Friday, July 21, 2006

Ref the Indian .308

I mentioned here, Kevin from Smallest Minority warned me off firing any more of it; he'd posted on the stuff here.

So just to check it, I took one bag of ten cartridges, pulled the bullets on five and weighed the charges on each. All were a ball powder; three had a cake of something stuck on the bottom of the bullet, in two of those it had broken up and was mixed with the powder(waxy-looking stuff). I got the following weights in grains:

That seems like a lot of variation to me. All headstamps were OFV opposite M80, with 7.62 opposite 96.

I get the time I'll pull more and weigh them. I'm eventually going to pull all the bullets and dump the powder and recycle the brass; I'm damn sure not going to fire any more of them.

Carnival of Cordite #66

Up at Mr. Completely. Guns short and long, news, cutdowns of idiot 'journalists' and general good stuff. Find it all here.


It's been over 100 the last ten days or so, every day. When I left for the range around 8 yesterday, it was 90; by the time I headed home about noon it was 101, and the high for yesterday was 107. It's been at least 103 or 4 every day for the last week. Today's expected to hit 110, just ahead of a front moving through and pushing the ridge of high pressure that's been causing this away(Move, you bastard!), with tomorrow expected to be mid-90's for highs, seasonal norm.

This kind of thing happens, just part of summer. One of the more uncomfortable parts. Like everything else, it changes back & forth.

So for today I'm going to do as little outside as possible, it's just too damn hot.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Polish Training Rifle

After I wrote about the Enfield trainer, a commenter told me about a Polish WZ48 trainer. It's made to look like the M38 Mosin Nagant, only made to shoot .22. And today I had a chance to shoot one.

What? Well, I... Oh, alright, I didn't just shoot one, I BOUGHT IT! Are you happy, dammit? Gerry, I blame you for this. You told me how neat it was. YOU told me how well it shot. YOU didn't care about my budget, oh no, and now it's blown and...


Where was I? Oh yes, after the bastard told me about them, while browsing around I checked the site of Military Gun Supply in Fort Worth. Clicked on 'New Arrivals' and there it was.

About the size & weight of a M38, but it's not as simple a change to .22 as the Enfield. There, they a: bored a barrel for .22, b: modified a bolt head to work the rimfire cartridge, c: took the spring & follower out of the magazine to catch the empties. Here, it's based on the MN action but...
Here's the barreled action out of the stock:

See that long, shiny bar attached to the trigger? That's the sear & trigger spring, with the sear pivoting on a pin through the spring just ahead of the trigger. The trigger is not set into the receiver like the MN; the spring holds it in place and it simply bears on the receiver. You pull the trigger, it flexes the spring and sear down until the striker releases.

Speaking of the bolt, it looks much like the MN bolt, but while the striker is offset for the rimfire cartridge, there is NO extractor or ejector as part of the bolt mechanism. Instead, riding in a slot in the bottom of the receiver is this:

It's somewhat similar to the extractor for the Martini; the bottom half of the breech face is milled out, and the extractor piece is shaped to match. In this case, to load you place the nose of the cartridge into the chamber and the rim over the extractor piece like so:

and close the bolt- it cocks on closing- and fire. When you open the bolt, as it rides back it pulls the extractor with it which extracts the empty and ejects it. Ejection is vertical and very positive.

The front sight is the MN-style round hood with a post inside. The rear sight

is much like the MN, only calibrated for .22. Lowest setting is 25 meters, longest is 100. And it is well-calibrated.

So how's it shoot? I tried two brands today, Federal Champion and Eley Sport, my two standards. I found that this is one of the few rifles I've tried that did not like the Eley, but it very much got along with the Federal. Set the rear sight for 50 meters, and here's the first ten shots at 50 yards:

Then I tried the Eley, not good. So I went back to Federal and a smaller target(I'd run out of the 3" bulls), and here's the next 5:

Not bad at all. So after I took care of some other things, I moved to 100 yards and fired ten:

Counting the one pulled off to the right, exactly 4". Not counting it, the other nine are in 2.5" by my caliper.

So it's a basic 'train the recruits' rifle made in 1954, and it shoots like this. I'm happy.

There are a few small dings in the wood, otherwise the stock is in great shape, and while the bluing is worn around the muzzle, stock bands and trigger guard, the rest of the metal is in fine condition. And the bore is spotless.

I'd never fired a Polish-made arm before. If everything they made is like this, I want more. Stands to reason; if you'd spent that long with Russians on one side and Prussians/Germans on the other, you'd want your arms up to snuff.

So my budget is blown. Do I care? Well, yeah. Sorry I grabbed it? Hell, no. As various people have written about, it's a terrible feeling to see something you really like, decide to think about it 'just a little bit', and when you go back it's gone. I decided not to wait till too late this time.

Damn you, Gerry, I STILL blame you.

"I'm not responsible enough to own guns,

so YOU'RE not, either!"

Which is what a lot of 'guns are bad' thinking boils down to. Kevin has a piece here on the subject; in particular read the general run of comments, which ALL come down to "I don't trust myself, why would I trust you?"

It constantly amazes me the lines people draw. I've known people(back when I played in the SCA) who spoke with great enthusiasm about the knife, sword or axe they kept by the bed; but mention firearms and they'd come unglued. As if there's something 'noble' about giving a burglar/rapist/murderer 'honorable combat'(BIG thing in the SCA, fine for the game but downright stupid when carried over to real life); something fine about sticking a couple of feet of steel through someones' intestines or an axe into their brain; but shooting an attacker? Why, that's downright terrible!"

Take this comment: "I started a sword collection a few years back (amazingly it's more than just *gasp* katanas!) and toyed with the idea of starting a gun collection as well. I knew though that I probably wouldn't have the responsibility and intelligence it takes to safely own them." So this one thinks having long, sharp steel weapons around is just fine, but apparently his brain wouldn't be up to the task of a: checking guns for loaded and b: not pointing them at people. Personally, I don't see why that's so much more difficult than not waving sharp blades around at people, but hey, maybe I'm just not smart enough.

How about this: if you're so unstable you can't trust yourself with weapons, why the hell should we trust you to drive a vehicle on public roads? Or handle any hazardous substance? Or own/use ANYTHING that might be harmful to somebody?

Stand with The Jawa Report

about websites being banned in India. Very good post here on the subject, both the reasons behind the action and why it's not a good idea.

Very short: India is scared of the Muslim population because they have such a tendance toward violence when they decide someone has not shown 'proper' respect for Islam. Problem is, 'proper' respect in the minds of many means 'on your knees, begging to convert and not be killed'. And no society that wants openness and debate and free speech can give in to that kind of crap.

Firearms and ammo can be weird

I having the day off, and it being too damn hot to do anything in the yard, I headed out to the range early today. Had a couple of .22 rifles to sight in(more on that later), wanted to try some of the cast-bullet loads in the 1903 Springfield, and run some through the K31.

I wrote about the original try of the cast loads in the K31. Good grouping, but they hit about 4" to the right of the point of impact of the Swiss ball. So today I set up a target, fired five, and looked through the scope. To see not a mark on the paper. I finally put up a big 2x3' target intended for scoped rifles so as to have a big background and stuck a bullseye target in the middle, which showed that the shots were hitting a full 12" to the right. Good grouping still, but damn! Maybe the wind today, I don't know. Put three rounds of ball through to check zero, and couldn't ask for better, they hit nicely in the bull, so the sights didn't get bumped.

Then I tried the loads in the 1903. Low, which I expected since they're much lower velocity than ball, but these hit about 4" to the left at 50 yards. Adjusted the sights and got very good results for a light practice load.

So one hits left, one right, and the one hit further right today than before. Sheesh.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wow, I'm not a Flappy Bird anymore

I'm a Slithering Reptile.

Honest to God, don't really care; hadn't looked at this in months.

In any case, hopefully will be able to hit the range the next few days. Got some loads to try(among other things) but it's so damn hot- 105 yesterday and today, the same expected tomorrow- I don't know if I want to go until the temp breaks a bit.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Go into attic before it gets too hot.

Lose track of things in shadow and bang head into beam.

Finish and go downstairs.

While typing, wonder why you're sweating?

Find out the sweat is red.

I just love mornings like this...

Why I don't trust the major media, ESPECIALLY on guns

Pistolero noted this from the Houston Chronicle blog, which sums up their thoughts on the UN gun-grab conference in one statement:What about the second amendment rights of Americans? Well, what about them? That wasn't the focus of this conference, unless an American is buying a shipment of machine guns from an arms dealer overseas.

Think about that. With all the information out there on the aims of this conference, he totally ignores all the statements from delegates and says "Nothing to worry about".

Either ignorant of what was said and written, in which case he didn't research it; or actively ignoring all that, which says what about the aims of the writer?

Carnival of Cordite #65 up

at Spank That Donkey. Including this sign, which I want in full-size:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

If there was any question which side the NY Times was on,

this takes care of it.

I'll let others better with words than I get to specifics. To me it simply boils down to they will do anything to get a story, including standing by while American troops are being attacked; and then will use that story to puff themselves up and say laudatory things about the enemy.

'Course, apparently the NYT doesn't really think they ARE the enemy.

Over at Protein Wisdom, "Writes Times assistant managing editor for photography Michele McNally of a photo taken by NYT photographer Joao Silva showing an al-Sadr army sniper in the act of firing on US troops, “Right there with the Mahdi army. Incredible courage.”

Incredible courage? Well, far be it for me to question such self-congratulatory enthusiasm, but it seems to me that actual “incredible courage” would have entailed, say, Joao Silva getting word to US troops, or bumrushing the sniper and beating him unconscious with a heavy telephoto lens.

Whereas what we’ve witnessed here is the product of (admittedly) dangerous opportunism in the service of plaudits and cocktail party invites."

At Powerline, "t would have required courage to hang out with the Mahdi Army, if there were any likelihood that a member of the Iraqi "insurgency" would regard a representative of the New York Times as an enemy.

Finally, I found a post I remembered at Winds of Change about 'journalists' and where their loyalties lie. There was a show(saw it at the time) on the subject of ethics, and the journalists were given the scenario they're travelling with a bunch of enemy troops(enemy to the U.S. and allies, that is). They see them about to attack U.S. troops, what would they do? Would they warn the troops?
"Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life, Jennings replied. "But I do not think that I could bring myself to participate in that act. That's purely personal, and other reporters might have a different reaction." Immediately Mike Wallace spoke up. "I think some other reporters would have a different reaction," he said, obviously referring to himself. "They would regard it simply as a story they were there to cover." "I am astonished, really," at Jennings's answer, Wallace said a moment later. He turned toward Jennings and began to lecture him: "You're a reporter. Granted you're an American"-at least for purposes of the fictional example; Jennings has actually retained Canadian citizenship. "I'm a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you're an American, you would not have covered that story." Ogletree pushed Wallace. Didn't Jennings have some higher duty, either patriotic or human, to do something other than just roll film as soldiers from his own country were being shot? "No," Wallace said flatly and immediately. "You don't have a higher duty. No. No. You're a reporter!"

As they say, read the whole damn thing. This is just another case of a bunch of 'journalists' telling us that being members of U.S. society doesn't mean a damn thing to them, getting their 'story' means more. No matter who dies.