Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fudds or Trolls

It's probably a good idea whenever we here an ostensible Fudd say something about some gun ban being just hunky dory to not assume they are a gun type with a .30-30, but an actual Brady astroturfing troll PRETENDING to be a gun owner or hunting enthusiast.  Instead of saying, "How can you stab your fellow gun owners in the back, Bubbha!" we should respond with "Back in your hole, leftist Brady troll, we're onto you!"

Zumbo learned his lesson, and that was the last Fudd.  Pretend he was the last Passenger Pigeon and anyone that sorta sounds like he used to is... just a regular pigeon.  The flying rats of our cities, and scourge to statues of brave heroes.

If a commenter starts with "I'm a hunter and gun owner, but..." just assume it's Paul Helmke trolling you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Hope You Are All Republicans

Today is the 30th Anniversary of John Hinckley's attempt to impress Jodie Foster.  I was in 6th grade and happened to turn on the classroom TV while waiting for the school bus.  Never had done that before.  Just happened to do it that day.  But there it came, the raw shooting footage, on the classroom TV.  The teacher, not a Reagan fan, was nonetheless concerned.  It like people were more decent in those days.  I imagine had the same thing happened to W in 2005, 6th grade classes might have seen a different reaction. 

I remember the calls for gun control in the Post, Time, and Newsweek after that.  It was this event that, obviously, saw the creation of the Brady Campaign, co-opting the existing group Handgun Control Inc.  But my usually faithful memory is a bit foggy on a detail.  I remember a brouhaha reported in those fine publications that the bullets Hinckley used were called Black Talons, and they were deadly to the victim AND they would injure the surgeon that tried to remove them.  All that was actually reported, but I misremembered the bullet brand.  Black Talons were hollowpoints that came out in 1991.  Hinckley used something called Devastators I wonder what other blanks from 30 years ago my memory has filled in for me, erroneously?

The anniversary got me looking up what was so special about the .22 rounds to get all the usual 1981 anti-gunrights suspect's panties in a bunch?  And I mean a serious bunch.  Part of the hysteria got the surgeons to don body armor when removing the rounds from the victims, for fear that they’d KABOOM and kill half the doctors and nurses in the operating theater.  Or at least that was the impression I had at the time.

But that fear may have been hooey.  How much explosive charge can you pack INSIDE a .22 round, after all?  It’s not like he was shooting a Claymore at people.

It looks like what Devastators are trying to achieve is a better expansion of the bullet like hollowpoints try to accomplish.  All the charge is a small primer sized charge made of lead azide with what looks like an aluminum cap on the tip.  Presumable, when they worked like they were supposed to, the bullet’s charge would pop on impact with a target and expand it, creating a wider wound channel.  If it worked.  None of Hinckley’s rounds appear to have done so.  Not even when hitting a limo door and a rib on the President.  They don’t look to cause damage, per se, with an explosive charge directly.

Perhaps the delusional Hinckley could only afford a cheap .22 pistol, but he was rational enough to ask after the most 'deadly' ammunition he could stick into the chamber.  Had he popped for something with a bit more oomph, like a .38 snubbie or something, history may well have been different, exploding bullets or conventional. 

This was 1981, before serious hollowpoint for autoloaders had been done.  All lead hollowpoints were available, certainly.  The cops on the scene may very well have had .38 caliber semi wadcutter hollow points in their pistols.  The unhinged Hinckley, thankfully, hadn’t really thought through the effectiveness of his weapon selection.  But he had evidence of the effectiveness of the .22, at any rate, from Sirhan Sirhan.

Subsequent advances in bullet technology has put the dreaded ‘exploding bullet’ out of fashion and favor in the interim for self-defense applications.  And modern hollow point bullets can’t be tarred with the slanderous ‘cop-killer’ moniker as the FBI and most police departments carry hollow points and they are hardly out to kill cops.  I know of no police that carry ‘exploding’ bullets.

Money quote from an NIH article on exploding bullets relevant to today:

“Finally, it is interesting to note that the Devastator bullet was developed in the 1970s for use by sky marshals, to minimise the risk of penetration of the plane fuselage when incapacitating a hijacker; a concept that appears to be returning in light of recent world events.”

And exploding rounds aren't to be confused with 'exploding rounds'.  Which also might not be ideal for self-defense purposes

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Ok, ok, THIS is the guy.

Wanted to see if you were paying attention.  John Moses Browning (pbuh) is the portrait above.

That other guy was the wild-eyed abolitionist that tried to spark the Civil War off a bit early.

Happy 100th

Today was the date of adoption of the M1911 pistol by the USArmy.

Monday, March 28, 2011


ANd why of why oh why can I shoot a snubbie with a shortened grip and a standard revolver double action trigger pull better than a sweet 1911 SA trigger?  It remains a mystery. 

And when I do use a SA trigger on a revolver it is better than all three.

I think something in my head says that a 1911 isn't a SA, I think.  What do I mean?  I default to pulling the trigger.  PULLing the trigger.  Like I mean business.  If I was defending myself I'd ~pull~ the trigger.  I get better shots when I check myself and sorta ~feather~ the trigger on the trigger squeeze.  It's slower, more deliberate, and totally not what I'd be able to pull off right now in a stressful situation.

Now I PULL that trigger with a DAO revolver.  But that's sorta how you do it, is my understanding.  Get your sight picture and smoothly squeeze straight back. 

And with a SA revolver trigger squeeze I approach THAT more slowly than with a 1911 from the get go.  I know that's just a hair away from going off, so I am being more careful.

This all STILL doesn't explain what happens when I shift gears and MAKE myself shoot the 1911 like a SA revolver.

Range report later to illustrate this...

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Shotgun for zombies?  Sheesh.  No.  Shotgun for reluctant grooms?  Yes.

And the bride has some sort of left handed thing in her right hand.  Custom 1911?  Deagle? 

Blogger Tip

When copy/pasting  a paragraph from another source into a long blog post DO NOT decide you put it in the wrong place and hit Ctrl-Z.  Because that erases everything in the post just as the Save Now feature auto-kicks in, deleting all your content and leaving YOU with bupkis to show for all your work. 


Saturday, March 26, 2011


We used to have a lot of squirrels around here.  Haven't seen them for a while.  We even had some of them black squirrels that came up from College Park Maryland.

Lately haven't seen any. 

I have seen a guy like this perched on the tall house on the street:

He/she seems fatter than he was earlier in the year.  Hmmmmmmm....

I think I know where the squirrels went.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Range Report

From my old buddy Chuckles:

Took the boy out to Hap Baker a couple of weekends ago.  Good times.  It's been a long time since I've been to the range.  Inspired me to the degree that I finally bought my AR this past Saturday at White Marsh Arms in Reisterstown.  Colt 6920, been wanting one of these for a long time, can't wait to get it. [ed: we have a waiting period in MD] After I walked in, I realized there was a lot I wanted to buy!  Felt like I've been asleep at the wheel for a couple of years.  I plan to make a couple of more purchases over the coming months. Would have popped for two on Saturday and done my 60 days in timeout [ed: MD has 1 gun a month] but they didn't have what I wanted.  A PPK\S or a Colt New Agent - haven't seen the little Colt in person yet but I think I gotta get me one.

Secondly, have either of you two researched suppressors at all?  I didn't realize it would take 4 - 6 months to get one!  I figured I better send off the paperwork so I can get started waiting right away.  What's good for a .22?  I have nothing to use it on now other than my Buckmark but it's not threaded.  Figure I'll get a Ruger MkIII and\or a Ruger SR22 or some other nice 10/22 setup to play with in the backyard - plenty of time to sort that out.  Just wondering if you guys know anything more about them I do, which is diddly, to shortcut my Internet researching.

Thinking about stopping at pistol range sometime this week to puruse their display cases.  Anyone interested?  

Yes Chuckles.  I'm interested.  Maybe today...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SAF CCW case progress

The lawsuit brought by Alan Gura in MD continues apace.  The suit is to change MD from a May-Issue to Shall-Issue state.  And the response by the State defendent, with amicus brief by the Brady's, has been released. 

Now Alan gets to respond twice, to both briefs.  So twice the Gura goodness

And I can't wait til April 15th when his response is due in.  There are so many holes in the State's case...  It will be entertaining.

Luckily, the judge isn't cottoning to the State's delaying tactics, and the stuff is going very briskly through the system.  It could be decided by August. 

The state also might posit that there is no restriction for residents to carry a long gun, that isn't on the restricted list, for self defense in public in most places.  So I am going to the park with my Garand slung on this evening. 

Ok, no I'm not.  The county has it's own laws that'll have to be struck down (and they've been losing to pre-emption challenges over time and will probably continue to).  Plus, I think we have a good chance this case will proceed in our favor and right quickly.  And I don't want to be the test case now. 

But still... it is a shocking revelation from the State, some of the things the AG conceded to try to preserve May Issue CCW.  Stuff like 'we can't let potential victims carry to defend themselves from pistol toting criminals because the victim might injure third party people defending themselves, so it's a safety issue' and specifically "Statutes Regulating Handgun Possession Only Outside of the Home Do Not Fall Within the Scope of the Second Amendment Right".  Lots of gems in there.  The State is conceding a lot in their dance to keep may-issue.  I wonder if they think they are losing?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Another positive burb in the Metrocon NRO talking about Connecticut's scheme to confiscate magazine that hold mroe than 10 rounds..

Yay for them and Daniel Gelernter


Recently discovered the Venture Brothers, so my blog brain has been turned into mush by the this parody of Johnny Quest.  Johnny Quest definitely wasn't politically correct.  But neither is Venture Bros.  Venture Brothers is just a different, more acceptable, version of political incorrectness.  And it's highlarious for those of us of a certain age.  Plus it's well written and produced.

I'm low on blog fodder again, so...

I should reiterate this more often.  Lefty pistol shooter diagnostic chart.

I'm intrigued with the Cthulhu shooting sport idea, but I am lacking in one equipment area.  The first rule about getting into an elephant-gun fight is:  Have an elephant-gun.

Zombie emergency.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I realized I have 3 types of 'operating systems' on the guns I own, and I will try to stick to them for the serious firearms

For long rifles, the charging handled is pull straight back, the safety is ahead of the trigger and you push it forward to fire.  These include the M1, M1A and Model 11 shotgun from Remington.

For pistols there is load and go.  DA only.  Revolvers and the Sig fall into this group.  I could get more revolvers, or the Glock/M&P/XD route.

The other is a frame mounted safety, down to go, on a SA pistol.  This is the 1911.  I'll eschew from getting some other safety system like on the slide, or switch 'up' to go.  Or anything with a decocker like other Sigs, Berreta. or various other models.  Keep it simple, like my ammo inventory.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Must be shared

Appeals to the Luddite in me. And my great grandfather was a linotype machinist. A bit more technologically advanced than this video clip. (Firefox doesn't even know how to SPELL 'linotype.')

PRINTER'S BLOCK from Georgia Gruzen on Vimeo.

From here.


Tsunami at sea.

THE Metrocon Magazine

Is hosting yet another non-metrocon-esque columnist (David Rittgers) and putting up a pro-rights article with regard to firearms.  It's becoming old hat.  It'll be something when Jonah Golberg or Kathryn Lopez or Rich Lowry or Charles Krauthammer writes one.  THAT would be news.  One of them commenting one way or another.  And then I can stop complaining about it.  

It would be just as surprising if a radio guy like Limbaugh or Hannity came out of the blue with a pro gun bit.  One not prompted by anything in the news but just because it is a conservative issue.

N00bie Confusion/Clarification


I mentioned The Beard was shopping for a .45 now, and was thinking .38 Special for CCW.  Something small from Ruger.  I was thinking the SP101 with a short barrel and bobbed hammer was what he had in mind.

Glad I gave him a nickname because this is semi-embarassing.  But most people make this mistake.

The model of Ruger '.38 Special' he was thinking about was called the "LCP".  Yes, he meant the Kel-Tec clone.  Which makes more sense now because I was already aware he loathed revolvers.  (and mores the pity.)

I told him that Elsie Pea is .380, not .38 Special.  Which ellicited the question, "How many .38 types are there?!"

I listed a bunch in seconds, off the top of my head.  And didn't even go into the various 9mm varieties.  (You can play this game at home, too!  How many '.38s' can you think up?  No cheating!  There really are too many...)

The plethora of choices caged his eyeballs.  I told him not to worry.  There are only so many common calibers out there and they are easy to find guns to shoot those calibers.  When you are at a gunstore and there are more than 1 pistol in a single caliber?  Chances are it's one of the common ones.  Still.... I gave him a list.  In case he goes to a store that happens to have 3 pistols in .45 GAP or .454 Casull or .32 H&R Magnum, or what have you.  You know the list to stick to.  The stuff Wal Mart generally has on hand:


But really, nothing dissuaded him from the .45 and the .380.  He just knows to call it .380 now.  And another coworker knows to call the ammo for his 1911 .45 ACP (Auto Colt Pistol), not .45 APC.  Which, on his version, he is buying little less than half of a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Oh, and full disclosure...  I was embarassed and misnamed the .380 as .38 Special at one point in the beginning of my firearm purchase journey, I am sure.  And The Beard regularly schools me on automobile topics.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

MD News

Alphecca is better than me at posting firearms shenannigans in my home state.  He often beats me to the punch. 

Every season horrible laws get proposed in committee, and few make it to the floor.  A big push for gun banning is a 'gentleman' named Frosh.  HUGE hoplophobe, almost single minded about banning guns, and controls the Senate committee responsible for them.  And he is in the neighboring district.  The district my father grew up in.  For those familiar with Maryland; Bethesda and Potomac region.  RICH parts of the County.  Hell, rich parts of the state and country.  Rich around here means liberal, generally, (or snobby and they don't want us peasants to think we have self-determination, ya know.  Well, maybe.) and Frosh is quite secure in his seat.

Well, he tried to exploit the Giffords shooting in Arizona and put a 10 round limit on magazines, possibly with possession being illegal henceforth and no grandfathering, if I'm not mistaken.  We currently only have a 20 round limit and it only limits in state sales, not possession.  That 10 round provision was shot down 17-2 in the House of Delegates, so Senator Frosh has no leg to stand on with his bill regardless.  The 10 round law proposed in the House would have been like the current 20 round law.  Presumably, if passed, I could get even 50+ round mags in Virginia, and own them in MD, but couldn't buy them or give them away here at home.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Sorry for the late post.  Early morning Romero mission.  Down at the Discovery Channel Headquarters building, Silver Spring.

It was just one so they just sent me.  A buddy recognized something off and gave me the heads up.  Apparently they are working on some new angle for Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs and things went all wrong, as they tend to do with zombies.  I guess they won't be green lighting production of THAT episode.

It's only a few miles from my house, so in and out in 15 minutes, maybe and hour for wrap up and tying loose ends, then I had breffass at the Tastee Diner.  Which used to be located where the Discover Channel building now is.  They made a big deal about moving the diner a few blocks, so that's nice.  Better parking where it is now, anyway.

Anyhoo, it was simple enough, with just one.  First determine that it really is just one, make the lab workers that were nearby strip down to be sure there were no bite marks and thus a second zed could be anticipated.  Mr. Zee was in a holding area outside the cell he HAD been in (they always get out of their confinement area, somehow.  Every time.  And they never have a contingency when it happens.  Keeps the Romero teams in business.)  Then upside his head with a fire extinguisher.  No fuss no muss.  One of the snake-eater types will be inserted into the janitorial staff to observe for a week or two, be sure it doesn't repeat.  Then it was just a matter of erasing the footage from the closed circuit cameras that saw me and it.

1 Shamblor retired. No injuries to uninfected.  Or me. Truth effectively suppressed. You're welcome.

Friday, March 18, 2011


In all seriousness, I have no idea why people are cubbyholed into gun recmmendation based on sex.  Women OR men.  Every shooter is different, I have found.  And rarely match pre-conceived stereotypes. 

I have no idea why gunstore clerks and other cling to the old saws.

For example, the ex, Saucy Trollop.  I recommended for her a mid range XD when she first went gun shopping and knew next to nothing about firearms.  Why?  Price, and I had shot a bunch of em and liked em.  The clerk and I helped influence her to get a .40.  She chose the midsized version on her own initiative.  Not full size, but not teeny sub compact either.  And she is happy with it.  She tried a few more varieties.  But that's where listening to my recommendation ends.

I like the XD, but I'm not married to it.

For her second gun, I had no influence at all.  She tried MBtGE's big old hunting .44 Magnum, fell in love with the stainless steel and unfluted cylinder, and haunted Gunbroker until one came up in her price range.  Then she ordered pretty wood replacement grips.  She can't get enough of the recoil.  Well, can't get enough of it in small doses.  It hurts her hand as much as mine, so that limits numbers downrange. 

She is five foot nothing.  Small hands too. 

She has her own ideas on what she wants in a 3rd gun.  Either a 2-shot Derringer in .44 Magnum or a full size Desert Eagle.  Not the gold Deagle, though.  She thinks that too garish.  Yes, seriously. 

I still get a kick out of going to the range with her.  She pulls out a 10 inch barrel .44 Magnum, and put up a 2 inch .38 snubbie.  Everyone has to come over and look when anyone shoots a .44.  90% of the time someone will ask if that big gun is really hers.  I tell them of course it is!  I can't handle something that big!  She is five foot nothing with small hands.  I'm over 6 feet tall and look like JayG, but with a meaner facial tic, and hands as big as coal shovels.  Well, half a coal shovel.

I'm not a fan of either .44s or Deagles, so it wasn't me that told her like them.  And the gunstore clerk only suggested a Hi-Power initially, so at least they didn't fall into the "snubbie for the lil lady" trap.  It's been her preferences. 

And if she had been a buddy?  A dude, non-shooter, I worked with?  I'd have given him the same recommendation, initially, and he'd have figured out his own preferences by the time he got his second gun.  And I have done this.  A few bought XDs, and liked them.  A few said no to the recommendation because they wanted a .22 first.  When they start doing research on the internet I warn them about the fun little arguments on whose gun is better than whose, and to use these as entertainment value rather than actual parts of the decision making process.

About the only person that doesn't listen to my advice on getting an XD and not bothering with 1911s or Glocks is... Me.  If I had listened to myself I'd have 2 XDs and not worried about Sig or Colt, or what have you.  Why?  Well, my conservative (small c) nature wrt to tool technology on the 1911 selections.  My obstinacy.  And there is something about the XD that just doesn't sit right with me, beyond its good (for me) range performance.  

But I've never seriously considered "gun advice for men" or "gun advice for women" as a 'thing'.  From the git go it's been "gun advice for n00bie shooter" or "gun advice for a limited experience shooter" with not other considerations.  For more experienced gun handler it's just shooting the poop about guns in conversations.  I sorta influenced a much more experienced shooter in the form of MBtGE.  I got him thinking about .45 and .308 over 9mm and .223.  But I didn't have to hold his hand down that slippery slope.  A slight nudge, a bug in his ear, was all that took.  He careened down the hill on his own power after that. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Shooters

Ah, this memeOne of my faves.

When asked by n00bies what to get, or if I was a gunstore clerk:

With women I recommend getting a variety at the range rental counter to try out, and try mine, and see what they like and what suits them and their needs.  If they have no specific preferences and are rank beginners I recommend the one they liked and shot well, speed and accuracy and fun wise.  I avoid the guns on the margins, like gargantuan recoil cannons and mini heaters, unless they tried one and like it, of course.  But hey, if they like the .44 magnum Derringer... more power to em. 

For men, I say, "Get a custom high dollar 1911 for your first gun, unless you are a baby or something.  You're not, are you?  A baby?  HUH?!!!"  And I look at them askance if they balk at that suggestion.  Sheesh.  Put yer big pants on, Mister.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Revolver Drill Tip

So, Frank James told about (in his book) a drill for the revolver that I have to try next range session.  It helps your familiarity with loading to try to overcome the loss of fine motor skills in a stressful situation.  And since more often than not I am CCWing a revolver when I can...

Essentially you load one, set the revolver cylinder so it is the next one fired, then load another one, set it, and fire.  And you try to get the speed up.  You are loading from loose rounds in your pocket, too.  It seems designed to be fumbly.  Te get that muscle memory up and going, along with the speed.  After a bunch of single drills you load 2, &c.  It's important you manually remove your spent casing/s one at a time, to simulate or actually accomplishing, a top off of the ammo.    So only push the ejector up a little bit and grab the spent ones that way, one, two, or if you are really good, three at a time.  It's to keep the gun "gassed up" (This was Clint Smith's, the instructor at Thunder Ranch that taught Frank this method, term.)  Don't waste the good ammo by dumping the live from the fired cartridges.

Now many 'tactical' situations won't call for his method, but it's good to have the familiarization practice, if needed.

Load the gun 'high' so the threat area or target is still in your field of view instead of looking down at your belt buckle the whole time.

DA only, naturally.

In public, the idea is to carry a speedloader of some sort and loose rounds for top off, so you have both options, of a top off or a full reload in a hurry.

Frank brings up a good point.  Say you are without a pistol when the zombies show up, and the owner of the house you are staying has an extra gun.  If they hand you a revolver and you are a wizard with your Glock, you are sorta stuck fending off the undead with whatever is available.  It don't hurt to get some revolver time in.  I'd hate for you to get eaten by Zed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh, Good Lord...

Gummint and those KIO3 pills.  Hurry!  Buy all the Potassium Iodide pills.  The Administration thinks you should.  Maybe.  Panic a little too.

Money quote for Californians from their Emergency Management Agency:

"Even if we had a radiation release from Diablo Canyon (in San Luis Obispo County), iodide would only be issued to people living within a 10-mile radius of the plant," said Kelly Huston.

So the Feds say run around screaming hysterically, the State says to mellow out, man!

Looks like time to fire the Surgeon General and zero out the position in the budget for all time.


Or is it KIO3?  Anyway...

You've all panicked and taken a whole bottle of Potassium Iodide pills haven't you?  And now you are finding you can't order them off the internet for love or money?  So what will you do if they say it's time to take you KI pills become the plume is overhead?

Relax.  Eat 3 bananas.  Oops, now you've doubled your radiation exposure.  Or it would be doubled if you lived about 20 miles or so from one of the stricken power plants in Japan.
Want to cut your cancer risk way back?  Stop smoking.  The Japanese reactors aren't going to mean anything to you if you live in the U.S.A., chances are. 

Radiation ain't black magic.  Your risk from zombies is much greater.

(T-bolt?  Do YOU have KI pills, just in case?  Well... let's just say, 'better safe than sorry'.  I've certainly not felt the need to pop em like Tic Tacs)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Beard, again

So one of the guys at work I sorta got interested in shooting went and got himself a Mossberg shotgun and The Beard is shopping for a handgun now.

He's called The Beard because he has grown a beard since getting out of the military that appears to be sentient.  

Anyway, he wants a .45.  He asked me is HK made decent .45 pistols. 

Yes.  Yes they do.  Made by German gnomes with great engineering prowess. 

Well, after thinking on it he's come back to a S&W M&P for a full size pistol, and maybe later a .38 revolver if he ever goes the CCW route.  And he asked what I thought of M&Ps

Now I don't like M&Ps at all.  I don't like the way they feel any more than a Glock.  And I can't hit anything with them any better than a either.  I told him this and reminded him that that is just ME.  There are fans of plastic S&W, naturally.  I reminded him to try one first, and he said he was going to try this past weekend, at the rental case of the local shooting range. By now he has tried a M&P and a Glock and an XD.  They are all decent pistols for those that like the fit and feel of whatever they end up with.

But a .45 regardless.  Good.  Good. I told him to maybe reconsider the HK and get a Compact.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saucy Trollop

It's the Saucy Trollop's birthday.  I sure hang out with her more than I usually do with exes.

Since she gave ME whiskey and Girl Scout cookies (Knob Creek, Thin Mints...  what can I say, she knows the staples I require...) for my birthday, I was hard pressed thinking of something for her.  So I snuck 2 spare magazines for her XD in the range bag I am babysitting for her, and threw in some sound dampening earmuffs.  Eh?  Not bad, if I do say so!  What?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Stuff

I got a good anonymous comment with tips for me to try.  And since I have no other fodder right now, I'm gonna repost it here as a reminder to myself:

I read your blog every once in awhile and have seen your comments about right and low w/ the 1911. I've been shooting good groups left and low (rightie) since I started shooting a couple of years ago, with only a few holes in the middle. My last session tho' I reversed the ratio. It took a couple of sessions but here's what helped. Every item except #5 was suggested by a retired 101st Airborne vet at the range who was watching me shoot. (He's one of the RSOs at my club). He told me to:

1. Stand straight up w/ an isosceles stance. The Weaver will come later.
2. Relax
3. Use the pad of finger, not bring the whole joint through.
4. Don't go for the perfect sight picture. He loaded my mags a couple of times with a snap cap in the mix to show me how I flinch. He said it comes from waiting for the perfect shot then trying to get it off before you lose it. He said to imagine a bull's eye size tunnel from the barrel to the target and keep your sights in that tunnel, forget about perfect, just squeeze and be surprised.
5. I watched Todd Jarrett's video several times which led me to focusing on his suggestions for grip, finger and especially on squeezing "one hair at a time". As I focus on "one hair at a time' I'm not focused on the perfect shot and am surprised by the bang.

Hope there's something of value here. I couldn't believe the difference it made for me, especially the tunnel idea and "one hair at a time".

All good stuff.  Some I know, some I don't do but I should try, to 'shake things up' in my routine if for no other reason.   #1 especially.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Range March

So I went to the range last week with the Commander and the 617.  The Commander just for practice and 10 shot .22 revolver to test out my new speed loaders.

Conclusion is that the speed loader works very well.  I can now load the revolver, load two speed loaders, and load 2 speed loader bases with 10 rounds each and shoot 50 rounds without any real pause.  I am pleased, and recommend them to folks.

The mechanism is slightly different to my other speed loaders.  Instead of a pin that rotate over to hold the round in place by the rim, it's a spring around the circumference and you just push the rounds into place. 

My .45 work is the same.  No epiphany in accuracy.  I am better than before I think, but the gains are incremental.

With the .22, most of the work I did was double action.  Though I found a use for the pasters.  I can place them on other parts of the target and use them for some light single action practice.  The sights on the revolver require a 'lollipop' hold on the target.  I may raise the rear sight to lessen this a bit.  Just because lollipop is not my preference.  Other people swear by lollipop.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

National Review

They're getting less Metrocon and more 2nd Amendment enthusiasts every day.  At least they are paying attention to the 2nd.


Out of curiosity, I asked a sales clerk at the range which guns in the rental required the most service and which the least. 

He said the worst offender was the Glock. 


The spring in the trigger breaks.  Glock fixes them promptly, and these are very abused public rental guns, but still!  You pull the trigger to fire a round, apparently and it won't thereafter reset forward, is my understanding.  Though I could have gotten in wrong, now that I think about it.  I guess the spring in that little tongue safety thing would cause a problem?  I'll try to get clarification next time.  The facts are definitely:  "Most breakage?  Glock.  Trigger spring.  Fails.  No workee." though.

No one had ever asked that question before, about which range gun does the best and worst.  He couldn't think of number 2 or the most problem free semi they had because he hadn't given much thought to the guns that DIDN'T aggravate him.

The revolvers give them the least problem, and the issue they have is one Saucy Trollop has had with her.  The screw that holds the yoke that the cylinder is mounted on backs out a little bit, then the whole yoke assembly falls out on a reload.  They can fix that in the store if the screw hasn't actually left the gun completely, nary to be found without a good range sweep down.

Note:  This is one clarque at one rental counter.  Not a big statistical sample.  And maybe he's a Glock Hater.  Still, intriguing. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trigger Work

As I've mentioned before, my Commander is a Series 80 Colt with that little firing pin block doohickey thing.  The trigger is also a little stiff than other 1911s I've used.  There is some thought from various sources that the doohickey contributes to the stiffness.

The question in my mind now, what do do about it?

Do I take it to the gunsmith to get other parts of the trigger group tuned up and thus improve it that way?

Do I go the big money route and get a whole new slide done up that is missing this feature? 

A commenter mentioned that Brownells has parts for swapping out some of the firing pin block  stuff that is supposed to help but I can't for the life of me find it on the website.

Or, the most likely route, do nothing, and get used to the trigger as it is.  Which isn't really that bad.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy .308 Day

It's March 8th.  My favorite caliber.   .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm, (interchangeable, for the most part.  Sorta.  I mean don't SHOOT both out of your gun unless you check it out first with a gunsmith.  Headspacing and pressure and whatnot.)

Publishing Gun Owner Lists.

MD has one of these.  A list of every gun gun buyer in the state. But thanks to Ehrlich, the best gun supporter in a high enough place in power Maryland has ever had, and that isn't saying that much, I think our current state officials are little more wary than Illinois people to see it published.  The Dems have been bitten in the past when gun control measures that go further than the onerous ones we already have, come up for a vote.  Ehrlich addressed the "List of acceptable" firearms we have, similar to Massachusetts', by making the list VERY broad and new guns are added relatively quickly while he was in charge.  And that system has remained since he left.  Too hot a potato for Dems to bother wasting political capital tightening it down, I'd guess.  It's very hard to change Maryland's laws because of the anti-gun contingent that run the legislature that are secure in their seats.  The current pro-rights climate has them hunkered down in siege mode, though, biding their time waiting for the pendulum to swing back.  If the courts do their work the State will be forced to concede before that can happen, and that would be the easiest way to change policies locally. 

What do the people have against publishing the names and addresses of gun owners?  Because it would clearly end up being a Burglar shopping list.

Rank and file cops are against the idea, here and in Illinois.  Because it encourages burglars who then have extra guns on the street that they then have to deal with.  Plus, I'm sure the police wouldn't like it if someone posted their names and addresses for criminal to easily find THEM, so they may empathise a bit more with gun owner, here and in other jurisdictions including Illinois.  That's the rank and file cops.  The policy makers are a different story, and some of these wear police uniforms with more shiny things on their epaulets than the beat cop.  Anti-gunners could use a rash of burglaries by conveniently ignoring the thefts they caused and instead calling for more gun bans targeting the law abiding to address the guns they indirectly and 'inadvertently' put into criminal's hands.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Folks have been having weird dreams of late.  And the other night I was of no exception.

I wouldn't normally share but this one had extra gun content.

My father, who isn't into guns, decided to get his first major caliber pistol anyway for some reason.  His choice?  A 1911.  A 1911 race gun.  Long slide, extra compensator sticking out, ginormous magwell, and extra lever and doohickeys coming off it that I had never seen before and had no idea what they were for.

This was ruined by the fact that my brother had borrowed my Sig P229 and decided to improve it.  The good part was he found leather grips for it.  Interesting.  The bad part is he, not being very mechanically inclined, went to town on it with a dremel tool to 'make it shoot better.'  It never worked again.  Failure to Feed every time.

To top it all off, Breda accidentally posted a post with my full name and address and when I am at work (I have no idea how she learned my work schedule.)  She took it down when she realized it, but the info was out there.  I hope the burglars take that ruined Sig so I don't have to worry about fixing it.

Part of the same dream was I had failed to post for 2 weeks.  Just radio silence.  Not even Morse code.  What did I eat to cause such illusory nocturnal consternation?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gun Runners

When this story first emerged on the gun blogs I adopted a wait and see attitude.  People say lots of things on the internet.  It doesn't mean it's true.  People say UFOs abducted their cows and their Aunt Petunia on the internet.  People say they have figured out a way to get a car engine to run on distilled water.  People say lots of things.  So I watched and waited for the narrative to develop.  Maybe it was all hot air, what these people were reporting
It looks like this time, what those people said was true.  The ATF was purposely encouraging firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.  Those guns contributed to the horrible mayhem going on south of the border.  One of those guns the ATF let go was used to shoot and kill a Border Patrol agent.

Has they ATF EVER done a good job on the F part of their name?  Their history is dotted with outrageous blemishes like these.  It seems like their existence as a government organization is to get American citizens killed, doesn't it?  And you don't have to be some kind of gun nut to see that.  They are doing such a lousy job, and they are so out of control, we'd be better off taking their F away.  And their arrest powers.  They're a rogue agency with a culture worse than Tammany.

What's next?  The EPA dumping dioxin or other poisons into the water supply to justify their existence?  The Department of Agriculture encouraging people not to farm?  The Dept of Education wasting millions of dollars with metrics they can point to that shows the federal spending have made kids any smarter or improved outcomes in any way?  The Treasury making the currency they are supposed to guard over worthless?

Zombie Fungus

On zombie ANTS!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

GPS in Massachusetts Guns

Ha!  Politicians are sooo smart.

Glenn Reynols: "How about we put ‘em in state legislators instead? Statistically, they’re far more likely to be used in crime. And no, that’s not a joke, it’s true. . . "

JayG will be thrilled.

[yup, he is.]


Would you deploy your CCW weapon if you were in public and some lone male started shouting Allahu Akbar and not in a joking manner?  Is that situational enough to justify going from Condition Yellow to Orange? To red?  (Well, definitely Orange)

This is assuming a new trend doesn't start where folks start doing that constantly among the Westerners to desensitze them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tam Quote

"It wouldn't matter if everybody else on the planet misused their firearms every day, that doesn't have a thing to do with me or mine"

Could They?

Could Scientists create a Zombacalypse virus?

Of COURSE they could.  And have.

Level 4

So I'm reading this book about foreign policy implications from a Zombie Apocalypse and other policy issue occurred to me about the likely outcome of a Level 4 outbreak. [Theories of International Politics and Zombies.  Maybe a book review later when I'm finished.]

Thought experiment.  Assume we're at the point in the outbreak when denial has finally lifted.  Even the most idiotic policy maker has had a lightbulb go off over their head and realizes what it is and what it means.  At this point the Zombies are not containable.  But everyone that isn't infected is of one mind pretty much... Survival.

Ok, you got the panicked masses.  Ignore them in this discussion for the most part.  They are an obstacle along with the Zeds.  This post is about what the people are doing to solve the problem, not be the problem.

Most of the Big Picture 'action' is going to be in large disciplined units.  Depending on the ability of the leaders they are going to do one of a very few things.  Defend where they are, or move to engage or go to another place to defend. 

The ones that stay put will have to be lucky.  Taking back the planet from Zed is going to take years.  The war won't be home by Christmas.  Those units that stay put are going to have sustainability problems if not very fortunate.  These folks may be capable but also paralyzed by indecision to do anything but fend off the threat where they sit.  Until it is too late, at least.

The ones that move to engage the horde will be outnumbered and probably end up sacrificing themselves.  This will buy time for the folks behind them, but takes these military units out of contention, obviously. 

Now the smart thinkers that are in no position or circumstance to do the whole bansai charge thing are thinking to move to better ground.  The smart thinkers aren't thinking tactics, they are thinking logistics and trying to preserve their forces for effective counter attack to retake the country, eventually.  These units have a very sticky wicket to deal with, and it is their problems that is the purpose of this post.

Assume it is the problem of an infantry division with a competent commander.  That's 4 brigades with 2500 men each, give or take,  Over a third are non combatant support troops, but that matters less in a Zombie War.  They do have assets, they aren't all afoot.  But assume they might ditch some of the less practical items like much of the artillery.  The artillery, but not the vehicles that tow the artillery.  So it's a big convoy of 10000 soldiers.  Plus the extra folks they want or have to take with them.  Family mostly, if they can and family is accessible.

First, they'll need a defensible location that is adequately supplied.  The supplies have to happen to be in a position that is defensible, as transportation will be quite snarled.  They'll have to bring supplies in anyway, as there really is no one location with enough.  They are adding 10000 mouths, plus 'camp followers' to an area that can't normally keep the store shelves supplied from the warehouse for more than 3 days.  And the stores have been emptied in panic buying due to the pre-relaization emergency that a Level 4 would entail.  People at Level 3 will buy out the stores.  But assume the Commander chose a place where supplies were stockpiled during the run up to this realization of what this emerging threat actually is. 

The defensible location will have to be one that can be quickly and adequately barricaded by the soldiers and the area it encompasses must be able to hold some uninfected refugees and the original population. This defensible area must also be able to sustain all the soldiers and civilians long term so it must be enough or rather fertile farmland.  Compacted in a small area, as defending a large area, making it impermeable, with only 10000 troops is hard to do.

They must make the hard decision on what to do with desperate refugees that come after and how to deal with folks that hide infected loved ones so that the rear area is secure from zombie 'infiltrators.'  It won't be too bad a long term problem as the people outside will quickly become infected.  But the hardest choice is at which point do you shut the 'doors?'  There aren't too many locations that are sizable enough for the encompassed land to feed 10000 soldiers, much less them AND the people working the land, AND be effectively barricaded quickly enough against a tide of shamblors.  Think about it.  It's farmland surround by very steep enough mountains, but remote enough that there isn't millions coming in behind to eat their brains and guts, so they have time to prepare.

The Shenandoah Valley?  It's too open at the mouth and too close to large population centers now filled with zombies.  But the Blue Ridge has an effective natural wall on one side.  Easier than most locations to barricade, the Blue Ridge, assuming you could block the mouth of the valley, but still a very hard issue.

There are some smaller valleys in the Alleghenies that might be easier to shut the bottlenecks of.  I've driven through these on the Pennsylvanian turnpike.  There is a mountain tunnel on the east end of one such valley and narrow enough passes a bit further west.  But is that encompassing enough dirt to grow enough food for the 10000?  How do you barricade the rivers to keep floaters from drifting in and biting folk?  Once you cut the major road arteries, thinking people carrying the infection will improvise and come in through back roads or cross country, adding mouths to feed or eventual zombies to the rear.  Plus the mindless shamblors will eventually find these routes in their wanderings too.

Valleys in California are fertile and large, but you get the same problems with getting effective barriers up fast enough.

Supplying the soldiers, the camp followers and local populace with energy enough to survive winter is hard enough.  After one year the woodlands will be nearly denuded of timber for heat, and the fuel for vehicles will be used up.  The infantry will be afoot.  Hopefully what little liquid fuel will be preserved by a Commander with foresight to know that his assets are worthless and the fuel might be better used on farm equipment.  He'll be relying on windpower or hydroelectric for what little electricity he can get.  And it won't be much.  Not enough to meet normal demands of the populace.

Frankly, there will have to be a die off or a cull.  Of people.  In order to have enough folks inside to erect the right barriers to stop the Zed, you won't have enough logistical support to feed the people long term.  It's a dire calculation.  One the Commander may have to make BEFORE starvation and disease, or before food stocks are overly tapped.

And then where is this Commander?  What has happened to civilization at this point, just inside his enclave?  Has he destroyed what makes us US before he can even push back to reclaim the world FOR civilization?  Hard hard times.  These are nigh insurmountable problems for the Leader of this area, even assuming his charges are all on the same page as him.  And they won't be.  It will be large group of strangers outnumbering the locals and no one will trust anyone else.  10000 soldiers can police such a herd of people, but they are needed on the walls building or defending.  The Commander has to make these tough decisions fast and early.

Assuming he calculated right on the numbers that can be kept alive, and assuming he has railcars of supplies to feed these folks so that they can be drafted or motivate to labor on the 'wall.' (supplies to build an effective wall are also a problem...) then labor in the farm fields Once the wall is up he might be able to intermix his units to keep the civvies off of each other's throats.  And he has to maintain discipline with his soldiers, no easy task.  Soldiers that are cutoff and have lost family outside can be quite despondent about the future and could go mutinous at the drop of a hat.

There are too many variables.  Too many things that can go wrong.  This Commander has to be Superman and a genius to pull it off. 

And THAT's why we don't want a Level 4 outbreak.

But you survived right?  You picked the right defensible place like a light house or oil rig off shore or a high walled abandoned prison.  You found enough supplies, initially, with great luck and got them all into your redoubt.  You hid from the panicky uninfected and you can fend off the mindless undead now that the uninfected are gone.  So?  You and your tiny band can't live there forever.  Even if you turned the yard into a big enough garden or fished extensively.  Without the Commander coming to retake the world for the living you won't last really that long, considering.  And would you want to last that long?  Well, you wouldn't know, having little communication with outside, for security and because there would be few to communicate with.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Review of a Blogger's Work.

Sumdood named Frank James wrote a book: Effective Handgun Defense: A Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry.

Of course he was a gun writer long before someone abbreviated 'web log' to blog... Or before broadband existed.

It is my understanding that the author wasn't pleased with the title, but was saddled with it by the publisher.  I'm wondering what title he would have preferred?  Maybe Fighting Handguns: Selection and Mental Preparation for Concealed Carry

That aside, I liked reading it.  I recognized a lot of the guns pictured as they've appeared on Frank's blog a few times.  His blog is a daily indulgence I rarely miss, and this book is like getting a good long post where he can flesh out themes a bit better, so thanks for the extras.   

Frank James' firearms philosophy is similar to mine in many areas so I found myself nodding in agreement with his revolver love, liking shoulder holster utility where they are appropriate, et. al.  Where he and I diverge it's often for geographic reasons.  I don't have to drop varmints on vast acreage, and he doesn't have to tote around suburban DC, across the river.  I don't need a .41 so much, where it makes more sense on pest control.  Add that to the expense of a newbie shooter feeding a .41.

Now, as to the utility of this book...  Had I gotten this book back in 2005 it would have not have changed my preferences in the ensuing 6 years.  I was heading down the same road, and would have made similar purchases along the way that I have sans book.  It would have reinforced my decisions, yes, had I had this book for my guideposts.  I'm pleased my gut instincts match those of a more seasoned shooter like Frank.

But... I run into a lot of VERY newbie shooters.  And I will be loaning this book out to them if they need some thoughts on forming a first gun purchase.  It would convey the way I have been trying to guide new shooters with more authority than I can demonstrate.  Mr. James has preferences, but he's certainly not the fanboi internet forum source I'd otherwise have to point my friends to.  The inside baseball "Glock vs. 1911" sorta fights we love to engage in online might not be the most conducive to firearms introduction.  And Frank's tone is more serious in his tone and that matches the seriousness of the topic a bit better than standard web-silliness, where separating the wheat from the chaff is sometime a challenge without a lot of attention.

Aside from the parts that were sort of a review for me, I did enjoy the 19th Century gunfight examples he drew upon, and, more importantly, the details of the response to the 1986 Miami Dade shootout that Mr James was able to impart because he paid close attention to the events that unfolded when they happened, as well as a good summarized history of handgun technological development over time.  He also has a revolver reloading drill I'm going to practice, the fine motor skill required being a weakness, attention to reloading must be paid.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Newbius knows how to wear a CCW holster.

Wearing a sweater, the big double stack magazine XD45 is totally invisible on him at his 4 o'clock position.  He uses something like a Comp Tac IWB, but it's another brand, I believe.  Same idea.  Noticed this at the mini-blogshoot at the NRA.

We discussed the utility of middle aged men wearing decent quality Hawaiian shirt in the summertime.

I've only had the opportunity to wear my IWB holster in public a few times.  Like at the Northcoast shoot.  I'm not used to it, and it feels like the Sig P229 sticks out like a sore thumb, clunking against every hard item I get near and making a thunk noise doing it. I probably have to carry that way a lot more to get used to it.

Everything about CCW seems to go in the opposite direction of my aspirations.  I want to carry a 1911, but I shoot a DA revolver batter.  I want to carry IWB, but pocket holsters work so well for me.  Or shoulder holsters.  They work well.  In fact MBtGE gave me an older Bianchi shoulder holster that doesn't fit any gun he now has.  Works for me and snubbie, tho.  Looks like the newer Bianchis are much improved, too.  This one I have now seems circa 1989.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It's like Hints From Heloise.  What's next, a Marth Stewart: Living show that's gun related?

All linky, lil thinky

Breda had a nice little link to neato stuff to do in her hometown, so I was curious about neato stuff I might be able to do locally. Yup, they have stuff for Baltimore and DC.  Thanks Breda.  I've been to quite a few of the Baltimore suggestions.
I dunno enough about this proposed federal CCW reciprocity law.  Will it pass?  Will Obama dare not sign it?  What will it mean for me here in Maryland with an out of state Utah permit (initial look says I'm still scrood until Maryland issues)?  I need to watch it more closely as it wends its way.  Of course, none of my reps will vote for it...

I like this Oleg post about collective punishment in collectivist regimes and how it parallels the onerous penalties on law abiding gun owners in this country while doing nothing to sway illegal actors.