Saturday, July 29, 2006

About the current "There’s nothing to indicate that it’s terrorism related"

mass-murder attempt, people like Malkin have pretty much covered what happened. For opinion about this crap, I don't think you can do better than the words of the Hoginator, "I don't know why the left calls conservatives "chickenhawks" and claims we're afraid of Muslims because we don't all join the military. When you're in a war with Muslims, the military is the safest place to be, because the military is the thing Muslims are least likely to attack.

Come on, how can I better that? I could be more obscene about it, but say it better? Not really.

Carnival of Cordite #67

up at Gullyborg.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My last post on the Indian .308

I decided to compare the weight variation of the cases to some others. So I took five Federal .308 cases and weighed them:
145.9, max variation of 2.6 grains. This in five cases picked at random, likely including stuff from different manufacturing lots.

Then five cases from Austrian military ammo:
142.7, max variation of 1.9 grains. All these were from the same battlepack, so I assume the same lot.

Compare that to the variation in the Indian of 5.3 grains, in cases- I think- of the same lot.

Crooked and/or treasonous politicians

Both international and domestic

I'll start off with 'international', in this case that sorry excuse for a man Kofi Annan of the UN. Right now I'm not speaking of the previous stuff(Jew-hatred at Turtle Bay, bribes, etc.) but of his current bs. When some peacekeeping troops were killed the other day he loudly accused the Israelis of deliberately targeting them. Obvious lie, but the kind of thing that sells to the people he's sold his soul- such as it is- to. Well, I was looking at Michelle Malkin today and, among other things, found this:
A Canadian U.N. observer, one of four killed at a UNIFIL position near the southern Lebanese town of Khiyam on Tuesday, sent an e-mail to his former commander, a Canadian retired major-general, Lewis MacKenzie, in which he wrote that Hezbollah fighters were "all over" the U.N. position, Mr. MacKenzie said. Hezbollah troops, not the United Nations, were Israel's target, the deceased observer wrote.
Now, the most obvious question is what the HELL did Annan think he was doing leaving these people in the positions they were in? 'Peacekeeping' troops would be someone put in a place when the fighting is over to keep things quiet, NOT someone left in the middle of a war zone where they're almost certain to take casualties and get in the way. Which is probably why Annan left them there. Personally, I think he hoped some of them would get killed so he could blame the Israelis. I think he has a personal dislike/hatred for Israel and is happy to send some disposable people(anyone other than himself) into danger if he can use it against Israel.

Why the dislike? No idea. The fact is he could have shut down the hate-the-Jews festival at Turtle Bay and did not; combine that with some of his other actions, and I have no doubt that he hates them.

Happily, nowadays there are ways to get information out that might not have made it before. In this case, one of the poor guys this evil bastard left in danger sent an e-mail to a friend, and the friend made it available. And there are news people- actual reporters- who get this kind of information out.

I will throw in, this liar is the same guy who said the UN had 'no intention of trying to disarm the American people'. Why would ANYONE believe a word that comes out of his mouth?

Domestic division, yesterday I read this at Kim's place. Key quotes:
Evil Party side

Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and “dependable” in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.

Stupid Party side
Instead, these legislators seemingly believed that they could weaken the restraining and frustrating straightjacket devised by the Founding Fathers and abetted by American norms. In that idealized “new” United States, political uncertainty, demanding constituents, difficult elections, and accountability in general would “go away” after tinkering with the People, who have given lawmakers their privileges but who, like a Sword of Damocles, can also “unfairly” take them away. Hispanics would acquiesce and assist in the “natural progress” of these legislators to remain in power and increase the scope of that power.

I realize a word I used in the title of this post is looked at askance; it's been used by a lot of people the same way some use 'racist'; it just means you disagree with them and that shouldn't be tolerated. I'm not using it that way, and I do not use it lightly. We are talking about politicians deliberately, intentionally seeking to destroy the Constitution they are sworn to protect so as to give themselves greater power.

At the LEAST they should be removed from office for violating their oath; ideally there would be a way to prosecute them for what they've done/are doing. I'm not kidding about calling them traitors, if trying to destroy the Constitution for their own power doesn't count as such, then the definition should be changed.

As Kim points out, this would explain something: the fact that even though hordes of people wrote/called their senators to say 'close the borders, throw out illegals, etc.', so many of these senators ignored them and passed a bill certain to infuriate those people. The bastards think that if they can get this through, it'll allow them to ignore the people back home; because the new 'people back home' will keep them in office.

I consider that treasonous, and they should be thrown the hell out for it. And forbidden from holding any elected office ever again.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yes, I'm stealing this

from Denny

To you all,

for your thoughts and prayers and kind words, I thank you.

And soon as there's a way to, I'll pass them on to him

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This is a combination moment,

both "Damn, I'm proud of him!" and "Damn, I'm worried!"

Early tomorrow morning, my son begins Basic Training in the U.S. Army.

Family reaction is somewhat mixed. Grandparents are seriously worried for him, the world situation being what it is. Sister isn't worried, and expected him to sign up at some point. And his mom is somewhat pissed he chose Army instead of Air Force.

In any case, he's on a new path. Well, somewhat new. He spent several years in the Civil Air Patrol, including summer encampments, so he's got a pretty good idea of what's coming. As to doing Basic this time of year? The warehouse he's worked at the past while gets up to 115F or so in the upper level on days like today, so hot weather outside won't be a particular problem.

Og suggested I get him to send me updates, if he does I may post bits & pieces. Although I think they may largely amount to "It's hot, I'm tired, and I want to go to a real restaurant and eat! And I can't talk about some of what we're doing." But if something interesting and postable comes in, I'll see about putting it up.

I may have to get a shirt that says "My son can target a terrorist at ten miles" or something.

Final report on that lousy .308 ammo

Well, excuse me, 7.62x51mm ammo.

I pulled five more. These powder charges varied from 42.0 grains to 43.9, in five rounds from the same bag of ten. I thought I'd post the entire 15 here.

First five, all in grains:

Second five:

Last five:

All were ball powder; three of them had some kind of waxy-looking crud stuck on the base of the bullet. So that's a max variation of 3.1 grains within fifteen rounds out of two ten-round bags from the same can, all with identical headstamps.

I weighed twelve of the bullets, three having rolled out of reach for the time being. They weighed from a low of 145.9 grains to 149.2.

Keith asked an interesting question, so I weighed the ten cases that were immediately in reach:
So a max variation in primed cases of 5.3 grains. I've never weighed cases before, so I'm not sure how that fits in as far as acceptable variation.

So be at ease, Kevin, the rest of this will not be fired by anybody. And I'm damn glad a: it was cheap and b: I only got 100 rounds.

More India .308 powder measurements

I just pulled bullets from five more rounds, weighing each charge.

All five were ball powder, none of the bullets had the cake of whatever-it-was on the base. Powder weights were:

So on these five, variance of 1.4 grains from highest to lowest. From anywhere that's scary, from a government arsenal making this stuff for their troops, it's insane.

I also weighed the bullets, they range from 146.7 to 149.2 grains.

I repeat, I ain't shooting any more of this stuff.

Ref tempering a knife

Keith asked a question in comments a while back on this. I think I covered this at some point, but I'm too lazy to check so here's a quickie.

For 5160 spring steel, I vary the tempering color by use and size. A big blade for heavy cutting I temper to a medium/dark bronze color; smaller general-use blade a dark yellow to light bronze. I take the hardened blade, clean off the quenching oil and use a fine grinding belt or buffing wheel, no coarser than 220 grit, to shine up the surface, then stick it in the oven at about 375-400F; if you're not certain of the accuracy of your thermostat start low. Leave it in for at least 45 minutes, long enough for the whole piece to get up to heat, then take it out and look at it. If not dark enough, let it cool, shine it back up, turn up the heat about 25F and do it again. When the color is what you think it should be, give it another heat at that temperature, preferably two heats, and after the last turn off the oven and let it cool off inside.

One of the best tests to see if you've tempered it correctly is a real simple one that I first read about in an article by Wayne Goddard. After tempering, sharpen the blade as you would for use. Get a piece of brass rod(I keep a piece of 1/4" brazing rod for this) and clamp it lengthwise in a vise so about half is above the vise jaws. You need good light for this test, as you lay the blade so the edge itself is resting on the brass; not the bevel, and not like you're chopping into it, as though you were going to slice a layer off lengthwise, and press straight down, watching the edge closely. If properly tempered, the edge will flex, and return to straight when you release the pressure, kind of amazing to watch. If it's too hard, it will usually chip slightly; back to the oven and add another 25F. If it bends, as in flexes when you press but stays bent when you release, it MAY be too soft.

I say MAY, because it's subjective. In a big blade for heavy chopping, a lot of people prefer one that's easier to sharpen when it does dull, and unless you've really overheated it this may work out perfectly for you. This is where experimenting comes in, especially with steel you're unsure of. You can temper it once, check the color, and try it on the brass; if it chips, back to the oven. If it flexes, give it the two more heats and then use it to see how it works. If it's a touch too hard, you can go back to the oven for a heat at higher temp and try it again.

I can't give a hard 'use this color' because I don't know what steel you might use it with; an old file has to be tempered down a bit more, but with the wear resistance added by the high carbon content will work quite well. Spring has lower carbon than file, so it might have to be tempered a bit harder to do what you want.

To see the colors mentioned, best thing I know of it to take a piece of steel, thin and long with as shiny and clean a surface as possible(not stainless), and stick one end into a torch flame or something else hot. As it heats you can watch the colors move out away from the heat source, paler colors meaning less heat, darker as the temp in the steel rises.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Oooh, it's Shiny!

But I'm restraining myself.

H&H range had their Dealer Days last week, and I made it by Saturday for a bit, and saw this:

It's the S&W 1911PD, a compact-size 1911 in .45acp, with their Scandium-alloy frame. Light and well-balanced...

And dammit, I want one! Bad.

But so far, I am nobly beating temptation back. Hell, it would only ruin my budget for, what, a few months or so?

But LOOK at it! It's so purty, and shoots so well.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

And one more from LGF

United Nations Presides Over Barbaric Photo Op

'Hizballah's Filthy Methods'

Found this over at Little Green Footballs, it links to a blog that says it's by Lebanese Forces members. Short excerpt:

We ve seen Israel for example hitting a factory for tissues in a small village in the South. It appeared that Hizbullah guys operate using trucks, meaning they move around with a missile in a truck, park nearby a factory for ex and shoot the rocket and flee. The origin of the rocket being the factory, Israelies respond by hitting it.

A witness for a similar action urged on TV the Hizbullah fighters to stop coming into his village to shoot rockets and then run away since the village is being destroyed.

Same for the truck that was carrying civilians and that became very suspicious when it was not allowed to enter the UN offices.

It's been known for a long time that this is the kind of tactic these dirtbags commonly use, to run up civilian casualties and damage to make Israel- and us- look bad. My question is, when is the Lebanese Army- including the Muslims- going to get tired of this crap and tell Israel "Ok, we'll be the anvil, you the hammer; we can get rid if this scum once and for all"?

.22s from range day Updated

(Awright, awright, I admit it. The Western Field wasn't cleaned up for a guy; IT'S MINE. "Hi, I'm Firehand and I'm a gunaholic. I was at the flea market and I COULDN'T HELP MYSELF!!! It was hot, and it needed work, and he kept lowering the price...")

In the range day post I mentioned a couple of .22s that needed sighting in. Well, here's the first one.

It's a Western Field model 850A. This is one of the 'made by/made for' rifles you used to see a lot of. Sears and Montgomery Ward and other stores would have a rifle or shotgun made for them- in this case by Mossberg, I believe- with the stores' name and model number on it.
This one is a semi-auto that feeds from a box magazine. The mag holds seven, but loading the last one or two is a pain so I only loaded five. One of the interesting things about this is it's marked '22 SHV-L-LR' it's supposed to be able to function with high-velocity shorts and longs as well as long rifles. The stock is some kind of hardwood, birch I think, stained dark. It was in quite good shape, it just needed smoothing with steel wool and a coat of the linseed oil/mineral spirits mix to take care of it. I may use something like Tru-Oil on it later.

The metal was a different story. The bore is in fine shape, but the outside was worn shiny and had some fine pitting on the barrel and magazine. After figuring out how to disassemble the thing I cleaned the outside off, hit it lightly with a buffing wheel with 400-grit greaseless compound to clean it, then used Birchwood Casey cold blue on it. It worked very well, gave a nice, even blue.

The scope is a 4x Western Field, God knows who made it for them. It's got a horizontal crosshair and a vertical post that ends just above the horizontal. After I cleaned the dust off the lens, it proved to have a pretty good image, and a little adjusting made the reticle nice & sharp.

Happily, the guts, while showing no sign of lubrication, had no rust or gathering of dust(the bore had been really dusty from spending years in a closet). Cleaned and oiled, it all worked nicely. The one thing I don't like here is the trigger; it's a two-stage with a long takeup and heavy second stage. It breaks cleanly, but the curve of the trigger and the distance it pivots through seems to accentuate the pull weight and causes your finger to move into the bottom of the stock. If the curve were a lot less, it would feel better; it's also pretty narrow and has fairly sharp corners. I don't know about polishing, but I may either make a shoe or reshape the trigger to straighten and widen it.

More on that scope: the adjustments have no clicks(just reference marks) and they are not consistent. Turn it one way and it moves so much; turn it the other and it moves a lesser amount. Pain in the ass to zero. Good thing is when you make an adjustment, it does not wander around after a few shots.

With a better trigger design this would have been more fun to shoot but as it was I got pretty good results. With Federal Champion about 1.25 to 1.5" at 50 yards. Then, since I didn't have any shorts, I tried it with the Eley Sport, which is a subsonic target ammo and got about 1-1.25" groups and it functioned flawlessly; the empties didn't go far, landing about six or eight inches to the right, but they did eject and the new round chamber with no problems. I'd never seen an autoloader that would function with any kind of reliability with this ammo before.

Overall, it's a nice .22, that with a little trigger work would be even better.

The other rifle to sight in was that Remington model 34 I found at the flea market with a jammed bolt. I'd gotten the bolt out and figured out the problems; happily the couple of parts I needed, with two possible exceptions, were available from Gun Parts(more on those in a later post). It functioned nicely with one exception; the magazine spring seems to be a bit weak, and once did not push the cartridge all the way into the carrier. All it took was catching the rim with a punch and pulling it back a touch; I think I'll see if can stretch the spring a bit, if that doesn't work replacements are easy to find for it. Good clean trigger, and gave about 2" groups. Nothing to cheer about, but part of the problem is a tiny front bead; I may see if I can find or make a post to replace it with. I may clean up the crown, but I don't know if it really needs it, better sights(or eyes) would probably cut the group size down a bit.

The stock darkened nicely with a bit of oil; you find some nice walnut on some of these old rifles.

So that's the .22 report. Two(three counting the trainer) old ones that all worked out nicely.