Thursday, December 14, 2017

Parenting & Guns...

I am not responsible enough to have children. I'm not even responsible enough to have a dog or an aquarium. A cat or a ball python is about the level of involvement with another living creature with which I can be safely entrusted, and they don't take much involvement at all.

When a reader sent an email asking for some pointers to blogs with material covering the safe storage of guns around kids, I immediately referred them to Kathy Jackson and Melody Lauer, who are go-to sources on armed parenting.

I can't think of any dudes who have written on it more than tangentially, so if you know of any good armed parenting blogs written from the dad's point of view rather than the mom's, shoot me an email.
.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Problem Solved?

I had a suspicion from something I read in this article by David Merrill that the off-center light strike problem in the G39 was caused by the recoil spring not being able to overcome the striker spring if the slide closed while the trigger was still to the rear. This issue in the Glock 32 and 20 was solved with heavier recoil springs able to close the slide with more force, but that solution is more difficult with the subcompacts.

So I tried coming at it from the other end by installing a lightened striker spring.

For the first time since I got it, the gun ran through a box of fifty rounds without a hitch, even when I pinned the trigger in an attempt to provoke the out-of-battery off-center light strike problem.

I'm cautiously optimistic and plan on running another couple boxes through to check.
.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A pox on Ian Fleming and Eon Productions.

Relics

The American mall continues its death spiral.

Specialty retail still has a niche, I think, but the department store is going the way of the dinosaur, it looks like, with the big box Martmarts and Amazon fighting over the carcass. Without department stores, you don't get the foot traffic that keeps the little specialty retailers and food court shops open.

What goes in those spaces?

We already had our nearest mall die. Glendale Town Center went through the entire cycle of opening as an open-air shopping center, being converted to an enclosed mall, and having the mall demolished and being converted back into an open air shopping center. The super Target and the Lowe's are thriving there, but I don't know how much longer that particular Macy's is for this world.

Muzzle Blasts

Last Tuesday's project was to expose the Surefire XC1-B to some muzzle blast and recoil. I put some clear tape over the lens, but it was blown off with the first shot even though I'd taken pains to make the side toward the muzzle as flush-fitting as possible.

Fortunately, the position of the lens doesn't appear to accumulate much cack. I'll fall back to the old trick of a smear of Vaseline or similar for long range sessions, and then wipe it off afterward.

While I was there, the Smith 745 got a box of Armscor 230gr FMJ through it, just for fun. I heart this gun rather a lot, even if I did have to tighten the grip screws when I got home. Fortunately, I keep one of these on my desk. (I can't believe those are bringing thirty bucks now. Of course, if we hadn't pitched so many of them back in the day, they wouldn't be, so...)

Shooting the 32 fast is rather harder than shooting the 19 at speed. I feel like I'm wrestling the gun more. To get a scattering of holes like that with the 9mm Gen4 19 I carry, I'd be shooting at a wheels-coming-off pace, whereas this was probably mostly done at a .4-.6 clip? Anyway, the flashlight still works, the Apex trigger is still too fat for my tastes, and I still like the Trijicon HD XR sights. (Enough so that I want to get a set for my carry gun.)

Also, this recoil spring is starting to close the slide a little sluggishly, especially when having to fight the striker. The 20# CrSi IMSI recoil spring has 2,070 rounds on it. I may replace it to see what effect that has.
.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The last warm day...

Monday last week was sixty degrees and sunny, most likely the last day of its type until late March unless we get some truly unseasonable weather. I drove up north and got in one last fair-weather outdoor range trip with Mike Grasso out at Atlanta Conservation Club.

I finally got to run some ammo through that Grayguns-built HK P7M8 longslide. It shoots exactly like you'd think it would: Like magic.

I had some leftover 9mm ammo with my, ten rounds of Estate 115gr FMJ and eight Speer 124gr +P GDHP. Mike was burning up some surplus Winchester Ranger and so I fired eleven rounds of that, which meant a total of 29 more rounds through the CZ.

I also function tested the Smith & Wesson 745 to the tune of 40 rounds of 230gr Winchester White Box FMJ. It ran fine, too.

I'm pretty pleased with the way that CZ 75 is running.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

This makes 1159 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions of any type. 841 rounds to go.
.

Actual Improvement.

When Surefire first started shipping their original XC1, I was completely uninterested. At 200 lumens, it was almost twice as bright as its closest competition in the low-profile CCW weaponlight category, Crimson Trace's LightGuard, but the switchology on the thing was a complete soup sandwich.

The rocker switch on the back of the light was momentary only; for constant-on, you needed to manipulate a little nubbin of a crossbolt-style switch on the light body.

Well, Surefire has fixed that with the new XC1-B, thankfully.

For starters, it's now putting out 300 lumens from a single AAA cell. That's as much as the TLR-1s I used in the Pistol Shoothouse class back in '15, albeit in a much tinier package.

The switchgear is upgraded as well. The rocker on the back can be tapped for on/off or push and hold to use it as a momentary. The crossbolt is still there to serve as a positive on-off.

These two upgrades transform the light from one that seemed kind of pointless into one that is a lot more viable. It's small enough that it adds no meaningful bulk to make concealed carry more challenging, the switchology is 30% less dumb, and it's bright enough to be reasonably useful. It's on the .357SIG compact to see how it responds to muzzle blast. I'll report back after I've got more than the one box of Speer GDHP warshots through the thing.

I would personally probably rather accept the challenges of carrying a regular WML, were I to decide to CCW a light-bearing gun again, but I wouldn't give someone side-eye for using this one, the way I would have the original.
.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Intent...

Huck is debating whether he wants to fight the proffered pencil or not. Spoiler alert: Yes.

Shot with the Olympus Pen E-P1 and the excellent little Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens, which I heart rather a lot. It's a stupid good portrait lens for the price.
.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Blah.

This is the Monday-est Friday I've ever experienced. Getting out of bed was a mistake.

Incidentally, a friend went to purchase one of those Empire Strikes Back coats six minutes after they went on sale, and they were all sold out. My friend did report that you can find them on eBay now for 200%+ of the original selling price.

There's a pimp-slap from the Invisible Hand in there someplace.
.
.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Fair Market Value ≠ The Most You, Personally, Will Pay

I've seen whining around the 'nets about the price tags of things like Columbia's Empire Strikes Back repro coats and the forthcoming CMP M1911A1 surplus pistols. People are in full "REEEEEEEEEE!" mode, demanding that these prices should be set at a "fair market value".

I will point out that both these things will sell out with a quickness. (The Star Wars coats likely within hours*.)

I will further point out that there is a limit to the number of units an individual customer may purchase, in order to keep them from selling out too quickly. This is, if anything, an indication that an item is priced below fair market value, since otherwise someone would buy the lot and sell them at the actual market value on eBay or Gunbroker.

The irony is that this is the same half of the political spectrum who can expound at length on market theory and price signalling whenever the topic is minimum wage or anti-gouging laws. Let the topic of discussion be a tchotchke they desire, however, instead of a generator or an hour of a teenager's time, suddenly we're all about some reasonable restrictions on capitalism.
.
*EDIT: The Star Wars coats sold out in minutes, and were promptly selling on eBay for better than double MSRP.

"I'll stay here in the van while Jim poses that tame puma."

Apparently some of the wildlife you see in photos isn't all that wild...
" Audubon has sent me to lots of wild places over the past 31 years, but I’d seen only one wolf and three cougars (a litter) until December 8, 2009. On that day, before noon in the Glacier National Park ecosystem of northwestern Montana, I encountered not just one wolf but two and not just one cougar but two! What were the chances of that?

Well, they were 100 percent, because I’d rented the animals for a photo shoot.
"
I'll admit, that'd still be a super-fun photo session. 
.

Overheard in Front of the Television...

RX: "I don't like that dress she's wearing."

Me: "I dunno, I think it's pretty cool if you have the figure for it, and she does."

RX: "It's unprofessional. She's supposed to be a journalist!"

Me: "Now she's a morning talk show hostess. This is the new warm-'n'-cuddly Megyn Kelly."

RX: "Isn't cuddling why she left Fox News?"