Saturday, April 29, 2017

Memory Lane

After walking the floor on Day One, Shootin' Buddy and I took an Uber over to my old stomping grounds...

Dinner at the Virginia Highland Taco Mac. Last time I ate here, the craft beer movement had hardly started. All the cool beer was imported back then.

Then we walked over and looked at my old apartment before catching another Uber back to the hotel. This was home from '95-'99...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

All The Bees...

Had both the "subcaliber" P250s at the range yesterday, .380ACP and .22LR, just to compare them side by side. The P250 shot up the last eighty rounds of Cap Arms .380 100gr FP FMJ, and I put fifty rounds of Remington Golden Bullets through the .22LR gun.

The .380 was shooting pretty quickly by my slow standards; most shots fired at a .5-.75 clip. The .22 was fired literally as fast as I could work the DAO trigger. It hardly moves under recoil, of course, so it's just a matter of waiting for the sights to align again. I was trying really hard to keep the trigger in motion the whole time.

The deuce-deuce P250 experienced a single failure to feed on round #36. It's now fired 110 rounds.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Automotif CXXXV...

Seen while out and about: A 1967 Pontiac GTO parked in front of The Pawn Shop Pub on 54th Street.

You can tell it's a '67 and not a '66 from this angle largely by the "GTO" badges on the fenders moved down onto the chrome strip along the rocker panel. If you look at them closely, they say "6.5 Litre". The hood scoop is a purely cosmetic, non-functional thing, but the hood-mounted tachometer is for realz.

You don't need to be a weatherman...

The BATFEIEIO still doesn't have an appointed Director, with the Deputy Director filling in until one is appointed.

President Trump is speaking at the NRA's Annual Meeting in Atlanta later this week.

The BATFEIEIO has just released an opinion letter clarifying...and by "clarifying", I mean "reversing"...its opinion letter of 2015 that made shouldering a pistol with an SB Stabilizing Brace an act that effectively "manufactured" an SBR.

The extent to which these three factoids are related is an exercise left up to the reader.

Rimfire Fun...

So the P250 .22LR arrived Friday from CDNN. (Actually, it arrived Thursday, but I waited until Friday to pick it and the Sooper Seekrit Springfield Armory review gun up on the same 4473.)

Unlike the .380 variant of the P250, the .22LR one is a straight blowback. It uses what appears to be an aluminum slide with some attractive scalloped lightening cuts at 10 and 2 o'clock running from just ahead of the ejection port to the muzzle. It has conventional three-dot sights, with the rear being adjustable and fitting in a traditional dovetail rather than the weird proprietary P250 mounting.

The Fire Control Unit is, as I noted, a standard P250 FCU and compatible with centerfire Caliber X-Change kits. It has the latest iteration of forward-swept slide stops, although they don't really matter in the rimfire variant since the 10-round magazines (of which two are provided) do not actuate the slide stop when empty.

I took the gun to Indy Arms Co. on Sunday to run a few rounds through it. I was not disappointed with the gun's trial run at all...

The gun ran fine, sixty rounds with no malfunctions other than one round of Federal bulk pack .22LR needing a second trigger pull to ignite. The Ruger Mk IV, incidentally, is now at 1,200 rounds with a lone FTE way back in the first couple hundred.

Monday, April 24, 2017

I can't say much, but... can see me in the background in a few shots in this video. Springfield Armory will be unveiling a new handgun at NRAAM. I don't think that I'll get in trouble for saying that I legit thought it was cool.

Overheard at the range:
"Hey, Tam, did you shoot the dueling tree with Rob Leatham?"


"Why not?"

"Dude, I've seen how this movie ends. Why do I need to sit through the whole thing?"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Can't gather any moss...

I have commented before that I've finally reached that age where People Magazine has somehow turned into Who Are These People? Magazine. So it was a moment of relief in the checkout line the other day to realize "Hey! I recognize the dude on the cover of People!"...

...followed by the immediate bringdown of realizing the only reason I recognize the dude on the cover of People is because he's been dead ten frickin' years now.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Today in History: Pax No More

So, people tend to confuse the Pax Romana with the period of history during which the Roman Empire existed, but that's not really how it worked.

The late days of the Republic and the period of civil wars that ended with Octavian as Augustus were anything but peaceful. The salad days stretched across most of the first two centuries AD, when transfers of power were mostly peaceful and when they weren't, they were at least brief and disrupted the life of the ordinary people of the empire very little. What wars there were happened out on the frontiers and Rome was generally victorious. The rule of law more or less functioned properly, and the aqueducts ran on time.

Omens of future problems came with the reign of emperor Joaquin Phoenix who (after going crazy and arranging for the murders of a bunch of senators) was not actually stabbed in the Coliseum by Russel Crowe, but rather was strangled in the tub by his wrestling coach and personal trainer.

There was a brief period of semi-stability under the increasingly silly and neurotic Severan Dynasty before the wheels came off in the Year of the Six Emperors, which kicked off the Crisis of the Third Century, a period when two centuries' worth of chickens came home to roost in Rome.

The crisis began when Maximinus Thrax, a "Barracks Emperor" who completely lived up to his anime villain name, got folks fed up. Some younger, well-to-do Romans in North Africa stabbed the local tax collector to death and talked the provincial governor into declaring himself emperor. Since the dude was an octogenarian, he nominated his son as his co-augustus.

Unfortunately the governor of the next province over not only remained loyal, but was a better general. The rebel army got crushed in the field at Carthage, killing the son (Gordian II), and on hearing the news, the dad pulled an Aaron Hernandez to avoid capture and execution.

On this date in 238AD, the senate then appointed a couple of elderly senators, Pupienus and Balbinus, with good military histories and prominent committee memberships (most importantly, both were ranking members of the What the Hell Do We Do About Emperor Maximinus Thrax Committee) as co-emperors.

This proved about as popular with the general populace of Rome as would the Senate suddenly appointing John McCain and Lindsey Graham as co-presidents to unseat Trump. The PR problem became apparent when the new co-emperors couldn't appear in public without people throwing stuff at them, and so the senate named the Justin Bieber-looking 13-year-old grandson of the recently-hanged Gordian I as Gordian III.

Anybody with a room temperature IQ could see that Balbinus and Pupienus were still in charge and the barely-pubescent Gordian was a figurehead, but the populace of Rome was mollified by this move, which doesn't speak much for their collective smarts.

Meanwhile, Maximinus Thrax was making his way from his home base in the Balkans toward Rome. He arrived at the city of Aquilea but, rather than welcoming him and resupplying his troops, the city shut its gates and forced a siege. With the senatorial army led by Pupienus closing in from Rome and supplies growing short, Maximinus Thrax wound up getting shanked by his own troops, along with all his family and staff.

With the guy with the anime villain name dead, McCain and Graham naturally started quarreling and plotting against each other. Before it could come to open war, the Praetorian guard killed them both and left Justin Bieber lookalike Gordian III sole emperor at the end of the year.