Friday, November 30, 2018

Fallback plan...

Tuesday I switched to an alternate range plan. The 9mm ammo I'd ordered Monday morning hadn't showed up yet, and so I grabbed the last hundred rounds of .40 FMJ I had ready to hand and the neglected 4046 and took it to the range instead of the P89.

The only .40 that's anywhere near as pleasant as the full-size all-steel Smiths to shoot with duty-type .40S&W loads is the HK USP40 full-size.

It occurred to me while shooting this thing that if I were picking a trigger to teach someone a press-out or the "flip and press" method of trigger control, the DAO Smith (which isn't a true DAO) would be the one I'd use.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report. This makes 400 rounds through the gun with zero failures of any type.

Sights & Stuff

"The pistol with probably the largest catalog of aftermarket sight solutions in the U.S. is the Government Model M1911-pattern pistol. There are two reasons for this: The first is that the pistol was super common, being our nation’s service handgun for so long. The second is that the original USGI M1911 factory sights are hot garbage."
On the topic of backup iron sights, while I have yet to have a MRDS die on me (which they do) I have had the suppressor height front sight fly off my chopped Glock 20.

A squirrel with a snowflake on its nose.

And monkeys might fly out my butt...

From discussion elsewhere...

On the shooting ability of the average gun owner...
This is one reason why I demur when the typical gun forum Cletus lets loose with the old "Hurr durr, the average private citizen is a better shooter than the average cop!" 
And I'm all "Uh, no, because the average private citizen gun owner is not you and your buddies at the IDPA match, it's the guy who bought the gun and the box of Hydra-Shok, loaded it, and threw it in his sock drawer."
On inconsistency in instructor dogma...
You'll lose all fine motor control in a gunfight! You won't be able to use the slide stop
Also, be sure and only let the trigger out until you feel it reset.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Cutting Remark...

...and once you go Bomar, you'll never go back. Because you can't. At least, not without welding up and re-cutting stuff.

Automotif CXLXI...

Mercedes-Benz SLK300 on a winter afternoon in SoBro...

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Overheard in the Kitchen...


GunsAmerica Digest has reprinted one of my older pieces from Concealed Carry Magazine. Not sure if this one has been online before or not.

Go look!

It's a fun game!

Monday's range session...

Monday saw me at the range with another hundred rounds of Blazer Brass, determined to work on recoil control with the Ruger. It remains frustrating; it's a difficult pistol to run at any kind of speed.

My shooting was a hot mess, not helped by the wretched sights. It was easy to lose the front sight.

The pistol itself functioned fine for all hundred rounds.

This makes 820 rounds of ammunition since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions or stoppages of any kind to report. 1,180 rounds to go.

Okay, command decision...

Rather than bundle up to ward off frostbite on my nose and ears, I'm going to do my laps in the afternoon.

It's 17°F out there with a single-digit wind chill, and ain't nobody got time for that. I need to put an exercycle in the basement or something.

Current Reading...

Just finished reading The Black Knight Squadron: Foundations by John "Chappy" Chapman.

It's been a while since I read any post-apocalyptic fiction, and this is superficially pretty typical of the genre: World-ending event (EMP/super virus/meteor/economic collapse/whatever) happens, and our heroes gather at the rendezvous and use their smarts and guns, lots of guns, to overcome the (zombies/mutant biker barbarians) and establish (libertopia/God-fearin' 'Murrica).

The twist here is that our heroes are based around the crew that can be found at Alliance Police Training, and the rendezvous site around which our heroes are attempting to defend & rebuild civilization is the entire town of Alliance, Ohio. If you've ever spent any time there, it's fun to try and pick out the characters you recognize. (Some are more obvious than others.)

The book has the usual slight lack of polish you'd expect from a self-pubbed work of post-apocalyptica, but the dialogue is readable and the action is clearly exposited. At no point did I have to go back and re-read to figure out who it was who had just done or said something, which is not something one takes for granted in the self-pubbed Kindle market.

There's a definite atmosphere of gear-queerness; you'll never be left wondering the brand of a character's carbine or grain weight of a bullet, but that's also to be expected of the genre.

The refreshing part is that the author has a pretty solid working knowledge of both the environment in which the novel is set, and the action that goes on in it. You're not going to be disappointed by inappropriate equipment, implausible tactics, or the local government being a hand-waved cardboard cutout the way it often is in post-apocalypse settings.

The action starts off quickly and stays pretty evenly paced all the way to the cliffhanger ending, and the bad guys are not faceless mannequins there only to be mowed over by our unstoppable heroes. The outcome is always in doubt.

It was an enjoyable and quick read, the literary equivalent of a popcorn shoot-'em-up at the theater, and I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel.

Picture included because the internet likes pictures. Especially of guns. Or cats.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sunday, Shooty Sunday

On my Sunday trip to the range, I brought the last hundred rounds from that case of 124gr Blazer Brass and, additionally, I threw a box of 124gr Sig Sauer V-Crown 124gr JHP in the range bag as well.

I loaded ten of the JHP into one of the 15-round magazines and the other ten into the 10-round AWB-era magazine. Standard-pressure hollow point ammo, ban-compliant magazine, and dirty gun should add up to maximum opportunity for failure.

The Ruger P89 went through its cycle of operation without any failures on all 120 rounds of ammunition Sunday morning.

This makes 720 rounds of ammunition since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions or stoppages of any kind to report. 1,280 rounds to go.

Current Mood...

At first, when I woke up with the alarm after a pretty good night's sleep, I was all...

Then I went and walked three laps around the block in a 35°F drizzle and now I'm all...

Your earworm for the morning...

I LOL'ed and LOL'ed...

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Six hundred...

Back to Indy Arms Co on Saturday afternoon with the P89 and another hundred rounds of CCI Blazer Brass 124gr FMJ.
I'm finally developing a reasonable amount of speed with the P89, but it's the opposite of effortless. The slide is a lot of reciprocating mass on this thing, and the backstrap is so poorly-shaped that it's difficult to mitigate recoil by choking way up on the thing.

Sharp-eyed readers will note that it's still weeping visible oil out from the slide grooves. There's plenty of lubricant left here, which means it's no surprise that the gun continues to run without issues.

This makes 600 rounds since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated with no stoppages of any type to report. 1,400 rounds to go.

Technicolor clouds

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

If election persists for more than four months...

Jokes about dead people voting in Chicago have been a component of our cultural fabric for a long time, but they've tended to be just that, jokes.

Something changed with the 2000 presidential election and the farcical never-ending recounts in Florida and the resulting legal contretemps. There were commentators in the more progressive corners of the internet that spent the next eight years referring to the "President Select".

During the Obama administration, the mirror image commentators on the fringes of the Right seemed to spend more time insinuating that the POTUS couldn't be POTUS because of secret birth certificate shenanigans rather than questioning the legitimacy of the elections themselves.

But fast forward to 2018 and the tenor from the actual leadership of both parties right now is absolutely wack. You've got Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump standing in front of microphones and questioning the legitimacy of the voting process itself. That's playing with fire, and should scare the hell out of you.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Hey, look!

My Glock 19X review is up at Shooting Illustrated online. (It was also the cover story of the dead tree version!)

A quarter of the way there...

Black Friday at the local indoor range because I like to live dangerously. (If you see a tourniquet in a PHLster Flatpack on the lane tray, it means other people are on the range. If there's no TQ in the picture, I have the bay to myself.) I brought fifty rounds of 124gr Blazer Brass and fifty of 115gr Federal FMJ.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the gun continues to chug away just fine.

This makes 500 rounds since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated with no stoppages of any type to report. 1,500 rounds to go.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Gambler's Odds

Tuesday's range trip

Monday & Tuesday each saw the Ruger P89 at the range again. Monday was fifty rounds of 124gr Blazer Brass FMJ and fifty rounds of 115gr Sig Sauer Elite Performance FMJ (a pretty pretentious name for your standard ball ammo load if you ask me, which Sig didn't.) Tuesday was a hundred rounds, all 124gr Blazer Brass.

I'm controlling the gun better at speed, but it takes a lot of attention paid to grip. This target was from Tuesday and the upper A-zone is shooting at a .5-1.0 split pace at seven yards, while the lower is trying to push below .5. The front sight could benefit from being more visible, and the grip is a constant struggle if firing three-round or longer strings.

I'm reassessing my opinion of the trigger from "buck wretched" to "manageable", which is generally true of all but the very worst triggers. The best money you could spend on just about any trigger is a few hundred rounds of ammo and learn to drive the damn thing. Sure, you want a good trigger to do your best work, but you should be able to do adequate work with whatever's at hand, given a few laps around the block to get the hang of it.

This makes 400 rounds since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated with no stoppages of any type to report. 1,600 rounds to go.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Turkey Day!

Thank you for reading. I do appreciate it.

They should have named it the Trash Panda...

...because it'll eat anything. (As long as it's anything that has a SureFire X300U mounted on it.)

PHLster's new Floodlight holster indexes on the light. Tension is adjusted conventionally, with screws. The shock cord can be tightened or loosened based on the size of the slide, to prevent rattling. The basic concept seems like Jon used something like the VG3 from Raven as a jumping-off point, and extended it to enclose the slide.

It can be carried vertically for AIWB or canted for conventional strong-side carry, and the mounting holes are repeated on the other side, so that the hardware can be flipped around, making for an ambidextrous rig. This really is a pretty clever holster, but only use will tell how it holds up for reals.

I've tried it with the LTT Elite 92, a Glock 19, 20, & 34, Sig SP2022, HK P30L, CZ P07, Wilson EDC X9, and Beretta PX4 Storm so far, and they all have worked. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Domestic Disturbance Day!

At least when Crazy Uncle Trumpanzee does it, you can wait until he steps out for a smoke and lock him on the porch. With your super-Progressive cousin, you're stuck listening to the Meat is Murder lecture all the way through the main course.

Head to Head to Head to Head...

A sampling of the current crop of polymer-framed DA/SA autos awaiting an extended workout. The PX4 needs to be Langdonized and I guess the newly acquired P07 should get the Cajun Gun Works treatment, since both the P30L and SP2022 have received lovin' from Grayguns.

I also need to convert the P07 and PX4 to decock-only.

One of these four will likely wind up becoming my carry gun come spring.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"It feels good in my hand."

I cannot tell you how many times over the years I have seen someone finalize their selection at the gun counter by hefting a couple pistols and make their buying decision based on which one "felt good in their hand."

It turns out that there is near-zero correlation between a gun "feeling good in the hand" standing there unloaded at the gun counter and which gun one can shoot the best at speed on actual targets. That can only be measured on the range.
"The one that feels best in your hand at the gunshop might not feel so great after you shoot it. Your super-comfortable grip might have you interfering with controls or unable to reach things like the mag button or slide release. Obviously, the way it feels in your hand cannot tell you anything about its accuracy, reliability, or durability."
I guess it felt okay in my hand? Didn't really burn the range down with it, though.

Creature of Habit

I keep a can of Sabre Red hanging on a hook in the kitchen next to the hook that holds my keyring. In this way I am prompted to grab the can of OC and stuff it in my pocket whenever I leave the house, even if it's just to fetch soda from the garage or take the trash cans to the curb. (There's a separate, slightly larger, one by the front door, in case I leave that way.)

For pocket carry, you want the flip caps. The kind with the little twist tab will go off in your trousers and bathe your naughty bits in burning fire.
Having a level of force available "between a kind word and a gun", and yet which can still operate at standoff distances, is something I don't want to be without. Yeah, yeah, I used to be one of those "I'm not a pepper spray kind of girl. I have a Glock! Tee hee!"* types, too, but then I got edjumacated and realized how dumb I'd been.

So, anyway, when I went to New Hampshire earlier this year, Marko provided a loaner OC dispenser that I kept next to the car keys and consequently carried pretty religiously when I left the house.

You can carry OC in your checked bags, but you want to double ziploc that stuff just in case it leaks at FL350. You don't want to get to your destination only to discover you've contaminated all your clothing and the inside of your suitcase with ouchie-burnie stuff. This is why considerate friends have spares for loaners.

During my New Mexico trip last month to visit Lab Rat and Stingray, they thoughtfully provided an OC canister identical to the Sabre Red Mk.6 I usually carry, the one on the right in the above photo. However I frequently found myself out and about without it in my pocket, because I didn't need my keys while I was there. (Nerd ranch has high-speed keyless deadbolts, and I wasn't driving.)

This must be why pilots have preflight checklists.

*Ironically, looking at that two-decade-old photograph of Oleg's with the experience I've had since then? These days it'd be fifty-fifty that I'd take a good can of spray over that craptastic AMT DAO dumpster fire. It's more useful in a wider variety of situations and less likely to shit the bed when I need it most.

Monday, November 19, 2018

We are all Pauline Kael now.

'P' as in 'psilocybin'

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Red Panda is Judging You

The red panda at the Indy zoo has been elusive for me thus far. This is the best shot I've gotten. It was an impromptu zoo trip, and I was fortunate to happen to have been walkabout with the new-to-me Canon 40D and the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens when we decided to go. (For the indoor exhibits I generally fell back on my iPhone 7 plus, because the decade-old DSLR's sensor and the slow-ish zoom just weren't up to shooting moving targets in the "Oceans of the World" building.)


I'm off to learn about suppressors for a couple hours.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Back to the Future...

Currently underway is a 2,000-round test on a Ruger P89. The P-series Rugers had a reputation on the internet (Usenet rec.guns and later gun forums on the web) for being reliable, but those were the days when "flawless reliability" was a pretty nebulous thing.

It will be interesting to see how it runs and compare it to shooting newer test guns. Personally, I vastly preferred the 5906 I ran earlier this year to the P89.

It's worth noting, however, that the MSRP in the 1993 Gun Buyer's Annual for the Ruger was $410, which is a good bit less than the $672 Smith & Wesson wanted for a 5906 with fixed sights. (The blued steel and alloy 5904, perhaps a more direct comparison to the P89 test gun, was $610.)

Both the P89 and 5906 are no more, of course. The P89 was discontinued in 2009, ten years after the 5906 left the Smith catalog as a standard item (although department sales continued for a while longer.)

What killed them was the other gun in the second picture, a Gen2 Glock 19. In that same 1993 catalog, the MSRP for the Glock was $579.95. (It's only $20 more for a Gen3 right now.)

The upper is fifty rounds at seven yards and the lower is fifty at ten. Both were trying to push as much speed as I could. It was obviously very difficult. I'll discuss reasons in a published article in the near future, and there's also some ongoing discussion at my Patreon page.

The story thus far: I cleaned the gun on arrival and lubed it with a generous amount of FP10 and started shooting the other day. It has thus far fired 200 rounds of ammunition since it was cleaned and lubed with no stoppages of any type to report. 1,800 rounds to go.

Writings by friends...

Ice, Ice Baby

Well, it didn't snow last night after all...

 Instead, we got an inch or so of ice and freezing rain.

All in all, I'd rather have the snow. It would have made the kids sad, though, because 2" of snow wouldn't have gotten them out of school the way an inch of ice did.

Bobbi's "rain rope" looks cool when it gets iced up. But you know what doesn't look cool when it gets iced up? I mean, other than the streets?

I went out and de-iced her car. Fortunately, I'd remembered to run out and put the wiper arms up on it last night. Also fortunately, I'd remembered to liberally salt the sidewalk between the house and the garage before going to bed last night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Caveat Emptor, Baby

Colt's New Line single action solid-frame pocket revolvers are an affordable relic from the days of the Old West, especially considering what Colt's larger revolvers go for.

Most I've run across aren't working, and it's rarely worth the effort to try and get one running, but they're neat little paperweights all the same.

Colt made them for a few years in several different calibers: .22, .30, .32, .38, and .41, all rimfire. The reason they stopped making them was so many companies blatantly ripped them off, selling them cheaper than the quality guns from Colt.

The lower revolver is a Colt New Line in .38 rimfire. The gun above it is a .32 that was sitting on a gun show table with a $25 price tag. I grabbed it up because I'm a completionist...and it wasn't until I looked at it at home that I realizes that the rust bucket I'd snatched was a "Red Jacket No.3".

One of several companies that basically ripped off Colt's design, Lee Arms of Wilkes-Barre sold them under several names via mail order, "Red Jacket" being the most common.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Oh, give it a rest.

So, I have an unusual habit when I'm on the road for gun school.

In the hotel room I leave the TV turned on to one of the cable news channels with the volume down at a level where it's audible but non-intrusive. I leave it on while I'm writing or working in Photoshop or reading, and I'll leave it on while I'm sleeping.

Originally I used CNN or CNN Headline News, and it was ostensibly because I wanted to keep tabs on current events while I was on the road.

At some point a few years ago, I started alternating channels on alternating nights: MSNBC Friday night, Fox News on Saturday night, then back to MSNBC, lather, rinse, repeat.

Both networks, of course, shed all pretense of objectivity years ago and now deliver the news with a naked partisan slant: infotainment, or perhaps current events presented as professional wrestling spectacle.

What's interesting is how far they've diverged; it's to the point where it's like I'm getting news reports from parallel universes.

Which is what made this headline funny:
'It disturbs me to my core': Fox News staffers express outrage over Hannity's rally appearance
Oh give me a break! Half your news programs border on GOP electioneering already; Hannity's just honest enough to dispense with the facade.

The only thing funnier is the fact that this tongue-clucking article is at the CNN of Jim Acosta, the dude who apparently skipped J-school the day they covered "Reporting the news, not making the news."

Monday, November 12, 2018


Saturday, November 10, 2018

"Tactical Fantasy Band Camp"?

It was interesting to be in a class with David Yamane of the Gun Culture 2.0 blog last weekend. Going from never having fired an AR-15 to moving through a shoothouse with Daniel Shaw in the space of a week's time gives him an interesting viewpoint on the class.

Friday, November 09, 2018

QotD: Fundamental Right Edition...

From a great post at Antifragile Training:
"At the core there is my belief that the weak, the disenfranchised, the outnumbered and unpopular should be able to defend themselves against the strong, the bold, the legion."
Go RTWT...

Part of the Problem...

Bobbi on the media response to the dead jackass in California:
"I'm not sure there's any conscious individual intent past the cynical awareness that "If it bleeds, it leads." And this unacknowledged, unrecognized hunger may be a far worse problem than deliberate malice could ever be."
It's a bunch of factors. There's an element of crusading ("We're going to shame the nation into action this time!") that heterodynes with the unconscious "This is ratings gold!", which all combines with an underlying current of "Well, if we don't cover it, those guys at $COMPETING_NETWORK will, so if we're gonna cover it, we might as well do it first and best!"

I mean, watching a grieving parent bawl his eyes out over his dead son in front of the camera? That's GREAT TELEVISION.

And we're a greater or lesser degree...a little vulture-y. The meta-conversation here is still paying attention.

Attention Neptune Spear cosplayers...

Brownells is going to be putting HK416 parts kits out for sale this weekend, if you really want to flex on the poors.

Overheard in the Office...

I come moping into the office, shoulders slumped, head drooping, coffee in hand...
T: *sigh* "Has a sad...
RX: "What's wrong?" 
T: "I'm depressed.
RX: "But you were just laughing and making fun of stupid people!" 
T: "I can do that while I'm unconscious."

Thursday, November 08, 2018

"Why didn't anybody just shoot him?"

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Very Tacticool...

The gun comes with one seventeen-round magazine and two 24-round ones. You can stuff a box of ammo into the mags in the box and still have room left over.

Automotif CXLX...

Parked up out front of the salon where the old Ford Falcon sometimes is parked, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this F100 belongs to the same person.

Looks to be a '73 or '74. I want to believe that there's a 390cid V-8 under that hood.

Photos snapped from across the street with the Samsung TL500. It's an absolutely brilliant little enthusiast's point-and-shoot. Fast glass, a 10MP 1/1.7" sensor, full PASM controls and RAW shooting... It's too bad Samsung decided to bail on the camera game.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

My weakness...

Be me.

Get email sale flier from KEH.

See that they have Canon EOS 40D's in BGN condition with battery and charger for $89.

Have fond memories of all the shooting you did with your old EOS 20D.

Very nearly do something dumb before sternly reminding yourself that you need a crop sensor Canon body like you need a hole in your head.



Still, though, that's a screaming deal on a solid prosumer body if someone wanted to dabble with a DSLR...

That Time of Year

This morning is the morning that the cotton socks come out of the drawer and the wool socks go in. With this next load of laundry, the short-sleeve tees will come out of the dryer and go on hangers in the basement, to have their space in the drawer filled by long-sleeve ones. The long johns came out of hibernation for the New Mexico trip already, as did the warm and water-resistant Asolo boots, replacing the trail shoes of summer.

Late autumn, the time of falling leaves and cold rains and air that smells of woodsmoke, is my favorite season, but it's also the one most ate up with nostalgia and melancholy.

The Only One Qualified Enough...

What's weird is that the police use cars and radios a lot more than they use guns, but the general public doesn't expect them to be automotive experts or broadcast engineers.

And yet "My Cousin, the Cop" is the most oft-quoted authority on any firearm-related topic.

Monday, November 05, 2018

This sling is so fast it makes you blink faster!

OMG, these retardate paracord slings. JFC. FML. WTF. BBQ.

If you're sitting there thinking "I can use my paracord weaving skills to make revolutionary new rifle slings!", you should instead think about using them to make David Carradine cosplay kits, and then thoroughly test your merchandise.

Plenty of learning occurred...

Thank you to my Patreon patrons. Y'all's contributions paid for the Gen5 Gadgets from Tau Development Group, one of which went on the 19X that I used in class this weekend.

Holstering in a belt holster (as opposed to a drop holster on a war belt) while wearing a plate carrier is holstering blind, and having that Striker Control Device under the thumb is really reassuring. If you're blasé about holstering up a striker-fired gat in circumstances like that, you probably shouldn't be.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

It was a long day yesterday.

Arrived on the range at 8:30AM, class started at 9AM, and we knocked off at 1:30AM, having gotten in two nighttime runs through the shoot house.

Even with the DST fairy giving back my missing hour, I am still caffeinating heavily this morning.

One End to the Other

From one end of gun school to the other, I hear creative excuses from people why that particular thing doesn't apply to them and they shouldn't attend.

 "Entangled gunfights never happen!"

Do people ever get held up at arm's length, or do armed robbers generally square up at 21 feet and yell "Toss your wallet over here!"?

"I'm never going to need tactical fantasy band camp!"

Ignore the safety apparel; the plates and helmet in the shoot house are as necessary as eyes and ears on the square range. Do you think that moving in a structure and problem-solving with a gun in your hand is a skill that might someday be necessary?

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Oh, well...

My new zig-zag clavicle...

This will be important in my writeup of some rifle plates here this weekend.

Learn something new, every time...

Joe Weyer is a talented diagnostician. Also, I learned some new stuff about recoil mitigation...via a metaphor I hadn't heard before...that I'm looking forward to trying to implement.

Friday, November 02, 2018

It's that time again...

Time to take all the lumens into the shoot house in Alliance, OH.

Track Record...

Watching Brian Williams' late night news shown MSNBC last night, he interviewed a GOP dude who was explaining how Trump was screwing everything up for the midterms.

The GOP dude's credentials were that he was a former advisor to Romney, Jeb, and McCain. Hell of an electoral resume, bro. You ever advise anybody who won?