28 February 2015


I met a friend at the range.  While we were loading magazines one of my 6.8 rounds rolled over and touched one of his 6.5 Grendel rounds...

It's A Super B Super B

It's Super Beaky, YEAH!

I got a B, Willard got a Star B. Echeverria Modelo B Super in 9x19mm.

He paid less and got a gun in far nicer shape!  Mine's C&R, he paid an FFL for a transfer.

Inside too!
The Model B Super is an evolution of the Model B, so they basically work the same.  The big-huge differences is the 1911 style swinging link has been replaced with a High-Power style locking ramp...

A loaded chamber indicator...


Magazine disconnect... (US Patent)

The magazine pushes that little bar in and that unblocks the trigger.  That bar also locks the take-down latch from swinging while there is a magazine present.
...And it uses a swinging take-down latch instead of pulling the slide stop out like a 1911. (US Patent)

Update: links to some interesting patent information added.  Thanks Dan!


"I am going to take this gun and kill all of them!"

"What if you can't get ammo?"

"Then it will take longer!!!"

That'd be a great throw-away line in an action film.

Just put a "Special Thanks to Angus McThag" in the credits if you use it.

Why Do You Even Have A Web Page

Dear Vendor...

The internet is an amazing tool that allows you to reach your customers in amazing ways.

Stop treating it as an electrified paper catalog!

Potential Customer

How many times have you run into a web page where you have to call during business hours to get a price?  Or worse, have to call to actually order the item?  I won't even discuss the places that expect me to print out their order form and then mail them a check.

It is not 1979 anymore!

This business model is only one step above a web page listing the address and telling me to stop by the brick and mortar location...

OK, when you're open at 3am, when I'm shopping, I will.

PS: That other vendor who has a web page that tells me the price and lets me order with my debit card or paypal?  They got the sale.

27 February 2015

Stated Goal

I endeavor to live only places where the winter temperatures are expressed in destructive devices calibers in inches with summer temperatures that would make good tank guns in millimeters.

Ye Olde Calibre Warres

I once read that a chambering is not really successful until you can buy it off the shelf at Wal Mart.

I bought two boxes of Federal Fusion 110gr 6.8 SPC at Wal Mart last night!

They'd had the SKU on the empty shelf for about a year, and last night actually had some.  I am not unhappy.  Giddy is more the emotion.

I predict that a SKU for .300 Blackout is coming.  Probably soon.

Someone Hook A Generator To P.L. Travers' and Walt Disney's Feet

26 February 2015


Because I am not part of the solution...

Got some XM855 ammo and SS109 from Wal Mart via Willard and added it to my existing pile.

This effectively prevents someone without ammo from getting some...

25 February 2015

A Ponder

Getting licensed to drive a car, which everyone says is a privilege, is cheap and easy.  Driving the car is subject to simple and easy rules and regulations.

Getting licensed to carry a firearm, which is widely regarded as a right, is affordable rather than cheap and moderately difficult because of the paperwork and classes in even "shall issue" jurisdictions.  Carrying the gun is subject to complicated, capricious and confusing laws and regulations.

I am SO ready to treat guns like cars!

Good News!

Looks like the trigger on a Spanish M-1916 Carbine is the same part as on an M-1893 Rifle.

This is good because Numrich doesn't list a trigger for the 1916...

Useless Information

I have the flight manual for the USAF F-4C, F-4D and F-4E (10Jan70).

Interesting read.

The odds that I will ever be able to put this information to use are exceedingly slim.

What it will probably be used for is to apply limits to my simulator flying which aren't imposed by the game.

For example, on the F-4C you can jettison the centerline 600 gallon fuel tank if it's got less than 60 gallons in it.  You can jettison it if there's more than 450 gallons in it.  You cannot jettison it if there's between 60 and 450 gallons remaining.

I also learned that there are two different models of centerline tanks.  McDonnell's can be carried at any airspeed the airframe can take.  Royal Jet's is limited to 600 knots indicated airspeed or mach 1.8.

The manual also answers a question about loadouts I'd had before.

The 370 gallon wing tanks are more limited in airspeed and g than the McDonnell centerline.  The USMC and Navy preferred the centerline tank to two wing tanks because of this.  Interestingly, the USAF F-4C had stability problems with the centerline tank that didn't seem to be present with the 85% similar F-4B.

I am starting to wonder if the USAF invested heavily in the Royal Jet tank and the USN in the McDonnell.  Have to find contracts for that information and that requires an IV drip of energy drink while chewing a teabag.

Operator Hotline

24 February 2015


Tam Posts

Gun laws may now be as lax as they have ever been in my lifetime.

Being a December baby I just missed being able to mail order a Solothurn from my crib.  Oddly, I had the money from the baby shower...

However, even if the gun laws have never been more lax in my lifetime, I don't really have to look back all that far to see that they aren't as lax as they've ever been.

Prior to 1968, to order that Star Modelo B I would have just mailed them the check and they'd have mailed me the gun.  Today I have to use an FFL and a common carrier.  The only reason that I could have it shipped straight to me is that I am an FFL and it was a Curio and Relic eligible gun.

I collect .25 ACP pistols.  This sort of gun has never really been much made inside the US.  There were many designs from several nations all importing their wares into the US market until 1968.  Many of those pistols remained in production for decades more.

Did you know about the Glock 25 and 28?  Not sporting enough for importation.

However gun laws STILL aren't as lax as they've ever been in my life, I can also remember when you could get complete parts kits from overseas for any number of military arms less the serialed receiver.  You didn't need to worry about how many parts were foreign made as long as it wasn't an NFA item of some kind when you were done and that your receiver was US made.

I can remember when you could take that parts kit and make yourself a genuine selective fire gun from them.

Until I moved to Florida, the gun laws were heading basically one direction with just the occasional holding action but never a reversal.  And moving to Florida was merely going someplace the ratchet hadn't advanced as far as Iowa.

FOPA was the only reduction in Federal gun control in my lifetime for about two thirds of it.  Although I can't readily think of a single repeal of any Federal gun law outside of FOPA.  AWB expired and I'm pretty sure that if it hadn't had a sunset clause it would still be law today.

But...  The states have been reducing gun control in leap and bounds in the past ten years.  The courts are ruling, in our favor and using the standard model for the second amendment while also generally applying strict scrutiny.  That's a huge positive!

I have hope that by the time I die there will be considerably laxer gun laws in this nation, I even have hope I will live to enjoy it.

Inside A Star

Star B that is...

The B is often referred to as a 1911 derivative, but there's not much similarity under the skin except for the way the barrel locks and how to field strip it.

They use different styles of extractors.  The Star is external.

The firing pin is retained by a pin that goes up through the slide, under the rear sight.  There's no firing pin stop to remove at the back of the slide.  Should you ever need to access the firing pin, you've got to drift out the rear sight to remove the pin.

On the frame, most people notice there's no grip safety and that the thumb safety can be engaged with the hammer down.  Many also notice that the mainspring housing is integral to the frame and not a separate part.

The trigger mechanism isn't the same either, I took some pictures of it.

The trigger pivots on the pin near the scallop in the upper right, that pushes the dog-legged trigger bar to the rear...

Which presses agains the sear (pointer), which releases the hammer and the gun weapon pistol goes "bang"...

The gun cycles like a typical 1911 so I'll skip that.  The next difference is the disconnector (pointer); when in battery the place the pointer is pointing sits in a recess in the slide...

When the slide moves to the rear, it pushes the disconnector down and that presses the trigger bar out of alignment with the sear.

Once the slide is back in battery, releasing the trigger pushes the disconnector back up into its recess and the trigger bar clicks back into alignment with the sear.

This trigger mechanism is much easier to make than what's in the 1911, which is likely why Star went with it.  In many ways it's a better trigger than what many modern 1911's end up with too.  This example breaks cleanly without any creep at all.  I've still to borrow Marv's trigger scale.

22 February 2015

I Think Your Bias Is Showing

I'm watching a show where a lead character was just revealed to be gay.

The plot of the series is a little convoluted so I was trying to see if something that was mentioned earlier tied into that reveal.

I didn't get definitive confirmation on the plot point but I did find someone who was reviewing the show.

Did you know that the show had nothing worth watching until the reveal of a gay character?

I didn't realize that I wasn't enjoying the story, characters and plot until this last episode because there wasn't a homosexual male lead character.  Wait... I was enjoying this show before this!

I am still enjoying it, actually.  They did the reveal well and it made several things from the first season go click-clunk.  It's a period piece and they handled the situation in a manner consistent with the characters and the period too.  Not bad!

But to base your enjoyment entirely on there being a gay male character is alien to me.

21 February 2015

Maybe It Was Better

I remember a show called "Civil War Diaries" where famous actors read letters and journal entries from selected Civil War soldiers.  They were presented with just enough history lecture to give the letters context.

The troops writing these letters were predominately educated in one-room school houses that were funded locally.

These letters show excellent sentence structure, spelling and grammar.  The "selected" portion of the show was picking letters with poetic content or where the troop had something to say that underscored the history lecture.

I've seen web pages where tests from this era are put online to see if we modern folk can pass them.  After you get done taking it and saying, "shit, that was hard!" you see that it's a fourth grade test on the topic.  "But I went to college before I learned most of this," you meekly whimper...

Now we pour vast amounts of Federal money into education, orders of magnitude more (and that's accounting for inflation!) than the one-room model had available, and we're getting almost literally nothing out of it.

Need to see confirmation?

Go no further than any internet forum.  But you needn't go that far, most of us have "that friend" who still sends text messages from a smart phone that look like, "luv u 2 b bak l8r"...  I remember when that short-hand was developed, it was when the length of a text message was truncated so far as to make the limit on Twitter seem like War and Peace.  Plus text messages weren't free then, you paid a nickel each!

20 February 2015

Opportunity Cost

I deeply regret my decision to buy tires for The Precious instead of this...


Here's a link to the vendor.  If you need bones or a dead animal encased in acrylic, they have what you want!

ARts And Crafts

Took my shattered remnants of the M16A1 lower receivers and made a key fob.

The 9,xxx,xxx serials supposedly indicate they were destined to be military assistance.  These rifles probably were never issued and were likely destroyed for a lack of customers.

You can't expect law enforcement to pay for a rifle when they can nab an ex-Army one for free.  The A1 isn't stylish enough to market at foreign customers and The Hughes Amendment to the FOPA eliminates nearly all domestic interest...

What's left but to scrap them?

The saddest part is the entire gun was likely tossed into the shredder whole.  There are people who will pay good money for those retro parts, and our government policy is to shun that money.

UPS Truck Is A DeLorean

The oddities of the international date line and time zones make real time tracking give strange results sometimes.

Quote Of The Day

Just like we can't drill our way to lower energy prices and energy independence, we can't kill our way to victory. I guess next it will be we cannot eat our way to obesity.

19 February 2015

Look What I Just Bought!

Found an ad online, sent them the money and they shipped it right out!

M855 Letter

First, M855 and other SS109 variants aren't armor piercing ammunition by bullet construction under 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17) (B) (i) because the bullet core is not constructed entirely of steel. It is lead and steel.
Second, it's not covered by 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17) (B) (ii) because it is literally .22 caliber not larger; also the jacket does not consist of 25% of the total projectile weight.
Third, target shooting is sporting purpose and a change in the legal status of this ammunition creates an undue burden on the private citizen by eliminating a large supply chain of readily affordable ammunition.
Fourth, this ammunition is in "common use", (see Heller vs DC for definitions) and as the courts continue to expand on the meaning of that term it will expose this reclassification as a waste of taxpayer money and agency effort.
Fifth, because this ammunition is in widespread common use, if there were a marked tendency for it to be used against the police or for other nefarious purposes, there would be abundant stories and cases to cite pointing to the misuse of it.
Thank you for your time.
Angus McThagSuncoast, FL
This is my second attempt to send this.  The email address for ATF appears to be bad.

Out Of The Thirty Aught Six Business

I decided that I wanted tires for The Precious more than I wanted a Garand.

Turns out that Willard wanted a Garand more than he wanted an unspecified here sum of cash.

Rational self interest on the part of both parties yields an agreeable transaction on all sides.

I enjoyed my time with the M1, but truth be told it went to the range far more often as a "you've never fired a Garand?" than as a "I want to take out MY Garand and go shooting."

I like my FAL a lot better for a .30 caliber battle rifle.

Minding Our P's and Q's

I lost the link, but...

I read a nice article about wondering if it was our business to fix things in the middle east anyway.

It also indicated that are several parties who want us to rearrange things to their liking so they don't have to get their skirts wet.

First of, I think we do need to fix this shit with ISIS.

Second I think that when we do, we should do it without regard to the interests of others except as the coincide exactly with ours.

It's time for America to look out for America and Americans.

16 February 2015

That Can't Be Good

Went to have the tires on The Precious balanced since they were messing around with the tire pressure sensors and had the wheels off anyway.

The left front went on the dynamic balancing machine...



Dude!  I drove down to the shop on that thing!

New front tires are on order.  No money for rears, which are likely in just as bad a shape and like all things Corvette, they are fiendishly expensive.

On A Hot Summer Night

Would you offer you throat to the wolf with the red roses?


Colt's Patent Firearms...

Have they had a completely original in-house design since Sam Colt passed on?

It doesn't seem like it when you see they shopped Browning heavily, hit both Star and Astra up pretty hard plus Stoner y Sullivan de Fairchild.

Compounded that they were the makers of Thompsons and many many outside machinegun designs (and Browning surfaces here again).

15 February 2015


Do you think your Colt Mustang or SIG P238 are tiny M1911s?

While playing around I noticed that the have a lot more in common with Star than they do with Colt.

Pivoting trigger, no grip safety, manual safety that can be engaged with the hammer down...

The Ballester Molina has a similar relationship to the Star.

Tam induced update.

Hey look, I'm the last person to notice!

Alternative States

Since we're probably going to have a panic run on 5.56x45mm ammo here, what's the state of the alternate AR calibers?

6.8x43mm SPC: 15 loadings listed from 6 makers. 7 available from 4.

6.5 Grendel: 5 loadings listed from 2 makers. 3 available from 2.

.300 AAC Blackout: 12 loadings listed from 10 makers. 12 available from 9.

.300 Whisper: 3 loadings from 2 makers. None available.

.30 Remington AR: 4 loadings from 1 maker: 3 available.

None of the alternates got more variety since last time.  All of them are more in stock now though.  The lack of variety in the loads could very well be due to the market deciding what they want to see, especially since the "same" load from two different makers is counted as two loadings here.

Ammo Ban

While we're writing comments in a vain hope to head off the ATF...

Have our comments ever changed what they've planned on doing even once?

All of this goes away if we could get a different, smaller, group to just eliminate the regulatory jurisdiction from the agency in question.

Congress could pass a law exempting M855 tomorrow.

It's their fault that BATFE has any authority at all in this matter.

It's OUR fault that Congress does nothing about it.  Collective our.  I am sure every one of my readers gets out there and votes and votes for liberty expanding candidates...

The thing is the loyal opposition isn't pro-gun for the most part.  They are merely not anti-gun.  I think we've got a bit of Stockholm Syndrome going on here sometimes.

The thing about M855 is that it really is armor piercing ammo according to 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17) (B) (i) because it has a steel core in it.  It's actually a miracle that we got an ATF ruling exempting it in the first place.  Ooops, I was right the first time.  The steel core isn't the entire core, so it doesn't meet the AP construction standard in the law, which means the exemption was applied erroneously in the first place.

What needs to change is the law.  That means someone in Congress has to actually introduce such changes to the floor.  Something that's been conspicuously lacking from the loyal opposition for a long damn time.

On the "plus" side of the coin is that with both the US Army and USMC going to "green" projectiles from green-tip projectiles...  Production of M855 was going to stop soon anyways.  Just look at the ready supply of .30-06 M2 AP...

There is even less doubt that M855A1 is an AP round with its entire composition being steel or copper alloy.

And judging a round AP based on composition is stupid.  .50 BMG M2 ball is a lead core FMJ, and it's going to punch thicker armor than even the most exotic 5.56 round made.  Changing the composition of the bullet makes it armor piercing compared to ball ammunition of the same type.  And even then not by much depending on the composition and thickness of the armor.

Finished Finishing



Flax Juice

Still wet from the second coat for the Star.  I decided that the Ruger needed some TLC too.

Coat three for the Star and coat two for the Ruger.  The Star stocks are getting noticeably darker.


From reading Book of Faces...

There are people who think that the ammo makers are the chief beneficiaries of a ban on M855.


So having a huge mound of bullets they cannot sell is a benefit to them?

Check the wiring in your headgear Troubleshooter.

The reason that M855 is cheap is that it's failed some check from milspec someplace along the line.  Most often it's a minor cosmetic issue, next most common is not making the very tight window for velocity.

That shit-cans the entire lot of ammo for the manufacturer and being able to sell it to the general public means they can, at least, break even on the costs sunk into the rejected lot.

If they cannot sell it to us, then they lose the money that went into making it because no component of a rejected lot may be used to fill any mil order.

14 February 2015

Time To Write To ATF Again

Three methods of contact are listed here.

I used email.

Put a hurry on it since they've only given until the 15th of March for comments.  Remember when they had to give 90 days?

State your opposition to them changing the classification of 5.56x45mm M855 to "armor piercing handgun ammunition," and that you feel that not only does the target shooting you do recreationally with your rifle constitute legitimate sporting purpose and that you would be unduly burdened by the reclassification of this presently cheap and readily available ammunition.

Be polite, don't cuss.

It's irksome that we have to keep reminding our government that sporting is not a synonym of hunting.

It's especially irksome that 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17) defines armor piercing ammo...

(A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm.
(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.
(C) The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.

M855 has lead in it, so it's not AP under 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17) (B) (i).  Its jacket is not more than 25% of the weight of projectile so it's not AP under 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17) (B) (ii).  It is also EXACTLY .22 caliber so, again, not AP under 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(17) (B) (ii).

You may notice not a mention of rimfire or total projectile weights in the laws about AP, which means that ATF is really going out on their own for pure political purposes.


The replacement stocks for the Star B are, as I mentioned, dry as a bone.

I went to Home Depot and bought a quart of boiled linseed oil.

Before applying any oil.
A light base coat applied and doing the ten minute soak.
Excess wiped off and sitting for the overnight dry.
Linseed oil smells familiar.  I can't remember where I've smelled it before, but the memories are saying I have without telling me where.  I don't do woodworking, and nobody in my family really does either.  Strange.

Linseed oil is something of a mythical substance to me because we had many manuals about the care of the pioneer tools for the tank that specified using linseed oil to protect the wood, but I never once saw a can while I was in the Army.

12 February 2015

Not Near So Bad As Feared

The dead Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensor on The Precious is a mere $20 for a local speed shop to do an RnR with my $40 part.

Considering the local non-specialty shops want at least $60 for the RnR plus force me to spend $60+ on the same sensor.  Many are much more too.

Still, this is a gewgaw I'd rather not be so intertwined with the operation of the car.  Required by law because some idiots couldn't handle a blow-out in their SUV.

11 February 2015

Least Evil

But still evil...

I think the best (attainable) composition for our triumvirate gubmint is for there to be a strong Republican majority in both houses of Congress and a Democrat president.

A Dem Prez will veto the shit out of things and very little will get done.

Reversing the parties is essentially the same as giving both branches to the Democrats.

Giving both branches to the Republicans is as bad in a different way.

I'd much rather there be a non-evil choice, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it to appear.

10 February 2015

Found It

My 1957 vintage Ruger Standard had an oddity when I got it.

The magazine would forcefully eject when you rotated the heel-catch.

It's not supposed to.

I found the reason for this to be the sear spring being backwards and intruding into the magazine well.

So I turned the spring around and put the long leg under the pin it's supposed to bear against behind the wall of the magazine well.

That created a braaaaaap noise next time I went to the range.

Uh oh.

Took it apart and put the spring's long leg back inside the magazine well, but with the spring oriented correctly so it was out of the path of the magazine (which put enough force on the sear to actually stop the hammer); and made note that I needed a new spring.

Numrich has listed them as out of stock for a long time and Ruger denied they still have or make parts for it, while also offering to let me send it in for repair at some unspecified and unguaranteed price.

Well, just the other day, Numrich got the springs back in.

New spring on top.  The short leg pushes against the sear counter-clockwise, which pushes the long leg clockwise against a pin set in the grip behind the magazine well.
Can you see the difference?  The old spring would put enough pressure on the sear, when installed correctly, to appear to function while hand cycling and dry firing.  The more dynamic environment of live firing though, it didn't have enough to keep the sear from bouncing from under the hammer and letting the pistol run away.

What a bother!

09 February 2015

Star Bonifacio Echeverria SA Pistola Modelo B

1945 Made Star Model B in 9x19mm P.08.

Clearly inspired by the M1911A1, but very different in many ways under the surface.  The lockwork is entirely dissimilar and the mainspring housing is fixed to the frame.  The changes are not necessarily bad, but their main purpose was to make it easier and cheaper to manufacture.

Plus the warm-fuzzy of having a handgun delivered straight to my door without so much as a by-your-leave from the government aside from a very inexpensive slip of paper with some numbers and my name on it.  Yes, Senator Gungrabstein, I ordered this gun from the internet; but thanks to the miracle of a C&R FFL it's perfectly legal.

The stocks shown above are not what it came with, the diamond and checker styles were beat hard and compressed so much under the screws that the tips of them kept the magazine from dropping free.

Note the crack!

Parts are kind of thin on the ground, so once something breaks, it's likely to stay broken.

None of the aforementioned departures from John Moses Browning's (PBUH) design seem to have affected how it works.  About the only negative is the hammer bites me.  Par for the course.

24 rounds, 7 yards.

Star is a little inconsistent with the number of points to their logo, I've seen six, seven and eight points.

Star supplied a lot of Model B's to NSDAP Germany from '42 to '44.  The Star logo most often has an eight point star.  Most Model B's I've seen have a six pointed star...  Oh, Irony, we meet again.  I wonder if this was a Dig on the National Socialists or coincidence.

05 February 2015


Why are so many things the way they are?

Why do the anti-immunization people get even a moment of consideration?

Because they grew up and have lived their whole lives living where those diseases, which killed more people annually than pretty much anything we deliberately do to each other now, no longer killed anyone thanks to immunization.

My mother in law has a bit of a gimpy foot from polio.

We seem to have forgotten, or have never learned, how many diseases there were (are) that can kill you dead in a very short span, and really don't have a cure once you've caught it.

Immunization through vaccination keeps you from catching it in the first place because you're given an antibody transplant from one of the rare survivors.  That's not the precise methodology, of course, anymore.

The people opposed to immunizations are pining for the days where diptheria killed 14,000 people a year.  Where smallpox killed 400,000 people every fucking year in Europe.

Before immunization, measles infected three to four million people a year in the US.  The death rate of about 0.2% translates to 7,000 people a year dead.  Since immunization the infection rate is down 75%.

The anti-immunization people are actually being protected by a shield provided by those who did get their artificial immunity.  If patient zero only encounters people who've been vaccinated, they never infect anyone and the disease dies when the patient either dies or recovers (and stops being a carrier).

But if they encounter people who aren't immune, they become infected and pass it on.

Right now, there're enough people who are immunized that the likelihood of one of these diseases spreading is low.  Decreasing the number of immunized people increases the chance of the disease gaining critical community size.

04 February 2015

But I Don't Think That's What You Meant

Found a little gun shop near another I go to about twice a year.

The woman working the counter is, um, healthy.

And dressed for warmer weather.

Such a sales person should not greet customers with, "Can I show you anything?"

I Need To Rethink My Day

It turns out that killing everyone in an ever expanding spiral of destruction is not only immoral, but illegal.

Glad I checked.

Before someone thinks that raping and pillaging are OK...  I checked those too.  Immoral and illegal.

It does explain the scarcity of Vikings hereabouts.

03 February 2015

Old Movie And Its Remake


Do I go with the original Bogart or the remake's Ford?

Both versions have their charms, I can't really say which is actually better.

I like Bogart's Linus Larrabee better than Ford's; but I like Kinnear's David better than Holden's.

The leading lady in the remake is weaker, but only just, and she's presented in a more plausible arc than Hepburn's.

Prolly end up with them both eventually.

Troubled Service Rifle

Much has been recently written about the M14 and it's troubles.

The timing of the trouble and the availability of the, recently adopted by the USAF, M16 caused Robert SPIT MacNamara to put his shoulder to replacing the problematic M14 rather than putting the effort into fixing it.

Congress was agitating at the same time and wanted heads to roll over the fiasco.

Heads did indeed roll and when the dust had settled, the M14 was replaced with the M16A1 and The Springfield National Armory was shuttered.

Without that congressional agitation, it's likely we would have seen an M14A2 or some such with some further rationalization towards making it easier to manufacture and/or the problems with QC effectively addressed along with changes made to fix deficiencies discovered in the field.

If Armalite had not successfully courted General LeMay, the gun that replaced the M14 could very likely have been an inch pattern FAL.  H&R and High Standard had already shown they could make them (which is funny since H&R had a lot of trouble making M14s), and FN was very effective about getting licensed manufacturers past the initial start-up.

Woulda coulda shoulda...

But Springfield dug its heels in on the M14 and fought every attempt to find the cause of the quality problems, let alone get to fixing them; besides it doesn't matter because SPIW is going to be replacing everything Real-Soon-Now®.

Honestly, nobody should have been surprised that the M14 had some failings.  I am not sure we've ever had a service rifle introduction that went smoothly.  The vaunted M1 Garand did not enter WW2 as originally type classified.  The changes made during the war are nearly legion, to the point that they marked the revision number on the parts.

The M14 was a fairly young weapon when things started going all wrong, it's not certain that all of its problems are inherent in the design.  The M16 was barely out of prototype when it started full rate production as the XM16E1 and received wide issue to troops in the field.

It should be noted that the M16A1 known to the retro heads as a "late R603" had been truly sorted out; just in time for the end of our involvement in Vietnam.

Why was the effort expended to fix the M16 where it wasn't with the M14?  Because Colt and Armalite were responsive to fixing the problems and in several cases proactive about suggesting fixes.  A couple of those fixes were resisted strongly by the Army because of logistics issues, by the way, like the extractor spring.

Had Colt decided to stonewall, we'd likely have Rifle .30 Caliber M17 aka FAL and H&R would probably be a bloated defense contractor...

Module Swap Timeline

Say you wanna swap one module for another in one of your cutters in your Broadsword Mercenary Cruiser.

If the module and cutter are on the same side...

Exit the well.  Five minutes.
Drop the module on the cutter.  Two minutes.
Enter the well.  Five minutes.
Grab the module from its bay.  Two minutes.
Exit the well, again.  Five minutes.
Drop the module you just pulled from storage.  Two minutes.
Recover the first module.  Five minutes.
Enter the well, again.  Five minutes.
Transfer the module to storage.  Two minutes.
Exit the well, last time I promise.  Five minutes.
Recover the second module.  Five minutes.
Put the cutter away.  Five minutes.

48 minutes total.

Grabbing the module from opposite side storage means you have to get the other cutter out of the way, but that can happen at the same time as undocking the first cutter and will be done before you get the first module dropped.

It's a chore.

02 February 2015

BTR-152 Drill

Take three head sized targets.

Place them about 4 yards away and about two feet apart.

With one hand holding the table or lane divider, fire at each target in turn (order doesn't matter, but L to R is traditional).

Hits are hits, misses are misses, keep trying until you get three.

Combat tested, Willard approved practical skills test.

When you say, "damn, that's not very hard," well...  Sometimes it isn't very hard in the real world.

Low Bar

Dear smart gun manufacturers.

You have to at least be as accurate...

Six shots, five yards.

and as reliable as...

... a Jennings J-22.  A pistol famed for being unreliable, and this example fired fifty rounds without a single failure today and gave honest, reliable groupings.

Willards Bearing Gifts

Hex receiver Mosin-Nagant M-1891/30.

The stock is missing some laquer, the bore is counterbored, but it's not bad overall.  No rust under the stock from when I had it apart to fix the trigger pin.

How can it be a 1922 gun when the 91/30 didn't happen until 1930 you might ask?  Well, the Soviet Union reworked lots and lots of longer M-1891's to the new standard.

The barrel is a 1922 Izhevsk.  The receiver is Chatellerault, which means it was made between 1892 and 1896.  Technically, this is not a firearm!  This is also my oldest Mosin part, the 1899 receiver on the Finn M39 being next oldest.

Edit to add: numbers matching bayonet!

By The Way

Happy Black History Month!

01 February 2015

Right Thing

Something just clicked with me about the anti-gun side.

Thanks to Weer'd's post of one of their ads.

They don't care about what means leads to their end and that end justifies any means they can manage to bring to bear.

If they were opposed to racially motivated violence they'd be OK with genocide because if there was only one race, there'd be no racially motivated violence anymore.