Wednesday, August 10, 2022

I LOL'ed

This completely kicked my gigglebox clean over.

What a friend we have in Dave.


Filthy Shotgun

So, once upon a time... this was at Montague Gunsmithing in Knoxville, so that'd make it 2001 ...guy comes in with a zip-up vinyl long gun case, saying he needed a cleaning.

As he's unzipping the case, he explains that he'd just sold the dive bar he'd owned for decades and was retiring, and this was the shotgun he'd kept under the bar "just in case" for all those years.

And he pulls out a very early postwar Belgian Sweet Sixteen, like a Grade 2 or 3, that's crusted with twenty years of Coca-Cola syrup, Tom Collins mix, and dust bunnies.

It was one of the three or four saddest sights of all my years in the gun business. It takes a lot to rattle Shannon Jennings, and even he was a little shook at the appearance of the poor thing.

It looked nothing like this Model 11, other than the general outline.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022


Photographed with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III & EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

I guess it wasn't just towels and an ashtray.

First World Problems...

The Right bemoans its oppression, as Jonathan Last notes regarding the poor downtrodden suburbs...
So I’m sure that this is undeniably true for some swaths of Republican voters. If you’re living on government assistance in a Kentucky holler that’s been hollowed out by jobs being shipped overseas and the flood of opioids, I get it. I mean, I’d argue that you are misallocating blame, but I get that it feels like you’re living in a sectarian failed state.

What I don’t understand is the people who feel like they’re living in a sectarian failed state while driving Ford F-150 Raptors, or taking their boats out to join a parade, or buying up tens of thousands of dollars of tactical gear.
And the Left is oppressed, too. For instance, being asked to turn down your stereo on an Ivy League campus is racist.
I first arrived on campus for the minority-student orientation. The welcome event had the feel of a block party, Blahzay Blahzay blasting on a boom box. (It was the ’90s.) We spent those first few nights convening in one another’s rooms, gossiping and dancing until late. We were learning to find some comfort in this new place, and with one another.

Then the other students arrived—the white students. The first day of classes was marked by such gloriously WASPy pomp that it made my young, aspirational heart leap. Professors in academic regalia gave speeches about centuries-old traditions and how wonderful and unique we were—“the best class yet.” Kids sang a cappella and paraded with a marching band. I’d spent my high-school years sneaking out at night to drink 40s on the beach and scheming my way into clubs. I understood that what was happening around me wasn’t exactly cool, but it was special. And I was a part of it.

I just hadn’t counted on everything that followed being so quiet. The hush crept up on me at first. I would be hanging out with my friends from orientation when one of our new roommates would start ostentatiously readying themselves for bed at a surprisingly early hour. Hints would be taken, eyes would be rolled, and we’d call it a night. One day, when I accidentally sat down to study in the library’s Absolutely Quiet Room, fellow students Shhh-ed me into shame for putting on my Discman. With rare exceptions—like Saturday nights during rush—silence blanketed the campus.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #216...

The 509 Midsize Tactical, seen here with a Trijicon SRO and Streamlight TLR-7, is the top of the line Goldilocks-size of FN America's striker-fired line. Basically sized like a G19, it's got factory suppressor-height night sights and probably the best factory red dot adaptor system out there.

I've got the TLR-7 on it because I have a Henry Holsters Spark that works with that light. I'd just as soon CCW without the WML, but at least this one adds minimal bulk, and the only IWB I have laying around for a non-light-bearing 509 is a PHLster Enigma and I'm way out of practice running AIWB.


Friday, August 05, 2022


One of my favorite places in Pioneer Village is the blacksmith's shed.


Thursday, August 04, 2022


"Let's do some badly choreographed cosplay to own the libs!"


If you can eat a crayon, you can develop film.

Chris Hernandez with a video on how easy it is to process B&W film at home...


There's a retrospective piece over at GAT Daily about the guns of Grendel, George Kellgren's previous gun company before he founded Kel-Tec. (Get it? Kellgren, Grendel, Kel-Tec?)

It's notable to me because the Grendel P10 was the first handgun I ever bought. Well, the first new handgun I ever bought at a gun store on a 4473, at any rate.

It was basically the forerunner to the Kel-Tec P11, except it was chambered in .380 and had a fixed magazine you loaded through the ejection port with the slide locked to the rear. You could either thumb your .380 rounds in one a a time, or you could purchase a little "saddle" that fitted to the contours of the slide and allowed you to thumb ten rounds in off an M16 stripper clip. (.380 and 5.56 having near enough the same case head diameter as makes no nevermind for using stripper clips.) 

This had disadvantages. You couldn't eject a half-empty mag and replace it with a full one, for example. Worse, unloading the gun was a fraught process that would probably give liability lawyers the vapors.

Still, it was a polymer framed pistol back when that was still a novelty, and cheap enough that a 21-year-old convenience store clerk could afford one that she could keep under the counter on third shift in clear violation of company policy.

There's a dude on eBay selling 3D printed stripper guides. The originals are scarce as hen's teeth.


Wednesday, August 03, 2022


Tom the Percheron was there again this year. He's 23 years old now!

It was getting close to ninety and pretty humid. I'd only brought the one camera and lens (1D Mark IV with 24-105/4L), as this was more of a reconnaissance run. I wandered Pioneer Village for a bit, got a few photos, and pedaled for home before the day's temps peaked.

Scoping the weather forecast to plot future visits.


Automotif CCCXXXI...

Some crisp closeup glamor shots of the local 1953 Chevrolet 210 2-door sedan. Shot with the Nikon D3 & 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G zoom. That's a handy little lens. It lacks an internal focusing motor (so it only works on higher-end Nikon DSLRs) and doesn't have Nikon's Vibration Reduction, but that makes it tiny. It's roughly the size of an 85mm prime. It'd make a great walking around lens at the State Fair.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Fallacy of the Excluded Middle

There's a piece over at GAT Daily that discusses how "knife" in the gun world has come to be synonymous with "tactical folder", which is to say aggro-looking things with textured scales in Tactical Dirt Colored G10 and meat-eating 3"+ blades.

I certainly have several knives that fit this description, but I don't generally carry them anymore. The closest thing is probably the rather understated-looking Bestech Kendo I'll bring to SHOT, because I like the way it looks and if it disappears over the week's travels I won't be crushed by its absence.

It may be slim and understated looking, but a 3.75" blade makes for a noticeable pocket anchor.

For day-to-day use, I've even retreated from the waved Spyderco Endura I used to carry to the smaller waved Delica.

Even these middlin'-sized Spydercos can be a little startling to people uncomfortable around anything weaponlike, what with the way they deploy instantly with an audible *snap* on being yanked from a pocket.

This socially-acceptable angle is what caused the author of the GAT piece to wax eloquent about grandpa's slip joint pocket knife.
I’m talking about the gentleman’s pocket knife. If your dad didn’t carry one of these, your granddad almost certainly did. These are the smaller, slimmer 2-3 in bladed knives from Buck, Case, and Great Eastern Cutlery.

Most of the folks from Gen-Z forward will likely be most familiar with this knife format once I say “Swiss Army Knife”

These are far from tactical. You need both hands to open the knife, there’s no pocket clip, the blades are relatively thin, and the knife doesn’t lock open. But they carry a lot of advantages as well.

Firstly, one of the biggest benefits is the fact that they’re not tactical. Pulling out one of these in mixed company is more likely to spark a conversation than it is to make someone uncomfortable.
I get that in certain quarters of the Manliness Movement, it's fashionable to cosplay an imaginary version of the Fifties, and that Old Spice has staged a comeback alongside the fedora, and there's nothing necessarily wrong with LARPing as grandpa, but it is possible to have a small, elegant gent's folder that looks like it was designed in this millennium. You don't have to go retro for a nice looking bit of pocket jewelry.

Benchmade has been making attractive small gent's folders for decades, but you don't have to spend a bunch on a pre-prodution McHenry & Williams Benchmite or 1st Production Terzuola Park Avenue to get a sleek little pocket knife. The current CRKT catalog, for instance, has the slick-looking but inexpensive Dually, with a sub-2" blade (legal in even Chicago and Boston). It even has a built-in bottle opener, in case you aren't far enough into the grandpa-LARP for twist-off tops.

Just because you need a small, classy knife, it doesn't mean you have to start wearing white socks and sandals and pulling your trousers up to your armpits.