31 January 2014

February Is Upon Us

How can I tell?

Because every single vendor I've ever ordered online from is reminding me that Valentines Day is just around the corner.

30 January 2014

Do Not Need




I don't have the spare $105 plus shipping plus transfer.

I can be strong.  I like having electricity, and water, and internet, and a house to keep my stuff in, and food...


Just for the record, you don't need to go bacon cheeseburger to make it not kosher.

A cheeseburger is enough.

Dairy and meat don't touch if you're keeping kosher.


I have in my library a set of plans for a STEN Mk II.

They sort of end the conundrum about 922r parts.

There is not a single part that cannot be made in a high school metal shop, with the possible exception of rifling the barrel.

The plans I have even include the springs!

This plan is more economical than starting with a surplus kit because I wouldn't have to toss parts like the bolt.  Looks to be more fun too!

Did I say economical?  Well, except for all of the metal I'll ruin learning how to use Marv's welder...


Thanks to the FN Grand Pussiance my 9mm seal is broken.

Apex has taken out an ad for the back cover of Surplus Weapons.

The Mk II is the appealing one to me, but it's the death of a 1,000 cuts building one.

Kits don't come with a barrel.

$140 for the T-Stock parts kit from Apex (Gunbroker is similar).
$75 for a marked steel tube that can become a receiver from Indianapolis Ordnance.
$285 for their semi-auto conversion kit.
$130 for their 16" 9mm barrel.


$85 for an 8" 9mm barrel and $200 for a tax stamp.

$630 for a semi-auto "ghost STEN".

$785 for a semi-auto registered SBR.

922r is a factor...  Green is US part required for build regardless.  Bold is US part available but imported part useable.  Strike through is not-applicable.

Barrel Extension
Muzzle Attachment
Bolt Carrier
Op-Rod (And this assumes the cocking handle counts)
Gas Piston
Trigger Housing
Buttstock (might be US made out there)
Pistol Grip
Forearm (+$60)
Magazine Body
Magazine Floorplate
Magazine Follower

That's discouraging...

29 January 2014

Of Revisions And Errata

Many of my worlds (and FuzzyGeff) are what we called "nexus" worlds.  These worlds allowed the players to use their imaginations and make a character from any background they pleased.

As always there were limitations put on what Tech Levels were available, how common magic was and if there was any psionics at all.

In my more permissive moments I'd allow anything, but GURPS 3e(R) has about 80 books, I wasn't going to carry all of them every time just to support a single player's desire to do something different.

One time in particular a player wanted to play a psi.  No problem, this is allowed.

When characters were finished, I would always check the math to make sure my campaign assumptions were being followed.  This character was made with the Psionic book instead of the Basic Set psi rules so I asked him for the book.  He handed it over and the point totals were wrong.  "Fix it," says I.

He looks over his character sheet with a confused expression and asks, "fix what?"
"Those levels are five points each, not three."
"Oh!  That was changed in the second release of the book."  FuzzyGeff even stepped up to confirm that the rules were, indeed changed in a newer printing of the book.
"Then put a copy of that book in front of me.  You know my rules, if it's a book I don't bring or own, you have to prove it by showing me the text.  The text you handed me disagrees with what you're saying; and I don't doubt you, but proof is required or you know that somebody will cheat."
"But it's not my book that's here..."
"If you run home and bring it to me before we start, you can use it."

He refused to make the trip and was resentful about being forced to adhere to the rules he'd handed me.

Need I mention that this was one of the players who'd been caught cheating before?

Early Versions

The monstrosity that is Traveller 5 got me to thinking about other game's editions and if the later versions were an improvement.

I only played the colored boxed versions of Dungeons and Dragons a handful of times.

The majority of my D&D time was logged with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

I played some of D&D 2e, and was done with it before Compleate Cheate MinMax books came out.  I didn't find this edition to be an improvement on the old familiar AD&D.

I have not played any of the later versions of D&D or any D20 game so I cannot comment.  FuzzyGeff says that 3.5 is much improved and is actually playable.  I'll have to take his word since what I tend to want to do with fantasy breaks the rules badly and he's said so.

I played Hero before there was a Hero System.  Champions 2nd and 3rd edition with Carl and my Cat Series of powered armor.  Those are retconned to be Hero 2.  After I was discharged I played Champions 4th edition (Hero 3) and found it to be identical in outcome but with clearer instructions.  Hero 4 I skipped, but dabbled with Hero 5 long to be appalled.  This was the first rule book I'd ever seen that was elevated from door-stop to bullet-stop (literally)!  This was the standard for too long, overcomplicated game book until T5 came along to make it seem streamlined and transparent.  Hero has since streamlined their core rules and it strongly resembles the old GURPS 3rd Edition (Revised) in concept.

GURPS is the only RPG I've played where the new edition was actually an improvement over the preceding one.  1st and 2nd are functionally identical with 2nd really being a successful errata-cation.  3rd edition soldiered long and rarely failed to accommodate what we were trying to do.  It's an expanded version of the 2nd edition rules rather than a replacement.  The introduction of the Compendiums changed it to 3e(R) and we gobbled up the extra detail.

GURPS 4e scared a lot of us.  In many ways it's only superficially still GURPS.  Core concepts from the original game are still there, optional rules from the compendiums are now standard.  Skills have been consolidated and greatly reduced in number.  Combat with guns has been dramatically streamlined.  While the rules for advantages seem the same, the huge change was rationalizing them based on effect rather than source.  Flying is flying now with modifiers for special effects like wings or using psionics or magic.

Traveller...  Oh my Love what happened?  I started with the Little Black Books.  I stayed with them too since Megatraveller's (T2) universe was teh suxxor.  I skipped Traveller: The New Era (T3) because it was set in the same universe I rejected in Megatraveller and I didn't even look at Marc Miller's Traveller (T4) because it was a prequel to the established universe I was using.  Since I'd converted my LBB Traveller universe to GURPS on my own twice, using the GURPS 3e(R) GURPS: Traveller (GT) seemed natural.  GT and the later Mongoose Games Traveller have something in common; That Megatraveller Shattered Imperium shit never happened because it was fucking stupid; don't break the setting to sell a new rule set!  Mongoose is a system I am gaining familiarity with thanks to questions from Erin, but it's very much AD&D to the LBB's D&D.  I think we've covered the shit-pile that's T5 already...

Hmmm, seems like the 5th edition is where things break...

CCW Stages

I remember when I got my concealed carry permit.  I think that carrying comes in stages.

Stage 1:  You carry a gun that's far too large and heavy in a holster that doesn't hold or hide it well.  Mostly because you already owned it.  No spare ammo.

Stage 2:  You carry a much smaller gun that's easy to conceal, but it's in a cartridge that's underpowered and ineffective.  No spare ammo.

Stage 3:  You recognize that you have to dress differently to hide the gun more effectively.

Stage 4:  You realize, now that you're dressing the part, that you can carry a more effective gun.

Stage 5:  You purchase and discard a few guns and finally grok "holster box".  Now you know what works for you personally as far as method and size of gun.

Stage 6:  Reading the constantly repeated, "Two is One.  One is None," begins a cycle of worry.  You finally start carrying a reload.

Stage 7:  The worry extends past reloading and you start carrying a second gun as well.

Stage 8:  You start carrying reloads for your backup gun too.

Stage 9:  Your backup gun is upgraded to one of the discarded primary guns; except this time carried in an appropriate holster.

Stage 10:  You stop carrying your primary because the backup is good enough and you're dressing in layers in the summer.


There are only two groups in the US that are clamoring loudly to legalize the rather large number of folks who originate from south of the Rio Grande.

The illegal aliens themselves and the Democrat party.

The motives of the immigrants is clear.

The motives of the Democrats is a bit more vague; yet it seems they are recruiting for the Free Shit Army who vote lock step.

Last count I saw said there were 8 million illegals.

There's at LEAST 12 million Americans looking for work who'd probably be OK with the concept of "bring a head of a dead mexican and you get a job!"

I don't think we need more people who need jobs.  We need government and regulation to get out of the way so that business can do business instead of compliance.

When we've got everyone who's got citizenship working, then we can talk about importing labor.

Marc W Miller is ph'nglui mglw'nafh Marc W Miller Rl'yeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

Erin reviews T5, and I helped!

Traveller 5th Edition
My God, It's Full of Rules!  Bigger than Hero 5R, more complicated than GURPS: Vehicles!

My one consolation is that nobody ever gets to tell me that GURPS is too cumbersome again!

28 January 2014

They Are Both Right

...and they are both wrong.

I've been reading analyses of what went wrong with Operation Red Wings and where the mistakes were made.

It started for me reading this blog post: A Marine Corps View of Tactics in Operation Red Wings.

Then something of a rebuttal from: About Some Lone Survivor Controversies.

Then an additional retort from: Responses to Assessment of Lone Survivor.

I was a tank crewman, what do I know?  Unlike the people post above; I know what I DON'T know!

I am not and was not infantry or special forces.

What I do have to hand is a Willard.  He's a vet of the Rhodesian Army Regiment and should have a freaking doctorate in military history if he'd just go back to school and get the sheep-skin.

He  was US Army infantry stationed in Korea (not Korean War) who then cast about looking for the action.

I linked him to the controversy and his assessment:  Both sides are criticizing things based on how they would have done it.

He repeated a quote I'd seen in the comments, "We send big patrols out, they see nothing.  We send small patrols out, they don't come back."

Willard is very critical of special forces, SEALs in particular; but he readily concedes that they can do things at all that conventional infantry can't just because of scale.  But because of that scale, SF is boned if things go a little wrong where an infantry platoon simply has a small firefight.

Four guys hidden deep and not moving around can see things that a platoon sized LP/OP would never get a chance to see because they have too large a foot print.

Likewise, if a fight starts; I'd rather have a platoon of Marines than four SEALs.  SF missions quite often hinge on not being discovered in the first place.  SF is very often high risk - high return; and conventional infantry simply doesn't take such risks or reap such returns.

Having read up on the topic from an ignorant start...

The Rules of Engagement more than anything else is the problem here.  Willard has a lengthy rant about it, I hope to get it transcribed soon.  Shooting the goat-herds or not should not have been a spot decision.  Willard points out that shooting them was irrelevant since the people WATCHING the herders were assuredly already giving warning while the debate about what to do was going on.

Then there's the carte blanche removal of proven weaponry from the inventory that greatly enhances the ability of a teeny unit to break contact and escape from a larger one.

It is almost as if the National Command Authority cares more for the well being of the enemy and strangers than its own citizens and soldiers.


I got mad a Sitemeter for playing an audio ad.

I removed their code from the template's html.

Now vampirestat, 7secretsearch, 13review and adsensewatchdog are absent from the traffic sources.

I'm fascinated that the two events come so close together.

27 January 2014

Alone And Afraid

If you've never followed a link from my blog before:  FOLLOW THIS ONE.


I did a lot of research on my 1650's pirate campaign.

I am watching "Black Sails" on Starz.

One thing that came up several times in my research is that the pirates tended to be far better gunners than just about anyone else they encountered.

In the 1650's this was because The Thirty Years War had just ended and there was a surplus of men who knew nothing more than how to crew a fighting ship and had, in fact, done nothing else since childhood.  Proficiency was maintained because they weren't actually BUYING ammunition for practice.

Much the same situation prevailed in the early 1700's when Black Sails is set with the end of the Wars of Spanish Succession and Queen Anne's War.  Plus the English gave a monopoly to trade with manufactured goods to the colonies to a chosen few gave a ready market for wares stolen off ships by pirates.  A second golden age of piracy came about.

At any rate, the pirates so far are much better shots and tacticians than the merchants they've attacked.  So far so good.


I have been drinking.

I have had four beers in the past four hours and I intend to have a screwdriver or two before I finish for the evening.

Buzz maintenance.

What I am NOT doing is driving.

I am home.

Sure, I am missing out on the chance at some questionable social interaction at a bar.  I am also deliberately skipping damaging my car, risking harm to innocents and racking up serious legal bills driving this way.

Here's to being 'sponsible!

26 January 2014

Schools Of Thought

Hot Rodding seems to have differing schools of thought about what constitutes a success.

With the Biscayne my concern was performance.

Bigger sway-bars, stiffer shocks and springs, wider tires, MOAR DAKKA horsepower, more grunt.

This changed the '91 B-Body from a land yacht to a solid performer.  To the embarrassment of more than a couple 5.0 Mustang owners at both the drags and the autocross.

It was not the fastest car ever made, but it was a solid performer that is still very drivable and comfortable.  I didn't go too far to the upper right of the envelope because I also want reliability.

It was not a shiny or pretty car through most of this.  In fact, making it pretty cost more and didn't last very long.  Making it pretty cost as much as all of the performance mods and maintenance AND gasoline I'd fed it since I bought it in 1996!  Yes, a good paint job costs as much as twenty years of driving it.

That paint job is coming off in huge flakes without affecting the performance a whit.

Yet the pretty is all that matters to a large segment of Hot Rodder.  Several national car shows disallow cars that only have performance modifications if they are too new.

The Biscayne will be getting another paint job soon.  Ace Hardware's flat gray in rattle cans.  Then it gets a lavender bear-claw to symbolize The Boy and lavender outline flames that symbolize hot rodding, my love for my son and my passion for my family and cars.

The new paint is something I can do in the driveway and refresh at will.  $6,500 for a basic paint job should last longer than five years!  $200 in rattle cans sure will.

I Like Novel Theories

Something I've recently bumped into is that .38 Super wasn't intended to be a separate cartridge from .38 ACP.

.38 Super and .38 ACP are identical in external cartridge dimensions and it's a bad idea to load Super into an ACP gun if you bought new ammo today.

But did the split occur because the round exceeded the capability of the early guns forcing a reduced load to become standard to keep the firer from eating a slide?

It's almost got me wanting to buy a box of .38 ACP and seeing how it shoots from my 1911.

Because .38 Super Net is no longer there...  Retrieved Archive of their theory:


It seems that living with your mother after age of majority and being a democrat are far better predictors of violence than mere ownership of a firearm.

Keep an eye on your brother, FuzzyGeff!

Hazards Of Role Playing

Dial up the way-back machine...

My group in Ames did marathon sessions.  Noonish on Saturday until 3 or 4 am on Sunday was the norm.

As such we'd be feeling a might peckish and would often go out to a 24/7 establishment like Perkins or Village Inn for breakfast once the game broke up.

One such morning we were at Country Chef on S. Dayton...

The campaign we'd been playing was cyberpunk and the players were beat-cops of the dystopia.

Another key feature of our visit was my car; a 91 gray Chevy Caprice; cars just like it were still in service at this time.

We're sitting there in our booth drinking our sodas and waiting for the waitress to come back and talking loudly about the session.

I don't remember what triggered it, but Mike says, "Yeah, but we're cops and we can do anything we want!"  He practically yelled it.  And in context it was hilarious!

After a bit I notice that we'd had our drinks refilled about ten times now and the waitress has yet to take our order.  I also start noticing that there's other groups who seem to waiting on food and were there before us.

I flag the waitress over and tell her we're ready to order.  Every other word of her reply is "sir"...

"I'm sorry, sir, but our cook, sir, ran out the back, sir, we're trying to get someone else to come in and take over, sir..."


"You guys are cops, right?  I heard him," pointing at Mike, "say you were cops.  When I mentioned that to the cook, he left and left me all alone here to deal with everything!"

She probably thinks to this day that there's some state police agency that hires at the exit of a lunatic asylum from the gales of laughter that was our response.

25 January 2014

SKS and 922r Part 2

I say this not as some puritanical don't ruin the collectability like I would for a Krag or Springfield...

If you have an SKS leave it the fuck alone!

The 10 round magazine it left the factory with is the hands-down best magazine ever made for it.

The stock is damn short by western standards, but take note that the distances to the rear sight are correct if you leave it alone.

Just about every aftermarket item for the SKS is an attempt to make an AK out of it.  It is not and will never be an AK, so if you were wanting an AK; get an AK!

Is that a harsh assessment?  Yes.

You are not making the SKS better, you are messing it up because the aftermarket isn't really enhancing; they are catering to a market that thinks that by saving $200 on the gun and spending $150 on a stock you end up at the same place.  You don't and you won't.

I've watched it over and over.  You think you're saving money; but you're just compromising an actually decent design.  If the length of pull is a problem, get the rubber extension pad and don't create a conflict with 922r.  Or buy a Tapco and ignore the unconstitutional 922r and drive on.  Changing the stock is one of the few things that doesn't break the design.

But don't think you're improving on Simonov by replacing that magazine.  He's smarter than you and he had more resources to test his design than the person selling you the 30-rounder.

You may hit the range and not see the ill effects.  The range is not why you tell people you bought the gun (is it?).  Drag the thing to a carbine course and see how you fare.  Be prepared to be disappointed.

I say this as a hard-corps advocate of personalizing your gun to you.  The SKS is the exception.  Change as little as possible.

24 January 2014


Now that I am done complaining about story and plot decisions made in Gravity...


The special effects are exquisite.

This sets the standard for hard science fiction for quite a long time.

I've even read a decent explanation about why George Cloony had to cut himself loose.  The parachute shrouds were still slowing them down and didn't have enough pull to decelerate the mass of them both before they slipped out.  With just Sandra Bullock's mass, the shrouds could stop her in time.  So he cut loose.

Yes, it's nearly Marvel No-Prize in depth for an explanation, but it does kind of work.

The tech looks correct, so you can forgive the whole Shuttle program being long dead before the Chinese get their station up.

Now that we know Hollywood can do zero G believably, we should start demanding it from their offerings from now on.

SKS and 922r

Erin asked...

As is typical with 922r, it should be simple...

The SKS in stock form has...

A reciever

A barrel

A bolt

A bolt carrier

A gas piston

A trigger housing

A trigger

A hammer

A sear

A disconnector

A butt stock

A forearm or handguard

A magazine body

A follower


A floorplate.

15 items.

Guess what?  All 15 can be foreign made if you leave the rifle in its stock form as this is importable under 18 USC § 925 (d) (3).

Those 15 items begin to matter when you alter the configuration by adding AWB features.  Like a pistol grip or flash-hider (which are separate items on the list!)

So...  Adding a folding stocked pistol grip stock would give the gun 16 countable parts; and two of them are in a single part.  So you'd have 14 of 16 being foreign made now.  Since most of these stocks also come with the forearm, you will have 13 "bad" parts now.

Ironically changing the factory 10 round fixed magazine over to a 30 round detachable brings the count down to 10 and makes it more AWB like.  Add a gas piston from Tapco and you're well below the minimum.

A quick search for compliance parts yields links to kits which are exactly the above; new stock, forend, magazine and gas piston.

There are some stocks that don't change the 925 (d) (3) status of the gun, so you don't need to worry about the count; like "draganov" and thumb-hole stocks.

As always; I am not a lawyer!  This should not be taken as legal advice. Consult an attorney before proceeding.

As an aside:  I am not aware of a single prosecution of an individual over a 922r violation.  If you know of one, please link in the comments!

On The Outs

The Sight Unit Infantry Trilux L2A2, aka SUIT, aka Trilux is externally adjusted for zero in both windage and elevation.  The long range setting also affects things outside the sealed optics.

With the range lever to the rear, the sight is set to short range.  0 - 250 yards with Dottie.  The "round things" (from L to R) in the pic are the R with an Arrow on it knob for windage the back-up rear sight.  Then the crusty lever pointing to 11 o'clock is the range lever and its barrel.  Then the Trilux's windage screw.  Then the rear mounting screw for the mount.

With the range lever set forward, the sight is set to long range.  430 yards or so on Dottie.  The big round barrel the lever rotates brings flat spots to bear on the base.  They are different distances from the center of the barrel, so they change the elevation of the scope when the lever is thrown.  To the right of the barrel is the windage adjustment screw (with the 8 radial lines around it).

This is the elevation screw for the scope.  The screw to the right is a locking screw for the elevation adjustment.

The underbelly of the SUIT.  On the left you can see the flats for the range adjuster.  Then the saddle bar for the windage adjustment (left of the red screw).  The squiggly wire is a spring that holds the scope against the mount.  Then all the way to the right is the elevation screw.

Close up of the elevation screw.  Notice that it's a cone?  This is so changing the windage at the back doesn't change the elevation at the front.

The mount.  On the left is the t-bar that gives the range lever's barrel something to sit on.  The round post is what the windage's saddle bar bears against.  The shark-fin looking hook is what the squiggly spring pulls down against and the v-notch to the right is what the elevation screw's conical nose sits in.

One great thing about how this was designed and executed it that the scope will retain zero even if you remove it.  The key is really the cone in a v-groove and close tolerances on the windage saddle bar...  It insures that the scope goes back to the same place every time.  Not obvious in the design is how few of the mount's dimensions are critical.  The V simply needs to be made so there's just two points of contact on the cone.  The round post is critical in that it needs to hold against he saddle bar without movement and the flats on the t-bar need to be parallel to the ground and flat to each other so adjusting the range doesn't tilt the scope.  The hook has a lot of tolerance in its dimensions because the spring compensates for it.

Incomplete Data

GURPS is usually so much better at this too.

The Army is replacing the 80 year old M3 tripod with the M205 tripod for the M2HB and M2A1 machine guns.

Repeated several times in the announcement is the new tripod is 34 lb. and that's "more than" 16 lb. lighter than the M3...

That's sort of true.

The M3 tripod is 44 lb.  44 - 16 ≠ 34 you may notice.

The M205 is 34 lb. INCLUDING a pintle and traverse and elevation (T&E) mechanism.

The pintle and T&E for the M3 tripod adds 6.3 lb to the package.  50.3 - 16 = 34.3 which makes the lighter than statement true.

My GURPS gripe is that the T&E and pintle are never mentioned.  Additionally, there's no price listed for most of the tripods.  I know that MG's are prohibitively expensive, so players often don't buy them, but every item of equipment listed in the game should have a price and weight.


I'm looking at some of the stuff from Abramski.

It occurs to me again that the ATF needs struck.

The 4473 was created by regulation to serve the law.

The law is that prohibited people shall not own guns or buy them.

No prohibited people were involved in Abramski's transaction; unlike many that ATF has recently made.

I think it's high time we travelled through the regulations and make sure they actually serve the laws.

If Congress dares say the job is too big, strike them all and start over!

Best case is Congress doing its job legislating properly and resuming the job it abdicated to the executive branch.  Next best case is simply making violation of a regulation a small fine at worst.

23 January 2014

Double Zero

Dottie is zeroed at 50 yards.  I settled on that because from muzzle to 200 yards is within 2.5" of point of aim.

I confirmed that the scope was parallel to the bore by shooting at 100 yards too.  Same inch to the right as at 50 yards and the expected inch high because of ballistics.

With this zero the range lever in the forward position should give a range between 425 and 450 yards.

I am also VERY impressed with my group at 100 yards!  About an inch with SSA brand 115gr Sierra Match King LE load.

Olga is also zeroed at 50 yards with M193.  The zero needed checked because I tinkered around with the mount and leveled the scope since the last time FuzzyGeff shot her.  I remember him being frustrated with trying to get it zeroed last time he was down, and the scope was almost 25˚ off level!  I noticed that now the scope SEEMS like it's not level, especially off hand, but it definitely is.  The reticule is parallel to the rails and those are parallel to the ground now!

From the bipod she's particularly sweet to shoot now too.


Pure happenstance… My choice of a 50 yard zero matches the ballistic arcs between the round I am using (6.8x43mm SSA-SMK LE Load) and the round the sight was originally calibrated for (7.62x51mm L1A2 ball) out to 400 yards.  After 400 yards this loading of 6.8 drops precipitously compared to 7.62 NATO.

Plus, just for the naysayers...  7.62x39mm M43 from an AK hits 25 inches lower than 6.8 at 400 yards.

Because I wanted a better than 5.56 and better than 7.62x39 gun, I feel so very validated!

22 January 2014

Change Lever

The range lever on the S.U.I.T. scope gives a ranges of 300m and 600m for British 7.62x51mm L2A1 ball ammo.

Israel re-marked their scopes for 5.56x45mm M193 fired from an M16 at 250m/450m.

I did some figuring...  The lever moves a cam that depresses the scope 11.24 mils.

A 25 yard zero with the lever to the rear is also a 300 yard zero with 6.8x43mm SPC firing 110gr Pro-Hunter bullets.  That 11.24 mil change resets the zero to 542 yards.

With this zero the bullet hits 5.3" high at 100 yards and 6.75" high at 200 yards.

A 100 yard zero makes the long range setting about 440 yards.  At 200 the bullet hits 3.83" low and 15.84" low at 300 yards.

I think that the 300 yard zero is actually more useful!

Update: moar pix...

This picture also shows how much offset the scope has from the centerline of the bore.

Update Two:

Looking at the tables for the 115gr SMK, I think I will zero at 100 yards.  That makes the range lever 100/400; but all shooting out to 250 yards is very close to point of aim.  About 9-3/4" of hold over at 250 just for the record.  That's doable.  And 100 yards is about as long a shot as I think I can justify hunting, let alone post-hurricane apocalypse ranges which are going to be MUCH closer.

21 January 2014


Tooting my own horn...


If you are considering purchase of an ACOG, but are a but stunned by the $1,500 price tag...

Consider hitting GunBroker and picking up a SUIT.

It's only about half a pound heavier but can be had for about $250 plus $40 for the TAPCO mount then another $40 for a replacement tritium illuminator.

There's no bullet drop compensator, but there is a range lever.  In the rear position it's 300m in the front it's 600m for .308 and 250/450 for 5.56.  Not sure where it's going to line up with 6.8...

The lever is, in my opinion, superior to a BDC because you don't have to calculate your range then pick the right stadia.  With the lever the sight picture is the same, you put the pointer on the target with the lever selected to the correct distance and shoot.

You've Got That Backwards

I am NOT the extreme.

I am the MODERATE.

I am far closer to the stated platform than the so-called moderates.

They've pushed so far left that they've overlapped the middle of the other party with just a teeny hair showing to the right of their right-most position.

Don't speak to me of my extremity when you've abandoned any semblance of differentiation between two supposed opposing parties.

Fuck You Sitemeter

Inject an audio ad into my blog?


This was not agreed, you did it without notification, you are now gone.

Couple that with your stats being decidedly uninformative for about the past year...


Yeah, Trent, Mr Cash did kick your ass and stole your song.

And you're man enough to admit it.  Good form.

20 January 2014

What I Did Saturday

The Lovely Harvey has a couple of friends who live in the real sticks.

They own a green-house, plant delivery company and need the 3.5 acres they live on for the business.

They also have expensive tropical plants that are like candy to raccoons.

They have a big ass husky and a akita/husky mix that are supposed to handle the 'coon problem.

Alas, a 'coon had barricaded itself inside the greenhouse and would not depart.  The husky got himself 15 new stitches for his effort to extract said 'coon.

They don't have a firearm in the house.

Dog failed, call man with gun.

Thanks to Robb's post I girded myself by looking at the FL wildlife commission web page and discovered that out in the boonies you can pop 'coons to your heart's content as long as you don't us a gun AND a light; that requires a permit.  In broad daylight, no need for a light at all.

Because of the maneuvering room where it had holed up, I used my .38 Super.

One round got it out of the hiding place, a second finished it.  Bad shot placement because of the angle on the first shot and it was moving around a bit.

Hurray!  I am the great white hunter now.

Well no.  I take no glee from shooting nuisance animals.  It's just something that needs done from time to time.  Shooting all manner of vermin was an everyday thing on the farm and this is a farm of sorts.  Any critter that's not going be sold and is doing damage has forfeited its mangy life.


We all have them.

We all show them.

And I am sick of them as regards to guns.

Plastic is great!  Bullpups are best!  Grip safeties are abomination.

Conceal carry is BEST!  Open carriers are deviants of the worst sort!

Not to mention the perennial debates like AK v AR and Glock v Something Actually Good.

The best biases are the ones expressed while "refuting" a "this is what works for me" write up on a product or idea.

I am a technophile.  I love the bleeding edge.

Luckily I am not a rich technophile, because I'd have a pile of useless garbage from ideas that either didn't pan out or weren't ready for prime time.

I am also a retrophile!  I dig the old styles, materials and processes.

It's extremely interesting and cool to have an "ah-ha!" moment and realize why something was done the way it was and how.

This is why I don't mind grip safeties.

This is why I like the idea of a bullpup rifle, but have to concede that nobody has made one right.  FN is close with the FS2000.

I'm a fan of plastics where plastics are appropriate, but there's a time and place for aluminum and steel.  Using any material just for the sake of it is foolish.

I'm only going to dip my toe in the open v concealed carry debate.  I think they come out identical once all ups and downs are added up as far as tactics go (as the endless debate kind of shows) and it really boils down to personal preferences as to which is best.  The best carry method is not universal!

My Miami Classic II has been lambasted in some articles for all of the things wrong with a horizontal shoulder holster.  I prefer it in the cooler months because I can comfortably carry a full sized gun!  Strong side IWB doesn't work in a 6th Gen Corvette and I have a wound on that hip that makes it painful.  I would open carry in a heart-beat in the entirely too hot summer months here in FL.

So try to understand that what doesn't work for you might be perfect for someone else and vice versa.

Purple Sling Review

Erin's clearing house for the donations to Squeaky made mention of Echo Sling.

They donated product to the encouragement raffle.

So I bought a sling from them, and mentioned to Matt why.


The Tabitha Sparkle carbine has gained yet another purple part.

It's a sling and does everything a sling should.  The material is drag your truck out of the mud bog tough while being pretty enough to take to the fancy bar where they check to see if you're really wearing shoes!

The stitching is strong and well done.  The quick size adjust didn't work the way I expected, so I did it wrong a few times before comprehension struck.  Harvey didn't have any troubles with it at all, so I suspect that it's a "me" thing.

My only complaint is that it's 1" wide.  Military slings are 1-1/4" and so my swivels are a bit too wide and that leads to some bunching and snagging on the rubber coating on the front swivel on Tabitha.

The narrower swivels that came with FuzzyGeff's Weatherby, The Lovely Harvey's 10/22 and the original swivels that came with the wood stocks on my 870 are all 1" and this sling would be perfect there!

There's just not much to say about a sling that works.  There's LOTS to say about slings that DON'T.  This one works, so there's not much to say...

I am very pleased with this sling and it will be retained as part of Tabitha Sparkles next iteration (flat-top middy M4 with purple cerakote).  If you need a strong, tough sling; go here.  And don't let the website fool you!  If you want a color he doesn't have in his store page, a quick email will more than likely confirm he has the color you're thinking of.  Since they are made to order, it's not even more expensive to get an "off list" color.

19 January 2014

Trilux Range Day

Took Dottie out to the Florida Firearms Academy, Port Richey range to zero the Trilux.


I had "zeroed" the optic using a laser bore-sighting device.  Aiming at the X in the top right target yielded the three hits in the 7-ring low and right of the point of aim.

Adjustments to the scope went all wrong and the next three rounds weren't even on the paper...

So I moved my point of aim to the center X and found them hitting the 7-ring of the lower right target!  The elevation adjustment is marked E-D for elevation and depression.  They mean you are elevating the sight, not the point of impact!  L-R work to move the point of impact.  Silly Brits.  The hit in the 8-ring on the lower right is from the second elevation adjustment and confirmed I was going the right direction now.  Then I managed to dial it in so that it nailed the center perfectly!  But when the Trilux is parallel to the bore, point of impact should be 1" left of point of aim at all ranges, so I adjusted it to hit the line between the 8 and 9-rings.

One last adjustment and back to aiming at the top left target...  Almost exactly 1" left of point of aim.  That smaller than dime sized group is from a Bison Armory 16" Recon Profile barrel; get yours today!  Edit:  It should be 1" to the right of aim, 1/4 turn of the dial should move it over to the other side.

All of my shots were taken from a bipod at 25 yards.  Willard shot at the top left target off-hand and his groups widened up a bit.

I'm very pleased with this outing.  The MOE Rifle stock is a lot more comfortable than the CTR stock as well.  Damn me for a fashion victim in not going to a fixed stock earlier; or rather not staying with one... because in June of 2008, Dottie wore an M16A2 stock.

17 January 2014

Things You Learn

When you experiment with every part the AR ever came with and make measurements.

An XM16E1 lower weighs 2.34 lb.
M16 (Late R604) and M16A1 lower is 2.27 lb.

Those have the rubber butt plate without storage compartment.

An M16A1 lower with the storage compartment is 2.56 lb.

The longer M16A2 lower is 2.43 lb.

An A2 lower with a Magpul MOE Rifle stock is 2.65 lb.

Top to bottom: "Type D" XM16E1, M16 and M16A1
"Type E" M16A1
M16A2, M16A3, M16A4
Magpul MOE Rifle

Just changing the buttstock can mean fairly large changes in weight.

An XM177E2 lower with the aluminum collapsible stock is 2.2 lb.  Change that to the later fiberlite it drops to 1.87 lb.

The present M4 lower is 2.01 lb.

Going all modern and putting a Magpul MIAD pistol grip and a mil-spec CTR stock tares around 2.23 lb.

Magpul stuff just always seems heavier than USGI, doesn't it?

Crit Success Up My Sleeve

I said I was gonna, so I did.

Take that Mr DuToit!


Zack at Addictive Art is who did my tat.

By the way, Quinn from Vintage Ink:  Yes, I stopped in a got a quote from you.  You might notice that I didn't put down a deposit?  Well, you never got back to me on two other tattoos, did you?

Also, when someone with misophonia asks you, "please don't chew gum," don't go over to the gumball machine and load up then chew your cud while asking questions.  I asked you not to, you asked why, I explained, THEN YOU IGNORED THE REQUEST.  You can't listen to a simple request like that from a customer, why should I trust you to do what I want with regards to something permanent?

We Made What Now

FuzzyGeff's Olga is a heavy AR.

But after watching Lone Survivor, I noticed something...

Olga is a budget SPR Mk.12 Mod.0!

It's a coincidence.  Geff was going for an accurate rifle on a budget that was different from what Marv, The Lovely Harvey and I were making so I could play with the maximum number of novel parts.

Loaded as shown (less sling), she's 11.4 lb.  The SPR Mk.12 Mod.0 is 10 lb and most of the weight savings is in the 2" shorter barrel and the PRI carbon fiber free-float tube.  Considering Olga was a mere $1,400 total compared to $1,864 for just the upper on a Mk.12 with no optics, we did good.


Looking at the AR's...

Idle hands...

Satan on line three, says there's an empty slot in the shop...

The Lovely Harvey's platoon carbine, Cheyenne, is not an SBR.  The gun she's attempting to emulate is.  Right now it's a 16" pencil barrel carbine.

Kaylee is an SBR with the 14.5" barrel that'd be perfect on Cheyenne.

I am thinking that I'd prefer Kaylee to be a 16" mid-length...

You start swapping parts and you end up re-evaluating all of the configurations.

Damn you Gene Stoner!

16 January 2014


There was a time when any modern sporting rifle I'd own would have had to have had all of the features banned by the AWB.

Now my motives for having one feature or another are based on functionality or historical accuracy.

For example, the XM177E2 clone is missing a bayonet lug, but has a flash-hider and collapsable stock because that's how they really were.

The 6.8 guns are being changed over to fixed stocks because they just feel better.

The purple gun is in flux.  It's going to retain a collapsible stock because that's what the furniture is.  But the rest of the configuration is subject to change.  Ceracoat® in purple for the upper and lower are likely in its future as well.


The place to kill off Matt Kowalski was when they were making the unpowered approach to the damaged ISS.

Serves the plot in the same manner as the unexplained acceleration at the end of the tether and doesn't have unexplained acceleration!

Killing him with an impact also would explain why she doesn't even try eliminates her attempting a rescue with the remaining Soyuz.  It's not like he could get too far away by the time she cycled the lock and started pre-flight checks!

Never mind that orbital mechanics just don't work as shown.  The Chinese did blow up one of their satellites and there was a lot of concern about the debris cloud.  And it took hours for the bloom to spread and develop so that the danger could be assessed (Remember: Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.) To this day nearly all off that debris is still pretty much in the same orbit as the satellite started in.  Why?  Because there's been nothing applying any force to the parts once the impactor hits the satellite.  Yes, parts are smashed loose and spread away from the target but the speed of a bullet is not that fast when you're talking about orbital separations.

Then there's the bit that the ISS, Shuttle and Hubble are in very low orbits compared to most satellites.  For something higher to come down and intersect gives it one hell of an elliptic shape.  Elliptic enough to make one pass on one of the three habitats before hitting atmo.

I am not pulling this out of my ass, I am laymanizing from very detailed analyses (which themselves have been dumbed down because CALCULUS and ORBITAL PHYSICS be all full of maths).

I know it's a drama, but dammit; can't there still be drama where the laws of physics are retained.  Once you break physical laws, you may as well dump all pretense at hard science an go with throttle up on the reactionless drive.

15 January 2014

A Hard Job Made Harder

The Boy, in addition to his other problems has been diagnosed as being a diabetic.

He doesn't have the capacity to understand why he's going on a super strict diet and isn't going to understand why favorite foods are no longer allowed.

Essentially gone is the treat of eating out or getting fast food.

We now get to add the pain of getting blood to check glucose levels to his tortured soul.

We get to add yet another med to his list to help level off those sugar levels too.

I guess the good news is his temper could be related to fluctuating blood-sugar levels, that's common I hear.

Eating better will certainly not hurt any of us because can definitely stand to lose some weight all around.

Also, we're getting all kinds of moral support.

The Lovely Harvey's boss when Harvey said, "Can't The Boy catch break?" replied with, "He did, he has you and Thag for parents."  That felt good to hear.

OK This Sucks

Well, I got my "raise" in my disability check.  I can now supersize my dollar menu selection!


The leg that I have the service connected disability for is getting worse.  My tentative call to the VA about it implies that they will increase the disability, but the person on the phone had zero idea how to start the process since the person who does that stuff is on vacation.

How does one start the ball rolling to see if the VA will do something besides cut check?  When I first complained about the pain ten years ago, they offered over the counter meds and invited me to gut it out (they didn't say it that way, of course).

Now the pain is worse, the limp is worse and I'd really like some relief.

Is showing up at a VA clinic the right thing to do?  Showing up at the VA Hospital in Des Moines didn't get anything done.

This is one of those times when I wish I was in the VFW or American Legion because I hear those clubs have people who help their members navigate the VA's crap.

I really don't want to waste days finding out I started the process wrong.

Aborted Take Off

Ever start a post that you thought was going to be brilliantly clever and funny; only to read it and notice that it wasn't brilliant, clever or funny?

Yeah.  That just happened to me.

Luckily I caught it before launch and you are spared!

14 January 2014

Thought It Over

Lone Survivor is the video companion to the book.

It does not really stand alone well as a movie, the introduction to the characters and why they are so very close to each other isn't in the film at all.

I've noticed that people who've read Luttrel's book all find the movie differently than those who haven't.

The film has also sparked some debate about how SEALs go about their missions.

The playtest for GURPS: SEALs in Vietnam , which included a lot of history notes, showed an entirely different organization than what there is today.  The men and their methodology is different too.

They've lost something.


Some 6.8x43mm magazines.

Left to right:  30-round Barret, 25-round C-Products, 17-round (cough 15) AR-Stoner, 5-round C-Products.

The 25 rounder is the same form factor as a USGI 30-round 5.56 magazine and the "17" rounder is the same form as an old USGI 20 rounder.

5 round magazine (loaded): 0.5 lb. (0.1 per round)

15 round magazine (loaded): 0.8 lb. (0.053 per round)

25 round magazine (loaded): 1.3 lb. (0.052 per round)

30 round magazine (loaded): 1.7 lb. (0.056 per round)

Jump Precipitation

A large mass is needed at the destination point to exit jumpspace.

It is mathematically proven, undeniable.

Even Vilani mathematicians and physicists confirm Terran theories using their slightly different assumptions in advanced mathematics.  Isn't it odd that a different route leads to the same destination?

However, neither Terran or Imperial theory accounts for a peculiar form of misjump.  The ship would enter jumpspace normally and spend the requisite week there then would pop back into normal space exactly where it had left.  This was puzzling and frustrating to science.  To enter jumpspace, the ship had to be well clear of large masses of the sort that are required to exit.

Clearly a jump to empty space is possible.  It's inexplicable, but possible...

13 January 2014

Weerd Pistol

Genuine GURPS 4e stats!

Might need to click it to make it readable.


When was it decided that dragons don't have forelimbs?

It bothered me in Dragonslayer and it still bothers me in Desolation of Smaug.

Fire breathing wyverns they are.

My Forgiveness

In my Placekeeper post, I mentioned that S&W and Ruger have made amends.

I am less certain about Colt.

They for so long really acted like they didn't need or want the commercial market.

The numerous, preemptive and voluntary changes they made to their AR's just made them seem willing to sell out for more sweet government lucre.

At least H&K, while they hate us for sucking, was ham strung by both German AND US laws about what they could sell and import.

I don't think that Colt ever really did anything to deserve being boycotting.  They got a defacto boycott from me because I didn't want a neutered AR and I couldn't afford one of their 1911's for so very long.  Add that to the small fact that they no longer make the Colts I want to buy like a Python or Anaconda.

Their history of late has been that of catching up while others dominated the markets they discovered.  The AR and Mustang are glaring examples here.

One thing they actively did that pissed me off was their LEO sales policies.  There were no legal reasons to not sell LE marked rifles to anyone who had the money, and many dealers decided that private cash was just as green as police.  Sanctioning LE dealers for selling to non-LEO customers and refusing to service or warranty those guns was bad form.

Bad form that didn't last very long at all.  They'll just happily sell you an LE6920 as a C6920 now.  And with the merger back into a single corporate entity, I am not sure that there's any difference between the two models.

Head Bang Headbang Like An Anime Fan


Just Noticed Something

I was reading about how a talk show's copy of a screener DVD had been leaked to the torrents.

Every once and a while such films have a caption, "This viewing copy is provided for awards consideration only and is not for sale or public presentation" or similar disclaimer.

What I just noticed is the people voting on the awards are not expected to actually support their own art form by paying for a ticket, running the snack bar gauntlet and planting their ass in a theater seat.

And if they're not going to pay for it when their livelihood is at stake, how can they expect us to?


I'm talking about Oscar screeners not copies given to critics.  The distinction was crystal clear in my mind when I posted, but obviously I didn't bother to actually SAY it was about Oscar screeners.


Lone Survivor

Despite The Lovely Harvey's co-worker's assessment that it wasn't a very good movie...

Despite her assessment that "all these movies are the same"...

I went and saw it.

I'd read the book.

I know how it ends and once the fight started, I didn't want to watch anymore.


12 January 2014


Just to remind me why I stopped buying, or refuse to buy products from certain makers.

HS Precision.  Have they even said they were sorry about hiring Lon yet?

Troy Industries.  Hired Lon's partner!

Buh WHUH!?!

I am willing to forgive if I get an apology and the company sins no more.

S&W is a good example.  The new owners made good dumping the Clinton deal.

Ruger is less good, but they seem to be dumping Bill's bullshit in deed if not word.

Things That Almost Happened

When GURPS 4th edition first came out, there was some debate about if I'd change over from 3e.

At the time I was considering Old West for a campaign, in fact you can find my pre-High Tech 4e conversion of all the guns I'd ever heard of from the era out there online.

What surprises me most is my friends.  Not one of them, upon hearing I was doing Old West, asked, "what revision?"


Turns out I am not depressed.

I am just bored.

The life of a housewife is not very time consuming; there are vast tracts of time where everything is as clean as it's going to get and the next task will be wasted if begun immediately.

You'd think with the internet and 500 channels of TV I wouldn't be bored...

The problem stems from the time between tasks where there's not enough time to start a diversion before the next task must begin.

11 January 2014


Reading at Tam's (you DO know how to get there without a link, right?)

She links to a fisking of the Metcalf interview.

I've a new to me way to rephrase the 2nd Amendment.

The people have a right to arms, Government may not intrude upon that right; also, you need a well trained militia to keep The State free.

Pocket Carry And GURPS

I'm going to limit this to guns I own, have owned or might own...

A .25 ACP such as a Colt Vest Pocket does a whopping 1d pi-.  That translates to 1-3 points of damage on the torso, with an average of 1.  They're light and handy, most give six or seven shots with a Rcl 2 for under a pound.  Range is an anemic 90/950; Acc 1.

A .380 ACP SIG-Sauer P238 gives 2d-1 pi, 1-11 points of damage with an average of 6.  6+1 shots with a Rcl of 2 to a range of 110/1,200; Acc 1.  Loaded the gun weighs 0.94 lb. and a spare mag is 0.2 lb.

A SIG-Sauer P232, also .380 gives the same damage but gets an extra shot.  It weighs 1.2 lb. loaded and a reload runs 0.2 lb.  The P232 is pushing the limits of pocket carry in terms of size.  120/1,300; Acc 1 is the range.

The ancient Colt Pocket Hammerless, again in .380 ACP, is 1.7 lb. loaded with spares coming in at 0.2 lb.  Damage is 2d pi (2-12 points average 7) and range and number of shots is the same as the P232.  As the name implies, it's dimensioned well for the pocket, it's just kinda heavy.

A Smith and Wesson 640-3 loaded with .357 Magnum tips the scales at 1.6 lb.  A speed loader is a mere 0.2 lb. but it only gets five shots with a severe Rcl 5.  Range is decent with 180/2,000; Acc 2.  The size and shape fits the pocket well and the 2d+2 pi damage lands 4-14 points of damage with an average of 9.  It takes a -1 to skill for being double action only in addition to the recoil.

The new Remington R51 will do 2d+1 pi damage (8 average, 3-13 spread) with 7+1 shots and Rcl 2.  It's very similar in size to the Pocket Hammerless and weighs in at 1.4 lb loaded; spares are 0.4 lb though!  Range is 160/1,800: Acc 1.

Let's say we have a skill of 12 in Guns/TL8 (Pistol).

At social ranges, say 7 yards; the range penalty is -3.  Since not much aiming (in GURPS terms) happens that gives us a 9 or less chance to land a round on the target with any gun listed, except the DAO revolver which has an 8.

On average 3d will give us a 10, so on average, we miss.  All these guns have a RoF of 3.  The semi-autos need a 9 to hit with one round, 7 to hit with two and a 5 to hit with all three.  The revolver needs an 8 to land a single and a 3 for a double tap; forget hitting with the third.

Taking a second to aim ups the 640 to a 10 for the first shot, 5 for the second.

And this is just to hit the torso!  Vitals is an additional -3!

What's your skill level in real life?  Well GURPS is scaled so that the stress of combat is built into the chance to hit.  At your typical indoor pistol range, the targets don't shoot back, +1; you know how far it is to the target +4; and the lighting is ideal +3.  A fist size group is hitting a -5 target.  If you're taking your time, you're getting the Acc bonus for the gun; and most people are shooting at RoF 1 or less.

So, with our .357 snubby...  We've got a Skill+5 to land that fist size group.  If you have a Skill of 12, that's a 17 to hit!  Basically you can do that all day.  Hell, you have better than a 50-50 of getting a second hit in the same turn at the range.  It'd be 17-12-7 for three shots to hit inside that fist sized circle and 18-13-8 still scores inside an 18" circle.

Even if you use the full RoF and hit the silhouette target with every shot from your 640 every time, your skill might only be XX.  You start at Skill+10 to aim at a torso sized target; so to land all three shots you only need to get under your raw skill number with your roll.  A skill of 12 is a 74% chance of hitting all three rounds at 7 yards at the range.  A 13 is 83%.

The point is to not get cocky.  That 13 requires a 0.5% chance of 3 to land all three rounds when there's a fight on!  Heck, there's just barely more than a 1 in 4 chance to land two.

08 January 2014

It's Cold Outside

"How cold is it?"

It's so cold my dog has to wear a stocking cap!

Has It Been That Long

Fifty years ago today, LBJ signed us up for the War on Poverty.

Fifty.  50.  Five Zero.  L.

I seem to recall certain folks comparing the war on Tarrah Terror to WW2.

We entered World War 2 on Dec 8, 1941 and were done with the shooting part on Aug 15, 1945.

Less than four years.

War on Poverty: 50
War on Drugs: 41 in June.
War on Terror: 13 in September.

Of course the last real war we fought where we actually pulled all the troops home was World War One!

We've still got troops occupying territory from the Spanish American War; 115 years.

World War Two segueing into The Cold War saw troops remaining in all three Axis nations.  69 years this year.

We're still in Korea.  60 years.

We fought a win in Vietnam, but didn't do what it took to keep it.  But, hey! the troops are all home!

We're still on station from the First Iraq War.  That's old enough to drink now.

We're still in the Balkans, old enough to smoke.

I am thinking we don't fight to win anymore.  We don't like what it means to do what it takes to win, so we do things half assed until critical mass is reached politically to just give up.  Which is far worse than never fighting in the first place.


I can now operate my desktop for half an hour without power!

It takes two 1,500 VA battery back-ups to do it.

Mac Pro is a power hog as are the two Dell 2408WFP 24" monitors.

UPS A with the monitors, router and speakers draws 174w.  UPS B with the machine and a desk light draws 155w.

Take that Al Gore!

Magazine Mystery

My Hi Power came with a brand-new Mec Gar 13 rounder.  A friend gave me an old parkerized 13 rounder he had laying around.

The old magazine would often not accept more than 12 rounds and would not feed reliably.

Trying to troubleshoot the problem, I took the spring and follower from the Mec Gar and put it in the old magazine.  Problem solved!

On a lark, I put the old spring and follower into the Mec Gar body...  Works just fine.

All in all I am happy that I went from 1.5 magazines to two.  I wonder what critical dimension or tolerance stack-up caused the problem with the old mag.

07 January 2014

Dottie Weight Clarification

Weight and Six Eight might have been a tad confusing...

Bare rifle: 6.9 lb.

5 round magazine (loaded): 0.5 lb.

15 round magazine (loaded): 0.8 lb.

25 round magazine (loaded): 1.3 lb.

30 round magazine (loaded): 1.7 lb.

Tapco SUIT mount: 0.5 lb.

SUIT L2A2: 1.0 lb.

Surefire X300 light: 0.2 lb.

Harris 1A2 Ultralight bipod: 0.8 lb.

Magpul MS3 single QD sling: 0.4 lb.


It was 33˚ F outside in sunny Florida today.  Nothing compared to the midwest, but it does make for some interesting cloud formations!

Funniest Thing I've Read Today

"Guns with grip safeties invariably have poor triggers." in reference to the new Remington R-51 using one.


Here I was thinking that the 1911 had a grip safety.  I was also under the impression that one of the things that the plastic fantastic crowd would concede to the "obsolete" Browning design was that it had a pretty good trigger.

My Pocket Hammerless has a good trigger.  So do the Vest Pockets.

How can this be?

Because the grip safety is a block not an engagement.  It interferes with the movement of the trigger or hammer rather than creating a link that allows them to move.

I am really wracking my brain trying to think of other designs that have grip safeties.

Springfield's XD series.
Remington's original model 51 and upcoming R-51.
IMI Uzi?
S&W Lemon Squeezer?  Yeah, I guess a double action revolver would seem to have a crummy trigger compared to a modern Glock, but when was the last one made and how common are they today?

If they're thinking of the H&K P7M13, I don't think they understand how the parabellum staple-gun works.

Or the Ortgies...

Help me out here, Tam; you have a lot more experience with them thar ancient bullet launchers; who else did a grip safety and did the trigger suck?

Mister Glock And I

I've owned several Glocks over the years.

I still own a Glock 21.  I've owned it since 1992, longer than I've owned any other gun.

My first was a G17, bought in 1989 when the Army had a SNAFU.  They took away our 1911's and the .45 ACP in anticipation of our issue of the M9, but something went wrong and we didn't get our new guns, but we did get the ammo.  Since we were deploying to the Czech border so the unit normally stationed there could go to Graf, we got special dispensation (most of us were too young) to buy and carry anything we could lay hands on that fired 9x19mm.  I chose Glock.

My second, and third G17's (One 1st gen, one 2nd gen) didn't last long.  One of them was given to Aunty Bat, she still has it.  The 1st gen was sold off, probably to pay a bill.

The Glock 21 was the first one I'd ever seen in the wild and I called in a favor to get it.

I say all this to establish that I don't dislike Glock.

But I've never bought into the whole "Perfection" thing.  If Glock was perfect there'd just be one model and one generation.

When the 17 first came out it was revolutionary and controversial.  It was the first plastic framed gun that got wide market penetration.  Using a striker was unusual.  Skipping the manual safety is still debated today almost thirty years later.  Actually, now that I've learned a lot more about guns I can see that the Glock wasn't very revolutionary at all, but rather it was daring to combine all of the features in one gun when they did and tout it the way they did and still do.

I was attracted to the cutting edge then, and Glock was.


Glock is pretty much like every other stodgy gunmaker now.  What do they do that no other company does?

Which brings me to the Glock 42.  A locked breech .380 pocket pistol?  Gee, like a Colt Mustang or SIG P238?  Made from plastic, oh like a Kel Tec P3AT or Ruger LCP?  Holy ten years ago!

Where they missed the boat was producing narrower single stack versions of most of their guns.  There's a demand.  A 2/3 wide Glock 19 would be a FINE carry gun.

Especially since SIG has the P938 and Ruger has the LC9 which are nearly the same size and 9x19mm.  It's almost mocked by Remington's entry into the field with their R-51, again in 9x19mm.

None of that would keep me from buying another Glock.  A lack of innovation doesn't mean they don't make good guns, but their marketing department is making fools of them.  I sympathize.  There's only so many ways you can say, "in X caliber and shorter than..."

06 January 2014

Explaining The Slight

I asked around a lot about Oleg's brainwashing thing.

The replies were interesting.

One group of replies bears mention.

The insult was NOT equivocating slavery with conscription; so carefully explaining that conscription in the US is different from Russia doesn't address the insult at all.

The insult was stating that American draftees had been brainwashed into not being too upset about their non-voluntary service.

I wondered if I was thinking of it wrong, but I looked it up.  "Brainwashing" has a common usage as an insult.
An example...
Woman are brainwashed into thinking that penetrative sex with a man is not rape.
Does that sound like a neutral statement?

The fact is that while American servicemen were indoctrinated into the military, volunteers and draftees got the same training, pay and benefits.  In fact, draftees get substantially greater benefits than veterans who volunteered once the Vietnam war ended.  Another factoid is that being a draftee actually made you less likely to be sent to Vietnam, it was hard to get a full year tour in with just the two years the Army or Marines had with them.  What draftees DID go are nearly universally people who were BRIBED not brainwashed, there were pretty substantial bonuses paid to extend their terms of enlistment (and technically they become volunteers at that point, don't they).

I simply don't care how conscripts in other nations have been treated.  The brainwashing reply was to my statement that draftees from US service were, as a whole, not very bitter about the experience.

I have dealt with several people who were genuinely brainwashed by religious cults and there's just not any similarity.

A related group dismissed the insult with, "Well Oleg is Russian."  OK, that explains why he's ignorant of how US conscripts are treated.  Does it make the insult OK?  What insult do I get to spew at will where my specific condition and upbringing excuse it?  Do I get to toss out racist insults because I grew up in nearly all white Iowa?  Do I get to expound on the joys of misogyny because I am a man?  Or do I get called on it and have the fact that I've insulted people explained to me and then have it be expected that I should apologize?

UPDATE: There's an interesting dividing line in the responses too.  Veterans who were officers are significantly more likely to not see the insult than enlisted.  No such thing as a drafted officer I suppose...

UPDATE 2: On the "should he apologize" front:  My great-grandmother on Dad's father's side honestly thought that 'CENSORED' simply meant 'black person'.  Not once was it presented to me that "well she's old so it's OK."

MinMax Monday

You so often see a character with a bow in post-apocalypse games.

At first blush it seems like a good alternative to a gun because you can recover the arrows.

In practice, if you miss, that arrow is likely to be gone for good unless you're willing and able to spend significant time to finding it.  Quite often a hit will ruin an arrow as well.

In GURPS 4e terms a ST 10 person will do 1d-1 imp damage with range values of 150/200 and an Acc of 2 for a regular bow.  This weighs 2 lb. and an individual arrow is 0.1 lb.  What that gives is 2-10 points of damage to the torso with an average hit of 4.  You get one aimed shot every 3 turns.

A bolt action .22 LR, such as an ancient Remington 341 does 1d+2 pi- to 80/1,400 with an Acc of 4.  The gun weighs 5.6 lb. loaded and you get 15 shots for 0.1 lb. (included in the weight of the gun); of course it takes 45 seconds to reload fully.  This yields 1-4 points of damage to the torso with an average hit of 2.  But you get an aimed shot every two turns!  Plus, a ST 7 person can manage it without penalty.

The bow seems to be doing better than the gun for damage.

Let's aim for the vitals.  The gun gets a slight edge here because it's got one more Acc.  It can also be fired braced for another +1.

Damage for the bow changes to 3-15, average of 6.  The gun gets 9-24, average of 15.

For the brain (important for zombie hoards) the bow does 0-12, with an average of just 4 zero! (skulls have DR 2 which shifts the curve).  A .22 does 4-24 with an average of 12.

Performance on limbs and other extremities is nearly identical.

The nearly ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 gets 10 shots before reloading and can dump 3 per turn and only takes 3 turns to reload.

Siege Dwarfare

Siege has an excellent little bit on the overabundance of "official" stats for Dwarves in GURPS 4e and stats for his own setting.

After he mentioned it, I found two more official templates.

That brings the "official" template count to four.

GURPS: Basic Set
GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level
GURPS: Fantasy
GURPS: Banestorm

Gee, you'd think that they'd have pared it down to just the one, wouldn't you?  Especially since only one of the templates is world specific and tied to a previous edition's canon.

I Am Not Alone

Larry agrees that being accused of being brainwashed is an insult.

Seems I was just the first to notice.

Weight And Six Point Eight

Dottie tares in at 7.4 lb. without a magazine.

Truth be told half a pound of that is the mount for the Trilux.

So taking off that mount and going with just the irons and 25 rounds she's just 8.2 lb.  That's acceptable, really.

But...  With the optics, 25 rounds, sling and light she's 10.3 lb.  With the bipod it'd be 11.1 lb. but I only use that at the range to zero the scope.

For hunting (which is theoretical since I don't) with a 5 round mag and no light she'd be back down to 9.3 lb.!  A bit heavy to tote all day.

I often forget the 0.4 lb. of the sling, but it's there.  Like you don't really notice how heavy your shoes are until you have to walk all day in them.

Playing around with what to put onto the gun, or not, feels so similar to the min-max process of making a character it's eerie.

Olga, by comparison is 8 lb. without a magazine, bipod, sling or optics.  All up with everything she climbs to 11.8 lb.

No You Did Not

You did not stop smoking.

You are now using a nicotine inhaler.

You did stop using tobacco, but you're still smoking something.

Changing the delivery system for your vice doesn't mean you've stopped indulging in it.

05 January 2014

Nuclear Bomb Material

Got my tritium illuminator for my Trilux, thus restoring the TRILUX part of the optic.

Not much to it really.
An o-ring to seal the recess and a snap-ring to retain it.
Tritium vial held by hobby paste.
Look, it's radioactive!  2x8mm tritium vial with a potential 25 year lifespan, prolly more like 15 though.
The bar is parallel with the vial, you turn the unit to dim the sight post.
This is full dim.
It doesn't give off much light, but it's visible all the way down to complete darkness, where you can't see the damn target anyways.
Dottie is kind of tubby compared to Kaylee:  7.4 lb. for the rifle, 1.3  lb. for the magazine, 1 lb. for the L2A2, 0.8 for the Harris 1A2 bipod, 0.2 for the X300 and 0.4 for the MS3 sling.  Grand total of 11.1 lb.

04 January 2014

Get Hahpah To Dah Chahpah

The NY Time has a neat little quiz.

Not bad considering I was born in Dubuque, IA, spent the next nine years in Bolingbrook, IL then two years in Nevada, IA, two years in Blaine, MN, two years in Ames, IA, three years in the Army, seven more years in Ames and now 16 in Florida.


I not only don't know what I thought I knew.

I don't know what I don't know or the questions to ask to find out what I don't know.

Evidence has appeared that seems to support that I don't know anything.

It's sad because I spent a lot of time and effort learning so much that isn't so.

03 January 2014

Color Me Intrigued

I see on several blogs that Remington is going to be selling a new 9mm.

Single stack and compact...  MSRP under $400...

I just added 9x19 to the collection with the Hi Power, so I am officially intrigued.


GURPS: Traveller: Interstellar Wars has pulled a bit of a retcon on me.

The aforementioned Type-A/Hero/Siigiizuni is mentioned in canon LBB Traveller.  Same J-1, M-1 as the later Type-A/Beowulf.

In Interstellar Wars it's got 1.5g acceleration and J-2.

I approve this change since J-1 is a severe limitation across most of the Traveller map.  This is especially important in the IW setting since the GURPS TL9-10 jump drives use mass-precipitation to come out of jump making deep space jumps impossible.  TL11 drives can exit jump without a mass.

The higher thrusts were something that needed done since the standard M-1 drives couldn't lift from most main worlds without some sort of contragravity.  Contragravity of some kind was obviously assumed in LBB, as was the maneuver drive moving a volume not a mass.