Wednesday, May 04, 2016

R.I.P. Pat Rogers...

I stepped off the range this morning to find the phone in my pocket buzzing with awful news...

Thank you, Pat. Thanks for all the teaching, the advice, and the kind words. The world's a better place for you having been in it.

"I'll shoot anybody I find in my house!"

"As an EMT I have responded to at least one call where a woman called 911 believing she was having a heart attack. We responded to the home and entered it and the husband was standing in the kitchen completely unaware that his wife had called for our services. If he’d been armed and under the premise that he would shoot any stranger who was in his home he would have shot the very people responding to his wife’s call for help."
Too many people get a gun and then look at it as some sort of universal problem-solving tool instead of a fairly narrow-focus bullet launcher.

Everybody expects it's going to be nazi zombie bikers come to rape their TV and steal their dogs. Nobody expects it's going to be the developmentally disabled adult child of the previous owners of your house coming "home" to make himself a sandwich. Further, there are places where you might be legally justified in shooting someone but, well, "Hey, it's okay, you didn't know he was a 70-y.o. Alzheimer's patient" probably doesn't help the Ambien work any better at 3:30 in the morning...

EDIT: This ties in with stuff talked about here, too.

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote...

April was a heck of a month. I was on the road for eighteen days, total. Flew out to New Hampshire, where I promptly got sick unto death and spent what was supposed to be a productive writing sojourn in secluded Castle Frostbite flat on my back with the creeping death.

I flew home in time to turn around and drive south to catch a ride out to Topeka for a weekend of gun school. Sunday after class, we grabbed dinner and loaded up the truck and headed back east.

It was long about just east of Evansville, in the wee hours of the AM, when I noticed that my blinks were occasionally getting very long. I looked over at Jack Clemons in the driver's seat and asked "Hey, are you cool?"

Jack pondered this with a level of concentration that was visible on his forehead. "No. I think we need to pull over for a nap." And so after a couple hours' shuteye in some restaurant parking lot at 0mygod30, we continued east.

I retrieved the Bimmer at 0800 and headed back west through Louisville rush hour traffic and then north to Indy, with my blinks starting to get long again about the time I hit I-465.

I arrived home staring down a double handful of deadlines for various writing chores and internet scutwork, plus this past weekend was one where Bobbi works the graveyard shift, and then there was the driving her to her mom's doctor's appointment on Monday. I would have slept yesterday away, but yesterday evening was the monthly meeting at MCF&G.

As I sat at the table, Dee, the club vice president, looked over and asked how I was doing. "I'm not even sure what day it is anymore," I replied.

From Elsewhere...

At this point we're going to get a probably anti-gun president or a definitely anti-gun president.

What I'm trying to avoid is the constant losertalk of "OH MY GOD BURY YOUR GUNS AND BUY ALL THE PRIMERS" that I had to put up with in '08 and '12. We've beat this before and we'll beat it again. Now send some dough to the NRA-ILA, SAF, and GOA, then hop out of the wagon and help pull this thing.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Foregone Conclusion?

Sitting around the clubhouse after the monthly club meeting at MCF&G, the TV was on FOX59 with the volume off, when everybody noticed the news that Indiana was the state where the Cruz campaign went to die.


A New Option...

Starting with the July issue, Shooting Illustrated will be an "Official Journal of the NRA". In other words, it will be one of your choices you can receive monthly as a bennie for being an NRA member.
"Why the changes? Until now, NRA has not had an Official Journal that exclusively covers guns, gear and the skills necessary for personal protection. We want to ensure this vital segment of our membership has a journal that reflects their interests. Since NRA already has such a publication in Shooting Illustrated, the decision to make it a member magazine was simple."
This is cool, because I'm partial to the magazine vis a vis the other choices on the slate, and not just because they publish me. At the risk of sounding like I'm toadying up to editor Ed Friedman, he's very aware of self-defense as a prime driver of new firearms sales, the popularity of the action shooting sports, and generally the whole "Gun Culture 2.0" thing, and the content of the magazine continues to gel in that direction. I'll be changing from America's First Freedom to SI immediately.


Back in the days when I had a favorite handgun cartridge, it was 10mm Auto, because I'm a gun hipster at heart and 10mm Auto is the gun hipster cartridge. (For autos, that is. In revolvers it's .41 Magnum.) It showed that you were a refined and studious sort, more knowledgeable and skilled than the range riffraff.

But if you went to a 10mm Auto fan club meet, how could you stand out from your fellow gun hipsters? With a 9x25 Dillon barrel, of course. 9x25 Dillon is a 10mm case necked down to take a 9mm bullet. Think of it as .357SIG in a 'roid rage.

I've had plans over the years to convert various guns to 9x25 Dillon: the G29 I used to carry, my stainless Delta Elite...I even sketched out a bubblegum pink STI 2011 carry gun. But it's taken me 'til now to actually pull the trigger and order a conversion barrel for a Glock 20.

I got home from helping Bobbi accompany her mom to a doctor's appointment to find the envelope from Lone Wolf Distributors in the mailbox. Stand by for silliness with chronos and jello blocks...

Monday, May 02, 2016

It's okay, honey; they didn't mean you.

As more and more people exploit the special snowflake loophole to drag their livestock with them everywhere, even The New Yorker can't avoid taking notice:
"Are you going to ruin it for all of us?” one of my dog-fancying friends asked, when I told her that I was writing this article. I was surprised to learn how many of my acquaintances were the owners of so-called emotional-support animals. They defend the practice by saying that they don’t want to leave their pets home alone, or they don’t want to have to hire dog-walkers, or they don’t want their pets to have to ride in a plane’s cargo hold, or that Europeans gladly accept dogs everywhere. They have tricks to throw skeptics off guard. “People can’t ask about my disability,” one friend told me. “But if I feel that I’m in a situation where I might have a struggle being let in somewhere with my dog, then I come up with a disorder that sounds like a nightmare. I like to be creative. I’ll say I lack a crucial neurotransmitter that prevents me from processing anxiety and that, without the dog, I’m likely to black out and urinate.”
Nobody's the villain in their own narrative. As a matter of fact, in our participation ribbon culture, everybody's the star, and the petty rules and signs and placards and flight attendant announcements don't apply to them.


A Snag...

Sunday morning at the range with the Steyr C9-A1 and one hundred rounds of CCI Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ. I like the way the pistol handles, and I'm growing accustomed to the trigger, but I have to say that this was the point where the love affair was threatened by a string of failures to extract.

 Round #34 of the day (#234 of the test)

 Round #66 of the day (#266 of the test)

Round #76 of the day (#276 of the test)

I was uncomfortably reminded of Todd Green's Rule of Commonness: "Uncommon guns are uncommon for a reason."

I wish manufacturers would make up their mind where "3 Dot" sights are going to shoot. Some shoot to the dot, some shoot to the top of the front blade. The Steyr's three dot sights would appear to shoot to the top of the front blade at seven yards. The ninety rounds in the upper hit box were all fired holding the dot on roughly the bridge of the bad guy's nose. Also, since when did terrorists get such baller taste in guns? No ratty Kalashnikov clone for this guy; he has an FN SCAR!

This makes 300 rounds fired through the Steyr C9-A1 without cleaning or lubing, with one failure-to-fire (#8), three failures to extract (#234, #266, #276), and one failure to go completely into battery (#116). 1,700 rounds left to go.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Out like a lamb, my ass...


Yesterday I took a little Saturday morning range trip with the Steyr C9-A1. I dragged it and a hundred rounds of 9mm FMJ ammo to Indy Arms Company: fifty rounds of CCI Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ and my last fifty rounds of Sig Sauer's Elite Performance 9mm 115gr FMJ, courtesy of Sig Sauer.

The pistol experienced a failure to go completely into battery with one round of CCI Blazer Brass, on round #16 of the day (#116 of the test.) All fifty rounds of Sig Sauer 115gr functioned without a hiccup.

While I was not chronoing anything, the Sig ammo was noticeably warmer than the tepid 115gr Blazer Brass. The latter barely dibbled out of the ejection port, where the former ejected forcefully through a narrow arc that ran from just over my right shoulder to right at the brim of my cap. Good argument for brimmed caps and eye pro.

This makes 200 rounds fired through the Steyr C9-A1 without cleaning or lubing, with one failure-to-fire (#8) and one failure to go completely into battery (#116). 1,800 rounds left to go.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Does Not Work That Way

"Indiana" is not having a primary this week. The Indiana Democratic Party and the Indiana Republican Party are having primaries this week. I don't see why I have any more say in who they want their delegates to vote for than they do in what I want for dinner.

Starting up the Steyr...

Since I ran the Glock 37 concurrently with the P250 and Canik and the Glock 19 concurrently with the P320 and PPX,  it makes sense (at least to me) to have a non-Glock test running alongside the Glock 32.

Some non-Glocks are more non-Glock than others, of course, and the Steyr C9-A1 was designed by a dude who'd previously done work for the Austrian 800lb gorilla. Legend has it that when they didn't want to incorporate some of his new ideas, he set out to make his own theme park, with blackjack and hookers get a gun produced by Steyr that incorporated them.

The Steyr M9 (and its smaller S9 and C9 offspring) could be thought of as one dude's vision of a Glock Mk.II.

Friday I brought the Steyr C9-A1 to MCF&G along with the Glock 32 in order to get a bit of chrono work done and fire some initial rounds on the steel in the bays...

The gun had been field-stripped and a drop of Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil added at all points indicated in the owner's manual.

I had a fifty-round box of CCI Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ and a fifty-round box of Federal 9BPLE 115gr +P+ JHP.

Other than a light primer strike (that lit off on the second attempt) on round #8 of the day, the firearm went through the complete cycle of operation every time I pulled the trigger.

The slide release is so easy to reach with the strong side thumb, BTW, that it only locked open for me a couple times. It is very easy to ride the slide release if you shoot a thumbs-forward grip. Much easier than even with a Sig.

Velocities recorded are below (70°F, ~700ft ASL):
CCI Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ
LO: 1055
HI: 1121
AV: 1097
ES: 66.19
SD: 19.41

Federal 9BPLE 115gr +P+ JHP
LO: 1273
HI: 1307
AV: 1296
ES: 34.10
SD: 10.53
Notice how light those numbers are from the Blazer Brass? This is from that same lot that was so weak it wouldn't reliably run the Canik TP9v2. It ran the Steyr okay, but the ejection was a sight to behold, as the rounds dribbled weakly from the ejection port...

It did make it easy to wear out the steel at twenty yards with those mouse-fart loads and the Steyr's low bore axis, though. (Did I just say "low bore axis"? I feel dirty.)

This makes 100 rounds fired through the Steyr C9-A1 without cleaning or lubing, with one failure-to-fire (#8). 1,900 rounds left to go.

Special Snowflake Glock Part Deux

G32 with seemingly ubiquitous PHLster and UpLULA
Went to MCF&G yesterday morning to do some chrono work in the pistol bays. This project was interrupted by the need to leave the range and get a fresh 9-volt for the chrono, but fortunately someone was shooting in the next bay over and agreed to keep an eye on my chrono setup while I ran down the road for a Duracell.

I brought along a twenty-round box of Hornady Critical Duty 135gr FlexLock and a fifty-round box of Winchester RA357B 125gr Ranger Bonded hollow points.

The gun still showed that it liked a strong grip, as the slide didn't trickle all the way back into battery after firing one of the Rangers. If this is a persistent problem, I'm going to talk to smarter people and see what they say about going to a stronger recoil spring.

Ballistics, in case you don't want to decipher my chicken scratch in the picture:
Hornady Critical Duty 135gr
LO: 1176
HI: 1202
AV: 1186
ES: 26.28
SD: 8.66

Winchester RA357SB 125gr Ranger Bonded
LO: 1308
HI: 1379
AV: 1348
ES: 71.00
SD: 23.49
Note that, once again, Hornady delivers amazingly consistent numbers. That 8.66fps Standard Deviation is match-grade in anybody's book. Interestingly, Winchester claims 1350fps for this load from a 4.00" test barrel, and I observed 1348 from a 4.00" gun. This was a novelty to me.

If anybody's still turned on by energy numbers, that's 422 foot-pounds for the Critical Defense and 504 for the Ranger.

So, that makes 169 total rounds fired with three failures to go completely into battery (#63, #78, #126). 1,831 rounds left to go.

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "$%&# internet. %$&# people. I %$@&ing hate people. I wish they'd all go play in traffic and get hit by buses."

RX: "Wouldn't work. You'd need people to drive the buses."

Me: "After the first round, you get half the bus drivers to get out and get run over by the other bus drivers and then keep doing that until there's only one guy left, and I beat him to his knees with a lead pipe."

RX: "You'd never get them all that way. They'd be making new little drivers in the back of the buses faster than you could run them over."

Me: "Can I put this on the internet?"

RX: "Sure. There's your blog content for the morning problem solved."

Friday, April 29, 2016

Some Pointers for the Budding Arsenal

Kevin Creighton offers his views on the "Okay, I bought a CCW gun. What other guns do I need to buy?" question...

That '90s Show...

Discovered these while rummaging around through boxes, looking for more .357SIG ammo...

Project Other Whimsy

So, on to the next 2,000 round Glock test. Continuing the theme of special snowflake Glock chamberings, I'll be trying out the 32, Glock's midsize offering in .357SIG.

Trivial Pursuit, firearms category: I once had a very early Glock 33, the subcompact in the same caliber. Back then, the gun was still rollmarked ".357SIG", but this was before the court battle against Smith & Wesson over the Sigma. After that, Glock decided they wouldn't be putting other company's brand names on their guns, and so ".357SIG" and ".40S&W" became ".357" and ".40".

In the picture above, the pistol is in a Skeleton Gen2 holster from PHLster and is accompanied by the ever-present UpLULA, which is practically required to get the thirteenth round in those magazines when they're new.

The pistol was disassembled and a drop of Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil was applied to all lubrication points indicated in the Glock Armorer's Manual.

I brought two boxes of FMJ ammunition to the range: 124gr copper-plated from Fiocchi, and 140gr FMJ fromSellier & Bellot.

I did not chronograph anything yesterday, but the S&B definitely had more sturm und drang, with vivid fireballs at the muzzle and noticeably more muzzle flip.

The S&B also had one round (#65 of the day) that refused to fit in the Glock's chamber.

As a side note, the Gen3 Model 32 feels somewhat undersprung. This is unsurprising since, like the .40 cal Model 23, it uses the recoil spring assembly meant for the 9x19 Glock 19. The slide bottomed out hard in recoil with the S&B and trickled back into battery.


On two rounds of the S&B, the slide required a nudge from the thumb to close it all the way.

Printing slightly high and left for me. God I hate the factory Glock "sights".

So, that makes 99 total rounds fired with two failures to go completely into battery (#63, #78). 1,901 rounds left to go.

Sorting out the P250, Part II...

So I grabbed a box of that Armscor .380, the P250C, and my Bodyguard .380 and headed to the range, where I also secured the use of the range's Sig Sauer P238 rental gun.

I put three magazines (eighteen rounds) through the Smith & Wesson, and three magazines (twenty-one rounds) through the P238 with no failures to feed. The remaining eleven rounds went through the P250, also without any failures of any type.


Now, this was a different box of the same ammo, which means that, even if it was in the same shipment, it could be a completely different lot number. I have no way of knowing, since the box from the rounds that jammed up the P250 is in a trash can back near Topeka. Was it just a lot that ran a little thick in the rim?

BG380 lower left, P238 lower right, P250C on the center circle, all at seven yards. I fired a box of .380 Blazer Brass through the P250 to function check it. It ran fine.

Incidentally, that box of fifty was fired at a pace that exceeded the range speed limit, roughly half-second splits, since I had the range to myself. The two smaller pistols were fired slow-fire, concentrating hard on sight picture and trigger press. Bigger guns are generally easier to shoot accurately.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Harris Publications is Gone With the Wind

Bigger story can be found here.

Tab Clearing...

Reading Room

A thread at a forum was asking for recommendations for PopSci books that were interesting and enlightening. My current two standing recommendations:

And so it begins.

The Clash of the Midgets being still unresolved, the circus sideshow that is the 2016 Presidential Election has shifted its focus to my home state.

Despite the expenditure of cubic miles of $USD, the only thing this entire campaign season has produced that's worth a damn is that old hippie's ad with the Simon & Garfunkel tune...

Too bad Bernie wouldn't know America if it bit him on the ass. (Which it appears to be doing, via the baroque primary rules of the apparently hilariously misnamed Democratic Party.)

So far this morning my TV has showed me ads for every one of this pack of losers except Kasich, but the morning is young, yet.

If this is what it's like after the weakest links have all failed, I don't know how Iowans and New Hampshirites could stand it, back when the candidates were still thick as dog turds in Michael Vick's back yard.