Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

...and a GAP update.

Thanks to a generous friend o' the blog who hooked me up with some ammo, I ran a hundred rounds of Remington UMC 230gr FMJ through the Glock 37 after work yesterday.

Outran my headlights on a couple shots, there.

The Glock 37 has now fired 860 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubed, with one parts breakage. 1,140 rounds to go.
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Still shootin'...

After work yesterday I took the P250 out on the range with another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's Fiocchi .380 95gr FMJ ammo.

The gun continued to run without drama.

I spoke with some guys at the Sig Sauer booth at the Acusport business conference in Fort Worth earlier this week and was assured that these things would be shipping Real Soon Now. This is cool, because I could have probably sold near a dozen already.

That's 1426 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated, with one failure to go completely into battery (#447). 574 rounds to go.
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

It'd have given me a start, too.

An elderly woman in Miami woke up to quite a surprise when she found an exotic animal caressing her face.

Late Monday night, the woman was startled when she woke up staring at a kinkajou, which looks like a cross between a raccoon and monkey.
I think that would have given me a start, too, to find this odd dogmonkey critter snuggling up atop me. (Although I would pay good American money for video footage of the moment when they scared the bejeezus out of each other.)
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sunrise...

Last morning in Fort Worth. Getting ready to fly back to Indy...
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If at first you don't succeed...

I think Ruger's SR striker-fired pistols are some of the best guns in the "Priced Like A Used Glock" class of pistols. The 9E, in particular, is a screaming deal.

Still, they haven't been selling like gangbusters to agencies, and agency sales are the engine that drives consumer purchases. People want to carry what the po-po does. Hence the Ruger American:

Solid-feeling and hits all the feature buzzwords with ambidextrous everything and modular grip doohickeys. I'd be interested in shooting one...
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Birthday To Me.

I'm supposed to make some reference about how if I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself, but it would be a lie. I don't think foreknowledge would have done much to improve my iffy judgment skills or override my occasional impulse to say "Hold my beer and watch this!"
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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Happy 161st!

Someone suggested getting out a 1911 and taking it to the range to celebrate John Moses Browning's 161st birthday. I guess that like Leonardo da Vinci and the Mona Lisa, it's inevitable that an artist's rep gets entangled with his best known work, but Browning was so much more prolific than that.

We're talking about the dude who patented the concept of the SLIDE on autoloading pistols. The guy who pretty much invented gas-operated automatic weapons. The man who made the first practical and commercially successful self-loading shotgun.

The way a Glock works? Browning patented that. You don't like old-fashioned hammer-fired guns? Browning's first commercially successful pistol, the FN Model 1899, was striker-fired.

Other than the nameless individual who first stuffed fireworks powder into a metal pot and used it to launch a ball, there's probably no other single individual who had such an influence on firearms as we know them today.
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Let me 'splain something to you...

When you come bursting into the shop, hoodie up and dressed like an extra from a gangsta rap video, and make an unusually fast beeline across the showroom floor without responding to my cheerful "How you doin' this morning?" and keeping one hand in the pocket of your hoodie the whole time, I ain't flipping my shirttail out of the way and putting the ammo counter between us 'cause I'm racist, okay?

Friday, January 22, 2016

"Do you know what caliber this gun is?"

"Probably not, it's pretty obscure."

The Glock 32 arrived at the shop yesterday and I ran a box of ammo through it after work. I really hate the factory Glock sights. Also, why do Glocks in dumb hipster calibers like .357SIG and .45GAP shoot so well for me?

Also, is it just me, or are 32s woefully undersprung from the factory?
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Misplaced Priorities...

The same government that frets itself over the CCW pistol in my pocket apparently is effectively giving Barrett .50 BMG rifles to fugitive cartel kingpins.

That makes sense.

Why has nobody gone to jail over Fast and Furious?
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Still Glocking Along

 Twenty rounds on Tuesday morning...

...and twenty more on Wednesday after work. There were no malfunctions of any sort to report.

The Glock 37 has now fired 760 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubed, with one parts breakage. 1,240 rounds to go.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day Off...

I bundled up yesterday and walked to Twenty Tap for lunch. The special of the day was lamb ragu over penne pasta. Although John points out that an APA/IPA would have paired with the tomato-based sauce better, I ordered a Black Acre Brewing Chai Guy milk stout. I'd never seen it on the menu there before, and I wasn't disappointed. I've liked everything I've tried from Black Acre.

It was 15°F and sunny out. No breeze. It wasn't too unpleasant if you were dressed for it and stayed in the sun.

Fresh Market has an entire free-standing cooler with nothing but kombucha in it. I dub it "The Nasty-Ass Drink Cooler".
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1326

Stopped in the shop to do a little shooting on my day off. I brought along the P250 and ran another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's Fiocchi FMJ through it.

I think I might have outrun my headlights on a few of those shots.

There were no malfunctions to report. I think it would be safe to say that I'd be more than comfortable carrying this pistol at this point.

That's 1326 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated, with one failure to go completely into battery (#447). 674 rounds to go.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Oy vey.

Someone emailed me a link to this bit of pearl-clutchery from one of those awful alt-right news aggregator websites*:
The almost unbelievable plunge into insanity—started two years ago already—was reported—in a positive pro-refugee light—by the Allehanda newspaper in Sweden, under the title “Fired up for Sniping,” (Laddade för prickskytte, literally “Charged up for Sniping”) and shows a large number of Third Worlders being taught how to target shoot with “sniper” target rifles on a formal shooting ground in Sollefteå, central Sweden.
I replied:
"prikskytte".

"prik" = pointy or sharp
"skytte" = shooting

High school students in Sweden are allowed to engage in smallbore target shooting. Even if they or their parents were born elsewhere.

Meanwhile, American students get suspended for drawing pictures of their brother the soldier holding a gun.

Now, tell me again, WHO is screwed here?

-T.
Apparently the Swedish government thinks that hanging out at the local school's smallbore match would be an excellent way to learn the language and culture and mingle with one's Swedish agemates. Can you see the US Federal government sending recent teenage immigrants to Camp Perry to better learn American folkways? No. No you cannot.

*This is that place's idea of a humor page.
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

8 Degrees Fondly Fahrenheit

At 8°F with a light breeze, it's possible to get incipient frostbite on the fingers in the time it takes to pump eleven gallons of unleaded plus into the Zed Drei, despite pulling on a light pair of gloves once all the card-reading and cap-unscrewing had been accomplished.

Just so you know.
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Mea Culpa...

Customer: "So, I like this one and this one, but I'm not sure... What do you think?"

Me In My Head: *I think you're no more qualified to judge the suitability of a handgun than the monkeys in the opening scene of 2001 were to advise Kubrik on camera angles. Buy a frickin' Glock 19 and learn to shoot and then we'll revisit your need for a special snowflake gun.*

Me From My Mouth: "Whichever one feels better in your hand, sir."
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Thin Margins...

So I sold the .357SIG M&P and now I'm going to buy a .357SIG Glock. I looked around at the show, but the only used one I spotted was a tired po-po trade-in G31 with half-dead Meprolights and only one mag. The round count was unknown but the slide release was worn silver.

The seller had a wildly optimistic $485 on the tag but allowed as how he'd let it go for $425 out the door. Considering a brand new one retails at our shop for $499.95, Glock's minimum advertised price, that was a less than attractive deal.

I did look around for a new one at the show, because retail profit margins on new base model Gen 3 Glocks are so razor thin that even my employee discount only saves me ten bucks or so, which would have been outweighed by instant gratification.

Most people have no idea how thin the margin on new guns is. I'm not aware of any similarly-priced consumer good that sells at retail for so little markup.

No joy finding one at the show, though; .357SIG Glocks are rare stocking items outside of states where local law enforcement uses the caliber. Every Glock...all the hundreds I saw..at the show was a 9, .40, or .45, with the exception of one new 29, one used one, and one new 40 MOS. I guess I'll just order one at work.
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Ugh.

It's not even 22°F out there right now and that's all the warmer it's gonna get for today. Today's high temperature was 25°F at 2:30 in the AM, and it's supposed to be into the teens by lunch, on the way to single-digit temps overnight and a balmy 0°F by dawn tomorrow.

At least there's not much in the way of snow on the ground, thanks to a freak two-day excursion into the forties late last week. Of course, everything that thawed was then turned into a fine coating of black ice, causing the parking lot at the gun show to have an amazingly high bust-ass quotient.

The worst of the winter for me is when there are long stretches with snow on the ground, which means not only having to bundle up with coat and gloves and maybe scarf, but also to change from sneakers into the outside boots in the basement. This turns a stroll to the garage or to the curb to fetch the trash can into a process only slightly less involved than locking out of the International Space Station to do hull maintenance.

The thing I look forward to most about spring, after later sunsets, is the ability to swan in and out of the house in shirtsleeves and sneakers.
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Amirite?

Fun Show Time!

Let's all sing the Fun Show Song!
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyeful
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone. 
Got half a table again, just so I can sit and watch the parade instead of having to stand and be in it. Even have my bingo card drawn up...


I'll throw a couple of my less-beloved Smiths on the table at Greater Fool prices and see what happens. Also see if I can't turn my M&P357 into a Glock 32 or 33.
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Friday, January 15, 2016

Overheard in the Gun Store...

Customer: *to other members of posse* "Awww, come check this out!" *to me, pointing at AK pistol on the wall behind me* "Hey, can I see that choppa?"

Me: "Nope. Uh, guys, I've got a nose. Now, I'm not the cops, and I don't care, myself, personally, but y'all can't be drivin' around and smoking what smells like some prime dank-ass herb... No, seriously, the four of y'all by yourselves smell like the whole audience of a Cheech & Chong movie plus three Cypress Hill videos. The bookkeeper could smell it in the back and was sticking her nose in here looking around to see where it was coming from...and handle guns. Are we cool?"
Seriously. It's common enough that we keep a can of Febreeze under the counter for these occurrences. At least once a day a whole posse will roll in reeking of the ganja strongly enough that you can smell it in the store thirty minutes after they've left and I'm having to explain to customers that, no, we aren't sparking up bongs in the break room.
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Paging Lawyers: Is there call for panic in this bill?

In Section 108 of S.2123, there's the following language:

“(d) Minimum term of imprisonment for certain acts relating to the provision of controlled goods or services to terrorists or proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—A person who willfully commits, willfully attempts to commit, or willfully conspires to commit, solicits the commission of, or aids or abets in the commission of, an unlawful act described in paragraph (2) shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned for a term of not less than 5 years. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a court shall not place on probation any person sentenced under this subsection.

“(2) UNLAWFUL ACTS DESCRIBED.—An unlawful act described in this paragraph is an unlawful act described in subsection (a) that involves—

“(A) the provision of controlled goods or services to or for the use of—

“(i) a state sponsor of terrorism;

“(ii) an organization designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189(a)); or

“(iii) a person on the list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury;

“(B) the provision of goods or services, without a license or other written approval of the United States Government, to any person in connection with a program or effort of a foreign country or foreign person to develop weapons of mass destruction; or

“(C) the provision of defense articles or defense services, without a license or other written approval of the Department of State, to, or for the use of, a country subject to an arms embargo by the United States.

“(3) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

“(A) CONTROLLED GOODS OR SERVICES.—The term ‘controlled goods or services’ means any article, item, technical data, service, or technology listed or included in—

“(i) the United States Munitions List maintained pursuant to part 121 of title 22, Code of Federal Regulations;

“(ii) the Commerce Control List maintained pursuant to part 774 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations; or

“(iii) any successor to the United States Munitions List or the Commerce Control List.

“(B) COUNTRY SUBJECT TO AN ARMS EMBARGO.—The term ‘country subject to an arms embargo’ means any foreign country listed in section 126.1 of title 22, Code of Federal Regulations (or any corresponding similar regulation or ruling), for which—

“(i) an embargo or prohibition exists on the export of defense articles or defense services; or

“(ii) the policy of the United States is to deny licenses and other approvals for the export of defense articles and defense services.

“(C) DEFENSE ARTICLE; DEFENSE SERVICE.—The terms ‘defense article’ and ‘defense service’ have the meanings given those terms in section 47 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2794).

“(D) STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM.—The term ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ means any foreign country, or political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of a foreign country, if the Secretary of State has determined that the government of the country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism pursuant to—

“(i) section 6(j)(1)(A) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 2405(j)(1)(A)) (as in effect pursuant to this Act);

“(ii) section 40(d) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2780(d));

“(iii) section 620A(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2371(a)); or

“(iv) any other provision of law.
GOA has it that this means anybody who puts a drawing of a gun online could be locked up by the secret Muslim Communist Atheist in the White House. I realize that GOA's job is to cry "WOLF!", but is there really a wolf here? As someone who writes about guns on the internet, sometimes even for money, how many letters should I be sending my senators?

See the Facebook discussion thread or, if you prefer antisocial media, email link is in the sidebar.

(H/T to Weaponsman)
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Brrr...

It is 4°F on the other side of the window behind my monitor right now, but that's okay, because it's supposed to be a balmy 6 or 7° by the time I have to brush the car off and head to work.

I hope I can get one more winter out of the Subie. I'm not sure it's worth replacing the viscous coupling if I have to pay a Subaru dealership to replace the whole center diff. But as it is, it eats wheel bearings and those are $600ish a pop.

As long as it can limp the mile and a half to and from the shop on snowy/icy days...
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QotD: Ballistic Postage Stamps Edition

From a John Ross piece at American Thinker:
People first need to understand the way collectors think and operate.  For collectors of almost anything, almost none just buy the things they collect and amass an ever larger pile until one day they decide it's time to do estate planning, and then they sell off their collection and use the money to set up trusts for their kids and grandchildren.  Instead, most collectors buy pieces they can afford and, as they save more money, will find other pieces that are even more desirable.  They often partially fund a new purchase with the sale of less valuable items in their collection.  This is true of books, toys, coins, stamps, motorcycles, cars, artwork, etc.  The difference is that you can't be charged with a felony for selling any of the above things to another collector without a federal license, but that can and does happen if you do it with guns.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Proof of concept...

So, a woman came in to take our basic two-hour "Intro to Handguns" course last Thursday. The class is $89.95 and is taught by Zach Rogers, who is something of a Padawan of Denny Reichard up at Sand Burr Gun Ranch. Zach's a great instructor with total beginners, and after an hour in the classroom and an hour on the range, most students end up shooting well enough to pass the typical "qual" course.

Anyhow, this particular student showed up and she was a small woman, probably in her late 60s, and she had issues with having enough grip strength to work the slide of a self-loading pistol (yes, even when shown all the tricks) and also had problems working the double-action trigger on a J-frame revolver.

"Ooh, wait!" says I, and ran to the trunk of my car in the parking lot, and fetched the little P250. I'd been touting this thing as an ideal "Grandma Gun", and here was my chance to find out if it was true.

Indeed, she had no problem running the slide on the compact .380, and could work the slide release lever and run the 7.25# DAO trigger with no issues.

"Go 'head and use this gun for the class, then," I offered, and she did.

Unfortunately, the noise and commotion of even the .380 was a bit much for her and she wound up only firing six rounds before deciding she needed to go home and steel her nerves before making another attempt at a firearms class.

That was 1126 rounds through the gun, total.

The next day, after work, I stepped out on the range and fired off another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's Fiocchi 95gr FMJ. The gun continued to chug along just fine.

That's 1226 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated, with one failure to go completely into battery (#447). 774 rounds to go.
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Saturday, January 09, 2016

Of beans and noses.

I'm pretty sure I got the following metaphor from Gunsmith Bob.

Every so often in the firearms retail or gunsmithing business, I will have a customer approach me with a big metaphorical lima bean in their hand and say "Will you please put this bean up my nose?"

And I will feel uncomfortable because I know this is a bad idea and I will reply "Sir, I'm not sure you want that bean up your nose. It could cause a whole lot of problems and might require an emergency room visit to get it out."

And they will say "But I really, really want you to put this bean up my nose!"

And again I will reply "And I really feel that I need to tell you that you shouldn't put that bean up your nose."

Pleading now, the customer will say "But I'll give you a lot of money to put this bean up my nose!"

And, having done my duty by warning them, and consoling myself with thoughts of how the customer is always right, I will sigh and go ahead and put that bean up their nose.

What does this have to do with gun selling or gunsmithing?

"Excuse me, I noticed you don't have any Taurus Judges in the display case. Can you special order one?"

"Well, sir..."
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Friday, January 08, 2016

Automotif CXX...


 I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter "I".

It's a '62 Chevy Impala, spotted in the wild with current tags.

QotD: Lame Excuses Edition

I'd meant to make fun of a recent guest on the Diane Rehm show this morning, but instead of writing several paragraphs on that, I allowed myself to have fun on Bookface instead.

An excerpt:

Wikitabs...

Occasionally one winds up with Wikipedia tabs left open in the browser from things one was researching. After a number of weeks, it's possible to forget why they were even opened in the first place, at least if one's metal desktop is in the sort of disarray mine is.

With that, I'm closing the following Wikipedia tabs:

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Sorry, this morning's news left me a little at sea...

"Every bon mot to ever spill from my fingertips is due to reading lots and lots of P.J. O'Rourke and Florence King"
I've been fortunate, in my recent and accidental quasi-career as a gunwriter, to meet and even befriend a number of the biggest influences on that part of my life: Massad Ayoob, Frank W. James, Pat Rogers, and others.

But the two biggest influences on my writing style, period? I've never contacted either of them. However...

Miss King made no secret in any of her writings that she enjoyed receiving correspondence from her readers and was religious about answering it. I had always meant to write to thank her for all the hours of enjoyment, to say nothing of the education in the craft, which I'd received from her works over the years. I'd always meant to write that letter.

And now I can't.

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions. I think they're poppycock for the weak-willed and if people want to do something, then there's no point in waiting for a certain page of the calendar to turn to do that thing. But this year? This year I'm going to strive to not be such a lousy correspondent.
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Oh, no!

Florence King passed away yesterday.
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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

*sigh*

So I shot Dot Torture with the Glock 37 yesterday. Got off to a rocky start, but settled down and was really starting to feel good about things when I blew the second shot on #8. (That's the dot where you shoot a five-shot string, weak hand only.) I might have cussed a little.

The Glock 37 has now fired 720 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubed, with one parts breakage. 1,280 rounds to go.
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From An Away Game...

From a discussion elsewhere...
Just yesterday at work I had a guy in there who was suffering from analysis paralysis. You get 'em every now and again; they've decided to buy a gun and because they're analytical people, they researched the topic as best they could on the internet, and now they're wandering from showcase to showcase holding the P07 and the P250 and the used Glock 19 and wondering if strikers are safe enough or hammers are better and which feels best in their hand and...

Sometimes, like yesterday, I wind up blurting out "You say you don't even know how to shoot a pistol at all and you're sitting here worried about certain details of the trigger pull and how the gun sits in your hand and hammers and strikers and what you read on the internet and it's all just bunk. How the gun feels in your hand, unloaded and not shooting and standing at the display counter, has nothing to do with how well you're going to shoot the gun. That can only be measured with scoring rings and a timer.

Look, we don't carry junk brands of guns here. The fact of the matter is that we could pull five guns at random out of these showcases, stuff 'em in a pillowcase, give it a spin, and if you reached in there, grabbed one out at random, took the little two-hour basic handgun class from our trainer, bought a case of ammo and really applied yourself to shooting the thing and regular dry-fire practice, you will be lights out with it unless you're just completely physically inept.
"
Part of the reason I wear my gun burka at work is because of this type of customer: I don't want what's on my hip to further complicate their decision-making process.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

1120...

Stopped by the shop on my day off today. Amongst some other shooting, I ran another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's Fiocchi .380 FMJ through the P250. There were no malfuntions to report, even though the gun and ammo were icy cold from having been locked in the trunk of the car all night.

Shooting at seven yards. Still hitting slightly left and high if I'm not really paying attention to the trigger.

That's 1120 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated, with one failure to go completely into battery (#447). 880 rounds to go.

Monday, January 04, 2016

After work fun times...

Sorry.

Open-to-close yesterday, wasn't feelin' it when I got home, and now I have to go in and open the shop today.

I'll try and spin up the ice cream machine when I get home this evening.
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Saturday, January 02, 2016

Emergency Guilt Reserves

If you live a life powered by guilt, it can be a hard thing to sustain.

Suppose that you're not actually out driving around in your SUV, polluting the world, or at your corporate 9-to-5 gig, oppressing the underemployed and offshored. Suppose you're just sitting at home, enjoying some locavore charcuterie and an impertinent little red from upstate, doing a little Netflix 'n' chill with a friend...

How are you supposed to feel existential guilt about that? You're not out clubbing baby seals or reprogramming Volkswagens. Instead, you're sitting at home minding your own business and that's a damned hard thing about which to feel guilt, and if you don't feel guilt, how are you supposed to know that you're better than all those people who don't feel guilt?

Never fear, HuffPo to the rescue!

Don't worry little SWPL; pull that hairshirt back on! *tousles SWPL's hair* You're still guilty! Have you stopped to consider the carbon footprint of the Netflix server farms, which is surely (if infinitesimally) increased by your annual holiday watching of Love Actually?

See! Now you can let the guilt roll over you again without even having to get off the couch.


(h/t to Joel.)
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Friday, January 01, 2016

Gun Test Updates...

Last Tuesday I put 20 rounds of 185gr Speer GDHP through the Glock 37, shooting benched 5-shot groups at 25 yards. They were all in the 3.5"-4" range. There were no malfunctions to report.

The Glock 37 has now fired 670 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubed, with one parts breakage. 1,330 rounds to go.

After work on Wednesday, I ran 85 rounds of Lucky Gunner's Fiocchi .380 FMJ through the gun and let a coworker shoot the last fifteen. There were no malfunctions to report. Still need the UpLULA to get the last round into the 15-round magazines; other than that, it really does seem to be an excellent "Grandma Gun" for those who have issues with hand strength or arthritis that make it difficult to run an ordinary semiauto or a hard-recoiling DAO J-frame with a ten- or twelve-pound trigger.
85 rounds at 21 feet.


That's 1020 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated, with one failure to go completely into battery (#447). 980 rounds to go.
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The Force Awakens (contains spoilers)

Click for Episode VII discussion. (contains spoilers)