RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - JULY 2007
With a a couple-few-hundred .40 cases rattling in the tumbler, launched by the appliance timer, I drag myself out of bed for morning ablutions, then listen to Gun Talk and visit the chat room to gripe about various things with my fellow forsaken Elves.
In Ohio, the Sandusky Register publishes CHL holders' names - and the editor wimps out of a scheduled Gun Talk interview. Can you say "hypocrite"? Freep; OhioCCW; BuckeyeFirearms.org. And hey, let me do my part:
322 Deepwood Lane
Amherst, OH 44001-1972
(It should be noted that, according to the comments in the original newspaper article (which will probably be censored any minute), he doesn't actually live at that address but rents it out, possibly in violation of some bank policy.)
And now the editor is whining about his personal information being published. Arrogant. Hypocritical. Bastard. He, like too, too many, is fortunate that duelling has been outlawed. His blood belongs on some righteous citizen's sword.
After the show, drive to bank to put fifteen of my last $18 cash in my checking account so I can pay the monthly bill for my new dialup connection - and while I'm waiting in line at the ATM a bloated parasite takes cash with an Oregon Trail welfare card, and takes her techno-incompetent time about it.
I think I'll start calling car "knackers" tomorrow, and I'll take a VZ or two to the Barberton show on the 14th, before the PIG. If I can rustle up some Ziplocs, and spend some elbow grease, I can start selling the .40 and .223 I've been picking up, and the 9x19mm I'm not using - if anyone buys. I reckon I'll sell mine sized and deprimed, in addition to just the tumbling other used-brass merchants offer - and I'll price it somewhere between their offerings and the virgin brass I priced yesterday at Sportsman's Warehouse on the way back from the range. I'll leave the .223 untrimmed so the precision folks can cut it to suit.
A fine rant on feminazism.
Chrono data - the old Mosin load was 46.1gr IMR4064 under the 125gr Sierra Pro Hunter, with WLR primers. Of nine recorded rounds, that load averaged 2,200fps; and ten of the same load with CCI #200 primers, 2,234. Not much difference; and I have a theory that a warm chamber might give higher velocities with rounds fired later in a session.
Now .45ACP, and to give you the full meaning I have to type up another table:
All my SWC is in the load described above, and I expect I'll get rid of it eventually; for the RN and JHP loads I'm going up to 5.7gr W231 and testing again; perhaps with increased use of case capacity I'll get more consistent ignition and therefore velocity. Since I had some on hand it seemed useful to chrono the factory loads for comparison. I note the 1998-made mil-spec Winchester had relatively consistent velocity, while the more-recently-made CCI and UMC wandered more. More Data.
In case you haven't heard, version 4.2 of the famous free Gun Facts .PDF is now available. A whole toolbox for whacking two-legged prey animals upside their empty heads.
1527 - Monday, 2 July 2007: Zzbleah. Need income, dread work.
Reader sends graphic example of MSM's intellectual capacity, commenting, "And these are the guys who are supposed to know better than our Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines that we are losing in Iraq."
From The Patriot Post:
Phone temp service, nothing - phone their other office, email resumes.
5.7gr .45 test batches done, 20 each. -There is something vaguely soothing in the ability to mass-produce big fat handgun cartridges.
With two Lee Pro 1000s and an Auto-Disk powder measure, it takes only minutes to whip up a test batch of something or other. Normally I have one set for .45ACP, and the other for .38/.357 with a turret swap, or inserting the spacer ring. Processing .40/10mm is much the same, though there's no spacer ring and I'd have to adjust the expander die manually; I will also track down a Lee PTE die for those. It takes a couple more minutes to swap the shellplate for .40/10mm, which happens to be the same as for 9x19mm, though I find that an RCBS 9x19mm shellholder won't take a .40 case. .223 requires yet another shellplate (the same as for 9x17mm), and more time to lube the cases, compared to straight-walled handgun cases with carbide dies, but little more effort sizing these small cases. With just another shellplate, which Lee does offer, I can also progressively load 7.62x39mm. Except for the clutter, I have quite the reloading setup here, with everything I need to make 14 different cartridges, 15 if I adjust the Load-All II for 3" magnum shotshells.
Casinos in space? Getting closer....
1528 - Tuesday, 3 July 2007: Also making increased .357/158gr test batches, at 6.1, 6.3, 6.8, 7.3 and 7.8gr W231 as thrown by the Auto-Disk, with magnum primers. The previous 5.7gr load is great for plates and subversion, but inadequate for pins. The spacer rings work great for switching from .38 to .357 (I have two rings, since I'm using separate seat and crimp dies now), though now I want another for the PTE die. I know they make them for .44/.44, can they be had for .40/10mm? Eh, if I ever get the drill press set up I can probably make one from an appropriate thickness or thicknesses of scrap or hardware-store metal.
1529 - Wednesday, Independence Day, 4 July 2007: Read it.
1530 - Thursday, 5 July 2007: Zzz.
Spent the holiday evening with Yuri, had Refreshingly Non-Meaningless Conversation, blew up lots of stuff. -But other residents there (not Yuri, who as I do prefers the History Channel and, the lucky dog, the Outdoor Channel with those shooting shows I keep hearing about) were watching MSM and the local ABC news was the Jack-Booted Thug Show Marathon, going on about "illegal this" and "prohibited that" and of course "tickets and fines". Interspersed with purely conincidental I'm sure stories about Terrible Tragic Injuries Caused by Evil Fireworks Lit by Evil People Celebrating that Fourth-of-July Thingie We're Not Looking At Too Closely. It wasn't my TV so I didn't throw a chair at it but gaahhh. *&^%$# cityfolk #$%^& government! The entirely deliberate dumbing-down of America and the concomitant erasure of our national history continues. I didn't have the stomach to listen to Hannity's Man in the Street segment Tuesday, I didn't want to have to take my mace to my radio.
But: just getting a chance to watch THC and TOC, and converse with someone with useful knowledge and functioning synapses, might have been worth the fuel to drive up there. The guy even gave me surplus meat from his freezer, which is meaningful at this point let me tell you. Yuri's cul-de-sac had a good pyro show too, to which we joyfully contributed (I even got some body hair singed, and a hole burned in my shirt (in separate locations!), the marks of a truly worthy pyrotechnic experience!) - he spent more this year than I usually do. (With the current bout of insolvency I didn't even set foot in a fireworks seller this year.)
And now I'm completely out of money and nearly out of fuel. I'd better liquidate the Escort right the heck now if I expect to make the Garand match and the PIG. At least I got the rent paid. And I have three more VZ24s I'm prepared to part with.
My club's new newsletter is now available, for those of you curious about the plate match a couple weekends ago. Stroking my ego, most, possibly all, of the photos in this issue were taken by me, though of course they're trimmed and shrunk to fit.
Walk to convenience store for Nickel Ads to seek more CASH FOR JUNK CARS advertisements - and they're out. Getting desperate, phone the nearby number I wrote down a couple weeks ago - $80. Probably can't expect much more, especially under time constraints. Waiting for return call to arrange details. -1:30pm tomorrow.
Yuri points out this truly front-line report from one of the few real journalists in the world.
1531 - Friday, 6 July 2007: Zzz. Trying to steer my sleep cycle back to "normalcy".
The car knacker arrives, but I can't find the Escort's title, which I could swear was in the car. I look for it in the hovel... and the knacker drives away without a word. DMV website to investigate - sucks. Phone DMV - $55 and 4 to 6 weeks for a replacement title, which makes the whole thing pointless. I have just enough money for the Garand match tomorrow and a little fuel on the way. Ugh. And if I go to the Garand match I might not have money or fuel to make the PIG.
I did manage to get this month's plate match awards printed and framed, and I'm working on an MSWord document to print Cooper's Four Rules on business cards - which I can furthermore print on the back of my email-and-website cards.
Oh, and adding to the list of Gods Who Are Out To Get Me, it sounds like something the size of a well-fed raccoon is colonizing under the hovel. Veteran woodcarver neighbor reports sighting it. Maybe I'll take out some frustrations by going in after it.
1532 - Saturday, 7 July 2007: Match day, dragged self out of bed.
Slow prone, 96/2X, slightly better than last time.
Rapid prone, 84/2X - I went up two clicks as usual for this stage, and some shots went high, thus losing six points compared to May 5th. Even so I was still satisfied with my performance to this point. Paradoxically I may have lost points because my technique is improving, negating the need to compensate by adjusting elevation. OTOH I was pulling shots to the right as well.
Slow standing - 70/0X. But not because I was a bad shot all of a sudden. I forgot to fire the last two rounds. If I had I would've been in the mid-to-high eighty percentile I think; if I'd got tens with them I'd've made 90.0% for the match again.
Bleh. Called my flyers rather well though.
Mr. R. won, Mr. D. took second and club CMP guy Ed Perry took third - details in the next newsletter, and to me in email soon I expect. Field of 22, three relays. I earned a few karma points I think with some coaching and loaning my SLEDs. But neither WinCo nor ARCO takes KarmaCard.
Desperate for cash, I also took the three remaining spare VZ24s and the Marlin Camp Carbine along - no bites. On the way back, stopped at Cruffler's place - I didn't ask for a repeat of the Bank of Cruffler's previous garage-hock services but picked his brain about other possibilities, which boiled down to the Barberton show next Saturday. Then I stopped at an area store but couldn't make a sale there either. This is getting bad. Juggling accounts - $10.14 in checking, $0.65 in savings, that's it. Later I'll buy a pack of gum or something at Fred Meyer and use their U-Scan for cash back for fuel so I can reach the Barberton show in the hope of liquidating enough rifles-I-don't-use for the PIG's match fee. Food I have, good thing I bought two cases of ramen at $1.98 a while back.
Continuing post-mortem on the match. Certainly there's nothing wrong with the rifle, and I think I have a pretty good load: 49.0gr BL-C(2), 150gr Hornady FMJBT, WLR primer, and this happened to be HXP Greek military cases. -Scratching head some at the primers though; at 48.0gr I was getting hangfires with CCI #200. -As described earlier, will make test batches with four different primers.
I took the Witness and GP100 and their respective test batches today, but with various distractions and head problems I wimped on testing them. I did deliver the plate match prizes and in the worst case my assistant director should be able to run the thing.
1533 - Sunday, 8 July 2007: Zz.
From the chat room, shop at StillMadeinUSA.com.
Yuri sends donation!
Tucson Tom sends story on Mikhail Kalashnikov and the 60th anniversary of his avtomat.
Then he offers to buy the Marlin! And another reader asks for a VZ! Cruffler may be able to take another VZ off my hands Tuesday. All together that will be plenty of short-term cash for food and fuel and the PIG and plate matches.
Rent and such will be a larger problem but if I have to I can - gack - try going back to the shampoo warehouse, one of the few employment bridges I haven't very deliberately burned.
1534 - Monday, 9 July 2007: Arrangements being made for the sale of the Marlin to Tucson Tom and a VZ to another reader; and then another reader sends a big fat donation! (Sniff) You guys are the greatest! I've made more and better friends in this Culture than in any other I've tried.
A new discovery: if everything is adjusted right (and you use enough case lube) it is possible to size .308/7.62x51mm on a Lee Pro 1000. I inserted each case (of eight that I had unprocessed) in the pusher block by hand, but later I tested and the case feeder can just barely be adjusted to feed this cartridge from the tubes. Either way, the sized & deprimed case is automatically rotated away, so it is faster than a single-stage for that step. I don't think this press is tall enough for seating or crimping bullets with this cartridge, and the Auto-Disk, even with the double disk kit, doesn't have the capacity for NATO-equivalent loads, but there's another piece of time saved in future.
One could probably do .30-30 on this as well, though a special-order shellplate would be needed.
Note that there are three case-feeder blocks for the Pro 1000: Large, Small, and Rifle. The Rifle feeder is for .223 (and presumably .30 Carbine), the Small (it hangs down lower toward the pusher block to eliminate empty space that would cause cases to fall and spill; it can't be adjusted far enough for .223) for 9x19mm and down, and Large for .38/.357, .40, and up, 7.62x39, and .308. The plastic tubes are all one size, as is the bowl-sorter which goes atop them. That sorter - you dump the cases in and swirl it around, so the heavier bases naturally fall into the tubes - doesn't work with rifle cases in my experience because they're too long to allow them to tip into the openings, though .30 Carbine might work as designed. For .223 (and, in future, .308) I hose the loading block with One Shot then drop the cases into each tube, which is still way faster than a single-stage.
Ah, match results in email - and if I hadn't forgot those last two rounds I'd've done pretty durn good. Even so I placed 9th of 22 with 250/2X, but suppose I'd scored, say, an 8 and a 9 with the rounds I forgot; that would have given me 267 for fourth place. The top four scores were 281/7X (Mr. R.), 275/6X (Mr. D.), 271/1X (CMP liason Ed Perry) (1st & 2nd both shot 100 in slow-prone, and Ed shot 99) and 264/2X. So even when I screwed up the course of fire I did pretty good. And there's nothing wrong with the rifle or, evidently, my load.
Ah, later fiddling reveals that my RCBS .308 die can be adjusted to seat bullets in the Pro 1000! Crimping is out though because of clearances; likewise a Lee crimp die wouldn't work in the Pro 1000 (and I don't have one in .308 anyway), but even doing crimps on a single-stage, I'd be saving lots of time with other steps on the progressive. As for powder, I can rig up the wooden powder measure stand again, as I did before I figured out the Auto-Disk. Nniiiffftyyy. -Except that both my 7.62x51mm rifles are second-string. I'd be thrilled if I could do .30-06 on a progressive but the Pro 1000 isn't tall enough - the .308 family just barely fits, and isn't listed for that press. But do note that if it will do .308 it should also do .243, 7mm-08, .358 Winchester, etc. (Shorter cartridges like 5.56x45 or 7.62x39 will work with Lee crimp dies in the Pro 1000.)
1535 - Tuesday, 10 July 2007: Reader sends Democrat hypocrisy from Texas. And blueshirt hypocrisy too. "Miles, a former law enforcement officer, shot the man in the left leg...." "Miles, a Democrat, voted against a bill that gives Texans stronger legal right to defend themselves with deadly force...." Uh huh.
Gun Owners of America has a really slick activism setup - just go to their Activism page, enter your ZIP code, click on the current issue from a list, and it generates the recommended email-to-legislators for you, then sends it to all the applicable ones in your district with one click (well, you have to put in your name & return address & such, but it then remembers it for you and fills it in automatically next time). It's also a clearinghouse for voting records, media contacts, and much else. The current issue is HR2640, the mental-health bill which could result in lifetime prohibition against... nearly anyone who's had a bad day, depending how you read it. If you haven't yet, sign up for GOA's email alerts. Locally, though I'm in no shape to send money, GOA affiliate Oregon Firearms Federation sent preprinted postcards for the (not my...) federal senators on the same issue, and I at least have stamps in the hovel. I do what I can.
Hah! Caller to Rush describes filing formal OSHA complaint against county courts for not paying minimum wage for jury duty! Hah!
Okay, one PayPal donation comes through, out for food & fuel. I should be all right for another week or two now.
Studying various loading and other books like Cartridges of the World, which shows bullet weights and velocities for standard military loads - and according to my chronograph and CotW 11th ed., I really have simulated M2 Ball, within 20fps. Noted! I'll do the primer experiment later but it looks like I can start stockpiling this load. My .45/230 PLRN load needs to go faster to simulate USGI though. Ah, Steve's Pages has TM 43-0001-27, Army Ammunition Data Sheets, a 325-page (.ZIPped) .PDF with apparently every USGI cartridge used since WWII. So if you want to simulate USGI loads, there's your data. -I also note that three different 230gr FMJ .45ACP factory loads were all well below the published velocity spec for M1911 Ball. Though one wonders if there are typos; M882 9x19mm Ball is described as a one-hundred-twelve-grain FMJ at 1,263fps. Close enough to 115gr for a reloader to simulate it I guess. Other sources on the net, and CotW, list 124gr as a "military load". The TM has only three entries for 9mm: a proof round, the M882, and an un-numbered 115gr/1,125fps load described as an SMG round and "not authorized" for use in the M9 pistol.
Hm, it seems that Remington offers a UMC .30-06 load. Haven't seen any though, and like the Federal red-box I've tried, it might be a couple hundred fps too hot for a Garand - 2,910 in fact, same as the Federal, according to the catalog. Also it seems Winchester has a white-box M855 equivalent now. They have a .30-06 load too, but it's even hotter, over 3,000fps - that might actually hurt a Garand. What do these makers think this stuff will be fired in? Hm, their M80 equivalent seems closer to published specs.
Ugh, heat wave, 90F inside the hovel and I don't dare open the door due to direct sunlight.
Michelle Malkin comments on the Texas hypocrite.
Yuri's 'blog (and another reader) points me to this account of a lefty inciting murder of conservatives. Then I blogsurf onto this instance of an actual attempt, by a peace-loving, tolerant, inclusive lefty, on the life of a US airman. Holy crap! They really are coming to get us!
Speaking of which, more on the ninjaboys, and here is the ongoing desensitization to jackbootedness in the government schools. And recruiting der neuer Sturmtruppen Jugend while they're at it!
1536 - Wednesday, 11 July 2007: So that raging lefty above thinks that it's our side that will start the next civil war. Lemme tell ya, I don't see conservatives kicking down doors and dragging folks off to church at bayonet-point. I do see "liberals" ramming their twisted worldview down everyone else's throats and using government force to do it. Like I said when I started this journal, my side won't start the next internal American conflict. All we want is to be left alone.
By now you'll have heard of the proposed OSHA regulations essentially ending ammunition sales and transport. I have been remiss in 'blogging it, but I've now heard that the deadline for comments has been extended 60 days. Go here to participate.
And now the "fairness" doctrine. Where did I see that visual aid... ah.
On the Hannity show, Governor Huckabee (R-AR) pushing the Fair Tax, which he says will "eliminate the underground economy" of drug dealers and such. Huh? Cash is cash and barter is barter and what the heck is Huckabee smoking? -I bet he expects to tax internet commerce with that too, the words "national sales tax" were used. Some conservative he is. Sure, it's supposed to replace other taxes but how often is any tax ever completely repealed?
So I'm processing more .223 brass in hopes of selling it... and the RCBS die's expander ball comes right off the threads, which are now stripped. (Had to saw the case open to get the ball and decapping pin out.) Fortunately I've seen replacement parts on the rack at Sportsman's Warehouse - the second PayPal donation has come through so I guess I'll get one tomorrow or so. Eh, I must have done at least a thousand pieces by now, and I got the dies used anyway. SW stocks just the replacement parts, so you don't have to buy the whole die all over again, and though I got them used this set appears to be current production, so everything should fit.
Speaking of mass-processing bottleneck cases, I just read a tip on the Handloading list that Honda Red Label motorcycle chain lube is equivalent to Hornady One Shot, comes in larger cans, and is cheaper. Will investigate.
Oh look! A new toy for the jackboots to oppress us with! >:-[
1537 - Thursday, 12 July 2007: Reader points out that I could probably get free replacement die parts from RCBS, but I'm impatient. -Aaand Sportsman's Warehouse does stock those parts except they're out of that size. Might contact RCBS later. But in the meantime I remember that I have a Lee universal decapping die and there are a couple threads left on the RCBS die's shaft if I remove the hundrenth or so of the headed decapping pin so with some Loctite and die juggling I'm right back to work processing .223. I did have to take the Dremel to the shoulder of the Lee shaft though, so the case mouths wouldn't hang up there; likewise the end of the expander ball in the RCBS die; but all seems well now. -And wow! The .223 bucket is empty! Better replenish it at the club. Meanwhile I can start on the buckets of 9x19mm.
1538 - Friday, 13 July 2007: Yesterday I was fiddling with my two Pro 1000s and some .223 cases, contemplating making a test batch (I actually have a hundred-odd flat-base 53gr JHP from the English Pit reloading score years ago, and now 100 fully-processed cases with WSR primers) and one of the problems I ran into was with the Auto-Disk powder measure. I prefer the original spring-loaded model; it's self-contained and pops right off one PTE or other Lee charging die and right onto another. But, the return spring is so stiff that it can crumple the mouth of a rifle case, especially a small one like the .223. Finally, about three this morning as I was laying awake due at least in part to the heat wave a thunderstorm yesterday evening did little to alleviate, it occurred to me that I also have the Auto-Disk Pro, which does not have such a spring, requires far less pressure on the case mouth to actuate, and is returned by a ball chain attached to the shell carrier. So I get out of bed and dig it out and start fiddling... and of the two functioning shell carrier assemblies I have, the one with the attachment point for the ball chain is in the other Pro 1000, with the 9x19mm shellplate presently installed, so I have to swap shellplates in the carriers and carriers in the presses before I can continue but I'm onto something now and after typing this up I try to go
back to sleep.
And I have to get up early tomorrow to get to Barberton to liquidate a VZ or two and then go to the PIG.
Quote o' the Day: "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." - Thomas Jefferson (fair copy of the drafts of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798) Slavery schmavery, Jefferson rocked. He looked ahead. The fact that we can even pretend to have a representative government and individual liberty today is largely his doing.
And if you think things are bad here, look anywhere else.
Back to work on the reloading setup. Parts swapped and functioning, okay, Pro 1000 #1 is for handgun loads, #2 for rifle (and .45ACP 'cause the same shellplate can be used for .308/7.62x51). (Oh, and finally I have both presses bolted, instead of C-clamped, to the Dangerously Disorganized Reloading TableTM.) Now, powder handling, though I'm not ready to finish live rounds yet. The double disk kit is installed in the Auto-Disk Pro and set for about 25gr of H335, according to the charts; this is an M193 equivalent load I found on a forum, and it's within the safe range of Sierra's data. I don't have and can't afford a jug of H335, but according to Lee's Volume Measuring Density chart, BL-C(2) has the same density and so should meter the same, at least for testing, and I have plenty of BL-C(2). In the worst case I can dust off the wooden stand for the RCBS measure again but it would be cool if I can save even more time and effort.... I have the Auto-Disk Pro in the first station (with the RCBS seater in the second and a Lee crimp die in the third), but it's meant to be in the second. The ball chain rubs on the turret mount but does reach to its attachment point on the shell carrier, and functions easily, especially with the extra height of the rifle charging die and the double disk kit easing the angle. (Another reason I like the older Auto-Disk is it cares even less which station it's in.) So! Doublecheck the Pro measure, make sure it's clean; add BL-C(2); insert primed case; weigh result... oh hey, before I start, the 2007 Hodgdon booklet shows a maximum 27.5gr BL-C(2) under 55gr jacketed for 3,313fps, nifty. (Sierra doesn't list that powder for that bullet in the AR section.) Might pick up some Hornady (cheapest, I've checked) FMJBT after the match. Yeesss, consistent results with the Auto-Disk Pro, the double disk kit, and the rifle charging die. My reloading capacity has increased yet again. I also have 7.62x39mm dies; with another Pro 1000 shellplate (and a source for projectiles of the right size), I could churn that out too.
Recently a reader requested that I 'blog any particular failings I witness in my travels and activities of particular firearm models. Honestly, I haven't seen many that weren't caused by poor maintenance or low-quality ammunition. In the last Garand match I even saw a couple CAI FrankenGewehren (distinctive casting line on the receiver) holding their own (though at least one of those had a history of being "in the shop"). But here's one I can describe: the Browning BuckMark pistol. Once in a while I see them at my plate match and while they appear to be accurate enough, I've seen many misfeeds and the occasional misfire. The latter may be ammuinition, but other rimfire competitors aren't having as many. And another thing: personally I've never liked how the BuckMark was put together, with those hex-key screws on top. I don't like any design that can't be broken down by hand, with minimal or no tools, for basic cleaning. I mention the BuckMark specifically because the latest issue of Guns & Ammo gives a typical gun-rag stroke to the latest variation. Rugers of all models and marks dominate in the plate match (except for Jim Breen's Colt M22 - and he got whupped last time).
Finished Hammer's Slammers: Volume 2, good insightful stuff. Now starting, with some apprehension, William Martin's The Lost Constitution, adventure fiction about a misplaced copy of a draft of the Bill of Rights, the intent of the Founders, and the true meaning of the BoR, particularly RKBA.
One thing about processing .223 brass: the small case mouth doesn't let the tumbling media drain out as easily and nearly every case has to be tapped and jiggled to separate it. That's another reason I choose to deprime before tumbling, so I can see light through the flash hole to ensure the case is empty. OTOH the Lyman corncob media I use regularly sticks a piece in the flash hole.
Sorting .223/5.56 brass, and roughly tied for most common are S&B, R-P, and LC in various stages of re-use (much once-fired with primer crimp intact - I'll sub-sort those later for special use as a known quality). Then Winchester.
On talk radio, another Republican in a sex scandal - and as I've noted before, the left defends their monsters and the right throws ours to the wolves. Conservatives are, demonstrably, morally superior to "liberals".
Re-contemplating the Pro 1000's primer feed. I've had it working in the past; the trick is to keep it fed so gravity can push the primers through, and of course you keep an eye on it. The design, with a detachable tray mounted on the feed chute, makes it easy enough to refill during a batch, hm....
Not pleased with The Lost Constitution. The way Martin paints it, New England is the only significant part of the United States and no one else had anything to do with the War of Independence or the Constitutional Convention (or even the Declaration of Independence, which after all had to be cleaned up by Franklin, a good Pennsylvania New Englander, after the hash that Virginian slaveowner, whatshisname, made of it); anyone not from New England is a hopeless illiterate redneck yokel with violent tendencies; and the pursuit-of-historical-treasure plot is just an excuse to brag about how aesthetically pleasing and historically significant New England is. The female lead is a more-enlightened-than-thou-and-don't-you-forget-it "liberal" whose position, that of course repealing the 2nd Amendment is a rational thing to do and anyone who thinks otherwise is a useless racist male chauvenist cretin deserving of physical assault, is rarely questioned and that halfheartedly; while the male protagonist, while technically disagreeing (which is about the only reason I haven't hurled the book at something by this point), seems to care less about the sanctity of the Bill of Rights and more about getting into her pants, and/or earning bragging rights in his elitist history-snob circle for finding the ancient parchment. The interspersed period plotline, following the document itself through the generations, lends little intrinsic value to the document and less to what it represents, striking me more as, to quote Homer (Simpson), "just a bunch of stuff that happened", flavored with a dash of "lawyers and politicians know best and you peasants shut up and pay your taxes or we'll sic our government troops (from New England!) on you". The founding documents and principles of this, the greatest nation in human history, are not to be trifled with in hopes of making a buck on the film rights. Grump. Oh, and he doesn't know much technically about firearms either - in the WBtS a Navy Colt revolver isn't "big" and Yankee regulars were not equipped with fifty-caliber longarms.
1539 - Saturday, 14 July 2007: Match day again! Barberton first, where I successfully liquidated the other two VZs to Cruffler, for good this time, bless him; then the match and even at 8:45am it's bloody hot, getting worse as the match progresses. And I signed up for both relays, ugh.
Garand first, since even with full-speed M2 Ball equivalent she's a pussycat in recoil compared to a Mosin or Mauser. 96/2X in slow-prone at 200 on the SR, exactly the same score I got in the CMP match last weekend. Not so good in rapid-prone, 83/1X and somehow I got a miss - not cross-fired either, I dunno. Maybe an extremely close double hole.
The next stage was to be on a paper target printed with the shapes of bottles and cans; 10pts per hit, 2 shots at each. This was preceeded by five sighters on an adjacent SR1 target from the position of the shooter's choice (unanimously prone), to adjust the rifle's sights from the previous 200yd stage. For my sighters I got two 8s, two 9s and a 10, fine. On the bottles I got... three rounds away, making no hits on the pesky bottles. The fourth round:
"Uh?" Cycle action, eject round, chamber the next, aim, squeeze... click. "What the?" Examine round - light strike, so light it could just be a dimple from chambering. Unload weapon (all with the 16-shot, 160-second clock running, but I know where my rifle's clip release is and what it does), dry-fire - function seems normal. Reload, aim, squeeze... click.
Cycle action, aim, squeeze... the trigger is frozen. Yes, the safety is off, yes the hammer is cocked. Unload weapon, invert weapon, remove trigger group - and the L-section on the rear of the firing pin spills right out onto my prone mat.
Well poopy. No slow-standing stage for me in the first relay. Easy fix though, and I'm pretty sure I can get a replacement pin (or two 'cause there's still that much room in the butt trap) at the OAC show on the 29th. (Upon later examination, trigger group is undamaged and functions normally without the broken chunk of metal in the way.) So 179/3X of a possible 460, or 89.5% of the stages I finished. (I still think the miss was a double hole but if so it was too freakishly close to be counted. It would've been a ten though, for 93/1X in rapid prone and 94.5% for those two stages. So I feel all right about that. Oh, and I went up one click for rapid-prone instead of two, and had seven of nine counted holes in the black. I'm learning to "hurry up and take my time" in rapid fire; furthermore the slow-prone group was a bit low so as a measure of technical improvement I had a really good rapid-prone stage with the Queen today.) Took photos of the rest of the relay, such as it was.
Second relay and the Mosin kicked less than I remembered with my handloads, even with its unpadded buttplate and non-gas-operated mechanism. My setting for the Mojo sight could have used some refinement (the group was low) but even so I scored 83/0 in slow-prone. Rapid was even better, giving more weight to my belief that I'm improving in that area, 88/0. The bottle target was very challenging though, only three hits from 16 shots. In slow-standing however I turned in a respectable 89/1X.
And woe! My streak is broken! I've medalled in this match for four consecutive years, but not today. Some stiff competition though with Mr. R., the chronically-top-five Mr. E. (and I might've had him if I'd remembered those last two rounds last weekend), Jim Breen with a scoped AR (there were five medals, 1st overall and 1st & 2nd for scoped & metallic sights), and the match (& newsletter) director Laurits Dixon who turned in a fine performance with a Marlin lever-action .44 Magnum (octagonal-barrel Cowboy model!) without even a sling. Well, a true equipment failure, and the Mosin... heck, none of my other rifles are as accurate as the Queen. And she'll be fixed in a couple weeks I expect.
After, to an area shop to arrange transfers of the Marlin and the last VZ - I'll go back Wednesday to finalize and they should ship Thursday.
Now dig this email that came in overnight:
Thank you for all information.
Best regard, Inspector[name]
So... um... huh? The email came through the auto-subject field I set up for my shotshell reloading page. My guess is the Inspector is looking for forensic information and my site came up in a web search. Rather a wide search I would expect. Any suggestions? -In the interest of civility, do any of my readers who shotgun more than I recognize the wad pictured above? (Not Necessarily Winchester.)
Politics.... I'm sure you've noticed that lefties don't "debate". They don't use facts or reason and they never give straight answers to straight questions. They change the subject, or even change the question, or ramble on about unrelated things until a listener can't recall what the question was. And, when pinned down for a yes-or-no answer, they affect to be the injured party, put-upon and harrassed by those wicked, heartless conservatives - and still never answering questions how-dare-you-even-ask-you-big-meanie. Frankly I'm sick of it. And now they're actually, and increasingly, hunting us down and physically attacking us, as I've linked above in the last few days and weeks and here's another example from February. How many other cheeks must we turn before we start using retaliatory violence in righteous self-defense? How much whimpering, babbling, lying nonsense must we endure before we simply start slapping sense into them, or at least the voice out of them, at first encounters? Duelling. Should. Never. Have. Been. Outlawed. -Free speech my ass, they're lying and using government coercion to force us to go along with their delusions, while denying US free speech with de-facto censorship on campuses, in workplaces, the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection and Anti-Blogger Act, and now the proposed revival of the "fairness" doctrine.
1540 - Sunday, 15 July 2007: Zz.
Not as hot today, some overcast. Very humid last night though.
Science time! As one known to be knowledgable regarding firearms (as evidenced by the recent email from an Italian national cop, above - and I still haven't answered that, any recommendations?), I'm often asked to perform certain experiments or aid in certain projects. The latest is load development for .223 Remington for use in an AR. Now, I have all the tooling I need to mass-produce the ammunition, but no weapons in that chambering - but the loan of an AR has been arranged, a FrankenGewehr like so many ARs are. This has an Olympic (A2 I think, by the fence around the magazine release - well, most lowers are A2 these days) lower and a 20" barrel with a 1:12" twist, on an A1 upper. The goal is to replicate M193 Ball and my load will likely be 24-26gr H335 in Remington or S&B brass under a (Hornady in this instance) 55gr FMJBT with WSR, CCI400, and for testing purposes, CCI450 primers; some components are being provided for the experiment, and the rest I already have and will use in the name of Science. (Besides, it's an international military standard and I might have reason to know how to make some, to feed whatever my fellow rebels take from the corpses of UN peacekeepers and domestic JBTs.) Testing Wednesday I intend, over the chrono you bet. USGI data says 3,250fps from 28.5gr WC844; ArfCom, the place to go for this stuff, shows H335 as one of the leading powders for the AR, and it's easily available locally. Sportsman's Warehouse even lists (though may not actually have) 8lb kegs for $133. In the forums I also found a load of 25.0gr H335 giving 3,200fps from a 20" AR.
This will be my first significant live-fire experience with an AR, which alone makes it worth my time. I have previously jumped on the "MouseGun" derogatory bandwagon, and since I now have my own Garand I'm not likely to jump off, but in dry-handling so far I must say the ergonomics aren't too bad. Naturally I'd prefer the fully-click-adjustable A2 sight, but the A1's sight picture is essentially the same as the A2, or the Garand for that matter. The carry handle is convenient; the safety is easy to disengage with the right thumb from a shooting grip (unlike the HK in my experience), and re-engaging you don't have to do in a hurry. I have fired an AR before, just a few rounds, and the sproing of the recoil buffer against which one welds one's cheek is distracting. I understand there are pneumatic or hydraulic buffers available aftermarket, but SWATboy's government-surplus battlefield-pickup M16A1 likely won't have such.
.223 test batches made, ten each at 24.2, 25.1, 25.5 and 26.3gr H335, weighed from what the Auto-Disk Pro actually threw, which was generally less than the chart and formulas said. Local heat and humidity may have an effect on these results. WSR primers, Lee crimp die, at the cannelure. OAL wanders some, around 2.2", and I suspect that's the bullets; I recall a wandering OAL with Speer .308/150 FMJBT in .308 Winchester loads, and I speculated it was an inconsistent ogive from one bullet to the next, since the cannelure wandered with the OAL and all the cases were trimmed to the same length and the seating die was firmly tightened. Hornady .308/150 FMJBT seems far more consistent in my .30-06 loads.
These tiny little bullets are a pain to handle, and the way I have the press set up it's a bit awkward reaching around the Auto-Disk Pro's ball chain linkage. I might reverse the handle and position myself on the other side of the press. Furthermore the spring finger putting tension on the cartridge at the crimping station is beginning to fail and the cartridge flops about some in the shellplate, but I can scavenge another spring from the third, damaged, shell carrier I have. H335 meters easily, being a small spherical powder, but there is some leakage in the double-disked Auto-Disk Pro; no noticeable leakage in the older Auto-Disk with W231 handgun powder when I make .357 or .45 rounds with a single disk.
Martin's The Lost Constitution continues to offend with a simplistic, sterotypical, and condescending portrayal of the Gun Culture, and nitpicky technical gaffes like shooting clays with "buckshot". The dimbulb has probably never handled a real firearm in his life. Except perhaps a country-club snob piece. And besides, he's from New England, some of the most oppressive and unConstitutional territory in the union - naturally he'll have a twisted view of our unalienable pre-existing human rights, which our Constitution and Bill of Rights (incompletely!) describe and guarantee against government violation. -Put him in Wyoming and his head would explode I bet.
Cool little town, Sheridan....
1541 - Monday, 16 July 2007: Quote o' the Day:
Finished The Lost Constitution, an un-thrilling stack of sterotypical, moral-relativist, and occasionally-spineless elitist claptrap which might sell well in New England but will only tick off anyone who's really researched the intent of the Founders. Disrecommended.
Next, let's see here, The Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction, one of over a thousand Greenberg anthologies, including Sturgeon's "Killdozer!", which I don't think I've ever read, oft described as precursor to Laumer's Bolo saga; and other iconic works from the giants of the 1940s-50s. -I can see William Martin's ignorant, bigoted, more-literate-than-thou sneer from here, the worthless cityfolk. Somehow he managed to write an entire book on the drafting of the Constitution, the wrangle over the Bill of Rights, and the meaning of RKBA, without including quotes like:
I just had an idea for how the Pro 1000 could be altered to allow progressive swaging of crimped military primer pockets. In the original press, the second station is used for installing new primers, with a sprung shaft that rises through the shellplate; you disassemble the shell carrier and replace the shaft (and feed chute) for Large or Small primers. There's a machined spot on the press' frame for the other end of the shaft to bear; gravity feeds the new primer over the top of the shaft and the ram's downstroke drives it into the pocket. My idea is, D&T that spot and thread a new, stationary shaft into it, alloyed and shaped appropriately. A simple insert can fill the hole and restore the function of the original machined spot for priming. Maybe someday I'll try it. Have RCBS swager kit for pattern, want lathe. Replacing the primer seating ram right where it is in the shell carrier, changing the size & shape, would not do because there'd be nothing to pull it back out of the pocket.
Unless I put a decapping die in the second turret station... but that seems mechanically harsh.
Reader recommends rubberized tweezers for handling tiny projectiles. The boattail helps, as it can be set in the case mouth without flopping off like a flat-base. Eases seating too, as noted with .308 and .30-06.
Savage, who has sometimes offended me with his support for law enforcement officers, is finally waking up and calling the thieving bullies with badges what they are, after personal involvement in a pure-revenue incident. Welcome to the club, Doc.
Update on proposed OSHA regs that would have destroyed commerce in ammunition and closed most arms shops.
Many of you will have heard of the absurd case of a D.C. judge suing a dry-cleaner for umpty million dollars for losing a pair of pants. The case was rightly dismissed, but the unstable freak in black robes is appealing. ...The unrelenting irrationality boggles the mind. They're like diseased animals, these "liberals" and other elitists. How much more of this must we take until we start dealing with them in the name of public health and safety? A reader sent me that link, noting the first comment by author Michael Williamson, who said... pretty much what I've been saying the last couple days, only more directly.
Oh, and keep an eye on WoG and Yuri for the latest on the D.C. handgun ban case as it approaches SCOTUS.
Tightening screws on the doubled Auto-Disk Pro in hope of reducing leaks, but I don't expect to be making more .223 rounds until I've grouped & chrono'd the current batches.
1542 - Tuesday, 17 July 2007: WoG is also closely following the Fincher case.
If I'm going to mass-produce .45ACP (or .357 or anything else), I may change my procedure by not decapping before tumbling, 'cause it's a pain to punch the media out of every other flash hole hundreds of times. Then, I can use the universal decapping die in the first station of the Pro 1000 and feed primers in the second as designed. Therbligs. Must contemplate. The downside is there would be no cleaning of the primer pockets at all. For highpower rifle I brush them out with the RCBS tool, but for handguns the volume is so large it's not worth the trouble. A progressive press with more than three stations rises in desirability (as does a taller one for .30-06), but even with the Pro 1000s I'm way ahead of single-stage.
Expect .223 testing tomorrow. I hope to have the desired velocity in one of the batches I've made; then I'll make more of that, with different primers, and chrono again.
American Rifleman, August 2007, President's Column: "Please, if you know a law enforcement officer who believes in the individual's Right to Keep and Bear Arms - and most do - ask them to join our family...." I'd sure like to see some evidence backing up that claim, 'cause the only evidence I've seen 'round here regarding cops and firearms is that they barely know which end to hold onto, and if anyone but their badge-buddies has one, they call in armored vehicles and TV crews.
And if you're not ticked off enough yet, dig the methodical persecution of Red's Trading Post. If we'd been less distracted on the way back from the road trip, sis and I might've stopped there to spend money on principle. -That reminds me, I'll have to re-read Unintended Consequences soon....
Homosexuals.... As previously stated, I don't care who sleeps with what as long as they behave in a discrete and civilized manner like everyone else and keep their hands of my stuff, in various meanings of the term. The bumper sticker says "Equal Rights Are Not Special Rights" and I don't disagree with that. But the homosexual community, as a block, votes for people who ban my guns, raise my taxes, censor my speech, and kowtow to terrorists - and that is what puts them on the opposite side of the Culture War from mine. What homosexuals want are special rights, as too-graphically evidenced by this incident and this one. "Hate crimes" legislation is itself discrimination, creating a special protected class which exists at the cost and to the detriment of mainstream society. Go here to vent, or cut-n-paste AFA's talking points to email using GOA's handy activism page.
1543 - Wednesday, 18 July 2007: Znrk. The case tumbler on the appliance timer also doubles as an alarm clock, sans snooze.
From The Patriot Post, Quote o' the Day:
Back from the range with chrono data and even the top .223 load was just barely reaching 3,200fps in a 20" 1:12 barrel. It was hot and humid the day those rounds were made though, and cooler & partly rainy today, and that may have had some effect. Making three more 10-round batches, at the top previous load, the increment below, and one increment above. Accuracy sucked but conditions at time of handloading may have affected that too, and this AR has a big fat aftermarket front night sight with a round top, less conducive to fine aiming. Every round fed and functioned perfectly (so I got that much right), except for a couple failures to feed in one of two loaned magazines; no issues with chambering or extraction, and ArfCom says a small-base sizer is for individually too-tight chambers and not generally needed for ARs despite what RCBS' marketeers say - my RCBS .223 sizer is standard, and set to kiss the Pro 1000's shellplate at full pressure with a case inserted. No ignition problems with WSR primers and H335 powder; no slam-fires or doubles.
Also finally tested increased .357/158 loads and all are controllable, though the 7.3 and 7.8gr loads start to flip some, and there's a nice fireball. The GP100's big grip module soaks up recoil nicely, unlike a conventional grip frame design. First-round effect still evident, but decreasing with larger charges which use more case capacity. Increased .45 loads too, and zero failures in the Witness for Hornady XTP, but two with the old Speer JHP in a Mec-Gar magazine - the exposed (and at their age, oxidized) lead at the nose binding on the feed ramp. First-round effect still evident there too. As for 230gr plated LRN at 5.7gr W231, still a bit slow according to USGI data, and loading the magazines was difficult; I think I need to seat deeper, though the calipers told me I was matching factory FMJ for OAL. Once crammed into the magazines every round fired and fed perfectly though. No difficulty loading Speer or XTP into magazines, with the seating die at the same setting as RN - the XTP is truncated in profile and OAL is shorter, but the old Speer is closer to RN in profile, hm. All Remington brass, all full-length carbide sized in an old Lyman die, all seated and taper crimped in another Lyman. Anyway, up another increment of powder; this is why we make small test batches. Accuracy was fine in both handguns until some tremors developed with the still-unbonded Witness; indeed, when I started the Witness was all but cloverleafing at 14yds, offhand, with PLRN.
Got very little bonus brass, everyone else is scrounging now. But I did find this graphic training aid:
This had been in the grass a while. No distinctive Glock mark so I dunno what it came out of; some flow into the firing pin hole evident on the primer face. Furthermore it was definitely a reload, as it's Winchester brass with a non-Winchester-colored primer. Either the load is way too hot, or way too much metal was removed from the feed area, or both.
So I'm reprocessing the .223 brass... and the Lee decapping die's pin, whose shaft I'd previously Dremeled, snaps. :-[ So I dig out the propane torch, silver solder, and flux, and a fresh RCBS decapping pin, and Fix the RCBS .223 FL sizing/decapping die. If that pin breaks again I'll have a job replacing it, but I was planning on replacing the decapping/expander assembly anyway, and meanwhile I'm still in business for processing .223. I should be able to order just the replacement pin (with integral shaft) for the Lee die.
300 will be out on DVD any day now, but last time I was at Fred Meyer I noticed the 1962 version, The 300 Spartans, is already out. Good. Technical nitpicks aside, the 1962 film tells a better story with less gratuitous splatter. There's much to be said for making a good film as opposed to blowing eight or nine figures on special effects. -Speaking of which, it's about time to watch The Outlaw Josey Wales and/or The Patriot again.
1544 - Thursday, 19 July 2007: PIG results in snailmail, the Mosin entry was one position above dead last (and of course the Garand was last as DNF). :( Small field too, eight shooters, twelve entries. But it was more live-fire experience and I know I'd've done better if the Queen hadn't broken. Not counting the cursed bottles, 89.5% on conventional targets for the Queen for the stages completed; 86.67% for the Mosin. So there.
Change Corolla's oil, and while under, inspect driveaxle mounts - all seems secure.
Studying chrono results, looks like 7.3gr W231 under the plated 158gr LSWC has finally eliminated the first-round velocity effect; I'll make some for pins Saturday, which is in fact on. Might carpool with Yuri. Still haven't bonded with the Witness though, so I won't use that this weekend.
As for bonding, I have a bit of plan for that: the P35 is currently the hovel-duty piece, bedside and next to the mousepad. I pick it up and handle it several times each day, fostering familiarity and comfort with it. What I'll do is, put the Witness in that position. Fondling counts.
Aaand Savage praises blueshirts' skill with firearms and gushes about LE generally. Click.
More .223 test batches made, at 25.6, 26.3 & 26.7gr H335. Inside hovel temperature 78F, cloudy this morning, sunbreaks afternoon when the loading was done. Less leakage in the Auto-Disk Pro, but centrifugal force tosses some out of the case as the shellplate turns if I go too fast.
More .45 batches, 230gr PLRN & Speer JHP, and 200gr Hornady XTP, all over 6.1gr W231. Also trying the Pro 1000's priming system - and after having to remove and disassemble the shell carrier to get a mangled WLP primer out of the way so the shellplate could turn, I've officially and permanently given up on priming cases on the Pro 1000 and gone back to the handheld Auto-Prime. Reducing PLRN OAL to 1.258", measured from a somewhat randon twist of the seating punch; USGI says 1.275; Winchester mil-spec is 1.267, UMC 1.250, Federal red-box 1.263.
Visit Wichita, KS. Or at least a particular burger joint there.
Fine rant on government schools. It was bad when I dropped out a quarter-century ago, I can scarcely imagine it now. Homeschool! Cruffler does and I've met his kids. It works.
Speaking of Cruffler, he passes on the following:
The fines were to raise money for road projects, but they have also raised Cain, with more than 100,000 people having signed a petition calling for their repeal.
All 140 members of Virginia’s legislature are up for re-election in the fall, and some say they have been deluged with angry calls and e-mail from constituents threatening to vote them out of office if they do not ask Gov. Tim Kaine to call a special session of the legislature to reconsider the law.
"You have no idea how angry people are," said Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Republican of Prince William County, who did not vote for the bill that included the new fines and is leading the call for a special session.
"Criminal and civil penalties shouldn’t be created for raising money," Mr. Marshall said, adding that constituents had stopped him on the street and even in the post office and called his office to voice frustration with the new fines. "You don’t want to turn our police into gun-toting tax collectors. They’re supposed to be officers of the peace, nothing else."
1545 - Friday, 20 July 2007: On this day in 1969, mankind first set foot on another world. The men were Americans. No other nation ever managed it.
When are we going back?
The Witness is now on hovel duty, for the moment loaded with Winchester factory JHP. Hopefully the increased fondling resulting from having it out and about will help with bonding. The shortened PLRN rounds go into the magazines easily, so that problem's fixed. Probably I can use the same setting for the XTP without problems, there's some length to use there.
Churning out increased .357 pin/plate loads. -Well, 149 of them, that's the brass I had ready. That's at least twice as much as I'll need for the Wolverton pin shoot. I still have a pile of lesser loads for plates.
Seen on a list:
So I'm processing one, count it one stray .45ACP case... and the Lyman sizer/decapper die's decapping pin snaps. This is an older Lyman die, no telling where or if I could find a replacement pin. So the decapping pin god is on my case now? Dremel to the rescue, having at an RCBS pin, which is too large originally - open the hole in the collet which retains the pin, reduce the diameter and length of the pin's head to fit inside said collet and allow thread engagement - yay opposable thumbs! Tool-users rule!
Continuing The Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction and I discover that my copy is misprinted, with a couple hundred pages duplicated right in the middle of other stories. Grump. Meanwhile, the ones that have made an impression so far are, as a bad one, Frederic Brown's "Daymare", an authoritarian utopia where knowledge itself can be forbidden; and a better one, Theodore Sturgeon's "Killdozer!", which is less a precursor to the Bolo saga and more what Stephen King ripped off for Maximum Overdrive.
Finally something to do about the "fairness" doctrine.
Reader sends The Ten Manliest Firearms. I object to the Glock - partly because it's unnaturally plastic, partly because there's no manual safety on what is a single-action trigger whatever their marketing department says, partly because of its popularity with Barney Fife and the Copettes - but I think I can get behind the rest of the list. And in fairness to Glocks, they've been doing quite well at the plate match lately. I'm especially pleased with the #1 choice, not only in and of itself but for the added reasoning behind the choice, praising not just the machine but the man who builds and defends it.
Another reader sends this from Virginia, which you can add to the Why I Hate Cops file. VCDL is all the heck over this, as usual.
Subscribe to the Dave Kopel Second Amendment e-newsletter. It only comes out every month or two, so some of the content is dated by the time you receive it, but it's still informative. For example, and speaking of Illinois, Les Baer Escapes to Iowa. And here is a not-necessarily-bad cop, though without more evidence and a more clearly-stated position I hestitate to call any badgeman good.
1546 - Saturday, 21 July 2007: Match day! Up early again! -And the new dialup ISP isn't letting me in so I can check email before I leave! (Later it's fine, probably server trouble.) Fortunately Yuri has my cell number and I have it turned on, 'cause we're carpooling to the pin shoot.
2nd Place Revolver! The increased .357 loads help some. Had one near-perfect run under 6 seconds, the rest sucked more, but the one was encouraging. Small turnout, about eight. Plugged plate match.
After, to the area FFL to finalize shipments - the Marlin has already arrived at its destination FFL according to USPS tracking, and the VZ should ship Wednesday. Saturday after plates I'll go pay for everything.
Money will be tight again. Rent will be very close.
Scored some bonus brass at Wolverton, one of the reasons I make the long drive (another being that pins are different from plates and I get to draw a live weapon from a holster at speed, all of which broadens my skills). A little .30-06, a little .308, some 7mm-08 I'm setting aside in the "Misc." ammo can, and some .45ACP. Prrrreeccioussss. Oh, and some 12ga hulls. (Oddly, no 20ga like the last three times I've been there.)
Next, to Clark Rifles for chrono work. My .45 velocities were all the heck over the place, don't know why, maybe rain on the sensors - and a little over halfway through the third and final .45 test batch, with tremors of unfamiliarity returning to my hands (I don't get those with my GP100, even with magnum loads)... my chronograph was destroyed by a misplaced 230gr Speer #4477 jacketed hollowpoint in the neighborhood of 800+ fps.
:( It'll be a while before I can replace that, I've far more mundane expenses at present. But, the club has a couple, slightly higher models too with the remote readout, and with my new RSO access I had no trouble laying hands on one to complete the next phase of the chrono test, .223.
As hoped, the top load in these batches, 26.7gr H335 under a Hornady 55gr FMJBT over a WSR primer, was close enough to M193 velocity, ~3,240fps or so from a 20" 1:12" barrel. Ignition, feed, and function (with the other magazine) were perfect. Accuracy still kinda sucked but I'm fairly certain that was a) the big fat front sight, b) my unfamiliarity and lack of comfort with the borrowed AR, and c) the distraction of having destroyed my fine $70 diagnostic tool (yes, it's irreparable, no, I won't 'blog photos, whimper) (but I take comfort in the thought that Clark Rifles is where I do all my chrono work and they have chronos whose operation is already familiar to me, and which are rarely in use; I haven't really lost much load-development capacity) (but it was nice to have my own...).
Finally back to the hovel after a long, distracting, and alternately rewarding and costly day. Blech.
Oh I want this!
1546 - Sunday, 22 July 2007: Zzzbleah. Late to the chat room.
The Witness back on hovel duty - it's not the pistol's fault my chronograph was destroyed - with 10+1 Winchester JHP. -I may start using a .50 bore brush, if I can find one that will fit my Hoppe's rod, to better scrub the polygonal bore.
Cleaning the AR. After 70 rounds, I'm surprised at the lack of fouling in the receiver, compared to what I'd expected. This may indicate that H335 is a very clean powder; it may also suggest that some of the criticisms of the AR may be unfair.
It's still a mousegun though. I use a Garand dammit! A battle rifle! -Now a year or two ago Bushmaster offered a .308 AR using cheap and plentiful FAL magazines. That is a good idea (though it still used direct impingement, hmph). But there are three things wrong with it: a price closer to $2k than to $1k; the only ones I ever saw, even in photos, were not dressed for fighting; and it now appears to be discontinued, not appearing on Bushmaster's website or in their latest catalog. Now if someone can offer a 7.62x51mm AR using FAL magazines, for under $1k, I bet they'd sell bunches. Not that I'm a sudden AR convert here, but I recognize market forces - the AR is extremely popular and I can only imagine how a properly-built and -priced full-power AR would sell.
Ah, more fouling inside the bolt carrier, on the back end of the bolt head. (Downloaded a .PDF from Olympic.) Skimpy cotter pin retaining the firing pin, which in turn retains the bolt cam pin, which retains the bolt head. I've seen ads for aftermarket machined parts to replace the cotter pin. Great big extractor, proportionally, no complaint there; positive plunger ejection. -Looks like fouling-relief cuts at the back of the locking lugs, nice touch if deliberate. Disassembly is easy enough; if the weapon's broken in some, and you have fingernails, tools aren't even required for the bolt carrier assembly, but a cartridge tip or unfolded paper clip is about all that's needed otherwise. Bore cleans from the breech obviously, that's good. No firing pin return spring, but in fairness neither has the Garand or M14. -This rifle is fitted with a telescoping stock, and it grabs my facial hair. Were I ever to get an AR I already wanted a 20" rifle with fixed stock, as opposed to a carbine of any kind. Anyhow! Looks like load development is finished. Maybe someday I'll duplicate M855, Sportsman's Warehouse has 62gr FMJBT projectiles now. I'd need a different barrel to test that in though.
Girl Genius is an award-winning "steampunk" webcomic set in a (very) alternate 19th Century and showing the adventures of assorted mad scientists and their inventions. It's been available online for pay, or in print for pay, for years, but the full webcomic archive was put online for free a while ago, and the first part of the story has finally caught up to the second part (and their servers are flooded with fan access so you might have trouble getting in). Why am I telling you this? Because it's a darn good webcomic for one thing; and for another, once in a great while there are what could be interpreted as subtle RKBA bits, like this or this.
Finished the SF anthology, eh, some I've read before, others I couldn't read because my copy was misprinted. Next is... SSN, Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg, apparently a novelization of a PC game.
Tucson Tom sends this on Sheriff Arpaio and illegal aliens. Seems like appropriate due-process to me, though my hackles still raise at any mention of badgemen, even this one.
1548 - Monday, 23 July 2007: From The Patriot Post, Quotes o' the Day:
Religion.... As stated, I'm agnostic, but not militantly so. I'm not offended by other people's religions, whatever they are; that's their business. I don't care what other people believe, as long as they don't force me to believe the same thing. Some examples of the latter are Islamic fascism, global warming, and state economic control. -Yes, I typed this whole paragraph just as an excuse to put those three things in the same sentence.
Bad Cops.... It's not just me bashing them. The latest issue of Shotgun News has this from The Knox Report (and I'm pleased to find a convenient web presence for these fine articles). -Contrast this with the hackle-raising display ads in the same issue for blueshirt/ninjaboy arms and gear, deliberately seeking the law enforcement market. >:-[ The LEO community needs to lose the jackboots before we start killing them on sight in preemptive self-defense, as we would any other diseased and violent animals; and the firearm industry should take a long, hard look at who their customers are, and who they should be. Ronnie Barrett may not have made the complete leap by my fangs-out standards but he's way ahead of the pack. And he's still at it on the more common fronts of the Culture War.
1549 - Tuesday, 24 July 2007: Clancy & Greenberg's SSN is kinda shallow, as one might expect from a book based on a game - USS Cheyenne, SSN-773, zips all over the Pacific blowing up half the ChiCom navy single-handed, with a bunch of jargon. Not unreadable though, and some insight on attack-submarine operations and multi-unit naval coordination.
And just when I'm really starting to fret about money, another donation! Thank you! Some juggling is ahead though; Saturday I have to pay for the transfers and shipping on the Marlin and VZ, which will take me below the pay-the-rent threshold, but an odd job that's half-finished, if I'm paid for it in time, will put me back over. And then I'll have a roof for another month but at that time I'll really need income. -I may even have to wait on a replacement firing pin for the Queen.
The Witness slowly begins to feel more familiar to my hand. The balance is very different from the shortened P35 I'm more accustomed to - the Witness has a lot more metal a lot further forward. The safety lever is a little harder to reach, but easier and more positive in its function compared to the P35's famous mush; I have to turn the weapon in my grip to reach the magazine release, but I have to do the same, to almost the same extent, with the P35. Following Rule 3 is easy enough with the P35, but the Witness' much larger trigger guard is an added strain; on the P35 (or the GP100 for that matter) I can comfortably rest my fingertip on the right front edge of the trigger guard without additional muscle tension, but a more-conscious effort must be made with the Witness. That larger trigger guard is a feature though, for gloved hands. One thing I'm trying is to tuck the tip of the trigger finger beneath the bottom of the trigger guard.
1550 - Wednesday, 25 July 2007: In the worst case I can try to liquidate some more assets at the OAC show Sunday - I have a few bayonets I can part with, that sort of thing.
Inspired by a Stossell book and reminded by a Hannity comment, added "Loser Pays" to my personal utopia's Constitution.
Thought: if conservative talk radio is so evil and biased and unbalanced and unfair, why is everyone listening to it? The ratings are astronomical, while liberal competition fails utterly. Even "mainstream" old media is sinking all over the spectrum. Visual. Effing. Aid. Now get the hell offa my First Amendment you commie bastids!
Reader sends report on new US Army trials to reevaluate the M4, while pointing out that:
Unfortunately, I note that of the three weapons mentioned as competition in the article, none are American-made. What about Robinson? That looks like a mousegun I'd buy. Except it has no bayonet lug (but I think there are some DPMS clamp-ons around) and is probably four figures (and I'm broke).
On a lighter note, same reader also sends this link for the Gutenberg Project's release of H. Beam Piper's Lone Star Planet (aka A Planet for Texans)!
1551 - Thursday, 26 July 2007: So I'm listening to Hannity hyping the Freedom Concert in San Diego and he has actor Jon Voight on. And something bothers me about that... seems like, twenty-odd years ago, I saw his name on a list of HCI members in one of the slick gun rags. Web search inconclusive but suggestive that he's some kind of American now.
Surfed onto this op-ed 'toon.
The local ANG Eagles are flying again, right over the hovel.
Reader sends, referring to the Ten Manliest Firearms from a few days ago:
I didn't even read past the Enfield stuff this time as I'm pressed for time, but just reading that was enough. The crap about rebarrelling to .308 was enough to make me very wary of anything he comes up with.
Finished SSN, kinda repetitive, the sub goes here and blows up the enemy, the sub goes there and blows up the enemy, shrug. Now on Future Weapons of War, a collection of shorts and and novelettes edited by the ubiquitous Greenberg and Joe Haldeman, author of the famous The Forever War, which I have not read. Haldeman is one of the harsher critics of Heinlein's Starship Troopers and seems to have a reputation as a peacenik; his introduction to the book struck me as kinda whiny; but one of the stories in the book is by Michael Z. Williamson, the fangs-out libertarian (and military veteran) who makes sharp pointy things, and it's all from Baen so I expect at least to be entertained. One story, from Mark Van Name, is an excerpt from his whole book, One Jump Ahead, already in my stack with Ringo, Drake & Flint gushing in jacket blurbs, so I'm skipping that entry.
Reader sends more on the Robarms XCR. Price is an issue.
Speaking of WoG, the Red's Trading Post affair is heating up. Everybody into the pool!
Up late ripping through Future Weapons of War. As expected, Williamson's entry - "The Humans Call it Duty" - was very tasty, especially for a cat person. It's a good, clean standalone but probably fits into his Freehold universe. The other entries were also generally good, none bad, some spooky. Even with Jim Baen himself gone, his creation continues to seek out fine authors and nurture their work.
Next is Van Name's One Jump Ahead, which the acknowledgements describe as the last book purchased by Jim Baen personally. -And it's a page-turner, tightly written, cramming background and character development and plot into the first short chapter, not unlike Ringo's Ghost in those respects, though with less immediate knuckle-whitening action. Aw crap, how the hell am I supposed to get a normal sleep cycle now?
1552 - Saturday, 28 July 2007: Spent last evening with Cable Company ex-neighbor, who now lives at the far corner of the metro sprawl, in Blacksmith's house, celebrating her birthday. Some political tension with others of that SCA circle but nice to see old friends again (and there were cats there too).
Might get some cash for obb-job yardwork there. And I'll need it, 'cause among the bills I've deliberately ignored like electricity and phone, I not-deliberately forgot the car insurance! Which must be paid by the 5th to avoid cancellation. I'll be trying to sell some bayonets at OAC tomorrow. Gods out to get me, etc., but if I do well at OAC I should still make it.
Yuri tells me he's donating a Garand firing pin!
I now have two different readers telling me the Witness is too big for my hand and I should liquidate it in favor of an actual 1911. NNNOOOOO!!! Not the Precious!
Match day! Struggling again to overcome the emotional exhaustion of NEMS (Not-Enough-Money Syndrome), exacerbated by guilt over not making better use of the windfall while it lasted.
Hoo-aah. 1st Revolver (of 6), and I really earned it against a Mateba self-cocker and Jim Breen's red-dot GP100; and I got to the very final round so I can also claim 2nd Overall of 26, against the current overall winner's red-dot-equipped 22/45 (and I had him in the first run, but I started missing in the next two). Heh, they were oohing and aahing over my reload speed. Whatever my problems with the Witness, I appear to be fully bonded with my GP100. Good match, revenue for the club, spectator inquiries, everything ran smoothly (except one new guy's 1911's magazine catch), departing defeatees vowing to return. And some .357 bonus brass! My awards wall is way behind, as is my handgun awards page to a lesser extent. -Hey, I'm pretty good with these things! I was also top qualifier for the match, with a combined time of three runs on five targets each of 13.66 seconds; all three of my qualifying runs were under 5 seconds, and one was under 4 (that was the perfect no-miss run). I also had a few perfect runs in head-to-head, and though I lost an individual run here and there, in best-of-three I was undefeated until the final round. For plates I was using the lighter 5.6gr W231 load, but with the same 158gr plated lead flat-point as the hotter 7.3gr pin load. Last weekend's pin shoot must have helped, adding freshness; and that was a hotter load, so today's milder plate loads seemed negligible.
That's Yuri on the right end, by the way, 2nd Rimfire. Not the first time he's made it that far either; he has a red-dot on his 22/45 now too. All the regulars are getting better, and we had some fine competition this month.
After, returned the borrowed AR, went to the FFL and paid for transfers and shipping for the Marlin and VZ, returned to hovel, wrote up the newsletter article, emailed the photos, and... slumped. Money stress and post-match-directing letdown.
Reader sends more on SMLEs:
1553 - Sunday, 29 July 2007: Off to the OAC show with a bag of bayonets... and the Romanian .22. (This month's theme is Foreign Arms.) At least the stuff I compulsively accumulate has resale value, and there's a little local show every two or three weeks where I can liquidate some in an emergency. -Liquidated two Mauser bayonets, slight profit on one; and the Romanian, exactly what I paid for it, but not adjusted for inflation. Straight to bank for ATM deposit, then paying car insurance and ISP online. Whew.
On Gun Talk, interview with VCDL rep on the blueshirt thuggery I 'blogged a while ago (refresher - take antacids first); there will be a lawsuit and I hope the thugs end up jailed and/or homeless. In chat, snarling and growling. Go give VCDL some money, they are always on the front line swinging away. They reinstituted open effing carry in northern Virginia for gods' sakes! What other RKBA org can claim such a victory? Sign up for their email alerts too, wherever you are; much of VCDL's work has national implications, and it's nice to see someone winning once in a while.
Reader sends this morbidly-fascinating article on property rights and bureaucracy. It brings to mind the Committee for Aesthetic Deletions.
Aaand now I have a buyer for the Stevens single-shot .22. Don't really want to part with that, and I have enough cash to get into August now, but: it will be used for training younguns, which is one of the reasons I bought it; building as much cu$hion as possible is the responsible thing to do; and when I'm solvent again I can choose from a couple dozen replacements at the Barberton show.
1554 - Monday, 30 July 2007: Phone detectives, for my other GP100 - one is out, the other has changed numbers. Uh huh. Left message.
Phone preferred temp service rep - nothing, except maybe something way on the other end of town which at these fuel prices wouldn't be gainful.
Finished One Jump Ahead, quite good, hope there's more. Now on David Drake's Other Times Than Peace, a collection chosen by him. As a jacket blurb says, "He couldn't write a bad action scene at gunpoint" - and in his introduction he focuses on stories about people. Now I can write an action sequence that I think doesn't suck, but Drake knows how to write people, and that's a big damn difference.
You know, SPAM isn't so bad. Chopped up for an omelet, or sliced and fried not unlike bacon, it's all right. And the dollar stores often have a lesser brand of the stuff, from which I can't tell the difference, while the actual brand name goes for twice as much. Gotta have meat, something more solid than ramen. And hey, next to some of the stuff I ate in Job Corps... lemme just say I'm not unacquainted with what Sheriff Arpaio is handing out, in a slightly different environment.
Detective calls, I now have the name & number of the prosecutor - a different one - handling the new trial for which my property is still being retained for evidence. Phone - still in evidence but at least I've found the right person. Possible plea bargain in process, suggested I call again in September. [cocking eyebrow] I think I'll call again in mid-August is what I'll do. Another thing: it was explained that my property was being retained to prove that it is operational, so if I get it back broken, as is the tradition around here, I'll know who to sic the lawyers on for vandalism.
Gyeh, I feel ill every time I deal with anyone in government. Like I need a hot shower. Even over the phone I get the vibe that to them, everyone else in the world exists to be either used or destroyed; and the natural fight-or-flight instinct hits me with battle endorphins in response. Maybe it's prejudice, but with all the evidence - Waco, Ruby Ridge, Kelo, that border article yesterday, the recent Virginia thuggery against a VCDL member, hundreds and thousands more examples all the way back to Chappaquiddick, the Volstead Act, the Whiskey Rebellion, and the Boston Massacre - what else can I think?
On rec.guns I learn that eBay will soon be prohibiting auctions of most firearm and ammunition components, including spent brass! *&^%$#!! GunBroker. AuctionArms. BlueBroker. ShootersExchange. GunsInternational. GunsAmerica. Gun-Deals. Etc.
Another fine rant, on the class system vs. the American way this time.
1555 - Tuesday, 31 July 2007: Znrk. Off to sell the Stevens, and do some odd-job yardwork for cash. Rent check away.
Owie. Haven't done that kind of work for a while, nor so much of it. And I am pushing 40. Might go back Thursday. Anyway, two separate cash infusions for the day. Groceries!
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