Saturday, October 15, 2005

Another bit about getting all the crap off an old rifle

Old military rifles, to be precise. I wrote on this subject a while back(here), and have something to add.

When you've got a rifle with the barrel/action heavily greased, especially if the grease is old and getting hard/hardened, spraying with carb cleaner or something doesn't really do it. I recently got a piece of 4" PVC pipe, put a permanent plug on one end, and poured a gallon of kerosene in it. You can take the barreled action out of the stock and lower it into this, slosh it up and down a few times, put a cap on the open end and leave it a while. When you remove the cap, slosh it a bit more and pull it out. Kerosene does a nice job of dissolving old grease and won't harm the metal or finish. Let it sit a while for the volitiles to evaporate and you can either hit it with the spray to clean the remaining oil off, or simply strip it down and clean/oil the parts. If you have to leave it a while before doing anything, the oil left on the steel by the kerosene will protect it from rust. For a while; it's not a long-term protectant.

Additional: if you don't want to have to clean off the kerosene oil, after the piece dries a bit you can spray it with carb or brake cleaner; it'll strip the oil off, and then dry fast. Be sure to use good ventilation and gloves if you do.

Better would be a steel pipe, but I didn't have anything that size and don't have a welder to put a plug on the end. And you should either tie it to something to hold it vertical, or build a rack to hold it. But it does a nice job of getting the worst of the stuff off.

It brought tears to my eyes

And I mean that literally. Reading about the election in Iraq. In a place where people literally have to worry about being killed for trying to vote, they had a 70% turnout. The primary security came from the Iraqi forces, with our guys as backup/reaction force if needed. And this number: "During the Iraq elections last January there were 347 terrorist attacks on voters and polling places. Today there were 13."

Think about that. People giving al Qaeda the finger again. Iraqi military and police doing the job, despite past attacks, despite threats, despite losses.

Fine, I'm sappy. I did have tears in my eyes while I read about this. It's a wonderful thing, one of many advances in that country. Hell, in that region. And yet the major media can still find almost nothing good to say about it. Still slants everything to make it look bad. I am so damn tired of these clowns, tired of their bigotry and their almost ceaseless attempts to shape the news to what they want it to be, instead of what it is.

And when I read of some Iraqi officer saying they want to take over the work and the Americans go home, I'm thrilled. That's how it's supposed to be, dammit!

I repeat, this was a wonderful thing that happened today.

Links: Michelle Malkin
both with lots of links to more info.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The #4 Mk1 Lee Enfield

A while back I posted on the #1 Mk3, this is the younger brother to it.

In the 1930's the British decided to upgrade the Enfield design. They wound up with a rifle that looks quite similar, and works exactly the same(proving that some people really do understand the idea that if something works, you leave it alone). There were enough changes that not many parts are interchangeable, but it kept the heart of the system: that fast, smooth bolt-action. To look at it, the big difference is the sights. The front is very similar to the #1, but the rear is completely different; instead of a notch mounted on the barrel, they moved it to the rear of the receiver and made it a large-ring aperture:

My understanding is that the front sight(available in a number of different heights) was changed to give a 300-yard zero, which with the trajectory of the Mk VII ball ammo, meant you could hold center of mass on the average human body from up close to about 400 yards and get a body hit.

If you needed finer accuracy, or to pot at an enemy target further away? The sight flips up to provide a smaller aperture ladder.

This is one of the earlier models, screw-adjustable from 200 yards to way-to-hell-out-there(less technically known as 1300 yards). Shooting at an individual target at that range was mostly hope even for a fine rifleman, but if you had a squad firing aimed volleys... I believe this was a holdover from the WWI days, when sights were graduated out to over 2000 yards for aimed volley fire; that was before a lot of people believed/understood that machine guns would take over that job. A later version was graduated just about the same, but instead of a screw adjustment it used a spring-loaded clamp on one side; squeeze it down and slide the aperture up or down. Later yet, they went to a simple L-shaped sight with two apertures, one for 300 and the other for 600 yards.

Several people have expressed the opinion that this was the best bolt-action rifle of WWII, and the #1 Mk3 and it the best bolt military rifles ever. The Springfield '03 and '03-A3 and the Mausers(damn near identical in many ways) had a more rigid, arguably stronger action, but the Enfields were quite strong enough to handle their cartridge well. And had a ten-round magazine instead of five, and in a rush could be worked and fired faster. I'm staying out of that argument, but I do say the Enfields had their advantages.

The military ammunition of WWII is a fine round. A .312" diameter bullet weighing 174 grains, travelling about 2700 feet per second. With an interesting feature: the Brits decided it needed to be more lethal, so they came up with the idea of forming the jacket, then placing an aluminum insert in the nose with the lead core filling behind that. The bullet was stable and accurate in flight, and had good penetration on hard targets. On soft targets(enemy troops), because of the center of gravity being moved back by the insert, after impact the bullet began to yaw and tumble, becoming a high-velocity roto-rooter going through the target. The Mark VII ball stayed their standard round, so far as I know, until they got rid of the .303 cartridge altogether.

Speaking of accuracy. A friend of mine got hold of a #4 Mk1(T) a few years ago; this is the WWII British sniper rifle. Rifles that showed superior accuracy were boxed up and delivered to gunmakers Holland and Holland. They touched up the trigger, bedded action and barrel into the stock, fixed scope bases and mount and generally worked their magic on them. The mount and scope were numbered to match the rifle, and all was placed in a travelling chest(when moving long distances by truck, ship or rail the rifle was packed in the chest to keep all together and protected). His rifle had the scope base pads, but the cheekpiece and mount were missing. He found a cheekpiece, and happily, there's a company making replica mounts, and he stuck a Bushnell 4x scope on it while looking for an original scope. With 1960's production Pakistani ammo, this rifle will shoot groups a fraction over 1" at 100 yards; God knows what it could do with match ammo.

Overall, it's a great rifle. It's capable of fine accuracy, it can take treatment that would break a lot of firearms and keep working, and it can lay down a lot of shots, accurately, in a short time. Fast to reload with 5-round chargers, and a spring-loaded trapdoor in the butt to hold a pull-through and oiler. It's different from touching up a Mauser-style trigger, but the trigger can be made lighter for target work. This one just arrived to a friend, and we'd tried it out to make sure it worked before he decided to keep it. Yes, they're good, but there are a lot of junkers out there so you have to make sure you didn't get one. This appears to be one of the good ones.

Note: this now includes the stuff I was too tired to add in last night. So if it looks different from earlier, that's why.

More reason why so many don't trust the major media

Looked at Michelle Malkins' site today, and found this, this and this. In short, a bunch of media weenies accused the White House of rehearsing troops so they'd act nice on camera, a reporterette reporting on flooding sat in a canoe in water that turned out to be a few inches deep- not even enough to float the boat- and Mike Wallace of See-BS fame shows his colors. Cam Edwards caught this last one, and has both the reply he got from See-BS and his response to it, start here.

A few years ago I was listening to Limbaugh and he commented on the 'liberal media having their talking points for the day'. I can't remember what the issue in question was; I just snorted and continued on. Until later. One of the Democrat candidates for President came out with the comment on Bush not having 'gravitas'. I thought that was an interesting word to bring up. And then, damn near every newsreader/commentator/whatever repeated it. Used the word over and over, and in many cases damn near the same words. That really caught my attention, and I noticed it more over time. And it pretty much convinced me that they are, if not getting talking points from the DNC, so much in sympathy with them that they almost all used the stuff. Over and over. And it really pissed me off, especially when some of the clowns doing this then complained about bloggers having noone to keep them 'accurate' and so forth.

'Accuracy'. It's a big thing in news, and would mean more if the clowns doing the most claiming of it actually cared about it. When I had the news on today, seemed like every network said basically the same thing about the Story of the Day: White House Rehearses Soldiers, Scandal In The Press Corps, etc. It's a load of crap, especially coming from people who have a long history of planting people with questions and selectively editing interviews to give the impression they want, etc. And very especially when you can go from network to network and hear damn near the same wording on the matter.

Wallace shows one of the big pains in this stuff. I used to watch CBS evening news a lot, and 60 Minutes, until the bias just became too much to put up with. Any story about firearms would be slanted, badly, and so forth. Remember Alar? 60 Minutes took a bullshit report from a enviroweenie group and blew it up: Alar will give your kids cancer if they eat apples! Orchards went out of business, lots of people scared to death, for a report that turned out to be, as I mentioned, bullshit. And did Rather & Co. ever do a show correcting the story? Not that I ever heard of. And on and on.

And we're supposed to trust these people why?

Carnival of Cordite #34!

It's up over at Gullyborg. Aside from telling you to go there and enjoy, send some thanks to the proprietor for his consistently fine hosting of this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

So far, I'm still here

Not accomplishing much, but still here.

It's October in Oklahoma, which means in one day it can go from highs of 80's and lows of 60's, to highs of 60's and lows of 40's.

The hot, dry weather broke a couple of weeks back, and the peppers in the garden flat took off. They're covered with jalapenos and bells. I planted some late squash, and it's growing wonderfully; I just hope there's time for them to produce before the frosts kill them.

Speaking of frost, from past history could come in a day or two, or sometime in early November. They have happened in the first week of October a time or two. Shorts one day, coat and gloves the next.

New doghouse built, nice thick layer of hay inside, equals two happy dogs. Though if the trainee keeps chewing up everything in sight and digging holes like an oversized gopher she may have a short life.

Had a day with my parents, and it was nice.

I need a real vacation. Not just a few days, at least a week someplace else with something to distract me from worrying about things back here.

Sondra K needs to sell space on her butt again. No particular reason, I just like looking at her butt. Do you blame me? Shut up.

Hey, I took the 50-yard iron-sight trophy! However, apparently nobody else shot iron-sight rifle at 25, apparently thinking that obviously they could take out looters at 25 with a rifle, so nobody else tried. I think there should be a special category and trophy here, both for being the only one who did it and(obviously), therefore, getting the high score. So where's my damn trophies?

And now to bed, as there's work tomorrow. Dammit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ref the Norman bombing

I was looking over some sites this morning, and found several people wondering why the national news has paid so little attention to the FREDS blowup in Norman. I mean, really, somebody blows himself up outside a game? Within a hundred yards of thousands of people? What's not to get excited about? Unless you don't want to report on it for some reason. Gee, why could that be?

On one side you have those like the O.U. campus paper, the Oklahoma Daily, who said: "For example, unsubstantiated claims that Hinrichs had been frequenting the Norman mosque have managed to seep onto television news broadcasts even though everyone we have contacted at the mosque says Hinrichs was never seen there.

So who is lying? Inherently, people should perceive the unfounded news broadcasts as the liars, but that doesn’t always happen."

Sounds nice, but it's too much like the crap during the last few years: "If you don't hear it from an OFFICIAL news agency, it's not true. Or not worth hearing about. So there." We've gotten so used to the situation of 'news' agencies either not reporting what they don't want people to hear or slanting what they do report to give the impression they want you to have, that that ideal doesn't hold water any more. It hasn't for a long time, but the last while has shot more holes in it than a patterning target shows. People get pretty tired of having to consider what bias to tune out in a report, or having to dig into other sources to fill in what wasn't reported, often for some PC reason, and it makes them more likely to listen to, or believe, rumors and secondhand reports.

It's nice- and easy- to blame the FBI for not talking more, but that doesn't keep news agencies from digging up information on their own. If they want to. And that's were more of the mistrust comes in.

We've lived through the mess since 9/11, including the mass of PC-induced reporting('Massive hate crimes against Muslims!' etc) that weren't true. We've seen 'news' agencies breathlessly reporting a CAIR news release as confirmed fact, apparently without bothering to check the facts or not reporting the true information, and so forth. And the condemnation of anyone who reports on said true information as hatemongers, racists(is Islam a race?) and so on. So when the major media doesn't report on something, one of the first thoughts that occurs is 'what are they trying to avoid talking about?'. So people listen to secondhand reports and whatever to try and filter out the facts. The major media doesn't like it, and it's their own damn fault. Think back to the Swift Vets; instead of reporting a serious story from a "let's get the facts" position, they were repeatedly trashed by the MM because of what the story was. It wasn't what many MM people wanted you to hear, so it had to be trashed; after all, you obviously can't sift out facts on your own, so you have to get what the MM has decided you should hear. And, of course, the Dan Rather 'story'(literally) on Bushs' ANG time was the crowning achievement of this mess. Take a 'story' they'd investigated for years, finding nothing, then take documents that their own examiners warned them against and make it a Big Story because the documents said what they wanted to hear, what they wanted you to believe. And when the entire thing blows up in their faces, they and their sycophants whine about how talking about the fake documents takes attention away from the 'real story'. Which didn't even exist. And every time something like this happens, people see less reason to trust what the MM reports.

So, more than before, people are more willing to listen to whatever they can get because they feel they can't trust the MM reporting. Or, as in this case, the lack thereof. Powerline and Michelle have provided information and links to both information and to wonderings about why this hasn't been reported as it should. And Classical Values has this, which has some pretty good questions.

Which we haven't heard answers to as yet. And I wouldn't hold my breath.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The dearly departed...

Alas, I must report that the mouse passed away. Unknown causes, though it's suspected it caught pneumonia from repeated falling/jumping into the water dish.

Which, since she now has an empty aquarium, what my daughter will wind up with next. She likes snakes, but I'm hoping not one of those. I don't mind snakes, but some of them can be a bit intensive to care for.

Speaking of snakes, the zoo has, along with all the venomous and non, two big ones: an anaconda that's looks about 12-13 feet long, and a reticulated python that dwarfs if. The anaconda is thicker in the body, but the python has to be somewhere betwen 15-20 feet, I think closer to 20. That's one big bunch of scales.

One nice thing about a zoo is you can take kids there and show them things to leave alone, the herpetarium being very good for this("See this one? Stay away from it. Yes, it will bite. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, it will- on second thought reach in there..") When mine were small I'd take the opportunity on every visit to make them look at the venomous snakes found around here. Not that it seemed to take. After the divorce they lived for a couple of years in an apartment with a drainage ditch nearby, where- of course- all the kids played. They'd told me several times about the 'big' snake and the little ones they saw there. I asked what kind it was, and of course the answer was "I don't know". Then one day in early spring I went over to do something and they ran in and told me the big snake was where you could see it from the street, so off we went to a small bridge over the creek. And there, stretched out on a fallen tree limb in the sun, was the biggest copperhead I've ever seen. And scattered nearby on the rocks and sand were a lot of what looked like little copperheads and some water moccasins. Normally, unless they're around the house or too close to a camp I'll leave even venomous snakes alone, but if I'd had a way to I'd have cleaned out that creekbed; the thought of all those kids playing where these lived scared hell out of me. Mind you, it wouldn't have done much good; with all the mice and rats in the area from the apartments and businesses more would have moved in in a short while. So I reminded my kids of the zoo visits, and "Remember the copperhead? Think of it and look at the big one". They weren't exactly bothered("Oh yeah, that's what it is!)

In any case, I'm sure she'll find something else to keep company with the cats and ferrets and dogs.

Furred and feathered and scaled, oh my!

Zoo day in other words. My daughter had the day off(yay Columbus) and I hadn't been there in a couple of years, so off we went. Oklahoma City has a pretty nice zoo, and they've done a lot of work on it over the last ten years or so. Among other attractions are some of Steve's neighbor's kin:

Some of the Man Camp Lizards' kin:

More distant kin:

And it seems African Porcupines love sweet potatoes:

There's a section called Aquaticus with a group of sea lions, one of whom wanted to be friends:

Alas, 'twas not to be. She's cute, but the wrong damn species.

For some of Marv & Mayhards' kin, right now they've got a flock of lorakeets you can feed. $2 for a small cup of nectar, which some of them were apparently checking this guys camera bag for.

Daughter got a cup, and when she walked in the gateway and held it out it looked like a scene from The Birds; little buggers swarmed her and fought over the stuff. They use their tongue to lick the stuff up, and they didn't leave a trace in the cup or lid. If you ever go someplace with these, I give you some advice: do NOT stand under where they perch, they pee like a shower coming down. No, I didn't get peed on, but I saw some other people get a treatment.

They've got a big cat area with jaguar, fisher cats, tigers and lions and bobcats; African plains critters with antelope, Cape buffalo and black rhino; two Indian elephants, pygmy hippo, bighorn sheep and a lot else. Last thing we saw was an otter, who developed an itch:

There's a group of them, but the others were apparently napping. This one made up for it, though. And a good time was had by all. As far as I can tell, anyway.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ooooh, numbers!

I just looked at the Site Meter, and sometime in the last couple of days I passed 20,000.

I thank you, my parents thank you(thank God they've never read this), and so forth.