Thursday, July 31, 2014

I have to applaud...

...the tact of the Israeli ambassador on the Today show this morning when Savannah Guthrie was tut-tutting him over collateral damage in Gaza.

She was sitting not five miles from the craters of a terrorist attack that, directly or indirectly, set off a chain of events that has caused civilian casualties that the Israelis would darn near have to burn Gaza City to the ground and plow it with salt to equal. (Not to mention the civilian casualties caused by the eponymous Project hatched on the same island, down the street at 270 Broadway.)

Tactical RV...

Spotted at the Marion County Hamfest:

I get the utility of a "mobile command post"-type vehicle for a governmental subdivision that encompasses almost a million souls, but did they have to paint it up like Reinhard Heydrich's Winnebago? This is, after all, a vehicle that is more likely to be used in the aftermath of tornadoes, floods, or fires than in response to the bank robbery shootout scene in Heat.

There must not have been any hardcore whackers at the event, because this thing would have pulled 'em in like a bug zapper. They'd have been gently bumping off those shiny aluminum flanks like 300-lb polyester-clad moths around a Coleman lantern.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Automotif XXXIX...

Spotted this restomod on the way home from the range. It was turning right at 56th & Lafayette, so I wasn't able to get a better shot, unfortunately. It was mighty tasty, though.

Bitchin' Camaro

Bangity bangity bangity...

Fifty more rounds of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ. No malfunctions. Had fun shooting the plates from 15 yards (I had to move the table back; I think the people before me were shooting steel from about the seven yard line, which is just a little more daring than I like to be.)

This makes eight hundred rounds in the notebook. I should add that, other than taking it apart and lubing it when I purchased it, the pistol has not been cleaned or lubricated since. I said before that I'm not doing any kind of "torture test", and I'm not. Not many pistols get frozen in blocks of ice and then run over with a tank before being thrown out of a helicopter, but lots of guns do get neglected...

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "It's like there's a spinal reflex to yell 'FALSE FLAG! FALSE FLAG!' anytime something like this happens because, apparently, nobody's ever been to a gun show and looked around. Our side needs to own our 'tards."

RX: "If by 'own' you mean 'take behind the barn and beat the ____ out of'."

They could do this with pockets full of kryptonite.

I could watch this video over and over again.

And then there were none...

Mr. Theodore "Dutch" VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay" on 6 August 1945, has passed away in a Stone Mountain, Georgia retirement home.

Gun pics...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not helping...

If you're just rambling around Phoenix, AZ with your slung AR-15 and decide you need a cup of coffee, the Starbucks at Sky Harbor should probably not be your first choice of places to wet your whistle.

You're not helping, Peter Steinmetz.

As my roomie pointed out, there are plenty of pictures of IDF reservists somehow managing to enjoy a frappaccino without unslinging their shootin' iron and muzzling passersby. (And, as I replied, the only reason the IDF reservists in question are carrying those AR-15s is because they have to be armed and aren't issued pistols; a restriction that does not apply to private citizens in Arizona. Steinmetz could have had a sidearm conveniently strapped to his belt leaving both his hands free and not caused a tenth the fuss, but I presume that would not have suited his purposes.)

Trivial Pursuit...

You might not ever have heard of Hurley Manufacturing, the remaining company in the building vacated by Ovation, but we bet you have one of their springs. Among their products is the recoil spring that Colt ships in every AR-15, M16 and M4.
I did not know this.

A-ha! Stoppage! (Although not the gun's fault.)

After doing some shooting with my carry gun and also installing a gizmo on my M&P357 that I'll maybe write about later, I pulled the PPX out yesterday to put another 50 rounds of Winchester White Box 115gr FMJ through it, bringing the tally up to 750.

I was standing at about 15 yards and ringing the steel, having a grand ol' time, trying to play a tune on the different-sized plates. When the second to the last mag went dry I did a speed reload from the belt pouch and...
Round 741 failed to feed, although the reason was immediately apparent: Trying to do a fast reload with this gun, something I have not really been doing, I didn't seat the magazine fully. It was in the gun, and inserted far enough to let the slide shove a round out of the mag, but cartridge nose hit the feed ramp too low and the picture was the result.

Not sure I should hold shooter error against the gun. The unusual shape of the floor plates and magwell opening could take some getting used to for me.

ETA: Incidentally, nosing around the Walther fanboi sites, it appears that P99/PPQ night sights are compatible with the PPX.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Machines break.

So I went to the range today to do some stuff, but first I set up a target with the intention of seeing if all the drawing and shooting I'd been doing on the clock had help with my measure-them-with-a-sundial FAST times.

Between the first and second shots to the 3x5 card, my hi-vis orange Ameriglo front sight suddenly turned black. I distinctly remember thinking "Wow, it sooted up like that, that fast?" as I pressed off the second shot. Reload and find the sight for the shots in the 8" circle and... no, that's not sooted up...

My Ameriglo sight had spit its orange ring out after two years and a buncha rounds. I guess I need to look into a new one. Maybe switch to CAPs or Trijicon HD's.

Even with the sight gone, which really put a stick in my spokes for a bit, and what seemed a painfully slow draw getting fouled by my shirt, what felt like a slow run had a raw time as fast as anything I'd ever shot in AFHF. And subsequent runs were even faster, although still in the lower end of Intermediate. With a few raw times under 8 seconds, I think I've got it in me to get an Advanced if I keep at it.

Apparently if you practice at this stuff, you get better. Who knew?

Well, it is a desert...

Via SurvivalBlog I was led to a stub of an article on a topic about which I've long wondered. What happens to Phoenix when the drinking straws start making that bubbling sound in the bottom of the cup?

We've built some humongous cities and agricultural areas in the middle of a desert that are awfully dependent on a watershed and various aquifers that maybe ain't gonna keep up with the demand.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I had a craving...

...for a big, over-the-top action flick that didn't involve superheroes or giant robots.

Looks like I'm good, then...

...and 50 more makes 700.

Half that box of WWB 9mm went through the PPX today with no stoppages, bringing the tally in my little notebook to 700. I let a certified HK junkie (and FAST Wall denizen) pause his VP9 practice to put a half-dozen rounds through it. He had the same bemused expression I wind up with* after shooting it, and said nice things about the trigger.

*I want to hate the gun. My inner gun snob want this sub-$400 pistol to just be a complete pulsating ball of suck and fail, but it keeps not being one. Anybody can make a crappy cheap gun, and lots of companies do, but making a good cheap gun is a trick that doesn't happen every day.

Awwww, who's the sad clown?

So, who else is planning on filling their mug by reading the comments section of the Palmer v. D.C. articles at HuffPo?

Don't you love it when people whine about "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench"?

It's supposed to rain some more this morning...

...but the firing line at Iggle Crick is covered and the rain keeps the crowds down. I've still got a punch left on this here ten-visit pass, so...

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #102...

M&P9 w/Leupold DeltaPoint and Streamlight TLR-1s
Now that I have a decent timer, I can start seeing if and where the dot offers its biggest advantages for me over the conventional irons. It feels faster on stuff that involves a lot of transitions, like running a bunch of plates, but the clock won't lie...

I have been pleasantly surprised at how not sucky that Taylor Freelance mag extension is. I've had some less-than-satisfactory experiences in the past with other brands of aftermarket mag extenders.

(Also, note to self: Get some BUIS on that thing. I'm probably going to have to pair a tall front sight blank with a suppressor-height Glock rear dovetailed in front of the sight housing.)

Uncharacteristically big weekend news...

By now, you've probably heard about the win for Team Us in the DC District Court in the case of Palmer v. D.C. that strikes down the ban on the lawful carry of handguns in the nation's capital.

This is a good knight fork.

Now to see if they appeal it.

If they don't, D.C. will have to go shall-issue, the very idea of which you know is causing sphincters to clang shut amongst our Betters in the Capital District even now.

If they do, and it makes it up to SCOTUS, and they lose (which appears reasonably likely in light of Heller and McDonald) then it has wider national implications for effectively "no issue" places.

[Mr. Burns voice]Excellent![/Mr. Burns Voice]

Saturday, July 26, 2014


When that first big storm rolled through this morning, I was left feeling like my skull had been inflated to 90psi and bright white light was streaming out of all my cranial sutures. I gave Saturday up for a bad idea and lounged in bed all day because ow.

I had never seen an episode of Wagon Train before. Now I have.

Also, there was a movie called Arabesque which somehow managed to be awful in its contrived '60s psychedelia despite featuring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren in the starring roles. Henry Mancini phoned the score in. I turned it off during the unsteadycam footage of a dude dressed like a sheik being chased through an English farm field by a combine. No, seriously.

Also, also, there was an episode of Gunsmoke featuring a midget were-elephant.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #101...

After I got done practicing draws today, I put fifty rounds of Magtech through the PPX, just banging and clanging on the plates from 15 yards for fun. No malfunctions. The notebook says this makes 650.

Automotif XXXVIII...

Stopping in at 21st Amendment on the way home from the range for some tasty Sun King Osiris, I noticed something in the parking lot across the street. Good thing I had my little Nikon with me! Let's walk across the street and look!
I spy...
...with my little eye...
...something that begins with the letter "M"!

Propaganda War...

At the sound of the beep...

Last Thursday I showed up at the range a little after they'd finished mowing, but the joint was already jumping (at least for midday weekday.)

The south bay was taken, and I arrived at the north bay at the same time as a guy who was setting up to function-fire a few boxes of ammo through his new 20-gauge autoloader. He was setting up at... 15 yards? Anyway, farther back than I usually did, but no matter; drawing to a small target was the point anyway.

My first draw-and-fire a single shot showed that I had a problem: The timer thought I'd fired a three-shot string. There was no way the mic on the timer could ignore the gauge blazing away ten feet to my left. Shotmaxx to the rescue! Time to try out the inertia sensor mode; that way the timer senses the shots by the motion of the recoil rather than the sound of the shot. It worked brilliantly.

Before too long, the folks in the south bay left and I moved over there. It was possible to shoot in the shade if I didn't mind shooting from... twenty... something? yards. Or was it fifteen? I had no idea.

Since I was shooting in the shade, I took off the gun burkha. I had a couple good times, despite the longer range to the plates.
When I returned on Monday, the south bay was unoccupied and I went straight there. This time I'd stopped at Home Despot on the way and had a new toy...
How far were the plates? About that far.(If this laser proves useful, I'm going to hand it over to Bobbi for home carpentry use and get a proper rangefinder.)
It was getting a little warm and sticky in the sun, so I only did twenty runs, but was rewarded with improved times from under the burkha.
Before I left, I pulled out the Walther PPX to put another fifty rounds through it. I dinged the plates for a bit with a box of TulAmmo and had no malfunctions. According to my notebook, this makes 600 rounds through the PPX.

Anyhow, gotta get back to the range today. Gotta keep showing up on the regular.

Neat Stuff