Thursday, September 30, 2021

Guns of the South

Smith & Wesson is relocating their corporate headquarters from Springfield, where it's been since before the Civil War:
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. officials today announced the U.S.-based leader in firearms manufacturing and design will relocate its headquarters and other major operations from Springfield, Massachusetts to Maryville, Tennessee.

In addition to its headquarters, Smith & Wesson will relocate its distribution, assembly, and plastic injection molding operations to Tennessee. The project represents an investment of approximately $125 million and will create 750 new jobs.

Supposedly pending legislation in Massachusetts would mean Smith could no longer manufacture much of its product line there.


Around the blogs...

Gibraltar Falls

Anyone who's read a bunch of Poul Anderson's "Time Patrol" stories (there's an omnibus collection, by the way) will remember the setting of "Gibraltar Falls".

Apparently there are some new discoveries of sediments left from both the ancient salt flats and the flood that covered them.

"The serene turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea hide a sharp-tasting secret: a layer of salt up to two miles thick, lurking deep underneath the basin. The ghostly white minerals are one of the few traces of an ancient Mediterranean Sea that vanished millions of years ago. Some scientists believe that the entire sea evaporated for a time, desiccated like the Sahara to the south.

Even after decades of study, the details surrounding the sea’s vanishing act and the torrents of water that refilled the basin remain an enduring mystery. The refilling of the Mediterranean about five million years ago may have been the biggest flood in our planet’s history. By one estimate, the cascade of water that filled the cavernous basin was about 500 times larger than the flow of the Amazon River.

“It was a sensational thing,” says Daniel García-Castellanos of the Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera in Spain. In a recent analysis published in Earth-Science Reviews, Garcia-Castellanos and his team identified a pocket of sediments that may have been deposited by the megaflood.

Anderson was incredibly prolific and his Time Patrol universe was one of his more frequent settings. The story in that setting which you're most likely to have encountered in various anthologies is "Delenda Est", a tale where the Roman Empire's rise gets sabotaged by time terrorists and we get a glimpse at an alternate universe where Celtic and Carthaginian influences persist in modern North America.

Time Patrolman was a 1983 volume with two then-new Time Patrol stories.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Guardians of the High Frontier

Automotif CCLIII...

Classic '46-'48 Ford hot rod rolled by yesterday afternoon...

Remember that "Al-Qaeda" is Arabic for "The Base"

"Populist" and "Populism" have been dirty words on this blog for as long as it's been around. I mean, I've always been up front about putting Florence King and P.J. O'Rourke right there among my early influences.

In 2012:
Meanwhile, the guys on Young Turks were claiming that Gingrich's latest anti-robber baron tack proved that class warfare is as American as apple pie and "even Republican voters are progressive".

I don't know about "progressive", but American politics, especially in the South and Midwest, has a populist streak as wide as William Jennings Bryan's fat head, as tall as a tariff, and as long as a Farm Bill, that would love to be Democrats if it weren't for the fact that Democrats believe in the ev'lution and the 'bortion and are always tryin' to take your guns, and two of the first three primaries are smack in the middle of that turf.

In 2011:
Basically it's a Buchanan-esque populist conservatism with most of the Jesus trimmed off. In other words, Trump is aiming at what he thinks is the bullseye of the Tea Party: Flag-waving xenophobic National Enquirer subscribers who like the F-15 flyovers before football games and want lots of free stuff from the government but hate them some taxes.

Way back in 2006:
While both the Democrats and Republicans have candidates out there playing to the nut-fudge fringe elements of their respective parties, it remains to be seen which way the real swing voters in America are going to go. You know the type: Unashamedly patriotic; loves Jesus in a public, but vague and non-denominational sort of way; afraid of gay cooties, but uncomfortable with blatant bigotry; moderately hawkish on foreign policy, but with a short attention sp... hey, are you done in Iraq yet? 'Cause that Kim guy with the missiles is scaring me; economically xenophobic and protectionist; distrusts big business and hates the rich.

These are the people who got Carter elected because he loved Jesus, and then went and voted for Reagan because Carter was wimpy, and possibly a com-symp. In most parts of the country they've remained with the Republicans ever since Reagan, because their social conservatism has thus far outweighed their populist economic views. (You'll note that Clinton won the first time 'round by playing the role of a centrist-to-moderately-conservative Southern Democrat.)
I've always been sniffy about yahoos using "elite" as a perjorative rather than an aspiration.

So don't go acting like me linking this Shay Khatiri piece at The Bulwark is some sort of novelty or change in my direction...
However well versed the popularizers might have been in conservative arguments, they were ultimately not adherents of any specific conservative ideology. They were beholden to the passions of the masses. That was their business model—not just at Fox News and on talk radio, but among various culture-war organizations that knew profit was to be found in heat, not light. The popularizers came to replace the elites. Talk-radio hosts had once sought to debate and popularize the ideas in conservative magazines; they in time became the arbiters of what counted as conservatism. Fox News hosts became more important shapers of conservative opinion than the authors of rigorously argued think tank studies or the politicians who appeared as guests. CPAC, which had once tried to bring together activists and intellectuals, energy and ideas, turned into a sorry circus for dimwitted demagoguery.

This change allowed Donald Trump to arrive on the scene in favor of big government.

The “anti-state” conservatives—those who had arrived at conservatism on the merits of conservative arguments—refused to join him. But by then they had become the minority even within the right-wing intelligentsia, displaced by the barkers and hucksters.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Carbon Dating

The picture in the tweet is that Louis Awerbuck carbine/pistol class from 2009. A few LEO's, but mostly just regular gun school junkies.

Friends of Pat in Alliance, late 2016. Fairly high percentage of LE/mil for an open enrollment gun class, maybe a third or more of the attendees?

Media class at Alliance Police Training in late 2018, with the usual mix of media types: Career cops moonlighting writing gun articles, gun school junkies, and regular I Like to Shoot enthusiast writers/YouTubers/influencers.

Automotif CCLII...

Here's an unusual sight: a Jensen-Healey! The bumpers mark it as a Mk.2, which spanned model years '74-'76. By '76 it was one of only a handful of droptops left on the American market, thanks to rollover safety regs.

They had a lightweight, all-aluminum Lotus-sourced DOHC 16V two-liter four cylinder that put out something like 140bhp. The light motor gave it a 50/50 weight distribution for good handling, and the U.S. emissions-compliant version did 0-60 in 8.1 seconds. 

This may not sound spectacular either by the standards of the muscle car era or today, but during the Malaise Years, when the 302 V8 in a Mustang Cobra II only had a hundred and thirty ponies, the Jensen-Healey was pretty sprightly. In fact, the next place this motor would turn up was in the early Lotus Esprits...

Forward Looking

In discussion about the post on low-power variable optics the other day, a friend reminded me that by '08, when that Magpul Dynamics video came out, the tippy-tip of the spear guys were all already really into the S&B Short Dot. I looked in my copy of Green Eyes, Black Rifles (which is one of the handful of firearms books I keep handy at my desk) and, holy cow, it was copyrighted back in 2008. It sure doesn't feel that long ago... Anyway, in that book Kyle Lamb discusses LPVOs at some length, covering the Short Dot, Trijicon AccuPoint, and Leupold CQ/T.

For a hot minute back around 2006 I had played with the Leupold CQ/T, but its size and lack of variety in mounting options had me go back to zero-magnification Aimpoints for a number of years.

CQ/T + Vltor CASV-EL = chinweld. Derpeste.

I don't know for sure which other scope Larry Vickers is talking about in this piece about the history of the Short Dot, but I'd bet it rhymes with "Bloopold Z Pew B".


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Stacking on the door...

Nikon D2X, Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #206...

A better photo of the Shorty 40 Mark IIIS. This is the fourth gun of a 612-piece run done for Lew Horton in '96-'97.

There were 3066 Shorty 40's of all types (original, Mk.II, Mk.III, Mk.IIIS) made from '92 through '97. The originals are the most common, with nearly 1600 made, while the rarest are the Mk.II guns from '95, with only 220 examples built.

For anyone into the various Lew Horton special edition guns (which could be a sub-field of Smith collecting all its own), the 4th Edition of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson has a detailed table on pp.430-432, listing all models, complete with SKU, production total, serial number range, and years of production.


Friday, September 24, 2021

Not Overly Sentimental

My lawn, you are on it.

I made myself laugh. 


Time Capsule

I just got the scans from my roll of Lomography Tiger 110 film back from Roberts. It looks like it had taken more than a year to shoot it up. I'm pretty sure those pics from Half Liter are from the Before Times; March or February of last year.

Even with one of the best lenses ever sold on a 110 camera, you're still shooting a 110.


Magnifying Glass

Let's get the triggering part out of the way first...

Okay, on to the topic at hand: This possible time traveler sighting...

This dude was pretty forward thinking. 

This would have been filmed in early '08, maybe even late '07, and homie's got a low-power variable optic on his carbine. We were barely out of Peak EOTech in '08. Full-size Aimpoints were the go-to carbine topper, sometimes with a flip-up magnifier. The Aimpoint Micro had barely been out a year.

In retrospect, the only thing that keeps me from thinking this guy in the Magpul Dynamics video was some kind of John Titor time traveler from 2019 or so is the fact that he was running a 1911. 

Five or six years later, running an LPVO on a general purpose carbine was still pretty leading edge. But these days it seems like a lot of clueful people do.

I'm just some writer, but I can take a hint.

(I've decided to leave the old Leupold on this gun and save the Viper for the carbine I build to replace the old BCM middie with the full-length rail farm and gov't profile barrel.)


Thursday, September 23, 2021

When is a .380 (or even a .22) better than a 9mm?

I can't believe I've found myself having this discussion in the year 2021, and yet here we are. This column did not appear in a vacuum.

Outside of circumstances so narrow that I can't think of any off the top of my head, a single-action handgun with a one- or two-finger grip and which needs to have its hammer manually cocked to fire for each shot is a fundamentally unserious choice for personal protection in this current year.


That's one small bounce for a moon... giant roll for moonkind.

I love the two dudes chasing it. Very optimistic. I have no idea how much that thing weighs, but if you get ahold of those ropes, Ahab, you're probably going for a Nantucket sleigh ride.


Automotif CCLI...

Initially sold in Sweden as the Amazon, the Volvo 122 was one of the first cars from the Swedish maker to have any sales success in the US. This is a 1963 122S, with the "S" signifying the sportier model, with a dual-carb 1800cc four cylinder motor making 85bhp.

Volvo will cling like grim death to a styling trend. By 1963 American makers were deep into the rolling Wurlitzer era of "longer, lower, wider", while the pontoon body styling of the 122 wouldn't have looked terribly out of place in the late Forties.

Volvo was ahead of the curve in other ways, though. Three-point shoulder harnesses, at least for front-seat occupants, were standard on the 122 from 1958, a first for a factory production car. The bodies featured extensive rust-proofing, too.

Volvo made the 122 up through 1970, by which point they'd largely been supplanted by the 144 and its ilk, first of the boxy Volvos that would carry on that look for decades after it, too, had become unfashionable.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Tale in Three Photos...

The sidewalk in front of Mama Carolla's during yesterday morning's stroll.

The new schedule at Wyliepalooza ice cream shack seen on yesterday morning's stroll.

This morning's forecast from Wunderground.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Shred Like a Marsupial

The United States of Triggered...

Bobbi points out that the Inspiration4 crew has someone to make almost anyone assmad, which has triggered some press coverage that sometimes seems more butthurt than snarky...
"Some of the coverage has been unduly snarky. The crew is about perfectly lined up to trigger everyone: a cheeky billionaire (and amateur jet pilot), a pale and slightly chubby IT guy/space geek, a crewcut female African-American CAP pilot*/analog astronaut/Ph.D. and STEM popularizer, and a bubbly 20-something physician's assistant who knew very little about space travel before she was tapped for the mission. If you were looking for something to be irked by, at least one of them has probably got it."

Automotif CCL...

Spotted at 56th & Illinois yesterday while grocery shopping and grabbing a quick frappacino from the Starbucks there, a 1977-'79 International Harvester Scout II.

The Scout II's can generally be identified by model year according to the grille...up until the '77-'79 models, where the front end trim was the same for three years running. In 1980, they went to rectangular headlamps. In 1981, they were discontinued.

Friend of the blog T. Stahl has commented with amusement on the peculiarly American obsession with specific model years. 

German cars tend to go by generations. For example from the Eighties to the early Aughties, 3-series BMW's went from the E30 to the E36 to the E46. A generation will run for six to ten years, typically, receiving a styling update somewhere in the middle of its lifespan to keep it fresh-looking.

"Model Year" in the US has regulatory implications, but it also used to have a lot more significance as a styling thing.

"The concept of yearly styling updates (a practice adopted from the fashion industry) was introduced to General Motors' range of cars by Alfred P. Sloan in the 1920s. This was an early form of planned obsolescence in the car industry, where yearly styling changes meant consumers could easily discern a car's newness, or lack of it. Other major changes to the model range usually coincided with the launch of the new model year., for example the 1928 model year of the Ford Model A began production in October 1927 and the 1955 model year of the Ford Thunderbird began production in September 1954.

Model year followed with calendar year until the mid 1930s until then president Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order to release vehicle model years in the fall of preceding year in order to standardize employment in the automotive industry. The practice of beginning production of next year's model before the end of the year has become a long standing tradition in America.

At its height in postwar America, the new model year launches were a big deal. Dealerships would paper over their windows, the 'longer, lower, wider' new cars would be delivered under tarps and rolled into the showroom by dark of night.

Pretty reliably from the late '40s through to about the early 1980s, enthusiasts of a particular model of American automobile can pinpoint its exact year of manufacture by some sort of cosmetic differences.

This is, of course, a wildly inefficient way to make cars. Post-fuel-crises Detroit, getting clobbered by Japanese imports, generally hewed more closely to the global norm of mid-cycle refreshes on platforms that remained largely unchanged for many years, maybe changing a minor styling detail every couple-three years to keep things fresh.

ETA: If this is correct, the Flame Red color would make it a 1978 model.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

That doesn't help...

I've been dealing with awful bouts of insomnia for several weeks now, getting by on three or four hours of sleep, and rarely more than an hour or two at a stretch.

It was initially complicated by a lot of pain in my left elbow, which I'd apparently slept on and strained. Yesterday the pain in my left elbow was first joined, then totally drowned out by pain in my left shoulder, which I must have somehow overstressed doing something otherwise innocuous. It wasn't giving me any trouble weed-whacking and edging yesterday afternoon but by dinnertime it had me sitting immobile and occasionally blurting curses.

I haven't hurt like this since I broke my collarbone and, like that time with the broken collarbone, I'm reminded of how there's very little movement the human body makes that doesn't at least slightly jostle a shoulder. Ouch.


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Saturday Morning Cartoons...

They've gone from the first hour being just Popeye to being the "Popeye and Pink Panther hour"; thirty minutes of each. With Popeye cartoons, I'm pretty set in my ways. Any Popeye cartoon in color is pretty much haram and non-canon in my book. Real Popeye cartoons ended roughly with VJ day.

Pink Panther runs hot and cold. The music is uniformly great. Some are good, but a lot is mediocre, as American animation was in decline by the Sixties. The best of The Inspector and The Ant and the Aardvark are still hilarious. The Roland and Ratfink stuff does absolutely nothing for me, to the point that I'd pretty much forgotten that it was part of the whole DePatie-Freleng oeuvre.


Friday, September 17, 2021

I'm sure they meant well...

Pills Bottled

Rageporn is seductive...
"Like much of modern media, Twitter shrinks our attention spans while bombarding us with things we might not otherwise have ever known or cared about and on which we have no influence. This is to say nothing of the political slant of Twitter. As Brian Riedl put it (in a tweet; Twitter has its uses), “Twitter users are D+15 — which would tie HI & VT for the most liberal state . . . the 10% of Twitter users who post 92% of all tweets are D+43 — which would make it America’s 2nd most liberal House district.”

This skew can breed, in those who believe it to be representative, a highly agitated and combative posture. It can make them think that America is already lost; this is called a “black pill” (the pill boxes of the redpilled are overflowing). It can make them believe that persuasion and workaday politics are inadequate to the moment, that only desperate action, often involving a departure from the constitutional order necessitated by the one already undertaken by opposing political forces, can bring any hope of salvation. It can make them believe that the political sphere is or should be a source of salvation — if only their enemies can be crushed. And so it can make them believe that only a countervailing force, similarly drawing strength from the online world and sharing many of its opponents’ attributes, can possibly contest it. In this way, the hyperpolarization and acute antagonisms of Twitter feed off each other, require each other, and may in fact reflect each other.
If you stay in your shouty bubbles, chugging from the availability cascade, this is what happens. It's because, in narrowly bounded virtual communities organized around common interests, our social capital is based on being even more enthusiastic than the other people in our tribe. 

In a firearms-oriented community social capital comes from shooting gooder or knowing a lot about firearms. In a Star Trek club, it's from being the Trekkiest trivia champ and having the best Spock ears. In Tumblrworld, it's from being the wokest and calling out nano-aggressions while everyone else is still hung up on micro ones. In Righty-ville right now, it comes from being the angriest, making the chest-beatingest calls for boogaloo.


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Better Guns Than Karate

I can't believe the literally hundreds of times the soft melodies of this song have wafted past my ears over nearly twenty years without me once actually processing the lyrics...

Yoshimi, girl, if you're really gonna defend Wayne from those evil space robots, karate and vitamins aren't going to be as effective as a trusty blaster at your side.


Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #205...

"Hans, get ze Luger..."

The Instagram filter really makes it look like it's seen some $#!+. In actuality it's in pretty reasonable shape cosmetically, with wear more likely caused by time in a sock drawer than time in trenches.

.30 Luger is still out there, with a few places stocking Prvi Partisan and Fiocchi, according to Ammoseek. Prices are, of course, obscene, which makes me happy to be sitting on near half a case of the stuff. Having only the one magazine keeps consumption rates down. The main purpose of this pistol, for me, is to be able to let people fire a Luger if they never have. (That, and appreciating gradually, since I got it for a good deal. I should be able to trade it for plenty of cat food in my dotage.)


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Automotif CCXLIX...

I've spotted it while out and about before, but this time it was parked out front of The Gallery Pastry Shop when Bobbi and I wandered over the other morning, and it had the top down.

If I'm reading my 'Vette tea leaves right, the trim on the gills and the clear turn signal lenses make this Mille Miglia Red 4-speed 454 convertible an early 1971 model...

I really was pining for a lens hood for my Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4. The car was mostly in shadow with early morning light slanting in over the roof of the building behind it.

The angle of the sun made getting a quartering shot from the front almost impossible from glare. (I've since tracked down a lens hood.)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Things that made me go "Hmmm..."

What made last night's outage as interesting as it was was how widespread and unexpected it was.

I mean, you expect an outage with bad weather. The last really bad one we had here was way back in '08, when we had a twister in the neighborhood and the basement flooded.

Otherwise it's been just bad weather...wind, rain, heavy wet snow, ice, whatever...causing a tree or limb here or there to cut power to one side of the street or the other.

Having it happen out of a clear sky, over such a large area, and cut cell service, too? That raised an eyebrow for a minute, I'll admit.

All's well as ends well, but I was glad to have the stuff I needed on hand already, and it was a reminder to check on other things.


Lights Out

It happened last night after I was already ready for bed.

I was in the smallest room with my iPad, reading Divided We Fall, when the house went dark. A glance over my shoulder at the frosted glass of the window behind me showed no light to the north side of the house, so whatever it was had got us and the Democrat Next Door, which probably meant our whole side of the street.

Bobbi came padding down the hall from her bedroom with a flashlight in her hand, disappeared into the kitchen, and came back with an LED work light that she reached in and hung on the wire towel shelf over the door. This was thoughtful of her, because while the iPad was providing enough illumination to finish my business, it was less than ideal.

Her footsteps headed off toward the front of the house, and she called out that the houses across the street were dark, too.

This was kind of a big deal, because the two sides of our street are coming off different feeds and, in the dozen-plus years I've lived here, I can't remember both sides of the street being without power at the same time.

I went into the kitchen and looked out the back of the house. The houses across the alley were dark and, more ominously, there was no light through the trees from the houses beyond them. There was skyglow to the west, but it was distant, and nothing to the immediate southwest where the Fresh Market and the restaurants around 54th and College would be.

My cell phone was getting (No Signal).

That's bad.

First things first, this wasn't a situation I wanted to be padding around the house in slippers and pajama bottoms in, so I pulled my jeans and shoes back on and holstered up. While I think that a WML on a private citizen's carry gun is normally about as useful as a kickstand on a tank, we were in the one circumstance that made me glad for the TLR-7 on my FN 509 Compact.

The house is, of course, hip-deep in flashlights, but with my pants back on, now I had the EDCL-2T in my pocket again. 

While of course the cordless handsets on the landline were deader than disco, the old Western Electric 300-series on Bobbi's desk still had dial tone, so we had that for comms. She checked a handheld ham radio, but other than a couple of bored guys talking about the New World Order depopulating the world with microchip injections, there was no talk of cataclysm, so this wasn't world-, state-, or even city-wide.

Bobbi wondered if her Amazon groceries order had arrived.

I stepped out on the front porch and looked around with my handheld Surefire. The neighborhood had small puddles of illumination here and there from solar decorative lights (the one mounted on the south wall of our house was quite bright) and the neighbor from three doors up wandered over and confirmed he was without cell reception.

Distant sky glow was visible in all directions, but no bright light sources were visible as far as could be seen up or down the street or through the trees in any direction. This was a large outage.

In order to save batteries in Bobbi's LED light in case this was an all-nighter, I popped a green Cyalume lightstick and hung it up in the bathroom. I also had an old two-pack of red lightsticks, and so I hung one in the living room in the front of the house and put one in the kitchen window on the backside of the house. Just making sure the place looked obviously occupied.

By this time, my phone had managed to find a lone wavering bar of signal, while Bobbi's (on a different service) was actually pulling pages, albeit slowly. It showed a massive outage, with us near ground zero.

Eventually the lights came on, sometime before midnight, after a bit over two hours out. Bobbi's groceries arrived, and all was well. Local TV station reported the cause on the morning news.

Our only real worry during the whole affair was that utility companies are running mighty lean these days, and the damage from Ida probably has replacement parts and spare manpower stretched to the limits. As it is, things got put right relatively quickly.

Fortunately, we had plenty of light, but I should probably freshen my glowstick stocks.


The Dog-End of Summer...

As the TV weatherman was eager to remind us, "meteorological autumn" started on the first of September, but according to the calendar and the weather, we're still in the dog days of summer, with Sirius visible in the early morning skies and humid daily highs in the eighties and nineties. Good weather for porch-sitting and early morning walks.

The Japanese maples in the neighborhood are starting to turn, though, and my own personal astronomical harbinger of the changing seasons happened yesterday, with sunset being at 7:59PM. From now until late next March, the sun goes down before eight...

The Last Lawn Mowing of the Season is not far off, and then comes the Season of the Wool Socks.


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Hey, look!

The review of the S&W Shield Plus is up at Shooting Illustrated Online now.

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #204...

If you want a slim single-stack, all-metal, lightweight (so, alloy-framed), traditional double action hammer-fired pistol chambered for .45ACP, there aren't a lot of choices.

The Taurus PT-945 is kinda big, plus it's kinda Taurus. There's the short-lived Sig Sauer P245 and the even shorter-lived P220 Compact.

And then there's a pair of choices from Smith & Wesson, the 4513TSW, and this one from the Performance Center: The Shorty 45.

Hand-fitted titanium barrel bushing, match barrel, beveled mag well, 20lpi checkering on the frontstrap, hand-tuned action (mine has a smooth 9.5# double action pull free of stacking or hesitation and a crisp 5.25# single action pull with minimum overtravel) and a distinctive slide that's got brushed highlights setting off the matte finish.

The slide and frame are less than an inch wide, although it's an inch across the grips and the slide stop and hammer-dropping safety stretch maximum width to an inch and a quarter at the wide spots. It's a really compact way to carry 7+1 rounds of .45AARP.

The one in the pictures is the 472nd pistol of a 662-gun run for Lew Horton back in 1996.

I have quibbles, beyond the fact that I'd rather carry the 3913LS, but they're minor ones. I'd prefer a rebounding decocker lever instead of a hammer-dropping safety; a manual safety on a TDA is redundant as far as I'm concerned. Also, I realize that they were still far from universal in 1996, but this pistol should have had tritium night sight vials in those Novaks. MSRP was over eleven hundred bucks, so what's another C-note for glowing sights at that point?

Still, I kinda want to get a holster for it...

EDITED TO ADD: A reader pointed out that Smith's Model 457 from the Value Series and the CS45 also had alloy frames. I'd honestly spaced the CS45, but I'm deliberately trying to not remember the 457. And I have one.


On newsstands now...

The current issue of RECOIL's Concealment quarterly has a couple pieces from me. One is a review of Federal's new rimfire personal defense round, the .22LR Punch...

...and the other is a feature length takeaway on the annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, and why you should register. (Although I think next year's is already filled. While they usually fill up by October, the 2022 event filled with record speed.)

There are also pieces in there by my friends Chris Cypert and Annette Evans.

It's a good enough mag that I paid out-of-pocket for a dead tree subscription on my dime, and it was through Amazon, so I didn't get a discount or anything. Although if you have a good tablet, the Kindle subscription is a cheap alternative. If I do say so myself, the photography standards in the RECOIL mags make them worth looking at on a Retina display if you're not gonna get it on paper.


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Nature Photos

Bobbi has photos of the mushroom she described in an earlier post. Marko has a photo of a butterfly that is way cooler than my photo of a butterfly.

Bad lens choice. Had to get close and blew my depth of field with too wide an aperture.

Anyway, have some flowers instead...

Friday, September 10, 2021

Just throwing this out there...

If you were looking for a beverage that disguises the taste of turmeric, orange juice is not it.

On the upside, at least turmeric and orange juice do not taste awful together.


Ahistorical Pearl Clutching

Any idea where the tradition of police in the US wearing blue uniforms came from? You guessed it: Army surplus.
"Many cities like Los Angeles adopted the same practice of using Union Army surplus uniforms in the days following the Civil War. Similar photos of NYPD officers wearing the old uniforms and “Bobbie”-style helmets can be seen as early as 1893."


Thursday, September 09, 2021

Chipman Down

WaPo has the story on their front page:
"The White House is planning to withdraw David Chipman’s nomination to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this week amid bipartisan pushback over his gun control advocacy, according to two people with knowledge of the decision."
I'll take my good news where I can get it. Let's hope they don't scare up someone worse, but with fewer obvious tells and past screwups.

The Right Stuffski

Last night Bobbi and I finished watching The Spacewalker, a Russian film about the Voskhod 2 space flight, which was (as you might guess from the title) the first spacewalk. It was hairier than Soviet government propaganda admitted at the time, some real by-the-skin-of-their-teeth stuff.

I didn't realize, until Bobbi told me, that the Soviet capsule needed an extendible airlock (unlike the NASA Gemini capsule) because they couldn't vent the whole capsule to vacuum for the duration of the walk without the risk of tube-based electronics overheating.


Automotif CCXLVIII...

Eventually one of everything will drive by the corner of College Avenue and 54th Street. In this case, it's a late Forties Studebaker Business Coupe. I'm not well enough versed in Studebaker lore to identify it better than that, so far. I'm digging around for a good ID guide online.

It's certainly noticeable when surrounded by modern traffic. I'm getting increasingly fascinated by the early postwar pontoon-fender styling, before the rolling Wurlitzer chrome excesses of the Fifties and their subsequent bat-winged tail-finned successors. It wasn't until the "fuselage" styling of the late Sixties that Detroit cars would again have such clean lines.

It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that this car was probably about 39 years old when I graduated high school, and that, relatively speaking, that's how old a 1982 Plymouth Reliant would be to a member of the Class of 2021. (In an eerie parallel, Studebaker had been defunct nineteen years at the time, and Plymouth was shuttered in 2001...)