Wednesday, January 30, 2008

zombie meme


Some other bloggers posted their score, and since zombie action is an actual part of my 'goals' I felt I better participate.

Well I guess no one is gonna want to hole up with me at the Zombie Armageddon.

(the same website informs me I can take 27 kindergartners in a fight.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We're ALL Geeks

Most, not all. There are quite a few exceptions. Some glorious ones.

But we are all geeks, us Gun Enthusiasts. There are of gun owners out there that devote less thought time and energy to the subject of firearms. These are not Enthusiasts. These are not Gun Geeks, but they may be geeks in some other endeavor.

Many of us are ugly, pudgy, middle-aged males. Myself included. There are exception (yes, the glorious ones in some cases, but also the lucky bastages that are ugly, middle-aged, but naturally skinny. Bastages.) If our hobby was running down gazelles with only a short spear we'd be in better shape. But it's shooting and reading and learning about guns, and writing about same. Guns-smithing and reloading are also pretty sedentary. And we are middle aged, generally, because when we were younger, we may have had the same aspirations of interest, but were a bit poorer. Bravo to the younger Geek that can afford or prioritize to afford the hobby.

Few of us have been tested in the Crucible, where life and death hung in the balance of our decisions. A goodly number of us have military experience, but that doesn't mean we've been tested. Most of us have THOUGHT about what we'd do if put in that position, and the honest and unfoolish among us still aren't sure, and know we have to regularly mentally reinforce our intended reactions.

ALL of us shoot, but wish we could shoot and practice much more. There are very few "Collectors" geeks in this hobby that aren't also "User" geeks. Few own a bunch of guns that they'd never shoot for fear of ruining their value, and ONLY own such un-shootable guns.

Most all of us have more gun esoteria we either know and is factual, or we THINK we KNOW and is FACK-CHOO-ALL, than we'll ever really need. But it's fun to think about anyway. Damn useless fun information rattling around in my head. And it pushed out OTHER stuff I knew. Like the piano lessons when I 5. And I used to know the year Henry VIII died. Don't know more. Stuff about Colt Pocket Hammerless in the spot that year used to be. Dang.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A COOL Carbine

I want a .45 carbine. As my loyal readers know. (both of them) I stumbled over this one, and it is awesome. The DeLisle Carbine.

It's a bolt action British Enfield adopt to fire from a 1911 magazine and with a HUGE sound suppressor. It was used by Brit Commandos sticking it to Jerry in Dubyadubya TOO. Working the bolt is louder that firing the gun, supposedly.

Ooooooooooooooo........ It is nice.

Very few were made. 129 during the war, actually. An even SMALLER subset would be made for left handed people like me. Making an original left handed version about as common and as inexpensive as a set Geo. Washington's Titanium Dentures set. But there are some pricey reproductions that tempt me yet. It does match my requirement for a 1911 mag. But not my semi-auto requirement. Close.
UPDATE: Firearm blog had a little entry about a Enfield conversion kit.

(hat tip to Free Market Fairy Tales. there are capitalist in the Auld Sod. whoda thunk it! ...and he makes me want to smoke again.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Just finished reading Fireworks, by Jeff Cooper.

It's a collection of stories. Like short-stories, but not fiction. His light, breezy style is always a joy to read. There is history bits, hunting stories, shooting of course, even a Tequila-making story. And it is a book worth every penny I paid.

I mentioned I was reading a new book to MBtGE and he has never read any Cooper. He mentioned he HAD read some stuff by a guy named Mel Tappan. Serendipity then stepped in... The foreward to Fireworks was written by Mr. Tappan. Now I have ANOTHER gun author to check out.

I've noticed, overtly, that every piece something I've known for a while about Cooper, and is probably what drew me to his writing. He is a guru. A teacher. Deep down, he may have been more teacher than anything else. And in EVERY piece of writing of his, even stuff that just seems like a bull-session or anecdote, has a lesson to teach the reader. You absorb these lessons organically. And if you retain a story (which isn't hard) you retain those lessons. If you don't retain anything, it is easy to go back and re-read. Practice makes perfect, after all.

I'd like to have met him. I have a feeling, in person, he may have dismissed me, politely, as beneath his notice. In one of his classes he might have used me as an example of "how not to do it." Unless I was very fortunate and a topic came up that I had some knowlege in, and something to offer, 'in trade'. From what I can tell of Jeff Cooper, he was HUNGRY for knowlege in topics he had an interest in. Not baloney, REAL information. Confirmed theories with lots of empirical supporting data. If I happened to know something in that way, Colonel Cooper's estimation of me would rise quickly.

I think you have to prove yourself to a man like Jeff Cooper. And show you are not a fool or a coward. And not try his patience with nonsense. Not that any of that is a negative trait in a man, and how he treats his fellow men, and others.

One of my favorite stories in the book is how he selected Baby, one of his favorite personal rifles. Baby is his "Heavy". The hunting rifle he decided he needed/wanted when hunting large, dangerous game in Africa. He runs, step by step, through what features he chose, where he compromised (very little was a compromise) and how he arrived at what, to him, was the ideal mating of form anf function. His attitude, decision making process, and philosophy influenced and reinforced my own. It makes me feel I am not too far off if my selection of any individual gun type sorta matches his criteria, as well as what I came up with independently. I am toying with what would be the perfect bolt action rifle, for ME, in North America, and the story of Africa's Baby, plus his stories of developing the Scout concept, help me out quite a bit. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable on ballistics and don't have near enough experience with manufacturers and actions to KNOW as much as Cooper, so I rely on him to help me along. I haven't made a decision on what to get partly because of my lack of knowledge. I was going to wait until I knew more and could do more. Futzing with a $500 Garand, for instance, teaches me a lot before I pull the trigger on a purchase of a nice $2000 Sport Utility Rifle like a M1A. I'll need to futz a LOT more, and practice a LOT more, to decide on the perfect bolt-action for me. In the meantime, I pick up nuggets of information. And Jeff Cooper has left plenty of nuggets around for me to collect.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Look Whats I Gots

I had some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket, so I went ahead and got the Leopold Scout Scope and Leopold rings for the Garand. Came today. I am very pleased.

Only 2.5 times magnification, but even with that little I bet I can see a LOT better where my rounds are hitting at 50 yards. Maybe 100.

Friday, January 25, 2008

OT: taxes

Speaking of taxes.

One of the great Wool Over Your Eyes tricks the Fed have perpetrated on people is that people that work, but don't make much money, don't pay any income taxes. The assumption is, they thus live tax free. So apart from State Sales taxes, property taxes in their rent, etc. they DO pay income tax.

If you work one day at a minimum wage job, 8 hours, $5.85 and hour, then take a 'sabatical' for the rest of the year and live in homeless shelters eating donated food, well you paid 7% of your income to Social Security. And your employer paid the same, so instead of paying you $6.26 an hour, Arby's just took that $.41 off the top of your wage and never told you. So you paid $3.28 in income taxes, or really $6.56. You are dirt poor and one EIGHTh of your work went to help my Dad pay his yacht club dues. God only asks for a tenth. Are the feds better than God? Sheesh.

Gummint Cheez-Food Check

So Uncle Sam is selling off my portion of the monster hunka Gummint Cheez off the big public wheel of it hidden somewhere in a DC warehouse, and sending me the proceeds. Extra money. FREE Money! And money the Congress is COUNTING on me to spend in order to infuse the economy with with the lubricant that makes the Free Market move. Lubricant is always good. What to buy, with so much public duty and responsibility riding on this purchase? Can't buy used, as used items were manufactured long ago, and the purchase doesn't directly and immediately impact producers, just retailers. Oh sure, my purchase of a used item might drive down supply of similar items forcing the NEXT guy to buy new... but that is all indirect. Or less direct. It is already indirect.

And if I buy something made far away that has a less direct positive impact on the domestic economy. But we do live in global market. Rising tide lifts all boat, if I buy from a factory in Delaware, Rio De Janero, or New Delhi. Still... Muhrrica! Yay!

Now if it was a check for $60,000, I'd buy an addition to my house. If it was a check for $6,000, I'd have a new electronics suite, but it will only be $600 of free money. What can I get, made domestically, that costs around $600.

Well, lets check the MASTER list, shall we?

Item # 1: 1911 style .45, Mil Spec/Loaded Springfield. Well, that one is already spoke for from my Tax Refund check and goes to Buy a Gun Day (April 15th is BAG day). So that's off.

Item # 2: Marlin 1894 C chambered in .357. Good enough for me. And it costs about... $600. Perfect. And for now it is still made in the good ol' USA.

I wonder if all the Congress Critters would approve of me spending their money on this type of product?

Oh... and I will name that lever gun: "Gummint Cheez"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saw Shoot Em Up

With hero Clive Owen and the delectable Monica Belucci. Paul Giamatti makes a great bad-guy, too. What a HUGE crock of fantasy. The gun pr0n was EVERYWHERE. Were that I was that accurate. And there was a silly underlying gun-control theme. Shoot Em Up

Here is the gist. There is a Senator that is a shoo-in for President and he is very pro gun control. But he has a secret, he is dying of cancer and has to treat it by harvesting infants. (how ghoulish!) His opposition. Is it the other party? No. BIGGER. The Gun Lobby and Gun Manufacturers. They 'get' to the Senator and he turns to their side in a political deal. The hero, the gun expert and the guy that just shot about 700 bad guy and 'carrotted' a few more (yes, carrot, not garrote) is probably pro gun-control and definitely ANTI-Gun-Lobby shoot the Senator to make him a gun-control martyr and to make good his escape from the bad guys. The Senator's gun-control followers need never know of his betrayal after he is dead.

So the whole thing rests on the assumption that the pro-gun lobby and gun industry are very powerful. None more powerful. Please. The medical supply industry sells more elderly themed items (Geritol, walkers, special terlets, adult diapers) in a year than the gun industry sells guns. And the AARP lobby has more money and members and power than the NRA could ever dream of. So how come old people are the never the all-powerful nefarious bad-guys in cinema? Except in Cocoon, of course. And Hot Fuzz. And Susan Sarandon movies.

So the "Omniscient Gun Lobby" theme is pure fantasy and I even think the filmmakers were tong in cheek about it. I didn't let it annoy me too much at the expense of enjoying the movie (did I mention the fact Monica Belucci is in it?)

As for gun pr0n, I'd have been happier with more classic milsurp stuff, but that's not going to impress the kids today. I am quickly falling into a marginalized demographic, but I've always be a bit contrary and hard to pin down. What made a big showing was a thumbprint safety on many of the handguns. It became a plot point that involved post mortem sharia-thief style amputations. Though I wouldn't own one of those if you paid me gear to my thumb. I've seen how unreliable biometrics are. And batteries die, computer chip fry and vibrate loose... And I don't ant Clive chopping off my hand when he wants to shoot my gun (I'm a lefty anyway, Clive! It'll never work out for you!)

Shoot-em-up movie genres (of which THIS one is poking a little fun at) are getting more and more over the top. It's stretching my suspension of disbelief. The good guy is shot at, in this style, 10,000 times, and is missed all but once or twice. The hits are minor flesh wounds. The good guys shoots the bad guy or tiny little targets that then fall on the hidden bad guy 700 times, and misses maybe once or twice, requiring follow ups. There are some multiple hits, but that's just to be sure. He hits moving targets while he himself is busy moving (and in one scene in this particular movie, while biz-zay.)

In 5 years, he will have to be shot at 20,000 and shoot the bad guys 2000 times in order to top older generations of the genre. I miss movies like John Wayne's, The Shootist. Now THAT was a shooter's movie. And it had Lauren Bacall, Jimmy Stewart, Harry Morgan, and Ron Howard in it. John Wayne was both hero AND anti-hero in it. One of the few movies where Wayne is dies in the end. I need to add that movie to my list for re-watching now.

[update: watched some deleted scenes and noticed WHY the hero is no anti-gun. you see, he was an FFL gun DEALER with a nice little gun store, and he sold 2 shotguns to a known felon. said felon then shot up a public place, killing the hero's wife and kid. hero was arrested for his blatant violation of the 1968 gun control act, and subsequent acts that made it a requirement to, you know, NOT sell guns to felons, and to check on that before ringing up the sale. after, he jumped bail and went underground. well if THAT doesn't turn you against guns, nothing will] [does that make sense to ANYONE?]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fred :-(

It's been a day and I miss him already.

At least today is John Moses Browning's birthday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Long or Short MBR

This purchase is a year away or so, but I am still going over in my mind which I prefer.

Do I want to get a long or short main battle rifle. I'm referring to the M1A.

It comes in several barrel lengths, but my thoughts are on the regular full-length, and the short 18" length. They both have plusses and minuses. But lets just list the plusses that they have an advantage in.

Long: more accurate, not as ear-splitting loud (short M1As are supposedly EXTRA loud.)

Short: handier indoors and in an out of vehicles, more appropriate for Red-Dot style optics on top.

And ignore the stock differences. I'm not a fan of the SOCOM fore-rail system, as it is very front heavy. If I were going to mount a scope of some sort forward of the receiver I'd much prefer the same get-up I have with the Garand and go with simple scout rail.

I have a long rifle that is accurate and can be made more so (the biggest deficit is my shooting skill) and I will get a bolt action for 2 long and accurate rifles. So this make me lean short for the M1A. But I can't carry 2 rifles at a time, and if I had to select only one as I was running out the door to evade the Zombies I'd want the best all round. So the long M1A. But come on... do I need the 500 yard plus if the poop hits the fan? So back to short M1A. Now how often will I find myself inside needing to maneuver around with a rifle? I mean really? Wouldn't a shotgun or handgun be better for indoor stuff? I'm not going to need a carbine length rifle. I won't be a part of some rifle squad going house to house anytime soon, even in the direst emergencies. And if I was, house to house is offensive operation, and I would be settling into defensive ambuscades and then scooting along, in dire cases. So we're back to the advantages long M1A barrels offer.

And to compromise to a mid length barrel is just absorbing the negatives of the long and the short into one gun, so let's not do that. But I am liking this stock from Troy Industries and sold through Fulton Armory:

I'd have to see and feel one in person, but the weight looks better distributed. It accounts for iron sights and gives you plenty of options for add-on optics. The barrel is "lowered" in the stock more and with the pistol grip and an added vertical fore-grip you are more in line with 21st Century infantry dogma where the Marine keeps his elbows in like a boxer's stance and the butt high on his shoulder so his head is upright. The old style shooting has your trigger elbow way out to the side and your head hunched down. Elbow out and hunched is harder to maneuver in tight spaces and see all you need to see with the advantage red-dot scopes offer. This is an M1A fully modernized. (and, heh, look, it has the mid length barrel in this example. hat trick.)

Assume whichever barrel length I choose, I will choose an identical stock types either way. Either the new-fangled, like above, or classic walnut.

I'm leaning short barrel. That way, I'd have a blot action .308 someday, with a 9x scope, the Garand with it's 2.5x scope, and the M1A with red-dot and no magnification. But my preferences have been known to change. I'd like to HEAR one. See if it really IS that sort of extra-loud.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

January Range Report

My Buddy the Gun Enthusiast and I and his son went to Clark Brothers gun range on Saturday. It's been too long.

I tried shifting the point of aim of the .22 over. Shift right. You see it grouping to the left of the bull. But I still felt rushed. I need to CONCENTRATE better when I 'zero.' And truly zero. Not just fart around. Part of the problem is Clark Bros. is usually pretty crowded. Hard to concentrate on a target you can barely see with binoculars and have no freedom to go look at.

But at least I am grouping in an area you can cover with a tuna can at 25 yards. The target on the right was the last one of the day. The target on the left shows the initial forays, (and you can even see 3 holes from the Garand.) Jay G can cover HIS group with a quarter. Or nickel. Squirrel head size. Mine is more woodchuck body size. IF I center it better. Jay G would eat better than me in the woods. I was more pleased with group size, considering how rust I am. It is truly a joy shooting that .22. Except the bolt's firing pin kept relaxing, Not snapping and firing, but just sorta moving to the up position after cycling the bolt. When I got it all home I disassemble and cleaned up all the bolt parts I could get to. It's a very simple mechanism in the Mossberg 144.

And I know it's the .22 rifle and not me because the Garand, which I've made some additions to that have definitely tightened up the fit of receiver to stock. The Garand shoots the in OPPOSITE direction, and I have to shift it left. I'll wait until I mount the scope on it before worrying too much, but I must remember to do iron sights AND scope when I do get it. I should just order that now. What's the URL for Oh... Right.

But I did get rid of the last of the .308 ammo I had, at least. All my stuff is 7.62x51 now

MBtGE brought his son, and his pink mowhawk hairdo. The boy got some polite, appreciative looks. It's quite majestic. I keep forgetting to remember that he may look strange to others. And he shoots that .38 snubby better than I do.

I mentioned it was crowded. We figured on less people since there was snow on the ground, it's cold, and it's after hunting season. But it was majority milsurp rifles there Saturday. In guy with a Russian bolt action had a broken extractor that would jam the bolt up after every shot. There was a couple ARs. An AK styled rifle or two. A few WWII era bolt action rifles, including a nice enfield. And some guy was showing his girlfriend how to fire a .30-30 lever action. It was fun.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Jay G Challenge

Jay G said in my comments: "Are you buying guns to shoot, or collect?" When I was a hemmin and a hawin on the Carbine a coupla posts ago. I'm buying guns to shoot, Mister G!

Just look at my goals over there on the right. --->

They are, in order and in summary:

1. Shoot better, rifle

2. Shoot bad guys better, pistol

3. Shoot better and eat

4. Shoot lots of undead bad guys if you have to.

The carbine hemmin' was because of the hunt for fun things to shoot with, and I happen to be more flush with cash now than I have in a long time. And I'm not collecting. I just want one of each. A decent user kit and some spares.

Jay G suggested the ubiquitous .22 revolver to decrease costs. Get more practice with quantity of shots fired per unit of ammo money spent. All very valid points, even if I am a bit better off (and it's ONLY a bit. stop sending me letters soliciting money, people. BOTH of you.) a .22 revolver is a great gun. And I hope it will get some weekly use. You see, I am really considering popping for a year long membership at the Gilbert Range in the Spring. Like a gym membership, I'd have to go every week to make it worthwhile. At the end of the year, the BIG expense won't be the membership, though, it will be the ammo. A box of .38, a box of .45 , every week ain't cheap. So I will HAVE to use .22 to get any kind of time-on-target in.

I would hope that after a year of weekly + practice, instead of the current monthly, I might get halfway decent on the range. Certainly passable better than I am now. I'll re-assess membership after that year. We'll see how it goes.

I know some locals are down on Gilberts for it's strict range rules and expense. But I figure it's only a year. It's just TOO close to home not to be considered.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I've gotten the guys at work interested in shooting. I don't push it on them, much. But everyone is afraid of zombies.

All these guys have kids at home, so that has slowed down firearm purchases. They aren't worried for their safety, as such, they just didn't feel like dealing with the issue of safes and locks and such. But zombies wait for no man. And there comes a time when you gotta teach your boy about firearms. Would that MORE fathers taught their sons (and daughters) proper gun-handling.

One guy has been talking about getting a Mossberg Pursuader 500 for months. Maybe he will, maybe he won't.

Another guy has to take his grandmother's guns as she is simplifying her life. She is known affectionately as GRambo (she had a few guns and wasn't afraid to practice with them), but now only feels the need for her semi-auto pistol. The .30-06 and Remington 1100 semi-auto 12 gauge goes to her grandson. He is ex-army and HATED the M-4 carbine the army issued him. Now he is looking at AR-10 style carbines or maybe an M1A.

The guy next to HIM is intrigued with the .17 caliber varmint round and wants something by Marlin for that desire. The other gun is an AR-15 type from Bushmaster. He used to be a pretty good shot in the army and wants to see if he can still hit the LOOOOOONG paper.

A few guys at work are gun nuts. Worse than any OTHER people I know. One bought his ammo at Wal-Mart by the pallet. (apparently a great sale) Them, I didn't need to provide any of my, admittedly meager, expertise and advice to. But I can answer SOME questions. Like "Where do I find a Bushmaster rifle" which I say, "Check the website and look for 'Dealer Locator.'" See? I'm not THAT stupid.

Notice, all long guns? Yeah. They already HAD various pistols. Didn't need me to tell them they wanted one of those.

Best part is? They are helping the economy. If the gov't wants to send us an economic stimulus tax rebate, we'll just spend it on something important. Like Zombie stoppers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More .45 Carbine

Steve of the Firearm blog mentions this intriguing .45 1911 carbine option.

Take a .45 lower, add the conversion kit to make it a rifle. Looks handy. And it will definitely take a 1911 magazine, now, won't it? Can you buy a lower? Is that the receiver? Which part, here, do you think is part someone has to call NICS about? The Carbine Kit, or the pistol lower?

I'm gonna have to poke around on how people that have bought that like it...

They make a Glock version for those of you that INSIST on having a Glock.

[update: a pistol frame is a 'gun' under the law. that part has to be NICSed and form 4473ed]

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gratification Two

I've calmed a bit.

As much as I want a Camp Carbine Model .45, there are disadvantages to it. The stock cracks. No big deal, I'd probably get after-market as soon as I bought the rifle.

But a tertiary internet search for .45 Carbine and you find a HUGE demand for some company to make one, and one that takes the 1911 magazines. It's sort of understandable, since the 1911 .45's re-emergence in the Cool-Kids Club in the last 20 years or so. (Correct me if I am wrong old timers) There are a LOT more .45 owners out there. It makes sense they'd want commonality of magazines in another rifle. Well, SOME of them.

So I could just stand pat and wait a year or 2. Hope Ruger or Remington/Marlin come out with something. You never know. Especially Ruger. Except for the latest foray into AR style rifles, they have always been plain-jane practical pieces. Not HAVING to just make something cool looking, letting the after-market industry take care of that for them. And previous .45 carbines are NOT cool looking.

But if they DID make something kinda cool looking, and cheaper that say, that new Kriss .45, they might capture the Kriss buzz with an economically priced alternaties, for the stingier Mall Ninjas on a fixed income (Mom's allowance). And me.

And Jay G thinks I shouldn't bother with something that shoots expensive .45s, and I should just get a .22 relvolver and be happy. He has a point, but MY point is, the availability of a .22 revolver is never in question. Winchester gone(ish) and now Marlin gone(ish) means no more 1894C's getting made (maybe) and the Camp is already not made anymore. So desire coupled with RARITY is my problem, acting like I'm hopped on goofballs, ready to do a manic consumer debt inducing FRANTIC buying spree...

But if I did that, my reputation of relaxed Zen-like with a Poop-Happens attitude would be put in question. Don't want any(both) of youse to get the wrong impression and think me high-strung.

And Money isn't the problem it was months ago. Oh it would be if I bought 9 boomsticks at once, but.

So, I'm going 1911 first, 1894 soon after (by April 15), and hang tough on the .45 carbine a bit. Maybe a year from today on the Camp Carbine. An SKS or that .22 revolver late next fall.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Delayed Gratification

There are too many guns I "NEED" right NOW. I hate delayed gratification.


I HAVE to get that .45 ACP, 1911. That's a MUST. And soonish. The original plan is use the tax refund check to cover that. Ok. Fine. That's all reasonable.

But then Remington bought Marlin. This highlights my desire for a Marlin 1894 C lever-action that is chambered in the same caliber as my Smith and Wesson model 686 revolver. What will Remington do with the product line at Marlin? Maybe I need to pick one up before the supply is squeezed and price goes up. It doesn't help that Kim Du Toit mentioned the 1894, and reviewed it in glowing terms, recently. Heck he is a big reason I want it! But I don't need him boosting OTHER people's demand until after I have one. (Maybe demand won't go up. He called it a 'ladies' rifle. That'll make HALF the population that also reads his blog think twice about it. Or maybe I'm the only one that noticed and is shopping...)

And speaking or Marlin, and a .45, and my 'Common-Ammo Carbine Philosophy', AND the law of supply and demand. I still want that Marlin Camp Carbine. They haven't made one in a half dozen years or more, so it's only going to get rarer and rarer. and pricier and pricier. Another push for now now now.
And what of presidential politics? Most everyone running would sign a renewed 'Assault Weapons' Ban. Certainly everyone on the D side, and more than half the frontrunners on the R side. Why they say that, I have no idea. They don't get any extra votes that way, holding that position, and probably lose more than they'd hope to gain. Calling for increased gun control has been a losing proposition for 8 years. But that is their position. The problem is, a renewed law like that might view the venerable M1A, a FINE Sport Utility Rifle in a decent, unashamed caliber, as some sort of Assault Rifle. Can you imagine? So the presidential election might drive up demand, and hence prices, of another expensive rifle on my list. More so if a Hillary wins than if a more wishy-washy-on-the-issue Mitt wins. (If Fred wins I'd half expect to be ISSUED a decent rifle at taxpayer expense.)

Lately a .22 revolver has made me kind of interested. And you never know when the right double barrel shotgun deal will show up. But those, by definition, are on my "inexpensive list" and can wait. Still want em though. And you heard me chat about the SKS. And if I get that, might as well go for the .223 firing Mini-14. And what if that Winchester 88 shows up at the next gun show? Aaaaaaaahhh! That's the whole list right there, just about!

Well I don't HAVE the kind of money for four or five or even NINE boom-sticks in one year! Nor do I want the credit card debt that that would entail. And say I did go crazy, where am I gonna find the money to shoot them? Ammo ain't cheap, as you all know (all both of you). And ranges cost money to either get to or belong to.

Why can't I find a Crown Royal bag full of hundred dollar bills in the gutters around Adams Morgan? Just a few thousand. All I'd need. No illicit drugs in the velveteen bad, please. I have no use for that.
But enough of that fantasy. Money isn't going to fall out of the sky and into my lap. And I can't just make my gunstore owner super happy in one fell swoop with the power of plastic, as much as I want to. Only one thing left to do. Stamp my feet and whine, "but I WANT it!" over and over. Good thing my social life has taken a down turn lately. I'd probably be too annoying to keep friends at this point in time.

So, after a few deep breaths. And allowing reasonable thoughts to prevail. Ok. The 1911 is on the list. Maybe ONE more in 2008. Maybe. That .45 will come AFTER the next gunshow, so the Model 88 might follow me home from there. But if it doesn't, what should be the second gun of 2008? If I should even bother to GET a second. What say you? (both of you.)


A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca, c. 4BC - 65AD.

I wonder if that's a real quote, or one of those made up ones?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Marksman Book Review

The Marksmanship Primer

I got this book via the NRA. They send out emails and this was advertised in one of them. I figured, what the heck? It's a collection of several writers expositions on improving your marksmanship. It is geared toward improving your hunting performance in large part, thought there is plenty in there for anyone. There is even a section of pistoleering

It's almost all just basics. Fundamentals. And that is its beauty. Shooting well isn't difficult, if you have a handle on the fundamentals. It's always applying those fundamentals that matters and is the dificult part. Sometimes, but only rarely, on a single shot, I feel it all click together. I have paid attention to all the fundamentals, consciously or unconsciously, and shot well that one time. Maybe a coupla few times a session. I think the secret to my shooting success lies in mentally drill drill drilling the fundamentals into my head until they are all second nature. Then applying those to actual shooting practice. And then practice practice practice. Maybe mix the two activities a bit.

I need to get out to the range more. For fun and practice. I have plenty of marksmanship books, now, I think. Maybe there are tips that will help me fine tune in books out there. But I need to get "coarse tuned" now.

I'm not near finished reading it, and it is the sort of thing you turn back to to re-read often. If I glean any particularly TASTY nuggets from between its covers I will share those here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Considering the SKS

The SKS, of some version, is INDEED on my Master List. I know next to nothing about them, but like them because they are contemporaries of the Garand, (well, sort of) fire semi-auto, are butt-simple, and are generally inexpensive. That's about it. It would cover my bases for a single rifle in my cabinet that can fire Russian style 7.62x39mm ammo. Even though this is Uh-Merica!, that ammunition type is remarkably common thanks to surplus rifle enthusiasts.

Kim du Toit has a primer that I got most of my information from.

How do I know what is a decent SKS to buy? It's hard to educate yourself. Wait, I'll Google "SKS buying guide"

Huh, here's some useful info. No buy guide, perse, but good stuff.

How much should I expect to pay for a decent one? $200-ish? $300?

I've been warned against Chinese, told the best reputation is with the Yugo, Russina, and Romanian versions. Apparently most Chinese barrel are press-fit instead of threaded on? I'm not sure.

Simple breakdown/disassembly.

Chinee have pike bayonets on later models, the other countries, generally a blade bayonet integral to the rifle, and yugo types can have grenade launch attachments.

Can put in an
aftermarket mags for more capacity, but STILL load the rifle with stripper clips from above. Not sure how adding an extended mag well or detachable mags works...
More SKS aftermarket stuff from Tapco

About all I know on confition inspection is looking for no pitting and smooth action on the receiver. Cosmoline can hide pitting in the barrel, so be careful there. Sometime the corrosion can get to the gas piston, but I have no idea how to inspect that in the shop, expcept by asking the gun shop owner to show me the ropes on disassembly.

Here is a picture of the enemy posing for the camera with an SKS, the year before I was born. Propoganda picture I presume, and not spontaneous. Either that or the electric bill for Klieg lights in Victor Charlie bunkers must have been HUGE. Chuck here would probably prefer to have an AK-47, just like GI Joe on our side of the line might have prefered something with more bullets if issued a Garand. At least an M14, for Joseph. But this SKS for Charlie:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Saiga, too? Dang

It seems I may not be able to buy a Saiga in my home state. No shotguns with detachable mags are to be sold or possessed in Maryland.

Here is a picture of a Jay G's Saiga 20 gauge. He lives in MASSACHUSETTS, and he is 'allowed' to have one. No fair. I don't want to live is a worse police-state than Massachusetts. I'm disappointed. Anyway:

Also, no pistols with magazines ahead of the trigger. I assume that's detachable mags, and Mauser Broomhandles are fine, but you never know. The purpose is to deny extra-legal pharmacologists in loose youth-group association Tec-9 pistols. But it also means that the new Ruger Charger pistol based on the 10/22 is out. Also, no handle forward of the trigger, so no semi-auto Uzi with a handle, but without is just fine. Prolly same for the semi-auto Kriss Super V.

Here's one of the Tec-9 pistols, or the cover for it's manual. Itsa gun even out of fashion with criminal gangs as this point. Its look is about as fresh as Seattle Grunge styling circa 1994. What do criminals like to use now? The same they always liked, generally. Smallish medium caliber handguns. Sorta the same sidearm that police prefer. Tec-9:

But I didn't want the Tec 9.

I was sorta considering the Saiga. Or the 10/22 Charger.

Well dang. That make my Master List selections a little simpler.

Oh and since no pistol with a foregrip handle. I guess I'm going to have to price these:

It's a pistol, it's magazine is behind the trigger, that's no foregrip handle. No? You don't think? Maybe you're right.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Nifty Over/Under

This is a nifty Over/Under gun My Buddy The Gun Enthusiast found. The Crossfire That link is to an archived Guns magazine article

It's a 12 gauge pump, semi auto .223.

Fully loaded, the Crossfire carries a four-round, removable, 12 gauge rubber-coated magazine that forms the comb of the stock. The magazine and chamber accept either 2 3/4" or 3" shells. The magazine well of the .223 rifle portion of the Crossfire can accommodate any AR-15 or M-16 style magazine, although the factory-supplied sporting magazine, that seats flush with the magazine well, olds only five rounds.

I don't think I want one of those, though. But it does jibe with my earlier rumination on over/under survival guns like the Springfield M6 Scout. Just not compact.

I'd rather ditch the rifle part and just have a big magazine fed 12 gauge. Like this Saiga, with AK style working action.

Those can come with a 50 round magazine..... Mmmmm, want.

Monday, January 7, 2008

You Know What Else I Worry About?

Getting a hint of oil on the primers of any stored ammo. It is supposed to TOTALLY destroy the primer, making the gun firing that round go click instead of bang.

Then I saw this article.

And I relaxed.

Don't get oil on your stored ammo. But don't obscess over it, refusing to bring ammo into a ROOM that might have a can of WD-40 lurking in it somewhere. Read it. They pretty much soaked the primer end of a cartridge in petrochemicals for weeks.

That whole website is another informational new-to-me site I've been perusing.

Those are the Box O Truth guys. They like to actually test out theories and document it for us. Not as good as testing yourself, but better than merely taking some guy that posted to a forum's word for it. Much of it is testing how well various rounds shoot. They have figured it out that one milk jug is about the same as 3 inches of ballistic gelatin. But milk jugs are MUCH cheaper to test with. So if a round goes through 4 jugs in a row, then enters jug 5, it penetrated a bit over 12 inches.

They do other tests. How many inches of sand stop a bullet of just about any caliber (six! but low velicity pistols penetrate better. The low speed means the bullet doesn't break up so fast. ) They test against a Buick. Stuff like that. Nifty. I'm all for new and good data points in my learnin.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

a New Lefty Bolt Action...

by the KING. Remington:

Remington 700 XCR has some new lefty models. Including this in .30-06 and .300 magnum. Pretty sweet, and goes to my "ideal bolt action rifle" on this list. Not bad. Rugged. Corrosion resistant. Bare-bones but very high quality.

It isn't PERFECT. Perfect is in .308. Maybe with back-up iron sights. THIS is closer, the tactical version of the same rifle. I doubt IT comes in lefty. And I'd need to add iron sights, naturally, if I insisted on getting one. I prefer it for the shorter barrel, the caliber, the fluting on the barrel looks nice, and the sling attachments are nice. Less space-agey on the stock, too.

Friday, January 4, 2008

.50 cal Ammo Boxes

I found 2 more surplus army .50 cal ammo boxes in my basement, bring the total available up to 6. Gonna use em for... AMMO. Surprise.

I have my bandolier belts filled with 7.62, mostly, same with spare En Bloc clips, same with a belt for shotgun cartridges, 3 clips of .380, 3 speedloaders worth of .357. Besides them I have 2 ammo boxes full, 2 empty, and 2 ammo boxes that could be emptied to a cleaning station instead of storing cleaning materials like it does now.

(I love bore snakes, by the way. Have I told you that? Though a knot or two in a boot lace and dipped in engine oil will do the trick if you are REALLY hard up. So compact.)

Any way. Fill the ammo boxes and I have triple what I have now. Might not put too much 12 ga in the ammo boxes tho. Very bulky.

So, a box of .357, a box of .45, a box of miscellaneous .22, .380, some shotgun, 3 boxes of .308/7.62 I wonder how much that is, in numbers?

Probably smart to put a single brick of .22 in all the boxes.

Now we're getting into real numbers. And that should be plenty. Don't you think?

I think I'm stuck between 2 worlds with that inventory. If you're a hoplophobe it looks like WAY too much, if you are a serious Gun Enthusiast it looks like a mere pittance.

[UPDATE: And if you are Rudyard Kipling it looks like: "Oy! Wot? Ewe 'ave shite-all lain up innat arsenal, ewe TOFF! Shut yer gob and sod off!"]

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Springfield model PX9109LP

The model of .45 I've settled upon, the Springfield PX9109LP had concerned me.

My readers (both of them) already know I am a worry-wart. And I worry about minor details that may be an issue with proper function, but probably are not. It's like, if given the choice of living on 2 different planet Earths. One has regular sharks, the other has sharks with rubber teeth that never bite people. I'd worry and want to live on the rubber teeth world. Well that's silly isn't it? Even if I swam in the ocean a lot (and I don't) my chances of getting chomped on are minimal. Relax.

My worry with my 1911 .45 selection is, "Full Length guide-rods jam a bit more than regular, the way Browning intended, guide-rods." Or so I've read. Reports from owners of such guide rods are... no noticed issues. So. Relax.

In looking around at various disassembly/reassembly instructions in anticipation of aquiring a 1911, and in drooling over a similar model, there IS a interesting feature on the Springfield model PX9109LP. You need an allen wrench or some other tool take down and field strip the gun and get the bushing off the muzzle. Oh NOES!!! A special tool! What if I am 4 weeks into a zombie outbreak and need to field strip my .45 in 10 seconds? And how will I clean it! PANIC! Or not. You can still clean the barrel and kill more zombies without taking the gun apart. You can improvise the tool if you HAD to. It's not that big a deal. Relax.

What you bet there is an aftermarker source of those allen wrench guide rod plug ends that use a flat head screwdriver or some other alternative?

What you bet I can just swap out he full length guide rod with a regular guide rod faster than I can type this sentence?

SO I'll just sit here, relaxing.

Heh, and those disassembly videos on YouTube and such are nifty! If Mil-Spec versions came with tritium sights I think I'd have enough confidence to add a ambidextrous safety to a gun myself. It didn't look like there would be much fitting and fettling, just a drop in and a grip swap. But that circumstance is moot with a future purchase of a Springfield PX9109LP.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Survial Guns Addendum

I forgot another goldmine of folding guns that would make a halfway good survival system. Kel-Tec. Guns like the SU16C, SU16B, and SU16A. They all fire .223 rounds and use standard NATO magazines. This makes them a bit MORE than a mere survival rifle. They're all pretty similar, different barrel lengths and otherminor differences, and they all fold up. At least on carries spare mags in the stock. This is the B version.

And then there is the Kel Tec Sub2000:

which fires pistol caliber in 9mm or .40 cal. You specify the magazine type you want when you buy it. Also closer to a regular carbine with that type of caliber.

Now THAT is intriguing, if they come out with one that fires 1911 .45 mags.

Kel-Tec impresses me more and more. All reviews I've seen of Kel-Tec products go something like: "The gun was so cheap I figured that meant it would shoot bad and unreliably, but I was pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't enter any shooting contests with it, but I'd trust my life to it."

The styling on Kel-Tec is very modern. I'm more of a classicist. If you had a Marlin Camps Carbine and a Kel-Tec SUB2000 out in 'public' both firing the same round in the same numbers, the Kel-Tec is going to scare the hoplophobes, while the Marlin, with it's walnut stock, the hoplophobes might be less panisky because it LOOKS like a classic hunting rifle. Sort of the same reason to put your Bug Out Bag in a school backpack rather than a Tactical Black Stack-Up vest that LOOKS like something a ATF agent would wear to take down a cult compound. No one looks twice when you carry around a school backpack, they think you are a mall ninja when you have the tactical rig on.

I DO have a carbine or two on my wish list...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

How to Use a Headspace Gauge

I got permission from islandhopper to put up a copy of his step by step instuctions on how to use a headspace gauge in a Garand's receiver. It was too good NOT to disseminate.

Thank you, sir.

This was the forum I saw it on.


Make sure you have stripped the bolt, even if your gauge has the extractor cut-out. What brand gauge are you using? Forster tends to run a little bit short. I use them, but in this case you may want to try a Clymer or USGI gauge.

How to Check Headspace

1. Remove the receiver/barrel assembly from stock.

2. Remove the follower rod and operating rod spring.

3. Remove the operating rod.

4. Remove the bolt.

5. Disassemble/strip the bolt.

6. Make sure that the barrel chamber and bolt face are clean and free of grease, oil and debris.

7. Re-insert disassembled/stripped bolt into the receiver.

8. With the disassembled/stripped bolt approximately half-way retracted from the breech, partially insert a Go Gauge into the chamber.

9. Holding the Go Gauge from underneath the receiver with the index and/or middle finger of the right hand, use the thumb and index finger of the left hand to GENTLY move the bolt forward so that the rear of the Go Gauge is fully seated against the bolt face.

10. GENTLY move the bolt forward, allowing the bolt lug to seat on its own on the bottom of the receiver notch without additional pressure or force. As the bolt is moved into place, there should be no resistance while using very light finger pressure to move the bolt. For headspace to be sufficient, the bolt lug needs to be fully seated against the bottom of the receiver notch with the Go Gauge in place and without resistance.

11. Move the bolt back and remove the Go Gauge.

12. Repeat steps seven through 10 with the No Go Gauge. The bolt lug SHOULD NOT seat against the bottom of the receiver notch with the No Go Gauge in place. In other words, if the bolt fully closes on the Go Gauge and does not fully close on the No Go Gauge, headspace is sufficient and correct. If the bolt closes on both the Go Gauge and the No Go Gauge, a Field Gauge must be used to determine if the headspace is excessive and unsafe.

13. Move the bolt back and remove the No Go Gauge.

14. Repeat steps seven through 10 with the Field Gauge. If the bolt lug does not seat against the bottom of the receiver notch with the Field Gauge in place, headspace is still sufficient and not excessive. Therefore the bolt CAN close on the Go Gauge and on the No Go Gauge, but as long as the bolt DOES NOT close on the Field Gauge, headspace is still considered sufficient and correct. If the bolt closes on all three gauges (the Go Gauge, the No Go Gauge and the Field Gauge), headspace is excessive and the rifle is not safe to fire. A new barrel or bolt may rectify the headspace issue; however the receiver may also have excessive wear and may be a contributing factor as well.

Headspace Summary

1. Bolt does not close on Go Gauge – insufficient headspace and barrel chamber needs to be finished reamed to at least 1.940.

2. Bolt closes on Go Gauge but does not close on a No Go Gauge – headspace is correct.

3. Bolt closes on Go Gauge and No Go Gauge, but not on a Field Gauge – headspace is correct.

4. Bolt closes on Go Gauge, No Go Gauge and Field Gauge – headspace is excessive and barrel, bolt or even possibly the receiver will need to be inspected for replacement.