Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween-Based Election Forecast:

The Final Frontier...

First the Orbital Sciences Antares explosion, and now Spaceship Two makes like a Texas lawn dart.

For the second time in a decade, I feel like I'm living in Kings of the High Frontier.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fingers still crossed...

Back in green
On the scene
Parked by the trail
No steam to be seen
Still keeping an eye on things, but feeling ever more hopeful. It's not even like I necessarily need the thing to be roadtrip worthy. If it can get around town in foul weather ("Winter Is Coming!™")and schlep the occasional load from Home Despot, I've got the Zed Drei for fair weather driving and long trips.

Range Notes...

At the range yesterday...
  • Note to self: You've got to charge that timer up or you might as well not bring it...
  • ...which was okay yesterday because you could have timed those reloads with a sundial, anyway.
  • Granted, it was all of fifty degrees out and the $secret_test_pistol was a compact piece with a three and a half inch barrel, but the Federal RTP9115 was averaging only 1065fps. I need to chrono some standard-pressure defensive ammo through it when it's actually cold out. I'd be skeptical of a lightweight nine bullet that was subsonic in cold weather.
  • The Glock ate fifty rounds of nasty TulAmmo 115gr, bringing the total to 1650. Bath time soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WWII poster...

From the museum at the Indiana World War Memorial...

You Can Crack That Tank!
  1. Button Him Up: Tank crews have limited vision even with the ports open. Accurate rifle fire will force them to close up.
  2. Then Blind Him: Continued fire directed at the periscope and slits prevents the crew from shooting back at you accurately.
  3. Duck! Don't Run: Above the ground where you are visible you make an easy target. Hide in your foxhole until the tank passes.
  4. THEN: Let him have it with a well-placed Molotov cocktail splashing burning gasoline over his ventilator or any other vulnerable spot.

Fingers crossed...

Drove the Subie yesterday morning, first around the neighborhood, and then to the grocery store. Nothing out of the ordinary in the temperature department. I even made one moderately spirited departure from a traffic light on Keystone Ave. on the way home.

I'll be going out there in a minute to check all the fluids and drive it around a bit more today and see what happens. I'll run the Subie on more errands and through a car wash to hose the mung of a summer sitting parked ion the great outdoors off its exterior.

I've got to get out to the range, but I'll probably use the Z3 for that. There's a difference between driving around Broad Ripple and driving clear across town through sketchy neighborhoods on a 49°F day with a load of guns and ammo in a car listed as "day-to-day" with no separate lockable trunk...

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?

Yes, that is a .22-caliber bullet hole where some numbnuts shot the table immediately to the left of where it reads "Please Take Care Of Tables". This is why we can't have nice things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can't win if you don't enter...

Brownells is having a sweepstakes and entries close tonight. Prize is a Glock 42, plus a Hornady pistol safe, ammo, holster and a flashlight.

Cautiously optimistic...

So, the Subaru story when we left it:

On the way home from the Peru Hamfest, Bobbi drove most of the way, and after one long highway stretch noticed she'd been running the car in third for the whole stretch. (Understandable, since her Hyundai has no tach and announces that it's time to shift by making the sounds of thrashing mechanical carnage, whereas the Subie is humming happily at 4500 rpm.) When we got back to Broad Ripple, I noticed the temp gauge was in the red, but the car wasn't acting like it was overheated and it is a high-mileage car that has some known electrical quirks, including occasionally dancing gauge needles...

The car sat for about a week, other than a trip to Fresh Market, which isn't even enough to nudge the temp gauge.

The next weekend I drove it to get gas and run some errands, and it wasn't even halfway to the gas station before the temp gauge was in the red and I was nursing it to a halt to the glycol smell of a violently overheated engine.

Going off the surging temp needle and some searching around on Subaru forums for symptoms of that known Achilles' heel of the Subie's boxer four, the head gasket, I came to the tentative conclusion that mine had finally succumbed.

With this as an impetus to get the Z3 fixed, I left the Forester parked for the summer, its dying battery finally going flat, and a promise to myself and my roommate to look into it before winter rolled around again.

The other day, I thought to myself "But what would it have looked like if it had merely boiled out most of its coolant on that long freeway drive, and then you drove it to the gas station with hardly any coolant in it at all?" So I bought a fresh battery and last night we put it in the car, started it up, let it idle for a while until operating temperature was reached, and then drove it once around the block, cautiously blipping the throttle with no further movement from the needle.

Today I'll drive it around the neighborhood some. We'll see. It'd be nice if this didn't require a new motor.

Bottleneck Bullet Battle With A Paddle In A Bottle

From the original 7.65x25mm Borchardt did spring many cartridges...

Among these cartridges were 7.65x21 Parabellum, the original Luger chambering, and 7.63x25mm Mauser, which was the chambering of the C96 Mauser "Broomhandle". Many Broomhandles were sold to the Czar's officers. Many more were sold to Bolshevik rebels after the war, what with the Versailles treaty being kind of snippy about the Jerries making 9mm pistols. The 7.63 Mauser round was so popular with the Bolshies that when they designed their first native pistol, the TT-30 Tokarev, they basically ripped off the original Mauser cartridge wholesale.

And so here are a pair of pistols: A Czechoslovakian Cold Warrior CZ-52 in 7.62x25mm Tokarev and a Weimar-era 1920 DWM Commercial Luger in 7.65x21mm Parabellum. Both are firing modern commercial ammo. The weather was 73°, 39% humidity, as best I can tell from the internets. Call it about 740 ft above sea level.

Fiocchi .30 Luger 93gr SJSP
  • LO: 1102
  • HI: 1145
  • AV: 1125
  • ES: 42.57
  • SD: 13.89
Mild-shooting (as the numbers should show) and extremely consistent velocities. The Luger has not malfunctioned with it yet, although fifty rounds is a tiny sample.

Sellier & Bellot 85gr FMJ
  • LO: 1497
  • HI: 1573
  • AV: 1533
  • ES: 76.07
  • SD: 25.61
Noisy, with muzzle flash noticeable in daylight, the S&B lived up to the Tok mystique.

Somewhere around here I still have a blister pack of MagSafe 52gr 7.62 Tok. I should burn it up in the name of science. It's not like I'd use it for anything else...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #116...

CZ-52: Roller-locking fireballing brass-launching loudenboomer.


Campaign Ads...

Gun-Fearing Weenie Terry Curry (who nonetheless did the right thing in a high-profile DGU case) campaigned for Marion County Prosecutor in 2010 on a platform that basically consisted of "I Will Prosecute David Bisard."

It is probably unsurprising, then, that his reelection commercial basically consists of him striding through the streets of downtown Indy holding ex-Officer Bisard's scalp.

Hey, it's a campaign promise made good; may as well tout it.


In a tense scene in the movie Fury, the characters reminisce on the charnel house of the Falaise Pocket. For those unfamiliar with that bit of WWII history, after the breakout from the bocage country, Operation Cobra, U.S. forces swung in a northerly hook to meet UK/Commonwealth forces driving southeast from Caen. Vast numbers of German troops and their equipment were pinched off in the ensuing pocket and the orbiting "cab ranks" of Typhoon and Thunderbolt fighter-bombers had a field day, strafing and rocketing and bombing at will, the Luftwaffe having been largely swept from the skies*.

In the space of a couple weeks, the German war machine in the west was short nearly a half million men: dead, wounded, or prisoners. Burning vehicles littered the landscape for miles in all directions. General Eisenhower wrote:
"The battlefield at Falaise was unquestionably one of the greatest "killing fields" of any of the war areas. Forty-eight hours after the closing of the gap I was conducted through it on foot, to encounter scenes that could be described only by Dante. It was literally possible to walk for hundreds of yards at a time, stepping on nothing but dead and decaying flesh."
The countless tons of putrefying, flyblown flesh turned the area into a hazmat site for months, since continuing the drive to the Rhine superseded any effort to clean up the mess.

Can you imagine Gen. "Pete" Quesada, whose IX Fighter Command carpeted northern France with dead Germans, putting out a press release to acknowledge the destruction of a guard shack? That is the inherent problem with the administration trying to convince the world that we're serious about ISIS. The world (ISIS included) knows what we look like when we're serious, and this ain't it.

*'44/'45 German joke: "How can you tell if a plane is American, British, or German? If it's silver, it's American; if it's camouflaged, it's British; if it's not there, it's the Luftwaffe."

Sunday, October 26, 2014


SVT-40 field-stripped.
Comrade Tokarev's design, while not unduly difficult to field-strip, had a fairly high "Sproing Factor" for arm used by Glorious Patriotic Red Army. Nothing on it required as much having to hold your mouth just right as getting the bolt back into a Garand, but it was no SKS.

Overheard on 56th Street...

Chamber of Commerce weather today in Broad Ripple. Driving home from the grocery store with the top down...
NPR Announcer: "...and for everybody who lived through the financial crisis..."

Me: (yelling at car radio) "By which you mean all your listeners over age six!"
(Not that I think the "financial crisis" is at all over. To riff off Churchill, we've seen the end of the beginning, but we're nowhere near the beginning of the end yet. There's just been a fevered bout of kicking the can further down the road.)

I have to say it was a good day...

Woke up early on Saturday. Shootin' Buddy swung by and we headed to breakfast at Taste. For some reason, recovering from the Two Day Ebola (I was on a plane recently, so it must have been Ebola, right?) left me absolutely uninterested in anything umame. I eschewed the bacon and the omelets and all the other savory breakfast items and instead satisfied the mad fruit craving that probably indicated a severe vitamin shortage of some sort or another.
 Mmmmm... Fresh fruit and powdered sugar and warm maple syrup and a delicious waffle. Shootin' Buddy is having the "CBBG", which is, I believe, cheesy biscuits and sausage gravy with some over-easy eggs and more shredded cheese.

Before loading the first magazine.
And then on to the range! It was the maiden voyage for the Luger, for me at least. I realized that while I've gotten trigger time on a fair number 9mm P.08s, this was the first time I'd ever fired a Luger in the original 7,65x21mm Parabellum chambering. It was an amazingly pleasant gun to fire; like all the bottle-necked Borchardt cartridge derivatives, there's very little muzzle flip to go with the sturm und drang generated by the high velocity pill.

I have to admit to yelling "Halten sie!" a few times while firing the Luger. It just kind of popped out. Shootin' Buddy and one of the RO's at ECPR each took a turn. The RO handed me his cell phone so I could shoot video of him firing the Luger. ("Did you get the toggle locking back? Oh yeah!") That was almost as fun as shooting the Luger itself.

Size comparison with the ubiquitous Glock 19.
While we were at the range, Shootin' Buddy had a gun delivered.
After 100 rounds of 9mm through the Glock and a test gun, as well as a half dozen or so magazines of "ballistic dry-fire" through the 22/45, we headed for the movie theater to watch Nazis get shot in the face with a wide variety of fine John Moses Browning designs, plus Grease Guns, in Fury. It is apparent that Belton Cooper's work is now the accepted pop history narrative. Ah, well. It was still a very good war movie that was a lot more emotionally involving than I expected.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sale! Sale! Sale!

Huge sale on AR-15 stuff at Brownells. (I'm needing a stripped lower for a project, actually, and they've got Bushhamster ones for a mere $49.)

Today In History: Print the Legend.

As Marko (whose b-day is today) just reminded me via the Book of Face, today is the feast day of St. Crispin...

Sixty-nine years ago today, the surviving battleships of Pearl Harbor, re-floated, repaired, and refitted, crossed Nishimura's T and blew his Southern Force to scrap metal with radar-directed 16" fire at >22,000 yards at 0dark30 in the morning.

Victories rarely come more poetic. .

*waves hands in annoyance*

I'm about to blaspheme...

...and here are some pictures related to my upcoming blasphemy:

MAS-49/56, photo by Oleg Volk

Egyptian FN-49, photo by Oleg Volk
Both are gas-operated, magazine-fed, battle rifles with receiver-mounted peep sights...