Monday, February 29, 2016

Phone home

I found this model telephone in the Cleveland area last Thanksgiving.  $25?

That's a duplicate pic, from wikipedia.

Metal dial, leather feet, rubberized cords instead of cloth covered.  An early version.  So 1950s vis 1960s with the plastic dials I normally saw at people's houses.

Dad is a C&P Telephone man from back in the day.  Ma Bell.  The Telephone Company. So, at Christmas, I took it over to his house.  Originally it was direct wired to the wall, no plugs or clips.  With his help we made it more modern-friendly at the wall end.  It didn't ring.  Open it up.  Dad too one look at the spaghetti mess inside and said "Oh, it's set for a party line, just shift that wire clip for there to there."


Just a glance and he remembered.  He knew.  What cryptic thing do I know now than if someone asked me in 30 years I'd still know? 

Sure enough... works fine.  Luckily there is very little noise or static on this one I have.  And it dials out just fine.  A fine machine built to last.

The one pure joy of it?  I still smile when the phone rings on this guy.  That sound.  I hadn't heard it in years and never realized I missed it.  I don't mind robo-calls right now.  It's THAT good.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Just An Earth-Bound Misfit, I

Is a good title, but I guess it pretty much guarantees sequels and this is just the first movie.  In a couple years there will Just An Earth-Bound Misfit, II  Electric Booglaloo and after that Just An Earth-Bound Misfit, III where she fights Mr. T.  After that, prequels that won't be appreciated as much, but then a resurgence of popularity with a reboot or a retcon or whatever the kids are doing these days.

OFFICIAL Class today

So I can get the smiths full attention at some point.  One more swipe needed on the lockwork, maybe. 


Stuff I learned yesterday... Safeties.  How they work, what to file on when it doesn't fit.

The little contact the grip safety makes with the trigger bow?  You sometimes have to remove a LOT of metal.  Be sure you keep the angle right, and use a safeside file. 

Also, there is a little trick you have to do so you can take the grip safety in and out without removing the mainspring housing.

I got a better idea how the thumb safety works yesterday too.  It helps I am using more stainless steel parts, and can actual SEE stuff.  So I got that working. 

Didn't get much with the rear sight.  Front sight hasn't even arrived yet. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Sorry to be harping on the subject so much lately, but class is ongoing.

Same with the Dremel subject matter.  I know it gets old.  Here is a Dremel gunsmithing rule of thumb.  Did you learn all your gunsmithing from YouTube?  Well, unless you make passable Faberge Egg reproduction by hand with a Dremel, maybe take a bunch of classes before putting a carbide bit to gun.

Today was sposed to be NO gun school  But another class bowed out, so it is an unofficial work shop day.  Ima take advantage of that and just tool about there, unsupervised for the most part.  Maybe play with sight fitting or slide finishing.  There are some tedious jobs I can do with 5 minutes of instruction and hours of messing. Might try to attempt that.   

Friday, February 26, 2016

Another Zombie Weapon List


Zombies and boomsticks, of course I can't resist.

There is a shotgun in there.  Number 2. 

A very wise men once said:

"You never select a shotgun as your primary anti-zombie firearm. It's great for onesy twosey, but zombies travel in hordes. The reload time is onerous, and the ammo, while effective, is heavy and bulky and short ranged."

Profound, that quote.

One day someone will make a list of zed-ending firearms and give me something interesting to mull over.

PS90.  Ok.  But the description lacks it's other advantages.  And certain disadvantages.

9mm plastic pistol that is also reliable, good.

22 M&P.  Also good.

.357 Magnum?  You only put that on there because of Walking Dead and you couldn't put new Colt Pythons on the list?  BAH.

Two more reliable plastic 9mm.  Good.

And a .338 lapua sniper....  Hmph.  "Take out zombie several football fields away!"  Doesn't mention your prairie dog gun at .223 is just as good for those several football fields, and only when you get north of 7 football fields that that chambering shines.  But not with your skill, typical internet zombie-list reader.  Be happy when you hit heads 500 yards away.  This is too much gun for me, and probably everyone that reads this.  Well, I can think of a reader or 2 that could put a really nice sniper rifle through it's paces...  But they know who they are.

But hey!  Leftie bolt action!  Unless they mirrors the image.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dremels Again

"Jeez T-Bolt, I'm sure you can find a tool besides a dremel and carbide bit to cut the underside barrel lugs.  What about a radiused file?  Machinist scraper?  Fine sand paper on appropriately sized metal rod."

Yeah, I thought about that too.  And what did they do before Dremel tools?  What did JMB do?!!!

He made rough barrel lugs, is what he did.  His were loose.  On purpose.  Sure they probably came off the milling machine and jig is better shape than a lot of parts you'd run into today.  At least at his development shop.  And machinist hands were more skilled back then.  You started with a better barrel.

But they are a gun factory.  They can't spend all day making that one over size barrel fit that one slide.  So they accepted some looseness.

And compensated for the variations with the barrel link.  They came in six sizes.  And were easier to modify to get the gun working.  And that gun would run just fine after it passed thought that part of the assembly and moved down the line.


You have to know...  when you are fitting the underlugs you mark them and see where they contact the slide release.  It might be a sliver in the middle of one lug lobe, and a bigger sliver on one side of the other lug lobe.  You dremel away the silver slivers.  And only the silver slivers.  While keeping the finish looking smooth and straight and square and free of facets.

When the gunsmith does this right in front of you it is a thing to behold.  How does he get it so pretty while I would mung it up?  He's done thousands of these.

Mine are unacceptable.  Worse than factory guns.  Maybe I could make better than factory, yet not nearly as good as Sam's, with a needle file.  I dunno.

Heck I'd need to work on my hand-filing skills in that case too.


This part of lockup is easily the most important.  Second most  important part of the gun fitment to make it run really well..  First is sear-hammer engagement, second is this.     

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Leaf Spring

There are 3 leaves on this leaf spring.  The middle one helps push the disconnector.  The shorter curvy one on one side pushes out the grip safety.  The leaf with a hook pushes on the sear.

You can see how they all work together with this cool .swf animation

If you have really good contact between the sear and hammer hooks (better than I can explain in a post) then you can play with the tensions of the sear and disconnector leaves to adjust the trigger feel.  Firmer sear and lighter disconnector and you get more of a crisp break.  Reverse it, and you get more of a roll to your trigger feel where the anticipation is less.

At least ideally.  You really have to take the spring out and bend it and put it back in and test to see how it works.  And this process, believe it or not, is hella fun for a guy learning to put a 1911 together. And not that tedious.  You leave the grip safety out and use a long appropriately size punch pin to hold the mainspring housing in place.  Test the trigger feel, pull the pin, remove the mainspring housing, bend the spring then replace all three... Test.  Fast fast!

Of course don't let the hammer hit the frame.  So be careful of your thumb getting bruised.  Don't ask how I know how bruised the thumb can get...

If you really hate getting little injuries to you hands them maybe a gunsmithing hobby is not for you.  I wear a lot of safety goggles, too. 


Be careful modifying this on your.  You lockwork may not be ideal, and you don't have someone sitting on your shoulder going, "You lightened the disconnector too much and might have safety issue down the line.  I know this from long hard earned experience."

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Oh. My. God...

Gunsmithing report

Only a Sunday class, past, but very productive.

Got my sear filing fixture set up.  Got the hammer hooks and sear stoned and mated with full contact.

This is huge.

Finalized trigger fitting.  It was holding me back because of one spot on the frame.

Got a rough fit of the grip safety.  Also a huge win.  Need some tips to make that prettier, tho.


What's left?

How to make it more pretty.  The bushing and grip safety, especially.

I need to learn some more about thumb safeties.  What to file on to get it to function and what to file on the control over travel.  And how much and what not

I might need to file and escape men on the sear,  It's a longish pull now, with trigger engagement.

Need to get the plunger tube installed.

That's pretty much it.  3 more class days...


I learned something cool about the leaf spring...  I have to learn more and report back.  It is amazing what you can control with that spring in the feel of the trigger.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tolerances Again

So I went on and on about tolerances a few posts ago, with regard to the 1911.

Then I showed that series of relaxing clock making videos.

We have an airplane machinist in IN CLASS.  He is always wondering why we couldn't incorporate more machinist operations into a build.  Maybe with CNC! 

And you know...  Browning designed this so it could be made from parts, with tolerances set at what HE specified to assist with ease of production...

And in class our parts are a grab bag of companies.  Wilson has some good thumb safeties, but not the best extractors.  EGW makes some really snazzy parts, but their extractor is also a bit wonky, even to my eyes.  Same with Ed Brown and Caspian and STI... etc.  We are trying to pick the best of the bunch, but those parts weren't designed under collaboration to work great together.  And even if they were all from one source, they factories didn't set out to make sure all their parts stacked well with all their other parts, yet still maintained tight tolerances.

But what if one company did?

There is reputed to be a company that did do so.  Made M1911A1 so well they were FIRED from making them, after just a handful.  The customer said their talents were wasted on making mere pistols and there were more important projects for them to work on instead.  But the already made guns would make great examples to show the other companies the right way to do it.

I refer to, of course, the legendary Singer 1911s.

Is all this hype true?  Or are they just valuable because there were only about 100 of them surviving and thus rare?  How bout both? 

Of course I can't test this.  No one would ever let me touch a Singer pistol, and I'd want Sam the Gunsmith to do all the inspections while I watched him, anyway.  My guess?  They are indeed very good factory pistols, in reality.  With exceptionally high tolerances.   And when Singer was kicked upstairs their pistols were sent to other makers so they'd have a model to measure off of, reportedly.

But it's been 80 years, and there is no one alive to tell us how they had the floor set up.  You could at great expense reproduce such quality today.  If I won a billion dollar lottery I would consider such madness.  The pistols produced at 'my' factory would probably cost $20k to make.  Each.  And I'd never sell enough to justify the project.  It would be fun, yes.  And making a profit wouldn't be my point.  And the pistols?  Still wouldn't be Army Marksmanship Unit guns able to shoot inside a 0.6 inch circle at 50 yards without a lot more work done to them.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Forgive me

I just can't NOT watch videos like this.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

1911 Frame

Did you know that you can get a 1911 frame made out of Titanium?

It can cost about a grand.

It's VERY hard to work with tools. 

Not even on a bet.  Nope.

I've seen the ones the gunsmith worked on and heard some of his tips on working them (more sandpaper, less files.)

They look and feel nice tho.

Same with Damascus Steel parts.  Pricey.  Hard to work.  Gorgeous.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Everytown declares carrying in Trader Joes forbidden

Dana Loesch defies them

Trader Joe's acquiesces

Civil Rights!

Hey, I know that guy

Met him as the NRA Annual Meeting.

Gun Crime in DC

If you want to lower the awful awful gun crime in Washington DC, you gotta go after the source of the firearms!

Gun dealers in Virginia?  Gun runners bringing them up from south of the border?

Well it seems like the biggest source of crime guns in DC are crime gun in DC walking out of the police evidence lockers

So if only the DC cops would stop confiscating guns and instead let a responsible adult collect any weapons at the crime scenes, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.

Eli Whitney

I realized what the thing is with 1911 pistols.  They are NOT made with interchangeable parts!

Interchangeable parts on firearms has been a goal for a long time, with lots of work toward that goal done at local Harper's Ferry Armory shy of 200 or so years ago.

I literally have to hand adjust every single serious part on this gun.  And if I ruin a part and need to swap it out?  I need to adjust that part, and the parts around it, and maybe the parts around THEM...

It's the beginning of the 21th Century!  Why can't America figure out mass production!

Seriously, this is actually a matter of tolerances.  We are fitting each part to each other with higher standards than 'bog' and very tight tolerance margins.   Or that is the idea, with various definitions of 'success'.

Now, if we loosen those tolerances and have a massive logistical tail, and I am the assemblyman on the circa 1912 Colt Factory floor... making the first M1911s, there are fewer fitting steps I'd need to accomplish.  If on part didn't fit, maybe swap it once or twice to get moving faster.  You get a slight looser gun.  A service grade gun.  Fine and reliable, but not a bulls-eye gun.  But the pistol wasn't intended to be.  It CAN be made accurate.  It is easier to make it accurate compared to an M9, but that, too, can be made very accurate.  There comes a cost to build a finer pistol, and not just in part material and quality.  Time and skill are a cost too.

It also means you can buy all the parts and they can be 'drop-in'.  I am at the stage where I could get a pistol put together without supervision from a big box sent by Brownells.  It would by necessity be not at good as this one I am taking my time with, and with the gunsmith supervision that whole time, but it'd be as good as any factory gun.  No lie.  Except...

There are a few sticking points I have...  Hammer and sear engagement of course.  Maybe the MOST important area.  I know noting about cosmetics.  Grip and thumb safety to sear and trigger bow are almost as important and my grok of them is only partial...  And there is all the "well, I've never seen THAT before" bit that I don't know how to cope with, so let's hope that doesn't come up.  The grip safety fitting and blending is a little iffy with me.  Even on a loose factory gun.  And I know very little about the cosmetic side of gun finishing, which is actually kinda important, if not for function, but for user confidence.

In other words, don't try to get me to make a pistol for you.

I told the gunsmith I'd be ready to do this on my own professionally in about 80 guns.  I could sell the 81st with confidence.  He thinks I might be able to do it sooner, but I am a slow head with poor attention to detail.  I'll stick with 80.  So after this I need to take the class 78 more time.  And at 1 class a year that mean I can retire from my day job and be a bona-fide smith in the year 2094.  Right around the corner.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Great news from Everytown

US homicide rate down to a mere 3.6 per 100,000!  I never thought I'd see it that low.

I want machinist tools

Look at this

A milling machine.  Practically brand new, only made in 1975.  Weighs a svelte 15 tons


Ok, maybe I don't want. 

Where are we with Gunsmiffin?

Got a fair bit of big things done.  Barrel fitted, link fitted to barrel, ejector, firing pin, and extractor installed and tested.  Barrel ramp and frame ramp polished a bit.  Dremel work, but not as hard as the carbide bit stuff.

What next?

Gotta prep the fire control parts.  Leaf spring, sear, hammer.  At least the parts I can't mess up.  This part is hard but it's an intellectual difficulty.  And the results are pretty binary.  Either you stoned the sear and hammer hook right and the gun funtions 100% or you didn't.  There is no 99% is ok.  And there are major safety issues.  Too much off in this spot and the gun goes full auto.  And not in a good way. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

For the "New" Socialists out there

That think Bernie is the bees knees.

Look, I know you are disappointed in Obama.  He was suppose to be the agent of change and harmony and competence and he was... none of those things.  A huge disappointment.  I know.  You convinced yourself he would be something new.  But he was just an asshole.

(My favorite part was all the racial healing.)

Don't double down on stupid supporting the Socialist.  You know socialist governments killed 100,000,000 of their own people last century, right?   Life sucks in North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba, right?  You know what they have in common?  Yes. 

"But T-Bolt!  It worked great for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden!"

All because they lived under our umbrella.  If they had to pay their own freight they wouldn't look like that picture in your head.  They don't look like that picture in your head now.  They realized they needed more taxpayers if they wanted to pay for all the unproductive socialist hangers-on, so they imported them.  Problem is, they imported them from rapey-culture Sharia-land, and now there is strife.

Back to here, in the US.

I don't want to die.  I don't want to be hungry and freeze to death in the dark.  I don't want to live in abject misery before the end comes.  And neither do you.  Stop promoting and voting for Socialists.

Our biggest mistake was not pursuing Crimes Against Humanity charges against all those from the other side of the Iron Curtain that kept it all up and going, way back in 1992.

Another reason to hate the Bush's apart from Souter and Roberts and lying about supply side economics and boosting big-government conservatism.   Not going after the other slaughterers that killed their own people but didn't happen to also speak German. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Don't see this in the news yet

Everytown says Trader Joe doesn't want your filthy money anymore.

Repeal the Second Amendment!

Many Leftist's pipe dream.  Repeal it!  Like we repeal Prohibition!  They talk a big game.

But can you?  I mean that, really.  Can you seriously repeal it?

Oh sure, you may get 100% of the electorate to vote it down, and actually write that into the Constitution as an Amendment, like the 21st was passed to negate the 18th. 

But have you repealed it? 

The Second is different. 

The 2nd doesn't grant a right.  It recognizes one.  And places restrictions on the gov't regarding it.  The right was there before it was written down.  It is a revealed thing.  Every living critter has a right to defend itself. 

If you repeal the Amendment are removing a right or adding a repression? 

People in England and Australia have a right to keep and bear arms.  It's just their government if violating their rights on this.  As they do with other rights.  Like their freedom of expression.  Maybe one day they will correct this intolerable atrocity.  But it's still their right and ours. 

The boot of tyranny for you Socialist overlord could be standing your face, but you still have a right to keep and bear arms.  The only reason you aren't is that boot is violating you. 

But by all means vote for Bernie.  We've been slacking off in the 21st Century with the totals of "gov't murdering its own people" statistic.  To get a REALLY high score you need a Socialist at the helm.

"But but but Europe TBolt!"

Europe could afford their namby version of Socialism because they lived under the umbrella the USA provided.  The same way Amish folks can be pacifists and not drafted.  There were plenty of other folks looking after them that they could be excused duty, but you can't apply that policy too widely.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Not so Smart

So called 'smart guns' are a paradox.  A contradiction.  An impossibility.  They simply cannot be.  The interests are diametrically opposed.  Any more than you can lift yourself up by grabbing your own collar and yanking.

Michael Williamson explained this.  I reiterate by quoting him:

"The first time an authorized shooter, cop or citizen, pulls the trigger, nothing happens, and the bad guy's gun works, they or their family will sue. I need it to FAIL TO THE UNLOCK STATE.
The first time an unauthorized shooter is able to access it, the victims will sue. The mfr needs it to FAIL TO THE LOCK STATE. It cannot do both."
Fail in unlock state, fail in lock state.  Mutually exclusive requirements by two opposing interests.  Pay attention.  Smart guns are baloney.  They can't be perfect.  Even if they could be perfect there are plenty of OTHER arguments against them that I don't even have to go

This kid is either wasting time chasing a unicorn or he is scamming.  Either way he should quit.  Gloves don't matter, battery life is irrelevant.

Leave out the fact his device will be used to restrict people's civil rights...  It's hen's teeth.   Stop searching for teeth in your chickens

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kinda Bummed

About Scalia.

Bit of a slap.  More impact than any of those beloved rock stars that have been dying recently.  Which I found odd.

People keep saying he was good for Conservatism.  He was good for America.

Another thing about Dremels

When you are left handed, and you Dremel something right close to your chest to keep everything stead?  The sparks all shoot right into your face.

I still smell burnt metal in my nostrils 4 hours later.

Happy Valemtimes Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What do?

So Tam talks about a new kind of gunstore customer she is seeing getting CCW pistols.

Old.  60 somethings.  Often women.  Short.  Perhaps arthritic with visual acuity not what it was.

They are buying smallish sincle stack Glock 43s and similar.  The recoil springs are on the stout side for weakened older hands.   And it is easier to get a limp wristing malfunction with em, too, for the same reason. 

Well, that's no fun.

An old skool revolver might not be the answer either.  What with 12 pound DA trigger pulls and the same seasoned trigger fingers struggling to work it. 

So what IS the answer?  Tam doesn't say.  And I sure don't know. 

But I want to know.  I am planning to get old, and weak, myself. 

Process of elimination:  Revolver out, small single stack semi 9mm out....  So option 3 is full size semi.  I guess.  Hard to dissuade folks looking for the one goldilocks gun.  I can understand why folks want not too big, not too small, not too recoily, not too weak a cartridge...  So pick the Glock 43 over the Glock 19?  Yeah, I might fixate on the small gun too if I was new to the problem like some of Tam's elder customers seem to be. 

Update:  Tam doesn't allow comments on her blog because of a crazy person, but there are other places where commenters can speak on this.  Some of them, and her, are leaning that Glock 19 direction, too.


My dad is in a similar boat.  He doesn't have arthritis but he did have some surgery on both hands to fix some tendon issues.  The powerful hands I remember as a kid aren't what they were.  But he isn't pistol shopping.  If he was, well, why NOT a Glock 43?  He lives in Maryland, too, and the 19 offers not much more advantage as the single stack when it comes to magazine capacity.  Hopefull that will get slapped down in the court, finally.

Oooo, another thing I didn't consider:  loading a double stack Glock magazine when my hands are in pain.  Even with a loader.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Dremels are Hard

That little gyroscope writhes like a snake in your hands.  Even knowing best practices and the safest techniques learned from long experience, it is a difficult device to master

EVERYONE knows the conventional wisdom that the Dremel is where amatuer gunsmiths go wrong and really mess up their gun.  Best not use it. 

But there are things you use it on that there really no better tool you can use!  You can't just swap it out for a file or something. 

Where do you HAVE to use it?

The lugs under the barrel.  The barrel ramp.  The frame to barrel ramp transition. 

"But wait!  Why use that dremel tool for the bottom lugs? Just use a barrel lug cutter."  That was a comment in a previous post.

Thing is... I did. We do. We use a barrel lug cutter.  They are vital.  But they don't take you all the way. 

The first cutter hogs off a bunch.  You better turn the cutter the correct direction or you will round over the cutting teeth.  Always use plenty of oil.  Man does it cut away little slivers of metal.  That cutter measures 0.185" or 0.186".  After that cut, you switch to the bigger cutter for the 'finish' cut.  0.195" or 0.196" depending on who you get it from.

But this isn't really the finish cut.  This section contacts the slide release.  What is the diameter of the slide pin?  0.20 inches, give or take a tough or two.  More than 0.196 inches at any rate.  A cutter that measures 0.2 or even 0.198 won't fit in the slide release pin hole in the frame.  0.185, then 0.196, then....  nothing available.  So you gotta use your Sharpie smoke-lamp and fit the lugs to the slide release.  To get at most 0.005 inches of metal removed in the right places.  And the only real tool for this is a Dremel with a carbide bit.  I WISH there was a way to so this with a hand tool 

This, is hard.  It's hard for the gunsmith, and he has done thousands of these.  Even he messes up and has to start over on occasion.   

Thursday, February 11, 2016


All the guys in the 1911 build class are in the exact same demographic as me.    Mid 40s.  Ex military or some sort of gummint service.  Makes half decent money.  Not shabby for a mid 40s dude in the DC area.  It's uncanny.

We are all spending big buck to A) learn something new, and B) get a good pistol out of it.  Sometimes the priority is one over the other.

I am an A) person.  Right now I can put a gun together that is better than a factory pistol.  But that isn't saying much.

I am telling you, you can feed yourself if you can make a drop in 1911 with a decent sear/hammer engagement, get it together and pass safety checks, then get a decent finish on it.  You can churn out two $2000 gun a week like that that will be better than the other $2000 1911s in the gun store display case.  Maybe $500 profit if you cut corners?   Liability is expensive, tho.  It will keep you awake at night.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gun Skool, Discouragement

Sometimes in class things go well and it feels like I am getting the hang of it and I am learning new things.  A few more guns like this and I do retire one day and make extra money just building 1911s!  I am great!  Well not great, but heading to ok, maybe even the bottom part of pretty good.

Other times I hope that next class I can drop the scroo-up to about 90% of what I was doing during that day's class.  It feels hard.  I am understanding less.  I am breaking stuff.

This previous weekend was more like that.

Anyway.  The thing for this weekend is fitting the bottom lugs and installing the proper barrel link.  I already knew this part was hard because we had done it before.  It's hard. 

My Dremel skills are WEAK!  WEAK!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

If you have to lie

And it is so obviously a lie.

Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, says it was the wrong decision, but doesn't think it will be upheld. He is pushing for a universal background check across the country.

"That is something which will prevent gun violence,” he states. “We definitely need national laws, but states that have these kinds of measures have lower gun deaths."

And so easily and regularly debunked...   You movement is on borrowed time.  Thank goodness.

Vincent DeMarco lies.  States that have those kinds of measures do not track with lower gun deaths.  Or lower gun violence.  Or lower violence.  One doesn't correlate with the others. 

Unless he want so argue that the the NRA gets the Justice Department to fudge its numbers.  I guess he can go that route.  People won't believe that either.

Bill 'O Health

So, on a personal note. 

Had my annual checkup, but for the previous month I've been teetotalling.

"Oh my GAWRSH T-Bolt, but you LOVE good beer!  Heck weren't you brewing beer for realz for a living for a mess of years?"

Yes, that is true.  But I wanted to see something.  I had read this article last fall.  Dramatic health benefits by giving your liver a vacation: 

‘The results were staggering,’ said Professor Kevin Moore, who was involved in both experiments. ‘If you had a drug that did this it would be a multi-billion pound market.  ‘There was a 40 per cent reduction in liver fat, they lost about three kilograms in weight and their cholesterol levels improved.’

Heck, I can do that.  And it don't cost nothing.  If I can quit smoking I can go a month without a drop.  It's not like I am quitting forever, just for January.  I did nothing else to boost any good effects.  No extra niacin or vitamin D or what have you. 

I had my last drink on the 3rd of January.  And the doc was the 8th of February.  And to break my fast I had a decent IPA from Troegs called Perpetual.  A well made offering that resists going too crazy with the hops like many IPA makers are wont to do.  Was good. 

Results?  Who knows on Cholesterol levels.  Only had blood drawn yesterday.  My pants and belt are looser, so some ell-bees melted off.  Good.  My BP was 138/80.  Meh.  When I was a kid it was 115/70, and I used to get head rushed standing up.  So that is no good, dangit.  No real improvement.  I wasn't 145/90 this time last year.  I was about the same. 

We'll see when the cholesterol number come in.  Maybe do 2 months next time and zap myself with niacin/aspirin/vitamin D.  I'd like to avoid Crestor type meds as long as possible. 


What else is wrong with me?  The beginning of old man complaints.  Sciatica.  The tips of my kneecaps hurt.  Dad had that about this age, but then it went away after a few years.  Mystery!  I look forward to it going away... 

I need to go hiking more

Maybe not.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Those French

They contemplated a pretty tank.  Even if potentially ineffectual, it had style

I guess if development had been done with more alacrity and it was fielded in March 1940 it'd be as good as many other possible opponents.  But in WWII you had to developed and produce tanks fast, the technological competition was fierce.

But that thing might have done ok against a Panzer III, even.

Monday Blahs

Standard Bupkis.

Coming offa Gun Skool weekend, too.  You'd think I'd have something to yammer about.

A guy in class had one of these Veil Holsters for his Glock.  They are a pretty minimal holster with only one belt loop on the model he had.  He found it didn't shift around much that way.  And the holster was very comfortable.  An important consideration as 99.9+% of the time comfort is critical factor.  Don't you think?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Gipper

Yesterday was Ronald Reagan's birthday.  He would have been 105 years old.  Some folks want to carve his likeness up on Mt. Rushmore.  This is a horrible idea in my opinion.  Just wrong.

No, carve his mug onto the surface of the moon.  Big enough to make out easily from earth.  Twice.  Happy, smiling Reagan on this side.  ANGRY Reagan on the dark side.  To scare away Aliens. 

This Woman

Is like a cross between RobertaX and Jan Brady.  On a houseboat. Which is awesome.

Lockup Pt 2

The modern pistols are genius in many ways.  They took the great ideas invented by John Moses Browning and improved upon them in important ways.

One of the important ways was making it easier to manufacture a gun with good lockup that requires less hand fitting. 

The 1911 is a great gun, as you all know.  But it is hard to get right cheaply.  If all gunnies were billionaires they'd never turn their nose up at a $5000 gun.  And five large buys a nice pistol.  And who cares if there are $500 guns then? 

But we aren't all rich.  What does that $500 gun have to offer?

Well, look at the barrel of your modern pistol and compare it to your 1911 barrel.  It doesn't have that link think on the underlug, and instead of lugs on top, that squarish hood does double duty and fits into the slide port.  Fewer things to keep track of, and easier to make with machine tools instead of getting close and hand fitting with files.  Less skilled needed in assembly means cheaper, and faster.  Fewer parts and fewer steps and fewer machine operations meands faster and cheaper.  Simpler means less maintenance later.  And less skilled maintenance. 

Which is why I love the 1911, but if I was a police commissioner I'd never equip my cops it.  Not unless my budget was unlimitted.  And budgets never are.

Same with equipping an army.

But to equip T-Bolt?  T-Bolt is willing to learn the upkeep and spend the money to make the sleection of a solid slim pistol like the 1911 more sensible.   I recommend everyone that own a 1911 and likes it to learn this maintenancy gunsmithy stuff.  In a few more years of gun classes I'll kinda know what I am doing enough justify carrying one in my holster... 

(Is it really that big a deal, T-Bolt?  Well... maybe not that extreme.  I still recommend the learning.  Don't got time for that?  You might want a more modern tool, then.  Might.)

In 1945 there was nothing better and cheaper than the M1911A.  It was the glock/m&p/hk/sig modern pistol of it's day.  

I've gone over all this before.  But what do I know?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Gun Skool, addendum

All that stuff I talked about yesterday? One of the things I gloss over is the prep work ahead of time. Before you got fiting the barrel hood to the breech face you be sure the breach face is smooth and should and there is no shelf from the tooling that might add friction to this area as the bullet case slides along it. This happens in a lot of step. Under the slide there is the little divot the disconnector goes into, and then slides along when the slide works back and forth. There are numbers stamped on there. You can smooth this area (not TOO much!) and be sure that divot is sound and has no tooling marks itself. All our caspian slides in class did have a good disconnetor relief area, smooth as a babies bottom. I've seen uglier slides my own self, and I am a n00b.

Speaking of n00bs, don't do this:

OHMYGAWD!  Bless your heart, fella, but fast forward to 16:54 and listen to that? What you hear, even my n00b ears know, is galling. He calls it 'smearing' later.  He smeared off some metal.  See this still? The slide has actually planed a ship out of the frame. No no no!


I am a fast worker. I am consistently ahead of the other guys in class. Even the machinist guy. I am comfortable with tools and have always been fast with things. Taking tests in school, for example. I was the first to finish almost every time. I find things easy, I cruise through it. It applies to other things, too. Like, mopping floors and mowing lawns. Churning out blog posts.

This is a good thing. And it is not.

Speed has a quality of it's own. But it sacrifices quality sometimes. You see my atrocious and egregious typos? Speed has no time for proofreading!

I have to fight against this natural tendency in class. I want the best gun I can get not the fastest-made gun. Stop myself, pay attention, do a better job. If I do get ahead think on the stuff I just did and see if there is some area I can concentrate on to make better. 'Proofread' the gun. So to speak. Attention to detail.

You know where this tendency of mine will actually hurt me the most? The final finish. I won't take enough time to do it right.

My speed might make me a good get for a factory where they are pretty much just dropping in parts and making them work.  But I don't want to just make below average factory guns...  It's something I struggle with, self-discipline wise.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Gun Skool, barrel lockup.

So, what, pray, is the very most critical areas to concentrate on when building a 1911 to get as good a lockup as possible?

Where the barrel hood touches the breechfaces, where the underlugs touches the slide release, and where the slide lugs engage the top lugs on the barrel.

What you want in the lugs in top of the barrel is have them contact the slide at two point at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock.  I noticed that factory guns tend to contact at 12 o'clock only.  With this one central point of contact the gun can roll a bit.  It's relying on the barrel hood contact with the sides of the slide, and underlug contact with the slide release, to hold it in the same place.  

With the rebuilt gun we couldn't achieve 10 and 2 with the factory barrel.  We concentrated on the other areas.  With a new build with a new over sized barrel we get to fit the barrel to the slide and we get to shoot for really crisp lockup and at the 10 and 2 postition.

Like I said, good 10 and 2 and good underlug, and you are miles ahead of what I have seen with mulitple facotry guns.

That's what we did last class time.  We mark the barrel hood with magic marker and get the hood to fit into place until it just locks into the lugs by filing the spots where there is contact where you see marker removed.  Then we mark the barrel lugs and file on the barrel where it touchs at 10 and 2.  As we file we are also 'lifting' the barrel into position.   When I started the firing pin would strike a little above center on the primer.  I am trying to get it closer to center without going below center.  File too much away, move the strike point on the primer, and there is no fixing it.  Remove too much on the barrel hood and you can add metal with that area with a welder.  Same with the under lug.  But remove too much metal in the barrel lugs on top and you need a need a barrel. 

(Let me just add, let's say I was a really good gunsmith and made a pistol that could shot holes in an inch and half radius circle at 50 yards.  I, as a shooter, am not skilled enough to notice.  Chances are you the reader are not skilled enough.  Nor do you know anyone in person that is skilled enough.  Even famous competitive shooters you watch on Youtube, many of them are not skilled enough to notice 1.5" vs. 4".  It's still fun trying to make a gun that runs as well at a 9" gun in reliability, but shoots inside a half dollar.  Trying.  TRYING.) 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NRA Court Announcement

Well, THIS is nice.

"Appeals court decision casts doubt on Maryland’s assault weapons ban"

It's nice to see a disappointed Frosh, too. We hate that guy. 

The ruling doesn't speak to carry outside the home, but the law agin 11 round magazine and AR15s that weren't Heavy Barrel varieties does implicate Heller stuffs directly.

You want to stop a home invader in Maryland, yesterday, you gotta use an AR that shoots .308, not .223. 

Yeah it doesn't make sense to me either.

Still gotta wait for legal wrangling to, er... wrangle out.

Dissent says:

Judge Robert B. King wrote: “Let’s be real: The assault weapons banned by Maryland’s [law] are exceptionally lethal weapons of war” and as such, he said, not constitutionally protected.

Hmph.  AR10 is, again, okey dokey.

History's. Greatest. Monster.

He's History's Greatest Monster from Bryan Maul on Vimeo.

That Settles It

History's Greatest Monster endorses Trump for President.   Before he can shuffle off this mortal coil.

I've always used JC as a tripwire, so it is always important to add that data point to the decision process.   Thanks Jimmy.

A discussion of intermediate cartridges

Yields the quote:  "fighting in one of the countless conflicts that dot the bloody timeline of European history during the 19th Century."

But the 19th Century was a remarkably bloodless a peaceful time, says I!

We can't both be right.

Well, actually, we can. 

Lots and lots of little dustups, lots of proxy wars from from Europe proper, so, lots of blood, yes.

But nothing like the continent wracking Napoleonic wars or WWI.  Peaceful.   Compared to what happened the century before and the century after.    At least in Europe.  In Asia they  had the biggest war maybe ever.

It's a relativity thing.  Just ask Einstein.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


State of the Industry

So, assuming Hillary and Bern and Marty do not prevail in November...  Just conjecture...

What happens to the firearms industry?

It's gonna tank without a Democrat driving sales, whipping up gun store traffic like a rented mule that owed them money.  So, a bit of a contraction.  Might lose some companies, big and small.  Colt, for the big, is living on borrowed time and hasn't effectively capitalized on the Obama windfall.

We'll see the bust side after the boom.

Maybe prices will go down and availability will go up?  I am not shopping for guns, but if I continue on a gunsmith kick...  I wouldn't mind more gunsmith supplies getting cheaper.  I have frame #002 to think of. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Attention GOP/RNC

I always voted for the most conservative Republican until recently. 

I almost didn't vote for McCain.

I did NOT vote for Romney.

I won't vote for Rubio.  I'd rather have Trump.  I'd vote for Trump and I HATE Trump. 

Me and millions of other GOP voters will go the polls and vote down ticket and leave the top blank. 

That's how you lost 2012. 

Stop being stupid.

And encourage Carson to run for Maryland Senate.  He'd be awesome in this state. 



Run Marty, Run!

Not sure what complicated strategery Marty is up to with this announcement.  Probably lulling Hills and Berns into a false sense of security then WHOOSH!  Snatch away the nomination for himself and coast to the Whitehouse!

O'Malley is just playing the long game, like the nefarious Irishman he is.  Lulling his opponents into a false sense of security then...  BAM!  Uppercut right on the point of the chin!  Right on the button.  And...  out like a light.  Sure he hit Hillary, and Hillary is a girl, but, all is fair, right?  It's not like you haven't thought about that.  A good shove would topple over Socialist grandpa Simpson.  And despite living in a dairy state Bern got rickets waiting for his gummint dairy product to be spoon fed to him.  He'll break a hip.

There is no way he can't be the next president, after all

It's gonna be cold.

It's gonna be gray.

And it's gonna last... the rest... of your life.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dead Tech

To get a pistol in Maryland you have to deal with the State Police.  Get the license, &c. &c.

Their website only accepts Internet Explorer.  Not Chrome Firefox or Safari.

Of these 4 browsers which one is the one that is about to hit end of life, forever?  Yup.  IE.  Deader than disco right soon.