Saturday, March 11, 2006

The problems of hunting during a famine...

Well, well, lookie here...

Went by the Geek's place and found this, with a link to the original at The High Road. Basically, a very nice, detail-filled whacking of some foul-mouthed 'pacifists' who've been e-mailing their droppings to people. Really good info, including notes of just how useful non-violence is when you're dealing with actual bad guys.

Side note: years ago I read an interview someone did with Ghandi, and he noted that his methods succeeded because he was dealing with a people as basically civilized as the British; people in India and back in Britain saw film and read the details of what was happening and had fits, and things changed. He specifically said that if he'd been dealing with the Soviets, not only would it not have worked, he and many of his followers would have disappeared into camps from which they would never have returned.

Like the poster says:

Friday, March 10, 2006

And we now know MA wants to be "Just like (formerly)Great Britain

How do we know this? Read and see. And be nauseated.

What's that? Why not stick the crooks in prison and keep them there for robbing and raping and murdering? What kind of barbarian ARE you, anyway?

Ref the 1903 Springfield sights,

Take a look at this:


















This is the rear in the laid-down position. At the right bottom, that large knob? Windage adjustment; it turns a pinion gear which meshes with teeth in the front of the sight and rotates it right or left; at the far left end you can see adjustment marks. Just right of the marks, see that hole? For 100 yards up to a couple of hundred, you were supposed to flip the ladder up and use the aperture for aiming. From that range(and there was an exact distance for these, but I'll look that up later, if I can find it again) on for a ways you used the notch in the base of the triangle above the aperture. For serious long range, that smaller knob is for elevation, loosen it and the whole notch/aperture setup slides up & down; please note that the elevation marks run all the way up to 2700 yards.

Now, if you look at the top of the aforementioned triangle, on the slider, you'll see a notch that's on top when the ladder is down, that's your battlesight. Remember I mentioned that most military rifles were set so that, with the sight in its' lowest position, it was actuall sighted for 300 yards/meters? Well, when this sight was designed for the original 1903 cartridge, it was. That one used a 220 grain roundnose bullet at about 2200 feet per second. Then the word came that the Germans had gone from a heavy roundnose bullet to a sharply-pointed bullet(spitzer) of much less weight, dropping from 220 to 150 grains. That allowed much higher velocity out of the Mauser, which meant a much flatter trajectory over distance, and- this bullet being more aerodynamic- longer effective range. So we did the same. The experiments led to the case being shortened .10", a 150 grain bullet was adopted at a velocity of about 2800 fps, giving us the ever-popular .30 Government 1906, later renamed the .30-06. However...

I can't remember the details(I do know where I can get a book that covers it, though) but the ballistics data for the new cartridge wasn't available in time for the sights to be made, so they were- mostly, at least- made with the markings from the 1903 cartridge. Which, with the higher velocity, more efficient projectile, meant that a battlesight originally designed for 300 yards actually was on at 500-something. Which means that at 100 yards, it's WAY high; where most are 3-6" high at 100, this hits about 8-10" high(rough numbers). And I have to point out that while that aperture for 'short' ranges works, that dinky little hole ain't worth crap in low light or bad weather(at least for me). Combine that with a thin front blade...

Gerry in comments brought up an old saying from WWI that the Americans had the best target rifle, the Germans had the best hunting rifle, and the Brits had the best battle rifle. Largely seems to cover it.

By the way, I've wondered for years, why did the Germans keep using that inverted 'V' front sight with the sharp point? THAT is also a bitch to use at times. The Swede Mausers use a similar, but it's got a flat top that's wide enough to use in low-light conditions, so why didn't the Germans use it?

For that matter, when the British were looking at a new rifle and designed the 1915(?) Enfield, I understand the different sights, but why did they go to a 5-shot magazine with it? The 10-shot of the #1 Mk3 worked so nicely, why change that?

Note: nice picture of 1903 sight found here, along with lots of other good pics of the rifle and parts.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Not having enough problems,

I shot a round in the current rifle postal match Mr. Completely & Friends has up. Not knowing when/if I'd have another chance on this one, I took the Martini 12 along the other day and shot this at 50 yards















First, let me say (whine)the wind was blowing strong, and it was gusting, and I didn't get much sleep the night before, dammit!(/whine). That being said, biggest problem was the size of the targets and my vision. At 50 yards, these suckers are little blurs, and I'm frankly amazed I did as well as I did. Usually, for an iron sight target at that range I use a black bullseye about 2.5" across; lots better contrast than this multi-colored !!&*%!.

In any case, there's mine. Where's yours?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Range day

Having once again decided to hell with various things I probably should have done, I went shooting today. Nice day for this time of year, though a bit windy and gusty. No serious testing or whatever, though I did get to try out a Finnish M39


















Short version, this is the rifle the Finns made using Mosin-Nagant receivers. I've heard that they're the best version made of this rifle type, and having shot this one I believe it. For the full rundown on these go over to Head's Bunker and look down the sidebar; he's got a lot on them. Short version:
heavier stock, particularly in the forend. Instead of a long, skinny one it's a heavier piece dovetailed into the buttstock.
Better sights. Instead of a shallow notch in the rear and a post up front, it's a wing-protected front blade and a very clean rear notch. And where every other rifle of the type, although the low setting says '100' is actually set for 300 meters? This Finn rifle has a low setting marked '150', and it means it; with the ammo I used(Czech and Polish light ball) it hit just about dead-on at 100, I'd guess would be on at 150.
Windage adjustment on other Mosins means drifting the front sight in the dovetail, and if you've ever done that you know it's a bit touchy at times to get it just right. With this? There's a screw on each side of the sight base; to move the sight left, you'd back the left screw off a bit, then tighten the right screw. Presto, very controlled, positive adjustment. I like it.
And it's got the best trigger I've personally seen on a Mosin, long first stage, positive stop, then a light, clean second stage. Very nice. I've fired much newer sporting rifles with worse.

First five shots were done at 50 yards














Which impressed me. Then moved back to 100















The flier I blame on myself, which gives a 1" group. Which was not a fluke, I got several more this tight with it, though the rifle showed a bit of a preference for the Polish ammo.

If I were going to set one of these up for target shooting, I think the main thing I'd do is get another front blade and mill it a bit thinner. These are battle-rifle sights, not match sights, and for the purpose I imagine they served- would serve- very well.

As an aside, I read that when the M1 Garand was first officially introduced to the public at the Wimbledon matches, the two big gripes were the coarse sights and 'too heavy' trigger. The Springfield people kept telling them "It's not a match rifle, it's a battlefield rifle, too fine a sight and too light a trigger can be a problem". This is my big gripe with the 1903 and 1903-A3 Springfields; fine rifles with lousy sights for woods or battlefield use. With the -A3, a fine rear aperture sight combined with that damn thin front blade; with the '03, skinny front blade and a too-complicated rear. Excellent on a target range, a pain anywhere else. In my humble opinion, anyway.

In any case, back to the M39, this is a fine rifle, and happily there are a bunch of them out there. I get my finances back on track, I may have to search around for one.

Refugee asked, so

Here's a closer shot of the blooms


















And I must correct myself; the blooms open from the bottom up

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Ever seen an aloe vera bloom?

I hadn't, until my parents gave me this one. About nine years ago, I believe; as much hot metal as I handled at the time, it came in very handy for burns. I moved it indoors when winter came, and sometime in February I noticed a stalk rising from the center. It grew to about a foot or so higher than the rest of the plant, the head opened up into lots of little buds, and they finally started opening from top to bottom, each a small bloom.

















No scent that I could catch. After opening, they withered and fell off, again from top to botttom. First time that I'd ever seen it.

And so far, the first time of anyone I've told about it. Every year, about the same time, it sends up a stalk. The first couple of years just a single head, since then it's branched off and produced two.

Just think it's interesting.