Friday, September 29, 2017

Lack of Judgment

In the throes of a crime wave of national-news-worthy proportions, Baltimore is grasping at straws to try and get things under control.

Are they considering letting victims shoot back? Oh, hell no. That would be horrible! Letting the rabble arm themselves in their own defense? Perish the thought!

No, instead they are grasping at that tiredest of legislative straws, the Mandatory Minimum Sentence.
"Yet this month in Baltimore, the city council voted 8-7 in favor of establishing a new mandatory minimum penalty for individuals caught carrying an illegal gun. The proposed legislation originally would have imposed a one-year jail sentence on first-time offenders caught carrying a gun within 100 yards of places like churches, schools, and parks. After public protest, the bill was weakened to add just a $1,000 fine to existing state law, which already imposes a one-year minimum sentence on second-time offenders. The legislation (in both its original and final form) was backed by the city’s police commissioner, Kevin Davis, along with Mayor Catherine Pugh and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby—who all also advocated unsuccessfully over the last two years for new statewide mandatory minimums."
The problem with mandatory minimums is that they remove judgment from judgments. Further, this adds a mens rea required...penalty to an activity that's legal barely more than a half-dozen Interstate exits away.

Those of us who live where the state boundaries are farther apart have less of a worry about this, but get out toward the East Coast and up to the Potomac and points north, and you can go from Constitutional Carry to a ban on even having spent brass without a license in one overshot exit ramp.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Speaking of Hugh Hefner...

The articles really were good. And the interviews were nearly mandatory. The CIA archives have the Playboy interview with William Colby downloadable in .pdf format.

Turd World Living Conditions

They told me that when I quit smoking, I'd get my sense of smell back. What they didn't tell me was how much of the world smelled like hobo piss.

Actually, while Broad Ripple does have its small platoon of vagrants, known locally as "Bridge Kids" for their habit of congregating around the bridges over the canal and guitaring at passing strangers for pocket change, they probably aren't the majority of the culprits. Most pee smells one runs across in the alleys and passages of the village are likely from someone who couldn't wait until they got in their car and went home after leaving Chumley's or the Vogue at 0300 on a Saturday.

This is completely dwarfed by the problem San Diego is apparently having with its vagrant population, whose urban outdoor pooping has caused a mini-outbreak of hepatitis A, leading to the city needing to pressure wash its downtown with bleach and water biweekly.
"Health authorities in San Diego have ruled out contaminated food, beverages, and drugs as the source of the outbreak. Instead, they believe the primary drivers of the outbreak are person-to-person contact and “contact with a fecally contaminated environment.”

San Diego’s mayor Kevin Faulconer is now moving forward with a plan to have crews use a bleach and chlorine-solution to pressure wash streets and outdoor surfaces that may be contaminated with feces, bodily fluids, or blood. The sanitary washes started this week and will occur every other week.

This is why we can't have nice things.

So, a couple weeks ago, some dude in Tennessee was carrying his loaded, holstered Chiappa rimfire Peacemaker clone around in a sack. This was legal, because dude had a Tennessee HCP, but as news stories show, just because he was legal doesn't mean he was smart.

Apparently he was unaware that you don't carry a live round under the hammer in Peacemaker clones, because he dropped his sack o' gat and it discharged, putting a round into his abdomen and sending him to the emergency room. ("Lifeflight helicopter"? "Critical condition"? I thought .22's were just bee stings?)

He's lucky, though. Ruger's single action revolvers gained both the transfer bar ignition system and the paragraph of lawyerese on the side of the barrel off of some dude who dropped a 3-screw Blackhawk in .357 Magnum and accidentally offed hisself.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I have great hopes...

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

This is something I've wanted to try for a long time... (And that Voightlander is a Leica M-mount in case I suck it up and step up to a serious rangefinder.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

That worked, too...

Having used the TulAmmo to successfully function the Glock 34, I took another hundred rounds of it to Indy Arms Co. along with the P320C and the X-Carry. I wanted to see if they would share the HK P30's distaste for the weaksauce lot of ammo or if they'd eat it up like the Glock.

The answer was the latter. Incidentally, I need to drift the rear sight on the P320C to the right some.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Go, underdogs!

As September draws to a close, so does the annual Kilted to Kick Cancer fundraising competition. As usual, we* have tardily waited to throw the Official VFTP Endorsement to an underdog.

This year it's Team Lonely Mountain. Go to the Kilted to Kick Cancer page and make your donation in their name and we'll see if we can't nudge them in the standings some...

*The editorial "we", which I guess refers to me and maybe Rannie the cat?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I was not surprised...

Poor Man's Roland Special: X300U-A and RM08G on a 34. Do note that the RM08 and a WML go together like pickles and peanut butter, since the light will wash out the tritium-lit triangle without providing enough splash to illuminate it via the fiber optic. This sight is really useful outdoors only.
I took a hundred rounds of that TulAmmo to Indy Arms Co. on Friday morning along with my Gen4 Glock 34 MOS to confirm my suspicions...

Suspicions confirmed. The 34 ate that stuff up like popcorn, without the weird ejection pattern (or, I should say, with an ejection pattern no weirder than normal) which I assume can be attributed toward the P30 being more sensitive to lightly loaded ammo.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

So that's an upside...

Remember how one of my pastimes on this blog was whingeing about lower back pain? Turns out that the best medicine I could take for that was 25 pounds of Fatbegone.

Oh sure, I still can get some soreness started up with enough stoop labor, but it's not the near-crippling levels of pain that it was just six or eight months ago. Also, I haven't needed a Tums since the middle of July when before I was going through a bottle of sugar-free antacid tablets a week.

Maybe there's something to this reducing the carbs thing.

I'm about a month away from ECQC and hope to be in a lot better shape for it than I was last year.

Automotif CXLI...

Well-maintained E30 325i ragtop encountered on a recent walk to The Gallery Pastry Shop. An '85 or '86 model, judging by the extended aluminum "diving board" bumpers required by NHTSA regs (shorter, body-colored units came about in the '87 facelift.)

These things vied with Porsche's 944 for being the Cabbage Patch Kid of automobiles of their day. Miss Christina probably drove a 944 because "325i Cabriolet" didn't rhyme with "pores".


Friday, September 22, 2017

Tab Clearing...

Autumnal Equinox...

Wunderground says the high around here yesterday was 92°, measured at IND. I know I saw "95°F" on the Zed Drei's thermometer as well as the one in Bobbi's RX300.

It was humid, too. It was, not to put too fine a point on it, too hot to put the top down on the convertible. Dew point at the airport was 69°, and probably 70° in town.

Now, that's what they call "Tuesday" in the coastal South (or all of Florida) but when you've lost your acclimitization to the stickiness, it just sucks. Sweat doesn't evaporate when the air's already full of water, and you sweat copiously in bright 90+° sunshine. I was wiping sweat out of my eyes with the tail of my gun burka and being thankful I hardly ever wear eye makeup anymore.

Bobbi and I walked over to Twenty Tap for dinner, and the joint was already jumping by 6:30, so rather than wait for a table, we sat outside, which was made tolerable by being in the shade and frequent ice water refills...

Today is supposed to get to 91°F, which is within striking distance of the record high for the date of 93°F, set back in 1895 or so, and daily highs in the low 90s are supposed to continue at least through the weekend.

I'm officially ready for autumn.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Peace? I hate the word..."

I had a dream last night in which Trump sent Dennis Rodman over to act as an envoy to Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-un, apparently overestimating Rodman's importance as anything other than an answer in the Jeopardy category "'90s Pop Culture", took Dennis hostage and staked him out on a giant bullseye painted on a mortar range, threatening him with execution by 120mm mortar fire. This was broadcast on live TV, like something a Bond villain would do.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


So, I've run something like four or five cases of TulAmmo 115gr FMJ through various handguns, both personal and review guns, over the last year or so. I've had surprisingly good luck with it. Oh, the Canik and Steyr didn't like the hard primers, sure, but Glocks and 320's ate it up. The XD-E ran 175 rounds of the stuff in testing and the FN 509 saw 300. About the only issue it caused in the Glocks and striker-fired Sigs  was a light strike every few hundred rounds.

I assumed it would function fine in the P30L, so I ordered a case from Lucky Gunner and headed to Indy Arms Co. with two hundred rounds yesterday morning.

This case lot...let's just say that this case lot didn't exhibit quite the same consistency as the last four or five. Where the 10-round chrono string through the FN 509 had a SD of only 10.77fps, this stuff's wildly inconsistent ejection suggested that velocities were rather more varied.

Some rounds ejected normally over my right shoulder while some barely dribbled over the forward left corner of the ejection port to land on the range tray; probably a third arced straight back toward my hat brim or face. Some didn't even have enough oomph to clear the port entirely before the slide closed again...

"Limpwristing!" Yeah, technically I guess this malfunction wouldn't have occurred if the pistol had been hucked up in a machine vise.

At the end of the day, there were three failures to eject and one failure to feed (the gun stopped slightly out of battery, but fed the round successfully when it was reloaded into the magazine.) 

Personally, I'm chalking this up to this lot of ammo, but I haven't gotten a chance to chrono it yet.

The HK P30L has now fired 1700 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with three failures to eject (#1,568, #1,578, #1,606) and one failure to feed (#1,664). 300 rounds left to go.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I felt a great disturbance in the Force... thousands of hoplophobes crying out in panic and then suddenly silent.

Behold what Silencerco hath wrought:

What you are looking at is an integrally-suppressed .50 caliber rifle that is not a firearm, is fifty-state legal, and can be ordered right off Silencerco's webpage right here.

That sound you hear is Diane Feinstein's teeth grinding and Bloomberg's distal sphincter slamming shut. Glorious!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bizarre ad meme?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Three Quarters Done

Took the HK P30L and a hundred rounds of ammo to Indy Arms Co on Friday morning. My last fifty round box of the Winchester NATO ball (time to reorder!) and a box of standard pressure 124gr Federal HST. I also brought along my freshly reconfigured carbine to get an idea of how much work we were going to have ahead of us zeroing the scope.

The pistol was shot at seven yards. The carbine was pretty close to POA/POI at fifteen, just hammering the trigger in big, goofy three- and five-round strings because WHEEEEE! That Spühr Team Noveske mount is probably overkill for this gun; you could use it to hold up a highway bridge, let alone keep an optic from wiggling under the titanic recoil forces generated by 5.56x45mm ammo.

I'll take the carbine to Atlanta Conservation Club on Tuesday or Wednesday and get it dialed in.

The HK P30L has now fired 1500 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 500 rounds left to go.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Since I paid off the 16GB iPhone 6S that I've been using since last April, and since Apple just released the iPhone 8 and the magic super-duper iPhone X, I figured it was time to upgrade...

So while I was riding in the passenger seat of Bobbi's car today, I used my carrier's app on my phone to upgrade to...a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus.

Again Marko and Mike Grasso were bad influences, just like with the watch. But watching both of them use theirs, I realized that it was still (albeit just barely) shirt pocket size on my gun burkhas and, more importantly, it solved my biggest issue with the cell phone camera: The second lens means I have both a wide-angle (28mm) and a normal lens (56mm) equivalent.

So my phone bill's not going to change...unless I decide to add my old iPhone 6S as a second line. Debating the pros and cons of that.

QotD: Be Real Edition...

This deserves fleshing out into a whole post, but I'm going to drop it here so I can remember it...
"short of natural disaster or civil disorder it is extremely unlikely that they will either need (nor want) to wear armor, a chest rig, and carry a half dozen magazines for the rifle. After all...if you empty one 30rd mag in civilian world USA you are going to be on the news.....if you empty TWO you are going to be in the encyclopedia......" -Randy Harris
...which in turn echoes the famous SouthNarc quote:
"Personally I think that if a man is naked and is standing in a locked room with ten other naked men, and can't keep at least half of them from raping him, then the last thing he needs is a carbine course." -Craig Douglas
I know people who take butt-tons of carbine classes because, face it, running and gunning with an AR or AK, especially on targets in the 7-to-50 yard range, is fun as hell.

Which is not to say that there wasn't a ton of value in what I spent last week doing, because any time you get a chance to have to think on your feet while armed and move safely around other armed people and make decisions with a gun in your hand is time well-spent. Working tactics in the house is a different animal altogether from doing marksmanship stuff on the square range.

That, and quality low-light training is something I will jump on any chance I get. Especially if there's a force-on-force component.

Do note that both Forge Tactical and Sentinel Concepts offer classes that will let you work in the house with just the pistol in two-person teams. Do you have anyone in your life who carries a pistol also? Do you often find yourself in the same building with each other? Do you know how to move around each other and solve problems safely with loaded guns in your hands? Might this be a valuable skill? I think so, too!

Friday, September 15, 2017


So that my morning's discussion elsewhere won't be completely in vain...

A lot of Glock aftermarket triggers get sold by the manufacturer claiming "It has a stock (or polished/plated) Glock trigger bar" with the unstated presumption that this leaves all the factory Glock safeties intact.

But that isn't the case.

Now, here are two examples of quality triggers in my own guns that are both using factory Glock trigger bars. Both Glocks are fitted with a Striker Control Device from Tau Development Group. I have used both guns in classes and would carry either one.

This Gen3 Glock 19 has an SSVi Tyr trigger in it. The gun is "cocked" (hold your emails about how Glocks are really only about 7/8th's cocked, Glock nerds.) Note how the Striker Control Device lies flush with the slide as intended.

Here is my Robar'ed Gen2 Glock 17 with a TAC trigger from Overwatch Precision in it*. Notice how the SCD stands just ever slightly proud of the slide. This is because, despite having a stock trigger bar, the shoe of the TAC provides just enough pretravel that the tail of the trigger bar is lightly contacting the SCD.

Now, the ZEV Fulcrum trigger, which I'm not providing a link to because it's garbage and if you use it you should feel bad, also uses a "factory trigger bar". But if I put the Fulcrum in one of these guns, which I'm not doing right now because I'm in a hurry, the SCD would be pushed WAY out. And if you looked up the magwell with the Fulcrum in the gun, you'd see that the trigger bar was so far to the rear, even with the trigger at rest, that the firing pin safety was disengaged.

With that trigger in your gun, your gun is not drop safe. And I don't mean "not drop safe" in the "if you drop it on a hard enough surface at just the right angle from the right height while holding your mouth right" sense, I mean that the gun will discharge with surprisingly little jarring.

I feel bad for ever having that trigger in a gun. I didn't know. Now I do. And so do you.

Fulcrum trigger: Not even once.

*That trigger was sent to me for free for T&E. I liked it enough that I paid retail for a second one.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Depends what you consider "retro"...

So, there's a running joke on Facebook where Caleb will post a picture of one of the issue M4's from work and I'll crack wise about the Air Force issuing "retro" guns.

Mind you, they're pretty standard M4's, it's just that the guns found out in the non-SOCOM parts of the armed forces are, by the standards of the current state-of-the-art, kinda old school. You know, the way guys in line units during OIF were clearing houses with Maglites hose-clamped to the handguards of their A2's while cake-eating civilian me here at home had a Surefire M500 on her ban-compliant house gun.

Some of his fellow airmen didn't get the joke, though. "Those aren't retro! Those are standard issue!" Yeah, so are birth control glasses...

David Merrill over at RECOIL is the sort of AR geek who can tell you pretty much when a rifle was put together with remarkable accuracy just by the configuration of gun and accessories.

I'm not that good, but I can get within a few years. I showed the below picture of my previous house gun (taken in Marko's driveway a couple years ago) to one of the Surefire reps at the class in Alliance last week and he said "Man, that looks like an EAG class gun from '08 or '09," and he was pretty spot on. That gun had been built at the end of 2012 and its configuration had been heavily influenced by Pat Rogers' articles in SWAT over the previous several years.

But hardware trends are definitely a thing. A lot of them start in 3 Gun competition shooting and percolate into the tactical world. An example of that would be low-power variable optics. Once magnifying scopes rugged enough to take a whack became a thing, it was only a matter of time before they became the choice of serious dudes.

Grinding away...

At Indy Arms Co. again yesterday morning with the HK P30L and two hundred rounds of ammunition. I had the pistol bay to myself, and so I was able to break the speed limit with impunity without worrying about setting a bad example for other customers.

I was experimenting with grip and seeing the effects at speed. Todd Jarrett's lesson about aiming at the top third of the target paid off a few times, obviously.

The HK P30L has now fired 1400 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 600 rounds left to go.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Dozen Hundred.

I took the P30L up to Atlanta Conservation Club with Mike Grasso yesterday to continue the 2k round test. A hundred and fifty rounds of the Winchester NATO FMJ and fifty Federal Premium HST 124gr +P jacketed hollow points went downrange.

The center circle was a hundred and fifty rounds at seven-ish yards. The lower right is where I let Mike fam-fire a box of fifty through the gat. The other circles were him working with the Romeo optic on his P320 X-Five.

The HK P30L has now fired 1200 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 800 rounds left to go.

QotD: Reach Out And Touch Edition...

"If you're not a shooter, that might not sound like a big deal, but hitting a target more than a quarter mile away with no optical magnification and eyes no longer young — that's something."

Flicks I Want To See...

Apparently there's a movie out now about the incident that earned Ted Kennedy the nickname "The Evel Knievel of Chappaquiddick". If this is showing at the local art house cinema, I'm down to see it.

Random musing...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Death of Cameras...

The stunted photography section at the local Meijer's superstore is illustrative of the market.

The camera selection was small when the store went in about a year ago and has shrunk even more since. When fully stocked, it has an entry-level DSLR kit from each of the big two, and a small assortment of point-and-shoot cameras of various types and prices. Usually there's a superzoom "bridge" camera or two, a couple ruggedized waterproof adventure cams, and then a smattering of generic Canikolympus in a few price tiers between <$100 and about four bills.

Film clings on like grim death in the form of disposable cameras or 4-packs of FujiFilm 200 or 400 ISO 35mm. Instax is apparently pretty popular.

I wonder who buys the disposable 35mm cameras?

The reason for the decline of cameras is apparent in the photography accessories section, where half the accessories are selfie sticks or little tabletop tripods for your phone. Even with that, they can't fill out the aisle, and so the last third or so is padded out with emergency radio receivers and FRS handhelds.

Back to the Grind...

Back from gun school in Alliance means back to the range to build the round count on the HK P30L. I brought the last hundred rounds of 147gr Speer Lawman along with a hundred rounds of Winchester 124gr NATO FMJ.

The two magazines that came with the pistol have been joined by a pair from CDNN. I feel a lot better having four mags for the gun.

The bottom hundred rounds were fired first, at seven yards, followed by the upper grouping at ten yards.

The HK P30L has now fired 1000 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 1000 rounds left to go.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Idiots rejoice!

I'm expecting a lot of stupid on gun fora right now. Suffice it to say, I'm not running out for any Gadsden Flag or Punisher slide cover plates for my G-locks.

People don't understand why stuff like this is dumb, and it's not because the prosecutor even has to necessarily call the jury's attention to it. He should have kept his cakehole shut and just let them look at the alleged murder weapon and form their own opinions.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you are directed to forget that the defendant has 'BORN TO LOOSE' tattooed on his neck in Gothic lettering and not allow it to have any bearing on your verdict."


Overheard in the House...

Fixing to breach a door in the house:
Me: "You have do this with a gunwriter. Sorry."

John: "That's nothing. You have to do this with a YouTuber."

Me: "Why you gotta do that to me?"

Saturday, September 09, 2017

That was fun...

Class wrapped up around midnight last night. Time to catch up on sleep! I'll write up the festivities tomorrow or Monday.

Thursday, September 07, 2017


Late night, slept late, starting again soon...

Have some pictures?

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

School Daze...

In for some low-light/shoot house stuff with Surefire & Forge Tactical.

Have to wear armor for safety reasons. The snow-shoveling face scarf John Shirley brought me from Afghanistan? I brought that along because I hear they can be useful if you don't want to be able to tell any more funny/embarrassing hot brass stories.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The stupid, it burns! Literally.

The Lens Rentals company has a blog, and on this blog they posted pictures of gear they got back from folks who decided not to follow instructions when photographing the solar eclipse.

Specifically, folks who decided not to follow instructions when photographing the solar eclipse with someone else's rented $11,500 telephoto lens. (No word if they were the ones who had it mounted on the $1,500 camera body and cooked the shutter and sensor.)

Further, that's not the sort of mishap that's covered by accident insurance, because that's not an accident, it's an on-purpose. Stupid should hurt, and in this case it will hurt like a shot to the wallet.

This is no bueno.

The alarm clock is going off in three hours.

I was good. I went to bed at 10:00 like I was supposed to. And I found myself wide awake at 1AM and even reading wouldn't send me back to slumberland.


Monday, September 04, 2017

LOL campus commies...

The Unwanted Blog has a post with a link to a commie website in Austintatious...and when I say "commie", I don't mean "in favor of higher taxes and a stronger social welfare net than you are", I mean "hammer-and-sickle, Lenin-was-cool, actual commies".

I went to go flipping through it and, damn, I'd forgotten just how verbose your average campus Red is. They make John Galt look positively frickin' laconic.

Sunday, September 03, 2017


My quest for a replacement for the Nikon P7000 continues, alas.

I really love the way the little Ricoh GR Digital II handles. I love the way it feels in the hand. I love that if the battery were to die while I was out taking snaps in Broad Ripple, it will take a pair of AAA cells in a pinch.

It's a worthy successor to the O.G. 35mm Ricoh GR, beloved of street photographers everywhere. The lens is fabulous, a sharp, fast 28mm f/2.4 equivalent...but you know what else has a fixed 29mm f/2.2 equivalent lens? My phone.

I need a zoom lens to make it worth carrying a separate camera. The Leica D-LUX 3 is a swell pocket camera and nicer than any of the little pocket cameras I carried...before the P7000. The P7000 just crushes it in image quality, handiness of controls, everything.

I note that most of the successors to the P7000 delete the optical viewfinder. I'm still in that place where I'm considering just tracking down another used P7000...

Seems legit...

That didn't go as planned.

I stayed up WAY too late last night, and consequently slept WAY too long this morning, and therefore the thing I was going to write for free is going to have to wait until later because I have stuff to write for dough that I need to get done first.

In the interim, go take a deep dive into the archives of this blog, because it's full of good stuff.

Eight hundred...

Friday morning saw me at Indy Arms Co. again with the P30L and 200 rounds of Speer Lawman 147gr ball ammo.

The first two magazines were fired at three yards.

For the first 15-round magazine, I presented from low ready to the left-hand 1" square, then transitioned to the left-hand 2" circle, and then the 3"x5" . For the second magazine, I reversed that: I presented to the 3"x5", then transitioned to the right-hand 2" circle, then the right-hand 1" square.

The latter was harder. You can see I drove my sights past the right hand square on one shot.

I then fired the remaining twenty rounds of that first box of ammo in two mags of ten, presenting from low ready to the left-hand 2" dot and then transitioning to the right-hand one for ten reps.

The remaining 150 rounds were fired from seven yards at the 8" circle, trying to establish a good rate of speed while still getting 100% hits.

The HK P30L has now fired 800 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 1200 rounds left to go.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

"Hey Siri, do you know floccinaucinihilipilification?"

So, the other day Bobbi and I got to testing the speech recognition of iOS and Android, like ya do...


Friday, September 01, 2017

Six hundred...

I ran another two hundred rounds of Speer Lawman 147gr ammo through the P30L at Indy Arms Co on Thursday morning.

I was in a hurry, so I didn't do much of anything interesting, just dumped mags in big long five- to ten-round strings, trying to get in the habit of decocking the gun every time I pulled it off target.

The HK P30L has now fired 600 rounds since it was last cleaned or lubricated with no failures of any type to report. 1400 rounds left to go.

Tab Clearing...