Friday, May 07, 2021

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #200...

Almost twenty years I've had this thing now. Carried it for a bunch of them. It was a lot shinier back then.

It came with the "idiot mark" and a flattened spot in the checkering where the original owner had shot it while wearing a ring, but it was to see a lot more wear than that.

The bottom pic was shot with an old Sony Mavica on a floppy disc, on the range top of the first apartment I lived in in Knoxville. It doesn't feel that long ago. 

The camera I shot the top pic with, an EOS 5D Mark II, had 21 megapickles, compared to the lone megapixel of the Mavica's sensor. It wouldn't be released for another seven years at the time the bottom photo was shot, and now it's been discontinued for nearly a decade.


Wednesday, May 05, 2021

GenX Check

"Honey, we have Smith & Wesson at home." No.2

The .38 Regulation Police is just the I-frame .32 Hand Ejector with a five shot .38 S&W cylinder instead of a six shot .32 S&W Long cylinder.

I get a kick out of the fact that the Lorem Ipsum Arms Corporation apparently decided it was important to throw a little facsimile of Smith & Wesson's characteristic "lazy ampersand" in the middle, here.

The Bravest Spam

On this day in 1961, Alan Shepherd strapped himself atop a giant cylinder containing tons of flammable liquid and accelerant, essentially a repurposed intercontinental ballistic missile, and they bolted the hatch shut behind him. After a three hour delay, during which he had to piss himself in his suit because nobody had thought to include a relief tube for what was planned to be a twenty minute flight profile, he was blasted off the surface of the planet to become the second man in space and the first American astronaut to slip the surly bonds, for reals, yo.

The short mission basically launched him into space along a ballistic arc, and he splashed down in the north Atlantic fifteen minutes and twenty-two seconds later.

February of the following year, after another suborbital mission by "Gus" Grissom, John Glenn would ride a similar capsule to become the first American astronaut to orbit the planet.

Shepherd's capsule wasn't at Udvar-Hazy when I visited back in 2015, but Glenn's Friendship 7 was visible down on the floor of the restoration hangar.

(The post title, of course, is drawn from the Chuck Yeager line in The Right Stuff where he describes astronauts as "spam in a can", as opposed to pilots.)


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

"Honey, we have Smith & Wesson at home." No.1

The barrel of the Regulation Police has the typical Smith rollmark of the period. Traditional sans serif font and "lazy" ampersand.

The markings on the barrel of the paltik don't resemble any alphabet I can find, and may be "greeking". There's a fascinating...and fairly recent...piece on the underground gun industry in Cebu here at the NYT. (It may be paywalled. I trust you're savvy enough to find your way around that via an archive if necessary.)

If dudes in the jungle in the 1920s or 1930s could do this, probably with hand tools, imagine what could be done in a CNC-equipped home workshop in 21st Century America.


"But it's factory ammo!"

"Factory" ammo may not mean the same thing, depending on which factory we're talking about. Some of the most disappointing ammo I'd tried thus far was from a factory. The 124gr Sumbro FMJ ammunition I ran through my M&P9 back in 2015 or so had an extreme spread of 89.2 feet per second. In other words, out of ten rounds that were, not just from the same lot number, but the same box, the slowest round was doing 1,069fps while the fastest was almost a hundred feet per second faster, at 1,158.

The Macedonian ammo maker may not have covered themselves with glory, there, but last Friday I had a box of Turkish Sarsilmaz 124gr FMJ that effectively said "biram─▒ tut".

This is obviously some definition of "professional performance" with which I was previously unfamiliar.

No, you are not misreading terrible handwriting. A ten round string fired from a single magazine in a Shield Plus had a velocity spread only a hair less than 180fps.

Yikes. I think they are having issues with their kalite kontrol├╝.


A return to the range...

Would you like to know more?

Last winter was a bad one. I barely kept ahead of my writing for work. Output at the blog suffered, and patron-only content at the Patreon blog went entirely dormant.

With the sun having returned to the sky and the ability to get out and about more, it's time to crawl out of my blanket fort and get more writing done. The first of a series has gone up at the Patreon, to kick things off. Gelatin was shot...for science!


Sunday, May 02, 2021

Project underway...

One of these is a regular S&W .38 Regulation Police. One was cobbled together with hand tools in a Filipino village.

Real macro photos forthcoming...


Saturday, May 01, 2021

Excitable Boy

You can be pretty sure your ride is cool when it gets this sort of reaction from little boys.