Saturday, January 14, 2006

What I'd like to find...

Xavier was writing about what he'd like to find next. Here's what I'd like to run across:

This beast is the Webley Mk VI revolver, in .455. Friend of mine got hold of a target model a few years ago and I had the chance to shoot it. And immediately lusted after it.

It ain't small; it was adopted by the British army- and lots of people who went out around the world- as a self-defense weapon that would put an attacker down. Big heavy bullet at moderate velocity. Easy to shoot. If you've never been around one, it's a top-break; there's a thumb lever(you can see it in front of the hammer) that you push down to unlock it. Rotate the grip section down and the ejector kicks the empties out, then you drop six more in, close it and continue.

A lot of these were modified during WWII to fire .45acp cartridges. They milled a few thousandths off the back of the cylinder and used half-moon or moon clips to hold the cartridges. Here's a moon clip from a Taurus Tracker:

Bad thing about this: can't pick out a couple of empties and reload those chambers. Good thing: fast reloading. The other thing about this is that a .45acp bullet is a touch undersize for this bore, so it's not as accurate.

So, what I'd like is an Mk VI, with an uncut cylinder if possible, for $350-400. Which is the real problem. These pistols are out there, but with uncut cylinders tend to go for $450 and up, often going over $600; far more than I'm willing to spend. I'd settle for one with a cut cylinder; I think an unsized .45 bullet would work nicely, and handloading is no problem. I found one in my price range a while back, but close examination showed a slight ring in the barrel, about an inch ahead of the cylinder; bad juju, guys, I decided not to chance it. May not have affected shooting with appropriate handloads, but I'd worry 'bout it. So I'll keep looking.

By the way, if you've read some of my earlier stuff you'll have seen the piece on testing a later model, and Enfield .380:

Very similar design, but smaller and chambered for the .380/200, basically our .38S&W(NOT .38 Special) with a 200-grain round-nose lead bullet. This cartridge was reported to do a very good job of stopping fights; but after they decided a lead bullet violated the Geneva Convention the changed to a 170-grain jacketed bullet and results were not as good. I mentioned I found a Lyman mold that throws a 195-grain round-nose bullet, almost identical to the original for these. Dug around and- at The High Road, I believe- some suggested loads.

DISCLAIMER: This load works very well in this revolver, it might not in yours! Start lower and work up if you try this!

What I wound up using was 2.4 grains of Unique powder and a Winchester Small Pistol primer. According to what I read that gives about 650 feet per second, like the original. Good accuracy, and the bullet hits where the sights are at ten yards.

I love these old firearms.

Speaking of tyranny,

Chris had a link to this. Among the good parts:
"Give us a leftwing dictator, and soon enough every rightwing wacko would be up in the hills with his rifle collection and enough ammo to sink the Titanic. (Not that the Titanic needed any help sinking, but you get the idea.) If things got worse, it wouldn't take long before the wackos were joined by their center-right comrades. The only difference between them would be the price of their guns.

Given a rightwing dictator, the results would be much the same, only more urbanized. Instead of ragtag bands of wanna-be soldiers hitting government convoys on isolated stretches of interstate highways, it would be our cities that would become ungovernable. And don't even try to tell yourself that liberals are too limp-wristed to put up a fight. Set your Way Back Machine to 1968 and think again."

I would argue that left or rightwing tyrant would get all the people in the middle pissed. And I think it would be a BIG middle. Question would become who'd actually be willing to take up arms, and who'd keep talking until it was over for them? Socialist/communists have shown a great willingness to slaughter and imprison "for the good of all/for the revolution!"; far right types the same "for the good of all/for the leader!" So would the people in the middle be ready/willing to stomp on both extremes?

Seems like both extremes want control over everything. Difference seems to be the left wants everything including your thought processes controlled, their opposites often don't care what you think as long as you don't actually oppose them, and don't actually hate the idea of private property. Simplified, yes, but seems to cover much of it.

More armor?

With all the arguing about body armor for the troops, I remembered something. This is from David Drake's book Fortress:
"The thing that nobody who directed war movies understood- and why should they? It would come as news to rear echelons in all the various armies as well- was that the guys at the sharp end carried it all on their backs.
The irreducible minimum for life in a combat zone was water, arms and munitions, and food. In most environments, heavy clothing or shelter had to be factored in as well; exposure in a hilltop trench would kill you just as dead as a bullet.
Helicopters were fine, but they weren't going to land while you lay baking on a bare hillside traversed by enemy guns; so you carried water in gallons, not quarts, and it was life itself. If you ran out of ammo, they'd cut you apart with split bamboo if that was what they had... so you carried extra bandoliers and extra grenades, and a pistol of your own because the rifle you were issued was going to jam at the worst possible time, no matter who designed it or how hard you tried to keep it clean.
Besides that, you carried a belt of ammo for one o f the overburdened machinegunners or a trio of shells for the poor bastard with the mortar tube on his back. You were all in it together; and besides, when the shit hit the fan you were going to need heavy-weapons support.
And the chances were that, if you were really trying to get the jump on the elusive other side, you had a case of rations to hump with you as well. Ever time a resupply bird whop-whopped to you across hostile terrain, it fingered you for the enemy and guaranteed that engagement would be on the enemy's terms.
So you didn't move very fast, but you moved, and you did your job of kicking butt while folks in strack uniforms crayoned little boxes and arrows on acetate-covered maps, learnedly discussing your location. That was the way the world worked; and that was why Tom Kelly felt subconsciously better for the equipment slung on his body as he shuffled into combat."

I'm all for better armor, but if you just keep adding plates and panels, you wind up with something that may technically give better protection, but is so damn heavy and/or constricting that troops wind up taking pieces off. Yeah, we need better armor, not just add-ons to the current stuff. There's been stuff posted about some real interesting ideas(I think Anarchangel had some but I'm too lazy right now to dig it up), and I don't doubt there's stuff being worked on we don't know about; but it will still boil down to a balance between protection and comfort and mobility. And if it doesn't balance out that trifecta, it won't work for people on the sharp end.

Ok, this is getting confusing

First time I looked I was a Flappy Bird; then I was a Floppy Fish(never did hear from Sondra...). Now I'm a Slithering Reptile.

I don't know if I'm evolving or devolving.

Remember the 'upset kid suicide by bomb' outside the stadium?

Went over to Random Nuclear Strikes to see of Prof. Booty had been by(yeah, yeah, I'm a guy; deal with it) and found note of this at Mark Tapscott's place, noting a possible connection to the terrorist arrests in Italy. You know, the ones where the clowns were planning to bomb, among other things, stadiums? The arrests that several people have noted the major media has taken damn little to no notice of?

We've been assured by various officious- that is, official people that he was just a lonely kid who decided to end it all. Problem is, all the bits and pieces don't add up to that. Add this into the mix, and it becomes even more worrying.

And no, I don't trust the officials who said not to worry; they've lied too many times before.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ok, I started out not liking Swimmer Kennedy,

but the pieces of the Alito hearings I listened to were kind of painful. Whatever he may have once been(and I've never been fond of him), he's become a great big damn joke. I'd say the only joke bigger is the people in MA who keep reelecting him, but that they do is pretty damn scary. I'd have to agree with Rush on this, some of the idiot things he came up with were from notes handed to him by a staffer who got them from some raving left-wing type without bothering to check them out. Either that, or his brain is flat gone. One's stupid, the other's pitiful. And he's pretty well both nowadays.

Biden? I don't hate him(hell, I don't think I've ever actually hated anybody), but I despise him. This just reinforced that.

Feinstein I also despise; at least she didn't make a point of showing her ass to buy votes from her moonbats back home. Though asking a judge to say how he'd rule on a future case... she's GOT to know that no capable judge would do it. And unless her staff is completely stupid, she knows he's capable.


Additional: found this over at Rob's place:
"Times change. Two new verbs may emerge from the Alito hearings. Consider “To teddy.” A working definition might be “to decay like Dorian Gray, except do so during live, televised Senate hearings.”

Biden may yet become a verb. “To biden”: to shoot onself in one’s own foot using one’s own mouth."--- austin bay

Carnival #43, the Zombie Edition!

Lots of tips on dealing with zombies, the the poor souls and idiots whose brains have already been eaten. Go here, quickly!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I dislike pain

Especially back. Yeah, while screwing around with the chipper & yardwork yesterday I pulled something, badly enough that I stayed home today. Better this evening.

I took the time to work on repairing my favorite pocket knife. It's a CRKT lockblade marked 'Mirage' on the blade; half-serrated blade and pocket clip. Discontinued, of course. Problem was the two screws at the pommel end that hold the scales on; they fell out a little over a year ago, and I found replacements, but these somehow stripped their threads on the one scale. No, I don't know how, I put them in with threadlocker and aside from checking them every once in a while have not put a lot of torque on them.

What I wound up doing was a: find some screws that would work, b: drill out the hole on one scale and the liner plates to fit the screw, c: drill out the threaded scale a little smaller than the new screw and use one of them suitably modified, to cut new threads, d: profile the head of the new screw to fit in nicely, e: cut that screw to length and finish the end, f: install it with threadlocker.

I only did one of the two; the drill bit that fit the purpose died while trying to drill the liner for the second. So there's one new screw, and I'll do the other later when I can get a new bit.

Just another day in my whirlwind life.

Well, I share some attitudes with Chris.

Surprise, surprise. You can take the test here
Curvy and Naughty
Raw score: 70% Big Breasts, 72% Big Ass, and 56% Cute!

Thanks for taking the T and A and C test! Based on your selections, the results are clear: you show an attraction to larger breasts, larger asses, and sexier composures than others who've taken the test.

Note that you like women overall curvier than average.

My third variable, "cuteness" is a mostly objective measure of how innocent a given model looked. It's determined by a combination of a lot of factors: lack of dark eye makeup, facial expression, posture, etc. If you scored high on that variable, you are either really nice OR you're into deflowering teens. If you scored low, you are attracted to raunchier, sexier, women. In your case, your lower than average score suggests you appreciate a sexier, naughtier look. Kudos!

Recommended Celebrities: Supermodel Laetitia Casta and Actress Angelina Jolie.

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 81% on tit-size
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 90% on ass-size
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 57% on cuteness
Link: The Tits, Ass, and Cuteness Test written by chicken_pot_pie on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

If his mouth is the only thing in the way, we're really in trouble

Joe Biden, that is. Senator Joe Biden(musn't forget the title, he'll get the vapors). Was over at Instapundit and found this article with the title Loose Lips Sink..., subtitle Biden's Leadership Is Lost in All His Talk. Ok so far, it's about Biden huffing and blowing at the Alito("the humorless Supreme Court nominee") hearings. Read it through, and my first thought is that if Cohen thinks his mouth and not his record is the 'only' thing in the way of his becoming president...

"Biden occupies the sensible center of the Democratic Party", hmm? Evidence is his support of the AWB and his "centrist--and defensible-- position" on the war. Ok, the AWB was, by the admission of the people at the Violence Policy Center and other groups who pushed it, worthless as far as cutting crime; it mainly served to help demonize 'assault weapons' and get people use to the idea of a ban on types of firearms 'for the common good'. And Biden, as I recall, hasn't met a gun ban, restriction, tax or licensing scheme that he didn't vote for. And his 'centrist' position on the war has consisted of loudly criticizing and bitching and moaning, and not having the guts to actually vote to cut and run. Maybe these things are the 'sensible center' of the Democrat party now, but it doesn't fly real well with an awful lot of people.

And I've got to take note of this: "But even before that vote, Biden was urging President Bush to seek international support for the Iraq effort, not to move precipitously, and to have a postwar plan. Bush, listening to you-know-who, did what the voices told him." This is so much bullshit it's amazing. I guess wasting all that time at the U.N. asking them to actually, you know, enforce the U.N. measures doesn't count. And the 'postwar plan' crap; "He didn't know beforehand exactly what he'd do when, so he shouldn't have done anything". And we have the obligatory "Bush talks to God" knock("The President listens to voices, obviously he's insane"). Cohen is a jackass.

He does take note that part of Biden's problem is how long he's been in the Senate, and that he's come to think "...
that he and his colleagues are the center of the world." You think maybe? Cohen thinks the seniority his time there confers is one of his good points. I'd argue that it's one of his problems. We've got far too many people in the Senate and House both who think that having 'Senator' or 'Representative' as their job title means they're far above the common scum they rule. And far too many of them DO think they 'rule', or should.

Ending with this: "Biden ran for president once before -- and then, too, his mouth went off on its own. (In 1988, his stump speech was perilously similar to the one used by Neil Kinnock, Britain's Labor Party leader.) This time seems no different, except the loss is greater. Foreign policy, Biden's specialty, is the number one issue. He has much to say -- and then too much to add. He is an anatomical disaster. His Achilles' heel is his mouth." If I remember right, "perilously similar" meant he actually took whole sections for his own. And if foreign policy would suffer from Biden not being in the Oval Office, bring on the suffering.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cheap screws and good threadlocker

Never a good combination

Having nice weather today, I decided to flip the blades on the chipper, which were getting dull. No big deal, pull two machine screws on each blade and turn it around, then put the screws back. Uh huh. Let me mention that I put penetrating oil on them a few days back, just to ease things.

One screw came out ok. One came after some bad words and fiddling. And both on the other blade stripped. Hex-head screws, yet. So get the drill and the broken-screw pullers, and drill through both screws and turn them out(I highly recommend these tools, by the way; every home should have a set. I use the things 2-3 times per year, but on those occasions nothing else would do the job). The first two didn't show any, but the stripped pair seemed to have some kind of threadlocker on them. I'm wondering if someone picked up the wrong damn tube and put the high-strength or stud-grade stuff on them. Anyway.

So now I need two metric machine screws, not something found at Wally World. So get the helmet and start the bike and go to Pep Boys. Always a good place for stuff like this, as they've had bins of bolts and screws of different types, standard and metric both. Guess what? Pep Boys doesn't have those bins anymore; they've got about six or eight feet of fasteners in little packages. No bins, no large or odd stuff anymore. Crap. Then I see a rebate on the new Sylvania halogen headlamps, which my son swears by. Except they don't have the size for my truck. Double crap. Where now?

I remembered there's an Ace Hardware on the way home, so I swing in there, and lo and behold! I find them. Bigger heads than the originals and a little longer in the shank; big deal, both fixable. So home. Chuck the shank of one in the cordless, turn on the belt sander and cut down the edge so, although it'll stick up a bit the edges will curve down nicely and leave no step for anything to catch on. Do that twice, then cut the shanks to length and use the sander to clean up the ends. And while it's out, use it to sharpen the dull side of the blades. And THEN, put a drop of medium(yes, I checked) threadlocker on each screw and turn them into place.

So a job that should have taken half an hour if I sharpened the blades took about two damn hours. And a sliced thumb. No, not from sharpening, that happened when trying to get the two #*%)$(*!! jammed screws out.

And the gas bill came in today. DAMN! Almost double what it was last year at this time! I'd expected higher, it was warned of, but it's still a bloody shock. Damn hurricanes.

Speaking of hurricanes, read earlier that someone started a petition to recall the governor of Louisiana for poor performance. The Gov. was not available for comment, being in the Netherlands. Probably looking for wooden shoes for office decorations. While they're at it, they need to do something about Schoolbus Nagin. And has anything been done yet about the Chief of Police of NO? Not about the gun seizures and connected mistreatment of people, I mean about the ghost officers, and the looting officers and the deserting officers? If not, something should be done. And while we're on the subject, the dickhead I mentioned earlier still hasn't contacted my ex and daughter to repay them for the gas; somebody needs to feed parts of him to a gator, or a snapping turtle. Bastard.

Yeah, I am in a mood today.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What got my attention on gun control laws

Some people figured this stuff out early, or had it pointed out to them. I think a lot- maybe most- of us had it creep up and whack us over the head. Which is pretty much what happened to me. I'd heard bits and pieces when I was a kid; the first I actually remember was my dad and someone else talking about a measure someone had introduced in Congress to ban 'short-barreled' handguns. Dad thought it was a dumb idea, and that led to discussion of some other idiots' idea of banning ALL handguns, including for law enforcement personnel. General outcome of that discussion was Dad saying that if it happened, he'd either borrow the cut-down Winchester idea from Steve McQueen, or quit; he would not go out on patrol unarmed. I wondered what kind of jerk would want to disarm even LE, but after that it slipped out of my mind. We were visiting my grandparents, and there was fishing to do and beehives to watch and maybe some squirrels to hunt.

It continued like that for several more years, something would bring this stuff to my attention and I'd get distracted and forget it. Then one day Dad and I went to the range. Didn't get to go often at that time, so it was an occasion. Handguns only that time, Dad's sidearm and a .22 revolver(side note: I was in my early 30's before I fired a semi-auto pistol). Great fun was had, and then it hit.

I was lining up a shot when the aforementioned Truth walked up behind me with a 2x4 and swung. There were people out there who would never let us do this again! They'd take the .22, and Dad wouldn't be able to let me shoot his .357! I'd never be allowed to own a pistol, and if I had kids someday, I wouldn't be allowed to teach them to shoot them! Hell, if those people had their way, we wouldn't be allowed to own ANY firearm!!!

It's kind of hard to overstate how strong a shock this was. I'd known it intellectually, but not in my gut where it counted. I knew it now, and it scared me. And then it made me mad.

Dammit, we were honest people! We weren't going to rob or rape or murder someone, but it might be handy to have one if some criminal came along. The thought of our own government saying "You cannot be trusted to own arms" really, really pissed me off. And I joined the NRA.
And I read the magazine every month, and I started writing letters. I was a pissed and scared teenager who didn't like the idea of my basic rights being chopped up by politicians and GFWs(damn, I wish I'd known that term then!); especially when I started finding out just how crooked and hypocritical many of them were. And how arrogant and condescending others were.

So here I am. I still write letters to my Rep. and Senator; I write letters to the editor sometimes; and I talk to people. I've helped a few people start shooting, helped others with maintenance or ammo questions. I've been an on & off member of the NRA, partly because there were years I flat couldn't afford the membership and sometimes- in later years- because I was pissed at them for compromising(or compromising excessively) on something important. When I wasn't in NRA, I was in GOA after I learned about them. Yeah, they sometimes are excessive on some things; I've decided that I'd rather support that in many cases than the 'we must compromise' attitude.

And I raised my kids as gunny people. Bill of Rights people in general, actually, which led to some funny and some scary episodes. Funny when- my daughter in particular- got into arguments with teachers about the Bill, especially the 2nd and firearms in general, and either fought them to a truce or won. Scary when they found out how little most of the other kids- including in high school- knew about their rights and responsibilities, and how little many of them cared.

So on we go. They're of age now, and as I have happily found out, willing to argue the matters with people. Oh yeah, they've discovered the "if you bring up nasty facts I'll call names and go away" method of 'argument' among many GFWs and libs. We don't agree on everything; they weren't raised to be parrots. On a number of important things, however, we're in accord. And the 2nd is one of them.

Oh, being able to point out some interesting facts to a teacher and change their mind about firearms is a fun thing, too. The hippies I just wear a suitable shirt and annoy.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It has to be said:

This woman must be stopped!

So Steve mentioned he's on a diet; good so far. And the usual bitcher- helpful commenters have their say. And then.

She struck.

First, she suggested kickboxing. Ok, it does burn calories, and might be useful someday. But does she stop there? NOOOO. Then she tells him to.. it's hard to say.. she told him to QUIT DRINKING!!!

That's it. I don't care if she IS the big-ass- er, big-shot Diva blogger, Something Must Be Done!