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31 August 2014


It's sometimes remarkable what gets you to give up going to a forum.

Buh bye arfcom!

Incestual rape isn't funny and isn't a joking matter.

If the site staff isn't even going to give the asshole a time out for it, I don't think I want to be associated with the place any longer.

Which is a shame because there is some good stuff there in some of the more technically focused forums.  Losing the retro section as a resource is going to suck.

29 August 2014


If .25 ACP were brand new today it'd be called 6.35mm Kolibri Magnum.

To Put It Another Way

About resurrection-cloning.

There will be a person whose perspective is they went to sleep/blacked out and then woke up.

How they feel about who they are NOW is mostly determined by how they felt about it BEFORE.

I suspect that the people who feel strongly that the clone isn't, and can't be, them won't avail themselves of the service.

If such a service becomes even somewhat widely available I also suspect that the perspective that the clone cannot be you will be lost.  Dying and waking up in a new body will simply become how things are and there won't be a philosophical divide about it.

May Day (US)

It is labor day weekend! One of the few national holidays where I say get out there and SHOP! Why? Because it's a Marxist/Leninist/Socialist holiday. The rest of the world does it on May 1st, but our native commies tried to hide its origins.

So, stick it to the working man and indulge in crass capitalistic behavior! Triple word score if you can force a union worker to work Monday.

28 August 2014

That Whole 1911 v 1911A1 Thing

I was looking at past posts and notice that I mentioned liking the feel of the flat mainspring housing and long trigger.

My how quickly that feeling faded into a desire for it to feel familiar in my hand.

I blame my acquisition of the Hi-Power for the change.

It's kind of illustrative how fickle "feel" can be.

The constant swapping of furniture on the AR's is another indicator.

Even though there's a constant quest to get the perfect feel, it's also amazing how adaptive we can be towards ergonomics we cannot so readily change.

Free Insurance

I remember when the $2,500 the NRA offers for insurance on your guns was enough to cover everything I owned...


The steady accumulation over the past 20 years really shows.

Worshipping Milspec

On one hand, milspec is something that's passed stringent testing and made to a very tight tolerance.

On the other, should a genuine improvement in process or material or dimension come along; mil-spec is an inflexible barrier to change.

One need not look farther for an example than the extractor spring on the M16 series.  Colt had identified a solution to the problems encountered on many rifles but the DoD determined that it wasn't happening on enough rifles to justify making a change to the supply chain.  At least not for a very long time.  Even so, further improvement has been made in the civilian sector, and is not (officially) allowed on the mil's guns.

It's especially amusing to watch someone extoll the virtues of mil-spec on their rifle while shunning the very much mil-spec USGI 30-round magazine.


Tam made a post a while back talking about the 10mm's propensity to crack the frame right above the slide stop cut-out.

Colt's solution was to open up the cut-out all the way.

What I noticed today was that 10mm isn't the only place they've done it.  My .38 Super came with an open cut-out too.

By way of contrast, my 2006 Springfield USGI in .45 is thus:

Marv's 1983 made .45 is from before the change.

It makes me wonder if .38 Super had the same cracking problem as 10mm or if Colt just made the change to the cut-out on all of their 1911s.

27 August 2014

The Way .38 Super Should Be

Because .38 Super was introduced in 1929, the guns were always 1911A1 pattern.  Scalloped frame, arched mainspring housing and short trigger.

My gun has the scallops, but it's presently stylish to put the long trigger and flat mainspring housings on them.  Which makes the gun feel wrong in my hand.

So I fixed it!  I had it in my head that this was going to be hard.  Not even a little bit difficult, even lining up the series 80 linkage was a non-event.

At last, my hand is complete!

As she left the Colt factory.
Obviously, I've corrected the "problem" by changing some parts around.

I'm kind of bemused at myself here.  Purist enough to want it fully in an A1 configuration; but leaving the better, taller sights and not having any sort of kittens about the plastic polymer mainspring housings.  Even the series 80 part doesn't bother me.

How Things Work FAL Edition

Because Weer'ds comment section is malfunctioning...

Photos taken of pages from Small Arms of the World 12th Edition, Ezell (1990).

How this all works...  In semi the trigger rotates, taking the sear with it and that releases the hammer.  The sear pivots on the same pin as the trigger, but is slotted.  When the nose of the sear is caught by the hammer, it's pushed back and the tail of the sear rests above a shelf on the trigger.  It's this shelf that raises the tail of the sear, thus lowering the nose and releasing the hammer.  As soon as the hammer is flying, the sear moves forward and the tail drops down into a groove in the trigger and raises the nose to catch the hammer as the bolt-carrier resets it; which shoves the sear back into the groove so you have to release the trigger to let it slide on its slot and put the tail over the shelf again.

The safety sear tries to catch the hammer every shot.  When the bolt carrier locks the bolt, the rest of its movement pivots the safety sear and releases the hammer.  In semi-auto mode, that lets the sear grab it, but in auto, the trigger can pivot a bit more and the nose of the sear is held too low for it to grab the hammer; it's the safety sear releasing that sets off the next round.

Military FALs which were "semi-auto-only" have a block on the selector on the outside of the gun.  Inch pattern guns have a lobe that will hit the upper receiver preventing it from rotating all the way to the auto position.

Metric guns have a hook that engages a pin on the lower that prevents the same movement.

The shaft of the selector in both cases is still cut with the extra depth that lets the trigger move the nose of the sear below the notch of the hammer.  As you can see, a couple of minutes with a grinder or Dremel will restore the auto-mode.

In the US, having the safety sear, or even having the upper cut to accept it, makes your FAL a machine-gun unless you have one of the very few "sear-cut" guns FN imported under the Browning imprint.

What If

Click To Embiggen Open In New Tab For Full Size

I'd imagine there'd be hasta vs pilum and gladius vs spatha debates on ARXV.com and MIV.net...

Special thanks to Willard for the inspired artwork!

25 August 2014


Among the things that piss me off about the 1033 program is the fact the Federal Government is giving the material away.

Material that would surely sell would that an exception in 18 USC §922(o) be carved out for CMP.

For some things, they don't even need that exception.  There's a passle of folks who'd love to lay hands on unmolested M16A1 uppers for their retro builds.  Double infuriating here since many 1033 recipients are tossing that upper into the corner while they make an M4 out of the 1033 gun.

Unrelated to guns, my county nabbed five surplus OH-58C from this program because Bell 206 parts are relatively available only to discover that there's significant differences between the OH-58 and 206 in many important parts.  They also found that the idea of cannibalizing parts might get them in trouble because they might not be able to readily restore the parts-birds to "as given" condition.

Changed The Ammo

Pretty weak complaint.

The change to M855A1 in the trials was because the Army was changing over to the new round and the supplicants would have to accommodate it.

I've been reading about the new round and it wasn't "tailored for the M4", it's a replacement round for every 5.56x45mm NATO gun in the inventory.


Tea Leaves

Ever see someone doing DNA testing?

They squirt fluids into vials and stuff.

Then a pattern emerges.

Viola!  DNA match! or not.

I am not going to pretend I understand the process, what it looks like more than in general or how it works.  I do know that it's repeatable.  I've seen enough of it explained that I can grasp the idea of what's going on even if I don't know the details.

Someone from the 18th century would call you a witch because what's going on is apparently no different from reading tea leaves.

What's that old line?  Something about sufficiently advanced technology?

This sort of thing is what divides the Tech Levels in games.

22 August 2014


To give credit, where credit is due.

When I asked Marv how often he checked to make sure his powder measure was feeding the correct amount of powder; his answer wasn't "huh?"


Got linked to an article about the militarization of the cops.

Nixon and Reagan are entirely to blame it seems.


It's not JUST them.

Until recently, a president needed Congress to pass the laws they were signing and enforcing.  Congress was decidedly one party from 1955 to 1994 in the house and with the exception of 1981-1987 the senate too.

That'd make it bipartisan, wouldn't it?

I also notice that while the Democrats controlled both congress and the white house they didn't rush out to repeal the laws which offend us so today.  Nor did any Republican president condemn those laws.

Again, bipartisan.

I'd like to say that the Republicans didn't make things worse when they had both houses and The White House, but Patriot Act...

Do not forget, when you see this politician or that condemning the effects of this law or that; how did they vote on it?  It's often surprising to see they supported the law when it was a bill and oppose it now that it's a law.  It's depressing that they very seldom get called on it.

Another issue at play here, and its something I have to grudgingly give LBJ credit for, "You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered."

Too much law is passed with the idea that the people administering it agree with the authors of the bill and completely understand what the authors meant by it.

New Toy

It's that time of every other year!

The Lovely Harvey renews her phone contract and gets a new phone.

This year they offered us a free tablet with the phone upgrade.

While most reviews are pretty negative about the freebie, it's $150 less than the one all of the reviews recommended.  Sound advice if one was paying outright, but FREE.

It's a fun little toy, like my smart-phone but larger.

It's something I have zero need of, but...  Hurray fun!

21 August 2014

Adventures In Sleep Deprivation

The pattern of late has been finally falling asleep around 0300.  Then three to four hours down, POP I'm awake and alert.

Then at around 10 or 11, a rapid fade.  Then four or five hours of sleep then a groggy up until about 0300, repeat.

Yesterday flat doesn't exist.  I know I talked to some people online, because chat records.

I have an ephemeral impression that Willard was here, because there's a copy of Cooper's Art of the Rifle here.

It's taxing.

I sometimes wonder if I've been making soap.

19 August 2014

Worse Than 1911 VS Glock

Because fighter pilots are involved...

The Aviationist posted Hoser's gun camera pic of him embarrassing an F-15C jock at a time when embarrassing an Eagle driver was bad for sales.

This led to comments about the superiority of the F-14 over the F-15 and vice versa.

First off, that's not a Tomcat with a gun pipper painting the pilot.  Second, Joe Satrapa was a Shit Hot pilot.  Third, even the lowly A-4 Skyhawk can get a guns kill on an F-15 if the Eagle pilot gets into a situation where the A-4 is superior.

It's a mantra over and over in air to air.  The best plane flown by the worst pilot is probably going to lose against a lesser plane flown by the best pilot.  Hoser was the guy to beat at the time, if you'd bested him, you could brag.

On paper, the Eagle should be all over the Tomcat in just about any engagement where the knives come out.  While things are still beyond visual range, the Tomcat has many advantages; not least of which is the radar.  The AIM-54 can reach out farther than any weapon ever carried by the F-15 (assuming one wanted to use them on fighters).

They used the same medium range missiles the entire time both planes were in service with the US with the AIM-120 capability given to the F-15C and denied the F-14A and D giving an edge to the Eagle.

Sidewinder fit was identical.

Same gun, Eagle has more bullets.

The F-15C has a much better thrust to weight ratio than the F-14A, but not so much over the F-14D.  Wing loading is hard to figure because the space between the engines on the Tomcat provides actual useful lift when the Phoenix pallets are left in the garage.

When things get low and slow, Navy planes shine because the handling characteristics that let you be successful around the boat help out there.

With the F-14A though, there are some serious warts in a dogfight.  The TF-30 was finicky.  The phrase pilots used was they had to fly the engine.  It also wallowed a lot.  When the F-14A+/F-14B and F-14D's came along they got to fly the plane and the B/D got improved flight control gizmos so that, "it finally went where I pointed it".

The F-15C is what is known as a "care free" handling plane.  It's got lots of thrust, and doesn't bite without giving lots and lots of growling to pull your hand back.  It's the kind of plane that makes a mediocre pilot good and a good pilot great.

Something that colors these comparisons is the Navy and Air Force took great pains to keep the Eagles and Tomcats separated.  It appears that neither service wanted a definitive answer to which plane was better in the real world.  Also the Navy imposed rather severe peacetime restrictions on the F-14 fleet so as to save the airframes and let them serve longer.  The Hoser picture is from one of, if not the, first times that those restrictions were lifted.

And that's what happens when the F-14A is flown by someone whose motto is, "pull on the stick until the RIO pukes and the rivets pop; there's no kill like a GUNS kill!"

Everything Mosin

The Mosin-Nagant Rifle 6th Edition by Terrence W Lapin.

THIS is what a book for collectors should look like!

Since this is my first book for a collector, they might all look like this, but I suspect they don't.

His data contradicts some online sources and he backs up why he thinks as he does.  There's a lot here to absorb in a very concise tome.

Thanks Willard!

Cop Wanna Be Soldier

My oldest post I can find about police militarization.

Note: if you ever delete your blogger blog in an attempt to import your live journal, it kills the search box in the upper left from seeing the posts that were deleted then restored.


I am once again struck that rioting and looting is not how civilized people behave.

Is there a way to say, "these people aren't part of our culture," without it sounding racist?

I guess, just like slander and libel, truth cleanses the crime.

If they really aren't part of our culture, then it isn't racist to notice.

The next question is do we want them to be?

I do.  I think things are better if everyone living in a nation is part of the same culture, at least the same base culture.

I think we're cultivating enclaves where a different base culture is the norm.  Some are being active about it, some are passive.

The end is balkanization as competing cultures tend to draw lines on maps rather than merge.

The saddest part of this was we had a system in place for a very long time that blended diverse cultures into the American one.

17 August 2014


L to R

A pen, a bottle opener and a dummy.

The bottle opener is by far the smoothest and best opener I've ever used!

The dummy round was the most expensive, it came with a donation to keep Liberty Belle flying; and we all know how that turned out.

Road Rally In The Rain

15 August 2014


You'd think, as popular as the long 1911 trigger is as an aftermarket item that a blued short trigger would be easy to find as someone's discarded part.

I'd take black plastic or aluminum at this point, I simply would like a short trigger!

You know, like came in every 1911 from Colt for decades?


Apparently voicing my need caused the universe to make several appear.  A guy on Gunbroker is selling "a sack full," so I nabbed one of his.

I didn't mention it here, because busy weekend; and Tam offered me one of her take-offs.  Fingers crossed that I don't need to take her up on her generous offer!

Beginner Mistake

The Lovely Harvey is giving on-body carry a shot.

She's discovered that selecting your cover garment has some provisos.

Officer Soldier

I didn't say much about the militarization of the cops here.

I commented here and there...

The reason I didn't say anything much here was because others were saying is so much better I had nothing meaningful to add.

I notice that they've been saying it for at least four years.

I'd ask where the press was on this, but we know that too, don't we?

The Legalities Of Gold Cross

In the way back, Steve Jackson Games had a game called Car Wars.

In that game they had a mini-rpg where your "character" could die and be brought back to life via a custom grown clone body and a read of your mind into the clone body.

It was called Gold Cross.  It was expensive, but worth it.

I introduced it into my Traveller campaign.

Anagathics were a staple of LBB Traveller, but if you could be resurrected, why fight getting old?

In Car Wars it was a simple matter to will your good to your clone because you were legally the same person.

Because there's nobility in Traveller, I decided that your clone was not legally the same person, but that you could will your entire estate to your clone.  No problem for most players.

One huge legal exception.  Titles of nobility didn't transfer.  If you were Baron of something, and you Gold-Crossed back to life, you weren't a baron anymore.

This kept the anagathics and let there be Gold Cross.

Neuyou (new you) was a competitor to Gold Cross, much cheaper.

I had an ad campaign for Gold Cross mentioning that their more costly procedure was more reliable than the "budget" option; "You'll never know what you're missing!" implying that memories could be entirely gone.

I never did confirm or deny if Newyou was an inferior service.

13 August 2014


Willard hands me a bag...  It's heavy.

"That's your spare ammo!" he says.

The thing that gets lost in the encumbrance rules is little lessons like that.

300 rounds of 7.62x51 and 100 rounds of 9mm are heavy.  19.4 lb.  All by itself, it's not so bad.  In addition to everything else...  It's not a straw, but it could be hazardous to the spines of camels.

Picking his memories about it; going to change the gear to...

On the web gear.
FAL with loaded mag.
4 spare mags. (down from 6)
HP with loaded mag.
1 spare mag.
2 Mk II fragmentation grenades (replacing 4 M67)

In the pack.
Spare loaded FAL mag.
50 round non-disintegrating 7.62x51mm belt.
Zip-Lock bag with 26 loose 9mm rounds.

Ditching the Energa's too.

Part of the problem was designing the character for a particular scenario and ignoring historical load outs.

On Mr Williams (Me Really)

Cracked has a good break down.

It hits home because I'm the insecure person who makes jokes to hide it.

It really hits home because I've had the gun in my mouth.

I've been in the dark hole looking up and pleading, "is there anyone out there who understands?" and gotten not just "no" but "hell no!" as a response.  You beg for sympathy because that creates the illusion that someone sees the pain for what it is.

You get offered advice that just will not work.

You get dismissed from peoples lives because they don't want a deeper relationship than the surface humor.

You dismiss yourself from peoples lives because you're sick of that veneer.  You dismiss yourself because you feel like you're taking over an inordinate amount of your friends time.  You know you wouldn't like it if they were imposing on you like you're imposing on them.

Relationships start feeling like a treadmill.  You never get any where.

You stop making new friends because there's no point.

I am fucking lucky!

Getting out of the hole is a DIY project.  It's a massive undertaking because not only do you have to dig out of the hole, you have to build the machines that make the machines that make the tools; all on your own and without a guide.  It's also frustrating that the tools and methods for escaping my personal hole do not resemble those that work for anyone else and vice versa.

For the most part, I've succeeded!  The last vestiges seem to have fallen relatively recently.

I still haven't made many new friends, it's still scary out there.  While it's scary here, at the edge of the hole, it's less scary than jumping back in.  Now the explanation is more along the lines that I'm a bit socially isolated by being a parent of a special needs child and limited by that single income thing.

I wish that Mr Williams had found the tools he needed to get out of his hole.  I wish that so many people I've known and know of would.

The only help I can really offer is to show that it's possible.  That it can be done.

PS: I weighed this long and hard before deciding to hit publish.  A version of this has been in drafts for weeks.  Special thanks to Tam for being mean a few months ago.  Although I doubt that she saw it as being so, it was the kick in the jaw I needed to assemble the tools that I'd made.

12 August 2014

How To Say It

It's not so much that I liked George Bush Jr, it's just knowing that the next guy would not be called to task for doing the exact same things Bush was being condemned for.

I've not heard the word "unilateral" used all week for some reason.

Mixed (Up) Martial Arts

11 August 2014

Wisdom Heeded

I was a sort of professional race car driver once.

Had the NHRA license and everything.  Not sure the class we raced in even exists anymore.

One piece of advice I heard over and over was, "unless the car's on fire, stay put until someone comes to get you," after a wreck.

Dad would add, "especially if the other car takes you out."

Which part of this advice did Mr Ward not heed?

I also recall my mom telling me to wear light colored clothing at night so people could see me; and that was for drivers who only had a giant sheet of glass on the front of the car not nets and cages and helmets with restricted head movement.

I'd rule it accidental suicide for running down into the path of an oncoming car.

The sanctioning body can begin to do their part by punishing drivers who do crap like this.  Five race time-outs would effectively end it.


I just notice something amusing.

The M16A2 rear sight is marked out to 800m.  5.56x45mm NATO is often derided for it's lack of authority at those ranges.

The FAL, whose 7.62x51mm NATO round is regarded as the panacea of long range and stopping power for the infantry, has a rear sight that only goes to 600m.

OK, Candidate

I will tell you what, Mr/Ms Candidate for office:  You say you're pro-gun, you even have a top rating from the NRA.

Well after taking it in the shorts about so many other things with Harry Reid, the NRA rating has been tarnished a tad.  It's an imperfect predictor of future behavior, not the NRA's fault, but since so much is out of their control here...

So how do you, the candidate, assure me that you're pro-gun?


You put on your web page, no matter how small, a statement that you oppose 922(o), 922(r) and support the removal of short barrel rifles and sound suppressors from the National Firearms Act.

That tells me you know what we're talking about.

Next, when the press inevitably discovers this, you vigorously defend the position.

Gold star bonus points for actually submitting bills that lead to the changes mentioned.

Notice also that I don't care that you're not running for a federal office.  So many of you do after a short stint at the state and local levels that I want this to be a position you take when it could cost you with the media and you can't affect directly.

Being pro-gun here is not going to hurt you with gun owners, so what have you to lose?  Your NRA rating?