27 April 2017


Once upon a time, I was going to be a ranger... but the party really needed a thief so...

Hanging around with Willard wearing his Ranger hat is informative.

People ask him if he was really a Ranger and there's often a quiz.

It really matters to them if someone is putting on airs.

I could see that, it's hard to get that little tab.

I am somewhat amused that nobody ever doubts that I was a tanker.  But then, who would claim to be that who was not?

Speaking Of Astra


Range Report

Molly has now been to the range since her return from Palmetto (where they did nothing).

It's a zero I can live with.  17 roounds into the top glob.

Finally took my Mauser 10/14 shooting as well.

It is not a tack-driver at 7 yards and mis-fed at least one round every magazine.  As a representative example of the breed, I guess I should be happy it shoots at all.

Willards Astra 400 is ready to shoot The Schmarta Kid out to Miller's Crossing.


"On the whole, I'd say it was easier to just buy cannon."
H. Knox.

26 April 2017

Rot Gut

It's not as bad as you'd expect from whiskey in a baggie.

It's aged four years!  It needs more time in the barrel, and there's hints that there's a great whiskey lurking under the harshness here.

I Can Hear The Tinkle Of Her Tears Falling

Senator Feinstein is likely feeling physical pain and is in tears this fine evening!

Not only does it have nearly all of the named scary features from the 94-04 Assault Weapon Ban Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Act, it's an AK variant.

Folding or Telescoping Stock: Check, folding AND telescoping!
Pistol Grip: Check.
Bayonet Mount: Check.
Flash Suppressor or Threaded Barrel designed to accommodate one: Check.  Although the threads on an AK and AKM weren't designed for a flash-suppressor.  They were designed to hold a blank adaptor.  The slant brake is not in any way a flash-suppressor.  However, ATF ruled early on that any threads constituted "designed to".
Grenade Launcher Mount: Nope.

Special thanks to Marv and Willard for making this happen!


Spent most of the evening talking The Boy down from being all Hulk-Mode.

It seems very linked to his blood sugar levels, as he's pre-diabetic.

His sugars spike and off to the races we go.


25 April 2017

Sounds Like A NASCAR Race

I bring you the Astra 400!

This one is in its original 9mm Largo, also known as 9x23mm Bergmann-Bayard.

It is similar in size and heft to the familiar M1911A1 and despite appearances the grip is comfortable and points easily.

Hilariously, it's so similar that you can use a US M1916 holster.

It's very similar to a Browning blow-back gun inside.

Takedown for cleaning is similar to Brownings too.

The safety will engage a notch in the slide that lets the groves in the barrel be rotated into a recess in the slide.  Then the whole barrel, recoil spring and slide just slide right off the front.

If, for some reason you need to get at the recoil spring, it's a little more involved.

There's a strong temptation to think that the knurled cap on the nose is stuck and you need to apply more force... be sure to read the instructions at that link!

The cap is keyed, you rotate it to align with grooves in the slide and it will fire out the front under spring pressure if you let it.  The reason you cannot freely turn it is there are lugs on the barrel bushing that block the grooves in the slide.

Nose cap and bushing as they normally sit.
Nose cap and bushing aligned for disassembly.
I am to blame for Willard buying this gun.  I started poking through the magazine box at the shop and noticed that there was a magazine for the Astra that's been sitting in the case since 2008.  Willard has now bought a gun he really didn't want because there was a spare magazine.

L->R 9x19mm Parabellum, 9mm Largo, .38 Super
He even lucked out and there's a local shop with almost a case of Santa Barbara 124gr ammunition for it.

Polish 6H4

Got a Polish AKM bayonet.  The Polish 6H4 bayonet is a copy of the Russian 6X4 without the saw edge back and keeping the metal scabbard of their 6H3 instead of an all plastic one like the 6X4.

You have to admire the salesmanship.

I talked him down a little.

It's nice to see how close I got to Com-Bloc bakelite with my PMAG dying adventures.

And It Would Be Cheaper Too

In 1964 Lyndon B Johnson declared war on poverty.

Notice that this war arrested the decline in the rate of poverty which had been declining on its own.

Correlation is not causation.


The correlation we have is that the massive spending engendered by LBJ and continued for the past 53 years have done nothing to reduce the poverty rate and that millions more people are living in poverty than were before we began this massive expenditure.

I'll throw my own causitive relationship in here.  The rate was coming down from 1959 because the economy was expanding.  The Economic Opportunity Act removed literally millions of able-bodied and capable workers from the labor pool and had a mainly deleterious effect on poverty because it established a floor to compare entry level work against.

Why get a job that doesn't pay substantially more than doing nothing?  Especially when the money to not work was substantially reduced in response to any, reported, legitimate income.

24 April 2017


Stopped off at 5-Guys tonight.  Ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, onions and pickles with sides of ketchup, relish and mayo.

That sure looks like the special sauce.  There's something ephemerally wrong, but it's 97% correct.

I declare success.  It is not the same as a Big Mac.  It is better in every conceivable way!  It's like if a Big Mac was made from food.


Have you ever bought a gun you didn't really want just because it came with spare magazines and/or a supply of ammunition...?

Are You Sick Of Blogging?

It appears, based on my Meatspace Blogroll, that meeting me in person nearly completely cures the urge to blog.

The only three on that list that still post regular, are just telling me about their podcast.

Japanese Import At Springfield

I am not sure I should explain why this video reminds me of Japan.

But if you know why I am reminded of Japan, it utterly changes what your mind's eye says they're holding at the range and what's pictured on their name-tags.

Let Me Make A Prediction

There's a lawsuit afoot.

Here's my prediction.

Mr Cox is going to Federal Pound You In The Ass Prison®, and he will remain there.

Most of his customers are as well.

This suit will go nowhere and change nothing.

I wish that it were otherwise, but I was paying attention when these states-rights preemption laws were being passed and listening to what legal scholars were saying about them.

They were symbolic and did nothing to change Federal law.  The best you could hope for was that the state law enforcement would not bother you or help the Feds when they came to get you; but it wasn't going to stop the Feds from coming to get you.

I don't think Mr Cox's suit will get any traction because NFA items don't matter to the 500 lb. gorillas of gun rights and the few NFA specific gun "rights" groups seem to have more in common with BATFE than most NFA owners.

I will dance a happy dance if this suit actually gets to the Supreme Court and gets a positive ruling; but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Internet Movie Ribbon Database

I wonder if it's worth the effort to start the research into what ribbons and medals appear on which character on what show.

I mean there's databases on guns and cars as they relate to movies and television.

I Am Troubled

They're dismantling Confederate memorials all over the place.

On one hand, I don't think that commemorating chattel slavery is something we should be doing.

On the other, erasing history is as great an evil as slavery ever was.

It's worse because many of these memorials mark and mourn the men who did not come home and were erected by the people who missed them.

Never Forget

While remembering the 6 million Jews murdered on Holocaust Remembrance Day, do try to remember the 5 million other people murdered in those camps who weren't Jews.

It's important because when dealing with Socialists, Communists and Fascists (I think I repeated myself) you can never say, "but I'm not a..." and be safe.

23 April 2017

A Hinderance

Looking for a new shot timer.

I have been unable to find a sundial that beeps.

22 April 2017

Scientists My Baby Smooth Ass

Earth Day Protest.

Earth Day is the idea that we can still manage to feed the present population if we were only to re-adopt "sustainable" farming techniques that were used when Spain had a globe spanning empire.

Methods that weren't really all that sustainable, to be honest.

History makes note of the devastation and famine from using these "organic and sustainable" methods for very long at all.

In the '70's when it was said that it was already too late to prevent mass starvation, they weren't crackpot idiots making the claim.  They were real scientists comparing crop yields to population growth and noticing that yields had plateaued.

They could not have predicted the green revolution.

In a nut shell, the Earth Day fanatics would have us resume cyclical famine.  Even if the yield per acre remained the same, going to a 4-field rotation would be at a minimum a 25% drop in overall production.

It would be more than that because crop rotation in some, presently, productive places would lose productivity with less optimal crops doing their replenishment thing.

How we grow crops today is actual, measurable, science; to the betterment and advancement of all humans everywhere.

Earth Day is a deep rooted desire to return to a day when life was nasty brutish and short.

Their Fascist brethren would also elevate kings and queens over us as well.  They wouldn't call them royalty, but it's got all the earmarks of a feudal and class-locked society.


There's a Bic pen in there.

I have to make about 70 of these things for The Boy's bowling league.

This is a companion item to the bottle lanyards I was making back in November.

Shootin' Faster And Risking Rebuttal

Lacking the vast and unlimited financial resources (insert laugh track) of professional gun writers to expend ammunition and attend gun schools, I am left to read about others experiences and to attempt to figure things out on my own.

What I've noticed is smooth IS fast.  But it's not the same smooth as a slow fire carefully aimed shot.

For the careful shot, I have time to see that a muscle or digit is slightly out of place and correct for it during the squeeze.  Shooting faster, there's not time to correct even if you do notice.

But I have noticed in doing a LOT of dry firing that am getting better at not having those things out of place and that it is habit forming.  Good habits.  It's improved my accuracy a great deal, especially with the J-Frame.

So far this aligns with my shotokan sensei and his admission, "first form, then speed, then power."

Smooth is the form.  If you cannot shoot smooth when shooting slow, you're not going to smooth up shooting fast.

As a Drill Sargent once put it, "This is basic fucking.  Stick it in, pull it out, repeat.  Later we'll talk about fancy stuff like licking and squeezing, but for now:  in out repeat."

Wise in his crude way, he knew you had to start somewhere.

Shooting well, slowly proves that you can shoot and hit the target.  Now that you know you can do it, try going a little faster.

But going faster...  Do all that smooth stuff, good; now, where did those sights go?  Oh, there they are!  Line them back up with each other, NO!  Line them up on the target!  WHAT'S TAKING ME SO LONG?

Absorbing the recoil while trying to get the gun back on target is completely and totally different from absorbing the recoil then putting the gun back on target.  A different set of muscle memory needs developed and this is where the shooting departs from the karate model.

Now we're riding a bicycle.

In your own words, take as much time as you need and as many pages as required:  Describe all of the steps you took to learn how to ride a bike.  Please be detailed, this is for ANSI compliance.

Not, "here's how to ride a bike" but "here's how you learn to ride a bike."

Will reading every step actually help much before you're up on two wheels trying not to fall?

You can use a similar analogy with swimming.  You don't know a lot until you're getting wet.

I found that upping my speed corresponded well with my learning to ride a bike.  I failed at lot then suddenly something went click and I was doing it!  Then I changed guns and couldn't do it any more.  There's something to be said about specializing.

Having said that, I've noticed that shooting a variety of guns has greatly improved my shooting overall.  With an unfamiliar gun I've often noticed bad habits accentuated then seen they're present on a familiar gun, but smaller in scope.

21 April 2017

Pressure Pressing Down On Me

The $100 rifle, Blanche Devereaux, has what might be a problem.

The round on the right looked just like the round on the left before firing.

I think we have some indications of excessive pressure.

It might not be the gun.  The ammunition is of unknown provenance, it could be loaded very hot.

Going to test it out with some known quantity rounds real soon.


One nice thing about modern cars is they tend to have means to access things that rarely need accessed without taking the whole assembly apart.

Having a drain plug for differential fluid rather than having to remove the rear cover is so much neater and cleaner.

Also, one of those cheap little pumps that screws into the top of the fluid bottle was well worth the $5!

Special thanks to JT for letting me use his superior jacking strategy (heh heh heh, he said jacking) to get the car level before draining the fluid.

20 April 2017

Only One Thing Now

Now the only thing at McDonalds I cannot get from some other place is a McMuffin.


The Simpsons - SJWs at Yale

You kind of have to admire something that makes you feel sorry for Montgomery Burns.

Am I Going To Have To Learn To Speak French?

I appears this blog is still mightily popular in France.

I cannot fathom it at all.

Just about the only French here is from Google's inadequate translation bot, and that's normally used to make a joke at French expense.

Of course, Jerry Lewis is held in high regard over there, maybe I just pluck a national chord just right as well.

Is The Thermostat Set Too High

Happy 128th birthday Adolf!

Satan might have to cancel, but I am sure your buddies Mao and Stalin will attend.  You guys have so much in common...

National leaders.

Brutal dictators.


In Hell.

It's What They Do

Venezuela just nationalized General Motors' plant down there.

And by nationalize, I mean seize.

And by seize, I mean stole.

And GM thinks they can settle this out in court.

You can tell that optimism won out over history at Renaissance Center.

When a socialist government takes over a previously capitalistic democracy, shutter your shit and move your stuff while they're still transitioning.  Call it a "planned renovation" or something, because if you don't get your gear out, it'll be stolen from you.

Staying in the nation that does this makes you an accomplice to the new regime because working with them to keep your plant open just a little longer only prolongs the agony as socialism works its universal misery magic on the populace.

19 April 2017

McThag's Legal Drama Day 47

It is over.

The state (finally) filed that they were not going to file.

I stand un-accused.

Today is truly a happy day.

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, good wishes, prayers and (most especially) hard earned cash.

Sad Creatures

A friend related a sad story to me last night.

This is not unique to the specific Cadillac forum he's talking about, but it's typical.

The Cadillac CTS is a traditional front engine car that spins the rear wheels.  Some do have all wheel drive, but the default state is rear wheel drive.

The engine architecture is remarkably similar to that in Camaros of the same vintage.

This leads people of a certain bent to upgrade the performance.

Which brings us to our sad little creatures.

They stalk this Cadillac forum looking for any thread where mention is made of doing any manner of performance upgrade and cry their litany of, "why didn't you buy a CTS-V if you wanted performance?"  Sometimes coupled with, "when you get done paying for that, you could have bought a V!"


Well, for starters, that direct injection V6 gets a lot better mileage and even with the hit of adding a turbo or supercharger, is still doing better on gas.

And the cost of adding a supercharger doesn't dent the price differential between a normal CTS (about $30k) and a CTS-V (about $80k) [filtered for low miles and excellent condition on ebay].  Even letting the miles add up and condition slip only lowers the price difference to $30k.

Heck, I could plunk in a V8 from just about any platform with the LS architecture for less than $30k into just about ANY car, regardless of if the original maker even made a V8 car in their entire history.

And before we delve too far into this nut, the first generation CTS-V will arguably be worse than converting a V6 car to a V8 and drivetrain stolen from a 5th gen Camaro.  The first iteration of the V was notoriously fragile, especially in the differential gears.

But getting back to our miserably sad creatures...

They've missed that for many hot-rodders the process is the goal.  They cannot stand that someone would enjoy something differently from them.

The Corvette equivalent is the guy who can't fathom you changed anything on your car because, someday, those will cost you coveted NCRS points.  Guys who are baffled that you're actually out there driving your car and "destroying the resale value".

Both Corvette and Cadillac fora have a contingent where the solution to any problem is, "take it to the dealer."  You might recall my adventure here, taking it to the dealer would have been at least a $700 repair.  For a $15 part, a couple hours labor and running a calibration routine.  Clearly someone is made of more money than I am.

The "take it to the dealer" people would also end up spending almost $3k on brakes, which will be no better than stock because they will be OEM parts.  $400 and some DIY gets better brakes.

These guys even eschew performance shops who could do that brake job for about $1,500 and have better than stock stopping power.

Someone will certainly demand to know why I didn't get a Z06 or ZR1 if I wanted better brakes...

Just In Case

I hit WeaponsMan's blog and saved all the archive pages as "Webpage, Complete" to a hard drive.

I don't think that got the comments, but it got all the posts.

I'm working on saving the whole thing, with comments.

I would hate to see this page go like Lex's because nobody has the passwords to keep the site up.

Not The Outcome We'd Hoped For

Hognose, aka Weaponsman, aka Kevin O'Brien has gone through the door at the end of the hall.


I did not get the chance to properly thank him for sending donations to my legal troubles my way.

Now I cannot.

Whomever said that while it's OK to leave something unsaid, be prepared to leave it unsaid forever, was dead on.

This drink is for you!

18 April 2017

A Day Consumed By Locusts

Setting off the bug bombs again just to make sure we've gotten all the damn eggs.

Going to get the bombs, clearing things off and then the blast and soak times just devour the entire morning.

Living in the future, however, means that I can sit on my back patio and still surf the intertubes on my laptop.

I picked a nice day for it.  Not yet too hot and humid here on the Suncoast of Florida.

17 April 2017

When Seconds Count

The cops will mill about doing essentially nothing for nearly three hours!

h/t Say Uncle

I think this says two things most clearly.

First, in addition to being your own first-responder, you might be your ONLY responder.

Second, stay the fuck out of gun-free zones.  Avoid them like the dangerous places they are.

Spend Your Money Elsewhere

Palmetto State Armory returned the AKs today.

Their letter informs us that we were using the wrong front sight tools and there was nothing wrong with the front sights which would not move.  They told us to get a $31 Magnamatic AK Front Sight Tool.  This drips with irony because here's one front sight tool they sell ($14.99 out of stock).  And here's the other tool they sell ($3.99 out of stock).

The $37 Arsenal tool moves them, thankfully.  On mine the Arsenal tool broke the sight loose with a snap, obviously breaking the burr that was trapping it.  That alone tells me they did not actually attempt to move my sight.  With the Ferrari of front sight tools, I can now adjust the elevation of the Fiat of AKs.

Slow clap.

Yet I cannot help but notice that the $12 Tapco tool moves Yugo and Chinese AK sights without problems.

So spend your AK dollars on a WASR rather than a PSAK.

From A Time Long Ago

When gamer meant you had dice that weren't all cubes and video games were something you played at an arcade.

Time Compression

I recall an odd moment from childhood when I was still learning concepts like permanence and how clocks and calendars work.

Jesus was born on December 25th.

Dead on Good Friday, not even four months later.


I did not have the concept of years plus just short of four months yet, but I had grasped that he couldn't have died 8 months before he was born...

If my grand parents had tried to get me to understand The Resurrection the question would have certainly have been why do we celebrate Easter days after Good Friday when he was born 8 months after he died...

That my parents were agnostic at best probably tells you that my grand parents weren't very good at pitching religion to children.

Whitewashing In Yellow?

Remember this?

Turns out that Tilda Swinton was cast as a Gaelic Ancient One rather than Kamar-Tajian Tibetan because of Chinese sensibilities.

Kamar-Taj being uncomfortably close to Tibet for the Chinese government to allow Dr Strange to be allowed into the country.

Who's racist now, Social Justice Warrior?

I Should Have Stayed In College

And become an officer...

In case you think that officers aren't enduring deprivation, that 12 year scotch is probably a blend.

Teach The Controversy

Manatee tastes like the finest porterhouse steak.  Even better than wagyu!

Spanish and English sailors discovered this as early as the 16th century.

Manatee, however, are not endangered in the slightest.  They are plentiful, but reserved as food animals for the eliterest Bunsenbarger Club members.

Prayers And Well Wishes For Hognose

He's hit a rough patch, and it's medical.

There's no details there.

He did me a good turn a few days back and I want him to get well soon.

16 April 2017

Did You Know

There are no survivors of a manatee attack?


Read this.

Here's my take.

"Fearless Girl" should be removed because it's not part of "Charging Bull" except through appropriating a portion of the sculpture not owned by the people who modified it.

Because "Fearless Girl" is not a complete work.  It requires "Charging Bull" or it loses its meaning.

It also alters the meaning of "Charging Bull", in fact, nullifying it.

Appropriate?  They flat out stole "Charging Bull" to be part of their "Fearless Girl" sculpture.

Theft is wrong.  Even if you're sending a popular message with your thievery.


Politically Incorrect, that is...

There's only one nation that survived unfettered immigration.

The US.


Brutal racism.

There's just no other way to describe the process that two waves of Irish and Italians were subjected to to make Americans of them.

Since Irish and Italians are white, perhaps it's not racism per se.  And the first wave of Irish who'd been assimilated heartily participated in the process of the second wave.

But the treatment forced the children and grand children of Micks and Wops to become Americans to gain access to the full American dream.

The shitty little ghettos weren't allowed to grow to become enclaves.

Yes, you could live your entire life in a "Little Italy" and never know the world surrounding it.  Some did.  But you couldn't leave without either having a damn good reason, or being able to blend among the natives.

It's not a pretty process.  It's extremely harsh.  It's got massive flaws where skin color announces the origins (but we always forget that, before LBJ, our darker toned people had very nearly pulled it off.  You may thank the War On Poverty for ruining that!).  Chinese immigrants DID pull it off!  Mexican immigrants pulled it off for decades, nearly a century, before we decided that unfettered diversity was better than assimilation.

It was understood that if you were to move to America you'd be expected to become an American or have a very hard time of it.  And we made Americans, by the literal ship-load.

Somewhere along the line the process was replaced with hate for hate's sake.  Again we can thank the Democrats for fucking it up.

I marvel at the make-up of the 1930's America.  Yes, there were black neighborhoods and that's where blacks were expected to live; yet the houses were the same as everyone else.  You could not tell a white neighborhood apart from a black one without seeing the people who lived there.

Narc'd Out

When I killed my Facebook account the first time it was because two old friends had decided to tag-team me over gun control.

It was the typical bullshit, but with a twist.

They were both using the exact responses and positions that got my goat the worst.

So remarkably similar in their responses, I wondered if they were coordinating.

They didn't have each other on their friends lists, so I don't think they were talking directly.

When I gave up on another friend, I noticed something as I was unfriending them.

He had BOTH of my old friends on HIS friend list.

This coupled with his debate style made a clicking sound in my mind.

Nothing I can prove.  Might just be paranoia.

Mr Easterbrook There's A Checkers Just Around The Corner

McDonalds Is Doomed

You know what else Checkers doesn't do?  They don't fuck up my order 6 times out of 10.

But my fast food market has Arby's, A&W, Burger King, Checkers, Culvers, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy's in addition to MacShack.

There's only two things on the menu at McDonalds that I can't get at the competition, Big Mac and McMuffin.

But there's all manner of things I can get at the competition that I cannot get from McDonalds, and "hold the SJW" appears to have joined the list.

I guess their institutional memory forgot their foray into gun politics back in 92.  It was the first boycott I participated in.

McDonalds has been semi-actively ticking me off for a while, well they just went active.

Easter Movie

Just like how I don't watch sports, I love sports movies...

I'm an Atheist who loves movies based around The Bible.

A particularly well done film is "Risen".

15 April 2017

Let Me Suggest An Alternative Drug

Arkansas has been banned from using their preferred concoction to execute prisoners?

Use heroin.

So what if they die in a moment of pure bliss, you can't say it's cruel.

14 April 2017

Feline Critique

Dingus trills with every click and clack of me doing dry fire practice or just coon fingering the collection and checking chambers.

It's like...

CLICK -- -- ddddrrrowl!

Clack clack -- -- mrrrrowwl.

Most Affected

The Lovely Harvey runs a bowling league for special needs kids like The Boy.

During the league's season there's two scheduled pizza parties.

She discovered today that you cannot pay Domino's cash if the total, including taxes and fees, comes to more than $35.

The same goes for the other national chains with differing amounts ranging from $30 to $50.

This lead us to wonder, "Where do strippers order pizzas from?"

The cash-free economy has left these people behind!

Because There Are No Comments

People cheer about the Navy lobbing 59 TLAMs at something and fret about the Air Force dropping a MOAB because the former is the military shooting things...

...the latter...

Well, the Air Force has long been considered an honorable alternative to military service.

Long Delayed Test

Long ago I lost the magazine that had come with my SIG P238.

This gun is from the dark days where they cheaped out and only shipped the guns with one magazine, so I'd bought a Pro-Mag magazine for it.

The spring on that Pro-Mag did not last very long at all...

So I bought two extended magazines for it, then promptly forgot them in the magazine box because I'd started carrying a .357 J-Frame.

Today I decided to see if those magazines worked!

They do!  With Magtech ball, Federal Low-Recoil JHP and Speer Gold Dot JHP.

I think it improves the grip and appearance of the little gun while doing very little to compromise its ability to hide in a pocket.

No more dangling pinky!

The guy at the range who was carrying the Peacemaker has upgraded his work-carry gun to a .45 Colt Schofield 5".


I took 4" off my cane last night.

Today is the first day I gimped around on it.

That is much better.

VA Medical

Got my blood drawn (again) and gave a urine sample (again).

No idea what they did with the previous samples.

This time was in prep to getting a primary physician assigned.