November 2004 | DECEMBER 2004 | January 2005
688 - Wednesday, 1 December 2004: Ohfergodssakes. Sick again, classic TV-commercial indigestion. Must have been the deli sandwich I hauled all over town Monday but didn't eat ‘til Tuesday, combined with lingering systemic weakness. Now it's stuck in there making... noise, and feeling like it could make something else at any moment. Called in sick.

Later, feeling better enough to do laundry, mail rent check, and chisel a $20 bill out of the ATM.

Wrapping up Cally's War - interstellar skullduggery, or at least interplanetary. Scorecards recommended. Starting Saganami, more skullduggery in a different universe.

689 - Thursday, 2 December 2004: Yecchh, under the house dodging fiberglass-wrapped air ducts while wrasslin' plastic. Tomorrow the boss is out of town, but at least he paid me for the whopping 14½ hours I made this week (though he's got financial trouble, not least because people aren't paying him, and asked me to hold the check ‘til tomorrow...).

Still nothing from temp service. Called the carpet guy - actually hardwood flooring. Work in Beaverton (again) tomorrow morning, sanding hardwood floors. Never done that before but I have worked in a cabinet shop and know something about wood.

And in the mail I find that my sister has sent me some money. Rather too much money, sister dear.... But since my email objection was overridden I can at least catch up on the bills. Jeez. Look here, sis, you are not getting me anything else for Christmas! JEEZ.

Hm, what if I sliced the flaps, that is, the walls of the shot cup, off the top of the 12S0 wad and then put two layers of three OO pellets into the naked 12 gauge hull on top of what would then be a mere plastic cushion wad? Without the extra thickness of the shot cup the pellets should settle geometrically as though I were using cards and wads, and the chamber pressure should still be well within safety margins for the old double, if it changed at all. Hmm.

Meanwhile, Cruffler informs me he's acquired one of the legends of the Gun Culture: the Ithaca Mag 10, a 10-gauge-magnum semiautomatic shotgun, one of the most powerful shoulder weapons available to civilians (which is/was also available in a somewhat altered form as the Remington SP-10). He intends to have the 26-inch barrel chopped to 22 inches, thus emulating the near-mythical Roadmaster fighting variant, and add it to the defensive end of his accumulation. I told him I want to see him use it in the 3 Gun Fun Run at Clark Rifles. (When is that, anyway? They don't update their site.... With the Mossberg 590 (and a tentative recipe for low-recoil gaming loads) and the Marlin 9 and the FM, I've got enough tools for it now....) Hm, he'd have to fabricate a magazine extension, last time I read the course of fire for that match there were eight shots in the shotgun stage, and reloading on the clock, without speedloaders in the Unlimited class, would wreck you for time. Gawd, eight rounds of ten gauge... in semiautomatic.... Ooo, a box-feed conversion, muuhahahahaaaa! I may have to track one of these down myself someday. Ooo! Gas-operated, you could mount a bayonet without interfering with the operation! Double muuhahahahaaaa!

Cruffler also says the hobbyist has finished my FM Hi-Power's front sight repair, and that Cruffler has delivered the slide to the boss I'll be working for tomorrow for delivery to me! Extra-double-cool, I get my Proper Pistol back tomorrow! (I guess I'll pay the man at Barberton on the 11th.) The hobbyist's solution was to simply replace the military-style blade, as there was not enough material to cut a dovetail - which suits me, as I realized, after delivering the slide, that he intended to cut a 3/8" dovetail, but that most modern dovetailed pistol sights use a .310" cut instead. But this is fine, I get the original sight picture back. I'm also told the blade is a little tall so I can file it down to suit whatever load I settle on. I hope to try it out this Saturday. Now I need a proper holster!

690 - Friday, 3 December 2004: If I have to be a laborer I think I'll stick to installing new plumbing. Working hardwood floors can be a real backbreaker, wrasslin' a Large Disc Sander around in Chiropractically Incorrect manner (back injuries, even minor ones like mine, never properly heal) - and there are more, and more specific, skills required, some of which I have and some I just don't think are worth acquiring in that context. Anyway I got paid for those few hours too, and for the next few minutes at least I'm in good shape financially. Filled gas tank, refilled reserve can, bought groceries, paid phone and electric bills. Some of Sis' money to savings. Renewal checks to GOA, JPFO, and Clark Rifles.

Got the FM's slide! The new front sight looks good - originally it was a typical military M1911A1-style rounded blade, now it's a handsome reverse ramp, vertical (actually a slight rearward undercut/rake) at the rear. However, it's rather wider than I might have liked - I prefer a certain amount of daylight between the front blade and the sides of the rear notch. Hm, now might be a good time to get the Chip McCormick "drop-in" Novak-style rear sight, or simply find a spare military-style rear and open it up some with the Dremel (again, I avoid altering original parts). Put the pistol back together - naw, it looks fine with proper eye relief. Cool! Cool! Practice tomorrow maybe, though forecast says rain (and perhaps snow). Club newsletter in mail - no matches a'tall through January, annual meeting & board elections 22 January. -Huh, no mention of the AvA. Still no results in mail either.

Washington governor's race still not over, commie Gregoire collecting required funds (Kerry campaign donated $250,000 if I heard right) for a hand recount expected to take weeks.

691 - Saturday, 4 December 2004: Zzzz! Upon further review, I haven't enough ammunition to make a worthwhile range trip with the Hi-Power. Upon further further review I can empty out the Marlin Carbine's magazines of all that UMC FMJ, hmm. I could also fiddle with the FR8 and those dozen different loads, hmm. Can't presently justify buying more reloading components though, to develop a heavier (i.e. 175gr) load in the VZ, or order dies and buy components for the Mosin, hmm. Oh heck, feeling lazy. I'll sleep in and then load some stuff with the components I do have.

Electric bill only $80.81 for two wintry months with the little heater fans, including running one all night. The old dead baseboard would have killed me financially.

Dusting off the Load-All. Accurate's 2002 powder booklet (received with Load-All) says, to repeat, 15.0gr Nitro 100, Winchester 209 primer, Winchester AA plastic hull, Federal 12S0 wad, and ¾ ounce shot, for a 4,000psi Cowboy Action load at 1,176fps. That's a starting load; the same recipe goes up to 18.0gr powder for 6,100psi at 1,361fps. In the old double, and the slide-action Mossberg, neither of which require a minimum power level to operate the action, 15gr should be nice and mild. There are only two loads with less pressure listed, using Solo 1000 powder I never could find (probably Sportsman's Warehouse carries or could order it, but I have the Nitro 100 now) and a Winchester WAA12SL wad, for 3,400psi at 17.0gr powder and 3,700 at 18.0, with other components the same. Not using the charge bar for powder, using old RCBS measure instead, Nitro 100 is a small flake powder that should meter about as well as W231 - it does. -Well phooey! There is no ¾ ounce shot bushing for the Load-All, or it's since been misplaced. There's a 7/8, and everything else is listed the same for that weight too, but I want to keep the pressures as low as possible (7/8 lists 4,900psi at the same 15.0gr Nitro 100). Hmm, with some experimentation I can use the Lee powder dippers as shot dippers, that should be faster than weighing each shot charge. -The 3.4cc dipper is a little light, around 312 grains (¾ ounce is 328.1), but the 3.7 is too heavy, around 350. 3.4 it is. (This is #6 shot, specified by rules for Cowboy Action, USPSA, etc.; obviously different shot sizes will pack the dipper (or the charge bar bushing) differently, resulting in different weights.) Made ten rounds ¾oz. #6, seven rounds 17/4B (all the #4 buckshot I had), and ten rounds 6/OO with the shot cup walls cut away from 12S0 wads. Have to be gentle with the handle when seating the wad, to get the column height right, to get the crimp right - trial and error.

Uh-oh - another brainstorm: the extended 20- and 30-round magazines I have for the Marlin might be adaptable to the Hi-Power with a new cut for the magazine catch! I just tried the 20-round unit with dummy cartridges, pressing the magazine into the pistol by resting it on my leg, and it worked, even locked the slide when it was supposed to. Possibly the reverse adaptation would also work, by cutting Hi-Power slots in the S&W magazines, meaning I would end up with magazines interchangeable between the Marlin and my pistol after all! Ooo!! Just have to be careful removing metal. In the worst case it would be really hard to screw up enough that they couldn't still be used in the weapon they were built for, either way - it's about an eighth-inch hole and the locations are about a half-inch apart. Muuhahahahaaa! -The 30-round design would need a little more work, around the slot in the magazine body where the follower pushes up on the slide lock, but should also be convertible. Um, the 30's follower does not match up as well as the 20's, hmm. Compare with the Marlin itself - aha, the 30s have a design flaw, they won't lock the Marlin open! Out comes the epoxy again, to build up the followers so they engage the slide or bolt lock properly. And the FM's units... will lock the Marlin, with a little tweaking perhaps. Muuhahahahaaa!!

I love seeing how stuff works. That's a big part of my fascination with firearms.

Meanwhile, shooting tomorrow maybe with a bunch of FMJ, the last 35 rounds of 124gr RNL over 3.8gr W231 from last time, and maybe a box of JHP. With the FM's own magazines of course.

692 - Sunday, 5 December 2004: Departing about 10am for Clark Rifles with FM, ~100 rounds UMC and Win/USA FMJ, 50 rounds Win/USA JHP, 35 rounds RNL handloads; double shotgun and low-pressure smokeless handloads.

Good session. Not great but good. Giving up on the 15-round KRD magazines for now, all three causing slips to half-cock; observing disturbing extraction failures when using the 13-round USA magazines (huh?), though that settled down later (will seek replacement extractor). But, the new front sight is just fine for factory 115gr FMJ or JHP loads. The lead handloads are still weak; I could go up another .1gr, or even more, but they're already smoky at 3.8gr, hm. I did get one full 13-round magazine of those without malfunctions, except it failed slide-lock. Well, I can at least collect New Data. The smokeless shotgun loads also worked fine, moderate recoil, good patterns (showing up in fresh dirt on the backstop). The double shoots acceptably close to point of aim with either barrel and is now in all respects ready for home defense or Cowboy Action use. Will make more 12 gauge rounds on the recipes above, and another batch of 124gr RNL 9x19mm at 3.9gr W231, and maybe more at 4.0. Later, once I have steady and reliable income again, I'll fiddle with 147gr lead to try to cut down on the smoke by cutting down on velocity. Will probably use up the 115 eventually too - can't have too much ammo, or too much practice with it, smoky or not. Hm, now what do I do with all those 12 gauge Pyrodex rounds with their messy cleanup...? Maybe salvage the shot for smokeless and use the hulls for blanks, I dunno.

Detail-stripped FM, removed extractor, cleaned carefully. No apparent damage, though it might-could be sharper. Will still look for spare on principle.

Slacking on email....

693 - Monday, 6 December 2004: Yecchh, digging trenches in a basement.

So I'm driving to the work site and I see this bumper sticker, "BILLIONAIRES FOR BUSH - GOVERNMENT OF, BY, AND FOR THE CORPORATIONS". And I just have to respond:

Last I heard, Kerry is still saying he'll run again in '08. Hillary and her Comité pour la Sûreté Publique might have something to say about that....

694 - Tuesday, Pearl Harbor Day, 7 December 2004:

Naval Historical Center's Pearl Harbor Pages

Yecchh, sigh. And an average of less than twenty hours a week. Working on updated resumés to send to temp service.

Finishing The Shadow of Saganami. The last action, a pre-emptive strike against naval forces massing in a sovereign system which in turn was linked to terrorist activities, could be interpreted as commentary justifying, strategically, the invasion of Iraq. Which doesn't bother me, as there are more links between Iraq and Hussein and 9/11 than the lapdog TV networks are admitting. The rest is fine, deep characters, good story, tasty action - the writing, specifically the dialogue, is just a little wordier than I like (I'm constantly editing it in my head, boiling down turns of phrase, etc.), but it's worth wading through it. Going back to Omaha Beach.

694 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004: This time it's the boss who's sick, but he calls me over to his house and I split firewood for three hours. Ain't done that in twenty years, but at least I remember how. (Whether I want to or not.)

Uh-oh, the Grocery Outlet store, in that part of town, has shrimp rings and crab meat again. Luxury items I usually refrain from splurging on, but le$$ than WinCo, couldn't resist. And these rings have a cocktail sauce I really like. At least I steered clear of the nearby surplus store.

New resumés, for warehouse and assembly positions, emailed to temp service last night.

The other day I got an email from a reader attending school in Utah, one of three pure-Red States this election, and he painted an intriguing picture of the place - not as far-right churchy as the jackasses would have us believe, mining jobs, surprisingly low prices on used firearms, hmm. He also suggests work as a truck driver - good pay if one can stand the hours, hmm.

Watched Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, restored version on DVD. Actually never saw it before. I think I would have liked to see the extended ending that was cut. Anyway it's timeless. I guess Ron Paul is the closest thing we have to Jefferson Smith these days. The tour-bus part really got to me, though the effect was somewhat diluted by the deifying of Lincoln ("If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that"). OTOH, if Turtledove's conjecture is anywhere near the mark I might have to grudgingly admit that preserving the Union was a good thing. And it is better to be a citizen of a superpower than a subject of a lesser one.

Oh, and the "undocumented worker" neighbors on the other side of the hedge, with the loud TV and the screeching brats and the umpty vehicles sprawled all over the street, moved out a month or two ago. Reconstruction there continues, judging by the new noises.

695 - Thursday, 9 December 2004: So I get to the specified job site at the specified time and... the boss isn't there. And I can't start work myself because All The Stuff is in his truck, which also is not there, and besides I wouldn't know exactly which piece of plastic goes where according to his plan. So I listen to Rush Limbaugh for a while - the boss is often delayed, by stopping for more parts and the like - and he's still not there. So I charge off to an ATM to get some cash and I charge off to a market to get change and I ring him up on the pay phone - and I get a recording. So I go back to the hovel and I call again at 10am, an hour after the specified starting time, and he's still sick, so I go over to his place again and do more work there.

And the temp service says... nothing. Again.

[thought="random"] Some days ago, in the wake of Kerry's rejection, CBS' Andy Rooney was mystified that "people who work with their hands" voted for Bush. Well, Andy, maybe we're tired of having our taxes raised, our guns banned, our speech censored, our religion attacked, our military ambushed and sabotaged, our children brainwashed, our entire nation and way of life constantly insulted. Djya ever thinka that? We're not real to those people, we don't fully exist in their insulated Ivory-Tower universe. We're like cardboard cutouts or zoo animals to them, they can't wrap their minds around the idea that we are real and worthy human beings with ideals and wills of our own. And the notion that we're actually better than them, or even that we represent the majority of America - impossible! Absurd!

In Dean Ing's Pulling Through, Syria nuked most of our population centers, and the protagonist's narrative commented - published years before the election maps - on the resulting, shall we say, Red Shift in the country's political makeup.

I really must move out of the city....

696 - Friday, 10 December 2004: Boss not there again. Actually I fear it's vodka. ...Actually, after yesterday, I know it's vodka. Sigh. Dilemma: phone him to try to get this week's pay and risk getting roped into more yard work, or wait for him to call me and try to get some reloading done, pestering him Monday instead for the paycheck, hmm. The latter I think.

Twenty pieces once-fired Federal Mauser - the rest is, what, four times now? Checking the log - yes, that seems about right. 65 live rounds left, the same 150gr Pro Hunter over 45.0gr A2230. 80 pieces leftover four-times-fired already processed, primed, etc.; 95 pieces, five-times they must be, unprocessed. 260 total, okay. So I do the twenty once-fired, just to get them done, and drop them in the tumbler, then I do a whole mess o' 9x19mm and drop them in too - all the accumulated once-fired R-P and WIN, since I don't know if the felt-pen marks on the twice-fired will come off in the wash and I don't want them mixed up. (Marked one once-fired before tumbling to test - yes, it did mostly come off.)

Before I can get that started, boss calls about 10:30, yes, it was vodka, he seemed quite upset with himself, will try to go back to work Monday.

The teacher from Cupertino, CA, being denied the use of the Declaration of Independence, and his lawyer on talk radio. One side issue raised is whether the Declaration is "the" founding document of our nation. Thinking about it, I'd have to say Yes, because right there in the second line of the whole document is possibly the first-ever official use of the name "United States of America". I believe the ideals and principles set forth in the Declaration should have the force of law, should be regarded equally with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

WARNING! Author accepts NO LIABILITY for the use of any reloading data displayed anywhere on this site! USE PUBLISHED DATA FROM RELIABLE INDUSTRY SOURCES ONLY! EMULATE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Okay, setting up the powder measure. The scale/measure combination refuses to consistently differentiate between 3.9 and 4.0gr of W231 - I'll call it 4.0. Fifty of that. Winchester's .PDF says that's maximum. Now what? More 115gr maybe - log says I already reached maximum with that too, 4.2gr, and it still barely cycled the FM. Hmm. Well, Winchester's data is demonstrably weak - I'll try fifty 124gr at 4.2gr, and fifty 115gr at 4.4gr, and then fifty 95gr FMJ at, um, 4.8gr (Winchester's starting load 4.6, maximum 5.1). 1.12" COL with all the RNL, 1.08" with the stubby 95FMJ. Still some case capacity left, especially if I jiggle the loading block to settle the charges. I'll see what happens with all that tomorrow after Barberton.

A couple more links added to my Crimes of the Left page. Considering making a page for my handload recipes, drowned in liability disclaimers of course.

697 - Saturday, 11 December 2004: Zzzz....

Arrived Barberton about 11:15. First thing, Cruffler hands me a stack of books and says "Merry Christmas." Shooter's Bible Reloader's Guide, 1965; Guns by Frederick Wilkinson, 1971, good diagram of a wheel-lock; How Anyone Can Stop Paying Income Taxes by Irwin Schiff & Howy Murzin, 1982; and Speer Reloading Manual Number Ten, 1979 - which shows a 125gr round-nose lead .355" bullet in 9x19mm over 3.8 to 4.1gr of W231. But now I know 4.0 works fine.

But I get ahead of myself. Yakked some, saw the usual stuff, shook the Hobbyist's hand - Cruffler apparently just fed the guy a couple hot dogs and he called it even. Jeez. I love gunfolk. Then charged off to Clark Rifles. Arrived about 11:50, started with the jacketed stuff so as not to boost pressures later with lead fouling. And the 95gr FMJ at 4.8gr W231 is weak, brass dribbling out of the ejection port, stovepipes, failures to fully cycle, failures to slide-lock. Will try 5.0gr (maximum 5.1) for next batch. Now, the 124gr RNL at 4.0gr, published maximum - perfect! Absolutely PERFECT function! And decent accuracy too as far as I could tell, shooting at a 1" black square at about 7 yards. If I took my time I suspect I could cut a lot of cloverleafs with this pistol. (That's next trip.) No pressure signs. Now the 124 again, at 4.2gr, exceeding maximum - still no pressure signs, again perfect function, but since the published load works perfectly I'll just use that. Finally the 4.4gr under 115RNL (last time, at published maximum of 4.2gr (#641), it was still wimpy) - and finally I have a load that can use that bullet weight, but it also is past published maximum. All three lead loads smoky but tolerable, and finally it spits out the brass and cycles the slide like it's supposed to! Zero malfunctions with 150 rounds of lead handloads with both 13-round cheapie magazines. Feeding, extraction, ejection, slide-lock, all perfect. I have a pistol! Now to shop for holsters.

Back to Barberton - saw one Browning magazine, presumably 13-round, unmarked, $15 - Cruffler says that vendor won't haggle, and I need what cash I have for fuel. Got surplus dogs. Charged off to a Vancouver ARCO - $1.79 for Regular ($1.83 in Portland), back to the hovel about 2pm.

Still no match results. Asked at clubhouse - advised to contact the CMP guy, who was there. Emailed. New Dillon Blue Press and American Rifleman in mail - Dillon still advertising the inexpensive Maverick holsters, hmm.

Hi-Power added to the On-Duty list in the hovel, with Winchester factory JHP.

Picked up some law books at the library, preparing for jury duty. However, as I intend to show up with a stack of the Bill of Rights (it's on Bill of Rights Day, after all) and maybe something downloaded from the Fully Informed Jury Association, I kinda expect to be rejected by shysters and/or judges. They want obedient peasants these days, not "twelve men good and true."

698 - Sunday, 12 December 2004: Zzzz....

WELL CRAP! Further fiddling with the FM reveals that the new front sight is loose. At least it hasn't flown off into oblivion like the original - I really want to keep this one as it's just the right height and shape and all. Hobbyist will probably be mortified.

Meanwhile, listening to Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, and SAF/CCRKBA's Alan Gottlieb has a couple radio spots. One is, "It's the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs." In which he says, "Certainly no one needs an assault rifle or a Saturday Night Special," comparing this to no one needing a Corvette, but still having the right to own one. -Wrong approach, Alan. First, the enemy will take this out of context and twist it. Second, people do need military small arms - ask those Korean store owners who used such to prevent their livelihoods from being torched by a racist black mob in the Rodney King riots. Ask the victims of genocide in Rwanda, hacked to death by savages with machetes because the UN refused to release stockpiles of weapons to them. People do need inexpensive handguns because poor people have a right to self-defense too. This is like Charlton Heston, in a radio interview shortly after becoming NRA's figurehead at the height of the Clinton Years, saying that "no one needs an AK47." I'll decide what tools I need, thankyouverymuch. And besides, Gottlieb is not exactly a thrilling orator, you could tell he was reading it off a card, jeez.

Also, an unconfirmed report on rec.guns that Front Sight, which sent out that DVD a few months ago hyping their membership plans, may be folding, laying off their marketing department and halting construction. Sigh.

Loading up more 9x19mm - fifty pieces of 95gr FMJ over 5.0gr - what the heck, guided by experience with Winchester's data, right up to the published maximum, 5.1gr W231. -Okay, 91 rounds, all remaining. Processing heap of twice-fired Remington and Winchester brass, will load with 124gr RNL over 4.0gr W231, and 115gr RNL over 4.4gr. Next trip, will try plate practice with the lead, after a little accuracy testing - but I have to get the front sight fixed again first. Will also make more low-pressure smokeless 12 gauge, 15.0gr Nitro 100 under ¾oz. #6 or (6)OO.

Oh look, another story of liberals advocating violence against conservatives. Who'd'a thunk it!

Putting up my Handloads pages, to be accessed through my Collection page.

In email, Cruffler suggests a propane torch (available at local hardware store) and a bit of solder (I think they have silver solder there) and just splat the front sight back on there. But that's just what Hobbyist did, what's to keep it from breaking again? I'll be running thousands of rounds through this pistol.

699 - Monday, 13 December 2004: Later, Cruffler berates me for not yet having a torch, says I'd be brought before the Secret Committee on Un-Gunfolkly Activities if he didn't know I already had a Dremel, offers the use of his torch (and presumably solder). Planning on Saturday, might get rifle practice too, I still have those 240 rounds for the FR. Might also burn up the last of the 150gr 7.92 in the VZ, to prepare the brass for developing heavier loads.

Morning, phone plumbing boss before leaving hovel - he's there. 6½ hours, plus last week, got paid - he wanted to pay me Friday, I don't think so. No work tomorrow, inspections and whatnot. -And I get back and there's a statement in the mail - the last check he wrote me bounced, costing me a $5 service fee. :-\

In email, new readers asking gunfolkly advice on blackpowder, reloading, etc. Cool! In the process of answering the latter I discovered that, ignoring the capital tooling costs, my RNL 9mm reloads cost a touch over half what I pay for factory FMJ. I also learned that I'm saving a few cents per round on 12 gauge, though the goal there is for specific performance. Highpower rifle is the biggest savings, ~60% less than factory, for about the same performance.

More of my biological family coming out of the electronic woodwork - now an email from my sister-in-law in Arizona, where my eldest brother extends an invitation to visit. Mid-70s Fahrenheit down there, she reports. (40s and 50s up here, approaching freezing at night - city services all aflutter with memories of last year's icy debacle.) Arizona has long been on my list of Places to Leave Oregon For... if only they could get rid of Hanoi Johnny McCain (who considered switching from RINO to official Commie and running with Kerry). It's also an open-carry state, and an anti-illegal-immigration battleground. Meanwhile the sister who visited extends an invitation for Christmas.

Oh yeah, CHRISTmas. I'm agnostic, but anything that gives "liberals" headaches is fine by me. The briefest web search can turn up dozens of stories on persecution of and discrimination against Christians, often to the advancement of other religions like murderous rapacious Islam.

700 - Tuesday, 14 December 2004: Zzzz!!!!

Jury duty tomorrow, haircut today. (Interfering with my sight picture again anyway.) Ambivalent about the duty. On the one hand, I don't want to sit in some jury box for hours or days listening to a bunch of lawgibberish (what was that about watching laws or sausages being made...?) while getting paid peanuts, but on the other hand it is my duty as a Citizen and a voter in this the greatest nation in the history of the world. Sigh.

OFF is hosting a full-auto event in Vernonia for New Year's (Portland's official event downtown typically a. prohibits lawful concealed carry and b. devolves into a glut of drunken cityfolk vandalism - but I'm not a party person anyway, I hate crowds). Sis might come down for that.

Blew twelve bucks on an Uncle Mike's cheapie IWB holster, size 5 for service-size pistols - adequate, but I'll be wanting something better when I can afford it.

Sis sends me a surplus computer monitor! Timely, as the old one is displaying ill health.

701 - Wednesday, Bill of Rights Day, 15 December 2004: Off to jury duty. Removing the Bush/Cheney sticker and signs from my car before parking off-site - don't want the car vandalized, in that lefty part of town, while I'm in there. Going to the courthouse armed... with a sack full of books, a stack of the Bill of Rights, a couple FIJA printouts, something to take notes with, and the tape recorder I keep on the dashboard in case I get pulled over.

Parked off-site, took mass-transit downtown. Icky downtown people. And it just smells down there. Really. Reached courthouse - metal detector, X-ray, etc.; no groping at least. Kept freaking out, feeling at my hips for my absent pocketknife, multitool, small flashlight. Arrived in plenty of time, others didn't. Pep talk by a judge, "what you're doing is very important." Security briefing by county sheriff deputy. Mainly sitting and waiting (in cheap plastic chairs that made my back ache), studying some FIJA and law-dictionary stuff, then reading Omaha Beach. A couple ten-minute breaks and 1½ hours (!) for lunch. Maybe two hundred people total - names chosen randomly, 15 in one batch, 28 in another, etc. And I didn't get picked! I didn't even get to utter the two poison words, "jury nullification." (Nor was the concept mentioned by those on the government's payroll, of course - judge says the jury's job is to judge the facts in the case, inflected in such a way as to imply that's all the jury is for, while Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration of Independence, said in 1804 that "The jury has the right to judge both the law and the facts". Sins of omission.) (Coincidentally, I learn from Balkoski that one of the troopships in the Normandy invasion was named Samuel Chase. And another, Thomas Jefferson.) Oh well, at least it's over with. Dismissed about 3pm, back to the hovel.

Message from temp service - "process tech" position, training on day shift, working swing shift, way the heck out on the westernmost side, 3:30pm to midnight. (Possibly the same place that offered a different position earlier.) I'm not attracted to other-than-day-shift, but, temp-to-hire, $14-$15/hour, and I wouldn't be crawling around under houses (or splitting firewood...). That'd buy a lot of Sierra Pro Hunters, and finally get me back on course for a CMP Garand (and a pickup truck...). Banged out a tweaked resumé, emailed it to the temp rep. Meanwhile, phone plumbing boss - back on the west side by the socialist cesspit school tomorrow.

702 - Thursday, 16 December 2004: Just getting ready to leave, and the plumbing boss calls asking me over to his place again. Sigh - more yard work. Sigh - not vodka, wine. But he does make a good smoked salmon. Blower-swept driveway and patio, cleaned gutters (YECCHH), anti-moss-sprayed roof. Supposed to do actual plumbing work (again) on the westside tomorrow (again).

No word from temp service.

Big Expo show this weekend, crowds, blueshirts, cityfolk, yecchh.

703 - Friday, 17 December 2004: Yeeeccchhh, dusty old crawlspace. Several different kinds of dust including fiberglass insulation, all of which billows if you so much as blink. Basement boogers, bleah! But, a little more pay, including the $5 service fee for the bounced check. But, he wants me to hold this one for a couple days too. Maybe no work (from him) Monday.

No word from temp service.

Finally contacted match director from A vs. A, results expected shortly.

Up late processing 9mm RNL loads, 200 (all remaining) 115 over 4.4gr W231 and 50 124 over 4.0gr. Should be 150 124gr left, which would be all the handgun projectiles I have now. 91 rounds 95gr FMJ over 5.1gr W231 already in range bag from last episode of gumption. Using different color Sharpie to designate twice-fired. Hope to get the front sight fixed (again) at Cruffler's place before proceeding to Clark Rifles. Will also take (Mojo- and Timney-equipped, last remaining) VZ24 and remainder of 150gr Pro Hunters, just for 100-yard practice to maintain my recoil tolerance and to free up the brass.

704 - Saturday, 18 December 2004: Zzzz....

Encore l'zzzz....

Et toujours l'zzzz....

Phoned Cruffler, no answer. Had breakfast, fiddled with FM, cleaned neglected nooks & crannies. Phoned again - no answer. Went up there anyway, met, snurfled by dog. Propane torch applied to slide, sight tapped further into slot when existing solder liquified. Examined Mag-10 shotgun, Cruffler expresses disappointment that it's not bigger. (Frankly it didn't look or feel a lot bigger than a 12 gauge. Quite heavy though. Design does not easily lend itself to a magazine extension, gas system is in the way, unlike the Remington 1100 or 11-87. Didn't stare at the guts enough to form an opinion on box feed.)

Arrived Clark Rifles about 2pm - handgun line mobbed, to rifle line, burned up 65 rounds 7.92mm. Eh, coulda been worse I guess, and now all the brass is empty for future loads. Eventually back to handgun line, starting with the 95gr FMJ - and the front sight disappears into the range debris with the first shot. Extra-triple-phooey! At least I measured it first so it can be duplicated. Left about 3pm. Emailed Cruffler with sad tidings. Hmm, maybe the new sight should be pinned crosswise through the slide, there should be enough room for that if the hole is drilled right. More email.

705 - Sunday, 19 December 2004: Zzzz....

Leafing through Shooter's Bible Reloader's Guide, 1965 - complete and detailed chapter on bullet casting, right down to the Therbligs. I probably won't get into that soon, but the idea of launching hollow-base Miniés from my flintlock pistols has an anachronistic appeal.... Several good illustrations of the entire reloading process for metallic-cartridge and shotshell.

The Cabela's gift certificate from the online survey outfit appears to be just enough to get Lee Pacesetter dies in 7.62x54R, with shipping - ordered. Careful study of a downloaded Lee catalog shows that these dies do include a full-length sizer with decapper, and a shellholder for standard presses. (For priming I can reinstall the priming arm in the press, until I track down an Auto-Prime shellholder or splurge on an RCBS priming tool which takes standard shellholders.) But I still don't have reloadable brass. -Goodness, if that Mosin 91/30 rifle will do 98/1X in rapid-prone with Albanian surplus military stuff, what will it do with handloads? Oh, and I still have to slug the barrel to get the right bullet diameter. In related news, Sierra Bullets emails in response to my comments on the reloading manual registration card - I asked for more selections in .311" for all these Soviet-surplus rifles and they pointed out that they do in fact have several. But, their load data for the 7.62 Mosin shows .308" bullets! Hmm. Well, if I use the starting loads for the same weight....

Wrapping up Balkoski's Omaha Beach. Only three Medals of Honor were awarded for the Normandy Invasion (Pvt. Carlton Barrett, HQ Co., 18th Inf. Regt., 1st Div; T/5 John Pinder, HQ Co., 18th Inf. Regt., 1st Div. (Posthumous); and 1st Lt. Jimmie Monteith, Jr., L Co., 16th Inf. Regt., 1st Div. (Posthumous)), and one of those (Monteith) resulted from the direct intervention of Eisenhower. Author praises all these liberators most highly and calls for a review of some of the 153 Distinguished Service Crosses awarded, singling out Brigadier General Norman D. Cota, 29th Infantry Division assistant commander, and Colonel George Taylor, commanding 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, for upgrades to the MoH. "A grateful nation must remember." Pg. 348:

Capt. Joseph Dawson
Commander, Company G, 16th Infantry, 1st Division, June 16, 1944

My Dearest Family,
You must forgive me for not writing a detailed letter to you before now because there were certain things that occurred to prevent me from gathering my thoughts long enough to inscribe them.... One never realizes the utter loneliness of separation until he has had the privilege of living and being a part of the finest group of men on the face of the earth.... What I'm trying to say is that justice can never be properly accorded to the magnificent fortitude and heroism of the fine American soldier and man. He is without peer, and these past few days have implanted in the hearts of all a realization of the true greatness of these men. I say this because I've had an honor never to be equaled in being part of a group that will ever stand as a symbol of greatness to all who witnessed or know how they measured up to the supreme test without faltering or wavering. I cannot say more for my heart forbears it, but God is my witness that the men of my company lived, fought, and died in true glory.... I am with the bravest, finest, grandest bunch of men that God ever breathed life into.

Captain Dawson was wounded while leading those men against heavy German resistance in the village of Colleville. For a while his entire company was surrounded there and at risk of being annihilated. Also, one of the worst "Friendly Fire" incidents of the invasion struck his unit as naval gunfire nearly leveled the town under the mistaken impression that the church steeple, which Dawson and his men had already cleaned out, was being used for German artillery observation. But he and his men hung on, and Dawson himself was later awarded the DSC. As Fischer points out in Washington's Crossing, and despite what the terrorist-sympathizers of Old Media are telling us, Americans are and always have been the best and bravest people in the world.

And now for something completely different - Larry Elder's Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests That Divide America.

Meanwhile, Cruffler suggests I get busy with the Dremel and JB Weld and a "pre '78" copper-as-opposed-to-zinc penny and whittle myself a new front sight. Awaiting gumption.

Call plumbing boss - no work there tomorrow.

Any time you want a chill down your spine, visit the Official Medal of Honor Site and start reading. And keep a tissue handy.

706 - Monday, 20 December 2004: No plumbing work today. Zzzz....

Examining Sierra reloading manual for projectile choices. In .311" for the 7.62 Mosin, there's a 174gr MatchKing boat-tail hollowpoint, but the MatchKing isn't meant for expansion for hunting; and flat-base soft-point Spitzer Pro Hunters in 125, 150 and 180gr. Load data shows .308" bullets in 110, 125, 135, 150, 155, 165, 168, 175, 180, 190, 200 and 220gr. Cartridges of the World suggests military loads of 147 and 185gr. Military Small Arms of the 20th Century says in the neighborhood of 150gr. Web info says the Albanian, which gave me that rapid-prone 98/1X, is 147gr. And Sierra isn't the only maker of .311" rifle bullets. I'll look for something 150ish, preferrably boat-tail.

Processing more 9x19mm brass. Staring at a 1970 penny and pondering how I'll physically handle it for Dremeling down to a very small size. Will try to take pictures of that.

Washington governor's race still not over. Every couple of days, another batch of hundreds of "valid" ballots are "discovered." Where are these ballots coming from? Where were they on November 2nd? I have my suspicions....

Portland city council wants to divert "city and county money" - that is, my money - to build housing for the "chronically homeless." The logic is that they're costing more on the street, in police calls and such. So now the city of Portland is officially encouraging people to be lazy and worthless and to not work for a living - and the productive class is, as usual, stuck with the bill for propping up the unproductive. Weber warned us about this early in the Honor Harrington series, with the Republic of Haven following much the same path, creating the Dolist class. And there are older warnings:

"Everybody has asked the question: 'What shall we do with the Negro?' I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!"
- Frederick Douglass, April 1865

And of course:

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins,
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Phone temp service - no word from the westside place.

New bumper stickers:

Elder's Showdown, pg. 3:

For the first 150 years of our nation's history, the Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution the way the Founding Fathers wrote, explained, and intended it - as a restraint on government. What happened?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

707 - Tuesday, 21 December 2004: Low on gas, low on cash, low on groceries. Good thing I have those reserve cans. Rent will be close. No word from temp service. Sigh. Extra-special yecchh anticipated tomorrow, a smaller-than-usual crawlspace in a Very Old House.

New bumper sticker:

708 - Wednesday, 22 December 2004: Boss calls - start time delayed ‘til 10:30. At least it's not wine today.

Starting on front sight. First, the plan:

The process (note the miniature vise):

The product (of a half-hour or so careful Dremeling):

Not exactly what I was after, but pretty close. Hope to test it this Sunday, the range is supposed to be open on the 26th. I'd like to take it to the OFF/TNW Firearms New Year's event, just to have something substantial to shoot - and of course I want to start carrying it. Tiny amount of JB Weld applied, set aside to cure. This front sight will be rather narrower than the last one, or even the original. This will give me the daylight I like to have in either side of the rear notch, but after grinding the sides smooth to get rid of the coin details, it might be a bit too narrow. If this doesn't work, or if it comes off in testing again, next time I'll use a nickel (and more JB Weld). If I weren't broke I'd get a hobbyist-sized chunk of steel from the local Very Good Hardware Store.

To work - wrasslin' big honkin' drill, making holes in studs and joists to route water feed lines, and the fetching and the carrying. 4½ hours today, 5½ yesterday - averaging for the rest of the month, that might just barely make rent if I blow out savings (again), and then where will I be for next month?

Back to hovel - message from temp service! "Materials handling" in Tualatin (southwestern suburb), no details yet - call temp rep, not answering, leave message.

In mail, sis sends more money, though not as embarrassingly much as last time. So there's rent and I get to keep my meager savings too. If I can get a regular job I'll be back in shape.

An hour later, call temp service again - "I'll send your resumé over there," sigh. And no word on the process tech position.

New front sight a little lopsided, JB Weld not fully cured, carefully tweaked it upright.

Examining Midway catalog for .311-ish rifle bullets - Hornady, .310" 123gr FMJ or Spire Point (like the Sierra Pro Hunter I think) - too light, meant for the 7.62x39mm Soviet. 150gr Interlock Spire Point, I know those are flat-base like the SPH; 174gr FMJBT and Interlock Round Nose, no, I want Spitzers and I want expansion and I'm pretty sure I want about 150gr. Remington, more x39 stuff, theirs is 125gr soft point; and their only other offering, 180gr round nose. Sierra, already covered. Speer... I'm a little leery of them after watching the ogive, and therefore the overall cartridge length, wander so with their .308" 150gr FMJBT, but they do offer yet another 123gr soft point for the x39, another 180gr round nose, and a 150gr (probably yet another flat-base like the Pro Hunter and Interlock) Spitzer. Winchester - again with the 123gr, a "Power Point" which may in fact be a round nose. Woodleigh - 174 and 215gr, both round nose. -And that's it. No expanding boat-tails in .310-.312". So when the dies get here (no email confirmation from Cabela's yet, odd...), next I'll need reloadable brass, and then I imagine I'll go to Sportsman's Warehouse and try a box each of Pro Hunter, Interlock, and Speer Spitzer. $omeday.

709 - Thursday, 23 December 2004: Again with the 10:30. Crawlspace today, supposedly for a gas line. Yay.

Examining new front sight, appears fully cured. Drop slide a few times, seems to hold up to that, but of course live fire will be different. Just a little touch-up with some needle files to break the sharpest edges. Caliper suggests I got the height right. Ammunition left: 90 rounds 95gr FMJ over 5.1gr W231; 200 115gr RNL over 4.4; and 50 124gr RNL over 4.0. And one box of Winchester 115JHP, which I know works, for carrying. -The one round of 95FMJ I fired last time did in fact cycle the action, but I lost the brass and couldn't examine it for pressure signs (unlikely with Winchester's systemically weak load data). Probably the published maximum of 5.1gr will work for that weight.

Making new page off the front of the site, for Jeff Cooper's Four Rules of Firearms Safety.

Get there, fiddle some with more feed lines, no crawlspace after all. Then he runs out of pipe and charges across town for more. An hour and a half later I go back to my place and phone him and he's just on the way back. So I go back there and the other crew has torn up a bunch of stuff and is now in our way and that's it. At least I got paid for this week. No work tomorrow, back there Monday. Mailing rent check right the heck now, utilities sliding again but at least I caught up the last time sis sent me money.

And of course, no word from temp service. Cruffler exhorting me to sign up with other services.

Meanwhile, fuel prices continuing to drop, $1.75 for Regular in Portland, usually a couple cents cheaper in Washington.

UPS box on doorstep - the Mosin dies from Cabela's! That was quick. Full-length sizer, seater, crimp die, shellholder, 3.1cc powder dipper, and data/instruction sheet. Rubber O-rings instead of screws on die locking rings, hmm, "All Lee Dies have finger tighten lock rings that lock to both the die and the press. When removing die, always loosen by the lock ring. This insures the lock will maintain its exact setting for future use." Well, one less machining operation, makes the dies less expensive I guess, and I can always replace them with Hornady split-rings if I want to. -And Lee's load data also shows .308" bullets, sigh. Not listed at all in Speer #10 (1979); three bullets, two of them apparently Sierra's Pro Hunters and maybe their actual .311s, in Accurate 2002 booklet; no listing in Hodgdon 2002; Lyman #45 (1970) lists .308s but at least acknowledges variations in bore diameter. Must slug bore. Well, if I end up using .308" I'll have a much better selection, and maybe I'll get lucky and find a projectile that works well in both the Mosin and the FR. Reinstalling primer arm on press. (If I can find it....)

Ohfercryin'outloud, another jury summons for 19 January. Can they do that? And a $20 rent increase from the new owners, effective 31 January, $295.

Leafing through The Art of the Rifle again, pg. 8:

The first round must hit. There is such a thing as a "firestorm," occasionally applicable in infantry engagements. There is also formal competition, in which practically inhuman consistency, shot after shot, is required. But the rifle is a weapon, and the second shot rarely matters. Very seldom will your elk stand there and wait for you to hit him again. If you drop an enemy with your first round, his buddy may just stand there and look blank while you try again, but do not count on it. The rifleman must put his whole mind on that first shot and bend his entire concentration to that effort, to the exclusion of all distractions. Thus it is that shooting "strings" on paper targets, while challenging, is not a productive shooting exercise. We must do it frequently, for administrative reasons, but we should remember that only the first shot of the string is important.

In Fred's Shotgun News columns, Fred frequently refers to the Riverside Gun Club's reactive targets at 200 and 300 yards. That's the kind of self-training I need. Sight-in on paper, get real practice on something that shows real hits and misses.

Made initial settings for Mosin dies. Used GI bore cleaner to remove manufacturer's oil from sizer.

New bumper sticker, by request. I knew all that clip art I downloaded would be useful someday:

Commie Gregoire unofficial "winner" of Washington governor "election":

Day by Day - used without permission - click for more

Later, with crowds and traffic thinning (some), back out for fuel ($1.69 in Vancouver! Reserve cans refilled too) and groceries.

A reader sends this story about US troops being court-martialed for using US equipment to accomplish a US mission. Huh? Sixty years ago Patton was handing out medals for that stuff.

Another reader, having rediscovered this site from when ShootersInet died a year and a half ago, offers moral support on my current fiscal failings - and some S&B Mosin brass and a surplus Lee Pro 1000 progressive loader!


I love gunfolk.

710 - Friday, Christmas Eve, 24 December 2004: (Being agnostic, I mention Christmas solely to tick off "liberals." I even find myself answering "MERRY CHRISTMAS" when the grocery store clerk says "Happy Holidays.") No work. Zzzz....

Elder's Showdown is, like his Ten Things, Coulter's Treason, Savage's The Enemy Within, and Horowitz' Left Illusions, more of a reference piece, a useful tool or weapon for political activism or campaigning, and not necessarily entertaining in its own right. P. J. O'Rourke's Peace Kills, OTOH, is less useful but more fun. Pg. 12:

Republicans are squares, but it's the squares who know how to fly the bombers, launch the missiles, and fire the M-16s. Democrats would still be fumbling with the federally mandated trigger locks. And did Al Gore grow that beard for a while just in case the Taliban won?

Meawhile, the FM's new front sight:

A close-up of the problem with the second flintlock pistol, with the diagram for a reminder, and the repair concept:

Click to englarge

Plowed through Peace Kills. O'Rourke is well-read, many literary references and little history lessons amid the wit and satire, very entertaining. Some sacred-double-bacon-cheeseburgers too. Clausewitz' On War is the kind of book one has to buy and keep handy for frequent reference, much denser than Sun Tzu, returning it for now. Ketchum's Saratoga is next.

711 - Saturday, Christmas Day, 25 December 2004: On this the 228th anniversary of the Battle of Trenton, I repeat my strong recommendation of Fischer's Washington's Crossing.

For all the Christian-hating lefties out there, MERRY %$@! CHRISTMAS DAMMIT! And for the Jew-hating terrorist-loving Israel-bashing university professors (and their Blue-Pill students), HAPPY $#@! HANUKKAH TOO!

A couple days ago, a vagrant beggar was shot, by a citizen he was accosting, in downtown Portland. One eyewitness account on radio news suggests the vagrant might have had it coming; the citizen surrendered to blueshirts immediately but has been charged with murder. Few details yet, but the vagrant reportedly had a history of mental illness and was known to the blueshirts. Here's a link, and here's another.

712 - Sunday, 26 December 2004: Zzzz....

Last night I'm up late fiddling with the computer and I see a movement in my peripheral vision. And I turn my head and squint and there's a New Shape next to the cat's gravity feeder. So I put my glasses on and aim a flashlight at it and....

It's a mouse.

Eating my cat's food.

With the cat sleeping on a chair somewhat less than one cat-length away.

(Of course it runs as soon as I move toward it.) My cat has in fact independently killed and devoured one mouse here in this same hovel, but that was some years ago. Another time I found one in the bathtub and had to practically rub his nose in it, but he eventually bounded out through his open-for-summer window with something small and gray in his mouth. Poor thing, he's just getting old, and he never really had a chance to develop his hunting skills. Maybe I'll live-trap this one and do the bathtub thing again, as a cat-treat.

Departing eventually for Clark Rifles with FM and, uh, FR so I can get rifle practice in case the front sight comes off again. Starting with that in fact, so I won't wimp out on the whole trip if the pistol's sight fails. 25 yards, Palma five-place targets, four batches of 20 rounds handloads, all 150gr in Hirtenberger brass: Sierra Pro Hunter and Hornady Interlock, over 43.4gr H380 and 42.8gr W748, all at 2.75" (at the cannelure with the Interlock), no crimp. Shooting for groups to evaluate potential accuracy, not sighting-in (still want the CETME sight tool).

Arrive ~1pm. As I'm signing in, range officer alerts me to the presence of a .50 rifle on the lower range! Go down to ogle - Armalite AR50 bolt-action single-shot. And now I know .50BMG is allowed here (not that I can afford one...)! Cool. -Cruffler, if you're so disappointed with the 10 gauge, you need a fifty. And then you can let me try it.

Starting with... Interlock/H380. Single loading. Bang - no pressure signs, published starting load. String of five - decent.... Again - equally decent. Stiffer recoil with the stubby FR in 7.62mm vs. the longer, heavier VZ in 7.92mm - but a) 8mm Mauser load data is kinda wimpy generally, relative to .308, for liability in respective antique vs. modern rifles, and b) the VZ is still wearing the recoil pad that was on the FR, though the field jacket and flannel shirt make it tolerable. Again - still there, mostly. And again, from the magazine - seating is good despite no crimp. A little sloppier but I don't think I can blame it on bullet-point deformation in the magazine. (Reminder: the inner white square is one inch. At 25 yards this is four minutes of angle, four sixtieths of a degree, which works out to twenty inches at 500 yards, give or take a few decimal points - the width of an enemy's torso at something over a quarter-mile. Every hit in the white, or in a group that would fit in the white if the sights were properly adjusted, represents a very unhappy tyrant.)

FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 1 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 2 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 3 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 4

Now Sierra with the same powder. Still no pressure signs, but it's the same charge of the same powder in the same case with the same primer under the same weight of flat-base-Spitzer jacketed bullet. Still crowding 4MOA, okay. I know I could hit a jackboot at 300 yards, which is pretty far - pretty damn far with iron sights, actually. But I'm still working toward 500. (Considering other ranges/clubs too.) Again, still decent groupwise. Interesting, the Sierra appears to trend lower and lefter than the Hornady. Well, I'm here to learn. Again - interesting. And again, from the magazine again - very interesting. -H380 burns rather clean; adequate chamber pressure to make a good gas seal with the case, just a little soot around the neck like usual. Seating holds up in recoil with the Sierra as well.

FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 1 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 2 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 3 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 43.4gr H380, 25yds, benchrest 4

Now... Sierra again, with Winchester powder. Still no pressure signs, still good gas seal - W748 may burn even cleaner than H380. Oh my. Even with that high flyer that's a very interesting group. Again, almost as interesting. Again - that's gotta be my fault. And again - uh-huh.

FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 1 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 2 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 3 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Sierra Pro Hunter 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 4

Finally, Interlock/W748. -I think I'm getting tired, don't want to blame that on the load yet. Again - ick. Now that is not where I put the front sight dammit. Again - better.... Last string - ick again.

FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 1 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 2 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 3 FR8 Spanish Mauser 7.62x51mm, Hornady Interlock 150gr, 42.8gr W748, 25yds, benchrest 4

At least the sight picture is better, though I'm still concerned about the few thousandths geometric difference between my aperture and the original V, for calibration at different distances with the other apertures in the disc. If/when I get the other VZs back from Cruffler I'll put that lovely old Redfield on one. Now that's a sight.

~2pm, to handgun range, ~7 yards, a couple of the old 1" black squares just for something to aim at, 95gr FMJ over 5.1gr W231. First shot (single loaded) - front sight stays on! Ejects okay, but no slide lock, hmm. Second shot - front sight stays on! Stovepipe this time, hmm. May have to exceed maximum with the 95s as well, but these are all of that weight I have left. Oh well, New Data. Now a full magazine. -And the front sight comes off after six more rounds. Extra quadruple phooey! But it was cycling. And I wisely did some rifleman-type stuff first so the whole trip wasn't a disappointment. Back to hovel, dig out a nickel and start mangling.

And I discover that, after the remodel, when I was putting the computer/junk accretion back together, I misplaced the AC adapter for the flatbed scanner - probably in storage. Will go look for it tomorrow.

713 - Monday, 27 December 2004: To work. Get there, wait, wait, the other crew has to leave, wait, wait some more, back to hovel, phone plumbing boss, recording, leave message. Sigh. Ten minutes later he calls back, "I'm #^&@ed up," go back to job site and lock the doors, start phoning temp services. First one says I'm "no longer being considered" for the process tech position on swing shift in Hillsboro, but the warehouse in Tualatin wants to interview me tomorrow morning! Finally. Less pay than my last regular job (the Japanese widget factory) but it beats crawlspaces. Phone plumbing boss with the news, he won't be happy....

Starting on the FM's fourth front sight. Nickel is harder than copper, duh.

Other sister sends a Christmas card - and a Target gift card! A brand-new-in-the-box Lexmark Z515 color printer, with black and color cartridges, costs just a couple bucks more than just the color cartridge for a Lexmark Z22 - and the 515's cartridges are cheaper still. But Target's DVD shelves didn't have Gibson's The Patriot! Eh, I have a job interview tomorrow, I should be able to afford it soon.

The scanner's power adapter is somewhere amid the metric tonne or so of junk crammed into my 5x5' storage space and would need more time than I want to spend to discover, assuming a junkslide didn't kill me in the process. But, somewhere in the hovel I had a multivoltage adapter, with a half-dozen different size plugs - found it! And... it works! (Somewhat - not enough current, I think, it doesn't sound happy. Unplugging it when done.) Dig this editorial cartoon in the latest Dillon Blue Press (that's a 1917 Browning water-cooled .30, by the way, for my less-gunfolkly readers; the same weapon Mitchell Paige used to single-handedly hold off an entire Japanese battalion, resulting in his being awarded the Medal of Honor and getting his face on the original G.I. Joe action figure):

And now I can scan the targets from yesterday.

714 - Tuesday, 28 December 2004: I have a job! This place makes fiberoptic security systems - the wavelength of the light passing through the fiber is altered if the fiber is disturbed, and a computer takes it from there. 7am-4pm starting the 3rd. (Hour lunch? Cool....) Not necessarily temp-to-hire, but "long term." The interview went well according to both the temp rep and my own senses; the managers got both my warehouse and assembly resumés and liked both, said they "stood out," and they apparently stopped the interview process after me, their first candidate. My job will largely be stockroom, but I get the impression that I'll be expected to fill in wherever necessary. Forklift driving too, I'll get certified again, cool. Whew! Of course I won't get paid from there 'til the 14th, but I should squeeze through. First priority, re-motorize, something that passes DEQ, preferably a small truck, selling or trading the little green smogmobile.

Now if there's anyone in the Detroit/Ypsilanti area looking for a software guy, my Michigan reader is in need of income....

Plumbing boss is apparently Not Working again today but is supposed to be at the westside place near the school tomorrow.

Extra-double-whew! I have a job! Kinda like Tom Hanks in Cast Away dancing on the beach yelling "I! ...Have made Fire!!"

Continuing work on the FM's next front sight. I think I'll go sort of Novak style this time instead of the undercut which could hang up on something when drawing from concealment. Too tall, will take it down later; larger gob of JB Weld, set aside to cure.

In radio news, the man who shot the vagrant downtown is pleading self-defense. Also, a UN critter is branding the US "stingy" for our response to the Indonesian tsunami disaster and suggesting we should raise our taxes. Ahem:

The shining beacon of the United Nations has a long list of scandals and genocides to its credit, while the "stingy," "imperialist" United States can only claim a few modest successes like ending the Cold War, causing the self-destruction of the Soviet Union, and replacing brutal dictators with freely-elected representative governments in Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq (work in progress), etc. The UN can point to brilliant humanitarian operations in, oh, Rwanda, Haiti, Somalia.... Most of the "world leaders" occupying the UN building are exactly the sort of creatures we go around deposing.

Cruffler forwards email that GunPartsGuy will be hosting an FAL match this spring! Cruffler, pleading poor eyesight, begs off competing but offers the loan of one of his FALs if I provide ammunition! Coooool.

715 - Wednesday, 29 December 2004: Five more hours of crawling around under a house. Tomorrow the boss has some errands and will get a late start, if any, at another place - maybe a couple more hours there. Hopefully that will be enough that I won't have to hock another rifle to Cruffler's Pawn & Loan before the new job's paychecks start coming.

Allies vs. Axis match results! And... I won! BOTH SIDES! Allied side with the Mosin two points higher than the Axis with the VZ, counting bonus points for the longest bayonet and for firing with it fixed (292/3X vs. 290/2X) - but the Mauser's "real" score, as noted in November (#670), three points higher (270/2X vs 267/3X). Not counting bonus points I placed second and third overall in a field of twelve shooter/relays. Only one opponent on the Axis side, with the Arisaka, and he did much better than last year. One shooter with a Garand scored 284/3X "real" and did not use a bayonet - and I beat everybody else either way! Also, each stage (prone slow, prone rapid, standing slow) is scored - I tied for first in prone slow with 97/2X from the VZ, beat everyone in prone rapid with that miraculous 98/1X out of the Mosin (and took second for that stage with 92/0X with the VZ), and took third in standing, also with the Mosin at 84/1X. The same Garand shooter with the highest real score took first in standing and tied me for prone slow. Practice pays! -No prize or award or even a cheesy clipart inkjet certificate in the envelope, though; maybe it'll be mailed separately. -Well! Any way you score this one, I really and truly scored first and/or second against eleven other competitors, some of whom have been shooting matches longer than I've been alive! If this match had been fired under official NRA Sporting Rifle rules, and counting both relays, I would have raised my official NRA standing from Marksman to Sharpshooter. Extra-double-warm-fuzzies! This also bodes well for my resolution (#564) to place in the top three in the 2005 PIG.

Souring the mood somewhat, I also received the Multnomah County Income Tax form and my ten whopping dollars for jury duty.

Hi-Power's new front sight finished (again). Before applying goop, molested the slot in the slide with my Dremel's smallest bit, hoping to clean out old solder, etc., and roughen surface, for a better bond. Slightly unsightly bead of JB Weld around the base - I might carefully remove the excess later if the sight stays put, or I might leave it the heck alone. Meanwhile, painted it all with a black Sharpie. Good sight picture. Photo tomorrow or so.

Cruffler's offer of an FAL for the tentative FAL match does not include time to practice with it - he invokes Bastogne and the cooks and clerks of the 101st Airborne suddenly having to pick up rifles. But I'm not a cook dammit, I just won a rifle match! OTOH there is an expectation of "acquiring" weapons from defeated jackboots, when it comes to that, and this would be a useful exercise - and there are usually sighting rounds in a match. Well, somewhere on my hard drive I have a downloaded FAL manual, I'll start studying.

716 - Thursday, 30 December 2004: A couple more hours' plumbing work, and a paycheck I can't deposit until Monday. Sis coming down tomorrow for the weekend, some shooting planned together if the R/Os don't flake out at Clark Rifles. Temp service emails that my starting wage is $10/hour, that'll do for now. Gas prices still dropping, $1.73 at some Portland stations.

New cartoon!

717 - Friday, New Year's Eve, 31 December 2004: Another new cartoon:

And another typical holiday misadventure. At least I didn't get a speeding ticket this time. Sis gets off work in the Everett, WA area around 1pm, charges down here by 4, we switch to my car and hit the road and go halfway to the coast. The freeway shrinks to a highway, it's snowing in the Coast Range, there's slush on the road, but we're still on the way to the OFF shoot. And right at the turnoff from Hwy 26 there's a pileup which eventually backs up traffic for miles. Eventually we squeeze around that and head up the rural blacktop, with snow and slush and darkness, and go right past the place the first time. Finally we find it on the way back and... it's essentially been snowed out, though there are a couple cars still there and some people apparently sitting in the sponsor's house chatting, but that's enough for us for one night and we head back to Portland. Looks like it wasn't such a big event anyway, we probably didn't miss much. Oh well, at least I got my winter-driving refresher course, and sis took me out to Mongolian grill again. Tomorrow I'm taking her to my gun club (if they're open like the newsletter calendar says they'll be), after some dry instruction in the hovel. Maybe OFF/TNW will try again for Independence Day, when they can expect a better turnout.

November 2004 | DECEMBER 2004 | January 2005
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