Monday, August 31, 2009
He was nine years old and peeved about his 8PM curfew, so he stole his mom's cell phone, a dollar "for clothes", and the keys to the family bus and ran away from home and into the next season of America's Scariest Police Chases.
There were two Kimbers: A stainless Gold Combat and one of the new “SIS” guns. I used my Springfield Pro on Day One and switched to my '66 Colt Government Model for the two subsequent days. Shootin' Buddy had his newest Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special; unlike his other TRS's, this one hadn't been to school yet and was still pristine, and I didn't miss a chance to tease him about his “Minnie Pearl Gun”.
The other guy using his street rig was using a 5” Colt, and was having serious issues with the standard grip safety. Like many with adult-male-size hands and the traditional grip safety, when he used a high grip, he wasn't reliably depressing the safety. He solved this with electrical tape. Nobody else had this issue,but almost all the other guns used a safety with some form or another of “speed bump”, or raised pad at the bottom of the safety, to ensure that the meat of the firing hand depressed it completely.
The deputy was using what appeared to be a “Franken-1911”, a common sight amongst Boone County cops, since the sheriff is an adjunct instructor at Gunsite and managed to acquire a bunch of ex-military pistols from the .gov and set them up as Gunsite-esque duty guns. As a matter of fact, the sheriff's son was in the class and shot a beat-to-hell early Yost-era Gunsite Service Pistol, which is, to a modern 1911 buff, about the dead-sexiest thing you could see on a Gun School firing line. There's nothing sadder than seeing a bucks-up fighting 1911 like a GSP, Baer TRS, Springer Pro, Wilson CQB or what-have-you that is all pristine because the owner is too scared of dinging up their precious 'combat' handgun by actually carrying it or using it. Conversely, there's a certain cachet to a gun like the kid's GSP or Shootin' Buddy's older Thunder Ranch Specials that show a lot of good, hard use.
The only gun that seemed to experience mechanical issues was that belonging to the deputy; its slide locked back prematurely a few times. While this malfunction could almost certainly be traced to the aftermarket “extended” slide stop on his gun, its exact source could have been any one of three things...
- His hand could have been contacting it under recoil. This is the least likely reason, however, as he was a southpaw and this malf usually happens to right-handers shooting high-thumbs.
- The interior part of the aftermarket slide stop could have been incorrectly dimensioned and was being contacted by the nose of the next bullet in the magazine, especially if it had been jarred forward slightly under recoil.
- The additional mass of the extended stop may have occasionally bounced up under its own inertia when the gun recoiled. This will be familiar to any Glock shooter who's had the fussy little spring on their slide catch fail.
I only experienced one malf with my Colt. During one exercise, we started with a round in the chamber and no magazine in the weapon, and had to engage the target with two shots. We could either fire off the round in the pistol, juice up the gun and engage with the second round, or slap in a full mag and then fire twice. I went with the option that would put steel on target the fastest, despite Louis warning us that sometimes firing a pistol with no magazine can cause a failure-to-eject malfunction that looks like an inverted “stovepipe”, with the spent case dangling into the mag well instead of poking out the ejection port.
I fired and, like magic, there was the spent case, showing base-first out of the ejection port, aided (no doubt) by the stock, stubby, GI ejector in my gun. I locked the slide to the rear and popped in a new mag and fired off my second shot. It wasn't till after that string that I really realized what happened, when one of the RO's said “You got lucky there...” It turns out that I locked the slide back and my weak hand came up with the fresh mag fast enough that the spent case hadn't had time to fall free from the mag well; the new mag forced the empty out the ejection port. I'd been so fixated on the target that I hadn't noticed the mechanical drama.
We visited Charleston a few times when I was young and it's hard to say which sticks in my mind more firmly: the USS Yorktown, or the "earthquake bolts" that protruded from the walls of stately old Georgian houses like the hardware from the neck of Frankenstein's monster.
"Thing is, I wouldn't put it past the guys who gave us the Consumer Safety Product Improvement Act to write something that accidentally regulated every mother making sandwiches for her kids under the same system as the folks who run Mickey D's and KFC." -Karrde
Seen in comments here.
We the uncaring, governed by the incompetent, asked to pay the unimaginable and adhere to the indecipherable...
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I didn't even know that Hank Reinhardt's The Book of Swords was in print yet, but Michael Z. Williamson had several on his table, and I had to pick one up. Hank was one of the key figures in modern study of the sword as an historical fighting tool, rather than an archaeological curiosity or fantasy wallhanger. I'm about halfway through the book, and it's an enjoyable, rambling excursion through the history of... well, mostly swords, of course, but it bounces off metallurgy, touches down on armor, glances off axes, and generally has the feel of someone who is not only very knowledgeable about a topic but also passionate about it vomiting the contents of their mind onto the page. I consider myself fairly well-read on the topic, but I've already learned a few new things. It will sit comfortably on my shelf next to Burton and Oakeshott.
The other was a reference volume that I've been meaning to add for a while now: Bolt Action Military Rifles of the World. It's a general overview that's light on text, instead being crammed from cover to cover with lavish, full-color illustrations: Closeups of various markings, details on how to field-strip various rifles, pictures of bayonets and charger clips and various other peripheral doohickeys. The book runs more towards captions than paragraphs, but includes bunches of useful tables of maker's marks and translations of foreign numbering systems often encountered on these strange rifles from exotic lands. It makes for a nice bridge between the typical pretty-but-error-ridden volumes found on the clearance table at Border's and the excruciatingly detailed type-specific For Collectors Only volumes that contain things like the genealogical tables of the man who redesigned the rear triggerguard screw on the M1892 variant of the Model of 188...ZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.
The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.Meanwhile, the Democrats have controlled the legislative branch for coming up on three years now, and the oft-derided USA-PATRIOT Act is still with us. I guess they only hate it during election season.
"I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. "It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill."
Friday, August 28, 2009
I must say that the Serbian po-po have laid out the most impressive junk-on-the-bunk display I've seen in a while.
Seven 1911's, three Springfield XD's, a Browning High Power, a CZ-75 Compact, a DAO Beretta PX-4 Storm, a Beretta 9000S, a Walther PPS, a Bersa Thunder .380, a SIG P-239, two S&W M&P Compacts, and the balance were using Glocks of one sort or another.
The student using the Bersa dropped out after the first day, and the student using the 9000S switched to her dad's backup M&P Compact on Day Two because the Beretta had been all ate up with function issues on the first day.
One of the 1911's was the duty sidearm of a cop, who ran it in his duty gear. Of the other twenty-three students, just under half were using the methods of carry they'd use on the street, while the remainder used bulkier “range/training” type holsters.
I found this to be a little odd, as Louis Awerbuck was more than willing to work with students who were using their CCW rigs: I saw him adapt the traditional “four-count” draw to students using a fanny pack, a carry purse, and appendix carry. Other than those three students, everybody else was using some variation of strong-side belt carry, whether inside or outside the waistband, on or behind the point of the hip.
The student using the Walther only brought the two mags that came with the gun. This was something of a drawback, given their low capacity, and he was sometimes caught flat-footed, needing to thumb rounds into a magazine to keep up with the pace of the drills.
The students with the Bersa and the Beretta Storm still had metaphorical price tags hanging from their guns. While this was, nominally, a Level One defensive handgun course, they probably would have gotten more out of it if they had a little more confidence in the basic manipulation of their firearms; running the slide, operating the controls, and so forth. Louis and his assistants displayed great patience, but it was frustrating enough for the Bersa-toting pupil that she dropped out after the first day. To be fair, I'm not entirely sure that attending the class was her idea.
One of the Glock toters had constant issues with Type I malfunctions, as did the Beretta 9000 on Day One. The Beretta shooter was fortunate in that her dad had brought a spare gun. The cop with the 1911 has a couple of incidences of the slide prematurely locking to the rear, which I am nearly certain could be attributed to the aftermarket “extended” slide stop on his sidearm.
Observations I took away from all this:
- Even a “Defensive Handgun I” course is not the same as “Your Gun: How To Work It”. In most locales, it is easy to find a couple-hour-long Basic Pistol course. This will help give enough familiarity with the basic operation of your weapon that you can concentrate on the “defensive” aspects of the course and not spend your time trying to remember how to load the blamed thing.
- The middle of an expensive class is not the time to find out that your gun is a lemon. Take it to the range the weekend before class and put a hundred rounds or so through it. Make certain it's thoroughly cleaned and oiled before class starts. If at all possible, have an identical backup gun just in case your primary pukes halfway into Day Two.
- Bring enough magazines. Every time you get a break, reload all of them that you can. You'll be much more likely to get your money's worth from the class if you're paying attention to the instructor and not frantically trying to top up the only two mags for your pistol. Bring good, tested magazines, not a bunch of aftermarket South Korean junk you picked up at a gun show the weekend before so you'd have lots of magazines for class. Number your magazines. If your gun starts puking on day two, it would be handy to know that all those Type I malfs are only happening with Mag #7.
- Use your street gear and gun. If your daily carry is a Glock 26 in a bellyband and you take the course with an XD in an IPSC race holster, how many of these skill drills will be directly translatable to your daily life? I took great satisfaction at the end of the day, when so many of the students were stripping off their Gunsite holsters and triple mag carriers, that all I had to do when I left the range was pull my Shoot Me vest back on.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
As Memorial day passed this year, I began to think of this year’s upcoming Veteran’s day and my plan to continue the “Take a Vet to Lunch” tradition started last year. It was at this point that I thought I should spread the word. My plan is to start with a web site, some simple promotion, and hopefully, by Veterans’ Day 2009, every living US Military Veteran will be taken to lunch.
Lacking a cool state motto, armed Nutmegger villagers are notably not assembling on the village green.
(H/T to Unc.)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I wonder which faction in the War Of The Nerds this represents?
The cheap shot would, of course, be "The hippie, since it's OS X," but I have a Mac on my desk, and between Charles and Markos, which one's the hippie?
At 8:37AM, a dripping wet, towel-wrapped Bobbi sprang from the shower at Roseholme Cottage like Archimedes from the fabled jacuzzi and said "Oh my gawd, you just know they're going to want to rename the Socialized Medicine Bill after Kennedy!"
At 10:20AM we read this on The Hill's Blog: Byrd wants health bill renamed for Kennedy
I will rent her out to Super Bowl bettors and inveterate pony players for a 20% take of the winnings.
PS: This is the first ever time Sen. Byrd has asked for anything to be named after anyone other than Sen. Byrd.
PPS: If we're going to be naming something after Ted, how about a law concerning nepotism in federal government, or tighter USCG regulations on personal flotation devices in Oldsmobiles?
Investigators in Colorado say they have broken up a massive methamphetamine ring in the Denver area that distributed pounds of the dangerous drug every week and laundered the profits using collectible comic books.The case was broken open when a detective noticed Jeremy Blascowicz grinding his teeth, constantly tugging at his neck beard, and talking at a high rate of speed for three hours straight about why Secret Wars was, like, a million billion times better than Crisis on Infinite Earths.
As an added bonus, I will probably not have to hear anything about Michael Jackson for at least a week.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Highlight For Spoiler -> He did not check his weapon upon chambering a round. The slide does not appear to have gone completely into battery. It will not fire like that. He is holding a small and ineffective club.
The truth is that criminals who make a living threatening injury or death for the contents of a cash register or a wallet won’t be greatly handicapped by any laws that prohibit the carrying of guns. They carry them anyway, but as I’ve pointed out, they’d still tilt the favors in their odds even if the magic gun control fairy could make all the guns go *poof* overnight. Gun control is tossing their intended victims into the ring with them after forcibly disarming them…to make sure the violence doesn’t escalate.
It was tough to pick a money quote, so RTWT.
LOOK! BUSH! CHENEY! TORTURE! CIA! LOOK OVER HERE!
Sure as God made little green apples, when you handed a customer a handgun from the showcase (action open, of course; that habit was so ingrained that I usually accidentally tried to jack the slides on the blue guns we used for light/laser demonstrators), two things would happen:
- Their booger hook would go straight to the bang switch as though drawn by a magnet.
- They'd point the muzzle right at my tummy.
"Excuse me, would you please not point that at me?"
"It ain't loaded."
"Yes, well, this one is, and having guns pointed at me makes me very nervous."
Monday, August 24, 2009
The iTunes store, however, is perfect for that one particular earworm from a commercial or movie trailer that I just can't expunge without getting it onto my iPod and playing it until I can't stand it anymore.
In this particular case, it was the Smashing Pumpkins tune "The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning" from the trailer for the movie Watchmen (and apparently from the Batman & Robin soundtrack, too. Who knew?)
...and I just spent all morning balancing it; unfolding and squinting at little slips of paper. Ugh. We'll not be falling behind on the paperwork like that again.
"Those who resell recalled children's products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children's lives at risk," said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or — increasingly — digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.
I'm trying to remember when I signed up for this crap.
There is apparently no corner of your life into which the government doesn't feel justified poking its regulatory snout, from your light bulbs to your toilet tank to whether or not the teddy bears at your garage sale have too much arsenic in their improperly sewn-on button eyes.
(H/T to SurvivalBlog.)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
More dangerous than bullet-dodging crackheads, though, are police officers who go running through subdivisions and play Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "I shot nineteen bullets into the air/in whose living room they fell to earth I do not care."
(H/T to Unc.)
Nobody had told the elderly resident, though.
See if you can guess paw-paw's chosen course of action:
A) Hunker down inside and mutter about kids these days.
B) Go outside and engage the trio in conversation to ascertain what they were doing in his yard.
C) Call the cops.
D) Step out on his porch, brandish a gun, and fire a warning shot to hasten their departure.
Maybe he was sitting around in his house and thinking "You know, life sure is dull. I think I'll get myself locked up on misdemeanor charges, maybe get my gun taken away, and get written up in the paper as a dangerous kook."
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Unwittingly, Fisher had driven into the climactic scene in a secret world of shadow theatrics. The man in the ski cap is a stage actor; the agent with the earpiece is a Secret Service recruit.Fortunately these are only going down in Washington DC where it is vanishingly unlikely that any save .gov employees would be packing heat. However, like that goofy L.A. reality show, Scare Tactics, the possibilities for screwups were this to go down in Free America boggle the mind. Witness what happened a few years back when one deputy failed to get the word regarding the frequent Robin Sage exercise at Fort Bragg:
Every day, as Washingtonians go about their overt lives, the FBI, CIA, Capitol Police, Secret Service and U.S. Marshals Service stage covert dramas in and around the capital where they train. Officials say the scenarios help agents and officers integrate the intellectual, physical and emotional aspects of classroom instruction. Most exercises are performed inside restricted compounds. But they also unfold in public parks, suburban golf clubs and downtown transit stations.
FORT BRAGG (AP) -- A newly released Army report about the shooting death of a soldier during Special Forces training in February is raising new questions about what really happened.
Two witnesses to the fatal shooting give accounts that conflict with the version given by the sheriff's deputy who killed 1st Lt. Tallas Tomeny during the during the "Robin Sage" exercise in Moore County, according to the report obtained by The News & Observer of Raleigh.
Friday, August 21, 2009
- The moon landing was faked.
- The US government has communicated with aliens and/or is in possession of a wrecked UFO.
- 9/11 and/or Oklahoma City was an inside job.
- JFK, RFK, and/or MLK was bumped off by a shadowy cabal and not a lone gunman.
- Some secret organization runs, or attempts to run, the world for their own benefit.
- Vaccines are poisonous and/or fluoride in the drinking water is bad for you.
- The automakers and/or the oil companies had a 100mpg car but conspired to bury it.
In America you have the right to believe whatever you want, no matter how kooky anybody else thinks it is. I can just about guarantee that 99% of the people reading this hold one belief or another that I consider goofy, and I'm 100% certain that the reverse is true.
"Hate Group", however, is a phrase with a meaning, and that meaning isn't "People whose opinions I find silly". If I started thinking that is what it meant, why, then I might start hating people whose opinions I found silly, and if that isn't staring into the abyss overlong, I don't know what is.
At least they didn't have to drive far to get to the scene of the blaze, and there wasn't much chance of getting lost en route.
Just for future reference, here's Sparky the Fire Dog's kitchen safety tips page.
According to a new Quinnipiac University poll of Florida voters, the president's approval rating now stands at 47 percent in the Sunshine State, while 48 percent of voters there disapprove of the job he is doing.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I'm rubber, you're glue; what bounces off me sticks to you!
The political discourse currently being offered by the lefties (up to and including the cat in the Big Chair) is easily as unsophisticated as anything I've seen since waiting my go on the monkey bars in kindergarten...
So anyway, when I got pointed to this piece, I was caught pretty much flat-footed, especially by the following quote:
Their website contains advertisements for white supremacist militias and Rand Paul (son of Ron Paul).The website in question, and I went to check it out, has ads for Big Head Press, a Vin Suprynowicz book of some sort, some goldbug investment sites, and various other slightly wookie-suitish things that anybody who hangs around the more libertarianish corners of the web sees all the time.
This is "white supremacist militias"?
It seems that LGF is taking a page from the MSNBC playbook. Looks like Charles Johnson should schedule an appointment with his proctologist; he appears to be backed up badly enough to turn his eyes brown.
And halfway there, the pilot and co-pilot would exit the aircraft, leaving Abdel alone with his thoughts and a suspicious ticking noise...
(H/T to TJIC.)
Much ado has been made about open carry recently, but almost all the posts are stuck on either defending the 2A right to carry, or fighting against it on the grounds that it scares people (the Left's main argument, since there haven't been any open-carry incidents that the media didn't manufacture out of whole cloth).
Almost no one takes the next step, which makes it the moral duty of anyone carrying openly to be able to retain their weapon against a gun-grab (not a political grab, a REAL, physical, grab). This moral duty EXCEEDS the morality of your right of carry, by the way.
Read, as they say, The Whole Thing.
If you do not have some retention training, get some. If you can't, you might want to think about how you carry. This is one of the main reasons I rarely OC.
Apparently, some of the party faithful are getting their knickers all in a twist because... are you ready for this? ...some people are throwing "Nazi" and "Hitler" references around about their guy and his ideas.
Either these people have had their irony glands surgically removed, have the memory of an amnesiac fruit fly, or they are dumber than an acre of fungus.
(H/T to Kleinheider, via Unc.)
But NASCAR is about a lot more than just racing cars. It's as much about what you give back off the track as you give on the track. It's about what you're doing to protect our environment and help America become energy independent -- using solar energy, and working to offset carbon emissions...
I'm surprised he didn't claim that NASCAR was also about health care reform and a two-state solution in the Middle East. But mostly NASCAR, like everything else, is about Barack.
(...and, much like the planned Obama economy, NASCAR uses restrictor plates.)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said people are entitled to carry weapons outside such events if local laws allow it. "There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally," he said. "Those laws don't change when the president comes to your state or locality."
Somebody call the whaaambulance for Paul Helmke.
(H/T to Caleb.)
Listen, you broadcast dinosaurs: You don't control the horizontal or the vertical anymore, got it? We can adjust our sets any time we want to. We have our own cameras these days. The whole world is watching now.
When H&R partnered with Federal to introduce the .32 H&R Magnum back in 1984, the cartridge was specifically designed to work with the Harrington & Richardson revolvers, which are not known for their vault-like strength. As a result, the SAAMI-specified maximum pressure for the chambering is 21,000 c.u.p., which is not terribly much more than .38 Spl +P and actually slightly less than .380 Auto. By comparison, the established "Magnum" cartridges (.357, .41, and .44) all operated at 35k+ c.u.p..
This left the .32 H&R a weak sister. Aftermarket companies could only hot-rod it so far before their attorneys started getting the vapors at the thought of someone grenading a cheapo H&R revolver and, as a result, the zippiest factory loadings you'll find will only shove a 100gr bullet at 1000-1100 feet-per-second.
The .327 gets past this with an entirely new case that is longer than the old one, but it would have been just as easy to develop a ".32 H&R Magnum +P" specification that would have worked just fine in existing Rugers and Smiths. This wouldn't have gotten Federal's name on a cartridge, though, and they wouldn't have been able to load it quite as hot with the heaviest bullets. Plus it wouldn't have sold a bunch of new guns.
At least if it doesn't catch on and the caliber dies, you'll still be able to shoot .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Mag in the guns...
Well, they say it was "rain delayed". I think it took a couple weeks to find someone to explain NASCAR to a Hyde Park attorney.
"He's a driver you say? Whose driver? You mean there's not anybody in the back seat? No back seat? Fascinating. So this is a fuel economy competition then?"
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
A libertarian. Esp. one who owns multiple Mosin-Nagants and a longbox full of comic books, reads science fiction, and refers to their minivan as the "Millennium Falcon".
"I am not a wookie-suiter! I don't even own a minivan; the Millennium Falcon is a BMW convertible!"
Meanwhile, while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I saw a car with an "I'm A Health Care Voter" bumper sticker. It was very slick; obviously the product of a graphic designer, not MS Paint and Cafe Press. Guess what color it was?
Poor lefties. They've been playing on astroturf for so long that they don't know grassroots even when fed a mouthful of divot.
Monday, August 17, 2009
About 233 years ago a little strip of geography along the eastern coast of North America spawned a population of gun owners, civil libertarians, and private property advocates. They tried a small experiment in limited government which grew and worked out quite well for a long time. -Jim, at The Travis McGee Reader.
I'll note that the first time I field-stripped my Springfield Professional, the bushing was so tight that I was holding the pistol with both hands while Marko cranked on the bushing wrench, and even that wasn't as bad as some Baers I've messed with. I think Les builds them too tight because customers expect them that way: "Jeebus, Larry, the lockup on this new Concept V is so tight that I can't even run the slide! It must be awesome!"
- Birdsong's Black-T finish is the bomb-diggity shizznit for corrosion resistance; my Pro is still rust-free after being carried, sweated on, and stomped into a mudhole over the last eight years. But when your hands are sweaty and covered in Bullfrog SPF 30, that stuff is so slick that it makes the proverbial wet bar of soap look sticky by comparison.
- More magazines are better magazines. Have a plan to keep them organized in your pockets. In addition to the full ones in my belt carriers, I'd go out onto the range with full mags in my left front and both hip pockets. Empties and partials would go into my right front between strings so I wouldn't get them confused.
- You know what would be awesome? Making sure you change the batteries in your Peltor electronic earmuffs before you go to gun school. That would be awesome, because then they'd be something other than a slightly lame set of ear pro. Note to self: Change batteries.
- I was getting incipient wet-molding with my cowhide Brommeland Max-Con V by the end of day two. In other words, being out in the 90 degree sun, I was sweating enough on my inside-the-waistband leather holster that it was starting to mold tightly to the gun; I could feel it dragging at my draws noticeably by the end of the day. This had never happened to me before in the two years I've been using this holster. So for day three I went to my horsehide Milt Sparks Versa-Max 2, which rides almost identically to the Max-Con V, but has a slightly more vertical cant. Also on day three, I was wearing those baggy cargo-type trousers instead of jeans, which put my belt line maybe an inch higher. Guess which slowed my draw down more: Sticky holster or changing the height and angle of the draw by maybe an inch and five degrees? Yeah. Carry your gun in the same place all the time if at all possible...
It was a long, hot weekend in the sun for my nearly pigment-free self. I slathered on the Bullfrog slightly faster than I managed to sweat it off and wound up with only a little bit of raccoon face and red neck. The only places that got hit badly were my temples and my lips.
(I wear my Wiley-X's tipped slightly so that the temples of the goggles go above my hearing pro; this also leaves enough ventilation around the tops of the eyepieces to keep them from fogging up, which they will do if worn normally despite the "ventilation slots" in the foam rubber eyecups. The part of my temples thus exposed apparently sweated the sunblock off faster than I reapplied it.)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I grabbed my eight best spares and tossed them in the range bag the morning of day one. I also threw my backup 1911 in the bag.
The gun on my hip was my Springfield Pro, which has a magwell. The magwell requires thicker bumper pads to firmly seat the mags. I have two Wilsons with low-profile pads on the bottom specifically for use with my Colt, which does not have the Smith & Alexander magwell.
Two of the magazines I picked up were those two magazines. Can you see where this is going?
Now I have six mags that work easily in the Springer and two that are delegated to my right hip pocket. Between strings, I'm thumbing rounds out of them to top off the mags in my left hand pockets. Luckily I stayed ahead of the pace and avoided That Guy-ness, but on day two, I was using the Colt, which can use all of the mags regardless of baseplate thickness.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
He had made some statement in an article about how he didn't really care for a lot of the features on my Springfield Professional pistol. As a very happy Pro toter, I asked what his beefs were with the gun. One of the things he came back with was the sharp, 20lpi checkering.
I said that I liked the coarse checkering, because it helped my girlie hands get a grip on the pistol, even when they were sweaty or oily or slathered with Bullfrog SPF 30. He countered that checkering that coarse tore hell out of one's hands at gun school. I parried with the fact that A) It had never bothered me, even in several-hour-long range sessions, and B) I bought it to carry, not for gun school; I had other, more-or-less identically set-up guns for school.
Then I sold almost all my 1911's (not counting the still-unfinished Sistema project gun), except for the Pro and the '66 Colt, both of which sport... Can you guess? That's right; razor-sharp 20lpi checkering on the frontstrap.
This being a summertime class, with temperatures near 90 and humidity best described as "sticky", my hands were all nice and sweaty and soft. Another guess for you: Who was sporting a bandaid on the second joint of her strong-hand pinkie by the middle of day two to ward off an incipient raw spot?
Note to self: Plan on bandaids or a shooting glove unless or until I get a replacement for my old dedicated trainer. One with a smooth frontstrap.
Today's class starts in an hour or so. Hopefully I'll have more time to write this afternoon.
At least, that's what the perky headline at CNN said. I say "fat frickin' chance". Look, I got a cell phone so I can call somebody if I have a flat tire in Two Mules, Kentucky, not to use as the Passport to the Exciting World of Tomorrow. Most of the time, I'm not even sure where it is. I don't even know the phone number off the top of my head.
The article goes on to state that
A 963-person survey by Forrester Research, for instance, found that 15 percent of Japanese mobile phone users make payments and purchase products in stores with their phones.I'm not sure how they think that has any correlation with America. I mean, 15 percent of Japanese eat boiled squid eyeballs and allow themselves to be shoved into subway cars by professional "stuffers" for heaven's sake. Have you seen how they do that? I usually don't like to get that close to someone I'm actually having sex with, much less a total stranger during my morning commute.
Meanwhile, Americans are an innately conservative lot who launch new conspiracy theories every time they contemplate changing the pictures on the money. A sizeable portion of the American economy still prefers the speed and/or anonymity of cash. Even in this world of nearly ubiquitous debit cards, look at how many people instead go through the elaborate tea ceremony of writing paper checks. I just don't see a magic wand of a cell phone replacing that.
Friday, August 14, 2009
My gear is all staged by the front door: An ammo can full of .45ACP, and my range bag.
The range bag got sorted last night. The guns that live in there, my K-22 and the 9mm Para LTC, have been pulled out, along with a couple of extraneous ammo boxes, and the magazine compartment on the front of the bag has been emptied of the dozen or so Papoose mags and the handful of 9mm 1911 mags that it normally contains and filled with .45ACP mags. Can't have enough mags at gun school; I think I've got ten or so in there.
Let's see... Spare gun? Check. I'll start out with the old Colt. If it goes tango uniform, I can switch to the Springfield and I won't be hosed.
Spare holster? Check. The Versa-Max carries pretty much identically to the Max-Con V, so if my holster blows up, I won't be changing drawstrokes midstream.
Spare mag carrier? Check. Gun oil? Check.
Bug spray? Check. Sunscreen? Check.
First aid kit and pressure dressings? Check.
I'm pretty excited...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I receive email alerts from the NRA-ILA, the Second Amendment Foundation, KeepAndBearArms.com, and a couple of other organizations that your average filthy hippie like the one quoted above would describe as "Right Wing", and yet somehow I haven't yet received my astroturf marching orders concerning where to pick up my professionally-printed signs and color-coordinated tee shirt to go brownshirt some innocent congresscritter's Town Hall meeting.
No, wait, my bad... I only get the invitation, pre-printed signs, and matching tee if I'm grassroots. Since I'm all astroturf-y, I have to figure out where to go, dress myself, and make my own damn sign.
"I can not imagine that there aren't enough lawyers in New Hampshire that can't file some kind of emergency injunction..."
An emergency injunction? Against what, you bedwetting loser? The guy was just standing there minding his own beeswax, which is, granted, a foreign concept to you, but trust me, that's all he was doing.
To hear you people carp and bleat, you'd think the guy was standing there with a nuclear-tipped surface-to-air missile launcher or a pack of rabid cyborg velociraptors with laser beams for eyes, not a budget model 9mm pistol in a gun show commando holster. The President wasn't going to be coming within 100 yards of this guy, and that in a limo armored against rocket-propelled grenade fire. For Vishnu's sake, Barry was in more danger from birdstrikes on Air Force One than he was from this cat's pistol.
(H/T to PDB.)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
As Kevin Baker mentioned Sunday, any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice, and let me tell you something, the EULA at the .gov's Cash For Clunkers website is stupidity so advanced that previous forms of stupidity slither in its wake like lobe-finned fish trying to catch Secretariat.
Now, do I think that the Fed.Gov deliberately set up this website to snoop the downloaded pr0n and Solitaire high scores on the computers of car dealerships across this great land? No. What likely happened is that the same boilerplate language that would be used when logging into a .mil or .gov computer for official purposes was used unmodified for Joe Cardealer, and the first guy that read the fine print (as people in their profession are wont to do) hit the ceiling. And justifiably so.
"Property of the U.S. government"? Seriously, Cletus, how did you think people were going to react when they read that? The funny part is how this is being treated in the media. Or not treated, actually. Can you imagine if this had happened while Ashcroft was AG? zomg you'd be able to hear the howls of the Kossacks across half of cyberspace...
But, hey, it's not a surveillance-happy police state when Democrats do it, right?
BONUS!: White House mulls change to Fed.Gov use of tracking cookies!
We have some CFLs, bought in an early-adopter's burst of enthusiasm. But no more will cross our threshold.Well, considering that the GOP had over ten years to fix the frickin' toilets, I'd be getting used to florescent light if I were you.
It occurs to me that the next Republican Congress is going to come into office with a long wish-list of repeals to perform. Wonder how that's gonna work out for us.
Remember: It's not a pendulum, it's a ratchet. The Republicans will give you back your light bulbs right after the Donks repeal the USA PATRIOT Act.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Just in case you can't get a seat at Cafe Patachou or Petite Chou, Zest, or Taste, Mama Carolla's (zomgbestitalianinindy!) is opening a new brunch joint right next door to their main restaurant called Good Morning Mama's.
Obviously the fact that there are four gourmet breakfast joints in a 1 mile radius with lines out the door every Saturday and Sunday morning means that there is still room in that market niche.
If the guy had a million cats and a million keyboards, I'd be a lot more likely to believe that one of them accidentally stepped on the right combination of buttons to say "i can has kiddie pr0n plz? kthxbye!"
UPDATE: ...and what eccentric names they have for their omelettes! Mine, stuffed with bacon, cheddar, sour cream, and horseradish, was called "The Overachiever". Shootin' Buddy ordered something called "The Hippie With A Benz".
Seriously, if you took the quotation marks out, you couldn't tell which parts of this article came from Democrat apparatchiks and which came from the "journalists" at
Obama's health care battle has been compared to former President Bill Clinton's failed effort more than 15 years ago, but CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said the climate toward health care reform was actually more negative back then.
Clinton's plan had less public support than Obama's, and Clinton himself was less popular than Obama, Schneider said. Clinton's plan also barely got off the ground when it went to Congress, and Obama's proposals have already been through a few congressional committees.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Breda blogs her beau Mike's Garand experience at Camp Perry. He had an awesome coach!
The reportage was excellent; I felt as though I had been rained on and found myself craving coffee and Krispy Kremes just reading it.
NRA High Power is personally not my gig. However, like any other shooting sport, the participants are as friendly and generous as you could possibly hope. Just show up for a match in your street clothes with no gear, and folks will come up to you and ask "Do you need a spotting scope? A mat? A gun? Want some pointers?" For this to happen at Camp fricken' Perry is like showing up in the stands at Wimbledon and having Serena Williams or Andre Agassi walk up and ask "Do you want to play? Do you need a racket? I can let you borrow one..."
"One of the GREAT privileges of life is being in a position to give food away to friends and strangers." -Frank W. James
Farmer Frank graciously brought a whole pick-'em-up full of sweet corn to the blogmeet and the results are detailed here by my roommate, who is rapidly turning into the unofficial Social Secretary for these shindigs. Linkage out to other writeups can be found there.
Having been to a drag strip a time or two, I knew exactly what it was: A big racing V-8 being run briefly up to high revs.
We're definitely not within earshot of any racetracks. Could somebody have been tinkering with a project car? No, that much noise over two consecutive nights of wrenching would have brought the heat for sure. I can't think of anyplace around here that would suit that volume of street racing, and besides, half the kids on the street these days race rice on the bottle, which doesn't sound like that...
Watching the news this morning, I figured out what it was...
The fairgrounds are only a couple miles away by bike. I should try and get down there this year.
After assembling the rifle he immediately began having failure-to-fire issues with the bulk .22 he was using. I can't remember off-hand, but I believe it was Federal. He switched to some of the Remington blue-label subsonic target ammunition that he had along for his suppressed MkII and one of those managed to fire.
Boy howdy, did it fire.
There was an unusually loud report and the second round didn't chamber fully. Shootin' Buddy pulled the magazine, and it had smoke floating up out of it. That's not normal.
Sure enough, the separated case head was laying on the carpet scrap at his shooting station, while the remainder of the brass was still snug in the chamber, as seen in the accompanying cell phone photo.
Monday morning quarterbacking, I'm going to guess that the sequence of "light strike, light strike, light strike, et cetera" followed by "case head separation" points to an excessive headspace situation.
In layman's terms, this would mean that the cartridge had too much room to move forward and back in the chamber when the bolt was closed. If this was indeed the case, the light strikes were caused by the round shifting forward when struck by the firing pin. The one that actually went off would have had too much room for the brass to stretch in the chamber, and it stretched past the point of failure.
Of course everybody was wearing eye protection, and nothing bad happened to the gun, but be careful when saying "Oh, it's just a .22." While its powder charge may be small, the modern high velocity .22LR chamberings operate at higher chamber pressures than .38 Special or .45ACP. SAAMI maximum allowable pressure specification for the .22 Long Rifle is 2,500 PSI more than .380, and 3,000 psi more than .32 H&R Magnum.
Remember: The eye you save may be your own.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
I have had my own automobile (or motorcycle) my entire adult life. I get claustrophobic when it's in the shop. I have never financed any of them; in my income bracket, your car is your life. If you live in the suburbs and lose your job, and then subsequently lose your car due to not being able to make payments, you are well and truly screwed. Conversely, as long as you have your own wheels, you can nearly always find some kind of work, even if it's as humble as using those wheels to deliver pizzas.
PDB takes this theme and waxes eloquent in his scathing condemnation of the "Cash For Clunkers" program:
To own a car is to reduce your personal limits and restrictions. You no longer are limited to the mere distance you can comfortably walk to seek a job or food or entertainment. A person with a car does not have to make do with what’s next door. A person with a car has hope, real hope, because as long as he has the keys and enough money in his pocket for a tank of gas, he can go anywhere else if it’s not working out here.
It is no coincidence that America is the country of the personal automobile and thus Leftists have always hated cars. They’re too wasteful, they permit too much consumption, cars allow people to escape the miserable inner-city hellholes leftists inadvertently create as they try to mold the new Soviet man.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Try to remember not to forget that the August '09 Indy Blogmeet will be at the Broad Ripple Brew Pub tomorrow at three. Bring grocery sacks, because when Frank W. James says he's bringing a pickup truck full of corn, that's not an idle figure of speech.
Some of us will be storming the gates at Iggle Crick in the AM to get some trigger time in between 9AM and Blogmeet Time.
Be there or be an equilateral rectilinear two-dimensional surface.
It doesn't matter whether the person they were investigating was me or President Obama or your grandmother.
Friday, August 07, 2009
If you live in the city and find one in your garden, however, you should be circumspect in disposing of the critter, because your neighbors will absolutely lose their collective $h1t should they find out.
I assumed they were probably collectible, and it turns out they are.
What I didn't expect is that they'd technically be illegal. That's right: The Safety Nazis, the GreenShirts, are banning the sale of old children's books in the name of safety.
I don't think I've ever felt quite the quiver of rage I felt at that moment.
I will adapt to my cigarettes getting messed with; I will improvise and overcome if you want to take my bayonet lug away; but I am this close to saddling up and busting caps over The Wizard of Oz.
Keep your slimy, regulation-encrusted hands off my childhood, you bastards. I'm not kidding.
Guys, you're congressmen. There's, like, five-hundred-something of you interchangeable little cogs; you're barely more special than dogcatchers. You put those jets back where you found them right now, and you can darn well fly coach like the rest of us as long as you're flying on my dime.
(H/T to Sharp Stuff.)
Thursday, August 06, 2009
RX: "Did you call?"
RX: "Well, my cell phone just rang and rang..."
Me: "Maybe it was the cats. They've been awful quiet."
RX: "Hey, do you have a rage-filled blog?"
Me: "Rage-filled? I wouldn't call it rage-filled. I can probably fit some more rage in there. Should I?"
RX: "No, you do not want a rage-filled blog."
I take it this has something to do with yesterday.
These days the .gov can't do any construction without some loony tune on the internets raving about how it's really a secret bunker for the Illuminati. For instance, a barracks construction project at a New York ANG base was spotted for a clandestine Gnomes of Zurich hideout by one Nancy Genovese who, like a moth bumping off a porch light, kept showing up with her camera looking for damning pictures of flying saucer wreckage or whatever until they finally arrested her on some dubious charges.
When they did, it turned out she had a Benelli Nova bird gun and an Assault Weapons Ban-compliant Bushhamster M4gery in the car, along with enough ammunition to have a pretty good weekend at the range. (But only two spare mags; obviously not a Thunder Ranch grad.) Now, it's a good thing they didn't pull me over on the way to the range, because the trunk of my car on the way to Wildcat Valley would net them a junk-on-the-bunk display that'd make Genovese look like a rank amateur. However, I rarely combine range trips with scouting missions against the New World Order, so the point is kinda moot.
Of course, she has sent the lefties into spasms of "zomg right wing terrorist militia!" Nice work, Nancy.
(Oh, but Mr. Neiwert? She may be a complete wookie-suiter, but she's right about the "Molon Labe" part.)
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Also, I realized that the only solid food I'd eaten all day yesterday was a bag of Pirate's Booty and a heel of bread with three slices of pepperoni on it. My blood sugar was probably a little low.
Also, I am extremely low on clean black tee shirts. Understand that me being low on clean black tee shirts is like the Pope being low on clean funny hats: Nothing to wear without being gigged for being out of uniform. And I just used the last of the laundry detergent on the socks.
No laundry detergent and only one can of Vault Zero in the house. I really don't see any way around a trip to the grocery store at this point, but I'm going to take a nap first so I don't get confused and think I'm playing Gran Turismo 3 instead of Drive To Grocery Store 1. (I must be punchy, because just typing that has me laughing so hard my face hurts. Why am I babbling all this to you people, anyway?)
Posting may be light. Or heavier than usual (there's not much else to do in the wee hours). It will also probably be even more incoherent than it normally is, because I've been pretty punchy for two days straight now, and I don't foresee it getting any better until I get back to my usual schedule. As a creature of habit, I fear change; it discombobulates me.
UPDATE: It's currently LOL:15 and I've already been up for three hours. Or is it four? There are words in my head, but I can't get them through my fingers and into the keyboard. Only one can of Vault Zero left in the house; I obviously seriously underplanned for this last night. I don't think driving to the store right now would be the smartest of ideas, though.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
- Is not also intoxicated.
- Is not a fugitive from justice.
- Is not imaginary.
- Is not your nine-year-old daughter.
Apparently, some "Jim" guy over there had his staff send him an internets through the series of tubes stating that the "blogosphere" was spreading nasty false rumors about the imminent demise of Daniel Defense.
This came as something of a surprise to people who were actually, you know, in the blogosphere and who hadn't read anything of the sort, specifically Bitter, who hit the ceiling. The "Jim" guy apologized, sorta, explaining that "blogosphere" is shorthand for "internet" in Jimspeak and what he meant to say was "email".
This makes sense. I mean, email is kind of like the blogosphere in much the same way that the U.S. Mail is like The American Spectator. After all, they're both full of words printed on paper, right?
They still have that beautifully engraved S&W .44 double-action top-break and a 4" Model 25-9 in .45 Colt. Tempting, but too rich for my blood.
Also, Larry Correia, the author of Monster Hunter International, will be the guest on Gun Nuts Radio tonight, so you can ask him "What gun for werewolf?"
He's right; it's a great tool, because the camera doesn't lie, and also because you can use pauses and slow-mo to isolate problems with your form. I need a better video camera.
Monday, August 03, 2009
In places where guns are quasi legal, legitimate manufacturers will often build quasi-guns. Witness, for example, this Hungarian double-barreled, over-and-under, slide-action, breech-loading, rubber-bullet-launching shotgun-type thingummy. I'd rather have an 870, but given the legal restrictions under which it exists, it sure beats a handful of nothing, plus it practically oozes ingenuity.
The only thing that would make it better is if it had a bayonet. Or if it launched bees. (Preferably African killer bees, but regular old honeybees would do in a pinch.)
Rimfire: No bulk rimfire at Beech Grove, but a good selection of the more upmarket CCI stuff in the 50rd boxes. 100rd plastic boxes of Mini Mags were ~$7. Gander Mountain had pretty much a normal rimfire selection out and available. If you wanted bulk, your only choices other than some Fiocchi were unplated Winchester or plated Remington Golden Bullets. I'll usually go with the occasional dud over lead fouling, but that's just me. 525rd cartons were $24.99; I splurged and bought one so I can hold off on busting out my reserve Mohawk and Thunderbolt unplated stuff for another weekend or three.
Centerfire: There was something in every caliber at Beech Grove, but you couldn't be fussy about the brand. You want .45ACP? You're getting Sellier & Bellot. You want 9x19? CCI Blazer for you. Gander Mountain had a similar situation with somewhat better selection: Most calibers had two or three choices for range ammo, usually Blazer Brass, Fiocchi, and one or another of the Big Three's budget lines. Prices ran slightly more than Beech Grove, but it looked like the going rate was ~$14/50 for 9mm and ~$24/50 for .45. Better than early Spring, but unlikely to cause anybody to stop handloading 9mm.
What this post is about is that somewhere on this planet there is somebody who actually cared enough to take the time to write a great big long dissertation about why the Stormtroopers' shooting wasn't really that bad.
Hey, Earth to Commander Solo: How about beaming off the bridge of the USS Mom's Basement and onto the surface of planet Fresh Air? Go for a walk. Ride your bike. See if your tricorder will let you communicate with the natives. Something like that.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
There's always been a sign there at the entrance to the range areas that says "No Loaded Concealed Weapons Beyond This Point", which I've long thought odd but, hey, IMPD uses the range all the time, so who knows what baroque gun-handling protocols they have. We'd just make it a point to uncover when entering the range area and everything would be okey-dokey, right?
Right. At least up to a point.
Yesterday we showed up to shoot, like we have better than every other weekend for the past year, and I noticed that there were two RSO's there that I'd only seen maybe once before. As Shootin' Buddy and I turned away from the registration table to go up to the line, they saw the guns on our hips and drama ensued:
"No loaded guns in holsters on the firing line!"
"Your sign says no loaded concealed guns beyond this point."
"Well the rules say..." et cetera and yadda.
While teh n00b RSO's and Shootin' Buddy played "Perry Mason and the Case of the Hazy Guidelines", I pulled aside the one RSO I knew and asked him what was up. Apparently the chief RO had usually been pretty casual about the no holstered guns rule with shooters who had demonstrated competency (...and while neither myself nor Shootin' Buddy is being actively recruited by ninjas or SEAL Team 37½, we're a breath of fresh air on a range where the average shooter gets chided for muzzle discipline by an RSO at least once per session) but, yes, technically this was supposed to be a cold range. So I unloaded and showed clear for my guy and apparently Shootin' Buddy had done likewise.
Now the pistol of mine that was so safe that morning eating breakfast at Le Peep and that afternoon at the grocery store was unloaded so it would be safe at the pistol range, too. Raise your hand if that makes sense to you.
See, this is one Lowest Common Denominator "safety" policy that is only going to lead to unnecessary bullet holes. If rigidly adhered to, it means Cletus and Jasper have to fiddle-fart around with loaded guns twice; once on arrival and again on leaving, instead of leaving them safely in their holsters and not touching them. Now, the po-po firearms training building at Iggle Crick is right off the parking lot and has a handy sand-filled clearing barrel, but how many people are going to look for that, much less use it religiously?
Remember: One handy rule for preventing negligent discharges is stop touching your damn gun so much! Think about every story of an ND you've heard: It was somebody holstering or unholstering or clearing or loading or otherwise somehow futzing with the gun, right? It's almost never "The gun was sitting in the holster and went off." Why then, in the name of safety, would you encourage the former rather than the latter?
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Last weekend I started working more with my round-butt 4" Model 19. I had completely forgotten how sweet of a trigger job Shannon had done on that gun; the only lighter double-action pulls I've felt were on PPC guns, and yet it was lighting off everything I ran through it just fine: 158gr LSWC-HP +P from both Remington and Winchester, Federal 147gr +P+ HydraShoks, gunshow reloads from Billybob's Big House o' Bullets, you name it. Thanks, Marko!
Maybe after shooting we'll go by the Mountain of Geese or Beech Grove Firearms to check out the ammo situation.