Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Long range day...

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

Well, I wrapped up the shooting portion of the XD-E test for Shooting Illustrated today. Coming soon to a mailbox near you...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Disturbing thought...

Thursday's shooting session...

Brought the Glock 29 along with me to work on Thursday, along with a fifty round box of Armscor 180gr FMJ ammo. I'd added a Ghost "Bullet Forward" slide release, mostly to try the thing. I've pretty much settled on using the Vickers releases on my G-locks, but I hadn't tried this option yet, and Dave Spaulding had recommended it, so... I'm doing this for you, internet.

Clamping the pistol in a death grip seemed to get the off-center light strike problem out of the picture...or it did mostly, anyway. I only experienced one, on the thirty-fourth round of the day (#156 of the test).

This makes 170 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubed, with six failures to feed (#2, #3, #12, #13, #22, #23) and eight failures to fire (#4, #7, #9, #15, #17, #26, #64, #156). 1,880 rounds to go.

Memorial Day 2017


Sunday, May 28, 2017


This weekend has thus far been the opposite of productive.

I've not gotten any shooting done because the holiday weekend is likely to see my usual venues overrun with the sort of casuals that make me nervous as dammit on public ranges. I really would hate for the last words I heard on this planet to be "Oh, damn! I'm sorry! I thought it was unloaded!"

Local coverage of the pre-race festivities for the Indy 500 meant I got no Meet the Press for a second week now.

I only got dressed because it's Bobbi's birthday and I'm buying her lunch before coming home to write while she visits her mom.

I have to do laundry. Exciting stuff.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Twist my arm...

Bobbi got home from work tonight with a couple of bags from Fresh Market in her arms. "Do you want a baked potato with dinner?" she asked.

I sussed out the situation... "You got steaks? I was supposed to play World of Warcrack with Robin and J- and the Nerds at 8:00PM, but I can tell them I'll be late...only... Well, I was going to tell you when you got home that I was thinking about getting some steaks tomorrow so we could eat them while watching the last two episodes of the first season of The Expanse."

"I don't see a problem with that."

"You could eat steak two nights in a row?"

"If I'm buying one night and you're buying the next, I don't think it counts."

From conversation elsewhere...

"It's something of which I try and remain cognizant. Yeah, I've been to a bunch of gun school...for work. Yeah, I have a pretty relaxed dress code...because I write about guns for a living. 

Translating my experience to somebody who has to dress professionally in a No Guns Allowed cubicle farm and gets a couple precious weeks of vacation a year that they might want to blow taking the fam to Disney instead of taking Extreme Tactical Rollover Prone Room Clearing Level 3 is something I have to keep in mind. 

It's why I constantly check on what Claude is writing. He keeps me centered."

Good news and bad news...

On the left is Hornady's 147gr .355" XTP jacketed hollowpoint, a bullet not known for enthusiastic expansion at subsonic velocities. Shoved out of a 5.5" .357SIG barrel at about 1240 feet per second and this one expanded okay, even through four layers of denim. It penetrated a little over eighteen inches of Clear Ballistics gel, coming to rest a little ways into the second block.

The 125gr Remington Golden Saber Bonded .357SIG projectile on the right did likewise.

Thing is, though, so did several 9mm 124gr +P Federal HST bullets.

Maybe the .357SIG would have performed better than the +P 9mm through auto body sheet metal or windshield glass? Don't know, but these two bullets did pretty much the same thing in gel covered in four layers of denim...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bigger, Better, Faster, More?

Wilson Combat's loading of the 115gr Barnes all-copper TAC-XP bullet turned in very consistent performance in some informal testing through four layers of denim. Whether fired from the 3" barrel of the Chiefs Special 9, John's 4" Wilson X9 test gun, or the 5" (actually 5.31") barrel of a Glock 34, the bullets penetrated between 12 and 14 inches in a Clear Ballistics FBI block and expanded to look like advertising photographs.

Each inch of barrel just seemed to add about a half inch more penetration, and they all expanded fairly early
The top two are the Wilson-loaded 115gr +P 9mm bullets. The lowest one is a .45ACP 185gr +P Barnes TAC-XP from a Carry Comp 1911 built by Chuck Warner. It also penetrated 13" and expanded perfectly. The lead-cored projectile, provided for scale, is a 10mm Auto Critical Duty bullet that was pulled out of the second block, having penetrated about 20" of denim-covered gel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


In picture: Dark Star Gear holster, Grayguns FCU, Boresight Solutions frame.
One neat consequence of the P320's modular nature is that you can test the effects of very specific changes, like the shape of the new X-series grip module. Same trigger, same top end, only the frame is different. Or you can, for example, swap back and forth between the factory Sig lockwork and the Grayguns-tuned FCU while keeping the rest of the gun the same.

It's pretty interesting. I'm grinding the numbers, and they'll be in the Shooting Illustrated article.

Keys, please.

So, the anti-theft immobilizer system used on Bimmers in the late Nineties and early Aughties basically involves...stuff. Transponders and rolling codes and things.

I've used a pre-FMVSS car as a daily driver before, a '67 Dodge Coronet. Prior to the 1968 model year, you didn't even have the whole "locking steering column" thing. The ignition switch was on the dashboard and, once you'd turned the key, you could take it out of the ignition and chuck it out the window at 72mph and the car would just keep running until the fuel pump sucked air. Then you'd have to get under the dash with some wire clippers the next time you wanted to go for a drive.

In the Zed Drei, on the other hand, the car is effectively bricked without one of the ten rolling transponder codes the EWS-III can recognize. This does make stealing the car a lot more difficult than it would have been to boost that old B-body Mopar, but it is not without its downsides.

Monday, May 22, 2017


I have a pretty distinct mental checklist I follow for emptying the car of stuff if I'm ever planning on needing to leave it overnight for service or whatever, but apparently I need a card in my wallet with a checklist for unplanned instances, like having to abandon it in Shootin' Buddy's garage until I get fresh keys.

This morning Bobbi asked if I was good for transportation, and I replied that of course I was. I could Uber to the Bimmer dealership and back and, if I needed to do any errands, this is Broad Ripple and I have a bicycle with ample baskets.

Then she left for work and I realized that my garage door opener is still clipped to the sun visor of the Zed Drei in Lafayette.

While it is still technically possible to get my bike out of the garage, and then out of the locked gates in the back yard, and then get everything all locked up again without having a garage door opener, it's pretty much a "missionaries & cannibals" exercise and too much hassle to be worth it except for dire needs.

Fortunately, Fresh Market and the various restaurants at 54th & College are a pretty easy stroll. Heck, the neighborhood is walkable enough that, if one worked from home, a car...or even a bicycle...wouldn't be absolutely necessary. I remember walking to the neighborhood grocery store with my grandmother in Chicago when I was in grade school; it was a little closer, but not much. She had a collapsible wire two-wheeled grocery cart to haul her goodies in... (Note to self: Grandma wasn't dumb. Look into one of those.)

It was a beautiful day for it, too. Low seventies and sunny. I grabbed lunch, a Chicago dog at Fat Dan's, before heading over to Fresh Market for groceries.

"It could be like this all year 'round and I wouldn't complain," I remarked to the cashier at Fresh Market.

"Yeah, but we couldn't afford to live anyplace with weather like this year 'round," he pointed out. "I'll shovel snow a few times a year in exchange for the nice low cost of living."

Fair point.

"How was your weekend, Tam?"

Now to get the title to the Zed Drei and Uber on over to the BMW dealership and get some new keys, because the spare key seems to have gone air-soluble between 2001 and now.
"There's all kinda preparedness stuff in here. There's a first aid kit with a spare TQ and chest seal, there's tools and Fix-a-Flat and electric tire pump, there's a flashlight and a pocket knife and a Glock..."

"You got a spare car key?"


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "What makes you think the video is Japanese?"

Me: "Because of the way they're folding that stuff. Look, in Japan, they've basically raised two things past 'art form' and clean into 'cultural obsession': Serving tea, and folding stuff really, really neatly."

RX: "There's also vending machines. And tentacle porn."
nb. My landlady wishes it to be known that awareness of the existence of tentacle porn is not the same as approval thereof.

Two Updates For the Price of One

Thursday I got the Glock 29 out to Atlanta Conservation Club where it was fed a box of Armscor 180gr FMJ. The gun ran fine for me, albeit I was concentrating on a firm grip. There was one round that experienced the light primer strike/OOB malfunction while Mike was shooting it. That was round number thirty-four of the day (#64 of the test.)

Friday morning saw the stubby Glock's date with the chronograph. It's often assumed by internet pontificators that, with its short 3.77" barrel, the Glock 29 launches 10mm bullets at .40 S&W velocities. Which is almost true...if you consider that it's launching 10mm bullets from a compact pistol at velocities that barely exceed similar loadings in a 6" barreled longslide Glock 24.

I'll go ahead and list the chrono data with two numbers in each row, the first being from the compact Glock 29 and the second from the full-size Glock 20:
Hornady 180gr XTP
LO: 1035  1109
HI: 1057  1127
AV: 1046  1118
ES: 22.70  17.78
SD: 8.36   6.32

Hornady 155gr XTP
LO: 1194  1290
HI: 1238  1321
AV: 1217  1306
ES: 43.78  30.70
SD: 12.60  11.31

Sig Sauer V-Crown 180gr JHP
LO: 1052  1158
HI: 1098  1215
AV: 1071  1168
ES: 46.41  57.46
SD: 15.62  16.88
The Armscor 180gr FMJ I hadn't chrono'ed out of the big gun or, if I did, I can't find the numbers right now, but it averaged 961.7fps from the Glock 29. That Bobcat 180gr JHP that caused the issues in the first range session, by the way, had averaged 1,225fps from the G20.

It looks like the G29 gives up as much as 100fps to the full-size gun, but is still steamier than .40 S&W out of full-size duty guns. And out of compacts? When I tested Speer 155gr Gold Dots in the Performance Center Shield .40 for Shooting Illustrated, they only averaged 1,063fps, compared to 1,217fps for the 155gr XTP's from Glock's baby ten.

During the chronograph testing there were no malfunctions, other than me choking way up on the gun and inadvertently causing the slide to lock back prematurely on round number thirty-six of the day (#116 of the test.) Since that was entirely me and not the gun, I'll note it here but not in the running tally.

This makes 120 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubed, with six failures to feed (#2, #3, #12, #13, #22, #23) and seven failures to fire (#4, #7, #9, #15, #17, #26, #64). 1,880 rounds to go.

Does NBC have an alternate channel for Americans?

Oh my sweet Christ! After the week we've had, Meet the Press should have been just guaranteed entertainment.

Instead, those Manhattanite Euro-fellators at NBC have preempted it for a goddam British soccer game. Jesus wept, who cares if the Brightinghamshire Ponces can best the Twarfton-by-Blight Tea Cozies or not?

It will be many years before the majority of Americans view soccer as anything other than a participation trophy sport for eight-year-olds whose NPR-listening, Volvo-driving parents feed them muesli and won't let them play Pop Warner football.

Friday, May 19, 2017

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

I might have mentioned finding this Gen4 Glock 29 sitting in the showcase at Premier Arms out in Brownsburg for a very attractive price. I used to tote a 29 'way back in the day, so there's a bunch of nostalgia wrapped up in the gun for me.

Further, the fact that it still had the copper-colored grease on the slide and that the extractor, breechface, and chamber hood were unmarred led me to suspect the gun was unfired. Should I put 2,000 rounds through it for the amusement of the internet? Sure, why not.

I lubed the gun on the factory-recommended lubrication points with Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil, which I selected because there happened to be a .5 oz. bottle of it on my desk at the time. I found a box with thirty leftover rounds of Bobcat Armament 10mm JHP in the trunk of the Zed Drei, and so I brought the 29 along when I took the XD-E to Indy Arms Co on Wednesday. I figured I'd shoot the XD for work and then the G29 for a bit of fun...

*BOOM!* I'd forgotten that Bobcat Armament, like most small ammo makers, feels obliged to load up 10mm Auto to NUKYULAR levels, lest it get mistaken for .40 Short & Weak. Consulting my notes, this stuff averaged 1,225fps out of my Glock 20. Recoil in the stubby little Glock 29 was, as the old saw goes, "brisk but manageable".

With the first shot, the grip torqued in my hand, I could feel the slide bottom out hard as the recoil spring fully compressed, and...failure to feed on the second round in the magazine. As a matter of fact, the second and third round did this in all three magazines. "You're limp-wristing!" Okay. Personally, I think my wrists were fine, but the gun was trying its best to get out of my hands; I'll cop to not having a Captains of Crush Grip...but should that be necessary to make a gun function?

The primers were well flattened and at the ragged edge of primer flow. This is hot ammo. You play at the edge, sooner or later, you fall off... (Sig Sauer's 10mm ammo only chrono'ed some 50fps slower and showed no pressure signs at all when I tried it in my 20, remember.)

Additionally, my favorite bugbear of hard-recoiling compact Glocks popped up: Light, off-center primer strikes caused by a failure to go completely into battery. This happened six times in thirty rounds. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Glock's reputation for reliability is built on their 9mm guns. The further away from the 17 you get, the more chance there is that there will be special issues. In the case of this range session, I'm perfectly willing to bet that if the ammunition were loaded more reasonably, the gun would have been a bunch less problematic.

Factory sights impacting high when I forget to align the plastic and not the paint...

This makes 30 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubed, with six failures to feed (#2, #3, #12, #13, #22, #23) and six failures to fire (#4, #7, #9, #15, #17, #26). 1,970 rounds to go.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Overslept this morning, then wound up having to wait on ammo from FedEx dude before running to the range. I've got editors to make happy and not a word in my head. This is as vicious a case of writer's block as I've had in a while.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Holler Points...

I may have mentioned before that a standard test protocol for my reviews in Shooting Illustrated requires a ten-round chronograph string and five five-shot groups for accuracy testing. This uses up thirty-five rounds out of a fifty round box, and means that the trunk of the Zed Drei would gradually fill up with fifteen-round partial boxes of ammo if I didn't pop them off downrange every now and again.

In this case, it gave me a chance to run a couple magazines of two different brands of JHP through the XD-E, some 124gr Federal HST and some 147gr Speer Gold Dot G2.

The JHP ran fine, as did another box of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ. This pushed the round count on the gun over five hundred.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Rode along down to Cincinnati with Mike Grasso. Spent the morning in the studio at Ballistic Radio before having lunch with John and Melody, and then back home again in Indiana.

Monday, May 15, 2017


More shooting...

 Another hundred rounds of steel-cased TulAmmo through the XD-E yesterday. Still no problems.

The 8" circle was me trying to shoot faster and experimenting with different finger placement on the trigger.


Locally Grown Gardens gets visited by its morel connection around this time of year, and the annual cooking of the morels is well on its way to being a seasonal feast here at Roseholme Cottage. It means that soon Bobbi will be making her annual pilgrimage to Dayton, and the Broad Ripple Art Fair is right around the corner, and then the city will be busy for race week and the kickoff of summer.

This year the celebratory meal was a filet from Fresh Market, grilled over hardwood charcoal, and the morels, dusted in flour and fried in truffle butter. Some raw carrots served as something to nosh on while watching The Expanse.

Cooked rare, just right!

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Happy Mothers Day, Mom! And Happy Anniversary to you and Dad! 🙂

Pew! Pew! Pew!

I ordered a case of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ from Lucky Gunner to see how the XD-E runs with smelly, dirty, hard-primered Russkie fodder. There was half a box already in the trunk of the Zed Drei from some other work, and so I grabbed it and a full box and headed to Indy Arms Co. with one of John Murphy's targets to do some blasting.

75 rounds at seven yards, decocking for the first round from every magazine. There were no malfunctions of any type to report.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Indoor ranges, where I wear my ancient Peltor Ultimate 10's instead of electronic ear pro, I tend to catch earworms pretty bad. Out of the half-dozen people in the pistol range this morning, I was probably the only one who was bopping to an internal loop of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" while loading mags...

I really should run some earbuds up under the muffs so I can have more control over what I'm listening to while shooting.

It's true...

While you can definitely still get burned in the bargain aisle, the name-brand stuff is pretty much all much of a muchness.

Glock enjoys the market position it does as a function of two things: Massive aftermarket support (and this becomes a chicken-and-egg thing at some point: You don't get this kind of aftermarket support without being huge, and you don't get this huge without the aftermarket support,) and the fact that for end users, it's still the easiest of the striker-fired plastic cop gats to work on.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Pure gun nerdery...or is it?

Gats, Uplula, PHLster Skeleton 2 holster, and Flatpack TQ carrier...
My multi-caliber Gen4 Glock 35 with its .357SIG barrel goes up against the Sig Sauer X-Carry...only the X-Carry is fitted with the slide/barrel assembly from a .357SIG full-size Caliber X-Change kit. It's an "X-357"!

I had a couple boxes of .357SIG Speer Lawman 125gr FMJ on hand, and I took them both to Indy Arms Co with the guns for a little fun making loudenboomer noises.

The X-Carry's grip seems to really be more controllable with the .357SIG than the original P320 grip. That's entirely subjective, and I'll have to get to the outdoor range with my timer to make sure it wasn't all in my head, but the gun sure seemed to shoot flatter and twist less in the grip.

The "X-357" in a Dark Star Gear kydex IWB holster. Would I carry this gun configured like this? I...I very likely would. I mean, I liked .357SIG before it was cool, and I still like it even after it's stopped begin cool. #truefan

Out of sorts.

I've been off my feed this week. Sorry about that.

I've hardly written a thing, and that's bad when writing things is what you do for work. (And it's not that I'm lacking work; there are probably several editors who would be tickled pink if I'd shake off the funk and churn out some copy...)

I aim to have some fun this weekend. The top doesn't need to go up on the car for probably a week, and I aim to make the most of it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


I didn't know this was online, but there you go...

Oy vey, the weather...

It's raining. Again. Indiana has been like something out of a Bradbury story (.pdf link) for the last two weeks. They were saying that Carmel, immediately to the north of us, has seen almost seven inches of rain so far this may, with certain individual weather stations in Hamilton County reporting closer to ten.

It's muggy and the weeds are growing like, well, weeds while the grass is almost keeping up.

I am promised by the weatherdude, however, that this is the last day of rain for a week or so. So...yay?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On this day in history...

Louis Bleriot put up a prize in 1930 for the first aircraft that could exceed 2,000km/h in level flight for thirty minutes. It was thirty-one years before Convair and the USAF claimed that prize. (By comparison, the Ansari X-Prize stood unclaimed less than nine years.)

(h/t to Billy Beck via the Bookface)

Training opportunity...

Tom Givens has a couple seats left in a three day Firearm Instructor Development Course in Culpepper, VA late this month. (The 26th through the 29th.)

Do note:
"This course satisfies the training requirements for the Oklahoma CLEET requirements to become an OK SDA Instructor, for a state firearms instructor license in South Carolina by SLED, for 24 hours of continuing education credit in South Carolina by SCCJA, and for 24 hours training credit by Georgia POST."
Cost is $595.
(I get nothing for pimping this other than the warm fuzzy feeling that more people are out there working hard to get more clueful.)

Locavore ammunition...

Bobcat Armament is an Indiana company best known for making steel targets. They're also in the ammo biz and I picked up a hundred rounds of their 9mm FMJ at an Indy 1500 gun show with the intent to chrono it and see how consistent it was.

Finally got to the range with it on Monday morning, and here's the tale of the tape for the 124gr FMJ load:
LO: 1062
HI: 1100
AV: 1082
ES: 37.76
SD: 13.49
I was reasonably impressed. The rest of the ammo shot fine, too. I didn't shoot any groups with it, mostly banging steel at about 20 yards. Based on initial impressions, I'd have no problem buying more.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Not really feeling it today.

Yesterday was a day for phone calls with unwelcome news.

I had just been exchanging FB messages with Bob the day before, regarding a forthcoming project he was working on.

We are diminished.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Why, yes, I'm carrying a gun.

I put my jeans on and the holster was already on the belt which was already threaded through the belt loops. Flashlight, pocket knife, and wallet were already in the pockets, too. (Parenthetically, as the weather warms, I really should move my pepper spray to a jeans pocket as well, since jacket season is going away.) It's not that I specifically carry a gun at home, I just carry a gun.

I know some people strip down to t-shirts and sweats or shorts at home. I'm just not up to that many wardrobe changes in the day. I have vague memories of, in my twenties, having work clothes and afternoon clothes and night out clothes and I just don't have that kind of energy anymore. I get dressed for the day in the morning and that's what I'm wearing until pyjama time now.

The topic of carry around the house came up in a bookface discussion instigated by Claude Werner and was echoed at the blog Bores and Blades.

Having guns staged around the house came up in the discussion. I'm not generally a fan. I mean, there's a fairly centrally-located long gun in Roseholme Cottage, and in the event of a noisy and prolonged entry...the sort that forcing one's way through the hardened double doors at either end of the house would would take...I'm heading to get that gun.

But what about one that's not noisy, that doesn't give a ton of warning? The door accidentally left unlocked? One of the more common crimes of opportunity is where Sumdood is strolling down the street, notices Joe or Jane Homeowner absorbed in lawn work or changing the oil on the family bus or whatever, and just strolls on into the house. This turns into a meeting engagement when it turns out that there were still people in the house not involved in the outside projects.

What happens when you find a guy in the house and he's between you and your stashed gun? Hopefully he runs off and leaves, right? Hopefully.

I've quoted him before, but I'll quote Big City Major Crimes Detective again:
One of my very first murder scenes as a uniformed officer was a guy toes up halfway in/halfway out of his door and in his boxer shorts. Someone had dumped a mag of .25 in him. Evidence indicated he was gut shot, fell down, and they they emptied it into his face. I spent over 3 hours clearing guns to transport to the property room for safe keeping until next of kin could be notified. Eleventy bajillion loaded guns in the house, dead on the door step in his boxers.
I carry around the house, during lawn work, etc. I’m not into stash guns for a variety of reasons.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Gallery of flavors...

Bobbi and I walked over to the Gallery Pastry Shop for brunch today. They do standard brunch fare in the mornings and it's yummy. We sat at the bar, which offers a front-row seat for the cookery. Above you can see some dramatic bananas Foster being prepared.

I had a brace of crepes, one with Smoking Goose chorizo, poblano peppers, red onion, and cheddar, and the other with Nueske bacon, red onion, and feta cheese. (They give you a little card and you just circle what you want, as many or as few ingredients as you please.)

And then came what I was craving...

 ...there's the magic happening, right before my eyes...

Citrus brûlée. It is absolutely delicious. Last time was alternating slices of blood orange and pink grapefruit; this time it was just the grapefruit. It borders on a religious experience...

Automotif CXXXVI...

Super-straight 1976 Buick Century in the heart of Broad Ripple Village, seen from the patio at the Canal Bistro. The lines of the mid-'70s A-bodies have aged better than I would have thought.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Fun Show Report...

Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.
Little show at the Marion County Fairgrounds today.  Lots of vendors obviously still clearing stocks of panic-hoarded AR mags and suchlike. It was a buyer's market for little pocket self defense guns, too. Shields are a hair under three bills when you factor in the rebate, and there were tables of Elsie Peas for two-fitty.

Rimfire ammo is starting to show up in quantity again. I picked up a 500-round brick of Aguila plated hollow points for 6½¢/round, as well as fifty rounds of Velocitor and fifty of the CCI Copper .22 stuff. This stuff has a date with the chronograph and some jello in its future, both from a normal-size handgun, a rifle, and the little NAA Mini...

Range day Friday

 Spent Friday morning on the range at Indy Arms Co discovering two things...

Firstly: The Smith 457 shoots low and right by a couple inches.

Secondly: The XDe has no problem digesting hollow point ammo, at least 124gr HST and 115gr and 124gr Sig Sauer V-Crown.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Well, hell, why not?

I acquired a Smith & Wesson Model 457 on the cheap. This was their compact "Value Series" .45ACP Third Gen auto made from '96 to '06. It features a lot of shortcuts to keep manufacturing costs down but, if I remember my gun store days in the '90s, it was priced closer to a Sig Sauer P245 than it was a Glock 30.

The gun has a fair amount of wear, and there's a decided hitch in the single-action trigger pull. I think I'm going to do some research on Third Gen S&W trigger jobs and see if this is something I even want to mess with. It's not like I can really hurt the value of the gun...

Holler Points

The Sig Sauer X-Carry is, as the name implies, a carry-oriented pistol, and so I would be remiss in not trying some carry-oriented ammunition in it. Thus, a trip to Indy Arms Co with a box of Federal 124gr HST, as well as 115gr and 124gr Sig Sauer V-Crown JHP ammunition.

Everything fed and functioned just dandily in the X-Carry. As I mentioned, this pre-production example shoots a little low; at seven yards I was holding target dude's hairline level with the top of the front sight blade and dropping them in on the bridge of his nose. That's a fair bit lower than even a "drive-the-dot" sight picture, which is the usual method of shooting Sig sights...


Yesterday I posted a picture showing that the newer camera on the iPhone 6S handled a complicated lighting situation better than the one on a decade-old Leica pocket camera.

Today, though, I have some pictures that explain why I still carry a pocket camera.

Yesterday, in the rainy parking lot at Indy Arms Co., was a new Abarth 124 Spider. I pulled the iPhone out of my shirt pocket and snapped a photo...
Ugh. The lens on the iPhone is a wide-angle lens, with a 35mm focal length equivalent of 29mm. You can digitally "zoom" in on stuff, but it doesn't do anything to alter the visual distortion caused by a wide-angle lens. See how the car appears to be "stretched" back away from the large front wheel and headlight in the center of the photo?

Because of the prevalence of cell photos, future archaeologists are going to think that people of the early 21st Century had unusually large noses.

I backed up a few steps in the rainy grass, fished my D-Lux 3 out of the "document pocket" in my gun burkha, and fiddled with the zoom until the car looked right.

There we go. That looked good. When I went and checked the data on the picture later, I'd settled on a zoom that was a 53mm  (in 35mm equivalent terms.) This isn't terribly surprising as the 50mm focal length is the "normal lens" in 35mm format.

Zoom is normally thought of by casual snapshooters as a way of making small stuff bigger, and that's why people just happily accept digital "zoom". The Leica I currently carry in my pocket doesn't have a ton of zoom, but it's a 28-112mm equivalent, which is plenty for most of my picture-taking needs.

I'm not entirely sure I won't go shopping for a replacement for my defunct Nikon P-7000, though...

I should have checked...

While I am relieved that Trump will crush our eight enemies, I regret that I didn't open the paper to see who those eight enemies are. I'd assume North Korea and probably Iran, but I am not well-enough in tune with the National Enquirer demographic to be confident on guessing the remaining six. China, Russia, Cuba, umm... Syria? ISIS? Mexico? France? Quebec?

Also: The photo caption there reads "Navy destroyers head for NORTH KOREA" and shows what appears to be a Russian Sovremnny-class DDG, so... I'm wondering if the art department did that on purpose?

Thursday, May 04, 2017

It was bound to happen sooner or later...

Bazbeaux pizza finally screwed up an order last night. I ordered a small Mediterranean pizza but got somebody else's order instead, and they'd ordered the Garden pizza.

Whoever it was had a pretty delicate palate: The Garden pizza has avocado, spinach, ricotta, artichoke hearts...the only really strong flavors on the pizza come from red onions and black olives.

I assume whoever ordered the Garden wound up with my Mediterranean, which also has spinach on it, in addition to house-made chorizo, pepperoni, feta cheese, and roasted red peppers.

So it's been a whole year now...

Sensor display...

Some of the shots I was taking yesterday had interesting results...

Shooting pictures of black guns on a shady table with various brightly colored things in frame, like my cool raspberry-colored Uplula and the bright blue Pocket Pro II, was a challenge to meter for the sensor in the Leica D-Lux 3, a fairly sophisticated pocket camera circa 2006...

The sensor in the built-in camera on board the circa 2015 iPhone 6s had no problem with the lighting, however.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Slimline Nines

Three single-stack nines in roughly the same size class: The Glock 43 holds six rounds in a flush-fit mag and is barely pocket-gun sized, at least for people with male-pocket-privilege. The only garments I have with pockets that big are winter coats.

The Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special 9 has seven-round flush-fit magazines. It's the smallest factory gun Smith built on their original Model 39/59 traditional double-action architecture.

The Springfield Armory XDe holds eight-rounds in the factory flush-fit mag and ships with a nine-round extendo.

I took the trio to Indy Arms Co. yesterday along with a hundred rounds of Sig Sauer Elite Performance124gr 9mm FMJ ammunition to do some side-by-side shooting...

The three pistols are each sitting by the results of ten shots fired at five yards at an unhurried pace. The XDe and CS9 were decocked between shots, so all ten of theirs were fired double action.

One thing that was immediately apparent was the difference in shootability between the Glock and the other two. The Glock is a handful by comparison with the two other guns, with a bunch more recoil and concomitant muzzle flip. The XDe is more controllable by far and the CS9, with its fat factory Hogue grip, is downright pleasant by comparison.

I fired the remaining seventy rounds through the XDe at the lower left target from a distance of seven yards, firing the first shot of each magazine double action and the remainder single action.

None of the pistols had any malfunctions, not that I expected any.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Settle down, Beavis...

A pack of dogs.
A pride of lions.
A flock of seagulls.
A hysteria of gun owners.

Facts and Figures...

Sebastian has the NRAAM attendance figures:
"We have the figure, and it is the highest since Houston in 2013: 81,836. That beats Louisville last year which was 80,452. Houston will be a hard record to beat since it was the height of the post-Sandy Hook effort to attack the NRA."

Size Comparison...

Glock 43 and Springfield Armory XDe in a rough size comparison. If you have pockets that barely fit a 43, the XDe will likely be just a teeny bit too large for them. For me, both are belt guns, although either will work in the pockets of a winter coat.

The big difference is in trigger reach: With the trigger forward in DA mode, the diameter around the trigger face of the XDe is 7.5" as opposed to 6.25" with the Overwatch Precision TAC trigger in the Glock 43. This translates to about a third of an inch more in straight-line reach to the trigger. That's a full glove size in difference.

Random Thoughts...

  • There's nothing like two days of walking a convention (plus a side excursion on foot to the old neighborhood) to let you know everything you need to know about a pair of shoes. Turns out that my shiny new Moab Ventilators, which had been so comfortable up to this point, are apparently just a little narrow in the heel.

  • Driving home yesterday, I was pretty well paralleling a strong weather front before finally turning west and crossing it just north of Cincinnati. On one side of the front it was in the high 70s and on the other it was in the low 50s. This meant the car was buffeted by gusting 30-40mph crosswinds the whole way. Under those circumstances, suddenly dropping the hammer on the Zed Drei at 85-90mph can cause the traction control light to illuminate. This was an interesting phenomenon.

  • Related: Saturday it was 90 degrees out where I was. Alexa has just informed me that it's precisely half that outside where I am right now. I hurt all over. Time for Vitamin I!

Monday, May 01, 2017


This is a placeholder for when I get home.

Hopefully it won't be raining the whole way back to Hoosieropolis.