Friday, December 09, 2005

If you've ever dealt with real estate types...

Found here

A someone once said, "What a woman!"

In yet another blow to those who think CSI is real-life,

One of the interesting organizations out there is Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, JPFO for short. Being on their mailing list brings you some interesting things, like this link to an article at New Scientist titled Why we cannot rely on gunshot forensics.

The scene has been played out on lots of shows: someone suspected of a crime is tied to it by a finding of gunshot residue on their skin or clothing, and the day is saved. However:
"Now, a New Scientist investigation has found that someone who has never fired a gun could be contaminated by someone who has, and that different criminal investigators use contradictory standards. What's more, particles that are supposedly unique to GSR can be produced in other ways."

Other ways, they say? Yeah, like laboratory contamination. Like walking into a room where a shot has been fired. Like sitting in a police car. Like working on machinery or fixing your brakes:
" is possible to pick up a so-called "unique" particle from an entirely different source. Industrial tools and fireworks are both capable of producing particles with a similar composition to GSR. And several studies have suggested that car mechanics are particularly at risk of being falsely accused, because some brake linings contain heavy metals and can form GSR-like particles at the temperatures reached during braking."

Read the whole thing, as they say. And pay attention to the last paragraph:
"Singer maintains that the technique is useful if used carefully. "I think it's important as part of the investigative phase," he says, though not necessarily to be presented in court. But he adds: "There are people who are going to be a bit more, shall we say, enthusiastic. That's where you're going to run into trouble."

You think maybe? Right now the Oklahoma City PD is going through a mess that started about a year ago when it was discovered that the one in charge of their crime lab had a reputation of , shall we say, 'getting the evidence an officer needed'. Which would be fine, except for the cases where it turned out the evidence wasn't really there. Several cases that ended in convictions have been thrown out, more are being reviewed and lives were ruined.

I cannot remember where I read it, but a year or two ago a study showed that an FBI lab specialty, 'proving' a bullet came from a particular box of ammo by the exact breakdown of the lead(bullets from the same lot would have the same composition, right?), was crap. It turned out that as an ingot of lead cools, and is later remelted, elements can shift around in the metal, causing a bullet to not resemble one from the same batch, or to resemble one from a whole different lot.

Which all means more to watch out for and wonder about when some crime lab expert tells us whodunnit.

Once, more, "Registration leads to confiscation",

and anybody who tells you otherwise is lying.

Several places have noted this happening in Canada, and please note that it's a politician who just received a no-confidence vote rushing to do it. The Volokh Conspiracy has had numerous quotes from 'gun control' and 'gun safety' advocates, and he's got more here. Big quote to me is this:
"In a 1976, interview in the New Yorker, the late Nelson Shields, who was then the head of the group which is now known as the Brady Campaign, explained registration's purpose:
The first problem is to slow down the number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. The final problem is to make possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal.
Still believe the bastards when they say it's a 'public safety' or 'crime control' measure to register firearms?

If the facts as listed are true,

this man needs to own a large chunk of the city, after having the conviction reversed.

Read this, and consider the levels of BS involved, not just the possible racial angle. Among others, there's this: "Jones, who wasn't armed,", and wonder what the hell all this is. He's in on a raid on a suspected drug house, wearing full SWAT-type gear, and he's not armed? If not, why the hell not? Makes this sound squirrelly as hell.

I've been around law enforcement most of my life, and I agree with Publicola(who posted on this also, but I can't get his site up to get a direct link); LE officers break into the wrong house on a no-knock warrant, and an officer gets shot by the homeowner, that's tough. Sounds nasty, doesn't it? I don't care. You have the absolute right to defend yourself, your family and your home against intruders, and if the intruder who just broke your door down in the middle of the night turns out to be a cop, that's too bad for him. Regrettable, but no grounds for prosecution.

There have been a number of cases like this over the last couple of decades; usually it's the homeowner or a family member who gets killed, and the police walk away because 'they were following depart guidelines', even though they broke into the wrong house! But if they break into the wrong house and one of them gets hurt or killed, they want the one who dared to act in self-defense hung. I call BS.

One more wedge driven between a lot of people and the police.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Springfield process

Ok, now that I can post pictures I can go over this the way I wanted to. The earlier post had the shot of the rifle in the box. However, it doesn't do justice to the cosmoline coating. Take a look at this:

And if that's not good enough, how 'bout this?

I repeat, yuck.

After taking the barrel/action out of the stock, it went into my grease soaker. It's a length of 4" diameter PVC pipe with a permanent cap on one end and, in this case, a gallon of laquer thinner poured in. I've used kerosene in the past with good results, but I didn't have any, so thinner it was. I had to take the trigger/sear assembly off for it to fit into the pipe, then set it in action first, sloshed it up & down a few times, then left it overnight with a cap on the open end. Doesn't have to be overnight, but it was late and it was cold outside, so it sat. Does a wonderful job of dissolving most if not all of the grease.

Next day I took it out and set it to dry while I was taking all the metal off the stock. The handguard only had a little on the outside, the inside was clean(it also didn't match the stock, arsenal replacement I'd say). 'The metal' means the nose, the trigger guard, the buttplate, rear sling swivel and the barrel band spring. My preferred method(kitty litter, heat and time) was not doable right now, too cold outside, so I decided to try something I read in Shotgun News. Got a wallpaper tray, poured in some odorless mineral spirits and set the stock in, using a brush to spread it all over the wood. Let it sit a while, brushed and rinsed some more. It worked pretty well, seems to have taken all the grease and old oil out of the wood, and dried out pretty quickly, especially considering temps in the high 30's that day.

After I'd set it to dry, I took the barrel/action and other metal parts and put them in the tray. A little brush work and a few minutes got rid of the last of the cosmo on/in the action(again, it was filled!), and then cleaned it all off the metal parts. Left them to dry off, then wiped them all down with Corrosion-X. Except for the parts in contact with the wood, like the magazine box/trigger guard, the buttplate, the inside of the barrel bands and the stock nose; for those I used Eezox. It's a pretty good lube and protectant, and it's dry; goes on wet and the carrier evaporates. It's also the best stuff I've found for folding knife hinges for the same reason.

The stock was pretty beat up, lots of dents and gouges. The proof mark was just visible under the grip, and a 'RIA' cartouche(Rock Island Armory) barely there on the left side of the butt, so I gave it a light sanding with fine paper to take off the worst of the roughness and left it at that. I rubbed in one good coat of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, a stuff I've had very good results with on both gunstocks and knife grips, and gave it a light buff with steel wool, and here it is:

If you've ever wondered, the one big difference between the 1903 and the 1903A3 is the rear sight; the 03 has an open sight mounted on the barrel, and the A3 has an aperture sight mounted on the receiver:

Overall, I'm impressed with the workmanship on the metal, the barrel appears perfect, the action tight and slick, and I expected the stock to be somewhat beat up. I'll be very happy being the caretaker for a time for this piece of our history.


Not the stuff you listen to, the stuff you make.

I love my guitars. I like playing them, I like to sing with them. My 12-string (my first) helped me get through some bad times, and she's sitting in a stand next to my 6-string. I've got a damn bookshelf of music- books I bought, pages I copied from library books, stuff printed from websites- and I still haven't managed to try a lot of it. What I'm thinking of now, however, is something else about music.

I can sing fairly well. In some styles. But some of my favorite songs I just don't have the range for. Dan Fogelberg, for example, Leader of the Band and In Love With You; two of my favorites, but I just can't sing them very well, and it frustrates the hell out of me. Same for a lot of other pieces. I used to play a lot at open-mike nights at a couple of bars in town, and I had to leave some songs I could play well out of performing because I just couldn't sing them well. Very frustrating.

I can do a lot of others; I can sing Gordon Lightfoot's stuff pretty well, and he's got a lot of songs I like. There's a lot of traditional and folk stuff from Ireland and Scotland and England I can do pretty well with. It just causes a great deal of heartburn at times that I cannot hit the notes for some stuff.

'Course, I can't play as much as I used to(thank you, arthritis), which sucks. Oh well, those instruments are still here, still standing in wait for the time that I can work with them. I do need to get some new strings, which means I need to make an order to Webstrings; their phosphor bronze strings sound as good as anything else I've tried, and the prices are good.

If I can start making the time, I'm going to start playing more, see if pushing it a bit will at least be tolerated by the troublesome joints. I really miss the times I got lost in practicing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

One of the reasons I really didn't want to buy a new computer right now...

Aside from the Christmas season, and having given to some charitable stuff, and so forth.

Most of you are probably familiar with the Civilian Marksmanship Program, CMP for short. Qualified buyers can buy rifles, ammo and other shooting supplies from them, and they run a lot of competitions around the country. One of the rifles you can get from them is the 1903 and 1903A3 Springfield rifles, the last bolt-action battle rifles issued by the U.S. military. What I really wanted was the -A3 version, so I figured in a few months I could probably swing it. Then came September.

Then came a notice that CMP was down to the last 1000 of the Remington-made A3 rifles, which they expected to last about 6 months. I held off for about a month, dutifully considering bills, etc. Then I thought about what usually happens; there's something I really want, but I hold off until things look a bit better, and when I go back it's gone. The other way this works is you find something at a gun show, decide to look around a while first, and when you do go back, somebody else bought it. In this case, I thought that with word if these being the last 1000 got around, they weren't going to last as long as they thought. So I did it; I placed my order.

Not quite two weeks ago, FedEx delivered this to my door:

Alright, technically they didn't deliver it to my door. Remember some posts a while back about FedEx and timing? Yeah, they cleverly managed to come by 10-15 minutes after I left the house. Every damn time. So actually had to haul my fat ass at least four miles away to pick it up at their office(thenerve of those people!). However, when I opened the box, it were worth it, bubba. There, wrapped in a green bag and layers of cosmoline was this example of the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, 1903A3.

And when I say 'layers of cosmoline' I ain't woofin'; when the thing was last worked over at the arsenal they'd heavily greased the bore, then the inside and outside of the action and barrel and the trigger and magazine, then reassembled it. Yes, I used rubber gloves to get it out of the bag.
(Side note: years ago the first milsurp rifle I ever bought was a #4 Mk1 Enfield; the bore was full of grease, so was the entire action-including the inside of the bolt- and they'd greased the outside before putting it back in the wood, and then greased the outside of the whole thing! God, it was a mess to clean up, and I didn't know then the things I know now to make it easier.)
I've got some pictures that show just how greased this one was, but it was a bleepin' fight to get this one shot posted, so if I can I'll add the other pics in later.

It took about two days to get the metal and wood cleaned, and I found, among other things:
The bore is spotless, shiny with sharp rifling.
The muzzle appears to show very little wear, especially for a rifle made in 1943.
The trigger is a two-stage military, the second stage light with just a hint of creep, which about ten minutes with a stone took care of. I've handled modern rifles, new ones, with worse triggers.
And this is one of the smoothest bolt actions I've ever handled, with no sign of slop or great wear.

I've only been able to shoot it at a local indoor range so far, and it did not disappoint. I'm really looking forward to weather nice enough to hit the outdoor range so I can try it at 100 yards. And I really wish I had access to a longer distance.

Final note for now: two days after I got it, I was looking at The High Road and in Rifle Country was a post: CMP 1903A3's all gone. My first thought was "Damn, they went fast!" and my second was "Lord, I'm glad I ordered it when I did!".

And I'm still damn glad. Even though it's caused me to say "Budget? WHAT budget?". And then the computer crapped out, and oh crap...

Note: CMP still has the earlier 1903 Springfield-made rifles, at least for now. If I had the money(how many damn times do we say that?) I'd order one of them; a friend got one a while back, and it looks to be in as fine mechanical shape as mine.

We're all going to die! Again!!

Video at 10!

Yesterday every weather weenie in the region was telling us to expect anywhere from 1-3 to 4-6 inches of snow starting early this morning(freezing rain likely further south), high winds and nasty cold.

Well, it's cold; 13 this morning, about 20 now. Windy, but nothing striking. And not one damn flake of snow yet. It was sunny and clear when I got up, and they were -then- saying "It's coming later today!" It's cloudy now, but still not a flake to be seen. Now they're saying that it's 'still coming' but maybe an inch.

Dammit, my folks were going to come up this morning to meet some people for lunch, and cancelled because of the forecast. And they could have made the trip and been back home without seeing any snow or a drop of rain.

And every time the idiots came on the news it was 'Dangerous situation! Snow and strong winds! Get ready!' with the weather weenies alternating between 'some of you are going to die' and that idiot smiley-chuckling patter.

I meet one of these clowns, I'm going to kick them in the ass.

And right now I've got two different posts I want to do, both of which require pictures, and neither Hello or the Blogger picture-posting will work. Crap.

Anyone else having problems with Hello?

Had some pictures to post, and the damn thing won't do it. No error message, just says 'this may take a few seconds' and sits there. For freakin' ever.

IF I can get this figured out, I've got some stuff to post. In the meantime, was listening to the Tony Snow show last night and they had two people on; Michael Reagan who'd said some nasty things about Howard Dean due to his latest public vomiting, and I can't remember who who was defending Dean. Defense basically boiled down to "I wish he hadn't said that, but you nasty conservative types are really causing the problem because you keep yelling about it". Idiot. Oh, and he kept bringing up anything he could think of wherein any 'conservative'(by his label) said something mean, bad, etc., and therefore that excused Dean. I repeat, idiot.

Leiberman speaks in support of the troops and the war effort, and the Democrat party basically disowns him; Dean and Kerry crap on the troops and the effort and these bastards ignore or excuse it.

It's enough to ruin your good mood

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Well, I WAS going to post on a particular thing,

but the picture posting system I've been using seems to have had a stroke. So I'll do it later.

I've been using the keyboard that came with the new pc, and it sucks. Soon as the old one is well cleaned out, it goes back on.

John Kerry is a suckass fool. Not on the subject, just wanted to note it.

It's turning damn cold outside, and the wind has picked up. Were supposed to get about 4 inches of snow tomorrow, but they've now dropped it to 1-3 inches. Too bad, really; we could use the moisture, it's been dry as hell the last month.

Oh, and Dean is, if not actually there, damn close to treasonous conduct.

That's it for now

One just can't help himself, and the other is an idiot

Although there's a certain amount of uncertainty as to which is which, or if they kind of crossover.

John Kerry just can't help himself. He can't get through this without insulting our troops just like he did before. Key quote: "And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women,..."

He wanted more troops in, he wants all the troops out, they're a bunch of terrorists, he voted for it before etc., etc., etc. And this idiot is a U.S Senator, and could have been president... the mind boggles.

And then we have the words of the wondrous Howard Dean, head of the Democrat Party:"idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," and that the dems will 'come together' on a plan to yank all Guard and Reserve troops immediately, all regulars within two years. Ah, this must be the 'get out now!' plan that Kerry and Feinstein and Co. have said they've never heard of.

I was trying to come up with some ways to make fun of these people, but there's nothing funny about the damage they do. Speaking of which, Michelle Malkin has this on the 'Christmas card' sent to a troop at Walter Reed. Oh yeah, they 'support the troops' a whole lot, don't they? If this was a kid who actually wrote this, what worthless idiot helped them do it? And mailed it? 'Support the troops but not the war' my ass.

Update 12/7 2050 hrs: Earlier today was listening to Rush and he had some interesting audio from one of Sen. Kerry's spokesmen, who was having a freaken holstein over the things Rush said yesterday about Kerry's statement. He was 'misquoted' and 'slandered' and 'misunderstood' and, as near as I recall, 'insulted by that draft-dodging donut-eating Limbaugh'. Oh, and they made due notice that J. Effin' Kerry is a 'war hero', too; can't leave that out, now can they? Considering what Rush said was somewhat mild compared to what a lot of others said, it was interesting how freaked out they were; it also tells you how committed they are to kissing up to the nutcase left in that they defended the statement so strongly. Maybe we need to mail the Senator a picture of a guillotine? Or would that be too 'French' a reference?

Monday, December 05, 2005

New computer!

I now have my new pc. I've got the anti-virus updated and Firefox downloaded; now I get to rebuild my bookmarks, etc. Yuck.

More blogging to be done later. After I get some more of this done.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Alas! No joy tonight

The pc won't be ready 'till tomorrow, so one last night on the laptop. One of the problems with which is, it being borrowed, I can't look at some of the sites I usually do. No, not those, dammit. There are a lot of news sites that have various popups and crap that the stuff I had on my old pc blocked. Well, the owner of this laptop doesn't have that stuff, so I've been restricting my viewing to keep from getting bugs on it.

Quick wrapup:
Steve has been hitting the range, and has laid down money for a new, EEEEVVVILLLLLE nasty-looking sniper rifle. And has been asking for advise. Just start at the top and scroll down to see all the glory of questions such as "How the hell do I aim this thing? Or clean it? Or sight it in?". Jeez, you'd think a physicist and lawyer could figure this crap out.

And Right Wing News has an interview with Tammy Bruce that you really should read. I've read her two previous books, now I need to get at this one.

Now, I have focaccia to take out of the oven. Later, folks.