Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Well, that wasn't the problem...

So, if you'll recall my misadventures with the Steyr C9-A1 and the Wolf Polyformance 115gr FMJ ammo...

I stopped by the Steyr booth at the show. I mentioned to the guys in the booth that I'd been shooting one and asked if there was an updated extractor available for the gun. He allowed as there was, and I said that was a good thing, because mine's been a complete dumpster fire so far.

He also told me about the Steyr's tight European tolerances and how I should avoid weak ammunition because a finely crafted piece like the C9 would be a fussier eater than...other guns. I think I did a good job of keeping a straight face, but you'll have to ask Kevin if I really did or not.

Canis lupus lupus, the Steyr's bĂȘte noire
So, anyway, from the wild ejection pattern of the Wolf and the number of malfs, I had surmised on that previous range session that the Wolf was extremely variable in velocity, with weak rounds failing to run the gun and hot ones functioning it fine. I saved ten rounds to take to the range and test over the chrono...

Here are the results:
Wolf Polyformance 115gr FMJ
LO: 1150
HI: 1178
AV: 1159
ES: 28.56
SD: 9.74
That's...well, pretty much the opposite of inconsistent. As a matter of fact, it borders on freakishly consistent for cheap FMJ ammo. I think it's safe to say that the problems are with the Steyr, hopefully they can be solved by an upgraded extractor, because otherwise this thing is just way too annoyingly fussy for me to bother with. If I take a pistol to the range, I want to be able to buy whatever cheap range fodder they have there without worrying whether my gun will run it or not.

At least the ten-round chrono string went off without a malfunction.

This makes 630 rounds fired through the Steyr C9-A1 without cleaning or lubing, with five failures-to-fire (#8, #472, #535, #555, #558), seven failures to extract (#234, #266, #276, #531, #535, #543, #558), and one failure to go completely into battery (#116). 1,370 rounds left to go.

Oh, please, no...

Drifted to sleep on the futon in the living room last night with earbuds in, listening to the dulcet tones of Ballistic Radio. Now I'll have to re-download that episode.

Woke up still fully clothed and...oh, no...with my soft palate all tender and bruised feeling, the usual forerunner of a sore throat. And then my nose started running. Oh, please don't let this be "con crud"; I've had more than enough sick days this year.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I guess it was inevitable.

Instead of a SHOT Show unveiling, Smith & Wesson waited until mid-May and the NRAAM to drop their newest offering, a .45ACP addition to the M&P Shield line of single-stack subcompacts:

Shown here with the flush-fit six-round magazine in the paw of your faithful correspondent, the .45 Shield is practically indistinguishable, size-wise, from the 9mm/.40 version unless the two are side-by-side. Smith has pictures. It's distinctly slender-er than its most obvious rival, the Glock 36. I'd have to see it next to a Kahr P45 to be certain, but I'd say they're roughly comparable in size.

SayUncle hand-models for you here, with the seven-round extendo. Smith claims a weight only a few ounces more than a classic Model 36 Chief's Special J-frame. I have not verified this.

I'm not gonna take it anymore.

If the purpose of advertising is to make you stop and look, this worked.

I was indeed stopped in my tracks, temporarily bereft of the ability to even.

So, I'm supposed to be taking my 1911-buying advice from underemployed Eighties hair metal singers now? Also, if Dee Snyder's so into 1911s, how come we can only get country friggin' music at our annual NRA soirees?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig...

I am back home again in Indiana.

Blogging should resume shortly, after I hydrate. Beer has water in it, right?

Can't I just phone this one in?

Sunday morning and my head is emptier than an Ethiopian pantry.

I've got to get out on the floor here soon and sweep up the corners I missed the first two days. Something like normal blogging should resume tomorrow.

Also, I would have been uploading all kinds of pictures of stuff, but I forgot my laptop power supply at home, so that's going to have to wait 'till I get home, too. If you have the Instagramming, there are photos there.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Second Amendment Cosplay

There have been some amusing displays of exhibitionary open carry this year, but nothing truly noteworthy. I guess for some people, a gun show or convention like this is their only chance to really signal tribal affiliations, so they go all in.

And when you think about it as cosplay, a con's the perfect place for it.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Renaissance or end of the line?

This is a pretty slick little wheelgun. I'd love to run one for a bit.

The cynic in me wants to say, however, that the revolver market share is teetering on the brink of precipitous shrinkage. Five or ten years from now, don't be shocked to find nothing but cowboy guns, large magnum hunting revolvers, a scattering of J-frame-type guns for diehard old guys to carry, and the occasional odd lungfish like the Judge or Governor.

The generation who was introduced to guns from video games and action movies just don't seem to bond with the wheelies, by and large.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rise of the Machines...

"Soft-Off" power buttons, which I seem to recall showed up with Win95, are the bane of my existence. I miss having an easily-accessible thing on the front of my PC's case that would turn off the power to the MoBo. When I tell a machine to turn off, I don't want it giving me any lip; I want it turning off. This is the first step towards SkyNet, mark my words.

EDIT: Think about it: "Soft-Off" power buttons impose a software layer between the button and the power supply. You are not turning off the computer, you are asking the computer if it would like to turn off. This doesn't sit right with me, one little bit.

The Big Bad Wolf

Fifty rounds each of 115gr Wolf Polyformance and Prvi Partizan 124gr FMJ from Lucky Gunner went to the range on Wednesday morning. I had figured that the Wolf would be more or less interchangeable with the TulAmmo that had functioned the gun reliably the other day. I was wrong; the Wolf was a horror show.

There were multiple failures to extract/eject. Similar to the malfs that popped up with the underpowered Blazer Brass, it was hard to tell if the claw just popped off the rim when the case head encountered the case mouth of the next round up in the magazine or what.

Supposedly there's a newer extractor from Steyr? I should call them.

I mentioned about striker-fired guns and hard Russian primers. The Glock 19 had one failure-to-fire out of 400 rounds of TulAmmo and Brown Bear. The Sig Sauer P320 had three over more than five hundred rounds of random East Bloc steel-cased stuff. The Steyr had one in one hundred rounds of TulAmmo... and a whopping three in only forty rounds of Wolf yesterday.

The Wolf's ejection pattern was erratic, with some spent cases being flung over my right shoulder and others barely dribbling over the left side of the ejection port. Rather than just letting the dumpster fire burn, I cut it short at forty rounds, saving the last ten to shoot over the chrono.

I popped open the box of 124gr PPU, and all fifty rounds went off without a hitch. This gun sure is a fussy eater.

This makes 620 rounds fired through the Steyr C9-A1 without cleaning or lubing, with five failures-to-fire (#8, #472, #535, #555, #558), seven failures to extract (#234, #266, #276, #531, #535, #543, #558), and one failure to go completely into battery (#116). 1,380 rounds left to go.


So, my .357SIG conversion barrel for the Glock 35 arrived yesterday.

Now, when I converted the gun over to 9mm, I didn't just drop in the barrel, but I also changed to a 9mm extractor and (because this it a Gen4 gun) a 9mm recoil spring assembly.

While I was up in the attic in the afternoon, I dug out the plastic capsule containing the original .40 barrel, extractor, and RSA. Late last night, while doing laundry after watching Archer, I field-stripped the pistol to change it over to .357SIG...

...only to be reminded that I had also put the trigger mechanism housing with a 9mm ejector in it and the original trigger mechanism housing with the .40 ejector was still up in the attic. (Further complicating things, the Gen4 guns also have a .357SIG-specific ejector, in addition to the 9 and .40...) This would have entailed retrieving the part from the attic, detail-stripping the frame, moving all the trigger guts over to the new housing...

I just couldn't be arsed.

This project can wait 'til Sunday night.

The little scar over my eyebrow has stopped hurting.

Hauling out the suitcase yesterday afternoon to start packing for the weekend, I found myself speaking aloud to my telephone "Hey, Siri, what's the weather forecast for Louisville, Kentucky?"

Sure, I could have walked into the next room and looked it up on the computer, but that was still kinda neat. On my older phones, you could verbally "Okay Google" up a search window, but there still would have been links to click and text to scroll and whatnot. Asking the robot what the weather's going to be and having it tell you while you continue throwing stuff in a suitcase is still pretty Jetsons to me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lares and Penates

A photo posted by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

Malfunction Junction, how's that function?

A photo posted by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

Thanks, Obama!

By any metric you care to use, the Obama years have been salad days for American gun culture. CCW permits exploded, gun sales keep spiking, multiple states have gone to Constitutional Carry, the number of FFLs has increased by 25%...

That's a hell of a legacy.


The Eight Hundred Club

Went shooting at Indy Arms Co. with Bobbi yesterday morning. I brought the Glock 32 and some of Lucky Gunner's .357SIG. I used a fifty round box of Remington 125gr FMJ and a fifty round box of Winchester 125gr FMJ, plus an extra twenty rounds of the Winchester because having my round counts end in "80" was bugging me.

I fired the 70 rounds of Winchester at the chest area of the B21 target. Round number 54 of the day (#734 of the test) was a failure-to-feed malfunction that was cleared by a sharp rap on the magazine floorplate. On round number 68 of the day (#748 of the test) the slide did not go all the way back into battery.

I have ordered 11-coil magazine springs and a 20# IMSI flat wire recoil spring from Lone Wolf just to do some tinkering around.

 The first magazine of the Remington was fired at the head zone of the target from a distance of fifteen yards. The red "sight picture" indicates my aim point at that range. I think the sights on this 32 might be off.

I then brought the target back in to seven yards and finished off the box of Remington. There were no further malfunctions.

That makes 800 total rounds fired since the firearm was last cleaned or lubricated, with four failures to go completely into battery (#63, #78, #126, #748) and four failures to feed (#221, #224, #282, #734). 1,200 rounds left to go.