Thursday, August 31, 2017

Two hundred more...

Wednesday morning saw me at Indy Arms Co again, with the P30L and another two-hundred rounds of ammunition.

Notice there's no Uplula mag loader in this picture? It's not really necessary for the P30. Other companies would probably have tried to cram 17 or 18 rounds in a tube of this length, but HK was content with fifteen. This could have something to do with the gun's stellar reputation for reliability.

As Bill Riehl once noted at, Heckler & Koch is an excellent magazine manufacturer, and that's the tricky part about making a reliable self-loading pistol. Since the rest of the gun just does the same thing with every shot, all the variables are in the feeding device.

So I started with the little shapes in the upper right corner at four yards. The red star and the yellow triangle got a full magazine each, fired in pairs, decocking between each pair. The gray square and blue circle got the remaining twenty rounds, again shooting two rounds at a time, presenting to the square for the first shot and transitioning to the circle for the second.

Then I fired fifty rounds at the upper group at five yards. (Got a little carried away with that one round...)

Finally I ran the target to seven yards and tried to work on speed with the last hundred rounds.

The HK P30L has now fired 400 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 1600 rounds left to go.

The Little Guy.

So, our local grocery chain, Marsh, went under. Some stores were bought by Kroger and some were bought by another Ohio chain whose name slips my mind at the present, but our local one at the corner of Keystone and 62nd wasn't purchased by anyone and now stands vacant.

This has made me a little sensitive about my beloved Mini Kroger on Guilford Ave in Broad Ripple proper. I split most of my actual food-buying...meat and produce and suchlike...between the Fresh Market around the corner and the new Fresh Thyme that went up on the canal in Broad Ripple, but I'd resolved to shift more of my sundries purchases to the little Kroger instead of the giant Meijer. You know, support the neighborhood institution and all.

Yesterday I had a pretty simple little list:
  • Coffee Mate
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Paper towels
  • Cat litter
And so I headed to the Mini Kroger to get the stuff.

Now, I understand that what the store carries is limited by its size. There's no deli with olive, salad, and sushi bars. There's no pharmacy or cosmetics section. And that's cool, I really don't need all that; I just needed some staples.

So I grab a tiny cart and start wending my way through the narrow aisles. I'd already put a couple Monster Zeros and some bottled water in the cart by the time I got to the coffee aisle only to discover that they didn't have Coffee Mate. They had the house brand and some generic non-dairy creamer I'd never heard of, and they had a couple facings of the fat-free variety, but this wasn't for me and I wasn't about to gamble on buying the wrong thing.

Reluctantly I put my beverages back and parked the cart and headed to another store.

I'm a little worried about the future viability of the Mini Kroger. Shelf stocking was kinda haphazard and full of gaps and they were missing staples like Coffee Mate? I fear that the new Meijer and the Fresh Thyme will be the death of them.

QotD Civilization Is Dangerous Edition

From a good post at Bobbi's blog:
"Most Americans live within thirty miles of a hazard as dangerous as the Arkema plant, if not more so.  We fertilize farm fields with ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia, we build high dams, pump natural gas across the continent in huge pipelines, etc. etc. With modern conveniences come modern hazards and when they crop up, it takes only minutes to do your homework instead of playing Chicken Little on social media -- but few people bother."


So, when you and your bud are rolling down the road in your Mercury Sable hooptie and both front seats are so far reclined that the tops of y'all's heads are barely visible in the back window...

AND the herb you're smoking is so dank that I'm getting a contact high three car lengths behind you rolling down College Avenue at 40mph...

AND you've got a burnt-out brake light...

AND either both your turn signal bulbs are also burnt out or (more likely) you're just not bothering to use them...

I want you to know that when you get pulled over, it's because you got profiled, alright, but it wasn't "racial profiling".

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Test Update...

I have called a few 2,000-round tests to a premature halt before.

There was the PPX, which gummed up its firing pin block enough by round 1,827 that it wasn't reliably lighting off primers anymore.

There was the Bodyguard .380, which after 1,335 rounds without cleaning or lubrication wasn't closing reliably enough to ensure good primer ignition. (A thorough cleaning and lubrication, as well as a prophylactic recoil spring replacement fixed it.)

Finally, there was the Steyr C9-A1, which was a soup sandwich of light primer strikes and failures to eject for 830 rounds before I got bored and dropped it because the Wilson and Nighthawk had just showed up and I needed to shoot them a bunch for a Concealed Carry Magazine article.

It is in the spirit of the latter that I write this post. Well, kinda-sorta, at least. I mean, the Sig P290RS has functioned just fine or, in internet-speak, "flawlessly" for 450 rounds. However, it is such an unpleasant gun to shoot. Fifty rounds at a sitting is close to my limit with it; a hundred rounds leaves the tip of my trigger finger red, raw, and tender. I honestly don't think I could do two hundred rounds at a sitting, and I've sat down and cranked a hundred rounds each through the BG380 and LCP II in one range session.

So, I'm not calling the P290RS test off, per se, but it will be proceeding at a desultory pace in the background, on days where I'm maybe feeling especially masochistic. Expect occasional updates.


Last weekend's Indy 1500 Fun Show yielded a LNIB HK P30L for $749 out-the-door. To say that the P30 design is well-proven would be a colossal understatement, but I wanted to try it for myself. I'd fired a few in the past, and had the kind of casual familiarity that one gets with having them in the showcase, but I wanted some in-depth trigger time, and a 2k test seems like the way to do it.

I opened the range session with a quick Dot Torture drill, which I squeaked through clean. Of especial note is dot number six. That one consists of shooting a pair of shots from the presentation before transitioning to dot seven and shooting it with a pair of shots as well. Because dot six is shot from the presentation, this means the first shot will be fired double-action and the second will be single-action; the dreaded "CRUNCHENTICK". That dot is engaged with a pair of shots four times. Eight bullets went through that elongated hole.

I followed that with a box of 124gr Federal HST to the 3x5 at five yards, shooting in three-to-five-round strings, decocking between strings.

The 8" circle was a hundred rounds of Speer Lawman 147gr shot at seven yards, shooting fast and experimenting with different trigger finger placements. The comet tail low-and-left disappeared when I followed a suggestion from Steve Fisher and buried my trigger finger in the guard. I need to play with that some more.

The HK P30L has now fired 200 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 1800 rounds left to go.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Dot Torture...

Monday Range Day

I put a total of 150 rounds through the P320 X-Carry yesterday morning. One hundred rounds of 147gr Speer Lawman TMJ I brought from home, and a fifty-round box of 115gr Blazer Brass I bought there at the range.

The gun shoots amazingly well, even when I'm seriously exceeding the speed limit at the local indoor range. This makes a total of 1,220 rounds I've fired through this pistol. I don't normally buy test guns, but I think I'll make an exception in this case.

Monday, August 28, 2017

MRAPs for Mayberry is go again.

Jeff Sessions should be happy down to his wrinkly little drug warrior toes today with the announcement he gets to make at the FOP conference in Nashville:
Personally, I have no real beef with the po-po having armored trucks. There are plenty of legit uses for those.

For most departments, though, MRAPs are kind of a mess because of their unique servicing requirements. A Lenco BearCat, built on a heavy-duty Ford chassis, can be serviced at the county road maintenance yard, but Uncle Sam isn't handing those out on a free indefinite loan basis.

From what I can tell, a serious number of MRAPs loaned out to the constabulary wind up deadlined for lack of maintenance, and are therefore unavailable on a moments notice should we suddenly decide we need them back to go change a regime someplace.

Variable geometry biplane...

Long before the variable-sweep F-111 or even the variable-incidence F-8, there was the variable-number-of-wings Nikitin-Shevchenko IS-1, a "polymorphic" fighter which could convert itself from biplane to monoplane and back in flight.

Twelve years ago today...

...the Gulf Coast was underwater from a hurricane and I started a blog.

The blog has outlasted SiteMeter or I'd tell you how many unique hits it's had since then.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Automotif CXL...

The walk to and from Twenty Tap on Saturday night had plenty of prime car-spotting opportunities, including this awesome hot rod parked up in front of Moe & Johnny's...

Navarro heads on a Ford Flathead V8. I think those are Stromberg carbs on a very vintage-looking high-rise intake manifold?

Tab Clearing...

Copypasta from my Bookface wall...

"One of my projects for this week is to seriously get my friends list under control.

It's not a personal thing, it's just that having huge bunches of people I don't know from Adam's house cat on my personal FB timeline seriously dings its utility for me.

I keep a separate "View From The Porch" page for Blog-related stuff and try and stay active there, so it's not like I'm banishing anybody to the Outer Darkness.

But if we don't know each other face-to-face and/or haven't interacted a bunch online on forums and such over the years and/or are not both in the industry and need to know each other for professional reasons, then don't take it personally...

...and I say that knowing that each time a friend has done this, a bunch of people have taken it personally and weeping and drama and butthurt has ensued, and the desire to avoid that has caused me to put this day off for as long as I possibly could."

I originally got a FB account in 2010 because I needed one for a gig I took. I didn't actually plan on using it for anything other than that one work-related page, and so I accepted every friend request pretty much willy-nilly. It wasn't until I was a couple years into the FB experiment that I realized that this could have been a potent and useful thing if I'd had a bit more continence with my friends list.

I need to roll up my sleeves, "unfriend" a bunch of people (which wouldn't seem half so toxic an act if FB hadn't chosen to trivialize the word "friend") and then tag everybody left as "family", "close friend", "industry peeps", et cetera.

I'd like to have a way to let, say, my friends in West Dakota know "Hey, I'm in town if anybody wants to meet up for a toddy," without telling the entire damn internet "Hey, Bobbi's home alone this week and the house'll be empty during the day!" and Facebook is supposed to be exactly that tool.

I need to tape this to my monitor...

Friday Range Day...

I started off Friday morning with some Dot Torture with the Boresight Solutions/Grayguns P320C. The rear sight needs drifting slightly to the right. Also, I need more finger on the trigger.

For some reason, the Dawson Chargers shoot low for me. My aiming point on those dots was to put the red fiber dot just inside the circle at 12 o'clock.

Then it was time for DAO trigger work at ten yards, with P250C's in both .22LR and 9x19 flavors. The DAO trigger setup on the P250 seems to have an effect very like "trigger slap" you see on AK-pattern guns. My trigger finger is pretty tender after fifty quick rounds.

The above target was fifty rounds from each gun, shooting moderately quickly, at ten yards.

While I was at Indy Arms Co. on Friday morning, my test P320 X-Carry arrived back from Fairfax, where it had been sent for beauty shots for the recent Shooting Illustrated review.

 I decided to grab a box of CCI Blazer Brass and run out on the range to see how it ran...

Fifty rounds at seven yards at about a .5-.7 split pace. I am so very crazy in love with the geometry of the X-frames on the 320.

Mixed emotions...

Bobbi and I walked to the newly-reopened Twenty Tap for dinner last night. Sadly, my newly beer-free existence made the visit a little emptier than it could have been.

On the upside, there's a steak salad on the menu again. It used to be one of my go-to lunches before it disappeared. The new version is a chimichurri steak salad, of which I heartily approve. Apologies for the awful photo...

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Forget Texas, this is a tragedy!

Today's Wikihole: Blockhouses...

One of the British stratagems to defeat their guerilla Boer opponents was to construct chains of blockhouses, sometimes connected by barbed wire fencing, covering rail lines, bridges, and other important supply lines.

Originally imposing multistory masonry affairs, by the end of the conflict they had these prefab "Rice blockhouses", designed by one Major Rice, that were double-walled corrugated iron cylinders that could have local rubble poured between the two layers of sheet metal to provide bullet resistance. There was a gabled roof that could be sat atop it, and the whole thing would act as a sort of mini FOB for a squad of infantry. Space these things a thousand yards apart along a railway and no part of it is out of rifle-shot of two blockhouses.

Seems ghastly manpower-intensive, but securing rear areas from roving Boer commandos must have seemed like nailing jello to a wall.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pew Pew Pew...

The Glock 43 is a handful with Winchester NATO 124gr, but still reams more pleasant to fire than the P290RS. Part of it is that the Sig DAO trigger setup seems to exhibit a characteristic akin to trigger slap. I will need to look into this.

450 rounds, no malfunctions. 1550 to go.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Another hundred rounds through the P290RS at Indy Arms Company yesterday: fifty more Winchester 124gr NATO FMJ and fifty Federal Tactical 124gr HST.

Even with the standard pressure HST, this is getting uncomfortable.

See that miss under the target's ear? That's because after firing 49 rounds of the Winchester at five yards, constantly shifting my index finger around on the trigger to find a place where it hurt the least, I gave up and switched hands to shoot the last round of the box weak-hand-only and promptly shanked it low right.

With the target at seven yards, I fired the box of Federal HST at the lower A-zone. Rounds 95, 96, and 97, I thought the gun had broken and wasn't resetting, but I think it was just that my trigger finger was tired enough and sore enough that I wasn't letting the trigger out far enough to reset before pulling it again. Rounds 98 & 99 went fine, and the issue didn't show up the next day.

With anything but the softest-shooting 115gr range ammo, this is an unpleasant gun to shoot for much over a 50-rd range session. I'd rather fire a hundred rounds through the Bodyguard .380 or the LCP II any day.

This range session made it 400 rounds since the gun had been cleaned or lubed, with no malfunctions charged against the gun. 1600 rounds to go.



A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

That's what "propaganda" means...

There's apparently a new ISIS recruiting video featuring footage of an alleged American kid delivering a scripted message of death to the infidels and et cetera. The usual stuff. For some reason it made the Today show this morning.

The Today show story involved an interview with some dude who was, I guess, supposed to be an expert on this sort of thing. He used his most profound tone of voice to say that the imagery in the video was "deliberate", in case we were maybe thinking someone had just dropped a video camera and it landed on the REC. button and picked up all these scenes accidentally.

He also said that the video was meant to be provocative. I appreciated him clearing that up, as I'd always supposed that ISIS propaganda videos were meant to be soothing, or to jolly us along.

I can only imagine that the expert's thoughts before the camera started rolling were "Shit, I have to make mouth noises about this for thirty seconds. What am I gonna say?"

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

You couldn't make this up.

Gun Glut

Today's ad from CDNN...

300 rounds down...

I took the little Sig P290RS to Indy Arms Company on my first morning home from Paul-E-Palooza, along with a hundred rounds of Winchester Q4318 124gr "NATO" FMJ ammo.

The three mags together hold twenty-two rounds of ammo, so a lot of magazine reloading is involved in disposing of a hundred rounds at a sitting. I was thankful for my Uplula. It's like having a bionic thumb.

The top grouping was with the target at five yards and was fired first. The bottom was at ten yards and finished up the range session. By the time I'd put a hundred rounds of warmish 124gr ammo through this gun, I'd had about as much fun as I care to have in one range session. My trigger finger was sore and the tip was very tender. The little bump on the bottom inside of the trigger guard was apparently chewing at it.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report. This makes a total of 300 rounds fired with no malfunctions since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated. 1700 rounds to go.

Odd dream...

I dreamed I was working on a project with Kathy Jackson that required me to fly out and visit her several times.

She'd moved to the far exurbs of some imaginary dream town on the dry side of the Cascades that looked suspiciously like Bend, Oregon and was probably a dream stand-in for Yakima, and so instead of flying in to Portland, I was flying to this high desert airport, hard up against the mountains.

It was a cool little airport. Kind like ABQ if ABQ was all on one level and small like RDM.

Anyhow, this was supposed to be my last trip out there, and as we're coming in on short final, I'm thinking to myself "Huh. I didn't hear the gear drop..."

At which point the pilot turns perpendicular to the runway and bellies it in prettily, right in the dirt. I've never done a gear-up landing, and I have to believe they're more violent than the dream one was.

Nobody seemed hurt and people start shuffling for the exits. My habit of reading the information card in my seatback pocket paid off as I rolled over several rows of seats and popped the right-side front cabin door open, because everybody else in the front of the plane was trying to pile out the left main cabin door.

As I'm passing the cockpit on the way out, I overhear the discussion between the crew and realize the pilot crashed the plane because he was pissed off and quitting the airline. Seemed like an unnecessarily emphatic resignation to me, but whatever.

As I hit the ground among the milling passengers outside the plane, I hear one say "Oh, look! The baggage doors are open!" to which one of the flight attendants says "They were never closed," and I'm thinking that my big Pelican case full of guns had gone D.B. Coopering out of the sky and into someone's back yard.

And then I woke up...


It's time for me to face the uncomfortable truth: Living in Broad Ripple has turned me into a pretentious hipster foodie douchebag. The restaurant game here in my corner of Indianapolis is so strong that I'm just generally ruined for mediocre food.

There's a small-town restaurant in New Hampshire I used to visit every time I went out. Starting in 2010 and running up to the present, I thought their food was getting worse. It wasn't; I was just getting less tolerant in my tastes.

This last trip, I figured I'd visit on Friday night, which is prime rib night. Prime rib and a salad is pretty much the definition of low-carb, and prime rib is pretty hard to screw up, right?


The salad was about what you'd expect; edible, but you could do as good from the salad bar at the local grocery store or Wendy's drive-thru window. Iceberg lettuce, Kraft shredded cheddar, and oil & vinegar is what it is.

The prime rib was... Look, I describe prime rib from O'Charley's or Texas Roadhouse as pretty much the baseline. It's edible, it's prime-rib-flavored, and creamy horseradish and a cup of salty jus can cover for a multitude of sins.

This was not anywhere near as good a cut of meat as you'd get at O'Charley's, let alone Texas Hohouse.

Further, the waitress plopped down the accoutrements: A big squirt bottle full of white stuff that I think was supposed to be creamy horseradish but which was full of what I'm pretty sure was tartar sauce, and a little bowl full of what they usually bring you as "French Onion Soup", only without the couple of soggy croutons and dash of Kraft Parmesan cheese that usually comes with it. (I'd made the mistake of ordering "French Onion Soup" in this establishment on a previous visit.) I believe this was intended to be taken for jus.

I ate half the slab of prime rib. The remainder was mostly fat and, further, had taken on a hue that made me wonder if I was slated for an uncomfortable evening near the loo. The friendly server asked if I wanted a to-go box, but I demurred politely.

I looked around the room, and folks were laying to with a will. Was the problem me? Have I become such a pretentious hipster foodie douchebag that I won't cheerfully tear into school cafeteria food (for which I'm charged school tuition prices) and enjoy it?

Oh, well.

Look, ma! No carbs!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hey, look!

Lights and night sights and lasers, oh my!

Fad diets and me...

"Dieting" is a thing I have literally never done. Never did I really pay attention to calories or carbs or any of that stuff.

I switched to diet sodas back in late '00 when I was rooming with Marko because that's what he drank and I was dead broke at the time and so that's what there was to mooch in the 'fridge. Once you get accustomed to diet soda, it's hard to go back to regular soda because it's so cloyingly sweet by comparison, so there was one source of calories removed from my diet without actually intending to do so.

Still, quitting smoking back in '13 or whenever caused my weight to balloon. Previously, the acts of drinking beer and smoking a cigarette had been so closely intertwined that I literally could not do one without the other. And since I couldn't smoke in the house, this limited beer drinking to those times I was sitting on the porch with a book and a cigarette. Decoupled from that habitual link, I could swill liquid carbohydrates whenever I wanted to, and I did.

When you're taking in enough calories to fuel the lifestyle of a farmhand or construction worker and only burning the calories of a sedentary gunwriter, there are consequences.

I knew that Marko was doing the keto diet thing, but it wasn't until he met me at the airport in Manchester in July that I saw how much weight he'd lost.

I don't know about me doing the full-on keto thing, but I pretty much cut out carbs and sugar as much as possible while I was in New Hampshire and lost a dozen pounds as a result. I knew I had eight pint cans of beer in the refrigerator here at Roseholme Cottage, so when I got home from the Granite State, I threw those in a cooler and took them along to Ohio for Paul-E-Palooza weekend and a Farewell to Carbs ceremony.

(A side effect of my dietary alteration: I used to go through sugar-free Tums like candy. I haven't had a trace of heartburn for a month now.)

There are now no beers in the fridge and there won't be until I've lost about another thirty pounds and established some kind of an exercise program above and beyond just walking around the block.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fortuitous error...

It appears I forgot to register for Friends of Pat '17 this weekend and registration is now closed.

Which, you know, is actually okay because I'm kinda looking forward to being home for more than two consecutive days for the first time since the second week in July. As things stood I was looking at driving back to Ohio on Friday and spending three nights in a motel. I've had enough living out of suitcases to last me for another month or two.

Home again again.

I just spent the weekend sleeping in a tent in the woods in the northeast corner of Ohio, hanging out with a hundred or so violence nerds at Paul-E-Palooza 4. If you weren't there, you missed out on some good learnin' and good times.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Slide velocity...

The 115gr Blazer Brass I was shooting was the typical low-powered budget fodder. In the Glock 34 MOS, spent brass would often pop six inches straight up out of the ejection port and land at my feet. It was no great challenge to keep the dot in the window and on the target all the way through the recoil cycle.

And yet the same ammunition from the same lot cycled the slide on the diminutive P290 vigorously enough that spent cases were landing six or eight feet behind my right shoulder.

Slide velocity in these micro nines can be an issue if you're running hot +P ammo, because sometimes the magazine spring can't get the next round lifted into place in time.

Anyway, Wednesday I fired another fifty rounds through the gun with no malfunctions. This makes 200 rounds fired with no malfunctions. 1800 rounds to go.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Overheard on the Road...

Riding shotgun to MHT in Marko's Subie WRX, listening to the second of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcasts on the start of WWI...

Dan Carlin: "...and it was this series of tumultuous events..."

Me: "Oh my God! That's my favorite YA series! A Series of Tumultuous Events, by Lemony von Snicket!"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Cradle and the Grave of Liberty...

Drove from Castle Frostbite to Boston yesterday to pick Marko & Robin up from the airport after their whirlwind tour of Europe.

With BOS being right off the interstate, the drive itself wasn't bad, but having no idea about what Boston's municipal ordinances might be regarding knives or chemical sprays, I had given myself an air-travel-grade pocket dump before getting in the car. I was armed with a flashlight and that was about it.


"Why don't you go visit thus-and-such place, Tam?" 

Because I have no idea what normal, innocuous thing that I normally carry in my pockets every day is a felony in some benighted parts of this country. Actions should be crimes, not objects.

Monday, August 14, 2017

No Mens Rea Required.

John Stossel alerts the general public to something that we in the gun community have been aware of for a long time: The Principality of Manhattan and its adjacent satrapies don't care about your gun license, and they don't care about intent. Accidental felonies are the order of the day, there.
"Another Georgia visitor, Avi Wolf, was jailed although he didn't even have a gun. He just had part of a gun -- an empty magazine -- a little plastic box with a small metal spring. He brought it to the city because it wasn't working well and he thought a New York friend might repair it. He couldn't believe he was being arrested."

Science Experiments in London...

  • The arduous process that would-be London cabbies put themselves through in order to memorize "The Knowledge" makes actual, measurable physical changes in their brains.

  • The Monument to the Great Fire of London is not only a 202'-tall column marking the spot where London's Great Fire began, it's also a giant fixed telescope intended to measure stellar parallax to confirm by experiment that Earth really orbited the sun. Unfortunately, it was built on one of the busiest thoroughfares in London and the vibration caused by passing traffic was enough to render the telescope unusable.

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Only fifty rounds through the P290 yesterday. The most exhausting part about putting any serious round count through these little guns is jamming those dinky magazines full of ammo over and over again. It takes seven loadings to dispose of a single box of FMJ.

The second most exhausting part is that tiny DAO 9mm pistols leave your hand feeling like it just did an exhausting bout of full-contact sparring. A hundred rounds in a short period of time leaves the trigger finger tired and the palm sore.

This makes 150 rounds fired with no malfunctions. 1850 rounds to go.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Two hundred rounds of 115gr CCI Blazer Brass FMJ through the Gen4 34 MOS today. This lot is some very lightly-loaded ammo, as is typical of the loading. I didn't have very much trouble keeping the RMR's green aiming triangle within the borders of the window in recoil, between the light loads and the nose-heaviness of a longslide with a U-boat on it.

The soft-shooting ammo did trigger one classic stovepipe FTE, but otherwise I was having a good time hammering steel.

This guy...

Saturday, August 12, 2017


So, I lucked into a used P290RS with night sights, three mags, and two holsters for $300 at Indy Arms Company. Let's do the 2,000 round thing with it and see if it puts on a performance to match the one turned in by the Glock 43.

One hundred rounds were fired today to kick things off. I accidentally partially dropped one of the eight-round mags trying to work out the best grip on this thing, which caused the slide to close on an empty chamber, but I'm not counting that against the gun.

I was railing on some A/B/C steel at about seven yards. The DAO trigger took a little getting used to, but by the time I'd finished the first fifty rounds, it was pretty easy to maintain a cadence in the high .4's.

So that's 100 rounds down since the gun was cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions to report. 1,900 rounds left to go.

Friday, August 11, 2017

So much for crazy isolationism...

Kooky isolationist Trump,who has already ramped up involvement in Mesopotamia and all but threatened to knuckle joust the Supreme Leader of North Korea, is now telling us that military options aren't off the table in Venezuela.
"This is our neighbor. You know, we are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary."
Well, all you Democrats who were worried about some New Isolationism where we turned into a hermit kingdom and abandoned the rest of the world to its fate can rest your heads, because that's sure not what's happening.

Taylor Made...

So, Taylor Swift has been on the witness stand lately, in a civil case brought against a former DJ accused of groping her backstage. No cameras are allowed in the courtroom, and Tay Sway fans have been less than thrilled with the performance of the sketch artist provided to document the trial.

Here's how he drew Taylor...

Wait, no, sorry... that's how a crazy lady drew Jesus.

Here's how the sketch artist drew T-Swizzle...

Potato Jesus, meet Potato Taylor Swift...

Big Damn Heroes

Matt Bracken is one of the best (perhaps the best) writers in the subgenre I'd call "libertarian/conservative gun nut post-apocalyptica", and from his first novel, Enemies Foreign and Domestic, his books have gotten better with each volume.

His newest, The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun, is a sequel to Castigo Cay. It's the further adventures of Dan Kilmer, a former USMC scout sniper, who has escaped the collapse of the US by sailing off in his 60' schooner and living the life of a free-trading smuggler in a world where the international economy is gone and most central governments have only sketchy control of their own territory.

Though the book starts off with our wind-powered Han Solo selling off a cargo of black market diesel fuel in an Irish port, it quickly turns into a story about a freelance hostage rescue mission by a team of colorful mercenaries in a story reminiscent of Forsyth at his Dogs of War best.

Normally I have to grade novels in this genre on a curve "Well, for wookie-suiter post-apocalyptica, it's a pretty good adventure novel." Bracken has finally broken the curve. This is a good adventure novel that happens to be in the wookie-suiter post-apocalyptica subgenre. Recommended without reservation.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the political language du jour, "No, you are!"

Separated At Birth?

Lost World

In a post at her blog, Bobbi referred to a "coffeepot AM" radio station. Someone asked about the meaning in comments, and she explained:
"[T]hat's some real old-time radio slang: a "coffeepot" AM is a 250 Watt daytime-only station (of which there are few left), where the station coffeepot is likely to be using more power than their transmitter. The typical county seat AM, that ran 1000 W day and 250 W night was also sometimes referred to as a "coffeepot." Most of those stations are now a thousand Watts or more 24/7 -- or gone.

In a small town with the once-usual array of businesses -- a grocer or two, a Farm Bureau Co-Op, an office supply store servbing (mostly) a couple-three small factories, a bank, a savings & loan (remember them?) and a couple of car dealerships, drugstore, movie theatre, and so on -- a little locally-owned AM like that might have as many as ten or twelve fulltime employees and a handful of part-timers. It could make decent money for the owner/GM, put the GM in a new Cadillac or Lincoln every year, and provide an adequate living to their staff, who would be largely entry-level folks working their way up. The programming was strongly local and included a lot of high school sports coverage. That kind of radio is all but gone now. So are most of the factories, all of the savings and loans, and so on....
If you, like most Americans, live in a city or its surrounding metro area and don't get a chance to wander an older small town Main Street every now and again, it's easy to forget just how much the world has changed in such a relatively short period of time.

For instance, somewhere right off the Main Street of Anytown, USA is likely an abandoned storefront with a faded sign reading "Radio & Television Repair". I wonder how many independent TV repair shops lasted into the third generation of ownership? And the thought of "radio repair" in itself seems almost quaint.


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Hey, look!

"I know from working retail as long as I have that plenty of people come into the store and buy a little gun as their first and only gun, without any consideration of whether the control layout and manual-of-arms matched some existing arsenal they already have.

EDC Gone Wild...

When you stare too long into the EDC abyss, the EDC abyss stares also into you.

Sometimes it really is just dumb bad luck...

When initial reports came out about an IMPD officer's handgun discharging in the holster at a police funeral recently, I was highly skeptical. It's pretty much instinct when one hears reports of an unintended discharge to assume that someone was messing with the gun and violating that most basic maxim of safely carrying a firearm day-to-day: "Stop touching it!"

It turns out that the gun really was in the holster when it discharged:
"Lehn said as two IMPD officers stood up to leave - their seats very close together - the one officer's holster somehow became entangled with either keys or a radio antenna hanging from the other officer's equipment belt.
He said when the one officer stood up, the keys or antenna got caught in the holster and pulled on the trigger, discharging the gun. The bullet struck the deputy sitting behind the officer in her knee."
How could this happen? After all, "A holstered gun is a safe gun" is practically an axiom.

Not always, though. See, Not All Holsters Are Like That. Some holsters require more precaution than others.

The holster in question was most likely for a pistol with a weapon-mounted light, and because the holster mouth on those has to flare widely enough to accept the WML, the trigger is shielded, but something small enough can still be inserted in there.

Pictured is a Bawidamann Gotham IWB with a Glock 34 wearing a Surefire X300U. An adult male probably isn't going to get his trigger finger in there at an angle that could pull the trigger, but a smaller finger might.

Proceed accordingly.

It's pronounced "ˈped(ə)ntrē"...

So, there's a video going around on the intertubes where a police officer, on encountering what is obviously (said with the same tone as "ackshually") a Hi-Point looks at it and, prior to the process of competently and safely clearing it, refers to it as a "Glock Forty".

The Gun Pedantry Brigade went into a feeding frenzy with the sort of enthusiasm normally reserved for those poor benighted souls unfortunate enough to refer to a magazine as a clip in front of the wrong crowd.

I had to disagree:
"[Safely clearing it is] all I care about. I don't expect every cop to be a gun dork any more than I expect them to be a car nerd or a ham radio buff. After all, they use their cars and radios a lot more than they use their guns, right?"
Oh, but no, I was informed.

I quote: "No Tamara, she and all law enforcement officers needs to have a clue about weapons if she is going to be dealing with them."

Well! I think you, sir, need to know about subject-verb agreement if you are going to be dealing with them, but that's a digression.

My actual rebuttal:
"She knew enough about weapons to safely clear the firearm. That's all she had to know. She doesn't need to know brand names, muzzle velocities, calibers, or any of that crap, as long as she can competently and safely handle firearms.

I've talked to more than one door-kicking face-shooter whose attitude about guns was "I don't care anything about 'em, I just use the ones they give me. My hobby is surfing" and couldn't tell you a Springfield from a Smith & Wesson without reading the side.
So then the "tool" argument was made by a guy who uses tools for a living. He has to know a flathead from a Phillips, a #1 Phillips from a #2, a Snap-On from a Craftsman, so shouldn't the po-po need to know stuff like that about guns?

My response:
"The LEO does not have a #3 Framminatzer and a Type VIII Whatsis. They have a pistol on their belt and maybe a shotgun or carbine in the car. They need to be able to operate these safely and competently. They should probably be able to make safe most commonly encountered firearms. That's all their job requires of them in the firearms department.

(And if they can do these things, then they are light years ahead of many people I know who can spout ballistics tables and the history of military rifles off the top of their heads.)

I'd rather be on the range with a safe, well-trained shooter who isn't 100% sure of the brand or caliber of their issue gun than any number of enthusiastic gun hobbyists who can endlessly spout "It's a magazine, not a clip!" but have lousy muzzle and/or trigger finger discipline.
Fetch me my pedant rifle!

This is a topic on which my opinion has swung nearly a complete 180 degrees over the years.


Monday, August 07, 2017

Absolutes and Overconfident Assertions...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Hey, look!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Maximum Skywriting...

Seeing a smoke-trailing light aircraft spell out a word in the sky is one thing, but during testing of a longer-legged version of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing took skywriting to the next level.


Another Round of Smart Phone vs. Pocket Cam.

This time it's Southern Rockies Nature Blog putting a Pentax Optio E40, an older pocket cam about the same vintage as the Leica D-Lux 3 I've been keeping in my shirt pocket, against an iPhone 5s.

Go check it out here.

Nine Minutes...

On the one hand: Don't go suddenly reaching under your seat during a traffic stop.

On the other hand: I think the officer probably could have deescalated a little faster? I don't know what CHP procedures are once guns are out, though.

On the gripping hand: I'll be perfectly honest, I was thinking "Dude, if he 'bro''s you one more time, I don't think anybody would hold it against you if you shot him a little bit."

I haven't looked around the internet to confirm, but I'm sure that there's a bunch of "See? He got a gun pulled on him even though he's a cracker," and a corresponding amount of "But if he hadn't been a cracker, dude would have shot him!" back-and-forth going on.

Would you buy an East German smart phone?

So, as Americans we're pretty bent out of shape (or at least a sizable fraction of us are) over the snooping being done by our government's intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the name of The War on a Noun. We believe we've got the First Amendment right to prank call Mahmoud's House of Semtex in Khartoum as many times as we want, and a Fourth Amendment expectation that the government needs a pretty specific reason and a judge's permission to count how many times that number shows up on our phone bill.

It's easy to forget that the majority of our consumer electronics come from a place with very different rules to the U.S. of A.. Half of what goes on on the nightly news or the pages of any political magazine here could get people thrown in in jail on the other side of the Great Firewall of China. I don't know how you say "Reasonable Expectation of Privacy" in China, but Google Translate gave me this:
So stuff like this should probably come as no surprise.
"By forgetting to remove this code on phones being sold to the US, Blu has exported the surveillance that is typical in China to buyers that are unaware elsewhere in the world," Dan Guido, CEO of security firm Trail of Bits, told Ars. The data being surveilled includes all the most sensitive information that a person would produce with their phone. Amazon is fully justified in their decision, and I encourage them to crack down further on similar privacy issues with Android phones sold on their website."
It's a complicated world, and it's not getting any simpler.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

I want to see his #edc #pocketdump on the 'grams...

If you were the dictator of some Central Asian ex-SSR and you wanted all the ladies in the kingdom republic to see what a virile hunk you were and all the men to know you were a hardass with which one should not trifle, what would you do?

You'd film a video of yourself bustin' caps and flingin' knives in a way that nobody named Kim has ever been seen doing, and make sure that your troops would be seen looking on approvingly as you schooled them in the ways of the warrior.

This did not go as planned...

Is that a...? It sure is. It's a Walther G22 that looks like a Cheaper Than Dirt catalog threw up on it.

This dude is the dictator of an entire country and who lives, I am given to understand, the sort of lifestyle that has him up 'til 3AM snorting huge lines of blow off the ass cheeks of Miss Turkmenistan, and here he is with a budget .22 rifle that your average Kentuckian feels like they've outgrown around puberty, plus he's got a shitty airsoft grade optic and light on it that cost less than dinner for two at Texas Roadhouse.


Someone obviously held up the "Applaud vigorously, privates, or be made Permanent Latrine Orderly!" sign.

 Sexy Beretta .22 target pistol, but still... it's a deuce-deuce.

Jesus, this guy throws knives like Obama throws first pitches. Also, what's up with the targets? Are those fedoras? Is he practicing in case the Blue Man Group comes to Ashgebat on tour and suddenly goes full M'lady?

This video accomplishes pretty much the exact opposite of what it's supposed to accomplish. It makes him look like an Instagram twink. This man needs a Smithers, because this is what happens when you have not one person in your entourage unafraid to answer honestly when asked "Does this dress make my ass look fat?"

This was a rabbit hole...

...down which I fell for most of a day.

Dude posits that contemporary Western culture, the lifestyle we find on this side of the "Hajnal line", is caused by a technicality in Roman inheritance laws.

He has a blog where he waxes prolific, too.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Open the car wash doors, HAL...

To the list of things that are connected to the internet to make it easier for hackers to take control of them, we can apparently now add car washes.

When I was little, car washes scared the bejeezus out of me, and that was before they could be taken over by some guy in Riga who could lock the doors and not let your car out until you paid him off in Bitcoin.

Congratulations, toddlers of today! You now have a legit reason, however thin, to be scared of car washes. We were just being irrational in my day.