30 March 2012

External Combustion Engine

Sterling engine to be precise.

The Car Is Detailed!

The Precious (golumn golumn) has been cleaned from stem to stern.

Ready for Daytona.

I'm ready.  Just need to get some sleep and get on the road.  Hours from now.

I even remembered to put my phone's windshield mount on so I can record my pace lap at the track.


I am struck, over and over again, that we would not need the TSA if we'd just not let people who are from places who hate us into the country.

Think about it.

All of the aviation terrorism has been foreign nationals.

Simply not letting those people fly would cure the problem, wouldn't it?

Might even be a renaissance for the surface passenger industry.


When people are supporting more money for schools they are supporting more money for teachers.

For better teachers who will facilitate their children's learning.

What they don't care about is:

More administrators.
Spending three times as much on Apple than PC's.  I checked, Apple doesn't donate near as much any more.
Special parking spaces for low emission vehicles.
New buildings in lieu of repairing old buildings.

Add your likes and dislikes to the list.

29 March 2012

Car Show In Daytona Saturday!

Going to take the Vette and get some pics on the track, they're letting us do a pace lap; that should be fun.

Of course, that means that the cleaning starts today.

Bug removal in preparation to wash has been completed.

Brake dust has been washed out of the inside of the wheels.

As soon as the sun goes down, main washing.

Then the interior.

Then a quick detailer and waxing.

Detailer as needed until departure Sat morning.

Ponies and burgers for supper!


I am getting a bit sick of the Supreme's and their "don't make waves" method.

Waves need to be made.  If something is unconstitutional, you say so, strike and let the chips fucking fall!

Refusing to make waves is why we have 77 years of unconstitutional gun control.  When the court refuses to do anything for 70 years you will have to make waves or admit the constitution is meaningless.

You refused cert for decades on welfare and medicaid and now it's come to a head.  There is no ruling that will not toss an apple cart.  Time to do your damn jobs because the equilibrium is going to be restored.  You nine can do it with a pen.


Lex was put to rest on Tuesday.

I did my level best to distract myself from this.

He's buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery as befits someone of his rank and stature.  He's in good company.

It feels so strange that he is gone.  I miss his wit and command of the language.

It's also strange to miss someone whom I had never met in person so much.

Clear skies, Sir; good hunting.

28 March 2012


I don’t have any black friends. I don’t have any hispanic friends. I don’t have any white friends.

Opening Up The AR Way-Back Machine

5.56x45mm has gotten a bum rap.

What's wrong with it?

The problem is that its problems have been tied up with and confused with the launcher.

In Vietnam the complaint wasn't that the round was failing to stop the bad guys but that the rifle stopped running when you wanted to shoot bad guys.  M193 will kill people and has killed a lot of people.

There are many detail improvements to the M16A1 between 1967 and 1974 that eliminate the issues.  Of note, the Air Force's M16 did not take part in much of the improvements and did not encounter most of the problems.  It's been theorized that the Army's dislike of the M16 caused them to make changes to the detriment of the design of the XM16E1.  The M16 and M16A1 are very different rifles in detail.

None of the those problems were carried into the M16A2 and M4.

The M16A2 introduces a new negative to the 5.56x45mm equation.  The M855 round.  It's not a traditional ball round.  It's a steel core surrounded by lead with a copper jacket, and a small air space in the nose.  the reason for the steel was because NATO had a requirement that any STANAG rifle round be able to penetrate an M1 steel helmet at 600m.  Then there were accuracy requirements.

The M16A2 with M855 passes those tests.  Someone seems to have forgotten that it needs to kill people.

Military 5.56 ammo is dependent on the round flying apart on impact, known as fragmenting.  M855 drops below the velocity that this reliably occurs before M193 and it also comes apart later on impact than M193. What this means in the real world is that people who live at starvation levels can have a round pass all the way through them before it fragments; making M855 no more effective than .22LR.  The .22LR like performance is also true at ranges past the fragmentation velocity drop-off.

A valid criticism of the M4 is that with the 14.5" barrel the initial velocity is that much closer to the drop-off velocity making it even less effective against the kinds of people we are shooting at today.

Something of note in the debate, Israel is staying with 5.56 even though they are on their third rifle design that uses it.  I don't see them sticking with a useless round because they are likely to be needing effective fire.

Both M193 and M855 are creatures of treaty.  Their bullet construction is constrained.

I can buy hunting ammunition that expands to nearly .45 caliber makes a much scarier wound channel than anything military.

My carbines are not affected by many of the reliability issues the M4 encounters simply because my carbines are all semi-automatic.

Do not hate 5.56.  Understand it.  Learn its strengths and limitations.  Then decide if it can do what you need done.  I decided I needed the extra die of damage and 320 yards of 1/2 damage range I get from 6.8. ;)


This has happened before!

6.8 SPC in its SAAMI form is not safe with ammo that assumes 6.8 SPC II chambers and rifling.

I just remembered why that seemed familiar!

.38 Super is dimensionally identical to .38 ACP but it's not safe to put .38 Super ammo in a .38 ACP gun.

I wonder if this is the tack that 6.8 people need to start mentioning.  The .223 Remington v 5.56x45mm NATO comparison is less apt.

Well Poop

As much as it pains me to say it; I think with the introduction and industry support that .300 AAC Blackout is getting that 6.8x43mm SPC is a dead round walking.

The only people carrying 6.8 stuff anymore are the expensive boutique type places.

It failed, just barely, to make it to the mainstream.

All from one small mistake in the leade dimensions submitted to SAAMI.

Unless you use the SPC II chamber dimensions, you can't use the ammo that really lets the round shine.  Ammo companies were understandably reluctant to load ammunition for the SPC II spec since it would chamber and fire in SAAMI chambers; at dangerous pressures.

.300 AAC Blackout is not better than 6.8 by many metrics.

But it is available and it will be cheaper.


PS: The 6.8 forum turning into a surly old-boy's club does not help new people considering the round.  I asked a simple question there and was treated like an idiot.  The snob level is very high; it wasn't always.

To The US Supreme Court

Yup, the authors of Obamacare forgot to include severablity language.

Yup, Congress passed it without amending such language into it.

Yup, the President signed it without such language.

Yup, that means if you strike anything you're striking the whole thing.

I know you're used to that language being in every single law, but it's not there this time.

Do your duty.  If something is unconstitutional, you must strike it.  Even if that means taking out a huge portion that is constitutional without the struck portion.

It really is simple.  It's only complicated if you make it so, it is not inherently thus.


If it's in your back pack, and it isn't yours, there's only a couple of options for how you came to be in possession of it.

No matter how it got there, you're responsible for it once it's in your back pack.

It it's stolen, and you didn't steal it, you are an accessory to the crime with only a limited number of outs.

Outs, that I notice you did not avail yourself of.

27 March 2012

15,000 Visitors!

And visitor 15k was the Googlebot.

26 March 2012

Don't Believe Everything You Read On The Internet

Wondering about the shell elevator on the Mossberg 500 led me to this comparison between the 500 and the 870.

They state (about the 870 Express):
  • No finish machining (burrs, sharp edges, etc. aren't removed)
  • Has a less expensive finish
  • Uses a longer fore-end (the Police uses Speedfeed stocks)
  • Different barrel lock system
  • Uses the "ISS" safety which allows the user to lock the cross-bolt safety in the SAFE position
  • Plastic trigger guard (breaks easier)
  • Cast extractor and ejector (breaks easier)
  • Lighter sear spring (less predictable)
  • Shorter magazine spring (less reliable feeding)
  • Lighter carrier dog spring (less reliable feeding)

Perhaps this is all true of NEW ones.

My Express:

  • Has been deburred.
  • Has a less expensive finish.
  • Uses the same fore-end my friend's Wingmaster used.
  • Standard barrel locking system (if they're talking about how the magazine extension or end cap ratchets).
  • No locking safety.
  • Metal Trigger guard.

  • Standard extractor and ejector.
  • Standard sear spring.
  • I replaced the magazine spring when I added the extension.
  • Standard carrier dog spring.

They mention the dimpled magazine tube to prevent one from adding a magazine extension.  When I bought my gun I specifically looked for a gun with the normal ratcheting cap.  The dimpled one uses a plastic part that slides into the tube and has grooves that lock into the dimples with a 1/4 turn.  The end cap has teeth that engage on the plastic part to keep it from unscrewing.

The normal one has a ball detent that engages teeth on the cap.

I think they missed that the original Express was just a finish option and not a mechanical change.  Yes, later Expresses are very cheap, but that was not always the case.

Of course, my 870 Express didn't come with an 18" cylinder bore barrel, ghost ring sights and a heat shield.  That means that anything can be fixed!

That Tier One Thing Again

Colt is listed as a Tier One company in all those lists.

You know, the same Colt who everyone was vilifying during Vietnam about their shitty rifles?

If Colt can be redeemed, so can anyone else.

Gate Loaded Tube Magazines

It was once the very most common magazine for centerfire repeaters.

It's most Winchester rifles and every pump shotgun.  Even a couple of bolt actions, like the French Mle.1886 Lebel and Mauser Gew. 1871/84.

Winchester Rifle:

Pump Shotgun (Here a Remington 870)


OK, you claim you're a Goth.

That's all well and good.

Ostro or Visi?

What were you doing while the rest of us were sacking Rome?

From Merlin...

Everyone is familiar with the Trinity Hellstorm and the Antarctic Hellstorm.

That's what happens when you try to induce nuclear fission.  Both cases a sub-critical mass was used and a

What everyone forgot was that fission had occurred naturally in several places before Oppenheimer's "little cantrip."

Everyone except the increasingly desperate people of Rhodesia in 1975.

They knew they were losing their war for independence when South Africa started turning its back on them.  They needed something dramatic to turn the tide.

They found it.

They'd become very adept at smuggling in small arms and other military material.  They discovered that smuggling one thing was much the same as anything.

What they smuggled was yellow-cake uranium.  The hope was to build a NEMA reactor to make better material for the war effort.  What went wrong was the spell they were using for purifying the uranium did not account for keeping the now critical mass separated from itself.  The mass went critical, but did not create a new hellstorm.  What Rhodesia got was a typical reactor's weakening of the walls of reality, but this time it was a gateway to another world.

A world much like our own, in fact.  The first weakening that did not cause an influx of demons.  Suddenly who controlled Rhodesia mattered a great deal to the first world powers.  The United States flush with its recent victory in Vietnam, stepped in to support the break-away colony; provided that a path to majority rule be established.

By 1987 the bush wars had finally ended and by 1990 the first election by the full population had occurred.  That vote confirmed the previous policies of Rhodesia and began putting pressure on South Africa to follow suit.  Rhodesia became a shining example of post colonial Africa where the decendents of both Europe and Africa would live and work together harmoniously.

The darker history is what was happening on the other side of the gateway from 1978 through 1989...

More Fun From SS American Victory

When To Shoot?

Florida law may not require me to flee when danger is mounting, but I intend to.

There's only a couple of exceptions.

I am not leaving my home to get away.

I am not abandoning loved ones to get away.

I am not abandoning property to get away.


The way Western Culture responds to something they've become ashamed of is to stop doing it and speak of it no more.

The important thing is that the shameful practice has stopped.

The speaking of it no more portion is an acknowledgement that stopping was admirable, but since the practice was shameful we may not be proud.

A problem has developed with our coping mechanism.

One group who was shamefully treated is not really part of our culture, and do not want to be fully part of it.  They will not shut up about it.

They repeatedly bring up the shame, over and over.  They never mention that the activity has ended.  They never mention the sacrifice in blood made to right the principle wrong.  They never mention the ethnicity (notice I don't say race?) of the people who worked at fixing the remaining injustices.

It was something that they could not fix themselves because they were powerless to do so.  It was fixed because it became known as being wrong and the people in power decided to end the shameful practices.

What the groups representing the recently liberated ethnic group are doing is making the majority who did the hard lifting on their behalf regret their decision to do so.

The shutting up about it is not asking for thanks, but surely we deserved better than the blood dancing ethnic baiting rent seeking behavior we are getting.

We most certainly could have left you in chains.  It was an option on the table.  Ironically they can thank the Confederate States for firing on Fort Sumter for taking it off the table.

Speaking of that war, do any of the racist bastards dancing the blood this past week think they would have been better off if the 365,000 men who died to free them had refused to fight?

Since you've got my hackles up "gentlemen" I think it's time we started talking about reparations.  What's the weregild on a Union soldier with 151 years of interest?

25 March 2012

Held Harmless

One of the important reforms here in Florida that many commenters are missing.

If one is found to have defended oneself lawfully there are no civil penalties coming.  Held harmless is the term.

If I pop a perp and I am found to have acted in self defense there is no follow-up civil action for shit like wrongful death.

Please take note of that before commenting further about the repercussions of self defense.

Something Lighter

When I was a kid and until about ten years ago I built model airplanes.

1/72 scale was my favorite.  There are more planes available in this scale than almost any other.

I did not build them to set them on the shelf and admire them.  I did not blow them up.

I played with them!  With sound effects and everything!  Yes, I am a child at heart.

I stopped a while ago.

I didn't grow up.  I got flight sims.

They scratch the itch the models were.

I was playing pretend with the models, and I still am with the video game.


The more I read about the Zimmerman case the more convinced I am that minority groups do not want equality at all.

They want reversal.

They wish to inflict the same injustices on their former oppressors as was inflicted on them.

They have no regard that modern individuals had nothing to do with the historical oppression.

I will advocate and fight for equality.  I will advocate and fight against oppression.

It is hard to relate my feelings without sounding racist here.  Not because I am racist, but because the language of the topic has been so subverted.

It also doesn't help that the behavior of many minority "advocates" is so entirely textbook as according to the texts of racist organizations.

When the Klan is giving an accurate prediction of how you act, what have you won?

24 March 2012

What I Did Today

I went out for a cruise with the SS American Victory.

The Treasure Island Sport Kite Klub puts on a display of WW2 target kites; I helped out and got a crew spot.

Many pictures below the fold.

23 March 2012


Today has been a day of self revelation, hasn't it?

Kinda gloomy, isn't it?

This stuff was so far in the past for me it's just an amusing anecdote for me.

How's about some fun stuff!

March 31st I think I am going to be in Daytona for the big ass car show.  I need a picture of The Precious on the track.

Always do some cruising on A1A and dinner in the area.

Blog meet?

How I Broke My Legs

In person this story is hilarious.

It was late '89.

We were doing a 72 hour alert while covering for some unit of the 11th ACR while they at Graf doing their gunnery quals.

I had been awake for three straight days.  Yippie!

Being short a man on the tank I was filling in for the loader on the maintenance tasks.

The last task on the list was to check the oil; then I could sleep!

To check the oil you have to rotate the turret so the gun is pointed to the side, this exposes the "bitch plate" which is an armored cover over the engine.

We were a quart low on turboshaft so climbed up from the back deck to the turret to grab a can.

The TC saw this and assumed I was finished and he rotated the gun back forward.

I didn't notice the turret rotating, grabbed a quart and hopped right off the side of the turret.

It should have been a short jump.  It wasn't.  The back deck was no longer there, but a nice deep ditch was!

I fell a total of about 25 feet.  Through a crust of ice at the bottom of the ditch.

The TC immediately asked where I'd gotten to.

"I fell," I replied.

"Fell where?"

"Down here, I think I'm stuck!"

The TC and the driver began figuring out how to get down to me and help.

Right about here I noticed a boot sticking up out of the ice.  Right away I noticed that it was an expensive boot because I had just spent a lot of money buying a pair just like it!  My first thought was that someone had lost their spare pair off the top of some vehicle, and figured that both boots had to be around here someplace!  Free boots!  Free, expensive, boots!

So I grabbed the boot in front of me and tried to pick it up, but it was stuck on something.  Thinking that maybe it was tied to the other boot and that was stuck down in the ice, I felt down around the boot.  Odd, it felt like there was a leg in it.  A body?  Ewwwww!  But I felt further.  The leg, as it turned out, was MINE!

I had a dizzy moment here, but I was not in pain.  I did some talking around this time, but I am not clear on what I talked about.  I don't remember going from the ditch to the top of the tank again.  I remember a bit of the ride to the medic track.

The medics were professional and hardly turned gray at all when they saw my twisted legs.  They strapped me down and secured me so I wouldn't move around and make it worse.  The pain was starting about here, so that was important.

What happens next is a classic military moment.  They wanted me out of there, since this was a serious fracture and there was a good chance an artery would be nicked by a bone.  They called for some form of transportation.  We couldn't get a helicopter because of the weather and the dark, they couldn't drive the M113 because it was too rough for me and they couldn't get a normal ambulance in because of the terrain.  I would have to wait for the weather.  "OK, can we get some morphine for him?"  "NO!"

Turns out the bad old days of the druggies running the dark corners of the Army were still fresh in the minds of many.  Guys who served in the '70's all confirm it to me.  They would not bring drugs out to the dark scary field out of fear of being beaten, or worse.  They all but called the medics liars.

So I got to spend a very long time writhing in agony, strapped super tight to the stretcher.  I screamed, I cried, I begged.  I passed out.  I would awake, lucid for a few moments without pain thinking the whole thing was a bad dream.  Then the pain would start again.  More begging to be put out of my misery, more screaming, more crying.  I am assured it was not more than a couple of hours.

I remember being moved from the track to the chopper.  I remember the change in lighting from the landing pad to an emergency room.

I woke up.  No pain, but now I knew it was coming.  I sat up.  I was no longer restrained!

Someone in scrubs walked in.  I pulled my pistol out of my shoulder holster, pointed it at the poor hospital person (found out later it was a real doctor) racked the slide and said, "MORPHINE!"  Without batting an eye the person in scrubs opened up their cart, prepared a shot and gave it to me.  As I passed out in the sweet relief I noticed he was taking my gun away.  Did I mention we had ammo because we were on the border and things were stupid tense for some reason?  The doc assumed that I was not pointing a loaded gun at him and had a bad moment when he checked it after taking it away from me.

I've related some of the next part here before.  The breaks were really bad.  Six on the right and eight on the left, evenly split between the tibia and fibulas.  They scheduled surgery and put me back together, and were forced to use a specialist from the German economy.  That man was an artist!  I have a limp and only lost 15% motion in my right ankle.

This was enough to get me out of the Army if I wanted.  At this point in my Army career, I wanted out.  So I did a year of physical therapy at VA hospitals instead of Army hospitals.

I'm much better now.


I was neutral about it until Al Sharpton opened up his racist mouth.


Actually, I'd been doing a damn good job of avoiding hearing his baiting.  Alas, the damn cat laid down on the remote and dialed in the news.

Isn't he old enough to retire?

As others have said, the condemnation of Zimmerman is premature.  There are scant few facts available and the only counter narrative we have is hearsay from Martin's girlfriend.

Lots of good analysis out there on the gun blogs.  Sadly, the paid media is not participating in this thoughtful direction.

Quote of the Week

"Obama didn't inherit the enconomy. He asked for it, campaigned for it, spent millions to acquire it and promised to change it."

Hat Tip: Blue

I Am A Veteran

I was in the Army.  It was during the cold war.

I saw a wee bit of action.  It was before desert storm.

I was not special forces.  I was a tank crewman first and kinda-sorta an intel puke later.  I am not sure how to best describe my involvement with the Green Berets officially.

The best way to describe the reality is someone decided that a tanker would be best at evaluating what Soviet tanks could do.  So they sent a fully qualified tanker.  Me.  It was literally, "here's a camera, take lots of pictures, follow those guys, do what they say, see you when you get back."

One of them had to show me how to work the Nikon.

They were less than thrilled to have me along.  I was woefully unprepared for what they were doing.  I won't say we.  We would imply that I was useful to the tasks they had planned.  I tagged along, I took pictures, I came back.  I don't think I caused them to fail in their mission (mostly because they brought me back with them).

What I learned.  I don't care for high altitudes.  I confirmed I don't like being cold.  I learned that being shot at is a remarkable experience that it difficult to remark on.  I learned that I had never really been afraid before.  I learned to hate hiking and camping.  I learned I am not a good photographer.  I learned that I could do a great many things that I thought were impossible; even if I didn't like doing them.  I learned that I am not a hero nor a coward.  I learned that I had changed enough to no longer fit in well in some places where I once had.  I learned that people would judge my experiences without any basis to do so.  I learned that my reality was fantastic and unbelievable.

I learned, "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."

Encyclopedia Brittanica

It's going out of print.

Well being printed on paper, it's still going to be available digitally.

What I love most about real, printed, books is nobody can come amend the words later on.

Grab an old dictionary and look up Stalin and Hitler.  Or infringed.  Compare those to a brand new dictionary.

Is Stalin a Communist Dictator or a Russian politician?

Is the usage of infringed as relates to the second amendment even there?  If it is there is it noted as archaic or obsolete?

With digital copies of this information the publisher can amend the entries to the current fashion and unless you were familiar with the entry; you'd never know it had changed!

What if you used a particular entry as a citation and it changed in a way that no longer supported your argument?

A partial defense is a digital copy needs a comprehensive revision history, but that doesn't protect you from silent editing.

22 March 2012

Longest Shot

Tam reminded me of it in a round about way.

The longest shot I have ever made with any sort of gun was 3,000 meters while moving at a target that was also moving.

It seems impressive, doesn't it?

Prepare to be underwhelmed.

I made that shot with an M68 105mm cannon from an M1(IP) tank.  The target was the size of a car.

What reminded me of this shot was Tam mocking the term weapon system as applied to a pistol.

The Abrams is a true weapon system.  It is several distinct components all working together to be greater than their sum.  Several sensors feed data into a computer that computer gives aiming cues to the gunner, other sensors compensate for movement of the vehicle and target.  All of this adds up to making the shot at incredible ranges.

That's a weapon system.  A pistol is merely a gun.


I carry a 1911 unless it's entire too hot to wear enough clothes to hide it.

My rationale for choosing the 1911 may be specious in light of more current data and developments in bullet technology.

What I have discovered is that I have become vested in the thing.

I have holsters for it.  I have magazines for it.  I have ammo for it.  I am accustomed to the weight.  I know where the controls are and I can literally clean it with a blindfold on.

To change to a "superior" handgun would require a significant investment in time and money.

My days of chasing the unicorn for the perfect gun are through.  I am OK with my "good enough" choice.

21 March 2012

Back In My Day

Twilight was a post-apocalypse role playing game.

Causing Problems

At the range the other day I noticed something.

My Springfield GI model has been running flawlessly.  I'm quite pleased with it.

The guy in the next lane was not having any fun with his Kimber.

I offered to help and we took it apart to see if there was anything obviously wrong.

There wasn't but I was struck with how different the innards looked between our guns.

Mine has tooling marks galore; his was perfectly smooth on every machined surface.

I've noticed this before.  In the Army the Remington-Rand guns were always rougher inside than the Colts (not that there were many Colt M1911A1 left in 1987).

I am now wondering that in the quest to make it pretty if they're ignoring critical dimensions.

It Has A Name

What is the name for the situation where you discover a media source to be in error because you are knowledgable in the subject yet assume they are correct in areas where you are not knowledgable?

20 March 2012


My Little Pony creator tool?



2x 1911

Top, an Iver Johnson Safety Hammer Automatic (3rd Model) made in 1911.
Bottom, a Springfield Armory M1911 A1 GI designed in 1911.

It's amazing how enduring guns are.  It's also interesting that .32 S&W was considered perfectly adequate for self defense back then and it's beneath contempt today.  I've read that the main reason for the shift is the advances in trauma medicine over the years.  In 1911 transportation to the hospital might be a lot slower than today and even if you got there in time; an infection could end you even if the bullet didn't do it directly.  It made one more reluctant to get shot in the first place, I expect.

19 March 2012

Iron and Wood Comparison

This is Vanessa; she's a 1916 made SMLE #III* from the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield.  She mostly lives on my wall since ammo is expensive.

 Top is Svetlana, bottom is Catherine.  They were made only a year apart.  Both represent the last bolt action rifle issued to the infantry as a primary weapon in their respective nations.

Top is Svetlana, bottom is Rosie.  Made two years apart.  Both represent the main rifle issued to the infantry as a primary weapon in their respective nations during World War 2.  Also the main rifles issued to North Korea and China versus the United States in the Korean War.

I don't have a later pattern bayonet for the Garand; I accept donations.

I think the third photo is very interesting since in 1941, the M1 was technologically one of the most advanced infantry rifles in the world.  In 1950, however, it was no longer state of the art with the Soviet Union having replaced the Mosin with the SKS then AK-47.  The US replaced the Garand very shortly with a Garand derivative; the M14.

The histories of these specific guns are a bit shrouded.

Vanessa was made during The Great War and would almost certainly have seen action.  But I have no idea where or with whom.  With all the weapon shortages during WW2, it seems likely that she was either still in service or was returned to service.  My bayonet is an Indian pattern item, I keep meaning to get a proper British model.  She's been out with me as an impression of a Blackwatch soldier twice and once as a trooper from the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers.  I learned I am not so much into reenacting from those experiences; but at least WW1 reenacting will let you keep your beard!

Catherine was issued to a Marine in the Pacific Theater.  He was the best shot in his platoon, so he got the marksman's rifle.  He carried from issue in 1943 through the end of the war and took it home with him.  It sat in his closet for the next seventy years.  His son sold it to me.  I don't have a scrap of paperwork to verify that story.  I just have an old man on oxygen telling me about his experiences with a blurry globe and anchor tattoo.  And an astounded son who'd never heard his dad tell some of those tales.  I've bumped into this before, some stories are for "members of the club" only.

Rosie is a late 1944 gun.  She's really in too good of shape to have been issued in WW2.  She's marked with arsenal marks from Red River Army Depot indicating she'd be arsenal refinished in 1962.  She may have been to Korea, she may not have.  I tend to think she didn't since we gave the ROK army a lot of Garands I believe almost all of the guns we took over there for the conflict remained.

Svetlana is from 1942 and the Soviets weren't in the habit of letting useful materiel sit about unused.  She was almost certainly issued and was definitely arsenal refinished sometime after the war.

18 March 2012

Mosin-Nagant M-1891/30

My Mosin has returned to me!

I gave it to Marv, once upon a time, to make room in the safe for a sweet Radom M-50 (Polish Mosin M-44 Carbine).

I sold the Radom off to pay some bills and have been Mosinless for a while.

Marv didn't really want it, so he gave it back today.


Теперь, камрад, моя рука вс! Добро пожаловать домашнее Светлана Edited to be actual Russian; thanks Hyperprapor.

Теперь мне есть чем занять мои руки. Светлана, добро пожаловать домой.

Small brown dogs are understandably curious.

Svetlana is an Izhevsk made in 1942.

17 March 2012

Shooty Update

He did not care for the 1911.

He was OK with the Glock 21, but disliked how wide it was.

Really dug the S&W Sigma.  He's thinking about one in 9mm now, especially since they're $300 on sale.

Liked everything we offered him in .380, but since a Bersa is more than that Sigma...

I almost got a Glock 23 for $300.  The owner was looking to trade up to a S&W M&P but the range was only offering him $200 towards his purchase.  I said, "I'll give you $300 if that's all they'll give you."  He thought hard on it and then realized that he'd do better selling it on Gunbroker or something similar.

Kony 2012 - Action Figure Therapy

New Shooter!

Going to the range today to let someone give handguns a try.

He's been interested in guns for years but has not been able to own one.  First because he lived in California and didn't want to deal with all the fuss surrounding them there.  Second because even after he moved to Florida his wife forbade him to buy a gun.

Well, the wife is now an ex-wife...

I'm bringing a Glock 21, Springfield 1911 GI, S&W Sigma in .40 S&W and a SIG P232 for him to try out.

Marv is bringing a Bersa and an FEG PA63.

Adam is looking to spend $300-$400 and says he likes how Glocks look.  I think he's going to do fine.

15 March 2012


It's an element.

Plumbum.  Pb.

It's pretty damned inert.

It tends to just sit where it's deposited and do nothing more.

It's been shown time and time again.

I have a further proof.

There's a bird, an extinct bird, called a passenger pigeon.  They were eradicated by hunters.  Hunters using pure lead shot.  A lot of it.  Everywhere.

In fact, there was no such thing as jacketed ammunition, let alone lead-free ammo, until 1882.

If lead from bullets was causing all of the horrible things the eco-whackos claim;  why is the evidence so thin and how did animal life survive for more than 200 years of hunting with pure lead in North America?  Shouldn't the effects be even more pronounced in Europe where the gun was used longer and is smaller geographically?

Shouldn't there be more evidence of the effects of lead on animals in New England where there have been guns longer than anywhere else on the continent?

Well, there is but it's not poisoning; it's kinetic energy that's killed all that game.

The terror of lead is not from elemental lead or even lead alloys.

The terror is from lead compounds!  Lead based paint is a compound.  Not a mixture, not an alloy, not pure lead.  Compounds react differently than the elements they are composed of.

Simple examples...

Water is vastly different from both hydrogen and oxygen in their pure forms.

I double dog dare you to eat one teaspoon of pure sodium and an equal amount of chlorine if you don't believe me.  I will eat two teaspoons of table salt and we'll see who gets sicker.

For Erin...

At one time Kaylee was made up as an M4.

Here's a picture.

From muzzle to butt:  A2 flash-hider, 16" M4 profile barrel, M4 handguards with double heat shields, flat-top upper, detachable carry handle, A2 style lower, A2 pistol grip, mil-spec 6-pos M4 stock.

I did some other parts comparison posts to help guide the newb as well.

Upper Receivers
Entry Level AR (prices may not be up to date)

14 March 2012


Why does Ruger remember everything?

Because they can't say they don't recall!

Admin Post

The gun posts might seem repetitious, because they are.

When I make changes to a gun I edit the post and bump it.

Fusil Automatique Légerè de la Belgique

FALs are almost as bad as ARs when you have tools.

The rifle has been made continuously from the early 1950's until the present in just about every nation that didn't make or adopt the AK (and some that did!).

Jasmine is a DSA SA58 Standard that the lovely Harvey bought me just in case Obama tried to ban evil black rifles.

Here she is the day we brought her home.

Because I did not intend to put a scope on her, I replaced that part with a bog-standard top cover.  She came with a spacer in the cut for the carrying handle, so I took that part out and added a carrying handle.

I also bought a bayonet!

I was pretty happy here.  Then I got the Israeli gun bug, again.  First it was the handguard and stock.  This change also required changing the short gas tube to a long one.

Then the charging handle and take-down latch.

Then my confidence in the aluminum DSA trigger housing was disturbed by their recall.  That made me start really detesting the black anodizing.  So I got a steel trigger housing.

Then I made the mistake of weighing her.  She'd gone from a svelte 9.9 lb. loaded to a tubby 11.4 lb.!  The steel lower was a half pound heavier than the aluminum.  The furniture was a full pound heavier.  The scale does not lie.  This also made me re-examine what I was trying to make.  My Romat clone had many things wrong with it.  Virtually all of Israel's FAL's have a plain barrel with no muzzle brake.  The front sight housing was wrong.  The lower was wrong. The selector was wrong.  The sights were too low.  Le sigh.

So I put the black plastic furniture back on and changed the charging handle to the standard one.  I can live with it being 10.4 lb.

The soul searching that led me to discover I'd made a poor Izzy clone also caused me to look at what DSA had done.  The buttstock is the Austrian Steyr pattern.  That makes sense because DSA was founded by buying all of Steyr's FAL parts and tooling.  The thing is, the handguards and muzzle brake are pure Belgian.  You can see where this is going, can't you?

I got a replacement buttstock!  I've also changed the horizontal take-down latch to the more common vertical.  This is known as a humpback stock and is common to pretty much every FAL that's not a Para, Austrian or British (including Canada, Australia and India).

I ditched the bipod cut handguards for some conventional ones.  Looking very generic now!

13 March 2012

Small Parts

Watching The Prestige.

The very best parts of the movie are the smallest.

David Bowie as Nikola Tesla is absolutely wonderful.  He's on screen for all of ten minutes max.

While I enjoyed the rest of the film it was that single performance that made it great for me.

I've noticed this often.  The supporting cast makes or breaks a film for me far more than the main cast.  Sometimes all they get is a single line.  Sometimes they don't even matter to the plot.

Another one along these lines is the character of Wedge from the good Star Wars trilogy.  How many of you noticed him?  He's the only non-main character who's in all three.  He's also the only By-God fighter pilot shown in the films.

What are your favorite supporting roles?

Tier One

My mind shuts down and I stop listening to you when you start in on the "Tiers" of AR quality.


Because all of the "Tier One" makers have put out garbage in their day.  Not all of them admitted to their error.

Because there's no warning when a Tier One company will drop to a lower level and there's no way to tell if the parts were made before or after the change.

Because there's no warning when a lower tier company will climb to a higher level and there's no way to tell if the parts were made before or after the change.

Because, based on the people who type most responses, the "tiers" seem to be, "ah fuck I paid double what he did, I need to correct the dissonance I am now feeling."

Because there really isn't much range in the quality here.  There ARE companies who make crap, and they always have.  There ARE companies that make good gear, and they always have.  Price is not a good indicator of quality here.

This was rammed home in the "What Breaks On A Carbine Course" thread on Arfcom.  Never had I seen the experts get so mealy mouthed about answering such a simple question.  What breaks?  WHICH SPECIFIC PARTS FAIL ON THE "LESSER" RIFLES THAT DO NOT FAIL ON THE TIER ONE?

Cue cricket.

You know what it came down to for reliability?  Extractors, bolts and gas key staking.

You know what that means?  All of the other parts have been rendered commodity.

Notice what didn't matter.  Diameter of the receiver extension, barrel steel, chrome lining, feed ramps or rifling pitch.

Where I will admit the top names shine is accuracy.  They put better barrels on than the competition.  What I haven't made up my mind about is if that matters enough for the extra cost.  Especially since the wadded panties are all about reliability in a combat course.  Not a place where the difference between 1 and 3 moa shows.

I have anecdotes.

Charlotte, the R604 clone I made is entirely vintage Colt parts except for the lower receiver and lower parts kit.  It's the most accurate 5.56 AR I own.  With an unchromed 1:12 twist barrel no less.

Sabrina is an XM177E2 clone that's been to two carbine courses so far.  The only parts from a Tier One company are furniture.  2,000 rounds not a hiccup.

Tabitha has been to one "not really a course but here's one anyway".  750 rounds of 6.8 later and no problems.  Tabitha is significant because she's the parts bin carbine.  Except for the handguards, lower and LPK every single part on her was a left-over from some other build.  A literal frankenAR.  Hardly a part on her that's from a Tier One place and she just keeps on trucking.

Another galling thing about the whole tier mess is how the placing was decided.  It's "how close does your complete M4gery come to an actual M4".  Including the barrel profile!

Should I avoid Krieghoff barrels because they don't make complete guns and thus are not tier rated?

Is there something wrong with a Stag bolt because they don't offer a 1:7 barrel or M4 feed ramps?

In short, it's all bullshit and you shouldn't buy into it.  Do your research and don't fall for the easy answer.

Convoluted Path

I was reading about horse cavalry and World War 1.

There's something odd about thinking a guy on a horse with a spear is still effective after the invention of the machine gun.

It also reminded me that there's a difference between cavalry and a dragoon.

In a nut shell: cavalry fight from their horses, dragoons are infantry using horses as transportation.

Dragoons dismount to fight.  The United States gave up on cavalry after the end of the Civil War.  All "cavalry" from then until tanks were developed were actually dragoons.

Europe kept both with dragoons slowly becoming elite infantry as the horses were supplanted by trucks.

As is typical, a character idea spawned this little research trip.  And a scene from a television show inspired the character.

A little background.  In GURPS 4e if you want something that's from a more advanced Tech Level you will pay double for each level that item is above the campaign normal.  So if the local tech is 3, you pay 2x for TL4, 4x for TL5 and 8x for TL6 and so on.

They typical sword and sorcery world like Dungeons and Dragons is a TL3 world in GURPS.  World War 1 is TL6.  Today is TL8.

When making a character who is going to be from off the local world one wants more advanced stuff than the locals.  Stuff like guns!  You will want to be familiar with the primitive transportation systems, because a car is REALLY expensive and AAA doesn't offer interplanar towing.

This kind of limits the choices for reasonable character designs.

Through the beginning of WW2 (which is mostly TL7) horses were still viable and common transportation in many places.  Post apocalypse characters where the infrastructure has collapsed might also be viable here.

But costs start to bite you.

A K.98b is $400 in its native TL6.  That's a $3,200 rifle in a place like Middle Earth.
A Remington model 700 is a mere $450 in the TL7 it's from; but that balloons to $7,200 when the GM lets you have it in a TL3 world.
Just to show some insanity an Accuracy International AW is a TL8 rifle selling for $4,700.  To bring that into a TL3 world would require 32 times the cash or $150,400!

Starting wealth is a mere $1,000 in a TL3 world.  You can purchase more wealth during character creation, but there's limits.  The wealth levels are 2x, 5x, 20x and 100x the starting value.  With the 100x level costing 1/3 the points given to a "typical" adventurer.  And you still can't afford the AW!  You can have 1,000x wealth for 50% more points, but that's half your character points!

It gets even more nasty if the GM enforces the settled lifestyle limits on your character.  The wealth assumes that you have a home someplace and 4/5 of your money is tied up in it.  For a TL3 wandering adventurer, it's not too hard to justify.  Do you know ANY homeless people who can afford a high end rifle like an AW, or any rifle at all?

But lets back up a tad.

In game terms there's not a lot of difference between a K.98b and the AW except for the scope.  The TL6 WW1 lancer is definitely a more viable character in TL3 than his TL8 Twilight 2000 counterpart simply because there will be vastly fewer points spent on wealth.

Another price point.  "Light" machine guns.  An MG.08/15 is a 45.8 lb. $7,000 item in the trenches but $56,000 when used on Orcs.  The MG.42 is a mere 30.5 lb. and $3,400 against Stalin, but $54,400 against Sauron.  An FN Mk.48 Mod.0 is 25.3 lb. and will set you back $8,000 on the Taliban and $256,000 on the Urak-Hai.

The same price hits happen on ammo too!  It might not be a bad idea to find weapon of a given TL that uses ammo developed for the previous TL.  Like that MG.42.  The ammo is TL6 where the gun is TL7; 16x for the gun but 8x for the ammo.

Hopefully you'll only have to do the math once during character creation.

12 March 2012

Blood Dancing?

I might be dancing in blood to make a point.

I detest the term "cager".

It possesses all the hate and bile of CENSORED being spit out by a racist.

Bikers, you should really stop using it because you do sound just like an idiot racist when you do.

Case in point, and making me wonder if I am blood dancing.

Three fatal motorcycle accidents over the weekend.

Only one of them involved a car.

While you're cursing anyone who owns a car, you're ignoring that the person on the bike is quite often their own worst enemy.

Blaming everyone who owns a car is no different than blaming all gun owners for the actions of the few.

Don't be one of those people.


I will keep repeating it.

If you keep punishing me for something I am not and did not do; I have nothing to lose by becoming that person and doing those things.

I am not alone.

I am not a racist, but you keep insisting that I am merely because I am white.

I am not a misogynist, but you keep insisting that I am merely because I am a man.

I am not a homophobe, but you keep insisting that I am merely because I am straight.

I am not a murderer, but you keep insisting that I am merely because I own a gun.

My actions do not seem to change the accusations.  I am none of these.

What, pray tell me, have I to lose by hating blindly and completely anyone and anything who is not exactly like me?

I know the answer.  The question is; do you?

11 March 2012

Pain Is Relative

The pain from the abscess in my nose woke me up from a sound sleep and had me popping Advil like it was going out of style.

Nominally the pain from my crippled leg is far worse.  Imagine hitting your shin with a ball-peen hammer as hard as you can five or six times a minute.  That's my right leg.

After twenty years of that I can function without even thinking about it.  It's always there, of course, but there's little that can be done about it.

The war on drugs made going without pain management easier than jumping through the hoops at the VA to get a prescription.  There was simply no way to avoid an office visit to get a refill.

Perhaps times have changed and they can admit that someone in my situation will need those pills for the rest of their life and just issue refills on request.  I dunno, I don't check.

What I do know is my nose hurts far less than my leg; but it bothers me more.

Quote of the Random Interval

"Drifting is the motorsport equivalent of figure skating: I know it takes a lot of talent, but I can’t actually bring myself to care about it." From HERE.

How Do I Know?

How do I know that public sector employees are receiving more compensation than their private sector counterparts?

Because the unions for the public sector workers aren't comparing the compensation rates and demanding raises.

A recent arfcom thread had several public employees complaining that they were taking a 3% pay cut because they'd have to contribute to their pension plan instead of me doing all the contributing.

You know what?  You guys serve at the public's pleasure.  Honestly, the vast majority of the public sector workers I've had to deal with would have been fired from just about any minimum wage job out there.

But, Mr Public Servant, you think you have it rough?  Got to contribute 3% to your pension plan?


I have to come up with every penny of my retirement.  That's 97% more than you.

I have to come up with every penny of my health insurance.

I never got more than three weeks of paid time off a year from any job I've ever had and never had a job where that PTO could accumulate more than four weeks.  Nor was I ever able to get more than two continuous weeks off in a row.  Nowadays your PTO includes your sick days.

My pay was always tied to my performance.  If I didn't perform I didn't get raises or I got fired.

What I do know is I am sick of the people to whom we've delegated our powers to get some jobs done deciding that they are our masters.  You know what, Mr Servant, I don't work for you.  You work for me.  I will tell you how I want that job done and how much it's worth to me.  You're free to pursue a career in the private sector, you know?

I fucking dare you.

Kipling Corner

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
    But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
    While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
    But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
    There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
    O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

09 March 2012

Romney ≠ Obama

In one huge, important respect.

When Mittens does something we don't like we can attack without being accused of being racists.

That distinction alone my be worth risking it.

08 March 2012

Someone Had To Say It

Timothy Geitner $20 bills.

With appropriate stamps.

This Sucks

I'm going to go a bit personal here.

There's something growing in my right nostril.

It looks like a boil.

It hurts.

Yeah, yeah, I know... whine whine whine.

This morning I look like someone punched me.  There's swelling on my nose and puffiness around my right eye.  The whole right side of my face hurts.

I am one of the many lucky folks who has no insurance.

Simply put, I don't have the $500 a month it takes to be added to my wife's insurance at work.

A near constant string of emergencies depleted the money we had set aside for such disasters.

By the way, the insurance premium I can afford has a deductible so high that it wouldn't be of any service for a routine office visit and prescription.

So, this is me; hoping it gets better on its own.

07 March 2012

It's Been Said Before

Both parties oppose freedom.

The both oppose it for the same reason.

Free people will be free to make the wrong decisions.

They must prevent us from making those decisions.

They only differ in which decisions they wish to forbid.

Being Pedantic Eases The Pain

Newsies, Lex's plane was not an F-21.

That designation was assigned to the Kfir C1's we leased from Israel.

The planes ATAC flies are Kfir C2's which was never assigned a US designation because the US Mil doesn't operate them.

If there was a designation assigned the C1 would be an F-21A and the C2 would be an F-21B.  But it wasn't and it isn't.




06 March 2012

Isn't It Odd?

There is firmer constitutional protection for abortions, which are not mentioned in the Constitution, than guns; which are.

Evil Rifles

I simply don't own a new rifle that isn't something banned by the AWB.

The rifles I have that would be perfectly legal under the ban are all at least 70 years old.

The "you can't have this" for ten years sure changed my urges and desires.

I am sure I will eventually get a Fudd gun, like a Rem 700, Savage 114 or Win 70.

Fingers Crossed

An ATAC Kfir has crashed at NAS Fallon, killing the pilot.

Let us pray that it was not our friend Neptunus Lex.


Early rumors say that it was, indeed, Lex who was killed.  Nothing confirmed, of course.




I saw a clip where Harry Reid says we should ban prostitution in the United States.

If we do so, will it still be legal to be a Congressman?

Presto Change-O!

Dottie can magically be transformed from an Evil Baby Killing Assault Weapon Home Defense Rifle into a hunting rifle.



Did everyone catch that?

H/T Weer'd  Yes, the duck is in frame just for you!

05 March 2012


I mentioned to the lovely Harvey that I don't think I could root for Danica Patrick since she came out as a statist.

She chided me about my attitude that once someone famous goes political in a way that I disagree with I "hate them".

It's not hate so much as a refuse to financially support them.

When celebrities go political they do with ready access to the media and gobs of money.  Most often they are espousing something I oppose and I get enough of being screwed with my own money from the government.

As Jennifer says, "dance monkey!"

Actors are good at pretending they are someone else.  The part that makes a great actor is repeating that over and over, take after take.  We don't hire them based on their political acumen or fine education; they get paid the big bucks because they entertain by mouthing someone else's words and emoting.

Same applies to race car drivers.  Drive the car, monkey.  Thank the sponsors.  Shut up.  The sad thing about Ms Patrick is she's good at the non-driving part of the driver job.  Friendly to the fans, mentions the sponsors, takes the advertising portion in stride.  Then she ruins it by yapping about something that has nothing to do with racing or her sponsors.


It's exacerbated by the press glossing over it.  Ms Patrick goes, "Rah, Rah!  Go STATE!" and I have a fight with my wife.  A football player decides he'd rather not have dinner with Mr Obama and it's national news.

Personally I think that player should have gone to the Whitehouse for dinner.  I think there's some obligation to do so.  What he should do is exactly the minimum required of the event.  Standing there stone faced while everyone else is mugging for the camera sends a much stronger message.

04 March 2012

The Difference

Several people have been saying it without explicitly stating it.

In the matter of gun deaths; the anti-rights people only care about what kind of weapon was used.  We gunnies care far more about who was killed.

If someone is murdered, we don't care if a toothpick was the weapon, we mourn for the deceased.

If a rapist is planted, again we don't care what was used to dispatch him; we're only glad he's gone.

We don't want anyone to be murdered.  Heck, we don't want anyone to be killed at all.  Another key difference here is that if someone must die, we'd much rather it be the shit-heel criminal than us.

They don't care who dies, or why.  Their own writings admit it when they count self defense shootings with murders and suicides.

They only care how someone dies.  Their own writings admit it when they ignore murders and suicides that don't involve a firearm.

Sadly the everyday law abiding person does not get to make the decision about whether someone is going to be killed.  The criminal makes that decision.  What we can decide is who is killed when the criminal begins their assault.

Until the blame is assigned to the criminal by the anti-rights people they will never understand.

03 March 2012

How Your Gun Works - FAL

Weer'd is not the first person to mention it.  But he's who got me thinking about it.

Let's talk about the FAL trigger!  Specifically the hammer, trigger and sear.

The trigger and the sear are on the same axle.  The sear has an oblong hole though.

With the rifle cocked, the nose of the sear is engaged in a notch on the back of the hammer.  The trigger return spring and the hammer trying to rotate cause the tail of the sear to sit just above a shelf on the top of the trigger.

When you pull the trigger, it pushes up on the tail of the sear and that causes the nose to pivot down and disengage from the notch in the hammer.

BANG as the hammer drops and hits the firing pin.

Without the pressure from the hammer shoving it back, the sear is pushed forward by its own spring and the tail drops into a step below the shelf on the trigger.

When the bolt carrier comes to the rear and cocks the hammer, it is caught by the nose of the sear.

The trigger is still pulled at this point.

When you release the trigger it lets the tail of the sear come out of the step and rest just above the shelf.

That's how semi-auto works.

All military FALs had what is called a safety sear.  It sits forward of the hammer and is spring loaded.  When the bolt carrier is not fully forward the rear of this sear will lay in a notch on the front of the hammer and prevent the gun from firing.

The shaft that's rotated by the selector has a groove in it.  On SAFE the rear of the trigger is blocked by the shaft.  On SEMI the tail can move up into the groove and move the sear off the hammer.  On AUTO the groove is a little deeper and lets the trigger pivot far enough that the sear doesn't catch the hammer.

Without the safety sear the hammer would just follow the bolt carrier and in most cases the gun would stop firing.

What the safety sear does is hold the hammer until the bolt carrier is all the way forward and hits an arm that will pivot it out of the notch on the front side of the hammer.  In auto it holds the hammer until the bolt is closed and releases it allowing the gun to fire again until the trigger is released and the normal sear can engage the rear notch on the hammer.

It was quickly discovered that a full-auto FAL is not very controllable, so most nations disabled the auto position.  Most replaced the selector with one that lacks the deeper groove for the trigger.  Many metric pattern guns also got a small pin sticking out of the side of the trigger housing and a hook that limits the travel to between semi and safe.

On inch pattern guns the selector has the deeper groove, but a "wing" or tab was added to the selector that would contact the upper receiver and thus prevent the auto position from being engaged.  I think that this was done so the troops could bend the wing out of the way and use full auto in an emergency, but that's pure speculation.

On almost all commercial guns there is no safety sear.  A very few semi-auto FALs were imported by Browning and have an ATF waiver and are called "sear cut" guns.  Rare and expensive.

What selector you have on a commercial gun depends a lot on where the parts came from.  Many parts kits have the auto capable selector and trigger housing.  In this case you should use a pistol grip that blocks the selector from going past the auto position.

OK.  That covers the trigger.  What about forward?

Let's start with a chambered round.

When the hammer falls it hits the rear of the firing pin.  That sends the pin forward into the primer and sets off the cartridge.  The resultant gas pushes the bullet down the barrel and past the gas port, letting gas into the gas block and to the gas plug.

The plug has two settings.  Open and Grenade.  When open it lets gas into the gas tube and when on grenade it blocks the flow of gas completely.  I have variously heard that this is either to prevent damage to the rifle since the gas is higher pressure for grenade blanks or that a rifle grenade needs all the gas it can get to launch properly.

If the plug was in the open position the gas can begin to push the gas piston to the rear.  Right around this point the vent in the gas regulator is exposed and some gas is allowed to escape. A threaded collar allows the user to adjust how much gas is vented.  This allows you to "tune" the gun to function very smoothly and to add more gas to keep things running once they get gunked up.

Gas Plug in Open Position

Gas Plug in "Grenade" or Closed Position

Gas Regulator and Vent

The piston pushes back against the face of the bolt carrier, moving it to the rear.  A spring inside the gas tube returns the piston to its rest position.  This compresses the recoil spring and lifts the rear of the bolt out of the locking shoulder, extracting the empty casing, knocking it out of the gun and then when the recoil spring pushes the carrier back forward; strips a fresh round out of the magazine and pushing the rear of the bolt back down against the locking shoulder allowing the cycle to continue.
Rear of the Piston

The worn circle on the bolt carrier is where the piston strikes to move it to the rear.

The normal FAL has the recoil spring in the buttstock and the bolt carrier has a "rat tail" or rod that engages a follower on the end of that spring.  The rod is pushed into the stock behind the spring when the bolt carrier comes back.

"Rat Tail" with the Bolt Carrier Forward

 "Rat Tail" with the Bolt Carrier Locked to the rear.

 "Rat Tail" engaged with the Return Spring's Follower or Plunger

On a PARA FAL the spring is inside the top of the bolt carrier and compresses against the rear face of the trigger housing.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial!

Hail To The Future!

Turns out you can order a pizza for someone from 1,600 miles away.

01 March 2012

Key Words

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is making a list, checking it twice.  Going to misdirect them with a list of all the things they're looking for thrice.

Religion and Politics

It's sticky.

There are some fundamental positions dictated by ones religion that are emphatically not fundamental to someone who doesn't share that faith.

Like wearing a rubber.

Like teaching the person who is most likely to need that rubber both that rubbers exist and when to use them.

Making law requiring that education is a fundamental violation of some people's faith.

A core part of the first amendment is the government cannot impose such violations on us because of freedom of religion.  There is no difference between adopting all of the rules of a religion and just making that religion the state one.

Pay attention here Muslims.

Mohamed is a particularly common ethnic name to someone who isn't a Muslim.  Jesus is a common Hispanic name to a Jew.

Making law that requires adherence to the fundamental principles of one religion is very little different from mandating a state religion.  Legislating morality is an example here.

However, there is nothing in the first amendment that requires that the government not interfere with religion when it is interfering with the rights of others.  The go-to example is you cannot perform human sacrifice.

I always notice that religious freedom and freedom of speech are in the same amendment.

I have a right to worship whom I will.  I have a right to say what I will.  Even if my worship and speech offend you because of your religion (or lack).

You have to leave me alone to my heathen ways!  I must leave you to your piety.  And/or vice-versa.

To impose your values on me you must prove harm.  Real harm.  Physical or financial harm.  The standard is not on merely being offended.  This is the essence of why we have both civil and criminal courts.

Strip clubs are a common example of religious imposition on others.  You betcha there are prohibitions about nudity and lust in many religions.  Without God saying "don't look at the titties" why shouldn't I?  If the "performance artist" is not being forced to dance, why can't she?  Without a religious objection, who is harmed by giving the dancer some money for letting me see her breasts?

This is also capitalism 101.  Goods for services.

Yes, without God there is also no reason for prostitution to be illegal.  Especially since we've pretty much banned the churches from keeping us from having sex without their approval.  As George Carlin said, "Selling is legal.  Fucking is legal.  Why is selling fucking illegal?"

Who is harmed by prostitution where the courtesan is uncoerced and willing?  If she is being forced, that's a whole other kettle of fish I call slavery, at best.

What the United States are is a secular nation.  The Constitution is the supreme law, even God's laws are subservient.  Why is this so?  Because your religion may demand you kill me for my transgressions!  That is forbidden because I have a right to find God (or not) without you forcing me to.  This is also why the government is forbidden to establish a state church.  It prevents them from setting up guillotines to execute the apostates.

Speaking of apostasy; freedom of religion also means that we're free to change our minds and leave.  No matter what God said about it, you have to let us go unharmed.

The Constitution is a framework that allows diverse and opposed people to live among each other in peace.

It's come off its rails from time to time.  If my religion requires my children be unaware of birth control until they are married; it is not the job of The State to step in and teach them.  In fact, it's not really an enumerated power to be educating them at all.

Interestingly for a nation that was founded on some blatantly Christian values and foundations the core idea is espoused most clearly in Wicca.

Do as you will, harm none.

EDIT:  Totally forgot the hat-tip to Joe's post for the inspiration.