Sunday, April 30, 2023

Gobsmackingly Wrong

This dude is almost uniformly wrong on every topic that doesn't involve linguistics, but he's never let that stop him.


Indian Winter

Take a map of the US and draw a sort of "s"-curve on it. Start up in the Pacific Northwest and head eastward before curving southward somewhere over the plains, before you reach the Mississippi.

Continue going south until you get down around the Gulf someplace and then curve east again.

Everything wet of that line had a wetter, cooler-than-average winter & the first weeks of spring. East of that, we had an unusually warm, dry winter/spring...up to now.

March and the first part of April was just crazy nice weather. If you were here for NRAAM and remember how nice it was for the first couple days, well, that's how it had been for the most part.

Remember how it was icky and cold when you left on Sunday? Well, it's mostly been like that since then. It's gonna be in the thirties and drizzly tomorrow morning, too, and springlike weather isn't supposed to return until the middle of the week.


Automotif CCCLXI...

I love the Mad Max/Rat Rod vibe of this '78-'81 Malibu coupe. Check out the diamond plate cladding on the B-pillars. I'm still trying to figure out all the parts he bodged together for that nose. (EDIT: Rapping with JayG on the Book of Face, he brought up the G-body Monte Carlo as a possible donor fro some of that.)

Between the rumbly exhaust and the mechanical whine emanating from under the hood, it could be hiding some serious firepower beneath that JC Whitney fiberglass...or the cat could have rusted out and he's danger low on transmission fluid.

I choose to believe the former.


Saturday, April 29, 2023

Henderson Field II: Electric Boogaloo

Guam's vulnerability should be a worry.
"China makes no secret that Guam is in its cross-hairs. The df-26 missile, with a range of 4,000km, is commonly called the “Guam killer”. In 2020 a Chinese propaganda video depicted an h-6k bomber attacking an undisclosed air base: the satellite image was unmistakably of Andersen. To survive within China’s “weapons engagement zone”, the American air force is developing “agile combat employment”. This involves scattering aircraft to deny China an easy shot, and networking them with distant “sensors” and “shooters” to give battle. It practised such tactics at the Cope North exercise with Japan and Australia on Guam and nearby islands in February. At the end of each day, though, the jets were all parked together in neat rows in the open. The base has no hardened shelters for aircraft, and its fuel is stored in closely packed tanks above ground."
As someone who loves using the GoogleSat to look at airbases around the world, the paucity of hardened shelters at Andersen AFB has always been a little surprising.

B-1B's, probably transiting through Andersen to go do Bone shit someplace.


Hubris is followed by Nemesis, every single time.
"While being berated, Crowder’s wife, Hilary, repeatedly tries to reassure her husband that she loves him and is “committed.”

“I love you … but your abuse is sick,” she told him at one point — with him warning sternly: “Watch it. Watch it. F–king watch it.”

Crowder reportedly admitted to later inside the house threatening his wife: “I will f–k you up.”
Ol' Crowder is on record as being strenuously opposed to "No Fault" divorce, but it looks like there's plenty of fault on his part here.

Wonder how many times that meme got made yesterday?

While he was busy stepping on his schlong and making grinding motions with his shoe, Crowder also made a whole bunch of tasteless jokes about the recently released Down's Syndrome Barbie.

Hey, you wanna know what the difference is between Right-Wing Social Media Commentators and people with Down's Syndrome?

I've never met a person with Down's Syndrome who was an asshole.


Automotif CCCLX...

Spotted this 1970 Mercury Cougar on Crawfordsville Road while headed home from the range on Thursday afternoon. I was in the passenger seat of Dave's car and all I had was a 50mm-equivalent lens, so the photo's through a windshield and pretty heavily cropped. Sorry 'bout that.

1970 was the last year of the first generation of Cougars, which started in the '68 model year. These early ones were basically "luxury pony cars"; plusher equivalents of the Mustang.

The base motor was the 351 Windsor V-8 with a 2-barrel carb, rated at 250 SAE gross bhp, with an optional 351 Cleveland 4-bbl. The latter was a decidedly high-performance motor, with an 11.0:1 compression ratio and rated conservatively at 300 gross horsepower. Ordering the "Eliminator" package unlocked the optional 290bhp Boss 302 and the big-block 335bhp 428 Cobra Jet.

After 1970, the Cougar remained on the Mustang platform for the '71-'73 model years. Bulkier than the earlier pony car versions, the Cougar leaned into the size increase and started sliding toward the "Personal Luxury Coupe" mien of cars like the Cutlass Supreme and Chevy Monte Carlo.


Friday, April 28, 2023

QotD: Culture Clubbed Edition

From Bobbi, in the middle of a RTWT sort of post:
"[O]ur culture was not created by our government and is not directed by it. (One of the markers of totalitarianism is the government runs the culture -- or tries to. That's not how we do things in the United States and if you have a problem with that, you have a problem with America.)"


About tree-fitty...

Yesterday morning I ducked into Indy Arms Co for a minute with the FN Reflex. I was in a hurry, so I basically put fifty rounds downrange at a seven yard target in four quick mag dumps before heading out the door.

I'm still having a hard time shooting little guns fast. On the upside, this makes three hundred and fifty completely malfunction-free rounds through the little Tactical Dirt Color pistol.

I was in a hurry because I had to get home to meet Dave Merrill from RECOIL and get some photography done at Marion County Fish & Game.

We were taking photos for the magazine with his badass Nikon D850, but I'd brought my little camera bag that holds all my Nikon 1 gear and got a few shots with the Nikon 1 V2 & 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8 just for kicks.

FN Reflex with Swampfox Sentinel and Surefire XSC, ringin' steel at 20 yards.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Hey, cool!

Hey, my friend Annette Evans was a guest on the CCW Safe podcast!


Automotif CCCLIX...

Photographed with a similarly-colored Nikon 1 V2 & 1 Nikkor 18.5mm f/1.8

Looking like the ride belonging to a heavy in Miami Vice, here's a nicely-kept early-'80s Mercedes-Benz 500SEC. 

The Arktikweiss pre-facelift C126 coupe has a fuel-injected 304 cubic inch SOHC 2V V-8 rated at 184 SAE net horsepower in its EPA-compliant form. (The Euro version packed 228bhp, since they hadn't instituted strict emissions controls over there yet.)

Those fat BBS rims are peak Eighties and make my heart go pitter pat.


Deuce Deuce

A little purely recreational trigger time at Indy Arms Company yesterday morning, with the Model 2206 and the K-22 Combat Masterpiece.

Those Spegel grips on the K-22 are incredible. I need to do something about the sights, though. I normally wear my regular Wiley-X sunglasses as safety glasses on the range. The bays at Indy Arms Co are lit well enough that it generally isn't a problem, but the black-on-black sights on that revolver against a black target required pulling the Hunters HD Gold specs out of the range bag.

That's fifty rounds apiece at seven yards, shooting moderately quickly. That narrow, serrated trigger on the Smif is hard on my soft, dainty finger with that much double action work. I gotta get my trigger finger callous back. I haven't done enough shooting lately.



Professor Yamane introducing a little calmness and compassion into a debate too often lacking in either...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

It’s funny because it’s true…

Tell me it’s wrong…

A Tale of Two Parties

A pretty on-the-nose look at the ongoing internal rift in the GOP...
"One is the group of traditional post-World War II conservatives, who, with the likes of William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan, wrested control of the GOP from the Harding-Coolidge faction who owned (and almost destroyed) the party before the Second World War—call them the OG-GOP. The other is a group of political left-behinds who almost certainly would have voted for Democrats in decades past—and many actually did so—before the Democrats became the party of woke coastal elites and petty authoritarians. Working class, big on industrial policy, suspicious of free trade, hostile to immigration, tolerant of big government, skeptical of American intervention overseas—this is the other, Neo-GOP.


The crux of the problem is that these two parts of the GOP can’t be reconciled. It doesn’t boil down to Trump and Never Trump—this is as much a disagreement about substance as anything else, though no one wants to admit that for fear of offending Jekyll, Hyde, or both. OG-GOP recognizes that bullying corporations drives them offshore, taking jobs along with them. Neo-GOP is grossed out, Warren Buffett style, that the superrich don’t pay more taxes. OG-GOP understands that while it has some serious warts, free trade is actually at the root of American prosperity. Neo-GOP thinks free trade is great for elites with Teslas and is furious their jobs have gone to Mexico or Vietnam or India. Both have legitimate points and grievances.
The Democrats will eventually face the same thing, as the Bernie Bros and Warren-philes age into the numerical majority of the party.


Another dumb law passed.

Washington becomes the 10th state to restrict semiautomatic possession through as stupid feature list.

The House concurred with a floor amendment to House Bill 1240 that was added in the Senate, voting 56-42 to approve it on April 19. The amendment will allow gun manufacturers to sell inventory already in stock prior to Jan. 1, 2023, and only to out-of-state clientele for 90 days after the bill goes into effect. So vendors aren’t totally hosed, just mostly.
At a national level, I think a new Assault Weapons Ban is a non-starter because even if one could squeak past the House (highly unlikely in the current climate), I just can't see it securing enough votes to get past a filibuster in the Senate.

My worry is that, should an AWB case make it before the Supremes, they may decide that something like an "evil feature list" and/or 10-round magazine capacity limits are a reasonable place to slice the RKBA baby in half, and leave that manner of regulation to the states.

So if that happens, you'd have nation-wide Shall Issue (with varying degrees of onerousness) post-Bruen, but some states will be able to restrict your carry choices to revolvers and low-cap pistols.


News Flash: Frog Stung by Scorpion

Peter Thiel is apparently annoyed that the kulturkampf kayfabe* has devoured the GOP whole.
Tech billionaire and Republican megadonor Peter Thiel, an early backer of former President Donald Trump who later broke with him, has told associates he is not planning to donate to any political candidates in 2024, according to two people close to the businessman.

Thiel is unhappy with the Republican Party's focus on hot-button U.S. cultural issues, said one of the sources, a business associate, citing abortion and restrictions on which bathrooms transgender students can use in schools as two examples.
Thiel, a married gay libertarian-bordering-on-anarchocapitalist, spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention, decrying "fake culture wars" that were distracting us from America's economic decline. 

Six years later, that culture war stuff is all the big names in the GOP are leaning into, because that's the red meat that gets the base all agitated and the hicks in the sticks buying merch and texting donations to various candidates and their associated PACs.

I guess Thiel didn't think the leopards would eat his face.

*And yes, it's absolutely kayfabe. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


Tell me you aren't very familiar with Shakespeare's work without telling me you aren't very familiar with Shakespeare's work.

Now I want to re-watch Romeo + Juliet.


Automotif CCCLVIII...

Volvo is a company historically known for sober-sided, serious sedans and station wagons. Every now and again, though, they let their Scandinavian hair down and offer something a little...coupe-ier, putting a little Italian marinara sauce on the ol' Swedish meatballs.

There was the Ghia-influenced P1800 through the Sixties and early Seventies. Then from 1977 to 1981, they sold the 262C, which was assembled by Bertone in Italy. While most of the body panels were shipped from suburban Göteborg, straight off the 200-series sedan assembly line, the oddly squooshed roofline was all Italian. People were doing a lot of drugs at the time, I suppose. It would explain disco, too. Anyway, they built 6,622 over the five year run, and most went to America.

When the hangover wore off, Volvo teamed up with Bertone again in the late Eighties to offer another luxury coupe, the 780, like the one seen in the photo.

Unlike the earlier coupe, the 780's body panels were all unique to it, and it featured a lower hood and faster windshield than the regular sedans, as well as that very un-Volvo-ly raked B-pillar.

Power was initially supplied by the B280F 2.8L version of the Peugeot-Renault-Volvo V-6. (The same engine as the DeLorean, for those keeping score.) Installed in a 780 in American trim, the PRV motor motor put out 145 SAE net bhp and 173 lb-ft of torque. The price tag was over thirty-five grand, which was seven g's over the sticker on an optioned-out 760 Turbo Wagon.

This was ten grand more than an Eldorado Touring Coupe with a similarly-potent 155bhp HT-4500 V-8. It was also ten grand more than a Lincoln Mark VII LSC, which could be had with the 225bhp H.O. Ford 5.0L. However it was well under the price for a BMW 635 or SEC Benz.

By 1988, you could get a 780 Turbo, with a 175bhp turbo four-cylinder. The rear suspension had been upgraded, too, from a live axle to a modern multilink independent suspension, but these increased the price on the top model to nearly forty grand.

In the end, 8,518 Volvo 780s of all versions were built by Bertone over its six-year model run, and 5,700 of those were sold in the US, making the one in the picture a decidedly uncommon sight.


Mini Book Review

So I finished reading Marko's short fiction collection, Oddments.

I'd read the two pieces set in the Frontlines universe, "Measures of Absolution" and "Lucky 13", as well as the other piece that had been made into a Love, Death, + Robots short, "On the Use of Shape-Shifters in Warfare". I'd also read "Ink & Blood", "Cake Whores From Mars", and his Wild Cards novella, "How to Move Spheres and Influence People". I didn't mind re-reading any of them, especially since it had been years since I'd first encountered some of those tales.

The three other Wild Cards stories, two featuring the half-man, half-tiger mob bodyguard, Khan, and one featuring a dude who's a superhero working for the Royal Navy who can EMP any electronic gizmo he can see, were all new to me. I loved the Falklands War setting for the latter, and Khan is a fun fictional character. I'll eagerly seek out his future appearances.

The new story in the Ink & Blood universe really makes me hope he spins that up into the series it deserves to be.

The zombie fiction short, "Rottertown", is a frickin' knockout. A real gut punch in a genre that tends to be full of trope-heavy fluff. If they do another Love, Death, + Robots season, it should be in there.

I don't regret dropping the coin on the Kindle version at all.


Today I Learned...

Northern elephant seals spend a few months out of the year ashore, breeding and molting, and not doing much eating. During this time, they sleep half the day away, ten or more hours at a lick.

The rest of the time they spend at sea, eating constantly. They're champion divers, with the females (who tend to forage farther out to sea, beyond the continental shelves, recorded diving to 3,000 feet or more in search of fish and squid.

While they're at sea, they only sleep about two hours a day, and they do that in ten-minute power naps as much as a thousand feet underwater, to avoid sharks and orcas.

Pretty wild.


Monday, April 24, 2023


The general public (some of whom work for news organizations) have a stunningly poor grasp of exactly what "Stand Your Ground" laws entail and, by repeating the inaccuracies in the news or online, wind up making the problem worse.

If someone's entire knowledge of the legalities of self defense comes from watching the 6 o'clock news and old Law & Order reruns, is it any wonder that they think they're cleared hot to blast away any time they feel "in fear for their life"?

Fortunately there are people out there trying to get the word out in mainstream press outlets:
"These groups and even scholars studying gun violence refer to Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws as “shoot first” laws, short for “shoot first and ask questions later.” As a gun scholar, gun owner and opponent of gun violence, I fear that equating SYG with the legal right to “shoot first” could unintentionally mislead people into thinking that self-defense laws truly give them a blanket license to kill with impunity.

They do not.

Self-defense laws actually place significant limits on the ability of individuals to use lethal force in self-defense lawfully. Whether people fully understand those limitations is an empirical question, but critics should drop the language of “shoot first” in referring to these laws. Instead, in the interest of public safety, why not educate people on the limited range of behaviors they in fact allow?
Do me a favor and go read the whole thing and share it around.

Professor Yamane in the classroom at Alliance Police Training

Mini Gun

Blogging has occurred elsewhere this morning.

The pistol in question kicked off an interesting discussion between myself and Jeremy Stafford, veteran LAPD officer and Handgun Editor at Guns & Ammo

Any time you post a pic of a vintage piece like this on on social media, gun nerds (like myself) can get a little blinded by nostalgia. Stafford turned a garden hose on some of the more... er, enthusiastic ...responses by pointing out that there are, to put it charitably, much better choices for carry on the market these days, especially from a durability standpoint.

I referenced that they all weren't that fragile, linking my experience recently with that 5906.

He wrote in reply:
"[I]t’s a 2nd Gen, which were even spottier on our department. You’ll still see the occasional gummer rocking one, but it’s usually shot twice a year at old guy quals. Likewise the “legendary” LAPD 4506, carried in drop swivel by dudes that maybe put 100 rounds a year through it, 300 if they bring it to a divisional training day where it will most likely malfunction due to decrepit magazines and weak springs.

The rebuilds were nearly always spring and trigger related. Sear release, sear spring, etc. there was also that weird copper piece that would break off. The CHP just ended up removing those in their guns. In the 45 series guns, the recoil spring was lucky to get to 2k. I’m stoked that yours is a workhorse, it just wasn’t my experience seeing hundreds of them. They were crazy accurate though, especially the bushing guns that Smith built for the Firearms guys.

Seriously, for every 10 purchased, 5 would have to see the armorer and 3 of those would have to be sent back to Smith. My experience with the Smith auto loaders, working the Firearms Unit for many years over two tours was not particularly positive. Going striker was the best thing to happen to us, until of course the great Glock 22 debacle of 2005, which I’m sure Erick Gelhaus and Chuck Haggard remember.

Best thing about my Smith was that a boot bought it and my Hoyt from me for 1800 bucks so he could look like an OG."
And he's definitely not wrong; Lord knows that LAPD has massive institutional experience, especially with the big single stack .45 Model 645 and 4506. 

My response:
"Yeah, the 2nd Gen guns wouldn't be my first choice.

In my experience the Third Gen Smifs are like any pistol, in that the farther away you get from the original basic spec, the worse they are. The 59xx/39xx guns are about as good as any other 9mm pistol of their era. The big bore single stacks, the 45xx and 10xx guns, are way under-engineered if you ask me.

Like you noted, they have a voracious appetite for all manner of springs and break that little copper trigger tensioning dingus so often that it might as well not even be there (and like you said, the fix was to just leave it out since the gun works without it.)

The all-stainless 40x6 duty-size double stacks are the only .40 of their era worth a damn, IMO...but that's because the competition was the Beretta 96, which fell apart in a shockingly small number of rounds, and the Gen2/Gen3 Glock 22, which was its own sort of disaster.

I'd toyed with spending a year shooting/carrying my 3913...but like I wrote in a column, it's because I've got backup guns and plenty of springs, so unless one is really committed to the bit, they should be a normie and go buy a current-production plastic strikergat. It'd be a bit of an affectation, like toting a 1911 or revolver in 2023.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Blaster Size Comparo

To give you a rough idea of the size of FN's new Reflex, here it is next to the 509 Compact MRD. (The Compact is wearing an optics cover plate from a 509 Tactical, hence the protective 'wings' on either side of the rear sight blade.)

The 509 Compact is FN's rough equivalent, size-wise, to the Glock 26. The barrel is slightly longer than the Glock's (3.7" vs. 3.4") which gives it a usefully long accessory rail, unlike the baby Glock. A TLR-7A fits it perfectly.

Unlike the 509 Compact and the G26, both of which are essentially shortened versions of their respective makers' duty pistols, the Reflex is a different pistol mechanically. While it's externally styled to give a family resemblance to the striker-fired 509, there's a hammer inside. It's less than an inch smaller in every direction (a 3.3" barrel, for instance) yet it still has enough rail to use a TLR-7 Sub and only gives up a single round of capacity to the Compact: 11+1 rounds versus the bigger blaster's 12+1.


Here comes the boom.

A cool archived piece at Sports Illustrated about Darryl Greenamyer setting the low-altitude airspeed record back in 1977 in his custom plane, the Red Baron, which was a "USAF GE-powered Greenamyer-Lockheed F-104-A-B-C-D-G Starfighter Junkyard Special"
On the weekend he set the world jet record, Greenamyer's plane was troubled by a vacillating generator that, among other things, provided power to the stabilization augmentation system that would help keep him from flying into the ground. While Greenamyer was fussing with the generator circuitry, a college professor learned in the workings of the human sensory system informed him that because of the lag between eye and brain, anything he saw while traveling 900 mph 100 feet off the ground would already be 150 feet behind him. It was not the sort of grim data Greenamyer needed at the moment. As he recalls, "What the professor said, in effect, was that if I headed into the ground, I would never know I had."
You should RTWT.


Saturday, April 22, 2023

QotD: Know What You’re Doing Edition…

Snoozy Cat

Holden is a world champion napper.

If you give Huck a little nudge while he’s sleeping on the couch or the bed, he’ll wake up and move. But Holden? You have to pick him up and physically move him, and he may or may not wake up while you’re doing it.

In fact, Holden is remarkably resistant to chivvying, nudging, or shooing whether he's awake or asleep. 

If Huck is in your way in the kitchen or hall, you can nudge him with your toe and he'll get out of the way. With Holden? As often as not, if you nudge him with your toe he won't budge; he'll plant his feet and you'll wind up having to physically move him with your foot with all four paws sliding across the tile while the cat looks indignant. Holden figures he has as much right to be there as you do.


Dumb Ideas

General Motors marketing is having one of its recurrent encounters with the Good Idea Fairy.

They're discontinuing the Sixth Generation Chevrolet Camaro, but it's apparently going to be replaced with a whole bunch of new vehicles bearing the "Camaro" moniker, starting with an SUV.

Remember what happened the last time they discontinued the Camaro? They replaced it in the lineup with this hot mess:

Built on GM's mid-size SUV platform, the same one that underpinned such pulse-quickening vehicles as the Isuzu Ascender and Oldsmobile Bravada, the SSR had room for two occupants and a nearly unusable vestigial pickup truck bed, like an El Camino with all the usefulness sucked out of it in the name of hip retro styling. 

The retractable hardtop made the thing so chonky that it was a dog in the quarter even with the 325 cubic inch 300hp Vortec V-8. About the best thing you could say about it is that it wasn't as complete a flop for GM as the Prowler was for Chrysler.


A boy and his dog...

...are always a good photo subject.

Nikon D2X & 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II

Muh Research

Friday, April 21, 2023

"D'you feel bogus? Well do ya?"

An hilarious column about Eastwood impostors on Twitter.
There’s something almost nostalgic about this mix of genuine befuddlement—the whole thing does actually feel like a 92-year-old man trying to run a social media account—and active fan participation. The accounts’ followers seem like an even split between folks who believe they are genuinely engaging with Eastwood (or someone representing him, at some level), and “Film Twitter” freaks engaged in a form of ironized, in-on-the-joke kayfabe. To anyone watching half-attentively (or, in my case, obsessively) the online microdrama is a welcome throwback to Twitter’s mid-2000s heyday, when the social media giant was its own sort of Wild West, populated by freaks, weirdos, and, yes, the occasional genuine superannuated movie star.


Automotif CCCLVII...

Here's a 1987-'88 Ford Escort GL wagon that has somehow miraculously not oxidized completely away. This is the car that Ford expected to do battle with the Civics, Corollas, and Golfs that dominated the subcompact market.

It was propelled, after a fashion, by a wheezy undersquare 113 cubic inch overhead cam inline four with throttle-body fuel injection putting out 90 SAE net horsepower.

Echo Chamber Construction Kit

It's how we ended up in our current world of Choose Your Own Epistemological Adventure and easily-weaponized social media groups.


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Hey, that's cool!

There's an article on travel safety tips for women by globe-trotting traveler Greg Ellifritz at Women's Outdoor News and they used a photo I shot of Greg for the author pic. That's neat!

If you'd like to read more by Greg, his book Choose Adventure: Safe Travel in Dangerous Places is available on Kindle. He wrote it based on his experiences vacationing in spots not generally considered very tourist-y. 

If you want etiquette tips on how to properly bribe the local militiaman who is sticking a Kalashnikov in your snoot when you're just trying to enjoy a post-siesta stroll, it's the travel book for you.


Dear Smith & Wesson...

How come if I want a three-inch S&W Model 681 with a hammer-mounted firing pin and a flash chromed hammer and trigger like the good ol' days, I have to go to Rossi to get one?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Slim Future?

I recently did a review of the SIG P210 Carry for Small Arms Review, which you can read in its entirety here.

Dimensionally, the P210 Carry is basically a twin for the Commander-size 1911, as can be seen in this photo of the test gun side-by side with my old Para Ordnance "Gun Blog Nine" LTC.

The SIG holds 8+1 rounds of 9x19mm, typical of classic single-stack nines, while the Wilson ETM mags in the Para will hold ten rounds (and work reliably with all manner of ammunition, unlike the classic nine-round Colt 9mm magazines.)

Think is, these are limited in capacity by the fact that they're true single stack magazines in metal-framed pistols with separately-attached grip panels.

There are a host of modern polymer-frame pistols that are just as slender and use stagger-stack magazines with as much as half again the capacity.

It was the time spent reviewing the P210 and thinking about recent experiences with pistols like the Shield Plus and the P365 that made me the traditional true single-stack kind of a dying breed? An anachronism for lovers of bygone blasters?

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #237...

Being hand-modeled here by Annette Evans of On Her Own (who has one to test), the Beretta 80X Cheetah is a super-slick little traditional double-action straight blowback .380 pistol with a 13-rd double-stack mag. It has a Picatinny-type accessory rail, and can be carried cocked and locked if that's your bag.

If they made a decock-only version, I'd be sorely tempted.

Final Boss Nerd

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Foreigners bought your spank bank.

Has anyone been following this PornHub acquisition story?
...Whoever owns this website will not only have a direct influence over the state of sex trafficking globally but will also hold the emails, credit card numbers, and most private browsing habits of tens of millions of people. So, this deal matters beyond mere intellectual curiosity.


On March 16th, Pornhub announced it had been bought by—get this—“Ethical Capital Partners.” It’s like the Medellin Cartel getting bought by “Totally Not Crime LLC.”...
Go and read the whole thing.

You'd think that what is possibly the single largest, most valuable trove of potential blackmail material in the history of ever winding up in such mysterious and sketchy hands would make a bigger splash.



So, my friend Marko just gathered all his existing short fiction, plus three new stories, into a single volume titled Oddments and published it at BezosMart. (There's also a print-on-demand version for those who prefer dead tree format.)

That's a lot of content...395 pages, a hundred and twenty thousand words*...for $5.99 in Kindle format.

Reading through the titles of the new pieces, I see at least one of those is another excursion into his "Ink & Blood" universe, which is like late 19th Century Europe, with single shot black powder Mausers and pickelhaubes, but also with magic.

*That 120,000 word count is such a daunting number to a short form writer like me. 120k words is about ten years worth of monthly columns.



For years the Rangemaster Tactical Conference, traditionally held around the end of March somewhere centrally located in the country (I've attended two in Little Rock, one in New Orleans, and now three in Dallas), would sell out of attendance slots sometime around the beginning of the previous October.

Last year it felt like an anomaly when TacCon '23 tickets sold out in just four days.

Tickets for TacCon '24 went on sale Sunday evening at 6PM CDT...and were all gone by 5AM CDT Monday morning.

I'd like to think my story in Concealment helped spread the word...

Well, you can still get on the wait list in case someone cancels, I guess?


Monday, April 17, 2023

Practical Popguns

It's no secret that I'm a fan of a flyweight deuce-deuce for an "around the house" gun. A Smith & Wesson 43C or Ruger LCP II .22 stuffed with eight or ten rounds of Federal Punch or CCI Velocitor is light enough to not drag down pajama bottoms or sweatpants, as well as being cheap and easy to shoot.

Putting a few into a dude's snotbox at three to five yards is bound to have an effect, rimfire or not.

Don't take my word for it, listen to Hsoi. He's smart.
September 5, 2022 I was dumbbell bench pressing the 95s. I start going down for rep 7 and something felt weird in my left wrist. I immediately stopped. I don’t know how to describe it, but… something… shifted? All those little bones in your wrist (carpal bones); if you know what the carpal bones look like, just imagine something… shifting, getting compacted by 95# of steel. Yeah. Makes you wince, doesn’t it?

I went shooting soon thereafter. Shot my P365XL with the Wilson grip and inserts. After 100 rounds I couldn’t stand it – the pain was too much.

I’ve been hangin’ with a few guys into revolvers (GuG, Hizzie). I mean, “the underwear gun” is a thing. And with the stuff Rhett‘s been doing. Well… I figured now’s a good time detour and play with this concept.

Yes, the LCR is hard to shoot it because it’s lightweight with a heavy-ass trigger, craptacular snub-sights. But I can shoot it… a lot. I can even shoot Federal Punch (my defensive load) and not feel bad about the money.
Go read the whole thing and give it some thought.

But remember, to really get the best use out of a revolver, especially a subcaliber one, it's important to remember the revolver's U-shaped utility curve. Practice, practice, practice...

Caleb explains the curve.

That reminds me, I should get some speed strips and put in some serious dedicated .22 wheelyboi practice myself.

Miami Heat

From the "So Goofy They're Cool" category, we have Canik's Miami Signature Series limited edition pistols...

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Get on it!

Registration for TacCon 2024 is open now.

If history is any guide, it will be full up in less than a day.


Yeet Cannon

Seen at NRAAM: The Boaty McBoatface of the gun industry, the high-cap Hi Point, will supposedly be shipping soon.

Shooting at the Speed of Thought

From a worthwhile piece over at GAT Daily, titled "Don't Shoot":
Darryl Bolke likes to drive the point home that every round fired is its own individual use of force decision, requiring independent justification. Going back to the Bill Drill example, just because dude needed shot on round 1 doesn’t necessarily mean you’re cleared hot for all 6.

Whether the target drops their weapon, stops advancing, or whatever else, at some point they’re no longer presenting a reasonable threat to you. If you continue putting rounds into them after that point, it’s entirely possible that you’re at the very least complicating your defense and, worst case scenario, have surpassed the window of justifiable homicide entirely.
When I first heard Scott Jedlinski refer to sub-0.18 second shot-to-shot intervals as "jailbait splits", I had to chuckle because there's a very obvious double entendre there. The only way to shoot that fast is to have already decided to pull the trigger again while you're still in the middle of the previous shot. That's how you go fast on, e.g., a Bill Drill or a FAST or a Casino Drill. It's also how you wind up needing the courtroom services of an expert witness.

Here's the thing, though: If you can shoot that fast, if you have put in the work required to have the ability to run your gun at that level of automaticity, then shooting at decision-making speeds of .3 or .4 second splits feels positively leisurely.

Jon Hauptman put it in concise bumper sticker format with "Braking distance increases with speed" or, more pithily, ".17 in the sheets, .35 in the streets".

Going fast.

Saturday, April 15, 2023


If plain ol' Flat Eartherism isn't loony enough for you, there's apparently a guy running around the web telling people that the flat planet used to be covered in giant forests and the things we call mountains and mesas are just the stumps of those enormous trees.

The internet was a mistake.


Wheel Goes 'Round

Well, I certainly didn't have "Henry, the lever-action rifle company, releases an all-new revolver" on my 2023 bingo card.

There's no locking detent on the front of the ejector rod, which is sort of Colt-like. What appears to be a separate brass grip frame made me initially think that the lockwork forked up from below, like in a Charter Arms or Ruger, but flipping it over revealed a conventional sideplate like a Smith or Colt. It's available with both round- and square-butt grip frames.

It's a fairly decent-sized piece for a .357 Magnum. If it's a success, likely other calibers will be along.

I'm going to try to get one to write up for a dead tree outlet.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Called Shot

Man, Mike Black got nothin' but net with this prediction:

Well, when you're the digital plumber in charge of keeping the Sooper Seekrit series of network tubes unclogged and running and you have superuser access, they gotta give you clearance. Sure, they make you pinkie swear that you won't look at stuff you're not supposed to look at, but sometimes that just doesn't work out so hot.

As they say in the sewers of the internet: “wew, lads”.

Dude has thoroughly wrecked his life and damaged national security and also possibly the global order, all for the sake of some clout-chasing with a couple dozen incel gamers in a Discord server. It's not even like he got seduced by a hawt Russian agent or was promised a jillion bucks; he just wanted to flex for his Minecraft pals.

The future is so dumb.

EDITED TO ADD: Worth a read.


Thursday, April 13, 2023


What's hilarious is that I know Putin stans who still insist that Russia hasn't used their good stuff in Ukraine yet.

"Show me that they've used T-90s!"

Er, okay?

Dude,, "independent Donbas separatists"...have been using T-90s for nearly a decade now in eastern Ukraine.


Revenge of the Nerds.

Some dork stealing classified documents to impress his friends by posting them on a gamer Discord channel is just absolutely the most Current Year thing I've seen in a while.
"OG told the group he toiled for hours writing up the classified documents to share with his companions in the Discord server he controlled. The gathering spot had been a pandemic refuge, particularly for teen gamers locked in their houses and cut off from their real-world friends. The members swapped memes, offensive jokes and idle chitchat. They watched movies together, joked around and prayed. But OG also lectured them about world affairs and secretive government operations. He wanted to “keep us in the loop,” the member said, and seemed to think that his insider knowledge would offer the others protection from the troubled world around them."
I wonder what this gomer's screen name is on Arfcom? Because you frickin' know he has one.

I'll tell you what his screen name should be: TomNicholsWasRight.


Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #236...

I'd had a Smith & Wesson Model 469 before, but it wasn't the most handsome example and I unloaded it at an Indy 1500 some years back.

When I got a call from Indy Arms Company telling me that they'd gotten one in, I jumped on it. I didn't recollect having ever seen a matte nickel one before. When I got it home and went to look up the serial number in the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson to find the date of manufacture (1984, by the way), it turns out that's because the nickel ones were a distributor exclusive run of 1,500 pistols for Ashland Shooting Supplies back in the day.


Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Not this again...

Somehow guns become more lethal the farther they get from their point of origin...

Legit LOL'ed...

Found here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

All-New Micro Nine

FN America officially launched its new large-capacity Reflex micro compact CCW pistol today. Available in black and tactical dirt color in both regular and red-dot-ready formats, the Reflex ships with a flush-fit 11-round magazine and a 15-round 'stendo.

It uses the grip texturing from the Tactical 509 line, has a rail that will accept the TLR-7 Sub from Streamlight or Surefire's XSC, and doesn't require a trigger pull to disassemble. 

The MRD version doesn't use adaptor plates, instead direct-mounting optics that use the RMSc/507k footprint and mounting screws of varying lengths are included. A front night sight with a tritium vial and hi-viz surround is standard, and the rear sight has a pair of plain white dots.

In addition to the pinkie-rest floorplate that ships on the 11-round magazine, a flat floorplate is included if you really want to shrink it down.

Look for a full length in-depth review in a future issue of Shooting Illustrated.


TacCon Roundup

Greg Ellifritz has posted his annual roundup of TacCon blog posts. Like he points out, "The conference consists of three days of material taught by 40 different world-class instructors. Each instructor teaches blocks on a variety of tactical topics lasting between two and eight hours long. It’s an opportunity to get a lot of top notch training at a very reasonable price."

The shooting blocks of instruction are limited to a certain number of shooters, and there's a signup process that happens ahead of time. Of course, there's always a cancellation or two, and so it's not uncommon to see one of the instructors take advantage of some downtime in their schedule to hop into one of those empty slots.

Tim Herron taking a class from Tim Kelly of Apache Solutions

Ernest Langdon taking a class from Wayne Dobbs of Hardwired Tactical Shooting

Tim Herron and Ernest Langdon have national championships under their belts and are both well-established, top-notch instructors, and they easily could have spent the spare time between the classes they were teaching hanging out in the shade and chilling, but instead they were out sitting in on classes with other instructors.

I think about that when I hear someone telling me how they're just way too cool for school...


Automotif CCCLVI...

Here's a 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Holiday Coupe. At some point over the last half-century it wound up with a Cutlass S badge on the nose, there, but the notchback roofline says it's a Supreme. All Cutlass S coupes had the fastback roofline.

The more formal roofline and option-heavy menu of the Supreme was Oldsmobile's attempt to horn in on some of the rapidly blossoming "personal luxury coupe" action there in the early '70s.

What does NSA Gollum say?

"What has it got in its packetses?"

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Monday, April 10, 2023


This looks hard and complicated. Can we talk about Glock versus 1911 instead?

So, I linked the post from Saturday morning and the one from Sunday morning over at Facebook, which has sorta become the blog's de facto comments section.

While both generated a reasonable amount of engagement and discussion, the one on aftermarket Glock 48 magazines had more comments and shares in an hour than the one on locking your damn doors did in a whole day.

Gear posts always generate more discussion than those concerning tactics, soft skills, or even actual shooting techniques. 

People will engage in endless passionate flaming internet debates over less than a tenth of an inch of bullet diameter or a quarter of an ounce of lead. On the other hand, if you want to talk about the utility of a surreptitious draw versus its possible downsides, or the importance of positive target identification even in one's own home? Crickets.

People have weird priorities.


Automotif CCCLV...

Of all the days I decide to go retro with a camera, using an old Canon EOS 40D and the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS walking-around zoom lens, it's a day that a pitch-black Ferrari F458 Italia decides to go grocery shopping at Fresh Market.

I'd almost grabbed the D800 on the way out the door, with three times the resolution and greater dynamic range, to boot, too.

Ah, well. Despite being sixteen years old, the 10MP sensor in the EOS 40D will still turn out bigger, better images than can be accurately reproduced via social media after the aggressive compression these platforms use.

The 562bhp 4.5 liter direct-injection V-8 sounded glorious, even though he obviously got it nowhere near the 9,000(!) rpm redline.