Saturday, December 31, 2016


To Indy Arms Co. again yesterday morning with the Glock 19 Gen4 and another hundred rounds of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ in factory Glock magazines. My goal was to shoot about half of it on the clock (five round strings with a lazy five second par time) at the head zone on the target and then the rest at the lower A-zone.

The lazy par time is because I don't like rushing things with TulAmmo, and yet three times I still got ahead of myself and blew the second shot of the string off the left side of the target there. I really have been getting lazy. That, and the actual *BEEP!* somehow does degrade my shooting.

And the reason I don't like rushing things too much with TulAmmo was illustrated by round number thirty-nine of the day (#1,505 of the test.) There was an extremely reduced report and the slide didn't fully cycle. I cycled the slide by hand and the empty case popped out of the chamber; the slide hadn't traveled far enough to the rear for the spent case to make contact with the ejector, and so it didn't pick up a fresh round and re-chambered the empty.

I shone my flashlight into the muzzle and made sure I saw light in the ejection port before resuming shooting.

Other than failing to eject the undercharged round, there were no other malfunctions.

That makes 1,566 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with two failures-to-fire (#205, #1,290), two failures-to-extract (#1,367, #1,447), one failure-to-eject (#1,505), and two failures-to-feed (#814, #864*). 434 rounds to go.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Get Schooled for Good

As some of you may have heard, my friends at Sand Burr Gun Ranch were burgled last month and lost a large number of handguns to some particularly bold thieves.

Massad Ayoob is putting on a benefit class up in Rochester, Indiana this coming February and all proceeds and fees will go to helping Sand Burr out.

The class is the two-day MAG-20 classroom portion of his MAG-40 class. To reserve a spot in this class, contact Sand Burr Gun Ranch at (574)223-3316. Rochester's a pretty easy drive from Chicagoland or Indianapolis, and not super far from southern Michigan or northwestern Ohio.

The Riddle of Steel... "Why am I having to clear these malfunctions?"

Thursday morning I loaded another hundred rounds of TulAmmo into factory Glock 19 mags and headed to Indy Arms Co. with the Gen4 19.

The very first round (#1,367) was a failure to extract, the claw having apparently slipped off the rim of the case, leaving it partially in the chamber. A couple magazines later...

...the eighty-first round of the day (#1,447 of the test) was a virtual duplicate of the first round.

I'll say this: the hard primers of Wolf Polyformance may cause the occasional light strike every few hundred rounds and the polymer coating on the rounds may not play well with some pistol magazines, but I've never had a problem with it as ammunition. By comparison, my experiences with TulAmmo lead me to believe that it's some sort of floor-sweepings, either that or it's a Putin-esque plot against 'Murrican shooters.

Having had 749 rounds of Wolf and Tula through it, the gun is just filthy, BTW.

That makes 1,466 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with two failures-to-fire (#205, #1,290), two failures-to-extract (#1,367, #1,447), and two failures-to-feed (#814, #864*). 534 rounds to go.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Russian Steel

Yesterday morning dawned with a case of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ being dropped off on the front porch. The Gen4 19 had already seen five hundred and fifty rounds of Wolf Polyformance, so this is probably going to be the highest percentage of nasty steel-cased Russkie stuff I've used in a 2,000-round test.

Loading magazines yesterday morning showed pretty quickly that the TulAmmo wasn't going to function any better in the ETS mags than the Wolf did, and it felt kinda sticky in the Magpul mag, too, so I didn't even try it, opting to load a hundred rounds into factory Glock 19 magazines.

On the twenty-third round of the day (#1,290 of the test) I got a click instead of a bang. The slide could not be retracted by hand. I left the pistol in my lane, went and borrowed a rubber mallet from the 'smith, took i out on the range, and (while keeping the pistol with its mag removed pointing downrange) rapped it once on the muzzle end. What came out was what you see above: A round of Tula with a good indentation on the primer, and a primer that was standing well proud of the primer pocket.

Obviously I did not try to fire it again.

Up to you whether you want to count that against the gun or the ammo, but I know where my vote would go.

The other ninety-nine rounds passed without incident.

That makes 1,366 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with two failures-to-fire (#205, #1,290) and two failures-to-feed (#814, #864*). 634 rounds to go.

Vermiform Appendix

The National Firearms Act of 1934, as it originally was written, was intended to ban all concealable firearms and the wording of the law included handguns. This is where the "Any Other Weapon" category comes in (as in "any other weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person") and why short-barreled rifles and shotguns are included in the NFA.

Successful eleventh-hour lobbying by the National Revolver Association got handguns stricken from NFA '34, which has resulted in eighty years of silliness where it's illegal to put a wire shoulder stock on a .22 derringer but my .243 Winchester deer-hunting pistol is okey-dokey. Also this.

(You want a reasonable short-term play to move the RKBA ball downfield? Get SBRs and SBSs moved from Title II to Title I.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In a hurry...

 Yesterday I had an errand to run, dropping a pistol off at FedEx to send off for some photography. Plus, I'm waiting on 9x19mm range ammo resupply, having nothing on hand but JHPs, partial boxes of leftovers, and my ammo can of miscellaneous FMJ. So I stopped at Indy Arms Co. on the way to the FedEx joint, grabbed a fortuitous full box of Wolf that was sliding around on the bottom of the Zed Drei's trunk, and jogged in to roll the round count up by another fifty...

I was obviously in way too much of a hurry. Those misses really chafe.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

That makes 1,267 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205) and two failures-to-feed (#814, #864*). 733 rounds to go.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

...and still more shooting...

The Gen4 19 has seen its first alterations, with the addition of a Vickers Tactical Slide Stop and a Gadget. I've got sights on the way for it, too. If it proves out well, it may supplant my Gen3 19 as my daily carry gun.

I loaded up my last two boxes of the Winchester NATO FMJ and headed over to Indy Arms Co. yesterday morning to do some blasting. I also charged up the ShotMaxx timer and did some work on the clock again for the first time in months, albeit fairly relaxed work on the clock.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

That makes 1,217 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205) and two failures-to-feed (#814, #864*). 783 rounds to go.

Slow re-start...

Part of the whole "walk a mile in the morning" thing was that it was supposed to be the very first thing I did when I woke up. The whole process of exercising volition from the moment I wake up rather than hitting a snooze button was an important component of an improved mood and more productivity. I made an especial point of not allowing myself to check email or internet sites until after I'd done my exercise.

The ice seems to have derailed that, and now that it's gone, I need to get back on that first thing in the morning schedule.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Day Fifty-Six:

I tried to stay up until Bobbi got home last night, but decided that was a mistake around 0200.

Woke up at 0600 with the alarms, then went back to sleep until 0830 or so. Got out of bed, got dressed, washed a couple of aspirin down with a Spicy Hot V8, and headed out.

Wool socks and the Asolos were a mistake. Warmer outside than in, or at least the humidity makes it feel that way. All trace of ice is gone and so are the puddles. My stride has lengthened almost back to pre-wreck length.

1.00 miles in 18:10 at an average heart rate of 134bpm.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The show must go on...

Friday saw the arrival of my Gadgets from Tau Development Group, and I promptly added one to the Glock 37 and one to the Robar custom Glock 17.

I took the 37 to Indy Arms Company along with the Gen4 19 on Christmas Eve. The former was (nominally, at least) to do a live function test with the production Gadget installed, although the real reason was that I like shooting it. The 19 had fifty rounds of Winchester's NATO FMJ loaded in the ETS mags, as well as a partial box containing twenty-one rounds of 124gr CCI Blazer Brass that had been sliding around in the trunk of the car for most of the year...since the Canik test, at least. I ran the CCI through the Magpul 15-round mag.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

I got a little carried away on those ten-yard headshots with the 37; a little slower would have helped. I like the Zev Fulcrum trigger in that gun, by the way, at least as far as the characteristics of the trigger pull itself, but the shape of the trigger pad and trigger safety just tears my trigger finger up.

That makes 1,117 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205) and two failures-to-feed (#814, #864*). 883 rounds to go.


A photo posted by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

Ho Ho Yo Ho!

I'd like to wish all of y'all a very Merry Christmas and a Joyeux Noël, Season's Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, and a Festivus for the rest of us!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Eve.

Shootin' Buddy drove down from Lafayette and we headed over to Indy Arms Co. to do some blasting.

The previous tenant of Lane 5 left evidence of their pistoleering prowess hanging out at the twenty-foot line. It's okay, dude; I'll throw your target out and sweep your brass up, too.

I'd brought two hundred rounds already loaded into magazines. The Wolf Polyformance felt a little sticky going into the new-ish Magpul 15-rounder, and you could hear rounds down in the tube ratling around, so I dumped it out and loaded them into a factory G-lock mag. The (much more well-used) 17-round Pmag with the Wolf Polyformance in it didn't rattle when shaken, and so I decided to see if it would feed...

Only the top two rounds, as it turns out. The rest of them were stuck tight by the friction of whatever coating Wolf uses on those things. Magazines I've seen Wolf Polyformance have this issue with now include both Magpul and ETS aftermarket Glock mags, as well as factory mags for the M&P9, PPX, and Ruger American Compact. They haven't yet caused this issue for me in factory Glock mags.

I'm going to put this in the notes as a "failure to feed", but since the round never actually got close to the working parts of the gun, it's hard to hold it against the pistol. This is an ammo/aftermarket mag compatibility issue. (I'll note that I've shot a reasonable amount of Brown Bear and TulAmmo through this very Magpul mag and never experienced this issue with them; only Wolf Polyformance. Go figure.)

Other than that, the two hundred rounds went by without any issues, firing fifty founds each at fifteen, ten, seven, and five yards. At each range I was trying to keep the trigger in continuous motion for 4- and 5-round strings, letting my sights be my gas pedal.

I need to do more work out past ten yards.

That makes 1,046 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205) and two failures-to-feed (#814, #864*). 954 rounds to go.

Friday, December 23, 2016


Headed over to Indy Arms Co. on Thursday morning with the Gen4 19 and a hundred rounds of ammo: fifty rounds of the Winchester 124gr Q4318 "NATO" ammo loaded in the two ETS magazines and fifty rounds of Wolf Polyformance in the Magpul 15-rounder and a few factory G19 magazines.

Even this far into the the test, I have to really lean on my mechanical thumb to get that 15th round of Wolf Polyformance into the factory Glock mags, much more so than with regular brass-cased ammo.

The 30-round ETS magazine experienced its first failure yesterday. Round #18 in the mag nosedived at the top of the tube. This was the 288th round through this magazine.

Incidentally, this was a malfunction that would not have been cleared with a "tap-rack-bang". Repeated racking of the slide didn't dislodge the round from its nose-down position. Spare magazines for a pistol are as much for use in malfunction clearance as they are for reloads, and actually more so in the case of CCW guns. Guns malfunction in defensive shootings a lot more often than they run out of ammo; odd grips and fouled slides create exciting malfunctions in pistols that have never ever choked standing on an indoor range.

We'll note the malfunction in the total and, as usual, leave it to the reader to decide if they want to charge it to the gun or the magazine. I'm just here to give you the data.

Other than that, the range trip was entirely uneventful. I'm kinda happy with the Wolf FMJ in the head box at ten yards; I'm normally not that good with the janky factory sights. I need to put some real sights on this gun.

That makes 846 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205) and one failure-to-feed (#814). 1,154 rounds to go.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


After an initial bobble, testing resumed on the Honor Guard 9 for an upcoming Shooting Illustrated piece. I was interested to see if it would function with the aluminum-hulled 115gr Blazers. The lightly loaded ammunition can give a lot of guns fits, since 115gr bullets at ~1100fps barely have enough ass to function the gun.

Another hundred rounds of American Eagle through the Gen4 Glock 19, too, plus a magazine with three odd rounds of CCI Blazer Brass FMJ that's been sitting in my GPS magazine case since that class in Topeka back in April. So, a hundred and three rounds total through the Glock yesterday.

The HG9 functioned fine with the Blazer.

The Gen4 19 had no malfunctions of any type to report.

That makes 746 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205). 1,254 rounds to go.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Is my math right? Nine hours and twenty-one minutes?

The sun rose in Indianapolis today at 8:02AM, and it will slip back below the horizon at 5:23PM. It's the shortest day of the year.

Tonight, Night Wolf starts to vomit Sun Maiden back out and the days grow longer again. It'll be a while before it feels like it, though.

My personal benchmark that the days are getting longer is when I no longer have to turn the dining room lights on for Rannie's evening feeding, and that won't be until about the first of February. We are in the months of the Long Dark Kibble-Time of the Soul.

Spam Day.

Today is the day when your email inbox gets hit with an email from every retailer you've ever bought something from online, reminding you that today is the last day to order something and have it arrive by Christmas.

This deserves to evolve to become a holiday every bit as legit as Boxing Day or the one that Black Friday has almost fully developed into.

I've heard from camera companies, ammo retailers, tee-shirt vendors... I'm moderately surprised I haven't read any "If you want to get your relatives a 16"x6"x6" block of Clear Ballistics Gel, today is the last day to order to guarantee Christmas delivery!" emails.

(nb: Unlike the rest of my family, I think ballistic gel would make a dandy Christmas present.)

Odd Lots...

One of the requirements of doing gun tests for the NRA publications is that they have a standard requiring testing ammo of three different projectile weights from three different manufacturers, preferably. That's five 5-shot groups fired for accuracy and a ten shot chronograph string. The mathematically-inclined among you will work out that this means I soon wind up with a lot of 50-round boxes of ammunition with only fifteen rounds left in them.

Today I disposed of some of those odd lots of 9x19mm by firing them through the Gen4 Glock 19. Fifteen rounds of Armscor 147gr FMJ in the Magpul 15-round mag, fifteen Sellier & Bellot in a factory mag, and thirteen Federal 9BPLE 115gr +P+ JHP in another factory magazine. (I'd blown two extra checking for POA/POI variance in the magazine test; the subsonic ammo shot so close to the sights that I wanted to make sure I knew where the 1250fps+ JHPs were going to be landing before I attempted shooting for groups.)

The one hundred round box of 115gr American Eagle FMJ went fifty rounds in the ETS magazines and the balance in some factory Glock mags.

Between POI differences among the three different loadings plus outrunning my headlights a bit in the speed department, that scattering of rounds in the head area of the B21E target is bigger than I'd like at ten yards. I need to put some real sights on this gun.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

That makes 643 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205). 1,357 rounds to go.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Battles, Tabs, and Books...

Two different wikiwanders came to a halt at pages dense enough that they've been left open in tabs until I can give them my undivided attention:
I'm currently reading my ARC of Fields of Fire and then I'll be reading a copy of Whorl that James Tarr sent me.

That was cold...

It was, in fact, six degrees fondly Fahrenheit when this photo was snapped. I did not dally on the range; three ten round strings and I was ready to go. If I had three magazines for the gun, I'd have already had them all loaded when I got to the range. As it was, I loaded the S&B and Armscor in the car and then had to fumble ten rounds of 9BPLE into the mag with gloved fingers that were already getting a little numb.


I have some Underarmor glove liners that are dexterous enough to operate a firearm and load mags (thanks, OldNFO!), but they are completely outmatched by single digit temperatures. Meanwhile, I have some gloves that will keep your hands warm in this sort of weather, but they're not dexterous enough to operate a firearm, and they don't play well with the glove liners because of the latter's rubbery traction surfaces on the palm. Dilemma!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #155...

Now I can finally show pictures of it...

 I've had to sit mum on this gat for months: A stainless Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum snubbie...

...with an eight-round cylinder cut for moon clips. This gets me right in my revolver feels. You know it must, because when you cut me I bleed S&W blue-and-white, but I had to have this Ruger.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ice, ice baby...

The Zed Drei's been garage-bound since Friday afternoon. I have to get it out tomorrow because I absolutely no-kidding have to do some chrono testing to finish up a review for Shooting Illustrated.

That's gonna be fun with temps in the teens.

I really need to get the Forester up and running again.

Vulcan's Hobby Room

Neat video of some heavy industry going down.

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "But is it 'Made in China'?"

RX: (examining back of power strip) "It says 'Designed in Salt Lake City, Made in China'..."

Me: "Mormon commies! They're the worst!"

RX: "Always going on about the common good and then marrying multiple women."

This amuses me, for some reason...

When you move to Lake County, Indiana, half a world away from the bloody feudgrounds in the Balkans, but you still want to build your community centers within easy mortar shot of each other.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

One Fourth...

Friday morning at Indy Arms Co.: Gen4 Glock 19 with another hundred rounds of American Eagle 115gr FMJ. Fifty in the ETS mags, and the balance in the factory mags and a new Magpul 15-rounder. This is my first 15-round Magpul Glock mag, although I've used the heck out of three 17-rounders, so I'm not expecting this one to be any less reliable.

Fifty rounds from the small magazines into the upper A-zone at ten yards, then brought the target back in to seven and fired the fifty in the ETS mags at the lower A-zone.

There were no failures of any type to report.

That makes 500 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205). 1,500 rounds to go.

Friday, December 16, 2016

One Fifth...

The Gen4 19 test continued at Indy Arms Co. yesterday, with fifty rounds of Wolf Polyformance 115gr FMJ and a hundred rounds of Federal American Eagle 115gr FMJ being sent downrange. I loaded fifty rounds of the American Eagle in the ETS magazines and the remainder in factory G19 mags. The Wolf went in three factory G19 mags with the last five rounds going in that Magpul 17-rounder you see in the picture.

I arrived at the range with all the mags already loaded, so it was a quick range session. Ran the target out to seven yards and popped everything off pretty quickly in five- to ten-round strings. I wound up letting the gun sit with the slide locked back while I swept up brass, because the slide was kinda hot to the touch.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

That makes 400 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205). 1,600 rounds to go.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day Forty-Five:

Woke up at 5:30. Lay in bed and read the last chapter of David Drake's Counting the Cost until the alarm went off. Weatherman said the wind chill was ten below. I decided to wait 'til sunrise; it wouldn't be any warmer, but I'd be able to navigate the icy stretches better.

Kitanica, snow boots, heavy gloves, face mask. Went with a wicking base layer today. Good call in comfort vis a vis yesterday. The neighborhood streets are like oiled glass out there, except where there's some snow along the curbs.

1.01 miles in 22:49 at an average heart rate of 129bpm.

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #154...

Ruger American Compact in 9mm. Test protocol calls for 5 five shot groups with three different bullet weights from three different manufacturers. I keep a bunch of odd lots of ammo on hand for just this reason.

Internet Outrage Machine

Universal Translator...

Conversational Russian is so idiomatic that automated translators usually turn out hash when asked to parse web forums. (English is no picnic, either; somebody's reading this right now wondering why a computer language program would make a breakfast dish of meat and diced potatoes.)

But it's apparently got nothing on Turkish.


Ice on the sidewalk and a wind chill of ten below? I think I'll wait for sunup again today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


I'm going to put my helmet on and go have some fun...

EDITED TO ADD: Well, darn. That fizzled fast.

Vote Early, Vote Often...

Day Forty-Four:

Woke up with the alarm clock at 6AM. It was two degrees outside. Knowing what the conditions of the sidewalks and neighborhood streets would be, I decided to wait until the sun came up.

Ate some yogurt, committed some bloggery, and suited up: Kitanica, North Face mountaineering gloves, snow boots, and shemagh. It was icy out there. Worst were a couple homes on the back straight who had decided to clear their sidewalks with salt. At low single digits, that just refreezes your walk into fifty feet of skating rink.

1.02 miles in 23:09 at an average heart rate of 127bpm.

Gen4 19...

Not too much snow in the alley, so I got the Zed Drei out of the neighborhood and over to Indy Arms Co. to put more rounds through the Gen4 Glock 19. Fifty rounds of Winchester 124gr "NATO" loaded in the two ETS magazines and a hundred rounds of Wolf Polyformance FMJ in the factory Glock 19 magazines.

Wolf primers are harder than woodpecker lips. There was one Wolf primer that didn't go on the first lick. It looked like a solid hit to me. It lit off when put through the gun a second time. Up to you whether you want to hang that on the primer or the gun.

That makes 250 rounds through the Gen4 19 since it was cleaned or lubricated with one failure-to-fire (#205). 1,750 rounds to go.

External differences between the Gen4 Glock 19 and its "Gen3" predecessor. If you ask me, the biggest difference between Gen4 guns and earlier models is that, for the first time since 1990, the .40 cal and 9mm Glocks have different recoil spring assemblies.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Pew! Pew! Pew!


Pretty much all the sidewalk you can see on this side of the street, I shoveled today. Ours, the Democrat Next Door's, and a few feet of our neighbor to the south's as well.

About three inches of heavy, wet stuff. Would have made for a fantastic snowball fight.

New 2,000-round project...

I'd purchased a Glock 19 Gen4 for another reason some months back, but that project didn't materialize, and so I've decided to run it through a 2,000 round test for the amusement of the internet.
The brand new-pistol was field-stripped, lubricated to factory specification, and reassembled.

Fifty rounds of Winchester NATO FMJ were loaded into my two ETS magazines, while the three magazines that came with the Gen4 19 were filled with Wolf Polyformance 115gr FMJ. The remaining five rounds left in the box of Wolf were loaded into one of my other G19 mags.

As expected, all 100 rounds fired without any failures. That's 100 down and 1,900 to go.

The Ruger American Compact had spent the night locked in the trunk of my car in the unheated garage. Between the gunk of 520 rounds and whatever lube was on the gun being a little congealed, the slide was noticeably tougher to hand-cycle, and there were two light strikes on the hard military-spec primers of the Winchester ammo. There were no failures to feed, extract, or eject, however.

A size comparison between the store's rental Glock 27 subcompact, the Ruger American Compact, and the compact Glock 19. The 12-shot Ruger is similar to the M&P Compact, in that it slots between the 10-shot G26 and 15-shot G19.

Weather Whining...

Finishing up a test for a magazine and today was supposed to be chrono day. As recently as lunch time yesterday, the weather gurus were saying that today was going to be Mostly Cloudy with a high of 34°F before the temps took a nosedive tonight.

I figured that I could chrono at MCF&G today and use tomorrow to shoot some benched groups indoors at Indy Arms Co...

I wake up to the news this morning and the SNOW PATROL logo is scrolling across the screen.


They're calling for 1"-3" between now and lunchtime, which is guaranteed to make the roads a mess during the morning commute, plus I'm not sure I want to try and slither the Zed Drei down the gravel road to MCF&G with fresh snow/ice on the ground. I mean, I'm pretty sure I could get it down into the range without sliding into Eagle Creek, but getting back out again could get pretty sporty on that steep stretch.

And the Forester is still deadlined because I need to come up with the scratch for a used or rebuilt transmission.

And the mailbox is still living up to my pet nickname for it: "the empty box of crushing disappointment bolted to the front of the house".


Oh, well. Tomorrow will be better.