Saturday, June 17, 2006

There has been discussion of the state of things in Britain;

recently a gentleman there sent me some information, I'm just going to quote him:
Most of us have wondered if Govt employees are actually capable of organising a F**K up in a brothel. Looks like some British ones have been caught doing the next best thing...

A little background first.
Blair's hatred of all things rural is well known, his combined agriculture environment and whatever else department was set up during the foot & mouth outbreak in 2002. its acronym DEFRA is said to stand for Department For the Eradication of Rural Activity.

When Europe went from a system of production based agricultural support to one of area based payments for conservation, England set up a "Rural Payments Agency" within DEFRA. This was to have a fantastic computer system and was to calculate claims for the new, "much simpler" agricultural support.

Through most of the rest of Europe (probably all of Europe) claims had been submitted processed and payed by January or February. In England, many claims are still unpaid while banks, the tax man and all other creditors are still looking to have their bills paid on time.

You would think that there would be some sense of urgency?

Far from it:

There is a network of spotty faced young inspectors, making arbitary deductions from the payment(with no means of apeal or redress)for mud in field gateways and the like.

And in the Newcastle Upon Tyne office (A new office overlooking the river Tyne)in Northeast England, hidden cameras have caught the staff taking drugs, having sex accross the desks, jumping naked over filing cabinets, and the big pile of vomit in the corner of the office has never been cleaned up.

Meanwhile hidden microphones have recorded them passing derogetory remarks about the people whose payments they were supposed to be processing (echoes of Stalins comissioners who were charged with collectivising agriculture).

I think we all suspected this level of professionalism from our state employees, but it's nice to see them getting caught.

Like a lot of DMV offices on steroids, isn't it?

He also provided this link to a news story on the Newcastle Upon Tyne office.

Circling round the drain...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Again, the wind is blowing like hell,

stronger than yesterday I think. Didn't feel too bad this morning, but after being out in it a while... The wind keeps it from feeling quite as hot at first, then it starts giving the effect of a blower pumping air through a furnace. And it's a south wind, so the humidity is up.

Right now there's a big line of storms moving out of the TX panhandle, they're currently thinking they'll move through this area after midnight. Having quieted down a bit, I hope. We need rain, but I'm not fond of the weather trying to outdo the song; 'sweeping down the plain' my ass, when it's like this and it rains it powerwashes the plain and any other thing out there.

One of the problems with the internet is precisely that there's so much good stuff out there. Mixed around with a lot of crap, but there. So there's never enough time to read through the base sites you read, and hit the links, and check out the new stuff that leads you to, etc. Hit Anthroblogogy for the first time in a while, and in this post he points out something others have also hit on the San Francisco gun ban:
The proof in the delusional pudding was that they actually thought the ordnance was "a reasonable, narrowly tailored restriction on handgun possession," In fact it illegally outlawed possession of handguns by all city residents except law enforcement officers and others who needed the guns for "professional purposes", (the Left always makes an exemption for their security apparatus) and forbidden the manufacture, sale and distribution of all guns and ammunition in San Francisco -- which lends a new definition to what narrow means, unless it's narrow-minded.
Which is why fighting these clowns is so hard. How do you reason with someone who thinks a total ban is 'a reasonable, narrowly tailored restriction'? Now, you do have to consider the possibility that they're lieing through their teeth; that they full-well know that it's a total ban and just lie about it to try and push it. But these clowns may well think that a total ban IS 'reasonable' and 'narrowly tailored'; after all it leaves the minions of government and the security people who protect the 'elites' armed, doesn't it?

Blah. Sorry leftist nanny-state fascists.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ref the 'Hadji Girl' video

South Park Pundit has the lyrics posted here, and other posts about the matter. I shall now enlighten you:

CAIR(Council on Islamic-American Relations) is a bunch of jihadi sympathizers who want to take over the country. They have raised money for terrorist groups, they have given support to the murdering wastes of oxygen, and are generally whining, treacherous little shits who are using this video- misquoting, taking out of context, etc. all the way- to cause problems for the guy who performed it and to generally crap on this country. They can kiss my semi-redneck ass.

The Marine Corp has been treating the Marines and the Navy corpsman being held in the Haditha investigation like crap. Worse by far than the freakin' terrorists at Gitmo are treated. Either the Marine Corps pulls its collective head out of its ass and starts doing this right- which, by the way, includes NOT desperately trying to find something to charge the singing Marine with in order to appease the bacon-porkers at CAIR- or I'm going to wind up losing a lot of the respect I've had for that organization.

"Ooh, ooh, CAIR and the islamoweenies are mad! We've got to DO something!!!" Take a damn pill and get over it, guys. And tell CAIR to shut the hell up, the whining little shits.


is what I call the feel you get from some weapons. Some guns you pick up and they just feel awkward or ungainly; even if they have great intrinsic accuracy, it's hard for you to hit with them.

Then come the others. You pick one up and it just feels right. You raise a pistol to a shooting stance, or a rifle to your shoulder, and it just points where you want it to go. And you just know that as long as you do your part, the shot will go where you want it.

Shooting the K31 and M39 reminded me of this quality. With both of them, it seems easier to hit accurately, time after time. That Martini 12/15 I've written about before has it. It makes shooting sub-2" groups at 100 yards easy. You just lay the sights where you want to hit, and squeeze the trigger, and another hole appears there. Or a clay pigeon breaks. Or whatever.

It's overall design. The K31 is an awkward looking thing in a picture; big bulgy triggerguard, thick stock wrist, etc., but when you line up on a target that doesn't matter. The solid feel, the sights lining up, that superb trigger breaking...

And the cost doesn't matter a crap to this. A fancy pistol costing $1000 or more may feel like crap in your hand, while an old something with worn finish just fits there like it was measured and made for you.

One of the mysteries of life.

Range test

Cast-bullet loads for K31, and a scope mount for the Savage

Having spent the other day being a good boy and taking care of a bunch of stuff in the house and yard, today I said hell with it("I'll finish this stuff after. REALLY I will") and went to the range. Was planning to go Sunday with a friend if he's able to break loose, but between time and weather don't know if he will. So I figured I'd do the load testing & such today, that way if the Sunday trip happens I can concentrate on just fun shooting. Windy as hell today and gusting, but I went anyway.

Ok, I had formed the .284 Winchester brass for the 7.5 Swiss. I figured I'd take care of two things at once by testing some light cast-bullet loads and using those to fire-form the brass to the cases.('fire-forming' being the use of a light load to use the pressure of the shot to form the cases to the rifle chamber). The cases chambered with no problem, but I still liked the idea of making sure of the fit before using them for full-power loads. Some searching came up with the information that the load I've been using for 8mm Mauser should work nicely with the K31 also.

DISCLAIMER: this is the information I found and worked with; doesn't guarantee it'll work with
your firearms, so if you use this info to work up loads start a bit light and work up.

The range I came up with for 2400 powder was 14-16 grains, so I loaded ten with 14, ten with 15 and ten with 16, figuring to try all at 50 yards with five, then the other five at 100 yards. All used the 150grain gas-checked cast bullet mentioned before.

Here's the first five, 14 grains at 50 yards:

15 grains:

and 16 grains:

all fired with the rear sight at the 100 meter setting.

On to 100 yards. I knew these would be low, so I raised the sight to 200 meters. The 14 and 15 grain loads were spread out a fair bit, and down at the bottom of the target, so they're not illustrated here. The 16 grain load, however,

That's right at 2". For a first trial with this bullet and load, not bad. With the sight at 200, POI is dead-on for elevation; the windage I've seen in other firearms with cast bullets: the point of impact is to the right, whereas the POI with full-power loads is dead center. Not all rifles do it, and I'm not sure why it happens. If I were going to use the cast for matches or hunting, I'd definately adjust the windage for them(be nice to find one of the tools the Swiss used for that),
but since this is a practice load I'm not going to move the sights off their current adjustment.

So I can use this same bullet and powder in .30-30, 7.5x55, 8x57 and .308 for practice loads. Excellent.
(correction: I can use the same powder in 8mm, but NOT the same bullet)

Scope Mount

A while back I wrote about a Savage Model 340, a bolt-action rifle chambered in .30-30, and mentioned I'd like to try it with a scope if I could find a good mount. A good receiver sight would be nice, but with the split bridge on this rifle hard to find one that'll work. Checking around I found several mounts. One mounts the scope offset to the left(don't like), one I've read reports doesn't line up with with the bore, and B-Square makes one I read good things about. On a rifle like this one with the four holes drilled & tapped on the left sidewall it just screws on, and it centers the scope over the bore. Midway had one, so I dug up some money and got it. It's aluminum, very light, and comes with rings, screws and a hex wrench. Installing the mount took just a few minutes, and I stuck a Tasco Pronghorn scope on it. It's a decent-quality 4x scope I had available. Here it is from the right side

and the left

With this scope it puts it a touch further forward than I like, and there's just enough room between the bolt knob and the scope bell for a skinny thumb; I had to slide my thumb back to clear. A compact scope, or red-dot sight, would probably clear very well and take care of the forward-position problem. That could just be me, might well make anyone else happy
as is. It's a very solid unit, well made.

Range testing went the way it should: it worked as designed, with no surprises or problems. Definately better than the factory sights to my eyes, and I would recommend it for this rifle.

Remember what I said about cast loads hitting to the right sometimes? I zeroed with the same load I use in my Model 94, set to hit about an inch above POI at 100. So I tried some of the cast loads I use in .30-30. On both these targets, the aiming point is the square, the circled three are the shots fired:

I like the fact that the practice loads are giving about 1.25-1.5" groups. And that's just a touch larger than what I got with the jacketed loads. Which is beside the point in a scope mount review, but I love it when a plan comes together.

Just for fun, I also took the Finn M39 and put some of the Czech silvertip ball through it. Just resting my hand on the bench for a rest It gave me this at 100:

With the way the wind was gusting, actually shifting me at times, this is a group I can live with.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wonder about a Marine opinion of Murtha?

Doc Russia wrote this.

You may notice some spelling errors, unusual for the Docs' writing. I put it down to rage(polite term) or a serious case of pissed off(impolite term) when he was writing it.

Not a Marine myself, so I can't add in. I CAN add that I personally think that Murtha is a sorry example of a man who'll do anything he thinks will gain him points with whoever he's sucking up to. Example: his appearance speaking about Haditha when he specifically said there was no IED, just Marines killing civilians. Oh, it was because they were 'overstressed' by 'the illegal Bush war', so it's not really their fault(except that it would be if they'd actually done that, but he doesn't care that he's sliming troops in combat). But what do we find out? Lo and behold! not only was there an IED but we have one Marine dead and several wounded, and- from what information is available now- gunfire on the troops from houses. Which means one of two things:
a: Murtha should simply have kept his damn mouth shut until the inquiry actually produced facts to work from instead of blowing smoke without knowing the facts, or
b: the sorry bastard knew better, and said this crap anyway because he knew it'd sell well with the major medial and anti-Americans and moonbats.
Either way, he's a sorry bastard who, if he had any integrity, would be ashamed of himself.

But he's pretty much proven that he doesn't have any left, hasn't he?

Holy crap!

I just checked Site Meter, I've had 51,000 total visits!

Kind of amazing.

Anyone know a good source for old Remington parts?

In specific, the Model 51 pistol in .380?

Friend of my father has one, and the extractor is broken. So far I've checked with Gun Parts, Popperts, and a couple of other places, no joy. Someone told me about Jack First, I'm checking with him tomorrow. With any luck he'll have that and the spring & carrier I need for the 34.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ref the demise of fertilizer-and-pig-food Zarqawi

I thought it would have been really nice if they'd been able to get him on a phone and then, about three seconds before impact say "By the way; boom".

But the knowledge that he was alive at the end, long enough to look from the Iraqis holding the litter to the U.S. troops walking up, KNOWING that not only was he dead but that WE HAD HIM... absolutely priceless.

Troubleshooting, the Og way

is detailed here; it's a wonderful method.

And it reminds me of this story an old boss told me, repeated for Og and for Denny, who used to work for IBM:

One day three IBM people rented a car; a salesman, a hardware engineer and a software engineer. About forty miles out of town they had a flat.

The salesman stood looking at the car and said, "We need a new car".

The hardware engineer looked at it and said "Let's start swapping tires until we find which one's the problem".

The software engineer said "Well, let's watch it a while; maybe the problem will fix itself".

And they're still sitting there.

Flea market report

Largely because by the time I got off work this morning I was too tired to do anything except walk around(sitting still I'd have fallen asleep) I went to the market today. And while stumbling around I found two things. First was a B-Square scope mount, one for (I believe) Mauser rifles. If you're not familiar with these, you drive out the pin the rear sight leaf pivots on, remove the sight from the base and put this mount in. Adjust two screws, fore & aft, to level & lock it in place and you can mount a long-eye-relief scope or red-dot sight without having to do any drilling or tapping. They run about $40 new last time I looked, got this one for $5.

Other thing I ran into was this: a Remington Model 34 .22 rifle

(yes, I know it's a lousy picture; live with it) This poor thing was missing the takedown screw which locks the barrel & receiver into the stock, and the bolt was stuck halfway and wouldn't budge, so you could say it had 'issues'(it does have the trigger guard, I'd just taken it off and done some cleaning before I thought to take a picture). For which reason I got it cheap. These rifles were made 1932-1936 according to the Remington site. The Model 33 was a single-shot, this one's a tube-magazine repeater. The stock was in good shape, dry but no big cracks or holes; the finish on the receiver and barrel was worn silvery and there was that stuck bolt thing. But... all the big parts were there, and I really like these old rifles and thought just maybe I could do something with it, and made a very low offer, figuring if he said no I'd tried. He said yes, and I took it home.

The bolt was seriously stuck, so I drifted out the two pins that the trigger, sear & carrier pivot on. The trigger & sear came out, the bolt freed up and came out, and the carrier came out. It was dry inside, no trace of oil or grease except the old black film inside the bolt when I took it down. The bore had a lot of old crud in it, but after a few patches soaked with solvent and some scrubbing it turned out to be nice and shiny, with sharp rifling(blessings on modern .22 ammo). The receiver is sound; there's a little pitting on it, and on the barrel under the edge of the forend. Magazine tube clean inside, inner tube that holds the spring & follower is good. The bolt is complete and, after cleaning, just fine. It looks like there are only four things not there: the trigger spring plunger, the extractor spring and the carrier friction spring & plunger(whatever they are; I'm going by the parts drawings in the Gun Parts catalog and it doesn't show the assembly-disassembly). Gun Parts has the trigger spring plunger and extractor spring; I'll dig around and find an illustration of the carrier details and if I can't find those two pieces I can probably make them.

After cleaning & oiling everything fairly heavily, I reassembled it and now I've got the bolt working smoothly. I fed some of my homemade .22 dummies through and it feeds with no problem, so I'm wondering exactly what the carrier spring does? Hopefully I'll find a good picture that shows how they fit in and go from there.

I cleaned the stock and except for some dings on the left side in front of the grip it's not bad a'tall. I've got a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits I use on some stocks(got that from Head), and I painted some of that on, let it soak in, then wiped off the excess to let it dry. It looks pretty good, a nice piece of walnut; it'll finish up nicely.

So, barring something wierd turning up, I've got an unusual old rifle that should fix up nicely and do just fine for punching holes in targets. Or maybe hunting squirrels or rabbits. And if I get some grandkids before I die, I can use it to help teach the little beasts to shoot. So I consider this a good deal all around.