Friday, March 03, 2006

A good place to check out

is Samizdata. I hadn't been over there in quite a while, then today remembered to go by. You should check it out, if for no other reason than that it'll scare hell out of you by noting things happening in once-Great Britain. If you've ever though we should copy where they're going, this should cure you of it.

Carnival of Cordite #50!

The fiftieth one of these things, up at guest host AnarchAngel. Including a really good video for those who've thought "I could end that movie right now!"

Hello? Illinois, Chicago? You paying attention?

Probably not; one of these items the clowns will probably see as a bonus, and the other they'll ignore.

'These items' being the following: while over at the High Road I found a thread "More job losses for Illinois, YYYEEEAAAHHH!!" It seems that a number of gunmakers have said flatly that if Illinois passes the current 'Ban the Eeeville Guns' law, they'll leave the state. Taking their jobs and revenue with them. Guys, may I suggest Oklahoma? I think I'd like to work for Springfield Armory or ArmaLite. Full story here.

Second item was an article also on the Illinois State Rifle Assn. site, "Brady Gun Control Campaign All Wet Say Nation's Top Cops". Good reading in general.

So the National Association of Chiefs of Police says the Bradys and their buttmonkeys are full of crap, and if the IL legislature doesn't have a moment of intelligence(in Daley-Land, how likely is that?) I might have a place moving here that I'd take early retirement to get a job at.

Speaking of liberal asshats('redundancy alert' as Kim says), mAss Backwards notes this: "Security Grates Cause Crime". I have to ask, how does that idiot Mumbles get into and stay in office? Jeez.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

And if you're as sick of the UN as I am,

Mark Steyn lays out everything you need to tell people who still trust it here.

Remember the kid who blew up in Norman?

Outside the packed stadium? Who the university and various people assured us was 'just a troubled kid who killed himself'?
"A Norman police bomb expert said Tuesday he does not believe University of Oklahoma student Joel Henry Hinrichs III committed suicide by blowing himself up outside a packed football stadium. "I believe he accidentally blew himself up," Sgt. George Mauldin said."

Link to the article here at Powerline, Michelle Malkin's post here. Among other things found at his apartment "A pint-size Tupperware container on a counter was filled with TATP Hinrichs had manufactured, Mauldin said." That's on top of what blew him up. Which was "Mauldin said Hinrichs, 21, an engineering student, had two to three pounds of triacetone triperoxide, commonly known as TATP, in a backpack in his lap when it exploded Oct. 1." Two to three pounds?!?

'Troubled youth suicide' my ass.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Once again, I shall preach

on tolerance. And the lack thereof on some subjects. In this case, smoking.

As of today, all restaurants in this state have to either have a separate smoking area, with separate air-handling, or be smoke-free. And it's being pushed to, within a few years, make all smoking in public places illegal. All day the news has had interviews with the Cancer Society rep and various Health Department personnel and politicians speaking of the evils of smoking and secondhand smoke and so on.

I can only say to these people, WILL YOU FUCK OFF?!?

Once again, the nanny-state politicians and busybodies have managed to further criminalize something mostly on the basis of "We disapprove, and it's for your own good, you know!". I repeat, FUCK OFF! If I go into a restaurant or club and it's smoky and I don't like it, I leave and go somewhere else. I don't go whining to some politician to pass a law, and don't scream about violations of my 'rights', I just spend my money elsewhere.

One of the commercials these assholes had running over the past few months spoke of the 'hundreds' of people killed in this state every year by secondhand smoke. BULLSHIT. Unless some actual honest study has been pulled out of the hat lately, there's still no actual proof that ANYONE has been killed by it. Yeah, it's annoying. So what? So are busybody idiots and vote-hungry suckup politicians. That doesn't make it lethal, and lying about it doesn't make it so. The clowns who want to ban anything they disapprove of and claim is 'unhealthy' are a bigger threat to me; they're actually punishing people and attacking personal freedoms and actions, which DOES threaten me where secondhand smoke doesn't.

Makes me want to get a pipe and light up where the clowns can see me, just to annoy them. Maybe I'd be lucky and their indignation would rise so high it'd choke them.

I'm too pissed by all this to continue. Amen, and follow me to the bar.

Cigars, pipes and all.

Further thoughts from range evening

Two things I've picked up from reading over the last year or so are a: to change my primary aiming point and b: get more practice both close & fast and moving. Instead of center of mass, upper center of mass; last night that meant moving the smurf from about 5 yards back up to 3, about half the shots at each. 'Moving' in this case meant shifting side-to-side and back-&-forth within about a 3x5' space. Indoor range, other folks around, so keeping the jumping and etc. for later. Results:

Fifty rounds, including mag changes. It's not the best way, but somewhat careful mag changes; I didn't want to drop the damn things on the concrete floor, so they were a bit slow. All in all, not too bad. Aiming and firing while shifting around, even over a small space, really makes a difference from a steady, fixed firing position.

This kind of thing is where having a .22 conversion for a pistol is nice, you can go through a lot of ammo getting the hang of it without going broke or spending a lot of time at the loading bench. If you're at a range where they're understanding about such things, or- as I prefer- the outdoor one I usually go to for rifle practice(often nobody else at the handgun section), you can really move; jumping or stepping quickly back a ways, moving a few steps side-to-side, and moving at a quick pace along the line and engaging two targets as you pass along. It pumps your heart up a bit, it prevents you from standing still, and it gives some feel for shooting on the move. I can't remember if it was Kevin or the Geek who originally pointed out that you need to move; it was that very nice post of the Geek's on aiming point that started me aiming a bit higher. One thing that brought out is how strong habit is; even after working on this over time, I still sometimes will catch myself firing my first shot or two COM. They hit where I'm aiming, but it's not the aiming point I'm training myself to.

Oh, the head shots? Last few rounds. Well, hell, I had to try it, didn't I?

Something else I wanted to write about, which will undoubtedly annoy some people. Currently 'Keep your finger off the trigger 'till your sights are on the target' has come to mean 'keep your finger straight along the frame'. While it does indeed keep your finger away from the trigger, I have to point out that it's not required to keep it straight. I was taught handgun by my father, and he was taught combat shooting by the LE agency he worked for. You could have your finger inside the trigger guard, as long as it did not touch the trigger. This was in the days of almost everybody carrying a revolver, and if your finger did brush the trigger, it wasn't a big deal; it still took an actual pull to cycle the action and fire. I read somewhere that having the finger straight came from the fact that a rangemaster could see that and know you weren't on the trigger without having to look closely; makes sense. I've noticed that when I'm using a revolver I still do it that way; finger inside the guard, but at the front so I'm not touching the trigger. With a semi-auto, I keep it outside the guard. With a single-action auto pistol, my though when I started handling them was that, if the safety was off it wouldn't take much to fire a shot accidentally if you had that finger inside, so keep it out. Yeah, you shouldn't take the safety off until lining up to fire, and I don't; it's the principle of the thing. So, without thinking about it, I use the two positions depending on which type of pistol I'm firing. Works quite well so far.

Anyway, there's my two cents worth about it.

This ain't no Polish joke

In it's way, this is Poland declaring war. Or at least what side they're on.

Poland fought the German National Socialists long and hard. Then they fought, in a much more low-key way, against the Soviet tyranny. Now they're looking the Islamic fascists in the eye and spitting.

I can only say, Well Done!

Range night

Went to the range last night, having a desire to blow off some steam and make loud noises. Mostly stuff I've shot before(with one exception I'll write of later), and general practice.

Shot the Enfield .380/200 revolver I wrote of before, using that handload put together for it. Every time I've fired one of these before it's been with the Remington loads(which are fairly light) or handloads meant to duplicate it. And it's not an impressive load. This uses a 190-grain bullet loaded to duplicate the original British military load for it, and it's a different matter. For one thing it actually shoots to point of aim, where the light stuff hits way low; for another it's much more authoritative. It's not a .38 Special Hydra-Shok, but I don't think it's that far behind. 190 grains of somewhat soft bullet at 650-700 fps is NOT something a bad guy would shrug off. I understand why the commercial loads are so light; there are a lot of old revolvers out there not in very good condition, and they don't want to overstress them. Thing is, there are also a lot out there that are in fine condition and have no problem with their original load, and it's too bad you have to handload to get what they were designed to put out.

It's also a lot more accurate than people tend to think. That double-action(when clean and lubed; a lot of them you might get hold of are bone-dry inside) is very smooth, and that helps to put the shots where the you want. With these loads, this would make a good home-defense gun. Solid, accurate and dependable; what more could you want?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Followup on cleaning: sanding

Whether you're just touching up an old stock or completely refinishing, you'll find that, even after a good degreasing, the sandpaper will clog up fast. For just touching up, no big deal, you're not doing that much. For complete refinishing, it is a big deal, you'll go through a lot of it. So if you're taking all the old finish and surface off, I will suggest using a scraper.

A scraper will cut fast and clean, and won't clog; at most you'll just have to wipe off the edge every so often. You can buy commercially-made scrapers at woodworking shops and suppliers, or you can make your own. Two ways to make them.

DISCLAIMER: the first method yields a good scraper that will, if you're not careful, slice you worse than what you're working on. Use gloves and be damn careful, and if you start hemmoraging don't blame me.

The simplest, cheapest way is to use glass. Get something like a mayonnaise jar, wrap it in something and break it, or break a piece of almost any piece of glass. The edges will be VERY sharp, and if you're not careful will slice you as you work, so use gloves and BE CAREFUL.

The other way is to make it of metal. What was recommended to me some years ago was an old hand-saw blade. Use a Dremel and cutoff wheel, or a grinder with said wheel, or just use the corner of a grinding wheel to cut a groove along which you can break a piece off. Then grind the edges you cut square, and as smooth as possible. Here a sanding drum or belt sander works very well. You also want to touch up wth sides, to the edge is square a smooth. Now comes the tricky part. For a very fine cut you can use it as is, but to take off material fairly quickly you need to forma 'hook' along the edge. The way I was shown was to clamp the piece in a vise, take a screwdriver with a round shank- the smooth part of a round file, basically anything rounded, smooth and hard enough will work- and push and pull it along the edge, tilted toward the edge you're forming the hook on. It forces the corner to curl over a bit, giving you a very aggressive cutting edge. You can do all sides if you wish, I'd suggest only hooking the edge or edges you plan on using, so you don't have to worry about cutting yourself on a fresh edge.

Generally, with glass or steel, you want a piece with a curve to the edge, which will let you work around the curves in the stock better. Hold the scraper(Carefully, I said!) with the working edge trailing your hand; you're not pushing it into the wood, you're dragging it across the surface. A little trial and error will show you the best angle, that varies according to the wood and the tool. Drag it a ways, see how deep and wide it cut, make the next pass and observe; you'll find the best angle to work the piece at. You'll also produce lots of fine shavings, and in the case of an old gunstock you'll be removing the crud at the surface along with the wood. You can work the entire piece, or just in an area that needs serious cutdown.

When you're done, you'll have a stock with a much cleaner, smoother surface, ready for sanding. And you'll have much less trouble with the sandpaper clogging.

Note: I'm going to splice this into the 'Cleaning' post, so as to keep it all together.