Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween-Based Election Forecast:

The Final Frontier...

First the Orbital Sciences Antares explosion, and now Spaceship Two makes like a Texas lawn dart.

For the second time in a decade, I feel like I'm living in Kings of the High Frontier.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fingers still crossed...

Back in green
On the scene
Parked by the trail
No steam to be seen
Still keeping an eye on things, but feeling ever more hopeful. It's not even like I necessarily need the thing to be roadtrip worthy. If it can get around town in foul weather ("Winter Is Coming!™")and schlep the occasional load from Home Despot, I've got the Zed Drei for fair weather driving and long trips.

Range Notes...

At the range yesterday...
  • Note to self: You've got to charge that timer up or you might as well not bring it...
  • ...which was okay yesterday because you could have timed those reloads with a sundial, anyway.
  • Granted, it was all of fifty degrees out and the $secret_test_pistol was a compact piece with a three and a half inch barrel, but the Federal RTP9115 was averaging only 1065fps. I need to chrono some standard-pressure defensive ammo through it when it's actually cold out. I'd be skeptical of a lightweight nine bullet that was subsonic in cold weather.
  • The Glock ate fifty rounds of nasty TulAmmo 115gr, bringing the total to 1650. Bath time soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WWII poster...

From the museum at the Indiana World War Memorial...

You Can Crack That Tank!
  1. Button Him Up: Tank crews have limited vision even with the ports open. Accurate rifle fire will force them to close up.
  2. Then Blind Him: Continued fire directed at the periscope and slits prevents the crew from shooting back at you accurately.
  3. Duck! Don't Run: Above the ground where you are visible you make an easy target. Hide in your foxhole until the tank passes.
  4. THEN: Let him have it with a well-placed Molotov cocktail splashing burning gasoline over his ventilator or any other vulnerable spot.

Fingers crossed...

Drove the Subie yesterday morning, first around the neighborhood, and then to the grocery store. Nothing out of the ordinary in the temperature department. I even made one moderately spirited departure from a traffic light on Keystone Ave. on the way home.

I'll be going out there in a minute to check all the fluids and drive it around a bit more today and see what happens. I'll run the Subie on more errands and through a car wash to hose the mung of a summer sitting parked ion the great outdoors off its exterior.

I've got to get out to the range, but I'll probably use the Z3 for that. There's a difference between driving around Broad Ripple and driving clear across town through sketchy neighborhoods on a 49°F day with a load of guns and ammo in a car listed as "day-to-day" with no separate lockable trunk...

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?

Yes, that is a .22-caliber bullet hole where some numbnuts shot the table immediately to the left of where it reads "Please Take Care Of Tables". This is why we can't have nice things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can't win if you don't enter...

Brownells is having a sweepstakes and entries close tonight. Prize is a Glock 42, plus a Hornady pistol safe, ammo, holster and a flashlight.

Cautiously optimistic...

So, the Subaru story when we left it:

On the way home from the Peru Hamfest, Bobbi drove most of the way, and after one long highway stretch noticed she'd been running the car in third for the whole stretch. (Understandable, since her Hyundai has no tach and announces that it's time to shift by making the sounds of thrashing mechanical carnage, whereas the Subie is humming happily at 4500 rpm.) When we got back to Broad Ripple, I noticed the temp gauge was in the red, but the car wasn't acting like it was overheated and it is a high-mileage car that has some known electrical quirks, including occasionally dancing gauge needles...

The car sat for about a week, other than a trip to Fresh Market, which isn't even enough to nudge the temp gauge.

The next weekend I drove it to get gas and run some errands, and it wasn't even halfway to the gas station before the temp gauge was in the red and I was nursing it to a halt to the glycol smell of a violently overheated engine.

Going off the surging temp needle and some searching around on Subaru forums for symptoms of that known Achilles' heel of the Subie's boxer four, the head gasket, I came to the tentative conclusion that mine had finally succumbed.

With this as an impetus to get the Z3 fixed, I left the Forester parked for the summer, its dying battery finally going flat, and a promise to myself and my roommate to look into it before winter rolled around again.

The other day, I thought to myself "But what would it have looked like if it had merely boiled out most of its coolant on that long freeway drive, and then you drove it to the gas station with hardly any coolant in it at all?" So I bought a fresh battery and last night we put it in the car, started it up, let it idle for a while until operating temperature was reached, and then drove it once around the block, cautiously blipping the throttle with no further movement from the needle.

Today I'll drive it around the neighborhood some. We'll see. It'd be nice if this didn't require a new motor.

Bottleneck Bullet Battle With A Paddle In A Bottle

From the original 7.65x25mm Borchardt did spring many cartridges...

Among these cartridges were 7.65x21 Parabellum, the original Luger chambering, and 7.63x25mm Mauser, which was the chambering of the C96 Mauser "Broomhandle". Many Broomhandles were sold to the Czar's officers. Many more were sold to Bolshevik rebels after the war, what with the Versailles treaty being kind of snippy about the Jerries making 9mm pistols. The 7.63 Mauser round was so popular with the Bolshies that when they designed their first native pistol, the TT-30 Tokarev, they basically ripped off the original Mauser cartridge wholesale.

And so here are a pair of pistols: A Czechoslovakian Cold Warrior CZ-52 in 7.62x25mm Tokarev and a Weimar-era 1920 DWM Commercial Luger in 7.65x21mm Parabellum. Both are firing modern commercial ammo. The weather was 73°, 39% humidity, as best I can tell from the internets. Call it about 740 ft above sea level.

Fiocchi .30 Luger 93gr SJSP
  • LO: 1102
  • HI: 1145
  • AV: 1125
  • ES: 42.57
  • SD: 13.89
Mild-shooting (as the numbers should show) and extremely consistent velocities. The Luger has not malfunctioned with it yet, although fifty rounds is a tiny sample.

Sellier & Bellot 85gr FMJ
  • LO: 1497
  • HI: 1573
  • AV: 1533
  • ES: 76.07
  • SD: 25.61
Noisy, with muzzle flash noticeable in daylight, the S&B lived up to the Tok mystique.

Somewhere around here I still have a blister pack of MagSafe 52gr 7.62 Tok. I should burn it up in the name of science. It's not like I'd use it for anything else...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #116...

CZ-52: Roller-locking fireballing brass-launching loudenboomer.


Campaign Ads...

Gun-Fearing Weenie Terry Curry (who nonetheless did the right thing in a high-profile DGU case) campaigned for Marion County Prosecutor in 2010 on a platform that basically consisted of "I Will Prosecute David Bisard."

It is probably unsurprising, then, that his reelection commercial basically consists of him striding through the streets of downtown Indy holding ex-Officer Bisard's scalp.

Hey, it's a campaign promise made good; may as well tout it.


In a tense scene in the movie Fury, the characters reminisce on the charnel house of the Falaise Pocket. For those unfamiliar with that bit of WWII history, after the breakout from the bocage country, Operation Cobra, U.S. forces swung in a northerly hook to meet UK/Commonwealth forces driving southeast from Caen. Vast numbers of German troops and their equipment were pinched off in the ensuing pocket and the orbiting "cab ranks" of Typhoon and Thunderbolt fighter-bombers had a field day, strafing and rocketing and bombing at will, the Luftwaffe having been largely swept from the skies*.

In the space of a couple weeks, the German war machine in the west was short nearly a half million men: dead, wounded, or prisoners. Burning vehicles littered the landscape for miles in all directions. General Eisenhower wrote:
"The battlefield at Falaise was unquestionably one of the greatest "killing fields" of any of the war areas. Forty-eight hours after the closing of the gap I was conducted through it on foot, to encounter scenes that could be described only by Dante. It was literally possible to walk for hundreds of yards at a time, stepping on nothing but dead and decaying flesh."
The countless tons of putrefying, flyblown flesh turned the area into a hazmat site for months, since continuing the drive to the Rhine superseded any effort to clean up the mess.

Can you imagine Gen. "Pete" Quesada, whose IX Fighter Command carpeted northern France with dead Germans, putting out a press release to acknowledge the destruction of a guard shack? That is the inherent problem with the administration trying to convince the world that we're serious about ISIS. The world (ISIS included) knows what we look like when we're serious, and this ain't it.

*'44/'45 German joke: "How can you tell if a plane is American, British, or German? If it's silver, it's American; if it's camouflaged, it's British; if it's not there, it's the Luftwaffe."

Sunday, October 26, 2014


SVT-40 field-stripped.
Comrade Tokarev's design, while not unduly difficult to field-strip, had a fairly high "Sproing Factor" for arm used by Glorious Patriotic Red Army. Nothing on it required as much having to hold your mouth just right as getting the bolt back into a Garand, but it was no SKS.

Overheard on 56th Street...

Chamber of Commerce weather today in Broad Ripple. Driving home from the grocery store with the top down...
NPR Announcer: "...and for everybody who lived through the financial crisis..."

Me: (yelling at car radio) "By which you mean all your listeners over age six!"
(Not that I think the "financial crisis" is at all over. To riff off Churchill, we've seen the end of the beginning, but we're nowhere near the beginning of the end yet. There's just been a fevered bout of kicking the can further down the road.)

I have to say it was a good day...

Woke up early on Saturday. Shootin' Buddy swung by and we headed to breakfast at Taste. For some reason, recovering from the Two Day Ebola (I was on a plane recently, so it must have been Ebola, right?) left me absolutely uninterested in anything umame. I eschewed the bacon and the omelets and all the other savory breakfast items and instead satisfied the mad fruit craving that probably indicated a severe vitamin shortage of some sort or another.
 Mmmmm... Fresh fruit and powdered sugar and warm maple syrup and a delicious waffle. Shootin' Buddy is having the "CBBG", which is, I believe, cheesy biscuits and sausage gravy with some over-easy eggs and more shredded cheese.

Before loading the first magazine.
And then on to the range! It was the maiden voyage for the Luger, for me at least. I realized that while I've gotten trigger time on a fair number 9mm P.08s, this was the first time I'd ever fired a Luger in the original 7,65x21mm Parabellum chambering. It was an amazingly pleasant gun to fire; like all the bottle-necked Borchardt cartridge derivatives, there's very little muzzle flip to go with the sturm und drang generated by the high velocity pill.

I have to admit to yelling "Halten sie!" a few times while firing the Luger. It just kind of popped out. Shootin' Buddy and one of the RO's at ECPR each took a turn. The RO handed me his cell phone so I could shoot video of him firing the Luger. ("Did you get the toggle locking back? Oh yeah!") That was almost as fun as shooting the Luger itself.

Size comparison with the ubiquitous Glock 19.
While we were at the range, Shootin' Buddy had a gun delivered.
After 100 rounds of 9mm through the Glock and a test gun, as well as a half dozen or so magazines of "ballistic dry-fire" through the 22/45, we headed for the movie theater to watch Nazis get shot in the face with a wide variety of fine John Moses Browning designs, plus Grease Guns, in Fury. It is apparent that Belton Cooper's work is now the accepted pop history narrative. Ah, well. It was still a very good war movie that was a lot more emotionally involving than I expected.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sale! Sale! Sale!

Huge sale on AR-15 stuff at Brownells. (I'm needing a stripped lower for a project, actually, and they've got Bushhamster ones for a mere $49.)

Today In History: Print the Legend.

As Marko (whose b-day is today) just reminded me via the Book of Face, today is the feast day of St. Crispin...

Sixty-nine years ago today, the surviving battleships of Pearl Harbor, re-floated, repaired, and refitted, crossed Nishimura's T and blew his Southern Force to scrap metal with radar-directed 16" fire at >22,000 yards at 0dark30 in the morning.

Victories rarely come more poetic. .

*waves hands in annoyance*

I'm about to blaspheme...

...and here are some pictures related to my upcoming blasphemy:

MAS-49/56, photo by Oleg Volk

Egyptian FN-49, photo by Oleg Volk
Both are gas-operated, magazine-fed, battle rifles with receiver-mounted peep sights...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Time flies...

Googling around led me to this older article, which served as a reminder that the earliest commercial variants of the AR-15 are now Curios & Relics on the fifty year shot clock alone, no special collector's certification/dispensation required...

(In only a couple years, Bangor Punta-era Smiths will be C&R eligible...)

The other side of the Luger...

I promised myself some time back that if I found a shooter-grade Luger for the right price, I was going to buy it. I've seen plenty of shooter-grade Lugers since then, but the owners all thought they were rare collectibles, if the price tags were anything to go by.

"You know, one of those woman-sized holsters..."

This is important information; people come in all different shapes and and sizes have all different kinds of living circumstances and wardrobes. The carry methods I used in my 20s in Georgia are not the ones I use in my 40s in Indiana.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Flat shooter...

DanielS and his FN Five-seveN in action. Not a lot of muzzle flip going on. More shooting pictures here. I'm getting a little better at this camera stuff.


From elsewhere...

To their credit, I haven't heard any mealy-mouthing about "workplace violence" from the Canadian government. Stacking furniture against the doors while gunshots ring out in the hallway probably sharpens the mind in a way that some random voter getting iced in the hinterland doesn't, if one is a politician.

It will be interesting to see if this arouses calls for a revival of the defunct Canuck long gun registry boondoggle (brought to you by the same company that went on to build the technological wonder that was the Obamacare web site launch.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Bomb...

It's book bomb day for the latest release from Jim Rawles: Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. I've been reading them since the old "Triple Ought" days, so I'll be putting my order in now, too...

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "Where'd you get the trash can for a background?"

Me: "It's ours, out back."

RX: "Oh, our government-issued trash can."

Me: "It's from Republic..."

RX: "As the sole contractor with...?"

Me: "It's a public-private partnership. You know, like Fascism."

RX: "Like Fascism?"

Does not work that way!

So, the Syrian rebels that aren't ISIS (all ten of them) have discovered that the very existence of the Islamic State is a sort of universal adapter for getting the West involved in helping them topple the Assad regime. Here's the latest: ISIS might have fighter jets!
Could ISIS fighters be training as warplane pilots capable of turning their weapons on coalition aircraft?

To quote the greatest news commentator of our age:

The tools of industrialized warfare are not things one picks up and uses intuitively, the way one does, say, a hammer. A fighter pilot is much more than a guy who knows how to fly a plane and which button to press to launch the missiles*. 

This takes me back to the turn of the millennium, when people were going bezonkoids about the Chinese acquiring a carrier, spinning yarns about the PLAN sailing a carrier battlegroup right under the Golden Gate on Tuesday morning, when the fact is that even if you handed a navy a complete turnkey CVN, it would take years to develop, practice, and perfect carrier operations through trial and error; naval aviation is a lot more complicated than just "land-based aviation, but with a moveable runway." Similarly, most Armor guys I've talked to were pretty confident that, as wonderful as the Abrams was in Desert Storm, they could have switched rides with the other team and still won, such was the gulf between training and grabassticness.

If ISIS really does have their hands on three aircraft, it doesn't matter what type or how sophisticated they are; without the entire organization of an Air Force behind them, they're just three crescent moons waiting to be painted on American (or French or British) cockpits.

*...and here's where I throw in the obligatory side note that they're called "missiles" and not "hitiles" for a reason.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Sorry 'bout that...

Got into town at 0100 on Friday morning and have been on the go ever since. What with friends visiting, the Fun Show, and other things, I reckon I've gotten nine or ten hours sleep since arriving back in Hoosieropolis.

All I gotta do now is run a couple errands and knock out a few overdue things for work, and the pace of life can slow to normal.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day Out...

Spent the morning with friend staghounds at the Indiana World War Memorial (built back when there was just the one). The shrine was poignant as always: A sacred space that hushes your voice to a whisper by reflex. All that blood spilled pro patria and the walls surrounding the cenotaph were filled with hopeful inscriptions indicating that we thought we'd learned something from it, that surely we'd never, as a species, sink to this low ebb again; we had fought the War To End All Wars.

There's a little museum in the basement, too...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fun Show Time!

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.
Again, I've pretty well shot my bolt for the month, but I don't miss an Indy 1500 if I can at all help it.

The Emirati Hillbillies...

The antics of the world's nouveau riche have always made for good entertainment, as everybody from F. Scott Fitzgerald to '60s CBS programming execs could tell you, and the southern littoral of the Persian Gulf is a real world Beverly Hillbillies. Barely a generation out of tents, they've got a collection of skyscrapers and cement ponds that could make Robin Leach pen jeremiads against excess.

Where else would you find Lotus ambulances, robot customs agents, and double-decker rolling courtrooms?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ersatz Blogmeet Thingy...

Wanna meet up at the Broad Ripple Brewpub at 3:00 PM on Sunday after you finish perusing the Indy 1500? I reckon I'll be there.

If do right, no can defense.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Any trainer who doesn’t encourage you to walk the Earf and seek all kinds of training, and instead tells you his kung fu is the only kung fu, isn’t trying to teach you something, he’s trying to sell you something.

Off The Road Again...

Sunset from Sky Harbor, with the Phoenix skyline in the background.
Long day yesterday. Thanks to the magic of hub-and-spoke airline travel, my flight itinerary was ABQ to PHX to IND. At 9:00 PM MDT I found myself looking out a window at FL 350, peering down at the lights of Los Alamos, which I had departed nine hours earlier to begin my trip home.


You can't make this stuff up...

...because people would mock it as being contrived and implausible.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Blame Game

From an ongoing thread at FB...
That the idiot hopped a plane flight is the thing that chaps my ass. I mean, people need to keep a sense of perspective: We've had two diagnoses in a hospital with 4,300 employees in a city with a population of 1,200,000 in a metro area with a population of 6,400,000 in a country with a population of 320,000,000. Your odds of tripping over the winning lottery ticket are still better...

But nobody's liable to cough the winning lottery ticket onto you on your next plane flight because they just got done wiping diarrhea off a lottery winner and didn't take off their gloves right and then went flying around in a germ tube like a dumbass.
Then the news broke that the nurse in question had called the CDC and was told it was okie-dokie to hop on that plane despite recently having been all up in the grill of a terminal Ebola patient and feeling a mite feverish. Everybody jumped on that like Limbaugh on a pill bottle because it's fun to give the CDC a few more well-deserved pinata-whacks since it's sort of a way to also whack Obama at one remove...

...but how about we don't let Nurse Idiot off the hook, either? I thought that Libertarians and Tea Partiers and Conservatives were all about personal responsibility and accountability? I'm reminded of when firearms instructor Sonny Puzikas aired out one of his AIs and some nuthuggers were trying to hang the blame for that screwup on some imaginary "Range Safety Officer", because my response to the two rationales is the same:
It’s not okay to shoot your fellow range patrons EVEN… and I’d like to make this perfectly clear… EVEN IF THE RSO SAYS IT’S COOL.
If you've been wiping diarrhea off a dying Ebola patient in the last 21 days and are running a fever, it's not okay to get into a flying germ tube EVEN... and I'd like to make this perfectly clear... EVEN IF THE DUDE ON THE PHONE AT THE CDC SAYS IT'S COOL.

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #114...

A Savage Model 12LRPV in .223 Rem. This single-shot left-hand port/right-hand bolt rifle is seen here in its natural habitat: Someplace you could watch your dog run away for three days. The Accutrigger was nearly thought-controlled.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fire-Breathing Monster

Because it doesn't always have to be serious...
Black Dog Machine "Dragon Spitzlead" muzzle thingy.

Critical Ass

I ride a bicycle almost every day. I carry a gun almost everywhere.

I don't carry a slung carbine in the local chain fern bar. I don't build a cage of bamboo outriggers to ostentatiously demonstrate how much space I'm not taking up on the road when I'm riding my bike.

I'm sure that fans of one activity who think the other is awful will be able to come up with convoluted rationales for why their hypocrisy makes a whole crap-ton of sense.

(H/T to Alan on the Book of Faces.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I let a bunch of people shoot the PPX on Saturday, and everyone gave the gun favorable reviews: comfortable, easy to shoot, mild recoil, easy to shoot fast...
PPX in full recoil. Note spent case below shooter's right elbow with another one about to leave the ejection port.
Three hundred and twenty-seven rounds into the day, the gun suddenly ceased busting caps; pulling the trigger would drop the hammer, but not so much as the tiniest dimple would be left on the primer. At first, I feared a broken firing pin, but taking the slide off the gun and manually depressing the firing pin plunger while poking the rear of the pin itself resulted in normal amounts of protrusion from the breechface.
"For you, ze war is over."
Similarly, cycling the action with the slide off the gun showed that the little arm that moved the firing pin plunger out of the way was pivoting up as it should...

You dirty, dirty little gun! (With Leatherman MUT photobombing.)
But was it pivoting far enough? Noodling around over at turned up a few threads like this one. Maybe 1827 rounds without cleaning or lubing is enough to cause issues with the firing pin plunger gumming up and not moving out of the way like it should?

So the PPX is going to get its bath 173 rounds early and see if that restores proper function. If not, we'll toss it in a box and FedEx it to Fort Smith, AR.

*dons party hat and throws confetti*

Roomie's blog had a birthday!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"Just as good as" isn't, and other musings...

So, the carbine in the picture hasn't been used terribly hard. It's been to a Louis Awerbuck class, an Appleseed clinic, a couple of Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun matches, a Blogorado, and a couple range trips. It's only had anything like a malfunction twice: Once when I put a magazine in without enough force, and once when I used too much. While the muzzle's been boresnaked and I do keep it lubed, it hasn't been exactly what you'd call "cleaned" during that time.

John Johnston of Ballistic Radio is currently abusing a Knight's carbine, planning on putting 20k through it without cleaning, and KAC will put the thing on display at SHOT. Announcing this on his FB page brought the (sadly, expected) tidal wave of idiot speculation and blatherskite:
  • Accusations that he'd faked the picture of the dirty gun, just slathering grease on the exposed BCG.
  • Intimations that only an AK could do such a thing.
  • Some arglebargle that I didn't even bother trying to parse about direct impingement vs. piston-driven.
Of course, one could shop the "Derp Tier" and have an experience like this instead. (Thing is, those guys don't advertise themselves as "Derp Tier" and charge Colt/BCM/DD prices for some of their gats. Being an informed consumer is as important as ever.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Common Sense Regulations

A newly-minted Sheepdog!™ was apparently relieved of his shiny new open-carried heater by a thug who approached him with the classic "Can I bum a cigarette?" bump and then informed him, over a drawn gun, that he'd like his pistol, too.

Common sense gun laws would have prevented this, because the victim would have had to do a background check on the stickup man before forking over his gat, right Bloomberg?

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Because that makes sense.

From Foreign Policy comes this bright idea to isolate the Ebola outbreak:
First, arapid point-of-care diagnostic that can find Ebola virus in a single droplet ofblood must be developed. A point-of-care test avoids the need to ship samplesto a laboratory and then wait for days to learn the results. In the early daysof the HIV epidemic, firm diagnosis could mean a terrified week for worriedpatients -- today there are home test kits sold in drugstores across Americathat can reveal HIV results in an hour. And, of course, today women can learnwhether they are pregnant almost instantly with kits that they can purchasefrom neighborhood shops. Such Ebola-specific tests are in development now, modeled on diagnosticsalready used to rapidly find everything from abnormal cholesterol levels toblood glucose levels that are dangerous for diabetics to common infections.Some major donors have already provided funding to accelerate the developmentand testing of such devices, and it is well within the realm of realisticpossibilities that reliable exams will be ready for commercial development andapproval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in less than one month's time. 
See, travel restrictions wouldn't be a hundred percent effective, and plus they could be (and I quote) "viewed as discriminatory against people of color and/or Africans," so instead of enacting any travel bans now, we should wait until we spend enough grant money to invent unicorn diagnostic kits. After all, what are a few extra people vomiting blood when other people's feeeelings are at risk?

As things stand...

...I'm more worried about a lot of things than I am about Ebola, such as my parachute catching fire from being struck by lighting after bailing out of a plane that was hit by a meteor.

But I'm not one of the people who has to deal with Ebola patients. Some in the health care industry point out that the situation there isn't as sunshine 'n' roses as the CDC handwavery claims it is.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Do The Wave!

I do love me the Emerson "wave" opener. I carried a full-size Emerson Commander for years and have been using a Spyderco Delica with a licensed version of the "wave" since sometime last year. When I saw that Emerson was collaborating with Kershaw to do budget-priced versions of some classic Emerson designs, I couldn't say no. At the last Indy 1500 I picked up this CQC-5K from Brad's Knives.

With its convenient 3" blade, it carries pretty much as easily as the slightly slimmer Delica. I think I'll tote it around for a while.


Tab Clearing...

"That's not a knife, this is a knife..."

Shootin' Buddy and I met up with Mike Grasso to go browse the fun show last weekend. Mike handed me this sweet chopper, a Grasso Bolo-III.

Just like when you hold a real sword or a quality axe, the heft and balance of this thing in your hand makes you want to go swing it at something. There's a bit of limb-lopping that could be done on the grounds here at Roseholme Cottage; I think I need to go chop some stuff...

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A "Paul" of Wookies? An "Elneil"?

(With a big ol' hat tip to pal gvi over on the Book of Faces.)

Fun show yesterday...

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.
I'm pretty much tapped out on the fun gun budget, but it's always fun to go look, since you never know what you'll find. A lot of the small table guys who'd speculated deeply on 9/.40/.45 ammo over the last year didn't appear to realize that the drought was over and were bitching that they couldn't sell the stuff at scalper's prices. One guy, though, had decided he wasn't going to get caught holding and was blowing out a few cases of Golden Saber at not-unreasonable prices, and so I grabbed a box of 185gr .45ACP just because.

I know I said I wasn't going to get seriously attached to the PPX, but I acquired a fourth magazine for it.

Lastly, for those people who have old surplus rifle addictions, this purchase probably won't require too much explanation:

Assault clips!
6.5 Carcano on the left, with a Societa Metallurgica Italiana 1953 headstamp. (The vendor had it labeled as "Nazi WWII"; I guess the Nazis loaded it in their moon base.) 8mm Lebel Balle N in a Berthier clip on the right. In both cases the purchases were made for the en bloc clips more than the ammunition, since Carcanos and Berthiers, like all rifles with the Mannlicher clip-loading system, are next thing to useless without good clips. Note that both the Italian and French versions improved on Herr Mannlicher's system in that the clips can be inserted either way, while the Austro-Hungarian original had a very definite right-side-up orientation.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Once upon a time... a gun shop long ago and far away, there was a bunch of that Indian surplus .303 for sale. Tamara and A Gunsmith Who Shall Remain Nameless were standing behind the counter when a man came in and began looking over the merchandise.

The man saw the Indian ammunition and shook his head and said "You know, this stuff ain't even got gunpowder in it. It's all full of this stuff that looks like spaghetti. I took some apart with a genetic bullet puller." And then he left.

"He needed a genetic bullet puller," said Gunsmith Name Redacted To Protect The Innocent.

"Too late," said Tamara, "There was a kid in the car."

The End.

Anchor transplant...

The USN is currently without an Enterprise, but the Lincoln is getting her anchor. (There's an interesting photo essay on postwar carrier classes at the article.)

Brrr... The climate has changed.

The lowest daily high recorded for October 4th in Indianapolis was 49°F back in 1885; today they're calling for 50°F, but if it doesn't quite make it, it'll be the coolest 10/4 in the Circle City since Grover Cleveland was president and the presidential motorcade gave off methane and horse poop instead of NOx and CO2.

Winter is coming.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Oh, now you want in.

I'm on record as thinking the invasion of Iraq was a dumb idea and that the subsequent war was a waste of blood and treasure, but anybody interested in alternative history has got to wonder how things would have gone if the Turkish parliament had voted this way eleven years ago instead of putting a stick in the spokes of CENTCOM's plan?

Current Media Consumption...

  • Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond is a dramatized version of Ian Fleming's wartime biography that makes for some excellent popcorn-munching watching, partly because who doesn't like a good WWII costume drama with good acting and great production values and partly because it's practically a live-action Archer. Seriously, some of the characters are so close that you have to wonder if the creators of the animated series weren't inspired by the same source material.

  • Because I make a couple cameo appearances, I got to pre-read The Book of Barkley, but now I'm reading the final hard copy. You should, too.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Important Safety Tips!

Thank you for your continued cooperation.

Well, that's awkward...

I wanted to do some playing around with the chronograph and the .32 ACP. I wanted to get some FMJ and a couple different kinds of JHP and see what the velocity differences were between tiny little pocket pistols and the larger "pocket" pistols with 3.5" to 4.5" barrels, like the Colt 1903 or FN 1910 or 1922.

That's when I realized I don't have any really small .32s of the P32/Tomcat/PT732 variety... Well, I've got the Bayard 1908, but I don't know what its bore looks like. I guess I should check.

It's pouring out there! Time to buy an umbrella!

So, dude flies from Liberia to Texas with a few jillion viruses stowing away in his bloodstream, and the media freakout begins and everybody's running around...

Well, I mean, it's not a full-on freakout. The Today show has its priorities straight: They just segued from the Ebola story to something about George Clooney's wedding, hand to God. Before that they had Dr. Oz on, and I swear I thought he was going to tell me about herbal cures for hemorrhagic fevers.

...anyway, and everybody's running around repeating FEMA taglines to each other and burbling about preparedness and for heaven's sake, people! You people are the reason why nobody can buy ammunition for two months every time a Democrat gets elected!

You might note that the first three letters of "preparedness" are "PRE". You know, Latin for "before", "in front of", "ahead of". This is not a coincidence. The whole notion of preparedness is that when unexpected stuff happens, you have already taken steps to deal with it. It's the opposite of running to the store for bread and milk because the weatherman said it was going to snow; you don't need to do that, because you already have bread and milk. (Or if you're really a hardcore prepper, sacks of grain and a cow, I suppose.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Because I hate wasting good material at an away game...

Forum Poster: "Is the Internet a Valid Resource for Firearm Knowledge?"

Me: "Why are you asking the internet this question?"

(From a different thread this morning: "Zahal is the Boise State of the world's militaries: A good record in a weak division makes casual observers rate them a lot higher than cold objectivity probably warrants.")

The derpiest derp that ever derped.

Man, the nearly simultaneous occurrence of the .mil's Modular Handgun System announcement and the FBI's switching to 9mm has triggered an amazing flood of Dunning-Kruger derp and outright BS.

My previous favorite bit of internet derp has even been supplanted! I used to occasionally chortle quietly to myself thinking about the kid who had a
"modified kar98k/lee enfield/mosin nagant rifle (enfield bolt action, mosin nagants magazine system, and kar98k caliber and body)"
...but his replacement is a 7.62 Tok aficionado who'll
"...let you know how the next experiment goes.
17 Sabot Rounds. So far chronograph-ed at 2185 FPS @485 ft lbs pressure!
Amazing speed and penetration!!!
Made mine from cut down .223 rounds and cartridge shaper.
u have to double press them to get a great seal...
Is that a Lee, RCBS, or Hornady cartridge shaper? I want to make sure I'm double-pressing right.

(HINT: If you're going to BS on the internet, at least try and make your $#!+ sound plausible.)

The Language Of Planet Manhattan...

So the cast of the Today show this morning was still gawping and emoting about the armed intruder who vaulted the fence around the Lightbringer's manse and perpetrated lèse-majesté all over the carpet.

He was never the "intruder", always the "armed intruder" and I wondered to myself "If he was armed, why didn't he use his weapon on either of the White House cops he tussled with?" and then they showed a picture of his weapon...

A Spyderco pocket knife... "He's from Texas, honey," I yelled at the television, startling the cats, "That's not 'armed', that's 'dressed', you island-dwelling herbivore!"

Jesus, you cud-chewing Eloi, how do you people open packages? With your teeth, like an animal?

ETA: It occurred to me that these people buy a new trinket at the store in its shoplifting-resistant packaging and then they can't get at it! They wander the streets staring at their new toy behind its shiny transparent plastic barrier like the Little Match Girl outside the sweets shop window, helpless to actually play with their purchase until they reach home and their blunt-end scissors. Homo habilis could have used his obsidian flake to get into the thing and gone hooting across the savannah with his iPod in his hands, but the knifeless Homo cubiculus can't do a thing until he gets back to his cave.