Monday, August 29, 2016

I can see my house from up here!

So I was looking for something local on Google street view, and was just amazed at the detail you can see...
I mean, check out that 2008-model Trek 7100 in the nickel/mocha color scheme with the quick-detach Bontrager baskets fore and aft, there.

Grinding on...

Another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's Remington UMC 180gr FMJ got sent downrange at Indy Arms Co yesterday.
Apparently the flash and noise from the stuff is pretty noticeable on the range's CCTV cameras.

There was a failure to feed on round number sixty-seven of the day (#1,297 of the test) that was identical to the one photographed in the previous post. The slide went into battery when I slapped the mag floorplate. By this time, my hands were sweaty, my glasses were fogged, and I was focused on the sights and trigger, trying to keep rounds in the upper A at ten, and so my grip might not have been all it could be. I dunno.

Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful range session. I fired off a hundred rounds through the gun and got off the range pretty quickly; when a range's filtration system is pulling that much outdoor air through, even herculean efforts by the HVAC have a hard time staying very far ahead of 90+°F/90+% humidity weather. Shooting outdoors yesterday afternoon would have been truly miserable.

This makes 1330 rounds since the Glock 20 was cleaned or lubricated, with four failures to feed (#401, #454, #1,213, #1,297) and three failures to fire (#598, #1,016, #1,029). 670 rounds to go.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Where has the time gone?

Apparently my blog turned eleven today while I was out screwing around at the gun show.

Eleven years ago, Louisiana had been freshly wracked by disaster, I was working in the gun biz, had no dough, and spent a bunch of my weekends browsing the aisles at fun shows to help maintain my dough-less status.

Not a lot has changed, as you can see.

It's weird to think that first-graders who had my first blog posts read to them are now perusing college catalogs.

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 eyefull
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.
I'm broker'n dammit, so I'll probably just be putting nose prints on display cases. I've got to save my dough for hotels & airfare over the next couple months.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Guys! Guys! You'll never guess what it's doing out there!

That's right, the weatherman has broken into regular programming again today to tell me about lightning and winds and flash floods.

Yet again it is piss-pouring down rain in the back yard and the thunder is making the windows rattle in their panes.

Good thing I changed my mind and skipped the bowling pin match at the club this morning. The storm's track is southwest-to-northeast, exactly the direction of travel I'd have been taking home from the match.

Friday, August 26, 2016


 photo WEB_LOC_RAD_zps10zutgrp.gif

Another hellacious thunderstorm just tracked right over Indianapolis. Lost power for about five minutes, there.

Rain is coming down outside in biblical quantities and it hasn't stopped thundering for near thirty minutes. Supposedly there's plenty more where this came from, too...


Power's out from Keystone Avenue east and from 54th Street north. Which means that Indy Arms Co. was out as a shooting destination this morning.

Back to the house I went. Thankfully, Roseholme Cottage still has juice. Two and a half hours after the storm had rumbled through, there were still the sounds of sirens everywhere. TV was saying that there were ~60mph straight-line winds and we've got a lot of old trees on the north side of the city, rooted in soil that's been soaked by a very rainy August...


Thursday morning I headed over to Indy Arms Company and sent another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's 10mm 180gr Remington UMC FMJ ammo downrange through the test Glock 20. Wednesday evening the UPS man brought the two extra G20 mags I'd ordered from Brownells, so I reckon I'll be keeping this one for a while.

On round #83 of the day (#1,213 of the test) I experienced the first failure-to-feed with the gun that I'm not 95% comfortable attributing to a poor grip and hot ammo. I don't know if you can see in the picture there, but the rim just barely hung on the extractor claw. As a matter of fact, when I shifted the gun slightly to take a second picture, the jostling of the magazine floorplate against the shooting bench was enough that the slide shot into battery of its own accord.

I fired the first fifty rounds at the upper A-zone at fifteen yards. Then I ran the target back in to the five yard line and fired at the lower A-zone in three-to-five-round strings at a pace that I would never use if I weren't the only one on the range.

This makes 1230 rounds since the Glock 20 was cleaned or lubricated, with three failures to feed (#401, #454, #1,213) and three failures to fire (#598, #1,016, #1,029). 770 rounds to go.

Thanks, Mother Nature.

Well, I had planned to go out to Marion County Fish & Game to do some chrono work this morning, but we just had a hellacious thunderstorm track right across Indianapolis in the middle of morning rush hour.

We had a limb down across Bobbi's ham antenna, there are branches down all up and down the block, trees down all over Broad Ripple, and flooding in all the low spots from getting an inch and a half or more of rain in about fifteen minutes. (As flat as it is around here, flooding can be a problem because there's no real incentive for the water to go anyplace other than right where it landed.)

TV's saying six thousand...scratch thousand without power and more reports coming in all the time.

I think I'll shoot indoors today. Monday morning looks like a good window in the monsoons for chrono work. What I really need is one of these.

The Most Hipster Thing I've Ever Done

Shortly after becoming obsessed with the goofy Hasselblad/Sony I hadn't even known existed until moments before, I managed to arrange a business deal to get the (barely) used one from KEH winging this way.

What clinched the deal for me was the fact that there exist lens adapters to allow you to fit nearly any old film camera lens under the sun to the Sony E-mount, which is what the Hasselblad Lunar uses. Even before the camera arrived, I'd picked up some cheap Fotodiox adapters from Amazon for Canon FD lenses, Nikon F-mount, and (of course) Leica M39 screw-mount lenses because...

How could I not? Of course, handling the camera with the classic collapsible Elmar 5cm f/3.5 makes me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I'm not 100% sure that the barrel of the collapsed lens would be small enough to intrude into the sensor box and crash into the surface of the CCD with fatal (for the camera) results, but that's not the sort of thing you want to find out by trial and error.

It took some digging around in the user manual to figure out how to use the camera with the antique lenses mounted. A modern camera likes to talk to its lenses and expects them to talk back to it about things like focus and aperture.

The setting I was looking for was nested in a submenu under "Release w/o lens? (Y/N)", to allow the camera to work when attached to telescopes...or 60+ year-old lenses, I guess.

I trotted out into the front yard in my pyjamas this morning to snap some test photos of the hostas.

The 24MP Hasselblad may be 2012 technology, but considering that the newest cameras I make use of are the 10MP D200 from late '05 and the 2010-vintage 10MP Nikon Coolpix P7000, the Sony NEX-7 sensor in the Lunar feels like it has all the megapixels by comparison.

One thing that was interesting to me is that I'm used to shooting in aperture-priority mode with film cameras, where you set the aperture being very conscious of the lighting conditions and the film you have loaded; this is, in fact, the only setting there is on the little Nikon EM. I've never used it in a digital camera. With the Lunar, even using "dumb" lenses in aperture-priority, the camera still can automatically adjust the ISO to compensate.

This has the potential to be a ton of fun!


Internet drama from a small AR assembly house.

The barrier for entry into the AR assembly market is so low that it makes getting into the 1911 biz with a variance [letter from the ATF] and a rollmark at Caspian look like starting a private space program.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Frontlines: Requiem

Just finished reading the Frontlines: Requiem graphic novel. (I ordered the comics individually, and then this guy I know hooked a sister up with the softcover omnibus edition.)

Like I told Marko when I first heard about the project: "Dude. Somebody is drawing pictures of your imagination. That's pretty frickin' cool."

Pros: Get to see pictures of the stuff from the stories. Lankies on Mars! Space kablooie! More looks at what was going on on Earth while the protagonist of the novels was off gallivanting about space. Spaceships!

Cons: Great. Now I'm waiting to see this storyline continue, too.

10mm from Big Green.

Lucky Gunner sent a 500rd case of Remington UMC 10mm 180gr FMJ. For some reason I had mentally filed the Remington 10mm range load in my mind as basically being .40 S&W power levels in a longer case.

The sturm und drang that accompanied each shot was definitely not .40 S&W-level. There was the typical Remington fireball one associates with their hotter handgun loads, and it flung the ejected brass with vigor. I checked their website and it claims 1150fps at the muzzle. I'll need to chrono it as soon as I get some good weather, probably tomorrow morning, but I'll be kinda surprised if it doesn't come darn close to the claimed velocity.

The gun went through the complete cycle of operation on all one hundred rounds, with no malfunctions to report.

This makes 1130 rounds since the Glock 20 was cleaned or lubricated, with two failures to feed (#401, #454) and three failures to fire (#598, #1,016, #1,029). 870 rounds to go.

Automotif CXXXI...

Here's a sharp-looking 197...2? We'll call it a '72...GMC Jimmy reposing by the curb in sunny summertime SoBro, out front of Fat Dan's Chicago-Style Deli.

So, in the early '60s International Harvester made the short-wheelbase Scout to compete with the Jeep CJ. And then Ford said, "Huh. We could do that, too," and thus was born the Bronco. And by the end of the decade, General Motors had jumped into the game with the Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy. Last to the party was Chrysler, with the Dodge Ramcharger hitting in the mid '70s.

And then by the mid '90s, the whole truck-based 2-door SUV niche pretty much vanished.

You want a career field with a future?

Learn how to fix robots. That should be good for some job security until the robot-fixing robots get perfected.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Over the Hump

Took the Glock 20 and another hundred rounds of Lucky Gunner's S&B 180gr FMJ 10mm ammo to the range yesterday morning.

I fired a box at the upper A-zone at seven yards and then ran the target out to fifteen yards and fired off the other box at the lower A-zone. It's hard to shoot groups on what is effectively a blank sheet of paper forty-five feet away.

Stupid factory sights continue to trick me into shooting high at any kind of speed even though I know what the problem is.

There were two failures to ignite primers, on rounds #86 and #99 of the day (#1,016  and #1,029 of the test.) This brings the total number of light strikes to three, all on S&B rounds. Hard Czech primers and striker-fired gats go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise.

This makes 1030 rounds since the Glock 20 was cleaned or lubricated, with two failures to feed (#401, #454) and three failures to fire (#598, #1,016, #1,029). 970 rounds to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Breaking News...

As every morning, waking up this morning at Roseholme Cottage was accompanied by the TV turning itself on to the local news. The very first story was a BREAKING NEWS story about a police action shooting here in the city. The reporter said something about officers responding to a burglary and shooting the armed suspect in the stomach.

Thus, my first conscious words today were "*$&%ing B27 targets." The X-ring on those classic silhouettes is too low and someone who shoots those things all the time is going to gut-shoot people out of habit. (And to steal a line from Tom Givens: "Can a shot down there be fatal? Sure, but probably not in your lifetime.")

There were other stories, and commercial breaks, and about thirty minutes later came an update to the shot burglar story: The newscaster now said that it was apparent that the police had shot the homewowner and more details would be forthcoming.

I said to Bobbi: "Dude thinks there's a robber with a gun outside his house, calls the cops, goes outside with a gun his ownself. Then cops show up, the light on the homeowner's 'I'm A Good Guy' IFF beacon is burnt out, the cops yell 'Drop the gun, Buddy!', he thinks 'Surely they don't mean me!', turns toward them, and gets hisself popped."

Looking at the TV station's freshly-updated webpage, it looks like that's more or less what happened:
Police arrived on scene after a report of an attempted robbery or carjacking. A woman was being carjacked and ran inside her home to tell her husband. He came outside the home with a gun to chase the suspect.

Police encountered the husband and shot him, instead of the suspect.

The homeowner was taken to Eskenazi Health.

The suspect remains at large.
  1. Once the cops have been called, you don't need to be running around outside with a gun in your hand. The chances for a blue-on-blue shooting skyrocket in incidences like that. Plainclothes officers get shot all the damn time in similar circumstances. It's easy to tell who the responding officers are because they show up in a car with blinking lights and they're all dressed the same. You want to not be on the playing field wearing the other team's uniform when they show up.

  2. If you are on the playing field when they show up and you hear "Drop the gun!" then you need to drop the gun. Seriously. Like it just turned white-hot. (This is a good reason to carry drop-safe pistols, BTW. I realize that carrying that 1904 Ruritanian army surplus Schnellblitzenselbstlader in 8.3mm semi-rimmed is really cool, but aren't you going to feel funny getting shot twice when you drop it: Once in the junk by your own gun when it hits the ground ass-end first, and again in the gut by the responding officer because he's startled by the gunshot?)