31 December 2011

Happy Old Year!

This is my last post of 2011!


I am the son and grandson of bikers.

I was a biker for a long while too.

I've hung out with them for many, many years.

I've been to Sturgis when the big party was still in town.

What the fuck happened since I stopped riding?

Did Harley start administering IQ tests during the purchase process and if you score above 90 you don't get the bike?  Do they waive this test if you already own a scoot?

I ask because the ridership down here seems divided very sharply.  People who seem to know what they're doing and riding defensively and people whose heads are so far up their asses they open their mouths to see.  Gives new meaning to the term "eye tooth".

The former group I have zero problems with.  They stay out of my way, I can tell what they are going to do next so I can stay out of theirs.  Easy.

The latter, and larger group, seem to wanting to see if their helmet really can protect them after the 4,300 lb. of Biscayne fails to stop.  I got news for you, Dr Biker Esq. my car cannot out brake your bike.  I have four times the mass with about double the swept area; do the math.

Wildly varying your speed between five under the limit and five over flow of traffic and changing lanes seemingly at random makes it hard to predict where you are going to be next so I can give enough room to actually not hit you should you panic stop for optical illusions and unicorns.

Help me to help you!  Because if the worst happens I'm not looking at more than a trip to the body shop; you're going to the hospital.

Something else to consider, I was a biker so I pay more attention to bikes.  I try to give you guys more room and consideration.  If I am having trouble avoiding collisions with your bad riding, what makes you think the New York City expatriate who didn't have a license until they retired down here will have the clue and experience to dodge you?

This is pretty easy stuff, really.

Adjust your mirrors so you can see.

Look over your shoulder before changing lanes!

Clearly signal your intentions.  Vaguely waving your hand at waist level is not a signal no matter how cool you think you look doing it.  Are you closing your choke?  Are you switching to the reserve tank?  Are you dropping your cigarette?  Are you indicating a lane change?

Move with the flow of traffic!!!  This one is the most important.  While you are legally allowed to go five under, you're not making friends doing so.  The speed-up slow-down game also doesn't make anyone around you happy with you.  Try to remember that mass equation from earlier.

Be aware of the blind spots on the cars nearest you.  If you cannot see my head in the window or the mirror there's no way I can see you at all.  If I speed up or slow down to get you out of my blind spot don't move right back into it!  I am trying to help us both.

That "Share The Road" bumper sticker, that works both ways.

Grammar Nazi

I am not normally too bad about grammar.

I may chide my friends from time to time, but bad grammar in a living language is par for the course as the language morphs.

The problem arises when the primary function of language begins to fail.  Language is for communication. If the grammar you are using is not intelligible to the person whom you are trying to communicate with, you are failing.

The basics are pretty easy.  Sentence structure isn't that hard.  The rules are also pretty damn easy.

Things that would make my life on forums easier.

Learn where the shift key is!  Start sentences with a capital letter and end them with some form of punctuation.

If you're using a computer there's no damn excuse for words being spelled wrong.  Spell checkers are pervasive.  Using the wrong word is more understandable, the computer is not normally going to let you know you used the wrong to, too or two; let alone there, their or they're.

30 December 2011


One thing I most regret about my parents getting divorced is that my father was completely absent.

There are things that I grew to know that should be done.

There was nobody to teach me how.

It's a bitch to know what you are supposed to do without knowing how to do them.

I learned, the hard way.  It took longer for being an OJT/DIY experience.

Later I learned that my father didn't know that there are things you are supposed to do, so he couldn't have taught me how.

One could suppose his removing himself from my life as a blessing since I was able to learn the lessons he had not.

29 December 2011



As in cannot.

I would sure like to see every instance of "government can't" changed from "is not allowed" to "is unable to."

I wouldn't need to worry so much about things then.


What many people mean when they say can't is "shan't" or "shall not".  That's much closer to meaning "not allowed to"


One sign of principles is sticking to them.

Letting them guide you not the fickle winds of public opinion.

It's saying, "I will not do that," then not doing that!  Saying you will never and then doing it anyway is not principled.

Yes, a principled person can amend their position, but they also have to explain why.  They have to admit their principles were not in keeping with their present reality and show the process whereby their minds were changed about it.

What you cannot do is change your mind and still maintain your principles are unchanged.

Being principled is not easy.  You will be punished for it.  You will miss opportunities because of them.

It is work and there are rewards.  The rewards exceed the pain.  The opportunities that you don't miss are bigger and better than the ones you missed.

At the end you will know you did it the right way.

28 December 2011

Music Meme

Top 25 Most Played on the iPod in the car.  Meme from Tam.

Debonair (Fuck Hollywood Mix) by Dope
Just One Fix by Ministy
Die MF Die by Dope
Rock Is Dead by Marilyn Manson
My Suicide (Girl) by Critical Bill
mOBSCENE by Marilyn Manson
Astonishing Panorama Of The Endtimes by Marilyn Manson
Away From Me by Puddle of Mudd
All These Things That I've Done by The Killers
Rock 'N' Roll by Motörhead
21st Century (Digital Boy) by Bad Religion
The Future's So Bright by Timbuk3
How Will I Laugh Tomorrow by Suicidal Tendencies
BEER! by Psyhcostick
Zero by The Smashing Pumpkins
Hollywood Nights by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Teen Angst by Cracker
Girl U Want by Devo
Nemo by Nightwish
Bombshell by Powerman 5000
Whenever Wherever by Shakira
Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath

Interestingly this is not the same 25 songs as the laptop.  The desktop has a different list of 25.  I seem to listen to different music based on where I am.

27 December 2011

Giving OWB A Try

This method of carry is contraindicated by the narrow seats and center console on the Vette.

But the Biscayne is a whole other matter with its Barcalounger seating.

I think it disappears nicely.

It's a SIG-Sauer P232 in a Galco holster.  Yes, I know, I buy a lot of Galco stuff; but it works for me and Dragon Leatherworks doesn't send me samples to get me hooked.  Come on, Dennis, first fix is supposed to be free!


This is my 640-3.  Zit and all.

Tam is to blame.  I recall her saying something to the effect that if you pulled the trigger a thousand times you'd end up with a really good trigger pull.

Being who I am, I said, "why dry fire when you can shoot"?  Why use .38 when you have .357?  Now I know.  Ouch.  But I do have an honest 600 rounds through the gun without a hiccup (from the gun).  To be fair, it was a shot 50 rounds at a time not all at once.  This is the first gun I've owned where I had to force myself to finish a box of ammo.  The first gun where I didn't have to force myself to take ammo home.  I really don't like shooting it.  The sights suck, recoil is harsh, lookitthat fireball!  OK, the fireball is fun.

This not even as light as Jay G's Snubby From Hell™.  I remember when I first read about the Snubby From Hell™, my very first thought was, "like my gun but LIGHTER?"  No.  Way.  Ever.

But I learned a lot from this gun.  I learned how to properly fire double action.  I learned that how you hold a revolver is not the same as how you hold an auto.  I learned that when Tam says "dry fire" she doesn't mean "go shooting".

The Devil You Know

I predict that President Obama will be reelected.

I also predict the Senate returning to Republican hands while the House remains Republican.


We know Barry pretty well by now.

We also know enough about Romney, Gingrich and Paul to know that they would be different but not better in everything except whom they would pick for the Supreme Court.  Since the Senate is more than involved there, perhaps we could avert the disaster somewhat.

We don't know enough about Perry to really claim he'd be more than different, but what we've seen is promising.  Except he's a bit heavy on the God thing for my tastes.  Not to mention how I am almost pre-weary of the "governor from Texas" meme that's bound to be coming.  He'll be Bush 45...  Bush the Third...  Anything but himself.

Gods, I want a candidate to vote FOR.  I am sick to death of being presented with "here's the guy you get because we know you're voting against the other guy."

It's a nice feeling to have such.  I voted FOR Marco Rubio.  I voted FOR Rick Scott.  Back when, I voted FOR Jeb Bush.  My state political machine seems to have figured it out, why can't the national level?

Of course voting for someone isn't all milk and cookies.  I voted for Ross Perot.  That was the last presidential candidate I voted for.  I voted against Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama not for Bob Dole, George W Bush or John McCain.

My write in candidate, sadly, passed away this year.  I don't even have Bill Gerber any more.

24 December 2011

Me Too! Me Too!

I do so love me a good meme.

Here's what I may be carrying at any given moment.

Springfield M-1911A1 GI in a Galco Miami Classic II.
Smith and Wesson 640-3 in a Galco Royal Guard.
SIG-Sauer P238 in a Don Hume 001.

Your best guess as to the exact load-out.

The 1911 tends to be for cooler weather where I can survive wearing a shirt over a t-shirt.  The J-Frame is more my summer gun with an untucked shirt or the pocket of my cargo-shorts.  The SIG is a constant companion who lives next to my wallet.

23 December 2011

Out Of The Park With Escape Velocity


Another Piece of Evidence We're Winning.

Just for a lark I strapped on my Anaconda to wander around the house and while I was geeking out making a GURPS character.

The water delivery guy showed up, so I opened up the garage to let him swap the bottles.

No freak out about the gun at all, just a "Is that a .44?"

He didn't know that Colt made them in .45 Colt.

22 December 2011

How Did I Miss This Blog?

[T]he statement that they're trying to project is "I'm wonderful", but the one I'm receiving is "you're a neurotic asshole".

Now That Someone Else Has Mentioned It...


I remember Mr Paul back in those '90's.

I remember saying, "Well, he's good on guns..."

Unspoken, "but..."

He profited handsomely from those newsletters and has utterly failed to put any real distance on the position.

Even if it was "just a marketing tactic" it's damning that he'd even consider it; let alone actually print it!

If your name is on it, you own it.  If you allowed someone else to write it and hang your name on it, you still own it!

Someone who storms off stage when the press asks about this is not someone I want as a dog-catcher let alone president.

I am not infatuated with libertarianism.  Like all simple utopian ideals it falls apart with the slightest touch of reality.  I believe I mentioned that feudalism can be constructed without violating libertarianism.  Hardly freedom, is it?

Still, Mr Paul is not Mitt Romney.  I'll take a racist libertarian ideologue over gun-grabbing RINO.


I forgot the dog whistling Truther shit!

19 December 2011

Using Youtube To Review Guns

I have a couple of hints for you...

If <gasp> you <gasp> can't <gasp> breathe <gasp> you <gasp> shouldn't <gasp> be <gasp> talking <GASP GASP GASP>.

Check the <rumble rumble rumble> wind speeds.

Two words: Tri Pod.

Have a helper shoot you in the left foot with a pellet rifle every time you say "uh".

Learn to write.

See above.


Rehearse!  Don't post your first attempt.

About that writing thing, if you can say everything you need to say without showing an actual video, just write it down and post to a blog.  This saves me from listening to your emphysema, not hearing you from the wind over the mic and getting motion sickness because you clearly drank a fifth of vodka to get the courage to post, but forgot what that would do to your steadiness.

Another Errant Thought

In light of the circumstances of Kim Jong Il's death; Mr Obama: Next time take the train.

Just sayin'...

17 December 2011

Grampa's Guns

These are the guns that defended the COOP gas station at the corner of 2nd St and Lincoln Way in Nevada, Iowa for at least thirty years.

This was Grampa's "tool-box gun.  It's a Harrington and Richardson "Automatic" 2nd Model 1st Variation; made in 1891 as near as I have been able to determine.  It's chambered for six rounds of .32 S&W Long.  Despite being a "cheap" gun it still locks up good and tight.  It hits point of aim at 10 yards, but that firing pin will pierce one primer in about ten.  It's definitely a black-powder gun, I didn't know that when I bought smokeless ammo and fired it.  This gun is the first gun I carried when I got my Florida permit, the Glock 21 being a lot too big for summer.

This is the "under-the-counter" gun.  The rationale for the smaller gun than the H&R was that grandma would often be out front doing the books and she needed something smaller.  This is an Iver Johnson Safety Hammer Automatic five shooter chambered in .32 S&W and made in 1911.

These two guns have almost exactly zero intrinsic value, but vast sentimental worth.

16 December 2011

The Joys of Cooler Weather

Made a batch of my chili.

Yes, it has beans.  And onions.  And meat.  And tomatoes.

This is what I call chili and regardless of if you agree to its labeling, it's tasty stuff!

My buddy Marv and I developed this recipe from scratch.  He's pretty sensitive to spices so we went for flavor and not heat.  It's with no small amount of pride to claim that it's won every office chili cook-off we've entered it in (all three!).

My loving wife published our recipe in her cookbook.  You should buy a copy; lots of tasty, affordable recipes in it.  Many of them are our old family recipes that we transcribed verbatim, complete with spelling errors!  Just for fun!

Burn in Hell Motherfucker!

Christopher Hitchens has become a good marxist.

Edit: I was supposed to like him?  Because he said some things I would have agreed with?

Marxists are socialists and socialism is evil.  Socialism has murdered too many people to trust.  Murdered too many people to like or respect anyone who openly claims to be one or expresses their respect for Marx and Lenin.

So, Mr Hitchens, you may have written some good stuff, but burn in Hell anyways.

15 December 2011

Cheap guns.

I am firm believer in A gun is better than NO gun.

This means a cheap POS is better than nothing.

Caleb is writing about how a good gun is better than a bad gun (true) and that the price point isn't that bad between bad and good (also true).

I say all this to tell this story.

I am at a gun show and we're walking past a vendor with two tables full of brand new High Points.

He starts his pitch because I glanced in his general direction.

One of my friends says, "I used to own one..."

The sales pitch instantly stops and the vendor sits down looking all dejected.  Wow!


Today I am 100 calendar days pending on my most recent Form 1.  That's 155 total days since I put it in the mailbox.

My examiner has been averaging 131 days pending to stamp received in the past six months.

Just a couple of weeks ago that average was 115 days over at NFA Tracker.

The average time seems to be slipping at about the same rate as my wait time.

This, above all else, is why I don't want the government in charge of my health.

The reason that the forms take so long to process is there are a buttload of them and only 12 examiners.  The reason there are only 12 7 examiners is because there is a hiring freeze.  Here's a good write up about it.

Safe Queens

How does a gun become a safe queen?

I know I didn't set out to own a single one, but I seem to have acquired a few.

I simply don't shoot several of the guns in there.

I did have to have them though.

At least none of them are guns that I will not shoot because I fear I am affecting their value.

Grampa's old revolvers I don't shoot because I am not entirely convinced it's still safe to do so.  Their value is entirely sentimental rather than intrinsic.  This is on top of them being unpleasant to shoot as well.

Both of the rifle ranges I like are more than an hour's haul from here, so it's kind of a pain to get in some 50 or 100 yard trigger time.

14 December 2011

Innocent of What?

Reading here about a defensive gun use.

Weer'd quotes Bob quoting Caroline Brewer, "they’ll shoot innocent bystanders".

Caroline, not only do you not understand gun owners, you don't understand criminals.

The kind of crimes were a gun is most useful are also the type of crimes where the criminal seeks the most privacy.  There are no innocent bystanders because, to the criminal, they are witnesses!

Not only are they witnesses, they are sources of assistance to the victim.

13 December 2011

Guess What?

Stolen from Another Gun Blog:

"It's weird that somebody came onto campus with a gun," "It kind of made me think that anybody could be doing anything on our campus." Freshman Rachel Robbins

I hate to tell you this, Sunshine, but anyone can bring a gun on campus NOW, it's just illegal.

When I was living in Iowa there was no chance of getting a conceal carry permit from the Story County Sheriff.  "Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6" was my logic; so I carried without a permit.  That included the campus of Iowa State University.  Guess what happened!  NOTHING!


Because I was an otherwise law abiding citizen who had been denied the legal means to self defense.  I also recall one of the Founders said something to the effect of "any law that runs contrary to your rights is void; and should be treated as such."  Well, that's what I did.

Ms. Robbins may be shocked to learn that she may already surrounded by gun owners who are being very, very quiet about it because they don't want to end up arrested over it, nor dead should a Virginia Tech incident happen.

I tend to prefer arrested to dead.

I've mentioned before that my law abidance has increased dramatically since I got my carry permit.  Almost as if no longer being forced to break one law makes me respect the others all the more.  I have not carried where I am forbidden since (much longer than the statute of limitations by the way).

Related to this:  I did a search to see if Iowa's new conceal carry law allowed campus carry, it does not.  I stumbled across an article from the ISU Pravda Iowa State Daily where Stephanie Madon, associate professor of psychology, references the weapon effect.  It's real.  What she fails to mention is the "offensive effect of a weapon" which is also real, and stronger.

The weapon effect is simply that an aggressor will be more aggressive when there's even an image of a weapon present.

The offensive effect of a weapon, counterintuitively, is that less aggression occurs when a real weapon is present because of the likelihood of it being used.

You have to consider both effects.  While someone who is going to go off will be more likely to do so if they've got a weapon, they are also far less likely to do so if there's a likelihood of someone else having a weapon.  Also part of both is that a person who has a weapon and is assured of being the only person with a weapon is much more likely to go off.  An associate professor of psychology should know that.

Isn't that what we conceal carry people have been saying for decades?

The Question Remains

Ergo makes a stock that I am kinda interested in.

The gun I would buy it for has an OD green theme going on, so I would want the OD green version of this stock.

This is not a problem since Ergo makes it in OD green.

Brownells sells the stock, but their listing is pretty clearly the black version.

They have a little Q&A app with each listing so I asked, "Will you be carrying the OD Green version?"

Their reply, "You will need to call our tech support line at (641) 623-5401 Ext. 5003 for the proper selection. You should have the gun in hand or available when you call. You may also want to contact us via e-mail at tech@brownells.com"

Yup, their robot replied with a generic response.  This is an answer that could have been placed in a disclaimer at the bottom of the page.  This is not an answer to the question.

This is exactly what I am talking about when I mention that the internet changed everything.  I know of six other vendors who are selling the green version.  Any one of whom would have happily sold me one while I fruitlessly waited for a reply from Brownells.  Next time I will know not to waste my time with the Q&A app and just buy from a vendor who lists it clearly and shows the item in stock.

I like Brownells, but Midway kicks their asses all damn day on the web.

12 December 2011

Rifle Shooting

I need to get out and extend the range I shoot at.  I find myself plinking at 50 yards far too often with rifles that readily do 100+.

A torso sized silhouette is readily visible at that distance and the irons are adequate for the work.

I just need to practice!

7.62x51mm NATO recoil: I've never had a problem.  Yes, there's more than with 5.56, but that stands to reason; more energy is going down range and Newton will not be denied.

If you think about it, of course .308 isn't overpoweringly powerful.  It's the final battle rifle round we developed.  Battle rifle rounds from the introduction of smokeless powder (and before too) had to be issued to raw recruits and conscripts.  Genuine 90th percentile folks.  If the recoil was too much for the average person, then none of your soldiers would be able to shoot worth a damn.  Everything is a compromise!

The FAL tips the scales at just more than 11 pounds loaded.  That absorbs a lot of recoil all by itself.  The moving parts devour another portion.  I guess the muzzle brake is doing something too, but probably not too much.

What I do notice is my FAL jumps a bit more and takes a little longer to get back on target than my XM177E2 clone.  More recoil and a longer heavier rifle will do that.

Maybe, someday, I will get inspired and try 3-gun again.  I had a lot of fun the one time I did it before, but coming in dead last sucks and I didn't have the ammo money to improve my scores back then.  Also, a Glock 21, Daewoo DR200 and Remington 870 are not an ideal combination.

11 December 2011


This applies to any auction site, really.

If the list of restrictions, disclaimers, instructions and caveats is longer than the item description: do not do business with the seller!

It's a good rule of thumb.

Surplus Ammo

This is the headstamp of the corrosive ammo I fired yesterday.

At least the internet identifies it as corrosive...  It's berdan primed.  They had a slight rotten-egg smell when fired too.

10 December 2011

Jasmine Is Zeroed!

Back from the range.

Swapping the lowers meant swapping the rear sight, that means the zero can be affected.  It was.

Took a half turn of the adjustment screws to the right to get her dead on.

Zeroed with Mag-Tech (Brazilian) 150gr, all was well.

Then I tried to use up some ammo that I'd bought in '95 or so that I had originally given to Dumbass Shitheel (before he started beating his wife and when he owned a .308 rifle).  The stuff wouldn't chamber and would get stuck trying to get it out.  Gave up on that and changed over to some surplus Czech stuff.

The Czech stuff shot great, but it was corrosive so there was much cleaning to do when I got home.  I spritzed the bore with some windex before packing up at the range and blasted it pretty good again when I got home, then some WD40 to chase out the windex and then my normal thorough cleaning job.

Simple Test...

I missed 4 questions out of 33.  How did you do?

Simple Civics Test

h/t Smallest Minority

09 December 2011

That NFA Trust Loophole

Expanding on this post:

I think I figured out why some people regard a trust owning an NFA firearm as a loophole.

I can, indeed, add a convicted felon prohibited person to my trust as a trustee.  I am not required by ATF to submit any paperwork about changes the trust makes to the trustees or its assigns.  The only time they see that trust is when I give them a copy along with a new Form 1 or Form 4.

Technically, this person now owns an NFA item, right?  Sort of.  The trust owns the item, the trustee is a partner in owning the trust.

But nothing about adding this person to the trust allows them to actually possess the item because of their prohibited status!

I don't know if the actual ownership issue has been tested in court, nor do I want to be the first one to try.  This is a contentious area for normal property let alone NFA items.  IANAL, so if you want a definitive answer, retain one.

I am very cautious about who I would let be a trustee, if for no other reason a trustee could clean out the gun safe, sell everything for 25¢ on the dollar, blow that on hookers and blow and I'd have no recourse against them about the loss of my stuff.  I made it our stuff by making them a trustee!

Going Furry

I didn't want to be "that guy".  Am I "that guy"?  I probably am.  Dammit.

I like my 6.8's.  I'm happy with them.  I want to share the happy with others!

I will readily concede that there are situations where 6.5 Grendel outperforms 6.8x43mm.  Longer ranges in particular.

If 6.5 Grendel is working for you, and you're happy, why do I have to be sad for choosing the "other"?

Tam says I reminded her of an earlier thread; it's older than that.  I have two uncles that couldn't be in the same room because of the .30-06 vs .280 Remington issue.  Mentioning .270 Winchester in the middle of that fight would just get them to gang up on you.

Since I am going to go full YIF! here...

Is 6.8 ballistically identical to 7.62x39?  No it is not.  More energy at the muzzle, better sectional density, better ballistic coefficient, flatter trajectory.  Even if it was identical, the "works in an AR mag-well" would make it a good choice.

Is 6.8 going to be adopted by the military?  Probably not.  Nor is 6.5.  .300 Blk prolly doesn't have a Whisper's chance either.  NATO would not be amused if we did that again.  Even so, we're talking about a logistics nightmare during the change-over.  The change from M193 to M855 was bad enough and there the magazines and bolts were the same.

Is 6.8 going to be adopted by the police?  Yes.  It's already being used by a couple of police forces and more than a few individual officers.  Just like 6.5, actually.

I've seen the .30-06/.280 Rem/.270 Win test done by more than one magazine.  But that was before they'd become so obviously controlled by advertising.

Why don't we run that test?  First, we can't get anyone to agree to what fair conditions are.  Second even when we get agreement that the test isn't apples to oranges, the other side doesn't show up!

There have been repeated offers from the 6.8 camp to run an Apples to Apples comparison.  16" barrels and the best load for that barrel you can brew.  I want to see this test run.

I've seen the offer posted in at least three forums and not seen a single 6.5 person offer to show up.  Put up or shut up says I!


But I am not really that confrontational.

I'm happy with my choice.  I would probably have been happy with 6.5.  I would probably be happy with .300 Blk.  Honestly, I want you to be happy too!

08 December 2011


I'm a fan of the 6.8x43mm round.  Especially for the SPC II chamber and 1:11 twist.

I was an early adopter of that standard and it sucked when every attempt to discuss what was going on in 6.8 development (or just answering some questions) was derailed by a devotee of 6.5 Grendel explaining how their round was so much better.

So better that we were idiots for using 6.8.

Better at long ranges, ballistic coefficients, and sectional density were the core of their argument for their round.  Valid, as far as it went, but most times comparisons were cherry picked to put one round in its best light against the other in its worst.

I had thought the 6.8 crowd was taking and sticking to a higher road.

Until I see how some are reacting to the introduction of .300 AAC Blackout (.300 Blk).  Here we are, longer ranged, better ballistic coefficient, and sectional density...  Exactly the same arguments we refuted with the 6.5 crowd.


At least the tone is polite rather than arrogant from my camp.

Part of what I think is going on is the .300 Blk went from introduction to acceptance with AR makers very quickly.  I think there are almost as many makers offering .300 Blk as 6.8x43.  I recall the long fights and letter campaigns to get manufacturers to offer a 6.8 at all; and then to get them to change from the SAAMI standard to the superior SPC II (not to mention the change from 1:10 to 1:11 rifling).

I think that some 6.8 devotees are tweaked that we had to work so hard to get 6.8 mainstreamed and .300 just greased right in.

I submit that it was we who provided that grease!  We showed that alternate rounds would sell in the AR platform and that we'd sacrifice absolute theoretical performance for practical functionality.  We showed them that there was a market and that there was room for rounds that were more practical for other niches.  We showed them that resisting the demand was a fools errand and the time to say "this won't sell" is after sales tank.  How many of the excellent vendors selling 6.8 barrels and uppers would not be here today if Remington has just LISTENED to a small core of people examining the potential of the 6.8?  How many Ruger Mini-14/6.8's would have sold if they'd been on the vanguard of adopting the new chamber specifications instead of lagging behind?

How many of the makers who now have hindsight about 6.8 are applying this lesson to the new upstart?

Personally, I like variety.

07 December 2011

Seventy Years

Seventy years ago, the Japanese started something they couldn't finish.

Render honors to port!

06 December 2011

Errant Politically Incorrect Thought

I look at gun control and all the fallacies surrounding it.

Then I realize something.

There's a far simpler way for gun-owners to get everything we've ever wanted.

Become the blood thirsty savages the media claims we are already.

Think about it.

Why do I think it would work in our favor?

Why didn't we tell the ground zero mosque people to piss up a rope?

A demonstrated willingness to commit violence seems to work on the liberals, doesn't it?

Why don't we?

Simply put; it's because we aren't blood-thirsty savages.  We're civilized.  While the means make the ends; we're content to use civilization's time honored tools to achieve our ends, because the means matter to such as we.

The outcome will be the same, we'll have all our rights back.  We will also have a clear conscious at the end.

05 December 2011

Today's Learning Experience

Did you know that the electric company doesn't care if you have the money to pay them?

What they care about is you sending them that money.

Turns out they will shut off the power and wait for you to pay them before turning it back on.

Who knew?

Besides everyone?

Yeah, I'm a dumbass...

04 December 2011

I Love Technology

I just got me an Eye-Fi SDHC card.

What it does is transmits the pictures on the card to my computer via a wi-fi network.

This saves wear and tear on things like the battery compartment door!

Pretty damn spiffy.

I wholeheartedly endorse the technology; while I am amazed by it.

They even have higher end cards that can transmit straight to your computer should a wi-fi network be unavailable.

03 December 2011

Special Forces

Hat-Tip: Ace

Ultimate KISS Rifle

I think that Tabitha is the ultimate expression of a KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) AR.

No fragile optics.

No fiddly collapsible stock.

No useless forward assist.

No poodle slaying cartridge.

Everything you need, nothing your don't.

Plus it's superbly balanced!

For those scoring at home.  Tabitha is a KoTonics 6.8x43mm SPCII, 1:11, 16" midlength gas system using a vintage R604 upper, Stag bolt-carrier group, NoDak-Spud full-fence lower, lower parts kit from a gun-show vendor, new handguards from PK Firearms, vintage M16A1 type E stock and pistol grip.  A2 style flash-hider spun onto 5/8-24 threads and a side-sling adaptor with a vintage "seat-belt" style sling.

Everything but the gas-tube, flash-hider and handguards was laying in my parts bin after being discarded or rejected from other builds.  That makes this my cheapest AR to date since the costs of most of the parts were absorbed as part of other rifles.

02 December 2011

He's a Newt!

Perhaps he's gotten better?

I am not fond of Mr Gingrich.  He's not in my top ten first choices and at least nine of those slots are blank.

I guess he's really my number one choice since that slot is labeled, "NOT Mitt Romney".  Ron Paul's troofer ass fits that slot as well so don't read too much into it.

I think I could hold my nose and vote for Newt.  I will not do so for Mitt.

Newt didn't even try to repeal Brady or the AWB.  The whole "Contract with America" was spun to we gunnies with a "going to repeal the stupid gun laws" vibe.  Never.  Even.  Submitted.  A.  Bill.  To.  Committee.  Let alone brought a bill to vote.

But that was passive.

Mr Romney was active on stomping on things I consider to be my rights.  I can readily ignore it when he's the governor of a state I don't live in, but not when he wants to be president.  The current president has a better record on gun rights than Mitt "we do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them. I won't chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety," Romney.  Let that sink in for a bit.  Think I'm wrong?  Go buy a 30-round Magpul AR mag in Massachusetts.  If you succeeded, go tell a cop what you did and use your phone call to tell me what happened.

01 December 2011

Math Is, Indeed, Hard

Jay G started this.  Read his post first.

The draw on a Chevy Volt is 3,300 watts charging from the 240v charger that's required to get that range in 4 hours.

13.2 KWh per charge.  What does your electric company charge per Kwh?  Mine's pretty complicated, but it would cost me $1.312 per charge most of the time.  That's an extra $39.38 a month to my electric bill assuming that I am running under 1,000 kWh a month total.  Since I never come in under 1,000 kWh, adding a Volt would be adding electric use on top of that, so it's really $1.696 per charge.

$619.16 a year that my normal powered car doesn't cost me.  That carries me 12,775 miles optimally.

Lets assume that I only drive that 35 miles every day and never go farther.

A brand new Civic EX sedan gets 39mpg and is under $21,000.  So I have saved $25k on the car itself.  At $3.219 a gallon that's 7,766.4 gallons of gas!  Which is 302,899.1 miles.  A 23.7 year supply of fuel in the difference in the purchase price.  Owning a Civic for 23.7 years SAVES more than $600 over a Volt.  Even if fuel spikes to $4.009 a gallon I still have a NINETEEN year supply of fuel from the savings of the actual purchase (and I still save that $619.16).

Will a Volt even last 19 years?  I've seen lots of 1991 Hondas still on the road; no so many Chevys.

And let's look at something else.

My 1991 Biscayne gets a whopping 15 mpg in and around town.  It's paid for.  While I would have to pay $3,414.33 a year in gas to get those 35 miles a day like the Volt does for $619.16; I saved $46,000 when I didn't buy a new car; and that assumes I paid cash, doesn't account for tax, title or license doesn't take in interest on a loan...  There's your real math kids.  My land yacht is $43k ahead of a Volt in the first year; plus it's done depreciating.  Even if something major breaks I have at least ten years of driving the B-Body before I hit the purchase price of a new Volt.  I have every confidence that the Biscuit will make it to 2021 too.  There are still 1955 Chevys on the road because there's a Hot-Rodder community for them, just like my car.  I just don't see such a community popping up around the Volt.

30 November 2011

Entry Level Guns

Reading at 3 Boxes of BS.

The take-away point is any gun beats no gun if you need one.

He's right, we're pretty damn snobby about it while we complain about the differences of good (even great) guns.

I am biased and blessed that my first handgun was a good one (Glock 17).  I could afford to get it so I didn't have to look down-market.

This isn't true of everyone.

My grandfather on Mom's side owned a small gas station in a small town for decades.  Not a huge money-maker, but steady.  He defended his business with a nickel plated Harrington and Richardson .32 S&W Long revolver he carried on his person and an Iver Johnson .32 S&W under the counter.  He reasoned that a crook might take him unawares but they'd be heading to the register where a gun always was.  He felt he needed two guns.

His choice was to buy two cheap guns rather than one good one.  And honestly, those two guns were cheaper than half the price of a Smith and Wesson or Colt.  They didn't need target accuracy to sit in a tool-box or under the register, they just needed to go bang after years of sitting.  They do.

That H&R was my first (legal) carry gun.  It's small and easily concealed.  My Glock 21 (my only other handgun at the time) not so much.  I got a better gun.  I got several better guns.

I have an analogy that I think works.  Everyone wants the Ferrari, not the Hyundai; but what is the difference sitting in gridlock?

First you need a gun.  Yes, you do.
Second, buy the best you can.  While there are some guns on the never-ever-buy list, most anything will do.  Remember, 99% of defensive gun use can best be described as "brandishing" so even a bar of soap that looks like a gun would work.  The reason you use a real gun is for that 1% where it's described as "shooting".
Third, once you have a gun at all, now you can start thinking about getting a better one.  If you could afford a good one out of the chute, so much the better.  More money for ammo and practice.

Worth Reading

"The history of passive resistance movements in regimes that have no difficulty murdering passive resistors is much shorter and less noted."

Read the whole thing.

29 November 2011

1903 x 2


I am a firm believer in the idea that if I am being punished for a crime I did not commit then I literally have nothing to lose by actually committing said crime.

Don't act surprised when I behave in the manner you giving negative reinforcement for.

27 November 2011

OK, Cool Kids, Answer Me This...

The Tea Party is the Astroturf Wing of the Koch brothers?

First I've heard of it, but the wife's libtard friend was tossing it around as FACT.

I can't find much about it online, and I didn't get a Freedom Works check, so...

Please comment and tell me what there is to this.

That Was Easy

The standard front sight base on an AR15 is supposed to be held on with taper pins.

Someone didn't get word to J&T Distributing.  They use straight pins.

At least they weren't roll pins.

I happen to have a reamer that I bought to drill and ream the holes in Tabitha.  Yesterday, at the gun show, I bought a couple of taper pins and today I went to work.

Kaylee's future barrel now has taper pins.  I went a little too deep on one and a little too shallow on the other.  Both are well within tolerances though.  The straight pins are laying on the block.

Tools are investments, not expenses.  The money saved by buying proper tools far and away exceeds the cost of the tool.  This ten minute job is $45 from one place and the local gunsmith has an $80 minimum.  I think I am into the reamer for $20 and this is the second time I've used it.  Tabitha's FSB mounting would have been about $100 if I'd sent it out.  All told this simple tool has saved at least $125.  I'm not counting the price of that block or the drill I used since those were bought for other projects and have, themselves, been fully amortized now.

26 November 2011

Steel Lower Installed.

Well, now I have no slack on the 922r parts, but we're still legal.

PS: Warsteiner Premium Verum in my Arfcom mug.

PPS: Just in case you were curious, the DSA aluminum lower is a half pound lighter than the steel one.  Total loaded weight went from 10.9 to 11.4 lbs.  Romat are noted for being a bit heavier than a standard FN FAL (11 lb. with synthetic furniture) because of the wood and the steel handguard, so this is par for the course.  It's still lighter than a heavy barrel gun.

Fun Show!

Went to the gun show in Orlando today.

I think I got a killer deal on this part:

Metric FAL lower!  The guy had it marked "$100".  I was walking away and he said, "make me an offer."  Since I hate that game, I said, "OK, I'll insult you.  $20."  He said, "Sold!"  I think that it was a deal at $100.  This one appears to be a nice Steyr version.

I also found a spare set of triangular handguards for my R604 clone and got some small AR parts.

Good day!

Oh yeah, we also went and watched the Mars Science Laboratory launch.  An Atlas V in 541 configuration is OK, but it lacks the visceral thrill of the shuttle.

25 November 2011

Incomplete DD214

It does happen.

I have the paperwork from my battalion saying I should have expert in tank weapons.

That doesn't show up on my DD214.  It should, but marksmanship badges are routinely not bumped up the pipeline.

All of my ribbons are there.

Compromise Proposal

Historically, whenever a compromise of increase taxes/reduce spending is made; the taxes are increased now with the promise that spending will be reduced at a later date.

That later date never comes and without exception, spending has increased.

I have a proposal for the spenders.

10% across the board tax increase.


To get that increase you have to cut 15% of spending from the budget.  Not slow down increases, but really reduce the money spent.  Then those cuts have to remain in place for at least a year before the tax increase happens.


Assuming that congress manages to pass a budget that's 85% of the last budget passed (all those continuing resolutions don't count) mark what percentage of the GDP that budget is at the end of the year.  The budget may never exceed that percentage of the GDP or the tax increase is nullified.

Even more fun!  I'll give them an additional 5% tax increase if they pass an amendment requiring a balanced budget and hard capping the debt to a modest percentage of GDP.  Any excess revenue collected beyond the budget must go towards the debt.

There you go liberals.  A 15% increase in taxes for you.  All you have to do is COMPROMISE.

24 November 2011

It's Thanksgiving!

The Monty Hall Problem

Finally someone put it in terms I can comprehend.

23 November 2011

Word Verification (Let's Try This Again)

Word verification sometimes makes me empathize with anyone who had to deal with an Enigma machine.

The characters are all on the keyboard, but they aren't words.  You have to copy them exactly to get the desired effect.

Enigma Simulator

Machine: M3 (Army, Navy)
Mech: L
Wheels: Checked
Rotors: C;V;VIII;I
Ring Setting: 1187
Wheel Position: AAHG
Plug Board: CR; GS

jotqg nqtbj sjaim mucwg ukzom


22 November 2011

Chrome Lined Barrels

This is a feature I insist on whenever it's available.

I typically don't shoot corrosive ammo and I don't own anything that's got a happy switch.  The enhanced durability is kinda wasted on me.  I guess Florida is kinda sorta tropical, so it should help...

My most accurate AR is hands down the chrome chamber, not bore, M16 (early R604) clone.  The next most accurate is the chrome lined 6.8 barrel from the lamented Kotonics.  Then the stainless steel 6.8 barrel from Bison.

The 1903A3 is a tack driver, no chrome.

I really don't know why I demand it, but it's something I prefer.

Maybe I am just forward thinking and expecting registration to be opened up for full-auto again.  Then I will need it!

20 November 2011

Zombie Preparedness

I bought the novelty ammo from Hornady.  I loaded up one of my FAL mags with it just in case.  Who knows, it might be just the thing.  Of course, it's 168gr ammo and I'm zeroed for NATO.

Yes, I am aware that it's ridiculous.  It's entirely a marketing gimmick.  But it amuses me, and that amusement sold a box to me, making both the gun-store and Hornady some money that they might not have otherwise made.  That's win, not fail.

Besides, Hornady is one of the first companies who jumped in and supported 6.8 when it looked like it might just dry up and go away.  I like to support them when I can because of it.

Jasmine Post-Recall Range Report

She's still a shooter!

Had two cases of fail to strip a round and one stove-pipe while partially chambering the next round stoppage.

I don't shoot her much, so she's likely still in break-in, so I am not too concerned.  If this keeps up for very long, I will get worried.

Update: I should have checked before firing.  The thing was bone dry.  DSA in the course of inspecting things stripped all the lube from the bolt, bolt-carrier and chaseway.

I can put all of my shots into a torso at 100 yards.  I am not shooting as well as the gun can.  The wide front post is so different from an AR that it's throwing me off.  I'll get used to it with more trigger time, I am sure.  The lighting at the indoor range we went to is miserable for peep sights as well.  I am sure that my groups would tighten noticeably outdoors.  They do with the iron sighted AR's as well.

To the guy in the lane next to us.  You don't know what you're doing.  Yes, you bought the best money could buy, but you clearly don't know how it all works.  Talking down to me because I'm plinking was super rude.  But I was very amused because I put 20 rounds on the paper at 100 yards while you weren't hitting at all.

This is why we shoot groups when zeroing!  This is why we start at a close target and move it out.  You put the target at 100 and fired one round.  Looked through your binoculars; spun the wheels on the scope; loaded another round; fired; repeat.

Being a jerk to us when your kid asked me about my FAL was uncalled for.  We'd have helped you find the paper if you'd been even half nice about it.

Or were you really pissed that your wife and I were chatting while we were waiting for a lane to open up?

19 November 2011

National Ammo Day; Part 2

What did you get?

I got 50 rounds of PMC .357 Magnum, 40 rounds of Federal XM80C 7.62x51mm, 20 rounds of Hornady Z-Max 7.62x51mm and 80 rounds of SSA Tactical Pro-Hunter 6.8x43mm.

Marv got 50 rounds of PMC .380, 40 rounds Federal Fusion .30-30 and 20 rounds of Hornady LeveRevolution .30-30.

I shot all of the XM80C from the FAL and most of the .357 from The Lovely Harvey's Winchester 92 clone.  Marv shot most of his .30-30 too.

A quick note to places like Shoot Straight, rounds like 6.8 aren't $38 a box from any place but you.  It's the same price as .308 every other vendor; you should consider that and perhaps you would have made a sale today instead of my getting online and getting it from SSA directly.

National Ammo Day!

7th Annual National Ammo Day.

Buy yourself 100 rounds of your favorite centerfire ammunition this week.

Mix or match, it doesn't matter, just join the buycott!

I'm thinking that .308 and 6.8 will be a good mix this year.

Paying an online place today and taking delivery next week is A-OK!

18 November 2011


All the cool kids are talking about them, so I'll chime in my 2¢ too.

Just in case you don't know what one is, it's a normal rifle with the action behind the firing hand.

You can, from where the magazine is positioned, see what I am talking about.

Bullpups have made it into issue with various nations.

Infamously with the British with the L85.
Austrians (Image licensed under creative commons from Steyr.) with the Armee Universal Gewher.
French with the FAMAS, also known as Le Clarion.

Let's not forget the Israelis and the TAVOR! Shown without magazine.

But it sort of started with the Brits with the Rifle Number 9 Mark 1.  Also known as the EM-2.

Where to start?  First off, I like the idea of them.  Shorter overall length for a given barrel length seems like a great idea!

I'm not the only one who likes the idea, look how many have been designed and adopted!  There are even a couple of non-military bullpups.

A friend of mine even bought one, the Bushmaster M17S.
What we learned is they balance funny and the manual of arms is charitably described as "awkward".  So awkward, in fact, he never fired it.

The next most obvious issue with bullpups is where the ejection port is located.  Firing from your left hand is absolutely unavoidable for a combat gun.  Lefties already have enough trouble eating brass when the ejection port is out in front of their face; it doesn't get better putting it under your ear!

 Kel-Tec addressed the ejection issue by spitting the rounds forward.

Though Fabrique National did that first with their F2000 and FS2000.

I've got to handle all of these, and fire most of them.  I like the idea of bullpups.  Length of pull is always too long.  The forearm is always too short.  The optics are always too high.  Field stripping is often needlessly complicated or difficult.  The linkage for the trigger has to be longer than a conventional configuration and that normally means a vile trigger pull.  Gritty, creepy and spongy!  Woot!

And this is just stuff that's inherent to the configuration.

The L85 and L86 (the Brit guns) have been plagued with quality control issues since day one and even H&K has been unable to do more than put a band-aid on them.

The Steyr AUG as made by the Australians (issued as the F88) was also a nightmare when first produced.  At least the design is sound.  As sound as this idea gets anyways.

The funny thing is, I came to be enamored with bullpups because of a table-top pen-and-paper role playing game.  Twilight 2000.  They had three bullpups statted out.  The L85A1 (called the IW), L86A1 (called LSW) and the caseless G11.  I loved how the L85A1 looked and since it took a standard M16 magazine using one didn't cause a supply problem with the other players.  There were no game stat reasons to avoid them.

Did you know that a 1985 rpg is not an accurate predictor of firearm reliability?  You did?  Me too.

Hey! I Was Going To Say That!

Lately I've been reading other people's blogs and they've been pretty consistently saying what I would have said had I posted before them.

Damn early birds and their worms!

17 November 2011

Chuck Gets to Go Home! Bumped from 12Nov11

UPDATE!  They hit their funding goals and Chuck gets to come home.  Good on SWAT Magazine for footing about half the required amount!

Bring Chuck Home!

16 November 2011


Let's say it passes.

Will it let my Florida living ass carry hollow-points in New Jersey?

Can I possess the gun in states like Massachusetts which require a license to merely own a gun let alone carry it?

How about magazines?  Can I have my made in 2011 magazines for my Glock 21 that hold 13 rounds?  New York and Massachusetts currently don't allow their residents to.

Might Be the Best Post You Read Today

Borepatch: Why I shifted from Google to Bing

I Have A Dream

I just sat down and read Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech.

Did you know the most famous line is nearly the conclusion?

Too many people think that's the opening line.

15 November 2011


Special thanks to Champp's Americana Restaurant and Golden Corral for making this veteran feel appreciated.

Champp's does theirs on Vet's Day.  Golden Corral has their Military Appreciation dinner the following monday.

Good folks!

14 November 2011

The Triumphant Return of Jasmine!

DS Arms recalled their SA58 rifles with aluminum lower receivers because a vendor had screwed them. Mine was found to be OK, so they inspected and returned it.  Good on them!  Stood up and took care of a problem that wasn't their fault and even gave us affected folks a $20 credit and a free gun case (used as packing material).

Jasmine is shown here with the FAL Files requirements of toes, concrete, inserted mag and booze (rye whiskey); bonus is The Precious' wheel.

Kind of relieved.

When I settled on 6.8 for my alternate AR caliber, I worried that I was buying into a dead end.

Any similar round would get me more worried because I thought there wasn't enough market for two rounds to share and that one would eliminate the other.

I am starting to think that the AR is the new Mauser.  You see all manner of bolt guns in every caliber imaginable without worries that your favorite is going to be going away because of the new hotness.

If there's room for .30-06, .308 Winchester, .280 Remington and .270 Winchester there's surely room for .300 BLK, 7.62x40 WT, 6.8x43 SPC II and 6.5 Grendel.

13 November 2011

Mitt Romney

I voted against John Kerry in 2004, I will vote against him in 2012 too.

12 November 2011

Uh Oh!

Atomic Nerds appears to have been hacked.

It's True of Too Many Things

If I have to explain, you will not understand.

If you understand, I don't have to explain.

Mutually exclusive conditions.

11 November 2011

Veteran's Day.

On the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month...

92 years ago, THIS MINUTE, World War One was officially ended.

In the Commonwealth today is Remembrance Day, they wear a poppy flower in their lapel.

Here, it's about those who remain.  How few we are.

10 November 2011

Tam Wins Teh Intertubes!

With this post.


Fifty Nine Baby!

I don't know what it is about dates that you could write in binary that are neat to me.

09 November 2011


Damn I hate when this rears its ugly head.

Seems like when finances get rough, it's time to blame the Jews.

Are a lot of prominently wealthy people Jewish?  Sure.

Are a lot of prominently Jewish people wealthy?  Again, sure.

Are "they" to blame for the financial crisis?  I don't think so.

Are many of "them" weathering the crisis better than everyday people?  Of course!  If they're wealthy they have a larger cushion before they start starving.

Should we take their money away because they've got more money than I do?  Nope.  It's more my fault I am less wealthy than theirs.

If it's wrong to fine them, then we should also not incarcerate or execute them.

If you're seeing evil from the Jews, you're likely just seeing your reflection.

None of that excuses the discrete actions of specific people who also happen to be Jewish.  Charles Schumer is a someone I loathe in particular.  It's got nothing to do with his faith, but his actions against me.

08 November 2011


Holder went there.

He really said that the reason that the BATFE broke the straw-buyer law was because there were no laws requiring registration.

I am dumbfounded.


I found dumb.  It's over there!  It's name is Eric Holder.

Entry Level AR

I have been asked a couple of times about what someone's first AR should be.

That's a sticky wicket.

Pithily, I say Colt.  They really do set the standard, but they also the most expensive.

I would avoid DPMS because there's better out there at their price point.  I avoid Bushmaster because they've lied to me about what was in stock and when it would be available.  Remington is in the market, but they want a fair chunk of change.  DPMS, Bushmaster and Remington are all part of Cerebus' Freedom Group of companies.  S&W's M&P line reviews well.

Bravo-Company USA and Spikes Tactical are my most recommended brand.  They offer excellent quality and top-end features without raping you on the price.  Stag Arms makes a good product and they offer guns made for lefties!

The best deal going right now is Palmetto State Armory's.  M4gry with an Aimpoint PRO for a grand!

But then the reality of budget hits.  A grand sure seems like a lot of scratch.

There are also a multitude of smaller companies out there.  Essential Arms in Iowa comes to mind for this niche.

That's when I say, build it!

Del-Ton has kits starting at $465.  J&T has them from $520.  M&A Parts has them from $500.  You'll need some kind of rear sight, figure $60 for a Mag-Pul MBUS.  Magazines can be had for as little as $15.

Lowers can be had for as little as $76.

Hit up the hometown section of Arfcom for someone local to you who has the tools and some experience to put the kit together (or just follow the how-to guide).  On departure I would make from the guide is to use a pair of sliding-jaw pliers to press in the roll pins instead of a punch and hammer.  Be sure to wrap the jaws in masking tape!

Complete AR ready to shoot for about $650-$700!  Hard to lose in this market.  Just about any of the above vendors will sell you most anything else associated with an AR too.  On top of them, there's also Midway USA and Brownells; go-to places for most anything gun related.

Don't get cheap with optics!  Or rather, shop carefully when buying a red-dot.  Nothing sucks worse than your great deal dying because it got wet in the rain, or that the battery is dead because you left it on and the batts are only available from one expensive internet site.

One thing you may notice I have not mentioned.

The exact configuration.  That is very hard to pick from the internet.

Harvey (the lovely Mrs Thag) went through several variations of hers before she settled.  I did as well.  What you think you want may not resemble what you end up liking.

My best recommendation is to get an M4 clone with a 16" barrel as your first gun.  You can then start customizing from there.  AR's are modular like Lego so most anything can be done.

Carry Handle!

Ravenclaw Eric wants to know about carry-handle uppers.

I sometimes forget that not everyone is intimately familiar with ARFCOM jargon.

There are five basic types of AR upper receiver.

Slick side.  This is the earliest style.  It's found on the R601, R602 and R604 rifles.  The R604 is also known as M16.  There are sub-variations too, the one pictured is an R604 upper.  It's called a slick-side because there's no forward assist.

A1.  This is the second style.  It was introduced with the R603 rifle issued as the XM16E1 and M16A1.  It's the same as the slick-side except they added a forward assist (at the Army's insistence). It's called the A1 because that's the gun it was introduced with.  Interestingly, almost any retro AR part is called an 'A1' part even if those same parts are present on an M16 A-nothing.

C7.  When we were getting ready to issue the M16A2, the Canadians decided they liked the idea, but didn't want the complicated rear sight.  So they issued an M16A1 upper with the addition of the "Brutton Bump" just behind the ejection port; this is a brass deflector that makes the gun more lefty friendly.  It's called the C7 because that's the Canadian name for their M16 variation.  Notice also that the anodizing changes from gray to black.  Irritatingly, this style upper is misleadingly sold as an A1 from many vendors.  If it matters to you, look for the bump!

A2.  Introduced with the M16A2 (can you see where the common names are coming from yet?).  The Marines shoot at known-distance ranges so they demanded and adjustable rear sight, here it is.  This also introduces the Brutton Bump to US rifles.  The M16A2 also introduced the three-round burst, an M16A3 is the same rifle with full-auto.  This gets confusing later.

Flat-Top.  The four previous uppers are also known as "carry-handle" uppers because of the carry handle built right in.  The flat-top upper replaces the handle with a section of Picatinny Rail.  It was introduced with the M4 carbine and is present on the M16A4.  Remember when I mentioned the M16A3 thing would get confusing?  Well, the flat-top is also known to some as an A3 upper.  When it hit the civilian market the Navy had not yet created the M16A3 so it was assumed that the next M16 variation was going to be a flat-top.  The rear sight shown here is not part of the upper, it can be removed (if I want to lose my zero.)

Here's why the flat-top was adopted!  Scope mounts that attach to the carry-handle put the eye-line way too high.  It's hard to get a good cheek-weld.

Here's one example of why we didn't just carry on with the carry handles.  This is what's known as a gooseneck mount.  It puts a red-dot in a usable place, but it still gives a poor cheek-weld and to use the irons you have to unscrew either the mount or the optic.  If you detach the scope, the mount is still in the sight picture and can take some getting used to.

This just skims the surface; but I hope it's informative.

Avoid This Vendor

If you happen to buy things from the internet auction site, Gunbroker, I recommend avoiding the seller LG Outdoors from Montgomery, Alabama.

They are exactly the kind of misinformed jerks that give the rest of us a bad name.

It starts when I notice that they will not sell an M16A1 parts kits to, "AZ,CA,CT,DC,DE,FL,HI,IA,IL,MN,NC,NJ,OH,RI,SC,WA,WI, OMAHA,NE, OR SOUTH BEND IN."

I emailed them and inquired. They replied,

"Thank you for contacting us. it is because the bolt in this kit is a full auto bolt and even though it only shoots in semi auto the state of FL does not allow you to have it.  Thanks, customer service"

That is flat wrong.  Wrong on two levels.  First off, there's no difference between a full-auto and semi-auto bolt.  Secondly, if they mean the bolt-carrier then they're wrong about Florida law.

Florida law about machine guns is federal law.  There are only two mentions of them in the entire code.  It's illegal for me to own one unless I go through all the probulation as required by the BATFE.  I may not conceal carry one.  That's it!

At one time ATF considered owning an M16 bolt carrier as "intent" to build an MG.  That's no longer true.  Even if it were still true that would mean they couldn't sell them to anyone in any state!  Unless they had a registered M16...  Which are legal in Florida if you've registered with ATF...

Even more fun!

They will sell that kit to New York and Massachusetts.  Look real hard at the picture...  Did you spot the USGI 30-round magazine?  How much would you like to bet that it's not a pre-94 mag?

It doesn't stop with me.

ARCOM is baffled too.  One poster there asked why no AZ and they seem to assume that it was me replying and they were very rude to him about it.

You lose nothing by being polite and you may gain something.  I hope that LG Outdoors is put out of business and the owner starves.

PS: This vendor's auction just reinforces my opinion that if the disclaimer about their policies is longer than the item's description, including photos, you don't want to do business with them.

PPS: They have every right to refuse to do business with me for any reason.  That allowed, I too can refuse to do business with them; and attempt to convince others to do the same.

06 November 2011



Slang term for a "casual" gun owner; eg; a person who typically only owns guns for hunting or shotgun sports and does not truly believe in the true premise of the second amendment. These people also generally treat owners/users of so called "non sporting" firearms like handguns or semiautomatic rifles with unwarranted scorn or contempt.
"See sonny, all those pistols in that cabinet... all thems is good for is killin people." -Example of ignorant comment from a fudd at a local gun shop. See also: Zumbo.

Making its rounds is this "I'm a gun owner but..." article.

Weer'd has an excellent post up about it.

What I am going to expand upon is the conversion process.  Turning Fudds into gun owners like me.

I have, on occasion, gone hunting with my uncle and step-uncles.  I don't particularly like hunting.  I am not a morning person and hunting seasons all seem to be when it's coldest; I live in Florida for a reason!  Dressing the carcass is a lot of work and I am lazy.  Not to mention all the damn walking around in the brush trying to be quiet.

I have zero moral objection to hunting.  If you're eating meat you're eating something that has been killed.  I worked a summer at a meat packing plant on the killing floor.  Killing animals is not something I have an issue with.  My paternal grandfather was a farmer, he was fine with killing a list of animals just to keep them from eating the crops let alone their utility as food.  The Christmas goose was always Canadian.

Among my family I am the odd duck who owns guns but doesn't hunt.

They and their friends did not get it and in 1994 or so they asked what the deal was with "assault weapons."

All of them were surprised to see how their cute little varmint gun, the Ruger Mini-14 changed from their gun to my gun.  All of them saw that it was still the same gun even though the stock and magazine were different.  What they didn't see was a need to change it from a wood-stocked varmint gun to an "evil baby killing assault weapon".  "That's cool," I said, "but do you have a problem with me doing so?  Do you think it should be illegal?"

Then some lights went on.

These are not men who want to be told how to live their lives.

But since varminting is not hunting to them, such guns were basically useless.  .223 is illegal to use on deer where we lived (heck using a rifle was illegal at the time).  But, since someone was telling them they couldn't do something, they all went out and bought something black.  Something black that sat unused in the corner of the gun cabinet.  With a pile of 30-round mags in the drawer gathering dust.  What most of them ended up with was a ban-compliant AR.  20" barrel, no muzzle threads, no bayonet lug, A2 fixed stock.

Fast forward a couple of years.

The AR had become popular!  I think that was in no small part to the massive buying spree at the end of the assault weapon ban, but my former Fudd's all bought theirs in '95 or '96 when the ban was in place.  This steady buying during the ban kept a lot of places open.

So we meet again.  "Thag, I bought the damn thing and I never shoot it."  Why not?  "Can't hunt with it because it's in .223."  Why not get a new upper in another caliber?  "Huh?"

Most of them understood how .308 and .30-06 were basically the same ballistically.  It had just never occurred to them that the technology had kept advancing.  A few of them owned a ".30-30 deer rifle" for hunting out of state.  Showing them that 7.62x39 and 6.8x43 were similar in performance got some juices flowing.

Turns out most of them liked their AR, but because they didn't have a regular use for it, they neglected it.  Once they had it in a round they could USE they started to neglect the Fudd gun.

It's kind of amusing watching the change.  The carry handle uppers all disappear when they get sick of the goofy position that scope mounts put the optic.  The fixed stocks are going away because a carbine stock can be adjusted to suit the thickness of your clothing.  Barrels sport muzzle brakes on the threads because it does help with follow-up shots.  Bayonet lugs are common because, "Heck the barrel came with it."  Normal-cap mags are the norm, "saves time at the range and they're cheaper."  Five round magazines are referred to as "the hunting mag".  THE hunting mag.

7.62x39 flared briefly with them and then faded.  6.8 is now the caliber of choice.  They see that the features they've all got on their guns were once the target of arbitrary elimination and they have become active with gun-rights movements as well as hunting.

Once they got active in gun rights, they started thinking about self defense away from their home.  Conceal carry became the new topic, "Thag you live in Florida, you have one of those permits?"

I fully expect the next series of conversations to be, "Thag, you have one of those short barrel gun, right?"

Notice the difference between my Fudds and Mr. Ceislewicz?  I call it an open mind and a willingness to learn.

Edited 08NOV11 for grammar.