Saturday, June 25, 2005

Favorite movie lines

"...origin unknown, cause of death unknown. And of considerable concern to those of us who had contact with him over the last two days."

from Support Your Local Sheriff

"...and I didn't kill one of 'em. I must have been drunk. Or too conventional."

from The Horse Soldiers

"Hail to the king, baby."

from Army of Darkness

To the whiners about 'torture'

Take a look at this and this. While partisan idiots like Pelosi and Reid and Durbin whine that us questioning terrorists and illegal combatants is 'torture', those two articles demonstrate what the bad guys are actually doing.

And did you hear about it on the (fill in the blank) Nightly News? I didn't; I happened to look at Little Green Footballs today, and found it there. If I needed any (further) proof of the prejudices of our major media weenies, this would take care of it.

Additional: this over at Froggy Ruminations on the 'FBI memo' that Durbin was using as his excuse for slandering our troops. My opinion of the FBI has gone down a bit more, and my contempt for Durbin has increased.

The Old West

There has been so much crap written about that period in our history, it's sometimes hard to sort through it. From the stuff written at the time(violence sold newspapers then, too) to current movies and historical writings, you have to dig through it to try to get to facts.

For a time- I think it's still going on with some academics- the 'new' understanding was that guns were far less common than had been thought, etc. Kind of an early version of Bellesiles. And of course we got the 'Good Native Americans-Bad Whites' stuff. As to the latter, it wasn't nearly that simple. Were the Indians screwed over? Yes, far too often. Were they paragons of virtue deserving worship? Hell no. From problems in the East clear up through the end, it was far more complicated than it is usually depicted. There were forces working that made it very simple in one way; lots of people in other parts of the world looking for a place that would give them a chance for a decent life, a better life, and they needed places to live. Eric Flint just brought out a new book, The Rivers of War, that covers some of this real well in the War of 1812 period. In his alternate history, the Cherokee are being convinced by some to move west voluntarily, as a united people who can make a nation there, instead of being forced out of their current lands as refugees in a few years. No, it's not fair, and the Cherokee and some other tribes deserved much better treatment. But to borrow a line, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it". He does a very good job of outlining things as they really did sit.

As to violence and guns, a lot less violence than was painted(both for romantic outlook and by people who wanted to show how nasty things are when people have guns). As Louis L'amour put it, when the butcher, the baker and the blacksmith either fought in the Civil War or had dealt with bandits and Indian attacks, or both, trying to take over the town pretty much guaranteed a short life and a dramatic death. But the violence was there; pretty much guaranteed given the times and conditions. And again, so much has been written about it by people with a political and/or social point to push, it's hard to get through to the truth of it.

As to the movie scene of two men walking down the street toward each other 'till they draw, I don't think I've read of a witnessed account. Strictly speaking, that doesn't mean much; a lot of things happened that didn't leave written accounts by others. Other types of shootings, definately did happen. I don't have the piece anymore, but L'amour once wrote of going through newspaper morgues in cities and small towns across the west. He only counted cases where there were witnesses as to how they happened, and came up with more than 200 as I recall, including fast-draw incidents.

Side note: something that ticked me off with Tom Clancy was a passage in The Bear and the Dragon where a FBI agent was telling a Russian about how little crime there really was in the old west(true), and that fast draw and hip-shooting doesn't work(bullshit); with all the research he did, you'd think he'd have had that right.

It was a really interesting time in history, where you could find illiterate miners and the sons of European nobility drinking side by side in a saloon, fortunes were made and lost, legends created, and customs that affected the world born and/or solidified. It was far too interesting and important to be screwed around with by politically-motivated idiots with multiple degrees and/or a modern politically correct point of view to force on people.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #19!

It's here, being hosted by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association Weblog. Who also runs a really nice series of articles intended to make you a better shot, well worth checking out.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Whoa, 10,000+!

Sometime in the last few days I passed 10,000 visits. Little did I know(various references to way back when) that that many people would wind up looking at this mess.

Overall, comments/contacts have been quite positive. Back when I was railing about global warming bullshit I got some people upset, according to their comments, but other than that just opinions, requests and general commentary.

I thank my parents, the dogs, etc. Thank you.

All you need to know about Gitmo

from James Lileks, here.

And an interesting bit on the 'flypaper strategy' and how, among other things, it's been saving a lot of Europeans from themselves, here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

BSA parts, and maybe an opportunity for someone

A while back I got the address of a man named Jim Hallam over in the UK. I needed a couple of pieces for a Martini, and he had them. I thought it would be nice to mention him here(if I can help scare up some business for someone who's done me right, I will), so I asked if he'd mind. He sent back the following:

Hi Mark
No objection at all to a reference -- as long as people realise that I am working towards retirement and that means a hiatus in any transaction - ALSO the amount of paperwork required to send stuff abroad is getting wearisome and takes forever. I am tempted to look for someone Stateside who woul;d buy ALL of the martini stuff which I have --- at present this is 50+ barrelled actions (small frame, mostly 12s but a few 15s); 50+ Internationals - basically complete, but Club guns so some "dings"; probably 30-40 complete 12/15s; a handful of 15s and some unusual stuff such as a Centurion, several custom rifles done by one of the development team for the International (Al Freeland was YOUR end of the axis) -- the Brit was the armourer for the 1948 Olympic team.......... I also have woodwork from other stripped BSA rifles, a number of other Club Target Rifles --- Russian Vostoks & CM2s etc., Walthers, Anschutzes, and several BSA M1924 pump-actions, including a cased one for a titled person ------------- all clutterring up the gunroom and I cant display my (largish) collection of English percussion revolvers. Perhaps you might know someone who might be interested ..... I would really rather not sell them onto Navy Arms or one other person as the mark-ups are a bit much!
Best wishes
Jim Hallam

So this covers two things; if you need a part for a Martini, he's got a lot of parts and if you are, or know someone who might be, interested in a LOT of guns and parts, he's a man to contact. He can be reached at:
classicgunco at dial period pipex period com

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Late Father's Day post

About eight years ago my kids gave me the first of these shirts. That one was worn out(though it's still folded up in a drawer); this one is still holding up well

On it are the footprints of dogs, cats, ferrets, and a parakeet, and a thumbprint from each kid.

It's got some years left in it.

Need something to piss you off?

I mean really, really piss you off? Read Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, by Humberto Fontova.

I already disliked fidel; as I told my kids, he took an island with some of the richest soil in the world, year-round growing seasons, filled with people not afraid of work and surrounded by an ocean full of fish- and made everyone except his power structure hungry. That doesn't just happen, you have to work at it.

It's the accounts of idiocy, blindness and in some cases flat-out treason by both celebrities and people in our government that really makes me want to find a rope and a lamppost.

Warning: if you have any lingering notions about the Camelot of John F. Kennedy, this'll probably kill them. The accounts of dumbness and flat cowardice of JFK and his cabinet during the Cuban Missile Crisis are enraging.

If you can't buy it right now, hit the library. Read it, dammit.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I have to pass this on!

Found it over at Sulfuric Attitude: the official SWAT hand signals

No postal match this time.

Sigh. I was going to shoot the .22 portion this evening a beg/plead Og to let me send it in. Only the other day my daughter's rabbit went to the Great Hutch in the Sky, so today after work I was needed for burial duties.

Maybe if I start now, I can make the next set...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Remington 512

Over the years Remington has made a lot of different .22 rifles, from single-shots to semi-autos. In my personal opinion the 510-series rifles were some of the best. They are all bolt-actions, and range from a single-shot small game and plinking rifle to a full-blown match rifle, and some models had smoothbore variations for shot cartridges. Some of the repeaters had box magazines, the others tube like the 512, also known as the Sportsmaster:

They're full-size rifles(which made shooting my Dad's difficult when I was small), all steel and wood. I've had a chance to shoot several, and they all had good triggers; some were heavier than others, but all broke cleanly, an important thing for accuracy. Sights ranged from notch rear and bead front to match-type adjustable. And they were capable of fine accuracy.

I found this one some years back, and bought it mostly because it is the same model as Dad's. Like a lot of old rifles it had a problem, but it only cost about $15(shipping and all) for the parts, and it's worked well ever since. And I've been very damn glad I bought it.

When I say capable of fine accuracy, I mean it. A while back I decided to try some different ammo in mine, and with Federal Lightning(I've had such good results from the stuff it's become my default starting ammo for testing) it shot groups of 3/8" at 50 yards(I had a very good day), and would do it consistently. They vary, of course, depending on individual factors, but with the right ammo most of them seem capable of this level or close to it(yes, it was shot from a solid bench with sandbags; I don't think I could do that offhand with anything).

This one has the notch/bead sights, so about a year after I got it I mounted a scope(first time I'd drilled & tapped a receiver for a scope mount, and I sweated blood making sure it was square and that I didn't accidentally drill through into the chamber). The stock was a little beat up(surprise, surprise), so I scraped the old finish off, sanded lightly and gave it multiple coats of Parts availability is generally good; Remington made a lot of this series, and many of the parts interchange. Also, made as they were, it's pretty rare for something to break or wear out as long as they're treated decently.

All in all, if you run across one of these you should definately think about giving it a home; you could do a lot worse.

Additional notes: the main thing that does seem to happen to these is that the nose on the sear that acts as a bolt shop will get chipped or worn and will let the bolt slip out when you pull it back. The other thing that affects this is one of the screws on the left side of the receiver; if it's not staked tightly and gets a little loose, that can cause problems. Both are easily fixable/the sear takes a little more work/.
This was the rifle I was going to use for the .22 postal match. If (pick from the list) hadn't happened.

And the Brady Campaign is full of crap

once again. Thanks, Geek

Thoughts on tech

I was looking at my camera last night, and wondering at what this little box will do. Here's technology that ten years ago would have been government agency level or major business level only, and some of it may not have been available to them then. A few years ago this would have been a thousand dollars or more, now it's about a third of that or less. It's a Fuji S5000. 10x optical zoom, 2.2x digital zoom, macro mode, multiple picture quality settings, various light & exposure adjustments, LCD screen or viewfinder to aim, built-in flash, and a chip to hold the pictures. Different capacity chips available everywhere. The chip in mine is 128 meg; at max picture quality it holds 82 pictures, at lower quality this little piece of work holds more than 200.

Don't want to use your battery power to download to your pc? For $20 you can get a chip reader that takes care of that. For that matter, you can view the pics on the camera LCD and delete any you don't like before you download them.

Oh, let's not forget that with this chip the camera can shoot about 3.5 minutes of video- with mono sound.

Then there's the fact that you can now get a damn good DVD player for $40 or less. If you want to really test out your firearm with different loads, you can get a strain guage to tell you pressures for not too much; that used to be done only by copper-crusher or lead-crusher equipment using a test barrel and receiver. Digital scales accurate to +/- 0.1 grain for a hundred bucks or less. Digital readout torque wrenches and micrometers and calipers. Your own heat-treating oven with a computer-control more sophisticated than home- and some industrial- computers were just a few years ago. Motorcycles with computer-controlled fuel injection and cruise control.

There's a word coined to describe technology that changes so fast you just can't keep up with it, and I can't even remember the word now. Things are changing real fast, and it's not going to slow down anytime soon.

Various thoughts on the war

If you've never gone there, you should take a look at Captain's Quarters. Especially this and this. The first is on the Downing Street Memos that so much noise has been made about. Basically, it turns out the reporter who 'broke' the story made copies of the original documents which were then returned to his source, then had a secretary copy the wording on an 'old fashioned typewriter', then the photocopies were destroyed. Sound a bit familiar? NO originals, no PHOTOCOPIES of the originals, NO proof at all of the authenticity. At the least sloppy reporting, at the worst...

The second is about ACTUAL torture, with a manual and everything. Problem for Dickie Durbin and co. is it's by the sorry pieces of crap we're fighting. Durbin and company might want to review the information.

Along with that, they might try to, I don't know, actually come up with an idea on what to DO with these crapheads we're holding at Gitmo. Some of those 'poor, mistreated people' who were released have already been killed or recaptured fighting us again, so just exactly do the clowns like Durbin and Kennedy want to DO with them? Admittedly my solution may seem a bit, oh, abrupt; question the known jihadis and then shoot them. As is 'allowed' by the Geneva Convention, by the way, though the people prostrating themselves before the alter of 'international law' would scream anyway. But absent that, we can't turn them loose; and anyplace you put them the usual suspects will whine about 'torture' and 'mistreatment', so exactly what do they suggest we do with them?

I need a damn soapbox somewhere...

Update: on the Memos, there are some good arguments that they may be genuine; I don't really worry about them, because from what I've read they basically say "we're really worried about Saddam and what he's involved in". But the reporter's actions really bother me. If they're genuine why would he destroy/get rid of his only way to prove they are real? And why retype them the way he did, on a typewriter? Why not on the pc and print it? That would be new paper and no connection to the originals, so why not? Either the reporter is stupid, or he's up to something, and his actions make it look like the latter.