31 December 2013

Just 1,600 ly Rimward

Dahveeie dimmed the lights on the bridge down to nothing and covered the tell-tale and master indicator panels with her tablet.

Space is dark!

I started to ask what she was doing, and wondering if this was some Terrani prelude to romance when she shushed me and whispered, "let your eyes adjust."

So I waited in the dark listening to the rasp of the air circulation system and the hum of the electronics.

Slowly I started to realize that there was actually a lot of light coming in through the clear canopy of the flying bridge.  A moment later, I began to see colors and shapes.

"The Orion Molecular Cloud," she said, "you just can't see much of it naked eye from down well with the muck over you."

I sat in silent awe at what I could see.

"Spacers!" Dahveeie quietly said under her breath, "Systemers is more like it.  Can't wait to get to the next well and swim in the muck.  Never look OUT and see SPACE!"

30 December 2013

Money Saving Idea

This might not work for you, but I am going to give it a shot.

If I can live without it long enough to save up the money to afford it; I can probably keep living without it.

It's crazy simple.

Now to find the willpower...


The first lesson I internalized with my minty fresh third stripe was that nothing was the fault of the people I supervised.

Anything I was supervising was my responsibility and if they fucked up, it was MY fault.

The second lesson, which turned out to be related, was that once you sign for it, it's yours to deal with.

The corollary to lesson two is that once someone else signs for it, it is no longer your problem.  With that in mind, don't sign until you're ready to own it.

I am sick of hearing about people attempting to absolve themselves of their responsibilities by blaming the people they hired to do the work after they signed the work release.

It's especially galling to hear it with the "I wasn't there" excuse.  Your authorized agent must have been, therefore you were there by proxy.  Don't give your damn proxy to someone who cannot properly represent you or don't complain when they don't.  Pick one.

The proxy in question is most often the spouse of the complainer.

The first person you should blame is yourself for over-delegating.  Your proxy didn't inspect the work done while the crew was still present and signed the work release, that makes it your fault and you now own the mistakes made.

Suck it up.

If you don't like it? see lesson one.


Well, it seems that since we only send lawyers to Congress instead of Scientists, Engineers and Economists, we're going to get a stupid-huge increase in the minimum wage.

Oh my Gods the fallacies flying from the lips of the idiots advocating for the increase.

In the first place they have no idea why jobs exist in the first place.  A business is hiring because of one or both of two related things.  Either there's too much work for the owner to do themselves, or the owner doesn't want to be bothered with doing the work at all.

Those are related because they are both indications of a successful business.  A business that's doing so much business that it takes more labor than the owner has to fulfill the customers demand or one that's doing enough business the owner can indulge in the luxury of not doing the actual work any more.

In the latter case, if the government mandated cost of hiring the luxury employee is too great, that job ceases to exist and the owner returns to it.  In the former case, if the increase in cost of the employee exceeds the amount of money coming into a business the owner has to make his business smaller to allow the work do be done without the employee or go out of business.  Notice how there's no job for our minimum wage earner now?

Even assuming that cranking the minimum wage through the roof doesn't result in mass firings the benefit from the increase is like a gossamer net stopping a freight train.  With sensitive enough instrumentation, you could see that the train's velocity was altered by the resistance of the net, but realistically there was no effect.

The same is true of the price of labor.  Labor is a cost.  Increase costs, prices increase.  This is Econ 101 stuff.  This is basic ledger stuff.

What the advocates all don't seem to know (or care) about is that the unskilled labor rate establishes the cost of just about everything.  Tripling the price of that labor triples the price of everything, and pretty soon everyone's wages are tripled too to accommodate the increase in costs.  There is zero difference between making $10 an hour when a burger is $5 than making $30 an hour when a burger costs $15.  It still takes a half hour of labor to earn the price of a burger.

Look around you and think hard; because the "I guess I just won't be going to McDonalds" solution isn't.  The place that hires the most unskilled minimum wage workers in your local area is the grocery store.

Traveller Cartography

Directions in the real world.

Alpha Centauri is trailing.

Sagittarius is coreward.

Orion is rimward.

Epsilon is spinward.

29 December 2013

Range Update

My Browning Hi-Power shoots well.  The surplus 13 round magazine I got doesn't reliably accept 13 rounds.  The Mec-Gar 13 and 15 rounders work like they should.  My spur hammer bit my web.

Marv's FÉG Hi-Power also shoots well.  He had a couple of extraction failures, but nothing consistent enough to pin down the precise cause.  His round hammer nipped the web of my hand too.

Marv's new Ruger Mark II ejects in a parabolic arc that goes straight over the lane divider and down my shirt.  Got a nasty burn on my neck from that.  Also got kudos from the range officer for keeping my gun down range while I did the brass dance.

Willard's Walther P.1 is a strange bird, but it shoots very well.  While there are a few 9mm's I'd choose after it, nearly any other 9mm is on my list before it.  It just doesn't fit me.

As I mentioned earlier, putting the sear spring back in correctly on my Ruger Standard fixed an alarming "burst" mode.  The trigger with the spring wrong was 2 lb. 4 oz. and after it's 3 lb. 2 oz.  It's also a damn tack driver.

Willard brought out an assortment of his handguns and let us waste some ammo.  His S&W Mod 15 snubby is a dream.  His S&W 5904 was very pleasant and it's the first old-style S&W auto that's felt remotely good in my hand.  I think that's because I've learned more about how to shoot correctly than when it really bothered me.

Thumbs up to Florida Firearms Academy's New Port Richey location.  It's a nice, well run 25 yard indoor range.  Being nearby doesn't hurt either.

For clean up I continued my experiment with Frog Lube.  I have to admit that it sure takes carbon off.  This is the first CLP I've used that seems to actually be good at cleaning, lubricating and protecting.  Lots better than the Break-Free CLP I was issued in the Army.

Sunday Rimfire

Marv made the trade of the day.

He swapped his Ruger Standard for a Mark II 50th Anniversary.

Pictured with my 1957 made Standard.

In other news, my pistol is returned to semi-automatic function now that the sear spring is installed correctly.  One of the dangers of taking a gun all the way apart to clean every crevice is the chance you'll put something back in wrong.  With the spring's leg on the wrong step, it slam fires pretty good.

TL 6

TL 6 is a retread of an earlier idea, but scrubbed to be historical instead of being world specific.

George Hurst was born on February 28, 1891 in Los Angeles.  His mother was a the daughter of a miner from the 1849 gold rush so she named her only son George so that he'd be named after a successful miner (George Hearst), unlike his grandfather.

George took to the idea of mining, but did so in a scientific manner, going to college back east to learn geology in college and graduating cum laude from Johns Hopkins University.

His latin studies morphed into learning Portuguese and Spanish and geology took him to South America in search of the ever elusive blue jade.

He is equally at home in the US and Brazil, but prefers São Paulo to "home".

He is now 30 and in search of the fortune he knows is buried in the mountains and jungles of the Amazon basin.

24 December 2013


It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool; than to speak and remove all doubt.

Lately I feel like I've left very little doubt.

Help I'm Burning!

Tam called me a hipster.


Really, OUCH.

I am not sure what the proper response is to prove that I am actually human.

Cutting myself seems like it would be confirmation of her accusation.

Illuminated Man Cave

Marv is preparing to move out of his flood-zone house.  He's lived there since 1953!!!

That means there's sixty years of accumulated stuff tucked into every corner.

One of those things was this cunning pole-lamp.

I've noticed that there seems to be a war on about lights being useful for reading for the last ten years or so.  The choices have been too dim to use or so bright you need welding goggles.  I prefer a light which shines on my book and leaves the rest of the room softly illuminated.  This pole-lamp fits the bill nicely.

Merry Christmas!

At the risk of being accused of being a homophobe...

Merry Christmas!

Happy Saturnalia!

What's Kwanza?

Chanukah is over, but I hope you had a good one.

More On (Moron?) The Furry-ous Caliber Debate

Someone trolled Arfcom with some "myths of the 6.5" and attempted to get a rise out of the 6.8 community.

Hey, he's a troll and it's Arfcom, shocker of the year that it worked!

Several times he asserted that he'd heard people on the 6.8 Forums putting forth the "myths" he was refuting.

I looked very hard and couldn't find anyone saying any such thing any time recently.

The thing is, all of his myths were once true.  Because there's a dedicated body of people who really like the 6.5 Grendel/.264 LBC the perceived faults had been addressed.  It is no longer 2007.

The second huge claim is the 6.8 community trolls the 6.5 forums stirring up trouble.

Because that has certainly been true of the 6.5 fans at the 6.8 forums from time to time; I went looking for instances of the reverse.

Guess what I did not find?

What I did find in recent debates were several heartfelt posts about how they'd bungled their presentation of the round to the public at large and how well the 6.8 crowd had done at the same job.  Self criticism not attacks by trolls!

All in all I found the 6.5 forums no different than the 6.8 forums in nearly all respects.  The same "where do I find...?" type posts.  The same bazaars swapping parts.  Same sense of community.

Almost as if the trolls are merely trolls and not representative of the larger body of the community.

Who'd of thunk it?


I am wondering if it really would be better if Mr Robertson had lied about how he felt about homosexuals.

Think about it.

Would you rather know who dislikes your way of life out in the open so you can make a reasoned decision to avoid spending your time and money in a way that supports them; or would you prefer they dislike you silently?

I prefer it be in the open.

Of course, he didn't say he disliked any particular homosexual, he merely stated that he felt it was a sin and that his belief was backed by Scripture.

Notice that he never said he'd refuse to do business with Gays?

Has he ever refused to hire homosexuals?  Ever fired someone who he later discovered was gay?

He's head and shoulders above A&E who may be in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for suspending him.  Oh yeah, everyone who's been saying that A&E had every right to fire him over his remarks forgot the religion clause of that law, didn't they?

23 December 2013

Here's The Deal

I did a shitty thing.

I am ashamed of myself for doing the shitty thing.

While I've been forgiven by the person I did the shitty thing to, I am still too embarrassed to speak to them.

It was a shitty thing.

I'd probably be less ashamed if it wasn't being the exact kind of asshole I've been working hard to not be anymore.

Admitting the wrong is as brave as I can be at the moment.

Light Bulb Loophole

And you know it's coming...

Halogen bulbs got an exemption to the incandescent ban and I happen to like the quality of the light.

They use less juice than conventional bulbs, 53w for 75w equivalence for example and just flat look better than compact florescent.  They also work with dimmer switches, which CF bulbs are miserable at.

Forty Five

Today is not my birthday.

But I am presently 45 years old plus some days.

I am my favorite caliber for a while!

Tee hee!

22 December 2013

TL 5

Kasper Meylin is originally from Hesse-Kassel and was abducted when he was 14 and shipped off to Virginia for seven back breaking years as an indentured farm-hand.

He spent the next two years trapping to earn enough money to stake a homestead in western Virginia for himself and his wife, Gretchen.

His time as a trapper has made him known and welcome among the nearby Tutelo tribes.

His prized possessions are a trade tomahawk and a Pennsylvania rifle.

His hopes and dreams are very high in 1753 America.


$450 and 8.3 lb. for buckskins.  Yikes!  He's not carrying much more than the weapons thanks to the cost of that.  $4,000 of his starting wealth is tied up in his household, including the land, house and livestock.  There are things that he reasonable could take with him from home that exceed the $1,000 normally allowed; an understanding GM will allow it.

Need New Ink

Because I am a homemaker, I just realized that I can just get all tatted up!

I think three six siders adding up to three on the inside of my right wrist is appropriate for a rabid GURPS GM.

TL Project

TL5 and TL6 are 99% done.

Got to finalize the character sheets and make write ups.

I might even get that done later today.

TL5 was a road block.  The Patriot being in high rotation helped a lot with breaking the character creation block.

21 December 2013

By The Way

The high today was 84˚ F.

Just sayin'.


There is no giant box under the tree.

The Ogre Designer's Edition is shown as "out of print" at SJ Games.

We are now safely out of the window of temptation for an expensive thing that I wanted, but had not place to store and would probably have never used.

It's A Gas

Gas operated guns all work basically the same.

Some of the burning stuff what's pushin' the bullet is tapped to push the action.

You need two things in balance to make it work.

First the hole where the gas is tapped needs to be big enough to pass enough gas to make the action cycle.

Second the pressure that's feeding that work needs to be maintained long enough that the needed volume is tapped.  This is called the dwell time.  Dwell time is what matters most in an AR.

On most guns this balance is made by the designer and you don't have a choice in the matter.

The AR, on the other hand, has multiple barrel lengths and gas-port locations.

There are four gas port locations.  Pistol, Carbine, Mid-Length and Rifle.  We're gonna ignore pistol because we're talking rifles here.

Unless you're doing an SBR, your barrel choices are (effectively) 16" and 20".  There are some choices between and some longer, but 99% of the market is 16 or 20.

The 20" barrel is the original rifle length and, SURPRISE, normally comes with a rifle gas system.  This is the original balanced design and works well.

Way back in the early sixties, Colt decided that a shorter M16 would be handy, so they devised the R605.  The 605 is simply a standard M16 with the barrel cut down to the front sight base with just enough poking out to put the flash-hider on.  That makes it about 15-3/8" long.

It didn't work very well in cold weather because there's a pressure drop with cold ammo and there's just not enough dwell time to get the action going at those pressures.  Making the gas port larger doesn't always make things better.

Modern clones of R605 with 16" barrels don't fare any better.

Colt's next attempt to make a short M16 resulted in the R607.  The R607 introduces what's known as the carbine length gas system today.  It has a 10" barrel with the same dwell time as the R605 and since the gas port is much closer to the chamber it is tapping much higher pressure gas.  It turns out that it too doesn't have enough dwell time.  A 3.5" moderator was developed to take care of both the excessive muzzle blast and give more effective dwell time.

A 4.5" moderator was developed for the 10" barreled XM177 and XM177E1 to increase reliability and finally the barrel was increased to 11.5" in the XM177E2.

Eventually Colt looked hard at the problem and found that the ideal dwell time for the carbine gas port was a 14.1" barrel.  Since a 14.5" barrel is identical from the gas-port forward as a rifle, this was the length they settled on for all their carbines ever since.

Except...  14.5" is an SBR.  Commercial guns got the legally mandated 16" minimum barrel length.

A 16" barrel with a carbine gas system is actually over-gassed because it has too much dwell.  But it's generally good-enough and it was simple to do.

The next developments histories are a bit murky.

The idea of the R605 really snagged the imagination of many.  A rifle's sight radius with a shorter handier barrel seems ideal.  Thus was born the Dissipator (I think Bushmaster did it first).  The Dissipator is a 16" barrel with a front sight base in the rifle position, but with a gas port in the carbine position and hidden under rifle handguards.  It has the same over-gassed situation as any other 16" carbine.

Finally there's the mid-length gas system, which is literally halfway between the carbine and rifle gas port distance.  What it has is nearly the same dwell as the 20" and rifle or 14.5" and carbine but with the legally mandated 16" barrel.  Personally I think this is the ideal system for a 16" barrel.

Self Help

Contrary to appearances, a conversation I had DID help.

It helped a lot.

Thanks Erin!

I just needed some time to absorb and I can't absorb while there's an audience to deflect on.

20 December 2013

Gaming Guest Post

FuzzyGeff was kind enough to do a write up of the Eye Spiker for me.  His invention, he deserves all credit and blame.

The eyespiker may be my most feared creation, which is odd, since I wasn’t the GM when I came up with it.

It works like so: Glowing mystic runes appear on the ground, swirl about, and disappear in a flash of color; where they were, is now a tiny demonic being, dressed for mountain climbing. I point out a victim, whereupon the demon cackles gleefully and gives chase. If the victim sticks around, the demon climbs him, wraps its tail around his neck, and gets to work.

The eyespiker’s job is pretty self-explanatory. It pulls a metal rod from its belt, points it straight at one of the victim’s eyes, and pulls a handle; the rod is now L-shaped and barbed. The barbed end is, of course, pointed at the aforementioned eye. The demon pulls out a mallet, and (I assume) gains the victim’s undivided attention. As long as the poor bastard keeps spending every action he gets struggling to avoid getting a real close look at sharp, shiny metal, things don’t get any worse.

Otherwise, the eyespiker earns his name. He pounds that barbed spike through the eye and into the skull, then taps the handle on the side, giving the spike a 90° twist. Then, he puts away the hammer, draws forth the second spike, and repeats the process on the remaining eye. If anybody is getting bright ideas about toughing this out with three or more eyes, they will find that there are always enough spikes.

The mechanism is actually quite simple: the spell Perfect Illusion, ideally cast at double cost in order to fool the sense of touch. All the details are me earning my Illusion Art skill. The practical effect is just keeping one enemy from doing anything, at the cost of one illusion wizard doing nothing else. Sure, I could just put an imaginary bucket of shit on the guy’s head (hey, there’s no extra cost to fool the sense of taste...), but nobody would ask me to write that up for their blog a decade or two later.

19 December 2013


I was going to be specific, but then I realized it was more general.

If you want to be tolerated, you have to be tolerable.

You also have to remember that tolerate is not a synonym for "like".


The Fabrique-Nationale Hi-Power is nearly the same age as the Walther P.38.

While features of the P.38 live on in the Beretta Model 92, the HP is still made and is indistinguishable from guns designed in the past ten years except for the lack of a plastic polymer frame.

For the most part I think that the P.38 is a product of its time whereas the Browning design is simply far ahead of its time.  The Walther is a lot like other designs from the late '30's and seems extraordinarily clunky by today's standards.  It's completely modern in 1938 though with advanced features that surpassed nearly all of the guns that came before it in a service pistol.


A person of a given faith pointing out that their faith defines a particular activity is a sin is only being consistent with their faith.

Becoming angry about it when it's a behavior you engage in says more about you than it does about the person making the observation.

I am constantly amazed at people's ability to allow a faith they don't espouse to affect their lives.

Being an atheist, it's not immoral for me (a man) to ass-fuck a willing male partner.  I have no God to tell me that this is a sin; nor does someone who claims this non-existent God is real have any power over OUR choice to engage in anal sex.

My being a straight male has a lot more with my refusal than any religious conviction.

Oh yeah, that whole refusal to believe in God is ALSO a sin.

P1 Firing Pin Blockage

Here is the firing pin block in position in its slot in the firing pin.

The block is moved up and out of the way by an arm to the right of the hammer that is raised by cocking the hammer.  It falls when the hammer comes off the sear and the trigger is released; much like a transfer bar behaves.

As you can see that's a substantial hunk of metal to "shear" away to keep it from stopping the firing pin.  The groove on the opposite side is where the firing pin retainer resides.

Next we have the firing pin inside the safety as it would be with the safety engaged.

That little lump on the bottom left of the safety is a cam that presses the sear release down and drops the hammer when you put the gun on safe.  Note that the recess that allows the firing pin to move forward is out of alignment with the head of the pin before that cam can press the sear release.  So, the safety does NOT become a selector switch if you remove the firing pin block because the safety itself is a block as well.

If one were to remove both the safety and the firing pin block, it would be no more likely to fire than an M1911 with the safety off and grip safety pressed.


Perhaps the best evidence that both the AWB and NFA are chickenshit massive wastes of time and effort is the recent turn-in of an StG.44 at a California gun "buy-back" (itself a chickenshit term).

That gun spent the past 68 years doing nothing but collecting dust and rust despite being a genuine selective fire assault rifle.

Notice that neither California's assault weapon ban or the federal National Firearms Act kept someone from possessing that gun surreptitiously?  At least I assume surreptitiously, because:

"Possession of automatic weapons or short-barreled shotguns or rifles prohibited without DOJ "Dangerous Weapons Permit"; permission rarely granted outside of film industry. Suppressors (aka silencers) prohibited. Destructive devices are prohibited unless are designated as curios & relics, in which case a collectors permit can be obtained. The only AOW's that are permitted are smoothbore pistols and firearms with a combination of a smoothbore and rifle barrel."
With all those violations, it was not a $30,000 rifle, it was contraband.  But like all banned things that one can easily carry, it's also very easy to hide.

18 December 2013

Pistole Modele Ein

Also known as the Walther P1.

I mentioned to a friend that I'd never fired a P38 and he brought over his P1 for me to play with.

The P1 is in essence a post-war manufactured P38.  The very earliest were identical except for markings.  Quickly production changed to the more common alloy frame.

There are more pics below the cut.

17 December 2013


I braced in the small space behind and between the pilot's and navigation couches.

I knew I should be in a couch myself, but there was no station for me to man.  Every once and a while I could actually feel acceleration as the utility grav system strained to keep up with the inputs from the controls as Hamilton pushed the old picket ship as hard as the systems would take.   It suddenly hit me why all pilots sounded bored when doing the everyday routine ship-handling.  Compared to what he was doing now, it was like reading about sex...  I'd never ask why we didn't just let the computer fly the ship again.

He was surrounded by the holo-display giving him an all around field of view.  I could see we were maneuvering because the orientation lines would rotate and spin in response to the sometimes violent movement of the controls.

Occasionally Dahveeie, our navigator, would relay a quiet reminder about a vector or obstacle as we made ourselves a more elusive target.

But the art was to her right.

He'd explained it to me once, or tried, it was like explaining color to the blind.

15 December 2013

Term Of The Art

Anglave provides us a new description for the precise moment that an internet forum discussion becomes pointless.

"Then the Cessna hit the treadmill."

Ref here.


Just because I could, does not mean I did.

Just because I can, does not mean I will.

However, just because I haven't does not mean I won't.

Try to keep that in mind while you're blaming me.

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom's 72nd birthday.

She didn't make it.

She was 65 when she died.

If you'll excuse me, I'm sad and will lash out at random if poked.  Our birthdays are very close together and very close to Christmas.  A great deal of the fun of the holidays was wrapped up with the silliness of all the based on your birthday taxes coming due at the same time as obligatory gift giving for both a birthday and a holiday (coming on the heels of the Thanksgiving mandatory travel expenditures).

Without Mom, this is just another day.

It used to be special.

14 December 2013

Amateur Standing

If you are writing professionally make your point in the beginning so I know what you're going on about.

I don't write for a living.  I don't record videos for money.  My stream of consciousness style is barely acceptable because most posts are short and have lots of pictures.  I do not get a Rhodesian Zimbabwean cent for my work and my audience is small enough that I can answer all of the questions in the comments personally.

That lowers the expectations a lot.

It means that I can dance around the point quite a bit explaining how I came to it and it's OK, because I don't claim to be a good writer, or consistently good should I put out a good piece.

I did learn in college that the most effective writing and speaking begins with a paragraph that makes your point and states your position.  The body of the work is the why and how of that initial statement and the concluding paragraph should be the opening statement rephrased.

Today a fellow amateur linked to a half hour long video about how Google handles copyright violations.  At least that's what he said the video was about.  The person on the vid, who claimed he derived his livelihood from posting videos on youtube, stammered and rambled on for about five minutes without really stating a damn point.  I gave up.

Then I am linked to L Neil...  Who skips the introductory statement and goes straight to the body...  It's got something to do with children's rights but I can't tell where he's going by the halfway point unless it's about how everyone in the Libertarian Party doesn't love him or listen to his delivered wisdom.  Wait, I think I did get the point of the post after all!

If you're doing this for a living for gods sake learn to write!  Let me know what you are talking about and what your position is; THEN explain why.

13 December 2013

Color Me Corrected

I was complaining about the TV movie Bonnie and Clyde because Frank Hamer was using what appeared to be a FN Model D (Not available in North America in 1934).

Got a better look at some stills.

William Hurt is carrying a Colt Monitor R-80 which was available in 1931.

Frank Hamer did, indeed, have one and it's in the Ranger's museum now.

I'd always read he'd used his Remington Model 8 during the ambush though.

I'd gotten confused between the R-80 Monitor and R-75 too.  The R-75 is more the normal BAR.


The Federal Government has a program that "loans" surplus military gear to police departments for the war on (some) drugs and such.

One of the items are M16A1's.

I've seen a couple of these guns out there now, the gray receiver is a dead giveaway.  Several cops have posted pics of their duty guns from this program.

That gray receiver is all that's in evidence.

A spanking new Colt LE6920 is a whopping $1,100 retail at Wal Mart.  I wonder what LEO pricing is.

The Aimpoint is $400.

$100 for a back-up iron sight.

So, $1,600 for a patrol rifle, albeit a semi-auto one.

Bravo company USA gets mentioned a lot for a replacement upper.  $460 for a 16" M4 plus $19 for handguards.  Another $80 gets the stock set.  So $559 for the gun!

The stupid thing here that's saving $541 is that the department could save even more.  The parts they remove from the M16A1 are in demand with retro-heads and those kits run $300-$500 depending on condition.  But they aren't allowed to sell those parts since they are required to give the gun back exactly how they got it should the feds ever ask for it back; which they've never done in the 25+ years of this program.

Moar Pressure

Today's other "gunsmithing" adventure is the installation of a Wolff 18-1/2 lb. recoil spring in the Browning.

Ayup, that's a stronger spring than the one in it.  Longer too.  It's longer and stronger enough to be irritating to install, but not too bad.

This change is to protect the gun from "modern" ammunition.

Subtle Change

Changed over to an arched mainspring housing on the .38 Super Gov't Model.

Can you see the difference?

I can sure feel it.  The flat housing always felt like there was something poking me in the palm, like the lower grip screw was half unthreaded.  This takes care of that.

Vest Pocket Disassembly

When you field strip your FN 1905 or Colt 1908 .25 you should pull the trigger so the striker spring is unloaded.

If you forget, don't freak!

The sear will pull out the striker, spring and spring rod out of the slide as you slide the slide forward.

Pay attention and as the striker comes clear of the slide, trap it with a finger your thumb.

Set the slide down and you can now pull the striker slightly to the rear and ease it out of the cocked position.

Update to add pics; which I should have had from the get-go but I didn't know there'd be a Tamalanche coming!

How'd That Happen

I am a fairly big fan of SKA and punk.

How is it I don't have any SKA/Punk for mainstream audiences like Blondie?

As an aside, SLC Punk is a near documentary of my non-gaming life in Ames, Iowa.

Can you spot me in the cast?


Calm is strange to me.

I am almost never calm.

The misophonia always makes me agitated.

I can appear calm, but I am on the edge of "or flight" pretty much all the time.  There's no fight, how do you fight a sound or a twitching foot.

Yet, at this moment, I am calm.

I also have a fever.

The Boy has had the flu or something for about a week.  I think I am coming down with it.  I am mainlining orange juice and the surprisingly pleasant 12 hour cold/flu liquid.

I think that the sinus pressure is making my tinnitus really ring, and that seems to be covering some of the sounds that would otherwise be intruding on the calm.  If only I could achieve this without getting sick in other ways.

The misophonia is notably absent when I am well buzzed too.  That's handy because that means I won't get angry while I am drunk.

Calm is scary to me.  When addressing other issues we discovered that I am wired oddly in lots of ways.  Perhaps being on the edge of "or flight" 24/7 develops a different response to danger.  I get CALM when I'm seriously convinced that I'm about to be severely injured or killed.  This is super handy when you play around with race cars (and I'd prolly notice it less if I had more talent).  Time also runs funny.  Being calm and having a whole minute to think about the next second is really cool.

Calm has often meant danger.

I am calm and there is no danger.

12 December 2013

Missing The Concept

The 3D printed Liberator is overcomplicated and doesn't adhere to the Liberator concept.

The original gun was made as cheap as humanly possible and if it survived to fire all eight rounds included in the box, it was a miracle.

The entire point of such a crappy gun was to sow them widely where there were no guns and the populace of the area would use that crappy gun to kill an occupying soldier/policeman and obtain a real gun.

The 3D Liberator is HUGE.  All it really has going for it is the novelty of being made from plastic and the way that plastic is formed.

If you have a source of ammo, and you need this, it doesn't take a lot of skill to make a single shot zip gun that will work once to get a better gun from an occupier.  Look up "bang stick" for a professionally machined version of what I'm talking about.

11 December 2013

Scenes From A Past Life

I'm gonna memory hole this.

Too easy to misunderstand, I think.

The Things I Do

Weer'd mentions the magazine disconnect on the FN .25...

So I completely tear down both my FN and Colt Vest Pockets.

On the Colt I am glad because it was very ugly inside there.

It's fascinating stuff, really.

These guns left John Moses Browning's drawing board as the same gun.

FN and Colt each bought the design and made changes to suit their peculiar ways of making guns.  They're very similar, and very different at the same time.

What I found...

On the Colt there's a sliding bar that forces the trigger bar under the sear lever so that it can't push on it. With it partially reassembled without the disconnect, there's no difference at all in the trigger pull and feel.  The disconnect is pushed forward against the recoil spring by the magazine.

The FN uses a rotating lever on the back of the magazine which blocks the grip safety from being disengaged.  Again, removing the lever has no effect on pull or feel.

The FN has a take-down notch that uses the safety to lock the slide slightly to the rear so you can rotate the barrel to field strip it.  The Colt's slide lock notch is just so you can see if it's loaded or not and you have to carefully hold the slide back against the spring to line up the grooves for disassembly.

Yet they can exchange magazines.

10 December 2013

First World Problem

We have water delivered in 5 gallon jugs for drinking because our tap water is "flavorful".  The tap water is perfectly safe to drink, and we use it for coffee and cooking (the heat seems to kill the "flavor").

The cooler we'd salvaged from work when the office changed the decor was leaking at the taps and the hot side had corroded closed.  Leaking 5 gallons in about two hours.

So I had our water delivery add a new cooler to our order and it arrived yesterday.

Woo hoo! Says I as I run a cup of hot water for tea.

Alas, there's a river of water coming out from under it.  The reservoir was holed!  A quick call to our provider had a replacement here today, under warranty no less!

Everything was fast and pleasant.  Capitalism at its finest.

Recurring JMB Meme

This time meme was spread from the Bayou Renaissance Man.

Fired is underlined.  Owned is bold.

  • U.S. M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun (Potato Digger)
  • FN Browning M1899/M1900
  • Colt Model 1900
  • Colt Model 1902
  • Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer (.38 ACP)
  • Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless (.32 ACP)
  • Colt Model 1905
  • FN Model 1905 Vest Pocket (.25 ACP)
  • Remington Model 8 (1906), a long recoil semi-automatic rifle
  • Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket (.25 ACP)
  • Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless (.380 ACP)
  • FN Model 1910
  • U.S. M1911 pistol (.45 ACP)
  • Colt Woodsman pistol
  • Winchester Model 1885 falling-block single shot rifle
  • Winchester Model 1886 lever-action repeating rifle
  • Winchester Model 1887 lever-action repeating shotgun
  • Winchester Model 1890 slide-action repeating rifle (.22)
  • Winchester Model 1892 lever-action repeating rifle
  • Winchester Model 1894 lever-action repeating rifle
  • Winchester Model 1895 lever-action repeating rifle
  • Winchester Model 1897 pump-action repeating shotgun
  • Browning Auto-5 long recoil semi-automatic shotgun
  • U.S. M1917 water-cooled machine gun
  • U.S. M1919 air-cooled machine gun
  • U.S. M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)
  • U.S. M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun of 1921 (the famed "Ma-Deuce" weapon)
  • Remington Model 24 semi-auto rifle (.22) - also produced by Browning Firearms as the SA-22, and several others
  • Browning Hi-Power (Grand Puissance or GP), the standard sidearm of many military and police forces
  • The Browning Superposed over/under shotgun was designed by John Browning in 1922 and entered production in 1931
  • Ithaca Model 37 pump-action repeating shotgun
Copy paste your list to your blog.  Link back to this post.

Trigger Why

Why does the trigger pull get so much lighter on a Hi Power when you remove the magazine disconnect?

Because the plunger is attached to the back of the trigger and it moves up and down as the trigger pivots.  The head of the plunger is pressed against the front face of the magazine and slides in contact.

That's a fair amount of surface area to add friction to the effort.

If you look at the typical used Hi Power magazine, you'll see a shiny spot near the mouth where the disconnect has been moving against the finish.

I am still uncertain about whether I will leave the thing in or take it out.

This will likely not end up being my carry gun, so the value of the feature is of no consequence.  I got the Hi Power because I wanted a Hi Power and a magazine disconnect is part of the package, so leaving it in makes "collectable" sense.

Goons Hired Goons

And now we know what kind of cutie marks the Mafia would have.


At long last our national struggle is over!

We've sold the last share of General Motors stock and only lost ten billion dollars!

I guess I can feel less guilty looking at the C7 with lust now.


Should we have fought the passage of the Undetectable Firearms Act?

On one hand it's really unconstitutional because the Gov't has been granted no power here.

On the other, which was pointed out in comments in my earlier UFA post, that detection technology has advanced so much since it was first passed that any gun is detectable now; making the requirements of the law essentially meaningless.

Opposing renewal would have been the principled stand, but at what cost?  Pyrrhus anyone?

Looking at the way it passed, our congress critters don't care.  But that's a symptom, not a cause.

09 December 2013


There's nothing in the world that boosts ones self esteem like people responding to anything you think is interesting or stressful with, "So?"

I totally get why suicide rates spike during the holidays now.

Update:  The better news is that I seem to be generating most of the non-spambot traffic looking at my posts so there's nobody here to say, "so?"!

Yes, I do think that straw I am grasping at will bear my entire weight, why do you ask?

Put Your Flag Back Up

There's no fucking reason at all to have the flags at half mast for a FOREIGN politician.

No reason at all here in America to give this honor to Mandela.

Can't Leave Well Enough Alone

Because an 18-1/2 lb. recoil spring is recommended for the Hi Power should you shoot "self defense" ammo, I decided to grab one from Midway.

Then comes the mad search to save the $4 special handling charge.

Bearing in mind that the charge's threshold is $40.  The spring is $7.  Yes, the search is finding a way to spend $33 to save $4.

Well, the flat mainspring housing on the .38 Super 1911 has been kinda bothersome to me in a couple of ways.

First, am just plain accustomed to the arched housing because every 1911 I'd ever fired before I bought this one has had an arched housing.

Second, this recent run of Gov't Models from Colt are the first .38 Super 1911's to have a flat housing.  That makes it a FARB!  I am hesitant to change the long trigger out for a short one, but I may yet.


The arched mainspring housing I selected was a composite plastic polymer one from Colt, and only $8 something on clearance.  Still had to pay the $4.

Edit 2:

And I forgot, AGAIN, to order a safety plunger spring for the Springfield!

08 December 2013

Dear Sirs

At A&E, History and Lifetime Networks...

Please remake the Bonnie and Clyde miniseries and this time get the guns right.

Also, feel free to make it not boring.

PS: The show to commercial ratio is about 9 minutes show to 3 minutes commercial.  Hard to develop a narrative with three vignettes in each 9 minutes before cutting to commercial.  Y'all are supposed to be professionals...

Design Theory

If you leave the magazine disconnect on your Browning Hi-Power, the magazine notoriously does not drop free of the gun when the slide locks back.

I was speaking with a buddy about it and he thinks it's deliberate so that the magazine wouldn't be lost since pistols were intended to be carried a lot and fired sparingly in European armies.

That got my juices flowing and I hit on another explanation for it being intentional.

Many European pistol designs use a heel release instead of a button.  The magazine disconnect retaining the magazine after it was released would help with someone transitioning from a heel release to a side button and keep magazines from being dropped to the ground to be lost or damaged.

One Thought

While I can use shape metal to get the mix of elements for steel correct, I don't know if it can be used to make the crystalline structure correct.

We do that with heat and pressure in conventional steel making.

The spell description kinda-sorta implies (maybe) that if you're skilled in conventional means you can specify that what you've shaped is made appropriately.


In analogy:

Gun Control Congresscritters (GCC): We're going to anally rape the gun owners!

"Pro Gun" Congresscritters (PGC): Will you use lube?

GCC: Sure, why not?

PGC: We have a compromise!

Gun owners: We don't want to be anally raped, with or without lube!

GCC and PGC: See how the gun lobby obstinately refuses to be reasonable?

USS Arizona

Yesterday was the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

I got asked by one of The Lovely Harvey's friends, "what's the big deal about that ship?"

They get the sneak attack and that got us into the war part, but not why Arizona is so significant.

Check out this vid.  Sorry, no embed.

That explosion accounts for 1,177 men dead out of 2,402 total killed in the attack.  Just 335 of Arizona's crew survived the attack.

The moment was caught on film and that film was very widely seen.

And that's really "it" for why it's a big deal.

I also find it very appropriate that Missouri is moored right behind her with that big bronze plaque set in her deck.

07 December 2013

There's No Spell For That

GURPS: Magic doesn't have a spell to recharge a battery.

Repair or Rebuild might work, but the descriptions are such that there can be debate about if a discharged battery is actually broken.

06 December 2013

Tomayto Tomahto

Cyclic is pronounced "sigh click" not "sick lick".

The root word is cycle (sigh cull) not (sickle).

My skin itches every time the "expert" shooters in The Jackal say it wrong.

Magic Changes Everything


An interesting tidbit of making odd connections.

The reason the Japanese folded the metal for Katana was to compensate for their miserable iron ore.

Western sword makers didn't bother once crucible steel had been figured out.

With GURPS: Magic you wouldn't even bother with iron ore.

Take some literally garden variety dirt.  Cast "Earth to Stone" on it and pay double energy cost and you can get "a simple metal like bronze or iron".  For a mere six fatigue you can change up to a cubic yard of dirt or clay into a cubic yard of iron.

Now that you have pure iron put it with some carbon in a clay jar and cast "Heat" on the pig.  This takes a bit longer, but for 6 fatigue a minute you can add 60˚ F a minute to the material.  This stage takes a lot of fatigue considering you want to melt the iron, 2,700˚ F.  So starting at a temperate 75˚ would take 44 minutes and 264 fatigue.  Maybe we don't want to use "Heat"...

What we can do instead is cast "Shape Metal" and mix it with our carbon to make steel COLD.  Six fatigue for a minute.  You can make it flow 18" a second with this spell so you have lots of time to stir in your trace elements to change your iron to steel.  Once you're done mixing, you can use this spell to separate your cubic yard of steel into billets; then form those billets into finished shapes if you have the Smith (Iron)/TL skill.

With two spells (and their prerequisites) and one skill you can make a good quality sword in about three or four hours!  With Metallurgy/TL you could conceivably make fine and very fine weapons in the same time frame by changing the alloy compositions.

Thorough Cleaning

The Hi Power has been detail stripped down to the last pin.

Whomever refinished this gun didn't bother cleaning out the blasting media from all the small crevices.

Those nooks and crannies are now clean!

When I first got it the trigger was a gritty and unpleasant 8 lb. 6 oz.

The cleaning made it a smooth 7 lb.

While I couldn't tell with my finger, removing the magazine disconnect dropped the pull to 5 lb. 3 oz.

Marv's FÉG went from over 9 lb. to 8 lb. with a detailed cleaning and down to just 7 lb. 4 oz. by removing the magazine disconnect.  He smoothed off some of the rough edges on the trigger lever and arm and smoothed his up a lot as well.  Rough edges my FN doesn't have!


I have an S-Spring for my Trilux winging its way from Jolly Ol'.

The seller is desperate for FAL top covers to modify for Trilux mounts.

I happen to have a real inch pattern Trilux mount so I looked into shipping it to him in trade for a spare spring.

Because it's a part of a "military" scope it's a munition and I'd need a license to export it.  There are zero restrictions on importing it.

It's a non-controlled item in the UK.  No restrictions on import or export.

So what we have is a situation where I could buy a scope mount from him, have it shipped here, him discovering he could sell it for lot more and offering double my money back; but I can't ship it back because I can't export it!

The little spring is the same deal.

Laser Bore Sight

A new experiment.

I grabbed a Centerpoint laser boresighter at Wal Mart last night.

The face of the neighbor's shed is a convenient 50 yards away so I picked the correct collet for 6.8, stuck it down Dottie's barrel, turned it on and made the pointer of the Trilux sit on the dot.

I expect that further fine tuning will be required at the range, and I am very curious to see how much.

04 December 2013

Undetectable Firearms

I will just come out and say it.

The sort of person you want to prevent from having an undetectable firearm is the same sort of person that will make one regardless of the law.

The sort of person who will make sure their gun meets the standards of this law is the sort of person you could trust with one on an airplane.


The trilux scope is a mere four power.

Which I think is well suited to use with an intermediate power round like 6.8x43mm.

But until fairly recently, 4x was actually on the high side of magnification for sniper rifles, on average.  Full power rifle rounds like .30-06, .303 Brit or 7.62x54mmR.

This scope, in fact, was developed for use on the British FAL.  7.62x51mm.

The higher magnifications on modern guns make sense since the sniper is a different job than it used to be.  A WW2 sniper would be called a designated marksman now.

Sniper rifles didn't used to be precision weapons.  They were just particularly good examples of the issue rifle every grunt carried.  The M1903A4 (with a 2.75x scope) is close to the first rifle built from the ground up as a sniper rifle as opposed to taking a tight grouping gun off the infantry production line.  And the 03A4 is not that far removed from the 03A3.

Greenie Gunny

I've given up on "Failure To Fire".

It was a cute webcomic, but the author derives support from our clicks and I can't support this idiot any more.

I weathered his "I voted for Obama" justifications twice.

What I can't take is the hypocrisy over lead.

Shutting down the last lead smelter was GOOD because it's poisoning the planet.
The fact that this will affect the supply and demand for lead is BAD because _I_ use lead in my ammunition!

You fucking moron.

First, if you really believe a primary smelter is poisoning the planet, stop using lead.  All lead, everywhere.

Second, when you pursue a course of action that leads to the shut-down of a manufacturer of a commodity or product you use, you don't get to complain that it will make these things more expensive.  You wanted this to happen.

Why, yes, shutting down the last primary smelter in the US is unlikely to have a large effect on the supply of lead because we recycle nearly all of it.  Yet shutting it down will have an effect on prices because that shut down will change demand for lead, a change you're advocating with your "buy all you can NOW" advice.  Now you've recommended TWO THINGS that will make the price of ammunition go up.

Stupid should be painful and idiots should starve.  Clicking on your comic was feeding you.


03 December 2013

Nuclear Material

Tritium is an important part of a nuclear device.

You can also order it through the mail.

Sometimes the laws are strange.


"The thing the Vilani ambassadors missed over and over again while standing in polite disdain at how recent our antiquities were was the obvious fact that we'd gone from the stone age to parity with them while they'd not advanced a whit."

"The sheer speed of our technological advancement was lost on them.  They never seemed to comprehend what that meant compared to them.  It took them 776 years to go from chemical rockets to Jump-1 and another 3,805 to get to jump-2.  We went from Sputnik to our first Jump in 128 years and were using jump-2 drives a mere 37 years later.  They were utterly befuddled by the jump-3 equipped ships just more than 100 years after that; something they never developed on their own."

-- Captain Christopher Harrington "Memories of the Nth Interstellar War"

Hi Power Clone

Marv has obtained an FÉG made copy of a Hi Power.  HIs came from the same Gunbroker vendor I used and because it's not a real FN, it was $200 cheaper!

The thing is even marked with "FABRIQUE NATIONALE HERSTAL BELGIQUE" on the slide.

The proof marks are a close to FN's, but not quite and the barrel proof is in the wrong spot.  Other FN inspection marks are missing and the serial number is not of any Belgian pattern.

The theory goes that Israel needed more Hi Powers and getting them marked so slid them past the US busybodies who would have been upset about Israel doing business with Communist Hungary while the Cold War was still a going concern.

Mine is a Mark II.  The FÉG is a clone of a post-62 Mark I.  Ring hammer, small one-sided safety.

02 December 2013

Taxes Again

Reading this; h/t Mike

The solution is dirt simple.

Since this is genuine interstate commerce, Congress can stick it's ugly head into it.

They can pass a law.

All it has to do is define WHERE the transaction takes place.

The simplest solution is to have the commerce occur in the jurisdiction of the vendor.  That way they only have to learn the tax laws of where they're physically located (just like a brick and mortar retailer). That is both simple and fair.

Demanding the taxes be collected based on the customer's location opens up a sticky wicket.  A tar baby I don't want sitting on the log next to me!

Customer based taxes open the door to collecting those taxes when we're not at home.  Although it might be amusing to only have to pay the 7% sales tax Florida and my county impose while in a place where the state sales taxes are much higher, like Minnesota.

Can't Wait Until Tuesday

Something that gets one down about Traveller and gets one up too is the tech.

In many ways it's pure handwaviumdoubletalkide.  In others it's simply contemporary technology you could buy at the store in 1985.

It has a grit that attracts fans of crunchy sci-fi in the same way that Known Space from Niven does.  Niven is pure space opera in his technology, but it's SO internally consistent you forget he's just behind the curtain waving his hands.

Traveller has this kind of consistency because people have been pounding the inclusions out of Marc W Miller's raw iron for nearly forty years.

It leads one to aim rather lower in ones explanations of how things work because you want them to retain that grittiness that lends realism to a not very real universe.

It's why I can, in detail, tell you what the major controls are for piloting a Type S.  It's why I actually thought about the practical problems associated with wearing a space suit 24/7.  You flat cannot wear an A7L longer than a few hours at a time; you'd go insane.  It's not made to be worn for much longer than it was and the discomforts are additive.

The debates and thoughts about the tech are why when the deck-plan says "iris valve" I read it as "powered hatch".

It's why I thought about giant windows in the huge ballroom shown on the deck-plans for a luxury passenger ship and how you'd deal with one breaking.  Even considered layers of redundancy.  Emergency doors are concealed in the walls and their tracks have flip over covers so there's no coamings to trip over.  Then there's rescue balls under every single seat and lots that pop out of the walls and ceilings.

I thought about your air supply should you be caught in your skin-tight with nothing but your bag helmet while manning the nav-station.  You get a detachable bottle that's with the acceleration couch, which has a larger non-removeable bottle too and those are both charged with a network of air lines throughout the ship.  You can take your umbilical hose and plug into that network at any of several points spaced conveniently about the ship.  Those plug fittings have a non-electrical visual and tactile indicator to show if there's pressure in the line at that point and there are check valves to isolate perforated sections to allow the remainder to keep working.

I thought about gravity failures because that's one system that's sacrosanct in virtually every movie or TV sci-fi depiction.  In particular the Klingon's having no idea how to deal with zero-G despite being mighty space warriors.  A fucking cub scout in The Third Imperium learns zero-g because "be prepared" is still the scout motto!  The spacer section of that huge passenger ship doesn't have giant rooms or capacious corridors.  You are never more than arms length from a wall or a hand-hold because you need to be able to MOVE if you're going to do anything useful; and that could mean life or death.

I think too much, but these details seem to be appreciated by my players!  They did keep coming back week after week when I wasn't the only choice.

By The Way...

Ammoman, first fix is free.

You want endorsements for your 2014 Black Friday sale you gotta cough up some lucre.

Since you sold out of the ammo by the pound entirely from traffic generated by the 17 page-views from my page I think you owe me.

Something in 6.8 SPC suits me.  It will also piss off the FCC, so there's an added inducement.

01 December 2013

Gift Worm

My birthday and Christmas are just around the corner.

45A04.40 Goggles with all lenses.  $19.95

Just sayin'...

Puttin' it out there...

Especially since I just took out my better pair of safety glasses when a spring broke.

No pressure...


I didn't shave for a month because of this silly Movember thing.

The straight razor will get it done, but it's not happy work.  Them long hairs have a tendency to snag from outside the cutting area.

Damn but my face do feel lighter though.


If I seem to be obsessing about my L2A2 SUIT, well I am.

I occurs to me that the Brits were way ahead of the rest of the world with the idea of issuing an optical sight to every grunt.

Who doesn't these days?  (Rhetorical question)

Without the SUIT there probably wouldn't be ELCAN.  Then SUSAT, Aimpoint, ACOG, EOTech...  The G23 would probably have iron sights.

Speaking of ACOG...

There's several marked similarities in concept between the old SUIT and the ACOG.  This makes me excited about my SUIT because I'm getting the performance and saving on the order of $1,000.

I know my scope is tough.  It survived at least a week underwater then years sitting in the same box that  it was submerged in.  Yes, there was some rust, but it cleaned up for the most part and while that made it ugly; it's still completely functional (except for that worn spring).

I see these scopes on ebay and gunbroker running for $250.  What they are lacking is good mounts for modern guns since TAPCO stopped making the weaver mount I am using.

There are a couple of sellers on gunbroker who have the TAPCO mount; if you're looking for a good solid 4x scope for your rifle and are on something of a budget; you can't go too far wrong picking one up.