Saturday, October 06, 2007
The Marines want him to join.
I'm split between:
Sticking an address label on it and sending it to him.
Sending it to his wife and asking why he's sending out applications.
Sending it back to the Corps with a note: "He's rather occupied at this time, but I will bring this to his attention the next time he's back in-country."
I'd heard of these people before, they're part of the 'peace at any price' clowns. If you're attacked, it's at least as morally wrong for you to use violence in self-defense as it is for your attacker to rape or kill you, and so forth. You're supposed to try to understand how other people think, but in this case it's a waste of time, I just cannot understand this attitude.
More revealingly, Everitt insisted that “the government must have a monopoly on force,” according to an account by my assistant Rebekah Sharpe, who attended the meeting. He identified the obstacles to fuller gun control as “hardcore gun owners” who have a “profoundly, virulently anti-government attitude.” Many of these hardcore zealots adhere to the National Rifle Association’s ostensible belief that “if our government becomes tyrannical they have a right to take over that government, our democratically elected government!”
Mr. Everitt, since you're a citizen of this country, I'd strongly suggest you actually bother to read the Declaration of Independence. If you do, you'll see that the founder of this country noted that if a government does become tyrannical and words and voting won't fix it, we DO have the right to take it back from the tyrants and their buttmonkeys. It's not the NRA's 'ostensible belief': it's the right of a free people.
Of course, you don't seem to care much for the idea of 'free people' if it involves people not doing what you tell them to. Or them being willing to fight in self-defense.
Apparently uninformed about the political thought behind America’s founding, Everitt cluelessly asked: “If we love to say that we’re the freest country, then why [do]… our elected representatives… talk about getting government out of people’s lives? If you’re so proud of democracy then acknowledge that government had some role in that.” Undoubtedly, the “Living Letters” must have been nodding their heads. The South Africa “Letter” responded: “Yes… the right wing out there wants to de-legitimize government… [If we give in to them] we are playing into the hands of the forces of chaos.”
This idiot actually believes that we can't be 'free' unless the government is directing our lives in every possible way. I repeat, I just cannot understand this mindset. And "...the forces of chaos.", yet. This may be hard for you to understand, Mr. South African letter, but freedom is messy. It's loud and obnoxious and it means people do things they choose to, not what you choose for them. You think this is chaos? Things are very orderly in the life of a slave, and it's very 'peaceful', which must have some attraction for you. I much prefer the mess, thank you very much.
I repeat, these people are the enemy. And I'm glad, because I'd hate for them to be my ally.
Friday, October 05, 2007
But when a friend in law enforcement let Debbie know that her doctor had filed a report with the police about her family’s (entirely legal) gun ownership, she got mad.
How about a nice billboard: "Doctor Jackass will snoop into your life. And report you to the police. And charge you for it."
I would also suggest a swift kick in the ass. I'd say balls, but it seems this clown probably doesn't have any. Any integrity, either.
As in steel, annealing brass is to reduce the hardness of it. If you look at most military rifle ammo with brass cases, you'll see that the case neck, usually going down into the shoulders, is discolored; that's from annealing. Commercial ammo they do this and then polish the cases so they're nice & shiny all over, but most military contracts(so I'm told) specify that the annealing colors be there to prove the cases have so been treated, so they're polished, then annealed, then cleaned- not polished- and loaded.
When you reform a case you work-harden the brass, sometimes a lot. This leaves it stiff enough that when it flexes under the pressure of firing it can crack, so after forming or, as Chris notes, after the first firing it should be annealed.
I searched through various gun boards and found a lot of opinions and methods. This is the one I used on these cases. In my case, I formed the cases, cleaned off the case lube and then annealed them.
You need a propane torch, preferably one with a narrow flame, a pan or bowl for water and something to hold the cases with. This is done in a dim room as you have to be able to see it when the brass starts showing red.
Take the cleaned cases(burning case lube makes nasty smoke) and start the torch, bowl of water standing close. I sanded a piece of steel wire to fit into the flash hole of the primer pocket to hold the case. Stick it in the hole and hold the case neck in the flame, just ahead of the blue center, with the case angled so the flame is pointing toward the case mouth, not the body. Ideally the point of the flame should be hitting at or just ahead of the angle where neck joins shoulder. Turn the case constantly as you have to heat it evenly all the way around. As soon as you see the case neck showing red, drop it in the water. With steel the quench would harden it, with brass it keeps it from hardening a bit as it cools.
I'd suggest that as soon as the first few cases are cool enough, put them under a good light and look them over closely. You want to see the color difference caused by the process running into the shoulders, down to where shoulders meet body is fine, but not way down into the case body, and it should be even all around as to how far down it goes. When you've got it right, run the rest of the cases through.
That's it. This should relieve enough of the stress set up by the forming to leave the brass with enough spring to hold the bullet securely but not so stiff that it'll crack.
I've read some people saying to hold the case at the base, and even if you don't see color to quench as soon as it gets too hot to hold. I like something to hold the hot case with.
Whatever else you may do, DO NOT anneal way down into the body, or at the base and the 'web' above it. Those areas need to be stiffer, so leave them alone. If the annealing color runs down that far, you're better off trashing it.
There are a couple of companies that make machines specifically do anneal cases. If you were going to do a lot of them on a fairly regular basis one of these would be the way to go.
...You own a $300 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't
...You have more wives than teeth.
...You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
...You've ever opened a can of falafel with a mortar round.
...You used a Stinger missile given to you by George Bush Sr. to shoot at
a helicopter sent by George Bush Jr.
...You've ever had your camel repossessed.
...You can't think of anyone you HAVEN'T declared Jihad against.
...You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry ammunition in
...You've ever been asked, "Does this burka make my ass look fat?"
...You've felt the urge to rub one out after seeing a woman's exposed
...You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than
setting off roadside bombs.
...You've ever uttered the phrase, "I love what you've done with your
...You wipe your ass with your bare left hand, but consider bacon
Thanks to Theo
Thursday, October 04, 2007
The microlon is working great, my M4 stays a lot cleaner with it than it did with the CLP. Works pretty good on the 240 as well, but its a dust magnet no matter what.
In an ideal world, karma would decree that these irritating and dangerous activists be taken behind the woodshed by a dozen minutemen reenactors for a momentous ass-kicking- with a post-beating lecture on the Founding Fathers, of course. But the world is far from perfect. Instead, these wardens of well-being are endlessly trotted out on morning and cable news programs, issuing distraught statements about the societal catastrophes that are ice cream and Girl Scout Cookies.
When the K31 rifles started getting popular, one problem was that the only ammo available was either the Swiss surplus(damn good ammo) or stuff from Norma(damn good and expensive). Usual fix for this is to handload, but you have to have reloadable brass for it. The Swiss surplus is Berdan primed, and those primers are hard to find. Norma is reloadable, but the expense discouraged most from buying their cases(see here). So the next thought is "Is there any similar case that I can form to 7.5 Swiss?" Answer, thanks to pointers from some people at The High Road, is yes.
In this case the answer was .284 Winchester. The case head is a bit different, but close enough to fit the bolt head and extractor, the body is very similar. The case neck is sized for a much smaller diameter bullet(.284 vs. .308), but that's fixable. Some cases require multiple sizing operations with different dies when you're drastically changing the dimensions. In this case all you need is a set of 7.5 Swiss dies, a .284 Win. shell holder and a case trimmer.
Put the .284 shell holder in the press and run the ram all the way up. Screw the 7.5 Swiss sizing die down until it touches the shell holder, then about 1/4 turn further: when you resize, you want to be sure the die goes all the way down. Lube the case well, and make sure some goes inside the case neck. Then put a case in the holder and run it all the way into the die and back down. It'll take some pressure, you're reshaping the body and expanding the neck quite a bit. When it comes out, trim it to length and you've now got 7.5 Swiss cases.
That's the quick & dirty of how to make these.
Now, as the Graf's site shows, there are more affordable 7.5 Swiss cases available, at least when they're not sold out. I've got 100 of the .284 cases I resized and they'll take care of me for quite a while on this cartridge.
* Never order anything weaker than whiskey.
* Never order anything stronger than a decaf double latte made with soy milk. Yes, that drink will shrink your testicles and/or ovaries to the size of peas, but you weren't using them anyway. Make it a double.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
On case lube in this post Guy mentioned dissolving Lee lube in alcohol and using a spray bottle to lube cases. Honest, I'd wondered about this once, but with water instead of alcohol and- critical thing- I never got around to trying it. He did. So while grocery shopping yesterday I got a small spray bottle and once home poured some rubbing alcohol in, then squeezed in a dollop of lube and shook hell out of it. Then set up some .30-06 cases in a row and hit them with one spritz on each side and left them alone for a while. Damn, that works! Very light coat of lube left behind, just about perfect. And if you angle the spray down a touch, it'll get some inside the case necks to ease the passage of the expander button. I will be using this in the future.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
The general rule is that when switching to a new powder or bullet, and sometimes brass, you start low and work your way up. Powders have different burning rates, bullets have more or less weight and/or bearing surface and, depending on composition, can be harder or softer, and cases can have thicker or thinner walls(among other things). All of which means that changing any of those factors can make pressure go up or down, and can affect accuracy. And things that affect pressure can cause anything from less recoil to more to a semi-auto not functioning correctly to something failing. Sometimes catastrophically.
For instance, I’ve got a Turk Mauser in 8x57mm that I modified as a hunting/target rifle. Very solid, very strong and capable of good accuracy. While I was working up loads for it, I discovered that in 170-grain factory loads Federal shot very well; Remington just as well but hit about an inch higher at 100 yards; Winchester gave much worse groups that hit higher and to the right. I saved the brass to work up some 150-grain bullet loads. I hit a charge of IMR4064 that shot very well in the Federal cases with a Hornady bullet. The Remington cases gave equal accuracy with the same load, but- same as the factory loads- hit about an inch higher than the Federal. And the Winchester cases gave lousy groups that hit high and right. There’s nothing wrong with the quality of Winchester brass that I know of: that rifle just doesn’t like it. You run into that sometimes.
With the Carbine I was using the same brass, Lake City GI, and the same powder and primer but switching bullets. The Sierra Varminter weighs the same as the GI ball- 110 grains- but has a different shape and length. Measuring lengths showed that the Sierra would have to be seated deeper than the ball so as to keep the overall length within the maximum*. Being seated deeper means less space for powder. Some loads in some cartridges will compress the powder somewhat, and with some it causes them to burn more efficiently. In others it can cause dangerous pressure spikes. Which are Bad Things, which I would like to avoid. So I did some measuring. The bearing surface of the two bullets- the area where it actually bears on the bore surface- looked to be about the same length. I had no way to measure the comparative hardness of the jackets, so that was guesswork. Which I really don’t like, but I couldn’t find any ‘official’ information on this. It looked like dropping the powder charge one grain from what I’d used with ball for full-power loads would place the bullet base and the top of the powder column in the same relative position as the full charge to ball, so I decided to give that a try. So I loaded ten rounds and tried them next time I went to the range.
No chronograph as it turned out due to the dead battery, so I fired five on a 50 yard target. Accuracy** and where they hit on the target were same as ball, and the cases showed no signs of excessive pressure. The action cycled normally, and the empties flew out at the same angle and distance as ball. So I moved to 100 yards and tried the other five. Again the bullets hit about identically to ball and the other things were stable as well. So next time I set up the press I loaded ten more and made damn sure I had a good battery in the chrono. As noted a few days ago, velocity was just a touch above the nominal velocity for ball, and that combined with the other factors tells me pressure should be just about right for full-power loads.
No, this is not quite how they do it at the factory, or by the people who work up loads for a living. They’ve got universal receivers into which they can mount different barrels for different cartridges and/or strain gauges to indicate pressures, and a setup called a copper crusher(it uses a slug of copper of exact size and shape and alloy, how much it’s deformed tells you the pressure of the shot) that fits on barrels in the universal receiver; now there are electronic setups that do the same but without the copper being crushed. I don’t have any of those, so it was check around for loads others have tried, compare different factors, decide what should be workable and try it. Be very aware that when you step outside what’s in the manuals, you’re on your own. Screw it up(wrong powder, inappropriate bullet, too much or- in some odd cases- too little powder) and you can have a slight problem. As in ‘boom’. Resulting in anything from slight damage to failure of the action, anything from “Damn, that was loud!” to “Oh my, I think I’m bleeding.” No kidding, do not screw around with loads outside the manual unless you have the experience or equipment to deal with it. And experience doesn’t always count for crap.
*OAL, overall length, is important for a couple of reasons. One is simply that if a cartridge is too long it won’t feed through the action. Not a big factor with single-shot firearms, big deal with repeaters. Second is that there should generally be a short distance between the bullet position when chambered and where the rifling begins(called ‘freebore’ if I remember right). If you don’t have that space, it can cause the bullet to be delayed in leaving the case, which can cause a really bad pressure spike: Bad Thing. Third thing, if a bullet is long enough and seated far enough out it can hit the rifling and keep the action from closing and locking completely. VERY bad thing. On a bolt or a single-shot it will generally let you know there’s a problem, either the action will not close completely or is very difficult to close, both warning signs. On a semi-auto, if this happens and you don’t notice it and pull the trigger you have an ‘out of battery’ fire. Also known as a ‘kaboom’. It generally means a destroyed action and often means some level of injury to you.
**Accuracy in this case doesn’t mean ‘in the bullseye’, it refers to how tightly the bullets group. Different components in a load can cause the point of impact to vary, sometimes by a fair amount. That’s not a problem in testing, because when you find a load that’s good(tight groups, reliable, within specs for pressure and so forth) you adjust the sights to place it exactly.
I had a head start on a lot of people in that Dad handloads, and when I was a kid I was allowed to
Jump forward a few
The Hand Press is so called because it doesn't mount on a bench, you hold it. I loaded a lot of .303 and .38's on that thing. And yes, resizing .303 cases on it is good exercise. It was actually quite handy, I could sit in the living room watching a show and resize cases, neck expand the .38's and prime. Once, when a lady I was going out with was feeling under the weather I went over to keep her company and took it and a bag of brass along. She was laying on the couch and I sat on the floor by the couch sizing and belling cases and talking. It put her to sleep, which either means it was relaxing or I'm boring. Shut up, I didn't ask for commentary. About a year after the Lee I picked up a used RCBS Junior press at a gun show, and bought a Lee hand-priming tool, both of which really sped things up. I also wound up with an 8mm Turk Mauser, so of course I needed dies, and there was IMR4064 recommended for it, and if I could start casting bullets I'd save some there... It kind of grows.
Kevin covered things very well. If you know someone with experience, they can help you get started. Whether you do or start on your lonesome, READ THE DIRECTIONS. AND pay attention to them. Pulling the trigger and hearing 'snap' instead of 'bang' is bad; pulling the trigger and hearing 'BOOM', accompanied by pieces of what used to be a working firearm flying around, is worse by far.
*Some cast bullets can be used as they come out of the mold, just put some lube on them and load. The bullets I cast for .38S&W and .455 Webley come out of standard .38 Special and .45acp molds; lubed with Lee Liquid Alox they work perfectly. But a lot of bullets need to be sized- squeezed to proper diameter- and lubed before use. A sizing/lubing press has a die that's bored to the diameter you need, and nose punch that fits the bullet you're sizing, and a reservoir that holds lube. You take the cast bullet and place it in the die, pull the lever and the punch forces the bullet into the die, forming it to exact diameter. Then you pull a small lever that puts pressure on the lube and forces it through passages into the die and from there it fills the lube grooves on the bullet. If you're putting a gas check on the base(only works on bullets designed for it) you put the check on the bullet base and then size & lube.
Generally speaking, a bullet with a gas check(short copper cup) on the base can be driven to higher velocities without propellant gas melting or cutting into the base.
Monday, October 01, 2007
The September 6 Israeli air raid in Syria has been a major setback for Russian arms sales. The Syrians had invested heavily in new Russian air defense systems, and the Israelis apparently brushed right by them.
Back in the First Gulf War, or the First Battle of Iraq, you may remember that on Day 1, the F117 bombers flew right through the Soviet-made air defense radars and all the AAA and blew the crap out of their targets. And kept doing so. The Russians, in the aftermath, were very wordy about "Well, we didn't sell them our VERY top-of-the-line equipment; if they'd had that stuff, the Americans would have been shot down left and right!" Uh huh. Right. And, as I recall, it turned out the Russians had sent a couple of generals to 'advise' Saddam's forces on using the stuff.
Now the Israelis waltz through the stuff and wipe out a tippy-top-secret installation. If the Russians say "Well, we didn't sell them the Very Best Stuff", Assad will be having some words with them, I'd think. And I doubt anybody would believe them.
Yeah, the Israeli and American, and I don't doubt some other countries intel and air forces are enjoying the hell out of this.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
If you handload, you know that the only place you can normally resize cases without lubing them is with straightwall cases such as .45acp, .38 Special/.357 Mag and such when using either carbide or titanium nitride(TiN)-coated sizing dies; those dies are hard and slick enough to get by without it. And even then a touch of lube is suggested for some cases such as .30 Carbine(I have read that people doing LARGE numbers of cases suggest a light bit of lube, carbide or no). In just about any other case and die, running a case in without lube means the case gets stuck. BAD stuck. As I put it before, "teenage girls on Orlando Bloom-level stuck". This usually requires a stuck case removal kit, and sometimes a trip for the die back to the manufacturer to get it out without damaging the die.
Having had good results from Gun Juice, I decided to try it on my dies. I took my Lee .30-06 dies apart and cleaned the sizing die and the neck expander plug with solvent and made sure there were no traces of lube left behind. Then, it being a hot, sunny day, I put them in the sun for a while to get hot and then gave them a coat, putting them back in the sun for the volatiles to evaporate**. I did this five times, then reassembled.
I'm paranoid enough that I did not intend to use the dies dry, I was looking for both a way to need as little lube as possible, and a safety factor. I didn't use a scale when pulling the press handle down, but after the treatment I did notice that it took less pressure to run the cases in. So I treated all my sizing dies except the carbide and TiN with it, and also treated the neck-expander plugs of the dies that have them. Good results with all.
This went happily along until a few months later when I was resizing a BUNCH of .30-06 cases(I'd had a good day picking up once-fired stuff at the range). I usually lube a whole bunch of cases- using Lee Resizing Lube at the time- setting each handful aside while I do the next, then when done with all of them start sizing with the first batch***. I was merrily sizing away, when I noticed that the case I'd just run through had seemed a bit more difficult. So did the next. And now that I think about it, so did the previous few. I grabbed that last few and the rest of that handful and found that I'd missed them: not a trace of lube. So I'd done eight before I noticed a problem, and even the last two(total of ten) went in & out with no problem. Something that would normally have left me with a stuck case on the first one became a "Damn, that's neat!" moment.
Like I say, I'd mostly been looking for a bit less effort in sizing and a safety factor, and I got both. Now, when I buy a new set of dies the first thing I do is degrease them and hit them with at least five coats of Gun Juice. A little goes a long way, and the stuff is worth every penny.
*They also make the stuff for engines. Tried it in my bike and liked the results. Going to do my truck when I can.
**I now have a heat gun and use it to warm things up. However, a warm day and outside does keep the aroma down. They do warn you to use in a well-ventilated area.
***I tried something with the Lee Lube. It's a thick white cream that's water soluble. So I put a dab on my palm, added a few drops of water and rubbed my palms together, then laid a half-dozen cases in one hand and rubbed them together again. I found I could get about a dozen or more rifle cases at a time this way with a very thin coat, and by the time I finished the whole bunch the first handful were dry. Or I could leave them a while and size them later, just like the undiluted lube.
Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s interior minister, revealed last week that the three arrested men had acquired detonators that originated from Syria and had received direct orders to act from operatives in Pakistan. “We know that there is a clear network, highly conspiratorial,” he said after two days of meetings in Washington with US security officials. “The demand came from Pakistan [saying], ‘You should go on for action. Do not go on preparing for months and months and months, but now is the time to take action in the first half of September’ and they did.”
I'll both borrow from Chris, and add to:
From Chris: See it.
Added: and anyone who doesn't like it is a filthy commie.