30 September 2018

I Outlived It

When I started accumulating tools for all my various wrenching adventures, I tended to get Craftsman from Sears.

In Ames, at the time, that was the only choice for decent tools.

Everyone else sold crappy tools.

It was kind of sad.

But, for the money, it was hard to beat Craftsman without flagging down the much more expensive Snap-On truck.

I'd always say that even though Snap-On made a better tool, the cheaper Craftsman had the same warranty... lifetime.

Apparently, I outlived a lifetime.

That warranty hasn't been worth the trip to Sears in a long time.  Dammit!

I will admit, I've only rarely needed to avail myself of it.  Only one or two things have ever actually broken.

Looks like we're going to Lowe's for cheap lifetime warranty tools now...

But Oh So Similar

Each generation of PMAG uses a different dust cover.

They are not compatible.

29 September 2018

Preliminary PMAG Comparison

L -> R

PMAG 30 retroactively called "Gen 1"
PMAG 30 Rev-M
PMAG 30 Gen M2 MOE
PMAG 30 Gen M3

The Gen 1, Rev-M and Gen M3 shipped with dust/impact covers; the Gen M2 MOE does not.

The Rev-M and Gen M2 are identical, except for markings.  Both have provision to store the dust cover on the base.

More to come!  It's 96˚ in the garage where the light is best for taking pics...

28 September 2018

Marked Mags

FuzzyGeff's meager collection of magazines I'm storing for him.

The old, battered, USGI mags have new springs and Gen 2 Magpul followers.  I expect them to slowly be supplanted by PMAGs as he shifts his collection.

I decided to mark them to better keep track of them.


Hot off the presses!

No word on if they're demanding a different color from the Marine's medium coyote tan.

At present there's four NSN's for Gen M3 PMAGs.

1005-01-628-5106 for a black 30-round, no-window.
1005-01-615-5169 for a black 30-round, windowed.
1005-01-659-7086 for a medium coyote tan 30-round, windowed.
1005-01-591-8124 for a black or olive drab 40-round, no-window.

Remove And Replace

The new exhaust control solenoid arrived today.

Not much to look at is it?

Except for being dirty, you'd never be able to tell it'd failed.

The solenoid operates a normally open valve.  When there's no power to the solenoid, the valve opens and lets the vacuum "escape".  When it's energized, it pops the valve closed and allows engine vacuum to pull the exhaust butterflies closed.  It's about as simple as you can make an electro-mechanical device.

A solenoid is as simple as you can make such a thing, and they fail.  Lord knows how many started solenoids I've had to replace over the years.

Working through the holes where the taillights resided...

I swear it would hurt less if it was bleeding.

RavenClawEric Speaks

At long last, there may be light at the end of this tunnel.  You have no idea how sick I am of this nonsense, and I know for a fact that when Ruth Bader Ginsberg falls off the twig, it'll start right straight up again.  Frankly, I've seen better-looking corpses than her, the way she looks these days.  Not that she was ever an oil painting, or that I have any room to point fingers.

Ever since bloody 1973, the Supreme Court has been the captive of the Roe vs. Wade decision.  I remember carrying papers to my customers that announced that decision, and figuring that that had been decided, once and for all.  I was wrong---I've seldom been wronger---but in my own defense, I was only 12 at the time.  Ever after that, every nomination to the Supreme Court has had to go through an endless fuss where everybody knows that Roe vs. Wade is the big issue at hand, but almost nobody has the cojones to say it.

I think part of the reason that liberals are so fanatical about defending Roe vs. Wade is because almost all their big gains were not gained by appealing to a majority of voters, but by court decisions.  They're afraid that if Roe vs. Wade is overturned, we'll be headed on a toboggan straight back to the 1950s.  They also cannot understand that overriding the wills of a majority of voters, not once in a while or for extreme emergencies (like getting rid of Jim Crow), but as SOP, creates doubt in the voters' minds about the democracy we supposedly espouse.  

I've made myself thoroughly unpopular by telling some liberal friends of mine that if they're so worried about the right to an abortion they should grow up, put on the big boy/girl pants, and get buckled down on passing a Constitutional amendment mandating that abortion be legal, no ifs, ands, or buts.  Of course, that would mean work, and we all know how pampered urban liberals feel about work...much less about getting out and talking with people outside their safe little bubble worlds.

And I've said the same thing, in reverse, to my fanatically anti-abortion friends (and yes, I do have some.)  I've pointed out that most Americans don't oppose abortion per se, but would prefer that it remain rare, and that if they're so madly gung-ho about not "killing babies", as opposed to punishing women for having s-x, maybe they should be pushing birth control with all their might along with getting stuck in on a Constitutional amendment banning abortions.  The way they shriek and clutch their pearls at the forbidden words "birth control" confirms my suspicion that the conservative movement picked up this nonsense partly from hanging with the Catholics, and partly from their own philosophical, and in some ways physical, descent from the people who were never really on board with the social changes that started with World War One.  I've met conservatives who would be blissfully happy if they could make everything like it was at about 1900---like that ultra-lame Spider-Woman villain, Turner D. Century.

It's Enough To Give One Agida

I ordered a Gen 1 PMAG from someone on Gunbroker.

I win the auction with the buy-it-now on the 19th.

I mailed (first class) the USPS Money Order on the 20th, marking "payment sent".

That means the seller got my money on the 24th, 25th at the latest.

He didn't mark "payment received" so today I fired off a "where we sitting with this?" message.

His reply?

A tracking number for a label printed today.

Contrast this with The Mad Irishman...

He sold me a PMAG and had it in the mail the day after he got payment.

What's got me upset about THIS mag is USPS appears to have lost it.  It arrived at the departure hub the evening it was sent and has never left according to the tracking.  Update: Mad Irishman's mag has been scanned in Jacksonville.

On the positive side, my solenoid appears to out for delivery a day early.

So Glaring

It just hit me...

Since abortion is the only thing that appears to matter to The Left when it comes to selecting candidates for The Supreme Court...

Isn't it odd that there's not a single jurist whom would rule pro-choice who seems to follow The Constitution?

In intel we called this an indicator.

We'd have found them by now if they existed.

27 September 2018

Portuguese Loadout

Pic by Velken on Arfcom.

Willard needs this web gear!  It starts with a BAR belt...

McThags WIth Freaking Lasers

Is there a topic more divisive to gun owners than open carry?

Miguel had to shut off comments on this topic.

I admit to not reading the post in question.

I'll toss my opinion on OC out here anyways.

People aren't going to get used to seeing openly armed people until they are seeing openly armed people.  There's more than a couple parallels to getting used to seeing openly gay people.

Open carry would be tons more comfortable than concealed carry here in God's Waiting Room.  The high temperature of His waiting room makes you think He's trying to tell those waiting that they're going someplace warmer...

I want OC as an option because I'm generally rebellious and THEY say I can't.

In line with the comfort equation I'd like to coin the term Semi-Concealed or Semi-Open Carry.

This would be your gun openly carried, but shrouded.  Like with a tee-shirt draped over your outside the waistband holster; but without the worry of the shirt riding up and then exposing your gun.

Also with regards to people seeing openly carried guns and freaking out...  The Chili's closest to here often has about 15 plain-clothes cops who meet for lunch about once a month.  They're all openly carrying, and none of them is openly badged.  Nobody raises a ruckus.  Me thinks that people either really don't notice or that they genuinely don't care.

I Have A Spare Bolt...

My enthusiasm for 6.8 SPC is waning.

Not so much to get rid of it altogether, but it's competing with my urge for completeness.

I have clones of the M16, M16A1, and M16A2 but no M16A4...

Palmetto sells a dandy A4 upper without a bolt carrier group and charging handle for under $200.

Take my spare bolt, add it to one of the 6.8's bolt carriers toss the 6.8 upper in the parts bin and voila!  M16A4 clone!

It's either that or convince Willard to just GIVE me his M16A4 clone.

He doesn't even LIKE AR's!  Plus he only ended up with the A4 because it brought the price of another gun down some.

He's going to make it up in volume, honest.


I've wrestled with shutting the comments down here from time to time.

Occasionally it's just a bother, especially when someone is grossly off topic or latches onto something in a post tangentially and runs with it.

I always come down on leaving them running, and am even considering opening it to non-google ID commenters, because feedback is important.

I've noticed, more than once, that once a blog gets a certain size and achieves a following that comments tend to get shut down.

Then the quality of the blog inevitably drops.

There's a term for what happened.


The blogger will have made friends and associates through the comments-allowed period of their blog and they will follow the blogger to other social media outlets.  If the blogger is big enough to rate a Cool-Kid® status, they're damn sure not going to screw up their chance to rub elbows with fame and uh... it's not fortune.

The writers get ever more isolated from the actual market, the readers.
After enough of this group-think isolation without feedback from the real world...  Causal relationships invert and carts push horses about.

I find the trend depressing.

Even more depressing is being the first canary in the mine to die and notice that the blogger we once enjoyed is no longer worth reading, even for free.

In many ways a Cool-Kid® is a form of Dancing Monkey.  While they're dancing to the proper tune, it's enjoyable.  When they go off script or leave their area of expertise or venture an opinion their circle of group-think friends have convinced them is representative of reality... well, I can change the channel, can't I?

It's irritating, in a couple of cases, where they keep getting linked and I don't want to read them anymore.  So I don't click the link most of the time.  Occasionally I do, and sometimes the linking site has comments enabled...  It's reassuring to see that one was merely one the first people to notice the author is no longer in touch with the hows and whys of the people reading their work. 

PS: What's even more sad is you, the reader, might be thinking of a specific blogger when I say all this.  While some are more recent than others, this isn't about A blogger.  This pattern repeats, this refers to several bloggers.  What might be interesting is to see if any of them get defensive about it.

26 September 2018

Just One

With The Mad Irishman's pre-M PMAG showing up sometime tomorrow or Friday, it occurred to me that I didn't have a Rev M2 MOE in black for the comparison I want to do.

So I ran down to the local death merchant gun store and grabbed one.

On sale too!  $10.99 plus tax marked down from their normal $14.99.  Yes, buying local carries a higher fare.

The counter guy asked, "just the one?"

"Yup," I replied, "Just need one for what I'm doing."

"Is this a scavenger hunt or something?"

"Sort of!"


Cannon type guns!

Destin just has entirely too much fun with this.

Way Back When

Once upon a time...

I remember when I could dial my music player on the computer to random and marvel at how I liked every single song.

This was back when Napster was still a thing.

I had other friends marvel at this phenomenon as well as they populated their iPods.

I figured it out the other day.

It's because the first music you put on your computer or iPod is your favorite stuff.  When hard drives were much smaller, you put the songs you liked off the album instead of the whole album when you ripped the CD; so initially the only music on your device was only the stuff you liked!

Now there's 40gb of everything you've ever owned, and your family's stuff too and random doesn't hit a good song any more often than listening to the radio.

Florida Ballot Initiative

Constitutional Ballot Amendment Guide for 2018.

Broken Links

I try to fix the broken links as I find them.

Chris Bartocci did a great video on his experiences with all the various AR-15 magazines available at the time.

YouTube killed off his channel because Evol Ghuns!

He's been putting his stuff up at Full30, so I've re-embedded the vid to this post.

If you find a dead link, make a comment!  The blog management page lets me see comments sorted by most recent, so commenting in an old post will be seen.

25 September 2018

Optional Wrenching

When I ordered The Precious I selected the optional NPP exhaust.

On a normal 'Vette there's four exhaust tips, but only one hole coming out of each muffler that 'Y's' into two tips.

If you got the NPP you get different mufflers.  The outboard exit goes through the muffler's baffles like normal.  The inboard exit bypasses the baffles.

The inboard tips have a butterfly valve on them that opens at around 3,500 rpm and gains a small amount of horsepower and torque over the normal arrangement.  SIX whole horsepower, in fact.

The butterfly valves are vacuum actuated.  There's a wee little controller box that senses the rpm and opens a switch, which cuts power to a solenoid which removes the vacuum holding the valves in the closed position.  They also open when there's no vacuum signal, but there's a reservoir to keep that from happening every time you hit wide-open-throttle.

You can also bypass the controller with a switch of your own so you get the louder exhaust note at low rpm / high vacuum conditions.


A couple of times when I started the car it was very slow to close the valves, but behaved normally once they had.

The other day, on the way home from Iowa, they decided to open up and stay open.

Assuming it was my switch, I replaced my fuse-tap with a fuse.  No change in function.

I put, my good friend, JT on the task because I was still driving.  He found that the most common failure mode was the solenoid, especially if you get a period of odd behavior prior to the complete failure.

I've ordered the part, but it was quite a fight to find someone who mentioned the part number.

Ease Of Use

I've yet to encounter a table-top RPG that covers the issue of your gear getting in the way of using it.

British Muzzle Loaders has a bit shooting a Lee-Metford where the direction the flap opens keeps closing it while prone, slowing the acquisition of ammo from the pouch.  The canteen also wants to drop down in the way and hold the flap of the pouch closed both standing and prone!

It would take a fair bit of research to uncover issues as shown above, but it's out there.

In GURPS terms it'd be expressed in extra ready actions and penalties to Fast-Draw (Ammunition).

See B S

CBS Executive One: Well, we destroyed Star Trek, what shall we do for an encore?

CBS Executive Two:  Ruin Magnum PI?

CBS EO: Yes!

The DVD's are out there and the original episodes hold up.

Bigger Than AI

Brownell's has indicated that their BRN-10A and BRN-10B have "not quite" surpassed the production numbers of Artillerie Inrichtingen.

That's impressive!

I remember, not so long ago, when hobbiests like me, exceeded Colt's production numbers of R607's and XM177's (all three versions).

Retro is a force!

I Should Run For Office

While I have something of a checkered past, there's nothing really secret about it.

There's no hidden sexual encounters because for entirely too long for my liking there were no sexual encounters.

The worst they can say about my teenage sexual misadventures is that I masturbated.  A lot.

I am reasonable certain that my "partner" in those encounters isn't going to betray me.

I am totally immune to the media making me feel bad about myself.

To make me feel bad about myself you have to top my wife!

Fair warning, she's declared that job to be hers exclusively and will destroy anyone else trying it.

Plus, gun owning voters, you will finally have a candidate that either already owns more guns than you, or at least WANTS to own more guns than you.

The only possible sticking point about Candidate McThag with conservatives would be abortion.  But I think I will plead the 1st on that and maintain that it's not the government's job to get involved with religion.  I'm not the one who made it a religious position, but now that it is... it would have to be extracted from religion before government could consider it.  I have seen several convincing arguments against abortion that if it weren't for some Christian thuggery (and a couple of murders) could be made that would eventually see the practice greatly diminished.

On the same vein, I would vote to end any government funding of abortions under the same religious prohibition on the government.

Under the 1st Amendment, nobody should be forced by the government to pay for something that violates their faith.  Otherwise someone might mount a successful religious objection to paying taxes.  Can't have that!


Fall in Florida...

...when the air conditioning actually shuts off for part of the evening.

...when many migratory, protected, species fly south for the winter.  Species which can be identified by the bright plumage on the back of their cars... New Yorker, Pennsylvanian, Michigander...

...when a school bus will stop traffic across three lanes to wait until someone inside the daycare wakes up and notices it.

...when traffic triples from the protected migratory species winter hunting pattern asserts itself into the local circle of life and the "early bird" is nearly wiped out.

24 September 2018

LIfetime Warranty

Zippo still stands behind their product.

But their web-page is, intentionally I think, very difficult for me to navigate to get to the point of "what do I do to actually send it in?"

I eventually found it, but they don't exactly draw an arrow leading someone who thinks like Harvey or me to it.

Packages go in the mail after allowing sufficient airing time for the innards.

Great Depression 2.0

You might have noticed that starting in 2007 or so there was a pretty bad recession.

One that persisted pretty much until 2016-2017.

It had all the earmarks to get as big and as bad as The Great Depression had been.

What ended The Great Depression was World War 2 coming along and suddenly everyone not even giving lip service to The National Recovery Act and associated policies any more.

Once the war was over, everyone was happy to keep ignoring it and the economic boom of the 1950's is still talked about with some awe.

I've said it many times, and I didn't originate the theory either, that there's damn little a government can do to stimulate the overall economy; but there's absolutely gobs and gobs of things it can do to suppress it.

The FDR administration tried all kinds of things that just made it worse, or prolonged it without making things better.

His death near the end of World War 2 essentially left us free to try someone else at the head and to make a different approach.  Laissez Faire is a good way to express the post-war boom.

Why didn't our second depression get as bad?  Why aren't we still suffering under it?

Another legacy of FDR is The 22nd Amendment.  I think that it finally did what they intended in 1947 and by forcing out the sitting president (whom probably would have been reelected) for new blood allowed a change in policies and getting government out of the way of business and letting the invisible hand do its visible work.

Booze On My Mind

The Bat sent me this eulogy about Robert Cooper.

Why Is The Rum Gone

Because I bought it!

Siesta Key Rum is a local distiller and it's to-die for!

Demand it from your local liquor board.

23 September 2018

Wasn't Me Didn't Do It

Holy FUCK!

What were you saying, Willard, $50 was too much?

What's six times too much?

Far Harder Than It Needed To Be

The translucent panels at the peak of our shed's roof had become so brittle they'd fallen apart.

The let the roof panels slide down from the peak and gave our shed a stylish open-air look.

But since the entire point of a shed is to keep the elements out, I ordered a new set of translucent panels.

They should have just clicked into place like the originals.

They fought tooth and nail.

We ended up having to use a ratchet-strap on each end of the roof panel to draw them up enough to latch in.

Once latched, they're sufficiently strong enough to hold the panels and the spreading walls.

However, the task is done and all is well.  Even got it done before we got our afternoon rains.

22 September 2018

Mother, Jugs And Speed

Mother, Jugs and Speed already used this joke.

AR in AR-10 and AR-15 stands for ARmalite?

F&B Ambulance Company stands for Fish and Bine after the owner, Harry Fishbine.

Twilight: 1950

We did an alternate history of an alternate history once.

What if World War Three had happened in the 1950's?

I had some fun with my players with that one.

The M16 was listed on the weapons tables I'd made.  Chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO.

"BWAH!?" they say, knowing that the M16 is a 5.56 gun.

"Well, you see, Springfield couldn't keep up with production of the M14, so the AR-10 and FAL are adopted as secondary standards as the M16 (AR-10) and M17 (inch FAL).

Remington is whom I gave the M16 contract and H&R got the M17 contract.  Colt was directed to keep making machine guns.

The M16 proved popular with the players because it was much lighter, despite the Malf of 16.

Equality Day

Today is the autumnal equinox.  The first day of autumn.

Strip naked and dance around your henge!

I'll bring the golden sickle if you find the mistletoe!

Broader Shoulders

Chris Bartocci did a video on the same thing I took pictures of:

Thanks to Ratus in comments!  I'd thought we'd lost this video when YouTube nuked Mr Bartocci's account.

We Hope To Confirm

My vacation to Iowa meant that Ian and Karl beat Willard and I to press...

21 September 2018

Speaking Of Gun Nerd Moments!

Knowing that is a Merwin and Hulbert when your friend questions how the character reloaded so quickly... Priceless!

Bone Tomahawk, by the way.


Imagine if George Soros dropped all the money he's been dropping on politics into, say, cancer research.

My mom would be alive.

Fuck you George!

Gun Nerd Moment

You know you're gun nerd when you look to see if the Single Action Army has a firing pin on the hammer.

And that you're happy that the film-maker's property master got a gun with a firing pin for a film set in 1892.


While screaming to the hills for the FBI to step in an investigate some people are forgetting that the FBI doesn't have any jurisdiction to investigate or prosecute anything but Federal crimes.  Federal is right there in the name Federal Bureau of Investigation.

They also appear to be surprised that there are, indeed, crimes which aren't Federal.

Which means that it's up to the state, county and municipal police to investigate and bring charges if warranted.

The FBI is allowed to come in and assist those local agencies at their request.

Guess what has not happened yet?

First off, you're going to be hard pressed to find a local agency who're going to stick their neck out on a 35 year old accusation of "attempted second base".

Especially not when such an accusation is so clearly politically motivated and the criminality is firmly established.

Especially when she discussed this stuff back in 2012 when Mitt Romney looked like he had a slim chance and that Kavanaugh would be his leading candidate for the Supreme Court.

She sat on it for six years only bringing it up to a Democrat Senator when Kavanaugh looked to be getting confirmed to the court.  Senator Feinstein, herself, sat on it until the most dramatic point for the stunning reveal.

If the trauma of her assault is so large in her mind, why did she not file charges as soon as she'd gotten the therapy to the point where she could name her alleged assailant?

Because his name is the only thing that exists in reality is what comes to mind.

No, I do not believe her.

Much Fun Was Had By All

Normal Sleep Pattern

The past three weeks have been strange for me.

I've been tired enough to go to bed and sleep at a time early enough to get enough sleep to easily get up when I'm supposed to.

I've fought a non-24 sleep disorder nearly my whole life and the last two weeks are like it just went away on its own.

It's odd to be normal?

Bedazzler Ring

I do a lot of macro pictures.

I am frustrated getting my subject lit.

Far too often to best angle for the light also means I have a huge shadow from the lens in frame.

They make light rings that fasten to the front of the lens that provide onboard illumination.

Prices range from "what the heck, I'll get two" to "I've bought GOOD cars for less than this!"

I'm definitely in the realm of realizing that I don't know what I don't know about them.

Experiments are doubtlessly going to be coming.

I went through this buying a tripod too.  Buying the cheap one illustrated why I wanted to spend a bit more money when parts started to break and I got to deal with a sloppy head.  <- See what I mean about not knowing what you don't know?  Prior to this I would have thought sloppy head was a good thing!

20 September 2018

USGI Aluminum For $7 Or PMAG For $12

Worth the watch:

How Much Lint?

Pocket carry sure gets a gun full of lint.

So far it hasn't bothered my little P238, I've pulled it out of my pocket at random at the range and shot to slide lock several times without drama.

It just bugs me when I notice it.

I should really give it more cleanings, just for prophylactic's sake.

The Other Bill Ruger Is Dead

Bill Ruger Jr has once again followed in his fathers footsteps and shuffled off the mortal coil.

As we all must, it should be said.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel.  I know I don't have the visceral hatred of him I still harbor for his dad.

Junior tried real hard to continue his father's Fuddier policies and was eventually ousted by the board of directors.

Once he was gone, Sturm-Ruger reversed decades old policies about selling the big magazines and small guns.  That was more than a decade ago.

Rest in peace.

It's A Catch 22

Two things that insure that nobody learns anything in school.

First, paying for the state's schools is not optional.  You pay taxes, you pay for them.  There's no opting out.

Second, the non-state schools have to adhere to a curriculum that's approved by that same state.

To get your kids educated outside the state's schools you have to pay twice, and they end up learning the same stuff anyway.

Common Name

There are lots of guns which are genuine US Property which did not receive an M designation.

Shotguns are a fine example.  They're simply referred to by their commercial names.

We'd call it Commercial Of The Shelf (COTS) today.

Confusing the matter is that it's common to abbreviate 'Model' with an M.

Winchester, for example never made an M70.  They made/make a Model 70.

It's a morass.

Another Victory

For Gun Control!

3 dead.

It was my understanding that Maryland had strict gun control and that this sort of thing is simply impossible once those laws were passed.

Unless the gun grabbers were lying.

Come to think on it, their lips were moving.

Sancho! Another Lance!

Some windmills I tilt at from time to time:

Finding the missing M numbers.  There's lots of them.

Ever notice how the US Service rifles go from M1 to M14 to M16?  Pistols start at M9?  There must be a list someplace, but I've yet to find it.

Finding the missing T numbers, even more than M they're missing.

Locating a pre-Rev M PMAG for a history series.  This one should be simpler than it's turning out to be, but both the original PMAG and the revised Rev M version use the same SKU and UPC and are both referred to as "Gen 1"...  So you can't really sort them out from the shitty pictures on GunBroker.

People don't bother taking pics of the markings for these old things so you're left with guessing.

Now That Is Interesting

I demanded an apology.

Traffic from the offender's site drops to zero.

Nope, that's not petty at all.

Fair cop, I stopped going there too.

Bait And Switch

Got a flyer from the local Ford dealer.

Pulled the tab, scratched off the wax, matched the numbers for the $1,000 gift card!

Poured over the disclaimer looking for the catch.

Could not find it.

Took the flyer into the dealer.

Found the catch.

The tab and scratch numbers don't mean a thing.

There's a serial number printed on the flyer, you have to match THAT number.

Now I know what to look for in the disclaimer.  There's a line about confirming the entry with their list, that's the serial number.

Got a $5 gift card for Target out of the deal though.

19 September 2018

Naught But A Slip

T'day tis the day we speak as pyrites belike!

T'day tis the day yon alphabet begins in ARRRRRRR!

Fifteen men on the dead man's chest—
...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest—
...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

I t'ink Siesta Key will be the rum of choice.

Balanced Budget

Always nice to see that you didn't spend more than you were supposed to on vacation.

Angle Accentuation

The difference in bullet presentation between the older tan-follower USGI and the current EPM is more visible than I was expecting.


When the '94 Assault Weapon Ban hit I was ill prepared.

I'd just ditched my Mini-14 and a huge pile of working USA Brand 30-rounders for a home-built L1A1.

The good news about an inch-pattern FAL is the magazines are useless in a metric gun, so most of the magazine sellers at the gun shows had a couple.

But then I decided I needed 5.56 back in my life.

The Daewoo DR200 seemed to fit the bill.  Affordable, good pedigree, uses M16 mags and the 1:12 rifling wasn't a problem since 55gr FMJ was plentiful.  The only down side was the thumbhole stock.

Did I say "only"?

Finding M16 magazines in 1996 was getting tough.  They were around, but the prices in Iowa were stupid.  Still, I managed to get a stash of about ten and I called it good.

When the AWB was gone and I discovered build-your-own AR-15's I also discovered that only three of my magazines still worked in an AR.  They worked just fine in the DR200, but not in an AR.

Happily, everyone and their brother had brand new USGI style AR magazines for sale, so no problem.

But I'm a tinkerer.

The problem magazines were all ancient black-follower USGI mags.  Several were literally ex-GI because I got them from a friend who was "disposing" them from his Guard unit.

They fed fine until the last three rounds where the follower stopped raising their little noses past the top of the magazine.

I'd been reading about Magpul's self-leveling follower and the Army's battle with tilt; so I ordered a 3-pack and new springs.

Suddenly I had three functioning magazines.  So I ordered more followers and springs.

I even started ordering new magazines with the Magpul followers already installed.

I strongly suspect it was the springs and not the followers, but better safe than sorry.

Magazine Hoarding

Those of us whose gun-owning life straddles the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban have an... attitude about normal capacity magazines.

We accumulate them.

Lots of them.

We never ask, "do I need more?" because the answer is burned into our souls now.

YES! Buy them while you can.

Which leads to a situation where, even with a spreadsheet, I cannot honestly say how many magazines I have.  Every time I think I've gotten a compete inventory, I find another stash.

18 September 2018

USGI 30-Round M16 Series Magazine Comparo Part Two

Now for some measuring.

We're going to check the tilt, and if we can jam up the follower.

We're going to measure from a known point on the gun to the tip of a bullet to see if the feed angles are different.  With four rounds loaded, from the top of the lower to the center of the round with the magazine hanging naturally seems fair.

We're going to assume that the vintage magazines are in good enough shape to get honest measurements.

Kaylee has a typical magwell for a modern AR.  Sabrina is known to be tight.

Colt p/n 62667 gray aluminum body, emerald green 62665A follower
Measures 0.214"
Falls free from both test guns.
Readily tilts and binds.

NSN 1005-00-921-5004 gray aluminum body, black follower
Measures 0.249"
Falls free from both test guns.
Readily tilts and binds.

NSN 1005-00-921-5004 gray aluminum body, light green follower
Measures 0.263"
Falls free from both test guns.
Readily tilts but difficult to bind.

NSN 1005-00-921-5004 gray aluminum body, with light green follower replaced with Gen II Magpul Self Leveling Follower
Measures 0.222"
Falls free from both test guns.
Cannot be made to tilt or bind.

NSN 1005-00-561-7200 gray aluminum body, tan follower
Measures 0.227"
Falls free from both test guns.
Cannot be made to tilt or bind.

NSN 1005-01-615-5169 black, windowed PMAG-30 M3
Measures 0.260"
Falls free from both test guns.
Cannot be made to tilt or bind.

NSN 1005-01-630-9508 tan aluminum body, sky-blue follower "Enhanced Performance Magazine"
Measures 0.327".
Falls free from Kaylee, not from Sabrina.
Cannot be made to tilt or bind.

NSN 1005-01-659-7086 medium coyote tan, windowed PMAG-30 M3
Measures 0.260"
Falls free from both test guns.
Cannot be made to tilt or bind.

Based on tilt and binding issues, Magpul had the problem solved in 2004.  I wonder if it was royalties or not-invented-here that caused the Army to spend taxpayer money recreating the Magpul follower's performance.

More Themed Two Gun

S&W Model 15 and Colt XM177E2
Improved Mekong Delta, Republic of Vietnam!

USGI 30-Round M16 Series Magazine Comparo Part One

51 years of magazine history here.

Left to Right:

Colt p/n 62667 gray aluminum body, emerald green 62665A follower
NSN 1005-00-921-5004 gray aluminum body, black follower
NSN 1005-00-921-5004 gray aluminum body, light green follower
NSN 1005-00-561-7200 gray aluminum body, tan follower
NSN 1005-01-615-5169 black, windowed PMAG-30 M3
NSN 1005-01-630-9508 tan aluminum body, sky-blue follower
NSN 1005-01-659-7086 medium coyote tan, windowed PMAG-30 M3

As you can see, the Colt design from 1967 is really still in service.

The original has a plain steel spring and a very dark green follower.
62665A follower on left.
It's stamped with Colt's part number.
The first 30-rounder to rate a National NATO Stock Number (NSN), in 1972, is very much the same magazine as the Colt 62667.  The coating changes from a plain, clear anodizing to a light-gray anodizing with a dry-film lubricant both inside and out.

The, now black, follower is virtually identical to the dark green Colt.
NSN 1005-00-921-5004 on right.
The spring was changed from plain steel to a coated/plated steel:

Colt on left, black-follower on right.

Desert Storm showed there was something wrong with our magazines.  There are several theories as to what exactly was the reason for failure, but the Army decided that it was because the black follower allowed too much tilt and that allowed it to bind up inside the magazine.

So the light green follower was issued under the same NSN.

Service in Iraq and Afghanistan show that the green follower wasn't fully solving the problem.

A teeny start-up in Colorado, Magpul, adds a product to their line-up in 2004.  A replacement follower that fits in a standard USGI 30-rounder and uses the standard spring.  It's use is both banned or grudgingly accepted (sometimes both) depending on unit and commands.

Magpul enters the magazine market in 2007.  Their original PMAG was marketed as a cheap, training magazine and not sold as a "bet your life on it" service magazine.  Many of them find their way into Soldier's and Marines' ammo pouches.  The troops appear to love them.  Several models of PMAG are given an NSN, but none are actually considered issue.  The NSN simply allows unit funds to make purchases without breaking regulations.  Despite the sanctifying NSN, the use of Magpul's baby is banned more than once by various levels of command, and these bans are rescinded several times as well.

The popularity of the plastic magazines from Magpul and a strong feeling of "Not Invented Here!" along with noting that the Self-Leveling-Followers appeared to fix the problems with 1005-00-921-5004 causes the Army to adopt NSN 1005-00-561-7200 in 2009.

The big change is a tan follower with stronger anti-tilt features.

They changed which side the stagger starts on too.

The new tan follower has a very strong resemblance to Magpul's...

The spring is also changed because it goes through the follower nearer the center.

Light Green on left, Tan on right.
Magpul keeps updating and upgrading their PMAG as well, resulting in the Gen M3 in 2013.  This magazine, depending on color and features, is also issued an NSN.

Citing problems with the new M855A1 ammunition's steel tip striking the aluminum lower portion of the feed ramps, yet another change to the magazine is made in 2016, given NSN 1005-01-630-9508 and dubbed the "Enhanced Performance Magazine" or EPM.

The body changes color from an anodized gray to a painted tan.  It appears, to me, that this paint is applied over the top of gray anodizing...  The mouth of the magazine is altered slightly to present the noses of the rounds slightly higher so they miss the aluminum below the steel barrel extension.

The follower appears to be the same as before, but now in sky-blue.

The EPM did not prove to be the panacea it was hoped to be.  Some troops complained it didn't really work any better than the old tan-follower mags, it was just easier on the guns.

Several sources noted that the new feed angle was identical to what Magpul had been using since 2007!  Magpul's goal was similar, avoid hitting the aluminum below the barrel extension; but for a different reason.  The M4 carbine had introduced extended feed ramps that went down into the aluminum of the upper receiver because the bolt-speed of the M4 was causing the noses of the rounds to hit the front of the receiver.  Magpul was trying to make a reliable magazine for a market which had not fully embraced the so-called M4 feed ramp.

The EPM caused problems in particular with the Marines' M27 IAR.

So they adopted the PMAG Gen M3, with maglevel window, in both black and medium coyote tan using NSN 1005-01-615-5169 and 1005-01-659-7086 respectively.  They reportedly would have been happy to keep using the green or tan follower magazines, but orders made under those NSN's would start receiving EPM magazines as soon as stocks of the older magazines had been depleted.

The PMAG uses the same spring as the old NSN 1005-00-921-5004 and its follower has no relation to any aluminum body magazine.

EPM on left, Gen M3 on right.

This is because the PMAG doesn't have a curved to straight transition inside, it's a constant curve the entire length.  Colt tried to do a constant curve as early as 1965 but was confounded by their own sloppy dimensional tolerances in the M16's magazine well.

At the time of this writing, it appears that The Army might even be considering following in the USMC's footsteps and adopting the PMAG.  Stay tuned!

Only The Gulity Need A Lawyer

Let me renew my "FUCK YOU!" to the Democrats and their pet media.

I was once in need of a lawyer when I was innocent of the charges brought against me.  Without that legal counsel, I would have been convicted and would likely just be finishing my sentence.

But only the guilty need a lawyer.

Never mind we hired a lawyer to navigate the confusing paperwork of adopting The Boy.

Never mind that we hired a lawyer to create a trust for the NFA items.

Never mind that we hired a lawyer to create a durable power of attorney so we could make the decisions for The Boy that need made that he won't understand.

I wonder, now, what we were guilty of when we sought this legal assistance.

Celebrating Seventy-One Years

Happy Birthday! To the USAF.

Providing an honorable alternative to military service (and some of the finest golf links) for more than seven decades.

Actually They Are

Watching a video where the "myth" of AK accuracy is "busted".

The "myth" is the AK is less accurate than the M16.

They then showed that the sight radius is similar to the M4 and demonstrated shooting their AK against an AR.  They did concede that middies and rifle length gas systems were longer sight radii.

In their demonstration, the AK matched the performance of their AR.

Myth busted?


The reason the AK is "less accurate" than an AR is the type of sights and how easy they are to use.  All the demonstration proved is the shooter understood the sights of both guns and spent time (and ammo) shooting to be proficient with them.

Time and ammo that armies don't like to waste on conscripts.

Aperture sights are just easier to use and need less practice to use correctly.  Even though armies don't like to waste money at the range training their draftees, The West spends more time and ammo than The Soviets did.

Let's also consider the ammo.

Western ammunition's QC is generally better than what the Soviets cranked out.  As Karl of In-Range is oft heard to say, "a Crazy-Ivan in every box!"

Using comparable ammo, my own experience shows my AK's keeping up with my AR's.  With the cheapest stuff I can find...  I get the random flier which wasn't ME on the AK's.

In short:  The AK, as issued and fielded, is less accurate than an AR, as issued and fielded; but it's not actually the rifle that's the reason.

Faking It

Sitting with The Bat and her husband Of-Bat at Baker's Square in Clive one morning having breakfast and watching CNN.

The reporter was talking about Florence's landfall.

There were water droplets all over the lens of the camera and he looked like he was straining to stay upright.

What gave him away was the water drops just sat there in the "wind", the trees and puddles in the background were static.  There was no water hitting those puddles either.

I mentioned it to The Bat and Of-Bat and they had that, "CNN could lie to us?" moment.

Also interesting was the spread of the realization that the reporter was lying about conditions as the next table talked about it after overhearing me, then the next table, then the next table...

A Thought Occurs

Is the failure to launch of every single post colonial African nation because they're Africans or because Communism?

17 September 2018

Paint Panic

Washed ten pounds of love-bug off the nose of The Precious this morning before the sun hit the driveway and it got too hot to be moving around out there.

Newly clean I notice some white spots on the hood.

Spots that don't smear or smudge when you rub your finger on them.

Spots that look just like the clear-coat lifting off the base-coat, but aren't above the level of the paint.

Cleaner-wax takes them right off.

The leading theory is they're places where the existing wax has encapsulated a droplet of sweat and what I'm seeing is crystallized salts.

Color me relieved!

Dear Democrat Senators

You did nothing about the numerous rape allegations and escapades associated with William Jefferson Clinton.

This means that we don't give a shit what you think about a single allegation about Brett Kavanaugh from when he was in high school.

I'll tell you what, Dianne, even if you produce a film of him raping someone now...

I don't care.

You beat the "give a fuck" out of me on this issue.

Hollywood's treatment of women beat the "give a fuck" out of me on this issue.

I used to care, but you keep telling me it's no big deal in every word and deed.

But now that it is a pro-gun, conservative Supreme Court nominee, it's somehow different?

Yeah, fuck off.

I'll take a pro-gun child molester now, thanks to you.

Good news, Judge Kavanaugh doesn't appear to have ever actually molested anyone.

What If

In 1954 Smith and Wesson created the Model 39 to enter into the US Army's service pistol trials.

The AR-10 was entered in the 1955 service rifle trials.

The pistol trials resulted in nothing.  A pattern that repeats several times from 1954 to SIG getting the M17 contract.

The rifle trials saw the Home-Town Favorite T-44A4 being type classified as the M14.

But what if?  This could have been Pistol, 9mm, M1 and Rifle, 7.62 NATO, M14!

But for the vagaries of politics...

Black Cars Look Better In The Shade

This started as me wondering, as we sat there drinking and looking at the stars in The Bat's front yard... "I wonder if I can take a picture of my car as I can see it rather than how the camera will want it?"

Borrowed FuzzyGeff's tripod for the shot and with a 15 second exposure, captured The Precious in her freshly washed and waxed (for the trip back to Florida) glory.  Mere hours later she would be nearly covered in dead love bugs.

Some Days

When you take off for a week of seeing old friends...

You risk all the other bloggers scooping you on stuff you'd normally write about.

But I'm home now, so...

I've nothing to say.


14 September 2018

Why Are Socialists So Rude

Tonight, coming back to The Bat's house from Teh Walmart there was an accident an exit ahead of our on-ramp.

A Bernie-Bro, identified by the many stickers festooned on the back of his car, was diligently preventing people from merging unless they were willing to be a bigger ass than he was.

I am that ass!

I nosed in ahead of him and forced a gap to get between him and the next car, then I crept slower than that car to let everyone on the on-ramp behind me get around us.

He declared me "number one!" and screamed obscenities at me as I made certain he did not advance past me while I also made sure others were able to merge into our lane from the two blocked by the accident.

Once clear of the accident he desperately tried to get around me to return the favor...

Alas.  His Saturn was unable to keep pace with The Precious as I screamed out of sight.

"Fuck you Bernie-bro," we shouted wishing everyone else a good night.

13 September 2018

Hääke Pälle

Finnish Long Drink!

Maybe all these booze posts will stop the Arabic spam attempts.

Last Word

This is a "last word".


The Bat has an extensive bar and is willing to experiment.

She watched Ian's Patron-Only vid on making an aviation and since I was interested in trying one...

It's pretty yummy!

12 September 2018

Medical Necessity

Why do I have that fifty pounds bag of sugar?

It's a medical grade placebo.

I need it, for my hypochondria.


I Did Not Expect That

Phillips 66, here in the heart of corn and ethanol production, has no-ethanol premium.

The Precious is SO happy!

11 September 2018

You Know What?

I am now pissed off enough that I might just say fuck it and head home tomorrow.

17 Year War

I cannot help but think that every single B-52H in the inventory has the "big belly" modification and that in 17 years we could have arc-lighted all of every nation that ever harbored a single terrorist from end to end by now.

It's downright discouraging.

Glue Fail

Gorilla Glue brand super glue will not reattach the latch tab on an Escort 8500 X50 to the top of the case.

Without that latch, the detector slowly slides off the mount.

Happily, the person who broke the latch felt bad enough to replace it with a new X80.

It wasn't the resolution I would have asked for, but The Bat is like that sometimes.

10 September 2018


But not $114 curious.

I love me a good pun.  They had this one for $114 and another for $135.  Tip jar if you want a review!

And They Call US Racists

The person I am staying with is tolerantly liberal.

She's got a friend over and he's talking about trying to find a local YMCA.

He's dropped like ten casually racist sentences in his discussion.

I don't think he's even aware he's done it.

Letting Google Do The Navigating

Since I didn't want to go through Atlanta, I picked a place in Memphis as a waypoint and got routed through the back roads of Alabama and Iowa on my way to Cour d'Ennui.

The route took me through Eldon, Iowa.  Signs along the way told me that this:

Was a mere five blocks off-route, so I stopped in and snapped a picture.

Recognize it?

I had a no-shit, "That's a real building?" moment.

There's a museum dedicated to Grant Wood there with concrete farmers to pose with.

I love tourist traps!

AR-10(ish) Magazines

DPMS has set the tone for (not) AR-10's magazine wells.  Magpul uses this dimensional standard, and I am not even certain that DPMS is the author of the spec since SR-25 is often mentioned in the same breath.

At any rate, some weight.

Loaded weights are...

DPMS LR 308 steel 20-rounder: 1.6 lb.
Magpul PMAG-20 SR/LR Gen M3: 1.4 lb.
Brownell's AR 308 aluminum 20-rounder: 1.3 lb.

No pics because I'm on the road.

Of note:  The Magpul magazines don't work in the BRN-10 because they were faithful to the original and the magazine well's bottom is parallel to the barrel instead of sloped like the, later, AR-15.  DMPS and Brownell's mags are straight walled, where the Magpul has a slight curve to it.  That curve and a ridge to prevent overinsertion keep the mag from going into the well.  Carving the plastic down to allow it to work leaves it very thin.  Thinner than I would trust.

If we were stuck with $30 DPMS mags and $19 PMAG's I might risk it.   But the Brownell's mags are running for $10...

07 September 2018

Rolling The Dice

The odds are not good and I don't have the money handy, but I could probably panic sell some of the herd.

Fingers crossed.


The BRN-10 uses the same rear sight wheel as an M16A2, but instead of reading the range from the side, it's read from the rear.

Not very easy to see.  I wonder how hard it would be to get it out and color fill the numbers to be more visible.

You can also see the little screw that locks the windage for zeroing it between the range window and rear aperture.

Totally Not Compensating For Something

Willard's BRN-10B arrived today!

It's like a very large AR.  Big shock.

It's only 9.3 lb. loaded.  That's light!

The charging handle is, as others have noted, stiff.  Here's why:

That wee little, stiff, spring engages two little recesses in the back of the upper to hold the charging handle in place while the bolt is reciprocating.  Here's why:

It's blindingly obvious that this handle design would leave an open slot in the top of the gun, but we were surprised to see the end of the gas tube smiling at us anyways.  This also explains why users of the AR-10 mentioned how hot it got.

Ever wondered what your AR-15 bolt carrier group looked like before you got it wet and didn't set the dryer to "permanent press"?

Everything about this gun feels big, yet familiar.  That size coupled with the familiarity makes the pistol grip feel teeny.

Shooting will come later.

06 September 2018

Just Do It

That's The Whole Cast Now Isn't It?

Burt Reynolds is East Bound.

He was one of my favorite Dancing Monkeys.


$4 saved me $40.

Patreon's of Forgotten Weapons got notice of this book while it was still on sale at Amazon for about half price.

I had to pounce because there just isn't a ton of good history on this rifle, despite its being made of near 100 years.

Define Humble

Ryan Gosling seems to think humble means that someone wouldn't brag.

Neil Armstrong was not a braggart.

He never claimed to do anything he'd never done.

That's as humble as a fighter pilot gets.

Both Chuck Yeager and Buzz Aldrin, men who knew Armstrong well, have both called bullshit on Mr Gosling's take on how Neil would have characterized the landing.

I knew better than to think what Gosling was saying because I'd bothered to read Mr Armstrong's book.

Charger Guide


Is a clip loader for an FAL magazine.

You attach it to the magazine:

Then insert your clip:

This one was made for metric magazines, but I modified it to work with inch pattern as well by cutting away part of the front to clear the larger front lug on the inch mags.

That modification is also a clue that I've had this loader since 1994 when I made an L1A1 from a parts kit.

I am amused that the Australian issue bandolier I purchased holds ten 5-round clips.  50 rounds.  To load a rifle that uses 20-round magazines.

Fredd Gorham Doesn't Want Your Money

Fredd is a Socialist, therefore he doesn't want your filthy capitalist lucre.

So don't give him any.

Make sure you tell any convention organizer where he attends that you don't feel right about attending with a guest whose political position is responsible for so much death and destruction.

If you see his work, don't buy it.

If you see him drowning, mail the Coast Guard a letter.

If you see him on fire, be careful to not let the smoke hit the marshmallows, it ruins the flavor.

An example of his work is the Topp's Trading Card Han Solo series.  Put those on your no-buy list, assuming you even cared about that trainwreck of a movie.

1.21 Gigawatts

Lightning is not something to be trifled with.

I have a new router, ONT and coax running between them.

Now that's replaced, I am back online!

04 September 2018

Limited Connectivity

Finally got a break in the rain to take this pic to amuse myself.

Still no internet, but got my phone and 4G, if I want to embrace the tedium.