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31 July 2012

10^3 Plus Content

This is my 1000th post since I moved to Blogger!

Why I took a carbine course.

It's hard to pick a starting point.  A carbine course is a weekend seminar teaching the student how to operate their carbine under tactical conditions.

For the most part, unrealistic contrived tactical conditions you will never find yourself in and if you do, there are important legal considerations that are never addressed.  My results may not be typical and the philosophy of the school I attended my not be universal.

Useful for the world of Twilight 2000 or Falling Skies; of limited utility for Hurricane Andrew or Katrina.

My main goal was not to learn how to use my rifle in combat.  I've seen real combat from the point of view of someone who cannot call for air support or artillery.  It's not like this class at all.

My main goal was to abuse my carbine to see if it would break.  I accomplished the goal and it did not break.

The outing with Sabrina is the only one I have actually paid for.  My other two outings were paid for by associates who were putting on airs about how good their GENUINE Colt LE model blastotronic was compared to my crappy hobby guns.  My gun fails, I pay.  My gun survives, they pay.


I've been lucky.  They've been screwed.  One of them had to pay for 6.8 ammo too!  He was set up by the first guy.

I am not saying I learned nothing; but it reminded me a great deal of IPSC in flavor.  What you learn might have application in the real world but it's primarily self contained and the lines are not drawn for you.

First class was as I mentioned before.  I took Sabrina out.

Gratuitous Pic of Sabrina (Again)

Second class was the first bet and I let The Lovely Harvey's snobby co-worker pick which of my AR's would be used.  That would be Charlotte.  This one amuses the shit out of me since Charlotte is Colt parts except for the lower and trigger group.  Vintage 1967 M16 otherwise.  No issues.  He picked that gun because he was being all superior about how much Colt had improved things since Vietnam.

Gratuitous Pic of Charlotte.

Third class was the second bet and I said if you want me to fire 500 rounds just to prove your point, you're buying the ammo and I am using Dottie.  500 rounds of SSA Sierra Pro-Hunter Tactical is nearly $600.  Then we bet the price of the school which I will not mention to salve their pride.

Dottie did very well and I can really see why people use red-dots instead of iron sights!  Dottie was the first time my gun didn't look out of place because she's got Magpul furniture a flat-top and rails.

Gratuitous Pic of Dottie.

Thanks to the classes I know how to move and shoot.  I never did learn why I would break cover to do so.  Bunker down was not part of the class nor was any value assigned to picking a defensible position and sticking to it.  All of the classes seem to assume that the disaster will be of a short duration yet fail to account for the legal ramifications of the reassertion of civilization.

I learned that expensive gear doesn't make up for not knowing how to use it.  My ancient and uncool stuff worked because I was familiar with it not because it was inherently better in design or construction.  Next time one of The Lovely Harvey's co-workers gets stroppy I am going to attend the class with a colander on my head.

I don't have the teeth to pull off a pith helmet with a fan in it.

Alternate Alternates...

6.5 Grendel, 6.8x43mm SPC and .300 AAC Blackout are the contenders for most popular alternate AR15 round.  Don't get distracted with .308 as an alternate since the AR10 is a different animal.  I also don't count rounds like .458 SOCOM as an "alternate" round; completely different niche.

What are some others we never hear about?

7.62x39mm is an obvious alternate.  Unreliable magazines were its bane.  Supersonic .300 AAC Blackout fully supplants it too.

5.45x39mm has a following.  But since it's very close to 5.56 in performance most people don't bother. Cheap ammo is the siren call here.

.300 Whisper had (has?) a strong following in the reloading community, but I think since .300 AAC is so close (and in some cases interchangeable) poor old Whisper will go away.  This includes other .300 Whisper trademark dodgers like .300-221 Fireball.

6.5 MPC.  This round should succeed for all the same reasons that .300 Blackout does.  Same bolt and magazine as 5.56; just a different barrel.  Sectional density of most 6.5 rounds is good and they've pushed a 110gr bullet to 2,480 fps out of a 12" tube.  Not bad at all.  Trademark rears its ugly head again here.  SSK does some great wildcat work and kills its spread by not letting just anyone make the guns.  Perhaps it will be suborned like .300 Whisper was.

Those are just what I can think of off the top of my head.  Have I missed your favorite?

30 July 2012

Carbine Classes

I just realized that except for mentioning that my gutter trash "hobby" AR's survived I have not posted about my experiences with carbine classes.

I suppose I should start with what I did not learn at the class.  Basic rifle marksmanship.  Sadly the instructors spent entirely too much time HAVING to teach it to people who apparently bought their first gun ever and signed up for the class on the way home from the gun shop.

It is however wonderful for the ego!  I was a gigantic fish in a teeny tiny pond.

What I brought to the first class was Sabrina.  11.5" barrel, iron sights, 1:9 rifling.  This compared to the nearly ubiquitous 16" M4 profile flat-top.  I was the only person without some sort of aftermarket stock, handguard or pistol grip.  I was also the only person without an optic.

Gratuitous Pic of Sabrina

Next was attire.  I dressed in jeans, t-shirt, Chuck Taylors, with an old boonie hat.  I carried my mags in the old-fashioned 3-mag ALICE pouches with a genuine USGI canteen for "hydration".  Hydration is important because plants crave electrolytes or something.  My hat and web gear were generous donations of the United States Army who neglected to ask for them back and refused to take them because they weren't on my ETS turn-in sheet.

The rest of the class was in at least $500 worth of MOLLE and camouflage.  It was like a 5.11 bomb had gone off or something.

The instructors asked if everyone was comfortable and could move.  We did some stretching exercise type things to show the class that no, they could not.  Most had put their stuff together wrong and we all learned that we'd placed our pouches wrong.  The Army in 1987 taught me wrong, go figure.

First we zeroed our rifles.  That took me a whopping five rounds because I'd already done this step before signing up for the class.  Some people burned through 40 rounds!

Then we almost started the class when one of the instructors remembered that the back-up iron sights needed to be zeroed as well.  This took even longer.

Then we started in on the real thing and we were stymied at every turn by the people who should have been at a "the bullets come out this end really fast" level class.

I got told, repeatedly, to "square up" my stance.  "Why?" I kept asking.  They didn't like me questioning their expertise, but I figured I paid for the theory as well as the application.  Eventually I got told this was so my body armor would be facing the enemy.  "Armor I'm not wearing, don't own and won't ever buy?"  "Uh..."  "The old fashioned rotated way gives a smaller unarmored target, don't you think?"

The square up thing also brought my gimpy right leg into play.  Doing it "right" hurt.  A lot.  So I ignored them and did it my way.  This was the only thing I actively resisted the instructors on.

What I learned was how to get the sights on target quickly and accurately while moving.  It was great fun!  I did not learn how to relate what I learned to others in the form of writing.

I watched others learn that holding onto a rifle as far forward as you can reach will get your hand on the gas block and that the gas block gets very warm after a few rounds.

My fellow classmates were actively hostile at the end of the day because I clearly a better shot and I was the only one who seemed to be having fun.  Like I didn't understand how SERIOUS this was and should not be enjoying it.

My main purpose was to see if my gun would survive the mythical carbine course that fells so many other "lesser tier" guns.  I shot a lot of rounds and the carbine survived nicely.

Oh yeah, Brownells USGI type magazines did just fine.  As did the almost universal PMAG.  This added to my amusement because there was some sneering about "metal mags" from some.

I should also mention that the sneering and hostility was never when an instructor could see it.  No matter how old I get, it seems that I cannot leave high school behind.

29 July 2012

Battle Of The Alternates

I was shopping around for some 6.8 ammo and wondered about the state of things.

Midway USA lists 30 different loads for the 6.8 from 6 makers.  9 are out of stock, but backorders are OK.  13 are from one maker, Silver State Armory.  Remington still makes 4 loads even after washing their hands of it.

6.5 Grendel is just 6 loads from 3 makers with one being out of stock.  Three of those loads are from one manufacturer, Alexander Arms, two are from Wolf.  I seem to recall there being around five more makers of this ammo at one point, where'd they go?

The up and coming .300 AAC Blackout has 17 loadings from 6 manufacturers with 5 being listed as out of stock, backorder OK.  The number of loads per maker are fairly even, with Remington and PNW tied with 4 each for most loads.

.300 AAC also wins for having the cheapest available ammo with $11.99 for a box of 20 Rem/UMC 115gr FMJ.

Wolf brand 6.5 is the next cheapest at $15.99 for a box of 20 120gr "Multi-Purpose Tatical".

The cheapest 6.8 is the Rem/UMC 115gr FMJ box of 20 for $16.99, but it's out of stock.  The cheapest I can order right now is Hornady V-Max 110gr at $19.99 per 20.

There's a lot to analyze here.  There just isn't a plinking round for the 6.8 readily available, just premium ammo.  Remington has been actively hostile to the 6.8 crowd and they they still load ammo for us.  To me that says it's hanging in there.

I also think there's no need to get all furry about what round is best.  Look at all the different choices for bolt action guns out there.  The AR is the new Mauser.

27 July 2012

Defective.

It seems that my AR is also defective.  Weer'd, Miguel, and Thirdpower are having problems with theirs too.

Dottie is just one feature shy of having all of the evil AWB parts.  I have a muzzle brake instead of a flash-hider.  But I have a bayonet lug (mit bayonetten), threaded muzzle, barrel shroud (free float fore-end), detachable box magazine (25 rounder shown), pistol grip and a collapsible stock.

Even though they are not Evil-Baby Killing-Assault-Weapon® Features I also have a light and Red-Dot-Sniper-Scope®.

All on a semi-automatic AR variant that shoots a more powerful round (6.8x43mm) than the basic 5.56x45mm.  I've even included a small portion of my ammo supply in the pic.


Why is it defective?  Because I have not had even the slightest urge to go out and murder anyone with it!  Maybe it's the caliber?  I mean 5.56 is the premier Evil-Baby Killing-Assault-Weapon® round, right?  That makes Kaylee even MORE defective because in addition to having all of teh Evil-Baby Killing-Assault-Weapon® Features she is chambered in 5.56 AND has the even EVILER™ SHORTER THAN 16" BARREL.  Or does the NFA registration remove the evil mind signals?  The Lovely Harvey's ARs, Cheyenne and Kevina, are BOTH 5.56x45mm fully featured Evil-Baby Killing-Assault-Weapons® and she has not murdered anyone (and she lives with me so she's got motive).

How is it with lots of these things in the house I manage to remain calm and not go on a murderous rampage?

Unless it's not the guns at all but the person who owns them that matters.

Sounded Cool Though, Didn't It?

Chris Costa uses a trademark "COSTA LUDUS".

A ludus was either an elementary school for children younger than 11 or a training facility for gladiators.

If Mr Costa knows the meaning of ludus he doesn't think much of his students.  He either thinks of them as children or as slaves.

Yes, Virginia, gladiators were slaves.

The entire point of owning a rifle and learning to use it is to avoid that slave thing.


26 July 2012

AK-47

Bet you money that you've never seen an AK-47 in real life.

Bet you BIG money.

The AK-47 was not produced for very long, just 10 years.  Those ten years were fraught with manufacturing problems and quality issues; with quantity production only being achieved in 1956.  In 1959 it was replaced by the AKM.  The AKM is the overwhelming majority of AK production.

Milled receiver AK-47 were made by the client states of the Soviet Union and almost none of them are designated AK-47 by the makers.  MPi-K is what East Germany called their AK-47 and MPi-KM is their AKM.  China calls it the Type 56 Carbine (a name they also apply to their AKM).  Bulgaria calls their milled gun the AKK.

You've likely seen a variant of the AK-47, but it's unlikely you've seen an actual one.  It's even less likely if you're not a soldier that you've seen one.

Why?

Because they are vanishingly rare in civilian hands!

"But there are AK's all over gun shows!"

That variant thing comes into play again.

A semi-auto AK has a much to do with an AK-47 as an AR-15 does with an M16.  Closely related, but definitely not the same in functions and legality.  Semi-auto AK's are the bulk of what you see here in the states, and lately those are "US" made guns from parts kits thanks to executive orders from putatively "pro-gun" presidents <cough>BUSH<cough>.

A genuine AK-47 is legally a machine gun.  Just about every nation who made an AK wasn't on friendly gun-selling terms with the USA prior to the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act.  That led to very few guns being imported.  I would speculate that most transferrable AK's are pre-86 conversions of semi-auto guns and the majority of them will be of Chinese origin.

25 July 2012

Edumacation

The Lovely Harvey works for a private college.

Did you know that a private institution has to place 70% of their graduates or they lose the ability to offer the same grants and loans that public universities offer?

Did you know those same public institution don't have to place a single graduate and yet retain access to all their funding?

24 July 2012

Found On Arfcom


Update for Suz:


Liberty

Recently I got into a debate about what to do about the 4 women and 3 children who are killed each day by a male whom lives with them.

The other person proposed a constitutional amendment (and later laws) to eliminate the abuse to this "historically vulnerable" demographic.

I objected to new law since every instance of domestic abuse is already illegal.

My main points were:

Social change is all that is required to eliminate most of it.

I will not submit to anything which infringes on my liberties because of the actions of others.

I gave examples of things where my liberty is impaired because of other people breaking the law.

I posited that woman need to take some responsibility for their own safety.  That included arming themselves with a firearm and actually pressing charges when the police are there for the domestic disturbance call.

I am fed up with being punished for the actions of others!

I did some checking up on domestic violence.

Those 4 deaths a day?  Not that long ago that was 16.

Those four murderers every day?  60.3 MILLION men did not kill their wives that same day.

A new law to stop that crime?  Murder is already illegal.

Assault and battery is already illegal; even if it's your wife.

But 7 deaths a day from domestic abuse in a population of 300 million people, where 120.6 million are married is below the level of statistical noise.  To "fix" this would cost a lot.

I am familiar with how government operates here.  They will add one of their favorite words to the laws, "mandatory".  It will become mandatory that someone be arrested and charged when the police respond to a domestic disturbance.  A conviction will carry a mandatory minimum sentence.

It will be run by the same people who issue restraining orders.  Baseless restraining orders have done how much damage to innocent people because of spite and revenge?

I'm really sorry here, but 7 deaths a day is not a huge problem that requires a constitutional amendment or additional law to correct.

There's 534 deaths from "preventable" medical mistakes everyday.  But we don't care because patients are not "historically vulnerable".

There are nearly 117 traffic fatalities every day; despite cars being one of the most tightly regulated items commonly owned.

There's 33 murders every day that must not matter because they weren't caused by a spouse or significant other.

All of these statistics have something in common besides someone died.  All of those numbers are much smaller than they were even 10 years ago.  I would say that society is already applying its fixes to the problem without adding more laws.  It's tragic, but you will never get any of those numbers to read zero.

Moving Goal Posts

One thing I loathe about getting into a discussion with just about anyone of a slightly liberal bent is how the goalposts move around.

Makes any point you make skitter around like butter on a hot non-stick pan.  Nothing adheres.

You end up constantly addressing their points while they ignore yours.  You are on the defensive because of it.

I am now using this chart:


The super ironic and funny thing about this, note the title: "Debating a Christian".  The last three times I've had to invoke these rules were on atheists.  Not about religion, but it's funny how they don't see how dogmatic their liberal ideas have become.

It REALLY torques people off to be told, "you broke rule X, I win," and then stop talking to them about it.  Failure on #1 and #3 is most common.

23 July 2012

What About Islam?

I see that a couple of atheists have decided that the Aurora shooting was related to the shooter being a Christian.

First, it makes them look like idiots.

Second, it reinforces my belief that an atheist in America is simply an anti-christian.

When you are silent about what Islam is up to in the world and emphasize the tangential relationship a murderer has to a given Christian church; the bias is clear.

Wanna see how your game looks from the outside?

Mao was an atheist. Pol Pot was an atheist. Hitler was an atheist. Stalin was an atheist.  Therefor YOU are responsible for millions of deaths.  What?  You claim that you didn't do anything?  You say that atheists as a whole did nothing?

Balderdash!  You are every bit as responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths as any given Christian by your very own rationale.

See the mistake you're making yet?

21 July 2012

Colorado

It bears repeating.

My AR's did not shoot anyone.
My Shotguns did not shoot anyone.
My Glocks did not shoot anyone.

I did not shoot anyone.

Neither me or my property should be blamed for the actions of another.

If we're going down that route then we need to blame the Kennedys for every drowning.

20 July 2012

For Lack Of Shooting Back...

For all the hay the anti-gunners make about the "huge" numbers of concealed carry holders, the truth remains that we are a very small percentage of the population.

Yes, there's a deterrent value that's larger than the actual number, but the likelihood of finding a concealed carrier is still pretty low.

Once again a monster got to go to town and nobody was shooting back.

Carry your guns, people.

Don't think you need to own a gun?  Don't think you need to carry a gun?  Look at what happened in Aurora, Colorado.

Compare that to Colorado Springs, Colorado and what Jeanne Assam was able to do.

Vulcan XH558 At The Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 08/07/2012

Royal International Air Tattoo 2012 in Super SlowMo!



Flying.  Vulcan.

19 July 2012

Stolen Post

Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured...

But not everyone must prove they are a citizen. -- Anonymous

Stolen in whole from The Smallest Minority

Hey...

President Obama says we didn't build anything.  That it's all the government.

The government is allowed to own machine guns.

I didn't build this machine gun, Mr ATF man, the government did!

We Don't Like It

I was reading Guns magazine's online edition.

Mike "Duke" Venturino's writing style bugs me.

I don't like the third person conceit in magazine writing.

An aside to his style is he's managed to find a gig where he's paid to brag about his gun collection.  That really pisses me off!  Purely jealous, of course...

18 July 2012

Why I Am Not Rich

During my education to get my bachelors in business administration I was exposed to the life stories of several millionaires.

People who'd not built their company and wealth up from nearly nothing.

Every single one of them had a drive, a spark, a monomaniacal energy to do what they were doing and make it work.

I lack this spark.

Or rather, I thought I did.  I do seem to have it.

The trick is to find something you love and do THAT.  If you love making chicken, you open a small restaurant or stand and you make the best chicken you can.  That love means it never seems like work.

What hit me is the things that I love have entry costs that I cannot afford.

I would be a gunsmith tomorrow if I had the money to get the licenses, pay for the machine tools, a place to set up shop and a little bit of education.

I would be a gun maker tomorrow if I had the funding for the licenses, tooling and facility.

I would certainly give some of the AR makers a run for their money because the education I do have makes their errors blindingly obvious.  It seems that you need more than a knowledge about the mechanical aspects of a gun to run a business making guns.  When the strong demand falls off we're going to see a culling of the field and some makers I rather like are going to be doomed if they don't figure out how to run a business.

There are two core truths about starting a business.  First is nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Second is there's nearly no chance of success.  You will never succeed if you don't take the risk, and nearly all small businesses fail.

The most shocking point of failure is when a company starts to grow up a bit.  The nation is littered with the graves of teeny businesses that could be run by a single owner/operator that died nearly the moment they generated enough business to need more people to run them.  Failure to delegate, hiring untrustworthy people, too many orders to fill in a timely manner without help but not enough revenue to be able to afford the help.

There's no small amount of luck involved, but you'll note that the people who build a successful business do so over and over again.

Hmmmm, maybe I should do a kickstarter campaign...

Wow That Sure Pisses Some People Off

I will cop to being a Brony.  I think the show is cute, entertaining and well written.

It's got a geek culture that's as extreme as any other geek culture I've seen following any show.  Those people creep me out too, but they are the FAAAAAAR end of the spectrum and they stand out because there's not that many of them.

What I am getting really sick of is the white hot rage inspired by any sort of My Little Pony decoration or adornment on a firearm or firearm accessory.

It's getting to be a Godwin's law sort of thing.  They hate, they hate completely, they hate blindly and they hate incoherently.  I think we should call it Erin's law since she's the recipient of a lot of that hate.

They hate so bad it's become fun to piss them off some more.

My original intent with my MLP-FIM engraving was to kinda yank the chains at the Colt Kool-Aid Drinkers while doing a fun bit of personalization.  They took it a lot better than the haters.

On the flip side, there's a lot of people who are very cool with it.  The dxf file I sent to Ident has been requested by several people now and and a couple more have asked for the Armalite version.  We're everywhere!

I am distressed that so many people who are oh-so-pro-rights when it comes to guns completely and totally go fascist when anyone deviates from a 1950's stereotype WASP model.

I am totally sure they don't see that how they are reacting is offensive to others.

This is not the first time I've encountered this sort of thing in the supposed pro-rights community.

I notice that most people fondly remember Mr Kim DuToit.  His thing was tattoos.  Really weirded him out and would refuse to have an inked server serve his food.  What would he think of The Atomic Nerds?

I have a few positions that are firmly legal and completely immoral assuming I accept the precepts of a given religion on them.  My God is not your God and the sinful nature of my belief is predicated on my also believing in YOUR God.  Which I emphatically do not.  That there First Amendment means you have to let me too.  In turn I have to let you as well.

Such is how Freedom works.

17 July 2012

Sabrina Is Back From Ident

They do good work.


It's a little harder to see here than on Tabitha.  The trust line kinda confuses the camera.

Update:

Got the girls reassembled.


Irregardless

There's this story.

It's really just another instance of the same problem.


A person is dead because the police shot them.  The only reason they were involved with the police is the cops showed up at their home.  Again.  Not the culmination of an investigation of the dead guy but rather someone unfortunate enough to live near where the police are investigating.

I cannot help but think if the police's "oops my bad" immunity was taken away and they had to endure something like what Zimmerman is going through for wrong addresses we'd start seeing this crap stop.


How long before I have a viable self defense claim because the person was in uniform?

Get Well

Hopes for a full and speedy recovery to my oldest friend, Fuzzygeff.

Building

No business owner built their business without the massive help of the government?

I guess those taxes the business owner paid were nothing then?

One of the first datums about being taxed when you start a business is your tax bill is a great deal larger than it was as an employee.  That's because being self employed you're paying all the employer matching fees in addition to the stuff that was normally deducted.

The second datum is once you become successful enough to hire someone to help; your new-hire costs a lot more than their salary and a lot of that cost is taxes.

Another early datum is all the licenses, permits and fees that are attached to a legitimate business.

Who's helping whom here?

16 July 2012

It's About Time!

I got my FL Hometown Forum edition lower receivers from Spikes Tactical.

The parts bin is a little lighter now too since I put some of the spare parts to work.  Going to be a long time before these guns finish since I have some debts to take care of.



What you get instead of the dueling penis Spikes spider logo with the FLHTF group purchase.

Buying two at once prolly puts me on some sort of list.  The wait was epically long thanks to another Obama inspired buying frenzy.

Picking them up in person at Spike's "factory" in Apopka turned into something of a challenge.

This group purchase was giving us $60 per lower instead of the normal $115.  To keep the unwashed from buying up all of them Spikes put a limit on how many you could order at once and set the price at $1,000.  Over at Arfcom, you got a code that knocked $940 off your order per lower.

This is all well and good, but when I went to pick them up, the computer said $1,000 - $940 = $60 + $65 Sales Tax = Total $125 each.  The person running the counter was not the normal guy and you could tell he was getting frustrated with the system.  Nevertheless, he remained cheerful and got it figured out.  Then it was $128.80 please.

I was really freaked for a bit since I committed early to this buy and one thing after another has gone wrong here with the money.  I scrimped and saved to honor this commitment and had to borrow from other places to keep it.  Thanks to those who helped!

15 July 2012

Facepalm

Suspect steals 1918 Rugar...

Is this another example of the rigorous and multi-tiered fact checking that us mere bloggers cannot possibly summon when we report on the goings on around us?

First, it's spelled Ruger.

Second they don't make a model 1918.

Third, they were founded in 1949.

14 July 2012

Practicality

There's much ado about guns which can fire rather large amounts of ammunition without cleaning or maintenance.

I am not saying that it's a bad thing for a gun to be able to do so.

What I will say is that in most practical circumstances, it's irrelevant.

I've mentioned it before, how much ammo are you going to be carrying?  What's in the gun and one or two reloads is common for CCW.

The standard infantry load when I was in the Army was a mere 210 rounds for their M16.  In Vietnam it was 180 rounds.  That's a pretty low bar.  In actual combat, grunts will supplement their supply with extra mag pouches or bandoliers; but even so 500 rounds is really stretching.

A combat rifle that can shoot 1,000 rounds without cleaning is a nice feature, but that's 2-5 times more than the ammo supply will be.  You'll have a "out of ammo" stoppage before you're likely to have a "got too dirty" problem.  This is why the Army is pretty damn sanguine about the dust test.  The M4 does, indeed, reliably operate until the soldier would be out of ammo.

Luckily, most firefights are over by then too and there's time for resupply and cleaning.

I've had friends who were WW2 and Korean vets.  They've described the abuse the Garand was able to take and keep functioning but all agreed that you could kill it from neglect.

Being a gearhead, I question the wisdom of running your guns dirty and dry.  OK, you CAN; have you considered if you SHOULD?

Is the lack of lubrication and accumulation of dirt accelerating wear?  I think that keeping it clean and lubricated is ensuring longevity.

Cleaning should also not beat the shit out of your gun!  If you are scrubbing so hard that you're leaving marks, you should consider getting treatment for your OCD!  Modern solvents are wondrous!  Heck, even good old fashioned Hoppes #9 is superior for cleaning than anything I was ever issued.

Also, on the solvents topic...  Products like Break-Free were developed to solve a logistics question.  "How do we reduce the supply tail by a couple of products."  That makes CLP an OK, solvent an OK lubricant and an OK protectant.  It doesn't make it the best of any of those categories.  It's so you can stock and distribute ONE item to troops in the field and not worry that they are missing one of three things.  WW2 era bore cleaner is still a better solvent and LSA is still a better lubricant.  And Hoppes beats bore cleaner...

visited 20 states (8.88%)
Create your own visited map of The World or Free android travel guide I have hardly been anywhere compared to some, but I've been to more than many.

I am sure there are a couple that have slipped.  I don't remember if it was Korea or Japan or Okinawa we routed through on the way back from being a "field observer".  What country is Diego Garcia in?

Hong Kong isn't on the list and I know we landed there because I was fascinated with the approach to the airport.  Kinda neat to sit on the jump seat and chat, silly Green Berets were so jaded by international travel they just wanted to SLEEP on the plane.  Don't they know that flying is magic?

Tossing Down The Gauntlet

I have a challenge for Crimson Trace.

I think the very idea of an active emitter on a firearm is a dumb idea.

However, I like to think I have a mind open enough to be changed should there be proof otherwise.

My challenge: send me some lasers to play with and I will see if my inclinations are wrong.  I'll write all about it.

Of course, I'd need some help from the big kids out there to get them to actually send me something.

Hope

I sure as heck hope that Condi Rice is picked to be the VP candidate for Romney.

I can't wait to SHOUT into liberals faces how intolerant they are about religion while also calling them sexist racists.

It should be fun!

13 July 2012

In Happier News

iTunes has got the director's cut of Lawrence Of Arabia.

Three hours thirty six minutes of David Lean's best work.  Returned to the proper presentation.  1080p on my big machine's monitor is SWEET.  Far better than the DVD of the altered version I previously owned.

This is far and above one of my favorite movies.

It's also a source of regret for me.  Alec Guinness apparently despised Star Wars fans gushing all over him about his role there.  I'd always wanted to tell Sir Alec that I'd first seen him in Star Wars, like so many others, but that lead me to look for his name on other things and that lead me to films like Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge Over the River Kwai and The Ladykillers.

Did YOU Hear About HR 4348?

I found out about it today when I went to the tobacco shop to buy The Lovely Harvey's cigarettes.

Seems that making sure roll-your-own tobacco shops pay the $1.01 per pack tax is transportation now.  It's creating jobs too!  The five people who run the place are gone and the owner is ruined.

Transportation also includes a one year extension on Stafford Student Loans at 3.4% instead of letting them increase to 6.8%.

Transportation also includes relief to pension plans who invested poorly in low interest vehicles.

Transportation includes national flood insurance.

But most of all, transportation includes taking the 15.44 cents per gallon you're paying at the pump and spending it on anything but the highways that it supposedly is collected to maintain.

Every single Democrat in congress save Daniel Inouye (who appears to be home sick) voted for this.  More than a couple Republicans voted for it as well, but it's always telling when there's nobody from one party voting differently.

12 July 2012

Truth


Theoretical Practice

Theory is when you know everything, but nothing works.

Practice is when everything works, but you don't know why.

Here, theory and practice are combined: nothing works and no one knows why.

Because they are the same in theory but in practice they aren't.

11 July 2012

That Was Exciting

Someone managed to get my hotmail account to spit out some phishing stuff.

So for only people who are listed in my contacts list there have gotten the bogus message.

Even though I didn't do anything, sorry if you got one.

10 July 2012

Confluence

Not only did he learn how his dick compared to others, he also learned what an angstrom is and that he had a handy way of measuring three of them.

Stupid Ricer.

Even funnier that I wasn't racing, I was just going all out to get out of the right lane to avoid being stuck behind the bus.  I learned he was racing at the next light because of the howls of laughter from his friends packed in the car.

It's The Person

It occurs...

There are weapons and drugs in prisons.  A supposedly sealed environment has things which are banned from entering and banned from possession.

What keeps there from being more weapons and drugs out here in the "wild"?

I posit that most people simply don't want illicit items and that's why the bans on them are working.

The increasing prohibition on smoking is really only effective because the number of people smoking was actually in decline.

But banning alcohol (legally) and drugs (illegally) did nothing and has done nothing to actually stop the production, importation, sale and use of those substances.  When there's a ban on something that everyone is doing, it's simply ignored.

The banning of machineguns and shortened firearms worked, I think, because such guns were actually quite rare in 1934.  You''l note that the law didn't even attempt to ban conventional long arms.  Why?  Because those guns were quite common and there would have be a massive backlash from the voters.  Handguns were slated to be NFA items under the same law, but were pulled at the last moment when voter sentiment became known.

I have a suggestion.  Things which are common cannot effectively be banned.  What you need to do is to unass the $200, pick something off the NFA list, submit your Form 1 or 4 and help make these things more common!

Yes, there's "probulation" involved.  It's no more than you submitted to when you applied for your conceal carry permit.; your cherry is popped.

Just like open carry, we have to desensitize people at the ranges to seeing the NFA goodies.  I think we're 90% there on short barrel rifles.

Where The Hell Is Matt?



I love these videos.  I found them both from Astronomy Picture of the Day; and they are correct, I cannot watch them without smiling.


09 July 2012

Alternate Brony Engraving


This is what would be on a prototype AR-15 and some of the very earliest R601.

Well, We're Half Way There

Got my lowers back from Ident Marking today.

Tabitha came out great.



Sabrina, not so much.  Seems they completely forgot to engrave her!  Oops.

Back to Texas she goes.  Luckily they are nice folks and are handling it.

Update:

It's damn subtle.  People are probably not going to spot this unless it's pointed out.  I think there are at least four other retro guys getting this done as well.

08 July 2012

Ignorance And The NFA

Ever wondered how many short barreled rifles and short barreled shotguns are out there unregistered?

I am guessing a lot.

I know my great grampa had one.  It was a 10ga that had had the muzzles squished by a tractor on the farm.  He just cut off the barrels short of the squish and carried on.  I am certain those were around 16" barrels and I am equally certain that he never registered it.  That gun sat in the umbrella stand by the back door for decades.  My cousins and I looked at it a lot and touched it not at all.  I think my dad ended up with it and it was a rusted mess by then, he prolly trashed it.

I've seen AR15 "pistol" uppers for sale at gun shows.  No mention of NFA.

I've seen surplus M4 barrels (14.5" long) for sale at the same gun shows.

I know people who own both an AR pistol and a rifle and it's almost certain that in the privacy of their own home they've swapped some parts around.

I've seen obvious SBR's at the range.

How many of you have seen a vertical fore-grip on a pistol?

I have never been asked by any range officer if I have paperwork for my SBRs.  And I am DYING to show them my $200 piece of paper!

Of course, it can be hard to tell sometimes.  A 14.5" barrel is kinda hard to tell apart from a 16" at a distance and it gets even harder since there are extended flash-hiders to bring them up to legal length.  My XM177E2 clone is also hard to tell since the 11.5" barrel is behind a 4.5" long flash-hider.

Still, I have never been challenged by a range officer, police officer, federal agent or fellow shooter.  It makes me wonder how many people have noticed that we folks who jumped through all the hoops aren't being asked, so why bother spending $200 and letting the government know that you for sure have a gun?

And this doesn't even begin to discuss the homemade silencers and machineguns out there.

06 July 2012

What You Know About The M16 Is Wrong

Dig deep, read it all.

Be sure to also read The Black Rifle.

Some useful details are found in Misfire.

Also, your anecdotal accounts of how the M16A1 failed you are far more likely to be a result of your slovenly care of your rifle than a flaw in the design.

Additionally almost nobody with an asshole and opinion understands the difference between "as designed" and "as built" and blames the design for a failure of the union shop to build it correctly.

05 July 2012

Addendum

Something to add to my rant to Mr Rock.

July 4, 1776 is merely the day we declared that we would henceforth be free, not the day we actually earned it.

It was not until September 3, 1783, more than seven years later, that we'd won it.

Do you know, Mr Rock, how many of those people who signed the "white people's" Declaration of Independence didn't see that day or were ruined by their signing?

What have you done to earn this freedom, Mr Rock?

Same thing I've done to earn mine, lucky enough to be born here.  EDIT: Actually that's not true, I gave three years and the full use of my right leg for it.  I stood in your name too, Mr Rock; I am generous in guarding OUR freedom.  I did not say, "except for black people" at the end of my oath. END EDIT

The revolution for you was The Civil War.

Your freedom was bought and paid for, in blood, mostly by white people who felt it was wrong that the black man should be held in bondage.  More people died to earn you that freedom than fought in the Revolutionary War.  Ponder that, Mr Rock.

I am sure that these are just dates to you and have no meaning.

You have to stop hating, Mr Rock.

If you don't you will surely see hatred returned.  Hatred you will have surely earned.

One Step Closer

Ident Marking says my lowers are engraved and sent a pic of Tabitha.


04 July 2012

An Open Letter

To millionaire Chris Rock.

You were never a slave.

You were not born in Africa and dragged unwilling across the ocean to work the cotton fields.

You are a comedian, a successful one too.

If you don't like America, use the money you made here to buy a ticket and move your ass to someplace where there weren't slaves between July 4, 1776 and June 19, 1865.

I want you to note those dates, Mr Rock.  I notice that you were born in February 1965, nearly 100 years after the end of slavery.  That means that your father was never a slave.  Your biography indicates your father was a truck driver and one of your grandfathers was a preacher.  No mention of a slave in the two previous generations?  Almost as if slavery had exited living memory before you were born, huh?

You also have a lot of nerve bringing up slavery on July 4th.  Do you know what happened YESTERDAY in 1863?  Twentythree thousand fifty five men gave life and limb towards ending slavery.

You want to talk about racism, you may still have some point.  There's still some of that creeping about, but it can't be too bad since you were able to become a millionaire while being subjected to it.  But SLAVERY?  Give it the fuck up already.  It's been over for 147 years, 15 days.

There isn't a person born in this country who was ever a chattel slave, it's time to stop using it as a bludgeon to get your way.  It's time to take your place at the big table of adult human beings.  You do rate yourself as an adult and a human being, right?

PS: The United States really doesn't begin until March 4, 1789, when the Constitution was ratified by enough states to go into effect.  That means the history of slavery in THE UNITED STATES is a mere 76 years.  Yes, Mr Rock; you're pissing about something that's been over for almost twice as long as it existed.  You may also want to call up The Queen of England and bitch her out for the slavery here from 1607 until 1776.

Professional

The line between professional and amateur is whether you get paid for it or not.

Interestingly, in some things this demarcs the line of respectability.

Wives and girlfriends; respectable.  Prostitutes; ill repute.

Bloggers work for free.  Reporters get paid...

Traveller

I've been playing Traveller off and on since 1979.  Effing WOW!

My cousin introduced me to gaming and Traveller.  I played with him like once.

I went my own way with the setting more than once.  The original three books didn't give a lot of detail so you just used your imagination and filled in the empty spaces.  My first campaign had a heavy Dune flavor since that's what I was reading at the time, but I kept some Star Wars and Galactica overtone.

I've converted it to GURPS four times now.  Once for second edition, twice for third and once for fourth; plus playing the official GURPS: Traveller.  My 4e conversion is really a conversion of GURPS: Traveller, which is a 3e game.

I've been tinkering with it since I did my 4e conversion and made more sweeping changes to how I want things to work.  The original game was literally Imperial Rome in Space.

I am thinking I'd like something more like Elizabethan England in Space.  The Zhodani make such good French Boogiemen and the Solomani play the Spaniards so well!

Big changes in tech is the elimination of almost all of the hand-wavium grav tech.  Sadly this dooms the air/raft.

Next big change is the jump drive.  I have come to dislike the week long jump.  I have come to like the special effect of the new Galactica jump.  I think I'll increase the gravitational threshold to a week at 1g from an earth sized world, whatever that may be.  I'm also eliminating jump fuel and replacing that with capacitors.  You need to build a charge for a jump.  The jump drive moves a volume regardless of mass.  Jump engines are still rated for the number of "parsecs" they can move.

The jump distance is a bit illusory.  Hyperspace is two dimensional, the map of the universe is a flat sheet, to represent how the universe really is, crumple that sheet up into a big ball.  Some things are very close in real space but widely separated in hyperspace.  Real space distances tend to be the same, over small areas.

Manuever drives are a pseudo reaction fusion thing.  This is where the fuel tanks come back.  Basically I'm swapping the jump and power plant fuel requirements.  Next is 1g is a super fast ship; equivalent to the Classic Traveller 4g level.  2g is equivalent to 6g.  Then they only thrust in one direction and spit out a big ass flame.  This is real acceleration, a loaded ship will have less acceleration than an empty one and will have more acceleration as fuel is used.  Reaction mass/fuel is now water instead of hydrogen.

Power plants are essentially fueled for life, about 50 years.

Getting to the surface is going to require streamlining and maybe even wings.  Really large ships that land just aren't.  Really the upper limit to something that goes earth to orbit is C-5 Galaxy sized, which in Traveller terms is about 200 tons displacement (the cargo hold on a C-5 measures almost exactly 75 displacement tons).

Gigantic container ships ply the major trade routes.  They don't have much maneuver capacity they meet lighters near the jump limit and transship cargo and passengers.  Ships like the Subsidized Merchants and Liners move freight along the secondary trade routes and to orbital facilities.  Similar sized lighters move things in-system.  The Free Trader's niche is transporting stuff to worlds where there's no orbital facility to handle cargo.

I like the Traveller races and much of the cultural stuff.  I'll keep those.

03 July 2012

Spaceship Design

The engineer in me spends a lot of time thinking about stuff.

Something I've thought about a lot is what crummy designs most spaceships in science fiction are.

Take Enterprise (NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-A): the impulse engine is mounted at the base of the saucer section.  If the secondary hull has much mass (and according to deck plans this is where most of the machinery is) then applying thrust at the top of the boom connecting the primary and secondary hulls will result in spin.  Also frightening in the Star Trek universe is the hundreds to thousands of g of acceleration displayed.  Inertial compensation must be an insanely reliable technology to attempt human-to-goo accelerations.  I assume that the compensators are tied directly to the engines since the crew is still bounced around by other factors.

Then there's Star Wars.  The Millennium Falcon does much better as far as thrust lines go, but everything in Star Wars seems to be an airplane that happens to go to space than space craft.  Windows seem to be primary sensors.  Not to mention that they are FLYING and changing vector like there's wings involved.

The Star Fury from Babylon 5 is a dang good design.  The pilot position is basically laying on their back during thrust, the "wings" are there to get leverage for the steering thrusters, not for lift.  More than once we see them maneuvering independently from their vector.

Then there's SF role playing.

One of my favorite designs to poke at is Traveller's Type-S (Sulliemain) scout/courier.  It's a wedge.  Pretty sharp edged wedge.  It drives me insane.  Traveller requires a large portion of the ship be dedicated to fuel for the jump drive (20% of volume for a jump-2 like the Type-S).  This fuel is liquid hydrogen.  There are two ways to keep hydrogen liquid.  High pressure and low temperature.  Go look at a pressure vessel some time, notice the lack of corners?  Pressure loves to break corners.  The Type S is ALL corners!  Oh, the fuel tankage surrounds the life-section too.  A cryo-plant is never mentioned in any canon material, so it must be pressure doing it all.

You can certainly build a cube to take the same pressure as a sphere of the same volume.  It will be heavier.  Heavier means more material and that means costs more.  You need a reason to use a different shape.  Streamlining to fly in the atmosphere is a good reason.  Except Traveller has some pretty damn miraculous maneuver drives.  The type S can pull 2g for A MONTH.  It also doesn't have to change facing to change vector.  What that means is anything with more thrust than local gravity in Traveller can soft land regardless of its aerodynamic shape.  What making your craft streamlined gives you is you can travel faster in the goo, and that's worth compromising the shape for it; but if you can thrust in any direction at will, you don't need wings.

But a pointy wedge is not your best choice!  A rounded ended cylinder is.  A secant section nose with a hemispherical tail comes out best.  Like a bullet, in fact.  This shape is also efficient in surface area:volume as well (a sphere is the best surface area to volume ratio).  Wedges and squares are less efficient.  A more efficient ratio means less material for the hull skin and less material is cheaper.  No matter what it's made of, that's true.  Less material is always lighter than more; but in Traveller I believe the drives are moving a volume not a mass.  At least performance doesn't seem to be affected by how much cargo you pack into your ship.  28 cubic meters of uranium is the same as water near as I can tell.

Windows are something that comes up time and time again in spaceships in fiction.  Quick!  Go outside and point at Pluto!  Come on, it's RIGHT THERE!  Oh wait, it's a long ways away and not naked eye visible, is it?  Pluto may be small on a solar system scale, but it's going to hurt a lot of you run into it.  And with some of the velocities demonstrated in science fiction, you aren't going to get out of its way in time if you're relying on windows and the Mark I eyeball.  Even a high-magnification telescope is likely not going to give you enough warning, but it's much better.  But once we divorce ourselves from the window we can also move the control room away from a flight-deck or bridge location.  Another truth of materials is transparent is weaker than opaque.  But the future might fix that.  Burying the control room inside the ship is a good plan.  Putting it at the center of mass is also good since when you maneuver you will not be as subjected to centrifugal forces.

Once of the most rational ship designs I've ever seen is in the comic Erma Felna.  They are rounded end cylinders.  Fuel is stored in the ends, drives below the life section in the middle.  There the fuel is cryogenic liquid hydrogen and the maneuver drive is a fusion thruster.  2g is a sprint capability of military ships; not a norm.  Star ships do not land in this universe.  They carry smaller craft which are aerodynamically shaped.

The placement of the fuel is not accidental.  It's ARMOR.  Ablative armor, but armor nonetheless.  What happens if you spack into a sofball sized hunk of rock at the speeds you can attain while thrusting at half a gee for a week?  BANG is what.  With blow-off doors on your tank you can let the fuel take the hit and spread the load out quite a bit.  You want the tankage on both ends because when you're decelerating you're traveling tail-first.

There's lots more on this, but it's all I have for now.

PS: My infamous "dildo" design.


This is your normal everyday Type-S design using Book 5 for the stats (comes out the same as a Book 2 design).  I was very surprised at how much more compact it was as compared to the Supplement 7 design while having the correct volume whereas the Supp 7 plans are about 78 tons as shown.

02 July 2012

Defining Moments

I remember this.

At the time guns were not just banned from campus in Iowa, conceal carry was effectively banned in Iowa City (also a nuclear disarmament zone).

That ban did not save any of the six victims.

Of note is the choice of weapon, a high capacity assault weapon revolver.  A .38 Special revolver no less.

I said, at the time, when the press started yapping about banning handguns, "exactly what had MY guns done?"  My guns and I were innocent.  In fact I was more than 100 miles away.

A couple of years later when the Brady act and assault weapons ban were being debated I noted that those laws would not have prevented Mr Lu from getting the gun.  I also noted that none of the laws in place that forbade him from carrying that gun, taking it on campus or shooting people kept him from doing so.

What I really noticed, for the first time, was that five people were murdered and one person crippled for a lack of shooting back.  I had the same feeling with Virginia Tech.

Saving Money Due to Incompetence

Group purchases are a nightmare.

They never happen in the estimated time frame.  They always have too much or not enough communication.

This is the first time I've encountered where the supplier of the part over-communicated.

Because group purchases always run long on time, people get impatient.  When you announce that the parts are in, people want to get on with it.  This is not a time to have your web page not take the orders. This is not a time to stop answering the phone.

This is my cue to not spend the money.

You've shown your level of competence here and hard experience has taught me that it's not going to get better.