27 March 2015

Retro AR

The M16 series evolved over its production (and still is evolving).

One of the things I find interesting is how you can date a weapon within at least a year by numerous small features.

It becomes like wine...

Colt, M16A1, 1969, before the rains...

Why Does It Always Surprise You?

I am continually astonished to find people who are confused about someone behaving in accordance with their religion.

What's so hard to understand here?

Likewise I am constantly baffled, as an atheist, with the expectation that I confirm to the expectations of someone else's religion.

Then on top of it all, I cannot fathom how many atheists combine those and insist that the religious conform to their expectations of behavior and display no behavior related to faith.

26 March 2015

Color Matching

I decided that Sabrina needed to be returned to the XM177E2 I set out to make instead of the GAU-5/A I settled for.

But finding an suitable A1 upper has been a slog.

I finally found an LM marked upper.  These were made just before the M16A2 began issue to boot-strap the M16A1's long enough to bridge the gap.

The gray of the early M16 series gets progressively darker as time goes on, so the LM upper is much darker than the 'Nam vintage gray of Nodak's lowers.  Since Tabitha is a clone of the M16A1 I was issued in basic (for the very few times I was) and I was in basic just as the M16A2 was being issued to tank units... the mismatch of the colors is appropriate for her.

I moved the NDS marked Nodak A1 upper back over to Sabrina and at last my hand is whole.

Well Thank God He Didn't Use A Gun

He might have killed someone...


A carefully vetted pilot has just (apparently) killed more people with an autopilot setting than... pick a mass shooting, any mass shooting.

25 March 2015

Mechanical Aptitude For The Win

Someone stepped on the magazine housing for Martta.  She wasn't feeding smoothly.

Some wedging and bracing, a couple love taps with the hammer straightened the curve.

Then some judicious filing to correct for someone's attempt to fix the interruptor notch.

Now it's like buttah!  Can't even blame Bubba, this is the remnants of a field repair.

 It's fixed and it looks and works better than I started.

I am sometimes very saddened that this sort of can-do know-how has fled from our society in so many places.

I am not sure if I am more sad that some people try and make it worse because they never learned how to run a file rather than a Dremel; or if I am more sad that some people never even try.

I Volunteer

To be Bowe Bergdahl's defense attorney!

Because he deserves the kind of legal defense that I can provide him.

Stepping In It

Indiana is poised to allow people to stop selling cake to people who contrive a religious objection for doing so.

As I understand it this was because the state was forcing them to sell cake to people whom they'd rather not do business with because of their religious principles.

What I am sketchy about is where the power to force someone to do business with anyone for any or no reason comes from.

Before someone says, "the courts," I am dubious that the judicial branch actually has the authority to grant powers that aren't already available to the legislative.  If congress can't enact, then judge can't either.

This issue pisses me off because where was the demand that Muslim cab drivers haul drunks around or unaccompanied women home from liquor stores?  Isn't that the same thing as refusing to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple?  Yet it's OK for Muslim cab drivers in Minnesota to cite religion as a reason to refuse service but not OK for Christian bakers in Indiana?

Then there's freedom of association.  I've always had trouble with the idea that a business couldn't choose its clientele on any or no basis.

Forcing businesses to cater to people they don't want to do business with seems to stem from the civil rights movement and I think we did the wrong thing for the right reasons.  What we really accomplish is to hide the hate.  To make it hidden makes it insidious.

The fallout from that is we can no longer openly hate anyone in several classes, for any reason.

I, for one, want the hate and bigotry out in the open.  So I can avoid doing business with bigots!  Forcing them to hide the hate means I can't know who's a bigot and I'll end up doing business with them myself.  I don't want bigots to prosper!

Also, importantly, I don't want anyone who hates me in particular to be handling anything I am going to eat.

24 March 2015

Hmmmmmm Beer

Did you know that SAKO's first factory location was in a defunct brewery?

And that they were founded to be the sole supplier of rifles to the Soujeluskunta (SKY or Civil Guard)?

The Army and Civil Guard split in Finland is a bit fascinating to me.

Calling the Civil Guard the equivalent to our National Guard misses that it was entirely independent of the army.  It's not a "mere" militia because it was more active and was a state institution.

The main purpose of the Civil Guard was to sit back and keep Suomi from going Communist.  The idea was that they'd declared independence from Russia for a reason and going commie and rejoining was stupid.  An independent military whose sole job was to prevent a single political movement and was kept strong enough to take on the actual army.

Of course after World War 2, The Soviets demanded the SKY be disbanded because it was a fascist organization.

Near as I can tell neither Finland or its Civil Guard were actually fascist.  What they were was a nation, pinned against neutral Sweden and being invaded by the USSR, and because The Soviets were allied with the US and UK they really only had one place they could ask for help; The nazis.

I think that assistance and the Finnish use of a swastika for it's military roundels makes people think NAZI.  Except that they'd been using that roundel since WW1...

23 March 2015


A SAKO Kiv/39 made in 1942.  She's in far more original shape than Reeta, Bubba didn't attempt to refinish Martta's stock!

Edit to add:  The wood smells like I remember log cabins and log playground equipment in the summer.

She came from Pat Burns, who's been emptying a warehouse of Kiv/39 for at least five years.

I love the earlier pattern of engraving on the SAKO guns a lot more than the Tikkakovski and VKT guns.  Note also the scoured Peter II seal, which I think means it was a Soviet gun at one point.  I don't think the Finns bothered to scour the imperial seals off their guns.
1916 Tula hex receiver.  A year newer receiver than Hanna, but seven years separated as Finn rework.
L to R: Ase- ja Ampumatarvikevarikko 1 mark (AVT1 or Arms and Munition Depot 1), SAKO proof mark and Suomen Armeija (SA or Finnish Army) property mark.
SAKO marked cocking piece.
The rest is the usual mix of recycled Russian parts, mostly Tula.

Fixed Success

Got the fixed stock from Cavalry Manufacturing today.  This is really more like it!

I substituted an A1 buttplate for the included A2 because I prefer the rounded corners to the square.

Better cheek weld, much less wobbly.  It's all good!

It seems familiar somehow...

Aw Darn

Reading The Firearm Blog and I discover that MSAR has stopped.

While bullpups are something you either like or not, I'm still of the opinion that if more people doing more things is healthier than fewer people doing the same thing.

Variety being the spice of life as it were.

I think the real killer app here was Steyr re-entering the market with the AUG than a real failing with MSAR.  The market for an AUG is for people who want an AUG, and really the niche for an AUG clone was only there as long as there was no genuine Steyr.

22 March 2015

Being Blunt

Officer, when we rise up in mass and elect legislators and give them a mandate to pass a particular law...  A law that you claim has a negative effect on "officer safety"...

What we are saying is, "We don't fucking care, Officer, when your safety impedes our rights; we'd rather have our rights."

If you're unhappy with this, Mr-Police-Union-Spokesman, perhaps a different line of work is more to your liking.

I'll repeat something that was given to me when I was in the Army; only because you like to dress more like soldiers than cops now; "Shut up and soldier."

21 March 2015

It Finally Clicked

Amazon has become what K-Mart, Sears and Target were when I was a child:

A place to get what you want without going to ten other places; now without even heaving my fat ass out of my desk chair.

Because Beer

Why do I prefer Finnish Mosins made by SAKO over VKT or Tikkakoski?

SAKO started out in a brewery.

This Again

DSA has apparently changed over to a casting for their receiver.

There is a predictable outcry about forging being better.

If they are using the same steel as they did when they were making forgings then, yes, a casting will be weaker, wear faster and fail sooner.

For a given composition, forging will tend to be stronger and more ductile.

But there are many many grades of steel.

There are cast steel compositions today that are just as strong and tough as the forgings from the 1950's.  There are cast compositions that are much better than the old forgings too, and some of them end up being a lot cheaper.

There are compositions that cannot be forged without losing desirable properties, so they're cast only.

You want to know something we don't know?

The exact composition of the steels that DSA is using.  Unless we know that, we don't really know if the casting will be a worse part than the forging.

Before we panic we should remember that the forging for an FAL receiver is nearly entirely discarded during finish machining.  A casting actually lets them get closer to the finished part before finish machining, so less material is wasted.

If the finished properties of the cast metal is similar to the forged, this is all win.

All that said, they might have gotten cynical and decided that their customers aren't ever going to shoot enough to ever stress the receiver and it being 50% weaker is acceptable.  They definitely have to be looking at what the market will bear for cost per rifle.  If the customers won't buy a gun because it's too expensive, it does you no good to make the best one ever made!

20 March 2015

Too Short

Got my MOE Fixed Carbine Stock.

In a word, it's short.

1.75" shorter than a CTR at full extension.

One inch shorter even than an M16A1 buttstock, which is a good length for me.

What this stock is sized for is the shoulders squared to the target, hurts my elbows Chris Costa gladiator slave training technique... if you also use a plate carrier.

For just under $30 it's a great deal.  If you're comfortable shooting squared to the target, it's probably a good stock, it's solid, sturdy and well made (duh Magpul) it's simply too darned short for me.  If it were an inch longer, perhaps I could make it work.  With that in mind I'm going to look for one of those extended butt pads I hear tell about.

19 March 2015

Welcome To My World Officer

Via Popehat

What is most discouraging is that when police officers respond to a call, those officers must now be concerned that someone sitting in hindsight, from the safety of a courtroom, will not only question their actions, but also their credibility. 
-- Police Union President Daryl Turner
Gee, you mean like if I were defend myself, Daryl?

Salient Point

Tam reminds me that if I buy an AK with a stock and a 16"+ barrel... replace the barrel with something < 16" and remove the stock, I have made an NFA regulated short barrel rifle.

But if I buy a bare receiver, and make an identical gun, it's a pistol...

It's all part of the ATF's magical "once a, always a" world.  Once a gun is a rifle, it's always a rifle.

Take that AK "pistol"...

Add a stock and it's now a rifle.  A short barrel rifle unless you replaced it with something 16+ inches long.  Removing the stock doesn't return it to pistol status EVER!

My head is so scarred from the desk that I am going to be mistaken for a devout Muslim.

Base Profit

I've been a long running fan of GURPS for a long time.

I think it will now be a cold day in Hell before Steve Jackson sees another penny from me.

On March 13th he says:
See, this is why we need better medicine. Need better medicine NOW. Need better medicine YEARS ago. Not the stupid, piggish American insurance-profit-driving system, and not the earnest British "Get in line, it's cheap and you get what you pay for" system, and not the "Sorry, nothing can be done, lie down and die now" system that so much of the world suffers under, but actual medicine.

Piggish American insurance profit driven system, Steve?  So you don't believe someone should be paid for the services rendered?

On March 16th though...
I will not be appearing at Chi-Fi, due to bad communications and non-payment. If you had hoped to see me at that show, I'm very sorry - but the con chair is no longer returning my calls or mail, I haven't even been reimbursed for the plane ticket, and the only other committee member I have ever spoken to could do nothing but refer me back to the chair. I don't know what's going on there, but it will be without me.
I see.  It's OK for YOU to make money, but not for THEM to make money.

Fuck you Mr Jackson.

17 March 2015

To The Man In The Green Kilt

Scotland and Ireland are not the same.

The "Irish" kilt is an affectation of Scottish kilts without a tartan for non-Scots Gaelic regiments.

That nearly day-glo green plaid thing you're wearing is not a Tartan or Irish.  Irish regimental kilts are a solid color.

On St Patrick's Day, the whole world is Irish, and you're dressed as if you were an Irishman who desperately wants to be Scottish.

There there, Blossom.


Spell checkers will not save you from using the wrong word spelled correctly.

Uncle Rolf's Estate

I've had an idea for a short Traveller campaign for a long time.

It is 245-1120.

"Uncle" Rolf Haut Janisansen, Baron Efate, Colonel (Ret) Imperial Marines.  Veteran of both the Fourth and Fifth Frontier wars.  Dhetskna Khuegsedzgulghae Lloea (The Burning Ear Parasite) to the Vargr.   Tladr iez chiadl'r'njda jda tladr zhdanel   (The Ghost Hammer) to the Zhodani.

Baron Efate.

Bloody Rolf from his ownership of a mercenary company during the Fifth Frontier War and earning his patent of nobility from the vicious fighting during the siege of Efate.

He made a promise and established trusts and endowments so that the people left without spouses and or parents from losses in his unit from the 4th Frontier War wouldn't have to depend on the insufficient stipends from the Imperium.

You know him as a jovial old man whom had endless patience for you as children.

He died a very rich man barely two years after being created Baron Efate.

His title went to his biological daughter, as did most of the wealth, but ownership of his mercenary company has not been disbursed.

The players are the descendants of those killed in action from Force Ensign (later Force Captain) Janisansen's platoon (later company) during the 4th Frontier War; who have completed honorable active service in the Imperial Army, Marines, Navy, Scout or Merchant Service.

What remains to be distributed is the mercenary company, its assets and Imperial license.  Those assets include three Broadsword class mercenary cruisers.

There has been a long running dispute over who gets the mercenary license and the ships.  The unit was deactivated, but not disbanded, at the end of the Fifth Frontier War in 1110 when Rolf got his title.  The executive officer naturally assumed she'd be the one taking over the unit when Rolf retired.

What she's inherited is an endowment and trust that is supposed to provide for the widows and orphans of Rolf's Raiders LLC, an endowment which is well funded but Major Helgrade sees it as an accountant's job not honorable soldiering; so she's always coveted running The Raiders.

The campaign begins at the final reading of the will.

All of the legal documents and the complete will are released to all interested parties.

To put it simply: "Ownership of Imperial License EEM3201201185 and associated properties and assets are in dispute.  Therefore, the paperwork is your clues, and it's a race!  First come, first serve.  The only rule being you cannot split up.  GO!"


I think I am officially sick of the Florida NRA; which near as I can tell an entirely Marion Hammer entity when it's in Tallahassee with the legislature is in session.

Now there's the BATFE churning away at Rule Making 41P and forcing the members of a trust to get CLEO sign-off.

Someone asked Ms Hammer if there was any movement from the NRA to get "shall certify" put into effect here in Florida.

They got, "Ms. Hammer surfaced the idea with the NRA's legislative branch and they did not think it prudent as - if I recall correctly - BATF could potentially reject all Forms 4 signed by a CLEO on the grounds that he/she did not have discretion to approve the transfer if Florida law were worded such that the CLEO was required to approve NFA acquisitions."

So ATF has been declining Form 4's from Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah?

Really guys?

Tennessee has had their shall sign since 2003! I'm afraid that she's going to have to show that it's a REAL problem before she opposes it.

Some of us remember 2011 when Ms Hammer opposed SB-234 and HB-517, we watched her doing it, and then when she got mad at us for noticing. Mostly because it stopped being HER bill done HER way and became an open carry bill.

But hey, that was FOUR YEARS ago, we're supposed to have forgotten by now, right?

Sell Or Not

I am thinking I want a better example of a Finnish Kiv/39.  It's "1942" made, 1942 marked like they all were, but most likely from the '50's.  The B Barrel guns use barrel blanks purchased from Belgium and were likely put together by VKT.  It's in about average overall shape with an excellent bore.

I think it's worth about $350 plus shipping.  Any takers?  I'm waffling because putting it on Gunbroker is a commitment.  Things go wrong when I commit...

VKT Proof and Asevarikko 1 (Army Weapons Depot One) Acceptance Marks

The Receiver Is Originally From Tula And Was Made In 1899!
Remington marked bolt too!

16 March 2015

Open Carry

Some people are more ready for open carry than others...


Took the time out the other day to confirm that 62gr XM855 hits to the same point of aim as 69gr Sierra Match King (0.894" long).

This isn't a stretch because the steel portion of the SS109 design makes it light for its length (0.906").

The 77gr Sierra Match King that's in Mk 262 Mod 0 is 0.996" long.  1:9 doesn't typically stabilize it or the 1.15" long 63.7gr M856 Tracer.


1:12 does stabilize the 0.91" long 54gr M196 Tracer and the 0.76" long 55gr M193 Ball.  Hmmmmm.

Then why doesn't 1:12 stabilize M855 since it's the same length as M196?

In a word, velocity.  M196 is exiting the muzzle at around 3,200 feet per second.  M855 is just puttering around at 3,025.  My favorite SBR load is at 2,850 fps.  Mk 262 is even slower at 2,733 fps.  Slower means you need more spin to get the same stabilization.  The math is above my pay grade, I'm just regurgitating the conclusions.


When asking someone whom you owe money for another loan; you should at least acknowledge the standing debt and express some form of remorse for putting your hand out again.

Denying that the debt existed in the first place...

Bad form.


I've reached the point where I no longer consider a collapsable stock on an AR a desirable feature.

It's beard ripping power is undeniable!

For a while it was cool that it was a banned feature, and it still has that cachet to it, but not so much that I will demand it.

Unfortunately, the fixed stock from an M16A2 suits me unwell.  The corners of the butt and placement of the swivel are wrong for me.  The trap-door M16A1 stock fits me right as does the Magpul MOE rifle stock.

In the near future I'll be testing Cavalry Manufacturing's C1 stock in purple on Valentine and seeing just how short "too short" is with a Magpul MOE Carbine Fixed stock on Kaylee (she's always the guinea pig isn't she?).

Plus we might even check out some other options since poor suffering Willard fell victim to Black Rifle Disease via the vector of cheap lower receivers.  He's fighting the disease, keep him in your prayers.

15 March 2015

You Know...

All of this mess about pistols made from rifles would not be a problem at all if they'd just ruled such guns to be Any Other Weapons and thus restricted by the NFA.

Not that's any better, just bad differently.


Single stack 9x19mm Glock?

I'm holding out for a double stack .32 ACP.

Fer Chrissakes, Gaston, Savage managed to do this more than 100 years ago!

Doing It The Hard Way

I am willing to bet that the accepted gunsmith way of cutting the notch into the ejector isn't the way it was done when making military guns.

The gunsmith way is a bunch of careful measuring and duplicating the old notch in the new part and lots of installing the ejector and making sure the notch lines up with the hole.

Wanna bet that the original way of making that notch was to fixture the frame so that the hole was lined up with a drill bit or end mill, the ejector installed and then the drill was passed through the hole in the frame, cutting the notch for the pin?

Or that the hole in the frame for the pin was drilled with the ejector installed?

Why do I bet this?

Because it's a process that makes sense on a production line where every part is made to be identical and interchangeable.


My position is further bolstered by the hole being missing from the finish drawings of the frame.

14 March 2015


It is 3-14-15 9:26:53

That won't happen again for a while.

There Is No Standard

Reading about New Jovian Thunderbolt's adventures in 1911 gunsmithing really brings something to the fore.

There is no such thing as AN 1911.

Every single manufacturer has their own thing going on.

Something he mentions several times is how Springfield Armory uses some sort of epoxy instead of a pin to retain the ejector.

I want to know when this change happened, because my Springfield Armory M1911 A1 USGI has the pin.

So does my Colt for that matter.

I collect military tech manuals.  The 1911 manual doesn't call out all of the meticulous fitting and measurements I've been reading about.  It's put in the part, does it work?  If not discard this obviously defective part!

TM 9-1925 (09NOV42):

13. General
     a.  Since all parts of the pistol are standardized as to their dimensions, repairs to a large degree consist of making the necessary replacement of worn, bent, or broken parts. In some cases, parts can be bent back or otherwise returned to their proper shape with satisfactory results. This applies to the leaves of the sear spring, the trigger, and the hammer strut. A worn sear notch in the hammer may be corrected by stoning or filing. Dents in the magazine usually may be removed and the lips returned to original shape by bending. Burs on muzzle of the pistol should be stoned off as outlined in paragraph 11 d (1).
14. Replacement Of Parts
     a.  Where parts or assemblies are broken or worn so as to render them unserviceable, they must be replaced from stock.  Often only parts of the assembly will be worn or broken and others can be salvaged.  However, should it take more time to remove serviceable parts than they are worth, the entire assembly should be scrapped.  In quantity overhauling of pistols, the parts of each should be kept separate for ease in determining to which pistol they belong.
15. Repairs
     a.  Burs on cams and on other smooth surfaces should be removed to make the part serviceable.  A very fine file is used, and care is taken to remove as small an amount of metal as possible.  Where roughened surfaces are present on moving parts, an oil stone should be used.
     b.  Correction of trigger pull.  Pistols received from the field usually have a trigger pull varying over a slightly wider range than new or repaired pistols (par. 3 a for trigger pull data).  Too heavy or too light pull may be corrected by stoning the mating surfaces of the sear and hammer until they meet squarely.  Do not stone off the notch in the hammer at an angle as this may decrease the safety of the pistol.  The trigger pull also may be varied up to approximately 1/2 pound by bending the leaf of the sear spring slightly.  The mainspring may require replacement if the pull remains too light after making these corrections.  All pistols should be tested for trigger pull, as outlined in paragraph 7, after making repairs, and before they are again placed in storage or service.

That's the entire repair section of the TM.  The rest is about how to tell if a part needs replaced and the procedure for swapping it.  There's obviously tribal knowledge imparted to the user of this manual that they get from armorer's school, but it's also clear that they expected parts to just drop in.

13 March 2015

Token Picture

The Electrolysmith without the grip spacer.  Just for picture purposes because it handles so much better with the spacer on than without.

It has me wondering about the history of such things...  Dunno where to start looking, to be honest.

It Shoots

The S&W Electrolysis Rust-Eject shoots!

Here's 7 yards.

Six shots!  I was doing so good then shifted my grip slightly and got that last round as a flier for my trouble.

Just for fun; 25 yards.

Everyone came home with the same number of fingers we left with, nothing catastrophically failed.

Got to say, not bad for Friday The Thirteenth.