RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - AUGUST 2008


July 2008 | AUGUST 2008 | September 2008
1909 - Friday, 1 August 2008: New chapter!

WoG is down! Sort of. Something about Google blocking new posts. Be aware, and hold off sending anything to Codrea so he won't be swamped when it gets fixed.

Meanwhile, tracking my Midway order in UPS from work - prolly gonna miss it, damn.

Here's my typical weekday schedule: Drag out of bed around 4:55am, show up at work about 5:45, deal with Teh Stoopid (which is not just the customers) until at least 2:30pm (usually longer), then charge across town on three major metropolitan freeways with attendant traffic, sometimes stopping for groceries or at the library or to get Hawken bits or whatnot. Then I finally relax in the hovel reading webcomics and processing brass and letting the email back up. Most of what you're reading, for weekday entries, is typed up between calls or on lunch at work and emailed back to the hovel. When I finally get back I just want to Not Do Anything except eat cookie dough and maybe play Empire Deluxe until I finally go to bed rather later than I should. Then I have to get up early even on most weekends to go to a match or show (i.e. the muzzleloader event tomorrow). This is offered as an explanation for why the email backs up. I'm workin' here!

This would be kinda funny if a bunch of violent thieving bigots didn't actually believe it. Mental disorder. Stockpile ammunition folks, yer gonna need it.

"11:04 A.M. THE RECEIVER WAS UNAVAILABLE TO SIGN ON THE 1ST DELIVERY ATTEMPT. A 2ND DELIVERY ATTEMPT WILL BE MADE." Monday. Dammit!

FOUR!HOUR!CALL!FROM!HELL! And on a Friday. With those three major freeways between me and the cookie dough. Phooey!

Muzzleloaders tomorrow and I never did get around to finding or making decent shooting sticks for the offhand stage....

1910 - Saturday, 2 August 2008: Sis emails! More on that presently.

3rd Aggregate score in the Muzzleloading Buffalo Shoot! Field of 11 and everyone brought a half-stock percussion Hawken, except the one guy who brought a half-stock flintlock Hawken. No inlines or other modern pieces at all, though most did have modern sights, at least the adjustable pistol-type; only one other had a sling on his rifle, and that had modern QD swivels, unlike my period-type lace-up; five of the eleven were in period garb:

But first there was some kind of single-vehicle accident on the road - beyond the range, but naturally the Authorities closed the road before the range. Grump. (I do not trust anything wearing a badge. Their first and only response to any situation (and you blueshirts wonder why we hate you!) is to throw their weight around and lord it over the peasants, never admitting they might be overreacting; and usually their clannish, insular Only-Ones-ocracy reinforces their behavior with promotions and decorations, or at the least, paid leave. But that's a separate rant.) Eventually we got a late start and the course of fire was reduced; also, the particular firing line only accomodates eight positions, one of which is left-hand only (the opposite end of the line being right-only), so 11 shooters had to be split into two relays, and there's always a time factor as other members want to use the facility. It ended up being only ten shots for score. First some sighters; and the ignition problem is solved, in fact the match director ended up having more and worse hangfires today than I had last week.

All shooting was at 50 yards (more or less). The first stage was from the bench, up to five sighters at the shooter's discretion, on an inch grid, followed by five for score on regular-size playing cards, randomly glued face-down on a sheet of butcher paper, best hand wins. The preferred strategy was to fire all five shots at the same card, therefore trying for five-of-a-kind. I got a pair of 8s and three misses, which evidently counted as 7 points however they figured that:

The second stage was offhand, shooting sticks allowed but I saw only one shooter trying them; the target was a buffalo shape (first item, "TG100"), intended for 100 yards. More sighters, and the firing position was about 3 yards forward of the benches, not enough to make a ballistic difference even with PRB. I took two sighters - couldn't see where the first went, the second was a couple inches low and left of POA. Whipped out my little brass telescope - and my first sighter was a hit in a 2" diamond, offhand, at 47 yards, with a muzzleloading rifle I still don't entirely trust. Then I began shooting the buffalo. There is an X section right in the beastie's forehead but I'd have a hard enough time hitting that with the Queen, so my strategy was to aim center-of-mass, which as you'll see below would give a decent score.

Then the upper left corner of the target came loose and drooped down, concealing nearly the entire scoring area. So I had to wait there until a breeze pushed it back, then rush my shot before it drooped again. Fortunately my CMP and other offhand experience prepared me for that... and it turned out I made scoring hits with all five shots for a total of 40 points of a possible 50 for that stage! One of the better groups I saw in that stage too:

My prize was a piece of elk jerky, evidently the kind sold at Sportsman's Warehouse. Eh, I got out of the hovel. I'd do this again. Definitely need better sights on the Hawken though. Lots of good pics for the newsletter.

So after the match I went to Harbor Freight and found the electronic muffs... with a shelf price of $19.99, compared to the web price of $13.99 for the exact same stock number. Hmm. Might order online, but then there's shipping, hm.

Crap! Wowio no longer has free downloads! You can still read online free, but you have to pay for the .PDF.

And WoG's back up, it was a Microsoft bug maybe.

Sis emails:


Yes, I am still alive and well and having a wonderful time in England. There is excellent security at our hotel in Goldington and there is a fire extinguisher right outside the door. [I asked her if it was locked.] Cars and cycles rule the road here and pedestrians need to beware. The food is great and the people are the most friendly, polite and accomodating people I have ever met while travelling. We will go down to London next weekend to take a few tours down there. Must get on to the market now, I'll try to e-mail again if I get the chance.
I suppose she'll be safe enough on the Approved Tourist Itinerary, but y'all couldn't pay me to go there. Except perhaps as a mercenary contracted to muck the place out.

Oh look, China has censorship, who'd'a thunk it.

[ramble=ON]

Libertarians... have pitiful little local offices with a couple-three not-quite-hippies handing out bumper-stickers and selling the odd copy of Harry's War. You wanna know why Libertarians, as a political party, are a joke rather than a success? First there's the drug angle, which I've 'blogged on before; intellectually I agree with their position, in that people should be free to wreck themselves as they choose, and the whole prohibition/economics angle has been graphically proven since before the 18th Amendment - but the tabloid-reading, sitcom-watching, public-schooled masses ain't ready for the concept. But that's not what this rant is about. Libertarians ain't got no fire. Reportedly every Member of the Libertarian Party has to sign some document agreeing that they will not initiate the use of force. That's fine in PeacefulHappyNiceLand but it won't do squat when Ahmed is tinkering with plutonium and renting a Ryder. In the real world, sometimes the Bad Guys need to be hunted down and preemptively bombed into fiery oblivion. That's one. For two, what's needed, to get a voting majority behind you, is a Cause. What's the Libertarian Cause? Minding one's own business. Not that there's anything wrong with that, remember I claim to be part (l)ibertarian, but it's not going to win any elections. How can you get the screaming mobs, as with Obama, or the bumper-sticker wars as with... uh... the last example worth using would be Reagan, I guess, sorta, which was actually before the modern Culture War outbreak, so my analogy kinda breaks down here. But you see what I'm getting at? Libertarians are people who don't want to be bothered... and therefore can't be bothered to plant the yard signs and stuff the envelopes and write the checks and LTEs and so forth. Their get-up-and-go never showed up in the first place.

Humans generally and Americans particularly need something to rally around. "No Taxation Without Representation". "States' Rights"(/"Preserve the Union"). Pearl Harbor. "Morning in America". The LP ain't got it. -And the GOP ain't had it for so long they've likely forgot what to do with it, sigh.

[/ramble]

1911 - Sunday, 3 August 2008: ZZZZ!!!!

Aaand reader points out that among the TowerZilla loot is the original CD, containing the Nero movie-making software, which came with the Sony DVD burner which came with TowerZilla, how 'bout that. Exploring!

Well it oughta be dammit!

Show and chat every Sunday, 1100PT.

So I'm exploring Nero and contemplating being my very own video factory, and also eyeing the various DVD recording formats. The Sony drive will do them all but it's looking like DVD-R is the least common denominator, playable in all DVD players that will matter. Bi-Mart's current coupon book has spindles of 50, either -R or +R, for ten bucks. If I'm going to be making DVDs to hand out like brochures I'm thinking I should buy the -R blanks. Yes? Alternatively I can use the regular CD-Rs I already have to make VCD (Video CD), also playable in standard DVD players, since the videos I might be making might very well fit in 700Mb, not requiring the 4.7Gb size.

...Yeeeesss, even old Nero v6 (it's up to v8 now, but an upgrade costs (actually I could buy a new complete package at Best Buy for about what they want for the upgrade)) appears to have what I'm after, specifically NeroVision Express among the several sub-applications. Fiddling. So I'll wreck some discs, I have a spindle of 50 CD-R already.... Yessss, just what I need for editing. Mixed results with different video formats though; Nero 6 likes .AVIs from my Canon (and older ones, within the limit of their quality, from my FinePix) just fine, but it's not as happy with .MOVs from Yuri's Nikon. Specifically sound and video go out of synch in the preview simulation - and during the burn process Nero crashes when it reaches that segment. Removing the .MOVs allows the burn to finish... but my $40 Wal-Mart player rejects it. VLC jumps to one track near the end and doesn't show the menu at all. Then it loops the one track it's on, and though I can select any track, they're all choppy. Next step, try actual DVD-R media, which I'll buy Tuesday. And I might buy v8 anyway. Eh, 20¢ per disc, I can afford to experiment, I spend more than that every time I fire the Queen, even with handloads.

1912 - Monday, 4 August 2008: SlowerTrafficKeepRightDammit! The main reason I want to move to Wyoming is because there are so few people there. The percentages of damnfools will probably be the same but the actual numbers will be lower.

Hornfischer paints Halsey unfavorably, for charging off Ahab-like after his white whale of (empty...) Japanese carriers, leaving Taffy 3 to its glorious fate. I recall from Clancy's The Hunt for Red October that he had Ramius say Halsey "acted stupidly."

Hmmm, Garand science... I recall that the red-box Federal stuff - which is probably too hot for the gas system anyway - had bullets very similar to the Hornady I'm using, seated at essentially the same depth. Yet that stuff was crowding 1MOA the first time I tried it after fixing gas cylinder and rear sight. I'll be even more interested than you-all to see what happens when I change the seating depth of the Hornadys to that of M2 Ball. -Tediously processing some '06 brass as gumption permits. Next Garand action, the 10th, will use issued rounds included in match fee; next occasion for my own will be 6 September.

Juicy catchphrase from a comment: Civil Cold War, threatening to go hot. You get the irony here? McCarthy's husband was murdered by an illegal alien, and she sics the blueshirts on a constituent who communicates to her his concerns about... illegal aliens. And then she lies like New Orleans Police about it. IN!SANE! Al Qaeda nuking DC with Congress in full session might be the best thing that could happen to this country!

Gumption... agents, many of them from a Certain Other Place, who can't even get close to making notes in Amurican - or at all; customers who can't tell an operating system from an application, or one app from the next; "mentors" on the internal help line who think that a USB cable is required to get an IP address for infrastructure wireless setup?! (Okay yes, on some models temporarily, during first installation, but not bloody this one!) I get back to the hovel pooped.

But there's the Midway box, all 25 pounds of it, yay. CJ Weapons broken shell extractor for .30-06 - gotta find room for that in the Queen's butt trap. Never had or witnessed a need for it but it's comforting to have. (A reader sent four or so steel USGI .30 cleaning rods, in finger pouches - one's in the Queen, another in my range bag, a third got handed to one of the club's old-timers with a stuck case in his '03.) One thowzand Hornady #3037, that oughta last a couple minutes. And the other two items for a little Project: an Aimtech #APM-7 grip-panel Weaver base for the 1911 (and contrary to the Midway product reviews, current production is checkered, not smooth); and to put upon it, a Simmons 800880 42mm red dot scope with integral Weaver mount. For the .22 conversion unit I'll be picking up at the show this Saturday (or not, even). 4MOA dot (1x of course), and simply a dot, no other reticle to choose, but it's a) huge and b) under $40. -Ugh, I also need Lots More Handgun Rounds, been using them up. Just about out of 200gr .45 plated LRN, but I have a load developed for the 230s I have; and I have enough .358s to last a bit. Some PLSWC .45 rounds made too but they might still misfeed in the Witness, even after the Lee crimp die treatment.

But the first thing required for the Aimtech is to go back to a single-sided thumb safety, and the only one of those I have is the one that won't lock in the up position - but a Dremel should address that, at least for the moment, and I can cold-blue it or buy a replacement later. But then a new problem: the Aimtech is not relieved for the magazine well funnel! That will require some more, and more careful, Dremel work. I'll be at this a while... gonna need more magazines when I get the .22 kit too, but that's what the internet is for (some already bookmarked).

...Bit of a Chinese puzzle box here; the Aimtech, for greater strength and stability, replaces the hammer pin and the mainspring housing pin with screws which engage the grip panel portion of the one-piece aluminum mount. The magazine well funnel must be installed after the mainspring housing. The grip bushings must be installed after the funnel. Etcetera.

And then I finally get it installed and the LPA rear sight won't clear it so I can't get the slide back on! GAAAHHH!! And the .22 kit has the same rear sight. The simplest solution is to drive the sight right out. And it's not bloody moving! ARRRGHH!! Finally I released the four screws, backing out the hammer pin and mainspring housing pin replacements just enough to disengage the threads, and took the bloody thing off in order to get the slide on - but that required removing the thumb safety to get at the hammer pin screw. And now field-strip is impossible; the mount must be removed again, with two different hex wrenches, to remove the slide. A slide with a conventional fixed rear sight would not have this problem - though I bet a big Novak/Kimber type would. :-\ With a big enough hammer I suppose I could get the rear sight out and maybe fill the dovetail with a slide racker, I dunno. There is enough clearance to grasp the cocking serrations almost normally. Ejection looks like it should be all right but one can't tell until one live-fires. And now, since it can't be stripped easily for cleaning, I'm reluctant to fire it!

Awright, pics:

Yeah, sex-ay, sure. :-/ Here you see the problem, the rear sight not clearing the mount:

The scope, which carries no blame in this, does have a nice bright dot (on 11):

Standard 2032 battery, came with one. There is a possibility that the .22 kit will be dimensionally different enough to work. Not betting on it.

Way different balance, and sight acquisition is a whole different set of wet-ROMs to burn in.

Much more of this amateur gunsmithing and I'm going to have to invest in one of those vise-type sight removal tools.

Well hey, I could be spending the money on booze and video poker.

Hm, I notice that rimfire 1911s, or conversions thereto, don't lock back empty. Examine photos. They all like that?

Uh huh: "It will generally NOT fit those pistols fitted with high aftermarket ribs.... GOLD CUP OWNERS NOTE: It will fit the frame of these pistols but removal of the mount may be necessary for removal of the slide for detailed cleaning." Note my Philippine SAM's rib. Now I can't find a picture of the EAA conversion, but I do seem to recall it not having one.... Ah, yes, might work; the LPA on my SAM is mostly in the rib, while the .22 kit has no rib and the dovetail is lower in the slide. That might be just enough. And it was the .22 kit I really wanted this mount for anyway, since the Witness is serving well as a .45.

1913 - Tuesday, 5 August 2008: Uh huh.

Off Samar, some of the biggest guns ever put afloat are hurling shells at tiny little mass-produced escort carriers, while Commander Evans charges the enemy Goliath alone in Fletcher-class destroyer USS Johnston and pilots from the six CVEs scramble in any craft that will fly, with any ordnance that will fit the hardpoints, or just their Browning .50s to strafe the enemy decks. Belowdecks the ordnance crews frantically jettison any remaining munitions - they're not expecting to need, or be able, to re-arm returning planes, and want the volatile stuff off their ships when the other volatile stuff arrives. Hornfischer writes okay. But then he's got some outstanding source material.

Wireless network install! McAfee firewall! THREE computers! THREE AND A HALF HOURS! But it obeyed me.

DVD-R sold out, got DVD+R, was planning on both anyway. Might go back for rain check. I know the +R works on my player for straight copies, it's making my own I really want.

Yuri sends free NObama bumper stickers.

Sis emails again! Still alive and being treated to legendary British hospitality, promising more details on her return.

Dueling!

Quotes o' the Day:


"...Leaving religion out of it, no idea has given more to humanity [than capitalism]. The average working-class person today is richer, in real terms, than the average prince or potentate of 300 years ago. His food is better, his life longer, his health better, his menu of entertainments vastly more diverse, his toilette infinitely more civilized. And yet we constantly hear how cruel capitalism is while this collectivism or that is more loving because, unlike capitalism, collectivism is about the group, not the individual." - Jonah Goldberg
"When World War II ended, the United States had the only undamaged industrial power in the world. Our military might was at its peak, and we alone had the ultimate weapon, the nuclear weapon, with the unquestioned ability to deliver it anywhere in the world. If we had sought world domination then, who could have opposed us? But the United States followed a different course, one unique in all the history of mankind. We used our power and wealth to rebuild the war-ravished economies of the world, including those of the nations who had been our enemies. May I say, there is absolutely no substance to charges that the United States is guilty of imperialism or attempts to impose its will on other countries, by use of force." - Ronald Reagan
Other nations build fences to keep people in. We build ours to keep people out. That tells you all you need to know about America and her place in the world.

1914 - Wednesday, 6 August 2008: On this day in 1945 we nuked Imperial Japan. Three days later we nuked them again. Because they deserved it. For attacking us and dragging us into the Second World War; for a laundry list of atrocities committed against everyone they came in contact with (except their allies the National Socialists, with a laundry list of their own). This action prevented a conventional invasion of the Japanese home islands, with estimated American casualties of at least half a million and Japanese casualties several times that. Less than a month later their leaders were signing terms of surrender on the deck of our battleship anchored in sight of their capitol. Don't Tick Off the Americans.

And look at them now: technology, industry, population, economy (okay, they are having money troubles lately but that sure ain't our fault - capitalism works if you let it, and they ain't). Remember this show? There was an episode where the salvage crew found an abandoned bomber on a Pacific island with an ancient Japanese WWII holdout. They restored the bomber and flew it to Japan for money & glory. The holdout, looking out the window as they approach Tokyo, asks the salvage crew, "You sure Japan lose war?" Historically, getting thoroughly whupped by the United States is the best thing that can happen to a foreign nation. -Wasn't there a comedy film on that theme? Yeah, sort of.

Californian customer. Total sterotype. Attention span = goldfish. The dimness creeps in through the headset....

Change a couple words - not the gorilla part - and this sums up my experience in the court system, both for the burglary trial and jury duty. System's broke! Sweep up the pieces and dump them at sea!

Oh damn this is good stuff.

Tucson Tom sends DespairBlog. The whiners remind me of David Ogden Stiers in Harry's War. The 'blogger snickers but it's a chilling insight into the control-freak mind.

1915 - Thursday, 7 August 2008: Uh huh. Whassamatter, badgeboys, you got something to hide? -Meanwhile my Canon A580 takes pretty good .AVI (certainly compared to my old FinePix A345). I haven't tried creating an actual DVD with it yet, now that I have actual DVDs, but I will soon. And then I can hand them out like brochures. I love technology.

Trying to finish Hornfischer, due tomorrow. Captivating.

Customers.... Dimness.... Creeping....

Mm-hm.

I note that Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture (which I'll get back to eventually (why do all the library holds come through at once?)), writes for PJM.

Sis emails again! She reports that the fire extinguishers in her hotel are not locked, my site is not blocked at the local library, and TV newspeople are openly ridiculing runaway safety measures. She should be returning Monday and I'll drag a more detailed report from her in following days.

It'saliveit'saliveIT'SALIIIIVVEE!! DVD success with menus and the Wal-Mart player and the remote and whatnot! Wasting vast space on the disc but on sale at Bi-Mart in the spindle of 50 they're only 20¢ each, same as CD-R, so what the heck. My first effort (videos I've taken of family cats) was only a technology demonstrator; even old Nero v6 has Many Features which I will now explore because I know it bloody works. MUUWAAAHAAHAAHAHAHAHHAAHAAA!!!!

Aaaand day after tomorrow I get the .22 kit for the 1911, and I'll have to take the Aimtech off to get the .45 slide off to get the .22 slide on, so I reckon I'll tear the 1911 apart tomorrow so I can take the frame to the show and then to the range to test the kit without the mount, perhaps putting the mount back on at the range. -I don't think I've fired a .22 round, certainly not from anything of my own, in maybe a year.

Awright, you know about III (and if you don't what the heck are you doing here?). And you know about Fred and his plan. Now, Yuri is pondering the creation of a "3% Postal Rifle Match" and wants suggestions for a course of fire! For my part I would suggest at least two classes, rimfire to 100 yards for those of us on budgets, and centerfire to, let's say, 300, for those of us fortunate enough to have access to such ranges; the rimfire class should include everything down to the ~$89 Rossi break-action open-sight single-shot (or the family-heirloom equivalent), for all you working-stiff taxpayers out there who can't afford a 10/22 dripping with accessories at seven times the price of the base rifle; centerfire should be divided between "Battle" and "Precision" rifles, i.e. Simonov vs. Remchester. Stages should be designed to be allowed by the rules of a typical range. Send him your ideas.

Reader sends: "GIs carrying 1911s defeated Axis forces, including Austrians. The 1911 was winning battles and saving lives before Gaston Glock was even born - somewhere along the way we probably figured out a thing or two on combat handguns." - Larry Vickers

Reader sends combustible paper cartridges. I've experimented with this before, but with the Hawken actually hitting stuff I may have to look again.

Connnnntemplating power case processing. Still no tall progressive for the Large Heap of '06TM but, I have the Lee universal 3-jaw chuck, and a cordless drill; I have the Lee cutter and case-length gauge; I have a Dremel to make holes in wood; I have wood to make holes in; I even have a hot-glue gun around here somewhere (or I think I can get one at the dollar store even). One more thing I need is a second chamber/deburr tool (likely a third, so I'll still have one loose for small lots or other cartridges). I can make my own case-prep station by fixing the cutter, a chamfer tool and a deburrer in a piece of wood, clamp it to a table, load one case in the drill, and trim-chamfer-deburr with Significantly Less Time and Effort than how I've been doing it with the Forster. The last bits I need will be at the show this weekend. If I do it right, with the cutter (and I can get more cutters at SW), I can simply change the case-length guide for different cartridges. There Will Be Photos.

Hornfischer's Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors is an amazing story. He shows battle diagrams with tiny little specks for American DDs and DEs charging huge Imperial BBs and CAs, while our CVEs literally run for their lives. -I recall a History Channel program in which weapons expert Ian Hogg quipped that during our War of Independence, the "biggest pack of prize dunderheads in milit'ry history" were in charge of the redcoats in the Colonies (particularly referring to the non-implementation of the Ferguson breechloading flintlock but I'm sure the comment was meant more generally). (And hey, Ian, dude - we appreciate it!) Evidently the IJN had its own share, mistaking those little CVEs for our fast fleet carriers and expecting our battleships - which were hours away by then - to show up at any moment. Meanwhile at Tacloban airfield on the actively-contested Philippine Islands, Taffy 3's pilots and Army ground crews were busily improvising, adapting, overcoming, and charging back into the fight, while dodging Japanese strafing runs and sniper fire.

1916 - Friday, 8 August 2008: Good essay.

Uh huh.

Hah!

III!

Guns August 1958 issue.

Well Duh!

Had to return Hornfischer, maybe half through, putting it back on hold. (I never did go back and finish Shattered Sword, the Right Proper History Nerd Examination of the Battle of Midway Not That There's Anything Wrong With That - but this book makes you want to finish it.) Starting Slanted Jack by Mark L. Van Name, sequel to One Jump Ahead, in whose jacket blurb Ringo gushed.

Now both +R and -R sold out, got rain check for one each at that price. And they'll be on sale again in a few weeks I reckon. -Ya know, current technology allows personal helmet-cams, almost affordable even. Talk about first-person-shooter....

Getting to the show... zzzometime.

1917 - Saturday, 9 August 2008: Sis emails her return to the Land of the Least-Un-Free will be delayed by leg trouble, for which she is receiving, uh, medical attention, which kinda freaks me out considering some of the stories I've read - and 'blogged - about the state of health care in Socialist Utopia England. :(

...ACSWW show. Got the EAA .22 1911 kit... and it fits, allowing field-stripping with the mount in place, with maybe a hundreth of an inch to spare (which has since increased with a windage adjustment to the LPA rear sight). Put it together right there at the show. Very stiff movement though, even sticking in the rear position without the slide lock - stopping on the way to the range for a bottle of CLP which for some dumb reason I don't actually have in my range bag but now I do. Could not find another chamfer/deburr tool at the show! Odd. But the big yearly two-day OAC show is next weekend, there's sure to be several there for below retail, and the things last decades. The flintlock long rifle I saw last month appears to be gone, but I did sight a Pietta Remington .36 Navy for under $200, and the vendor says he'll be at OAC, and I get paid that weekend, so maybe I'll start rebuilding my percussion revolver collection. (There should be a drop-in cartridge conversion (also stainless, special order, for another $25) for the .36 Pietta too, costing rather more than what I hope to haggle the revolver for. Certainly not plate match material, but a Corvette or Humvee isn't the most logical or economical choice to hop down to the corner market for a gallon of milk, and there are still lots of Corvettes and Humvees on the road. It's my money and I ain't spending it on booze and video poker.)

Large revolvers way out of my price range, sigh. Couple percussion long rifles but ain't nuthin' wrong with the Hawken, and in my book a "long rifle" ought to be flint.

To the range, soon joined by Yuri with his Buck-Rogers-lookin' 22/45, in which you'll have recently read he's installed an aftermarket trigger, about which he should be 'blogging more presently. I had brought the Queen and some GI rounds to practice for the CMP match tomorrow but wimped (still have to do laundry). Anyhow, starting with the Federal blue box bulk pack hollowpoint, expecting a break-in period.

Click.

...Long story short, Many Very Light Strikes, which Yuri helped diagnose as a firing pin geometry issue which could be easily addressed - photos after I get back from laundry. It likes CCI Mini Mag better, but that's near $6/100 now! Accuracy with either, when they fired, seems quite good, and both LPA and Simmons seem to be quite nicely sighted-in at about steel-plate distance. When the cartridge does fire it will cycle and eject and feed the next, most of the time - photos on that presently too. The magazine (plastic body) does not drop free but sandpaper should address that (and of course I'll need more magazines to compete). The kit also came with alternate recoil springs to adjust for different cartridges. Full review a couple hours after you read this.

...Icky laundromat people....

Forgot my camera but Yuri sends:

Awright, the EAA .22 conversion for the 1911 is straight blowback, no breech locking at all. The slide is aluminum; the barrel is one piece except for the lug, which is, uh, not dovetailed in, not sure how they did that. The original slide lock lever fixes barrel to frame, while the slide's integral bushing takes care of alignment. Full length guide rod for the recoil spring, and getting the barrel out of the slide for cleaning is rather less fun than getting the bolt in or out of a 10/22 - watch for flying guide rods. Shallow 90° cocking serrations fore and aft; it's possible, but less comfortable, to work the slide with the mount installed. Since it's only a .22's recoil spring it's not such an issue (the .45 slide has deeper, angled serrations (no I'm not going to sell the .45 upper, this is still a by-God-and-JMB 1911 and a few minutes' work will make it a .45 again)). Slide profile is very much USGI M1911A1 otherwise; external extractor, angled, and the pin through the top of the slide, on which it pivots, is likewise angled - getting it out is... not apparently feasible with common tools, as the pin would strike the slide rail going one way, and the tool wouldn't reach past said rail going the other; ramp front sight looks milled integrally, will be painted orange later. Finish is matte, presumably anodized. Firing pin retained by a simple horizontal pin much like that in most Ruger .22 autoloaders, easily removed; there is a floating bushing, presumably to protect the softer aluminum of the slide, and here's the first photo:

With the tools I usually have in my range bag, it was easy enough to get the firing pin out for a look, and here's what was discovered:

The knob on the left is the aft end of the pin, which is surrounded by, and retains, the bushing. One expects to see a scoop cut from a firing pin, for the cross-pin to retain it - many designs use such a system, even the Garand. One does not expect said scoop to look like it was done with a wobbly Dremel under influence of Belgian Bud. (The pin is also slightly bent at the obvious point.) Parts are available, okay. I expect to order spares next pay period. But that's not what Yuri and I think is causing the light strikes. The aft end of said scoop is, we believe, limiting the forward travel of the pin, therefore the pin is not striking the cartridge primer rim deeply enough, therefore it sometimes takes up to seven strikes to discharge. (Mini-Mag seems more reliable than Federal. At least one of the Federal cartridges I brought - the same stuff Yuri uses in his Ruger - was an actual dud, since it didn't work in said Ruger either. Every Mini-Mag that made it into the chamber did eventually fire.) My plan is to remove material from the aft end of the scoop, to increase firing pin protrusion. Obviously this must be done carefully. Evidence of impact on the firing pin retaining pin, not clearly visible in the two photos above, supports this theory.

Mini-Mag particularly did, mostly, extract, eject, and feed properly, after however many strikes were needed to discharge. (I'll be keeping a particularly close eye on Bi-Mart's sales....) But there were feeding problems too, even with the Mini-Mag. Some might be from the mount partially blocking the ejection port - the angle of the exiting case is different from a .45ACP and, though I can see no evidence on the mount and can't tell otherwise without high-speed video, there may be some collision.

But that's not all. There were feeding problems too, particularly regarding the feed ramp. Here are the worth of a few thousand words on that subject:

You can see that with Federal hollowpoint at least, there is a tendency to catch the bullet nose on the sharp end of the feed ramp, and also some shaving even if the cartridge does feed. This happened with Mini-Mags too, but much less often; only one of near 90 Mini-Mags fired caught like that, and the shaving seems to have usually not happened. Those two things are likely a magazine issue, and I have only the one so far.

There were also some failures to extract, including at least one spent case, though once a live round actually fired it generally exited the chamber, if not the slide. The ejector for this conversion is a fixed bump on the magazine.

Also of concern is the alarming bulge in most cases, especially CCI, right at the feed ramp area:

On close examination the case does appear to be incompletely supported. I don't know if the ramp comes that way from the factory or if the previous owner had at it with that same Dremel, and I'm not inclined to spend $50 on a replacement barrel to find out. -You can also see the light strike; this particular case had to be struck at least twice, as most did. I did get a few short strings where everything worked.

Awright, the most important question: How's it shoot? This was at about 14 yards, from the MTM plastic rest, using the Simmons 1x 4MOA dot, including sighting in after boresighting to the open sights which had already been adjusted on another target, with Mini-Mag on a 1-inch grid:

So I'm keeping it. Won't be racing for a while yet though, need more magazines, want spare firing pin(s), and of course it's not bloody working yet. At the end of the session Yuri and I swapped a magazine's worth - his 22/45 has a very light trigger, and with that Volquartzen coffee-can hung off the muzzle it's the next thing to recoilless. My conversion here, when it works, has very little recoil and muzzle flip indeed, not least due to the big fat scope up top, but Yuri's Ruger is... remarkable. A similar comparison might be made between my Witness, with a ported barrel, and the pre-conversion 1911 without - my Witness is mild, especially with my handloads.

Thus ends this day's range report! We now return to our regularly-scheduled 'blogging, already in progress.

Never did have much use for unions.

Yuri has, dangling from his minivan's rear-view, a little card with Al Pacino as Scarface wielding an M203 in mid-burst. I mentioned that I had, from the library, viewed the original 1930-something Scarface, finding it to be a blatant anti-Thompson pro-NFA'34 hit piece the contemporary equal of any bile coming out of the Brady Campaign today. Yuri then mentioned, and now sends, this eerie look into the minds of historical control freaks. Let Me Make This Plain:

PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK.
PROHIBITION HAS NEVER WORKED.
PROHIBITION WILL NEVER WORK.
HISTORY HAS PROVEN THIS TO BE TRUE.

So knock it off a'ready you morons! Or we'll smack you!

And now I have to go to bed so I can get up too early and drive too far for a CMP match. I wonder which major drivetrain component will fall off the Corolla this time...?

1918 - Sunday, 10 August 2008: Sis emails, still alive....

And the answer to yesterday's question is None, but the electrical system has trouble. I have headlights including high beam, and four-way flashers, and the horn, but no turn signals, taillights, brake lights, reverse lights, instrument lights, dome light, or ignition. Dammit! And work tomorrow. I've looked at all the fuses I could find, all seem intact. The problem may have come from using the lighter socket to charge my cell phone - that's not working either. Posting this now in case someone out there has ideas. (1987 Corolla 4-door 5-speed.)

Did find some corrosion on the big 30-40A fuses on the battery terminal. Ohmeter says the fuses are good, but still. Hiking to parts store... fusible links those are actually, and that ain't it. Phone Woodworker... he doesn't know much electrical but a) he's loaned me one of his Geo Metros so I can get to work and b) Blacksmith, returning from out of town tomorrow, may help diagnose on Tuesday.

So now a match report. (Gah.) The electrical problem appeared as I pulled over to check maps (just like when the driveaxle fell out going to the exact same club for the exact same match last year), but fortunately I didn't switch the engine off just then. I reached the club just in time and was placed in the third relay - 18 shooters, good turnout for this club in my experience. I took my turns working the target pit (I wish my regular club had that, it really does add to the experience) and filling out scorecards.

There's still nothing wrong with the Queen, or at least nothing that can't be fixed; the gas cylinder may be working loose again. I had a quite good slow-prone string - only 91/1X but I was calling my flyers and the rifle was putting the rounds where I told her to (if not where I wanted her to). I made some sight adjustments during this time. At this club, with the actual target pits and people actually there working them, sighters count as actual sighters - quite nice. Significantly I also took off two clicks of windage you may recall I had put on, with my handloads, in a previous match.

Then came rapid-prone. The tendency here is to shoot low, and as previously stated, some shooters deliberately go up a couple clicks to compensate. I've tried that a couple times but didn't do it today. I thought I had a pretty good string - and I did, sorta:

Quite clueless what happened. My scorer for that stage told me my first two shots were in the black, then the rest of the string went high after reloading. When I got to slow-standing, my first shot was right where the rapid-prone group had been, so I took off the elevation I'd put on in slow-prone, and got a Really Quite Good score for that stage:

You can see that if I'd known that elevation weirdness was going to happen I'd've had a good chance to break 90% in this match. This was LC67 M2 Ball (delinked MG rounds evidently). Zero malfunctions of course, and the ejection pattern was to 1-o'-clock, as with my 49.0gr handload.

Hmm.

And there was bonus brass. Meaning I have even more to process....

Anyhow when the match was over I examined all the Corolla's fuses and couldn't find anything wrong. I'd parked on an incline and roll-started in reverse on the first try, so the motor's fine. Straight back to the hovel, not daring stop for fuel as I'd intended. Sigh. At least with the loaner Geo I can still keep the perfect attendance at work, approaching a year, and earn... probably a cheesy little certificate thing. More to the point I'll earn money to pay Blacksmith and Woodworker for their assistance. Reader promptly sent this forum thread describing a very similar problem but Woodworker and I don't really know where to start looking.

Gah.

Sis emails again, having visited the Tower and the light cruiser HMS Belfast, and bragging about British hospitality - but also commenting on endless crowds everywhere but the hotel. (Wyoming....) She has assured me she's taking lots of photos.

Meanwhile, trying to relax with Tora! Tora! Tora!. I looked up USS Ward and found this physical proof that Ward really did fire the first shots of America's entry into the Second World War.

More on the match - that $10 leather sling just ain't right. Besides that, in rapid prone, I dived into position and the trailing rear section landed beneath me with the hooks digging me. I yanked it out from under... and tore my M1 Garand t-shirt bought in Spokane during the road trip, which I'd never even worn before! Next match, I'm going back to the nylon the Queen came with.

1919 - Monday, 11 August 2008: Unfamiliar car, bleh. Beggar-not-chooser.

Why haven't the sovereign citizens of these United States started executing tyrannical scum like this for their crimes? Rope! Lamppost!

Vanderboegh.

Why we nuked Japan.

Effing... agents-in-that-call-center-over-there, essentially lying to the customers. And guess who the customer gets when they call in to get it sorted out.

Sis emails, all is well, returning tonight!

Quote o' the Day: "Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace." - Thomas Jefferson (letter to James Monroe, 24 October 1823)
Reference: Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, Foley (685); original The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Ford, ed., vol. 5 (198)

Oh fer cryin' out loud. Won't be paying to see this film. Effing eco-freaks.

1920 - Tuesday, 12 August 2008: No word back yet on the car help.

Hopefully it is just a loose connection. I think I saw the dashboard clock, one of the things not currently working, flash briefly during some testing Sunday, implying just that. But where?

Meanwhile the Queen's gas cylinder was showing some fore-and-aft the other day, after being warmed up (I had applied green Loctite after peening the grooves back when). That might have had something to do with the elevation wierdness in rapid-prone. -Is there any compelling reason I shouldn't just silver-solder the thing?

I need to make .45 rounds soon, for pins this weekend - but I might not make it to pins anyway if the Corolla won't run, I'm not going to drive a borrowed car all the way up there. And both .45 and .357 for plates next weekend, which I have to go to.

Continuing Slanted Jack, good.

Read the comments you two-bit badge-wearing thugs. Your behavior can be clinically diagnosed as self-destructive. We will start defending ourselves against your criminal assaults.

Called Blacksmith - and he & Woodworker had actually preemptively gone to the hovel and looked at the car, which of course I had left locked (I'm within rifle distance of a light-rail transit center, ya know?) so they couldn't do anything. Looking like Saturday pins is blown then and I'll keep driving the Geo through the week. At least I'm not missing work. Gotta email the pins guy that I won't be there....

Spectacular once-a-year two-day OAC show this weekend, you should see the displays. It's one of the few shows where cameras are allowed, though not all vendors are comfortable with pictures, understandably - the demagogue media is an active enemy of anyone who's actually read past the 1st Amendment (and many who haven't). Look back, I posted some pics last year, and the year before, hardly scratching the surface.

More M2 Ball at CMP. I thought it was Gone? Krags too, what's left of them.

Email backing up of course as I stress over the Corolla. But, Cruffler emails that MVPA is having a military vehicle show, featuring R. Lee Ermey, at the Expo Center this weekend.

1921 - Wednesday, 13 August 2008: New chapter! Sure, some of us will die... but we're Americans. Enough of us will always have the skill and the will to do what is necessary. -And what are you badgeboys fighting for, a pension? You're on the wrong side.

Another Californian. The Creeping Dimness! I could almost smell the smoke, and I don't mean wildfires, nor tobacco neither.

The Dim Creepiness....

Got some bonus time saved up from perfect attendance, trying to use it. Need rest.

Immigrants... I've seen this before, at the Dilbertville electronic cable-making place - they come here and refuse to speak American, unless they actually need something, in which case their language gets pretty good all of a sudden. The rest of the time they pretend they can't understand you, and call you a racist when you can't understand their deliberately-garbled mumblings. And they wonder why we oppose illegal immigration. Let Me Make This Plain: If you want to live in America, you will become an American-speaking American who conforms with our laws, customs, and rules of civilized behavior. Anything less will cause the degradation and eventual destruction of the very wealth and prosperity you came here to exploit. Assimilate - or get out of my country!

Sis is home safe!

Quote o' the Day: "Remember, there is such a thing as good and evil." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

So no pins Saturday. I'll get a little more sleep, before the car help arrives - and I don't have to rush (as much) with making handgun rounds. Priming hunnerds & hunnerds of .45 cases, followed by a like number of .357. Sizing '06 by 50s.

Thought: The RKBA debate might be summed up thus - their side says your life, the lives of your spouse, your children, your parents, your sisters and brothers, are worth no more than the life of a robber, rapist, terrorist, or psychopathic murderer. Our side says your lives are worth more. Now ask yourselves, those of you who are considering the other position: What is your life worth? What would you do to defend your children? And how do you DARE deny the same to anyone else?

1922 - Thursday, 14 August 2008: 1984 online.

...Not unrelated, Sink the Island. Glad my sister's out of there.

So a customer asks me to call back on their cell number to free their landline, or vice versa... and I get voicemail or an answering machine. Often. If you want me to call you back, answer the bloody thing when it rings!

Slanted Jack - I like the planet Gash.

Released early yesterday, earlier today. Previously I'd stick, concerned about pay, but I'm so exhausted from dealing with scatterbrained customers I'm well pleased to escape. To compare it to herding cats would be an insult to cats. And I like cats.

New York sucks.

100°F forecast today....

Holy Crapping Crap. And I thought the education system was wrecked in this country.

1923 - Friday, 15 August 2008: Finished Slanted Jack, looking forward to more. Starting The Best of Jim Baen's Universe #2, which I'll set aside soon for Weber's By Schism Rent Asunder, sequel to Off Armageddon Reef. -First story in JBU2 is "Crawlspace" by Flint & Freer, in their Rats-Bats universe, which I haven't read - and it's a cop story, which makes it difficult to read due to my personal experiences and the general environment. The series might be interesting otherwise but it's not the ideal first exposure for this reader.

Heat wave forecast to continue through tomorrow. Good AC in the call center but the drive back, especially on Friday, will be horrid. -I'll lose some weight I guess. (Yep - sweat rolling down my arms, dripping from my elbows and soaking my jeans. When I finally got out at the library I was almost squishing as I walked.)

Turns out I won't be getting much more sleep tomorrow anyway, comparing when I would have had to get up for pins to when the car help will arrive.

Brains... scattered... dimness... creeping... the horror....

Islam is a religion of intolerance, censorship, and hatred. And Canada sucks. -In the comments I see that there is something vaguely resembling our 1st Amendment in the Canadian constitution (note I don't capitalize theirs...) - too vaguely.

George Lucas also sucks. This isn't even a complaint about the gun-bashing and Bush-bashing in Episode III, this is just crappy product. Not even gonna look at it.

All the library holds come through at once. Now I have both the latest Ringo and the latest Weber, which I know I won't be able to renew.

Via WoG, the lists, and my own readers, this guy ...will likely get burned at the stake by NEA by the end of the month.

Quote o' the Day: The United Colonies, firmly persuaded of the justice of their cause, and that resistance is indispensable, committing their cause to Heaven, have opposed force to force, and are determined to die or be free. -Some days ago I was listening to Savage on the drive back from work and he was, in so many words, warning the lefties that they would trigger a revolution or civil war. And the censors were removing the eee-vill R-word.... What's happened to this nation? We used to have spheres and spine both, and to spare.

Mm-hm.

1924 - Saturday, 16 August 2008: So I get up early and fill the tank on the borrowed car and get ready for the Corolla help to arrive. And out of morbid curiousity I check the dome light in the Corolla.

And it's on.

And I put the key in and turn it and the car starts and everything appears to be working.

W! T! F!?

The dashboard clock is wrong by several hours, indicating an interruption of main power - yet the headlights and four-way flashers were still working when nothing else did. This strongly indicates that the problem is simply a loose or corroded connection somewhere. So the help arrives and we poke and prod for a while... and it stops working.

Long story short, after about five hours of various prodding and poking, interrupted by trips to the hardware store and Burgerville, Blacksmith runs a couple 10-gauge bypass wires and finally everything works as it should. Somewhere in the Unfathomable Tangle of Wires, somewhere between battery and ignition, is a bad connection, which is now no longer in use. Woodworker takes his car back and about 2:30pm I contemplate whether I should go to the Spectacular Museum-Quality Two-Day OAC Show, or wait 'til tomorrow - and I choose tomorrow! 8-b

-Later, out for fuel and groceries - everything seems fine. Whew.

Weber remains Wordy. But not Turtledove-wordy; Weber actually says stuff. He could use fewer words to say it though.

1925 - Sunday, 17 August 2008: Went to OAC show, got good pics of great displays. Did not find that .36 Remington - either I didn't recognize the guy (I don't know his name), or he didn't make it to that show, or someone beat me to the revolver. I'll check ACSWW again next month. Saw a brass-frame .31 marked $125, passed - too small, and there are steel-frame versions. (I think someone is or was offering a cartridge conversion for those....) Weeeell, I need to control my spending anyway.

I did buy a second chamfer/deburr tool ($6), and for only five bucks a .30-06 cartridge gauge, to check headspace. According to the gauge, my sized cases are sized too much, setting the shoulder back too far; while a fired case's shoulder is... I had to use several to be sure but the average was within the gauge's "good" area, so the Queen's headspace seems fine. Meanwhile, a live LC72 round is .003 below maximum (.008 above minimum), as one might expect. I'm not sure my sizing die can be adjusted that finely, or if it would make a difference in either accuracy or case life. The Queen is an autoloading battle rifle, not a bolt-action match piece. Besides, I've sized a couple hundred cases at the current setting already. Still, now that I have the gauge....

For $35, also got an Ideal 4-cavity .38 wadcutter mold. Thus I can cast bullets for plinking .357 loads, for subversion; and if, many moons from now, I do get the .36 Remington and the cartridge conver$ion, I can make nice mild loads for that too, seating flush or nearly so if necessary for cylinder length.

(Pale Rider, ya know. I'd need a .45 setup as well of course.)

Show and chat, interview with this guy, who will also be on Glenn Beck soon.

Apparently other people have had the idea to solder the gas cylinder....

Prediction: Whoever becomes the next president (note lack of capitalization), there will be another terrorist attack on US soil. And if it's Hussein - or even if it's not - it will at the least be used as an excuse to further destroy civil rights. In a worse case the attack will be painted as having been perpetrated by another McVeigh - and there we all go.

Perhaps not unrelated: In the parking lot at the show (a Holiday Inn), I saw one of those mini-SUVs with a couple stickers in the windows. One said "Voldemort votes Republican", and the other said "Wag More - Bark Less". This particular moonbattiness deserves a little deeper examination. First is the implication that all Republicans, and therefore all conservatives (which of course are no longer, if they ever were, the same thing), are evil. Which is outright bigotry. But it's the second one, especially in conjunction with the first, that really grumped me. I translate it as "Shut up and be a good little domestic animal and maybe your masters will give you some kibbles, if we feel like it." Think that through. What kind of sick subhuman creature would actually have that for a personal philosophy? No wonder they're afraid of us - they're so incapable of thinking or acting for themselves, anyone with that capability must look like a bug-eyed monster to them.

So some pics. Here is a display from Antique Gun Shoppe, Post Falls, ID, which sis and I visited on the road trip. This is only part of the display they had at the show, and the shop itself was remarkable when I was there in May 2007. You should go there. Among other fascinating things they had an Evans Archimedes-screw-magazine rifle (featured in Crossfire Trail starring Tom Selleck). Here is just a fine display of mostly Colts - I don't even know whose it was. Here is something I'd never seen or heard of before, though the exhibitor told me it was documented in some book on Spencers - a Spencer repeater with a muzzleloading percussion shotgun barrel slung underneath, with a pivoting hammer extension! Here is a display of Japanese arms typical of many of the excellent displays along the entire wall of the exhibit hall - I don't have the bandwidth to upload all the fine things I saw.

Oh, and as I left the show for the hovel and the chat session, I saw one of these rolling past (on an authentic transporter trailer), no doubt for the MVPA show which was also this weekend.

Some backed-up email. Yuri sends (a week ago...):

Reader sends yet another reason to Sink the Island. This was what I was afraid my sister would encounter there.

1926 - Monday, 18 August 2008: ATTENTION LAW-ENFORCEMENT THUGS. WE WILL START DEFENDING OURSELVES AGAINST YOUR UNPROVOKED ASSAULTS. YOU ARE BEHAVING IN A SELF-DESTRUCTIVE MANNER WHICH WILL, THROUGH NO FAULT OF OURS, GET YOU SEVERELY INJURED OR KILLED.

Nice to have my own car back (especially with plates coming up this weekend and a responsibility to run the event - my assistants might panic if I don't show up...). Now if I could only get out of this enemy-occupied state.... Gods I miss Wyoming.

Continuing Weber, intrigue, suspense, tyranny, treason, scorecard required.

Huh, running plates... I've never considered myself a "leader" or "organizer" type - I don't like people, generally, and would rather be left alone; I don't like giving orders much more than I like taking them. But these are gunfolk, and they're better. They're smarter, more stable, more balanced, more in control of themselves, and do not need external control. -Which rather meshes with the first paragraph of today's entry. All we want is to be left alone.

Buuut, since that Vanderboegh LTE, the Culture has been schisming into Absolutists and Pragmatists, aka Extremists and Cowardly Spineless Sheeple. The latter say, "Never fight back," "Always obey the nice ninjaboy", "Don't make trouble". There's this old joke, which I think I've 'blogged before. Two Jews are in the concentration camp when the Nazi guards start hauling them off to the gas chamber. The first Jew struggles and shouts, "You can't do this, this is murder!" The second Jew turns to the first and says: "Quiet. Don't make trouble." I... am not Jewish. But I am a card-carrying member of JPFO. (Even got the pin in my hat.) All you "pragmatists" had better wake up. You also are on the wrong side.

1927 - Tuesday, 19 August 2008: Another government-employee customer. Mumbling.

1st Amendment? What 1st Amendment?

Snork - in internal email about a tow warning, the on-site rent-an-Only-One styles itself "LT". Snicker.

RatsNestOS. At end-of-shift. Consistently. Bill Gates is fortunate that dueling has been outlawed.

Priming .357 brass at laundromat....

Got DVD-R, experimenting... yeah, that works too, in my regular player. Same price as +R.

Couple hundred rounds .357 done, .45 tomorrow-like.

1928 - Wednesday, 20 August 2008: So I'm charging along I-84 to work in the morning and I hear that ominous popping-snapping sound under the dash and the instrument lights go out and I smell hot wires.

Except, headlights & brake lights & turn signals still work, the instruments themselves still respond, the indicator lights on the instrument panel seem all right, the dashboard clock is working, and the car still starts. I just can't see my speedometer or fuel & temperature gauge in the dark.

Shrug?

Coworker sends Why not a revolver? Why not indeed.

Even more unmitigated jack-booted thuggery. Police are just another street gang, except we buy their "colors" with our taxes.

>:-[

Why do I get all the mumbly customers? Hyper-mumbly, freaky-mumbly, or just mumbly-mumbly. (Including those Not From Here.) Why?

Reader points out new chapter. Cherokee, huh? I'm told I have some of that blood....

1929 - Thursday, 21 August 2008: Car still starts....

Couple hundred rounds .45 done last night, and in a couple-few months I'm going to run out of projectiles again. SW cannot keep the Xtreme in stock, it's been months since I saw anything in my desired sizes and weights. Lots of unplated from Silver State and other makers, but I want plated - and in fact need it for the Witness' polygonal bore. A supplier in this area is supposed to carry Rainier but they didn't respond to an invitation to the ACSWW show. Shipping costs would be prohibitive (like the retail cost isn't already?) if I net-ordered some. :-\

Over half through By Schism Rent Asunder, big. I think Weber is indulging himself, probably wanted to write this for decades and has now become capable of doing so. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Next I suppose will be Ringo's The Last Centurion, non-renewable. Also have more old Heinlein stacking up.

Near end of shift (I actually got out on time for a change), comes a piece of paper warning of Even More Potential Layoffs or Internal Transfers. Booger!

Lone Oak match results, 8th of 18, hm. Maybe I was distracted by the car thing - no, I tune out pretty good when I have a sight picture... well, another match in two weeks, maybe I'll have that gas cylinder soldered by then.

1930 - Friday, 22 August 2008: Car still starts....

Uh huh.

Snork!

"Staff reduction" they call it. Only a week after adding 20 new agents. So much for forecasting call volume. I'm not laid off yet, and with perfect attendance and other good numbers I expect I'll be one of the last to go, but they might yank the whole contract like they did with the last department I was in.

1931 - Saturday, 23 August 2008: Plates! Got whupped in revolvers, how'd that happen? Off my game. Did manage 2nd Autoloader, nothing wrong with the Witness except I'm not used to it. Yuri had Difficulty, which he has promised to 'blog.

Yuri brought his camera and we both got some Cool Action Photos:

Flameyness!

IT'S COMIN' RIGHT FOR US!

And hey, look at this - it's the match winner's Springfield P9, in .40S&W, closely related to my own Witness. P9 and Witness took 1st and 2nd among eight autoloaders today (much smaller turnout than usual this month). Look closely - it has a 1911-style barrel bushing. Huh? My own ain't stock, but this one is even less so:

Pr0n....

I'd be jealous if a) it was in something other than .40 Short & Wimpy and b) I didn't already have one much like it in the Most Proven Fighting Handgun Cartridge Evarr. -Except mine could use some trigger work, and an extended safety lever....

You know the new Presidential dollar coins? I'm no particular numismatist but I did get the folders for those and the state quarters from a local craft store. (I also tend to hang on to bicentennial quarters. Alas, I haven't had a $2 bill for a while....) Anyway there's a change machine in the break room at work and it dispenses those coins after a certain number of quarters - and I never get one of Jefferson! But one of the shooters today finally swapped me one. Then I found another in the change cup in the RSO shack!

Heh.

Mm-hm.

"Religion of Peace" My Ass. I suppose we'll be sending troops to Indonesia in a couple more election cycles - if we have any "troops" left by then, considering what's likely to win those elections and what they're likely to do to our military. Kratman's Caliphate may be the best we can hope for, and that's Not Good At All.

Dammit! Space exploration must be taken away from NASA government bureaucrats and given to the private sector where market forces can apply economic and technological natural selection! Like my sister said, give the space program to a Vegas developer and we'd have hotels on Luna in two years!

1932 - Sunday, 24 August 2008: Preciouzzzz....

Quote o' the Day: "Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise." - Sir Francis Bacon

Chat and show every Sunday. Tom Gresham mentions this jack-booted thuggery, which is also outright imbecility since people who fill out the 4473 don't go around doing drive-bys, and vice-versa. And it seems no one in Oklahoma has read this quaint obsolete thingie for quite some time. (Well almost.) Folks, buy what you can in private sale, and don't talk about it. (I've broken that personal rule a few times, i.e. with my Witness and 1911, but I race (or will) with those in public.) Consider also, those of you with the budget, skills, and inclination, getting some machine tools and building your own - plans for everything from single-shot Liberator-type pistols to 9mm maschinenpistolen and even heavy anti-materiél rifles are all over the 'net, some for free download.

Meeeeaaanwhile, poking at the car and it may just be an honestly blown fuse which may (judging by the smoke when I jam a 12ga jumper wire across the fuse terminal) just be honestly caused by a loose wire from the radio which is no longer installed shorting against the chassis... function restored! -Buying spare fuses, overpriced at the nearby convenience store 'cause I don't want to walk or drive any further today.

I should have Weber finished by Tuesday, when I'll grab the latest stack of hold stuff, then start the Ringo I already have here. Poking around the web indicates a new volume from each, a Harrington and a Posleen. Oh, and Yellow Eyes has new cover art.

1933 - Monday, 25 August 2008: Actually I finished By Schism Rent Asunder last night and started The Last Centurion. Weber uses, not a cliffhanger but an Anticipatory ending, with Much Action forecast for the next volume. Ringo goes fangs-out, evidently trying to out-Kratman his sometime coauthor Kratman on the If This Goes On angle (i.e. Caliphate). Read it.

All seems well with the car for a change. Which, historically, I really shouldn't have typed out loud.

T-shirts.

Uh huh - the day starts with low call volume and people get sent home, and then the call volume spikes with several agents gone and I get buzzed about actually taking the time to finish typing my notes, which I always do because we were all very specifically trained to Document Everything. Left and right hands never formally introduced. Doofuses. I got yer "staff reduction" right here.

1934 - Tuesday, 26 August 2008: New chapter! Don't tick off the Americans. ATF agents and anyone of like mind are, of course, not Americans.

Continuing The Last Centurion, interesting, over 1/3 through already and I haven't even reached the Juicy Action Bits yet.

Creeping Dimness. I'm taking Thursday off, using a perfect-attendance-bonus-floating-holiday for pay. -Then a paid three-day weekend....

Why I don't want to vote for McCain. As stated, I haven't skipped an election in a long time, but....

And of course email is behind.

1935 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008: End of the month, quotas due, revenuers lurking along the morning commute. Thieves. Literally highway robbers with badges, stealing from peaceable citizens at gunpoint. How can you people live with yourselves? Gang violence, random stabbings at transit centers, campus rape - noooooo, no, your resources are better spent shaking down the peasants. And then you whine that you don't have enough resources, and when the people you're supposed to "Protect and Serve" actually need you, you turn your back and run away! -Last night I watched A Bug's Life, which is sort of a Seven Samurai take-off (or at least Three Amigos). The villains are grasshoppers running the ancient protection racket on the ants, and at one point - which has been mentioned on a few rightblogs, comparing the grasshoppers to BATFU or IRS for example - the antagonist comes right out and says "It's not about food, it's about keeping the ants in line!"

You cops who lurk here - when's the last time you looked in a mirror? All we can see, from the taxpaying end, is a gang of thugs who enjoy throwing their weight around. I'm sure you have a completely different mental image of yourselves....

...On a lighter note, SCIENCE!

Not lighter, Britain Sucks. And Ringo is actually touching on this very phenomenon in The Last Centurion.

And speaking of Muslims.... Fortunately Hussein's VP choice may cost him the election. -Except then we'd be stuck with the über- (ünter-?) RINO, and who will his veep be...? :(

...Wwwwwwwwant? On sale at Bi-Mart, only a month's rent.... Must. Control. Spending.

But, something I've already budgeted, the Konus 90x spotting scope has actually finally shipped! Later I'll get a digiscoping adapter. Actually depending which product description I read, from which vendor, it might come with one (maybe just a cheesy rubber ring, whereas I'd be after some nice steel and/or aluminum).

1936 - Thursday, 28 August 2008: Day of rezzzzzzt.... Just resting, I've been pooped for weeks. Watching library DVDs.

Then catching up on the arms cleaning and taking a closer look at the EAA .22 1911 conversion. Accuracy in live testing last time was, as far as I can tell, quite good, but the barrel is sloppily made, with the chamber offset so far to starboard that when they cut the rifling, some of it got into the portside of the chamber. The feed ramp does appear to be polished, rather too much, leading to those bulged cases - but it's not like I worry about case life, as long as they don't rupture on their one firing. The ignition problem, as previously described, is firing pin geometry - pay this Saturday, I'll order a couple spare pins and maybe some other parts. Field-strip is philosophically similar to a 10/22 but with a much higher probability of flying parts. Somewhat concerned about the long-term durability of the aluminum slide. A recoil buffer is included - I'll be ordering spares of that too, though I suppose I could make some out of... something.

Anyway between ignition and needing more magazines, it'll probably be at least another month before I start racing with it, likely longer - and I'm already racing in two of three divisions now, and running the whole match and scorekeeping at the pin shoot when my car isn't broken and all those rifle matches and two monthly shows one of which I run the site for and I have an actual job and that's why email is usually backed up.

1937 - Friday, 29 August 2008: Reader suggests a bit of JB Weld for the Queen's gas cylinder.

And there it is. This election day I might very well do the same.

Stoned. Customers. One after another. And managers freaking out over the call volume. No, as a matter of fact I am not volunteering to work the holiday, double pay be damned.

And the network is slow and Friday holiday weekend traffic will suque. Grump! (Actually it seemed no worse than any other Friday - but I got out on time for a change.)

Palin who? No Great Philosophical Change occurring in my mind - I cannot in good conscience vote for McCain.

OTOH, Cruffler sends:

:(

1938 - Saturday, 30 August 2008: More precious rezzzzt.

In the latest Midway print flyer I see the Lee Loadmaster on sale through September in some calibers for $195. Except I already have dies for all those cartridges and more, and both versions of the Auto-Disk powder measure, so buying the complete press would leave me with parts I don't need. The bare press is $132, not on sale, but comes without the shellplate - but that's only another $21, hm. (Spare turrets $11.) What I want it for is the huge quantities of .30-06 which my two Pro 1000s are not tall enough to handle. Heeeyyy... my birthday is next month and Midway has this Wish List thing....

Nearing the end of The Last Centurion, which is really quite fascinating. Go buy it. Next I think I'll go back to The Best of Jim Baen's Universe II.

Reader sends video of a Fine Young American Woman. May her tribe increase!

1939 - Sunday, 31 August 2008: Rezzzzt... "...all the way back to Operation Bughouse." Another advantage of eee-vill technological industrial capitalist Western Culture: the Day Off!

Palin? Note comments. -So she's easy to look at - looks don't bloody count! How does she vote? It looks like she's on our side, but as Vice President what real power will she have? President of the Senate, deciding vote there, sure - but how often will that actually matter? The real issue is that she would take over if McCain were no longer able to perform the duties of the office - and will that happen? And can she stand up to the pressure if it does? Governor of an underpopulated state does not equal Commander in Chief of The Last Superpower. -I'm not bashing here, I'm asking.

Show and chat every Sunday, 1100PT. An Elf suggests Johnson Paste Wax for bullet lube, investigating - as the season turns it will become practical to try casting bullets again. Also points out Berry's plated bullets at Cabela's, also Rainier - hmm. $hipping though....

In the second hour a caller from Palin's town tells a tale of the local blueshirt revenuer busting anyone who came through for going even a little over the speed limit - and Palin canned him. That's... really interesting.

This 'blog is run by one of the occasional Elves from the sinking socialist ruins of no-longer-Great Britain. We're encouraging him to 'blog more.

JBU2 - there are some new, interesting, and occasionally quite strange voices finding outlet through Baen. I'm not going to praise everything I'm reading - but it's good that the outlet exists.


July 2008 | AUGUST 2008 | September 2008

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