Thursday, October 31, 2013


Wouldn't want that thing hooking up all of a sudden...

Sharps container

Click to embiggenate.
Gratuitous Knife Pr0n:
Top: Walter Brend/White Wolf Auto
Bottom: o.g. "P-stamp" Chris Reeve Sebenza

I just realized I've had these two for about a dozen years or so...

Overheard in the Hallway...

I am walking down the hall to get a cup of coffee. As I pass the bathroom door, roomie's showertime monologue comes wafting over the metaphorical transom:
RX: "Oh, I have an idea for a comedy sketch, where Sarah Palin and Piers Anthony start out arguing and end up having mad, passionate sex..."

Me: "Wait..."

RX: "She calls him a horrible little man, and Piers Morgan calls her 'Mama Grizzly'..."

Me: "Ah. You know you accidentally said 'Piers Anthony' and not 'Piers Morgan' there at the start, which is why I was confused and had no idea where any of this came from. I mean, there I was in the cave but I had no way of tracing from where I suddenly was back to daylight."

RX: "Piers Morgan, Piers Anthony... Anyway, Sarah Palin and a horrible little man..."

Because the Wicked Witch has been done to death...

...and flying monkeys are hard to come by:


Happy Halloween!

Hey, did you hear the one about the prune-faced minder of other people's business in NoDak who has appointed herself Guardian Of The Neighborhood Children's BMI?

Here's hoping that "soaping people's windows" has not fallen out of the local kiddies' skill set and that Cheryl finds out the actual meaning of the oft-mouthed-but-seldom-understood phrase "Trick or Treat!"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall cleaning...

So, there I was, in the blowing desert sands of the second to last stage at the Crimson Trace 3 Gun match and my M&P doesn't go back into battery. I clear it and keep shooting and think to myself, "Self, when was the last time you really cleaned this thing?" And the answer, which I do not like, was that the last time I could honestly remember taking it apart and really cleaning it was... ...late October of '11?

I mean, I usually pull a bore snake through it after shooting, and I keep it lubed, but it doesn't really get torn down and, you know, clean-type cleaned very often. See, I have the second M&P 9 that I do most of my range shooting with, and now the M&P 357, so my carry gun doesn't get shot that much. Except for classes. And matches. And those times at Blogorado. And...

Checking my records, this is apparently one Blogorado, one AFHF, one MAG-40, and two Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun matches worth of cack. I've seen cleaner rental guns.
When I got home from Oregon, I moved the Lasergrip and Lightguard to the M&P357 for the time being, holstered it up, and SWORE A MIGHTY OATH that I would clean my M&P 9 ASAP.

ASAP, apparently, being two months later...

Anyhow, the .357SIG is all put away and the 9 is cleaned and back on my hip, and all is right with the world. Now I've got to remember to order a .40 barrel for the .357 from Brownells.

I am never letting that thing get that dirty again. And this time I mean it.

Elsewhere on the web...

"Buried in the ground beneath the antenna array is 240 miles of bare copper ground mat."
In Detroit, they'd have dug that up and sold it for meth money years ago...

The importance of RTFM...

Back when I was still slinging guns across the glass for a living, one of our wholesalers had a deal on some overrun Smith & Wesson 325 AirLites. For those of you not familiar with the arcane language of Smith revolver designators, that's the great big N-frame in .45ACP with, in this case, a titanium cylinder and a scandium frame*.

So we had several of these snub-nosed beasties in stock (I bought one, of course) and a problem immediately cropped up: Customers who bought them would come off the range complaining that their gun had locked up.

Seems like most plain ol' range 230gr FMJ isn't crimped very enthusiastically and only two or three shots in these flyweight big bores would cause the heavy .45 bullets in the cylinder to remain at rest while their cartridge cases recoiled along with the rest of the gun. When the bullet came all the way out of the unfired case, it would bind up against the forcing cone, tying up the gun. (At the time, our range .45 ammo was Speer Lawman.)

Anyhow, fast forward a half-dozen years and I've got a T&E Boberg XR9-S pistol on the range. Now, the Boberg is an unusual gun that gets maximum barrel length in a minimum package so as to get maximum velocity from modern 9mm JHP loads, theoretically making proper expansion more likely. It does so by extracting the round rearward out of the magazine and then loading it forward into the chamber. The chamber is actually over the magazine, making a sort of "bullpup pocket pistol", if you will.

Relax: You don't suck and Boberg doesn't hate you.
The picture above is the loaded Boberg magazine and not, as one might suppose, an outtake from an H&K catalog photo shoot.

Anyhow, I took the Boberg down to Coal Creek Armory (now Tactical Advantage Corporation) Tennessee for its baptism of fire. I trooped out onto the range with Shannon and Gunsmith Bob and my ammo can of 9mm FMJ ammo and started thumbing rounds into magazines. We each fired one magazine, and one round on each of the three magazines exhibited the rather exotic malfunction you see below:

It's a pistol! It's a bullet puller! It's two tools in one!
It was pretty obvious what was happening: The slide was yanking the round rearward from the magazine briskly enough to disassemble the cartridge.

Each of the three rounds was... you guessed it: Speer Lawman.

I went on to fire hundreds more rounds of ammunition, mostly PMC and Federal FMJ but also a few magazines of a half-dozen different premium JHP rounds, and never experienced this malfunction again. Of course, looking at the owner's maual, it clearly states on page 4:
Due to the Boberg XR9’s unique feed mechanism, aluminum-cased ammunition is not recommended (See back cover for color example). This type of ammunition has no crimp, and usually no adhesive, and could allow the bullet and case to become separated while being drawn from the magazine. While this is not considered a safety hazard, it can result in a mis-feed or jam. Please note that there may be styles of brass-cased ammunition that have no crimp that may cause feeding problems. Information on crimp-less styles of ammunition can be found at
Going to the list at the website, I see that Speer Lawman is right there.

That's what I get for not RTFM.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That's not how you spell "condolences".

Thanks to the president, the Unc clan lost their health care policy that the president said they weren't going to lose and so they had to scramble for another one. A commenter replied:
Obamacare was the catalyst in this case, but you realize that could have happened at any time, for any reason, even without Obamacare, right?
“Sure, it was Guido that broke your kneecap, but you realize that your kneecap could have gotten broken at any time, even if Guido hadn’t dropped by, right?” 

Hey, you’d make an AWESOME bereavement counselor, dude!

More words! Faster! Now!

I just finished Marko's 60-page short, "Measures of Absolution", which uses Cpl. Jackson as a viewpoint character and picks up her story at the tag end of the "Battle of Detroit".

Good pacing (60 pages was gone before I knew it,) with some very solid action scenes, and it answers some nagging questions about the big firefight in Detroit that were left hanging in the original novel, while opening the door to a whole new storyline in the same universe.

More words, Marko. Faster! Now!

That was impractical...

Dreamed I was off in some little town someplace to go to gun school. I was staying in what was a great big hotel for such a little town; one of those huge do-jobbies like you see in major downtowns, with cavernous atria to make acrophobes gibber. Looking back, I think the model was the Waverly in Marietta.

Anyhow, global village idiot was there, and ToddG, and a bunch of other people my subconscious apparently felt it would be appropriate to stock a dream about gun school with. ("And you were there, too, Auntie Em!")

The hotel rooms were weird, in that they came with only a bed, and so I went out after the first day of class and went to a flea market and bought some dressers and hutches and stuff and I wound up sitting there in the hotel room after the last day of class wondering what I was going to do with all this furniture. I decided I'd deal with it in the morning.

There was a teeny grocery store in the town, nominally a Fresh Market but crammed into a bitty, bodega-size storefront. I was in there at the florist's kiosk trying to buy some flowers for my mom, and there were these two little birds that had gotten in there, hopping around on the floor behind the counter (the storefront was open to the street during the day.) They looked like weird little chibi cardinals and I started talking baby talk at them "Ooh, wook at the widdwe biwdie!" and they leaped into the air and started making attack runs at my head. "Oh, don't bob your head at them and talk in a high-pitched voice," said the young girl putting my bouquet together, "They interpret that as a threat display and a challenge."

And then I woke up.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Snowden is just the gift that keeps on giving...

Angela Merkel is all finger-wavy over finding out that the U.S. government has been listening in on her phone conversations as though she were Russian or something:
The German leader said she told Obama last week that eavesdropping among friends "is never acceptable." 
...apparently tone-deaf to the fact that it was British eavesdropping on American transatlantic diplomatic cables that resulted in the interception of a telegram from a certain Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman.

No, you can look it up: The Brits had cut the Jerries' transoceanic telegraph cables, but we let the Boche use ours so that they could communicate with their ambassador in Washington regarding President Wilson's* peace proposals. We must have looked about as naive as Angela does when we found out they'd also been using our lines to transmit Texas real estate offers to President Carranza.

Anyhow, enough with the history lesson... Back here in the 21st Century, there are two ways the president could have dealt with the chancellor's chiding accusation: Brazen it out with a "tough noogies, this is the NFL" response or admit it and apologize and promise never to do it again. Faced with that pair of alternatives, Obama predictably picked choice number three and ordered waffles with a side of prevarication. Essentially, Obama's response to Merkel's accusations was to claim that yes, he'd stopped beating his wife.

Meanwhile, Tsar Vladimir I's court just laughs and laughs.

*And isn't Barry turning into a splendid 21st analogue of The Odious Wilson? A fact that must be making the bigoted old elitist technocrat spin in his grave...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day At The Range...

Breakfast at Good Morning Mama's with Shootin' Buddy and then off to Iggle Crick.

Got to the range and started off by running Dot Torture with my Glock 19. I don't like shooting Glocks much, but this one gets 50 rounds every range trip because it's being used to T&E something.
Glock 19 and M&P 9 FS.
After shooting my 22/45 for a bit, I pulled out the M&P 9 which is, nominally at least, my carry gun. (I say 'nominally' because I've been carrying the .357SIG gun since the Midnight 3 Gun Match. I wanted to hose out the 9 and disassemble and scrub out all its mags and I've totally been meaning to do that and move the Crimson Trace Lasergrip and Lightguard back onto it since I came back from Oregon but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.)

I hadn't shot the gun without the light or laser on it in a long time, as can be evinced by the pull to the right on the first dots. Then I settled down and was doing okay until I threw one of the strong-hand-only shots, followed by a week-hand-only one, and then it was time to egregiously drop a pair of shots on #9 and #10 so I could finish up shooting a 46, down two to my performance with the Glock. I'm cleaning the Smith and putting the beams back on it tonight.

"Hey, little buckaroo! Get your dad to take you down to the Ace Hardware so you can spend your lawn-mowing money on the same gun Cowboy Sam used to defend the stagecoach from Black Bart!"
Shootin' Buddy had recently run across a little Colt Stagecoach Carbine; a Colteer auto cut down to carbine size and tarted up with some Country 'n' Western flair to appeal to the young fans of the horse operas that were all over the TV back then. Shooting it was fun, although the kid-size controls could be a little hard to work with grownup-size hands. Speaking of kids and guns...

If this picture were to be any cuter, it would need a slow loris in there somehow.
As we were getting ready to leave, a father and his little daughter came in to get the next generation of shooters off to a good start.

Single-loading a round in the SR-22's magazines for her, he would then guide her hands through each step. But as you can see, the actual shot was all her. Because 'Merica. (This was obviously not her first rodeo.)

After we left the range we went to Bradis to check on the ammo situation and pick up this 'n' that, and from there it was back to Broad Ripple for a yummy lunch at Thr3e Wise Men, where I got a half-growler of their "Breaking Barn" Milk Stout to go.

As Sundays go, this one's been pretty tough to top...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Automotif XXIII...

Lunch at 10-01 after the Fun Show last Saturday with Shootin' Buddy, Bobbi, and the Data Viking. Spotted this nice-looking '64 Goat rolling down Broad Ripple Avenue and snapped a pic as it rolled past our table...

1964 Pontiac GTO

Our most disastrous war...

It's a war that, in retrospect, we never should have started. Oh, sure, we had the best of intentions going in; there was a perceived threat to our society, plus the do-gooder angle of people who needed saving to make us feel better about ourselves. Sure, we might have to curtail a few civil liberties for the duration, but that's the price of security in time of war, right?

Forty years later, we are still an occupying army, people's rights are still getting trampled, and you have a harder time buying good cold medicine than you would the meth they're afraid you'll make with it. They would rather an innocent person writhe in pain than risk somebody getting high.

Seriously, the War on (Some) Drugs has done more damage to the fabric of American liberty and the Bill of Rights than any other single factor, shows no sign of letting up, and yet bring this fact up to any Law 'n' Order Republican and they just snort and dismiss the issue with "Libertarians just want to smoke pot."

Thank you, John Locke, for that penetrating insight; you've figured me right out. Yes, the reason I want to roll back the ridiculous regulations that have built up around cold medicine is because I want to smoke pot... you knob. No, Eliot Ness, I don't particularly want to smoke pot, but I do want to stop the ongoing judicial death-by-torture of the Fourth Amendment.

America, land of the piss test and the no-knock; the militarized southern border; a Drug Enforcement Agency that is not only twice the size of the Estonian army, but which probably outguns it, too; where moderately bright dogs are treated as constitutional scholars on Fourth Amendment issues, eager to please their handlers by giving them an excuse to tear your car apart on the roadside; where state and local police agencies are the recipient of DoD hand-me-down armored cars and machine guns and attack helicopters as though they were banana republics, although with less oversight as to how the gear will be used.

And you bring this stuff up and it gets hand-waved away with "you just want to smoke pot."

"Oh, Tam, the scourge of drugs is..." No scourge is worth this, okay? This whole "burn the village to save it" thing has got to stop.

People complain about the loss of freedoms in the War on Terror? It was all built on a scaffold of dope laws. How did they legally justify the .mil assistance at Waco? They claimed there was a dope lab on the premises. How do they go after your scary-looking AKs and ARs? By claiming that they're the preferred weapon of dope dealers. (That's right: 922r is a direct result of the War on Drugs, via paleoconservative Republican Bill Bennett. You can look it up.) Next time somebody complains about the "parts count" provisions on their SKS, I'm going to snark right back at 'em with "You just want to smoke pot."

EDIT: Heh. I must've subconsciously been picking up the vibes of an ongoing discussion elsewhere on the internets. I heard that news story about the proposed prescription drug regulation changes this morning and the above rant just happened.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Art Of War...

WeaponsMan has an excellent post up on the cartoonists of the Great War, and the topic called to mind something I'd seen during my recent travels.

There is a restaurant in Española, New Mexico by the name of El Paragua. If you look near the restrooms, by the stairs to the second-floor dining area, you'll see an empty picture frame on the wall. Step closer and you'll see why it's there:

Yup, sketched there on the bare stucco is none other than "Joe", famous cartoon World War II dogface, put there by New Mexico native Bill Mauldin himself.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fun Show find...

Saw a new (to me, at least) kydex holster maker set up at the Indy 1500 this past weekend: ZB Kydex. With very few exceptions, these guys' fun show setups tend to be as indistinguishable as peas in a pod, but these guys had a nicely laid-out table and one of the cleverest marketing gimmicks I've seen in a while. They had two holsters out front: a black one that is presumably a representative example of their product lineup and, right next to it, a blaze orange one with "Why choose us?" written on it in Sharpie.

The orange holster, of course, represented the "generic" kydex holster, and one of the dudes would carefully point out the shortcomings of the orange "Brand X" vis a vis their exemplar next to it. It was a smart, polite, and informative demonstration. I picked up a business card and may buy something to try out if they're at the next show because yay entrepreneurship!

Owl Head TPH

Bobbi has a pic of her fun show acquisition up for viewing.

There is no truth to the rumor that "TPH" stands for "Toilet Paper Handgun".


On last year's little jaunt out to Oregon, among the trinkets with which Leatherman stuffed our pockets was a Led Lenser P3 AFS flashlight. I started carrying mine immediately because I loved the little AAA size combined with the no-kidding 75 lumen output. I especially liked that, thanks to the sliding focus head, those lumens could be diffused to a wide, soft spread or tightened down to an amazingly bright and projecting beam.

After carrying it for month or so, I lost it and promptly ordered another one from Amazon.

This one lasted a bit over a year, but now some Delta Airlines ramp rat at MSP has my second P3 AFS, since it fell out of my pocket unnoticed* while trying to fish my wallet out in the confines of an MD88 chair. Carrying the ProTac 2AA 'til my third** P3 get here on the Big Brown Truck of Happiness.

This ProTac feels like I'm trying to smuggle a tee-ball bat after all that time carrying a little AAA-size light.

*Well, I noticed a clatter, but it couldn't have been from me, right? Because I always move my flashlight to a shirt pocket or the collar of my t-shirt for ease of access while flying! You don't want to be fumbling for a light when you're trying to unass Flight 1549, right?

**And fourth. Because this time I'm ordering two. Because two is one and one is none, right?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wait, wait... Did he just call me "vituperative"?

"The Obstructionists Aren't Going Anywhere. Maybe We Should."

It takes a potent mix of chutzpah combined with a breathtaking lack of self-awareness to accuse your opponents of "tantrum throwing" in the middle of that little screed.

The wheels on the bus go...

How do you defend against this in an open society?

I don't know that you can. You can't absolutely prevent events like this outside of some Orwellian panopticon; a human zoo that would be no fit place for free men and women.

A certain level of danger is implicit in a free society and, while you could certainly take away the freedom, it wouldn't completely eliminate the danger.

Oh, that kooky Wayne LaPierre...

Wait, that's not Wayne talking; that's Ronald Noble, the Secretary General of Interpol.

While it hasn't exactly received widespread attention from the mainstream media (and understandably so, since it flies in the face of their worldview) it was private citizens with guns who were the first responders at Westgate, a fact even the New York Times grudgingly acknowledged.

I feel all through the looking glass, here.

"If you can't see it, you can't hit it..."

There have been several posts here lately that were, at least tangentially, optics related, from the Aimpoints that both my carbines wear, to that ultra-sexy new Mark 6 Leupold on the AR at the Crimson Trace media day, to the big Loopie on the AR in the picture below.

Thus, I should probably take this opportunity to link a good post at Mountain Guerrilla on optics and the fighting rifle. JM knows of what he speaks. He that hath ears, let him hear.

Heck, even Clint Smith has decided that maybe glass on a working gun isn't some newfangled tool of the devil.

Personally, I'm thinking about going either ACOG or to a low-power variable if I... I don't know, find a winning lottery ticket in the gutter or something. It's only the lack of funds and the dearth of >100yd sightlines in my area that keep switching over to magnified glass from being a higher priority.

Why We Win:

"At one of the Gun Blogger get-togethers, I joked around about what gun controllers must do for entertainment – hit up the anti-gun range or go to an anti-gun show. We all had a good laugh over that, but it stuck in my head for a while, and I think I've finally got a handle on why that pithy statement meant something to me." -Robb Allen
Here's her post on the rifle...
Has this expression ever been seen on anybody's face at an anti-gun rally? No, it hasn't.

Do you know why? Because you can't ring a 500 yard gong at an anti-gun rally, that's why.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "'I told him I wanted a parasol, not a Para SAW...'"
(Roomie commenting on this picture.)

Mutter murmur grumble...

They said the gas dude would be by in two to four hours, and that was at a little before eleven.

At 3:30ish, I called Bobbi at work to let her know she might want to shake the tree at the gas place and see if anything fell out.

At around 5:00, the gas dude finally arrived.

Ah, well, I guess I can go to the bank tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my stomach's so empty my belly button is rubbing a callous on my backbone. I'm going to go find something to make the owie empty hurty feeling go away.

Arms Room content...

Initial picture of the Webley .32 Automatic is up. Still researching the wee beastie, so there's plenty more to follow on that thing.

This one is not Metropolitan Police marked, and probably dates to 1909, predating the acquisition of self loaders by the London po-po by a couple of years.

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #75...

Actually, with the Mark 6 3-18X Loopie, this is more "optics pr0n" than "gun pr0n", but whatever...

(And yes, the scope was as amazing as the price tag would indicate.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013


A very slightly belated congrats to JayG on his awesome new gig at the NRA's Shooting Illustrated.

Very cool!

Tab Clearing...

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #74...

Seen in Los Alamos. Pretty, innit?
While not a Broomhandle C96, the tangent-sighted and shoulder-stocked "artillery" Luger filled much the same ecological niche:
It is the ambition of the average Continental officer to possess a Mauser pistol; ideas of stopping-power do not worry him in the least, and he has little use or need for a good fighting weapon; what catches his fancy is a high-speed, long-range arm that he can carry on his belt with ease - and the Mauser fills this bill exactly. -R.K. Wilson, Textbook of Automatic Pistols

Off the road again...

The grumble box...

Meet The Press this morning had some stuff on Iran and an interview with Netanyahu, but the majority of the program was a sack dance celebrating the GOP blinking.

Republican friends like to sneer that Obama plays checkers instead of chess at politics, but if that's the case then the national GOP leadership is playing Tic-Tac-Toe, and that not very well. Once both oncoming cars veered into the turn lane, I don't see how anybody thought this game of chicken would have a different ending:
  • The Democrat base still think the GOP are an out-of-touch sack of bastards.

  • The GOP base still think the party's national leadership are a bunch of milquetoast surrender monkeys and collaborators.

  • The non-ideological middle, thanks to the blatant collusion of the Democrat party's all-but-official mouthpieces at ABCNNBCBS, now think the GOP is a pack of rabid ideological frothing teabagging poopie-heads. And racists, somehow, probably.
I keep fiddling with the antenna and trying to get it to pick up signals from the dimension I'm in and not planet Manhattan and its little moon colony on the Potomac, but to no avail.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Every time I get a chance to run a SCAR, it flings a cravin' on me.
  • PRO: Tons of groovy features and adjustments are built right into the gun. Handles nice.
  • CON: Aftermarket is near nonexistent. Not a whole lot of juice for the squeeze.
Thus far I keep coming to roughly the same conclusion the .mil did: It's just a lot of money to replace an established system with something that's essentially the same thing.

(And the "lot of money" isn't necessarily the one gun. With careful shopping or buying used, a SCAR isn't priced that much more than a lightly-pimped BCM/DD/et al AR, assuming you're just buying one for a range toy. If you're replacing a carbine and a backup carbine and buying a rimfire trainer and stocking up on spare parts and tools... that's a significant investment.)

Fun Show stuff...

Good stock at the fun show, at least relative to any previous show this year.

Ammo prices continue to fall and stocks are on the increase, at least with the larger specialized ammo retailers. The sad pandas in this department were the little one- and two-table guys who had obviously gone deep on ammo for resale back in the teeth of the drought. These dudes were now sitting on a case or two of budget brand 9x19 that they still had hopefully marked at as much as $0.60/rd or more, when all over the show you could buy to your heart's content at $0.38/rd or less for a 50rd box and corresponding price reductions for larger quantities.

Evil black rifles are way back down again, and availability is almost at oversupply.

Everybody had huge boxes of Gen 3 P-Mags.

Stopped at the bank on the way to the show and deposited some paychecks, so I treated myself to a budget-priced Webley & Scott .32 auto to keep its larger sibling company. I'd been eying it through a couple of previous shows but this time around the owner had big red "SALE" tags on about half his stock, so I bit. It's homely, but I'll get some pictures up here in the next day or two.

Passed up a couple nice nickeled 6" S&W .38 Safety Hammerless revos. I might have just been able to eke one out with a bit of haggling, but went with the Webley instead. Because .32 pocket auto.

Bulk-pack .22 was a thing again. Plated stuff was all veering dangerously close to $0.10/rd, but at least it was there. Even though it was only in the middle of the pack, price-wise, I bought a 400 round brick of Federal American Eagle from a dealer I like so that he keeps liking me. (Repeat patronage is good; I want my favorite dealers to associate my smiling face with the jingle of the cash register.)

Overheard in the Checkout Line...

Cashier: "Are you staying for the zombie walk?"

Me: "There's a zombie walk?"

Cashier: *gestures at parking lot* "That's what the tent and the music are for; there's a zombie walk to benefit Gleaner's Food Bank."

RX: "There's a gun show in town this weekend. I'm not sure it's such a good idea to have a gun show and a zombie walk on the same day."

Off to the fun show!

Got home, went to bed, and woke up just in time to go to the Indy 1500 Fun Show. Let's sing the Fun Show Song!
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.
In the meantime, and in lieu of a real post, have a picture of a gun. The internet seems to like gun pictures, right?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Something there is in nature that does not love a car...

Remember: Most of a car is concealment and not cover. The other side of this thing has nearly as many outgoing bullet holes as this side has incoming ones.

Tab Clearing...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #73...

Two .30-'06s and a .357: M1 Garand, Browning BLR, and S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman.

The word you're looking for is "obsolescent".

So, Caleb ginned up a ton of hits from outraged revolver fans with a post titled "Revolvers are obsolete". Since Caleb's livelihood is based on ginning up hits, I don't see anything wrong with this, but I do get a kick out of respondees who act like the post was titled "Motherhood and Puppies: Threat or Menace?" People sure do get emotionally invested in their heaters.

Thing is, there's nothing in the body of the post I really disagree with,

"Oh, Tam!" you say, "Revolvers will still kill a bad guy just as dead now as they would on the set of Dragnet! Besides, how did they survive carrying revolvers for so long if they sucked so badly?"

Hey, a flintlock pistol will still kill somebody just as dead now as it did in the grove at Bladensburg, but you don't see many people carrying one.

"Oh, Tam!" you say, "You're setting up a reductio ad absurdum argument! I didn't say anything about flintlocks*. Besides, they only hold the one shot and they take forever to reload."


So holding more shots and reloading faster is better, then?

Don't get me wrong, revolvers are still plenty useful, and still dominate niche uses like woods guns or ankle and coat pocket carry. And if some weird solar flare were to cause every self-loader I own to crumble into dust, I'd strap on a K- or N-frame and go about my business without losing any sleep.

But if I can carry more BBs, and be able to reload faster in the bargain, all with no real downside? I'm all for that.

*As an aside, when I worked third shift in a convenience store before I turned 21, there may or may not have been a percussion Colt Navy replica under the counter on some nights. I figured it beat harsh language.

Any bets on how long it takes for the first commenter to say "If'n my revolver's so obsole... obsolecs... obso-whatever, why don't you stand over there and let me shoot it at you?" Hey, a Model A is obsolescent, but I wouldn't bet you couldn't drive one to New York.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Does! Some deer! Some female deer!

Embigennate to play "Where's Waldo?" with the fauna some 9000 feet up the slope of Parajito Mountain.


MGI QCB upper on a home-built Rock River lower that was assembled on a TV tray in the living room of Roseholme Cottage.
On Sunday afternoon, on the final magazine of the weekend, my beater AR finally failed to complete the cycle of operation once, for the first time since I built it in '08...

...because its tired owner didn't pull to ensure that she'd fully seated the mag and it fell out when she ran the charging handle. This is what happens when I don't load the gun right.

Between two 3 Gun matches in the high desert of Bend, OR and now one Blogorado, that thing's been exposed to plenty of dust, so it must have been malfunctioning left and right and I'm just blotting out the awful memories. The internet says so, and you can't put something on the internet if it's not true. 

Parenthetically, I really should clean the thing sometime, but I've crossed the point into superstition, where I'm afraid that a thorough cleaning will somehow jinx the gun and make it start malfing...

Props to the Aimpoint and the Larue mount and the MGI Quick Change Barrel upper. The optic is still pretty well zeroed despite the barrel being on and off the gun a couple times since the scope was dialed in, plus the tender ministrations of baggage handlers. I haven't benched it on a paper target with PMC green tip lately to see the actual amount of POI change, but it was still within minute of soda can on the 80 yard berm offhand, so I doubt it's moved much more than an inch at a hundred?


Ah, the countryside! Good times, good friends, beautiful vistas, the desultory crackle of small arms fire, and a gentle 25 knot breeze causing you to have to run and retrieve your hat every five minutes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I got here late and the cake is gone...

Happy Very Slightly Belated Blogiversary to Bobbi!

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #72...

Matt G's Remington 1100 takes a break from busting clays...

Winging clays...

Matt G throws a bird for Ambulance Driver.
While he's using an 887 in that picture, AD had also brought along a well-worn 870 that was a delight just to watch him run. I've got a picture somewhere in this mess where the ejected shell is hanging in the air, still in the same plane as the ejection port, and he's already got the slide forward. Thing looked like it had been shot enough that it was slicker than owl snot.

750 Yard Glare

After an awkwardly saccharine moment caught on video was leaked to the internet, Ambulance Driver attempts to tape the corner back onto his Man Card by eating a puppy sandwich (six inch on wheat, cheddar, light lettuce and mustard) and knocking over 750 yard targets with nothing but his steely gaze. And mind bullets.

(SO glad I brought the real camera on this trip. I walked around and took so many pictures of people shooting that I started to talk with a faint Russian accent by the end of Saturday...)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Overheard Somewhere In The Mountains...

On the road again...

Today was largely windshield time, passengering back to Los Alamos with Stingray and listening to a marathon of "Welcome to Night Vale" podcasts. Why had you people not told me about "Welcome to Night Vale" before? (And what does the style guide say we do with podcast titles? Quotes? Italics? I'm too lazy to look it up right this second, so I'm going with quotes for now.)

It was apparently ungulate season in the southern mountains. Saw this going up the road on Thursday:
On the way back, held up in the canyon just outside Taos by a delivery driver who was apparently trying to jackknife a prefab tool shed while backing it into a driveway, an old Jeep Cherokee covered in Mossy Oak, mud, lights, and Bone Collector stickers pulled up just behind us...
Me: "Hey, look! An actual Cletus!"

Stingray: (reading the decal across the guy's windshield by glancing in the rearview) "'Eat, Squeal, Hunt'? Nice."

Me: "It says 'Eat, Sleep, Hunt'..."

Stingray: "Oh."

Me: "...but I like yours better, though."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Denizen of the beaten zone...

This little critter was sitting on the hood of the old Mercury Cougar that was parked out around 325 yards...

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #71...

Remington M1903A3.

Watching Law & Order at 0530 local...

Ammo blues #1...

Failure to extract with Fiocchi plated 125gr .357 SIG caused this round to get slammed into the still-chambered spent case, setting the bullet back into the case by a rather... noticeable amount.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sorry 'bout that...

Sorry for the lack of blogging. Went outside to play today. More later.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Not in Kansas anymore...

The reason there are hardly any terrain features in Indiana is that New Mexico is hoarding. #OCCUPY_LOS_ALAMOS

Thursday, October 10, 2013

...on a jet plane.

While Indianapolis has a fair amount of modern suburban sprawl to the north and south, by comparison it shuts off like a switch to the east and west. It's always amazed me how you can be driving west out 56th Street and suddenly you're in corn fields. The above photo is looking down just outside the perimeter highway, I-465.

Click to greatly embiggenate.

Somewhere out over western Kansas or Nebraska, I think. (At any rate, one of those big flat rectangular states that were apparently on sale in the mid-19th Century, so we bought a bunch.) Anyhow, the setting sun is throwing some weird crater-looking geological features into sharp relief down there. Anybody know what those are?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Overheard in the Hallway...

TV Announcer: "It's Day Eight of the Government Shutdown, and lawmakers still haven't reached a solution..."

Me: "Don't rush 'em!"

RX: "I'm having too much fun coining my own money and running around tearing the tags off mattresses."
(Yes, you could hear the capital letters in the newsbot's tone of voice.)

The unfriendly skies.

I don't fly enough to keep a separate "sterile" bag for air travel, but every time I do, I wish I had one.

Two or three times a year I wind up doing the junk-on-the-bunk display with my laptop bag and Maxpedition Gearslinger, emptying everything out and feeling through all the nooks and crannies. The laptop sleeve isn't too bad, actually, but that Sitka has all kinds of compartments and pockets and pouches that are usually stuffed to the gills with things that would make the intrepid guardians of the skies lose continence should I not transfer them to checked baggage.

I don't know if the folding titanium spork will give them the vapors or not, but I'm not taking any chances...

QotD: Subversive Edition

As the Chicago politics writ large continue to play out on the national scene, ToddG notes:
There's a term for someone who works from within the government to undermine morale and readiness at a time of war. That term isn't supposed to be President.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Overheard in the Kitchen...

Something had been smelling in the refrigerator a few days ago. I carried out a purge. Fast forward to today...
Me: "I'll need to get more Irish butter, too, because I threw the other out..."

RX: *semi-accusing stare*

Me: "I'm not saying it was causing the smell, but it was suspicious. I don't know I could have convicted it, but I sure as heck had enough to indict it."


Tidying up work-related stuff so that I don't have anything looming over my head in Damoclean fashion during my vaycay.

I'll likely be in limited internet connectivity for a few days, and there's nothing that will take the fun out of that like worrying that you forgot to turn in or update some crucial thing that desperately needed turning in or updating.

The book of numbers.

A common scenario I hear voiced on gun fora and elsewhere on the intertubes is that sweeping federal gun bans of the "turn them all in" variety are unlikely, as is some sort of coordinated door-to-door "sweep and clear" gun confiscation, and so how the government is going to take away all the guns is this:

They're going to take away the guns of gun owners a few at a time. A Ruby Ridge here, a "barricaded whacko" there... And pretty soon there'll be nobody left to stick up for you when they come for your guns!

Thing is, they'd need to close off new gun sales at the same time, or they'd never be able to Randy Weaver enough people a day to make up for that day's first-time gun buyers. And closing off all new gun purchases would kinda telegraph the punch, I think.

But suppose they did close off all new gun purchases, and then set about manufacturing a hundred Ruby Ridges and "barricaded whackos" a day. How long would it take?

Well, let's assume the "80 million gun owners" number is reasonably accurate. Given that assumption, even if they did cease all new purchases and confiscated the guns of 100 gun owners a day, the last guy would have 2,192 years to wait before they finally got to him, so it's not like he wouldn't have plenty of warning.

It's something that a lot of people on both sides don't really process: The scale of the gun culture in America. If they want all the guns, they're going to need to get them in some way other than onesie-twosies.

Monday, October 07, 2013

It's in the game.

So, my main character in World of Warcraft is a blood elf hunter. Blood elves are the elves on the side of the Horde, and the Horde is the side in the game whose architecture features lots of spikes and skulls. In true Po-Mo fashion, however, the Horde has this whole Klingon stoic virtue thing going on, while the other side, the Alliance, composed of all the standard fantasy "good guy" races, is full of the evils of everything from feudalism to capitalism. It's best to disengage your political brain from the proceedings.

Anyway, in addition to your character's main "class" (your usual fighter-wizard-cleric-thief tropes are all present and accounted for) you can also learn two side "professions": everything from tailoring to blacksmithing to herbalism to the inscription of magic scrolls can be learned as a side profession. You can gather or buy raw materials and increase your ability to make ever more complex and valuable things which you can sell in an auction house in-game for imaginary money.

For my first WoW character I decided to be pragmatic and picked skinning and leatherworking. That way as I encountered various critters as my character progressed through the game world, I could skin them and then make salable belts and boots and armor bits from the hides. This seemed clever. The problem is that I forgot to keep up with my side professions as I adventured my way through the game, and wound up with a potent level 90 (that's good, btw) hunter who had a hard time gutting a squirrel and making a coin purse from the skin.

The solution? A thing called "power leveling". In my spare time I journeyed through lower-level areas of the game where I had already been and did all the industrious little chores I should have been doing all along, except on the industrial scale made possible by the disparity between my character's level and the low-level surroundings.

Many small groups of lower level characters saw a figure like a Molly Hatchet album cover swoop out of the sky riding a skeletal dragon, hop off and mow down a veldt's worth of wildlife in quantities that would make a party of railroad buffalo skinners blush, set to skinning it all, and then swoop back off into the sky again without so much as waving hello.

So, I'm out doing this in a part of the map that is styled like some fantasy-world version of Egypt, following the forested area along a river through the desert and killing & skinning every gazelle and hexapod crocodile I run across. And I cut loose at a croc with an attack called "glaive toss", where your hunter boomerangs a pair of big spinny blades at the target. The blades arc out, intersect at the croc which flops belly-up, and return to my character's hands. I run over, loot and skin the dead croc, and as it fades out, I see this...

One of the little "eep frogs" that infest the area apparently caught peripheral damage from my glaive toss or my pet core hound's fiery breath and was lying there, er, "croaked" under the dead croc's carcass. You can't skin the eep frogs. You don't get any benefit from killing them, or any penalty; they're just like the butterflies or the little snakes in the desert or the mice in the towns, scenery to add a bit of prettiness and verisimilitude.

Now, I've been going through this place like a platoon of seal-clubbers run amok, damaging the ecosystem with a single-minded intensity that you'd need to wreck a dozen oil-tankers to duplicate, but I suddenly felt bad about accidentally "killing" the little imaginary frog-shaped blob of pixels on my screen. Bad enough that I snapped a screen shot...

And that's when the game designers can pat themselves on the back, because they managed to get the player good and immersed there. Good job, Blizzard. I haven't had that "in the game" feeling since I tipped my head to the side to look under a stall door on my screen while rooting terrorists out of a bathroom in a missile silo in Rogue Spear all those years ago.


Here be dragons.

Sorry. Up late with the posse.

That, plus Roseholme Cottage is flying the Vacation Ensign this week.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Traffic stop gone rodeo...

I linked this news story at S.W.A.T. Magazine's FB page the other day, but figured I'd embed the video here, too. The incident happened in August and OSP has now released the dash cam video. It looks like a pretty straight-up Blue Suicide, but who knows why a dude would up and do this with his kids in the back seat. Judging by his actions as he stepped out of his car, it looks like his cheese was pretty well slid off his cracker.

Softly now...

How many here have ever used a golf tournament on the TV as free broadcast Sominex? Do they practice that perfectly soporific muted semi-monotone? Learn it at a school or something?

Seriously, the affected hushed voice of the golf announcers makes no sense whenever I let myself think about it. They all talk as though they are standing on the green behind the guy with the putter and don't want to disturb him, despite the fact that they're in a booth and can no more break the golfer's concentration than could the viewer at home.

I want to beat a golf announcer with a sock full of nickels just to see if he'd go "Ow. She... ow... appears to be beating me... yes, to my knees. I... believe this is the first time... ow... yes, it is the first time a golf announcer has been beaten unconscious on the air."

Friday, October 04, 2013

That church is so me.

(Photo courtesy of friend staghounds.)

Should I go there? I think I'll go there.

So, let me get this straight: A bunch of white dudes just gunned down an unarmed black woman they suspected was attempting to trespass in a gated community and the Attorney General isn't calling for an investigation into racial profiling?

I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

(This post riffs pretty heavily off ToddG's here.)

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "What do you think of the rumors of Piers Morgan being encouraged to seek employment opportunities elsewhere?"

Me: "I think it's a blow to the NRA. Every time that guy opened his suck, another ten thousand people joined."

Going for the easy layup again...

Everybody else is doing it...

Since coming up with theories as to why the lady went all Bullitt in her Infiniti in the nation's capital yesterday seems to be the trending thing, I'll throw my theory into the ring:

She probably went to and when, after all the 404 errors from the world's first government-and-media coordinated DDOS attack, the page finally loaded, found out she was still expected to, you know, buy insurance.

I always get a little bent when people promise me free stuff and then tell me "Just kidding! You have to pay for it!", too, so I can understand the reaction.

EDIT: The Today show in the next room is saying that she may have believed the president was stalking her. If everybody who believed the president was stalking them reacted like that, the South Lawn of the White House would look like Dead End Drive-In.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

"We got a Black Hawk crashed in the city..."

It was twenty years ago today.

What narrative?

Tell Truth and Facts to shelter in place, there's fragments of narrative ricocheting off every microphone out there!

I have no idea what to say to this.

Conservative web organ Human Events offered up the following poll question today:

Okay, first, "Congress" has both an upper and lower house, but since you went so far as to say "district", I'll give you a pass there.

Secondly, if there's a lower bar than "better job than Congress as a whole", it's currently being used at a paramecium limbo contest. My previous representative was Andre Carson who, while a genial enough dude, I wouldn't trust with a burnt-out match without adult supervision. His sole redeeming quality as a government official was that I got to vote against him with savage glee every two years.

Now, thanks to a careful bit of gerrymandering, I am deprived of that simple joy, being represented by Susan Brooks. She's a pro-2A small-government (yay!) SoCon (meh.) who I really do think is "doing a better job than Congress as a whole", but I wouldn't damn her with such faint praise to her face.