Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sear/Hammer Engagement 2

I told you all that to tell you this.

I took the classes.  Basic Armorers Class you learn how to detail strip a 1911 and put it back together and whether your gun is safe or unsafe.  "Hey, T-Bolt, the hammer falls if I squeeze really hard with the safety on, then take my finger off the trigger and disengage the thumb safety."  Yeah, that's bad.
Intermediate Armorers Class you learn all the ins and out on your fun of good frame to slide lock up, what kind of sear hammer engagement your gun has, how to check and adjust your extractor tension.

Great! Now you are turning into a discerning 1911 owner and buyer.  In the rare chance someone will let you detail strip a gun you are bout to buy you do all sorts of checks.  Or, you can take your new gun home, do the checks, and return the gun unfired, maybe, if they'll let you, if it isn't up to snuff.

Is there another way?


The gunsmith can pull the trigger and discern many things.  I have seen him do this.  I am only part way to understanding this myself, but it is sort of a gunsmith goal.


He pulls the trigger on a gun brought into his shop and can tell if the disconnector is loose in its hole, whether both hammer hooks are engaged and which one isn't if so.  Whether the Sear-Hammer engagement is negative or not.  Multiple safety checks with the thumb and grip safety and...  Other things as well that I haven't begun to grok.

He hasn't even looked at it with his eyes, closely, yet.

"How do you know he isn't just blowing smoke, T-Bolt?"

Because I've then seen the results after a detail stripping. Yup, I can see the disconnetor wiggle, I can see from the smoke lamp the left hammer hook is what is holding the sear and that by only 10% of the surface, and...

I am starting to see and feel what a 1911 with negative Sear-Hammer engagement by pulling the hammer my ownself.   This is easier to see with the thumb safety removed, but you can do it just by feel.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sear/Hammer Engagement

This is review for some of you.

The sear-hammer engagement on a 1911 are so tiny it is hard to picture them.  It's, what?  1/16th of an inch in contact area?

On the full cock notch on the hammer, those hammer hooks have to be the same height.  People can intuitively understand that it is not good for the sear to drop off one hook and then the other.

And that is the easy part.

There is a facet on the sear that contacts these hammer hooks.  Or it should be a facet.  If you look close on lots of factory guns this part actually looks rounded.  You have to make the facet angles on the sear a certain way so it contacts the hammer hooks a certain way to A) get best results, or, failing that, B) NOT BE UNSAFE.

 Neutral:  Full contact.  Spring tension holds this in place.  Ideal.

Positive:  Harder to trip but when you let off the tigger the sear wants to return to fully engage the hammer, all the way into the notch.  Not the best trigger feel, and that edge will wear down over time to more of a rounded face.  I think factory triggers end up erring on the side of a Positive Sear Engagement because it is safer. 

Negative:  Unsafe.  That angle the sear want to creep out of the notch and the only thing holding it there once it starts to creep with the barest trigger pull is spring tension.  The slightest vibration and it can trip, causing a Bad Event.  You can go a long time without this bad event happening, but, it's only a matter of time.

In those diagrams I show the facet angle but in contact, when the pistol is cocked, they look more like:

With negative engagement the gun doen't want to return to the above diagram when you stop applying pressure to the trigger.  It wants to creep out from under.

When you take your 1911 to the gunsmith for a trigger job this is what he is doing.  Probably fitting a new hammer unless the original one has plenty of meat on it (this is often the case) to adjust the hammer hook height and faces, but almost always getting a new, good, sear and putting the correct angle on it.,  If your gunsmith knows what he is doing.  And doing this right is NOT EASY.  Because of the tolerances and differences between guns this can't be a drop in part.  Two frames made one right after the other may have slightly different angles to the pin holes alone that hold the hammer and sear in the gun.

If you have a good neutral sear engagement with lots of good contact you can see after using a smoke lamp on that facet, THEN you can play with the leaf spring fingers to get a crisp trigger or a roll trigger, 5 pounds or 3 pounds.

All THIS is what modern plastic pistols seek to improve upon.  Make these critical angles unimportant, or less important, and the parts truly interchangeable without a high degree of skill and ability with the assembler.  Things like this are why 1911s are expensive and striker fired tupperware are not.  Cheaper materials, cheaper parts, less critical angles result in a well functioning plastic gun that is cheaper and easier to maintain.  And that is ok.

"But I love 1911s, and don't want mine to be a dog or unsafe, T-Bolt!  What do I do?  I spent a grand on this and it might be unusable?!!  WTF?"

Relax.  The hard part for you is finding a good gunsmith to do a good trigger job.  A true neutral sear hammer engagement.  Your frame can be rattly and finish look horrible and the headspace be loose, but if you get that $200 trigger job (or less) on your gun and you are almost to aces.  Something you love will bring you more joy.

After that their are other easy improvements.  Change out the recoil spring and firing pin spring.  Adjust the extractor tension.  Or replace and adjust the extractor tension.

"But I love 1911s and want to compete at a high level in Bulls Eyes competitions, T-Bolt, where inch groups at 50 yards is critical!"

Jeez, you want egg in your beer, too?  To get that requires a bit more work.  You aren't getting out of here only spending $1000 on the gun and $300 worth of gunsmith improvements.

"It's OK, T-Bolt, I just popper for a $3500 custom Wilson 1911..."

Hssss... yeah... you might be alright.  You might not.

Monday, January 29, 2018


Someone found my secret and quoted Jeff Cooper from his book.

Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal weapons. The possession of a good rifle, as well as the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the monarch of all he surveys. It realizes the ancient dream of the Jovian thunderbolt, and as such it is the embodiment of personal power. For this reason it exercises a curious influence over the minds of most men, and in its best examples it constitutes an object of affection unmatched by any other inanimate object.

Boolit test

I tested 50 of these in my rebuilt Springfield


Ok, I am using McCormick mags, and they are pretty old.  But with 4 fresh mags the bullets failed to feed on the first round.  It was like I had loaded 8 rounds into the mag.


Yup.  That's what I get for weird experiments.

The tip gets stuck on the feed ramp.  Which also might really mean that the rim is stuck at the breech face and can't slide up under the extractor hook.

(Gunsmith tip:  When you get FTFs like this, check the extractor before you start breaking out the Dremel to 'polish' the feed ramp.  It's hard to add metal to the feedramp after you drum sanded it off...)

So, what else could it be?

The Over All Length on these bullets seem shorter, and that reverse Ogive shape is changing SOME of the dimensions in operations.

The mags are old, the springs and followers might be getting tired.

"If you are not going to shoot that weird bullet type a lot, T-Bolt, then why bother to fix it if the gun runs HST and hardball 100%, just fine."

Maybe this flaw is communicating with me.  It fails easy on the semi-wadcutter now but won't start failing with the full metal jacket for 500 more rounds.  This guy is giving me a heads up early.

"Could it be the feed lips?"

It could be.  The feed lips spreading could change where the mad 'lets go' of the cartridge when the slide slips it out.  One of the nice things about McCormick is the metal is a thicker and stiffer gauge.  That doesn't mean they aren't spreading, it's only less likely.

"If the follower is toast, T-Bolt, can you even get replacement ones?"

Well...  The followers are harder the find.  The springs are easy.  If I can't find the followers for sale, I'll just hurry up and get new mags.  Mags cost $23.  The spring alone costs $10.  The magazines are cheap enough at that price point to maybe not risk too much maintenance on them.


 So assuming good mags, and I wanted to shoot a LOT of these lighter, funny-shaped, .45s?  Like if it was a bullseye gun.  I'd have to place with the extractor tension to make it lighter to let the rim up under the extractor more readily.  Long before I'd ever dream of messing what is now a very good frame and barrel ramp.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Tell you what, Joe

Get reciprocity up for an up or down vote by convincing your Dem colleagues to go along, and then maybe the NRA will look at your again.

As of now, Joe Manchin, you are an anti-gun candidate.  In a state where your knew that was fatal 8 years ago.  Once in, you 'evolved' in office.  Meaning you dropped your pro-gun facade, a common reaction among leftists and federal judges appointed by unvigilant Repubs or Bush's.

But I'd accept you as progun if you lead the way to get reciprocity enacted.

The Russian Fund the NRA

Well knock me over with a feather.

The NRA is just another arm of Putin?

Well, if Putin gets us national reciprocity then we showed him.  Played right into our hands. Using his own power against him.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Important Safety Tip

This guy got convicted of a felony.

Don't draw your CCW piece to get people to behave different.  Like:  "Don't come any closer" or "Stop threatening me with a baseball bat," or whatever.

It never turns out well.

You aren't a cop, you aren't there to get people to comply with your orders by brandishing your weapon.  Even if it is 'justifiable,' seemingly.

Keep the CCW concealed and draw because you need it.  NEED-need it.  To use.  And pray the deadly scenario you are shooting people for will look justified to most reasonable folks.  The guy with the basefall bat is charging and swinging for your head.

Tertiarily, avoid getting close to riots.

"How will I know where riots are gonna happen, T-Bolt?"

Large gatherings of Democrats.  That's where riots happen.

"But Ima a journalist and hafta go there for work."

Oh dear.  Get people to pray for your safety.  Hang around cops.  Keep your CCW piece holstered  unless cornered by angry commies with weapons gleefully describing how they are gonna enjoy killing you.

In the 30s they called your rod a 'Convincer.'  But that's not what its for.  

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.  

Friday, January 26, 2018

NRA Ballot

Mine never showed up.  Which month's magazine is it in?

Hudson H9

I really can't wait for someone I know to review a Hudson H9.  I am a little excited about this new pistol.

After that I wanna chance to handle and maybe shoot one myself.  In a few years, after the initial release excitement has died down. This gun might make my Want List.

What the heck, I'll add it now.  It might go UP in rank, tho.

Why?  It's just neat.  And it just feels like its a gun that might live up to the hype.

You know, tho, if I walked into a gun store tomorrow and saw one with a $1,200 price tag I'd have a hard time not opening my wallet immediately.

According to reports from shot show, they are coming out with an aluminum frame version.  H9A.  8 ounces lighter.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Gunsmiff Tip

I had this problem.

Say you have a stuck escutcheon.  And it's because it was screwed in with Red Loctite.  You know it's just loctite and not peened in place (which is real REAL pain to correct...  thank you Springfield) because you did it or you just know.

You want to free it, but you don't wanna torch your flame.  Maybe mess up the fancy finish, if you got a fancy finish.

What do?  Soldering iron.

Stick it in the escutcheon hole and hold it there.  It takes longer than you think to break the loctite bond, so, patience. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


"Man I was really a Derpy Gun-Dope five years ago.  I carried a XD40 in a Crossbreed IWB back then.  Man, what I bonehead I was."

Meh.  You coulda done worse.  Don't be so hard on yourself.  It wasn't so derpy then, remember, or you wouldna gone that route, right?

There is stuff right now that erryone thinks is the beez-knees, but in 5 years will go "What was I thinkin?!  What were WE thinking?  Who knew that when kydex got wet it turned into a contact explosive...."

Or something.

Do your best, keep an open mind, try to do better, be flexible, practice and get training.  Do all these things and even if you are hopeless at it you will still be in the 90th percentile of gonne-toters.  You are in the top 1,500,000 of CCW people.

Don't beat yourself up.  Correct as new information comes in.  It's what I try to do.

One correction?  I took my series 80 Colt with XS rear sights and sold it.  Bam.  Corrective.  It wasn't bad, I didn't foist a problem in someone else.  I just moved on.  I will move on again in the future. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

If you are a University student

And you eat laundry detergent.

AFTER the school warned you not to.

You need expelling.

Dear Student,

Thank you for attending Utah University. We received many interesting and excellent applications, only some of which we were able to accept this year. We reviewed your application very carefully and note several strong features. That is why we accepted you.  Apparently, in light of recent events, that was a mistake.  Or perhaps you cheated on entrance exams or you have excessive grade inflation in High School?  No matter.

We encourage you not to apply to any other schools unless you can retain a minder or chaperone or custodian 24/7 to keep you from harming yourself or others.  Again.  We wish you every success with your studies, or whatever, and beyond.  Dumbass. 

- The Dean

Bupkis Tuesday

Odds and Sods.

Could use some rain.  Get rid of this salt.  But not if it is just gonna snow again and they'll have to put down more road treatment.

I hate my job.  Well, I don't really HATE it, per se.   It's just a bit more stressful lately.  And that's no fun.  And they've been stingy with the raises the last few cycles.  The way to get ahead as a contractor is to switch companies to another contract.  Get 25% raise that way.  Then, 6 months later, switch back.  Another 25%.  Seen that happen.  A lot. 

Found my boolets.  Looking all over that speed strip.  They went through the washing machine, but not the dryer.  Now I don't trust em, tho they are prolly 100% fine.  It's snubbie food, so Speer short barrel stuff.  Like this:

"That's less than optimal T-Bolt.  Maybe use something else?"

Look at all the rest of the data for 2" revolvers?  None cover themselves with glory.  If I want better performance then I should carry a more bigger gat.  Even then... the ones that expand the best don't penetrate so good.  In .38.  You get the penetration and expansion without juicing up the speed with something like Federal HST .45.  For example.  Any gel blocks wearing a Canadian Tuxedo that try to stick you up won't stand a chance unless you miss.  It means a BIGGER bigger gat, no?  Yes.

Hey have you noticed ammo prices coming down?  And guns are on sale a lot lately.  Budget .22 is down to a nickel a round.  Nice.

On the shutdown?  The gov't didn't F--- me, my company F---ed me.  And that kinda makes me sad.  I hope that sadness doesn't chip away at my immune system.  But if it does, luckily, I have 600 hours of sick time accrued.  

Monday, January 22, 2018

Technical question

STI has an animation where you can see the innards of the 1911.

It's neato torpedo.

Problem:  It's an .swf file.  That means adobe macromedia flash.  And flash is so vulnerable that chances are a security update ganked off the computer you are using to read this right now.

What safe alternatives do I have?  Is there a way to save the file locally and just airgap the machine that runs it?


They sent me home from my federal contractor job early today.  Because of the shutdown, natch.

LAST shutdown I was considered essential personnel.  I still do the exact same job, but... not so much this time.

More mess to clean up when the gov't reopens.

[Lesson:  Ted Cruz shuts the gov't down, I am good to go.  Chuck Schumer shuts the gummint down, sorry...  What is different between these two giants of the Senate....]

I have to burn vacation time if I want to be paid.  That's my money.   My Senators, Maryland Senators Cardin and Van Hollen blocked the continuing resolution.  Now they are costing ME money.

I want that money back.

I won't forget this, Senators. 

Mountain House Reviews

Sweet and Sour Pork tastes like hot ass

Chicken Teriyaki is meh.

I like some other flavors much better:

  • Beef Stew
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Chili Mac
  • Lasagna (those three are practically the same thing with a different form factor)
  • Noodles and Chicken 
  • Chicken and Dumplings
  • Biscuits and Gravy 
  • Beef Stroganoff
Scrambled Eggs with Bacon and Chicken and Rice left to try from this sample group I have. I don't expect much from the chicken, I have higher hopes for the eggs.

What else?   Chicken ala King?  Too many peppers.  Not a fan of peppers.  Breakfast Skillet?  Same thing.

Chicken and Mashed Taters?  Hmmmm, must try.  Chicken Stew?  Prolly good, with carrots and peas.  Mac n Cheez?  Hard to screw that up.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


New Jersey and now Massachusetts looks like they are confiscating Bump Stocks from gun owners.

Maryland isn't up to those kind of shennanigans just yet.  But let me put my marker down right now.

I will never turn in ANY of my bump stocks.

Well, that's not entirely true.  I will only turn in bump stocks I have registered with the state.

(Maryland doesn't require bump stock registration so that number is zero.) 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

New Rifle? Again?

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


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

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

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

And everything is a tradeoff.

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

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

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

Are all Army rifle toters routinely engaging dudes 400+ yards away?  Do you need EVERY trigger puller to be able to hit things out at 600 meters or more? Well you got a rifle right now that does 500.

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

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

10 times better?  Maybe 0.1 times better.

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

Did you see that?

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

So, what about today?  Some more randoms.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

S&W compact

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

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

The .380 has fully taken over the niche. 

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

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Is the Shield the new J-Frame?

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

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

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

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

I got better.

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Bupkis Monday.

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

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

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

"Why is it not selling T-Bolt?"

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

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

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

Monday, January 15, 2018



Trump is awful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I regret nothing

Teacher's Aid

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

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


Well, it is for me.

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

Saturday, January 13, 2018

It's too expenimsival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 12, 2018

Range then and now.

Ugh!  LOOK at my target from 10 years ago!

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

McCormick Mags

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

That's a lotta guns, nut...

Been noticing the want list.

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


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


"How many revolvers?" 

Two 640s, a 617, a 686...  4?

Any other pistols?

Well, of course.


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


Bout as many as revolvers?

"So, a score or coupla dozen firearms?"

Sure!  Let's say that.

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

Not really?...

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

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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Modified again...

For now, in no particular order (but probably in order of priority):
  1. Custom single stack Commander length 9mm 1911.   Just cuz.  And Sam has an extra frame already...  And I have a barrel and slide....  This is crazy talk!
  2. DeLisle style new made bolt action rifle, left handed. .45
  3. S&W M&P 2.0 or Sig P320.  Full size.  With a light rail obviously.  House pistol.  9mm prolly.
  4. .22TCM/9mm single stack Armscor 1911.
  5. CMP vintage Colt 1911.  
  6. Hudson H9
  7. A Browning BLR in .308
And in there, somewhere, is this stainless steel Caspian frame I gotta turn into something.  Commander .45?  That's a thought.

Monday, January 8, 2018

And close up

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


What is that, T-Bolt?

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

Probably an exercise in futility. But we will see.

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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Glowball Warmening

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

Why?  Not enough supply.

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

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

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

Saturday, January 6, 2018


It's what's for dinner.

Friday, January 5, 2018

It's a Good Winter

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

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

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

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

Caspian Magazine

Know anyone that makes a superior one of these?

Maybe this?

Old skool double stacks are frustrating.

Still plugging away.

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

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

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Terms

We didn't have yesterday.

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

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

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

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


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

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

But that takes time.

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

Not satisfied.

So, Christmas gift idea.

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

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

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

Wouldn't do that with my razor, tho.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

That SWATting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

100 years ago this month

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

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

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

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

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


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

"Blogging is graffiti with punctuation."


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

Monday, January 1, 2018

Regional Dialect

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

Some people call this a Tow Truck:

Some call it a Wrecker.

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

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