carved into the Pennsylvanian hillsides, there.

At the bottom of every 5 gallon bucket of rice is a loaded Keltec .380 or Ruger Elsie Pea in a sammich baggie.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Modified again...

For now, in no particular order (but probably in order of priority):
  1. Custom single stack Commander length 9mm 1911.   Just cuz.  And Sam has an extra frame already...  And I have a barrel and slide....  This is crazy talk!
  2. DeLisle style new made bolt action rifle, left handed. .45
  3. S&W M&P 2.0 or Sig P320.  Full size.  With a light rail obviously.  House pistol.  9mm prolly.
  4. .22TCM/9mm single stack Armscor 1911.
  5. CMP vintage Colt 1911.  
And in there, somewhere, is this stainless steel Caspian frame I gotta turn into something.  Commander .45?  That's a thought.

Monday, January 8, 2018

And close up

Obviously I am rubbish with the macro.  It focused on the vise?!  Cripes.  But it gives some idea.


What is that, T-Bolt?

It's a mandrel.  Shove that up the back end of a particular brand of magazine, squeeze em in a vise with the threaded rod touching the bench surface, and now you can straighten out them feed lips

Probably an exercise in futility. But we will see.

That spring... It only goes in one way.  There is a front and a back to it as well as a top and bottom.  And screwing THAT up maybe a source of some of tears and whining. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Glowball Warmening

Gas customers up north are asked to turn down their heat.

Why?  Not enough supply.

Why?  We had an administration, and others, hostile to energy that works for 8 years because of a CAGW scam they were trying to pull.  They'll have to suffer a season or two until that foot dragging is overcome.  In the meantime, use a wind turbine to heat yourselves, Buffalo.

 "It's not some conspiracy, T-Bolt.  Something broke.  Things break.  It's not ManBearPig's fault.  Or even Obama."

Sure, sure, James Taggart.  Couldn't be helped. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

It's a Good Winter

So rarely do we get a good winter in Maryland.  Couple weeks below freezing and rarely getting into the 20s sometimes?  Oh yeah.

I had to take my truck in for service just after sunrise.  No brakes (that was fun!).  Driving is no biggee, it's the walk back from the service station.  Cold enough I get ice crystal in my beard.  Teens. Not quite cold enough to get ice crystals in my nosehairs.  It's a bit over a mile back?  Invigorating.  Love it.  Oh yes, I was glad to get inside, I'm not stupid.  Wouldn't want to go all day out there, no sir.

Practicing for my retirement to the Cleveland area.  Lakefront, of course.

We so rarely need layers in Maryland.  Glad I found the long johns.

Caspian Magazine

Know anyone that makes a superior one of these?

Maybe this?

Old skool double stacks are frustrating.

Still plugging away.

I'd be disappointed if the trigger wasn't so good and let me do this with relative ease.

I mean, DAMN!  It was barely trying.  25 feet.  Wearing gloves. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Terms

We didn't have yesterday.

DMV.  Which, in this case, now also stands for "DC Metro Vicinity"?  No, prolly: DC Maryland and Virginia.  As well as all the tried and true traditional means for that acronym (tho we call our state's DMV the MVA.  Motor Vehicle Administration).

Whichever.  It used to be, for decades: DC Metropolitan Area.  What was wrong with that?  Metro area for short.  You know when it was last referred to as the DC Metropolitan Area?  YESTERDAY. 

Why change it?  To include Baltimore?  Naw.   That city knows its place.

Also, Bomb Cyclone.  They make up new weather phenomena that I guess just didn't exist 30 years ago.  Silly


So, a perrennial problem for folks, myself included, is keeping a plethora of kitchen knives adequately sharp.

I do hand tool woodworking, I do gunsmiffing, I HAVE the equipment.  Multiple methods.  Diamond plates, ceramic stones, slow grinders, sanding belts, granite tiles I an glue 12 different grits of wet-dry paper to, jigs, guides, and years of practice....  I can make a 3 inch wide benchplane blade so scary sharp that you can read the fine print of your marriage license through the wood shaving it produces.

But that takes time.

My father has had the same trouble for decades.  Trying to get kitchen knives sharper, faster.  Steels, those electric sharpeners on the side of the electric can opener, ceramic rods...

Not satisfied.

So, Christmas gift idea.

I have a stiff felt wheel on a 3/4 HP AC motor.  It is charges with Chromium Oxide.  It's a buffing wheel with less chance to round over the blade edge.

So, my Christmas gift to Dad this year was this wheel, some buffing compound, and a link to this video.  He already had the grinder, and one side is never used.  The course stone side is worthless anyway.   And a link to this:

I used it my own self on my own set up.  6 to 10 passes, zip-zip-zip, with a decent angle and these old cheap $3 kitchen knives are much more satisfying, again.  Fast and easy and adequate quality.

Wouldn't do that with my razor, tho.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

That SWATting

It came up in work conversation and someone asked, "Whatever happened to shoot-to-wound?" in that SWATting case that killed some innocent in Kansas.

Well it was never ever a thing in real life.  It is only in your head because of the cultural influence of the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930-1968, the standards set for movies, and later, TV, and a big influencer on the culture.

And killing was frowned up in the code.  As was the use of firearms.  Oh they weren't banned.  But you had to be careful.  And winging somebody, just requiring a sling and a week's convalescence, that wasn't as bad.

It's only on that screen up there where the cowboys shot the bad guys in the gun hand.  Only there where the concept of 'shoot to wound' even happens. 

But wounded bad guys can still be a problem.  Like a wounded grizzly can be a problem. 

On the tour of the FBI headquarters in the 1980s they still said they shot to KILL when they did demos on their range.  But killing wasn't important and the PR folks kiboshed that criminal-intimidating wording.  Now LEOs shoot to stop.  Just like everybody else.  But stopping shots are often deadly shots.  Would be happy it they weren't.  But that's just how it is.  Shoot to wound is a canard. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

100 years ago this month

Millions of people! More dead than from the worst Western War ever.  Probably worse than the worst war ever.  Killed more, total, than the Black Death did 800 years ago could in many decades.  More people TO kill in the 20th Century.

And it probably all started in Kansas.  Hog farms.  Migratory birds gave it to the pigs, the pigs gave it to the people of Haskell County. That's one theory.

Nothing like it has happened since.  Not that big, obviously.  But one could start at any time.  It's hard to wrap your head around.  Flu that killed hale young people within a few hours.  Fine at breakfast yesterday, dead by supper today.

Wait, we made this movie in 2011.  Gwyneth Paltrow killed everyone.  In fiction.  She hasn't killed that many in real life yet.

Of course, bad official policy made the mortality much worse.  There is no bad thing that can't be made infinitely worse once government gets involved.  It's called the 'Spanish Flu' because Spain, not under wartime gummint censorship, actually talks about the illness in the newspapers.  Spain probably got the pandemic late, but the ravages were silent in the US, France, etc...  It's probably should be called Kansas Flu.


Speaking of the movie Contagion.  Filmed in 2010, blogging was still a thing.  Enough that people insulted it when they felt threatened by the truth!  (or scurrilous lies...)

"Blogging is graffiti with punctuation."


Thank goodness this is not was I was suffering from last week.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

Regional Dialect

You know, like Pop or Soda or Seltzer or Coke.

Some people call this a Tow Truck:

Some call it a Wrecker.

Some people call it is Maurice.  Because it speaks of the POMPETUS of love...

Is Wrecker a Midwest thing?  It's a Tow Truck in Maryland