Sunday, May 19, 2019

On a newsstand near you!

The latest issue of RECOIL Concealment is now on a newsstand near you (I think. If the newsstand near you is a Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Walgreens... I got mine at Walgreens.)

Inside, you will find one of those shilling sellout reviews full of uncritical praise that... Well, I'm kidding, there. But you should read the review, so they'll let me write more.
.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Cycling Daze Are Here Again...

After months of sitting idle, the Broad Ripple SUV's tires were dead flat. We aired them up and pedaled the not-quite-a-mile down to Next Door SoBro for lunch.

It was my idea because their loaded smashers are my kryptonite...


Friday, May 17, 2019

Adaptable. Portable. Not so pocketable.

While the EOS M is a tiny camera and well-suited to using the Peak Design Cuff strap, the problem is that the APS-C sized sensor makes it hard to have truly tiny lenses. Canon makes an EF-M 22mm f/2 pancake that looks interesting, but that's more than I'd really prefer to spend on a toy lens.

The EF-M mount lens library is so small* that you practically need Canon's EF-to-EF-M adaptor. Add the thickness of the adaptor and then whatever EF or EF-S lens you mount on it, and we're now well out of pocketable territory.

Also, the first two versions of the M had weird and clunky interfaces, with sparse and dumbed-down external controls. You had to use the (excellent) multi-touch screen to do most things. If I were to commit to the M, I'd have to go with the M3, which added a front dial, articulated screen, and a full PASM dial & exposure compensation dial on the top plate.


*The lens library is small enough to make me question Canon's commitment to the mount. While rumor is that it will continue on as Canon's crop-sensor mirrorless complement to the EOS R, they may just be selling off overstock until they can give it the old heave-ho the way Nikon did with the ill-starred Nikon 1 family.

Fascinating neighborhood history...

"The other “bayou” was the fascinating Bacon’s Swamp. Today, the area that used to be covered by this large Marion County bog is part of Broad Ripple. Although Google Maps still shows a lake there called Bacon’s Swamp, this is really just a pond, re-engineered out of what used to be a genuine freshwater wetland.

Like its neighbor a little to the south, Bacon’s Swamp was created by the melting Wisconsin Glacier. About 20,000 years ago, the ice left an indent on the land that filled with water. As limnologists (freshwater scientists) describe, the process of swamp formation, lakes age and die like living creatures, filling up with sediment and plant matter and gradually losing the oxygen in their depths. Bacon’s Swamp evolved into a peat bog, one of the southernmost in the United States."
This is right in our 'hood. The Bacon farmhouse, a stop on the Underground Railroad, was on Keystone Avenue where the Donut Shop is today, almost a literal stone's throw from Indy Arms Company.
.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Facebook's Hidden Dislike Button



"Huh. She clicked 'Like' for every single post in this thread but mine..."
.

He's Not Wrong...

92 Elite LTT in Dark Star Gear Orion holster with Dark Wing.
At Mountain Guerrilla, Mosby wrote:
"[I]n this day and age, leather is a sexual preference, not a valid holster material. Look, I get it. A custom made, tooled leather holster is classic. It’s pure sexiness (see? Sexual preference.). Even for CCW use, it’s suboptimal, for a hundred different reasons that people in the training community (you know, people that actually practice this shit…) have belabored. If you’re still wearing a leather holster, that’s fine, just acknowledge your fetish."
...which is sure to trigger plenty of butthurt.

There are good leather holsters, but if you can buy it for fifty bucks or less at your local gun shop, it probably isn't one of them. And by "good", I mean that there's a whole slew of factors ranging from 'has a reinforced mouth and is rigid enough to not collapse when you're rolling around atop it' to 'is thick enough and well-enough stitched to get shoved down your trousers and sweated on for twelve hours a day for five or ten years without falling apart'.

There is, however, one area where I've seen some pretty clueful individuals looking into leather holsters again: AIWB holsters, and for a couple reasons.

One is comfort, in that the leather holster is generally more able to move with the body and naturally devoid of hard corners or projections. A well-designed kydex AIWB, especially with a wedge or pad or Melody's Dr. Scholl's solution will mitigate that, but it's there.

The other reasons have to do with retention. The most common failure mode Craig Douglas has seen for kydex is it just breaks during the tussle. The good ones generally don't, especially when worn by the sort of person who inspects their gear and replaces it when worn. And again, if it's under fifty bucks at the local gun shop, it's probably not one of the good ones.

The other part of retention is in how the holster retains the gun in the first place. Kydex holsters are popular because they're fast. The reason they're fast is that they rely on mechanical retention to keep the gun in the holster. You insert the gun until the holster *clicks* on the trigger guard. When you draw, you apply enough force to cause the holster to let go of the trigger guard and *pop*, that's it. The holster isn't holding the gun anymore. It's all or nothing.

A good, well-molded leather holster holds the gun via friction. (Insert the <$50 caveat here.) When you're rolling around on the ground hyperventilating inside a FIST helmet trying to keep dude from yanking your sims Glock out of the holster and flailing at him with a dull training blade in your other hand, any little bit of help you can get from the holster in ensuring the gun stays put is appreciated.

How important that is to you is, of course, totally predicated on what you consider the likelihood of that scenario.

While I would dearly love a baller J.R. Customs AIWB holster with, like, sharkskin trim for my Wilson because that's my fetish, I'm pretty secure in the idea that my daily Dark Star Gear kydex holster is up to the task.
.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Ugh deadlines...

Submitted two feature length articles today with a third due by Friday. Plus I need to do some photos for two of them.

It amazes me how closely the mental fog of a long day's writing feels like physical exhaustion. (Apparently that's science and stuff. The thinking probably burned more calories than physically running the keyboard did.)

Have some more gratuitous gun pr0n as a sort of pre-review teaser...



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

QotD: Tortured Language Edition

"The city's part of the deal will be paid for with an extension of the "innkeeper's tax," a few more pennies on the dollars that pay for hotel rooms. 'Cos what're visitors going to do if room rates go up, use some online service that presently doesn't pay that tax...? Oh, that's right, they might just do that. Better yet, local news sources are claiming "it won't cost taxpayers a dime;" taxpayers who vote in Marion County, that is."
Bobbi notes the bizarre language created by trying to find a diplomatic way of saying "The new facility won't cost local voters a dime because we're gonna take the cost from out-of-towners."
.

Massive Organ

Via The Online Photographer comes this video...



Being born at the tail end of the Sixties and growing up in the suburbs, I'm a child of the Mall Era and really missed out on the glory days of the downtown department store. We went to the mothership of the Rich's chain in Atlanta reasonably frequently, but by the early Eighties, it was a shadow of its former self.
.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Serious Gear Fail

Remember a couple years ago when an IMPD officer had his Glock discharge in the holster when the officer sitting next to him got some bit of gear inside the light-bearing Safariland and then stood up?

Well, just this past week another IMPD officer was tussling with a shoplifting suspect who got on top of him in the ground fight and attempted to pull the officer's pistol out of the holster. The holster's retention worked, but the dude managed to get a finger into the mouth of the holster and fire the still-holstered weapon, hitting the officer in the leg.

Not all light-bearing holsters are created equal, and some obviously have way too much clearance around the trigger guard. This kinda defeats one of the main purposes of a holster.
.

Friday, May 10, 2019

News of the World...

BBC News has a fascinating photo essay on the chaotic conditions in the backcountry of the Sahara, a region that has gone completely Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome with the collapse of the government in Libya and the atomization of ISIS and Al Qaeda.
.

Meanwhile, in North Korea news...

We seem to have taken possession of a North Korean cargo ship that the Indonesians busted last year for running around with its paperwork shady and its maritime safety tracking doohickeys turned off. Maybe we can file a mechanic's lien and rename it MV Pueblo.

As a side note, I'm looking at pics of Kim Trey in the linked article, and... Wow. He's really well into the transformation from Dear Leader to Maximum Leader, if you know what I mean. He's morphing into late-stage Marlon Brando before our very eyes. Dude is packing on the avoirdupois like there's nobody in his life to tell him "No."
.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

First aid isn't cool, but guns are, apparently.

Bring up the idea of first aid supplies and the response is predictable...


People who argue about spare mags and BUGs start hooting and chest-beating and flinging handfuls of leaves and poo, lest they be thought "unprepared".

Like OC spray or a flashlight, first aid gear (and the knowledge of how to use it) is one of those things that has much broader applicability in the real world than a Glock, but e'rrbody wants to carry the Glock. (And endlessly debate about what caliber it should be and what brand of bullets should be in it.)

I don't even necessarily keep the first aid gear on my person for most of the year. This is because I utilize the best protection against accidental self-inflicted GSWs: I leave the gun alone in my holster and don't mess with it.

There are three places I'm likely to unholster or reholster during the day, and totally uncoincidentally, there's a blowout kit staged at each of them (nightstand, car trunk, range bag).

I'm not a "high-responder"; if I were the sort of person likely to run over and get my hands bloody if I saw someone get injured, I'd be more likely to carry it on me. I have several friends who've actually used the med gear they carry on their person to respond to car or motorcycle accidents that happened in their presence.

If you do want to carry basic stop-the-bleed gear on your person, there are easy ways to do it. PHLster offers the Pocket Emergency Wallet and the Flatpack TQ carrier. Dark Angel Medical offers an ankle kit.

I'll let blogger wizardpc have the last word, here:
“I carry a 2lb gun because I might be in a gun fight” 
“I don’t carry an 8oz GSW kit because it’s heavy and, really, what are the chances of me needing that?" 
Okay, then. 
You do you. I don’t care. But the attitudes are a little comical.
Word.

(EDIT: I should add a disclaimer, here. PHLster's Amazon store is legit, but I'd caution against buying tourniquets from random sellers on Amazon, since odds are good that they're airsoft-grade fakes.)
.

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #176...

 The Zev OZ-9 at the range the other day, doing chronograph work.

Speed holes are to 2019 what tail fins were to 1959 and shoulder pads were to 1989.
.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Bad news today...


I knew from talking with Gail Pepin at NRAAM that Denny was in a bad way, and figured I'd wrap up the writing work on my plate and then take a couple days to go visit up in Rochester. Yet another lesson in Not Putting Stuff Off, I guess.
.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

The largest window for error...

Mark Luell asking the important question:
Based on pure probability, what’s the most dangerous thing we will do with our guns in our lifetime? Is it:

I don't keep a blowout kit handy in case I get into a gunfight with thirty-eleven ninjas in the Kwik Trip parking lot; I keep a blowout kit handy in case I get shot by the person with the greatest window of opportunity to shoot me.

If you're wandering around in public with a loaded gun on your person, but without at least minimal tools to stop a bleeding gunshot wound close to hand and some training to use them, I flat-out question your judgment.
.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Leading Experts Recommend!

.

From an Away Game...

Some keystrokes on why Heckler & Koch LEM triggers are such a hard sell:
"On the low-information forums, it's lumped in with DAO triggers as bad/wrong/stupid-lawyer-trigger-for-cops.

On high-information forums, it slows down people's Bill Drills and makes it hard to put up hero numbers. The relevance of these numbers to actually shooting people is the subject of numerous endless debates.

And with the general public? Well, a dude who worked at my LGS got all enamored of my (DA/SA) P30L while I was shooting the 2k Challenge with it, so he ordered an HK45 off Gunbroker. When it came in, he was all excited about it having the "Law Enforcement Modification" trigger... for about five minutes. Then he was shopping for the parts to convert it to DA/SA. I asked him why. He replied "Feel the second trigger pull!" I was, like, "Dude, you're never going to feel that second trigger pull!" but he just wouldn't wrap his head around it.

That's pretty much how every General Public customer responded to dry-firing a LEM in the showcase, no matter how patiently you tried to explain or demonstrate that the slide reset the action every time."

A sure barometer...

Emulation...

While I love the interface on my Ricoh GR Digital II, of all the brands of digital cameras (do we even need to specify "digital" as a modifier for "camera" anymore, or can we just accept it as the default?) that I've messed with, Fuji is the one that is most oriented to the photographer who cut their teeth on old-school film cameras.



On my Fuji the shutter speed is still controlled by a dial on the top plate, and the aperture by a ring on the lens. Nikon does this and charges a mint as the retro Df, while Fuji just does it on all their interchangeable lens bodies.

Fuji also has various film emulation settings in-camera, something more typically (and effectively, to be honest) done in post-processing.
.

"It ain't natural!"

Not everyone is happy watching the current Jeopardy! champion's gallop into the record books.
Personally, as someone who has traditionally yelled "BET IT ALL!" at the screen every time Double Jeopardy came up, I'm enthralled to run across a contestant with the chutzpah to do just that. Thus far he's had the smarts to ensure that it hasn't come back to bite him hard. Eventually it will, but until then it's fun to watch.
.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Automotif CLIX...

The first drop-top Ferrari of the season tells me it's finally that time of year where the top can pretty much stay down on the Z3 except for rainy days and interstate road trips.
.

Hmmm...

Saturday, May 04, 2019

How would you know?

There's one thing in particular that really puzzles me about pharmaceutical commercials.
"Sufferers of Sweaty Elbow Syndrome can relax. Clinical trials have shown that Placebon causes up to a 7.5% drop in elbow sweat production in almost half of users. If you or someone you love are living with SES, ask your health care provider about Placebon. 
In rare cases, patients reported depression and suicidal thoughts. Stop taking Placebon and see your health care provider if these occur. Side effects are rare, and include herniated discs, coronary artery blockages, and sudden incontinence. Patients who use alcohol or have visited regions with ebola outbreaks should not take Placebon. Do not take Placebon if you are allergic to Placebon."
It's that last highlighted part that gets me every time. How in the Ninety-Nine Names of Spongebob am I supposed to know if I'm allergic to a drug I've never taken? Environmental exposure?
.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Faltering?

The compact camera market is in free-fall. Outside of specialty gizmos like "ruggedized" cameras that can film underwater or various superzooms, there's hardly a reason to buy a pocket camera for most people these days, given the capabilities of the typical cell cam.

The larger-sensor ILC (interchangeable lens camera) market is cooling, too, albeit at a slightly slower pace. But even freshly-launched, much-hyped offerings from biggies like Canon, Nikon*, and Olympus are featuring incentives to soften the impact of the summer slowdown.

*That $200 discount was fast.

The Fire Down Below

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Automotif CLVIII...

I don't know how my Roman numerals got all jacked up like they did, but "CLVIII" is the correct one.

At any rate...

"Hey, that's a super-straight W126. I wonder what year it is?"

"Ah. An '87."

Monon Trail Dogs

This is Duchess...

...and her buddy is, of course, Duke.

It doesn't seem like that great a job.

So, Harry & Meghan have secluded themselves, declaring that they'd like a bit of privacy for the birth of the royal sprog.

Naturally this means that NBC News has appointed a 'round-the-clock Watcher of the Ennobled Crotch, whose job apparently consists of peering at the grounds of Windsor Castle with the intensity of a young John Cusack holding a boom box aloft.

Incidentally, "Ennobled Crotch" is the name of my next band.
.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Overheard in Indianapolis, 2019...

The bicycle cab stopped briefly beside us on the sidewalk, until the synthesized voice from the traffic signal said "WALK NOW. WALK NOW. WALK NOW..."

I said to Bobbi "It's 2019."

She replied "If only it were raining."
.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Sitting on my hands...

The urge to go type "WE'RE WATCHING" on dude's laptop was nearly overpowering.
..

Art About Town

If you're in town for the NRA Annual Meeting and dig murals, Indy Arts Guide has compiled a guide to the various murals visible around town.

"My Affair With Kurt Vonnegut"
345 Mass Ave., Indianapolis, IN, 46204
Canon EOS M, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6

I love the quote on the page for the mural above:
“All my jokes are Indianapolis. All my attitudes are Indianapolis. If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business. What people like about me is Indianapolis.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1986.

Ick.



Hagfish slime is weird stuff:
"Indeed, it’s one of the softest materials ever measured. “Jell-O is between 10,000 and 100,000 times stiffer than hagfish slime,” says Randy Ewoldt from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who had to invent new methods for assessing the substance’s properties after conventional instruments failed to cope with its nature. “When you see it in a bucket, it almost still looks like water. Only when you stick your hand in and pick it up do you find that it’s a coherent thing.”"
But it turns out that hagfish themselves are pretty weird, if you read the whole article.

Let's just say that lying in corpses, absorbing nutrients through your skin (because it's more efficient at doing so than your gut) is no way to go through life, son. But it works for the hagfish, apparently.
.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Rainy Wednesday

Wednesday morning, after my visit to Indy Arms Co, I headed downtown to pick up some processed film at Roberts Camera.

My order wasn't supposed to be ready until noon, so I figured I'd grab a little lunch on the way down. I stopped at Goose the Market, but the little enoteca in the basement didn't start serving until noon. Down to Mass Ave it was, then. After orbiting the block twice trying to find a parking spot close to The Eagle, I gave up and parked a block north and walked down.

I passed the same homeless dude sitting on the sidewalk near Bru Burger that Bobbi and I had encountered on Saturday. This time he had his cat out of its carrier and napping in his lap. He greeted me as I walked past...

The wait at The Eagle was going to be fifteen minutes, and so I jogged across the street to Louie's Wine Dive instead. When I left the restaurant, it had started to rain and, walking back to the car, dude was still sitting out there with his cat.

As I got back to my car, I made a snap decision and circled the block to the Marathon on the corner of Alabama & Michigan, where I hit the ATM for a twenty. I bought a can of cat food and put it and a five in the bag, then I headed back toward the car, making a stop along the way...

"Hey, what's your friend's name?"

"Her name is Princess."

"I got something for you guys. Mind if I take her picture?"

"Thank you. Say hello, Princess."


QotD: Don't Be A Dick Edition...

"Look, this is the United States of America, where you can peacefully protest any darned thing you want and just as peacefully cheer it on, and when either happens, it's better to look at the issues and the optics than impugn the character and/or the intelligence of the people waving signs."-Bobbi

I can't give up the struggle.

Listening with half an ear to Mary Lou Retton's daughter on the TV in the other room, as she talks about the time in her life when she acknowledged the "enormity" of what her mother did.

I understand that the course of language has shifted in its banks and the meaning of the word is effectively different now, but pedants like me have to sit and wonder for a moment what monstrous evil the spunky medalist had performed.
.

Strange Times, Stranger Bedfellows

Let's go over some of the greatest hits of former congresswoman Cynthia "Slugger" McKinney (Crazy-GA):
For whatever reason, she'd fallen largely off my personal lolcow radar for a while, but she popped up out of the ground clutter again by, of all things, being a guest on an internet nazi podcast (cue Jake: "I hate internet nazis.") Because if there's one thing that the kookiest fringes of the Left and Right can agree on, it's the jooooooz.

Or, as I wrote in 2008:
The world of the conspiranoiac is a fascinating one, and it proves that the space-time continuum curves back on itself. Head way on out there to the right, on out past Fred, out even past Alex Jones, and you suddenly find yourself in the middle of Rage Against The Machine fans, looking at Cynthia McKinney from the other side.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Revival

While I was picking up film at the downtown Roberts on Saturday, I asked if they had any inexpensive used telephoto zooms in stock that would work on my later Nikon film bodies. The princely sum of $64 netted a 70-300mm f/4-5.6G that would function fine on the N80 and F5*.

Sunday afternoon, on a whim, I noticed that my old Nikon D1X had a pretty good charge on it, so I dragged my Coleman camp chair into the back yard with a tasty beverage and the new-to-me zoom lens mounted. With the D1X's crop sensor giving the lens an effective focal length of 450mm, you could get right up in Mr. Squirrel's grille...


When I sold off the Nikon D200, I had thought that was pretty much it for me and Nikon DSLRs (I still prefer Nikons for film) but I couldn't bear to part with that tank of a D1. Besides, its trade-in value is effectively nil these days...

*The G-series lenses by Nikon lack a manual aperture ring. This means that if used on an older autofocus film body that lacks a command dial, it will only function wide-open. The N80 and F5 both have dials on the body for controlling aperture like a modern Nikon DSLR. (Or, more accurately, modern Nikon DSLRs have a command dial for controlling aperture like an F5.)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Now do it with one hand behind your back!



Remember this when people talk about how important those tests are.

We had a customer who frequented the shops I worked at in Tennessee who had passed his HCP shooting qual and he was blind. And by "blind", I don't mean that he couldn't see so well without his glasses, I mean dog-and-cane blind.

But you know what? He's got civil rights just like someone with 20/20 vision.
.

Poor Gremlin!

Leica Fable



Oh my lolz.

So, Leica's ad agency in Brazil made a short video commercial touting Leica's past (its *distant* past) as the photojournalist's camera of choice*.

Said commercial featured photogs running around in sweaty Banana Republic safari apparel, snapping those Decisive Moment shots. The final scene has a photojournalist poking the lens of his Leica R6 at a gap in some hotel room drapes in 1989 Beijing, and the camera zooms in to show the famous Tank Man photo reflected in the business end of his Vario-Elmar.


There may be problems linking the video, because Leica pulled it when the Chinese government flipped its $#!+ and blocked everyone in China** from even being able to use the search term "Leica" on their side of the Great Firewall. I guess that cut into the sales of Safari Edition M10 cameras and Noctilux lenses to well-heeled would-be street photographers in Shanghai. It was downloaded and re-uploaded a couple of places, though.

The irony, here? Pretty much every Tank Man pic you're familiar with was shot on one variant or another of Nikon.


*Leica hasn't been relevant as a camera brand for working photojournalists since probably the mid '70s at the latest. Nikon's F-series SLRs more or less completely supplanted them in the latter decades of the last millennium, and Canon owns that market currently. I've joked at SHOT Show that if you see someone shooting with a Nikon or Canon DSLR, they're working press shooting stills. If they're shooting a Sony or Panasonic mirrorless, they're working press shooting video. If they're using a smartphone, they're a YouTube channel or Instagram influencer. If they're shooting a Leica? They're an orthodontist whose buddy has an FFL and got them a badge.

** Interestingly, out on this side of the Great Firewall, there are a number of comments from folks claiming to be patriotic Chinese who are incensed at Leica for glorifying those CIA-promoted terrorists at Tiananmen Square.
.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Poor Reasoning


"That's different! Seatbelts are for saving people and guns are for shooting people!"

"That's presuming that there's never anyone who needs to be shot."

Eternal Darnation

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Ugh.

Long night last night. Didn't switch to decaf until late and didn't take any melatonin. Went to bed at 11:00 and fell asleep fine, but sprang wide awake at 2AM and couldn't get back to sleep.

I just stayed curled up in bed and finished reading Cocktails From Hell. Good book. I'll try to remember to write a review this week.

Finally dozed back off sometime just before 5 o'clock and back up at seven. This will not do.
.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Unsurprising...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Circular Feline

I LOL'ed and LOL'ed...

...because it's true.



Interesting factoid...

"At the base of the spire was a group of statues: the twelve Apostles, in four groups of three, each group preceded by one the animals symbolizing the four evangelists, and all of them -- all but one -- facing out towards Paris. The lone exception? St. Thomas, patron saint of architects."
Click on the link for the rest of the fascinating story!
.

Plateaus...

So, it had been a while since I'd shot a timed FAST in a class environment. Way back in late 2015, as a matter of fact, in a Langdon class, I shot a 7.62 raw time with the M&P I was carrying at the time. A dropped shot on the 3x5 card made it a 9.62, which still squeaked into "Intermediate".


Since then, I had switched to the Glock 19 for carry and gotten to the point where I was pretty comfortable turning in clean mid-to-high sevens, at least by myself or with a friend or two on the range, but performance kinda languished there. I knew what work it would take to get past that, but really couldn't be arsed to do it.

This year I'm trying something different. I want to get good with a DA trigger on that first shot, and so that's what I'm working on. I'm still not to the point that it doesn't eat my lunch on that first shot on a timer, but I was encouraged that I shot my best FAST in a class environment a couple weekends ago with the Langdon Beretta in Murphy's class out in Terre Haute. After an abortion of a first run where both the draw and the reload began with me grabbing big handfuls of my gun burkha, my second run was an 8.10 clean, with really pretty shots on the 3x5, to boot.


Hey, look!

"Other than the mildewed-sweat-socks-soaked-in-ammonia aroma given off by the Russkie powder and primers, the test continued exactly as before. The Smith & Wesson Model 5906 didn’t seem to care about the ammunition change and kept chugging away."
The 5906 writeup! Go check it out!
.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Automotif CXLXXII...

This 1960 T-bird seems to have been spruced up a bit since last I saw it. A new top and rear window at the least. Maybe a paint job?
.

Black & White is Photography's Mother Tongue



A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on


There's just something about the way the Agfapan 25 handled the textures and shadows in this picture that I really love...
.

Celluloid Swords Into Archaeological Plowshares

Declassified hi-res photo negatives from Lockheed U-2 spy plane flights from the '50s and '60s are helping map out early civilization...
"Interesting archaeological features captured in the images included a canal irrigation system in Northern Iraq and prehistoric stone-wall hunting traps called desert kites, which were used to trap animals like gazelle over 5,000 years ago. The kites were preserved for a very long time because of the dry desert environment, but as modern agriculture expanded into the region, the kites were destroyed. The old U2 plane images captured many when they were still intact, giving Hammer and Ur an excellent birds-eye view of an ancient hunting tool."
The photos of the desert kites, stretching like a comb...or a landlocked drift net...across the xeric landscape, are fascinating. That speaks to a bunch of cooperation before widespread domestication, ranching, and farming.
.

QotD: Just What I Choose It To Mean Edition...

From Gun Culture 2.0:
"Militarized handgun, like assault weapon, is an elastic concept which can be stretched to encompass all sorts of guns. Which is perhaps the point."
Given the stated goals of the term's originator, I'd say that's exactly the intent.

Remember that GCA's "sporting purposes" clause barred the importation of military surplus bolt-action rifles and double-action revolvers for years, and they only get in now under a C&R exemption.

Tool Fixated

When rolling around in a force-on-force scuffle in a class like ECQC, you can sometimes see people get "tool fixated". You will see, for instance, someone get completely fixated on the task of clearing a malfunction in a Simunitions Glock that choked when they tried firing it with the other person's hand around the slide, or perhaps obsessively trying to wrench a Sims gun away from their opponent.

While they're doing this, they lose awareness of the entirety of the situation and their opponent is now repeatedly "stabbing" them with a training knife, like a monkey with a screwdriver.


The same can happen on a macro level:
If you focus on the weapon, you can miss everything else. Addo told me that knives were involved in only about twenty per cent of the cases he sees at Homerton. “We see all manner of mundane instruments used as weapons, from bricks on the street to poles to bottles in clubs. We have become fixated on knives, but it’s violence,” he said. “It is the desperation that causes you to weaponize anything around you.”
It’s almost like the ability to use our hands to pick something up and use it as an improvised weapon is a defining characteristic of humanity.

To quote a David Drake character from Patriots: "Don't you never hit a man with your bare hand unless your feet are nailed to the floor of an empty room."
.

Monday, April 15, 2019

"Elitism"

"Republican Party politicians and consultants want their voters to think that there is a mob of Ivy League professors, DC economists, Wall Street traders and Hollywood producers waiting outside Cracker Barrel at 2 am to punch small town conservative Christian American in the face and knock all the jobs out of them."
Mencken wept, somewhere in the back row of a chautauqua in the Sahara of the Bozart.

In response to a Facebook friend's statement that "douche troll vs. triggerd snowflake is our current version of Buckley vs. Vidal", Bobbi quipped "Short bus to short bus in two generations."
.

Smith M&P 48...

If there's a segment of the handgun market with more ferocious competition right now than the subcompact skinny 9mm segment, I don't know what it is.

In apparent response to the Glock 48, now S&W has a 4" version of the Shield, which is apparently available in plain vanilla, as well as versions with a Brand X red dot, and with the red dot and barrel porting.

Not a huge fan of porting anymore, as it doesn't provide anywhere near the recoil reduction of a true expansion chamber comp, while being a lot more likely to shave jacket material and pepper the shooter with ejecta while shooting from retention. I'm also curious about the footprint of the MRDS the slide is machined to accept. The industry needs to standardize on a footprint, probably that of the Trij RMR.
.

Captain Sunshine

Apparently, if you enjoyed Rust Cohle's nihilism in the first season of True Detective, you can go get it straight from the source: The Conspiracy Against the Human Race.

I discovered that here.
.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Too cool!



Less muss & fuss than my black powder keychain cannon, albeit without the satisfaction of actual gunpowder smoke.
.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The tail end of winter...

EOS Elan II, Fujicolor 400
I shot this one walking home from lunch a few weeks ago, on the same walk where I snapped this photo of our neighborhood dinosaur...


Testing...

Recently I scored a Canon EOS Elan II body from KEH for, like, $29 during one or another of their recent sales. This was Canon's "prosumer" film body from '95 until it was superseded by the Elan 7 in last half of 2000.

Since they still sell Fujicolor 400 at the local Meijer, as well as CVS & Wallgreens, that's what I use for testing cameras for light-tightness.

I just got the photos back from Roberts yesterday. I'd say the camera still works great!





Thursday, April 11, 2019

Strong Side vs. Other Strong Side OC Carry

In the photo above, you'll notice that the shooter still has the OC canister in her support hand. Thanks to our arboreal antecedents, one of the things we do when we're startled is grab on to things really tightly. (Tree-dwelling critters who let go of things when startled tend to plummet to their deaths before they can have many offspring.)

In her case, she'd verbally engaged the moving target, which kept coming at her. She sprayed it with (inert) OC, and when that didn't work, she drew and fired, still with the OC compromising her grip.

 Dude here is fixin' to have the exact same thing happen to him.

The different-colored lasers from the SIRT guns are being used, along with dialogue, to indicate whether the target is hostile or not. 
She had the presence of mind to dump the pepper spray when she went to guns, but she's the exception that proves the rule.

Now, an argument can be made that when you jettison the pepper spray, you're leaving a potential weapon on the field for your attacker to pick up and use against you, and it would be better to retain it and shoot one-handed (and if your assailant is close enough to spray, he's close enough to shoot strong-hand-only.) Personally, if dude wants to bend over to try and retrieve it while I'm busy shooting him, that's okay with me.

For myself, I keep my flashlight in my left pocket and my pepper spray in my right pocket for three reasons:
  1. I know I'm going to drop the spray when going for my gun, because my gun hand has been given an overlearned task to perform that supersedes the reflexive "Hold tight!" response.

  2. I carry a stream-type OC dispenser, and I'm going to be more accurate using my shooting hand if I have to spray some dude.

  3. My light is in my support hand pocket. I can see situations where I may need to light and spray simultaneously, and I can see situations where I might need to light and shoot simultaneously, but I can't envision a ton of situations where I need to spray and shoot simultaneously.