30 June 2021

There's A Positive Test For It

A test I will never perform for fear of having my fears confirmed.

I'm always the friend who initiates contact and suggests things to do.

It's vanishingly rare for my friends to contact me and say, "let's do something!"

The test is to stop making contact for a while and see who calls if only to ask, "where have you been?"

I suspect that if I did that I'd find that I didn't have any friends at all.

That's not entirely true, but it's mostly true.  It's a bit depressing, actually.

I've made a couple of tentative experiments, selectively, with other friends.

It's going on years now without them even attempting to contact me.

It's very sobering to think that you're so easy to let out of someone's life.

How Good Was The Deal?

The ACOG Mr Fleetwood purchased is the M150 variation of the TA31 RCO.

Being that it was government surplus it was missing $50 worth of kill-flash and flippy-covers.

$795 shipped.

Because it was surplus, no warranty.

Because of its age, the tritium is on borrowed time.

$180 to $300 to fix that.

If you fix the tritium, the rumor is you will then get the warranty.  This is not confirmed.

More than one place says that just the tritium is $180 and $300 is more in line with fixing a stuck prism.

$1,035 total to replace the tritium and killflash.

MSRP is $1,779.

B&H Photography carries it for $1,239.

Still saved $200!  $380 if you leave the tritium alone.

PS: Sellers on Ebay:  You might want to check what retailers are selling brand new ones for before setting your reserve.  If you filled out that warranty card, you've voided the warranty for the second owner, and thus devalued the scope even if it's in brand new condition.

How To Best Say It?

The ACOG worked as advertised.

Exactly as advertised.

That is the sole surprise.  One becomes accustomed to ads being synonymous with lies.

Now that I've verified that, it's off to its rightful owner.

Whenever he can be troubled to come get it.

29 June 2021

ACOG Impressions


First, I thought that I didn't like ACOGs.

Thinking back, the one I used before was a TA01 or TA11.

No light pipe.

It was carry-handle mounted on a friend's A2 type upper, and too far forward.

This one is a TA31 and mounted on a flat-top where it's supposed to be for proper eye relief.

Second, there's no tinting evident.  The colors through the lens are the same as without.  The only other scopes that I've played with like this are my Nikon on my .270 and the long-sold SUIT.

The others all have a green/blue tinting to them.  Some worse than others.

The FACOG is much more green than the ACOG.

Third, it was kind of nice to not need a coin or even the turret cap to make zero adjustments.  If you think about it, with the cap on, what need is there to prevent turning the adjustment by hand?

Fourth, so far the light getting to the chevron has been correct for the ambient lighting.  It's never been too bright or too dim, though when your in the dark and shooting into the light the red can disappear without problem because it's an etched reticle.

I'm Your Zero

Took Valentine out to the range to do the first shooting with the ACOG.

Started at 25m and worked my way out to 100 yards.

I'm out of practice.

I sent an email to Trijicon asking about the born-on date and if they would put new Tritium in it when it finally fades away.

They said:

Good morning Angus,

Thank you for your patronage of Trijicon products. The serial number you have provided references to a TA31 RCO M150 4x32 ACOG. Manufactured December 1ST 2011. Sold to the US Government. These surplus ACOG are not covered under our warranty. At any time, you can send in products for parts replacements including illumination, adjustment, Lenses etc. This must be done in the factory. It will cost roughly $180-300 to have the illumination redone.

Others have indicated that spending the money on service also puts it back into warranty for the second owner.

Marv was able to get his FACOG zeroed at 100 yards as well.  Shot a smaller group than me too (asshole). :)

Considering how small our 25m groups are, I think we've just picked up bad habits from shooting rifles at pistol ranges.  We're setting ourselves to extending our range.

A Bit Of A Scare

Mr Bear scared me today.

He puked up his entire breakfast without a hairball and then seemed ill.

Off to the vet, because that kind of puking can be a sign of the bladder being blocked again.

Temperature normal, small bladder.

We're still good.

The vet theorizes that he simply overate because I broke the routine and kept the other two away from his medicinal food.  They all love the expensive medicinal food.

Haven't Done That In Years


The ACOG came with this handy carry pouch and a paper copy of the TM.  Stuffed into the TM was the Change 1 for it.

Almost reflexively, I pulled the staple and replaced the affected pages with the one from the change.

I haven't updated a TM for thirty years...

What were the changes?  Mostly boilerplate about tritium.

28 June 2021

More Secure

The tape switch for the M951 light is no longer secured by friction and prayer!

It is now secured by Archimedes and Loctite!

That Was Certainly Fast

The ACOG that Mr Fleetwood generously paid for has arrived!

At 14.8 oz. it's substantially lighter than the Primary Arms PAC5X's 18.2 oz.  Much wider field of view, though slightly less magnified.


The illumination is shockingly bright.  The tritium is still hanging in there, but very dim.  The TM says that your eyes should be dark adjusted before using it, so I think that dim is intentional.

Killflash and front flippy covers on order from B&H Photography.  LT100 mount after the 1st when the VA dumps into my account.

How's Cop Cock Taste?

The recent case where a cop rolls up on a dead active shooter and the armed citizen who ended the active shooting; then wastes the INNOCENT armed citizen is NOT A GOOD SHOOT.

How can I tell?

Because if YOU or I rolled up on that exact same scenario and shot the armed citizen, we'd (rightfully) be facing murder charges.

The cops shoot the wrong person far too often.

All in the name of "officer safety".

I've railed on this shit before.  Great powers, no responsibility.

Kill anyone you want, you're cop, no consequences of you follow the departmental policy.

Departmental policy and training which doesn't care about innocent civilians as long as the cop gets home alive.

The State has a DUTY to not murder its innocent citizens.  The State has a DUTY to make sure of whom is who before opening fire.

Even if that costs a few agents of the state to do so.

You wanted the job, Officer, these are the risks you must assume when you take it.  When you put on the uniform you stop being you and become a small piece of The State.  The State will survive and even thrive if it loses you.  The innocent citizen, you were supposed to be protecting, died because of your failure to do any sort of investigation.  Did you even yell, "Stop! Police!" before you opened fire without understanding what was going on?

Maybe if your professional organizations and unions weren't so Hell bent on fucking my rights over every time someone hints at expanding carry rights in Florida I'd have a modicum of sympathy.

It's high time we on the pro-rights side of things start getting it through our thick skulls that the cops are The State and not us.

The State should always be held to a higher standard on the use of force than a citizen, not a lower one; because The State is not in mortal danger even if 20 cops die rushing into an active shooting.

27 June 2021

I Need Confirmation

With gun and ammo sales skyrocketing like they are I need to ask:

Has anyone seen Pete Brownell and Joe Biden together at the same time?

5.56 v 7.62

I have done a long, complicated and math heavy comparison between 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x51mm NATO in GURPS terms.

7.62 does more damage (24.5 v 15.5) per shot, but thanks to the lower Rcl number, 5.56 will hit more often; thus doing more damage overall.

When you couple that with being able to carry more than twice the ammo 5.56 wins, hands down.

I am proud to say that when you start servicing the beaten zone, 7.62 comes back into the fore thanks to rules which tend to level the weapon specific reason you'd pic a 5.56 gun.


I've set myself to learning how the 7.8 lb.(loaded with a 30-round magazine) M16A1 morphed into the 11.3 lb. M16A4 (loaded with optics and light).

The entire point of the AR-15 was to make a lightweight rifle.

The M16A4, and accouterments, is heavier than the 10.9 lb. M14!

Testing And Review

Mr Fleetwood, being of unquestionable generosity, has fronted the funds for a 2011 model year Trijicon ACOG TA31RCO M150.

We will be comparing the genuine article to Marv's GENUINE Chinesium FACOG.

We are absolutely certain that the $66 Chinese version will be superior to the $1,800 American competition in every way.

25 June 2021

Happy Healthy The Bear Is


He's not hiding under the bed or in his carrier any more.

He's even informing Beeper (our youngest) that HE will NOT be backing down from her any more.

He's got double the mass on her and the same speed.

Thump Drag

When I had my accident off the tank turret, my left leg was the far more damaged.

But ever since I completed therapy, my right leg has hurt more.

Not that long ago they confirmed that my left was still in worse shape.

Especially the hip.

The physical therapist who issued my cane suggested walking differently and now that it's been a year or two...

It worked.  Less pain in that hip and the right leg.

What I had been doing is leaning on my cane in my right hand when I was putting weight on my right leg.  This put more load on the bad left hip!

The new way is to lean on the cane with my weight on my left leg with the cane still in my right hand.

Small changes make big differences.

Now! To lose 100 lb.!

24 June 2021

Final Configuration


Unless someone gets REALLY generous and donates an ACOG or the money to purchase one, this is where Valentine will sit.

She's quite the porky girl.

The base rifle is 9.2 lb. with a loaded PMAG M3, 1x 11-rib panel, 2x 5-rib panels, VFG and the tape switch.

The light is 0.5 lb.  The scope is 1.1 lb.  The sling is 0.3 lb.

Grand total of 11.1 lb.


FuzzyGeff's heavy barreled AR is the only one of similar mass.

Base rifle is 9.3 lb. loaded with a PMAG MOE.

Scope is 1.3 lb.  Bipod is 0.7 lb.  Sling is 0.3 lb.

Grand total is 11.6 lb. and we had regarded Olga as being unreasonably heavy.  At least it's a full featured rifle, unlike my A4 clone.

The Marines toted something like Valentine as an everyday rifle?

Every little good-to-have item you clamp onto a rifle adds mass.  Someone thinks it's worth it, they got downright snippy when the idea of issuing M4A1 carbines came up.

I'm Confused

Do I need nukes and F-15's to take over the government; or just a buffalo hat and some tattoos?

Because if it's the latter, I don't think it matters that the government has nukes and F-15's of their own.

In fact, if it's the latter, it's prolly going to fall over on its own in a light breeze.

Still No Match

Brownell's Aluma-Hyde flat dark earth is still not a match for Magpul's.

It's the closest paint match yet, though!

Here it is compared with the USGI issue tan magazines:

He's a searcher.  Medium coyote tan is close enough (literally) for Government Work®™ to me.

Hidey Hole

Upgraded the Behind Every Blade of Grass carbine with a KE Arms trapdoor buttplate.

To remove the genuine plastic (don't settle for imitation) solid buttplate you will need one each of 5/32" and 1/8" Allen wrenches.

Check the inside of your stock for flash from the receiver half joining operation.

Installation of the new buttplate is the reverse of removal!

It feels exactly the same on the shoulder, But I like having a storage compartment.


Cast out the unclean!

This picture made a poster in an M16A4 clone thread "throw up in their mouth" because of the Chinese homologue to an ACOG.


I only have what real-deal stuff is already on Valentine because there's lots of cheap surplus and I am patient with my bidding on ebay and GunBroker.

Such deals just don't exist on a real-deal ACOG.  Even with depleted tritium, they run over $700.

It makes me wonder, again, what's the goal of a clone?

Bear Update

He is far more his normal self than he's been in a long time.

He must have had trouble longer than we thought.

We're feeling guilty about not noticing.

He's been going to the pan like he should, big improvement.

The expensive, prescription, food is to his liking.

The not near as expensive low-ash food is a hit with the other two.

Dingus likes to sneak Bear's leftovers; the joke is on him.  It's good for him too!

23 June 2021


I had the M16A4 clone out to double check the weights.

I noticed that the RAS has a threaded hole every 4th slot.

"What size threads are those?" I wondered.

After a brief search I discover they're 1/4-20 threads.

What else around here uses a 1/4-20 thread?

Yes, you can use them to mount your rifle on a camera tripod.

Now I'm wondering if the Amazon Basics tripod is actually rated for the near 11 lb. of Valentine.

We've Been Here Before

Marv is far more willing than I am to spend little money on a cheap scope and see how it goes.

He bought a fake EOTech that only died because the batteries leaked.

That thing survived everything we threw at it.

Being submerged, tossed across the room, frozen... even several hundred rounds from his 6.8.

Now he's got a FACOG to mess with.


I'm eager to see if it survives

All About Looks

Marv ordered an Airsoft clone of a Trijicon ACOG TA-31 RCO.

We tossed it on my M16A4 clone just to have a photo of it looking 100%.

The Chinese maker is remarkably accurate about the markings:  If by accurate you mean completely wrong...

Marv didn't get the "correct" chevron reticule, but I have to admit it's plenty bright in indirect light where I'm taking pictures.

It seems to be very well made, and Marv found several videos where folks took them apart and marveled at the top-notch construction.

For $66 shipped from China, it's as close to an ACOG as you're going to get without getting a real one, I think.

22 June 2021

Hurricane Prep

Here's to a quiet hurricane season devoid both of serious weather where you are and a complete lack of looters.

Still Life


Just having some fun with the camera and making arrangements.  Trying stuff out.

There's things that don't show, but I know they're there.  Like removing the M7 bayonet and putting an FAL one in its place.  Like putting an FN magazine pouch to replace the 1911's.

Heck, you can't hardly tell there's a Browning in that holster.

Plus that's a real grenade launching blank there.

Not Shocked

A 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court has stayed Judge Benitez's decision nuking California's assault weapon ban.

This is my shocked face.

This is exactly what we all expected to happen too.

Now months and years of delays while the cases the stay says it's waiting on are decided then months and years of delays while they decide this case based on the fallout of those cases.

Who was it that said justice delayed is justice denied?

21 June 2021

Meanwhile Back In The Real World

While in the research for making the KISS version of the WWSD carbine, Behind Every Blade of Grass, I keep noticing features that really matter to Karl Kasarda, but don't seem to matter... uh... well... anywhere else.

First up is the $140 captured buffer and recoil spring.  This is mandatory to the WWSD carbine because the buffer retainer is just waiting to break off and jam up your hammer/trigger components.

I have never, ever, seen this happen.  I'd never even heard about it happening until the original WWSD videos.  Has it happened to you or someone you know by name?

Next is eliminating the forward assist.  I'm OK with it being absent, because it is basically useless, but I'm not paying extra for it nor going out of my way to see it gone.  When I made my first home-built AR's it was widely reported that the forward assist could cause a break and you should use a plug in the hole instead of a forward assist.

Then there's using a cassette style trigger pack to prevent blown primers and the buffer retainer from jamming up your trigger.  I think this is just gilding the lily for having a better than bog standard trigger.

The thing about these three solutions, to me, is if they were common and worth spending a lot more for... they'd be mentioned in the troubleshooting section of the 23&P because the military has been using the normal parts for half a century and hasn't changed them.

They have gone back and fixed things which did cause problems, like the extractor spring and too-light carbine buffers; so we know they don't blow off problems that cause stoppages forever (they are slow about it though) and the institutional wisdom is in the TM's and PM magazine even if the official changes haven't filtered through the change process and procurement channels.

Battle Of The Old Weapon Lights

On the left: SureFire M951 with an incandescent bulb, rated for 65 lumen.

On the right: Surefire X300 with an LED bulb, rated for 170 lumen.

Yup, 170 is brighter.

The X300 is also smaller and lighter.

I keep wondering, "how many lumen are enough lumen?"

Because I never have any trouble seeing what I'm doing with much dimmer less focused lights when I'm creeping around the house late at night trying not to wake The Lovely Harvey.

I think that 65 suffices, to be honest.  What's the case for a light you'll be spending as much time as the bad guy being blind from when you flick it on?

Better Markings

Got my paint stencils for the Energa today!

Much better and easier than the other way I did it!

Let There Be Light

I have a gut feeling that the seller is listing stuff in the DX bin at Ft Hood on Ebay.

Our loss, our gain!  $45 shipped.

SureFire M951 with tail switch.

The switch mount was made from modifying a Magpul MOE switch mount that came with the light kits I'd bought to get the MOE cantilever rails.  They don't include this stuff now that MLOK has taken over... but they also don't charge extra for it when all you want is the cantilever rail and not an extra 5-slot and two tape switch holders.

The LED conversion bulb I got from Amazon doesn't quite fit into the reflector housing.  Ever so slighly too big a diameter.

20 June 2021

Color Not Matching


L -> R:  EPM tan, medium coyote tan, flat dark earth, Krylon nutmeg, Krylon Camo khaki.

Marv is trying to find a match for FDE.

19 June 2021

How Is It That I'm The First To Publish?

In several reviews of the Strikefire II they've complained about the need for a "coin or something" to make windage and elevation adjustments.

Am I the first one to notice this feature?

If you flip the cap upside down the bar molded into the top is the "or something" you can use to adjust the windage or elevation!

Actually, I know I'm not the first to notice this because Marv noticed it on the SPARC AR which presently resides on FuzzyGeff's carbine.

I am just astonished that we appear to be the only people who've noticed this.

I might be the first reviewer to publish it!

Go figure.

BEBoG Optic

The Vortex Strikefire II is an "affordable" red-dot sight.  I put that in quotes because there are many sights which are MUCH cheaper.  MSRP is $274.99, street price is $199.99 and I found this one locally for $125 and snagged the last one.  I'm glad I was trying to find a cantilever MLOK light mount now!  Again, thanks to the Apparatchik at the VA who finally refunded the money I'd been paying for my meds.

With the included cantilever mount it tares at 13.1 oz.  0.8 lb. in GURPS terms.

Controls are simple, just an up and down button:

There are 11 brightness settings, the lowest two are stated to be for night vision in the manual.  My Aimpoint M4S says the same thing.  I don't have any night vision to check this with.

The up button is also the power-off button.  Press and hold until no-dot-mode is activated.

Speaking of that dot.

It's supposed to be larger than the Aimpoint, but I can't see the difference.

Astigmatism and red-dot size comparisons are mutually exclusive.

Now, why would you buy a Chinese made scope from an American company?

Mainly because Vortex REALLY stands behind their product.  They don't even ask how it got broke if you break one, they simply replace it.  They've been known to upgrade to a newer, better model if the broken one is out of production.  That's worth it in my book.

By comparison, Primary Arms' equivalent is $129.99 MSRP, but doesn't include a mount.  It's a very affordable $24.99 MSRP bringing the equivalent package to $154.98.  Primary Arms is also an American company selling Chinese manufactured optics.  But they don't offer near the warranty that Vortex does (but Amazon's ad for it does say limited lifetime).  The reason I'm skeptical of Primary Arms "lifetime" warranty is they don't even have the rubber tethers for the turret caps.  I'm looking at pictures of the current production 5x stuff and they sure seem to be using the same size rubber bikini tether.

Go Go VA Disability! Go Go Father's Day Sales!

The fucking VA deposited all the money I'd spent on my service connected meds back into my account!

Nice of them to finally admit they shouldn't have charged me in the first place!

So I bought me a Vortex Strikefire II for Brenda rather than let inflation further erode the sum.

It would have been nice to know that the funds were sitting there when I had my hand out for The Bear... but I had to wait for my bank statement to be informed.

I expect a letter from the VA in a couple of weeks telling me what I already know.

I finally have a gun that can mount my LaRue Po'Boy 2.5x magnifier to as well!

I got the MBUS at the same time as the upper, but didn't see the need to put it on if I didn't have any glass.

More Flavor-Aid Please!

The BEBoG carbine was made on a whim.


It's rapidly become my favorite.

I've long held that if you are constrained to a 16" barrel, then midlength is the gas system you should use.

This is my first 5.56 middy, but both my 6.8's and FuzzyGeff's are middies too.

Hmmm.  Come to think on it, the only 16" in the house that isn't mid-length is The Lovely Harvey's and she's happy with it as is.

The real surprise is how comfortable my combination is.  It's just a little nose heavy, but that's a good thing in a rifle.  It's not the lightest AR possible, but it's plenty light.

I think this is a winning configuration.  Simple, affordable, light, and comfortable.

I endorse this event and/or product.

I did not expect to be so enthusiastic about the monolithic lower.

18 June 2021

WTF Ohio?


I know that Floridaman is up to, WTF Ohioman?

Forget that for second, Iowaman?  IOWAman! got more mention than Floridaman?

It's Really The Wrong Day

Juneteenth is the emancipation holiday now.

I will not say we shouldn't commemorate the end of slavery, I'm OK with there being a holiday for the most important victory the Republican party ever landed.

But June 19th?

The day when the Union Army finally got to the last, remote, expanse of the defeated Confederate States of America and posted notice of the nearly four year old Emancipation Proclamation.

A proclamation that didn't free all the slaves.

If only someone had written down when the 13th Amendment was passed and ratified.  Alas!  Oh, wait...

Still.  It's a significant day in the history of the ending of slavery, even if it doesn't mark the actual end of slavery in the US.

It's part of OUR history.  Every American.  White people too.

It needs to be remembered that it took a lot of white people standing up and saying, "this is wrong, it should be stopped," for the practice to end.

It literally got to the point of "come and make me!" by the South and those same white abolitionists replying, "I'm your huckleberry."  Then sending troops who were enslaved drafted to war...

The freedom commemorated here didn't materialize out of thin air.

By picking June 19 for the holiday, it actually underscores that the liberation of the slaves took place at gun point.  I think some credit is due to those troops who showed up and said, "free your slaves or we'll kill you," because after hiking their asses to the most remote parts of Texas, they'd completely run out of humor about the topic.

The Feel Of The Math

I connected a couple dots.  It's made me giggle.

The gun grabbers keep screeching that the AR and other modern rifles be banned because of mass shootings.

But they've successfully redefined "mass shooting" at such a low number of victims that rifles of any kind are barely statistical noise compared to handguns.

They've made a nice little trap for themselves.

To make AR's relevant to mass shootings, they have to make handguns less scary by raising the number of victims in a mass shooting to something that really has mass.

Which also makes the AR less scary because suddenly there's hardly any mass shootings at all.

It's kinda neat watching from a position where the math supports my position no matter how hard the feels demand it doesn't.

That Had To Be Hard To Write

The LA Times admits that Benitez's ruling is probably going to stand.

One quote stands out, "Newsom contends that the AR-15 is “nothing more than a weapon of war.”"

Let's go there, Gavin!

I direct you to Miller v US where the case was remanded back to the lower court because nobody could show that a sawed-off shotgun was a weapon of war.

If Miller had been busted for having a BAR, the entire NFA would have been gutted like a trout in 1939.

So, pull at that thread, Gavin; the only thing that's kept it from being reaffirmed is the court's ignoring the 2nd Amendment and a flat refusal to incorporated it under the 14th.

Cue Bob Dylan...

The times, they are a changin'.

Thanks! Cocaine Mitch! because the 9th Circuit, today, doesn't look like it did thirty years ago.


Five and a half years ago I ordered a PAC 5X ACSS prism optic from Primary Arms for $212.

The equivalent SLx 5x36mm ACSS scope is now $330.

That's a price increase of 55.7% or an annual inflation rate of 8.38%

Weren't we just hearing about how inflation wasn't that bad until just the other day?

Questions You Weren't Asking

How does the Army's EPM magazine color go with the FDE of the KP-15 lower?

Will Thermold 30 rounders with a Twin-Mag 30 coupler work?

As well as they will in any AR, just remember to start with the right magazine first or your ejection port door will not open all the way!

17 June 2021

Interest Piqued

Ian from Forgotten Weapons has a third Kickstarter running, quite successfully I might add.

I didn't have much interest in Chinese Warlord era firearms, so I was basically ignoring this run.

He's been posting videos on some of the guns that will be included in the book and they've been background noise...

Until today.

I'd totally forgotten about the .45 broom-handle.

I remember that small ad that ran in Shotgun News every issue for a princely sum that I'd never be able to put together delivering pizzas.

It did not change THE WANTS® even the slightest.

The Wants® even went so far as to make GURPS stats for one and even make a story about how the fantasy-race version of the Confederate States of America issued them to their Orc troops as an NCO aptitude test.

If an Orc soldier or marine showed some leadership potential they were promoted corporal and issued a .45 broom-handle.  Because of the puzzle-box nature of disassembly and lots of parts; to be promoted sergeant the gun had to be whole, clean and functioning at the end of a set period of time (I never defined it, the description of the test was extemporaneous color story to curry favor with the GM).

The CSA in this world, by the way, didn't use the broom-handle otherwise.  The CSA is aligned with an unnamed Mormon state where John Moses Browning is cranking out designs like in the real world and pointedly NOT selling them to the tyrannical United States (what propaganda?  I don't see any propaganda!  What are you, an Elf?) but is selling them to the CSA.

This CSA is also still racist as all fuck, but so is everyone else.  It's a typical fantasy world crudely applied to an historical template.  Fantasy worlds are chock full of racism, so it was easy to apply a fantasy race to a real world race/ethnicity to illustrate the point... a point which proved too subtle for some people at the table.

16 June 2021

He's Home!

The Bear is home from the vet.  He's chillin in his carrier because he's still medicated and not feeling very bold with the other two cats.

His brother, Derpy Dingus is on overwatch.  He's behaving, for now, so no interventions needed at the moment.

Thanks to everyone who contributed financially!

Thanks to everyone who sent prayers and good wishes!