July 2005 | AUGUST 2005 | September 2005
904 - Wednesday, 3 August 2005: Work, bleah. Tired. Email stacking up again.

905 - Thursday, 4 August 2005: Bleah, work.

On my way across the west side & back to pick up my paycheck, topped fuel at ARCO, $2.29. Local ARCOs $2.35. So much for news reports that prices had peaked.

Extra hot today, mid 90s F. Corolla smoking under the load, especially when starting from a stop light going uphill. Engine starts easily when cold, extra cranking required when hot. Also I notice the rear wheels are splayed out a bit, with attendant asymmetrical tire wear. Per-mileage oil change, after the day and the engine cool down some. Oh crap! Only two quarts came out, of the four I put in 3,000 miles ago! (I'm still somewhat new to cars. I'll be checking that more often....) At least the other two quarts aren't in the driveway.... Put four in and a new filter on, as usual, but it's definitely running rougher, especially at low RPMs. Test drive, up to freeway speed, should still get me to work. But it wasn't running noticeably rougher in today's summer heat and stop-and-go traffic, or when I drove it up onto the service ramps in the driveway - only after the oil change. That doesn't make sense to me. Havoline 10W40, BTW, and a regular Purolator filter.

Thinking of some .22 practice this weekend, might just veg instead.

906 - Friday, 5 August 2005: Crap crap crap CRAP crap crap crap crap crap crap.

Crap. Now my other car is sick. At least it isn't stalling. Much. Yet. This morning, with everything cold, it started all right but was almost impossible to put in gear; clutch pedal is very soft, like the cable has shifted or something and the clutch isn't taking the thing fully out of gear. Later, warmed up on the freeway, shifting became easier. After work, the same again, difficult to shift when cold, easier when warm. No smoke evident, but a couple times I smelled hot oil. Loss of power and acceleration, especially going uphill. Crap. All I did was drive it up on the ramps and change the *%#@!^ oil! Okay, after running for who knows how long with half the oil contributing to Portland's air quality, but it was still running relatively well before I changed the oil! Will inspect clutch linkage/cable/whatever tomorrow. After sleeping in.


Meanwhile... ohhh yeah.

907 - Saturday, 6 August 2005: Zzzz!

A reader points out that I may be using a too-heavy oil in this car. Another recommends Castrol GTX, which is out of my tax bracket. Cruffler recommends STP to address oil loss.

That first one suddenly makes a lot of sense (and it would be a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive fix). Coax the car to Bi-Mart, get four quarts of 5W30 (and a bottle of Gunk engine flush, and of STP oil treatment), change oil again (leaving two-day-old filter in place) - test drive - some improvement I think.

Starting to slog through back email. Cruffler sends:

The Defender's Creed

I accept and understand that human predators exist. Criminal or terrorist, they take advantage of our civilized society to prey upon the weak. They represent evil and must be confronted and defeated.

I believe that self-defense is a moral imperative, and that illegitimate force and illegal violence must be met with righteous indignation and superior violence.

I will not rely on others for the security of myself, my family and my community.

I proudly proclaim that I run with a like-minded pack. I do not amble through life with the mind-numbed herd.

I will train with my chosen weapons, maintain them and carry them in a condition of readiness at all times.

I will be mentally prepared and physically equipped to effectively respond to an attack or emergency.

I will constantly test myself against realistic standards to discover my strengths and weaknesses. I will turn weakness into strength. I will seek to learn new skills and techniques, and then teach what I have learned to other members of the pack.

Be it with firearm or blade, empty hand or blunt object, I will hit my enemies hard, fast and true.

I will live a quiet and unobtrusive life, but I will develop and retain the capacity for swift and decisive violence. I recognize that I am the modern equivalent of the traditional Minuteman, and that I may be called to service at any time against heavily armed enemies. I will respond effectively.

I accept that I am a pariah among some of my countrymen, and a quaint anachronism to others. I will not hold their ignorance against them.

I will win, or die trying.

I swear this creed before God, my family and my fellow citizens and I do so without apology.

Here's an activism tool.

You think people are stupid where you work? Michigan sends this.

Here's the scoop on a new anti-gun group with a misleading name.

On this 60th anniversary of the first use of an atomic weapon in war, here is an article explaining why it was used, and what would have happened if it hadn't been.

Tipped by a reader, I hunted down a link to this article on black Confederates. Scrolling down on this page, one finds another article on the subject. And here's more info, and more. So the idea of a racist and oppressive Confederacy is not as Black and White as Jackson and Sharpton would have us believe. And wasn't slave labor still being used to build the Union capitol dome as late as 1866, a year after the War Between the States effectively ended?

Cruffler says the Corolla needs a new clutch disk, gives it a couple weeks to live based on my email description of the symptoms. Crapariffic. Well, neighbor's brother, friends with the seller, is staying in the hovelplex, and seller said he'd stand behind "engine and drive train", I'll start asking.

908 - Sunday, 7 August 2005: Zzz.

Examine Corolla's clutch pedal - hydraulic, nothing obviously wrong though it might be slowly leaking fluid. Why did all this trouble start just after I changed the oil? Found reservoir, fluid a bit low, added some. Sunday errands - holding steady I guess. Somewhat easier to shift, but clutch pedal still soft.

Difficulty uploading updates, probably some server trouble at the ISP. At least email and browsers still work.

Fuji hasn't set paw inside the hovel for about a week, except once for a few minutes today when I shook the bag of crabcake treats at him. Got some lap time too. Anyway he seems healthy, and his food & water have been moved outside so he doesn't have to steal from the neighbor's cat.

909 - Monday, 8 August 2005: Work sucks.

Well, compared to other jobs this one's all right I guess, that was a generic statement. All work, defined as doing things you don't really care about, for other people, for money, sucks.

Car seems better today, I dunno. See! See! I told you! In #900 I said either the new job would be obliterated by a meteor or the driveway would open up and swallow my car, and metaphorically at least I was right! The gods are out to get me!

Finally got my FTP connected, it's been a couple days.

Oh look, another case of I Am da Law. "Protect and Serve" my cat's wormy ass.

910 - Thursday, 11 August 2005: Car's not dead yet. The shifting problem has gone away, and no, it's not slipping out of gear, but there's still the loss of power and top speed and the vibration at low RPMs in any gear. Fuel consumption up, as I have to rev higher before upshifting. No word on possible repair yet.

Phoned temp service, direct deposit should be active now so I don't have to make that horrid drive across the west side to the office to pick up the check.

From library, Machine Guns by Terry Gander, Crowood Press 2003, Chapter 19, "GPMGs and Heavies", page 166: "Over its long and successful life many attempts have been made to improve or replace the Browning 0.50/12.7mm M2 heavy machine gun. To date, the only result has been the replacement of old M2s by new M2s." Heh. Chapter 8 is entirely on Browning.

911 - Friday, 12 August 2005: Car still not dead. Actually seemed to run pretty good today. I dunno.

Work would suck less if there were anything resembling instructions. Generally, I'm given a bin full of parts and expected to build a fiberoptic cable - except a third of the parts are out of stock and another third are the wrong parts. Then there's the question of exactly what goes exactly where, which changes almost daily and is documented mainly in supervisors' heads. Sigh.

Finished Cussler & Cussler's Black Wind, a useful educational instrument for How Not to Write. Still, they must put something subliminal in ultraviolet ink or something, I've read every book in the Dirk Pitt series. Starting L. Sprague de Camp's The Ancient Engineers, 1963, a nonfiction work on the history of engineering going back to flaking flint, and written Really Well.

912 - Saturday, 13 August 2005: Well that was embarrassing.

Coax the car up to Barberton - saw the usual, bought nothing. Someone scored a Remington .44 percussion revolver with spare cylinder, it was gone when I looked again, didn't see a price. For subversion, two S&W M10s, one with small wood grips for $200, one with modern synthetics for $225; an older Taurus equivalent (with the funky grooved fluting on the cylinder), $150. S&W M36 J-frame, 3", synthetic grips, $275 - in a recent catalog I note they offer an M60 in .357 with a 5" barrel and adjustable sights, which might be ideal for my other sister's small hands. Cruffler added another Trapdoor, a carbine this time; and something to make Michigan jealous, an all-original S&W M1917 .45ACP revolver, complete with 1942-marked holster, web belt, and three-pocket ammunition pouch ("These things go for fifty by themselves"), for ~$550 as I recall Cruffler saying.

Not risking the climb to the range today with a sick car. No hot dog cart - grange hall/club officers still can't find food license. But Cruffler's there and graciously offers to accompany me on a test drive to better diagnose the car. I demonstrate the loss of acceleration, vibration at low RPMs, rougher idling, etc. "No," says Cruffler, "no, that's not the clutch... maybe something in the gearbox... maybe plugs and wires, maybe the rotor thing. Does this car have a rotor or some optical or magnetic thing?"

"Let's take a look," I say, popping the hood.

And then I notice.

One of the spark plug wires.

Dangling down loose.

Where I must have knocked it off when reaching in to change the oil filter.

So I've been driving around on three cylinders for the last week.




So now I'm back to worrying about the wheel imbalance and the brake disk damage. ¾ whew. Of course there is a FrankenCorolla aspect; the plug wires are not proper for this car anyway and should be replaced on principle, but at least it's running... as properly as it ever was since I got it. Shooting tomorrow maybe, next weekend definitely.

Meanwhile, I've been emailing around, arranging to get into the Garand match on 17 September - yes, I can use the club's rifle, no, I can't practice with it beforehand, Mr. R. will sell me some M2 ball really cheap (probably Korean surplus) at the match. For this match I'll get a CMP certificate, enabling me to buy my own Garand $omeday.

Big two-day OAC show on the 27th-28th, will probably go Saturday, maybe pick up a couple Garand clips of my own, maybe find some .30-06 rounds too. Hmm, I wonder if I could talk Cruffler into loaning a Garand...? I've handled Garands and could no doubt figure out how to use one picked up from a battlefield, but I've never fired, loaded, or otherwise operated one.

Direct deposit is active - statement in mail today, $271.64, 24.5% taxation. Paid storage rent, refueled (plus reserve, used yesterday), paying other bills online.

Also in mail, beg-for-money from The Conservative Caucus to fight amnesty for illegal aliens. Of course I can't afford to contribute, but the envelope did contain a bumper sticker ("PROTECT AMERICA! NO AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS") which I think I'll tape into my back window, and there's the link for the rest of you.

Okay, not shooting tomorrow ‘cause I want handgun practice for the plate match on the 28th but I can't afford ammunition ‘cause of back bills despite Bi-Mart having the UMC MegaPack in their current coupon book. So, I'll get some projectiles at Sportsman's Warehouse next paycheck, load some 9x19mm and, if they have Trail Boss powder, some .357, and get practice next weekend and maybe the day before the match too, after visiting the OAC show on the morning of the 27th.

Ah, downloading Garand manual from Springfield. -Jeez, more safety warnings and liability disclaimers than instructions.

913 - Sunday, 14 August 2005: Zzzz.

Everyone's listening to Gun Talk, right?

Cruffler sends word of a pin shoot at Wolverton Mountain Gun Club, which is way the heck up in the sticks even compared to Clark Rifles, and does not have its own site as far as I can tell. This link is to a .PDF describing another handgun match at Wolverton the following weekend, and also giving contact information and maps for that club. Maybe several paychecks from now. I'll have to get up to speed at Clark Rifles first.

Shotgun News offers a CDROM of gunsmith Reid Coffield's articles on making custom Mausers, $9.95, free shipping.

Car is Feeling Much Better Now, blush.

Somewhat on impulse, loaded 250 rounds (on the single-stage! But the brass was already processed) .357 Magnum, 125gr Meister RN/FP lead over 4.2gr Bullseye. Lyman #45 gives maximum of 4.5gr under 121gr cast for 998fps. Hope to get more West Coast plated bullets next paycheck, these unplated loads will be awful smoky, but I might as well use them up. All Mosin brass fully processed and primed. Bucket of primed 9mm brass standing by, Pro 1000 still set up for 9mm. No handgun projectiles left, I think forty .323" 150gr Sierras, no other significant quantity of rifle projectiles. Ten rounds each of 48.6gr H380 and 41.4gr BL-C(2) for the VZ, just for groups, loaded last month.

914 - Monday, 15 August 2005: Car running fine. The gods are jerks.

915 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005: Apathy at work, lethargy at the hovel, sigh. At least the car runs.

Today I saw a fairly new, great big shiny pickup truck with a license plate that read "HERMIT". Sigh.

Here's a great big article from Popular Mechanics, previously (#488) determined to be non-lefty, debunking the most persistent (and predominantly lefty) conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.

Definitely making the effort to make the plate match this month (besides, sis wants to come down again and I still have several pieces she hasn't tried). Two paychecks before the match, and another the day after the rent is due, that should be plenty. Now, I just made a pile of .357 ammunition, so I'm set for that for this weekend's practice, but how shall I address the 9mm issue, buy a MegaPack or get a box of plated 147gr on the way back from work Friday and load them up that evening? Only a few bucks difference in price: I get 250 presumed-good factory FMJ rounds for $30, disallowed on the small practice plates at the club, vs. 500 plate-friendly projectiles for ~$37. Projectiles I think, I've got piles of 9mm brass now and I want to practice on actual steel.

916 - Wednesday, 17 August 2005: Stopped at Sportsman's Warehouse and escaped without purchase. Took notes, however: West Coast Bullet copper-plated 9mm 147gr, $30.99/500, cheaper than I recall; .38 125gr, $26.99, I've used those before, the bullets are fine but my loads weren't. Inquired about Trail Boss powder - counter guy says they made one production run and sold out when everyone read the magazine articles and aren't expected to make more ‘til December and none has been seen anywhere near here yet anyway, phooey. IMR4064, $16.99/lb; Sierra #2305, 125gr .312" Pro Hunter, $15.99/100; #2400 .323" 150gr, $17.50/100. Winchester Small Pistol primers, $15.99/1000, out of stock at present.

Bulk-pack factory ammunition is apparently gaining in market share - saw several such in .223 Remington:

Ultramax 55gr FMJ, $10.99/50; 50gr Nosler, $18.99/50
Winchester/USA 45gr JHP, $12.99/40
Black Hills, 52gr Match HP, $12.99/50; 50gr V-Max, $18.50/50; 55gr FMJ, $10.99/50; 68gr Heavy Match HP, $15.99/50
Remington UMC green box, 50gr JHP, $16.99/50; yellow MegaPack, 45gr JHP, $56.99/200
Federal American Eagle, 50gr JHP, $49.95/200

Here's another view of the Brazilian shot by British blueshirts. Marked contradictions to the official story. Can you say "Whack & Stack"?

Hm, Cheney might run after all, I thought he said he wouldn't. I'd probably vote for him out of spite. Depending on the primary of course.

From library, watching the old Capra Why We Fight WWII series. It's... Kipling-spooky. I see the difference between Foch's (J'Attaque!) WWI Republique and Petain's WWII surrender-monkeys; I look at my country today; and I resolve to get more rifle practice.

917 - Thursday, 18 August 2005: Getting a little overtime, a quarter-hour here, a half-hour there. Work this Saturday, practice Sunday instead depending how late they quit.

Here's a long list of things not being blown up in Iraq.

918 - Friday, 19 August 2005: Okay, I hate the job. Particularly a couple cackling hens in the break room. And the people who can't (or won't) speak American (if I stay employed long enough to get a paid vacation I might spend it with the Minutemen). And I could make as much money heaving boxes.

Stopped at SW, escaped for less than $50. Okay, three cents less. 500 147gr 9mm plated bullets for the plate match, 100 .311" 125gr Sierras for the Mosin, and a little cup of RCBS dry case neck lube for $2.99, I'll see how it works (and how long it lasts).

To Bi-Mart for motor oil and filter on sale - and, it took them long enough, I now see a Remington/UMC MegaPack of .38 Special, 130gr FMJ, 250rds, catalog #L38S11A, but no price unfortunately. Well, I already have buckets of .38 and .357 brass to work with but it's nice to know what's available. Also FMJ is allowed on the targets used in the plate match (though not on the small practice plates on the regular handgun line). Bi-Mart beats Sportsman's Warehouse on primers by the tray of 100, vice-versa on the brick of 1,000 - SW still out, don't need any quite yet anyway.

To WinCo for food - Yes! Tom Kratman's A State of Disobedience is out in paperback and was quickly added to my cart. Finally! The communist-occupied library will probably never order it. Also, on impulse (and ‘cause sis mentioned she's been reading it) got latest Guns & Ammo.

Slugging through de Camp's The Ancient Engineers, now I've reached Archimedes. Slow going sometimes but just when I start to get bored with it old L. Sprague slips in an historical anecdote like:

Although most ancient architects and engineers had to be content with remaining anonymous, some of them managed to put their names on their structures when nobody was looking. A story tells us that, when Sostratos built the Lighthouse [of Alexandria], the king as usual wanted his name alone to appear on the work. Sostratos craftily inscribed on the stone:


Then he covered this inscription with a layer of plaster, on which was chiseled the customary royal inscription. In time the plaster peeled off, removing the name of the king and exposing that of the architect.

919 - Saturday, 20 August 2005: Ugh, working on a Saturday. But I need the money. Seven and a half hours overtime this week, that should help.

ARCO Regular now $2.45 at the cheap station, $2.49 closer to the hovel, $2.59 (!) near work.

Marathon reloading session tonight, sleep tomorrow, practice tomorrow afternoon. CBA match this weekend, other lines will probably be crowded with the lower line closed - maybe it'll thin out by the time I get there.

In the news, John Lott reports that, as expected, Canada's crime rates are going up since they enacted sweeping gun control laws. (They're blaming the US, of course. Everyone does. Some farmer in Vichy gets a hangnail and it's America's fault.) In Virginia, the Virginia Citizens' Defense League (an outfit with an excellent reputation for both integrity and accomplishment) reports alarming new flavors of discrimination and intimidation by BATFE, but on the Gunsmithing list questions are being raised about that report's veracity.

Later, singing the Powder Measure Blues: the old RCBS is accurate but won't work well with the big sticks of IMR4064. The plastic Lee Perfect feeds stick powders easily but isn't as accurate as I would like. Weighing each charge, using dippers to adjust, sigh. Closely examining each case for signs of fatigue even though they're only twice-fired - loading 45 rounds for this trip.

Israel. See the last week or so of Cox & Forkum for commentary. Talk about life imitating art. For some time now Savage has been bashing Condi for pushing Israel to give in to the Palestinian terrorists. And here, dig this old BC comic that's been hung off my fridge for years.

920 - Sunday, 21 August 2005: Zzzz....

Zzzzzz.... I hate working weekends. (Aw heck, I hate working.)

Actually procrastinated last night after making the Mosin rounds, now making 9mm while listening to Gun Talk. 200 rounds, 147gr plated lead over 3.7gr W231 in Winchester brass with standard WSP primers. Also taking leftover UMC FMJ and two 32-round magazines, the one that's known good and the one that might be.

Also GP100, 250 rounds 125gr lead over 4.2gr Bullseye, speedloaders; MojoMauser, 20 rounds 150gr Pro Hunter, half each 41.4gr BL-C(2) and 48.6gr H380.

Arrived Clark Rifles about 1:15pm. On the way up, watched a motorcycle blueshirt - Portland, I think, by the cycle's markings, therefore out of his jurisdiction - tailgating traffic for several miles on I-205 northbound. (I also often see blueshirts talking on cell phones while driving, and how often do you think those same revenuers extort from us lowly "civilians" for doing the exact same thing?)

Then I get to the range and I discover that when I repacked the range bag before leaving, I left my earmuffs out - so I go to the clubhouse to borrow a pair, as I've done before. And a new range officer, young, wearing SWAT-team pants & boots, "I Am da Law" sunglasses and a big stainless S&W autoloader in a bigger Kydex tactical thigh holster, demands my car keys as collateral, something that's never been asked of me in the more than two years I've been shooting at this club.


(Shake it off, shake it off....)

Cast Bullet match still underway, campers, burgers, etc. Lots of people and some very funky rifles, pure benchrest stuff, one was all rectangular blocks of machined metal, completely useless for the field. Anyway, as expected, crowded. -Rifle first, starting with the BL-C(2), which I expect to be very mild. To the upper line, find a lane, set up a target at 100, get the sandbags, snug in behind the VZ, aim, squeeze-


#$%&*!!!Wait 30 seconds, open action - #$%&*. Squib load, dig dramatic photo. Observe compressed powder blown into a solid mass by the force of the primer, which did not ignite said powder. Bullet popped out of the bore's throat easy enough, that being as far as it got. Of course these rounds were stored bullet-down, so the powder settled away from the primer, and this particular load was way below case capacity. I recall other less-than-satisfactory results with this powder in these large-capacity cartridges. I'll probably load .223 someday I guess, I'll use it eventually. Meanwhile I can salvage the components from the rest. And no, the powder wasn't contaminated, I can hear and feel it shifting freely inside the other nine rounds in the batch, and the powder from this round, loose and chunks, burned as expected when ignited for experimental purposes out in the driveway. I'll pull the other nine bullets later.

To handgun line.

(And there's that new R/O taking a seat and watching me. I know he was watching me ‘cause I was the only one on the line. I guess That Kind is hypersensitive to anyone who doesn't bow and scrape and re-spek his aw-thor-ee-tie.)

Starting with revolver, Meister 125gr FP/RN lead over 4.2gr Bullseye, Winchester case, WSP primer, roll crimp in the bullet's intended groove. (These Meisters are good-looking bullets and they make good-looking cartridges, but I tend to lean toward plated bullets when they're available, on principle.) -Say, these loads aren't too bad! Smoky but not as much as I feared, moderate recoil (the GP's grip design helps with that), acceptable accuracy. Good ignition, zero signs of incomplete burning or anything else untoward. Hit some plates, practiced speedloader technique. ~70 rounds, saving the rest for now, might enter two divisions (revolver & centerfire auto) in the plate match.

Now the FM. Extended magazines still not perfect, even with factory FMJ. Handloads - off to a good start with the two 13-round. Determined it's shooting a bit high, eventually hit some plates but not as confident in the FM's accuracy as I am in the GP's. Then, malfunctions - stovepipes, failures to fully cycle, failures to slide-lock. Now by this time the pistol was getting a little dirty but c'mon, this is a Browning/Saive design, it should be able to take 200 rounds without cleaning. I suspect inconsistent powder charges, will examine the measure and weigh some test charges.

Left about 2:30. Not the best session, though I'm gratified that my revolver still works, I have a decent load for it, and I can still hit stuff with at least one piece in my collection. Headache, allergic reaction to blueshirt cooties. Splurged on a Grilled Chicken Caesar deli salad on the way back.

Will seek replacement factory or other grip module for the GP, to whittle down for subversion of smaller hands. Also it's a bit large in my own.

Ugh, back to work tomorrow. Remembered Washington state lottery tickets this time. Vancouver ARCO $2.55, BTW, yipe, good thing I filled up yesterday.

...On second thought, I probably wouldn't enjoy working with the Minutemen, as they'd be interacting with Border Patrol. But I still respect what the Minutemen are doing, especially since the "Duly Constituted Authorities" can't or won't.

Cruffler sends, from discussion on another list:


----- Original Message -----


Wyoming is more better [than Montana], IMHO; I have burrowed there as well. Almost no Democrats. State legislature meets once every other year, for six weeks then goes home, which significantly limits the amount of mischief it can do, and tends to cull out careerists, since I don't think they're paid very much. [This may have changed.] It in fact resembles something called "representational government". Liberals are confined to the petting zoo (UofW) near Laramie or the state prison, although a nest may have taken up residence in Casper, since the real good JC there has now become a third rate college, a stupid plan that was hatching when I was there in the 1970's, and guaranteed to draw the dregs of Colorado's university system. If I could handle the cold and had the funds to move, I'd go back there and dig a nice deep burrow with coyote traps in the tunnels about five miles west of Casper, and hunker down. Drawbacks to Wyoming are the proximity of Colorado, Mormon missionaries and their consequences, and the fair amount of Fed presence due to the BLM and similar dubious activities. You can still pack a .45 on your hip in Casper, last I looked. Stay away from places like Jackson -- thick with yuppery, probably ruining the state. Buffalo is nice. Wyoming is like Alaska without the state subsidies.


Here is another story on the Kelo case. This is... it's just... Henry Freaking Bowman, this is just wrong! And here is a related story.

921 - Tuesday, 23 August 2005: Here's an update on the VCDL report on BATFE abuse of power, intimidation, and harassment - with Richmond blueshirts playing the part of Ukrainian auxiliaries I guess. It's gettin' near "time to feed the hogs."

Pulling the bullets from the BL-C(2) Mauser loads. As expected, there's nothing obviously wrong with the powder, there just wasn't enough of it near enough to the primer for ignition. Even the squib bullet looks reusable. -That's got to be the freakiest squib I've ever heard of, with the primer compacting the powder that way.

New Shotgun News, article in "Hints for Handloaders" column about fine-tuning rifle sizing dies - I'm not at that level yet, the traditional die-kissing-the-shellholder technique is adequate for my current needs.

Later, evening - as of this writing, pictures of the Richmond roundup made available by the show promoter.

922 - Thursday, 25 August 2005: Cindy Sheehan's comments are, IMHO, approaching the Constitutional definition of treason:

Article III, Section 3, Paragraph 1:
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

Ongoing discussion of ATF (and local, county, & state blue/greenshirt)'s violations of Virginians on the gunsmithing list. No one's doubting the story anymore.... And of course here's the main VCDL link with further information.

Ah, reloading stuff on sale at Bi-Mart through the 31st. 1,000 WSP primers, $14.32. Also some CCI Mini-Mag .22LR solid, $2.79/100, the Preferred Brand in most .22s I've tried it in. Got a price for the .38 Special MegaPack, $42.88, more than 9x19mm and .40S&W, less than .45ACP. Plan on stopping at SW for more handgun bullets tomorrow, thinking more West Coast 147gr 9mm and maybe more Meister 125gr .358, even though they're unplated; they work and they're cheaper.

[thinking.cap="on"] The Auto-Disk (II?) on the Pro 1000 just isn't accurate enough for these little 9x19mm loads, I'm afraid. And it leaks. If I were loading .45ACP it might not matter so much, the variations would be a smaller percentage of the intended throw weight. Well, the press is still an enormous time-saver for sizing, and I can remove the Auto-Disk and charge through the expander die with a funnel, throwing more-accurate charges with the RCBS measure, hm. And maybe I can still get the Auto-Disk working right later, but for now I have to get ready for Sunday's match. -Lee powder-through-expander die is designed to accept a funnel, with an included adapter threaded in the top instead of the Auto-Disk, but my RCBS funnel is just a fraction too big. Taped in place, should work. RCBS powder measure relocated for convenient reach, handle reversed to clear table for full stroke. Sequence: downstroke on the Pro 1000 handle to raise a case to the expander; throw a powder charge into the pan borrowed from the scale, dump it in the funnel; upstroke on the handle to lower and rotate turntable, place bullet in expanded mouth of charged case; downstroke again to seat bullet and for the next case to receive the next powder charge. Slower than designed, but still bunches faster than a single-stage. The case-feeder alone is a great help, no fumbling with loading blocks or handling tiny little Parabellum cases with sometimes-arthritic fingers, just keep primed cases in the feeder and dump measured powder in the funnel and it spits out live rounds. Yes, this system should work, and should give good results. (Hmm, plans in my head for building a wooden powder measure mount, to position it right over the funnel, eliminating the need to handle, and risk spilling, powder. Need tools. -The other day, at a liquidation place, I saw a commie Chinese drill press for $40, hm (except it's communist of course). And someone's always got a circular saw and drill/driver on sale (except most of those are commie too, phooey).) .38/.357 Lee dies, particularly the powder-through-expander, still on the list, maybe I'll get lucky at the show on Saturday. Also still considering ordering bullet-feed kit for the Pro 1000 to remove another manual step. Now, if my job doesn't fall out from under me as has happened so often in the past year or so, I can really start loading in volume and getting lots of practice. (Which reminds me, it's almost time to watch The Outlaw Josey Wales again. You know? The fencepost?) [/thinking.cap]

Forecast suggests rain for the weekend, but what do they know?

923 - Friday, 26 August 2005: Survived another week in Dilbertia. Spent way too much money (not quite $60) on handgun projectiles, 500 each 9mm and .38. I can pay rent from next week's check if I have to. West Coast plated 125gr .38s were actually cheaper than Meister unplated, huh.

Discussion of the Richmond ATF/blueshirt hijinks spilling over to the Muzzleloader list.

A reader sends this news story about street thugs ganging up on a couple of our servicemen. Torches and pitchforks, I think. Except this is in communist-occupied King County, Washington, and they're just as likely to have it the other way around.

Oh yeah, gas - one ARCO still $2.45, and still mobbed at 8:30pm. Other ARCOs now $2.53. A 76 station $2.55 cash, more for credit/debit. Chevron $2.63.

924 - Saturday, 27 August 2005: Snrk. No extra sleep this weekend. Off to the OAC show, stopping for cash first.

Sightings - Winchester 1901 lever-action 10ga, sign said smokeless, $595, half the price of the new Australian (?) reproductions. H&R Sportsman 999, .22LR 9-shot top-break revolver, I'd say Excellent condition, $200, would be lovely for subversion. LeMat carbine, wow! Very impressive collection of rare Confederate arms, including what appeared to be a brass-frame Sharps copy, also revolvers from Griswold & Gunnison and Dance Brothers. Many other excellent displays too.

Met Cruffler and it was his turn to seethe - they wouldn't let him in with his ACSW badge until 9am unless he paid admission. He is ticked. He is also president of ACSW, and at the next Barberton show, visitors with OAC badges will not be allowed in until 9am unless they pay admission. "Mutter grumble RECIPROCITY mutter snarl." (I can respect that....) Meanwhile, he's making a deal to get a large quantity of 8 gauge (!) ammunition for his latest masochistic project.

Bought one magazine marked "BRWNG HI-PWR 9mm" for $15. And I get it back to the hovel and it doesn't fit my FM. Back to show, it's not far and I still get in free with my ACSW badge, taking a magazine that does fit for comparison - okay, two others at $10 each but they might be .40, return the other plus five bucks, I'll try them. Back to hovel, dummy cartridges, both seem okay, live test presently.

Now 11:30am with the driving and walking the aisles and fiddling with dummy cartridges and typing all this up. Throw together 50 rounds of .357, 125gr plated over 4.2gr Bullseye, same as the Meister load from last time except with the plated bullet, want to see if they perform differently (aside from being less smoky) before using up the Meister in practice today. And then it occurs to me that, since I'm sizing the 9mm cases separately, tumbling them, priming them, then running them through the Pro 1000 again, I could mount the RCBS powder measure directly in the Pro 1000 turret, adjusting its height to kiss the mouth of the case to prevent spilling, and therefore not have to mess with the scale pan and funnel, hmm. Later. Have to load some 9mm now. (After breakfast....)

Checking email while eating - previously I mentioned that illegal aliens are reintroducing diseases like tuberculosis to our population. (And I know for a fact that many immigrants don't wash their hands after using facilities. First-hand observation, okay? Shudder.) Now come rumors (on the Backwoodsman list) that smallpox (!!!) is being reintroduced by illegals in Britain.

Finally, about 1pm, start loading 9mm. My system works but reaching over to work the powder measure, then transporting the powder to the funnel, is a bit awkward, will try mounting the measure on the turret when I get back. ~2pm, 200 rounds, 147gr plated lead over 3.7gr W231 over WSP primers in both Winchester and Remington brass.

Pack range bag. Don't forget earmuffs this time (hissss), nor a rod & hammer for removing squibs. Arrive Clark Rifles about 2:45. Uncrowded, straight to handgun line, no rifle practice today.

First, the GP100, on paper from the bench - Meister loads shooting just a bit low & left, plated loads closer to point of aim, both grouping well. Then, P35, also on paper from the bench - and it's all the heck over the place. Approximately point of aim but it's hard to tell with such a terrible pattern. Two new magazines start out okay, concentrating on them. One drops free okay, the other is a little sticky, but with some tweaking I hope to have four good units. -Neither of the new ones is as reliable as the other two, which I've had for a while, but they do fit the pistol. Anyway very poor performance with the P35 on plates, and hand tremors besides. No squibs at least, though still a few stovepipes.

But that might not be just the ammunition. Older R/O (SWATboy not present) gave excellent gunsmithing tips, I hope I can remember them all - polish feed ramp (duh), carefully adjust observed contact points on magazines with needle files, apply Arkansas stone to selected points on slide rails, very carefully squish the slide in a padded vise (this is what digital calipers are for) to improve slide-to-frame fit, very lightly lubricate with Marvel Mystery oil (in the automotive section).

Now back to the revolver, which I've had for nearly a decade and am much more comfortable with. Uh huh, lots more hits, like, most of them, nor tremors neither. (And that's why I keep that piece where I can reach it from bed - I know it works.) Both Meister and plated loads performing well; very slight first-round ignition effect but no squibs. No significant difference in accuracy or minute-of-steel-plate point of impact between the two. Stopped with 100 Meister rounds left, will make a couple hundred more plated rounds and just enter the revolver division in the match, the P35 is out of service again, hope to have it improved by next month. Disappointed about the pistol still needing work, hopeful I'll do well in the match with the revolver. Left about 4pm.

J&J cartridge boxes, reviewed in #798, are less durable than the usual MTM which cost more - big chunk now missing from the lid of one, though it's still usable. Slightly different type of plastic, and less of it.

BTW, R/O says that last month, no one showed for the plate match! Except one guy who quickly got frustrated and left. Hmm. Well, if there's no match, sis can try out some of my other stuff and we can go to the OAC show. Also, a date discrepancy in the newsletter for the Garand match, 10th vs. 17th, hmm, will email the CMP guy to make sure.

Ugh, now I have to clean the hovel for sis' visit.

The BATFE/Richmond incident is now getting people riled up on packing.org. Every gun show vendor should have a camera close to hand and ready to use. Preferrably a video recorder with sound.

Hah! 450 rounds, 100 Meister and the rest plated West Coast, and 100 plated bullets left. Won't run out of ammunition this time!

925 - Sunday, 28 August 2005: Snrk! Match day! Maybe. Up early to clean the hovel and load the car. Leaving P35, taking GP; in case the match is a washout, for sis to try, also taking flintlock pistol, Remington percussion revolver, blackpowder & Pyrodex, Mossberg 590 with reduced and factory loads, and MojoMosin with handloads.

Hit the road at 8:30, arrive Clark Rifles about 9, sis about 9:15. A few people show up, the match is on. Set up targets, which consists of hauling big steel things out to the gravel area behind the regular handgun line. Much waiting, for other shooters to show up - seven shooters total, a couple .22s (both Browning Buck Marks I believe), a couple 1911s, four revolvers (counting one of the .22 shooters who entered in two categories), specifically a Ruger Security (?) Six in .38 only, a 6" S&W 686 with scope, my GP100... and, after a bit of browbeating on my part, sis with an older 6" Taurus 66 that was made available.

Time trials, five runs each - revolver shoots any five targets on the main rack (four ~12" round plates, one bowling pin, one ~¼-scale Popper) for trials. Sis... is still very new to the Culture and to this particular Taurus, though she's used it before and I later confirmed that it was sighted in and that it grouped nicely. (After the match, whipped up a little more of my 125/Bullseye load, sent her back with ~300 rounds with orders to bring them all back empty.) But I know she'll improve.

My time trial. I forget what times I made, but my first run, when the timer beeped, I raised my GP, aligned the comfortingly-familiar sight picture on the bowling pin plate, squeezed through using Henry Bowman's trigger-cocking technique (which I discovered independently long ago)... and the plate fell down. Thus encouraged, I moved the sight picture to the first of the four round plates, rather larger than the bowling pin... and it fell down. And the next. And so on. And I mowed down five targets in gratifyingly rapid succession with exactly five shots. A perfect run at respectable speed in my first time trial with the revolver in competition.

Ohhhh yeah. I think I can legitimately blame April's (#812) poor showing on the P35, which has been relegated to computer-desk-side duty until I try the things the R/O suggested yesterday. After doing so poorly with the FM last time, and in practice yesterday, I got a megawarmfuzzy mowing down those plates today. Auxiliary warmfuzzy from discovering a Good Handload (125gr West Coast copper-plated lead, 4.2gr Bullseye, Winchester .357 Magnum case, WSP primer, light roll crimp at cannelure), which I will mass produce henceforth (need more bullets; should also get another brick of primers while they're still on sale at Bi-Mart). My other four trial runs weren't quite as thrilling (though I do recall at least one more five-for-five) but they were all good, or at least, MUCH BETTER than I could manage with the P35 in April. Best and worst of the five times thrown out, three remaining averaged, and that is how each shooter is paired in the first round, against someone of similar skill.

The boring part, waiting for everyone to do their qualification rounds, takes as much as an hour, but when the real head-to-head shooting starts it becomes a spectator sport! BangCLANG, bangCLANG, bang%$#&!, bangCLANG, clickOH *%#$!, scrabblefumblebangCLANG....

Ah, my first competition run with the revolver, against the senior gentleman with the scoped Browning .22, who made such an impression in April against the young kid with the economy-model S&W .22, who made a similar impression. Not enough shooters to break the field into categories, simply paired off by qualifying times - autoloaders (centerfire or .22) must hit six plates and a stop plate (smaller plates, and a duckie for the stop plate, for .22s); revolvers must hit four plates and a stop plate, so revolver shooters have an advantage if they don't miss more than once. Centerfire stop plate is ~½-scale Popper, angled so one falls over the other, the one on the bottom indicating the winner - for centerfire vs. .22, match director must watch and make a call. Best two of three runs. And... I win! In the first two runs! I didn't even need to reload on the clock (though I had three of my five speedloaders close to hand), ten hits in eleven shots! Yes, definitely make lots of this load.

Sis... is out in the first round. But she's fired, what, maybe a thousand rounds in her whole life? She'll get better. And she's already quite respectable with a .22 rifle (she's looking into a smallbore league up near where she lives, at the Kenmore club). Also this particular Taurus is less than ideal for this kind of shooting, with target grooves on the trigger and big fat wood grips that get in the way of speedloaders, unlike my GP100 with a smooth combat trigger and a synthetic grip with plenty of speedloader clearance. (Will look into getting a trigger shoe for the Taurus, and replacement grips - gave her a couple HKS #10A speedloaders on a previous visit.)

Second round, against the scoped 686 - I win again! In two runs again. Once by having practiced my speedloader technique. This is geting warmer and fuzzier by the minute.

Loser's round, only one run per pairing - sis is out again, though she has picked up speed and accuracy in just the last couple hours. (She thinks she's having fun now, wait ‘til she starts beating people. She also observes that the old Taurus M66 in the Dirty-Harry getup is imperfect for this kind of competition, is considering shopping for something else. Hm, maybe a Taurus Tracker 7-shot .357, and it's a good-looking piece too, except for the insulting built-in lock... or maybe a pre-Sellout S&W 686 if one could be found. Gun show visits are in her future.)

First-place shooter (Me! MEEE!!) is paired in the final round against the winner of the Loser's Round (the scoped 686 again) in the last best-two-of-three to determine overall match winner - it's me ME MEEE!!! I won the match! Very dramatically in the first of the two runs, by the paint on the angled Poppers, the second run more clearly. Oh, extra-super-warmfuzzy, I won my second-ever handgun match! Definitely going every month I can manage henceforth. Too bad there are no tangible prizes for this match at this club, but I will get my name in the newsletter - ah! I can clip that out and frame it! Hah!

Now, some of the regulars did not show this month, like the guy who won in April, with a very businesslike S&W 681 (fixed sights, no frills) - if I ever beat him I'll brag for... at least a month. Make more rounds, get more practice.

Back to hovel, this time I'm buying her dinner. -And, victicrat neighbor comes charging out of his hovel to complain that I hit the baby stroller which they've been leaving in my way since they moved in. "I don't give a %$#& how long you've lived here!" snarls said professional victim, who obviously expects the entire world to roll over and accommodate his uncivilized and inconsiderate behavior. And that dampens the mood, hissss. Out to dinner, feeling a little better by the time I get back. Sis hits the road after learning a bit about handloading as I whip up another batch of my new favorite .357 load in the last of the prepped brass.

Sat down and sorted big pile of brass that's been accumulating for a month or so, that took a couple hours, and I'm cooled off again (hsss) by the time I'm done. Later, go out and brag to other neighbors about winning the match, help veteran neighbor replace damaged hood on his car (again - but hey, he towed my half-dead hatchback with that same car once), exhort other neighbor (who still exhorts me to keep applying for the cable-installer job) to get a revolver and try this plate match thing. A S&W M67 (.38-only, stainless, adjustable sights, K-frame with lots of room to adjust grip size) would be swell for this, and I have a big pile of .38 brass whose lower volume would eliminate the ignition problems I was having with my earlier attempts to make a .357 subversion load.

I'm going to be buying a lot of those plated 125gr .358 bullets, yep. Maybe another box of 500 every other paycheck. Pro 1000 set for sizing & expanding .357 (saving oodles of man-hours over the single-stage), Auto-Prime switched over, single-stage press still set for seating & crimping 125gr plated - but now I'm a bit low on brass as much of it is on its way to Everett. Well, I should get at least another 300. Might splurge on more bullets tomorrow even (only 50 left now I think).

I was only in six actual runs, but gawd, I didn't lose any of them!

926 - Monday, 29 August 2005: Work, yecchh.

Back to hovel, stopping for more .357 bullets ($houldn't'a), new air mattress on sale at Big 5 (kinda had to), and another brick of sale primers at Bi-Mart (also $houldn't'a but now that I've found a Good Load I want lots of it, and it's a really good price on primers) - yipe, selling fast! I cleaned them out of WSP (700) and WLR (only 300). (May have to stop at other locations and clean them out too.) Also splurged on a couple MTM 100-place .357 cartridge boxes. Great Big .357 Reloading Project is underway, Pro 1000's case feeder cutting the sizing/expanding job down to size.

Rain today - oh, now they get the stroller out of the way, they don't want it to get rained on but inconveniencing whitey is a different matter. Hissss.

Natural disaster in your area? Thinking of going to one of those government shelters? Think again.

927 - Tuesday, 30 August 2005: Hate work, hate cities, hate traffic, hate victicrat neighbors, blah blah blah. Wyoming, etc.

Hit another Bi-Mart before the sale ends, more primers, another pound of Bullseye - going to make a lot of this load. All available .357 brass sized, deprimed and expanded, half (about 300 - more than I thought I had) already tumbled and reprimed. Will tumble the rest tomorrow and start loading.

Two so-called adults and three children crammed into a one-bedroom apartment, and not a large one to begin with. How many of my tax dollars are now littering the driveway as cigarette butts? I mean there's hunnerds of ‘em out there, the ground is changing color. (At least they're not tossing used diapers over the porch rail anymore....)

Gas prices up of course, $2.57 at the nearest ARCO. I said I'd pay $3/gallon to stay motorized and I meant it, but that doesn't mean I'd like it.

Several readers and just websurfers now asking for several kinds of assistance, on gunsmithing, training options, etc. I do what I can for the Culture.

Fuji got some lap time today but zipped right back outside when I had to get up. Cats, weird. Brought his food back inside, summer is ending and he's not going to like it out there. At least he still seems healthy.

Three-day weekend approaching, will sleep.

928 - Wednesday, 31 August 2005: ARCO Regular: $2.63 nearest; $2.57 and mobbed at the usual, on the way back to the hovel where I bail out from the clogged freeway for surface streets; $2.55 at another I know about, out of the way but less crowded. All others higher. Coincidentally, there's a thing going ‘round the lists about which gas companies buy oil from the Islamic nations that want us all dead and should therefore be boycotted, and ARCO's score was "0 barrels." Unverified.

Grab cat, carry him inside, use cat treats to lead him to his relocated gravity feeder. (Keep Bactine handy.) Otherwise, utter lap-addict. He's lost a lot of weight over the last month, which he spent almost entirely outside, but he did have it to lose and he seems healthy enough otherwise. I think even his ear mites have abated.

And I can't stand the fidgeting (and the drool) while I'm trying to type and I let him out again.

Reports (on Larry Elder - this link is supposed to take you to the correct story heading but it only takes you to the top of the (long) page, you'll have to scroll down or page-search to the title "Even a cop joins in the looting") that city blueshirts joined looters who overran a Wal-Mart in New Orleans. "Protecting" all that merchandise by "serving" it up to themselves. I've long since made a page for Crimes of the Left, do I have to make another for Bad Cop, No Doughnut?

More to the point, Cities Really Suck. Especially a city below sea level on a hurricane-infested coastline. Could this be the first Group Darwin Award? ("...and presently word would come/That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.") -And what do I do if an earthquake hits Portland, as some have attempted to boost their ratings with? At least I have the GP100 and a couple holsters to choose from. (Boy did I pleasantly surprise myself in the plate match, I had no idea I was that good with a handgun. The poor results with the P35 really bummed me out.)

Go here to learn what's really happening with our troops in Iraq. Now this man is a journalist worthy of the name. Those AP loons sit in their luxury hotels and sip their lattés while this guy goes out on the sharp end.

On assorted lists, several gunfolk, patriots, and such, not least combat veterans and/or their descendants who heard their ancestors' experiences first-hand, have many criticisms of the American Red Cross, even calling them "scammers," denouncing how much of the donations go to limos and fancy offices and such for the ARC's bureaucrats. These same people (including at least one self-proclaimed atheist) are about equally unanimous in their praise of The Salvation Army's integrity and honesty.

Somewhere I heard that Russia is actually sending some cargo planes to our aid. Which is the first time in my recollection that anyone has sent any help to the United States when we got hit with a disaster, instead of us sending it to everyone else.

All .357 brass tumbled, more than half primed, including one batch of 50 with magnum primers for New Data. Dry-firing the GP - ah, I notice that I tend to go high when I go fast, the front sight creeps up above the rear so I can be sure of seeing it. Must work on that. And that explains some of the misses I had in the match, even though I still did vastly better than I expected.

July 2005 | AUGUST 2005 | September 2005

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