Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thursday at the range...

Thursday's range day was just for fun, no work-related stuff at all. I brought the Wilson, because I hadn't fired it for a while and I wanted to check the install on the new light pipe in the front sight. I also brought my former carry gun, the Gen3 Glock 19, which now gets used as a practice substitute to keep the round count down on the Gen4 19 I'm currently carrying.

Generally, if you see a Phlster Flatpack TQ carrier on the range tray, it means there are other customers out on the range. I have trust issues...well, "trust but verify" issues...with the gun-handling skills of John Q. Public. Better safe than sorry.

Both guns ran fine. I was trying to get my Ricky Bobby on with the Glock and let one get away from me, there.

While I was shooting it, I realized that the last time the Wilson was cleaned or lubed, Donald Trump was still the GOP nominee. I hadn't done so because I need to take detailed macros of the filthy interior for a 2k-round wrapup for an online article elsewhere, and I keep not getting around to that.

It doesn't malfunction, despite me never adjusting the spark advance or degaussing the heads or whatever this "periodic maintenance" the internet tells me I'm supposed to be doing to 1911s is...especially snugly-fitted ones like a Wilson.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tab Clearing...

Dirty Laundry

Notice how this lady is holding the mic herself, with no on-the-scene reporter standing next to her? This is a straight up setup. Find a grieving parent, hand her the mic, and stand aside to let 'er rip and edit the raw footage later so it begins and end at the right spots.

This was probably edited with one hand on the console and the other down their trousers, with visions of a News & Documentary Emmy dancing in their head.

And that's the only reference you'll see to this here.

Weather or not.

Joel's getting freaky and much-needed rain at his desert hermitage.

Here in Indy we enjoyed a brief intermission from winter yesterday, with temperatures rising into warm (if damp) low sixties.

After my morning errands, I parked over by Sam's Gyros and grabbed lunch, only to discover I'd left my wallet at home. I drove home to get it and decided I might as well grab an umbrella and walk back to settle my bill, since it'd likely be just as quick as driving back and circling the block to park.

Here's a picture of an Audi S7 I drooled on before lunch...

There's a front moving through right now, with the temperature having tumbled twenty degrees in the last few hours. Today'll be in the mid-30s all day and we'll be back to normal winter by nightfall.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Not preps.

As an aside, using the word "preps" as a plural noun for freeze-dried food and spam cans of Russian ammo grates on my ears like fingernails on a chalkboard. So, next time we chat face-to-face you now know how to get on my last nerve in a hurry.

Anyway, the thump was just heard on the front porch announcing the latest delivery, of work supplies. I mused aloud to Bobbi "You know, the UPS driver probably thinks we're squirreling this shit away in the basement in case of zombies, when in reality it gets burned up about as fast as it comes in."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cue See Part Three

After yesterday's allusions to QC and the link to Og's post on the topic, I thought I'd throw this into the mix: An older article on "The Walmart Effect".

Remington and Winchester arguably both felt negative effects by having to drive costs lower to meet theses sorts of demands.


Regarding the P2000SK post yesterday, it wasn't meant to be a solicitation of aid but rather a recounting of events.

The point behind it, which I apparently conveyed poorly, was that when issues crop up with recoil-operated pistols, one of the first things I do is toss a fresh recoil spring in it. This is because it's usually among the cheapest wear parts in the gun, not because it's necessarily the likeliest source of the problem. Eliminating "out-of-spec/worn recoil spring" as the cause of problems is often a sub-$10 part away, and for personal guns I usually have a spare recoil assembly or two on hand.

This is likelier to be an out-of-spec hammer spring or too-tight extractor claw.

I can't tell which is funnier...

The hilariously awful "research" upon which this Duke University professor is basing her theory that Libertarians are a pack of autistic meanies, or the predictable reaction to her claim."ARE YOU SAYING MY MANDATORY GOVERNMENT VACCINATIONS CAUSED ME TO BELIEVE TAXATION IS THEFT?"

Dude, the proper reply is to laugh at her and walk away, not to sperg out in response, but the internet's gonna internet.

It's real-life clickbait. She's going around and giving her little talks at Unitarian Universalist churches to audiences of a dozen people, and if it weren't for Reason going full-on lolcow over it, nobody but those couple dozen people would know or care.



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Speaking of QC...

...Og has some thoughts.

"Remington files bankruptcy, let's blame Trump."

The headlines on Remington's bankruptcy are pretty funny. Not a sparrow can fall from a tree without Cheetoh Jesus catching the blame.

It can't have anything to do with shittastic QC, questionable product decisions, failed gun launches, or massive overleveraging by Cerberus (who is...thank God...losing control of the company.)

I remember being so excited when libertarian darlings of Cerberus first stuck their toe in the gun biz back in the early Aughties. I think Bushhamster was their first acquisition? Anyway, a decade and a half or so later, I have to ask: If a group of wealthy investors decided to try and destroy the domestic firearms industry, how would it have looked any different?

The price of snowflaking...

I'll preface this by saying that I bought the P2000SK used, and therefore have no idea what its round count was before I got my hands on it. I consider myself a fair judge of round counts on a pistol, and this one looked lightly used.

At any rate, the first hundred and fifty rounds went off without a hitch, and then came Federal 124gr +P HST. Recoil was snappy, with that distinct feeling of the slide bottoming out the recoil spring, and then stopping a fraction of an inch out of battery.

It did that a total of six times in a box of fifty rounds. I tried standard pressure 124gr HSTs the next day and managed to induce it four times in a box of fifty. It doesn't do it with mild-shooting range ammo.

My first diagnostic here would be to replace the recoil spring assembly, which with a Glock or 1911 or even a Sig or M&P is a twenty- or thirty-buck transaction with Brownells or Lone Wolf or whoever. But the P2000 series is almost stereotypically German in its complicated multi-part, multi-spring recoil reducing guide rod and spring parts package, which is $120-$140 and out of stock almost everywhere.

So the P2000SK test is called off before it really started, while I look into what the factory recommended maintenance interval is on the RSA.

Monday, February 12, 2018


I have stumbled on a Micro Four Thirds setup that will actually ride in my shirt pocket like a compact camera. The Lumix GF3 body was only $85 at KEH Camera Brokers. I already had the little 12-32mm pancake lens. For once, I'm not mad about a lens being all plastic, because that compact and light lens makes it small enough to go in the document pocket of my gun burka.

The NEX-5T isn't much bigger, and sports an APS-C sensor rather than Micro Four Thirds, but the bigger sensor needs bigger glass, and the smallest zoom lens for the E mount is the 16-50 PZ, and it weighs almost as much by itself as the whole GF3 and lens combo.

The pancake collapsible 12-32mm isn't exactly a superzoom, but it'll snap a picture of a car parked on the other side of the street, which is about all the zoom I usually need.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Automotif CXLIV...

Scion, Toyota's attempt to create a young, hip, sporty division to appeal to Gen X'ers and Millennials who had come to associate Toyota with the bland Camry and its plushbottom cousin, the Avalon, only ever succeeded in producing one model that was young, hip, and sporty. And they needed Subaru's help to do that. Then the division folded.

Sisyphus in the Styling Department

I'd never paid much attention to the '80s-'90s Buick Century. It just wasn't the sort of car someone in their teens or twenties pays a ton of attention to.

Built on GM's A-platform, darling of rental car lots everywhere, it's what happened when you took a Chevy Celebrity and added plush velour and plastic woodgrain. (If you added alloy wheels and fog lamps you got a Pontiac 6000.)

Going to school for automotive design and winding up at Buick in the Reagan/Bush Sr. years must have been like getting picked last at kickball and parked way out in the outfield: A sign that others were less confident in your abilities than you were.

So I'm walking through the parking lot at Meijer's yesterday and really looked at the prow of a late fifth generation Century (I had to look them up on Wikipedia to verify the year) and I felt sorry for the guy in Buick's styling department.

The model received a mid-cycle facelift in '89 and from the leading edge of the hood forward was actually a sharp-looking car.

The thin, dangerous-looking bumper and reverse-sloped front end have a sort of Eighties BMW 635CSi thing going on. The grill has a hint of that throwback Buick waterfall and it's framed by narrow, mean-looking flush glass headlights that flow into wrap-around glass for cornering lamps. The whole thing is obviously supposed to generate a bit of brand identity that marks it as being from the company making the Reatta.

That fascia is actually pretty nice. Some dude worked hard on that. And then it's bolted to one of GM's dullest, most plebeian transportation boxes. Because the rest of the A platform is the Brutalist architecture of automotive styling, carrying forward the torch originally lit by Ford's Granada. "There will be no fun to be had behind the wheel of this car," is emphatically stated by its lines.