Friday, March 09, 2007

I ought to go back to college

just so I can piss off people like these.

Hundreds attended a campus forum on March 1 organized by seven Asian women who’ve led the attacks on Kaplan. Many came expecting a fair airing of views at what was billed as an “open forum.” Instead, they witnessed further condemnation of Kaplan at what professor Howard Schweber afterward called a “political rally.”

At the forum, Moua acknowledged that her initial e-mail was misinformed as to precisely what Kaplan had said. Nonetheless, scores of speakers drew from it over the next two hours to peg Kaplan as racist and ignorant.

Two women in the class, who’ve since transferred out, described their shocked reactions to Kaplan’s comments. Mai Der Yang, a first-year student who missed class that day, said the real harm came in a meeting days later when Kaplan gave “insult after insult.” Among those insults, Yang said, was that Kaplan “believed his statements to be true.”

Nancy Vu, another organizer, stressed the women’s collective victimization, saying they’ve felt “so intensely alone” and “at every corner have been dismissed” by faculty and students. “You have made us feel alienated.”

Additional speakers from student and community groups accused university leaders of not doing enough to promote diversity and sensitivity. Madison school board member Shwaw Vang, who is Hmong, said Kaplan’s speech “degrades and dehumanizes me.” Activist Peng Her drew parallels between the seven women and Rosa Parks and the civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala. And the women were called the “Magnificent Seven” to great applause.

Near the end, Dean Davis again apologized to students, saying they’ve exhibited a “remarkable thoughtfulness and grace that makes me proud.” He did not bother to put in a good word for the idea of academic freedom.

The big things here:
People who had no personal experience with the professor or what he said somehow magically 'knew' what he 'believes'. All from e-mails of bitching by students who "said Kaplan’s speech “degrades and dehumanizes me.” and- here's the big one- :
"...another organizer, stressed the women’s collective victimization..." Got that? It's the standard-issue "I am a VICTIM! You cannot doubt what I say or my FEELINGS!!!" bullshit that's destroying what schools are supposed to be.

And this Dean is apparently one of the eunuchs in the lead, "I understand your feelings, and your feelings are all that matters. Especially when I can use them."

On the other hand, if I go back, I might get thrown out. Or attacked by hordes of aggrieved lefties. Which might be fun, if I had a good cane.

Well, damn!


Average Per Day183

Average Visit Length1:32

Last Hour28


This Week1,282

Sometime in the past couple of days it rolled over. Which is kind of amazing. I can't decide if people keep coming here from actually wanting to hear my bitching(tend to doubt), pick up the occasional nugget of actual information(quite possible) or to watch the ongoing BS(likely).

In any case, keep coming. Because I am going to grandly ignore the above and assume you all come here to bask in my brilliance. So numbers count, people.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

1911 firing pin stop modification

A while back I was browsing through the 'Handguns: Autoloaders' forum at The High Road and found mention of a change to the firing pin stop on a 1911 that was said to make a big difference in felt recoil. So I dug around some more, which led me to the M1911.Org site. Which led me to the gunsmithing sticky threads, this one in particular.

This sounded interesting, especially since my hands sometimes bother me after a box or so through mine. So I went to Brownells and ordered two of these EGW stops.

If you're not familiar with the 1911, the firing pin stop fits into a slot in the back of the slide

and holds the firing pin(center) and the extractor(circular piece on the right) in place. The bottom of it

on the factory piece has a nice, round curve; this is where, as the slide moves back, it cams the hammer back to cock it. The idea is that if you take a stop like the EGW which is square on the bottom,

fit it to the slot of the pistol and then give it just a slight bevel at the bottom edge

it changes some things. When the slide moves back under recoil, the factory stop makes the camming action a smooth operation that doesn't take much energy away from the slide; but if you give it a much smaller bevel like this- from what I've read the way John Browning originally designed it- it takes more of the energy the slide carries to cam the hammer back, which slows the slide down, which changes the way the energy moves around with- I read- some good changes.

These stops are made oversize so they can be fitted to your pistol. This one was a touch too thick, so I stoned a bit off the back. Then I started stoning the sides to narrow it a bit. Lock it in a padded vise, cut a bit, flip it over and cut the same number of strokes on the other side, try. Black the shiny area(I used Sharpie) and repeat until you get a good fit.

For the bevel, I'd suggest reading that thread at M1911 for specifics. Basically, cut a very small 45-degree angle with a fine file, and it HAS to be same angle and width across the face, otherwise it'll cause some nasty twisting(torsional?) stress to the hammer and hammer pin. I then gave it just enough strokes on a stone to break the corners, cleaned and oiled it and installed.

After shooting the carbine I tried this out. And it really works. Recoil on this pistol is now straight up- no twist- and a smaller jump. It also throws the brass straight up and back instead of to the side, which I was not expecting. Although it makes sense when you think about it. I only put about thirty rounds through(only so much time), but the difference was kind of amazing.

Definately glad I tried it.

Ain't it purty?

Some of you who've been dropping in here might remember that a while back I bought a M1 Carbine receiver when SOG got some in. I've been collecting parts since, and finally put everything together.

The barrel is an aftermarket(GI barrels in good shape are now at prices that are flat amazing in some cases), the stock- a flat beautiful piece of walnut- was obtained through the good offices of Og. Everything else is GI, from the springs to the sights to the magazine.

Most of the assembly is no big deal, but I'd never installed a barrel before; turned out not to be as bad as I'd feared. Driving the front sight on was an experience of its own(I don't think you actually need the pin to hold it in place), but everything else fitted in just like it should.

Took it to H&H right after I finished it to function-test it, and all went well. It was hitting well below point of aim, the sight blade being deliberately made high. Back home I did some fitting to tighten things up between stock and receiver/barrel, following the suggestions in this piece by the fine people at CMP. Then, after bitching and moaning about the weather and time a short delay, today I had the chance to get it to a 100-yard range and do some shooting and filing. Started off at 50 yards, shot two and filed, shot two and filed until it was a couple of inches low, then moved to 100.

To give you an idea of how much had to be taken off- and the accuracy of this thing- , please note the four shots top left:

That's a sub-2" group using GI-spec Lake City ball. Just to compare I adjusted windage and fired two rounds of Wolf ball(shut up, Cowboy). As to the elevation, I was actually aiming at the target above this one, so they were hitting about seven inches low. After having cut the front down a bit at fifty yards.

Finally got it just right, as the baby bear said, and it sat there through the rest of the day. Just before packing it in I loaded two rounds and fired them:

I think I'll keep it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Shocking numbers

brought to us by The Englishman:
Illegally held guns are flooding Britain’s inner cities and a spate of fatal shootings in London has highlighted gun culture’s allure to disaffected youth. This comes despite the best efforts of the law and its enforcers to restrict the supply of guns. Yet, any man, woman or street urchin could own a gun in Victorian Britain — at least until 1870 when a licence fee was charged if they wanted to carry the weapon outside their home. And, surprisingly, there was very little gun crime.

Personally, I don't think it's surprising at all; someone checked the actual homicide rate of Tombstone, AZ back in the wild days and it was very low. And most were between gang members and general outlaw types(sound familiar?).

Well worth reading. Then go read Kim, who has some interesting comparisons and comments.

Yeah, I'm late on this. I first saw it a couple of days ago, late so I didn't post on it then. Yesterday had a couple of things I HAD to take care of, and being the the final(I hope) throes of whatever plague is going around, by the time I was done I gave up, read a bit and crashed. So I'm getting it done today.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Damn you, Goreacle!

I was expecting a visit from the Brown Truck of Happiness yesterday, bringing a package of goodies from Brownell's. But I get home and no package! No Brown Truck has come! So I turn on the computer and check the tracking and find Rescheduled in the delivery. Why?


Oh, joy. I'd planned on opening my box and checking out the goodies, hitting the grocery store, making dinner and spending the rest of the evening using my new stuff. But NOOOO.

For all the Globulist Warmering doomtalking, you'd think the damn blizzards would be over by now, or at least changed to drowning rain(got to make those sea levels rise somehow, you know). But no. The Goreacle is going to freeze the whole place if he keeps this up.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Does about sum them up, doesn't it?

Thanks to the Emperor for this

The son has been heard from

New friends and nice things to play with

It seems some friendlies showed up at the range while they were qualifying and, after business was taken care of, some "Can I try that?" went on. It's a G36(more on it here) and he said it's an interesting piece.

Yes, as you may be able to tell, he's doing just fine.

Cable damascus

It's what it sounds like, instead of bars or sheets of steel you take one or more pieces of cable, forge-weld them into a bar and then forge it into a blade. Makes a nice 'snakeskin' pattern when it's etched.

It has one real problem in the making that's worse than a standard pattern-welded piece: getting and keeping crap out of the pieces. With standard you can clean the bars, stack them together, heat and flux and the flux both carries out any traces of scale or whatever from between pieces and seals the surface(until you hammer it and drive the stuff out and off). When cable comes to you, brand new it'll be greasy; used, greasy and cruddy with the stuff having worked all through the wires.

Cleaning the stuff out of new isn't too bad, use a good degreaser, soak it in kerosene or whatever. Old cable, it's a bit more involved. I've read of everything from degreaser, boiling it in soapy water and pretty much anything else you can think of. What I used to do was fairly simple, since I used new cable: I burned it off. Be warned, smoky and smelly, but it works. I'd stick about six inches into a low fire and let it burn out, then push the next six in and so forth until the whole piece was done(I usually used about an eighteen inch piece). This does have the bad point of sometimes leaving some ash inside, but the fluxing seemed to take care of it nicely. Also, if you used low heat the grease tended to melt and run out before it burned, leaving the inside pretty clean. Several smiths I've read of would take a day to burn clean and flux a lot of cable, so as to have enough to keep them a while.

To flux it- I used borax- first I'd get the very end to welding heat and set the weld. Then heat a few inches to low red and unwind the section slightly(doesn't take much) and, while still good and hot, sprinkle it heavily with borax; you want the stuff to melt and flow throughout. Repeat heating and fluxing if needed, then twist it back as tight as you can. Move to the next section and repeat.

Remember, the flux does two things: it seals the surface of the steel to keep scale from forming, and it causes impurities that may be trapped between pieces to melt at a lower temperature than otherwise, which means when you hammer it the liquid flux and impurities(if any) spray out. Yes, it will burn the crap out of you, an apron and eye protection highly recommended.

To actually make the billet, I'd heat four to six inches of cable up to welding heat and hammer it from the welded end back the first pass, then turn it 90-degrees and go back up the other way; remember, this has to both set the weld and drive out the flux. When this section cooled I'd inspect, and if well set I'd do the next section.

When I had enough for the purpose, I'd fold it two or more times- usually in a 'Z' shape- then flux and weld that into one piece. Then I'd fold that once more, either in half or three and weld it again. You have to be CERTAIN that you've closed any voids between wires and driven all the flux and any impurities out.

When done, you'll have a solid bar of sufficient mass for the blade you want to make, and forge it out, heat treat and so forth as you would any other.

I haven't made any of this in a while and have no pictures, but I did find this picture at this man's site:

This is a beautiful example, with a section of cable left on to make the hilt.

You can make it as I described, or you can cut pieces of cable and wire or arc-weld them around a bar for a handle(which is the first way I read about this being done). In the latter case, one man I saw some information on took one-inch cable, cut four pieces about four inches long, arc-welded them to a handle and brought the whole mess up to heat and did the billet making with a power hammer(Damn, the times I've wished for one of those...).

Besides a different appearance, some who've used it say they've found blades made this way to be a bit more aggressive in cutting; I never tested for that so I can't say. Although if I'm able to make some more, I'll give it a shot.

That's really about it, fairly simple process. Just remember that bit from Murphy's Laws of Combat: the simple things are never easy.