31 March 2014


If you're in the market for a bolt carrier, don't get the AR Stoner offering from Midway.

It's improperly finished and rough.

Likewise, DPMS seems to have forgotten how to make bolt cam pins.

I have the stuff to fix them, but they're supposed to be drop in parts.


Terri's condition has not changed!

30 March 2014

Democrat Death Warrant

The Boy is on Medicaid because of his total disability.

Yes, we're part of the Free Shit Army (with the exception that we have someone paying taxes in the house).

Got a letter today telling us he needs to enroll in Obamacare and that could make him ineligible for the services he's receiving already.

This letter is also going out to every AARP member out there too...

I predict a bloodbath at the polls.

Fifi in Jax

Not my video; but it's still so very cool.

29 March 2014

Watch What You Think

If you talk to yourself you've got to think about what you're thinking or you'll be muttering it to yourself as your internal monolog heads for roomier places.

28 March 2014


Wandering the library on the hard drive...

I am once again struck by the variety.

This harkens back to the "jeebus, high school is OVER" post...

Back then I was notable in the school for traveling in about fifteen social circles.  I was the confluence of the Venn diagram.

And in many cases it was music.

I did punk, Brit nouveau, more than one flavor of metal, a dabble of country and most especially the blues.

There's never a more awkward moment than being in a gay bar with a false ID to catch a blues act and bumping into the music teacher from school.

PS, in 1986 Iowa, if you were white and wanted blues and didn't want a beating, you were in a gay bar (whether you knew it or not).

There's even some disco and rap on the disk.  Not for regular consumption, but there's individual songs.

I like complex guitar and piano.  I like interleaved free-time.

Oh, and if anyone out there has a picture of me in my blue mohawk...  I'd like a copy.  Mom destroyed all the pics of it she could find.

Even more fun, how many of you, my oldest friends, knew that there was a blue mohawk under that hat?

Where Are They

I intend to get a Glock 17 sometime in the next year.

I used to have a 1st Gen, so that's got some appeal.

I can't find one for sale.  I can find a few 2nd gens.  Lots of 3rd and 4th.

This has me thrown for a loop, you can find just about anything readily on the internet and the older Glock 17's just aren't for sale?


Are they so good that people are hanging on to them hard, or are they not aging well?

I dunno because I don't see one for sale.

I'd really prefer a 2nd gen gun because I don't care for the finger swells that start with 3rd gen.  1st gen is the nostalgia favorite since I've owned two of those.

Spoke too soon.

Search Fu Hint: Search for "Gen n" not "nth Gen"

Filling The Tactical Purse

I have a 5.11 Bail-Out Bag.

It was originally going to be my range bag, but I rediscovered the Tumbuk2 bag that Aunt Bat gave me, and it's more than large enough for my range supplies since my rifle case has huge storage compartments for ammo and magazines.

So I now have a shoulder bag with three magazine pouches, a generous main compartment and two end compartments.

I am at a loss as to what use to put it towards.

If I stuff the mag pouches with loaded mags, that means I need to keep a matching gun with the bag.  If this is my trunk bag, it means a trunk rifle.  I love my Vette, but that'd be very un-secure.

If I make it the home grab-it bag it's next to the rifles already.  Besides ammo, what needs to go in there?

Food seems ridiculous.  Maybe some snacks and a bottle of water?  The shelf life on the Nestle's water we get delivered is years.

Medical supplies seem more reasonable.  A blow-out kit is already in the range bag, I should invest in a couple more.  (This makes me realize that I don't have one in each car already).  Oh, blow-out kits are stupid cheap when you know registered nurses (even when there's no theft involved).

What says the hive?  What use can I put this thing towards?

27 March 2014

Bad Design

The battery compartment on the EOTech 552 might be the worst I've ever encountered.

The bridge that connects the two batteries in the front of the cover often becomes pressed down so far as to allow the battery to shake loose.  That breaks contact and lets the sight shut off.

This movement further pounds the bridge down so that it won't make a connection at all after time.

The Lovely Harvey loves the reticule, so I keep crutching it along.

Today's fix involved putting two little round rubber pads under the contacts of the bridge and taking away some of the slack in the compartment.  I hope that this holds up better than the previous repair of bending the bridge up a bit.

It makes me wonder how many of these things you see for sale used have some sort of intermittent problem like this related to the battery compartment.

26 March 2014

Tabitha Returns

Took one of the spare bolts and borrowed a bolt carrier from another gun to zero Tabitha.  This is my 10-shot confirmation group.

I think I might just keep this one!

I think my retro guns challenge some of the conventional wisdom.  The 20" 1:12 rifled barrel and surplus M193 ammo are plenty accurate from both Charlotte and Tabitha.

Plus she's a mere 7.5 lb. loaded with 20 rounds.  That'd be 7.9 with 30 rounds.  That's the same weight as an M4gry with a 16" M4/SOCOM profile barrel.

All in all I think these older AR's are under appreciated.

No longer Tabitha Sparkle since The Lovely Harvey stole the purple furniture set for Valentine; which is OK because I stole the bolt-carrier from her!

Next Project

A friend has an idea.

They have $100 a month.

They want an AR.

So we're going to (pending spousal approval which he might not get) make him an AR (meaning I am going to do all the research, shoot him links and hold his hand while he puts the parts together).

He's thinking dissipator.

The hard part of this project will be finding a barrel that's a) in stock and b) isn't a rifle length gas system.

He might manage to get all of the money together before we buy part-one.

Looks to be about $650-700 before optics and standard furniture.  About $75 more for Magpul, which he might do.  He's not sure if he wants an A2 upper or flat-top.  I'd lean towards the flat-top.

25 March 2014


For years I was an "deposited in the bank on Friday, spent on Saturday" type.

Despite my mothers impassioned entreaties, I never really learned to save.

I figured out that access is what allows me to go, "oh shiny" and spend money.

First it was checks, then ATM and now debit.  Putting the money in the bank is not a barrier.  It's barely a speed bump.

Cash in my pocket isn't a deterrence while I am out and about, but it does keep me from buying online.

Cash in a jar in the gun safe...  Can't spend it at the store if I don't have it on me.  Can't spend it online because it's not accessible electronically.

The mind game is the hard part.

Forcing myself to explain why I am removing the money from the jar and for what purpose.  I have a post-it in the jar with a short list of why I am saving the money.

It works for me.

It's especially helpful for me that to spend those funds to buy some things, I have to pull the cash, go to the bank, deposit it, then order the item online.  The more tedious I make the process, the less likely I will be to spend it.

24 March 2014


The progression from M16 (early R604) to M16A1 (late R603) to M16A2 (R645)...

How many differences can you spot?

M16A1 (Clone) on $100 a month...

Got the barrel today.  Tabitha now looks like what she'll be.  This is officially a BAG day preview.

Next $100 goes for a bolt carrier group.  Well, $125.

This gun is my answer to the mosin customizers tinkerers who are spending about $100 a month and complaining that they can't afford an AR; because a retro gun is the most expensive path to owning an 5.56 AR there is before you add optics.  Yes, you spend $400 more and it takes four months longer.  But it's achievable in the same manner as the changes to the Mosin that took it from a $150 surplus gun to a $600 sporter.

The No-Dak lower is more expensive than a matched A2 lower and flat-top upper from Aero-Precision.

The Lovely Harvey took the same approach to Valentine.  In nine months each we went from want to gun (technically I'm on month 8).

Cost Effective

With my discovery that I actually like the MIAD in its thinest configuration, there's just no reason at all to buy a $35 pistol grip.

The $20 MOE grip is identical to a MIAD with the middle thickness back strap, so it's out too on form alone.

Luckily, the bog standard A2 grip is available in a literal rainbow of colors, for $5-7 each.  It's even easy to color match Magpul's colors!

One has to decide if storage in the grip is worth $30 plus $15 for what the grip-core you need runs.

This is another full-circle moment for me; a double loop really.  I really thought the A2 grip was the way to go when I changed from the M16A1 to the M16A2 in the service.  When I started building AR's from parts kits to make retro clones, the A2 just felt wrong compared to the older smooth front ones.  The modern guns got Magpul because the thicker grip seemed to feel better by comparison.

I put the thinner section on to see if it'd fit in the rack.  I told myself I'd just accept it.  But it turns out that if I don't play with them back to back; the thinner section DOES feel more natural.

I'll bet there's a doctorate dissertation on why the thicker one felt better back to back with the thin; but the thin puts the hand more naturally where I want it when I am not consciously attempting to compare them.

23 March 2014

Watch Me Soar

In my flight sim...

It is December 1956.

I am a pilot in the Royal Air Force flying a Hunter F.5.

I have four 30mm cannon with 150 rounds per gun.

This is a within visual range only plane and the only electronic aid is a ranging radar and lead computing gun sight that lies.

Tonight I killed ten.  Five MiG-15bis, two MiG-17 and three MiG-17PF.

But I told you that so I can tell you this.

I have the headphones on.

After ten kills that just seemed to set themselves up, I was excited...

Last one down and I yell jubilantly, "I am a leaf on the wind!"

Luckily, I am not in the Whedonverse!

The Fifth

I think we need a change to the 5th that makes it so appointees and employees of the government are barred from further employment with the government from their evocation of the right until they are cleared of all charges in a full jury trial.

22 March 2014

Five Guns I'll Never Own

Numerous hat-tips; but I found it here.

Never say never!

And I am not really sure if this is supposed to be a list of guns that I'd refuse to own or a list of guns that I'd merely be unlikely to own.

Let's go with refuse.

#5 A Mossberg pump shotgun.  I already have a Remington 870 gathering dust for the most part; why would I want another pump taking up space?

#4 Springfield Armory XD.  They don't fit me.

#3 Another Mini-14.  I've gotten this gun out of my system thoroughly.

#2 A plastic revolver.  They don't look how I want a revolver to look while remaining uninterestingly conventional.

#1 Anything from H&K.  This is mostly because of the rabid fans than any particular failing of any particular model.  Mostly they don't fit my hand, but there are exceptions.  The G3 variations are actually OK fitting, but I prefer the FAL so that niche is filled.

There's a large list of guns that I'd never buy for myself (even if I could afford some of them), but would accept as gifts.

Rack 'Em

Got the M12 rack!

Kaylee's Aimpoint has to be removed to fit it.  Olga might fit without the bipod, but doesn't need to.  Cheyenne is pictured just to fill things in a bit and Kevina isn't because her EOTech is not easy to remove (but it'd hold zero).

Not bad for $50 for the rack plus gas and lunch for JT.

Also not shown is it's final location, gotta leave some mystery for the thieves. ;)

When I started building AR's I'd have never have thought that I'd have enough to fill an entire M12 rack, let alone having so many guns I out grew a locking cabinet.

I should fire-proof the room their in!


The middle-thick back strap for the MIAD keeps the bar from lowering on the rifle properly.  The thin one works perfectly.  That means that a MOE grip won't work with this rack either.  Happily, the thin strap doesn't feel awful now like it did when I first got into AR's.

21 March 2014

Firearm Friday

Valentine is zeroed.  Reetta and Tatyana were shot too.  All shots were hasty sling at 25 yards.

Top Left is initial zeroing of Valentine.  Top right is finishing the box off.
Center is Reetta.
Bottom Left is Tatyana w/o bayonet.  Bottom Right is Tatyana with bayonet.  Typical 91/30 trick of tightening up with it attached.

Tatyana has an odd trigger that gives kind of a double click before going bang.  It tricks you into thinking that you've broke the sear, but you haven't yet.  This is not exhibited with dry fire.

Reeta is the typical SA Finnish kiv/39 trigger.  Long pull that does nothing, then it stops a moment then breaks clean.  The three rounds on the bottom were learning the trigger.  The two in the center are a better example of how she shoots.

Willard took out his Vz-58 um...  Vz-2008!  The trigger is light and crisp.  Ejection is just barely to the right of vertical.  The folding stock iz teh suxxor.  He's already looking for a fixed stock.  The sights are near identical to an AK in use and precision, so it groups exactly like the Yugo AK clone he brought along for comparison (ie fill the 8-ring with 30 rounds).  When you're shooting it instead of coon-fingering it, all of the controls actually fall right to your hand and everything seems natural, except the safety.  Even so, it's not THAT hard, no harder than an AR safety for a lefty.  Just don't think of it as a thumb control and it makes more sense.

Either it needs some break in or he's got a bad magazine.  Towards the bottom of the mag, the left feed position would jam up in the feed way.  Ah, the joys of surplus!

Valentine gave no surprises.  She's an AR.  I am still astounded at how accurate the Kotonics barrel is and saddened that things ended the way they did for poor Tim.

Presented As Opinion

I often label myself an autodidactic polymath; but my first formal higher education was in mechanical drafting, which is engineering lite.  All the math, none of the humanities!

I am constantly encountering this truth:

My best friend is a lawyer, bright, gifted, ... PhD in law; bored with his job, he decided to study engineering. After his first quarter, he came to me and said that the two "C"s he'd achieved in Engineering Calculus 101 and Engineering Physics 101 were the first two non-A grades he'd ever gotten in college, and that he had had to study harder for them than for any other dozen classes he'd had. "I now understand", he said, "why engineers and their like are so hard to examine, whether on the stand or in a deposition. When they say a thing is possible, they KNOW it is possible, and when they say a thing is not possible, they KNOW it is not. Most people don't understand know in that way; what they know is what we can persuade them to believe. You engineers live in the same world as the rest of us, but you understand that world in a way we never will."
I don't think that you have to love math to be an engineer, but you are going to have to learn it. That means that you're going to have to do the homework, correctly. Mistakes and "close enough" are the ways to build bridges that fail.

Many times I've said stated something flat-out.  Time and again I encounter someone who won't understand the answer because they don't do math.

Engineering types, when they state opinion, will qualify the shit out of the statement.

"I prefer the FAL to the G3."

But statements of fact aren't.

"The FAL fires a 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge."

Am I wrong?  Well, then refute it with fact.

Often times these statements of fact don't include proofs for even laymen because you've either done the work and understand it already or no amount of explaining will bring you up to speed because you didn't learn math.

There's an entire universe closed to you because of it and it's something to be ashamed of, not proud.

How Dare You Wear That Hat While In Uniform?

It's spring, sir!

20 March 2014

A New Dimension

Dimensioning a part is a perishable skill.

I am knocking the rust off now.

Luckily, the parts for the silencer are actually very simple.

While figuring out how to dimension some features I am reconsidering them because it'd be simpler to machine them with a different process and that changes the shape of the feature slightly.

A good example is the slots in a flash-hider.  They are tapered because the cutter is tapered, a square cutter was found to get caught as the work flexed.


I just had a moment of clarity.

If this topic pisses me off so much, why keep writing raging screeds on it?

CLUNK as the mental transmission finally catches a gear.

I really don't care about the topic as much as the anger would seem to indicate.  It's like the seeming of caring from putting pixel to screen angers me.

So I shan't touch upon it again.  Would that I realized it sooner.

19 March 2014


Broke 200,000 page views, that is.

And it's a ho-hum moment.

I get about 200-250 a day so it eventually adds up and I'm flattered that people swing by and have a read.

Still, I'd do this if there were zero page views a day.

Weer'd Beerd is why I am on Blogger at all.  I was happily spinning my wheels on LiveJournal with around ten page views a day for years.

The blogroll's gotten bigger and smaller as I gained and lost interest.

I've made friends and lost them.

I've been a jester and an ass.

An expert and a fool.

And I'll do it again.

Term Limits

One of the big problems with term limits is the fuckweasil knows that they will not have to face the voters again.

That lets them get up to all sorts of mischief.

The unlimited reelection system gives us career fuckweasils who have an intimate knowledge of the system and how to manipulate it.

I wonder if there's a middle ground solution.

No consecutive terms.  You do your two years as a representative or six as a senator and you've got to sit out the next election.

They can't go career so easily, and since they might want to run again they have to temper their behavior because they could easily be facing the voters again time after next.

18 March 2014

Design Finished

Got some better dimensions of the HEL E4A so I modified my drawing accordingly.

I'll be breaking the parts out (they're on different layers here) and dimensioning them so someone (me with some supervision) could make them, then printing the drawings to attach to my Form 1 and a $200 check...  In a couple of months anyways.

The new information I got was really interesting.

The rear support (tapered end) has a slot cut into it that engages on the bayonet lug.  You slide the rear support on, screw on the body down over the rear support.  There are six equidistant 8-32 holes in the support and three plain holes in the body.  Screw the body down tight, then back off to the nearest set of aligned holes.  Then you put some cap screws into the three aligned holes to hold the body to the support.  The slot in the support keeps it from unscrewing!


The front cap is flush with the front of the body and has a big slot in it so you can remove the baffle stack.

This, by all accounts, will not be near as good as a modern suppressor for sound reduction, just 26 dB.  I think a similarly sized modern unit gets close to 40 dB.  But the point of this retro stuff isn't to make the best design possible, it's to recreate what was vintage.

The Bolt Gun

A Fudd rifle...

I want a scoped bolt action.

Not because I need one or have any use I'd put one to that I'd actually do.

I just think that every shooter should have one before they can say they've got the minimums covered.

But there's always something shinier or something that needs fixing.

Then there's conflicting emotions.

Because I don't have a use for one, a cheap one will suffice as well as an expensive one.  A $400 Axis package with scope sits in the safe and collects dust just as well as a mega-buck minute-of-subatomic-particle gun.

But if I finally break down, save my pennies, and buy one; I want a nice one!  Luxurious bluing, polished walnut...  That's more expensive, but less than what a couple of the AR's have run.

Some features I have no doubts on.  I do not want a blind magazine well.  I don't think it's safe to unload by cycling the action repeatedly.  I don't know if I care if the magazine is detachable or not.

I am ambivalent about iron sights.

I am uncertain what the ideal caliber for me is too.  I've already got .308 and .30-06 in the house.  Do I go with those or something like .270 Winchester or .280 Remington?  .270 has appeal since it's the same bullet diameter in my beloved 6.8.  If I reloaded I've have a stronger opinion, I am sure.

And all of that ignores the brand!

I've always had a soft spot for the Browning A-Bolt.  But they're made by Miroku in Japan.  That bugs me for some ephemeral reason I can't put my finger on while I wouldn't think twice about buying a Weatherby made in Japan by Howa.

I don't own a Winchester anything, so a Model 70 has an appeal.  This creates its own sub-debate about pre-64, post-64 and post-post-64.

Savage makes good guns that have a reputation for being more accurate than their price would suggest.

Ruger renamed their line-up and I don't know which is the entry level and which is the high end.  Browning's X-Bolt caused the same confusion for me.

Not sure I'd buy a Howa branded gun, even if I'd happily own a Weatherby Vanguard.

Confusion and indecision reigns!

Alternate State

Every so often I check to see how healthy the alternate calibers market is for the AR based on variety and availability from Midway...

6.8x43mm SPC: 26 loadings listed from 8 makers.  5 available from 3.

6.5 Grendel: 7 loadings listed from 3 makers.  Just one available.

.300 AAC Blackout: 30 loadings listed from 11 makers.  4 available from 3.

.300 Whisper: 5 loadings from 2 makers.  Just one available.

.30 Remington AR: 5 loadings from 1 maker:  2 available.

6.8 is down a bit from last year; .300 AAC is up a bit.  And you can actually buy some ammo this year!

It's really pretty stable even compared with 2012.

Why You Need A Garand

Patton called it the finest battle implement ever devised.

It's the weapon used to kill the shark at the end of Jaws.  You've prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse™ but are you prepared for a Sharkanado?

Not only did the same model rifle fight in both World War Two and Korea, in many cases it was the actual same rifles!

It's lighter than a fully loaded AK! (I know!)

You get to tell the story about the noise the clip makes when it ejects!

17 March 2014


I parroted that Hugo Schmisser might have had a hand in the development of the AK.

I was roundly informed that Soviet Records indicated that to not be the case.

You mean the SEALED TOP SECRET Soviet Records?  You couldn't mean those, since they are well... unavailable.  If you claim to have read them, we have a term for that...  Please extinguish your slacks.

What that really means is nobody knows for certain.

Considering that the USSR routinely lied about things, it makes it easy to believe that it's an Avtomat Schmisser model of 1947.

There's solid enough evidence about the state of the art of Soviet engineering at the time that it could honestly be entirely home grown.

That the Soviets effectively abducted several prominent German gun designers coupled with a long history of lying to make themselves look more capable than they were lends weight to the argument that they didn't do the designing.

Lurning Kerve

I've bumped against a wall in learning physical skills more than once.

I am definitely doing something wrong, I cannot identify exactly what and thus cannot change anything specific about what I am doing to correct for it.

The end result is a whole lot of flailing around until something clicks and I can do it.

It's why I cannot throw a frisbee or play golf.  I've not had the time or inclination to put in the flailing.

Instructions consisted of a lot of frustrating time listening to someone explain in some alien grunting language what I was doing wrong.  "Then with your mouth tendrils..." is how it felt.  I felt like I could not learn to do it correctly because I lacked the hideous non-human anatomy granted them that made this task simple and they could never explain it to my any more than I could convince someone who is color blind that the top and bottom lights in a traffic signal are different colors.

Grunts like, "let go of it sooner!"  Throw  "No, SOONER!  That was LATER!"

It definitely made a huge number of "fun" activities "work" and since I was no good at them, I was not asked to participate, because the team I was on would lose.  This in turn made them no fun at all, so after a bit it stopped being worth it to put in the work.

This led me to an affinity to mechanical things.  Being a mechanic is dealing with readily definable and repeatable things.  Turn the wrench to the left, bolt loosens; go the other way it tightens.  EVERY TIME!

Yet I help friends out on their cars and it's like I was grunting with the aliens...

I changed the timing belt on The Lovely Harvey's Civic.  Her friends act like I'm some sort of wizard.  There was nothing complicated about it, just some things were hard to reach.

There are members of the car club I'm in who are flat out lost when you say, "did you check the ground?"  They actually look at their feet!

I know how they feel.


I'm a brony, I admit it.

Sadly, the latest season is really not very good.

It's had good episodes, but it's fallen into the same pattern as season 3.  Formulaic children's wheel of morality pap.

Dang it.

Still, the good episodes this season have been excellent, but the wheat:chaff ratio is getting bad.

16 March 2014

Put A Bid On

The proliferation of all things AR (not to mention Mosin) has caused the gun safe to swell.

I've put a bid down on an M12 rifle rack.

Normally I don't bother bidding on them because shipping is a killer for a 42x36x10 steel frame.

This one is an easy jaunt for pick-up.

15 March 2014


The line between professional and amateur is whether or not you are paid.

It does not always carry any indication of expertise.

Of course, is it better to be a knowledgable slut or an inept whore?

Single Issue

There's a problem with being a single issue voter.

The fuckweasils we elect aren't single issue fuckweasils.

They have a panoply of things they want to vote on and implement that have nothing whatsoever to do with the one issue you voted for (or against) them on.

Harry Ried might be an excellent example.  While he was pro-gun and having someone pro-gun as senate majority leader would be good for gun owners; what about the rest of him?  I really didn't know much about him then, since he's in Nevada not Florida.

Well, it turns out that like all fuckweasils he'll toe the party line and his party is pretty much opposed to most everything that most gun owners support that aren't gun related.

Florida has Bill Nelson.  He's anti-gun.  He's hard-core Democrat.  He's gotten the vote of a lot of conservative woman.  Why?  Single issue.  Abortion.

Why would a conservative woman vote for a liberal over the abortion issue?  Because to them it's not about murdering babies, it's about their right to make their own decision and not be reduced to breeding kine.  Do they agree with any other position?  Nope.  But, "abortion is murder" reads as "bitches WILL breed!"

There are slews of other issues too.  Immigration.  Welfare.  Military spending.  Environmental issues.  Taxes.  Tariffs.

If you pick one, and only one, to vote about you're going to get that fuckweasil's position on everything else too; regardless of that one thing you care a lot about.

The really depressing thing is that once you start looking past your single issue, you start finding there's no candidates who don't have a massive disqualifier in their stance.

I am reminded, again, that the only reason any of this matters is because the government has gotten so much larger than its mandate and sent its tendrils into every aspect of our lives.  If the government wasn't actively involved in, say, the bacteria content of milk; I would not need to consider a fuckweasil's position on the matter.

14 March 2014

Over A Barrel

One of the places that sells repop 20" pencil barrels has sent out their email saying that tonight is the night they have them in stock!

Money at the ready.

Fingers poised over the keyboard...

Just two hours to go!

They only have these things twice a year and my selling off everything in the parts bin is facilitating the purchase.

The waiting is all.

Now that The Lovely Harvey has finished Valentine the purple AR, I can restore Tabitha to being an M16A1 (late pattern).  In addition to the barrel mentioned above, I need a complete bolt carrier group, weld spring and snap ring.

Don't Be Like Mike

On top is a Century Arms Vz-2008, a commercial adaptation of the Czechoslovakian Vz.58.  On the bottom is a Zastava AK clone.

Both are 7.62x39mm.  Both have 30 round capacities.  Both are piston gas operated and air cooled.  Other than looking similar that's about the end of how they're alike.

It's almost as if the team in Brno said, "no matter what, make it different than the AK."

I'd say the succeeded.

It's LIGHT.  Really light.  And this is with the steel receiver that Century makes, the originals were aluminum.

It's a hair under 8 lb. loaded with 1.45 lb. magazines.

The Yugo came in at 9.3 lb. loaded with 1.8 lb magazines.

The folding stock is teh suxxor for consistent cheek welds.

Willard is laying on the pressure for me to adopt something in 7.62x39mm, that's why I had these here to take pictures of.  Going to the range with them and an SKS sometime next week for a more detailed comparison.

Smaller Army

The Army is shrinking.

I am not entirely sure that it's completely bad.

We've definitely got our noses in a lot of things that aren't our damn business and should butt out.  A smaller Army would facilitate that since we'd be unable to butt-in.

In days long past...

One of the ways you could tell the US was serious about something was we sent the Army.  We'd send the Marines at the drop of a hat, but if the Army was there; it was warre and it ended with your nation's name being amended to Territory of...

Long before double ewe double ewe eye.

Our present state is amazingly impotent for as capable as it is.  At least a smaller military will scale the capability down to its actual ability...

I've long said it, if you're not willing to make the place you're sending the troops Territory of the United States; then don't send them.  Yes, I know that means a reversion to the old nation state model of international affairs, but like so many things that worked for so long; it is time tested under real-world conditions.  Present foreign policy and military use is being developed for a world that someone hopes exists.

I should add that I am not saying we should not have an Army at all or that we should never use it.  What I am saying is we should stop looking for trouble in places we have no interests.

Should a place of no-interest become a breeding ground of people who force us to notice, thus take interest; it's a territory when we're done and it's culture is reduced to Taco Bell and St Patrick's Day levels as a part of OUR culture.

Europe may be fine with never ending a war and fighting it over and over.  I'm not.  And until President Wilson, neither was America.


I am copy-pasting my LiveJournal entries over to here.

The export feature might work, but Blogger's import just sits there for hours apparently doing nothing.

There are numerous posts that aren't going to get moved because they were based on pictures or links that no longer exist.  That's a bummer because some of them were quite good.

Some of the sites still exist, but have moved the linked content.  Most have gone dark.

It's only been since 2005 and they're just gone.  That sucks.

It's happened to me twice that places hosting my pics have just quit on me.  I hope Flickr hangs on better since I'm actually paying them for the hosting.

13 March 2014


Took Tatyana all the way apart.

Definitely an original pre-war Model 1891/31 from Izhevsk Arsenal.

Can We

If we can agree to disagree; can we likewise disagree to agree?

12 March 2014


I've had a couple three Mosin-Nagant M-1891/30's...  I've sold or given all of them away for one reason or another.  The given-away have come back more than once as well.

I thought that I'd managed to get rid of the last one...  And it's still gone!

Willard presented me with a gift today.

Tatyana is a 1941 made Izhevsk 91/30 with every indication of being a pre-Barbarossa gun.

Compared to a 1942 model...

Military Weapons

While doing research on that E4A Noise Suppressor some synapses reconnected.

I noticed that for a large part of American history the populace at large actually did out-gun the Army.

Then, as now, the population vastly outnumbered it; but back then the common hunting gun was actually a better rifle in many ways than the full-power bolt action the Army issued.

First there's the lever action.  It's the 19th century assault rifle!  High capacity and rate of fire.  That led, eventually, to the .30-30.

Then there's the scoped bolt guns.  Conceptually similar to the Army rifle of the day, but lightened to the extreme and equipped with clear telescopic sights.  Far better optics than were often issued to snipers, in fact.

Those days are long gone.

Despite what the press says, the police are not outgunned by the citizen, let alone the Army.  The citizen has been slowly denied access to advances in weaponry thanks to 1934, 1968 and 1986.  This will eventually be bad for the Army too since the '86 change put the final regulatory nail in the coffin of casual experimentation.

When it was $200 to try out an idea for a new machine gun, people might risk it just to see if it worked out.  When it's around $10,000 for all the licenses just to start playing around; ah fuck it.

It should be noted that Gatling, Maxim, Lewis and Browning weren't government arsenals but private experimenters.  The well entrenched M16 is the result of such private experimentation.

We damn near owe it to ourselves to repeal these laws to drop barriers to entry on many industries simply because (the defacto) protecting the established companies stifles experimentation and creativity.

If we'd had the regulatory environment of today in 1809 we'd have the Pony Express handling the bulk of our mail.

11 March 2014

Thag Not Grok

I immediately concede that newer designs such as Glock and the M&P are better designs.  Far simpler, easier to manufacture and made more advanced materials.

The 1911 is an old design.  It's complicated and needs lots of pay-attention and tribal-know-how to make correctly.

Mr Yam is not mistaken about today's 1911.

What I am baffled by is how none of what everyone hates about them was present in my tank battalion in 1987-89.

Our guns were shot out, but they went bang every time and cycled as long as there were bullets.  When I arrived at Panzer Kaserne, the newest of our pistols had to be at least 41 years old.  My issue gun had a Colt frame and a Remington-Rand slide!

Because I was fascinated with guns in general I volunteered to help the company arms-room sergeant in keeping the guns up.  It was 90% making sure they were turned in clean.  He replaced a couple of front sights and we replaced a lot of worn out stocks and a couple of mainspring housings that'd lost their lanyard rings.

The magazines we DX'd were obviously physically damaged, like bent damaged.  I never tuned an extractor, or saw it done.

It can't all be due to only using cartridge, caliber .45, ball, M1911 can it?


Ms Sink's bid to become Florida's 13th Congressional District's representative has failed.

I guess I'll never find out what she meant by bipartisan now.

Frankly, I am surprised.  Pinellas County is on the blue side of purple.

I Cannot Believe That Happened

Here I am, putting together an AR lower...

I forgot how the trigger spring was supposed to go.

I've only put together about twenty of these things now, how did I forget that?

It's together!

I like CMMG's parts kits, but I loathe the 4/5 scale pistol grip and the socket head cap screw to attach it.

I'm pretty sure that Cavalry Manufacturing is who makes the grip since its identical to the purple one.

Daily Life

Role playing gaming centers around people who aren't everyday folks.

GURPS: Accounting and GURPS: Fast Food Worker didn't do well in playtesting...

Yet, even in the Traveller universe those same people you see everyday will have their counterpart.

Most people live the same life you do today.  They never really travel, they go to work, they socialize they're just normal people.

It just happens there's a starport or two on their planet and goods can conceivably shipped in from a lot farther than China.

It's pretty boring and not good adventure fodder.  It makes the future so... mundane.

It's a bit strange to think that a city in Traveller will look a lot more like Los Angeles than Logan's Run.

Memories Really Are That Short

I got an email from the NRA telling me that gun owners are poised to take back the Senate from Harry Reid.

I remember the last time Senator Reid was up for re-election that the NRA backed him over the republican candidate because he'd been so good about guns...

Since the NRA was instrumental in handing the senate to Mr Reid, they should adopt a different tone about killing the monster they had a hand in creating.  *POP* Pulling my head out of my ass.

I occasionally wonder if, perhaps, that getting someone less good on guns but far better on every other liberty would be preferable.

If we had more of our general liberties, I think the gun thing would matter less.


Memories are so short, in fact that I can't remember a timeline.

In 2010 Senator Ried had been pretty good on guns and there were solid reasons to think he'd continue to be.

The NRA had no way of knowing how things would turn and now they're in the rough position of having to oppose a former friend.

Thanks to Tam for kicking me in the teeth so my head would be propelled from my nethers.

E4A Shush

Here's my recreation of the HEL E4A.  It's preliminary, of course, since some details will change depending on the processes chosen to make the parts.

I've even come up with a not-suppressor version for a not-NFA clone.

The not-NFA would have to be welded closed, I think.  But it'd be easy to make the body in a way that the baffles could be dumped and the plain tube substituted.

The threaded part that goes on the muzzle (almost dead center) on the silencer version has vents to allow gas into the chamber that overlaps the barrel.  I am not sure how many and what size those holes are.  They'd have to be absent in the not-NFA version.

10 March 2014


The AN-PVS-2 has a funny looking rubber eyepiece.

It's a light lock!

By pressing your eye to the eyepiece it opens a clamshell sort of deal and lets you see the image.  That clamshell doesn't open until the outside of the cup is all around your eye, so no light escapes to be seen by the enemy.

A very clever design!


When you write about not writing, you're writing, not not writing...



A 1976 Formula One car put out about 450-500 horsepower.

A 2008 Corvette puts out about 430.

Of course, that F1 car only weighs 1,325 lb.  The Vette is more than double.

Throw Back

I carry a 1911...

That makes sense.

My car has a clutch pedal, eight cylinders and the back wheels spin too.

Yet I also embraced smart-phones, sequential electronic fuel injection and traction control.

I guess I am just confused.

Retro Shush

That's a section of an HEL M4 noise suppressor.  Mounted to an M16A1 it's way overgassed and needs an additional gas vent hole on the bolt carrier.  That makes it an integral suppressor because without it, too much gas is vented and your M16A1 is a straight pull bolt action.

Take 5 baffles off the front and shorten it the length of those baffles and you have an HEL E4A noise suppressor.  It's louder than the M4, but can use a standard bolt carrier.

I think that I can scale that drawing.

Time for another Form 1 it looks like!

Damn I have too many irons in the fire.

09 March 2014

Is That Singing I Hear

I've sailed too close to the shoals by buying that Browning.

Like a Warlock too close to the hills of Aldagmor; I hear the faint muttering...


Glock the sirens sing.

I am damned.

Luckily I've committed too much to the STEN project and The Lovely Harvey has balls in the air with the Purple AR Revivification.

Yet, I can see a Glock 17 in the moderately near future.

I've owned one or three before.  The last one became a gift to Aunt Bat when she graduated college.  Dear Gods, has it really been nearly 20 years?

On Kicking In Doors

I've written before that if my existing guns become illegal I've no incentive to not upgrade to something that's illegal at present.

If there's no difference between a full-auto M4A1 and a semi-auto M4gery; in for a penny, in for a pound.

The seeming excitement of some Connecticut cops to start kicking doors are forgetting an extremely ancient gun.  Setting one up is illegal, but what have they to lose?

It gets scarier when you consider that plans to make remote and automated gun turrets that can track, lead and fire are readily available.  You'd have to ban Digi-Key...

The moral of the story is never back someone who has nothing to lose into a corner.  That makes the only path out through you.


OK, Ms Sink.

You are correct, we're sick of partisan bickering in DC.

What Republican policies are you going to accede to and adopt to become bipartisan?

I'll give you a clue here, Ma'am; it's not just the partisan politics we voters are sick of.  We're also sick of bipartisan being defined as "agrees with the Democrats".

I think we're also sick of politicians who keep coming back over and over again despite repeated rejections at the ballot.  You share this with Mr Crist.

Realizing The Goal

My previous screed makes it seem like you can't make a good sporter from a mil-surp.

The fact is you can.  People have been doing it to Mauser actions for close to a century now.

Mauser actions.

The barrels are normally replaced, often the caliber is changed at this point too.

If the stock is retained, it's heavily modified.

The action is often bedded to the new stock.

The scope mounts are drilled into the receiver and irons are often discarded.

In short, not much original rifle left.

Plus, in today's gun market where there isn't a mountain of old Mausers to shop from, there's just not much sense in it.  Modding an old Mauser to be a good sporter is literally making a custom rifle and the people who do that have figured out they can charge a lot more than a production Remington 700 or Winchester 64 for it.

In some ways it's good.  It takes the pressure off "wrecking" historical examples.

In other ways it's bad.  I've seen some of these guns for sale on Gunbroker and there was some real art working them back in the '50's and '60's.  Art that nearly dried up and blew away as the supply of actions dwindled to nothing.

Art that hasn't revived with the new supply of surplus Mosin-Nagant.


Sporterizing a mil-surp rifle is a time-honored procedure.  It's controversial because there's a moment in time where the supply of unaltered rifles drops off and the collectors and the modders come into conflict.

Hey, look, another parallel with cars!  I guess shooters can console ourselves that Hollywood doesn't drive guns off cliffs.

Back to guns...

I am more of a collector than a modder.  Mostly because it's just not cost effective to modify a mil-surp to a sporting configuration any more.  The only money related excuse for modding a mil-surp is that weird realm where you have a small disposable income that cannot be saved up.  I have been in that realm and I understand.

But lets not fool ourselves that you got a better rifle than a Savage Axis from your Mosin or Yugo Mauser.

The end point is influenced by the starting point.  If you start with a rifle that can't hold a group or strings; then cutting off the stock and bolting on a scope isn't going to fix that.  Sure, those changes certainly can improve on the base rifle; but there's a limit.

Mosins are the current tinker's choice because they are out there for very cheap; so's ammo.  The Mosin is also rather famous for being inaccurate.  This is because the Soviets defined what was acceptable accuracy far looser than just about everyone else.  This makes the average Mosin group with a crappy Mauser.  Soviet ammo is also not known for consistency.  Combine the two and you have minute of dude at 100 arshins yards meters.  Which will get the job done in combat, but it's not a target rifle level of accuracy.

And that's a NEW rifle.

7.62x54mmR was corrosive ammo for most of its history and the Combloc kept using it longer than the West.  The level of training and maintenance is much lower with their conscripts than the West too.  Lots of guns have damaged crowns and damaged rifling.  Slapping a scope in place of the rear sight, replacing the stock with comfortable polymer and installing a match trigger do not repair a shot out barrel.  This gun has been in the hands of soldiers for at least thirty years.  Then it sat in an arsenal for at least thirty more.  The chances that it was not abused are pretty low.

I've seen several passionate defenses of making big changes to their rifles based on the fact that what they were doing was essentially the same process that yielded a sniper rifle back in WW2.  Except for one teensy, but essential detail.  Sniper rifles were select rifles.  They are the guns that fell on the right side of the accuracy and consistency curve during acceptance testing.  The cream.  They weren't made by randomly picking a rifle in an infantry battalion; which is what buying a milsurp at a gun show statistically emulates.

There's a kernel of truth here.  That scope, stock and trigger aren't going HURT the accuracy (unless your scope mount is inherently bad).  A good gun will remain a good gun and will likely be enhanced by the changes.  The reason I am hanging the bullshit flag on the play is everyone claims they got that good one.

You may have seen a couple Mosin pics on this blog.  Those are the keepers.  Guess how many 91/30's I've owned.  Fifteen.  Fourteen of them wouldn't give repeatable results.  They got sold for what I paid for them, so it didn't cost me anything but some time and ammo.  The tragic thing about my selection process is I carefully examined them and they all had bright shiny bores.

Let's accept as a given that you beat the odds and the randomly selected gun is a good one.

Did you consider that your rifle was designed to be configured the way that it is?  Changing that stock might just have a negative consequence on repeatability.  Look to what the nation fielding that gun did when making sniper version for clues.  Adding the weight of a scope encourages them to remove weight elsewhere; did they?  If not, ask yourself why.

The parallels between hot-rodding and Wile E Coyote gunsmithing are astonishing.  The stated goals and the achievements are often widely separated.  Achievements are often overstated if not outright lies.  Self delusion runs rampant.  Styles and fashions have undue influence detrimental to the stated goals.

This above all else, to thine own self be true.  If you don't lie to you, you won't have to lie to me.


What I am not going to do is sit there with a sign around my neck proclaiming my "sin".

You ended it when you tried to shame me.

08 March 2014


Ian at Forgotten Weapons shares this photo:

Prepping is older than I thought!


The unexpected visit by S. M. Stirling reminded me of the first time I noticed that I'd lost suspension of disbelief.

His Draka books.

The Domination books are kind of an oddity for me in that my objections aren't what other people are complaining about for the most part.

For me the alternate history and the geo-political situation were simply givens and I could accept them  as such (even if I emphatically never wanted to find myself IN that world).  Of course, I don't think you're supposed to WANT to live in a dystopia.

The part that jarred me was the unanswered tech the Domination had.

Military technology is a pendulum of measure, counter-measure.  It swings fastest when the measure is very effective.

The Draka are shown with some proven weapon systems that are ahead of their time that would have been noticed as effective and changed their opponents thinking on their weapons development.

Semi-automatic detachable magazine guns are referred to as WW1 era guns, but the rest of the world didn't notice and still had bolt guns by WW2 (where the Draka have embraced the SCHV concept to the hilt).

Then there's that 1980's NATO spec main battle tank.  What was that thing intended to fight and how did The Domination's procurement department justify spending the money on it instead of three lighter but still game stopping tanks?  We skipped a bunch of steps in armor development here and I was left wanting an explanation.  Especially since Zee Germans still had their real-world historical armor.

The rest of the world surely would have noticed the weapons and tactics being developed and responded.  And that knocked the wheels off my suspension of disbelief.

Fortunately, not hard enough to keep me from finishing the story.  I like dystopic science fiction and alternate histories.

PS: There might BE an explanation for the unanswered tech, I just didn't see it in the text if it was there.

PPS: Yes, I know I was supposed to equate the content of the alternate history with the author's burning desire to be a Draka or something while complaining about something in this series...  But creating a world for the setting, even loving your creation, does not correlate with a burning desire to become what you've created.  Something I think that Mr Stirling has pointed out.

The Internet Is A Strange Place

I referred to an SM Stirling book...

I have a comment from SM Stirling...

I can't stop giggling!

This is just so far past my expectations I can't really process the event.

It also makes me self conscious about whether it should be SM or S. M.  I've been using SM.  Uh.

If You Can Afford An X You Can Afford An AR

The expense of an AR is a common refrain.

I went through several options a couple years ago; let's revisit them.

The cheapest way into an AR is to build one from a parts kit.

If you're going to build the common as dirt M4gery you're going to need a couple of specialized tools to put the lower together.  A stock wrench to tighten the castle nut they run between $9 and $65 depending on if you want one that does other things.  I got this one ($33.49).  A pair of channel-lock pliers and some tape on the jaws let you put in all of the fiddly roll pins without marring or breaking anything off.  Google AR lower assembly and pick a set of instructions; they are numerous.

Then you're going to want a lower.  There are lots of choices.  The average price is about $100.  Plus about $50 for shipping and FFL.

Then you need a parts kit.

I've used Del-Ton for several builds.  Their M4gry kit starts at $510.
M&A Parts' kit runs $545.
J&T Distributing has them from $549.

Gen 2 Magpul Backup Irons are still the go-to for cheap and decent rear sights.  $55.

If you know someone like me, you can swing by and borrow the tools.

So for $715 you have a basic 5.56x45mm 16" M4 flat-top.  Sevenish months at $100 a month.

That's less than quite a few guns!

If you feel like spending more on tools and doing a lot more research you can improve on the basic kits and end up with a better gun for about $100 total more, but you're going to have to buy nearly everything individually and put it all together yourself.  That's how all of my ARs are done now.  It's more fun and I trend towards non-popular configurations.

07 March 2014

Not A Finisher

Ever see one of those oval 13.1 stickers on a window and want to walk up to the owner and say, "Quitter!"

Machine Shop

Talked to a former boss of mine.

He's a Type 7 FFL and SOT and has a complete shop for the making of guns.

Using his facilities to make the STEN makes it less ghosty, but a lot more likely.

He suggested that there might even be a legal way for his shop to not officially have made the gun, he's checking.

I think I have a viable way to make it a closed bolt semi-auto.

The Mk 2 STEN has a selector switch.

In semi there's a disconnector that catches the bolt to the rear after one shot and releases it against the sear when the trigger is reset.  It occurs to me that this system can grab the tail of a striker instead of the whole bolt.  It shouldn't take too much effort to make sure the selector does nothing, making it semi-auto only.  My sear is going to be farther forward than the historical gun and the ID of the receiver tube too small for a vintage bolt to fit.

This is exciting stuff!


Shotguns are often touted for their flexibility.

You can tailor your shot size to the flimsiness of the target.

You can get an ersatz rifle by using slugs.

Rifled slugs make it better than a Charleville Musket, but that's an improvement in sectional density and accuracy not trajectory.

The fallacy of this flexibility for the apoxyclips is that it's bought with specialized rounds.  You can carry dove and quail rounds for small birds, buck shot for larger animals, #4 shot for medium sized animals and slugs for when you need more range.  And every round of one type you carry precludes the carry of another type.  There's a degree of overlap with each round's effective envelope, luckily, but if you need the capabilities of one in particular and misjudged the number to bring...  You could be in the embarrassing situation of not being able to participate in a gun fight while still carrying ammo.

Plus, changing ammo mid stream can run afoul of your choke.  The best choke for a given load is bad for others and some slugs are not safe with some of the tighter chokes.

Shotguns really are specialist weapons.  They were developed to fill a need and that was killing birds.  That's a handy capability, because birds are everywhere and they're nearly all edible and tasty.  Birds are also fragile, which means it doesn't take much to bring them down.  So a single hit from a small round lead ball will do the job.

Small, fast, mammals like rabbits and squirrels share some characteristics with birds and shotguns, again, are good at bagging them.

Part of the idea that a shotgun can be THE gun comes from frontier history.  Muzzle loading history.  The flexibility offered is more real here because you were making your load's composition every time you charged the gun.

Yet... the west was won with rifles.  Cartridge rifles.

Most of the development of non-fowling shotgun ammunition comes from banning hunting of larger species with rifles for one reason or another.  The shot spread that's such an advantage for taking birds on the wing becomes a liability when hunting a deer or hog.

Then there's the range...  I mentioned that a slug gun is an ersatz rifle.  That's because it's got a trajectory that makes .45-70 seem like a laser-flat shooter.  Look up rainbow trajectory to get the joke.  Shotguns are essentially pistol range guns.

Shotgun ammunition has the double whammy of being both bulky and heavy.  A 2-3/4" 12 gauge round weighs approximately twice as much as a .30-06 round.  A loaded 12ga shotgun with 8 rounds weighs the same as a Garand.  So I'd get twice as many shots (for a given weight), comparable damage (with slugs), far better range and much better accuracy.  The .30-06 gives up the shooting birds on the wing (not really, it's actually easier to shoot flying things with a rifle, you don't have to lead near as much; the reason we don't use rifles on flying ducks is because of Rule 4).

If we go for a given number of rounds instead of weight, then we've opened up the loadout to carry other stuff.  .30-06 is considered a fairly hefty round too, .30-30 is about 80% the weight and 7.62x39 64%; meaning either more shots or more stuff compared to a shotgun loadout.  Even better, the guns for the lighter rounds are themselves lighter!  Freeing up even more weight for other things.

More shots is a good thing if you're living off the land.  A rifle is suitable or any game that needs #4 or heavier shot to take.  More than a century of the .30-30 demonstrates that.  In fact, the efficiency of .30-30 is the reason that rifle hunting of deer is banned in many areas, the hoof rats were becoming endangered.  7.62x39mm is damn similar in performance to .30-30.

The law, over and over again, is why we don't use rifles on much of the game taken; not because a rifle is a bad choice.

It is one thing to be caught out and only have a single gun available.  It's a similar thing to only be able to afford one gun.

But I thought we were talking about being prepared in advance so being caught out (you know, unprepared?) isn't a factor.

See also: This and this.

In The Immortal Words Of Mike Muir

Just 'cause you don't understand what's going on
Don't mean it don't make no sense
And just 'cause you don't like it
Don't mean it ain't no good

and let me tell you something

Before you go taking a walk in my world
You better take a look at the real world
'Cause this ain't no
Mister Roger's Neighborhood

Can you say, "Feel like shit?"
Yea maybe sometimes I do feel like shit
I ain't happy 'bout it, but I'd rather feel like
Shit than be full of shit

And if I offended you, oh I'm sorry
But maybe you need to be offended
But here's my apology
And one more thing, fuck you!

'Cause you can't bring me down

06 March 2014

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag

To Georg Luger!

Drug Reality

Once upon a time there was a book or story where the inhabitants of a modern western town were transplanted to a medieval setting.  Edit: It was "Dies The Fire" by SM Stirling.

"Wow, isn't that neat setting!" Friend A exclaims!

We started talking about what we'd do if we'd been among the people transplanted.

FuzzyGeff's reply was simple and galvanizing, he said, "Die."

FuzzyGeff has several severe respiratory ailments that he takes medications for.  With those meds, he leads a pretty normal everyday life; without them, he's a deader and dead in a long lingering suffering way.

His response colored a lot of our post-apocalyptic role-playing sessions.  For example in Twlight 2000, since the war went nuclear and societal collapse happened in 1997, by 2000 there are no people like FuzzyGeff alive anymore.  Their meds ran out and they died.

You can't even stock up well either.  It's generally hard to get more than your just-in-time model prescription grants you and those things have expiration dates.  Eventually they'll lose potency no matter how many you've stashed away.


This is a retread from my LiveJournal Oct 2008:

When I post, I assume that you've read all the preceding material and remember it. Mostly, because I remember it.

When something doesn't make any damn sense, it's likely a continuation of an earlier post. Or it really doesn't make any damn sense and it's just steam escaping.

This blog's primary purpose is to keep me off the local water tower. Demanding I prove my position to your satisfaction will not lead to that end.

If you have enough time to research every little thing I misspoke or got wrong, then you certainly have enough time to post to your very own blog. If you don't have a blog already, you should get one.

I am not good at debate. I never have been. Debate has rules that can be used to bury the truth or facts in a discussion. Debate does not allow for shooting my opponent between the eyes and yelling, "Rebut that motherfucker!" This is why I am not on a debate team.

A link to a web site will never trump my lying eyes. The argument there would have to be insanely good to convince me that I didn't see what I saw. Try to remember I was on the line in West Germany often on the Inter-German and Czechoslovakian borders, in 1987-89. I've seen what Communism looks like and don't want it imported here. Try not to make too much fun of the angry old man.

Much of my anger has to do with being punished for the actions of others.

On the topic of gun control: The core issue is that my guns have killed no one, let alone murdered someone. No gun control law yet passed affects the criminal more than me.

On racism: I've never owned a slave. My family has never owned slaves in recorded history. My family arrived here too late for the Civil war. I and my family have never oppressed. Therefore you are mad at someone else. Using the government to get even with "Whitey" is only tarring me with the same brush.

On Socialism/Communism: The only entity I owe money to is the bank holding my mortgage. I certainly owe my friends things and they owe me. Those associations are entered into freely and openly. I do not owe anyone else anything, nor do I think they owe me. I resent that my taxes are taken to feed and shelter people I don't know. Other than sucking O2, what have they done to earn it? This is punishing me because they are lazy.

On Equality: I have absolutely no objection to equal. But equal is where I draw the line. I will not abide a reversal of positions just because my Dad and Grandfather were racists or sexists (they weren't racists). Go after them, not me. But things must be equal.

Now! If you want to not trip my trigger, when you are part of a group that espouses that I must be punished for the trespasses of others, you must be crystal clear that you are not just rephrasing what the greater organization said in a new and novel way. Without such a clear statement, when a black Democrat talks about the civil rights movement, redistribution of wealth and the Constitution being a barrier, it gets read as reparations to slaves. By the way, the last slave died years ago.

I care far more about what people do than what they say.

05 March 2014


That was not taken as meant.

Go in peace.


The retro 5.56 guns are once again returned to zero after the great upper swap around switcharoo.

No forward assists were involved.

Willard's new AR is also now able to be zeroed.  He was a victim of tolerance stack-ups and an attempt to "tighten" the upper design by not cutting the slot to spec.  A bit of filing and a shim put the front sight base vertical like it's supposed to be and now the rear sight is near centered instead of being full travel left.

Now there's only the high-powered scoped guns and Harvey's platoon carbine to zero...

Damn, more excuses to hit the range?  The horror!


Charlotte the, M16 clone, is zeroed with M193 as befits her original 1:12 barrel.
Sabrina, the GAU-5A clone, gets zeroed with 69gr SMK because she's only got 11.5" of 1:9 barrel.

Tabitha is without a barrel and bolt carrier group at present, but she's going to have a 20" 1:12 barrel soon enough and be a late M16A1 clone.

04 March 2014


 Been reading Hilton Yam skewering the 1911 lately.

He definitely knows them intimately.

Something that's lost, again, in these "1911 has been rendered obsolete" discussions is the needs of a department aren't the needs of the individual.

My single gun is not being treated like an issue gun and the attention I need to apply to the quirks of the 1911 aren't onerous to me.  I can see those needs being too much for a department armorer to want to deal with.

It's a small price to pay for a gun I shoot very well.  Not that I've needed to address any idiosyncrasy of the gun yet.  I've been lucky that way.  I've yet to encounter a single one of the "routine" failures associated with one.

It makes me wonder.  I harken back to my Army days and I recall how we abused the snot out of every single item we were allowed to touch; and I wonder if abusing the gun is now the norm in people's minds.

Gun X can be beaten like a red headed step-child and sits there and asks for more like a puppy!  OK.

When did we decide that's how the gun SHOULD be treated?

It's like cars.  My Biscayne CAN sling along at 155 miles per hour; SHOULD I?


I have been chided on occasion for spending more than I need to on things.

It's a lesson I learned way back when I was a starving mooch.  I was in physical therapy for my leg and unemployable.  I needed to be able to get to the doctor's appointments, so I needed a car (friends don't suffer mooches for long).

The shit-boxes I could afford were never very reliable and I learned a lot about fixing cars.  I also learned a lot about fooling myself into thinking I'd saved money.

The $200 rust bucket Camaro devoured an uncounted amount of money in repairs to keep it running that it's $1,200 replacement never did.  It it is illustrative of how much those repairs were costing that I unassed $1,200 to get a different Camaro!

Since the '79 Camaro didn't break every week, mods started.  Again you can literally throw money away to no good effect modifying a car.  You can lie to yourself about the gains, or you can measure them objectively.  Then you can start over.  By the time I was done I had an impressive list of things that didn't do any good on a small-block 305 and a very short list that did.  First on that list was "get a 350 because 90% of small-block parts are designed for the bigger motor."

Guns are no different than cars.

Finances might trap you into a bad decision loop where it's a choice between a shitty gun or no gun.  The trick is to accept that it's a shitty gun and you're not really going to make a great gun out of it; despite marketing hype or even popularity.

The second trap of finances is that you get desperate to get any gun at all, no matter how shitty, for the money you have in your pocket; then once you have that gun you spend far too much trying to make it not shitty.  Like I did with my Mini-14.

At some point you need to have a serious talk with yourself about what you are REALLY trying to do with the gun.  An honest talk.  Then once your real goal is defined, do what it takes to achieve it.  I know from hard experience that it's much easier said than done.  It's easy and seductive to walk the path of justifications and excuses.

I also know that once you start doing it you utterly and absolutely grok, "Pay once, cry once."

Philosophical Differences

What to use to defend yourself?  It's not a simple question.

We carry handguns about in public because most of us are forced by law or social convention to hide them from view.  Even the staunch open carriers carry a handgun because it's small and light.

There's a great deal of truth to the statement, "you use a pistol to fight your way to your rifle."  Handguns are underpowered compared to just about any rifle.  Even the vaunted .44 Magnum is not bringing as much energy to the fight as the maligned .223.

Shotguns are fowling pieces.  That they are used for other purposes is a matter of law not prowess.  If you are choosing a shotgun for home defense and cite over-penetration by a rifle; see this link.  This link too.  00 Buck is nine .36" round balls running about 1,300 fps. each.  Combined it's quite a load, individually not so much.  They conspire to be about the same damage as .223 or 7.62x39.

Pistol caliber carbines are really big pistols and not small rifles.  Yes, the extra barrel length might boost a 9x19mm round's velocity to .357 magnum speeds; but .357 is still what?  Yes, a pistol round.  Cruise through that box-o-truth site and you're going to notice that you're not solving the over-penetration problem here either.

What are you gaining when you eschew the rifle?

Cost has been trotted out.

If you're able to afford a $500 Glock, you're also able to afford a $300 SKS.  A $400 Kel-Tec is still $100 more than a $300 SKS.  A $300 SKS is the same as a $300 Mossberg.

And they are all cheaper than a $1,200 Colt AR.  But there are much cheaper examples of AR out there, hit up the pawn shops for examples.  A Century M16A1 kit-bash refurb will be in the $500 range.  It's not in a stylish tacticool configuration, but it's going to work.

Update:  To show the relative bulk; and the stratospheric price of a well equipped AR.

Remington 870 with light, Magpul furniture, extended magazine and Sage sights.  10 lb. $750.  7+1 shots.
Laconic Arms AR-15 with light, Magpul furniture and EOTech.  8.7 lb. $1,822. 30+1 shots.
S&W Sigma SW40F.  2 lb. $500. 15+1 shots.

The same $750 that bought the shotgun also bought this M16A2 clone.  8.2 lb.  30+1 shots.  I've seen AR's in this configuration going for less if you're willing to accept some cosmetic dings and that it's not in a stylish configuration, like the carbine shown above.
Update 2: "What you've made with your shotgun is a long arm as handy as an M1 Garand with 1/10th the range with ammo that weighs twice as much."  Thanks for the perspective, Willard!

03 March 2014

Inflationary Index

Charlotte is an early R604 (again).

Tabitha will soon be a late R603.

I keep track of my parts sources and prices.

In 2009 it was possible to make an R604 for about $750.

Today to replicate that feat is more along the lines of $900.

The blame is squarely affixed to retro becoming popular and the panic making ANY AR part more desirable as the preferred parts dried up.

Coupled with whomever in DC decided that barrels could not be imported or reimported and you end up with a perfect storm of price increase.


Fired up the fire pit.

All of the wood we'd had stacked behind the shed from pruning and deadfall is gone.

It was fun sitting in the back yard with The Lovely Harvey and Marv chit-chattin' and looking at the stars.  We even saw an impressive shooting star!

We also discovered that wood from an orange tree doesn't really flame.  It just smolders as embers.  It is an outstanding choice for toasting marshmallows!

Adding It Up

The Purple AR is tentatively Princess Twilight.

The Boy is a Brony!

Going through The Lovely Harvey's build list and accounting for the values of parts already bought...

$663 $698 total.  Update: I should mention that all but $300 of that total was sunk costs from the parts bin and swapping from other rifles.

Because I have tools for the most part.  It's easily $400 more if you have to buy completed subassemblies.

02 March 2014


Sean just renewed his Utah non-resident carry permit.

Looking at the list, I think I might just get me one too.

Washington and Minnesota, where I have friends and family, are off limits with my Florida resident permit.

Looks like I have to take the class again though.

The AR 15 On $100 A Month

The Lovely Harvey has come to a decision about the configuration of The Purple AR.

We're also going to follow along as she builds (well as she picks and I assemble).

What we have on hand:

Cav Arms purple furniture set.
Commerical carbine receiver extension with buffer and spring.
Mid-Length 16" 6.8 SPC II 1:11 barrel and bolt with A2 style flash-hider and standard FSB with front sight parts.
YHM folding rear sight.
Echo's Purple Sling

Having a parts bin is handy (some links are representational).

What we need:

Upper receiver.
Lower receiver.
Lower parts kit.
Upper parts kit.
Bolt carrier.

The upper and lower have been ordered.  Aero-Precision's Huckleberry set for $150.  That leaves about $65 for the lower parts kit, $20 for the upper parts kit, $125ish for the bolt carrier group.

Then a name.

Optional is getting something engraved on the mag-well and cerakoting the receivers purple.
Some sort of optic is likely as well.

All in all, a fairly standard build except for the alternate caliber.

Woo Hoo

Of late I've been culling the parts bin of AR stuff I'm never going to use.

It actually feels pretty darn good!

Black Rifle Disease is something of an addiction and Retro-BRD is worse.

By selling the parts the urge to build that early Project Agile AR is greatly diminished.

The only planned retro build now is to get a 20" pencil barrel and do some parts juggling.  The XM16E1 will become a late M16A1 and the retro 6.8 will become an early R604 (or very late R602 depending on the source).  Eventually I might get another A1 upper and change the GAU-5/A back into an XM177E2.  Nodak is behind on getting new ones made.

The purple AR project is in what I'm calling development hell, Harvey calls it "look at all the choices". A flat-top 6.8 middy seems most likely at this point.

01 March 2014

Fire Pit

Or dog pit?

Price To Pay

Putin will, indeed, pay a price for an invasion of The Ukraine.

He will have to buy fuel, ammunition, spares, food and pay his troops.

That stuff is not free; he will have to pay for it.

I am not sure why President Obama is reminding him...