Saturday, September 29, 2007

"Mr. Murtha, bend over."

Oh, isn't it wonderful? His ass must have puckered something terrible when the judge ruled.

Friday, September 28, 2007

High Standard M100

High Standard made rifles, shotguns and handguns for years, sometimes under their own name and sometimes as store brands or another maker's name. This one a friend picked up a while back.

4.5" barrel, ten-round magazine, 22lr. These had a couple of unusual features. For one, this model has no slide lock, so it does not lock back after the last shot. No idea why. Second, see that triangular piece in the front of the trigger guard? That's a spring-loaded barrel lock: pull the slide back a bit, push the lever up and the barrel slides forward off the frame. For cleaning, and for changing: they made barrels in several different lengths for these*. You could use a long 6" for target, the 4.5" for general use and the 2 or 2.5" for easier packing when hiking. I used to know a guy who had one with all three he'd inherited from his father, always thought it was a very nice pistol.

I got to find out how nice the other day when I fired it. This one had turned out to be picky about ammo, most the owner had tried either did not reliably cycle the action far enough to eject empties or gave jams. This one just loves the Remington Golden Bullet ammo, and went through almost a hundred rounds with no problem of any kind. Shot it at ten yards, and it was no problem with a solid hold to keep all shots in a 2" bull. Amazingly, I was able to do that shooting one-handed, and a bullseye shooter I am not. A light, clean trigger definitely helped. A light, fun to shoot, accurate pistol. One more of those "Dammit, why don't they still make these?" guns.

*This one is an early model. Later and other models used a different barrel and lock system, and they are not interchangeable.

As a side note, due to age it's hard to find magazines for these. This one wouldn't feed properly, turned out there are two spring arms that are part of the feed lips that were bent outward just a touch. Owner tightened them in a bit, and the problem disappeared with the ammo it liked. Second, there's a mag that says 'for non-military grip models' that fits ok, but the feed lips are different; the one he tried would not feed reliably with anything.

Just to take the bad taste out of your mouth from the previous two posts,

Silence in Syria, Panic in Iran

Why would the Syrian government be so tight-lipped about an act of war perpetrated on their soil? The first half of the answer lies in this story that appeared in the Israeli media last month (8/13): Syria's Antiaircraft System Most Advanced In World. Syria has gone on a profligate buying spree, spending vast sums on Russian systems, 'considered the cutting edge in aircraft interception technology.' Syria now 'possesses the most crowded antiaircraft system in the world,' with 'more than 200 antiaircraft batteries of different types,' some of which are so new that they have been installed in Syria 'before being introduced into Russian operation service.' While you're digesting that, take a look at the map of Syria: Notice how far away Dayr az-Zawr is from Israel. An F15/16 attack there is not a tiptoe across the border, but a deep, deep penetration of Syrian airspace. And guess what happened with the Russian super-hyper-sophisticated cutting edge antiaircraft missile batteries when that penetration took place on September 6th. Nothing.

El blanko. Silence. The systems didn't even light up, gave no indication whatever of any detection of enemy aircraft invading Syrian airspace, zip, zero, nada. The Israelis (with a little techie assistance from us) blinded the Russkie antiaircraft systems so completely the Syrians didn't even know they were blinded. Now you see why the Syrians have been scared speechless. They thought they were protected - at enormous expense - only to discover they are defenseless. As in naked. Thus the Great Iranian Freak-Out - for this means Iran is just as nakedly defenseless as Syria.

Tell the truth: doesn't that bring a smile to your face?

Among the reasons people don't like or trust lawyers

is the idiots who run the law schools. About like the idiots at universities who invite terrorists to speak and then screw around trying to look tough when they realize the stuff dripping on their head isn't rain.

There's been a lot on some blogs about this nonsense the last few days. This place seems to have a good rundown on the miserable bitch(who should be rotting in prison, not bragging about her actions at a freakin' law school). Sounding like the head of Columbia trying to cover his idiocy, a professor at the law school says the traitor is there "not as a role model but as a cautionary lesson."
Which is bullshit. "...the brochure indicates that Stewart will be a member of the final panel of the conference, the other members of which will be attorneys Ron Kuby and Richard P. Mauro." 'Cautionary Lesson' my ass.

This is how some very high-ranking law schools train lawyers. Any questions as to why we wind up wanting to hang them?

Sen. Orrin Hatch(R-UT), UPDATE!

miserable, conniving, two-faced politician.

Which is about as close as I can get without going to language I'm trying to tone down on. Day before yesterday he was interviewed on Glenn Beck's show about the NightmareDREAM Act. It was one of those times I wished I could reach through the radio and throttle someone.

According to this miserable bleep, not only should we pass this piece of crap(and he wasn't even aware of some BIG parts of it, or so he said), but we should do it(big chorus here) "For The Chilldrennn!

I'm not kidding. He kept throwing in crap like "We shouldn't blame the kids because their parents brought them here" and "They deserve a good education" and so forth. Sounded like bloody Ted Kennedy(Scumbag-MA). Excuse everything, and make the illegals and the Mexican government happy.


UPDATE: Just went by Kim's place and found this. Apparently even the miserable politicians like Reid(Vile Being-NV) felt enough heat on this to take it off of the Defense bill. As Kim says,

"How nice. So instead of this monstrosity being hidden inside a “must-pass” piece of legislature, it’s now out there all by itself?

“Ready on the Left? Ready on the Right...?”

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Range day

Amazing how some things work when you have a fresh battery

Started out cool, humid and foggy. Clearing when I left the house, but the closer I got to the range the foggier it got. Happily, it cleared off shortly after I arrived. Unhappily, add bright sun and warming temps to that humidity and you get melting feelings by the end.

Main thing I wanted to do today was, since I had the aforementioned battery, set up the chronograph and find out what velocity I was getting with the .30 Carbine loads described here. Which information follows after this brief


This load is not out of any loading manual: it's one I put together based on load information I read and comparing that to the bullet and powder combination I wanted to use. It works well(so far) in my rifle, it may not be safe or accurate or reliable in yours. You have been warned.

As I wrote before, I wanted to load for this cartridge with a bullet that would give better terminal performance* and hold velocity better as the range stretched out. After trying three different bullets I decided on the 110-grain Sierra Varminter. It's a nice spitzer shape, hollowpoint, and the same weight as the standard FMJ bullet. It's longer, so it has to be seated deeper into the case to reach maximum length for this cartridge. That leaves less room for the powder, so I dropped one full grain to try it. Functioned perfectly and gave good accuracy at 100 yards, but I had no way to guess at pressures due to the *!!#@)*#$ dead battery in my chrono last time I went out.

The load is 14.0 grains of W296 powder, CCI standard small rifle primer in Lake City cases. Max length for this cartridge is 1.680" according to the Lyman manual, I actually seated to 1.679", for what it's worth. I fired ten rounds in two groups of five with the chrono about ten feet in front of the muzzle, and got these velocities:

1913 1933
1926 1931
1925 1924
1930 1930
1922 1924

Average velocity works out to 1925.8, and according to the calculator I used that gives a standard deviation of 5.77, which is pretty small. That's very consistent velocity.

And since the standard velocity for ball ammo in this cartridge is 1900 fps, I'm guessing the pressure of this load is pretty close to the standard cartridge. The proper way would be to have a strain gauge to mount on the chamber or access to a test barrel, but I don't have either of those. So I'm going by velocity for a decent guess at pressure. Which is why the big DISCLAIMER up there.

So far, all's well. It cycles through the action no problem, empties eject roughly the same distance & direction as ball, and accuracy is good. So now I need to gather some milk cartons or something so I can shoot them & see how the bullet acts at this velocity. Be a pain to find out it's too low for consistent expansion, but if that's the case then this load isn't what I was looking for. According to the reviews at Midway on this bullet, one guy was getting very good results with it. So we'll see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sometimes-weenie politicians and all,

the Israelis still tend to get the job done.
But Washington was not satisfied. It demanded clear evidence of nuclear-related activities before giving the operation its blessing. The task of the commandos was to provide it.
Today the site near Dayr az-Zawr lies in ruins after it was pounded by Israeli F15Is on September 6. Before the Israelis issued the order to strike, the commandos had secretly seized samples of nuclear material and taken them back into Israel for examination by scientists, the sources say. A laboratory confirmed that the unspecified material was North Korean in origin. America approved an attack.
So the commando sneaked in, got into the site and got the samples, brought them back. Then after the analysis went back in to set up the attack, all undetected. Damn.

Also from the Times article, a note about something from the past. Remember the train that blew up in North Korea three years ago?
The outlines of a long-term arms relationship between the North Koreans and the Syrians are now being reexamined by intelligence experts in several capitals. Diplomats in Pyongyang have said they believe reports that about a dozen Syrian technicians were killed in a massive explosion and railway crash in North Korea on April 22, 2004.

Teams of military personnel wearing protective suits were seen removing debris from the section of the train in which the Syrians were travelling, according to a report quoting military sources that appeared in a Japanese newspaper. Their bodies were flown home by a Syrian military cargo plane that was spotted shortly after the explosion at Pyongyang airport.

Let's see, Syrian and Iranian techs getting killed while loading chemical warheads on missiles, now this stuff. All kinds of interesting things going on.

And from a Philadelphia paper, yet!

Classical Values notes this editorial. A key bit:
"But some people are sending that message on a wider scale. Look at the 79-year-old man in Dry Ridge. Gun control would have told him, in essence:

You're going to have to let the robbers do with you as they will. You might survive their blows, and you might not. You might avoid a fatal heart attack, and you might not. In the event that you survive, you can call the police, who may or may not catch the perps. Will the courts and jails keep them off the streets? Sheesh, how naive are you?"

Speaking of Giuliani and the Joyce Foundation,

and that offshoot of the Joyce Foundation known as IACP, check this out.
For an even richer helping of irony, the event will be held in New Orleans--too bad former New Orleans Police Superintendent Edwin "we're going to take all the weapons" Compass had to resign--this sounds like just his cup of tea.

Also, a little further down he has this quote from Giuliani I hadn't heard about:
"You should know I understand that the right to bear arms is just as important a right in that Constitution as the right of free speech and the other rights ... It's not going to change, unless something dramatic has happened to make it change, and then I'll explain to you why," he said. [emphasis mine]

And we're supposed to TRUST this clown?

Making and fitting a guard

Had the chance to do a couple of these, and did remember to take pictures. I will apologize that a few of the shots are a bit fuzzy; they were shot outside and I didn't think to use the flash.

Ok, you've got the blade finished: forged or ground, final-ground, heat-treated, polished. Now you need to make a fit a guard. On this I'm starting off with flat brass stock.

And yes, this would be faster and simpler with a mill. I don't have one, so.

First, figure out how long and wide you want it to be. If in doubt, make it a little oversize, you can always cut it down. Mark the width and length and draw the lines, using either a fine-line marker or a scribe. Then mark the centerline of the guard-to-be. Lay the blade on it so you can mark the width of the tang;

here I'll usually mark it so the slot will be a touch less wide than where I want the guard to sit; you can use files to widen the slot, but it's a problem if you've made it too long. If I use a marker for these, I'll go back and use a scribe to cut the centerline from side-to-side of the tang, reason to be shown later.

Now to the vise and hacksaw. Cut the guard from the flat stock, I'd suggest cutting just outside the lines.

With the guard cut,

you need to mark it for drilling. Here I use a prick punch. Same as a centerpunch, except a much longer taper to the very sharp point.

Use a prick punch when you want to lightly mark a spot, centerpunch for a deeper mark. Here's where the reason comes in for scribing the centerline: the fine point of the prick punch fits into the line the scribe cuts, making it easier to keep the marks all in line. With brass, you can use a pretty good whack if need be; for steel or other harder metals, only a light tap or you'll smash up that nice, sharp point. Make a series of marks, spaced as you see fit.

Now to the drill press. You can do it by hand, but use the press if you have one/can get the use of one. Measure the thickness of the blade where tang meets ricasso, and choose a bit just a touch thinner. On each hole, just ease the bit down to the punch mark and it'll help center itself, keeping everything nicely in line.

There's a piece of fine wet/dry sandpaper handy on the table; no matter how sharp the bit it'll leave a bit of metal sticking up around the hole when it goes through, so after drilling lay the piece flat on the paper and give it a few strokes so I'll lay flat. Then on to the next hole, repeat however many times.

Now you have to join the holes into a slot. Out with a jeweler's saw. Clamp the blade on one end, slide it through the end hole, then clamp the other end. Clamp the stock in a vise and start cutting*.

Take it slow and very light pressure, as these blades will break easily(there's a reason they come in bundles of ten or twelve). Takes a bit of practice, but you can hold the blade right on one side of the hole and take it down to the edge of the next hole, giving a nice straight cut. You can use just two holes, one on each end, and on short slots I do, but if it's very long the holes give you places to stop and lay the saw down and rest your hand. When you reach the end you can either work the saw back up to the top, or flip the stock over and cut the other side.

The slot

should now be a little more narrow than the tang/ricasso where it should sit, and a touch shorter than needed, so out come the files.

Cutting out a slot this thin means thin files, sometimes hard to find. If you plan on making guards this way, plan on getting a handful of files and modifying them. Remember that belt sander I've mentioned as being so useful? You can use it to make 'safe' sides on a file(smooth sides that won't cut)**, to narrow or to thin it. I use needle files about 6" long for opening the slot up, then a couple of fine-cut regular files 6" or 8" long that've been ground to different widths and thicknesses to I can fit them in where needed. Take your time here. A sharp file will cut a lot faster than you might think, especially on a soft metal like brass, so it's easy to cut too much. Also, keep a wire brush handy to brush the filings out of the file surface, you'll get smoother and faster cutting.

Slide the tang into the slot and get an idea of how much stock you need to remove, mark with a pencil or something if need, then clamp the piece in a vise and start filing. Cut a few strokes and try the fit, cut a bit and try. There's no way to rush this that won't wind up with a slot either too wide, too long or uneven. Ideally, you want a fit that gets to just a tiny bit short of where you want the guard to sit, so you have to give it a tap or two to seat.

It may well be that you wind up with the width of the slot just right, but the slot is a bit short.

That's fine, use the files to widen it. Here's another reason to make the slot a little shorter: you use the files at an angle here, so you widen the slot on the blade side, keeping it shorter on the tang side.

On tapping it into place, two ways. One is to narrow the jaws of the vise to just a touch wider than the tang, hold the blade***, slide the guard onto the tank and the tang into the jaws and tap. The other is to get a piece of hardwood longer than the tang and either drill a hole into it from one end(narrow tang) or cut a slot from one end back long enough to fit over the tang. Clamp the blade in the vise at the ricasso(padded or some non-marking jaws, please), put the guard on, slide the wood punch in place and tap on it.

You've now got a guard tightly fitted to the blade. Now's the time to finish the guard(shape, polish, etc.). Here I want it bent forward on both sides so I use a spacer to keep the slot from being bent and clamp it in the vise and use a hammer to tap each side forward.

Then I'll grind the thing to final size & shape, then polish. In this case I used first 100 grit wet/dry paper(used wet) to remove the deepest marks(I slipped a couple of times), then 220 grit to clean up the 100 grit marks, and on up to 1000 grit(If you've been careful not to ding the metal up, you can often start with 220). If you're doing a flat guard this is much easier than a shape like this one. Don't forget the edges. As the final touch you can hit it on the buffing wheel to final-polish.

Here I wanted a hammered finish, so I polished it and then proceeded to beat it up. I've got a 4oz. ball-peen hammer with the faces polished very smooth just for this kind of thing. Here I used the peen to work the entire surface, edges and all. Which means I had to do a bit more filing: when you work a piece like this it upsets some metal into the slot. Not much, just a few strokes on each side should do it. Then tap it into place, and there it is.

You can stop here, and fit a grip and pommel to it, or take the next step and either epoxy or solder the guard in place. This does two things: First, it locks the guard in place permanently and second, it seals the space between blade and guard. No matter how carefully you work that space is there, and- especially in a working knife- moisture can get in there. Water, blood, sweat, any of it is bad.

Epoxy is simple. Make sure the surfaces are clean of any oil or buffing compound. Mix your chosen stuff according to the directions. Move the guard down a bit and put the epoxy on the tang, all the way around and up onto the shoulders and ricasso. Seat the guard in place, making sure it's exactly located. Wipe the excess on the blade side off carefully so as not to disturb the fit and set it aside to cure. After it's done, clean off the bottom and tang.

Solder is a bit more complicated but done right it's worth it. There are some low-temperature silver solders out there that work very well for this, generally coming with a tube or bottle of flux. They're lead-free, they stay nice & shiny and they're very strong. The one I used for years is Stay Brite. I ran out of it a while back and couldn't find any, so I decided to try some I found at a local tool store, which has worked just as well. Mind you, not all of them are good. I tried one a few years back- again, couldn't find my favorite at the time- and whether it was the solder or the flux, the stuff didn't work worth a damn. My procedure is
First, make sure the guard slot and tang are absolutely clean.
Second, you can put a bit of the flux on the tang, or put the guard into place first, which is what I do. If the latter, clamp the blade in the vise, tang up, and put a drop of flux on each side of the tang just above the guard. Not much is needed, and if you use too much it will get through the joint and slide down the blade. This stuff is slightly corrosive, and in some steel can slightly etch the surface fairly quickly. Not deep, but enough to leave a nasty drip line on your nicely polished blade.
Third, cut two pieces of solder.

If you look close, you can see the solder in the gap at the edges of the tang, one piece each side. Only small pieces needed; if you've got a good tight join, it doesn't take much. Some put them on each side, I generally put the on the edges.
Fourth comes the torch. Don't use a big flame or put the flame on the solder, heat the tang about an inch above the guard, then the ends of the guard. You want to heat the metal so that first the flux migrates all around the joint, and second the metal melts the solder. This stuff flows at about 430F.

Once the solder flows, take the blade out of the vise and turn it blade up.

I've got the guard sitting on a V-shaped piece of thin steel to support it. Another way is to get a piece of pipe(NOT galvanized) two or three inches long and cut a slot in a inch or two from one end, set the solid end on the vise. Either of these holds the guard while allowing you to play the torch on the tang & guard. The scribe I'm holding(tasteful grip-enhancing tooth marks courtesy of the dog) has a fine round point and is used to 'guide' the solder. When it's flowing freely, assuming a tight and clean joint, you can put the point at the juncture of guard and blade and slide it along; capillary action pulls the solder into the joint, this mainly makes sure it flows evenly all the way around. When you're sure it's done, take the heat away and let it sit a few minutes so the solder can cool and harden. Once it does, you can use the scribe again, slide it point-first along the joint. Do it carefully, and you can shave away any excess solder, making for a neater joint. Remember that if you push too far or it slips, that steel point will gash a line into your polished brass.

Once it's cool, wash it thoroughly with soap & water to get rid of all traces of the flux, then dry thoroughly. At this point I use a dremel with a polishing wheel to shine the guard up, then use something like Metal Glo to clean off the polishing compound, then oil the blade.

*When clamping a blade or guard in a vise, use some leather to pad the jaws, some of the non-marring inserts, just something to keep from messing up the surface.

**A file with safe sides can be a very handy tool. Grind the edges smooth and you can flatten a piece up to an angle with little worry of cutting into the angle. Grind the flats smooth and you can cut the narrow end of a slot without worrying about widening it. Files are inexpensive enough that you can set a bunch up with different combinations of safe & cutting sides.

**Make damn sure the edges are dull. If it's still sharp from the cutting testing and you don't want to dull it, then tape over the edges & point. Depending on the tape, with multiple layers. Otherwise you WILL cut yourself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Currently trying to take over the garden,

or so it seems, is this mass of green:

It measures a touch over three feet on the north-south axis, and a bit less on the east-west, and that is one habanero plant. 'Bush', rather. If you look real close, you can see some spots of orange; those are the ripe chilis, and there are green ones of various sizes and blossoms all over the thing.

Last year I mentioned that the plants I had produced peppers that were hot, but not the 'Andrew sullivan-proof your mouth' hot I expected, and someone in comments said they thought that too much watering could cause them to be not as hot. Well, these have had plenty of water- first from all the rains, then from the hose in the times needed- and they're hot. As in 'pick some, touch your cheek to brush off a mosquito and a minute later your eye starts watering' hot. So much for the water theory.

Ref the previous post, always remember

this quote:

“How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual… as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of.”

~Texas State Rep. Suzanna Gratia-Hupp

Change of heart for Giuliani? Somehow,

I don't think so. As Sebastian says, "Sounds like horse crap to me."

Apparently it's become the standard thing: the peasantspeople are too stupid to remember or research what you've actually said and done before(campaigning with Clinton for bans, etc.), so you can talk about your 'change of heart', etc., and expect them to believe it. Marfi, indeed.

Also, the International Association of Chiefs of Police has apparently made being an offshoot of the Joyce Foundation official. Key bit:
"We are grateful to several key staff at the Joyce Foundation; President Ellen Alberding for her leadership, passionate concern for quality of life in our communities, and particularly for her interest in partnering with the IACP to address gun violence, Program Officer Roseanna Ander for her dedication to reducing gun violence in the Great Lake States and the nation, and her relentless enthusiasm as she worked with IACP staff to make the summit a reality and Communications Director Mary O’Connell, who has aided in highlighting and supporting the vision of our summit participants through her editing, writing and consistent work to produce this report. "

So a supposed organization of law enforcement bigshots basically acknowledges they're owned by this statist gun-grabbing organization. Just wonderful.

And just in case you've forgotten, or you're new to this mess, here's a rundown of what the gun-grabbing politicians had in mind for Brady II. Including this piece of garbage:
"Brady II" redefines "firearm" to include magazines and "any part of the action" (such as pins, springs, or screws). Thus, if a person has two Colt pistols, three Remington rifles, and four magazines (of any size) for each gun, then he own an "arsenal." Or if he owned two guns, six magazines, and a box of disassembled gun parts that contained five springs, five pins, and five screws, then he would own 23 "firearms" and would have to obtain an "arsenal" license.

Got that? That box of assorted screws you bought now means you have more than 200 guns, according to these people. And let us not forget, Giuliani supported this crap.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Speaking of Hillary's mandatory insurance,

go here.

My daughter gave me a virus

Ebola, in fact.

She meant well. It was to thank me for taking care of her new dog while she & her mom went to Fen-Con(sci-fi convention). She also returned with a bumper sticker that says
"Dead men tell no tales.
Unless you're into forensics"

The things that come into your life.

If you've been hearing about the 'Jena Six' and are wondering

just what the hell did happen/is going on, two places you might check that seem to have some information I hadn't heard elsewhere. Patterico and Mostly Cajun.

Things like there was no fight: the white student was knocked cold from behind and then kicked and stomped.

Things like the 'noose in the tree' incident happened three months before, AND was part of pre-football game thing to mess with the other team. Who were the Cowboys.

Just in case I haven't mentioned it, the distaste and disgust I have for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton is almost beyond description, and their playing with this mess just makes them deeper.