Saturday, January 06, 2007


As in for Disaster Day, The Day After, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, etc. Getting ready for emergencies natural or manmade. And, the particular subject of this, why so damn many people won't do ANYTHING toward it.

Kim just had a post on the subject with a guy relating the shitstorm he ran into for daring to say I stated, as you suggested, that I would *NOT* help them in an emergency unless they first took measures to help themselves. Basically was called everything from heartless to uncaring to genocidal, etc. All the things that you can be called for telling someone you ain't their emergency service, so they need to worry about taking care of their own precious ass.

Kim's reaction to this was about what you'd expect(What a bunch of dicks.). Og has his own thoughts here. It's really a fascinating thing to read of how these people don't want to take any preparations for themselves, and expect to show up at the home of someone who HAS prepared and be taken care of. And then, among other things, threaten to report the prepared guy to the police for 'hoarding'.

I'll leave the serious lectures to Og & Kim, they being better with words than I. I'll throw in something else as to possibly 'Why?'

They don't want to admit that there COULD be a problem that would require serious action.

In one of the Flashman books, Harry Flashman is getting ready for a journey. He opens the case and considers the pair of dueling pistol within. He tells how beautifully made they are, the finest product of a master gunsmith. Accurate. And he tries to talk himself out of packing them. But at least he's honest about why; "Because if I packed them, I would be admitting that I might need them". Which, I would submit, is one of the big reasons those people- especially the women- went absolutely bugfuck on the guy. He just told them that if there were a real disaster, they'd better have made preparations, and they didn't want to have to consider that. At all. Period. No question in my mind that there's a large amount of 'The government/someone else is supposed to take care of us', but that, I think, is also a part of this: they're using that as another key to not thinking about the potential problems.

Hell, look at Katrina, before and after it hit land, from the people who wouldn't evacuate to those who wouldn't prepare to that idiot Nagin actually turning down offers to take people out of the city to those sitting around afterward bitching that "The gummint's RACIST/UNCARING(fill in the blank) or they'd be taking care of us!" And all the excuse-making: "These are poor people, they can't afford (fill in the blank), You Are Blaming The Victims!" and so on.

I'll put this fairly bluntly: for the most part(I recognize there are a few exceptions), if you can't get to the dollar store and buy a cheap flashlight and batteries(sometimes even a radio, and they're only $5 at Wally World), if you can't save some bottles for water and buy some canned goods well before the hurricane makes landfall, then screw you. Yes, it's nasty and heartless and so forth, but I'm sick to death of people taking no responsibility for themselves, and bitching and whining that someone isn't saving them fast enough/well enough/etc. Remember the bitch saying "You expect us to eat this?" and throwing down the MRE? Food good enough to keep a fighting man going, but not good enough for her tender palate. My thought, then and now, was "Then starve, you idiot". Still is.

So you've got two big factors, the "Someone else is supposed to take care of me" mindset and the "I don't want to admit this could happen" mindset. Gonna get a lot of people killed. Has before, and will again.

If you're wondering, I'm not satisfied with my own preparations yet. I need to take Doc Russia's list and get a proper first-aid kit put together, not just the assorted meds/bandages/etc. in the house. I need to put more water in storage on a rotating basis, and some more emergency food in easy-to-grab-and-go form. And a particular set of firearms/ammo/knife for bugout duty.

I'll throw in, since the subject of Kim's post was in Washington, I especially find in amazing that they didn't want to prepare. They get earthquakes and severe storms even if you discount the potential of terrorist attack. They just recently had a combination of high winds and heavy rain that caused all kinds of problems, just to remind them. And yet...

Friday, January 05, 2007

On firearms in Mexico

After this post a commenter said If anything bigger than .22 and 20ga are outlawed, then what do they use to hunt with? There are TONS of places in Mexico where you can take your hunting rifle or 12ga shotgun and go hunting.

What, only tourists can have guns? That doesn't seem very likely to me.

I think something's wrong with the claim that they are against the law.

I'd read about the situation for firearms owners in Mexico, but had never looked up specifics: when someone who's been there says "Unless you like the idea of a cellmate named Juan..." I tend to listen to them. So I contacted Mark in Mexico (where I found this the other day which started this)and asked him for some information: and, being the shameless link whostout fellow he is, he promply wrote back. First he pointed me to this at, which includes this from the State Department:
The Department of State warns US citizens against taking any type of firearm or ammunition into Mexico without prior written authorization from the Mexican authorities. Entering Mexico with a firearm or a single round of ammunition carries a penalty of up to five years in jail, even if the firearm or ammunition is taken into Mexico unintentionally. The Mexican government strictly enforces its laws restricting the entry of firearms and ammunition along all land borders and at air and seaports. This has resulted in arrests, convictions, and long prison sentences for US citizens, even those who unintentionally crossed the border with firearms or ammunition in their possession.

And this section From a Mexican Lawyer

I am a Mexican Lawyer and I know the federal firearms law well, here is a summary The right to own firearms is granted by the Constitution but it does not include military firearms which are according to Federal Law any firearm which can fire full auto regardless of caliber, semi auto pistols in 9mm, 38 Super and larger, 357 magnum revolvers and larger, shotguns larger than 12 gauge or with a barrel shorter than 25", rifles in caliber .223, 7.62 and 30 Caliber carbines. Legal guns to own are 380s, 38 Special revolvers, rifles up to .30 caliber (larger ones are authorized for hunting abroad)and shotguns.

Permits for the transportation and use of firearms are issued for 1 year and for up to 10 firearms for each use (hunting, shooting at your club or national competition), these permits are very easy to obtain if you belong to a shooting club. There is no legal limit as to how many firearms you can own, but once you have 10 you cannot get a permit to buy more from the only authorized dealer, you can however legally buy more from other people. There are also collectors permits which allow you to own all kinds of firearms including military ones, they are also not hard to obtain except for the fact that the military authority will inspect the location to make sure it has the necessary security measures to avoid the guns being stolen.

CCW are issued but are hard to obtain although not impossible, and if denied they can be appealed at a District Court, although few people do. Until 2002 CCW’s authorized military caliber pistols, but they were all cancelled and issued 380s.

Ammunition can be bought at certain sporting goods stores, you only need ID and a copy of the firearm registration document, limits to purchase are 500.22s, 200 center fire (rifle or pistol) and 1000 shotgun shells, these limits are per gun per month (if you own 3 shotguns you can buy 3000 shells per month).New firearms can be bought from UCAM (Sporting shotguns and rifles and Glock, Walther, Taurus, Beretta and CZ 380 pistols.

Many people carry without a license and if caught usually the gun is confiscated only with no criminal charges, and although large caliber pistols are outlawed every self respecting male in the rural areas usually owns a 38 Super.(emphasis mine)

Which sounds pretty straightforward. Strange, but straightforward. Except that MiM says
Even the link above seems to hint that owning a weapon or weapons is merely a procedural process. It's not. You've got to pay and pay and pay to get these permits. That's why almost nobody ever bothers. The only people who can, more or less, follow the proper procedures and get their permits in some reasonable timeframe, like in their own lifetime, are those who are politically well connected. Everybody else has to pay bribes to get the process moving.

There were some mutterings by Fox and the PAN 2 years ago about lightening up on firearms ownership and licensing procedures. It never happened. Having an armed populace in Mexico anything even approaching that of the US citizenry frightens the politicians into recurring nightmares.

He includes this from the Mexican Constitution:
Article 10. The inhabitants of the United Mexican States are entitled to have arms of any kind in their possession for their protection and legitimate defense, except such as are expressly forbidden by law, or which the nation may reserve for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy, or National Guard; but they may not carry arms within inhabited places without complying with police regulations.

Don't you just love that wording? "..entitled to have...", "...for their protection and legitimate defense, except..." Just the kind of wording the GFWs would love to change our Second Amendment to. As MiM put it, If you take even a cursory look at that, you can see that the law can be written, or worse, enforced, in a manner to make the ownership and/or carrying of a weapon almost 100% illegal. And Mexico has proceeded to just about do that.
Which I have no doubt is why it was worded this way. Ours says ..."The Right of the people to keep and bear arms...", their people are 'entitled' for 'protection and legitimate defense', except where it doesn't suit the government.

And pay attention to that bit from the State Department: people have been arrested for a single fired .22 case that had fallen under a seat. And had bloody nightmares over it. Including that BATFE and various politicians have decided that such a 'serious criminal conviction' in Mexico is sufficient to end your right to arms here in the U.S.

So it appears that it's largely a matter of if you have the money/connections you can get a permit for damn near anything; or if you're a local the police don't see as a problem you can buy something to hunt/control pests/protect the home and get away with it(unless the police feel a need to show their zeal or your piss someone off, or etc.). But you can have that permit yanked in a second if someone doesn't get their bribe or your 'friend' doesn't win reelection(or gets indicted), and if you have something without benefit of the permit you can find yourself in jail at any time.

And I'd have to say that if you're a U.S. citazen in Mexico to hunt, make sure of two things:
That you have ALL the possible paperwork filled out and signed and officially noted, and
Have plenty of bribe money.

By the way, just to demonstrate that places like Detroit and Chicago and New York Effin' City(thanks to Kim for the term) are not along in bullshit publicity exercises involving firearms, check this:
Anyway, Ebrard and Ortega, demonstrating their newly awakened interest in truth, justice and the Mexican way, launched an operation against the street vendors in and around Mexico City's center. They sent in a highly trained force of 150 officers to sweep up and confiscate . . .

877 toy guns.

And for long-term storage,

Well, I have the vacuum sealer. And I have bags. So,

I have a vacuum-sealed Enfield.

The obvious test at this time would be to throw it outside somewhere for a month or two. No, I ain't gonna do that. If I had an old RG revolver or something, sure. However, this does cry out for a test, so...

On the left is no vacuum, just the normally-oiled blade put in a bag and sealed. On the right, vacuumed and sealed. They're both currently buried in the garden, covered so dumbass Security officer(junior) won't dig them up. I hope. Be a bitch to see if the bags worked if I can't find them.

To Be Continued

To anyone who thinks the government in Mexico

is our friend, wrong.

U.S. officials are in an uproar after the Mexican government approved a bill which will issue global positioning satellite (GPS) tracking devices to emigrants crossing into America illegally.

Mexico says it will issue an estimated 200,000 devices in 2007, in an effort to save hundreds of lives as the crossing North grows even deadlier in the hot summer months.

Politician attacks 1st Amendment.

Again. It's not McCain and 'campaign finance reform' this time, it's Conyers(PaidFor-MI).

The Baron notes some of the points along the road to 'hate speech' laws, and particular note of one that's been used a lot lately:
5. Muslims are the equivalent of a racial minority.

Even though Muslims come in as many races as other human beings, even though Christians, Jews, and Hindus have no such protections, Islam has claimed for itself the same status as blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc. It’s a shrewd move, one that has been patiently and painstakingly crafted over the last ten or fifteen years by CAIR and similar organizations.

There's been lots of that the last few years, and it's followed the same lines as the crap from various black groups/individuals, especially Denny's Race Warlord Poverty Pimps: "We can call you names and threaten you and insult you all we want, but don't you DARE call us on it!" And the BPMs at CAIR have made lots of haystacks with it: there's no such thing as a racist or traitorous or whatever muslim, ANY criticism of a muslim individual or group is racism and 'islamophobia'. Remember when Sen. Boxer rescinded an award given to a man connected with CAIR because, among other things, "...a handful of individuals who have had ties to CAIR in the past have been convicted or deported for financial dealings with Hamas—another reason cited by Boxer for her action. The senator directed her staff to withdraw the certificate—which she routinely gives to community leaders in California—and asked that a statement she had previously made endorsing CAIR be stricken from the group’s Web site, Ravitz said in an e-mail." And what was the reaction from CAIR? "CAIR has formally asked for a meeting with Boxer and demanded that she withdraw the action—which one top CAIR official said smacks of “Islamophobia.”
And so on.

And here we have an elected Representative, either sucking up for votes or already bought for them(or both; no, I don't like or trust Conyers) who wants to do further damage to the Constitution.

I've said before, I don't care if they're about homosexuals or illegal immigrants or women or some church or whatever, 'hate speech' laws are an abomination that are much like 'gun control' laws: they're primarily about control, in the case of 'hate speech' laws controlling the very way people are allowed to think and/or speak. As the Baron puts it:
Why do we need to restrain IHN? What could he do that requires speech laws to guard against?

He could get a gun and shoot every black person in sight. No, wait; that’s already illegal.

He could torch the car of his next-door neighbor from Somalia. No, we’ve got laws that cover that.

He could scream racial epithets at every swarthy person he passes on the street. But even that is already covered by existing laws against disorderly conduct, public nuisances, stalking, and so on.

The ugly truth is that “hate speech” rules are a cynical way to cow political opponents and intimidate those who don’t fall in with the party line. However, you’ll notice that these rules are very selectively enforced — no particular consequence ever seems to fall on those who scream, “Death to the Jews!”

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The good doctor has responded(again),

and Kevin continues tilting at windmills.

Ref his posts on this and mine, take notice that the doctor has decided that guns- not people, not illegal acts, are the problem.

This fits in with something else I've noticed, that it's almost like(may be that) some people have decided that firearms themselves have some effect upon people that somehow makes them do things, and therefore if you get rid of the objects...

It's just kind of amazing to read this coming from a doctor. Probably shouldn't be, but it is.

How anyone can still trust the UN is beyond me

Especially with this mess coming out.
The Daily Telegraph yesterday reported allegations of blue berets paying children as young as 12 for sex in the mission in southern Sudan, known as UNMIS. The abuse allegedly began two years ago when the mission moved in to help rebuild the region after a 23-year civil war.

So flat-out genocide has been going on, and honest-to-God slavery(although it apparently didn't really count until the proper celebrities took notice of it), and add on to that the UN once again being involved in the crap that's been going on in other countries subjected to their 'assistance'.

Found over at Crusader Rabbit

For that matter, check out Crusader overall, some very interesting stuff there. Found this place through Panday(and the links go on and on...)

His & Hers Diary entries

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a bar to have a drink. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so Ithought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it.

Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much. I asked him what was wrong; he said, Nothing." I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do
with me, and not to worry about it.

On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior. I don't know why he didn't say, "I love you, too."

When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent.

Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. To my surprise, he responded to my caress, and we made love. But I still felt that he was
distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep - I cried.

I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

Missed a big deer today, but at least I got laid.

Yeah, I know it's been around, but I like it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Discussing/arguing with 'the other side'

Kevin has a post on the subject of what/how the other side believes on the subject of personal disarmament laws. Takes apart an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He got a response from the writer of the op-ed and answered it, and it all made me think of something.

Got a friend who, at a Halloween party get-ready said "I'm in favor of guns, but not some things. I mean, an AK47 is for the army." So I asked "Tell me something: how is a semi-auto AK that I can buy different from any other semi-auto rifle?" And he basically shut it down. Not only no answer, he didn't want to discuss it, period.

I've had several of those discussions(if you can call them that), someone is challenged on a point- very politely, mind you- and either stumbles through a half-response and changes the subject, or flat refuses to talk about it. Sometimes they know that if they argue facts they'll be proved either flat wrong or ignorant(and I use that word in the proper sense). But other times, it's just as simple but actually a bit worse: it's This is what I've decided to believe, and I'm comfortable there, and I don't want to have to think about it.

There's an awful lot of the latter out there. Sometimes it's because of friends/co-workers of a particular viewpoint they want to please, sometimes they tend to see a matter through the PC lens, sometimes it's a viewpoint they inherited and they've had it so long they're just not comfortable questioning it. Whichever, they can be talked to, they can be reasoned with. They may not actively change their mind, but they may well add to it " but most people who have them are ok" or something of the kind.

These are completely separate from those who've decided that firearms themselves are evil and wicked and people shouldn't be allowed to own them, because then all the problems would go away or at least get a lot better. Or that they're just too dangerous for 'the masses' to be allowed to own. It never has, anywhere that's been tried, but they don't care; it is their belief, a (as Mr. Porretto points out in the comments of Kevin's post) religious faith for some, a stalking horse for power for others, and facts that don't match up to it are either wrong or to be ignored; and since ignoring them won't make them go away, they have to be demonized so no 'good' people(i.e., "Those who will do what I think right") will admit to listening to them. Or if it's the 'too dangerous to allow' attitude, then you will hear that we have not demonstrated that the masses, unlike you, can responsibly control firearms." So you might somehow be trusted with them, but the 'masses' cannot be so trusted(and have you noticed the warning sign inherent in someone referring to people as 'the masses'?). Therefore the government has to, if necessary, ignore even the Constitution and control people in this matter(which will lead to others, of course; it's all for the common good, you know).

These people are like those who believe that violence is ALWAYS bad, even when used in self-defense. I've known some of those people, and they drive me crazy: it's hard to believe that a human being could actually believe that a woman using violence to fight off a rapist or robber is as morally in the wrong as her attacker.

Actually, 'drive me crazy' isn't the right phrase, they piss me off is closer. That someone not only believes that, but would require other people to follow that belief, using the force of arms they profess to despise to do it, just flat pisses me off no end. And if someone objects to the 'force of arms' part, that is exactly how government makes people do things: if you don't minions of government show up- armed- and arrest you and will use force if you object. These people, who profess to think the use of violence on others is immoral and abhorrent, both count on other people being willing to use violence to protect them and are willing to have someone else("Must keep my own hands and conscience pure") do violence to force their view on others, by making it illegal for you to defend yourself and jailing you if you do. They're often the same people who give the 'guns are evil' and 'people can't be trusted to own them' arguments. And of course THEY know the One True Right And Only Way for people to think so everyone MUST be made to obey their wishes.

Well, hell, I've gotten off the track, although onto a sidetrack. As Kevin says, we can never forget that the true enemy in this(and yes, I do think 'enemy' is the right word) really, truly believes, and not a word you can say will change their mind. Something happening in their life that forces them to reconsider might- might- have an effect, but that's about it.

As another example of the wonders of 'gun control',

or 'personal disarmament laws' as Jeff Cooper called them, let us look south to Mexico:
In Mexico it is possible for a person to get a permit for a .22 caliber pistol or perhaps a .22 caliber rifle or even a 20 guage shotgun. All other caliber weapons are "reserved for the army and police". In other words, it is illegal to own any firearm without a permit and illegal to own any at all except for those small caliber weapons I just mentioned.(note: link corrected)

So how is it that so many people manage to get themselves shot dead with illegal weapons?

Real good question, isn't it? Especially for people like Pelosi and Schumer and Feinstein and Boxer. Oh, and people like Mr. Roth, too.

All of the deaths and woundings were blamed on organized crime. The 17 fresh bodies (well, 2 were burned beyond recognition so they may not qualify as "fresh") brought the total death toll so far this year in gang related murders to 2,198. In Michoacan, alone, there have been 565 executions so far this year, 38 of them police officers.

Ain't it just amazing how well this works?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ok, why should the escapee

from the People's Republic of Massachussetts have all the fun?

That letter, it is just flat gold, I tell you! And I can't resist.

AR-15 rifles are not needed
to hunt deer
Anyone needing an AR-15 or a Kalashnikov to hunt deer or elk probably needs a new pair of glasses first.

Actually, I don't think the AR15 is legal for deer, let alone elk: not enough power. An AK, deer yes; elk, marginal. Which has what to do with visual acuity?

Anyone needing an automatic shotgun to hunt pheasants, rabbits or partridge probably needs a prescription from a neurologist to reduce finger tremors or fight off tension.

Strictly speaking that would be 'semi-automatic', since I don't think any state allows automatic weapons for hunting, but we'll give him a pass on that for general ignorance. But where's the neurologist come in? If you actually had a neural problem a semi-auto wouldn't be a good idea. (Or for a GFW, either)

I do not wish to change the constitutional amendment giving an organized militia the rights to bear arms, withdrawn from a carefully tended armory. The National Rifle Association has abandoned the parts of the amendment relating to "organized militia" and "tended armory." The NRA is NOT an organized militia, according to its charter.

Let's see, the phrase is 'well-regulated', not 'organized'. As has been noted by a whole bunch of people, including honest-to-God constitutional scholars, the phrase means something along the lines of 'well-trained' and 'well-prepared'. And the 2nd Amendment says not a damn thing about any 'carefully tended armory' you had to draw your arm from. And we're ALL the militia, Mr. Roth, whether you like it or not. Though from the sound of this I'd hate to have you at my side in a difficulty.

I believe we should remember that the arms of 1789 were smoothbore Kentucky rifles and that discharge was accomplished by a flint-lock striking a steel, and sending a spark into some gunpowder that ignited the propellant and sent the bullet (or buckshot) on its wiggly way. This was a single shot device (or two shot, with two flint-locks and two barrels). Not even the "six-shooter" was invented at that time. My point is that single-shot weapons, with a long time to re-load, remove school and office massacres that can be caused by automatic weapons.

Where to start, where to start... You see, Mr. Roth, 'Kentucky rifle' and 'smoothbore' ain't the same thing. Rifles have 'rifled' bores, which is kind of where the name comes from, you see? Also, the gunpowder in the pan was the same as the 'propellant' in the barrel, just ground more finely(I know, you could call the powder 'propellant', but I'm being picky here). And the whole purpose of the 'rifled' bore was to prevent the ball going on a wiggly way(anybody ever see a ball, rifled or smoothbore, wiggling? Without the benefit of drink, I mean) Somewhat slow to reload, true, but I'm sure a 'smoothbore Kentucky rifle' carried a BAYONET! Yes, an evil BAYONET, allowing for multiple bayonettings in the office or school environment! Although, I have to point out that I don't think there's been a single case of an automatic weapon being used in any office or school massacres. For damn sure not any legally owned ones.

While it may take another few years to bring sanity to all of our states, I am sure that sanity can prevail in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and possibly even Rhode Island Plantations. If Nantucket does not approve, let them secede and we will cut off ferry service to them from our shores, and fill the sound with windmills.

If you consider your ideas to be 'bringing sanity' to all the states, I would suggest you check your medications. Or just start taking them on schedule. By the way, two other things:
If Nantucket doesn't approve and you cut off their ferry service, that would probably be considered a hostile act, and they'll have all the guns. And some boats. And
You can't fill it with windmills: the Kennedys(Hypocrite-MA) disapprove; ruins their view, don't you know?
All local deer will hold us dear.

Until the overpopulate and first eat your garden, and then suffer mass starvation in the next hard winter. But that's Nature In All Her Glory, so I guess it won't bother you.

Don't you just love these people? And they get to vote and everything!

Why do we distrust the Major Media?

Again, let us count some of the ways.

In the AP stories, at the least they didn't bother to find out if the source was actually good, or the stories real. And caught in the act, they bluster and basically say "How dare you peasants question our stories? Or us?". Confederate Yankee notes that it appears that at least 61 stories are connected to this fictitious informant. I guess I shouldn't say 'fictitious', in that SOMEONE damn sure fed them this crap, but it sure as hell wasn't Captain Jamil Hussein. Which brings up, how many other stories has AP printed that may well be untrue? Remember the mislabeled photos from Haditha used to smear the Marines? The Reuters faked photos from a 'trusted stringer'?

Which brings up, just how many of the 'stories' we've been fed by news agencies are like this, bloody fairy tales made up and spread by 'journalists' who want them to be true?

And the New York LiarsTimes once again using a either a disgustingly incorrect or flat faked story to push their views? And, just like AP, refuse to acknowledge the problem:There is "no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts as reported," the editors imperiously told Calame. They refuse to issue a correction, publish an Editor's Note, or inform their readers of the ready availability of the court decision that exposes Jack Hitt's deception about the Climaco case.

And we're supposed to trust what these clowns tell us?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Soda Bread

Interesting stuff. Made with no yeast, just baking soda and baking powder. Not really something for sandwiches, more a bread & cheese & sausage & butter bread. Not all at the same time, necessarily.

One problem with most I've had: the stuff was so damn dry it was amazing. This wasn't old stuff, either, most of it was pretty fresh. A few years ago I was visiting a friend in Dallas(didn't know you then, Kim) and one night we went to a pub the lady knew. Dinner was a platter with pieces of bread, slices of summer sausage and chunks of cheeses. Damn good, but I used more beer than I usually drink washing it down.

A while after that I happened to be looking at what used to be Amish Tech Support(now Is Full Of Crap) and in the comments of one post a lady threw in her soda bread recipe, and I gave it a try.


Not dry at all, good flavor, wonderful stuff. Comes out something like this:

I tried using about a third-cup of whole wheat flour in place of that much bread flour, and I like the texture it gives it. Simple recipe, too.

3 tbs soft butter
2.5 C flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C raisins
1 C buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients, then cut in the butter. Add raisins & milk to make soft a dough. Knead about 2 minutes, then form into a circle about 6" or so across. Cut 'X' in top, bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

That's it. And it works well with the dry buttermilk I keep around for cooking when I forgot to buy milk. And since this is almost the only thing I use buttermilk in...

Remember the 'snipers' on the bridge in New Orleans?

Supposedly(the major media assured us, along with all the other bs) shooting at rescuers, etc.?
Seven New Orleans police officers were indicted today on a variety of murder and attempted murder charges arising from misguided use of deadly force on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans, six days after hurricane Katrina.

Go over to Xavier for more, and links to even more.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Curmudgeon writes of Islam,

muslims avoiding speaking their minds and other things. Take note of this from an interview:
Rod Dreher: Do you believe that homosexuals convicted in a sharia court should be killed, or otherwise punished physically?

Mohamed Elmougy: I don’t condone homosexuality. I have a lot of friends, a lot of people who work for me, just so you know. I don’t go kill them. But, you know, I don’t condone what they do outside of work, so long as it’s something not in front of me. So do I condone the sharia? We don’t apologize for our religion. If that is what our religion says, we certainly accept it open-heartedly.

And the guy then goes on to say... hell, go read it yourself. You need the whole thing.

And Muir ROCKS

just in case you didn't know. Go see why

I know, I know, CHRIS! CHRIS Muir!

Forged vs. Cast

I got an e-mail from a Loyal Reader(shut up, I'll call him that if I want) with a question. The mail in part read:
I'm interested in purchasing an FAL rifle. My choices seem to be between
rifles built with a receiver made of a forged billet of steel, or a
receiver made through a process called "investment casting".
Is there any reason to prefer one process over the other? I recall
reading that (the new) Springfield Armory makes receivers for their rifles
by investment casting, and also reading opinions that these are far
inferior to (the real, GI) Springfield Armory Garands & M14s ground from a
billet. That is, the cast ones have bubbles and cracks and all sorts of
terrible flaws.
And now, researching the purchase of an FAL, I'm hearing the same thing.
But I'm also reading opinions that, no, there's absolutely nothing wrong
with a cast FAL receiver, and it's every bit as good as a receiver machined
from a billet.
You seem to know about metal. Where do you think the truth lies?

Ok, first a disclaimer: I am not a trained metallurgist. What I know on this subject comes from things I've done, people I know who've done things and information read.

That out of the way, here goes:

Forging is much like a knife: you take a bar of the proper steel, bring it up to the proper heat and forge it to shape. On an industrial level this usually involves a drop-forge, basically a BIG power hammer and a set of dies, sometimes one set and sometimes several. Place the bar in the die and trigger the hammer and a multi-ton strike forges it to shape. Sometimes a single die setup does the work, in some types there may be several steps. When done, the piece is given a stress-relief heat and then machined to final dimensions.(yes, Og, you may throw in commentary)

Investment casting is the same process whether you're making jewelry or rifle parts or something else. You make the part in wax, exactly as you want it to be when finished. Depending on the size/shape/material used, you may make it a bit oversize to account for shrinkage as the metal cools. The wax is then placed in a mold housing, or stuck with other parts on a central post to make a 'tree'- and covered with investment; basically a very fine-grain plaster that will take high temperatures. In a tree for some metals, it may instead be a type of ceramic for greater strength.

Note: this is the first place you can run into a problem. The wax has to be made correct in all details. Done right, you wind up with a piece that needs minimal finish machining work. Done badly, you have a piece that- at best- will need a lot more machining to finish up.

If placed in a mold, you fill the mold with the investment and then place the whole thing in a vacuum chamber and pull a vacuum. This causes any air trapped in the plaster or along the edges of the wax to bubble to the surface. When I was making jewelry years ago, the guy in charge always pulled a vacuum, then dumped it, three times. The other method involves making the tree with a number of pieces, then dipping them into a vat of investment several times to create a thick coating(I believe a similar vacuum process is used on a tree, but I've never done this method so I'm guessing).

Next comes the step that caused this to be called 'lost-wax casting'. You first let the mold dry, anywhere from a few hours to overnight, then place it in a burnout oven. Basically the same as a ceramic kiln, it melts the wax(which runs out, leaving a hollow mold), evaporates any moisture and bakes the investment hard, and heats the whole thing to the suitable temperature for the metal being cast.

When the mold is ready, you get the metal ready. In jewelry casting, this meant using a small centrifuge set up for the purpose, setup to hold the mold and a crucible on one end and a counterweight on the other. Put the silver or gold in the crucible, use a torch to melt it, then flux it to clean it. When ready, someone takes the mold out of the oven with tongs, sets it in the centrifuge and locks it in with the crucible right up at the opening where the wax drained out, then release. The centrifuge spins and throws the metal into the mold, forcing it into every space and holding it there while the mold and metal cool enough for the metal to solidify.

I saw some pictures once of Ruger techs casting receivers. They had a furnace big enough to hold a crucible containing something like ten or fifteen pounds of molten steel. When the mold and steel were ready, the mold was pulled from its furnace and set up, and two men used a lifter to pull the crucible out and pour the steel into the mold. In this case gravity and the weight of the steel was sufficient to fill the entire mold, which was set aside to cool.

In either case, once cool the investment is broken off and, if casting went well you have the pieces, whether jewelry or rifle parts, now made in steel instead of wax. Cut them off the 'sprue'- the metal leading from the mold opening to the ring, receiver, etc.- and clean them thoroughly and inspect. So far, so good, but for something like a receiver or firing pin or whatever, the next step is absolutely critical and if not done right, that perfectly cast piece is scrap.

You may remember that in forging a knife, in the final heats of forging and the heat before quenching it, you need to control the temperature carefully because when steel gets above its critical temp, the grain structure becomes enlarged, which makes it weaker. Well, steel heated to melting is WAY above that point, so the receiver has to be properly heat-treated to give it the maximum strength and wear-resistance for the alloy used. That can be as simple as heating it to a certain temp, holding it there the proper time and then letting it cool, or it could involve multiple cycles of heating to temp-cooling down, possibly with a quench to harden and a tempering heat at the end. Depends on the alloy and specific requirements of the piece. In any case, this step is not optional: when I said absolutely critical I meant it. Without this, the piece will be weak(weaker at the least) and not trustworthy, especially in a piece that's supposed to contain multiple thousands of psi a few inches from your face.

Casting and forging are both mature technologies, they've both been in use for centuries with improvements of various kinds added in as developed. Make no mistake: a cast receiver, made properly of good materials, is just about as strong and durable as a forged piece. What happened is that so many crap firearms were made in various places with cast frames/receivers(because it's cheaper than forging) made with cheap steel, bad technique, bad/lack of heat-treat or a combination that cast got a very bad reputation.

For some shapes/types of receivers, casting can produce a solid piece at less expense than forging, so you'll find all kinds of firearms with cast pieces and variations on that(MIM for instance). I didn't even know they made FALs with cast receivers, but in any case my advice would be to check thoroughly on the brand/maker of the rifle you're looking at: check back on the maker for reputation and past performance, look over the gunboards for reports on their stuff, and put up posts asking if you don't see any. If it's got problems, you'll hear about it. This is very much a caveat emptor situation, so check it out carefully.