Saturday, September 03, 2005

Disaster guns

Mr. Completely linked to an article at Confederate Yankee here, on the subject. Nice piece of work, that also ties in with something Kim took time to post.

One of the things that comes to mind in this is that preparing for trouble doesn't have to cost a fortune. Canned/dried food is fairly cheap, so is bottled water. A good first-aid kit isn't too bad. And good guns for the subject don't cost a fortune.

I was at a gun show today/more later/ and among other things saw that you can buy a 59/66 SKS for $125 plus tax. 500 rounds of Wolf or other ammo can be had for $45-$55. Handguns are going to be higher for a good one, but a good-condition used .38 or .357 Mag revolver can be had for between $200-$300; some good semi-autos aren't much higher. And practice ammo for many handguns can run as low as $4 to $9/box; good defense ammo will cost more, of course. Shotguns? You can find a decent pump for anywhere from $150 up, depending on brand/features, and ammo for it- unless you're getting the gold-plated slug ammo- isn't bad. Thankfully, with modern ammo a cleaning kit can be very basic and do the job(note: a t-shirt you don't wear makes good cleaning patches).

I've known some people who flat would not take preparing for something like this seriously, because it scared them to think about it. It's not, after all, a pleasant subject. But it's one that needs to be considered.

If I ever get married again and need rings,

I think I'll go here. I've seen this method used to make knife guards and pommels, but never seen it in rings before. Absolutely beautiful work.

New Orleans(in particular) and the storm

Was over at Hog on Ice, reading Steve's 'Bush is Satan' post. It pretty much covers the insanity of blaming the President for the mess.

I wasn't going to post anything on this, until I heard the pissing and moaning rant of the Mayor of New Orleans the other day. This is the idiot who left buses sitting to be flooded instead of using them to evacuate people, who waited until, what, 24 hour before the storm hit to make the evacuation mandatory? And then either didn't have or didn't follow plans? And now he whines that the President and/or the Governor need to get off their ass and DO SOMETHING?

And the governor... She has control of the National Guard, and should have had them standing by, instead of waiting until things were bloody out of hand to send in armed troops to take care of the looting. And where was she in the planning/evacuation stage before the damn storm hit?

I was allowing for being stunned at the level of damage, but this crap has no excuse. They both should be kicked in the ass for mismanaging the evacuation and the response.

And the New Orleans cops who were taking part in the looting? They should be in jail. There's a movie called 'The Big Easy' about police corruption in NO; it appears it was more of a documentary than a drama, from what's coming out.

God, what a mess.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Go over to Alphecca

Partly on general principles; he keeps track of a lot of political news where it deals with firearms ownership, like here. And he's testing a .50 BMG rifle. And generally comes up with lots of good stuff to read.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

General whatever

This past while has been interesting, which in the old Chinese curse is not necessarily a good thing.

That bitch Katrina really messed up three states. God knows how long it'll actually take to drain New Orleans, especially with the worst of the damned gangs and looters shooting at rescue people. If someone's getting food, diapers, etc. from a store for their family or someone in need, I don't care; if someone's hijacking supply trucks, robbing pharmacies and so forth, I hereby wish the cops and Guard and Army happy live-fire practice. As to private citazens, Michelle Malkin has tracked some cases, and links to, amonng others, Clayton Cramer's Self-Defense blog here.

There are a lot of charities asking for money; giving is a good idea, just check to make sure it's a group that actually uses the money for the purpose. This is why I don't give to the Red Cross; after the mess that happened after 9/11 and other information that came out, I don't trust that group. I gave to Mercy Corps; from what I understand at least 90% of the money they get goes where it's needed.

On to other things...

Kim du Toit is quitting regular blogging, dammit. I'm not bitching at him, I very much understand the reason why. I'm just going to miss my daily dose of uplifting discussion("...more worthy topics, such as whether John McCain should be impaled on a stake or simply hanged.")

Steve finally got his broadband back; happily before he went into withdrawal from his lack of midget porn- er, high-speed access. He's not watching much news; neither am I, I saw enough footage of bodies piled and floating after the tsunami.

Yeah, the cost of gas sucks. What sucks even more is knowing that, among the reasons it's so bad are A: enviroweenies have hissy-fits at the idea of drilling for oil, B: hypocrites like the Kennedys and their butt-monkey friends in Martha's Vineyard demand alternative energy sources, but when someone suggests putting up a wind farm that'll make bumps on the horizon of their view, they scream bloody murder and derail it, C: the same alternate-energy jackasses have purple kittens with pink spots at the mention of 'nuclear power', D: various people who scream they pay too much for fuel and heating oil bitch and scream when an oil company wants to build a new refinery to keep up with demand; and so on.

A motorcycle is nice for various reasons, but ever try to carry a 40-lb. bag of dog food on one?

A truck has drawbacks, but ever try to fit 150-lbs. of coal, or a forge and anvil, in a Prius? I didn't think so.(or a thousand pounds of topsoil, etc.)

I took my daughter to dinner tonight. Two good things about barbeque: how it tastes, and the leftovers you make the dogs happy with.

A friend of mine found a Webley target revolver in .455 Webley caliber a while back. I had a chance to shoot it, and it's downright nice. He got a good price on this one because it needs some work; I'd like to find one like it. It handled very nicely; you wouldn't expect that to look at the damn thing, it's huge.

I've got more limbs I need to trim in the back yard, not to mention helping the friend with the maple. Yuck.

I think that about covers it for now.

Range day

And a good day it was. A little hot, but a nice breeze, mostly right up the range toward the firing line.

Main thing I had to try out was a Mosin-Nagant Model 38

If you're not familiar with the family, a Russian officer name Mosin took a magazine design by Nagant- the same man who designed the 1895 Nagant revolver- and used it to complete his design for what became the mainstay of the Russian and then Soviet army for many years, the Model 1891. Standard type for the time, with a loooong barrel, and- unique to this rifle I believe- a long bayonet that was not issued with a scabbard; unless you would be spending a lot of time indoors, you were supposed to keep it fixed at all times. This rifle had a hexagonal receiver and the sight was calibrated in a Russian measurement called the arshin, about .71 meter. Then in 1930 the rifle was modified, mainly in two ways; the receiver was changed to round for ease of manufacture, and the sights were changed, the front becoming a hooded post and the rear being calibrated in meters. This was known as the (surprise!) model 91/30. Then, they decided that the long barrel was not needed for infantry use for range or power, and a shorter barrel would be easier to carry/use, and they cut the 29" barrel down to 20"(no, these are not exact measurements, if you're worried about to-the-fraction numbers, go look it up). The model 38 did not have an issue bayonet from what I understand; in 1944 the design was changed to included a permanent mount on the barrel that held a swiveling bayonet.

All used the 7.62x54R cartridge. In European standards, the bullet diameter(7.62mm), the length of the case(54mm) and the 'R' meant rimmed. It's roughly comparable to the .30-06 in power, and widely available in surplus and commercial ammo ranging from 150 grain bullets up to 200. Most of the surplus stuff is corrosive primed, so clean accordingly. I was using 150 grain Czech silvertip.

One of the things you'll notice is the short bolt handle. That means that if you have a sticky case in the chamber, you may have to swat it upward with the heel of your hand. It's a cock-on-opening design, so you're pushing against both the mainspring and the sticky case when this happens. A lot of the surplus ammo is steel-cased and laquer-coated, so when it gets hot in firing the laquer can stick to the chamber walls. The sniper rifles made of the 91 and 91/30 had and longer, turned-down handle.

Front sight is a hooded post, rear has a wide U notch. And in standard European fashion when you have the sight set at 100 meters, it's actually sighted for 300, meaning it hits high at 100; about 6" in this case. I'm not going to quote group size, because with the rear notch I had trouble keeping a solid sight picture. I had also run off without my front and rear sandbags, so I'll just say it kept them in a 6" circle at 100. This is one of the times I wish I had a lot of free cash, on rifles like this I'd buy a scout-scope mount that replaces the rear sight and stick a scope on it to test ammo and accuracy. One thing that did help was the trigger. Pulls on these rifles range from pretty good to downright awful; this one was pretty good, just a little creep that wasn't really noticeable when shooting.

One thing you might expect from a barrel shortened this much is an impressive amount of noise, and you'd be right to. It gives a serious boom, and I'm told the fireball at the muzzle is real impressive in dim light.

Overall, it's a pretty good rifle. The bore was nice & shiny, with strong rifling; it wasn't perfect, but for a rifle made in 1943 it's not bad. The exterior finish is a bit rough, mainly on the receiver. Again, for made in the Soviet Union in the middle of WWII, not bad. It would make a good car rifle to keep handy just in case, and I imagine the model 45 would be equally so(and it has a bayonet to scare the GFWs). Ammo is inexpensive(remember about the corrosive priming unless you buy commercial stuff), so you can shoot it a lot without costing a fortune.

The other thing I want to mention is a really handy devise: the Muzzle Mate

It's a plastic bottle with removeable ends. One end has a hole and a padded clamp; stick the muzzle in and clamp it on. Now when a brush comes out the end and sprays solvent, the bottle catches it, and it catches the oily, dirty patches that fall off the end of the cleaning rod. It works nicely, and I wish I'd bought one a long time ago. Someone used to make an adapter that stuck on the barrel and held a coke bottle, but I haven't seen one of those in a while. In any case, this is an accessory I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ref the ATFE and local agencies at that VA gun show

KnoxNews has this article on the mess. He's got links to the CNS news article about it, and to a Freedom of Information Act response; this from the document:

"The customer would complete the SP-65 and the ATF Federal 4473 in order to purchase the firearm. ATF personnel reviewed their form and determined if the purchaser was located in a certain area of either the City of Richmond or the County of Henrico. ATF personnel would direct either the Richmond PD or Henrico PD Residence Check Team to go by the residence of the individual whose information was contained on the ATF 4473 form to determine if the individual resided at the residence. Upon the completion of the residence check, they would permit the transfer of the firearm or conduct further questions of the perspective purchaser."

As they say, read it all. And hope that charges will be filed against both the federal and local agencies that took part in this. From my understanding, they broke the law. Not 'went to the edge', not 'pushed things a bit'; they broke the law.

Ravenwood and Say Uncle have been covering this as well.

And Showmasters should file civil charges as well. As I said before, there is no excuse for this.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

By request of Mr. Completely, Postal Match Notice

He points out:

The closing date to get your entries in for the e-Postal "Snub-or-Not" match is midnight, ne
xt Tuesday, the 6th.

You don't have to email in the target pictures for your entries if you post them and send me the URL instead.

If any of you bloggers would be so kind as to post a reminder, it would be greatly appreciated.

Here's a link to the rules:

For those of you who have already sent in entries, you should have received an email confirmation that your entries were received. If not, let me know. Don't want anyone to be left out.

So it is written, so let it be done. Or something like that.

I hate being up on a ladder

Four or five feet is ok, but above that, especially with tools in hand doing something, I do not enjoy it. I mention this because of how I spent a big chunk of yesterday evening after work. A friend has a huge old maple in their backyard. Said tree has been damaged by wind and insects, and is going to have to come down. The problems are two.

First, it's not a single trunk, this thing split into five long ago. Second, a lot of it is long enough that if you just cut it at the trunk it'll fall on the house, the nieghbors' house, or the power line, so those have to be cut in sections; and the damn things are high enough I can't figure out how to do that in some way that does not involve bodily injury. In a more rural area(or if I knew someone with a silenced .22 rifle), it wouldn't be bad; get a solid rest and start putting .22's in a line across the branch a little back from the end and take a section off. Repeat as necessary. But that's out. Possibly a scissor-lift platform, but they're not cheap and money is a factor.

They checked with a couple of tree services, and prices ran from about $1200 to $2000 to take it down. I understand why, because even with the right equipment it'll be a bitch to take this all down, but they don't that much. So we spent the evening taking what I could reach for the day with a ladder and pruning pole(I've got one with a chain saw on the end). and reaching any of the stuff a section at a time involved being on the ladder and using the pole. Which meant, in some cases, worrying about either a: falling off the ladder or b: having a limb swing down other than how I expected and sweeping me off the thing.

If you've never done any of this, let me advise you of something; when you cut a four or five-foot section of 6" diameter limb off and hear it hit the ground, it is a powerful reminder of how much you do not want to be anywhere near it as it comes down. So I spent a bunch of time on a ladder with a long pole with a heavy end in my hands, cutting sections off one of the trunks.

We got most of one trunk down and sectioned and stacked, and when there's space there's another one, maybe two, that won't be much trouble. But the rest are going to be a real problem, and so far I can't figure out a good way to do it. Or I can figure out a way, but I'm not too sure how to go about it.

At least I wasn't on the Gulf coast, wondering about blowing/washing away.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Og has a bike

I found out about this a short time ago, and now he's posted about it. Looks like a nice bike, and with the price of gas might be handy to have around.

Of course, some wimpy types(cough/Kim/cough) are saying nasty things about bikes and those who ride. 'Course, coming from someone who, where he grew up, might have been pulled off one by a lion might have something to do with it...

In any case, two other things about them. Og mentioned the opinion of Mrs. Og; I told him to give her a ride. She might like it, and there's a reason there used to be a shirt that said 'Harley-Davidson, the world's first 700-lb vibrator'.

Second is, a lady who used to live nearby, who I occasionally gave rides to(on the bike, dirtbag) decided to move back to New York, so a couple of days before she moved I took her to dinner. I had to goose it a bit(the BIKE, dammit) getting into traffic, and as we ate she commented that she didn't know my bike would move like that.


The on-ramp from Meridian to I-40 eastbound is a long, gently-sloped one, so I detoured on the way back, and was able to time it so we were stopped at the ramp until it was clear before us. About that time she yelled "There's a semi behind us!" as one pulled up. I said "Not for long" and punched it all the way up the ramp. I actually had to slow down to merge into traffic, and it only took a few minutes to get her home. I parked, got off and removed my helmet, and helped her take hers off. She sat there with a strange look on her face, half-giggling, and finally-in a quiet voice- said "I think I had an orgasm back there..."

Hey, what's a chance of severe bodily harm in exchange for moments like that?

Postal match targets

Because it would have taken for-freakin'-ever to send these to Mr. Completely, I'm just posting the damn things.

First, the model 36, offhand

and from a rest

Next, the Makarov, offhand

from a rest

Last, the Ruger MkII, offhand

and rested

I don't do much bullseye shooting with handguns, mostly do that with rifle. I think I need to put more holes in bullseyes with the short irons; I need the practice.