Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Will you stop it?

Look, I quit smoking several years ago, so is there a code I can punch into my remote control that will stop the public service announcements of people gruesomely showing off their tracheostomies during the breakfast hour?

I mean, other than the "O-F-F" code?

You're on your own, there.

My email inbox is overflowing with all the Second Amendment orgs wanting me to pester my senators (or, rather, just Donnelly, since Young is presumed to toe the party line) to confirm Sessions as Attorney General.

Sorry, guys, you're on your own there. I understand he's pretty good on 2A issues, but other than that he's a typical 'Bortion Bannin', Homo Hatin', Law'n'Order Drug Warrior. I've no doubt you've got the leverage to muscle him through a confirmation, but you're going to have to do it without my phone calls.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #158...

This is the Gen3 Glock 19 I did my first 2,000-rd test on, when I was testing a pre-production Gadget. It's still on the gun. The pistol's fired another eight hundred and eighty-one rounds since then. I used it in the Citizens Defense Research class in Topeka in April, and as my carry gun through most of 2016.

When I finished up the 2,000-round test on the Gen4 Glock 19, I moved it into my holster and relegated the Gen3 gun to training and gaming use. It's pretty plain, with the stock connector and return spring. The only modifications being a set of Ameriglo I-Dot Pro sights, a Glock 17 trigger (for the smooth shoe), a plug in the grip, and a Vickers/Tango Down magazine release.

I'll be adding a Vickers/Tango Down slide stop and an SSVI Tyr trigger here before bedtime tonight.

I'm still trying to shoot fast without egregiously dropping shots...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pot meet kettle...

Susan Rice, policy wonk and former Dukakis & Clinton aide, who had no military experience whatsoever* before getting tapped as National Security Advisor by the Obama administration in 2013, blasts Trump's decision to "remove military advice" from the National Security Council.

Conveniently not mentioned is that Rice was replaced as National Security Advisor by LTG Michael T. "Mike" Flynn, USA (Ret).

I swear, Susan, self awareness is so rare these days it should be considered a f$cking super power.

*She served on the Clinton administration's "National Security Council (NSC) from 1993 to 1997; as director for international organizations and peacekeeping from 1993 to 1995; and as special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs from 1995 to 1997."

Hey, look!

I have a piece up at Breach Bang Clear!

Go check it out.

CVN-65 Fun Facts.

Old NFO has a post up on the USN's Once and Future Ship, the Enterprise.

It's easy to forget that the ship that is being decommissioned this year was first commissioned just in time to sail off to the Cuban Missile Crisis with a hangar deck full of prop-driven Skyraider strike planes, Phantoms with no guns, piston-engine helicopters, and F-8 Crusader day fighters.

I’ve only laid eyes on the Mobile Chernobyl once. When Caleb and I were leaving that Blackwater shindig back in ’08 and crossing the I-64 bridge down in Norfolk, he suddenly pointed out on the water and said “Look! It’s Three Quarter Mile Island!”

It took me a second to get what he was talking about.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Overheard in the Hallway...

Me: "You know, when I was holding Huck back with my hand across his chest while I was pouring the scoop of kibble in his bowl just now, I held him back for just a second after I'd finished pouring... He was digging in with all four little legs and not getting much traction on the hardwood. But damn he's strong for his size. If I'd been on roller skates, though, I bet I could have gotten up a pretty good head of steam."

RX: "Oh, yeah, he could pull you. That would be great. It would be better if you were dressed like an ancient Roman, on roller skates, being pulled by a determined tomcat."

Me: "This needs to be a feature of the afterlife, somehow."

Don't Know You're Born...

"We haven't made any science-y progress since the Apollo moon missions," Neil deGrasse Tyson instantly communicated to millions of pocket computers around the globe.

As I was idly perusing the entertainment choices in the seatback touchscreen entertainment center on an eastbound 737-800 (I ended up watching the documentary Fastball), I couldn't help but remember this commercial. Now all this stuff is in your phone.

In retrospect, most of the hand-held computing technology in most science fiction from the last fifty years is laughably primitive. Hell, most of the computing technology, period. 2001: A Space Odyssey predicted a lot of things with Kubrickian attention to detail (flat screen color monitors did not exist when the movie was made, so all those video displays are rear-projected on frosted glass) but its computer predictions, at least regarding size and form factor, were knocked into a cocked hat by Moore's Law.

We still haven't caught up to Kubrick's vision in the field of murderous AIs, but I'm sure we're getting close.

Future is now.

Birthday Camera.

So, I went ahead and treated myself to a cool little shirt pocket camera for my birthday:

The Ricoh GR Digital II is a clone in size, feel, and form factor of the Ricoh GR1 35mm film camera, a cult classic among hipster street photographers for its reasonably fast, sharp 28mm f/2.8 wide-angle lens, slim shape, and flyweight magnesium construction.

It's a well-designed camera for pocket carry, although it doesn't do much that my cell phone camera doesn't do as well. It has a better flash, I guess? But mostly it's just really cool.

Overheard in Front of the Television...

Bobbi's sick abed, scrolling through the science fiction offerings in some cul-de-sac of her Amazon video library...
RX: "Rod Steiger in The Illustrated Man."

Me: "Complete with trippy late Sixties art."

RX: "I don't know if I want to risk three bucks renting it."

Me: "Huh. What looks like a bad '70s version of The Shape of Things to Come..."

RX: "Let's see what that's about."

Me: "Starring Jack Palance. Always a good sign."

RX: "So you know somebody's getting punched in the face."

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tab Clearing...


Between coming back from SHOT to a pile of deadlines, plus my annual bout with Seasonal Affective Whatsis, I am not doing a ton of blogging.

That, and I'm just drained from politics. People have lost their tiny little minds, I swear.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Day Two:

Snowing, but above freezing, so the ground was just wet and not icy. Indianapolis will likely set a record today for consecutive January days above the freezing mark.

Still, it wasn't much above freezing, and the steady breeze from the northwest made me wish I'd worn a scarf for the first lap or two as it blew right down the neck of my jacket. By lap three, I'm usually het up enough to unzip.

1.00 miles in 17:05 at an average heart rate of 134bpm.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


I was standing in the Sig booth at SHOT when {REDACTED} tugged on my sleeve and whispered in my ear "Sig won the Army pistol contract. They're going to announce it in twenty minutes."

As far as insider knowledge goes, it's pretty lame, but I was proven wrong in that the Army got a new pistol before Chevy dealerships got a mid-engine Corvette.

It has set off the usual round of pontificating and second-guessing on forums and in blog posts as everybody asserts reasons why their own particular snowflake gun should have been picked. Expect flurries of comments about bore axis and "But plastic!" and grip angle from people who don't shoot, except for the no doubt thousands of flawless rounds their Taurus or whatever has fired. (I'll wager the couple of boxes they tell you it's fired when they're trying to sell it are a lot closer to the true round count than the thousands they claim when arguing on the internet. Logbook or GTFO, Sparky.)

Yeah, I carry a Glock. I've carried an M&P, and I'll probably switch to a P320 in the next couple years when I get bored of working with Glocks. They're pretty much interchangeable and, unlike a lot of other pistols I've sampled over the years, have all been largely trouble-free.

Personally, I think the MHS contest could have been as satisfactorily resolved by throwing a P320, an M&P, and a Glock 17 into a sack, spinning it around a few times, and reaching in and pulling one out. They all work fine, and if there's a less crucial weapon in modern warfare than the pistol, it probably attaches to bayonet lugs.

It will be interesting to see if SOCOM sticks with G19s or if they gradually get replaced by the compact version of the M17. Weaponsman, who is more knowledgeable about these sorts of things than I, has some interesting comments in that direction in the closing paragraphs of this post.

Fields of Fire

So I spent my hotel nights and some airplane time reading my review copy of Marko's latest novel in his Frontlines universe, Fields of Fire.

Featuring the invasion of Mars, this is the kablooiest of the Space Kablooey series yet. It's got space combat against Lanky seed ships, a planetary invasion, armored vehicles shooting up massed charges of giant aliens, orbital kinetic bombardment, and a cool science fiction armored scout car. Two thumbs up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy 162nd Birthday to John Moses Browning!

Yeah, yeah, everybody knows about the M1911 and the BAR and the Ma Deuce, but how many people remember the M1899? (That's the fourth pistol down in that picture.) It was such a runaway sales success that "Browning" became slang for "pistol" across half a continent.

What about the M1902? It's the second in a chain of pistols that led to the M1911, and its dropping-barrel short recoil system is the direct ancestor to the tilting-barrel short recoil setup that's used in the vast majority of pistols produced to this day.

Striker-fired, hammer-fired, blowback, short recoil, long recoil, gas operated, lever action, slide action, over & under, falling block, pistols, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, autoloading aircraft cannon...

The world is not going to see another firearms designer so prolific; knowledge has gotten too specialized. Hats off and face toward Ogden respectfully, fellow gun nerds, because today is Gun Nerd Christmas.

Well, that worked and yet it didn't work...

My experiment with the NEX-5T as a replacement "go anywhere" camera for my crippled Nikon P7000 has been a failure. The reason is best explained pictorially:

While the P7000 is wider and taller, even with the smallest zoom lens available, the NEX is dramatically thicker. In fact, its depth is about equal to its height, and that makes it ride terribly awkwardly in the "document pocket" of my gun burkha.

Sony makes a reasonably fast fixed prime 20mm f/2.8 pancake lens that would reduce the bulk of the camera dramatically and make it even more portable than the Nikon, but that gives me a fixed focal length, fairly wide-angle lens. Do you know what else has a fixed focal length, fairly wide-angle lens? My phone.

The end result of this is that I've stopped carrying an actual camera with me everywhere and have been relying on my cell phone for pics like most people. But there's a whole lot of photography that's hard to do with just a 24mm lens, and I've been passing it up. I can't tell you how many times I've seen something, thought I might like to take a picture of it, and then realized that the iPhone, good as its camera was, was not the instrument with which to do it.

Now don't get me wrong, my infatuation with smart phone cameras has grown over the years. The difference in quality from the thoroughly "meh" 3.2MP camera on the LG Optimus V to the 8MP Galaxy S II to the really quite decent 12MP camera on the iPhone 6S has been night and day. They all remain crippled, however, by their fixed focal length, slow and awkward interfaces, and lack of manual control over many basic elements of photography.

So, it's back to the drawing board in the quest for a replacement for the Nikon (and I may just buy a replacement used Nikon) as a "take everywhere" camera.

Now, where the NEX-5T really shone has been as a very portable camera for work stuff. It has a sensor every bit as big as the one on my Nikon D200 DSLR, and with better than half again the resolution. Between it and the Hasselblad Lunar (*coughNEX-7cough*) I didn't really feel like I was lacking anything in picture-taking ability roaming the floor at SHOT versus the Nikon D200 and D1x I lugged around NRAAM. The only things they give up to my "prosumer" DSLRs are in speed, both speed to power up and speed in shooting. For some reason I just don't compose a shot as quickly with a screen on the back of the camera as I do looking through an eyepiece.

So now I'm seriously thinking about full-frame DSLRs...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Home at last.

Now to get all the pics off both cameras and the cell phone into a "SHOT 2017" folder, and do that thing I was going to do at the airport yesterday.

Namely, I have a couple pages of scrawled notes, reminders really, just the name of a product or a random thought I had. I also have a page with three column headers to divvy those up into, which I totally meant to do while I loitered away almost ten hours in the Las Vegas airport yesterday. Those ten hours were mostly, however, spent in Facebook, sleep deprivation, and beer.

The three hours coming back east were brutal. I'm glad I don't do that often. My day started at 0545 PST yesterday on about five hours of sleep, and ended at about 0600 EST, having dozed maybe thirty minutes on the flight from LAX to IND.

I flopped down on the bed in Roomie's bedroom while the local news was on, intending to stay up long enough to watch Meet the Press. I have dim memories of waking up fully clothed atop the covers, and then waking up again in the last half of MtP, somehow having gotten myself into sweats and a t-shirt and burrowed under the covers.

So, like I was saying, I've a metric ton of emails to answer or write, and photos and notes to organize and divvy up, but all that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. Plus there are deadlines looming in the near distance, but I'm not even going to think about that until after a good night's sleep.

I'm going to try to play some World of Warcraft and do some laundry or something to keep me awake until 10:00PM or so, when I imagine I will then sleep the sleep of the just.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Travel Day

Getting ready to go spend most of a day hanging out in an overpriced mall before boarding a germ tube to IND via LAX.

I got pretty good grades in Geography, and I am as close to positive as makes no nevermind that LAX is not between LAS and IND unless you are going the long way 'round.

(Yes, I know how the whole hub and spoke thing works, and I selected this particular flight from a host of other based on price and the ability to make geography jokes on my blog.)

I'll be able to find a nook in an airport bar or restaurant, plug in the laptop, and sort out my SHOT notes and figure out what I'm going to write about for which outlet. I might even get some writing done.

Once I'm through TSA, I'm really at peace with the whole air travel scenario. If I'm traveling solo, the crowds at the airport really don't bother me as much as they normally would because I don't have to interact with them. I just bump gently along through the system of locks and sluices, carried along by the current of the airlines' timetable, until I'm eventually poured out the other side and into a cab.

Or, in this case, an Uber. I have finally downloaded the Uber app and, man, why wasn't I using this earlier? I could even see using it at home if I wanted to spend a day downtown and didn't want to bother with parking or the bicycle.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Two days of walking on the show floor.

Yesterday I carried crutches along with me, sort of as a prophylaxis against needing them and sort of as a lifeboat.

I was wearing the knee brace but I figured that if my knee started twinging out in the middle of the show floor someplace, I could crutch my way to the nearest bench or chair and then pop smoke and call for extract by electric scooter.

As it turned out, this wasn't necessary. Emboldened by the way my leg felt this morning, I dispensed with the crutches and just went with the knee brace. The leg is still fine despite having walked 2.2 miles on it today according to my watch.

My gait's back to normal and I have to fight to not favor my left knee instead, which is still sporting a truly amazing bruise, plus the wear and tear of doing all the work Sunday night through yesterday morning.

I think I'll pull through, but I promise that the first hint of recurring difficulty will send me scurrying to an orthopedic doc.

Still in the rental condo...

...so I have no idea if there was a moment of silence on the show floor for the end of the Greatest Gun Salesman of All Time's administration.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Seen at SHOT yesterday...

Guy is standing there, guarding two of those rolling RSR milk crates that people fill with all the brochures and catalogs that they could download from websites instead of check as overweight baggage, while his buddy is off taking a leak or buying a corn dog or slice of convention center pizza or whatever.

Both milk crates are stacked to the brim with the little manufacturer logo tote bags being handed out, twenty and thirty apiece of Aimpoint and Nikon and Springfield Armory...because these can be used for shopping bags back at the store, see?

Guy's shirt is unbuttoned to the xiphoid process, medallion resting in his chest pelt, thick gold bracelet, and fistfuls of rings...he's a wide collar away from looking like an extra from Saturday Night Fever.

And I'm standing there myself, waiting on someone to get back, spending the longest three minutes of my life having to bite my tongue to keep from asking "So what's the name of your pawn shop? I see. And where in Jersey did you say it was?"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sig Sauer VIP Range Day pics, part 2...

Sig Sauer 716
When Sig Sauer announced an in-house optics line, it was hard to escape an ingrained reflex: Generally when you see anything from pocket knives to parkas with a gun company name/logo on it, it's junky licensed merchandise where the company's trying to make a fast buck hawking their legacy to people who will pay money to advertise the company's name on a crappy Taiwanese Zippo clone.

Thus, the initial supposition when you see that Sig is going to have their name on optics is that they're going to be godawful airsoft-grade Chinesium garbage like Barska or UTG. Then you hear "No, Sig isn't licensing their name to someone, they started their own optics division."

"You mean they bought some lame brand like Tasco and...?"

"No, Sig stood up an entire new optics division and poached talent from around the industry to do it. They've designed their own scopes. Manufacture is definitely farmed out to various contractors, though."


I remain very wary. Optics are someplace where the penalties for cheaping out can be immediate and harsh, but these do not appear to be cheap optics at all. I was proven wrong in my skepticism for the Burris MTAC, so I'm willing to be proven wrong again.

JayG is happy because he hit the thing and wants everyone to know.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Beginner's Luck...

So, all the shooting had wrapped up at the Sig Sauer shindig on Sunday, the firing line had been secured for the evening, and they were getting the reception rolling.

As I skirted the bar they were setting up on the sidewalk, I put a foot wrong on the edge of the sidewalk and felt it roll toward the dirt. I fought to keep my balance, but I'd come straight from the airport and had my suitcase slung over one shoulder and my laptop/camera bag over the other and I was seriously top-heavy.

I fell flat on my face.

Well, flat on my camera, and then my face.

The Hasselblad, despite some scuffs on the body and the eyepiece being packed full of dirt, continues to function.

Initially, I felt fine and was walking it off. I stashed my bags at the Grayguns table, found a gin & tonic, and stood around.

Then I sat around.

When I stood up to walk to the shuttle bus back to town with the Grayguns crew and various Sig Sauer peeps, my leg was hurting pretty badly. I limped to the bus and my knee nearly gave out going up the boarding steps. I was in enough discomfort that I spent a forty minute bus ride sitting right behind Max Michel and didn't ask for a single tip or pointer.

By the time I got off the bus, it was pretty obvious that something was bad wrong. My right leg would hardly support any weight and the outside of my leg just below the knee was super tender to the touch. Bruce Gray found a wheelchair and helped me get settled in at the hotel while dinner plans were bandied about.

I (foolishly) tried to cowgirl up for dinner, but walking a hundred yards through the parking garage at dinner that night left that right leg hurting as bad as it's ever hurt. And that's the leg with steel in it; "as bad as it's ever hurt" was the exposed ends of the shattered tibia dragging on asphalt, so my "10" on the pain scale is a little bit above "oh, I bruised my shin."

Thank you Michael for rescuing me with a wheelchair. Sorry to everyone at dinner for my constant grimacing and yelps of pain at the dinner table.

By the time I got back to the hotel room, I practically needed to be helped onto the bed, where I passed out fully clothed in the only position that was pain-free: Lying flat on my back with a bag of ice on my knee.

I woke up the next morning in the same position with a bag of tepid water on my knee. I spent Monday in the motel room, keeping weight off my foot and  using crutches to get around any time I needed to stand.

My Facebook status this morning:
"My right leg is feeling deceptively good.
By "good", I mean it is in no pain after a day of staying off it and my left leg actually hurts worse from doing all the work yesterday.
By "deceptively", I mean that there is literally no medical condition of the knee that could have felt the way it did night before last and been fine today."
I'll be doing SHOT Show in a scooter. (Thank you, Trevor.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sig Sauer VIP Range Day pics, part 1...

I finally got to put a few rounds through the new US-manufactured Sig Sauer P210 on the range yesterday afternoon.

Obviously a little bit of familiarization is not any kind of thing to base judgments on (at least if you're smart) but I'm cautiously optimistic. It has that same heft and a slide that ran like it was on greased roller bearings...
The trigger was classic target pistol. Probably slightly under three pounds and went from "Applying pressure" to "Making loud noise" with not much in the way of a perceptible transition between the two states. It would definitely take more than a couple magazines of ammunition to really get the feel for it.

I would love to put a couple cases through one of these at some point. Between being built on the right side of any tariff walls, CNC machining, and using MIM fabrication where they could, the price point looks to be in the middlin' decent 1911 range. Given that the 210 is a pistol design from the same broad generation of pistols (in other words, before stampings, castings, and polymer injection molding) there's a lower limit to the price point you can build this sort of gun to and still get a gun that functions like you want in the accuracy and reliability departments.

Purists will howl, like they do about current S&W revolvers or any gun, really, that wasn't built of parts lovingly hand-carved in a workshop in a hollow tree by forest elves, but the proof will be in the shooting.

Attention Hoosiers...

Contact your legislators and make sure they know you'd appreciate their support for House Bill 1159*, which removes the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Indiana, but leaves the option of getting a permit for reciprocity purposes.

Indiana already has some of the most liberal gun laws in the nation, but there're still a final few steps to take. Since our new First Lady is a firearms instructor and one of the big pre-inauguration events was held at the range at Camp Atterbury, I'm hoping that the years of the Holcomb administration will see us fix bayonets, grab flamethrowers, head down into the last few bunkers of anti-gun legislation in the state code and root them out in a final mopping up action.

Constitutional Carry and Campus Carry...also the archaic restriction against using handguns as collateral for a loan, and apparently there's a (largely ignored) ban on plastic coated ammunition because armor piercing or something. I've lived here nearly a decade and didn't even know about that one.

(*This is a big improvement over the bill filed a few sessions ago that just struck all the permit language from the law entirely, root and branch.)


Details to follow...

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Yesterday's range trip marked 14,000 rounds through Glocks since I started logging this stuff in November.


Friday was my last range trip before heading to SHOT, so I just decided to have some fun with the noisemakers: 10mm Auto and .357SIG...

The .357SIG I was trying to see just how fast I could run it. I probably should have gone a little slower, as that egregiously dropped shot shows. That's what happens when your trigger finger sets the pace, rather than the sight picture.

After the range trip I headed over to Twenty Tap for lunch...

The special of the day was a burger au poivre, which was delicious. Twenty Tap's burger game is on point, and their specials rarely disappoint. (Be sure to order some horseradish aoli for dipping your fries.) I paired it with a 10 Speed Hoppy Wheat with Mango, from Bloomington Brewing Company.

Overheard in the Bathroom...

Bobbi is showering. I go into the bathroom to hang a freshly-laundered towel. The door creaks as I let myself in...
RX: *uncertainly* "Hello?"

Me: "Yeah?"

RX: *relieved* "Oh, it's you."

Me: "Well, who else would it have been?"

RX: "It could have been anybody."

Me: "No it couldn't. Did you..."

RX: "It could have been horrible insectoid aliens, scraping the ceiling with their armored carapaces!"

Me: "Did you hear gunfire?"

RX: "Why would you shoot the aliens? You're one of them!"

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Much maverick. So swamp. Very draining. Wow.

Gotta say that Sessions is one of [Trump's] least inspiring picks.

A God-bothering SoCon drug warrior career politician for GOP AG? Wow. That's so maverick. I can feel the swamp draining.

Day Seventy-Three:

Freakishly warm. Took advantage of a gap in rain bands, but carried an umbrella along just in case. Fifty miles northwest of here, it's thirty degrees colder. Breezy.

1.01 miles in 16:30 at an average heart rate of 141bpm.


Quarter Thousand

Another hundred rounds of TulAmmo through the Sig Sauer P250 yesterday morning.

This makes 250 rounds without a stoppage. The 250's hammer-fired ignition system definitely has an easier time lighting off hard Russian primers than the striker in the 320 or Glock. Looking back over my notes, statistically speaking I'd have had at least one light hit by now with those guns.

At 250 rounds and a fair amount of dry fire, I've gotten to the point where I can hold the ten-ring at seven yards with splits in the high .6's and low .7s. I'd say I'm about as familiarized with the trigger as I'm likely to get unless I really dedicate myself to it and start carrying it, which is unlikely to happen at the moment, especially since the only IWB holster I have for it is the Comp-Tac Flatline which, while adequate, isn't really what I like in an IWB holster.

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "Oh, God, SHOT Show runup time. If you have media creds, your email inbox just fills up with stuff like 'Come see us at Booth 3.14159 for a demo of our new deer piss infused nylon Kryptek holster. We're revolutionizing the shooting industry!'"

RX: "With deer piss?"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Double Action Only

Yes, I know Jeff Cooper opined that there could be no such thing as a "double action only" pistol because he thought that "double action" meant that the pistol could be fired two ways. In this, he was incorrect, as the "double" in "double action" meant that the trigger performed the double actions of both cocking the piece and firing it as opposed to the single action of merely dropping the already-cocked hammer.

Anyhow, I spent yesterday morning at the range reacquainting myself with the DAO trigger on the Sig Sauer P250, which hadn't seen much use in my hands since finishing up the 2,000 round test in its .380 Compact guise early last year.

One hundred rounds of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ. The stuff works much better in the Sig Sauer mags than even the factory Glock ones, but you still want to watch for binding issues. It helps to make sure each cartridge is slid fully rearward before inserting the next round atop it.

The top group was at five yards at about a 1-rd/sec cadence, trying to keep the trigger finger in constant motion through four and five round strings. The bottom fifty round group was at seven yards. Now warmed up, I sped up a bit, still firing four and five round strings, still trying to keep the trigger rolling through each string.

Still dropping a couple when I increased the speed, but a definite improvement over the previous day's performance. This makes 150 rounds of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ through the P250C with no stoppages of any type.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #157...

The comic book gun version of today's range trip, with the Sig Sauer P250 set up in 9mm Compact configuration.


There's enough snow on the ground that I'm letting myself wait until sunrise to walk. There's a stretch around the northeast corner of the block where there's no sidewalk, and I want to be able to see where I'm walking in the street. Especially when cars have had three days to pack the snow down into ice.

...and can you imagine Nixon with Twitter?

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #156...

Last night I used my Glock sight tools to remove a set of suppressor-height sights from a G19 slide I bought from a friend some time back and mounted them on the Gen4 Glock 34 MOS. The process was a doddle and didn't even require removing the Trijicon RMR optic.

Day Sixty-Nine:

Waited until afternoon, when I pulled some fresh toasty clothes out of the dryer and headed out into the balmy sunshine.

1.02 miles in 18:34 at an average heart rate of 127bpm.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A new...and still growing...project.

The modular nature of Sig Sauer's P250 and P320 series of pistols makes for some interesting testing possibilities. How much influence does caliber play in that elusive category "shootability"? We like to talk about how much easier the 9x19mm cartridge is to shoot than, say, .40, but exactly how much? How much more "shootable" is a compact than a subcompact? How much less than a full-size?

The fact that the DAO P250 and the striker-fired P320 use the exact same frame modules expands the comparison possibilities. Given identical frames and chamberings and (that bugaboo of internet gun forum discussions) bore axes, how much more shootable is the striker-fired gun?

To this end, I had Sig ship me a 9mm Compact P250 Caliber X-Change kit for the .380 I already had on hand, as well as full-size .357SIG Caliber X-Change kits for both the P250 and P320. There'll be a lot of timed and scored shooting by myself and as many shooters of varying skill levels as I can rope into this over the coming months.

I have some thoughts I'll flesh out more in future posts, and I'm interested to see how they bear up in the cold light of day.

The TulAmmo, by the way, functions fine in the Sig magazines; neither gun suffered any malfunctions and the rounds slid smoothly in the mags with no binding. Which is good, because I finished up that Glock 19 test with three hundred and fifty rounds left out of that case.

Shooting at a 1-rd/sec cadence, I discovered two things right off the bat: The Dawsons on my P320C need the rear sight drifted slightly to the right, and it's really hard to keep a rolling 1-rd/sec cadence up with a seven-pound DAO trigger immediately after doing it with a tuned 3# Grayguns race trigger.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Day Sixty-Seven...

Glad I waited until it warmed up out there.
1.03 miles in 19:39 at an average heart rate of 125bpm.


Bobbi had the day off today since she worked the weird shift this past weekend, which makes today First Saturday at Roseholme Cottage. Since I rolled the trash can to the curb yesterday, I slept in too.

Yummy breakfast. Now I walk. I'm not going to lie; I mostly waited in hopes it would warm up out there.

...and done.

So Thursday morning was the final range trip of the 2,000 round Gen4 Glock 19 project. With only a hundred and thirty-four rounds left to go, I filled factory magazines with a hundred rounds of the TulAmmo and scrounged thirty four rounds out of partial boxes in the trunk: Ten rounds of 124gr Sellier & Bellot FMJ got loaded into a factory G19 mag, ten rounds of Remington "High Terminal Performance" 115gr +P JHP in a Magpul 17-rd magazine, and fourteen rounds of Winchester RA9T 147gr Ranger-T (which was inexplicably in that Federal HST box) in the Magpul 15-round mag.

Oh, TulAmmo, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways! One would be the way it wants to bind up in mags like this. Care must be taken as the rounds are loaded to ensure they are not binding up. In the process of loading, I twice had to unload and then reload magazines due to the exact situation depicted in the above photo.

All one hundred and thirty four rounds functioned properly through the weapon, with no malfunctions to report. I fired the partial mags first at the upper target zone; the Remington was exceptionally flashy and blast-y, with a muzzle report and flash easily the equal of Federal 9BPLE.

Then I just did mag dumps with the TulAmmo at the lower A-zone. I was the only person shooting that morning, and so I pretty seriously flouted the 1-rd/sec rules.

The comet tail of holes trailing off to the lower left shows the effect of only a month or so spent away from the pistol bays at the outdoor range. Dry-fire and shooting on an indoor range with a nominal speed limit on your rate-of-fire are good for maintaining marksmanship, but can cause a bit of atrophy in the skills used to shoot fast follow-up shots. A lot of that comes from feeling my grip coming apart and trying to fix it mid-string, I think, but it would be useful to video myself at this point, or recruit a training partner.

That makes 2,000 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 four failures-to-feed (#814, #864*, #1,681, #1,741). 0 rounds to go.

I'll note that not one of those malfunctions was brass-cased ammo in a Glock magazine. In fact, none of them, except #814 and #1,681, involved brass-cased ammo at all, and both those were in the ETS mags.

Personally, I'd have to say that my own jury is still out on the ETS 30-round stick as anything but a range toy. I could see using the 20-round one in a class-type environment or any game that allowed it, but I think I'd stick with factory mags or maybe the Magpul for carry. (I haven't had any failures with the Magpul mags yet with anything but steel-cased ammo, but factory is obviously the safer bet.)

How do I feel about the Gen4 19 itself? Well, I cleaned it, at least cursorily, and lubricated all the Glock-specified lubrication points, then I loaded it up with Speer 124gr +P Gold Dots and holstered it up. I want to get some range time in with the Gen3 19 I've been carrying since last December, and this gives me the chance to do it without all the administrative loading and unloading that would otherwise be involved.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Day Sixty-Six:

It was cold out this morning. I went and swept the walks free of snow after breakfast. Wind chills were in the single digits. Then I set out for my three laps. For most of the block, I was leaving the first footieprints in the snow.

By the third lap, the wind had died down and it was muy tranquilo.

1.05 miles in 20:54 at an average heart rate of 127bpm.


A photo posted by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on


Roads are slick and a thin dusting of snow continues to filter out of the sky. It's supposed to pick up again later this afternoon, too, although the weatherdude was saying only 1"-2" accumulation here on the near north side of town.

Getting the Zed Drei to and from Indy Arms Co. was an adventure this morning. 54th wasn't bad and neither was Keystone, although the traction control lit off even feathering it away from stop signs and traffic lights.

Pretty much stuck in the house. Bought plane tickets to SHOT the other day, so it's not like I can afford to go anywhere anyway until some more paychecks show up in the Hollow Empty Metal Box of Crushing Disappointment bolted to the front of the house. I thought it was supposed to be cheap to fly to Vegas?

Maybe I'll clean guns...

Overheard in the Hallway...

RX: *looking at toothbrush to which she has just applied toothpaste* "Oh, that's the wrong toothbrush."

Me: "What do you mean 'wrong toothbrush'? Do you have a toothbrush you use on your feet or something?"

RX: "No, it's an old one, I was going to put it in the dishwasher and then put it in the jar of old toothbrushes on the kitchen counter I use for cleaning."

Me: "Yeah...I have a confession to make. I've thrown a few of those out over the years."

RX: "I was saving those..."

Me: "There wasn't enough room for them in the jar!"

RX: "Then start another jar! Those toothbrushes were the chapters in the story of my life!"

Me: "Do you believe in some weird afterlife where you're suspended by the ankles upside down in a barrel of all the toothbrushes you've thrown away?"

RX: "What minty fresh hell is this?"
You can tell whose parents lived through the Great Depression and whose were early Boomers.

Almost done...

I'm not across the finish line with this thing quite yet, but I can see it from here. I loaded up another hundred rounds of TulAmmo into factory mags yesterday morning and headed to Indy Arms Co. with the intention of trying the new sights at a few distances.

The CAPs are fast up close with the fat, brightly colored front sight, but are quicker to align and more precise for fine work than the dated XS Big Dot sights (now called "DX" sights, apparently) are.

The inherent problems with this sort of sight start to show up as the range increases. By fifteen yards, they pretty much cover an 8" bull and you're left hoping that you've got the dot right over the 2" center. This is why my lousy trigger control is so magnified on that bottom right target. (And why I was okay with my scores on the Rangemaster bullseye course; 25-yd work on a B-8 with a fat front sight like this has a bit of guesswork baked in.)

For now, they are a good balance of what I need in a sight, but I'm interested in both the thinner version ("TCAPS") or the long-rumored thin Trijicon HD sights about to debut at SHOT.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

That makes 1,866 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 four failures-to-feed (#814, #864*, #1,681, #1,741). 134 rounds to go.

Tab Clearing...

The latter is relevant because it's what causes compact (19/23/32/38) and subcompact (26/27/33/39) Glocks to have those annoying serrations on the trigger. See, those make it a "target trigger" and are worth two import points.

Last night I swapped a spare smooth-faced Gen3 Glock 17 trigger into my Gen4 Glock 19 test gun. I should have done it fifteen hundred rounds ago. (My current carry gun, a Gen3 Glock 19, has also had a smooth trigger installed.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Grime Will Tell...

Another hundred rounds through the test gun yesterday morning. I loaded a box of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ into factory Glock 19 magazines and then, because it hadn't seen a lot of use with JHP ammo, I split a box of Federal HST in the standard-pressure 124gr flavor into a factory Glock 19 mag, a Magpul 15-round Glock mag, and the 20 round ETS stick.

The 20-rd ETS magazine finally suffered its first nose-dive failure-to-feed. This was the sixth round from the bottom of the mag (#1,681 of the test.)

A round of Tula nosedived in a factory Glock mag as well (#1,741 of the test.) This was magazine #3, which means I bought it when I bought the gun five years ago and used it all through the Gen3's original 2k-round test and in at least one class. It might be dirty, plus TulAmmo.

So, that was a hundred rounds more downrange.

That makes 1,766 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 four failures-to-feed (#814, #864*, #1,681, #1,741). 234 rounds to go.

Day Sixty-Five:

Trying to get back on the early horse. Still ate two strips of bacon and an egg before heading out.

Shemagh, snow boots, and heavy gloves because of the thirty mph wind and single digit wind chills. No jogging. Wore my headlamp.

1.01 miles in 18:20 at an average heart rate of 140bpm.

Overheard in the Office...

Me: "Hey Siri, give me a one hour timer, please."

iPhone: "Okay, I've set a timer for one hour. But remember, a watched iPhone never boils."

Me (to Bobbi): "I meant to ask Alexa to do that..."

*at the sound of its name, the blue light starts orbiting on the Echo Dot*

Me: "There are too many robots in this house."

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Day Sixty-Four:

I forgot my phone at home, so no cute map with colored lines. I "jogged" half the south side of the block on each lap. According to the watch, that shambolic shuffle was getting my heart rate up to 166+bpm.

Next project is to strengthen my ankles so I can push off better with my toes and lift my knees more. I am going to be able to run again if it kills me.

1.03 miles in 15:49 at an average heart rate of 143bpm.

Back to work...

A holiday weekend with no trigger-pulling other than a bunch of dry-fire came to an end on Monday with another range trip to Indy Arms Co. with the Glock 19 Gen4.

I normally use ranges on weekday mornings so I have them to myself, and thus I forgot that yesterday was New Year's Day (Observed) and the joint was jumping with the great unwashed (and untrained) out to do some blasting on their quarterly group range outing.

There was actually a wait for a lane, during which I went out and helped some folks who were having issues with the rental Glock 42 malfunctioning. I was wearing one of my gun burkhas with the Indy Arms logo stitched over the pocket, so at least they didn't think I was just J. Random Customer when I gave them a little two-minute briefing on how recoil-operated guns function and why a firm grip is important.

And then someone came off lane five, freeing it up so I could run out and get my day's blasting done before I broke out in introvert hives.

 Another hundred rounds of TulAmmo were expended. I didn't do anything on the timer or anything, just ran the target out to five and then seven yards to check sight alignment. It looked like I'd gotten the front sight on there crooked; it appeared that the rear of the sight was kicked slightly over to the right...

Yup. I'd be headed home to pull the front sight, clean off the Loctite as best I could, and then re-install it.

There were no malfunctions of any kind to report.

That makes 1,666 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*). 334 rounds to go.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Sitting on my hands.

If you don't want to shoot some jello with an 80gr copper hollow point moving at ~2,000fps, just to see what happens, you need a corner clipped off your gun nerd card.

Oh, get over yourselves!

Jesus Christ, they're already LARP'ing V for Vendetta:

This is exactly the mirror image of when the flakier parts of the Right side of the political spectrum ran off and bought 3br/1.5ba bunkers in the Rockies to await the end of the world back in January '09. Except to read about that, you had to go to InfoWars.com or other nut-fudge fringe sites.

This, however, isn't a loony fringe political 'zine being passed out at a campus drum circle. This is an editorial at CN-frickin'-N, and the writer just assumes that by the virtue of you reading it, you're obviously a fellow bien pensant wondering what the best way is to resist the forthcoming inauguration of Literally Hitler.

At least it was easier to take the right wing kooks seriously when they were frothing about resisting the incoming administration. After all, they had Chinese semiautomatic rifles and surplus body armor. These new anti-establishment guerrillas, on the other hand, only have painfully inoffensive jokes and sex toys.

Changes to the gat...

So I settled down late on New Year's Day with the Glock 19 Gen4 and prepared to make some alterations...

I had a set of Ameriglo CAP sights to install, and to install them, I had a brand new MGW sight pusher and a handy front sight installation tool from Fixxxer, both of which I'd purchased from Amazon.

The rear sight came off in a jiffy and the new one went on almost as quickly. The front sight was swapped out in a jiffy, too, with the shallow magnetic socket of the Fixxxer tool being super handy.

I also had a smooth-faced trigger from a full-size Glock to put in, but I decided I'd filthied up my hands enough for one night and put it off for later. I'll put the trigger in this afternoon when I get home from the range.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

...a new year dawns.

But I'm not dawning with it for a while.

Bobbi worked the weird shift. I'm going to lounge here in bed until Meet the Press is over and then go for a walk.