Thursday, November 26, 2015


Things that have migrated from the internet to become Thanksgiving traditions here at Roseholme Cottage:
From the yelling in the kitchen,interspersed with the CHICKENY chorus, I believe the itnitial stages of turducken are being perpetrated.


Well... I certainly dragged ass getting out of bed today. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #138...

Sig Sauer P250 Compact in .380ACP

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Stopped in at the shop yesterday long enough to put another hundred rounds through the test P250; fifty rounds of Lucky Gunner's Fiocchi .380 FMJ and fifty rounds of nasty, steel-cased 91gr TulAmmo FMJ.

The gun continued to run fine. That's 200 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions of any type to report. 1,800 rounds to go.

Weird dreams...

Spent a long time in my dream last night getting chased through gantries and catwalks at dizzying heights. It was some sort of high-altitude docking complex for these balloons with gondolas like the Breitling Orbiter. Me and Jack Burton were running from Snake Plissken and Dennis Hopper's character from Waterworld.

I do not even pretend to know what that was all about.


For my foreign affairs post this morning, I'll just recycle this one from last month. I find myself wishing more than ever that Admiral Painter had run a more vigorous campaign in '08; I get a feeling that the geopolitical landscape would have been very different.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Overheard on the Internet...

New Project

So, Sig Sauer is adding .380 to the caliber options for their P250 line of pistols. In the Compact size, this means a pistol roughly comparable in size to a P229 or Glock 19, but a 15-shot .380 ACP instead of 9mm.

.380 generally being considered an inferior cartridge to 9mm for self defense, why would someone choose it over the equivalent nine?

Well, this is the easiest slide to cycle on any centerfire pistol I have ever handled in all my born days. Because it's a short-recoil operated pistol and not a straight blowback gun, the recoil spring is very light. In order to make the recoil-operation work with only the impulse of a .380's recoil to drive it, they had to make several other modifications...

The chamber area has several lightening cuts milled in it, while the top of the barrel hood rises at a more pronounced angle than the 9mm version.

The underside of the slide also shows where some mass has been pared.

The gun shoots fine. I fired ninety rounds of Lucky Gunner's Fiocchi .380 through it (I let The Jack fire the last ten) and it ran fine. The gun ran flat, with hardly any muzzle flip and was extremely pleasant to fire when compared to comparably-sized blowback .380s like those from Beretta and Taurus.

Obviously the P250's double-action-only trigger is going to take some getting used to for me. Once I realized I needed more finger on the trigger, my point-of-impact shifted toward the center, rather than high and left.

So, that's a hundred rounds through the gun. Let's shoot 1,900 more and see what happens, eh? Because if it runs like I hope it will, this thing would be a boon to people who, for reasons of infirmity, can't manage a regular nine. This'd be one hell of a Grandma Gun...


So, I was only half-joking when I said I was going to take a part-time gig at the neighborhood gun store wiping down counter tops and sweeping floors for a few hours a week in exchange for range time and an employee discount. I figured I could spare a dozen hours or so a week at retail clerk wages, since the upside was having a place where I could, say, shoot test groups for magazine articles at 25 yards in January without having to trudge back and forth through the snow to change targets.

Well, my plan was foiled when they decided they were hiring a new retail manager. Seeing as how my long-term plans for world domination pretty much require a successful and thriving FFL with an indoor range just blocks from my house, I took the gig, with the proviso that it not impede my travel plans for my budding gun-writing career.

Unfortunately, this means I have to re-accustom myself to having a schedule, and on this schedule, Tuesday is my Saturday. Or maybe my Sunday. I can't decide which, since I split my days off up so as to have a weekend off day for fun and a weekday off day for getting stuff done. Working two on, one off, three on, one off may mean you never have two days off in a row, but it also means "Friday Night" is never more than three days away.

Anyhow, my long-term goal here is to get the floor set up so that everything can be run off a checklist handily and I can hand the keys to my successor and go back to wiping counters for a couple hours a week.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sight Upgrade

The sights that came on the 37, while technically night sights, were about half as bright as a dead firefly. Of course, they were nine years old.

Just used as plain irons, they didn't work so hot for me, either. The front was low and needed re-blacking...
 ...and while the rear notch allowed a modicum of daylight on either side of the front blade, it was shallow.

I went to Brownells for Ameriglo CAP sights. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'll just send y'all to go read ToddG's review of these sights. I figured they were worth a whirl.

As easy to pick up as any front sight, and yet a usable square post for precise shooting.
The CAP rear sight.

I took it out to the range and fired a box of S&B 230gr FMJ through it. The new sights were definitely easier to acquire when shooting fast.

This makes 190 rounds fired through the gun since it was last cleaned or lubed. No malfunctions of any type to report. 1,810 rounds to go.

Sweet Release

The factory Glock magazine catch can be a pain. It takes a determined press to release cleanly, and this isn't made any easier by the fact that the rear edge of the catch is nearly flush with the grip. Get into a mag change in a hurry and have your thumb just a bit too far back, and your thumb can bottom out against the frame before the catch is depressed far enough to release the magazine.

Factory competition-oriented Glocks come with a much more positive mag catch that sticks further out and is easier to release cleanly, but the competition unit comes with its own problems in that it sticks far enough out that it is easier to jostle by accident, plus it has sharp corners at the rear, and sharp corners are generally uncool on carry guns.

For years, the hot ticket was to buy or somehow source a Glock factory extended mag catch, grind it down just a little, re-serrate it, and round off the rear corners, and thus have yourself a groovy mag release on your carry gun that had all the upsides of the competition part with none of the downsides.

But what about lazy people and those of us with ten thumbs who shouldn't be trusted with tools capable of grinding plastic? How were we supposed to get a mag catch like that?

Vickers Tactical and Tango Down to the rescue!

Other than sights, I think it's the only nearly mandatory upgrade on a stock Gen 3 factory Glock. Other stuff is personal preference, but this is just a dramatic improvement for next to nothing, cost-wise.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Like a happy little boy pulling the wings off flies...

Coming Attractions...

Watch This Space...

Same Planet, Different Worlds...

Oho! The Odious Wilson is coming in for scrutiny amongst the chattering classes! They seem to have just discovered that Progressive pioneer Woodrow, first Democrat to be reelected to consecutive terms since that violent hick Andrew Jackson, was a loathsome racist who re-segregated federal service and viewed legal segregation as a (and I quote) "boon" to the poor inferior Blacks.

He was an avid follower of all sorts of social Darwinist nonsense, believed people were sheep who needed strong leaders, and thought he was just that leader. He was a darling of, and inspiration to,  cartoonish Italian strongman Mussolini. He wrote that the Constitution was too cumbersome because of its extensive checks and balances, making it difficult for the government to rule efficiently, as though that were a bug rather than Madison's painstakingly-developed feature.

So the Left is finally going to properly revile this old proto-Fascist who has haunted their family tree, eh? Not so fast...
We must also recognize the positive side of his legacy: the federal income tax, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Trade Commission, the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, and the other notable achievements of his domestic policy known as the "New Freedom" that in many ways served as a precursor to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.
Ah. It's just the racist stuff that's bad.

Okay then.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Uh huh. No doubt.

The power transmission lines from Ukraine to the Crimean peninsula have been blowed up by mysterious forces!
Images circulated on social media appeared to show Ukrainian flags attached to the damaged pylons.

Crimea was annexed by Russia last year, but the Ukrainian authorities have continued to supply power to the area.

"Crimea is completely cut off," Viktor Plakida, the director of Crimea Energy, told Russia's Tass news agency.
Just give Ivan his land corridor to Crimea or these "activists" are going to keep Gliwice-ing you until they can gin up enough of a casus belli to take it. Frankly, everybody else's plate is full right now, so you might as well get to Finlandizing.

They said the ground was too warm...

They said the ground was too warm and that the snow wouldn't stick to the pavement.

They were sorta right; it is melting off the pavement, but it's coming down faster than it's melting off. It's the pretty kind of snow, clumps of wet fluff the size of tiny kittens that fall from the sky and stack up on things photogenically. This is also unfortunately the kind of snow that brings down branches and power lines.

Subie weather for sure.

2,000 rounds...finally.

So, with a hundred rounds left of the 2,000-round total, I grabbed two boxes of Lucky Gunner's .45ACP and took the CCA 1911 out on the range to stagger across the finish line.

I should preface this by noting that the pistol, which hadn't seen a drop of lubricant in two months or any cleaning for nearly two cases of ammo, spent the night before this range session in the trunk of my car on a sub-freezing night. It was still cold to the touch on the range.

Bone dry and icy cold.
I loaded a magazine, inserted it in the mag well, used the overhand rack method just in case the extra bit of impetus might help, and watched it the slide ooze and shudder forward along the frame rails, stopping half an inch out of battery. I pushed it the rest of the way closed with my thumb, fired a round, watched it stop half an inch out of battery, pushed it the rest of the way closed with my thumb, lather, rinse, repeat.

I'll be honest, I stopped counting. I fired that first box of fifty rounds, and if a third of them went without me having to nudge the slide closed, I'll eat my hat.

After the first box of fifty, I took the pistol into the gunsmith's shack. I grabbed the first stuff that came to hand (an aerosol can of Break-Free CLP) and, locking the slide to the rear, glorped some on the underside of the slide and wet my finger off that and schmeared that on the muzzle. I held the gun muzzle-down for a sec to let everything trickle down into the frame rails and then ran the slide a couple times.


It felt like a new gun again, dirt or no. I took it out to the range and ran through the final fifty rounds as fast as I could stuff them into mags and shoot them into the target, ignoring the spray of black CLP flying off the filthy pistol and freckling my face and hands. No more malfs, of course.

CLP to the rescue.
Moral of the story: On an older style gun with large bearing surfaces between the frame rails and slide, lube is important. You'll notice that the gun performed okay for about the first three or four weeks and the first thousand rounds, but once it got good and dried out, it was a mess.

Mind you, this is a gun that went through a two-day, thousand-round class right out of the box and fired probably another thousand rounds after that without a hiccup; obviously neglecting lubricant is far worse than dirt. Something to think about if you choose to carry a gun like this daily.


The last hundred rounds.
This brings the total rounds fired to 2,000, all but the last fifty since the weapon was cleaned or lubricated, with fifteen a bunch of failures to go into battery (rounds #356, #1,085, #1,247, #1,492, #1,514, #1,578, #1,627, #1,663, #1,717, #1,774, #1,815, #1,823, #1,847, #1,858, #1,883, most of the rounds between #1,900 and #1,950), three failures to feed on rounds #513 and #1,724, $1,851, a failure to feed a round of Hornady Critical Duty +P on round #927, and a failure to eject a round of Hornady Critical Duty +P on round #930.


Fourteen+ consecutive hours in bed.

If I'm reading the thermometer right, I'm back to 98.6°F.

I've got a metric crap-ton of work to catch up on before I head into the shop early this afternoon.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Yeah, that's unfun.

On the other hand, I dozed feverishly through the local daytime TV lineup and had some bizarrely epic dreams mashing up Days of Our Lives and Dr. Oz.

Yeah, pretty sure this is the flu.

Hopefully it's a strain included in this year's vaccine so I haven't completely Typhoid Mary'd everyone I know.