Sunday, February 28, 2010


Lots of good stuff on Uncle this week. What caught my eye most was:

If you combine all the lists I've seen together you'd have 100 separate vehicles.

And 3 point sling instructions are of interest to me. I've had a Rifle Sling Post of my own percolating for over a year. Horrible writer's block on continuing that Sling post. Mainly because there is no really good alternative to the M1907 leather sling on my traditionally stocked M1A. Or nothing modern that makes me happy and confident. Until I get it straight in my head, the post is not gelling.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


There is no downside to Bismarkian entitlement!


We had no business invading Iraq. Saddam wasn't nearly as bad as Clinton and W made him out to be. The invasion was totally unjustified. I'm sure anything he may have done, he'd neverdare to anything horrid from 2001 forward. Probably.

It's What's For Dinner.

I'm afraid Farmer Franks diatribe against vegan myths made me kinda hungry. I thought some organically grown bean stalks, bok choi, some free range tomatoes and some soy milk to wash it down would be good.

Are you kidding? That's the stuff food eats! And it's been ages since I had a New York Strip outside a camping trip or restaurant.

So I did this:

I'm not really set up here to do propane grilling. So this method is a godsend. But how good could it be.

Oh! It is SO worth it. Do it. Delicious. Meat. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Beef! It's what's for dinner!

I modified mine a little bit. The tiniest hint of chorizo pepper and garlic powder with the kosher salt and pepper. I put a pat of butter on the top of the steak as it went in the oven too. Next time, I think I can get away with a little less peanut oil in the sear stage. I set it in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes and it came out on a perfect medium rare, leaning toward rare. And I guessed at that. I don't need no steenking thermometer. And I didn't cut it to lose those precious juices through the rest stages. Yeah, I lucked out. But it's SO easy-peasy.

I'm thinking deglazing the pan to make a sauce next time... Or go for something like a blue cheese sauce. Not that this cut of meat needed anything. Look at me! I'm drooling again just thinking about it.

Gun content? I'm wondering if I can do something like this with venison tenderloin...

Or maybe something simpler next time, but still get my daily recommended supply of vitamin beef.


And while we are on the subject of cooking, here is master chef Anthony Bourdain:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gene Wolfe

One of my favorite authors from my youth was Gene Wolfe and his Book of the New Sun tetralogy. Shadow of the Torturer, Claw of the Conciliator, Sword of the Lictor and Citadel of the Autarch.

Smart guy. You should see some of the vocabulary he uses. Very challenging for the Junior High School kid I was. His sentences were well crafted, and I despaired ever coming close to that kind of precision when I put pen to paper. I still do.

When writing that series, he was interviewed by some trade publication asking about the upcoming 4th book and they misheard Citadel of the Autarch and wrote it as Castle of the Otter, of all things. That tickled Gene Wolfe and he wrote a 5th book using that title, with thoughts on the development of the series and tips for up and coming SciFi writers. Castle of the Otter came out in 1982. And rereading it now is interesting to see how the world turned out compared to how Wolfe thought it should.

He criticised the army for developing the M1A1 Abrams tank. He thought we should have the equivalent of drone Main Battle Tanks. Of course, the M1 turned out to be very effective at what it does. And maybe we’d have the technology now to have an effective drone tank today if we still were staring down the Soviets at the Fulda Gap. But why? With no crew to protect, you don’t need armor, why not make the ‘tank’ fly. A flying drone with hellfire missiles is harder to hit than a unmanned tank. And as effective.

He also thought it would be a good idea to put MX Peacekeeper missiles into fiberglass sailboats and just sail them around. He thought they’d be impossible to hunt down that way, looking for small non magnetic boats. Meh. Even floating them in Lake Michigan isn’t the best idea, but at least that would keep the Soviet OPFOR counteracting efforts frustrated. But why? To make the MX a better deterrent? We had other legs on that Triad. Turning them into a cheaper but easier found than a submarine naval asset does what to help that Triad? Traditional silos have advantages all their own as part of that grouping. (disadvantages too, but that’s why you have 3 so strengths of one can cover weaknesses of others.)

Seems kind of muddle headed.

And finally, Gene Wolfe justified cavalry in modern (or near and far future) application in this book. Know this, he was a Korean War vet and his conjecture is kind of intriguing.

Wolfe assumed genetic manipulations of horse to make them cheetah fast. He did the math. With a 19th / 20th century horse you can cover the effective range of the shoulder fired infantry arm in the time he can take 1 shot with a muzzle loader, so cavalry was effective in that case (Napoleonic wars). But an infantryman can get off multiple shots in the effective range of his bolt action rifle, to destroy charging cavalry. But what if you decreased the effective range of modern infantry but gave them full auto fire, AND you got your super-horse to run at cheetah speeds?

Or you gave both infantry and cavalry unlimited rates of fire with beam weapons? (He was sure, in 1982, that laser rifles were coming out in 10 years of so. ~sigh~) And assume the horses have Kevlar armor. His argument for cavalry in these circumstances almost works. And if there is technological breakdown and motorcycles and helicopters no longer work, it’s nice to have a super fast means of transport like genetically modified horse that can reproduce for generation after generation and provide long-term high-speed transportation assets.

It all falls apart when you are using a few long range heavy machine guns. Better gallop at 100 miles an hour for scouting and dragoon type fighting.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Frozen's Remington

My buddy Frozen bought a new gun and got to shoot it this past weekend.

He got a Remington 5R. It shoots .308. He slapped a cheap buckmaster scope on it just for trying out the rifle. When he has save more shekels he’ll get a better set of optics. From what I understand, a lot of cheap optics CAN be just fine. For a little while. You buy the good stuff you notice crisper lenses, but you also get a scope that can take the abuse to shooting without rattling itself over time to inaccuracy. Not that I know that from experience, it’s just what I heard. The replacement optic will be a Leupold Mk4. Retails for as much as a rifle.

He was VERY happy with how well it shot. Minute of angle with factory ammo. Maybe .75 MOA with 175gr Sierra match kings over 44gr of Reloader-15 (thems are code words that reloaders will understand, but I only grok a little bit). And he got to shoot it out to 300yds.

Another quote from Frozen hard to grok? He’s getting his wife an AR upper built for a lefty. It ejects the brass outboard instead to cleavage-wise. He’s getting a new trigger group for it too, and he said “it’s gonna have a timney trigger… 3lb break with no take up or over-travel…”

Wow. It’s like a whole nother language at this point. I can follow it, but just barely. If he added a nonsense term it might go right past me: “it’s gonna have a timney trigger with a Helsinki smash-rod… 3lb break with no take up or over-travel…” See?

And Frozen had zero firearms when I started mentioning I was taking up shooting and hitting the gun range nearby and hey, I’ve heard good things about the Springfield XD… I feel half responsible for his surging interest. I’m so proud! He reloads. He has a metric crapload (slightly less than the Olde Tymey Imperial Shite-Tonne.) of Warsaw Pact iron. He has a few modern guns including this new bolt action tack driver. He just got a HUGE gun safe down to his basement, too. Yes, he’s gone whole hog gun nut. Good on him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Men At Arms

So I like this Terry Pratchett guy. I’ve covered about 90% of his Discworld books and enjoyed every moment of it. It’s truly a shame that we are losing the man to Alzheimers.

The books about Ankh Morpork, the city most of the stories revolve around, are REALLY stories about the Patrician, Havelock Vetinari, and his efforts, through benign tyranny and subtle but ruthless machinations, to make an ungovernable process ‘work’. Think about it. He set’s up guilds for everything, even the town thieves and murderers, to self-regulate, he makes the City Watch function again for general order and stuff that’s beyond the perview of the guilds, then a telegraphy system, then a post office, then a mint. Uusally via cat’s paws and puppets that he puts in place. He’s then lets the individual self-interests of the city’s populace make these schemes work by fulfilling needs. It’s like a tyrannical/libertarian utopia, Ankh Morpork. An intriguing duality there. Good thing Ventinari is likeable, in a Machiavellian sort of way.

Well, I just got through reading a book I must have skipped over, and it’s GUN related.

For those that aren’t familiar with the Discworld series, it’s hilarious, and quasi medieval fantasy. The soliders use bows and swords, and there are wizards and dragons. That sort of thing.

And it seems that quite a few fantasy genres will touch upon the whole ‘first gun ever invented’ theme. This series is no exception. And when there is the ‘first gun ever’ it always pops up fully formed. There is no primitive bamboo tube stage, no wheellock stage, no smooth bore stage… the first gun is always a multi-shot breech loader and is rifled. And the first rifleman is as deadly as a Marine Sniper with no practice on targets 400 yards away.

Men At Arms is no exception. The rifle is called a “Gonne” to make it seem Olde Tymey.

Oh, and one more annoying thing about the Gonne. It’s sentient. And evil. It just wants to kill and will go off on its own to achieve this dastardly end. It takes a force of will to resist its deadly influence if you are the wielder.

Yeah yeah, it’s disappointing. But Pratchett IS an Englishman. It would be more surprising if he wasn’t a hoplophobe. And this book was written in 1993. I think he’s matured, even, since then, in the series. Even here, despite this one example, the themes in his books are not leftist by any means. The themes lean more toward self-reliance with classically heroic protagonists. And told in a hilarious fashion. I mean it. HILARIOUS. These books make me laugh out loud in rooms by myself.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The 'Chewing Dead'

Historical Zombies

They were worried about zombies in the 17th C. They were worried about them before that, but this is actual proof of it from the 1600s.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I was so excited and enthusiastic about the "Starbucks Appreciation Day" that... well...

Mistakes were made.

My bad. I was only going to by a coffee, but now, heck, ring up a pound of beans and give me THREE of those pastries over there. Totally my fault, but I say we blame this on Toyota.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I like the IDEA of Mitt Romney. He’s an adult. It’d be nice to have adults running the show again. He has plenty of executive experience. He was a successful businessman so he know how the rest of America works outside the public sector. He’s smart and an effective public speaker. The whole Mormon thing doesn’t bother me.

But he is another Metrocon. He’s a conservative on the wrong side of the vital Civil Rights issue outlined by the Second Amendment. And he has onerous things on his political record to back up that hoplophobic attitude. I’m sure JayG will clue you in, if you want to hear him rant (and I recommend it. Jay’s rants are wonderfully entertaining.)

He's no Bill O'Reilley, but Bill isn't running for president.

Romney will have to SPRINT to get ahead of the issue to convince me he has changed. Maybe insist everyone around him Open Carry when there is press around? Insist the Congress pass a federal Shall Issue CCW law? And somehow get that passed even though he has no way to lean on lawmakers. He’d have to do something to earn my support at the voting booth. And I’m not alone.

Plus the Massachusetts Socialized Medicine. Another big strike against Mitt. No more ‘compassionate’ conservative silliness.

So Mitt… Good in theory, horrible in execution.

Maybe Mitt would make a good Veep...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

metro again

Oh, and to be clear, I by rights should be a MetroCon. It's how I was brought up. I am a child of the suburbs, and my gaze was focused on downtown, not the outer farm belts.

My Boy Scout youth was pretty much devoid of firearms. Even though we met weekly at an Isaak Walton League chapter. There was never any mingling of organizations while I was there. Pity. The Isaak Walton types could have done some serious recruiting that way.

I had the standard boyhood fascination with all thing military, but that didn't translate to actually USING guns. And many suburbanites simply grow out of that and leave it behind.

Guns were something rednecks had. They used it for hunting and to scare people off their land. Also, police and Army soldiers had guns. But I didn't want to be either of those. Guys in the suburbs didn't have guns. Unless they wanted to be cops, maybe.

Heck, I didn't get my first deer until I was 40!

None of my closest relatives were pro-gun. They were decidedly neutral. Cousins and Aunts, in some cases, were actively ANTI-Gun. Wouldn't even let their kids play with toy guns. And this was in the 1970s.

My fascination was toward aviation. Since 5th grade I wanted to be a fighter pilot. That expanded to wanting to design fighter planes. That desire led to trying to be an engineer and a Naval Aviator. I came by my aviation enthusiasm honestly. BEFORE Top Gun came out. But none of that interest is to conducive to shooting.

I guess my back-up college degree, the study of History, after failing out of Calculus and Aerospace Engineering, was a bit of a firearm seed. Particularly since I concentrated in military history to complement my officer training.

How the hell did I become a gun enthusiast? Jimmy Carter's (History's Greatest Monster!) obvious failure made me a conservative, but I should be a MetroCon and care little or nothing about firearms. Maybe that tenuous link to my military service contributed. Certainly the History study.

I guess I am just lucky. Run into a few gun enthusiast friends and there is no telling what can happen. Like MBtGE.


As an aside, that pretty much really is why I became a conservative. Carter's failures and Reagan's successes was the start. My family didn't go to church much, so social conservative currents don't carry my course too much. No offense to the Super-Religious, but a subset of your cohort can be off-putting to me by coming on too strong. I know you generally mean well, though.


If I read Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Starship Troopers already a buncha times, but none of his other works, which 3 Heinlein books should I go pick up at the bookstore right now?

Iconic MetroCon

Here is an example of a particularly loathsome type of MetroCon. He is not merely unfriendly to conservatives that refuse to kowtow to civil rights restrictions, he wants to actively restrict those rights.

Most Metrocons merely actively ignore or avoid gun issues. If pressed, they know gun people are their political allies and will come down on the side of the 2nd Amendment. If pressed from BOTH sides, their fellow conservatives and their fellow urbane urbanite friends and colleagues, they can be unpredictable and start voting for Assault Weapons Bans and Microstamping and other unreasonable intrusions.

Not Bill. And it reeks of, "well there is nothing wrong with ME having a gun or a cadre of bodyguards to protect my particularly valuable skin, but YOU rubes, you normal people, you can't be trusted. And God forbid one of you in your stupidity hurt one of your social betters, accidentally."

I don't know how to fix a brain like Bill's. I do know that he has it wrong on the whole high-brow/low-brow, Class-Warfare thing. I am better than HIM. He isn't good enough to clean dog poop off the soles of my shoes. Not with that tyrannical attitude. It's a shame he is allowed to vote or influence other voters.

And it IS a shame. If you ignore the times he acts like an ass, Bill is often on the correct side of many political issues. And he really makes the other side mad enough to punch a hole in their hats. But stuff like this hurt hats on his side of the aisle, too.

More Fantasy

Hey, speaking of being Bill Gates rich.

What would YOU do if you woke up one morning a billionaire?

I'd buy land. Mixed timber quality woods and some meadow. Place a nice house on it. Some outbuildings. Even small cabins out in the hinters of it. I'd never have to worry about getting a hunting license again because I'd have enough acreage to do my rifle shooting and not bother the neighbors. There'd be enough acreage and outbuildings that I could have a BIG blog meet and be able to put everyone up.

I'd HAVE a nice gun range on that parcel. Rifle and pistol, separate. With proper pits for the rifle targets and the ability to do IDPA without endangering anyone on the pistol range. Maybe a shoot house. What's a blogmeet at a billionaire's estate without some shoot house work?

I doubt I'd buy that big truck, bet there would be a few nice vehicles in the garage. 1965 Bonneville. 1957 Cadillac DeVille. 1952 Dodge Power Wagon. Those are just for fun. ATV's and Farm equipment for the property.

I wouldn't prolly get a big ostentatious custom pick em up truck. But you never know.

The place would be on the grid but I could disconnect if I wanted to and rely on my solar panels and other options for power.

I'd buy that OV-10 Bronco, and get a lot of hours in learning to fly. Not the Bronco, at first. That's no beginner plane. To learn I'd get a T-34. Or 2, because, hell, I'm rich.

Of course there would be some serious firearm acquisitions to add to the collection. Even a few machine guns. Just for giggles.

But that would be all I'd acquire. I'd like to set up a living history museum of my own. Make an artificial 'street' on property with simulated storefronts. I'd have these filled with early 1900's era artifacts to make it look like a 100 year old functioning central business district. The blacksmith shop would be a working one, able to shoe horse. The apothecary could make up pills using powders from old jars (fresher ingredients, natch), the barber shop could give you a proper shave with hot towels and everything. The tailor shop would have the material and sewing machines needed for a skilled tradesman to set you up with a suit of clothes. Attached millinery, and dressmaker, too. A hardware store filled with old style nails, tools, paints, &c. A biergarten in the center of 'town', with beer made on premises. Shoemaker, Cabinetmaker, Watchmaker/Jeweler, Baker, maybe a Cooper, Cobbler, Stone Cutter/Mason yard, Butcher and Grocer. Some of those can combine. Hardware store and general store with a forge out back, and attached cabinet maker shop, that sort of thing.

I'd need Bobbi to come run the vintage electronic shop. I would be too strict on the era of materials. The 1914 'town' might just happen to have a 1965 era radio shack.

Don't forget the big steam engine and fly wheel to power it all.

There. That should cut into the billion. And secure my legacy as an interesting eccentric.

Even with a billion dollars, I bet I have more 'want' than wallet.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Making of I'm On A Horse

MD Gun Laws

Just a heads up. The sponsor of latest Assault Weapons Ban in this state withdrew his legislation from committee consideration at the State House in Annapolis yesterday morning or the day before.


The so called "Scarlet Letter G" legislation is next up. It's an enhanced gun-purchase permitting system, maybe like Massachusetts, but with an unknown fee, a maybe onerous training requirement, and maybe a mark on your driver's license. It's a bit of a moving target, and politicians are getting flooded with angry calls about the silliness it represents. I'm optimistic it will die in committee, too.

Sadly, the annual efforts to make the state shall-issue will also be killed by the chairman, Frosh, as he does every year.


Talk of CounterStrike kiddies by Caleb and Tam. There is lots of reminiscing in the comments. People remembering when they were young and stupid and yet knew everything. High School, ahhhh. What a great time to be alive.

I was just as stupid as everyone else (probably moreso) but I lucked out on my gun preconceptions. Oh yes, I called magazine ‘clips’ (still slip on that occasionally) and I thought the Mac-10 was better than the Uzi because one of my friends said the Mac had a faster rate of fire, and both were better than that stoopid M-16. Mainly because 9mm was bigger than 5.sumthin (I could never remember the .56 part) millimeter.

But my BIGGEST pre-conception was that the .357 revolver with a 4”-6” barrel was a pretty decent handgun to shoot a bad guy with if it came to that. Now I’ve learned a lot more about firearms, and used a lot of firearms and I have figured out that… the .357 revolver with a 4”-6” is still a pretty decent handgun to shoot a bad guy with if it came to that.

I owned that preconception because I was lucky. Not because I was wise.

I wonder where I picked that up? I couldn’t have come up with it on my own. Perhaps it was from one of the 3 Soldier Of Fortune magazines I bought at High's Dairy convenience store during the years of high school.

What else so I remember from SOF? That snipers can be a force multiplier, so it is better to have some that to have none. And that bounty hunting is a good job and you get to carry a gun. I’m sure there was other stuff in those 3 magazines. Like mercenaries in Africa, but that was more than 20 years ago for me to dredge up the memory. The memory appropriate to THIS post was a review of a stainless steel Colt Python. Yup. That could leave an important impression. Am I remembering this right? Was a stainless Python kinda new in the mid 1980s?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


This isn’t the first time I read in a gun blog the assumption that the good guys are gonna win the McDonald Case going up before the Supreme Court. Like it is a fait accompli.

I am not so optimistic. Not because I think there is any flaws in the argument, or the current court composition is particularly unfriendly, etc., its’s just that I am more pessimistic by nature. It’s still down to the whim of Justice Kennedy. If his mood swings the other way at a critical week in the up coming year… Doom.

I just worry. We could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

And if that happens the finger pointing will phenomenal. Not just the NRA pointing at Gura and vice versa… There is a lot of important ramifications for all liberty leaning causes. This isn’t just a gun case. It’s a Constitution case. I happen to be a big fan of the Constitution and a loss on the 14th Amendment that doesn't correct past wrongs undermines that sacred document. Yes, I said sacred. The Constitution should be held sacred by even rock ribbed atheists for what it ideally provides/ensures.

Anyway. On McDonald. I have my fingers crossed and there is the tiniest glimmer of hope in my heart, but I won’t count this chicken until it hatches. If it does hatch, the forces of good and lovers of liberty aren’t done. Not by a long shot. There is still lots of toiling in the fields to do. But a victory in this case will help. Indeed. The RIGHT victory will help even more, depending on the vote and the majority/dissent opinions

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

M14 Rigs

I'm looking to minimize the weight and bulk of basic gear in the event of a Level 4 Zombie outbreak. I have a chest rig that holds 8 mags for the M1A, and you know what? That's damn heavy.

I need to comb over more photos from the early 60s when the M14 was issued. The most gear I've seen on an rifleman about to use his rifle, and not hump a lot of gear somewhere, is like the setup on this toy doll.

On another costume representation, that looks pretty representative of historical setups, this has a similar surplus suspender-rig/belt-webbing that I have currently, sans the mag pouches and some of the other extraneous pouches:

And it's French.

Six mag pouches may be extra. From what I understand, and I may have this wrong, the combat load in the early 60's was only 100 rounds of 7.62. So take away 2 of those mag pouches and put a magazine in the rifle.

I know what the canteens and mag pouches are. There is a first aid kit bottom center. I wonder what the other 3 pouches are?... Cleaning kit?

But I'm also thinking about maybe getting a Molle vest rig with the pistol belt might be better. And only 2 or 3 rifle mag pouches attached to the vest, and one pistol mag pouch. When will I need all 4 mags of rifle ammo, anyway, even with a horde of zombies? If I get that separated from a source of supply I should be moving not shooting. And I can't move with a crap load of weight. I can grab a 5 mag bandolier if I have to and loop it over a shoulder. Give me the option of shedding weight a little at a time without dropping unique gear.

I think I'll stick to canteens over camelback water carrying. I just never warmed up to the whole camelbak concept.


I asked a Marine that was in in the 90s, before all this MOLLE gear and red dot optics got popular what he carried and how.

Back then, for him, it was Alice pack and web gear (the suspender thing as pictured above). Canteens on hip. No camelback then. He had a vest that carried 4 M-16 mags and 2 grenades, and his primary job was not trigger pulling. The vest clipped onto the web gear stuff somehow. If they chose to, they could carry 2 more mags in a pouch on a belt.

There was an additional 100 rounds or so in the backpack, too. A battlepack, I imagine, maybe.

Ugh. Glad I don't have to hump all that gear. Perhaps I should, anyway. Just to get in better shape. I'll stick to flat trails though. IF I ever find good shoes. I hope that big zombie uprising doesn't come too soon... There is a lot to be said for sheltering in place.

[Can you picture me going camping/backpacking with a M14, 1911, and all the mags decked out on my gear in a National Park of some type? Like, say, the C&O canal towpath along the Potomac in Maryland? The local constabularies would flip their collective wigs. Yeah. Don't want to REALLY do that around here... Even if I could handle the weight of weapon and ammo IRL.]

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

These Things Creep Me Out

Sleeping Bag

I got me a new sleeping bag a bit ago. The leftover bag from Boy Scouts and my dad's Suplus mummy bag from the 1960's weren't doing the trick. For one thing, I am taller and bigger, and those older bags are cramped. I want rolling around room.

So I got a Military Style jobber. Called the GI Modular Sleep System. (Do NOT pay $450, with shipping, for one of these. I got mine, brand new, for under $100. Oh wait, found a direct link for a cheaper one.)

It's 3 sleeping bags, really. A thin plasticized outer shell to help keep water off, a green fluffy regular bag inside that, and a black fluffy regular bag inside THAT. In warmer weather you'd leave the black inner bag behind. In the arctic you'd want that black bag and some serious long underwear.

Here''s the problem. All 3 bags together as a unit BARELY fit in the accompanying stuff sack. If you stuff the shell and green bag into the sleeping bag compartment of your backpack you still have to tie on the black inner bag to the outside of your pack.

Scroo it. If I go WINTER backpacking, I'll just have to find a slightly bigger stuff sack for the 3 sleeping bags, and pack warm weather clothing into the backpack sleeping bag compartment. I'll lash the darn sleeping bag to the outside of the pack.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Too Late

"Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration by T.J. and the Revo is a parody of the song Apologize by Timbaland featuring OneRepublic. A perfect video for President’s Day."

h/t Neatorama.

I especially like B. Franklin on bass.


Ima gonna go visit my Momma in Florida. She's old, so she had to move down to Florida. It's the law, you know. God's waiting room.

And I HATE flying. Well, I hate flying in an airliner. And all the rigmorole associated with that. Sure, sure, the TSA stuff is execrable, but it's not just that. It's the luggage check in, the tiny seats, the expense, the worrying about parking, the chance of luggage loss, the OTHER annoying people on the plane, connecting flights, the poor view of outside.

I LIKE flying, the act of. I just wish I could do the trip in the pilot seat of a OV-10 Bronco. Of course I'd have to HAVE a Bronco to do that. And a pilot's license. Etcetera.

The Ford Bronco was an SUV OJ Simpson used to 'flee' police. The OV-10 Bronco was a utility aircraft that performed light hauling and ground attack and spotter duties. So it was also sorta like an SUV. It'd be perfect for me. Hauling me and my crap on vacations. I could even bring a friend and all THEIR luggage. It sure would make blogmeets fun. It's fast enough that a trip to Florida wouldn't be too onerous, and the ability to do pretty short takeoffs and landings means I could pick pretty sketchy airfields to get closer to my ultimate destination.

Yeah, yeah, more fantasy.

Anyhoo. Strategy for the actual early April trip to Ma's. Use a cab to get from my house to a close by DC Metro station and take THAT to Reagan National. Now I don't have to worry about parking. From Reagan I've selected only a direct flight. Less chance of going wrong missing some connecting flight in Pittsburgh due to a delay somewhere in the system. And I only will use a carry-on case to avoid luggage snafus and to keep baggage handlers for riffing though my stuff. Sure, I could lock my luggage AND bring my CCW piece with me to mom's, but that does necessitate checking my bags. And all the attendant hassle and delay that presents. Mom's a bit of a hoplophobe anyway and would be none too thrilled to have a hidden holstered pistol in her presence.

[If I DID need to bring enough stuff that wouldn't fit in a carry on, you're darn tootin I'm checking that bag with a gun in it. Disapproval or no disapproval from mom. Just because I want to lock that all up. I can even still do Reagan National that way, but I can't take the Metro. The Metro passes through DC on the way to a the airport in Virginia. DC isn't as bad, legally as pre-Heller, but it's still not GOOD. In the event something happens on the way there in the train...]

My whole travel strategy tries to minimize my exposure to the crappier parts of airline flying. In and out with a minimum of fuss in a minimum of time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marine M45 Ammo

Interesting... The Marines thinking of carrying semi-wadcutter 185 grain .45 ammo in their newly issued (re-issued?) M45 pistols. I know Jeff Cooper had studied that type of .45 round and discarded it. But he preferred hardball ammo. At least at one point in time. The stuff I read about Coopers choice may have been overcome by events as better 1911s and better hollow point self-defense ammo came out.

But then I see in the Update that the ammo wasn't for combat use, but target competition. Why wadcutters for target use? That type of bullet punches a neater hole than round nose.

I've tried those semi-wadcutter rounds. The pistol kicks less, and that can be good for accuracy and follow up shots. I had no feed problem but I only shot 50 of them.

I wonder what the self-defense statistical effectiveness is on that type of round, too...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Machine Pistol

A buddy at worked suggested hashing out the utility of a machine pistol. You know, like a Glock 18, a Mac-10 or a Mini-Uzi.

I told him that that topic has been touched on before, a little bit. To whit:

It takes quite a bit of skill to wield a machine pistol effectively. In other words, to make your machine pistol act like a stocked submachine gun. Like a Tommy Gun or a Kriss. If you have that extra skill and really need the ease of carry and concealability in some specific circumstance, THEN you might select a such a tiny bullet hose. A skilled shooter that DIDN'T need the portability but did need pistol caliber sized automatic fire would just carry a regular submachine gun..

(It's like choosing a pistol grip shotgun over a shoulder stocked shotgun. You don't purposely choose the pistol grip unless you absolutely have to. Circumstances where the shotgun being short is more important than the shotgun being easy to use well.)

And the other thing is, there are only a few narrow circumstances where you want or need even a regular sub machine gun for anything. Repelling boarders comes to mind. Suppressing fire in close range small unit tactics. Clearing confined areas of badguys where your Rules of Engagement expects you to probably kill said bad guys, and a short weapon is handy in close quarters. Also, there are good for relatively inexpensive noisemaking (compare to rifle ammo).

In fact, I have very little experience shooting anything full auto, but I have shot twice as much submachine gun as I have shot machine gun. Golly they ARE fun.

Based on that limited experience, and observing other at the same place, I can't see a reason to use expect much of anything effective from a machine pistol. Or a shoulder fired machine gun. If you absolutely need automatic fire you should have a crew served machine gun on a tripod or a bipod of some other mount, and that gun fires rifle sized ammo. Or you should have a submachine gun with a shoulder stock that shoots pistol type ammo. The other kinds seem kinda nigh useless. In my opinion.

If I got super-wealthy over night. Like a rich uncle left me millions in his will, I might go through the hassle of obtaining something that shot full auto. But since I have no REAL purpose for that type of weapon, it'd just be a way to pee my money away. In other words, a noisemaker. And even though I was filthy rich, I'd get submachine guns. MAYBE one belt fed crew served machinegun and MAYBE a BAR. But definitely a subbie or two. NOT a pistol subbie.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Let's go over the evolution of issue Infantry weapon ammunition of the United States military. One thing has not changed. You got a bunch of guy. You turn them into soldier. A large number of these soldiers need to go out and shoot the enemy soldiers one on one. That enemy can be British, Mexican, brother Americans, Spaniards, Germans, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Iraqi or Terrist. Whatever. You need to give you guys a principle personal weapon to do this shooting of the enemy. That personal weapon will be, invariably, some form of shoulder fired long gun.

The ammo.

Originally, it was a simple lead ball.

Then improvements were made. Percussion caps made it easier to fire with less flash in the pan.

Then the Minie ball allowed for easier use of rifling in your long gun. Now every shooter has a rifle with greater accuracy and range.

Then breechloaders came about. Range was improved because pressures could be greater in your Spencer rifle.

Then self contained cartridge ammunition was introduced. Stuff like the .45-70 army. The round was smaller than the old .58 caliber, but it more than made up for this loss of oomp by ease of use and greater internal pressures allowing greater range. Not that the .45 lead ball lacked for 'oomph' that much.

Smokeless powder came out. Another improvement. Bolt action rifles allowed for greater rates of fire. Now the Army was issue with .30-40 Krags. Better than the .45-70? Arguably, yes indeed. The .30-40 had greater velocities, flatter trajectories.

The next improvement settled on was a better bolt action rifle. The ammo was pointier now. 'Spitzer' bullets flew better, and faster. And the cartridge was improved compared to the .30-40. The Army got the venerable .30-06. No one would argue the .30-40 was better than that round. And that lesson was hard learned, where Spanish soldiers firing better Mausers at US fighter armed with Krags.

So how do you improve on the .30-06? Easy. You make something as good in speed and power, but maybe you make the round a bit shorter to work better in semi-automatic weapons. Similar performance in a more portable round. And being shorter it was slightly lighter. Easier to carry that way. And you have the .308 to hand.

Ok... Now how to improve on that? We're starting to cut the baloney thin. You can't make the leaps forward we used to, tripling the range from lead ball to Minie ball, or tripling again to self contained breech loaded smokeless powder cartridges. Tripling the range again now. That's north of 3000 yards. It's hard to pick out men to shoot that far away with binoculars. Binoculars you can lift and carry. You can continue to make the cartridge lighter and easier to port around, I guess. That's good, right? Make it 2/3rds the size of the .308. It won't hit as hard. But it will be easier to control on follow up shots or on automatic fire. The round might be small, but we can up the velocity to make up for that. Aim for equivalent power at target. Sorta. Anyway, here's the latest and greatest .223 round. Less than half the diameter of the old .45-70 and very much lighter in bullet weight. And the whole cartridge is much lighter than the precursor .308. Some say the .223 (or 5.56mm) is an improvement on the .308 (and in some ways it is) and some say it is not (and in some ways it is not.)

So? What next? It will have to be revolutionary. Maybe get away from a slug thrower all together. Maybe go MUCH bigger and be shooting bomblets. Smart bomblets that seek out bad guys 1000 yards away hiding around a corner and get him AND all his buddies nearby with one shot. Or energy weapons firing charged particles. Or maybe get rid of the Infantry dude altogether and use Robots. I don't know. I can't even imagine what path it will take. Like I said, it would almost have to be revolutionary.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm on a horse.

And I DO smell manly. A combination of Lucky Strikes, bourbon, Vitalis, Barbasol and Aqua Velva. A hint of methane. The only thing that could make me smell more manly is some smokeless powder.

Ya know...

If they could figure out a way to compel zombies to shovel snow...


animated zombie teaser

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowpoca... OhENOUGHalready!!!

I put my snow shovel in my guns safe and my rifles on the front porch. The shovel is more valuable and there is less chance someone will steal the rifles.

Poor thing is about worn down to a nub.

20 more inches tonite. On top of the 30 already there.


... and another 'up to 2 feet' is coming this afternoon. Plus sleet. Plus 40mph winds. So I might have 2 inches or it might drift up to 7 feet at my door.

Took the vet to the grocery store yesterday. I forgot to get a half pint of cream for myself. I have a hankering for proper mashed taters. Ah well.

Snow and Rock Salt

Well, you were right. Using rock salt 12 gauge was NOT the way to go. If your goal was to clear snow, at least. If your goal was to scare the hell out of your neighbors, well then it worked a treat. Good thing the snow kept patrol cars away or I'd be blogging from gaol. Today is Tuesday, I'm finally dug out, and the cops ain't sniffing around so I guess I am home free.

This is the worst winter I remember. And was here for those storms in the late 70s, early 80s. I blame Jimmy Carter, still for those storms. Everything Carter touches is corrupted. He's like walking botulism. History's Greatest Monster, indeed.

And this is Washington where whenever there is a big snow people talk about the Knickerbocker Theater. As though there is anyone around to remember it, but everyone remember older relatives handing the story down. It becomes particularly important a story when building start collapsing...

During the interminable digging out process I saw a downy headed woodpecker, and a hawk flew right over head. I could have hit it with a snowball. I didn't want to, as that raptor had enough on his plate, dealing with a murder of crows that were harassing it.

Day two, Sunday, I went to check on my crotchety old WWII veteran neighbor. Just as I got to his house ANOTHER neighbor was getting there with a snow blower. It seems the old bastard had given this OTHER neighbor some tomatoes from his garden last summer. Favor remembered, favor returned. And it saved my back digging him and his car out. Not that he can go anywhere.

I only fell on my ass that one time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

boom de yada 6

It's spreading.

Monroe County Indiana

1896-1935. The Coroner's report.

Careful, this link is in PDF format.

An absolutely fascinating historical document.

We can, perhaps, assume it is a nigh complete record of deaths in a single county of Indiana, including Bloomington, covering 39 years.

Lots of preventable deaths, naturally. Quite a few of childhood diseases we have a handle on today. Infants accidentally suffocated is common. One kid died from a hemorrhage after a circumcision. The details involving fatal car accidents seem also quite preventable. There is a whole lot of stupidity going on in the beginning of the 20th Century. And stupidity kills.

Very few septicemia kills. Infection from a wound. In the days before antibiotics I expected more. One infection from a botched illegal abortion. Quite a few pneumonia deaths, and I imagine antibiotics might have been of use there.

Each entry tries to describe cause of death, sometime other pertinent facts that turned up in an investigation surround the death, a brief description of the decease, height, weight, name, and age. There is a note as to anything of value with the dead person, and who might be in possession of those items at that time. If someone was murdered they often mention who dood it, by name.

Here is a sample, let's see if the format translates, for those that don't bother to check the link:

11/21/1930 ~~ DINSMORE, Wylie Henderson ~~ 56 ~~ 5'8"/150# ~~

Mr. Dinsmore was last seen walking east on State Road 46 approx 1/2 mile west of his farmhouse, following a corn shredder which was being moved by a tractor driven by Mr. Sam Binkley. It was fast becoming dark, there was no light on the rear of the shredder, and a Ford driven by Mr. M. W. Hatfield overtook the shredder and collided with it. Mr. Dinsmore was crushed between the two, suffering a fractured skull and both legs, also numerous flesh wounds.~~//~~Usual working man's clothing, one gold watch, very badly damaged.

Lots of suicide back then, too. For some reason, folks were depressed, as if there was some Great Depression of some sort bearing down on them. People seemed to have a propensity to off themselves by ingesting carbolic acid, a common disinfectant. It'd be like killing yourself drinking Lysol today. You were much more likely, back then, statistically to die by your own hand than at the hands of a murderer, using any means, either way. (A few were gutsy enough to slit their own throat, many self-hangings, and the various other famous poisons, arsenic, strychnine, that sort of thing.)

Working at Johnson's Quarry seemed pretty hazardous, too. A good place to be if you wanted to leave this world by making a big squishing sound.

And there is a surprising amount of detail regarding gun content. Particularly around suicides. Search the report for the terms "suicide", "murder", "homicide", "shot", "bullet", "calibre".

There was 28 suicides by firearm, 21 homicides by firearm (4 of those declared justifiable in conclusions in the report)

To break it down for you, several/many .32s, .38s, and one .22 and two .41 revolver (justifiable shootings by police are included, and a cop had that .41, as well as an I.S. contractor. Though how that contractor got off, I have no idea. The bullet's entry was in the scapula are and traveled up to the front of the throat/neck. In other words he shot him in the back. Now I know there are scenarios where a back shot can be justifiable, but... At least the dead 'bad guy' was armed.) One Remington .22 auto rifle, one 'Luger .22 automatic revolver w/ steel jacketed bullets' (?!?!?!?!), some 12 gauge action, and a few unspecified calibers/models. One .35 caliber and a .25 mentioned once each. A .24 caliber. A .32 caliber rifle is mentioned in a suicide. A sweet 16 shotgun is in the list, too.

Death by caliber:
.22 = 5
.25 = 1
.32 = 17
.35 = 1
.38 = 16 and (One .38 pistol was mentioned but not used to cause death, it was just in the deceased's personal effects.)
.41 = 2
.44 One mentioned among personal effects
.45 = 2

20g = 1
16 = 1
12 = 10 and there were many other unspecified bores of shotgun wounds.

It goes to show, that whatever you say about a .32 or smaller, it is certainly effective enough, at times. And the most common way to kill yourself with a firearm in that part of Indiana is with a 12 gauge. You were much more likely, back then, statistically to shuffle off the mortal coil by your own hand than at the hands of a murderer, using any means. (A few were gutsy enough to slit their own throat, many self-hangings, and the various famous poisons, arsenic, strychnine, that sort of thing. )

Noticeably infrequent, death by .45s. Just two I see. I guess you had to go out to cowboy areas to get plugged with a big gun. Bloomington is a bit 'back east' for the time period, yes? There is death by a .32 auto, but no mention of a a Colt 1911 style that I can see. There is a mention of a single .44 Colt revolver, but the revolver wasn't the cause of death. That was a blow to the head. Doesn't say if it was a pistol whipping or not, but a .44 could make a good head thumper.

One gun accident I saw. A 5 year old child killed his mother. Another accident with a clip removed from a 32, but there seemed to be one in the chamber. He killed his 8 year old brother that way.

A fellow died by hunting accident, poking the butt of his shotgun into a rabbit hole while holding onto the barrel. Maybe the rabbit reached for the trigger. A few other hunting accidents. A boy shot his 42 year old father that way.

Lots of questions (for me) surround one police shooting. The criminal copped to the crime before expirng (how convenient), and there is an ugly racial incident in 1934. And a 1904 incident where an African American defended his home (well tent, actually) and was cleared of any wrong doing. No mention of the dead assailant's race.

A Davis and Johnson (?!) .38 revolver is mentioned specifically, an Ivy(?!) Johnson .32 (both 'Johnsons' were probably Iver Johnson pistols. Which makes you wonder how extremely precise and accurate a coroner's report is. I'd trust diagnosis of Enterocalitis over a proper identification of gun model, or even caliber. We'll continue to go with the assumption the coroner does a halfway decent job.), a S&W, Colt, as is the Remington .22 rifle mentioned earlier, as well as the dubiously identified Luger. And they spelled caliber 'calibre' back then, mostly.

Looks like, if you were a gunnie in Bloomington back then, you had a .32 or a .38. Sort of the 9mm vs. .45 argument of 100 years ago? Naw, I'm projecting back from circumstances in my own time. Poor journeyman historical work by me there.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

NPR Zombies

As some of you know, I do some OPFOR Intel by listening to NPR. Just not during pledge week. They sound so desperate I can't bear to listen to their plaintive pleas.

There is a lefty call-in game show called "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" syndicated. The show has gone from weekly to monthly ever since losing George W Bush, and thus 74% of their joke material, but here is the transcript from the show when they got themselves caught up in a nasty Zed outbreak! Due to the nature of the broadcast it wasn't aired, I'm sure. Paula Poundstone fell off the wagon as a result of that day's events but has since sobered up, again. She's such a brave little trooper.

As you can see/read, they thought it was level 4. Mistaken, or we'd all know it. No, this one was contained, too. And they got the details about Sarah Palin wrong. Everyone knows, even hoplophobic Lefty Collectivists, that you WANT Sarah Palin on your ramparts with a rifle. That woman will be vying for highest Z-Retirement headcount, worldwide, on that future dread-day, may it never come.


As an aside, the bumper music in the transitions between segments on NPR has been running a lot of small sections from the Downward Spiral album. Not Muzak, not Baby Boomer Hippy music from the 60's, not neoHippy Earth-Mother Vegan Walk-Easy Easy-Listening. Nine Inch Nails. NINE INCH NAILS. (ok, Trent is a bit of a empty-headed Lefitst, I'll give NPR that.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Solomani Rim

Oh, GAWD, Tam brought some memories from High School.

I played a game called Traveller then. Game Designers Workshop. It was a Space Opera RPG game. Sort of like Firefly but with more planets to play with.

What I wouldn't give to play that game again with Tam, RX, Breda, JayG, LabRat, Stingray, Bridgette, and all the other RPG geeks that happen to be gunnies, blogger, and Firefly fans.

Dammit Tam!


Luckily, I had carried my CCW pistol with me that day. It was pandemonium at the grocery store. I hoped the roofing material was steel with a layer of gravel on top, because I was about to try to punch two holes in it.


Then silence.

“YOU PEOPLE NEED TO CALM DOWN!” I shouted. In the pause I stole a glance up. Yup, I could see light coming down in my new holes. Damn. I hope no one got hurt wherever they came down. Illegal to fire off a few in a Maryland Safeway? Oh, yes. Heck that’s illegal in Alaska. But this was weather inspired anarchy. In the mid-Atlantic states a hard rain can get this kind of panic. And the professional meteorologist on the TeeVee was saying three FEET of fluffy white stuff. Fixins for French Toast (eggs milk bread, and for a bit after the toast was consumed, terlet paper) was almost as important an acquisition for these frightened souls as oxygen.

The man I took for the store manager was haggard looking, and standing off to my side. His brow was a furrowed as deep as the New River Gorge. Normally he’d be on the horn calling the police about now because a man had just fired a gun in his grocery store. But the police were busy with other things. And the store manager was busy with not getting killed by a crazed mob or getting his store gutted by a crowd of what appeared to be man sized panicky locusts.

A couple people were sobbing quietly in the lull after the shots and my entreaty. But that was the only peep. I don’t know if it was because they were children separated from their parents, people injured in the slow motion stampede, or frightened souls scared or my Sig and the bark it makes. Hell, MY ears were ringing. One crazy-eyed lady was still tugging on an overflowing cart and about to slip her wig and start the whole deadly process all over again.

“Ma’am? MA’AM?! MA’AM!!! Put the cart aside! Ma’am! Let it be. Put it aside. You don’t need 14 case of Clorox wipes, ma’am. It will NOT make good toilet paper. No. No it won’t. No. It’ll burn like the dickens. Put it down. There you go. It’s gonna be ok.”

The tension in the crowd was slowly unwinding, like a clock spring on a Thursday. What? You know, because you wind it up on Friday or Saturday, so the spring is… Ok, that was a bad analogy for 2010. Damn kids and their quartz movement time pieces… Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, the crowd.

“Now if the rest of you can grab just a baskets worth of stuff and ease up to the check-out aisles. You won’t be trapped at home for that long, and your families need you get back from here alive. There isn’t much left here besides maraschino cherries, pitted olives, and cloves anyway. Hey, that sounds like the fixings for an interesting cocktail! I know I could use a drink.”

That got a chuckle or two from the back. Everything was going to be ok. Well, except the ceiling and roof.


Or "Yiff in HELL, furries."

I think I know why Avatar was so popular. People missed that hocker of McDonald's chem-shakes, Grimace.

There is a Grimace-shaped whole in America's heart, and googly eyed blue people help to fill it.
[Gun Content: If you ever see a REAL Grimace... Not just sumdood in a costume... Do not hesitate. Deadly buggers. Keep a taxidermist's card in your wallet, too.]

Friday, February 5, 2010


I live in the "You're Screwed!" bubble. If this was Chicago or Buffalo it wouldn't be a big deal. The municipalities there can handle the volume. We've already used up our snow removal budget, and they were talking about cutting back on plow hours a couple weeks ago...

Snowpocalypse 2

Yeah, yeah, white death, we're all gonna die, better hollow out one of the fatter neighbors and crawl inside to survive. Like he was some sort of Tauntaun on the ice planet, Hoth.

If I don't make it, avenge my death, yada yada. Living envy the dead, etc.

Gun Content, Thin On The Ground.

Well, I just did my taxes. I’m getting $300 LESS back this year compared to last. So my taxes have ALREADY gone up. Those bastards downtown done stole my money!

And some of YOU readers voted for him. The way I see it, you owe me for that $300. Now I know that many of you don’t have that kind of scratch on you. No worries. Let me tell you about my Ass Gas or Grass policy….

See, either you mow my lawn for the summer… that’s the grass part, or you pay my winter gas bill, or I get to shoot you in the hind quarters with my dad’s old BB gun.

Anyway, enough to buy a new gun? Maybe. Maybe not. I need to go visit my mom down in the FLA.

More topicality…

We’re expecting another doozy of a winter storm down here. The weather people have set the White-Death Death-Count Counter back to zero in anticipation of tracking the mortality from Donner Party type privations and suburban avalanches. Or something. How is that related to guns? I’ll tell you. We’re all friends here, all gun enthusiasts… How to solve the blizzard problem with guns? No, I’m not talking about exacting our revenge on meteorological phenomena by shooting our guns in the air, Iraqi Wedding style, or using them to stick up our neighbors to rob them of the pre-requisite blizzard milk bread eggs and terlet paper. Neither of those methods are wise or safe. No, I’m talking about using our firearms to clear the snow after! (and PERFECTLY safe!)

Load your 12 gauge with rock-salt and SHOOT the snow. The salt will melt the snow! What could go wrong?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday George.

tent bleg

Anyone have any recommendation for a 2-Man expedition-quality 4-season tent. Like this, but maybe less orangey... Rugged is more important than light weight. There is plenty to choose from on there here interwebs, but hard to select without outside inputs.

Then all I'll need is to find some boots that fit my poor feet and I can get our into the great outdoors for some backpacking.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yes, Why?

Why is the IRS buying shotguns? Short ones, only good for close range or inside house-clearing. 60 of them.

How many dynamic entry scenarios, firearms drawn, homeowners proned out, rooms cleared, and search warrant executed, does the Internal Revenus Service have to do each year? Or EVER?!

[update: Wow. Nigh every other gunblogger in the universe posted about this before I did. Except JayG. I'm about as slow as you Jay. You had to type more or you'd have beaten me.]

Lost Another

Looks like my favorite British blogger, and the home to the Slaughtered Socialist (favorite pub!) is shuttering his establishment for privacy reason.

Fair winds and following seas, Free Market Fairy Tales, you shall be missed. I shall raise a proper pint in your honor at the earliest opportunity.


More Rhino Info

I just saw this combing my blog roll.

Massad Ayoob has a picture from SHOT Show with a Chiappa Rhino revolver with the cut away to show the lock internals.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Range Report

Well, after waiting for my new pistol, and then waiting for the range to fix its ventilator, I FINALLLY got a chance to try it out Friday the 30th.

As an aside, I don't think I am cut out for target shooting. It is so easy for me to just relax my concentration. I still get hits, but they fall off quite a bit in accuracy. The first couple in a string are often the best. Then I start jerking the trigger or letting my stance slack or rush the shot... just to be done. It's fun, my way, but flawed. You'd think I'd be better by now. I'm not such a NEW New Jovian Thunderbolt. I am pleased about my trigger control improving, though.

I was lucky enough to drag another co-worker/colleague and his girl friend to the range. We'll call this friend, and we DO really call him this, The BEARD.

The BEARD is recently out of the military. He's been out long enough to grow a majestic, tremendous, intimidating, and, some say, SENTIENT beard. With his life settling down to the higher pay and less authoritarian hassle of civilian life, AND with me talking a good game, he thought it time to get a firearm or two. His first purchase, picked up on the 27th, was a .22 Ruger Mk III Target. Just a plain Jane Mk III with adjustable sights and a bull barrel. An excellent choice, I thought.

He's never fired anything but the M-16 with the military before this. So he knows what to do, and can shoot safely, but he has the whole world of range fun ahead of him.

His Girlfriend, the Companion Of BEARD, has something a little bigger. Her pistol is a blued .357 S&W Model 327. Early 90s manufacture. So NO trigger lock. It's a very nice looking gun, too.

I shot .22, mostly. Though I did put some mags through the SIG P229. I need more practice with it, anyway. Except where my concentration fell off, I was pleased with the .40's performance. But I am not going to win any accuracy prizes with that.

Nor am I going to win any with .22, but I will come MUCH closer. The S&W 617 shoots well, and it shoots like my 686 does, so, except for the recoil difference, I feel the .22 will translate to a great practice gun for the .357. So I am pleased with that. Very.

I also shot the 1911 with its .22 conversion kit. I'm starting to get the groove of trigger control down with a 1911. Hope to have some more "All .22" range days, now. I can also have the "All 6" stainless steel revolver" range day, too. When I go to the pistol range, I prefer to only go with 2 firearms. On weekdays, at least. If it's an introductory to a newbie range effort, more guns get brought. Or a weekend trip. But those sessions last longer.

One purpose of the this trip was to try out a speed strip with the .22 revolver. Meh. Useless to me. Maybe with my practice.

Another thing to investigate was some 50 year old ammo of my father's. They .22s had developed a ring of corrosion, probably due to mismatched metals, where the lead round met the brass case. And they were impossible to seat into the revolver cylinder because of this. So I poop-canned them.

Anyway, the BEARD and his Companion both tried the .22s I brought a long. They had more jams with the 1911 than I experienced. And the BEARD tried the .40 as well. I didn't spend too much time watching their lane, but they shot the bejeez out of that new .22 and ran a box of .38 through her revolver. They shot as well or better than me, which is typical.

I can tell that someone that is a better shot could be spot on accurate with this 617 revolver. No yard squirrel would be safe. You wouldn't need to break out the rifle.

How to overcome my lack of self-discipline while shooting? Practice, naturally, but it should be GOOD practice, not the kind that reinforces my impatience. Maybe set up reactive targets. Spent shotgun shells on a fence rail make good .22 targets.

I did notice I'm shooting high, 1 O'Clock while going DA with the revolver, and to the right at 3 O'Clock when shooting SA. Though I accidentally left the target with good SA shots behind at the range. Top left is DA with revolver, there are some .40 on the splatter targets, top right is conversion kit, bottom left is SA revolver, and bottom right is BEARD's work. He's left handed too.

High on DA means... I dunno. I'm not jumping the gun or anything. It's .22. Shooting to the side on DA means I need better trigger finger placement and polish that trigger pull a bit more. Straight and back and smooth and surprisey.

The BEARD would love to figure out a way to have less take up and trigger travel on his Mk III. How much more can you want with a SA trigger?!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New S&W

Looks like Smith and Wesson put up some info on the new plastic snubbie revolver.

Including a neato 360 degree animation that allows you to manipulate the image of it. Turn the gun image around and you can see that stupid trigger lock.

Someone tell folks that they'd rather pay twice as much for a Taurus snub nosed revolver (that requires facotry service out of the box, so a 6+ month wait) than to get a Smith with a trigger lock. At least a Smith I'd carry.

How to Report the News

I Like This Guy

H/T Alphecca

This Ammoland guy has been posting summaries of state law proposals that have to do with gun regulation. Even for Maryland. I appreciate his work. (It's more than just MD)