Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Cradle and the Grave of Liberty...

Drove from Castle Frostbite to Boston yesterday to pick Marko & Robin up from the airport after their whirlwind tour of Europe.

With BOS being right off the interstate, the drive itself wasn't bad, but having no idea about what Boston's municipal ordinances might be regarding knives or chemical sprays, I had given myself an air-travel-grade pocket dump before getting in the car. I was armed with a flashlight and that was about it.

Ugh.

"Why don't you go visit thus-and-such place, Tam?" 

Because I have no idea what normal, innocuous thing that I normally carry in my pockets every day is a felony in some benighted parts of this country. Actions should be crimes, not objects.
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Monday, August 14, 2017

No Mens Rea Required.

John Stossel alerts the general public to something that we in the gun community have been aware of for a long time: The Principality of Manhattan and its adjacent satrapies don't care about your gun license, and they don't care about intent. Accidental felonies are the order of the day, there.
"Another Georgia visitor, Avi Wolf, was jailed although he didn't even have a gun. He just had part of a gun -- an empty magazine -- a little plastic box with a small metal spring. He brought it to the city because it wasn't working well and he thought a New York friend might repair it. He couldn't believe he was being arrested."

Science Experiments in London...

  • The arduous process that would-be London cabbies put themselves through in order to memorize "The Knowledge" makes actual, measurable physical changes in their brains.

  • The Monument to the Great Fire of London is not only a 202'-tall column marking the spot where London's Great Fire began, it's also a giant fixed telescope intended to measure stellar parallax to confirm by experiment that Earth really orbited the sun. Unfortunately, it was built on one of the busiest thoroughfares in London and the vibration caused by passing traffic was enough to render the telescope unusable.

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Only fifty rounds through the P290 yesterday. The most exhausting part about putting any serious round count through these little guns is jamming those dinky magazines full of ammo over and over again. It takes seven loadings to dispose of a single box of FMJ.

The second most exhausting part is that tiny DAO 9mm pistols leave your hand feeling like it just did an exhausting bout of full-contact sparring. A hundred rounds in a short period of time leaves the trigger finger tired and the palm sore.

This makes 150 rounds fired with no malfunctions. 1850 rounds to go.
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

MRDS

Two hundred rounds of 115gr CCI Blazer Brass FMJ through the Gen4 34 MOS today. This lot is some very lightly-loaded ammo, as is typical of the loading. I didn't have very much trouble keeping the RMR's green aiming triangle within the borders of the window in recoil, between the light loads and the nose-heaviness of a longslide with a U-boat on it.

The soft-shooting ammo did trigger one classic stovepipe FTE, but otherwise I was having a good time hammering steel.
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This guy...


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Minigun

So, I lucked into a used P290RS with night sights, three mags, and two holsters for $300 at Indy Arms Company. Let's do the 2,000 round thing with it and see if it puts on a performance to match the one turned in by the Glock 43.

One hundred rounds were fired today to kick things off. I accidentally partially dropped one of the eight-round mags trying to work out the best grip on this thing, which caused the slide to close on an empty chamber, but I'm not counting that against the gun.

I was railing on some A/B/C steel at about seven yards. The DAO trigger took a little getting used to, but by the time I'd finished the first fifty rounds, it was pretty easy to maintain a cadence in the high .4's.

So that's 100 rounds down since the gun was cleaned or lubed with no malfunctions to report. 1,900 rounds left to go.
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Friday, August 11, 2017

So much for crazy isolationism...


Kooky isolationist Trump,who has already ramped up involvement in Mesopotamia and all but threatened to knuckle joust the Supreme Leader of North Korea, is now telling us that military options aren't off the table in Venezuela.
"This is our neighbor. You know, we are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering, and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary."
Well, all you Democrats who were worried about some New Isolationism where we turned into a hermit kingdom and abandoned the rest of the world to its fate can rest your heads, because that's sure not what's happening.

Taylor Made...

So, Taylor Swift has been on the witness stand lately, in a civil case brought against a former DJ accused of groping her backstage. No cameras are allowed in the courtroom, and Tay Sway fans have been less than thrilled with the performance of the sketch artist provided to document the trial.

Here's how he drew Taylor...

Wait, no, sorry... that's how a crazy lady drew Jesus.

Here's how the sketch artist drew T-Swizzle...

Potato Jesus, meet Potato Taylor Swift...
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Big Damn Heroes

Matt Bracken is one of the best (perhaps the best) writers in the subgenre I'd call "libertarian/conservative gun nut post-apocalyptica", and from his first novel, Enemies Foreign and Domestic, his books have gotten better with each volume.



His newest, The Red Cliffs of Zerhoun, is a sequel to Castigo Cay. It's the further adventures of Dan Kilmer, a former USMC scout sniper, who has escaped the collapse of the US by sailing off in his 60' schooner and living the life of a free-trading smuggler in a world where the international economy is gone and most central governments have only sketchy control of their own territory.

Though the book starts off with our wind-powered Han Solo selling off a cargo of black market diesel fuel in an Irish port, it quickly turns into a story about a freelance hostage rescue mission by a team of colorful mercenaries in a story reminiscent of Forsyth at his Dogs of War best.

Normally I have to grade novels in this genre on a curve "Well, for wookie-suiter post-apocalyptica, it's a pretty good adventure novel." Bracken has finally broken the curve. This is a good adventure novel that happens to be in the wookie-suiter post-apocalyptica subgenre. Recommended without reservation.
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the political language du jour, "No, you are!"

Separated At Birth?

Lost World

In a post at her blog, Bobbi referred to a "coffeepot AM" radio station. Someone asked about the meaning in comments, and she explained:
"[T]hat's some real old-time radio slang: a "coffeepot" AM is a 250 Watt daytime-only station (of which there are few left), where the station coffeepot is likely to be using more power than their transmitter. The typical county seat AM, that ran 1000 W day and 250 W night was also sometimes referred to as a "coffeepot." Most of those stations are now a thousand Watts or more 24/7 -- or gone.

In a small town with the once-usual array of businesses -- a grocer or two, a Farm Bureau Co-Op, an office supply store servbing (mostly) a couple-three small factories, a bank, a savings & loan (remember them?) and a couple of car dealerships, drugstore, movie theatre, and so on -- a little locally-owned AM like that might have as many as ten or twelve fulltime employees and a handful of part-timers. It could make decent money for the owner/GM, put the GM in a new Cadillac or Lincoln every year, and provide an adequate living to their staff, who would be largely entry-level folks working their way up. The programming was strongly local and included a lot of high school sports coverage. That kind of radio is all but gone now. So are most of the factories, all of the savings and loans, and so on....
"
If you, like most Americans, live in a city or its surrounding metro area and don't get a chance to wander an older small town Main Street every now and again, it's easy to forget just how much the world has changed in such a relatively short period of time.

For instance, somewhere right off the Main Street of Anytown, USA is likely an abandoned storefront with a faded sign reading "Radio & Television Repair". I wonder how many independent TV repair shops lasted into the third generation of ownership? And the thought of "radio repair" in itself seems almost quaint.


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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Hey, look!

"I know from working retail as long as I have that plenty of people come into the store and buy a little gun as their first and only gun, without any consideration of whether the control layout and manual-of-arms matched some existing arsenal they already have.

EDC Gone Wild...

When you stare too long into the EDC abyss, the EDC abyss stares also into you.
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Sometimes it really is just dumb bad luck...

When initial reports came out about an IMPD officer's handgun discharging in the holster at a police funeral recently, I was highly skeptical. It's pretty much instinct when one hears reports of an unintended discharge to assume that someone was messing with the gun and violating that most basic maxim of safely carrying a firearm day-to-day: "Stop touching it!"

It turns out that the gun really was in the holster when it discharged:
"Lehn said as two IMPD officers stood up to leave - their seats very close together - the one officer's holster somehow became entangled with either keys or a radio antenna hanging from the other officer's equipment belt.
He said when the one officer stood up, the keys or antenna got caught in the holster and pulled on the trigger, discharging the gun. The bullet struck the deputy sitting behind the officer in her knee."
How could this happen? After all, "A holstered gun is a safe gun" is practically an axiom.

Not always, though. See, Not All Holsters Are Like That. Some holsters require more precaution than others.

The holster in question was most likely for a pistol with a weapon-mounted light, and because the holster mouth on those has to flare widely enough to accept the WML, the trigger is shielded, but something small enough can still be inserted in there.

Pictured is a Bawidamann Gotham IWB with a Glock 34 wearing a Surefire X300U. An adult male probably isn't going to get his trigger finger in there at an angle that could pull the trigger, but a smaller finger might.

Proceed accordingly.
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It's pronounced "ˈped(ə)ntrē"...

So, there's a video going around on the intertubes where a police officer, on encountering what is obviously (said with the same tone as "ackshually") a Hi-Point looks at it and, prior to the process of competently and safely clearing it, refers to it as a "Glock Forty".

The Gun Pedantry Brigade went into a feeding frenzy with the sort of enthusiasm normally reserved for those poor benighted souls unfortunate enough to refer to a magazine as a clip in front of the wrong crowd.

I had to disagree:
"[Safely clearing it is] all I care about. I don't expect every cop to be a gun dork any more than I expect them to be a car nerd or a ham radio buff. After all, they use their cars and radios a lot more than they use their guns, right?"
Oh, but no, I was informed.

I quote: "No Tamara, she and all law enforcement officers needs to have a clue about weapons if she is going to be dealing with them."

Well! I think you, sir, need to know about subject-verb agreement if you are going to be dealing with them, but that's a digression.

My actual rebuttal:
"She knew enough about weapons to safely clear the firearm. That's all she had to know. She doesn't need to know brand names, muzzle velocities, calibers, or any of that crap, as long as she can competently and safely handle firearms.

I've talked to more than one door-kicking face-shooter whose attitude about guns was "I don't care anything about 'em, I just use the ones they give me. My hobby is surfing" and couldn't tell you a Springfield from a Smith & Wesson without reading the side.
"
So then the "tool" argument was made by a guy who uses tools for a living. He has to know a flathead from a Phillips, a #1 Phillips from a #2, a Snap-On from a Craftsman, so shouldn't the po-po need to know stuff like that about guns?

My response:
"The LEO does not have a #3 Framminatzer and a Type VIII Whatsis. They have a pistol on their belt and maybe a shotgun or carbine in the car. They need to be able to operate these safely and competently. They should probably be able to make safe most commonly encountered firearms. That's all their job requires of them in the firearms department.

(And if they can do these things, then they are light years ahead of many people I know who can spout ballistics tables and the history of military rifles off the top of their heads.)

I'd rather be on the range with a safe, well-trained shooter who isn't 100% sure of the brand or caliber of their issue gun than any number of enthusiastic gun hobbyists who can endlessly spout "It's a magazine, not a clip!" but have lousy muzzle and/or trigger finger discipline.
"
Fetch me my pedant rifle!

This is a topic on which my opinion has swung nearly a complete 180 degrees over the years.

CLIPAZINES!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Absolutes and Overconfident Assertions...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Hey, look!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Maximum Skywriting...

Seeing a smoke-trailing light aircraft spell out a word in the sky is one thing, but during testing of a longer-legged version of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing took skywriting to the next level.

Behold:


Another Round of Smart Phone vs. Pocket Cam.

This time it's Southern Rockies Nature Blog putting a Pentax Optio E40, an older pocket cam about the same vintage as the Leica D-Lux 3 I've been keeping in my shirt pocket, against an iPhone 5s.

Go check it out here.
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Nine Minutes...



On the one hand: Don't go suddenly reaching under your seat during a traffic stop.

On the other hand: I think the officer probably could have deescalated a little faster? I don't know what CHP procedures are once guns are out, though.

On the gripping hand: I'll be perfectly honest, I was thinking "Dude, if he 'bro''s you one more time, I don't think anybody would hold it against you if you shot him a little bit."

I haven't looked around the internet to confirm, but I'm sure that there's a bunch of "See? He got a gun pulled on him even though he's a cracker," and a corresponding amount of "But if he hadn't been a cracker, dude would have shot him!" back-and-forth going on.
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Would you buy an East German smart phone?

So, as Americans we're pretty bent out of shape (or at least a sizable fraction of us are) over the snooping being done by our government's intelligence and law enforcement agencies in the name of The War on a Noun. We believe we've got the First Amendment right to prank call Mahmoud's House of Semtex in Khartoum as many times as we want, and a Fourth Amendment expectation that the government needs a pretty specific reason and a judge's permission to count how many times that number shows up on our phone bill.

It's easy to forget that the majority of our consumer electronics come from a place with very different rules to the U.S. of A.. Half of what goes on on the nightly news or the pages of any political magazine here could get people thrown in in jail on the other side of the Great Firewall of China. I don't know how you say "Reasonable Expectation of Privacy" in China, but Google Translate gave me this:
大声笑
So stuff like this should probably come as no surprise.
"By forgetting to remove this code on phones being sold to the US, Blu has exported the surveillance that is typical in China to buyers that are unaware elsewhere in the world," Dan Guido, CEO of security firm Trail of Bits, told Ars. The data being surveilled includes all the most sensitive information that a person would produce with their phone. Amazon is fully justified in their decision, and I encourage them to crack down further on similar privacy issues with Android phones sold on their website."
It's a complicated world, and it's not getting any simpler.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Truisms...

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

I want to see his #edc #pocketdump on the 'grams...

If you were the dictator of some Central Asian ex-SSR and you wanted all the ladies in the kingdom republic to see what a virile hunk you were and all the men to know you were a hardass with which one should not trifle, what would you do?

You'd film a video of yourself bustin' caps and flingin' knives in a way that nobody named Kim has ever been seen doing, and make sure that your troops would be seen looking on approvingly as you schooled them in the ways of the warrior.

This did not go as planned...

Is that a...? It sure is. It's a Walther G22 that looks like a Cheaper Than Dirt catalog threw up on it.

This dude is the dictator of an entire country and who lives, I am given to understand, the sort of lifestyle that has him up 'til 3AM snorting huge lines of blow off the ass cheeks of Miss Turkmenistan, and here he is with a budget .22 rifle that your average Kentuckian feels like they've outgrown around puberty, plus he's got a shitty airsoft grade optic and light on it that cost less than dinner for two at Texas Roadhouse.

Shame!

Someone obviously held up the "Applaud vigorously, privates, or be made Permanent Latrine Orderly!" sign.

 Sexy Beretta .22 target pistol, but still... it's a deuce-deuce.

Jesus, this guy throws knives like Obama throws first pitches. Also, what's up with the targets? Are those fedoras? Is he practicing in case the Blue Man Group comes to Ashgebat on tour and suddenly goes full M'lady?

This video accomplishes pretty much the exact opposite of what it's supposed to accomplish. It makes him look like an Instagram twink. This man needs a Smithers, because this is what happens when you have not one person in your entourage unafraid to answer honestly when asked "Does this dress make my ass look fat?"
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This was a rabbit hole...

...down which I fell for most of a day.

Dude posits that contemporary Western culture, the lifestyle we find on this side of the "Hajnal line", is caused by a technicality in Roman inheritance laws.

He has a blog where he waxes prolific, too.
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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Open the car wash doors, HAL...

To the list of things that are connected to the internet to make it easier for hackers to take control of them, we can apparently now add car washes.

When I was little, car washes scared the bejeezus out of me, and that was before they could be taken over by some guy in Riga who could lock the doors and not let your car out until you paid him off in Bitcoin.

Congratulations, toddlers of today! You now have a legit reason, however thin, to be scared of car washes. We were just being irrational in my day.
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Monday, July 31, 2017

Wow, sorry...

I have fallen into the internet, reading a 119-page forum thread. I have work I need to be doing, but first I must finish the thread. I am compelled.
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gun Glut

It's a buyer's market right now.

On this day last year, I was on my Facebook timeline touting a new de-contented Colt entry-level AR carbine with an MSRP in the low $700 range. Today, CDNN is selling brand new Colt LE6920's, pretty much the benchmark AR-pattern carbine, for $799.99 and throwing in a 30-round Pmag and some other stuff to sweeten the deal.

Walther is offering hundred dollar rebates on the PPQ and HK is throwing in bundles of magazines with new pistol purchases, meaning that in real terms you're getting a Walther or Heckler & Koch for the price of a base model G-lock.

Smith & Wesson is slashing prices and offering rebates. Shields are priced at impulse-buy levels these days.

Why is all this happening? Well, while most firearms companies are privately held and therefore inscrutable on matters fiscal, the goings-on at a few are public knowledge because they are publicly traded.

The news from American Outdoor Brands Corporation (neé Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation) tells a tale that is probably all too common in the industry right now: Shelves groaning under unsold inventory that was churned out in expectation of the mother of all gun panics following a Hillary Clinton victory.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

That Old-Time Religion...

So, in Georgia...the country, not the place with the big airport...there's this rock formation called the Katskhi pillar.
By G.N. - Katskhi stone column, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
And on top of this pillar are the ruins (now reconstructed) of a dinky little church dating back to the 9th or 10th Century. There were three hermit cells for if you wanted to get your asceticism on and a little wine cellar carved out of the rock if you didn't, and one can only imagine the hair-raising process of getting up to and down from the place.

Inscriptions indicate the place was still a going concern as recently as the 13th Century, but by then Georgia was a pretty exciting corner of the world, what with Mongols and Khwarazmian Persians and so many varieties of Turkomans that they had to be color-coded. Oh, and then the Black Death came to Georgia, probably brought by the returning troops of King George the Brilliant, and killed literally half of everybody. No doubt peaceful monasteries accessible only by primitive dumbwaiter were on the decline in such an environment.

Anyhow, that's not the interesting part. The interesting part is that the place is dedicated to a dude named Maximus the Confessor. For those of you not hip to your saintly terminology, a "Confessor" is different from a "Martyr" in that they weren't directly killed for their faith, but probably wished they had been.

So, this Maximus dude was a bureaucrat in the Byzantine Empire who apparently had religion as a hobby, as did everybody in Constantinople back then. All the Byzantines did was watch chariot races, debate arcane theological matters, and riot and/or kill each other over differences of opinion on chariot races or arcane theological matters. (Oh, and they engaged in so much intra-governmental intrigue that they went in the dictionary for it.)

At some point, Maximus dropped out of government service and took up religion as a full-time occupation, leaving the city of Constantinople for a monastery in Anatolia. Skipping town ahead of the invading Persians, he landed in Carthage, in Eastern Roman hands for the nonce, thanks to Justinian and Belisarius's ruinously expensive Mediterranean campaigns. It was in Carthage that he rose to theological prominence, after understudying with some of the philosophical heavyweights of the time.

The big argument in the Church (there was just the one, back then) in those days was between guys who thought Jesus had two natures, human and divine, but only one divine will, and other guys who thought that Jesus had not only two natures, but also a human will and a divine will. Seriously. This was a very big deal and dudes were killing each other over it.

Well, the first view, Monothelitism, was the official view at the time, but Maximus was a believer in the second, or Dyothelitism. And he and the new Pope, Martin I, called a religious council in Rome to debate on the matter without bothering to ask the Emperor's permission, which was a pretty serious faux pas. When the council turned out a Dyotheletic verdict, Emperor Constans II (a Monotheletist) had both Pope Martin I and Maximus arrested.

The Pope got de-Poped and banished to the Crimea, where he died. Maximus was tried and sentenced to exile. However, he would not shut up about Dyothelitism and wound up having a great big show trial a few years later, following which he got his tongue cut out and his right hand cut off so he couldn't tell people that Jesus had two wills anymore or even write it very legibly. Then he got banished to Georgia. (The one on the Black Sea, not the one you drive through on the way to Florida.)

He died in exile there in 662 AD. Nineteen years later, at the Third Council of Constantinople, the Church (still just the one) decided that maybe Jesus did have two wills after all. Maximus received a posthumous pardon, sort of a more official version of "Whoops! Hey, sorry about the tongue and the hand and the whole exile-and-dying-in-prison thing. No hard feelings, okay? Here, have a feast day."

I told you they took their religion seriously in Constantinople, didn't I?
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Friday, July 28, 2017

Derp Signaling


In the dystopian future, the Department of PreCrime will use online purchase data and BATFE records to note that you have bought:
  • A zombie-motif AR pistol lower 
  • A crappy airsoft-grade red dot and light/laser 
  • A knockoff AFG 
  • And a Taurus pistol
...and come to your house and preemptively arrest you for conspiracy to commit road rage with your retard gun.

Because nothing says "I should not be left unsupervised with sharp objects or permanent markers" like the gun in that picture.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hey, Look!

Writing about purse carry. Which I don't like or recommend, but sometimes do. It's complicated.
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Atomic!

In the Future of the Fifties, everything was going to be pointy, finned, polyester, and atomic, even the US Merchant Marine.

In 1959 we launched the NS Savannah, a nuclear-powered technology demonstrator that was a cargo ship that also carried ninety passengers in space-age comfort.

Named for the SS Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic (in 1819!), she had a checkered career. Her cargo holds were apparently a bear to load, and her operating costs sky high compared to conventional oil-powered ships, and she was eventually taken out of service in 1971...two years before the Arab Oil Embargo sent the price of fuel oil to the moon.

Ars Technica has a photo essay on it. Look at those cool accommodations, especially the bar. It was a harbinger of a future when groovy astro-couples could zip across the ocean in luxury, sitting at the poolside bar and washing filet mignon tablets down with space martinis.
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

This deck chair would look better over there.

Well, now that we got the wall built, Obamacare repealed, unfavorable trade agreements re-negotiated, ISIS defeated, the DPRK's nuke program defanged, and the US pulled out of all the little brushfire entanglements it's involved in, I guess the White House has the free time to worry about the 3,718th most important thing on its agenda...
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EXTENDO!


Numrich had twenty-round mags in stock for the vz61 Skorpion. Rock me like a very tiny hurricane.
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Parrot Squawks

Every time there's an internet post mentioning that skulls, lightning bolts, coiled rattlesnakes, and crap like that are bad things to have engraved on a carry gun, some knob always comes along and squawks "Show me the case law! Show me the case law!"

It's like they're trying to show off the fact that they know there's a thing called "case law", as opposed to "statutory law" or "regulatory law".

Basically, we all know that no legislature has enacted a law making it a Class Z Misdemeanor to shoot somebody while you have a Punisher skull slide cover plate on your Glock (statutory) and the BATFE has not held that a Punisher skull slide cover plate renders your Glock an AOW (regulatory) and so they want to see case law.

In other words, they want you to find the case of State of West Dakota v. Cletus Johnson and show them in the black letter text of the verdict where Cletus was held guilty because he had a Punisher skull slide cover plate on his Glock.

But that's not how trials work.

A lawyer friend on the intertubes likes to point out that, once you're in the courtroom, it's all about selling your side of the story to the judge and jury. You don't want to make it harder for your attorney to sell that story.

Nowhere in the black letter print of case law is it going to say "The jury found Cletus Johnson guilty because he was a thoroughly unlikeable asshole," but you'd better cool believe his unlikeable assholishness influenced how the judge viewed his side of the story and affected the deliberations in the jury room.

Do you think your lawyer will want you to wear a Punisher skull t-shirt in the courtroom? Why not? It's not against the statutory law.

Do you know what else will be in the courtroom and visible to the jury as "Exhibit A"? Do you think your future hypothetical defense attorney would like the jury to see a Punisher skull slide cover plate on "Exhibit A"? Why not? There's no case law!
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Vintage Swamp Water

Like a dog returning to its sick, Jeff Sessions is returning to those favorite themes from the Nineties: "Pot Is Bad" and "Asset Forfeiture Is Cool".

In a letter to Congress, Sessions asked for a ban on using federal funds to go after medical marijuana distributors in states that have legalized medical weed to be overturned. Quoth the Jeff:
"I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime."
So people in Huntington, WV and Columbus, OH are overdosing on imported Chinese Fentanyl and the way to nip it in the bud is to go after medical Mary Jane outfits in Portland, OR. That makes sense, I guess...or at least it does if you think Reefer Madness was a hard-hitting, serious documentary.

He couldn't be any more out of touch if he were to rant about "we need to ban that marijuana because it makes decent white girls want to take up with colored jazz musicians" although, given his bio, that might not be such a stretch for Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. This is, after all, a guy who once joked that he thought the Klan was "OK, until [he] found out they smoked pot."

Appointing Sessions was the opposite of "draining the swamp"; it was basically pumping in a whole bunch of vintage swamp water.
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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Changing up...

From '01 to '07, my bedside gun was a Beretta 96D. The big double-action-only horse pistol functioned essentially like an eleven-shot .40S&W-caliber revolver.

From '07 until now, the job has belonged to a 2"-barreled S&W Model 64, a stainless steel snubbie K-frame in .38 Special.

I'm in the process of auditioning a replacement for the 64...


Saturday, July 22, 2017

That's cool, but it's dark for more than an hour.

A German power company is looking at using salt caverns currently used to store natural gas into a gigantic flow battery that could power the entire city of Berlin for an hour.

Which, you know, handily illustrates the problems of trying to scale up the sort of solar/wind/battery setup that's ideal for running an off-grid hermitage to powering an entire industrial society.
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Friday, July 21, 2017

It's like hippie Jade Helm...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Aten't Ded

However I was busy yesterday and am semi-bereft of easy blogging topics today.

In the interim...well, the internet likes gun pictures, right?

If one Czech is good, then two must be better, right? I decided to drag the CZ52 to the range along with the Skorpion. I hadn't fired the 52 in eons, so I might as well exercise it.

Jebus, the trigger on the CZ52 is eight or nine pounds if it's an ounce. I'd forgotten how much muzzle blast the things have, and also how the ejected brass is moving fast enough to make major. A lot of fun to shoot, though, godawful trigger and all.

Both are fifty rounds at seven yards, just casually dirt-shooting, but the Skorpion was shooting a lot faster than the 52. It's so massive for a .32, and the trigger is light enough (if sponge-like), that it's easy to just rail away with it and still get reasonable results.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sad But True

Czech it out!

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

You know, I have, like...eighteen? nineteen?...pistols chambered in .32ACP and this is the only Czech one? That borders on statistically improbable. I'm glad I never had to confess that to Hognose over at WeaponsMan. He would have considered that a personal failing.
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Warning Sign

So, about the glaring red flag in the recent Minneapolis police shooting...

No, not the fact that the cop was a Somali-American. Some people are all "zomg he was Somali and named Mohammed! Terr'ism!" Settle your ass down. If it were terrorism, he'd have shot the other cop and then all the responding cops until somebody shot him. It wasn't terrorism.

No, big red flag is that he was a grown man with a college degree and an apparently reasonably successful career in property management who decided, in his thirties, to drop it all to go be the police. There are two kinds of people who do that, and one is a disaster waiting to happen.

As one LEO put it on Facebook:
"I question the fuck out of people who have the ability to work a cush ass white collar job but instead make 38K starting pay to referee people's marriages."
Policing is generally something folks get into because they knew they always wanted to as a kid, or because it's a reasonably easy gig to land getting out of the military. It's the ones who suddenly decided in their thirties that they wanted to drop everything and be Batman and a Force For Good that worry me.
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #166...

This was an itch in long need of scratching...

The two things I nerd over:
  • Machine pistols. I mean, the only airsoft guns I have left are a 93R, MP5K, and MP7. Oh, and a BB-firing Schnellfeuer. 
  • .32A...well, .32 anything, but especially .32ACP. 
This thing is square in the middle of my gun geekgasm Venn diagram.

I'm gonna go out to the garage, sit on the pillion of Bobbi's Indian Vespa clone, and cosplay '80s Red Brigade hits in Italy...
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Isn't it Ironic?

So, I took the Flash Thunderworks Glock 29L to the range on Thursday to do a little more shooting, continuing to get the hang of the Deltapoint Pro. Fifty rounds of 10mm is neatly loaded into two fifteen-round mags and a pair of ten-rounders.

It's a good thing I had that backup red dot for when the front sight failed and flew downrange! [/sarc]

So, the Deltapoint Pro is holding up to the slide velocities of a 10mm Auto better than the Suppressor height front Ameriglo...

Now, in the Ameriglo's defense, a wise Glock shooter will always check a new sight install after the first box or so of ammo to see if the threadlocker took or if the sight has loosened any in its mount. Glock front sights are easy on/off, but the tradeoff for that is that if they're loose, they'll shear in a heartbeat, especially the heavier ones like suppressor-height sights or XS Big Dots or the larger Tru-Glo TFOs...
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Style Points...

Clipazine...

Sometimes the "Inside Baseball" can get a little carried away.

Someone sent me an email with the header "Layers and layers of editorial oversight", which is a now hoary meme in the gunblogging world.

It linked to a story where one of the Busch clan (the filthy rich booze-making Busches, not the filthy rich race-car-driving ones) had been busted for helicoptering while intoxicated and carrying guns, or some sort of crazy millionaire crime like that. The key grafs are quoted here:
Busch told officers that he had a conceal carry license and had a Rohrbaugh R9 9mm in the front pocket of his pants.  He told them that the weapon was, "hot."  The removed the gun from his pocket.  Police also found Dexamethasone in his pocket.  The prescription was for August's wife.

At that point, Busch told officers that he was about to have a panic attack.  He began jumping and running sprints saying that he needed more oxygen to deal with the attack.

A search of the helicopter turned up several weapons.  Police discovered a loaded Ruger LCR 22 LR revolver, a Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum revolver with four live rounds, and a loaded Glock Austria .357 with one round in the chamber. 
The gist being "LOLOL @ 'a loaded Glock Austria .357 with one round in the chamber'."

You know, considering how good the rest of the terminology was, pointing and laughing at the reporter for basically reading the side of the gun just makes us look like a pack of Aspie gatekeepers...


Thursday, July 13, 2017

You'll never read the sign the same again.

Shootin' Buddy did it to me, and now I'm doing it to you:

Trials and Tribulations...

So, despite the test being called for Sig Sauer's P320 in January, the Army's XM17 Modular Handgun System trials are still generating discussion and even butthurt on the internet.

I'd like to think I'm reasonably familiar with most of the serious contenders. Glock, for example... Sure, they sent a variant that was basically a 19 slide on a 17 frame with thumb safeties retrofitted, but a Glock is a Glock is a Glock, for the most part. I've owned, like, twenty of the things since 1994 and still have eleven, in assorted sizes and flavors. This time around, I've been carrying one for nineteen months and have shot it in plenty of classes and a couple matches. I grok Glocks.

Sig P320's? I had that full-size one that I did the 2,000-round test with, and now I have a P320 Compact, and I just wrapped up a P320 X-Carry test for Shooting Illustrated, and am planning on buying that gun from Sig and maybe an X-Five in the future. If I switch away from carrying Glocks in the next couple years, just for the sake of change, it'll most likely be to the P320.

The M&P M2.0? I just finished testing one of those for Shooting Illustrated, too. On top of that, the basic M&P 9 is what I carried for years before switching to the Glock, and I still have two of those and would have no qualms going back to toting them.

Lastly, I literally just wrapped up a test of the FN 509 for SI. When I say "just", I mean that I dropped the gun off at FedEx to go get its glamor shots in Fairfax about three hours ago and the review article is in another window open on my desktop as I type this.

I say all this to establish that I'm not talking out my ass when I say that I have passing familiarity with the guns in question

I really have to agree with Nathaniel F at The Firearms Blog when he writes:
"...I am going to have to come down against the side that believes the competition should be retried. Doing so, I believe, would be a risky waste of time and money on what is essentially known quantity. Re-opening the problem would extend an already shamefully long effort to find a successor to the Beretta M9 handgun, as well as make the program vulnerable to a significant risk of cancellation."
I would take it a step further and say that, from a standpoint of their actual utility as weapons, the entire testing process could have been done for $1.07:
  • Paper grocery sack: $0.07
  • Bandanna for blindfold: $1.00
  • First E-4 that walks past looking like he's not doing something: $0.00 (already on the clock)
Grab him, tie the bandanna around his eyes, tell him to reach in the sack, and you've got your next service pistol. Problem solved, problem staying solved.

It's not like any of the companies here are inexperienced in making functional firearms or servicing large institutional orders. The presented entries are all slight variants on guns that have established track records. Frickin' pick one and move on.

(Oh, and as to Steyr's suit, my first question for them would be "Where were you during the P250 launch and its subsequent trials and tribulations? It uses the same sort of removable chassis, yet only now when the 320 lands some huge and glitzy contracts do you suddenly remember you have a patent to defend. I'd say that your actions from 2010-2016 indicate your true opinion of the viability of that patent defense and you're only sticking a bowl out the window now because Sig finally made it rain gravy and you want some of it.")
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I wish I'd wrote that...

I think it's very nice of Mr. Burge to let the rest of us play on his internet...

I can barely keep up with this anymore...

This just in: Joe Scarborough says he's leaving the Republican party:


In other news: Apparently Joe Scarborough was a member of the Republican party.

Also, MSNBC is apparently unhappy with the way Trump tweeted at their talking heads:
MSNBC responded to that incident with a statement: "It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job." 
To hear their clucking disapproval, you'd think that Trump had hoisted Scarborough up off the ground by his ears and then showed Mika his gallbladder scar.
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Here's something...

I have some stuff I want to natter about, but first I have to go bust caps at the range so I can put this FN 509 review to bed for Shooting Illustrated and then I have a couple errands to run, but there will be bloggery committed later.

In the meantime, in lieu of thinky, have some linky: Go check out this dude's blog.
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Christmas in July!

Amazon wants us to spend a lot of money on Prime Day. I need to check to see if there's anything I can't live without.
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...and Sunday's shooting...

I have decided that weekends are for shooting my own stuff. I can do work shooting on weekdays. Sunday saw another hundred rounds of TulAmmo sent downrange through the Gen3 19.

I started out shooting at the upper target box at seven yards, at about the pace I'd use on the 3x5 in a FAST...call it .6 or .7-ish splits. Then I backed it out to ten yards and shot the bulk of the ammo at the lower target, trying to push speed at ten. There were no malfunctions, and the gun now has 4,144 rounds through it.

Overheard in the Kitchen...

I come wandering into the kitchen, singing the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air...
Me: "♫...I got in one little fight and my mom got scared, and said 'You're moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air'♫... I have no idea how I remembered all that. It's not like I ever watched the show."

RX: "It's your lifelong secret crush on Will Smith."

Me: "Stuff White People Like: Will Smith."

Monday, July 10, 2017

Saturday, Caturday, Gaturday...

I think Huck had the right idea for Saturday, nevertheless I saddled up and headed over to the range.

The weather was glorious, with temps in the mid-70s and low humidity. A few puffy white clouds to add some texture to a mostly clear blue sky... It's weather such as this that makes one mighty happy to be able to drop the top on a roadster.

Shooting at Indy Arms Co. was mostly just for fun, using the Gen3 Glock 19 that used to be my carry gun. It's the one I used to do the first "2k round" series of posts here on the blog.

I put a hundred rounds through the gun, working on pulling the trigger faster. I'm getting the hang of it slowly, but it demands that the grip not be all jacked up. Incidentally, this range trip put the gun over the 4,000-round mark, at 4,044 rounds. It ran fine.
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This modern world...

You can be pondering the infinite in The Smallest Room and ask your phone what year Jeff Cooper was born, and it will answer you.

What a fascinating modern world in which we live!


Ugh.

After not walking on Friday, and generally wasting the day in a funk (other than that range trip) I had a pretty productive weekend. Got some writing done, went out to lunch with Bobbi, got the lawn mowed, and got to bed shortly after ten last night with the intention of bouncing out of bed on a Monday morning and doing my walking first thing.

Instead I sprang wide awake at 3:30AM and could not get back to sleep for the life of me. I lay in bed reading as the hands on the clock spooled steadily toward the 6AM alarms.

I wrote off this morning as a bad idea and went back to sleep and finally got a couple (mostly) solid hours from eight to ten.

Have to go to the range now. More later.
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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Friday...

I'm thinking a couple of these Case Club cases could really improve my life. There's an 8-pistol one with rolling wheels and some stowage space for ammo and such that would be just the heat for longer trips, such as Blogorado or visiting New Hamster. Meanwhile, this four pistol one is earmarked for holding whatever configuration my Sigs are currently in.

So, I did some fun shooting on Friday over at Indy Arms Co., with my former CCW Gen3 Glock 19 and my pimped-out P320 Compact, as well as .22LR Sig P250 Compact I picked up from CDNN. (They're still selling these things for under three bills, and they're fully compatible with centerfire Caliber X-change Kits. That .22LR compact's trigger group has been dropped into a full-size .357SIG and a 9mm compact.)

First I fired the deuce-deuce at the 2" circles and 1" square at three yards, by way of warming up and concentrating on pulling the DAO trigger smoothly. Next, the Glock 19 at the 3x5 upper target at seven yards went about like I expected.

Finally was the P320 Compact at the 8" circle at seven yards, trying to work on some speed. It was hot on the range, since it was muggy and rainy outside and there's no way that the HVAC unit could keep ahead of the rate of air exchange. The Boresight Solutions frame made a big difference in controllability in my sweaty paws, relative to the stock Gen3 Glock frame, which is pretty bar-of-soap-y in wet hands. The Grayguns trigger is a delight. The Dawson sights are making me think about skinnier front sights on all the things...

Saturday, July 08, 2017

A money-saving proposal!

So, with a good chunk of my adopted home state lying athwart the area of the country known as "The Rust Belt", it's probably no surprise that Indiana punches slightly above its weight in drug overdose deaths.

From 2011 to 2013, Indiana had the fifteenth highest rate of deaths from drug overdoses among U.S. states, at sixteen per hundred thousand Hoosiers. We're only the seventeenth most populous state, and hardly a hotbed of hedonism and other assorted whoop-te-do, but the nation's overdose center of gravity seems to have shifted.

The most statistically common place to go on a final nod these days is not a trendy loft in Soho, but rather in a split-level midwestern ranch a few blocks down from the shuttered wheel bearing factory, or a single-wide in the mobile home park across the tracks from the defunct curtain rod plant.

Anyway, Indiana has decided to open five more Opioid Addiction Treatment Centers in various small cities around the state.

One of these small cities is Lafayette, which is a city I'd think was doing pretty good, economically speaking. They've got the Subaru plant, Caterpillar, TRW, and others, as well as being right across the river from the sprawling Purdue University campus.

Another reason I'd think they were doing pretty good is that they apparently want to build a new $16M dollar home for their Lafayette Aviators, a Prospect League team.

Funding for this new pine tar cathedral is supposed to come from the local Economic Development Income Tax. I think this shows a lack of imagination. Why not glom onto some of that sweet state payola for the Opioid Addiction Treatment Center and build a dual-purpose facility? You could employ the inpatient addicts to hawk peanuts and take tickets during game times, and as groundskeepers between games, as long as nobody tried to snort the third base line.

The junkies could learn a trade and the ball park gets cheap labor. You could bunk them down in the press box or the visiting team's clubhouse.

Multi-use developments are all the rage these days, anyway.
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Friday, July 07, 2017

I've had better days.

Check back for bloggery tomorrow. Maybe I'll be funny again.
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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Knight's Fork

So, a new piece of legislation has been introduced in Congress: The Silencers Help Us Save Hearing Act ("SHUSH", get it?) that would move to completely deregulate suppressors at the federal level. This would make cans just another firearms accessory as far as the feds were concerned, which is of little consolation to those in states with their own suppressor laws, but a big deal for the rest of us.

This is the more radical fork of the Hearing Protection Act, which has now been rolled into the broader SHARE bill. Personally, I'd love it if they both passed, but if I had to pick one, I'd hope that the new SHUSH act draws all the heated opposition away from SHARE, and here's why: Which would you rather have:
  • Suppressors completely de-regulated and the Sporting Purposes Clause of GCA '68 left intact? Or...

  • Suppressors moved to Title I (treated as regular firearms, w/a 4473) and the Sporting Purposes Clause of GCA '68 repealed? Remember that the Sporting Purposes Clause is the underpinnings for everything from the ridiculous BATFE "Points System" for imported handguns to the hated 922(r) regulations.
Yeah, me too.

So now we have SHUSH playing the heavy, making SHARE look reasonable. Knight's fork.
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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Well...

The MP5K-PDW is a Tokyo Marui airsoft electric gun, and the "grenade" is a lighter... But the rockets are real rockets, so there's that.

A post shared by Tamara Keel (@tamarakeel) on

In case you're not feeling very rebellious...

...the following .pdf link contains the instructions for my fellow Hoosiers to pop off fireworks today while avoiding any imperial entanglements.


Note that today's hours, like those on New Year's Eve, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, run an extra hour.

We had enough bottle rockets, small fountains, and sparklers left over from last year to make a pretty good fifteen minutes of fun on the front walk, but I went ahead and picked up some 8-oz. rockets and colored sparklers from the local gypsy fireworks joint just in case.
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Hey, Look!

I have a new piece up at Breach Bang Clear!

You should go read it and share it with the people you know who point guns at themselves. Preferably while they're eating, just to get the point across. (Yeah, there're some bloody pictures, but it's for a good cause.)

Happy You're Not The Boss Of Me Day!

Keep that 'Merican spirit alive and rebel a little harder today. Also, fireworks. It's a known fact that the king of England doesn't like them, so be sure to set a bunch off.
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Monday, July 03, 2017

Overheard at the Grocery Store...

Cashier: "How are you this evening, Ma'am?"

Me: "On a scale of One to Bald Eagle, how 'Merican are you feeling today?"

Sometimes the Personal isn't Political.

So, when I mentioned getting the cordless electric lawnmower, commentary on the Bookface (as well as my email inbox) trended heavily toward the "Y'all don't seem like godless vegan commie hippies. Why the electric mower instead of a 'Murrican-engined one?" sort.

Because the only reason one could possible want an electric power tool is because politics, apparently, and not because one doesn't want to mess with the vagaries of small combustion engines, rope starts, dealing with the total abortions that are currently sold as gas cans, or other pragmatic reasons.

I mean, from a pragmatic point of view, now that battery and motor tech has gotten to the point that cordless electric lawnmowers are possible, for a yard a small as ours? It's worth it to me for the convenience cost.

But when everything is viewed through the lens of politics, you get stuff like this:
"The way I look at it, wanting to buy an electric vehicle (airborne or road) is virtue signalling.  Wanting to sell an electric vehicle is more like the old quote, "there's a another one born every minute."  You want to spend money to feel good?  We'll be more than happy to take your money!"
So, the only reason somebody would want to buy an electric car is for virtue signalling? (This is kind of funny, since the comment by SiG is, in fact, virtue signalling to his own tribe...)

First, the electric car has come of age, at least as an urban/suburban commuter. It means that never again does the city or suburban driver have to go to a gas station or convenience store, which are, let's face it, the watering holes on the Serengeti of crime.

Second, the Tesla seems to be marketed pretty well as...well, an urban commuter rocketship.

"But, Tam! You can't take roadtrips in it!" In my experience, people in the Tesla-buying bracket usually fly, anyway. And when they do take roadtrips, they do so in rented vehicles so as not to run up the miles on their POV.

Hell, some people who live in cities don't even have cars, which I find weird, but it's a (mostly) free country.

The Tesla's not the kind of car for me, but that's because I'm poor and need my own vehicle to be able to run to Texas as well as it runs to the corner store.

What I want to know is how many of the people who hold this anti-electric point of view are willing to go all the way, and replace the hippie vegan battery packs on their electric toothbrushes and razors with these? How come nobody uses gasoline-powered drills? Ya bunch of granola-smoking commies!
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Sunday, July 02, 2017

Waiting...

...for the sun to get far enough in its track that the front yard is in the shade before I start mowing. It's going to be warm out, but the dew point will only be 55°F (temp in the mid 80s, humidity in the high 30% range) so it should be downright pleasant in the shade.

Grass should be dry enough to bag easily and not clog the chute.

Mowing is a chore I actually kind of like, because progress is so visible.
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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Unconventional Glocks...

This is a project that is just now getting underway, so this post is kind of a preview. It's my Gen3 Glock 20 with the grip chopped to take Glock 29 magazines. Call it a "G29L".

Flash Thunderworks in Knoxville did the work, which includes stippling, a high hand cut, removing the finger grooves, and a grip reduction, among other things. The gun sports an SSVi Tyr trigger and a Leupold Deltapoint Pro. I'll do a more detailed post on the gun shortly...

Friday I met up at Indy Arms Co. with a friend & former coworker to let him bust some caps through it, what with him being an aficionado of high-horsepower carry pistols. The pic above shows his current carry gun for work, a full-size Glock .45ACP, but with a longslide treatment. He let me run a few rounds through it, and it ran well, let me tell you. I'm thinking a Glock 40MOS might be in my near future...